Two Halves, One SoulbyAlex the Cat©
Disclaimer: These characters may resemble the two individuals from XWP. This is an uber story, and it is the first one I have written. The characters I have created are from my own twisted mind. The use of song titles and lyrics are completely the sole property of the respectful artists.
Violence: There is some violence. It is a bit graphic but it is minor.
Language: Yep, nasty language ahead. Watch out.
Special thanks to my beta reader; you are much appreciated.
Comments/Feedback: would be much appreciated.
I love this city. I can hardly believe that I finally made it here. Oh, god, to get away from ho-dunk nowhere's ville in Colorado. But, this, this is a city. Chicago, wow, this is great. Dani thinks and looks out of her third story apartment window onto the gray street below surrounded by its lush green trees budding in beautifully this Spring season. Her one bedroom apartment with its small robin's egg color kitchen is not as bad as one may think now that she put a bistro adjacent to the wall horizontally by the sliding glass balcony door.
She pads her way over to the living room sofa. The cozy living room is painted in veiled light, which reflects just the slightest hint of greenish yellow when the sunlight shines through the four tall windows. She plops down and grabs the remote to turn up the volume of the piano concerto being played by Chopin on her 3 disc Panasonic stereo. She sips her vanilla soymilk from the Tweety Cartoon mug. With her legs tucked onto her right she flips through the local gay/lesbian paper laying on the small wooden coffee table. "Hmm, Outlines. Interesting name for the paper, I wonder what goes on around here." She turns the page and finds a naked muscle man staring back at her. The photo is cut off just past the tuft of pubic hair before his penis is exposed. "Whoa, talk about not leaving much of anything to the imagination." The phone rings. She picks up the cordless receiver next to the end table. "Hello."
"Hey Dani, it's Kristin. How's it going?"
"Great. I finally finished unpacking the last box of my things earlier this afternoon. I'm so grateful to have had the week available. I swear, if I started working the day I arrived, I'd be eating on the floor using paper plates for the next couple of months." Kristin's laughter echoes in her ear.
"Well, I'm glad you're all done. Let's go out and celebrate then. You haven't ventured out to one of our bars yet, have you?"
"No, I haven't. Sure, why not."
"Great. There's a place on Halsted called Girlbar. Can you meet me there in an hour?"
"Oh, by the way, parking is virtually non-existent on a Saturday night, you know what I mean?"
"Gotcha, I'll take a taxi. See you in an hour."
"Bye." She hangs up, and finishes the last of her soymilk with a smile on her face. "Girlbar. How interesting. This should be fun."
Dani is appreciative of the new friendship she has with Kristin, and grateful that her best friend back home knew Kristin when she lived in Chicago and introduced them. Kris, as Dani likes to call her, has shown such kindness from the first day they met. Her vivaciousness for life touches everyone she meets. The auburn haired activist has updated Dani on the places to go and not to go, gay friendly establishments, activities in the city, and groups who meet regularly in a book club, softball, nature/hiking, boating, and every other event under the sun. Her androgynous nature gives off a cute quality about her. Kris' mind is like a library. It contains so much information and history on gays and lesbians throughout the centuries. Dani believes conversation could never be dull with her. And already she has received a list of must read books.
Dani pads into the kitchen, rinses her cup under the faucet and sets it inside the sink. Walking into the purple colored bedroom, she flips on the light switch. Stepping over to the closet, she ponders. "Hmm, what to wear. At least I already took my shower. Now what do I want to be saying tonight with my appearance." She pulls out a knee length black snug skirt and an emerald green silk blouse. Looking at herself in the full-length mirror with the ensemble in front of her, she says, "No, let's not say, high femme." She pulls out a pair of jeans and a polo shirt. Resuming her position in the mirror. "No. I look like a typical androgynous dyke." She then decides on a pair of black dress pants, the emerald silk blouse and her heeled black boots. "Yes, I think this'll do just fine. With some light make-up this will definitely say femme."
She got out of the taxi, and stood in front of the place. Women walking in, others are walking out. Laughing, serious, arm in arm, couples and friends. "Alright, here we go," she comments to herself. Heading straight to the bar, someone taps her on the shoulder. "Hey Kris, I'm so glad you saw me first. It's so dark in here. And this music, I can hardly hear myself."
"Don't worry about it." She responds loudly. "We'll go upstairs; it's better there. But order your drink first."
She nods and turns to the bartender. "Midori Sour please."
The bartender snickers at Dani's politeness. "You know, not many who use that word are from around here. You must be from out of town. Here you go sweetie," the woman says.
Dani hands over the money. "Thank you."
They head up the crude dimly lit steps. The music dies down as they enter the second level. Dani beholds two pool games occurring simultaneously, and a dart game. She follows Kris to a small round table available near the bathroom. Kris claims one of the barstools immediately. Dani seats herself in the other.
She leans over to Kris. "Why do I feel like I'm being stared at?"
"That's because you are being stared at. What else do you expect when you walk into a dyke bar? Not many femmes around this place."
Dani frowns. "Why not?"
"Because we don't have many of them, they're all taken." Responds Kristin.
"Really?" Feeling a little self-conscious, she takes a sip of her Midori sour.
"How can you drink that? It's so sweet and sour, I feel like I'm drinking some new funky kool aid."
"Oh, but that's what I love about it," Dani laughs.
They talk about Dani's life back in Colorado, the mountains, the people, the serenity, and the boredom she lived with for years. "Yes, it's true, there is a place called Garden of the Gods. It's really beautiful. The flowers and the trees and the wildlife, it almost makes you feel like you're in the Elysian Fields, or Eden. However you want to look at it. I think the one thing I'll miss is the serenity of hiking up in the mountains and connecting with nature. Just being up on a mountaintop and looking at the vast valley below is exhilarating."
There is a tall figure at one of the pool tables watching Dani every chance she gets. The figure is playing everyone who will take her on. So far, she still holds the table. As the hour passes, the woman decides to start making her move.
"Hey," Kristin whispers, "do you know that woman at the farther pool table has been eyeballing you the whole time we've been here?"
"Which one?" Dani asks curiously.
"Alright, don't be so obvious, but it's the real tall one with the jet black hair cut like that dyke singer you listen to. Oh, what's her name...?"
"You mean k.d. lang?"
"Yeah, that's it."
Dani couldn't help but turn around right away. Brilliant green met deep blue. Dani is captivated at the moment by those eyes the color of pacific island blues. She looks away. "Okay, I was caught."
"Yep, I noticed," answers Kristin.
The figure smiles.
"Hey, it's not so bad Dani. What's the worst that can happen? She asks you out? And what would be so bad?"
"But, I'm so new around here. I figured in a few months or so I'll start dating."
"Oh, come on," Kristin responds. "There is no time like the present."
"Hi there." Another voice saunters in.
They both look up to see the tall mysterious stranger. The woman gives a friendly nod to Kristin. "I thought you might like another one of these since your glass is empty." She gracefully sets down a fresh Midori sour with four cherries in front of Dani.
"Thank you, that's very kind."
The woman then squats, holding on to her cue stick and looks Dani in the eyes. "Would you like to join me for a game?"
At that moment, Dani realizes how dry her throat is. "Um... I don't know how to play, I mean... in a serious manner. I've goofed around with friends, but... I'm really not a challenge. I mean... I would lose in less than a minute. You know what I mean? It's..."
"Dani, honey," Kris calls out, "stop babbling."
The stranger says, "One friendly game. I'll be happy to give you some lessons, if you're interested." The seduction of her words oozes from her lips.
She couldn't help herself. She knew she was going to give in. There was something about those eyes, almost like they're piercing her soul. "Um, sure. Kris, do you mind?"
"No, of course not. Go on and have fun."
They walk back to the pool table, and cue up.
"My name is Danielle. But Dani is fine."
"I'm Jesse," she says while cueing her stick.
Not knowing what else to say, Dani responds with, "Nice to meet you, Jesse."
Jesse smiles. "Same here."
They play and laugh and Dani learns how to actually play pool. At one point, the air between them becomes thick with arousal. At the start of another game, it was Dani's turn to break. "Oh, I can't stand having to break. I'm the worst at it. I don't understand why I can't manage to hit the ball head on and with some force."
"Well, let's see your stance as you're getting ready to strike."
Jesse moves closer to Dani. "Okay, don't strike just yet. Let me help you correct your stance."
Jesse then takes a step behind Dani. "Alright, pose and relax."
Dani notices quickly that her rear end is touching Jesse's thighs. The dark woman leans over her placing her left forearm on the pool table. Her right hand takes hold of Dani's on the cue stick. Their bodies are touching. The reddish blonde feels her heart thumping loudly and hopes this woman doesn't feel the vibrations. Jesse's center begins to pulsate. With her mouth just a hairs breath away from the strawberry blonde's right ear, she softly says, "Bring your right foot back two steps and bend slightly at the knees." The warm breath on Dani's ear is sending electricity straight to her center. "Good, now you don't necessarily want to hit that first ball in front. Aim for either one to the left or right of it."
"Okay," Dani gulps and whispers. "I'll go for the one on the right."
"Now, when you make your move, you want to use your whole arm, like this." She gestures the arm movement for Dani while still holding onto Dani's hand on the cue stick. "Do you feel what I mean?"
Dani gulps again. She nods with an, "Mmm hmm".
Jesse pulls up and places her hands on Dani's hips. At the contact, Dani almost looses hold of the cue stick. "Alright, take your shot, and don't move your hips, just your upper back and arm."
Dani takes the shot and the balls scatter beautifully.
"Yea, I got, I got." She jumps up and down.
"Well thank you for teaching me so much about pool. This was fun."
"Would you be interested in getting something to eat?" Jesse asks. "I know a place that serves awesome chocolate malts."
"Really? That sounds yummy." She looks over at her friend wondering if it'd be okay, but not wanting to just leave Kris.
"Well, I'm getting ready to leave. You two have a great time. Okay?" Kris states.
"Kris, are you sure?"
Dani turns to Jesse. "Alright."
They head out of the bar. "Did you drive?" Jesse asks.
"No, came by taxi."
"Alright, we'll take my car. It's down the street."
The car alarm beeps as the lights blink on the black 2002 Nissan Pathfinder. Jesse unlocks the doors, and opens the passenger side first.
"Thank you," replies Dani.
She steps up into the SUV with its 32-inch chrome wheels, steel front and rear guards, and fog lights on the roof. The black leather interior smells wonderful. Jesse steps in and starts her up.
"Wow, this sure looks like it's fully loaded." Dani comments.
"It is," is the response given to her.
"May I ask why in the city?"
Jesse chuckles. "I do a lot of off-roading into Wisconsin to go fishing and camping. Out there, this comes in handy, especially when I don't want to hit any of the beautiful deer I come across at night."
"Oh, I love camping. Back home, we used to go all the time. I tried going fishing with my brothers but had an awful time because they scared me out of it. They would tear up the worms and have a bloody mess on their hands, and would want me to do the same; and when they would catch a fish, they'd throw it at me. Oh, it was terrible." She starts to snicker. The embarrassment rises to her cheeks. "Okay, that was a stupid story to tell you for a first impression."
Jesse snickers also. "I'm glad you told it. The first impression has not been ruined."
In the restaurant, Dani stares bright eyed at the menu. "Hmm, there are so many things to choose from."
"Hello ladies, are you ready to order?" The waitress chimes in.
Jesse looks over at Dani, she nods yes. "Please go ahead," Jesse says.
She smiles, "Okay, I would like a turkey club sandwich, no sides, and a chocolate malt."
"And what would you like," the waitress turns to Jesse.
"I'll have a mushroom burger with Swiss cheese and some mashed potatoes, and a chocolate malt."
"Okay, ladies, I'll be back with your order."
"So, where is back home?" Jesse asks.
"Oh, it's Colorado, a small town called Littleton. What about you?"
"Born and raised right here."
Dani's eyes light up. Wow, she grew up here. I bet it was wonderful.
"Didn't you need a car out there in the country?" the dark woman asks inquisitively.
"Oh, yes, I have a car. A Subaru Forrester. I just figured I don't need to drive it everywhere around here, when I can take a cab. I keep it in the building's parking garage. Plus, from what I've seen so far, parking is a bitch in this city."
Laughing, Jesse says, "It's not as bad as New York City." She asks, "How was it growing up in the mountains?"
"Well, the mountains themselves are great because I love the outdoors and the beauty of nature. Littleton and the people there are very boring, old-fashioned, and single-minded. That's why I had to leave. I didn't want to turn into one of them. I love the attraction and adventure of the big city. I also hope to travel to Europe. My family calls me "baa baa black sheep" because I would go against almost anything people would say."
They talk for over an hour about their childhood interests like their love for animals and the outdoors. "So, you only have two brothers?" Jesse asks.
"Yes. I'm the only girl. Lucky me, huh. Imagine the pressure I was under for years to get married and have children? Then explaining the whole gay thing was just not getting through to them. They think it's just a phase. My brothers actually don't mind it. But my parents don't believe that two people of the same sex can have a life together and make a family. How about you? Any siblings?"
Do I tell her the truth? I feel compelled to. She's been honest and open with me. "Um, I used to have a twin sister, but she died at age seven from meningitis."
"I'm sorry." She reaches across the table sympathetically to cover Jesse's hand. "That must've been very difficult for you."
"Um... it was. We were... inseparable." Her memory travels back to that time, and she fights to hold back the tears threatening to surface.
"How old are you? If you don't mind."
"Twenty-nine," Jesse states casually. "And you?"
"Twenty-five," she says with a smile.
The waitress comes over. "You ladies need anything else? Coffee?"
"No, thank you," Dani responds with a smile.
Jesse shakes her head in agreement, so the waitress wanders off. "I guess we should get going." She states hesitantly.
Jesse reaches for the check, but Dani snatches it up quickly.
"Please, let me pay for this. You've been kind enough tonight with the drinks and the pool lessons."
"Alright," Jesse states curiously. "I'll drive you home."
"Oh, no, you don't have to."
"I really don't mind. Plus it will help me sleep knowing you are safe back at your place, and not out on the streets trying to hail a cab at this god-awful hour."
"Okay, thank you," she responds with a bright smile.
In front of Dani's apartment, the Nissan is double parked with the blinkers on.
"Well, thanks again. I had a great time." Dani feels the nervousness rising into her throat.
"Would you be interested in getting together tomorrow? I can show you some of the sights."
Without even thinking, Dani says, "I would like that."
"Great. I'll pick you up at 12 noon. We can start with lunch and go from there."
"Wonderful." Dani begins to fidget with her fingers. Hmm, what do I do know? Should I just get out of the car? Is she going to try and kiss me?
The voice next to her brings her out of her reverie. "Here's my phone number." She hands the small business card to Dani. "Just in case something comes up."
"Okay, well let me give you my number too. Do you have a pen?"
"Yep," Jesse removes the pen attached to her visor, and also another card. "Here, write on the back of this card."
Dani begins scribbling. "There. Hmph, I think that's my number. Gosh, I'm sorry, I'm still getting used to things."
"Don't worry about it. I'm sure you have the number correct."
A moment of silence takes place. Then Jesse chimes in, "Well, then, I'll see you tomorrow."
"Okay." And Dani steps out of the vehicle.
As soon as she was inside the main doorway, Jesse drove away. She opens the door to her apartment, tosses the keys on the table near the door, goes straight to her room, and plops herself onto the bed. She looks around at the darkness and the moonlight peering through the window. "Wow." This was definitely an eventful evening. I think my knees are still trembling. "Jesse," she says aloud and giggles. What a lovely name. She was such a.... such a.... gentleman. She didn't kiss me and I'm actually relieved. She has manners and is polite, yet very intimidating. There is something about those eyes. And the fact that she's tall and has broad shoulders, and those hands. My god, those hands are definitely larger than mine, larger than any I've seen on a woman. Staring at her fingers long and slender with her nails cut very short made me shiver throughout the night. I can't remember ever meeting such an attractive butch. But unlike any butch I've known. She has a man's haircut, not an androgen cut. And each article of clothing she had on were men's. But she doesn't look like a guy. She looks like a.... sixteen year old boy. Even with her cheekbones and jaw line being defined, she still has a hint of femininity in her face. Almost like...an effeminate boy. Oh, how wonderful. How absolutely wonderful. I could get lost in those eyes.
She begins to remove her clothing tossing it onto the floor. She slips into her Winnie the Pooh nightshirt and crawls into bed. Oh, I hope I have dreams of Jesse tonight.
Jesse walks through the kitchen door. She enters the code on the numeric keypad and it beeps. Alarm off. I sure miss being greeted at the door. She goes to the answering machine to check messages.
"No messages," the robotic voice spits out.
"Good, that means no problems to worry about." She heads upstairs to the bedroom. Flipping on the switch, the room illuminates in hues of burgundy walls and French vanilla windowpanes and ceiling. She removes her clothing and throws them over the chest at the end of the king size bed. She shuts out the light, and takes a look at the clock on the nightstand. Wow, 2:53am. No wonder I'm yawning so much. Only wearing a white tank top and her teal FTL boxer shorts, she slips under the black comforter and wine color silk sheets.