All disclaimers may be found in Chapter 1


Sedona Rain

Carole Giorgio: WomynBard@aol.com

Chapter 8

The Sedona sunrise brought dancing rays of light streaming into the windows of the guest suite. Alex stirred as the first beam played good morning games on her face. She gently freed herself from Samantha's hold and scooted out of bed.

Serenity always caught up with her here in this quiet town, and even she tended to oversleep, if only for an hour, whenever she stayed among the red rocks. It was quiet at home as well, but there was also the fact that at any moment the ocean could turn and become an angry, destructive force. Here the calm seemed to weave its spell into every molecule of the surrounding landscape. Only the occasional afternoon thunderstorm broke the majesty of the peaceful countryside, and even that seemed to add to, instead of detract from the beauty of the Sedona.

The tall brunette silently thanked their host for supplying them with some of her favorite teas as she started brewing a pot, then she headed for the shower. Her intentions were to put a couple of bagels in the toaster after her shower, to titillate the nostrils and awaken the sleeping beauty in the bedroom.

Alex hummed quietly, as she lathered her thick dark hair then commenced soaping up the rest of her body, thinking as she did that she was getting lax in the exercise department and needed to start concentrating on it again. She didn't hear as the shower door was opened and let out an unusual exclamation when Samantha stepped in and touched her. "Damn, Samantha! You scared the Holy Shit out of me."

The smaller woman was taken back at Alex's tone. "Sorry, Alex." She backed against the shower wall, hands up as though she was the victim of a robbery. "I thought for sure you'd hear the door opening."

Well, you should have you know! The dark-haired beauty mentally cursed. You're really slipping, Alex; you should have known she was here Before she touched you! Guess that's what happens when you're too damn happy with your life to practice your disciplines!

After getting over the initial shock, she apologized to Samantha for yelling at her. "It's just that you startled me. I don't know where my mind was exactly, but it wasn't here. I think I was lining up all we're going to do this week and . . . "

"It's okay, Alex. I should have made some noise when I came into the bathroom. I hate to be surprised like that. I just assumed you'd hear me." She stepped closer to her lover and gave her a good morning hug.

"This certainly makes everything okay," Alex assured the small blonde as she held her close. "You want me to wash your hair?"

"Yeah, that would feel good."

"What woke you up so early, Samantha? Usually I have to drag your butt out of bed."

"Probably the excitement of a new place." She stopped and thought a minute more. "Maybe I'm beginning to like getting up early in the morning . . . just like you." She smiled up at the tender blue eyes looking down at her, a mischievous grin lighting up her fair face. "On the other hand . . . nah!" She shook her head from side to side.

The taller woman began tickling the blonde.

"Uncle, Alex, uncle." Samantha pleaded.

"Uncle Who?" Alex questioned, laughing.

"Alex, I can hardly b-r-e-a-t-h-e."

"Serves you right." The dark-haired beauty chided. "First you shock the shit out of me and then you make fun of my getting up early. What do you think I should do with you?"

Samantha grabbed the two strong hands that had now ceased tickling. Still holding them tightly she reached around her waist and placed them on her buttocks. Stepping closer to the muscular body before her, Sam looked up into her dark angel's face. There was still a spark of mischief in her eyes, but her lips held a more serious expression as she stood on her tiptoes to kiss the woman of her dreams. "We could start the day with water games."

"That might cut into our having breakfast together."

"I think I would rather be breakfast than . . . " Samantha crooned.

"Ooo . . . I do like the sound of that suggestion." Samantha grabbed the bar of soap from its holder and started lathering her body, while the dark-haired beauty began massaging the golden locks with shampoo. Cascading water rinsed the suds off both the women, and in a short period of time, they were out of the shower and standing in the bathroom, wrapped in soft towels.

"Here, Alex, let me dry you off." Samantha took the towel from her lover's hands, while her own still clung to her body.

"Some areas won't be worth drying; they'll just get wet again," the tall woman admitted with a crooked grin.

"Well, I'll get the Water off, anyway." Samantha returned the smile while rubbing the light blue towel over her partner's body. The soft material eagerly sopped up droplets of liquid from the muscular shoulders, back, legs, arms, oops . . .

"I think that's enough!" Alex took the towel from Samantha.

"Gee, I was just getting started," the small blonde grinned and whined at the same time.

"I don't think the towel was meant to go on an inward search of damp things to absorb, if it's not out in the open, it's supposed to be moist." Alex smiled as she took the towel and tossed it on the floor. "I do believe you're finished with that." Then she took the towel still wrapped around Samantha, twirling the smaller woman in the process.

"And . . . I do believe you are finished with this, also." Another towel dropped unceremoniously to the carpet.

The sun was slowly filling the rooms with light, as Alex stepped closer to her lover. "It simply doesn't matter what kind of light you're standing in, my angel. You are the most perfect thing I've ever laid eyes on."

Pink quickly covered Samantha's cheeks as she blushed. Alex planted a tender kiss on her lover's neck and then nibbled hungrily on the soft earlobe.

The blonde shivered and tilted her head, making it difficult for Alex to position her tongue around the outer rim of Samantha's ear. "You're giving me goose bumps, Alex."

"They look like love bumps to me." The reply was punctuated with a long finger trailing from the tip of Samantha's chin to the puckered pink areola of Samantha's breast. "Yes, I have to insist, my darling, love bumps."

"You're right. They are love bumps, Alex. You're driving me crazy with love bumps." Again Samantha shivered and leaned into the statuesque body standing in front of her.

"Are you complaining?" Alex questioned.

"No! Just stating a fact."

"Well, since you're not complaining," Alex picked Samantha up and carried her all of three feet to the bed. Gently putting her prized possession down, she crawled onto the bed next to her.

"I am so lucky you decided to get up early this morning."

"How do you come to the conclusion that you're the one who's lucky? It seems like I'm the one being made love to."

"Ah, but I get to do the making, so I'm the fortunate one."

Suddenly the smile drooped slightly and the twinkle dulled from the sapphire eyes. "Samantha enjoy your massage today but not too much, okay?"

"Alex!"

"I'm serious." She was unconsciously doodling with her fingers on the skin of Samantha's stomach. "Myofascial massages can be extremely stimulating."

"Alex that's totally ridiculous." A small hand reached over and caught the distracting fingers in a tight grip.

"Just . . . well . . . never mind . . . Hey, I'm sorry I brought it up. I just let my mind wander into forbidden territory." The twinkle returned to her eyes as Alex bent over to kiss Samantha, but she was stopped by hands pushing back on her shoulders, a slightly irritated face staring up into her baby blues.

"Listen, a massage means nothing to me. I've never had one and I don't really care if I ever do, except for one that you might give me. Why don't I just forego the activity? I can do something else for that hour or so, I'm sure of it."

"Now, who's being ridiculous?"

"Not me! This is so not worth an argument."

"I think you are being foolish." Alex disputed.

In a heartbeat, the romantic atmosphere had diminished. Alex mentally kicked herself for starting the damn conversation in the first place, but here it was staring them in the face. She was jealous. She knew that each and every one of Gary's people were professionals, yet she was jealous at the mere thought of someone, other than herself, touching the seductive body lying less than six inches away from her. How many times did you get onto Her for being jealous of Angel? Yeah, but Angel wasn't going to give me a full-body massage while I was naked!

The mood had been broken.

Sea-green eyes stared unbelievingly into her lover's face, and Samantha sat up. "Alex, how could you even . . . "

"I said I was sorry, Samantha."

"Yes, I know, but I think you still think . . . "

"What I think has nothing to do with how you would react, it's more how . . . "

"How you Think I would react is the most important facet of this entire conversation, Alex. The pivotal point of course would be my reaction to someone making a pass at me. I'm sure the masseuse is not going to do anything wrong. I'm positive you know that . . . so . . . the entire area of doubt Is my reaction. This ludicrous discussion is exclusively about me!"

The fair-skinned face flushed red, as green eyes took on their Irish and the tone of voice pitched high.

"Do you realize you just went from near orgasmic to furious in less time than it takes to dial 911?" Alex's soft contralto tried to reason with the now upset blonde.

Samantha started to say something more but stopped mid thought, her jaw dropping open. Closing her mouth and sighing she sat down, shaking her head. "No one has ever been able to push my buttons like you do." The anger in her voice had subsided and a sad quality took its place. "I don't like the way I feel when I get mad at you, Alex."

Sapphire eyes tried to elicit a smile out of the smaller woman, "Then don't."

"I'm not kidding."

"Neither am I." She reached out for the small blonde, who this time fell gratefully into strong arms.

A small voice quietly murmured, "I guess we kind of ruined the morning for making love, didn't we?"

"It did take the intensity off the moment; I'm sorry Samantha."

"It's okay, Alex. I guess it just goes to show that you're human, besides I should be flattered that you think a professional would actually risk their license just to make a pass at me!" A hint of the imp was back in the sea-green eyes that looked up at Alex. "If you aren't going to make love to me, are you at least going to feed me? After all, I'm up and showered before the sun has gotten more than an hour over the horizon."

"What do you say we go down to the dining room and have pancakes?"

"Oh, gee." Samantha placed an outstretched arm into Alex's hand. "Here . . . twist . . . please."

"I'm suppose to meet Gary in about a half an hour, do you mind it I ask him to join us for breakfast?"

"Of course not! But don't you think we ought to get dressed first?" She winked over at her heart-mate, who was already picking up the phone to dial their host.

"What a novel idea, Samantha. Ah . . . hello . . . Gary . . . listen I'm running a little late . . . don't get smart . . . uh huh . . . " She smiled and glanced over in Samantha's direction. "We thought maybe you might want to meet us in the dining room for breakfast . . . Great . . . about 20 minutes? We'll be there!"

"Okay you, everything's set for 20 minutes from now. Get that body of yours clothed before I change my mind and call him back." Alex was flashing the irresistible smile that Samantha could not resist, so she quickly turned away and began dressing before she became the one who instigated the call back to their host and cancelled the breakfast date.

By the time the duo arrived in the dining area, Gary was already sitting at the table. He looked up as the women came in close proximity. "I was told you were a late sleeper, Samantha. What got you up so early today?"

"The clean air and beautiful setting, I think. Besides I'm excited about getting an in-depth tour of this place." Samantha smiled over at Gary as she sat down. She picked up the menu and began studying the contents. "You have a nice selection of breakfast foods. I didn't realize a place like this would have it's own restaurant."

"We try to keep everyone happy. When we started out, we only had a continental breakfast and some sandwich and salad stuff for lunch or dinner. But we found that a lot of our guests didn't want to leave the complex, so we've become more of a self-contained resort, basically for those who want to stay within our boundaries during their visit. We're very progressive and even have some soy meats' for our vegetarian friends." He smiled broadly over in Alex's direction.

"Hey," the dark-haired beauty addressed her friend and business associate. "There are two of us now, which means you are the one who is outnumbered at this table."

"Oh?" His brow arched as he gazed in the direction of the blonde. "You're a veggie-head Sam?"

"Kind of, I still eat fish, so I'm not a total vegetarian." Samantha confessed.

"Close enough. I've got to admit I've slowed down on the red meat a lot the past few years. I just like to give this partner of yours," he touched Alex's arm, "a difficult time, and there aren't many things I can tease her about."

"I think I could manage to find you a few if I dug a little deeper, want some extra fuel?" Samantha offered.

Now it was Alex's turn to raise an eyebrow, as she looked from one to the other of her companions at the table. "What is this, pick on Alex day?"

"Sounds like a pleasant enough way to start a morning," Samantha smiled and nodded at Gary.

Alex re-opened her menu and started looking at it. "I think we should order breakfast and change the course of this conversation."

"Party pooper." Samantha teased, before voicing her food decision. "I want pancakes and the soy sausage with a large glass of orange juice."

Gary motioned to the waitress that they were ready and she cheerfully came over to take the orders.

When the meals arrived they were still talking about what Samantha was going to be doing to occupy her time, while Alex was working. Gary had set her up with an extended tour of the entire facility, including the stables and told her that if she wanted to go riding that Janet had volunteered to go along with her. At 11:00 she was set for an hour to hour and a half massage, including some myofascial release with a visit to the spa afterward. He figured Alex would be ready for a break around 1:00 and suggested that the three of them meet up for lunch.

Alex interjected that she wanted to be totally finished around 4 o'clock so she could take Samantha into town to a few of the shops. Luckily most of the ones she frequented stayed open late.

Janet arrived at the table just as they were finishing. She said good morning to Gary and Alex and then Gary introduced her to Samantha.

"So, Samantha, are you ready to get started? Gary made sure you don't have a single free minute, while he and Alex are busy doing mundane stuff like work?" Janet's dark brown eyes twinkled when she spoke of her boss, and Samantha could see the mischief surfacing via the woman's crooked smile. She was sure this was going to be an interesting morning.

Green eyes swiped a quick glance at Alex before starting to get up from the table. The raven-haired beauty grabbed Samantha's hand and gently squeezed. "Have a great morning Honey; we'll see you at lunch."

"Don't work too hard, you two," were Samantha's last words as she walked out of the room and onto the patio with her guide.

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

"Okay," Janet began as they exited the dining room. "We might as well start with the first building built and end up at the last. They walked out of the residential building and over to where the offices were all located. "This was the first site constructed about seven years ago. As you can see the waterfall is visible from every room on the rear side of the building. The final plans had been papered out even before groundbreaking, but they needed a starting place and cutting off the view of the waterfall from the entrance seemed to be a good place to start. The illusion of otherworldliness was what Gary and Alex had in mind from the very beginning. Together they worked out what each stage of the development would be. As a team they're unbeatable. Samantha, you should be very proud of Alex. With Gary's imagination and vision and Alex's expertise on how to put businesses together, there was no chance of failure. This particular site had been Alex's suggestion. Gary had been looking at a location somewhere around Colorado Springs, Colorado. It had to have been fate for the two of them to connect because this setting was ideal for what Gary wanted to accomplish."

Doors to offices opened to expose large, sunny rooms with expansive views of the court below. Not only would this be a marvelous place to visit, vacation, learn, and heal, but it also seemed as though it would be a fantastic place to work and live.

"How long have you been with Gary, Janet?"

"I've been here since the beginning. Gary contracted me to coordinate the mass hiring that would be done before the doors opened. He wanted to make sure the minute the construction was finished that everything would be ready to go, so we started offering employment as soon as the construction people broke ground. Gary was very particular as to the kind of people he wanted to hire. They had to be truly caring and spiritual not religious mind you but spiritual in the respect that they had to have a kinship with nature and with their higher selves. They also needed to be open to learning new and innovative therapeutic procedures."

"That's quite unusual, isn't it, hiring a staff before the buildings are completed?"

"Yeah, but the discipline Gary wanted to offer his clientele didn't have that many seasoned practitioners when we started, so we did extensive interviewing, matching the therapists with the vision and then Gary personally trained each and every one of the first employees."

"So this myofascial is really different from just massage?"

"Oh, definitely! It's a total awareness of the body and the mind; it's not just a massage, Samantha. I'll let you be the final judge after you've received yours. It's like a vehicle that allows your body to connect with your mind and from that link a true healing emerges."

"I can't wait. We studied about the fascia when I was taking my transcription courses, but we didn't go into the massage part."

Janet went back to playing tour guide. "So, originally this building housed not only the offices but Gary's apartment, the first classrooms, and the first massage rooms."

Walking back out onto the court they stopped in front of the pool for a minute to take in the tranquility of the surrounding area and then continued on.

"The second building added was what has now become known as the work building." Janet opened the door and as they walked in, she told Samantha a little more about myofascial techniques. She also pointed out the lecture and classrooms, as well as the individual massage areas. There were private porches leading out of many of the rooms, affording the clients a chance to have their treatments out in the sunlight or moonlight with the weather permitting.

Looking out from one such room, Janet explained that the opposing building, the residential hall, had been the last structure added. It had been built after the reality hit that a resort atmosphere was what the clientele were looking for.

"Gary decided that if that's what his clients expected and needed, then that was what they would get. It almost became a necessity, anyhow, because not only customers, but also therapists come here. The professionals come to both learn the techniques and to experience the effects of a myofascial massage first hand. Being able to stay on the premises only makes it that much easier all around." She smiled in Sam's direction. "That way there is no excuse for being late to class."

"So he houses entire families here?" Samantha didn't see any children running around the grounds and was curious.

"Actually, no. The employee facilities are basically studio apartments, like the one you're staying in . . . small suites with a kitchenette area. They are basically for the single people or couples without kids. This is not really the type of resort where children flourish, unless they're here for treatment. Gary even discourages guests bringing the little ones along, because the atmosphere needs to be one of quiet to help in the healing process." She grinned over at her charge. "And . . . it's a little expensive to bring the kids along just to play in the pool, if you know what I mean."

Samantha hadn't thought much about it before, but looking around at the facility, she would imagine that treatment here would not be conducive to a thin wallet.

The final region that hadn't been explored was where the horses were housed, up near the falls. Janet reiterated her offer to go riding with Samantha when Alex and Gary were working if the blonde wanted company. She explained that the center acreage butted up against a state forest and that the trails were beautiful this time of year.

Samantha thanked the woman for the offer and told her she would definitely keep it in mind.

By the time they were finished with the tour, it was close to 11:00 so they headed back toward what was known by the employees as The Operations building. Janet introduced Samantha to her masseuse, Belinda, and informed the blonde that she would meet up with her again at the spa after her massage was concluded.

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

An hour and 15 minutes later Samantha was sitting quietly in the Jacuzzi on the lower level of The Operations building when Janet walked into the sun drenched area. She spotted her charge reclining in the tub with her head against a pillow, and her eyes closed. Upon approaching, Janet coughed slightly so as not to startle the other woman when she spoke.

"So, Samantha, how was your massage?"

Emerald green eyes with a trace of tears looked up at her new friend. "I didn't know it was going to be such an emotional experience."

"I'm sorry." Janet knelt down next to the tub, putting a comforting hand on Samantha's shoulder.

"Oh, no," Samantha corrected the response she was receiving. "It wasn't a bad experience, rather insightful actually. It's just that I wasn't quite prepared as to how deeply cleansing a massage can be."

"Myofascial is actually a little more involved than you run of the mill massage, but I guess that's a indisputable subject at this point. I would have thought Alex would have filled you in a little better on what to expect. I take it you had a bit of an unwinding?"

"You could say that," Samantha sat up straighter and turned to face the pleasant woman who had been her escort throughout the morning. "But Belinda did fill me in a little before the massage began. I thought to myself yeah, sure . . . I'm going to move involuntarily and begin replaying memories and emotional stresses.' I figured she was talking about people who had real problems, not someone like me. But . . . she was definitely talking about me. I started moving and then all of a sudden I was sobbing."

"But how did you feel afterward?"

"Actually, I felt relieved. I remember reliving a confrontation with my Dad that had occurred years ago. I had totally blocked it from my memory, but I guess I was holding onto the emotional scars that the argument left me with. I had stormed out of the house that night without even saying goodbye to my mother and didn't contact them for over three days. It was the first time I ever talked back to my father. I remember feeling guilty, and like I was an evil child. Belinda told me I had the option to continue on, letting everything come back to me and then letting it all go, or that I could stop and my body would continue to hold on to the old pain. I decided to do the former." Again her eyes were filling with tears that trickled down her face and into the small pool.

"How do you feel now, Samantha?"

"Good, but there is still a small splinter in my heart where that wound is trying to heal. Belinda said sometimes it takes more than one treatment to relieve the body and mind of all the old garbage that accumulates throughout the years."

"She's very good at what she does Samantha and she does know her craft."

"Oh, you are definitely right, there, my friend. She has the fingers of an angel." Samantha got up from the warm liquid and Janet handed her the towel that was lying beside the Jacuzzi.

"It's almost one, if you want I'll wait and walk you back to the dining room. I don't think we're going to have time for any riding today, but we can take a look at the horses after lunch if you want?"

"I've never been much of a horseback rider, but I do think the animals are beautiful. If you don't mind, I would rather put off visiting the stables until tomorrow?"

"No problem, Samantha."

"Janet, I was wondering if there was a computer on the premises that I could use, while Alex was busy with Gary?"

"Sure . . . actually there's a laptop you could take up to your suite if you'd like."

"Oh, that would be fantastic! I'd like to take it out on the deck and maybe do a little writing while Alex is working."

"You're a writer, Samantha?"

"More of a wannabe right now. But my dream is to someday be a published author."

The other woman laughed, "And we could say you started your first novel right here at the Center for Healing on the Rocks."

"Stranger things have happened," Samantha laughed.

By now the women were in the changing room and Samantha started to get her clothes out of the locker. "Listen, Janet, I can find my way back to the dining room. Why don't you go ahead and do whatever else it is you need to do today; we can plan on meeting again in the morning?"

"That sounds like a good idea, Samantha. Tell you what, I'll have one of the guys take the computer up to your suite and put it on the table. It will be there when you get finished with lunch."

As the employee started for the exit, Samantha thanked her for the grand tour and for getting a computer for her to use.

Looking back over her shoulder, Janet warned Samantha that it looked like it might be time for the almost daily afternoon shower.

"Almost daily?" Samantha asked.

"Yeah, when the weather is like this it seems that once a day we have a small thunder storm. Sometimes it lasts only a minute or two and sometimes works itself up into a fury. Looks like it might be a combination of the two today." She smiled at her new friend and gave a short wave as she exited the locker room.

Samantha was feeling relaxed both physically and emotionally, as she finished dressing and started back toward the residential building. Walking through the courtyard, the blonde noticed that a small dark cloud covering had, indeed, begun to surround the tip of the red rock encircling the complex. Looking up she decided that running might be the best course of action if she wanted to avoid getting caught out when the rain began falling.

She made it halfway through the courtyard when the rain started to drizzle down from the heavens, causing her to run even faster, as it was now inevitable that she was going to get wet. So much for sitting in the sun and writing!

Thunder clapped and small ripples dimpled the pool's water as she hurried by, cursing Zeus for the bolts she knew would follow. By the Gods I hate that sound. A sharp crackling sound split the air and Samantha turned, looking up in time to see a hot white streak flash across the dark sky, in the direction of the red-rock mountain. There is beauty even in that destructive energy. The small blonde was caught between fascination and fear. Her father had scared the daylights out of her when she was very young, telling horrible tales of people being victimized by storms as electricity sizzled from the Heavens to the earth below.

The doors to the residential building were finally within reach, and as she placed a hand on each of the knobs, another clap of thunder resounded, causing her to cringe. It must be the rock structures that cause that vibrating echo.

Finally pulling the doors open she stepped inside. Through the eyes of the poet within she now viewed the weather from a safe alcove. The cooling liquid played on the sweltering sidewalk, losing it's essence and becoming steam, rising back into the air, trying to return to the clouds from whence it had just fallen. She stood at the door and watched as just as suddenly as the storm had brewed, it ceased, leaving a rainbow floating gently over the waterfalls directly in her line of vision. Within minutes all traces of the storm had completely vanished and no one would have ever known that it even rained. This very well might be a grand place to begin my writing again.

Samantha turned away from the now refreshed courtyard and started down the hallway to meet up with Alex and Gary.

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

A joyful sound greeted her ears as the petite woman entered the dining room. It was Alex's lilting laughter, and it was music to her ears. Glancing around the room it was easy to spot the two old friends; they sat and chatted over at a corner table, while waiting for Sam to arrive, seemingly oblivious to the mini-storm that had just visited the area.

"Well, it doesn't sound as though it is business the two of you are discussing." Samantha mentioned as she neared the table. "I don't believe I've ever heard anyone laugh like that over figures and budgets."

"Good afternoon to you, too, Samantha." Alex motioned for Samantha to sit next to her and then leaned over and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. "Tell me you had a fantastic morning."

"I had a fabulous morning thanks to Gary's choice of guides." She turned and faced her host. Thank you, Gary. Janet is very proud to be associated with this center, and it shows in the way she talks about how much the establishment has grown since first being opened. And Belinda," Samantha winked at Gary and then turned toward Alex. "I think we ought to bring her home with us as a personal masseuse." She was finding it extremely difficult to keep a straight face and still try to figure out the confusing expression she was receiving from her lover.

Finally Samantha broke down laughing. "I'm only kidding with you Alex. Can't you tell?"

"Yeah, sure," was the slurred response from the raven-haired beauty. "In a pig's eye, we'll bring Belinda home with us. Gary, what were you thinking?" She mentally chastised herself for not finding out ahead of time who her friend had chosen to give Samantha the massage.

"Alex, I thought you'd be pleased; she's the best myofascial operator in the Center."

"I already know that . . . but you . . . "

"Alex if you're going where I think you are with that line of questioning, I think it's time to stop," Samantha interrupted, then quickly tried changing the subject. "I don't know about anyone else sitting at this table, but I'm starving!"

"Here, here for the blonde," Gary chimed in, avoiding the icy cold stare from the executive sitting across the table from him. "I'm starved, also. Let's eat."

Feeling very much out numbered Alex pouted slightly, and when she found that it wasn't getting any attention, she opened her menu and stared at the writing without really seeing it. He shouldn't have given her to Belinda; he knows what a tease she is! AND he knows our background. I had no idea she was still working here, but I guess I should have figured she wouldn't leave such a cushy job. Alex had every intention of giving Gary an earful as soon as they went back to work, but until she got a chance to talk to him, there was no sense ruining a perfectly good luncheon.

While waiting for the arrival of their food, Samantha discussed in detail the thunderstorm that just finished brewing and spilling over onto the countryside beyond the doors of the building.

"That's a fairly common occurrence during this kind of weather." Gary informed the small blonde.

"Janet said the exact same thing." Samantha informed him. "She mentioned that every day when the weather is warm like this there is a small thunder storm. It was difficult to believe that it could get so dark and scary, and then in only a few minutes be completely sunny again."

"Legend has it that Fighting Eagle, an Indian chief, who lived in these parts, made a vow on his death bed to get even with the white man for taking over his territory. He vowed to darken the sky every day when the sun was shining brightly, simply to ruin the white man's perfect weather and then cry tears of salt upon the ground so that the white man's crops would not grow in the surrounding regions. The Indians believe that the salty tears caused the rocks to multiple and become the small structures dotting the entire area. The dying chief also pledged to cry tears of blood for all his people lost at the hands of the white man. The Indians swear that his tears of blood turned the now famous rock formations red. But, Fighting Eagle also promised his people that the storms would not last long and there that would be a rainbow at the end of each one, to let them know that he was still watching over them.

The telling of the tale reminded Samantha that she was going to attempt some creative writing while they were here. "Gary, Janet told me there was a laptop on the premises that I could use while I was here. I want to thank you for having such an accommodating assistant."

"No problem, Samantha. Do you need to get on the Internet or something?"

"Not really, I thought I'd do a little writing while the two of you are off conniving to make millions." She smiled over at Alex who seemed to be off in a world of her own. "Hey, good looking," she tapped Alex on the leg. "What's up?"

"Up?" Alex raised her eyebrow questioningly. "Nothing's up. Why?"

"You seem a little spacey, like you're not exactly running on all cylinders right now." Samantha smiled warmly and received a rather strained smile in return.

The blonde looked over at Gary and mouthed a question, asking the man if something happened during their business meeting to upset Alex. He simply shook his head no.'

"Okay, I get the message, stop whispering about me in front of my face," Alex gave her lover an honest smile, shaking loose the feeling that would have turned her skin a gorgeous lime color had it been able.

Food arrived and further conversation was interspersed with "ummm's and ahhh's" from the famished trio.

Finishing off the final mouthful, Alex asked Samantha what she planned on doing with the next couple of hours while she and Gary tied up some loose ends.

Not realizing how extremely volatile the subject was Samantha replied, "Well . . . Belinda offered to show me the hiking . . ."

"I don't think so!" The response was emphatic. Ice blue glances ventured first to Gary and then over to Samantha.

"Gods, Alex, what's the matter with you? Do you have something against Belinda?"

"No! And By the Gods' Samantha," the dark-haired woman sarcastically mimicked her lover's favorite saying. "Neither will you!"

Now it was the blonde's turn to raise her voice. Everyone in the dining room was trying to nonchalantly act as if nothing were happening, which was a small feat, seeing how the owner of the establishment was sitting there turning red, while the two women sitting with him were obviously arguing.

"I refuse to sit here and have you yell at me when I have no earthly idea what set you off!" The blonde violently pushed her chair away from the table and rose to leave.

Alex grabbed the smaller woman's wrist and jerked it a little rougher than she had anticipated.

"Alex!" It was the first verbalization the man had interspersed into the conversation but it got the attention of both the women. "Don't make a scene . . . please."

She dropped Samantha's arm and put both her hands up in the air, shaking her head, in a gesture of surrender.

Samantha didn't wait for Alex to speak, but raced from the room, hot tears burning a path in her normally smiling face.

The executive was now furious and her eyes were boring a hole through Gary as he sat glued to his chair.

"Now see what you've done?" Alex growled.

"What I've done? See what I've done?" He tried his damnedest to keep his voice down to an astonished mumble.

"What the fuck did you think you were doing, letting Belinda give Samantha her massage?"

"Alex she's the best therapist I have on site, I think you know that," Gary answered extremely on the defensive.

"Do you have Alzheimer's or are you just stupid!"

"Do I what . . . oh shit . . . " A light bulb visibly went off in Gary's eyes. "Yes . . . of course . . . I'm stupid! Damn it Alex it's been years!"

"Lifetimes would not be enough. You had to have HER give my lover a massage!"

"Let's take this outside, Alex." Gary started to get up, but felt a strong hand on his shoulder pushing him back down into his seat.

In a much calmer, controlled voice, Alex acknowledged, "I've got to go upstairs and explain to Samantha what this explosion was all about. I can't talk with you about this now. We accomplished quite a bit this morning, what with the ordering the wall and deciding how to expand the building to encompass it. Because you had already talked to the manufacturer, it should only take until Friday to get it here and pretty much get it assembled. I think it would be fair to say we've put in a good day and that we can make up the extra time tomorrow if need be?" Alex definitely had her temper under control. Her voice was now back to her usual deep, calm tone and the small hairs on the back of Gary's neck were finally beginning to stop sending that horrible prickling feeling to his skin.

He looked into her startling blue eyes that were now not showing a trace of the fury she had just finished displaying. Alexis Dorian was absolutely a woman to be reckoned with and not one on whose bad side anyone wanted to get. He could have kicked himself for thinking that she would have forgotten about Belinda, even though it had been almost seven years ago, when the Center was still in its infancy stage that the two women first met. It had been two years after that, when the mild-mannered man saw for the first time the raven-haired beauty's temper, and he vowed that he would never be on the receiving end of her rage. Today he almost was.

"You go ahead and take care of that little towhead of yours. She doesn't deserve to be in the middle of this, Alex. I'm sorry about Belinda, it was not done maliciously."

"I know, Gary. It's just that she is such a tease and troublemaker. If she knew Samantha was mine . . . well . . . " Smiling coyly, she looked over at her friend, arching her eyebrow she finished the statement he was reluctant to assume was insincere. "I would hate to have to kill her and bury her out on that damn hiking trail of yours."

With a wave of his hand he dismissed his friend and she graciously whispered, "I'm sorry" into his ear, before grinning and nodding sheepishly to the patrons as she exited the room.

The elevator ride was agonizingly long as she mulled over in her mind how she was going to explain her actions to Samantha. Finally deciding that honesty was the best way out, she took a deep breath and opened the door to their suite.

The curtains had all been closed, and the darkness gave an uneasy chill to what should have been a sunlit room. Alex looked around and noticed that the bedroom door was conspicuously closed. As she approached the room she could hear a faint sniffling coming from inside. Instead of opening the door, the now apologetic woman went around to the kitchen and got down two wineglasses. A bottle of Merlot was on the counter, so she quietly searched the drawers for the opener. Feeling like an absolute jerk she poured the wine and then walked over to the bedroom door.

Not bothering to knock or speak, she opened the door and walked in, placing the glasses on one of the bedside tables. The petite figure draped diagonally across the bed made no attempt to acknowledge the dark-haired woman's presence, but Alex noticed that the sniffling had been stifled.

"Honey, I'm so sorry." It was the only thing she could initially think of to say to break the silence that filled the room. There was no answer from the small blonde.

One long slender arm reached over and a strong hand was placed on Samantha's shoulder. Sam pulled back slightly from the touch.

"Samantha don't . . . please . . . Give me a chance to explain."

"A chance to explain?" Samantha turned over, and green machetes cut through the silent room on their way to her lover's face. "A chance to explain why you made a fool of me in front of Gary and all the people in the dining room? Alex what could you have been thinking? Do you know how embarrassed I was? How frightened I was of the person you were turning into down there? Who in Tartarus was that person grabbing my wrist?"

"Samantha give me a chance . . . "

"Go on . . . explain . . . but let me warn you . . . this had better be good, Alex, because I don't intend for our relationship to continue on a physically abusive level. I will not be handled like a piece of meat!"

She rolled back over trying to stay the tears that involuntarily were again flooding down her face.

"Please don't cry Samantha. Listen, my temper got the best of me and I'm really sorry. I had no right to treat you the way I did downstairs. You usually bring out the very best in me, but when I feel there might be a chance of losing you or someone taking advantage of you, the old Alex comes out and takes over. I'm still learning to control my anger. I told you that Nikki and I physically fought, and I don't ever want us to go that route. I just couldn't have you walking out on me."

Now it was Alex's turn to weep. Samantha could hear the tears in her lover's voice but knew if she turned to glimpse the reality of the liquid emotion running unashamedly down Alex's face, she would melt into the tall woman's arms and kiss the offending tears away. The small blonde instead kept her face down on the bed, listening to the anguish in the voice of the other half of her soul.

"It was almost seven years ago, not long after Gary first bought the land and had the initial building built. Belinda was one of his early groupies. She followed him around when he was doing the therapy circuit and teaching physical therapists about his myofascial techniques. She had been a certified massage therapist but wanted to go further with her business, so she started taking classes and listening to lectures. When he built this Center, she was the first employee he hired, after Janet. I was here quite often during the first few years, encouraging and helping him to get everything he needed to get this Center off the ground. I was footloose and fancy free as the saying goes, and Belinda and I hit it off pretty good. Gary introduced us . . . we talked . . . she showed me what he had taught her . . . it turned into . . . an affair."

Now she had the small blonde's total attention. Alex saw the change in Samantha's body language as soon as she said the word affair.' At least she knew Samantha was listening.

"I know this probably is not the most pleasant of conversations, Samantha, but the only way to explain to you what just happened downstairs, is to explain what happened then. Belinda and I were like Snow White and Rose Red we were opposites in almost every way. You wouldn't have liked me much back then, Honey. The displays of emotion like the one that took place in dining room were a common occurrence. I had no check whatsoever on my temper and my desires kept me fueled. I had many names, none of them complimentary: Blue Ice, Lilith (in the sense of insubordinate to man), Dalia, and of course the old standby Bitch.'

Samantha turned over and sat up, looking with incredulous eyes at the woman who had captured her heart. "You hate the woman because you once loved her?"

Alex's face held the contrition Samantha suspected it would and as she had already anticipated, her own anger melted when she saw the path that the dried tears had left on her lover's face.

"No Samantha I don't hate her for that." She reached for the smaller woman's hand and this time, Samantha didn't pull away.

"We never tried to fool ourselves into thinking what we had was going to last. Belinda wanted a life here in Sedona, and I was constantly on the road with Have It All. At first I tried to talk her into moving to California or traveling with me, but she kept telling me that the pace was too fast; she wanted a simpler lifestyle. I couldn't conceive of not being close to the bars and the city, and she couldn't imagine leaving the country. We actually parted friends, or so I thought."

Alex stopped and took a sip of her wine, offering the other glass to Samantha who smiled shyly, commenting that it was a little early to be imbibing, but she took it anyway, drank a little and handed it back to Alex to put on the table.

"So, I assume something happened to change the relationship from friends to enemies?" Samantha snuggled up closer to the uncomfortable looking woman sitting on the edge of the bed. This couldn't be an easy story to tell and her putting distance between them could only make the telling even more awkward. "Go on, Alex," she prompted as she put her head on her lover's chest and her arms around Alex's waist, "I'm listening."

The strong fingers that had minutes ago held Samantha's small wrist in a death grip, now gently laced their way through the silken gold of the smaller woman's hair, making the task of confession slightly more palatable.

"Almost two and a half years after Belinda and I broke up, I brought Nikki with me on a business trip to see Gary. He was adding machines to the center and wanted me to come look at where he was placing them and bring his people up to par on the new equipment. I thought it would be an ideal time to take a mini-vacation . . . "

"Ahhhh, a mini-vacation. Should I be jealous that you've brought someone here before me?" Samantha stared up into soft blue eyes that had a faraway gleam in them.

Brought out of her reverie, Alex gently chided, "Samantha please, this is difficult enough."

"Sorry."

"Anyhow, I brought Nikki here and we, as usual, were not in the best of spirits with each other. It was obvious the honeymoon was over, even on a vacation. I thought getting her an unwinding would settle some of her emotional and physical problems, and then thought we might still be able to work on our relationship."

Digressing from the tale she brought herself back to the present. "By the way, Samantha, Gary was right when he said Belinda is the best therapist he has here; she's competent, experienced, and has very healing hands. I hear she now goes with him on his teaching conferences and helps train as well as doing the actual hands-on."

She had purposefully gotten off the painful train of thought, but she needed to bring this little confessional to a close. Gently kissing the soft locks in front of her she wrapped her arms around Samantha and drew the smaller woman in close. "You know I love you, don't you Samantha?" The question was almost a plea.

The blonde looked up and put her hands on either side of her dark angel's face. "More than life, my soul, more than life." Sam tenderly kissed the full lips that could melt her heart with a simple smile. "Finish, Alex, I'm sure you're almost done."

"Yes," the dark head shook in the affirmative, and her blue eyes glistened from the return of emotions that again prompted tears. She hated it when the past infiltrated into the present. There were so many stages in her life Samantha need not experience first hand, she had hoped this to be one of them, but it hadn't played out in her favor. Sighing deeply she continued.

"Okay, without going into all the grim details . . . I set up an appointment for Nikki with Belinda. I had absolutely no trepidations about doing so and that, my love, was my waterloo. It seemed as though the grey-eyed masseuse held quite a reservoir of anger over the demise of our relationship. On the surface she was as sweet as ever, her smile belying what she actually felt."

Alex hated re-enacting the scenario from so many years gone by, and elaboration seemed to stay her from actually getting to the meat of the deception. Again a sigh and again Samantha held her lover close, knowing that this was a torturous memory to give voice to.

"As usual I was spending the day with Gary and we were supposed to meet up with Nikki for lunch seems like today was a touch of dj vu Nikki was absolutely glowing when she came to the table. I thought it was just from a relaxing massage, but she wasn't meeting my eyes when I spoke to her. After lunch we went for a walk and I asked how the treatment went. She avoided the subject, pointing out that the falls were beautiful and changing the subject to something else superficial that has now slipped by my memory. I remember grabbing her and spinning her around to face me. One of her downfalls was that she couldn't lie to me. I asked what happened when she was with Belinda and her brown eyes first teared and then turned angry. She told me that it was my fault for leaving her in the clutches of such a temptress."

Alex repositioned, so as to look into Samantha's face. She hoped that looking into the innocent face of her lover might somehow soften the climax to the story she was unfolding.

"Samantha, I received far more information that day than my emotions needed. Nikki went into unrestrained detail, beginning with the tenderness of Belinda's touch and ending with the seduction at the end of the treatment session. I didn't see red I saw a swirling fury of purple! I lost all conscious control over my actions and went flying out of the room in search of the bitch who dared to touch what was mine; it didn't matter that I was beginning to wonder if I really loved Nikki. I didn't bother to ask how Nikki felt or why she responded to the attention. I really didn't care. I wanted revenge on the person who had violated me!"

As the memories spewed from her lover's lips, Samantha watched in awe the gentle face of her beloved change to that of a raving lunatic. The blonde had seen Alex angry, jealous, and protective before, but through the confrontations she had witnessed, Alex's face had never taken on the dimensions it was taking on now, while she relived this tale of jealousy gone maniacal.

The new tears, streaming down the angular features of the raven-haired beauty's face, were those of remembered hate and loss of control, of shame mixed with torturous guilt. The despair that was slowly surfacing was breaking Samantha's heart. She quickly closed the gap between them and put a hand up to her dark angel's mouth. "Hush, my love, you don't need to finish. I really do understand."

Alex took the hand and gently kissed each loving finger as she shook her head no.'

"I'm sure you do, my Destiny, but this is one story I need to finish now, so I never have to complete it again."

"Really Alex, I . . . "

"Samantha . . . please . . . "

The blonde sat back reluctantly and allowed the dark-haired woman to continue.

Having regained her composure, the story flowed to finish without the return of tears. "I reached Belinda's quarters with Nikki close behind me. The only reason she had fallen behind was because she had stopped to get Gary, knowing that the masseuse was in grave danger. I reached the door and without knocking turned the knob. Honestly, Samantha, I think a locked door was all that saved her that evening. I banged on the door and by the time she opened it, Nikki was at my back. I got in one good kick to the stomach and fist to the face, before Nikki and Gary jumped me from behind. With Nikki joining in the fight against me, I lost all desire to continue. I ran out the door and back to our suite. Only later did I learn that Gary was the one who talked Belinda out of filing assault charges against me. I guess that was the beginning of the end of my relationship with Nikki."

It was the first time Samantha ever looked into Alex's normally brilliant baby blues and instead saw a slightly ash blue color. She smiled sweetly at Alex and took her hand. "Okay, now I know the entire story, and I can see why you got upset this afternoon . . . "

"If she touched you Samantha . . . I'm not sure you should tell me . . . I'm afraid I'd kill her this time."

Samantha searched her lover's eyes and face and found no trace of a smile. "Alex people change, they grow you have sort of." She smiled broadly trying to entice the raven-haired beauty to do the same. When that didn't work she tried a small explanation of the conversation she had with the therapist.

"Actually, Alex, she does know that I'm with you; Janet told her. Her knowing that we are lovers made conversation between us a little easier. She informed me that a few years back she returned to school to become a physical therapist. While studying for her degree, she met the woman who is now her lover. They have a small house on the outskirts of town. Belinda showed no animosity toward you, Alex."

Alex remained sitting with her head down and silent, lost somewhere in time and memory. Samantha reached over and picked up the wineglasses. She handed one to the solemn woman sitting next to her and then took a sip or two from her own. Alex had taken the glass without saying a word and now began drinking the warm red liquid.

The silence was deafening.

Not knowing how to break the unnatural muteness of her partner, the blonde fidgeted on the bed as she drank her wine and looked over at the clock on the nightstand. It was already 4:00. Damn, time flies when you're having fun! She thought sarcastically.

"So, where do we go from here?" Alex whispered.

The question was uttered so quietly that Samantha was not truly sure her ears had heard anything. "Did you say something, Alex?"

"Yes." Alex answered, finally looking into her lover's eyes with her own light blue eyes looking paler than the smaller woman sitting next to her had ever seen them. "I asked where we went from here, Samantha? I don't know what else to do but apologize and promise that I will continue working on keeping my temper in tow. It's simply that the thought of anyone touching you, other than me, gets my blood to boiling."

"Alex, I am not going to get myself into a position where someone is going to manhandle or womanhandle me. What we have here is an obvious lack of your trusting that I can handle myself. It also seems to me that you don't believe that I have no desire to let anyone but You touch me romantically, or rotically as Mom so aptly puts it." Again she tried reaching her heart-mate though levity.

The smile, that could make Samantha's pulse quicken, finally appeared on Alex's face. The small blonde reached out a hand and drew the woman she loved close. With Alex's head on her chest she gently stroked the dark hair, running her fingers through it slowly as she tenderly kissed the ebony crown. For the first time since their relationship had started Samantha felt as though she were the stronger of the two. She hated seeing her hero so vulnerable, yet on the other hand it allowed her insight into the psyche of the many faceted person she had fallen so deeply in love with.

"I love you with my entire being; you know that don't you?" Samantha whispered into her lover's ear.

"You had better, Samantha Renee Riley. No one else in this world would have me, and I am so in need of you." Glistening eyes gazed up into emerald pools of affection.

It was an odd sensation, the small woman leaning down to kiss the tender lips of her beloved where she was usually the one reaching toward the sky. They melded together, and had wishes been easily granted, the two would have merged forever.

Alex's arms tightened around Samantha's body and the smaller woman began running her hands down her lover's back.

"You know, Alex we started something this morning that never did get finished? Do you really have to go back to work today?"

"As a matter of fact, No. I told Gary when I left him at the table that I'd see him in the morning." Sitting back she looked into Samantha's questioning face. "Yes, I apologized to him before I came up here. Seems like I've been doing a lot of that lately."

"PMS?"

"No!"

"Could be, it's just about . . . "

The remainder of the sentence was cut off by a passionate kiss, as the taller woman repositioned herself and then maneuvered her lover on top of her. With fluid dexterity she removed Samantha's top and bra, then with her hands under the slight woman's arms she pulled her forward until a firm breast dangled enticingly at mouth level. Alex allowed her tongue to play damply around the puckering nipple that hung suspended above her lips, before opening her mouth and engulfing the morsel before her.

Groans of desire resounded from both women as Alex slid her hands down to Samantha's waist, then continued further down the slim body removing shorts and panties. Samantha helped with her legs to get the clothing all the way off and then focused her attention on ridding Alex of hers.

Minutes later the two were lying naked side-by-side, simultaneously touching and caressing each other.

"I'm going to turn over a new leaf, Samantha," Alex began.

"No more talk, Alex," Samantha pleaded.

"You're positively right," Alex agreed and all conversation was immediately halted.

One long leg moved toward and in between two shorter legs, as Alex's thigh rubbed against an already swollen bud hidden by a mound of soft golden curls. She positioned Samantha beneath her and placed a hand between the golden and the ebony curls, teasingly fondling the heat of Samantha's passion, before sliding her entire body down the smaller one and placing her eager tongue where her leg and fingers had been just seconds before.

"Mine." It was the only word that was distinguishable as she licked the love juice from the area and then sucked gently at the swollen protuberance. "Tell me, my Destiny, tell me it's mine and mine alone."

"It's yours Alex," Samantha breathed fitfully between gasps and moans.

Flicking back and forth the raven-haired beauty's tongue played among the soft wet folds and back to the bud, faster and harder, until Samantha, her hands on Alex's head, began to push the taller woman away, screaming in ecstasy that she needed relief before she exploded.

"But I want you to explode, Samantha." Sapphire gems flashed mischievously, as she looked up from her place of power, refusing to relinquish her hold until she knew her lover had gone beyond the point of orgasm.

Then the brunette opened her mouth wide and covered Samantha's moist nether lips. Her tongue continued its search until begging and receiving entrance to the cave of desire, she found herself deep within her lover's body. With a ravenous appetite she proceeded to plunge in as far as possible, then stop and explore the surrounding territory, while listening to half-uttered words from somewhere above her head. Her mouth filled with Samantha, she mumbled again, "Tell me Samantha. Tell me who all this belongs to."

"Ah . . . Alex . . . oh . . . Alex . . . "

"Who?" The brunette licked as she pulled her tongue out. "Who?" She queried again as the long, soft organ found its way back into the cave.

"You . . . you . . . p-l-e-a-s-e . . . "

Turning her own body without missing a beat, she straddled Samantha's face. Her own passion inches away from her lover's mouth.

Two small hands began by circling Alex's swollen nub, but the brunette refused to allow the hands to bring the mound down to mouth level.

"Alex stop teasing," Samantha finally implored. "Stop fighting me."

Smiling the taller woman slowly lowered herself down onto her lover's face, shivering at the first soft touch, as Samantha's tongue zealously began lapping at the elixir of love, dripping from between Alex's nether lips.

"You taste so sweet," the blonde mumbled with her mouth full of her heart's desire.

Concentration became a challenge, as each of the women was lost between satisfying and being satisfied. Finally in unison they came, Alex with her tongue inside Samantha and Samantha with her tongue inside Alex.

Alex could feel the supple walls trembling as the spasms began. For a minute, she held her position, enjoying both her own sensations and those of her lover. Then she smiled and removed her tongue, replacing it with one . . . two . . . three fingers. Pulling away from a determined Samantha, she turned, now straddling the smaller woman's thigh again. She immersed her fingers deep inside, where Samantha was still occasionally shuddering. When deep inside, she splayed her fingers, filling the cavity completely. Passionate kisses covered Samantha's mouth, with each of the women tasting her own sweetness on the lips of the other. Long, skillful fingers continued moving powerfully in a give-and-take motion, causing the blonde to quickly succumb to another orgasm, while Alex rode to climax almost at the same moment.

Happily soaked with perspiration and the sweet smell of love, Alex fell limply beside Samantha. With her hand still inside her lover, she knew that she could stay there for hours and never tire of the feelings that lingered after making love to the other half of her soul. She smiled, joyously savoring the quivering after shocks still coursing through her lover's body.

When Alex finally removed her hand and the silence was broken, it was Samantha who first spoke. "Alex do you know how special you make me feel?"

"As special as you are?"

"I'm serious, Alex."

"So am I. You, Samantha, are the most important thing in my life. I know I can be a tyrant, and I'm sorry. I'm trying . . . " She looked at the blonde, "No smart ass remark," she smiled. "As I said, I'm trying to imagine that you can love me as much as I love you. It's a difficult concept to believe, but I am getting closer to believing it."

"Well you had best know pretty damn soon." Samantha gave her lover a peck on the cheek.

"So, do you think we made up for what didn't happen this morning?"

"Oh, I would positively say that we probably did a little better than we would have this morning." Samantha placed an elbow on the bed and propped her head on one hand. "I hate to be the one to change the subject, my love, but I think I'm hungry again."

Alex rolled onto her back laughing. "But of course you are, my Destiny." She looked over at the radio and saw that it was almost 6 o'clock.

"Listen, if we take a quick . . . and I do mean quick shower . . . we could probably make it to at least one of the stores I want to show you and then go have dinner. You up for shopping?"

"Always," the small blonde responded. "You know Alex, I think we did our own little imitation of Sedona weather this afternoon. You produced a small storm in the dining room, but hey, the air cleared and now it's time for the sun to come back out and rule the sky. Just let's not have you following suit and doing that on a daily basis, agreed?"

"Absolutely!" Samantha's Princess Charming rolled off the bed and grabbed her life-mate, pulling her up and onto the floor. "Only you would think of my outrageous actions as a midday storm, my love, and compare my bad temper to an act of nature." She kissed Samantha tenderly then whispered in her ear. "Come on, let's get ready and go see a little of this mystical town."

 

End of Chapter 8


Chapter 9

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