by: Web Bard



Beth and Reese are my own creations, although they physically resemble two ladies we know ;) Any veiled references to XWP are not intended to infringe on any copyrights. Rated PG-13. A same sex female relationship is depicted in this story.

(Copyright 2000)

          Beth reached down to tie the laces of her new kickboxing shoes. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed someone moving into the space next to her. She nodded to the tall, attractive dark-haired woman and smiled.
          "Hi, I'm Reese. Reese Keros," she said as she offered a hand to the young blonde rising to her feet.
          "Beth. Beth Morris. Thanks for the hand up," she said with a grin. "Keros--is that a Greek name?"
          "Yes, my family's from the old country," said the taller woman.
          "You're not going to believe this," said Beth, "but so is mine. My mother's maiden name is Stamos, like the actor. My dad is Irish."
          "That explains the blonde hair," said Reese.
          "Well, here we go," said Beth as the workout music started. She punched the bag in front of her and quickly looked over at Reese. Crystal blue eyes locked onto light green eyes.
Whoa. What was that? Who is this woman and why did she just take my breath away? Beth shook her head and tried to refocus her attention to kickboxing.
          Reese hesitated before hitting the punching bag. Why can't I stop looking at her? An unfamiliar warm sensation settled in her chest. Interesting.
          The 40-minute exercise session ended with a 10-minute cool down. Reese finished toweling herself off and looked at Beth. "I'm going to have a smoothie at the juice bar--care to join me?"
          "Love to."
          The women sat at the juice bar and turned the swivel chairs toward one another.
          "Mmmm...," said Beth as she slowly swallowed the fruit drink. "I love these things."
          "Me, too."
          "Um, I hope you don't think this is too personal, but are you married, or anything?"
          "Nope, not married," answered Reese. "I work as a business consultant and travel a lot. I guess I really don't have much time for a relationship right now. How 'bout you? What do you do?"
          "I'm a writer," said Beth. "I freelance articles for special interest magazines. Oh yeah, um, I'm not in a relationship either."
          Reese smiled. I'm glad she added that last thought. "I might need your help with some new projects I'm working on."
          "Be glad to," replied Beth. "Listen, I hate to drink and run, but I need to run a few errands. It was great meeting you."
          "Same here," said Reese. "I'll walk you to your car. It's already dark outside."
          The two women walked in a comfortable silence through the parking lot.
          "That's my car--the green Jeep," said Beth as she pointed to the car. As the women turned to walk to the car, Beth suddenly found herself falling toward the dark pavement.
          "Are you okay?" Reese reached down to her new friend. "What happened?"
          "I think I walked right into a pot hole," answered the embarrassed young blonde. "Trust me--if there's a hole or a ditch within 20 feet, I'll find it. I'm a hole magnet."
          Reese chuckled as she bent down to offer her arm for support. "Can you get up Hole Magnet, or are you going to just sit there?"
          "You're mean," teased Beth. She grabbed the taller woman's arm and pulled herself up. Beth took one step forward.
          "Owwww," she grimaced. "Ow, Ow, Ow. I think I hurt my foot."
          Reese quickly slipped her arm around the injured woman for support. "Do you think you can make it over to the street light so I can take a look at it? Just lean on me for support, okay?"
          Beth slipped her arm around Reese's waist and hopped over to the edge of the curb.Reese quickly untied the shoe and removed the sock. The ankle was already swelling. She moved her hand over the small foot, checking for a broken bone. "Well, the good news is that I don't think it's broken. The bad news is that I think you've got a really terrible sprain."
          "Swell. Just swell," said Beth as she took in a deep breath. "So much for trying to drive a car with a clutch, huh?"
          "Don't you worry about that," said Reese, placing a hand on the smaller woman's shoulder. "I'll get you home safe and sound. You need to elevate that foot and put ice on it."
          Beth nodded and tried to get up. Reese quickly bent down and pulled her friend up next to her. She awkwardly tried to stand and stumbled right into Reese's chest.
          "Whoa...I've got you," said Reese gathering her Beth into an improvised hug.
          "Yes. Yes, you do," said the young blond, surprised at the comfortable position she now found herself in. She looked up into blue eyes that were looking right back into hers. A shy smile emerged and she slowly pulled herself away from Reese's embrace.
          "Let's go. My car is close by," said Reese as she circled her arm around Beth's shoulders for support.
          After getting the injured woman settled in the passenger seat, Reese walked around to the driver's side of the car. What is happening to me? I have this overwhelming need to protect someone I hardly even know. I haven't known Beth but an hour, but God help me, I feel like we're old friends somehow. She opened the door of her Explorer and climbed in.
          "All set? Now where do you live?"
          "About a mile from here on Westwood Road," answered Beth as she shifted her foot that was carefully balanced on the dashboard.
          After following directions, Reese pulled into the apartment complex. She helped Beth out of the car and up the stairs to the second floor apartment.
          "Would you like to come in?"
          "Sure. I'd like to look at your foot again in a better light."
          "Are you a part time doctor, too?" Beth hopped to the couch.
          "No, just an old girl scout with a Red Cross first aid merit badge," she answered with a smile. "We need to get ice on that foot right away. Do you have an ice pack by any chance?"
          "There's a soft ice pack in the freezer," said Beth as she pointed toward the kitchen. "I'm a klutz, so I have to keep an ice pack ready all the time."
          "I've got it. Now, let me look at that foot again."
          She sat on the footstool in front of the couch and reached for Beth's foot. "Ewww. It's already blue and green and black and yellow. Add a couple of colors and you've got a rainbow."
          Beth looked down at her and smiled. Reese very gently rubbed her hand over the swollen ankle. A delicate touch was stirring a physical reaction Beth hadn't expected. She's just touching my foot. So why do I want to reach down and pull her into my arms?
          "Beth. Beth, did you hear me?"
          "Hmm. What? I'm sorry. My mind was somewhere else," said Beth shaking her head. "What did you say?"
          "I asked where your bathroom was," said Reese. "I'm going to get a towel to wrap this icepack in."
          "First door on your left. Towels are in the closet," said Beth. "Reese, I feel like I'm ordering you around. I know I'm imposing on your time."
          "First of all, it's no trouble. Besides, what kind of a girl scout would I be if I left my patient in the lurch?"
          Reese retrieved the towel and kneeled down on the floor. She carefully lifted the ankle and wrapped the ice and towel around it. She glanced up at the young blonde and then patted her leg above the discolored foot.
          "I think you'll live."
          "Thanks, Dr. Keros," said Beth teasing her dark haired friend. "I'm not sure what your fee is, but I'll pay it, whatever it is."
          A fee, huh? No, Reese, you can't even think that way. She refocused and looked at Beth. "I won't take a fee, but how about a pizza? I'm starving. Did you eat anything?"
          "A pizza sounds great," said Beth. "I'm afraid I'm a picky eater. Strictly pepperoni and extra cheese for me. We can do half and half if you'd like."
          "Pepperoni is great for me, too."
          Beth grabbed the phone next to the couch and dialed the number from memory.
          "How does it feel now? Your foot, I mean." Reese glanced down at the bruised and swollen area peeking out from the ice pack and towel.
          "Thanks to you, much better," answered Beth with a wink. "Why don't you keep me company on the couch?"
          Reese pulled herself up and settled on the couch. The young blond shifted her hips to try to find a more comfortable position for her injured foot.
          "It's starting to throb isn't it?" asked Reese. "Why don't you lay back and rest your feet in my lap until the pizza gets here?"
          "Okay," said Beth, gingerly moving her legs toward her friend. "Actually, that feels a lot better."
          Reese placed her arms over Beth's legs. "Is that okay? I mean, do you mind my arms being there? I don't want to invade your personal space."
          "It's fine. Really. Consider yourself invaded. I'm the one sprawled out all over you," said Beth with a grin. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, trying to block out the pain shooting up from her ankle.
          "Why don't you rest your eyes for a few minutes before the pizza gets here?" Reese reached in her purse and pulled out a bottle of Advil. "Try a few of these. I think they will help the pain, okay?"
          Swallowing the pills without water, Beth rested her head back on the couch. "I bet you didn't expect you would spend your evening like this, did you? Holding some stranger's foot in your lap."
          "You're not a stranger," said Reese softly. She caressed the injured leg with her hand. "I know we've just met, but I'd like to think that we've bonded, thanks to a certain pothole I won't mention."
          "Well then, thank you my friend," said Beth as she slowly pulled herself up into a sitting position. She took a slender hand and covered it with her own. "Really, Reese. Thank you for everything you've done to help me tonight. I'll make it up to you, I promise."
          "You buy the pizza and we'll call it even," said Reese giving Beth's leg a  gentle squeeze. She turned her head as the doorbell rang. "And I do believe it's here now."
          They looked at each other for a moment, Beth making no attempt to change her position. Finally Reese grinned. "Umm. I think I need to get untangled here, or the delivery guy may leave, not to mention the pizza will get cold..."
          The blond blushed, the color contrasting with the green of her eyes. "Oh, yeah. Sorry." She lifted her legs away and the brunette scooted out from under. "Could you hand me my purse?"
          Reese paid the delivery man, then disappeared into the kitchen to find plates and napkins. "Help yourself to a drink in the fridge and bring me one, too, please," said Beth.
Reese set up the plates and pizza on the floor. "We might as well eat down here if that's okay with you."
          Beth swerved her legs around and started to work her way down to the floor. She placed her right foot, still in a sock, down first, only to have it slide across the floor, pulling her down with it. Reese reacted quickly and tried to retrieve her sliding friend by grabbing her waist and pulling her into waiting arms. They both started to giggle.
          "I told you I was a spaz," said Beth, trying to catch her breath and stop laughing.
          "I think you're right," said Reese, who was enjoying the close contact. Can I just hold you like this for a while?
          Beth gave Reese a little squeeze and looked into the blue eyes that now captivated her. "It's the second time tonight that I've ended up in your arms," she said, not moving a muscle.           "I'm beginning to detect a pattern here."
          "It's a nice pattern," said Reese.
          "Yes, it is," said Beth closing her eyes. A very nice pattern.

Part Two

          "As much as I like being right where I am right now, maybe we should eat." Beth continued to rest her head on a soft shoulder.
          "But I kinda like you where you are," said Reese as she pulled her arms tighter around the petite woman's waist.
          Beth pulled her arms closer around Reese's neck. "Me, too," she said softly.
          The two women sat in contented silence with their arms wrapped around one another.
          "Maybe we can still keep this arrangement and manage to eat, too," said Beth. "My stomach is growling like crazy. I think it might ruin the moment."
          "Okay, let's see what we can do here," said Reese as she lifted Beth over her own long legs and placed her in between them. Beth leaned her head back against Reese's chest.
          "Well, that's more comfortable," said Beth, "but I can't see you any more."
          "You don't have to look at me to eat, do you?"
          "No, but I'd really like to," grinned Beth as she leaned back to see Reese's face.
          "Well then, let's try this," said Reese. She placed her hands around Beth's waist and slowly twisted her around. "Watch your foot, okay? I'm going to lift it over my left leg, and then lift the other one over my right leg."
          "This looks like some strange yoga pose to me."
          "I'm not done yet," said Reese. "It'll work, just wait and see." Reaching behind her, she pulled down two pillows down from the couch. One of the fluffy pillows was placed under Beth's hips. She then placed the other pillow gently underneath Beth's injured foot to elevate it.
          "How's that?" asked Reese a smile.
          Beth couldn't believe it. The overstuffed pillow she was sitting on brought them to each other's eye level. Blue eyes met green once again.
          "Perfect," said Beth. "It's just right."
          She looked over to the pizza and awkwardly reached for a plate. As she twisted around to retrieve it, she lost her balance and her rear end started to slide on the pillow closer to Reese. Reese grabbed Beth's waist and pulled her back just before her head looked like it was going to hit the floor. She put her arms around Beth and held on for dear life.
          "Woman, you're going to give me a heart attack."
          "I'm sorry," said Beth as she giggled into Reese's long black hair. "I'm spastic enough with this sprained ankle and now we're wrapped up around each other like a pretzel. And, I still haven't had any pizza!"
          Reese loosed her grip and placed her friend on the pillow where she was before. "Well, I guess I'll have to feed you myself then."
          She reached down and placed one arm behind the smaller woman's back for support. "Now don't you go anywhere," said Reese. "I'm determined to make this work."
          Beth felt the warmth of Reese's long fingers holding firm against her back. She leaned in closer to let Reese move closer to the plates. Nested into the side of the taller woman's neck, she breathed in the faint scent of her perfume. Reese pulled her a little closer and leaned them both toward the plates.
          "Reese," said Beth softly. "To hell with the pizza."
          Beth started to kiss the inside of the very warm neck under her mouth. Unable to stop, she moved closer to Reese's lips until she found them. Waiting for her.

Part 3

   A slender hand reached out to caress her cheek.  Reese gently tipped Beth's face up to hers and kissed her.
   "Oh my God," whispered Beth as she tried to take in air. "I, I think you took my breath away."
   Reese wrapped her arms around her smaller friend and pulled her closer.
   "Are you okay with this?"
   Beth hesitated and tried to gain her composure before she answered. How could she tell her the magnitude of the feelings rushing through her right now? She took a deep breath and then ran her fingers through her friend's long black hair.
   "Yes," said Beth, finally able to speak. "Is this okay with you?"
   Reese nodded and cupped her hands around Beth's face. She looked into the beautiful woman's green eyes and lowered to kiss her again. No more questions. Just answers.
   The two women searched each other's faces and smiled. They were destined to be here. Destined to meet. Destined to touch each other's souls.
Beth looked at Reese and then dropped one hand to the floor to support herself as she shifted the weight from her injured foot.
   "Beth," said Reese as she slipped her right arm around the smaller woman's waist. "I'm going to move you to the couch, okay? This floor has been very dangerous for you."               
   With little effort, Reese placed her left arm under Beth's legs and lifted her to the couch. She sat down, and then gently pulled the smaller woman into her lap.
   "We need to keep your foot elevated," said Reese as she pulled the footstool under Beth's ankle.
   "What foot?" said Beth as she kicked the stool away. She looked into Reese's blue eyes and kissed her. She then pulled her knees up and cradled herself almost completely into her friend's lap. She wrapped her arms around the taller woman's neck and hugged her like she would never let go. She felt a surge of emotion that she could no longer control.
   "Beth?" Reese gasped for air. " Beth, you can let go just a little. I'm not going anywhere, okay?" She brushed her palm against the back of her friend's blond hair and gently pulled away from the tight hold the smaller woman held her in.
   "I'm sorry," said Beth, dropping her head toward her chest. Reese tipped Beth's chin up so she could look at her face. Tears were spilling over the top of her eyes and started to roll down her face. "S,sssorry."
   Beth tried to speak but couldn't find words.   Some writer you are. The most incredible thing that has ever happened to you is holding you in her arms and you can't speak.
   "You don't have to say anything, honey," said Reese, as she wiped away Beth's tears. "If you're feeling anything close to what I'm feeling right now, then I already know where your heart is."
   It's right here, safe with me.

Part 4

    "I, I have a lot to say," said Beth as she rested her head on a strong shoulder. "But right now, can you just hold me for a few minutes?"
   "Okay," said Reese softly. She wrapped her arms around Beth and very gently started to rock her back and forth.
   Beth had never felt safer than where she was right now. She had never trusted anyone enough to even ask them to hold her. Her parents never touched her as a child and as a teenager and adult, her physical relationships had been limited to the handful of people she dated. There was never any emotional attachment in her previous relationships, just an attempt at feeling something physical that she hoped would fulfill the emotional need she buried so deep inside. But, it never happened. Until she met the beautiful woman that now gently rocked her like a baby. How did she know that this is what I needed? How can she already know how strong my feelings are?
   Reese stroked Beth's hair and leaned down to kiss her forehead. "How 'ya doing my little friend?"
   "Better than I have in a long time." She reached her hand to touch her friend's face and let it rest against her cheek. "I'm sorry I lost control. It's really not my style to emotionally fall apart like that. I usually bury everything to avoid dealing with it. But tonight-I can't explain it. It's like I found a safe haven. A place where I don't have to be afraid anymore."
  "You never have to look for that safe place again," said Reese as she leaned over to gently kiss her. "Someone has really hurt you, haven't they?"
   "Yes," said Beth quietly.
   "Who hurt you? Who could ever hurt someone like you?"
   "It's complicated," said Beth. She looked into the bluest eyes she'd ever seen and saw trust and acceptance. Instead of closing her heart, she decided to tell her friend everything. She was safe now.
   "It's okay," said Reese. "You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to, but if you do, I'm right here."
   "I know you are," said Beth, smiling at the kind face in front of hers. "I guess I should start at the beginning, huh?" She took a deep breath.
   Reese ran a reassuring hand across her back.
   "I can't remember a time in my life where my mother ever touched me," said Beth. "My dad wasn't very affectionate either, so I guess I never knew any different. It wasn't until I saw my other parent's friends hug and touch them, that I questioned what was missing in my own life. What had I ever done to make my parents not want to touch me?"
          "You know that wasn't your fault."
          "I do know that now, but I didn't growing up," said Beth. "In high school, I met a friend who was very affectionate. She had no qualms about hugging me or touching me. We became best friends. I guess I didn't know how to process that affection from a friend and I fell in love with her. It was reciprocal for a while, but then she left me for the man she eventually married.  I never got over that one relationship."
   "I'm so sorry." Reese pulled her closer.
   Beth began to caress the arms that were tightly wrapped around her. "I spent the rest of my time in college dating men who I thought would give me the same feeling I had with my friend. But it never happened. It was always about sex. Never about love."
   "I think I can relate to that," said Reese. "I've had relationships with men and women, but it's always been purely physical. I don't think I ever felt connected to anyone I've ever been with. Until now. Until you."
   "Reese," said Beth. "I knew from the first time I looked into those mysterious blue eyes of yours that we were connected somehow."
   "I know. It's like I've always known you. When you fell in my arms in that parking lot, I knew that something was happening to me that was different than before. It was like you had been there before."
   "I'm almost scared of how powerful this feeling is," Beth said softly.
   "Please don't be scared. I know this is new to both of us, but I don't want to ever stop feeling what I'm feeling right now. All I know is that you have completely captured me and I don't want to be with anyone but you."
   Beth cradled Reese's face in her hands and kissed her lips. Then, she lightly kissed each side of her face and brushed lips over her closed eyes. Pulling Beth closer, Reese kissed her, letting go of the emotion that was now surging through her body. Beth ran her hands through her friend's hair and returned the kiss with equal force.
   Now breathless, the two women finally released their hold on one another. Blue eyes met green and sparkled. No, this wasn't about sex. This was about magic.

Part 5

   Beth positioned herself on her side next to Reese. She traced the outline of her face and then rested her head on a waiting shoulder. The smaller woman could hear her friend's heartbeat race, then slow down as they relaxed in each other's arms.
   "Hmmm," murmured Beth as she patted Reese's stomach.
   "I'll take that as a 'yes' then," said Reese as she placed her hand on the side of her friend's head. She held it firm against her heart.  Do you know what this means to me? Do you have any idea how many times I've dreamed of finding you--of finding the other half of my soul? A tear surfaced from Reese's blue eyes and slowly ran down her cheek. She never cried. But now, this petite, blonde woman was changing her world.
   Beth ran her fingers lazily across Reese's collarbone while she still listened to the rhythm of her friend's heartbeat. Another tear followed the path of the first one and slowly slid down Reese's cheek.
   "What is it Reese?" Beth pulled herself up to rest on her elbow. She brushed away the tear. "Honey, please. Please tell me what you're feeling."
   She placed a reassuring hand on Reese's face and turned it toward her own.
   "I, I was just thinking how my entire world has changed today," said Reese, taking a deep breath. "How you changed everything for me. Everything."
   The tall beauty rolled over on her side until she was face to face with the young blonde.
   "I don't think you understand," said Reese. "I never share my feelings with anyone. I've been hurt too many times to ever want to cross that line again. I've always used sex to get what I want. It's been a tool, maybe even a weapon for me."
   "Reese," Beth started to say before a finger was placed against her lips.
   "Please let me finish. I want you to know that I would never, ever do that to you. When I touch you, I feel it with every fiber in my being. The tips of my fingers tingle, my heart races and I want nothing more than to hold you and kiss you to let you know how I feel. It's not about sex. Do you understand?"
   "Can I talk now?" Beth asked as she kissed the palm of Reese's hand. "I understand what you're saying. What you've done in your past means nothing to me. I hope my past means nothing to you. What does matter is that we've found each other. Nothing else matters but right now."
   Reese kissed her on the forehead and then ran her fingers through Beth's soft blonde hair. "You are so beautiful."
   Beth leaned over for a kissed. "Do you, um, have anywhere you need to go tonight?"
   Reese smiled. "You didn't really think I was going to leave my patient, did you?"
   "It's just that, that"
   "That you don't want to be alone?"
   "I'm not going anywhere," said Reese. You'll never be alone again, as she captured the lips drawing closer to hers. Never.

Part 6

   The women rested quietly with their arms wrapped around each other
Beth began to slowly stretch and looked down on the floor. The pizza box, plates and soft drinks were all where they left them hours earlier. She started to giggle.
   "What's so funny?"
   "Our dinner," replied Beth. "It's right where we left it."
   "I'll heat it up if you want some. I'm getting a little hungry myself."
   "Well, that brings up a dilemma," said Beth, giving her friend a wink. "If you get up to warm the pizza, then you have to leave the couch. I need to be warmed up, too."
   "You're a scamp. If the past two hours have been any indication, you feel pretty warm to me."
   The tall woman untangled her arms and legs and gently adjusted her smaller friend's body to a more comfortable position on the couch.
   "Hey," said Beth, reaching for her friend's shirt. Tugging the collar, she pulled Reese down to her eye level. She kissed her on the nose. "Don't take too long."
   "Be back in a flash."
   Beth smiled and turned to look at the tall beauty standing next to the microwave in the kitchen. Three hours ago, they were strangers. Now, they were part of each other's souls. Connected in a way neither one of them understood, but gratefully accepted. She looked up toward the ceiling and closed her eyes. Thank you, whoever is responsible for this. I don't know what I've done to deserve it, but thank you.
   The chef returned with two plates of warm pizza. "We're eating on the couch young lady. I don't trust you on the floor anymore."
   "Here," said Beth. "Let me feed you."
   She took a piece of pizza and lifted it to her friend's mouth.
   "Mmmm," mumbled Reese. "Delicious. Now, my turn."
   Beth smiled as Reese picked up a piece of her pizza and fed her. They alternated bites until the pizza slices were gone.
   Beth reached over and kissed waiting lips, still tasting the faint reminder of cheese and tomato sauce. "You're delicious, too."
   "Well, we actually managed to eat. I can't believe you didn't fall or knock anything over this time."
   "You are so mean," teased Beth. "If I wasn't a klutz, we wouldn't be here right now, would we?"
   "I guess I have a certain pothole and pizza to thank for my good fortune then," said Reese as she ran her hand softly down Beth's back. Good fortune indeed.
   "Potholes and Pizza. Sounds like a story title to me. Maybe I'll write about this sometime."
   "I'd like to read that one."
   "Yeah, me too," said Beth, joining her friend in a giggle.
   "What do you normally write about?"
   "I write mainly for vacation and adventure magazines," said Beth. "I actually get paid to travel to places all over the world and write about them."
   "I'm jealous," said Reese. "I travel a lot, but all I ever see are the inside of offices. It's kind of a drag."
   "Why don't you come with me on my next assignment? I'm supposed to go to the Grand Canyon to write a report about a new camping resort. Do you like to camp?"
   "Yes, I do," said Reese. "I normally go by myself to the mountains, but going somewhere with you sounds a lot more fun."
   "Then, it's a deal," said Beth. "I'll make the arrangements tomorrow. I love sleeping out under the stars by a campfire. I was a girl scout, too, you know. I'm a pretty good outdoor cook. I was also designated the official fire-starter when I was a young cadet."
   "That's about the most appropriate description of you I can think of," teased Reese. "You can be my official fire starter any time you like."
   "How 'bout right now?" Beth whispered as she started to kiss the nape of Reese's neck.
   Reese captured Beth's face in her slender hands and kissed her. "I am crazy about you."
   "I'm crazy about you, too."
   "Hey, I need to talk to you about something."
   "I want to stay here tonight more than anything. But not for the reason you might think," said Reese.
   Beth looked into her friend's blue eyes.
   "I want to show you that there's more to me than just a physical relationship. I just want to be with you. Be near you. It's not about sex, okay?"
   "I'm not in any hurry. You can't possibly know how much it's meant to me to just be able to touch you and kiss you tonight. It's been so hard for me to trust anyone with my affection. It's always been a source of pain for me. You changed all that. What we have right now makes me incredibly happy," said Beth as she touched the side of Reese's face with the palm of her hand.
   "Then let me help you get ready for bed and we'll continue this discussion," said Reese as she kissed Beth softly.
   Reese helped Beth to her feet and put her arms around her shoulder for support. They slowly made their way to the bedroom. Beth sat on the edge of the bed and reached for her friend's hand.
   "I have some nightshirts in the top drawer if you'd like one."
Reese retrieved the shirts and handed one to Beth. "There's an unopened toothbrush in the medicine cabinet, too. Help yourself."
  "I will. Thanks." Reese took her nightshirt in the bathroom to change. She brushed her teeth and walked back to the bed.
   "Let me help you to the bathroom," said Reese as she reached down to Beth. She walked her hobbling friend to the bathroom sink. "I'll give you a few minutes and come back to get you, okay?"
   Reese partially closed the door and walked to the bed. Beth took care of everything she needed to and peeked around the corner of the door. Reese was sitting on the bed with her head in her hands. She's nervous, thought Beth. How cute.
   "I'm ready." Reese walked to the bathroom and put her arm around the younger woman's waist. Beth hopped to turn around to face her friend. In her awkward attempt to turn, she caught the taller woman off-balance and they both started to fall. Reese grabbed Beth and braced them both against the door.
   "This is how we started, wasn't it?" Beth held on to Reese. "I never thought falling would be such a nice feeling."
   "I think I'm falling for you, my friend," said Reese, giving her a soft kiss.
Beth held on tighter.
   "To bed with you, my little klutz." Reese reached under her friend's legs and lifted her into the bed.
   "Only if you join me."
   Reese slid in beside the smaller woman. She touched the side of Beth's face with her fingertips and leaned in to kiss her. Then, she pulled her friend closer and held her head to her chest. Beth draped her arm across Reese's stomach and gave her a squeeze. They fit together perfectly.
   Reese looked down at the woman resting peacefully in her arms. Camping in the Grand Canyon was going to be a treat. Cuddling in a sleeping bag under the stars. A campfire. S'mores.
   "Hey, you aren't allergic to chocolate are you?"
   "Mmmm, chocolate," said Beth. "Love chocolate. Candy bars, hot chocolate. Any kind of chocolate. Mmmm. Why do you ask?"
   "Just thinking about the menu choices for next weekend," said Reese with a grin. "Looks like chocolate is the first item on the shopping list."
   "I can't wait," said Beth. I wonder if she likes s'mores?
   "It's been quite a day, huh?" Reese caressed Beth's arm.
   "The best day ever," said Beth, lifting her head to look at Reese. "You changed my life today. You know that don't you?"
   "And, you changed mine."
   "You didn't just change today, Reese," said Beth softly. "You changed my tomorrows, too."
   Tomorrow, thought Reese. What a nice thought. She'd wake up in the arms of the beautiful woman who now shared a part of her soul.
   "I look forward to all our tomorrows if every day was like today," said Reese.
   "Tomorrow and the next day and the day after that," said Beth. "As long as we share them"
   "Together," they said at the same time.  Together.


The end


(The sequels to this story are Falling Stars and Soul Crossing)