Read One Degree of Separation Online

Authors: Karin Kallmaker

Tags: #Fiction, #Librarians, #General, #Romance, #Small Town Life, #Lesbian, #(v4.0), #Iowa City (Iowa)

One Degree of Separation (26 page)

BOOK: One Degree of Separation

Liddy pivoted in place and stared. She said into the phone,

“Okay, I forgive you,” and hung up.

Marian meant to saunter. She then thought she could hold herself to a stroll. It became a half-run as Liddy started toward her and they collided, in the parking lot of the Golden Dragon, in plain sight of the world.

She kissed Liddy without holding anything back. It was nice to have love out in the open. She kissed Liddy again.

Liddy finally pushed her away. “I’m all sweaty.”

“I like you this way. You were the first time you held me.”

“Oh, you noticed.”

“I think I’ve noticed everything about you.”

“There’s a lot more to know.”

Marian nodded. “A lot more for me to tell.” I can tell her everything as we go along, she promised herself. I think she can handle it.

“Talking is good. If we stay out of bed we can talk more.”

“Why can’t we talk in bed?” Liddy scrubbed her face with the sleeve of her uniform. “I don’t know where we’re going, Marian. I’m a little scared. I’m a long way from home.”

“And this isn’t home.” With a tiny rush of courage, Marian added, “Yet.”

Liddy’s shy smile reached her eyes. “I’m not saying it couldn’t be.”

“I’m not ready for a commitment.”

Surprisingly, Liddy answered, “I am.”

“Oh.” Marian didn’t quite know what to say to that.

“Don’t panic, you nit.”

“I’m not a nit!”

Liddy arched an eyebrow. “I meant that I am willing to commit to trying.”

Slowly, Marian nodded. “Me, too. Yes, I can commit to that.”

“We’ve got seven weeks,” Liddy said philosophically.

“Practically forever.”

Forever, Marian thought as Liddy melted into her again, might not be long enough with this woman. They swayed against each other until Liddy drew her head back with a laugh.

“We can dance someplace else, you know?”

“It’s not this kind of dancing I have in mind,” Marian answered.

“I want a long dance with you, though, a very long dance.” Liddy caught her breath, then a slow smile crept over her face.

“What do you call this dance?”

Marian laughed. “We’re going to have to talk that over, I think.”

“Oh, more talk.” Liddy’s mock pout was, Marian had to admit, adorable.

“We’ll have to practice dancing, too.”

“That is sounding more appealing.” Liddy pulled Marian against the Hummer. “I’m ready.”

“For what?” She swallowed hard as Liddy’s hands slid underneath her T-shirt to stroke her back.

Liddy’s answer was nearly lost under the pounding of Marian’s heart.


Thursday evening, November 25:

Getting lazy about writing in my journal. So much to cover.

I’ve never had a vegetarian Thanksgiving before, but everything was
tasty. Liddy’s mom is a good cook. Her dad seems to like me. I’m worried
they’ll be cold in the guest room.

This morning L couldn’t find a decent pair of panties to wear, thanks to
Hill. She said her mom would know it had holes, so she opted for a skimpy
thong that came with a negligee. All day that knowledge has been quite distracting.

Tickets to Hawaii are expensive, but worth it. I’m amazed that L still
wants to go, after I told her about Hemma. She says she wants to be sure
I’m over it, and that I’m not just calling her Emma to cover! I’ve taken to
enunciating clearly.

The good news is Trombone has stopped barfing in my shoes, but L’s are
now the target. I try to tell L that means Trombone loves her.

I’m nearly done with my first semester—what a relief! We think L is
going to get another project from Moon; she liked the work L did. The
bonus was encouraging and her agent knows of another writer looking for
a good researcher.

Sandy is a good gardener and my share of this year’s harvest has been
bountiful. We may go on doing that. She and T are good neighbors. Who
knows, Ellie and Jersey might be happy together, too.

No more time. L needs me.


About the author

Karin Kallmaker admits that her first crush on a woman was the local librarian. Just remembering the pencil through the loose, attractive bun makes her warm. She was perhaps more permanently marked by watching that same librarian, some years later, argue respectfully but passionately with a man who had thrown away a book he’d checked out, claiming it was obscene.

Maybe it was the librarian’s influence, but for whatever reason, at the age of 16 Karin fell into the arms of her first and only sweetheart.

There’s a certain symmetry to the fact that ten years later, after seeing the film
Desert Hearts
, her sweetheart descended on the Berkeley Public Library to find some of “those” books. In the old-style card catalogs, author card “Rule, Jane” led to subject card “Lesbianism—Fiction” and then on to book after self-affirming book by and about lesbians. These books were the encouragement Karin needed to forget the so-called “mainstream” and spin her first romance for lesbians. That manuscript became her first novel,
Every Port

The happily-ever-after couple now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and became Mom and Moogie to Kelson in 1995 and Eleanor in 1997. They celebrated their twenty-seventh anniversary in 2004.

All of Karin’s work can now be found at Bella Books. Details and background about her novels, and her other pen name, Laura Adams, can be found at her own web site.

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