Series: Light, Water, Muses.
Category: Sequel to Reflections.
Personal disclaimer: Zo Goldston, so briefly introduced in Reflections, is mine! I hope you enjoy her and any other newcomers, as well as my version of Cook County General.
Disclaimer: “ER”, the characters and situations depicted are the property of Warner Bros. Television, Amblin Entertainment, Constant C Productions, NBC, etc. They are borrowed without permission, but without the intent of infringement. This site contains stories between mature, consenting adult females.
Notes: All words in italics are phonetic foreign words, mostly Greek.
Spoilers: There are references to events in ER season 7, but most of this tale is an, 'alternate universe' version of season 8.
Summary: The Doctor meets the Painter and the results are explosive.
Important acknowledgments: In the winter of 2003, the delightful Mosca set out a challenge for the fanfic community. A snippet of poetry was supplied to act as bait for the muses. I had a particularly lovely refrain, 'A stone couched memento of each time your breath found the hollow of my throat.' Now, this challenge took an unexpected turn with me, by reawakening my chorus of internal voices. Bless you Mosca, I feared that the need to write would never return.
++ Zo ++
The pieces just fell into place.
Click, click, click.
Four days off, oh joy! And close enough to Kerry's birthday that a nice dinner out would be enough on the actual day.
Mrrowrr! I planned on spoiling my workaholic girl rotten. If I had anything to say about it, she would be grinning like an idiot for months after this little vacation. That's why I was currently browsing a local adult shop that Xavier had helpfully recommended when we had talked yesterday. Then I noticed something and all thoughts of a simple seduction fled. Oh, this was going to be so much better than what I had originally planned. Theh mou, but I was going to rock Kerry's world. The punky guy at the counter recognized my expression and grinned wolfishly. “Those are new. The boss man spotted them in Japan and decided to take a chance.” He went on to explain they wouldn't stain skin, all natural materials, would dry to a mild tacky consistency, blah, blah, blah…
“How do they taste?”
My question brought him up short. A duck of his lanky body and a hidden jar was suddenly in his hands. With a quick twist, it was open, a toothpick dropped in and the whole thing held out to me. “Try it.”
It smelled of exotic oriental fruits and the woodsy aroma of green tea. The taste was mellow, creamy and just sweet enough to tease the palate. “It's perfect,” I purred and the salespunk almost leered. “I'll take the whole set.” At ten bucks a jar, it wasn't a cheap purchase, but the fantasy had me now. I'd reconcile the money later. It took some effort to get my mind back on track and finish my original errands. Silky lingerie in a vibrant dark blue that I knew would look fabulous with my coloring and a similar set in green for my sexy woman. There was a fancy new set of jewelry for my naughty piercing, and on a whim, I bought a pretty little clit cuff with tiny beads of cut green glass that would set off Kerry's pale-rose complexion. A decadent little ornamentation that only I would see.
Outside in the punishing sun, I slipped on my shades and collected my bike. Greegora Gahtah mou, my Fast Cat, was one of my most prized possessions. She was a 24-speed cheetah on wheels and a delight to ride, well worth the money to buy, maintain, and insure her. Halfway home, I realized something important and stopped right there next to traffic. Half my surprise was missing. “Dammit,” I muttered when I remembered that the Art Warehouse was back the way I'd just come. But Frank's Nursery and Crafts was nearby. That would have to do.
More pieces fell into place at the store as there was a beginner's set of horsehair brushes on clearance for obscenely cheap. Normally, I would have sneered at such a clumsy set, but for what I was planning to do to Kerry, they were perfect. A few packets of fresh herbs for dinner and I was off to my last stop. There was a great little corner store that carried everything from fresh beef to ceiling fixtures not far from my place. There, I purchased the foodstuffs for dinner, heavy black cotton sheets and a bundle of fresh flowers that was going to seriously challenge my bike riding skills. Dodging traffic across a few streets, I was home just after five. Excellent, I had two hours to get ready for Mahtia mou. Probably a bit more, knowing how that damn hospital frequently held her up.
Since Bruce was still gone, I commandeered his enormous bathroom and primped accordingly. Nearly an hour was whiled away while I bathed and scented and trimmed. The scent of jasmine clung sweetly to my skin and the thin oil I used to make the waves of curls kink and shine. Then the ring with its dangling adornments had me hot and bothered by the time it was looped through its hole near the little glands. Time was running short as I pulled on the bra, panties, camisole and black skirt before scampering for the kitchen. The new brushes were washed and set in a flower vase to be dragged into the bedroom with candles, a hot plate and my tasty surprise. In the kitchen, I did my damnest to produce a meal that even Ya-ya would be proud of. I was so involved in what I was doing that familiar arms twining about my waist nearly scared me to death.
++ Kerry ++
There was some heavy, seductive beat thrumming through the apartment at a volume that warned me Zo was in a creative mood. Nothing at the easels though, so where was she? Then something savory collected in my nostrils and drew me helplessly to the kitchen. Oh my…
It was Zo's rebellious, devil-may-care personality that continued to fascinate me endlessly. But this was a mouth-watering change. The wild hair had been coiled up at the back of her head, leaving coy curlies around her face. Sexy but extremely classy clothes draped lovingly over the body normally in jeans and spandex made me linger over the spectacle. There were flowers on the table with good china I'd never seen before. Delight and adoration led me over to wrap both arms around my concentrating lover. The spoon clattered to the stove as she yelped, “Skata, Kerry! Esee ekpleeksee meh! (Shit, Kerry! You scared me!)” Not understanding anything but the obvious expletive and my name, I squeezed her until I earned a breathless squeak.
“You look fantastic, sweetie. Is this all for me?”
Batting my eyelashes at her earned the loving smile I adored. There was even subtle makeup highlighting her strong features and bringing out her gorgeous mocha coloring.
“Everything smells so good.”
“Good, because I've never gone so flat out before. It's a bunch of Greek dishes that Ya-ya taught us kids to make.”
My brain struggled for a moment before remembering that Ya-ya was her grandmother. “Can I help?”
“Sure. There's a bottle of wine over there and a salad marinating in the fridge that'll need a bed of lettuce.”
A lingering kiss deepened my sexy girl's smile and I set to work with a full heart. After awhile, Zo grabbed me and attacked my neck until I squeaked with delight. “Will you do something for me?”
“Uhhn… yes… anything.”
“There's a gift for you upstairs. Go open it and I'll see you in a little while.”
That mischievous tone had my interest piqued. One more kiss and a little groping had both of us breathless before Zo shooed me off. There was a new cover on the bed, its pattern reminiscent of the constellations in the night sky. Resting on it was a fancy basket of girlie indulgence. Fragrant soaps and shampoos and bath salts made me smile. When I picked up the basket there was a box wrapped in crimson paper underneath it.
“To meli? (Honey?)”
“I know this is a
weird request, but don't do lotions or perfume or anything, 'kay? Just your naked skin. It'll make sense later.”
It was an odd request, but I shrugged it off. Like a kid on Christmas, I tore the box open and was delighted by the contents, lingerie and a silk shirt of vibrant emerald green. There was also a black skirt and a pair of delicate, heeled shoes at the bottom. The card inside smelled of vanilla and the great outdoors. It read 'a gift for both of us.'
A luxurious shower later, I donned Zo's gifts, anxious now for food and company. The dining room was magnificent. Crystal, china, fresh flowers and cut greens were illuminated by a dozen candles around the room. A moment later Zo stepped in with two bowls in hand. “You look lovely, Ker. Hungry?”
Dinner was wonderful, an interesting and exotic banquet of tastes and smells. Through it all, my Zo was charming and chatty. The strong red wine hummed warmly in my veins and I was very content with the evening. But if Zo didn't act out the smoldering promise in her gorgeous eyes, I was going to scream. It was a little scary sometimes, the way she could play me.
And didn't she just know it.
A shattering kiss while she collected the dishes was an effective, if all too brief distraction. So I helplessly followed her into the kitchen. It was a quick clean up consisting of setting the dishes in water before she turned to me. That look had my knees shaking so hard that I had to lean on the crutch in earnest.
“You,” she growled so low I expected my bones to rattle. “Are exquisite. Come here.”
It took a real effort to get my body to move to where she leaned against the sink. Sensitive artist's hands wove into the fine hair at my nape, cradling my neck and skull and making me feel very safe. Eyes closed, I waited passively for her to lead me where she wanted. There was the velvet brush of her soft mouth, fingers massaging my neck, breath warm on my skin. I was in heaven. The butterfly kisses teased my nerves and drew me to her. “So beautiful,” Zo murmured tenderly. “Mahtia mou, let me show you how I adore you and how grateful I am that you're in my life.”
Whimpering, I arched into her strength and begged incoherently for her touch. Gentle caresses of mouth and tongue built my arousal up like a weather system. Soft rain that swelled into a hurricane in my small body. Teeth at my vulnerable flesh, hot and wet and needy for her touch, I was well and truly caught. Those coveted hands were gentle and demanding, flinging me from the precipice of my own desire. When I was at last able to draw a deep, shuddering breath, Zo smiled with a heart-stopping combination of lust and tenderness.
“Come to bed. I have a surprise for you.”
Tired from my day and weak-kneed from her quickie in the kitchen, I stared blankly. “Walk? I'm not sure I can.”
With distinct smugness, Zo stooped to sweep me into her arms. It was always a thrill, even if we did get the crutch caught between us on occasion. There was little of her customary fierce playfulness tonight as she lay me on the comforter and divested my willing self of clothing. Random, teasing strokes reminded me of my surrender in her kitchen, my needs that she understood so well. Then I yawned and she chuckled. “Now that you're happy and turned-on, I get dessert. Just lie still.”
There was a feral gleam in her eye, a fierce predator I knew but couldn't place. Rising to stretch like a panther, Zo drew off her skirt and shirt to allow me to admire her fine cocoa skin wrapped in blue silk and lace.
“Mmmm,” I hummed in delighted incoherency. White teeth flashed as she finished her mysterious preparations. There were small jars in a rainbow of colors set on a hot plate beside… a jar of paintbrushes.
My skin began to crawl in delighted anticipation. A soft scent like sweet milk and vanilla stirred into green tea wafted from the jars. Zo returned from the bathroom with a bowl of water and returned her attention to me.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, it was that look. The one I had seen leveled at those blessed and cursed canvases while she painted. That look of lightning made flesh, of an earthquake ready to form beneath her skin. I was thrilled to my core, breathing constricted in my throat, hot blood flushing my skin, a flood in my groin. I was happily terrified of the intensity.
Graceful fingers selected a brush and a jar of color while I could only stare. A maddening tease, the brush swirled through the color while those burning eyes swept over the flushed pink of my nudity. In slow motion, I watched the bristles emerge, wet and glistening.
“Don't. Move,” Zo growled dangerously and I whimpered. Like a descending bird of prey, intent on the kill, the shock of yellow swooped down at my belly to leave a blaze of sunshine on my skin. The sensation was exquisite, soft yet firm, with a cool tingle left behind.
This was my punishment and reward for taking this wild creature into my body and heart. My maestro and maker recreated me into a beast with a pelt of a hundred colors: my screaming need given form. Every nerve ending in my body was utterly in thrall to the siren call of paintbrush and color.
There were sprawling patches of heavy blues and reds redefining belly and thighs, a comet tail of yellow shooting from navel to throat. While I descended into an eternal madness of physical torment, the strokes grew smaller… finer… more delicate.
It was too much! On the verge of hyperventilating, my cries became desperate and frightened. It was like stepping outside myself. So many mental and emotional boundaries had been crossed that I was free falling, exhilarated and terrified.
Hard and gentle, her fingertips were deep inside, a caressing pinch on one lonely nipple, wet suction on its twin.
A comet to earth, a firecracker to flame, nitroglycerine thumped too hard; I exploded into a billion flaming pieces. A vacuum, a landslide of sensation, my screaming ringing in my ears…
Feather-soft paws on my cheeks, warm tropical breeze across my nose, the smell of vanilla. “Kerry? Mahtia mou? Say something, please?”
The voice sounded worried. Wait a second… I knew that voice. Several upper brain functions suddenly kicked in with the sensuous ache in my boneless body. And my eyes opened with a moan that made every hair stand up to attention.
Worry shaded to relief in the aquamarine eyes and Zo fully cupped my cheek before kissing me softly. “You scared me,” she breathed and caressed the tiny, alert hairs into quiescence. “But look at my masterpiece.”
It was indeed that.
Patterns like fur and feathers spread across my skin from collarbones to ankles. Covering the familiar flesh of my body, the artwork transformed me into something outside, well, outside the ordinary. This was our true bond, Zo as my divine artist and me as her muse. I understood that finally. It was what we had seen in one another from first glance, and explained the bizarre series of coincidences that had brought us together. I was destined to find her, like fairy tale lovers overcoming all odds. Zo had told me once that I would do wonderful things for her creativity, and here was the undeniable truth. In that moment I knew that I would do anything for this wild creature who obviously needed me so. It was humbling and empowering and written in her glittering eyes.
I had no words for a revelation that rocked me to my core. No one had ever needed me like this before, and I suspected that no would ever need me like this again. And, wordless, I could only offer her my body, my heart, and my soul.
And pray for both our sakes, that it would be enough.
It had been two weeks since Zo had remade me with those amazing edible paints and I was still desperate to find a way to thank her in some fashion. We'd had a ton of fun together over the five weeks we'd been a couple and I felt like I'd known her all my life. Shopping, horsing around in the late summer sun, feeding breadcrumbs to the pigeons, movies, dancing and bars and clubs, we'd done it all. And I loved every minute of it. The best part was that I never tired of her facets, her endless twists and turns
But what could I do? Antsy and frustrated, I snatched up a magazine laying alone in chairs and glowered at it. Only to be caught up short by the glossy add taking up the whole back cover.
++ Zo ++
“So,” I stated casually and Kerry startled away from where she had been busily cooking at the stove. I had been watching her for some minutes, admiring the way she was so effortless with this particular skill. “Is there a reason my boss leered at me today and told me I was taking three weeks off?”
While Kerry had rearranged my kitchen to suit her bad leg only days after making me hers, she still needed to retrieve the crutch to come to me in the doorway. Looking guilty and flustered, but very pleased with herself, Kerry burrowed into my embrace and sighed lustily. “I'm taking you away somewhere to have you all to myself for a few weeks.” Sensing my surprise, she leaned back and set two fingers on my lips to stall anything I could say. “Please let me do this for you, love. For us. It'll be fun.”
How on earth could I say no to that? “Where were you thinking about going?”
There was a long moment of quiet where Kerry stared off into space. The waves of bittersweet memories were like raw almonds on my tongue. “There was part of me,” she said slowly as though she were very far away indeed. “That wanted to go back to Africa.” I remembered that she had grown up there until well into adulthood. A change came over my Kerry then, sweet longing mixing with stark terror.
“Ker, love, it's okay.”
It was probably more my tone than the actual words, but it worked. Blinking back to herself, Kerry focused on my face and smiled wanly. “I don't think I'm quite ready just yet."
Yeah, I had gathered that. “No problem. There are a ton of places closer than that. C'mere.” Shifting my grip, I swept Kerry into my arms and strode off to the bedroom for a cuddle session. In setting her on the bed, I double checked what I thought I had felt before. Her bad leg was as stiff as iron with some hidden stress. So I quickly began to strip her, ignoring her playful protests about the food. Her voice faded away as I pressed gentle caresses into the inflamed hip joint. There was nothing visually wrong with Kerry's hip, the skin smooth and pink. The bones beneath were perhaps smaller than the opposite side, but nothing too odd. The right leg was less muscled and all of the joints were stiff and uncooperative.
“I contracted polio when I was seven,” Kerry broke the silence in the room. To my credit, I only paused for a moment in surprise before continuing my ministrations on her weak leg. “It damaged the nerves in my right leg. I don't remember what it's like to run.” I felt for her loss, and was proud of what she had made for herself despite it all. It also made a bit self-conscious of my healthy body. I should have figured nerve damage. My poor Kerry, not able to run. All I could do was lay so that her small body could curl up tightly to mine.
“So,” I crowed lustily at the knot of familiar ER staff clustered around the front desk. Unfortunately, it was Frank there today, and I chose to ignore him per usual. That foul-tempered and paranoid old police dog didn't sit well across my perceptions. Fortunately, Abby was there and gave me the 'this way' signal with her eyes. I fell into step beside her and tried to ignore the crawly feeling of Frank's eyes following me. “Is he always that creepy?”
Abby merely gave me a mildly amused look in response to my low murmur. Well away from the front desk, she gave me a strange look, equal parts amusement and discomfort. “You learn to ignore him. Though I swear, I have no idea why he's here. Not to mention how.”
It was mouthier than Abby usually got, so I filed the information away, determined to keep a closer eye out on Frank. “Charming. I'll keep that in mind. So, are you all going to be okay without the battleaxe for two and a half weeks?”
Ah, there was that classic wry look again. “Mel says she can handle it. I believe it. It's all good.” The teasing lilt on the last sentence made me laugh. The strange unease that had come over me only yesterday faded to background noise and I bantered with my friend over bad hospital coffee while we waited for Kerry. It wasn't long before I recognized not only her voice, but X's as well.
“Well, this is a pleasant surprise,” I chuckled as the pair came into view and smiled. It was always a delight when the people I loved were happy to see me.
“'Lo,” X sing-songed and tucked his clipboard under one arm. “So, now that I've gotten the gist of the dish from Ker here, do you have anything to add?”
While Kerry smiled with bemused tolerance at the three of us and Abby stifled a chuckle, I made a great production with appearing to be heavy in thought. Then I grinned with wicked intent and gave Kerry an incendiary look. How I loved watching her color up like that! “Nearly three weeks traveling to exotic locales with my girl? I think I'm the luckiest punk alive. Shall we get this show on the road?” Both X and Abby chuckled for a moment before giving Kerry their full attention while she passed out a few last minute instructions. There was an undertone to her business-like voice that confirmed that I had gotten to her.
I was in for a wild time wandering the wilds of the Pacific Northwest. Tally ho!