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“Fifteen minutes. All I needed was another fifteen minutes and I would’ve been on the way home,” Joey Greer said to herself as she struggled to keep her umbrella from blowing away in the strong wind.
That thought was small comfort to the twenty-one-year-old as she was already soaked to the skin by the sudden downpour. The short haired redhead didn’t know who she was angrier with at the moment, the insufferably cheerful weather girl on Channel Two who casually mentioned a slight chance of a shower in the early evening, or her boss at the drugstore who had asked her to make a quick delivery on her way home, insuring that she wasn’t already on the bus, warm and still dry.
After careful deliberation, helped along by her having to twist her five foot five form into a pretzel to avoid the splash of a truck racing through a large puddle on the curb, Joey made a choice. As nice as it would be to have her hands around the weather girl’s neck, it would be much more satisfying to have them around Kevin’s.
Joey had finished her shift at the SVC Pharmacy over on Eighty-third Street and was halfway out the door when Kevin West, the assistant manager, had stopped her. She should’ve realized, Joey thought later, that something was up when Kevin asked her if she still went over to Seventy-fifth Street to catch the bus. The question caught her off guard, so instead of saying that she was going in the other direction today, she said yes she did.
“Great,” Kevin had said, flashing that smile that Joey found so condescending. “Then you can do the store a big favor and drop a prescription off on Sixty-ninth and Third, it’s only a few blocks out of your way. Mr. Collins asked me to make sure that it went out as soon as it was ready and Bobby won’t be back for another hour at least. You don’t mind, do you?”
Actually, Joey did mind, she minded it a great deal. Kevin seemed to go out of his way to make sure she got more than her share of the dirty jobs. Part of that could’ve been attributed to the fact that she was the new girl, having been there only a few months. That much she could accept. What really bothered her was that she was sure that the other part of it was because he had asked her out when she had finished her probationary period and she had turned him down flat.
While he never said anything about it afterwards, or repeated the offer, one of the other girls had told her that he wasn’t the kind of guy who took rejection well. Still, she couldn’t shake the feeling that he went out of his way to dump things on her. There were times she wondered if maybe she should’ve given him a reason. That she didn’t date older men, or men shorter than herself. Or she could’ve been totally honest and told him that his chances of getting into her pants were the same as any other man, totally zero.
Still, despite all of that, she hadn’t refused to play delivery girl. The request, however indirectly, had come from Mr. Collins, the store manager. Additionally, she had been late twice in the last two weeks and no one had made a big deal about it. So she had given him an equally fake smile and taken the bag. As she started down the street, she hoped that S. Carter, the name on the label, appreciated the door-to-door service.
All of this, of course, was before she reached Seventy-first Street and the sky had opened up with such force as to make her feel like someone had dumped a bucket of water over her head. By the time she walked up the steps of the townhouse a few blocks later, she felt like she’d jumped into a pool with her clothes on. With all the stores on the street already closed, there was no escaping the rain.
At the top of the stairs, Joey closed her all but useless umbrella and rang the small intercom by the door. Less than a minute later a woman’s voice answered, asking who was there.
“SVC Pharmacy,” Joey said into the speaker/receiver, “I have a delivery for Carter.”
“I’ll be right down,” the voice said.
When she had first started at SVC, Joey had made a few deliveries when they were really busy. She remembered two of them on this block. If S. Carter ran true to form for the residents in this area, it was the maid who was on the way down to deal with her. The owner of the house would be far too important to deal with the little people who made deliveries and such.
With that in mind, she was surprised when the door opened and there stood a thirty-something woman, her shoulder length blond hair tied back in a ponytail. Wearing a white blouse, black slacks and a cashmere sweater that Joey guessed cost more than she made in a week, the interim delivery girl changed her opinion of this being the maid. Even more surprising were the first words out of the woman’s mouth when she saw how wet the girl was.
“Oh my goodness, you’re positively soaked,” the five foot, six woman gasped as she reached out and pulled Joey into the vestibule. “You come inside this minute.”
The redhead had no chance to object as the woman took her useless umbrella casino oyna out of her hand, putting it and the plastic bag with the medication on a nearby table. Then she just as quickly pealed off the equally drenched windbreaker off Joey’s back and draped it across a row of wall hooks.
“What kind of idiot sends a person out in weather like this to make a delivery?” she asked rhetorically as she turned back to face the younger woman.
Joey was about to say that it hadn’t been raining when she left the drug store, but decided that since Kevin was an idiot for so many other reasons, she wouldn’t debate the issue. She was more interested in the way this woman, who for some reason seemed familiar, continued to surprise her.
“Why don’t you step inside the parlor and dry off by the fire,” the woman went on as she motioned to the room to the left. “I’ll get you a towel for your hair.”
Joey thanked the woman for the unexpected kindness, then watched her as she walked down the hall and disappeared behind another door. Turning in the direction she had pointed, Joey reasoned that if not the maid, the woman had to be some kind of employee of the person who owned the house. Someone who still had enough of a connection with working people to have felt sorry for the rain-soaked girl. Possibly she had been in the drug store before and that was why she seemed familiar.
“You think I’d remember an ass like that,” Joey mused as she stepped into the sitting room.
The room looked larger than her studio apartment, filled with overstuffed chairs and dominated by a large fireplace, the warmth of which could be felt even in the doorway. It was only when she stepped over to the fire that Joey realized just how wet she really was.
“Here you go,” the blond haired woman said as she entered the room and handed Joey a towel.
“Thank you,” Joey said as she began to dry her hair. “I’m afraid I’m dripping all over your floor.”
“Don’t worry about it,” she smiled, bringing another sense of recognition to Joey. “A little water isn’t going to hurt it and besides, it’s not my house. I’m only borrowing it for the week.”
“Oh,” Joey said as she finished drying off her hair, wondering what this woman’s story was and more importantly, why she couldn’t remember where she’d seen her before.
“I really feel bad about you getting so wet bringing me what turned out to be a needless prescription,” the blond said. “It seemed like I’d forgotten my medication back in Los Angeles and had my doctor call in a replacement. Then, about a half hour ago, I found it in my bag.”
“Well it was an honest mistake,” Joey smiled to show she wasn’t upset about getting doused for nothing.
“I think that the fire, nice as it might be, really isn’t going to do the job,” she said as she noticed that Joey’s blouse and jeans were still quite wet. “If you want, there’s a laundry room down at the end of the hall. You could toss it all in the dryer and it should be done in a half hour or so. There’s a robe hanging on the door that you could wear in the meantime.”
Joey looked at the woman with suspicion for a few moments, wondering if she might have some ulterior motive in wanting her to get naked. Not that she would really mind if she did. Joey didn’t normally go for women older than herself, but this woman was definitely first class and it had been almost four months since her now ex-lover, Sonija, had moved out of their apartment and her life.
“Sounds like a plan,” Joey smiled again and followed her down the hall to the laundry room.
Joey felt a slight sense of regret when, after opening the door and giving a quick explanation how to use the dryer, the woman excused herself and said she’d meet her guest back in the parlor. She had almost hoped that her benefactor was planning something.
“Oh by the way,” the woman said, pausing in mid-step and turning around. “Can I get you something to drink to help warm you up. Coffee, Tea, or maybe something stronger?”
“Coffee would be fine,” Joey replied, thinking that there was another way she preferred to be warmed up. One that Sonija had been especially good at. “Cream and sugar if you could.”
“Not a problem,” the blond said as again she disappeared.
Joey began to unbutton her blouse when she saw her reflection in the full length mirror hanging on the back of the door. Wet as her shirt was, coupled with the fact that she didn’t wear a bra, her nipples and the surrounding areola were highly visible. There was no way the older woman couldn’t have noticed them. As she continued to strip, the twenty-one-year-old idly wondered what she had thought of them, if anything.
Dropping everything she had been wearing into the dryer, including the cotton panties, Joey again took a moment to look at her nude body in the mirror. It was a body she was proud of, slim and well toned, with breasts just big enough to compliment her form. The redhead liked the size and shape of her own mounds, yet preferred larger on other women. canlı casino Sonija had a very nice pair, she remembered, thinking for a moment how nice they felt in her hands, and in her mouth. From what she could see of the lady of the house through her blouse and sweater, hers were nicely shaped as well.
“Put your eyes back in your sockets, girl,” Joey grinned to herself as she put on the robe, taking note of how soft the material felt against her flesh. “Not every woman you meet is going to want to get naked. Even if you sometimes wish it was that way.”
Wrapped in the silk robe and leaving her damp shoes by the dryer as well, Joey headed back to the parlor and her waiting coffee.
“Thank you,” Joey said as she took the cup of coffee and tasted it. “Mmmm, this is very good.”
“It’s a special blend,” the woman offered as she directed Joey to the two chairs closest to the fire, each of them sitting down in one. “I really like it. The owners of the house always have a supply of it on hand.”
“What’s it called?” Joey asked, thinking that if it wasn’t too expensive she might like to buy some for herself.
“I’ll write it down for you before you go,” she said, taking a sip from her own mug.
“Not that I want to look a gift house in the mouth,” Joey said after thanking her once more, “but I have to say you’re very different from the kind of person I expected to find on this block. Most of your neighbors wouldn’t even have noticed how soaked I was, much less have cared.”
“Well, I guess that even though I’ve had some success in my life, I try to remember where I came from. My family was working class and I started out that way too.” she said. “But I know what you mean. Most of my neighbors back in Los Angeles and the people I work with are pretty much like that.”
“Is that where you’re from?” Joey asked, taking another drink of the wonderful coffee.
“Actually, I grew up less than fifteen miles from here, in Apple Ridge,” the woman grinned, “it’s just that most of my work these days is out on the West Coast.”
“What kind of work do you do?” Joey asked.
“Oh different things,” she answered enigmatically. “I like a variety.”
“I just realized something,” Joey said. “You’ve been so nice to me and I never even asked your name. I’m Josephine Greer, but everyone calls me Joey.”
“It’s Sara,” the blond said as she finished the last of her coffee.
“S. Carter, of course,” Joey said, remembering the name on the prescription. “Well, I can honestly say that I’m very glad to meet you Sara.”
“And I you, Joey Greer,” Sara smiled, “it’s been too long since I’ve had the chance to just chat with someone and not have to worry what they wanted from me.”
A sudden thought of what she would like from the pretty woman sitting across from her flashed through Joey’s mind. Proof once more that it had been far too long since she’d slept with anyone. She gave herself another mental “down girl” and changed the subject.
“It’s funny, but I keep getting the feeling that I’ve seen you somewhere before,” Joey said as she finished the last of her own coffee. “Maybe you just remind me of someone I know but for the life of me I can’t remember who it…”
Joey abruptly stopped in mid sentence as the pieces of her puzzle suddenly fell into place. How could she have not realized it before.
“My God,” she gasped, her voice cracking. “Sara Carter, … you’re Sara Lynn Carter, the actress!”
“Guilty as charged,” Sara said as she waved her coffee cup in salute at Joey finally figuring it out.
“I’ve never met a celebrity before in my life,” Joey continued to gush.
“And you haven’t met one now,” Sara insisted, “I’m no different than you or anyone else. I’m not one of those people who think that just because you make movies that you’re somehow better than other people.”
“But you are so great.” Joey went on, “I can’t believe I didn’t recognize you.”
“Well when I’m working I usually wear contacts,” Sara said as she touched the rim of her thin, black metal eyeglass frames.
“It can’t just be that,” Joey said.
“I don’t know,” Sara smiled, “it always worked for Clark Kent.”
It took a moment for Joey to get the joke, but she laughed when she did.
“I still feel silly for not recognizing you,” the younger woman said. “I must’ve seen ”Hearts Of Stone” twenty times.”
Sara shook her head slightly. She had made twenty-two movies since she landed her first role at eighteen and the one everyone always talked about was ‘Hearts Of Stone’. Still, it wasn’t surprising. Like Sharon Stone in ‘Basic Instinct’, the role had drawn attention to her in a way nothing she had done before or since.
It had been a role that her agent and a number of friends had advised her not to take, if for no other reason, that the character she would be playing was a teacher having a secret lesbian affair with one of her colleagues. It was a role too close to a truth better kept private in their opinion. She had tossed kaçak casino aside their concerns saying she didn’t see what the problem was. After all, she had never been a teacher.
Yet the film had turned out to be the sleeper hit of the summer two years ago, fueled in no little part by a rather explicit love scene between the two principal characters. Contrary to her friends’ worry, Sara had not been outed by the movie and had gone on to become an A List Actress.
“My ex and I the saw the movie on our first date,” Joey went on, “Sonija couldn’t stop talking about it for weeks.”
The reference to Joey’s ex didn’t escape Sara’s attention. Unless she was dating a man with a definitely unmasculine name, the younger woman and she had a lot more in common that she might realize.
“Could I ask a question?” Joey asked.
“I’ll understand if I’m going over the line here,” she went on, “but there’s something that we used to wonder about.”
“I’ve never been offended by any question,” Sara said, “but I always reserve the right not to answer them.”
“That’s fair,” the redhead said.
Joey paused, thinking about how best to phrase her question. As she did, Sara wondered if it was the question people most asked about that role. The one she had worked out a set answer for a long time ago.
“In the movie, you and that other actress, the one that played Miss Thompson, I don’t remember her name,” Joey began.
“That’s right, Diane Gallagher,” Joey repeated. “Well there was that part in the movie where you and her, well I mean when… I’m afraid I’m really not sure how to ask it. I know the two of you are actresses and it was just a role that someone wrote, but Sonija and I always wondered if there was something more to it than just play acting. I mean it seemed so real and …”
It had been the question Sara expected, one that had been asked countless times since the movie first came out. Normally, Sara usually made a joke about it, saying that at the time she never realized her performance would be so convincing. Yet, for some reason she really wasn’t sure of, the thirty-three-year-old didn’t want to give that stock answer.
The true answer to the question, if she ever wanted to give it, was that it was indeed the result of some fine acting. And one of the key ingredients to a good performance, as one of her early teachers had repeatedly told her, was practice, practice, and more practice. A little smile formed at the corners of Sara’s mouth as the actress remembered all the nights she and Diane had spent doing just that. By the time that scene had finally been filmed, there hadn’t been an inch of the other’s body that both of them weren’t intimately familiar with.
“It looks like it’s stopped raining,” Sara said as she took a few more moments to consider her answer.
Joey turned and looked out the window, confirming that the intense storm had indeed burned itself out and the sky had begun to clear. It reminded her that her clothes should just be about dry as well. As if in response to that thought, the dryer buzzer went off, confirming her guess.
“Well I guess that’s my cue,” she said as she rose to her feet. She thanked Sara again, both for the coffee and her kindness. As to her question, she now assumed Sara was exercising her right not to answer.
Joey had gotten as far as the door to the hall when Sara finally spoke.
“Why don’t we just say that there was nothing in that particular movie that I didn’t enjoy and leave it at that,” she said.
The slim redhead took more from Sara’s smile than anything she actually said. It was a smile reflected on her own face.
The clothes out of the dryer felt warm against her skin as Joey put them back on. Not as warm, however, as the feeling she had deep inside to now know the answer to a long held question.
Fully dressed, she walked back to the front door where Sara was waiting. One last time, Joey thanked Sara for her hospitality.
“It was my pleasure,” she smiled.
Joey turned to leave, then paused. A thought had passed through her mind while she was getting dressed. One she thought silly, but one that wouldn’t go away.
“Sara, I was wondering,” she said, “if maybe one of these nights you might like to go out for coffee or something. I know that the answer is probably no, but if I didn’t ask, I’d always wonder what you might have said if I had.”
Sara took another long pause before giving an answer, leading Joey to think the older woman was trying to politely decline. Like she said, it was the answer she expected, but at least she would have tried.
“Well, we sort of already had coffee, didn’t we?” she said, prefacing what Joey was sure was a thanks but no thanks. “So if maybe you’d like to have dinner instead, say tomorrow night, I’d say yes.”
“That’s okay I expected…” Joey started to say to the reply she expected, then realized that it hadn’t been no. “I mean, yes, that would be great.”
“Tomorrow night then, say about seven? Can meet me here?.”
It was a still stunned Joey that nodded her head in acknowledgment and headed down the stoop to the now dry street below.
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