Posted 15 Nov. 02


Warnings and disclaimers: This is an original story and as such belongs to me. The area it's set is real as are some place names but I have used a fair amount of poetic license as well so bare with me :-)


As with all the other stories on my site this one carries an adults only classification due to the fact that has several healthy active women who love one another as the main characters.


Acknowledgements: Thanks to Pam, Susan and Gun for encouragement and the fine tuning.


Also a very special thanks to Kyls for putting up with me in general. You are the light of my life and I dedicate this to you on our sixth anniversary.








by Snowolf







Taelor was beginning to wish she had taken her friend's advice, changing out of her whites before leaving home. At the time she was feeling defiant, now she just felt conspicuous. Even the breathtaking view of the mountains as the plane banked on final approach to the airport did little to stir her from dark thoughts. Dark thoughts that had been her sole company for the entire flight.


They had offered her a promotion, one she wasn’t at all sure she wanted. Both her father and grandfather had succeeded before her in gaining the rank of Admiral though unlike the command she was being offered they had remained close to the ships they loved. Yes, Captain Taelor Phillips of the US Navy was being offered a desk job, nothing but a glorified clerk albeit a rather high-ranking one.


The reason they were promoting her seemed, on the surface, obvious and genuine. The very public years of sterling service to the United States Navy culminating in an end to a recent nuclear crisis. During a routine blockade patrol her ship and crew had confronted what turned out to be a heavily armed transport ship; its cargo being the final pieces the enemy needed to complete their nuclear arsenal. Her ship had taken heavy damage in the confrontation and she had only just managed to get her remaining crew to safe harbor, the boat virtually sinking around them. The media loved it. Her face was suddenly everywhere and everyone wanted to interview her. For the very private Taelor it was a nightmare, being lauded as a hero when all she could see were the faces of those that had died under her command. The Navy gave her a public pat on the back and offered a promotion.


Behind the scenes was a very different story.


Taelor was grateful her father wasn’t alive to see the depths to which his beloved Navy had fallen, while at the same time fervently wishing he was still around to offer her much needed advice.


Jack Phillips had always maintained a larger than life presence, though he wasn’t around as much as any of them would have liked. Even in death he held together the threads of their lives. There had never been any secrets within the Phillips family, it had simply never occurred to Taelor or her sister Jo to keep anything from their parents. So when a young cadet came home broken hearted from her first 'real' relationship it soon became apparent to Admiral Phillips it wasn’t a 'John', Robert' or 'David' that was the cause of his elder daughter's pain, but an individual named 'Sarah'. If he was shocked by this revelation he never let on. He treated Taelor no differently and always greeted her suitors as he did Jo's. He did give her one piece of advice after the Sarah incident that the future Captain had taken firmly to heart, advice given not as a Naval Officer but as a well informed parent, and that was to be circumspect about her personal relationships.


Obviously not circumspect enough! she thought in disgust.


Taelor was jolted suddenly from her reverie as the plane touched down at Cairns International Airport.


* * * * *


"Come in and sit down Taelor. I'm glad you could make it with your leave starting in a few days and all." Admiral David Stricker gave Taelor a winning smile as he motioned the captain into a chair. He was a tall fit man seven years Taelor's senior, making Admiral earlier in his career than most due to his outstanding record during times of conflict. He and Taelor had been friends for some years; at one point just after she was promoted to captain they had even been rumored to be romantically linked. A junior officer had seen Taelor leaving Stricker's residence in the early hours of the morning and the gossip spread so fast the sonic boom was heard miles away. The truly amusing part of the whole situation was the fact that they were the last people either would choose as a partner. However it did give them both comfortable shields against any possible investigations their superiors might decide to carry out.


"Why wouldn't I make time for you, David?" Taelor said before favoring him with a wicked smirk, "After all, you are the best lay I've ever had."


"Oh God!" David replied in mock horror. "Don't let that get out; my reputation will be ruined forever."


"So where are you off to?"


"I've decided to visit a certain former Marine of our acquaintance. They've moved from Sydney to Far North Queensland almost a year ago and I haven't had a chance to visit them since."


"Oh you'll love it there. As you know I stayed at a resort up the coast from Cairns a few years ago. It is just the most beautiful place," the smile faded from David's face and he continued. "I'm sorry I haven't been in contact for the last few weeks but I wanted to ask what you're going to do."


"You mean about the promotion?" he nodded and she continued. "I'm really not sure David. It would mean being completely taken away from the sea. I just don't understand why they are offering this post and not something a little more suited to my talents." An odd look flashed through the Admiral's eyes and he looked away from her.


"What is it David? Do you know what's going on?"


"I have a contact that's in a position to hear certain things," he said after a moment. "That's why I insisted on seeing you before you went away."


"Go on."


"Taelor they are investigating you. Somehow they have gotten wind of a recent liaison of yours and the witch hunt has started."


"Oh God no," she groaned, covering her eyes with her hand. "I've tried to be so damned careful"


"Well I guess one thing you can be grateful about is your current high public profile. They are not likely to just outright charge you with conduct unbecoming. From what I've heard this is designed to just make you quietly go away and if you don’t you may be given an ultimatum. You know how the bastards work."


"Yes unfortunately I do," she said in a defeated tone. "Well my friend, it would appear I have a decision to make. Put up and shut up or resign my commission." David didn't say anything further as Taelor left.


There wasn't anything he could say.


* * * * *


"For God's sake, Kirs. Will you hurry the hell up?!" the acclaimed author Emma Williams yelled in a less than poetic manner from the front door.


"I can't find the damn car keys!"


With a sigh of resignation the blond wandered back into the house in search of her errant partner. Stopping in the living room doorway she leaned against the frame, folded her arms and admired the view. A pair of very long, very tanned, very muscled legs and an exceptionally shapely behind, clad in cargo shorts and dark tan Colorado boots respectively, were about all she could see of the tall woman.


"Why, pray tell, have you crawled under the side table, lover of mine?"


Sighing in frustration Kirsten Brennan hauled herself out from under the aforementioned piece of furniture and gave her lover a baleful look.


"Like I said I can't find the damn car keys and that’s where they were last time."


Emma remained silent for a moment and continued the visual appraisal. Above the cargos, Kirsten wore a tight white tank top which showed off a further expanse of tanned muscled flesh. The younger woman's eyes stopped when they landed on the solid titanium wedding band, the twin to her own, on Kirsten's left hand. Grinning to herself she looked up into clear blue eyes and dangled a ring of keys at the taller woman.


"You mean these?" she asked with mock innocence.


"Oh, am I so gonna get you for that," Kirsten growled. With three quick strides she crossed the room to her lover, enfolding her in a strong embrace. The front of Emma's body was suddenly plastered against a firm body while her back was planted firmly against the wall. Emma's eyes closed and her head rolled back as Kirsten's lips founds the sensitive spot between her neck and shoulder.


"Kirs…Ohh…gotta leave now…Taelor's flight…Oh God… we'll be late." With her pulse racing and breath becoming heavier this was all the normally articulate woman could manage.


"We won't be that late," Kirsten said her words muffled as she bit gently at Emma's throat.


Emma had a particular spot on her shoulder that when touched in just the right way was like flicking a switch. The public persona was stripped away and the pure wanton female was released.


"Oh God. Kirs please… now," she pleaded.


Kirsten pulled her lover backward onto the nearby sofa and with a frenzied lust, that belied their years together, they made love. There was nothing slow or soft about the kisses and caresses but there was still an intimacy that can only come from a soul deep abiding love.



* * * * *


"Captain Taelor Phillips. Please come to the information desk. Captain Taelor Phillips."


"Oh this had better be good, Brennan," Taelor muttered in a deadly quite voice as she made her way to the desk.


"You have a message for me… Holly?" she asked glancing at the young woman's name badge.


"If you're Captain Phillips then yes ma'am I certainly do," she said with a grin. Holly had been watching the officer pace around the waiting area for the last fifteen minutes her posture becoming steadily more erect.


"Oh Yeah! You gotta love a woman in uniform!" she thought.


She wasn’t a tall woman, maybe a little over Holly's own 5'3, but she radiated a presence that made her seem much larger. Her rich auburn hair was pulled back in a tight braid that just reached her shoulders and her body, clad in a summer white naval uniform was slender and looked well toned. It was her eyes, however, that had riveted Holly when the woman had walked up to the desk. They were a deep blue-grey; the colour of a storm sea.


"Gods! I bet she's a demon in bed!"


Taelor had noticed the once over she had been given and firmly nailed down her hardest command mask, the one that had been known to make even Rear Admirals sit up a little straighter. This young woman just smiled and handed over a sheet of paper; her eyes doing the slow crawl over once again. The worst part about it, the thing that made her angry, was her body's betrayal. The young woman's gaze felt like a caress, Taelor's body heating as her eyes skimmed over it. She automatically beat down her body's response, growled "Thank you" and stalked away. Not for a minute thinking of the retreating picture Holly had the opportunity to appreciate.


* * * * *


"Oh this is not good," Kirsten said as they walked into the waiting area. "I told you we were going to be late but no, you had to have your evil way with me." Emma's only reply was a raised eyebrow and a punch on the shoulder before she followed the direction of Kirsten's gaze.


The captain was sitting facing slightly away from them, her posture rigid and her solid concrete command mask obvious even in profile. Taelor glanced at her watch again, stood up and began to pace away from them.


"Ookaay. Time to face the music I guess." Knowing the captain's temper as well as she did, Kirsten felt about as much like doing that as putting her hand into a bag of live snakes. With a sigh she squared her shoulders and marched across the waiting area coming to a perfect parade ground halt next to the seat Taelor had recently vacated.


Taelor turned to walk back towards her seat and noticed the tall woman standing at attention next to it, her eyes focused beyond Taelor's shoulder.


"You're late, Lieutenant Colonel."


"Yes Ma'am. I'm sorry Ma'am. It was unavoidable." Kirsten said, trying to ignore Emma's background chuckling.


"Really?" the captain growled as she paced a slow circle around the tall woman.


"Yes Ma'am."


"This unavoidable incident would be… sexual in nature I presume?" Emma's chuckle was now outright laughter as Kirsten blushed scarlet.


"Ah… No Ma'am. Car trouble," she said in a weak voice.


"At ease, Brennan." she said with a smile. Kirsten relaxed and engulfed Taelor in a tight bear hug.


"Gods Navy. It's been too long," Kirsten said. "Don't be calling me Lieutenant Colonel any more either. You know I gave all that up when I was… when I retired." A shadow passed through Taelor's eyes at the mention of retirement before she turned away to greet Emma; Kirsten made a mental note to quiz her friend later. As usual however Emma beat her to it. After wrapping Taelor in a hug of her own she pulled back to arms length; giving her the once over.


"What's happened?" she asked with real concern. The shadow kept up again only this time it made camp, colouring Taelor's eyes to flat slate grey.


"Not here." was all she said. Emma nodded and linked her arm through Taelor's leaving Kirsten to pick up her bags and follow along behind.


"Captain Phillips?" a voice called out as they walked back through the waiting area. Taelor turned to see the young woman from the information desk walking over to them.


"Yes Holly?"


"I just wanted to say I hope you have a nice stay and maybe I'll see you around." Holly gave the captain a saucy smile, turned on her heel and walked away.


"Holly?!" Kirsten asked with a grin.


"Don’t even start, Brennan!"


"Oh come on Phillips. Live a little."


"Living a little was what caused this in the first place." Taelor said in disgust as she turned and walked away.


Kirsten opened her mouth to ask why but was stopped by a shake of Emma's head before she turned to catch up with the older woman.



The walk out to the car was a silent affair, Emma and Taelor walking arm in arm and Kirsten a pace behind carrying her friend's luggage. The tall woman was really concerned now due to the fact that public displays of affection no matter how innocent were a definite no go for Taelor. Yet here she was allowing Emma not only into her personal space but to actually walk along holding her. A nice long talk was definitely on the cards once the captain was settled.


Finally ensconced in the plush leather of their black BMW, Kirsten turned to her friend and asked, "We thought we would take you out for lunch before we go home, Phillips. You up for that?"


"If it's all the same to you both I'd prefer to head straight for your house," Taelor said after a moment. "I've been awake for the better part of three days and I think my body is about to shut down on me."


"That’s fine my friend, all the touristy crap can wait until you're less jetlagged."



* * * * *


Kirsten Brennan and Taelor Phillips had a long history together, being the same age and joining up at virtually the same time. They had met shortly after their first posting and had remained firm friends ever since. Both had considered the military to be a lifetime career path and considering the powers that be opinion on 'their type' had pushed their personal lives onto the backburner channeling all their energies into building a career.


It had worked too.


In short order both women had begun their rise through the ranks while building impressive reputations. Then five years ago a certain Lieutenant Colonel and newly promoted Captain had gone out for the evening to celebrate said captain's promotion and everything had changed.


"So Captain Phillips. Where are we going now?"


"What do you mean?"


"Tonight. I thought you'd be up for a little celebrating. After all you must 'carefully and diligently discharge the duties of the grade to which appointed' or were you not listening to the man?" Kirsten threw up her hands dramatically and continued before Taelor could answer. "A captain for less than six hours and already bending the rules to suit herself. What is the world coming to?"


"Okay, I think I'm missing something here. Since when has going out on the town after your promotion ceremony been classified as a duty of rank?"


"Oh… Didn't you get the memo?" she began patting herself down as though looking for something. "Damn I left in my other uniform. It clearly stated that the friends of the newly promoted officer must take them out and buy large quantities of intoxicating beverages by way of celebrating said promotion. Obviously you haven't been reading your mail." Taelor's only answer was to laugh at the earnest expression on Kirsten's face.


"Come on Phillips, live a little," Kirsten said, giving the smaller woman a pleading look.


"I have to be up early in the morning."


"You told me you're off duty tomorrow."


"Well… Yes. Technically I am, but…"


"No buts! Come on Captain, we're outta here!" Not giving her any further room to argue, Kirsten grabbed Taelor's arm and hauled her off.



"You know Brennan," Taelor said in the painfully precise tones of one who has had a half nip too many, "This wasn't such a bad idea after all."


"What'd I tell ya?!" Kirsten said, clapping Taelor on the shoulder.


After hoisting a few with colleagues at the officers club, Kirsten had insisted on a trip into town on their own. 'A few games of pool at a real bar' she had said, Taelor hadn’t been so sure seeing as they were both still in uniform. She had finally relented if only to prevent the court martial for murder that would have ensued if she had heard the phrase 'live a little' just one more time.


"Okay Phillips, lets get this bar hopping tour on the road. There's one more place I want to go."


"Alright but then we go home. I'm not as young as I used to be, you know." Taelor stood up from the table and swayed for a moment, mentally chastising herself for her lack of sea legs; after all she had been on the decks of ships with more of a lean than this!



The air outside was brisk giving both officers a much better view of sobriety, the cold wind blowing out a lot of the mental fog.


"How far is this bar you want to go to? Should we get a cab?" Taelor asked as she pulled her coat tighter around herself.


"It isn’t far, two blocks maybe. It's a little out of the way place, quiet with good pool tables."


"You expect me to play pool in this condition?" Taelor asked incredulously.


Kirsten snorted with laughter and headed off in what Taelor assumed was the direction of this nice quiet bar. They walked for almost forty five minutes, by which time two things had happened to Taelor; she began to sober up and was pretty sure she had a case of frostbite in her left foot. She was just about to voice her complaints about the 'two block walk' when Kirsten announced their arrival. She hadn’t been kidding when she said the bar was out of the way. Tucked as it was in a little side street, it looked like little more than a shop front with a neon sign advertising a local brand of beer. The wide windows had been painted over from the inside and a sign announcing the bar's name, 'The Patch', hung from an ornate iron bracket beside the door. Taelor had an uneasy feeling about the whole thing which was compounded by the small rainbow sticker above the door where the street number would normally be.


"I'm not sure about this Kirsten." The use of her first name bought the tall woman to an abrupt halt. She turned to her friend in time to see a wisp of fear cross her classic features; any thought of teasing her into this died on the spot.


"You can't hide behind your career forever you know Taelor. Don’t you get lonely?" she asked with honest concern.


"Whether I do or not is immaterial. This is the path I've chosen, my personal life is something that will have to wait…"


"But for how long? You are a 38 year old woman… in your prime. You have so much to offer and you're damn good looking. Don’t let it go to waste. Don’t let your career take it all away from you." Kirsten's impassioned speech was interrupted by the exit of a group of the bar's patrons, all women. A couple of wolf whistles came from the group and one rather ribald comment about women in uniform; instantly the captain's face hardened.


"I am a Navy Captain, first and foremost. Nothing and no one is going to get in the way of that. It's what I am." Taelor turned and walked away, Kirsten watched her hail a cab at the end of the street.


"No, Captain Phillips. You are much more than that," she said quietly before turning to enter the bar.



The place was doing a good trade as Kirsten made her way into the bar. Not hesitating for a moment, she removed her coat handing it to the bartender as she ordered a beer. She turned to survey the crowd and noticed various pairs of appreciative eyes riveted on her. This she was mostly used to, the whole woman in uniform thing, she was just not completely comfortable with the attention. Kirsten didn't come to places like this often, it was simply too great a risk to her career.


"So why are we here now, and in uniform?" demanded a little voice in the back of her mind. Kirsten didn’t know the answer to this, she just felt like she needed to come here. She was sorry she had put her friend on the spot, Taelor was even more closeted than her and in all the years they had known each other Kirsten was fairly certain the woman had never even been to a gay bar.


"I can't even believe Taelor managed to make it to the party where we met," she silently mused.


Picking up her beer she wandered in the direction of the pool tables where several games were in progress in the hopes of picking up a game. She was leaning against the wall lost in past thought when she felt an odd sensation, a prickling between her shoulder blades. Kirsten turned to determine the source of her discomfort and her eyes found and locked with an intense green stare. For the space of a full minute neither moved; it was lack of oxygen that finally forced Kirsten back to reality, she had actually forgotten to exhale. Sitting about half way across the room was the most exquisite woman she had ever laid eyes on. It wasn’t just her features that caught Kirsten's attention, not the small but lithe and toned body the fine features or the red gold hair but her eyes. Her eyes held something that called to Kirsten's soul with a force that simply could not be denied and in that instant she fell in love for the first and last time in her life. A slow grin spread over her face that was answered by the woman across the room as she stood and made her way through the crowd to stand before the marine.


"My name's Emma Williams," she said as she stood staring up at the tall woman. She reached out and took hold of Kirsten's hand and the connection was electric.


"Kirsten Brennan," was all she could manage, nothing else mattered as the world faded away.



Continued in Chapter 1





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