Our Reunion


Chapter 55

Tina unlocked the condo door and pushed it open. Sam zipped past her, carrying the two-handled shopping bag her sister had given the couple when they said their good-byes. It contained the gifts they had received as well as a few still-wrapped ones that Lisa said were from Santa and not to be opened until the following day. The musician went directly to the tree, turned on its lights and added the presents to the pile already stacked on the coffee table.

Tina plugged in the strings of lights for the balcony and mantle. She looked at Sam, whose face was softly illuminated by the tree's twinkling bulbs. "With the Christmas lights and the fireplace on, we may not need any of the regular lamps. What do you think?"

"I think," the musician got up and hugged Tina, "I'm the happiest person on the planet tonight."

"You can't be." The taller woman rested her chin on top of Sam's head. "Cause I am."

"Did I mention that the story you told is the best present I've ever gotten?"

"Hmm... yes, I believe you did." At least three times... but who's counting? "Perhaps I should return the other gifts I have for you. They may pale in comparison."

"Not on your life!" Sam threatened. She smiled at the low chuckle she heard where her ear was pressed against Tina's chest. "Though, as much as I love getting presents, I already have everything I REALLY need right here in my arms."

Tina tilted the blonde's chin up and looked into loving green eyes. "I feel the same way."

"I like it when you agree with me." Sam stood on her tiptoes to give her partner a kiss. "Let's change into our sleep clothes so we can be comfortable while we enjoy the fire."


Sam handed Tina a gift from under the tree. "Here's something you might want to wear."

Tina pulled the paper off and unfolded the silk Florida State University boxer shorts. "These are great!"

"I know you like the Mickey ones at my place, so I thought you might want a pair for here."

"I have something for you to put on, too." Tina chose a package from the table and gave it to the blonde.

Sam ripped through the wrapping, uncovering a tee shirt that had a large S in an inverted triangle embossed on the front. "I... I've never thought of myself as anybody's hero."

"Real heroes never do," Tina said softly. "Thanks for being mine."

"There's one thing you've definitely got right... I'm yours."

"That's the best gift I could ever have."

"So," the musician smirked, "I can return YOUR other presents?"

Tina clutched the silk shorts to her chest. "Not on your life!"

They both laughed.

"I'm going to get changed." Sam gave her partner another kiss. "Don't go away."

"No chance of THAT happening." Tina watched the blonde saunter toward the bedroom. You have it bad, T. She's got you wrapped around her little finger. The dark-haired woman went to the fireplace and switched it on. And I love it. She stared into the flames for a few moments. I love HER.

Sam added an extra sway to her steps, correctly guessing that Tina was observing her exit. After a record-breaking quick shower, she pulled on her superhero shirt. The garment reached the top of her thighs and she decided no further clothing was necessary. She returned to the living area and saw that the blankets and pillows were already spread out and the fire was crackling. Her partner, however, was nowhere to be seen. "T?"

The laundry room door opened and Tina staggered through the kitchen, half-carrying, half-dragging a huge, colorfully wrapped rectangular box that was almost as tall as she was.

"What in heaven's name is that?"

"One of your presents." Tina carefully laid the item on the floor.

"You must be kidding."

"Nope." The accountant traced the S on Sam's shirt. "This looks nice."

"Thanks." The blonde noticed Tina had changed into a button up FSU baseball jersey and the new silk shorts. "How is it that you can make sportswear so incredibly sexy?"

"It must have to do with whose company I'm in." Tina took Sam's hand and tugged her down onto the blankets next to the present. "G'wan, open it." Blue eyes were sparkling with excitement.

"Okay." Sam stripped off what must have been several rolls of decorative wrap to reveal a plain, cardboard shipping carton. She grappled with the box's top, having to pull at one end and then the other before she could remove it. Inside, surrounded by packing material, was a hard shell guitar case. The name of the manufacturer was prominently displayed on the exterior. "Oh... Tina... it can't be..."

"Let me help." Tina moved enough of the packing so she could undo the clasps on the case. "There you go."

Sam's hands were shaking as she lifted the lid. She gasped when she saw the aged, but exceptionally well-maintained instrument. "My dream guitar."

"Test it out."

The musician cautiously took the guitar out of the case and gently twanged each string, adjusting the corresponding key on the neck to tune it. Then, with a grin at Tina, she strummed a chord.

Both women's eyes widened at the deep, rich sound.

"Wow." Sam looked at the guitar in amazement.

"I hope it's what you wanted. If not, they said you can exchange it..."

"It's exactly like I imagined. Where'd you find it?"

"On the internet. You commented that you liked old instruments, so I found a vintage guitar store..."

"Vintage?" the blonde squeaked. "How old is it?"

"1968. I have the certificate of authenticity..."

"Oh-my-God. It must have cost a fortune!"

"It'll be worth every cent to hear you play it."

"Tina... I love it... but..."

"No buts. It makes me VERY happy to give it to you. You want me to be happy, don't you?"

"You know I do."

"So," Tina smiled broadly, "will you play something for me?"

"Of course I will." Every day for the rest of our lives if you want. It didn't require a second's thought as to what the inaugural song would be. The musician played a familiar chord progression and began to sing.

"Heart living in the shadows

You've been so all alone

Moving though 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

It's love... love

You... and me... it's only love."

"It sounds... you sound... awesome," Tina said. "More... please?"

"Hmm." Sam absently strummed while she thought. "One more... for you. Something fitting for this evening."

As soon as the music started, the accountant recognized the song. It was from the CD of the country artist Lisa had lent Sam. Tina had ended up buying a copy herself and kept it in her car, listening to it often.

"I can feel the magic floating in the air

Being with you gets me that way

I watch the sunlight dance across your face, and I,

I've never been this swept away

All my thoughts just seem to settle on the breeze

When I'm lying wrapped up in your arms

The whole world just fades away, the only thing I hear

Is the beating of your heart

And I can feel you breathe, it's washing over me

Suddenly I'm melting into you

There's nothing left to prove, baby all we need is just to be

Caught up in the touch, slow and steady rush

Baby, isn't that the way that love's supposed to be

I can feel you breathe

Just breathe"

The couple smiled as the warm sounds of the guitar filled the room during the instrumental section. Sam was surprised when Tina launched into the next verse.

"In a way I know my heart is waking up

As all the walls come tumbling down

Closer than I've ever felt before

And I know... and you know

There's no need for words right now"

The musician joined in for the chorus, her higher voice blending nicely with her partner's.

"And I can feel you breathe, it's washing over me

Suddenly I'm melting into you

There's nothing left to prove, baby all we need is just to be

Caught up in the touch, slow and steady rush

Baby isn't that the way that love's supposed to be

I can feel you breathe

Just breathe

I can feel the magic floating in the air

Being with you gets me that way."

The last chord hung in the air as the women gazed at each other.

Tina took the guitar from the musician's hands and put it in the case. "C'mere." She welcomed the blonde into her arms.

"You're making all my dreams come true." Sam snuggled against the taller woman's body. "And you call ME the hero?"

They stayed like that for a while, content to just hold each other in silence.



"I want to give you a present now." Sam stretched an arm out and got a gift from under the tree. "It's... umm...  not very big. But, as the saying goes, good things come in small packages."

"I can't argue with that." Tina carefully peeled the paper off. Inside was a velvet jewelry box with the initials of an established Sarasota jewelry shop imprinted in fancy lettering on the top. Whatever this is, it's very high quality... and expensive.

"Well... are you going to open it?"

"Oh... yes." Tina tossed the excess wrapping aside and opened the cover of the box. "It's beautiful." She lightly touched the silver T and gold S that were intertwined at the base of a silver and gold braided chain.

"I haven't seen you wear any jewelry, but I thought maybe..."

"I love it."

"You do?"

Tina nodded. She continued to look at the gift, even though her vision was somewhat blurred by tears.

"May I put it on you?"

Another nod.

The blonde took the necklace from the box and leaned forward so she could reach behind Tina's neck to clasp the chain. When she finished, she sat back to see how it looked. Her breath caught at the sight of the silver and gold glinting against the tan skin beneath it. And, as Sam had hoped, the letters fell just below the hollow of her partner's throat.

"How's it look?"

Sam pounced on the accountant, knocking her backwards onto the pillows. "Perfect."

"I'll never take it off then."

"It might bother you when you're running, or..."


"Good, because I want people to know," Sam spoke between the kisses she was placing in a path alongside the chain, "that this gorgeous... intelligent... strong... brave... woman," she raised her head to look into Tina's eyes and her voice became husky, "is MY woman." She followed the words with a demanding, passionate kiss.

It took Tina a moment to get her bearings under the unexpectedly intense onslaught. Resisting her own impulses, Tina tried to remain passive and give her partner free reign.

Sam continued the fervent kisses, simultaneously unbuttoning Tina's jersey and caressing the newly exposed skin. A small hand crept downward, slipping under the waistband of the boxer shorts. The heat that met probing fingers was in stark contrast to the cool, silky material above.

Tina was rapidly discovering that letting a highly aroused Samantha Whitwell completely have her way with her was an incredibly exciting thing. She groaned with displeasure when the younger woman stopped to catch her breath.

Sam was panting, trying to pull in some much needed air. "T?"

"Hmm?" Tina realized she was in a wonderful position to observe Sam's heaving chest.

"I... I don't know what's gotten into me... I'm not usually so... umm... so..."



"Maybe it's the shirt."

"Could be." Sam delicately stroked the side of Tina's face. "Or maybe I've just never been this much in love."

"There's a first time for everything." Tina slowly moved her arms up over her head.

"W... what are you doing?"

"I want you to know that body... heart... soul... I'm yours." Tina paused before adding softly, "I... I love you, Samantha."

The blonde smiled. Finally! Looking into the sea of blue that was her whole world at this very instant, she saw no hint of fear or confusion... only love. She listened to the fire crackling, felt where her hands touched warm skin, and took in everything her senses could gather, trying to commit it all to memory.



"I... umm... I'm in kind of a vulnerable position here..."

"So I see." The musician trailed her fingers along Tina's raised arms. "And I'm kind of liking it."

"Me, too." If I keep agreeing with her like this, I'm going to have to run TWO marathons.

"You know what?"

Yeah... I know what. There's entirely too much talking going on here. "What?"

"Your story was right."

"It was?"

"Uh huh." The blonde nuzzled Tina's neck and murmured in her ear, "We're going to live happily ever after."

Two marathons it is. "I... I think so, too."

And indeed they did.

The end.

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