Story: Kaleido Stages of Love (chapter 3)

Authors: HuntressDarkmoon

Back to chapter list

Chapter 3

Title: Stage 3: Run

[Author's notes: Well, it's finally done! After just over a year, I've finally managed to get over some of my writer's block. Enough of it, at least to finish the third part in this series. Thanks to everyone who's read it and especially to those who sent me e-mails!]

Layla sat on the edge of the exam table in Kate’s office, her right arm in its sling, even though she felt as if she could go without it. She had it on for Kate’s sake, who was already up in arms about new tearing in Layla’s shoulder muscles. The young doctor was staring at new x-rays of Layla’s shoulder, shaking her head in disbelief.

“Did you keep the sling on at all outside of my office?” Kate turned her accusatory glare on Layla.

Layla gave Kate a one-shouldered shrug and a sly grin. “Off and on.”

“Off and on,” Kate muttered under her breath. She quickly wrote a prescription, tore the sheet from her pad and passed it to Layla. “I know I can’t keep you from moving about, for whatever reason you may have, so take this. It’s a script for some meds. It may help lessen the pain while you’re gallivanting about.”

Layla nodded. “Thank you, Kate.”

Quickly, before Layla could make a break for the door, Kate laid a hand on Layla’s arm. “Wait. Before you go. . .”


A knowing look came over Kate’s face as she smiled at Layla. “I know you’re not foolish enough to try your old theatrics. What are you doing, then, that you’ve reinjured your arm?”

Layla looked slyly at Kate. “You want to know?”

“Please.” Kate folded her arms across her chest to await Layla’s answer.

Sliding down off the table, Layla grabbed her purse and headed for the door. Before she left, Layla looked over her shoulder. “It’s love.”

After leaving Kate’s office, Layla made a brief stop to pick up her prescription. A short time later, she found herself back at Kaleido Stage. She had been going there every day since she and Sora had their private training session a few days earlier. Unfortunately, that night left Layla’s shoulder feeling sore, which had prompted her to seek Kate’s professional opinion. At this point, though, nothing was going to keep Layla from Sora.

Walking up the main road toward the stage, Layla saw Marion feeding Jonathan in his pool. Ken was fretting on the side of the pool, warning Marion to watch her footing. Seeing him brought a twinge of regret through Layla. Ken had a crush on Sora, but never did anything about it. Sighing, Layla continued up the walkway, putting Ken from her mind. His inaction was not her problem, after all.

Few people milled about Kaleido Stage that day. With the new show firmly in hand, many of the cast and crew took extra time for themselves instead of training. Layla had never been like that and never understood how people could slack off when the only way one could improve was through constant training.

Sora understood that. Layla smiled, thinking on the small, upbeat girl who had stolen her heart. And although she had first started to notice these feelings when they had been training in the Grand Canyon, Layla hadn’t acted on them until only recently. It was something she regretted.

Upon entering the main stage area, Layla found Sora on the tightropes, practicing as always. The athletic girl was high above, going over the routine that she had practiced with Layla only a few days before. Keeping hidden, Layla watched as Sora leaped from one tightrope to another, her body gracefully taking to the routine after hours of practice.

When Sora finally came to land on the platform atop one of the poles, Layla stepped forward, clapping. Sora jumped in shock and looked down to see who was watching her. Seeing Layla, the girl’s face lit up and she waved briefly before swinging down to the ladder and descending to the floor. Sora rushed over to Layla with a smile on her tired face.

“Layla,” Sora chirped happily. “Did you just get here?”

Nodding, Layla placed a gentle hand on Sora’s head and stroked her hair. “Yes. Kate’s up in arms, though. She says I have torn some more muscles in my shoulder.”

Sora drew back, worry clouding her eyes. “Oh. . .Are you okay? It’s my fault, isn’t it? Oh, I knew you hurt yourself again.”

“I’ll be fine.” Layla hugged Sora to her briefly. “I just have to watch what I do for a while. No more lifting you off of tightropes.” She winked conspiratorially.

Sora blushed. “Oh. . .I, um. . .”

Layla smiled and stroked Sora’s head. “Don’t worry about it. Walk with me?”

Sora nodded, grabbed her towel and caught up to Layla with three brisk leaps. She slowly raised her hand to take Layla’s arm, but stopped at a subtle signal from the older woman. Sora put her hands back at her sides and bit her bottom lip. She understood that Layla didn’t want to draw any more attention than they already were.

Once they had left the building, Layla seemed to relax a bit. She looked over at Sora as they walked toward the dorms. “Sorry about that. People. . .tend to talk around here, you know.”

“I know.” Sora nodded.

“So,” Layla continued, “there’s no show tonight. Have any plans?”

Sora’s heart began to thump hard in her chest and a smile spread across her face. “No, not yet. I was thinking of working on the routine for the next show. . .”

“Hmm, then I guess I shouldn’t bother you,” Layla teased.

“No!” Sora cried and then backed off, chagrined. “No, please. I don’t have plans. I mean, I can always practice tomorrow.”

Layla laughed in the way that made Sora’s knees weak. “Well, I was thinking of inviting you over to my place again. You seemed to enjoy it last time.”

“For dinner?” Sora asked innocently.

“For the night.”

Sora stumbled momentarily and fell forward, grabbing a lamppost to keep from hitting the ground. Worried she may have scared the girl, Layla stopped and turned toward her. She watched as Sora leaned against the lamppost for a moment. The younger of the two had one hand against her chest, her eyes staring straight forward. Carefully, Layla approached Sora.


Looking up at Layla, Sora’s eyes were a jumble of emotions. Managing a smile, Sora pushed herself away from the lamppost. “I. . .”

Layla bent down to meet Sora’s eyes. “I’m sorry. That may have been too sudden. You don’t have to.”

Sora’s hands twitched at her sides. Her chest rose and fell raggedly. However, her eyes finally rose to meet Layla’s. Fear played across their amber depths, but not fear for herself. Fear of what might come of Layla’s proposal.

“Hey.” Layla laid a hand on Sora’s shoulder. “Sora?” Her hand reached up to brush Sora’s cheek.

The fear dissipated from Sora’s eyes. She took Layla’s hand in her two and held it against her cheek. Closing her eyes, Sora sighed softly. “Can I. . .come over tonight?”

A faint smile played across Layla’s face. She closed her eyes and nodded once. “Of course you can.” Drawing Sora into a hug, Layla placed her chin gently on the girl’s head. “Of course you can.”

Upon reaching the door to Sora’s room, Sora found herself fumbling for her key. From the corner of her eyes, Sora saw both Mia and Anna peeking around the corner of the building. Mia waved subtly to get Sora’s attention only and then gave her a shrug as to ask what was going on. With a shy smile, Sora averted her eyes and slid through the open door. Layla was close behind and as the door closed behind the pair, Mia sighed.

“We’re never going to find out what’s going on,” Mia griped. She looked up at Anna. “What do you think?”

Anna, devoid of her usual bad jokes, could only shake her head as her cheeks burned red and her eyes remained fixed on Sora’s door. Sighing, Mia took Anna by the elbow and pulled her away.

“You’re hopeless,” she grumbled.

Inside Sora’s room, Layla sat on the small couch she and Sora had shared before to wait. Sora insisted on quickly showering before they left for Layla’s home, as the scent of the stage still clung to her. As Layla waited a small figure floated in from the other room.

“Ah, Layla.” It was Fool who came floating into Layla’s field of vision. “Come to spirit away Sora again?”

“Hello, Fool.” Layla did her best to ignore the spirit as he hovered closer.

Fool crossed his arms over his chest and stared at Layla. “I must know something.”

Sighing, Layla decided to humor the spirit for a moment. “Yes?”

“First, what are your intentions toward Sora? Second, can I watch?”

“Aah!! Fool!!” Sora burst from the bathroom, snatched Fool from mid-air and flung him unceremoniously out the nearest open window. “Sorry, Layla. He just. . .uh. . .Just ignore him.”

Layla’s eyes fell on Sora, as the younger woman was clad only in a bath towel wrapped around her slim frame. “That shouldn’t be a problem.”

Sora looked down at herself, blushed fiercely and quickly excused herself as she nearly fell back into the bathroom. With a silent laugh, Layla got up from the couch and closed the window Fool had flown from. She hoped he had sense enough to stay away until they left for the night. Sora seemed nervous enough as it was.

Returning to the couch to wait, Layla thought on the girl in the shower, the one who had her emotions and her heart preoccupied. Despite her willingness to accompany Layla that night, Sora still seemed nervous as to what the night may entail. Layla would have to move slowly as not to scare her younger partner. However, she also wanted nothing more than to be with her that night. The thought alone made her body quiver, just as it did at the end of a performance. It was a sensation that she had striven her entire life to duplicate.

Aside from the stage, only Sora had been able to give Layla that feeling of exhilaration. And she would do anything to keep the vivacious girl by her side.

Moments later, Sora exited the bathroom, no longer wrapped in a towel, but dressed in a light blue, ankle-length skirt and a simple white shirt with a scoop neck. She stepped forward, shyly, her hands clasped behind her back. “Will this. . .be all right? Mia picked it out for me the last time we went shopping. I didn’t know when I’d need to wear it, but tonight seemed like a good time.”

Layla looked Sora over and gave her an approving nod. She gently swiped her hand down the back of Sora’s hair, which was still damp from the shower. “You look very cute.” Holding out her left arm, Layla asked,” Shall we go?”

Unsure at first what to do, Sora finally reached her right hand out to lay it on Layla’s arm. She smiled up at Layla as they left the room and headed to where Layla had a car waiting for them. Under the watchful eye of Layla’s driver, the pair entered the car and settled in for the drive to Layla’s house.

When they arrived, Sora got out of the car first, her eyes suddenly distant and fixed on a point far in front of her. Layla almost thought she saw the girl trembling at one point. They walked into the mansion, hand in hand. When the door shut behind them, Sora jumped, her hand clutching spasmodically on Layla’s.

“Sora,” Layla said in a gentle tone to get her attention. “Sora!”

Sora jumped and looked up at Layla. “So, um. . .dinner?”

Dinner was short and full of expectation. Both Sora and Layla ate very little, spending most of the time staring across the table at each other. Sora talked about the show, mostly to fill the time than for anything else. Ever the perfectionist, Layla would throw out tips or ideas for Sora’s routine, which Sora took to like a needy child.

“I’m just worried about the next show,” Sora admitted. “The routine is not only on the ropes, but swings as well. I’m still working on some of the transfers.”

Layla got to her feet. “Well, we could always work on that, if you’d like?”

“In the training room?” Sora leaped to her feet, excited at the prospect of getting to use Layla’s private training facility again. “I just love it there.” She came around the table and placed her head under Layla’s outstretched hand like a kitten looking to be pet.

“Not really.”

Layla lowered her hand to Sora’s shoulder and guided her from the dining room to the second floor. They entered a room that was plush and well decorated. Sora glanced around and realized that it was Layla’s room. When the door shut, Sora turned and saw Layla gingerly removing her sling from around her neck.

“Can we. . .train in here?”

Layla stopped and drew Sora directly in front of her. She laid her hands on Sora’s shoulders and looked down at her with a serious glint in her eyes. “Sora. . .” For someone like Layla, to whom words usually came like water, she was having a difficult time getting her thoughts out. "You know why I joined Kaleido Stage, why I loved performing in front of the crowds. I loved the feeling I got when the excitement of the audience would charge through my body. And for a long time, nothing outside of performing could make me feel that way.

"But. . .when we were training in the Grand Canyon, I began to get that same feeling. At first, I thought it was because of the thought of performing the Legendary Great Maneuver, but it became more than that. And it's taken me a long time to figure out exactly what I was feeling."

Taking Sora's chin in her gentle hand, Layla smiled down at the girl softly. Her eyes flooded with emotion that entranced Sora completely. “I love you. More than I’ve ever loved anyone in my whole life.”

“Layla. . .” Sora’s body trembled softly, but not only from nervousness. Her closeness to Layla was filling her senses so everything was blocked out but Layla and her wonderfully deep eyes. "For so long. . .I've wanted to hear you say that for so long."

“So, I don’t want to force you into anything,” Layla continued slowly.

Shaking her head, Sora answered, “No. No, I’m fine. I’m okay. Really. I-“

Layla cut the girl off with a sudden kiss, wrapping her arms around Sora’s waist and drawing her in closely. Sora melted into Layla’s embrace, falling forward into her partner with a willingness that came from love. Still holding Sora, Layla carefully walked backwards until she was standing at the edge of her bed. She gently placed Sora on the bed before kneeling beside her, lovingly caressing her face.

“You’re so beautiful when you’re practicing. So focused,” Layla whispered into Sora’s ear.

Sora turned toward Layla and smiled shyly. “I always think of you when I’m up there. It makes me feel closer to you.”

Layla straddled Sora’s lithe body and stared straight down into her eyes. “What made you stay?” At Sora’s confused look, Layla continued. “The day you arrived at Kaleido Stage, I was so mean to you when you missed the audition. Then I challenged you to perform the Golden Phoenix. What made you hang on for so long?”

“I guess I always was a bit stubborn,” Sora admitted. “But I felt I had something to prove. . .to the attractive woman who had challenged me.”

Leaning down on her elbows, Layla kissed Sora deeply, her eyes smiling from Sora’s answer. It was true that Sora had always met each challenge with a stubborn streak that rivaled that of Layla. That only made the young performer that much more attractive. So much so, that Layla found her body responding only to Sora’s closeness.

“Sora. . .” Layla fell silent, letting her body speak for her. She needed to be with Sora then. No matter what happened, Layla knew one thing for sure, she would always be Sora’s partner.

Reaching up with hesitant arms, Sora placed her small hands on Layla’s waist and melted into the other woman’s embrace. They kissed deeply, passionately, leaving all fears of the future behind as they drew closer to each other. Taking Sora’s cheek in her palm Layla pressed in closer to her young lover, wanting so much more. Knowing how Sora had made her entire body tingle with the same excitement she sought from the stage, Layla longed to share it with the younger performer.

Layla shifted her body closer to Sora’s and slid her knee up between the younger woman’s legs, drawing a quick intake of breath from Sora. Her hands slid from Sora’s shoulders, coming to rest, tentatively, on her breasts. Sora’s hands clutched at Layla’s waist as a sudden electric shock flooded her body. Her body shifted subtly and a small moan escaped her lips as Layla continued.

Encouraged by Layla’s actions, Sora soon felt her nervousness falling away. She own small hands reached out to her lover, exploring the curves of the other’s well toned body; still muscular even after having left the stage. Sora’s longing to be with her partner had never been stronger than now and she expressed her wish by pressing her lips firmly against Layla’s.

“Sora,” Layla gasped between kisses. “You make me feel so good.”

Layla’s strong hands found Sora’s breasts and fondled them softly, eliciting increased moaning from Sora. Her knee gently pressed between Sora’s legs and she felt the area heating up underneath her.

Cautiously, Layla began removing Sora's clothing. Although Sora was responding to her actions favorably, Layla was still wary about scaring her off. She made sure that Sora was not the only one unclothed by shedding her own clothing, as well and dropping them into a pile beside the bed. Before continuing, Layla leaned close to Sora and kissed her gently on the cheek.

"Are you okay?" she asked the younger woman.

Sora nodded. "Yes." She confirmed this by shifting her head to meet Layla's lips with her own. The pair kissed deeply and Layla balanced her weight on her knees as her hands slowly slide down Sora's naked form.

Despite what her confident actions said, what Layla knew of love making was very little. However, she could read her partner's body like a book. Sora's reactions grew and Layla continued, learning as she went. Layla knew basically what she was doing, but she didn't want her first time with Sora to be a train wreck. She moved slowly, experimenting, lightly gliding her fingers here and resting them there, finding the spots that drew the most reactions from her partner.

More and more Layla learned and more and more Sora began to writhe on the bed. The older woman then slid her hand between Sora's legs and gently explored her. Sora practically bucked the older woman from her as a shock of pleasure like she had never felt before ran through her body. Layla kissed Sora firmly and continued to caress Sora's wet mound, sliding her fingers along the aroused nub of her clit.

"Layla. . ." Sora gasped, grabbing Layla's shoulders and digging her fingers in.

She moaned with pleasure and Layla felt the younger woman was nearing the end. A few more strokes of her strong fingers and Layla felt Sora's body go rigid with orgasm. The first wave that came over Sora was enough to elicit a loud cry of pleasure that Layla was afraid would be heard outside the bedroom. She leaned over and kissed Sora on the lips to silence her, even as her fingers worked the last bits of pleasure from Sora's body.

Layla let herself fall onto Sora's body, careful not to crush her. She kissed Sora's forehead as the younger woman paused to catch her breath.

After resting for a brief moment, Sora knew it was her turn to take center stage. She timidly rolled to her side and soon found herself perched atop Layla’s svelte body. Her experience limited, Sora could only take what knowledge she had just learned and duplicate Layla’s actions. Having trained with the older woman so many times, Sora’s knowledge of the way Layla’s body moved aided in her attempt to please her partner.

Several attempts soon led Sora to the right combination of pressure and location, so Layla’s moaning became more and more intense as her body shifted beneath Sora’s slight weight. Putting her heart into her actions, Sora felt Layla’s body trembling softly, building, just as her body had, to a climax.

Layla reached up with trembling arms and embraced Sora, drawing the gasping girl close to her chest. "Sora," she whispered and kissed Sora on the forehead. "I love you. For now. Forever."

Sidling closer to Layla, Sora tucked her body against Layla's, holding the other woman's arms in her small hands. She felt Layla place her chin on top of her head and Sora smiled, contentedly. "I love you, too, Layla. So much." Suddenly, Sora yawned deeply. She blushed. "Sorry."

"It's all right, Sora," Layla comforted the young woman. "You must be exhausted from training all day. Get some sleep."

Sora nodded and curled up on her side, while Layla got up to turn the lights off. Returning to bed, Layla pressed her naked form up against Sora. She wrapped her arm around Sora's waist. Safely in Layla’s arms, Sora breathed a contented sigh in the darkness. The warmth that surrounded her came more from the events of the night than the comforter she and Layla slept under then. Her small hands came up and she wrapped her fingers around Layla’s wrists, squeezing gently.

“Hmm?” Layla moved in the darkness, laying a soft kiss on the back of Sora’s head. “Something wrong?”

Sora’s voice sounded small in the night, but she had to know one thing. “Layla, will you. . .promise me, you’ll never leave?”

There was a pause and a soft sigh. Layla tightened her arms around Sora and leaned over the girl’s shoulder. “Sora, you have so much more learning to do, not only on Kaleido Stage, but in life, as well. I would never stand in the way of your progress. So, I can’t make that promise to you.”


“But what I can do is promise you this: No matter where we go or what we do, together or apart, you and I will always be great partners. Forever.”

A tear escaped Sora’s eye and ran down her cheek. She brushed it away on the pillow and nodded, understanding what Layla was saying. “Layla, you’re the only one I want as my partner. Ever.”

“Me too, Sora,” came the whispered response. “Me, too. . .my little Kaleido Star.”


The End


Back to chapter list