I Found My Heart in San Francisco

Book 3: Coalescence

By S X Meagher

 

Disclaimers: See Part 1


 

***Part 9***

It was just past one oíclock when they left the course. As the valet delivered the Boxster, Jamie asked, "Would you like to go out for a fancy dinner tomorrow night?"

"Letís see," Ryan replied, as she looked up at the clear blue sky as if seeking divine guidance. "Dinner, you...what could possibly be wrong with that?"

"Did you bring anything elegant to wear?"

"Hmmm." She pretended to mentally review the contents of her closet, then shrugged. "Since I own nothing elegant, I guess the answer is no."

"Then turn left on the Drive. Weíre going shopping, Sweetie."

Ryan looked askance, but did as she was told. They drove into Carmel and parked as soon as they found a spot. As they walked along the neat shop-lined streets, Ryan decided that she had better issue a dirt-alert. "If I take off my clothes, I promise that Iím gonna leave a pile of sand."

"At the place Iím taking you, they wouldnít say a word if you left a pile of kitty litter in the dressing room."

"Sounds like the kind of place I canít afford," Ryan said hesitantly.

"My treat, Babe. Itís only fair for me to pay since the clothes are not for you," she reasoned. "Iím buying them for me."

"But I thought you wanted me to get something elegant," she said with confusion.

"Oh, youíll be wearing them, but theyíre for me." Jamieís sexy tone left Ryan no doubt that her role was to serve as eye candy for her partner.

Ryan just grinned, pleased that Jamie felt comfortable expressing her desires. When they reached the store, Jamie led the way, telling the sales woman exactly what she was looking for. Both the clerk and Jamie eyed Ryan like a prized filly, deciding what style of garment would look best on her long, lean frame. The woman left to search through her stock, and Jamie ordered Ryan into the dressing room. "Strip," she said decisively. Ryan gamely followed instructions, smirking when, true to her prediction, a sizable pile of sand wound up at her feet. She danced around, yanking at her underwear, trying to get the rest out. It was tough to tear herself away from the completely entertaining dance, but Jamie took pity on her partner and went out to intercept the sales clerk, giving Ryan a minute to collect herself.

The clerk brought three outfits of different styles, but Jamie chose only one to take into the dressing room. It was a thin silk, patterned in a rather indistinct floral print of salmon, bright blue and dusty rose. The top was close fitting with tiny spaghetti straps, coming just to the waist, while the pants, of the same fabric lined in satin, were designed to fit loosely.

Ryan had to take off her bra to try on the top and Jamie marveled at how the shape of her breasts barely changed when she removed it. "You donít even need to wear a bra, do you?" she asked.

"Yeah, I do," she replied. "My nipples get hard when fabric brushes up against them, and itís kind of irritating."

"Maybe to you it is," she purred, as she wrapped her arms around Ryanís waist. "To me, itís stimulating."

"I hope they donít have cameras in here." Ryanís head swiveled on her shoulders, looking in every conceivable place that a camera could be hidden.

"This isnít K-mart, Sweetie," she said, kissing her gently. "Eeww, your lips still taste like sand." She made a little face at the discovery.

"Other than my taste, do you approve?" Ryan did a little pirouette to let her get the full effect.

Jamie spent a full minute taking in her lovely partner. The clothing fit Ryan as though it was designed especially for her. The close-fitting top captured Jamieís attention immediately, and the flowing fabric that covered her legs made her look even taller and leaner than usual. "Very, very much," she said, as she nodded her head slowly. "Although, all I want to do is take that off you," she added seductively.

"We could just jump ahead to that part and saveÖ"Ryan looked down at the garment, pulling it here and there to get a better look. "Thereís no price tag," she said, cocking her head in question.

"Itís not that kind of place, Ryan."

"What kind of place doesnít tell you how much stuff costs?" she asked incredulously.

"This kinda place." There was a hint of humor in her tone as Jamie helped Ryan take off the top.

Still shaking her head in disbelief, Ryan tendered a proposition. "Jamie, either I pay for this, or I buy dinner tomorrow. I canít let you pay for everything," she said seriously.

"Well, you could, but I know you wonít, so--itís a deal." Having come to an agreement, Jamie walked out of the dressing room, garment in hand.

When she learned the price of the outfit, Jamie quickly whipped out her American Express card. She knew that Ryan could order 25 entrees at the restaurant and not come close to the cost of the garment, so she decided to let her to pay for dinner. Ryan approached the counter just as Jamie was signing the receipt. Turning her body slightly to block the taller womanís view, she quickly handed the form back to the clerk. As she turned to leave, Ryan stayed behind to confess that she had left a bit of a mess in the dressing room. She caught up with Jamie just as she left the store. "That was thoughtful of you," Jamie said with admiration.

"I didnít want the next customer to get that on their feet," she replied logically.

"Nonetheless, youíre a sweetheart," she said firmly.

They continued down the street until Jamie pulled her into a vintage clothing store. Ryan looked around idly until Jamie called her over to a big rack full of leather. "Do you have a motorcycle jacket?" she asked neutrally.

"Yeah, I have that black leather baseball-style jacket," she replied.

"No, I mean a real motorcycle jacket," she said.

"Um...no," she said as she shook her head. "Donít you think theyíre kinda...butch?"

"Yep," she said agreeably as she began to pull jackets from the rack. Ryan patiently waited while Jamie decided on her four favorites. She tried each one on, waiting for Jamieís critical appraisal. When she tried the last one on, Jamieís eyes lit up. It was very well worn, scuffed severely on the elbows. Big shiny chrome zippers slashed across the chest and up the sleeves. The coat fit snugly against her hips but was roomy across the chest, and the sleeves were the perfect length, stopping just below her wrists. Since it was a bit more modern than the traditional style jacket, the coat did not have the big belt and buckle that most of the jackets had, but still retained the classic form. It truly did look wonderful on Ryan and, without further consultation, Jamie unzipped it and pulled it off of her. She marched over to the counter to pay for it, ignoring the $350 price tag, but Ryan snuck up behind her, spotted the tag, and practically exploded.

"How much?!" she nearly shouted.

"Itís worth it," Jamie said defiantly, as she handed the clerk her charge card.

"Not to me!" Ryan pulled the coat from the counter, fully intending to replace it on the rack.

"Itís not for you!" Jamie replied as she pulled it right back. "I want to see you in this, Ryan. Now let me have some fun!" She scowled at the grinning clerk taking in the whole scene.

"I think we need to have that talk," Ryan said through gritted teeth, then stalked out of the store.

Jamie followed behind her as she strode purposefully down the street. It was obvious that Ryan was angryóvery angry, in fact. She didnít slow down all the way to the car and, when she got in, she sat in the passenger seat rather than the driverís side, as was her custom.

Jamie slid into the driverís seat and took a big breath. "Ryan, please donít be angry with me," she said in a small voice.

Ryan also took in a deep breath and closed her eyes. She turned to Jamie and said, "I need a few minutes. Can we talk when we get home?"

Jamie nodded sadly and started the car. Tears were trickling down her face by the time they arrived home, and Ryan felt her stomach clench at the thought of causing her lover pain. She got out and went around to the driverís side of the car where she opened the door and extended a hand to help her out. Jamie grasped her hand and pulled her into a rough embrace. "I canít stand it when youíre mad at me," she sobbed into her chest.

Ryan patted her back soothingly for a few moments as her sobs grew deeper, cooing to her softly, "Itís okay, Jamie, Iím not mad. We just need to work this out."

"You are too mad," she mumbled into her shirt.

"Okay, youíre right, I am mad; but we still need to work this out. We need to talk about it, Jamie, or itíll get worse."

"Iím the one who wanted to talk about it yesterdayÖand the day before," she reminded her lover. "I knew it would bother you to be down here, and I wanted to set up some ground rules."

"Youíre right, Sweetheart. I should have listened to you." She bent down to look into Jamieís eyes. "Are you mad at me for not listening to you yesterday?"

"Noooo," she said with a quavering voice.

"Okay, letís go get something to drink and go down to the pool house. I think we need to relax a little bit." She wrapped her arm around Jamieís waist and they went into the kitchen, where they made a big pitcher of lemonade. While Ryan placed the pitcher and some plastic mugs on a tray, Jamie ran upstairs and got some papers from her suitcase and returned to walk with Ryan to the pool house.

"You know, I read some advice on arguing once." The larger woman was calm now, and there was a twinkle in her eyes. "It said you should always fight naked, since it makes you more vulnerable and lets you see your partner in a vulnerable position, too." She plucked at her partnerís shirt by way of encouragement.

"Okay, Iím game," Jamie said, then she quickly stripped out of her clothes. She went into the bathroom to get some towels while Ryan rinsed off in the shower so she wouldnít get sand in the Jacuzzi.

They both slipped into the hot water, both letting out moans of pleasure as they sank up to their necks. Seconds later, Ryan hopped out of the water and trotted to the bathroom. She came out and shot Jamie a shy grin, saying only, "Warm water," as she shrugged and climbed back in.

Jamie gave her an indulgent grin and said, "Can you tell me why youíre mad?"

Ryan took a long slug of her lemonade, trying to make sure she phrased her complaint properly. "Iím mad because I donít feel in control. You do things that you think will benefit me, but you donít ask me if I want them."

Jamie nodded slowly. "Youíre right," she said softly. "That was wrong of me."

Flashing a goofy grin, Ryan tapped at Jamieís nose with her finger. "We canít have much of a fight if you give in so easily."

"Thatís not the big issue, Ryan. The big issue is what do we do about money in general, not this little incident of today."

Ryan knew that it was important for her to understand Jamieís point of view. "Tell me how you see the problem?"

"Okay, Iím used to a certain lifestyle. I donít indulge in it much in Berkeley, but there is a part of me that is comfortable with money, and I like the little comforts that it brings me. I donít want to make you uncomfortable, but I also donít think Iíd be happy if we had to live on your salary, Ryan, and Iíd really rather not have to take a job this year."

"Okay, okay, I get your point. I know I make less than youíre used to, but I was pulling in $1,200 bucks a week, thanks to you. If I did that full time, and you matched that, wouldnít that be enough for us?" Ryan knew that they could be very happy on $1,200 a week, and she honestly thought that $2,400 would provide for a lavish lifestyle.

"Is that really how you want it to be, Ryan?" she asked seriously. "Will you always want our living standard to be twice what you make? What should I do with the rest of my money?"

"You can do whatever you want with it, Jamie." Her rising voice was beginning to reveal her frustration. "I just donít want to depend on you financially, canít you see that?"

"Why not?!" she asked, starting to get angry again.

"Because itís your money. Itís not mine. I donít want to feel like you keep me."

"Is that how you would feel?" she asked, truly incredulous.

The volume of their voices, and the tension that indicated, had been rising. Ryan took a deep breath and made a conscious effort to de-escalate from argument back down to discussion. In a softer tone, she admitted, "Kinda."

"Ryan, youíve done as much to deserve that money as I have," Jamie said clearly.

"What?! I havenít done anything to deserve it."

"Thatís my point! Neither have I! I got that money by nothing more than an accident of birth. It could have been you or me or some child from Appalachia. It was an accident. The last person in my motherís family who really worked for money was her great-grandfather. He worked his ass off, but everyone else hasnít had to do a thing since then, except keep an eye on it."

"Be that as it may, Jamie, itís yours now, and I donít want to accept it from you."

Jamie dropped her head back against her shoulders and watched the clouds drifting overhead through the glass roof. The contemplative mood lasted for several minutes without an interruption from the dark-haired woman who gazed at her placidly. Finally she lifted her head and addressed her partner, "Ryan, have you ever dreamed about winning the lottery?"

A small furrow crossed her forehead as she shook her head in surprise at the unexpected direction of the question. Then a little smile came over her face as she recounted, "Rory and I used to dream about winning millions of bucks, and we used to talk about how weíd spend it. We always had Da quitting his job, and we had cool cars and toys--lots and lots of toys," she laughed.

"What if I had no money, and you won the lottery? Would you spend the money on us, or would you just put it in the bank and buy yourself occasional luxuries while we adopted my lifestyle?"

"Thatís not really analogous, Jamie," she explained patiently. "I would have won the money from some small effort on my part. Anything--good or bad--that happens to me, happens to us both. Of course I would share it with you equally."

"Thatís exactly how I feel! This is something good that happened to me, and I want to share it with you. I know there will be bad things that happen to us, Ryan. I know youíll share any of my burdens. Why wonít you share in my blessings?"

Ryan pursed her lips and lifted herself out of the tub. She sat on the edge of the spa with her feet still dangling inside. "I donít know, Jamie. It just doesnít feel right. I feel like Iím taking something from you that isnít mine."

"Well, technically thatís true, but not accepting my money punishes me," she explained.

"Thatís a stretch," Ryan scoffed.

"Okay," she drawled. "Iíve not been to Europe for over a year. I like to go every year, and I was planning on going this summer. Would you prefer that I went alone, or that I deprive myself of something I enjoy because you canít afford it?"

"But, Jamie," she moaned as she rubbed her face with both hands. "Equipping me for your lifestyle would involve a ton of money! It would cost $100,000 to travel and buy me clothes and go out to nice restaurants routinely. I canít let you spend your inheritance in such a frivolous manner!" Ryan was struggling to understand Jamieís stance on this issue, but it went against everything she had been taught about fending for herself.

The smaller woman narrowed her gaze and stared directly into Ryanís troubled eyes. "Iíve seen you give change to the homeless. Do you even think about that money?"

"No, but its just change, usually less than a dollar. What has that got to do with anything?"

"Ryan, the money I spend is barely pocket change compared to what I have. I earned more in interest today than the total of all the money I have ever spent on you."

"Jamie," she laughed, shaking her head at the obviously ridiculous statement. "I know that math isnít your strong point, but that canít be true."

Pursing her lips against the sting of the jibe, she asked defiantly, "How much do you think Iíve spent on you, in total."

"Gee, I donít know," she said. "Golf, dinners, some clothes, maybe $3,000."

"Look at my most recent trust statement for the Smith trust." She held one of the papers out to Ryan, forcing her to focus on it. "Now look in the corner here and tell me what my average daily earnings were for the March quarter."

"Holy crap!" Ryanís mouth fell open in amazement. "This canít be accurate!"

"Ryan, not only is this accurate, it doesnít reflect the money Iíll get from the Dunlop Trust when I turn 30. Thatís where the real bucks are. Plus, due to wise investments, my mother has lots more than I do, and Iím her only heir."

Ryan sank back onto the tile, her feet still in the water. "This is kinda making me sick to my stomach," she said weakly.

"Thatís how I feel some times, Ryan. Itís way too much money for one person to handle."

"So, youíre basically telling me that you could buy anything you want and never have to even look at a price tag." She spoke slowly as realization dawned and she came to an acute awareness of just how immense Jamieís assets were.

"Yes, Ryan. And I could do the same for all of my friends, not just you. I could buy anything, and I do mean anything, that I wanted, and not even give it a momentís thought."

"God, when you look at it that way, you really are moderate in your spending habits."

"Well thanks," she said, still smarting from the earlier barb. "Iím glad you noticed."

Ryan had the good grace to look slightly embarrassed. "No, really, Jamie, Iím a spendthrift compared to you. Iíve been earning just enough to get by, and I still buy myself every new piece of sports equipment that comes out. Iíve gotta tell you, I admire your restraint."

"But Ryan, thatís exactly what Iím talking about. I think youíre right. Iíve spent less than $3,000 on you over the nine months Iíve known you. That is less than 1/3 of what I earn in a day. Thatís why it hurts my feelings when you wonít let me buy you a few little things. It gives me such pleasure, and itís not like Iím always throwing money at you," she reasoned.

"Youíre right, Jamie. I just had no idea how much you had. I thought that what you spent on me could put a big dent in your assets. Iím sorry I didnít try to understand sooner."

"Do you also understand that I want you to share this burden with me?"

"I understand the words, but I donít really understand what you want me to do," she admitted.

"I would like to die with next to nothing left, Ryan. I want to figure out some way to give this all away, but I want to do it in a way that really changes some lives." The earnestness in her voice left no doubt that she truly wanted others to reap some benefits from her money. "First, however, I want to prepare us for the future. I want to pay for you to go to graduate school, Ryan."

"Oh, Jamie, I donít know if I can do that." Ryan shook her head sadly, knowing that an outright refusal would hurt Jamie, but that an acceptance would undermine her own self-respect.

"Yes, you can, Ryan. We can figure out a way for you to be comfortable. You could even pay me back if you needed to, but I donít want you to have to work the number of hours you will have to work to afford to stay in school. I want to spend time with you, Honey. Donít you want that, too?" The look on her face was so plaintive that Ryan felt the need to reassure her.

"Of course I do, Babe. But we donít always get to do everything we want. You have to make sacrifices to get your needs met."

Suddenly, it dawned on Jamie that she was not just arguing with Ryan. She was arguing with the dozens of OíFlahertyís and Ryanís that had combined to instill the strict work ethic in her partner. "Honey," she soothed. "I agree that you must make sacrifices to get what you want. But what sense does it make to make an unnecessary sacrifice?"

Ryan didnít have a ready answer for that, so she blew out another frustrated breath and lay back against the tile, wracking her brain for a good argument.

"Sweetheart," Jamie cooed. "I hate to be selfish, but I think we need time together as much as any other thing. Grad school is harder than undergrad, and your schoolwork will take up a lot more of your time. I think we have to make our relationship a priority too, Baby, and having time together is a must if weíre going to get along well.

Ryan could agree with some of Jamieís arguments, but not others. "Okay, paying for grad school is a pretty major issue, Jamie. Letís table that agenda item for a later date." A sincere smile assured her partner that her concerns were being heard. "For now, letís settle the little issues, like buying me clothes and things."

Jamie hated to let the issue go, especially since she felt like she had Ryan backed up against the wall. But she decided that she didnít want to win this argument as much as she wanted Ryan to agree to a compromise. Towards that end, she agreed to let the big issue go until another day, and concentrate on the issue that Ryan was comfortable with. "Okay, Honey. Itís like this. I am a very visual person. Visual stimulation arouses me more than my other senses. Iíve been dreaming of you in a big black leather jacket since the first time I put my arms around you that first night on your bike. Having this jacket really is for me, Ryan," she said sincerely. "I know you wouldnít buy a jacket like that, so why deny myself the satisfaction of buying it for you, if I really want to see you in it?"

"Okay, you win that point. Iíll play dress up for you. You can buy me as many little outfits as your wicked heart desires. Police officer, fire fighter, construction worker, lumberjack, you name it. Now what about day-to-day things? Like dinners and golf and stuff?"

Jamie didnít want to be harsh, but she felt like she had to be honest. "Iíve spent nine months going to crummy little take-out joints in Berkeley. I donít mind it, because Iím with you, but I like to have an exquisite meal every once in a while. The last great meal I had was on my birthday, and you paid for that! Does it make sense to only go when you want to spend your money on the same thing? Or would you rather I went with someone else? I bet Chip would tag along..." she teased.

"I just bet he would," Ryan said through narrowed eyes. "So either I go out for fabulous dinners with you, or you find someone else to go with?"

"Pretty much," Jamie admitted with a laugh, feeling confident that her partner knew she was joking about alternate companions.

Her partner considered that extremely undesirable alternate and decided that she would rather swallow some of her pride. "All right, all right." Ryan shook her head partially capitulated. "Thanks to you, I now make a good living. I am learning that I enjoy a good meal almost as much as you do. So, I propose that we go out for a nice dinner twice a month. You pay once and I pay once." She cocked her head and waited for her partnerís reply.

A wide smile crossed Jamieís face. "I like your style, OíFlaherty."

Ryan extended her hand and they shook on the agreement, each feeling that their needs had been met.

Now that their financial matters had been addressed, they decided it was time to play. They swam in the warm pool for a while, frolicking like otters. Jamie spent a lot of time climbing on Ryanís back while she tried to swim. Then Ryan took advantage of her loverís greater buoyancy and forced Jamie to carry her all around the pool as payback. When they were tired and wrinkled, Ryan got out and sat down on the chaise, pulling over the phone and dialing home. "Hey," she said when Conor picked up the phone.

"Oooh, itís the honeymooners," he laughed. "Did you call to give me a blow by blow?"

"Iíll give you one word to sum up the entire experience," she teased. "ItísÖfine."

"Well, since you obviously wonít share the dirty details with me, why are you calling?"

"How would you like to come down on Saturday and play Pebble Beach with me, and then give me a lift home?"

"Oh gee, Ryan, Iíd love to, but I was going to wash my hair on Saturday," he drawled. "Are you nuts? When and where--Iím there."

"Jamieís got to go to a graduation on Saturday, and sheís leaving at 10:30, so I thought we could play a bit after that."

"Hmmm." There was a brief silence as he worked out the logistics. "How about if I come down after work on Friday? Then I donít have to allow four hours on Saturday morning to drive down there."

"Oh, gee, Conor, I donít know...thatís our last night here..."

"Listen, you sex maniac, I donít want to interrupt your little party, I just donít want to drive that far in the morning. Leave the front door unlocked with a note telling me where to sleep. You can keep right on doing whatever you do in your bedroom, or the dining room or wherever you perform."

Ryan laughed at his teasing and told him to hold on for a second. "Jamie, could Conor come down on Friday night and stay in the guest apartment?"

"Sure, thatís a much better idea. Iíd like to see him."

"I wouldnít," she laughed. "Thatís why I want to put him in the guest apartment!"

She put the handset back to her mouth. "Okay, bro, itís all set. Iíll leave a note on the door telling you where to sleep. Now get a pencil to take down the directions. Oh, and Conor, look sharp for golf. Theyíre not used to our kind around here," she laughed as Jamie rolled her eyes.

After the call, Jamie went over and climbed onto Ryanís lap. She wriggled around a little to get comfortable, and finally satisfied herself with her position.

"Do you know what I want to hear?" Ryan asked as Jamie reclined on her.

"Whatís that, Honey?"

"I want to hear more about this leather fetish," she said in a low voice.

"I wouldnít really call it a fetish," Jamie said, a little shyly. "But that first night that you took me for a ride on your bike started my imagination working overtime. Every time I saw you on it, I thought of you in a big leather jacket, a white tank top and your ripped jeans."

"What did you have me doing in your fantasy?" Ryan was fascinated by this glimpse into Jamieís dream world and wanted all of the details.

"Well, at first it wasnít you in my fantasy." Ryan frowned in puzzlement at that, but Jamie was oblivious, lost in her vision. "I would just think about some dark stranger in a bar, holding a beer, looking tough. It wasnít clear whether it was a man or a woman. I guess that should have been another clue, huh?" She laughed as she slapped herself in the forehead. "But as time went on, and it was clear that I wanted you, I would imagine you as the dark stranger in that scenario. Iíd come in, and youíd just take me, right there in the bar."

Ryanís eyes narrowed and her pulse picked up as she envisioned herself in her assigned role. "Sounds pretty hot," she said with fervor. "Was there any conversation?"

"Not a word," Jamie said. "Youíd just look at me, and Iíd melt into your arms. It was mostly about the force of your personality, and the way I felt drawn to you."

"Speaking about the force of my personality, Iím really sorry that I got angry with you this afternoon." Ryan placed an apologetic kiss on the top of the head resting against her shoulder. "It really bothers me when we have a disagreement because I feel so close to you. Itís shocking when we donít agree on a major issue, and I think that makes the fight seem worse than it really is."

"Yeah, I think youíre right," Jamie agreed. She turned her head to look back up at Ryan with searching eyes. "It really upset me when you wouldnít talk to me. I felt totally shut out."

"I didnít want to say anything that I would regret," she hastened to explain. "I donít like to argue when Iím upset, it just seems too dangerous."

"Well, we need to figure out some way to give you a little space, but have me not feel like youíre really mad."

"I donít have a solution to that right off the top of my head, but Iíll think about it, okay?"

"Okay. I will too." She gave Ryan a quick kiss, and discussion time was over. They got up and went to start dinner, walking through the warm afternoon sunshine, hand in hand.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Both women were in the mood for a little spice, so they decided to have mango chutney chicken for dinner. While the chicken was baking, they each grabbed a beer and went out on the patio next to the living room to look at the ocean for a while.

"SoÖday three is almost over," Ryan commented. "How do you think itís going?"

"Hmm, Iíd say itís been idyllic," Jamie mused. "I feel better than I have in years, to tell you the truth. Iím rested and satisfied, and I feel very well loved. I was really worried that things would be odd or uncomfortable between us, but that hasnít happened much."

"Nope. Not much at all," Ryan agreed. "But I did want to ask you about one little thing."

"Whatís that, Babe?"

"I know this is hard for you, Honey, but the only way weíre going to be really comfortable with each other is if we can learn to be really, really open about expressing our feelings."

"I agree, Honey," Jamie said, with a look of concern crossing her features. "Tell me whatís wrong."

"No, no, thereís nothing wrong," Ryan insisted. "Please donít think that. I want to be able to have an on-going dialogue about thingsóand I donít want either of us to be tense about any topics. The more we can talk about it, the more comfortable weíll feel."

"Okay," Jamie said, and Ryan noticed the massive breath that she took to calm herself. "Whatís on your mind?"

"Well, yesterday, when we were making love, I was a little disappointed when you asked me not toÖ"

Jamie covered her face with her hands and she mumbled, "Aaargh! Do we really have to talk about this?"

Ryan considered the question for a moment before she replied, "That depends on whether you want to have an open, trusting, sexual relationship or not, Honey."

Jamieís head jerked up as she asked, "Do you really believe that? You really think we canít just have sex without over-analyzing it?"

The tone of Jamieís voice and her choice of words stung Ryan a little, but she did not back off. This was as important to her as settling the money issue was to Jamie. "I think we could have a decent sex life if we just stuck to what weíve done so far and left it at that. And if thatís really what you want, Iíll try to cut you some slack." Ryan knew that she was treading on sensitive ground; still, she had to express her desires. To do less would not be fair to her or to Jamie. "But itís not what I want," she said firmly. "I want our sex life to be as open and honest and fulfilling as the rest of our life, Jamie. It surprises me to think that you donít share that feeling."

"Oh, Honey." The distressed blonde got up from her chair and knelt down in front of her partner, "you know that I do. This is just hard for meÖvery hard."

Ryan reached down and pulled her onto her lap. As Jamieís head rested on her shoulder, she tried to understand. "Tell me whatís hard for you, Babe?"

"It embarrasses me to talk about sex," she admitted. "I think it should just be something natural that happens between us. I donít see why we have to take the magic out of the whole experience by talking about it."

"You donít seem to mind talking about other facets of our relationship," Ryan reminded her. "As a matter of fact, you seem to enjoy it when we talk about things."

"I do," she conceded. "But sex is different. It shouldnít need to be analyzed. It should justÖhappen."

"Okaaaay," Ryan drawled. "I wanted to make a certain thing happen yesterday, and you didnít. Would you suggest that I keep trying that certain thing until I wear you down? Or should I try something once and then never try it again, because you are not receptive to it?"

"Well," Jamie mused, "that depends on the thing. There are some things that I might never want to do, and I donít want you to keep asking. But some things might be okay in generalÖjust not that day."

"And how do I know which of those things are which?" Ryan asked with a guileless expression on her face.

Jamie knew she was trapped, but she tried to extricate herself. "You canÖjust tell," she decided.

"Okaaaay," Ryan said again, "there are things Iíd like you to do to me that you havenít tried. How do I ask you to do them?"

"Umm," Jamie thought furiously, trying to come up with a good set of signals. "You could just kinda direct me, you know, with your hands or something."

Ryan nodded judiciously before she said, "There are some things Iíd like you to do that donít lend themselves to hand signals. Then what?"

The smaller womanís mind reeled, trying to imagine what in the hell her lover could possibly be talking about. "Ummm, I guess we just have to cross that bridge when we come to it," she decided, knowing how weak that solution sounded.

"Umm-hmm," Ryan said, looking doubtful. "That sounds like it will work."

Jamieís head hit Ryanís shoulder with surprising force. "I know this is silly, but I really feel uncomfortable, Honey."

"Babe, thereís only one way to get over the discomfort. And I think you know what that is," she gently added. "We trust each other, Jamie. I think we have to learn how to be open about this subject. Will you at least give it a try?"

A heavy sigh preceded her reluctant agreement. "IÖIíll try."

Ryan gave her a gentle squeeze and said, "Thanks, Honey. I guarantee that your discomfort will slowly diminish. Now, will you tell me why you didnít want me to taste you yesterday?"

Jamie groaned as she complained, "Did you have to start there?"

"Babe," Ryan said earnestly, "tell me why the mere topic of oral sex is so hard for you."

Jamie head shook slowly against Ryanís shoulder as she considered the question. "Itís just soÖI donít know, Honey," she moaned. "I donít have words for how I feel. It just felt like something that I wasnít ready for at that momentÖCanít we just leave it at that?"

The timer on the oven buzzed, and as Jamie hopped up to return to the kitchen, Ryan stayed in her chair and considered their conversation. She knew that she had been pushing her partner past her comfort zone, and she also realized that it was going to be next to impossible for her to force the inexperienced woman to get through her discomfort. I think I need to back off a little and see how things settle. She might feel more comfortable discussing things in smaller bits. Sighing heavily, she followed her partner into the kitchen to help with the dinner preparations.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Ryan busied herself setting the table while Jamie put some rice on to cook. The taller woman was concentrating on the simple task when she felt a pair of arms encircle her waist. "Mad at me?" a small voice asked.

Ryan turned in the embrace and answered honestly. "Of course not, Honey. I would never be mad at you because you were having a tough time. I know this is hard for you. Iím only trying to make things great for us in the long run. We have plenty of time to work things out."

"But are you happy with what weíve done so far?" Jamie persisted shyly.

"Yes! Most definitely, yes!" Ryan insisted, hugging the hesitant woman to her chest. "Please donít think Iím disappointed, Babe. I swear Iím not! I want our sex life to be all that it can beóand I know it will be, once weíre comfortable. Just because we havenít done everything possible doesnít mean that what we have done hasnít been fantastic. It has, Baby, itís truly been fantastic!"

"You sure?" the small voice asked again, begging for reassurance.

"Positive," Ryan vowed. "Our relationship is going to develop over time, Babe. I only want to make sure we have a good foundationóand I firmly believe that foundation has to start with open communication. I swear thatís all Iím trying to do. I just want to make sure we both feel able to express our wants and needs."

"Okay," Jamie said as she went back to her cooking. "Iíll do my best to make sure we have a good foundation, Babe."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

As they relaxed in their chairs after dinner, Ryan spent several minutes praising her loverís cooking prowess. Jamie just beamed at her, charmed as always by the effusive compliments that Ryan was so willing to offer.

"What would you like to do tomorrow?" Jamie asked. "Weíve spent far too much time doing things I like. I want you to have some fun, too."

Ryan shook her head, smiling the whole while. "We havenít done one thing that I havenít enjoyed," she insisted. "Not one thing."

"Come on," Jamie persisted, drawing patterns on the skin of Ryanís hand with her index finger. "There has to be something you want to do."

"Okay," Ryan said, as she blew out a breath. "Iíd like to get some real exercise. I enjoy golf, but in terms of exercise, thatís just a slow, halting walk."

"Name it," the blonde demanded. "Whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, rappelling down office buildingsÖ"

"Jamie, donít be silly," Ryan cajoled. "There arenít any office buildings around here tall enough to make rappelling any fun at all!" She ducked the pinch that her comment elicited and said, "I think Iíd like to play in the water. Are you up for that?"

"Sure. You name it. I was entirely serious."

"Okay," Ryan mused thoughtfully. "Surfing."

"Surfing?" Jamie asked weakly.

"SurfingÖand shopping," the blue eyes twinkled.

"Shopping? You want to go shopping?"

"My kinda shopping," Ryan declared with a beaming grin.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

While Ryan cleaned the kitchen, Jamie sat on a stool and watched her work. After just a few minutes she found that she was becoming mesmerized by the languid movements of her partner as she gracefully moved around the kitchen. She was just thinking about attempting to distract her for a little love when Ryan announced that she was going to take a quick shower to get the chlorine from the Jacuzzi off.

Jamie was a little unsure of herself at this point. She was still uneasy about their earlier talk, and she was not really comfortable making the first move. In the past she could just wait until Jack made a moveósince he made one nearly every day--then she could decide whether or not she was in the mood. But she didnít want it to be that way with Ryan, and it was clear that wasnít what Ryan wanted either. In the middle of her reverie, she heard the shower stop running and decided to go upstairs and rinse off, hoping to get up her nerve to entice her partner. Ryan was just coming out of the bathroom, sparkling clean, when Jamie arrived. "Hi, Sweets," the dark-haired woman said with a smile. Jamie gave her a kiss and took a moment to breathe in her clean scent. "You smell great," she said in her best seductive tone.

But Ryan didnít seem to notice the tone or the small hand sliding up and down her backside. "Iíll go downstairs and see what I can rustle up for dessert, okay?"

"UmÖalright," Jamie said. "Will you come back up?"

"No. Itís a little early for bed," she said as she looked at her watch. "Itís only seven, Hon." She laughed as she tweaked Jamieís nose.

Swallowing her disappointment, Jamie got into the shower and had a little talk with herself. She isnít like Jack, she said. Yes, she has a healthy sex drive, but youíve told her that you didnít like it when Jack came on too strong. Youíve got to learn to make the first moveóor youíre not going to get what you need.

The warm water slid down her body as her mind continued to muse. Why donít you go downstairs and tell her what you want. You know sheíll do her best to please you.

She was still wrestling with her indecision when she went downstairs 15 minutes later. She noticed that the lights in the kitchen were quite dim, and as she came around the corner she saw that only the under-cabinet halogen lamps were on. "Ryan?" she called, but received no answer. Coming fully into the room, she gasped aloud as she took in the scene that greeted her.

Ryan was sitting on one of the high stools, leather jacket hanging open, revealing a tight white ribbed cotton tank top. Worn, ripped jeans hugged every curve but, oddly, she was barefoot. Her hair hung loosely against her back, looking a little wild as it curled around her shoulders. Dark sunglasses covered her blue eyes, and she held a beer casually dangling between her open legs. Jamieís mouth went bone dry at the sight of her dark, untamed beauty, and her heart started racing as she took in the fantasy-turned-reality.

In the time it took her shaking legs to propel her across the floor, Jamie fell in love all over again. It wasnít just the way her gorgeous partner looked at the moment, although that alone was enough to do the trick. Rather, it was her willingness to work through any problem, fulfill any fantasy, provide any support, and, in every way possible, make herself the kind of mate that every woman dreams of. Once again, Jamie thanked whatever force brought this precious gift into her life, and she prayed fervently that they would be blessed with many years in which to share their love.

She walked over to her love very slowly, watching her closely. Quickly considering her own long T-shirt and panties, she mentally scolded herself for not being more appropriately dressed. But she was certainly not going to leave now, so she decided to make the best of it.

As she approached Ryan, her loverís dark gaze shifted to meet her green eyes. It was impossible to see her blue eyes through the sunglasses, but she could feel them burning into hers. A tiny ghost of a grin played at the corners of her luscious mouth, and just that little bit of playfulness calmed Jamieís anxiety immediately. She slid closer and stood right between Ryanís spread legs, then grasped the tanned face with both of her hands and tilted the dark head to kiss her.

To Jamieís surprise, Ryan responded in a casual, almost lazy fashion. She was clearly waiting to be seduced by her partner, and she was going to make her work for it. Jamie accepted the challenge, beginning to press into her as she kissed her deeply. Her tongue slid from her own mouth, and was slowly sucked into Ryanís. She probed all over the warm surface, running her tongue over the perfect white teeth, one by one.

She leaned back a bit to gaze at the impassive face. Determined to make that face reflect the passion that she felt, she dove into her task with gusto. Sliding her hands beneath the big jacket, she found the warm, firm breasts. No bra guarded them, leaving them vulnerable to her caresses. She leaned in and put her warm mouth on each breast in turn, sucking them through the thin material. Her muffled groan revealed her feelings, and Ryanís nipple grew rock-hard before the desire-filled sound faded. Continued sucking brought a slight hip movement from her prey, but it wasnít nearly enough to please Jamie. Lifting her head, she continued to squeeze the tender flesh, eliciting a small gasp when she firmly pinched each taut nipple.

Her head tilted again, and she began to slowly kiss and suck on Ryanís lips and tongue. She ran her tongue all around the dark pink flesh, pulling in the top and then the bottom for firm sucks and tender nibbles. It was clear that Ryan was trying to remain passive, but faint moans and tiny sighs began to slip through her lips, revealing her growing arousal. Jamieís hands had not stopped caressing the sensitive breasts as she hefted each mound in a hand. She pulled back and gazed at the perfect orbs, fascinated by their weight and softness. Her head tilted just a bit, and as her eyes met Ryanís once again, the dark beauty did not try to hide the knowing smile that slowly crossed her face. It was a glorious moment for the less-experienced woman. She felt so perfectly understood by her partner that her heart swelled with emotion. It was clear that Ryan got a tremendous amount of pleasure from having her breasts loved, but equally clear that she received as much pleasure from the fact that Jamie loved them so. This mutual give and take was something that Jamie had never experienced, and she felt weak with elation as she took it in.

Taking a few deep breaths to center herself, she dropped her head and again sucked the swells of flesh firmly through the tank top. Ryanís response this time was much more enthusiastic. Her hips had begun to gently thrust in time with the suckling of her breasts, and a few moans now escaped her parted lips.

Trying to maintain her cool, Ryan slowly raised her beer bottle and took a few long slugs to relieve her parched throat. She sank down even lower on her stool as her elbows caught the edge of the counter. In a deliberate, tauntingly seductive move, she slowly spread her legs wide as her sexy smile grew. Jamieís eyes grew wide and every drop of moisture left her mouth as Ryanís head lolled back against her shoulders and that lucky beer bottle was lowered and teasingly trailed up and down the seam of her jeans. As the edge of the bottle hit a particularly sensitive spot, a gasp flew from her lips and her chest swelled as a deep, wanton growl immediately followed.

The blatant display of her desire propelled Jamie to accept the unspoken invitation and slowly, teasingly, pop open the buttons of the fly, one by one. She grasped the waistband and started to slide the pants down past Ryanís hips as the dark woman wordlessly lifted just enough to aid in the process.

As the fabric slid down, Ryanís arms locked around Jamieís neck and pulled her close. The rough, almost bruising, kiss that followed caused Jamieís heart to thump loudly in her chest, and she had to struggle to maintain her composure. The denim rested about halfway down Ryanís shins, and Jamie bent to remove the pants. But in a move that surprised both of them, Jamie fell to her knees and dropped her head right onto Ryanís crotch.

A startled gasp flew from both mouths, followed by a low, sexy moan from Ryan. As her pulse continued to thrum in her ears, Jamie felt her chest expand as she inhaled her loverís wild scent deep into her lungs, savoring the sensation. Her mind shut down as her body reacted to the heady scent. Unsure of why she was doing it, but needing the sensation more than breath itself, she began to move her head around in a small circle, grinding her entire face into Ryanís throbbing vulva. The dark-haired beauty had begun to groan softly, and her cries rose in pitch and frequency as Jamie continued to rub her mouth all over her through the white shorts.

Ryan felt that she was nearly out of control, and a nagging voice in her head warned her to temper her response. But the freedom of revealing herself so fully to her partner was too powerful an urge to resist. Her hands flew to Jamieís head, her fingers lacing themselves through her fine, golden hair. Gently but firmly, she began to guide her partnerís head, moving her just an inch or two, until a voice she barely recognized as her own murmured, "Thatís it, Baby. Oooh, right thereÖyesÖohhh, so good!"

Jamie began to pull back, but Ryan did not want to let her go, and she held on a little tighter than she should have. Seeking to reassure her needy partner that she would be satisfied, Jamie ran her hands tenderly across her partnerís firm abdomen, dipping one hand into the shorts, caressing the curls. "Patience, Love, patience." Looking into the green eyes and seeing a look of complete confidence, Ryan released her lover's head and let her own fall back limply as she let out a low, deep sigh.

Still in her kneeling position, Jamie gripped the hems of the pants and, finally, slowly pulled the jeans off Ryanís long legs and tossed them aside, leaving her in her shorts, tank top and jacket. She urged her up; Ryan looked a little confused behind her glasses, but she got the idea and jumped up onto the cool, polished concrete counter, bracing her upper body with her hands. Ryan offered a silent apology to Mrs. Evans as she slid across the surface and waited for her partner to make a move. Jamie climbed onto the stool and placed Ryanís bare feet on her thighs, grasped her knees and slid her thighs open wide, a devastatingly sexy smile gracing her face.

Ryanís heart was beating so loudly in her chest that she was certain Jamie could hear it. The determined blonde began to work on her breasts again, sucking on them through the now-transparent white tank. Roughly pushing the material up until it gathered just above the tender globes, she dove for them with force, sucking on each nipple, biting each mound, as Ryan moaned and writhed on the cool concrete, her hips never ceasing their sensual dance.

The scent of Ryanís arousal called to her, and without conscious thought Jamie once again dropped her head between Ryanís legs and nuzzled her face lovingly against her squirming partner. Ryanís deep voice now rose in pitch, as her moans became whimpers and gasps of pleasure. Jamie grasped and kneaded the heavy breasts with both hands as she rubbed her face over Ryanís heat in a tight little circle. "Aaaahhhh!" the dark woman cried, as Jamie rubbed her nose straight up and down several times.

Jamie slowly sat up as her hands lifted to tenderly caress Ryanís face. Gently removing the dark glasses that covered the deep blue eyes, she allowed her gaze to linger for a minute as their eyes locked in a look as tender as an embrace. Maintaining the fervid stare, Jamie allowed the love flowing from her partner to calm her racing heart. Her small hands moved to Ryanís waist, and she rested them on the smoothly muscled skin for a long moment, feeling the desire that passed between them and reveling in the intimacy of their connection. With complete confidence, she grasped the waistband of the shorts and pulled them down. Ryan assisted by once again lifting her hips.

Maintaining eye contact, Jamie slid to the edge of the stool and gently placed Ryanís feet on her shoulders. Her blonde head tilted, and she batted her eyes slowly and whispered, "May I taste you?"

Blue eyes blinked slowly as Ryan realized that her partner actually needed an answer. Her entire body was shaking with desire, but she struggled to reach out and slowly guide her head. "Please," she gasped. "Please, Jamie."

Their eyes locked for just an instant, sharing the intimacy of the moment. Smiling serenely, Jamie dipped her head and delicately tasted her partner for the first time. "Ooooohhh yesssss! Yessssss!" Ryan gasped as the incredibly smooth tongue slid from one end of her wetness to the other.

Jamie paused for just a second, allowing the scent of her partner to fill her lungs. Her eyelids fluttered closed as her head dipped again to savor the powerfully erotic taste. Her touch was slow, so painfully slow that Ryan had to grip the edge of the counter to deny her need to grasp Jamieís head and force the pace. But she knew that Jamie had to be allowed the time to acclimate to the sensation, so she clamped down with every fiber of her iron will to control her impulses.

As the moments passed, Jamie felt her confidence build as her loverís rabid desire continued to be evident. Ryan urged her on with every signal availableóshe moaned and whimpered, running her hands through Jamieís hair with a reassuring touch. She twitched her hips rhythmically, showing Jamie with her body that her touch was very welcome and very much needed.

Now that she felt comfortable, Jamie began to explore a little bit. She teased her partner with a feather light touch, then leaned in and nuzzled her roughly. To her surprise, Ryan seemed to enjoy every type of touch, so she continued to investigate. She slowly ran her soft tongue straight up the glistening, swollen lips, and then gently opened her partner with her fingers, exposing the soft pink inner folds to her searching tongue. Her delicate touch slid up and down the impossibly smooth skin as Ryan thrashed about on the counter. Unable to control herself any longer, Ryan placed her hands on Jamieís head and pulled her a little closer as the hot tongue began to focus on the smooth inner folds. "Yeeesss, Baby, ooooh yes. Oh God, just like that, Baby, just like that," she gasped out as Jamie continued to tease her. Ryanís hips thrust harder and more uncontrollably now, and Jamie had a tough time staying with her. She grabbed the thrusting hips with her hands and forced her to remain relatively still. Her actions seemed to increase Ryanís excitement, as evidenced by her grunts, so she held her even more firmly, coming down off the stool and really pressing down with her weight.

"YEEESSSSS!!" Ryan cried loudly, as Jamie softened her tongue and moved her head back and forth quickly, covering her entirely with her warm, wet tongue.

Despite Jamieís grip, Ryanís hips began to dance once again as she shook violently. "Ohhh God, oh God, Oh,YESSSSSSS!!" she shouted as her orgasm ripped through her body. Her moans continued as her body shook and rocked so forcefully that Jamie had to struggle to stay connected. As soon as Ryan regained muscle control she grasped the blonde head firmly, and restrained her so that she could barely reach her oversensitive skin. Her legs fell from Jamieís shoulders as they splayed open lewdly, her hands dropping limply as she released her grip.

Jamie rested her head on Ryanís abdomen, luxuriating in the feel of the pulsating flesh under her cheek. Spasms continued to roll through Ryanís limp body for long minutes as Jamie slowly, tenderly and lovingly rubbed her hands across the still-heaving torso. When she felt that the tremors had slowed, Jamie finally gave in to an overpowering urge that she had. She dropped her head, and watched Ryanís entire vulva contract rhythmically, placing several small kisses on the insides of her thighs. Ryan jerked a bit as she felt her loverís head so close to her over-stimulated flesh, but she relaxed when she realized that Jamie was going to be content to kiss and lick her thighs. The pale head stayed right where it was until she was certain that all of the contractions had passed. Then she sat up a bit, resting her chin on Ryanís pubic bone. As Ryanís head lifted off the counter, she stared at Jamie for a long moment, finally asking with suspicion, "Are you absolutely certain youíve never done this before?"

"Scoutís honor," she promised with a beaming smile.

The tightly corded tendons in Ryanís neck stood out starkly while she maintained her gaze. "If I wasnít sure of your integrity, Iíd think you had at least ten years of experience. You have a God-given talent that should not be wasted, Jamie, and Iím just the woman to exploit your gift fully," she intoned solemnly as her head dropped back down.

"I couldnít agree with you more." Jamie smiled up at her lover, still a little overcome by the passion they had shared.

Ryan trailed her still-shaking fingers through the blonde hair as she lazily asked, "How was that for you, Baby?"

As she leaned her head into Ryanís touch, the smaller woman considered the question for a moment. "I honestly had to think about what you meant," she said with a smirk. "It just seemed like a totally natural thing to do. Told ya I didnít need to talk about it," she smirked impishly.

Ryanís laugh caused her head to bob a bit from its resting place on her leather-covered chest. "As usual, you are correct."

Ryanís hand still trailed through her hair, and the soft touch made Jamie feel totally content. She nestled her head up against the caressing hand, shaking her head slightly in wonder at herself. "I would have never believed it if you had told me that touching you that way would feel so natural, but it did, Babe. It was just another way to love you." She shrugged her shoulders a little bit as if it were already commonplace.

"So you werenít put off by it?"

Jamie sat up abruptly and stared at her partner in shock. "Put off? Why would I be put off?"

"Well, it is a little differentÖ" Ryan said.

"Ryan," she said softly, "Iíve never made love before this week. Iíve had sex, and Iíve been emotionally connected but Iíve never made love before. The way I touched you tonight was just an extension of our lovemaking. I needed to taste you, Honey," she said emphatically. "I need to experience every part of your body. I need to taste you and kiss you and touch you everywhere."

To show her complete agreement, Ryan sat up as well as her still-weak muscles would let her. She wrapped Jamie in her arms and gently kissed her glistening face, purring at the delicious sensation of tasting herself on her loverís lips.

The disparity of their positions and the distance from her loverís face was suddenly too much, and Jamie climbed onto the counter to continue the tender kiss. When they broke apart, she lay down until they were shoulder to shoulder, and rolled over slightly, then turned Ryanís chin so she could look deep into her eyes, her voice like a whisper of air against Ryanís skin. "The way I felt when my lips first touched you was almost mystical, Baby. I could feel your pulse beating through your soft skin, and I just wanted to crawl right up inside." She shivered a little at the memory of the sensation, and Ryan blinked slowly as she stared at her for a long time.

The tanned face relaxed into a smile as Ryan whispered, "You have such a beautiful way of expressing your love. You touch me so deeply that I feelÖovercome with love for you." She maintained the deep eye contact as she leaned in and began to kiss her partner with a wild fury. In no time at all, Jamie was naked and squirming on the counter, weathering the assault from Ryanís hands and mouth and tongue.

Ryan was stretched out lengthwise on the counter, her torso supported by her forearms. Jamieís upper body was braced by her locked arms, her legs spread amazingly wide as Ryan scooted forward to rest between them. The dark woman still wore her jacket, and as she drew close, the heavy metal zippers touched the insides of Jamieís sensitive thighs, and she let out a yelp.

Ryan slowly lowered her head and began to kiss and lick her way up the tender flesh. She worked her way up one thigh and down the other, Jamieís deep moans providing constant encouragement. As much as she wanted to lower her head and taste her partner, she was hesitant to do so. Since Jamie had expressed her discomfort with being on the receiving end of the act, she felt like she should not indulge her own desires until she received a clear signal that her partner wanted her to continue.

After she had lavished her attention on the deliciously smooth thighs, she had to acknowledge that no clear sign had been given, so she decided to bring her lover to orgasm in a slightly less intimate fashion. She used her thumbs to gently manipulate the slick folds as Jamie squealed and twitched her way across the concrete, thoroughly christening it with the evidence of their passion. As Jamieís cries calmed, Ryan rested her head on one quivering thigh, mesmerized by the twitching, spasming flesh.

As soon as she was recovered enough to express her wishes, Jamie tugged her partner up to her, and kissed her with a bold, confident, passionate need. Ryan responded immediately, dipping her fingers into the simmering flesh that ached for her touch, and providing all of the stimulation her partner desired.

Their lovemaking continued long into the evening without a pause, save for one short break for nourishment that immediately turned into a game of "paint the writhing woman with ice cream." After they were both totally spent, and more than a little sticky, Ryan used the last of her reserves to gently lift her lover off the counter and carry her upstairs. As they climbed the stairs, Jamie sleepily inquired, "Honey?"

"Yes, Love?" Ryanís deep voice burred against her ear.

"Why were you barefoot?"

Ryanís low laugh echoed up through the huge entryway. "You didnít tell me what footwear your fantasy required. I figured I was better off wearing nothing than choosing the wrong thing," she said with a gentle grin. "I really wasnít prepared for this, Honey," she chuckled. "I didnít bring my ripped jeans. I had to take a sharp knife to these," she said as she indicated the jeans she had thrown over her shoulder.

Jamie laughed as she nuzzled up against her neck and said, "Itís so nice to have you so willing to make my fantasies come true."

"My pleasure, I assure you," Ryan answered with a chuckle. As she placed her on their bed, she leaned in to ask, "Should I wear it to sleep?" indicating her leather.

"Maybe next time," Jamie said with a smile. "I donít want to fulfill all of my fantasies at once," she said seductively as she tenderly kissed her lover good night.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Continued in Part 10

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