From Up on the Rooftop
“If we time it just right, we can get in.” The dare in Suze’s eyes makes my heart pound.
“But we’ll get in trouble.” I hate that I whine, but I’ve grown to hate even more that something as simple as sneaking into an apartment building is the wildest thing I’ve done in a decade.
“The view from the roof is great. You can see the whole street. You brought binoculars, right?”
“What does that mean? Oh, look — Here!” She bolts across the sidewalk, catching the building door just before it closes behind a tenant who exited.
I slither in behind her, and she makes a show of patting her pockets for supposed keys on the way to the elevator. On the fourth floor we climb up one flight of stairs and exit onto the roof.
“There will be other people later, but they’ll assume we belong or are someone’s guest. Especially if we stay quiet.” She slings her backpack against the wall and leans over. “Come and look, Amy.”
I set down my satchel and timidly peer at the street below. At first I’m a little dizzy, but when I realize I can see all the way from Market Street on my right to Nineteenth on my left, a span of nearly three blocks, I’m thrilled. “Last year it was so crowded I left. This will be great.”
“What brought you out last year?” Suze looks perfectly innocent but I’m well aware that she’s fishing for some kind of declaration from me—she’s been doing that since she was hired in our department.
“I’d only been here a few weeks, and it was the biggest event since I’d arrived. Every one says that the guys have the most amazing costumes. In Cedar Rapids, believe me, the most outrageous thing you can do on Halloween is fishnets and a black wig.”
“There they are!” Suze pulls sleek binoculars from her backpack. “Well, believe me, that’s going to seem tame the moment the sun goes down. And by midnight, Cedar Rapids will seem a long, long way from here.”
Why San Francisco, Amy? That was the question all my relatives and friends had asked. Yes, it’s expensive to live here. Yes, they have crime and foreign food. Yes, jobs can go up in smoke. None of them had asked the same question Suze had been dancing around since we’d struck up a friendship at work. You’re going to San Francisco because you’re gay, right?
“See the building across the street?” Suze points and I nod as I open my satchel. When the sun goes down it’s going to be cold. “Last year, let’s just say, there were some inspiring indoor activities.”
“Oh, yeah. Wouldn’t I love to have an apartment in that place? Right in the heart of the Castro, and—oh look!” Suze points down. “I think she lives in the building. I’m pretty sure I watched her last year. Look at those boots.”
I am looking. Is that the kind of woman that turns Suze on? I don’t glance down at my comfortable Hush Puppies, nor finger my cloth jacket. “I don’t think I could carry off all that leather.”
“Do you want to?”
Something in Suze’s voice suddenly makes my heart pound. I can’t look at her. “Not really. I don’t think that’s me.”
“Neither do I.” Her voice makes me think of velvet. “I like you just as you are.”
Don’t look, I tell myself. I don’t know why I am so scared. I have been desperate for her to touch me for at least six weeks, yet irrationally afraid I won’t survive if she does. Yes, I’m gay, I’d wanted to tell everyone at home. There was just one technicality—I’d never been with a woman. I want to be with Suze, though.
I set my hoodie next to my feet and scrabble in my satchel.
“Are those opera glasses?” Suze is openly laughing at me, something I am used to from her.
“Yes.” I can finally glance in her direction again. “Got a problem with that? They’re all I had.”
Sometimes Suze has a wit that can cut glass. Her first few weeks on the job as a programmer she’d occasionally scourged me—clothes, hair, being from the Midwest, you name it. I told myself maybe her behavior was the same thing as a playground punch to the arm, and given the way she was looking at me now, maybe I’d been right.
Her eyes are soft and yet still dancing with laughter as she reaches into her backpack. “I brought a pair for you in case you forgot. These should work better.”
I accept the binoculars and reach into my satchel again. “I brought beer.”
Her grin deepens. “Perfect.”
We clink bottles and take a long draft. Planting our elbows on the top of the wall, we settle in to wait for sunset.
From “Human Female Pon Farr”
“Since when does Seven-of-Nine handcuff Janeway to anything? Janeway is the top.”
Tate ran a hand over her foam-molded front. “Dream on!”
“She’s the captain. By definition.” Jax tossed her red hair for emphasis.
“Well, she can’t be in control all the time.”
“Pardon me, but a starship captain can be a top one hundred and fifty percent of the time. They have special training.”
Tate, who’d already put on her Star Fleet regulation boots, reached for one of Jax’s wrists. “Okay, consider this training. Just in case dear Captain Janeway should find herself captured by Seven-of-Nine clones with a bed-shaped tractor beam.”
Various parts of Jax’s body were delivering status reports. (litoris: hard and aroused, Captain. (unt: swollen and wet, Captain. Nipples: erect and playful, Captain.
“Captain Janeway, I think you ought to get out of that uniform. I don’t want you pulling rank on me.” Tate positively scampered to the bathroom. In moments lube and towels were next to the bed.
After stripping without ceremony, Jax spread herself on the bed and grasped the middle bar of the headboard. “Is this where you want me?”
“All the time. Why don’t you hold on right there and let me…climb…no wait—”
“Ouch! That’s my arm.” Jax scooted to one side.
“Sorry, honey. I didn’t realize the chain was so short, yeah, your hands need to be right there. So, okay.” Tate grinned down at her.
Tate’s crotch was only a few inches from her face and Jax lunged up to taste. She didn’t struggle as Tate ratcheted a cuff around her left wrist.
“Stop that,” Tate said.
“Make me.” Jax forced her hot breath through the fabric just to feel Tate shiver. She enjoyed the sight of Tate all flushed and momentarily overcome. She shifted in place, trying to find a more comfortable position for her arms and was glad when Tate got off her chest.
Licking her lips, Jax asked, “Who just assimilated who?”
“Oh, you are asking for it.”
“Asking for what?”
Tate’s gaze was both playful and desirous. “My strapping on an implant and giving you what you deserve.”
Jax couldn’t help the way her legs spread farther apart. “I surrender, I surrender completely.”
Tate shinnied down Jax’s body, enjoying her skin against Jax’s stomach.
Jax shifted again and even though she didn’t want to stop Tate, her arms were abruptly too tight. “Honey, I’m sorry, but my thumbs are going numb.”
“Oh? How weird.”
“I think…this is totally hot, but they’re really digging in. Maybe if they weren’t around the headboard?”
Tate rummaged in the bedside table drawer, then went into the bathroom. “Have you seen the key?”
Minor edits have been made to maintain a PG-13 rating for the Web.