Tomorrowís Promise

Part 5

by Radclyffe

Please see part 1 for all disclaimers.


 

Chapter Ten

June passed, and Adrienne did not go near the marina. She missed sailing, but she didn't want to see Tanner. She had briefly considered leaving the island altogether, but something kept her there. She told herself it was the seclusion, and the sea, and the promise of bright sun and cool summer nights. She couldn't sail, so she ran Ė morning and night.

She hadnít run since her surgery. It felt good to use her body, and it helped to clear her mind as well. It was difficult not to think of Tanner. Adrienne wondered what her days were like, and how she spent her nights. She knew that Tanner must be hurt that she was avoiding her, but she couldnít see that she had much choice. Tanner was so intense, so determined, and so damned Ė attractive. Any relationship between them was bound to become too intimate. As much as she fought the urge, Adrienne knew that if she spent much time with Tanner, she would eventually give in to the temptation to touch her. And she couldn't, under any circumstances, do that.

The sun had nearly set when Adrienne prepared for her run on the beach. She stretched her muscles leisurely on the deck, appreciating the cool breeze beginning to blow in from the water. It was a welcome relief from the sultry heat of the day. Adrienne anticipated a good run. She started out at an easy jog toward the lighthouse on the southern tip of Whitley Point. Suddenly the sky exploded into a burst of color. Faint echoes of thunder Ė thunder? Ė pulsed through the night. Adrienne stopped and stared in astonishment at the strange sight.

Then, she laughed out loud. Of course! It was July fourth. She lived such solitary days that the ordinary events that marked the passage of time in more ordinary lives escaped her. She walked on toward the lighthouse, enjoying the display that continued over head. As she drew closer, she passed groups of children and adults reclining on blankets on the beach for the celebration. She also began to smell barbecue and her mouth watered. She realized that she was hungry. She got a hot dog and a beer at a makeshift refresh≠ment stand and settled down on the sand amidst families who ate picnic suppers from coolers they had carried with them. She sat apart, but still somehow felt part of the festivities, watching the patterns of light and colors brighten the night sky. She heard a motorboat approaching and looked down to the shore, wondering idly where they would land.

"Damn foolís going to run aground at that rate," a nearby man grumbled.

Adrienne and the people around her stared transfixed as the lights on the powerful outboard grew brighter, the cabin cruiser heading straight into shore. Just when it seemed inevitable that the boat would crash up onto the beach, the driver cut the engine and swung the bow around hard, bringing the boat to rest on the very edge of the sand. Adrienne let out her breath in long sigh. She heard a female voice laughing and several figures tumbled from the boat into the surf, then staggered up onto the beach.

"Figures," the same man said in a low angry tone. "She thinks she can get away with anything. And she usually does. Doesnít do badly with some women either."

"Shh! Someone will hear you!" his wife chided, glancing around in embarrass≠ment.

Adrienne recognized Tanner then, emerging none too steadily from the water with her arm around the waist of a pretty young blond. She watched them coldly as Tanner flopped down on the sand, gasping, and pulled her companion down beside her. Tanner said some≠thing to her, and the other woman laughed. Several other partiers joined them, and someone passed a silver flask, its surface shining intermittently in the glow of the overhead spectacle.

The fireworks were nearly over, and Adrienne stood up, dusting the sand from her legs. She was irrationally angered by the spectacle Tanner was making of herself, and she didnít want to watch it any longer. Without conscious thought, instead of turning toward home, she walked directly down the beach to where Tanner lay in the sand, and stared down at her.

"Nice entrance," Adrienne commented sarcastically.

Tanner squinted up at her, her eyes unfocused. "Glad you liked it." She held out a still burning joint. "Smoke?"

"No thanks. Why donít you introduce me to your friends?"

Tanner pushed herself up on one elbow and made a sweeping gesture with her arm. "Everyone, this is Commanderóno, my mistakeóex-Commander Pierce. She is living incognito here at Whitley Point. But bewareóshe is only here for the summer, so donít expect too much from her."

Heads turned briefly as Tanner talked, and a few people nodded hello before returning to their conversations. Adrienne sat down beside Tanner, ignoring the blond who clung possessively to Tannerís arm.

"I want to talk to you," Adrienne said in a low voice.

Tanner eyed her expansively. "Fine. So talk."

Adrienne shook her head. "Alone."

Tanner heaved herself to an upright position. "I have company."

It was all Adrienne could do to keep her voice calm. "I can see that. Iíll just be a minute." She was furious, and she didnít want to consider precisely why. She let herself think it was Tannerís arrogance and insolent tone, but she was struggling not to reach out and shake her.

Something in Adrienneís voice penetrated the fog of Tannerís brain. Tanner turned to her companion. "Would you mind, Sally? Please disappear for a minute."

The pretty blond pouted for an instant, and then flounced away to join her friends.

"So?" Tanner asked, trying hard to sound alert. In reality she was so tired she thought she might pass out.

"What the hell do you think youíre doing?" Adrienne hissed, her temper boiling. "You could easily have killed someone with that stunt. Including you and your friends."

"But I didnít, did I?" Tanner replied, swaying slightly. "I was just having a little fun. I always know how far to go. Just lucky, I guess."

Adrienne felt sick and disgusted and incredibly afraid. "Tanner, for godís sake, you have to stop this. Look at yourself! Youíre a mess!"

Tanner ran a hand through her hair and pulled her wrinkled shirt into some kind of order. "Am I? I meant to dress for the party."

"Get up. Youíre coming with me."

Tanner stared at her uncomprehendingly. "I canít do that. I promised to take everyone for a midnight sail later."

"Not tonight, youíre not," Adrienne said with determination. "Say `good nightí to your girlfriend."

Tanner called good night in the young blonde's direction. Sally might have heard her, but she didnít reply. Adrienne reached down and pulled Tanner up by the arm. Tanner didnít protest, but she had trouble keeping up with Adrienneís brisk pace down the beach.

"Couldnít we just walk instead of flying?" she gasped at one point, stumbling slightly.

Adrienne looked at her in exasperation and slipped one arm around her waist. "Come on," she said as she tugged Tanner along. "Weíre almost there."

She managed to get Tanner up the back stairs and across the porch to a couch. She pushed her firmly down, saying as she turned away, "You can sleep here. Iíll get you some blankets."

"But Iím much too high to sleep," Tanner protested.

"Bull!" Adrienne said. "You look like you havenít slept in days."

"I donít think I have. Thatís the whole point."

"Christ! Youíre a bigger idiot than I thought," Adrienne cursed, slamming the door on her way into the house. She needed to put a little distance between them. If she stayed she would say more than she meant to, and that was pointless considering the condition Tanner was in. She knew it was crazy to bring Tanner home with her, but she had been terribly afraid to leave her alone. Tanner was in no shape to look after herself, at least not that night.

What in god's name is wrong with her! She wasn't like this that day on the boat. She was kind, and gentle, and considerate.

She pulled pillows and a light blanket from the top shelf of a closet, trying not to think of Tanner's face the moment after she had slapped her. The shock, and the hurt. Don't be ridiculous. That has nothing to do with this. And if it did, she couldn't change it. Whatever Tanner needed, it was beyond her power to provide. Adrienne sighed. At least Tanner would be safe for the night.

Tanner lay back on the cushions while waiting for Adrienne, her mind whirling but her body slowly surrendering to exhaustion. She realized for the first time in days how truly tired she was. It was late. She could see the moon beginning to wane beyond the trees. Her body ached all over, and her head was threatening to explode. She wondered vaguely how she had gotten into this condition. She had only sketchy recollections of the past few days.

It had actually started out as just a lark. She had been bored and restless for days. Time seemed to stretch into endless hours of meaningless activity. She sailed, paid token visits to the firm offices on business, sat out on the deck with her mother, and prowled the mainland bars at night looking for company. More often than not she returned home alone. It wasn't a stranger she wanted in her bed.

Her mother didnít encroach on her silenceóshe wouldnít. And Tanner had not wanted to talk. What could she possibly tell her? That there was a woman who occupied her thoughts every waking moment, leaving only restless dreams and unfulfilled fantasies in her wake? That this woman was as unapproachable as a night creature on the shore? As soon as Tanner tried to draw near, no matter how gently, Adrienne withdrew into the shell of her silence.

Tanner was frustrated and angry. She had tried to be sensitive and undemand≠ing ó she had tried to be patient. She was attracted to her, she admitted that. But she would have waited, as long as it took, for Adrienne to trust her. But Adrienne had not called.

Finally Tanner had accepted the invitation of some friends to celebrate the holiday weekend with them. She found herself unable to share in the carefree attitude of her friends, and she tried to capture that same feeling of free-spiritedness by returning to her old methods of escape. Even as she slipped further and further away from reality, she still could not stop thinking about Adrienne. Her frustration only grew more pointed.

Tanner shook her head, realizing that she was much too befuddled to make sense of any of it. She tugged at the buttons of her shirt in an ineffectual attempt to get it off. Failing that, she managed to get her jeans unzipped, but they ended up twisted around her knees. She gave up.

When Adrienne returned, she found Tanner lying in a tangle of wet clothes. "It seems like Iím always putting you to bed," she muttered as she pulled Tannerís jeans off and tossed them aside.

Tanner made no protest as Adrienne pulled her upright to unbutton her shirt. As Adrienne slipped the garment down her arms, Tanner grasped Adrienne's shoulders and pulled her close. Her breasts, cool and still damp with sea water, pressed against the light cotton of Adrienne's tee shirt. Before Adrienne could push her away, Tanner kissed her.

Adrienne responded without thinking, allowing her body to do what her mind had been protesting for weeks. She kissed her back, her arms tightening around Tanner's muscular back.

Tanner moaned slightly as her tongue probed Adrienneís parted lips, thrusting her hands into the long hair at Adrienneís neck, holding her head as her lips roamed over Adrienneís face and neck. She was mindless of Adrienneís reluctant efforts to move awayóshe only pressed closer, the rough fabric of Adrienneís shirt chafing her tender erect nipples. She wanted to lose herself, finally, in the warm shelter of Adrienneís mouth and the comfort of Adrienne's body upon her.

Adrienne managed to break the embrace and held Tanner away at armís length. "Stop," Adrienne gasped, tearing here eyes away from Tanner's beautiful face, only to find she couldn't stop looking at her breasts, her strong arms, her flat tight abdomen.

Tanner shuddered, her dark eyes cloudy with need. "Please," she whispered, "donít go away. I want you so much. I have Ė for so long."

God help me, I want you, too.

Adrienne groaned softly, defeated, and dropped her head against Tannerís neck. She caressed the soft smooth skin with her lips, tasting the heady mixture of sweat tinged with salt. With one hand she cupped Tannerís full breast, her thumb brushing the taut nipple, drawing a gasp from Tanner. Adrienne kissed her way slowly down the firm column of Tannerís neck to her chest. She stroked the full curves of Tannerís breast with her tongue, working teasingly toward her nipple, finally grasping it between her lips, sucking it into her mouth. She closed her eyes, surrendering to the sweet sensations. She had wanted Tanner this way since that first kiss on the beach. She had longed to feel Tanner yield to her caresses, had ached to run her hands over that golden body. It was useless to deny it now, and she was long past the point of rational thought. She could not have stopped even if she had wanted to. And she most desperately did not want to.

Adrienne grasped both of Tannerís breasts in her hands, pressing her face to them with a deep groan, working both nipples around between her fingertips.

Tanner whimpered, and wrapped her legs around Adrienne's thigh. Adrienne felt Tannerís pulse pounding there, and her heat and her wet desire. She didnít think she could possibly feel Tanner enough, and she pressed her hips into her, hard, as her hands traveled up and down the muscular young body beneath her. She leaned up on one elbow and kissed her again, a deep demanding kiss. She explored the depths of Tannerís warm mouth, stroking rhythmically with her tongue.

Tannerís clutched Adrienneís buttocks, pulling her closer, rocking her hips erratically along Adrienne's thigh. Suddenly Tanner pulled her head back with a small cry of surprise, breaking their kiss. She stared at Adrienne in a haze of need and desire. "Iím going to come!" she whispered urgently. "I canít stop it!"

"Not yet!" Adrienne cried, wrenching herself away from Tannerís shuddering body with effort.

Tanner moaned and tried to pull Adrienne down against her again. "I canít! Please!"

"You can," Adrienne soothed, running her tongue lightly down Tannerís neck to her breast again. "You can. Just a little longer. I want so much more of you!" Her tongue made lazy circles of fire on Tannerís abdomen as she shifted her own legs down onto the floor. She rested her head gently against Tannerís thigh and parted the damp hair between Tannerís legs with her fingers. Tanner cried out and thrust herself against Adrienneís hand, trying to rub her swollen clitoris against Adrienneís fingers. That motion finally broke Adrienneís control. She moaned, deep in her throat, and brought her lips down around Tannerís clitoris. Tanner sobbed incoherently as Adrienne stroked her lightly with her tongue.

"Youíll make me come," Tanner panted. "So close Ė Iím so close alreadyó"

Adrienne felt Tanner throb and grow harder. Tannerís need was so clear she could not deny her. She licked her faster as she slipped her fingers inside Tannerís warm depths, pressing gently forward as Tannerís muscles spasmed around her. She held Tanner against her mouth as the sweet torture of her caress pushed Tanner over the edge.

"Uh huh Ė oh god, yes Ė thatís itohright there Ė donítstopó"

Adrienne moved with the contractions of Tannerís body until Tanner finally lay still, sobbing softly, exhausted, satiated. Adrienne gently withdrew her hand and stretched out beside Tanner on the couch, gathering Tanner's limp body into her arms. She kissed her tenderly on the forehead and brushed the damp hair from her eyes. They lay silently for a long time.

Finally Tanner stirred and turned to kiss Adrienne softly on the lips. Her hand caressed Adrienneís face and pushed under the collar of her shirt. "I want you," she whispered huskily.

Adrienne caught Tannerís hand in her own, stopping her explorations, as she kissed her again. "Not now," she said gently.

"When?"

"I donít know. Just rest now."

Tanner sighed and pressed against Adrienne, want warring with supreme contentment. She meant to protest, but sleep claimed her first.

Chapter Eleven

When Tanner awoke, she was alone. The sun was streaming in through the screens, directly into her face. She shielded her eyes with her forearm and waited for her head to clear. She had a pounding headache, but otherwise, she seemed to be in one piece. She opened her eyes tentatively and winced at the bright light. She took note of her clothes spread out over a chair, and when she saw them, all the events of the past evening rushed back to her. Suddenly she felt Adrienneís hands upon her just as they had been a few short hours before, and she knew it had not been a dream. She sat up quickly, ignoring the flash of pain in her head, and looked around.

"Adrienne?" she called. Even as she did so, she knew instinctively that Adrienne was not there. Of course she wasnít. Everything Tanner knew of Adrienne convinced her that what had happened last night would have shaken Adrienneís carefully constructed world to the core. Adrienne would have gone off somewhere, thinking, searching for an explanation.

Something rational, no doubt. As if there is anything rational about this. And when she gets back sheĎll probably try to convince me that last night was some kind of flukeóan accident that should not have happened. Yeah, right.

Tanner swung her legs to the floor, ignoring the sudden lurching in her stomach. "Well, it wonít work," Tanner muttered to herself as she got up unsteadily to search for the bathroom. "Not this time, it wonít."

She turned the shower on full blast and stepped into it, shivering at the cold pinpoints of water that struck her. The feelings that Adrienne had aroused in her were too intense to be shrugged off. The desire still too fresh. She recalled vividly how much she had wanted Adrienne to touch her, and how much she longed to return that passion. Tanner was far from a passive loveróshe wanted to excite, to please, to satisfy in return for the breathtaking pleasure she had received. She would not be denied that desire. She pulled an old shirt of Adrienneís off a hook behind the bathroom door and went back out on the deck to wait.

Adrienne walked slowly up the beach toward the house. She had left when the sun came up, gently disengaging herself from Tanner so as not to awaken her. Tanner had looked so lovely asleep that Adrienne had hated to leave her, but she knew she needed some time out of reach of this woman. When she was near her she couldn't seem to think straight, and to her dismay her body seemed to want to continue the activities of the previous evening. She had looked at Tanner and grown heavy with desire.

Too much had happened too quickly, and she needed to sort it out. Now as she returned, she was no closer to understanding any of it. Oh, she understood her desire. How could she not? Tanner was impossible to resist with her sensual body and passionate demands. But Adrienne was too old to believe that desire was an end in itself. She had known desire, infatuation, lustówhatever one called itómany times in her life, but had rarely acted upon it. For some reason Tanner had been able to overcome all of Adrienneís resistance with the force of one simple kiss. She had been powerless to stop, and at this point in her precarious life, she needed all of her control. She wasnít at all sure what she would say if Tanner were still there when she returned. She wasnít even sure what she wanted to say. She only knew that she was very frightened.

Tanner, waiting patiently on the deck, was in her own way just as frightened. She knew that somehow she must convince Adrienne to let her in, and she was at a loss as to how to begin. There was so much she wanted to say to her, but every time she tried, she was met with the cold wall of Adrienneís fear. Tanner realized that Adrienne had lost more in the last year than Tanner had ever hadóa lover, a career, a lifetime of plans. The thought was staggering, and Tanner was overcome with feelings of inadequacy. How could she ever hope to replace any of those things?

"Maybe I canít," Tanner sighed to herself, "but, I know what I feel for her. And Iím going to make her listen to me, finally."

She must have dozed for a while because she was startled by the sounds of footsteps on the stairs. She looked up to see Adrienne crossing the deck towards her. She smiled shyly and said, "Hi."

Adrienne smiled back. "Hi, yourself. How are you feeling?"

Tanner shrugged and replied, "Depends on how you mean it. Stupid, embar≠rassed, grateful and crazy."

Adrienne laughed, throwing her hands up at the same time. "What on earth are you talking about?"

"Well, I feel stupid about my behavior the last three or four daysóIím not sure of the exact count because Iím not sure what day it is today. And very embarrassed that you saw me when I was so completely wrecked. Grateful that you dragged me away." She took a deep breath and looked directly at Adrienne, and continued in a tumble of words, "And crazy about you."

Adrienne looked away uncomfortably. She walked over to the rail and stood staring down at the dunes. When she turned back, her expression was impossible to read. "I canít tell you how angry you make me when you do those things to yourself. You could injure yourself, or someone else, and I canít believe that it does you any good emotionally. But I also know that no one can stop you, or change you. Youíll have to do that yourself. But I wonít pretend I can tolerate it for a minute. I canít."

Tanner looked at her thoughtfully, knowing that Adrienne was completely serious. She knew Adrienne was right, had always known it Ė but she just hadn't had enough reason to care before this. "I understand," she said quietly. "Iíll clean up my act."

Adrienne did smile at that. "You are so lovely, Tanner." She shrugged helplessly. "I hate to say it, but I find you quite impossibly irresistible. ButÖ"

Tanner raised an eyebrow. "But?"

"I donít want a repeat of last nightís events," Adrienne said flatly. "I wonít pretend I didnít enjoy it. You know better than that. I was swept away, or off my feet, or whatever. I couldnít say `noí to youóI didnít want to. But I want that to be the end of it."

Tanner studied her, taking calm measure of the situation. She had no doubt that Adrienne meant what she was saying. She even thought she understood some of the reasons. Understanding didn't mean she had to accept it. "I donít want it to end."

"Oh, Tanner!" Adrienne cried in exasperation. "Donít make this any more difficult than it already is!"

Tanner approached Adrienne where she leaned against the deck rail until they were almost touching. They were so close that she could see the tiny beads of sweat on Adrienneís forehead.

"Tell me that you donít want me," she said softly, her dark eyes searching Adrienneís face.

Adrienneís gaze grew gentle as she looked at Tannerís ruffled hair, liquid eyes, and full lush mouth. She took a deep breath, determined to remain resolute. "Thatís not the point. Not for me at least. Lust has nothing to do with itóI donít have room for this sort of thing in my life. You are a desirable woman. Iíd have to be dead not to notice. But I still donít want to be involved with this."

Tanner rested her hand on Adrienneís waist. "I want you, Adrienne." Her lips were only inches away.

Adrienne stood absolutely still. "I donít want you to want me. It doesnít work for me anymore. I really donít have the need for it anymore. Canít you see how one sided it would be?"

Tanner didnít answer. She simply moved nearer until her body was against Adrienneís. Her tongue slipped gently into Adrienneís mouth. She kissed her a long moment, and then she leaned away, studying Adrienneís face.

"I donít believe you," she said quietly. "I can feel your body respond to me. If you canít feel it, itís because you donít want to. Iím going to kiss you again, and this time Iím not going to stop."

She slipped one naked thigh between Adrienneís legs, and pressed into her again. Her lips met Adrienneís and she thrilled to the answering surge of Adrienneís hips against hers. She moaned slightly and moved her lips to the suntanned triangle of skin between Adrienneís open collar, savoring the warmth and sweet taste of her. Her body soared as Adrienne cupped her butt in both hands and rocked Tanner against her. Tanner stifled a cry and buried her face in Adrienneís neck. She knew that if she weren't careful, it would end the same way it did last night. She already felt the first faint twitches of orgasm building. She usually wasnít so quick to reach such a critical state of arousal, but somehow Adrienne could bring her to the edge with just a touch. She wasn't going to be able to hold off for long, and she so wanted to please Adrienne too! She pushed away, breaking that exquisite contact, and fought to catch her breath.

Adrienneís eyes were closed, and she was breathing rapidly. She opened her eyes, startled and confused. "Why did you stop me?" she asked urgently.

Tanner shook her head. "Because Iím too close. I donít want to come. I want you. Come inside."

Adrienne wanted to refuse, but she didnít have the strength. She wanted Tanner desperately. Her arms ached to hold her, her lips hungered for the taste of her. And she couldnít deny any longer her own almost painful need to be touched. She had to go with her. She had no other choice.

She didnít resist as Tanner took her hand and led her toward the double doors to the bedroom. Only when they reached the threshold did Adrienne hesitate, suddenly afraid. She didnít think she would be able to bear it if Tanner turned away from her in revulsion, or looked upon her with pity.

"Tanner," she whispered, "Iím not sure I can do this."

Tanner kissed her gently and pulled her forward. "Yes, you can. We can." She pushed Adrienne gently down on the bed and stood before her, slowly unbuttoning her own shirt. When she was naked she eased herself up onto the bed until she was straddling Adrienneís hips with her thighs. She pulled Adrienne's shirt from her shorts, stroking her abdomen softly with her fingertips.

Adrienne leaned back against the pillows, her eyes locked onto Tannerís face. She knew she would see the truth in Tannerís eyes. God, if she flinches, or looks away! She was barely breathing. If she had been physically able to, she might still have run away.

Tanner leaned toward her to kiss her again, her full breasts swaying as she moved. Adrienne gazed at them and gasped. "Oh, god," she moaned as she caught both breasts in her hands. She ran her thumbs over Tannerís erect nipples and raised her head to capture one in her lips.

Tanner pulled back a little. "Donít make me crazy," she ordered with a smile. "There are a few things I want to do first."

She began to unbutton Adrienneís shirt, slowly and carefully. Adrienneís body stiffened beneath her, but Tanner merely whispered, "It will be all right. I promise."

Then she brought her lips to Adrienneís and kissed her slowly and deeply. When she finally lifted her head again, they were both gasping for breath. Tanner rested back on her knees and lightly traced Adrienneís face with her fingertips, slowly stroking her way down Adrienneís neck until her fingers slipped under the collar of Adrienneís shirt. Finally, she parted the garment and gazed down.

Adrienneís left breast was not large, but round and youthfully firm. The nipple was small and taut, a deep rich rose in color. Where her right breast had been there was a faint red scar that extended from just under her arm nearly to the center of her chest. Tanner could see the well-defined chest muscle outlined just underneath the skin. There was no nipple at all. She wanted to touch her there, but she hesitated.

Adrienne watched Tannerís face, trying to read her reactions. Tannerís expression had grown serious, but she didnít flinch or avert her gaze. She seemed to be studying her. Strangely, Adrienne didnít mind. At last Tanner raised her eyes to meet Adrienneís.

"Will it hurt you if I lie down on top of you?" she asked.

Adrienne laughed softly and shook her head. "No. I want you to."

Tanner lowered herself slowly until her breasts were touching Adrienneís chest, and their legs entwined. Her hands slid up Adrienneís lean arms into her hair as she allowed her full weight to rest against her.

Adrienne held her tightly as their bodies merged. After a few moments she whispered into Tannerís hair, "You feel so good against me."

Tanner only moaned softly in response, pressing her face to the long curve of Adrienneís neck, reveling in the wonderful sensation of being so close to her at last. Her body was still acutely aroused, throbbing in fact, but she was in no hurry. She wanted to remember every second of this first sweet meeting.

"Tanner?" Adrienne asked.

"Hmm?"

"Could I take my shorts off, please?"

"Not if it means you have to move," Tanner replied in a husky voice. After a moment she rolled onto her side and sighed. "If you must, Iíll do it," she continued in mock exasperation. She loosened the snaps and zipper with one hand, managing to kiss Adrienne as she did so. She finally reached down and pushed the garment aside, leaving Adrienne naked.

"Come here," Adrienne demanded, pulling Tanner against her. She suddenly felt terribly exposed.

"In a minute," Tanner murmured. She gently cupped Adrienneís breast, encircling the nipple with her thumb and forefinger. She could almost hold all of it in her hand.

Adrienne gasped at the pressure on her nipple. "That's nice," she whispered softly.

Tanner put her lips where her fingers had been, teasing and biting, her other hand resting on Adrienneís chest just below her collarbone. She felt the muscles there tighten as Adrienne's excitement grew. She took her time. Moving slowly down Adrienne's body, alternately licking, kissing and lightly biting, she worked the other woman into a crescendo of excitement.

"Tanner," Adrienne murmured hoarsely, "I need you to touch me."

Tanner shifted her body so that she was lying between Adrienneís legs. She smiled to herself, heady with the power she felt at arousing the woman she so desired. She began to kiss her then, light teasing kisses on her inner thighs. Adrienne moaned as Tanner stroked her with her tongue. Tanner kept up the slow steady rhythm as she drew her fingers over Adrienneís buttocks, slipping in and out of her wetness. Adrienne thrust her hands into Tannerís hair, guiding her. Tanner followed her signals and increased the pressure of her motions. After a few minutes Adrienne tugged Tannerís face away and gasped, "Come up here. I want to hold you."

"I want to make you come," Tanner protested softly.

Adrienne smiled, her eyes nearly closed. "I want you to make me come. In a minute. It feels so good Ė I don't want it to end."

Tanner moved up, slipping her thigh between Adrienneís. She drew in her breath sharply at the touch of Adrienneís body against her own engorged clitoris. Bracing her arms, she began to thrust downward as Adrienne matched her rhythm. Tanner whispered, "Youíre beautiful."

Adrienneís lids fluttered and her eyes, glazed with passion, sought Tannerís. Their gaze held as they moved more insistently against one another, more erratic now as each sought release. Adrienne struggled to keep her eyes open, wanting to see Tanner's face as she came, but her control failed her. She gasped and dug her fingers into Tannerís back as her long-dormant need finally exploded with almost overpowering force. She cried out as a thousand nerve endings burst with sensation and fire streamed through her limbs.

Tanner held her tightly, trying to absorb every sound, wanting to memorize every tremor in Adrienne's body. So precious, so special, so Ė "Oh!" she cried in surprise as her clitoris twitched, lengthened and exploded in one endless spasm. "Oh, godó"

Much later Adrienne stirred and slid a little out from under Tannerís weight. Tanner slept where she had collapsed, her face buried in Adrienneís neck. Adrienne looked down at Tanner's hand on her chest, tanned and strong, lying across the ravaged plain of her body. For the first time, she didnít hate that thin red line.

Continue to part 6

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