A Very Nice Ass
Acknowledgements: My deepest thanks to my biggest cheerleaders, Cate (beta reading turnabout is fair play <g>), Nadine and Kelly. I appreciate all of your support and encouragement.
The ballroom was crowded with people, standing around in groups large and small, joking and laughing and drinking champagne. The party was in full swing and everyone was having a wonderful time. Lacey stood off to the side, champagne flute in hand, storing descriptions of outfits, personalities and conversations away in her mind for future use.
It looked like everyone from her father’s law office was there, from the lowliest clerk all the way up to the managing partner. She saw about two dozen people from the country club milling about trading stories about the latest and greatest 18 holes they’d played. Politicians, artists, industrial magnates, and musicians, all mingled and chatted in eclectic groups, a testament to her parents’ diverse interests.
This party was being held in honor of her parents, in fact. It was their 40th wedding anniversary. Forty years together and she… well… she’d made it to the two-year mark. Once. When she was 22. If she got married now, she’d have to live to be 74 to make 40 years. She sighed. What I’d give to have a marriage like my parents, she thought.
An arm slid around her waist. She leaned into the embrace with a small smile.
“Hi, sweetheart.” Rebecca Franklin looked at her middle daughter. She knew that she shouldn’t have a favourite, but of her three girls, Lacey was the one who was most like her. Not in looks – those she got from her father. Straight dark hair and dark brown eyes, high cheekbones and a straight, strong nose. In personality, though, Lacey was all her mother’s. A quietly wicked sense of humour and a well-concealed abhorrence of anything flashy or overdone.
Which was why, Rebecca knew, her baby was standing off to the side of this huge crowd and not holding court like her eldest daughter or flitting from table to table like her youngest. No, Lacey was doing what Lacey usually did – quietly observing and absorbing all that was going on around her, storing it away to be pulled out and written down when the time was right.
“This is quite the shindig, Mom.”
“Well, you know your sister. If anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing expensively.”
Lacey laughed. “Yep, that’s Cassie.”
They both looked over to where her older sister, Cassie, was clutching her husband, Ted, by the arm, schmoozing with some city councilman or other. Their blonde-haired, blue-eyed children, Margaret and Matthew were sitting quietly at a table. Lacey totally adored her niece and nephew. They were sweet and charming and they loved her to pieces, mostly because she let them get filthy dirty when they were with her. She just had a horrid feeling that having grown up in this rarefied atmosphere they would stay there, unable to breathe in the real world.
Phillipa, her younger sister was there with her boyfriend du jour. Brian? Brent? Biff! No, that wasn’t it. Some “B” name, anyway. She was flitting from group to group, dragging the hapless, grinning - Brad? - around behind her. Lacey shook her head, smiling.
“So, sweetheart, where’s your date? That girl you were seeing? I thought you were going to bring her with you so we could meet her.”
Lacey gazed across the room, watching the milling people for a few seconds before sighing and taking a sip of her champagne.
“It wasn’t working Mom. I figured out that we wanted different things.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well, I wanted her and she wanted the aerobics instructor at our gym.” Lacey gave a little laugh and took another sip of champagne.
“Oh, sweetheart.” Rebecca squeezed her daughter closer to her side for a moment.
“It’s okay, Mom, I was kidding, really. It wasn’t going anywhere. I already knew that she wasn’t my forever.”
Lacey smiled and nodded in the direction of her father. “You and Dad. You’re forever. That’s what I want. And,” she shrugged, “I’m not willing to settle down with less.”
Rebecca smiled fondly at her daughter. “You never *have* been willing to settle, sweetheart.”
Smiling back at her mother, Lacey noticed her older sister detaching herself from her husband. Cassie walked over to the two women with a determined smile on her face.
“Lacey,” she said.
“Cassie,” Lacey replied with a small smile, nodding her head in acknowledgement.
Sighing, Cassie turned to her mother. “Mother, you have to mingle! All of these people came here to celebrate with you and Daddy. You have to talk to them.”
Rebecca looked at Cassie. “Cassie, my love, it’s my party and I’m choosing to spend some time with my daughter. I’m sure people can wait 15 minutes to indulge in five minutes of painful small talk.”
“Mother,” Cassie sighed, exasperated, and threw up her hands. “Fine. Fine. But Lacey, don’t hog Mom all night. She and Daddy have to make the rounds.” She stalked back over to her husband, who was talking to an attractive blonde, and put her hand possessively on his arm. The blonde didn’t miss the move and the right side of her mouth quirked up into a wry grin.
Rebecca stared after her departing oldest daughter. “There is something wrong with a 38-year-old woman who calls her father “Daddy”. Unless she’s a Southerner. Which Cassie is not,” Rebecca stated.
“Uh huh,” Lacey nodded absently in her mother’s direction, her eyes fixed on the blonde talking to her sister’s husband. Damn! The woman is beautiful, she thought.
Rebecca followed Lacey’s gaze and gave a small smile of her own. “Her name is Jadyn. She’s a new lawyer at your father’s firm. And yes, she’s beautiful.” Lacey started at her mother’s mind-reading. “Why don’t you go talk to her?”
“Oh, no,” came the automatic response.
“Why not? What have you got to lose?”
“What if…” Lacey trailed off.
“What if what, dear?”
“What if she’s too smart?”
“For you, dear? Hardly possible.”
“What if she’s… not nice?”
“I assure you she’s perfectly nice.”
“What if she’s married?”
Rebecca laughed. “I promise you, she’s nowhere near married.”
“What if she’s a boring, uptight ass?” Lacey grinned at her mother.
“I’ve met her, darling. I’ve talked to her quite a bit, actually. She’s not uptight or boring or an ass. She’s intelligent, thoughtful, caring and very funny. Although,” Rebecca cocked her head to the side and considered the matter closely. “Although, she has a very *nice* ass.”
“Mother!” Lacey stared at her mother, shocked into open-mouthed wonder.
“Oh, honey! Calm down.” She considered the matter again. “It’s being shown off very well in that dress. C’mon, sweetheart, have a look. You know you want to.”
Almost against her will, Lacey’s eyes traveled down to the body part in question. She had to admit that it was a wonderfully shaped ass. Two firm globes that looked like they would fit perfectly in her hands. If Jadyn was on top of her with her leg between…
Lacey shook her head slightly and refocused her eyes, allowing them to drift up the rest of the counselor’s body. A trim waist that bloomed into two beautiful breasts. Lacey could picture herself supporting those breasts with her hands, running her thumbs across the nipples. I wonder how big her nipples are, she thought, smiling slightly as she considered things.
Still grinning, her eyes traveled to Jadyn’s face, only to be pinned by intelligent green eyes sparking with amusement. Even across the crowded ballroom, the eyes held her motionless. Lacey felt like she was becoming lost, drowning in the warmth of those eyes, surrounded by their humor, engulfed in their compassion.
Lacey gasped and shook her head. Lacey blushed. The heat that had been flushing other body parts, suddenly rushed to her face. Oh shit! she thought, I am so busted! Glancing at her mother quickly, she said, “Mom, I have to go out and get some air.” Without waiting for an answer, she deposited her champagne flute on the nearest table and took off, not quite running for the nearest exit.
Rebecca, a smile on her lips, caught Jadyn’s eye and raised her eyebrows. Smiling back at the older woman, Jadyn nodded, excusing herself from Cassie and her husband’s company, and followed Lacey out the door.
Lacey was pacing back and forth in front of one of the benches dotted around the entryway to the hotel.
“Idiot. Stupid. Stupid hormonal idiot,” she muttered to herself as she continued pacing.
Sighing, she sat down, crossing her legs and leaning her head back to look at the stars twinkling in the clear night sky. Lacey sighed again, and then started to laugh. It started as a small chuckle, but as the picture of her straight, 65-year-old mother checking out a woman’s ass kept repeating in her brain, the laugh grew stronger and stronger until she was holding her stomach in almost pain.
“Was it that funny?” came a low, amused voice from Lacey’s left.
Choking back her laughter, Lacey said, “Oh yeah” before looking to see who had addressed her.
She found herself once more held by green eyes. Eyes that wouldn’t let her look away. Eyes that she could spend every day of her life… That thought caused Lacey to gulp and blush once more, immediately dropping her head to look at the fascinating… ummmm…. concrete beneath her feet.
“Mind if I sit down? These heels are killing me.”
Lacey checked out the heels in question, her eyes running from there up shapely calves to well-toned thighs, before she mentally slapped herself.
“Oh. Sure,” she muttered. Slapping herself again, she said “I mean, please, yes, have a seat.”
The two women sat in silence, Lacey looking at the ground, the stars, arriving and departing cars, anywhere but at the gorgeous blonde sitting to her left.
“I’m Jadyn, by the way.”
“Uh huh,” Lacey acknowledged.
“Your mother tells me you’re a writer.”
“Huh?” Lacey looked at the other woman.
“A writer. Mom tell me you writer.”
Lacey laughed, the tension and embarrassment she’d been feeling dissipating. “Yes. I am. All current vocabularic indications to the contrary.”
“Vocabularic? Is that a word?”
“Yes. Yes it is. Well… it is now.”
Jadyn laughed out loud. It was a full and hearty laugh, and Lacey grinned in response. She liked the fact that the blonde let her laughter loose and didn’t try to keep it to a delicate, polite chuckle. She was even more glad that Jadyn didn’t giggle. I love that laugh.
Lacey cleared her throat. “So, my mother tells *me* that you’re a lawyer.”
“Mhmmmm, I am.” Jadyn crossed her legs, settling herself more comfortably on the bench.
“Did you move here just for the job?” Lacey asked.
Jadyn started investigating her perfectly manicured fingernails. “Yes. I lost both of my parents within the last two years. Moving away from all the memories seemed like a good idea.”
“What about brothers and sisters? They must miss you.”
She looked up at Lacey with a wistful smile on her face. “Nope. No brothers or sisters. A couple of cousins, that’s about it.”
Lacey nodded slowly suddenly understanding part of her mother’s interest in this woman. Her mother hated to think of anyone, anywhere being alone in the world.
“Still and all, your parents must have been proud of you.” Lacey smiled.
Jadyn’s face lit up with her smile. “Oh yeah. My mother and father were a team, you know? They were older when they had me and I know that they loved me to pieces. But, as much as they loved me…” Jadyn paused, swallowing hard. “As much as they loved me, they loved each other more. They were so perfect together.”
Lacey nodded in understanding. “I’m with you there. My parents are the same.”
“It’s almost frustrating, you know? I mean, I grew up with a perfect example of a perfect relationship and I’ve spent my whole life searching for one exactly like it.” Lacey’s eyes fastened on the other woman. Is she putting me on? she thought.
Jadyn turned on the bench so that she was facing Lacey more full on.
“What do you write?”
“I’ve written a few novels. A couple of romances and a mystery.”
“Anything I would have read?”
“Not unless you’ve been in my bedroom nightstand.”
Jadyn looked at the other woman, eyebrow raised, and mouth quirked into a half-grin.
Lacey laughed. “Actually, I do freelance work to pay the bills. Magazine articles, short stories, that kind of thing. I’ve had one book published, though.”
“Really? What’s the name?”
“It’s called “Margaret’s Flowers.”
Jadyn’s eyes widened. “I’ve read that book!” she exclaimed. “I love that book! Seriously? You wrote that?”
Lacey blushed with pleasure. “Seriously, I wrote that. I’m.. um… glad you liked it.”
“Liked it?” Jadyn protested, “I loved it! I bought it on a Friday, started it on a Saturday and didn’t stop reading until I was done.” Thinking, she said, “I’m not sure I even ate.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Lacey said seriously, then burst into a smile.
“What I especially loved was that you gave your characters time to develop their relationship. They weren’t madly in love and eternally devoted, married and pregnant inside of a week.” Jadyn smiled wryly.
Lacey laughed along with her. “Well, I’m not overly fond of those scenarios myself,” she said. “Maybe because I hadn’t ever experienced that…” Lacey paused, looking for the correct word. “Connection, I guess. I’m sure there’s a better word, but the wordsmith is fresh out at the moment.”
“’Hadn’t’?” Jadyn asked. “As in past tense? As in, you have experienced it since you wrote the book?” She grinned at Lacey and winked.
Lacey’s felt her stomach turn over. Then it dropped three feet. And then it flipped again. Her eyes widened slightly and she drew in a quick breath. Oh god, she thought, that was… wow. She stared into Jadyn’s eyes for a long moment before she looked down and started investigating the concrete again.
After a few moments of silence, Jadyn looked at Lacey. “Would you sign my copy of your book?” she asked rather shyly.
“Oh.” Lacey slowly nodded, bringing her focus back to the woman at her side. “Sure. I’d be honored to sign your book. I mean, my book. That you bought.” Lacey shook her head, slightly flustered that this woman seemed to have the ability to rob her of the ability to form complex sentences.
“I can’t believe that I didn’t know that you wrote ‘Margaret’s Flowers’.”
Lacey looked at Jadyn, confused. “Well, why would you?”
It was Jadyn’s turn to blush. “Well, your mother…” she trailed off into a long silence.
“My mother?” Lacey prompted.
“There was a dinner party that the firm had a few weeks ago. I had met your parents before and your mother took me under her wing, making sure that I wasn’t feeling left out. Mostly she was telling me about you all night.”
“All night?” Lacey exclaimed. “My mother told you all about me all night?” She eyed the other woman suspiciously. “What else did my mother tell you?”
“Oh. Well. She told me… that you were a writer. That you finished 18th in your class at college. That when you were two, you chugged a glass of white wine because you thought it was apple juice.”
Lacey groaned at the injustice of baby stories.
“She also told me that all your life you’ve been looking for what she and your father have, but that you hadn’t found it yet,” Jadyn said quietly.
“Ah,” Lacey said. Jadyn wasn’t sure if it was acknowledgement of the sentiment, or that it was very likely something her mother would have said.
“And she said that you and I would probably be very good …. friends.”
Lacey looked at the other woman, a small smile quirking the right side of her mouth. “Friends?” she said.
Jadyn stared at the ground until she heard a chuckle from the other woman. Her temper rose just a little bit.
By this point Lacey was again involved in a full-blown belly laugh.
“What’s so funny about us being friends?” Jadyn asked, exasperated.
“Oh, it’s not that…” Lacey continued laughing. “It’s just… ow, ow, ow… my side.” She gasped for air.
“What is so funny?” Jadyn asked again, starting a small smile.
“It’s just… I never knew,” Lacey gasped, “I never knew that my *mother* had gaydar!” She exploded into laughter again.
Jadyn stared at Lacey for a moment, watching as she bent over at the waist trying to hush the more hysterical outbursts. But it was infectious and soon Jadyn started to belly laugh as well.
Slowly they wound down to occasional chuckles and, Lacey had a sobering thought.
Glancing at the other woman out of the corner of her eye, she cleared her throat. “I mean…” she started.
Jadyn cocked an eyebrow at her, encouraging her to go on.
“I mean,” Lacey started again, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to assume…”
Jadyn placed her hand on Lacey’s arm. “It’s okay. Your mother,” Jadyn grinned, “has pretty good gaydar for a straight woman.”
Smiling, they looked into each other’s eyes.
After a few moments, Lacey stood and said, “Well, I’m sorry for your feet, but I think we should go back inside.” She held out her hand, preparing to help Jadyn to her feet.
Jadyn looked at the outstretched hand and slowly took it in hers. Pulling herself up, she ended up well inside Lacey’s personal space.
Lacey took a deep breath. Her eyes locked onto the green ones. Hoping she was reading those stunning eyes correctly, her gaze drifted down to the gorgeous lips of the other woman.
“May I?” she whispered.
Jadyn swallowed. “Oh, yes, please. You may.”
Lacey leaned forward, concentrating on the lush lower lip of the other woman. Slowly, she brushed her lips feather-light against it. A tingling sensation exploded through Lacey, rushing through every part of her body, settling, fluttering, in the pit of her stomach. But she pulled back, looking for either permission or denial in the blonde’s eyes. Jadyn’s eyes flashed back at her, the low burn of arousal giving Lacey all the answer that she needed. Groaning, she leaned forward again capturing half-opened lips with her own.
Lacey began to trace the other woman's lips with her tongue, tasting the sweetness of the champagne that they'd had earlier. This time Jadyn groaned. She opened her mouth, letting Lacey’s tongue in to play with her own, stroking and tasting. Suddenly Lacey remembered where they were – in front of a very busy hotel whose ballroom was filled with her family and her parents’ friends and business associates. Slowly, she pulled away from the other woman, planting light, gentle kisses on Jadyn’s lips as they parted.
They looked into each other’s eyes a little longer, and, by unspoken agreement laced their fingers together.
“I could rub your feet for you after this shindig is over, if you’d like.”
Jadyn squeezed the hand she was holding.
“I think I’d like that.”
In the entryway to the ballroom, the women were immediately spotted by Rebecca. She walked over to them with a smile on her face.
“Hello, my darlings.”
“Hello, Mom,” Lacey said, grinning at her. “You little matchmaker.”
“Me?” Rebecca replied in wide-eyed innocence.
“Oh, do NOT try and play the innocent card with me.” Leaning forward, Lacey kissed her mother on the cheek. “Thanks,” she whispered.
Staring seriously at both women, Rebecca said, “I just have one thing to say to you both.”
Curiously, nervously, they looked back at her, squeezing each other’s hand.
“I hope neither of you has keys to a U-Haul.”
The three women exploded into laughter. Everybody who was in that ballroom celebrating 40 years of love, turned their heads to look, and saw another 40 years beginning.
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