by Alex Tryst

Disclaimers/Warnings: These characters are all mine. This is a story about women trying to find their places in the world and does include sexual scenarios between consenting adult women. Some violence is involved, including one (although not graphic) sexual assault. Additionally there is some derogatory, homophobic language used. If this kind of stuff offends you or is illegal where you live, it's best to turn around now. I feel compelled to mention here that the name of one of the main characters was borrowed from the book Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. For those of you who have read this classic novel, I think you will find my young maiden aptly named. If you'd like to drop me a line concerning the story, you can e-mail me at Please know that I am a sensitive soul and harsh criticism will immediately be deleted. However constructive comments are welcome.

Dedication: To my wife, you are my fondest wish.

Now on with the show.......


Part 3

Over the next several months Drew and Lola explored this new aspect of their relationship but at the expense of Drew's friendship with Kate. Drew had made an effort to keep things positive between them, but it was obvious Kate was withdrawing further into a world of her own. Half way through the summer Lola flew to California for two weeks to visit Natalie. Knowing Kate was probably lonely, Drew gave her several calls but only got the machine. The anniversary date of Paul's death was during Lola's second week. Drew spent most of her day holed up in her office at work in solemn remembrance, but around three that afternoon, she received a call from Kate.

"Drew, I want to talk to you."


"Can you come over at 5:00 today?"

"Of course, Katherine. Are you okay?"

"No but I will be when I see you."

"Should I come earlier?"

"No. Five is perfect."

"All right. I'll see you then." Drew pondered Kate's call for the next hour. There was something about Kate's calmness that struck her as unnerving. Deciding she would go to Kate's early, she headed off to the house, arriving around 4:30. Drew rang the bell but got no answer, so she proceeded to knock. Thinking maybe she had gone out, Drew peeked into the garage window but saw Kate's car. Uneasiness came over Drew as she made her way towards the porch. As she came up the sliding glass door, she saw Kate standing in the kitchen draining the end of a bottle of vodka. Drew knocked on the door but was ignored. She then tired to open it but found it locked. Banging louder Drew yelled, "Katherine, open up." Drew saw Kate look over at the lock but didn't acknowledge that Drew was there. Suddenly Drew caught a glimpse of what was in Kate's other hand as it came off the counter. Drew's eyes grew wide in fright as she noticed Paul's .45. "Katherine, let me in or I'll break down this door!" Drew yelled. Once again she was ignored, so Drew took a running start at the door barreling through it with her shoulder and stumbling onto the floor. When she rolled over to rise, she found the gun pointed between her eyes.

"Dammit, Drew! I said 5:00, not 4:30! You've ruined everything!"

"Katherine, I don't know what you're about to do, but I suggest you put down the gun. Killing me will only make it worse."

"I don't want to kill you, Drew! I was supposed to be dead by 5:00! You were supposed to find my body, but you ruined it!" Drew gulped. "Doesn't matter, though! I'll be dead soon enough!" she screamed taking a few steps back from Drew.

"Kate, have you taken something that I should know about?" Drew's eyes scanned the counter and saw several bottles of pills. "Okay, Kate, I'm going to stand up now." Drew slowly got to her feet. "Will you please put down the gun?"

"No! I don't want you trying anything either!"

"Katherine, you don't want to die. Think about your family, children, friends. Think of the pain it's going to cause them to know you're gone. Your daughters are too young to be without a mother." Drew stepped toward her. "Please, Katherine. I love you. Let me help you."

"I can't go on, Drew. It hurts too much." Drew noticed her body start to sway. "I'm so tired." she mumbled lowering the gun to her side.

"I know. Why don't you sit down?" Drew suggested stepping to her. Kate didn't move, so Drew pulled the gun away as she collapsed into Drew's arms. Immediately Drew put her on the floor and called for an ambulance.

"Drew, I don't feel good." Kate mumbled incoherently.

"I know, sweetie. Help's on the way. Hang in there. I won't let anything happen to you."

Several hours later Drew was kneeling at the bedside of her unconscious best friend weeping. Kate had been stabilized, but her condition was critical, and the doctors were unsure of the damage that had occurred. Hearing the door open, Drew rose to her feet as the doctor entered. "Is she going to be okay?" Drew inquired after the doctor examined Kate.

"Hard to say, Drew. With all the drugs and alcohol in her system, it's uncertain at this point. However, I think you got to her before the drugs kicked in and what we're dealing with was alcohol induced." Drew dropped her head and sighed deeply. "Drew, you saved her life today. From what you told me, she would've died had you not been there. Because of you she will live to see another day."

"But what favor did I do her if she isn't going to be all right?" Drew mumbled.

Changing the subject the doctor asked, "How are you doing?"

Drew followed the doctor's eyes to her shoulder that had received stitches from glass shards from the sliding door. "I've had worse." she stated.

"Have you contacted her family yet?"

"No. I know I have to tell them something, but I don't want her children to know she tried to take her own life. They just lost their father a year ago today. They don't need this now. I think I'm going to tell them she had an adverse reaction to the medication she was taking because of the alcohol. Is that close enough to the truth without describing the finer points?"

The doctor shrugged. "Well, if they asked me, I'm bound to give them the official prognosis, but I'll bear in mind their ages when I do it. They are young."

"Then I'll just make sure they don't ask you. Hopefully Kate will be well enough to be home before they come back in four days. Think there's a chance?"

"Possible. Depends on Kate, though. She has a fight ahead of her."

Drew stayed by Kate's side and with a little good fortune, Kate regained consciousness and was released the day before the girls were to arrive home. Drew took Kate home and stayed the night with her. Out of her respect for Kate's privacy, she never asked why Kate had tried to take her own life. She figured she had a good idea anyway, so the two old friends just sat in silence. The day the girls were to arrive, Drew asked Kate if she wanted to go to the airport with her or stay at home. Kate wanted to go even though she was still weak. Drew dutifully helped Kate to the gate to wait on the plane.

"Drew, what am I going to tell them?" Kate softly asked after they had been sitting for a few minutes.

"Leave it to me, Kate. I've already figured it out. They don't need to know unless you want them to."

"I don't want them to."

"I'm just going to tell them you had an allergic reaction with your medication and the alcohol, but you'll be fine."

As soon as the girls stepped off the plane and spotted them, they raced up to their mother. "Mom, what's wrong? You look really sick." Natalie mentioned in concern.

Drew gave them the agreed upon response. Even though both girls seemed to buy the story, they were still concerned for their mother's health. Once Drew dropped the three of them off, she headed home herself. Changing into a tank top and shorts, Drew went down to the barn. She'd only been there half an hour when she sensed Lola close by. Turning around she saw Lola at her horse stall, petting him but looking at Drew. Drew smiled as she made her way over. Since there were other people in the barn, they didn't embrace, but Lola brushed her hand over the bandage on Drew's shoulder.

"What happened?"

"Work hazards."

Lola eyed her closely. "Seriously, how did you hurt yourself?"

"I was on duty and fell through a glass door."

"Would that be the glass door that was replaced at our house?"

"How did you know that door had been replaced?"

"There's a new frame."

"Oh, well, yes. It was your door. I didn't exactly fall. I broke it to get into your house."

"But don't you have a key?"

"Yes but I didn't have it on me at the time."

Lola scrunched her brow in thought. "That still doesn't explain why you broke in."

"Look. The day you mom had the reaction, I had come over. I knocked, but there was no answer. I noticed her car was there, so I got concerned. I went around to the back and saw your mother almost passed out on the floor, so I had to break in to get to her."

"Wow. She was that bad off?"

Drew nodded. "I was lucky to find her." she mumbled.

"You saved her life." Lola stated, throwing her arms around Drew.

"I was just glad that I was there." whispered Drew, holding to Lola tightly.

When they broke apart, Lola coyly asked, "You want to go up to the house, so I can thank you properly?"

Drew nodded in enthusiasm. They walked up to the house without touching until they got inside. Once they were in privacy, they kissed frantically. "I've missed you." Drew whispered. "It's good to hold you."

Lola smiled up at her. "It's good to be home where I belong." Drew just continued to stare at her fondly for a few minutes until Lola motioned to the back staircase with her head and inquired, "You want to go upstairs?"


The last few weeks of summer passed without incident, and finally the day that Lola was supposed to move into the dorm arrived. Kate and Drew both drove her to school. Drew knew Lola was excited and put on a strong front, even though she knew she would miss her young lover fiercely.

Over the course of the morning, Drew was just a quiet background fixture, being polite to anyone who came to Lola's door. She got the general sense that there was a misconception of the relationship between Kate and herself, but since Lola said nothing to the contrary, Drew went with it. At last when it was time to depart, Lola walked them to Drew's jeep and gave them both hugs and kisses before they left.

"Well, she seems happy." Drew mentioned as they pulled onto the highway to take them home.

"Yes, she does."

"Although she's left people with the impression that her mother is a lesbian and had her girlfriend with her."

"I noticed that too, Drew. Although I can think of worse things than being linked to you. Did it bother you that she never told anyone you were her girlfriend not mine?"

Drew shrugged. "She was just showing her age. I can't expect an eighteen year old to act like an adult all the time. She'll find her own comfort level as far as being out to her peers. She's on her own now, and she has to find her own way." Kate nodded in agreement. "Listen, Kate. I've been thinking. Now that Lola is out of the house, you're alone. Maybe we could sort of be roommates. I mean we're both used to being with her at least half the time. We're both going to go through withdrawal. Maybe we could just ease into it instead of going without. What do you say?"

"Actually, I was kind of afraid of being completely alone. I would love to spend as much time with you as I could."

"Great. I propose you move in with me, or we alternate houses."

"Sure. I'm willing to try it."

A month passed with Kate and Drew living at Drew's farm. Lola hadn't come home yet, but she announced that she would be the upcoming weekend and was bringing a friend. On Thursday over dinner Drew and Kate discussed the visit.

"Look, Kate. I'm not sure how this is going to work. I don't want to make you uncomfortable. Maybe it would be best if the three of you stayed at your house."

"Since she's bringing someone with her, I definitely think that would be best, especially since we don't know what Lola has told her friend about you."

"You're right, but let's do the meals here. Tomorrow I'll make her favorite cheeseburgers for dinner."

"Sounds good. I'm sure she'll love that."

The next day Drew and Kate were on the back porch with their drinks when Lola and her friend arrived. After hugs Lola introduced Jess to them. Drew shook her hand as she subtly eyed her. She was a little taller than Lola with shoulder length brown hair. She had an athletic build and by the way she was dressed, Drew figured she was probably a lesbian. Drew regarded Lola momentarily. In just a short month she had already changed in some ways. She seemed more sophisticated but every bit as lovely as the last time Drew had seen her. "Welcome girls. Have a seat. I'll get you two some drinks. Coke okay?" Drew asked. They both nodded.

Lola gestured for Jess to sit. "I'm just going to run into the bathroom. Sit down. I'll be right back." Drew followed Lola into the house. She was going to stop in the kitchen to get the beverages, but Lola led her by the hand around the corner out of eye sight. Backing Drew into the wall, Lola smiled sexily. "Well, now for a proper hello." she whispered leaning to kiss Drew softly. Drew moaned as she embraced Lola. Drew knew she had missed her lover, but with one kiss the magnitude of how much she loved the woman in her arms struck her.

"Oh, Lola, I'm glad you're here. I've missed you so much."

"I've missed you too, Drew." she replied snuggling closer for a moment.

Once they returned outside and had a few minutes of talk, Lola said she wanted to go on a ride before dinner. "Okay but be back in an hour. Dinner will be ready then." Kate informed them.

Drew watched the girls disappear into the barn before asking, "What do you think?"

"Jess is nice."

"Think she's gay?"

Kate shrugged. "Obviously you do, or you wouldn't have asked."

"I saw her sneaking glances at Lola. She either has a crush on her or is shy and looking to Lola as her lifeline."

"She doesn't seem shy to me. When you two were inside, she was quite chatty. You're not feeling jealous, are you?"

"No. Lola has a right to be friends with whomever she wants. Jess does seem nice. Well, why don't we start on dinner?" Drew noticed Lola and Jess coming back from their ride forty-five minutes later.

She and Kate were setting the table and placing the food down, when Kate suggested, "Why don't you run down to the barn, and tell them it's ready? I'll finish this."

Drew sauntered down to the barn to do Kate's bidding. The barn door was open enough that Drew could step through without opening it further. As she rounded the corner to the row in which Lola stabled her horse, she stopped short in shock. Lola was leaning against the stall door, her arms around the young brunette's shoulders. Jess was leaning into her, and they were exchanging a methodical kiss. Drew felt her stomach lurch. They didn't notice her presence, so she quickly retreated back to the barn door. Even though she felt pain searing through her, she knew she couldn't let on that she knew anything. Slamming the barn door open as loud as she could she announced herself. This time as she rounded the corner, the girls were just casually standing next to each other looking at Lola's horse. Drew saw Lola cast a guilty glance at Jess, but she didn't comment on it. "I just wanted to tell you that supper was ready, so hurry up."

Drew turned and left without waiting for a response. As she came up to the porch, she was met by Kate.

"You okay?" she asked.

""Yeah. I just got a call from work. I have to go. It's an emergency." Drew lied.

"Do you have to? Can't it wait until after dinner?"

"No. I'm sorry. You three have a nice evening. Just put the leftovers in the fridge, and I'll eat later." she said before going inside. She collected the things she needed to make it look like she was going to the office before getting into her jeep and driving away. Drew just drove aimlessly for a couple of hours as she allowed herself to feel the pain. She never realized how much she had been planning a future with Lola in her subconscious until she knew it wouldn't be. She knew the teenager owed her heart. Finally she pulled into a parking lot of a bar she had passed many times before but never been in. Walking inside she made her way to the bar. She ignored the murmurs of the male patrons as she slid onto a bar stool and ordered a beer. Drew downed her sorrow in a never-ending bottle as she watched sports on tv until her cell phone rang.

"That must've been some emergency you had to go to. You didn't even show up at the office. I called the station looking for you, because you seemed upset when you left. My suspicions were confirmed when they told me you never came in. You lied to me, Drew." Kate stated evenly.

"Yes, I did."

"Why? I thought you would've wanted to spend time with Lola. Where are you?" Drew told her. "So, are you going to tell me why you lied?"

"I don't see how you can still be my friend after what I've done in the last year, Katherine. I'm a fool for thinking a relationship would work with Lola. I never should've laid a hand on her. Why didn't you make me listen?" Drew pleaded.

There was momentarily pause before Kate asked, "How long do you think you are going to be at the bar, Drew?"

"Don't know. Why?"

"Are you going to be all right getting home?"

"I'll manage. If that is all for twenty questions, I need to go." After the call, Drew went back to her beer and tv. She blocked out the rest of the world until about an hour later when someone slipped onto the stool next to her. She knew without even looking up that it was Kate.

Kate ordered herself a beer and sat quietly for a moment. Drew didn't look at her in fear that she couldn't hold herself together. It was only after Kate put a hand on Drew's bicep in mid-sip that she turned cast her a glance. "How many have you had?" Kate inquired.

Drew shrugged. "I lost count."

"Do you want to talk about Lola?"

"Not really. I just deceived myself by thinking it could work. I never would've guessed that it would be me that regretted sleeping together. I hadn't given my body but even more my heart to anyone in such a long time. I should've know better than to give it to a teenager to trample."

"Do you think this is an overreaction to Jess?"

"No. This isn't about Jess at all really."

"Did you and Lola get into a fight?"


"Then what happened to make you come to this conclusion?"

"I saw Lola and Jess kissing in the barn."

"Did they see you?"

"No. I walked out and then came back in like I hadn't seen them. I don't want you to tell Lola I saw them. Okay?"

"Okay, if that's what you want."

"You know when they first arrived, and Lola and I went into the house, she kissed me like she had missed me and told me how wonderful it was to be in my arms. She lied to me, Katherine. I wish she had just told me the truth about Jess. It would've been hurtful, but it would be better than this."

"What are you going to do?" Kate inquired.

Before Drew could answer, a man approached Kate. Drew rolled her eyes as he gave Kate his best line. She declined his offer, but he persisted.

After a few minutes, Drew tapped the man on the shoulder. "The lady is with me." she informed him.

"Well, she ain't going home with you." he snarled.

"You want to bet?" Drew asked sliding off her stool.

"Drew, don't." pleaded Kate. Turning to the man, Kate said, "She's right. The only one in this bar I would go home with is her."

He glared at them for a moment before turning to leave. "Damn dykes." he mumbled under his breath.

Drew grabbed him by the collar. "Hey! That was uncalled for! You better apologize to her!" demanded Drew.

He shoved Drew off yelling, "What if I don't?"

Drew pushed back. "You'll be sorry you ever came over here!"

"Hey!" the bartender broke in. " I don't want any trouble! I don't want to have to call the law in here!"

"I am the law!" Drew screamed pulling her badge from her pocket. Everyone began to back off when they saw it. "Now, are you going to apologize for being such a bigot?"

"Whatever. Sorry." he mumbled walking away.

"Come on, Drew. I'll take you home." Kate stated.

The ride was quiet on the way back to Drew's. Kate helped Drew, who was having difficulty walking up to her room. Kate leaned Drew into her footboard for some support as she began to undress her. Drew gave her a drunk, lustful gaze. "I love you, Katherine."

"I know you do, Drew, and I love you."

Drew leaned into Kate's neck nuzzling her ear as she whispered, "You're so beautiful."

"Thank you, but you're dating my daughter." she warned when she felt Drew lick her earlobe.

"She's cheating on me."

"And that gives us the right to sleep together tonight? I'm her mother, not some friend of hers. I could never do that to her."

"Tell me you don't want me right now." Drew challenged peering into Kate's eyes.

"I don't."


"Okay, maybe I do, Drew. It is tempting, but I'll wake up tomorrow full of regret. You don't want me to feel that way, do you?"

"Of course not. I'm sorry. I don't know what I was thinking."

Kate smiled gently. "You're thinking with a broken heart. It happens. Let's just drop it and get you in bed."

Once Drew was settled under the covers, Kate sat next to her. Drew took her hand. "Stay with me tonight."

"I'm not having sex with you, Drew."

"No, of course not. I just don't want to be alone tonight. Please, Katherine. I really need my best friend right now."

"All right. Just let me change."

The following morning Drew awoke to the feeling of faint kisses all over her face. "Katherine." she moaned as became aware of the throbbing in her head. A body rolled on top of her straddling her hips. Drew opened her eyes expecting to see Kate, but it was Lola sitting on top of her looking down sat her in confusion. Just then the bathroom door opened. Both of them turned to see Kate standing there in revealing red silk underclothing. Drew's eyes shot open as her jaw dropped. She hadn't seen Kate in so little since college, and time had done little to her friend's incredible figure. To Drew she looked like Lola's older sister, not her mother.

Lola scowled at Drew. "How could you?" she yelled. Turning to her mother, she screamed, "Mother, how could you do this to me? How could you sleep with my girlfriend?"

"Lola, I didn't not have sex with Drew. I would not do that to you. You're my daughter, but Drew is my friend. She was in need of some company last night, so I stayed here with her. Nothing happened."

Lola looked down at Drew, who was still staring at Kate's body. "Hey! That's my mother!" Lola yelled bringing Drew's attention back to her. "Is that true?"

"Yes. I didn't have sex with your mom."

"Where's Jess?" Kate inquired.

"Downstairs. She asked the funniest thing about the two of you. She asked if you were a couple."

Kate frowned."I don't think that's amusing, Lola, especially since Drew is supposed to be your girlfriend."

"Kate, please let me handle this." Drew said.

"Fine." she said returning to the bathroom.

"Lola, what did you tell her when she asked?"

"That you were just friends."

"Is that all?" Lola nodded. "Lola, are you out to anyone at school?"

"Not really."

"What about Jess? Does she know?"

"I haven't said anything."

"She's a lesbian, isn't she?"

"Yeah. I guess."

"You guess?" Drew yelled. "What gave you the first clue? The fact that she was playing tongue hockey with you in the barn?" Drew inquired in annoyance. Lola's face showed surprise. "Don't even try to deny it. I saw you." Lola looked at Drew with watery eyes, and Drew's anger dissipated. Even as hurt as she felt, she didn't like making Lola cry. "So how long has this been going on?"

"About a week." Lola mumbled meekly.

"Do you have feelings for her?" Lola shrugged. "Then why?"

"I don't know. She's cute. She likes me. She's there."

"Have you had sex with her?"


"Do you think you will?"

Lola looked at Drew in bewilderment. "What kind of question is that? Do you want me to?"

"I want you to do what makes you happy, Lola. That's all I've ever wanted for you."

Lola slid off Drew and into the bedside chair. "What are you saying, Drew?"

"Lola, when you first left for school, I was concerned about what might happen. Now it appears that those concerns were warranted."

"It'll never happen again, Drew." Lola started, but Drew put up a hand to stop her.

"Lola, you're young. You have a lot of things yet to experience. I always thought I might be holding you back, and I don't want to do that. I think it would be best if I let you go, and let you be a college student."

"Are you breaking up with me?" hesitantly Lola inquired.

"Yes. We're not ready for commitment. I don't want to hold you back, Lola. You need to find your own place in life separate from me."

"But, Drew, I love you. I don't want to be without you. Please!"

"I know you believe that you love me, but that is different from commitment. It was easy for you when you lived here, because I was the only lesbian you knew. There are others you know now. You need time to figure out where you stand, and you can't do that with me hovering over you."

"Drew, I'm sorry! Don't you love me?"

"I know you're sorry, and I do love you. I love you enough to let you go live the life college kids were meant to have."

Lola dropped her head. "I wish I had never met Jess." she whispered.

"If it wasn't Jess, it would've been someone else."

"You're not doing this so you can sleep with my mother, are you? I couldn't bear to lose you to her."

"Lola, your mother and I will never be anything more than friends."

"I don't know what to say."

"There's nothing to say, Lola. Now you better go. I'm sure Jess is wondering what happened to you."

Without another word, Lola left, closing the door behind her. When she was gone, Kate came out of the bathroom fully dressed."So, what happened?"

"You mean you weren't eavesdropping?"

"I tried not to."

"We broke up. It's for the best. I don't know why I thought it would work in the first place." Drew stated rolling over onto her stomach and putting a pillow over her head. She let her tears flow. The pain and loss she was feeling only rivaled that of when Kate told her she was marrying Paul all those years ago. She knew she had done what was best for Lola, but she wasn't sure it was best for herself. She felt Kate get into bed and wrap herself around her in comfort.

"I'm sorry she hurt you, Drew." Kate whispered.

Drew said nothing as she cried herself to sleep. The next time she awoke was early afternoon. She dressed for the day before going downstairs. The house was completely quiet. Kate had left a note that Lola had taken her to pick up her car and to call if she needed anything.

Chapter 9

Four months passed with Kate and Drew still living together except during the holidays when Lola was visiting. Drew made a point to try to act unaffected by Lola's absence from her side, and Lola never spoke of their relationship when they were together. Even though the family knew, no one mentioned it during the holidays.

The evening of Valentine's Day Drew arrived home close to dinner time. Kate's car was in the driveway. Drew smiled to herself as she gathered her things, including the flowers she had gotten for her friend and went into the house. "Honey, I'm home." she joked coming into the kitchen. She stopped in the doorway when she saw Kate standing there in an elegant red dress smiling at her fondly. The table that included candles and champagne had been set for two. "Hi. Happy Valentine's Day." Drew said moving to her. She extended the white roses.

"Thank you." Kate said taking in their scent.

Drew looked at the table. "You expecting someone?"

"You. How was your day?"

"Fine. The snow caused some problems. It's still snowing actually, but it was fine. How was yours?"

"Good now that my Valentine is here."

"This is all for me?" asked Drew.

Kate nodded. "I just thought it would be nice to get dressed up and have a good meal."

"That does sound nice. Tell you what. I'll start a fire and then change into some nicer clothes."

"Okay. Dinner's almost ready."

Drew took a quick shower and then dressed in her best suit. She returned just as Kate was putting the food on the table.

Drew pulled out Kate's chair for her. "This looks wonderful, Katherine. Thank you."

They shared a leisurely meal, including most of the champagne, as they talked. Once the meal was over, Drew did the dishes as Kate put the leftovers away. Then she disappeared into the family room. Drew joined her when she had finished.

Raising a glass in toast, Kate whispered, "Happy Valentine's Day, Drew."

Silence prevailed for awhile as they drank their champagne and watched the fire as they listened to soft music. Finally Drew extended her hand to Kate in invitation to dance. "You look absolutely beautiful, Katherine, and you smell incredible." Drew whispered as their eyes met.

"Drew, there's only one thing missing to make this perfect." she mentioned softly.

"What's that?"

Kate said nothing as she brought her hand up to Drew's face. She tucked some of Drew's graying hair behind her ear before her hand moved to cup Drew's cheek. Drew saw the answer in Kate's eyes. Slowly she leaned down and gently claimed Kate's lips in a tender kiss. It was full of softness at first, but just as Drew was pulling away, Kate's tongue licked Drew's lower lip before sliding into Drew's moaning mouth. It left them both breathless momentarily.

"Do you know what you're doing?" Drew hoarsely inquired.


"And you're sure?"

Kate stared deeply into Drew's eyes. "I'm sure. Twenty-four years has been enough of a wait, don't you think?"

Drew's heart quickened as she realized what Kate was saying. "Yes, it has." Drew answered.

They began to kiss again, and Kate pushed off Drew's jacket before beginning on the bottons of her shirt as Drew's fingers found the zipper of Kate's dress. The foreplay was gentle and methodical. Once Kate was down to her undergarments, Drew's hands came up to cup Kate's breasts though her silk bra as her head dipped to taste the flesh of Kate's cleavage.

Kate whimpered softly. "Drew, Drew, take me to bed." she begged.

Drew hoisted Kate up, so Kate could wrap her legs around Drew's waist. They continued to explore each others mouths as Drew ascended the stairs to the bedroom. Drew laid Kate against the bed. "May I turn the light on? I want to see you, Katherine."


Drew turned the bedside lamp on low and gazed over at Kate lying there, wantonly staring at her. Kate sat up keeping her eyes glued to Drew's. Her hands worked open her bra before slowly pulling it from her shoulders, baring herself to Drew for the first time. Drew sucked in a sharp breath. "You I never knew you still looked like that after all these years. You're... magnificent."

Taking one of Drew's hands, Kate guided it to one of her soft mounds, seductively whispering, "Touch me, Drew."

Drew gave her a dreamy smile. "Anything you desire is yours, darling Katherine." she replied pushing Kate down into the mattress.

Kate smiled up at Drew. "Drew, call me Katie like when we were kids."

Drew nodded whispering, "Anything for you, Katie."

Morning found them lying entwined, basking in the afterglow of pleasure. Drew was on her back with Kate's head on her shoulder, one of Kate's legs separating hers. One of Kate's hands was gently stroking the skin of Drew's flat lower abdomen. Even though both were awake, neither spoke of what had transpired. Drew just focused on the beating of Kate's heart so close to her own. Suddenly the alarm began to beep. Drew groaned in displeasure hitting the snooze button. Kissing the top of Kate's golden head, she asked, "How about a shower?"

Kate looked up at her. "It's too early. Why don't we just stay in bed?"

Drew chuckled. "I wish I could, but I have to get to work." she mentioned trying to untangle herself from Kate's limbs. "Why don't you just stay here?" she suggested smoothing the covers out and tucking Kate in. Kate gave a sleepy nod. Drew showered and dressed in her uniform before going to tell Kate good bye. She was sound asleep holding one of Drew's pillows. Drew smiled before kissing her forehead and quietly leaving.

Drew spent most of her free time thinking about the previous night. She wondered if and how their relationship would be affected. As wonderful as Drew thought it was, she wasn't sure they should pursue anything other than friendship. She was a little anxious about going home that evening, but she knew she had to see where Kate stood. When she got home, Kate was in the kitchen making dinner.

"Hi. How was your day?" Kate asked.

"Okay. Yours?"

"Fine. I was wondering if I could convince you to put these steaks out on the grill."

"Yeah. Sure." Drew replied. They worked in silence a moment, and once Drew got the steaks on the grill she stood staring out the sliding glass door.

Kate embraced her from behind. "What are you thinking about, Drew?"

"Last night."

"Do you regret what we did?"

"No. Do you?"


"I guess I was just wondering where we stood."

"Drew, we've been friends for almost twenty-five years. That's a long time. I've always been curious what it would be like, and after all this time I now know. I don't think this should affect our friendship. We had sex, Drew. It was hot, mind-blowing sex. It was some of the best I've ever had, but we're friends."

Drew glanced over her shoulder and grinned. "It was pretty hot." she agreed. "My fantasies didn't live up to reality."

"Neither did mine." Kate said. After a slight pause Kate stated, "Something's been on my mind today. Now that we've been together, I was wondering, well, did I stand up well against my competition?" nervously she inquired.

"Your competition? I wasn't aware you had any competition."

"I mean Lola." shyly she clarified.

"Kate, do you really want to know?" She nodded. "Well, your similarities with Lola are in body only. You're both different. That's not to say one is better than the other."

"I can finally see why Lola was so drawn to you physically. I now know why she was so happy."

"Yeah, well, the sex obviously wasn't enough. Can we stop talking about Lola? I'd rather get back to us."

"What about us?"

"Where do we go from here? Was this a one time thing, or do you want to continue to do this?"

"What do you want, Drew?"

"What I want might not be what's best for us."

"Then you want to continue?"

"Only if you do. If you don't, I can respect your decision. Your friendship means more to me than the sex. I just don't want it to potentially ruin things if either of us met someone."

"I understand, and I agree. Your friendship is the most important one in my life, but if you want to, and I want to, we should and worry about the consequences later. We're both adults." Kate said with a smile. Drew turned to embrace her fully. "Kiss me, Drew." Kate demanded.

Drew smiled before complying. Backing Kate into the table, Drew began to kiss her deeper. Dinner was forgotten as Drew had her way with Kate on the kitchen table. When it was over, Kate began to chuckle.

"What's so funny?" asked Drew.

"The steak is probably ruined."

"Oh, yeah. You're probably right. I'll try to salvage it." Drew returned a few minutes later with steak in hand. She was laughing as she showed it to Kate. Kate snickered before Drew threw it in the trash. "Should we try again?"

Kate shook her head. "I think you should take me out to dinner." Drew nodded in agreement.

The following Saturday Drew was down at the barn cleaning out stalls while Kate was running errands. Drew was off in her own thoughts, so she didn't hear anyone come into the barn, but she sensed someone behind her. Assuming it was Kate, she asked, "What's up, Katie babe? You miss me already?" When there was no answer, Drew turned to see Lola standing there watching her. "Lola, hi. I thought you were your mother."

"I've never heard you call Mom Katie or babe before." she mentioned.

Drew shrugged it off. "I used to call your mom Katie when we were younger."

"And babe?"

"I was just joking. What brings you here?"

"I just came to visit Mom."

"Oh, well, she's out doing errands right now."

"Mind of I hang out until she gets back?"

"Of course not. How's school?"

"Good. I like my classes."

"How's Jess?"

Lola shrugged. "I don't know. We don't see each other much anymore."

"Oh, sorry to hear that. You seeing anyone then?"

"No. I'm not interested in that anymore. Are you?" hesitantly she asked.

"No. I'm not dating anyone. I guess I've lost interest too." Drew answered risking a glance at Lola before turning back to her work. "You know, you could wait up in the house for your mom."

"Am I bothering you?" Lola inquired.

"No. I've just got a lot of work to do. I wouldn't want you to be bored."

"There was a time when I could watch you work for hours, Drew. We didn't even have to talk. Do you think we'll ever have that again?"

Drew shrugged."I don't know, Lola. You used to watch me for hours when you were younger, but I never knew what you were thinking at the time. You were fantasizing. There's no need to do that anymore. There is no mystery there. You had the reality. I personally thought it was pretty good."

"It was good, Drew." she admitted.

Drew stopped working and turned around. "Lola, I'm in an usual position here. Usually when a relationship is over, I don't speak to that person again. It's better that way for me, but obviously that can't happen here. Your mother is my best friend. Your sister is my goddaughter. I've known you your entire life. I always thought of myself as more of your aunt and friend than anything else. I never thought those feelings would change, but they did. I loved you more than all the other women combined. I know the time for me to be the aunt again has come, but I'm finding it difficult. I have more knowledge of you than what is good for an aunt to know."

There was a moment of silene before Lola said, "I don't want you to be an aunt or friend to me, Drew. I want you to be my girlfriend again. I still love you."

Drew was silent, but her heart was pounding out of control. Every fiber of her being wanted to take Lola back except her pride. "I can't do that, Lola."

"Why not? Don't you love me?" she asked stepping closer.

Drew could feel the heat and magnetism passing between them, but she resisted. "Lola, I make it a point not to date the same woman twice. I don't want to start now. Now please go up to the house, so I can do this work."

Drew spent the rest of the day in the barn. When she returned to the house there was a note from Kate on the table saying that she was spending the night at her own place since Lola was visiting. For the first time in several months Drew found herself alone. She made herself dinner as she thought over the past few months. Whenever she had gotten home, Kate was preparing their supper. They usually spent the rest of the evening in each others company. Drew realized how a custom she had become to having her beautiful counterpart around. The recent development of them being physically intimate made her feel even more at peace. It seemed that she had finally found all that she wanted.

Drew settled into bed alone that night with a movie. She was almost finished with it when the phone rang. "Hi there. I wanted to talk you before you went to bed." Kate said.

"Well, you have pretty good timing. I was just finishing a movie."

"I was just thinking about you. It feels strange to be in my own bed at home."

"It feels weird to be without you, Kate."

"Listen. Lola seemed a little upset today, but she wouldn't tell me what was going on. I was wondering if you talked to her."

"I saw her briefly in the barn. We talked for a few minutes."

"What about?"

"She told me she was still in love with me and asked me to take her back. I said no. That's probably why she was upset."

"Oh. Why did you say no?"

"I can't take her back, Kate. She's not capable of giving me what I want."

"What do you want, Drew?"

"I want a woman who is there when I come home at night, someone I can be around without necessarily speaking. I want permanence in my house and in my life. I want a wife. I'm too old to be single."

Kate hesitated a moment before inquiring, "Where do you think I fit into that picture?"

"It's funny you should ask that. I was thinking about that earlier. You are as close to perfection as I've ever gotten."

"Including Lola? If she wasn't nineteen, would you still feel the same?"

"I don't know, but it doesn't matter. She is nineteen."

"I guess you're right. Well, I should let you go. I know you have to work early tomorrow."

"Yeah. Sleep well, Katherine. I look forward to having you back. I love you."

"I love you too, and I look forward to coming back. See you tomorrow night."

The following evening Kate returned to Drew's. Drew was anxiously awaiting and greeted her with a passionate kiss that left them both breathless and disoriented. Finally coming out of the daze, Kate whispered, "I haven't been kissed senseless in years. That was incredible."

Drew giggled into Kate's neck. "I wanted to take you out to dinner tonight. How does that sound?"

"Or you could just have me for dinner." suggested Kate coyly.

"For dessert definitely but I'm starving. The sooner we eat the sooner we'll get back for dessert."

Dinner between them was full of tension. Both were quickly eating in an obvious attempt to speed up the process. However once they were back at the house, their frantic need subsided as they tenderly made love. Lying in the cradle of Kate's thighs, Drew looked deeply into Kate's brown eyes. Even at age forty-one, she was the essence of beauty. Her light, golden hair was almost to her shoulders. Her youthful looking eyes were only betrayed by the faint lines forming at the corners that could be seen when she laughed or smiled. Her skin was smooth and soft all over her body. The figure she has when she was a young woman and had been passed to her daughters was still with her, the generous mounds of femininity, naturally firm, flat mid-section, and tiny waist and hips. She had been and still was the envy of her peers.

Drew gently traced over Kate's blonde brows with her fingers before trailing down her cheeks and over her open lips. "You are so beautiful." she whispered in awe.

"You make me feel beautiful, Drew." Kate replied rocking her hips into Drew's stomach to increase the contact between them.

Drew moaned at the action. "I've always dreamed of this moment, Katie, to see they way you are looking at me right now, the love, the passion."

Kate's eyes grew misty as she stroked Drew's jawline. "I'd give you the rest of my life, Drew, if I thought we could make this work. Being with you like this is as close to heaven as I'll ever get on earth."

After a brief pause, Drew whispered, "Katherine, marry me. I will make you happy if you let me try."

Kate's smiled through her tears. "I know you will, because you already do. I will marry you, Drew. You deserve happiness too, and I'll do my best to give you that." she answered bringing Drew's mouth down to her own.

Monday morning came early for Drew. As usual she left Kate asleep in bed and went to work. However she thought about the previous night and her proposal for most of her shift at work. Instantly thoughts of Lola flooded her mind. She knew it would devastate that young woman if she found out about it, and she knew that Kate would not hurt her daughter intentionally. Deciding that it wouldn't do any good to think about things until she and Kate had a chance to talk, she tried to focus on her work.

That night when she got home, Kate had dinner waiting. "Welcome home, dear." Kate greeted kissing Drew quickly. "Dinner's ready when you are."

"Great. I'm starving." As they sat down to eat, Drew took note of how happy Kate seemed, but she knew she had to know where Kate stood concerning Lola, so she began, "Kate, I want to talk to you about something important. Last night I proposed to you."

"Yes, you did."

"And you said yes."

"Yes, I know."

"We haven't really discussed what this means for our families. Have you thought about that at all today?" Drew asked seriously.

Kate's countenance matched Drew's. "Yes, I have. It will be complicated."

"That's an understatement. Paul's only been gone a year and a half. Your girls might not be ready for a step-parent, especially me. Your daughter is still in love with me. This could potentially destroy her. She's always said she'd never be able to handle it if you and I became a couple."

"I don't want to hurt her."

"Neither do I, Kate. I truly believe that we could have a great marriage. I know we could make each other happy, but I think if we told Lola right now, we'd lose her."

"You're right, Drew. I couldn't handle losing my daughter. You understand, don't you?"

"I do. What do you want to do, Katherine? The ball is in your court."

"Let's see what happens after some time passes. Lola will move on, and then we can talk about this again. For now we'll just keep this between us."

"Does that mean this is still something you want?" Drew asked to clarify.

"Yes but not at the expense of my daughter. For now we'll pretend that we're still just friends. When we think the time is right, we'll talk about telling people. That is of course if you still want to marry me."

Drew took Kate's hand and kissed the back of it. "I promise to do everything in my power to make you the happiest woman in the world."

"There is one thing I wanted to ask you about, Drew. I know that you've always wanted children. I have two grown girls already. If I didn't want to go through that again, how would you feel?"

"I hadn't thought about that. I always figured I'd have a wife that wanted children too. Does that mean you don't want to be pregnant again or that you don't want to raise another child at all?"

"I'm certain I don't want to be pregnant. It was difficult enough then. I couldn't even imagine now more than twenty years later. I haven't considered adoption. I need some time to think about that."

"Okay. Take all the time you need. I think it'll be awhile before we can even announce our engagement to the families. I guess that gets me out of buying you a ring for awhile." Drew joked trying to lighten the mood.

Chapter 10

Months passed into years, and Drew and Kate continued to have their relationship in secret. Whenever the girls were visiting, Kate still went back to her own home to stay with them in order to keep up the charade, but both of them were anxious to get on with their own lives. For Natalie's graduation from college, the family flew to California. Since everyone was there, it made it relatively easy for Drew and Kate to sneak away for some alone time.

As they entered the suite that night, Drew inquired, "Do you think the girls are going to be suspicious that we took the king bed and left them with the two doubles?"

Kate shrugged. "We'll just tell them that's how it worked out, and we wanted to make sure Natalie was rested for her big day. We just thought they wouldn't be comfortable sharing a bed."

The following morning Drew was up first as usual. After showering and dressing, she went into their kitchen area to start a pot of coffee. She was sitting on the couch when she saw the girls' door open, and Natalie walked out. "Good morning. How did you sleep?"

"Fine. You?"

"Good. You want a cup of coffee?"

Natalie shook her head. "Drew, I was wondering if I could talk to you."

"Of course. What's on your mind?"

Natalie looked back at her closed door before suggesting, "Maybe we could go out on the balcony for some privacy."

Drew followed Natalie out. "So, what's up, Natalie? You seem so serious. Do you have mixed feeling about graduating tomorrow?"

"Yeah but that's not what I wanted to talk to you about." hesitantly she answered.

Drew sipped her coffee before inquiring, "Then what is it?"

Natalie shifted uneasily before asking, "Are you and Mom dating?"

"Why would you ask me that? You know your mother and I have been friends for years."

"Last night Lola and I got back kind of late. She went off to bed, and I said I was going to let you know we were home. I saw the light on under your door and heard the tv, so I knocked. Neither of you acknowledged it, so I thought you had fallen asleep. I quietly opened the door so not to wake you." Drew remained silent and kept a neutral face. Sensing that Natalie would continue if she were quiet, she just stood there staring at her. "A daughter never needs to see their mother in the position in which I saw mine last night."

"What position is that?" Drew inquired calmly even though she knew they had been caught. She just wanted to know the damage that had been done.

"You were both in bed. There was too much movement under those covers to think you were asleep. I heard my mother giggling, and you called her Katie, which I've never heard you say. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what was going on in there."

"Look, Natalie, just because your mother and I are older, doesn't mean we don't have needs like everyone else. We have a unique relationship in which we can help each other with those needs."

"Does Lola know?"

"No. We didn't think it was necessary to tell you girls. I would ask you not to tell your sister. This is your mother's sex life, and she has a right to her privacy. Besides there are some other complicated issues involved."

"Lola's still in love with you, you know." mentioned Natalie.

"Even more of a reason not to tell her, don't you think?"

"How long have you and Mom been this close?"

"About two years. Can we have your word that you won't tell Lola? It would mean a lot to everyone involved." Natalie hesitated before finally nodding slowly. "Thank you. We appreciate your discretion."

When Kate awoke that day, Drew immediately told her about the conversation with Natalie. Kate was obviously embarrassed by being caught by her daughter but was relieved that Natalie agreed not to tell Lola. The rest of the weekend passed without incident, and then the four of them headed back east.

Being that Natalie was home and Lola on summer break, they lived in their house while Kate traveled between hers and Drew's. Things were getting more difficult for Drew and Kate's relationship, and with much sadness they decided that it would be better if Kate didn't spend any more nights at Drew's while the girls were living at home. Two months into the summer Natalie found herself a job and apartment near the city, so she moved out to begin her new life. Lola spent a lot of time at Natalie's, giving Kate and Drew a little more freedom.

One afternoon in late August Drew found herself home early. She saw Kate and Lola's cars in her driveway. Drew entered through the garage and into the kitchen. She spotted them lounging on the back deck. Drew smiled to herself as she took in the beauty of mother and daughter. Kate was in one chaise wearing a thin cotton top and flowing wrap skirt. Lola was lying in the other in a bikini top and tiny jean shorts. Neither wore shoes. Drew found herself studying Lola longer than she should have, a common occurrence lately, before opening the door. "Well, if it isn't my two favorite women." Drew greeted.

"Drew, hi. We thought we heard the garage. You're home early. I was just telling Lola that I was going to visit my parents next weekend. I'll be gone for a week."

"Oh? You going too, Lola?"

"No. I think I'll stay with Natalie. I want to spend more time with her before school starts up again."

"Sounds good. Well, can I get either of you anything from inside?"

They shook their heads, so Drew stepped back to go inside, but as she did she noticed Lola playing with the button of her shorts. Drew watched as Lola unzipped them before slightly raising herself to slip them off her hips. Then she rearranged the small patch of material of her bikini bottom that covered her most private area. Just then the spell was broken by Kate saying she'd had enough sun and was going into the house.

"Drew, before you and Mom go in, do you think you could put some lotion on my back?"

Drew and Kate exchanged a look as Lola flipped onto her stomach. "Yeah, sure. No problem." Drew sat next to Lola on the chair as Kate disappeared into the house. She picked up the bottle of sun screen as Lola moved her hair off to the side. Lathering up her hands to warm the liquid, Drew put her hands on Lola's shoulders. Methodically she moved over Lola's soft smooth skin. Drew's mind began to drift to all the times she has used a back rub in her ploy to seduce the young goddess. A light moan escaped Lola when Drew dug her thumbs into her back on either side of her spine. Drew's thumbs dipped under the hem of Lola's suit to reach the lowest part of her back before moving up again.

"God, that feels good." Lola groaned. The confession was enough to break Drew out of her own daze, and she stopped. "Why did you stop?" questioned Lola looking over her shoulder.

"Your back is finished." Drew replied standing. Lola looked up at her. For a brief moment they each could read the others emotions. The flame of love that had burned hotly for this young woman had been extinguished Drew thought, but in one look a spark lit a tiny flicker of light and hope of reconciliation. It caught Drew completely off guard. Quickly Drew went inside to make sense of what had just transpired between them.

Kate was in the kitchen pouring herself a drink. "Well, that was quite a show you two put on." she mentioned. Drew just looked at her quizzically. "Come on, Drew. That was the most palpably sensual moment I've seen you two share in years. I don't like necessarily seeing my daughter use her body that way, but she definitely got your attention, didn't she?"

Drew dropped her head as she nodded guiltily. "I'm so sorry, Kate. I don't know what came over me. It won't happen again."

"The tension between you is thickening, Drew. It has been all summer. You're going to have to address it."

"Katherine, I don't know what to do. My feelings are all jumbled. I'm so confused."

"Drew, I know. You've been pulling away from me over the summer, and I've been letting you go, because I've seen the way you've been looking at each other. We're friends, Drew, and even though I love you, I'm not in love with you. There are unresolved feelings for Lola, and as your friend and her mother, I can't stand in the way of that. It would be a mistake to get married when you feel this way. I was hoping by leaving town you two might have a chance to get all this out in the open."

"I'm scared I might want to be with her again, but I don't want to get hurt, Kate."

"I know, but it's a chance you have to take. You'll always be my friend, regardless of what happens with Lola."

Drew nodded. "Thanks, Kate." she mumbled, looking out the sliding glass door at Lola.

Monday night when Kate was gone, Drew made plans to meet Natalie and Lola in the city for dinner. When she arrived at the apartment, Lola let her in. After their initial greeting, Drew asked, "Where's Natalie?"

"Oh, she had to work late tonight. She said she didn't know when she'd be home but to go ahead without her."

"Are you sure?" Lola nodded. "Well, okay. Did you have a place in mind?"

"Actually, yeah. There's this great Chinese place nearby."

"Okay. Lead on."

When they got to the restaurant, they were seated immediately in a tiny booth, so small Drew could feel Lola's legs brushing hers under the table. Lola just smiled before looking at the menu. When their waitress came to the table. Drew ordered an import beer and appetizer for them before looking to Lola for her drink order. She gave her a strange look when Lola also asked for a beer.

"What? I'm of age." Lola mentioned.

"I know. Sometimes I just forget that you're an adult now. You and Natalie grew up much too quickly. I mean I never imagined the day she'd be starting a life of her own, and you are only two semesters from doing the same. Have you thought about what you're going to do?" "I don't know. I'll probably live with Natalie and find a job." Drew shook her head lightly. "What?" Lola asked.

"Oh, I was just thinking. Natalie is the same age your mom was when she had her. I can remember stories of you two as children. I could probably tell you about every major event of your lives."

"I remember things too, Drew." Lola whispered as she rubbed her bare calf along Drew's khaki pants leg. Before Drew could respond the waitress returned with their drinks and asked for their order.

During the meal Drew tried to find neutral subjects such as Lola's summer job, upcoming classes, and living with Natalie for the last year of school. When they were not talking about romantic relationships, Drew found it easier to talk with Lola than in the past. It was almost as if they had gotten passed the post-breakup awkwardness and returned to their prior friendship much to Drew's happiness.

Once their meal had come to a close and Drew had paid, Lola suggested they go buy ice cream and walk along the river front. Drew conceded to the request, so after getting two small cones, Lola led them toward the boardwalk. There was a quartet of musicians they briefly watched before Lola took Drew's arm, taking them a little way off the main strip to a more secluded area. They could still hear the melodies of seductive jazz but had a quiet bench to themselves. Lola hoisted herself up onto the top of the back of the bench, placing her feet against the seat while Drew stood nearby. Both were quiet as they looked out over the water. Clouds hid the stars making the evening seem dark and imposing. Drew sensed the imminent summer storm that for now kept at bay.

Suddenly Lola turned toward Drew and stated, "I want to dance. Dance with me, Drew." Drew's body was screaming yes, so she tentatively nodded. Lola hopped off the bench an moved to Drew, loosely wrapping an arm around her shoulder as she held her ice cream in the other hand. Drew placed an arm around Lola's waist. They did little more than sway to the rhythm of the music as they continued with their desserts. "Is yours good?" Lola inquired.

"Yeah. You'd like it. Have a bite." Drew said holding hers up to Lola's mouth. Lola's hazel eyes met Drew's dark ones. Drew watched Lola's tongue slide over the cold sweet sensually. Drew had to breathe deeply to remain in control. When Lola was finished sampling Drew's, she offered Drew some of her own to which Drew declined. Just as they were finishing their ice cream a light sprinkle began. "Perhaps we should go." Drew suggested, throwing their napkins in a nearby trash can.

"Oh, it's just a little rain. One more dance."

"Okay. One more and then we should go."

This time Lola draped both her arms around Drew's neck as Drew encircled her hips. Drew closed her eyes, letting the music guide her. Several songs passed, and the rain began to get stronger finally forcing them to seek shelter in the car.

When they arrived back at the apartment, Natalie was home lounging on the couch involved in a movie. After Drew greeted her, Lola asked, "Why don't you let me dry your clothes in the dryer for awhile, Drew? That way you don't have to be wet on the way home."

"That's okay. I don't want to trouble you."

"Nonsense. It's no trouble. I'm sure I probably have some of your old sweat pants and t-shirts you can wear while you wait."

"Well, okay. Show me what I can wear."

Lola took Drew into her bedroom and began rummaging through her drawers. She pulled out some of Drew's old clothes and then left her to change. Once Drew's clothes were in the dryer, the three of them sat on the couch with Drew between the girls. Natalie immediately propped her feet up in Drew's lap as Lola leaned into her shoulder. Drew grinned to herself as her little bookends, as she commonly referred to them when they were young, flanked her. The tension she and Lola had been experiencing had dissipated in front of Natalie, so the three of them sat silently until the end of the film. After catching the news, Natalie stretched and leaned over to kiss Drew's cheek as she informed them that she was going to bed.

"Well, I need to go. I've got a long drive."

"You don't have to. You could stay here." Lola mentioned.

"Oh no. I'm a little too old to be sleeping on the couch. I need a bed."

"You can sleep in my bed, and I'll sleep with Natalie."

"I don't want to put you out."

"Don't worry about it. You know she sleeps like a rock. She'll never notice me."

"All right, I am a little too tired to drive and don't plan on going in early anyway."

"Good. Now let's get you settled. I'll get your clothes, so you have something fresh to wear in the morning." Drew followed Lola into the bedroom and took a seat on the double bed while Lola gathered her pajamas and robe. "Good night, Drew. Let me know if you want or need anything." she softly said from the door before closing it behind her.

Drew fell back onto the bed shaking her head in disbelief. Kate was right. The mutual feelings Drew and Lola had once shared were slowly creeping back into her heart. However Lola seemed different, more mature in her approach. Although she was still flirtatious and seductive, Drew felt as though Lola's moves were more subtle. It almost seemed as if she knew patience would get her much further. Lola hadn't pushed for any sexual interaction, hadn't even mentioned it, even though it was thick, leaving Drew with a longing. Sighing Drew stripped off her clothes and slid under the covers. She immediately smelled Lola's essence on the pillows and sheets and groaned thinking it would be a long night.

Drew awoke the next morning to quiet whispers. She was lying on her side facing the wall when she heard Natalie and Lola talking. She feigned sleep when she realized she was the topic of their conversation. "I wish you two would get back together." Natalie mentioned.

"I know. Me too but I can't force her into it. I have to know she wants that too, and I haven't seen for certain that she does. Last night was a start, but we still have a long way to go." Lola said. "She's so sexy, though. Look at her, that strong back. I'll have fantasies for weeks knowing she slept naked in my bed."

Natalie stifled a giggle. "Well, I've got to get going. See you tonight."

Knowing they were now alone, Drew rolled over onto her other side still pretending to be asleep. She heard Lola moving hangers in her closet, so she slightly opened her eyes. Lola was standing there in only her underclothing trying to figure out what to wear. Drew took in the shoulder length blonde hair, smooth back, and tight posterior. Drew watched as Lola dressed for work, and then quickly shut her eyes when it looked like Lola was about to turn around. Moments later she heard Lola whispering her name. Drew acted as if she was waking as she opened her eyes and stretched. Not even bothering to cover her naked torso, she gave Lola a sleepy smile. She could tell Lola was having difficulty focusing on her face when the upper half of her body was completely bare.

"Uh... I'm leaving for work in a few minutes. You can stay and sleep longer if you want."

"Oh, I should get going myself." Drew replied flinging the covers off her body to stand.

This time Lola couldn't help her wandering eyes. "Well, I'll... I'll... I'll just leave you to dress then." Quickly she fled the room making Drew chuckle to herself.

A few minutes later she found Lola in the kitchen drinking coffee and eating a bagel with cream cheese and strawberry jam. "That looks good." Drew mentioned taking in the vision of Lola sitting at the tiny kitchen table, the light streaming in from behind her, outlining her in a warm glow.

"You want one? I'll make you one." Lola stated.

"No. That's quite all right. I just want a bite." Lola held the bagel up to Drew's mouth, and Drew slowly took a bite, lightly nibbling the tip of Lola's finger as she retracted her breakfast from Drew's lips. Chasing it with a sip of Lola's coffee, Drew smiled. "That was perfect. Hit the spot. Well, I'll get out of your way now."

"Just wait a couple of minutes, and I'll walk out with you. I'm almost ready." When Lola had finished her bagel and put her cup in the dishwasher, she grabbed her purse and keys. They walked to their cars, pausing in front of Lola's. "Thanks for dinner last night, Drew. It was a lot of fun."

"I had a good time too. Listen. Maybe you'd like to come out to my place for dinner tonight."

"Yeah. That sounds good. I'll call Natalie and see if she can come."

"Okay. Just come on out after work. If I'm not there, just let yourself in."

That evening when Drew went home, Lola's old Beetle was in the driveway. Going into the house, she saw Lola on the couch watching tv. "Natalie couldn't make it tonight, said it was too far to drive since she was working early in the morning."

"I see, but you still came." Drew mentioned.

"I don't have to work until two tomorrow."

"I see. Well, how about that dinner? I was thinking I could do some chicken on the grill with some corn on the cob and salad. How's that sound?"

"Sounds great. How can I help?" Lola asked standing.

Together they worked on dinner and then ate out on the deck to watch the sunset. As they talked the subject moved towards Lola's horse. "You haven't been down to the barn much lately, have you?"

"No, and I miss it. I miss not being able to ride everyday."

"Well, you could spent the night and take a ride in the morning before you have to leave for work if you wanted."

"Oh, that would be great, Drew. Thank you."

"You know you're welcome here anytime, Lola. You don't even have to ask. We could even go down there right now to visit the horses."

Lola nodded in agreement, so they strolled down the hill to the barn. Lola spent a lot time talking to and petting her horse as Drew just watched. "You know, I have a lot of memories of this barn." Lola said looking around in thought. "I remember you teaching Natalie and me how to ride, and Daddy buying me a horse for my birthday. It was here in this barn when I was twelve that I saw you working, and something opened up in me. It was like I was really looking at you for the first time. I knew that I wasn't like all my friends, but I didn't really know why I was different. I just knew that I was."

"Well, I think you've found your identity over the past few years. College has a way of doing that."

"You've helped me become the woman that I am, Drew. I'll always be thankful for that. Because of you I have such a wonderful, open relationship with my family. You single-handedly turned Nana into my greatest supporter."

Drew shrugged. "She had a lot to do with that. She didn't want to lose you."

"If my dad were still alive, do you think he would be proud of me?"

"Your father was always proud of you and Natalie, and if he were still with us, he probably would be the proudest father in the world."

"Drew, may I ask about the night he died? I know you were there."

"I was there. I held him as he took his very last breath. Even then he was thinking about you girls and Kate. Your father loved you tremendously, Lola."

"It must have been hard for you to see him like that." Lola mentioned.

Drew nodded. "Paul was a friend to me for twenty years. It was especially difficult knowing you three would be without him." Drew confessed. A moment passed, and Drew leaned into the stall door whispering, "I still have nightmares about that night sometimes."

Lola stepped closer sensing that Drew was having a vulnerable moment. Touching her gently on the arm, Lola replied, "I never knew that."

Drew nodded. "I wish they would go away. I just don't know how to get rid of them. I have to say that I don't have as many as I did the first year after he died, but there are still nights when I see him so clearly in my dreams." Silently Lola embraced her. No words were needed for several minutes. Finally Drew pulled away slowly saying, "Let's let these horses get some sleep. We should probably start cleaning up before the insects get the best of our leftovers."

Quietly they cleaned up their dishes before settling on the couch. "Drew, since this seems to be the night of revealing secrets, there's something I've always wanted to ask you." Drew gave a hesitant nod, unsure of what Lola was about to ask. "The summer before I left for college Mom was really sick. Do you remember that?" Drew nodded. "You told Natalie and me that Mom had an allergic reaction to her medication and alcohol. Remember?"

"Yes. What's your question about it?"

"Well, Natalie and I have talked about it on several occasions, and we think you didn't tell us the truth."

"What makes you think that?"

"Just the circumstances surrounding the incident. Mom isn't a big drinker, and it sounds like she was out cold, because you had to break in to save her. Coincidentally it was around the anniversary of Dad's death, and she was so fragile mentally after that. Not only that she's been living with you ever since."

"Well, if you think I lied, then you must have your own theory."

"She tired to kill herself but failed, because you were there save her life."

Drew dropped her head and sighed. "Lola, you have to understand that I had everyone's best interest at heart. You and Natalie were so young and had just lost Paul." she began, but Lola stopped her.

"I do understand, Drew. You wanted to protect us and her. I just never really got a chance to thank you for being there. I don't think Natalie and I could've handled losing her too."

"Me neither. She means the world to me. I've never had a friend like your mother."

Lola nodded. "How's the living situation between you? You've been roommates for almost three years now."

"It's nice. I like having someone to come home to everyday. She enjoys it too, because she's not alone."

"Have you two know?" curiously Lola inquired.

"Why are you asking me that? This is your straight mother we're talking about here."

"Oh, she's not that straight. I think if the opportunity presented itself for her to be in the arms of a loving, tender woman she might consider it. Besides both of you have admitted to being attracted to each other."

"Years ago." Drew commented.

"Well, maybe living together and seeing each other all the time those feelings resurfaced."

"Lola, your mother and I are just friends."

"You mean to tell me in three years you two haven't had sex? There's never been one cold, lonely night that you found comfort in each other?"

"For arguments sake, let's say we have. How would you feel about that? Wouldn't you want your mother to be happy?"

Lola shrugged. "I would want her to be happy, Drew. She deserves it, but..." Lola hesitated.

"But what?" asked Drew.

"It would be weird, Drew. I mean you know me that way. For you to know my mother that way too would be strange."

"Why? You're both incredibly beautiful, caring women. To think of you in your separate identities as just ladies, not at mother and daughter, it would be easy to desire more from Kate. The problem is I find it difficult to forget as does she."

"So, you haven't?" clarified Lola.

"What do you think? You wouldn't be asking if you thought we hadn't. I think you know the truth already."

They both sat silently for a moment. Lola dropped her head into her hands. Drew watched as Lola began to rock back and forth before breaking into sobs. Not knowing what else to do, Drew tried to embrace her, but Lola pushed her away roughly.

"Don't touch me!" she yelled. "I can't bear it!" Drew sat there feeling helpless as Lola wept. Looking up Lola met Drew's eyes. "I've loved you my whole life, Drew. Those nine months that I was yours were the best of my life. In three years no one has been able to replace you in my heart. I know you don't love me that way any more, but if you and my mother share those feelings, I wish you both happiness. Of all people you two deserve it the most, but know that I won't be around to witness it. I couldn't put myself through that torture even for the two of you. I'll just have to live without the love of my life and my mother. I hope she makes you happy, Drew." With that Lola proceeded to stand.

"Wait. Where are you going?"

Lola turned to face her. Her body and countenance showed defeat. "I'm leaving, Drew. I can't compete against my own mother, and I won't. All I've ever wanted is for you to take me back. Every woman I go out with I compare to you. I can't even be intimate, because your touch is the only one I want. Now I know there is no hope for us. There's no point in my hanging around deluding myself into thinking you feel the same. I guess I misread you the past few weeks in hopes you did return my feelings. I'm sorry. I won't bother you again."

As Lola gathered her things, Drew's mind and heart raced. She panicked knowing if Lola walked out that door she would lose her only chance. Suddenly her heart overrode her brain, and she cried out, "Lola, wait. Please."

Lola turned to face her with tears glistening in her eyes. "Why?"

Drew tentatively stepped to her and wiped the tears from Lola's cheeks. Lola closed her eyes, indulging in the light touch. "You weren't misreading me." Drew confessed.

Lola's eyes flew open in surprise. "What are you saying?" hesitantly Lola inquired.

"Lola, there's a lot left to be said. Please let me tell you everything before you walk out of my life." Drew pleaded. Drew saw the spark of hope light Lola's wet eyes as she nodded. Drew pulled her into a tight embrace. She took a deep breath trying to figure out where to begin. Deciding on the honest, poignant approach, Drew said, "Kate and I are friends, Lola, but we have had a sexual relationship for almost three years now. In fact at one point we even discussed getting married." Instantly Lola tensed and tried to pull away, but Drew's grip was stronger. "We couldn't do it because of you, Lola. You see, Kate and I would've been happy except for the fact that we knew we would've lost you. You mean more to us than anything, so we agreed to just keep being friends, giving each other sexual fulfillment as we needed it. Throughout this summer I've come to realize that I still have feelings for you. As mush as you hurt me, I still loved you. I tried to push you out of my heart. I really did, but over this summer I realized I had failed miserably. Kate noticed it first, and we talked about it. I told her I was so frightened of being hurt by you, that I didn't think I could handle a relationship with you again. She said I had no other choice but to try. Quite frankly I'm petrified of being hurt by you, Lola, but I can't help my feelings for you."

Lola began to cry again as she clung tightly to Drew. It took several minutes before she was in enough control to ask, "What happens now?"

"I don't know. It depends on what we want to happen from here."

"I want us to give each other another chance." Lola stated definitively.

"But under some conditions." interjected Drew. "We have to move more slowly. It take a longtime to rebuild trust after it's been broken, and I think we both did. We both have to be sure this is what we want, and we have to talk about our goals and desires. Communication can't break down like it did last time."

"You have to promise not to have sex with my mother any more. If we're going to give this another chance, you can't be tied to her physically."

Drew nodded. "I give you my word, Lola. Likewise you need to promise me you won't see other people on the side."

"I promise, Drew."

"Okay then. I guess it's settled."

They spent the rest of the evening lying on the couch snuggling in contemplative silence. Drew was lying on her back with Lola's body on top of her. Lola's head was almost on Drew's shoulder, her legs tangled in Drew's as Drew gently stroked her back and hair. Time passed quickly and before Drew even realized it, she was yawning.

"You're tired, Drew. I should let you get to bed."

"You're staying, aren't you? I thought you wanted to go riding in the morning."

Lola smiled as they got off the couch. "Honestly, Drew, I don't think I should stay. The only place I'd want to be is in your arms, and I'd never get sleep in the guestroom knowing you were so close."

Drew chuckled. "I know what you mean. It was torture for me sleeping in your bed last night." They both laughed softly. "Are you okay to drive, though? You're not tired, are you?"

"No. I'm too happy to be tired. I have tons of energy right now."

Drew walked Lola out to her car, and they exchanged smiles. "Drive safely, and call me when you get there, so I know you made it." Lola nodded. An awkward second passed as neither knew if they should kiss. "Maybe you'd like to go out on Friday night. Your mom gets back on Saturday."

"Yeah. I'd love to."

"Great. We'll talk about it later. You better get on the road now." After another awkward moment, Drew embraced her in a hug and kissed her on top of her blonde head.

When Friday evening rolled around, Drew was nervous. She opted to wear dark, charcoal slacks with a black short sleeved dress shirt. She remembered Lola commenting once on how sexy she thought Drew looked in it and hoped it would have the same effect that night. Going up to Natalie and Lola's apartment door, Drew hid the roses behind her back as she knocked. Natalie answered obviously just having been home a few minutes.

"Hi, Drew. You look nice." she mentioned as they hugged. Natalie peeked around Drew's back to see what she was hiding. "Trying to impress her, huh?" she teased. "Nice touch. I'll let her know you're here. Sit down." Drew hovered in the living room, swaying nervously on her feet until Natalie returned. "You can sit, Drew. She's almost ready. You want a drink?"

"No thanks. I'm fine." Drew was off int her own thoughts until she heard Lola's bedroom door open. Her head snapped up to see Lola entering the room. She was wearing a pale blue, linen sun dress and sandals. In her hands she had a matching cardigan sweater. Drew's feet were lead for a moment as she took in how beautiful and almost shy Lola looked. Finally getting her legs to move, she crossed over to her and presented the deep red roses. "You look lovely, Lola, stunning." she stammered, nerves getting the better of her for the moment.

Lola blushed, her hands trembling slightly as she accepted Drew's gift. "Thank you for the flowers. You look-I've always loved that shirt on you."

"I remember. That's why I wore it."

"Um...Lola, maybe you'd like me to put those in a vase for you." Natalie mentioned breaking the mounting tension.

"Oh, yeah. Thanks, sis." Lola replied as if she were coming out of a trance.

Drew extended her arm to Lola. "Your chariot awaits, mademoiselle." Drew stated jokingly further calming them. After escorting her to the car and helping her into her seat, Drew moved to her own seat.

"So, where are we going?"

"Well, I made reservations for us at this restaurant I know you'll love. Then I thought we might just stroll around Du Pont and do whatever we find of interest. How does that sound?"

"Sounds like fun."

Over dinner once they had been left to their meal, Drew smiled at Lola and reached for her hand across the table. When Lola put her hand in Drew's, Drew pulled it up to her mouth, letting her lips lightly brush the back of it. "You really do look beautiful tonight, Lola. I'm blown away."

Blushing Lola whispered, "Thank you. That means a lot coming from you. How's that steak and lobster of yours?"

"So good. Some of the best I've had in a long time. How's your chicken?"

"Excellent. The wine is perfect. The atmosphere is wonderful, but what makes this evening is the company." Drew smiled in response.

Once dinner was complete, they walked a few blocks to Du Pont. Being a Friday summer night, everyone seemed to be out. Lola and Drew leisurely shopped many of the gay oriented stores on the strip before getting coffee at one of the many cafes. After Drew had paid for their drinks, Lola took her hand suggesting they sit outside. Drew consented, allowing Lola to lead her across the street into Du Pont Circle, which served as a local park. It appeared that all the benched were taken, but they managed to find some space on the edge of the fountain. As they slowly drank their coffee, they discussed the architecture of the fountain and surrounding buildings.

"I'm having so much fun tonight, Drew." Lola mentioned taking Drew's hand.

"I am too. I don't really want the evening to end, but it's starting to get late. I should probably be getting you home soon.

Lola consulted her watch. "It's not even midnight yet."

"I know, but I have a long drive home."

"Well, come on then. Let's go back to the apartment." The place was empty when they returned. "You want to watch a movie?" Lola suggested.

Drew knew she should be getting home, but she was having too much fun to refuse. "Sure. You pick one. I just need to use the bathroom first."

When Drew returned Lola had lit candles for ambiance and was settled on the sofa. They cuddled throughout the movie before Drew stated that she really had to go. "Why don't you stay here tonight? You're too tired to drive, and you have to come back into town in the morning to get Mom anyway. Just stay here. I'll sleep with Natalie like I did last time."

"Are you sure?" Lola nodded. "Okay. Thanks. Saves me time in the morning." Drew and Lola went to bed separately, but about an hour later, Drew was awakened by movement in the room. "Lola?" she whispered.


"What are you doing? Why aren't you asleep?"

"I'm just getting a pillow and blanket for the couch. Natalie kicked me out of her room."


"She has company. I'll be out of your way in a second."

"Nonsense. Just come get in bed. Don't sleep on the couch."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure. It's no big deal." Lola complied, sliding into the full bed next to Drew. Each of them kept to themselves but after a few minutes loud moaning broke the air. "Oh God." Drew groaned in displeasure. Lola giggled. "I can't believe I have to listen to my goddaughter having sex." she grumbled.

"You want me to turn on some music or the tv?"

"No. That's okay. I'll just try to ignore it." Drew replied, putting her head under a pillow. She could still hear the sounds, so she decided to concentrate on something else. Her thoughts immediately went to the woman next to her. With the sounds and the close proximity of their bodies, it wasn't long before Drew was entertaining thoughts of loving the young woman lying next to her. Drew could feel her own body warming at the idea, and she hoped Lola wouldn't notice.

Just then Lola turned on her side facing Drew. "Drew, are you awake?"


"What are you thinking about?"

"Anything but what's going on in that room."

"You seem really warm." Lola mentioned touching Drew's arm. "Do you want me to turn the fan on?"

"Only if you want to."

The rest of the night was uncomfortable for Drew, even after silence prevailed, and she got little sleep. Nevertheless she got up and dressed before the girls. Natalie was the first to arrive into the living room.

"You look tired, Drew."

"I have you to thank for that. Guess a good set of lungs runs in the family. Like mother, like daughter, like sister." Natalie blushed at the teasing. "I wouldn't have stayed had I known you were having a visitor. It kind of put Lola and me in a weird position. I wasn't really ready to be sharing a bed with her again."

"Sorry about that."

"So, tell me. You and Mr. Wonderful been seeing each other long?"

Natalie laughed. "Actually, Drew. Mr. Wonderful was really Ms. Wonderful." she admitted.

"What? You were with a woman?"

Natalie nodded. "Like mother, like daughter I guess. I was just curious to see what the attraction was. Did I ever find out."

"Sounds like it. So, what now? You think you might do it again?"

Natalie smiled. "Well, it was good, but I don't think I'm cut out for a relationship with a woman. I kind of enjoy my men too much, but if I was bored and the opportunity arose, I might just for fun."

"Definitely like your mother then. You're young. Just be careful. Safe sex is still important."

"I'm always careful. How did things go last night? Do you think there's a real chance for you and Lola to get back together?"

Drew grinned. "I think things went about as perfect as they could've gone. I believe we both want this to work, but we have to move slowly. As far as I'm concerned, she's the one, but she truly needs to feel the same. I'm forty-one, Natalie. I'm ready to settle down, maybe even have a few kids. If it's not with Lola, it's not going to be."

"Well, you don't have to worry about her. She feels the same."

"But she needs to see if she can handle this responsibility. I know her intentions are good. She's matured tremendously. I think it could work."

"I know it will." confidently Natalie stated.

When Drew picked Kate up at the airport, Kate was smiling brightly as they hugged. "I take it you had a good trip." Drew said as they broke apart.

Kate nodded. "How was your week?"

"It was good. Lola and I went out a couple of times."

"Really? Tell me. Is the chemistry still there?"

Drew nodded. "Yes, Katherine, it is. I think we both recognize that we have a second chance. We're just taking it easy for now, but I think it'll work."

"I knew it. So, do you think she's really it?"

Drew smiled at Kate's excited mood. "What's with you, Kate? I haven't seen you this giddy in years. Did something good happen to you?"

"Actually, I met someone." she admitted shyly.

"Oh? Tell me about him."

"Well, his name is Jim, and he lives in the area. He's fifty-five, divorced, has three adult children, and has his own law firm."

"I see. Where did you meet? What's he look like?"

"Well, we met on the plane on the way down actually. He was on business, but he called me twice this week. He's about 6'2" with salt and pepper hair and gorgeous blue eyes."

"Well, that's great, Kate. I'm happy for you. You deserve more than I could give you."

"You deserved more too, Drew. I'm glad things are looking up with Lola. I want both of you to be happy. Guess this means we won't be sleeping together any more, huh?" she joked.

"Guess not but it was great while it lasted. Speaking of which I told Lola about us. She asked, and I couldn't lie about it."

"How did she take it?"

"Well, she flipped out at first, but it actually was the catalyst in getting us to talk about our feelings. I promised her that we wouldn't be together any more."

"Sounds fair. I'm so glad you two talked it out."

A couple of weeks later Kate invited Jim out to the house for the afternoon. Since Drew was off, Lola and Natalie both decided to come out as well. Kate and Drew were sitting in the kitchen while the girls were out on the deck sun bathing when Jim arrived. After introductions the adults sat in the kitchen talking. After awhile Drew excused herself and went upstairs to the bathroom. When she returned she found Jim alone in the kitchen standing near the glass door, staring out at Kate's daughters.

"Beautiful, aren't they?" Drew inquired taking Jim by surprise.

"What?" Jim asked turning toward Drew.

"I said they are beautiful girls, aren't they?"

"I'm sure my son would think so." he commented turning his back on them completely. "Kate tells me you've known each other since high school. That's a long time."

"Yes. Twenty-seven years is a long time."

"What was she like?"

"The same as she is now, sweet, caring, smart, funny, stunningly beautiful. She has two copies in Natalie and Lola. You'll never find sweeter women than the Emerson girls."

"I'm surprised they haven't been taken then."

"Well, Natalie is a more independent, so I don't think she'll settle down any time soon, but Lola is another story. She truly is a cookie cutter image of Kate. She wants to be domestic and have children. One of her greatest aspirations is to become a mother."

"And that's the one you're dating?" he asked curiously.

"Kate told you?"

He nodded. "I admit that I was shocked. It's a complicated situation, isn't it?"

"Yes but it's true that Lola and I are together."

"Well, Kate approves, so who am I to judge? I guess it's the age difference that shocks me the most. My youngest son is gay, and although I've come to accept it, I still think I'd have a hard time if he brought someone your age home."

Drew nodded. "Kate struggled with it. We all did, but I think I had the hardest time out of all of us. I've been a part of these girls' lives since they took their first breaths. When Lola approached me, she basically made it clear I was what she wanted and would stop at nothing to have me. That was quite a shock."

Just then Kate reappeared ending their conversation. "So, Drew, do you think we could go ahead and get started on those burgers? I'm starving." Kate mentioned.

"Yeah. Sure thing, Kate."

"You need any help?" Jim inquired politely.

"No thanks but if you want to keep me company, you could."

Jim looked at Kate. "Go on. I'll just be in here working on the salad."

Drew and Jim headed outside to the grill. The girls ignored them for a few minutes before Drew called over to them. "Ladies, why don't you go help your mother?" she suggested.

"We're fine just where we are." Lola answered turning onto her stomach.

"Go on now. Don't make me have to hose you down."

"You wouldn't, not in front of company anyway." Natalie challenged also turning over.

Drew smiled at Jim as she picked up the two glasses of ice water the girls had sitting on the table. Standing between their chairs, she dumped the water onto their backs. Both of them screamed as they quickly scampered to their feet.

"Drew!" Natalie screamed.

"What? I warned you. Now go on in. Too much sun is bad for you anyway. If you're good the rest of the evening, I'll take you two out later."

Lola pointed at Drew and playfully said, "You're in trouble, Drew. We'll get you when you least expect it." Lola and Natalie laughed together before going into the house. Dinner passed with easy conversation, and once everything had been put away, Lola mentioned, "Drew didn't you promise to take Natalie and me out?"

"Yeah. Where do you want to go? We could see a movie, go to the bar, go to the pool hall. It's up to you."

"Let's go play pool." Natalie suggested.

"Fine with me. Kate, Jim, you want to join us?"

"No thanks. I think we'll stay here. Are you sure you can handle the two of them?" she inquired as she watched her two girls go inside to change.

"Sure. I'm used to dealing with drunken men hitting on women. If anybody touches those two though, I'm breaking their fingers. I better go get changed now. Excuse me."

Ten minutes later Drew returned to the deck to find Natalie and Lola more conservatively dressed in jeans and cotton tops. They all bid Kate and Jim a good night before piling into Drew's jeep. When they arrived at the pool hall, it was still early, so there wasn't a wait for a table. As Drew paid for it, the girls went to get beers for all of them. They played a few games before Drew asked, "So, what do you two think of Jim?"

"I liked him, thought he was nice." Natalie answered preparing to take her shot.

"Yeah. He seems to really like Mom, and she's happy. That's what matters. What did you think?"

"He seems like a good guy. He does like your mother a lot. He is interested in her, and he even asked me about you two. I think there's potential there. He told me he has three kids of his own, two boys and a girl, which one of his sons is gay. Apparently your mother told him about us, Lola. It's didn't seem to bother him too much. I think that's a positive thing."

They spent several hours out, but when they got back to Drew's, they noticed that Jim's car was still in the driveway. The three of them walked in to find the living room aglow with candles, soft jazz music playing, and Jim and Kate standing in the middle of the room embraced in a deep kiss. They all gave a collective gasp breaking the romantic mood and surprising the older couple.

Kate and Jim both jumped. "Oh. I thought you'd be gone longer." Kate fumbled.

"Kate, even been gone for four hours already." Drew mentioned.

Jim made a move away from Kate as he said, "I should probably get going, Katherine. I have a long drive home."

"All right. I'll walk you out."

Turning to the three of them, Jim said, "It was nice meeting all of you."

When Kate returned several minutes later, she said nothing about Jim. "I'm getting tired. I think I'm going to go up to bed. Why don't you girls stay here tonight, and we can visit more in the morning?"

"Sounds good." Natalie mentioned turning to Lola.

"Sure. Why not?"

"Great. Come on upstairs with me, and I'll get you some pajamas to wear."

The girls followed their mother leaving Drew by herself. She fetched herself three beers from the kitchen expecting them to return momentarily before settling down on the sofa. She had no idea how long she sat there with her eyes closed listening to the music and letting the alcohol lull her into relaxation as she continued to drink. Faintly she became aware of movement behind her and then hands on her shoulders gently squeezing them.

She moaned softly mumbling, "That feels good." Lola rubbed them for a few more minutes before sitting down next to Drew. "I thought all of you had gone to bed." Drew mentioned, putting the last of the three now empty beer bottles on the coffee table.

"No. We just got to talking with Mom."

Drew opened her eyes and looked around mentioning, "This is a pretty romantic atmosphere, huh?"

Lola nodded. "Makes me feel like dancing."

Drew smiled at her before extending her hand. Guiding her to the center of the room, Drew embraced her as they began to dance. A few songs passed before Lola looked up into Drew's eyes.

"I love you, you know." she whispered playing with Drew's short gray hair.

"I know, and I love you." Drew replied cupping Lola's face in one hand.

A moment passed before Lola asked, "Are you going to kiss me or not?"

Drew grinned before leaning down to Lola's mouth. The memory of Lola's supple lips she had held for the past five years paled in comparison to the real thing as her passion sprang to life. Drew pulled her closer grinding their hips together as the kiss deepened. Lola moaned trying to increase the pressure of their bodies. They went on for several minutes before Drew pulled away slightly. "I think I might be a little too drunk to be thinking clearly." she admitted.

"Why do you say that?"

"I want you in my bed tonight desperately, Lola, but I know we shouldn't."

"Why not? I want you just as much, Drew."

"Your mom, your sister. We haven't been together that long. I want this to be forever this time." she said allowing the alcohol make her confession easier.

Sensing that Lola smiled at Drew pleasantly. "Maybe you're right. Maybe we shouldn't, but I would love to fall asleep in your arms."

"I'm not sure I could control myself." Drew whispered.

"Will you try for me?" Drew nodded. "Good. Come on then. Let's go upstairs." Lola turned off the music and blew out the candles before leading Drew upstairs. Going into the bedroom, Lola began to help Drew out of her clothes, but Drew was much too interested in kissing on Lola to help. At first Lola just giggled at Drew's advances as she worked Drew's shirt off her shoulders, but when Drew moved into her neck, her laughing became whimpers and then moans as Drew persisted. Drew tried to get Lola's top off, but her inebriated state made it difficult for her to work open the buttons. Finally realizing it, Lola pulled Drew's head up to meet her gaze.

"You really are drunk. I've never seen you like this. Come on now. Let's finish getting you out of your clothes."

Drew allowed Lola to unzip her jeans and push them off her hips before pushing her onto the bed to pull off her boots. Once Drew's socks and jeans were off, Lola reached around Drew's back for the clasp pf her bra only to find herself in another embrace as Drew pulled her down onto the bed. "Want to get naked with me?" Drew growled flipping them over, so she was on top of Lola. Hurriedly she pushed Lola's shirt over her breasts revealing the soft flesh. She reached for them as she brought her face down to Lola's cleavage.

Lola cried out gripping Drew's shoulders. "Wait. Slow down there, tiger." Lola said pulling Drew's head away from her chest. "My mother is just across the hall and my sister next door. I don't think we should do this."

"But don't you want to?" Drew asked with a pout.

"Oh, Drew. You know I want to but not tonight. Trust me, Drew. You'll be thanking me tomorrow if you even remember." she said pushing Drew off her. "I'm going to go change. Do you want pajamas?"

"No." Drew defiantly pouted. "I'm staying like this."

"Fine. Suit yourself."

Drew was under the covers lying in the dark when Lola climbed into bed. As soon as she settled herself, Drew rolled over on top of her. Lola smelled the beer pouring off Drew's breath as the older woman leaned to kiss her. "Drew, be good." she warned feeling Drew's hands under her night shirt. "I would hate to have to call one of your deputies out here, and don't think I won't handcuff your wandering hands to the bedpost if you don't stop." she said half-heartedly as Drew's mouth took in the length of her neck.

"I love you, Lola Emerson. I want to marry you. I want you to be the mother of my children." Drew declared meeting Lola's eyes in the dark.

"Drew, I love you too, but we have to go to sleep now. Please." Lola begged in complete seriousness.

Drew gave a resigned nod rolling off her girlfriend back to her side of the bed. Facing away from Lola, Drew proceeded to pass out promptly.

Drew awoke the next morning to a knocking on the bedroom door. She groaned in displeasure as she opened her eyes. Her head was throbbing. Sitting up slightly she noticed she was alone. "Yeah?" she mumbled.

Kate poked her head into the room. "Good morning. You feeling all right?" softly Kate inquired.

Drew shook her head. "I don't know what I was thinking having that much to drink. I feel like I've been run over by a stampede." she grumbled.

"Yeah, that's what Lola figured. Here. I brought you some aspirin." Drew sat up to take the pills and water from Kate. "So, I guess you showed Lola a good time last night."

Drew gave her a confused look. "What are you talking about?"

"Drew, come on. You had sex with Lola last night. I heard her in here."

"No. We didn't." Drew said.

Kate looked at her skeptically. "Do you even remember last night?"

Drew thought about it for a few minutes. "There was no sex. We messed around a little, but we didn't have sex. At least I don't think we did."

Kate shook her head at Drew. "Serves you right for drinking so much."

Changing the subject Drew asked, "Where are the girls?"

"Oh, they went for a ride."

Drew and Kate were sitting at the kitchen table when the girls returned from the barn. When they came in the sliding glass door, Lola looked at Drew seriously. "How are you feeling?" she asked.

"Next time I do something this stupid you have permission to put me out of my misery."

"Maybe some food will help. I'll start on lunch. Why don't you two get cleaned up?" Kate suggested.

Drew made her way to the couch in the living room. She curled up onto it and closed her eyes. She wasn't sure how long she had been there when she felt a presence near by. Opening her eyes she saw Natalie standing over her looking concerned.

"You all right?"

"I'll be fine. Sit down."

Natalie took a seat on the floor near the couch. "So, you really laid the charm on thick last night."

"What?" Drew inquired.

"All that stuff you said to Lola, you know, about wanting to marry her, how you wanted her to have your children. The girl is already head over heels in love with you. You didn't have to go that far just to get laid. Asking her politely to sleep with you probably would've been enough."

"I haven't the slightest clue what you're talking about, Natalie."

"What do you mean? You saying you didn't say that or that you don't remember?"

"It's possible that I don't remember. Honestly I don't even know how I got into bed last night."

"Oh. Well, Lola said you said all those things to her."

"Great." sarcastically Drew mumbled.

"Drew, it doesn't matter if you remember it as long as you mean it. You've always said what you mean. Do you think maybe you said that, because you'd be too afraid to do it sober?"

Drew shrugged. "Maybe."

"Well, to your advantage, she doesn't think you remember either."

"Did she say if we... um... had sex?"

"She didn't mention that."

"Man, I don't know what I'm going to do now." Drew mumbled shutting her eyes. "I guess that'll teach me never to drink so much again."

"Relax, Drew. She probably won't say anything."

They heard Lola coming downstairs ending their conversation. When she walked into the room, Natalie excused herself to go help her mother leaving the two of them alone. Lola took the spot Natalie had just vacated. She looked deeply into Drew's eyes in a long silence.

"What is it?" Drew asked.

"I was just looking for something."

"Did you find it?"

Lola sighed as she nodded. "Yes. Although it's not what I had hoped to find."

Drew was confused by her statement but let it go as she said, "Listen, Lola. About last night, I believe I owe you an apology. I think I may have said and done some things out of line, and I just wanted you to know that I'm sorry if I in anyway hurt or offended you."

Lola stared at her closely. "You really have no idea why you are apologizing, do you?"

Drew shrugged. "Honestly, I just got the general sense that in my drunken state I may have tried to take advantage of the situation. I just wanted you to know that's not me, at least that behavior hasn't been me in years."

"What gave you the idea that you tried to take advantage of me?"

"Well, Natalie led me to believe I had done so."

"You mean you don't remember your behavior." Lola said. It was not a question.

Drew hung her head in shame but answered truthfully, "No. I don't remember that much about last night. However I have been given the highlights."

Lola dropped her head. "Well, now that you know I would like to talk to you about it, but I don't want Mom and Natalie around when we do talk. I think you did try to take advantage of the way I feel about you and my eagerness to have a serious relationship again. I never thought you would do that to me, but you made me feel as if all you cared about was what was between my thighs, and you used my feelings against me to try to get me to have sex with you. Then to make it worse, when I wouldn't, you tried to guilt me into it by pouting, then manipulating my emotions, and then finally giving me the cold shoulder when I still refused. I can't even begin to tell you how hurt I am." Just then Kate called them to lunch, so Lola looked at Drew again as she stood. "I want you to think about what was said, and I'm going to do the same. When we talk there's only going to be one thing on my mind. Is what you said true, or were you using that as a line to get me to sleep with you? That's all I need to know. You think about it."

Continued in Part 4.

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