Disclaimers: The characters portrayed in this story are the property of CD McKendry. This story portrays scenes of mild violence and the occasional 'four-letter word'. If this offends you, please do not read any further. Also be advised that this story involves two women in a sexual relationship so once again; if this offends you do not read any further. Finally, this is my first attempt at writing anything since about a hundred years ago when I was once a school girl so if this worries you (and it probably should), please do not read any further. If you find anything truly offensive...or if you just want to say hi (which, by the way, I much prefer), please feel free to drop me a line at: cdmckendry@hotmail.com

For those of you that are left, please enjoy.


Part 11

The drive back to Kris's was quiet, both women deep in thought. When they finally reached the apartment, Kris led Kate into the residence.

"Can I get you a drink?" the tall woman asked softly, not wanting to spook the already nervous looking Kate.

Kate looked at Kris like she was seeing her for the first time. Finally she answered, her voice hushed. "Sure, I'll have a beer if you have one."

Kris responded by going into the kitchen to retrieve the asked for beverage while Kate removed her heavy winter coat. "Do you want to order a pizza or something?" Kris called to the smaller woman from the kitchen.

Kate, completely engrossed in the memories of the last time she'd been in this room didn't answer her right away. When she did answer, Kris could hear the tension of the last few months creeping into Kate's normally confident sounding voice.

"I'm not really hungry right now Kris. I'd -" Kate's voice trailed off as the tall woman emerged from the other room; two beers in hand. Frustrated at her inability to string two intelligent words together in the presence of the younger woman, Kate let out an aggravated breath. God Damn, why do I always end up sounding like a bumbling idiot around this woman? What the hell is wrong with me??

Kris peered at Kate with concern. Softly, as if speaking to a wounded animal, she said "Kate, I know that it's been a long few months. We don't have to discuss it all tonight if you're not up to it."

"No Kris! We do need to discuss this. This thing between us," Kate waved her hand back and forth between the two of them, "It's killing me Kris. I feel like my entire world has gone topsy-turvy since you came back. I'm not sure of anything anymore! I mean, here I was going along in my life just fine then you come back and I have to deal with incredible tension between us. Just when I think that I can act like a grown-up and handle it, it all changes again and I start seeing you not only as a colleague but also as a friend. I think that it's good. It's nice to have a friend to talk with and maybe catch dinner or a movie with and bam! It changes again! Out of the blue I start to notice the way that other people look at you. I start to see how men react when you walk in a room and for some reason I notice that it bothers me. We go to that God Damn youth group meeting, run into Amazon Sam and then it really bothers me. I start thinking of you in ways I didn't know I could when it came to another woman. I start to wonder how soft your skin is, what your lips taste like. My God, I thought I was losing my mind! If that's not bad enough, for every step we take forward, we take three backwards!"

Kris blew out a low breath trying to order her already tumultuous thoughts. "I didn't mean for things to get so crazy. I just wanted to come back here and spend some time with my mom before...well you know. I had no idea what to expect when I was hired on at the school. I certainly didn't expect to feel the way I do about you. I know that it hasn't been easy, for either of us. I know that I'm a little pig-headed when it comes to feelings, namely that I haven't wanted to have any in so long that I ran from you the minute that I felt anything more than a twinge. Sex has always been easy, that's why I went to Sam. I stubbornly thought that I could fuck my way out of feeling anything."

Kris had looked directly at the blond woman the entire time she'd been talking so was able to see the surprise caused by her blatant admission. When Kate didn't interject, Kris continued.

"It didn't work baby. The fact is Kate, that I'm absolutely crazy about you. I think that you are the most incredible woman I've ever met and I can't wait to find out more and more about you. You're fun, smart and sexy as hell! When you walk into a room, I can't help but stop and stare at you. For the first time in more years than I can count, I want to spend some time getting to know someone and actually letting her get to know me. There's always been some pretty amazing chemistry between us. I never understood why it was that you could get to me like no one else I've ever met but I do now."

Kris moved softly through the room so that she was sitting next to Kate on the couch. Taking the smaller hand in hers, Kris gently raised the trembling fingers to her mouth and softly kissed them before continuing. "You and I have always been meant for something special Kate. I can feel it and so can you. I'm sorry that I ran away before. Trust me when I tell you that it won't happen again."

Kate sat quietly for a moment, the warmth from Kris's larger hand penetrating up her arm and into her very soul. Knowing that fighting the pull towards the taller woman wasn't an option didn't stop the self-reliant woman from trying anyway; at least for a millisecond.

As Kate relaxed, she leaned further into the frame of the woman that she'd been dreaming about for months. "God Kris, I can't fight this anymore. Please don't pull away again, I'm not sure that I could take it."

In answer, Kris silently leaned down and captured the lips that had been haunting all of her waking and sleeping hours since the last time she had tasted them.

Unlike the last time, there was no hesitancy from either woman. Hunger quickly consumed them both and Kris quickly parted the soft lips beneath hers with her tongue. Kate's lips parted, eagerly accepting the offering. A low tortured moan wafted up but neither knew who had released it.

Kris's hands began their own journey as her mouth teased Kate's over and over again. A gentle hand with long, graceful fingers trailed slowly down Kate's neck so that a mischievous thumb could softly caress a racing pulse point.

Kate's grip tightened on the strong muscular shoulders beneath them. Barely conscious of what she was doing, Kate slipped her hands around to Kris's front and inside the opened collar of the taller woman's shirt. Thrilled at the warmth of the skin that she found there, Kate growled softly when her wandering hands were barred from going any further by clothing.

Desperate now to feel all of things that she had been dreaming of, Kate broke away from Kris's mouth momentarily. Both women were panting heavily and the look in Kris's eyes was enough to make Kate feel the gush of liquid heat escaping from her lower regions.

"Kris, make love to me," Kate whispered in a voice so low it sent chills through the brunette's body in a decidedly southern direction.

Kris took one final deep breath knowing that they were about to cross the point of no return. Pushing away thoughts of anything other than the woman before her, Kris stood on slightly weakened legs and held her trembling hand out to the smaller woman.

Kate looked up into eyes darkened by desire. Knowing that there were still things that they needed to discuss didn't stop her from grasping that hand as if it were her only means of survival.

As Kate stood and moved towards Kris, she couldn't help but feel not only the desire and passion that she always seemed to feel around the other woman, but also absolute adoration and tenderness. This time when Kris captured her lips, it was obvious that the other woman felt it too.

The two women moved slowly into the bedroom, taking time to stop and gently kiss and caress. Neither woman was in a hurry now that they were both sure that this truly was going to happen. Tonight there would be no more running.

When they came to a stop in front of Kris's large queen-sized bed, they once again broke off their kisses and stopped to look at each other. It seemed in that moment that all communication was done on some higher level that required no words or even movement. It was as if one heart simply reached out and connected with another.

Slowly they began to undress each other. First Kris's shirt came off, two pairs of hands making quick work of the buttons. The next item to come off was Kris's bra, which was quickly followed by Kate's shirt. They continued their task wordlessly, stopping their duties as each new piece of skin was revealed so that it could be properly appreciated with hands and tongues.

Once they had completely removed all that could bar the other from site and touch, they moved to the bed to lie side by side. Kris leaned over Kate with her head cushioned on her right hand while her left slowly traced the lines of Kate's body.

Finally the tall woman spoke, "My God Kate you are incredible," she whispered in a hushed voice afraid that the vision before her would disappear. Kate reached up and tucked a long dark strand behind Kris's ear. "No baby that would be you. I love-" she hesitated, "Your body."

Kris wondered momentarily what it was that Kate was really going to say but then the blond reached up and gave her a soul-searing kiss which drove all thought from her mind.

It took only moments for the two women to be caught up in an all consuming fire; a fire that seemed to burn so intently that everything outside of the connection that they shared, both physically and mentally, ceased to exist. Even the bed on which they were cushioned failed to register in either mind. It was almost as if they were floating in some other-world, completely independent of anything tangible except their own bodies, hearts and minds.

Kris moved her mouth away from the lips that whimpered gently beneath hers and trailed her lips down a graceful neck. Placing a gentle kiss at the base of Kate's throat, the brunette was assaulted with so many feelings that it brought tears to the normally stoic woman's eyes.

Dipping her head lower, she fluttered several light, teasing kisses across Kate's breasts, stopping momentarily to slide her tongue between the two perfectly sized mounds. When she felt Kate shudder again, she lapped gently at the already hardened nipple of Kate's left breast.

Kate couldn't hold back anymore and let out a low moan at the sensations coursing through her body. Never in her life had she felt so many things from someone else's touch. As she felt Kris's mouth on her body, her hands tightened in the long dark locks of hair cascading around her.

After Kris finished a thorough examination of Kate's breasts, she slid lower still, caressing firm abs with her hands and mouth. She felt Kate's breath increase and then rush out completely as Kris slid her hand up the inside of the smaller woman's thigh.

Kris felt her own breath rush out at the wetness she found painting the soft thigh beneath her hand. She ran the tip of her thumb gently over Kate's clit and felt the automatic response as Kate's hips jerked off the bed.

Knowing that she needed a complete connection with Kate, Kris moved lower down the bed and settled herself between Kate's quivering legs. Parting her slowly, Kris moved her head up so that she could make eye contact with the green eyes that were watching her every move.

Not breaking the connection until the last second, Kris finally lowered her head and gently slid her tongue along the inside of the glistening lips beneath her. Kate's hips once again jerked and she let her breath out in a whoosh of air.

"Please!" the smaller women gasped, now begging for release from the intense pressure she could feel building up. Kris was not to be rushed though and chuckled gently under her breath.

"Patience baby, I want to make you so crazy that you'll never forget this." And with that, Kris slowly began to work her tongue, teeth and fingers in tandem. She drove Kate higher and higher, only to slow down when she thought Kate was to close.

Kate felt that she was about to burst out of her skin; she was so crazy with want need and hunger. "God Kris, you're going to kill me!"

Finally taking pity on the quaking woman under her, Kris concentrated on the swollen nub with her tongue. Flicking her tongue across Kate's clit, she slid two fingers into Kate's depth. Plunging in and out, her movements were met by Kate who couldn't stay still if her life had depended on it.

Kate's release came, quick and hard as she screamed out Kris's name over and over again. As Kris felt the last of Kate's orgasm rip through her, she slowed her movements until she they were both still.

Lifting her head to look at the glowing face of her lover, Kris once again made eye contact before gently sliding her fingers out. Kate whimpered slightly at the loss but quickly made up for it but roughly pulling Kris's head up to hers for a kiss to end all kisses.

When both women finally pulled apart for much needed oxygen, Kate whispered, "I've never felt so incredible in my life." She leaned her sweat-dampened forehead against Kris's and cupped the side of the strong woman's face. "That was...amazing!"

Leaning in slightly, she gently kissed Kris's sensuous lips. The kiss quickly heated and within moments, both women were both breathing hard once again. Kate felt Kris's hands begin to wander but she stilled them with her own and growled, "Un-uh, it's my turn!"

Pushing Kris gently onto her back, Kate slid on top of the long, lean frame. Parting the long legs with her knee, Kate immediately felt the need of the larger woman as wetness spilled onto her thigh. "Oh my God Kris, you're so wet!"

"I've never wanted anyone the way I want you right now Kate," Kris panted as the smaller woman ground into her. She grasped onto the Kate's hips and pulled the smaller woman into her tighter. "I want to pull you right inside!"

Kate moaned, "Oh God that feels sooooo good!"

The two women gyrated their hips against each other over and over. Kate moved her hand up to cup Kris's breast, her thumb reaching around to tease the painfully strained nipple. The closer they got to their shared goal, the faster their movements became. Both women could feel themselves climbing towards that ultimate peak; both were craving the release.

Kris began to feel the tingling and knew that she was almost there. She felt her legs shake and blindly called out Kate's name. Feeling Kris's orgasm begin, Kate knew she was in complete sync as her own began shortly after. Clutching at each other tightly, both women broke through at the same time. Their shaking and trembling bodies finally became still and their labored breathing slowed.

After a few moments of lying completely still, Kris clasped her hands behind Kate's back and slowly rolled the exhausted woman onto her side. Propping her head up on her hand, Kris trailed her fingers through the now tangled blond locks. The intensity of the smaller woman's stare was enough to leave the tall woman speechless.

Neither woman knew how long the stayed like that. Lying on top of the covers slowly caressing and touching; feeling their souls connect in a way that no earthly words could explain. After what could have been anywhere between five minutes and five hours, Kate wordlessly snuggled her head into the crook of Kris's neck and closed her eyes. Kris reached down and pulled the spare blanket, which had been knocked onto the floor, up and spread it over their now cool bodies. After a silent prayer to whatever deity was listening, Kris too closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.


When morning came Kris awoke to found that she was alone in bed. Instantly worried that Kate had run again, the tall woman bolted out of bed. Quickly throwing on her jeans and a shirt, she headed into the living room only to find Kate lounging on the couch with a coffee in her hand and wearing nothing but an old hockey jersey of Kris's.

Trying to calm her racing pulse, Kris leaned casually against the door frame and said in a voice still horse from the previous nights strain, "Well now that's how all hockey players should look!"

The sound of Kris's voice immediately sent a thrill through Kate's body and she looked up at her lover with hooded eyes. "Oh, I don't know. I kind of like your look."

The amusement in the smaller woman's voice made Kris glance down at her clothing. To her embarrassment she found that in her hurry to find Kate she had buttoned up her shirt incorrectly and then zipped the tail of the shirt into her zipper. Blushing slightly, Kris attempted to re-settle her clothes. "I woke up and you were gone. I thought maybe you'd..."

Kris stopped talking, realizing how vulnerable and needy she sounded. Worried that Kate might find a needy woman entirely unattractive she tried to find the words to repair any damage she may have done.

Kate unfolded her small frame from the couch and made her way towards Kris. Putting her coffee down on the table, she wrapped her arms around Kris's waist. Feeling the taller woman tremble she realized that she had indeed scared her lover.

"I'm sorry baby. I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. This is so much to process that I'm not even sure where to begin. I didn't want to wake you so I thought I'd get up for a bit. I wouldn't leave without saying goodbye." Kate hoped that her eyes conveyed all that she wasn't ready to vocalize.

Both the words Kate spoke and the look in her eyes relaxed Kris immediately. She leaned down and placed a soft kiss on the blond locks beneath her. "You don't have to apologize or explain. I'm just being an idiot. I'm not usually like this so I can't even begin to tell you what the hell is wrong with me."

"Look Hun, it's been a hell of a few months. I think that both of our emotions are a little bit on edge. Frankly I'm amazed that neither one of us is in the psych ward yet! It's going to take some time for both of us to get used to this change. I think we owe it to ourselves to feel however we want." Kate tried as best as she could to re-assure Kris. God knows that I'm completely thrown by the complete 180-degree change in our relationship!

"Yeah, I guess you're right there. It certainly hasn't been dull since I came back. And here I thought I was going to go crazy from boredom while I was here." Kris responded with a chuckle.

Kate laughed and said, "What, you didn't think that our small town would have any entertainment value for someone as worldly as yourself? I have it on good authority that the Church Bizarre is very exciting!"

At the mention of the church, Kris's face clouded over. Thoughts of her father and his reaction to this turn in her and Kate's relationship made her sick. Like it or not, her father had a lot of power in this town. The thought of her being hurt was like a hot knife in the tall woman's gut.

Kate noticed immediately the tension in Kris's body. "I'm sorry baby, I didn't think about that before I said it. I-"

Kris cut Kate off before she could finish. " You know, we didn't think this through very well. If my father finds out, he could make it very difficult for you here. Even if he didn't feel the way he does about relationships like ours, he hates me enough to try to hurt you. I can't let that happen Kate. I will protect you, know matter what that means." Pushing away from the startled woman, Kris went into the kitchen to make some coffee. She heard Kate's footsteps but couldn't turn to face her.

When Kris wouldn't turn around, Kate wasn't sure that she wanted to see what was in those eyes that she had come to love. Feeling the familiar anger build, Kate demanded, "And just what is that supposed to mean?"

Sighing deeply Kris finally turned, "Think about it Kate. I am only here for a short time. I'm used to my father and his antics but in the end it doesn't matter because I won't be here long enough for him to cause me any damage. I have a career and a life away from here. This is your life though. You've been here for 15 years; you're loved and respected by everyone. What do you think will happen if my father finds out? Sure, they may let you keep your job because it would look bad to out and out fire you. How comfortable do you think that they would make it though? Coming out isn't just hard when you're a teenager Kate! It's hard at any age and harder still in a small town like this that is ruled by a man as ruthless as my father!"

Kate knew that Kris was upset but surely she couldn't mean what it sounded like she meant. "So what, when your mother passes away, you were planning on just leaving? What is this?" she cried as she waved her hand back and forth between them. "Is this just a fling for you? Something to tide you over until you go back to your big city? It sure didn't feel like that last night! I thought that you and I agreed that there was something here Kris."

"Of course this isn't just a fling Kate! I told you last night that we were destined for something and I meant that! I can't stand the thought of my father hurting you ok? I won't let him do that! That man ruined my childhood ruined my self-respect and my self-esteem. He ruined my chance to know what a loving family was and most of all he ruined my heart. I haven't felt anything, and I mean deeply felt anything, in so long that I forgot how to do it. Then I come back here, the place that I hate more than anything and find you." Kris's voice broke and tears sprung to her eyes. "All my life I've been searching for something, hoping to find that piece of mind and comfort that it always seems like everyone else has, hoping to find my place in the world, my home. Last night falling asleep in your arms, I found all that and so much more." Kris's voice was so low that Kate had to strain to hear her.

The tall woman's body was trembling with emotion so heavy that it looked as though she might break under it. Going to her lover, Kate wrapped her arms around the other woman's strong frame and rested her head against her chest. Both women were crying now, their tears meeting somewhere on Kris's shirt and soaking it through.

"I love you Kris," were the simply whispered words that fell effortlessly from Kate's lips. "I don't know how, why or when exactly that happened but it's there. It's so strong that it takes my breath away. I don't give a damn what your father or anyone else says about it."

Kris felt all of the tension in her body disappear with the heartfelt words uttered by her lover. Knowing in every thread of her being that the truth had finally been spoken, she drew a shuddering breath and returned, "I love you too Kate. I didn't want to assume anything. I guess I've been afraid that I'm in a lot deeper than you."

"Kris, there are a lot of logistics to work out here. More than my brain can handle at the moment. I only know that I need you like I need air, water and food. I can't handle the back and forth, up and down roller coaster ride that we've been on. I need to know that you aren't going to give up on us at the first sign of trouble. There are going to be problems, things that we'll need to work out. I want to do that with you. I'm not worried about your father, this town or anything else. I know how I feel and now I know how you feel. That's all I care about right now." Kate placed a soft kiss on Kris's neck and whispered, "I love you, I love you, I love you." Looking up at blue eyes that were still moist from emotion, Kate whispered, "And right now I need to show you how much."

Without another word spoken between them and the coffee forgotten on the counter, the two women returned to the bedroom to reaffirm their spoken words with touch.

It was much later in the day before the two women finally emerged from their woman-made cocoon in the bedroom. Once they had showered and dressed, they debated whether or not they should actually leave the apartment.

Hunger finally made the decision for them. The lack of food in Kris's refrigerator made Kate shake her head at the taller woman. "Come on Amazon, we need to get some food in here or we're both going to starve. Haven't I told you about my food requirements?"

Kris laughed affectionately and pulled the blond into her for a hug.


Part 12

The two women both agreed that they were to hungry to wait so decided that grocery shopping was out of the question. Making their way to the small diner on Main St., they found that their hearts were lighter than either had felt in months. Even though they knew that there were still issues that needed to be dealt with, the most important issue, their feelings, were now out in the open.

When they got to the diner, the found a back booth and tried to ignore the stares that were sent their way by various patrons. Kris silently vowed that she would not let the small-minded people of this town get her down, especially now that she had someone else to consider.

"Hey, where'd you go there?" Kate asked questioningly.

Kris shook herself from her reverie and smiled brightly at the blond. "No where babe, just thinking about how amazing this feels. I can feel all of the eyes staring at my back but I'm not even sure that I care. It feels so good to be able to sit here with you and know that your opinion is the only one that counts and that you're on my side."

"Always," Kate whispered fiercely. "We'll figure this all out together but no matter what happens, I am always going to be on your side from now on."

Kris had to fight the desperate need to take the smaller woman's hand in her own, knowing that regardless as to how they felt, it still would not go over well.

As they ate their dinner, they began to open up to each other more and more. They spent time talking about their childhoods and college. Before either of them noticed, more than two hours had passed. Deciding that they'd better vacate their booth before the waitress handed them both cloths and made them start cleaning to earn their keep, they paid the bill and headed out.

Even though they had taken their time over lunch, it was still fairly early in the day. Kris looked at Kate and asked if she wanted to come with her to see her mother. When Kate answered in the affirmative, the tall woman steered the truck towards the manse.

Kris was the first to notice the out-of-place vehicle parked in the long driveway but it didn't take long for Kate to spot it as well. Letting out a mumbled curse, Kris parked the truck but made no move to get out.

After the initial shock of seeing Sam's truck parked at the home of the biggest bigot in town, Kate burst out, "What the hell is she doing here?"

Kris shook her head and said, "I don't know but with a combination of her and my father, it can't be good. Maybe I should take you home babe and then come back and see what this is all about."

"Not a chance in hell!" Kate emphatically shook her head no. "This woman is started to really piss me off but there is no way on God's Green Earth that I'm going to let you walk into that without some moral support."

Even though everything in Kris told her that she should not take no for an answer, somewhere in the back of her mind a little voice whispered you're in this together!

Nodding her head and taking a deep breath, Kris said simply, "Let's go then."

When the tall woman's hand reached out to push the heavy door open, Kate noticed immediately that she was shaking. Hang on baby, I'm here and I won't let anyone hurt you ever again if I can help it! Not able to vocalize her thoughts, she settled for resting her hand momentarily on the small of Kris's back.

Kris immediately felt better from the gentle reminder that she truly was not in this alone. Glancing behind her, she felt the strength from jade eyes permeate her being.

Although they could hear voices in the kitchen, Kris immediately went to check on her mother. When she couldn't find the sickly woman in her bed, she made a 180 and headed back towards the voices.

They reached the threshold just in time to hear Sam state, "I think that you know what's best for the kids in your town Reverend. I'm sure that you can't possibly want not one but two lesbians in such influential positions."

"You're quite right, quite right," the Reverend responded. "I will have to see about this. I have to say though that I'm not to surprised after the last few months. I've seen that woman at my daughter's house more than once. I just wish I had been wrong. She's always been highly respected by both the kids and the parents. I guess that just goes to show that you can never be too careful at who you let into your children's lives. I'm sure if my perverted daughter can convince a woman like Kate Crawford that she's one of those people, they can convince more than one impressionable youngster. Something will most definitely have to be done about this."

Kris and Kate heard the voices approaching and Kate wasn't sure whether Kris was going to turn and run or push through the door. Surprised by the brunette's quick movement, Kate was caught off guard when she noticed that Kris was already in the kitchen and glaring at both Sam, her eyes filled with anger. Quickly moving into the large kitchen to back her lover up, Kate was thrown back to a time when such a look was all that seemed to occupy Kris's eyes.

"Well now isn't this cozy. I have to say Sam, I'm a little bit disappointed that it took you more than 24 hours to come to my father with this. Not the most original approach I'll grant you, but I'm sure you figured it would be effective. Unfortunately what you've failed to realize over the last several months is that my father no longer has any bearing on my life." Even though they weren't touching, Kate could feel the venom coming from Kris's body.

"If it isn't the devil and her little floozy. You'll be leaving my house now Kristina. I always knew that you were good for nothing scum but now you've corrupted an innocent bystander. I'll be making sure that the school board has been set straight by the time class resumes in the New Year. And as for you Miss Crawford, might I just say that I'm absolutely appalled that you've taken after my daughter, I thought you had better sense then that." The Reverend didn't even attempt to hide his smug grin from either Kris or Kate.

Kris's hackles were quickly rising and her father's attack on her lover did not help to quell them. Knowing it was a long shot but not able to think of anything else, Kris retorted, "Do you really think that I would have come back here and allowed you to have that type of power over me? I told the school principal before I took the job about my lifestyle. You forget old man, times are changing and people are much more accepting than they used to be; even here in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere."

The statement took Kate aback. From everything that the younger woman had told her, she had assumed that everyone but her was in the dark as to Kris's sexuality. Not wanting to step in between the feuding family members just yet, Kate stood back and watched as Kris continued her attack.

"And as for my pal Sam here, did she happen to mention just why it is that she's so interested in my life? Did she tell you that she's just a concerned former student or what? I'm betting that she didn't mention to you the fact that she's just as big of a lesbian as me did she? I'm also guessing that she hasn't told you that she's spent the last few months being my fuck-buddy!" Kris couldn't help but feel some form of juvenile satisfaction at the look on her father's face.

"I want you out of my house! I'll not have you come in here and disrespect the Lord like this! You're an abomination to the Lord and I'll not have garbage like you running around my town corrupting all the innocents that I'm responsible for protecting! I don't care why you came back here! As far as your mother and I are concerned, we no longer have a daughter!" As her father roared at the top his voice, Kris finally noticed the small frame of her mother sitting on a chair in the corner of the room. She could see the tears in the older woman's eyes and looked back to her father.

"Don't you think that it's time we stopped fighting with each other? I'm not a child anymore and we don't have to like each other. I don't depend on you and you're not responsible for me. I want to spend some time with my mother before it's to late. She's your wife, don't you want her last days to be happy?" Kris tried to appeal to her father.

"Yes, she is my wife and she will obey me!" The Reverend's voice simply got louder the quieter Kris's voice got.

"Enough!" Everyone in the room stopped and looked Karen. "I am tired of this battle between the two of you. Walter, if you can't respect my last wishes than I don't want to spend my last days with you. You've taken the last twelve years that I should have had with my daughter and that's my fault because I let you do it. I've had it though and you will not get your way this time! I love Kris and I'm proud of the woman that she's turned out to be. God knows that she had no help from us!" The sick woman took a deep shuddering breath and continued, "You talk about God Almighty and how it is your duty to serve him by ministering to his people. What about your own daughter? How do you think that God is going to feel when you get to the Pearly Gates and St. Peter looks up your life in his book? Do you really think that you'll be allowed life everlasting with the way that you've been a monster to your own daughter?"

Everyone in the room was stunned into silence. Kris wanted to go to her mother, to offer her some form of comfort but was unable to move. Kate could do nothing to ease the distress in either her lover or Karen and so she did the only thing she could. She moved closer to Kris hoping that her lover would draw some comfort in the fact that she was there.

The Reverend, unused to his wife voicing her opinion, took several minutes before he could respond. When he did, his voice was quiet and calm but threatening nonetheless. "Don't you speak to me in such a way woman. I own this house and everything in it. Don't you think that I won't throw you out without another thought."

Looking momentarily distressed, Karen gathered the last of her strength and dignity and said, "Fine, then I'll be going." With that, she turned and left the kitchen.

Kris threw a murderous look towards her father and then Sam. "You are both sick." With that she too turned and left the room pulling Kate with her.

"Mom?" Kris's voice was tentative to say the least. "Are you okay?"

"Actually my dear, I've just realized what a complete and utter waste my life has been. I'm not sure that I'll ever be okay." Karen was shaking like a leaf and Kris's heart broke for her. To realize at the end of the road that you were on the wrong road couldn't be an easy thing to face.

Unable to fathom what she could possibly say to make either woman feel better, Kate found a duffel bag and began to pack some of Karen's clothes. Kris looked torn between helping her mother gather her things and killing her father. Realizing that the last thing that the already sick woman needed was more drama, Kris pulled her mom into a hug and said, "Your life could never be a waste mom. You've been a source of strength and hope to more people in this community than most people can even fathom."

"Oh Kris, how can you even say that? All of that stuff I just accused your father of, I'm guilty of as well. I've never treated you right. I didn't defend you as a child and I let him push you out of our lives. I let him beat you because I was to afraid that he would turn on me." Karen's pain was plain to see but Kris interrupted her.

"If it wasn't for you mom we wouldn't be having this conversation; I wouldn't even be here. We've all lived with our anger and hurt long enough and it's time to let go of the past and make the most of the present. If you hadn't asked me to come back, I wouldn't have and then we would have lost this opportunity. What happened in the past isn't pretty but at least now you see it and you've taken responsibility for it. Now I have some of the closure that I've wanted for so long. It's not perfect no, but it's done and we can move on." Kris's voice was filled with sadness but also missing some of the bitterness that had been there for as long as Kate could remember.

Once Kate had enough clothes for a few days, she wrapped her slender arm around the frail frame of her lover's mother and guided her towards the front door. Kris walked ahead of the pair, worried that her father would try to get physical when he found out that her mother really was leaving. When the man was nowhere to be seen, she breathed a sigh of relief and opened the front door.

The trio's happiness at the Reverend's absence was short lived when they got to Kris's truck only to find the front tire slashed. Cursing under her breath, Kris broke out the spare and made quick work of replacing the damaged tire.

As they loaded into the truck, Karen sitting up front between Kris and Kate, Kris squeezed her mom's arm lightly and said, "For what it's worth, I'm proud of you mom. It's never easy to leave someone, even someone as hateful has my father. It's even harder to do after 45 years together."

Knowing that the full repercussions of her actions hadn't yet hit her ailing mother, Kris tried to turn to lighter topics. "We'll head over to my house and get you settled then Kate and I will go grocery shopping while you lay down for a while. Lord knows I can't cook well so it won't be anything spectacular but we'll make do."

"You don't have to wait on me Kris. I'm perfectly capable of making meals and earning my keep. I don't have the right to ask you take me in as it is, the least I can do is help out around the apartment." Karen's voice sounded so tired that Kris didn't have the heart to argue with her.

"You will always be welcome wherever I am; you are my mother and I love you." Kris's simple words brought silent tears to an old woman's eyes.


After Kris and Kate got Karen settled in, they headed out of the apartment and towards the grocers. Neither woman spoke much as both had a need to absorb all that had transpired in the past 24 hours and simply enjoy being in each other's presence.

They made quick work of their shopping after only a brief argument on who would be doing the cooking. After Kate stated quite plainly that she didn't expect that they'd be eating to many meals apart, Kris finally relented and let the small blond buy ingredients for meals that were far beyond her meager skills.

On the trip back to Kris's place, Kate finally brought up a subject that she hadn't planned on quite yet. "You know, you're place has more than enough room for just you but now with your mother, it's going to be awfully crowded."

Kris thought about that for a moment and then responded, "Yeah but there aren't a lot of places for rent around here. I don't want to get to far from town in case mom takes a turn for the worst and we need to get to a hospital. I was lucky to get my place because it belongs to an old friend."

Kate tried her damnedest not to respond to the comment about the 'old friend' but couldn't prevent the momentary flash of jealousy. When Kris caught the look, she smiled and squeezed Kate's hand. "An old guy friend babe. I never slept with him, I promise!"

Kate had to laugh at her own insecurity. "Funny, I never figured myself for the jealous kind. I guess I've never been with anyone I was ever worried about losing!"

They drove on for a few minutes before Kate worked up the courage to continue her train of thought. "Well you know, there's more bedrooms in my place than I've ever used. I have a covered patio out back and more than enough storage. You and your mom could just move in with me." The words came out in a rush now. "You can still be in town but you wouldn't have to worry about the long staircase up to the apartment. I have a bedroom right on the ground floor which would be perfect for you mom and there's a spare room upstairs if you feel like you need your own space."

When Kris didn't respond immediately, Kate felt that she had perhaps pushed things a little fast. "I'm not trying to push you into making some kind of a life-long commitment to me babe. I just want you both to be comfortable and you're not going to be at your place."

Not really wanting to have this conversation while driving, Kris steered the truck to the side of the road. Turning in her seat, she took Kate's hands in hers and said, "When I said I love you, I meant it. As for making a life-long commitment, I'd marry you tomorrow if I was allowed. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried that you're going to wake up one day and wonder what the hell you're doing with me. I'm sure in time I'll get over that. I don't want to rush you into anything. This is all new to you and it's not like I've made things easy."

Kate's response was to lean over and bestow the most passionate, love-filled kiss she could on the brunette's lips. "I love you, you know that? You are so amazingly kind that I'm not sure how I ever got so lucky. You're right that this has been an eye-opening experience. In some ways it seems like this has all happened very quickly but in other ways it's like it's been a longtime coming. I have no interest in losing you this time and to be completely honest, I'm not sure that I like the thought of sleeping alone again. After last night, I don't think that I could every go back to the way things were before."

Even though they were in the relatively open environment of the truck, Kate couldn't help stealing another kiss and then reveling in the feeling of Kris's strong arms around her. After a few minutes of cuddling, Kate whispered, "Let's go tell your mom."

On the way into the apartment, Kris jokingly said, "Well, we've officially turned into a 'U-Haul couple'."

When Kate looked at her like she was crazy, Kris said, "I'll explain it later."

While Kris went through to the kitchen to put the groceries away, Kate went to check on Karen. As she stuck her head through the door, the older woman stirred.

"I didn't mean to wake you," said Kate softly.

"It's okay dear. I can't seem to sleep for more than an hour or so at a time. Where's Kris?" Karen asked as she sat up rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

"She's in the kitchen putting the groceries away. Did you want something?" Kate asked.

"A new brain would be alright," Karen joked. "Come sit with me for a minute."

Kate moved further into the darkened room sitting gently at the side of the bed.

"So tell me, is it true what that woman said about you and Kris?" Karen didn't feel the need to explain her question, pretty sure that the younger woman would know what she was talking about.

Kate looked down at her hands, a habit she had noticed only lately when Kris had pointed it out. "Well, I'm not sure exactly what Sam told you. If she told you that Kris and I are in a relationship then yes, it's true."

As she answered, she looked at Karen to see the reaction on the older woman's' face. Surprised when all she saw was genuine curiosity, she continued. "I want you to know that I love your daughter with all of my heart. It's been a long couple of months for both of us but we've worked through the most important stuff."

At Kate's words, Karen smiled and responded, "I'm glad she has you. I don't know a lot about my daughter but I do know that she's crazy about you."

When Kate looked startled by that admission, Karen chuckled. "It's obvious to anyone with eyes dear. The way she looks at you is enough to give it away. And anyway, she told me as much. Just tell me that you're not going to hurt her. I don't know how she's turned out so wonderfully but I'm not sure how much more hurt that girl can take."

Feeling the truth of that statement deep in her sole, Kate smiled and vowed, "I will do everything in my power to make sure that Kris knows happiness for the rest of her life."

The honesty in Kate's voice made Karen feel better. "I'm glad she's got you then." Wanting to lighten the mood some, Karen pushed herself up out of bed. "Shall we go see if Kris figured out which food needs to go in the refrigerator and which goes in the cupboard?"

As the laughing women emerged from the bedroom, Kris was standing in the kitchen looking at the fridge in wonder. Peering at them through suspicious eyes, she said, "I'm sure you two are laughing at my expense but I'm sure I don't want to know what I've done that is so amusing so I'll let it pass."

Kris's statement only made the two women laugh harder. "Sure, yuck it up," she said as she through her hands in the air.

Taking pity on her lover, Kate went and placed and affectionate kiss on the tall woman's chin. "Go and keep your mother company love, while I start dinner." Looking over her shoulder to check if the elderly woman had gone on to the living room, Kate said softly, "I hope you don't mind but I confirmed what Sam told your parents. I figured it's pretty much useless to deny it at this point and quite frankly I don't want to live like that anyway."

Kris only smiled at Kate and said, "Of course I don't mind. She needs to know and I couldn't hide it if I tried. Regardless, she already knew how I felt. Who do you think helped me to see what a reject I was being?"

Kate laughed and patted Kris's well toned behind. "I guess we can have the rest of the conversation with her after dinner eh?"

"Yeah I guess so. Mom's not going to care where we stay. She adores you and I get the impression she was already well aware that you and I come as a packaged deal." Kris leaned over and kissed Kate's forehead. "We're also going to have to come up with a plan in regards to the school. I highly doubt that my father was bluffing when he said he intends to talk to the school board."

After a nice quiet dinner of spaghetti, garlic toast and salad, the three women sat in the living room sipping coffee.

"That was lovely Kate, thank-you." Karen complimented the young blondes cooking. "Now if we could only teach the giant one here to cook half as well, we'd be set!" The older woman couldn't resist the slight tease at her daughter's expense.

Kris smirked but didn't respond to the gibe knowing how true it was. "Mom, Kate and I have something we want to discuss with you. You are more than welcome to stay here with me but I must admit that it will be crowded."

Before Kris could finish, Karen jumped in, "I'm sorry dear! I don't want to put you out at all! I'll see if I can find somewhere else to stay."

"No mom, that's not what I'm saying so slow down a second and let me finish." Kris tried to assure the older woman and Kate moved to sit beside Karen in the hopes of offering her some comfort.

Seeing that her lover was affected by Karen's emotion, Kate jumped in to explain. "Kris and I thought that there would be more room if you both moved into my place. I have a huge house on the other side of town and you can have a room on the ground floor so there'd be no stairs like there is here. As an added bonus, there's a huge covered patio out back that you can sit on for some fresh air."

Kris was grateful for her lover's assistance but had recovered sufficiently to finish off the proposal. "I think it's a great idea mom. There is definitely more room there and it is closer to the school."

"Well heavens! I'm not sure what to say! I guess that it does sound a bit better. I wouldn't want to kick the two of you out of the bedroom here and somehow I don't think that my daughter is going to let me sleep on the couch so I guess that it's a great idea!" Karen looked relieved that she wasn't about to be thrown out into a snow bank and genuinely pleased that Kate was now so firmly in her daughters life.

"Perfect! Well, why don't we clean up the mess in the kitchen and then head over there tonight? I don't know about you two but I'm exhausted!" Kate was extremely happy that the older woman hadn't voiced any objections to the idea of them all living together. She was also very relieved that Karen understood the nature of her relationship with Kris and all that entailed.

As the trio headed out into the night together, none of them were aware of the angry eyes that followed their movement.

Once Karen had been tucked into bed, the exhausted woman fell asleep almost immediately. After checking on her mother one last time, Kris made sure that the front door was locked and then headed up to bed.

Stopping briefly at the room's threshold, Kris took in the beauty of her lover. Kate was sitting on the bed running brush through her golden locks until they shined. As she moved to put the brush away she was stopped by the look of love in Kris's eyes.

Dropping the brush unceremoniously on the dresses, Kate walked to Kris and slid her hands under the front of the taller woman's t-shirt. Running her fingers over the heated skin of Kris's firm abdomen, she whispered, "Come to bed baby, I want to feel your skin."

With a cocky grin, Kris replied, "I want to feel a lot more than your skin." She guided Kate to the bed and then caught her completely off guard when she lifted her up and dropped a tender kiss on her lips.

Lying Kate gently in the middle of the large four-poster bed, Kris began to slowly undress for her lover. Her blue eyes burned with an intense desire that took Kate's breath away.

Full of anticipation of the coming night, Kate tried to sit up to remove her own clothing but was stopped by a light touch from Kris and a silent plea from the brilliant blue eyes.

After Kris removed her t-shirt, she moved to slowly unbutton her jeans. When she was standing in front of Kate in just her bra and panties, she motioned for Kate to sit up.

Kate pushed herself up and moved to sit on the edge of the bed. Mesmerized by the scantily clad skin so close to her, she barely noticed when began to undress her.

Unable to hold back any longer, Kate moved to taste the beautiful skin before her. As her mouth moved from Kris's neck down her throat to the valley between the brunette's breasts, she hummed softly her approval.

Both women felt the need growing rapidly although both were determined to take their time. Kate pulled Kris back onto the bed with her so that the taller woman was lying on top.

Enjoying for a moment the delicious weight of her lover, Kate satisfied herself with mapping out the strong back of the body on top of her. After a few minutes, need drove her on and she rolled a slightly surprised Kris over quickly.

Determined now to experience all her lover had to offer, Kate began on a journey with her hands and mouth. She traced the muscles in Kris's upper arms and shoulders then moved down to the firm globes of the taller woman's breasts.

Kate teased and tormented her lover and coaxed out long pleading moans before finally covering and aching nipple through the satiny material of Kris's bra with the heat of her mouth. Kris arched her back in an effort to offer more of herself up to the vixen on top of her.

The torment continued as Kate moved her attention to the other breast. Tracing the areola lightly with the soft pads of her fingers and then moving her attention downward to the sensitive skin on the underside of the breast.

Just when Kris though she could take no more, Kate moved on. She slid her body further down Kris's lean frame until her head was resting on Kris's stomach. With one hand she made quick work of the clasp holding Kris's bra in place so that the perfect mounds were free.

The green in Kate's eyes darkened, as the desire she felt grew more intense. She mapped the lines of Kris's abs with her tongue and fingers and felt her desire hit a new high when her lover's lust-filled moan reached her ears.

The smell as her lover's need reached her nostrils and made her mouth water even as she felt a slight apprehension. Knowing that she had never done anything like this before wasn't about to stop the determined woman from learning everything about her lover's body. Her need to experience this ultimate intimate act soon overrode any fears of inadequacy.

Sliding down the rest of the way, she gently parted her lovers trembling legs. Starting on Kris's upper thigh, she tasted the brunette's essence and found she wanted much more. After cleaning the desire from her lover's thighs, she moved to her center and gently parted the glistening lips with her thumbs. Placing a gentle kiss on the swollen bud, she swirled her tongue around greedily lapping up all she could get.

Kris could finally take no more and begged Kate for release. When she felt the smaller woman's fingers slip inside, first one and then two, she cried out her approval.

Kate's fingers and tongue moved in tandem and it didn't take long before Kris's hips were swaying in perfect synch. When Kris's orgasm finally took over, it was so intense she finally had to beg Kate to stop.

Collapsing back onto the bed, Kris hoarsely whispered, "My God you're incredible."

Kate climbed up Kris's long body and curled herself into her lover's arms. "That was the most amazing thing I've ever experienced. You taste incredible!"

The women spent the rest of the night exploring, learning and loving until exhaustion finally overtook them. As the sun was beginning to rise, they fell into a deep sleep wrapped tightly in each others arms.

Outside, an angry onlooker vowed, "You will pay bitch!"

Continued: Part 13

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