Stepping Out

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‘I remember the first time I saw her, it was in one of those mixed bars out in Greenwich Village. But even in that diverse crowd she looked out of place, trying not to make eye contact with the die hards. But I felt something for her then both of us in the wrong place and trying to fit in. She was the center of attention; every two bit, try hard, desperado was trying to catch her eye. I was just there to celebrate my buddy’s birthday and it looked like I was heading for the exit soon. I was three years from my last drink and I really didn’t feel like tempting fate that night but still, I stayed long enough to study the pretty little straight.’

She looked like a ripe plum amongst a flock of hungry birds, many had noticed her shifting eyes as she sat with a dozen women at a nearby table. Detective Sandy Robinson restrained a tired smile as her partner sidled up beside her and put down a shot of Tequila and a glass of Coke, “hey hot lips, what’s cooking?”

“That girl looks about as out of place as I feel,” she took the Coke.

“Yeah,” she grinned, “pretty little thing, check out the diesel coming onto her,” she nodded at a short haired woman with tattoos.

“Nasty,” she agreed and looked around slowly.

“You really didn’t have to come in here,” Dolores shot her a soulful look, “a card would have been nice.”

“I’m good,” she propped her chin on her palm, “it’s not like I’m going to order a double shot every time I walk into a bar, I just can’t hang out here every night. Eventually the Coke turns into whiskey and I’m back where I started, besides you’re my partner and it’s your birthday, just don’t expect me to stay much longer.”

Dolores looked up at her through soft brown eyes, “okay, but if you even look like drinking I’m going to handcuff you.”

“Ooh, promises,” her brown eyes flickered to the blonde woman in the pink satin blouse and pleated skirt, “check out G.I Jane, I swear I’ve seen her up on a DUI a few months back.”

“Now that’s proof that Mother Nature can produce a walking, talking contraceptive,” she grinned, “so, you gonna go over and rescue the cute straight from G.I Jane?”

“The lipstick lesbian?” She grinned and propped on her chin. “Not likely. Still, I don’t imagine G.I Jane would be much competition if I was to flash my badge.”

“So long as that’s all you flash,” she smirked.

“Ow,” she winced, “I’ve been celibate for the last two years, but even my clit would refuse to answer the door to her,” she studied her for a moment. “You know I’m glad I let you drag me in here, it just reminded me of waking up next to women like that and hoping to crap she’d stay asleep long enough to make a clean getaway.”

‘Yeah I knew her all right, you found them in dozens of bars all over New York, the exaggerated moves, the strutting, forced laughter and always that needy look in their eyes, like they were looking for a mother to darn their socks and put a decent meal on the table at night. She was eyeballing the cute blonde and I felt something deep down, resentment mingled with guilt. I had once been the same, innocent, vulnerable, curious. I started out as the blonde and wound up as the whiskey swilling dyke looking for fresh meat.’

“Hell, you could wind up with G.I Jane the way you’re slamming those shots down.”

“Hardly,” she choked. “I like my Friday night drinks but if I wake up next to her I’m quitting drinking but that cute little blonde, now that’s more my style.”

“Certainly be a wake up call,” she sipped her Coke, “here’s looking at you kid, happy birthday,” she raised her glass, “and don’t go opening your mouth we’re working partners not lesbian partners.”

They clinked glasses and kissed briefly before pulling away.

“See,” Dolores winked, “I can control myself,” her eyes shifted, “oh, she noticed that.”

“Who? G.I Jane?”

“No, the straight,” she smirked, “she was looking at us, she probably thinks we’re fucking.”

She raised her glass as the leather clad woman leaned over and rubbed the blonde’s shoulder, Sandy swallowed a mouthful of Coke and rose from the stool.

“You’re right, I don’t belong here,” she sighed, “happy birthday, see you Monday.”

“You’ll be all right?” Dolores leaned back into her arms.

“Yeah,” her eyes shifted as the blonde suddenly threw a drink in her face and left the booth, “ooh, we got ourselves a ten fifty, G.I Jane just got a face full of wine.”

“Well she’s not about to get a sixty nine,” Dolores rose with her as the blonde stormed across the floor, “go on, call me when you get home, I’ll take care of G.I Jane.”

“Huh?”

“Go,” she pointed, “you’re sober and I ain’t, your country needs you.”

“I ain’t about to,” she stopped as Dolores swung around her and planted herself in the path of the furious woman, “seduce her,” she muttered under her breath as Dolores smiled and produced her badge.

“Sit down, sister,” she enunciated the last word.

Sandy headed for the door but she lost sight of the woman as soon as she pushed through the door and ran out into the balçova escort bayan street and trying to look unobtrusive, Sandy edged out onto the sidewalk and looked up and down the sidewalk.

She had disappeared but not for long. Sandy spotted her emerging from a doorway but she had one eye on the bar and didn’t see the group of men until she banged into one of them.

“Hey, watch it girl,” the man’s eyes widened.

She opened her mouth to apologize.

“Pretty girl,” another chimed in, “you looking for a good time?”

Sandy sauntered down the sidewalk as she sized the six men up and picked out the ringleader, they didn’t notice her until a badge flashed in their faces.

“You boys looking for a nice warm bed and breakfast with the judge?”

They looked her up and down and the ringleader spotted the handle of the pistol under her arm, he held his hands up and smiled.

“Just kidding around, weren’t we sister?”

“She ain’t your sister, jackass,” she jerked her head, “now go on, get to Jersey before I give you some silver bracelets.”

“Okay, we’re splitting.”

“Thanks,” the woman swallowed her fear, “it’s my fault.”

“No it ain’t your fault,” she shot her a sideways glance, “I saw what happened in the bar and out here, there wasn’t any need to be talking to you like that,” she turned as the men disappeared down a subway ramp.

“You live far from here?”

“Out in Charles Street.”

“Well we got two choices, I guess,” she squinted down the street, “I can call you a cab or drive you home but either way you shouldn’t be walking all that way alone.”

“Okay,” she nodded.

“Okay to what?” Sandy looked into her eyes, “the cab or the drive home?”

“The drive,” she replied, “I gave my cab fare to one of the woman back there.”

“Whoa, you are kind hearted,” she grinned crookedly, “where were you when I was drinking?”

“You in a twelve step recovery program too?”

“Yeah,” she nudged her, “this way,” she pointed, “and you?”

“No,” she looked over, “my brother is in recovery along with my father. I was practically raised in the fellowship. I was doing Alanon meetings back in Philly.”

“Oh,” she looked over in mild interest, “so you don’t have a drink problem?”

“No not me,” she paused as Sandy unlocked her car, “social drinker only but I can take it or leave it, my youngest brother is the same, some of us get it others don’t.”

“Yeah, it’s a lucky dip all right,” she stepped back, “well come on, you can get a ride back in a police car, minus the handcuffs.”

“Whereabouts on Charles Streeet?” she looked across a minute later as she turned the key.

“Number eighty, just down from Burberry.”

“I gotcha,” she checked her mirror and spun the wheel, “I’m Sandy Robinson.”

“Hannah Wolfe,” she smiled, “so, you’re a cop?”

“Yeah,” her mouth twitched, “I’m a detective, fifteen years on the force, eight with Special Victims, the rest with Major Crime. I’m thinking of switching but can’t figure out where to go next,” she spun the wheel, “getting tired of chasing bank robbers and looking at bodies.”

Hannah looked away and Sandy bit her lip.

‘You know I used to be the queen of chat up lines. They used to say I could seduce a nun, but that was when I was on a bender. The hardest thing about being sober is not having an anesthetic to loosen the tongue and take away the inhibitions. I was sitting next to the most beautiful woman I had seen in months and my tongue had dropped the connection with my brain.’

“Sorry honey, I’m just trying to make conversation. Cops don’t have much of a social life, hence we wind up in strange bars with strange people, having stranger conversations.”

“That’s all right,” Hannah replied.

“So,” she continued, “tell me. What were you doing in that place? I was only there because my partner had a birthday thing. Were you meeting someone there?”

“My girlfriend,” she replied, “not that I’m that way inclined, neither is she but we both decided to go and check it out. We’re both models signed to an agency here, we both got curious but she never turned up and then I got talking to some of the women and you saw the rest.”

“I see,” Sandy digested this news in silence for a block, “so you’re curious or just wanted to check it out? I mean there are straights in there as well, they turn up with their own kind and leave with their own kind.”

“Curious but I won’t let a guy paw me like that so why should a woman get away with it? Who was she anyway?”

“Oh just some G.I Jane,” she smiled, “my partner and I were just discussing the way she was acting towards you and we decided to initiate a little affirmative action of our own.”

“Thanks, I really appreciate this,” she looked over, “and your partner doesn’t mind you driving me home?”

“Huh?”

She swung the wheel to avoid a car. “Oh, no she’s my work partner. I never get involved with someone I work beside, I mean she’s like me but it’s different, you know. Two escort balçova cops working and playing together can get one of you killed.”

“So are you gay?”

“Yeah,” she nodded, “but I’m not out there. I keep to myself, haven’t really been doing much on the dating scene since I quit drinking five years back.”

“It takes as much time as it takes,” she nodded.

“Yeah, it does,” she smiled.

A few minutes later they pulled up outside a block of flats and Hannah pointed, “I’m up there, the top story.”

“Looks like a nice block,” she studied the pale brown facade, “you okay to go in alone?”

“Thanks I’d really appreciate it, I’ll make you some coffee.”

Sandy nodded and opened the door, “hey that’s okay.”

“I insist,” she looked across.

Sandy smiled.

The apartment was clean, well furnished and tasteful. She found herself making mental notes, here was a woman who had moved to New York three months ago and had already carved out a little slice of the Big Apple for herself.

“I could use some style tips from you, I’ve lived here all my life and my place is nothing like this.”

“Style is what I breathe,” she raised an eyebrow, “I don’t intend doing the model thing forever. I’m saving enough money to start my own charity shop, well that’s the plan for now,” she grinned.

‘It became obvious, the subtle hand gestures, the upraised eyebrow, the smile; she hadn’t just been in there on a whim, she really was curious. Oh yeah, I knew this woman, everything she said hit home with crystal clear clarity. Sooner or later in this city you come face to face with yourself and that night I faced myself and came out with things I’d only ever told my sponsor. Like a flower opening to the morning sun I let go and let her in. I felt naked, exposed and vulnerable, funny how you can tell a complete stranger your deepest, darkest secrets and yet hide them from your friends and loved ones. There was something of the helpless child and the mom in me that night on the couch. I wanted to put myself into her without touching her, give her the benefit of my lesbian experiences without inducting her into the lesbian hall of fame, at least not yet. She listened intently, savoring my words like honey, and in the end she was silent as I lapsed into silence. We were standing at the door to her apartment when she finally touched my hand and asked the inevitable question.’

“So would you like to see me again?”

“I,” Sandy stared, “yeah I’d love to see you again.”

“And it’s not too soon for you? I know sometimes it takes a while for the wounds to heal. If I’m being pushy just say so and I’ll understand. It’s just that you seem like the kind of woman I could be comfortable with, even if it didn’t go any further than friendship,” she looked up nervously.

How could she resist those anxiously inquiring eyes? Her hand opened as dainty fingers clasped it and she was pulled slowly across. Moist lips brushed across her mouth and parted her lips in a tender kiss that took her back to that first kiss in the back seat of a beat up Oldsmobile. Sandy savored the moment until Hannah stepped back and smiled.

“See that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

“It’s kind of weird,” Sandy smiled nervously, “I’ve spent five hours trying to put you off lesbians, I almost feel like I’ve failed.”

“You haven’t failed,” she raised her chin almost defiantly, “I’ve spent five hours on that couch practically outing myself and you haven’t put your hand on my leg once, that counts for something in my book. Maybe you’re right, but if I do this then it’s one day at a time, who knows, I might just leave you for a man,” she poked her breast gently.

“Okay,” Sandy touched her face, “there’s this nice little Italian restaurant, I know the owner, how about we meet there?”

“Perfect,” she stepped over to the nightstand and picking up a marker pen, rolled up her sleeve and scrawled a number on her wrist.

“What are you doing?”

“Something romantic,” she kissed her wrist gently, “you won’t wash that spot in a hurry, call me tomorrow?”

Sandy kissed her again and let a hand fall to her side, Hannah moved into her and opened her mouth wide and pushed hard against her breast.

“You’re a wonderful kisser,” she pulled back, “please don’t wear a gun tomorrow night, I hate guns.”

“I promise,” she stroked her face, “now I suppose I have to find a dress?”

“Now that would be a start,” she chuckled, “if you want a hand call me, my stylist will be only too willing to help.”

‘When I first came into the fellowship I was so independent, so goddamn determined to make it or break it. I was breaking new ground, cleaning up, fixing my hair before I went out, buying makeup and perfume. Then came the full frontal collision with reality and you realize you gotta make friends or die and so I reached out for help and got myself a sponsor, a straight woman named Karen. She changed my life more than any lover because she loved me from the inside out. That morning I called for help balçova escort again and like a guardian angel, Karen came to the rescue with three AA women. By the end of the day I had three new dresses, four blouses, two skirts and three pairs of shoes, not to mention belts, jewelery and accessories. Hey, two was never enough for me. The sisterhood in its purest form has no boundaries or prejudices, those straight women came through for me because they loved me just the way I am, it was women loving women without the pussy licking.’

Red stilettos clicked on the sidewalk as the woman in the red halter neck dress ambled along the street. A dozen or so men had already noticed her but she barely acknowledged their smiles as she honed in on the blonde woman in a crisp white dress shirt blouse, black leather skirt and matching jacket. Hannah turned, sensing her approach but didn’t register her until the older woman smiled and drew to a halt. Her eyes drifted over the satin dress and softened suddenly.

“My God, what a woman, I wondered who all the men were checking out.”

“Probably my naked back,” she looked down at her legs, “and my naked legs,” she looked down at her stockinged legs, “not to mention the front, I’m not used to having my girls just hanging there.”

“You look good,” she let her eyes travel down the V, she stopped at her crotch, “please tell me you haven’t got a gun strapped to your thigh.”

“Shit,” she bit her lip smilingly, “I knew I forgot something, I feel even more naked now.”

“Naked isn’t so bad,” she replied, “and I can kiss you in public?”

“Hey, it’s not a crime,” she smiled nervously, “so I’m okay?”

“Amazing,” she leaned over and kissed her gently, “and the lips are just the right shade for that dress.”

Sandy touched her lips gingerly, recalling their frantic text messages as she’d stood in her underclothes in the dressing room at Macy’s.

“Now that’s a much nicer kiss than last night,” Hannah smiled and looked down, “I thought I’d be the leather woman tonight.”

“You look amazing,” she touched her face gently, “I um, couldn’t find matching lipstick so I chose chocolate.”

“Perfect,” she smiled, “chocolate is good too.”

“I’m probably more a shirt person,” she squinted at her blouse, “nice shirt.”

“Thanks,” she looked down, “I’ve always loved shirts, but that dress is amazing,” she took her hand, “so now I know you’re naked under that dress, are we safe in this neighborhood?”

“I’ve got a thirty eight in my purse,” she blushed.

“Ooh, you’ll keep.”

‘We had dinner that night and for the first time in years I felt clean, like there was nothing sleazy going on. Oh she teased me but it was like being a virgin all over again, only this time I was sober and could remember everything she said and what was even better, I could hold a conversation without acting tough. It occurred to me then that this was what I had been wanting all along, searching for normality in the bottle and finding insanity. Stay sober long enough and you find a life you never dreamed possible.’

Sandy stared at her face in the mirror as the toilet flushed. Her straight brown hair fell past her shoulders, normally she had it in a ponytail but tonight she’d let it hang free. She glanced up as the door clicked open and Hannah entered the bathroom. Their eyes met and she slipped her arms around her waist and rested her chin on her shoulder.

“I had a great time,” she tickled her belly.

“Me too,” Sandy smiled.

“You’re staying the night?”

“Yeah, if that’s okay?”

“For a dedicated lesbian you sure are virginal,” she smirked, “it’s sweet.”

“I’m polite,” she turned the tap off and grabbed a towel. Hannah released her as she turned slowly around. Their eyes met as she dried her hands, Hannah kissed her slowly and tenderly, a hand slid up to her throat and Sandy felt her pulse quickening.

“I gotta go pee,” she whispered, “find some nice music.”

Nice music, nice music, she flicked through Hannah’s collection, Van Halen? Oh no, definitely not, Poison? I remember them, Enya? Possible, her eyes fell on a note taped to a wall above the CD rack.

JUST PRESS PLAY!

She followed the arrow to the wall and then to a second arrow pointing to an iPad on a small table. She rose and tapped a button, a music program appeared and she squinted at the highlighted song list. Hannah’s Love Mix. She selected it and the list was populated with the likes of Sarah MacLachlan, Shania Twain, Sheryl Crow and others. She clicked play and glanced around as a soft light came into the room. Hannah entered with a candle and proceeded to light several candles around the room while Sandy watched.

“I just like candles,” she leaned against the back of the couch and smiled.

“Candles are good,” she moved towards her, Hannah turned and eyed her soulfully, “damn shoes are killing me though,” she looked down.

“Allow me,” Hannah knelt on the floor and proceeded to undo the straps while Sandy ran her fingers through her silky blonde hair, “I’m such a sucker for romance,” she removed the second shoe and slid her hands up her legs.

“I love your legs,” she smiled. “I have to confess I was trying to imagine what they would look like, if you should show those legs off more I think another shopping expedition will be our second date.”

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