Going Under Ch. 01byTang88©
Cate flashed a look at Sara, but reading her correctly smiled. "But danger, isn't that what you wanted?"
"Yes, but it has a different flavour to what I expected."
"Well, I bet you never drank iced vodka in Ottawa."
Cate smiled again. "No, but I think I'm acquiring the taste."
"It's amazing what a difference the real thing can make to how you view things."
Sara gently put out her hand to brush Cate's sleek skirt with her fingers.
"I'll have to borrow that skirt."
"You'd look good in it."
"Really? Not just like someone dressing up?"
"Well, there's quite a few hoops to go through before they let you be a full member of the club, but I think your application's receiving full attention." Cate sipped more vodka. "I'd love to try on that dress."
"I could lace you into it."
"As long as you let me unlace it from you first."
A bolt of realisation coursed through Sara. She realised that she was willing to strip for this woman, that she aroused her so much. For the first time, Sara realised the flush on her cheeks had nothing to do with the crowds in the club, the pace of her heart; nothing to do with the dancing. She recognised she had no idea how to deal with it and fear kicked in.
"Time to go." Sara said, standing up, looking for the exit.
"Okay." Cate replied with clear sadness in her voice.
Neither of the women spoke as they walked back to the underground station, the only sound between them was that of their footsteps. Sara tried to make her mind go blank, let it sink into the vodka glow, but it was too alert, sending out confused signals. All too quickly they were at the steps to the station.
"Thank you for an excellent evening. You've made coming to Moscow worthwhile."
"Just one night?"
"I'm easily pleased."
"That doesn't mean you can't have more."
"Things are moving fast. This time two nights ago I wouldn't have had the courage to queue up to get in a place like that, now I feel like a regular."
"It's not just... It's not just that you were someone to go with, you made it special."
"Thanks." Cate seemed a little unimpressed.
"You just have to slow things down a little. You move so fast, just like on the escalator."
"But you caught up."
"Maybe this route's a little more rickety. I'm treading cautiously."
"I wait. I can wait longer than you could imagine."
"But waiting does not always get you what you're waiting for. Anyone who's queued at Moscow shops knows that." Sara said trying to lighten the tone.
"I know that. It's a lesson I've relearnt many times."
"Okay, fellow clubber. You take me to all the best clubs in Moscow and then we'll see how far we've got." Sara was worried she was putting Cate off too strongly. She certainly did not want to lose her new friend and the key to fun.
"It's a deal. Same time, same place, next week."
With those words Sara lit up, she realised that walking away from Cate now would have meant cold turkey for weeks to come. Cate leant forwards and gave Sara the softest of kisses on her cheek. Sara looked away a little embarrassed. When she looked back Cate had gone and there was no sign of her on what was a pretty empty street. Sara thought about it no more and hurried to catch the last train.
Sara was admiring herself in the mirror when the bell to her flat rang. She felt a little self-conscious as she had just finished getting herself into her new gear for the club. She had been back to 'Brusilov's'. Now she was kitted out in a black leather corset, and calf-length PVC trousers, plus ankle boots with steel stiletto heels. The kohl around her eyes, the purple nail varnish and now black lipstick had become her free time make-up, with only slightly brighter lipstick making it into her work ensemble.
Sara almost jumped, not at the surprise of hearing her name called, but at the sound of Cate's voice coming through the intercom. There was an hour before they were supposed meet and Sara had just got to grips with her outfit and had not had the time she had wanted to give thought to her relationship with Cate. Sara grabbed her velvet coat and small bag and hurried quickly down to the main door to the block where Cate was waiting. Cate's style of clothes contrasted with Sara's softer edge. She wore a thick leather jacket, stretching just beyond her waist, stitched with deep swirl patterns. Her trousers were tough leather too, laced tightly down the sides and reaching down into boots with stainless steel fronts.
As Sara stepped out of her block she delighted at the soft creaks and sounds her clothes made, the click of her heels on the floor and the velvet of her coat sweeping around her.
"Hello." Sara said cheerfully, uncertain what else to say.
"Hello." Cate said. Her look was intense and Sara guessed she had recently been in a fight.
"Are you alright? Was there another fight?"
"No," Cate shook her hair, swishing it back from her face, "not tonight. It was just ..."
"What? You couldn't wait to see me?" Sara said lightly.
"Yes." Cate replied seriously.
As Cate's eyes locked with hers Sara could almost feel the weight of the words shooting into her mind. A tingle ran through Sara and she realised that it was the tingle of actually feeling wanted by someone else. She had felt it when she had first been going out with boyfriends in the past, but now it was amplified, as if somehow Cate was binding Sara to her in some tangible way.
"I've got a taxi." Cate nodded across the car at the kerb.
"Great." Sara said and followed her. Soon they were sat beside each other as the taxi pulled away recklessly.
"You're looking good." Sara said at length.
"Sorry, I didn't have time to change."
"What's so funny?" Cate asked, her manner seeming to thaw a little.
"Well, what you wear to work, most of us only get to try on for nights out."
"There are some perks of the job."
"Well, you're people aren't recruiting are they?"
Cate gave Sara a flash of her gaze, as if uneasy about to using it too much.
"I've lived among Russians too long. Quick humour is a lost art to me." Cate said, smiling. "Aren't you going to ask me where we're going?"
"I'm quite happy to drive around Moscow in a taxi with you all night." Sara said, feeling embarrassed as she did. She had no idea where this tendency to flirt came from, and why only when she was with Cate.
"You're trusting. Anyway, I'll tell you. I thought we'd try 'Revolution' for vodka before heading to 'The Opium Den' a bit later."
"Sounds excellent. After six months of going out with you I'll be able to write the definitive guide to Moscow's nightlife. You seem to know it so well."
"Nightlife is all I know, I could show you places you'd never want to write about." Cate stopped suddenly. "But I need you, you're my guide to Moscow's daytime."
Soon the taxi was pulling up in front of a bright, noisy bar emblazoned with red. It was a more mainstream crowd than the 'Gothika', but the bouncers nodded the two women in. Sara doubted Cate was refused entrance anywhere. She placed an order at the bar then led Sara to a corner. Though the lighting was brash the gaps between it were in deep shadow and Sara felt more at ease on the soft plastic couch hidden from sight, but able to view the bright young things passing around them.
"Do you like it?" The music was loud but Cate's voice seemed to come clearly to Sara though she spoke softly.
"Yes." Sara said, but not being able to hear her own voice over the music, she nodded.
A waitress brought a tray of different coloured shots of vodka. Cate dived in and pulled out one and held it up for Sara. She did likewise, picking a red one she guessed Cate would like. Each pushed the glasses to the others' lips and then poured the vodka deep. Sara coughed and laughed. The whole thing was so Russian and Sara was glad Cate had bought into it wholesale. As the vodka began coursing through her, all her awkwardness was washed away. She felt no embarrassment, she was having a good time with her friend, if they played with each other a little, whose concern was that? She was an independent woman, in control of her own destiny. Sara realised she felt truly happy. She dipped in for another shot glass and bellowed a toast over the music. She was pleased to see Cate laugh and drink too.
Sara turned suddenly, startled. It was if someone had crept up to her ear and whispered intently into it. She looked back to Cate, who had also sat up and looked instantly sober. Sara readied herself, worrying that it was some rival gangster come to attack Cate. However, the thoughts that told her she was mad to even mix with such a woman were almost instantly choked off.
A tall thin woman blocked the light, darkening the corner even further. Sara knew it was her who had spoken. Her voice had the same timbre as Cate's, able to subtly penetrate the club's noise.
"Evening, Tatiana." Cate replied coldly.
Sara eyed up the intruder, now wondering if she was a dumped girlfriend of Cate's rather than a business rival. She was dressed in a russet velvet dress that Sara would have loved to own, but felt guilty for thinking so. An amethyst necklace hung from her pale, ivory skinned neck. Her hair was dark, but with hints of red, and it was piled high on her head, adding to the impression that she was modelling herself on some nineteenth century beauty. Her sharp cold blue eyes were painful to look at and yet Sara felt once seen she could not look away. Then she noticed movement behind Tatiana, and realised that she held the hand of a thinner woman, in a ragged dress and old walking boots, almost looking malnourished, her skin taut over her bones, her figure like that of a girl, but as he head lolled round, Sara could see her face was as lined as a woman fifty years older. This, Sara was sure, was a drug addict, and again worries about Cate's work surfaced, but Sara buried them by searching for another vodka.
"Sister, who's this?"
Sara heard Tatiana's voice. "Pet? Meat?" The words seem to echo on after Tatiana's sentence but Sara felt they were being suppressed, as if Cate was shielding her from then.
"I'm Sara." She said standing up and thrusting out her hand. "So you're Cate's sister."
"It's just a term." Cate said firmly, as if embarrassed.
Tatiana looked at Sara's hand then took it.
"Good to meet you. I'm sure we'll meet again. I haven't got time to stop. I need to get Wendy home." She nodded to the lolling woman. "Good to see you have time to take a break, sister."
Tatiana turned and seemed to disappear into the crowd in an instant.
"Not too friendly."
"No." Cate agreed. "Don't worry about her. We sometimes work together, but I don't like her. We're cut from different material."
"Yes, leather and velvet." The two women laughed and turned back to their drinks.
The night passed quickly, a mixture of drinking and dancing that left Sara feeling that normal time had been suspended and she had shaken off all the concerns of her day-to-day life. She realised that she was really coming to enjoy Moscow.
Cate walked with Sara back to the underground station, their arms locked, to keep each other upright.
Suddenly Cate looked concerned.
"What is it?" Sara asked.
Cate nodded ahead, and in the distance Sara could see flashing police lights of Moscow militia vehicles.
"I think there's trouble at the station."
In a few minutes they had reached the police cordon around the station. There were police, paramedics and TV reporters, plus the usual sightseers buzzing around. Sara could soon make out that there had been some explosion on the underground. No-one knew yet if it was terrorists or a gas leak, but the whole network was closed down.
"Well, I'm not getting home by train." Sara said.
"The taxis will all have been taken too." Cate added. She stopped as if thinking. "There's a flat I use sometimes if I get stuck, it's not big, but we can hang out there, I'm sure it'll have all blown over by tomorrow."
"That sounds like a plan." Sara said, sounding positive but trying to suppress her sudden feeling of being unnerved. She did not know what she felt about spending the night with Cate. Part of her mind threw up images of them crammed into the same bed, but the more practical side showed them slumped in old armchairs, separately. The whole question again highlighted to Sara that she had to think about where her relationship with Cate was really going, and probably much sooner than she had anticipated.
"Lead on." Sara smiled, realising that Cate was probably picking up on some of her concerns.
"You could go to a hotel instead, if you prefer."
"No, a sleepover with my best pal's a much better solution."
"I'm glad you think so." Cate said, slightly reassured.
It took them about a twenty minutes walking through the empty Moscow streets to reach the flat. Sara never would have walked around this late at night alone, and yet with Cate she felt safe, maybe it was because she seen her giving as good as she got with the guy on the underground, and maybe because she seemed to bring out a strength in Sara; she quite fancied the pair of them tackling a gang of muggers just for the fun of it.
The apartment building must have been pre-war. It was large and dark, with no lights showing from inside, and in fact, few windows anyway. Cate walked up to it, running her hands over the stained, battered stone work.
"It used to be a warehouse. It's been converted. I've got the old caretaker's flat, it's cosier." Cate explained, then seemed to disappear from view as Sara was looking up at the building.
"Come on." Cate's hand emerged from the narrow alley that ran beside the building, its finger gesturing for Sara to follow.
Sara did follow, though her buzzing thoughts and the nervousness in her stomach were as frantic as ever. The pair of them walked in almost total darkness down the alley and Cate led Sara up a flight of iron stairs to a door which seemed to open to her touch. They stepped into a narrow hallway with a single cupboard door and stairs spiralling up. Cate pressed the time release switch and Sara saw a typical Moscow back stairs, though these led only to the single front door to the flat.
Sara had expected something dated and dingy. It was dated, but only by a couple of decades, and whilst there was a layer of dust in some parts, generally it was clean.
"You can take the master bedroom" Sara opened the door off the small hall of the flat to a reasonably large bedroom, incongruously jammed full with a four-poster bed.
"How did you get that in there?"
"It was a nightmare, but I was keen to stick it somewhere. There's bedding in that trunk, it might be a bit musty but it's clean."
"I won't complain."
"I'll take the guest room." Cate explained opening another door. "The kitchen's through there, the bathroom there and that's the living room." She went round tapping the relevant doors. "I won't be here when you get up. You can find your own way home alright?"
"Yes, I'm sure the underground will be back to normal, and on Saturday morning, taxis are a lot easier to get."
Neither woman moved. The chill practicality of the flat had dismissed the more exotic fantasies that had been running through Sara's drink loosened mind.
Cate reached to a little cupboard by the front door and opened it. She pulled out a key.
"You might want to get make some breakfast before heading home. If you turn left at the end of the alleyway there's a grocer's shop a couple of streets down. Take what you don't eat with you, I don't know when I'll be back here, and it'll be no good full of mouldy food." Cate tried to sound light. "Just post the key back under the door when you go."
"Sleep well." Cate smiled and reached forward to kiss Sara's cheek.
"I will, you can guarantee." For an instant Sara felt a flash of the flirting that had been between them, but it faded quickly.
Sara walked into her room, and struggled with the bedding. It was difficult to make a bed when dressed in clubbing gear and half-drunk, but she managed it, and she was pleased when she could release the curtains and slide into the protection of the bed. As she unlaced the ankle boots, unbuttoned the trousers and unzipped the corset and made a pile of them on top of the coat, she realised that she would have to wear them again in the morning, in daylight. Despite the tingle that thought gave, the daring of it, her tiredness meant she was quickly asleep.
Sara had no idea of the time when she awoke. Heavy curtains were closed over the windows and when she pulled them aside she saw shutters covered the windows on the outside. She draped herself in a spare sheet and walked from the bedroom, part of her hoping Cate was still around. She tried the door to the spare bedroom but it was firmly locked, and instead she went into the living room. Again she pulled back the curtains only to reveal opaque blinds. She gave up and flicked on the lights. Cate obviously used this flat enough to keep up the electricity and water.
Sara went into the kitchen and cooked up some coffee she found in a cupboard. She was feeling hungry and thought about the key Cate had given her and the grocery shop down the road, but she was self-conscious, with an image of herself dressed in her clubbing wear standing in a queue among the fat old Russian women. Maybe there was something else around she could wear, even Cate's outfit of the previous night would be better than a corset and capri pants in glossy black. Sara wandered back to the master bedroom. A large old dark wood wardrobe stood in the corner, with just enough room to open one of its doors. Sara tried the door, expecting it to be locked, but it opened to reveal a long leather coat.
"Jackpot." Sara exclaimed.
Sara took down the coat from the hanger and realised it had been draped over a glistening black rubber catsuit and beneath it on the floor of the wardrobe were a pair of long boots. Sara's throat went dry as she realised this was a replica of the clothes she had first seen Cate wearing. Though a rational part of her brain told her it was foolish, something more primeval knew she had to try the outfit on. Sara lifted down the catsuit, running her fingers over the smooth rubber. It was cool and had a sensation like nothing she had felt before. It was difficult to consider wearing it, what the sensation of it hugging her body would be like. The interior was covered in talcum powder, Sara guessed to keep it smelling fresh, but was soon to learn that it was what allowed it to slide on so easily.
Sara picked up her underwear from the bed, but realised that there was no way she would be able to get panties and a bra on under something so tight, and for the first time understood that Cate must have been naked beneath the rubber when Sara had first met her. The whole experience was arousing Sara, the physicality of it, the fantasy of it, and her hands were shaking as she lowered the catsuit to the floor and stepped into it. The cool rubber clung to her like a lover as she slowly tugged it up her legs and shook her bum to sit comfortably in the black shine. Sara hurried to slide her arms into the sleeves. She hesitated about how to close it, but realised the zip was pulled back up behind her bum. Her breathing had turned to pants, and her pussy was becoming more aroused than she had known it in months as she slowly tugged the zip closed, sealing her bum, her waist, her stomach, her breasts into the rubber until it stopped at the top of her neck. Sara looked at herself in the wardrobe's long mirror. It was as if she was naked, with every contour of her body visible, but coated in shiny, slippery rubber, so alien and erotic. On the floor behind the boots Sara found the cincher and had quickly buckled it around her middle, tugging her body in, giving her an unfamiliar but pleasing hourglass shape, something at the same time so robust but erotic. In moments she was sat on the bed closing the numerous buckles on the long boots. Rising on their thick heels she slung the long leather coat on and eased her hands into the leather gloves she found in the pockets. She finished the look with the wrap-around sunglasses that accompanied them.