By Web Bard (copyright 01/01/01)
Mamme looked at her granddaughter and Beth and pulled them into an affectionate embrace. "Im so happy for both of you."
Pappos leaned over and kissed Beth and Reese. "I dont mean to rush you, but theres a boat waiting for you in the harbor."
"Yes, Pappos," said his granddaughter. Turning to the young man who played the lute during the service, Reese extended her hand. "Thank you so much, Solon. Your music was just beautiful.
"My pleasure," said the young man. "Your grandmother has asked that I play for your reception in a few days, so Ill see you then."
Beth smiled at the young man as they walked toward the cars. Yes, the music was beautiful. The ceremony was beautiful. And the cliffs, well, they were magical. She glanced over her shoulder and looked back to the place where they were previously standing. For a brief moment, she thought she saw a faint outline of two women in long flowing garments. No, it couldnt be. She shook her head and lowered herself into the car beside her partner.
"Hi, married lady," said Reese as she pulled Beth into her arms.
The young blonde responded with a tender kiss. "Hello, love."
Mamme turned her head and looked at the two women in the back seat of the car. The two women were gazing into each others eyes with such devotion that she didnt want to interrupt them. "Ahem. Well be near the harbor in a few minutes and I wanted to let you know that Pappos and I will have everything ready for your reception when you get back. But you must call us before you get to Amphipolis. We will have a special surprise that will be waiting for you at the edge of the city limits."
Reese gave Beth a puzzled look and then turned to her grandmother. "Okay, Mamme. I promise well call you at least a half an hour before we get there. Well try to be home by noon on Friday."
Pappos brought the car to a stop. After opening the door for his wife, he opened the back door for his granddaughter and Beth. He opened the trunk and pulled out two pieces of luggage for the women. Mamme joined him and lifted a large picnic basket out of the back of the car.
"Ive put together a few things for your dinner on the boat," said Mamme as she handed the basket to Reese. Her granddaughter smiled and kissed her on the cheek.
"You didnt have to do that," said Beth. "But Im really glad you did. You are such a wonderful cook."
Pappos started walking with the two suitcases toward the shoreline. Waiting for him there was a handsome young man in a small, motorized dinghy. He handed the luggage to the young man and reached for the basket from his granddaughter.
Beth gave Reese a puzzled look. She pointed to the small dinghy. "Thats our boat?"
Reese took her friends face in her hands and turned it toward the open sea. "No, sweetheart. THATS our boat."
Beth looked out into the ocean at the largest sailboat shed ever seen. "Reese, thats not a sailboat. It looks like one of those tall ships they show in the Boston Harbor!"
The taller woman laughed and placed her arm around her friends waist. "I told you that I was going to spoil you, now didnt I?"
"But, honey, theres no way we can afford that," argued Beth.
Pappos walked over to the young blonde and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Reese didnt pay for this. Your Mamme and I did. Consider it a wedding gift. You are part of our family now. We cherish the ones we love."
"Oh, Pappos," said Beth as she dissolved into tears. "Thank you. Knowing you are a part of my family means more to me than youll ever know."
The older man pulled the young blond into his arms and held her for a few minutes. Mamme and Reese were standing closer to the dingy. Pappos leaned down and whispered into Beths ear. "Im counting on you to take care of my granddaughter, little one."
Pulling away from Pappos, she looked into his eyes. "I promise you that I will."
Mamme touched Beth on the shoulder. "You need to go now. Well see you in a few days, okay?"
Reese took Beth by the hand and helped her into the boat. She turned to her grandparents and quickly hugged them. "Thank you for everything. I love you both so much."
"We love you, too," said Mamme as she kissed her granddaughter on the cheek. "Now go. The boat is waiting for you."
The taller woman stepped into the boat and as it pulled away, she and Beth both turned and waived at the two figures on the beach. Reese thought she saw two people standing behind her grandparents, but as she refocused, the image was gone. She had to get her eyes checked when she got home.
Within minutes, they reached the large sailing ship. The young man tossed the luggage over the side and pulled the rope ladder down for the women. After Beth and Reese made it onto the boat, he handed the picnic basket up to them and then climbed aboard. He pulled the dingy up over the side of the boat and then secured it.
"In all the hurry, Im afraid I didnt introduce myself," said the young man. "My name is Arkas and Ill be your captain for the next few days. I normally have a small crew with me on board, but I understand that youve both had sailing experience. I might need your help over the next few days."
"Youve got it, Captain," said Beth with a smile. "Can you show us where we need to put our things?"
Arkas lead the women below the deck and opened the door into a stateroom. In the room was a large bed, a small kitchen, and a bathroom.
"Wow, this is incredible," said Reese. "Pappos said it would be big enough for us. I think he was right."
Beth turned toward the young man. "Will you join us for some dinner? Im sure Mamme packed enough for everyone."
"Thanks, but Id better not. Id have to eat it and sail the boat at the same time," said Arkas.
"Im sure we can take turns and help you," said Reese as she grabbed the picnic basket. "Lets eat and watch the sunset, shall we?"
After enjoying Mammes home-cooked meal, Reese and Beth helped Arkas get the large boat moving out of the harbor and toward the Greek Islands. He assured the women that they would only travel a short distance in the dark and then he would stop and drop anchor. They would resume their charted course early in the morning.
Reese took Beth by the hand and led her to the front of the boat. She leaned back into the railing and pulled the young blonde into an embrace. "I hardly know what to say to you to tell you what Im feeling right now. This has been the best day of my life."
"Mine, too," said Beth as she looked up into the blue eyes gazing back into hers. "I love you so much that it scares me."
Reese pulled her partner close to her chest and just held her there for a few minutes. "Pappos said there was some champagne waiting for us in our room. Lets go toast this perfect day."
The two women said goodnight to Arkas and made their way down to the stateroom. Reese reached for two glasses and hand them to Beth. She popped the cork on the champagne and poured the bubbling liquid into the tall champagne flutes. The two women sat on the edge of the bed and looked into each others eyes.
"To the best thing in my life," said Reese. "My beautiful partner."
Blinking back hot tears, Beth held up her glass to touch the taller womans. "To you, my greatest love and my truest friend. I love you beyond words."
They sipped the champagne and then stopped and looked into each others eyes. Beth stood up and took the glass from Reeses hand. She placed the champagne flutes in the sink and returned to the bed. Reese reached out her arms to her partner and quickly pulled her down onto the soft comforter. Lying side by side, their eyes spoke without words. Reese leaned over and took her lovers face in her hands. She gently kissed her friends eyelids and moved down to the soft lips waiting for her.
Beth moved her hands to the bottom of her partners sweater and slid them underneath the wool fabric. Reese jumped slightly at the sudden touch of expert fingers slowly pushing the sweater up her long torso. "Want some help with that?"
"Oh, no, I can handle this." Beth moved the sweater up and over the taller womans arms and then quickly unhooked her friends bra and let it drop to the floor. She buried her face in Reeses chest and began to place a series of kisses on every curve and open area of exposed skin.
Taking her lovers head in her hands, Reese pulled the young blonde up into a heated kiss. "Dont I get the same pleasure of helping you out of your clothes?"
Reese stood up and removed the rest of her clothes.
"Can you just stand there like that? My God, woman, you are the most beautiful creature Ive ever seen." Beth took in a deep breath and then reached for her partners hand.
Reese took Beths hand and then lowered herself close to the smaller womans waist. She slowly unzipped the jeans and pulled them away from Beths legs. Long, slender fingers then moved over Beths abdomen and she pushed the wool sweater and sports bra up over her lovers chest and over her head.
"Youre very good at that," said Beth as she pulled Reese closer to her.
"I might need more practice to be perfect," said the taller woman who moved closer to the nape of her partners neck.
Beth arched her back as Reese began placing kisses on sensitive areas on her neck and chest. She tried to respond verbally, but warm lips covered hers and she gave up. Beth wanted desperately to touch her lovers body, but in one swift motion, Reese interlaced her fingers with Beths and lifted her arms over her head, effectively holding her completely captive. Blue eyes met green and a wordless exchange of emotion passed between the two lovers. Beth then closed her eyes and surrendered to the relentless lips exploring her body.
Arkas lowered the anchor and then sat down to rest for a few minutes. He pulled his coat up over his ears to help block out the cool night air and then closed his eyes. As he started to fall asleep, two figures moved to the front of the boat. Two women, dressed in white and gold, stood with their arms around each other. Their flowing white robes moved in tandem with the slight gust of wind that moved across the deck. The tall, dark haired woman bent down to kiss the small, blonde woman standing next to her. The shorter woman wrapped her arms around the dark haired woman and pulled her into an embrace. Arkas shifted his position and thought he heard something moving on the deck. He opened his eyes and looked toward the front of the boat. No. Nothing there. The boat captain yawned and closed his eyes again.
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