By KG MacGregor
"I dont understand you George. Youve always been pretty open minded about this sort of thing. Why is this different?"
"I dont have anything against gays. You should know that. I just dont understand why shes being invited to our family functions."
Martine had known this wouldnt go over well, but she was glad they were having the discussion this afternoon in their bedroom instead of tonight when everyone was there. "Shes invited because Anna asked if she could come."
"But this is a family thing "
"George, weve always had an open door for the childrens friends, too. Is this really about tonight being a family thing? Or is it about Anna having a lesbian as such a close friend?" Martine had been dodging this discussion ever since her husband had returned from Munich alone and in a foul mood, but it was time to finally have it out.
George finally voiced his worst fear. "Has it occurred to you that they might be more than just friends, or have you just decided not to see that?"
"Yes, it has occurred to me, but I dont think that its any of our business unless she makes it that way."
"So I take it you dont have any problem with your daughter being a lesbian?"
"I care that shes happy." Martine meant that. "If it turns out that Lily is the one who makes her happyand Im not saying thats the case at allbut if it is, then Ill accept it."
"Well Im not going to sit by and watch her make a fool of herself in front of everybody. She just needs to see that its all wrong for her."
"George, why is it that you think you know best whats right or wrong for Anna! Shes 32 years old. Shouldnt she be allowed to make these choices for herself?" Martine was on the verge of anger at her husbands arrogance.
"She made a perfectly good choice when she married Scott. Id love to know if her little friend was the one who convinced her to walk away from her marriage. You know, it was right after they met during the earthquake that the two of them split up." George hadnt thought of this before, but it made perfect sense.
"Oh, thats nonsense and you know it! Have you ever thought that maybe you were wrong about Scott? What if he wasnt right for her? What if Anna married him because she was more intent on pleasing you than she was pleasing herself?"
The man knew there was at least some truth in his wifes words. He had been lucky enough in this lifetime to love not one but two women with all his heart, and he never once saw the proof of that kind of love for Scott Rutherford in his daughters eyes.
Martine saw the resignation in her husbands slumped shoulders as he pondered his own role in Annas failed marriage. Placing a hand on his shoulder, she comforted him, "George, its time for us to step back and be confident in the way we raised her. Her happiness is all that matters, and its important that she make those decisions by herself, and for herself."
George was mesmerized by the dynamic between his daughter and her friend. They were definitely familiar. The women seemed to touch almost every time they spoke to one another, and the man was certain that the hands underneath the table were joined from time to time.
Despite Georges reservations, this nights dinner was more fun than anyone could remember. David pumped Lily for the inside scoop on living in the South Bay, since he was eyeing Stanford for his bachelors in business administration. "Hey, Im sure Anna can pull some strings and get you into Southern Cal," Kim kidded, her reference to Scotts position on the faculty. The shortest Kaklisat five feet tenthen shocked everyone by sending a glazed carrot across the table at her sisters forehead.
When the laughter finally died down, Martine stood and sternly threatened the next person who threw food at her table. Each member of the Kaklis clan glanced sheepishly at one another, not willing to challenge the matriarch. The blonde guest was quiet as a mouse, almost uncomfortable with the womans harsh reprimand. As Martine returned to her seat, she startled everyone when her hand unexpectedly tipped a water glass into Annas lap, sending the tall woman leaping from her chair. Several seconds of stunned silence passed as everyone realized her prank. "Oh, clumsy me," Martine sighed with a wry smile.
Once shed dried off in the kitchen, Anna returned to the table, her beautiful blue eyes shooting mock daggers at her mother. Martine, however, was the picture of innocence.
Kims joke was the opening George had been looking for. "So Anna, have you heard anything from Scott recently?" He really missed talking business with his son-in-law, and had held out for a reconciliation until Anna had told them of his second marriage. Neither he nor Martine had any idea of Scotts unfaithfulness.
"No, Dad. Id say hes gotten on with his life." And Ive gotten on with mine. Quickly changing the subject, she turned to her brother and told him, "I think Stanfords a great choice, David. Anywhere but Berkeley."
"Hear, hear!" cheered the Bruin in agreement. With a warning look, Martine double dared Kim or Hal to throw any of the food on their plates.
"So tell me again whats in South Carolina." Lily was talking on her portable phone as she got ready for bed.
"Its a BMW plant. In fact, its where your little X5 was born." She said the latter with an intonation of family pride. She too was preparing for bed. "Theyre previewing next years models."
"I thought thats what you went to Germany for." The blonde wasnt whining. She just didnt understand.
"No, the design center in Germany showed us what the next generation of cars will look like, those about three years away. Ive already seen these cars in South Carolina, but we get to take a last look at the changes before they roll them out." Anna got excited when she talked about her work. There was a mechanical engineering nerd inside that beautiful casing.
"So when will you be back?" Saturday was Lilys 30th birthday, but her brain had already stored the fact that Anna would not be in town.
"My plane gets back on Sunday around six oclock. Maybe somebody could meet me at the airport," she hinted.
"But Ill be 30 by then. If I show up at the airport, Ill probably need a skycap with a wheelchair." Now she was whining. "Im going to miss you. What am I supposed to do by myself for five whole days?"
"Think about me." Anna had turned out the lights in her house and was now getting in bed.
"I already do that." Lily too had finished with her own nightly tasks and was pulling back the covers. "Morning, noon and night."
"What do you think about?" Anna settled between the sheets and switched off the bedside lamp. It was after 11, but her plane for Greenville-Spartanburg didnt leave until 11:30 the following day. She could talk for as long as Lily wanted.
"I think about being with you. About some of the things weve done together, like the boat ride, the camping trip, and the time we drove to San Jose right after I got the X5."
"Not very racy. Well, except for the X5 part, Mario." Anna was feeling playful. Lily had finally fessed up about the $534 speeding ticket she had received on her way home from Tahoe.
"Oh, you want racy, do you? Well what do you think about?" The gauntlet was thrown.
"Well I think about a certain cute little blonde attorney. How sweet her kisses are. How she makes me feel inside." Annas tone lost some of its playfulness. She was thinking about how her body had responded to the womans touch.
"How do I make you feel?"
Anna had trouble putting such intimate feelings into words, but she wanted to try. She hoped they would be able to talk about these things, especially given her naiveté about what Lily would want from her. She would need Lilys help to take the next steps in their relationship. "You make me feel warm. My heart beats faster and my body wants to press against yours." I cant believe I just said that!
Lily shifted slowly under the sheet. Annas words had certainly stirred a response in her own body. "God, you cant imagine what it does to me to hear you say that."
"Tell me what it does, sweetheart. Tell me what I do for you." Anna focused her thoughts on the beautiful, slender blonde that set her blood racing.
"You make my stomach flutter. My knees go weak. Everything else disappears." She shifted again.
Anna needed to know more, but the thought of asking for what she needed was terrifying. It wasnt that she hadnt thought about these things at all. On the contrary, shed been thinking about them more and more every day. She needed to know if she could do this, if this was what she really wanted. "Lily, if I were with you right now, what would you have me do? How would I make love to you?" Annas voice was low and sensuous.
There went the stomach flutter. "You want me to tell you how I want to be touched?" This was interesting.
"No, I want you to tell me how you envision me touching you." Anna couldnt believe the words that left her mouth. Shed never done anything like this before in her life. With uncommon boldness, she asked, "What are you wearing to bed?"
"Ive got on a long tank top and panties. Thats all." Lily was becoming very aroused.
"Take them off, baby." Anna listened while the woman removed her sleep shirt and panties.
"Okay, theyre off. What about you?"
"Im taking off my nightshirt too. Now I want to just go there, Lily. Describe it to me." Anna leaned back against the pillows and closed her eyes. She wanted to be there with her love. How close could they get?
"Okay, were lying together, naked with only a sheet covering us. Im on my back, and youre on your side looking down at me."
"Which side am I on?"
"Youre on my right side. So youre lying on your left side alongside me."
The tall woman rolled onto her left side and pulled a pillow to her. "Tell me what I see when I look at you."
Oh my god!. Were really going to do this! Lily couldnt have stopped now if she wanted to. And she definitely didnt want to. "My eyes. The first thing you see is my eyes. Theyre full of love for you. And desire." She paused to let the image settle. "I lift my lips to your face, reaching behind your neck to pull you down." Lily closed her eyes to imagine the sensations. "Im trembling, and so are you."
Anna could picture Lilys green eyes. "Im going to kiss you."
"Yes, your lips are on mine. Then they travel ever so slowly across my cheek, down to my ear." Lily trailed her own hand softly along the path she described. "I feel your warm breath in my ear. Your tongue and your teeth tease my earlobe, then they wander below to my neck. I love to feel your mouth on my neck."
"Yes, your skin is so soft there." Annas body began to stir as she imagined her lips and tongue on Lilys neck.
"You raise up on your arm to look at me. You pull the sheet back to my waist. Your eyes take in the sight of my naked body. Im aching for your touch, to feel your hands on me." She was.
"Tell me what I see." Anna wanted to see it. Tell me what you look like.
Lily was tentative, but she knew somehow that Anna needed this. "First you see my breasts. My nipples theyre dark. Theyre hard, like pebbles. I need you to touch them."
"Yes." Anna was trembling all over. She pictured again the full breasts she had admired that day on the boat. To that image, she added the hard, dark nipples.
"So you cover my left breast with your palm. You squeeze it softly, then stronger, more possessive." Lilys own hand began to squeeze her breast. "Oh, I like that," she moaned.
Anna then knew with a certainty that Lily was touching herself. She was becoming crazy with desire.
"Then you take my nipple with your thumb and fingers, and you start to pinch it. Gently at first, then with more pressure. When you tug on it, it makes me gasp for breath." And she did.
"Ahhh." Annas fingers pulsated as she imagined them on Lilys breasts.
"I need to feel your mouth on my breasts. Im lifting my body up to your face. I feel you take me into your mouth, you feel so good." Her fingers closed again around the nipple, but she imagined the beautiful womans mouth. "Your soft tongue draws circles around my nipple, then your lips close around it and you suck it into your mouth. I can feel your teeth teasing me. Your hand has closed around my other nipple and youre pulling on it with the same rhythm."
"Youre so exciting." Anna had never experienced anything so erotic in all her life.
"My hips are pushing toward you now, in the same rhythm as the sensations in my breasts. My whole body needs you."
Annas body was moving rhythmically, matching Lilys pace.
"You bring your lips to mine again, then you look at my rolling body. Im hot and I want you so much. Your hands are roaming all over my chest and my stomach and hips." Lilys own hands stroked the heated planes.
"Yes, I need to feel your naked skin. Tell me what I see when I look down at you."
Lily opens her eyes to describe the sight. "You lower the sheet to my knees. You see the patch of hair that hides me from your eyes. Its light brown, thick and curly. Its already damp from what youre doing to me."
Oh god, Lily. "What am I doing? Tell me." Anna was desperate.
"Oh, youre exciting me, sweetheart. I want you so much. And you want this, everything Im offering you."
"Yes, I want it." Annas voice was raspy.
"Now Ive raised my knee so that I can open myself for you."
"I need to touch you, baby." She needed to be closer.
"And I want you to. So badly I might explode. Your hand crosses my stomach and stops to twirl around my navel. Youre such a tease." For Lily, it was no longer her own hand at work. She felt it as though it were Annas. "Then you brush against that curly hair. Your fingers run through it, lower, until you feel it getting damp. Then lower there! Right there!" Lily gasped for breath as she touched herself intimately for the first time since they began.
Anna shuddered with anticipation. "Please, baby! Tell me what I feel."
"You find me wet, so wet! And Im warm and swollen, begging you to touch all of me. So you slide your long fingers through me. Up and down." Lily moaned softly as she mimicked what her lover would do. After several long moments, she began again. "You linger on the outside, circling my opening. Then you slip two fingers inside."
Anna was shaking with excitement. "Oh, yes. Im inside you now," she whispered.
"You push deep inside, and you feel me clutch your fingers with my walls. You move inside me, in and out."
"Oh god, youre so hot."
"Im moving with you, rocking against you so youll reach deeper."
Both women were writhing now, Anna against the pillow, Lily against her own hand.
"Then you slowly pull your fingers out and touch me where Im hard and swollen. Oh, I need that." Again she grew quiet while she brought herself closer to climax. "Your fingers are making circles, and Im lifting up off the bed to get closer. To feel more of you." She was drawing deep rapid breaths to keep up with her bodys need. "My fingers are digging into your back, showing you the rhythm I want. Harder, you press harder."
Anna closed her eyes tightly as her senses filled with the image.
"And now Im coming, baby." Lily filled her lungs with a deep gasp, then released it in short, steady bursts. "Yes, baby, so strong."
"Oh god, Lily. Oh god, I love you." Anna shuddered as she listened to Lilys release. Her desire to pull the woman close was overwhelming, far more than a mere physical need. She wanted to look into Lilys eyes to see how the sensation had moved her, to confirm that Lily too had shared her heart along with her body. Anna had never felt such a need to connect with another in her life. She resisted reaching between her own legs, already knowing what she would find. Her body craved release, but she would wait for Lilys touch.
Lily gradually lowered her hips to the bed as the waves receded. Her body was spent, but her thoughts remained attuned to the woman on the phone. What was Anna thinking? Had she felt the emotional connection or was this merely a sexual display? Lily suddenly worried that she had exposed too much. She felt vulnerable, embarrassed even.
Both women were quiet for a long moment, one embracing her feelings, the other anxious with her own. Finally, Anna broke the silence. "Lily?"
"Yes, Im here."
"I want you to feel my arms around you, my whole body against yours. Im going to hold you tonight while you sleep."
Lily relaxed and lost herself in the comforting image. "I love you, Anna."
"I love you too, baby." Anna saw herself place a kiss on Lilys forehead. "Goodnight."
Lily searched among the stacks of paperwork for the file she needed. Pauline had gotten better about keeping her records in order after the incident last year with Maria Esperanza. Marias now very thick file rested on the corner of the cluttered desk. "Yeah, Pete. Ive got it right here. What do you need? ...Yeah, thats what it says She isnt?" Miguel had complained to his lawyer that Maria and the children were gone the last two times he went to see his children. "When did that start? ...Okay, Ill give her a call right now Thanks for the heads up."
Lily placed the call, but got a recorded message that the cellular service had been discontinued. Thumbing through the file, she came across the number for Marias sister, the one who lived in Culver City. The attorney dialed the number and asked to speak to Serena Whitman. "Hello, this is Lilian Stuart. You may remember me. Im your sister Marias attorney."
The voice on the line hesitated. Then formally, "How can I help you, Miss Stuart?"
"Im trying to reach your sister. Something very important has come up with her case. The number that I have for her is no longer in service. I was hoping you might have a new number, or a way that I could reach her."
"No, I dont know where she is," the woman answered quickly.
A little too quickly, Lily thought. She needed to make the woman understand what was at stake. "Listen, I have an urgent message for her. If you see her or hear from her, she needs to know that there is trouble with her case. Mr. Esperanzas attorney plans to ask the court for custody of the children because she had not allowed him to visit them. I will not be able to help her if she doesnt call me soon." Lily hoped that Serena understood the gravity of the situation and would pass the message on to Maria.
In the meantime, Lily had a hunch that Maria was hiding out at her sisters home. Sometimes she had very little patience for her adult clients, but the children she served needed her to work on their behalf. The Esperanza children were pawns in this battle of wills between their parents. Lily wondered if perhaps they werent better off elsewhere, but that was the judges call. She was reluctant to step into the middle of a volatile domestic dispute, but guarding the childrens interest was part of her job. She picked up her keys and purse, and stopped to let Pauline know where she was headed.
Driving through the Culver City neighborhood, Lily was suddenly flooded with memories and images from a year ago. Like then, it was mid-morning on a Thursday, unusually warm for a February day. She marveled at how her life had changed since that fateful day. Shed gone from being a loner to being one-half of something that seemed greater than a whole. She could no more imagine her life without Anna than she could imagine it without her work, her mother, her past. The beautiful woman was now part of who she was.
Her daydreams nearly caused her to miss what she was looking for. From her vantage point in the tall vehicle, she could barely see the rear bumper of the old red Ford Escort that was parked behind the Whitman house. "I knew it," she said aloud triumphantly. Parking across the street, Lily set up her surveillance of the home. Neither of the sisters would recognize the X5.
Nearly 45 minutes passed before she observed activity at the home. Marias children, Sofia and Roberto, emerged from the side door to play in the small yard. "Thats good enough for me," the attorney muttered as she exited the vehicle and dashed quickly to the front door.
Serena answered almost as soon as Lily knocked. "I told you, I dont know where Maria is."
"Oh, Im sorry. I should have been more clear. It isnt really Maria that I need. Its the children. I just saw them in the yard. Theyre supposed to be with their father, so Ill just call the social worker to come pick them up and take them to his house." She reached for her cell phone, prepared to call Sandy to the scene.
"No, wait!" As Lily had expected, Maria miraculously appeared to head off the call. "Please dont call him. Hes been hurting the children. I cant let them go."
"Goddamnit, Maria! I told you to call me if there were problems. Hes going to try to get custody again." She was furious that Maria would put her children at further risk by keeping this from her.
"I was afraid he would hurt them worse if I told on him." The woman was nearly hysterical.
"Your children will be safe. But I have to put them in protective custody while a judge considers new charges. You cant just violate the court order."
"No, please dont take them!"
"I have to. Its to keep everyone safe." Maria wailed into her sisters arms as Lily called Sandy. While they waited for the social worker, she helped the children pack a few items for their next placement in foster care. A flashback invaded her thoughts, that of a small child placing her few belongings in a brown grocery bag as a woman waited.
"You wouldnt believe the new models! Were going to have to trade yours in. You would love this edition!" The X5 Anna had in mind would go for $68,000 next year.
"No way! Im driving my car until it falls apart." Lily pulled the phone from her ear and shouted her intention into the mouthpiece.
"What? I didnt tell you that yours was on a custom lease that expires at the dealers discretion when new models become available?"
"Just you try it, Amazon. Besides, the one I have is already smarter than I am. Id have to go to school to learn how to drive a new one."
"Funny you should say that. Theres a school here. We all had the chance to take out the new models and crank em up. You could come and do it too if you wanted to. Theres nothing quite like the feel of an open course with all that muscle."
Lily loved it when Anna talked about her powerful cars! It was almost butch.
"So, Birthday Girl, Ill try to call you tomorrow, but it will probably be after seven or eight your time. Is that okay?"
"Yeah, but dont forget, Im going to dinner at Sandys and Suzannes tomorrow." What a bummer that her girlfriendgirlfriend?was out of town on her birthday.
"Oh yeah, thats right. Your real friends are the ones who are with you on your birthday." Anna was chiding Lily about her earlier pout.
"Well, Ill forgive you this time. But I sure hope this next model year preview doesnt always fall on my birthday." Fuck! I cant believe I just said that!
Oblivious to Lilys gaffe, Anna warmed at the thought that she would spend more birthdays with the cute little blonde. Maybe next year, Ill just take you with me. "Goodnight, sweetheart. And happy birthday all day tomorrow."
Lilys gut tightened as she hung up the phone. Goddamnit! Why didnt I just drive over to her house with a U-Haul! She was suddenly afraid that Anna would bolt at her presumption that shed be with her next year. She had made that same mistake with Melanie, Becca and especially Beverly. She and Anna had been taking things slowly, the older woman needing time to adjust to the idea of being in a new relationship, let alone a relationship with another woman. Fuck me.
Lily laughed aloud as she pulled onto the freeway from Sherman Oaks. Her "dinner" with Sandy and Suzanne had actually been a surprise party, attended by 12 of her closest friends, mostly from work or from her socializing with the couple, all dressed in black to commemorate her passage "over the hill." Her gift haul included not one single serious gift. Instead, she had opened such things as wrinkle cream, denture adhesive, and a Lawrence Welk CD. Looking back, she couldnt fault their sense of humor. She was the last one in the group to hit 30, and she had given several of them a box of Depends on their significant birthdays.
Pulling into her covered spot, she gathered the gag gifts and cards from the passenger seat. Despite the darkened apartment, Lily did not feel so alone this year. Flipping the light switch with her forearm, she dropped her gifts onto the kitchen table. To her disappointment, the solid red light told her there were no messages. As if reading her thoughts, the phone suddenly rang. Anna!
"Hello," she answered cheerfully.
"Happy birthday to you," the voice sang cheerfully.
God, what a sexy voice!
"Happy birthday to you."
It is now!
"Happy birthday dear Pygmy."
"Happy birthday to you."
"You just made my day, Amazon."
"Is that so?" Anna could picture the blonde in the kitchen, probably leaning against the counter while she talked.
"Yeah, its so. Just hearing your voice makes me warm all over. I love you." Lily checked the clock on the microwave. It was after ten, so that meant it was after one a.m. in South Carolina.
"I love you too, baby. I really wanted to make your day. So I started thinking about what I could do on your birthday that was really special."
God, I love it when she calls me baby. "Oh yeah?"
"Yeah, so when I tried to think of something really special, I started thinking about what we did on the night before I left. Do you remember what we did, Lily?"
Every detail. "How could I forget that?" Her voice grew very small. Do I need to be lying down again?
"Yes, that was very special indeed. In fact, there was only one thing I could think of that would be more special than that."
"And whats that?" Only one thing.
"Why dont you come upstairs and find out?"
Ha! Just kidding!!!!! On to Part 13
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