DISCLAIMERS: in Part 1

 

Caution: Under Construction, Part 2

©2001 -Vertigo-

Sheridan found her energy reserves by the time she arrived at the construction site. The two cups of coffee and two donuts helped that happen. The guys were very happy to see her there and welcomed her back enthusiastically. Although there were plenty of people working, she was going to be with three of her best buddies: Tony, Phil and Bobby. All three men were typical New Yorkers in their twenties, married and living vicariously through the boss's daughter. They loved to tease Sheridan, or Patch as they called her, about her nightly exploits, each harboring a smidgeon of jealousy about her prowess.

"Glad to see you!" Bobby yelled. "I need someone to help me whip these guys into shape!" he laughed, turning down the radio.

"What happened, Patch? The old man catch you doing the new secretary?" Tony joked, knocking on her hard hat.

"Quit it, you idiot, I had a long night and, no, I never even saw the secretary," Sheridan smacked Tony in the stomach and took a good look around the half-gutted building. "What the fuck are you guys doing here all day?"

"Ooo, miss cranky, didn't you get any last night?" Phil asked, making an obscene gesture with his hands.

"You're a pig, Philly," she shook her head, but her chuckle let everyone know she loved it.

"You love me because I'm a pig. So? Did ya get lucky?"

"Of course she got lucky, you chooch, look at her mouth," Tony laughed.

Sheridan pursed her lips and shook her head. "It won't come off," she explained quietly.

"It never does, stud muffin. Hey, you been working out more than usual? Your arms look bigger," Bobby wondered.

"No, just the usual," the small blonde shoved up her sleeve and flexed her bicep. In a flash, all three men were at her side, doing the same thing, comparing biceps.

"Oooo, Tony, she's got at least an inch on you," Phil teased.

"Fuck off, she does not!" Tony pouted.

"She's got me beat, too," Bobby pulled down his sleeve and walked away dejectedly.

"Yeah well, my ass ain't got nothing on you guys. I'm surrounded by tight buns," Sheridan said, in order to raise the confidence level in the room. All three guys turned their back on her and flexed their buns. It was all she could do to not laugh. "Oh, baby... stop it, I'm getting hard."

They all laughed when Tony began flexing his ass cheeks individually to the music.

"That's attractive," Sheridan teased. "Ooo stop, I can't take much more," she fanned herself dramatically.

"I bet you said that last night," Bobby winked.

Sheridan pulled her T-shirt to the side exposing a fresh set of hickeys and bite marks. "You could say that, boys," she gloated.

"Fucking Shit! I swear, girl, you get more women than all of us put together," Bobby exclaimed.

"Uh, yeah. That would be three women between you. I can get three women on a Tuesday," she bragged.

"I hate you, Patch," Phil chuckled.

"I hate you, too," she blew a kiss at him.

"Hey, how's Stevie," Tony asked.

"Hey, he hates that name. Don't call him that to his face," Sheridan said with a warning.

"Whoa, just asking."

"Yeah, well, he's okay. He's working with Pop now. He hated the group home."

"I don't want to be nosey, but weren't they teaching him how to work there? Wouldn't it be better for him to stay there?" Phil asked, genuinely interested.

"Pop coddles him too much. Steve whined and Pop took him home. He's in good hands. Pop did a great job raising us when Mom died." The blonde narrowed her eyes at Tony, "He loves us all equally. Besides, Pop doesn't treat him any different, so neither should you."

"Since when did I do anything?" Tony looked surprised.

"At the last job. You wouldn't let him do anything. He was hurt," Sheridan said angrily.

"Jesus Christ, Patch, he's six foot two and got the mind of a 13 year old... he wanted to use the power tools!" Tony shot back.

"So? Plenty of 13 year olds use power tools. He pouted about it for days. He thinks you hate him. It was eerie seeing anything other than a smile on his face."

"Shit. I'm sorry. I'll apologize to him next time I see him," Tony said sadly.

"Here," Sheridan whipped out her cell phone. "Speed dial number one." The blonde smiled triumphantly as Tony spoke to her brother, No one was allowed to fuck with him. Only her.

********************

Keefer trudged up the walkway to her house and grimaced. Fifi's nose prints were all over the front window and she knew Danni would get on her about that. Sighing, she put her key in the door and was instantly greeted by a very excited mutt. Suddenly, Keefer's bad day dissipated and she smiled as she knelt down to hug her dog. "Hiya, sweetheart. Did you miss me?"

"She snotted all over the window."

"It's not snot..." Keefer started to defend the dog to Danni but thought better of it. "Give me a minute to change and I'll clean it off."

"You kiss the dog hello, but not me?" Danni asked from the kitchen.

Keefer ignored her lover, closed the bedroom door behind her and changed into sweat pants and a T-shirt. She let her hair out of the ponytail and ran her fingers through it a few times. Scratching at the door made her grin and she opened it just enough for her dog to enter, closing it again behind her. "Feefs, up," she instructed the dog to jump on the bed and smiled sinfully as Fifi began rubbing her back all over Danni's pillow.

"You eating dinner or what?" Danni called from the kitchen.

Keefer opened the door, let Fifi out and then replied, "I'm going to walk the dog first. You eat."

"Suit yourself," Danni shrugged and made her way to the couch with her plate. "Don't forget the snot."

Blue eyes shot the woman a look before Keefer disappeared with the dog.

Danni was almost done with dinner when the phone rang. She let the machine pick it up.

"Danni? You there?"

It was Susan. Danni jumped up to get the phone; Keefer couldn't hear this message. She grabbed the receiver and erased the machine.

The tall brunette came home to find her lover hanging up the phone. "Who was that?" she asked absently as she went to the kitchen to fetch her dinner.

"It was nothing. Hey, I'm going to go out with the guys tonight." Danni met Keefer by the stove after putting her plate in the sink. "You mind?"

"Why should I? Go on, have fun," the brunette left the kitchen and sat on the couch, reaching for the remote.

Danni was pissed. Didn't Keefer care? "I'll be out late," she stated with annoyance.

"So," Keefer shrugged. "What else is new?" She flipped through the channels and settled on Animal Planet. Fifi jumped onto the couch and sat attentively by her side, waiting for the piece of food she knew she would get.

"Don't you give a shit, Keef?" Danni stood in front of the television with her hands on her hips.

Ice blue eyes pinned Danni to the spot. "No, not really. You know I don't like clubs or bars and I know that's where you go, so... enjoy yourself, just get out of the way," Keefer made shooing gestures and tried to look around her lover at the TV.

"Okay, fine. We gotta talk, Keef." Danni threw open the coat closet and tossed her coat on angrily.

Keefer watched with a bored expression. "We always gotta talk, Dan. Problem is, you're never home to do that."

"How can you be so nonchalant when our relationship is on the rocks?" Danni asked, red-faced.

"It's easy. Our relationship is always on the rocks or so you say." Blue eyes returned to the TV screen.

"Don't you even care about that? Our relationship..."

Keefer threw down her fork and glared, "What relationship?" She wasn't yelling, but the controlled tone of her voice told Danni she was angry. "When do you care? You think we'll talk tonight? You'll go out, get drunk, come home and pass out. I'll be in the den watching TV and you'll be in the bed snoring away. It's the same thing every night. If you were so concerned, you'd stay home and talk."

Danni stood, shocked, her lover having never shown this much emotion before, stunned her.

Keefer regretted her outburst. She really didn't want Danni home right now and she certainly didn't feel like talking. "Look, you go out and have fun. I really would rather be alone right now."

"You only want to be alone," Danni said sarcastically as she slammed the door behind her.

"Who wouldn't? Huh, Feefs?" Keefer fed her dog a piece of chicken. "Maybe I do need to go out once and a while, huh? You think?" She scratched Fifi behind the ear and leaned back on the couch. "Maybe I need to see where Danni goes, one of these days," she thought out loud. "And it's not snot," she added.

Fifi cocked her head and raised her ears. Keefer stared at the TV and ate mechanically. After she was finished, she went to the kitchen and started the dishes. The dog followed. Danni cooked and she cleaned. She cooked and she cleaned. It didn't make sense and the tall woman shook her head. "Something's gotta change, Feefs. I don't think this is a relationship." It's more like maid service.

*****************

Sheridan pushed open the door to her apartment and braced herself. As soon as the door opened, two hundred pounds of dog threw themselves at her and she wound up on her butt, as usual.

"OKAY! Okay, kids!" the blonde laughed as she was greeted by her babies -- a large, male brindle-colored Pit Bull named Pharaoh and an even larger Rottweiler named Zeus. They licked her enthusiastically, pouncing all over her body as she squirmed on the floor.

"I get the picture, guys! I missed you, too!" she said as she grabbed Pharaoh's face and kissed him on the snout. She wrapped her arms around Zeus's neck and did the same to him, then used his massive body to pull herself up from the floor. "Now you let me take a shower to wash all this dust off and we'll go out for a walk."

Sheridan said the magic word and both dogs began doing the happy dance all around the apartment. Zeus leapt for his leash, which was hanging on the back of the door while Pharaoh continued to jump and prance in circles by the bathroom door.

The blonde stripped off her clothes as she walked towards the bathroom, laughing out loud at her dogs.

When she had gone to the shelter, she had no intentions of having a big dog, let alone two monsters. Having grown up with dogs and cats, she wanted a companion in her new place and was simply going to the shelter to look at options. She swore Zeus was smiling at her and sticks to that story to this day. As she was about to leave with her new puppy, she heard this painfully sad howling. Following her ears, she wound up on doggie "death row" and there was Pharaoh, singing for all he was worth as if he knew he was going to die. He couldn't have been more than seven months old. Sheridan's heart hurt.

Pharaoh was trouble, at first. He was abused terribly and was fearful of humans. He was most likely beaten for not being a fighter and he wore the scars of his defeat. A long, pink, hairless scar swept across his big square head and his left ear was permanently damaged; it was either the result of a fight or a bad ear cropping. It didn't matter to Sheridan, to her it added to his charm. These were her babies and she loved them like children. They were a family.

The blonde walked out into the living room in her underwear to survey the damage inflicted while she showered. Not too bad, she noted. Zeus had finally gotten his leash and was whipping it around the living room as he threw his massive head from side to side, killing the thick leather strap repeatedly. Pharaoh was standing on the couch looking guilty for something that Sheridan was no doubt going to find when she least expected it. "You guys being good?" she asked rhetorically. They were never good.

Zeus dropped his leash and panted at her, Pharaoh cocked his big head.

"Okay, give me a second... wait," she held up her hand.

Both dogs sat where they were and waited.

"Thank god for hand commands," she muttered as she ran into her bedroom to dress.

**********************

Keefer didn't even bother going to bed. She changed into her pajamas and went directly into the den. The thought of sharing the bed with Danni tonight didn't sit well with her. The tall woman settled under the comforter and propped a pillow behind her head. She waited for Fifi to get settled and then reached over to the table for her glass of milk. As she dunked her Oreo, she thought about her lover's behavior.

Keefer watched the television off and on, changing the channels every so often as she tossed thoughts around in her head. She and Fifi shared the Oreos and she let the dog lick up as much of the milk from the glass as her short snout would allow. Once again surfing through the channels, she found a cable talk show and something a guest said caught her attention. He was talking about cheating spouses and suddenly Keefer wondered if Danni might be having an affair. Her lover showed all the signs of it, according to this guy. The tall woman sat up straight and paid close attention to the talk show.

*********************

Dawn elbowed her friend, "Hey Sher, it's Susan."

Sheridan's head swung around quickly. "Well I'll be. Who's the redhead she's with?"

"No wonder she's been MIA. Looks like she's hooked a new one," Marie raised an eyebrow as Susan and the redhead sucked each other's tongues.

"Yeah, well... good for her," Sheridan said bitterly.

"Hey, at least she's not stalking you any more," Dawn patted her friend on the back.

"Give her time, she'll get on my nerves eventually," the blonde made a sour face and walked away from her friends.

Sure enough, Susan and her new friend migrated to a spot directly in front of Sheridan as she danced. Susan glanced every so often at Sheridan to try and gauge her reactions. The blonde was getting aggravated, she came to the club to avoid stress and here she was with agita. She squatted down on the stage and tapped Susan on the shoulder. "I see you, now go away."

Susan tore her lips away from the redhead. "Oh, hi, Sheridan. I didn't see you there," she blinked rapidly.

"Bullshit, you're practically making out on my fucking lap all night, now get out of my face."

"Hey, don't talk to her like that," the redhead spoke up.

"Now, now... ladies," Susan giggled. "Sheridan, have you met Danni?"

"Charmed," the blonde rolled her eyes.

"Mutual," Danni narrowed her eyes.

Sheridan walked off the stage and over to her friends. "That bitch gets me so mad. I don't know why I let her get to me!"

"Sher, she's nothing. Just blow it off."

"Her new pet has an attitude, too. I'd like to kick her in the ass," Sheridan fumed.

"Shit, don't let her get to you. Come on... loosen up. Let's find us some chicks, release some tension, okay?" Marie offered, smiling at her agitated friend.

"Yeah, I need to fuck this tension away." Sheridan patted the bulge in her pants, "I came prepared."

Dawn and Marie looked at their friend's crotch and laughed. "You fucking rule, Sher!" Marie choked out between laughter. "I didn't even notice it until you showed me."

"I'd certainly hope you wouldn't be looking at my dick. I'd have to kick your ass," Sheridan chuckled.

"Ooo, blonde at the bar," Marie announced.

"Go get her, tiger," Dawn laughed, turning Sheridan around and shoving her in the direction of the bar.

**********************

It was after two a.m. and Keefer had been tossing and turning all night on the futon, her thoughts about Danni not allowing her to fall asleep at all. She stood up and stretched, grabbing the half-empty glass of milk from the table. She stood in the dark kitchen and rinsed out the glass as she heard Danni come home. Her lover was trying to be as quiet as she could, but Keefer could tell she was drunk, just by her clumsy stumbling.

"I'm up, Danni," she said loudly as she flipped on the living room light.

"Geez!" Danni squinted and covered her eyes.

"How'd you get home?" Keefer asked, watching as her lover's eyes adjusted to the light.

"I got a lift. I didn't drive tonight." Danni looked Keefer up and down. "Where'd you get that nightie? I like it," she grinned wolfishly.

"I've had it a while. You've seen it before," the tall woman rolled her eyes. Great. Horny and drunk.

"Yeah? You'd think I'd remember something like that," she leered. "Why don't you come to bed tonight, babe?"

"You're drunk, Dan," Keefer sighed.

"So? You're my girlfriend. Now come to bed and prove that."

Keefer tracked Danni's movements until she was half naked and in the bedroom before turning out the living room lights.

A short while later, Danni was snoring and blue eyes were staring at the ceiling. Keefer talked Danni into laying back while she made love to her. It was over rather quickly and Keefer was grateful for that. Danni reeked from perfume and it was not a scent Keefer had ever smelled before, she wanted to gag. The tall woman sat up and leaned over her snoring lover, studying her face. Danni's lips were swollen. Keefer leaned down and sniffed the sleeping woman's face... her neck... it was as if Danni had bathed in another woman's perfume. Blue eyes narrowed. Keefer threw off the covers and inspected her girlfriend's body. Nothing. She turned her over and did the same to her back. Hmmmm, she thought as she squinted at a mark on her back. Turning on the bedside lamp, the brunette stared at the mark again. It looks like a scratch... but still, that could have been anything... She looked again at Danni's front and saw a faded bruise on her collarbone. Could have been a hickey at one time... She froze. What are you doing? Keefer turned off the light ashamed at herself. Inspecting Danni's body like she was, embarrassed her. She felt guilty for doing it, but the talk show guy really made her think. Now that she opened her eyes, she had a good idea that her suspicions were confirmed.

***********************

The blonde struggled out from under her sleeping dogs and slapped the alarm clock. "Shit!" she yelled as Pharaoh's head fell heavily onto her bladder. "UP!"

The Pit Bull yawned widely and stretched all his legs, giving Sheridan the chance to wiggle out from underneath him. "Thanks a load," she muttered as she ran to the bathroom.

While the hot water cascaded down her tired body, she thought about the woman from last night. Grinning, she remembered how they wound up in a bathroom stall, never making it out of the club. Sheridan loved women like that -- slutty women who didn't give a shit who knew what was going on. The woman wasn't quiet either and when they finally did leave the stall, it was to rounds of applause from the other women waiting in line for the bathroom. The woman she had bent over the toilet took a few bows and blew kisses at the clapping people and Sheridan winked at a few. What was her name again? she thought hard as she soaped up her body. For the life of her, she couldn't remember the name.

A big black head appeared around the shower curtain and the blonde flicked water at the dog. "Can't I even shower in peace?" she shook her head and chuckled silently as a brindle head appeared next to the black one. "You guys are too much. I'm coming, I'm coming." Sheridan rinsed off quickly and turned off the water. "Make yourselves useful and fetch a towel will ya?" she pointed at the dogs who just sat there and stared at her. "Alright, then tell me where you hid my shoe... Pharaoh." The blonde stepped out of the shower and shook her head over the dogs. They didn't appreciate that and trotted off out of the room in a huff.

***************

Keefer propped her sneaker-covered feet on her desk and looked over the list of places she had to be today. She narrowed it down to three places and decided to get the construction site done first. She despised construction sites. The men always gave her a hard time... spouting cheap comments, coming on to her, making obscene gestures, acting like they were god's gift. She hated dealing with all that testosterone and wanted it out of the way as soon as possible. After that, it was smooth sailing with a few food service places.

Pulling her hair back into a ponytail, the tall brunette stood up and stopped in front of the door. Her reflection in the cheap mirror she'd put up made her do a double take. She was not used to seeing herself dressed this way in this particular mirror. She gave herself the once over and turned sideways, to check out her ass. Danni's right, my ass looks good in these jeans. Keefer grimaced. Let's not think about Danni today, she told herself. Well come on, Keef, let's get this over with.

****************

The tall woman took a deep breath as she stood in front of the construction site. This is the place, she told herself. Time to face the animals. Keefer braced herself for the comments that were sure to be tossed at her as soon as she pulled open the door.

"Hey, look at what we have here!"

Sheridan's head turned in the direction of the wolf whistle. She knew that meant a good-looking woman was in the vicinity and far be it from her to pass up a look-see.

"Yo, Patch, you may want to come and take a look at this!" one of the guys called from downstairs.

Sheridan snickered, she was too busy at the moment and she had a screwdriver in her teeth. She shook her head and resigned herself to the fact that she'd miss out on this opportunity.

"Oh, that has to hurt." Bobby teased her. "A sweet lady and you can't see her."

The blonde had to admit she was very intrigued by the amount of clamor downstairs, regarding this particular female. She spit out the tool and stood up. "She sounds like a looker though. Maybe I should..."

"I'm sending her up, she needs to speak with Patch!" a voice called followed by a ruckus of teasing comments directed at Sheridan.

"Must be my lucky day, boys," the blonde winked and rolled up her sleeves, exposing over-worked arm muscles.

"Oh, sure, call out the big guns," Phil joked as Sheridan wiped the dust off of her butt.

Keefer stood there with her hands on her hips, already steaming over her greetings downstairs. It took her way too long to acquire a hard hat and find out who was in charge. Patch... what kind of a name is Patch? she wondered as she looked at the men in front of her. "Which one of you is in charge?" she raised an amused eyebrow, as these men seemed mesmerized and all pointed to the short guy in the corner. Men... she thought disgustedly. Although check out the ass on the short one... that's some body, too, come to think of it.

"Jesus Christ!" Bobby whispered, just loud enough for Sheridan to hear.

Sheridan's heart picked up speed at the sultry sounding voice. She almost didn't want to turn around, but Bobby's exclamation caused her to act. She looked over her shoulder directly into the inspector's denim-covered breasts. "Holy shit..."

"Uh, Patch, you said that out loud."

Sheridan blushed and looked up into the bluest eyes she'd ever seen. A wolfish grin appeared unbidden to her face as she studied the gorgeous face in front of her.

Keefer lost her breath. She's a WOMAN?

"I'm in charge, Miss..."

"Gibson," Keefer stood dumbfounded at the cocky expression on Sheridan's face.

"Miss Gibson. Sheridan Landers, what can I do you for?" she smiled and wiped her hands on her pants.

The tall brunette took a deep breath and shook her head. Get a grip, Keef! "I'm with OSHA, I'll need someone to show me around."

I'll show you around baby... "I'd be glad to," Sheridan grinned boldly, assessing the tall woman's body.

The tall woman stood there for a second, watching as the muscular blonde turned to walk away. She caught herself staring at Sheridan's ass and blushed furiously. Hurrying to catch up with the smaller woman, Keefer rolled her eyes to the many catcalls and comments that followed her out of the area.

Sheridan turned around and graced the tall woman with a forgiving grin. "You'll have to excuse them, Miss Gibson, they have no class." She turned to the small crowd, "Shut the fuck up, assholes."

"I see you're just oozing with it, Miss Landers," the tone of her own voice made Keefer blush again. Am I flirting with this woman? She noticed green eyes twinkling back at her. Curiouser and curiouser.

To be continued...in Part 3