A Higher Power
By Mavis Applewater
Disclaimers, the characters and story are the sole possession of the author and may not be reproduced, posted or sold without the authors permission. So there! If for any reason, real or imagined you do not want to read a harmless little ditty with graphic descriptions of two consenting adult women in a loving and sexual relationship then do not read this story or anything else I have ever written. If for any reason it is illegal for you to view this material, go away and dont come back until it is no longer a crime. Thanks once again to Stephanie and all of the folks at The Royal Academy Of Bards for inviting me back for this years Valentines Day Special. Once again I have to say you guys rock!
A very special thank you goes out to my beta reader, Mountain Girl.
As always this is for Heather.
"Love hurts, thats it?" I stammer with disgust as I glare down at the tiny prune faced little woman nestled by a small fire in the tiny hovel as candles and incense burned brightly around her shrunken form.
"Love hurts," she sagely informs me once again as she presses her fingers together and nods.
I stand there slack jawed as she hums. Now Im not a mean person and I dont normally yell at elderly people much less a woman who is pushing one hundred, but I had just scaled a freaking mountain seeking the answers to lifes mysteries. I stepped in, placed money in the offering bowl, and all I get for my efforts is love hurts. "You have got to be freaking kidding me?" I bellow as her entourage surrounds me. Thankfully she waves them away. "I could have gotten that crap from a fortune cookie," I continue my tirade.
Normally, I am a very calm person even when something breaks just short of the warranty, and I get the old, sorry its company policy load of horse puckey. You have to understand; I stumbled across the old scroll while archiving material for the museum where I work. I painstakingly preserved it, spending almost two years of my life translating it. After discovering its meaning I worked an extra job so I could afford to embark on this quest. Then I traveled to Tibet, scaled a mountain, endured three days of fasting and purification rituals only to finally meet the oracle, who upon my entrance into the hovel that passes for a temple, and have her look up at me and say, love hurts.
Her brown eyes twinkle up at me as her thin lips curl into a smile. "On the passing of your mother did you not cry?" She asks as I feel my ire growing.
"Of course I cried," I sputter feeling as if I was being cheated. "My mother died."
"And you cried because you loved her," she informs me with another smile.
"Yes?" I growl my crystal blue eyes boring into her tiny frame.
"We always feel the loss of love, yet never recognize the joy when we have it," she surmises in an annoying, calm voice.
"We dont know what we got till its gone," I gasp in utter exasperation. "Youre handing me song lyrics?" I tremble as the large men serving her start to form a tighter circle around me. None of them seemed very pleased with my presence from the get go and now I was insulting a woman they viewed as a God.
"Such impatience," she challenges me as I quirk my eyebrow.
"Forgive me," I blow out. "Ive spent the last few years of my life searching for you. I translated the scroll, dug through ancient maps, worked my butt off, spent my life savings and climbed a mountain only to find I could have gotten more answers by buying a Hallmark card."
"This is the answer to your quest," she responds simply with a wave of her hand.
"No it isnt," I protest. "I want to know the meaning of life."
"You want to know why your heart is empty," she corrects me in a condescending manner. "You fail to see that your heart is full. You never really accept the happiness or that, at times, the love fades and grows, following a path away from you. Simply seeking the one isnt the answer. Worrying that you let the right one get away is the wrong road to travel. You know of who I speak."
"Huh?" I blush feeling very small at the moment. "Oh alright there was one girl when I was very young that I regret not telling how I felt."
"And youve always wondered what would have happened if you hadnt been an emotional coward?" She concluded with a knowing smirk.
"Hey!" I fume her eyes holding me back from throttling her. "Fine there was some one I
met when I was doing a summer internship in Barcelona. I followed her around like a lost puppy always wondering if she liked me or not. But I didnt even know if she was gay. How does any of this complete my quest?"
"Accept the road you travel and stop seeking," she sighs trying to comfort me with her vague offerings.
"Thats it," I shrug filled with disappointment that I had not achieved the spiritual enlightenment I was so certain that I would find. "Follow my heart."
"That is it," she smiles again as I scowl. Her eyes lower as my shoulders slump. I turn to make my exit while thinking that I had been a fool. "Of course there is another way," she adds glibly stopping me in my tracks. "I could allow you a glimpse of what might have been."
"Beg pardon?" I eagerly inquire as she waves for me to kneel before her.
"It would only be a glimpse of what might have been," she cautions me. "I would be there to guide you, then no matter what you discover you must return. Are you willing?"
I must be delirious from the lack of nourishment and the altitude because I find myself agreeing. "Close your eyes," she instructs me as the cold air encompasses my body. I feel mildly ridiculous as I comply with her request. Suddenly I feel warmth filling me the sound of someone sneezing causes my eyes to snap open. "Bless you," I automatically respond.
"Thanks Hon," a petite blonde stranger offers as she saunters over and pats my stomach. My body freezes as my eyes dart around the unfamiliar surroundings. "Are you alright, sweetheart?"
"Peachy," I squeak out as this stranger looks up at me with concern.
"Are you sure?" She questions me as she stands on her toes and feels my forehead. My body warms from her touch while my mind is still spinning. "Cant have you getting sick on me not with this weekend coming up."
"This weekend?" I stammer like an idiot.
"Valentines Day," she informs me her brow crinkling in confusion. "The cabin in Maine? Are you sure that you are alright?"
"Im good," I quickly blurt out as I try to figure out who this woman is.
"Okay?" She concedes while her emerald eyes study me. "Dont forget to finish packing. Maggie is in the kitchen so she can help you with the last minute stuff. I have to go," she adds as she shrugs on her coat and picks up her briefcase. She seems startled when I step back as she approaches me. "Tara?"
"Yeah?" I quickly respond as I wonder what her name is and just how close the two of us are.
"I have to go to work," she sighs as she reaches up and brushes my lips lightly. "Call me on my cell if you need anything."
"Will do," I throw out casually. She gives me one last curious glance before walking out the front door. "Who the hell was that?"
"Did you need something, Miss Tara?" A plump older woman asks as she enters the room.
"No, Im good," I blurt out as I study this woman. "Maggie?"
"Yes, Miss?" She responds with a familiar smile and a twinkle in her dark eyes.
"Oh I get it," I chuckle. "Maggie, Magi, cute."
"And what do you think of your new life?" She asks me in a knowing voice.
"Nice digs," I note with appreciation as I look around the comfortable living room. "But who was the blonde? I thought I was suppose to find out what would have happened if I had asked Gina out?"
"This is what would have happened," she confidently informs me as I clench my jaw.
"She shot me down?" I question as I begin to grind my teeth. "All these years and she just would have shot me down anyways."
"No," Maggie reassures me with a pat on the arm. "Gina more than welcomed your advances."
"Then again I find myself asking who is the blonde?" I sputter as I try to catch my breath. "If Gina and I hooked up then why isnt she here or why arent I in California with her?"
"You and Gina shared a passionate summer; it was everything you had hoped it would be," Maggie slowly begins as she guides me up the staircase. "It was at the end of the summer that the magic faded, for Gina at least. You were in love and assumed that after the summer was over that the two of you would still be together once you returned to the United States. It broke your heart when she insisted that you return to Boston and she to San Francisco. She did insist that the two of you remain friends."
"Ouch," I cringe as I enter what I can only assume is my bedroom. "How did that change my life so much?" I ask as Maggie placed a suitcase on the bed and began packing some clothing. "Shouldnt I be doing that?"
"You wouldnt know what to pack," she chastises me. "Even if you remembered this life, I doubt that you would know what to bring. That is why Lauren asked Maggie to help."
"Lauren, nice to know my girlfriends name," I grumble as I flop down onto the bed. "Okay so Gina and I ended up being friends, but I stayed here so why is my life so different."
"Gina offered friendship," she sighs deeply. "You were convinced that it was only a matter of time before she realized that she loved you too. That was why you chose to do your graduate study in San Francisco so you could be close to her. Hoping for the day she would realize that you were the one for her."
"Oh my God," I gape at her. "Are you telling me that I became so pathetic that even though some woman made it perfectly clear that she was dumping me that I moved to the other side of the country to be with her? What am I a stalker?"
"No," she shushes me. "Although you did have your moments. By the time you finished your education you realized that Gina was not the one for you. Then again you did frighten her just a little and she avoided you."
"Im a pathetic looser," I bemoan as I bury my face in my hands.
"Not at all," Maggie reassures me with a tender pat on my shoulder. "Well not anymore, you did skirt dangerously close to the edge. It was that realization that changed you."
"Okay," I nod trying to reconcile the stable person I am with the fruitcake I had almost become. "How did I meet Lauren? And are we in love?"
"When you chose to study on the other side of the country you embarked on a different path," Maggie explains with a warm smile. "You went places and met people that you wouldnt have. By the time you came home you were very different, still an emotional coward, but different."
"Stop calling me that," I grouse.
"Fine," she groans. "Do you want to hear this or not?"
"Yes, I want to hear it," I fuss. "Im going away with my lover, I might need to know a few of the details of our lives. You know like how we met? How long have we been together? Do I love her, cause I dont feel it?"
"In all the centuries I have expelled wisdom I have never met anyone more demanding," she grumbles at me.
"Sorry," I shrug. "Im trying here. Please tell me how I met Blondie?"
"Better," she gloats. "You spilled hot coffee on her."
"I what?" I gasp with horror. "She must be an amazing person to go out with me after something like that."
"She is an amazing person," Maggie smiled. "But that day she really didnt care for you very much. You see, when you bumped into her, you scalded her and ruined her best outfit. Since she was on her way to a very important interview she was more than displeased by your actions. In fact the more you tried to apologize and help the more she disliked you. Finally she screamed at you to just leave her alone."
"No small wonder," I readily agree. "So it wasnt love at first sight."
"Far from it for either of you," Maggie chuckles. "A few days later you were entering the very same coffee shop when you spied her waiting in line. Feeling truly remorseful for your clumsiness you rushed out of the coffee shop and across the street to the florist. You bought a single red rose and waited for her outside of the coffee shop. When she stepped out you handed her the rose and apologized."
"I take it she accepted my apology," I smile thinking how sweet it all sounded.
"Yes," Maggie coyly responded. "The two of you became friends. Only you began to realize that you felt more and a few months later on a rainy Valentines Day, you decided to just act on your feelings and you kissed her. That was three years ago."
"I met the love of my life by scalding her with hot coffee?" I laugh as I look around the bedroom, spying several pictures of the two of us together. "We look like a happy couple. So why dont I feel it?"
"You are a very happy couple," Maggie reassures me as she finishes packing. "You dont feel it because you really didnt travel down this road. This is simply a glimpse at what might have been. Now you have errands to run, Ive made you a list."
"Dont I need to get to work?" I argue thinking that it is the middle of the week and there must be something I should be doing.
"You took time off so you could prepare for the trip," Maggie groans as she shoves a lengthy list into my hands. I am stunned that I would take time off from my busy schedule just so I could prepare for a weekend in Maine. "You are driving to Maine the day after tomorrow."
I furrow my brow as I study the long list that includes gifts that I should buy for Lauren. "The blonde has a sweet tooth I see," I note as Maggie gives me a stern look.
"If you were living this life, those are the gifts you would buy," she grumbles. "Now get moving."
"Fine," I huff as I storm out of the bedroom and downstairs. I stand in the kitchen for a moment looking around. "You want to tell me where my car keys are and my car for that matter?"
I jump with a start as she is suddenly standing beside me. "The keys are on the counter and your car is in the garage which is right through that door," she points me in the appropriate direction. I grumble as I storm out into the garage. I look around for my sporty little beamer.
"Oh oracle where is my car?" I demand only seeing a small SUV and not my convertible.
"That is your car," she scolds me from the doorway.
"No," I pant as my chest tightens. "That is a soccer moms car. I drive,"
"That," she cuts me off. "You thought it was more reasonable, economical and safer."
"No," I whimper as I stare at it.
"You are not a single woman, these things matter to you," she flatly informs me.
"Crap, why didnt I just get a minivan," I pout.
Once I returned back to what is now my home, Maggie helped me wrap Laurens gifts and hide them in my suitcase. I then discovered, much to my horror and distress, that I was expected to make dinner for Lauren and myself. "I dont cook," I protest as Maggie smiles at me. "I really dont cook," I stress as she pats me on the arm. Maggie tilts her head as I try to stand my ground. "Fine, what does she like to eat?"
"On a cold day like today she would love a pot of your home made chicken soup," Maggie encourages me.
"I have no idea how to make that," I flatly refuse as I begin yanking open the kitchen cabinet drawers. "Bingo, no home should be without one," I cry out triumphantly as I hold up a well-worn take out menu. "Want to give me a hint as to what I should order or do you want to risk me picking out something that will make the blonde sick?"
"A pot of soup," Maggie insists.
"Sorry, I dont know how to cook," I persist. "Frankly soup is something you get from a can not something you cook up in a pot. Take out will do just fine, now you want to help with this or not?"
"I am trying to," Maggie sighs shaking her head with disappointment.
"If she forgave me for scalding her with hot coffee, shell get over having take out for dinner," I rationalize as Maggie walks out of the kitchen. "How did I go from seeking the meaning of life to stressing over dinner," I huff while punching the digits on the telephone. My stress ebbs slightly as the man who answered the call recognizes my name. Thinking quickly I explain Im running late and plead with him to throw together some of our favorites. "One crisis averted," I smile proudly as Maggie saunters back into the kitchen.
"Im off duty," Maggie grins at me as I feel my chest constricting.
"Youre leaving me on my own?" I whimper fully prepared to fall to my knees and beg her to stay.
"It would appear quite odd if the housekeeper stayed over night," she admonishes me. "What troubles you?"
"Wanna a list?" I howl. "What about tonight?"
"What about it?" She questions me as her brow crinkles.
"Im assuming that the blonde and I share a bedroom," I frantically try to express my fears.
"Yes?" Maggie dryly answers as she stares at me in the most annoying fashion.
"Look this might be old hat to Blondie, but shes a virtual stranger to me," I shift nervously on the balls of my feet. "What if she wants sex? I dont know if Im comfortable with that," again the oracle I scaled a bloody mountain to find just stares at me as if I hold the answer. "This was a bad idea, just send me back to my old life and my sports car."
"It is not time," she calmly explains. "Just be yourself."
"I dont who that is," I fume. "Remember? Im different because I traveled a different path."
"Be true to yourself," she smiles. "That is how you won her heart. No false pretenses, no pretending to like things simply because she does; this is how you will learn. And stop referring to her as the blonde, her name is Lauren."
Suddenly she is gone and I am standing in the kitchen scowling. "Oh yeah there is that sage and wisdom I fasted three days to learn," I sneer while snatching up my car keys and heading off to the Chinese restaurant. The only thing I am grateful for at this moment in time is that the take out menu had a map drawn on it.
As I pull into the driveway I feel a strange sense of belonging. The quiet street nestled in the suburbs is a far cry from my tiny apartment locked in the noise of the city. "This isnt so bad," I reason as I gather up the multitude of bags from the backseat. "So, Im half of a poster couple and drive a dorky car, could be worse," I continue as I enter the house loaded down with bags of food. I find the blonde looking around the kitchen. I can see by the slight frown she is sporting that she is disappointed.
"Hi," I stammer as I set the bags down. "Lauren," I add reminding myself that her name isnt Blondie. "I hope take out is alright?"
"Great," she responds with a shy smile.
"You wanted soup," I mutter with disappointment.
"Honey," she comforts me. My body stiffens as I feel her arms wrapping around my waist. "Tara?"
The concern in her voice breaks my heart as I slip out of her embrace. "Im sorry," I softly apologize. "Im just out of sorts today. I couldnt even decide what to order from the restaurant. "I just had them throw something together."
"The food is fine," she encourages me with a warm smile. "I cant help it if Im spoiled by your culinary skills."
"When did that happen?" I mutter as she stares up at me quizzically.
"Tara?" She begins nervously. "What is it?"
"Nothing, I was just remembering when I thought opening a box of Mac and Cheese was cooking," I try to laugh off my confusion. "Sometimes I dont know how that changed." I lied thinking I had no clue as to how things changed. "Sorry Im just having one of those when did become I grown up moments."
"I hate those," she reassures me with a tender smile. "I know it is harder on you, I miss her too. Tell you what stud muffin why dont I take all of this wonderful food into the den and light a fire. Grab some wine."
My eyes darted around quickly as I wondered just what she was talking about? "Miss who?" I question aloud as I search around for the wine. I know that I like white so the bottles of red must be hers. I pick a bottle of each and once I locate a couple of glasses I wander about trying to find the den.
My heart quickens as I spy her laying the food out on a blanket in front of the stone fireplace. I cant help noticing her beauty as the flames illuminate her long, golden hair. "Tara?" She calls out to me. "What are you doing lurking in the doorway?"
"Youre beautiful," I confess suddenly feeling like a voyeur.
"Thank you," she blushes at my compliment while waving for me to join her. I feel nervous as I kneel down beside her.
"What did you mean earlier?" I ask as I set about uncorking the wine. "Who do you miss?"
"Your grandmother," she responds with a blank stare as my heart constricts. "I assumed that was her you were talking about. You know how you discovered that you really did know your way about the kitchen when you moved in with her. I have to admit that was one of the first things I found charming about you. How you gave up your life of traveling around the world just to move back east to look after her."
There is a lump in my throat as I realize that in this life my beloved Nana has passed on. "Oh that reminds me your mother called today," she prattles on. "She just wanted to wish us a good time this weekend and remind us to drive safely."
My eyes widen in disbelief at the strange turn of events. My grandmother was gone and my mother was alive, how could that be? My mother died in a car accident over a decade ago. No, she wasnt in Boston that day she was visiting you in California, I gasp as I hear Maggies voice whispering in my ear. "I should call her," I blurt excited at the thought of hearing my mothers voice one last time.
"Tara," she reaches out as I start to stand. "You can call her in the morning, you know shes probably already asleep by now."
"Right," I reluctantly agree as I slip back down onto the blanket. I am lost in my thoughts curious if one life had been traded for the other? She seems concerned by my quietness. How can I explain this to her?
I am still silent as I pack up the remnants from dinner and follow her upstairs. "You packed?" She smiles as we step into the bedroom.
"Maggie packed," I confess. "Apparently Im not to be trusted with packing."
"No, or coffee," she teases and I smile understanding the reference.
"Why did you ever forgive me?" I ask unable to stop the silly grin that has sprouted on my lips.
"Do you never tire of hearing how sweet and adorable I thought your bringing me a rose was?" She teases me amused by my question.
"Apparently not," my voice trails off as she begins to tug her blouse out of her slacks. Feeling suddenly embarrassed I turn away. Im flustered as I look at the twin bureaus pondering which will posses my nightgown? My anxiety grows as she wraps her arms around me from behind. I remind myself that this woman and I were lovers for three years, but in my mind I havent been with anyone in over four years.
My breathing hitches as she presses against my body, I know that she is naked. I can feel her erect nipples brushing against my back. "Since when are you shy?" She asks with a throaty chuckle as her hands encircle my waist. "Why dont I give you a back rub?" She murmurs coyly against my back as her hands begin to tug my shirt out of my jeans.
"Thatll just make me," my voice once again trails off knowing that my next word was horny.
"I know," she purrs as I shiver in response. Of course she knows she isnt the interloper, I am.
"Im really out of it," I feebly explain as I carefully step out of her embrace. "I think a hot bath would do me a lot of good." I look around quickly trying to determine which door will lead me to the bathroom.
"What is it Tara?" She asks me with concern. "It cant be PMS, you just got over your period."
My jaw hangs open as she reveals just how much she knows about me. I blow out an exasperated breath and run my fingers through my long dark hair. "With my luck it is an early menopause," I tease feeling relieved when she smiles.
"Okay," she wearily responds. "But if you are still arent feeling well in the morning Im taking you to the doctor. And no being a Wuss about it this time."
"Fine," I agree with a snarl.
"I just need to brush my teeth before you take over the bathroom," she explains as she opens the door that leads to our bathroom.
"One problem solved," I whisper as I frantically search the bureau drawers for something to wear. I fail to find anything by the time she steps out of the bathroom. My mouth is suddenly dry as I watch her standing naked before me without a care. My only solution is to turn away and race into the bathroom.
I soak in the tub for as long as my body can withstand it. As I lie in the bubbly water I think about this new life I am visiting. I think that the life I would have been handed would have been great. The only thing troubling me is I have no memory; the feelings of love are vacant since I really didnt meet and fall in love with Lauren. I just wish I could remember the touches, the quiet whispers and little nuances that had brought us together.
I wrap a towel around my body before staring at the two tooth brushes nestled by the sink. I finally grab the purple one since it is the color I would have purchased for myself. I am filled with a sense of betrayal as I step quietly into the bedroom. Lauren isnt sleeping as I hoped she would be. No she is wide-awake, awaiting her lover and all I can offer her is the shell of a woman, an imposter.
I feel a small sense of relief that she is sitting up reading, then my heart skips a beat when I realize she is naked beneath the bedding. "I turned on your side of the blanket," she explains without a care as she sets her book down and removes her reading glasses. "Yes, super high just the way you like it."
"Duel controls the wonders of modern science," I quip thinking that little things like an electric blanket with separate controls have probably saved more marriages than counseling. I stand nervously beside the bed preparing myself to just drop my bathrobe and dive under the covers. Thankfully she turns off the light and doesnt seem to notice as I drop my robe and climb in next to her. Then again, to her weve been performing this ritual for years.
I blow out a sigh of relief as I nestle beneath the covers. I release a strangled whimper as a naked body curls up beside me. I feel uneasy that not only is she invading my personal space but she has also wrapped her arm around my body. I shiver as I feel her long golden hair tickling my breasts and her hand caressing my stomach. "Good night," she murmurs as she leans up and kisses me.
My lips are tingling from the loving yet non-sensual kiss. She sighs contently as my arms automatically wrap around her tiny body. I am unable to sleep as I watch her slumbering in my arms. Her face is peaceful as she snores lightly against my chest. For some unknown reason I begin stroking her hair. Stranger still that I am amazed by the softness. My body is humming with desire from the feel of her flesh resting against my own.
I stay awake all night wondering about this woman who would have been my lover if life had turned out differently. Somehow I can understand why I fell in love with her. I am also filled with the pain of knowing that I will never know what it will be like to fall in love with her.
The following morning she is unhappy with the dark circles under my eyes. "Stay in bed and rest," she sternly informs me as she dresses for work. I bristle at being ordered around. "Tara, tomorrow we are off to a very romantic bed and breakfast. I have plans for you this weekend so you had better rest up."
I open my mouth to protest only to feel the air escaping my lungs as she crawls across the bed and straddles my body. "Baby it will be our anniversary," she whispers against my trembling lips. "Remember the promise I made you," I swallow hard at her words as my body trembles with desire and my mind panics. "The rainy day you clasped my face in your hands and kissed me, risking our friendship and telling me that you loved me. I promised you then and there that every Valentines Day I would show you how much I love you. Of course last year the bed breaking was entirely your fault," she teases me before capturing my lips in a searing kiss.
My heart was hammering against my chest, my lips still burning from the fire of her kiss. "Now sleep, I have to go to work," she firmly instructs me before climbing off of the bed.
"Uh huh," is the only response I can manage as I watch the swaying of her hips as she walks out of the room.
"Thank God youre an ass woman," I can hear her cackling as I try to catch my breath.
I decide to take Laurens advice and I quickly drift off to sleep. I finally return to the land of the living around one in the afternoon. After having some left over Pad Thai for breakfast I wander about my home. It is nice, simply decorated, and most importantly comfortable. After an hour of acquainting myself with where I live I call my mother.
I almost broke into tears upon hearing her voice. She seems surprised that I keep the conversation going for over an hour. I couldnt hang up before telling her how much she meant to me. When she starts getting weepy I finally allow her to end the call.
I wander back to the kitchen and begin looking around. Feeling brave I find a cookbook and dig out a large pot. As I perform my task I am surprised by how much I learned as a child by following my grandmother around her kitchen. Every time I visited I was her little shadow and now everything I had seen started coming back to me. What surprised me even more was that I was actually enjoying cooking.
While the large pot of chicken soup simmered I wandered back into the den. I began rifling through the cabinets until I came upon some videos and a couple of photo albums.
I pop one of the videos into the VCR and sit back while it begins to play. I thumb through the photo album smiling at the life I might have had. I look up when I hear Lauren squealing from the television. I look up at the snow-covered scene to find a visual of Lauren bent over. "You want to point that somewhere else?" She scolds me as I laugh. I watch as her brilliant green eyes light up the screen.
"Just trying to capture you on film," I hear my voice teasing from behind the camera.
"Me or my ass?" She accuses me as I laugh once again.
"But that is how we met," I hear me laughing boisterously.
"No, you spilled coffee on me," she argues as she scrunches her brow. "Wait youre telling me that you spilled coffee all over me because you were checking out my ass?"
"Uh huh," I respond from behind the camera as a giant snowball smothers the lens.
"I should have hit you with that snow ball," I jump as I hear Lauren entering the room.
"Not my fault you throw like a girl," I taunt her as I turn off the VCR.
"No, I dont," she dismisses my comment with a confessed look. Note to self shes a jock, I mentally note. "What smells so good?"
"I threw on a pot of soup," I explain my insides warming at the way she smiles down at me. "It should be ready, do you want some?"
"Later," she offers in a husky tone while crossing from behind the couch. I am in awe at how easily she slithers onto my lap and straddles my body. "Feeling better?"
"Yes," I answer honestly as my hands instinctively caress her hips. "Im sorry Ive been such a goober the last couple of days."
"Honey, my love, you have always been a goober," she teases as she rubs my nose with her own. She shifts uncomfortably until she discovers the photo album. She looks at it curiously before extracting it from between our bodies. "Old videos, photos whats up?"
"Im just trying to remember every detail about us," I try to explain.
"Is something wrong?" She hurriedly inquires as she tightens her grip on my shoulders. "Youve never kept anything from me before dont start now."
"No," I quickly reassure her as I realize that she must be suspecting the worst. "Im just feeling nostalgic. Because of Valentines day and all."
"You scared the crap out me," she huffs. "Yesterday you seemed so distant and what you just said sounded like you were dying or something. Dont do that."
"I wont, I promise," I smile up at her my body relaxing against her touch. I stifle a moan as she squirms in my lap. Her eyes capture mine and I feel a sense of belonging sweeping over me. I bolster my courage finally ready to do what Maggie told me to do. "Lauren, right at this moment in time I feel safe, comfortable and loved. I also feel the love I have for you plus I am really turned on."
I brace myself for her rejection. "Then you had better go turn the soup off," she purrs softly before flickering her tongue against my lips.
"I love your smile," I confess as I brush my thumb against her lips. I moan once again as she captures my thumb between her soft pink lips.
"Turn the soup off and Ill light a fire," she encourages before giving me a tender kiss. She lifts her arms above her head, an innocent gesture to allow her back to pop. The sight of her breasts lingering so closely to my face mesmerizes me.
"Im a lucky woman," I sigh deeply as she slips off of my lap.
"No, Im the lucky one," she smiles back at me as she collects the photo albums that are strewn all over the sofa. "What were you doing looking at every snap shot of us together?" She laughs lightly. "Oh I hate this one," she grumbles as I lean over to see what she is talking about. I break out in laughter at the picture of her with mud caked all over her delicate features and a nasty scowl on her face. "I still say you pushed me."
I feel an aching void in my heart at having no memory of the event. "I think you look adorable," I offer honestly wishing I could remember the playful events that led up to the picture.
"You must since you keep a copy of this on your desk at work," she scolds me as she nudges me out of the room.
I am grinning like an idiot as I saunter into the kitchen and turn off the stove. "So this is what love feels like," I smile brightly as I think that this love stuff is pretty great. My smile vanishes as I realize that my visit is short. "Im not staying and Lauren really doesnt know me."
The sadness fills me as I look at the refrigerator covered with notes and colorful magnets from different places. I know that each one is from a place that we have visited together. "Love really does hurt," I sniff wondering how much time I have left in this strange wonderful life.
I take a cleansing breath before heading back towards the den. I decide to enjoy what little time I have left. It amazes me the way she looks at me as I enter the room. Weve been together for three years, these days that is considered to be a minor miracle. Most lesbian couples only stay together for two years before the boredom sets in and they drift apart. Just one look in her eyes and I know that we are one of the couples that are in it for the long haul.
She beckons me to join her; she has once again spread a blanket in front of the fire. My skin prickles just from the knowledge that she is waiting for me. "When I heard the television on," she begins to explain as I kneel beside her. "I assumed you broke out your DVDs and were indulging in an afternoon of those God awful horror movies that you like or worse."
"Worse?" I gape. "And what is wrong with those movies?"
"Nothing, if you like scaring yourself silly so that you have to leave the lights on all night," she chuckles as she leans into my body.
"I never leave the lights on," I scoff at the notion as my body surges from the heat of her pressing against me.
"I was talking about me," she explains with a light laugh that sends a shiver through me. "Every time you watch those movies I get sucked into watching them with you. And by worse I am talking about your two favorites, A Christmas Story and Feds. I still cant believe I bought those for you."
"Youll shoot your eye out kid," I gleefully mimic the tag line from A Christmas Story. My mind wanders to the collection of DVDs; Im assuming that all of the mysteries are mine and the sappy collection of tearjerkers are hers. "At least you dont need a box of Kleenex to watch my movies."
"You still havent forgiven me for Simon Birch," she sighs contently as she begins to caress my thigh.
"Simon Birch?" I questioned her since I am not able to recall having seen the movie.
"I swear I didnt know he was going to die," she sweetly protests her fingers kneading my flesh. "We had only known each other for about a week, I think I fell for you during the first part when Ashley Judd died and you kept trying to hide your tears."
"My God how many people died in that movie?" I spout off embarrassed that she had seen me cry.
"Come on you liked that movie," she fusses as her fingers dig into my ribs and she begins to tickle me furiously.
"I honestly cant answer that," I laugh while falling backward amazed that she knows all of my ticklish spots. Tears roll down my face as she continues the delightful torture our bodies wrapping around one another. "Paybacks," I caution her as my long fingers dig into her sides and I start to tickle her. I delight in the feel of her body squirming against mine as I fumble to find her sensitive spots.
"You did," she wails once I find a very sensitive area just below her breasts. "Remember?" She pants as I wish I did remember. "I see dead people."
"That was a great movie," I assert while flipping her onto her back.
"I almost peed my pants in the theatre," she laughs deeply as our eyes lock.
I struggle to breathe unwilling to break the mesmerizing gaze we are locked in. "With so little in common how did we end up together?" I ask truly amazed by the connection we share.
"Because youre hot," she huskily responds as she laces her fingers through my hair. "Besides if we had every thing in common wed be the same person and who wants to date themselves? Our bantering is one of our strongest assets."
"Well said," I compliment her as I lean closer my eyes breaking the intense gaze only to drift to her soft pink lips, which were parted ever so slightly.
"I thought so, when you said that on our first date," she whispers as she draws me closer.
"I said that?" I whisper slightly surprised that I am capable of being so romantic.
"Yes," she sighs as our breath mingles. My eyes flutter shut as I lower myself to her. I quiver nervously as our bodies touch her lips gently caressing my own. I hesitate as she tries to deepen the kiss. I give into the sensation of her tugging on my bottom lip. I part my lips allowing her in.
The sweet taste of her mouth fills me as our tongues greet and playfully tease the other. Her hands gently roam my body, tugging on the hem of my shirt. I moan deeply into the warmth of her mouth as I feel her fingers touching my skin. She knows just how to touch me while I am at a complete loss.
I feel her nimble fingers unclasping my bra. I am gasping for air as I break away from the fiery kiss. "This is new to me," I confess as her blunt nails drag down along my back.
"What?" She pants as her hands continue their exploration up along the curve of my body.
I am struggling to breathe as I lift my body slightly and look down at her. Laurens eyes are filled with a smoky desire as she stares up at me. "I feel like this is the first time," I try to explain while my lovers hands slip to the front of my body. My stomach clenches as her hands caress it.
"After all of these years?" She questions me with a look of pure admiration. "I can still make you feel that way?"
"Yes," I choke out leaning into her touch terrified to break the connection between us. I kiss her brow, then her cherub cheeks until my tongue is tracing her jaw. Laurens hands drift slowly up my body. I shiver once again as I feel my bra being pushed up and her tiny hands cupping my breasts.
My hips sway against her as I feel the palms of her hands brushing against my nipples. My body aches as I feel the buds hardening against her touch. I am kissing her neck enjoying the feel of her wriggling beneath me. Her hips begin to sway in perfect rhythm with my own.
I can feel my excitement growing as her fingers tease my nipples and I suckle her neck. I inhale deeply drinking in the scent of her skin. I can feel her tugging on my shirt once again as she tries to lift it up my body. My hand slips between our bodies and I begin to unbutton her blouse. Reluctantly I abandon my task as she guides me up. "I need to see you," she pleads as I feel my shirt being hiked up even further. I smile at her before lifting my arms so she can remove the garment from my body. I feel the heat of her touch mixed with the heat from the fireplace as my bra quickly follows my shirt. I gaze down at her hands as they drift along my naked torso.
With each touch she is slow; I feel as if she is worshiping my flesh. My hands return to the task of undoing her buttons. Her hand snakes around my neck as I brush open her blouse revealing her creamy white flesh. She guides me down my hands caressing the softness of her skin as she presses my nipple to her lips.
I am in heaven as I feel her tongue circling my nipple my body rocking gently against her. She captures my erect bud between her lips and tenderly suckles it into the warmth of her mouth. She feasts upon my breasts teasing and taunting one then the other as I feel my lower anatomy begging for release. "I need to touch you," I beg my voice filled with desire and heartache knowing that this moment will not last forever.
"Im just getting started," she purrs against my skin and I feel my jeans being opened. Her hand cups my mound and I rock in response. She teases me roughly as the seam of my jeans rub against my aching clit. My hands land on the floor as I brace myself her touch never wavering. I helplessly hover above her while she drives me into frenzy.
Laurens touch grows insistent as I feel my body being guided down. I am on my back as she undresses me completely. I feel exposed until I am captured by the loving look in her eyes. My heart stops as I drink in the dark desire mixed with pure unyielding love in her dark emerald orbs. She captures me in a searing kiss that makes my heart explode.
The feeling threatens to consume me as I capture her hands and begin to undress her. "I need to see you," I plead as I toss her blouse across the room. I am careful not to throw her garments towards the fire as her beautiful body is revealed to my eager gaze. "How could I not know?" I whisper as she lowers her naked body down.
"Know what?" she whispers hotly in my ear my body reeling from the feel of our skin meeting.
"How I love you," I confess as my hands glide down her back. We kiss again and again as I enjoy the feel of her skin prickling beneath my touch. My body arches as I feel her thigh pressing against my wetness. I mirror her movements smiling as I feel her desire painting my skin. We move in perfect rhythm as our bodies dance together.
We cling to one another the feel of our passion meeting driving us higher. I fight against the fire burning inside of me as I try to hold on. I slip my hand between our bodies until her wetness is greeting my touch. She cries out as I slowly stroke her throbbing nub. I echo her cry as I feel her fingers gliding along my wetness. Neither of us can speak as we slip deeper into the others passion. Our eyes meet once again locked in a fiery gaze as we fall into the abyss. I became lost in a euphoric haze, as we were unable to stop pleasuring one another until our sweat-covered forms fell limply against the other.
I smile as I cradle her in my arms feeling complete for the first time in my life. My eyes drift shut as I listen to her soft murmurs. Our hearts beat in unison as I drift off to sleep.
"Tara!" I hear shouted breaking through my slumber. I blink open my eyes and look around my workstation. I rub my eyes and wipe my chin as I notice Debbie looking down at me.
"Damn I must have dozed off," I mumble as I shake the cobwebs from my head.
"Do I want to know why you are so tired?" My friend and supervisors teases me.
"I have no idea," I yawn. "I wish I could shock you with something titillating but as you know Ive done nothing for the past few weeks but work. What brings you down to the dungeon?"
"Are you sure about this?" She asks holding up the paperwork I had sent up to her office earlier in the week.
"Oh that?" I yawn once again. "I changed my mind. I wont be needing a leave of absence."
"I dont get it?" She sputters as she brushes her bangs. "For the past few years youve been obsessed with this spiritual quest and now you just drop it? Doesnt sound like you."
"I cant explain it," I shrug. "I just suddenly woke up and realized I dont need to go. I mean think about it. Scaling a mountain because of some dusty old parchment I stumbled across a couple of years ago, what the hell was I thinking?"
She stares at me blankly as I look over at the remnants of my lunch. "No wonder Im so tired, Chinese does it every time," I snicker as I snap open my fortune cookie. "Love hurts," I read aloud.
"What in the hell kind of fortune is that?" Debbie scoffs. "They must be running out of things to stuff inside those things."
"It makes perfect sense," I thoughtfully respond.
"Yeah, right?" She retorts with confusion. "So, are you absolutely certain about this?" She asks as she holds up the form.
"Yes," I confidently respond. "Tear it up. The only place I need to go is across the street to get a cup of coffee."
"Ooo, bring me back a mocha frappacino and biscotti," she implores me. "Dont forget the extra whip cream."
"Yes, your highness," I snicker thankful she works upstairs so I dont have to watch her bouncing off of the walls all afternoon from the sugar and caffeine.
I am mortified by the time I enter Debbies office. "What happened to you?" She asks with concern. "You left an hour ago."
"You wont believe what I just did," I begin with a hard swallow. "I bumped into this poor woman and poured my extra Grande all over her. I burned her, ruined her outfit and to make it worse the poor thing is on her way to job interview. I tried to help her clean up but she was so pissed off."
"It was an accident," Debbie tries to reassure me as I hand over her order.
"Well," I timidly sputter. "I wouldnt have bumped into her if I hadnt been staring at her ass."
"What?" Debbie laughs hysterically.
"I was so startled when she turned around that my big, old steaming hot cup of coffee flew out of my hands and landed all over her," I confess blushing profusely as I recall spilling the entire contents of the large paper cup on the unsuspecting blonde. "Im such a loser. I probably single handedly ruined this poor womans life."
"Her day perhaps, Im certain her life will go on," Debbie continues laughing at me. "Was she cute?"
"Beyond cute," I grimace.
"No chance of getting a date with her now," Debbie continues to laugh at my plight.
"Id be lucky if she didnt toss me into on
A few days later I am about to enter the very same coffee shop I had embarrassed myself in when I spy the same little blonde I had scalded. "Oh my God," I gasp with fear as my eyes dart around for an escape route. "The florist," I note for some unknown reason. I glance back into the coffee shop noticing that the mystery blonde is at the end of a very long line. My feet were moving before I knew what was happening. The next thing I was aware of was standing outside of the coffee shop clutching a single red rose and sweating profusely.
She jumps back with fear as I step directly in front of her. "I am truly sorry," I blurt out as I thrust the rose at her. My heart dropped as I spied the slightest hint of fear in her amazing emerald eyes. Then suddenly she breaks out into a smile and takes the rose in her hand. Her eyes now seemingly filled with amusement.
There is something about her smile that I find positively captivating. I reach into my pocket and offer her my card. "Please send me the dry cleaning bill," I implore her.
"That wont be necessary," she smiles as she studies my business card. "Tara," she adds with another heart breaking smile. "Im Lauren by the way."
"A pleasure," I smile in response somehow forgetting that Im normally awkward around other women. "Should I ask how the interview went?"
"I didnt get it," she frowns. I frown along with her until she offers me another shy smile. "No worries, I have another interview next week."
"Ill be certain to stay as far away from you as possible," I vow as I watch her twirling the rose between her tiny fingers.
"Im sorry as well," she begins her voice warming my body. "I shouldnt have screamed at you like some deranged harpy."
"You had every right to," I argue. "I feel terrible and I really wish youd let me do something to make it up to you. Dinner? Coffee?"
"No," she quickly cuts me off and I am filled with dejection. "I think we should keep you away from hot items."
"Ice cream?" I gleefully suggest.
"Perhaps," she teases with a playful smirk. "Youre not trying to pick me up are you?"
"No," I reassure her. "Im just grateful you havent tossed me under a bus."
"Not yet," she responds with a crooked grin as she takes a sip of her coffee. "I need to get going."
"Me too," I sigh grimacing as I check my watch. "I still need to get a cup of coffee."
"Could you give me a head start?" Lauren quips as I smile.
"Of course," I promise and with a shy wave we part. Im certain Ill never see her again.
It is a few months later, Valentines Day to be exact, and I pacing in the rain in front of Laurens building. I dont know how or when it happened but I fell for her. In the beginning I was thrilled that she had forgiven me enough to call me. Weve become friends and it is killing me. "Can I do this?" I ask out loud as the rain begins to fall harder soaking my body.
"What are you doing out here?" I hear her calling to me. I look up as she rushes down the steps of the front stoop.
"Losing my mind," I confess knowing that I look like a drowned rat.
"Tara what is it?" She implores me as she steps in front of me. I feel like a fool because Im afraid and now she is getting soaking wet because Im not intelligent enough to come in from the rain. "Tara?" She repeats as I watch her eyes dimming with worry.
I am struggling to breathe as I prepare myself to risk everything. "I love you," I blurt as her eyes widen. "I know I just screwed up one of the best friendships Ive ever known, but I cant help it. I love you, somehow I fell in love with you," I continue as I cup her face in my hands.
I stare at her blank expression and for the first time since we met, I have no idea what she is thinking. I muster up my last ounce of courage and draw her to me. My body heats up despite the freezing rain beating down upon us. I brush her lips lightly at first before giving into the softness. The feel of her lips moving slowly against my own makes my heart swell.
I am afraid to open my eyes as I end the kiss. I am still holding her face in my hands. "I have just lost everything," I softly admonish my impulsive actions.
"No," she gasps and my eyes blink open. "You just did what Ive been afraid to do," she confesses as I feel her hands covering my own. "I love you, Tara," she proclaims. "I promise you that every Valentines Day, I will show you just how much I love you. Starting today," she adds in a sultry voice that makes my insides quiver.
She takes me by the hand and leads me into her building. I am speechless as I blindly follow her up the stairs and into her apartment. I jump at the sound of her closing the door behind us. I know my clothing is dripping all over her carpeting. I just stand there watching as she crosses the room. I lean into her touch as she caresses my face. Soon I am lost in a smoldering kiss she has captured me in.
I feel my coat falling to the floor, and my toes curling from the searing kiss. I cant breathe as our lips finally separate and she takes me by the hand and leads me towards her bedroom. I am trembling as we linger in the doorway. She turns to me and I cant help the broad smile from emerging. "Just so you know, this doesnt count as a first date," she teases me with a suggestive wiggle of her fair eyebrows.
"Wait youre planning on bedding me and this doesnt count as a date?" I quip as we step into her bedroom and she begins to remove my soaking wet clothing. "I knew I should have brought flowers," I jest as I reach out and busy my hands with removing her sweater.
Our movements are slow as our clothing falls to the floor. We touch tenderly as we explore the others newly revealed flesh with the tips of our fingers. I am falling into her arms as she guides me to the bed. The softness of her breasts brush my body as I lower her down onto the unmade bed. "I wish I had known you were coming," she apologizes for the disarray of her bedroom.
"I dont care about that," I laugh before placing a promising kiss on her lips. "The only thing that matters is Im holding the woman that I love in my arms."
"I knew it," she murmurs as she nuzzles my neck. "Youre a closet romantic."
"Only with you," I sincerely respond as we begin kissing. Her body trembles beneath me. I know it is too early to tell her that I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with her. For now I am simply enjoying the newness of our bodies touching.
We fondle and explore unable to stop kissing as our passion grows. I feel as if I will explode as she teases my breasts with her teeth and her tongue. I fight against my own aching need as I kiss and taste my way down her firm little body. She cries out as I part her with my tongue. I am in heaven, as I taste her for the first time.
I want to drown inside of her as I drive her over the edge until she begs me to stop. She pulls me to her and soon I am lying beneath her giving her all that I have to offer. Our passionate cries echo through the night and I am thankful that Valentines Day is on a Saturday knowing that neither of us can rein in our passion.
Come Monday morning we have to tear ourselves away from one another. She calls me in the middle of the day and asks me to go out with her that night. "Time for our first date," she informs me.
"I cant wait," I eagerly accept her invitation. As I hang up the telephone I know that I cant wait to spend the rest of my life with her. Somehow I know that is what is fated to happen. If I had gone to Tibet in quest of lifes mysteries I never would have met Lauren. I would have never been in the coffee shop that day; instead I would have been home packing for my trip. Now I am grateful to whatever higher power suddenly made me decide not to go. I shiver as I hear a distant whisper, "You are most welcome."
"It doesnt always hurt," I respond for some unknown reason. "Only when Im not with her," I look around confused by what I have just said. "Maybe love just makes you a little insane," I mutter to myself becoming lost in thoughts of Laurens smile.
Send comments to email@example.com
For updates, previews & the Wednesday Afternoon Series join my egroup.