Sweet Rapture

Chapter 2

by Jessica A. Michallet

Copyright ©  July 2003  Jessica A. Michallet
All Rights Reserved


Disclaimer: None needed, this is entirely an original work of fiction. The characters are mine and not intended to infringe upon any copyright. No reproduction of this story, whole or in part, can be made without my permission. This story contains sexual relationships between two adult women.

All feedback welcomed at: JessicaMichallet@charani.org

Special thanks:

To my beta reader Prof, your support and friendship mean the entire world to me.

To my beloved life partner and Native American goddess, L. Crystal Michallet, one of the most gifted and talented artists of this century, you are such an inspiration to me … My Tekihila … Thank you for your unconditional love and devotion.

Language Glossary:


Inch’Allah = God willing

Salam Alikoum = May peace be on you

Lakota Sioux

Ate = Father

Canku Luta = Red Road

Cunksi = Daughter

Ikche Wichasha = Born on a reservation 

Ivan’ka = Precious one

Iyeska = Mixed blood

Maka Ina = Mother Earth

Tanyan Yahi Yelo = Nice to meet you

Tekihila = my love

Wasicun = Caucasian

Wakan = Sacred

Wanka Tanka = Creator

Winkte = Homosexual

Pilamaya = Thank you



Cara Mia = My darling

Pazza ragazza = Crazy girl

Perché = why

Chapter 2

Berkeley, 1990

Alessandra sat in the auditorium waiting for the lecture to begin. She was drawing a palm tree and needed a cigarette badly. Next to her, a young man listened to his Walkman while pretending that his desk was a set of drums. The student turned her head and stared at him with such annoyance that he stopped banging, but then started wiggling like an earthworm in a mad rhythm instead. Alessandra shook her head in frustration.

"Damn you Max, you owe me big time," she mumbled.

Maxwell Washington, her best friend had been out sick and could not attend his first class of the semester. Although she had no interested in Native American studies, Alessandra had volunteered to attend and take notes for him. Of course, she felt sympathy for the Indian cause, but that was the extent of her interest. Times had changed the old ways were gone. They could not live off the land and in teepees any longer and had to assimilate like everyone else. At this thought, she resumed her drawing, trying to ignore the pest next to her, when suddenly the room grew quiet. Glancing up, she watched as the professor entered the auditorium. From her vantage point, Alessandra gazed at the young Native American woman, and judged her to be in her late twenties. As the students were riveted to the professor, the Indian beauty scanned the room while putting her briefcase on the desk and removed her intricate beadwork adorned tan deerskin jacket. With only a momentary glance at the clock, she turned and started writing her name on the blackboard.

"My name is Justine Wolfrider, but you may address me as Dr. Wolfrider, Professor Wolfrider or simply Justine. I am an Ikche Wichasha. For those not familiar with that term, it means that I was born on a reservation in the western portion of South Dakota. I am a Lakota. I will introduce you to Native American cultural practices, art and identity and will explore written and oral traditions in literature, art, dance, songs, theater and ceremonies," Justine paused for a moment, observing her audience, then resumed her monologue. "I will also emphasize the place of those traditions in contemporary times as well as the creative struggles for maintaining an Indian Identity."

The Indian woman was tall, clad in blue jeans, a tight fitted short sleeve black top and cowboy boots. She had pulled back her ebony hair in a single braid and she wore long turquoise earrings and silver bracelets, showing her great pride in her heritage. When Justine’s gaze lingered on Alessandra, the young student experienced an intense attraction instantly. As if hypnotized by the dark pools, the student felt her pulse quicken. Before she could even fathom her reaction, the professor turned her gaze away.

From this point forward, Alessandra continued to audit Justine WolfRider’s lectures without being registered; her passion for the young professor grew with each class. Throughout the semester, they barely spoke to each other. The Anthropology Doctor would answer her questions in a detached manner, then immediately move on to another student, or would simply nod when they would encounter each other on the grounds of the faculty and continue on. Alessandra grew increasingly confused, as the professor was friendly with the rest of her students. She had never given Justine any inclination of her attraction and could not understand her aloofness. They did speak once briefly at a party given by one of her classmates who happened to be the professor’s cousin. At the gathering, Justine was so cold and distant that Alessandra left the party furious.

From this day forward, Alessandra resumed her normal life and stopped going to the lectures. She spent the next few weeks desperately trying to concentrate on her studies and fell into a state of deep depression, which culminated in ending her two-year relationship with Brad Nielsen, the captain of Berkeley’s rowing team. No matter how hard she tried to purge the images from her mind, Justine WolfRider was in her every thought. Without realizing it, the assertive woman had taken control of her soul.

As she mulled over the gloomy situation, Alessandra briskly walked, with head bent, unconcerned with those around her. Therefore, so intent in her own thoughts, she had not noticed that she passed her friend Max without any acknowledgment. He ran after her and grabbed her by the arm.

"Hey ... hey ... hey ... Alex, what’s going on?" His hazel eyes narrowed suspiciously. To anyone who did not know him, his mannerism was innocent. Yet to Alessandra, she could notice the tell tale swish of his wrist, the air of femininity in his pose and the way he looked at her intently like a wounded bird.

"I haven’t heard from you in weeks. Remember me? What’s up? Girl, you look awful." The tall, African American man glanced over her like a concerned mother inspecting their child, his best Auntie Mame persona evident in his stature.

"I’m so sorry baby, I didn’t see you." Alessandra stroked his dreadlocks and gave a weak smile. Comfortable with their friendship, Max released a slight smile as he took her hand in his. Even as her heart seemed like it was breaking, the exotic student felt her friend’s compassion through his touch. Glancing down, Alessandra noticed the contrast of their flesh, his light brown, almost dusky skin against her white flesh. The thought reminded her of the Native American woman, her dark silky hair, and brown skin that beckoned to be touched. With a shake of her head, Alessandra looked up at her friend.

"I’ve just been so down; I didn’t want to see anyone." Her brows furrowed deeply and tears welled in her eyes. Maxwell Washington was worried at her impending tears, as he had never seen her cry before.

"I’m in love with her Max," Alessandra blurted out right before burying her head in his chest. With an almost confused expression, he wrapped her with his tanned muscular arms and held her close.

"Her? Who?" Puzzled, the young man glanced down at her, trying to understand who the cause of his friend’s tears was.

"J-Justine… WolfRider…" The raven-haired student cried, right before burying her face against his chest.

"You’ve got to be kidding, grrl! Is that why you attended the classes with me? I found it strange, but I would have never thought you had it for the Professor. Why didn’t you tell me?"

"I don’t know." Her skin turned a crimson shade as she lowered her eyes in embarrassment.

"Well, I’m glad you finally came to your senses and dumped that unthinking, prejudiced homophobic jerk! But…" he chuckled. "My professor? This is just too weird!" Max threw his head back, rolling his eyes for emphasis, as a chuckle escaped his control.

"She can’t stand me." Alessandra’s features grew pensive.

"What makes you say that?" Max’s voice grew soft with concern as he wrapped an arm over her shoulder for comfort.

"She is always so… indifferent, almost hostile towards me." She lowered her head in defeat.

"Maybe she’s attracted to you, have you ever thought about that?" The energetic young man nodded sagely as he pointed a finely manicured finger her way.

"No Max ... I think she is straight and picked up on my feelings." Sorrow etched Alessandra’s features.

"You’re such a defeatist, challenge her! You got nothing to lose, so go for it girl! It would be your word against hers anyway." Maxwell Washington held her tight and kissed the crown of her head. "And if she doesn’t see how fine you are, girlfriend, just drop her like a bad habit," the dusky man stated firmly as fingers rose in the air and snapped with a flair before looking back down at his friend. "Now you listen to your girlfriend, you get this taken care of, and if she doesn’t see what’s in front of her face, do like I did to my last boyfriend. I just washed that man right out of my hair!" He smiled as he imitated the actress from the musical.

Alessandra chuckled at the comment and kissed him on the cheek, her emerald eyes sparkling once again.

"You are the best friend anyone could ever want and I am so glad you are mine honey … thank you for being you."

"I aim to please…" Max hugged her once more while letting out a soft chuckle. "I need to run to a class, but let’s go have Thai food tonight… my treat Grrl! And I’ll even pick you up!"

"You got it, Can’t wait to ride that motorbike of yours again." Her eyes crinkled mirthfully as she began to walk away, then glanced back and called, "I’ll be home for the rest of the afternoon, call me!"


Alessandra had been preparing all night ready for the confrontation. After great deliberation, she weighted her options and decided to go for broke. What could happen? She had imagined the best and worse scenarios and well, the thought was not too comforting in either case. The young woman gathered her courage and knocked on Justine Wolfider’s office door.

"Come in." The professor’s alto voice was cheerful.

Alessandra opened the door and entered the small office noticing that it was as fascinating as the tenant was. A black, red and white Navajo rug hung on one of the walls. A dream catcher and a medicine wheel lightly swung on the window frame. Alessandra felt her throat closing spastically and sudden nauseating spurts of adrenaline coursed through her veins. Justine lifted her head and removed her glasses in astonishment. Alessandra leaned against the office wall and felt a chill running through her spine as she declared with a strained voice. "My name is …" Alessandra’s face grew ashen.

"I know who you are, Ms. Akhtar." Justine interrupted her, her dark gaze holding the student.

"How would you know? I wasn’t registered for your classes." Alessandra regained control and relaxed for an instant.

"A good professor should know all the brightest students on campus." The Native American glanced down at the work on her desk, her voice as emotionless as ever.

"It is a mighty big campus Professor WolfRider," Alessandra exclaimed.

Justine rubbed her chin in silent contemplation, intense dark eyes boring into the exotic woman.

"Why are you always ignoring me?" Alessandra bolstered her courage, realizing that she had nothing more to lose.

"What makes you think I’m ignoring you?" Justine leaned back her forearms resting easily over the arms of the chair, as her gaze was dark and smoldering.

"Come on ... you know perfectly well what I mean!" The young student sputtered in exasperation

Justine rose smoothly from her chair and approached her slowly. As the Native American stood close, Alessandra felt the arousing warm breath upon her.

"I thought you were too bright to need my guidance and I never meant to hurt your feelings." The black eyes drifted away. "I am sorry but I have to finish a presentation for a professor’s meeting this evening and I am behind schedule." Justine hesitated then added "But, I am generally in my office after classes, you are welcome to drop in anytime."

Alessandra felt an uneasiness overwhelming the professor. Maybe Max was right after all, she thought as their eyes locked for a short instant. She was not certain, but Alessandra felt as if they both experienced a heat rapidly consuming them.

"I love you and I will never go away." Alessandra whispered before leaving, her tentative gaze holding the woman hostage for only a moment.

Once outside the office, Alessandra made her way around the corner, and then stopped as her heart pounded in her ears. With a deep, inhale of air, she leaned against a wall, unable to control the cold hand closing over her heart. She felt her heartbeat pounding the blood in her throat and could not believe what she had just done. A sickening wave of terror welled in her stomach. There was no turning back and she would just have to deal with the consequences. As the fear and panic settled in, Alessandra slid down the wall and started sobbing uncontrollably.

After the student left, Justine moved to the window and gazed at the courtyard with unfocused vision. As the magnitude of what just occurred settled in her thoughts, she closed her eyes. The memory of the young exotic woman’s eyes, the intensity of her scrutiny could still be felt.

"I hope you never do Tekihila," She sighed "Creator, Maka Ina, what am I going to do?" The professor knew that she could no longer ignore her visions and the realization that they were clearly destined for each other. The Winkte who had named her when she was little must have known it all along.


New York City, 2000

A hand slowly gliding down her cheek awakened Arianna. It took a little while for the countess to get her bearings back, the past night rolling into her brain like an old silent movie. She turned her head and her lover gazed at her intently. Alessandra looked extremely pale; probably a sign of a very bad hangover, but the emerald eyes did not show the contempt of the previous night any longer. Arianna extended her arm and slowly stroked her lover’s back. Alessandra’s mouth reached for the full lips and kissed them softly before roughly grabbing the countess by the chin. The anger was back.

"Why did you have me followed by Kenji last night? Why all the acting? Moreover, you had the nerve to use your ex-husband and son to serve your sick purpose. What did you think? That I was going to fuck her?" Alessandra spewed out the words with malicious glee. "I followed your orders, remember?" The alluring woman hissed with rage, "But what I do with my life from now on, is none of your concern… we are finished!" Alessandra pulled herself from the countess before rising from the bed to storm to the bathroom. She went into the shower and let the water stream down her aching body.

When the golden-skinned woman returned to the room, wrapped in a towel with dripping hair, Arianna lit a cigarette and watched Alessandra getting dressed in silence, she wanted to hurt her so badly and heard herself screaming in rage, "Where do you think you are going? Do you really think you can get away from me? You belong to me do not ever forget that! You knew it when I took you out of that shit hole reservation where you were rotting away," Arianna’s voice rose hysterically. "You can go for now, but I need you in the executive conference room at 2:00 pm. Go take care of that miserable hangover; I need you in top shape!" Her lips curled in disgust. The countess walked to the bathroom, cigarette in hand, a puff of smoke rising in the air from her perched lips before she slammed the door. Alessandra stood dumbfounded, still fuzzy from the liquor and finally walked out.


Upon entering her office, Alessandra immediately saw the faxed message on her desk from Krista Petrovna. The striking woman was on her way back to Vienna and she would call to schedule another appointment after returning from a concert in Argentina. After reading the typed words, Alessandra smiled broadly. The message had given her strength to defy her possessive lover and she decided to leave the office regardless of the consequences. The exotic woman passed the conference room without giving it a second thought.

Arianna sat at the head of the conference table staring at her top executives. Kenji Sakura was on her left side. She glanced at the empty chair and gave him an interrogating look. Kenji shook his head in stunned silence and felt a rush of heat to his face. Alessandra had not shown up and the countess could barely contain her rage.

"It appears that Ms. Akhtar was momentarily detained and we will have to start the meeting without her," The edge of impatience crept into her voice. "I will be flying to Guatemala tomorrow to visit one of our latest excavations in Iximche. Alessandra will accompany me." She observed her team with a lofty expression. "Our archeological team has uncovered a priceless Mayan relic and I will meet with Mr. Ruben Medina of the Guatemalan Ministry of Culture to transition the return of the relic." She sneered inwardly at her executives.

Kenji observed his employer. Countess Arianna Di Montalvi was a great patron of the arts, overshadowed by an unscrupulous need of possessing anything or anyone she coveted. He knew perfectly well that she would buy off the official and acquire the relic. The countess was aware of every skeleton in the most important closets and had so many contacts and friends in all circles globally that she could buy and own virtually whatever and whomever she wanted. Nevertheless, he respected her immensely. Unbeknownst to most, the Italian art dealer was also a philanthropist who devoted a large part of her fortune to help the less fortunate in many third world countries, with a special fondness for children’s causes. The woman behind the aloof and ruthless facade was a mystery with many facets.

Arianna turned toward Adriss Khalil, her executive in charge of her Middle-East Operations and handed him a folder. "Tarek Ben Youb has requested another order of the latest Sumerian artifacts that have come in our possession. Adriss I will need you to travel to Syria one more time to ensure that the shipment gets to the boat. Our usual contact will be awaiting you. Please meet me in my office tomorrow morning at 9:30 am to discuss the details of the trip."

She stood abruptly. "I am leaving the office for the rest of the day. If you need to get in contact with me, leave a message on my voice mail, I will check my messages periodically."

Arianna walked back into her office, her stomach contracted in a small ball. She opened a cabinet and took out a bottle of Chivas pouring herself a generous portion. She slugged it down at once and grimaced, then poured herself another glass and sat down on her black leather sofa.

She closed her eyes letting her head fall back and thought of her first encounter with Alessandra. She had met her six years ago, while visiting an ancient site located in the Black Hills on the South Dakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The young woman had just completed her doctorate and was now a proud new archeologist. Alessandra drove her to the site for a tour and Arianna could not stop staring at the beautiful stranger who astounded her. She was exotic but did not have Native American features. The young woman had long curly black hair then, loosely tied back with a red bandana. Her jeans were ripped in various places showing her bronzed skin. She definitely was not the sophisticated type Arianna was accustomed to bed. The amazing light green eyes with tiny gold specks were so intense; she often had to look away. Ariannna learned of their shared Italian heritage. Alessandra had been living in the United States since she was a child. Her parents had died in a car accident while vacationing in Iran when they were visiting her father’s family. Her uncle living in Brooklyn, New York raised her. The countess also learned how she came to be living on the reservation.

The exotic woman had gone to a lecture on Native American Culture met the professor and fell irrevocably in love. She was so comfortable with her sexuality that she did not even think twice about mentioning that her lover was a woman. Arianna thought that Alessandra might have noticed her own sexuality. The two lovers were together four years already and lived two months out of the year on the reservation and the rest of the time in California.

Arianna felt Alessandra’s genuine passion for archeology. Her major was eastern art, but she was as knowledgeable in Native American art originating from both hemispheres. The young raven-haired woman was brilliant and eagerly showed her the site explaining every aspect, story and origin that quickly mystified Arianna. Alessandra had conquered her heart..

On their way back, she offered the young woman a position in her company, accompanied by a hefty salary. Alessandra was flattered but graciously declined the offer and the countess finally understood the reason on their return. A tall Native American woman with striking features sat on the hood of a black jeep, looking so proud in her element. She enveloped Alessandra in her long brown arms and hugged her closely, whispering something in her ear. The younger woman smiled in Arianna’s direction and from that moment on, the countess knew that she would always desire her.


Arianna let herself in Alessandra’s apartment closing the door behind her. The older woman entered the living room and saw her lover lying on the sofa. Startled, the archeologist stood up and faced the countess who violently pushed her back against the couch.

"Don’t you ever embarrass me AGAIN! I will not tolerate your disrespect in front of my team… DO you understand?" As Arianna’s dark eyes held a murderous gaze, Alessandra felt a chill creeping up her spine.

"Do you think you can humiliate me and just walk away?" Arianna took her lover’s face in her hands and kissed her savagely, bruising her mouth, her tongue probing until Alessandra’s lips parted.

"Perché … why?" The countess whispered while reaching again for the tormenting lips that beckoned to be savored until the insatiable need was vanquished



Berkeley 1990

Justine Wolfrider stopped in front of Alessandra’s house. Three months had passed since their last encounter, the student having successfully taken every precaution to avoid her. The student sat on the front steps flipping the pages of an Archeological magazine, while running her fingers through her black tresses. Summer vacation had just started and all her friends had gone home. She had declined Maxwell’s invitation to go to Florida with him. Alessandra needed the solitude to heal and believed that she would eventually get over the hurt, but knew deep inside that she was in no hurry.

The young woman immediately recognized the black jeep Wrangler stopping in front of her house and watched as Justine got out, her long jet-black hair gently lifted by the summer wind. Alessandra’s heart started pounding at an alarming rate as Justine leaned against the hood of the jeep and asked, "Ever been to an Indian reservation, Ms. Akhtar?"

The student was visibly in a state of shock, her slack jaw hung open for only a moment before her eyes blinked as to confirm that this was real and not a dream. With a visible smile, Justine walked towards her and sat next to the younger woman. She took Alessandra’s hand and watched their fingers intertwine.

"It’s a long ride to South Dakota. I have been missing you something awful and I want you to come with me," Justine dropped two airline tickets on Alessandra’s lap and put her arm around her shoulder, her fingers slowly brushing through the stunned student’s hair.

"Please come with me," The beautiful Indian woman whispered softly, her words low and seductive as her gaze seemed to penetrate into Alessandra’s soul.

At the feel of her fingers in her hair, and the sound of her voice, Alessandra shuddered. She felt the electricity in the older woman’s caress and for a moment, she lost herself in the sensations. Remembering who was touching her, the student gulped as she lowered shy eyes, and then glanced up at the Professor who had stolen her heart.

"Are you sure? Think of the consequences," the young woman felt her voice quiver fearful that the striking professor would change her mind and she would be left behind. Yet also equally afraid that she would not change her mind, and Alessandra would get her wish. Just the thought of finally being able to be with this incredible woman sent a team of butterflies through the student’s stomach.

With only a pleased smile, the dusky woman’s head tilted as she removed her arm from around Alessandra’s shoulder. Her long, slender fingers brushed aside a loose strand of hair that fell over the young woman’s features. Then, in a soft voice, she said, "I did… for the past three months." Justine brushed her lips against Alessandra’s earlobe, "I can’t imagine my world without you in it, my love." The warmth of her breath sent a tingling sensation through the young woman’s spine that caused her to inhale deeply as she closed her eyes. As she felt her heartbeat quicken, she opened her eyes to the Indian woman’s breathtaking smile that brand Alessandra’s soul.


Vienna 2000

Nikolai Nemov accompanied his protegée, Krista Petrovna, to her Viennese townhouse from a rehearsal. The violinist noticed the breathtaking orchid arrangement left in the entrance hall on a mahogany antique console table. Krista opened and read the note feeling a sudden surge of elation.


I am so sorry …

Please forgive me for being so rude the other night.

Looking forward to meeting you again


As Krista thought over the words, a slight smile tugged at the corner of her lips. The musician took the note and neatly folded it, holding it in the palm of her hand. She felt the scrutiny of her manager’s piercing blue eyes. With a non-committal expression, she returned his steady gaze.

Nikolai Nemov watched his charge closely. In an absent manner, he stroked the side of his neatly kept beard as he contemplated Krista’s change since returning from America. Although normally aloof and introverted, the musician seemed more preoccupied than usual. Yet when he questioned her, she returned a stone silence. As if afraid of divulging any information, she maintained her stoic, detached nature. Rising from the desk, Nikolai took two cigarettes from their case as he moved to stand by the large window overlooking the busy city streets. Reaching into his tailored made pant pockets, he removed his silver lighter and lit first one cigarette, and then the other before handing one to Krista. As he watched her in silence, she took the offered cigarette, thanking him as she stood beside him at the window. Looking down at her shorter frame, he watched her intently as she took a long drag, inhaling deeply as she stared outside the window.

Although she felt Nikolai’s scrutiny, she maintained her silence as she watched the setting sun. The hues of red, orange, yellow and white had created a canvas of incredible beauty. Despite the stunning scenery, Krista could not keep the image of Alessandra from her mind.

"Those are beautiful flowers." He simply stated with a glance over his shoulder to the floral arrangement.

"Yes, another admirer who got hold of my address," She chuckled and cleared her throat.

"Thank god, they live overseas. Nikolai, did you have to deal with an Alessandra Akhtar when you purchased my artifacts from Artiques last year?"

"Yes, I dealt with her personally. Gorgeous girl! Rumor has it that she is Arianna Di Montalvi’s lover". Krista flinched and Nikolai finally understood her aloofness.

"I didn’t know that the Countess was a lesbian," Krista stated and suddenly felt a rush of heat to her face. I finally find the one who I could actually change my whole life for without any regrets and she belongs to someone else… how much more irony can I bear, she thought as she felt an empty ache gnawing at her soul.

"I’ve known for quite a while now. It is quite surprising; after all, she was married twice." Nikolai studied his protégée acutely.

"Marriage doesn’t mean anything today, you should know that!" Krista replied. Hesitantly, she glanced at him with hooded eyes, "Do you think that rumor is true?"

"I’m sure it is. Arianna keeps her very sheltered. It’s very hard to get away from the Montalvis," The agent added, "Darling, I don’t know what happened in New York. I don’t want to know, but I have one recommendation… stay away from her."

Krista ignored the last comment and continued, "Do you know the Asian man who is her escort?"

"His name is Kenji Sakura. He also works for the Countess as the head of her security." Nikolai’s face twitched nervously as the thought of his prodigy walking right into trouble, but he also knew that the wheel was already in motion. He would be unable to stop the potential catastrophic outcome. With a shake of his head, he wondered how this could have happened.

"I guess he has to keep Ms. Akhtar safe from prospective suitors," Krista retorted ironically. "The countess surely wants to protect her most valuable piece of art".


Alessandra inhaled her lover’s musky scent. In slow, deliberate strokes, she licked her partner’s nether lips, her tongue diving into the warm folds basking in its sweetness. Just as the countess had vexed Alessandra, the tables had turned and it was the exotic woman’s turn to torture Arianna’s body, just as the countess had tormented her soul.

The younger woman felt her taller lover’s body moving against her exploring tongue. Each time Arianna’s hips arched up to meet Alessandra’s mouth, her lover would only smile and prolong the agony until the powerful woman implored her to take her. Little soft meowing sounds came from deep in her throat as Ariana glanced down at Alessandra’s smiling features with half open lids. At her helpless vulnerability, the honey-skinned woman lowered her lips. As her fingers parted her lover’s folds, she dived into the delectable moisture. The mouth that once cursed the countess was now bringing her such sweet torment as Alessandra latched onto Arianna’s swollen clitoris. Her quickly swirling tongue augmented her steady sucking motions until she felt her lover’s legs quivering in anticipation.

With brows furrowed, Alessandra glanced up at Arianna with a wry smile. The tips of her fingers slowly entered her lover’s opening, her touch teasing the older woman. At the slight caress, the countess looked down at her with pleading eyes, her breathing labored as her face begged for the blessed release. In that single moment when their eyes met, the exotic woman knew that the power had shifted. The countess, for all her grand words knew here and now that it was Alessandra, who controlled her…no, owned her as no other could.

At this sudden realization, Alessandra returned her lips to the countess warm flesh even as her fingers dived into the woman’s core. Arianna wiggled below her touch, her body moving like the waves of an ocean and all Alessandra could do was to hold on tight. While her mouth and tongue tortured the powerful woman’s body into pleasure, her fingers were exploring the depths of the countess’ body as very few had done. When the first wave released a flood of sweet nectar, the honey-toned woman drank to her heart’s content as her fingers stroked the contracting muscles that surrounded them. Repeatedly, Arianna climbed higher and higher, her body rising until she fell in climatic pleasure, and Alessandra was there waiting, her fingers never ceasing even as her tongue drank of the warm liquid. When it seemed that Arianna could go on no more, the younger woman smiled as she moved away from the quivering flesh to climb up the heaving body.

Alessandra lay partly over her lover’s body; the tips of her fingers still nestled in the countess warmth. For what felt like an eternity in time, they gazed into each other’s eyes. Arianna’s breathing was labored, the beads of perspiration gathered on her forehead, upper lip and neck. With a triumphant smile, the exotic woman reached around the countess’ body and gently rolled her until they lay on their sides, face to face.

While the taller woman came down from her climatic high, Alessandra’s fingers gently brushed over the softness of Arianna’s back. With each slight touch, the countess’ bosoms rose with each inhaled breath, their flesh touching from the slight contact. Their eyes held the other captive before their lips met, tongues caressing in an artful dance, even as Alessandra’s fingers were thrusting gently, feeling the remnants of her lover’s orgasm. They had made love all afternoon and evening, letting out all of the chaotic feelings that bubbled and boiled inside of them … anger, hate passion and pain.

"How can I hurt you when I love you so much?" Arianna whispered as her fingers gently brushed aside one of Alessandra’s locks of hair, her gaze taking in the woman’s features. When she felt her lover’s fingers stroking her, a grimace of pleasure escaped her control. With a groan, she laid her left leg over the taller woman’s hips, the shift of her body allowing Alessandra’s artful fingers to explore even deeper. At the sudden change, a sigh escaped her control as she settled into the new position. Her arm lay over her smaller lover’s shoulders even as her hips moved slowly to the cadence of Alessandra’s strokes.

"I-I don’t mean to hurt you. It’s just…one look at your face and I lose control." She kissed Alessandra’s mouth, her own scent clinging to the smaller woman’s lips wafted past her senses. "We have to save our relationship Amore... Justine is gone, let her go… for our sake."

Alessandra stayed silent, her fingers suddenly growing still. She had fallen into the trap again and had allowed Arianna to control her once more. Angered, she pulled away from the older woman, her wet fingers leaving the countess’ body as she turned away.

"I can’t," Alessandra hissed as a traitorous tear escaped her control.

Arianna took her gently in her arms without a word and felt intoxicated by the delicate fragrance of the raven hair. As she held her lover against her, the countess spoke softly, issuing words of comfort. While Alessandra wept, the Italian woman reflected on their relationship. Regardless of everything, she knew that she would never allow herself to lose the most treasured object of her desire.


South Dakota 1990

Justine and Alessandra sat in the kitchen waiting for Russell WolfRider to return home. They had arrived earlier and found the modest home empty. The trip from San Francisco had been long and grueling as there were not any available direct flights to South Dakota. They had mostly discussed the school year, carefully avoiding any intimate questions, but held each other’s hand under the blue airline blanket.

Justine spoke of the growing problems on the reservation. She was particularly concerned with the elderly population who could no longer afford the increasing costs of living. A large number of them did not even have any heat in the freezing winter. It upset her greatly, and she wanted to bring it to public attention. Nevertheless, Indian problems belonged to "Injuns" it seemed … they might as well have been living on Mars. One of Justine’s cousins had come to pick them up in an old battered truck, and the ride to the reservation seemed to last an eternity. Alessandra could not believe that such poverty still existed in one powerful place called the United States of America, a country that prided itself on helping the world but purposely seemed to have abandoned the Indigenous living its land.

"How convenient … Nobody wants a story to start with once upon a genocide..." Alessandra thought to herself.

Justine had called another cousin and learned that her father was at a tribal gathering. "Forget it, he’ll be there for half of the night," She had said. "Why don’t you take a shower and I’ll take one after you." Justine directed her to a bathroom in the hallway in which a small shower stall with an old cotton blue shower curtain stood.

They both stared at each other ravenously. Their eyes and body language exuded what their words could not. With a mischievous arch of a brow, Alessandra nodded toward the shower her question remained unspoken.

At her silent invitation, Justine’s lips curved into a slight smile as her eyes narrowed. If she had any misgivings, they vanished the moment she reached out and took Alessandra’s warm hand in hers. Like two schoolchildren, they giggled softly as they ran to the bathroom hand in hand. As she pulled Alessandra into the room, Justine took her in her arms and kissed her deeply as she closed the door behind them.


The old-fashioned kitchen with its faded pastel yellow paint and cracked linoleum seemed stuck in a time warp. Parts of the laminated wood wall were scratched, chipped and peeling away from years of use. The formica and chrome table with its red vinyl chairs standing in the center of the small room was reminiscent of the fifties. The yellow linoleum on the floor was peeling away in one corner, part of it revealing that at one time it must have been white. An old wood burning stove stood across the room next to a rusting sink filled with empty cans of beer and Scotch bottles. Alessandra recognized a fading photograph of Sitting Bull in a tarnished silver frame resting on top of the refrigerator, on which various pictures of children were taped, their smiling faces shone through the faded, wrinkled paper.

Justine caught Alessandra’s gaze. "My father is very much into the old ways and has no use for modern facilities. I had a hard time convincing him to get a phone," She chuckled as she pointed to the large, black rotary phone that sat on a corner table amongst a clutter of old newspapers, empty beer cans, and a plastic glass of half drunk kool aid.

"I was looking at that old photograph of Sitting Bull. It’s an original," Justine nodded. "And he is wearing a Ghost Dance shirt, that’s amazing! Who took the picture?" Alessandra inquired.

Justine walked behind Alessandra, wrapped her arms around her waist and pulled her tightly against her. She inhaled the sweet fragrance of her love’s skin. "I haven’t the slightest idea. My ancestors have passed it from generation to generation. I’ll be the next guardian," the Native woman whispered solemnly.

Alessandra reeled in astonishment, her gaze falling on her brown lover. "This picture can’t stay out like this! It needs to be in a temperature controlled case," she said in awe as she glanced at the photograph again.

"Which means that it would end up in a museum and my father would rather destroy it before doing such a thing," Justine released Alessandra and walked to the window.

"You could not convince him?" The student inquired with an arch of a brow.

"Our Elders have the sacred wisdom, we have to respect their words and listen to them. They know the way," Justine explained as she looked out into the darkness.

"God … your people were almost exterminated. If I were an Indian, I would want to salvage every little thing that would preserve my heritage. You should know that, you are an anthropologist for God sake," Alessandra shook her head in disbelief.

The Native American professor turned away from the window and faced Alessandra. "You don’t understand our ways."

"You’re right, I don’t!" Alessandra exclaimed. They both stayed silent for a while. Justine noticed an evident expression of frustration in the light eyes and doubt crossed her mind… maybe bringing her to the reservations had not been such a good idea after all. They could have dated in the Bay Area and just live the white man’s way. It would have been so much easier. What had possessed her to bring her here? No, she had to make the young student understand.

"I was brought up in the traditional path," Justine declared. "My mother died giving birth to me and my grandparents raised me. I was lucky, because so many of the children were sent to boarding schools or foster families. My grandparents taught me about the ancient and sacred ways, how to live in harmony with Maka Ina, our mother earth, and most of all that we are not here to possess it, but to give back," the Indian ran her fingers through her black hair pushing back her long mane.

"Love," she continued, "I know it’s hard for you, but if we’re going to be together, we need to compromise and part of that compromise entails that you understand that path that I’ve walked."

Their eyes locked. "I want to show you the beauty of my world," Justine said in a low whisper. She encircled Alessandra’s slender waist with her arms, and her lips grazed the younger woman’ neck.

The student brushed her lips against the Indian woman’s ear and whispered, "I want you." Their mouths met with such passion that left them both breathless and exposed to an uncontrollable desire. Justine pushed her against the wall and reached again for her lover’s mouth, feeling her blood rushing through her veins like a flow of molted lava.

They heard the front door opening and turned around. A tall man in his fifties with two gray braids clad in blue jeans and a red flannel shirt entered the kitchen. Alessandra recognized Justine’s father by their striking resemblance. Russell Wolfrider was a giant of a man towering over both of them and his dark eyes showed compassion that only a wise man could carry inside him. The Indian man stroked his overflowing waistline and let out a hoarse chuckle.

"Justine, weren’t you supposed to arrive in two days?" He pulled his daughter into a bear hug. "I have missed you, Cunksi!"

Justine pointed towards the sink. "What are all those empty bottles? You can’t drink like that!" A spasm of irritation crossed her features.

"I had a party last night, brought a few friends over and my new girlfriend. I only had three beers, I promise." Russell WolfRider smiled warmly as he mimicked the boy scouts sign over his chest.

"A girlfriend?" A smirk formed on his daughter’s face. "Is that Lily Brave Dog?"

"ach … that’s old news," he waved away her words. "Couldn’t take the old witch anymore," An enormous belly laugh escaped from his giant ribcage. "No, this one is an Iyeska from North Dakota, half-Swedish and half-Objiwe, just like your mother. I think I am going to ask her to move in."

Justine lowered her face; a slight frown crossed her features. No other woman had ever lived in their house since her mother’s death. Her father read her thoughts. "Don’t worry daughter, she will never replace your mother." A lump formed in Russell Wolfider’s throat.

"I’m sorry Ate, forgive my selfishness," Justine kissed his cheek and rubbed his back.

"You didn’t tell me that you were bringing a friend," her father turned to Alessandra giving her an appreciating look, "You are lovely!"

"Thank you," the young student replied, in slightly embarrassment, "I am very glad to meet you Mr. WolfRider."

He nodded; the slight twinkle in his eyes welcomed her, before he sat on a chair and proceeded to take off his worn-out boots.

Justine approached him. "Father, I must speak to you now," her voice was solemn.

"Don’t you wanna rest? It was such a long trip for the two of you." He tried to dissuade her from any serious conversation.

"No Ate, it’s important!"

"I know what you want to tell me, go to bed Cunksi," He stroked her hair with his large callused hand. "It can wait until tomorrow. Tanyan yahi yelo Alex. I will see you both in the morning."

Russell Wolfrider left the room as quietly as he had entered it earlier and retired to his bedroom.

"What did he say to me?" Alessandra inquired puzzled.

"He is glad you came." Justine stared at her adoringly.

They heard a fit of dry coughing unmistakably caused by years of heavy smoking. Justine’s eyes lingered on Alessandra who could feel the fire through the dark pupils setting her blood aflame.

"Come…" she smiled seductively

Justine took her hand and led her to the bedroom. Alessandra felt lost in a different world. Numerous Native American artifacts, such as an old bow and arrows, an elaborate mandella and an ancient buckskin dress with intricate beadwork hung on the walls. A giant faded poster of Buffy Sainte-Marie was taped to the door. On her dresser stood three kachina dolls that seemed to guard the sacred grounds, next to a simple carved old pipe and a medicine bundle.

"Are you a holy woman?" Alessandra turned to the Indian woman.

"No I am a pipe carrier and a dreamer. The Elders brought me up to follow Canku Luta … the red road and I use the pipe for prayer. I also interpret dreams, as I’ve had the gift since childhood," she explained as she absently touched the wooden pipe with reverence. "They encouraged me to remember my dreams, separate the significant ones, analyze and interpret them correctly. It can take minutes or sometimes years. It helps my people." Justine said nonchalantly as she gazed at her lover candidly.

"You never spoke of it in your classes." Alessandra’s brow rose quizzically.

"My private life was not on the agenda, love." The Native woman’s features were unwavering.

Alessandra took Justine’s hand, brought it to her lips and gently kissed each of the long brown fingers.

Justine shuddered and grew feverish with desire "I want to tell you a secret," The Indian woman whispered as she took Alessandra in her arms. "I have seen your eyes in my dreams since I was about eight years old. I could never figure what it meant… until you crossed my path. Then I knew you were the one…"

"You had a fine way of showing it! Why did you treat me so bad?" the exotic woman looked at her incredulously.

"I wasn’t prepared for it, it freaked me out," Justine let a finger graze across her lover’s mouth. "I had never felt such attraction towards anyone before and you were haunting my thoughts every instant. It never dawned on me that you might like me that way. So I tried to put up walls so I wouldn’t get disappointed or hurt."

Alessandra drew Justine’s mouth to her own, tasting the sweetness of the soft lips, which parted eagerly to welcome the hunger.

"I want to taste you, my warrior woman," Alessandra whispered, her breath ragged with desire. Their kiss deepened and they could not contain the fire coursing through their veins any longer.

"Wanka Tanka, pilamaya … for giving her to me" Justine thought before being pulled into an ocean of desire.


An alert rooster taking his job too seriously awakened Alessandra before as the sun erose. With a yawn, she stretched and turned around to find Justine gone. She wrapped a sheet around herself, walked to the window, and saw the tall woman and her father engrossed in what appeared to be an important conversation. Her lover stood against a fence clad in black tank top and ripped jeans. Justine kept her hands in her back pockets nervously making a hole in the ground with the point of her boot while staring at the dirt. Alessandra heard Russell WolfRider speaking in Lakota as her lover occasionally shook her head in agreement.

Alessandra observed them for a while and envied their closeness. She was only a child when her parents died, but she still could remember the day her whole world collapsed. She went to live with her maternal grandmother, who, unable to forgive her own daughter for marrying an "Arab," was incapable of demonstrating any type of affection to her grandchild. Alessandra became an introverted child and barely spoke for three years.

One day, her uncle arrived from the United States for a visit and observed the whole situation for weeks. He took her everywhere with him and showed her off with great pride. When he left, the child missed his warmth and humor and cried for days. Without the only person who had showed her human kindness, she felt like dying. A few weeks later, her grandmother received a phone call from her son, informing her of his intention to seek custody of his niece. Her grandmother relinquished her without any second thoughts.

Alessandra went to live with her uncle in New York who spoiled her rotten and taught her self-respect and confidence. Of course, she knew that he was part of the "Sicilian family," but it did not matter to her, she adored him. Giovanni Pravo sent her to one of the best universities in the country, bought her a little house and transferred outrageous amounts of cash to her bank account each month. When he suddenly died of a heart attack on one hot summer night, he left her a small fortune. Although she never again had a financial worry, Alessandra was once again all alone in the world, until Justine. With this thought, a slight smile tugged at the student’s lips as she moved back to the bed.

Russell Wolfrider took his daughter’s hand and hummed an old song.

Justine smiled and shook her head "Ate, please be serious!"

"I am … I always knew that you would be living between worlds, my beautiful two spirit child… you are a special one. Our people considered Two Spirits above all other and they used to be well-respected members our world …you know that! They were wakan … until the white man forced their religion into our lives. But don’t worry Cunksi, the old ways are coming back and you will always be respected here."

"I want her to be accepted and trusted as well," her gaze was intent.

"She will have to earn that trust Daughter," Her father put his arms around her shoulders. "Our people have been deceived so many times. You know the saying we believe there is a good white man … but he has not been born yet. Time will tell. Come on let us get back. Your soul mate must be up by now." His smile belayed his stern voice.


New York City, 2000

Arianna felt her anger turn into fury. She had been waiting for Alessandra for over an hour. As she sat in her private jet, the countess glanced at her watch in irritation. They had to depart for Guatemala in less than two minutes and Alessandra had not yet arrived. Angered, the countess dialed Kenji’s number, her hands shaking in frustration.

"Where is she, Kenji? She is not here." She was shouting. Her head of security felt the uncontrollable anger and flinched. "I want you to find her ... you hear me ... find her and have her brought to me. Does she really think she can get away with THIS?" Arianna threw up her right hand in disgusted resignation and slammed her cell phone against the cabin’s wall. She was livid.

The flight attendant gasped in stunned silence, as she had never seen her employer lose control before; the countess was always so composed. Arianna gave her a sign to prepare for their departure right before Alessandra entered the plane her chest heaving laboriously, her emerald eyes sparkling. Arianna scrutinized her with hauteur; her lips pursed in suppressed fury, then turned her back on the exotic woman, her arms crossed in front of her bosoms in marked irritation. Alessandra felt the coldness, but chose to ignore it. Instead, images of Krista filled her thoughts. As if held by a spell, she could not erase the musician from her mind. The striking woman had called her from Buenos Aires just as Alessandra was leaving her office. They had spoken for close to two hours and could not ignore the attraction any longer.

Arianna requested another cell phone, since hers had been broken in her earlier outburst, and called her head of security. "Kenji, she arrived," the countess’ ire had not receded as she spoke with brutal detachment. "I want to be informed immediately when Adriss Khalil reaches his destination." She ended the conversation abruptly and dropped the phone on the seat next to her. Her eyes met Alessandra’s defiant arrogance and her anger mounted to new heights.

"Alessandra, I want you to leave this plane immediately," Arianna’s spoke in a voice as cold as death. "I will deal with you on my return. I beg you ... leave now." She ordered haughtily.

Alessandra was well aware that she had pushed the powerful woman to the limit and left the plane in silence. Her lover would not look at her.

Part 3

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