The Cabin, Part II: The Christmas Delivery
Characters are my own. Please send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. This one is PG and depicts romance - and sex, albeit only imagined - between two women in a committed relationship. What could one possibly find offensive about that?
Dana Hamilton smiled and shook her head in amazement as she graded one of the final exams from her senior-level Engineering Design class. One of her most-promising Engineering students was a Russian foreign exchange student named Svetlana Petrova, but everyone called her Sveta. She was a lovely young woman, thin and tall, but broad-shouldered, with long, straight black hair, icy blue eyes, and pale skin.
Although Sveta wore no make-up, and dressed almost exclusively in well-worn blue jeans and t-shirts, with her striking face and slender physique, she looked like a fashion model. She was painfully shy and reserved however, and had made few friends since she had moved to Knoxville, even though her command of English was excellent. It probably didn't help that Sveta was 25 years old, which meant she was a few years older than most of her classmates.
Sveta actually had family in the United States - an aunt and her husband and kids. Her aunt had emigrated to America with her husband, an engineer, almost 20 years before. Their children had been born in the United States, however, and were completely Americanized. They didn't even speak Russian. As a result, Sveta didn't have a lot in common with her younger cousins. Plus, they lived in New Jersey - not exactly just down the road from east Tennessee. Dana had sometimes wondered if Sveta had appreciated how far removed - in ways other than mere distance - Knoxville, Tennessee was from Newark, New Jersey when she'd moved here.
One of the few friends Sveta had made since moving to the area was Dana's graduate assistant, Katie, who was brash, out-going, lesbian, consummately American, and who had a tremendous crush on the reserved Russian.
Most of Dana's students tended to study and do homework in groups, and whenever she gave tests, their approach to solving problems was remarkably uniform. With Sveta however, Dana could tell that she studied and worked out solutions to problems completely on her own, and sometimes her approach was remarkably insightful. Dana recognized that Sveta was a student of rare brilliance, and hoped she could convince Sveta to pursue graduate studies under her. Sveta had already turned in all the requisite paperwork at Dana's urging, but hadn't totally committed to the idea yet. Katie hoped she'd stick around as well, but she definitely had ulterior motives.
Just then, Katie burst into Dana's office and dumped a pile of papers onto her desk. "The Intro to Physics finals are all officially graded, ma'am. You'll be glad to know that nobody flunked."
"Why would I be glad about that, Katie? Maybe your test was too easy." Dana replied, laughing.
Katie frowned, "It's essentially the same test you gave two years ago."
"Exactly - and it was too easy then, " Dana observed wryly.
Katie rolled her eyes and flopped down in the chair across from Dana's desk, pushing her wavy brown hair off her face. "So - how's the expectant momma doing? I haven't seen her around lately."
Dana smiled indulgently. Her partner, Bree, was 38 weeks pregnant with their first child and sitting on go. She could basically go into labor at anytime.
"She's absolutely miserable. We've been to the hospital twice in the last week because she started having contractions and they sent us home both times. If something doesn't happen in the next two weeks, she's afraid they're going to have to do a Caesarean, and she doesn't want that," Dana said, sighing.
"What about you, what do you want, Dana?" Katie asked, smirking.
"I just want the baby to get here and for our lives to somewhat get back to normal. We haven't had sex in two months," Dana said wistfully. "Bree went from being insatiable in the first 7 months to untouchable the last two - which is hard, because she looks like this delectable ripe fruit to me. I can hardly keep my hands off her."
Dana and Katie both dissolved into laughter. "You are such a pig," Katie said, shaking her head. "But I feel the same way about Sveta, I want to jump her shy, sexy Russian bones so bad I can taste it. I think she kind of likes me, and I think she's gay, she certainly doesn't seem to have any interest in guys, but I also think she's practically a virgin and doesn't quite know what to make of my obnoxious ass."
Dana chuckled, and squinted at Katie through her glasses, "Katie, even I don't know what to make of you sometimes. Maybe you just need to back off and give her some space. I don't think ambush tactics are going to work with Sveta."
Katie sighed, "Yeah, and maybe I need to push her out of her comfort zone. I've been giving her space for a the last year, and we're getting nowhere."
Just then the phone rang on Dana's desk. Dana picked up the phone. "This is Dr. Hamilton..."
"Well, hello, Dr. Hamilton. This is your wife calling. I was just wondering when you might be home? You said you'd be home by 6:00 PM and I'm dutifully making lasagna per your request - I don't want it to get cold," Dana broke into a smile at the sound of Bree's dulcet tones.
"I was just about to leave, sweetie," Dana responded. "By the way, have you made up your mind yet?"
"About what?" Bree replied quizzically.
"About the party this weekend at the cabin - are we still going to try and do it this year? There are a lot of people I've invited and I need to let them know if you're not feeling up to it."
Bree sighed, "Yeah, let's do it - It's just two days away and I haven't had any contractions for the last couple of days. I think we'll be okay for the weekend - and we'll only be an hour or so away from the hospital. I'd like to be around friends and family anyway and I don't want to miss our big Christmas party. I feel like I've been kind of sequestered lately."
"Okay, babe. If that's what you want - I'm okay with it. I'll be home soon." Dana hung up the phone, smiling indulgently.
"You guys are so freakin' sweet you'd make a 'Care Bear' look edgy", Katie interjected, scowling. "Please just shoot me if I ever get as whipped as you are."
"Eat your heart out, Katie, " Dana said, smugly. "Oh, and by the way - the party is on for this weekend."
"The cabin party?" Katie replied, distracted.
"Yes, the cabin party - the same party at which Ms. Petrova - the object of your affection - will be in attendance," Dana said teasingly.
"Oh...that party." Katie replied, frowning suddenly and leaning back in her chair thoughtfully. "Do you think I ought to buy a new outfit?"
Dana laughed, "Oh, by all means, Katie, I think you need to buy some new holey jeans and a new broken-in flannel shirt. What you're wearing now is just a little too holey and broken-in. Or is the problem that it's not holey and broken-in enough? I haven't figured that part out yet."
Katie rolled her eyes , "Whatever, smartass, I'm going shopping, and when I'm though, I'm going to look so hot, Sveta won't be able to resist my charms."
"Well, dress to kill if you want, but if I were you , the first thing I'd do is call Sveta and suggest that you ride together. I gave her directions to the cabin, and her eyes kind of glazed over, I don't think she's too familiar with driving around outside the city - she rarely ventures out of Knoxville."
"Yeah, that's a great idea, Dana. Plus, she'll be trapped in my tiny car with my gorgeous female self, practically bathing in my pheromones all the way to your house. I'll have her on her knees before the night is over."
"Gross, I don't want to hear any more" Dana exclaimed. "Just be sure you don't frighten her and send her running back to Russia - she's my best undergrad student and I'd like to see her stick around for a few more years."
Katie frowned, feigning insult. "I wasn't talking literally, Dana. I'm not a complete pig. We haven't even kissed yet."
Katie laughed and hurried out of Dana's office as Dana shook her head. She didn't quite know what to make of Katie's interest in Sveta. As much as she liked Katie, she wasn't entirely sure it was a good idea for either of them. The two girls just didn't seem to fit together - and Dana suspected Katie was motivated primarily by lust. Sveta was a loner, quiet and studious and very serious, while Katie was very gregarious, a party-girl who went through girlfriends like candy. She didn't want to see either of them get hurt. Oh well, ultimately it was none of her business. She'd found her perfect match, and for that she was extremely grateful.
Dana pulled up into the driveway of the hillside home south of Knoxville that she shared with her partner, feeling uncommonly blessed. Two years ago, soon after she and Bree had gotten back together after a separation that had been miserable for both of them, Bree had let it be known that she wanted to have a child.
They'd discussed various options, but Bree was adamant that she wanted to carry Dana's child. One of Dana's best friends was a fertility specialist, and they'd originally tried implanting Dana's eggs fertilized by an artificial donor with no success.
Shortly thereafter, Bree's cousin Ryan, who was an extremely successful songwriter and session musician in Nashville, and who had been one of Bree's closest friends and confidantes since childhood, tearfully confessed to her his intense desire to be a father after listening to Bree bemoan her woes about getting pregnant , and offered to act as a sperm donor. Like Bree, Ryan was gay, and after many years of being single, had finally met his soul-mate and settled down.
When Bree approached Dana about it, Dana didn't hesitate. It just seemed right, and she liked the idea of their child having a larger extended family that included two Moms and two Dads. The fact that Ryan was related to Bree, and they shared many qualities, both in their personalities and appearance, was an added plus.
On the first try at implantation with Dana's eggs fertilized by sperm donated by Ryan, Bree got pregnant.
Nine months later, Dana and Bree's child was on the brink of being born. They'd asked not to have the sex revealed to them - they wanted to be surprised the old-fashioned way, but regardless, they knew what the baby's name would be be - regardless of gender - Quinn Anders-Hamilton. Quinn was Dana's mother's maiden name. The baby's middle name was the only thing that depended on gender. The baby's middle name would either be Helena in honor of Bree's mother or Karl in honor of her dad.
Dana pulled up outside their home and parked her massive 4-wheel drive Chevy Silverado next to Bree's Volkswagen Touareg. After Bree had gotten pregnant, she'd traded in her little VW Beetle for the larger SUV, and Dana had traded in her beloved old reliable regular cab Silverado for a new deluxe Crew Cab version. Oh well, Dana mused - at least they weren't driving mini-vans.
Dana found Bree in the kitchen, leaning over the bar perusing the December edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine and looking positively luscious. Bree hadn't put on a lot of weight during her pregnancy, but she'd gotten noticeably more voluptuous, particularly around her ass and hips, and her larger breasts practically had Dana hypnotized. The weight gain had made Bree feel unattractive and insecure - she absolutely refused to let Dana see her naked - but Dana thought it was cute, and sexy as Hell.
Dana slipped up behind Bree and pressed into her, wrapping her in a full body hug. Of course, the only way Dana could hug Bree right now was from behind, she mused. Dana buried her face in the hair at Bree's neck and sighed. On top of looking delectable, Bree also smelled delectable.
Bree chuckled as Dana slid her hands around Bree's vastly expanded waistline and slid her hands up under her shirt, moving upwards towards her full breasts, which had gone from slightly more than a handful to considerably more than a handful in the last few months. Plus, her nipples always seemed to be on-point. Beautiful. "You know," Bree said indulgently, looking over her shoulder at Dana, "there is something really perverse about being so horny for a pregnant woman."
Dana groaned as her fingers touched the warm silky skin of Bree's breasts, "It's not the pregnant thing so much my dear as the fact that we haven't had a completely uninhibited make-out session in at least seven months - not since you found out for sure you were pregnant."
"Awww - poor baby", Bree said, sliding her hands over Dana's. "Be nice and I'll let you rub cocoa butter on my stretch marks later."
Dana laughed and stepped back, pulling her hands out from under Bree's shirt. "Cocoa butter, hmmm? No wonder you smell so delicious."
Bree turned around and pulled Dana to her, kissing her tenderly. "I promise to make it up to you soon, sweetie. Plus," she reminded Dana, "I've offered several times to take care of your needs and you won't let me."
Dana sighed and wrapped her arms around Bree. "I know, honey, but I want to make love to you as much as I want you to make love to me. Maybe more. I'd rather wait until we're both ready."
Bree chuckled and nuzzled Dana's neck. " You are such a sweet woman. Have I ever told you how happy I am to be having your baby?"
Dana pulled back and looked into Bree's eyes. "Why yes you have, Ms. Anders. But have I ever told you how happy I am that I'm going to be raising our child with you?"
"You may have mentioned it a time a time or two, Ms. Hamilton," Bree replied running her hands through Dana's silky hair.
"Well, I have just one more question, my love," Dana stated, cocking one eyebrow, and noticing an enticing smell in the kitchen.
"What would that be, Ms. Hamilton?" Bree said, gazing expectantly at Dana.
"Are you going to continue to tease me, or are you going to feed me your famous lasagna?" Dana asked, wiggling her eyebrows.
Bree laughed out loud and slapped at Dana playfully, "I don't know - you're much too fun to tease."
Dana growled and Bree pushed her back into a chair.
"Sit down, m'lady. You're gruel will be served shortly."
"Step lively then, wench", Dana responded pushing Bree away and watching her shapely ass walk away as she groaned to herself. 'C'mon Quinn - little woman or little man - stop being stubborn, go toward the light and let's get this 'born' thing over with, I want my woman back. She'll be your momma forever. but I need her now.'
Dana and Bree pulled up into the driveway of the cabin early Saturday morning with a load of groceries for the party that night. Normally, they would have stocked up with enough groceries to last them a few weeks, but with the baby soon to arrive, they had no plans to spend their customary four week sabbatical at the cabin, and had only bought enough groceries for the weekend.
The annual cabin party had become a recurring Christmas tradition for Dana and Bree's friends and family over the past few years, ever since the first housewarming party Dana had thrown after finishing the cabin.
That was the infamous housewarming party at which Dana and Bree had reconciled after an extremely painful year of separation. Dana could still remember the passionate and intense love-making session that had ensued after all their friends had departed. Bree and Dana had been together for four years prior to their break-up, and even though they'd always had a decent sex life, that night, Dana had finally let down all of her emotional barriers with Bree, and the increased intimacy had resulted in a sexual connection that had been positively mind-blowing for both of them.
This year they would have a few new attendees at the party - in particular Katie Branch, Dana's graduate assistant, and Svetlana Petrova, a gifted senior Physics student, and hopefully soon to be a graduate student, who was far away from home this Christmas. Also in attendance for the first time would be some new members of their extended family - Bree's cousin Ryan Jennings and his partner Alex.
Dana grabbed a couple of bags out of the back of their SUV before heading to the door and stopped Bree from doing the same.
"Don't even think about it, honey. You don't need to be packing anything. Is your back still hurting?"
"Just a little bit. It's just kind of a dull ache - not too bad," Bree said, sighing, and trying to stretch the kink out of her back.
Dana opened the back door entrance into the cabin and crinkled her nose at the slightly musty smell. "We're going to need to throw open all the doors and windows to get some fresh air in here, Bree."
Fortunately, even though it was mid-December, the temperatures were fairly mild outside, it was sunny and mid-50's, although the weather was supposed to take a turn for the worse that night, with temperatures dropping below freezing. It had actually been an unusually mild Fall and Winter in east Tennessee thus far, and the trees in the woods around the cabin hadn't fully shed their leaves, so that the lake wasn't as visible from their deck as it would normally be this time of year.
Dana packed the groceries into the cabin and started loading up the refrigerator as Bree trailed behind her. Dana had been up to the cabin two weeks prior and had cleaned everything up in anticipation of the party, and with the help of her chainsaw and her ATV, had had amassed a huge store of firewood from the deadfall that had accumulated over her property in the preceding months.
They now had enough firewood to last them through the winter, if necessary. Although they usually only spent a few weeks at the cabin each Winter, and would probably only spend a couple of days here this Winter with the baby soon to arrive, somehow the thought of that gave Dana great comfort. In January of the previous year, a massive ice storm and accompanying cold wave had swept through east Tennessee, knocking out electrical power for several days in the city of Knoxville and for several weeks in some remote areas in surrounding counties.
During the catastrophe, Dana, Bree, and much of their extended family had ended up all holed up together at the cabin, which had propane heat supplemented by the wood-burning fireplace. Dana had also installed a large back-up diesel generator in the event of power outages, so they were among the blessed few to have full access to modern conveniences during the episode.
Dana smiled at the memory as she got the fire going in the massive fireplace, basking in its warmth.
Bree wandered up behind her and placed her hand on her shoulder, "Honey, is it okay with you if I go lay down for a bit? I'm feeling kind of tired."
Dana nodded, but frowned slightly. Bree had seemed somewhat distracted for the day or so, as if there was something she wasn't telling Dana. Okay, maybe Dana was just being paranoid. Sometimes she wished she was the one who was pregnant. She'd know exactly what was going on and she wouldn't be constantly agonizing over Bree's well-being. It would be so much easier.
Having finally opened up her heart to Bree after their reconciliation, Dana sometimes was frightened by how much she loved her, and the pregnancy had brought all of her worst fears to the fore. Dana could still remember the terrible depression her Father had fallen into after her Mother's sudden death in a car accident. Although Dana had tried to reach out to him, he'd eventually taken his own life.
Dana sighed, shaking off the disturbing memories. 'Next
time...' Dana thought. 'Wait a minute, what next time? There is
no next time', Dana pondered, amazed. 'This was it, baby-wise,
Dana was laid back in the hot tub on their deck as she felt Bree slip in next to her. She was too relaxed to move, but she felt Bree's warm soft body slide up next to her; Bree turned and straddled her hips, sliding her warm lips down Dana's neck as Dana sighed in pleasure. Dana reached up and palmed Bree's large breasts, rolling her thumbs over the taut, rubbery nipples.
Dana felt wetness flow from her at the mere sensation of touching Bree's silky skin and she groaned with pleasure. Bree's hands slipped down to touch her and Dana buried her face in Bree's hair, reveling in the warm, wet, feminine smell of her. Bree caressed her slowly, bringing her gradually towards orgasm, fucking her with first two then three fingers.
"Dana! Dana, WAKE UP!"
Dana jerked forward. Surprised to find Bree standing fully clothed beside the hot tub and not in it.
"Honey, would you please get out of there before you fall asleep and drown?" Bree said, smiling indulgently. "What were you dreaming about anyway? You seemed to be having a good time."
Dana blushed, still extremely aroused from her dream. "I'll tell you in a couple of months...when you're ready to hear about it." Raising up out of the hot tub, she heard a car pull up out in front of the cabin.
"Damn. It sounds like some of our guests are here - early. Listen - you greet them while I run upstairs and get dressed -then I want you to sit down and relax," Dana said with determination.
Bree rolled her eyes. "I feel perfectly fine, Dana."
Bree walked to the back door to find Bree's friend Millie and her girlfriend Janice, along with Lacey and her new girlfriend Annie.
"So, did you guys decide to all ride together?" Bree asked.
"Well, according to the weather forecast, we might actually get some sleet and freezing rain tonight, so I thought it was best if we all drove up in my Jeep, just in case it got bad. I'm sorry if we're a little early, but I wanted to see if we could help out a little before everyone else got here, since I know Dana won't let you do anything," Millie said, laughing.
"Plus, I'm apparently the designated driver, so that the rest of them are free to show their ass," Milly huffed.
Bree laughed, "So you drew the short straw, huh?"
Milly shook her head, "No. I'm the one who is on the diet that doesn't allow any alcohol consumption. Just shoot me, okay?"
An hour later, Dana's brother Aaron showed up followed by Bree's two younger sisters, Beau and Blaine. Dana's sister Delilah and her husband Nick arrived shortly thereafter. Bree's parents spent their winters in Arizona because of her Dad's respiratory problems and only came home for a few days after Christmas, so Dana and Bree's cabin party had become the family Christmas party for Bree and her sisters.
Bree's parents had cruelly thought it would be cute if their daughter's names were alliterative. Bree's sisters were both currently single. Blaine had never married and Beau was recently divorced, and Aaron loved to ply his charms on them.
Bree was the oldest sister at 38, Beau was closer to Aaron's age at 34, and Blaine was the baby of the family at 28. Beau had her sister's white-blond hair, but that's where the resemblance ended. Beau was aggressively heterosexual, wore her hair long and curly - and never appeared in public without a full face of war paint, whereas Bree only wore a little mascara and a touch of neutral lip gloss. Blaine tended to go more natural like her oldest sister, but her hair was more of a dishwater blonde and her eyes were light green.
Beau had dropped out of college to marry, had two kids before her divorce, and was now working as a manager at a local restaurant. Blaine on the other hand had always been more career-focused, and was a very successful Nurse Practitioner, working for a local OB/GYN. Aaron seemed to be more partial to Blaine, but it didn't seemed to be reciprocated.
Although Aaron was certainly charming, both Dana and Bree strongly suspected Blaine was gay and in denial. Blaine had spent the last several years in a series of immensely unsuccessful relationships with men. She'd actually had a girlfriend in high school, but when that relationship had ended painfully, Blaine had decided she was straight after all. Bree suspected that Blaine's return to the closet after the painful break-up was a self-defense mechanism.
The last guests to arrive were Katie and Sveta. Dana smiled as the two walked in the door together. Dana hadn't quite figured out yet if Sveta was gay or not because she was so reserved, although she certainly hadn't shown any interest in the boys that flocked around her, but you'd have to be blind not to sense the tension between the two girls.
What Dana hadn't quite figured out yet was if the tension was sexual tension or just plain old tension.
Blaine sighed as she sat she sat down at the table next to Beau and across from Dana's brother Aaron. As much as she loved visiting with her beloved older sister and her partner, some aspects of the routine she didn't exactly enjoy.
Usually when she visited, Aaron was there as well, and even though she liked him as a friend and thought he was a nice guy, she was getting tired of fending off his not-so-subtle advances. She'd tried her best to make it clear she wasn't interested. There was no doubt that Aaron was good-looking and funny, but he was "family" and there was no way she would date him and deal with the inevitable fall-out when the relationship fell through.
If Blaine was honest with herself, she'd spend some time ruminating over why she had little doubt in her mind that a relationship with a great guy like Aaron Hamilton would be destined to failure, but being honest with herself wasn't something Blaine had excelled at in recent years.
Just then, Blaine noticed some new guests had arrived and looked up from the table as Aaron rambled on about the 1967 Camaro he was restoring. Aaron had found out shortly after they met that Blaine shared his love of old classic cars, and now every time she saw him that was all they talked about.
One of the new arrivals Blaine vaguely recognized. Karen, or Kay, or Kate or something like that - one of Dana's graduate assistants, cute, very flirty, but a little too obnoxious and forward for Blaine's taste. There was someone else with her as well, and Blaine felt her eyes drawn to her. She was tall and slim, her worn jeans barely clinging to her slim hips, with long straight black hair and aquiline features; and, as Blaine soon discovered as their eyes met - amazingly intense light blue eyes.
She may have been one of the most striking women Blaine had ever seen, and the sight of her left her somewhat breathless.
'Whoa. Down, girl. You don't do this, remember?' Blaine reminded herself, pulling her eyes away from the new visitor as she tried to calm her racing heart. But the image of her was burned on Blaine's memory, and she was immensely aware of her presence.
Blaine suddenly realized Aaron was asking her a question, and she bluffed a response to hide her distraction, but she still found her eyes straying to the opposite side of the room. When she did, she was stunned to find her eyes immediately met by this stranger's. Blaine felt a surge of electricity run through her, and somehow intuitively knew that they were both feeling the same connection.
She pulled her eyes away and tried to focus on Aaron. 'Dammit', she thought to herself, 'this wasn't happening, I won't let this happen. I can't let it happen'.
For the life her however, at this particular moment, Blaine couldn't remember why.
Dana stood over the smoker as Bree slid up next to her, leaning over her shoulder.
"Have you noticed the little drama unfolding before us, Ms. Hamilton?" she whispered into Dana's ear conspiratorially.
Dana glanced over to one of the tables on the deck, where Blaine and Sveta sat engaged in impassioned conversation while a perturbed-looking Katie - and Aaron - looked on.
"Yeah, I noticed. This is not good."
Bree glanced over at Dana, "Not good as in you feel bad for Katie or you feel bad for Aaron?"
Dana grimaced, "A little bit of both, I guess."
Bree laughed, "Well, I'm just hopeful my little sister is finally coming out of her shell -and my intuition tells me it's all good - for everyone involved. "
"What are you talking about?" Dana frowned.
"What do you mean 'what am I talking about' - look at the two of them. They just fit. All of the boyfriends that Blaine has brought here over the years, they didn't fit. Katie and Sveta didn't fit, Blaine and Aaron certainly didn't fit, but those two - they just fit."
Dana rolled her eyes, "Those True Religion skinny jeans you paid a mint for last year don't fit anymore either, my love, but they still looked hot on you, and they're still hanging in your closet. You have too many crazy female hormones flowing through you right now."
"Well, maybe, but I know true love when I see it."
Dana smiled indulgently at her hopelessly romantic partner, "I hope you're right, Bree. I'll have to admit I didn't think Sveta and Katie made a good pairing. Katie is just too much of a player. I think she's only into Sveta because Sveta has so doggedly resisted her charms."
With Millie's assistance, Dana took the two pork shoulders off the smoker she'd constructed from an old propane tank and transferred them to the kitchen.
"Dinner is almost ready, everyone," Dana said, happily.
Dana and Bree had arranged the outside tables on the deck around some propane heaters for comfort. In the past, they had used outdoor wood-burning fireplaces for warmth, but this year, Dana and Bree had upgraded to propane to cut down on the amount of smoke generated.
Dana suddenly looked up from her meal and noticed Bree had left the table. For some reason that fact unsettled her. Dana smiled over at Millie, who was in the middle of an amusing story, "Hey, I'm going to go check on Bree, okay?"
Millie hesitated and nodded, "No problem."
Dana walked into the cabin and found Bree standing outside the bathroom, looking somewhat dazed. Dana walked up to her grasped her shoulders, "Honey, are you okay?"
Bree looked up at her, her eyes suspiciously moist. "My water just broke, and I've had some really intense contractions. I think it's time to go to the hospital, Dana."
Dana's heart sank slightly. Realizing the time was finally here, she suddenly felt overcome with concern for her partner. She tried not to think about the fact that they were at least an hour drive away - in good weather - from their preferred hospital in Knoxville.
"I'm going to go out and tell everyone what is going on - You, don't move - I'll be right back"
Bree laughed, "Dana, I'll be in the car. I can still walk you know - you don't have to pack me."
Dana frowned and rushed out the back door.
Dana slipped into the ladies' restroom on the Maternity ward, and gazed tiredly at her pale, strained visage in the mirror. For the last hour she'd been holding Bree's hand as she went through increasingly painful contractions.
Bree's sisters were there for moral support, but seeing Bree in pain was causing Dana immense distress and she was about to break down in tears, no matter how hard she was trying to be strong for her.
Fortunately, according to the nurse in attendance, they were about to administer a spinal block, and according to Bree's sister Blaine, after that she'd feel very little pain.
Dana shuddered and sighed. My God, she was about to become a parent. Without a single labor pain, stretch mark, or missed period, she was about to have a child - they were about to have a child. Somehow, despite the preceding weeks of ultrasounds, and listening to the baby's heartbeat and feeling him or her kick, the reality of it had never quite sunk home with her before.
How in the world could Dana ever repay Bree for such a gift? All the pain, discomfort, and suffering she'd gone through to give birth to their child. Dana brushed the tears from her eyes and smiled at her reflection.
'Lucky,' she thought. So lucky to have regained what she came so close to losing thanks to her own stubbornness. She only hoped Bree felt half as lucky to be with her.
As Dana straightened, the door to the bathroom opened and Blaine looked in.
"Dana, you might want to head back to Bree's room - I think it's time."
Sveta leaned back in the uncomfortable hard plastic chair in the waiting room of the Maternity ward, running her fingers through her long black hair, wondering if she should just leave and if it was even appropriate for her to be here in the first place. It was 2:00 AM and Katie had left several hours ago. She had a 2nd job at a local coffee shop and had to get up early to go to work.
Sveta had told Katie to go on without her. Her apartment wasn't far from the hospital and was on the same bus route, so she knew she could get home easily the next morning. Somehow she couldn't bring herself to leave just yet. She hadn't seen Blaine since she had arrived at the hospital, and she couldn't seem to make herself leave without getting a chance to see her and talk to her again.
Suddenly, Blaine walked into the waiting room carrying a steaming cup of coffee, looking frazzled and exhausted but still beautiful - at least to Sveta.
Blaine glanced around the waiting room frowning slightly until her eyes met Sveta's. She smiled and nodded and walked over to where Sveta sat. Aaron, Ryan, and his partner were the lone family holdouts, and Blaine smiled at the sight of the three men huddled in the corner together asleep. Dana's sister Delilah and her husband Nick had to go home to relieve their babysitter and Bree's parents were in transit from Arizona and wouldn't arrive until the next day. Millie and her partner, meanwhile, had been pacing the hallway outside the delivery room with Blaine for the last few hours.
Blaine sank down tiredly into the chair next to Sveta and sighed, "You think I'd be used to this by now having gone through it twice with Beau", she said bemusedly.
"This is the first time you've been through it with Bree however", Sveta noted.
Blaine grinned, "You know you're right. It's different with Bree than it was with Beau. Beau and I were always close enough in age to be friends, as well as competitors. Bree was the much older sister, and kind of like a second mother to me. She's always kind of been my hero, too. So the emotions are different, for so many reasons."
Plus..." Blaine looked down, hesitating slightly, "plus, I always assumed - rightly or wrongly - that Bree - since she was a lesbian - would never have kids. I was a very young teenager when Bree came out to the family, and that is what I remember thinking at the time. It made me sad, since I knew from experience that she would make a great mom."
" So - I guess part of my emotions are because I'm so incredibly happy for her and I want everything to go right. I want this for her and Dana so bad," Blaine said, sighing.
Sveta reached over and grasped Blaine's hand. "What about you, Blaine? Do you want kids someday."
Blaine laughed. "I don't know. I used to think not - but if...if I met the right person..."
"Person?" Sveta asked quizzically, raising her eyebrows and gazing intently at Blaine.
Blaine looked at Sveta, then glanced away, breathing deeply.
"Blaine..." Sveta began, "I really enjoyed talking to you tonight. I felt like we really connected. I'd like to get to know you better. But..."
"But?" Blaine glanced back over at Sveta and squeezed her hand slightly.
"Katie and I had a short conversation on the way to the hospital. She said that I was 'yelling up the wrong tree' or something like that. She said that you were 'straight' - that you had a different boyfriend on your arm every time she saw you," Sveta said, her voice pained.
Sveta looked away from Blaine's intense green eyes and sighed, "I need you tell me if I'm misunderstanding what is happening between us."
Blaine felt her hackles rise slightly at Katie's words. Blaine had little doubt that Katie's motivations were far from altruistic.
Blaine clasped Sveta's hand more tightly, "Look at me, Sveta," Sveta obliged shyly. "Dating men doesn't make you straight," Blaine said. "Sometimes, it just makes you more certain you are gay, if you're honest with yourself. Believe me, I ought to know."
Sveta smiled at Blaine, her relief obvious. Blaine reached out to brush the hair back from Sveta's face, stunned by this amazing woman who in a few hours had managed to break through all the barriers she had erected around heart for the last few years.
"I was in a lesbian relationship as a teenager, and we had a really painful breakup. She was from a very religious family. We were together for two years before she decided she could never come out. She broke up with me and started dating some guy from her church," Blaine said, grimacing. "After that, I decided I didn't want to be gay either. I was determined not to be gay. But...the whole "straight" thing didn't quite work out for me. I haven't really seriously dated anyone in the last two years. I've kind of just tired to focus on my career and pretend I didn't need anyone in my life."
Suddenly Beau burst into the waiting room, smiling from ear to ear.
" Quinn Anders-Hamilton is here, y'all - 7 lbs 6 ounces - and SHE is beautiful.
Dana Hamilton stood in the hallway outside the nursery observation window, leaning tiredly against her brother Aaron, gazing in at the little sleeping bundle that was her daughter, Quinn. Bree had fallen into an exhausted sleep after the birth, but Dana was wired and still in a mild state of shock. Nevertheless, she hadn't slept in over 24 hours, and knew that going without sleep was bound to catch up to her with a vengeance soon.
Bree's parents had shown up shortly before and were huddled in a corner with Beau, who had picked them up at the airport. Blaine meanwhile had left shortly before to grab coffee and breakfast at the Waffle House next to the hospital with Sveta.
Quinn looked like the baby pictures of Dana, and the faded black and white baby pictures of Dana's mother before her , the mother that departed so suddenly from her life so many years before - a mother Dana wished could be here to see her grandchild. Dana felt overcome by love for this little person. Her only regret was that neither of her parents were here to share this moment with her and experience the joy she was feeling.
Nevertheless, Dana was happier than she could ever remember being in her life. Not only was she relieved that the ordeal was over and Bree - and Quinn - were okay, but she was overwhelmed by the love she was feeling for the tiny little person that was her newborn daughter, whose perfectly round head was topped by a sparse cap of dark hair that was standing up in a point on the top of her head. Dana smiled to herself, already imagining the little pink bow Bree would soon be tying around that unruly lock.
Dana hadn't been as certain about the choice of having a child as Bree had been - to some extent she had only gone along with the idea to make Bree happy. But all doubts about being a parent had flown out her mind the instant that they had placed Quinn in her arms shortly after delivery.
At that moment she had known. This was meant to be. Quinn Anders-Hamilton, the little creature that Dana had fallen in love with at first sight - was meant to be - and this is the life she was meant to live. It would never have happened without Bree, and it would never have happened if Dana hadn't let down the walls she'd erected around her heart. As smart as Dana was, it was definitely the smartest thing she'd ever done in her life.
Looking at her newborn daughter, Dana knew that there would be no more walls, and no more uncertainty. She was no longer afraid of love. She finally understood love was a privilege - not a burden.
It was a realization that was the ultimate gift from the immensely wise woman she loved, a gift Dana intended to spend the rest of her life giving back.
She couldn't wait to start .
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