Is She, Isn't She?byHarmonyHaze©
Author's note: This story has a plot and a decent amount of build-up, so if you're looking for a QF, you've come to the wrong place. Otherwise, enjoy!
Obviously, don't reprint without the author's permission, and any similarities between the characters and people/events of real life are, of course, purely coincidental.
Shrill piping sounds floated from Ashley's handbag. She fumbled within and emerged with her mobile phone.
"Hello?" she asked into it.
"Hey," a deeper voice grunted in return.
"Hi Chantelle," Ashley responded, recognising her friend immediately. "What's happening?"
"Me, Claire, Tansy and Meredith are going to Bolton's for drinks tonight, I'm ringing to invite you," Chantelle sniffed into the phone. "Bella says they've got some new, rocking little barmaid who's a real piece and we all want to go check her out."
"Sure, I'll come, count me in," Ashley told her right away. Practically all her friends were included on Chantelle's list and it had been a long week at work. A few drinks at their favourite bar certainly sounded like a plan to her.
"None of us want to drive so we're all pooling for a cab -- technically, it's Meredith's turn to be desi, but she's opting out, wants to have a few, says she's still upset about that Julia chick, and that she'll do it next time. So we'll swing by your place in the cab around seven?"
"Fine! Should be a good night!"
Chantelle grunted again. She wasn't famous for her fantastic phone manner. "See ya then."
Ashley put the phone back into her bag, replaced it under her desk, and stretched her long body backwards in her chair. She wasn't supposed to take personal calls during work but it was nearly home time, and there was no one waiting to be served. She worked at the bank, and it had been an annoying day full of paper-pushing boredom. Usually she enjoyed her job, but the entire week had seemed to comprise of her least favourite aspects of it. It would be pleasant to take a load off that night with her friends. They hadn't been to Bolton's for a couple of weeks, which was unusual for them.
Work finished, and Ashley picked up a sandwich from the shop next-door for dinner. It was a short drive home. A coffee and a shower later, and she found herself standing in front of the mirror, humming about what to wear, her smooth, tanned skin glowing from the hot water from which she'd just emerged.
It had been a while since she'd worn a dress. She slid on a pink one, complimenting it with soft, girlie sandals. She tied her long blonde hair up into a ponytail, and painted pink lip-gloss on her lips to match. She'd just finished applying eye-shadow to her green eyes when the taxi honked downstairs. Ashley jogged down to meet it.
"Hey!" four voices sang at her from the maxi-cab.
"Hi girls!" Ashley got in and did up her seatbelt.
"We were just discussing the new bar girl!" Tansy grinned at Ashley, adjusting her black-framed glasses on her nose, in thick, skilfully applied makeup. "Word is, she's hot enough to set fire to something!" she giggled.
"Word is she's straight," countered Meredith, voice officious as the cab pulled away from Ashley's place.
"Of course she's not straight!" scoffed Chantelle, her favourite green baseball cap planted firmly on shoulder-length hair. "Why would she get a job in a gay bar if she was straight?"
"Maybe she didn't know it was a gay bar?" suggested Meredith.
"Bullshit! Management would have told her when they hired her!" Chantelle blared.
"Maybe, maybe not," Meredith shrugged plump shoulders. "We'll have to find out the goss when we get there."
"It's about time they got some new talent at Bolton's," Claire declared next. "I mean, Oliver and John are sweet boys but they're so boring. Bella's a gem, and so's Tony, but it's good they've got someone ..."
"Hot?" Tansy cut her off with a laugh.
The group of five were regulars at Bolton's and knew all the staff there, usually making time to hang out in their favourite bar at least two or three, sometimes four times a week, for drinks after work, and sometimes to party on weekends. It was their number-one haunt, a small comfortable place that played good music, had a pool table, jukebox, and relaxing atmosphere.
It wasn't far away from where Ashley lived. Before they knew it, the cab was pulling up to their destination. Chantelle paid the cabdriver and told the girls they each had to buy her a bourbon and she'd call it even, as they all climbed out and stood on the sidewalk.
The yellow, pink and green flashing sign was casting the street around them in multicoloured, interchanging light. The girls trooped past security, a massive broad-chested butch called Cordelia and an equally broad-chested male called Gus, who both waved them through on sight with familiar nods.
As usual, the jukebox was going inside. A couple of women with short hair shot some pool. A few other people lingered on tables, enjoying conversation and drinks.
"Hm, quiet night!" observed Claire as they trooped over to the bar. "It'll probably pick up when the DJ gets in. Hi Tony!"
Tony was the manager, a tall Italian man with neat dark hair and a kind smile. He was the only one visible behind the bar when the five friends approached.
"Ladies!" he smiled. "How are you all this evening?"
"Good," was the universal reply.
"Yo, Tones!" Chantelle was clearly in a predatory mood (although, Ashley thought, that wasn't unusual. When wasn't she?). She was craning her head around everywhere while she leaned comfortably on the bar. "Where's the new meat? Word is she's an absolute number! What's the lowdown?"
Tony laughed and shook his head. "She's straight," he told Chantelle directly. "Very nice girl, her name's Jeanette. I'll get her to serve you if you like, so you can meet her. She'll need to learn what you girls drink anyway. Jeanie!" he called. "Jeanie!"
"Coming!" a voice floated back, and a second later, the girl herself appeared through the side doors.
She was indeed gorgeous. Smooth skin, dark hair that cascaded down her back, a cute fringe, faultless facial structure with even cheekbones, a sweet jaw, perfect lips and teeth. She was nice and tall, and her body was delicious. Curved hips, a tight little tummy, smooth, toned arms and killer long legs hidden beneath black pants. She had large tits that rested beneath a delicate collarbone -- her chest was unmistakably feminine.
"Mmm!" Tansy and Claire both hummed under their breaths, in unison beside Ashley.
"Jeanie, come and meet some of our favourite customers," Tony told her. "These girls are friends of mine, they come in all the time."
"Nice to meet you," Jeanie smiled easily at the five girls.
"You haven't met them yet!" Tony teased. "This is Chantelle."
"Charmed," Chantelle smirked at her.
"Tanzania," Tony moved on to Tansy.
"Hey!" Tansy complained at the nickname Tony had for her. "Tansy," she corrected.
"Claire, Mez, and Ashley!" Tony finished.
Jeanie's dark eyes settled onto one after the other, finally stopping to rest on Ashley when her name was called. She smiled, flashing even white teeth. "Nice to meet you all," she said again.
Ashley felt the jolt of strong attraction in her chest straight away. It had been a long, long time since she'd been so strongly attracted to someone so immediately, she thought. She could feel it in her whole body, in her stomach, in her throat, as everything started responding on a deep, chemical level to this girl. Her heart started beating just that bit quicker as she returned Jeanie's smile.
"I'll let you take care of them," Tony said to Jeanie, and she nodded.
"Vodka orange and a bourbon and coke, please," Tansy stepped forwards and ordered first.
"No worries," Jeanie flipped two glasses into her hands with the ease of regular handling, and reached upwards to use the nip-pourers. Her stretched body was hypnotic. Her flat stomach beneath the tight black shirt she wore stretched until it was even firmer as her muscles flexed. Ashley found herself gaping at her sexy cleavage, and tore her eyes away.
"So when did you start working here?" Tansy asked, heaping a strand of brown hair behind her ear.
"Around a week and a half ago," Jeanie replied, voice friendly.
"Do you like it?" Chantelle fired at her, smiling like a shark. "I bet you do."
Jeanie lowered smiling eyes to her. "I'm not sure yet, it's only been a week and a half," she answered pleasantly. "So far, so good."
"You look like you've worked a bar before," Meredith put to her next, as Jeanie operated the drink gun and fired coke into Chantelle's glass, OJ into Tansy's.
"I have," Jeanie returned. "I moved out of home though so I had to leave my last job -- it was too far away from my new place. I tried to keep it up for a couple of months, but the commute killed me. I think I'll like it here. Tony seems like a pretty cool boss. He's been really good and given me the hours I want, which is important at the moment -- uni exams." She winced at them good-naturedly.
"Oh yeah, what are you studying?" Meredith asked.
"Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations," Jeanie answered. "It's a combined degree. I've got twelve months left on it."
"How old are you?" Chantelle demanded next.
"Twenty-two," Jeanie returned competently, dealing with their interrogation in an open and gracious manner, as Tansy slid some notes across the bar. "What would you like?" next, she turned right to Ashley.
"A white wine please, a semi sav blanc," Ashley returned, electrified at the eye contact again.
"Coming right up," Jeanie turned her back to them to reach into the fridge. Chantelle blatantly checked out her ass when she did so and, more discreetly, so did Ashley.
"So!" Chantelle pounced on the attractive brunette again when she faced the front. "Word on the street is, you're gay! We're all pleased to hear the news, obviously." And she winked at her.
Jeanie laughed. "No no no, street-word is wrong I'm afraid. I'm straight!" she stated.
"What are you doing working here then?" Chantelle continued exacting information. "Curious about how the other half live, cutie? Want to test some waters? Because if you do ..."
"I work here because it's close to my house?" Jeanie cut Chantelle off very quickly, smoothly, and didn't look ruffled by the line of questioning -- Ashley wasn't surprised. She'd probably been getting it all week from the clientele at Bolton's. "Here you go, Ashley," now, she slid the glass of wine across the bar to Ashley, always smiling. Ashley's body jolted again at the sound of her name on the girl's lips.
"Thankyou, Jeanie," she returned it evenly, making sure she pressed the money into her hand instead of sliding it across the counter as Tansy had, but keeping the contact quick and professional. The brief flash she had of skin on skin was still enough to keep her pulse racing.
"Next?" Jeanie asked the other two.
"Gin and tonic, and Midori and pineapple," Meredith ordered for both her and Claire.
"You guys are going to have to help me out the first few times I see you, it'll take me a while to remember what all five of you drink," Jeanie commented easily, as she fixed the two their drinks.
"I'll give you the help you need," Chantelle volunteered with a smirk.
"Thankyou!" Jeanie's eyes fixed assessingly onto Chantelle. "Here you go, guys, all done."
"Thanks Jeanie, it was good to meet you!" Tansy sang, as they all picked up their drinks and moved to find a table. They found one relatively close to the bar, and sat down.
"Phew!" Chantelle looked around at all her friends. "What a total babe! I'm going to get her!"
"Chantelle, she said she was straight," Meredith rolled her eyes. "She's not going to be interested."
"I can turn the straight ones gay," Chantelle blared confidently. "Besides, I'm getting vibes from her. I reckon she could swing. God, I haven't had anyone make me this horny for yonks! She's the best looking piece of ass that's come my way in a long time! There's no way I'm going to let her get away! I'm going to lay her and lay her so well she won't know what hit her!"
Chantelle always spoke like that, but tonight it was getting in Ashley's nerves. Jealousy was starting to flourish within her. Chantelle was attractive, with her smooth pale skin and high cheekbones, and she had a famously high libido. She was overly confident and aggressive when pursuing the things she wanted, but Ashley was no slouch when it came to determination either. She set her jaw.
"Who says you've got dibs on her?" she asked her friend, making her voice slightly jokey. "And you can't use the "you saw her first" line either -- we all saw her at the same time."
"Did either of you hear her tell us she was straight?" Meredith's eyebrows were raised as she transferred her gaze onto Ashley.
Chantelle turned to consider Ashley as well, sensing slightly more weight behind her words. "You want her too." It was a blunt statement.
"She's sexy," Ashley shot the girl at the bar another look, avoiding the question for the time being.
"I'm going to get her!" Chantelle stated, arrogant and outspoken.
"Not if I do first!" Ashley found herself retorting in irritation, before she could stop herself.
"Alright, a bit of friendly competition!" Chantelle sniggered, eyeing Ashley off. "May the best woman win, Ashley, and I'm just going to say that you can be assured it'll be me."
"Hello! Straightness!" Meredith sounded incredulous as she reminded them.
"Whatever Mez. My gaydar's never off and I sense something from tasty britches over there," Chantelle waved her friend off. "I'll have her between my legs before the month is out, be assured."
"Not if Ashley does first!" Claire looked from one to the other, grinning at their interplay.
"Sorry Ashley, but you're going to be left in my dust," Chantelle sniffed arrogantly, draining her bourbon in one gulp.
"You're all talk, Chantelle. We'll see what happens," Ashley returned with dignity.
"Better pipe down guys, she's coming!" Tansy warned.
A few seconds later, Jeanie appeared at their table. She smiled silently at them again, and reached down to pick up Chantelle's empty glass.
"So, gotta boyfriend, sweetie?" Chantelle leered up at her.
"I have a few, actually! I keep a harem," Jeanie joked.
"That's obviously code for "no"," Chantelle barked.
"Well, let's just call it nothing serious. Better go!" Jeanie said, then turned and made to stride off.
"Do I make you uneasy, hot-stuff?" Chantelle put to her, voice smug, obviously thinking her sexiness was making Jeanie nervous enough to leave their table quickly, and not that Jeanie was simply getting on with her job.
"Not at all," Jeanie turned back, laughing. "Last week, a chick the size of a sumo tried to put her hand on my ass! Now that made me uneasy -- actually, I freaked right out. Shiver. Catch you later at the bar for round two, guys!"
"Obviously straight," pronounced Meredith, the second she had gone.
"Obviously not into fat chicks," countered Chantelle.
"DJ's here," pointed Tansy.
The Friday night DJ had indeed turned up and set up, and as they looked, he started his first set. The music was loud -- the dance floor started to fill. More people had come in. Tansy and Claire got up right away and began grooving around and laughing together in front of the DJ's booth. Chantelle was dragged away from their table by an ex-fling who obviously had her sights set on hooking up with her again that night.
Ashley and Meredith sat together at the table taking about Meredith's pseudo "best-friend" Julia who had been Meredith's first kiss last week, leaving Meredith confused about their relationship. Meredith was slightly younger than the other girls in their group. She'd always known she was gay, but at twenty-four she was still a virgin. She was slightly dumpy and frumpy looking, but very mature and perceptive -- when it came to other people. It sounded to Ashley as though Meredith was in love with Julia now, but Julia was just writing the incident off as "a drunk thing". She had been Meredith's best friend since high school -- Meredith was very upset about it.
As their conversation and the night wore on, Ashley found her eyes straying back over to the bar, seeking out Jeanie. The other bar staff had come out of their holes, and now there were four of them behind the bar. Two bland, personality-less boys, Oliver and John (nineteen years each respectively), were there, as was Tony. Bella had the weekend off, so Jeanie was the only girl behind the bar. Even if she hadn't been, with her striking beauty she would have stood out. Her skin was now covered in a slight sheen of sweat under the hot lights of the bar, her cheeks flushed. Ashley licked her lips. Her mind lazily entertained the thought of licking the sweat from the underside of that neck, how nice it would taste on her tongue. Jeanie's movements were liquid and she dragged bottles down and poured into glasses with precision, oblivious of the scrutiny Ashley was placing her under.
Meredith was less oblivious. "Earth to Ashley!" she tapped on the table with her glass to get Ashley's attention.
"I'm sorry Mez, I was just thinking," Ashley said quickly.
"Yeah, and I know what about!" Meredith bantered, turning over her shoulder and shooting a pointed look at the already-famous Jeanie.
"She's just so hot though, isn't she?" Ashley sighed, caught out and close enough to Mez not to be too embarrassed about the conversation. She swished the ice cubes around in her glass and took a long sip. "I know, I know what you're going to say Mez. She's straight. All the hot ones are straight!" she complained lightly. "It's just that she's just my type, you know? Physically, I mean; I have no idea what her personality is like."
"Chantelle would say who cares about personality?" Meredith commented. "You um, sounded pretty, you know. Motivated, before. Are you going to make a play for her, see if anything's there?"
"No harm in getting to know her, is there?" Ashley replied with a shrug.
"Well, there will be if you start to get a crush on her and she's a bona-fide straight girl," Meredith was logical. "Just be careful, that's all. You don't think it will get weird with Chantelle, you both going after the same girl?"
"Do you?" Ashley wanted Meredith's advice. For some reason, she had no interest in letting her domineering friend take to the floor unchallenged on this one.
"I think Chantelle needs to be taken down a notch, sometimes I find her too much," Meredith wrinkled her nose. "So if you were to beat her out on this, I would, hypothetically, find that funny."
"If Miss Sex-On-Legs over there prefers butch, I've got no chance," Ashley noted gloomily. "Chantelle takes the cake in that department."
"If she likes gorgeous blonde femmes though, you're in!" Meredith sucked up the last of her drink through her straw. "I personally think she's too straight for us to even be having this conversation -- but, as we both know. You never know."
"What I do know is that it's ages since I got laid," Ashley grouched. "Chantelle hooks up all the time. I deserve this more than her, it's my right," she joked with a smile.
"Chantelle's taken her eyes off the prize already," Meredith pointed behind her.
Ashley turned. Chantelle was swapping tongues with her fling.
"I'll get us another drink? Or would you like to go?" Meredith offered.
"I'll go!" Ashley stuck her tongue out at her, and got up. She lined up at the bar in the line closest to Jeanie. She waved at a few familiar faces around the bar while she waited.
"What can I get you?" suddenly, Jeanie was in front of her, slightly out of breath.
"White wine please," Ashley began. "Sem..."
"Semi sav blanc, right? No problems, Ashley," Jeanie smiled at her.