This piece was previously published in Ultimate Lesbian Erotica 2005. I do own the copyright.
Synopsis: New Hampshire State Trooper Jo Benoit turns to the natural surroundings of the Mount Washington Valley to help her heal from wounds—both physical and emotional—incurred in the line of duty. But nature has more tools for healing than just deep forests and mountain vistas, as Jo discovers when summer-theater actress Katzi Burns makes offers she can't refuse.
Note: I'm editing an erotica anthology (my sixth) on the theme of Lesbian Cops. If anyone would like the guidelines, contact me at sacchigreen@ gmail.com . The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2010. Original fiction only.
Sunlight filtered through the hemlock branches. An hour ago it had blazed onto the water-smoothed granite, and radiant heat still penetrated into places I'd thought would never feel warm again. My body adjusted to the stone's contours and felt, briefly, at peace.
A sudden rustling among the trees on the bank above made me tense. Somebody stood there, watching. Move on, damnit, I thought, hating the new sense of vulnerability, the suppressed jerk of my hand toward a gun that wasn't there. I kept my eyes closed, trying to block out everything but the ripple of water and the scent of balsam. Far below, where the stream leapt downward in the series of falls and slides known as Diana's Baths, there were swarms of vacationers, but they didn't often climb up this far. I'd hoped, foolishly, for solitude.
Maybe I was only hallucinating being watched. Maybe the Lieutenant was right. Maybe I really wasn't ready to get back into uniform. After seven years, it wasn't as though I had anything left to prove about a woman being as good a cop as any man. Did I still have something to prove to myself, though?
I sat up abruptly. A hemlock branch twitched, and through its feathery needles a pair of bright eyes met my challenge. A child, I thought at first, glimpsing tousled russet curls and a face like a mischievous kitten. Then she moved into clearer view, and I got a good look at a body that could have held its own on one of those TV beach shows. So, for that matter, could her bikini.
She looked me over just as frankly. "Hi there," she said throatily. "I'm afraid I've got myself lost."
Eye candy or not, I resented the intrusion. "Well, there's upstream, and there's downstream. Take your pick."
"They both sound so good, I can't decide!" Her glance moved deliberately from my face over my body down to the long, semi-healed scar running from mid-thigh up under my cut-off jeans. The scar didn't seem to startle her a bit. I began to suspect a plot.
It's not that unusual for women to come on to me when I'm in uniform, and I've taken advantage of their fantasies a time or two, but I was in civvies, and this was way over the top. She was so blatantly acting out a scene that I was more amused than anything else. Well, maybe not anything else. It had been a long time. A definite tingle was building where it counted most, and my nipples threatened to assert themselves through my gray tank top. I pulled on the sweatshirt I'd been using as a pillow. The New Hampshire State Police logo on the front didn't seem to surprise her, either.
I looked downhill. "Hey, Dunbar ," I called to the head poking around a mossy boulder, "who's your little friend?"
"How's it going, Josie?" Jimmy Dunbar emerged from concealment. "I'd've introduced you, but you cruised right on by without so much as a nod for an old friend."
"Sorry," I said. "Been a bit preoccupied lately."
"So I heard. You okay?" He looked toward my injured leg and then met my eyes with genuine concern. Aside from his taste in practical jokes, Jimmy's not a bad sort, and we'd been friends since our teens when we cleared trails and packed supplies up to the Appalachian Mountain Club huts.
"Can't complain," I said shortly. "A couple of weeks of enforced R&R and then I'll be back on the job. What are you up to these days?" I should've known better than to come where I'd be recognized. The newspapers had made the hostage case into a big deal.
"He's building sets at the playhouse," the sex kitten chimed in, clearly tired of being ignored by everything but the mosquitoes. In that outfit, she was damned lucky black fly season was over. "We open with ' Oklahoma ' tomorrow night. I could get you a ticket if you'd like." She picked her way carefully down the bank, gripping bushes and gnarled, exposed tree roots. Any bits of previously covered anatomy were revealed as she bent and stretched. I was willing to bet her breasts owed nothing to silicone. It might not have been entirely gallantry that prompted me to help her down the last, steepest bit, but when she tried to cling I spun her around and set her on her feet at a safe distance.
"This is Katzi Burns," Jimmy said. "She plays the 'girl who can't say no.'" Instead of grabbing the line and running with it, as I expected, she shot him a ferocious look.
"I should've had the lead! But at least I can have a little fun with this role. I'm so sick of doing 'wholesome' I could puke!"
"That's what you get," Jimmy said unfeelingly, "for starting your career playing Daddy Warbuck's little 'Annie'."
She yowled and took a swipe at him, and, while I figured he deserved a good clawing, my peace-keeper instincts kicked in. "So Katzi," I said, with a hand on her elbow, "what kind of parts would you rather play?" Then it hit me. "Holy shit! 'Annie'? How long ago?"
She turned that feral kitten snarl on me. The anger in her amber eyes was a lot more attractive than the bimbo act. "Long enough! I'm legal! You wanna see my driver's license?"
I grinned and looked her scanty outfit over appreciatively. "You bet, if you've got it on you somewhere."
Her scowl cleared. "You could search me," she teased.
I just patted her cute round butt and turned to Jimmy. "I hope you two have some clothes stashed somewhere. As soon as the sun gets a little lower the mosquitoes will be fierce. I don't much care what they do to your scaly hide, but it would be a shame to let Katzi get sucked dry just before opening night. The bites would be kind of a challenge for the make-up department, too."
"What time is it, anyway?" Katzi asked, with a stricken look.
"Close to five," I told her.
"Oh damn! I'm screwed!" She slid and lurched down the hill toward where they'd left their clothes and towels. Jimmy and I followed, ready to pick up the pieces if her fashionable sandals skidded on the loose layers of leaves and needles.
"So what the hell is that all about?" I asked Jimmy. "I may be on the injured list, but I can still manage to do my own hunting."
"Hey, little Katzi takes hunting to a whole new level. She's only hanging out with me because she wants to meet you, and I said I'd heard you were back in the Valley. She clipped your picture out of the paper. Lord only knows what she does with it!"
And Lord only knows what you've told her about me, I thought, and swatted him on general principles. Maybe I should just go back to communing with nature. Then I watched Katzi's sleek legs keeping up with our longer ones on the trail out to the road, and reflected that nature's blessings are many and wondrous, and not limited to rocks and trees. Being back in the mountains had always healed my spirit, but surging hormones might well spur the healing process of the flesh.
At the road, without saying a word, I held open the passenger door on my truck. Katzi scrambled right in. Amazingly, she had the sense to keep quiet during the short drive into North Conway , while I considered my next move. If I was going to make one.
She darted a glance or two at me, almost shyly, then looked off toward Cathedral and White Horse Ledges looming to the west. It occurred to me that her vamp act might require an audience, even if it was only Jimmy.
We crossed the Saco River , easing our way through the sun-burned kayakers and rafters reclaiming their cars at the bridge. I let the tension build until we were waiting at the traffic light just before the turnoff into the Eastern Slope Playhouse.
"Do they give you any time off for dinner?" I asked.
"Just an hour," she said hopefully. "Seven to eight, and then we do the final run-through."
"Want me to bring a picnic?"
Her face lit with pleasure. "That would be great! I can't eat too much just before two straight hours of dancing and singing, but if I don't eat anything at all I'll keel over by the second act."
When she'd disappeared into the theater I considered my options, then drove north to Jackson Village , where the men are golfers, the women are skiers, and every view is above average. "Fine dining" isn't something I think much about, but I have contacts at a four-star inn there. When I was a kid I used to forage wild mushrooms for the chef, who built a good part of his reputation on his creative use of them, especially the golden, earthy chanterelles. My half-French, half-Abenaki grandmother had taught me where to find them along trails and stream banks back when I could barely walk.
My welcome at the inn was so warm as to be embarrassing. They even had one of the damned newspaper clippings posted in the kitchen. I was a few minutes late getting back to the theater, and Katzi was outside, managing to be outrageously provocative even in a demure calico dress for the benefit of the photographer taking publicity shots.
Publicity! I nearly turned the truck around. Then Katzi saw me, and came running, a look of unstaged happiness replacing the vamping she'd been doing for the camera. I got out to open her door.
The photographer followed, of course. I recognized him from high school. "Hey, Jo Benoit!" he called. "How about a shot with Katzi?"
"Hey, Ted. Sorry, no time." I gave Katzi a brief hug to let her know being seen with her wasn't the problem. She'd already resumed her knock-em-dead stage smile, but she was perceptive enough to feel the tension in my body.
"That's right," she said quickly. "I'm starving. We'd better get going." She waved to the photographer, who got a shot of the truck anyway as we pulled away.
"I'd planned to drive up the Cathedral Ledge road," I told her. "Great views, but I'm not sure there's time."
"Way up there?" She looked uneasily at the domed cliff looming above the valley. "Well...I think I'd rather look at it from down here anyway."
"Does that mean I can't talk you into going rock climbing?" I teased. It was probably just as well that we didn't have much in common. I wasn't looking for a soul mate.
"There isn't much you couldn't talk me into, but that would be a hard sell." Her little grin managed just the right touch of seductive charm. I hadn't noticed before quite how deliciously shaped her mouth was. "They mentioned in the paper that you were a rock climber."
"Can't we just give all that a rest?" I said, maybe a little harshly. If she was going to press for juicy details, it was all over, right now.
"Sure," she said quickly. "But if there's any other way I could dangle from ropes, completely at your mercy...."
"Not and still have time for dinner," I said, relaxing. The usual tell-me-about-yourself-before-I-explore-your-underwear routine seemed refreshingly unnecessary. Although I was, in fact, beginning to feel some real interest in getting to know her.
We parked in the pine woods at the foot of the cliff, where we ate duck salad with mango, asparagus-chanterelle tarts, and French rolls still warm from the oven.
"Wow!" she said, when the food was gone. "That was incredible!" She glanced at me sidelong with a mischievous quirk of her lips. "But I'll bet you hear that from girls all the time." That impish mouth demanded a kiss, which I provided, in full view of the last climbers of the day trudging past to their cars with their cables and hardware.
There'd have been more to see than kissing if I hadn't guaranteed to get her back by eight. It was hard to pull away from the insistent sweetness of her mouth. Her arms around my neck and her breasts pressed against me didn't make it any easier. I peeled her off and started the engine. "Better save some adrenaline for the play," I admonished as I pulled onto the road.
"You'd be amazed how fast I can get recharged," she said hopefully.
"Behave yourself now, and I might let you amaze me later," I told her sternly.
"Yes, Sir!" She subsided against the backrest, letting one hand rest not-quite-accidentally on my thigh, carefully avoiding the dull red scar. When a pleasant tingle spread to the injured flesh it became a throb that under other circumstances might have been pain. She felt me tense.
"Does it still hurt?" She took her hand away. I reached out and pulled it back.
"Once in a while." There was a deeper pain I needed to confront, but at the moment I couldn't imagine any finer medicine than Katzi's exuberant sensuality.
"I could kiss it and make it feel better," she suggested wickedly.
Oh, yeah. Much, much better. "Right, and I could get pulled over by the local guys for erratic driving. Tabloid heaven."
"What made you decide to be a cop, anyway?"
"Well, I got as far as a semester into law school and realized I belonged on the front lines instead of in an office. Plus I couldn't afford it. I'm still paying off student loans."
"I don't suppose all that many girls fantasize about lawyers, anyway," she teased.
It had never bothered me before to be the subject of fantasy, but this time, oddly enough, it stung. "Look, I'd better warn you that I don't have my uniform with me, and even if I did, it doesn't get used as a prop for a scene." I may not keep my gear as trim as I should, but I have respect for what it represents. "And besides..." something I hadn't realized myself until just then, but had better get out in the open... "there are some kinds of games I'm just not going to feel like playing for a while yet." A stab of pain shot through my leg into my guts. I could see my best uniform pants, sliced open from knee to crotch, soaked with more blood than could ever be washed out.
"That's okay," she said quickly. "It's what's underneath that turns me on." She slid a finger under the edge of my cutoffs, revealing a more dramatic section of my wound. "Oh, Jeez! Did you ever think about getting hurt?"
"You don't let yourself think about it," I said brusquely, and changed the subject. "Look, there's a full moon rising. I'll take you for a moonlight ride when rehearsal's over, if you'd like." We pulled up in front of the playhouse.
"Will you throw in sunrise, too?"
I leaned in for a quick taste. "Can't stop the earth from turning," I said against her soft cheek, and nibbled from her earlobe down to her tender throat. It was just as well that her calico costume had such a high, modest neckline.
When she'd gone I sat there for a minute, hardly noticing the people strolling along the village sidewalk. Then I headed north, up through Pinkham Notch, needing to center myself in the mountains.
The peaks loomed dark against a backdrop of moon-gilded clouds; Madison , Adams, Jefferson, and, crowning the range, Mount Washington . I'd never needed more intensely to be up there, on the rocky slopes above treeline, looking down on a world made tranquil by distance. Or, even better, looking down on clouds filling the valleys with a pale, ghostly sea, while the stars above seemed closer and more real than the shrouded earth. Best of all would be watching the dawn in the cold, still air, when nothing exists except stone, and space, and the coming of light over the edge of the world.
My gaze followed the contours of the mountains, my hands almost feeling their harsh ridges and swooping ravines. Then the thought of Katzi's softer curves and sweet valleys beckoned me with increasing urgency. I didn't want solitude, after all, at least not right now, I thought, as I drove back down the winding highway. Just a quick fling, I warned myself, a little summer diversion. She'll head back to New York or wherever soon enough. That's all you want. That's all she wants. Nobody gets hurt.
Katzi smelled of sweat, excitement, and greasepaint, although she'd scrubbed most of that off. She was close to exhaustion, but tried to hide it. I got out and helped her into the truck, patting her tight jeans where they were molded to her heart-shaped ass. I've never understood how some girls wear them so tight, especially in the crotch--you'd think they'd get sore if they had any pussy lips worth mentioning. I said so as I drove, and Katzi laughed and perked up.
"You wanna check 'em out?"
"A fine idea." I swung into the official "scenic overlook" just north of town. The moon and mountains would have been breathtaking if I hadn't had more intimate scenery on my mind.
Katzi raised her hips while I unzipped her pants and worked them down just far enough to get my hand where it wanted to go. Her pussy lips were full and moist and clinging. "Just fine," I said against her mouth, working my thumb toward her clit. That was just fine, too, and getting finer. "Nice preview."
"God, Jo, don't stop there!" She hauled her shirt up, and then her satin bra. I held my breath, waiting for the moment when her breasts surged free of confinement, setting off a surge of heat deep and low inside me. Her nipples were hard, and rosy even in the white moonlight.
"You guarantee you're rechargeable?"
"Yes, damnit!" She wriggled and thrust against my hand.
"You sure?" My other hand stroked across her breasts, flicking one nipple and then the other. "The night is young yet."
"So...ah!...so am I!" she gasped, and stuck her tongue out at me. I wanted to grab that impudent bit of flesh in my teeth, wanted to yank her jeans the rest of the way off and chew every part of her impudent, tender body, but my leg wasn't up to the calisthenics necessary to accomplish all that in the cramped space of the truck cab. I rolled one of her nipples in the angle between my index and middle fingers, and worked her pussy harder, meeting her accelerating thrusts, until the truck rocked and she yelled so loud it would have echoed from the cliffs across the valley if the windows hadn't been closed. Which, of course, meant steamed-up windows to clear before I could drive on.
By the time we reached my cabin Katzi seemed to be asleep, head nestled against my shoulder. We were far up a dirt road along a branch of the Saco River , entirely surrounded by National Forest. There must have been a story behind how my grandmother managed to keep title to the land, but I'd never thought to ask until it was too late. I rent a place farther south, too, where I'm stationed, but the cabin has always been the center of my world. I grinned inwardly, thinking that I'd come back here to lick my wounds, but found something much more worth licking.
When the truck stopped, Katzi raised her head. "Just a minute, Kitten," I said, and got out to open the padlock on the chain across the driveway. The building was still hidden in the trees.
"Rowr," she said, in a distinctly feline tone, when I climbed back in. "Can't you see my fur sparking?" She ran her fingers through her short curls.
"Does that mean you're recharging?" I asked.
"Stick a finger in my socket and see!"
So, of course, I did, once I'd lit an oil lamp in the cabin so I could see as well as taste her delectable flesh. The gleam of lamplight on her full breasts and tender belly was almost worth lifting my head occasionally to see, especially when I'd sucked her nipples to wet, hard engorgement and left faint tracks of tooth marks from her navel to her smooth shaven pussy.
And that was only the beginning. Katzi wanted to go places she'd hadn't been yet, feel places she hadn't felt. "I don't need lube!" she said when I grabbed the tube. "Just feel how incredibly wet I am!"
"You're gushing like a river at spring thaw," I agreed, flexing my gloved fist, "but we do it my way this time."
"Yes, Sir!" She spread her legs. I stroked her, and she arched her hips, showing me glimpses of pink as tender and lovely as the lady-slippers that bloom along the river trail in spring. I bent to touch my tongue to her glistening sweetness. But tenderness wasn't what Katzi wanted just then.
"Fuck me hard, Jo, please!" she begged. "I want it all!"
"You'll get as much as I want you to have," I said. "You'll just have to trust me."
Two fingers into her tight, clinging cunt, I knew it was going to be a gradual process, and it was, compounded by her amazing capacity for multiple orgasms. "I'm sorry," she panted, after the first spasms gripped my hand. "But I really...in just a minute...I need more!"
"Don't apologize," I murmured against the luscious flesh of her belly. "Take everything you can get." My own cunt was throbbing; I wanted desperately to grind against her thigh, but my wound threatened to flare into serious pain. I didn't want any distraction from the joys of fucking Katzi.
Fifteen minutes and four orgasms later her moans were fierce and low and my whole fist was twisting gently in her depths. Hard pumping could wait for another session. Half an hour later, as she slept in exhaustion, I watched the rise and fall of her breasts for a long time before drifting off with my face pressed against her warmth.
We didn't manage to catch sunrise, but the morning light was still pure and clear when I went down to the river and waded into the deepest part. The cold water rushing down from the mountains could always sweep away sweat, doubt, confusion. Then I sat in the sun on my favorite boulder and tried to clear my mind of everything but the intense blue of the sky.
"You look like one of those paintings," Katzi said, coming to stand below me. "You know, the ones with girls sitting on rocks with mountains and waterfalls and stuff."
"Maxfield Parrish?" I asked, without turning.
"That's the guy. You look like what I wish he would have painted, instead of all those cute fluffy girls."
"You'd have fit right in," I said. "But I always wondered how they got up onto those jagged mountains with bare feet." I wriggled my own river sandals, which were all I was wearing.
She looked at my feet, then my legs. I steeled myself not to clamp my naked thighs together, and let her look.
"Oh, Jo," she cried, aghast at the full extent of my wound. "Did he cut you that way on purpose?"
I couldn't bottle up the anger, the guilt, forever. "Yeah. Probably. His wife had been going to leave him for a woman, but luckily the papers didn't get hold of that tidbit. We could've charged him with a hate crime, I suppose, from the names he called me, but there wasn't any point. Even if he'd lived."
Her hand was on my thigh, and she could feel me shaking. "You had to do it, Jo, it was self defense, and who knows what else he'd have done to them?"
I remembered the woman's screams, and the child's terrified cries. I remembered climbing the back of the building, finding foot and finger holds on ledges and chinks in the bricks, while my partner watched the front. Then came the shatter of glass as I plunged through the window, and the flash of the knife as I wrestled with him. I hadn't been able to climb with my gun drawn, and then it was too late. My most searing memory was the crumpling of his larynx under my hand.
"There had to be another way," I muttered. "If...maybe if I had been different, gentler, softer somehow, I could've talked him around. That poor little kid had been through enough, without having to see all that."
"But the mother lived, didn't she? My God, Jo, how can you kick yourself? I know it must have been awful, but..." She stood on tiptoe and nestled her head against my side, and I bent to hide my face in her soft curls. Then she worked her lips gently downward toward the scar. "Let me, please..."
I began to tremble in a different way. I wasn't sure I could bear to be touched. She looked up at me so pleadingly, hungrily, that suddenly I couldn't bear not to be touched, by her hands, her mouth, her indefinable flame of life that warmed something in me deeper than the flesh.
I leaned back with my arms braced against the rock and let my thighs spread farther apart, let Katzi's mouth move up, and up, toward where I needed it most. She reached her arms around my waist and pressed her lips and tongue against me so softly, gently, that I felt no pain, only a tantalizing stimulation I thought would drive me crazy. I tried to pull her head closer, harder--maybe I was healed enough!-- but she resisted. "Trust me," she murmured against my flesh, and I had to, even had to let her hear me whimper and moan. She kept on and on, driving me closer and closer to the brink, until I begged and swore and her wet tongue and fingers pressed harder and faster, sending me hurtling toward the headwall of the ravine--and then I plunged over in an avalanche of fierce joy.
Much later in the day I kissed her, told her when I'd pick her up, and watched her hurry into the playhouse. I really was healed enough, I realized, to go back on duty. Why rush it, though? I could still taste her, still feel her body against mine, still smell her scent clinging to me. I couldn't handle thinking about the future yet, but I was going to savor every moment of the present, and the healing force of nature that was Katzi.
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