Special To Lesbian.com
Synopsis: It’s 1945. Juliana wants to be a star and she has the singing voice to do it.
Alice (Al) is determined to make Juliana into the star she wants to be.
The worst thing that could happen to Juliana is to be discovered as gay.
The worst thing that could happen to Al is to lose Juliana.
Al must guard their secret at all costs.
Will the gossip columnists and the new laws destroy them?
If you like stories about 1950s Manhattan and behind the scenes drama in theater and nightclubs you’ll love, Olympus Nights on the Square: Book 2 of the Juliana Series. Olympus is sexy, funny and deadly serious; it’s full of mobsters, the FBI, McCarthyism, gay bashing, lesbian pulp, a beginning awareness of transgender persons and “cures” for homosexuality. A lot like now.
Even though Olympus is Book 2 in a series, it can be read as a standalone with no problem.
I loved watching Juliana put oil or lotion or whatever on her legs. I lay on her
bed—in the bedroom that was only hers, not the one she shared with him—watching her
through the open bathroom door, her foot propped up on the closed toilet seat. I wore my
new vest, a pair of gray trousers with the zipper in front—Juliana’s tailor made those—
and a tie with my fedora pushed way back on my head like a gumshoe in a crime picture.
Juliana’s hands slowly glided up from her delicate ankles, the lotion sliding over
her perfectly shaped calves, her long fingers moving on to her slightly muscled thighs.
She pushed the lace of her underpants leg up a bit so she could massage the oil into that
delicious place I loved to kiss, the place where her thigh met her rear. Then she started on
the other leg.
“What is that stuff you’re putting on your legs?” I asked.
“Dorothy Gray’s Satura Lotion,” Juliana answered. “It captures the dew from the
air to prevent aging. It’s been scientifically shown to…”
“Okay, that’s more than I wanted to know.”
She straightened up and drew her white satin robe around her almost nude body.
“Do you put that stuff on your legs, so they’ll be soft for me?”
“No. I put this lotion on my legs, so they’ll be soft for me.”
“Not for him?”
She gave me one of her ‘don’t start’ looks and took out another jar of stuff. She
dipped her fingers in and rubbed it on her neck. “Orange Flower Tonic,” she said to the
question marks in my eyes. “To prevent double chin.” She sighed, “I’m almost thirty. I
can hardly say the words.”
“You’re only twenty-eight.”
She studied herself in the mirror as if expecting her face to suddenly collapse. “I
just hope Richard comes home with a list of fresh songs for me to sing. There isn’t a
moment to waste.”
“When does he get in?”
“He wasn’t sure which ship they’d be putting him on. Probably a few days.”
She finished with the Orange Flower Tonic and moved to the end table next to her
bed. She took her hairbrush from the top drawer and stood near the bed brushing in long
strokes the coal black waves that bounced around her shoulders.
As she brushed the robe fell open and I could see her breasts. I kneeled on the
bed and put my arms around her waist, pulling her close to me. I kissed her stomach and
ran my tongue around the elastic band of her underpants. I started pulling them down
with my teeth, but she stepped back. “Uh, Al, you better not. I went to confession
yesterday. I need to take Holy Communion today.”
“Are we sinners?”
“You know my thoughts on that.”
“But I don’t understand. If we’re such sinners, why don’t we—you—just stop—
not that I want you to—cause I don’t, but….”
“I can’t help what I am.” She leaned over the dresser, looking into the mirror
putting on eyeliner.
“Well, if you can’t help who you are then how can God expect you to be somebody else?”
She made a loud sigh. “You’ve got to go to college.”
“College? What does college have to do with it?”
“You keep asking me questions I can’t answer.” She closed one eyelid and pulled
a dark pencil across it.
I lay back on the bed, my hands under my head. “I don’t think college would give
me answers to these kinds of questions.”
“You still should go.” She dabbed on brown eye shadow. “You’re the college
type and I think you’d like it. Besides you need to start thinking about your future.
You’re not getting any younger, you know. At twenty-two you’re almost too old to go.
You’ll be the grandma of your class.”
She ran deep red, almost maroon lipstick over her lips and blotted them with a
“Once Richard comes home for good I guess I won’t see you very often.“
“You can come to the rehearsal studio and watch me rehearse. Richard likes you.
Right after the New Year’s Eve party he said he thought you were good for me.”
“So, he gave you permission to have sex with me?”
“Ha, ha, funny, funny. He goes on lots of business trips during the year. And
there’s his mother and sister in Omaha. I never go with him on those visits.”
“I don’t like that you have a whole secret life that doesn’t include me.”
“It’s not secret, Al. It’s business. He manages my career.” She pulled her light
blue dress over her head and cinched the matching belt. “Actually, you’re my secret life.”
“Are you going to let him make love to you?”
She picked up her lipstick and put it in the drawer. She picked up the mascara and
put that in the drawer. When she went for the eye shadow I said, “Well?”
She put the eye shadow away and looked at me through the mirror. “That isn’t a
very nice question to ask a person.”
“He’s my husband. A wife has certain duties that…”
“Yeah, yeah, my mother tried to tell me all about those unpleasant duties when I
almost got married. You remember my almost wedding, don’t you? You were there. You
kissed me when Henry walked…”
“No. You kissed me. I merely responded.”
“Do you like it with him?”
She pulled on her left glove, then her right.
“You do!” I said, slamming my fists against the bed.
“I didn’t say that. I don’t know how to answer your questions.” She looked in the
mirror to fix the hatpin to the top of her wide brimmed blue hat.
“It seems like a simple enough question. Not a question I have to go to college to
get answered. Either you do or you don’t.”
“I can’t talk about this now, right before communion. I haven’t been to church in
weeks and with Richard coming home…” She slipped her feet into the heels with the
straps that went across her foot. Such a delicate movement, a slender foot slipping into a
high-heeled shoe. “How do I look?” she asked, standing at the end of the bed.
“Beautiful. You always look beautiful.”
“Oh, Juliana.” I threw a pillow at her.
She stepped out of the way of the pillow and picked up her handbag from the bed,
letting it dangle from her wrist.
“Yes?” She was giving herself one last look in the mirror, adjusting things.
“You know—the way I feel, uh… for you and…”
“Alice,” she sighed.
“Uh, oh. You never call me Alice. Here it comes.”
“You know I don’t want to hear about those feelings. They’ll pass. A woman
cannot feel that way for another woman. Those feelings are for husbands so that the
couple can have babies. Let’s not bring it up again. All right?”
“Yeah, sure.” She’d just sliced open my stomach with her nail file. Again.
“Oh, don’t look like that.” She sat on the bed and ran her fingernails up my inner
thigh. “I hate it when you look at me with those puppy dog eyes. We can still have fun,
“Uh, Juliana,” I was looking at her hand still moving around my inner thigh,
getting dangerously or deliciously—depending on your perspective—close to… “unless
you plan on dumping church and finishing things, you’d better not…”
“Oh.” She pulled her hand away. “Sorry. Reflex.” She jumped up. “We have all
of today to be together. Tell you what. When I get home, I’ll fix us a little lunch and we’ll
eat in the park. And tonight, let’s go to Tony’s for drinks. We can ask Riley and Warren to
join us. They’re always up for a club.”
“I guess we do have to ask them, don’t we?”
“We can’t go unescorted, but once we’re seated Riley will be with Warren and
you’ll be with me.”
“Sure. It’ll be fun.”
“Exactly.” She spun around. “Tonight, we shall be terribly gay. And when we get
home… who knows what loveliness we shall make.” She winked at me and headed for
I crawled to the edge of the bed. “A kiss?”
“No. I’m going to church.”
Vanda is working on a series of novels about LGBT modern history beginning in 1941.
Juliana (Book 1) and Olympus Nights on the Square (Book 2) are available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GBEZOUE
Paris, Adrift (Book 3)will be released in May 15, 2018.