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Keeping Faith Chapter 1

Chapter One



Faith Ashford stood in front of the full-length mirror, staring at her reflection.


This skirt is too short, she thought as she yanked it down in the back.


She shook her head in sudden disagreement with her blouse, threw open the closet door and bit her bottom lip.


A few months ago, the actress had been offered her second role in a movie, an independent feature that looked promising. It was playing the role of a lesbian, a rather complex part, in which the heroine actually comes out on top. The openly gay actress absolutely loved the part and being told that it had been written specifically for her, thrilled her. 


Yet word about the part had somehow gotten out and the bigwigs in charge had been flooded with calls. Since playing a lesbian in a movie was considered ultra-chic, the big stars all seemed to want the juicy role. Agents pushed their top name clients, and before anyone could control it, the role had taken on a persistent life of its own. To appease the masses, an audition was set up, with full reassurance to Faith that, no matter who did a reading, she would still get the part.


Still… Faith was a nervous wreck.


What if Demi Moore or Jennifer Lopez reads for it? Surely they’ll get it instead of me, she silently agonized.


Names like those could bring an independent film the kind of notoriety that could benefit them, big time. Faith was beyond worried. She had nothing to prepare herself, no script to study, nothing. She was going to this audition blindly, on the word of her agent, Brad Rogers, and a man named Bill that she’d met at a cocktail party.



Reece Corbett sat on the large leather couch, leaning forward, reading the newspaper that was open on the coffee table. Her small Miniature Pinscher, Smudge, was lying on his back, his tiny legs splayed in all directions as he snoozed on her lap.


She glanced toward the stairs as she heard Faith descend, only to watch her stop, look panicked, then run back up. Reece sighed heavily, and went back to reading the paper. She’d tried several times to convince her wife that the outfit she had chosen was perfect, but apparently, based on Reece’s facial expression, the outfits in question were either too frumpy, slutty, or too plain. Reece had no idea she could say so much by simply looking at her lover. She honestly didn’t think she conveyed anything other than sincerity. Faith’s choices were all okay with her.


Reece sighed once again and prepared herself for her hyperventilating wife as she came down the stairs.


“Okay, tell me the truth.”


Reece kept her face as neutral as she could. “I think you look fine.”


Green eyes widened in horror. “I knew the skirt was too short!” she yelled.


Reece threw her hands up in defeat and stood, knocking the small dog to the floor. “Sorry, little man, but your mommy needs attention.” She reached out to her retreating wife. “Faith.”


Faith spun around and stared at her.


“You need to breathe. Now, come here,” Reece insisted, wrapping her arms around the smaller woman. “This is not like you. Where is my strong independent wife? Just close your eyes and breathe.”



Faith leaned into Reece who began rubbing tiny soothing circles on the small of her back.


“Hon, you look fine.”


“Then why’d your eyebrow go up? Why’d you grin like that?”


Reece furrowed her brows. She’d done all that?


“You looked at me with that...hungry look,” Faith mumbled into Reece’s chest.


“Shit, Faith, in my eyes, you always look sexy. I can’t help it. You’d look edible in a paper bag.”


Faith snorted. “Thank you, baby,” she said with light sarcasm.


“Well, it’s true!” Reece defended herself. She pulled away and nudged Faith’s forehead with her chin. “Look at me, babe.” Green eyes met sincere blue. “I mean it. To me, you’ll always be sexy and desirable. I can’t fake that you’re not. I think you looked fine in every outfit you showed me this morning. Honestly.”


“I’m sorry, Reece, I’m being a terrible pain in the ass. I’m so nervous.”


“You have every right to be. I could never do what you do. You have guts.”


“Oh, Reece, that’s so sweet!” Faith laid her head against her lover’s chest and wallowed in the strong embrace. Reece was trying so hard, and doing so well for being out of her element. “I love you for being so patient with me. I know I must be driving you crazy.”


Reece kissed the top of Faith’s head. “Go on, you’re going to be late.” She reluctantly released her hold. “Are you sure you don’t want me to come with you? You know... for support?”


“Oh, honey, you’d be cooped up in a room full of people, or stuck in the car for hours. Not to mention you’ve become the great Reece Corbett, the wife of that lesbian actress. You’d never last. Thank you for offering again though.”


“Well, then, give me a kiss and be on your way.”


Faith drew closer and stopped short of the kiss. “The lipstick, Reece.”


Reece stuck out her tongue and Faith’s tongue met hers halfway. The two rubbed tongues much like Eskimos rub noses.


“Mmm, you better go before I don’t let you,” Reece purred.


Faith fanned herself. “Whew, don’t even start,” she warned before turning on her heel and leaving.



Reece wanted to sleep, and she knew she should, since Faith would be gone for the duration of the day, but she was too tense. She didn’t think she’d be nervous and actually wasn’t until she’d lain down and closed her eyes. She began drifting off, but as soon as she got to that point of blissful sleep, she’d jump up. This was foreign to her, and frightening. Rarely had she been scared of anything.


She was discovering a whole world of new emotions since she’d met Faith. She yawned, but knew it was for nothing—there was no fighting it any more. Just as she’d get comfortable, her heart would once again begin to beat rapidly. She sat up in bed. “Shit, I gotta get a grip! You’d think that I was the one auditioning.”


She turned to complain to Smudge, but he was more interested in sleeping.


Actually, Reece wished there was someone there with Faith for support. Brad had mentioned hiring a personal assistant to handle Faith’s appointments and fan mail, but Faith nixed the idea. She insisted that Reece was all she needed. Reece had smiled at Faith’s reaction. After all, she didn’t want any lackey following her wife around all day either. However, at this moment, Reece did want someone there, to sit with Faith, at least.


After trudging downstairs and staring blankly into the open refrigerator a while, Reece decided that the only logical thing for her to do was to hit the gym. Upstairs, she changed into sweats and sneakers, and inspected the length of her hair. It was long enough for a ponytail, but one that would stick off the back of her head and look stupid, so she opted instead for her favorite baseball cap. After putting the old, frayed hat on, she kissed the still sleeping dog and left.


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