Our Reunion

Chapter 44

"Mmmmm..." Sam slowly awakened to the sensation of light kisses along her neck.

"Happy Thanksgiving," Tina murmured into the sleepy woman's ear.

The blonde turned over and hugged her partner. "Our first Thanksgiving." And I love the way it's beginning.

"How are you feeling?"

Sam snuggled a little closer, if that were possible. "Mmm... wonderful."

"I meant your side. Are you sure it was okay last night?" Tina couldn't keep the concern from her voice. They had been reclining the bed a little at a time and the previous evening the rapidly recovering woman had declared she was ready to sleep lying flat again.

"Yes, I'm sure." Sam breathed in the fresh scent of Tina's soap and shampoo. "Hmm... you took your shower already."

"I ran, showered, set the table, and put the turkey in the oven. I'm all yours for the rest of the day."

A wide smile appeared on Sam's face. "I like the sound of that." She had missed Tina terribly the last few days. As she had begun to feel better, she had watched TV, read a book, and played the guitar. But mostly, she had kept her eye on the clock in anticipation of her partner getting home from work.

"Didn't you say you wanted to see the parade this morning?"

"Mmm hmm."

"It's going to start in a few minutes."

Sam's head popped up. "It is?"


"We HAVE to watch that. It's a Thanksgiving tradition!"

"I'll go turn on the TV while you take your aspirins."

"Thanks." Sam gave Tina a quick kiss before getting out of the bed and heading toward the bathroom. "I'll be right there."

They sat on the couch, drinking coffee and enjoying the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Tina periodically went to the kitchen to check on the turkey. As the noon hour approached and the parade was winding down, she prepared the side dishes.

"Hurry! It's Santa!"

Tina, smiling at Sam's enthusiasm, hustled into the living room in time to see Santa waving to children and adults alike from his sleigh. "So, you ready for some turkey now?"

"Yes!" Sam had declined a late breakfast, having been told that the Thanksgiving meal would be ready around twelve. More than ready to sample the food she had smelled cooking that morning, she followed Tina into the kitchen.

The women filled their plates and carried them into the dining room. They took their seats at the table, which had been decorated with a colorful cloth and a vase full of beautiful flowers. Tina lit the candles she had purchased for the occasion, thinking Sam would like them.

Sparkling green eyes surveyed the festive setting before coming to rest on her dinner companion. "This is really nice."

Tina reached for Sam's hand and entwined their fingers. "I... umm... I haven't had a lot to be thankful for in a long time. But, I want you to know... I'm very thankful to have you in my life."

"It's appropriate that we're spending this particular day together then," Sam lifted their joined hands and kissed them, "because I feel truly blessed to have found you."

"I..." a trace of guilt crept into Tina's voice, "I'm sorry you're missing being with your family, though."

"I AM with my family." Sam pulled Tina close so she could give her a long, sweet kiss.

Both women felt the temperature in the room rise perceptibly.

"Well..." Sam released her partner's hand and picked up her utensils, "we'd better get started on this fabulous meal before it gets cold." Or before I forget about Thanksgiving dinner entirely and drag you into the...



"I was asking," Tina held the gravy boat near Sam's plate, "would you like some of this?"

YES!  "Oh... yes."

They ate their meal, spending much of the time holding hands, sharing kisses and exchanging smoldering looks.

"That was fantastic!" Sam helped clear the table. "You weren't kidding when you said you were a good cook!"

"I'm glad you enjoyed it."

They worked together, rinsing the dishes and loading the dishwasher.

"Time for the movie!" Sam exclaimed as she led the way into the living room. She picked up a black, plastic videotape case from the end table.

Tina sat on the couch. "I finally get to find out what it is?" Sam had insisted on getting the video at the last minute when they were leaving the apartment, explaining that it was her turn to provide the holiday movie. She had refused to discuss anything about it, except that they had to watch it on Thanksgiving Day.

"This is my FAVORITE movie."

"Pilgrim's Progress?"


"What is it?"

"Miracle on 34th Street... the original black and white version with Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood. Have you ever seen it?"

"Hmm... if I did, it was a long time ago. Something about a man who says he's the real Santa Claus?"

"Yes." Sam put the tape into the VCR. She came back to the couch and cuddled next to Tina. "But there's MUCH more to it than that."

"There is?"

"You'll see."

The movie began and it didn't take Tina long to see why it was Sam's favorite. Underneath the amusing tale of a man who proclaims he's Santa and the lawyer who takes on the task of proving it, was a love story.

Tina immediately became engrossed in the plot, watching as a disillusioned woman's world is suddenly turned upside down when her life becomes entangled with those of the lawyer and Kris Kringle. The two men join together to help the lady and her similarly cynical young daughter learn to trust, have faith in people, and to believe that wishes can come true. In typical Hollywood fashion, it had a happy ending.

"Isn't that a WONDERFUL movie?" Sam used the remote to turn off the VCR and TV.

"Yes." I can see why you wanted me to watch it.

Hearing the emotion in the single word response, Sam glanced up at Tina and was surprised to see traces of moisture in her eyes. She pretended not to notice. "You know what?" she asked cheerfully.


"We're going to live happily ever after. Just like the movie."

"Real life isn't a fairy tale, Samantha," Tina said sadly.

"Life is what you make it," Sam replied with certainty. "And I want to make MY life... with you."

"I... I can't promise you things will be... perfect."

"Living happily ever after doesn't mean things are always perfect." Sam adjusted her position so she could look directly at Tina. "It means you meet the person you know you belong with... the one who makes you feel a love so strong that sometimes you think your heart might burst at the intensity of it." The way you make ME feel. "You commit yourself to living your life with the person, knowing that together, you're better than you ever were apart. And when there are hard times, it's a little easier to bear because you help each other though them. And the good times... well... the good times are even more joyful, because you have someone special to share them with."

"You," Tina affectionately tucked some loose hairs behind the blonde's ear, "you're special."

"You are, too." Sam tilted her head slightly to the side and asked hopefully, "So... do you think you can believe in a happily ever after like that?"

You are utterly adorable. "I... I think... maybe... I can."

The brilliant smile she received for her answer gave Tina courage. "I... umm... I have something for you."

Sam was instantly curious. "A present?"

"Kind of."

"I wasn't aware that Thanksgiving was a gift-giving occasion," she joked, remembering Tina saying the same thing to her on Halloween.

"Well, if you don't WANT it...." Tina teased.

"Yes! I want it!"

Tina reached into the pocket of her shorts and removed a silver key. "I... umm... thought you should have this."

Sam stared at the shiny piece of metal. It's the key to her condo. She looked up into loving blue eyes. It's the key to her heart. "Oh, Tina." The younger woman hugged her partner tightly. "Where's my key ring? Did we bring it?"

"No. Umm... I locked your door when we left."

"Then let me put it right here, so I won't forget it." Sam took the key and set it next to the video case on the end table. Not that there's a chance in Hell I'd ever forget it. "I... I have something for you, too." She got up, removed her guitar from the case and turned on the amplifier. Sitting on the couch again, she strummed the instrument a few times to steady her nerves. "Umm... I've been working on a new song."

"Something you're going to sing with the band?"

Sam shook her head and looked down at her guitar. "This song is intended for an audience of one." And if I can get my hands to stop shaking, maybe I can play it. She took a deep breath and started the chord progression.

An audience of one? Tina noticed the change in the musician's demeanor. What's this all about?

With a trembling voice, Sam began singing.

"Heart living in the shadows... you've been so all alone
Moving through life within yourself... behind those walls of stone
It doesn't have to be that way... that's not how life should be
There's nothing to fear... it's just you and me here

And it's love... it's only love
It's plain to see... yes it's clear to me
That it's love... it's only love
You... and me... it's love"

Tina was astounded. It's a song about me... about us. She sat as still as a statue, enthralled by the words and music.

"Step out from beneath that big oak tree
Stand in the sunlight... stand with me
Don't be afraid... don't run away
I'm here beside you... you'll be okay

Cause it's love... it's only love
There's nothing to fear, it's just you and me here
And it's love... it's only love
It's plain to see, yes it's clear to me
That it's love... it's only love
You... and me... it's love

I wanna be the only one
The searching is over... let history be done
You've got a chance to make a new start
I wanna be the one to capture your heart

Cause it's love... it's only love
There's nothing to fear, it's just you and me here
And it's love... it's only love
It's plain to see... yes it's clear to me
That it's love... it's only love
You... and me... it's love"

Sam played the series of chords leading to the last verse. She didn't dare glance up to see what reaction her song may be causing, afraid that, once again, she had overstepped the emotional boundaries of her partner. Too late to turn back now...

"Heart living in the shadows... you've been so all alone
Moving through life within yourself... behind those walls of stone
It doesn't have to be that way... that's not how life should be
There's nothing to fear... it's just you and me here

And it's love... love
It's plain to see, yes it's clear to me
That it's love... love
I need you to be, forever with me
Cause it's love... love
Can't you see, it's our destiny
And it's love... love
You... and me... it's only... love"

Sam continued to stare down at her guitar after the last note had dissipated into the air. "I'm not much of a songwriter. I'm more on the performance end of the spectrum rather than composing. I... I know it still needs work..."

"No. Please... don't change a thing."

 "You... you liked it?" Sam finally raised her eyes. "I've never written a song for someone..."

"You HAVE captured my heart. I'm not sure when... or how... but it's yours to do with what you will."

It was the closest the older woman had come to an outright declaration of love and Sam savored the words as they gazed at each other, drowning in the waves of emotion passing between them.

Tina took the instrument from the musician and laid it on the coffee table. She leaned forward and kissed the blonde with a fervor that left both of them breathless.

"We... we have to st... stop," Sam managed to stammer as Tina began nibbling on her ear.


"We agreed to... to wait... until you were ready..."

 The resulting growl in Sam's ear made her whole body tingle. "I'm ready."

"You... you're sure?"

"If my back would allow it, I'd sweep you into my arms and carry you into the bedroom..."

"Oh-no-you-don't." Sam scrambled to her feet. "We're not going to take ANY chance of you hurting your back right now." She smiled as she reached for Tina's hand. "Although I DO appreciate the sentiment."

They walked to the bedroom in silence. Stopping next to the bed, Sam pressed down gently on Tina's shoulders, guiding her to sit on the edge of the mattress. She moved in close, standing between her partner's legs and looking deeply into blue eyes. "Are you sure?"

"Yes. I want you. I want... this."

Sam grasped the bottom of Tina's tee shirt and slowly lifted it over the compliant woman's head. Dropping the garment on the floor, she leaned in for a kiss, reaching around and unclasping Tina's bra at the same time. She slid the straps off broad shoulders and down lengthy arms. The bra quickly joined the shirt on the floor.

"I've wanted you for so long," Sam said softly.

Hesitantly, Tina slipped her hands under the blonde's shirt, needing to feel the smooth skin she knew she'd find there.

Sam's eyes closed at the contact, her body instantly responding to the familiar touch. How many times have I fantasized about this? Too many to count, probably. And now that we're here and it's really happening... I'm suddenly feeling nervous.

The smaller woman was snapped out of her reverie as Tina grabbed her by the waist and pulled her onto the bed.

They both groaned as the abrupt movement caused a sharp twinge in Sam's side and a protest from Tina's back.

Pushing herself up to her hands and knees, Sam grinned. "Let's see if we can get through this without a major injury, okay?"


They laughed, breaking the tension for the moment.

Straddling Tina's hips, Sam tugged her tee shirt off. The cool air in the room felt good on her newly exposed skin. She smiled at the beautiful woman beneath her. "Ohhhh... I LIKE it up here."

Tina tried to calm her racing heart as she looked at her partner. A light sheen of sweat caused Sam's skin to shine and her chest rose and fell in a rhythm suggesting her heart rate had increased significantly as well. Blue eyes moved to still-conspicuous bruises. "Your side... is it hurting?"

"Well," Sam bent down and gently kissed a path from Tina's belly to her neck, "I'm feeling a LOT of things right now... and believe me... NONE of it hurts." She raised her head so Tina could see the truth in her eyes. "I've wanted to tell you for the longest time...  I... I love you. I think I have right from the beginning... when I met you at the reunion."

"OUR reunion."

"Yes." Sam smiled. You don't forget anything. "And when we made a wish at the fountain... I wished that you'd let me love you... not just physically... but for everything that you are." She placed her hand over Tina's heart. "Completely."

Tina rested her hand over the smaller one. "I... I guess some wishes DO come true."

With renewed confidence, Sam resumed her tender kisses and caresses, pleased that Tina seemed to be responding to her attentions. So far, so good.  As she continued, however, she sensed a measure of tenseness in the quiet woman that she was unable to dispel. What's going on in that head of yours? At a loss as to what else to do, Sam began singing softly, "There's nothing to fear... it's just you and me here..." She hummed the next section of the song, lightly trailing her fingers up and down Tina's body as she did so. In a matter of seconds, she felt a distinct change under her fingertips. You like my voice... I should have known.

Sam nuzzled Tina's neck. "I want you." She began kissing her way toward the woman's ear. "I love you... I want... to touch you... to kiss you..." she arrived at her destination and whispered, "to taste you."

Tina moaned.

Sam smiled. I think this is going to work out just fine.

And she was right.

To be continued...

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