Love in Photographs

by Alex Tryst

copyright June 2002

Disclaimer: This book contains original characters of my own creation. In fact this whole idea came to life from a photograph I have of a woman that came from a magazine. There was just something about it that struck me, and I found myself wondering who she was and who might have taken the picture. Suddenly there was a story unfolding in my mind that I had to put on paper. I have borrowed some names of famous people as well as locations, but infringement is not intended. Also there are three languages in this book, English, French, and Italian. You multi-linguists must excuse me if you find some of my grammar is incorrect. I speak and write English better than French, and French better than Italian. For convenience I have put translations in parentheses. As always, comments and feedback is welcome at Enjoy!

Dedication: I have to dedicate it to the mystery woman that spurred this story in the first place. Whoever and wherever you are, thanks for sparking my imagination.

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

Part 4

Once Helen began teaching again that fall, they hardly had any time to see each other. As much as they wanted to be together, Helen was inevitably too tired to make the trip into New York at the end of most weeks, and Torrance's schedule had gotten busy with photo shoots as well as being hesitant to leave Melissa alone overnight. However they talked almost daily. Much to Torrance's regret, things hadn't improved with Helen's mother, making her wondering if her beloved would ever reconcile. The more time that passed the more apathetic the blonde became about trying to make things better, instead putting all the responsibility on her mother. Torrance knew that wasn't the way to repair the relationship, but any time she even tried to broach the subject with her girlfriend, it was met with a quick, indifferent retort. Knowing the younger woman has hurting, the brunette always tried to be sensitive to her feelings on the matter, but there were moments that she wanted to force the model to listen to reason.

One month into their time apart, Torrance decided to surprise Helen on a Friday evening. Calling Kelly's office a few days before hand, she made sure that it was a good time to come see her girlfriend, and after much talk with the brunette roommate convinced her and Mark to spend the evening out, so she could have alone time with the teacher. Additionally she got Kelly to consent to helping her carry out her plan, so she could surprise the model with dinner. Arriving at the apartment early that afternoon, Torrance knocked on the door to be sure no one was there before using her key to enter.

Since Kelly and Mark were taking Helen for drinks after work, Torrance knew she had a few hours to prepare the meal and apartment for their romantic evening. She quickly began fixing their dinner before heading off to the bedroom. Ever since they had reunited, they had yet to become intimate again due to unexpected circumstances, but the photographer was hoping that this particular night would be different and having Helen's two roommates gone greatly improved their chances. Deciding to go all out for the evening, Torrance decorated Helen's bedroom with candles and flowers. She took the time to spread rose petals over the comforter as well as pick soft intimate music. Heading back into the dining area, the brunette set a table for them with the finest place settings she could find. One she felt everything was in order, she changed into a dark suit and awaited her girlfriend's arrival home from a long week.

That evening when Helen met Kelly and Mark for their usual Friday drinks, they were both being secretive. As Helen sipped her wine, she inquired, "What's up with you two tonight?"

"Mark just has finally decided to be romantic for once and take me out for a night on the town." Kelly mentioned.

"Oh, well, that's great." the teacher mumbled into her drink.

"What's wrong?" her roommate asked touching Helen on the arm.

"Nothing. I just thought we might do something this evening, but I think that's wonderful that you two are going out alone. I'm sure you're tired of us singletons."

"Missing Torrance a little, are we?" Mark inquired.

"Yeah, I guess. I just never imagined it would be this difficult, but this long distance thing is driving me crazy. I miss not being able to see her all the time like I could in the summer."

"Well, why don't you move to New York to be with her?" he asked curiously.

"I hate New York, at least I did until I met her. I don't know. I already moved once for a relationship, and it didn't work out. I'm not sure moving to New York would be in my best interest. What if it doesn't work? Then I'd be stuck in a city I hated. I guess I just need more time before making a commitment like that. That's a serious step."

"Well, do you see things going there? I mean you've had feelings for Torrance for a long time." Kelly said.

Helen smiled. "I think that eventually things might progress there or even further."

"Further? How much further?" the auburn-haired woman asked in interest.

The model blushed. "You know when I first moved in with Richard, I thought we'd be together forever. I thought he made me happy and that I was in love, but I was so wrong. I deceived myself, probably as much as he did himself. However with Torrance I honestly believe that she could make me happy for the rest of my life. I can see us together next year, ten years from now, even forty and fifty years from now. Everything I ever wanted I can see happening with Torrance, marriage, children, life. She encompasses everything I ever thought I wanted in a spouse. I just didn't realize that spouse might be a woman."

"Wow. So, does this mean that when she does ask you to marry her that you'll say yes?" Mark inquired.

"If she does, Mark. I know Torrance loves me, and I know she believes in fidelity, but I don't know if she wants to get married yet, and I don't know if she wants to have children necessarily. My gut feeling says that she does, but we've never talked about that kind of stuff seriously. There is a lot we need to discuss before either of us could make a commitment like that. I'm not going to make the same mistake again. I'm getting too old to take a chance like that. I have to know before we take such a serious step like living together or anything."

Kelly patted her arm lightly. "Well, I think you've met your match, Helen. From the moment I saw you two together for the first time since you broke up, I knew she was the one for you."

"Well, I hope so. I'm going to go. I think I'm going to go home and call Torrance now. You two have got me missing her all that much more. Have fun tonight."

"We will. You try to have some fun as well."

As Helen drove herself home that night, she thought of the photographer, wondering what she might be doing at the moment. She thought that Torrance was probably at home with Melissa having dinner and a quiet evening, but she wished she was a part of it. Upon reaching her building, she retrieved the mail before heading upstairs to the apartment. However as she put her key in the lock, she noted that it was already unlocked making her nervous, because she wondered if someone had broken in. Hesitantly pushing the door open, she saw the older woman sitting in a chair in direct eye line of the door. Torrance was dressed in a black suit and was sitting off center in the chair. In her hand was a glass of wine, and she was giving Helen a dangerous grin.

"Good evening, Ms. Melbourne." she whispered alluringly.

"Torrance, what a surprise. Hi." the blonde said closing the door and coming to the brunette. "What are you doing here?"

Torrance stood and embraced the younger woman in a slow kiss. "I just couldn't stand it any longer. I had to see you. You don't mind, do you?"

"Of course not. I've been missing you so much. These phone calls are nothing like being near you."

"Well, tonight I'm all yours. I believe that we have the apartment to ourselves, don't we?"

"You know about that?"

Torrance gave a laugh. "Know about it? It was my idea. I just let Mark take the credit. Why don't you relax? Sit down and rest a bit. Dinner is almost ready. Would you like some wine?"

"That would be wonderful. Just let me go change, and I'll join you." she said making a move toward her room, but Torrance held her back.

"Oh no. You look perfect as you are. I like what you're wearing. Just sit here on the couch." Torrance instructed leading the blonde over to it. She pushed her down gently before going to get a second glass of wine. Coming back with it, she extended it to her girlfriend before kneeling on the floor to take off the blonde's low heels. Soothingly the photographer began to rub Helen's feet. Helen moaned her approval. "Long day?" the older woman whispered.

The blonde nodded. "It's drastically improving though. This feels fantastic."

"Good. Why don't we take these off though? I guarantee it will feel even better." she suggested lightly picking at the hose encompassing the teacher's leg. Helen agreed and lifted her hips off the couch enough to slip off the hose. Torrance assisted in the process and dropped them in a pile with her shoes. Returning her attention to her girlfriend's feet, she massaged each one with a firm yet tender touch.

"Oh, Torrance, you have no idea how wonderful this feels after being on my feet all day." she sighed closing her eyes and leaning her head back against the back of the couch.

"Good. I'm glad. That's all I want to do tonight is bring you pleasure." sexily the older woman murmured as her hands moved up to the blonde's calves, and her mouth lightly began to follow their path. Inching the teacher's long skirt up to her thighs, Torrance leisurely kissed and stroked Helen's legs until she reached the model's knees. The older woman was intently exploring the shapely legs and steadily moving higher when the buzzer signaled dinner.

"Oh, God. I'm not sure I can make it over to the table after that." Helen teased.

Torrance pulled her up from the sofa and helped her to the table, pulling out her chair. "Just stay right there. I will be right back with our dinner, mademoiselle." Torrance served to plates in the kitchen and brought them to the table. She topped off each of their glasses before raising her glass in toast. "Bon Appetite." she stated.

The meal passed in content quiet talk, but Torrance's mind kept straying to the surprises she had for the younger woman after their meal. When it was obvious that Helen wasn't going to eat any more, Torrance began to clear the dishes. "While you're doing that I'm just going to go change clothes. Okay?" the blonde mentioned.

"No. You can't." the photographer stated.

"Why not? Why won't you let me go back there?" curiously the teacher inquired.

"Because it will ruin the surprise. I'll tell you what. You give me two minutes to get things ready, and then you can go in there."

"Fine. I'll do the dishes then. Go on now. I'm anxious to get out of these clothes." the model replied shooing the brunette from the kitchen.

Torrance went back to the bedroom to light the candles and turned on the music. Then she returned to the kitchen to finish the dinner dishes. "All right. You can go back there. I'll join you in a few minutes."

Helen waltzed back toward her room wondering what the older woman was planning. As she pushed open the door and saw the elaborate setup, her heart constricted at the beautiful layout. Never in her life had anyone gone to such effort to be romantic for her, and it stirred her spirit and passion. Hoping that she was reading the intimate scene correctly, the blonde decided to do something equally inviting. Deciding on her most provocative lingerie, the blonde slipped it on before crawling onto the bed and striking a seductive pose for her beloved.

After the kitchen was clean, Torrance grabbed their dessert of fresh cut strawberries and whip cream and headed back toward the bedroom. She opened the door to the bedroom to find her girlfriend stretched out across the bed of roses staring at her with obvious longing. It had been such a long time since Torrance had seen that look on the blonde that her knees almost gave way, and she had to lean into the door frame momentarily as she took in the green teddy on her lover's body that left little to her imagination. "Dessert's ready." she finally stated.

"Not quite." the blonde whispered beckoning the taller woman to the bed with an outstretched hand. When Torrance came to the bedside, Helen stood and took the bowl of dessert from her to place it on the night stand out of the way. She looked up into the brunette's face and saw the excitement and fire just lurking under the surface of her seemingly calm exterior. Without a word the model slid the photographer's suit jacket off her shoulders to the floor before slowly starting on the buttons of her shirt. The only reaction from the photographer was hitched breathing, but she stood completely still letting the teacher do as she wanted. Helen focused on each button leisurely undoing it and taking a few moments to gaze at the new treasures each one revealed. Being that she had never seen the photographer completely naked, she wasn't sure what to expect, but as the moments passed, she felt herself becoming more aroused at the idea of finally being able to see the body she had dreamed of so many times. When the shirt was open, it followed the jacket to the floor. The photographer hardly ever bothered wearing a bra, because she thought there was little need for her size, and tonight was no exception, leaving her entirely exposed from the waist up to the model. The belt was next as the younger woman slipped it out of its loops on Torrance's pants and dropped it to the growing pile on the floor. Helen intently concentrated on the button and zipper next, and it wasn't long before the photographer's pants slithered down her legs to pool at her ankles. Helping the process a bit, the older woman stepped out of her slip-on shoes and slacks, leaving her in only her boxer shorts. Their green eyes met momentarily. Torrance could see the mixed emotions of her lover's. There was a sense of curiosity combined with slight anxiety, but more than anything there was an ardor that the brunette had never seen in her entire life. Holding each other's gaze, the blonde shed the brunette of her final article of clothing. Torrance took an nervous breath, a flicker of insecurity passing through her as the blonde dropped her eyes to take in the photographer's body. Almost in childlike exploration, the blonde's hands took in the new unveiled landscape for a moment.

"Well, it's about time I saw the body that loves me so well." the blonde whispered meeting Torrance's eyes again. The older woman saw the approval in the teacher's gaze. "I've never looked forward to touching someone so much as I am with you." she murmured sexily leaning into to kiss the slopes of the brunette's breast experimentally. When Torrance whimpered and put her arms around the blonde's shoulders to steady herself, the younger woman dipped her head lower as her hands moved over the photographer's breasts.

"Helen." she softly called out as her hand cradled the blonde head in further.

The teacher pulled away for a moment and smiled at her lover. Giving Torrance a slight push, she got the older woman down onto the bed before covering her with her own smaller frame. Torrance's legs had widened to balance herself as she fell leaving just enough room for the younger woman's slim hips to wedge themselves between her thighs. The lace of the teddy scraped against the brunette's breasts enticingly as their mouths finally met. As they kissed Torrance realized that the moment she had dreamed of for the past two years was finally coming true, and the feelings were so overwhelming that she began to cry.

The blonde felt the older woman's tears against her lips and pulled away slightly. "What is it?" she whispered.

Torrance cupped the younger woman's face in her hands. "I love you more than words could ever say, Helen. You'll never know how much I've longed for this moment."

"So have I, Torrance. I've wanted this for two years. I love you, and I'm now going to show you how much you mean to me." The smaller woman began to kiss her way down the older woman's neck and across her shoulder as she began to stroke Torrance's torso with tender hands.

Torrance closed her eyes as she enjoyed the feeling of the model showering her with love. However after a few minutes she regained enough of her senses to realize it might be easier for the blonde if she took control of things. Becoming more active she began to tend to the petite body on top of her own. She ran her hands over the younger woman's back down between her legs from behind to unclasp the snaps holding the teddy in place. Once it was open, her hands guided the material up the slender body and over Helen's head, leaving them both naked. Torrance groaned as their bare bodies meshed firmly together. It was even better than she had remembered. Moving her right hand onto Helen's side, she slid it up to the teacher's breasts.

Helen gasped but then pulled away slightly. "What are you doing?" she inquired.

"I want to touch you, Helen. Please let me touch you."

The blonde smiled at her lover. "A long time ago, Torrance, you promised me that next time we were together, you would let me lead this dance. May I?"

"Are you sure you want to?"

Helen nodded. "I want to make love to you, Torrance, like no other woman ever has. I'm long overdue in showing you exactly how you make me feel. I want to give you all the love you've given me over the years. Please?"

The plea was her undoing. Torrance knew at that moment she really never could deny Helen anything. "Then do with me what you will. I'm at your mercy."

With a small grin, Helen returned to the photographer's neck. It wasn't long until Torrance was in ecstacy with the attention she was receiving from the younger woman. What Helen lacked in experience, she made up for in fervor as she investigated every inch of the photographer's frame with her hands and mouth. However when Torrance saw the model starting to direct her attentions up her inner thighs, she wondered if the younger woman was about to fully and intimately ingratiate herself between the photographer's legs. As Helen neared the older woman's sexual core, her trepidation of the unknown began to surface, but she was determined to give to Torrance all that the taller woman had given those many years ago out of her adoration for the brunette. Before she could change her mind on the matter, the teacher let her mouth close over Torrance's wet heat.

"Oh, God, Helen." Torrance called out interlacing her fingers in the model's fair hair.

Helen moaned at the brunette's reaction, knowing that her actions were pleasing the older woman. Spurred by that she let instincts take over and within moments she was inside the photographer bringing her to peak. Torrance screamed and her legs trembled as her climax ripped through her body, leaving her temporarily incapacitated. Feeling the taller woman's spasms, Helen felt a sense of accomplishment overcome her. She had brought her lover pleasure which in turn gratified her immensely. It was at that moment she realized what Torrance had felt the first time they ever shared themselves. For one instant in time, all that mattered was Torrance's delight, and Helen felt just as satisfied as if she had been the one to have the physical release.

A moment passed as Helen rested her head against the photographer's stomach before she crawled up the strong body under hers to look into the green eyes she loved. They were dazed, but the older woman was wearing a appeased grin. "You okay?" the blonde whispered gently pushing Torrance's hair back..

"Yeah, better than okay. How are you?" she inquired softly.

The teacher gave a reassuring smile. "For the first time in my life, I now know what making love really means. I now understand what you tried to tell me in Italy. Being inside someone else and seeing them that vulnerable is truly an homage to the love people share. You were so right, Torrance. I'm glad I learned this lesson with you."

Torrance gave a chuckle. "I'm glad you did too. I haven't actually had that many people touch me like that, Helen, but I always desired to let you if that's what you wanted."

"Really? I thought you were quite the expert."

"I am when it comes to giving my affections. However when it comes to trusting someone enough to touch me as you have, very few have had that honor."

"How many?" curiously the model inquired propping her head up on the brunette's chest.

"You're only the third." Torrance admitted. "The last one being my previous serious girlfriend."

"How long ago was that?"

"I was in twenty nine, so it's been five years."

"Wow. I had no idea." Helen confessed cuddling closer as she contemplated the meaning of what had just transpired between them.

Torrance was quiet a few minutes as well as she simply played with the blonde's hair and enjoyed the feeling of their naked bodies against each other. Finally breaking the stillness, she asked, "Do you think you might be interested in your other dessert now?"

Helen sat up and smiled playfully. "Only if I can have more of you later."

"I'm yours, but how about a little fuel first?" Sitting up Torrance reached for the bowl to pick up a strawberry. She held it to her lover's lips. Keeping their gaze the smaller woman took the treat into her mouth. Torrance watched her swallow it before the model scooped one up as well.

Making sure it had whip cream on it, Helen whispered teasingly, "You want it?" Torrance gamely nodded. The teacher smiled slowly running the fruit down her own breast and circling the crest of it. Leaving it there and leaning back slightly so it would balance, she demanded, "Come and get it."

Torrance gave her girlfriend a playful raise of her brow as she wondered if there was a wild side to the blonde she had never considered before leaning down to capture her prize. Helen's hand came to the back of Torrance's head as the brunette sucked her dessert and girlfriend's breast into her mouth. "So good." she mumbled leaning over to the other one to give it attention as well.

"Still want that for dessert?" breathlessly Helen asked.

Torrance moaned as the younger woman pushed her head in deeper. "No. There is definitely something else I'd like to eat right now." she muttered.

With a chuckle the model inquired innocently, "And what might that be?"

Torrance gave her a predatory stare and growled, "You."

Helen felt the admission go straight between her thighs as her arousal jumped in response. Just the thought of the photographer's tongue working its magic put Helen on the edge of orgasmic bliss. Her legs automatically opened to accommodate the hard body on top of her as Torrance began to kiss her way down the model's frame.

Even though they had been together once before, it truly was like the first time with the way Torrance explored every curve of the body she adored. Torrance felt addicted to the teacher's body with the way her own responded to the sight, sound, and smell of her lover. The brunette never wanted the overload of her senses to end as she took an inventory of each inch of the model. Being drawn to the blonde's essence though, the older woman spent most of her time relishing the taste and feel of her lover from the inside. Torrance knew that all she could ever want was right there in the cradle of the younger woman's thighs and simply savored being that close to her at first. She didn't aim to bring Helen to climax, content with just their intimate connection. However she kept in time with the instinctive rhythm of the blonde's hips thrusting gently each time they undulated up toward her taking her deeper into the depths of Helen's body and soul.

Helen felt herself floating along a plane of pleasure she didn't know existed. She had never experienced making love the way she was now, even with their first time. It was clear that Torrance's mission was not to just make her orgasm but to give them a real physical and emotional tie, and the feel of the older woman being there inside of her made her heart ache in so much joy that tears began to form in her eyes. The years of longing were over, and she now had the love of her life there worshiping her body out of reverence of their relationship. "Torrance." she softly uttered.

The photographer glanced up into the teacher's face. Seeing the green tearful eyes, she pulled away slightly and moved up the petite frame so they were face to face. "What is it, beautiful?"

"I love you." she avowed.

"I love you too, Helen, more than you could ever know." the older woman replied gently wiping the blonde's tears and kissing her sweetly.

Their love making last long into the night with each of them taking several turns acquainting themselves with their lover's body until exhaustion finally overtook them both. As they laid quietly having worn themselves out for the night, Torrance lightly stroked her girlfriend's forearm as she cuddled in closer to the blonde's back and leaned in for one last kiss.

Helen sighed when she felt Torrance's lips against her temple. Everything in her life finally seemed right. After such a long wait, the photographer was there holding her and protecting her from the world. All she had ever wanted in their relationship had come true, and she was now intimately reconnected with the woman she had loved for so many years.

In the morning when Helen awoke she rolled over expecting to find Torrance there bedside her, but the bed was empty. Alarm came over her at seeing her girlfriend gone, but refusing to give in to the panic she felt right away, she slid out of bed to investigate the rest of the apartment. Stepping out into the hallway, she heard the shower running in the bathroom instantly calming her. For a moment she felt as if she was reliving their past, but the fact that Torrance had stayed made her feel more assured that their relationships was strong. Helen knocked on the door before opening it and saying, "Morning."

Torrance pulled back the shower curtain enough to see the blonde standing there. She flashed a soft smile. "Bonjour, Mademoiselle Melbourne."

The teacher's eyes roamed over the photographer's naked, wet body and found her passion from the night before making another appearance. "Is there room in there for one more?" she inquired stepping completely into the bathroom and shutting the door behind her.

The older woman gave an audacious grin at the sight of the blonde's bare frame. "There's always room for you. Care to join me?" Extending her hand, Torrance grabbed the smaller woman by the arm and pulled her into the shower. Helen stumbled slightly off balance, but the strong arms of her girlfriend enveloped her. "I've got you."

"You certainly do." the model replied looking up into the eyes she adored as her arms came around Torrance's neck. They began to kiss softly but before long their ardor began to resurface as their hands became more possessive along each other's bodies. Taking control of the situation, Torrance leaned the blonde against the wall of the shower to help support her as her mouth dipped down to taste her beloved's inviting cleavage. Immediately Helen's hands were in her hair pressing her deeper as the younger woman let out a strangled cry of her mounting desire. "I need you, Torrance." she pleaded when the older woman's hand dropped between her legs and began teasing her inner thighs lightly.

The photographer wasted no time as she responded to the request, sliding easily inside her girlfriend. Both of them groaned at the feeling. Torrance set a grinding pace working Helen slowly as she had done the night before, making the blonde do her share to reach satisfaction. "God, you're so sexy." she whispered against the smaller woman's ear as she thrust with her whole body.

Helen gasped and cried with each plunge as her lover went deeper into her body. She felt incredibly and blissfully full as she did her part to increase the contact by pulling Torrance closer each time she delved further. "Torrance!" she shrieked as she neared her climax.

"I've got you. Just let go. Come for me, Helen." seductively the brunette instructed.

Helen screamed and gasped loudly shoving Torrance's face into her neck and holding on tightly as she shook to the core with her peak. Torrance went over the edge as well feeling the younger woman contracting around her fingers. Heavy breathing was the only sound for several moments until they settled. When it appeared that they were both calm, Torrance kissed the blonde's cheek lightly. "I love you."

"I love you too, Torrance."

"Could I wash your hair for you?" the photographer sweetly asked.

After their shower Torrance regretfully announced that she had to get back to New York that afternoon much to Helen's disappointment. However making love to her again before they dressed seemed to pacify her blonde lover temporarily. That day as they stood at the door saying good bye, Helen didn't want to let Torrance leave. She knew that even though she was content it would now be harder when they were apart due to the new aspect of their relationship. Now that she was open to their sexual relationship she couldn't stop thinking about her girlfriend in the throes of passion.

"I wish you didn't have to leave." the younger woman mentioned fondling the seat of the brunette's pants.

"I wish I didn't have to either, but I have work to do."

"Stay just a little longer." she pouted kissing the older woman's neck temptingly.

Torrance moaned at the feeling as her sexual core responded to the stimulus. "You're making this impossible to leave." she groaned, her hands bringing their hips together.

"Then don't go. Stay here and love me." Helen leaned up to catch her girlfriend's mouth in a steaming kiss.

Torrance growled deeply in her chest as she gave into her desires to have the young woman again. She dropped her bag off her shoulder and backed Helen over to the couch. Pushing her onto it, Torrance fell on top of her and began to grapple with the teacher's clothing. Helen forwent undressing the photographer, content with just slipping her hand between the folds of her trousers. Their mouths came together roughly, their tongues battling each other hotly as their hands found each other's entrance. Without any hesitation they slipped into each other simultaneously. Groping each other's frames, they came together with a carnality neither of them were used to at least with each other, but both were satisfied with the quick jaunt.

They rested inside each other as they cuddled on the sofa for a few minutes. "I really have to go even though I don't want to." the older woman stated quietly.

Before Helen could reply the sound of a door opening in the back of the apartment made them quickly pull away from each other and get presentable. Kelly hesitantly walked into the room and jested, "Is it safe to come out yet?"

"Kelly, what are you doing here?" Helen asked. "I thought you were working today."

"Well, I was supposed to, but I was too tired after last night. When Mark and I got home, the two of you kept us up with your carrying on. Then after he left this morning I thought I was going to finally get some sleep, but then you two got into the shower. I've been waiting all morning to escape the confines of the bedroom. Sorry I interrupted though."

"It's all right. I have to get going anyway." Torrance stated taking the opportunity to stand. Helen did the same. Going over to the door, the brunette picked up her discarded bag. She turned her eyes to her girlfriend. "Well, I will miss you, Helen."

"I'll miss you too, so much. I wish we didn't have to do this."

"Yeah, me too but we have to. That's what we get for being in two different cities. Sometimes that few hour commute seems like across the country."

"I know, but I'm going to make more of an effort to come to New York on the weekends."

"I'd like that, but you don't need to be running yourself ragged just trying to come see me. All we'd be doing there is babysitting Melissa. That's not very exciting."

"But I want to. A month was too long, Torrance."

The older woman nodded. "Well, we can talk about this more later. I really have to get going. I'm going to be late for my shoot if I don't hurry."

"Call me later?" Helen asked.

"Sure." They kissed quickly before Torrance whispered, "I love you."

"I love you too. Talk to you tonight." Helen closed the door behind the older woman and then leaned her forehead against it momentarily. Even though she felt wonderful about the new phase of their relationship, her heart ached all the more at the dark-haired woman's departure.

Her thoughts were interrupted by her roommate's voice. "So, do I even need to ask how things went?" Kelly inquired playfully. Helen turned to look over to the couch. Seeing the blonde near tears, the brunette softly asked, "What's wrong, Helen?"

"I feel like my heart just walked out the door." she stated coming to drop onto the sofa next to her.

"That's because it did, but it's a good thing."

"I know. This is just going to be harder now." she mentioned.

"I know. On a brighter note, tell me. Was last night as good as it sounded?" she teased shaking her roommate lightly by the arm.

The teacher blushed and giggled. "Oh, I can't even begin to describe it, Kelly. It truly was like nothing I've ever experienced, even the first time. I now know what I've been missing my entire life. This is what it's supposed to be like."

"Sounds like she really knows her stuff. I've never heard you like that." she joked.

Helen gave her roommate a serious look as she replied, "That's because I've never been like that. She touches something inside of me that no one else has."

Kelly nodded. After a pause she hesitantly inquired, "So, how was it for you to reciprocate?"

Helen smiled. "You know, Kelly, I don't know why I was so freaked about it now that I look back. I guess it was because I just didn't understand what it meant. Now I know that my giving to her is just an extension of my feelings for her. I mean when I think about it giving a blow job is much worse."

"How so?" curiously Kelly asked.

"Well because guys just use you as a receptacle. Men expect that service as a part of being a girlfriend, and I always just kind of did it out of a feeling of obligation to the relationship. It was just a way to get out of sex if I wasn't in the mood, and they didn't care as long as they got off. I never felt the urge to do that of my own accord. However with Torrance I wanted to show her in a way I've never shown anyone how much I love her. In fact she was the one who was a little hesitant. There was a moment of nervousness on my part, but I just jumped in, and the moment I did I realized how much time I wasted by being scared."

"But you didn't think it was disgusting or anything? I mean the thought of me doing that personally is vile. I think it would make me sick to eat out a woman like that."

Helen shrugged. "Well, I always thought giving head was disgusting, so to each their own I guess. There is nothing about giving Torrance pleasure that is repulsing to me. Besides aren't you the one that said you'd go to Europe with her even if you had to sleep with her to do it?

You couldn't be that disgusted by it." she joked.

"Well, there's a difference between letting a hottie like that bang me for a free trip to Europe and getting personal with that tiger of hers. I'd still let her eat me if she wanted to. How hard is it to spread your legs for a body like that? To tell you the truth, if Torrance were a man, I'd probably dump Mark for her." she quipped with a laugh.

Both women laughed. "I guess it's a good thing she is definitely a woman then. I'd hate to have competition from you on this one. Seriously though I'm perfectly comfortable with the idea of being sexual with her now. Providing her that particular intimacy is enjoyable for me, because I know how it makes her feel. She was right when she said it was different between women. You have to be completely there and into it for it to work. There isn't this laying back and letting a guy to what he will. You have to be an active participant, and I'll tell you, Kelly. It's so much better than I've ever had it before, because I know for certain when she touches me that it's out of love. Even though she can get off on giving to me, the reason she touches me is to give me pleasure and only that. With men they touch you to try to get you in the mood to please them, but with her it's all about mutual pleasure. It really is incredible." the blonde stated with a content sigh.

"Sounds that way. I'm glad you're happy, Helen. I always hoped that you would find someone that makes you as happy as Mark makes me, even though if you keep this up, you and Torrance will be the death of me." she teased.

"Why's that?" Helen asked in interest.

"Mark is just a man. He doesn't have superhuman strength. The idea of two women in the room next to ours getting each other off like there is no tomorrow was a little more than he could handle. As soon as we settled down for bed, he wanted a little action himself. I think hearing you like that knowing that Torrance was the cause made him horny even as much as he didn't want to admit it. I think he was disappointed though that Torrance lasted longer than he did." she jested.

Helen moaned as she thought of the photographer's stamina. "Oh, she can go all night. That part might take getting used to. I've never had anyone with as much endurance. Tiring her out might be a challenge, but it's also great, because it doesn't have to be over as soon as you orgasm. She's the first one to tap me for multiples. It's fantastic." she said dreamily.

Kelly laughed at her. "You are so in love, Helen. This is so good to see. Mark and I are happy that you've found the right person."

"She is the right person." Helen replied.

Sobering slightly Kelly inquired, "Could I ask where you stand as far as your general sexuality? Saying Torrance is the right one kind of leaves the question open."

"Well, I've been giving that a lot of thought actually, and last night confirmed what I think I already knew. Torrance is the one I could see myself being with the rest of my life. However heaven forbid something happen to us, I don't think I could ever go back to men. Torrance has showed me that I deserve more than I got from them. I've always needed more I think, but I never realized that until her. She's shown me that I deserve to have all my needs met, and I never found that with men. There was always a piece that was missing, and Torrance has filled that void."

"So, does that mean you're a lesbian?" Kelly timidly inquired.

"I don't know. I don't think I've started looking at women sexually in general except for Torrance, but I do know that I've stopped looking at men. They don't interest me at all anymore. If that makes me a lesbian, then I guess I am one. I know people will think I am one by virtue of being with Torrance, and I'm comfortable with that. I'm not going to say it of myself yet, but if they say it of me, I don't think I'd dispute it."

"Well, that says a lot, Helen, but I think you have found the person you're supposed to be with for the rest of your life as well. I guess the only question is how are you ever going to survive in New York?"


Thanksgiving that year was spent in the Poconos with Torrance's extended family. Even though Helen was used to always being with her own family, she felt that she couldn't go home with the way things were going with her mother. She expressed her sadness for the first time since the incident to Torrance, so the older woman made sure to include her in her own family's plans.

Since the house was almost half way between them, they felt it was better just to meet there, so on Wednesday both of them drove up to the house. Torrance arrived with Melissa first to a house full of her family. After greeting everyone she took her suitcase to her room and joined her mother in the kitchen.

"When will Helen be arriving?" Maria inquired as she looked up from her cooking.

"Any time now. I'm surprised we got here first actually. Since she's not here though, I feel like I should mention something to you. She and her mother aren't doing well, and she's kind of upset that she's going to be away from her own family for the first time. I know that's she hurting over this, but she rarely says anything about it. I just want the family to be sensitive about it."

"Don't worry, Torrance. Helen is already a member of our family in our hearts, because I know you have your sights set on having her as your wife. She is always welcome here. Your father and I will make every effort to make sure she knows that."

"Thanks. I'll tell you, Mom. I'm just not sure what to do about this situation. I don't want her to lose her family, and I know her father feels the same, but her mother hasn't budged."

"Neither has Helen." her mother reminded her.

"You think she should?"

"I don't know. Neither of us knows what is best for their relationship, and it's really none of our business. It's your job to just support and love her as she is. It would be nice if her mother would come around, but she might not. That's a reality Helen will have to deal with, and you're going to have to be there for her if that happens."

"I know. I just wish she didn't have to know this pain. She's such a wonderful, sweet woman. She doesn't deserve this." Torrance mumbled.

A little later she was sitting around with some of her cousin's in the living room when the door bell rang. Knowing it was probably her girlfriend, Torrance went to answer it, but by the time she got there, her father was already admitting the blonde. Helen looked over at Torrance and gave a smile, but the brunette saw the despondency in those pretty green eyes anyway.

After hugging Thomas Helen turned to embrace her girlfriend. "It's good to be here with you." she whispered as they held each other closely for a moment.

"I'm glad you're here with your other family." Torrance said softly giving the teacher a soft kiss on the lips. "Let's take your bags up to our room, and then I'll introduce you to the rest of the family in a little bit." she suggested. Helen nodded in agreement, so she followed the older woman up the stairs. When they entered the room, Torrance put the bags down next to her own as Helen took a seat on the bed. Seeing the look on the model's face, the taller woman thought they might need a few moments alone together, so she went and closed the door before joining her girlfriend on the bed. Instantly Helen came into her arms and began to cry. Torrance eased them into a lying position on the bed, so they would be more comfortable and then just held the petite woman as she sobbed. Her own heart began to break feeling the pain coming from the woman she loved, and she wished there was a way she could make things right for her.

"I'm sorry." Helen finally whispered. "I promised myself I wouldn't do this."

"It's okay. I know you're upset and with reason. This has to be hard to be away from your family."

"I talked to my dad this morning. He tried to convince me to come down there again. I know I'm hurting him, but I just can't stand the thought of spending time with my mother when she feels the way she does about me."

"Helen, she does love you. She's just having a hard time with this. Sometimes people say things they don't mean when they're hurt, but that doesn't mean she doesn't love you."

"She called me a whore, Torrance. My own mother said I was no better than a hooker for being with you. That's not love."

"No, it's not. She's hurt and angry, and she's probably confused as to how this happened. I think if you two just talked it might help things a bit."

"I don't want to talk to her until she apologizes for what she said." firmly the blonde stated. "She needs to know that this is not just some phase and that she can't just treat me like trash, because she doesn't agree with the choice I've made."

"I think she knows that. Give her time, Helen. It's only been a few months."

"It's been four months, Torrance. I haven't spoken to her in four months. I used to talk to her every other week. She doesn't seem to want to talk to me either, because she hasn't called. I'm afraid that I'll never speak to her again." she admitted quietly.

"You will. I promise you will, even if it's just to come to an understanding. Your father isn't just going to sit by and let you go, and I'm not going to give up either. I know how important your family is to you, and I think there shouldn't be anything that comes between you."

"You've come between us, though."

"I know, and I'm sorry for that."

"I'm not. I've never been happier in my life. You're all I really need." Helen whispered pulling the older woman's frame closer.

Torrance was touched by the younger woman's words. Kissing the top of the blonde head sweetly, she said, "Things will work out. You'll see."

The rest of the day was spent in the company of the photographer's relatives. Helen put her own problems aside and just tried to enjoy being with her beloved. The teacher helped out Maria and some of Torrance's other female cousin's in the kitchen, so Maria wasn't stuck preparing the whole meal alone. The Whitfield women eagerly accepted the assistance, and it wasn't long until Helen felt a part of the family herself as they all conversed about different relatives. It was at that time that Helen learned that Torrance had never brought anyone home with her for the holidays, which made her feel even more special.

Since the Thanksgiving meal was taking up most of the space in the kitchen, Torrance and a few of her younger male cousins went to pick up dinner for the whole group. When everyone sat down to their casual meal, Helen noticed that Torrance wanted to have her youngest second cousins around her. It was a pleasant surprise to the blonde that Torrance wanted to be with the children, and Helen went along with the brunette's wishes, curious to see what would happen. Sitting at the children's table, the model watched the way Torrance interacted with the kids and quickly realized how well she handled them. The photographer had unending patience for the rowdy group, giving each child attention, and Helen saw that the kids relished and idolized their cousin, even fighting for the woman's attention. However Torrance made sure to make each one feel cherished.

That evening as they got into bed and cuddled, Helen kept thinking about what she had seen. Torrance had never really spoken of children before, but with the way she encouraged their interaction with her, the model was sure the brunette liked them. Wondering if this might be a good time to bring up the subject of having some, she mentioned, "You surprised me tonight."

"How so?" the older woman inquired fingering the blonde's hair lazily as she pulled her closer.

"You were so good with the kids."

"Did you think I wouldn't be?"

"I just hadn't thought about it actually. You really enjoyed them, didn't you?"

"Oh yeah. I love kids. Someday I hope that maybe I can have some of my own."

"Do you really want them?" Helen inquired.

"I'd like to have some, but I guess it wouldn't be the end of the world if I didn't have any. I just thought that the woman I marry would want them too. I never considered that she wouldn't. Why? Do you want them?"

"Very much, Torrance. How many do you think you want?"

"I don't know. I'd feel blessed with just one. Any more than that would just be bonuses. I'm up for negotiation. I think five might be excessive but two or three would be a nice number, four if we got really ambitious." she teased, not even realizing she had said the word we.

However Helen heard it, and it made her heart flutter. "I don't think I'd want to be pregnant four times. I think two or three would be nice though." Torrance propped up on her arm and looked down at her girlfriend seriously. Seeing the look Helen asked, "What?"

"We're talking about having kids." she stated.

"Yes, we are. Don't you think it's important to discuss?" the blonde questioned.

"Yeah. It's very important." Torrance answered. Giving her girlfriend a tantalizing smile, she leaned down to her ear and whispered coyly, "Makes me want to try to make one with you right now." Helen giggled as the photographer ducked into her neck and kissed her enticingly. "It's been such a long time."

"Too long." Helen replied breathlessly as her girlfriend's hand moved up under her nightshirt to her bare breasts.

"Do you think we should try to rectify that problem?" Torrance asked rolling into her and sliding between her already open thighs.

"Maybe." Helen gasped as the brunette lowered her mouth to her chest. "I just don't want to get caught."

"Then you'll have to be silent. Come on. Let's see who can make each other come the quietest." suggestively she proposed. "You can go first."

Helen bit on her lip to hold back a whimper as Torrance's hand trailed between her legs. "I'm not sure I can do this." she stated after a moment just before a loud moan escaped her that coincided with the older woman's fingers teasing her on the outside slowly.

Feeling that maybe she had pressed the blonde at an inappropriate time, Torrance removed her hand. "Okay. I'm sorry. We don't have to if you don't to." she apologized giving her a assuring gaze.

Helen stared at her quizzically for a moment until she realized what Torrance had thought she meant. Giving Torrance her own reassuring grin, she cupped the brunette's face with one hand. "Honey, I meant I wasn't sure I could be quiet, not that I wasn't sure I could do this with you. I just don't want to wake up the whole house."

"I understand. You tend to be rather loud sometimes. I've had complaints from Melissa."

"And I've had them from Kelly."

"Then I guess we won't." Torrance stated rolling off the blonde and onto her back.

Helen sat up slightly and sighed. Looking down at the older woman, she confessed, "I sure do want to though."

"Me too." Torrance admitted letting her hand caress Helen's arm.

"I just feel awkward about it. I mean we are sleeping together at your parents' house without being married, and that seems a little strange to me. Having sex in their house though without being married just seems inappropriate somehow, like I'm taking advantage of their hospitality."

"If that's the way you feel, then we definitely won't have sex. I don't want you to feel guilty at all about it. Making love shouldn't have guilt associated with it, just pleasure. We'll wait until we're married to christen this room." she whispered kissing Helen's hand.

The teacher's heart began to race at the comment. Wondering if the photographer actually thought about them marrying seriously, she inquired, "Do you think about getting married?"

Torrance pondered the best way to answer the question. It wasn't the place she really wanted to discuss the idea of them making a formal commitment, but she did feel the younger woman should know how she felt, so she nodded. "Yeah, I think about it. I've always wanted to. It seems more right to me now than it ever has. Do you think about it?" nervously she queried.

Clearly seeing her girlfriend's uneasiness, she smiled to assure her. "Yes, I do think about it. It does seem more appropriate now to me too."

Torrance gave another nod as she processed the information. Overwhelmed by what had just transpired and unsure of what else to say at the moment, she simply brought the blonde into her arms. "We should think about getting some sleep. Tomorrow is a big day, and the kids are going to be banging down our door early."

The following day passed much the same way with Torrance spending most of her time with the younger relatives, entertaining them by playing in the yard and chasing them through the leaves. Helen and Maria sat on the porch and watched her from afar. "She's just a big kid sometimes." Maria mentioned.

"I guess she can be, but I never knew it until this trip. I've never seen her with kids before."

"Torrance needs children to love. She's such a giving spirit."

Helen nodded. "I know, Maria. She deserves all of them that she wants."

"And what about you, dear? Do you want children too?"

"Yes, I do. Torrance and I are in agreement on this one. We both want to share our lives with kids."

"Good. I would've hated there to be a conflict between you about something so important."

Helen looked at Torrance for a moment before turning back to her girlfriend's mother. "Maria, Torrance once told me that when Thomas found out about her being a lesbian things were difficult between them. How did they move passed that?"

Maria placed her hand on the blonde's arm. "Most of it was time and serious talks. It's true Thomas wasn't happy about it, but even though he disagreed, he still respected her as a person. There were even strong words between them, and it took seeing that it was a permanent part of her life to accept it. I think he thought she wouldn't have all in life that we did with the family and acceptance from society. He really just wanted to protect her from pain, but it came across as rejection. His intentions were good, but she didn't always see it that way. Parents have a hard time with this kind of thing, even the ones that feel they are most prepared. I mean I knew early on before she even did that she was going down that path, but still seeing her in that kind of relationship was hard for me. When Thomas found out, he really thought we had done something wrong as parents and that we had screwed her up. It took a long time for him to realize it was nothing we did." Helen gave a nod. "Give your mother time, Helen. If she truly loves you, as I suspect she does, she will accept this part of you. She only wants what's best for you as all parents do for their children, but she thinks Torrance is not good for you. Give her time to see that you are happy and content. Parents sometimes don't want to see their children as grown ups. They still want to have the control to make their children's decisions, but she needs to accept that this is your life and that you're living it your way. She will have to deal with Torrance eventually if she stays a fixture in your life. It will be either that or lose you, and your mother doesn't strike me as the kind of woman to let you go easily. If she was you wouldn't be having this problem. You have to understand that she's doing this out of love. It is misplaced, but she cares about you and your well-being, which is why she's making such an issue of it. She just wants to protect you."

"I guess I never thought about it that way. Maybe you're right."

"Your father seemed to take a shine to Torrance. That should help things. At least you don't have to deal with the both of them."

"Very true."

"Just give it time, Helen. Your mother will come around, but on the off chance that she doesn't, know that it's your right to live your life as you so choose. She may have brought you into the world, but she is not your keeper, not anymore. You are your own person. Don't let anyone else define you, not even Torrance. Live your life as your own."

The model leaned over and hugged the older woman she admired. "Thanks, Maria."

"Anytime, my dear. I mean that. With or without Torrance, I want to see you succeed. You're a bright, caring, young lady, and I'm thankful that you love my daughter. You've changed her for the better, but if something were to happen and you were no longer together, I'd still like to see you get all that you want out of life. You deserve it."

"Now I know where Torrance gets her compassion."

"Someone helped me. It's my turn to help others."

"The very principle Torrance lives by." Helen stated.

The rest of the break passed uneventfully, but Helen seemed to be in an improved spirit. Heading back to Philadelphia, she was determined to take Maria's advice and start trying to work through her problems with her mother. However it was not without its challenges. Many of their conversations over the next couple of weeks ended with the blonde being frustrated and angry, but she tried to keep in mind what Maria had said. Given that they still weren't on good terms, Helen spent her Christmas break with Torrance and her family in Italy much to the delight of the brunette's grandparents but the disappointment of her own father. Helen had made it clear to him when she had to declined his offer to come there for the holidays that she was not coming to visit again until Torrance was welcome there as well. Even though it was a difficult thing for Helen to do, she knew that it was best that she be up front with her parents about the situation. She wanted to be with Torrance, and nothing was going to stop her, not even her mother's disapproval.

By the middle of January the following year Torrance was back to business. She had taken Melissa to college to start her first year, leaving her with an empty loft. On the first night alone she realized how much she had gotten used to having another person around, and she found herself lonely for companionship. Her thoughts automatically turned to the blonde.

She had Helen hadn't seen each other since their return from Europe, and the time apart seemed to be getting harder for both of them. However Torrance wasn't sure how to resolve the situation short of moving to Philadelphia, and she knew that wasn't feasible given her career. The photographer truly longed for the teacher to join her there in New York, but knowing the model's dislike for the city, she wondered if they could find a compromise. She knew any move on Helen's part would mean having to resign from her position at the school, and she didn't like the idea of asking the teacher to change her own career goals since she wasn't sure she could do the same. Deciding to ponder the options a little longer, she called her girlfriend and invited her up for the following weekend. Helen agreed immediately stating that she had accepted a shoot for that Saturday anyway just as an excuse to come to the city.

On Friday morning just as Helen was getting ready to leave for school she got a phone call from her father. "Hey, Helen. How are you?" he asked cheerfully.

"Hi, Daddy. I'm good. How are you? Why are you calling so early?"

"I just wanted to talk to you before you left for school."

"Well, what's up? I really have to get going, so I'm not late."

"As you know my sixtieth birthday is next month, and your mother is throwing me a party. I'd like it very much if you would come. The rest of the family will be here, but it won't be a celebration without you."

"Dad, you know how much I'd love to be there, but I have to hold to my convictions. If Torrance isn't allowed to come with me, then I shouldn't be there. Mom has to come to realize that she's not going away. She is a part of my life, and if she can't accept her, then she can't accept me."

"I know that, honey, and I support your decision. It's just that we haven't seen you almost five months. I miss you terribly."

"I miss you too, Daddy, but you have to understand."

"I do. I want Torrance to come with you. I think it would a great idea, because the rest of the family will be here, and she needs to meet them. I think that whether your mother likes it or not you and Torrance are in a long term relationship, and if that long term becomes permanent, I think everyone should meet the woman who has made you so happy."

"You really want her there?"

"Yes, I want her there, Helen. I even want to call her personally to invite her. That was why I was calling actually. I was hoping that you would give me her number."

"Well, I'm going up there this weekend. I'll just ask her then."

"No. It's important for me to call her myself. I want her to know this invitation is genuine."

"How does Mom feel about this?" Helen hesitantly inquired.

"It's my party, and I want you and Torrance there. It's my decision. I even want you two to stay here at the house with us if you feel comfortable with it."

"I'll have to talk to Torrance about that. I'm not even sure what her schedule is, so I'm not sure she can even go yet."

"If she can't, will you still think about coming knowing that she was invited?"

"We'll see. Let's just take it one step at a time. I need to get going now, so grab a pencil to take down her number."

That morning Torrance was just having breakfast when her phone rang. Picking it up she mumbled a greeting as she took a sip of her coffee. "Torrance?" John inquired.

"This is she." she stated looking at her watch and noting it was too early for solicitors, but she didn't recognize the voice on the other end.

"Hi. This is John Melbourne, Helen's father." he announced formally.

"John, hi. What a surprise. To what do I owe this pleasure?"

"Well, I hope it's okay that I got your number from Helen. I was talking with her this morning and invited the two of you to come down here next month for my birthday party, but I wanted to speak to you myself and extend the invitation."

"That's very nice of you, John. I'd like to come if it fits into my schedule and Helen is okay with it."

"Helen won't come unless you do." he said. "Things are still kind of rough between she and her mother, but it's been such a long time since I've seen my baby girl, Torrance. I was hoping that you might be able to mend the bridge here. I'm desperate to see Helen."

"I know you are. You're a good father, John, and she loves you. I want Helen to have a good relationship with her mother again, but I can only do so much. It's really up to the two of them. Isn't your wife going to throw a fit if I'm there?"

"I don't care if she does. This is my party, and I want all of my family here. I consider you a part of that family, Torrance, because I know you have your sights on marrying my daughter. I want you two here to share in this occasion. You need to meet the rest of Helen's family, her siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. They will all be here. My wife will have to learn at some time. She won't throw a fit in front of everyone. I'm confident of that."

"Is Helen okay with being that public with our relationship?"

"Oh, the family already knows. Everyone is excited to meet you."

"Well, John, I'll have to talk to Helen about this. I'd like to come but only if she's comfortable."

"I understand. I was kind of hoping that you two might stay at the house as well, but I'd be content just to have you here even if you stayed at a hotel. Helen didn't seem thrilled with that idea. There's actually a really nice bed and breakfast close by though. Maybe you'd like to stay there. I don't know. Whatever you two decide would be fine as long as you're here."

"I'll do my best to convince her, John. I think she should be there."

"Thank you, Torrance. I knew I could count on you. Regardless of what my wife might think, I know that you are the best thing to ever happen to my daughter. I see how happy she is with you, and I know that it was meant to be. You're a perfect pair in every way."

"Thank you for thinking so. I know that means a lot to Helen. She values your opinion highly. I'm going to actually see her this weekend, so I will discuss this with her then and get back to you."

"Sounds good. I appreciate your help. I know you could just be indifferent, so I just want you to know how much this means to me."

"You're welcome. I'll get back to you in a few days. Right now I have to get ready for a photo shoot, so I'm going to have to cut this short."

That evening Torrance had just gotten back from a long day when Helen arrived. Being that both of them were so tired, they opted to order in and spend the evening in front of the tv. However the entire night Torrance was preoccupied with where their relationship was heading. She knew that Helen loved her as much as she loved the teacher, but she wasn't sure how to resolve their living situation, and she was unhappy continuing in the fashion that they were.

The model could tell just in the photographer's demeanor that something was wrong. Torrance was rarely in a foul mood and never when they were together, so the blonde wondered what was causing her beloved distress. However she also knew that the older woman wouldn't talk about things until she was ready, having seen that in other areas of the brunette's life. Helen knew that Torrance would only share when she was comfortable, so she simply tried to make herself available when the moment came. However as they hours passed without so much as a sound from the photographer, the teacher began to get concerned, and when Torrance suddenly announced that she was going to bed, the blonde began to panic thinking that Torrance was upset with her. The model reached to touch her girlfriend on the arm. "Are you all right tonight?" she questioned softly.

"I'm tired, and I have a lot on my mind."

"Anything I can help you with?"

Torrance shook her head. "No. I've got to figure this one out on my own. I just need some quiet time."

"All right. Do you mind if I use the phone to call Kelly? I forgot to tell her something before I left this morning."

"You don't have to ask to use the phone, honey. I consider this place is as much yours as it is mine. Anything that I have is yours." the older woman replied taking a moment to affectionately caress the blonde's cheek.

Helen smiled up at her relieved that it appeared as if Torrance wasn't angry with her. "All right. You go on up to bed. I'll be there in a bit."

"Sounds good. Take your time."

Torrance went upstairs and did her nightly routine before settling into bed with a book. However as she stared at the pages, she realized her thoughts were dominated by the blonde. She felt as if she was on the edge. She wanted their relationship to progress, but she wasn't sure the blonde would agree that they were ready for the next step, and she was afraid of moving too quickly. Torrance knew though that she was tired of only seeing the woman she loved every few weeks. She wanted to come home to the younger woman everyday more than she wanted anything else in her life, even her career. Coming to that realization, she decided that she needed to say something to the blonde.

An hour later Helen made her way upstairs as well. The photographer just watched her fondly as she changed into her pajamas and robe before going into the bathroom. As the model returned a few minutes later, rubbing the last bit of moisturizer into her face, Torrance smiled at her. "You are so elegant. You know that?" Torrance mentioned.

"I didn't, but thank you." Helen replied coming to the bed and taking a seat next to the brunette.

"You were on the phone with Kelly for a long time."

"Yeah. We were talking about the wedding."

"It's not too long now, just about six weeks or so, isn't it?"

Helen nodded. "As happy as I am for them, I'm still going to miss living there with them. The three of us have lived together since I moved out of Richard's place. It's been a long time."

"Yeah, well, something else just as fantastic will come up. Have you even started looking for an apartment though?"

"Not yet. I was planning to this weekend, but being here with you was more important. There are times when I wish we could live together." she mentioned lightly running her hand along her lover's arm.

"Me too." Torrance answered meeting her girlfriend's green eyes. After a moment of silence of not knowing how to broach the subject, the photographer just decided to change it for the time being. "You know, I've been meaning to mention to you that I spoke with your father this morning."

"I know. He called me to get your number. I assume he told you about the party."

"He did. I have to work, but I'm willing to pass off the assignment to someone else if you want to go. He thinks it's important that we be there together, and I feel like I should go if you want me to."

"You'd really give up a job for me?" Helen asked in mild surprise.

"Of course. This is a big deal for him, and he wants you to be there. Do you want to go?"

"Yes. I miss him, Torrance, and the rest of my family too, even my mother as much as I hate to admit that. It's been a long time since I've been home, but if he's making an effort, I feel like I should too."

"Then we'll go."

"However I'm not sure I'm up for staying at their house. I don't think I can stay in that close quarters with my mother again yet. The feelings are still a little raw."

"I understand. He made a suggestion to me about a bed and breakfast close by. That sounds like it could be nice."

"Oh yeah. That's a great place. We should stay there. I'll make the arrangements."

"Great. I told him I would call him and report back. He'll be thrilled to know that we've decided to attend."

Helen moved to hover over Torrance's half-reclining frame as she leaned to kiss her softly on the mouth. "Thank you." she whispered.


"For being so good to me. I know you passing up a job means a lost opportunity and money for you." she stated gazing lovingly into the photographer's eyes.

Torrance cupped her girlfriend's fair cheek. "I don't care about any of that, not anymore. You're the only thing that matters to me." the dark-haired woman whispered giving the model such an open, adoring gaze that Helen knew with utter certainty that it was the absolute truth.

In one statement Helen saw her future in front of her. She knew in that moment that she would never again long for her perfect match, because she had it in the photographer. The teacher recognized that she was truly ready to begin the rest of her life with the woman who now regarded her, even if that included leaving the city of Philadelphia that she had grown to love so much to be with Torrance in New York. Giving her lover a alluring smile, she took the book from Torrance's hands and placed it on the night stand before seeking out the lips she craved.

Torrance moaned lightly and her arms came around the teacher's back as the blonde delved softly past her lips in a stirring kiss. "Oh, I love you." she confessed meeting the younger woman's mouth a second time.

"I love you too, Torrance." Several moments passed as they became to kiss more amorously before Helen pulled back slightly and gave a playful grin. "Torrance, I've been dying to ask you something ever since I stayed here last summer while you were in Italy, but I didn't want to while Melissa was living here. However now that it's just the two of us I was wondering if you would care to explain the meaning of something to me."

"What's that?" curiously the brunette asked wondering why her girlfriend suddenly had an urge to talk instead of continue what they had started.

Giving one more smile, Helen leaned down to retrieve something from under the bed. As Torrance heard her rustling around, she knew the woman was going through the sex toys she had stashed there. Thinking things might be interesting, Torrance patiently waited until her girlfriend sat up again before looking down at what she was holding. Seeing a double-ended phallus in Helen's hand, she teased lightly, "That looks self-explanatory to me, honey. Were you snooping while I was gone?"

"I was just cleaning up before you came home and found your box. I didn't mean to pry, but once I opened it, I was somewhat fascinated. You have quite a collection."

"Well, I still needed to have some fun while I was alone." she joked.

"But this looks like a two person toy."

"It is. Care for a demonstration on how it works?" Torrance asked.

Helen gave a snicker. "I know how these things work, probably better than you do." she jested. "I actually had something else in mind. Would you mind indulging me in a fantasy of mine?" sexily she inquired.

"I'd give you anything, Helen. Whatever you want is yours."

"Good. You won't be disappointed. I promise."

"I never am." Torrance replied raspily as her girlfriend began to kiss her neck tantalizingly.

Helen moved methodically over her lover's frame, taking in her upper torso with her mouth as she worked the older woman's t-shirt over her head. Moving down to the photographer's abdomen, she licked over the outline of each defined muscle making Torrance instinctively flex at the caress and causing her muscles to become more pronounced. The older woman groaned as her girlfriend's hands began to untie her pajama bottoms and pull them off her hips. When they were down to the older woman's knees, Helen ran her hand up between Torrance's thighs. Torrance groaned as her hips reacted to the gentle probing, rising slightly off the bed. Seeing the blonde reach for the toy, the brunette knew what was coming next and opened her legs wider to accommodate her lover's wishes. Once it was inside her, their eyes met in a long stare.

"You know, I never thought I would ever do this again, but something tells me I'm going to enjoy servicing you." the model whispered before her mouth closed over the other end.

Torrance's hips shot off the bed in reflex as she let out a loud cry and grabbed at the blonde's head trying to get her to go deeper. She could feel every movement of her lover's mouth inside herself, because with each thrust and suck, her end reacted in kind. "Oh God, Helen." she bellowed overcome by the sensations, clutching a fistful of the teacher's hair to hold on. Torrance's body responded wildly, her hips rocking erratically as she neared climax. She had never had anyone perform this type of favor on her body, and it was overloaded by the new sensations, reaching peak much more quickly than she was used to. She panted loudly as her legs shook violently before there was stillness.

Helen lifted her head and stared at the sedate, glossy eyes of her lover. Moving up to her mouth, she kissed Torrance lovingly. "For a moment there I forgot that you weren't going to shoot any of that disgusting crap down my throat."

"Whoa." the photographer mumbled. "No one has ever done that to me before. You'll have to do it again sometime."

"Anytime. I'd suck your cock whenever you want." she murmured vulgarly, knowing that the older woman would enjoy the dirty talk. "In fact yours is the only one I want to ever have again, because you don't shoot, and you're always still hard for me."

Torrance grunted as she felt Helen pump the shaft with her hand slowly. "God, I want you so badly." she confessed looking up at the teacher.

"Do you now? What do you want? Tell me." Helen instructed turning the tables on the older woman, who always wanted the blonde to express herself during sex. Torrance moaned. "I'll stop unless you tell me." the model stated as she teased the brunette a little more.

"I want to be inside of you." the older woman said desperately.

Helen gave a smile as she began to remove her own clothes. "Tell me what you want to do to me."

"I want to make you scream, make you beg for more. I want to crawl inside of you and never return." Torrance softly said taking in the newly exposed skin of her lover with her hands and eyes.

Helen's head dropped back at the feeling of the large hands on her body. The older woman's fingers always worked magic on her, and she was anxious to give in to the pleasure she knew would soon follow, but she wanted to tease the brunette a little more before letting go. Keeping her eyes on Torrance's, Helen reached between her own thighs and gathered moisture onto her fingers. The photographer's gaze grew wide as the blonde brought her hand up toward Torrance's mouth. "Feel what you do to me." sexily she implored wetting the older woman's lips with her essence.

Greedily Torrance licked her lips before sucking the younger woman's fingers into her mouth. "Please, baby, I need to have you now." Torrance begged.

Helen lowered herself so just the tip of the shaft entered her, making Torrance moan. Leaning over the older woman's body, she kissed her mouth again as she provocatively inquired, "Do you want to fuck me, Torrance?"

"God, yes." the photographer replied putting her hands on the blonde's hips and trying to slide into her, but Helen resisted.

"You have to say it, or you won't get what you want." the petite woman commanded.

Torrance groaned at this side of her lover. She had never seen the blonde act this way, but having her play authoritarian further aroused the older woman's passions. Harshly Torrance yanked Helen's mouth in for a kiss. When it ended the dark-haired woman stared deeply into her girlfriend's green eyes and growled, "I want to fuck you." She pushed the younger woman's hips down into her own without resistance. Helen cried out at the feeling of having Torrance inside of her. However after the initial roughness it quickly became clear that each of them wanted a more gentle encounter as they tenderly explored each other until they both peaked.

Sitting there in silence, Torrance held the woman she loved who was straddled across her hips. Even though they were still interlocked, it was clear that both of them were sated as Torrance reclined against the headboard and Helen into her with her head on the photographer's strong shoulder. Time seemed to stand still around them as they enjoyed the closeness. Torrance was beginning to drift off when she felt a wetness on her shoulder as it began to trickle down onto her chest. "Helen, are you all right?" softly she asked.

The blonde nodded against her. "I love you, Torrance."

"I love you too. Why are you crying?"

"I just feel so much when I'm with you. You make me so happy. I don't know how I ever survived without you."

"I feel the same way about you. The day you walked into my life everything changed for the better. I remember looking at you for the first time through the lens of my camera and being spellbound. I fell for you right then."

"Do you know when I fell for you? The day we drove up to the Poconos for the first time. I remember staring at your butt as you walked into the coffee shop and thinking how sexy I thought you were. Then every time you touched that day I kept feeling all warm inside. I never wanted it to end, and it never has. You have no idea how I longed for you while we were in Italy. Not a day went by that I didn't want you to touch me. Every night I would fantasize about what it might be like to be in your arms and have you loving me."

"I know. I saw you one night."

"You saw me? What do you mean you saw me?"

"One night while we were there I saw you in bed touching yourself." guiltily she admitted.

"You pervert. You watched me?" Helen teased.

"It wasn't my intention. I heard you calling my name, so I got out of bed to see if you needed something. I didn't know until I looked into your room what you were doing, but I was mesmerized. You were so beautiful lying there in the moonlight. I had never seen anything like it. I wanted to come to you right then and fulfill your desires."

Helen paused a moment before saying, "I'm sorry I hurt you, Torrance."

"I know. You were scared, but none of that matters any more. You're here with me now, and I feel blessed to have you."

Helen sat up, so she could look into her lover's eyes. "You know it's at moments like this when I desperately wish..." she mumbled before trailing off.

"Wish what? Tell me, Helen, and I'll make it true. You know I will."

Cradling Torrance's face in both her hands, Helen's tears began again as she replied, "I know you would if you could."

"Tell me what it is, and I'll make it happen for you." the photographer said wiping at the tears on Helen's face.

"I wish that we could conceive a child out of our love. I would give everything to have your baby." she avowed.

It was Torrance's turn to cry as the remark touched her heart deeply. "Oh, Helen, that is the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said to me. I want you to be the mother my children more than anything else in this entire world. If you want to have a baby with me, I can make that happen. It's true that I can't give you the romantic accident that you desire, but I can make a baby with you out of our love. I swear I can. Is that what you really want though?"

The blonde nodded. "I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Torrance. I want to have your children and watch them grow to have their own families. Sixty or seventy years from now I want to be surrounded by a family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and I want you to be the person holding me when I take my last breath of life. I'd give everything for that." Helen whispered through her tears.

Torrance couldn't even reply at first as she was overcome with emotions. Her body trembled as she sobbed lightly. Bringing Helen into her arms, she confessed, "I'd give everything I had for that as well." Neither of them spoke the rest of the night as they held each other. Words were no longer needed now that everything had been laid bare. Torrance no longer questioned the direction of their relationship now that she knew Helen wanted everything she did. She knew in time they would both have all they ever wanted in each other.

The following morning Helen was out the door early for her photo shoot. As soon as she was gone, Torrance called her mother on the phone. "Torrance, darling. Good morning. How are you?"

"Morning, Mama. I am the most wonderful I have ever been in my entire life. How are you?"

"Glad to hear it. I'm doing well. What brought on this mood? I'm sure Helen is behind it no doubt."

"Of course she's behind it. Listen. I was wondering if you were busy today. I am in need of your assistance."

"Actually, dear, I am fairly busy. What did you need help with? Is it an emergency?"

"It's not an emergency, but I really wish you would come with me. It's extremely important. I'm going to try to buy Helen an engagement ring, and I would like for you to be there, so I get the right one, but if you're busy, I guess I can go alone." Torrance stated laying on the playful guilt.

There was a moment of silence before her mother simply replied, "I'll meet you at Tiffany in one hour."

"Thanks, Mama. I knew I could count on you."

"Well, this is an important decision to make, and if you want me to help you with it, I'll be there. We'll start at Tiffany just to get an idea of what you might like to get her. Don't forget to try to get her ring size somehow if you can."

"No problem. I can do that."

"Now go on. Time is wasting. I'll see you in a bit."

Torrance was standing looking at rings at Tiffany and Company exactly one hour later when she saw her mother walk through the door. Watching her from afar, Torrance took in how elegant her mother was and the regal air that surrounded the woman as she made her way over to the photographer. The sixty one year old brunette could've passed for Torrance's sister instead of her mother, and briefly Torrance hoped that Helen would grow older as gracefully as her mother. The younger brunette watched in amusement as men eyed the exquisitely dressed woman as she came and gave her a hug and kiss on each cheek.

"Mother, so glad you could make it." Torrance said.

"Darling, this is one of the most important purchases you will ever make, so I need to be sure you get the right thing for your bride." she mentioned as a well-dressed man approached and asked if he could be of assistance. "Yes, actually you could be of help. We are looking for an engagement ring for a lovely young woman."

He turned and eyed Torrance quizzatively but inquired, "Would this be for you?"

"No, for my girlfriend actually." the photographer announced challengingly.

He gave a professional smile. "Very well. I'd be happy to show you our collection. What does the young lady like?"

The two women spent an hour at Tiffany looking at their selection and trying on different rings before deciding to visit some other places. As they strolled down Madison Ave. discussing what might be most appropriate for the blonde woman, Torrance's mother stopped at a window. "Look at that dress. Wouldn't that look fabulous on Helen?" she asked. "Come on. Let's go in and look at it. What size does she wear?"

"I don't know." Torrance answered as her mother dragged her into the boutique.

Immediately a sales lady greeted them. "We'd like to see that dress you have in the window in a size four and six please." The sales woman looked at them skeptically, because it clearly wasn't either of their sizes. However Maria stated, "It's for my daughter-in-law. I think it would look wonderful on her. Is there anyone here that might be able to model it for us? I'm not sure of her size."

"Certainly. Right away."

Within a few minutes one of the younger sales women came out wearing the dress. "What do you think, Torrance? Is she larger or smaller than Helen?" Maria inquired.

Torrance studied the model she had in front of her, circling her slowly. Hesitantly she asked, "Would you mind if I got a little bit better idea?" She gestured with her hands that she wanted to encircle the woman's waist.

"Honey, if you buy this dress from her, she's not going to care what you do." her mother joked.

The young woman nodded her consent to Torrance, so the brunette timidly put her arms around the stranger's waist and pulled her in closer. Holding her for only a second, she stated definitively, "Helen's smaller than this. What size is this dress?"

"It's the six." the sales lady responded waiting until Torrance let her go to step away.

"We better buy the four. I think Helen is a four, but I wanted to double check. Now we need to get her a pair of shoes to match as well as a hang bag." Maria stated confidently.

"Mother, where do you think she's going to be wearing this thing anyway? Helen doesn't need a Vera Wang dress."

"Well, I thought you two were coming to your grandmother's cocktail party this evening out at the house. She will need something appropriate to wear."

"I wasn't planning on going, much less bringing Helen."

"Why not? If you're going to marry the girl, she needs to see all the facets of your life beforehand. You haven't taken her out to the house yet once. I think she needs to see what she's getting into."

"Well, I'll talk to her about it. She might not be up for it after working all day today. I'd hate to drag her to a political party if she's tired."

"Nevertheless if you do decide to come, she needs a dress to wear, so we're buying this and the appropriate accessories to match." Maria insisted.

Torrance sighed knowing it was pointless to fight her mother on the point. Instead she wisely just allowed the young sales girl to show them shoes and bags to go with the dress. Half an hour later they were being rung up. "You know I could buy a car for what I'm spending right now." Torrance grumbled half heartedly.

"But don't you think Helen will look simply radiant in this?"

"Yes, of course. It's hard not to look good when you spend this kind of money."

"Torrance, if you're going to be married to Helen, it's only fair to show her what she's getting involved in. I know you've been hesitant to show her this side of your life too much."

"I know, and she is going to look wonderful. I just don't want her to make a big deal of this, and I think she might."

"She'll have to get used to the money sometime. Better to do it now. Now come on. We still need to find that ring. I personally think a diamond and emerald setting would be the best. It will go with her eyes magnificently."

"Now that is a brilliant idea, Mother. Why don't be look for that? If we can find the right cut in platinum, I think we'd be set."

Their conversation was interrupted by the young sales woman. "Here you go, Ms. Whitfield. Enjoy your purchases."

"Oh, I will." Torrance stated with a smile. "Thank you for your help. I'm sure my girlfriend would appreciate it as long as she didn't know about me putting my arms around you." she teased lightly giving a captivating smile.

The young woman blushed slightly. "You have an extremely lucky girlfriend." she said handing the bag over to Torrance. Their hands brushed lightly.

"I'm the lucky one. Thank you again for your assistance." As soon as they got out onto the street, Maria chuckled. "What's so funny?" inquisitively Torrance asked.

"That young girl was flirting with you and you her. It was amusing, because I've never seen women come on to you. You can be quite the charmer. God, no wonder you're gay. You play women so well."

"What can I say? I have the touch." the younger woman stated teasingly.

"All right, Miss Thing. Let's go get that engagement ring before some other woman tries to put her hooks in you."

Torrance arrived home in enough time to stow Helen's new dress in the closet and put the blonde's ring back that she had left that morning on the dresser before her girlfriend came home. "Hey. Welcome home." Torrance greeted coming down the stairs to give her a kiss.

Helen moaned softly. "This certainly is a pleasant way to end a work day."

"How are you feeling? Tired?"

"Not too tired actually. I think I was just excited about the prospect of coming home to your arms."

"Well, how would you like to go out for the evening? My grandmother is having a political cocktail party at the family house out on Long Island, and my mother really wants us to go. I told her you might be tired, but if we could possibly make an appearance, it would make her happy."

"Well, I'd be fine with that except I have nothing to wear. I wish you had told me this yesterday. I would've been able to bring something."

"I didn't plan on going, but when I was out with my mother today, she made such a big deal out of it that I felt like we should attend. I knew you didn't bring anything with you, so we took the liberty of getting you something to wear while we were out."

"You bought me a dress?" doubtfully the blonde asked.

"Mother picked it out for you, so you don't have to panic."

"Where is it? Let me see it."

"It's up in the closet." Torrance replied. Following Helen upstairs she stood near the bed and watched the younger woman go into the closet. Pulling it out the teacher lifted the protective plastic over the top and simply stared at the formal black dress. "We weren't quite sure of your size, but Mother thought you were a four, and it looked about right to me."

The model looked to see if there was a size label in the dress, but as she came across the designer name, her heart momentarily stopped. "Does this say Vera Wang on it?" she inquired.

Torrance nodded hoping that the blonde wouldn't make an issue out of it. "She's a friend of my mother's."

"This is a real Vera Wang?" Helen questioned in disbelief.

"Yes." plainly the older woman answered.

There was an awkward silene. Helen knew that the dress she was holding had to have cost a small fortune, and she wasn't sure how to respond to such a gift. Seeing the brunette's uneasiness though, she thought it would be best to assure her. "Torrance, this is the most beautiful thing anyone has ever given me. Thank you."

Torrance smiled at the blonde's acceptance. "You're welcome. Mother also chose some shoes and accessories for you. We need to start getting ready here soon. I'm going to take a shower."

"I'll join you. I really could use one myself." Helen replied making the photographer smile.

Torrance was finished dressing first and went downstairs to wait at Helen's request, because she wanted to surprise the brunette with how the dressed looked. As Helen stood in the bathroom looking at herself in the mirror fiddling with the obviously expensive diamond necklace Maria had loaned Torrance for Helen to wear that evening, she wondered exactly how much money had gone into her outfit. She knew for a fact that her dress was tens of thousands of dollars, but the necklace had to have been worth more money that she had ever made in her life. Helen felt nervous about what the night might hold for them, because Torrance had never taken special interest in choosing outfits for her, only complimenting her on whatever she decided to wear, so it was curious that the older woman had bought her something specifically for a party. Taking a deep breath, Helen tried to put the pricetag of the items adorning her out of her mind and went to find her girlfriend.

Torrance was sitting in the living room sipping on a glass of scotch when she saw Helen begin to descend the circular staircase. She felt her breath leave her as she stood at the sight of the woman she loved floating down the stairs in the elegant floor length dress. It was obvious that Helen had made a special effort with her make up and hair that night, and Torrance could feel herself becoming weak at the sight of the blonde. Coming to the stairs, she extended her hand to the younger woman to assist her with the last few steps. "You are the most beautiful creature I've ever seen." she stated in obvious appreciation. "I am truly honored to be your escort for the evening."

Helen flushed as she smiled at her girlfriend. Torrance was wearing a black tuxedo style suit with a matching vest. "You look really sexy in that." the blonde whispered, not trusting her voice at the moment as she was overcome with fervent emotions at the sight of her lover looking torridly dangerous. "You truly are the James Bond of lesbians. Just seeing you like this makes me want you."

"That is exactly how I feel about you at this moment. I suggest we get going before I change my mind and take you right back up to the bedroom." Torrance stated seriously. "Shall we?" She extended her arm to her girlfriend.

"Merci beau coupe, Mademoiselle Whitfield."

"Je t'aime, Helen." Torrance whispered with a smile before guiding her down to their awaiting limousine.

As they emerged from the building, the driver came to open their door. "Good evening, Ms. Whitfield, Ms. Melbourne." he stated formally.

"Bon soir, James." Torrance stated allowing Helen to get in first.

"To the family estate?" he inquired.

"Yes, thank you." she replied as he closed the door behind her.

Helen smiled at Torrance as she asked, "Why are we taking a limo?"

"Well, I thought it might be nice to ride in style to this event. Trust me. We will fit right in. Besides when I drink too much as I always do to be able to get through these things, my grandmother's driver can take us home, so you don't have to drive my car back. It would be difficult to do in that dress. Would you like a drink?"


"Champagne?" Helen nodded. The photographer popped the cork on a bottle from the mini bar and poured two glasses for them. Raising her glass in toast, Torrance said, "To you, Helen. Thank you for making my life complete."

"And thank you for finding the real me, Torrance." she responded. When they arrived at the estate, the chauffeur came to open their door. Torrance stepped out first and then extended her hand to Helen in assistance. As the model emerged from the car and saw the house, her eyes grew wide. "Your grandmother lives here?" she inquired of the grand mansion.

"Well, technically yes but she's hardly ever here anymore. She spends most of her time traveling. This is our family estate. My family actually wanted me to move in here to oversee it, but I just didn't think it would be a good idea. I have a hard enough time getting girls back to the loft. I'd never get any to agree to come home with me if I lived all the way out here." Torrance teased lightly.

"Except for this one." the teacher said as she took in the majestic building. "This is the biggest house I've seen."

"Well, if we an slip away for a bit, I might give you a tour. However I don't know if we can go missing for several hours. Besides I think the grounds are better than the house. Come on. We better get inside. It's starting to snow."

Taking Helen by the hand, Torrance led them into the house. Her grandmother was in the foyer greeting guests when she saw the two of them enter. "Torrance, Helen, I'm so glad you came." she exclaimed hugging them both. "Helen, you look simply fantastic."

"Thank you, Mrs. Whitfield."

"Come on in. I want you to meet some people." she said taking each woman by the hand and dragging them into the party. Pulling them over to the guest of honor that evening, the current democratic senator of New York, she made introductions. "I believe you know my granddaughter, Torrance, Bill."

"Yes, of course. Torrance, nice to see you again." he said shaking her hand.

"And this beautiful young lady is the woman I hope to someday soon say is Torrance's beautiful wife, Helen Melbourne. That is if my granddaughter doesn't mess things up between now and then." she joked.

"Helen, you are a stunning. Torrance is extremely lucky." the senator stated shaking her hand as well. "May I introduce my wife?"

The two of them were drawn through the crowd of people by Torrance's grandmother as she showed them off. Finally breaking free though, Torrance went off to the bar to get them both beverages. By the time she returned, Helen was talking with Maria and Thomas. "Here you go." the brunette said handing over the wine to her girlfriend.

"Thank you."

"There certainly is a crowd here tonight. I didn't think it was going to be this many people."

"Well, you know your grandmother. She doesn't do something unless she can do it in style." Maria commented. "Helen, I'm so glad that dress worked for you. The moment I saw it I knew it would look wonderful."

"Thank you for picking it out for me, Maria. I was scared for a moment when I came home, and Torrance said she bought me a dress. Thank you for letting me borrow this necklace as well. It truly is a beautiful piece."

"You can thank Torrance for that. It belongs to her."

The teacher looked at the photographer questioningly, because the jewelry didn't look like anything the older woman would wear. "This is yours?"

"Yeah, I guess. Mother gave it to me about ten years ago. It's a family heirloom, but it's not my style, so I let her borrow it back on a long term loan. She's the custodian you could say."

"Well, I've never seen anything like it."

Just then Torrance's father broke into the conversation. "Helen, may I ask you to dance? I have to dance with the prettiest woman in here under thirty."

"Well, you're in luck. I don't turn thirty until later this year." she quipped putting her hand in his and letting him lead her off to the dance floor.

When they were out of earshot, Torrance asked, "You didn't say anything to Dad about the ring, did you?"

"No. You and I are the only ones that know. However I'm about to burst with excitement. Have you decided when you are going to propose?"

"Well, it should be ready before we leave for her father's party. I figure I'd talk to him about it, and make it official by asking his permission first. Then I thought I might just ask her while we were down there. We're supposed to be staying at this romantic bed and breakfast. We'll see. If not then I'll think of something."

"I just can't wait. I want to tell everyone that you're finally getting married."

"Well, you have to at least wait until she says yes." Torrance said seriously. "Now how about a dance, Mother?"

Torrance led her mother to the dance floor and began to dance with her, ignoring all the looks from those people who didn't know their family well. As they moved around the floor, Maria asked, "You'll dance with me at your wedding, won't you?"

"I wouldn't have it any other way, Mama. You were the lady of my life for a long time, and I'll always love you."

"I know, but it was time that you grew up, and I'm glad you found Helen. She is your perfect compliment. You two will be so happy together."

"I hope so. I just hope she says yes."

"She will. You don't have to worry about a thing."

Several songs passed before Torrance's father asked to cut in, so Torrance traded her mother for her girlfriend. Putting her arm around the blonde's waist and taking her other hand, the brunette began guiding them through the dance. "What were you two talking about over here?" curiously the teacher inquired. "Your mother as glowing."

"Oh, we were just talking about you. She's just being a mother, putting pressure on me to move our relationship along. You know how they can be."

The model gave a nod. The thought of Torrance and Maria discussing their relationship made her happy, because she realized the older woman was hopefully confiding in her mother her plans for them. Every time she thought of she and Torrance being together in a permanent relationship, she as more sure of what she desired and hoped that someday soon that dream would be reality.

Torrance and Helen were one of the last couples at the party that night. As they were saying good night to the brunette's grandmother, the older woman mentioned the inclement weather, making Torrance look outside for the first time all evening. Turning back to Helen, she said, "The snow has gotten worse."

The teacher glanced out the window as well. "Torrance, I'm not sure we should be driving back."

"I know. I've had a lot to drink, and I don't want you or James trying to drive us home either. We should stay here for the night and go back in the morning. Hopefully by then the streets will have been cleared. You wouldn't mind having us here, would you, Grandmother?"

"Of course not. I'll have one of the attendants prepare your room." Signaling one of the awaiting women house attendants, her grandmother stated, "Please set up Torrance's old room for the night, Michelle."

"Right away, Mrs. Whitfield. I'll have the two rooms prepared shortly."

"Um, Michelle, only one room is necessary." Torrance softly corrected her as she started to turn away.

The young maiden glanced at Helen in a less than professional manner before mumbling, "Qui, Monsieur Whitfield."

As she brushed by them, Helen turned to the photographer and inquired, "Why did she just call you Mr. Whitfield?"

"It's a long, private story. I'll tell you about it when we get to our room. Good night, Grandmother."

"Good night, Torrance and Helen. I will have your breakfast delivered to you in the morning. Sleep well." she said hugging them both and sending them on their way.

Torrance took the long route to their room in hopes that by the time they arrived Michelle would be gone. "Do you want to tell me what was going on with you and your grandmother's maid?" Helen inquired.

"Um, Michelle and I have a history."

"What kind of history?" Helen pressed in interest.

"A sexual one."

Seeing that the older woman wasn't going to give more information, Helen stated, "I gathered as much. That still doesn't explain why she called you Monsieur Whitfield."

Torrance began to feel uncomfortable with the idea of discussing the details of a sexual encounter with her girlfriend. Trying to dodge the issue, she stated, "It was just a joke at my expense. I hope the roads are clear tomorrow. I know you have to drive back to Philly at some point."

Helen noticed the deliberate attempt to change the subject as well as her girlfriend's uneasiness in discussing the young maid. Deciding to push the question, she queried in growing irritation at the intentionally vague answers, "Why are you avoiding this discussion? What aren't you telling me about Michelle?"

Hearing the edge to the blonde's voice, Torrance rolled her eyes. "I don't want to talk about Michelle. That's why I'm avoiding the topic. I slept with one of my grandmother's housekeepers. Let's just leave it at that."

"I don't think so, Torrance. You've never been this way when it came to women you've been with. Why are you doing it now?"

"Because you don't have a right to know everything about my life!" Torrance yelled as they came to the room. She threw open the door and marched through leaving Helen to follow behind.

As Helen walked into the room, she didn't even notice its elegance or the fire that had been started in the fireplace. All she saw was one angry photographer glaring at her in such a way that it made her heart ache. Suddenly finding it difficult to breathe, she leaned against a wingback chair for support. "Why don't I have a right to know? What are you hiding from me? You aren't still... sleeping with her, are you?" hesitantly she asked, hoping that it wasn't true.

Torrance scowled at her. "Thanks for the trust, Helen! Jesus Christ!"

"I was just asking. You're acting so weird about this. I don't know what this attitude is, and I don't understand why you're so upset over a simple question."

"Fine! If you have to stick your nose into my business, I'll tell you why I'm being weird about this! When she was sixteen and I was twenty two, she was working here part time, and I fucked her! I was on serious drugs, and I slept with her! When she realized I had used her, she had me arrested for rape! I didn't want my grandparents to find out about it, so I bribed her with a half a million dollars to keep her mouth shut and drop the charges! She's a rich women today because of me, but now she just stays here to torture me! She always wanted to be the mistress of this house, and I guess now in a way she is, just not the way she wanted! There! Now you know!" the older woman screamed.

Without even thinking about what she was saying, Helen commented aloud, "How could you do that?"

Torrance glared at her. "Don't you dare judge me! You have no authority to pass judgement on my life! After all you're the one who kicked me to the curb, because you were too scared of realizing your true self! You hurt me, so you have no right to judge me!"

Helen's heart dropped into her stomach at the rage directed toward her. She had always regretted hurting the woman she loved out of fear, but she had never expected the brunette to throw it in her face. Sinking down into the chair, she just stared at the photographer wordlessly.

Torrance saw the pain in her lover's face, but feeling it herself, she didn't apologize. Instead she mumbled, "I think I need a moment alone. If you want to change clothes, there should be some pajamas in the dresser." She didn't wait for a response as she fled the room.

The teacher broke down into tears after the photographer slammed the door. She didn't even know how to process what had just taken place between them. They had never had a fight before, and she was shocked into immobility at Torrance's fury. The incident with Michelle paled into comparison to the pain she felt at Torrance's blowup about the end of their relationship the first time. She never thought the older woman who say something so malicious, and she was stunned that she had been the recipient of the photographer's explosion.

However she was just as dismayed at Torrance's admission of what had taken place between Michelle and her. She couldn't fathom the women she knew to be so irresponsible, but the older woman had already confessed previously to her reckless behavior when she had been on drugs. The longer Helen sat there the angrier she became at Michelle for wounding the woman who held her heart. Letting the feeling move her to action, she stormed out of the room to find the young maid.

Helen stalked the corridors of the mansion until she ran into the woman not much younger than she in the kitchen. "You!" she yelled getting Michelle's attention and everyone else's as she marched over to her. "You will not do this to Torrance any more! She's suffered from your manipulation long enough! You've had your fun for the last twelve years, but it ends now!" she shouted. "I don't want you near her! Don't talk to her! Don't even so much as look at her! The woman is mine! She always will be, and you need to get on with your life! She hurt you, but it was twelve years ago! I won't let you torment her any longer! I know what happened, and I know what you got out of it! You won't be getting any more either, not at Torrance's expense!"

Michelle stared at Helen in indignation. "Who are you to talk? You're just her flavor of the month. You'll be gone soon enough, and I'll continue to do as I please."

"Listen, Michelle! Every time you see Torrance from now on, you're going to see me! I'm going to become your worst nightmare if you don't leave her alone! You don't need this job after what you got off her! You're only here to make her suffer, but I won't allow it any longer!"

The other worker's in the kitchen stared at the two of them in growing interest. "You have no idea what you're talking about." Michelle mentioned. "I'm not the one who did anything wrong."

"Oh no? You only manipulated and blackmailed your boss's granddaughter for something she didn't do for your own personal gains! Now I suggest you leave the woman alone, or else I'll be forced to have you fired by telling Torrance's grandmother exactly what you did! Are we clear on this, Michelle?"

"Fine! Now get out of my face, bitch!"

Helen cracked a little smile, deciding to add extra humiliation and trouble to the maid. "I'll ask you not to call me that again. I think you should be calling me Mrs. Torrance Whitfield. After all I'll be family soon." There was a collective gasp from the group at that announcement and even a small one from Michelle. "Now I'll ask again if we're clear on things, Michelle."

The women met eyes. Helen saw Michelle swallow hard before the housekeeper muttered, "Yes, Mrs. Whitfield."

"Good. Well, good night." she stated with a satisfied grin before leaving to go back to the bedroom.

The photographer hadn't returned, so the model prepared for bed. As Torrance said there was a pair of the older woman's pajamas in the dresser, so Helen put on the night shirt after taking off all her clothes and left the pants for her beloved when she returned. Going into the bathroom, she found a supply of everything she needed to do her nightly bedtime routine. However Torrance still wasn't back by the time she was out of he bathroom, so Helen decided to sit up and wait. Going over to the couch near the fireplace, she plopped down, sitting with one foot resting flat against the bottom cushion as she encircled her shin with her arms and stared contemplatively into the flames.

She didn't know how much time had passed, but she looked up from the fire when she heard the door softly creak open. Helen met Torrance's green eyes. Neither of them spoke at first, each of them showing a vulnerability that hadn't been there earlier. After several seconds Torrance mentioned, "I wish I had my camera."

"Why's that?"

"To capture your beauty right now. You never cease to amaze me, Helen, by how much the sight of you affects me." the brunette confessed coming to the couch and dropping to the floor in front of the model. Awkwardly she reached for the blonde's exposed inner thigh and brushed it lightly with her fingers. Torrance looked up into the teacher's eyes after a moment of intently studying the limb. "I'm so sorry about earlier. I really went off. You didn't deserve that."

Helen gave her a reassuring smiled as she interlaced her hands through the brunette's hair. "I'm sorry for pushing you on such a sensitive issue. I never would've brought it up had I known your suffering at the hands of that woman."

Torrance sighed as she relaxed into Helen's touch. "You're the only person who knows. I should've told you earlier, but I was ashamed. It was an honest mistake. I didn't even know she was underage at the time. I really thought she was eighteen, and I was completely caught off guard when she came up with that statutory rape charge. I would never have had sex with a minor knowingly. I wasn't that stupid then. She came onto me, and as I said I was really messed up. We both did some lines of coke, and then had sex. The Monsieur Whitfield thing was just a part of a sex game we played that night, and I think she just said it tonight to get to me."

"It's okay. I understand, but you don't have to feel ashamed any longer. It was a long time ago, and she took advantage of you. I'm not going to let that woman hurt you ever again."

"I'm also sorry about what I said about you. I know you never intentionally tried to hurt me. I just lashed out, because I knew you still felt bad about it, and I was just being a jerk. I never should've said that. I was just being cruel, and I'm terribly sorry I said it. It was wrong of me."

"I still love you, Torrance. Sometimes we all say things we don't mean, but that won't keep me from loving you with all I am. I'm sorry too for suggesting that you were having sex outside our relationship. I know for a fact that you would never do that. I have no doubts about your fidelity, and I'm sorry that I questioned it."

"Thank you for saying that." the older woman whispered.

"Something else has been bothering you tonight. I've noticed it since we left the loft. What is it? You didn't want to come here tonight."

"You're right. I didn't want to come here."

"Was it because of Michelle?"

"Partly. I didn't want her to become an issue."

"She's not, not any more. You're mine. I know it, and she knows it. What was the other part?"

"I don't want this to come out wrong, Helen, but I don't know how to put it delicately. This isn't about you, even though it's going to sound like it is."

"Go on. What is it?"

"I didn't want to bring you here, because I didn't want you to see how much money my family had. I've been so insecure when it came to women finding out about my monetary situation, so I've always tried to hide it the best I could. After Michelle I've been wary that women will try to take advantage of me again."

"That's understandable, but don't you trust me?"

"Yes, I trust you completely, Helen."

Looking into the photographer's green eyes, Helen said, "Torrance, you have money, a lot of money by the looks of it, but I don't care about it. I don't love you for your money, for your success, or your fame. I love you, just Torrance, and I would like to continue to love only you. Money has been your nemesis for most of your life, but it doesn't have to be with me. Personally I don't really like that you have all this money, but it's a part of you, and I have to deal with it. I mean you bought me a dress that costs two or three times what I make in a year, and I don't even want to know how much this necklace I was wearing is worth, because I'd probably faint from the shock. I'm coming to realize that being with you has it's own problems, one of those being people trying to get close to you for financial gains, but I will never be one of those people."

"I know."

Smiling the teacher mentioned lightly, "Well, I guess we weathered our first major fight all right."

"Yeah, I guess that was our first fight. I hope it will be our last."

"I doubt it will, but let's just try to keep things to discussions before they get out of control next time." Torrance nodded in agreement. "Now don't you think we should make up?" she asked lightly with a smile.

Torrance got up on her knees and leaned up to kiss the model's lips gently. "I love you." she whispered.

"I love you too, Torrance." Helen replied softly as she began to work Torrance's jacket off her shoulders. Getting it off she repeated the process with the black vest. "Did I tell you how sexy you looked in this suit?" she asked as her hands found the pearl buttons of the tuxedo shirt. "You make me want you so badly."

Torrance moaned into her girlfriend's mouth in response. Her hands trailed up the teacher's bare legs, taking in the smooth skin of her legs and hips. Opening the large buttons on the flannel night shirt, Torrance trailed down the model's body with kisses. As she neared her destination, she eased the blonde's thin thighs apart and raised them over either of her shoulders before leaning in to give the woman she loved the intimacy she craved to make them whole again.

Helen's head dropped back as she cradled the brunette's head into her. Nothing ever compared to when Torrance rendered this service, and Helen was more than happy to provide the photographer access to what she wanted. Allowing the older woman to do as she pleased, Helen simply rode the waves of pleasure that flowed through her until she came to the glorious summit that she had only visited through Torrance's talented mouth. As she shook from her peak, she felt the older woman slide her arms around the blonde's quivering body.

"Oh God." the younger woman mumbled. "I love you, Torrance."

"I love you too, Helen."

"There is just something so comforting about make up sex." the model mentioned teasingly.

"Well, I'm not finished making up to you." the brunette whispered picking the petite woman up and moving her to the down turned bed. Laying her down against the soft sheets, she stated, "In fact I could spend forever inside you and still be insatiable."

Helen's pulse quickened at the sultry tone of her lover's voice. "I want to feel you." she requested beginning to remove the rest of the photographer's clothes. "I need to feel you inside of me."

The following morning Torrance was up and dressed by the time there was a knock on the bedroom door. Being that Helen was still sleeping after their strenuous night, the photographer quietly went to answer it. When she opened it, one of the cooks was standing there with their breakfast and a morning paper. "Good morning, Ms. Whitfield. Your grandmother requested that this be sent to your room this morning."

"Thank you. I'll take it from here."

"If I may say so, Ms. Whitfield, you have one spitfire of a fiancee."

"Why do you say that?" Torrance inquired not correcting Helen's technical relationship to her and allowing the cook to believe she was indeed her intended.

"Because she put Michelle in her place last night. I'm so glad that she said something, because we've all seen how Michelle treated you all these years. She deserved what she got from the future Mrs. Whitfield."

Torrance gave a nod, wondering what the cook might be talking about. "Well, thank you for the breakfast and the kind words about Helen. She is a special lady."

"I hope she makes you happy, Ms. Whitfield. You deserve it. All of us on the staff have been wishing for this day when you would find a bride to carry on the Whitfield name. We all wish you and the your fiancee the best."

"Well, you are all very kind. Thank you."

"I'll just leave you to your breakfast then."

Pushing the cart of food into the room, Torrance put it by the sofa before moving to wake her girlfriend. Helen sleepily opened her eyes to Torrance's voice. "Breakfast is here. Are you hungry?"

"A little."

"You want me to bring it to the bed, or would you like to eat on the couch?"

"I'll come over there. Just give me a moment. I'll be right with you."

As Torrance waited she pondered whether or not to mention her conversation with the cook but decided against it for the moment. Even though she was curious about it, she didn't want to bring up the marriage discussion again until she had a ring in her hand, so she mentally filed it in the back of her mind to talk about at a later date.


Three weeks later Torrance and Helen were on their way down to Helen's parents' house for her father's birthday. Arriving at the bed and breakfast late Thursday night, they called her father to let him know that they had gotten their safely and that they would see him tomorrow. However Torrance asked to speak with him as Helen went into their bathroom to prepare for bed.

"John, listen. I was wondering if you were free early tomorrow morning. There is something I wanted to discuss with you."

"Well, sure. You and Helen can come by the house if you'd like."

"Actually I wanted to talk to you alone, just the two of us. Would that be possible?"

"Sure. There's a coffee shop close to the bed and breakfast. Is Helen still a late sleeper?"

"Yeah. I figure I could sneak out of here about eight or so and be back before she wakes. How does that sound?"

"Sounds fine. I'll see you then."

"Fabulous. See you in the morning. Good night."

Continued in Part 5.
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