Part Three - When a body is acted upon by any number of coplanar forces, the forces can always be reduced to two.

Grace panicked when she did not find Dana in the bathroom. She pushed her way through the crowd to the doorway and broke out onto the sidewalk. She saw Dana across the street, a silhouette against the dark sky. She was tall and imposing, even from a distance, standing on the concrete flood wall overlooking the dark Ohio River below.

"I thought you had to take a leak." Grace approached cautiously from behind.

Dana was lost in her anger, memories of violence so raw and ugly she cringed at them. She had left because she was not sure she could control her rage. If she could have seen her own face, she would not have recognized the deep-violet eyes or the hard expression used to hide the turbulent emotions. Every muscle was tensed and poised for confrontation.

"I hate your brother."

"That's okay, as long as you don't hate me for emotionally bullying you into enduring that fiasco."

Dana turned, and her face softened. "I could never hate you, Grace."

Grace strained to look up at the towering woman. Slowly she reached up and ran feather-light touches up Dana's shins, until she had her fingers wrapped around her knees.

"Come down from there," she beckoned, gently pulling her forward.

Dana set her large hands on the shoulders below her and eased herself down, brushing the sturdy body as she moved. Grace wrapped her small arms around her protectively and rested her face in her chest. Eventually the tension left Dana's body and she relaxed into the embrace, resting her own face in the golden hair. They stayed like that a long time.

"I wanted to kill Dick."

Grace stiffened, then relaxed. "But you didn't."

"Too many witnesses."


Dana smiled wickedly into the hair. "Maybe just hurt him, then." Her ass received a slap. Dana hugged her more tightly.

Grace looked up at her friend lovingly. They stood holding each other by the bed in Grace's room. "Ready for bed, or do you want to talk?"

"What do you want to do?"

"I want to hold you, Dana," she stated plainly.

"You can do that with either option."

So they held each other and talked for a few hours, and then slept. Old Doc Wilson's snoring on the other side of the wall was loud enough to vibrate the books off the shelves in Grace's room and was a constant presence keeping Dana off Grace.

Grace awoke with her arm around the larger woman's waist and her head resting in the crook of a meaty shoulder. Dana awoke to the gentle stroking of her hair as Grace fingered a loose strand from her eyes. Dana rolled herself onto her side so that she could see her friend's face. I could wake up to that every morning, she thought to herself. Her young blonde friend's eyes were slightly puffy but beautiful in the most natural of ways. Grace couldn't help smiling as she ran her fingertips lightly along Dana's jaw. Dana let her hand run down the smaller woman's side, over the faded denim of her Levi's, until it cupped a round, firm buttock. You can do this, she told herself as Grace moved her body over Dana's, forcing her onto her back. She slid a thigh between Dana's legs. The smaller woman arched herself so that she could monitor the reactions of her touches on her soon-to-be lover's face.

"I'm not going to throw up," Dana promised softly. She had begun to feel a distancing from those memories. Her hands slid under the back of the doctor's shirt, and her fingers rode up the deep valley of Grace's spine until they rested between her shoulder blades. Gently, she pulled the trim body down against her own chest.

Grace lowered her lips to the full ones below hers, her mouth beginning to water at the first brush of softness. She pressed into the lips, sliding and sucking lightly. She felt the hands on her relax and contract, a slight urgency mixed with tenderness. She drifted up for a moment and watched a smile creeping across the lips she had possessed. Satisfied, she was lowering herself to explore more when a knock came at the door. She rolled off the bed to the floor in the blink of an eye and was standing facing the window when her mother walked into the room.

"Grace Louise," she whispered across Dana, who was feigning sleep. "I want to talk to you--right now." And she left the room.

"Shit!" Grace mumbled.

Dana sat up and yawned. "Better go see what kind of trouble you're in now, Chipmunk."

Chipmunk looked like a naughty pre-teen reluctantly following her mother.

Dana stretched out on the bed, arms and legs sprawled to all four corners. Lazy and relaxed, she felt content. Then Grace stomped back into the room and slammed her door, startling her lazy roommate.

Dana rolled onto her side to watch the rabid Chipmunk pull out her suitcase and toss clothes and shoes into it. She sat up.

"Grace?" she implored.

Fiery eyes flashed to her face and then back to the job of packing. Dana gulped with nervousness. Had Faith freaked when Dick told her about Dana's crime? She folded and unfolded her fingers several times, fidgeting with the hem of her shirt while she watched.

Finally, Grace sighed in defeat and dropped down on the bed next to Dana. Gingerly, Dana wrapped her arm around the drooping shoulders, and Grace leaned to rest her head against her.

"Are you going to tell me what happened?"

"Double standard." She patted Dana on the knee. "Get your stuff. We're hitting the road." She stood abruptly and emptied her underwear into her bag.

Dana thought it peculiar that both old Doc Wilson and Faith Wilson were nowhere to be found. When they loaded their belongings into the Jeep, she noticed that the Lincoln was gone. Dana whistled for Rip, who came bounding around the corner of the house. She looked eager to take a ride.

"Tired of chasing squirrels already?" Dana asked the smiling dog. She placed Grace's bag in the small back compartment and zipped the cover closed.

"I have to make one phone call and grab some munchies," Grace explained to her tall friend as she jogged back into the house. Rip was taking one last sniff around the large magnolia tree in the front yard. Dana was waiting, trying not to worry about Grace's sudden evacuation drill. She fidgeted with a pocket knife while she leaned against the fender of the Jeep. She'll tell me when she's ready, she told herself. Be patient.

Grace returned with a paper sack of food, which she placed on the back seat. "Let's go, Rip!" she hollered, holding the seat forward for the dog. "You too, beautiful," she told Dana.

"Not until you tell me what's going on," Dana stated. So much for being patient.

Sun shimmered across the golden head as she approached the powerful brunette. She straddled the long legs and slid her arms under the black leather bomber, the smell making her nostrils flare and her head spin. Hooking her thumbs into the back loop of Dana's jeans, she pulled her body against the warm body of her companion.

"Are you trying to be tough with me, Doc?"

"Only if I have to be."

"My mom's being unreasonable."

"About us?"

"Us. You, me, the bedroom, together."

"Ahhh, you mean this kind of thing." Dana grabbed Grace's hips and spun her against the fender, reversing their positions. She bent down to possess the plump lips with a harsh and passionate kiss. Pulling Grace up on her tiptoes, she ground her hips into the blonde. Urgently, her tongue pressed for entrance into the hot mouth, and Grace welcomed her with a throaty growl as the hot muscle entered and reached for the roof of her mouth. Their tongues played a game of tag while their hands groped and kneaded. They broke apart only long enough to breathe in the dry November air. The dark head dipped again to reclaim her lover's mouth. Pulling Grace's right thigh around her, Dana pressed herself harder into her lover.

"We have to stop," Grace gasped as she turned her head away from the kiss, lips landing on her ear. Her groin burst into flames.

But Dana did not want to stop. She met Grace's neck with nipping bites and felt Grace's hips thrust back.

"I don't want to stop," Doc groaned desperately, filled with a desire she had never before experienced in all her years.

Grace shivered and tingled with each bite. But it had to stop before it got any more out of hand and old Mrs. Lee next door got more than an eyeful. With her hands on the front of taut abdominal muscles, she moved her lover slowly back. "Get in the car, Doc."

"I take it we're heading somewhere specific," Doc groused while they gained entrance to I-65.

"Have you ever been to Chicago?"

"If it isn't on the East Coast, I haven't been there."

"You'll love it. They have great food and...." Lips found her neck. "And hotels with big bathtubs and...." She sighed.

The lips stopped. "I think you have a food obsession, Grace."

Grace laughed.

"And it's getting worse lately."

"That's because I haven't been laid in over four weeks."

Dana peered at her over her new Ray-Bans, then took off her leather jacket. It was getting warm in the little car.

"And with the rules my mom set down this morning, I wasn't going to get any in that house anytime soon. My mom told me that she didn't mind that I brought you, but if I," she slipped into a gentle Southern drawl, "intended on carrying on under her roof, I would have to leave. Which really pissed me off because when Joy and Noah were first married, they lived with my folks and were humping like two roaches in a dirty drainpipe."

"I can't thank you enough for that image, Grace." That quenched the fire that had been smoldering in her belly.

"Which? Joy and Noah going at it, or the roaches?"

"I like your sister."

"Me too, but I don't want to think about her riding Noah."

"How far until Chicago?"

"Eight hours."

Dana moaned. "Please, let's not talk about sex or food until we're within ten minutes of the city."

"Wow! Is this what New York used to be like before the Big Wave?" Dana gawked in wonder as the highway cut through the towering buildings of the city.

"Take this exit." Grace pointed for Dana, who had commandeered the driver's seat after much whining. "Why don't I drive so you can stare without driving us into a semi, huh?"

Dana leered at her, Grace catching a bit of blue iris from the side. She pulled the Jeep to the curb, then climbed out. Walking around the front, she met Grace and bumped her shoulder as a jesting challenge. Grace chuckled as she climbed behind the wheel.

"We'll just see how tough you are, Doc," she threatened as she peeled out into traffic.

Grace had chosen the Palmer House to stay in because of its elegance and its location in downtown Chicago. She did not want her seduction of Dana to occur in an ordinary place, because nothing about their situation was ordinary.

Dana strolled through the lobby, craning her head in awe at the architecture and extravagance. She wandered from one corner to the next while Grace checked in at the desk. She had made a phone call while she was raiding her mother's pantry, securing them a room. It had been a stroke of luck, or destiny perhaps, that she and her mother had had a falling out the night after the Hot Pepper Growers of America Conference had convened, and a day before the Peptic Medicine Convention opened.

"And here's your key, Dr. Wilson," the desk clerk added cordially. She rang a bell for the baggage man to take their belongings to their room. Dana looked up from a brochure on Chicago when she heard the ding. Grace remarked to herself how incongruous those spectacles looked on such a virile, statuesque woman; yet, they signified a hidden intellect. Dana slipped the brochure and the glasses into the coat pocket of her leather jacket and hastened over to the bellman to take her computer case away from him.

They followed him into the elevator, Grace sliding behind Dana while the bellman was occupied with pressing the floor button. Standing in back of her, Grace let her eyes roam over the lanky legs of her prey. She memorized the way the faded jeans hugged the round muscles of her rear, contoured to the muscled thighs, loosened at the knees, and grabbed the calves again. Her eyes wandered back up to the bulky leather jacket and the long, dark hair cascading down. Dana turned around, a smile broadening as she shook her head from side to side in amusement. At least the drive had been too long for Grace as well.

They were led to their room and then given a tour around the suite. Bob the Bellman opened the closet doors for them and then the drapes, and turned down the bed covers in the bedroom without batting an eyelash. He pointed out the bathroom, the entertainment facility, and the phone-link system, and...Grace handed him a twenty-dollar bill and closed the door behind him.

"Like I care what channel we can...oomph." Dana's lips had smashed against hers, stopping all conversation as well as any thoughts about television. She found herself pressed against the heavy oak door, a tongue desperately insisting upon entering her mouth. She allowed entrance and it slipped in hot and quick. An involuntary groan rumbled in her chest, and she draped her arms around Doc's neck. She caught the tongue between her teeth and sucked hard, drawing a throaty groan from her lover.

Long, dexterous fingers traced the plump, firm breasts through the rag sweater. Finding that unsatisfactory, the hands slid under the hem of the obtrusive clothing and inched up the taut torso over ribs and muscles until they cupped the rounded breast. She rubbed the nipples insistently with her palms. Grace gasped as index fingers came down to thumbs and pinched and tugged her nipples.

Dana did not want to give up the warm mouth she was exploring, but she consoled herself with the fact that she could always return after tasting all of the other places she had craved for weeks--her whole lifetime, for that matter. Grace took the opportunity to breathe, heady from the scent of leather and the assailment of her body. Dana began to suck her way down the tasty neck, marveling at the throbbing of the woman's pulse against her tongue and the vibrations as Grace moaned. When Doc reached the collar of the sweater, she pulled back, grabbed the hem of the obstacle with both hands, yanked it over the doctor's head, and tossed it to the floor. Stepping back to admire the uncovered flesh, she froze.

"What?" Grace whispered timidly.

"I feel kind of lightheaded." She swallowed, nervously glancing up from the naked body to the green eyes gazing at her.

"Oh, shit, Dana, please don't get sick now," she pleaded.

Dana smiled. "Not that kind of lightheaded. You're just so beautiful. I'm afraid that once I start, I won't be able to stop if you want me to."

Grace took a dangerous, idle hand into hers and brought it to her mouth. "Good." She nibbled at the palm. Dana closed her eyes at the sensation. "I need you to touch me," Grace mumbled asher nibbles alternated with soft sucking. She pressed the moist palm against her own breast and slowly moved it in small circles. "And I have no intention of stopping you."

Dana's lips opened as her breathing became as ragged as Grace's. The blonde took hold of Dana's

free hand and led it across her belly to the buttons of her jeans. Neither woman could take her eyes off the other. Dana licked her lips unconsciously as two fingers slid between the smooth skin and the rough fabric at her waist. Slowly her eyes left Grace's, and she dropped to her knees, her mouth level with the most perfect belly button she had ever seen. Her tongue darted into it, causing a shudder and moan from its owner.

Grace sighed as Dana drew her other hand down to the edge of her jeans. Slowly Dana unhooked each button of the button fly until the pants were opened and pink silk underpants were visible. Dana knew she had to add Levi's 501s to the list of great American contributions, especially when being removed from such a gorgeous body. She became dizzy from the scent of her aroused lover, and she was determined not to throw away this chance. She ravenously yanked the jeans and panties to Grace's ankles and buried her face in the moist red curls in front of her. Grace yelped as teeth raked down the coarse hair, and then a tongue found the crease and dampness. They both moaned as the hot tongue slid over the most sensitive spot of Grace's being.

Grace used her heels to pull off her shoes, then her freed toes to shrug off her jeans. Once unhindered, she opened her legs enough so that Dana could duck her shoulder under a thigh, causing Grace to fall back against the door. And from that point Dana let her fantasies of the previous weeks control her actions. Grace tried to hold back but could not fight the insistent touches, and she trembled with pleasure. Her body gently shook the door with each movement, and she glistened with perspiration that desperately tried to cool her overheated flesh.

Dana stroked her inner thighs with the same rhythm as her tongue. As she was driven closer to ecstasy, Grace's grunts became long, deep moans, and her eyes glassed over in passion. Desperate hands clung to dark hair, and then, able to take no more, every muscle in her body clenched and she screamed Dana's name.

But Dana did not stop. It had been too long a wait, and Grace had succumbed much too quickly. But most of all, Dana wanted to hear her name again, in that same desperate tone. Her reward came again with too little effort, and she continued until Grace begged her to stop.

Exhausted, Grace slipped her leg from her lover's shoulder and slid down, wrapping her arms around the leather-covered shoulder.

"Jiminy Cricket, Dana, where did that come from?"

"I've been reading. I guess I found the right resource." She smiled into the languid face of her spent partner.

"What are you reading?"

"Stuff I find on the Net."

"Remind me to renew your internet account for Christmas."

Dana placed a lingering kiss on the damp forehead. They rested against each other for a few cycles of heartbeats. Dana's white T-shirt was soaked with sweat, and her jeans clung to her thighs.

"I didn't know you had a tattoo." Dana fingered a small green-and-yellow caduceus low on the doctor's right buttock. She leaned to read the banner. "'Yale Med-2013.' Seems you have some numbers of your own."

"I was really drunk on grad night."

"Gee, that's my excuse too. Say, if I get you drunk enough, will you have my name tattooed on your--"

"--Shut up!" she said, playfully swatting a shoulder.

"Maybe just my initials." Another swat. Dana hugged her closer, and Grace laid her head on the leather.

"Grace, I'm boiling," the con muttered to closed eyes.

Grace lifted herself off the shoulder and smiled. She pushed the bomber off her, a sexy smile playing across her lips. It was her turn now, finally. The soaked white T-shirt conformed to well-developed shoulder muscles, and round breasts, and shadows of red nipples. She leaned in and gently took Dana's mouth, tasting her own salty-sweet juices as well as the wonderful taste of her lover's mouth. She pulled off the T-shirt and then took the strong hands to pull the tall brunette to her feet. Turning away, she led her lover to the bedroom, and the plump mattress.

Dropping the warm, calloused hands, she crawled to the middle of the bed, letting Dana admire her from a different angle before facing her and sitting, her small feet dangling over the edge of the bed.

"Take your pants off, Doc," she commanded softly.

Dana could not understand why she still felt shy, especially after she had had her nose buried in this woman's most intimate of places, yet she did.

"Don't be afraid. You know I would never hurt you."

Nervously Dana nodded and began to unzip her pants. She pushed them to the floor and stepped out.

"Those too," the doctor said, nodding at the gray bikini underwear.

"I was kind of hoping you would tear 'em off with your teeth," Dana said with a wry smirk, taking Grace by surprise.

Grace clicked her teeth at her and squinted devilishly. "Something you read about?"

Dana blushed.

"Come here," the young doctor whispered, curling a seductive finger.

Dana followed her cue, crawling up the naked body stretched out below her and planting a row of kisses from the bottom of a pedicured foot, to the shin, to the inside of the knee, plowing the inner thigh.

"Oh, no, you don't." Hands grasped the side of her head and led her up quickly until they were face-to-face. Dana kissed her lightly, sucking in a lip, then releasing it. A whisper and a nudge, "Keep going." Long legs straddled the body under hers, and Grace's hands slipped from hips to the muscled backside, fingernails slowly grazing the tight hamstrings of long thighs. Nipping as skin and body marks passed her mouth, she pressed onward until the top edge of Dana's Hane's were at her lips.

"Oh, right there," she said, her lips tracing a gray scar low on Dana's abdomen. Turning slightly, she found another longer, deeper scar and several healed puncture wounds. Her hand glided across the large shark bite on the front of the leg. Then her teeth caught the thin edge of the damp panties and tugged downward. One of her hands grabbed and caught a breast above her head, and another slid along the right abductor to rest on the hot, sensitive point between Dana's legs. Gently the blonde began to stroke her through the cotton. Dana's arms were shaking as Grace's teeth worked to pull the clothing lower. Dana moaned when a hand found bare, slick skin. Grace's hand dropped from the breast to her lover's backside and removed the obtrusive garment, flinging it across the room. She pulled her lover onto her face and began her gentle, but long and thorough exploration, until Dana finally let go with a gasp. Grace released the sensitive flesh and held her exhausted lover, waiting for the heartbeat against her ear to slow.

"I love you, Grace," Dana mumbled, a crooked smile creeping to her lips.

Grace rolled onto her side to face her recuperating lover and grinned broadly. "Good, because I hate unrequited relationships." She leaned over and kissed the full lips. Dana's hand caught her head before she moved off, allowing her to deepen the kiss and renewing desire in both women.

"Anybody ever tell you what a pistol you are?" Dana asked, braking for oxygen.

"No, but you wanna pull the trigger a few more times?"

Grace awoke with the fingers of Dana's tattooed hand laced with hers, the dark head resting low on her belly where exhaustion had finally overtaken her lover. She was hungry for pancakes, the mini-bar having barely sustained the prolonged physical exertions. She looked down and discovered a long arm still wrapped under her thigh and a shoulder gently wedged in between her legs. A tingle of desire began as she shifted to look for a clock. Sun was streaming through the open blinds they had never closed.

"Owwww." Doc groaned at the movement. "Don't move, please don't move." A desperate plea. "I can't move my head. I think I sprained my neck."

Grace began to laugh.

Dana took hold of her head with both hands and rolled off the flat belly onto her back.

"You're just out of shape, that's all."

Dana groaned.

Grace laughed even harder. "That's what you get for taking the expert trail when you should be on the bunny slope." She slid down so that her thighs were on either side of Dana's head. Strong, nimble fingers began to knead the spazzing muscles.

"Sometimes you have to push past your perceived limitations." Blue eyes curled into a smile. Golden hair tickled her face as upside-down green eyes laughed back.

"Was it worth the pain?"

"Yep, but I think I'll have to approach our lovemaking from a different angle for a day or two. But don't worry, I'll be creative."

"I'm afraid we're going to be in the car for a while."

Dana groaned. "Where to now?"

"Home. After breakfast and a little sightseeing." She smacked her lips. "Dana?"

"Hmmm." She kept her eyes closed, enjoying the massage.

"Have you ever thought of having that tattoo removed? I mean, it seems to bring on a lot of questions and maybe some of your problems."

Gingerly Dana lifted herself to a sitting position. That was not a question she had expected at the moment. "Does it bother you?"

"A little. Not the tattoo so much as having to explain it, or...."

"Or the stares it draws?"

"It's not like you have to keep it. Lasers will take it off."

"Why do you have your little yellow-and-green snakes, Grace?"

"To mark my accomplishment."

Dana nodded.

"But mine was positive. I want to be reminded of it."

"So do I."

"I don't understand that. It would be so much easier if--"



"I said no!" She climbed to her feet and began to hunt down her clothes. She should have known that Grace would get around to this. She would never fit into the doctor's life unless she hid who she was, but sooner or later she would become an embarrassment.

"What's the matter?" Grace stood up and whispered a kiss to the scarred shoulder.

"I can't pretend to be something I'm not." Grace pulled the dark hair off the long neck and, standing on tiptoe, kissed the exposed earlobe. She took the flesh in her teeth and began to suck softly. The moist heat from her breath made Dana shudder. Smooth hands slid down her muscular arms, then up again to her sore neck. "You're so tense."

"I should take Rip for a walk," she said, moving away and leaving Grace empty-handed. She whistled for Rip and left the room without a second glance at the bed.

After a moment of bewilderment, the woman who always came away with what she wanted set out to reclaim the person she had held only minutes before. Grace gathered up her clothes from the floor of the suite and followed her heart out the door.

She spotted her lover and Rip across the street, heading for a small park. Setting out at a trot, she crossed the street, catching them at the edge of the grass. Don't be too rough, Grace; she's emotionally inexperienced and overreacting.

"Anything in those stories you read describe how to say goodbye to the person you just had an incredible sixteen hours of sex with?"

Dana turned to her, the look in her eyes so sad it stole Grace's ability to breathe.

"No," she mumbled, her eyes returning to the dog. She whistled for Rip when she wandered too close to a group of playing children. The dog came bounding. "Good girl," Dana said with a pat.

"Do you want to talk about what has upset you?"


"God, you're like Jekyll and Hyde!" she yelled in frustration. "One minute you're telling me you love me, the next it's like you can't stand the sight of me." She threw up her hands at the emotionless look she received. "Or you didn't mean it. You were using me."

Dana looked away at the wandering dog. "I meant what I said."

"Past tense? Dana, I don't think you even understand how to love someone," she added sharply and abruptly walked back to the hotel.

"You're probably right," Dana whispered to the retreating figure.

She was washing her hair in the shower when she heard the jingle of Rip's tags and the door close. Rip came into the bathroom for a drink from the toilet. Then she heard the door close again.

Although she knew what she would find--or would not find--when she came out of the bathroom, she still could not believe it. Both Dana's duffel bag and computer case were gone. Finally the tears broke from her eyes and flooded her face. Rip heard the weeping and tried to comfort her by placing her wet chin on the crying woman's knee. Absently, Grace stroked the silky black head and sobbed. "Stupid nano tech," she mumbled as she packed her belongings and checked out of the hotel. It was going to be a long ride home.

Continued in NANO #3: THE CARNOT CYCLE

_ October 1998 by Jules Mills

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