Disclaimers: These two belong to us, so no stealing. J

Subtext: This is one of my SWP- Sex With Plot. DON’T READ AT WORK.

If you’d like to tell us what wonderful writers we are or that we royally suck, feel free at: XenaNut@hotmail.com or auth2b@hotmail.com

Friendly Skies


Kim Pritekel & Alexa Hoffman


I tilted my head to the side, adjusting it until it cracked, then tried the other side. Ahhhh... After sitting in the terminal for a very boring 90 minutes, I was more than ready to board the plane – even if I had to sit next to a screaming baby or sticky-fingered toddler. I’d probably regret that thought when it happened.

As it was, my butt ached from being stuck in the molded plastic of Newark Airport seats, and I couldn’t concentrate on my People magazine any more. I was impressed I’d made it through 20 pages, seeing as there was such ample opportunity to people watch.

"Now boarding anyone in group B," said the cheery woman at the counter, who looked about as plastic as the seats. "Please remember to have your boarding pass ready and a photo ID available."

I stood up, waiting for Barbie to call the next group so I could move at least 50 feet into the big, metal tube, and sit for another few hours, trapped in a confined space with a bunch of strangers. Yay.

Waiting around made me cynical, apparently.

"Group A may now begin boarding."

God, that voice was ingratiating. They ought to let that pleasant-looking matronly lady next to her do the announcements, I thought as I jockeyed for position in the line. I realize we’ll all get there eventually, but there was something so nice about getting out of the line, grabbing the airline version of MREs at the start of that long hallway, and getting on the plane only to fight with people for space in the overhead compartments.

Finally, it was my turn to grab my "Lunch To Go" and head down the hallway, the bag clenched in my teeth as I tethered back my long, blonde hair.

I smiled briefly at the attractive flight attendant, handed her my ticket, although I knew where to go, passed those lucky, um, people in first class, and eventually got to my seat.

After fighting hours of traffic to get to the airport, fighting for a parking space in an airport that seems to have been undergoing construction since the Stone Age, fighting to get through the security line and having all of my crevices checked – or so it seemed – for toenail cutters or the like, sitting and waiting for what seemed like another year to my already 23 years of age because I was in the last group to be called, it was nice to know I would be sitting in relative comfort with – I craned my neck to check out my seatmate to my right – an aisle seat on my right and a very beautiful woman on my left.

I sighed and leaned back in my chair, seatbelt strapped, and closed my eyes.

I hated flying. I could only hope my day would improve.


Quietly humming to myself, I got in the seat, making sure the seat would actually tilt back. The last flight I was on, which was two days ago, the seat would not tilt. I was not a happy camper. With legs as long as mine, you gotta be able to tilt.

All seats fine and tilting, I buckled myself in. I was getting so tired of traveling. As a kid, I thought being in the travel business would be so cool because you got to travel and see new and exciting destinations. Yeah, right. Sure, you got to travel, but good luck seeing anything other than the inside of buildings and offices as you try and schmooze business from rich company owners.

I needed a vacation.

Tucking my carry-on away under the seat in front of me, I adjusted the collar of my shirt, unbuttoning a few buttons so it would stop pulling at my neck. Another thing I wasn’t too fond of – not having enough time between flights to change clothes. As it was, by the time I finished making a deal for my company with the Chevron Corp., I had had exactly twenty-five minutes until my flight left.

But, alas, I had made it.

Finally settled, I looked to see who was around me, and if there were any screaming children nearby. God forbid my company actually spring for first class. At least I got a window seat. There was a blonde sitting in the aisle seat, and nobody between us. With any luck it would stay that way.

Glancing out of the window, I saw the guys scurrying about on the tarmac, trying to make everything perfect for our departure.

Turning back to the blonde, I saw that she was looking at me. I smiled politely.

"Hi there. Takes forever, huh?" I said.

"Yeah. Kinda sucks," she replied.

"I’m Annie."

"Zephyr." She held out her hand and I took it.

"Nice to meet you, Zephyr."

"You, too."

Turning back to the window, I was glad to know that at least it seemed I’d be seated with a normal person for the five hour flight to Arizona. And, to my great pleasure, she had no children with her.

I reached into the seat in front of mine and grabbed the airline magazine to flip through until I could bring out my laptop. Whoever created these magazines had no idea of what entertaining someone meant. They were so dry and dull. And, for what was paid for my ticket, they should have enough money to invest in something interesting. Say, Us magazine for the airlines, perhaps? Maybe Newsweek? With a sigh, I stuffed the thin magazine back into the pocket and relaxed my head against the headrest. I could feel the slight vibration under me as the engines got underway. I was glad.

"Good evening, ladies in gentleman. This is your captain speaking. The weather is a bit bumpy for tonight’s flight, with nonstop service to Tucson, Arizona. Please keep your seatbelt on until the seatbelt sign above is turned off. Enjoy your flight and thank you for flying with American Airlines."


I peeked inside the little bag of lunch, glad there was some sort of food items I’d eat in there – I’d missed breakfast, and I think my stomach was about to rival any screaming child on the plane.

I folded down the little tray once the plane took off, and spread out my small sandwich, brownie, apple and vegetable-looking item, then waited for the attendant to come with her endless supply of drinks.

"Apple juice, please," I said to the smiling man steering the metal cart. I rolled my shoulders around. It had been a long week with my mother, and I was sad to say it, but thank god I was returning to work. Life as an assistant director for student activities at University of Arizona was hectic at best, but it didn’t even begin to compare with my mother and her nagging.

‘Why aren’t you married? When are you going to get married? Why don’t you have a real job?’ It was enough to drive anyone insane, and I wasn’t so sure I wasn’t there before I even visited her.

And of course, I had to hear about my identical twin sister, Rayne, who was busy modeling, married and promising grandchildren. Every time I saw her face and green eyes staring at me from some beauty magazine, it only served to irk me that the girl who had barely gotten out of high school was now rich and famous – and getting along famously with my mother, with whom she used to have verbal arguments that would have made a presidential debate look tame. I think she almost carved a voodoo doll to get out her frustration at my mom.

Now I was considering hitting Louisiana in my lunch hour.

I sighed and was about to tuck into my lunch when I noticed Annie looking at my food. I saw no evidence of those delightful little bags of food, only the Dr Pepper she had requested sitting in a plastic cup on her tray.

"Did you get a bag?" I asked, uncertain why she was looking at my meal.

She shook her head, a small smile on her lips.

"There weren’t any left. They said they’d try to find some, but I’m thinking they forgot about me. It’s alright, though, I think I might have a candy bar in my bag somewhere," she said, digging through her purse.

I hesitated, thinking of the beast in my stomach, then took a breath.

"Would you like some of mine?" She started to decline, probably out of politeness, but I insisted, already cutting the turkey sandwich in half and holding it out to her.

"Come on," I said with a cheeky grin, "you know you want it."


I eyed the half sandwich, feeling my mouth water, even if the turkey looked like it had been sacrificed for last year’s Thanksgiving.

"Thanks." I took the offered food and began to nibble it. I knew there wouldn’t be much between here and Tucson, so I figured I’d take it slow and make it last as long as possible. I glanced at the pretty blonde girl out of the corner of my eye. She was munching happily on the sandwich and apple. My eyes kept glancing at the brownie, but there was no way I could take any more food from her, so I turned back to my own lunch. I’d dig that candy bar out of my bag later.

My stomach lurched as we hit some of that ‘bumpy weather’ the captain had mentioned. Believe it or not, I was not a fan of flying. Why couldn’t we be back in the day of the safe, grounded horse and buggy? Or steam boat? I could handle that, too.

"Not a fan of flying either?" Zephyr asked. I turned to her and shook my head with a pitiful smile.

"Hate it. But, alas, that’s what happens when you go into travel. You get to . . . well, travel."

The blonde chuckled at me, then handed me half of her brownie.

"Oh, I couldn’t–"

"You can and you will. Take it. Please."

"Thanks." I snatched it, probably far too quickly as she grinned again. "I forgot a little thing called breakfast today."

"Me, too," Zephyr said, popping the last of her brownie into her mouth.

"You know, when I went into the travel industry, I’m not sure what I was thinking. I guess I figured that I’d have to fly to one destination, stay there for a bit, take notes, write up reviews, whatever. It did start that way," I shook my head, picking a lone nut off the tray that had fallen from the brownie. "You’d think promotions would be good things wouldn’t you?" I glanced back over to the blonde who nodded. "Guess I should think again."

The flight attendant, some tall, far too beautiful man, came by to collect trash and offer more drinks. I accepted his offer for another Dr Pepper while Zephyr asked for a bottled water. A healthy girl. Smart. I really did need to drink more water.

"So, where are you from? Do you live in Tucson?"


I gripped onto the seat, holding my breath as the plane hopped through some odd air currents.

"Ugh, I hate flying. Have I already mentioned that?" I noticed Annie’s knuckles were also a pasty color as she clutched her own armrests. She gave me a wan smile that widened as we reached a smooth stretch of air.

"Anyway, yeah, I live and work in Tucson. Or at least nearby. I work at UA, but I live in a little town just outside called Merrick." Her face lit up. "You’ve heard of it?"

"Yeah! The last time I was in Arizona, we ate at this great little diner, and it was in Merrick. Now, what was the name of that place?" She tapped her finger against her chin in thought.

God, she’s got great eyes. What the hell am I thinking? Geez, I’m practically drooling over someone, and it’s a woman. What a time for my libido to wake up. Quickly, my mom popped into my head. Oh yeah, that’d be a fun trip. Gee, mom, I’m planning on getting married, but not to who you think. Oh yeah, and I’ve got to move to Massachusetts to do it. That’d go over like a plane with engine failure.

Oh, that was a dumb metaphor.

"Gary’s Grille," I supplied. I knew how much it sucked to have that tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon. Ooh, my one class in psychology, and I remembered something. I mentally patted myself on the back.

"That’s it!" she exclaimed. She closed her eyes and gave a small groan. "They had the absolute best ribs I’ve ever eaten."

I smiled and nodded in agreement.

"Hell yeah. And now you know the one reason people come to Merrick." I raised a brow and grinned. "It’s certainly not for the culture. But it does have a certain appeal." I looked up in thought. "And cheap rent."

"You’ll have to give me directions, then, if you don’t mind."

I shook my head. "Not at all. Maybe I’ll see you there." The plane jumped again and I grabbed onto my seat with my right hand, while my left clenched in a fist.

"Please remain seated with your seatbelts on until further notice," came the disembodied voice of our captain. I never saw the guy, for all I knew it could be a voice from a tower and a robot was flying the plane. But this was bad. Even the flight attendants were strapping in. Weren’t they supposed to walk through anything, just to give the people flying some sort of comfort? Where was the comfort?

I was definitely not comforted, nor comfortable. Annie looked just as miserable.


Not gonna die, not gonna die.

"We’re experiencing some turbulence, and may for a short time. Please remain calm."

Okay, we’re gonna die.

My eyes squeezed shut, and my breathing increased tenfold. I glanced over when I felt a warm hand cover my own, and saw smiling green eyes.

"You okay?" she asked, though I could tell she was also terrified. I swallowed and nodded.

"I think so. Just as long as he can keep this can in the air, I’ll be great."

"Yeah, no kidding." Zephyr closed her eyes and squeezed my hand tighter. I squeezed back to let her know I was there, too.

"UA, huh?" I said, trying my damndest to get both our attention off of what was happening. I could feel the turkey trying to gobble its way back up.

"Yep," Zephyr said, though her voice was thick. I could tell she was having problems of her own on the farm.

"Like it?"

"Love it."

"That’s great. Oh, this is not good. I hope this stops soon."

Just then there was a bout of commotion toward the middle of the plane. I strained my neck, trying to see what was going on. Part of me did not want to know.

"Oh shit," Zephyr said, leaning as far out into the aisle as possible.

"What is it?" I sat up as straight and tall as the seatbelt would allow.

"Fire," the blonde said, fear in her voice.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your co-pilot speaking. We have turned off engine number two, and will be making an emergency landing in Columbus International Airport. Flight attendants, please ready the passengers for an emergency landing."

I could barely listen as the tall, beautiful man talked us through what we needed to do. I was so numb with fear and anticipation. It was the feel of Zephyr’s warm hand on mine again that helped to calm me down.

"We’re going to be okay," she said, her voice quiet and shaky. I smiled at her, appreciating the sentiment and nodded.


At least someone was buying the crap I was selling. Annie looked comforted by my words, but they were having no effect on me. Can’t pawn crap to yourself, or something like that. The image of the fire in the cabin of the plane was a bit more than I could handle. Maybe I should turn around and go back to mom’s. At least I was safe in her house, despite the nagging.

Morbid thoughts began to crowd my brain as I clutched onto Annie’s hand. Who would I call? Would I have to figure out how to use the phone in the back of the headrest that quickly? I’d heard somewhere that when a plane was going down, most people did things they wouldn’t normally do in real life, like screw the person next to them. I took a look at the pale, but still beautiful woman clammily clutching at my hand and paused. What to do, what to do.

She, however, was intent on making conversation to get through this nightmare.

"So, have you ever been to Ohio?" I shook my head. "It’s more beautiful than you’d expect from a little state like that. There’s a great spot where you can see the sun rise through the woods and over a tiny little lake, and it sparkles like nothing else. I always hike when I’m in the east somewhere – there are just so many trees."

The plane started to shudder and I interlaced our fingers to get better leverage for squeezing. She didn’t seem to mind as she squeezed back, sending blood to my fingertips until they turned dark red. I didn’t care. I mean, if I was going to die, what did it matter where the blood was in my fingers, right?

"So," I said, also apparently desperate for normal conversation. "Any place in the states you haven’t been to? Where’s your favorite state?"

She answered, and I tried to listen, I really did, but all I could hear was the sound of scared voices talking quickly, children crying, the barely-comforting voices of the flight attendants as they escorted people back to their seats, the quiet droning of Engine 1, I supposed, everything else but her words. I could hear the hum of her voice, but the rushing of blood in my ears kept everything else to a dull roar.

I smiled at her encouragingly, hoping she’d continue. Whether I heard her words or not, I was fascinated with watching her speak, the way each word would come out of her lips, the sound of her voice.

Oh great, I’m about to die and I’m thinking about some woman’s lips?

She was looking at me expectantly, as though she had asked a question. Uh oh.

"I’m sorry, what was that?"


"I said, if we survive this, can I take you to dinner? I figure it’s the best I can do after the possible amputation of your fingers." I smiled, though I wondered if I looked as green as I felt.

"Oh. Yeah, absolutely. I’d love to see that spot you were talking about, too." Zephyr smiled, and I half wondered if she was just trying to make me feel better by bringing up something that was obviously something of enjoyment for me. Once again, I appreciated the gesture. She seemed like a very nice woman.

The plane began to really rattle and shudder. I was terrified that the old bucket of bolts would fall apart on us. The good news, however, was that I was finally able to see the lights of the airport below. But then, my elation was wiped away as I remembered that most plane crashes happened during the landing and taking off. We were about to land, and I knew it wouldn’t be pretty.

"Here we go," Zephyr muttered, squeezing my hand even tighter. We both held on for what seemed dear life. It was eerie how quiet the cabin got as the plane began its descent. The lights got closer and closer, runway bigger and bigger, and my heart pounded harder and harder.

My entire body jolted as the wheels hit the pavement, uneven and certainly not graceful. The plane lurched, throwing us all against our seatbelts. I wondered just what kind of bruises would litter my body when this was all over.

I held my breath as the plane careened to the side, a horrible sound as the wheels skidded and dragged. The tread marks were probably something to see. Finally, oh finally, the plane came to a screeching halt, and all was still. Everyone was holding their breath, afraid to release it. Then the quiet was shattered by the whaling of a terrified child. All hell broke loose then.

The captain was trying to say something over the loud speaker, but no one was having any of that. Everyone, including myself, just wanted to get the hell out of that plane.


The chaos that followed defied imagination. I wanted to get off the plane, but so did the other two hundred or so passengers, and I wasn’t about to fight them. I felt something brush my head where I had stuck it between my knees, and looked up as Annie leaned over me, trying to get her carry-on from the overhead compartment. I stayed in my seat as a sea of humanity drifted past me. Annie looked about ready to bolt as well.

"Hey," I said, touching her arm. At least, I think I was touching it, my fingers were still numb from the squeeze we had inflicted on each other during the landing process. "You want to wait until everyone goes? I think we’d get squished otherwise, and I don’t think too much can happen to the plane while it’s on the ground."

She looked like she was about to demur, but smiled and nodded.

"Alright. My instinct is to get off the plane, but I know you’re right, and if I got caught in the upstream sweep–" She indicated the hoards of people moving past us from the back of the plane. "I probably wouldn’t be able to take you out to dinner."

I grinned at that. A near-death situation, and I got a nice dinner date out of it. Life was odd.

"Very true, and then I’d be searching all over the airport for you to make sure you didn’t renege on your deal, and I’d miss my next flight to Arizona, although I’m seriously considering a bus, and some woman you didn’t know would be very mad at you." I shook my head at her, smiling to let her know I was kidding and wipe away the web of fear we were both still caught in. I don’t think my heart’s done that kind of tattoo in . . . well, ever.

She took my hand, then thought better of it, I suppose, and squeezed my forearm.

"You’re very right, and I wouldn’t want some woman I didn’t know mad at me either. So why don’t we head on out right now?"

I looked up to see the plane was nearly empty, although covered in scraps from people leaving in their haste and leaving trash. Only the flight attendants remained behind, talking in small clusters near the exit sign.

I stretched up to grab my backpack and moved up in the aisle to let Annie out.

"After you, madam," I said with a smile, my hand extended to the space I’d made for her to walk by.


I could feel a wave of relief rush over me as I felt the cool, fake air from the airport hit my face. I breathed it in, not wanting to miss a moment of it. Smiling green eyes were looking at me, and I shrugged and smiled back.

Walking to the counter for American, we saw a long line of our fellow passengers. Tired of carrying the rock of Gibraltar on my shoulders, well, actually just an over stuffed carry-on, I put it on the floor at my feet.

"Scary stuff, huh?" I said, seeing Zephyr do the same thing behind me. She nodded.

"No kidding. I hate to fly. Have I mentioned that lately?"

"Oh, not in about," I checked my watch, "an hour or so." She grinned, big and toothy. She really was rather attractive.

"Yeah, yeah. So, how are you doing?"

"Better than your hand I think." I took her bruised fingers in my own. "Ouch. I’m sorry." I gave her an apologetic look. "Want me to go find some ice for these?"

"Nah. I’m fine." She shrugged it off and bent her fingers, I imagine putting the bones back in place. "So do you live in Arizona?" We moved up in line, but only by about two feet.

"Nope. It’s my next stop on a long list of business stops. I originate out of San Diego. So, I’m getting closer to home." I smiled, thinking just how excited I now was to get home, even if it was just to my ferret, Sneakers. "So what was in New Jersey?"

"My mother." Zephyr rolled her eyes. I could tell by the contempt in her voice that it hadn’t been an exceptionally happy trip.

"Ah. Born and raised?"

"Yup. I try and get back when I can, but oops, sometimes just can’t." She winked at me and I chuckled.

"Oh, I hear you. My parents are in Seattle, and I avoid that place like the plague." I scrunched my nose up. "Too much advice."

"Amen! Finally someone who understands. My mother drives me nuts."

I nodded my understanding and crossed my arms over my chest. I was so tired and hungry. Now that my feet were firmly on the ground, I was ready for that dinner I promised Zephyr. I could taste that taco salad that had my name written all over it.

"Hey Sparky, what do you say you stop day dreaming and move up?" Zephyr grinned at me, those always dancing green eyes like the turbulent sea. A very beautiful color.

"Ha ha. Funny." I shoved my bag along with my high heeled foot, seeing that an end to this day was indeed possible.


I finally took in the state of her dress, realizing she was in her work clothes – or at least what I assumed were work clothes.

"Hey, there’s still a pretty long line ahead of us. You have anything in that bag you can change into? I can’t imagine it’s comfortable for you to wander in high heels." I indicated her feet. Plus, she was really tall in heels. I mean like more than half a foot, and it was slightly intimidating. But I would never tell her that.

"Actually, with all the traveling I do, I’ve learned to stick a change of clothes in my carry-on. Plus, I had hoped to have time before my flight to change, but no such luck. I think I’ll take you up on your offer. You sure you don’t mind?"

I grinned. "Nah. It’s not like you’ll be cutting in front of anyone to get your room first," I said, looking at the empty space behind us.

She chuckled. "Alright, I’ll be right back." She jogged off as quickly as her pumps would allow, not knowing my eyes were glued to her butt. I mean, back. Um, she looked like she had a nice back . . . side. Oh god, when had my mind decided to swim with the banana peels and alligators? Although this gutter seemed very nice.

Once she disappeared from view, I concentrated on just moving up, thinking of the food I would soon ingest, and trying not to look at the massive lightning storm that was illuminating the sky.

A beautiful, jagged line of white heat struck the ground, followed immediately by a massive rumble. There was a brief pause, then the lights dimmed briefly. I wanted out.

About ten minutes after I last saw her, Annie came jogging into view, dressed similarly to me in jeans and a sweatshirt, sneakers covering her feet. I’ll bet that was so much more comfortable.

"Hey, you. Thanks for saving my place in line." I grinned again and looked behind me at the empty space.

"Oh sure, it was no problem. I mean, geez, you’re welcome, it was so hard fighting off the hordes of people trying to get us into the Holiday Inn attached to this place." I pointed to the lit green sign off to the side of the airport, visible through one of the windows on the other side of the gate.

She nudged me with her shoulder, grinning.

Suddenly, it was my turn at the counter.

"Are you traveling alone or with someone else?" I looked at the harried flight attendant curiously. "Alone. Why?" She typed something into her computer, then brought someone else over as they pointed to the screen and whispered.

"We’ve got one room left, and many of our passengers have had to double bunk. Do you two know each other?" she asked, indicating Annie, who was talking with the other attendant manning the counter. I glanced at Annie, who shrugged.

"Well, we met on the flight and bonded over a near-death experience. Does that count?" I grinned, trying to put the attendant at ease. She looked as though the day was quickly on its way to giving her an ulcer. The stony face my small joke received indicated her lack of interest in humor, so I looked at Annie again.

"What do you say? I promise not to kill you in the middle of the night. I mean, they took my toenail clippers away, what would I even use?" She pondered it for a second, then shrugged again.

"Why not? I won’t snore too loud if you don’t." We both looked back to the now-relieved flight attendants.

"If you’ll just follow the signs to baggage carousel 14, you can collect your baggage. The next flight is scheduled for 6 p.m. tomorrow evening, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience. We will be giving one free round-trip flight within the continental U.S. for all passengers for this unexpected layover." She looked like she had said that one thousand times already and was dead on her feet, although her smile remained in place. Maybe they used Vaseline?


The room was like any other I’d stayed at, save for mini bar in the corner, compliments of the airline.

"Pretty hard up for our business, eh?" I said, holding up a tiny bottle of Jack.

"Yeah. How funny." Zephyr grabbed it from me. "Drinks after dinner?"

"You’re on!" I grinned like a loon, so awfully relieved to be on the ground, alive, and have a place to sleep for the night. "Speaking of . . ." I tossed my bag to the floor on the side of the bed. "Should be snug." I glanced at the queen sized bed, then at the woman who would be sharing it with me.

"Shoot, it’s bigger than my bed back home. I think we’ll manage." She also tossed hers, then hit the bathroom.

While I waited, I called the office to let them know what had happened and that I was alright in case this hit the news or something stupid like that. Didn’t want them worrying over little ol’ me. Luckily, Connie, the receptionist, was home and could pass on the message to my boss, Doug, the next day.

"Ready?" Zephyr asked as she stepped out of the bathroom.

"Let’s hit it."

We found ourselves a Denny’s that wasn’t horribly packed. I guess all of our fellow passengers had hit the Applebee’s across the street. Looking through the menu, I could actually feel my mouth beginning to water, and for it to do that over Denny’s food, I was hungry.

"What’ll it be, ladies?" the perky waitress asked, looking from one to the other of us.

"Whatever it is, make it a double." Zephyr grinned.

"I second that."

Orders in, I looked at my dinner companion. "So, tell me about yourself."


"Well, there’s an open-ended question. I think you’d be frightened to hear the ‘War and Peace’-length version, so I’ll supply the Reader’s Digest condensed version, how’s that?" She grinned and shook her head.

"That’s fine. Although between now and 6 tomorrow night, I hope you can come up with something to talk about. If you keep giving me the shorter variety, we’re going to run out of things to say." She raised a brow.

"Alright, alright, how’s about something in between?" I started playing with the tray containing the little squares of jam and jelly, idly wondering if it would be rude to rip one open and devour it with a spoon. As it was, I had already contemplated the little creamers in the dish to the side very seriously.

"Um, OK. My name is Zephyr Marshall, I’m 23 years old, I have an identical twin, Rayne, and a younger brother, Hunter, who’s 17. She’s a model and lives in LA, and my brother’s a senior and lives in Saddle River with my mom and dad." I leaned back in my seat, eyes on the ceiling as I thought of what to tell Annie that she might want to know about.

"I’m an assistant director for the student activities office at UA, which means I help the students in certain clubs plan events, and help plan the larger events, like concerts and Spring Arts Weekend. I’ve only been in the job about six months, but I attended school there, too, so it wasn’t exactly a stretch. I majored in English and minored in dance in undergrad, and have a Master’s – also from UA, you sensing a trend here? – in organizational planning." I grinned and gulped down the sweet carbonation of the Coke the waitress placed in front of me. I normally hated soda, but sometimes I just needed a little sugar than apple juice could provide

I twirled the little packet of jelly in my fingers, still pondering how much it would gross her out for me to eat it, and continued.

"I was born in Ridgewood, raised in Saddle River, both in New Jersey, attended school there, all of that, and only moved out to go to college almost as far away as I could get, and my parents would help pay for. They wouldn’t let me go to the University of Hawaii, unfortunately. Probably a good thing, ’cause I might have spent all my time at the beach."

She sucked on her Dr Pepper until the glass was about half-full – see, I can be an optimist – before commenting.

"I get you there. What about you, though? What do you like to do with your free time? And a dance minor? What did you want to do with that?"

I shrugged, again sipping my drink.

"I have no clue what I was thinking. I mean, it was fun to do, and I was getting the difficult stuff out with the major, so I guess I figured I’d do something that didn’t require a ton of brain power, and instead used my body. My parents thought it was impractical, but as long as I had a major they approved of, it wasn’t really an issue. And, since my sister didn’t go to college, I think they were just happy one of us did."

I cocked my head to side, thinking about her other questions.

"As for the free time thing, I guess I like to do things that keep me outside. One of the nice things about living in Arizona, and one of the other reasons I moved there, besides getting away from my parents, was the weather. It’s always nice. Like I imagine it is in San Diego, right? So, tennis, roller-blading, biking, that kind of stuff. I like to walk, and hiking is even fun when it’s with someone else. Otherwise, it feels like you’re just walking in the woods. I like to swim, but I suck at it, and when I’m on a beach, I like volleyball. For more low-impact things, I like to read and listen to music, talk up a storm–" At her raised brow, I growled, "Hey, no comments from the peanut gallery. You asked." She grinned.

"Continue, please," she said, fluttering her eyelashes and giving me a mock-imploring look.

I paused, pretending to think about it.

"Fine. I like to play video games, especially Crash Bandicoot on my Playstation, and do puzzles." I wiped at the condensation on my glass, suddenly embarrassed. "God, I sound like a singles ad." I shook my head and looked down.

The food came before she could reply, and her eyes widened at the sight of the massive cheeseburger in front of her, fries piled high on the side of her plate. We both tucked in without another word.


I stifled a moan, a cheeseburger never tasting so good. I had a reply all ready, but then I saw it and had to devour it. I added even more ketchup to it as I gobbled the burger down.

Glancing across the table, I saw Zephyr was enjoying her fajita just as much. Grinning, I grabbed my napkin and swiped at a bit of sour cream that had found its way to the corner of her mouth.

"He he, thanks." She blushed slightly and continued eating. I moved my fingers out of the way right quick, not wanting to lose one. "What about you?" she asked around a bite of chicken.

"Hmm." I chewed thoughtfully, wondering what I’d tell her. It’s not like I was terribly interesting. "Okay." I swallowed and sipped my drink. "I’m 25, grew up in Seattle, as I said, and am an only child. I went to college for my undergrad at UCLA, business, then went on to get my MBA in San Diego. I wanted to travel, so I went into the industry. Been at it for about three years with Travacations. Done nothing but travel the entire time."

"So you’ve said." Zephyr snagged a fry, giving me an apologetic look at my glare. "What about for fun?"

"Oh, whatever. As I said earlier, love to hike. Alone or otherwise, though it’s not too smart to go it alone. I envy your dancing ability – I have two left feet. I love to dance, just not in front of others. I would never make someone witness that. Instead of singing in the shower, I dance." I grinned. "Let’s see. What else. I love to write poetry, though I’m not terribly fantastic at it. I, oh! This is fun. I have a motorcycle. I love to go riding along the beach on it." I gave her a devilish grin at that. "The sand gets into some interesting places, but I still love it."

"Oh, I bet on the sand. Ouch." She wrinkled up her nose at the thought. "Kay. What else?"

"I am a good swimmer, and was on the swimming team all through school. Still have a membership at the YWCA for that very purpose. Someday I’ll get me a swimming pool at my house. Oh, happy day." I gave her a blinding smile.

"Dessert, ladies?" the waitress asked, not hiding her surprise at our two very empty plates.

"Oh yes!" I exclaimed, telling her about my desire to have a piece of French Silk pie.

"And for you?" she asked Zephyr, who was looking at me with pitiful eyes.

"Welllll, I really shouldn’t–" She grinned, all evil intent. "But I will. I want that volcano eruption chocolate thingy."

The waitress grinned. "You got it. Coming right up."

"I want to eat all the crap I can while it’s still on the airline." The blonde smiled, proud of her decision.

"Ain’t that the truth? Well, I will buy you a real dinner when we hit Tucson, I promise. One that I’m actually paying for."


After inhaling my gooey chocolate dessert and begging a bite of hers – hey, I gave her one back before sucking mine up – I was about to comment on her buying me dinner when the lights flickered and died. A few children began to cry and some of the adults began asking for assistance in the dark. Duh, as if the waitresses could see them to help them. Crashes came from a dropped tray of food, followed by an indignant, "Fuck!" There, that proved my point.

All that illuminated the restaurant were the lights of passing cars and far-off lights of the airport. Apparently, their power was still on, thanks to a generator or six thousand.

"Great," I muttered. "How is it possible to have a flashback about being on the plane when it only occurred about an hour ago? I feel like I’m in one big nightmare."

When I didn’t hear an immediate response, I kicked a foot out to the opposite seat to make sure I could still feel her there.

I started to panic slightly when I could feel nothing in the seat across from me.

"Annie?" I asked, wondering if she had just walked out. I felt the seat move as she sat down on the bench beside me.

"I’m sorry – I was just trying to concentrate on getting over here without stepping in the dropped food." She felt around for my shoulder, then followed it down to my hand, grasping it gently. Luckily, it was my other hand.

"I can’t stand when I can’t see people. It’s not a real fear of the dark, but I don’t just want to talk to you when you could just get up and go."

I nodded in agreement, then realized she couldn’t see me.

"Yeah, I hear you. That’s what I thought you had done, nut. Almost had me freaked there." She bumped my shoulder.

"Hey, what do you think we should–" Her question was interrupted by the arrival of a man who was apparently the manager.

"Good evening, may I have your attention, please?" The restaurant basically quieted, save for a few wailing children. "We are experiencing difficulties with our generator and believe it was struck by lightning. If you are staying at the Holiday Inn connected with this restaurant, please just follow the flashlight and we will use your room numbers. If you are not staying at the hotel and are paying in cash . . ."

"Hey, you wanna go?" I whispered. "She’s already got the flashlight on." I dug my keys out of my pocket and turned on the little red light attached to my key chain to illuminate the path.

"Hey, if only I’d known you had that, I wouldn’t have had to tiptoe over to this side of the table," she whispered back. I shook my head.

"I’d ask how I was supposed to know you needed it, but I think we should just get out of here while he drones on regarding the different ways people can pay." She grinned, as I could see in the light of a passing semi, and held my hand as we made our way to the hostess.

After paying our bill, we walked into the illuminated lobby of the hotel.

"Amazing. Right next door, connected even, and they have power while the restaurant doesn’t." I shook my head in wonder, then realized Annie and I were still holding hands.

"Hey there, hot stuff, I know I’m great to hold hands with, but I don’t want you damaging the other one." I bit back a grin as I watched her turn to me, an evil grin on her face. She didn’t drop my hand.


We scurried up the stairs, not wanting to trust the elevator with the power failures. As much as I wasn’t a fan of the unexpected dark, I was even less of small, dark spaces.

Finally reaching our room, hand in hand, we giggled our way in. This was so surreal. We’d survived a near plane crash, and then were left to eat in the dark as the storm seemed to follow us from air to ground.

"I just cannot believe my friggin’ luck!" Zephyr exclaimed, flopping down on the bed, me going with her as our hands were still joined. I sighed with satisfaction as my head hit the soft bedding. I was warm, well-fed and laying on a soft comforter with a fun person.

"Hey, want a drink?" I asked, remembering our little bar.

"Oh yeah. Bring it on!" Zephyr sat up as I got off the bed and headed over to it, opening the little fridge.

"Okay. We’ve got some Cuervo, Jack Daniels, itty bitty bottles of After Shock. Um, ohhhhhh, a particular favorite, we’ve got a little bottle of Hot Sex. Yum." I showed her my find and immediately claimed it for myself.

"Wasn’t that pie enough chocolate for you?" Zephyr grinned, holding her head up on her hand.

"Never. You can not have too much chocolate." Grabbing all that I found, I jumped onto the bed, little bottles clinking in my arms. "Here ya go."

"I like these." Zephyr took the After Shock and twisted off the cap.

"Hey, do you need to call anyone back home?" I twisted off the cap to my Hot Sex. If only I actually could get some hot sex.

"Nah. My rabbit won’t pick up the phone, anyway." Her green eyes twinkled as she took a pull.

"Bunny rabbit, huh? They’re so cute and soft."

"Yeah. I wanted something a little different, ya know? Everyone has a cat or a dog or something. And I’m not real fond of critters who do their exercise in a ball or wheel."

"I can understand that. I’ve got a ferret. Sneakers is my baby boy. My friend is taking care of him for me while I’m gone. He’ll be so mad when I get back. Woowee. Little man’s got a temper." I downed about a third of the bottle of the chocolaty drink. "Yummy."

"Ah. Well, Velvet won’t be too mad. She’s getting taken care of by the upstairs neighbor, and she feeds her lots and lots of lettuce and carrots. In fact, Velvy will probably be green with orange spots by time I get home." She grinned.


She chuckled at my description and finished off her bottle.

"You know, that’s the problem with these," I said, also finishing my drink. "They’re just so tiny. It’s like a regular bottle, but for Hobbits, or something." She rolled her eyes and I glared back. "You know, it’s not like I’m that big, but these are barely shot size, I think. It’ll take a couple to do anything."

Annie looked down at herself and back up to me.

"Yeah, and look at me. But I don’t drink much, so it might have an effect sooner than if I was a total lush. Plus, with you just finishing school, you probably have more of a tolerance than I do."

I raised a brow at her assessment. "You think so, do you? I’m not so sure. Are you assuming that I drank a lot in school? Why, because that was your Friday and Saturday night activities?" I lifted my chin in challenge as I opened another bottle.

"Hardy har. No, I drank, but only occasionally. And as for my assumption, weeeellll, maybe there was a teeny one." She scrunched her nose and put her fingers a hair’s width apart to indicate how small her assumption really was.

"Uh huh." I gave her a dour look and opened a bottle of tequila for her. "Just for that, drink, woman."

She shook her head and scooted back on the bed. "Nuh uh, not a chance. The last time I drank one of those, I got so wasted that I didn’t wake up until about 5 the next evening with a killer hangover and hickeys all over my neck and chest. There was no one in the room, so I had no idea what happened, and the fact that I can’t remember an entire day of my life is very disturbing to me. I don’t admit that to too many people."

I put my hand to my chest and smirked. "I’m honored."

She lowered her face and looked at me under her brows.

"You should be," she said, her voice menacing. Then she straightened up and grinned toothily.

I shook my head at her antics.

"So, what now? You want to just sit around and drink and talk? I can’t say I’ve done that in awhile." I said before glowering at her. "No matter what some people may think." She had the decency to look at least a little bashful – but it didn’t last long.


"Hmm. I don’t know. Know any drinking games?" I leaned back against the pillows on my elbows, legs stretched out before me with crossed ankles.

"Lemme think." She grabbed the bottle of Jack Daniels. "This stuff tastes so bad." She grimaced as she drank. "Quarters? Nah, that’s boring."

"Truth or dare?" I grinned, my own eyes full of mischief. She looked at me and shared my look.

"You’re on." She took another drink, these decidedly smaller than those of After Shock.

"Nasty?" she nodded with another grimace. "Yeah, this stuff is spectacular." I held up the little bottle of rum I’d grabbed in lieu of the tequila. "So, you start. Truth or dare?"

"Um, truth. I’m not drunk enough for a dare yet."

"Okay. How many people have you slept with?"

"Two," Zephyr answered, looking slightly sheepish.

"Two?! Wow. You are a good girl." I ducked the pillow she threw at me, trying to save my little bottle from the floor.

"Truth or dare, hickey girl." It was her turn to duck the wrath of the pillow.

"Dare. I can dare to be different."

"Dare to be lame, too. Ow!" She rubbed the place on her leg where she’d just been pinched. "Okay, you have to," Green eyes looked to the ceiling as she tried to think of what she wanted me to do. I waited patiently, downing the rest of the rum with a grimace. "Take off your bra while everything else is still on. Even while keeping your sweatshirt on."

"Oh, this I can do," I said happily, setting the empty bottle next to its earlier twin. "I perfected this during high school." I sat up, squirming my body and turning into a contortionist until finally, with a triumphant whoop, I brought the article of clothing out of my right sleeve.

"Bravo!" Zephyr clapped. I bowed at the waist, flinging my bra at her head, which she ducked.


"Truth or dare?" Annie said after we finished giggling about her bra hanging off the lamp next to the bed.

"Um, well I’m still not too drunk, but I’m moving on to feeling pleasantly fuzzy. So I’ll take a dare, if you will, my lady." She chewed her lip as she decided what horrible punishment to inflict on me. I almost held my breath in anticipation.

A wicked grin crossed her features. I was afraid, very afraid. "Go out into the hallway and do a cheer for your college, complete with movements." My head dropped until my chin hit my chest.

"For real? You’re going to have me cheer? That’s just cruel." I shook my head as I stood up, slightly unsteady, and thought about the cheer.

A deep breath to bolster my confidence later, and I opened the door to our room. I turned to ask her to wish me luck, only to bump into her chest. I giggled and looked into her face.

"Oh, you’re going to watch?" I pouted.

She put her hands on her hips. "But of course. As if I’d tell you to do a dare, then wait in here for you to do it. I mean, it’s not like I think you won’t, but I want to see it." She grinned, big and bright, which only served to dim my features further. "I think it’s going to be hilarious." She nodded to herself as if confirming this fact.

"Oh, man . . ." I whined.

"Go on." She shoved me out the door and stuck her foot in it to keep from closing on us.

I sighed, defeated, then cleared my throat in preparation.

"Gimme an A! Gimme an R! Gimme an I! Gimme a Z-O-N-A! What’s that spell? Arizona!" Each letter was punctuated with flailing arms and kicked-out feet, and I even tried a cartwheel in the hallway. Sure glad that wall was there to stop me. I could see Annie practically falling on the floor in laughter, prompting a grin to spread on my face, despite my personal humiliation. I’d get her back later, anyway. A few doors opened in the hallway, and it looked like I had an audience as well. Luckily, it was only about 7 p.m., so we weren’t disturbing anyone’s sleep.

"Who’s going to wreck you? Arizona! Who’s going to beat you? Arizona! We’re so good, we’re so great, our team you will just come to hate! Goooooo, Arizona!" More kicking, and a very poorly executed split finished up my impromptu cheer. I bowed at the clapping from both ends of the hall, then pushed my way past Annie, who was still giggling on the floor, her foot still holding the door open.

"That," she said with a gasp, "was the funniest (gasp) freakin’ (gasp) thing I have ever (gasp) seen." She crawled in the room on her hands and knees, the door slamming shut behind her. Tears streamed down her face, and I waited for her to stop laughing, a glare on my face. Still, I couldn’t help but notice a difference between the pale woman from this afternoon dressed in a stodgy skirt-suit, and the ruddy-faced, grinning woman in front of me now. She was beautiful.

"Are you done yet?" I asked with a raised brow. I couldn’t – no, wait, scratch that – didn’t want to see what she found so amusing. I smiled ruefully, "OK, OK, you’ve had your fun at my expense, you just wait."

She finally pulled herself under control, although a tiny giggle would emerge every few minutes, and answered "truth" to my question.

"Chicken. I’ll get you next time, you know that, don’t you?"

She stuck her tongue out at me. "Yeah, yeah, promises, promises," she said, showing off her hand. "Do you see me trembling?"

I rolled my eyes. "Oh my god, that is SO high school!" I said in mock Valley Girl voice. "Alright, back to business. Who did you lose your virginity to, and how old were you?"


"Hmm," I tapped my chin with my fingers, still trying not to giggle from Zephyr’s earlier antics. My brain was muddled from the two bottles I’d consumed, plus the near third. "I was sixteen, and it was to this really cute guy named Miguel. Yeah, that was it. Miguel Sanders."

"Sixteen?! Damn, girl. You didn’t waste any time." Zephyr plopped down on the bed, bottle of champagne in hand. "Want some?"

"Uh huh." I took a swig of the rum, nearly emptying the bottle. "We must be getting desperate if we’re drinking champagne." I giggled, followed by a quiet belch which sent us laughing again. "Truth or dare?"

"Truth!" my new friend exclaimed, hands held up in surrender. I giggled again. I seemed to be doing a lot of that.

"Okay. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done sexually?"

"Ohhhhh boy." She got the cutest little look of concentration on her face as she pondered my question. "I guess I’d have to say the time when my ex went down on me in the fitting room of a Gap store once."

"Holy shit! Really?"

"Yup." She swigged from the champagne and handed it to me. "You know, we’re going to run out of alcohol here soon." She showed me the bottle, and how it was already half gone.

"Give me some of that, you lush." I took a large pull from it, then passed it back.

"How the hell did you lose your virginity at sixteen?" Zephyr asked, as if her mind just caught up with my answer.

"Oh. Well, we went to the movies, and he started doing stuff, you know, putting his hands different places and stuff," I explained. "We’d already been messing around, and well, oops." I widened my eyes for emphasis.

"Yeah, oops." Zephyr handed me the green bottle before she finished it all. I grabbed it, finishing off my rum, then downing the champagne. "Hey, should we go get some more?" I asked, swishing the itty bit of liquid around the bottom of the bottle.

"Sure. I’ll go grab some." Zephyr stood, albeit shakily, and looked at me. "You stay put, young lady."

"Aye, aye!" I saluted her. "Are you gonna be okay?"

"Sure thing, captain. I saw a liquor store next door to Denny’s. Hopefully they have lights."

Once I was alone in the room, I stretched out on the bed, letting my fingers and feet touch the head and footboard of the bed, enjoying the good stretch. With a small groan and a smile, I was feeling good. This was fun, and I planned to thoroughly enjoy myself.


I jogged to the elevator, realized I didn’t have my wallet, jogged back to my room, weaving a little as I went, knocked, pushed past Annie once she opened the door, grabbed my wallet from the side table and ran out the door, never saying a word.

"Wha–" was the last I heard as I again jogged toward the elevators, then thought better of it and took the stairs. The only thing worse than being stuck in an elevator with someone else was being stuck in an elevator by yourself. Or at least, so I imagined. I didn’t want to find out.

After five floors, I pushed open the door to the lobby and walked sedately to the outside. For some reason, I didn’t want them to suspect I’d been drinking, although if I weaved any more, they weren’t going to just suspect. No matter. Once outside, and in the deluge of water falling, I again began jogging until I realized I didn’t know where I was going.

"You dumbass." I looked for the Denny’s sign, but it remained unlit. Luckily, Howie’s Bottles was still lit and I headed in that direction.

Once I’d secured a large bottle of Hot Sex, another of Amaretto and a bottle of 79 Blackberries, I headed back to the room, brown paper bag making me feel like a wino. It could have been worse – it could have been one bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag, which would have made it look like I was drinking it all myself. As it was, I got over my self consciousness quickly and kicked on the door to our room.

"Come on, roomie, open up!" I continued kicking until she opened the door. The television was on, and she had changed into her night clothes.

"Ooh, good idea." I thrust the bag at her and grabbed my bag, making short work of my clothes and switching them with a grey tank and boxers, my back to her the whole time.

In the meantime, she pulled out the Hot Sex and twisted off the cap, taking a pull immediately.

"Hey, you lush, you wait!" I grabbed it from her, some sloshing over the side, and batted her hands away from getting it back. I shook my head slowly. "Tsk tsk. Just for that, you have to do a dare next, regardless of what you wanted." She pouted and hung her head, giving me the most adorable look.

I almost caved.

"No. I’ll give it back, but you have to do a dare. I have one all in mind." I gave her my own version of a cute look, hoping she would agree.

" Fine. But only because I was already planning on doing a dare next."

I stuck my tongue out at her again. "Just you wait. OK, you have to run downstairs, throw open the door to the lobby, moon them, then run back upstairs." I gave her a wicked grin.

She looked aghast. "What if there are children? I don’t want to mess with kids."

I eyed her. "Not a chance of getting out of this. And besides, don’t children have butts? They’re going to be alright. It won’t traumatize them or anything. So stop trying to get out of it."

She glared at me, then lifted her chin in defiance.

"Fine." She grabbed the room key and marched into the hallway, head still held high. I rubbed my hands in anticipation. Annie looked over her shoulder as I closed the door behind me.

"You are so dead when we get back."

She walked, ever-so-slowly, to the first floor and stood inside the door, moving aside as one cluster of people came through, not even noticing us.

"We’re so gonna get in trouble," she mumbled, poking her head out. Seeing something that must have looked okay, she turned around, holding the door open with her shoulder, and dropped her shorts to wiggle her butt at the people in the lobby. A few gasps and an "Oh my god!" later, we were both running full throttle to the fifth floor, gasping as we flung ourselves into the room and on the bed, breath short from trying to laugh and run.

"Did you see the look on that one woman’s face?" I asked, having peeked through the sliver of a window near the hinges, my stomach tight from laughing so hard.

"No, I couldn’t exactly look at reactions, you know?" she said, wiping her eyes. I calmed my giggling and described the look of abject horror on the grey-haired woman’s face. "I thought her eyebrows were going to disappear into her hairline."

She shook her head. "You’re so bad. I probably gave all those people a heart attack with your dare."

"Why? You have a nice butt. Maybe they were simply admiring." I grinned. No such luck.

"Uh huh. You goon. Truth or dare?" I thought for a second.




"Fine. Truth it is." I grabbed the neck of the Hot Sex bottle and took a swig. "Yum. Cold, even." I smiled into the bottle. "Alrighty, you, dear Zephyr, must tell me if you masturbate, and if so, how often."

"Wait, that’s two!" the blonde whined.

"Ah, come on. Be a sport." I handed over the bottle, readjusting my sweat shorts from their recent disturbance of the mooning.

"Fine." She brought the bottle to her lips, and only took a small drink. "Yes, and as often as possible." She gave me a shit-eating grin.

"And how often is that?" I re-capped the bottle and set it on the side table. I wanted to hold off before I got really sloshed.

"Five to six times a week. Sometimes more. It all depends." She laid back, hands tucked neatly behind her head.

"Wow." I also laid back, my head toward the bottom of the bed, and Zephyr’s socked feet near my arm.

"Truth or dare, Annie."

"Dare. See? I’m a courageous woman."

"Hah! You’re a loon."

"Yes, but I’m a courageous one." I grinned, Zephyr snorted.

"Fine." She thought for a moment, chewing on her fingernail. "I want you to fake an orgasm for me."

"Do what?!" I bolted upright, looking at the girl like she was nuts. She had another shit-eating grin on her beautiful face.

"You heard me. I’m waiting."

"Alright." I cleared my throat and closed my eyes, leaned back on my elbows. I threw my head back and began to softly moan, all breathy and needy. Slowly the pitch began to get higher, the breathiness giving way to moans and an occasional groan. Finally I was yelling out, my voice strong and filled with pleasure. "Oh yes, yes! Oh, god. Please, oh yes! Zephyr!" My voice rang off the walls, and Zephyr nearly flung herself off the bed from her laughter, especially at hearing her name. I grinned, watching her mirth.


After Annie’s fake orgasm, I just couldn’t hold it together. I’d just look at her and think of her butt scaring that woman and her orgasm probably freaking out the family next door, and I’d be on the floor, laughing.

Finally, I crawled onto the bed. "Alright, I’ve been given my lesson in courage. Dare."

"That’s the spirit," she crowed, finally back in her original position, hands again behind her head. She pursed her lips, then an evil grin dominated her face. She looked from the ceiling to me.

I took a drink of the 97 Blackberries for courage.

"Gimme a strip tease, complete with your own music." She propped herself up on her forearms, crossed her ankles, and looked at me expectantly.

I was about to ask if she was kidding, but decided against it. "Alriiiight," I practically purred. There was nothing sexual in it, but the game had taken a decidedly decadent turn, and I was ready to go all out. "To what level of clothing?"

The evil grin spread. "Bra and underwear."

Hiding my surprise, I put my bottle down to save myself from taking another drink. If I got too drunk, none of this would surprise me, and I’d just agree to anything.

"Wait, I don’t have either one on." I pulled at my tank to indicate.

"Then put them on," she said, as though talking to a small child. I narrowed my eyes.

"Ahem. OK, I can do that." I stood up, grabbed the articles in question, and put them on in the bathroom. It seemed a little odd to put clothes on, only to take some off, but this wasn’t about good sense. This was about fun. I came out, took my socks off, and faced her. Starting with some tunes I knew from various artists, I bobbed to my beat and began pulling at the thin material of my tank. Soon, I was pulling the tank over my head, my hips gyrating in time with the music.

Giving her the sexiest look I could muster while still singing poorly, I swiveled my hips and hooked my thumbs in my boxers, glad I had at least put on my bikini underwear instead of a thong. Oh, the little things in life. Thrusting my satin-clad chest out, I slowly started inching the striped silk boxers down my hips, throwing in little dance moves I’d learned in school. Walking near the bed, I came to about six inches from her face and continued to pull my boxers from my body, bending over and giving her a nice glimpse of cleavage.

Straightening up, I held my arms out and bowed at the waist.

"How was that?" I asked, proud of myself. I may have had a dance minor, but that didn’t mean I knew how to strip! Still, I had gotten through it valiantly, or so I thought. I didn’t really understand the look on her face, though.

"Hello?" I asked, waving a hand in front of her face.


"Um," I cleared my throat. "Have you done that before?" It had become decidedly warm in the room.

"No. Why?" Zephyr gathered up her discarded clothing and pulled them on.

"Well, you’re a little too good at that."

"Ohhhh, why thank you." The blonde grinned and reclined back on the bed again. "Your turn. Truth or dare?"

"Oh, truth." I sighed, looking at her, waiting for the terrible secret I’d have to reveal.

"Chicken. Okay, um let me think." Zephyr grabbed a stray piece of her golden hair and examined it up close and personal. Finally her eyes flicked to me. "What is the one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the guts to?"

"Oh boy. That’s a tough one."

"Oh, what, have you done everything?" Zephyr smirked.

"Hardly." I smacked her leg. "I guess I’d have to say, I’m a bit of an exhibitionist. I think." I wrinkled my brow at the thought, then shook it free. "I think I’d want to do it somewhere where we could get caught, you know? Some sort of public place. Like in the stacks of a library or something."

"Ah. Okey dokey."

"So?" I sat up, looking my friend in the eye. "Truth or dare, Zephyr?"


"Truth." I still had to control my quickly-beating heart from giving a strip tease to someone I barely knew and who was giving me a look that could melt steel. Ahem. Not that I thought it was sexual, per se, but she was beautiful and staring at me with a challenging look in her eye, her face flushed – from drinking, of course – and it was a lot to take in.

Annie smirked at me. "And you say I’m a chicken." I stuck my tongue out at her.

She raised a brow. "Careful with that. I might have to go get the ice tongs."

Both my brows shot up at that one. "Oh really," I drawled. "How kinky."

She rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Oh yeah, please, please, Zephyr, do me with the ice tongs. Or perhaps you could grab a potato masher while you’re down in the kitchen. Think that’d be fun?"

I grimaced, thinking of the pain that would entail. "Um, yeah, no. How’s about that question, gorgeous?"

She eyed me before lifting her head to think of a good question. Oh God, what is that smile for? She looks like a child of the devil.

"Alright, Zeph, tell me your favorite masturbation technique. All of it."

"Oh gee, why not go for a really personal one?" She shrugged, still grinning evilly.

"Well, I’d have to say I usually start with my breasts. When I’m in the mood, I play with my nipples a lot. Like, I’ll be at school and be feeling . . . in an interesting mood . . . and I’ll just start to discretely brush against them. When I can finally go home, if that’s the case, then I usually strip down to, uh, bare essentials."

My word, it was getting hot in here. My nipples were standing at attention as I thought of that delicious feeling of playing with them and tried to imagine how I could get away with it with Annie looking at me like she was hanging on every word.

I shook myself out of my little fantasy scenarios. "Um, by then, I’m usually pretty, uh, wet." I locked eyes with her and imagined myself sprawled on my full-size bed at home, legs bent at the knees, feet flat on the sheets, my hand running over my nipples down to between my legs and being coated with wetness. Talking became automatic as I simply described the picture I saw, still looking into her beautiful blue eyes.

"So I use the heel of my hand to pass over my clit, which makes me jump, then I slowly encircle it with my fingers, using my fingertips, then the pads of my fingers, I start to move faster and faster. I’ll lift my head and clench my abs to make it stand out more, and my right hand will continue rubbing it in a circle while my other hand plays with my nipples." My voice appeared to be hypnotizing Annie, as her features had become completely still and her eyes had glazed over here. I hope she’s OK. I know I’m not. Can she tell what talking about this is doing to me?

"It never takes that long before I come and slowly keep circling until my hips jerk one last time." Alright, I was done. My god, teach her to ask me questions like that. I think I’m sweating.



I swallowed hard, realizing that my name was being said. "Huh?" I answered intelligibly. "Sorry. I was um, well, okay. Interesting."

Zephyr smirked. "So truth or dare?"

"Dare." My voice was low and husky, surprising myself. I was totally turned on, and had no idea why.

My blonde little friend looked at me for a moment, chewing on her lower lip as she thought of her dare. Why on earth I chose to do a dare I will never know. From there on out I should have said truth. Hindsight.

"Okay, miss Annie. Do you like your breasts played with?" I nodded slowly at her question, wondering what she had in store for me. "Okay. Keeping your shirt on, I want you to reach underneath it and play with ‘em."

My eyes widened to the size of saucers. "What?!" Zephyr grinned.

"Come on, woman. If I can totally embarrass myself, so can you. Besides, I double dog dare ya."

"Oh oh, now that’s not nice," I purred. "A double dog dare. Alright, fine." I cleared my throat and then brought my hand down to the hem of the t-shirt I wore, my bra already long gone from my first dare. I could feel the heat radiating off my skin, nearly burning my hand. Green eyes watched intently as I felt the round underside of my left breast, and my eyes automatically closed. My body tensed, readying itself for the pleasure it knew would soon follow.

I opened my eyes just a smidge, and saw wide green eyes watching my hand’s every move. Closing my eyes again, I felt the beginning rigidity of my nipple as my fingertip brushed across it. I licked my lips and pinched the now fully hard nipple between thumb and forefinger, a soft sigh escaping my slightly parted lips. I stretched my fingers out and used my palm to slowly rub over the nipple in a circle, feeling jolts of pleasure shoot through to my core.

Knowing that I was being watched, and not wanting Zephyr to think that I was acting in total wanton desperation, I gave my breast one final squeeze and removed my hand.

Zephyr was still watching intently, her mouth hanging open slightly, in shock I imagined.

"Damn," she whispered, reaching for the bottle of Hot Sex and taking a swig, her eyes never straying from me. I gave her a slightly satisfied grin, seeing the flush on her cheeks, and knowing it was because of what she had just witnessed. I wasn’t so worried about her thinking badly of me anymore.

"How was that?" I asked, taking the offered bottle from her hands. I agreed that perhaps a drink was a good idea.

"Um, holy shit!" She grinned, wiping the Hot Sex mustache from her upper lip. "Oh, and dare." She winked.


I waited for what seemed an interminable amount of time for her to pick the dare. I mean, after what I had just asked of her, I knew it wouldn’t be something simple, like yelling "I fuck dogs for fun!" from the balcony.

She glanced at me and I held my breath.

"OK, Zephyr. You wanted a dare, you got it." Was she purring? I braced myself.

"Go under the covers and follow through with it." I looked at her, half quizzically, half disbelieving. "Do what?"

She smirked. "You heard me. Get under the covers and do as you described just two minutes ago." My eyes widened as she made herself very clear what she wanted me to do.

"Come on," she coaxed, softly. "What are you afraid of? I’m not going to see anything." I thought about it another few seconds, then peeled back the ugly comforter and climbed into the crisp, white sheets. She stayed on the bottom corner of the bed, back against the footboard, watching me.

A moment of wiggling and my pajamas were in my hand, then dropped to the floor on the side of the bed. She looked surprised at that move and took another small swig from the bottle. I grinned. I think she’s more nervous than I am. That helped.

I closed my eyes and brought back the picture of me taking care of my needs on my bed at home and brought my knees up, my hands going exactly through the motions I had described to Annie only a few moments ago.

I opened my eyes just enough to look at Annie, then shut them, the image of her eyes glued to the slow movements of my hands under the blankets etched in my brain. She just looked like the epitome of sex with her face flushed, her eyes dark and focused. I had never seen anything hotter, and it only increased the ease through which my hand glided down my center. I was wet, to say the least.

Midway through my dare, I took my hand off my breast to hold the covers away from the movement of my other hand, as they impeded my process. While Annie was probably unable to see anymore of the movements under the comforter, she could definitely see the top of my breasts as they pulled down from the extra tugging.

Minutes later, I came hard, my hips jerking off the bed as I said they would. My eyes squeezed shut, so I missed any of Annie’s reactions, but at that moment, I didn’t care. I have no idea what came over me to go through with this dare, to come in the presence of someone I had met just that day, but all I could think about was how hot it was to be watched.

I never knew I was like that.

Finally, my body relaxed and hands stilled, the left hand dropping the sheets and my right hand resting gently against my sweat- and sex-dampened curls. I opened my face to look into the lust-filled countenance of the woman at the end of the bed, now sitting cross-legged, her chest moving quickly and her eyes half-hooded.

How was it that after one glance, I was more tense after relieving the pressure than I was before?


I swear by all that I am that that was the sexiest thing I had ever seen. My heart was pounding, blood blazing through my veins. I had never been so turned on in all my life.

I could see the relaxed pleasure across Zephyr’s face, and for a moment, I envied her that release. When all her movements stilled, she opened her eyes and looked into mine. I was lost, completely and utterly lost. The ache between my legs was nearly unbearable, and my breasts screamed out for attention. The few minutes of fondling they’d received a few moments before long forgotten, and certainly not enough to ease this fire.

Zephyr took a deep breath and ran a hand through her hair. I couldn’t help but wonder if that was the hand that had been between her legs mere moments before. Her eyes were a darker green than they had been before, and she was totally flushed. Beautiful.

"There you go," she said finally, her voice deep and breathy. I nodded, unable to say anything. With a deep release of breath, she sat up, keeping the blankets around her mid-section, but pulled her shirt on to hide the soft-looking flesh that had begun to be revealed.

I swallowed again, shaking myself out of my lustful reverie. What was wrong with me? Hell, for that matter, what was wrong with us? It had been far too long for me.

"Okay. So I say dare. What’cha got for me?" I barely recognized my own voice, so deep and filled with need. Zephyr looked at me for a moment, then cleared her throat.

"Okay." She thought for a moment, again biting that lower lip, which caught my attention. I watched the play of white teeth and lip as it was sucked in, chewed on, then released, only to be sucked in again. She looked at me, eyes filled with mischief. Oh shit. "Are you wet, Annie?"

"Yes," I said, a nervous smile on my lips.

"I want to hear it. Keeping the undies and shorts on, I want to hear just how wet you are."

"Right here?" I pointed to my place, nearly hugging the footboard now. She nodded. "Okay." I took several deep breaths, then pulled my legs out from their Indian-style position, raising my knees slightly, feet flat on the bed. I wiggled my hand down the waistband of my shorts then panties. Keeping my eyes on her, her eyes glued to my hand, I delved into the warm wetness. Oh my god, was I wet! I had never been so wet in my entire life. The moment my fingers slipped into the folds, they were instantly covered. I could smell myself, too. I wondered if Zephyr could.

Using my index and middle fingers, I ran them through the wetness, sucking in a breath each time they moved over my extremely extended clit. I could hear the wet sounds easily, and figured my green-eyed companion could, too. I looked at her for confirmation of this fact. She brought that pink tongue out and swiped at her lower lip, cheeks flushed.

I swirled my fingers around for good measure, sure to catch my clit again, then brought my hand out. They were covered from tip to knuckle, the skin slick and fragrant.

"My god," Zephyr whispered, taking in what I showed her.


I don’t think I’m going to make it through this. I don’t think I’m going to make it through this. I don’t . . .

"Truth or dare, Zephyr," Annie said in the huskiest voice I had ever heard. Her voice just added to my wetness factor, and the smell of her fingers covered in her wetness – I never knew I could get turned on by that. Screw the fact it was a woman, which was new to me in itself, but I hated the scent and sight of semen, so I never knew someone’s come could ever get me wet.

"Dare," I croaked, knowing it was dangerous to do so, but unable to resist the magnetism of the woman less than two feet away. Her eyes, her body caught me on fire. And the sight of those glistening digits was driving me wild.

All of a sudden, they were coming toward me. I glanced at Annie, who looked back at me, a challenge in her eyes, her tongue coming to slowly suckle her lower lip. They were so full. So red. So–

"Lick me." Gulp.

I stared at her two fingers, coated still, wet, glistening, and smelling like nothing I’d ever smelled.

I sucked in my bottom lip, chewing on it, my heart racing at the idea but not wanting to back down from the challenge. I closed my eyes in preparation, then opened them to stare into hers.

I never lost eye contact with her as I slowly opened my mouth and moved until I could close my lips and fully encompass both digits. Her eyes shut as the warmth of my mouth and tongue closed in on her slick skin and I began slowly, very slowly, licking off her juices. I kept my lips near the base of her fingers as I continued to clean them, tongue running up and down their lengths, licking the webbing between them, and swirling around in an effort to suck off every taste of her.

I watched her face, watched her eyes open to mere slits as she allowed her head to fall backward ever so slightly, a delightfully long neck revealed through her hair. Her lips parted and I moved from the two very clean fingers to her thumb, her ring finger, her pinky, loving the way her breath was coming out in shorter bursts with each finger I suckled.

Any trace of her was long gone from the original two digits, but I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t stop – I wanted more. Finally, though, I released them from my reluctant mouth and her hand dropped to the blanket.

It took a minute before her eyes opened fully, and even then they still looked half-hooded. Her pupils were dilated, and I swore, despite having just cleaned her hand, I could still smell her. And it was mixing with my scent.

I lowered my head and looked up at her through my lashes.

"Truth or dare, Annie."

"Truth," came the slightly tremulous and very breathy reply. My nipples were so hard, the fabric of my shirt was making me uncomfortable and I longed to whip it off.

So I did.

Her eyes glued to my breasts, I asked the one question that had been on my mind for the past fifteen minutes: "What do you want right now, Annie?" I held my breath and waited for her response.


I was finally able to get my breathing under control, that is, until Zephyr took her shirt off. My eyes bulged at the sight of those breasts, so round and full. I had never seen another woman’s breasts before, other than in movies and such. There they were, so close, nipples hard and begging for attention.

At Zephyr’s question, I looked into her eyes, trying to read her. There was so much desire in them. The green was nothing but lust and want and need. I’m sure they matched my own.

"What do I want? Right now?" I breathed, my voice no longer working fully. She nodded, eyes darting all over my face. That tongue sneaked out yet again. I had to wonder what she thought of my taste, and what I thought of my sanity for suggesting such a thing. But for now, my eyes stayed on that tongue, then on the lips that hid it once more. "I want you to kiss me."

Without a word, Zephyr closed her eyes and moved in. I closed mine as well, in anticipation. I felt the soft coolness of those lips on mine, and I melted, pouring out in a stream of lava between my legs. I could taste the chocolaty alcohol on her lips as she moved closer to me. I braced myself with my hands on the bed as I leaned into her more. I wanted more. Opening my lips, I felt her act in kind, and suddenly her wet tongue was caressing my lower lip.

My downfall.

Pushing on her shoulders, Zephyr went down, and I went on top of her. I could feel her bare breasts pushing into shirt-clad ones. I didn’t want that, so I pushed up onto my knees and whipped mine off as well. I looked down at her, seeing all my passions reflected back at me.

"Truth or dare, Zephyr," I whispered, staring down at her heaving chest.

"Truth." She gasped, hands reaching up for me, but I stopped her, holding her hands in my own.

"What do you want right now?" I leaned over her, breasts dangling just mere inches above her own. She eyed them, then looked into my eyes.

"I want you to fuck me," she moaned, and that was all it took. I laid myself down fully atop her, both of us moaning at the unbelievable feel of soft skin on soft skin, breast to breast.

"God you feel good," I gasped, running my hand down her side, then scratching my fingernails back up. In answer, Zephyr leaned up and kissed me, hard and deep. I felt my entire body erupt as fire spread from my lips to the tips of my breast to my crotch. God, I wanted her so bad.


I didn’t think I could get any wetter, but at the feel of her nipples dragging across my own, I felt my liquid desire multiply ten-fold. And her kisses. I thought the Hot Sex was intoxicating, but I had a feeling this would be hotter sex than anything anyone ever dreamed of, if her kisses were any indication. They were lethal.

I slipped my hands in the waistband of her shorts and panties to grasp her butt and squeeze as we kissed again and again, some slow and gliding in their wetness, some full of the fire my body appeared to have turned into. She made me pulse. At least I had gotten release – she must be dying, and it was my job to make her die over and over again. I relished the thought and rolled her over until she was beneath me.

On my hands and knees I knelt over her, breasts swinging inches from her own, as she had done to me. Who knew anyone could feel this good?

I looked into her darkened eyes, her lips full and partially opened.

"Do you want me, Annie?" I asked, hooking my fingers into my boxers. She could only nod as her eyes took in where my hands rested. I crawled off her and stood up and watched her eyes taking in my hands as they pushed the boxers off my body.

"Zephyr," she groaned. She began to tug at her own shorts and I watched, my hand heading to my nipple of its own accord, as she pulled them down deliciously long, smooth legs.

I got back on the bed and crawled up her body, slowly, dragging my nipples from her navel to her breasts and back down again before laying my body on hers. Our moans intertwined like our bodies, and I reached under hers to push her hips into mine. Her hands joined in the thrusting as they found their way to my lower back and pushed down.

"Oh, fuck, Annie," I ground out, my breathing shallow. "You feel so good." Her legs opened in response, and all of a sudden, our clits were sliding, slick and hard, against one another. Her back arched and I leaned down to lick and suck up the length.

I’d never tasted anything as good as she did.


I thought I was going to explode just from her body on mine, but when I felt her hot, wet clit touch mine, I nearly jumped out of my skin. I called out, thrusting my hips up into her for more contact. As she sucked and licked my neck and upper chest, my fingers dug into her skin as my body exploded. I had never come so quickly before, and felt like tiny little aftershocks were sweeping through me as we continued to rub together.

Zephyr’s own movement quickened as she was affected by the slickness of our sex sliding against each other. She began to thrust her hips faster against me, and I matched her stroke for stroke. My body was already sizzling and ready to go again. As she thrust against me, I reached down, wanting to feel her. I stuck my hand between our bodies, and my lover raised her hips just enough to accommodate my fingers.

"Yes," she groaned, reaching down to guide my fingers inside her. She impaled herself on my hand over and over again. It was the most amazing sensation to be inside her. She was warm and soft and pure liquid fire. I had no idea what I was doing, so I let her body guide the way to her own pleasure.

Looking up into Zephyr’s face at the brink of release made me wet all over again. Her face was flushed, eyes tightly closed, mouth open, and long, blonde hair flung back across her shoulders and back. She was truly gorgeous and sexy as hell. I wanted to make her come so bad I decided to forgo my own release and concentrate on hers.

Finally with a loud cry, and a shuddering body, Zephyr came, and she came hard. She ground herself into me and my hand, rubbing every ounce of release she could. Falling against me, she blindly found my mouth again, and her tongue pinned mine, taking control, dominating the kiss.

"Oh, Annie," she moaned into my mouth, her body moving already. My hips matched her, my knees raising so she fit between my legs better. It was strange, but during that moment, I realized how very different it was to have a naked body between your legs that did not have a stiff, probing object connected. I kind of liked it.

Zephyr began to move her hips, her pubic bone pressing into me, giving my clit all the pressure it needed. I felt jolts of pleasure begin to surge through me as she began to move her hips. I moved mine in time with hers, spreading my legs as far they’d go to make my clit stand up that much more for better contact.

My lover raised herself on her hands, and stared down into my own flushed face as she pounded into me, a look of such determination on her face, I knew this orgasm would rip me apart. I looked forward to it.


Annie’s moans were coming closer together as she moved with me, and I knew her release was imminent. I watched as her eyes squeezed shut, her neck arched up and her face flushed as she locked her legs around my body and came, groaning my name as she did so.

I’d heard my name on others’ lips, but my name on Annie’s lips made me wet all over again. I wanted her, again and again. I wanted to drive her wild in any way, and I wanted to try it all.

She looked up at me, dazed, hair sticking to her forehead with sweat.

"Mmm, kiss me, baby." I gladly complied, my lips finding hers, but not to dominate this time. No, I wanted to make her wet with slow, long, deep, languorous kisses.

I rolled to the side and she followed, both of us propping our heads up with one arm. I hooked my arm behind her back to pull her as close as humanly possible, my right leg sliding between hers, her right leg lifting slightly to press against me. My breath caught as I realized I was ready again.

My right hand moved from behind her to her breast, where I began pinching and pulling her nipple – doing all the things to her breasts that I knew I liked. With each tug and passing of my palm over her hardened flesh, she sighed and moaned into my mouth. I kept the kisses slow, even though I just wanted to devour and ravage her mouth and body.

I finally broke the kiss and looked into her face as I lowered my lips to her breast, running the tip of my tongue around the outside of the pebbled area and spiraling toward the center. I flicked the tip of her nipple with my tongue and her back came off the bed.

"Zephyr, please." I grinned against her breast and flicked it again.

"Please what, gorgeous?" I was toying with her and knew it, but could not resist hearing that sex-roughened voice pleading for me. I’d never get tired of it.

"I . . . I want–"

Whatever she was going to say was lost on her delicious tongue as I enveloped as much of her breast into my mouth as possible and suckled, hard. She groaned as I flexed my thigh muscle and pushed herself into me, a trail of wetness coating my skin as she slid up and down. I could feel the stiffness of her clit on my leg, and I again rolled her onto her back, my lips only leaving her breast for as long as that took before they were back on the puckered skin.

I continued to slide my tongue around her nipple as my right hand found her other breast and began pulling at the peak it found there – just so it wouldn’t feel left out, of course. I continued to thrust my thigh against her, delighting in the moans and groans she released as she pushed faster and harder against me. She was so fucking hot.

"Come on, baby. Come for me," I whispered against her breast. She must have been on the verge, because it wasn’t long before her hands were behind my head, pushing me into her warm skin, and she was pulsing against my leg. I could feel her wetness all over my thigh, and all I wanted to do was lick it off. She tasted so good.

But I didn’t get a chance as I found myself on my back, her hair falling in curtains around my body, her breasts over me, and a feral grin on her lips.

"Paybacks, my dear." And then her tongue was in my mouth.


I felt a ferocity come over me that I had never known before. I ravaged Zephyr’s mouth, sucking her tongue into my own, nipping at her lips, teasing her. All the while, my fingers began to roam. I wanted to explore her glorious body any way I could. Then I got an idea.

As my mouth left hers, I began to drift down her body, taking her rigid nipple into my mouth, tonguing it, feeling how it stiffened even more under my touch, then I sucked it in, hearing her hiss a breath, fingers digging into my hair as she arched into me. I moved my body so my stomach rested against the unbelievable wetness of her center. She was trying to thrust up into me, finding some sort of purchase.

"Not yet, baby," I teased, raising my stomach just enough so she couldn’t get any relief. She whimpered, her head flailing from side to side. Leaving her breasts, I moved down further, licking a trail down the line of her stomach, her smell getting stronger and stronger. It drove me mad with desire.

Feeling the slight tickle of her wiry hair on my neck, I looked to see what was spread out before me. Grinning like an idiot, I caught her eye and lowered my face.

"Oh god!" Zephyr’s head flopped back against the pillow as I swiped my tongue through her overflowing wetness. Her taste upon my tongue, though foreign, was not at all unpleasant. In fact, it turned me on beyond anything I’d known. I think this was mainly because it knew it was due to me that it was there in the first place.

As I swirled my tongue around, tasting and getting a feel for the lay of the land, I glanced up at her. I could see her breasts heaving with every breath, which were coming faster and faster. I found her clit, but tried to stay away from it. I wasn’t ready for her to come yet. So, instead I searched until the tip of my tongue disappeared inside her opening. This brought out a deep, throaty groan from my lover, as well as her fingers into my hair, grabbing at what she could. It hurt, but I didn’t care.

I began to slowly fuck her with my tongue, feeling it being sucked in with every thrust, my fingers grasping the soft skin of her thighs as I moaned into what I was doing. Zephyr’s hips were moving nearly nonstop now, and it was getting harder and harder to grab hold.

"Please, Annie," she breathed between pants, so I decided to end the torture, and moved up to her clit. Flicking it constantly was driving her nuts, and her moans were getting higher pitched and closer together, so I kept it up. Ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Zephyr came like a powerhouse, pulling my hair, her entire body thrusting up into me, my name echoing off the walls of our small room.


I sagged back against the pillow, face and body covered in a sheen of sweat, one arm draped over my eyes, trying to get my breathing under control. Blood pounded through my veins and my clit twitched against Annie’s lips in little aftershocks.

I looked down into the mischievous eyes of my lover and smiled, my legs relaxing and releasing her from the tight hold I had put on her when I came. I crooked a finger at her, beckoning her to crawl back up my body.

Kissing her and tasting myself on her lips was more incredible than I could have imagined, as my brain finally wrapped around what we had just done, and what she had just done to me.

The kisses slowed, however, and finally came to an end as she nuzzled her forehead into my neck, body draped over mine, stomach between my legs, hands tucked beneath my shoulders.

"That was incredible," she whispered into my skin, lightly kissing and licking where my neck met my shoulder. I leaned to the side to give her more access and just reveled in the feel of her on me.

"Yeah, it was." I tightened the hold I had on her body, my arms and legs wrapping her in a cocoon of limbs.

We fell asleep that way.

Two hours later, and just about every hour after that, it began again. Either she would wake me, her lips tugging gently at my nipple, and we’d start all over, or I would wake her with my tongue on her skin, and once, between her legs. I think she came before she was even fully awake, although in the end, my mouth was pressed against her opening from her hands behind my head. I didn’t mind.

Morning came, but we must have had no concept of time, other than from the light streaming in the window. The storm had passed, but we had missed the sirens from the buildings struck by lightning, the thunder as it shook the hotel, the rain pounding the window of the balcony doors – things we didn’t hear about until later, when other hotel-goers had commented on the noise.

No, we were as wrapped in each other as our bodies were, as our tongues were and hands.

The next day was no different than the night before. We ordered room service, but my hand was inside her when the knock came. It took twenty minutes before we could drag ourselves out of bed, draped in sheets, to grab the tray the waiter had left on the floor outside the door.

We took turns playing with the food. Waffles with whipped cream meant painting the creamy substance on one another and licking it off, which inevitably turned to another session of devouring everything but our breakfasts. By the time we ate the waffles, they were cold.

A shower later in the morning – or early afternoon, who knows? – proved too tempting for more carnal desires, and we ended up probably using half of the hotel’s hot water in the time we spent in there. Her skin was always too inviting. Her body too beautiful to not worship.

I felt alive.


I glanced out the window of my office, back in San Diego, a smile on my lips as I remembered the time we spent in Ohio. Oh, what an amazing time it had been. I haven’t forgotten it, even after three years.

After a teary goodbye at the Tucson Airport, Zephyr and I went our separate ways. I think about her often, but knew she had her own life, and I had mine. We never did exchange information, such as phone numbers or addresses. I don’t even remember her last name.

With a sigh, I turned back to my desk, the clutter all around me. I had taken yet another promotion, but this time, it involved much less travel. I’m glad to be at home more, and my pets are certainly grateful for it. However, I will never regret my trip to Tucson, which ended up in Columbus, Ohio, which ended up in heaven. The most amazing, exciting, sensuous, unforgettable two days of my life. Nothing can compare.

I had seen the newest tapes that had come in to our company showing all the wonders of the Arizona deserts. This had brought Zephyr and our time together back to mind. I had had lovers since then, but none ever managed to touch me the way she did. Her hands, her smile, her mouth. All of it. I missed her.

Sighing heavily, I called to my secretary to tell her to send in my two o’clock appointment. They had been waiting out there for the past five minutes as I tried to gather my thoughts together and get refocused on work, not the past.

Smoothing my skirt back into place, making sure I looked presentable and professional, I pasted my brightest smile on my face and waited for my client to enter my office. The knob turned, and the door swung open. My breath caught.


There she was, looking just as beautiful and sexy as I remembered. What in hell was I doing here? I quietly closed the door behind me and stood in front of it as she had yet to move.

I wrung the sleeve of the jacket I was carrying, twisting it in my grasp, as I looked at the woman who had haunted me for three years.

Head lowered, I looked up at Annie.

"Hey," I said, my voice quiet. Even though I knew every inch of the skin now hidden by a beautiful pale gray skirt suit, that had been three years ago. I wasn’t sure how she felt about me now, but I had to find out. I had to put that memory to rest, and leaving it the way it was at the airport, crying over our separation, was not good enough.

She walked toward me, then stopped, a little more than a foot away.

"Zephyr?" She sounded unsure. I had never heard her unsure. I bit my lip and nodded.

She seemed to remember her manners after a moment longer of staring at me, and indicated for me to sit. Rather than taking a seat behind the desk, however, she sat in the chair next to me.

"What are you doing here?" She blushed, then. "I’m sorry, that was rude. It’s just . . . you’re the last person I expected to see walk through that door."

I smiled and glanced at her again before returning my gaze to my hands locked together in a sweaty embrace in my lap.

"Well, uh," I was at a loss for words. I had practiced what I was going to say for so long, but apparently her office had a brain vacuum, because everything was gone. Blank. Wiped clean.

"I live here now, well, I got job at UCSD, and I, uh, remembered you worked here, and, um, looked your company up online . . ." My voice trailed off. It all sounded so stupid now, and I felt ridiculous for having made the trip. I stood up.

"I’m sorry, I’ll go." I moved toward the door, face aflame with embarrassment. What was I thinking? That she’d see me and rip my clothes off? Absurd.


I was thunderstruck. Speechless. Amazed and terrified. Then it hit me. She was leaving!

"No!" I surprised myself, as well as Zephyr, with the force of that word. I hung my head for a moment, getting my thoughts together. "Sorry. Please. Stay." I put my hand on her arm, looking into her eyes, hoping she’d see that I really wanted her to stay. I looked up at her, pleading with my eyes. "Sit? We should talk."

"Okay." Zephyr reclaimed her seat, though she seemed hesitant and tremulous. She folded her hands in her lap, eyes anywhere but on me. I took that opportunity to look at her, take her in. She looked just as beautiful. Her hair was a little longer, slightly blonder, rather by sun or bottle. Her eyes were just as startlingly green as before. Beautiful.

"I’ve really missed you." It was out of my mouth before I even knew what hit me. I hung my head again, looking up at her from under my bangs, the picture of sheepishness. To my surprise, Zephyr had brightened immensely.

"Really?" I smiled, nodded.


"Oh. Thank god. I was so worried I’d get here and you’d not want to see me, or think I was a total idiot, or shouldn’t be here, and I’d been thinking about you lately – well, I’ve thought about you for the past three years, but more so lately since I got the promotion nearby – and I was hoping to just see you, to see if you were what I remembered and if you’d remember me and want to–"

"Zephyr?" I interrupted her rambling. She looked at me and blinked.


"Shut up and kiss me."

That bright, beautiful smile spread across her soft lips, the last thing I saw before my eyes closed and I felt them against my own. Just like I remembered. I sighed into the kiss, feeling her hands tangle in my hair, pulling me closer, the kiss deepening. God, I’d missed her.

I often wondered if over time I had enhanced our experience to larger, better levels than it had actually been. But during that kiss, I realized it was all exactly how I’d remembered. Nothing embellished, nothing forgotten. Just pure bliss.

When the kiss ended, some fifteen minutes later, she looked into my eyes.

"I was also wondering if you’d like to go to dinner with me?"

I smiled back, nodding my head.

"Anytime, Zephyr."

The End.

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