Disclaimers: None. These are my characters and my words. If you want to borrow them, just ask. My momma taught me how to share.

Love/Sex: Yup, some love in here. Sex? Sorry Kristen, I didn't sneak in any after the last time you read it. But at least they do get to make out in this story! This story is about a relationship between two women, so if ya don't like that idea, g'way!

Violence/Language: No violence. And for the second story in a row my characters use language. (I'm not sure how to write a story that does not use language. Hints anyone?)

Thanks: To my buddies Kristen and Robin for reading it and pointing out some problems and waiting a couple of months for me to write the last three pages! Also many thanks to my beta reader Dani. This story is much better for all the red ink that died for it.

This is my second post, so you don't have to be as nice as the first time. All negative vibes and flames can go straight to /dev/null. Constructive comments and praise to frotu.

October 2003

Needing Her



Finally, Friday night! I needed a night out all week. All week? Let's try for the past 6 weeks! Dealing with clients and coworkers was almost too much this week. I had just moved to this city a couple of months ago to take a new job. It isn't that my coworkers were all idiots, there were a few of them that actually showed signs of intelligence. The main reason our clients call and ask so many stupid questions (and yes, there is such a thing as a stupid question contrary to what they tell you at customer service school) is because they have never been trained properly and the documentation for our software is non existent. That's why I am here, to revamp their training material, training process, and in the long run cut down on the number of calls that come in from clients.

Luckily my boss didn't care about my personal life, so my being a lesbian didn't matter to him. I'm not sure why I told him when I was offered the job. Maybe I was tired of watching what I said and not being able to bring a girl friend to any company functions like I had done with previous jobs. Like I said, he didn't care. He told me as long as I got the job done it didn't matter to him who I dated.

He also told me I'm not the only lesbian in the company. The other one, Michelle, was one of the few intelligent coworkers I mentioned before. Why she wasn't in charge of the technical support staff I wasn't sure. Well, other than her boss was one of the most incompetent managers at the company…

The last two months had been busy and this was my first chance to get out and have a little fun. With a little research on the Internet I found one local gay bar. I wasn't going to complain there was only one since I have been in towns without any place at all for the gay community to hang out. I went a little early so I could check the place out. I was also hoping they had a pool table so I could play a little.

The bar was close to downtown, so there was plenty of parking. I decided to take my car so I could have a beer or two. If I ride my bike I don't drink at all, and like I said, it had been that kind of week. I found the bar, parked, paid my cover and walked in. It wasn't a large bar, but they did have two pool tables in the back and neither one was being used. There was maybe 10 other people in the place, evenly split between men and women. I walked to the bar, got a beer and wandered over to the tables, checking out the women as I walked by. Hey, I was subtle about it!

I popped my quarters into the table and racked the balls. Once I found a straight cue, yeah in this case straight is good, I started to play. I kept an eye on the door while I played. After a couple of games a few guys grabbed the second table. I was looking at the door while racking for another game when a group of women walked in. Heh, this night just got interesting and for more than one reason. First, there was a cute blond in the group. Second was one of my coworkers, Michelle, the other lesbian, was with her.

I finished racking the balls and then broke. I actually managed to knock a couple of balls in on the break and decided to grab another beer. Sure the waitress would have eventually stopped by, but the blond was at the bar getting a drink. A closer look was in order. So I stepped up to the bar and waited my turn. The blond got her drink, something on draft and turned to walk to the table her friends were at. I caught her eye, smiled and said hi. She smiled, said hello back and walked off.

Now, you might think that was a bad thing, but you've never seen her walk away. I would guess she was 5'4", just a few inches shorter than I am. Her hair was dirty blond, wavy and went just past her shoulders. And her eyes were blue. Blue just happens to be my favorite color. You can already guess what I thought of her body since I was all but drooling as she walked away. I grinned to myself and thought "I am such a dog." then turned back to order and pay for my beer. I glanced to her table on my way back to the pool table and Michelle noticed me. She waved and I waved back, but headed back finish my game.

"Hey boss."

I looked up and Michelle was leaning against the table smiling.

"Michelle, how ya doing? You do realize I'm not your boss, right?"

"Yeah, yeah. Not yet. I give you another 6 months." She said.

I grinned. "What makes you think I would take the job even if it was offered? I've seen some of your teammates in action. I'm not even sure I would want that challenge."

"Yeah, but you would have me on your team and that makes it all worth while."

I had to laugh at that one. It's good to know I am not the only one with a healthy ego at the office.

"Okay, enough talk about work. I do not have to think about it for another 58 hours, so let's talk about something else."

Michelle looked at her watch and I could tell she was thinking about something. Finally she spoke.

"How'd you do that so fast? Do you count down the hours until you have to be back at work or are you some sort of whiz kid with math?"

I smirked. "It's one of my scary hidden talents. You'll see more the longer we work together."

Michelle just looked at me sideways. "Uh huh. So, like you said, enough about work." She continued. "And I'm glad to see my gaydar is still functioning at 100%."

I decided to play with her a bit and put a perplexed look on my face. "What do you mean?"

She started to look a little unsure of herself. "Well, you are in a gay bar. You do know this is a gay bar, don't you?"

I feigned shock. "Oh my God! Are you serious? I had no idea. I just saw it and decided to stop, get a drink, and play some pool."

Now Michelle definitely was not sure. So I decided to continue.

"Wait a minute… so since you saw me here you thought… I was a lesbian?"

I could tell she wasn't sure if she should confess to it or not. But to her credit she did. "Well, yeah, I did think you were. I thought so as soon as I met you as a matter of fact. Are you saying you're straight?"

I couldn't help myself and just started laughing at the thought of being straight. Michelle just looked at me, not sure what to do or say.

"You should see the look on your face." I managed to get out in the middle of my laughter. I finally managed to settle down to a few chuckles. "I'm sorry, I couldn't resist after that gaydar comment. God no, I'm not straight. Have no fear; you don't need to bring it in to be fixed."

She glared at me for a moment and then laughed. "That was sooooo mean. I wish I had thought of it first!"

"Sorry, it must have been brought on by jealousy. I've personally never had any sort of working gay detection system" I pointed at her and frowned. "so it's quite annoying when someone has it, like you."

She smirked and polished her fingernails on her shirt. "Well, ya know, when you got it, you got it. And I got it." She grinned and looked back at her friends. "Now I'm not sure if I should tell you why I came over here since you were so mean."

"Oh, so it wasn't just to show off your amazing lesbian detection abilities?" I asked.

She grinned and replied. "Well, yeah, that was part of it. The other reason is a friend of mine seems to have her eye on you and would like an introduction."

Inside I had a big smile, outside I played it cool. "Oh, which one?" I bent down for my next shot since I was still at the pool table.

"Allison, the red head."

I didn't even bother to glance. "Wrong eye."

I heard Michelle chuckle quietly. "Really? She's cute and single. Of course, maybe you're more interested in Laura since you were checking out her ass while you were at the bar." Suddenly she hit herself in the forehead with her hand and laughed again. "Damn, I should have remembered that, but you had me all flustered when you acted surprised you were in a gay bar."

I looked up and smiled. "Yeah, you should have remembered that." I moved around the table to line up my next shot.

"Oops, looks like you are going to get that intro even if you don't deserve it." Michelle said.

"Huh?" I looked up and saw the blond walking up to Michelle.

"Hey." Laura said. "I heard you laughing and thought I might be missing out on some good jokes so I came over to hear them." She smiled at Michelle and then me. I stood back up from my shot and leaned against the table as I returned the smile.

Michelle replied to her friend. "No, no jokes. She" she pointed at me "is a mean lady. Forget anything I might have told you that implied otherwise."

I took exception to that comment and glared at Michelle. "Excuse me? I might be mean, but who are you calling a lady?" I grinned, held my hand out to Laura and introduced myself. "Hi, I'm Jessica. You can ignore Michelle. I have no idea why she would think I'm mean. I haven't had a chance to yell at her once in the office." I leaned over and whispered loudly. "She knows her job and is too darn efficient. But don't tell her I said that. I hear she has an ego."

She took my hand and shook it. Thank God she didn't have one of those wimpy wet noodle hand shakes. It was a nice firm shake and she didn't let go of my hand too quickly. "Hi, I'm Laura. And we usually ignore Michelle anyway, so don't worry about it." She grinned at Michelle.

Michelle put her hands on her hips and looked back and forth at Laura and me. "I cannot believe this! Both of you picking on me. I'm going to go cry in the corner now." She turned as if to walk away and looked back at us and wiggled her eyebrows. "Although now I see Miss Samantha over there all by herself so maybe I should go say hi. You two behave yourselves." She waved as she walked away.

Laura just shook her head and smiled at her friend's back. She looked over at me and the pool table. "Do you always play pool by yourself?"

"No, not usually, but I was in the mood to play and since I was here alone…" I explained. "Would you like to play?" I asked her.

"Oh no, you don't want me to play. I'm lucky if I can knock one ball in during a game."

"That's okay. I'm not exactly in the same league as a pool shark. My game goes from okay to scary and back again in a very short time. Besides, I do this for fun, not for competition." I looked at the table. "Tell you what, since there are 3 solids and 5 stripes you get the solids."

"Are you sure?" she asked. She looked at the table and back at me.

I smiled at her. "Of course I'm sure. I'll even help you pick your shots if you want." I could tell she was about to give in. "I've been told I'm a pretty good teacher."

She grinned. "You have been, have you? Okay, you talked me into it. But I don't want to hear any snickering."

I crossed my heart and put a serious look on my face. "No ma'am, no snickering. I promise." I held the cue out to her. "Here, you can use this cue and shoot first."

She grabbed the stick and looked at the table. As she walked around it I decided to give her some help.

"You have a pretty good angle on the five, that's the orange one. Or you can go for the two if you don't mind shooting for the side pocket." I pointed out each shot as I made my comments.

She looked at the two shots I pointed out to her and mumbled. She walked over to check out the angle on the five ball. You know my favorite thing about pool? The fact that my opponent has to bend over to take her shot. Oh yeah, especially when she looks like Laura. So, you can guess where my eyes were. That's when Laura looked up at me.

"Ahem." She said to get my attention. My eyes popped back up to her face. Busted! She winked at me. "Shouldn't you be keeping your eye on the table to make sure I don't cheat?"

"Cheat? No friend of Michelle's would be a cheater! I trust you." I gave her my most charming grin.

She shook her head and looked back at the cue ball. She took her shot and just barely missed putting the five into the corner pocket. She groaned. "See! I can't believe I missed that."

"Hey, don't worry. You were pretty close. You'll get it next time." I said in encouragement. I looked at the balls on the table and picked out my next shot. Laura handed me the cue. "Thanks" I said, as I leaned over and knocked the 13 into the side pocket.

"Nice shot." Laura said.

"Thanks." I replied. I found my next shot and knocked that ball in as well and moved to my next shot. Laura looked at me and just said "Uh huh."

"What?" I looked up and asked her.

"I don't think you ever have a bad game."

I chuckled. "Oh yes I do. I'm just trying to impress somebody right now and the balls happen to be falling for me." My next shot had to travel the length of the table and I always hated those. I made my shot and the ball bounced to the left of the pocket and didn't go in. "See, I can miss. Your shot."

She looked at the table and then gave me a dirty look. I hadn't left her any simple shots. "What am I supposed to do with this mess?" she asked me as she waved her hand over the table.

I looked over the balls and tried to find something she could at least try. I finally spotted one. "There." I pointed to the blue two ball.

She looked at me like I was crazy. Now, while I might be crazy I knew it was way too early for her to be figuring this out.

"Seriously, just bank the cue off this side and hit the two here." I pointed to where she should hit the side and the two. The look on her face didn't change, but she got into position for the shot. I placed my finger where I wanted her to hit the side to help her out. She hit the cue ball and it bounced off the wall very close to my finger and hit the two. While the ball didn't go into the pocket, it stopped very close to it.

Laura looked up and had a huge smile on her face and pointed at the blue ball. "Did you see that? I hit it!"

I returned her smile liking the fact that she was excited even though she didn't knock the ball in. "Great try. I thought you had it for sure."

We continued our game until I knocked the eight ball in and won. Laura had managed to only put one more ball in, but she was close on each shot.

"Good game." She said and then asked. "Do you want to play another game?"

"Nah. Besides," I pointed at the table with her friends. "Don't you want to get back to your friends before they miss you?"

She glanced at her laughing friends. "Nope, looks like they are somehow managing to have fun without me. How about we get our own table?"

I may be crazy, but not stupid. "Great idea."

We found a small table with two chairs and sat. I noticed the waitress heading our way. "Would you like another drink?" My beer was empty and her glass was close to being empty.


The waitress stopped at our table. "Can I get you anything?"

I answered her. "I'll have a Coke and the lady will have…" since I wasn't sure what type of beer Laura was drinking I let her fill in the blank.

"Oh, a Bud Light on draft. Thanks." She smiled at the waitress, who smiled back a little too quickly in my opinion. "Switching to Coke already?"

"Yeah, I will need to drive home eventually and I've had two beers since I got here. Usually I alternate between beer and Coke, but for some reason when I was at the bar I ordered another beer. I think someone distracted me."

Laura grinned. "Really? Maybe the guy with dark curly hair?"

I put my finger over my mouth as if I was in deep thought. "Um, no. Definitely not him. I think it was a short blond."

"You need to watch out for those short blonds. After all the blond and short jokes they hear, I understand they can be prone to violence."

We both laughed. I decided to take the conversation to a little more serious level. But not too serious, after all, we did just meet.

"So Laura, what do you do when you aren't at the bars distracting poor women trying to order drinks?"

"Oh, you mean what do I do with the other 99% of my time? I'm a teacher at the local high school. And I coach the girl's basketball team. I know, I know. No jokes."

"Okay, no comment on the coaching part. What do you teach?"

"History and math."

I admit that surprised me. "That's an interesting combination. How did you wind up doing both?"

"I love the logic of math and learning about the past. I knew being hired as a math teacher was more likely since I was a woman and there aren't many of us, but I still wanted to teach history. And I don't teach just the white man's version." She smirked, "I sneak in a little of what's not in the books when the administration isn't looking."

"A rebel, huh? Next you'll be teaching Darwin's theory of evolution instead of creationism." I raised my drink in salute.


"Ya know, when you said teacher I guessed elementary before I heard high school. You have the grade school teacher look about you."

Laura laughed. "No way. I love my nieces, but there is no way I would want to be in charge of 20 of those little people all at once. Alone." She shuddered. "Gives me cold chills just thinking about it. No, let me deal with a group of teenagers any day. They bring their own set of problems, but at least they don't have the energy level of a 6 year old."

Right then the waitress arrived with our drinks. Laura started to pull out money to pay for her beer. "I've got it." I said and handed the waitress enough for the drinks and a tip so she could go on her way. I wasn't giving her a chance to smile and flirt with Laura.

Laura thanked me once the waitress was gone. "I know you work with Michelle, but what do you do for the company?"

I explained my job to her and added terrorizing coworkers as needed. She nodded her head as if she was truly interested in what I was saying.

"Which part do you like best?" Then she held up her hand. "Never mind, silly question. That would be the terrorizing part. Out of the rest, which do you like best?"

I grinned. Dang, guess my dark side was obvious to her already. "I love the training. I just get an adrenaline rush when I get in front of a group of people to help them learn. I'm not sure if the same thing would happen if I trained every day like you do as a teacher. I just love seeing the light bulb go off when they finally understand something. Right now I'm not doing any training, so I miss it."

Our discussion jumped around after that. We each got a Coke after a while and before we knew it Michelle walked up a little before closing.

"Monopolizing my friend all night, eh Taylor?" Michelle asked. Laura raised her eyebrow at the name.

"My last name." I explained. I looked up at Michelle to answer her. "Well Bartlett", going with the last name trend, "if you are going to leave a beautiful woman alone with me you can't expect me to give her up easily." I looked over at Laura as I made the comment and noticed a cute blush on her face.

"Well, I hate to break up your chat, but its closing time and our ride is about to leave without us. I'll stall them until you two get a chance to say goodbye." Then she winked and walked over to their friends.

"I'm sorry I kept you from your friends all night. I didn't realize how late it was." We both stood up and started walking towards the door.

"That's okay. I see this bunch all the time so I'm sure they didn't miss me." she replied.

"Good. Good." I knew I had only a minute before she left so I had to hurry. "Any chance you would like to go out some time? For dinner or a movie or something?" Yikes, did I sound as nervous to her as I did to me? That is so unlike me. I looked over at her to see her reaction and saw a smile.

"Yes, I would."

Phew. "Great. Can I get your phone number so I can call you?"

"Okay. Hold on, I need something to write it on."

I pulled out my cell phone. "No need for paper when you have a cell phone with memory!" She told me her number and I punched it into the phone along with her name. I made sure to save it and then checked to verify it was there. I then found one of my new business cards and added my home and cell phone numbers to it before handing it to her. I could see her friends waiting. "It was really nice talking to you tonight. And thanks for the pool game. I'll call you."

She grinned. "I'm not sure you should be thanking me for that game. I had a good time as well. Good night."

"Night." I watched as she walked with her friends over to their car. It looked and sounded like she was being given a hard for deserting them. I walked over to me car and went home looking forward to a phone call I was going to make this weekend.

I was trying to be patient. I'm not so good at it. Even after the late night I was awake early. I had already gone for my run, just 3 miles; I'm not one of those crazy running types that have to go for 10 miles every day. After that I grabbed a shower and had breakfast. Now it was 10. Still too early to be calling someone I just met last night. I needed something to kill time.

I finally decided to start reading the new Patricia Cornwell book I recently bought and listen to some music. I lay out on the couch and opened the book.

I woke up a few hours later to the phone ringing. I'm not one to take naps, but I guess all the extra hours at work had made me more tired than I realized. I rubbed my face with my hands to try to wake myself up and walked to the phone.


"Hi. This is Laura. Michelle's friend. We met last night at the bar."

I recognized her voice as soon as she said hi, but it was cute to hear her explain who she was. "Hi Laura. How are you?" I can't believe she called me before I had a chance to call her. I looked at the clock and saw it was now 1:30.

"I'm fine. How are you doing?"

"Not to bad. Taking it easy and relaxing. What's up?" I was curious to see why she called. I know why I wanted her to be calling.

"Not much. I realized I didn't have anything planned for today and was wondering if maybe you wanted to do something. Maybe a movie or dinner?"

Bingo! "Both sound good, so why don't we do both? We could do an early movie and dinner after or an early dinner and later movie. Did you have a movie in mind?" I asked.

"No, but I have the paper right here with the times and movies." Laura then went over all of the movies and we decided on the new James Bond flick, the 4:30 show and then dinner. I volunteered to pick her up at 4 o'clock and she gave me directions. I said goodbye and hung up the phone.

"Well, that was interesting." Yes, I talk to myself.

I didn't expect her to call me and ask me out. I am used to being the one doing the asking. That would be from me having control issues. Strangely enough it didn't bother me that she took the initiative even though it had in the past with other women. I'd think about that later.

Now at this point you might expect me to panic and wonder about what I should wear. Oh please. No thinking involved with this one, a pair of khakis and a light blue button down shirt. See how simple that is? I figure since it was a first date jeans were out, but I wasn't going to go all out for a movie. I like being comfortable. Of course it was too early to get ready. I decided my Jeep needed to be cleaned before I picked Laura up so I grabbed my keys and left for the car wash.

I hope I'm not late. I decided to give my Jeep a wax. It looks sharp inside and out. Then I had to grab another shower. Good thing the difficult choice of what to wear had already been made. I smirked to myself. If I could find my way to Laura's without missing any streets I'd be on time. I pulled into her driveway at 3:59 and rang the door at 4 p.m.

She opened her door and smiled. "Right on time. Why doesn't that surprise me?" she asked. "I'll give you a tour the next time, okay?"

"That's fine. I want to make sure we make it to the theatre in time to get some popcorn and a drink." I walked beside her back to my Jeep and opened the passenger door for her and helped her climb in.

She settled into the seat, put on her seatbelt and I closed the door for her, once I made sure all her parts were inside and in no danger of being injured. I quickly walked around and climbed into my seat, put on my seatbelt, and started the Jeep.

Laura turned to look at me and asked "Do you know how to get to the theatre from here?"

I glanced at her quickly. "I think so." I gave her what I felt was the quickest way.

She thought about it and replied. "That works. It isn't how I usually get there, but I think it might be quicker with all the stop signs and lights they've added to the streets I typically take."

She looked around the interior of the Jeep. "This is nice. A Jeep Liberty? What do they call the color? Have you had it long? Do you like it? Have you ever gone four wheeling in it?" Then she looked at me and waited for answers.

"Um, let me see if I remember the questions. Yes, it's a Liberty. It's called light khaki metallic. I've had it for over a year. I love it. And I haven't done serious off-roading with it. Did I answer all of your questions?"

"I think so." She grinned and shrugged her shoulders. "Sorry, I've been told I can ask a lot of questions."

"Nothing to be sorry about. The easiest way to find out things is to ask questions." I took another quick look at her and realized I had forgotten something. "I forgot to tell you how nice you look today." She was wearing a pair of black slacks and a light purple sweater that fit quite nicely.

"Thanks. You do as well."

"Thanks. This is my somewhere between casual and playing dress up for work outfit." We continued with the small talk until we reached the theatre. As we walked up I noticed the lines for tickets weren't so bad, but there was a long line for popcorn.

"Listen, I'll grab the tickets and you hold a spot for popcorn."

Laura gave me another one of those 'Are you crazy?' looks and asked, "Popcorn? Aren't we having dinner after this?"

"Well, yes," I explained to her my logic, "but you don't actually expect me to watch a movie without popcorn and a pop, do you? Good God woman, that's not right! Now shoo, go wait in line and I'll be there before you order. Shoo. Shoo." I waved her towards the line.

After a few minutes I paid for our tickets and walked over to Laura. We still had a couple of people in line ahead of us. I showed Laura our tickets.

"Here we go, hot off the presses. So do you want some popcorn and something to drink?"

"Sure. I'll have a diet and some of your popcorn."

"MY popcorn? Lucky for you my momma taught me how to share. Of course this means I need to get a larger size." We finally make it to the front of the line and I placed our order. Laura started to get money to pay, but I quickly handed the cashier some money. Of course Laura had to protest.

"But you paid for the tickets. I should buy the snacks."

"You can get it next time. See, this is all a ploy to make sure there is a next time." I liked my logic. Laura must have as well, since she just smiled at me.

We grabbed our snacks and went inside to find seats.

"I'm just saying there is no way you could do that in the real world." I explained.

"So? It was a moo-vie Jessica. They don't have to follow real world rules. It's entertainment, not a documentary."

We were sitting at our table in the restaurant waiting for our orders. The movie was okay, but parts were just a little past the believable meter in my mind. We'd been discussing the point since we left the theatre, so it was time to change the subject.

"Okay. I guess we agree to disagree on this one." I grinned across the table at her. "Is this our first argument and do we get to make up now?" I wiggled my eyebrows in a hopeful manner. Oh, I do love it when she blushes.

She shook her head and smiled. "No, that was just a difference of opinion, not an argument. So no making up for us."

Darn. It was worth a try I guess. I sighed. Loudly.

"Fine. No making up. Then tell me your life story."

"I don't think the restaurant is open that late."

"Okay, give me the Reader's Digest abridged version. Do you have any siblings?"

"Yes. One of each and both are older. Mallory is the oldest and 34. She's married to her college sweetheart and they have a 4 year old daughter named Allison and a newborn baby girl named Stefanie. Jack is next at 31 years old. He's engaged."

"The youngest, huh? Spoiled rotten I bet. How about your parents?" I asked.

She answered with her own question. "You do realize you are required to answer the same questions, yes?"

I nodded and motioned for her to answer.

"Yes, I'm the youngest. And if I was spoiled it was only because I deserved it" she smiled. "As for my parents, they're both still alive. They actually still live in the same house we all grew up in."

"Wow, that's amazing. I haven't lived in the same place for more than a couple of years. I can't imagine being in the same place, for what, 30 years?"

"A little more than that. I haven't lived there since college, but I love going home and being in a place with so many great memories. What about you?"

"My turn?" I asked. "Let's see, I have one older brother, Sam. He's three years older than I am which puts him at 35, married with a 5 year old son, and lives in the San Diego area. My dad died 5 years ago, just after Dustin was born, from a heart attack. After that my mom moved in with her sister in Tucson."

"I'm sorry about your father." She gave me a sad little smile.

"Thanks." I was glad she didn't dwell on that topic.

"That means you're 32? Do you get to see your family often?"

"Yup 32. You never did volunteer your age, did you?"

"I guess not. I'm 29, just a few years younger than you old lady. Do you get to see your family often?"

"I try to see my brother and his family at least once a year and we talk on the phone every few weeks. My mom… well, let's just say we don't talk much since I told my family about my first girlfriend when I was in college. At least when my dad was alive he played referee between the two of us. Now neither of us bothers to try." I shrugged it off even though deep down it still bothered me.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring up bad memories." She put her hand on top of mine. Of course that's when our waiter delivered our meals, so Laura removed her hand. He didn't mess up the orders, but I would have forgiven him if he had since he stopped that discussion cold.

While eating we tried to top each other with funny stories from our youth. I had conceded after her story about the cow, the goat, the goose, and how she and Michelle enjoyed their class field trip to a local farm. I was still chuckling over it as the waiter came to ask about dessert. Laura got this strange gleam in her eyes and asked for a dessert menu.

"I can't wait to see Michelle Monday morning." I started laughing again.

Laura's eyes widened in shock and she put her head in her hands. "Oh no! I didn't think of that. She's going to kill me." She looked up at me. "Or worse, she's going to bring up stories that I don't want told."

"Really?" I asked innocently. "What's it worth to you for me to forget to give Michelle a hard time about this Monday?" But I quickly changed my mind when I realized I was bound to get a few really good stories from Michelle in retaliation. Cool. I smiled evilly, "Actually, never mind. I believe I'll tell Michelle and then take her to lunch to give her a chance to share old stories with me."

"You wouldn't." Wow, that must be the look she gives her students to put fear into them. Me? Those looks never worked when I was in school so they sure won't work now.

"Of course I would." I really liked our waiter, because right at that moment he handed us the menus.

Laura's eyes widened and she pointed to an item on the menu. "That's it. I need the chocolate mousse."

I frowned at her statement and she noticed.

"You don't like chocolate mousse?" she asked.

"No, that isn't it. I love mousse." How to explain this… "Sorry, you just hit one of my pet peeves."


"It's just the use of two words, need versus want. There are only a few things I need: air, water, food. Other things, like chocolate mousse, I may want, but I don't need them. It just drives me crazy when I hear little kids tell their parents they need this toy or that brand of cereal, like they will die if they don't get it. It's even worse if I hear an adult make a statement like that." I shrugged. "Sorry,"

"Wow. Sounds like you put some thought into that." She smiled and grabbed my hand. "Will you still talk to me if I accidentally say it in the future? And you are right, I want the mousse. I really, really want it."

I smiled back at her. "Sure I'll still talk to you." I winked at her. "But don't be surprised if I say something. For some reason it really bugs me. Just slap me if I get annoying about it any time."

Laura nodded. "Okay, I'll remember to slap you when you get annoying."

The waiter arrived and took Laura's order; I decided not to get anything. She also asked for an herbal tea. He returned with the mousse and tea very quickly.

Laura quickly spooned up her first bite and let out a long low moan as she tasted it. "This is sooooo good."

I had no idea about the mousse, but the sounds she was making were pretty good. She filled her spoon again and held it out to me.

"Try this."

I opened my mouth and cleaned off the spoon. It was really good. But I refrained from moaning in pleasure. Laura was nice enough to share a few more spoonfuls with me. She was taking her last bite when our server returned with the check. I snatched it before Laura even had a chance to think about it and handed it back to him with my credit card.

"Hey! I think I should be paying for at least my own dinner since you got the movie and snacks."

"And like I told you then, you can pay next time." Like I was going to let her pay for anything on our first date. Or the second one either, but I wasn't about to tell her that yet. She was still drinking her tea, so I decided to sneak in a serious question. "Do you mind if I ask you something personal?"

"Sure, but I reserve the right to not answer or make you answer the same one."

She didn't look nervous so hopefully the question would be okay for a first date. "Sounds fair." I tried to think of a subtle way to ask this question, but subtle was never my style. "Are all the women in this town blind and stupid? After last night at the bar and tonight I'm wondering how you can be single. You aren't an axe murderer in your spare time, are you?"

She gave a small smile and chuckled. Now she looked nervous, hopefully not about the axe murderer portion of my question.

"No, I don't think they are blind or stupid. I've been out on a date or two with a few women, but none of them have made it past a second date. One or two didn't make it because I decided we would be better friends than lovers, but the others because they didn't want to take a chance on me."

"What do you mean?" I had a feeling I knew, but I wanted to be sure even though it wouldn't matter to me.

"I guess some lesbians feel if you haven't been aware of your sexual orientation since you were born and if you've never been in a serious relationship with another woman, you might just be experimenting." She paused and stared down at the table like she was trying to decide how to continue. "I didn't realize I was gay until I was 27."

She looked up at me nervously waiting for a reaction. When I didn't say anything she continued. "Since then I haven't been in an intimate relationship with any woman. But it's not like I have never been in a serious relationship before, it just happened to be with a guy. It's not like I'm a virgin or anything."

At that I had to laugh. "I'm sorry, that just hit me as funny." I smiled at her. "And to answer the question you are about to ask, no I don't have a problem with what you just told me. Not everyone realizes their orientation at the same age. And any relationship has risks, even if you had previous relationships with women. Heck I've only been in two serious relationships, so I don't think I'm in any position to say anything."

"Thank you for feeling that way. I admit for a while I was beginning to feel like a second class citizen. Now it's your turn. Do you have someone waiting for you back home?"

I sighed quietly, but she was right, it was my turn. "No. I broke up with my ex-girl friend a year before I moved out here."

"Is it okay if I ask what happened?"

"Sure. We'd been together for a few years, but never moved in together. That was my decision. I guess down inside I knew she wasn't the one for me, so I kept that line drawn between us. She decided to force the issue and when I once again said I didn't want to move in together, she broke it off. Of course, this was after telling me I had commitment issues and should get some counseling before I got old and realized I was alone."

"Nice." Laura said with a healthy does of sarcasm.

"Yeah, although she is correct that I had a fear of commitment… to her." I smiled. "The move really had nothing to do with her; it was just a good opportunity, too good to pass up, especially since I didn't have anything holding me there."

Right then the waiter returned with my card and the receipt. I plugged in his tip, a good one for his good timing from earlier in the evening, signed it and left it on the table.

The conversation lightened on the drive back to Laura's. When I pulled into her driveway she started to speak, but I held up my hand and asked her to wait a minute. Then I jumped out of the Jeep, ran around the front and opened the door and helped her out.

"Thank you ma'am. I really enjoy the door to door service you've provided this evening."

Yes, I opened doors for my date, even the Jeep door each time she got into and out of the car. What can I say? Chivalry is not dead.

"You are most welcome. And hopefully that wasn't the only part of the evening you enjoyed." I looked over at her as I walked her to the front door.

"Not at all." We reached the door; she unlocked it, and turned back to me with a smile. "I had a very good time. Thank you for the movie and dinner."

"You're welcome, again. I had a great time as well. Maybe we could do it again?" I asked hopefully.

"We should definitely do this again. Call me. And if you don't call soon enough, don't worry, I have your phone number." She smiled.

This being the first date I had to follow first date protocol. I leaned towards her and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. She surprised me when she put her arms around me for a hug, but I acquiesced. Who was I to deny her a simple hug?

She whispered, "Good night" and let go.

I returned her good night and waved as I walked back to my Jeep. I didn't leave until I made sure she was in the house and her door was closed. As I drove home my mind was already running through the possibilities of things to do so I could give her a call tomorrow to set up our next date.

Six weeks had passed since my first date with Laura. We had managed to go out at least twice a week and now spoke on the phone most days we couldn't get together. I really enjoyed spending time with her, but our schedules hadn't allowed us to meet more often. I was happy that, unlike the women she previously dated, I'd made it past two dates. I was making sure I let Laura take the lead so she remained comfortable and all we had done so far was kiss each other goodnight.

I was tidying up my place because she was coming over in about 15 minutes to watch a movie. I told her to pick out a movie before coming over. I might regret that decision, depending on what movie she actually got. Actually, any movie would do as long as we sat on the couch together.

I was putting the vacuum into the closet when the doorbell rang. I opened the door to let Laura in.

"Hi." She stretched up and gave me a quick kiss as she walked into the apartment. She held up two movies. "I wasn't sure what you were in the mood for, so I picked up two: a romantic comedy and an action film."

"Who's in them?" I asked.

She gave me that look again, like what the heck am I thinking.

"Don't you want to know what the movie is about?"

"Nope, just give me the female leads." I smirked.

For some reason she sighed. "Sandra Bullock and Drew Barrymore."

"Tough call. Let me think about it. Would you like something to drink? I have beer, pop, juice, and water. And should I pop one or two bags of popcorn?"

"Do you have any diet coke?"

I nodded. Like I wouldn't stock up with her favorite soda! I had a six pack in the fridge with another twelve in the closet. "Ice with that?"

"Please. And you better make that two bags of popcorn, I didn't have time for dinner."

I looked at her over the fridge door. "Would you like to order something for delivery instead of making popcorn? Pizza? Chinese? My treat." I grabbed us diet and regular coke.

"No, thanks anyway, popcorn is fine. You did get the kind with butter, right?"

I paused while pouring the soda "Of course. What's the point of popcorn if it isn't drowning in simulated butter?" I finished with the soda and tossed the first bag in the microwave. "What kept you too busy to eat?"

"Grading papers. My senior American history class had one due today as well as my freshman social studies class and I decided to read through them all tonight and grade them tomorrow. I don't know why I left the freshmen papers for last!" She threw her hands up in frustration.

"That bad huh?"

"Worse. By now they should have written a paper in their freshmen English class and should know how to do it. But let's not talk about it or I might get depressed and that is not the mood I want for tonight."

I just nodded. Hmm, I wonder what kind of mood she wants to be in. I handed her the glass with diet coke and started to pull out a bowl for the popcorn. One big bowl or two small ones? I decided to just grab the one. The first bag finished and I popped in the second one and dumped the first bag into the bowl.

"So have you decided on which movie yet?" she asked.

I leaned against the counter and took a drink of my coke to stall. "In a hurry to start the movie? I still have a bag of popcorn to pop before I make my decision. It's not like you gave me an easy decision here."

"No," she smirked, "especially since you have no idea what the movies are. Do you need me to tell you who is in each type?"

I hate people that answer a question with a question. That must be why I do it so often. "Did you want to stay later and we can watch both of them? Or do you need to be awake early tomorrow?" tomorrow being a Saturday.

She paused to do her own thinking I guess. "No, I can stay for both. All I have planned for the morning is grading those papers. That way I can enjoy the rest of the weekend."

"Okay, then let's start with Sandra and finish with Drew." The second bag finished popping and I added it to the bowl. "Do you want anything else before we start?"

"No. Do you need me to carry anything?"

"If you can grab the popcorn I'll grab the movies and pop Sandra in." I picked up the movies and noticed Sandra was in the action movie. Ending the evening with a little romance is always good. We moved into the living room and I put the movie into the VCR and grabbed the remote. I turned to the couch and noticed Laura was sitting in the middle with the popcorn in her lap. I dropped down in the corner and motioned her over. "What are you doing way over there with my popcorn? C'mere."

She scooted over and grinned. "Your popcorn? I thought this bowl was mine?"

I started to reply but she cut me off by putting up her hand.

"No, it's okay. I'll share my bowl with you. But I will require payment."

I raised an eyebrow at her and waited for her to continue. While I was waiting I turned on the TV and started to forward through all the trash before the real movie.

"Yes, definitely a payment is needed. I think two parts. First part…" she leaned over and gave me a kiss. I can make that payment any time she requests. "Second part…" she raised my left arm, placed it around her shoulders, and snuggled up against me. "There, that's better. Now I will share my popcorn."

"If I eat too much of your popcorn you make sure I make another payment like the first part okay?" I laughed and pulled her a little closer. The previews finally finished and I hit play. Perfect timing. I put my feet up on the coffee table and leaned back.

The movie finished and I started it rewinding.

"Would you like a refill on your drink?" I asked her. "And do I need to make you more popcorn?" The bowl wasn't empty, but it was close and for once it wasn't my fault.

"Yes, yes, and I need a bathroom break as well." She stood up and held out her hand to pull me up. After I was standing she slapped me on the butt. "Now go make me more popcorn, woman!"

I shook my head and quietly laughed as I walked into the kitchen to get her more popcorn and another diet coke. Maybe more caffeine for her was a bad idea.

She walked back into the living room at the same time as I did. I ejected the first movie and put the second one in. This time when I turned back to the couch she was lying on it. I put my hands on my hips and grinned at her. "Where am I supposed to sit?"

She lifted up her head and pointed underneath it.

I didn't move. "You want to borrow my lap for this movie?" She nodded. "Then I guess it's my turn to require a payment." I knelt beside the couch and leaned over for a kiss. This one was longer than the first one. Then I felt her hands move to the back of my head and pulled me even closer and deepened the kiss. I went with it. After a minute or two she started to pull back. I smiled down at her and used my hand to push her hair behind her ear.

"Phew. For that payment you can use my lap the rest of the night." She flashed me a quick shy smile. "Sit up so I can get my lap ready for you."

I grabbed a pillow and sat down. I put the pillow on my lap and then pulled her back down. She turned so she was on her side.


She looked up and smiled at me. "Perfect."

That's when I noticed the movie was still fast forwarding and had gone much too far. I stopped it and hit rewind. "Oops, guess I was distracted. You seem to do that to me."

Laura rolled onto her back. "Sorry?"

I softly ran my fingers down the side of her face. "I don't think you really are, but I don't mind being distracted by you." I looked up to make sure I didn't rewind too far. "Now let me get this movie started before you distract me again."

She turned back onto her side and I hit play on the movie. I grabbed the blanket from the back of the couch and spread it over her since it was starting to feel a little cool.

"Thanks." She said as she patted my knee.

As the credits started to roll I looked down and saw the tears running down Laura's face. I grabbed a Kleenex and gently wiped them away without saying anything. I had cried during plenty of movies myself, but I guess I wasn't as soft hearted as Laura since I was able to stay dry eyed during the ending of this one. I let the video continue since I liked the song playing during the credits. Laura pushed herself up until she was sitting.

"Sorry, I should have warned you I always cry during the sad or happy parts." she said.

"Don't worry; I've been known to cry as well. That's why I had the Kleenex box here, just in case you brought a movie that needed them." I noticed I had missed a tear and placed my hand on the side of her face and used my thumb to wipe it away. Then I leaned over and gave her a soft kiss. I pulled back, leaned my forehead against hers, and looked into her eyes as I whispered, "And you look beautiful even with your eyes all red and watery."

She laughed softly. "Thanks." She put her arms around my neck and ran her fingers through my hair. I leaned my head back loving the feel of it. She must have taken that as an invitation because the next thing I felt was her kissing her way up my neck. My heart started pounding as if it had been thrown it into a higher gear. Her kisses reached my chin and moved left along my jaw until she reached my ear. She whispered something but it took a while before my brain was able to process it. My body was too busy reacting to the feel of her breath and lips to worry about thinking. Hell, I was amazed that I was remembering to breathe! Finally I did hear the words, "Not only are you beautiful, but damn sexy as well."

By this time my hands decided to do something and started moving up and down her sides. When her words finally registered I cupped her face and looked her in the eye. I smiled. "Now that's the pot calling the kettle black if ever I've heard." I brought her lips to mine and then felt her tongue along my lower lip. I opened my mouth and pulled it in. As her tongue explored I felt her hands move up my sides and touch the outside of each breast. I groaned in response and leaned back on the couch, pulling her on top of me. Deciding I needed to breathe before I passed out I pulled back from our kiss. Not sure how far she wanted to take this I moved my hands to her back and slowly moved them up and down. As I was about to capture her lips again she brushed both of her thumbs over my nipples.

"Oh God, that feels so good." I whispered and arched my back. Her hands continued to lightly caress my breasts. I moved one hand behind her head and pulled her lips back to mine. This time my tongue invaded her mouth and I conducted my own exploration. I shifted, about to flip us over so I was on top when I remembered I needed to let Laura control this. I pulled back from my kiss to catch my breath and slow down. Maybe I should have mentioned the slowing down part to Laura since she started kissing her way down my neck towards the opening in my shirt. Her hands hadn't stopped stroking my breasts either.

Finally I grabbed her hands before she drove me crazy and made me forget about the slowing down. I moved my lips close to her ear and whispered. "Are you trying to kill me here? I think we need to slow down."

She pulled back to look me in the eye. "What if I don't want to slow down?" She leaned down and initiated a kiss, but something about it seemed forced. I pulled back and it was my turn to look her in the eye.

"What if I want to slow down?" Strangely enough it was true; I wasn't just saying it because I thought Laura wasn't ready.

I could see my statement finally hit Laura and she quickly sat up and put some distance between us. She put her face in her hands and started to speak quickly. "I'm so sorry. I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable. I just thought that you were waiting impatiently for me to do more than just kiss you." She was blushing now and stared at the floor through her hands. "We've been seeing each other for a few weeks and I thought, well, I was wondering if maybe you were expecting more than just a kiss goodnight. A lot more… God, I'm so embarrassed right now."

I just sat there, a little shell shocked from what she had been thinking. I finally moved to sit beside her.

"Hey, you don't have to be sorry for anything. Couldn't you tell I was really enjoying myself?" I smiled and pulled her hands away from her face. "Look at me." She turned to face me. "I'm sorry if you were getting signals from me that I wanted more than a goodnight kiss. I don't want to rush you into anything and, if I did, I apologize."

She shook her head. "No. No, it wasn't you. It wasn't anything you did or said." She was wringing her hands together now and looked upset. Again she looked at the floor. "I was just talking to a friend and when she found out all we had done is kissed, well, she was surprised. And she pretty much told me if I wanted to keep someone like you around I needed to take the next step. Otherwise you'd find someone else." She glanced at me quickly and then faced the floor again.

Okay, I was pissed off. Not at Laura. Well, not much at Laura, definitely at this so called friend. I counted to 10, continued on to 20, and then backwards to zero. Afterwards I felt a little more in control of my anger so I asked her.

"What friend? Was it Michelle?" All I knew is I wanted to hit whomever had told her this.

"No, it wasn't Michelle." She looked over at me. I tried to erase the totally pissed off look from my face.

"Does this friend even know me?" I emphasized the friend part to show I didn't think much of her so called friend.

"No" she whispered and then looked back down at the floor.

I gently grasped her chin and turned her to face me. She wouldn't look at me. I quietly said "Hey, look at me. Please?" and I lowered my head to see her eyes. She looked and I continued. "Then why would you believe her instead of asking me?"

I saw the tears form in her eyes and she jumped up and started to pace.

"I'm sorry. I just… you know I don't have any experience with this." She waved her hand back and forth between the two of us. "And it seems like all of my friends jump into a sexual relationship after only a few dates." She stopped pacing and then whispered the next part. "It just seemed to make sense when she said it."

I smiled at her to try and convey we were okay. "I've never lied to you. You know that, right?"


"Well I wasn't lying when I said I wanted to slow down even if you don't. I admit in the past I've had sex with women after only a few dates," I stood up and took hold of her hands, "but I'm really enjoying getting to know you and spending time with you. I'm not saying I don't think about us moving towards a more intimate relationship," I grinned, "especially after tonight. I'm just saying I can wait, that you're worth the wait, and I'm not going to go find someone else if we don't meet some deadline your friend seems to think we should meet." I pulled on her hands, "C'mere," and pulled her into my arms and gave her a hug. Even if she didn't need it, I did. She tucked her head under my chin. "And if I ever find out what friend gave you this advice, I'm going to slap her silly."

She just squeezed her arms tighter around me in reply. We stood there for a few minutes. Eventually I pulled back and asked her, "Are you okay?"

She gave me a little smile and nodded. I lowered my head and gave her a soft kiss. "Good." I gave her another kiss. "Have I told you how much I enjoy kissing you?" She shook her head. "My bad. You" I snuck in another kiss, "are a damn good kisser and I could kiss you for hours and be happy."

Laura finally found her voice. "You wouldn't have to tie me down to agree to that." That brought up some interesting thoughts and I chuckled evilly. Laura blushed and held up her hand to stop my comment, then laughed herself. "Don't even go there."

It was late but I wasn't ready to let my little teacher leave yet. "Can you stay a little longer?" She nodded. "Good, because I just want to sit on the couch, talk, and hold you a little while before you have to leave. How's that sound?"


Monday found me walking into my office still angry about the advice Laura's friend had given her. Once I settled in, I called Michelle.

"I need to see you in my office about something personal, do you have a few minutes?"

She said yes and I hung up the phone and waited for her. I thought back to Friday night. Laura and I had relaxed on the couch and I held her while we talked about the movies for a little while. When she had to head home we shared a sweet goodbye kiss at the door and then I walked Laura to her car. We had talked Saturday and Sunday, but didn't have a chance to get together since her mom needed last minute help with a gardening project.

A few minutes later Michelle walked through the door.

"Would you close the door please? I don't need to share this with the office. Grab a seat." I motioned to my one extra chair.

She raised her eyebrows at me, but turned and closed the door, then sat down. As soon as she sat down I jumped up and started pacing, well as much pacing as you can do when it only takes three steps to make it from one side of the office to the other.

"What's up?" Michelle finally asked.

I stopped and turned towards her. "Have you spoken with Laura recently?"

She shook her head. "No, I went to visit my sister this weekend so I haven't spoken to her since early last week. Why?"

I put my hands on the desk and leaned forward. "Do you have any idea which one of your idiotic friends would tell Laura she better have sex with me or I would dump her and find someone else that was easy?"


I resumed my pacing. "Maybe not in those exact words, but that was the gist of it is my understanding."

"So did you and Laura… you know…?"

"No! Although Laura was certainly trying to move us in that direction." I dropped back into my chair. "I explained to her I needed to slow down and, well, it just got messy from there. Eventually she told me about this friend's advice."

"Wow. Wow! You told her you needed to slow down?" She looked skeptical at that.

"Why is that so hard to believe?" I asked. "Look, Laura's special. I'm not blind, I can see that. I'm willing to wait until she's ready. I don't want us jumping into bed and have her regret it later. I'm not some new player in town trying to bed every available woman!"

"Sorry, I guess I should know that. You are pretty up front with your plans in the office and it makes sense you would be the same in your personal life."

"Thank you for seeing that. Now, would you talk to Laura please? I think she needs to talk about Friday with someone besides me."

"Of course. I was planning on calling her during her lunch break and seeing if she wanted to come over for dinner tonight."

I nodded my head. "Good. Good. One more thing…"


"Please find out who gave her this advice and tell me so I can beat the snot out of her!"

Michelle winked. "I don't think so. But don't worry, when I find out who it was I'll give her a call myself and clear up this misunderstanding."

I raised an eyebrow. "Can you at least slap her around a little?" For some reason this made her laugh.

"No. But I'll want to, which is why I am going to call instead of visit."

"Thanks. I'm worried Laura's beating herself up over this."

"Probably. Don't worry boss, we'll get this mess cleaned up!"

I shook my head. "I am not your boss. Now get back to work before someone comes looking for you."

Michelle got up and walked towards the door. "Michelle?"

She turned her head back. "Yeah?"

"Thanks. I'm glad you're Laura's friend."

"De nada. Adios."

"Son of a biscuit!" I looked through my closet and picked out the appropriate clothing for a business trip and tossed them on the bed to pack. It was Tuesday and I had just found out I had to fly to a client's office to help one of our technicians with some problems. I was told to plan on being there until Sunday. I normally wouldn't mind going on a trip, but two hours notice was not cool, especially since I had not spoken with Michelle or Laura after their dinner the previous evening. In fact, I hadn't seen Laura since last Friday and I wouldn't be able to see her again until next week. I really wanted to make time to see her before I left, but my flight was leaving in two hours and I had to finish packing.

I worked on my packing, muttering and cursing the whole time. Once I finished I noticed I still had over 90 minutes to make it to the airport. One of the good things about living in a small city is the airport is only 10 minutes away. I took a few deep breaths to calm myself and then called Laura's house. She was still at school, but I wanted to leave her a message about my trip.

The phone rang the required number of times and then her voice mail picked up. I waited for the beep and I began: "Hi Laura. I hope you had a good dinner with Michelle last night. I wanted to see you tonight, but my boss is sending me out of town for an emergency client visit this afternoon. My flight leaves in about 90 minutes. I'll be gone until Sunday. I'll call you later tonight if I don't get in too late." I paused, not sure if I wanted to admit the next part to her. Oh heck, why not? "I'm going to miss you… and your kisses." I smiled to myself. "Take care of yourself while I'm gone and I'll be talking to you soon. Bye."

I hung up the phone, grabbed my suitcase and walked out the door.

After unlocking the hotel door I threw my laptop bag on the desk and dropped onto the bed. It had been another long day at the client's office trying to get the system working properly and keeping the client happy. We finally had the system working and I was pushing to finish my part tomorrow, so I could fly back a day early. I hadn't had a chance to call Laura because my co-worker Paul and I hadn't made it back to the hotel earlier than midnight the past two nights. My chance to call her after my flight Tuesday was lost between all the delays due to the weather and getting to the hotel three hours later than I expected.

Thank God for email! That's how we had been communicating the past few days. Speaking of which, I have a reply I need to send. I pulled myself off the bed and setup my laptop. As it booted, I did my bed time routine, then changed into a t-shirt and shorts. I propped up all the pillows against the headboard and crawled into bed with my laptop.

"I am so happy we are staying at a hotel with wireless high speed Internet connections in the room." Yes, I was talking to myself again.

I logged into my personal email and clicked on the one from Laura and read it again.

From: lawill14@aol.com

To: jtgeek@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: Late nights

Hey Jess,

I'm glad to hear things are going better for your client. Hopefully this means you get back to your hotel at a decent time tonight. If not you may need to call in sick on Monday to catch up on all the sleep you've missed.

Michelle is trying to convince me to go out with the gang tomorrow night, but I haven't decided yet. I'm sure I'll have something that needs to be graded! That will give me more free time this weekend, maybe even Sunday. (Hint, hint.)

I miss you and can't wait to see you when you get back. Take care of yourself and be safe.


I clicked on reply and started typing.

From: jtgeek@hotmail.com

To: lawill14@aol.com

Subject: Re: Late nights

Hiya Laura,

Did you mention an early night? You are such a tease! I read this at lunch time and thought it might happen, but "they" are conspiring against me! Although I'm not sure who "they" are yet. Paul and I just made it back to the hotel about 15 minutes ago. Since it takes a while to unwind before I can fall asleep I decided a perfect way to do that would be to read your email again and send you a reply.

A night out with Michelle sounds like fun. Besides, knowing what time she heads out, you'll have plenty of time to do your grading before going with her. That way you'll still have free time this weekend.

Speaking (or in this case typing) of free time, I think I might be able to finish up tomorrow and leave a day early. Paul's probably ready for me to leave. If it looks good, I'll change my flight from Sunday morning to Saturday morning or maybe even late tomorrow night if there are any flights. So don't be surprised if you actually hear my voice a day early!

I see a subtle (or not) hint in your email that you're keeping some time free on Sunday. Good! I'll make sure you use the time wisely, which of course means spending it with me.

I need to get to bed since 7a.m. comes so early in this hotel. Thanks for the email. I miss hearing your voice and seeing you. Next time the trip better be in the same time zone as you or I'm not going!



I read over the email a couple of times to make sure it was okay and hit the send button. I shut down the laptop, put it on the night stand, and turned off the light. It took only a few minutes before I was off in dreamland.

I woke up before the alarm. I hate it when I do that. Doesn't my internal alarm clock know I need those extra ten minutes? I got up and headed into the bathroom to grab a shower. I hate business trips because it means I have to take time to blow dry my hair instead of letting it drip all over my business clothes.

With the extra ten minutes I decided to check my email. I shook my head. I am so whipped. I hate to think how I'll be once we make love. Um, did I just think that to myself? I've always called it sex in the past. Interesting. But I didn't have time to think about that right now, I needed to check my email.

My laptop quickly booted and I popped into email. Sure enough, there's a new email from one lawill14.

From: lawill14@aol.com

To: jtgeek@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: Late nights

Good morning Jess!

And why is it a good morning? Because I just found out my favorite girl might be home a day early! I'll definitely keep my Sunday free now. As a matter of fact, maybe I'll rent a couple of movies and we can just relax. You can lie on the couch, just in case you nod off from lack of sleep.

I'll have to see about going out tonight. I have extra incentive to finish my grading after school now. Have a good day and I hope to hear your voice tomorrow telling me you're home! (Can you tell I'm excited?!?!?!)


I laughed. I think she's as excited about me going home as I am. Checking the time I saw that I had a few minutes before I was supposed to meet Paul for breakfast, so I clicked on reply.

From: jtgeek@hotmail.com

To: lawill14@aol.com

Subject: Re: Late nights

Just a quick note before I head off to breakfast with Paul. Sounds like a plan for Sunday. Just make sure you have plenty of Coke so I can stay awake during the movies or rent movies that are loud!

I'll definitely call you tomorrow to let you know I'm home. I can hardly wait to hear your voice. And I'm glad to see I made the favorite girl list.



I clicked send and closed up my laptop. I quickly threw most of my clothes into my suitcase so I wouldn't have to worry about that tonight. I left two sets of clothes out for the next day. One in case I needed to stay another day and the other casual clothes for flying home. I was hoping I could toss my business outfit in the suitcase when I got back to the room later tonight.

Finally home! I managed to finish things up Friday and caught a God awful early flight home Saturday morning. It wasn't too bad because Paul drove me to the airport before he went to work, so I was able to stay half asleep until I was on the plane when I went into full sleep mode. Not that sleeping through two plane rides made up for my long hours, but it did make the time pass quickly.

I walked into my bedroom and tossed my suitcase on the bed. I would take care of that later. I walked into the kitchen, grabbed a Coke and the phone and headed over to my couch and crashed on it full length. I punched in the familiar 7 digits while I cracked open the can and took a large gulp. The phone rang twice before it was answered.

"Hey sexy." I heard a deep throaty voice say. Oh my.

"Hi," I answered back in my own sexy voice, "Either you have caller ID or you're trying to scare away telemarketers. And let me tell you sweetie, if you're trying to scare telemarketers away that is not going to do it."

Laura laughed. "No? Then I must have caller ID. And since I have caller ID you must be home!"

I could hear the smile in her voice. "I am. I just walked in the door a few minutes ago and just took time to grab a caffeine fix before I called."

"I bet you lived on Coke while you were working. Did you even take time to eat?"

"Yes mom. Paul and I had breakfast every morning."

"Let's get one thing clear. I. Am. Not. Your. Mom. Or I would be in serious trouble for the thoughts I am having." I heard her evil chuckle over the phone line.

"I don't think I'm alert enough to hear these thoughts, but you can bet I'll ask you about them tomorrow." I swore I could hear her blush. "And that's a nice shade of red on you there missy."

"What? How did you…?" I heard a sigh. "Never mind. I don't want to know I'm that predictable."

"Honey, you aren't predictable. Just a little innocent." I paused just a second. "And I happen to like that about you."

"Thanks. That's a really sweet thing to say."

Yikes! I've been called sweet. And I called her honey. Maybe she didn't notice. She might think that's sweet as well. I'm not sure how to reply to being called sweet. I think she guessed that because she doesn't wait for me to say anything.

"So are you planning on taking a day long nap?"

"No, I crashed on the flights. If I sleep anymore I probably won't be able to sleep until who knows when tonight, especially with the time change and all. What about you?"

"I'm just puttering around the house. I was about to start preparing a few lessons for next week, but that won't take too long."

I stopped to think if there was anything I needed to do today. Nope.

"Would you like to come over after you finish your lesson plans? I could cook us up some dinner…?"

"Dinner?" She sounded surprised.

"Yes, dinner. I do know how to cook." I explained.

She laughed. "We are talking a cooked meal and not peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, right?"

"And are you saying you wouldn't come over for dinner if I make PB&J sandwiches?"

"No, no. I'm not saying that. I'd be over if all we were having was bread and water."

I chuckled. "Well, that means I don't need to go buy food then. I have plenty of bread and water here."

"Ha ha. To answer your original question, I would love to come over once I'm done with my lesson plans. I could probably be there by 5 o'clock. Is that too early?"

"Heck no! And if you finish earlier feel free to stop by. Now that I've been able to hear your voice I want to see you in person." I smiled at the thought.

"Deal. And I know exactly what you mean." Laura's voice changed to a whisper. "I missed you."

"I missed you too. So I'll see you by 5 at the latest?" I asked.


"Okay. See you later. Bye." Laura echoed my goodbye and we both hung up. Okay, I assumed she hung up. I doubt she held onto the phone like some love struck teenager. Just because I did that for a couple of minutes doesn't mean she did.

"Oh shit! I have no food in the house to cook. Guess I'm off to the store." I really needed to get a pet so when I talked to myself I could act as if I'm talking to them. Sounded like a plan.

I decided on a simple dinner. No, not PB&J sandwiches. What is wrong with you people? I bought some pork chops as well as potatoes and fresh green beans. I prepared the taters and green beans, but it was much too early to start them. I then seasoned the chops and put them back in the fridge at least until Laura arrived. One everything was ready I cleaned up the kitchen and checked the time. Darn, only 4:15. What am I going to do for another 45 minutes?


Saved by the bell? Knowing it was probably Laura I ran to the front door and threw it open. I know, I know. Just a tad over eager, ya think? As soon as it was opened I had this little blond pulling me close for a hug. I picked her up and twirled her into the apartment and then kicked the door close.

I smiled down at her. "Hi."

"Hi yourself."

I leaned down and helped myself to a welcome home kiss, which turned into many welcome home kisses. I finally pulled back. Laura reached up and pushed the hair that fallen onto my face behind my ear.

"Welcome back," she said. Then she leaned up and gave me another kiss. This time she pulled away and backed out of our hug. But she grabbed my hand and tugged me towards the kitchen smiling at me. "So what are you cooking me for dinner?"

I allowed myself to be pulled into the kitchen. I then motioned towards the stove, doing my best Vanna White impersonation, "Tonight, for your dining pleasure, we will be having mashed potatoes, steamed green beans, and broiled pork chops a la Jessica."

Laura walked over and gave me a one armed hug. "That sounds fantastic. If I had known you could cook a balanced meal I would have invited myself over for dinner sooner."

"Uh huh. I'll just point out I have never been invited to your place for dinner, so how do I know you can cook and return the favor?"

"Well I guess I better invite you to dinner to my house and show you. How about tomorrow night?"

"Is cooking all you plan on showing me?" I asked not quite so innocently. Oh yeah, I missed that blush as well.

She shook her head while looking at me. "One of these days I'm going to become used to your comments and not blush."

"I hope not. I really enjoy the ability to make you blush." I tweaked her nose. "Tomorrow night works fine for me. So, how soon do you want to eat?"

"How about six? Or is that too late for you?"

"No, six works for me." I pointed towards the living room. "We have a while before I need to start anything so why don't we have a seat in the living room."

Laura nodded and walked into the living room. I just stood there and watched. What can I say? I didn't just miss hearing her voice or seeing her blush! Oops, busted once more. Laura turned to sit on the couch and noticed where I had been staring. She raised her eyebrows and I knew she was about to call me on it, so I just shrugged and grinned before walking over and sitting down. I patted the spot next to me and Laura dropped into place. I raised my left arm and dropped it over her shoulder, then pulled her closer for a good snuggle.

"Did you get Paul back on schedule?"

"Yeah, things should be fine now. The client is okay and understands that it was a hardware problem, not our system. We were able to smooth things over and Paul will stay an extra day or two to make sure everyone receives training." I rubbed my hand up and down her arm. "How was your week? I never asked how dinner with Michelle was. And did you go out last night?"

I noticed I wasn't the only one that needed contact as Laura's hand was making circles just above my knee.

"Work went very well. It was one of those weeks where things just seemed to click with the kids. And I did finish my grading last night before Michelle went out, but I met her there so I could leave earlier than I knew she would."

"No out partying until 2a.m.?" I asked.

"No. I enjoy my sleep too much. I went home a little after midnight." I opened my mouth to ask a question and she put her hand over it. "And before you ask, all I had was one beer and then diet coke the rest of the night."

I smiled down at her. "Good girl."

She looked back at me. "Do I get a treat for being a good girl?"

"You bet." I murmured as I dropped down for a gentle kiss. "And how was dinner with Michelle on Monday?" I was dying to know if she had shared with Michelle what happened the last Friday we were here.

Laura turned her body to face me. "You seem awfully interested in that dinner? Would there be a reason for that? Like maybe you asked Michelle to speak with me about something? Hmmm?"

"Er. Well, see, um… I ran into Michelle at work on Monday… and…"

Laura put a finger over my lips. "Hush." She removed her finger and gave me an intense kiss. "Thank you," she whispered against my lips.

Okay, I was confused. I drew away to look at her. "For?"

"Caring enough to talk to Michelle. I admit when Michelle brought the subject up I was a little miffed you discussed it with her, but after spending time talking with Michelle I understood why you did. And yes, it helped. So thank you."

I sighed in relief. "So are you okay? Are we okay?"

She nodded to each question. I sighed again. Phew. I wanted to know if Michelle found which friend had been such an idiot, but I could wait until I saw her to ask.

"I can't believe you don't use your dishwasher."

I shrugged. "Why bother? I rarely dirty enough dishes to fill it up, even after a week. I almost run out of dishes before it gets full so it's easier to just wash and dry them by hand." I handed her the last plate to dry.

"Good point."

"Don't you run into that problem?" I asked.

"No. I don't have a dishwasher. So be prepared to do dishes tomorrow night as well missy." She suddenly stopped drying. "Hey, I just thought of something. Don't I get dessert as part of this dinner deal?"

As I pulled the plug to drain the sink I raised an eyebrow and smirked at her. Score! Another blush. She put the plate away and snapped the towel at me, just missing.

"That's not what I meant. Get your mind out of the gutter."

I dried my hands off on a towel and pulled her into a loose hug so she couldn't attack again. "But I like the gutter." I leaned down next to her ear and whispered. "It gives me the most interesting ideas. Like…" At that I grabber her ear lobe with my teeth and gently nibbled on it. After hearing a moan I started kissing my way down her tasty neck until I reached her collar bone. Then I worked my way over to the hollow in her throat. I kissed my way up to her chin and finally met her lips. She opened them and I let my tongue slip inside to play with hers.

I felt her hands clenching in my shirt at the small of my back. They moved away and I thought Laura wanted to slow down so I started to back off. Instead she moved her hands around my neck and pulled me back into the kiss, taking control of it.

She broke the kiss and we both were panting and trying to get a little more oxygen into our lungs. I dropped my arms from her waist and grabbed her hand. "C'mon, let's go sit on the couch."

"Do you want to watch a movie? Something on TV?" Laura shook her head to both suggestions. "Listen to some music?" She nodded to that so I went over to my stereo grabbed my Norah Jones CD and popped it in and hit play and then the repeat button so it wouldn't stop. You know, just in case we didn't notice it stopped for some reason. I sat against the arm with one leg on the couch and the other one on the floor and then pulled Laura down to sit in front between my legs and use me as a back rest. I placed my left arm under her breasts to hold her against me. We talked quietly for a time while I slowly stroked circles on her stomach with my right hand. I was content to just hold her after being away for almost a week.

I finally noticed Norah was singing about a Cold Cold Heart for the third time. Laura hadn't said anything for a few minutes and I was beginning to wonder if she had fallen asleep. I couldn't easily tell because of the way we were lounging on the couch. I was still her back rest and now pillow, but we were more lying down than sitting. Just in case she was sleeping I whispered my question. "Are you asleep?"

Laura shifted a little so she could see me. "No, just very relaxed and comfortable."

"Would you like your dessert now?"

I chuckled at her look. "Now whose mind is in the gutter?" She grinned sheepishly and shrugged her shoulders. "No, not that kind dessert. How about some chocolate mousse from Chadwick's?"

That made her sit up. I smiled at the excited look on her face.

"You bought me chocolate mousse from the restaurant we went to on our first date?"

I nodded my head.

"That is so sweet." I got a kiss and hug for my thoughtfulness, then she jumped up and tugged on my arms to pull me up as well. "Come on, let's go get it!"

I decided to let her continue thinking I was sweet instead of selfish. Yep, I just wanted to hear her make that moaning noise while eating the mousse again.

I woke up the next morning with a huge smile on my face. I grabbed a pillow and hugged it while I remembered the rest of the evening. Just like the first time Laura had been quite vocal about her enjoyment of the mousse. She was kind enough to share and I decided to join in the vocal appreciation. I noticed just a slight blush on her face after that, but decided not to comment on it.

After we finished the mousse we decided to go out and rent a movie to watch. Laura ended up staying until after midnight. Well, she started to leave before midnight but our goodbye kisses didn't end until 12:15. We did manage to part long enough for me to walk Laura to her car. We decided to spend this afternoon together as well as having dinner at her house. Laura needed to shop for a birthday gift for a friend and I had actually volunteered to go to the mall with her on a Sunday afternoon. I laughed to myself. It must be love.

Okay, maybe it's time to think about this.

Am I in love with Laura? I like to spend time with her. Scratch that. I love to spend time with her. I could just sit and talk with her for hours about the goofiest things. It hadn't even been two months. Could I fall in love this quickly?

Think about it Jess, it's not like love follows some predetermined schedule.

No, but it should! That would make this easier. Then I could say it hasn't been X months, so this must just be a serious liking still. I missed her a lot more than I expected to while I was on my trip… And have I ever dated someone this long without getting them into bed? It's been almost two months!

And what about that thought you had while on your trip? You know… the 'making love' comment?

Who asked you?

"Great, it's one thing to talk to myself, but now I'm arguing with myself."

Okay, so I've never said making love before. That doesn't mean I'm in love.

What was the name of that Pam Tillis song?

I am not in denial. I just don't want to push her. Laura needs to set the pace so she's comfortable.

Thank you for making another point. Since when does Ms. Major Control Freak let someone else control the pace of a relationship?

Maybe I'm finally growing up! This is her first relationship with a woman. I don't want to hurt her. I want her to be sure this is what she wants… that I'm what she wants. I don't want to push until she gives in, maybe for the wrong reasons.

If we make… no, when we make love I want Laura to know it's real and that I want more than just sex from her. I want… Oh God, I want… No, not want…

I need forever.


I am in love with her.

"I thought we were going to pick up one birthday gift?" I asked Laura.

"We did." Laura explained.

"Then why am I holding," I paused to count, "six bags in my hands?" I felt I had made my point and I walked up to the front door of her house. Laura followed behind me attempting to explain.

"That's just a few things I decided to pick up since I was at the mall. Now I don't have to go back later and get them." She stepped around me, unlocked the door, pushed it open and walked in.

"Uh huh. You mean when you had a handy pack mule with you?"

She just grinned. I'd been used, but you weren't going to catch me complaining.

"Just put them over there on the couch."

I turned left into the living room and dropped off the bags. I realized I had never spent much time in Laura's house. We tended to go out or spend time at my apartment. That's strange especially since she has such a nice place. The living room had a nice bay window looking out on the street. To the left was a corner entertainment center with the usual assortment of electronics equipment, including a TV that was much larger than my 19" antique at home. Not only that, but the stereo appeared to be a home theatre system. I looked behind the couch and sure enough there were two surround sound speakers on the wall. Heck, why weren't we watching our movies here?

Against the far wall there was a fire place with a rocking chair to one side of it. The couch wasn't just your ordinary couch. This was one of those really nice ones with the recliners built into it. It was L shaped and in front of it was a nice coffee table that appeared to be made out of cherry, as was the rocking chair I realized.

Laura had added her personal touch to the room with photos and flowers and it had a very comfy feel to it. She walked back into the room as I finished checking it out.

"Hey, you know I was promised a tour of this place weeks ago and I never got one. Haven't you had time to move the bodies out back yet?"

For some reason she blushed. "You're right. Sorry." She pointed into the living room. "This is the living room, but I think you already figured that out. Come with me and I'll show you the rest of the house. Don't worry, I finished moving the bodies and cleaned the axe this morning." She grabbed my hand and led me across the entrance, on the way through pointing out the half bath by the front door.

"This is my kitchen." She led me around the table and pointed to a door off to the side. "That's my pantry and where the washer and dryer live. I love having a pantry. It reminds me of home." It was a nice size kitchen, but with all the cabinets I can see why there wasn't a dishwasher. A window by the table looked out at the front yard and one above the sink faced her neighbor's house, but there was a nice break with a few trees between the yards.

We left the kitchen and turned a corner into the first bedroom. This bedroom was in the left corner so it had two windows. I got a quick look out the back window and noticed a decent sized yard.

"This is my guest bedroom. I think I can count on one hand the number of times it's been used. It shares a bathroom with the other spare bedroom, which isn't a bedroom."

We walked into the bathroom and back out the other side. Instead of a bedroom she had set up an office. The desk was in the middle of the room, but the chair faced towards the window, probably so she could see out. There was a small filing cabinet in the corner with a decent color printer on top of it.

"My office. Pardon the mess, but it always looks like this during the school year." Her office did have piles of paper stacked around a laptop computer. Being a geek I took a quick look and noticed it was the same brand as mine.

"Nice computer. I have the latest model at home, but I used to have this one."

"I've had this one for a few years and it still works fine for what I do with it, so I'm in no hurry to upgrade. Although Michelle tells me it's almost an antique and there is no way I could play a decent game on here."

"That sounds like a comment a true computer geek would make."

Laura nodded her head. "Oh yeah, she's a total geek. She even talked me into setting up a wireless network just in case I wanted to work in another room or outside."

"Are you sure it wasn't for her just in case she decides to bring her laptop over?" I questioned.

Laura tilted her head in thought. "Why that little… She has brought her laptop over here and played on the Internet while I was busy with something else on my own laptop." She laughed and shook her head. "I should have known."

All this time we were still holding hands and Laura gave a little tug to get me started as we walked out of her office and into the master bedroom next to it.

"And this is my room."

She didn't say anything more, but stepped off to the side and let go of my hand so I could walk in. It was about the same size as the living room. The walls were painted with a faux finish done in blue and two different shades of purple. She had a queen size bed against the side wall and there were two small windows above it. On the back wall there was a sliding glass door that led out to a deck. As I looked to the left I noticed a door.

"Bathroom?" I asked. Laura nodded and when I made a motion to look inside she nodded again. Here she had a full size bathroom, tub and all. And it wasn't one of those little tubs, like in my apartment. And it had jets in it. A Jacuzzi tub. "Nice."

"Yeah, that comes in handy after some practices with the girls."

I pointed to the walls. "Did you have someone paint that? It is paint and not wallpaper, right?"

"It's paint. And I did it."

"I'm impressed. That's a lot of work, especially when you use three different colors. It looks great."

"Thanks. I did it over a weekend when I first moved in. I wanted something special for my room. I've also painted the kitchen and the office, but I haven't had a chance to work on the spare bedroom or living room. I want to do another style faux finish in the living room, so I'll need another weekend. And to make life easier I need to move the furniture to the middle of the room or even into another room."

We started back towards the living room.

"Well, let me know when you need help." I flexed my biceps. "I can help you move the furniture around and I love to paint."

Laura grabbed the bags from shopping. "Let me drop these in the bedroom. Have a seat. Would you like something to drink? I have water, juice, milk… aaaand Coke."

Cool, she bought the pop I drink! "Coke would be nice, but I can grab one if that's okay?"

"Sure, would you grab me a diet while you're in there?"

"Glass and ice?"

"No, just the can is fine." Her voice faded as she walked away.

I went into the kitchen and grabbed the two cans from the fridge and then went back into the living room and sat down. After waiting a couple of minutes I started to play with the recliner and leaned back. A few seconds later Laura walked in. Instead of sitting next to me she crawled into my lap. She sighed and closed her eyes.

I looked down at her. "Comfy?"

"Very." She sighed again.

"This is a great house. How long have you owned it?"

"I bought it a little over three years ago."

"Feel free to tell me this is none of my business, but unless teachers get paid a lot more here than where I used to live, how can you afford it?"

Laura sighed. "I get that question a lot, but I don't mind you asking me. When my grandmother died a few years ago she left each of us kids a nice chunk of money. I decided to use mine to pay off my college loans and buy this house. It didn't pay for all of that, but enough so I could get a 15 year mortgage instead of a 30 and still have a small enough payment to match my salary."

"I'm sorry about your grandmother."

"Thanks. She told me about her will just a few weeks before she died. She wanted to let me know it was okay to buy a house like I'd always wanted with it. She was afraid I would give it all away to charity, which I might have been tempted to do."

"She sounds like she was very special."

"She was." Laura whispered. I could tell she was in the past so I didn't say anything more.

After a minute she spoke in her normal voice.

"What time did you want to eat? I have everything ready and it will take about an hour to cook, but all I have to do is throw it into the oven."

"Why don't you get it started about 5 then?" I waited until she said okay. "Are you going to tell me what you made for me?"

"Shepard's Pie."

"You didn't?"

"Oh no, don't tell me you don't like it? I can always throw something else together if you don't." I could tell she was about to panic as she looked up at me.

I had to confess. "I don't like it." I paused for dramatic effect. What can I say; I play the drama queen now and again. "I love Shepard's Pie! I can't believe you made my favorite meal!"

That earned me a slap to the abdomen. "That was not nice."

I laughed and grabbed her hands to stop the abuse. "Ow. I'm sorry. Can I kiss you and make it better?"

Her hands moved up around my neck and pulled me closer. "You better kiss me or no dinner for you."

How could I refuse after a threat like that? I brushed my hands through her hair and leaned in to steal her breath away. When we came up for air it wasn't only her breath that had been stolen. I leaned back and put my arms around her. Noticing the home theatre system again I asked Laura the question I had been wondering earlier.

"So with this fancy setup you have, why haven't we been watching all our movies here instead of on my puny little 19 inch TV?"

I didn't get any response.


"I don't know," she whispered. Then she contradicted herself. "No, I do know."

"It's no big deal, I was just curious." And I was getting even more curious from the way she answered me.

"No, let me explain." She paused. "I wanted to meet at your apartment all the time so I could leave anytime I wanted. It gave me more control over the situation."

I was beginning to get the idea here, but I wanted to make sure and not just assume.

"And if you had me over here and you got sick of my company you would have to wait until I left. Because being the polite hostess you are you wouldn't be comfortable asking me to leave." She nodded. Ouch. "You do know you can ask me to leave any time? And if you don't want me to come over here we can"


"…just hang out"

"No!" She interrupted me. Then she moved so she was straddling my lap and looking me in the eye. "No, I felt that way in the beginning, but after a while going to your place just got to be a habit. I do not feel that way now. I want you to be here, any time you want to come over."

I stared into those blue eyes searching for the truth. "Are you sure?"

"There is no doubt in my mind. I want you here. I promise." Then she leaned in to seal her promise with a kiss. That's when I finally noticed how Laura was positioned. I put my arms around her and pulled her even closer so our upper bodies were in contact. Both of us moaned and I took the opportunity to slip my tongue inside her mouth and deepened the kiss. I dimly felt Laura's hands slide through my hair and settle around my neck, still playing with my hair. My own hands moved to her sides and slowly moved up and down. On each pass they moved closer to her breasts. When it registered in my brain what those hands were doing and the fact that Laura was rocking her hips against me I started to slow down the kiss. It was still too soon. I needed to know how she felt before we went any further.

Laura rested her head against my shoulder while our hearts slowed to normal and we caught our breath.

Laura spoke quietly, "We better be ready soon or I think I might die from wanting you."

I squeezed her close and replied just as quietly. "Soon. But not on a Sunday night when I would have to wake up and leave you too early in the morning." I loosened my grip. "Now, why don't we pop our dinner in the oven and go rent a movie that will take advantage of your home theatre system?"

"Sounds like a plan."

"Hey boss."

I looked up to see Michelle in my doorway.

"Morning. And I'm still not your boss."

She waved my comment away with her hand. "Whatever. How was the trip?"

"Long. But we got things back on track and I managed to get home a day early. I spoke with Paul yesterday and everything was fine."

"I knew you'd crack the whip and get things in line." The tech stepped into the office. "Mind if I close the door?"

I was pretty sure why so I shook my head and motioned to her to have a seat once she closed the door.

"And did you have time to relax over the weekend? Maybe with a little blond I know?"

I grinned. "If you call being used as a pack mule at the mall on a Sunday afternoon relaxing."

"You are so whipped." She sighed and slowly shook her head. "It's so sad to see another one bite the dust."

"Not from where I'm standing. Hey, Laura mentioned you talked last week. Thanks. I owe you one."

I could see her quickly perk up at that idea. "Cool. Does that mean you'll answer my phone today?"

"I owe you personally, not professionally. Try again."

Michelle snapped her fingers. "Darn! Did Laura also tell you she figured out pretty quickly why I was asking her certain question, and who put me up to it?"

"No, we didn't get into specifics. Did you find out who I need to slap?"

I got a wink and finger pointed at me. "Already taken care of boss. She won't be making any more stupid comments in the future."

"Wow, you killed her for me? Now I really owe you one."

She laughed. "No, I just let her know she screwed up and should keep her comments to herself when she doesn't know what she's talking about. My volume was just a tad louder though. And I may have repeated myself a few… dozen times. I'm thinking she got my point."

I sighed. "I guess that will have to do then. I was hoping for maybe a little torture… No?" She shook her head. "Fine. You aren't going to tell me who it was, are you?" The head shook again. "Too bad. In that case, get out of here. Isn't that your phone I hear ringing?"

"Ha, ha. I'm leaving. But just remember you owe me one."

"I do. Thanks. I mean that. I wasn't sure how Laura would act when I got back from this trip. You really helped."

"De nada boss. Just… treat her right and we'll call it even. She's my best friend and I don't want to see her hurt."

"Neither do I Michelle. I won't intentionally hurt her. You have my word on that."

"Good enough. Later boss." She waved and walked out of the office.

I was glad Laura had a friend looking out for her. Heh, I wondered if I should have warned her Laura might have a clue why she really wanted Laura to get a wireless network. Nah, she can find out for herself.

Sunday was a turning point in our relationship. Suddenly I went from never being at Laura's to spending almost every night this past week at her place, arriving after work and leaving around 11pm. Her wireless network came in handy one night when she was busy grading papers and entering the grades on her computer. I decided I should go home to let her concentrate on work and because I had a little work I could do as well. That's when Laura suggested I bring in my laptop and connect to the office through her Internet connection. My girl sure is smart. And I wasn't going to pass up spending time with her, even if we were both working.

I sat at the end of the couch with my feet up on the coffee table. No, I didn't just put my feet up without asking. Laura suggested I do it to make myself more comfortable. I promptly kicked my sneakers off and did so. Laura sat in the corner of the L with her legs stretched towards me, almost touching my thigh. She had her laptop sitting in her lap, I know, what a great place for it, and the papers she was grading spread out over the short side of the L.

I admit I felt quite domesticated when I caught myself rubbing her feet and catching up on my email at the same time. I smiled at the thought and went back to work, using both hands when I needed to type, but rubbing her feet when I stopped to just read. At the end of the evening I was given a fantastic thank you kiss for my effort.

During the week I was also becoming more at ease with the idea of being in love with my little blond teacher. I also noticed I was getting more possessive when thinking about her; otherwise I wouldn't be calling her my girl or my teacher. I didn't yet have the courage to say those three magical words to her, but I was working up to it. Leaving every night was getting harder to do. I'd like to say it helped knowing it was hard for Laura as well, but it didn't. I just wasn't alone in my misery when I left.

I looked up at the clock and noticed it was 4 p.m. Laura would be home. I wanted to take her out to dinner tonight, but hadn't asked her yet. I picked up the phone and hit the magic sequence of numbers.


"Hey honey. How was school today?"

"Hi! Classes were pretty good most of the day. I'll tell you about the mess at lunch time later. How's work going?"

"It's going. I'm just glad it's Friday. I think it took most of this week to catch up to where I was when I left for the trip last week. But enough about my work let me explain why I called."

"You mean it wasn't just because you missed me?"

"Of course I miss you. I miss you every day." I thought I had been obvious about that when I arrived at her house each night. Maybe kissing her silly wasn't apparent enough. "But I was wondering if I could talk my girl into going out to dinner tonight?" There I go being possessive again. I hope she doesn't mind that because I think it might slip out more often.

"Your girl would love to go out to dinner." Well, I guess she answered my question with that response. I smiled as Laura continued. "Where are we going? And what time are you picking me up?"

"Don't worry about where we're going. Just dress nicely. Can you be ready by 6:30?"

"Okay, you need to get a little more specific than 'dress nicely'. Do I need a dress and heels or are you thinking casual nice? And 6:30 is fine."

I paused to think about her in a dress and heels. "Definitely wear a dress and heels."

"Does this mean I get to see you in a dress?"

I hadn't considered that, but it only seemed fair if I was asking her to wear a dress. That didn't mean I had to let her know ahead of time.

"You'll see when I pick you up. 6:30. Sharp."

"Ma'am, yes ma'am." I could see the salute.

"Wise guy. I'll see you in a couple of hours. I lo… ll see you then." Oops, that was close!

"Okay, bye."

"Bye." Phew! I don't think she caught it. Saying that for the first time over the phone would not be a good thing for her to remember 50 years from now. I would never live it down! I smiled at the thought and then jumped back into the project I had been working on before I made the phone call. Then I stopped. If I wanted to surprise her with a dress I better get home and figure out which one to wear! And make sure I have panty hose that didn't have runs in it. I closed my laptop and packed up to go home early. After the extra hours the week previously I didn't think leaving an hour early would be a problem. And I had a woman to impress!

I ended up stopping at a store and picking up some panty hose, just in case. When I got home, I immediately went into my closet and looked at my dresses. Yes, I have more than one. The blue one revealed a bit more of me than I wanted for tonight. I also discarded the green, the pale purple, and the red. It looked like basic black was it. Not quite basic. It had a v-neck in the front, but no low cut back. The sleeves were short and lacey. While the dress was black, it actually was two layers. The layer beneath was basic black. The top layer was lace with a floral pattern. The sleeves were part of this top layer.

I checked through my drawers for a bra and found something I'd forgotten I had: thigh high black silk stockings with a garter belt. I rummaged around until I found the strapless black bra I had bought just for this dress. Yeah, I decided if I was wearing a dress I might as well go all out. At the bottom of my closet I found a pair of black shoes with one inch heels. I doubted Laura would be wearing 5 inch spiked shoes, so those would be fine.

I jumped in the shower for a quick wash up and shave. When I finished toweling off I put on lotion with a light lilac scent to it. I used the blow dryer on my hair to speed up the drying process. I then started to dress. First the bra, then the garter and stockings. I dropped the dress over my head and wiggled until it settled into place. Finally the shoes went on my feet.

The one thing I liked about my bedroom is the fact the sliding closet doors were mirrors. I walked up and checked myself out. My brown hair was getting a shade too long; it was close to being past my neck. I would need to make an appointment to get a trim soon, but it was short enough to be manageable for tonight. My brown eyes were still brown, no change since I was born with them. Strangely enough I still looked like I had a tan. Brown, brown, and brown. Must be that Hispanic thing going on for me. I liked it.

The dress fit even though I hadn't worn it in a couple of years. I found a silver necklace and matching bracelet and put them on. Okay, I confess, my only matching pair. Then I put on a pair of small silver hoop earrings.

I was ready! Or not. Rarely carrying a purse I had to remember were I put the one I owned. I sighed. I hate purses. I don't mind dresses, but carrying a purse… it just wasn't natural for me. Then I remembered I had hung it on a hanger in the closet. I found it, dusted it off, and transferred important items like my ID and credit cards from my wallet to it. At the last minute I realized I needed something to wear after the sun went down. I decided to go with a black button up sweater. I tried it on and checked in the mirror. I gave myself a thumbs up and took it back off.

I checked the time. It was six o'clock, I still had 15 minutes before I had to leave. I looked in the mirror again, just to make sure everything looked good. It looked fine. I hoped Laura thought it was better than fine. It was now 6:04. I'm going to be early. I walked out of the bedroom, grabbed my keys and left.

I took the long way to Laura's house. That added an extra five minutes to the drive. It was 6:25 when I pulled into her drive. I decided I wasn't too early and got out of the Jeep. I was glad I only had one inch heels on my shoes since I was able to walk without worrying about twisting an ankle. That's always a good thing. I rang the doorbell and nervously waited for her to answer.

The door opened and Michelle stood there staring at me.

"Oh my God! Boy, do you clean up good." She grinned at me and stepped back to let me in the house. We walked into the living room, but neither of us sat down.

I grinned in return. "Thanks. I take it since you answered the door Laura isn't ready yet."

"Not quite, but once you see her I doubt you'll mind the wait. She's just finishing up her makeup."

"No hurry. Our reservation isn't until 7pm and it only takes ten minutes to get there from here."

"Where are you taking her or is that still a secret?" she asked.


She let out a low whistle. "Nice choice. Now I'm glad I told her the blue dress." We both heard movement in the entry way and looked in that direction. Wow. "Breathe Jessica, breathe." Michelle whispered to me. I didn't even bother looking in her direction. Laura stopped at the doorway. I decided to start at the bottom and work my way up as I stared. Her shoes had just a few straps holding them together and looked dainty with the three inch heels. Her hose were light tan. I didn't even want to consider whether she might be wearing a garter belt. The dress stopped an inch above her knees and it was blue. It had a slit on the left side that went up and up and up, showing off plenty of thigh. It's a good thing it had the slit, otherwise I have no idea how she would have walked in it. My eyes continued up. The sleeves were three-quarter length and also form fitting. She had her watch on her right wrist as usual and a jangle of bracelets on her left wrist, tinkling merrily when she moved that arm. The front of the dress was low cut, showing off plenty of cleavage. My eyes lingered there for a moment. Of course I was looking at the necklace she was wearing, what were you thinking? I finally made it up to Laura's face. She had some light makeup on and I noticed she was just as busy looking over my choice of dresses. She finally looked up and I motioned for her to turn around. The back of the dress… was missing! Talk about low cut, it was cut down to the small of her back. She continued to turn and when she faced me again made the same motion.

"I'm not sure I should bother, my dress actually has a back to it." I said, but I slowly turned anyway. Then I walked over to her, grabbed both her hands and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "You look stunning. I forgot to breathe until Michelle reminded me." We both glanced over at Michelle and she nodded in a serious manner. We then looked at each other and smiled.

"Thanks. You look pretty gorgeous yourself." Laura replied.

"Thanks. Are you ready to go?"

"Yes, I just need to grab my purse and jacket," which she did. "Are you going to tell me where we're going yet?" she asked as she walked to the front door.

"Oh, I know! I know!" Michelle blabbed. I glared at her and her expression turned solemn. "But if I told you I would be killed. So you'll have to wait."

Laura looked at me from the corner of her eye. "Uh huh. Well then, you know how to let yourself out. I'll call you some time this weekend, okay?"

"Are you sure you don't want me to wait until you get back? Make sure you get home safe and sound?" Michelle asked.

"No. Go home."

Michelle grinned. "Okay, okay, I can take a hint. I know when I'm not welcome. I'll lock up on my way out in a little while. I need to finish my drink. Good night. Have a good time."

I replied for us. "We will. Thanks. Bye." I opened the front door for Laura, followed her out, and closed the door behind us. I held onto her elbow lightly as we walked to the Jeep. I wasn't sure how steady she would be on those three inch heels she was wearing. "How do you walk without hurting your ankles in those shoes?"

She laughed. "Practice."

I opened the door for her and helped her in. Too bad the slit in her dress isn't on the right side. I made sure she was able to get her seatbelt on and closed the door. I then went to the driver's side and carefully got in. "Maybe next time we decide to play dress-up we should take your car. It's got to be easier to get into while wearing a dress than this beast."

Laura grinned. "We still have time to switch. I'll even let you drive."

I considered it for a moment as I started the Jeep. "No, but thanks for the offer. I enjoy driving this too much to consider driving a car instead." With that I backed out of her driveway and started towards the restaurant.

I hit the turn signal to pull into the restaurant parking lot.

"Ardeo's? Now I'm really glad I picked this dress instead of the other one."

"You would have looked spectacular no matter what you wore," I said as I pulled into the first parking space I found. I looked over to Laura once I put the Jeep in park and turned off the ignition. "You do look fantastic in that dress."

"Thank you, ma'am," she replied and then she smiled.

"You're welcome. Now wait right there." I jumped out of the Jeep. Okay, maybe it was more like, I carefully exited the Jeep. I'm not sure I've ever worn a dress and driven my Jeep. Now I remember why. I walked around to the passenger door and opened it so Laura could get out.

"Thanks again, ma'am," she said.

"You keep calling me ma'am and I'm going to have to do something about it." We walked to the entrance and as I went to open the door it magically opened for me. I've always wondered what a door opener gets paid at a restaurant. "Thanks." I told the young man and motioned for Laura to walk in first. We found the hostess and I gave the woman my name. She looked down at her book, grabbed a couple of menus and asked us to follow her.

I had never been here before, but had been told by others it had great food and service and was quite romantic as well. The romantic part must explain the low lighting. I noticed each table had a light hanging directly above it to shine light on that table only. It gave the impression that each table was an island, apart from the others. This was not the kind of restaurant where they quickly threw three tables together to make room for a large party. No, that would totally throw off the lighting scheme. The hostess delivered us to a table against the side wall.

"Is this table okay?" she asked.

"Yes, it's fine." I replied. She placed the menus at each setting, as well as a wine list. I quickly stepped around her and pulled a chair out for Laura. After seating her I moved around the hostess again and took my own seat.

"Would you care for something to drink?" We both ordered the house white wine. "Your server this evening will be Haley. She'll be over shortly to let you know about our specials for the evening. Enjoy your meal." She smiled at us and walked back to her post.

Laura and I looked through the menu and discussed various items. After a few minutes our server appeared.

"Hi, my name is Haley and I'll be your server this evening." She placed our wine on the table as she said this. She clasped her hands in front of her and looked at each of us briefly. "Would you like to hear our specials for the evening?"

We both nodded so she started her rehearsed speech. Once she was finished she asked if we needed more time. I looked over at Laura and asked her if she was ready. She briefly shook her head.

"We'll need just a few more minutes. Thanks." I explained to Haley.

She nodded and smiled. "Just flag me down when you're ready, ladies."

Once she left we continued to look at the menus. Laura looked up from her menu and whispered. "I'm so glad our server isn't a guy."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because he would have been drooling over my date and I would have had to slap him."

I laughed quietly, because the restaurant demanded a quiet laugh. "I think you are highly mistaken about whom a male server would be drooling over at this table."

The teacher shook her head. "No. I'm pretty sure I got it right. But luckily we don't need to worry about it." She smiled then asked "Have you decided what to order?"

"I'm leaning towards the chicken special. What about you?"

"I'm trying to decide between the tuna special and the linguine alfredo. Both sound wonderful."

"So how are you going to decide?"

"That's easy; when our server comes back I'll be forced to pick one."

I raised an eyebrow. "Interesting way to make a choice. Would you like me to call her over here or do you want another minute to consider your options before you need to decide?"

"No, no, you better call her over now. Otherwise I might find something else on the menu and I'll have a third option to add to my dilemma."

I shook my head at her and then looked up to find our server. I spotted her walking away from a table. She happened to look at our table and I gave her a brief nod to let her know we were ready. She changed directions and headed towards our table.

"So, have you decided?" she asked.

"Yes. Well, I have. I would like the chicken special."

"Excellent choice." She then asked me about the typical salad dressing and side options. "And you ma'am?" she asked Laura. Laura looked at the menu one last time.

"I will have the linguine alfredo."

"Another excellent choice." Again she asked Laura for her dressing and side option choices.

I had to ask. "Are there any selections you serve that aren't excellent?"

The server grinned. "Not that I can tell you about. But you both picked two of my top favorites. If you had picked something else I would have said it was a good choice."

Laura and I laughed. "We'll keep that in mind next time. Thanks."

"You're welcome. I'll be out shortly with your salads."

As she walked away I took a sip of my wine. I looked up and noticed Laura doing the same thing.

"Ordering's thirsty work."

"Yes, especially when it involves picking between two entrees. Thank you for inviting me out tonight."

I smiled and placed my hand over hers on the table and gave it a quick squeeze before I let go. "There's no one else I would rather be with."

Laura smiled in return and although the lighting was dim I was pretty sure that was a blush on her face.

"I have something I wanted to ask you," she said.

"Okay." She started to look a little nervous. This should be interesting if it makes her nervous.

"My parents are having a cook out on Sunday and I was wondering if you would go with me?"

Time out! Meeting the family? Yikes!

Some of my panic must have shown on my face because Laura immediately tried to give me an out.

"It's okay if you would rather not go. I don't mind. Really. I just…"

"No. That's not it." I grinned sheepishly. "You just surprised me, that's all. Meeting the family is a big step."

"Are you sure?" she questioned. "It's really okay if you don't want to go."

"I would love to meet your family. It beats doing chores around the apartment instead."

"Are you comparing my family to housework?"

I couldn't tell if she was serious or joking. I figured I better assume she was serious. "No, that's not what I meant!" I looked down at the table. "Sorry, I was trying to be funny." I heard a small chuckle from the other side of the table.

"I know. I was just teasing you."

Our server then approached with our salads and set them on the table. "Are you ladies all set? Anything more to drink?" We both shook our heads and she thanked us and left.

"So, is it just your parents at this cook out or…?"

"My parents, my sister and her family, and my brother and his fiancée will be there. Oh and Michelle. Just my immediate family will be there, not all my aunts and uncles and cousins."

I breathed out a sigh of relief. At least it was a small group. But I needed to make sure it was okay for me to be there. As her girl friend, not just a friend.

"Are you sure it's okay for me to go? Do your parents know we're dating?"

"Yes it's okay. And since I've told my mom about you I'm sure my dad knows as well. And I may have mentioned you once or twice to my sister,"

I sat up straight and smiled. "You've told your mom about me?"

"Yes I did. She can't wait to meet you. She says dad can't wait to meet you either."

I was slightly worried about the dad comment. "You dad doesn't happen to own any guns, does he?" She was just taking a drink as I asked the question and almost spit it back out. She gave me that 'Are you crazy?' look again. "Well, I just want to be prepared in case he does!"

She patted my hand. "Don't worry, he doesn't. And even if he did, I would protect you." Then she grinned.

"Sure, it's funny to you! He probably gives the third degree to all the women you bring home!" I glared at her.

She cleared her throat. "Um, I don't know."

"You don't know?" I asked her while I leaned forward. "Don't tell me you leave him alone with them? You aren't going to leave him alone with me, are you?!?"

"No, it's not that." She looked down at her hands in her lap. "I've never brought a woman home before." She stated quietly.

Oh. Ohhhhh! I'm the first. I like that idea.

"Really?" She nodded her head. I perked up at the thought and smile. "So I'm the first?" She nodded again. Then it hit me and the smile disappears. Her family has never seen her with another woman. What if they freak out? I have never jumped from happy to worried and back so quickly before. The smile turned into a frown. "What if they don't react well to seeing us together? It will be the first time they see real evidence that you're a lesbian."

I could see Laura thinking about that. After a minute she shook her head. "No, they won't have a problem with us being a couple. My parents have always treated Michelle as their third daughter and I've never seen them react badly when she brings a date. But," she chuckled, "you may have a point about that third degree from my dad. Now that I think about I have seen him corner Michelle's 'girl friend of the month' before."

I looked down at my plate and realized I had finished my salad during this discussion. I sure don't remember eating anything after the first bite.

I sighed. "Good, I don't want to cause any problems if I show up." Then the dad comment registered and panic set in again. "Promise me you won't leave me alone with him." I told her.

She laughed. "You act like you've never met a girl friend's parents before."

I idly traced a random pattern on the table and watched my finger as I replied. "I haven't."

"No?" I continued my tracing, but looked up and could tell she was a little pleased about this.

"No. Ashley, my ex, and her folks didn't get along even before they found out she was gay. She was my only serious relationship where it might have happened. And since my family is out in Arizona, that introduction never happened either."

She reached over and covered my tracing hand with hers. She looked me in the eye and smiled gently. "Don't worry, they'll love you."

I relaxed with the contact. Too soon she pulled her hand back as Haley arrived with our meals. We both decided on lighter discussion topics for the rest of our meal and dessert.

We walked into Laura's house after our dinner. Laura started walking back towards her bedroom.

"I think I'll go put something more comfortable on."

I grabbed her hand and tugged her back towards me.

"Uh uh." I said.

She leaned her head to the side. "What do you mean?"

"If you don't mind, I'd like to see you in that dress just a little longer." I grinned. "If I haven't mentioned it enough, you look very nice in it." I walked towards the living room still holding onto her hand. "Let's go sit for a few minutes before I let you change."

"Well, since you can't change, I guess I can stay this way for a bit longer."

We sat closely together on the couch just relaxing, my arm around her shoulders. Laura broke the silence first.

"Thank you for dinner. I really enjoyed it. The food was fabulous. I can see why it's a popular restaurant."

"You already thanked me, but you're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed your meal." I gave her shoulders a gentle squeeze.

Laura looked up at me. "I know you wanted me to stay dressed up, but is it okay if I take my shoes off?"

I smiled. "Of course. As a matter of fact, let me help you with that."

I reached out and let me hands slide down her right leg until I reached her shoe. I carefully unbuckled it and slowly slid it off her foot. Instead of just reaching over to her left foot, I again began at her left knee and slid my hands down her calf before I removed the other shoe. I placed her shoes under the coffee table so we wouldn't trip on them later.

"Oh, that feels good. Finally free, my feet are happy." She wiggled her toes as she made that statement. She glanced at me sideways. "Would you like me to remove your shoes?"

"My feet would worship you if you did that, although they won't be happy when I put them back on later."

She put her hand above my knee and allowed it to lightly trail down my left leg. I tried to hold back a groan, but I don't think I did. She looked up and smiled at me and then looked back down to remove the left shoe. Then she leaned over me and with her left hand worked her way down my right leg and removed that shoe. She put my shoes beside hers under the table and slid her hand back up my leg. Since she was already leaning over me she was able to easily give me a slow kiss. I definitely moaned out loud when her hand reached the hem of my dress.

My left hand wandered over her hip and the other one made its way to the back of her neck as we kissed. I was so oblivious to anything but the kiss that I never noticed Laura moving to straddle my lap. I wasn't sure how she managed it in that dress until my right hand followed the slit in her dress all the way up her thigh. Oh my. The kiss suddenly turned more passionate and Laura started rocking against me. I couldn't stop myself and put both hands on her hips to help her move. Her lips moved from mine and trailed down my neck. I leaned my head against the back of the couch and let her take us where ever she wanted to go.

She worked her way up to my ear and nipped at the earlobe then whispered hotly into my ear. "I want you. So much. Please, stay the night." Then she moved back to my lips, kissing me hard and sneaking her tongue inside my mouth. The kiss seemed to go on forever before we had to break to get some air. She leaned in to kiss me again, but my hands moved up to her shoulders to keep her back. She looked at my quizzically.

I swallowed some oxygen and said "Wait."

She dropped her head on my shoulder and whispered, "Please don't tell me you aren't ready."

I hugged her to me and quietly laughed. "God no, it isn't that. Believe me, I'm more than ready."

She looked up at me. "Then why are we stopping?"

I took a deep breath. This was it. I needed to tell her how I felt before we went further. There's that need word popping up again. But I couldn't do this while she was on my lap. "Would you mind sitting here next to me?" And I patted the couch beside me.

Laura sat up and slowly made her way off my lap and sat next to me with a nervous look on her face. I leaned in to quickly kiss her in reassurance. "It's nothing bad. I just want to tell you something before we go any further."

I trailed the back of my fingers down her cheek and gently smiled. I took another deep breath. Her hand came up to hold onto my fingers, offering me her support.

"Do you remember our first date?"

She nodded.

"And do you remember the little speech I gave about wanting something versus needing it?"

She grinned at me. "Have you noticed I've been good and haven't said that since then?"

I grinned back. "Yeah, I have." The grin left my face and my eyes moved to stare at the floor. "I found out something about myself recently." I paused and looked back up and into her eyes. "I found out that I need more than air, water, and food." I grabbed both of her hands. "I want you, don't ever doubt that. But recently I realized not only do I want you, I need you as well."

I heard Laura gasp.

"I need your smile," She smiled at me, but I noticed the moisture in her eyes. "your laugh, your presence in my life." I took another deep breath and wiped the tear that snuck out of her eye. "I'm in love with you Laura Willliamson." I wiped away a second tear. "I wanted… no, I needed you to know that before I make love to you."

I leaned my forehead against hers and whispered. "I know you may not feel the same way, but please tell me there's a chance some day that you might."

She raised up my head and wiped away the tear I didn't know had trailed down my cheek. Then she gently and lovingly kissed me. She pulled back just an inch and whispered back to me. "I don't have to tell you there's a chance. I'm already in love with you Jessica Taylor."

That did it. I pulled her as close to me as possible and kissed her with all the love I felt. After a few kisses Laura pulled back again, holding onto my hair with both hands as she looked at me. "Now, will you take me to bed and make love with me?"

"Gladly." I stood and tugged her up with me. We leisurely made our way to her bedroom, kissing along the way and only bumping into the walls a time or two.

I woke up the next morning, or maybe it was afternoon, and looked down at the blond head on my shoulder. A slow smile appeared on my face. The night had been amazing. For a first timer Laura sure didn't need much direction in pleasing a woman. I hadn't had the first time with a new lover be as good as the previous night. I figured being in love had something to do with that. I pulled her closer to me and started to fall back asleep thinking about how we could spend the weekend. In bed was my first choice.

My eyes popped open when I remembered one small detail.

The cookout and meeting the family!

So much for sleeping, now I'm too freaked out to do that. I just lay there and waited for my love to wake up and hoped her dad didn't own a shotgun.


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