I Found My Heart in San Francisco

Book 3: Coalescence

By S X Meagher



See Part 1

***Part 14***

It was after two when they returned home, and to their extreme pleasure the key to the door that contained the recording equipment was in the mailbox when they arrived. Jamie kissed the envelope with a big smack, and they dropped off their purchases and raced each other to the garage.

Jamie slid the key into the lock, and smiled in satisfaction as the knob turned. "Whew!" she said, dramatically wiping her forehead with the back of her hand. They walked into the small room together and looked around at the array of monitors displaying images from around the property. Just as Jamie had suspected, there were cameras in the courtyard, near the rear and front doors, in the foyer, up the main staircase, in the pool house, the garage and the gym. There was also one located near the front door of each apartment, but none inside. There was no camera in the kitchen or any other living area in the main house, and Jamie sighed in relief, at the knowledge that, no matter what, at least her mother would not see them defiling her precious concrete counters.

The room contained four large recorders sitting on big metal racks. It looked as though one recorder captured still shots of the courtyard, the access doors, the main staircase, the pool house, and the apartment entrances. A separate recorder was dedicated to the foyer, another to the gym, and a third to the garage. As they sat and watched the cameras work, it became clear that the largest recorder captured shots of most of the property in sequence, showing a photo of the rear door, followed by one of the front door about 30 seconds later. The rest of the exterior followed, so that every three minutes there was a shot from every camera.

Regrettably, the cameras in the gym, the foyer and the garage were dedicated to just that area. The camera took a still about every 30 seconds, so the tape was a very choppy rendition of the activity occurring in that space. Nonetheless, as they rewound the tape from the foyer, it was obvious what was occurring on Monday afternoon when they arrived. The first shot was of Jamie pinning Ryan to the door. The next was of Jamie fumbling with Ryan’s zipper as she tried to remove her pants. The third shot was of Jamie pushing her hips against Ryan while she grasped her butt firmly. The last still was of Ryan lifting Jamie into her arms, mouths locked together. They looked at each other with wide eyes. "Now what?" they said in unison.

"I’m really not sure," Ryan admitted. "Obviously, if worse comes to worst we’ll just destroy the tapes and hope they don’t notice, or plead ignorance if they do. But I only want to do that as a last resort. Maybe we should wait for Conor. He’s a whiz with electronics. And if anybody is an expert in getting out of trouble, it’s Conor. He has years of experience!"

"Okay," Jamie agreed, a bit hesitantly. "But he won’t have to look at these, will he?"

"No, Baby," Ryan promised, wrapping her arms around her partner. "I guarantee no one will see these tapes. Except me!" she added with a leer, as she rewound the tape from the gym. "I bet this one is a scorcher!"

Jamie protested, a bit feebly, but she secretly wanted to see their lovemaking also. She had to admit that seeing Ryan do squats was hot, even in still photos. But she was mortally embarrassed that the tapes showed just how in control she was. Ryan looked like putty in her hands, as she was guided around the room with a glazed expression on her face. "I hardly knew where I was," she admitted with a chuckle as they watched the images roll across the screen.

"You do look a bit blank," Jamie agreed, as yet another image of a stunned looking Ryan flashed by. "God, I hate to admit this, but I’m getting hot!" she said as she rested her head on Ryan’s chest. "This is like watching porn!"

"It most certainly is not!" Ryan protested. "Porn is…it’s…it’s about exploitation, Jamie. This was about love. The fact that it turns you on to fulfill some of your fantasies doesn’t make it pornographic. It’s still just you and me, loving each other in different ways at different times. Just because it’s a little wild doesn’t make it any less loving, Sweetheart."

"I...I...I guess you’re right, Ryan. It just makes me uncomfortable to see how in control I look."

"Jamie, Sweetheart," Ryan cooed. "I thought we had resolved this last night. You told me then that you were feeling okay about this. What happened, Baby?"

"I don’t know," she admitted glumly, shaking her head. "I guess the pictures made it seem worse to me."

"I think we need to talk about this a little bit," Ryan said, as she took her hand and led her out of the room. She sat down on a weight bench and pulled Jamie onto her lap. "You seem to feel that being in control is a very bad thing, Baby."

"It feels like it is," Jamie confirmed, blushing at her admission.

"Let’s start at the beginning," Ryan suggested. "I want you to tell me how you learned about sex. Did your mom talk to you about it at all?"

"Huh-uh," she said, as she shook her head. "Neither of my parents was very good at that kind of thing. My nanny, Elizabeth, was in charge of all of that stuff."

"Tell me about her," Ryan prodded, not having heard of this woman before.

"She was really a sweet woman," Jamie recalled. "She was probably close to 60 when I was born, and she came to work for us the day they brought me home from the hospital. She didn’t have any duties other than raising me. I mean, she didn’t have to cook or clean or anything. So we spent practically all of our time together. I would guess that my character was formed by her more than my parents, at least for the first few years."

"Did she talk to you about sex?" Ryan gently inquired.

"Yeah, she did," Jamie admitted. "She was very English and very proper, always answered my questions, but in a clinical way. I do remember her telling me that sex was something that your husband was in charge of. She gave me the clear impression that it was something that women had to bear." Ryan didn’t say a word, wanting Jamie to talk about as many memories as she could dredge up. "I remember when I first got my period. She told me that it was another trial that women were put through, like childbirth. I remember thinking that all of this stuff was tied up together, you know? Menstruation, sex and childbirth. They all seemed like mysterious and painful things."

"Did she have children?"

"No, she and her sister were spinsters. They live together now, back in England."

"What else do you remember?" Ryan asked.

"I do remember when I first started to date boys. She sat me down and had a very long talk with me about how they would all want to touch me, but that I shouldn’t let them. She really made it sound kind of scary, and I was kinda freaked when guys first started trying to touch me. I remember thinking that it was some sort of game, and that I would lose if I let them do what they wanted."

"Wow!" Ryan said as she shook her head. "That’s not a very sex positive message to give to a young girl. Did you believe everything she said?"

"Yeah, I did," she admitted. "I might have doubted her, but from the first date I had, the boys were trying to get into my pants. I wasn’t allowed to start dating until I was 15, and the boys in my school were really pretty wild. Most of them had already had sex by the time they took me out, and it was just a constant struggle. The older I got, the worse it became; it was kind of a game for the guys to see who could get me to give it up. But you know me," she said with a chuckle. "There’s no better way to get me to dig in my heels than to try to force me to do something."

Now that she finally knew how hot her lover was sexually, Ryan asked a question that had puzzled her for months. "Did you really not want to have sex?"

Jamie leaned against her chest and let out a heavy sigh. "It’s hard to say. I probably would have if I had gone out with someone who didn’t try to force themselves on me," she admitted. "I don’t know why guys can’t figure this out. If they’d just act like they were casual about it and not push so damn hard, they’d probably get a lot more."

"Is that what happened with Jack?" Ryan asked, not wanting to pry, but genuinely curious about her lover’s sexual development.

"Yeah, it is," she admitted with a small smile. "The first time we went out he tried to kiss me a little too intimately for my taste. I told him in no uncertain terms that I didn’t do that kind of thing with guys I didn’t know well. He’s as stubborn as I am, and I think he took it as a personal challenge. He really backed off, and I was eventually the one who started going a little farther each time we went out. He would just sit there with this smug little smile on his face while I was going crazy!"

"Smart man," Ryan said with a grin. "That’s a very effective ploy." She had used the trick a time or two herself, and Jack climbed up a few notches in her estimation for being so crafty.

Jamie shot her a smirk and agreed, "Oh, yeah. He’s pretty quick. I have to admit that’s why I eventually trusted him enough to sleep with him. It felt safe since he wasn’t pushing. After he asked me to marry him, I knew how committed he was, and I felt free to be with him totally."

"But even with that commitment you weren’t free from those old warnings, were you?" Ryan seemed to understand her situation completely, and Jamie felt her unease about discussing the topic fade away.

She shook her head, rubbing her head against Ryan’s chest in the process. "No, all of those years of saying no still hadn’t gone away. I just expected Jack to know what to do, and I thought I could just lie there and have him make me feel good. I think it caught him by surprise since I was pretty aggressive when we used to just kiss and touch each other. But once we started to have intercourse, I got really submissive. The stupidest thing we did was that we failed to talk about it. I know both of us were disappointed, but we just didn’t try to work it out. I think we both had issues about sex that prohibited us from really looking at the underlying problem. When we tried to get back together, things were better because we talked, but it was too late by then, since I was so in love with you."

"What do you think your issues about sex were, Hon?" Ryan asked gently. If the problems that Jamie and Jack had experienced were isolated within their relationship, Ryan didn’t want to pry. But she had a strong feeling that whatever problems occurred in the past might crop up again, and she was determined to avoid that at all costs.

"I know this sounds crazy, but I never got over the feeling that sex was something Jack took from me. Do you understand what I mean?"

"I’m not sure," Ryan admitted, honestly having no idea what Jamie was talking about.

"Well, I think I felt that sex was mine to give or withhold. He was always ready to go--kind of like you," she said with a little tweak of Ryan’s chin. "I felt like I had to control how much sex we had because he would just consume me if I didn’t. It’s like I felt it was a precious resource that I had to conserve."

"Did that make you feel like you couldn’t express yourself fully?"

"Yeah, it did. It really did." She wriggled around in Ryan’s lap trying to get comfortable, but she realized that must be even more uncomfortable for her partner, so she got up and tugged her over to a cozy chair that faced the large-screen television. "Better?"

Ryan grinned up at her and snuggled closer.

"It’s like this, Babe," Jamie continued. "There was no room for me to explore. Any time I gave him the slightest signal, he wanted to get horizontal. Not that that’s bad, of course. But it didn’t allow me to try little things and see how I felt about them." She smiled up at Ryan and added, "That’s the most wonderful gift you’ve given me. Letting me play with you without you jumping on me really freed me up to explore myself a little bit. Obviously, that’s an ongoing process, but I feel so much better now, it’s really remarkable."

"Do I ever make you feel overwhelmed?" Ryan asked softly, hoping that she had never pushed too far.

"Well…yeah," she said as her face curled into a smirk. "But I like it when you overwhelm me." Jamie’s voice had taken on a sultry tone, and she snuck a little nibble of an always tempting and conveniently located ear.

"Not that way," Ryan chuckled as she pinched her sides. "Do I ever make you feel like I’m asking for too much? Do you ever fear me, or feel that I’m consuming you?"

An impish grin had settled on Jamie’s face as she replied. "I think I’ve shown that I no longer have an issue with the consuming thing, either, Honey."

That comment earned her a serious tickle attack, and when Ryan had delivered her punishment she calmed down and answered the question seriously. "I don’t ever feel that way with you, Ryan. I don’t understand exactly why I feel so comfortable with you, but I really do. Maybe it’s because you seem to get so much pleasure out of satisfying me. Sex with you doesn’t just seem like it’s all about you. I mean, it was really discouraging to Jack when I would fail to have an orgasm. But he wasn’t really willing to do whatever it took to help me get there. He just wanted to have intercourse and make me come that way. And that rarely worked for me. But with you," she said, resting her head on Ryan’s shoulder, "I can feel how much pleasure you get out of my enjoyment. And I know it’s not because you want to use my body to have an orgasm. You’re really doing it for me. Just me," she said softly.

"I appreciate the thought, but that’s not really true," Ryan whispered. "I get so much satisfaction out of watching your face and touching your body, that it feels like it’s just as much for me. It’s truly a toss up as to how I get more pleasure. If you never touched me again, I could honestly be happy just loving you."

Jamie kissed her cheek and reiterated her point. "Sorry, Hon, but I’ve gotta insist. You’re selfless."

"How so? I admitted that I get intense pleasure from touching you."

"Yes…but in my view of the world, there is a difference between using my body to have an orgasm and getting pleasure from giving me pleasure. I’m sure I would have felt differently if Jack had not been so centered on making me come the way he wanted to. It was a rare day that he focused on my needs."

Ryan leaned forward and nibbled on one sensitive earlobe. "It’s gonna be a rare day that I don’t focus on your luscious body, Sweetness. I’m gonna study you from top to bottom. And when I finish, I’m gonna start all over again."

"You make me sound like the Golden Gate Bridge," the blonde laughed, joking about the never-ending task of keeping the edifice painted its deep rust color.

They shared a laugh at the image, and then Ryan framed another question that had been working around in her mind. "How do you feel about the way you respond to me? I know you’re not used to really letting go." Twinkling blue eyes predicted that a tease was on the way, and Jamie smiled in anticipation. "You’re about as much as I can handle, so if you haven’t let go yet, I think you’d better warn me."

"Worry not, Honey. I’m giving you everything I’ve got." Jamie kissed her partner briefly, showing her that the gentle tease was well received. "Seriously, I think I feel great about my response. The only thing that still bothers me is stuff like this tape. It really freaks me out to see that I’m orchestrating the whole thing. I’d have to say that I feel a lot more comfortable when I’m responding rather than leading."

Ryan was running her fingers through Jamie’s soft hair, and she smiled serenely when the golden head pressed into her hand, begging for more. "I feel very comfortable when I lead, Hon," she admitted. "I really do believe though, that we will have a better relationship if we can step out of our typical roles and go out of our comfort zones occasionally. Over time, I think you’ll get comfortable leading. We just need to go slow and practice, practice, practice," she teased.

With a soft laugh, Jamie agreed. "I suppose I need a lot of reassurance from you right now, Ryan. I need to know that I’m not being too forward or too demanding. Like when we were in the gym, would you have told me if you didn’t want to do those exercises in the nude?"

"Yes, Sweetie. I promise that I will not participate in anything that makes me feel uncomfortable or that makes me lose respect for you. I want you to know though, that you are a very, very, very long way from making me feel uncomfortable. I’ve done a lot of things in my life, and not very many of them have bothered me. Sexual arousal is a very complex thing, Babe, and if something doesn’t hurt or objectify me, I’m willing to try it."

The small list of things that Ryan mentioned gave Jamie pause, and her protective instincts came out immediately. Reaching out to turn her partner’s face so she could look into her eyes she asked, "Has someone hurt you, Baby?"

Ryan laughed gently, shaking her head to reassure her concerned partner. "I uh…didn’t mean that kind of hurt." Her waggling eyebrows indicated that the hurt she spoke of was of a physical, rather than a psychological, nature.

"Oh." Jamie blushed at the implication, but she was curious about the topic so she continued. "Will you tell me what kind of things did bother you?"

"Sure, but I have to think for a minute," she added as she furrowed her brow. After a while she said, "I don’t like to have sex with more than one person at a time. One time a woman that I didn’t know very well wanted a guy to join us. I wouldn’t participate in that, since guys don’t arouse me. But it wasn’t just guys. When I was really young, I had sex with two women and I really hated it. So I decided to never do that again."

"What did you hate about it?" Jamie was surprised that her partner would ever have too much of a good thing.

"I really have to concentrate when someone is touching me. Having four hands and two mouths on me at the same time was way too much stimulation. It didn’t feel personal enough to me, if that makes any sense."

"Yeah, I think it does," she agreed, instantly knowing that she would hate to have anyone join Ryan in her bed. "But I’ve got to tell you that the voyeur in me would just love to have seen your lithe young body being pleasured by two women. Whew!" she exclaimed as she shivered a bit in her lover’s arms.

Ryan chuckled a little and said, "Would you still like to see it? I could call in a few favors…"

"I’ll see it in my fantasies, thank you very much," Jamie declared, lightly tapping her partner’s pink cheek with her open hand. "What else has bothered you, Babe?"

"Not a whole hell of a lot, to tell you the truth. I’m a pretty open-minded girl!"

"I’m aware." Jamie’s dry tone reminded Ryan of some of the exploits Jamie had witnessed. "Continue, please, there has to be something…branding…caning…"

"Oh, right!" Ryan looked pleased that she had been reminded of another practice. "Well, through the years I’ve met a lot of people into bondage and discipline. Again, I’ve got no problems with people pleasing each other that way, but it’s not for me. I like to play with power and control, but I have no desire to cause someone pain through sex, and nobody is going to do that to me, either. To be honest, I think the people who tried to play with me that way weren’t very good at it, but I wasn’t interested in finding anyone who really knew what they were doing. Now, that said, I’m not averse to a little restraint. In fact, I like that quite a bit," she said with a leer. "But tying me up and beating me is just not going to happen."

"That’s a relief!" Jamie said with an exaggerated wiping of her brow. "I can’t see you letting someone hit you. You weren’t hit as a child, were you?"

Ryan’s face clouded a little, and she looked just a trifle uncomfortable. "My parents never hit any of us," she said quietly. After a pause she turned her head and asked, "How about you?"

"No, my parents weren’t involved enough to know when I was being bad. I don’t recall Elizabeth ever hitting me either, but once at the park she told another nanny that she should give the little boy she was watching a good thrashing. That freaked me out and made me wonder if she would ever hit me, but as I said, I don’t remember her doing so."

"You’d remember," Ryan said quietly.

Sensing that there was a lot going on under the surface of her calm exterior, Jamie turned slightly and said, "Someone hit you, didn’t they, Baby?"

Ryan just nodded her head briefly. She pursed her lips and said, "Is it okay if we don’t talk about it right now?"

"Sure," she said, knowing that she needed to respect her wishes for privacy. Trying to lighten the mood she reverted back to her lover’s favorite topic. "Anything else you haven’t liked about sex?"

The smile returned as Ryan thought about her sexual history. "I have to feel that I’m an integral part of the act. One time a woman wanted me to only touch her from behind. I really like to do that, so I didn’t mind a bit. But she could only touch me from behind, too. I turned around when she was touching me, and she freaked out. She said she couldn’t go on because I had ‘ruined the moment.’ It made me feel like she wasn’t connected to me in any way and that really made me feel used, so I never saw her again."

"That’s sounds very strange," Jamie said as she shook her head with a look of distaste.

"Well, I don’t really like to label sexual response. If it’s consensual, go for it. People get off on different things, Babe. If you had some unique need, I’d be very willing to work with you so that we could both be satisfied. But in this situation, she just wanted me to follow the script and not screw it up. I felt objectified and I can’t tolerate that."

"Is there anything that you like or want that I haven’t done for you?" Jamie’s voice was quiet, and she played with the ends of Ryan’s hair, unable to make eye contact.

"Nope. Every one of my needs has been fully met," was the decisive reply. "I need to feel loved and honored and cherished and desired. And you are definitely an expert at every one of those things, Jamie."

"You’re very sweet, Ryan, but you know what I mean. Is there anything that you like that I haven’t done for you, physically?"

"There are tons of things that I like that we haven’t done yet, Jamie. But those are just technical details. The things that make me feel connected to you are the important things. We’re going to be with each other for the rest of our lives, Honey. We have plenty of time to explore every position and technique known to womankind." Ryan paused for a moment, feeling that it was very important that Jamie understood exactly how she felt about this issue. "If you were only comfortable doing ten percent of what I liked, it would be enough, because of how much I love you. What we do is far less important to me than the fact that we do it to show our love for each other."

Snuggling against her partner, Jamie felt her trepidation lessen. She sighed deeply and voiced her last insecurity. "I guess I’m still a little worried about my technical abilities," she admitted, turning a little so she could rest her head on Ryan’s shoulder again.

Ryan fidgeted a bit, trying to sit up straighter in the chair. She was going to do her best to relieve Jamie of her doubt, and her delivery was forceful. "I must not be making myself clear, Sweetie. I’ve been with women who have made love thousands of times. Not one of them could hold a candle to what you do to me." She placed her hand on Jamie’s chin and tilted it up to make sure she could read her eyes. "I don’t love making love with you only because of how I feel for you emotionally, Jamie. You make me absolutely crazy with desire, Baby. I’ve never had orgasms like I do with you. I’ve never looked at a woman and gotten as turned on as I do with you. I swear, Jamie, that the sex we’ve had this week is more satisfying and more fulfilling than everything I’ve done up until now, all rolled into one!"

"Ryan," she said with her lower lip trembling, "that’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever said to me." The tears started to flow, and Jamie cuddled against her partner tightly, reveling in the safety of her arms.

When Jamie was more in control Ryan asked, "Are you feeling a little emotional because it’s our last night here?"

"Yeah, I am," she said sadly. "This has just been so blissful that I’m afraid of breaking the spell by going back into the real world." She looked up at Ryan and mentioned another piece of her emotional puzzle. "I think my PMS is much worse than normal this month too."

"Poor baby," she soothed.

"I’m fine, Hon. I’m just a little more emotional than usual. No biggie." Getting to her feet, Jamie extended a hand to her partner. "I need to get up and get my blood flowing again, though. You game for a little excitement?"

"Hmmm." Ryan’s cocked head showed her thoughtful consideration of the matter. "I’m just trying to remember the last time I refused a little excitement."

With a pinch on her side, Jamie encouraged her partner to join her. "I have a little treat that I’ve been saving for you." She looked up at a smiling Ryan and shot her a shy little grin as she said, "I’ve been keeping something very important from you."

"What’s that?" Ryan inquired, immediately curious.

Jamie led her down the interior staircase and paused before another door. "Daddy has something in here that I know you’ll love, but I haven’t shown it to you yet."

Ryan put two and two together and knew they were talking about cars, one of her very favorite things. "What? What?" she asked excitedly. "What’s he got?" Her eyes were wide with excitement and anticipation was flowing through her body.

"Well," she teased, intentionally prolonging the agony, "it’s a five car garage and every bay is filled. Wanna see?" Ryan was jumping up and down, a wide smile covering her face in a perfect Caitlin imitation. "Are you sure Caitlin isn’t your child?" Jamie asked with a chuckle. "She acts just like you!"

"No, we both act like infants," Ryan corrected her. "Now show me the cars!"

Jamie used her key to open the side door to the huge space. The Suburban was parked right by the door, obscuring their view of the rest of the cars, so Ryan dashed around the front of the big truck and sucked in a breath. She stood with her mouth wide open, staring at a fire-engine red 1968 Shelby Mustang Cobra. "Oh, my God!" she said as she walked around the car reverently. "It looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor!"

Ryan glanced at the other cars quickly, noticing that large canvas covers covered two of them. The car next to the Mustang was revealed in all of its glory. The black Acura NSX was gleaming under the florescent lights, looking terribly fast even though it was standing still. Jamie thought she detected a bit of drool leaking out of Ryan’s mouth as she took in the car. "You and your mother can go shopping," she said firmly. "I’m hanging out with your dad. He rules!"

Jamie was charmed by the childlike enthusiasm that Ryan showed for her father’s little toys, watching with delight as her partner examined both cars from every angle, never touching their pristine paint. Luckily, the garage floor was spotless, so Ryan’s clothes were not ruined when she got down on the floor and shimmied under both vehicles as far as she could.

The inspection over, the tall woman got to her feet and stared at Jamie, wide eyed. "I don’t think I want to know what’s under those other two covers. I don’t think I can stand any more pleasure," she said sincerely.

"Are you sure, Honey?" Jamie asked solicitously. "In that case, I’ll just have to do the little favor that Daddy asked you to do."

"Favor? What favor?" Ryan asked excitedly.

"He likes to have the cars driven every couple of weeks, and since they won’t be down here for almost a month, he asked me to drive them a little bit," she said casually. "But if you don’t think you can stand the pleasure..."

"Jamie, I can’t drive these," she cried regretfully. "Your father wouldn’t want a stranger driving these babies."

Jamie reached into her pants pocket and took out a handwritten note, which she handed to Ryan. It read:

Dear Jamie,

I hope you and Ryan have a good time this week. Please make her feel at home and don’t be shy about playing golf at the Club.

I normally ask the gardener to run my cars, but I would actually prefer that you two take them out for a spin. You’ve told me that Ryan is a car nut, so please ask her if she would mind taking them out and blowing some carbon off the plugs.

Feel free to raid the wine cellar. We’ve recently stocked up on some of your favorite white Bordeaux, and now that you’re 21 you can enjoy a glass or two without threat of arrest!

We love you, Cupcake. Take care and enjoy your week.



Ryan lost all of the color in her face as she read the note several times. "He’s actually asking me to drive these beasts?" Her look of incredulity was terribly charming to Jamie, but she nonetheless immediately assured her partner that such was the case.

"Yep. But if you don’t feel up to it..."

"Keys! Gimme keys!" she demanded, right leg twitching perceptibly.

"Calm down, Tiger," Jamie said soothingly. "You don’t want to unleash these monsters when you don’t have your emotions under control."

Ryan took several deep breaths while Jamie ran back to the house to get the keys. When she returned, Ryan’s color had returned and she looked considerably calmer, but her excitement was evident. Her eyes were still wide and her foot tapped impatiently on the gray concrete floor. "I can’t decide what to drive first," she said as she looked between the Mustang and the Acura.

"Are you really not going to look at the other cars?" Jamie was stunned that her lover would delay a sensation that she got so much satisfaction from.

"Not yet," she said impatiently. "That’s like having four beautiful women lined up in front of you and all of them want to have sex. You know you’d be thinking about the other three when you were with the first one. It’s just too much information! I need to concentrate, Jamie."

Jamie gave her a big grin as she held out two sets of keys. Ryan continued her mental debate, looking back and forth between the two sets. Finally, she closed her eyes and opened her hands, silently asking her partner to make her decision for her. Jamie placed the Mustang keys in her hand and walked around to get into the passenger side of the car. Ryan slipped into the driver’s side and sat quietly as Jamie leaned over and pushed the button to lift the garage door. As she did so, she recalled the first time they had been in a car together. "This reminds me of the first time you drove the Boxster."

Ryan turned and gave her a dazzling grin, showing that she recalled the drive as well. "It was all I could do to stop myself from putting a major move on you that day. I still remember smelling your perfume when you leaned over me to show me how something worked, and just wanting to take a nibble from your luscious little neck."

A heavy sigh and a seductive grin showed just how things had changed. "Nothing’s stopping you now, Tiger."

Ryan made up for lost time, pouncing on her partner and pinning her to her seat back. It was obvious that the excitement of the cars was spilling over into other facets of Ryan’s determined personality, and after a few minutes of the gentle assault, Jamie regretfully pulled away to focus on the task at hand. "When we get home, Baby. You can show me everything you wanted to do to me that day."

"Deal." Ryan added one more kiss to complete the contract. Mind back on business, she ran her hands all over the dash and the instrument panel, fingers tickling over the gear shift and the turn signals, seemingly trying to memorize the entire car. She turned slowly to her partner and said, "Thank you, Sweetheart. This is really a treat for me."

"You’re welcome, Ryan. Now let’s have fun!"

She graced her lover with her most winning smile, showing her even, white teeth, then turned the engine over, closing her eyes in pleasure as the car growled a low, throaty roar. "This is the epitome of the muscle car," she stated authoritatively, as Jamie just smiled over at her.

She tossed her right arm over Jamie’s seat back and turned around to carefully guide the car out of the garage. When they reached the street she turned and asked, "Which way should we go?"

"Let’s take 17 Mile Drive and head south," Jamie decided. "It’s slow this time of day, and we can just mosey along."

"Sounds good," Ryan said happily as she turned left onto the drive. "So, tell me about your father’s love affair with cars."

"Well, his family didn’t have money for cars when he was growing up and I think it really bothered him. They lived in the city, and didn’t need one anyway, but I think he really longed to have a hot muscle car to impress the girls."

"That’s why I wanted one," Ryan teased, then tried to scoot out of the way of Jamie’s pinch. "So when did he get these?"

"I remember him buying each one, so I’d say he got the Mustang about 12 or 13 years ago. Everything else came after that."

"Does he drive them, or does he keep them only as a collector?"

"Oh, no, he’s not that kind of guy. He likes things for what they are, and these are cars that are meant to be driven. He actually drives the wheels off of them when he’s down here. His regular cars hardly leave the garage. I’d say the Acura is driven less than any of the others though," she said with a smile. "He really loves his muscle cars."

"What does he drive at home?" Ryan asked, wondering what one would choose as an everyday car if money were no object.

"He has a seven series BMW that he drives at home. But he gets a ride to work, so he really doesn’t take it out much."

"Your father carpools?" she asked incredulously, turning slightly to gape at her partner.

"Um...not exactly," Jamie replied, a little embarrassed. "He has a driver who picks him up."

"Well, at least that makes sense!" Ryan laughed. "I can’t see you father in the carpool lane with two other people in the car, talking about what they had for dinner last night."

"No...."Jamie agreed. "Even though he comes from a simple background, he’s a bona fide member of the upper class now."

"You’ve got to admit the benefits are pretty awesome, Honey."

"Oh, I freely admit that," Jamie said. "And speaking of that, how are you liking your little drive?"

"This car is pure bliss," she said with a huge smile on her face. "I could drive all day."

"You’ve got three more at home, Sweetie. Don’t be a glutton."

"Hey, as long as we’re out and about, why don’t we find some place to have our ears pierced? I know we could wait until we get back to the city, but I’d really like to have it done while we’re actually on our honeymoon."

"Sounds like a deal," Jamie smiled over at her partner, charmed that it was so important to her to perform this rite.

Jamie knew the area very well, and she suggested a few places that she was reasonably sure would do a good job. She was surprised when Ryan began to pepper her with questions about the establishments–questions that she could have no way of answering. "Uhh, Honey, I don’t really know if these places use an autoclave…whatever that is."

Ryan was adamant about her demands, causing Jamie to believe that her partner was being overly cautious about such a simple procedure. "We’re not getting our nipples pierced, Ryan," Jamie argued to no avail. "Can’t anybody do it?"

"You might be cavalier about someone sticking a needle through your body, but I’m not," she said firmly. "I need to make sure they know what they’re doing."

"Okay, Honey," she finally conceded, recognizing that argument was futile against the firm set of her lover’s jaw.

The first stop was an attractive little shop that sold jewelry and other small goods. Ryan decided in less than five seconds that they did not measure up.

"What was wrong?" Jamie asked, trotting behind her on the way back to the car.

"You just had a bench to sit on," she replied, as if the answer was obvious.

"And?" Jamie prodded.

"It’s not professional. They should have a nice chair. If they skimp on that, they might skimp on keeping the instruments clean."

The second and third shops that they looked into were also unacceptable according to Ryan’s high standards. Number two, because Ryan didn’t like the guys’ "attitude," number three, because there were very young girls waiting to have their tongues pierced, and Ryan found that objectionable. Jamie had a feeling that they were not going to get it done that day, but Ryan prevailed upon her to try the last place on the list.

It was a short drive and, to Jamie’s amazement, Ryan immediately declared that it was a winner. It was clean, the woman who did the piercing was friendly to both of them, there was a dentist’s chair in the private room, and they were the only customers.

Ryan told the woman what they wanted, and the heavily pierced woman asked them a few questions about where they wanted to be pierced. They agreed that the earrings should go just above the first piercings on their right ears. Jamie decided to go first, and Ryan asked if she could stay to hold her hand. "No problem," replied the woman. "Are you lovers?" she asked casually.

"Yes, we are," Jamie replied with a little blush. "Is it obvious?"

"Probably not to most people, but I’m gay too, and you give off a lot of vibes," she said with a smile. "Did you just start seeing each other?" she asked as she got her piercing gun ready.

"Um..." Jamie looked at Ryan for help.

"We’ve known each other for a while, but we’ve just recently become lovers," Ryan informed her as she smiled fondly at Jamie.

The woman cleaned Jamie’s ear with antiseptic as she said, "Congratulations! I hope it works out for you."

"It will," they responded simultaneously, as the woman laughed heartily.

"Could you two be any cuter?" she commented with a chuckle as she showed Ryan where she was going to shoot the stud. Ryan nodded her approval and gripped Jamie’s hand. One little twitch from her hand, and the piercing was finished.

"That wasn’t bad at all," Jamie said as she got up from the chair. "Your turn, Sweetie." As she turned to her partner, to her observant eye Ryan didn’t look quite right. "Are you okay?" she asked with concern.

"Fine, let’s do it," she replied curtly as she sat down in the chair.

The woman looked at Jamie, who just shrugged. It was obvious that something was bothering Ryan, but equally obvious that she wasn’t going to say what it was. The woman showed Jamie where she would put the stud, and Jamie nodded and reached down to grab Ryan’s hand. To her surprise, she couldn’t pry it from where it gripped the arm of the chair, knuckles going white. It dawned on Jamie that Ryan’s demeanor reflected nervousness, so she placed her hand on her shoulder to reassure her.

The woman put the gun up to her ear and, as the steel went through her lobe, Ryan’s eyes rolled up in her head, and she was out cold. The woman gave Jamie a stern look as she asked, "Did you know she was that nervous?"

"No!" Jamie said in alarm. "I had no idea!"

The woman handed Jamie a cold compress. As she applied it to the back of Ryan’s neck, she gripped her limp hand. Within seconds, Ryan came around. "Did I pass out?" she asked groggily.

"Yes, Honey," Jamie replied as she leaned in close. "Did you know you were going to do that?"

"I thought I might," she admitted. "I really hate needles."

"Why didn’t you say something, Sweetie? We didn’t need to do this."

"You wanted to, and I knew if I told you how nervous it made me, you wouldn’t want to do it anymore."

"You’ve got that right, Baby. I would never ask you to do something that made you faint."

"I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, but it means something to me to have to do something I’m really frightened of to wear my earring," she said earnestly as she reached up to touch her diamond, temporarily resting in her left earlobe. That merited her a sound kiss from her beaming lover.

"You are so sweet," she said as she shook her head. "I love you, Ryan," she said softly as she kissed her again.

The shop owner watched this whole scene with a bemused grin on her face. "Young love." She rolled her eyes indulgently and gave them a smirk.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

After a short walk in the cool breeze, Ryan felt capable of taking the wheel again. They headed back to the house, chatting companionably the whole time. When they returned, Ryan kissed the steering wheel with a flourish as she got out. "Goodbye little Pony," she said with a fond wave.

Standing to stare at the Acura for a moment, Ryan said, "I need my sunglasses for this baby. Be right back." Waiting patiently, Jamie spent a moment to consider her lover’s reaction to the unexpected gift of being able to drive the cars. The childlike joy that her partner expressed was, in Jamie’s opinion, one of her most winning traits. Ryan acted just like an enthusiastic five-year-old when she was given an opportunity like this, and Jamie fervently hoped that her partner would never lose that childlike wonder.

She was pulled from her musings when Ryan returned. Jamie tossed her the keys to the Acura and, in the blink of an eye, the child disappeared as Ryan’s face broke into a sexy leer and she hopped into the low-slung car. Jamie joined her and studied her carefully, noticing how her entire demeanor had changed. A sly, sexy grin looked to be permanently embossed upon her face, and her moves were slower and more languid than normal. She exuded a bold confidence that radiated from her powerful body. She looks like she used to look when she was stalking a woman! Jamie thought to herself. Just like she did that night at Mama Bear’s, all feral and predatory.

Ryan brought the very powerful engine to life, narrowing her eyes as her smile turned up just the corners of her mouth. She turned to Jamie and slowly lifted just one eyebrow until it popped out above the top of her very dark glasses, simultaneously kicking the car into reverse, sliding out of the garage a little faster than Jamie would have advised. The car eased into first and Ryan rolled out toward the street, failing to ask for advice this time. The top of the car was off, and her black hair blew wildly around her head as she sped off in a determined fashion for the nearest highway.

Moments later they reached U.S. 1, and Ryan quickly brought the car up to cruising speed. She slid the big black beast between cars with ease, never staying in one lane for long. The game seemed to be a test of her own reflexes and those of the car, as she made one quick but graceful cut after another. Not a word had been spoken since they got in, and Jamie was too mesmerized by the aura radiating from her lover to break the silence. There was a discernable feeling of sexual tension in the car, an almost primal allure that seemed to snake from the dark beauty and wrap around Jamie’s body.

When they had passed the heavy traffic, Ryan stayed in her lane for a while and pushed the car as much as she could. Dark head thrown back by the force, Ryan’s hair flew around her, as the determined smile grew wider. Jamie recalled her partner’s teasing comment on the AIDS Ride, asking if speed made her hot. There was little doubt at this point that speed most definitely made Ryan hot, but Jamie had to admit that the magic seemed to work for her as well as she became aware of a tightening in her belly.

She found her hand unconsciously running up and down Ryan’s thigh, and after a moment Ryan lowered her glasses slightly, slowly turned to her partner, and gave her the sexiest, most openly lustful look that the smaller woman had ever seen. Jamie was shocked, but immediately aroused and ready to do something about it, all in the time it took to return that invitation. She gazed into Ryan’s eyes for the moment that the dark woman could spare, then looked back to the road, nearly gasping in shock when she noticed a pale neon sign that announced, "Big Sur Motor Inn." My God, she thought to herself, we’ve gone at least 50 miles! But the throbbing between her legs demanded attention, so she ordered, "Pull over into that parking lot on the right."

Ryan raised her brow once more, and slowly nodded, acceding to Jamie’s command. She rolled to a stop, kicking up gravel and dust as the car skidded a bit. Jamie cast a quick glance at her partner, lust and desire still permeating her gaze, "Wait for me," she instructed.

Ryan leaned back in her seat, looking straight ahead in an almost bored fashion, while just underneath the skin her body appeared to be coiled for action. A few minutes later, Jamie came back to the car and adopted her own sexy grin as she dangled the room key right in front of Ryan’s eyes.

The small woman had to dance out of the way as Ryan reached for the key with her right hand, her left smoothly opening the door. Quickly glancing at the number on the key, she grabbed Jamie’s hand and led her to the stairs. When they reached the second floor, she seemed to instinctively know that their room was to the left, and she smoothly guided Jamie down the open walkway by placing her hand on the small of her back.

Sliding the key into the lock, she turned the knob slowly, and the big, rough wooden door creaked open. Ryan grasped her partner around the waist and, with practiced ease, picked her up and held her suspended in midair while Jamie wrapped her legs around her waist. The dark head lifted and latched onto Jamie’s tender lips with a rough passion, her foot kicking the door closed at the same time.

Tossing Jamie onto the bed, she leapt on top of her in a single move. Mere seconds passed as she roughly tore at her partner’s clothing, popping a few buttons off the cotton camp shirt, the tinkling of the plastic echoing loudly as they hit the Spanish tile floor. Ryan grasped madly at her own clothing, yanking her polo shirt over her head with Jamie’s frantic help. Her jeans proved to be more troublesome, with the button fly not cooperating quickly enough for her need. She stood and yanked the jeans down, creating red marks down her hips from the friction of the tight jeans against her tender skin. Too impatient to get the jeans all the way off, she jumped back onto the bed with her running shoes still firmly attached to her feet, jeans and shorts around her ankles.

Jamie had pulled her own shorts off while Ryan was struggling, and had opened the front clasp of her bra, but she had no time to remove her panties before Ryan was back on top of her.

Ryan’s sports bra was still protecting her breasts from Jamie’s searching hands and mouth. Neither of them could wait for a proper removal, so Jamie just yanked it up over the breasts and began to ravish the tender orbs. Ryan groaned deeply at the contact and spread her legs as wide as she could, then pulled Jamie’s leg firmly between her own. She reached down with one hand spreading her lips open wide, her eyes closing slowly as her head tilted back in pleasure. Her hand slipped between her legs and she ran her fingers up and down her drenched sex for a few moments, spreading the moisture all around the throbbing flesh.

With a slow, achingly deliberate pace, she lowered herself onto Jamie’s raised thigh. A gasp of pleasure and a satisfied smile signaled her pleasure. She sucked in a deep breath, holding it for long seconds as she acclimated herself to this delicious pressure, glassy eyes locked onto her partner’s. With a grunt she placed her hands on either side of Jamie’s face and locked her arms, carrying all of the weight of her torso on her hands.

Jamie was too stunned to speak, but she needed to somehow connect with her partner emotionally. The force of Ryan’s need had caught her unawares, and she needed some reassurance that her gentle lover was still inside this wild woman humping her leg with abandon.

As though she could read her mind, Ryan reached up and removed her dark glasses. Her vivid blue eyes were dark with lust, but as she locked her gaze on Jamie, the love that they shared was starkly evident. She didn’t speak, but a surfeit of emotion passed between them in that instant. Maintaining eye contact, Jamie lifted her hand and brushed her thumb across Ryan’s lips, tracing their outline as hot breath passed over her skin. Ryan’s eyes fluttered closed as she sucked the thumb in and laved it with her warm, wet mouth. The intimate touch kicked Jamie’s desire up another notch, and she pulled her hand away just as Ryan bit down rather sharply.

Small, determined hands grasped Ryan’s hips and helped guide and steady her as she thrust. She slid up and down her lover’s now slick thigh with a deliriously unhurried pace. Her breath came in little gasps as the sensation shot through her vulva and suffused her whole groin. Her body rocked against Jamie, back arching deeply as she slowly thrust her hips in a deep plunge. The pace began to quicken as Jamie roughly sucked and nipped at her breasts. The entire bed was pounding against the wall with each of Ryan’s thrusts, and Jamie briefly wondered if there were guests in the adjoining room. Sweat dripped off her face as her pace quickened again. Her head was thrown back, and she sucked in a deep lungful of air as she gasped and groaned with each thrust against her lover’s leg. Jamie forcefully sucked much of an entire breast into her mouth, causing a jolt of feeling deep in Ryan’s center that was met with a sustained growl that grew louder and stronger with each thrust.

Jamie felt Ryan teeter on the edge of release, and she bit down sharply on the nipple in her mouth, shivering as the first rough spasms tore through her partner’s body. Ryan coughed out a deep groan, still managing to hold herself up, but beginning to weaken. Jamie grabbed her, forcing her arms to relax and causing her to fall rather heavily. A small grunt escaped from Jamie’s lips as most of the breath was knocked out of her, but she held on tight, comforting Ryan’s sweat drenched body with her own.

Not a word had been spoken.

Without a pause, Ryan rolled onto her side and began to caress Jamie’s wildly sensitized body. Surprisingly, Ryan’s ardor had obviously not been sated, since she began to slowly twitch her hips in time to the caresses.

Her long, elegantly shaped fingers played over the swollen mounds of Jamie’s tender breasts, tweaking the rock-hard nipples repeatedly. The bed bounced roughly as Ryan attempted to kick off the remains of her clothing without removing her mouth or her hands from her partner’s breasts. It was a difficult task, but the determined woman managed the feat after a few minutes. Now that she was unclothed, she set about the same task for her partner. Exhibiting a gentler touch, she loving guided her partner into a sitting position and then removed the mangled camp shirt from her shoulders. The lacy white bra was next, and now the only clothing covering the writhing blonde was a pair of French-cut lace panties. Ryan decided to leave them on for a while, thinking that her partner looked even sexier with just a tiny bit of clothing on.

The small woman was squirming on the bed, the demands of her desire forcing her body to move continually, silently begging for more contact. The image of her partner expressing her need so clearly caused Ryan’s arousal to flare even higher, and she had to squeeze her thighs together to soothe her ache.

Jamie gazed up at her with glazed eyes and begged, "Please, Baby, please touch me."

Unable to refuse her lover’s request, Ryan rolled the smaller woman onto her stomach and slowly maneuvered her onto her knees. Jamie dropped down onto her forearms as Ryan knelt between her spread legs. She leaned over and began to place hot, wet kisses down her spine, stopping when she reached the waistband of the lace panties. Grasping the material with her teeth, she let out a feral growl as she tugged the material from her partner’s hips, smiling in satisfaction when the smooth expanse of pale skin was revealed to her appreciative eyes. Her hands rose to remove the fabric from the quivering woman, and she sat back on her heels for a moment, taking in the lush curves of her partner’s sexy body.

Leaning in close, Ryan separated the slick folds that glistened with the essence of her lover’s need. Jamie froze at the touch, desperately willing it to continue, but Ryan had not finished teasing the flesh that beckoned her. She placed a thumb on either side of her partner’s opening and rhythmically began to open and close the desire-swollen skin.

A low, need-filled moan escaped from Jamie’s body, shivers concurrently running down her spine. Ryan continued with the teasing touch, stroking smoothly and slowly. Leaning in even further, she began to blow a warm stream of air all over the overheated flesh, reveling in the goose bumps that covered her partner’s body. The pink flesh spasmed under her thumbs, a rough cry falling from Jamie’s lips. "Pleeeease," she cried, her voice muffled by the pillow her face rested on. "Please, Ryan."

Ryan rested her head on her partner’s smooth back, continuing to tease, as her deep voice vibrated against the pale skin. "Please what, Baby?"

"Touuuuch me," she cried, her voice low and rough.

"How would you like me to touch you, Baby?" Ryan soothed as she trailed her fingers down a smooth white cheek. "Would you like me to touch you like this?" She placed the tip of her index finger just at the entrance of her partner’s slick opening and waited for a response.

The answer was unequivocal as Jamie groaned heavily, sliding back determinedly against the much-desired visitor. "Yesssss, oh, God, yesssss," she hissed as she paused for just a moment to accommodate the feel of her partner touching her deep inside. After a few seconds, she let out a devastatingly sexy groan as her hips began to thrust.

Ryan sat back on her heels and reveled in the vision of her partner pleasing herself so thoroughly. Sexy moans and grunts of passion burst from Jamie’s lips as she pumped against Ryan’s braced hand, the thrusts becoming more forceful as the moans rose in pitch and frequency.

When Ryan felt the first spasms begin to pulse she placed her face between the shaking legs, laving the entire slick surface with her warm tongue. Jamie struggled to brace herself on her hands, her back arched deeply, as waves of pleasure flowed through her body. Without warning, she collapsed fully onto the bed with a rough grunt, and lay panting for several moments before she could breathe normally again.

Ryan climbed over her leg and snuggled up next to her, expecting to snuggle and soothe her while she recovered. But Jamie rolled onto her side almost immediately, and with a determined move growled, "I’ve got to do that to you–right now!"

Ryan’s eyes flew open as the small hand forced itself between her legs and the questing finger sought entrance. The shock quickly gave way to a pleasured sigh as Jamie’s finger slid inside. The smaller woman snuggled up next to Ryan’s head and whispered into her ear, "This feels so unspeakably delicious."

Ryan just nodded, a satisfied smile covering her lips. Her legs opened wider and her hips tilted as she softly moaned, "More, please."

Only too happy to oblige, Jamie slid another finger into the snug opening, leaning over to kiss her partner as the prone woman tilted her head back and gasped slightly, trying to accommodate the fullness. "Mmmm, perfect," she sighed, exposing her neck to Jamie’s mouth as her hips began to move once again.

Jamie’s fingers glided along the slippery walls, her lips repeatedly seeking to connect with Ryan’s, relishing the closeness and the intimacy of the act. She loved the feeling of her lover struggling to catch her breath as her arousal spiraled inexorably upwards; the tiny gasps and sighs that formed on her ruby lips; the way the remarkably slick walls gripped her fingers as they slid in and out.

The small woman knew that her partner was close, but she was not sure that she was coordinated enough to be able to touch her with one hand while the other was inside. Ryan took care of her little dilemma by slipping her own trusty left hand into her wetness, purring like a panther as she stroked the sensitive skin.

After scant moments, Jamie felt the first strong pulse, smiling to herself as her lover’s muscles milked her fingers up and down their length. Ryan’s face was contorted in a pained-looking grimace as a strangled cry tore from her lungs. Her howl turned into a dry cough, her body shaking as it rode out the powerful orgasm.

Jamie wasn’t sure of the correct protocol, so she left her fingers right where they were, enjoying the periodic spasms that continued to course through Ryan’s body.

The dark woman had an arm tossed across her eyes, and after a moment or two she murmured a quiet, "Wow."

"I thought you weren’t multi-orgasmic," Jamie teased, whispering into Ryan’s flushed ear and taking a gentle bite.

"Mmm-hmm," she mumbled, "and I thought you hadn’t made love to women before, so we’re even."

Jamie laughed gently at her partner’s reply. "I never thought you’d buy my story. I knew it was just a matter of time before you found me out."

"Mmm," Ryan moaned as she raised her knees and gently removed Jamie’s hand, her eyes closed as a small whimper escaped from her lips. "No hard feelings, Babe. I’m looking forward to learning a few tricks from you."

"Oohh, I think you’re going to be a very, very apt pupil," she decided, placing a kiss on Ryan’s cheek. "But for now, you look like you could use a little nap."

"Take it or leave it," Ryan decided, her breathing settling into a peaceful cadence as sleep claimed her. As she watched her lover dream, Jamie decided that she would get more pleasure from watching her partner sleep than catching a nap herself. Her resolve stayed strong for scant few minutes before the lure of Ryan’s slow breathing pulled her to join her lover in sleep. A half an hour later she blinked her eyes open and smiled at her partner, still slumbering contentedly in her embrace. She couldn’t resist the urge to reach up and touch the sweet face, but that small movement caused those baby blues to open and blink for a moment before they focused. A huge smile broke out over that beautiful face, gleaming teeth flashing in the bright afternoon sun that streamed into the window. "Hi, gorgeous," she rumbled in a sleep roughened voice.

"Hi, yourself, Sleeping Beauty. Did you have a nice little nap?"

"Yes, I did, thank you for asking." She stretched languidly for a few minutes, yawning and growling deep in her throat as she did so. "Do you want to go home, or hang out here for a while?"

Jamie looked around the room and then glanced at her partner with a curious look. "Uhh…have you looked around here, Sport?"

"No, not really," Ryan admitted. "My mind was otherwise occupied." She lifted her head and glanced around the nearly bare room, detecting a threadbare chair, a small, circular table bolted to the floor, one 1970’s vintage television, and a small three-drawer chest, leaning a few degrees to port. "It’s nice. Should we stay overnight?" Only her dancing blue eyes gave away her joke, but Jamie knew her well enough to recognize the sign.

"Sure," Jamie agreed. "But we have to switch sides so this damn spring sticks in your back!"

"Okay, okay, I’m up," Ryan proclaimed, rolling to the edge of the bed and getting to her feet. "Whoa…dizzy," she added, sitting down for a minute.

"Are you all right?" Jamie asked, crawling over to take a closer look.

"Fluid loss," Ryan grinned. "I’m fine." She stood easily and extended a hand, helping her partner up.

The sun was just about to set and since they had removed the hard top, Ryan knew it would be a cold ride home. Picking up Jamie’s shirt, she noticed that only one button remained. "Whoops," she grinned guiltily, extending the shirt for Jamie’s perusal.

"Now what, Wild Woman?" Jamie asked, not very happy about going home topless in the very cool evening breeze.

"You hop in the shower and clean up," Ryan instructed. "I’ll figure something out."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

When Ryan returned, the door to the bath was open. Jamie was trying to order her hair when Ryan squeezed into the small room, dropped her jeans and sat down to relieve herself. Almost in the same moment, Jamie scurried out of the bathroom, closing the door firmly behind her. Ryan just shook her head as she finished up and came back out into the bedroom.

"Um, Jamie?" she began, but was cut off by her partner.

"I know, it’s childish, but I don’t like to watch."

"That’s okay, Honey. There’s no rule that says you have to watch. I’m just wondering why it seems to bother you so much." After a pause she added, "Is this another Elizabeth thing?"

Jamie pursed her lips and nodded. "She was really proper and prim about things, and by the time I was three I had to go by myself. She always told me that what you did in the bathroom was private, and should never be shared with anyone else. The bathrooms at my grammar school were quite the adventure," she added with a grimace. "It took me forever to time it just right so no one would be in there with me."

"Are you comfortable with that, or would you like to change how you feel about it?"

"I guess I never considered that I could change how I felt about it. How would I do that?"

"You could probably just desensitize yourself little by little. Your therapist could help you figure out how. But you should decide if it’s something you want to change."

"Does it bother you that I want my privacy?"

"No, it doesn’t bother me at all. It’s a little awkward at times, like the night you and Mia got drunk, but other than that, it’s not an issue for me."

"What happened when we got drunk?" she asked tentatively, having never gotten any details from Ryan about that night.

"Don’t you have any memory of that night?" Ryan asked with some concern.

"Yeah, I do. But it’s pretty hazy."

‘Sure you want to know?" Ryan had a small smile on her face, but something about her tone made Jamie wonder if Ryan was hiding something.

"Yes. If I’m dumb enough to get that drunk, I should be forced to hear about what I did."

"It’s not bad, Jamie. It just…well, you decide what it is."

"Tell me!" she demanded, wanting to cut to the chase.

"Well…before I put you to bed I asked you if you had to pee. Of course you did after all you drank, but you refused to let me stay in the bathroom. You kept saying, ‘It’s private!’ Then I asked if you could go by yourself and you said ‘No’. So I was in kind of a hard place," she laughed.

"What did you do?"

"I convinced you to let me sit you down, and then I waited outside until you were finished. You were supposed to call me when you were done, but after about five minutes I went in and you were sound asleep, leaning against the wall, snoring your head off."

"Oh, God," Jamie said, covering her face with her hands. "I honestly think I’ve embarrassed myself in front of you more this year than I have with everyone else in my whole life!"

"But you were so cute," Ryan said as she took her in her arms. "You were so jealous when I kissed Mia that you really threw a fit!"

Jamie stood up and put her hands on her hips. "What do you mean you kissed Mia?" she demanded. "I thought Mia kissed you!"

"Well…either way," Ryan said casually.

Jamie jumped on her from behind and pushed her onto the bed. Ryan was sprawled across the lumpy mattress with her partner lying on top of her, covering her entire body. "You’re not getting up until you tell me the whole story, Ryan. Now spill it."

Ryan could have turned over and tossed Jamie off, but she liked the feeling of having her lover on top of her. "Let me think," she mused. "Whose idea was it?"

Jamie started to tickle her sides, getting in under her ribs, a lethal spot. Ryan twitched and squealed under the assault, finally crying, "I give, I give."

"Now I want answers," Jamie threatened, "or there’s more where that came from," she said as she twitched her fingers in front of her still squirming partner’s eyes.

"Okay, when we got back to your house I called Cassie to help get Mia to bed. But Mia wouldn’t go unless I kissed her. Cassie was fuming, and I knew if I didn’t get rid of Mia right then she’d leave her and I’d have to carry you both up the stairs. So I gave her a tiny, itsy, bitsy, chaste kiss. More chaste than I give my grandmother."

"So why would that bother me?" Jamie demanded, knowing that there had to be more to the story.

"Well…that’s how I kissed her…but that’s not how she kissed me," Ryan said as she let out a deep chuckle.

"How did she kiss you?" Jamie demanded as she dug in for another round of tickling.

"I’m gonna have to turn over to show you," Ryan giggled. Jamie let her turn over but she stayed right on top of her. "I think I need to sit up to get the geometry right." She sat up with Jamie straddling her lap. "Okay, I’m Mia and you’re me. Now, remember that I’ve got a big mouth, and I’m about to blab to Cassie about how you told her what a good kisser I was. Also remember that I’m blind drunk."

"Get on with it," Jamie mumbled.

Ryan did a very accurate re-creation of Mia’s kiss, running her tongue over every surface of Jamie’s astonished mouth. When she pulled away her partner sat in shocked silence for a moment, finally uttering, "That was so hot! I can’t believe you let her do that! I can’t believe she wanted to do that!" After a second she asked in a much quieter voice, "Did you want her to do that?"

"No!" Ryan cried, scrunching her face up in a show of distaste. "She was terribly drunk, Cassie was watching, you were crying! Jesus! If I wanted to make out with Mia I’d opt for a little bit more privacy."

"Did you enjoy it? I mean did it…is she…umm…"

"No, I didn’t enjoy it, Jamie. Just because I’ve kissed lots of women doesn’t mean I kiss just anyone. I have no sexual feelings for Mia. I was actually kind of offended, and if Cassie hadn’t been there, her determined little tongue would not have gotten past my teeth!"

"So when you kissed Mia, did I get upset?"

"You cried like a baby," Ryan informed her with a big smile.

"Well, I’d cry again if I ever saw you kissing another woman. Those pretty little lips are all mine now, Tiger."

"That’s just how I like it, Hon," Ryan insisted. She rolled off the bed and handed Jamie a stonewashed maroon sweatshirt that proclaimed in golden letters, "Big Sur Motor Inn."

"Nice," Jamie smirked. "Another memento of our honeymoon?"

"I told you I’d buy you a shirt every time we went on a trip," Ryan joked. "You may add this to your growing collection."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Continued in Part 15

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