Mature Theme Warning/Disclaimer: The following piece contains graphic depictions of women doing things you probably wouldn't tell your mother about (and enjoying it!), so if you're under 18, or a member of the extreme right ...why are you reading this website again?

Thanks to my angel, who inspired the most important part of this piece; there is no paradise that I can fathom that doesn‘t have her close by...and of course to the people who wrote b/c they wanted to see more of these characters - never let it be said that I don't take suggestions!

Feedback: Hey there - let me know what you think...You cared enough to read it, I cared enough to write it *sniff! sniff!*, so if you liked it, if you hated it... or if you'd like to beg me to never write anything again because it was just that bad, please drop me a line @ casi_eve@yahoo.com Thanks!

 

 

A Moment in Eden

by Casi Eve

 

New York in early autumn is an amazing sight to behold, and Shelby Macgregor was there to take in the city in all it's majesty. The writer was in the city to drop off her assignments at the Times and pick up the MG she had purchased the summer before from the pier. She had the classic convertible shipped overseas from Italy and once the articles were turned in, she would drop the top and head back to the west coast with the wind in her hair and her troubles momentarily muted by the music of the road. It had been a difficult transition from travel writer to domestic goddess after her assignment last year...having met Taryn Osbourne, Shelby knew she couldn't just be another wife. Andrew was her best friend in college and each had been told they would make the perfect couple from the moment they began to date. When he presented the 2 carat engagement ring to the journalism student the night before her college graduation at a dinner hosted by her parents, Shelby knew she would never be able to say no - and so began her dual life as a wife and a nomad.

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

Having been asked to write for the New York Times travel section her senior year at Columbia was a thrill Shelby could have never imagined. She won a contest sponsored by the periodical and her article about the oft-underexplored areas of the city was run not only in the Sunday New York Times but purchased by the Associated Press and run in papers throughout the nation, giving the student her first taste of a life previously run on a dime and populated with tap water and soda crackers in an attempt to eke by financially. It was supposed to be a one-time shot, but the young student had so impressed the current Travel Editor she was offered a permanent job upon graduation. She bit at the first asking, thrilled to be part of such a notable organization, and was immediately thrust into a life she had never before contemplated. During her final semester at Columbia, her bright blue eyes were opened up to a whole new world - one she was shocked to discover she was madly in love with. Every night the attractive student would be shuttled off by one of her new friends to a new party, a new club, a new life entirely different than the one she had been planning with Andrew. During this final semester in college the tall, athletic young woman finally fell prey to her own indiscretion and found her true self.

The concert was packed and her tickets were VIP. Standing next to the journalist was the Times associate entertainment editor, Kathryn, a young woman who was merely 3 years her senior and infinitely more attuned to the world around her. As Depeche Mode played their beat-heavy music and the denizens of the Roseland Ballroom pulsed along with the music, Kat drew closer to her young companion, seductively pressing herself against Shelby and staring deep into her crystal blue eyes unflinchingly. The student had originally assumed it was merely confusion but as the pulse grew stronger, her editor's moves became more and more pronounced. The oddest sensation washed over Shelby and she was shocked and horrified by the fact that she didn't want the editor to stop her ministrations, in fact she was awash with a million thoughts - none of which involved ending their evening there.

No, this can't be right, the dark-haired writer thought as the shorter blonde continued her gyrations, This is a WOMAN...this is a ...And with that she felt the older woman's hands gently resting on her hip bones as she stood behind her, coaxing her into the same rhythm that washed across the room and pulsed within the two of them.

Closing the concert with "Personal Jesus", Depeche Mode thrust their bass into the crowd, increasing the staccato attack of Kat's dance against Shelby and driving the taller woman to the edge of insanity. As the song ended and the lights came up, Kat saw before her a blushing young journalist unsure of where to go next. No need for worry, the 25 year old maven had already decided she wasn't allowing the attractive woman whose blue eyes had caused her to skip a breath and whose body caused her limbs to go numb to go home by herself that night. She grabbed the student's hand and dragged her along behind her, stupefied, grabbing a cab and instructed the driver to take them from midtown to Houston where they exited at Meow Mix, the tangible pulsing of the club apparent from the very sidewalk before it. The young student had heard of the club before but never been there... after all it was *gasp!* a lesbian bar, but for some reason she followed Kat inside, where they were greeted with the smiles of regulars who knew the editor's face and the management, who directed the two women to a booth in the back of the club where they could be closer. As soon as they sat down, a waitress was there to take their drink orders, winking seductively at Kat as she brought back the couple's martinis.

"So, you know a lot of people in here?", Shelby asked of the editor. "Not many, but you know... a girl does get around.", Kat said as she traced a stockinged foot up her partner's finely toned leg seductively, resting her hand atop her companion's. "And you? Have you ever been here before? They've got great bands on weekdays, and can't beat the DJ on weekends if you like smaller clubs" Shelby stammered her response, unused to being so intimidated by another woman. "Well, uh, no, I mean... I know it's here, but it's a...um..." As the younger writer struggled for words, Kat got bolder with her ministrations and ran her foot entirely up the length of the athletic young woman's leg, teasing her mercilessly. "Women's club?"

"Exactly...", she responded tentatively. "It's just not the kind of place Andrew would think of going, you know..." With that statement, blue eyes drank in the scenery around her. No, Andrew most definitely wouldn't be caught dead here. In fact, I think he'd drop dead if he knew I was here! Downing her drink and uncomfortable attempting a conversation while the editor continued her seduction, Shelby popped up erratically and grabbed her partner's hand, pulling her out of the booth. "Come on, Kat, let's dance."

The well-built young writer had come to Columbia University from the streets of Chicago and spent the last 4 years living off an athletic scholarship in college; if there was one time she felt comfortable, aside from the page, it was when she was moving without thought. Having left behind her life as an athlete at the end of the swim season 2 months before and mired in her writing assignments as well as finals, Shelby hadn't given herself a chance to let loose the tension that pulsed through her bloodstream when not given the chance to be worked out. Fitting perfectly with Kat on the dance floor, she caught the room noticing the platinum blonde and her tall dark-haired companion moving seductively in stride with the DJ's choices, sliding against each other as the electronica dictated and flowing across the floor when horns came up. Their skirts spun, their bodies moved and with each motion the two women were becoming more and more in synch.

At the end of the last dance, the two women were greeted with the harsh fluorescents of the club and the admiring stares of the club-goers. Grabbing the younger woman's hand, the older woman lead Shelby outside desperately looking for a cab that was hard to come by after last call in Greenwich Village when the entire city was heading out the doors of their clubs and back to their lives. Living over 100 blocks from the club and unable to find a cab, the student headed for the train to take her back uptown to the on-campus apartment she shared with a few other members of the swim team. Turning towards Broadway, where she'd catch her train, Shelby faced the blonde editor, smiling down into her hazel eyes. She had noticed how seductive the editor had been, but this was the first time she had ever taken notice of her friend's exotic features. With deep brown eyes and an olive complexion set off by the distinctive short platinum hair (According to Kat, "When you can't get it from Mother Nature, Elizabeth Arden is just as good and far more flexible!") that framed her features perfectly, Kat was simply stunning.

The student reached out to give her editor a hug goodnight, and as she pulled her closer, the shorter woman leaned up and took Shelby's lips in her own, locking her in a passionate kiss neither wanted to pull away from. "You don't need to take the train back uptown.", the editor stated matter-of-factly. "But I..." And with that, Kat silenced the younger woman's unspoken protests with another kiss - this time more insistent, possessing none of the reserve of their first effort. "Come home with me."

       

Shelby followed her back to a studio apartment on Saint Mark's place, where the couple barely made it to the couch before allowing the pressure that had been building all night to consume them. The editor showed the young student what it felt like to be truly alive - touching, tasting, feeling parts of her that had never been aflame before that night. In turn, as natural as breath, the young woman took the impassioned editor in her lips, in her teeth, in her hands, and rode a wave of passion with her throughout the night, finally passing out as the city before them came to life and the vendors on the street corner started to bark out the values of their wares.

The next morning, she awoke with a sleepy smile on her lips, unaware of her location. As Shelby looked over, she caught a glimpse of the older woman lying next to her, swathed only in the burgundy sheets of their shared bed. The student had fantasies, dreams, imaginings of what would happen should she ever give in to the tugging urges that lay within her to be with a woman. Staring down at the beautiful form below her, she realized that it was no longer merely a fantasy. The walls began to close in on her as she closed her blue eyes tightly, trying to wipe clean from her vision the truth that lay before her. Every touch, every taste came back to the young writer tenfold, and she was assaulted with the reality brought about by the manifestations of the desires that had previously lay dormant within her.

Her mind swam with an infinite number of thoughts. The world she knew no longer existed - she wasn't the same student she was before picking up with the Times, and she definitely wasn't the same woman. She had seen a new world and was desperately trying to latch onto it unfettered, but the 22 years that came before kept her anchored with a sense of responsibility. Shelby had never felt more free than she had when she was with Kat, but in spite of that, there was Andrew, there was her parents, there was the glory-less life of the quiet journalist she was expected to lead. With reality crashing in on her, she made her decision hastily and bolted from the bed, suddenly quite aware of her nakedness. Desperately scrambling around the apartment, she reassembled her ensemble from the night before, looking quite different in the day-old little black dress. Before the blonde editor could wake up, Kat's houseguest had hit the street, grabbed a cab and was on her way back to Columbia University and the life she knew... the life she was supposed to lead.

Kat tried to call Shelby several times after that night to arrange another outing but the student declined every invitation, begging off due to finals or meetings or a hundred and one reasons that had nothing to do with her avoidance. Falling back into her past routine of predictability, Shelby finished out the school year on the dean's list and handed in more than one piece that was lauded by the Times. The student contemplated trying to find herself within the walls of the city once school was over and the pressures of academia were behind her, but Andrew's proposal had ended all that. Once she accepted before her father's beaming face and her mother's eyes wet with tears of joy because her "baby was truly becoming a woman now", Shelby couldn't rescind any promises and relegated herself to a life at Andrew's side.

Shortly after graduation Andrew was given a job acting as chief financial advisor for a bank on Canada's West coast, a chance not to be missed. Because of her history with the Times and the fact that the job required so much travel, Shelby was allowed to maintain her post - basing all of her work out of a home office Andrew had constructed for her. The travel portion of her career allowed her a modicum of freedom most wives don't have, lulling Shelby into a sense of security in her marriage. 10 years had gone by and there the journalist stood, moderately happy while still at her husband's side. She had pushed Kat and all the fantasies she inspired out of her mind completely. That is, until she returned to Chicago and ran into a young comic by the name of Taryn Osbourne.

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

 

Having just dropped off her portfolio at the Times building and called in her pickup time for the MG, Shelby had the rest of the afternoon to herself. She decided to wander around midtown, hopefully to catch a show that wasn't sold out and perhaps treat herself to a piece of Lindy's cheesecake in the interim. As she walked up Broadway past the Palace theater on 48th, she noticed the massive overhaul of Caroline's Comedy Club on 51st. What once was a small basement club hosting the latest young talent had turned into a huge showcase for celebrities on their way into town, replete with family-style tourist restaurant on the first floor. It still spotlighted up-and-comers, though, and the journalist hadn't seen good comedy since her trip to Chicago the year before. Perhaps it will get my mind off things, she thought, and headed over to see who was headlining. Perhaps not. She had tried to forget her trip to Chicago and the whirlwind of emotions that were brought about because of it, but try as she might it was of no use. Wherever she went, her blissful week with Taryn followed like a cloud over an otherwise perfect picnic.

 

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

 

The two women agreed not to exchange information because Shelby knew she would have to try to fall back into routine and Taryn was unwilling to be just a woman on the side for anyone, regardless of the powerful feelings they caused in her. Neither acknowledged the fact that, regardless of what the other did, that week in the windy city had changed both their lives. The writer returned to Ontario, trying to fall back into her life as it was before - pointedly unable to do so. When she returned to the province, life with Andrew was almost unbearable and the two of them fought about virtually everything but that which was causing her pain in the first place. Thankfully, she had received the call from the automotive shipping company letting her know her car was set to arrive just as the largest blowup in their marital history was coming to a head.

With the breakdown of their marriage, Andrew had begun working longer hours, causing Shelby to be alone in their large provincial house almost consistently. Every night Andrew's hours grew later, his wife's thoughts became more and more consumed with memories of her final semester in college, that single night with Kat, and that spectacular week with the woman whose image just wouldn't leave her brain - Taryn Osbourne. Unable to admit that her newly awakened sexuality was behind her instability, the writer instead tore apart her marriage from the inside, throwing daggers aimed straight for her husband's heart. Nightly she would produce a litany of regret and neglect for her husband, leaving Andrew with little more to do than stay away for longer periods of time than he would have liked. His marriage bed had become the mausoleum where his hope had been buried. Every time he attempted to talk to Shelby, to hold her close and soothe the pain she seemed so often to be in, the writer pulled away angrily and spewed more bile at him regarding their marriage.

On the final night before her trip to New York, Andrew had tried once more to make love to his wife, which hadn't happened once in the 12 months since she'd returned from that trip to Chicago. When his hand graced her shoulder near the strap of her burgundy satin nightgown, she jerked forward reflexively and shot down any chance her husband may have thought he possessed that night. When he prodded her for an answer, he felt the icy stare of those cold blue eyes shoot through to his soul and in that moment all hope within him died. The accountant knew his wife possessed some secret she was loath to share and hadn't the strength to pry it from her that night. As he stood to head for the guest room once more, he looked back on the woman who once slept in his arms peacefully and looked to him for support. Was this even the same woman?, he wondered as he lumbered off into the darkened hallway.

As he walked away, he heard his wife muttering behind him. Normally he knew enough to leave Shelby alone, but this was the last straw for the accountant, and it would either be repaired or destroyed that night...he hadn't the strength to continue his losing battle.

"What did you say?", the accountant asked accusatorily.

"Nothing, just...go. Run, hide, do what it is you're so very good at, won't you?" Andrew's wife was seething with a tone of hatred that crushed him to hear. He wanted to run but knew his past retreats had only managed to prolong his agony.

"No, Shelby, what did you say. Talk to me, dammit!"

"I don't know what you expect me to say, Andrew. I'm here, aren't I? I've always been here! Nothing has ever changed the fact that I'm here...stuck with you." The anger abated a bit, and Andrew noticed in the slacking of his wife's shoulders, the fact that she apparently just needed to exhale.

"Stuck with me?! Stuck with me?! I know I've been away, but only because you've pushed me there! Goddamn it, Shelby! If you didn't want to be here then why did you..."

"Because I had to! Because I had to , damn it! What would I do, eh? What would I say? When you flashed your rock in front of mom and dad?! Couldn't do it privately, could you? Had to let everyone know that you had the swimmer on your arm, the prize journalist was your girl, right? How could I say no? How could I tell you that I wasn't even sure who I was, let alone what I wanted to do with myself?!"

"Love, I'm sorry, I..." Her husband was stupefied. He tried to stammer out a response, but the writer's tirade was unending. She continued to tell Andrew, in lurid detail, about the fateful evening with her editor over a decade ago. As she listed, moment by moment, the feelings Kat had brought forth in her, Shelby watched as her husband's head hung lower. She hadn't meant to share it with him but when pushed she could find no other means of explanation for her anger. Better leave out the details on Chicago , she thought, he's had enough for one night. As she finished her spiel, the writer's eyes locked on her husband, watching his eyes change from a warm sea of blue to icy shards of crystal. Looking upon her with disgust, he stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him with two words fresh on his lips. "It's over".

She left the next morning and had not spoken to him since, having lifted off at the Vancouver International Airport with a feeling of both freedom and abandon. When Shelby stepped off the plane in New York, she knew she had finally been given a chance to be herself - now all she needed after a decade of suppressing it, was to find out who that was.

 

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

The sign before her proclaimed to Shelby that fate was on her side. Three Shows Only! Straight off of "Late Night with David Letterman"- Taryn Osbourne. The writer had to read the posterboard 3 times to assure herself that she wasn't having some sort of bizarre hallucination. Looking downward, the 8 x 10 of Taryn smiling mischievously before the Ferris Wheel at Chicago's Navy Pier assured her that reality was sometimes better than fiction. But, should I... what would I say? A thousand thoughts assaulted the writer but only one won out. Buy a ticket! If you let this chance pass, the only one who loses out is you.

She wandered downstairs to the box office and purchased a ticket for the show, stealing away to a tiny booth in the back where she could observe the comic's act without being obtrusive. The writer hadn't wanted to startle Taryn with her attendance and knew it was best to wait until after the show to make herself seen, if at all. The lights on the stage came on and Shelby felt her heart drop to her stomach as she watched Taryn grace the room with her larger than life presence. My god, she's even more beautiful than I remembered! The comic was attired in a pair of black boot-cut pants and a long black duster over a green top that highlighted a pair of brilliant green eyes that scanned the room continuously.

Taryn was a hit, and from the beaming smile on her face she knew it. She worked the crowd

magnificently and when she stepped off the tiny stage, everyone in the room wanted a chance to speak with her. Silently watching the star were a pair of blue eyes that traced her path from table to table, ignoring no one who wanted a moment from her. When the comic reached the back of the room, she headed for the exit which would bring her to her dressing room so that she might relax for a bit before the inevitable night on the town the rest of the performers kept telling her she was missing.

 

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

While Shelby's marriage was a shambles, Taryn threw herself into her work, playing every club in Chicago and finally landing an agent who booked her at clubs and resorts across the country. Mistakenly, the comic thought that throwing herself into her work would take her mind off the emptiness she felt inside after her week in Chicago with Shelby had ended. It was she who decided not to provide the journalist with any information on herself, noting that it was better to be nothing at all than someone else's torrid affair. What a fool I was! she thought as she replayed the week in her mind. It would be better to be anything with her than nothing at all! The loneliness was driving her to madness and the only time the irritation would abate was when she was on stage. During that time, Taryn headed out almost every night and when she wasn't performing she was at a club watching, listening to and learning from others in the industry. If she couldn't have love, she swore she'd have money and so the comic's fanaticism increased.

It was during this time that the young woman tried to convince herself that it wasn't just Shelby who had the power to affect her and so she searched the city of Chicago for another woman who could strike every key hit when she was in the writer's presence. After telling her best friend about the encounter a week later, Taryn was given the answer to her problems: "Well, you're obviously a lesbian and never knew it! THAT'S why you cared so much. You need to get yourself some." Her very straight best friend was now telling her to go out and find herself another woman to have an affair with... the world must have gone completely mad in the span of the 7 days she spent with Shelby and the comic went right along with it.

After her sets, she would be approached by women in the clubs who were impressed with her talent and after several stiff drinks to quash her conscience, Taryn would have them back at her hotel room desperately trying to capture a feeling only felt within the confines of the Renaissance Hotel in the city of Chicago. The combination of wine, women and comedy was wearing the young comic out rapidly and by the time she had been given her showcase at Caroline's she was all but ready to quit. Somehow, however, when the lights went on and all eyes were focused on her nothing in the world mattered because everyone loved Taryn Osbourne on stage, regardless of the thoughts that haunted her once the lights went out.

 

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

"I definitely need a break", the comic thought as she tried to escape the hordes of people who seemed intent on telling her a joke and pressing her palm before she could escape the clammy confines of the comedy club. Just as she was at the home stretch, inches from the escape hatch to her dressing room, she felt an arm reach out of a booth and grab her. That was the last straw. They could bother her, they could stop her but they could not touch her.

"Listen, man, if you don't get your fucking hand off of me, I'll..."

"Taryn?"

The comic's heart stopped. There was no mistaking the voice that called out her name. It was "Shelby...?" Turning around to face her completely, her eyes lit up as the writer's deep blue eyes paralyzed her, causing a tear to escape from the corner of her very own pools of emerald. The two women stood locked in silence, unsure what to do or say next. A move had to be made and it was obvious that each had wanted to do more, say more than they were. Unable to stand the tension anymore, the younger woman reached out for Shelby with her right hand and as their fingers touched, she felt a surge of electricity coursing through her body that forced her to pull the taller woman out of her seat and into an embrace. The patrons of the club watched as the two women clung to each other as if there weren't another person for miles.

After reluctantly breaking their embrace, the comic took Shelby's hand and led her back to the dressing room, shutting and locking the door behind them.

"Shelby, you...I.... What are you....?"

"I was in the city and I caught sight of the poster and I simply had to see you, I..."

Before the writer could finish her explanation, the redhead had her hands around her waist and was searching out her lips hungrily. Kissing back with equal feeling, the older woman lost herself in Taryn's embrace. Each tongue sought out the other's with intent, shooting bolts of lightning through the veins of both women. After long moments they pulled back from each other, breathless.

The writer once more began their dialogue, "I've been waiting for that for over a year."

"Me too. Remind me again why we didn't stay in touch."

"Because we were fools", the writer stated plainly. "And I don't plan on ever being that foolish again."

The two women spent an hour catching up in Taryn's dressing room and headed back to her suite at the St. Regis hotel, compliments of The Late Show, where the hours passed like minutes and each shared the harrowing experiences of the year past with the other. As much as the two had been drawn to each other that night, by the time all stories were told and all tears were shed it was past 3 am and the women merely fell into each other, feeling secure for the first night in over a year.

The next morning, Shelby left the hotel room with a note to her young lover stating that she'd be back before lunch and headed out into the New York City daylight a new woman. She had passed out the night before out of sheer exhaustion and had woken up with a purpose. The young comic hadn't seen much of New York during her stay, spending the whole time with agents, interviewers and talk show hosts and the writer wanted to make sure she could show her lover the city she knew and loved, hopefully capturing a tiny piece of what it was that made her want more than anything to be there when she was a young woman searching out her place in the world.

There she stood amidst the buildings and the breeze and looked at the city with the eyes of a woman... a grown woman in love. Never was Manhattan so spectacular...every color, every hue was heightened, and the writer was glancing upon the city as she never had before - with a brilliant sense of her surroundings. Taryn's last show was the night before, and the couple had extended the room for another night, each wanting a chance to see New York through the eyes of the other. Shelby wandered through Central Park cell phone in hand, making plans for the evening, wanting everything to be absolutely perfect for the comic's first foray into the city. Once all the calls were made and the plans cemented, Shelby headed back to her own suite at the Parker Meridien to check out and take her belongings over to the younger woman's room at the St. Regis.

When she opened the door to the comic's suite she saw the door to the bathroom cracked a little and the sight of Taryn toweling herself off caused the writer's heart to skip a beat. Be good, the writer admonished herself, You can hold off for a few more hours. When the young woman noticed Shelby standing in the doorway, she wrapped the towel around her chest and strode out to greet the older woman, lovingly wrapping her arms around the taller woman's waist and nuzzling her neck teasingly, taking tiny nips as she found her lover's lips and took them, too between her teeth, laughing seductively as she did so. Prying herself from her companion, the journalist caught her breath and shuttled the shorter woman off to her closet to pick out an ensemble for the day. They were going exploring and she needed something comfortable enough to do so and appropriate enough to wear to dinner, as there'd be no time to change.

As they waltzed through the streets of Manhattan, every corner brought something new and every smile from Taryn's lips sent a shot of sunshine straight through to the writer‘s. Not only were the two women seeing it, they were experiencing it - wandering the streets, wrapping themselves in the breezy utopia of Gotham in mid-September. During the day, the writer chose to go without agenda, choosing instead to revel in the wonders of the island and wander aimlessly about, haunt to haunt. It was a bizarre experience, wandering through Tompkins Square Park with a pair of adult eyes, remembering about the oft-romanticized dreams of bohemia from her youth. Wandering northward on Avenue A, Shelby was struck with an epiphany - as a college student, she'd frequently take the 1/9 down to Battery Park and walk back to her dorm on the Upper West Side with her roommate - what better way to see the city, now as well as then? And so, tugging her young companion by the hand, she headed to Astor place to catch the train, bopping energetically along with the Ella Fitzgerald playing from the window of the Life CafČ on St. Mark's Place, completely enveloped in the experience, ignoring everything around her but Taryn.

The two made it as far south as possible, exiting the train and wandering about through the shade-darkened streets of lower Manhattan's towering corridors, drinking in the financial district, Shelby feeling like a virgin to the city once more. It was after 6 pm and the buildings were silenced - giants set there just to guide them further north towards the heart of the metropolis. Following Broadway to Houston, the couple finally decided it was time to take a brief break and grab a cup of coffee, as the chill was increasing in the air and they'd not been prepared for a trek of this magnitude through the city. Down to their break at the coffee bar, everything seemed to have gone along the plans the writer had set forth for later in the evening. As they sat back, chatting about nothing and everything at once, Shelby realized that this...THIS was the New York she had always dreamed of.

The writer relaxed back into the chair and the two women sat there for an hour or so just chatting, Shelby explaining tiny NY details to her, and Taryn merely filling the air w/her good humor and her presence... which was far more than enough.

After their cups had been long drained, the two realized they couldn't stay there all night, and so once more, they headed out - no particular direction in mind. Realizing the time, they had to head northward for their dinner reservations at Iridium on 63rd and Broadway, where they talked the hostess into a fabulous booth in the corner - with a splendid view of the Lincoln Center Fountain and an even better barricade between the two of them and the rest of the patrons. One of the writer's favorite places from the days of her youth in NY, she was in heaven - sitting there enjoying the company of a phenomenal woman she had almost lost and letting the sensual sounds of the jazz band in the corner wash over her. The couple talked about life and love, past experience and the oddity of the fact that they were there, talking at all. Upon occasion their good fortune would come to them in the form of an epiphany, and just sit there, enveloping them both. Taryn leaned closer to her older lover and the writer could hear her breath, smell the sweet scent of her and every second with her was better than the one before. The comic's hand crept over to Shelby‘s, and the touch of it lightly resting there sent a bolt of lightning straight through her.

The writer put her head down, blushing, and looked up to see a golden glint in the bright green eyes that smiled at her, laughing at what was a far less subtle reaction than the journalist had imagined it to be. Shelby then felt a brush against her right leg - the comic's left rubbing slowly against her. The day had started off rather warm and so each woman was still in late summer apparel - skirts sans stockings and light blouses and so the older woman sat there, desperately reaching for her composure as the comic ran her soft skin up and down the older woman's leg in time with the music, causing Shelby to bite her lower lip just to retain her gasp of surprise. The waitress brought over their bottle of wine and looked at the lovers, smiling knowingly and walked away saying nothing. As Taryn smiled at her, the writer could do nothing but laugh... there are some times the happiness is just so visceral, there are no words worthy of the moment... and the mere touch of her young companion, so simple yet so potent, shot that feeling through to the older woman's core.

As the band finished its' set, Shelby paid the bill and the couple exited out the revolving doors, exchanging the sweet sound of the jazz music for the cacophonous chorus of the city streets... each horn, screech, siren adding to the intensity of the moment. The writer grabbed her companion's hand and dragged her across the street to Lincoln Center. They hadn't realized it, but time had flown by. With their chat downtown, the commute to the Upper West Side, drinks and dinner it was now 12:30 and Lincoln Center was empty. The light in the fountain remained, and the taller woman tugged at her companion's arm, pulling her to the fountain - the glow of the lighting only serving to glorify the beautiful young woman's profile more, the light spray from it's steams coating each with a thin gauze of water, acting as a wonderful respite from the oddest overnight temperature change they'd ever encountered... it was now the truest sense of Indian summer, as the breeze had slowed down and the couple was enveloped in the unseasonable 70* night. In addition to this refreshment, the water also caused their clothing to get a bit wet, not a major predicament, but frankly, terribly laughable, as they no longer looked primed for an evening out, more like they were returning from a long journey. Joking around about their predicament, the two women circled the fountain as Shelby regaled Taryn of her time there in college - mainly with stories of the idiocy of her youth, one of which caused her young companion to laugh so hard she actually fell against the writer, pinning the taller brunette to the cool marble surface of the fountain.

Then there was silence. Pinned there against the fountain, a breeze causing the fountain to rain down upon them now, the journalist could feel Taryn pressing against her and see a pair of bright green eyes, inches from her very own. Then, before she could do any differently, the writer turned her head to the right and was met with the comic's lips. She kissed her there in the empty plaza and Shelby couldn't resist meeting the young woman's kiss with her own, damn the consequences. Their tongues met, circling each other and exploring the two mouths as four hands ran lovingly across dampened bodies.

Thankfully, they were then jarred back into the real world by the blaring horn and howling profanities of a gypsy cabdriver, lodged firmly behind a limousine on Broadway. The two pulled themselves away from each other, unable to explain what had just happened - devastated at the interruption yet terribly grateful for that which stopped them from embarrassing themselves there in the middle of Lincoln Center. After a palpable moment of tension enveloped in silence the two lovers, they began walking to try to cool down again. Without realizing it, as it had become innate at this point, their hands were clasped and the redhead and her taller companion alternated leading each other down the street - their excitement preventing each from being still for too long. After walking and discovering every block anew, they realized it was now 3 am, and they were still talking, hands not releasing once.

The two women found themselves window shopping on 5th Avenue, each dragging the other to the store of their choice - picking out fantasy ensembles and home furnishings, finishing up the extravaganza noting the accessories they absolutely must get the next day at Henri Bendel's, Harry Winston's and Tiffany's. Her evening's plans still right on course, as soon as the lovers hit 59th St., Shelby knew where she needed to take her young companion. Pulling the young woman with her along the front of FAO Schwartz, the writer couldn't walk fast enough.

"Where are we going?"

"Have you ever been to the Garden of Eden?"

To say the young woman was thoroughly perplexed would be putting it beyond mildly. Look of utter confusion and all, Taryn followed her lover, trusting her completely. They walked up 5th Avenue, past the Zoo, and the 72nd Street Entrance to the Lake and kept going. Occasionally there would be a burst of conversation, but Shelby was now a woman on a mission. She had discovered her "Eden" years before, but never had she wanted to share the experience more. After 20 minutes of walking, the couple was finally there. Standing before them was the Metropolitan Museum of Art; banners advertising Monet and Mattise flapping in the warm breeze. Now 4 a.m., the writer was thrilled with her timing. Grasping her young lover's hand tightly, she pulled her beyond the walkway to a path on the side of the museum...

"Come with me...there's something I really want you to see... "

"What's that?"

"Eden, of course!"

With that, Taryn was by her side, following the path to the back of the museum - where the walls were no longer brick and mortar but clear glass... Behind the Met, there is a knoll directly behind the sculpture garden, and from that very spot, you can see directly inside the museum. From that vantage point, the grass of the park meets the ivy of the museum and the light of the moon matches the illumination upon each Greek Bust, each sculpture, each piece of art that was there before they were born and will be around long after they've gone. Fountains inside the Met still running, the glorious sounds of the birds in the park; the unity of the park and the museum make that very spot New York's very own Eden - a paradise within a paradise - unbeknownst to almost all the city's residents. What made this spot even better was it's absolute seclusion. No one walks behind the museum at night, and 4 a.m. is too early for the joggers...and so, short of walls, there was no way the lovers could have been more alone. Taryn looked up, drinking in the scenery. As the brunette stepped back and looked at the Venus before her, green eyes drinking in the scenery, the writer could tell just standing there, that she got it...the young comic understood the import of that spot, and was in as much awe of the environment as Shelby

.

As Taryn stood there, the older woman went to the spot she had prepared. She was blessed with a woman who had spectacular tastes and because of it, knew she would be enraptured by the view. In the young woman's silent entrancement, the writer went to the section where she'd hidden her preparations earlier in the day. She laid the blanket down and weighted the 4 corners with stones and lit citronella candles to illuminate the area dimly, but mainly to prevent the intrusion of nature's reality from destroying their transcendence. Also, from the cooler that sat behind an ancient oak, she pulled a chilled bottle of Perrier Jouet, knowing how fond of good champagne Taryn was. And, if ever there was a moment to celebrate, this would be it. The comic turned at the pop of the cork - the look on her face, priceless. With that, Shelby filled their glasses, and toasted her... "Welcome to New York, Darling!"

They sat there for 20 minutes or so, Taryn's head leaning against the older woman's shoulder as Shelby inhaled her sweet scent and allowed the combination of champagne, the moment and the comic's powers of intoxication to flow through her bloodstream... With that, the writer could no longer feign virtue. Placing her glass to the side, the taller woman wrapped her hands entirely around the waist of her redheaded lover and pressed herself against her, feeling the curves of the comic melting into her own. She turned the young woman around, pulling her into her chest, feeling her breasts against the older woman‘s own, each swelling upon meeting the others...and Shelby kissed her, deeply, passionately. She wanted to taste the young woman, to feel all of her at that moment, and could no longer stop herself. As her lips were locked firmly with her younger companion‘s, their tongues danced manically inside each others' mouths, the writer's hands moved downward, opening Taryn's shirt, button by button, slowly sliding it off and tossing it to the side. She felt the coolness of her lover's skin on her hands, her palms running over the young woman's toned shoulders, down her arms, as the journalist pried her lips from the redhead's, despite a groan of frustration, to kiss down her neck., slowly running her hands up and down the arms and shoulders of the goddess before her, nails tracing her skin lightly, pulling all nerves to attention.

The taller woman then worked her way up the comic's shoulders slowly, pressing her skin with palm and fingertips, massaging her, working into her hair, where she massaged Taryn's head with tiny motions, pulling back and locking her gaze with a pair of crystal blue eyes that told more than any novel ever could. When she had moved her hands to either side of her lover's again, she pulled the young woman into her, kissing lightly at first, softly moving her lips across hers, exploring gently with her tongue. The taste of Taryn; her rapidly increased her heart rate; her shallow breath; and the rocking sounds of her throaty moans caused the writer to need more of her young lover by the second. Shelby's tongue probed deeper, trying to reach the deepest caverns of her throat... dancing gently then urgently with the comic's very own, each of them trying to absorb as much of the other as possible. The older woman pulled back and looked into the redhead's green eyes again and noted the look of disappointment at her pulling away. With that, she leaned into her lover's ear, whispering, "Don't worry, I promise...I'm not neglecting you"

With that, the writer ran her hands across her lover's shoulders and slide the straps of Taryn's bra off, hands running behind her back, unclasping...kissing the hinge of her jawbone, the older woman's breath making its way into her ear. Still overwhelmed by her inability to control herself, Shelby tried to maintain composure. She kissed the comic lightly, running her tongue down her jawbone to her neck, where she paid keen attention to the young woman's wants...following her moans of pleasure as if they were directions...nibbling, sucking, licking every inch between her neck and shoulder, leaving several tiny marks.

As she enjoyed every succulent inch of skin on Taryn's neck, the writer's hands ran across her breasts, kneading, massaging, resting there...her palms covering her now-engorged nipples, feeling them hardening beneath her touch. The older woman slowly closed her hands around her breasts, bringing her fingertips from the breast directly to her nipple, squeezing gently as her young lover gasped in ecstasy, teasing, toying, following only the implied instruction of her sighs. The writer's mouth was now at Taryn's ear and the older woman could hear her young lover holding her breath with each motion, and so she began to alternate... enjoying the taste of her skin, the touch of her fingers and the sweet cadence of her breath.

The journalist slowly moved on, tracing her tongue from the comic's neck to her breasts, removing each hand in turn; sucking nibbling and devouring Taryn's sweet breasts; running her tongue back and forth slowly and then with increased tempo across her nipples, making them so hard they were almost crystalline... The older woman moved on, afraid they would shatter right there in her mouth...and she enjoyed them far too much to risk any damage.

Moving downward, her hands still massaging the younger woman's breasts; her tongue tracing her rib cage, encircling her lover's belly button, teasing her there, inhaling her, the sweet aroma of Taryn in her entirety working its way into Shelby's lungs. She then slid the redhead's skirt down, puddling it at the ground at their feet, undergarments following shortly thereafter. Kneeling before the young comic, the taller woman slid them down, the silky softness causing goose bumps as they trace the skin on the redhead's legs on the way down. With her hands at the younger woman's lower back, she helped her lie down on the blanket, making sure the comic was absolutely comfortable... kissing her gently on her lips as she returned to where she had left off, now unencumbered. Shelby had wanted to enjoy her right then and there but since this was a moment she'd been dreaming of for months, the older woman decided she wanted to enjoy all of her before spending themselves for the day- after all, how often is one directly in the middle of the Garden of Eden? And so the writer moved slowly down her mons, paying acute attention not to overly excite the young woman. She could tell her lover was on the verge at that moment not only because of the trembling frame beneath her lips but because of the symphonic cries escaping the young comic's clenched teeth.

"Please, dear god Shelby...please...."

With that plea, the writer pulled away again, her hands on each of the younger woman's legs, massaging lightly, fingers on the outside... thumb rubbing the inside of her thighs with intent...Locking emerald with azure, Shelby looked deep into the young comic's eyes, which until she felt her pull back were focused on the stars above her, and smiled.

       

Grinning like a Cheshire, the writer held her there, knowingly, freezing her gaze there for 30 seconds which, in their present state, was an eternity... The writer then returned to her past position, kissing down the redhead's thigh, making tiny bites, nibbling and suckling her skin... enjoying the vibration she could feel throughout her young lover's skin, she moved herself downward, preventing the temptation to return once more to her essence. Instead, she paid acute attention to the young comic's left leg, massaging and kissing down her thigh, her calf; kissing her foot lightly, her thumb running up its' base, circling its' center and massaging it with intent; the sensation rushing directly through Taryn's marrow from her foot to her spine, lighting up her entire pelvis. The taller woman ran her fingers through her young lover's toes and kissed each lightly, licking the base of her foot from heel to toe and back, kissing her way back up the leg to her thigh, her mons; moving on to her right leg before she couldn't pull herself away from the young woman's pulsing core.

The journalist paid the same attention to her right leg, feeling Taryn quiver beneath her... Feeling the excitement in her lover's rapid breaths, her shallow sighs, the writer felt herself growing more and more excited with each passing moment, the redhead's every moan bringing her older lover closer and closer to heaven. Shelby then kissed back up the comic's right leg, feeling her lift her pelvis up, beckoning to the taller woman... Finally she had decided it was time to enjoy her... the sensational taste of every part of the young woman's body was not nearly as rewarding as the champagne richness of what awaited the journalist. She kissed the younger woman gently, feeling her thighs involuntarily closing in her, unwilling to let the older woman attempt to leave again. The writer felt her young lover arching more, as her moans of Taryn! were getting lost beneath the young woman‘s potence, for with each passing second she was more and more enveloped in the goddes beneath her and more determined than ever to show Taryn in that moment how very much she meant to her.

The writer pull back once more to stare into her eyes, smiling, noting the slight confusion and frustration on her face..."Taryn Osbourne, I love you." As the younger woman began to process the words that had been felt months before but were finally spoken, the older woman leaned in to brush away a piece of auburn hair from her lover's forehead to kiss her gently, leaning into the young woman's ear to whisper, "Please, Taryn....Now..." With that, Shelby returned her attentions to the beautiful young woman before her whose hands rushed to her hair, pulling the older woman into her completely as she released all she had for the writer, into her...which she took gratefully, drinking all of her young lover in...intoxicated by her sweet champagne. With a final explosive movement, Taryn fell backwards onto the blanket, spent. Shelby kissed back upward, worshipping every part of her young lover between her waist and forehead and settled, finally on her lips... eye to eye, she clung to her, taking Taryn's tongue once more into her mouth... and holding it there, running her own over it slowly... The older woman's hands ran through her hair, down the young comic's back and settle in hers, fingers clasped... heartbeats in unison and breath finally matched in a perfect cadence of both purpose and exhaustion.

It was now daybreak, and as Taryn's breath returns to a normal pace, the writer help her sit up, kneeling behind her, massaging her shoulders and helping clasp her bra, gently placing her shirt back over her shoulders. As Shelby did this for her, the navy sky began to turn pink and the sun poked up, spying on the lovers from the roof of the museum. Recovering completely, the two sit there, hand in hand - breathless, as the sun streamed through the glass windows and the ageless artwork greeted our morning.

The soft light of the morning cascaded through the trees, and was very becoming on the young woman, highlighting the golden flecks in both her hair and eyes. Looking at the young woman from a distance of only a few feet away Shelby know that her evening with Taryn truly was her time in Eden.

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