Laguna Nights

by Carole Giorgio

Chapter 7

Not surprisingly, Alex was the first to awaken in the morning. She slipped quietly out of bed so as not to wake Sam and went out into the living room.

First things first, she thought to herself, call the damn 24-hour security company in Laguna. She got the number out of her daytimer and dialed. A sweet voice answered and asked to whom she wished to speak.

"This is Alexis Dorian. I would like to speak to someone who knows about the vandalism done in my garage last night. The name of my company is Alternative Paradise and there really isn't an address to speak of yet."

Within seconds a very apologetic voice came on the line. "Ms. Dorian, first let me tell you how sorry I am that . . ."

The voice was curtly interrupted by Alex, "I don't want to hear how sorry. I want to know how it happened and why."

"Ms. Dorian, it seems that when they hooked up your garage, the side door was not included because your construction people were still working in the area at the same time my people were trying to finish up. Therefore, we didn't get the signal until the perpetrator was already inside the garage. After that the police were there within minutes." The unlucky representative heaved a sigh and waited for Alex's wrath to continue.

"So, because your people were in such a hurry they couldn't wait around to complete the job properly, I'm a victim. Is that the way you see it?" Alex's voice seemed to thunder across the telephone line.

"I guess it could be stated that way, Ms. Dorian," the contrite rep admitted.

"Now -- I want you to tell me exactly what the damages are and what your company is going to do to fix them." The authority in Alex's voice gave the company man no recourse.

"The damages . . . let me look here . . . yes . . . the damages seem to have been of a . . . personal nature. The vandal deeply etched the word -- ah, excuse my language, Ms. Dorian but this is what the paper says -- 'bitch' on both sides of the car and on the hood. The person didn't stay long enough to do any other harm."

The first person to come to Alex's mind was Jake, the employee she had fired the other day. She hadn't thought he would have been so brazen but . . . She let that thought drop and got back to her conversation.

"So, was the inside set up for the camera at least?" Alex demanded to know.

"Actually it was," the rep started his answer, "but the vandal knew enough to think that there might be a camera and kept a very low profile. The person was also disguised with a mask. I suppose that is why just the small amount of damage was done. I don't think robbery was the motive. And if they thought the place was secure, I don't know why anyone would even go ahead and chance it."

"Okay, okay," Alex hurried the man along. "Now, I'm going to tell you what I expect from your company." Alex continued in a firm voice. "First, be assured that the damage is not superficial and is not a small amount. I want you to go and get the car and take it to the best paint shop in the area. I want the color matched perfectly and I want it finished and back in my garage by the time I get home on Sunday afternoon, looking as though not a thing had gone awry. Your company is very lucky we have decided to stay in San Francisco for a few more days. And even luckier still that I am going to give you people a second chance and continue using your company for my security."

"But, Ms. Dorian," the rep began dismayed, "I can't authorize something that monumental. I don't have that kind of authority," he whined at her.

"Then you sure as Hell had better get someone on the phone this minute who can and does!" Alex demanded as forcefully as she could without raising her voice and waking Sam.

Within minutes another voice came on the line that was much more accommodating. "Hello, Ms. Dorian. My name is Gerald Shaw and I am going to handle your request."

"Good, Gerald," Alex approved, "were you informed how I want this handled?"

"Yes, I was. John just filled me in. I will need to tape record the rest of this conversation because we are going to have to have the car towed from the garage and I need your permission to do that. I want to make sure we are legally protected," he stipulated.

"Okay, Gerald." She gave the man just a second or two and began, "Are you ready?"

"Yes, Ms. Dorian. We are now recording," came the reply from the unlucky rep.

"You most certainly have my permission to record this conversation and to have someone tow the Volkswagen to and from the paint shop. You already have keys to the garage so that should be no problem, and if there is any damage to the side door, have that fixed as well," Alex told the new representative. "I expect all areas of the building to be fully covered by the time I get back."

"Consider it all done, Ms. Dorian." Then Gerald went on to say, "I assure you that it will all be finished and the car will be back in a secured garage by Sunday afternoon. Would you like me to telephone you on Monday?"

"No. I will phone you Monday morning, Gerald," Alex told the man who had the misfortune of having to deal with a very unhappy Alex. "I believe we have said all that needs to be said at this point. Until Monday."

"Goodbye, Ms. Dorian. I hope the rest of your vacation is pleasant." With the last statement both he and Alex hung up the phone.

Alex was glad that was taken care of for the time being and thankful that Samantha had not come out of the bedroom during the entire conversation. She next phoned the front desk and explained to them that their trip had been extended and they wanted to stay until Sunday morning. The suite had not as yet been booked the front desk informed her so they could continue staying in the same rooms.

Having the two most pressing problems out of the way she proceeded into the kitchen to brew some tea. She would call the warehouse from the gym sometime this morning and speak to the supervisor personally. There were a few pressing matters she needed taken care of before they arrived home. She also wanted one of the supervisors to stay on and take notes while the security people handled the situation that they had created. She wanted to know the attitude that was taken as they were repairing their mistake. If the attitude was good, a second chance was definitely in order, if not she would find a new company to protect her investments.

Now it was time to order some breakfast and wake Samantha up. They had another busy day planned. She called down to room service and ordered, then went back into the bedroom to wake Samantha .

"Okay, Sleeping Beauty," Alex said as she gently bent over and kissed the blonde who was still sleeping peacefully on the bed. "I hate to have to wake you, but it's time to rise and shine."

"I'll rise, but I refuse to shine," came the first mumble from the small woman in the bed. Then she stretched and yawned and stretched again. She pulled the pillow she wasn't sleeping on over her head and held it there.

"No you don't," Alex told her. "It's time to get up and get going. We have places to go and people to see." She laughed as she pulled the pillow from the sleepy blonde's hands.

Samantha opened her eyes and focused intently on the individual standing beside the bed, holding onto the pillow she had just taken from her.

"On second thought, come here you!" Samantha said to Alex as she pulled her back down onto the bed with her. She rolled over on top of the taller woman and placed a kiss on her cheek. "That will have to keep you until I go brush my teeth. I hate morning mouth," she said as she hopped off the bed and into the bathroom, giggling.

From the bathroom Alex could barely hear a word she was saying. "I'm so . . . and it's lovely . . . today is going . . . oh, Alex . . ."

Alex could take it no more and marched to the bathroom door. "If you are going to try talking to me, at least take the brush out of your mouth." She smiled at the picture of sunshine before her where a sleepy head had been just minutes ago. "Samantha, that poem you wrote last night. It's absolutely beautiful. It reminds me of something my mother would write. You and she will get along wonderfully when you finally get to meet each other. She's a writer, too."

"Really? I'm glad we'll have something in common, aside from loving you." The small blonde beamed over at the tall, dark figure standing in the doorway. "I'm so happy to be here with you, Alex. I feel that we will be to each other what I said in the poem. I want to be someone you can count on through the good and the bad. I feel so . . . I don't know . . . lucky." She finished brushing her teeth and then proceeded to give her lover a proper morning kiss.

"Mmmm. Now that's more what I had in mind," she said leaning back and looking up into sparkling sapphire eyes. "By the Gods, I'm starving. What did you have in mind for breakfast?"

As though on cue, there was a slight knock on the door and a voice announcing that room service was here.

"Room service. You ordered from room service? How chic." Samantha beamed as Alex went to answer the door.

The young man brought the rolling table in and placed it next to the table in the living area. Alex thanked him, gave him a tip and walked with him to the door. She then turned to Samantha who was coming out of the bedroom.

"Here you are, my lovely," Alex exclaimed as she lifted first one silver lid and then another. "Cheese omelets, toast and pancakes complete with butter and syrup. Over here we have a large carafe of orange juice." Alex continued moving her hand in a flowing manner to display the entire meal. "Do you think this will fill that empty leg of yours until lunch?"

"Most definitely," Samantha answered as she took the chair that Alex offered and sat down in front of the breakfast feast. "What, no bacon?" she grinned at her lover.

"Even a hotel chain as environmentally conscious as this one has not yet decided that substitute proteins are the way of the future," Alex laughed as she slid Samantha's chair into the table.

"I'm only kidding, Alex. This is great!"

The next few hours were spent eating their breakfast in front of the window overlooking the bay, discussing how they would go about the business portion of the day and getting ready to go to the gym for their meeting with Ray and Sonny. On the way to the gym they further discussed how Samantha could help with the business. Alex asked her if she knew shorthand and Samantha told her that she had taken it in high school and had used it through college to help her take good notes. It had come in quite handy and yes, she would be happy to put it to use again. She would take notes while they talked of all that needed to be done and then would type them out while Alex went with Ray to overlook the final construction of the wall. Samantha suggested making a file folder on Sonny's computer and then having a backup disk just in case. That way even when Alex wasn't there, the guys would have something to refresh their memories as to what needed to be kept up and ordered, for the new item. She then went off on a tangent, telling Alex about the time she had a disk corrupt on her after she had finished an entire day's work on it and she had not saved the file to her hard drive. She had to type everything over again.

Alex listened quietly, as seemed to be her way, and when Sam wound the story down they went back to talking about the businesses at hand. They finished the conversation by discussing where Samantha wanted to have lunch. The choice was made a little more difficult because they were both completely sated and any discussion of food at this point was not at all appetizing. After giving Sam a list of options, Chinatown was the decided destination.


Sonny was waiting for them in his office and he buzzed Ray to come and join them. He was his usual bouncy self, babbling on about all the fun they were all going to have on Saturday and how much he was looking forward to it. He kept on and on, until Ray brought him down to earth and down to business. The four of them sat in Sonny's office and discussed all the aspects of the wall until Ray had no more feelings of insecurity about the decision he had made to incorporate the new purchase. Then Ray and Alex went upstairs to see how the construction was coming along. Samantha went to the computer to put everything on disk, in a file and on paper. Sonny went about the usual daily business of the gym and everyone was busy until Samantha's stomach started making hunger noises around 12:30. She left the office in search of a familiar face and found Sonny over at the receptionist's desk where she quickly joined him.

"How much longer do you think they will be today, Sonny?" she asked. "My stomach's beginning to think my throat's been cut. I really need to get something to eat and if we aren't going to be able to do lunch, then I need to find a snack machine," she added and smiled at her new friend.

"Hold on, Sweetness," I'll go on up and make those two workaholics stop for the day. They can continue with this tomorrow. We told you two we would only need the mornings and I do believe the morning is officially over." He double clicked his fingers in a down and up motion and flitted off to find the missing duo, leaving Samantha smiling at the receptionist and shaking her head.

The trio came into sight in less than five minutes and everyone agreed that Chinatown would be a fun place to have lunch. They decided to take a taxi to the entrance of Chinatown where there was a large green dragon covered gateway -- a gift from the Republic of China. The restaurant Sonny had chosen was close to the entrance so walking before lunch was kept to a minimum. Sightseeing would commence after lunch. The motif of the restaurant was straight out of a Charlie Chan movie, hues of red and red and more red. Chinese symbols and little pagodas everywhere as well as pictures of China on the walls. The restaurant was serving an enormous buffet containing many varieties of fish, chicken, beef, pork and of course vegetable dishes. The ladies stuck with the vegetable and fish items, but the guys had a sampling of everything. Samantha got her first taste of sake and decided that it was different but definitely not her drink of choice. Then Sonny ordered her a flavored sake, getting a look of disapproval from Alex.

"What?" he challenged his friend. "She's old enough to drink."

"Yes, but I want her to enjoy walking around Chinatown. I don't want to have to pack her into a cab and take her home before the day even begins." Alex retorted.

"Okay, okay." Sonny turned to Samantha, "Only one, just to taste. Don't want to get mom's feathers rustled." He laughed and toasted his newly found friend.

They topped the meal off with dim-sum tea pastries, some of those little dumplings with the red stuff inside and of course fortune cookies.

"In a few minutes we'll walk by the Golden Gate Cookie Company and you can actually watch as these little babies are being hand-folded." Sonny informed Samantha as he held up his fortune cookie. "What does yours say, Sam?"

"Let's see," she answered as she broke the cookie in two and took out the white sheet of paper with the ever anticipated saying. "Great love and fortune awaits the honest heart," she read off the paper. "Aren't I the lucky one today? What does yours say, Sonny?"

"Mine says, Happiness is within your grasp, don't let it pass you by. Well, I'm all for that!" Sonny smiled over at Ray. "You're next."

Ray shrugged his shoulders in a 'do I really have to do this?' fashion. He got a poke in the ribs from Alex, so he opened up his cookie. "Look at the clouds as holders of the rainbow not deliverers of rain."

"Oh, that was made just for you, darling." Sonny laughed clapping his hands together before turning to Alex. "Okay, girl. Your turn."

Alex gave her friend a small grin as she opened the last cookie on the tray, "Great Things Come in Small Packages," she read from the paper. "It's not very original but . . ." she looked over at Samantha smiling back at her, "I would have to agree with the sentiment. Now . . . have we all had our fill of Chinese food and fortunes?"

"I don't think I could eat another bite, at least not for a couple hours. Then you know I will be starving again!" Samantha answered smiling at Alex.

"I'm ready," Sonny chimed in as he handed the bill to Ray.

"Let me get this one, Sonny," Alex contested as she reached for the tab.

"No way." Ray interjected. "This little excursion and the one Saturday night is on us. It's a simple business expense. We brought you up here and we're going to take care of you while you're in our city. No arguing, no discussing, it's final."

"Okay. When you put it that way, what else can I say? Thanks, lunch was great." Alex surrendered graciously.

"Ditto from me," Samantha chimed in.

"Well, then it's time to sightsee," Sonny announced.

They walked out of the restaurant and down the street. Soon they were standing in front of the Golden Gate Cookie Company, watching in awe as the employees twisted and turned the small pieces of dough into the familiar looking cookies after placing a fortune inside each one.

Samantha remarked to the rest of the little group how she couldn't get over all the pagodas everywhere she turned, even on the telephone booths. They took pictures to remind them of new friends and interesting places and it was soon time for the boys to get back to the gym.

"I just hate leaving when I'm having so much fun," Sonny began as he turned to Ray with a pleading look.

"No, Sonny. You know we already discussed this little adventure today and decided that we would only have lunch with the girls and then leave them on their own," was the answer he received from his lover, followed by a stern, no nonsense look.

"Party pooper," was the only come back Sonny could think of saying. "I have to go with the grouch now, so you two, little sweethearts, have a marvelous afternoon and we will see you bright eyed and bushy tailed -- now that's a thought! -- in the morning. Kisses all around." He finished his goodbye with a hug and kiss to each of the women and whispered about Saturday in Samantha's ear. He kept waving at them until Ray finally flagged down a cab and pulled him into it.

"He's a real kook, Alex!" Samantha said laughing as she watched Ray settling his lover down in the cab. "I wouldn't have wanted to miss meeting those two for anything. I know Saturday is going to be a blast. Sonny is so excited about going to a drag show again. He said Ray hasn't taken him to one in years." She looked at her watch and then back at Alex. "So what do we do next?"

"Let's just walk toward Portsmouth Square, there's a statue of the Goddess of Democracy there. A little bit of trivia -- it's also the place where the first flag of the United States was raised here in San Francisco. On the way we can stop at any of the little shops you might want to look in and then head back to the hotel. Anything in particular you want to see?" Alex asked.

"I don't think so, walking and window shopping sounds great," was Samantha's response. "You really know a lot about this city. Guess you come here often?"

"I've spent a lot of time up here in the past eight years with Sonny and Ray as clients. A lot of time was spent here when the gym was first getting started. If I wasn't here on business we were just hanging out together, they're probably the best friends I have." Alex answered. "Also, my folks and I used to vacation here occasionally. Mom graduated from Berkeley so she loves the area and knows a lot about it. That's where I get my trivia. Mom's big on trivia."

Samantha managed to purchase some souvenirs as she walked, talked and gawked. She purchased a little Buddha necklace for her sister and an oriental vase for her mom. She found a tie-tac for her dad in one of the little shops where the owner did not speak any English and was surprised to find out that Alex spoke Mandarin Chinese.

"I studied it after college for a couple years. It's the International Trade language after all," was Alex's answer to Samantha's astonished look. "I felt it wouldn't hurt to know a little."

Alex tried to talk Samantha into getting something for herself, but Sam kept insisting there was nothing she wanted, until they happened into a little shop off the main street in one of the little alleys. There was a necklace with the Chinese symbol for luck on it and earrings to match. On top of the symbol was a carved unicorn representing peace and prosperity.

"Alex, look at this." Samantha said as she held the necklace up and studied it. "The clerk just told me that it's lavender jade. Isn't it beautiful?" Samantha asked as she showed her find to Alex.

"Yes, it's quite nice." Alex responded and then told the clerk they would like to purchase the set.

When Samantha heard the price of the jewelry, her face went slack and she started to put it back on the counter for the woman to put away.

"What do you think you're doing?" Alex asked, taking the set back off the counter and beginning to place the necklace around Samantha's neck. "Everyone needs a little luck from Chinatown, now don't they," she continued as she elicited a response from the saleswoman.

"No. Alex. Not again. You've already spent too much money on me these last couple days and I can't afford this on my salary." Samantha protested stepping back away from Alex and the necklace.

"Wait just a minute. Do you know the legend of jade?" Alex asked her.

The quiet woman behind the counter spoke up, "This lavender jade is very rare and jade has a way of getting into the possession of the person who should have it. The Chinese believe that the secret virtue of jade is absorbed by the wearer into the body." The slight woman continued, "It is the stone of nobility and fortune and contains the essence of love. It was also used in ancient times to drive off evil beasts and it was an amulet that warriors wore."

"See there, how can you pass up such a precious gem. This little shop and the jade itself must have wanted you to find it. The legend goes on," Alex continued, "it is said that the person who gives jade as a gift gives a piece of herself. So you see, Samantha, you must take it as a gift." Alex would not take no for an answer, as if she ever did.

"But Alex . . ." Samantha tried once more.

"I told you the City and anything you desired would be yours, now didn't I? I know you desire this . . . so consider it yours. Anyway, I haven't spent any out-of-pocket money yet so . . . No more discussion." Alex turned to the saleswoman and paid for the jewelry.

"But, Alex." Sam still tried to deter her, "I have the other necklace, also."

"Now you have a trade off, don't you? This is more for everyday wear and the other can be for special occasions." she smiled as she gave Samantha a soft kiss on the cheek, opened the box and took out the necklace. She placed it around the slender neck and handed Sam the earrings to put on as well.

"Thank you, Alex," was all Samantha could think of to say as she put the earrings on.

Walking out of the shop Alex leaned over and whispered in Samantha's ear. "Seeing you smile brightens my day. I like giving to you Samantha. Normally, I would have thought the green jade to be better suited to you, it would have brought out the green in your eyes, but I love the look of the lavender." She kissed the smaller woman on the ear as they stepped back into the sunshine.

"So, have you had enough sightseeing for one day?" Alex asked her as they continued walking down the street. She was hoping she would get an affirmative answer from the small blonde. She had enough Chinatown to last a year.

"Yes." Samantha replied, "Especially after that last purchase." She looked up at Alex and mouthed another 'thank you.'

"Good. I thought maybe we could go back to the hotel, go for a swim or just relax the rest of the evening."

"Sounds good to me. My feet are beginning to object to all this walking. Are we going to walk home?" Sam almost whined.

"No." Alex said with a laugh in her voice. "I'll hail us a cab. We've done enough walking around this city for today." She walked over to the curb and put out her arm to hail the next yellow taxi she spotted.

It wasn't long before they were sitting in the rear seat of the cab on their way back to the hotel. It had been quite a busy day up until now and both the ladies were looking forward to a quiet evening alone. Samantha promised herself that tonight she would not fall asleep and she would make love to Alex. She was a little afraid of not being able to come up to the standards of love making that Alex might have been used to before her. She had never made love to a woman, but if desire had anything to do with performance, she would be giving a standing ovation.

"Are you getting hungry at all," Samantha asked Alex in the elevator on the way up to the rooms.

"I could eat something. Want to order in?" Alex asked.

"Order in . . . yeah . . . that sounds great. Then we could get comfortable and settle in for the evening. Could we just forget the swim for now? I think my body is telling me to just rest for a while. We must have walked miles this afternoon." Samantha said, kicking off her shoes as she walked through the door into the suite.

She went over to the refrigerator and got out a bottle of water and then picked up the room service menu.

Alex checked the messages and was happy to hear that the only message was from Sonny telling her they had a great lunch and not to forget to be at the gym in the morning.

"I really had a good time today, Alex." Samantha said as she walked over to her lover and put her arms around her. Every day we've been together is special. I love getting to know you better. I know it's all new to us right now, but it feels so right. The only problem is that you're beginning to spoil me." She fingered the new piece of jewelry resting elegantly on her chest. "If you don't stop it soon you may create a monster." She smiled up at the taller woman and Alex bent down and placed a soft passionate kiss on the waiting lips.

"I know you will never be a monster, and I enjoy spoiling you a little. Its been a long time since I've had the desire to spoil another person and even when I did before it never felt as right as spoiling you does." Alex gave a look that was slightly difficult to read. There was a seriousness on her face that reminded Samantha of the first time she had seen the dark-haired beauty. She secretly wished that someday that look would be vanished from the beautiful face of her lover forever and that she would be the reason it would never appear again. Dumb romantic, she thought to herself.

"If spoiling me makes you happy, who am I to put a kink in your joy." Samantha giggled as she hugged Alex and put her head on the taller woman's chest. She glanced out the window and sighed at the beauty of everything that was happening in her life. She felt totally at home with Alex's arms draped around her.

By the time dinner arrived Samantha was famished. She devoured her food with a passion. Alex couldn't believe that such a small person could put so much food away at one sitting.

"You're gonna bust if you don't slow down," Alex chided her smaller companion.

"It's just that walking makes me hungry and this is so good." Samantha said as she finally sat back from the table and looked at Alex. "What's under that last lid?"

"It's dessert, but you can't have it until later. Let that meal get down a little first." She poured the two of them another glass of wine and ushered Samantha over to the sofa where they could watch the sun turn the Golden Gate Bridge the color it was famous for.

"That's beautiful." Samantha began as she stared out the window across the bay. "The world is such a small place today. In hours you can be anywhere in the entire United States from the west coast to the east coast. One minute you're looking at the Pacific Ocean, and a few hours later you could be looking at the Atlantic Ocean." She looked up at Alex and smiled. "But you know what?"

"No what?" Alex bit at the bait.

"Being here with you is the only place I ever want to be. Not only here . . . you know what I mean . . . being with you - no matter where here is. I know . . . I'm babbling again . . . it's just that I'm so happy, Alex and I feel stupid continuing to say it over and over again." Samantha began to blush at her loss of words.

"Don't worry, honey. I know what you're trying to say. I feel the same way." Alex admitted, letting Samantha off the hook. She then changed the subject. "I feel gritty from being outside in the city all day. I'm going to go shower now, unless you would rather take a bath with me?" Alex offered.

"A bath would be nice." Samantha nodded with an affirmative shake of her head and a sly smile. "Let me go first though, I'll just be a minute. Why don't you refresh our wine glasses and bring them in with you?"

Samantha got up and walked into the bedroom where she quickly lit the candles and took one of them into the bathroom with her. She started filling the Jacuzzi and turned off the light. The candle flickered and there was plenty of illumination to bathe by.

Alex picked up the dessert container and placed it in the refrigerator. She refilled their glasses and walked into the bedroom. The candle flickering on the nightstand brought a smile to her face. She found herself getting anxious about what she knew her lover had planned. So, Samantha, this evening you will fulfill your desire. To be honest with you, I can't wait until you do. She found a light jazz station on the bedside radio and turned it up loud enough to be heard in the bathroom then walked over to join the blonde in the Jacuzzi.

Samantha had put bubble bath in the tub and had already gotten in when Alex stepped into the bathroom.

"Well now, aren't we Miss Quick and Bubbly," Alex smiled.

"Uh, huh," was the reply from the half-submerged beauty as she batted her eyes and smiled sheepishly. "Candy, little girl?"

"Oh, Samantha. Where'd you drudge that line up?" Alex laughed as she undressed and began to step into the Jacuzzi.

"What's that?" Samantha asked, pointing to the area just below the bikini line on the lower right side of Alex's abdomen. "Come here, I never noticed that before."

"I know you haven't it's always been either covered or there hasn't been enough light to see it. This is why buying that first necklace for you was so important to me." Alex tried to explain.

"Why, it's a yin/yang tattoo. Why didn't you tell me you had a tattoo?" Samantha asked as she began to examine the small black and skin tone design.

"I didn't see any reason to before," came the quiet reply. "Let me fill you in," Alex began as she sat down in the warm bath. "About a year ago I had just finished reading a book on Feng Shui, you know, the ancient Chinese system of creating harmonious surroundings. I had been into martial arts for years but had never really taken all of the philosophy seriously. After reading the book I knew that if I wanted to change my life for the better I needed to do some sincere self-reconstructing along with being more aware of my physical environment. That's when I designed the doors for the building. But the doors are another story, Sam, and I promise you we will go over all the symbols after we get home, and I will explain why I chose the ones I did. For now the only thing that is important is that I decided to get this tattoo to remind myself that balance needed to be utmost in my life. It was my way of telling myself to stop and smell the roses. After I got it and started doing affirmations and changing little things around me, everything started to fall into place. To top it all off, I met you. Just another sign to me that I was finally doing things right." Alex smiled and took Samantha's face in her hands.

"You're the best thing that ever happened to me Samantha. I know that already. There's your smile to my grimace, your exuberance to my anxiety, your innocence to my cynicism. We truly seem to be the balance for each other. Even more than that you are beginning to make me see that I don't have to be the pessimist any longer. You are helping me find the self I lost somewhere along the way."

"Now, my dear Samantha, you've made me rant on for longer than I usually care to." She pulled Samantha closer and kissed her tenderly. The kiss became more passionate as Alex's arms found their resting place around Samantha's contoured waist.

Samantha was the first to break off the kiss. "No funny stuff in the tub, tonight, Alex. I've got other plans for you. I will not be put off, side tracked or fall asleep this time," Samantha insisted as she put on her determined look and pushed slightly away from Alex. "Here let me wash your back and you just keep your hands in front of you. Not there!" she laughed and moved Alex's hands from her thighs. "There, place them on your own thighs. Now behave yourself."

"You're no fun," was the response Alex gave as she grinned at the small blonde and splashed water at her.

Samantha answered the splash with one of her own and before they knew it there was water all over the floor.

"I think it's time we got out of the tub before we have maintenance coming up complaining that there's water dripping into the rooms below us," Alex finally said as she stood up and grabbed their towels. She wrapped hers around her body then turned and offered to dry Sam off.

It was good to feel loved, not possessed, but loved in the pure, selfless way that Samantha seemed to love her. She smiled as she rubbed the towel over the pale skin of her lover's back and Alex's body responded to her thoughts. She leaned over and kissed Samantha on her shoulders and neck then wrapped the towel around her and held the smaller woman to her. "I love you," she whispered.

Samantha turned around to face the dark-haired charmer who had stolen her heart so easily. "I love you, too. Come on, let's go to bed."

Samantha picked up the candle from the its place on the tub and brought it into the bedroom with her, placing it on the other nightstand, while Alex lowered the music to a soft hum. They pulled down the covers and Alex was the first into the bed.

"Alex, roll over on your stomach. Let me give you a massage. It'll feel good after all the walking around we did today."

"Just your touching me feels good. I don't care what you call it." The taller woman smiled and rolled over.

Samantha looked at the tall beauty lying on the bed and her heart started to pound faster. She decided that the best way to begin would be to straddle Alex and start with her shoulders. She had brought a bottle of lotion with her from the bathroom. She put some in the palm of her hand to warm the creamy, white liquid. Starting at the nape of Alex's neck she gently massaged the woman under her. Slowly she let her hands explore every inch of Alex's neck and back traveling slowly down to her waist, teasingly touching Alex's breasts on either side as she ran her fingers up and down the long, slender back. She leaned over, her nipples touching Alex's back and she heard a soft moan come from her lover. "I love touching you, my love," she whispered. "Touching you makes me get all tingling inside." She moved her body off to the side and proceeded to run her fingers further down Alex's back, gently squeezing her buttocks on the way to the muscular thighs. Coming back up from the thighs her hand ventured between her lover's legs and the muscles all over Alex's body tensed.

"Relax, my love. This is supposed to loosen you up, not make you more tense." Again, Samantha leaned over and kissed the soft back, showering butterfly kisses over the entire area and watching as the love bumps formed on her lover's skin.

"Now, Alex - turn over," she softly commanded.

Samantha's fingers drew little circles around the area of the small tattoo then larger circles that encompassed most of the abdomen. Listening to the music from the radio she began to softly sing with the song that had just come on. "I want somebody to share all the rest of my life. She'll know my inner most thoughts and my intimate secrets . . ." she hummed along with the music as she continued stroking the body next to her, "she will be there for me, as I will for her . . ." She leaned over and spoke into Alex's ear, "Did you ever listen to a song and just know that it was written about you?"

"No, but I have had a few that struck pretty close to home at times," Alex said looking up into green eyes that were slightly clouded over. "Does that song make you sad?" she asked concerned.

"No, just the opposite. I think it's beautiful. It describes the way I feel about you and me." Sam stared into Alex's face and then kissed her passionately. "I want to make you happier than anyone else ever has," she told Alex as she positioned her body on top of the taller woman's.

Samantha had never made love to a woman before but everything was coming as naturally as if she had. She had never been the aggressor and now she was finding herself wanting to crawl inside this woman beneath her and become one with her. She kissed Alex on the lips, then the cheeks and forehead. She kissed the long neck, down to the collarbone and continued to the beginning of Alex's chest. Finally, she put her mouth around one of the firm nipples that had long since hardened at her touch. She had never done anything as sensual as this before. Her body tingled all over as she suckled her lover's firm breasts, first one and then the other. She wondered why she hadn't known earlier that she was meant to love a woman. She knew in her heart that the way she was now feeling was the way people were suppose to feel when they made love to someone or had someone make love to them. Perhaps she never knew all this before because she was not meant to love just anyone else. She knew from somewhere deep down inside, that this one particular woman out of all the people in the world had been chosen somewhere in time to be the other half of her soul. No one would ever be able to convince her of anything different. Her goal now was to make sure that Alex felt the same way about her.

Samantha sighed softly, releasing the breast to move further down her lover's body. She knew Alex was aware that she had no experience in making love with a woman. Her only hope was that she felt as good to Alex as touching Alex felt to her. She reached the soft, dark, curly mound below the abdomen and inhaled a sweet fragrance. As she parted the folds beneath the mound with her fingers she again lower her body further, placing herself between the long, muscular thighs as she began to let her tongue explore a region that was at once totally new to her and yet strangely familiar. "Alex, you taste wonderful," she mumbled as she filled herself with the sweetness that was Alex and then glanced up to see a look of rapture on her lover's face.

She knew how Alex had made her feel each time she had made love to her and Samantha emulated the actions of the more experienced woman. When she felt Alex had reached a moment of intensity, she lifted her head and placed two fingers inside her lover, lifting her own body up and bringing herself so she could watch the expressions on Alex's face. There were so many new feelings and she wanted to savor each and every one of them.

As Samantha studied Alex she realized that her body, was also reacting to the drama being played out, yet another new experience for her. Taking her cue from the movement of her lover she began to increase her speed and thrust as she found herself becoming more and more excited, her own breathe quickening and her heart pounding faster as the speed increased and Alex became more excited.

"More," Alex moaned. "Samantha, more . . . please."

"I'm sorry Alex . . . I don't understand . . . what do you mean more?" Samantha questioned, realizing that she wasn't doing something right but not having any idea what. She mentally scolded herself for being such a novice. She so wanted to please Alex and make her feel the way she had felt when Alex made love to her. You're an idiot, Sam. You don't even know what she wants, was the reaction she received from her own thoughts.

Alex placed a hand on top of Samantha's and said, "Another finger, honey, I need more of you, Samantha."

Sam smiled. "I can certainly accommodate that," she said as she inserted yet another finger into the soft area between her lover's folds.

Alex let out a soft, "Yes, Samantha . . . oh . . . yes. Keep doing exactly what you're doing, my love. You feel wonderful."

Samantha held Alex close trying to anticipate the next move to bring her lover to satisfaction. Her own emotions ebbed and flowed as the two of them seemed to meld. "Alex, I love you," Samantha would intersperse between moans of passion. Alex would echo the statement back to her. The intensity of the act of love grew with Samantha matching Alex's every move and they rocked back and forth with a slow, steady rhythm. Samantha could feel Alex's muscles tighten around her fingers allowing a warm liquid to run out between the taller woman's thighs. She could also feel a pulsating deep within the well where her fingers now were still. Now I know what it feels like to be on the other end of an orgasm, Samantha thought, almost as good as on the receiving end. Alex grabbed Samantha's hand and held it firmly in place on a final inward thrust.

They were both still for what seemed like minutes, then Samantha kissed Alex on the cheek and started to remove her hand.

"If you know what's good for you, you won't move that hand again until I say so," Alex said smiling widely. Samantha noticed a small tear trickle down the side of her lover's face.

"Alex," she began, "Are you . . ."

"Tears of utter joy and satisfaction, my love. Don't worry." Alex assured her.

The pulsating continued for a few more minutes as Alex wrapped her arms around the smaller woman and brought her close. "I love you, Samantha. You made me feel fantastic." She kissed Sam and then told her she could remove her hand if she wanted.

Samantha did so and lay back on the pillow. Alex turned onto her right side and looked into her lover's eyes. "That was a pretty marvelous first go at love making, my destiny." Alex started, "If I didn't know better I would have thought you'd been in this situation before."

"Yeah, right." Samantha came back at her, "Like I'm really supposed to believe that one. I wouldn't have been able to bring you to a climax if you hadn't told me what it was you needed. Some lover I turned out to be."

"Don't you even go there, Samantha Riley," Alex rebuked, "I'm serious. You made me feel great!" She took the smaller woman in her arms and cradled her as Samantha began to cry.

"Oh, Alex. I so wanted to make you feel like you made me feel, but I had to be told . . ."

"Sam," Alex interrupted her, "I know women who have been gay for years and they still need to be told what a new lover desires. Everyone is different and no one knows right off the bat what will please a new lover. You're being silly." Alex tried to comfort the small blonde.

"You knew, Alex. You knew exactly what to do for me." Samantha retorted.

"Samantha, I didn't. I just did what I wanted to do and was lucky enough to have picked the right movements. Darling, please stop . . . I wouldn't lie to you, honest." Alex said.

"Honest." Samantha wanted to be convinced.

"Girl Scouts honor! And I've been Scouting for Girls a very long time." Alex grinned down at Samantha. "Now give me a hug and stop this nonsense. How are you feeling now?" Alex queried.

"I'm doing just fine, I think. Mostly I'm tired," was the smaller woman's reply.

"Then I guess it's time we got some sleep. We have another busy day ahead of us tomorrow. You need to be thinking about where you want to go when we finish with the boys." Alex informed her lover.


"I'll sleep on it and we can talk it over in the morning." Sam mumbled to Alex as she curled up and wrapped her arm around the taller woman's waist. "Are you comfortable sleeping in this position?" She asked, her green eyes pleading for a positive answer.

"Most certainly. Wouldn't have it any other way. Goodnight, my love. Sleep tight." Those were the last words spoken as Alex could already feel the steady breathing of the woman she held in her arms. She looked upward and silently thanked the Goddess for delivering her from a life of loneliness. She hadn't felt so satisfied or cared for in years. After she gently kissed Samantha on the head she closed her eyes and joined her lover in a pleasantly exhausted sleep.

End of Chapter Seven

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