Twelve Days

By Colleen


General Disclaimer: This is an alternate uber story. The physical descriptions of the two lead characters may remind you of two others we all know and love, but all characters in the story are from my own imagination. This story is an original work and is copyrighted by the author. It cannot be sold or used for profit in any way.

Love/Sex Disclaimer: This story depicts a loving relationship between two consenting, adult women and contains scenes of intimacy, but nothing explicit. If you are under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something other than this story.


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Chapter 3

Cori tossed the props she’d just used for a photo shoot into a nearby toy box. Her stomach grumbled a protest of being kept waiting so long for lunch. "I know, I know, I’m going." She just stepped through the door leading into her home when someone knocked on the studio door. She briefly thought about letting it pass until a strange, but pleasant tickling sensation suddenly replaced the rumbling in her belly. She hurried across the room as the second knock sounded.

"Hi," the visitor said when the door opened.

Cori grinned widely. "Hi."

Taylor held up the red and white sack in her hand. "I thought I’d surprise you. I hope you haven’t eaten yet."

Cori grabbed her new friend by the arm and escorted her into the warm, cozy studio. "I am starved." She gave Taylor a welcoming kiss. "And this is a wonderful surprise."

"Actually I was being just a little selfish. I needed to see you." Taylor’s blue eyes scanned the room, in interest and in apprehension at her next question. "Am I being too pushy…I mean moving to fast?"

Cori chuckled. "Well let’s see, I’m the one who has asked you out…twice. Do you think I’m moving too fast?"

"No, of course not."

"Good. At least we’re on the same track." The blonde took Taylor’s hand and started to lead her into the house, but a thought dawned on her. She turned and smiled. "Wait right here. I’ll be right back."

The dark-haired woman didn’t have to wait long. Cori soon returned with a blanket tossed over one arm and a wicker basket in the other hand. She spread the blue and red patterned throw on the fake snow in front of the camera. The painted forest scene behind them completed the outdoor atmosphere. "Come on, let’s have a winter picnic," she said. Once seated beside one another, Cori handed Taylor a cola and poured herself a glass of something else.

The dark haired woman looked at the white substance. "Milk?" she questioned.

"Yeah. I’m nursing." She took a big gulp as the taller woman removed the food. "Actually," Cori continued, "I’ve been drinking this religiously for over a year and I’ve kind of gotten addicted."

"Speaking of addicted, my son would not stop raving about your parents this morning at breakfast. He rambled on forever about all the things they did. He had so much fun. And your father taught him the months of the year. We had just started on that lesson, but your father must have the magical touch."

Cori chewed on her chicken sandwich, grinning and shaking her head knowing the secret. "He was a teacher for twenty years," she explained.

"Well no wonder. My son could be a genius if he hangs around your father often enough."

Cori smiled and looked into the cool blue eyes. "That can be arranged. Besides, Mom and Dad had just as much fun as Travis did."

Taylor ate more of her food as her expression turned pensive. "I wish Travis had grandparents he could count on to spend that kind of quality time with him." She quickly shook off the feeling and moved on to something more cheerful. "I also heard all about Jack."

The blonde head flew back with a groan. "Oh no! My parents only live a couple of blocks over. Dad must have gone home and brought him back for a visit…and then snuck him back before we got here."

"Apparently so. He was wearing his winter sweater and matching boots."

Cori rolled her eyes.

"What kind of dog is Jack anyway?" asked Taylor. "I couldn’t quiet tell from his description."

"Jack is a two year old Basset Hound. And he is more spoiled than I ever was. See, I told you they were anxious to have grandchildren. They got a head start with Jack."

The blue eyes dropped to the colorful blanket. "Travis loves dogs and has been wanting one. But we just can’t have one in our apartment."

Cori placed her hand on the cloth-covered knee next to her. "I hope my parents didn’t cause you any trouble by introducing him to Jack."

"No of course not." Taylor took that hand and gave it a little squeeze. "Besides, he can get his canine fix when he comes to visit your parents."

Cori smiled. "We’ll just have to make sure he gets to come by often."

They talked and laughed and told more stories for the next thirty minutes. But the perfect lunch finally had to come to an end. Taylor looked down at her watch. "Darn. I lost track of time." She jumped to her feet pulling Cori up with her. "I hate to leave you with this mess, but I’m gonna be late getting back to work."

They both hurried over to the door. "Don’t worry about that," said Cori. "But do you have just a few more seconds?"

There was something about that tone of voice that Taylor couldn’t resist. After slipping on her coat she turned to face her…what was Cori to her? They hadn’t reached the partners stage…or even the lovers stage; they’d only had three dates. Friend definitely wasn’t enough, but girlfriend didn’t really sound important either. But for now it seemed the best. "Yeah why?" she asked.

"Because I need to hug you." And Cori did just that, slipping her arms under the black coat and resting them on the long, muscled back.

But that wasn’t enough for Taylor. She brought her right hand up and let the silky, blonde hair slip through her fingers as she stared deeply into those emerald orbs. What she saw there scared her. Not the kind of fright that would make her run away. Just the opposite, it was a feeling so strong that she saw…forever. It scared her that forever might not be enough. Without a word, Taylor dipped her head and their lips met in a repeat of the sweet kiss they had shared the night before. But that wasn’t enough either, as the passion they had both been curbing escalated beyond their limits. Lips were tasted and nibbled softly in a teasing exchange. The mists of two single breaths dissolved into one as one inquisitive tongue engaged in a loving duel with the other. Each mouth was thoroughly explored, as time no longer had any meaning. They parted reluctantly, eyes still closed trying to calm their passionate hearts.

Cori finally blinked and she eased from the embrace she initiated. But she rested her hands on the taught stomach, not willing to let go until the last possible second. "Thank you," she finally whispered.

"Oh, you don’t have to thank me for that."

Cori giggled, a trait that Taylor found adorable. "That too," she said, "but I meant thank you for coming over…with lunch."

"You’re welcome. I have to work late tonight. Can I call you when I get home, about nine?"

"Absolutely." Cori snuck another kiss. "Bye."


Cori had to stand at the door and watch as her friend drove off. She was so hypnotized that she didn’t even notice that her next appointment had also arrived.

Taylor did call that night and they talked until the tall woman actually fell asleep in the middle of a sentence.

* * * *

They both had extremely busy days on Monday. Cori had back to back appointments all day long and Taylor had to rush across town a couple of times to setup for three separate parties. She had taken several breaks during the day and had tried during every one of them to call Cori, but the busy photographer was always with a customer and all Taylor had heard was the blonde’s voice over the answering machine. Their free time never coincided and they never had the chance to even say hi person to person.

* * * *

The words began to blur on the page. Harry Potter was becoming Hurry Pootr. Cori reached up to rub her overtaxed eyes, closing the big book and setting it aside. A flip of a switch extinguished the lamplight at her side and she took her cup of hot chocolate and moved to sit in front of the dying fire. Slowly sipping the thick, sweet beverage, she watched the orange flames licking the top of the blackened logs. Kylie was long asleep and Cori realized how lonely she felt. In just a few days, Taylor’s presence had already enraptured a life Cori had already thought content. But now she realized it hadn’t been complete. The blonde replayed Taylor’s words that were left on the answering machine and Cori wrapped her arms around her herself, failing to sooth the ache from the absent embrace she longed for. "I missed you today," she whispered to the darkened room. Grabbing the iron poker beside her, Cori snuffed the few remaining glowing embers and the feelings of morose that had draped over her soul.

The photographer headed for the kitchen to put away her dirty mug, but a knock on the door detoured her intended path. One green eye peaked through the tiny hole in the door and a grin split her weary face. Anxious fingers fumbled with the locks and the door was flung open. Cori grabbed the visitor by the furry lapels and pulled. "Get in here Taylor!"

The tall woman was happy with the enthusiastic greeting and complied willingly. Taylor wrapped long arms around the little blonde and hugged her tight. "I can only stay a minute," she whispered into the soft hair. "I just missed you today and I had to stop by and see you." They pulled back from the embrace and stared into each other’s eyes, enjoying the expression that resided there. Taylor leaned down to capture the beckoning lips, but their mutual fatigue kept them from delving into a heavily passionate kiss. But any chance to be close and just feel one another was a prize they both cherished.

"I missed you too," Cori said when they parted. "I’m sorry I missed your calls all day."

"I understand. We were both swamped. How’s your schedule for tomorrow?"

Cori did a little mental review. "Not to bad. Nothing like today anyway."

Taylor paused just a moment to enjoy the short fingernails scratching against her tired back. "I have to tend bar at a party tomorrow night," she said. "So I was hoping we could meet for lunch."

Cori smiled. "Sounds like a plan to me."

They debated where to go for lunch in between goodbye kisses. The blue eyes caught sight of the clock and its nine thirty-three time. "I really have to go Cori. The babysitter is waiting."

The smaller woman groaned. "I know. See you tomorrow. Goodnight."

"Goodnight. Sweet dreams."

Cori flashed a sexy grin. "Oh they will be, I assure you."

* * * *

Taylor was allowed an extra long lunch since she would be working late into the night. She and Cori had chosen an offbeat, but nice little restaurant, which was located halfway between where the dark haired woman was working and Cori’s suburban house. A nice, easy conversation complimented the great food and it nicely fulfilled their daily fix of each other’s company.

After the meal, Taylor still had some time so they drove back to Cori’s house for a few intimate moments. As always the kisses and soft caresses were perfection, but their underlying desire for one another was rising like a rolling tide.

The babysitter had discretely taken Kylie into the nursery to give the new couple their privacy.

"Do you happen to have any small bottled water?" Taylor asked.

"Sure do. It’s…"

"Cori, may I speak to you for a moment?" The question came from the hallway.

"I’ll be right there Mrs. Pine." Cori turned back to her friend. "The water is in the fridge, help yourself."

Taylor took a long swig of the cool liquid and leaned against the kitchen counter. "Is something wrong?" she asked when the blonde stepped into the kitchen

"Kylie has a little diaper rash. Mrs. Pine just wanted to know how I wanted to deal with it." The dark head nodded. "Now where were we?" Cori asked as she came to stand in front of the tall woman.

"Well, I was about to head out, but I would like to ask you something first."

"I’m all ears," Cori said as she unwrapped the two pieces of candy she had in her hand. She placed one chocolate kiss between Taylor’s lips and popped the other into her own mouth.

Taylor quickly chewed before asking, "What do you say this weekend we spend some family time together…I uh mean the four of us do…something together?" There was no immediate reaction to her verbal slip, but Taylor saw the eyes flicker just a touch.

Cori took a step closer into the open space between the tall woman’s legs. She looked deeply into the vibrant eyes and finally smiled. "Taylor, you can call us a family. That’s the way I’d like to think of the four of us. A family is a group of people bound together by love, not blood or legalities." Her eyes dipped just a second as she tried to prepare her next words. "I know you’re worried that this is happening fast, but when you know it’s right I don’t think that time really matters. I’m not the kind that falls at the drop of a hat. I have only had one serious relationship in my life and it… I know that what I feel for you and…well there’s just no comparison." Two curious hands settled just above Taylor’s hips and gave a little squeeze. She tilted her head just a touch and sighed happily. "I’ve been looking for you for a long time. I love you. I love everything about you, including your son. I’m in love with you." The small blonde was suddenly picked up and twirled.

"Thank God!" Taylor shouted to the ceiling. "Because I am so madly in love with you I’m about to burst." She set Cori down easily, but didn’t let go. "I just didn’t want to scare you."

"Scare me? You mean you can’t see it every time I’m near you?" Her tone was light and teasing.

"Well…I know there’s a very strong physical attraction between us and I know for me it’s much, much more and…I really did hope that it was that way for you too. You see I haven’t had even one serious relationship. Plenty of dates…before Travis. But they were just for a fun time. Most of them didn’t want anything more serious. But now I know it wouldn’t have mattered. You are the only one for me."

At the risk of sounding corny, Cori echoed the sentiment. But aren’t you allowed to be corny with a new love, to be silly and really enjoy the fun, knowing that you have that solid love to build on.

* * * *

"Why don’t you look through this catalog and see if any of these examples appeal to you and I’ll get the lighting set up." Ring. Ring. "Excuse me just a moment Mrs. Gold," Cori, left her customer and answered the phone. "Hello."

"Hi Sweetheart." Taylor heard nothing but soft breathing on the other end of the line. "Cori, are still there?"

"I’m here. That’s the first time you called me sweetheart and I was just savoring the sound of it in your voice."

"Oh…well I’ll make sure you hear it often then."

"You only left half an hour ago," said Cori, "miss me already?"

"Yes I do. But I actually called to ask you two questions. First, could you get a babysitter for tonight?"

"Mom and Dad to the rescue again."

"Okay, then how would you like a job?"

"A job?" Cori asked.

"Yeah. I’m tending bar at a corporate VIP party tonight and their photographer had to cancel. I said I might know of someone. I know you don’t need the money, but it does pay four hundred dollars…if you have the time and you want to do it."

Cori contemplated. "Well…I’ll do it on one condition."

"What’s that?"

"You got me the job, so as my agent you take twenty percent."

An audible huff of air left Taylor’s throat in protest. "Cori."

"It is a proper business practice, Tay," the photographer said. "I can put you in touch with one if you don’t believe me. And if you need a little incentive to accept my proposal, a photographer at an affair like this has to dress to mix in with the crowd. And I happen to have an emerald cocktail dress that I have been dying to wear." Cori could actually hear the vision pop into Taylor’s head and heard her breathing increase accordingly. "So what do you say?"

"Ok…" Taylor swallowed and tried again without the squeak. "Okay, you sold me."

* * * *

The tuxedoed men and sequined dressed women filed into the luxury hotel’s festively decorated ballroom. The co-workers and their spouses gleefully exchanged handshakes and hugs, as a five stringed quartet serenaded the gathering crowd. Everyone walked in with a wrapped toy…or two that would go to a charitable organization for underprivileged children. There was also going to be an auction later in the evening with the proceeds going to yet another charity. The philanthropic company was renowned and respected throughout Minnesota.

Taylor organized the glasses and bottles behind the portable black, marbled bar. She knew it wouldn’t be long before a line formed, ready to indulge in a libation or two. Taking a tray from a box on the floor, Taylor arranged five crystal flutes on it and began filling them with a fine vintage of champagne. Her co-worker and friend Becky would soon be milling through the group, offering the bubbly liquid to those who preferred.

A brunette, made even taller then Taylor by four-inch spikes approached the bar with a sway that would have made Jacques Cousteau seasick. The split up the side of her blood red dress went almost all the way to the equator and the northern hemisphere was showing more mountain range than a National Geographic. "A very dry Martini," she asked in her Kathleen Turner voice. Taylor turned to grab the silver shaker and the vodka as the vixen tapped her painted fingernails on the polished bar top. Her dark eyes scoped out the available bachelors in the room, no doubt looking for the night’s conquest. Without so much as a thank you, she lifted her drink and sauntered away, sucking on the green olive.

Office slut, thought Taylor with a mental chuckle. To easy. To occupy her time at these fancy affairs, Taylor played a little game, fitting all the different people into various categories. It might be a little cruel, but as long as she kept it to herself she figured there was no harm done.

"Scotch rocks," ordered the next customer. The burly gentleman with graying temples and mustache had at least nodded and smiled as he approached.

Taylor picked up the metal tongs and dug into the ice bucket under the bar. One cube clinked into the square glass and the bartender’s body froze, as she happened to glance at the entryway. The photographer had just entered the door. The heavy camera bag Cori had slung over her shoulder did nothing to deter her absolute beauty. The shimmering green dress she was wearing had an asymmetrical hemline with one side dipping below her knee and the other side stopping just above the joint. A very modest slit separated the silky material on the longer side. The bodice, also uneven, left the right arm covered completely and the other shoulder bared, the material slightly draping down her left arm and continuing to her wrist. Her mid-high heels perfectly accentuated two sculpted legs. Taylor’s intense appraisal continued until she heard the clearing of a gruff throat.

"I am so sorry Sir." She apologized as a blush flew to her cheeks and she finished preparing the drink.

The smiling gentleman followed her previous line of sight. He leaned over and whispered. "I completely understand. She is gorgeous."

Taylor couldn’t meet his eyes. She just mumbled. "Ah…yes she is." Even though it wasn’t required, he left a healthy tip and walked away, still grinning.

Cori went to the far corner and discreetly removed her camera, checking it over one final time before hanging the strap around her neck. She turned back toward the guests, but her green eyed gaze pierced the crowd and landed on the smartly dressed bartender. She gave a smile and a tiny wave of her hand before setting about to the evening’s job.

After having been caught lovingly leering at her girlfriend earlier, Taylor covertly watched Cori for the next hour as the photographer mingled with the increasing crowd preserving moments for posterity. The blonde smiled often and offered many Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday greetings. She was even drawn into a couple of interesting conversations, one on world travel and another offering photography tips.

As many of the guests dined on various hors d’oeuvre and main dishes from the buffet, others paired off and began dancing in the center of the room. As her subjects continued on with the evening, Cori decided to take a much-needed break. Something to drink and a visit with the dashing bartender was definitely in order.

The photographer gathered her equipment bag and sauntered over to the bar. The tall woman was wiping out a glass, her back to the crowd. "Got anything I might like?" Cori questioned in a sultry voice.

A wide smile quickly adorned the dark haired woman’s face. Before turning, Taylor did just a little teasing. "That’s a loaded question," she said. "And I would answer with a vivid demonstration, but my girlfriend is here somewhere and I have to be good. You’ll know her right away, she’s the most beautiful woman in the room…no make that the world." She slowly swiveled and her arms came to rest against the bar top. "Hi," she said with a half grin.

Cori laid her hands near Taylor’s, their fingertips touching. Both being professionals and on a job it was all they dared do…but no one could stop their thoughts. "Do you know how much I want to kiss you right now?" the smaller woman whispered.

Taylor gave her another tense smile. "So much it hurts."

"Guess I’ll just have to wet my whistle some other way…for now. How about a club soda?" As Taylor reached into the small refrigerator, Cori set her large, black bag on the bar. "Could you keep this back here?" she asked.

"Sure." Taylor stowed it behind her and went to ask her friend another question. "So are you…"

"Ms. Sterling, there you are. I was so upset because I thought you had gone." The tall, blonde man stopped at Cori’s side and placed an intrusive hand on her back.

"Hello Mr. Parker," she said uneasily.

His bright white, no doubt capped, teeth nearly blinded Taylor as she refused to back away. But he totally ignored her in favor of some old and moldy seduction techniques directed at her girlfriend.

"I thought I asked you to call me Steven?" he said.

Office lothario. Taylor mentally slapped the label smack dab on his tanning booth enhanced forehead. Maybe I could introduce you to the slut in red, she thought.

"Dance with me please?" he asked the photographer.

Begging? Yeah that is probably the only way you can get anyone to spend any time with you.

"I’m sorry Mr. Parker," said Cori, "but I really don’t feel like dancing. I’m just taking a small break from my job."

He pathetically tried again. "Just a quick one, then you can get right back to work. Surely you like to dance?"

Cori took a sip of her drink, looking across the rim of the glass at the bartender. Seeing Taylor’s jaw clench as she pretended to go about her business, made Cori smile…internally. "Mr. Parker, I really don’t care to dance now or anytime this evening." She answered politely, but staunchly.

He frowned. "Okay. You say that now, but you will change your mind." He turned to leave not seeing the visual daggers hitting him in the back.

Cori covered the tense hand of her snarling friend. "Forget him," she said. "Can you take a break now? Maybe we can find somewhere to be alone for just a few minutes."

Taylor’s face brightened as she signaled to the buffet table. "I’ll be back in fifteen," she said when her relief arrived.

They discreetly headed for the doorway of the ballroom, nodding and smiling at the friendly people…and hoping that persistent Parker was nowhere in sight. Cori silently followed her to the elevator and once inside, her hand slipped into the larger one as they watched the numbers drop. The doors opened on the eighth floor and Taylor led her down the hall while fishing for something in her pocket. One more turn down a short hall and the tall woman slipped the key into a lock of the last door. Taylor flipped the light on as they stepped inside.

"I hate having to hide to spend some time with you and this isn’t a very romantic place." Her head nodded to the large and mostly empty storage room. "But I’m afraid it’s the best I can do."

Cori’s arms encircled the other woman’s neck and she took a step closer. "I don’t care where we are, as long as I’m with you." Their lips met smoothly, only slightly sating their desire. But as the kiss continued it had the opposite affect.

Knowing that their time was short, they separated. Taylor glanced at her watch and confirmed that nine minutes had already passed. One thumb rubbed across the fine, yellow hairs lining the nape of Cori’s neck as Taylor’s other hand caressed the draping, emerald material along Cori’s arm. "You look spectacular in this dress," she whispered huskily.

"I was just thinking the same thing about you in this vest and bowtie." Cori straightened the black material around the tall woman’s neck. She laid her head against Taylor’s chest, in the v of the dark vest. "I guess we have to go back now huh?"

"I’m afraid so." They stole another kiss and then Taylor nibbled the thumb that wiped away the extra lipstick from her lips. "I’m going to follow you home because there is something I want to do, that we can’t do here."

Cori was definitely intrigued back didn’t ask. "Okay," she said lightly.

* * * *

The last major event of the evening was the silent auction, which was being held in the adjoining room. The door had been left open and Taylor listened as she packed away the bar supplies and her co-workers cleaned up the rest of the party mess. There were many items up for sale including cruises to Alaska and the Caribbean and a ski trip to Aspen There were also individual items like golf clubs and even a motorcycle.

She packed up the last dirty glass, loaded the box onto the metal cart and pulled the four-wheeled vehicle into the hall. Fifteen minutes later, Taylor was standing in the hotel lobby waiting for her friend. She heard the bell ding and turned toward the elevator, where she saw Cori step off, but so did her new shadow. Office jerk. Taylor updated Mr. Steven Parker’s status as she watched him follow her girlfriend across the room.

Cori stopped abruptly, just a few feet from where Taylor was standing.

"Oh, excuse me," said Parker when he bumped into the small woman.

Cori turned on him one last time. "I’m going now," she said sternly. A light bulb suddenly flipped on. "My baby is waiting for me at home."

Parker stood back, slumped shouldered. "Why didn’t you just tell me you had a boyfriend? Now I get the point. Goodbye Ms. Sterling."

Taylor dramatically rolled her eyes. Office idiot, she thought as an arm slipped around hers. "I’m sorry you had to put with him all night," she said as they headed for the big glass doors.

A shoulder shrugged. "It’s not the first time," said Cori. "Besides…I saw the jealously flash across your face. And that feels kinda nice."

Taylor stopped under the bright lamppost hugging herself against the cold. She turned to Cori, very seriously. "I just want you to know that if I thought you were really interested in him…or anyone else, I would let you go…but it wouldn’t just break my heart, it would crush it."

Cori lifted a gloved hand and drew a finger down the side of Taylor’s reddening face. "Sweetheart, I never intend to crush, break or even dent your heart."

Taylor’s response was a lovely, brilliant smile.

Once back at Cori’s house, the photographer saw her parents off with hugs and kisses. Just as she shut the door, soft strains of music began to fill the room. She turned to find Taylor standing near the stereo holding out a hand. Their bodies slowly came together and started swaying to the mellow notes, making lazy circles in front of the twinkling tree.

"This is what I wanted to do all evening," whispered Taylor. "I really wanted to be the only one you danced with."

Cori took in a short happy breath. "My card is full and your name is on every line. I love you," she said just before their lips met.


More to come.

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