She turned, putting the folded dresses in the suitcase with the music until tomorrow for safe keeping. She wished she had let Herbie to stay and help her. But she, being her, had told him to take Louise and the girls to the hotel and that she'd meet him there when she was done cleaning up for the day.

They'd been playing the house for a week and Rose still couldn't get over some of these women. Tessie and Mazeppa seemed to always be watching her and, if she was honest, it freaked her out more than a little.

"Rose?" A hand caressed the small of her back.

She gasped sharply and jumped, turning around and grabbing her heart in shock, as she knocked the suitcase from its perch and scattered the sheet music and dresses.

"Tessie," Rose sighed in relief, the whole burlesque house making her jumpy. All those dirty men from the audience able to just come back stage… She surveyed the mess she made with an angry sigh, "Damn."

"Sorry," Tessie giggled.

"It's fine. What do ya need?" Rose asked, bending over to gather the fallen sheet music. She could feel the blonde's eyes on her as she continued picking up the music.

"Well, I sorta wanted to ask ya somethin'," she fiddled with the hem of her costume nervously, averting her gaze from Rose's firm behind.

Rose waited in silence as she threw the music into the suitcase, picking up one of the girls' dresses and refolding it. "… Yeah?"

"Well, Mazeppa and I were talkin' an'," she walked away, sitting in front of the mirror and playing with a necklace, "we was wonderin' if ya ever… Well, if you was ever…"

Rose added the folded dress to the suitcase and picked up another, watching Tessie out of the corner of her eye. It wasn't like the blonde to be nervous. "If I was ever what?"

"Well, if you was ever-" she mumbled the last part, looking away from Rose.

"If I was ever what, Tessie?" she repeated, adding the second refolded dress to the pile.

"A strip-woman?" Tessie asked quietly, standing up as though she was preparing to run. Or fight.

Her eyes sprang open and she threw the dress she had started folding into the suitcase and marched determinedly toward the blonde. "You say that again to my face," she dared, getting right in the taller woman's face as she drew herself to her full height.

Tessie did the same, towering over Rose and looking down at her. "I asked ya if you was ever a strip-woman." She took a single step forward, making the redhead back up.

"No," Rose growled, seething as she stared unwaveringly back into Tessie's bright eyes. "I would never strip. I am a lady."

Tessie pursed her lips in disbelief. "Well-" She took another step forward and Rose stepped back again, her backside colliding with the vanity. "Mazeppa and I both agree that, from the way you walk, you'd make a damn good stripper. And-" She stepped forward again, pressing her body against Rose's. "We don't think you'd pass up a chance to be on stage."

Rose blinked up at her, her eyes wide. She was panting slightly and her mouth was suddenly unbearably dry. She darted her tongue out, running it across her plump lips. "I-" Was she really that transparent? Was her desire to be on the stage that obvious? "I-"

Tessie smirked before suddenly pressing her lips to the shorter woman's, her long fingers entwining in the red curls as she pulled Rose's mouth hard against her own.

Rose squeaked in surprise, her eyes shooting open. "Mmnmph!" She tried to back up but the vanity prevented her escape and she settled for whipping her head to the side to break the kiss. "What the hell do you think you're doing!?"

The blonde smiled mischievously, "That's the other thing Mazeppa and I talked about." She was still pressing herself against the shorter woman.

Rose glared angrily, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand before trying to wriggle away. "What? Jumping me?" Tessie leaned close again and Rose moved her face out of the way in an attempt to avoid another kiss.

The blonde's lips grazed her earlobe, "No. The fact that you have lesbian tendencies."

Rose's eyes went wide again and she pushed the taller woman away. "How dare you? I am not- I don't have- How dare you!?"

Tessie smirked in response, "Funny how you didn't react that way when I kissed you just now." She was practically circling the shorter woman, predator and prey.

"But I didn't- You- I-" she stuttered. She took a deep breath, collecting herself before glaring again. "You stay away from me," she pointed at the other woman, maneuvering around the vanity and backing away.

The blonde smiled, stepping forward as she giggled.

"I mean it. And I do not have lesbian tendencies. I am not a lesbian. I- Herbie! I have a fiancé. And I'm gonna marry him. And I love him. And… I'm not interested in women," she rambled, her eyes trained on the blonde. "And-"

"And, and, and," Tessie mocked, stepping closer until Rose had backed against herself against the wall. "And you liked when I kissed you." She pressed herself against the redhead again. "And you want me to do it again."

Rose stared up at the blonde, a deer caught in the headlights. She shook her head, her mouth opening and closing as words escaped her. When the taller woman leaned in again, though, she closed her eyes and pursed her lips, her body preparing for another kiss despite everything she had just said.

"See?" she whispered in Rose's ear, smiling.

Rose's eyes fluttered open, realizing that Tessie was toying with her. "I-"

Tessie pressed her lips to Rose's full ones again, cutting her off. She ran her tongue lightly over the swell of the redhead's lower lip, her hands tangling in Rose's curls. Rose's eyelids fluttered close and Tessie grinned, feeling the other woman's fingers tangle in her hair as Rose parted her lips. She slid her tongue into the shorter woman's mouth, tasting her as she ran one of her hands teasingly down her front and over the swell of her breasts.

Rose's eyes snapped open and she pulled away. "I-" Tears were suddenly shining in her eyes as she panted, her face flushed.

"Shhh, it's okay, Rose," she soothed, pulling the redhead into a tight embrace and running her fingers through her hair. "It's okay, shhh."

"But, I-" Rose sniffed, rubbing her eyes with the heel of her hand. "Herbie! I can't-I don't- I can't do this to him. I-"

"Shhh, no tears, Rose. Don't cry," Tessie cooed, running her hands down the shorter woman's sides. She held her at arms' length before leaning in and placing a gentle kiss on Rose's nose, another at the corner of her mouth, and then a third full on her lips.

Rose inhaled sharply, her eyes closed. "Tessie, I can't," she whispered, her voice straining and pained. "I'm marrying Herbie in a week."

"I didn't ask you not to," Tessie all but purred, gently massaging the redhead's sides before leaning in and leaving hot kisses on her neck.

Rose whimpered in response, her head lolling back as her arms hung limply at her sides. "Te-Tessie…" She raised a shaking hand to Tessie's blonde hair, guiding the other woman's lips to her pulse point as her eyelids fluttered shut again.

"That's right, Rose," the blonde cooed, moving one of her hands back to Rose's ample breasts. "Shhh, let Tessie make it all better."

She fumbled with the buttons down the front of Rose's blouse, slowly kissing the newly exposed flesh and making Rose gasp and pant quietly. She pushed the blouse down the redhead's arms before bringing her attention back to Rose's breasts, gently working them through the fabric of her bra as she kissed and sucked the redhead's neck.

"I-I- Oh, God," Rose forced herself to swallow. She whimpered again, biting her lip. She felt like she was on fire but her body was screaming and pleading for more. "I- No. I can't."

"But you want to," Tessie stated, gently kissing the tops of the other woman's breasts as her fingers slid between the cups and Rose's hot skin.

"Tessie, please," she begged, pulling away from the blonde and going back to the vanity. "I can't. I just- I really can't." She brought her hands to her head, massaging her temples. "I can't do this to Herbie. I-I gotta marry him. I promised him. He loves me, Tessie."

Tessie walked over to her, pulling her back into an embrace before guiding her into a seated position on the vanity. She ran her hands under the redhead's skirt and up her thighs, rubbing gently. "But do you love him, Rose? Will you be happy as his little wife? To never see the stage again? To never be on the stage again?"

Rose blinked back tears shaking her head, "It doesn't matter, Tessie. It doesn't matter what I want. It's what Herbie wants. And I promised him." She looked at her lap, wringing her hands nervously.

Tessie stepped between her legs, tilting Rose's face up. "But do you love Herbie?"

"Yes! Of course I do! I mean, he's-he's wonderful and handsome and he-I-" she stumbled over her words as she looked into the blonde's eyes. Crystal blue. Like Herbie's. "Oh, I don't know! I used to know. But I-You-I don't know."

Tessie looked back at her, nodding knowingly, "Is it because I kissed you?"

"No," Rose answered, too quickly. She stared back at Tessie, uncertainty written in her eyes. "Maybe? Yes, I guess. I just-"

"Do you want me to do it again?"

Rose stared back at her, the tears slowly disappearing from her chocolate brown eyes. Her voice was a low whisper when she spoke, "Yes."

The blonde smiled before gently pressing her lips back to Rose's, letting her guide the kiss. Rose's fingers tangled in her hair, pulling Tessie's mouth harder against her own as she parted her lips, inviting the other woman's tongue in. One of her hands left Tessie's blonde tresses to guide the blonde's hand back to her breast before she began nervously running her palm over the blonde's taut stomach to her bejeweled brassiere.

"Miss Tura!"

Rose stiffened.

"MISS TURA!"

She pushed the blonde away, jumping from the vanity and to the other side of the dressing room. She scooped up her blouse and pulled it on, facing away from the door as she buttoned it with trembling hands, as Mazeppa pushed the door open.

"Miss Tura! What did you tell the boss now about my ballet?!" Mazeppa demanded, her eyes flicking to Rose.

Tessie clucked in irritation, glaring at Mazeppa, "You got awful timing, anyone ever tell you that?"

Mazeppa grinned, putting two and two together and realizing what she interrupted. "Why's that? Did I interrupt somethin'?"

"No! I mean, n-No," Rose answered, throwing the costumes into the suitcase along with the music before pulling her coat on and grabbing her handbag. "I was just-just leaving." She was blushing furiously as she walked by Tessie and Mazeppa, her eyes lingering on the blonde longer than was appropriate. "Night, Mazeppa. … G-Good Tessie, night. I mean goodnight, Tessie! I- Bye."

She all but ran from the building, trying to ignore the heat that was throbbing between her thighs and the way her body seemed to want her to be running into the blonde's arms.

"I hate you," Tessie growled, plopping into her seat at the vanity as she watched Rose disappear.

"No you don't," Mazeppa smiled, leaning on the vanity and grinning wickedly.

The blonde sighed, shaking her head as she fiddled with a necklace and crossed her legs.

"You made a move," Mazeppa guessed, knowing the feelings that Tessie harbored for the redhead. "Did she deck ya?"

Tessie scowled, "No. She didn't deck me."

The brunette's eyes went wide and her jaw dropped in a silent, playful gasp. "Did I interrupt somethin'?" she repeated, emphasizing the words.

She pursed her lips in irritation.

Mazeppa smiled, nudging the blonde playfully. "I'm just jealous I didn't make a move first. She's…" she waggled her eyebrows suggestively, winking. "She have nice-?" she moved her hands in front of her own chest. "They look big. Is that the dress, or…? …What's wrong?"

"Shut up. Go back to your dressin' room," Tessie snapped, swatting her.

"What? I just wanna know!"

"Get out!"


"Herbie?" Rose whispered, creeping into their bedroom. She dropped her handbag by the door, shutting it quietly before tiptoeing to their bed and nudging him gently. "Herbie."

"Mmmnm?" he grumbled, still mostly asleep.

She peeled her coat from her arms before removing her skirt and blouse and slipping into bed beside him, pulling at his shoulder. "Herbie."

"What?"

"Wake up."

He opened one eye, looking at her, "I'm awake, what is it?"

"I-I love you, you know that, right?" she asked, tracing light patterns on his arm.

He closed his eyes, "I know, Rosie. I love you, too. And we'll be married in a week." He smiled.

She stared at him, her body still burning after her encounter with Tessie. "I- Her-Honey? Can we-?"

"What, Rose?"

"Can we-?" she hummed quietly, hoping he would understand her meaning as she continued running her finger up and down his arm.

"'Can we sing'?" he asked tiredly. "I don't think we should sing right now, Rose. The girls are all asleep. They don't wanna rehearse."

"No!" she sighed in exasperation, searching for a way to ask him politely. "Can we -?"

"Honey, I don't sing. You know that. I'm-"

"No! Not singing, Herbie!" she growled, irritated. "I want… I wanna make love."

"Oh. Oh!" his eyes sprang open and he looked at the way she was nervously biting her lower lip. "Oh, honey."

He leaned in and covered her plump lips with his, surprised when she eagerly rolled on top of him and deepened the kiss. She quickly unclasped her bra, discarding it as she moved to remove her panties before rolling off of him and pulling at his boxers.

"Come on," she growled when he didn't move fast enough. "Take 'em off."

"What's wrong with you, Rose?" he asked, pausing and looking at her.

She looked into his eyes and saw Tessie's reflected in his. She growled again, pulling his boxers from him and pulling him on top of her. She groaned when he slid into her, moving slowly.

"Faster," she pleaded, moving her hips against his urgently as she pictured the blonde. "Mmm- Faster!" She threw her head back, imagining Tessie.

"Rose," he whispered, kissing her neck as he obeyed and moved faster.

"Rose."

"Harder!"

She pictured the pretty blonde's slender fingers moving over her breasts as they had earlier, as Herbie's were doing now.

Tessie pressed her lips to Rose's, her fingers tracing light patterns on her inner thigh. She gently pushed two fingers into the redhead's velvet heat, rocking them upward.

Rose gasped and let out a deep groan, arching. "Yes, more!"

"That's right," Tessie cooed, her breath hot in Rose's ear. "Let Tessie make it all better."

She ran her thumb over Rose's clit as she rocked her long fingers upward again, their tips hitting her g-spot and making her croon. She rocked her fingers faster, pushing deeper and adding a third finger.

The blonde's lips descended on her breasts, kissing them slowly as her free hand gently worked her left one.

Rose squealed, squeezing Herbie between her thighs. "Yes! God, yes!"

Herbie continued kissing her breasts, his fingers putting teasingly light pressure on her left breast as Rose continued rocking her hips against his. "Rose," he mumbled, kissing her right nipple. "Rose, I love you."

"Rose," the blonde whispered, her fingers working faster between Rose's thighs as she kissed her right nipple. "Rose, I love you."

"Tes-!" she covered her mouth with her hand, moaning loudly around it as she attempted to stifle the name that had slipped from her lips. She was trembling, unbearably close to her peak as she felt Herbie swell inside her. She dove back into her fantasy.

Tessie giggled, "That's right, Rose. Let it out. I wanna hear you." She pushed against her clit again, her fingers rocking upward as she swirled her tongue around the rosy bud.

Rose moaned again, panting and whimpering, "Please! Pl-Please!"

Tessie kissed and sucked at her neck, her fingers pressing against the hard bump on her inner wall as she ground the heel of her hand against Rose's clit.

She let out a ragged wail of ecstasy as her orgasm crashed around her in waves, her muscles clenching around Herbie. He let out a grunt, releasing within her before he collapsed.

Breathless, she pushed him off of her, still thinking of Tessie as her body continued to pound with her recent orgasm. She swallowed, her mouth dry, as she tried to remember the way Tessie's skin had felt against her own, the way Tessie's lips had been so soft as they caressed her neck, the way Tessie had tasted when they kissed. She hugged herself tightly, her thoughts still on the blonde stripper, as she fell asleep.