This is just a short visit with Kennedy & Carson as they spend Easter weekend at Enchanted Rock, the place they went hiking in The Bluest Eyes in Texas .
A light breeze blew across the balcony, ruffling Kennedy's bangs and lifting the fine hair on her arms. She was pleasantly tired though not sleepy, her body relaxed after a long day of hiking the trails of Enchanted Rock. She had a belly full of beer and German food from a nearby restaurant, and she was happy just to hang out in their room at the bed and breakfast, and count her blessing as she counted the twinkling stars overhead.
Down on the street she could hear idle chatter as a few tourists walked along, and across the way faint music drifted on the wind from one of the town's numerous biergartens. She could also hear people laughing and clapping, though they were far away enough that they weren't annoying. Behind her was a more familiar sound, Carson humming along to some pop tune on the iPod they had docked in their room, and the tinkle of glass that told her a beverage of some sort was being prepared. More German beer, perhaps, or whatever Carson had fancied from the stocked mini-fridge she had been perusing earlier in the evening.
Kennedy smiled. It didn't matter to her what beverage Carson chose. What mattered was the love behind the preparation, the thoughtfulness of giving her something she hadn't asked for. The screen door creaked and her smile broadened, as familiar footsteps padded toward her, muted by whatever Carson had on her feet. Kennedy glanced down as her lover joined her. Socks with no shoes. She laughed lightly. "Hey." She nudged Carson .
"What's so funny?" Carson gracefully managed to hand over a sweatshirt she had draped over one arm, both hands occupied with glasses. "I brought you your hoodie. It's a little chilly now that the sun's gone down."
"Thanks." Kennedy tugged the soft, worn garment over her head and pulled at the hem until it settled comfortably in place. "I was just laughing at your sock-feet."
"Are they funny?" Carson looked down at the plain, white sports anklets in confusion.
"No, they're cute." Kennedy draped an arm around her waist, drawing her closer. "Whatcha got?"
"Riesling." Carson handed her a pretty crystal wine goblet, the leaded glass etched with little rose buds and vines. "I thought a celebration might be in order."
"Mmmmm. Thank you." Kennedy took a sip of the crisp, fruity beverage, enjoying the dry sensation against her tongue. "Nice. Good stuff. What are we celebrating? Easter?"
"Um, no." Carson bumped hips with her good-naturedly. "Coming back to this place and me not being terrified of what it means to be here with you."
"Ah." Kennedy grinned and leaned over, giving her a quick peck on the lips. "I'll drink to that." She clinked her goblet against Carson 's and they both drank from their glasses, their eyes meeting and twinkling at each other over the rims. "Much better than chocolate bunnies."
"I'll take that as s compliment." Carson laughed lightly. "I was thinking about that today. Easter, I mean."
"And?" Kennedy drew her over to a double-wide padded chaise lounge, sensing some sort of heart-to-heart or epiphany or whatever deep revelation Carson was about to share with her. They snuggled up together, Kennedy's legs stretched out and crossed at the ankles, with Carson curled up against her.
"I know traditionally it's the celebration of Jesus' death and resurrection, although I'm not so sure about the latter part anymore. I remember when you told me we could make our own traditions, and I think that's true of our beliefs, in general." Carson swirled her wine around and looked thoughtfully down into the glass. The moon had risen, not quite full, its pale beams dusting her blonde hair in silver light. She was, to Kennedy, the most beautiful sight on Earth. "I mean, what is belief, other than something we seek out and hold onto, in order to find guidance and comfort, right?"
"Right." Kennedy nodded sagely. "I never did hold to Christian beliefs, though, but you know that."
"Yeah." Carson looked over at her, her eyes glowing in the low light. She reached across and idly played with a lock of Kennedy's hair. "But you've held steady to what you do believe. I admire that."
"You know, babe, it's okay to outgrow the religion you were raised with." Kennedy sensed Carson wasn't particularly conflicted anymore when it came to her upbringing, but offered the support, just in case there was any lingering doubt. "Even I don't follow everything Pa raised me to believe. Most of it, yes, but it isn't quite the same as what you were raised with. The meditation I do, all the getting-back-to-nature stuff, that's more about finding a place of peace and centeredness so I can function on a daily basis. It's about the here-and-now. Christianity has a lot of focus on the afterlife."
"I know. And that's true, all of it." Carson smiled and shifted, keeping one denim-clad leg tucked up under her and stretching the other one out, tangling it with Kennedy's, slipping her toes between Kennedy's calves. "Ooo, you're nice and warm."
"Cold?" Kennedy finished her wine and set her glass aside, putting both arms to good use as she wrapped them around Carson , holding her close. She could feel the warmth of Carson 's body against her, the curl of her toes digging into her muscle a little bit, and the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed and talked. Sliding one hand up and beneath Carson 's own sweatshirt, she found her heartbeat and kept her hand there, tilting her head to continue listening.
"No. I love it when you do that." Carson closed her eyes for a moment, and Kennedy knew she was feeling the same thing, focusing on the same sensations, soaking in the closeness as Kennedy also breathed and talked, and radiated warmth they both shared. Opening her eyes, she looked over at Kennedy with what could only be described as adoration. "You're my rock, you know that?"
"Likewise." Kennedy graciously ducked her head.
"No, I mean, when it comes to being centered and all that -- you are the calm in the storm for me. I admire that. I don't always feel so centered, though I feel it a lot more now than I did before we met." She laid her head on Kennedy's shoulder and sighed in contentment.
"And you know I can say the same thing," Kennedy commented, nuzzling Carson 's hair. She drew in a breath and kissed Carson 's forehead, then sought out her lips, indulging in a long moment of affirmation of a different kind.
"Mmmm." Carson pulled back just enough to rub noses. "Anyway, I figured out what I believe."
"Oh?" Kennedy sat back so she could look into Carson 's eyes. This was a new place. For a very long while, Carson had contented herself with being agnostic, unsure of what might be out there or what she believed about it. It hadn't bothered Kennedy. Her own thoughts were that life was to be lived to the fullest, and that the afterlife, whatever it held, would take care of itself. The one thing she was convinced of was that if there was anything beyond death, that she and Carson would be together. Fate, she was certain, would not be cruel enough to separate them when finding each other had been the one great miracle of her life. "What do you believe, sweetheart?" The endearment was almost a prayer on her lips, worshipping the creature she held in her arms about as close to Heaven as she could ever hope to get.
"I thought about all the religions out there, and the religious leaders and their teachings and their books. And you know, the world is a great big place and it just doesn't seem like any one of those could be the only way." Carson scrunched her brows together in thought.
"True." Kennedy reached up with her thumb, smoothing the brow in question.
"But they all have some things in common. They try to teach people how to live and how to prepare to die. And I got to thinking about that, about what gives meaning to life. And you know what? It's love. That's what gives meaning to life." She smiled, finishing off her wine.
Kennedy took the glass from her and placed it next to her own empty one. "Is this why you were so quiet hiking today?"
"Yeah, partly." Carson grinned sheepishly. "That and I was just enjoying being with you. We didn't have to talk. It was nice just being together, wasn't it?"
"It always is." And it was true. The longer they were together, the less need they had for discussing every little thing. Not that communication wasn't important. It was and always would be. It was just that they knew each other now -- quirks, body language, likes and dislikes -- and so some things no longer merited conversation. If Carson was unusually grumpy, chances were Kennedy could look at the calendar and determine it was a few days before her period was to start. Or if she was quiet and out of it in the morning, it probably meant she hadn't had coffee yet. No need to figure those things out anymore. And she was sure, if she asked, Carson could rattle off similar observations she had made about Kennedy. It was part of living together, of building a life together. "I don't just love you Carson , I like you," she added, when she came back around from her musings. "I like being with you."
"That's a nice thing to hear." Carson patted Kennedy's belly and lingered there, tracing circles as she talked. It was something she often did after they made love, and Kennedy had come to realize it was Carson 's way of extending the connectedness. It felt nice, and comforting. It told her all was right between them. "But back to the love part. It really is what makes the world go round, K. It really is."
"Uh-huh," Kennedy cautiously agreed, unsure of where Carson was going, but not wanting to distract her too much. One thing she had come to enjoy was gladly traipsing along down Carson 's many thought-paths. The journey was nearly always interesting, and often entertaining.
"I mean, think about it. When we come from a place of love, it leads us to do the right thing. Whether it's how we treat our lover, our neighbor, our dog, or even how we treat the Earth itself. It takes us away from a selfish place and puts us in a place where we think and act in ways that benefit people and things beyond ourselves." Carson looked up at the sky overhead. "I'm not sure what's out there. Stars, sure. Planets and black holes and red dwarves and comets and space junk -- amazing things I can barely comprehend. But is there another dimension with a supernatural being ruling over it? I just don't know. I can't be sure of that and so I can't fully believe in it. But love -- I can believe in that."
"If you start a church based on that, I'd join it." Kennedy laughed lightly. "And I can count on one hand the number of times I've graced the doors of a traditional church."
"Really?" Carson was incredulous.
"Really. I wasn't dragged to it three times a week like you were." Kennedy slid her hand down from Carson 's heart, giving a little tickle to her stomach. "I've been to churches for a few weddings, but that's about it."
"Hey!" Carson squirmed and giggled. It was what Kennedy was hoping for, a little bit of lightening of their mood. Only a little. Carson reached down and grabbed the wandering hand, twining their fingers and pulling their joined fists tightly against her. Kennedy had hoped for that as well -- feeling the soft skin of Carson 's belly and the smooth muscle beneath it, shifting and moving as Carson talked. Her eyes were shining in the moonlight, her face animated with her thoughts. More beauty to Kennedy's sight. "Well, I don't think you necessarily find love in church, even though they'd like to tell you differently. Sometimes, but not always." Carson advised her.
"I found an angel on the dance floor at the Round Up Saloon," Kennedy ducked her head, stealing another kiss. "If that was church, praise God and pass the long necks."
"You!" Carson pinched Kennedy's calf with her toes.
"Ouch!" Kennedy jumped, then retaliated, grasping Carson 's foot between her knees and squeezing it.
"You got me," Carson laughed.
"I hope so." Kennedy tilted her head, searching Carson 's face in silence, their eyes smiling at each other. Carson 's nostrils flared, the first hint of rising passion, a sign she was consciously drawing in Kennedy's scent. Kennedy also inhaled, taking in the spring flowers on the breeze and the herbal scent of the body lotion Carson had applied after she'd showered before dinner. They were so close, even the fresh fragrance of the dryer sheets they used at home drifted up from Carson 's sweatshirt, and as Carson leaned closer, the sweet, salty scent that was Carson herself reached Kennedy's nose.
They eased closer, both of them breathing in each other, eyes half-closed, chests rising and falling. It was a delicious place to linger, each of them hyper-aware of the other, soaking each other in, lips almost, but not quite touching. Finally Kennedy closed the distance and hungrily devoured Carson 's lips, disengaging their hands and sliding further up beneath her sweatshirt, cupping a breast, feeling Carson 's chest stop and catch, hearing the faintest moan deep in her throat. Kennedy teased a nipple, feeling it harden, feeling Carson 's thigh pressing up between her legs.
She reached down, popping the button on Carson 's jeans, slowly lowering the zipper and easing the soft denim down, but not all the way. They were, after all, on a balcony where they were not completely hidden from view. True it was dark and they were high up above the street, with a solid balcony wall sheltering them. There were no windows facing them nearby, but still, they were technically outside and she knew Carson , and she also knew herself. And so she tugged just a little more, until the waistband of Carson 's jeans was halfway down her hips.
Carson was panting against her lips, their kisses more eager, sloppier now, and she broke off, nibbling her way up to Carson 's ear, even as her hand stole its way into her jeans, and beneath a pair of satin panties, cupping Carson 's wetness. "You want me to stop?" she breathed into Carson 's ear.
A whimper was her answer, as Carson buried her face into her shoulder. "No," an audible, muffled answer finally confirmed with certainty.
"Good. 'Cause I don't wanna stop." Kennedy nudged Carson's legs apart a little more and then began to tease her in earnest, stroking and touching, as she found her lips and they shared another long, heartfelt kiss. After a bit, Carson broke off with a gasp, breathing hard. Burying her face into Kennedy's shoulder once more, she cried out quietly, a soft, sexy sound accompanied by a breath that was warm against Kennedy's skin through her shirt. Easing up on her attentions, she held Carson against her with one arm, reaching up and stroking her back and hair with her other hand. "Shhhhh. I got you. You didn't even scare away the crickets. They're still chirping. Hear?"
Carson laughed, pulling back and looking up. Her eyes were soft and shining, and she reached up with both hands, taking Kennedy's face between them and stroking her cheeks with her thumbs. "I love you, so much," Carson breathed against her, pecking her lips several times and then pressing their foreheads together. "We were talking about that at work the other day."
"About -- this?" Kennedy gulped, her eyes growing wide.
"No." Carson laughed again. "About what love is. Just thinking more about what we've been talking about tonight."
"Oh. Good." Despite her desire to please Carson in the bedroom, Kennedy had little need or desire for whatever prowess she possessed to be discussed with others.
"No, we were just talking about things that mean love to us, and when it was my turn, I told them that love was you learning to make a perfect cappuccino for me, even though you don't drink caffeine yourself." Carson smiled. "Not that it equals love, it's just a sign that you love me."
"Mmmm." Kennedy closed her eyes, concentrating on the emotions running between them, and the closeness they felt, still taking each other in. "Love is when I come home, and you peel away the ugly layers of my day, until finally all I can see is the beauty you find and share with me. I don't know how you do that, but it's the miracle that makes my life worth living." Her eyes were still closed, but she felt Carson shaking. "Sweetheart?"
Opening her eyes, she found Carson looking back at her, with tears streaming down her face. "That's the most amazing thing anyone has ever said to me," Carson choked out. "And to think that first time we were here, I was afraid of what it might mean to be with you forever. Now it's my greatest desire." She drew in a shaky breath and sniffled, looking somehow lost and found, all at the same time. "I think that's part of all this. If I love you enough, maybe I'll never have to let you go."
Without a word, Kennedy drew her into a hug, holding Carson as they rocked back and forth, still soaking each other in. She rubbed Carson 's back until she quit shaking so hard, though she still trembled from time to time. It felt so good, so right to be joined together and the comfort they drew from each other, and Kennedy held on tighter. "You want me forever, you got me." She finally found her voice. "No matter what happens, I'll find a way to be with you."
"Promise?" Carson burrowed into her even more.
"Promise." It was an ominous promise to make. She had no idea how to keep it, but just knew, somehow, that she would and could find a way, when the time came.
They lay back and lingered there for a while, trading light touches and kisses, holding each other close in affirmation of the life and the love they shared. Slowly, the touches became more intense and Carson found her lips, teasing them open and exploring Kennedy's mouth, her tongue soft and insistent, teasing a groan out from deep in Kennedy's gut.
"You know what I think?" Carson kissed her cheek and then her neck, and then moved lower.
"What?" Kennedy felt a hand creeping up beneath her own sweatshirt, and she shivered in pleasant anticipation.
"I think I need to take you to bed," Carson whispered, her warm breath caressing Kennedy's ear. A pair of soft lips closed around her earlobe, nipping and then suckling, causing chills of anticipation to dance across her skin.
In one smooth motion, Kennedy lifted Carson and rolled off the chaise lounge, carrying her the short distance across the balcony and backing through the unlocked screen door. "I think I just took you to bed instead." She grinned and placed Carson down on the large, comfy mattress and pulled Carson 's jeans the rest of the way off, enjoying the exchange as Carson determinedly removed Kennedy's clothing at the same time.
And then she was rolled to her back and Carson was covering her, brushing her naked skin along Kennedy's own bare body, settling against her and engaging all her senses, slowly and surely bringing her up and over the edge until all she could do was hold onto Carson, shaking, the passion holding her in its grasp until finally she spiraled back down, occasional shudders working their way through her system.
Her body satisfied, she drew in a long breath and slowly released it, looking down as Carson planted a circle of kisses around her navel, making her stomach muscles ripple. She stroked the pale hair, teetering on the edge between urging Carson to move lower, and wanting to pull her up and hold her. Sensing her dilemma, Carson made a shushing noise against her belly and continued to kiss her, while reaching between her legs and lightly stroking her. Kennedy groaned and closed her eyes, floating in a place she was certain was somewhere above the bed, as she rode out another wave of pleasure.
Sensing a growing need of a different kind, Carson slowed her attentions, backing off and planting one last kiss on Kennedy's stomach. With a satisfied sigh, she crawled up into Kennedy's waiting arms and kissed her languidly, as they shifted and came together in a warm, comforting mashup of bodies in the middle of the bed. Finally, Carson laid her head down on Kennedy's shoulder and began rubbing her belly, as their breathing slowed and returned to normal, and their hearts quit hammering in their chests.
Kennedy ran a hand slowly up and down Carson 's back, and she twisted her body just enough to kiss the top of her head. "I think you just took me to church."
Carson laughed softly and kissed her on the shoulder. "And I'm going to wake up in the arms of love."
Kennedy closed her eyes then, enjoying the weight of Carson against her, the soft sound of her breathing and the night sounds creeping in from outside. The musky-sweet scent of their love-making lingered in the air, mixing with the fragrance of the clean, soft cotton sheets that covered them and the floral note on the breeze through the screen door. Carson was right -- life surrounded and filled her, all of it connected. Reaching out with her senses she felt a deeper connection, that place where she no longer knew where she ended and Carson began. At that moment they were one -- bodies, hearts, and souls joined together in the miracle of the love they shared.
Can I write "The End" after this? I think not. How about, "To be continued, forever." J
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