|Famous Last Words
Author: Stardawn19 PM
Uber Tale and sequel to "The Price." Taylor and Allie stumble upon perhaps the world's greatest discovery only to find that they discover something more precious about each other. Current Day, Amazons, and secret spies... yes folks it has it all!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Xena & Gabrielle - Chapters: 9 - Words: 14,533 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 06-02-11 - Published: 11-24-10 - id: 6502609
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer & Note: See Chapter 1
Famous Last Words
It was later that night before Allie and Taylor got the opportunity to talk alone. The rest of the afternoon had been busy sorting through supplies and reorganizing the camp. All non-Amazon personal except for Taylor and Alex had been cleared out and now the camp was strangely quiet. Kasey and Alex had retired to one of the RV's and the half-dozen Amazons were either sleeping or on watch duty, here at the camp or at the cave.
Allie had found Taylor sitting deep in thought, starting into the campfire. She sat next to her and put her hand on Taylor's thigh.
Taylor bit her lip for a moment, before responding, "Please don't." She took Allie's hand off her thigh and scooted over so they weren't so close.
Confused, Allie wrinkled her brow. "Don't what? Come on, Tay. We haven't had a moment alone all day."
"I know. I just can't right now." Taylor looked from the fire and toward Allie. "I need some time. Today… today was too much."
Allie nodded. "Ok, I understand. It's a lot to take in."
Taylor returned the nod as her eyes also returned to the fire. They were quite for several minutes before Taylor commented, "This is a pretty big deal, isn't it?"
Allie pulled her eyes from the campfire and nodded to her friend. "It's huge. If it pans out, the Queen herself is planning on coming out in a couple of days."
"I feel so out of place here. Maybe I should have left with Kyle and Marc."
"I'm glad you stayed. If this turns out to be what I think it is, we'll make history. I'm happy that you'll be able to share it with me."
Taylor picked up a twig and tossed it into the fire. "This is the most natural thing in the world to you isn't it?"
Allie shrugged. "It's not bad. I'm enjoying the company. I don't really care too much for the smoke, or the bugs," she answered, swatting a mosquito which had landed on her thigh.
Taylor smiled. "I'm enjoying the company too, but I meant all this Amazon business. It's strange, at least to me."
"I don't know. I grew up with it. It was just sort of expected of me."
"I know what that's like. I never had an option, always knew that I'd go into the family business. I wanted to be a doctor. Actually got through a year of med school before Dad found out and made me quit. You know I don't even like coffee?"
"You're kidding? Hastings's Hot Shots is like the biggest coffee chain in America." Allie laughed.
Taylor shook her head. "The world actually, but much to my father's disappointment, I was never into it. I thought about selling it, but Kyle wants to take over someday."
"Somehow, I just can't imagine Kyle being in charge of a big company like that."
"He's not ready yet. Hell, I'm not ready yet, but I wasn't given a choice. Kyle has some growing up to do first, but in the meantime I don't mind so much. It keeps me pretty busy."
"Isn't it a bit much for one person? You said you haven't taken a vacation in a long time, it is really that hard to get away?"
"No. It's me. It's just easier to keep busy. I spend most of my time with the Hastings Industries. Hot Shots is all franchises, they pretty much runs themselves. I just show up to the monthly board meetings, look mean and occasionally kick some ass."
"You sound like you enjoy it."
"Sometimes I do," Taylor responded with a smirk.
"You would make a good Amazon."
Taylor shook her head. "You don't know the first thing about me." She got quiet for a minute, and then breaking the silence she said, "I'm tired. I think I'm gonna go turn in. Night, Allie."
Allie frowned at the sudden dark turn in her friend attitude, but nodded and replied, "Good night." Watching Taylor walk away, whispered, "You'd be surprised what I know about you, Taylor Hastings."
The next morning came quickly. At first light Kasey, Allie, and the other Amazons had left for the cave, leaving Alex and Taylor on their own back at camp. Taylor had taken the opportunity to take a quick shower in one of the RVs. Even though she had done so yesterday, she still felt like she had a few more layers of dirt to scrub off. After getting dressed, she rebadged her hand, and went in search of Alex.
Taylor found the older woman beside the now smoldering campfire softly strumming a guitar.
"Hi," Taylor greeted her, as Alex looked up and acknowledged her with a nod. "New song?"
Alex shrugged, "Maybe. I'm not sure I like it yet. Kasey gave me some new lyrics a couple of weeks ago that I've been playing with."
"That's cool. You and Kasey, you get along pretty well, don't you?"
"I couldn't get along without her. She completes me."
Taylor couldn't help but smile at the way that Alex lit up when talking about Kasey. "It must be nice to have someone like that."
"Yes, it is. What about you, isn't there someone special in your life?"
Taylor snorted, and laughed, "I don't date, or at least I didn't. I don't know… maybe that is going to change."
"You sound like a woman with a lot on your mind. This has something to do with Allie?"
Taylor frowned. "It's complicated. I thought something was happening, but now I'm not so sure. Was it real, or was it just the cave?"
"Oh," Alex replied as she studied the younger women sitting on the log next to her. She seemed more withdrawn and quieter then she was yesterday. "Did you want to talk about it?"
Taylor sighed. "I'm not sure. These last couples of days have been very confusing for me. I've found out so much, my world has changed. I guess I'm just having problems coming to terms with it all."
"I can understand that. I had a similar experience a few months back."
"Oh, can you talk about it? Or is it more secret stuff?"
Alex thought about it for a moment before answering. "I don't think there is anything that you don't already know, you've been privy to a lot of information. Up until a few months ago I didn't know that Kasey was a member of PLUTO. Sometimes the price you pay is different then what you expect. Our life isn't easy, with all the secrets."
Taylor looked surprised. "How could you not know?"
Alex snorted. "I can't tell you how many times I've asked myself that," she explained shaking her head. "The kind of work she does and what I do is different, and with my career, I'm gone a lot. It really didn't make it that hard for her to hide it. About 6 months ago, she was kidnapped. I thought it was because of me, but it wasn't. That's when I found out."
"Wow, how scary is that!"
Alex frowned, "Very." She got quiet for a moment, before shaking off the unpleasant memory. "You know, I wouldn't be surprised if you're promoted after this."
"Not sure I want to be."
"Don't discount yourself too soon. I think you have a lot of potential, Taylor."
The comment shouldn't have meant anything to her, but it did. After all Alex was almost a complete stranger. Other than the fact that she sang, was a senior member of PLUTO and had a female lover, Taylor knew next to nothing about the woman sitting next to her. Taylor smiled, "I guess I'll just have to see what happens."
Alex nodded, and strummed the guitar a few more times. She paused and scribbled down a note.
"Hmmm?" Alex responded, bringing her eyes up from the paper.
"Would you mind if I asked you something personal?"
"You can ask, I can't guarantee I'll answer."
"I guess that's fair. You and Kasey, how did you know that you were meant to be together?"
"Well, hmmm… It just happened. I felt a connection with her right away."
"Kinda like love at first sight?"
"Something like that," Alex agreed. "Why?"
"Just watching you two, I wonder if I'm even going to find my tree in the forest."
"Tree in the forest?"
Taylor smiled, gesturing to the woods surrounding them. "Bad metaphor."
Alex shook her head. "It's not such a bad metaphor. Kasey is my tree. She's strong as an oak yet can be as gentle the leaves swaying in a breeze. She's my shelter, and my shade. Her roots anchor me to the earth and her sweet fruit sustains and fulfills my soul."
"Wow. That was beautiful."
"I'll tell Kasey you like it."
Alex scooped up the notebook that she had been scribbling in and showed it to Taylor. "I paraphrased it a bit, but that's pretty much the chorus."
"How does she do this? It's wonderful," Taylor commented, reading over the words. "With inspiration like this, no wonder why you keep topping the charts."
"I can't argue with you there," Alex agreed with a grin. "You know, that's not a bad idea for a title."
"What was, bad metaphor?"
Alex laughed. "No, Tree in the Forrest. Would you mind if I used it?"
"Would I get royalties?"
"Um, I suppose we could work something out," Alex responded.
"I want 5%..."
"For a title? You out of your mind?" Alex interrupted.
"You didn't let me finish," Taylor held up both of her hands defensibly, "I want 5% added to the 10% that Quest Star Records makes in profit to be donated to the Sergeant Lucas Drake Memorial Fund."
"You what...?" Alex was speechless.
Taylor smiled sympathetically. "I've looked into it. It's a fantastic idea, donating to help military families who have members who have been killed or injured in the line of duty. I've actually been thinking about doing something, on a corporate level for a while now."
"You have no idea how much that means to me. It will go a long way, help a lot of people."
Taylor nodded. "I can't even imagine how you feel, to lose a brother. Kyle is the only family I have…. I'm… I'm really sorry."
Alex nodded. "Thank you."
Both women sat in silence for several minutes. Alex absently strummed the guitar again, and then breaking the silence she said, "Well if you want that 5%, you are gonna have to earn it. Tell me what you think of this so far…"