Disclaimer One: A couple of these characters resemeble our favorite bard and warrior, who just happen to be owned by USA and Ren pics. I'm just borrowing them. Don't sue me!

Disclaimer Two: Ahh! You all know me by now! I little lovin, some foul language, and a little angst.

Dedications: To my one and only, and to the crazy folks of the Mindom who make my days and nights even more fun.



(Part VII)





Chapter XXVI: Picking up the Pieces

It's been two weeks since me and Sly visited the Clairidge Human Resource Offices, and it never occured for one minute that I wouldn't get the job. I don't know why. It just never did. I guess being with Sly makes me that optimistic about things, but then again you have to be given both our situations. I went in there with supreme confidence. There was no shyness, no stuttering, and I looked my interviewer right in the eye the whole time. After all of that, they gave it to somebody that had been there a shorter time than me. I was counting on this for us. I feel like a failure. Life can really be shitty sometimes, and I should know. I'm angry, and I think that I'm entitled to it. As we walk, I look up at the stars that usually twinkle back at me but right now, they seem to be a furious red. Perfect.

I found out this morning before I left work, and I've been brooding all day. I refuse to say that it's pouting. Sly's been a god send as usual. I don't know what I would do without her. I guess it was like soothing the savage beast or something, but she read to me and even got me to laugh until I was finally able to go to sleep. I didn't feel much like going to the Mission. I don't know how she has put up with me. I've been snapping at her most of the day and night, and now, Sly's walking me to work. I haven't said a word to her.

I sigh and look up at the moon. It's huge, white, dimpled, and I think tonight that she's laughing at me. Sometimes the Fates can be as cruel as they are kind, reminding us that they may just be in charge after all. I breathe in the smell of the nearby ocean, and even that doesn't help like it has as of late. Glancing around discreetly, I see the rows of delapitated houses and apartment buildings as we creep up on Trump Plaza. It really is amazing that these slums exist, I guess you could say right between the casinos. People mill about us going from casino to casino murmuring in delight and surprise. The jitneys and cabs speed by, rattling over the potholes. Oblivous. Still, I can honestly say that I'm glad that I'm not like that anymore. Why didn't they build these God awful things where the rich people live? Probably to suck more money and life from people like me. I know that I sound bitter, even cynical. Maybe I am, because tonight I'm thinking that I'll never rise above this. I know that I shouldn't let this one thing dash my hopes, but I had so much riding on this. It's kind of hard to see past it right now. I have a family that I need to help take care of. I should tell Sly how I'm feeling, but I don't want to bring her down. Actually, I don't want her to know that I'm feeling like these either. I'm usually the one with all the hope, but I'm only human. We haven't heard anything about Sly's application yet, and right now to me that doesn't bode well.

I glance at her profile as we near Ceasar's and Wild Wild West. More and more people run past us. They bump and jostle us continuously, and it is irritating me to no end. I feel like there is this red itch that can't be scratched, and every little thing is causing it to inflame. I'm not going to be any good for work tonight. I wish we had taken the Boardwalk, maybe the waves would have calmed me. I look back at Sly. She's walking by my side stoically, standing tall in her t-shirt and worn jeans. Suddenly with the help of the harsh light, I see her jaw clenching. She's feeling something too. Is she mad at me for treating her this way? God, I hope not. I've never given her the cold shoulder before, and I don't mean to now. I want her to hold me and tell me that everything will be alright, but we have never lied to ourselves. The only good things in our lives are each other and the little family we created. I need to break out of this mood. I promised myself that I wouldn't do this anymore. So, I keep staring at her hoping for. . .something.

I guess she feels my eyes on her, and even in the darkness interrupted by the garish lights, I see those beautiful blues sparkling back at me. As always, my heart stops and my stomach clenches. Sly has given me so much. She has awakened the sleeper both physically and emotionally. Despite today's disappointment the past couple of months have been unbelievable. She touches me, and I feel it to the core. She looks at me, and I melt. Sly kisses me, and I keep thinking that I will be hers for as long as she wants me. Even when I'm working at the Mission, we seem to gravitate toward each other. There is no pretense even there. I think we opened a floodgate that night at the beach. There have been so many close calls; so many times when I've cried out for more; so many times when I'm sure I've pushed her to the limit; and so many times that I was unable to cross that line. Not yet.

Sly looks away almost shyly like there's something she wants to say. I see it in her eyes and in her face.

"Abbie?" She whispers my name just loud enough for me to hear, and I'll never get tired of hearing it. There is a hesitancy in her voice as if she's scared she will upset some balance.

I feel the red swath swell within me, but I bite my tongue to keep from snapping. It will accomplish nothing. "Yeah?" We stop walking, shocking some of the people around us, who murmur about our rudeness. The bright lights of a Cash for Gold shop flare and flash behind us, giving off all the illumination needed. I look at her expecting more. It does not come. My brows draw together in confusion, but I continue to wait. Sly steps closer to me, invading my space. That's a laugh because as far as I'm concerned she can invade it anytime she wants to, even in my present state. The heat between us rises up to meet me, and I want to fall into it.

I glance up into her face, and I am shocked by what I see. Her eyes are stricken and sad, but still she doesn't say a word. A large hand reaches out to me, and I watch in silence as it engulfs mine. I don't care about the eyes of the passerbys buring a whole in my back. Why didn't she let me see this before? I reach up to wipe at the wrinkles in her forehead, and she gives me a small smile in return. Sly squeezes my hand, and my own dark feelings fly out the window for the time being as I prepare to tackle hers. "Please?"

She ducks her head and nods. Strands of sable hide her face before it is revealed to me again when she looks up. "I know what it's like to want something so bad and not get it. So don't think you're bringing me down if you want to vent." Sly looks at me knowingly.

They are like magic words. I feel something let go inside. I step back from her and stomp my foot in irritation and anger. Something close to a growl escapes my chest. My hands ball into fists as if I'm preparing to fight some invisible war, and I pace back and forth in the little area where we're standing. "How could this happen?! I know nothing was promised, but come on! I was so ready for that job. I never cared before about promotions! I think I was happy to be trapped. Well! I don't want to be trapped anymore." I throw my hands up in the air and growl again.

Her look is one of indulgence, understanding and toleration. It stops the growling and ranting but makes way for the tears. I hate this feeling, trapped. It's like my insides are sinking along with every little bit of fight left in me. I hate it. I throw myself into her arms. I don't care about the mindless, thoughtless people around us. I need this. Sly closes in, and I feel safe again. I rub my face into her chest, nudging into the sound and feel of her heatbeat. She smells like the outdoors and something wild that's all her own. I need her. Her hands run over the pristine white collar of the housekeeping uniform before they tangle into my hair, pulling me close. "Why? All I wanted was a chance. Why does it have to be this way?"

I don't intend for her to answer, but she does. Her chest rumbles as she speaks. "Because it is."

It's a simple answer. No sugar coating. Because it is. Those words are enough to break any spirit.

"So, you pick yourself up and keep trying. You taught me that," Sly mutters.

Those words are enough to build any spirit up again. I glance up in alarm, and I am shocked even more. She's smiling. It completely flusters me. Reaching up, I trace her lips just to make sure that it's real. Sly kisses my fingertips, and her grin gets wider. "Why this?" I continue to trace her mouth, ignoring the gasps and murmurs of surprise and disgust around me. They mean nothing.

"Because you taught me that too." Blue eyes sparkle with sincerity and something deeper.

Like some great epiphany, I suddenly realize the power I have over this woman, and the power she has over me. Every word, gesture, and touch could cripple or validate. It's tremendous and extremly scary at the same time. Do I want this? All of this? Am I ready? I think of my days and nights without her, and that frightens me to the core. I'm ready for her; ready for this; and suddenly I feel ready for just about anything again. I have to be because the alternative will lead to nothing but despair.

I launch myself at her, and with an 'oof', Sly engulfs me into her embrace. Her hold is tight, but I don't mind because I'm holding on for dear life too. She saved me. We save each other it seems. "You knew all this time didn't you? How upset I was. . .am?" I mumble into her torso.

She nods. "Yeah, but I don't think you were ready to let it out just then. So, I gave you the time that you seem to need."

"Thank you." I burrow into the softness of the well-worn t-shirt, and I feel her chuckling before I hear it.

"We should get moving. I think we're becoming one of the sites," Sly murmurs.

Glancing up at her, I ask, "Why isn't this bothering you? I think it effects us both."

She nods in the affirmative. "Oh, it does. It's just that there will be other chances dangling right in front of us. I'm sure of it."

Sly winks at me, and I swear that I see a twinkle in her eyes. I peer into baby blues for long minutes, hoping to read more. She's up to something. I know it. Sly has that little smile on her face. It's a crooked little smirk that means she knows something that I don't or she thinks that she does. The smirk gets wider as I back away.

Sly grabs my hand, and we begin walking again. "C'mon! You're gonna be late." They are her only words as I continue to peer at her. Yeah, she's definately up to something. I guess I shouldn't be worried. At least, I'm not as angry and down as I was before. I don't like going into work like that. It makes for a long night, a very long one. So, I let her pull me toward Clairidge.

As we get nearer, I glance up at the stars to see almost the same twinkle that I saw in her eyes. Funny that. Can you imagine? Anyway, as we pass Bally's Park Place, Sly drops my hand. It doesn't feel right. I need it there probably now more than ever. Maybe I think this fine line that she introduced me to minutes ago will disappear if she lets go. Maybe. I snatch her hand back up and tangle our fingers together, making my intentions clear. I have no intention of letting her go. I know what shame and humiliation is, and there is no place for it with us in any situation. This is something I should have known from the beginning.

Sly looks down at me, and her expression is one of surprise, followed closely by a full-fledged smile. She gives my hand a hard squeeze and pulls me close until our bodies are brushing as we walk. Yeah, I'm so ready for this.

Now at the Clairidge entrance, we turn to face each other. I hear a soft squeal from somewhere behind me followed by "Abbie! Abbie," in a heavily accented voice. Before I know it, Lola is standing at my side giving Sly the once over and bumping me with her shoulder.

"So, introduce me. Don't be rude. Aye, chu white girls are something else sometimes."

I roll my eyes, then I glance up at the dark woman before me. Her eyes hold more than a sparkle. They hold me, and for a minute I get lost. That is until Lola bumps my shoulder again.

Sly raises dark brows and gives me a crooked smile.

I have to admit. I'm a little flustered. "Uhmm, Sly this is Lola. The, uhm crazy woman I keep telling you about?'

Lola gasps and mutters something in spanish. I should really learn that language. Lola nudges me aside and steps forward as she gives Sly another slow perusal. "Whoa, chu are a tall drink of water." The petite blonde leans over and whispers in my ear, "Now she is just my type, chica."

My eyes bulge, and I turn to glare at my friend who blinks back at me in false innocence. "Wha? I didn't say annyting."

I feel my face burn, hoping that the harsh lights don't illuminate it too much. Just my luck, it does. Sly smiles down at me mischeviously before she steps forward to offer her hand to the Puerto Rican woman, and Lola takes it without hesitation.

"Nice to meet chu. This one here. . ." She points at me with her chin. ". . .has been talking about chu since chu first met."

I can feel my face darken even more.

"I told her to go for it." Lola leans forward and whispers so that only we can hear. "Cause, chu know she has never been with a woman. I tell her to go for it anyway."

I glance at Sly for help. Her grin is down right devilish. "Really? You told her that? No wonder I'm having a hard time keeping up. She goes for it all right."

I groan. This night is getting strange. I go from fury to embarassment.

Lola nods in conspiratory fashion. "Oh really? Then chu should have seen her when chu first kissed. Aye, I thought she was gonna fall out the clouds and break a hip. She was so high up." She pointed to the dark sky for emphasis.

Okay, that's enough.

"So!" I say rather loudly, causing them both to stare at me. It gives me enough time to send a hard glare Sly's way. "What are you doing here anyhow. You're usually already in the building."

"Yeah, but I heard Jodi got the job, so I thought chu might need a shoulder." Lola glanced at Sly. "Looks like chu have two broad ones already. I knew chu were counting on it." She turns to look at me with eyes sparkling with sincerity.

The ire I could feel rising at their antics falls short. This friend thing is unbelivable. Emotion catch in my throat, making my voice screech. "Thanks for being here." I end up giving her a quick hug that she readily returns.

"Don't let it get chu down, chica." She patted me on the back and backed away. Her eyes are again on Sly. "Tings have a way of evenin' out."

I look from one to the other. They know something, and I'm dying to know what it is. I stomp my foot in irritation and glare at them suspiciously. "Okay! Somebody want to let me on the little game here?" I almost scream. Today, I've raised my voice more than I ever have. It's so unlike me. "Spill it!" I yell.

To my consternation, I watch as Sly's smile encompasses her whole face. She steps forward and reaches for my hand.

"Abbie, I--"

I am nudged again, hard by Lola, who jumps up in excitement. "She got the job!" She spits out excitedly.

I stand there momentarily confused. "Huh?"

Sly's expression is of great surprise. "How on earth did you know?" She asks the blonde.

Lola cracks a smile. "Aye, gossip is a beautiful thing."

Again, I ask, "Huh?"

Still smiling, Sly grabs me by the shoulders and pulls me close. "I got a housekeeping job, Abbie!"

A loud squeal escapes my lips, and I found myself wrapped around Sly for the umpteenth time tonight. Throwing my arms around her neck, I bury my face into warm skin. From fury to embarassment to hope and happiness, all I can say is what a night. I pull back a little to peer up into her face. That wide smile greets me, and I have never wanted to kiss someone so much in my life. Warmth surrounds me, and I melt into it. I want to melt into her. I shiver, but I can't help myself.

I see the recognition in her eyes. Sly knows what I want. There isn't a hint of denial in her eyes. I lean in to taste her mouth, heedless of the people and employees milling about. She emits a small whimper, and I have to school myself not to go further, deeper than we should.

My eyebrows draw together at the sound of clapping. I cut my eyes sideways to see Lola as the source of the noise. My God, I just outed myself in front of all these people, and I could care less. There are more important things in life. Reluctantly, I pull back. I have some questions to ask. I glare at her, but it is only a mock one. "When did you know?"

"They called me while you were asleep this morning. I was just about to go check up on Gert, when the pay phone rung."

I lightly smack her on the arm. "Why didn't you say anything?"

Her smile falters a little bit. "Well, I didn't want you to feel like a failure, but I you ended up feeling that way anyhow. So, I decided to wait until you were ready to talk. You're not mad are you?"

I give her what seems like my first smile today. "I don't think that I could ever be mad at you." I attempt to hug her again, but Lola interrupts.

"Abbie, we're running late."

All of a sudden, I don't want to be at work, but if I have to stay, I hope the night passes quickly. I glance at Sly, looking for the go ahead.

"G'wan, I'll see you in the morning, and we'll talk then. Maybe we could go to the Mission together and give the guys the news?"

I grin up at her in answer. I'm getting lost again. It's so easy. I think I could drown in her.


Damn Lola! "I'm coming!" I give Sly a quick kiss on the cheek then turn to go. "See you in the morning."

"Wouldn't miss it for the world," Sly mutters as I step away. They are the sweetest words. Our hands disengage, and I turn to go with Lola. I can't help myself. Every few feet, I look back to see Sly standing there tall, dark, and defiant. This woman is my hero. This woman is mine.

Nothing could spoil my night. Nothing.



Chapter XXVII: Five Miles To Empty

I decide to use the Boardwalk on the way home. Home. I'm beginning to think of that little room as the best home that I've ever had. Pushing my hands deep into my jeans pocket, I soak in the salt air and glance up at the blinking sky. Abbie seemed so happy. I want to see that look on her face all the time. I'd do anything to put it there. It's been over two and a half months since we met, and I wouldn't take a day back.

I stop and lean against the railing protecting me from the sand to look out at the black water. Gray/white foam licks softly at the shore at almost the same spot we lay a couple weeks ago. I saw that look on her face then too. It was caused by me. Me. I never knew that I could do that to someone. I mean, I know that I help the others on the streets, and they are thankful. But, they are far from happy, and thanks to Abbie I realize that I can not take their happiness on my shoulders. Abbie. I would do anything for her. It's become as simple as breathing, and it's funny that in the process of doing just that I've become a different person.

Empty or damn near it. That's how I would have described myself. I had no hope and no prospects. Now, I have seven bucks an hour. It's chump change really, and I can't believe these big wigs think somebody could live on it, especially four somebodies. I hold no illusions, and I am grateful for the chump change. Sixty thousands, that's what I used to make. I'll probably never get an accounting job again. No one likes an accountant who is accused of having her hand in the cookie jar, even if I'm not guilty. Where money is concerned, people at the top have long memories. I'm surprised that I even got this job. No, I hold no illusions. I want my life back, but it will never be like it was before. To be honest, I don't want it to be. I just want to take care of my family.

The only thing that I'm worried about is being able to pull this off. I haven't worked in years, and even then I didn't have bosses around me telling me what to do. That's something that I've never liked, being told what to do. I'll have to swallow some pride and kiss some major ass.

I glance up at the moon. She's hanging there as always, seeing all. I snort at the thought. Who am I kidding, that's not the only thing. I'll be cleaning up other people's shit. Wow, how the mighty have fallen. I'll have to swallow a lot of pride it seems. I'll do it too. I have to. I don't want Gert to end up sick again. I know for a fact that Stevie and Pauly have any families that don't want them, but I have no idea what Gert's story is not for sure. She's never pieced together a complete story, not one I could follow. If I knew, I would try my damndest to get her off the streets and reunited with them. She doesn't belong here, but if she has to stay, we'll take care of her.

My thoughts turn back to Abbie. They seem to do that rather easily. I jump at the sudden sound of muffled laughter. It's coming from behind me. There's always people milling about the Boardwalk. Back to Abbie. I find it so easy to wax poetic about her, and I am no poet. Not by a long shot. Because of her and because of the chances she's given me, my life is almost full again. It would be perfect if I had a steady roof over my head; if I knew where my next meal was coming from; and if I knew for sure what tomorrow holds.

Clasping my hands behind my back, I start to walk again. Abbie's brought my body back to life, as well as my heart, with a vengeance. I've never burned for another woman, but I do for her. It's an all out ache that gets more pronounced when she's near. Saying that I want her wouldn't be a strong enough phrase. I don't think there is one to describe what I'm feeling. The way she shivers, whimpers and moans just fuels the fire. Abbie could own me if she wanted to. What she did tonight just endears her to me even more. I never expected it, and I would have been fine with our relationship just between us. Still, she just made me feel twenty feet tall. To accept me and us like she did took a lot of guts. I can help but to be estatic about that.

So, I stand proud and contnue walking toward one home so that I can immerse myself in a different kind of home in the morning.


As I wait for her out front, I'm as positve as I was last night. It was a strange moment really. I almost had my head in a toilet while I scrubbed it, and I knew. I falling in love with Sly. It hit me like a mac truck. My stomach was all tied in knots, my heartbeat was erratic, and I couldn't catch my breath. I know it as sure as the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Nothing has changed from last night to this morning.

It's only been two months, almost three, but it feels like I've known her forever. God, that sounds cliche, but it is so true. How else could it be explained? So, I lean against the wall waiting for her. The sun kisses my face, and I feel its heat. It's nothing compared to Sly's. I can't wait to wrap myself around it.

I don't know how we're going to work together. They'll have to put her on the other side of the hotel because my job would never get done. That's another fact. I am so happy about this though. It's a starting point for all of us. Now that she has this job, we have to find someway to juggle it with her standing in the homeless community. Maybe it's time to start teaching people what they need to know. That in itself is going to be a long road because so many people count on her. I know it's hard to take all of that on her back. I've seen the results, when Curtis died. I don't ever want to see her like that again.

I'm not stupid. I know this isn't going to be all smiley faces and fresh flowers, but either way, I'm in it for the long haul. Now more than ever. How do I know this is love? I've never felt it before. There's a fullness inside that I know Sly help to put there. Without her, my life would be utterly empty. I feel complete. Will I tell her how I'm feeling? I don't know. Will I hold back? No. I don't think I can anymore. I've never wanted or needed anything. . .anything like I do her. It was scary at first feeling this need, but I think that I've come to terms with it. I know that its not going away.

I glance up to see her coming toward me. My breath catches and my stomach quivers, sending sensations further south. This need that I have to be as close as possible to her is almost palpable. I can feel it hovering in the air, and it gets more pronounced as she gets closer. She's wearing the same faded, well-worn jeans, but this time her t-shirt is yellow instead of purple. I can't help but think about all that hot skin under there. I shudder at the thought. What has gotten into me? I feel damp, heavy. I think acknowledging my feelings have opened my eyes even more. I know what I want--who I want.

Sly raises her hand and waves, but I see her. I can't take my eyes away. Before I know it, Sly is in front of me, grinning. She reaches out to tweek my nose. "Hey you. You ready to go?"

I continue to stare, barely hearing her words. I launch myself at her, engulfing as much of her body as I could into the embrace. I open my mouth over her neck and whimper at her hard shudder of reaction. "Whoa, Little bit. You okay?" Her tone is hoarse, and I feel each word rumble in her chest.

"Yeah, I just. . .just feeling a little needy I guess." I murmur into her neck. The dampness turns into a slow trickel of moisture as I hold her.

"Mmm, it's okay. I get that way often enough. God, you feel so good," Sly groans softly and leans into me.

"You too." I pause. "Can we take a jitney? I want to hurry. . ." I want to hurry and do what? I want more of this. That's what.

"Do we have--"

"I got tips." I interrupt her, breathlessly. I just want to touch her, kiss her. . .something. With this new realization, I feel as though something has been released in me, and it's all for Sly. . .all of it.


There is a jitney at the stop as we cross over to Pacific Avenue. We end up in different seats. I'm sitting in the front, and Sly is about two seats behind. I can feel her eyes on me. They burn just like her touch. For once, I am glad that the jitney driver moves his bus like a bat out of hell. We get there in record time. Sly's walking behind me, and those eyes are still following me.

I swallow as she gets closer and try to make small talk. "So, uhm, when is your processing date for the job? It is for grave shift isn't it?" My voice squeaks with nervousness. I glance up to see her looking down at me with heated intensity. My knees go weak. I think she knows what I'm feeling right now. I tear my gaze away and search for the right words to ask the questions again. "I--"

"It's a little over a week." Sly pauses to clear her throat. " It's a little quicker than normal I imagine, and yeah, it is for grave." Her voice is only huskier than it was a second before. With a shaky hand, I unlock the door leading into the building.

"Oh, that's good." Is all that I can think to say. My mind is a blank.

I have to remind myself to breath as I take the steps two at a time. I hear her behind me. I want to turn to her and beg her to touch me. But, I don't dare. We'll never make it to the third floor. So as if it were some game of cat and mouse. I speed up my decent in an attempt to get away, knowing that I want to be caught.

My breathing is ragged by the time I get to my own door. I'm not tired, far from it. Sly is behind me, and she sounds the same. I shove the key into the lock. Opening the door wide, I let Sly pass through first. Our bodies brush, and I tremble.

I walk in behind her, closing the door after I enter. I need time to think, to figure this out, but the room is alive with tension. I spy my father's robe hanging over one of the folding chairs. Maybe a long shower would help. I glance at Sly to see her back to me. She is pacing, moving like a caged animal. I don't know what else to do. "Uhm, I'm gonna go get cleaned up."

Sly turns around but seeing me unbuttoning the gray and white uniform sends her spining around again. "Oh sorry. Okay."

I sigh in relief and kick off my shoes and socks before turning my own back to her to finish undressing. I need to say more to fill the silence and ease this tension that seems to be going right to my groin. "Uh, I want you to know that I'm very proud of you."

"Really?" Her voice is childlike. It makes me smile.

"Yes, really." I stand there in my bra and panties, waiting for her to say more. The minutes seem to pass. Thinking she has said her piece, I reach for the robe only to feel an incredible heat encompass me from behind. I suck in a shaky breath.

"That's good to hear." Sly whispers hotly into my ear. That breath I took in comes out in a moan. My breathing turns harsh and ragged again. Her full lips caress my ear, and I hear that she is as breathless as I am. Large hands snake around to cover my bare mid-drift. I am branded by scorching heat.

"Abbie, I think I'm feeling needy too."

I whimper loudly. It seems all I needed was for her to touch me. There is no space between our bodies, and I feel a wave of unbelievable pleasure as her hips start a soft grind against my buttocks. I reach behind to grab at her thighs, urging her on. The moist drip between my legs has turned into a faucet.

Sly's groan is low and hoarse. "God, Abbie. Tell me to stop," she pleads.

Oh God. "I can't." My heart is slamming against my chest and roaring in my ears.

They seem to be the magic words. Sly's hands develop a mind of their own also. They cover my breasts squeezing softly but rhythmically. I cry out. I knew it would be like this--hot and intense. There couldn't be any other way. There would be time for softness later. Right now, I want to be ravaged. I need it.

My nipples harden, and I can't help but moan constantly as fingers brush over them, teasing and making the tips bigger. Sly's breathing is hot and moist against my neck. It only adds to the pleasure.

" Little bit, I want you. . .so much. " Sly husks out brokenly.

Spinning around, I look her dead in the eye matching the blue intensity with my own. I hide nothing. There is no way to disguise such an ache. "Show me," I whisper. I want to see and feel it all, and I don't feel shy about it.

Ignoring the surprise in her eyes, I tangle my hands in silky black locks and pull her head down to meet me. Our mouths meet in a moan--soft, wet, and sweet. Sly nips on my bottom lip and laves it with her tongue before sucking it into her mouth. I have grown to love that.

I pull back intentionally only allowing our mouths to brush lightly. Sly whimpers and brings me closer as her hands roam over my back, leaving a trail of fire there. I know that she needs more, so do I. But, I wait for her to take it. Sly doesn't disappoint. Large hands cover my buttocks lifting me upward, I have no choice but to wrap my legs around her. Her mouth devours mine in a series of searing kisses. Our tongues slide past each other wetly.

My sex feels swollen, and I long for relief. I begin to grind against her stomach. The pleasure sends me reeling. I whimper again and again with each thrust. She helps by pulling me into her. I tear my mouth away and groan as large hands bypass my panties to frame bare cheeks. I glance at Sly only to see her looking down at out meshing bodies. She shudders and murmurs, "That's it. Show me that it feels good."

Our eyes meet, and I can't look away. There's sweat around her temples, dampening her hair. Sly's tongue snakes out and flicks my lips and sweet breath caresses my face. "Abbie, you got me so hot, and you feel so good." She leans in until our foreheads touch. "I wanna make this good for you. It's been so long. . .need to slow down."

"No. . don't want to. Please." I punctuate my words with a hard grind, shooting pleasure all the way to my fingertips. Throwing my head back, I moan loudly. I hear her whimper right before her mouth opens over my neck. Her tongue is warm and luscious against my skin.

We're moving, and I open my eyes to see that Sly is backpedaling toward the bed. A pange of excitement shoots through me. The small bed groans under our weight as she sits down. I unlatch my legs from behind her to pillow my knees along side, leaving me straddled in her lap. With quick hands, Sly strips out of her t-shirt, leaving her chest bare. I look at her breasts with my hands, cupping and squeezing them before raking my fingers across brown, distended nipples. She's watching me do it and groaning all the while. I have to have more. I follow my instincts. Before I have time to even think, my lips are on her, sucking her in. The nipple seems to continue growing within my mouth. I am soaked and, I can't stop thrusting against her naked abdomen. The bed is squeaking in time with each movement. Sly cries out and her hips lurch against me.

I snatch my mouth away from one breast and head toward the other, but her hand wraps in my hair, bringing my lips to hers. Our mouths barely brush, and Sly starts to whisper things, sexy things that I've never heard her say. "Mmm, see what you do to me. Don't stop."

I moan and begin to press against her harder. Electricity arcs up my spine, leaving me tingling. Our bodies move together with abandon. My need for her urges me on, so it throws me when she suddenly pushed me away. I stand up and open my mouth to protest. The words get stuck in my throat as she wrestles out of her shoes and jeans. Sly stands before me now, naked and glorious.

I swallow, hard and let my eyes linger on each curve that I knew was hidden underneath. She is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Her body is covered with lithe, smooth muscle, beckoning to be touched. My hands itch to do so. Slowly our eyes meet again, and I see blue shining with affection and something a lot deeper. My face must mirror hers because she smiles and reaches out a hand for me. I move two sure steps forward to take it. I am in the fire once again. My bra and panties disappear, and Sly murmurs about perfection as large hands to roam my body, leaving a molten trail down my torso and thighs. I am not prepared for the feel of naked flesh on flesh. It shakes me, leaving me trembling, raw and exposed, but still, I want more.

Her hands swallow my breasts. I feel them swell and elongate under her touch as if they belong to her and her alone. They do. I do. Her fingers knead my flesh and pluck at turgid tips. I feel as though I'm being ripped apart by pleasure. I arch my back, and that is all the invitation Sly needs. Her mouth is on me. Her hands encase my shoulders, anchoring me to her. With each flick of her tongue and suckle of her lips, she groans. I sob. The sound of her enjoyment is making me light headed just as much as the feel of her is. My hands tangle in her hair, holding her to me. I couldn't stand for her to stop. I would die.

Her mouth is everywhere tasting my shoulders, the hollow of my throat. She is ravenous as her lips open wide over my torso edging downward. My head is spinning with pleasure. I can't breathe. I can' t think. Sensation after sensation pile on top of each other leaving me a virtual slave to it. I feel hot breath against the fine hairs of my sex. I look down to see her kneeling as if in worship. Her face is a mask of concentration but still contored with ecstasy. I quiver in anticipation, and I can hear the incoherent murmurs escaping my throat.

At that moment, Sly's eyes open. I gasp at what I see there. Such need, such caring. It oozes out of her. Her eyes drop from my gaze to become fixed on something else. Her stare is intense. I feel my sex open and swell under her scrutiny. My stomach clenches almost painfully. That's when I hear it--the whimpering. At first, I think it's me, but it just doesn't sound quite right. It's Sly. I brush a hand through her hair, and she whispers, "Can I Abbie?" Her voice is pleading, raspy. I shiver, swallow, and nod. I don't think that I'm capable of words right now.

I spread my thighs further apart. The smell of arousal greets my nostrils. Probing fingers part my wet flesh. My hips buck, and I moan as I'm exposed to the open air. Sly's scrutiny is even more pronounced than before. I feel her getting closer. Her breath fans out against me, teasing me. I grind my hips into the unforgiving air. Sly groans. Then, without warning she drags her tongue the length of my sex. I throw my head back and scream as I dig my nails into her shoulder. Her hands tighten around my hips as my knees threaten to buckle.

The pleasure is tremendous. Her tongue is hot, firm, and hungry. The muscle laps at me, leaving places even more drenched and tingling. She sucks at other places, bathing me in a heat that bursts from the inside out. Sly's constant moans jolt my flesh and my world.

Somehow, we've ended up on the bed. I can feel the softness at my back, but that doesn't compare to the inferno nestled deep between my legs. Her mouth is relentless--gentle one moment and firm the next. I wind my hand's in Sly's hair keeping her there as my hips grind to urge her on. The bed screeches and groans, but I don't really hear it.

Long dark tresses spill over my thighs, hiding her face, but even though I can't see her eyes. She worships me. She cherishes me. I hear her moaning. I hear and feel her tongue lapping, furiously. Lightinging flashes through my body making it arch and twist. I want it to stike again and again. It does with the force of a thunderstorm as Sly plunges her tongue deep inside. I hear her name at the other end of my scream.

With each plunge I edge closer and closer to the inevitable. I reach for it, and it floods me with its honey sweetness. My body convulses as it wrings out every last ounce of pleasure possible. From somewhere far away, I hear a hoarse cry that I recognize as Sly's. I quake at the sound of it. To know that my own orgasm has effected her so much rocks me to the core.

It seems like forever and a day before I can move again. I look up to see her hovering over me. Her eyes are shy and the look on her face is one of satisfaction.

"Hi. Um, are you okay?" Sly asks.

I smile. I've never felt better in my life. "Mmm, yeah, I'm more than okay."

She leans down to brush my lips with her own. I taste myself on her. A tingle shoots through my body. I can't help but be honest with her. "I didn't know it could be like that."

Sly's smile is slow and sweet. "Me either. It's a first for both of us."

I reach up to play with a strand of midnight. "I just couldn't wait anymore. You make me feel so much. It just felt right." My heart swells at the gentle look in her eyes.

"It is right Abbie. We're right. I didn't know I could have this. Now, I feel like I have everything dangling in front of me, and it's all because of you."

I don't know what to say. Thank you does not seem strong enough. I don't think there are words in the English language strong enough. So, I pull her down for a kiss hoping actions speak louder than words. I'm glad this door on our relationship opened. It makes it all the more richer.


As I lay here, my head and heart are reeling. Of all the things to happen today, I just didn't expect this. Abbie never ceases to amaze me. I knew there was passion hidden under there, but until now I just didn't realize that it was all for me. These few hours together will be burned on my brain forever. Somehow, I knew when we first made love it would be fierce and out of control, but the gentlness Abbie showed me the second time was something I've never experienced. There was tentativeness at first, but slowly she became more confident with each caress. To be touched like that, to be cherished like that I know I am the luckiest woman in the world. She held me when my body refused to stop shaking, and she whispered to me when I could barely speak.

I will do what ever I have to in order to keep this feeling, and I know that includes having Abbie in my life. Hope is here to stay. I believe and that belief is here to stay. I am as sure about that as I'm sure that Abbie is the one. She is.

She is sleeping now, curled against me. It's where she belongs. She looks so peaceful and so beautiful. These few hours make all the bad things that have happened to me moot. My parents have made their choice. I have made mine. The man who helped get me here is in a small cell. I am in the arms of the most remarkable woman. It doesn't compare. I have nothing to be angry about. Nothing. I drift off to sleep knowing this, believing this.


A very loud, shril alarm jerks us both awake. We look at each other in confusion until the sound of loud murmuring reaches our ears.

"Fire!" Somebody screams.

It galvanizes us into action. I jump up and reach blindly for any clothes in the vicinity. I finish dressing first. "Hurry, Abbie!" I don't mean to yell at her, but I'm more than a little scared. I won't lose her now.

I look up to see that her face is pale. It makes my own fear grow.

"I'm trying!" She yells as she pulls on a pair of shorts. Her eyes scan the room. "Should I. . .should I take something with me. This is all I have."

I pull her into a quick hug. I don't know what else to do right now. "Shhh, we've got to stay calm. Grab what you can, and I'll help. It may not be bad, but I just want you to be safe."

I lean into her as she sobs. I can imagine what's going through her mind. The horror of possibly losing your home, your belongings. It twists like a hot knife. Abbie stands there in the middle of the room, staring into space.

"C'mon, little bit. Please?"

My eyes plead and I hold out a hand for her. It seems to be enough to spur her into action. She grabs books, her father's robe, and some clothes. I make sure to get her uniform.

She runs to the door, flinging it open somehow. I follow behind. My heart is beating fast and furious. As I race down the stairs, I smell it, the acrid scent of smoke.

Before I know it, we are outside among a crowd of people in various states of undress. I scan the crowd to see that everyone's face filled with loss, disbelief, and fear. I turn toward our building to see it engulfed in flame on the opposite side away from the room. The fire seems to take on a life of its own as it crackles, spits and spreads rapidly. The fire truck that is already here is surrounded by firemen, readying themselves for battle. I hear the sirens of other trucks not too far away.

One side of the building groans loudly as it caves in. Abbie turns to me. I don't think she can watch anymore, but I have to tell her because despite what I'm seeing I still believe. "We'll get through this."

I watch as the place that I was starting to call home burn to the ground, but I hold fast to the woman who is my home, my salvation. She is devistated by this. I could see it in her face, feel it on her cold, clammy skin that was hot under my touch not too long ago. So close to everything and yet pushed so far in the blink of an eye. I should be completely flustered by this, but I refuse to feel defeated by it. I'll help her save money and find another place. It's as simple as that, but in the mean time, I refuse to let her live on the streets. There is the Mission. I sigh, knowing that sometimes you have to do what you have to just to get by.

I squeeze Abbie tighter, and I search my mind and heart for ways to convince her that there is still hope, just like she did for me.


I can't believe what I'm seeing. I'm numb. I feel the heat of the fire, and I feel the heat of Sly's touch. How can this happen when things were going so well? I want to believe that things will be okay. I really want to. I could see the conviction in Sly's eyes. But, I stand here and watch as an old fear comes back to haunt me. The line keeping me from being homeless has just been erased.

I can't help but sob. This day has been a rollercoaster. I've gone from anger to happiness to ecstasy, and now, I'm tettering on despire. I shouldn't let it swallow me. Look at what I have in my life. I shouldn't let it swallow me, but as stand here and watch it is so hard for it not to.


Oh! I know that was a gut wrencher! Tell me what you think at Minerva

Part 8

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