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Chapter Thirteen,

Dana pressed her thighs together and shivered. Gretchen, who felt almost traitorous by being dry, reached over and rubbed her back. Through chattering teeth, Dana explained how the prank war had started and how it had escalated. Gretchen looked in the backseat and said, "Do you have a towel or blanket or...?"

"I have a blanket," Dana said. "But it won't stretch across the whole front seat. You're going to get cold, too."

Gretchen twisted around and looked into the backseat. There was a black duffel bag behind the driver's seat and a bit of extraneous clutter. She unfastened her seat belt and got onto her knees. "We could get in the backseat, then."

Dana smiled. "You know how long it's been since a girl said that to me."

Gretchen blushed. "Come on." She scrambled between the seats and sat down in the back. She put the duffel bag on the floor and cleared off the rest of the seat.

Dana reached back and grabbed the bag. She unzipped it to reveal a wad of baseball clothes. She pushed aside a jersey and an empty water bottle and freed a worn blanket from the depths. "I use this for watching games usually," she said. "Sorry if there's a bit of grass and stuff on it."

She wrapped the blanket around her shoulders like a cape and climbed between the seats. Gretchen caught her before she fell and they both laughed before falling back against the seat. Gretchen wrapped her arms around Dana and tried to will some warmth into her frozen limbs. "I hope you really, really appreciate this skirt," Dana said.

Gretchen squeezed Dana's wet thigh and felt a shock ran across her fingertips. "Oh, I think it's fine."

Dana laughed and slid off Gretchen's lap. Gretchen moved behind the passenger seat while Dana got the blanket untangled. She draped it across herself and scooted close to Gretchen so she could get under as well. Gretchen snuggled against Dana's side and said, "Wow, this blanket is small."

"Are you complaining?" Dana asked. She rested her head on Gretchen's chest and sighed. She hadn't realized how freezing she had been until she got under the warm blanket.

"No, not at all," Gretchen said. She wrapped her arms around Dana and willed some of her warmth into her. "You okay?"

"Fine," Dana said. She closed her eyes and put her hand on Gretchen's belly. The words were at the front of her mind, so she shouldn't have been surprised when they slipped free of her lips. "I slept with Sofia."

Gretchen chuckled. "What? When was this?"

"Monday. When you didn't show up at the theatre. I was hurt and I didn't like it. I'd been running from it for so long, getting hurt, and... I thought that if I just threw myself at someone, I could fix it. I could take away the hurt and forget about you. You have to understand, I thought you'd forgotten about me." She closed her eyes. "Not that I'm blaming you. I'm not. And then, after... it was over, I hurt worse than before. That's when I knew I couldn't just hit reset and go back to the way it was. I knew that I cared for you a lot more than I was admitting."

She squeezed her fingers against Gretchen's stomach and said, "Anyway. I just thought you should know."

"Is that why you were so weird with her yesterday?"

Dana nodded.

Gretchen put her head down, her cheek against Dana's wet hair. "I don't care," she said and was surprised to find she believed it. "You've slept with a lot of people, right?"

"I don't want to talk about that," Dana said.

"I understand. I just meant that Sofia wasn't exactly your first. But... m-maybe she'll be your last? At least for a... a little while?"

Dana sat up. "No. Next to last."

Gretchen said, "There's someone else?"

"There will be," Dana said. She leaned in and tenderly kissed Gretchen. The kiss was just as electric as the one they'd shared earlier in the kitchen. Dana's lips were still wet from the rain and slid easily across Gretchen's. She put her put her arms around Gretchen and flattened her palms in the small of her back. Gretchen slid down in the seat and Dana rearranged herself to lie on top of her.

Gretchen parted her lips in a sigh and Dana took it as an invitation. She touched Gretchen's tongue with her own as her hands pulled up the back of Gretchen's shirt. She pressed her cold fingers against the warm flesh and sighed as her body began to thaw.

Dana spread her legs and straddled Gretchen's hip. Her skirt rode up and she rocked gently against Gretchen's hip. They pulled back and Dana sat up. She was framed by the dark blue windows, cascading like a waterfall. She was breathing hard, her skin flushed, and she pushed the clinging strands of hair out of her face. "We should stop," she breathed.

"Why?" Gretchen demanded.

Dana hesitated. "I-I thought... I didn't think you'd want to..."

"I want you," Gretchen said. Three simple words, but they did the trick. Dana exhaled a long, shaky breath, and undid the top three buttons on her blouse. She reached down, took Gretchen's hand and put it inside. Gretchen closed her eyes and let her fingers explore blindly. Dana wasn't wearing a bra, her skin cold, moist, clammy from the rain. She found Dana's nipple, a tight, hard bud that was already painfully erect due to the cold. Dana closed her eyes and arched her back into Gretchen's touch.

She bent down and, keeping Gretchen's hand ensnared in her shirt, kissed her again. She moved her hips against Gretchen and tightened her thighs. Gretchen's free hand went to Dana's thigh. She fumbled for a moment and then pushed aside the hem of her skirt to touch her wet panties. Dana whimpered and opened her eyes, looking straight into Gretchen's. They kept eye contact as Gretchen stroked her.

Dana held the gaze as long as she could before she began to tremble. Her eyes closed on their own then and she lifted her hips. Her legs went rubbery, the muscles that had been like steel a moment before shuddering and struggling to hold her up. Gretchen's mouth hung open as Dana sagged against her. She kissed Gretchen's throat and whispered, "Wow."

Gretchen was still trying to get over the fact that she'd just made Dana come. She laid a series of kisses along Dana's forehead. Dana lifted her face in response and they were kissed again. Dana let Gretchen's hand fall from her blouse and sat up. She moved her hands to Gretchen's lap and tugged at her belt. Gretchen lay back and stared up, a passive observer as Dana got her pants undone and tugged them down her legs.

Why did I wear these panties? she thought. She pressed her thighs together out of habitual modesty and Dana eased them apart. She straightened Gretchen's knees and hooked her fingers over the straps of Gretchen's underwear. They locked eyes again as Dana gently pulled the flimsy material down. Gretchen closed her eyes and a tear slipped free. She had to fight the urge to cover herself, had to remind herself that Dana wanted her and she wanted Dana. "Please," she whispered. "Please, Dana."

Dana scooted back and licked her lips. She held Gretchen's thighs apart with her hands and bowed her head. She started with slow, gentle strokes with the pad of her tongue. She didn't use her thumb to hold the lips apart; she simply coaxed her way in with slow, persuasive strokes. She circled Gretchen's clit and turned her head to kiss the trembling thighs that flanked her head.

Gretchen's eyes were closed, her hips rising to meet Dana's mouth. She'd never felt like this. She'd only received oral sex once in her life and it was nothing like this... comparing this to her past experience was like comparing a handshake hello to a hug from a long-lost child. When Dana pushed her tongue forward and was actually inside her, Gretchen's body jerked as if she'd been shocked. She slammed her fist into the head rest and dug her heels into the seat.

When she came, her entire body trembled in a wave that ran from head to toe and back again. She melted, wasted and drained, and stared blankly at the dome light above their heads. Dana slid up Gretchen's body, kissing her breasts through the material of her shirt before nuzzling her throat. They kissed again and Gretchen sobbed quietly.

Dana moved her kisses to Gretchen's cheeks and brushed away the tears. "Are you okay?" she asked.

Gretchen buried her face in a handful of the blanket. She wiped at her eyes and nodded. "It's not usually like that," she said. "I mean, it usually doesn't happen like that."

"For me, either," Dana said. She brushed Gretchen's hair and then rolled to one side. She tugged Gretchen's pants back up and fastened them for her.

Gretchen let Dana dress her and then pulled her hands up. She kissed Dana's fingertips and said, "I lied."


"My first time. I said there was a girl, in a club in Seattle. I told you she was my first. The truth is there was someone before her."

Dana stroked Gretchen's hair and waited. After a long silence, she said, "You don't have to tell me."

"I do. It's just that I've never told anyone before. It's kind of hard getting the words out."

Dana embraced Gretchen, holding her tightly. "Does this help?" she asked, her chin on Gretchen's shoulder.

"Tighter." Dana squeezed her tighter. Gretchen put her head on Dana's shoulder and said, "I was molested. At straight camp, one of the male counselors decided to... take an active role in my 'rehabilitation.' He didn't go so far as to actually... have... sex with me. But he'd corner me after lunch or after swimming and he'd make me... touch..."

"I've got you," Dana whispered.

Gretchen sighed and said, "When I got out of there, I never looked back. I blamed my parents for putting me there more than I blamed the man who did it. It's why I haven't talked to them in years. I won't have anything to do with them."

Dana said, "I can't imagine what that must have been like." She kissed Gretchen behind the ear and sat up. "You can always say no to me."

Gretchen smiled. "Thank you, Dana. I... I-I..."

Dana frowned. Gretchen was looking past her with a confused look on her face. "What is it?"

Gretchen's eyes widened just as something knocked against the window. They both jumped and Dana scrambled to hold her blouse together. She twisted around and used the blanket to cover her lap as she rolled the window down a crack.

An older man wearing a heavy rain slicker was standing just outside the car. His wide-brimmed Smokey-the-Bear hat was covered with plastic, but she could still see the badge through it. When he aimed the flashlight at them, they saw the glint of a badge on his chest. "You ladies all right?"

"We had a flat tire," Dana said. "The spare was... misplaced."

"I know," he said. "A Steven Fraser called the station and said one of his friends had played a prank. He and this friend got nervous when the storm started, tried to get hold of you. If you were about fifteen years younger, we'd be in the middle of an Amber Alert right now." He lifted his other arm and said, "I got a couple slickers for you. I'll drive you back to town."

They took the slickers through the window and put them on before they opened the door. Dana retrieved her keys and cell phone before she got out into the rain. The policeman took a step back and offered his hand. "Sheriff Cal Rucker."

"Dana Purcell. This is Gretchen Cole."

He tipped his hat to Gretchen and led them back to his squad car. They took the back seat, since it felt more natural than riding up front with the sheriff. There was no partition between the front and back seats. The only real difference from a regular car interior was the shotgun across the dash and the big radio squawking next to the steering wheel. Dana and Gretchen almost gasped as they slid into the warm pocket of the car's heater.

Rucker got behind the wheel and tossed his soaked slicker and hat into the passenger seat. He was older than he'd looked, his head shaved completely bald. He grabbed the radio mic and said, "This is Rucker. You on, Randy?"

"White here."

"I've found the Purcell woman, safe and sound. Her car's out on Rural Route Three with a flat tire and no spare. When this rain lets up, why don't you give her a hand?"

"You got it, boss."

Rucker hooked the mic back and started the car. "Any particular place you ladies want to be dropped off?"

"My guest house," Gretchen said. She looked at Dana and said, "You can drop us both there."

"All right."

Rucker pulled away from the shoulder and drove past Dana's stranded car. As they drove through the rain, Dana reached across the seat and squeezed Gretchen's hand.


The rain had slowed to a drizzle by the time they got back to December Harbor. Gretchen directed the sheriff to her house and he found it without problem. He parked at the curb and turned to face them over the back of the seat. "Ms. Purcell, I'll give you a call when you can get your car at the station. The only fee will be if you want to bake Randy cookies for changing the tire for you. He's partial to chocolate chip."

Dana smiled. "I'll keep that in mind, Sheriff. Thank you."

"Protect, serve, save damsels in distress." He smiled.

Dana offered her hand to Gretchen and helped her climb from the back seat. When Rucker pulled away, the front door of the Schroeder house opened and Mike stepped out. "Gretchen?" he said. "Everything all right?"

"I'm fine, Mr. Schroeder. Just a little car trouble."

"Okay, then. Hello," he said to Dana.


Gretchen suppressed her chuckle until Mike was back in the house. "He's a bit of a worrier."

"It probably doesn't help when you come home in the backseat of a police car," Dana said.

They walked around to the back of the house and Dana waited patiently, if a bit cold, for Gretchen to unlock the door. They slipped inside and Dana said, "I love this little house. I think I've walked by it a million times."

Gretchen put her keys on the end table and turned to face Dana. Dana smiled and they fell into another long, probing kiss. "Can you imagine if the Sheriff had found us two minutes earlier?"

"I spent the entire ride trying not to think about that," Gretchen said. She stepped back and ran her hands down the front of Dana's blouse. "We should get you out of these wet clothes."

"Is that a come on line?" Dana asked. She reached up and began undoing buttons.

Gretchen smiled. "We could take a nice, hot shower together. I'm chilled to the bone."

"I don't know," Dana said. She shrugged out of her blouse and said, "I'm starting to get a little thawed out."

Gretchen looked down. Dana's breasts were small, and indeed capped with perfectly pink nipples, and fit perfectly in her hand. Her flesh was porcelain-white, spotted with light-colored freckles that ran between her breasts and spread across her shoulders. Gretchen cupped one breast and squeezed it as she leaned in to kiss Dana again. They stepped together and Dana ran her fingertips over Gretchen's stomach, down to her belt.

Dana put her arm around Gretchen's waist and drew her closer. Her fingers slid under the waistband of Gretchen's pants. She walked forward, forcing Gretchen to walk backwards, until they were against the wall. Dana closed her eyes, knew she was stealing a move from Sofia, and pressed her hand down. It was a tight squeeze with the belt still fastened. She twisted her arm and cupped Gretchen's mound. She was still wet from her orgasm earlier and Dana slid easily inside.

Gretchen arched her back and spread her legs. Dana kissed Gretchen's neck and thrust her hips forward, mimicking what she was doing with her fingers. Gretchen's hand tightened on Dana's breast the closer she got to climax. She pinched the nipple and finally went limp. Her eyelids fluttered and she covered her mouth with her free hand. Dana kissed her cheek, just below her eyes, and said, "Ready for that shower now?"

They stripped one another as they walked down the hall. By the time they got to the shower, they were both naked and groping one another playfully. Dana turned on the water and, as they waited for it to get hot, sat on the closed lid of the toilet. Gretchen sat on her lap facing her. Her toes were curled, her hands resting loosely on Dana's shoulders. Dana was exploring the curves of Gretchen's naked body; the stretch of her thighs, the curve of her belly. She cupped the fullness of Gretchen's breast and thumbed the dark nipples until they stood at attention.

When steam began rising from the shower stall, Dana hooked her hands under Gretchen's thighs and lifted her. There was a small stool built into the shower, an addition for the sixty-year-old previous resident, and Dana placed her upon it. She hissed and straightened her back as the hot water hit her square between the shoulder blades. "Oh, that feels so good," she growled.

Gretchen leaned forward and kissed Dana's flat stomach. She reached around and cupped Dana's ass, so tight and small and apple-shaped she couldn't believe it was real. She pulled Dana to her, dug her fingers into her cheeks and moved her lips down. Dana put her hands against the tile wall, scorching water melting away the last remnants of the rainstorm, and spread her feet apart.

"I'm not exactly well-practiced at this," she said meekly.

"Just do it," Dana said gently. "You'll be fine. Wet your lips."

Gretchen licked her lips and looked up. Dana stretched over her, all muscles and wet skin and those delicious breasts. It was impossible to look into her face, at this position, so Gretchen closed her eyes and went on instinct. She sought with her tongue until she stroked wet flesh, found the puffy outer lips and angled her head back. She used her thumbs to hold the lips apart and curled her tongue. She drew the tip up and forward until she found Dana's clit.

A tremor ran through Dana's body and her feet drummed against the floor of the shower. "G-god. I've been hustled. You're a pro."

Gretchen was glad Dana couldn't see her face. She blushed and turned her head, kissing the inside of Dana's thigh. Dana stroked Gretchen's hair and stepped back. When she moved, the spray hit Gretchen mid-chest and she yelped. Dana, her back red and glistening, reached for the faucets and adjusted them so a little bit of cold was added to the mix.

Without turning around, Dana sat on Gretchen's lap. She drew Gretchen's hands to her lap and pinned them between her thighs. She looked over her shoulder and said, "Fingers."

Gretchen kissed the back of Dana's neck and across her shoulders. She turned her hand and pressed two fingers inside. Dana arched her back and groaned, using her hips to force Gretchen deeper. Gretchen put her cheek against Dana's shoulder and closed her eyes. She was focused on the warmth around her two fingers, on her hand being pinned between Dana's thighs this way.

She would back off when Dana's movements became too erratic. She would speed up when Dana began to go slack against her. She worked up a quick rhythm that soon had Dana's entire body trembling. When she finally came, she covered her mouth and hunched forward, her entire body pulling into a tight ball. Gretchen bent down and kissed the bumps of Dana's spine until Dana was capable of sitting up again.

She turned on Gretchen's lap, straddling her, and bent down to kiss her. "The water is getting cold," Gretchen whispered between kisses.

"I know."

"I thought we came in here to warm up."

"Oh, I'm warm," Dana said.

"It's warmer in bed."

Dana arched an eyebrow and kissed her one more time before rising. They got out of the shower and took extreme care in drying each other off. Gretchen took Dana's hand and led her into the bedroom. She didn't turn on the lights, but the sun was now shining through the curtain enough that they could see.

Gretchen lay on the bed and scooted back until she was leaning against the headboard. Dana crawled onto the bed on all four, stalking forward like an alley cat. She lifted her shining eyes to Gretchen's and said, "Tell me if this is too weird or if you don't like it... but there's something I want to try." Her breasts were rising and falling quickly; she was obviously tip-toeing on the edge.

"Okay," Gretchen said. She spread her legs and shuddered when Dana looked down at her wet lips. She liked the bedroom to be dark, liked her coupling to be under the covers. All this nudity and ogling with the lights on was new to her. Dana balanced herself on one arm and brought her right hand up. She sucked her index and middle finger until they were nice and wet. They fell from her mouth with a wet plop. Then, inexplicably, she raised her pinky finger and sucked it as well.

"What is that for?" Gretchen asked.

Dana smiled. She moved forward so that they were face to face. She curled her ring finger in towards her palm, held it in place with her thumb, and said, "Relax." Her index finger circled Gretchen's lips and her breath hitched. A moment later, the two fingers slipped inside.

Gretchen's eyelids fluttered, but she kept them open. She wanted to stare at Dana, wanted to see Dana's eyes so close to her, right above her, right...

"Ah, fuck!" Gretchen yelped. She slapped a hand over her mouth and her eyes were now completely open. The tip of Dana's pinky finger was pressing into her anus. Her legs were completely tense now, one hand balled in a fist in the sheet. The pinky retreated.

"Is that too much?" Dana asked. "I don't..."

"N-no," Gretchen managed to say. "It's okay. Just go slow... okay?"

Dana nodded. She leaned in and kissed Gretchen as the pinky returned. Gretchen whimpered into the kiss a few times and Dana always adjusted her pressure, or her speed. Her arm worked slowly up and down, slowly pushing Gretchen towards the edge. Gretchen turned her head and gritted her teeth, lifting her hips when she came. She lifted her feet in the air and let her shoulders sink into the mattress.

The fingers withdrew and Gretchen felt surprisingly empty. Dana kissed her neck, her face and her lips until she was calmed down. Gretchen lifted her arms and wrapped them around Dana's neck. Dana pulled the blanket around them both. Dana wiped her fingers on her thigh and rolled off of Gretchen to lay by her side.

Dana smiled. "That was probably the best storm I've ever been caught in."

"That's good to know," Gretchen snickered shyly. She'd never been one for post-coital conversation, either. Seemed she was doing a lot of things with Dana she'd never dreamt of doing before... "I'm really glad you came into my store."

"You heard the old woman," Dana said. "It was fate."


Dana nodded. "I'm tired of fighting it. From now on... it's fate all the way." She kissed Gretchen and slid closer. They embraced under the covers and, as they fell asleep, they heard another hedge of rain begin falling outside.

To be continued in Chapter Fourteen

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