So I wasn’t going to do this. I mean I really wasn’t going to do this, but I can’t seem to help myself. I seriously seem to have little to no control over my muse, or my creative output or whatever it is that makes these things flow. The idea of planning my writing schedule is as ludicrous as planning the weather. So put on your galoshes, because it’s wet outside.
WARNING: CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS FOR THE RIGEL SERIES. IF YOU HAVE NOT YET READ THE RIGEL BOOKS, SPECIFICALLY ‘OBEYING RIGEL’ AND ‘LOVING RIGEL’, OR IF YOU ARE PART WAY THROUGH THEM, YOU SHOULD PROBABLY FINISH THEM BEFORE READING THIS POST.
So you’ve been warned.
If you’re still reading, you’re okay with spoilers, right?
As people who’ve been reading the Rigel series know, the last story in the series so far ends with Rigel crashing and burning out of love in spectacular fashion. Emotionally wounded and quite drunk, Rigel goes crawling back to Tank’s apartment and is put to bed by the woman who has been the one constant in her adult life.
The next part of the story, ‘Healing Rigel’, begins the morning after the night before. There is one sort of naughty word in it, but I think we’ll get away with it.
This is a draft of part the first chapter. I share it with you because sharing is caring and caring is … schmearing? Wearing? Leering? Nearing? Flaring? Anyway, this is a thing that I wrote, that hooks into the other things I wrote and might, just might approximate the beginning of an actual ending for this series (if you forget that it still has a hole in the middle.)
“Once a fuck up, always a fuck up, eh Tank?” Rigel was up, but hardly bright or bushy tailed. Misery was carved into her face and though Tank would have liked to have felt sorry for her, she just couldn’t quite muster the energy. For once, it really was all Rigel’s fault. She’d been leading poor Sadie on for months, all the while playing the field in the name of an ‘open relationship’. It really wasn’t good enough.
“Cut the bullshit,” Tank said, scrubbing at her coffee mug. “You’re not going to be getting any pity from me. You deserve an ass whipping.”
Rigel looked shocked. As her eyes widened, a good ten years dropped off her face. She looked just like the young woman she’d once been, the misguided, tempestuos little brat with all the self control of a stick of TNT.
“Don’t Tank me,” Tank said as she finished up the dishes. “You darn near busted down my door last night.”
Rigel drew back physically. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know where else to go. I’ll leave now.”
“Rigel.” Tank bit the name out hard. “Stay right where you are. You know what you have coming.”
Rigel turned, cocking her head to the side as she did. “I’m a bit old for spanking, don’t you think, Tank?”
“I do think,” Tank agreed. “But you need to understand the magnitude of what you did. You didn’t just date Sadie and fuck around on her. You topped her. You topped Kate too. They’re both quite a bit younger than you, Rigel, and you took advantage of their innocence.”
Rigel’s jaw dropped as her brows drew together. “Hey.. fuck you,” she swore, her voice becoming guttural.
“No,” Tank said. “You’ve left scars on that poor girl that she might never recover from. That’s on you.” She took a deep breath. “It was one thing when you used to go out and make trouble for yourself, but now you’re taking other people down with you. That’s not okay, Rigel. Especially as they’re gym clients.”
Rigel turned away, hiding her face. “I don’t have to listen to this.”
“No you don’t, but you’re going to, because you know you’re out of control, and you know you have to be brought back into line somehow.” Tank softened her voice as she continued. “And we both know I can do that, don’t we?”
Rigel looked at the floor. “I guess.”
“You more than guess, you know.” Tank dried her hands on a cloth and started to make her way around the kitchen counter. Things could have gotten hot and bottom heavy for Rigel if it hadn’t been for Tank’s cellphone ringing. She glanced at it, didn’t recognize the number, and held her finger up to Rigel. “You wait there,” she said. “I’m going to take this.”
“Yes ma’am,” Rigel agreed as Tank pressed the green bar.
“Hello?” The voice on the other end of the line was familiar, but Tank couldn’t quite place it.
“Hey, who is this?”
“Oh, sorry.” There was a nervous giggle. “It’s uhm, me, Kate. Your number is uhm, on your card?”
“Oh, Kate.” The image of a long legged young woman with adorable freckles, a ready smile and a playful energy sprang into Tank’s head. “How can I help you?”
There was a little giggle. A nervous giggle. “Well, uhm, I was wondering if maybe you had some time to do some personal training with me?”
“Sure,” Tank agreed. “I’ll be at the gym this week from mid day to eight pm, you can drop in any time and set up some lessons.”
“Okay, I’ll do that, thank you.” Kate rang off and Tank was left with the lingering memory of a rather cute bottom that had once found its way over her lap. She smiled, Kate was a good kid. Rigel though, Rigel was a painful mess.
When Tank returned, she found Rigel slumped on the couch looking thoroughly depressed.
“I know you hate me now,” she said. “I get it, I’ve never caused you anything but trouble.”
“You’ve never caused yourself anything but trouble,” Tank corrected her. “And you’re getting too old for this sort of thing.”
“Ouch,” Rigel said, wincing visibly before changing the subject. “Who was that on the phone?”
“Kate, she wants some personal training sessions.”
Rigel smirked and looked a little like her usual self. “She wants something personal, that’s for sure.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“She’s got a crush on you.”
“I’m old enough to be her mother,” Tank laughed.
“Maybe that’s part of the attraction.” Rigel smirked. “And you were just getting on my case about robbing the cradle.”
Tank narrowed her eyes. “Well if she does happen to have a crush, I won’t be pursuing it,” she said firmly. “Because I know how to keep it in my pants.”
“Sure you do,” Rigel said, her dark eyes twinkling. “But there’s nothing like a straight curious girl, is there?” Her expression became somewhat lascivious as she spoke, her eyes going dreamy with some half remembered event. “She’s already had a taste of what you have to offer, and she’s coming back for more.”
“Don’t change the subject,” Tank said. “We’re talking about you, not me.”
“For now,” Rigel smirked.
Tank knew Rigel well enough to know that the smirk hid pain, that the issue with Sadie had not been addressed and that Rigel was just finding new ways to distract herself. Realizing that it was time to take the bull by the horns, Tank walked over to the couch.
Rigel looked at Tank as the large woman crouched down before her. Tank’s physique had only grown more stunning with time, her shoulders were broad and toned, and for a moment Rigel imagined clinging to them and gazing into those flinty blue eyes as Tank’s strong fingers made skilful love to her.
“We are going to deal with this, now,” Tank said, speaking softly. The determination in her voice made Rigel’s heart beat a little faster. She was getting turned on. She couldn’t help it. Tank was hot. Tank had always been hot, but her hotness quotient was actually increasing with age. There was something that just made her more attractive than ever, it was a certain assuredness, maturity, yeah, that was it. Maturity had made her hot as hell. She didn’t even know it either, she wandered about the world completely blind to how she affected other people.
Rigel spread her legs, ostensibly to allow Tank crouching space, but also because it put the seam of her jeans dead across her clit. When Tank rested her large, strong hands on Rigel’s thighs, she felt bolts of pleasure zipping toward the center of her being.
“Listen to me,” Tank said.
“Mhm,” Rigel nodded, biting her lower lip.
“I don’t know what to do with you. I don’t even know what can be done with you. Do you want my help?”
Rigel tried to drag her mind out of the gutter in order to answer Tank’s question honestly. “I don’t think I can be helped. I’ve always been this way, I probably always will be this way.”
“You want to hurt people you care for? Who care for you?”
“Of course not!” Rigel exclaimed. “I can’t help it.”
“Of course you can help it,” Tank said, frowning slightly. “You just have to set some limits and stop trying to have your cake and eat it too. You can’t date several women at one time.”
“Is not something you can do successfully,” Tank said firmly. “Maybe others can, but they’re not you and you’re not them and all you’ve managed to do is hurt people by trying.”
Rigel settled into stony silence.
“Hey,” Tank slapped her inner thigh lightly to get her attention. “Don’t shut me out.”
Rigel’s eyes flashed with passion. “I’m not, you’re shutting me out.”
“What? How can you say that?”
“You know.” Rigel fixed Tank with a look. “You know I’ve always wanted to be with you. From day one I wanted you, but first you turned me down because I was too young and now you’re turning me down because I’m too much of a mess.”
Tank sat back on her heels and gave Rigel a quizzical, slightly wounded look. “Rigel… you can’t solve this problem with Sadie by telling me that you want to be with me.”
“What problem with Sadie?” Rigel shrugged. “We’re quite clearly over. She doesn’t want to see me anymore, and you’ve made it obvious that it was fucked up to pursue her in the first place. So where does that leave me, Tank?” The rims of Rigel’s eyes became red and she choked back tears as she tried to speak without crying. “Where does that leave me but right back where I started a damn decade ago, looking at you and wondering why the hell I’m not good enough.”