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The Promise

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Lena and Sam stood in line at the high-end coffee house surrounded by other young professionals. The coffee house was overpriced and overrun with aspiring actors and actresses all hoping to get discovered. Lena was dressed to intimidate and impress with her short black dress and her long suit jacket. Her shiny black hair was smooth as silk and she wore an intense red lip.

“I’ve heard this place is good”, Sam said with a cheerful smile.

“I feel like I’m going to be sick”, Lena said nervously.

“Babe, everything is going to be fine.”

“Sam, this deal could make or break my career. If I get this, there’s no stopping me.”

“But look at you. Look at how stressed out you are. All you do is work. You don’t eat, you don’t sleep, and you sure as hell don’t fuck.”

Lena looked around embarrassed and grabbed Sam’s arm.

“Jesus Sam! Use your inside voice”, Lena whispered.

“Sorry. I just mean that you don’t have a life. Maybe this isn’t what you want.”

“Listen, I have worked my ass off trying to get to this place in my career. I need this. This is all I know.”

“Know more. You’re boring”, Sam said with a playful chuckle.

“I love you too.”

“So, what are you going to say?”

Sam looked over at Lena and noticed she was distracted by something or someone to be more precise.

Lena watched her talking to the woman behind the counter. She was radiant. Her long blonde hair, her adorable smile, those glasses and the blue eyes behind them. She was wearing a little dress shirt and slacks. She looked soft and warm. Lena had never felt such an intense attraction to anyone in all her life. Everything in her wanted to go up to the beautiful grinning blonde and hug her or kiss her mouth until they ran out of breathe.

That smile. Look at that smile. It breaks my heart.

Lena heard the woman speak and she was a goner. That voice. That voice was incredible. That voice gave Lena a tingle where it mattered. It was sweet and kind but Lena could imagine how sexy it would be to have her whisper in her ear as she made disturbingly hot passionate love to her.

“Lena! Lena! Are you listening to me?”, Sam asked grabbing her arm.

Lena snapped out of it as the woman walked away. She shook her head and rejoined the land of the living.

“Yeah…um…sorry Sam. Just…did you see that woman who was just ordering coffee?”

“No. Where?”

“Never mind. What were we talking about?”, Lena asked.

“No, who did you see?”

“There was just this woman. She was stunning and her voice. Wow. “

“Where is she? You’ve been living like a monk. I’m getting you laid”, Sam said with a pump of her fist.

“She’s blonde. She’s with another woman who had short hair. She was wearing glasses and a cute little dress shirt and slacks”, Lena said with a little upturned grin.

“Weird.”

“What’s weird?”

“I don’t think I’ve seen you smile like that…well ever. We definitely need to find her.”

When they got up to the front of the line they both ordered drip coffees to save time. They were not surprised to find out that a drip coffee would take just as long as the rest of the ridiculously pretentious drinks on the menu. They paid and stepped out of line to locate the object of Lena’s desire. They moved quickly around the coffee house to find the woman who had instantly captivated Lena’s attention and yearning.

They looked all over but they couldn’t find her. Lena looked up and saw the blonde and her companion walking towards a white BMW in the parking lot.

“Shit! She’s leaving”, Lena said.

“Go out there and get her”, Sam said.

“What the hell am I supposed to do? Should I run out there and say “Oh hi, you don’t know me and I know I’m completely insane but would you agree to marry me and have babies with me? Seriously.”

“You’re adorable. Look at you. You’re actually flustered. If you don’t go out there, I will.”

“Bena! I have two drip coffee’s for Bena!”, the barista said.

“Are you fucking kidding me? Bena? How does that make any sense. I clearly said ‘Lena’.”

“It’s now or never babe. Go out there. She is about to pull away in her gorgeous brand new BMW.”

“Come on. Let’s grab our coffee. She’s gorgeous but I guess it wasn’t meant to be”, Lena said disappointed.

Lena and Sam walked over to the counter to pick up their coffee. The barista gave Lena a little smile. She was tattooed and had a lip piercing. Women like that made Lena nervous.

“Sorry. We were out of Sumatran so I gave you my special dark blend. I think you’ll like it.”

Lena didn’t hear the barista or care much about what she said.

“Umm…thanks”, Lena said turning around quickly.

Sam gave the barista a flirty smile and mouthed a silent “Thanks” to the woman.

Lena gasped and felt all of the air leave her body at once. The beautiful blonde stood only inches away and smiled sweetly. Her blue eyes were so intense, Lena couldn’t help but stare into them like a crazy person. Lena could swear the woman smelled like fresh laundry and ripe strawberries. She felt a warmth spread down between her legs and she choked a little.

Oh my God. I want to taste you. Wow. Did I just think that? Lena!

“I’m so sorry, the beautiful blonde said. I just left my…”, she started to say reaching around Lena and grabbing her cell phone from the counter. Their bodies were excruciatingly close.

Lena was speechless. The woman’s voice had an effect on Lena. She could feel a tingle travel quickly through her body and rest between her legs again. She was so turned on she shook a little.

“I…umm”, Lena barely managed.

Sam grabbed Lena’s arm and pulled her out of the way.

“I’m sorry. You’ll have to excuse my friend here. She has a very important meeting and she’s a little nervous. Please forgive her”, Sam said with a sweet grin. “This is Lena”, Sam said pointing to the now almost catatonic Lena.

Lena looked out the window and tried to avert her eyes.

The woman gave Lena a kind smile.

“No apologies necessary. Good luck with your meeting”, she said so sweet and so genuine Lena thought she would die. “I’m Kara. It’s nice to umm…meet you?”

Lena looked into the woman’s eyes and let out a little grunt. Kara gave her one more sweet smile and turned to leave.

Lena watched in agony as the most beautiful woman she had ever seen walked out of the coffee house and out of her life forever.

Sam let out a chuckle and gave Lena a pat on the back.

“Wow babe, no game. Absolutely zero game. What happened? That was just hard to watch.”

“She smelled like fresh laundry…and strawberries”, Lena said staring at the door completely distracted.

“She was adorable. Run after her”, Sam said.

“Shit. Shit! Shit! Shit! What the hell is wrong with me?”

“It’s not too late to run.”

“She’s gone and I’m a fucking moron.”

“Damn babe. I’ve known you for years and I have never seen you look this useless. Was it love at first sight?”

“Nah. She is too soft and sweet. She would never be into me.”

“Come on. Did you see that smile?”

Sam turned back to Lena who still looked shocked.

“You know her name is Kara. You have to hang out here and see if she comes in again.”

“So I can act like a mute moron again? I don’t think so. I’m good.”

“You’re adorably pathetic babe. We need to find that woman again.”

“She’s gone Sam.”

“I don’t know. I get the feeling you’ll see her again at some point. Come on, let’s take a seat and you can tell me what you’re going to say at the meeting.”

“She really was beautiful wasn’t she?”, Lena asked.

“She was. She was cute and the perfect opposite of your badass Prada gayness.”

“I’m an idiot.”

“Not at all babe. If you’re meant to be, you’ll see her again.”

Lena looked over at the door and her heart hurt.

God. Her voice. I wish I could have a second chance. I could listen to that voice forever. She lit a fire in me. She lit a fire deep deep inside of me.

“Come on…let’s go sit down and get you calmed down for your meeting.”

“What the hell is wrong with me Sam?”

“So much babe. What specifically?”, Sam asked trying to joke.

“That woman was…I don’t know why she had such an effect on me. Shit.”

“Stop beating yourself up.”

“That woman she was with was stunning. I’m sure she’s her girlfriend. I just need to shake this off.”

“Are you still nervous about your meeting?”

“What meeting?”, Lena asked distracted.

“The meeting you have in an hour babe. Earth to Lena.”

“Shit. Sorry Sam.”

“Come on. Let’s find something else to talk about. What are you doing this weekend? Did you want to go to yoga or something?”

“I have a dentist appointment tomorrow”, Lena said.

“Oh no. Are you serious? Shit. You do not do well at the dentist. This is not your week. Didn’t that last dentist fire you as a patient?”

“He did. I freaked out and punched him in the face.”

Sam exploded into raucous laughter. Lena looked around the coffee house and everyone was staring.

“Thanks Sam. As if I wasn’t already dreading it enough.”

“You’ll be fine. Why are you going?”

“Stupid wisdom teeth. All four of them are killing me. I waited as long as I could. I’m going to a new dentist. A friend at work said she is the best dentist in LA.”

“You’re going to do great babe”, Sam said unconvinced.

“No I won’t.”

“No, you won’t but it seems cruel to be honest at this point.”

“Do you want me to go with you tomorrow?”

“Do you want to come with me?”

“Hell no but you’re my best friend in the world so I have to offer but I would literally rather poke myself in the eyes than see the hot mess you’re going to turn into at the dentist. I love you babe but I think you’re taking an Uber.”

Lena couldn’t help but laugh. Sam wasn’t always the most supportive best friend but she made up for it by making Lena laugh. Lena felt like Sam kept her young when she was feeling too serious.

Lena stared out the window and froze again.

“It’s okay Sam. I get it.”

“No, now you look sad babe. Now I feel like a bitch,”

“You’re not a bitch”, Lena said. “I’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure? You look so depressed.”

“It’s not the dentist or the meeting. I just wish I had been brave enough to talk to that woman or at least form words. God that was embarrassing.”

“Like I said babe, you need to hang out at this place like every day. At least you know her name.”

“Kara”, Lena said with a dreamy smile. “I love her name. It’s soft and warm just like her.”

***

The next morning Lena walked from her office parking garage to her new dentist’s office.  She normally hated walking anything more than a block in her heels but she needed the fresh air and three Los Angeles blocks seemed reasonable. The anxiety was already starting to set in and she could feel her body reacting as it usually did when she was going to the dentist. Her chest was tight, her knees were weak, her hands shook uncontrollably and her heart pounded so hard she kept her finger over the emergency button on her phone just in case her heart gave out. 

Lena knew her fears were unreasonable. She knew that dentists were healers and good people. Her fear began with her first appointment. She was six years old and had just moved to Los Angeles with her father, step mother and brother. Her brother Lex had playfully filled Lena’s head with horrific images of dental monsters and torture to give her a fun scare. Little did Lex know that 30 years later, Lena would still be horrified to even think of sitting in an exam room with a dentist. 

“Fuck. If anyone at the office knew how insane I was about the dentist I would be fired on the spot”, Lena muttered aloud as the medical building came into view. 

Lena was considered a tiger in her company. She was the head of Mergers & Acquisitions at Kurosawa Global. Kurosawa Global was a massive conglomerate that provided investment and real estate applications to businesses around the world. 

Lena’s job was to find other, smaller companies and knock them down to the ground, beat them to a pulp and take all of their assets. Lena had no qualms about the ethical ramifications of her job. All she cared about was the challenge. She wanted a job that was interesting, provided new and exciting adventures every day and allowed her to climb high on the ladder without limit. 

Lena’s job was perfect for her and she put 110% of herself into her work. This didn’t afford her much downtime. She slept, on average, about four hours a night. She always worked late into the evening and arose in the wee hours of the morning. It was vital to Lena that she not waste any potential working time with sleeping or doing anything unnecessary.

Lena walked up to the medical building. Every step she took toward the door filled her with more anxiety and terror. 

Lena reached for the door and her heart pounded hard in her chest. She took a deep bracing breath and walked inside the lobby. The waiting room was filled with other patients including quite a few children. Suddenly, Lena felt very silly. She was no less nervous but now she felt like a nervous idiot. 

The woman sitting behind the front desk gave Lena a kind smile and waved her over. 

“Good Morning”, the woman behind the front desk said with a bubbly tone. 

“Um…Hi. My name is Lena Luthor. I have an appointment at 8:45”, Lena said nervously. 

“Are you okay hun? You look a little pale.”

“I’m just going to be honest. It’s only fair to you. I’m a total fucking disaster. I’m terrified of dentists and I’m feeling a lot of anxiety right now. I’m just going to apologize ahead of time for being such a mess.”

“Okay sweetheart, my name is Maggie. Everything’s going to be okay hun. Dr. Danvers is the best dentist. She specializes in clients with fears and I can promise that you will take one look at her and fall madly in love. She’s a sweetheart.”

“My last dentist had huge hands and smelled like sawdust. He was terrifying. I kept picturing him in clown makeup and it wasn’t pretty.”

Maggie let out a little chuckle but stopped when she realized Lena was dead serious. 

“Okay hun, take a seat and we will call you in a few minutes.”

Lena gave Maggie a crooked smile and found a reasonably child-free area to sit and meditate in the waiting room. She sat and closed her eyes and tried to think about anything but the crushing fear that was taking over. 

I need time. Hopefully they call all of these people before they call me.

A disgruntled patient exited the exam area in a huff. He was tall and lanky and reminded Lena of a creepy man on stilts. 

“I don’t get it. All I did was ask her if she wanted to go out. She could have said no.”

The nurse looked around the waiting room and smiled. Lena listened closer as the nurse lowered her voice. 

“Dr. Danvers doesn’t date patients and she doesn’t feel comfortable continuing your treatment with the way you behaved. Please leave.”

”She’s just a stupid bitch. Whatever!” 

The man stormed out and the whole waiting room seemed on edge. 

Seriously? Real original you mouth-breathing-douchbag. 

Lena watched the nurse call a few patients.

Maggie waved the nurse over and pointed in Lena’s direction. They both looked over and talked in hushed whispers. 

Always love being looked at like a zoo animal. Let me guess what she’s saying. “That crazy woman over there is melting down. Call security.” Fuck me.

Lena was shocked to see the nurse start walking towards her. She stopped about a foot away and gave Lena a warm smile, free of judgement. 

This doesn’t feel right. Usually their eyes are full of judgement when they ask me to leave.

“Good Morning Ms. Luthor, my name is Nia. I’m doctor Danver’s nurse. Why don’t you come with me?”

Lena was very confused. There was a whole waiting room full of people. 

Why am I being called before them? Is there a back door I don’t know about?

Lena took a deep breath and stood up. She felt a little faint. Nia grabbed her arm to steady her. She walked her back into the exam room area. They made their way down a short hallway past some other examination rooms with patients all waiting mid-exam. Nia guided Lena into a different room. The familiar horror show chair was missing and instead there was a soft recliner. There was a tv, a few candles and soft music played. 

“I don’t understand”, Lena said. “This looks more like someone’s living room than a dentist’s office.”

Nia smiled. 

“That’s the point. Here, put your purse down here and take a seat. Would you like some water?”

“No. I’m fine. I can barely eat or drink anything with the pain I’m in. It’s excruciating.”

“On a scale of 1-10 where is the pain?” 

“Nine and it has been that way for a few weeks.”

“Wow. Okay. Here, try this”, Nia said laying a warm heating pad over Lena’s lap.

“What’s this?”

“Just something to help you stay warm and relax.”

“Wow. That actually feels really soothing.”

“Dr. Danvers is a brilliant woman. You’re more than just a patient to her. She wants you to feel safe.”

“Well Nia, I feel a little better.”

“Good. Would you like to watch some TV?”

“No thank you. I’ll just close my eyes and meditate a bit. I have kind of a pre-game warm up.”

Nia grinned. 

“Just remember to breathe and relax. It will all be over soon.”

“Thanks Nia.”

Nia made her way out of the exam room and Lena closed her eyes. She began to whisper under her breath. 

“Don’t freak out. Don’t freak out. Stay calm. Don’t punch the dentist.”

All of a sudden, Lena felt someone walk into the room. She felt a bracing hand on her shoulder and she distinctly smelled clean laundry and ripe strawberries. 

Great. I’m hallucinating. Yes, I can’t get her out of my mind but now my senses are betraying me.

“How did your meeting go?”

Lena opened her eyes and saw the beautiful blonde from the coffee house staring back at her with the sweetest, most disarming smile. She was wearing scrubs and her hair was pulled back out of her face. Lena’s gaze was swept away into the blue of her eyes and her mouth suddenly went dry. 

“Um…I…”, Lena barely managed. 

Okay. Hopefully a meteor hits this office and I die because that was so fucking embarrassing. What is wrong with me? Why is my moth incapable of forming words when I hear her speak or see her smile?

“I see you’re as talkative as you were the other day”, Kara said with a sparkle in her eyes. 

She moved a hand to Lena’s arm and spoke so softly, Lena could feel the familiar warmth spreading through her.

Jesus. Am I really getting turned on at the dentist office. This is so weird but that voice…my God. Look at her smile. She is so beautiful I could cry. I just want to grab her and kiss those lips. She is so radiant.

“I…I’m really sorry. This is really embarrassing, Lena said with a dorky smile. 

“Why are you apologizing?”, Kara asked sincerely.

“I can’t seem to form words when you’re around.”

“Well, I’ll take that as a compliment”, Kara said sweetly.

“My meeting was good. I think I killed it.”

“That’s great”, Kara said rubbing Lena’s arm.

Fuck.

“Thanks for asking. It was kind of you to remember”, Lena said a little more relaxed. “How was ummm…the rest of your day?”

“Good. My sister Alex and I ran a couple errands and then I came to work.”

Her sister Alex? YESSSSS! She’s her sister. Fuck yes! Why does this feel normal? I’ m at the dentist and I’m calm.

“So, what brings you here today?”, Kara asked returning to the business at hand.

“I think all of my wisdom teeth are having a problem. I am in so much pain I can barely drink anything.”

Nia appeared in the doorway.

“Everything okay in here?”, Nia asked.

“Nia, why don’t you stick around for a little bit”, Kara said.

“Sure.”

Nia sat down in a chair next to Lena and grinned. 

“Okay Lena, I’m going to do a visual examination and then we will get some x-rays. I promise everything is going to be okay”, Kara said with a sparkle in her eyes. “I’ll take good care of you.”

Lena felt completely calm and completely safe. 

“That sounds good”, Lena said grinning like an idiot. “Thank you for promising. Other dentists never promise.”

Kara moved a hair out of Lena’s face. It was a simple gesture but her touch was soft and warm. Lena wasn’t afraid of Kara. She trusted her and she had no idea why.

“Just breathe and let us know if you need anything to make you more comfortable.”

“I’m perfect. Thank you”, Lena said. 

Kara grinned and put a hand on Lena’s arm. 

“Yes, you are.”