The Obligation-Strange Empire

Kat/Rebecca

Disclaimer: I own nothing at all connected to this show and am writing merely as an outlet for what could have been. This is a F/F romance story all the way. If that's not your thing, you may want to find another story.

Summary: Rebecca offers to pay for Kat's release, however Isabelle refuses until Kat fulfills the deal she made with Slotter and both women discover that happiness may not be out of their reach after all.

Spoilers: All episodes starting with Episode 2 just to be safe.

Notes and Warnings: This begins with an alternate telling of one of my favorite scenes and when my love of Rebecca was reaffirmed. I have no idea what the writers were doing but after episode 4 but the interactions between Kat and Rebecca died off and Morgan got on my very last nerve. Not at all because 'he' was actually a woman but because he was a liar and a hypocrite who never treated Rebecca the way she deserved to be treated. Kat was the only person who respected Rebecca just as she was which is why I shipped them almost immediately. Hence this new path to their relationship.

This will not necessarily follow the same storyline. I had to change some things to fit the story and I may have gotten some names and situations wrong, so please forgive. And lastly, the beginning can be construed as 'dubious consent', but it is brief.

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"Here. Here's a thousand dollars for the release of Mrs. Loving and her girls," Rebecca stated, handing the packet to the frightening brothel woman.

Isabelle Slotter looked at the female doctor with some bemusement. This woman confused her and she did not like being confused. Here she was, a woman who looked as if she'd jump out of her skin if someone so much as whispered boo, now stood before her offering an incredible sum of money that Isabelle could only guess at where she got it, to 'buy' a woman she barely knew.

Isabelle couldn't deny a flicker of admiration for the would be doctor but it was quickly overridden by the memory of how the woman had dared threaten her in her own home. Nobody threatened her. Not anymore, not without paying the price for it. As for the Loving woman, Isabelle would love nothing more to see that arrogant bitch spending every night of her miserable life on her back under some disgusting pig. However, a thousand dollars was something she simply couldn't ignore. Suddenly a slow smirk crossed her lips as an idea formed. She would teach young Misses Blithely what it meant to threaten her and she would put Kat Loving in her place once and for all. If they didn't go for it, well she wouldn't be any worse off than she was now and she'd at least have had the amusement of seeing their reaction.

"You realize that I simply can't just let her go," she finally said conversationally. "She has an obligation to my husband and he's not one that so easily let's things go."

"But…but I'm giving you money," Rebecca pleaded, not understanding what the Madame was getting at.

"I know Mrs. Blithely and I admit, it is a very tempting sum of money, however the problem still stands. Mrs. Loving offered to whore herself in place of her daughters and my husband agreed. I can't just ignore that."

"But…"

The very small part of Isabelle that was once her innocence, almost took pity on the woman, but she hadn't gotten where she was by being soft.

"I will take your money," she interrupted, "however, I'm afraid I must insist it be in trade."

"I don't understand," Rebecca frowned.

"You wish for Mrs. Loving to be released from her obligation and there is only one way for that to happen. I will take your thousand dollars but she must fulfill her part of the bargain." Isabelle rolled her eyes and sighed as she saw the woman still wasn't getting it.

"You will be buying her services Mrs. Blithely. As a whore," she stated bluntly. Whatever reaction Isabelle had been expecting, it wasn't the curious expression that crossed Rebecca's face.

"But I'm not in need of a whore," she argued simply. "Besides I'm not a man, so effectively Mrs. Loving would still be unable to fulfill her obligations."

Isabelle nearly laughed out loud at that. She should have guessed this bizarre woman wouldn't behave like a normal woman and faint from the pure offense of the demand. No, she looked at it as a scientific curiosity.

"You truly are an innocent," she said curiously but then shook her head. "You see Mrs. Blithely, there are women and men in this world who desire members of their own sex."

"Really? I had no idea," Rebecca mused.

"Yes," Isabelle said quickly, sensing a litany of questions was about to thrown at her and not wanting to be diverted. "And there are indeed many ways that a woman can pleasure another woman as well or even better than a man even without the…er…"

"Penetration?" Rebecca asked in surprise.

Isabelle was not pleased to find herself blushing at the woman's bluntness. "Exactly," she said fighting to retain her composure. "Women know best what they enjoy. Women are softer, more inclined toward slow loving instead of hurried groping and passion can be just as fierce but with a gentleness that many men don't possess."

"That does make sense," Rebecca nodded, thinking of her big husband. He had yet to touch her that way, but even his embraces were more suffocating than reassuring.

"Be that as it may," Isabelle replied, "I don't have time for a lesson in intimacy right now. The deal is, we will release Mrs. Loving from her obligation for your thousand dollars and she provides the services that any number of gentlemen downstairs are willing to pay just as much. if not more for. Do you agree?"

"I agree," Rebecca said firmly, still unclear of what was being required.

Isabelle shook her head, wondering how this woman would ever be able to function on her own, still her greatest enjoyment would come from explaining the arrangement to Kat Loving and seeing her reaction to the deal she'd just made as well as the additional condition she'd just came up with.

"Well then, I shall go tell Mrs. Loving she has a customer than, yes?" she grinned. "Please wait here and I will return shortly to let you know if we have a deal."

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

"You are out of your goddamned mind." Kat had never wanted a gun in her hand more than she did at that moment.

"Oh but I'm not," Isabelle smirked, relieved to finally get the reaction she wanted. "Mrs. Blithely offered me a great deal of money for the release of you and your girls. However, you still have an obligation to my husband, so the deal is, you…'service' the lady doctor and then your obligation will have been met and you'll be free to leave."

"Mrs. Blithely couldn't have possibly been the one to suggest this," Kat retorted, knowing the woman who had been her savior and her friend since the moment they met was far too innocent to understand what was being asked. She disdainfully turned away from the overdressed Madame and quickly removed the braids she'd been forced to wear.

Isabelle clenched her teeth at the woman's contemptuous attitude. She would not be dismissed by some woman who played at being a man and decided to increase her amusement by poking the bear. "No, but she certainly agreed quick enough. In fact, she agreed so quickly, I can't help but suspect she's been itching to get into your pants all along."

"You shut your goddamned mouth," Kat snarled. She'd heard of those who only took after their own sex and she didn't much care, but she would not let Slotter's wife dare imply the painfully naïve Mrs. Blithely was some shameless slut with ulterior motives.

Isabelle's first instinct was to slap the arrogance off of the upstart woman's face.

"You forget who is in control here Mrs. Loving," Isabelle snarled before reigning in her temper. Just knowing that Kat Loving would either have to stand by while her daughters were whored out or have sex with a woman herself was revenge enough.

"So are you refusing then?" Isabelle asked more calmly.

"What if I am?"

"Well," Isabelle tapped her chin in mock consideration as she walked around the young widow. "Then your deal with my husband is terminated and your daughters take your place."

Kat went cold with fear at that but she'd be damned before she let this woman see it. "That's not the only option. I can refuse Mrs. Blithely and stay here like originally agreed."

"No, I'm afraid not. If it's known that we allow you to pick and choose who you service, well the other girls might get ideas and then nobody is servicing anyone. That will cost me far more money than you will earn from Mrs. Blithely. No, you have your choices. You and the good doctor conduct the business that's been paid for, or your daughters are returned to their original place in this house."

Kat was literally shaking with the strength of the hatred and fury she was feeling at that moment and it was made worse knowing she had no choice.

"Fine. I'll do it and you can go to hell," she hissed.

"Oh I'm sure we'll both be there sooner or later," Isabelle replied. "Let me fetch your…customer then, shall I?" She laughed happily as she left the woman to stew in her own anger.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Kat wasn't sure what she was expecting when her door opened and Rebecca Blithely entered her bedroom, but the presence of Isabelle and her husband John Slotter, the man she despised above all living things, wasn't on the list.

Ignoring the doctor for the moment, she glared at the devil's kin standing smugly in her doorway.

"What the hell are you doing here?" she demanded.

"This is my house Mrs. Loving," Slotter pointed out casually.

"Cut the shit. I agreed to your wife's disgusting demands, so why are you here?"

"Oh come now. I would hardly use the word 'disgusting,'" Slotter grinned as he approached Rebecca. He stalked slowly around the oddly stoic young woman, running his eyes over her in a manner that enraged Kat even if Rebecca didn't seem to notice.

Kat looked at Rebecca and was surprised to see she appeared almost hurt.

"I didn't call her disgusting," she clarified, looking at Rebecca, hoping she knew she didn't mean to hurt her feelings. "I called forcing an innocent to perform for your sick entertainment disgusting."

"I'm not forcing her to do anything," Slotter argued almost happily. "Am I dear Doctor?"

Rebecca looked at Kat with an earnest expression. "He isn't," she insisted. "I want to help you."

Kat sighed. "You don't know what they're expecting us to do, do you?"

"I believe they expect us to have sexual intercourse," Rebecca stated casually.

Kat blinked at the almost indifferent bluntness and shook her head while Slotter laughed outright.

"Well, if that don't put one in the mood I don't know what will," he chortled. "And to think I almost told Isabelle to forget this scheme."

"Well why didn't you?" Kat turned away from Rebecca, needing the distraction.

"Because when I thought about you being the one to corrupt this sweet young thing, well now, how could I pass that up?"

Kat wanted to slap that disgusting grin off his face and shove Rebecca out of the room to safety but she knew to do so would mean her death as well as Rebecca's and her daughters.

"Well then maybe you should get the hell out so we can get this over with," she sneered.

Slotter laughed again. "Oh no darlin'. Didn't Izzy here tell ya? We're here to watch, just in case you have a mind to trick us out of what you owe."

"You wish to…you plan to watch us copulate?" Rebecca asked, appalled and for the first time beginning to grasp the enormity of what was being asked of her.

"Oh hell no," Kat protested, stepping between Rebecca and the perverted couple leering at them.

"You don't have a say," Slotter said coldly, his patience wearing thin. "You are a deceitful bitch Kat Loving and I don't trust you to keep your word. So you either get busy now, or the deal is off and I bring in your daughters."

Rebecca gasped at the man's horrible cruelty. "Surely Mr. Slotter, you can understand our hesitation," she protested.

"I do," he smiled at the strange young woman, "I just don't care, now quit stalling."

Kat glared at the disgusting couple. "I ain't one of your paid whores," Kat growled. "I don't perform in front of an audience."

Slotter just grinned, his eyes running over both women. "Well now, technically you are, even if you ain't earned the title yet and considering that if you meet the terms of the deal, I'll be saying goodbye to a hell of a lot of money, I gotta get somethin' out of it."

"Yes but when purchasing a whore, it is the client who decides what services the whore is to perform is it not?" Rebecca asked matter of factly, causing Kat to shake her head once more and the Slotter's to stare at her.

"And what's your point?" Isabelle said shortly.

"I am the purveyor of Mrs. Loving's services, so therefore it is up to me to choose what she does or doesn't do, or whether there is an audience."

John Slotter would kiss his father before he admitted it, but Rebecca Blithely disturbed him. He found people painfully predictable, but he didn't understand this woman at all. The way she talked, her lack of emotions even when cutting folks open indicated she was of a like kind with him, but she wasn't. There was a purity that lay beneath that freakish façade that intrigued him and he sometimes felt an unwelcome flicker of protectiveness for her, but now, watching the beautiful strange doctor, knowing she'd be laying hands on the hot Indian woman, touching her the way he touched his wife, stirred something else. Something wild and fierce.

"Maybe, but as for the moment I own the whore you're buyin', I decide who she takes to bed. And since I ain't convinced this is nothin' more than another attempt to take from me what's mine, I'm going to make damned sure she carries out her end of the bargain."

"I gave you my word," Rebecca argued.

"That's not good enough," Isabelle stated.

"Well I don't find being watched by two perverts to be a turn on," Kat threw out, not caring anymore what that asshole Slotter did as long as he kept his hands off Rebecca and her girls.

Slotter cocked his head. He knew enough whores who didn't care who watched them work. Some even liked an audience, but these two weren't like that. He may have to admit there was a limit to the victory he would achieve over that damned Kat Loving but he'd take every damned inch that he could.

"Alright. Considering Mrs. Blithely's thousand dollars is a very generous offer, and considering I like her, I suppose I can be a bit more flexible," offered with a clearly fake benevolence.

"You will let us go without the need to…fornicate?" Rebecca asked bluntly, with Kat rolling her eyes and Isabelle snorting despite herself.

"Nope," Slotter's grin widened. "However, as soon as you two ladies convince me and my wife that this isn't a trick, we will leave you your privacy."

"And then we may go?"

"After we make sure Mrs. Loving completed her part of the deal," Slotter said.

"And just how the hell do you plan to do that?" Kat snarled.

"My wife has her ways," Slotter grinned and then shifted in the big chair crossing his legs. "Now, if you don't mind, we have other customers to attend to so…." He gestured for the two women to get on with it.

Kat sighed, realizing there was absolutely no way she was getting out of this damned house without layin' with the unusual woman who'd become her only friend. She would only admit to herself that while the thought of being with a woman the way she'd been with her husband had never occurred to her, there was something about Rebecca Blithely that made the idea not quite so distressing. She was definitely a fine looking woman though it was clear her elderly husband did nothing to let her know that and there was a passion beneath the emotionless façade that Kat found herself wanting to see and it infuriated her that Slotter and his whore wife would taint what was likely the woman's first time.

"Since you've given us no choice, the least you can do is sit there with your mouth shut so we can at least pretend you aren't here."

Gritting her teeth at the leering nod she got in response, she gently guided Rebecca back into the farthest corner and placed herself between her and the prying eyes of Slotter and his whore wife.

"I don't understand how this happened," Rebecca frowned. "I just wanted to pay them to release you and your girls."

Kat offered a small smile, hoping to put the skittish woman at ease at least a little. "I don't know where you got the money and I won't insult you by askin', but this is the third time you've saved us Mrs. Blithely," she pointed out.

"You've saved me as well," Rebecca reminded her, "but we aren't free yet so technically I haven't saved you."

You are so wrong about that Mrs. Blithely," Kat thought. "Are you afraid?" she whispered, stepping closer to Rebecca, deciding they had dragged this out long enough.

"No," Rebecca answered honestly, "well, not entirely. Thomas has never so much as kissed me so I am unclear of what is to happen."

Kat looked into the honest brown eyes and sighed. She reached out to place a hand on Rebecca's face but paused as she remembered the shy woman's wariness of physical contact.

"May I touch you?" she asked, part of her marveling at the fact the whore was asking permission to touch the customer.

Rebecca nodded once, her eyes locked on Kat's, bracing herself for the touch she normally avoided. Then a warm hand touched her cheek and she started, not from any aversion to the contact but from the warm sensation that filled her. Kat Loving's hands were smaller than her husband's but there was a roughness, callouses, Rebecca surmised, that were so different from Thomas's smooth ones. It sent a shiver of something she couldn't identify through her.

"Mrs. Loving?" she whispered fearfully.

"I think given the situation, you best call me Kat."

Rebecca suspected the older woman was laughing at her but she ignored it. "Kat, have you ever been …intimate with a woman?"

Kat shook her head. "No. But I'm thinking that with one big exception, it can't be that different."

"Do you…"

Kat heard Slotter impatiently clearing his throat and had to fight the urge to go stick a knife in it. Instead she kept her eyes on Rebecca's determined that she would do all she could to protect her and make this as bearable as she could.

"I'm going to kiss you now," she stated softly.

Rebecca's eyes grew wide at the intense look in Kats' eyes but she nodded.

Kat's eyes dropped to Rebecca's mouth as she slowly lowered her head until her lips were touching Rebecca's. The jolt that shot through her surprised Kat and she desperately tried not to acknowledge that it was the same jolt she felt the first time Jeremiah kissed her.

"Are you alright?" she asked softly as she pulled back. If Rebecca was terrified in anyway Kat was putting a stop to this, even if it meant whoring for every man in the camp. To her amazement, all she saw looking backing at her was a definite interest.

"Again please," Rebecca urged. Feeling Kat's lips on hers was a sensation like she'd never experienced and she needed to discover if the feeling was an aberration or not.

Kat quirked an eyebrow, though she supposed she shouldn't have been surprised.

"Yes ma'am," she smiled. Her hands moved to rest lightly on Rebecca's waist as she pulled her closer. "put your arms around me," she ordered softly. "It's alright," she added at Rebecca's hesitation.

Against her every instinct, Rebecca slid her arms around Kat's neck and then soft lips were on hers once more.

Kat touched her lips to Rebecca's again and again, getting used to the different sensation of soft female lips as opposed to the firmer masculine ones she was used to and then she heard it. A small little whimper that had nothing to do with fear and it lit a fire inside of Kat. Acting on her own instincts, she took Rebecca's lips once more, this time it was deeper and longer and when she felt Rebecca's hands push deeply into her hair, her knees nearly gave out.

Lips caressed lips, no longer tentative but with sensual exploration that continued to deepen and both women grew lost in the sensations that were bombarding them.

"Kat," Rebecca panted, shivering as Kat's intriguingly hot lips down moved to her throat. She couldn't hold back a moan as a tongue flicked out against her neck and then she gasped as Kat began to suck gently. Right over the jugular vein, the tiny part of Rebecca's mind that was still functioning pointed out, however for the first time in her life she didn't have any interest in pursuing her scientific curiosity. As feelings exploded inside of her, her fingers clenched helplessly in the hair that was remarkably soft.

Kat groaned at the painful tug at her hair. "Are you okay?" she asked breathlessly, reluctantly pulling back to make sure the innocent woman wasn't about to faint in panic.

"I don't know," Rebecca breathed. "I'm feeling…I feel so hot and light headed. I'm trembling all over and all I can think of is your lips on mine again."

Kat chuckled again at the woman's unusual bluntness. "I think you're supposed to feel that way."

"Oh."

Kat ran a hand through Rebecca's hair, easily releasing it from the pins that confined it. "If you want to stop now, we will. Slotter and his deal can go to hell."

Rebecca shook her head fervently. "I'm not leaving you or your girl's here," she insisted. "Besides, I wish to continue to explore these feelings. It could be of great scientific use."

Kat grinned. "You do say the most romantic things," she teased.

"Romance is merely a…"

Kat placed a finger on Rebecca's still swollen lips, knowing a lecture was imminent. She turned to look at Slotter who had a disgusting expression of arousal on his face and his wife was now sitting on his lap, skirt raised past her knees.

"Get out," Kat ordered through her teeth.

"You don't…"

"We will…continue," she interrupted, fighting a gasp as she felt a suddenly curious tongue flick out against her finger. "You said you would leave after a little display, well you've gotten it."

Slotter looked between the two women, more turned on than he'd ever been in his life and he had no doubt they would continue their activities. He was sorely tempted to tell the obstinate woman he would stay as long as he pleased, but then he looked at Izzy who had a very familiar expression on her face and he had a powerful itch that needed scratchin'.

"Come John," she said hotly and then leaned close to his ear. "And remember what lies behind the portrait in the next room," she reminded him of the clients who often merely liked to watch activities instead of participating.

Slotter swallowed and got to his feet. "Enjoy yourselves ladies," he rasped out. "And just remember, we will know if you don't…finish the job," he smirked and then grabbed Isabelle's hand, pulling her out of the dimly lit bedroom.

Kat exhaled sharply and then lowered her forehead to rest against Rebecca's as she tried to still her racing heart.

"Rebecca, it's not too late. Take your money and leave here. You and your husband can get as far away from this shithole as you can and be safe."

Rebecca's brain was spinning with so many thoughts and feelings she didn't understand. She had never been comfortable with physical contact. When she had been in Bedlam, physical contact usually meant pain, but the touch of Kat Loving's hands on her, the kisses, they were gentle but they weren't comforting. They had awoken an ache inside of her that no amount of research could begin to explain or ease.

"I don't want to leave," she found herself saying. The low, throaty sound of her own voice was a surprise and a tiny part of her wondered at how such intimacy could alter the vocal chords, but she ignored it.

"Why?" Kat asked, not understanding anything about this woman. She looked into Rebecca's face and her breadth caught as she finally let herself see just how beautiful this woman was. She was innocent, she was almost fragile, but she'd shown her courage so many times, including offering her money and now her body to help a woman she barely knew. Now there was a fire in those brown eyes that Kat knew was desire and despite her own inexperience with women, she found the fact that she had caused that heat in Rebecca's eyes to be more exciting than it should have been given the situation.

"I want to help you," Rebecca answered with her usual directness.

For some reason, Kat found herself disappointed with that answer and she stepped away. "You need to help yourself Mrs. Blithely."

Rebecca frowned, not knowing what she'd done to upset the woman that she'd become so fascinated by, but she wasn't finished answering Kat's question.

"I am helping myself. I want Mr. Slotter to release you, but I want to stay because I also would like to continue to experience what you were making me feel."

Kat blinked. "What?"

"I have never felt anything like what I was feeling just now. It was like an electric current between us and your mouth on my neck stirred up all these sensations that were frightening and exciting and I want to feel it again. I need to feel it again."

Kat's mouth opened and then closed. She was unsure if she would ever get used to the woman's directness, but in a world full of liars, she found she kind of liked it.

She smiled a little and carefully lifted her hand once more to Rebecca's face, relieved when the skittish woman didn't flinch.

"Are you sure?"

"I am. And…and I also think that its time someone took care of you for a few moments." Rebecca offered sincerely.

Inexplicably, tears stung Kat's eyes. She'd given up the thought of ever hearing those words again and she never would have expected it from a woman people thought had no feelings.

"Rebecca," she breathed, caressing the sweet face and then forgetting where they were, the reason they were there and the fact she was with another woman, Kat brought their lips together once more and in second the desire that had merely been simmering during their discussion boiled over.

Rebecca's hands went back into Kat's hair, while Kat's hands began to wander and she was surprised by the strength she felt. Unexpectedly she remembered her first conversation with the doctor. Rebecca had been swimming and stood unabashedly in her damp shift. Kat had listened with a fond sort of amusement as the woman rambled about her own peculiarities. She had found her endearing but at that time she had felt more protective than anything. Now, however, she felt anything but. She wanted to see Rebecca once more unfettered by the trappings of traditional womanhood. She needed more. Her trembling fingers went to the front of Rebecca's dress and slowly unfastened each one until she slid the jacket from slender shoulders and then unfastened the skirt, carefully lowering it to the ground.

Her eyes ran over the doctor, her breath catching. "You are quite beautiful," she said quietly.

To her dismay, Rebecca found herself blushing. "Physical beauty is merely a result of a random arrangement of…" she stopped when she saw Kat's lips twitching. "Thank you," she finished instead and then not entirely sure what she was doing, her hands went to the buckskin dress she knew instinctively Kat had been forced to wear.

She nervously lifted the dress over Kat's head and she found herself mesmerized by the site before her. Rebecca inquisitively slid her hands over Kat's shoulders and then down to the part of her chest that was exposed by her shift, marveling at the unfamiliar sensation of touching such smooth skin and her even stranger reactions.

"Isabelle was correct," she mused. "You are very soft, yet you are also quite muscular as well. It's a strange contradiction."

Kat couldn't help but chuckle at Rebecca's never ending curiosity which always seemed to rise at the most inopportune times.

"Thank you, I think," she replied drily, though she couldn't deny the fact that those long doctor's fingers sliding slowly along her skin were having an unexpected effect on her.

"Oh I didn't mean to offend you. You are very beautiful," she rushed to say.

Kat laughed softly and then trailed a finger down Rebecca's cheek. "I'm not offended," she assured her. "And thank you."

Rebecca's' mind was racing as she was bombarded by feelings she never knew existed and she was confused. She looked up at Kat, the one person who had ever been able to calm her thoughts. "I do not understand the purpose of this," she said almost desperately.

Kat snorted. "Isabelle Slotter is as evil as her husband and gets off on humiliating people," she muttered.

"No," Rebecca shook her head, not really understanding the other woman's comment. "I meant this," she gestured between them. "Thomas would not let me study human interpersonal interactions because he said it wasn't proper, but from what I was able to discover on my own, sexual intercourse is meant solely for reproduction and as we are both women, that is not possible. So what is the purpose?"

Kat didn't know whether to laugh, cry or scream at the woman's almost detached demeanor. Here she had bravely offered what was probably all she and her husband had in the world to save her only to be coerced into having sex with the woman she was trying to save and she wanted to use it as a learning experience? Kat knew that this woman was different. She wasn't slow or simple, but appeared so disconnected from everything, so…emotionless that some may see her as touched. Kat, however, had seen fire in her. She had seen the fire as she talked about medicine and science and she'd seen it each time she stood up to save Kat and her daughters. And, as she looked, she could see it now, a flash in Rebecca's eyes as she ran her hands over Kat curiously. It was surely desire and Kat suspected Rebecca wasn't aware of it, but she was. And she couldn't deny that whether she liked it or not, the gentle, innocent caresses were having an effect on her as well.

"Rebecca," she whispered, not knowing how to proceed but knowing they didn't have time for her to explain sexual desire to the other woman.

"Please kiss me again," Rebecca urged.

Kat swallowed but then did as requested. This time when she covered Rebecca's mouth, it was with pure intent and passion. She held nothing back, partly because she knew the more they lingered, the bigger the chance of one of them backing out, but mostly because she couldn't stop herself. It had been so long since she'd been touched with a lover's hands. So long since she'd had someone treat her like a woman and Rebecca's gentle fingers felt so good as they ran over her skin, tentative and curious and then more aggressively as if she had finally given herself over to desire and couldn't get enough.

Kat led Rebecca to the bed and they slid under the covers. Kat wasn't stupid and she suspected that though they weren't in the room, the Slotter's were watching somewhere, not that she'd tell Rebecca that, so she made sure that even though the covers hid them, she was covering Rebecca.

For a long moment she looked down into the pretty face, surprised and enchanted by the rare smile on Rebecca's face. She stroked her hand down a soft cheek. "You are an amazing woman Doctor Blithely," she said quietly. "You are so strong and brave, no matter what you've been taught to believe. And you're about the smartest person I've ever known."

"You really think so?" Thomas had called her a curiosity and only praised any achievement he saw as relevant, but always dismissed any new ideas she came up with on her own as ridiculous and often questioned her sanity. He had never once called her smart or brave.

Kat's heart broke a little at the doubt she saw and she cursed the people who had seen her intelligence and threw her into a mental hospital because of it and that old bastard of a husband for treating his young wife as a science experiment. "I know so," she said firmly. "And you are…very beautiful," she stammered. She'd never before said that to another woman, but it was true and if anyone needed to be told how beautiful they were it was Rebecca Blithely.

"I don't know how to say personal things or compliments," Rebecca admitted, for the first time feeling what she assumed could only be shame.

"You don't have to," Kat said. "Rebecca, you don't ever have to be anything but yourself with me. Okay?"

Rebecca nodded and then knowing that her verbal skills were sorely lacking, she lifted her hands to the Kat's neck, trying not to notice the heartbeat pounding beneath her fingers.

"I…I need you Kat," she whispered, worried that she would drive the strong proud woman away. "I need…"

Kat was lost. She dropped her mouth to Rebecca's and kissed her once more but this time, she let her desires control her action and she flicked her tongue across Rebecca's lips, thrilling when Rebecca instantly parted her lips without question. Inexperience was forgotten as tongues danced together as if they had always done so. As the kiss deepened, Kat's body began to move subtly against Rebecca's almost without thought and she thought she would go mad from the pleasure of it. She moved her lips to Rebecca's shoulder, kissing along the soft skin and then trailing up her neck, pausing to bite lightly then soothing gently with her tongue. Only in her mind could she admit that never had anything smelled or tasted as good as Rebecca's skin. She sucked gently until she got the response she craved, a little moan that created a matching one in her own throat and there was to be no more talking, no more explanations as Kat taught Rebecca what it was to touch and be touched with affection and desire.