[Author's Note: For anyone who wanders in here uninitiated, one of the common themes of Left Behind Fridays is that every once in a while Chloe and Hattie transcended Jerry Jenkin's atrocious writing and inhuman characterizations. We named these unintended characters Meta-Hattie and Meta-Chloe. Since these are the only two sympathetic characters and few people love hot meta-girl-on-meta-girl action more than Slacktivites, we often root for them to hook up, even though we know it won't happen. Still, you can imagine what it would be like if they did, right?]
"Jesus god," Chloe whispered to herself as she pulled back the curtain. Hattie was just pulling up in front of the house. "By the blood of Christ I command you demons of temptation to go away from me." The words she'd secretly laughed at her mother for came out of her mouth easily. It had happened a lot since she'd started attending New Hope Village Church.
"Demons are everywhere, trying to lead you in to temptation, my child," her mother had told her all those years ago while giving her hair one last tease right before Johnny showed up to take her to Homecoming. "You mustn't let them. They hate hearing about the blood of Jesus, so make sure they hear it as much as possible."
Chloe had just rolled her eyes.
"And don't you go giving them any openings, either," her mother continued. "I know all about those underwear catalogs. I know you're mad at me for throwing them out, but when you start thinking about putting on those little lacy panties you just start thinking about letting some boy take them off. God doesn't want that for you."
"Yes, mother," Chloe sighed. It was easier to let her think that she was planning on buying the stuff in her stack of Victoria's Secret catalogs than admitting what she actually used them for. That would probably lead to an exorcism. It would probably get Johnny in trouble, too. He had just as much to lose as she did if their cover was blown.
Hattie got out of her car and shut the door behind her. She slung her purse over her shoulder and flipped her long, blond hair over her shoulders. She walked around behind the car with long, purposeful strides atop her high-heeled boots, her long, khaki-encased legs rhythmically thrusting through the opening of her knee-length, black coat.
At the curb Hattie hesitated slightly and flipped her hair again. Loose flakes of the gently falling snow shook loose as her hair cascaded over her shoulders in long, luscious strands that curled up ever so slightly at the ends.
Chloe's mouth went dry.
She closed her eyes.
Hattie stopped for just a moment, gently kissed her belly button. Then her nose continued to trace its gentle, meandering path up her stomach, stopping every once in a while for a quick, gentle kiss. Everywhere Hattie's nose and lips went her hair followed slightly behind. Chloe felt every strand as they caressed her flesh.
The nose reached her left breast and continued on, straight, true, purposeful this time. It traced its way up past her nipple. Stopped.
Warm, soft lips enclosed her nipple. A wet tongue slipped out from between them...
"BythebloodofChristIcommandyoutoleave. BythebloodofChristIcommandyoutoleave," Chloe whispered quickly, desperately. But the words were powerless, just like when she whispered them to her ceiling at night. She had wanted Hattie from the moment she met her at the restaurant, known she was perfect when Hattie had grabbed her wrist under the table and said, "C'mon. Bathroom. Girl time," and rescued her from her father's arrogant discourse about the truth of things he'd once mocked and the uncomfortable leer of the ever-so-creepy Buck.
A hand on grabbed her shoulder. She jumped.
"Whoa, sorry, kid. Didn't mean to startle you," her father said. "Who are you talking to?"
"Uh, Jesus," she replied. "I was, uh, I was praying that he'd reveal himself to Hattie and she would come to know the truth."
"Good for you, kid," he replied. "Pray that Jesus works fast, though. She's late and I'm going to have to leave for the airport pretty soon."
"Uh, okay." Chloe turned to her father just as Hattie passed the front window, smiled, lifted her arm and made one of those cupped-hand waves. Was she imagining things, or had Hattie's smile been directed more at her than her father?
Then she caught the look on her father's face. She recognized it immediately and hated it with a passion.
She hadn't known what the look meant the first time she saw it. It was in third grade and her parents had come to her school for Parents' Night. Pretty Miss Kent had been at the front of the room, explaining what the class was doing that year. Chloe had turned to see her father studying her teacher, intently watching every move. At the time she'd thought it was great that her father was so interested in what she was learning.
A few weeks later her father had announced he was going to a parent-teacher conference. Her mother was out of town, setting up some sort of Women's Retreat with the church, so he had to go alone. He'd left her with the neighbor and been gone for hours.
Two months later Miss Kent stood in front of the class with tears in her eyes and told her students something had come up and she had to leave. Bitter Old Mrs. Bingham had taken over the class and school wasn't nearly as fun from then on, especially when the rumor started that it was Chloe's father who sent Miss Kent away and everyone made her life miserable.
In high school her friend Jamie had come over once and only once. When Chloe finally asked why, she'd said she felt creeped out whenever he was around.
She'd gotten her parents to let Erin stay over on her first holiday break from Stanford. The first night, after a round of hushed, giggly lovemaking, heightened all the more by their inexperience and the real risk of discovery, Erin had propped herself up on an elbow, begun tracing abstract forms across Chloe's stomach with a finger, and said, "So I notice you and your dad have the same taste in women."
Chloe had batted Erin's hand away, rolled over to face the wall and cried herself to sleep.
Her father's hand leaving her shoulder surprised her nearly as much as its arrival had. "I should probably let Hattie in," he said, walking over to the door. "Can you, uh, can you leave us alone for a minute, kid?"
"Sure, dad." She turned from the window and headed for the stairs, but not before the door opened.
"Hey, Ray," she heard Hattie say. Then she threw a, "Hey, girl," over his shoulder.
"Hi," Chloe practically yelled the word over her shoulder as she ran up the stairs, terrified she was about to burst in to tears.
She reached the second floor and quickly crossed the hall to her room, careful to control her emotions long enough to avoid slamming the door behind her. Then she turned and faced the full-length mirror attached to the wall.
"You're only kidding yourself, Chloe," she told her reflection. "You don't have a chance with Hattie, even if she is in to girls." She ran her hand through her hair, then down her cheek. "Your hair is all flat and stringy. Your face is too round." She scanned down her body, picking out all the other problems she could see. Her breasts were too small, her middle too big, her hips too wide.
Hattie was...well, she was perfect. She had that long, blond hair, those clear blue eyes and full lips and the sort of complexion that never required makeup. Then, just because an amazing face wasn't nearly good enough, she had those perky little tits, that flat and toned midsection, that infinitely grabbable, perfect ass, and those long, amazing legs that always looked perfect emerging from a pair of stiletto heels.
Besides, she was a professional woman in her mid-twenties, about to take a job working directly for the most powerful man on Earth. Hattie was no college girl, on her own for the first time and looking to experiment. She was in a completely different league, possibly on another plane of existence.
Erin might have been the closest Chloe would ever come to a woman like Hattie. She, too, had been a tall blond. But where Hattie wore her hair at its natural, strawberry blonde color, Erin was a platinum bottle blond. She'd traded Hattie's lean, athletic proportions for the slightly top-heavy look of a would-be porn star.
Chloe knew at the time that most of the people on the planet would be happy to share a bed with Erin. She'd admitted that her disappointments were petty and stupid and that Erin really was a wonderful girlfriend. She'd even taken that first night visiting the Steele home in stride, apologized profusely, and made up for her mistake in creative and enthusiastic fashion.
Then their second year at Stanford began with The Talk.
"Over the summer I met a guy."
"I met a guy. His name is Sam, he's studying to be an electrical engineer. He's a great guy. You'd like him a lot."
"But what about us?"
"Come on, Chloe. You know what this was. A little experimentation. We're away from home for the first time, looking to have some fun. But, you know, we're going to have to go back to the real world sooner or later."
The real world. Those words echoed in her mind.
Chloe tore herself away from the mirror and collapsed on to her bed. Her real world sucked. Her lecherous bastard of a father was downstairs with the woman of her dreams, lecturing her about Jesus and the end of the world. Even at that, Hattie might as well be in another universe for all the chance that Chloe had with her. The first woman she'd ever loved had walked away one day, acting like all those nights in her arms didn't matter, all those long, slow, Saturday afternoons making love had just been quick and meaningless fucks between strangers because, hey, it was all a crazy experiment.
The worst thing was that all this Jesus shit was supposed to make it all better. Pray the prayer, go to church, tell others how awesome it all is. Jesus will make you all better. It sure wasn't turning out that way.
She collapsed on to her bed in a spasm of sobs.
The door opened. "Hey, Chloe, you still here?" It was Hattie.
Chloe sat up, wiped the tears from her cheeks. "Yeah. What's up?"
Hattie closed the door, crossed the room, and sat down on the bed. "Hey, girl, you okay?" she asked, concern written all over her face. "Those pretty green eyes of yours shouldn't be all red like that."
Chloe sniffed and managed a weak smile. "I'm just having a bad day, that's all."
"Oh." Hattie reached up and gently brushed a strand of hair behind Chloe's left ear with the back of her fingers. "Well maybe this will cheer you up."
Hattie's hand continued to the back of Chloe's head and held it in place as Hattie leaned forward, tilting her head slightly to the right.
Their lips met. Chloe closed her eyes and soaked in every detail. The feel of the hand at the back of her head. The smell of Hattie's skin. The warm, soft lips pressing against hers, parting ever so slightly. The tip of a tongue poking out, beginning to explore.
Two sharp knocks on the door.
Hattie jumped back. Her hand dropped to Chloe's shoulder.
The door opened.
"Hey, I'm out of here. I'll be back on Friday," Chloe's father said, sticking his upper body in to the room. He paused for a second and a puzzled look crossed his face. "What, uh, what's going on here?"
"Girl stuff, Ray," Hattie said. "You'd probably rather not know."
"Ah," he said. "Thanks, Hattie. It's been hard on Chloe and me since her mother disappeared. I'm sure it will be good to have another woman around."
He pulled back out of the room and closed the door behind him. Hattie and Chloe stared silently at each other, afraid to even breath, counting footsteps down the stairs.
"Don't take this the wrong way, Chloe," Hattie finally broke the silence, "But your father is a dumbass."
"Oh, believe me, I know. But you came here to talk to him, so what does that make you?"
"Silly girl," Hattie smiled, "I wasn't here for your father. I was here for you."
"And it's my understanding that he's going to be gone for four whole days."
"I, uh, I believe you're right."
"Good, then." Hattie's right hand crept up Chloe's neck and returned to its spot at the back of her head. Her left hand crossed from her lap to Chloe's thigh and began moving up and down, spreading warmth along the inside of her leg.
Chloe closed her eyes and smiled.
"Now, then," Hattie said, "Where were we?"
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