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‘The Girl’s Club’
She needed to break out of her rut and go somewhere new. A place where life was vibrant and free. Where she could have what she had longed for.
Karen had always known she was gay. It wasn’t easy to reconcile herself with at first, she masqueraded her intentions and kept to herself mostly.
When the chance came up to move from England to the sunnier climes of Los Angeles she jumped at the chance. She would become a PA, she would be working at Tarkington’s, one of the most prestigious law firms in LA.
Meeting new people isn’t always easy, she was exotic by nature over there, a limey, a crazy Brit. There were appreciative glances and murmurs followed her as she made her way around the office for the first time. Most of them seemed to have tattoos on there hands. Roman Numerals. They were graded, and not a man in sight.
She knows she is suddenly surrounded by warm and willing women. Karen knows there must be a catch.
Over the coming months she is thrust ever deeper into an exclusive club. A members only club. A girls only club. ‘The Chain’. The membership comes with a price. Secrets lie beneath the surface at Tarkingtons. ‘The Chain’ and all those on it seeking to improve their standing, whether it be for personal gain or business needs. It’s dog eat dog.
Karen takes it in her stride until it becomes clear that a high ranking member on ‘The Chain’ has a few loose screws, and a penchant for cutting flesh.
Karen falls in love little realising that her amore is the object of her bosses desire, she’s going to find out. And much more besides.
‘The Chain’, from the top all the way down to the bottom is going to show you just what puts LA bitches in heat. A hard fast trip through La-La land.
Cross them at your own risk.
The mafia with PMS.
Hot and deadly.
Goodfellas meets the ‘L’ word.
Everyone wants to be part of something special growing up. A club. Any kind of club. We all wanted to run one, or be in the best one. For those of us that were lonely enough any would do. We all had our own ideas about what club codes should be, what the tasks of the club members were. The rules on other words. Some rules were solid and could not be broken. Some rules were there to keep others out, people who you didn’t really want in your club, or people who previously hadn’t let you be in there’s.
As you grow up you learn about different kinds of clubs. Some of them easy to join and some of them not so easy. The ones you couldn’t join would always haunt you, your inferiority being reinforced again and again. There were ‘gangs’ who were done up hoodlums clubs, the bridge ladies who were really just ‘card playing’ clubs. The guys who had thirteen kinds of handshake depending on the date in the fiscal year. ‘Fishing’ clubs. ‘Skiing’ clubs. ‘Shitzu owners’ clubs. Anonymous clubs and public clubs and sometimes ‘exclusive’ clubs that were soooo secret many of the members never really understood what they are part of.
At the slightest smell of an exclusive club some people turn into social monsters and the back biting begins. At other times you can run right across the face of an exclusive club and have no idea of its existence or that you were momentarily touched by its brilliance.
Myself? I’m a well heeled young lady with morals, the ability to work hard, the need for a sense of achievement and a good grasp on what is really going on behind the painted masks of people. At times this has served me well and I have avoided some very awkward situations. There were also times though I’m sad to say when this insight has led to myself being seen as an outsider, a distant creature with no more feeling than a common mallusk.
I’ve been in clubs. Lots. I ran a few of them too. Around about the age of 9 there was this really popular movie, lots of big rigs in it, the name escapes me but they had this tune about having a big convoy. We were the ‘truckers’. Four of us on bicycles. What a bunch of idiots we must have looked! Front to back of the convoy, there was me, then my little sis, my friend and then her little sis. We’d go round and round the blocks singing we ‘had us a truckin’ convoy’. Drove the people on the street nuts. Some would stand on their doorsteps shaking their heads as we roared past.
But we felt good! We felt like people were noticing us, respecting our group behaviour and appraising us with a cautious stare, we were organised children. A feared entity indeed.
Good times. Easy times.
A small trip further down the line of years from there, about two perhaps, the four of us entered a different phase. We were ‘Ghostbusters’. Yep. Near the street were we lived there were a few run down and busted out houses, you know the type, rotted floorboards and open rooftops, debris and the smell of plywood that has taken in water many times. Our parents despaired of letting us out because of the sodden mess we came back in. It was heaven! We would pair up. Me and my mate Jess, we evolved easily from the ‘convoy’, being the older of the girls we always went upstairs first, we were supposed to be after all the bravest of the group. The two younger girls, my sister Caitlin, (Kat), and Jess’s sister Melanie would remain on the ground level until we had declared the area ‘all clear’.
Sometimes this was a long process. There would be about three rooms to check. There would be stolen kisses before the ‘kids’ came up. Jess and me were close. We considered ourselves as ‘sisters’. Not to get the meaning all screwed up, but because we knew how much we loved our sibs, we considered this love to be on a par. See?
Jess was very dear to me, I would have invented a million clubs to keep her by my side.
Anyway, it’s safe to say that at 11/12 there were some very interesting times and some obvious differences highlighted between what I wanted and what most other people seemed to want of me.
But we’ll get to that.
After the ‘Ghostbusters’, which was just our fancy name for dragging our sibs to places to scare the shit out of them whilst keeping our secret trysts, we then had an albeit short-lived ‘My Little Pony’ club. This was Kat’s idea and since she had lived through the many ordeals of haunted houses and not grassed me to my parents for taking her places that we shouldn’t ought to have been, she got her way for once. It was about three months all told from club beginning to merciful end. About the funniest club we’d ever had and certainly the weirdest. The major problem was not being able to find time to be alone, me and Jess. The younger girls constantly needed some ‘pony’ chore carried out. Collecting mown grass was the favourite. Believe it or not that was the club that got us in the most trouble. There would be grass stains head to foot, she liked to ‘canter’ did Kat, there would be mud in the most intimate of places. Her sense of balance never too clever, her version of the pony did a lot of butt sliding.
After the pony club was booted out by order of the boss, (me), we got back on track, the next club was invariably the last, not that we knew that then. The last club was the ‘camping club’. Me and Kat begged and pleaded and whined and moaned and sulked. We wanted a tent. There were some other big kids being allowed to sleep out and we were ready for that kind of trust. Mum and dad fended us off quite admirably for almost two months. When the summer holidays came they must have just gotten tired of our whinging and seeing as there was a field within view of the house they must have thought ‘what the hell could it hurt?’.
By then me and Jess were smokers. That was a club we had between ourselves. There was no way the younger kids were joining this one. We both liked our carotid arteries intact and processing blood.
It was a very nice tent indeed. It would have comfortably fitted four grown-ups. We were small and the place to us was a canvas palace. The two younger girls had their ‘my little ponies‘, still persistent in the fact that they were the coolest things on God’s earth. Jess and me didn’t care, we made sure we pitched the tent so the entrance faced the opposite direction of the house, this meant we could sit on the extended ground sheet, pull the drape across and be on our own. To their credit the two smaller sisters never made mention of anything untoward, if they ever saw or heard anything they never mentioned it.
Before your mind descends to gutter level, we didn’t have sex. We didn’t live in enlightened times and our knowledge on the subject was limited. It wasn’t talked about quite so easily as it is now. Hell. We knew what we felt but didn’t know the full extent of how to show what we felt. Except for when we were alone we never behaved in such a way. As soon as there was no one else in the vicinity some kind of animal took over, I still think it was the strongest thing I ever felt, time hasn’t eroded the feeling of my heartbeat as Jess pinned me to the groundsheet and promised me that we were sisters for life. I won’t ever forget the night she grabbed my left breast and told me that one day we would be together all the time and we wouldn’t have to hide anymore. She always was much more grown up than me.
What you learn as you grow up eh? Hind sight is 20/20.
Her mum and dad divorced, then her mum started hitting the bottle a little too hard. He left and took Jess and Melanie with him. To this day I don’t know where they went. To this day my heart still breaks a little when I remember knocking on her door, my heart always running a little faster than normal as it always did before the days business was through. Her mum had answered the door in an unwashed filthy night gown, she had told me that she loved her kids and her husband had no right to take them away like that. My throat had tightened and my chest felt as if someone was pressing a hand against my ribcage, pressing so hard that it was flattening my heart, it was hard to breathe.
I was sick. Completely and utterly sick, confused and lonely. I didn’t think I could ever get to like someone in such a way again. There wouldn’t be anyone else who wanted to be as close as that. My young mind worried and gnawed like a mutt with a bone, for months I was in dire straits, waiting for some call or sign that she meant to keep her promises to me. That we were sisters forever.
It was my first heart break. But as you can probably tell I’m still here so I obviously decided not to throw myself under a train. Although there were times…well. I had to close the door on it. Life, although I found it hard at first, went on.
There were no more clubs after that. Poor Kat had also lost her best mate but Kat was nothing if not fiesty, she made new friends. I didn’t. I didn’t have the emotional energy required, besides, a lot of the time my mind was elsewhere. Where was Jess? What was she doing at that moment? Did she miss me half as much as I missed her?
I never heard any other girls talk of their friends in such a close way. No one ever mentioned ‘kissing’ their friends and about sisterhood beyond flesh and blood. What we had was deemed wrong, otherwise people would talk about it all the time, because it was magic and they wouldn’t have been able to stop themselves. What was the chance of me ever finding someone like her again, someone who didn’t care if it was deemed wrong?
That’s what I like to refer to now as my ‘crush’ phase. I went from being some kind of social outsider to being an habitual victim of unrequited love. My courage had gone right along with Jess. All through school, juniors and high school there was very little love and affection. It was always lads. And I fucking hated lads. Stinky, arrogant, bullying lads. I couldn’t stand the fact that it didn’t matter how many times you told someone to ‘fuck right the fuck off’ - they saw this as encouragement. So whilst my ‘unrequited’ phase was at its peak I seemed to attract the most male attention. I hated that even more. The fact that they thought I was playing hard to get or being down right coy. The ability to swear like a sailor aroused one particular chap further. I couldn’t understand why in those dim days when girls were shy and retiring, (supposedly), he wanted me and my foul mouth. The first of many men, hot on the trail, a case to crack.
He followed me around my paper route for months. That’s when I learned my next big lesson. Boys were stupid. And I could have them do what I wanted. I had one lad help me with my papers. I had another lad who always scrounged me a cigarette for my dinner break. I had another lad who carried my bag round to each of my classes for me and eventually I had yet another lad who paid for the pool table when we wagged school.
I figured this would be my revenge on the world at large for not being allowed the run of my heart. I enjoyed their friendship, the sad fact remained that always, always, they would go for broke and ruin everything by making an idiot pass. I became a little embittered by this, but I figured if they thought there was a case to be cracked and a pot of gold at the end of my rainbow just let them get the fuck on with it. I didn’t have Jess but I had many knights in shining armour.
I never slept with any of them and you know something else, one of those four young men proposed to me one day years after we had finished school. You could have knocked me over with a feather! He’d been the one I behaved most disgracefully towards.
Of course there were other proposals but I had already learnt by that point that a man will say anything, anything, to get what he wants.
And that’s how for a while I had clubs and how I fell out with clubs. The reasons are self-explanatory enough, Jess was my reason for being in a club, any kind of club. And she was long gone.
I don’t hate men anymore. I just don’t like them very much and last time I checked that wasn’t a crime.
I had nothing to stay in England for. I answered a ‘wanted’ ad in an online recruitment magazine to be a ‘PA’ in a Los Angeles law firm.
My journey of self discovery had begun.
She left England in search of high adventure. Working in an office was much the same wherever in the world you happened to be. She didn’t feel she could ever be herself whilst still on the same continent as her lost playmate.
Upon moving to America and the dazzling city of Los Angeles, she set about making a home for herself. The job was easy enough. A law firm had already accepted her application and were expecting her. A British PA was what the boss had desired. She thought the Brit lingo and accent to be very smart and since it was what most people in NY were doing she wanted in. PA bling.
Karen didn’t care. It meant she could turn her life around and the fresh start might be the punch in the guts she needed to get on with being whatever she wanted to be. Since she had never made any such attempts at home to display her true sexuality.
If that meant meeting and greeting young eligible girls…well, she couldn’t use the excuse anymore that her family might find out, might disown her, might be disgusted with her.
Just whose fucking life was it anyway?
The flight had been one long daydream about just how things were going to be different, and not just by a little. By the time the plane landed she had pretty much worn herself out with the endless possibilities she now felt open to her. It was a nice feeling hope, especially when it wasn’t anything you expected to feel again.
At the airport a rep of the firm Tarkington’s, a seemingly timid young girl called Rochelle, had come to collect her and her bags.
“Hi” Rochelle took the outstretched hand and gave it a one time shake.
Rochelle had all the hallmarks of an office gofer, speak when spoken to, get on and do it, now, now, now!
She hardly said three words without prompt from Karen all the way into the city. Karen just guessed she was quiet generally. Besides, there was all this stuff to look at. Buildings that she had to crane her neck to see to the top of, contrails left behind by planes that looked like they were traced in gold as the sun westered.
“You bet” Rochelle agreed. Karen saw her hand had a tattoo on it, looked like a roman numeral at the base of her thumb.
And that was it. Whatever conversational gambit she threw out got returned with words of one syllable or less.
They pulled up outside of what looked like flats to Karen’s British eye. They were ‘apartments’ Rochelle said. Rochelle explained how all the buildings were hardly ever more than three storeys high in LA, she mentioned quakes too.
She took her up to what would be her ‘apartment’ and after depositing the cases Karen ventured to ask again about the tattoo, if she was going to see a lot of them she wanted to know what they meant. Everything was going to be new here but she didn’t have to behave like a complete tourist.
“It’s my number”
“Like your phone number?”
“No,” she plonked down the smallest case, “My number”
Rochelle gave her a look then that said that was the end of it.
“Well. Thanks Rochelle” she stuck her hand out and Rochelle took it. She gave it a double pump, up down, up down.
“Settle in and get some sleep. I’ll be back in the morning to collect you and take you to Tarkington’s”
“See you then, thanks for the ride in”
“You bet!” Rochelle smiled. There was a flicker of something in that smile that harkened Karen back to days when love was just across the road and ‘judgement’ was a word she didn’t even know how to spell yet.
Before she could ask anything else of the office gofer she was gone. Karen was almost entirely sure Rochelle was gay. Just like that. She had heard it called ‘Gaydar’ once, you just know when you come into contact with someone what their sexual preferences are and respond in kind.
And what was that my number, shit? ‘Cattle’ got numbered. It had felt weird to the max since she got here but she would take it in her stride. It had been a long plane ride and some sleep would hopefully make things seem more sensible tomorrow. She would endeavour to find out what Rochelle really was though, it might help her in future to know what ‘American Gay Girls’ looked like.
The apartment was a little sparse, the views from the windows reminded her she wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Her heart fluttered.
“Interesting day indeed” she said to herself as she stood on front of the glass wall that served as her window to the outside world. The view was nothing less than stunning and she might have ended up spending her whole first night just stood there, feeling the pulse and blood of this unknown city to her. Aside from the fact she was knackered. She had travelled halfway around the world to find acceptance and a new start, as an omen her first contact here seemed to be someone she could identify with.
She had a kind face too.
Not wanting to obsess she showered up and plopped into bed. The morning would come round all too quickly as it were.
A shrilling alarm clock seemed to rouse her the second after her head hit the pillow and she felt like another couple of hours would have made her a nicer person.
First day. Get yer arse out of yer pit.
It didn’t take long, clothes, comb hair, she’d have to get a brew at the office, she needed provisions. Once she was as ready as she could be she went back down to the kerb.
As promised Rochelle came by to pick her up. Karen had dressed to impress. Grey power suit, black shoes. She felt smart. Thinking about Rochelle last night had given her a million questions to ask but she figured there was going to be plenty of time, no sense in rushing into anything. Besides, people were just generally different here. She needed to take her time and learn the way things worked, there had already been too many ‘jumped guns’ and every time had wrought her heart.
The building that Tarkington’s was in was nothing short of monolithic. They entered the lobby with elegantly ornate marble tiles on the floor. Karen stopped to look down and almost got hit by a guy coming through the doors.
Way to go ‘tourist’.
A desk of black marble with a couple of security guys behind it was near the back of the entrance hall. She thought about altitude sickness on the way up in the elevator and Rochelle smiled at her.
“S’okay. You’ll get used to it”
“Yeah” but she couldn’t hide her nervousness.
The doors opened and the reception desk for Tarkington’s itself was situated directly across from them.
“This is where you sign in each day when you come in. Health and safety, fire regs, here…” she spun the book round to her and she took the pen. The receptionist smiled at her then held her hand out.
“Carolyn” her mouth revealed approximately three rows of pristine white teeth. Karen was dazzled.
“Karen, Hiya” there was a numeral on the receptionists hand. Karen felt an eyebrow go up and felt herself being obvious.
It’s some American fad that’s all. You’ll probably see a kajillion of them.
Carolyn meanwhile was being very obvious in a different way. Karen felt lost. Was everyone here going to be so sexually extrovert? She didn’t know if her country mouse heart could take the strain.
“Welcome to Tarkingtons” the receptionist shot her a glance of pure carnality then went back to her paperwork. Karen felt glad when the after image emblazoned on her retinas receded. Those were some teeth alright!
As they turned the corner she asked Rochelle where the rest room was.
“Through here” and she deposited her through a door at the end of the corridor.
“Fuck me!” she gasped as she leaned against the door. She ducked to see if any of the stalls were occupied. None seemed to be. In the mirror she could see her face was brick red. She took the chance to pee and washed her face off with cold water. God damn it was hot round these parts!
“Well?” Carolyn was intrigued to say the least. The British lass was skittish, but she didn’t doubt for a second that she’d get on The Chain.
“Well what Care? If she is you know the rules.” Rochelle was perched on the end of her desk, left leg swinging idly.
“Bastards” she growled. Carolyn loved working here. Big business and the best pussy she’d ever had. But sometimes red tape was a bitch.
Back in the restroom Karen was getting herself together slowly but surely. After she felt a little more businesslike she went back out. Rochelle was back outside the door and smiling at her. Karen’s eyebrow hoisted again, her Goddamn eyebrow! She might as well be wearing a sign proclaiming that all she saw so far was weirdness supreme.
“Come on, I’ll walk you round the place so you get a feel for the layout” Rochelle giggled. How odd? What was so funny? She reached down to check she’d zipped her pants as they rounded the corner.
“This is where the junior apprentices work, don’t worry about names, you’ll learn them quick enough when you get to know the bunch of bitches”
Her face must have gone red again, Rochelle thought this was highly amusing, “Oh its alright, they’re nice bitches.”
“Oh” was about all she could manage. She wondered if she could staple her eyebrow down so it didn’t keep giving her away.
“And round here you have the paperwork, files, legal books. Oh, that’s my desk there and that young lady hiding under it, yeah! I saw you whore, she’s Minnie” There was a bump and a head full of brown wavy hair come up, “Ouf! Ah, Rosh, hi”
“Don’t get up, looks like your busy” If Karen had to swear on a stack of bibles she would still say that what looked like a pair of legs was sticking out behind the chair. Unless ‘Minnie’ was double jointed at the waist, they weren’t her legs.
I will not raise my eyebrow, will not raise my eyebrow, will not, will not, WILL NOT!
Rochelle laughed at her, “Its OK, no one ever comes round this part. Come on” and as they passed Minnie and whoever was under the desk she could have further sworn to hearing a pleasured groan.
“This corridor has four offices along it, they’re the executives veeps and partners”
Her arm was being tugged by the cuff and she got the distinct idea now that Rochelle was having a jolly old time with the country mouse.
“This is the canteen, hi girls!” About a million faces all spun round to watch them pass. There was licking of lips. A penny dropped in Karen‘s mind.
I haven’t seen one man! Not one, how the fuck do they manage that?
Rochelle double timed her to the last corridor. She dropped her voice to a whisper and spoke to her in reverent tones.
“OK. This is a corridor we don’t come into much. That room at the end”, she turned and pointed, “She’s the boss, Sarah Steiger. That room to your left is conference room one, that one,”, she pointed the opposite way, “conference room two. That next to it is Charlotte Toulouse’s office, one of the partners. Come on”
They left the corridor and Karen wanted to bite Rochelle, she still had her by the cuff like a prize poodle.
“Ah-hem” Karen jingled her arm.
“Opsie, sorry honey” she dropped her cuff, “You’ve had the five cent tour. How ‘bout a coffee?”
Back in there, where that sea of faces all want to eat me up? Wickedy.
“Do you have any tea?”
“Yeah. Opposite to coffee, comes with milk” she smiled.
Rochelle stopped laughing and ducked into the cook area. She came back with something that looked like grey paint and smelled a little like aniseed. They sat down.
Karen was getting good at this. She knew when she tasted this she was going to have an eyebrow moment so she would use a question to divert Rochelle’s attention.
“How long have you been with the company” Sip. Hoist. Wince.
“Oh, like forever! About two years now. It’s the best!”
She hadn’t seen anyone that was physically unattractive in any way. She guessed they must have broke all kinds of rules to make this a girls only gig. Better to ask though.
“I haven’t seen any men”
She heard the creaking of tendons and a few chair scrapes whilst women at neighbouring tables strained to listen without giving the appearance of listening.
“We don’t employ men. Is that a problem?”
Two dozen sets of eyes were watching her lips, waiting for what they wanted to hear.
“It’s slang for ‘no’ where I come from”
An audible sigh from the masses? Felt and heard. Karen had agreed to live her life more freely, she hadn’t expected to end up knee deep in lesbians.
You don’t know that for sure yet do you?
It was a very strong feeling though all the same.
She chatted with Rochelle for a while about little things. Glancing at times to the hands of those around her as they carried trays and mugs. Many had those roman numerals on them, always in the same place too. A cult? She shivered at the thought.
She drank the shitty brew. It maybe wouldn’t be a bad idea to find out where they sold her brand of tea and bring some in with her. A good cup of tea would go a long way to siphoning out some of the strange input she’d had so far.
She heard a mobile phone chirrup. Rochelle brought her mobile to her ear, “Yes, yes. She’ll be right there” she got up.
“Ok, she’ll see you now” Rochelle was back on her cuff again hauling her along. Necks creaked and an eyebrow was hoisted in the fray, back down the executive corridor they went.
“Alright” they stopped outside Sarah Steiger’s office, Rochelle straightened Karen’s jacket and dusted off her shoulders in a grandiose manner. What was she so excited for? She tapped the door.
“Knock ‘em dead” and she winked at her. Rochelle disappeared back down the corridor and Karen cleared her throat. Shaking her cuffs she opened the double doors.
Karen swallowed a ball of spit roughly the size of a baby kitten.
“Aww, Karen. Shut the door will you?”
What she saw next stunned her.
Oh my dear Jesus! What a fucking fox!
She was in danger of making her own eyebrow lift, never before in her life had such a thought crossed her mind but this woman was stunning.
She stood up and came around her large oaken desk and extended an arm that looked strong. Karen gulped. Something else she had never been prone to do before, then put her hand into her bosses.
Whatever it is I hope she’s part of it.
Two and two were becoming four ‘faster than rabbits could hop’, as her dear old gram might have said.
Her face was ethereal. Perfect. Not a strand of golden hair out of place, her lips were in a tasteful muted shade of burgundy.
She raised her other arm and Karen took the seat that was offered.
“So you’ve seen our offices. Like what you see?” she sat back in her chair and eyed Karen curiously.
To combat her eyebrow raise she lifted both, “Yeah, very nice. Tidy”
“And the staff. Everyone been nice to you?”
What kind of a boss gives a shit if the staff are happy campers?
Ones that what to get into your knickers! Her mind called back. It wasn’t an image she needed at this time.
“Yeah. It’s been really nice” Couldn’t you think if anything else to say?
Miss Steiger leaned back in her chair and steepled her fingers under her chin.
“Notice anything odd?”
This is where you tell her you suspect you’re working at a pussy farm carefully disguised as a law firm.
In deference of her eyebrow, (it seemed to be doing its own thing for fun), she leaned forward. There was heat in her face, for the second time that morning she was getting embarrassed, but there was something else wasn’t there? The small suspicion that all the years of feeling like an outcast, of denying her true emotions, were at an end.
“They’re all girls” a smile burst forth then. Sarah Steiger, President of Tarkington’s, owner of a million dollar estate, three cars, and a wardrobe that would make Liz Taylor jealous, laughed.
Karen was laughing too then. All the whispering in the corridor had seemed daft now. The boss was nothing like the ball breaker that she been expecting. But then again, balls were in short supply round here.
“Ok sweetie. Just a few ground rules and you can stay. Firstly, did you bring your passport so I can get the work permit sorted out?” She took a cigar out of a wooden case and lit it, then offered the box to Karen, they looked soooo good, “I’ll pass thanks, I gave up smoking last year” She took her passport out of her jacket pocket and handed it over. Whatever this place was she would be stuck here, a momentary shiver ran down her spine.
“Good job, these’ll kill ya...Anyway” the boss puffed huge clouds of fragrant smoke above her head. Karen deeply suspected she was going to come in her pants. Never before had she seen such a beauty, rugged, well groomed. And just so damned masculine. It was unnerving.
“We have a system round here, there are rules.” She put her feet up on the desk, leaving her smart short stilettos on the floor.
Karen took her jacket off. Sarah smiled vulpinely.
“The first rule is of course that there is 'The Chain'. The Chain must be followed. You will find the list in a non-downloadable file on your PC at your desk. Along with a copy of the rules. We work hard here. Harder than any swinging dicks let me tell you, we ooze charm and sex, we get contracts, we make millions!” perfect smoke rings flew over Karen’s head.
“We ask for loyalty. No talking out of school. I pay a pretty penny to keep this a closed shop. The Chain leads out of here and there are a few ladies of leisure who enjoy what we do so they turn a blind eye. If you reach a point where you wish to stop you can claim your tattoo. I don’t care for them but some of the girls feel its very tribal, sexy even. They’re semi-permanent, everything round here moves so fast! If you want in…?”
??? Answer her, tell her something, anything, NOW!
“I want in” she murmured.
Sarah took her feet down and leaned across her desk, the cigar bobbing and weaving and she waved her arms, a ’desk-dance’ in a way.
Karen smiled. Her eyebrow reaching quizzical new heights.
“I knew it! There is no way to break The Chain. You start at the bottom. We have nothing but clean girls too, regular check-ups and STI checks.” she laughed uproariously at this but it was lost on Karen. She felt like someone was twirling a stick round in her guts. She had technically never slept with a woman before. She felt her time in The Chain would be very fucking short!
“If you please your lady you can progress. Oh what thrills there’ll be! The Chain leads out of here, remember that and you’ll do well, there are some very, very important and sexy people at the top. You can chose to shoot for the moon if you wish. You can always of course meet someone on The Chain you fall in love with and decide to stay with them.”
It was warm. Smoky. Was the ceiling coming down?
Oh dear. Are we actually asleep?
Just as the little dancing dots were taking her under she felt something in her hand, “Drink this”. A glass, smelled like alcohol. Down in one it went.
Her eyes remained closed for a few seconds. The dots were going away.
“Hey. I know it’s a lot to take in”
Karen looked down at her knees.
Sarah put a hand under her chin.
“You’re not the first to get a bit wiggy about the whole thing. Gay virgin?”
She said yes without meeting her eyes.
“That doesn’t mean you’re going to be bad at it. That’s why The Chain is a pretty good system. Everyone starting on The Chain is about the same level in terms of expertise and knowledge. You learn as you go. When you want to stop, you stop. Learn about yourself. Love your friends.” Sarah leaned forward and kissed her squarely on the mouth.
“Think about it. And I’ll see you further along The Chain huh? Your PC will remind you when to visit the company doctor. Can't be too careful ya know”
There was white noise in her head, the kiss has been so soft, yet, powerful!
“Shut the door on your way out, Rochelle will give you the rest of the details”
She was back in her chair, a pair of spectacles perched on her nose. Karen picked up her jacket and her heart which was floating around the light fitting and just as she was pulling the door closed Sarah called to her, “You’re going to do well here. Remember work hard, love your friends”
And that was it.
Beginning to end that was the whole thing.
Karen slipped her jacket on. Mental overload had been achieved. As if on cue Rochelle came trotting up the corridor, a grin splitting her face.
She was back on the cuff, when they were at the end of the corridor Rochelle hugged her, kissed her cheek and congratulated her on a good meeting.
What did she do? Ring the second I closed the door?
In the canteen a huge banner had been erected, “Welcome to Tarkingtons!” Women were clapping and wolf whistling.
Fuck me raw. They’re all insane!
But there won’t ever be a better time to explore yourself, remember what Sarah said.
Never mind what she’d said. Karen wanted her. Badly. It might only have been the open gesture of affection. It might have been the sight of her smoking a cigar. She would go to sleep tonight thinking of that cigar, and the way she had her lips round it.
Shiver me timbers!
“Celebration time” Minnie announced, and just when the day couldn’t get any stranger, everyone packed up and Karen was escorted down to a bar at the lobby level of the building. It was called ’Office Relations’. Aptly named so she thought.
Rochelle asked her what she would like to drink, Rochelle turned out to be quite the comedienne and asked her if she’d like tea, Karen said tea wasn’t going to cut it, she’d have a beer.
She was shredding snippets of paper from her beer bottle, penned in by Carolyn on one side, Minnie on the other and across from her a lass she guessed had been under the desk before based on the fact that the footwear was the same. She was a very pretty girl, she was called Skylar.
“Its sooo exciting! We’ve never had a Brit work here before” Minnie squealed, Skylar looked a little downtrodden by this. Karen could have told her not to worry. Minnie wasn’t her type. But on The Chain, what did that count for? Not only would she be sleeping with women, but some of them wouldn’t be to her taste.
Ah-ha! So you HAVE decided to go through with it.
Yes. Yes she had. It was a gift. The freedom to expand her horizons, meet new people, touch willing flesh.
“Goose stepped on your grave?” Rochelle huffed out cigarette smoke.
“Sommat like that yeah” she smiled.
“Some-at?” Minnie said.
“Yeah, sommat” Karen smiled back, it was funny to think here she was considered the strange one. They were the ones working at the ‘All Lesbian Law firm’.
“What does it mean?” Skylar asked timidly.
“Well, it’s slang, we say it instead of ‘something’. It comes from the expression ‘something like that’, squeeze them together and get ‘sommat‘”
“That’s freaky” Rochelle said then darted back to the bar.
“There’s plenty more where that came from” her beer bottle sat in a shroud of shredded paper, she hadn’t had to buy one drink, they just keep appearing in front of her.
There was a real danger here of getting wasted. Rochelle was gassing into her mobile at the bar, she turned to Karen and nodded and then went back to the mobile and looking at the barman.
Minnie shuffled round a little closer. Karen felt her leg right up against her now. If it wasn’t for the beer this might have alarmed her but she let whatever was happening happen. This was all new. But it was also interesting. Looking for some support from the receptionist she turned to find she’d gone too.
Just as she thought Skylar was going to throw a fit because Minnie was being obvious she looked down, nodded and promptly left.
Rochelle brought the beers over. She hadn’t brought one for herself.
“Well girls. Happy trails”
“Erm,” she jumped up and knocked one of the bottles over, Minnie grabbed it and righted it, “You off?”
“Yeah” she grinned. “Got plans for tonight. And it looks like you do to.” she pulled her closer so her lips were tickling her ear.
“Minnie there never goes higher than number one, she’s a sweet enough girl though. I’ll pick you up in the morning” she looked over her shoulder at Minnie.
“I’ll see you in the morning” more a statement then a question.
She felt a little ill.
Minnie took her hand under the table.
“It’s alright you know. They told me you needed help. I’m going to help you. Come on” and as God was her witness she was being led by the cuff yet again, this time to the kerb outside the building where Minnie hailed them a cab, a beer stuck up her jacket sleeve.
The beer had made her head swimmy. This girl. This Minnie. The first step on a slippery slope. What happened to love? Values? Morals?
I tell you when all that went…every time you got a funny look. Every time you fancied a girl and never told her. Every damn night you lay alone wondering if there was a person out there who could fill that fuckin’ hole you feel. You’ve never done this before, let this girl show you. You want to be a trainee forever?
The sight of Sarah Steiger’s door plaque rose in her mind.
No!! I’m going to do this!
Fuckin’ good job too, if I’m not mistaken that’s her hand on your breast!
How could she not have noticed that happy crappy! Fuck-in-hell! Minnie was grinning like a loon and making circular motions on her pert nipple with her thumb.
Whatever she may look like to you that’s arousal you’re feeling.
Are you sure it isn’t just jet-lag?
And against her better judgement she groaned. Minnie felt this through her bra and pressed harder. Karen wondered just how in the blue fuck she had managed to end the day this way, in the back of a city cab having her tit abused by an office lackey.
Then she stopped thinking.
They pulled up outside the apartment complex and Karen led Minnie to her room. Minnie kept pawing at her all the way up in the lift. It was better not to think too hard, thinking had always, always, got in the way of her happiness before. She had never just had sex just for the simple pleasure of it.
There’s a first time for everything.
Just shut up.
No sooner had she shut the door and the girl was upon her, pinning her quite brutally. She was wicked alright. Where there was no thought, feelings had arrived to take their place instead, sensations, touches. It didn’t matter that she had previously thought Minnie not to be her type. She was here and the moment was now.
There was ferocious kissing and when she did let Karen up for air she started stripping her suit off.
Minnie smiled the whole time. Relentlessly. Had she chosen to think about what was going on she might have thought she looked a bit silly.
The Chain. That’s all that matters.
She started to pull Minnie’s shirt out of her smart black pants and put both hands underneath to touch her breasts, Minnie laughed around the kiss they were still engaged in. They stumble walked through to the bedroom. Anything that was in the way got knocked over and bumped into. Karen was living every porn fantasy she’d ever had and she wasn’t far off her climax, never before had she had such contact.
Minnie reached over and flicked the lamp on. Karen watched her undo her shirt, smiling coyly at her all the while. Karen pulled her shirt off over her head, buttons still done up, she kicked her shoes across the room and shucked her pants down. It took about 15 seconds.
They looked at each other. The plateau they portrayed could have been of feeding animals. Karen prepared herself for what was about to come. Minnie chewed her bottom lip in a cutesey-poo manner Karen ignored. She knocked Minnie backwards and pinned her down. Minnie was going to get the full force of her frustration. Lucky for her! Karen would get on The Chain. Each of them had their own agendas.
Karen put her hand inside Minnie’s underwear and Minnie became a different person. She wasn’t in charge anymore. Feeling her way carefully she stopped when she had two fingers against where she felt Minnie’s clitoris to be. She started to make slow pressing gestures and Minnie squirmed beneath her, breath hitching, breasts heaving.
“OH GOD!” she was biting Karen’s neck, Karen didn’t feel a thing, she was kissing Minnie’s face, neck, ears. It helped to think of this as a means to an end. Curiously though, the more excited Minnie got, the more excited she found herself getting.
“Uh, UH, UH, UUUHHHHHHHHHH!” the girl arched beneath her, she persisted though and kept the pressure on, she ended up wishing she’d moved her head though. Minnie’s screech nearly burst her eardrum.
All you had to do was fly half way round the world and get pissed to get laid. If I’d have known sooner!
She didn’t know what came next. Minnie was puffing away next to her ear.
‘That’s the sound of the men, working on the chain gang…’ whistled through her mind.
Minnie put her arms around the back of Karen and unsnapped her bar, Karen took her hands out of Minnie’s pants and braced herself, she had no idea how she was going to react to this at all. Doing it to someone had turned out easy enough, she had always relied on herself for such simple pleasures and knew what it took to get her rocks off. How different could it be to do it to someone else she mused?
OH shit, oh shit, ohshit, ohshit,shitshitshitSHITSHITSHIT!
Then the litany was gone. Swept away by brutal passion. Minnie was kissing her and doing things to her she had never imagined possible. She was gentle, she knew it was the first ever time for Karen. She would make it as nice as she could. That’s all she would ever do for her friends. Love your friends. That was the credo. She was sworn to live or die by it.
Karen couldn’t keep her arms straight, there was too much going on, sensory input jamming up all the gears. Minnie pushed her over and slipped her panties all the way off. There was a sensation of breeze then Minnie was on her again. Warming her. Giving her something she had never had before. A warm and well meaning touch. Pleasure.
Minnie studied Karen’s face carefully whilst she manipulated and teased. This could make or break The Chain for her. Anchor woman was a serious business. Breaking in the newbies was divine! And it had to be said that Karen’s touch hadn’t been all that bad for a first timer, not bad at all.
There were whimpering noises, exhausted and over taxed nerves were jangling that something new was on its way. Karen had never considered herself excitable but as the mewling noises escaped her she realised that there really was no finer thing on earth. It couldn’t be helped. Couldn’t be stopped. Then everything went white. As she came Minnie took a breast in her mouth and began teasing the nipple. Karen’s body became a thrumming wire, Minnie’s hand still pressed against her vulnerable lips and not letting up.
Her breath was laboured. Blood pounded through all her awakened nerves. Her wildest imaginings had never come close.
Ohhh, what if it had been Sarah?
Another moan escaped her. She wasn’t sure what Minnie was doing but it felt very much like she was going to climax again.
Oh my fuckin God sommats happening. Its not poss…
She was rendered insensible. The second wave hit. Karen went with it, powerless to stop, her nerves not fully recovered from the last orgasm were awake again and screaming!
It was Minnie’s turn to wince.
Things went quiet then. She felt Minnie leave the bed and plod into the bathroom. There was that feeling of breeze again and it was alright this time. She needed something to cool her down. Then footsteps coming back towards her. A hand on her wrist.
“Come on. Lets get you all cleaned up” for the last time that day she was being led. She was put under the shower, Minnie hopped in and starting soaping her off.
“What?” she asked of Minnie’s smile.
“Pretty neat huh? And when you’re on the Chain we can do that whenever we like!”
Minnie soaped her shoulders, arms, breasts, neck. Karen let her. At any moment now she’d wake up with her hands down her pants. Surely.
“Silly!” Minnie bopped the end of her nose with her sponge as if she’d heard the thought.
She leaned forward and kissed her through the bubbles. Karen let her do that too, it seemed to be the day for being submissive. Although the beer very likely had something to do with it.
“Does that mean I’m in?”
“Should do. I have to submit my report tomorrow but it should just be a formality”
“You were very good for a beginner” she intoned confidentially.
“Glad to hear it” Karen muttered.
“How many in this Chain then?” she tried to sound casual and not drunk in the slightest.
Minnie smiled, “YOU mean how many until you get to Sarah?”
“Check your PC when you get to work tomorrow and you’ll get the stats, it was at about 46 this morning but it can go up or down like stocks depending on whose doing what with whom”
Like ‘stocks‘? More like ‘people’ if what I saw this morning was anything to go by.
And without pretence or forethought Karen took Minnie’s head in her hands and kissed her deeply.
Minnie smiled then, it was maybe the first genuinely warm smile Karen had seen her wear all day.
“You’re welcome Hun. Now lets gets dried off. I’ve got to get across town”
“You can stay here. I’m sure Rochelle won’t mind taking us both in tomorrow. I have sommat you can wear”
And that decided it. They slept like spoons. For the first time ever Karen had shared her bed. And whilst it wasn’t with her ideal woman, there was no denying the feeling of contentment she had inside.
The next morning there was a little beer fuzziness on both their parts. Karen waited to feel guilt, shame, embarrassment. She smiled to herself when her eyebrow confirmed this wasn’t going to be the case by remaining in stationary orbit above her eye.
Minnie hogged the bathroom and Karen dug into some boxes to find her a shirt to wear. She was ironing it when Minnie came back out the bathroom and Karen suspected Minnie was having lascivious thoughts again.
Think of the Chain.
“Rochelle won’t be here for ages yet” she purred.
‘…all day long going, huh, ha…’
It was another first. She started the day by making love to Minnie again, the shirt forgotten on the ironing board.
Minnie maybe knew she wouldn’t get another bite of this cherry so she let loose. It was a wonder, but her beer headache receded entirely.
After the mornings interlude of passion they were outside at the kerb waiting for Rochelle to come by. Karen made a mental note about getting a car. She would need one. She had also never slept in one either. So many things felt achievable here.
Get some distance on the past 24 hours events first. Don’t you want to digest what’s going on. It’s all happening so fast!
“Hey guys!” Rochelle cut across two lanes and hauled her car onto the kerb.
Minnie was grinning like the top of her head was fit to fall off. Karen knew that this was the signal, ‘yes Rochelle, we did it baby!’ But she wasn’t in the least bit bothered by it. They’d both had a good time. An awesome time in fact. And there hadn’t been any ill feeling this morning about what she’d done.
Karen got in the front. Minnie sat in the back and started rooting through Rochelle’s bag for make-up.
“You guys OK” she looked at Karen.
Karen smiled back, “Yeah, pretty damn good”
Minnie was making plasticey clattering noises with the various junk in Rochelle’s bag.
“So where do you come into it?” Karen asked Rochelle.
“Me? I don’t, not anymore. Shouldn‘t be long before you meet Sky though, she’s a lovely girl”
But Rochelle is a pretty girl, why wouldn’t she?
Minnie looked up at the mention of Sky’s name and for a second looked annoyed.
And just like that they were talking about the ‘Chain’ at the office.
“What d’ya say Minnie, she do good?”
Minnie looked back at her in the rear view mirror and the left side of her lips curled up.
Karen felt a blush creeping up her neck, but it was a compliment when all was said and done. She was on her way.
Rochelle took back over when they got to the office. Minnie’s mobile went off and she was deep in heated conversation. Karen guessed she was in shit for last night.
C’est la vie.
It was all about choices. For now Karen chose to be involved. If Minnie was getting shit because her choice wasn’t her partners choice then it was no concern of hers.
Rochelle showed her to her desk set-up, just round the corner from Minnie and her little den of inequity.
Just marvellous. How much are you betting she’ll be round here for coffee every chance she gets.
How arrogant was that? If she’d have been alone she’d have given herself a double slap. She had laid one woman, no sense in thinking she was the office ‘Don Juan’.
Rochelle showed her where the files and books were, gave her a street map with red line links to all the offices they went between. Being a PA to three lawyers wasn’t going to be easy. But the pay was good and look at all the snatch in the office.
This earned a self-reproachable eyebrow lift.
Rochelle was showing her the online internal folder for ‘Chain’ information and statistics.
“You can’t download or print this documentation. If you try it sends an alert to the Chain bosses. Look” there were various links in the ‘Chain’ folder. You had your ‘Chain standings’, ‘Time in the Chain’, ‘Highest position in the Chain reached’.
Lots of odd bits of information.
“What do they need all this for?”
“It’s not a picnic you know, being able to do what you want and still have people take you seriously in big business. It means the Chain is well guarded, see that?” The top ten positions of the Chain standings file were blanked out.
“Only if you get to the top will you know who those people are. But take my advice. If you meet someone you like, stick with them! The Chain is fun. But like I said, when its official, use it to find someone you love. That way you’ll get your cool tattoo”
“That’s what that is then?” she turned Rochelle’s hand over.
“Yeah, once you decide to stay at the position you’ve reached you get the numeral put on your hand.”
“Alright. I’m going to let you get settled now. Change your desk around whatever way you like, that little intercom there is how the bosses buzz you, sometimes it’ll be coffee, sometimes they’ll want something picking up from across town. Other times they might want a ‘personal chat’ with you. All part of being on the Chain. Live it and love it.”
She started to walk away, “Look, if you get stuck, buzz me, there’s a list there, I’ll help where I can until you find your feet”
She was absurdly touched by this.
“Thanks for that”
And then she was alone. Her desk, her PC and her intercom. Lost amidst a sea of debauchery and high stakes legal cases. It was millennia away from where she thought she would ever be. But here she be all the same.
The desk needed some adjustment for her right pawed nature. The desk itself had a sheen of dust across it
Looks like the last owners been gone awhile.
A shiver ran through her. An odd thought to have.
There was some polish and cloths on the drawer, she made it as neat as she could. Once it was tidy she went to the coffee machine in the corner and poured herself a cup.
Coffee was going to make her crazy. She had to meant ask Rochelle about where to get some of her favourite branded t-bags but it had slipped her mind.
Guess being up half the night shaggin’ll do that to ya.
“Guess it will” she said to herself.
“Will what?” a voice from behind her.
She jumped and almost got hot coffee on her shoes.
“Sorry babe” It was the receptionist. Carolyn?
“My coffee machines gone on the fritz, is it ok if I use this one?”
Her eyes were wide and wolfy, Karen worried for the 37th time about the shape of things to come. She too had a tattoo and that meant only one thing.
Gotta check the standings.
“Yeah, help yourself”
She leaned forward and took the pot.
“How’s your first official day going?”
Small talk. Patented and delivered on spec.
“Good. Just doing some tidying up. Very dusty at that desk” Why don’t you ask her why it looks like no one has been sat there for months?
“Well, you look like the type of person who’s rough and ready for anything, you’ll soon have it how you like I’m sure.” A shark. That’s what she was reminded of.
“What’s she doing?” Minnie and Rochelle were peeping round the wall from the canteen into the area that Karen now inhabited. They’d seen Care come this way and thought perhaps they’d make sure she wasn’t up to mischief. That’d be just like her to spoil the whole thing for everyone else.
“She’s just talking, smiling like a fucking vampire. Bloodless bitch”
“Have you done your report yet?”
“Sure did. Sign, sealed, delivered. She’s a shoe in. Nice too”
Karen heard something and looked round. She could see a shadow on the floor at the corner of the wall and knew they were being observed.
“Well. You’re going to have to get used to that too I’m afraid.”
Click, click, click the sound of stilettos creeping away.
“Its ok, I guess its nice for people to be interested”
“Oh they are dear. They are indeed.” she sipped her coffee and her smile grew to insane proportions.
And then she left.
It had been a massively exhausting 24 hours. To go from a small British town to LA and an office full of love hungry lesbians. It might have sent others home packing.
But Karen had invested something last night.
And she was going to stay the course.
Copyright Miss Jackie Coupe 2007
Support your fellow human, love without limits!