Chapter 4

Chapter 4

As Tasha sat in her apartment looking at Alice's chart, the phone rang. "Hey it's Tina. Listen, Helena is going to fund the project so that we don't have to be constrained by a television network budget. Now I just have to get a scribe and start putting it all together."

"Okay, that sounds great. Did you return Bette's call?" Tasha asked, as she looked the chart over again.

"She didn't answer so I don't know what gives. I love her but am so tired of this roller coaster." Tina added in a frustrated tone. "I really believe that she thinks you and I have done more then become good friends."

"I do consider you a good friend Tina and I'm there for you same as you were me today." Tasha said and opened another beer.

"Papi tells me that you are the best person ever to have in my corner," Tina said and they both laughed.

"I won't fuck you over for sure." Tasha added and looked at the chart again. "I gotta say though, and I feel that I can be honest with you without causing trouble, if we had met under different circumstances I'd take you out. Bette is being foolish cause you are a great person."

Tina smiled and knew that Tasha was being fully honest. "Well since we're being honest here, I am so glad that you have a code of morals that you adhere to. Because that laugh and smile would melt any will power I had right away." Tina said and Tasha laughed. "Honestly Tasha, it feels good to have someone in my corner. They all, but Alice, who likes us both, flock to Bette for some reason."

"Well I'm there for ya uptown. You've been good to me," Tasha said and finished her beer.

"Are you going to the club?" Tina asked in a casual tone of voice.

"Na, figured that I'd hang here or go find my friends. Not so much drama with them, no offense meant." Tasha added and opened another beer. The truth was, she'd been drinking more since her split with Alice and knew that she needed to stop.

"None taken," Tina said and smiled. "I might be giving you a call for directions if Bette doesn't return my call or I get bored." She added and they hung up.

As Tasha glanced at the chart once more and did not see Clea's name, a knock at the door interrupted her. She opened it to find Bette standing there, "Alice give you directions?"

"Yes," Bette said with a serious look on her face. "I want to know what is going on with you and Tina?"

"I guess she wanted to hang with someone while she waited on you. She's working on putting together a documentary and has been a good friend is all. Look, I'm not into drama and sure as hell ain't getting' in the middle of a relationship." Tasha said and opened another beer.

"Well I just wanted to make certain that we're clear on a few things." Bette started to speak but Tasha cut her off.

"I got nothin' to be clear on with you. Tina is the one you need to talk with man. She loves you but why you runnin' off to see that chick that made you look like shit? Don't answer me that question but answer it to Tina." Tasha said and turned away from Bette to dismiss her. The look on Bette's face showed that she knew Tasha was right and that she'd finally met her match. Bette was used to being in control of everything right down to the flow of conversation but not this time.

"It was business," she said quietly and left the apartment.

Tasha stood and looked out the window for what seemed an eternity and then got on her bike. As she drove aimlessly, she wished that she could get Alice out of her head. She wished that she could get the frequent scenes from Iraq out of her dreams and most of all, wished that someone could accept her for who she was, besides a woman who loved someone else.

- - - - - - -

"Clea, I can't get into that." Alice said as the two women stood outside a club. "I just want to chill and have a good time. Serious isn't for me."

"You were all for getting serious with that black bitch. You and I were fine till you saw her again so what gives?" Clea asked angrily.

"Nothing gives. Maybe I wanted to work it out with her rather than be the coward that I am." Alice said and the woman raised her hand.

"Hey!" A voice came out of nowhere and Clea found herself on the ground with Alice looking into Tasha's face. "What the fuck is this?"

"None of your business," Clea spat and got back up with rage on her face.

"Clea don't she'll…" it was too late, the macho side came out in Clea but she quickly found herself back on the ground.

"Alice, get on the bike." Tasha said in a soft yet authoritative voice.

"She isn't taking orders from you anymore!" Clea shouted and started to get back up.

"Keep your ass down on that ground if you know what's good for it!" Tasha shouted. "Get on the bike Alice." She said again and Alice acquiesced.

Before Clea could make another move, Tasha jumped on the bike and sped off. "What's up with that shit Alice?" She asked as she pulled into her apartment.

"Tasha I…" Alice looked at the ground as Tasha unlocked the door. "I don't know what happened with us and I was trying to explain this to Clea. She wigged out on me and tried to hit me."

"I know what happened Alice," Tasha said and put her keys down. "You tried hard to get me to communicate but you ran rather than communicate." She handed Alice a beer. "It's the strongest thing I have and figured you could use one."

"Tasha, I wanted to defend you at the club but Tina beat me to it plus…" Alice looked back down at the floor.

"Plus you're scared of her?" Tasha asked and shut the ringing phone off.

"Plus I'm a coward Tasha. We have so many differences and then I wanted to be with you all the time, wanted to pick your job, wanted to pick the place to live and it all scared me. I was afraid I was becoming that neurotic person that Dana ran from and so I ran first." The tears spilled down Alice's face as she finally let out her feelings.

"You were doing everything I wanted to keep me happy, I mean I was a real bitch by not wanting to get to know your friends and getting you to do the things I wanted to do. I didn't bent to you at all Tasha and it wasn't fair." Alice continued speaking, as Tasha pulled her close and wiped the tears from her face. "No matter how stupid I got, you didn't run like the others did and then I realized something. There was no longer anything stopping us from making a real go of it. You cleared that up too and not even Dana, God rest her beautiful soul, did that. Lara was always in the picture somewhere."

"You gave yourself fully to me and nobody truly has done that. So I was afraid to give myself fully because the last time I tried it, I gave too much and scared Dana away." Alice finished speaking, as Tasha moved her into her lap.

"Alice, look at me. I'm not Dana and I do know that you loved her very deeply. I'm sorry that she couldn't handle clingie Alice and obviously insecure Alice. But you have to be glad that she let you in to help her in the end, she knew who she could count on when the chips were down, no matter what." Tasha kissed the relaxing woman on the forehead before she continued. "I saw what this military thing was doing to you and I knew that I had to make a choice. I had to decide to let you teach me how to be out and proud or let you go because you didn't deserve to live like that. I chose you Alice because you made me not want to live like that either. You made me want to be proud of the love that I felt for a beautiful woman, whose beauty runs on the inside and out."

"I know that we have a lot of differences but isn't that what attracted us in the first place?" Tasha asked, as Alice looked into her eyes. "It's the differences that give us things to debate and the things that we have in common give us something to build on."

"Tasha, I couldn't see the common things anymore because I let the differences smother me." Alice said honestly and frowned.

"Well, we both like taking nice walks on the beach, riding my bike, cuddling and playful bantering. We both are passionate about the things that we believe in and I don't mind the clingie side of you at all. We both like playing with ice and," Tasha placed a gentle kiss on Alice's face, which had stretched into a smile at the mention of ice. "I think we both really like that."

"The biggest thing that I forgot is that no matter what, we both are in love," Alice said quietly and returned the kiss.

"Yeah and I don't even mind that annoying side of you who doesn't know how to stop talking when I'm trying to get you otherwise occupied." Tasha said and the kissing became mutual and aggressive.

"Thank you for not fully leaving me Tasha. You don't know how much that meant to me." Alice said softly, as Tasha began to massage her tense shoulders. "Thank you for being just as stubborn as I am on the things that are really important like where we live and…" Alice looked up into Tasha's smiling eyes. "I'm doing it again aren't I."

"It's music to my ears," Tasha said in a low voice and began kissing a trail around Alice's neck, before stopping. "

Alice looked at her questioningly, as Tasha pulled away. "Look, you gotta know that I wanna be with you more then anything Alice. I gotta know that you want to be in this and not just hurtin' over what that ass did to you tonight. I can't open myself up fully until I know that. You up with that?"

"You know what scared me most Tasha?" Alice said and allowed the tears to flow down her face once again. "If you came into my life before Dana died, I would have helped her. I would not have got myself caught up in this triangle because I would have loved you. You take away everything that can come between us and she never did. I never thought that I could love someone like I did Dana but I'm thinking that I found someone that I am in love with more, even though I love her deeply. Do you understand that?"

"You don't know how to deal with stability?" Tasha asked and wiped the tears from Alice's face.

"I know that Dana loved me but she loved someone else. I felt that I never had her completely. I never had anything completely Tasha but you and it scared me. I just knew something was going to ruin it and so I ruined it first." Alice finished speaking, as Tasha pulled her firmly into her arms.

"You didn't ruin it baby." She said in a low husky voice that made Alice want her every time she heard it. "You just stalled it. It just needs a little oil to get it goin' again like my bike sometimes does." Tasha said and kissed Alice passionately.

Alice instinctively returned the kisses with the feeling that nothing had ever been so right in her life. She couldn't believe how stupid she was to almost let this woman go and thanked God that Tasha didn't leave her truly like others had. "Tasha," Alice brought Tasha out of her task of massaging Alice's breasts.

"What?" Tasha asked and stopped kissing her lover with a smile on her face and laughter in her voice.

"Did you read my chart?" Alice had just thought of that and wanted Tasha to know that she hadn't slept with Clea.

Tasha looked at her in disbelief mixed with amusement. "Man, only you would ask a question like that at a time like this." Tasha replied and kissed Alice more passionately. "Yes I saw the chart Alice. Now shut up so we can have some make up fun."

"You didn't say fuck this time." Alice commented and garnered a frustrated look from Tasha.

"Cause it's not fucking anymore Alice. I love you not lust for you." Tasha said softly and began a slow sensuous trail of kisses down Alice's stomach.

"I love you too Tasha." Alice murmured and began caressing Tasha's breasts.

- - - - - -

As Tina, Kit, Jenny and Bette sat at the club having breakfast, Alice walked in with the markings of a romp in the sheets visible on her neck. "Oh my God you did it!" Tina hissed and stood up before Bette could stop her. "Alice, can't you see that she loves you and now you go and finally sleep with that tramp!"

"Tina stay out of it." Bette prodded but her girlfriend just glanced at her and shook her head.

"Tina," Alice began but the blonde was in her face yelling.

"Hey uptown, it's cool. We're fixin' things back up." Tasha said, smiled at her friend and then took Alice by the hand.

"Oh god, I am so sorry Alice." Tina said and dropped her face towards the floor.

"It's okay," Alice said and smiled. "At least someone is smart enough to stick up for who is in the right." She added and glanced at Shane who was coming through the door.

"Listen, as far as a writer for the documentary goes," Tina looked at Tasha.

"Fuck no," she looked at Jenny. "She ain't butcherin' my experiences into one of those trashy tales of smut."

Alice looked at Tasha, shocked by her boldness. "Maybe she's reformed?" Alice questioned with doubt in her voice.

"No thanks," Tasha said. "I'd rather you do it."

Alice's face broke into a huge smile. She, after all, was the journalist of the two and had been looking for an excuse to get out from under The Look. "That's another thing," she began speaking as Kit sat coffee down for them. "I'm quitting that show because I think that it helped make me into a monster because I don't think that your place is a shit hole and actually I'd like to live down there with you."

"Alice, drink your coffee." Tasha said and laughed heartily, as Alice looked dumbstruck at the notion of her friends being accidentally told their private quarrels because of her tendency to babble.

"Sounds good to me." She said, kissed Tasha and then sat on her lap. "I love being able to do this anywhere I want."