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I am hard at work this week on recording the February story in my “12 stories in 12 months” Patreon project.

If you enjoy what you’ve seen of my fanfictions and books, you can get fulfilling F/F erotic romance stories for $2 dollars. I also have audio downloads of the stories available for $5. January’s stories are already up and available for anyone who registers to support me in February.

So, now on to the sneak peek for February…

When last we left Brenna and Cassidy at the end of Turn for Home, the two actresses were coming out as a couple and preparing to film the final arc of episodes of the sci-fi series Time Trails. “The End of the Beginning” shares their last day of filming … (imagine timey-wimey wavy lines as we slip back in time to 2001)

Pinnacle Studios, Los Angeles, California
April 2001

Principal shooting for the series finale of Time Trails, which would air on the network as a two-hour movie event, had reached its last day. After so many years with the same people and the recent upheaval in her personal life, Brenna Lanigan was unsurprised that she felt, to put it mildly, emotionally wrecked watching the crew move swiftly around her to reset for what would be her final scene as Commander Susan Jakes. She resisted the urge to brush her fingers through her auburn hair which had been sprayed carefully moments ago by Angel from the studio’s makeup team.

She sensed movement to her right. Turning her head, her gaze followed Cassidy Hyland as the blonde woman stepped up and onto her mark on the Vortex dais. Though she was relieved to see the woman and wanted to speak, Brenna hesitated when she fully took in the other woman’s costume and makeup. The makeup team had given Cassidy a roughed up appearance with gray smudges around her eyes and cheeks. A thin line slashed across her cheek, marks of a pitched struggle Cassidy’s character, Chris Hansen, had endured just before she was found. Her uniform too had been ‘distressed’ and strategically torn.

Brenna had been off-camera but present when those fight scenes were shot three days earlier. And even though she knew it was special effects and a storyline, the sight of the ‘battered’ woman reminded her of Cassidy’s too real recent hospital stay.

Swallowing down her reactions even as she felt her hand flexing with the memory of cradling Cassidy on the floor of her trailer, Brenna lifted her gaze to the other woman’s face where she found a reassuring smile.

“Hey,” Cassidy said, blue eyes light and full lips lifted at both corners. “I’m fine, you know.”

Of course her lover recognized her mood, Brenna fretted and tried again to neutralize her expression. “Makeup’s pretty convincing.”

“Marks,” sounded somewhere behind her and she watched Cassidy roll her shoulders and shift her weight from one foot to the other.

“Hug then a kiss, right?” Brenna asked. They’d rehearsed the scene’s final moment both ways.

“Yes. I’m looking forward to it.” After adjusting her blonde hair, which hung in a messy and haphazard bun, Cassidy placed her hands behind her back. Her head lifted and her blue gaze found Brenna’s once more. She gave a tight nod without a smile, but her eyes were so warm. Brenna felt her cheeks heat and her stomach flutter in response.

We’re really going to do this, she thought. Finally.

Movement to her left made them both jump, still reluctant to be caught in their real feelings. Their co-star Sean took his place next to Brenna at the console controls. “Hi,” the blonde man said.

“Hey,” she replied.

“You didn’t have to stop smiling. Everyone here knows you love her,” he said. Then he dipped his head toward the cameramen. “And very shortly the proof will be on tape so everyone out there will know it, too.”

“Sound effect,” came a gaffer’s voice off to the right. “3-2-1.” That, Brenna knew, was their cue.

“I’ve got a temporal lock,” Sean said, moving his hands across the status board.

“Is it – ?” A gaffer setting off a buzzer cut Brenna off.

“Vortex active,” Sean said. “Coming through.”

Shifting her gaze from Sean, Brenna inhaled sharply and swallowed as she reacted to the person who appeared through the swirling rift. “C-Chris!”

Cassidy stepped forward as though she was off-balance and weak. Brenna caught her pitching forward, falling from the dais. Grasping Brenna’s arms, Cassidy steadied herself. “I’ve been trying…months…back to you.”

You’re safe.” Brenna easily conveyed relief and awe and eased her grip on the other woman. Cassidy straightened, displaying the occasional grimace suggesting things were painful.

“Welcome back, Lieutenant.” Sean stepped around the control station toward the two women.

“Thank you.” Cassidy shook his hand but then she turned back to Brenna. “Heatherly taunted me with recordings – timelines where you died.”

I – we,” Brenna hesitated, wringing her fingers. I’m glad you’re safe.”

“We got Heatherly, Chris. It’s really over.” Sean started to put his hand on Cassidy’s shoulder, but pulled it away at the last second. “There’s a party in the dining hall when you’re ready.”

Cassidy and Brenna didn’t take their eyes off one another while Sean walked off camera.

“How are you?” Cassidy asked as her gaze searched Brenna’s.

Tightly controlling her voice, Brenna sounded brittle. “Why did you leave?”

“I couldn’t stand being in conflict with you any longer. Then Heatherly abducted me.”

“I didn’t realize he had you when we apprehended him on Terra-4.”

“You wouldn’t have found me,” Cassidy said. “I had already escaped.”

“He knew that. Hhe made it look…” Brenna finished Susan’s lines, but once again caught in the memories of Cassidy’s real stay in the hospital her voice choked. “like…you were dead.”

Cassidy took Brenna’s hand. “I’m not dead. I’m here.”

Brenna forced a smile. She grasped Cassidy’s other hand and that steadied her, acting or not. Yes. Yes, you are.” Her second attempt at a smile came easier.

Yes, I am.” Cassidy concluded their lines, stepped closer and lowered her voice as her character broke protocol and used her commanding officer’s first name: “Susan.”

Brenna lifted her trembling chin and the women’s eyes darted back and forth, gauging, assessing, pleading. “Chris.”

She grasped the blonde by both shoulders, pulled her close, and hugged her. Heads falling to each other’s shoulders, they remained embraced for a long silent moment.

Lifting her head, knowing the kiss was next, Brenna looked up into soft blue eyes and a warm smile. She leaned in, gaze focusing on full pale lips.

“Cut!”

“The End of the Beginning” will be released February 11 in PDF and epub formats. The audio will follow probably within a couple days of that. Don’t miss it. Become a Patron today!

~ Lara

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