The characters in the story are a product of my own imagination and hopefully have no resemblance to any other persons, living or dead.
This short prelude is dedicated to all those couples out there who, after so many years together, still manage to keep the FLAME alive. You are a true inspiration for so-called writers like me. Keep it up, guys!
To my beta, rleef, thank you so much, Bright One!Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated, so feel free to drop a line or two at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The park was crowded with everyone trying to capitalize on the first sight of sun after a long week of dreary weather. With kids and dogs running wild, Leslie made sure to keep the picnic basket close to her body deterring any canine thieves. Her eyes fell on a sturdy blond boy chasing a golden Labrador nearby. She laughed when the dog turned around suddenly and started to chase the bewildered boy. The hunter became the hunted, she thought as her green eyes quickly scanned over the masses until the came to rest on her target. Her eyes darkened as they slowly moved over the tall frame of the woman.
Kenton Grayson was absolutely gorgeous. Her tall muscular frame was leaning against a tree as she was talking on her phone, her eyes hidden behind dark shades. It was difficult to see if she was looking back at her or not, but still she refused to avert her eyes. The woman was way too fascinating not to look at. Dressed in faded jeans and a black tank top, it was a pleasure to watch her muscles play lazily under her tanned skin.
She raised an eyebrow when the woman snapped her phone closed and with long strides walked over to the ice-vendor. The blond boy and the dog immediately joined her as she pointed to the different containers of flavored ice cream. She effortlessly heaved the boy into her arms and together they continued to have an animated conversation with the vendor.
The dog, feeling left out, ran a few circles around them trying to get their attention, but when it didn't get any, it turned and made a beeline for her. Bracing herself for the anticipated contact, she quickly folded her arms over her protruding belly.
“Henry, no …” came a deep contralto voice, stopping the dog dead in his tracks. Leslie smiled her appreciation at the gorgeous woman, who had her eyes fixed on the now whimpering dog. “Come back over here.”
With drooping ears the canine slowly walked over to his master, receiving a gentle scratching under his chin for his obedience.
She reached for her can of Diet Pepsi and returned her attention to her favorite pastime, watching Kenton Grayson.
She remembered the time she'd first laid eyes on Kenton. She was appointed as a computer consultant to this big law firm and her first few weeks were hectic, as she'd worked hard at trying to ease some of the staff into the using the new program she'd specifically designed for their other branches across the country. She'd left the head office for last, hoping that she could use the progress and achievements of the other branches as motivation to encourage the use of the program. She had been warned already that there were quite a few anti-techno people she would encounter at the head office. The success of the new database at their other branches was too good an opportunity not to use in smoothing their feathers of the pessimists.
She was in the middle of a training session when the most gorgeous woman she'd ever seen walked in and quietly took a seat at the conference table. When the dark head lifted to make eye contact, she was stunned to find piercing grey eyes staring back at her. Like a rabbit caught in headlights, she'd wracked her mind for something to do or say to settle her sudden bout of nerves. With a slightly shaky hand she'd reached for her cup of coffee to take a calming sip. Only her unsteady hand had refused to cooperate and she'd ended up with a big dark stain on her white silk blouse. As she'd reached for her paper napkin to rescue her blouse and her pride, the tall brunette had walked over to her and handed her a few more napkins.
“While you try to salvage what you can, do you mind if I step in for a few minutes to make a few announcements?” the contralto voice had asked softly. Close-up, the woman was dazzling. Her eyes were cool, but not hard, but she could see they had the capacity to change into a weapon of mass destruction if the need arise. She'd nodded, speechless.
“Sure. I … I … the bathroom …” Taking a deep breath she tried again. “I will quickly dash over to the ladies'. The floor is yours.”
The woman had smiled and Leslie could feel her heart flutter in her chest at the sight of the cute dimples in her cheeks.
It was whilst she was passing the coffee room that she overheard some ladies talking. The words … announcement … conference room … the boss … had her slow down her pace. Could she have met the elusive Ms Grayson and not have known? The only other person in the boardroom at the moment making announcements was the dark-haired beauty and from what she overheard, she must be the boss lady. Sighing, she'd continued on to the ladies. What an introduction , she thought. Here she was eager to finally meet the powerhouse that was Kenton Grayson only to make a fool of herself within the first minute of their meeting.
Back in the conference room she was relieved to find that the brunette wasn't in attendance anymore and had she quickly resumed her session. It was Friday after all, and she could already see some of the trainees' eyes were glazed over with Friday fever. She too couldn't wait to get out of her stuffy clothes and into something comfortable while sipping a martini.
It was much later that she'd had the pleasure of officially meeting the gorgeous brunette again. She was unwinding at the hotel bar, sipping on her second martini when she'd heard the familiar contralto speaking close by. Not trying to make it obvious she'd try to catch her reflection in the large mirror stretching across the back of the bar. She was shocked to not only see her reflection, but the find the intense silver eyes making contact with hers. Averting her gaze quickly, she'd lifted her glass to her lips only for the liquid to slosh over her rim of the glass and onto her.
Stunned by the coolness running down her breasts, soaking her bra, she'd stared down at her ruined blouse for a second time that day. At this rate she will have no more clothes left unless she learned to adopt a more relaxed attitude around this magnificent woman.
A tanned hand holding a few napkins came into view and she'd blushed furiously. The woman must surely think she's either clumsy or drunk. Nodding her thanks she'd accepted the napkins and was about to make her way to the ladies when she'd felt a hand on her shoulder.
“I'm sorry if I'd startled you, Ms. Gould.”
She'd turned and looked back at the woman. The grey eyes were warm as they'd look into hers and she couldn't help but smile at the woman's effort to justify her own clumsy behavior.
“No need to apologize, Ms. Grayson. You were not at fault. Thank you for the napkins once again.”
The dimples had made their appearance again and Leslie knew that if she didn't put space between her and this goddess, she was sure to embarrass herself again. She'd turned on her heel and made a dash for the bathroom. When she'd returned to the bar it was to find Kenton waiting for her, a fresh martini next to her half-empty one. Next to the fresh drink she spotted a long thin, cylindrical shape and was only when she was closer that she recognized what it was. It was a straw!
She looked into the silver eyes and found them sparkling with amusement and charmed by the stoic woman's attempt at a joke, she burst out laughing.
She was pulled out of her reverie when she saw Kenton turn away from the vendor balancing three cones in her hands while the boy was already tackling his with enthusiasm. She looked at the slow long-legged gait of the tall brunette as she made her way over. Feeling her mouth suddenly going dry she raised the can to her lips. She cursed inwardly when she felt the bubbly liquid splash down her chin and onto her white tank top. Staring at the growing brown stain, she quickly raised her eyes to find both Kenton and boy had both come to an abrupt stop as they stared at her. Two identical sets of grey eyes were fixed on her chest.
Blushing she averted her eyes only to blush even harder when she heard an unladylike snort coming from the space on the blanket next to her. Turning her head slowly, she met the dismayed green eyes of her seven-year-old daughter.
“Oh, man … Moooom ….” She pushed herself to her feet and walking passed the ice-cream bearing duo, she huffed. “I will go get some paper napkins. I hope someone remembered to pack straws. There are still a lot of sodas left in the cooler box.”
Slightly embarrassed by her terminal clumsiness, she searched out the silver eyes of her wife of twelve years. Her discomfort disappeared like mist before the sun at the exquisite look of love in Kenton's eyes as the brunette quickly came over to sit next to her. Leslie felt her heart beat wildly in her chest as she held the grey eyes captive.
“Are you two going to kiss again?” The four-year-old boy's eyes were wide as he nervously looked around him.
They both chuckled softly at the mortified look on their son's face as he quickly turned and rushed to catch up with his sister.
The grey eyes slowly roamed over the face and then down to the stained blouse, spanning tightly over her full breasts. There they lingered for a long while, before they rose to meet her eyes again.
“It's been twelve years now. I thought we had that under control, babe.” The contralto voice was husky as the silver eyes caressed her body slowly. She held out an ice cream cone to her.
“You still take my breath away, darling. I'm sorry for being so clumsy.” She leaned into her partner's strong body.
“Don't you dare apologize, Mrs. Grayson. I'm flattered that, twelve years on and two children later …” Her large had gently caressed her bulging belly. “… three with this munchkin, you still get the shakes when you look at me. I'm truly blessed, my darling.”
Their lips met in a deep loving kiss and they only pulled away when a shadow fell over them. Pushing raven locks behind her ears, their beautiful daughter looked down at them. Her green eyes so like Leslie's rolled back as she held out a thick stack of napkins.
“I think I've cleaned out the vendor's stash, Mom. Better use these sparingly.”
Leslie grinned at her daughter. “Thank you, honey. I promise to be more careful, okay.”
The green eyes looked at her long and hard, before they melted and twin dimples formed in her cheeks. Leslie's heart melted at the sight of them. Kenton's dimples!
“I've realized it only happens when you stare at Mama. It's kinda cute, you know.” Without saying anything further, she stretched her frame across the blanket. “Are one of those for me, Mama?”
“Uh ... yes, baby.”
Sneaking a look at their daughter they moved closer to each other to steal another quick kiss. Out the corner of their eyes they saw their son quickly turn away at their public display of affection.
Grinning, they stick their tongues out at him.
“Little Jeff and Laurie will just have to get used to it, don't you think, sweetheart.” Kenton whispered against her lips before she brushed them gently.
Leslie smiled as she reached for her can of soda. Almost in chorus everyone reminded her to be careful as they looked at her with their eyebrows raised in anticipation.
Looking at her beautiful family from over the rim of her can, her green eyes sparkled as they met and held those of her wife.
“I've got it, guys.”
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