Disclaimers: Welcome again to the world of fantasy otherwise known as my reality. May 2006 ©. The song 'Lady Marmalade' will be sung in part of this story. The original singing artist for the song is the incomparable Ms. Patti Labelle, lyrics and music by Kenny Nolan and Bob Crewe.

Love and sex: Well some what steamy. We are getting very close.

Violence: We do not recommend that you deal with stressful problems by assaulting your bodies with liquid comfort. Remember, Kara is a professional (not to mention fictional) please do not try this at home.

Acknowledgments: To my betas for all the help in making me look literate and keeping this story on track. A special thanks to my readers for sticking with me through thick and thin, long periods of silence, and exploding hard drives.

I love visitors, so please come and see me at: kaysladyj@hotmail.com or ladyjsalsbury@aol.com. You can also find me hangout at TheRisingPhoenix-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. You're welcome to join us.

Business Trip

Part 10


Lady J

Due to inebriation beyond my control and the sealed lips of Patty and Jac I can't continue this tale.

I can however tell you a few things about that day, now that some time has passed and my memory has had time to heal some what. I remember how I felt when Jason accused me of theft. It felt like someone had hit me in the gut with a Louisville Slugger. I couldn't breathe or think for a long period of time. My stomach was turning so much that I knew if I had sneezed everything I had ever consumed in my life would be hurled onto Jason's desk. It was like my mind just shut down. My only thoughts were this had to be a nightmare that I needed to force myself to wake up from. But it wasn't a bad dream, it was reality and no matter what I knew I couldn't change anything.

The next thing I remember was my emotions swirling around in my heart faster then the contents of my stomach. I remember leaving his office and purging in the ladies room. Then an overwhelming feeling of dread that quickly mixed with fear which was salted liberally with depression assailed my senses leaving me reeling. The last time I was assaulted with this much pain was when the two police men stood in my doorway dripping wet from the rain to tell me that my husband wouldn't be coming home ever again.

So I did what any smart woman would do who needed to stop the pain quickly; I went home and drank heavily. Sad to say old habits die hard. I think I am a strong woman under most circumstances, but this was a very extraordinary happenstance that I was in no way prepared to handle, just as I was unprepared to handle Timothy's sudden death. So I did what I had to do to silence the shouting in my head. The same way I had done all those many years ago. I drank until I couldn't hear or feel anything.

Let me see, what else do I remember? I remember calling my friends and making arrangements for the kids. After all, I didn't want anyone to crash my pity party. I remember I put my Simon and Garfunkle CD on the player and fired it up. I also remember hitting Repeat for selection number nine, The Sound of Silence. I then poured myself the first drink, picked up the bottle, the glass and flopped on the couch. I mean if I'm going to feel sorry for myself I might as well be comfortable.


After the first couple of bottles, I don't remember anything more with the exception of balancing a glass of brandy on my forehead. Why I did that, I have no idea, but I recall that I enjoyed the feel of the cool glass against my warm skin. Oh, and I do remember, albeit foggily, the front door opening and praying it was a serial killer come to put me out of my misery. After that point it was all smoke and mirrors or blank and black.

Obviously it wasn't the serial killer I had prayed for, oh no, I never get that lucky. It was so much worse than I could have ever imagined, it was Patty and Jac. I shiver with horror at the thought of Jac entering my home and me being, how we can put it - Yeah I know I was blitzed but let's be more delicate shall we - I was indisposed and not quite prepared for visitors. Remember I had fallen for this tall dark woman and the last thing I had hoped she'd ever see was me three sheets to the wind. I wanted her to find me attractive and desirable, not passed out on the couch with drool flowing down my chin.

I also shudder to think of what my house looked like. I know it wasn't as clean as when I awoke the next morning. I'm anal about keeping a clean house. A place for everything and everything in its place, that's my motto. I know that I know it wasn't that way when they got there.

How can I be sure that the house was a disaster? How do I know I was a drooling barely conscious mess when Jac and Patty walked in? These are very good questions that I really wish I had the answers for, but Patty and Jac didn't tell me then and won't tell me now. That just drives me crazy. They don't care if I go insane. They're keeping their secrets to the grave I suppose.

Oh, sorry. Got a little off track there. Well so you don't miss a day in the life the way I did I guess I better have Patty tell you what went on, while I was incapacitated.

So without further ado heeeeerrrrrreeeee's Patty!

"Kara!" Patty half whined and half cried, "You know I don't know how to do this."

"Sure you do. Just tell the story," I replied.

"And just where are you going to be when I tell this 'story'?" Patty asked while raising a skeptical eyebrow.

"Here?" I threw my arms out to indicate my comfy couch.

"Ahhh, no," Patty replied, "If I haven't let you in on what happened after all this time, what makes you think I would now?"

I growled. "Ok. Ok. I'm going. But I will be back later."

"Yeah, just like Paul Harvey to tell the rest of the story. Now scoot."

"I'm going. Gods, she can be so pushy,"

I walk away and flash my best forlorn 'Let me stay' look while I stood with my hand on the door handle. Needless to say, it didn't work. Big surprise huh? Patty looked at me with those stern hazel eyes, her arms crossed and stood, her hip leaning heavily against the desk. You don't have to be an expert in reading body language to understand she was telling me to get my ass gone.


Patty watched the door close while she listened for my foot falls to fade. Then the blonde turns to her audience and starts in surprise. "Ummmm, oh, hello." Maybe if I wave at them they won't attack me. "Ummmm," Nervous pause, "I've never done this before."

<<<<Cries of encouragement come from the audience.>>>>

"I'm blushing right?" Patty paused until her blush was confirmed. "Yeah I thought as much I can feel it. Ok, let me give this a try, but remember I'm an amateur so please be gentle. Now where did we leave off?" She scratches her temple deep in thought. "Oh, I remember. We had just entered Kara's house. We, as in Jackie and myself and you wouldn't believe……"


Jac and Patty stood in the foyer of the house for a long moment. Before them was carnage equal to that of an all night frat party. Bottles of various sizes littered the carpet in front of the sofa that continued to drone a muffled rendition of The Sound of Silence. Most of the bottles were empty, but some obviously had not been in the same vacuous condition when they had hit the floor. This fact was painfully apparent by the different sized puddles that remained behind on the carpet. One could gage how much liquid lingered in the bottle by the size of the circular stains. Patty knew that these stains would ruin the once pristine carpet.

She is going to be pissed when she sobers up, Patty thought. No doubt about it.

Kara was always so organized when it came to her home. She had a place for everything and everything in its place all clean and tidy. Hell, before Jarrod could ride a bike he knew how to wash, dry, and even iron his own laundry. Patty knew that Jarrod, Mark, and even little Ashley would be as stunned as she was right now, seeing the house in utter disarray.

Kara's house had a very open floor plan, the foyer opened to the living room which slid gracefully into the kitchen. Four stools stood at the bar, a wicker boundary between the kitchen and the living area. To the right of the kitchen was a great open arch way that led into the family room. That's where the stereo, TV, VCR/CD player and of course the bar resided. This is where the family would spend most of their time watching TV, reading, listening to music or playing games. This is the place where most of the parties where held. The long expanse of tiled floor lent itself to being the perfect place to dance. And Kara loved to dance and have a good time.

There was a hallway off the family room that led to the kid's bedrooms and a bath. A set of sliding glass doors in the back of the family room led to a lanai and a pool area. Beyond the screen enclosure that housed the lanai and pool, was a very sizeable back yard. Patty knew that Kara was very proud of this house. She also knew that she would be beside herself with its condition, that's if she were conscious of her surroundings, which she was not. That last fact was attested too by the way her friend was sprawled on the divan in the living room.

Patty's eyes slowly scanned from one room to the other trying to process the destruction she saw. She started with the kitchen which was just beyond the living room, where Kara continued her drunken dirge. The normally clean and orderly kitchen looked as if a bomb had hit it. Cupboard doors were left half open. The wide open pantry displayed total disorder with cans toppled over. Bags of chips were hanging precariously by their clips resembled mountain climbers who were hanging on for their lives from some ledge. A liberal coating of flour was sprinkled over everything, this lent credence to her mountain climbing analogy. The door of the refrigerator was ajar and something purple was dripping from the shelves on to the floor.

Patty shook her head. What the hell was she trying to do?

No matter what she just couldn't figure out what her friend had been up to. Hazel eyes panned from the horrific kitchen to the even more alarming family room. It was obvious by the amount of broken glass mixed with liquid on the tile floor that more than one bottle never made it all the way to the living room. That was probably a good thing, Patty thought. Those broken bottles were a mess but they represented less liquor that passed Kara's lips. That was a very good thing.

"Geeze," Patty muttered. "It smells like a damned brewery in here." She couldn't believe her eyes.

A shadow shift from her right side caught the blonde's eye.

Oh shit Jackie's with me. I can't believe I forgot all about her. She quickly scanned the rooms, gee can we guess why I would have forgotten her? There's no way for me to explain any of this, since I don't even know what the hell is going on here. So I'm not even going to try.

She carefully turned her head afraid of what the Dragon Lady's fall out would be. She was not surprised to see that they executive seemed to be affixed to the spot where she stood. She wasn't as slack jawed as Patty was though the silent shock painted on her angular features spoke volumes.

"Please tell me all those bottles weren't all full," Jackie almost pleaded.

"I can assure you they weren't. Kara is the 'hostess with the mostess'. She likes to give lots of parties. The parties are usually BYOB except for beer which she buys right before the festivities. I don't see any beer bottles so these must be the leftovers. I don't believe these bottles were even half full when she started drinking." Even as these words left her lips Patty wasn't sure if she believed what she was saying.

"That's nice to hear," Jackie replied in a monotone. "Even at a quarter full she has really tied one on, don't you think?"

Patty mutely nodded in agreement.

The Sound of Silence began playing anew. "Well that's enough of that," Patty said as she carefully made her way through the bottles, shards of glass, and pulverized Cheetos to the stereo. With a snap of a switch the house fell silent.

"HEY!" Kara cried. The sudden silence roused the inebriated woman so much that she sat up straight on the sofa. She was so startled that the tumbler which sat on her forehead was completely forgotten. So quick was her ascent to a fully seated position that the half full glass tumbled unceremoniously into her lap, where it emptied its contents all over the expensive cloth of Kara's slacks before it slipped softly onto the carpet.

"Damn it," Kara cried as she rose from the couch to dust the liquid from her slacks. She was so drunk that she almost toppled over before she steadied herself by placing her hand on the back of the sofa.

Kara looked up at Patty with glazed eyes. "What the hell you doin' here?" Kara slurred. Her body swayed. "How did you get in?"

"We were worried about you, you big goof. We've been calling and looking for you for frigging HOURS," Patty said as she stood next to the stereo. "Besides I know where you hide the key to the house."

"Oh, Really. Damn, I'm gonna have to do something about that." Kara swayed without looking up from her dabbing of her wet crotch. When she did look up at Patty, her dark brows were creased in thought. "Wait a sec. We? Who is we?"

"I believe she's referring to me." Another voice floated from behind an unsteady Kara.

Kara followed the voice slowly to see who the owner was. Her half lidded eyes opened wider when she saw Jacqueline. Jacqueline hadn't moved from where she stood in the entryway.

With a grandiose wave of her arms Kara said, "Welcome to Shangri-La!" The movement of her arms was too wide, and she lost her balance completely and fell. Thankfully she fell into the sofa. Both Jackie and Patty instinctively raced to the couch while they tried to avoid the glass obstacles in their way. The two women arrived in front of the sofa simultaneously. They found Kara slumped into the cushions. Kara giggled. "If I knew you were coming I woulda baked a cake." Her giggles turned to guffaws.

"Looks like you already tried." Patty chuckled.

"Really? How far did I get?" Kara craned her neck to see how she had done.

"Well let's just say you found the flour."

Kara looked at her friend quizzically, and then her face broke into a wide smile. "Hell, I'm shurprised I could find the kitchen."

She looked from Patty to Jackie again. "Oh Jac, when did you get here?"

Jac smiled slightly. "Just a few minutes ago."

"Welcome to my home." She looked around before she looked back into Jacqueline's eyes. "Normally it's cleaner. I shink I made a mess." Kara started to giggle again.

"We can fix it," Patty said tentatively.

Kara slowly turned her head to look into Patty's eyes. "You shink so?"

"Yeah." Patty smiled.

Both women noted that Kara's slurring was on the increase. They would have to listen carefully in order to translate the language of drunken debauchery.

"Cool." Kara leaned back and closed her eyes.

"Ah, shit," Patty said. She leaned in and shook the prostrate figure. "Come on, Kar. Wake up."

"I'm awake. I'm awake." She looked up at Jacqueline again and smiled. "Hey, when did you get here?"

Neither Patty nor Jacqueline could help but snicker at this poor drunken sot.

"Whaass so funny?" Kara asked.

"Nothing's funny, babe. You're just so cute right now," Patty commented.

She looked over at Jackie. "Do you think I'm cute?"

Jacqueline agreed with Patty. "Yes, very cute."

"Do you think I'm pretty?" Kara asked. With some effort the inebriated woman sat up, before she unsteadily stood. She faced Jacqueline directly.

"Yes I do," Jacqueline answered.

"Did you know I think you're beautiful?"

Jacqueline simply smiled.

Patty was in a state of shock with her mouth gaping open. She watched as Kara lean closer to Jackie. Her half lidded eyes slowly closed. Her posture set to kiss Jackie directly on the lips. Jackie's eyes were wide. Patty saw a look uncertainty pass for the first time across the executive's face. Jackie seemed totally out of her depth and Patty knew she would have to do something quick to avert a very embarrassing situation for everyone involved.

Gods, Kar, don't do this, not now.

With a knee jerk reaction, Patty grabbed Kara by the shoulders from behind, and spun her so quickly that the dizzy woman landed in her arms instead of those of the Vice President. But Kara astonished everyone with her determination as well as her aim as she locked onto Patty's lips with her own. The vice like hold that Kara had on Patty made it tough for the blonde to slip from her grasp. Finally she was able to wriggle away.

"OHHH NO! No! No!" Patty's words came in a crisp staccato beat while she backed from Kara's reach, "Let's not have anymore of that. Dang, I haven't been pawed like that since I was in high school in the back seat of the quarterback's car."

Kara's self satisfied grin dimmed as her dark brows knit together in confusion, "Patty?"


"Whys shuw kiss me?"

"I kissed you?!" Patty's mouth was agape not sure what to do or say next.

"Yeah, glad jou could admit it." Patty's mouth swung wide open, "But Pats you know my heart belongs to another."

"No, you kissed me dear." Patty gently corrected Kara still stunned by her friend's admissions. Patty knew there truth behind Kara's drunken confessions"

Kara's brow remained knitted together. Obviously deep in thought she looked to her left and her right, "Where'd Jac go?"

"I'm right here."

Kara looked up and down then to the right and left like she was hearing a message from the spirit world. Finally she looked over her shoulder where she found the allusive Jac. Her eyes dimmed as a sinister smile took over her lips. "Oh there you are." Kara giggled. "I kissed Patty by mistake. I swas stuposed to kiss you."

"Well let's not do anything that we could regret in the morning." Patty involuntarily touched her lips. Girl, damn, you can kiss. Let's just not let that happen again. Patty smirked at her own thoughts.

"Why would I regret kissing her? She's beautiful. Don't you shink she'ss beautiful?"

"Yes I do." Patty repositioned her friend slightly so that her liquor infused breath wouldn't curl blonde's hair.

"Shou shaid she likes me. Shou shaid she likes me a lot."

It took a few moments for Patty to translate her friend's last words. She blushed when she understood what her friend had been saying how be it unclearly she was speaking. From the corner of her eye she could see Jackie's brow rise. Her lips twisted oddly with understanding. This made Patty blush all the brighter.

"So see, I can kiss her, cause ain't gonna see her after this anyway." Kara's eyes were focused on something far away. The sadness in her voice was palpable.

"Why wouldn't you see me anymore?" Jackie's asked somewhat dazed.

Kara looked over both shoulders trying to find the source of the voice that was behind her. "'Cause I don't work there anymore sho I won't work with shou anymore. Didn't you hear? I'm an evil emblezzlor?" Kara almost snarled the last words raising her hands to resemble like claws.

"You're not an embezzler," Jackie continued.

"They'll probably send me to prison."

"You are not going to prison," Patty said.

"They's gonna make we wear those ugly green prison uniforms with a number over my left tit." At this she placed her hand over her heart in demonstrations of the place where her number would reside.

"You are not going to prison," Patty reiterated more forcefully.

"I'll have to become the love slave to Big Mama 'cause she'll protect me." Kara continued unabated.

This time Jackie spun the woman around so Kara would face her squarely. "Kara, you- are - Not – going – to - prison." Jackie spoke slowly and distinctly, emphasizing each syllable to achieve the maximum in clarity. Her goal was to get through the dense fog that had surrounded Kara's brain.

"What's going to happen to my kids?" Kara grasped onto Jackie, desperation evident in her tone as well as her uncomfortably tight hold.

Jackie took Kara's face in both her hands. She held her head still as her blue eyes tried to penetrate the liters of liquor Kara had ingested. "You are NOT going to prison. You are NOT being charged with any crime. WE took care of everything. You still have a job. You still have your life. So you don't have to worry about your kids." Jackie paused, "Kara, did you hear me?"

Kara silently nodded apparently trying to process everything that Jackie was saying to her.

Patty's light eyebrows furrowed slightly. "Speaking of the kids?" she looked uneasily around the silent house, "Where are the kids?"

"Kara, where are your children?" Jackie asked pointedly while still holding on to Kara's face,

A wide bright smile grew on Kara's formally sad face. "You know I have three great kids." She held up three fingers to illustrate the number. "I'm so proud of them." She paused. Jackie watched something change in her eyes. Waves of new sadness emanated from Kara. "It should be four."

Jackie looked away from Kara to Patty. Patty mouthed, 'Later.'

It was obvious that Kara wasn't firing on all cylinders so she asked again, "Kara darling, where are the kids?"

"Should've been four." Kara wiped a tear from her eyes before shaking Jackie's grasp off. "The kids?" Kara repeated the question being asked.

"That's right, baby, where are the kids?" Jackie reiterated softly.

Kara stared at Jackie confusion twisting her features. She then disengaged Jackie's eyes and tilted her head down like she was trying to remember where her progeny were located. Suddenly she jerked her head up. "I 'member. They'se with my friends."

"What friends, Kar?" Patty asked from behind the drunken woman when the phone rang. They all waited for the machine to pick up. A distinctly southern disembodied voice came from the speaker of the vintage answering machine.

<<<"Kara!! Y'all home??? Well I suppose not since you called me to watch little Ashley. <Flirtatious giggle> Kara sweetie, y'all work way too hard. Maybe I could give you a nice massage to ease those tight shoulders of yours when I bring your darling daughter home. Oh why I called, well your little Ashley refuses to werah the same cloths two days in a row, so I'm gonna head down there in a short to pick her up something to wear tomorrow. Don't worry your pretty little head about a thing, I have the emergency key you gave me. Hope the day wasn't too hard on you. Be safe and get home soon.">><<CLICK>>>

"Shit," Patty grumbled.

"Who was that?" Jackie was plainly annoyed with the call. Or were her hackles up because of the caller? Patty's money was on the latter. She couldn't help but note the distinct ring of jealousy in the taller woman's tone.

"Thaaasss ummm…" Kara snapped her fingers in the air trying to remember who belonged to the voice on the phone, "Thaaasss Maryland. She's a single mom too. She'sss gots a little girl Ashley's age and I think she wans me." At that last comment Kara giggled. Jackie was obviously not amused.

Patty pressed, "Kar, where are the boys?"

"Oh, they'ss all at Renee's," she added, "And little Joy is in heaven, so alls the kids accounted for."

Joy Jackie mouthed thinking she was misinterpreting Kara's pronounced slur.

Later Patty mouthed in return. There would be a lot to talk about later.

Jackie nodded.

"Guess we'd better get this place cleaned up," Jackie voiced her thoughts, "Before this Marilyn gets here."

"Yeah, but first we better get her to her room and out of sight," Patty said as she despondently calculated the amount of carnage that would have to be cleared away in order to make this place presentable again.

Patty and Jackie manipulated the totally intoxicated Kara so that they could easily half carry, half guide her to her bedroom.

"Wheres we going?" Kara asked.

"We're taking you to bed," Patty answered.

"Both of you?" the drunken woman asked. "Pat, you know I want to be with a woman but I'm not ready for any smage..amanage..hell a threesome. Besides, Patty, you're a married woman. Don't gets idears from that kiss. Its was a mistake, nice but a mistake." Then she looked over at Jackie. "But you on the other hand are single."

Jackie couldn't help but snicker, "Yes, I am that."

"And you says you think I'm cute." Kara drew out the word 'cute' in a sing song fashion.

"Yes, I did say that," Jackie answered while she and Patty steered the drunk woman through her bedroom door way.

"You wanna sleep with me tonight?"

"Krist Kara!" Patty cried. OH MY GOD, Kara! You are so going to hate yourself in the morning. Let's just hope you don't remember a thing about today.

Before Jackie could give any type of answer Kara continued with her thought. "Ya, know I'm not really this easy. But I'm way drunk and you are so beautiful so if ya want …" then she wiggled her dark eyebrows up and down.

"Kara, just stop," Patty said through giggles. Her best friend was being so outrageous that Patty couldn't help but laugh. So much fodder for teasing her drunken friend but so little recollection which would make teasing Kara fruitless. That's life. Patty finally continues her verbal thought. "No one's gonna sleep with anyone tonight."

"Why not?" Kara queried.

"Because you're drunk. No one will take advantage," Jackie replied.

A broad Cheshire cat smile spread across Kara's features. "It's sok, take assvanstage."

The conscious women groaned. Then with a thud both women deposited the third on her soft bed. With some effort they scooted the semi conscious woman more securely onto the bed. Kara lay sprawled when she started to sing an only slightly slurred rendition of Lady Marmalade.

"He met Marmalade down in Old New Orleans
Struttin' her stuff on the street
She said "Hello,
Hey Joe, you wanna give it a go?"

'Mmm Hmmm Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Da Da
Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Here
Mocca chocolata Ya Ya
Creole Lady Marmalade "

For the chorus Kara sat up, and with a fierce look in her eye continued to sing to Jackie.

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?

My Sista

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?


Patty stared aghast at the sight of her friend getting to her hands and knees. Kara continued to sing as she slinking down the bed toward Jackie like a panther stalking its prey. Right now Kara wasn't the Kara we all knew and loved but a ravenous beast that wouldn't be stopped from taking what she wanted. Right now she wanted Jackie.

"You sure those bottles we found her with weren't full?" Jackie asked as she backed up slightly.

"I could've been wrong about that," Patty answered, suddenly totally unsure of the amount of liquor that her friend had downed.

"Just could've?" Jackie retorted.

Kara continued the song until she reached the edge of the bed where Jackie stood. Still on her knees she straightened up and placed a hand on each of Jackie's shoulders. Here she finished the song. There was no doubt what the inebriated woman was relating through the lyrics and solicitous body language.

"Now he's at home doing 9 to 5
Living his brave life of lies
But when he turns off to sleep
All memories keep More, More, More

Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Da Da Da
Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya here
Mocca chocolata Ya Ya
Creole Lady Jac….quel…..liiiiiiinnnnee.

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?
Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir?
My darling

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?
Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir?
Creole Lady Jacquline…."

The song and the singer faded away. Kara fell back on the bed and passed out.

Both women stood in a stunned, not to mention uncomfortable, silence. Patty closed her eyes and prayed that not only would her friend sleep it off without opening her mouth again, but that she wouldn't remember any of this night what so ever. Patty knew how much Kara cared for Jackie. It would kill her friend to recall anything she had said or done tonight in front of Jackie. She also prayed that Ms. Jacqueline Drakkon was intelligent enough to know that this was Kara under the influence of huge amounts of liquor and to not take anything she said or did too seriously. She opened her eyes to see Jackie sitting next to the prostrate figure. The statuesque woman gently stroked Kara's hair.

Patty heaved a sigh of relief. This is going to be ok after all. Thank you God. Patty cleared her throat. Jackie looked up. "I better go and get the other room cleaned up before Marilyn gets here. Could you tend to her for me?"

"Sure I'll stay with her, but wont you need help out there?" Jackie asked.

"Naa, it's not as bad as it looks." Jackie looked at her skeptically. "Ok it's bad, but I can handle it."

Patty was at the door when she heard Jacqueline say, "She does have a nice voice doesn't she?"

Patty smiled. "Yes, she has a great set of pipes. You should hear her when she's sober." With that said the blonde left the bedroom on her mission to make the house presentable once more.


Patty knelt up from the crouched position she had taken on the floor. She held a scrub brush in a yellow plastic gloved hand. "Leave it to Kara to have a rug cleaner that would take out liquor stains." Patty paused a few moments to admire her work. The stains were just about completely gone. Once the carpet dried in those areas where she had scrubbed, she was confident that a person would be hard-pressed to find any sign of Kara's bacchanalia.

Earlier she had opened the window to let the stench out and the fresh air in. Luckily it wasn't a very humid day and there was a light breeze so the odor of Jim, Jack, Jose, and the rest of the boys had cleared up quite nicely. She had swept up all the glass and picked up all the empty bottles. She put all the trash into a large garbage bag then threw that bag into the trash can at the back of the house. She swept and straightened the kitchen and put a pot of strong coffee on to brew before she tackled the carpet in the front room. Before she could scrub the carpet she had to vacuum up all the Cheeze Doodle dust that was liberally sprinkled all over the carpet and sofa. She then had to clear off the coffee table before she would be able to wipe it down. Then she scrubbed the stains.

Patty stood up and looked around the house before she nodded to herself with satisfaction. She had done a good job even if she said so herself.

Her green eyes looked toward the hall that led to Kara's bedroom. Jackie was still keeping watch over the sometimes conscious sometimes not Kara in such a tender way it touched Patty's heart. It did seem as if the fearsome Dragon Lady had a very secret affectionate side. Bridgette had told her about how gentle and kind Jacqueline Drakkon truly was, but she hadn't believed it until she saw it with her own eyes.

Watching Jackie with Kara answered many of Patty's unasked questions. The young woman smirked, yeah she had sort of pushed Kara a little when it came to Jackie because she believed that Jackie did have feelings for her. Now she was just happy and somewhat relieved that everything she had told her friend was true. There was no doubt about that point now.

The blonde removed her rubber gloves and walked into the kitchen to deposit them and the scrub brush under the sink. She looked up when she heard keys jiggle in the front door lock.

PHEW! Now that's timing. Patty thought in relief.

To her surprise Jarrod walked through the door with Mark hot on his heels.

"Jarrod?? Mark?? What are you doing here?" Patty asked. Mark acknowledged Patty with a quick wave before he ran to his room and shut the door.

"We live here. Why are you here? Where's Mom?" Jarrod eyed Patty suspiciously.

"Uh," Why am I here? Because your Mom is three sheets to wind? Kara you sickie. That's it, sick, yeah let's go with that. "You're Mom isn't feeling well so I brought -"

But her sentence dropped in mid-air when Jackie walked into the room. "Patty, do we have any more cofff-" She stopped speaking when she saw Jarrod.

"Ummmm, we brought her home," Patty amended quickly.

Jarrod silently looked from one woman to the other concern mixed with confusion colored his normally carefree features. "It took the two of you to bring her home? How sick is she?" He began to move toward Jackie.

Jackie intercepted the young man. "Jarrod, there is no need to worry. She's just overworked."

"So that took the two of you to bring her home?" Hazel eyes narrowed in anger.

It was at that unfortunate moment that Kara decided to erupt in the way of a belch that could have been heard a country mile away.

"Whaaa thaaa fu…?" Jarrod's eyes turned dark. He strode with purpose toward his mother's door.

Jackie stood between the teenager and his goal. She placed a strong though well manicured hand in the middle of the young man's chest. Jarrod looked at Jackie's hand and then directly into her eyes his ire apparent. "Jarrod, your mom has had a bad day and is not quite herself right now. That's the reason she made other arrangements for you and your brother and sister."

His aggressive posture softened but only slightly. "I had to come home. I needed my jersey for tomorrow's pep-rally. Plus I need to print out my science report, it has to be turned in tomorrow. Besides, she's never had a problem with me watching out for Ash and Mark before, so what gives?"

"Look Rod," Patty called from where she still stood at the kitchen counter. "Remember what happened to you last New Year's Eve?"

Jarrod looked at Patty for a moment blankly then a slight smirk appeared on his lips. The young man began to blush to the roots of his hair. "Yeah so you mean she's…?"

Patty couldn't help but giggle as another eruption occurred. "Yeah, she over celebrated the completion of this project."

"So she's bagged?"

"Hammered," Patty commented back.

"Dayum," he said and looked back at Jackie, who had just removed her hand from his chest. "Oh man, and she has to go to work tomorrow, right?"

"Yes," Jackie replied.

Jarrod started to laugh. "OOOOHHHH man. That's not going to be pretty." He looked over at the almost empty coffee carafe. "You better put on another pot."

He retreated from the room all the while laughing and repeated over and over, "OHHHHH MAN."

Before either woman could take in a breath the front door swung open and a tall lanky woman with big hair sashayed in. "Why, Pats, what y'all doin' heyah'?"

"Lyn," Patty started, "Kara wasn't feeling well so I brought her home."

"Oh, I hope it's nothing too serious," She drawled. "Maybe I should take a look? Y'all know I'm a nurse and…."

"No that's alright, we have everything under control," Jackie said flatly, her blue eyes narrowing.

Dark eyes appraised Jacqueline with a closer look up and down. Patty made hasty introductions, "Lyn this is Jacqueline Drakkon. She's a VP with the company."

"Real-ly." Each syllable was drawn out and filled with disdain. "Charmed I'm shua." The woman paused again her eyes still evaluating the strange woman who stood defiantly in front the entrance to Kara's boudoirs. "Well since y'all have everything well in hand, I'll just go pick up a few things for our little Ashley. I won't be a moment. Tell Kara I have everything under control, and not to worry her head about our little girl."

"I will," said Patty.

Marilyn threw one more contemptuous look at Jacqueline before she exited the room.

Our little girl. Whoa talk about peeing on Kara's leg, Patty thought.

Jackie slowly turned her eyes from the form that retreated through the family room and down the hall to Patty. "Why, my dear Mrs. Ambrose, you are a cool liar."

"I do my best work under pressure," Patty replied as she pulled another coffee filter from the cupboard in order to make a fresh pot of coffee.

"What about Jarrod? You told him the truth."

"Jarrod is 17 now, almost 18. He's old enough to handle the truth. Besides that's the way Kara has always dealt with all the kids. Just tell them the truth, the kids will figure out the rest on their own. It actually works." Patty shrugged.

Marilyn came bounding back into the living room a miniature pink suitcase in her hand. "Well I've got our little Ash taken care of. Tell Kara I'll call her later to see how she's doin, ok?"

"Ok," Patty called.

"Oh, and it's been a pleasure meeting you, Ms. Drakkon." Which translated meant, go to hell and Jackie knew it.

"The pleasure was all mine, I assure you." Jackie replied with a smile meaning, fuck you and the horse you road in on your shameless hoa.

With a flourish the southern belle was out the door.

Without looking up from her task of placing ground coffee into the filter, Patty commented, "No."

"No to what?" Jackie asked quizzically.

"She's not involved with Lyn." Patty poured a pot full of water into the top of the coffee maker. "She's talked to me about it, and there is nothing there, at least on Kara's side anyway."

"What would make you say something like that?"

Patty placed the carafe under the filter housing and pressed the start button. She looked up and met Jackie's eyes. "Bri and I talk." She paused. "We talk a lot. Besides that I'm a woman, an observant woman at that. I don't have to be a rocket scientist to see you care for Kara and that you wanted to tear Lyn apart."

A slight blush rose to the statuesque woman's face. Jackie parted her lips to make a comment when the unmistakable sounds of purging drifted into the room where the two women stood. Without hesitation Jackie sprinted to the room.

"Let the games begin." Patty followed.


"We really need to get her into the shower," Patty commented. "See if we can bring her back to life."

"Well," the tall woman pulled off her jacket and unbuttoned her silk blouse, "since I'm the taller of the two, I'll do it."

"No really…." Patty protested.

"Patty, be serious, look at her."

Both sets of eyes were fixed on the prostrate woman who was sprawled on the tile floor in front of the commode. Kara was stroking the tile and thanking it for being so nice and cool.

"Ok, you got me there. Do you think we should undress her?" Patty asked. The smaller woman averted her eyes as Jackie continued to disrobe down to her panties and the matching satin bra.

Damn Kara, if I wasn't married I would definitely give you a run for you money.


Both women approached Kara who was still stroking the floor.

"Kara sweetie, you need to sit up," Patty said as she crouched down on the floor next to her friend. Jackie came up on the other side so when Kara sat up she could lean her back against Jackie's chest. With the combined effort of the two women Kara was in an upright position once again. At least momentarily anyway, that is, until bones returned to their previous gelatinous like state, and she was forced to slouch against Jackie.

Patty started to unbutton Kara's shirt when her friend slapped at her hands. Of course she missed the small blonde completely. "Hey! Hey! Wasss you doin?"

"Kara honey, we're gonna put you in a cool shower so you'll feel better."

Bleary eyes looked into sympathetic greens. "Cool, just like the floor?"

Patty snickered, "Yes, honey, just like the floor, but with water. So we don't want to ruin our good work clothes now do we?"

Kara shook her head no.

"So be a good girl and let us get you undressed."

Kara tilted her head like a confused puppy. "Us?"

With a heavy sigh she replied, "Me and Jackie." She reached over, and the rest of Kara's blouse was unbuttoned without incident. She figured she would have to do the rest fast, while Kara's attention was otherwise occupied. Patty quickly un-tucked the shirt, unbuttoned the cuff and then was able to pull Kara's shirt off with a minimal of effort.

Kara looked over her shoulder. "Hey Jac."

Jackie smiled. "Hi Kara."

"What jou doing back there?"

"Holding you up mostly."

"You mean I'm not doing this myself?" The smaller brunette looked around. "Hey ya gots no panses on." Then looking down at the arms that where around her she noted. "Hey ya gots no shirt on either."

"Nope, 'cause I'm going to help you in the shower," Jackie answered.

Kara leaned forward and turned her torso to look at Jackie more squarely. This worked great for Patty who had just started to undo her pants. At first her eyes were void of understanding. Then very so slowly a feral grin emerged. "Oh really."

One dark sculpted eyebrow rose. "Yes."

"Have you ever had sex in the shower?" Kara asked, solicitous grin still in place.

"Kara!" Patty cried while she slid the dark belt from its loops. You are so going to hate yourself in the morning.

Kara didn't acknowledge her friend's outburst, but waited for her answer.

"Yes I have, but that's not what we're going to do." Jackie smirked.

With a fierce tug by Patty, Kara was out of her slacks and down to her bra and panties.

Damn, figures she would've worn white. When the water hits that cotton she might as well be naked. Well, nothing can be done about it now. Patty thought.

With an impressive show of strength the taller woman rose from her crouched position bringing the smaller woman with her.

"Whoa, head rush. Head rush!" Kara teetered, but was balanced by Jackie's strong arms.

"Now let's have none of that. Patty, could you run the shower until we have it nice and cool?" Jackie asked.

"Sure." Patty rose to her feet and leaned into the large shower to turn on the water. She let the water cascade off her hand until she felt that the water was perfect. Just slightly cooler than tepid would be best Patty surmised. "You guys are set. I'll go get some more towels."

"Thanks. OK, here we go." With a corrected stumble both women were soon under the shower being doused by the cool waters.

Kara didn't struggle, but stood still while the waters beat down on her drunken brow. She opened her mouth and took in the waters and then spit them out. She took in more water and obviously was more vigorously rinsing than the first time. She spat out the water once again.

She leaned her body weight against the woman behind her. "You feel good against me."

Her words were so quiet that Jackie almost missed what she had said in the din of the falling waters. The taller woman leaned her head down so she could hear. To her surprise Kara suddenly turned in her arms and planted a deep kiss on Jackie's shocked lips.

Jackie's first instinct was to pull away, she knew that Kara was totally piss drunk and she didn't want to take advantage of her. But feeling the smaller woman in her arms, having their lips pressed together was all she had wanted since she first arrived in Florida. She couldn't stop this even if she had wanted to.

Jackie tried not to let her eyes wonder down Kara's body which was being poorly hidden by the now almost transparent undergarments. Those efforts were truly fruitless now that the passions in this small space were rising. She allowed the smaller woman to deepen the kiss. Kara slipped her tongue into Jackie's waiting mouth. Jackie wrapped her arms more tightly around the smaller woman to bask in all the sensations that were coursing through her own body. Her hands were no longer occupied with holding Kara up. Her hands like the waters of the shower were floating over every inch of Kara's body savoring each curve, relishing the feel of soft skin under her fingertips.

Jackie's desire rose to heights that finally overwhelmed her senses. Jackie grabbed Kara by the shoulders pulled the woman even closer to herself. Kara looked up to Jackie's eyes. Her lips pulled into a feral grin once again giving permission to the taller woman to take what she willed. This time it was Jackie who took Kara's lips with a searing kiss with a heat that Jackie felt would incinerate them both. Her hands slipped from Kara's shoulders to her ass. She kneaded the taught ass before she slipped her long leg between Kara's. She pressed her thigh into Kara's center while at the same time she pulled Kara's hips more firmly into her. Rhythmically Jackie rubbed her thigh against Kara's clit.

"Yes" Kara groaned then bit down on Jackie's shoulder.

"Ahhh!" Jackie cried.

"Uhhhhgruuuuuhhhh," a muted cough.

Did she hear something? Did Kara growl?

<<<<Tap Tap Tap>>>>

Startled she disengaged from Kara.

"Hey where you going, baby?" Kara asked pulling Jackie's body back to her own.

"Ummm should I leave the two of you alone?" Patty chirped from outside the frosted glass door.

"No," Jac said.

"Yes!" Kara shouted angrily.

Patty laughed. "Well which is it?"

Jackie took the reigns. "It's ok, we're done here." Jackie turned off the water.

"DONE? We're just getting started." Kara pouted as she was wrapped in a towel by Patty and guided dripping back to here bedroom.

Jackie grabbed the bath sheet that Patty had left for her from the counter. She looked at herself in the mirror as she brought the soft terry to her face. She then guided the towel to her hair and with less then vigorous motion began to dry her hair. Slowly the towel dropped from her head to softly pat the dampness from the rest of her body all the while swimming into the depths of her own eyes.

I must be insane. Jackie thought to herself before she warped the bath sheet around her still damp body and leaving the bath area.


A half empty cup of coffee rested on the night table. Kara lay snuggled on her right side enveloped by her sheets and comforter. Patty was grateful that her friend was finally sleeping peacefully. The fact that she wasn't snoring was a bonus. Yes, Kara on occasion would snore. Sometimes it would be a little feminine though profound respiration. Bu t sometimes she could saw lumber so loudly that she would keep her neighbors awake for a five mile radius.

At the foot of the bed two wing backed chairs stood with a small table in-between. A small blonde occupied one chair, a taller brunette the other, each sipped a cup of coffee. Both women watched Kara as she slept. Both women were completely spent, but chatted quietly about banal topics so as to not disturb their very own Sleeping Blasted.

After a long while Jackie began to ask the questions that Patty had been waiting to answer. "So tell me about this Lyn person?"

Patty chuckled softly. "Nothing much to tell. She's an aging beauty queen…."

"Aging well from what I could tell," Jackie almost growled.

"Yeah, she is attractive in a southern belle, I'm a former "Miss Down Home, Sugar Don't Melt in My Mouth Unless You Cross Me" kinda way, but I just don't trust her. Never have. She's been throwing herself at Kara, since a little after Tim passed."


"Yep. Well, she did permit what one could call a 'respectable' amount of time to pass after the funeral before she started to make her move. But when she started moving there was no stopping her."

"What did Kara think of Lyn advances?"

Patty laughed out loud. "For the longest time she was clueless. So when Lyn didn't get the reaction she was looking for she turned up the heat."

"How so?" Jackie asked. The taller woman inclined her head so as not to miss a word.

"Hmmm, if I remember correctly, she had brought her daughter over to play with Ashley. The girls were playing in the play house out back while Lyn and Kara sipped ice tea on the lanai. Then Lynn very brazenly suggested that when they laid the girls down for their naps why didn't they 'retire to her bedroom'. Then she laid a big ole' wet one on her."

"In front of the kids?" Jackie chuckled though her body language had turned aggressive. "You're kidding."

"Nope." And feigning a southern accent, "It was all so shocking and scandalous. And to think she did it in the middle of the day no less." Patty raised her had to her heart of mock shock, "That woman just has no shame."

Both women laughed heartily at Patty's impression. The laughter rejuvenated them slightly.

"What did Kara do?" Jackie asked wiping tears of mirth from her eyes.

"I think she 'duhhhed' for awhile, but then set her straight, literally." Patty continued, "But Marilyn, is not one to take no for an answer."

"So I can see." Jackie hesitantly continued, "Has she, Kara, ever dated any woman?"

Patty smiled wearily. Jackie was being so vulnerable that Patty found herself falling in love with this older woman. In a platonic sort of way though. She was convinced now more than ever before that Jackie was the right person for Kara. "No. You'll be her first." She mischievously added, "In more ways than one."

"PATTY!" Jackie gasped.

Patty laughed. "Come on, Jackie. I saw you two in the shower. What the textured glass left blank my imagination filled in."

Jackie blushed brightly.

Patty patted her hand. "Awww, don't blush. We're all adults here." Kara picked this time to belch and turn over. "Well some of us are adults."

When the new peal of chuckles died down Jackie asked, "So how long have you two known each other?"

Patty put an index finger to her temple in contemplation. "Ummm. I think it's been about ten years now. She had just become a program manager who needed an administrative assistant."

"And you were the AA." Jackie smiled.

"Yes ma'am."

"So how does one make the leap from AA to best friend?"

Patty thought for a moment. "You know I can't really answer that. There really was no leap about it at all. We just clicked from the moment we met."

"So you knew her before her husband died."

"I knew Tim pretty well. He was a wonderful guy. The four of us used to hang out together. It was a real shock to everyone when he was killed. Fucking drunk driver," Patty growled, "Sorry. I get really emotional because Tim never got to see little Ashley."

"You're kidding? So Kara was pregnant?"

"When he was killed, yeah."

"And Joy?"

"That was before my time, but Joy is the baby she lost between Jarrod and Mark," Patty replied.

"What happened? Miscarriage?"

"No. But that probably would have been easier on her. When Rod was ummm," Patty paused to recall the details this story, "I think he was around six months old when she got pregnant with Joy. It was unexpected," Patty chucked, "like any of their kids were planned parenthood. Any way she and Tim were really happy about it especially when they found out it was a girl." She sipped her coffee then continued, "Kara was almost full-term when she got this nasty virus. It was so bad they finally hospitalized her, but no matter what they did they couldn't get her temp to break. The baby," She stilled a catch in her throat, "they couldn't save Joy."

Patty looked over at Jackie. Jackie nodded and Patty continued, "They induced labor and she had the baby naturally. Kara said she was perfect and beautiful and if you didn't know better you would have thought she was just sleeping. Kara and Tim held her for awhile before they took her away."

The deafening silence in the room was palpable.

"Oh my God" Jackie was aghast.

Patty nodded in agreement.

Jackie turned to Patty without seeing her, "How did Kara survive?"

"Hmmm," Patty chose her words carefully. She looked up to meet Jackie's blue eyes. Her pink lips tugged into a smirk, "You know I asked her that same question so I suppose the best answer I can give you is the answer she gave me."

"And what would that answer be?"

"I just did what I had to do." Patty said.

"What does that mean?" Jackie asked her brow furrowed.

"From what I saw after Tim's death she internalizes. I don't think she stops long enough to grieve. As she would tell me, when I asked if she was ok, she had things to tend to. She had a family, a demanding job, obligations so – she did what she had to do. Then she moved on." Patty paused in thought, "Ya know something?" Patty paused again, "I never saw her shed a tear after Tim's death. I don't think I've ever seen her shed a tear."

Jackie took a sip of her coffee before she asked her next question, "She did finally get over it, right?"

"No, I don't think she ever did." Patty said quietly.

The room fell silent again.

"She's an amazing woman isn't she?" Jackie broke the silence. "To have a strong enough spirit to survive not one but two devastating deaths. I'm not sure I could have done as well as she did if the roles were reversed."

"Yes, she's amazing, more than she'll ever know. But that humility is part of her charm." Patty chose her next words carefully. "Besides, you've had your share of heart break."

"Nothing that even comes close to what she has gone through. She is truly amazing."

"You know, Jackie, you really don't have to stay tonight. I've already called my husband to tell him where I would be."

"You told him what went on today?" Jackie's voice mirrored her surprise.

"Yeah, sure why not? Patty answered from over her steaming cup of coffee.

"Was he surprised by Kara's, well?" Tactfully indicating the condition Kara was in when they had arrived.


"No??" Jackie cried.

Patty shook her head. "Well he was surprised by all the bull shit that went on at the office. He gives you two big thumbs up for what you did for Kara. Oh, by the way, he said when he meets you he's says he's gonna give you a big kiss. So be prepared."

Jackie chuckled.

"As far as the rest, he said he probably would have done the same thing if he was in her shoes. He's just surprised that she was so blasted. He said the same thing I was thinking, she must have taken a Zannex or something on top of all the liquor she drank."

"So she's not a light weight when it comes to drinking?" Jackie asked. She left Patty's comment about not staying unaddressed.

Patty laughed out right. "Not a chance. I've seen her drink big burly truck drivers under the table without breaking a sweat."

"So, do you think it was something as easy as taking a Zannex or do you think she drank more than you thought?"

"Yes, I think she did do something stupid like take a Zannex. It would be the only explanation for how trashed she was when we got here. To be honest, the thought of her taking something was the only thing that really worried me. You know what I mean? I was worried she was having a bad reaction to the mix."

Jackie nodded in agreement. "Well she's sleeping naturally now so I'd say she's fine."

"See? You don't need to stay. I've got it under control."

"It's ok. I can stay."

"But what about your clothes for tomorrow and your toiletries?"

"When you were calling your hubby I called my daughter. I told her I would probably be staying here tonight and asked her to put the things I would need for tomorrow in a cab. So it's all covered."

Patty sighed. She would have to say what she needed to flat-out. "Jackie, I don't think it's a good idea for you to stay."

"I don't think it's a good idea that I go," Jackie commented as she pulled Jarrod's terry robe more tightly around her.

"The odds are she won't remember any of this in the morning." Patty added. "The loss of memory, I think, will be a real blessing for her."

"You don't think she'll remember anything that happened tonight?"

"No. I don't think she will remember a thing."

"If she doesn't, what could it hurt for me to stay? If she does remember it's better for me to be here."

Tiredly Patty replied, "How do you figure?"

"Because if she remembers and I'm not here she'll be so humiliated she probably would never be able to even look at me again much less…." Jackie paused, her dread apparent. "Much less want to be with me." She paused again obviously gathering her thoughts. "I figure if I am still here and she remembers she has no where to hide and we could work things out. If I'm here and she doesn't remember, then no harm done."

"You really care about her don't you?" Patty wanted to draw Jackie a little farther out of her shell.

She sighed and leaned back into the chair. "More than I expected." She placed her hand over her mouth and chuckled. A twinkle of life returned to her sleepy eyes. "Kara has me so turned around I'm looking both ways for Sunday. I never expected to feel this way about anyone ever. Actually I have never believed in love at first sight, but here I am acting like a school girl afraid to ask someone out."

"Well in that case," Patty smiled, "I can take the couch if you want to take the pull out."

"I think I'll stay here for awhile." Jackie tapped on the arms of the chair where she had been sitting talking to Patty.

A knock echoed through the quiet house. "Why I think my toiletries have arrived."

Both women chuckled before they went to answer the door.

Continued Part 11

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