tagNovels and NovellasSolace & Rosanna Ch. 08

Solace & Rosanna Ch. 08


2003: "I had her in my arms, Lee...in my arms and then she was gone!" Casey whaled with her head in her hands.

"You must be losing your touch," Leander offered, knowing this would get a response from Casey.

As he thought, she looked up, her eyes blazing.

"Not on your life! It was that damned cell phone call. It spoiled the whole moment." Casey sat up, her fingers gripping her knees. "I'm going to have her, Lee. She can't just walk out of my life now."

"You walked out of hers." Leander reminded her.

"That was different. I was young and didn't really have any direction in my life. I needed to figure out what I wanted—and needed," Casey said with emphasis on the last word.

"Well, you didn't seem to need Rosanna Romero at the time and she's probably moved on," Leander said soberly.

"Leander, whose side are you on here?" Casey asked with growing annoyance.

"I am on your side, but that doesn't mean I can't point out the truths that I see," he replied with a gentle smile and a pat on her knee. Casey swatted his hand away.

"Well, I don't want to hear truth. I want to hear Ross whispering in my ear how much she wants me and then—" She broke off the statement because it only caused her frustration level to rise.

"Why didn't you let her know you liked her in high school?" Leander asked innocently.

"I don't know. Maybe I was afraid it would ruin our friendship. We were so close. I told Rosanna everything back then—about the guys anyway. People don't always understand those of us who are attracted to both sexes. They want you to choose."

"I think if anyone would have understood it would have been your best friend, don't you think?" replied Leander, removing his glasses to wipe them with a handkerchief.

"I couldn't take that chance. I didn't want to lose her," she murmured as she ran both hands through her hair away from her face. "I've got to take a shower. She was torn about this, though, because she wanted to freshen up, but she hated to erase the traces of Ross's intoxicating cologne.

From what Casey had told Leander, it had sounded like they had gone quite far in the foreplay department. Very interesting. Casey was positively vibrating with sexual tension.

Casey suddenly looked up and said, "Lee, you've got to help me get Ross back."

"And how do you suppose we do that, Ms. Deans...kidnap her? Leander smirked, crossing his arms over his chest. "And what if she doesn't want to be gotten?"

"We could not have gone as far as she did if she didn't want me. Ross is a woman of honor." Casey rose with finality. She called back as she strode to her bedroom, "You can let yourself out, Lee. I'll get back to you on the plan—as soon as I think of one."

"I'm sure you will and that's what I'm afraid of," Leander said as he stood, stretched and headed for the door. I wonder if the lovely Ms. Romero knows what she's in for, he thought as he closed the door behind him and headed for the stairwell. He was in a fever to write everything down.

As the cool spray washed over Casey's body, her mind drifted back to her previous activities with Ross. She could not get her out of her mind—her caresses, kisses. All blended to send her into a frenzy of arousal. How would she sleep tonight? She wouldn't until she found release. Her little buddy would be a poor substitute, but it would have to do. Once she had satisfied the needs of her body, she could concentrate on her plan.

Rosanna and Matilda walked in silence to La Contessa's. Rosanna's mind was working overtime trying to find the right words. There are no right words! Her mouth and throat were as dry as sandpaper and she was uncertain that she would be able to articulate anything, much less a coherent excuse. Matilda, in contrast, was smiling to herself as if the mysteries of the world had been whispered in her ear and only she could choose to whom she would reveal them. She held on to Rosanna's arm and squeezed gently. Matilda broke the silence as they entered the cool, dark restaurant where they had dined many times.

"Rosanna, I know you'll be honest with me because we have an honest relationship. No matter what's happened, I'm sure we can sort it all out and go on from here," Matilda declared as they were seated in a small booth.

"Right," Rosanna replied. She said nothing more. Sure. She says that now and then when I tell her I almost made love to another woman, she'll freak out and it'll be a whole different story. I know women. I am a woman! She glanced at her menu. The brief respite, which had renewed her appetite, was gone and she found that nothing on the extensive menu appealed to her. She gulped down her water and signaled the server for another glass.

"You certainly are thirsty, Rosanna," Matilda said, eyeing her menu with what appeared to be great interest.

"I'm always thirsty. You know me." Rosanna replied softly and made an attempt at a half-hearted smile.

"And hungry?" Matilda asked with mock innocence.

"That, too. I think my appetite has flown the coop, though. But how was your day, Mattie?" Rosanna asked, hoping to divert Matilda's attention.

"I thought you were starving," Mattie said.

"I don't know what happened. Maybe I'm coming down with something." Rosanna said lamely.

"Perhaps it has something to do with your pants." Matilda offered pointedly. She reached her hand across the table and placed it atop Rosanna's.

"Your hands are freezing! What's the matter? Maybe you are coming down with a bug, Rosanna. You should see Dr. Edwards tomorrow," she announced.

"No, I...really, Mattie. I don't think it's that serious. I'll get some over-the-counter stuff."

"You have that meeting for your new staff on Monday. You want to be at your best, Rosanna," Matilda continued, brushing a lock of Rosanna's hair out of her eyes.

Rosanna thought that perhaps Matilda might be right about the sick thing because right now she felt alternately hot, cold and her stomach was tied up in so many knots, Houdini couldn't have escaped!

The server appeared and Mattie gave her order. She also took the liberty of ordering a bowl of soup and small salad for Rosanna, who raised an eyebrow, but did not protest.

"Soup is good for you right now. You really don't look well, Rosanna. Your color is not good at all," Matilda fussed.

"Look, Mattie. I have to tell you something," Rosanna began.

"You know, Rosanna, I don't know if I'm quite ready to hear this yet." Matilda began gazing around the restaurant as if seeing it for the first time.

"I'm not sure I want to tell you, but as you say, we have always had an honest relationship and we can't have a life together unless..." Rosanna sighed heavily and began to recount the day's events, starting with her meeting with Solace and ending with the scenario on Casey's carpet.

As Rosanna spoke, Matilda sat listening intently, never interrupting. When Rosanna ended her narrative, she calmly rose, picked up a full glass of water and tossed it in Rosanna's face, drenching her.

"I thought you said we'd be able to sort it out!" Rosanna sputtered.

"Go and sort it out with Solace or Casey or whomever you want in your bed now, Rosanna Romero! I can't be near you!" With those words, Mattie stormed out of the restaurant.

Rosanna used a napkin to dry herself as best she could. Their server, Frank, whom they had known for a year, came up to her and asked in soft tones,

"Do you still want your soup, Rosanna?"

"No thanks, Frank," she answered and got up to leave the restaurant, her damp sweater and pants clinging to her suggestively. She garnered a few brief stares, but was completely oblivious to anything but the horrible situation she had gotten herself into. She certainly was in the mood for alienating everyone. She would go home, throw a TV dinner in the microwave and watch a movie. It didn't matter what movie—just something to calm her nerves, a comedy perhaps. Goddess knew she needed a damned good laugh right now.

She was in such deep thought that she did not hear Matilda calling to her as she entered her building.

"Rosanna!" Matilda called again. Rosanna turned to face her. She did not speak. Her bangs were plastered to her forehead. She simply stared at Matilda in helpless defeat.

"I'm sorry, Rosanna," Matilda said, coming to stand in front of Rosanna.

"I'm sorry, too, Mattie."

"I was shocked that you—" Matilda broke off.

"Do you want to talk, Mattie?"

"I don't know if I'm ready for that, but I did want to apologize for making a scene."

"Please come upstairs, Mattie. I want to try to explain." Rosanna placed a hand on Matilda's arm.

"Excuse me, ladies," a woman's voice said.

"Come on," said Rosanna. "I've got to get out of these clothes or I really will catch something." She led them to the elevators. They rode up in silence and entered the quiet, now dark apartment. Rosanna placed her keys on their peg and went straight to her bedroom to change. Matilda followed her. Rosanna stripped off her sweater and pants. As she searched in her drawer, she felt a sharp sting on her butt.

"Hey! Mattie, why did you—" She did not get a chance to finish her sentence as Matilda advanced.

"You deserve that and more, Ms. Romero," said Matilda defiantly. She pushed Rosanna firmly onto her bed. Matilda had been working out on a regular basis and she was almost as strong as Rosanna, who put up a brief ineffectual struggle.

"I'm going to show you that you don't need any other woman, Rosanna." Matilda threw herself on top of Rosanna, grabbed her wrists, and plunged her tongue into Rosanna's unsuspecting mouth. Stunned, all Rosanna could think to do was return the favor. Oh my gosh, Rosanna thought, Matilda likes it rough! Why did I not know this? Rosanna's overloaded mind and over-heated body could take no more. She tore off Matilda's expensive suit, not caring whether she ripped off every button. She pealed off the barely-there Victoria's Secret underwear. Rosanna then proceeded to show Ms. Matilda Harper a thing or four about being in charge.

Physically satisfied, but mentally frazzled, they fell asleep in each other's arms. When morning came, Rosanna rolled over, reached for Matilda and found her side of the bed cold and empty. She reached for the telephone, pressed the speed dial number for Matilda's apartment, but received Matilda's impersonal answering machine. She left a brief message and hung up. Why did she leave? She tried the number several more times, but received the same annoying message. She gave up and decided to go. The note left on her dresser stopped her. It read:


I don't know what came over me last night. I know I was devastated about what you told me because I thought you had gotten over Solace. I'm not sure you met her just because you wanted to say goodbye and that bothers me. Maybe I was trying to prove something to myself—that I was strong and in charge. I wanted to make you see what you'd be giving up. Silly, I know, but right now I can't make much sense of anything, so I'm just going to abandon ship for a while. I'll call you when I'm ready. Love, Matilda."

Well, at least she put 'love', Rosanna thought and it dawned on her that she had never told Matilda that she loved her. And she did...didn't she? And where had she gone?

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