A Walk in the Woods

By Colleen


Feedback is welcomed at coleen30@webtv.net.  Copyright 2012.


     The car sailed down the road at a quick, but safe speed. They had left the highway about thirty minutes back and the city streets about ten minutes back. All that lie ahead on either side of the two lane road were farm fields. But being mid-February in the Midwest, no crops were to be found. From home, an almost four hour drive would take them to their vacation destination. A romantic cabin in the woods had been reserved for a four day stay. No snow had fallen from the winter sky in over two weeks and none was expected in the near future. It had been a wonderful few days as they were being greeted by a stretch of unseasonably warm weather. Even though the normal chilly temperature was to return the next day, they welcomed it.

     “You’re going to put a kink in your neck,” the driver said with a grin. Her passenger had been intently watching her since they had left home, paying special attention to the lovely face.  It was a delicate distraction to say the least. But more than that, it was causing a sensation in a place that the driver would have to ignore a while longer. They still had many miles to go.

     “But you’ll massage it for me tonight, won’t you?” the passenger said.

     The driver grinned. “That is one of the things I do best.” The grin slowly faded. “But I don’t want you to be in pain.”

     The dark haired woman merely chuckled deviously. “I’m in pain alright, and what a pleasure it is.” Her eyes remained focused on her blonde haired partner.

     A few more miles faded behind them, a peaceful absence of conversation adding to the calm of the drive. Music was playing, but the volume barely let the sounds reach the passenger’s ears…by driver’s prerogative. A movement to her right side suddenly caught her attention.

     Dr. Drew Dixon had shed her coat after the last rest stop, the car’s heater adequately keeping her warm. She shifted in her seat, as much as the seat belt would allow, putting her back against the door, and drawing her left leg up slightly. For nearly six feet of body, it was not an easy task, but Drew was determined. By flip of a coin, it was decided that Carson Galloway, her spouse of thirteen months, would drive them to their destination. And Drew would drive on the trip home. Their relationship worked very well because they shared everything equally.

     Another five miles lay behind them. More empty corn fields ahead. But a few sporadic patches of trees were beginning to pop up here and there.

     Carson cleared her dry throat. “Are you going to stare at me the entire way there?” she asked.

     “I had planned on it,” Drew admitted easily.  “You are the most beautiful sight in the world.”

     Carson chuckled humbly. “If you say so.”

     Drew cocked her head, her blue eyes taking in another angle of her lovely lady.  “I certainly do,” she confirmed.

     Carson began to squirm in her seat as Drew’s gaze became more intense, traveling up and down her body.  She could almost hear the erotic thoughts tumbling around in the doctor’s mind. And Carson would love to indulge in each and every one of them. But not while she was trying to control the speedy vehicle. Carson reached out to lower the car’s heating control.

     Drew smiled wider. Her wicked side was indulging itself and she knew it was a bit shameful…but it was so much fun.

     Carson took a deep breath. It was only another hour until they arrived at the cabin. But it was going to be a long drive.

                                                                       *    *     *

     The barren fields had finally given way to thick woods, signaling the last few miles of the trip. It was just passed noon and tummies were beginning to grumble. A cooler and two boxes sat in the back, holding enough food to keep them full for four days. A couple of games and a few movies were also tucked into one of the boxes to keep them busy. Although they both knew that a great deal of that time would be spent in bed doing some, if not all, of the things Drew was currently imagining. If the looks Drew was flashing at her lover were any indication, they might not even make it to the bed.

     Carson pulled the map from above the visor and tossed it into Drew’s lap. “Make yourself useful and watch for the next few turns. We certainly don’t want to get lost out here.”

     “As long as we’re together baby, we could never be lost.”

     “Aw, that’s sweet.”

     “I thought so,” Drew said. “The turn for the driveway up to the cabin is marked by a large boulder. It should be about a mile on the right. So this place is called Moon Shadow Sanctuary.”

     “Yeah, very lyrical. I like it. You should have seen some of the names of other rental cabins around here, Nature’s Nest, Turkey Roost, Shady Rest, and my personal favorite The Snoozing Moose.”

     Drew chuckled. “Well, I don’t believe anyone would find a moose, snoozing or otherwise, within a few hundred miles of here.”  The observant doctor pointed out the window at the large rock which had the name carved into its side. “Here we are.”

     The drive itself was almost a quarter of a mile, as the tires rolled uneasily across the uneven, compacted dirt road.  Thick stands of trees lined the narrow path along both sides, the naked branches reaching overhead like crossed swords covering a military wedding procession.  Drew could see deep into the woods, but except for a few birds, no movement was detected.          

     Carson brought the car to a stop off to the side of their house for the next few days. Both got out, stretching legs and other muscles, and two sets of eyes perused the well concealed structure. They had seen photos on the computer, but it did not do justice for the structure before them. The two bedroom cabin was very rustic, but solidly built. Weathered wood cover its sides and stone columns held up the roof of the porch, which wrapped around the entire house. A two person swing completed the perfect rural picture.

     Drew rounded the front of the car and pulled her smaller lover into her arms. “I think we can manage to have some fun here.”

     Carson carefully hugged a little tighter. “Definitely,” she said in agreement. “Let’s get this stuff inside. You can unpack, while I get lunch.”

     Of course that plan had a slight detour as the pair took a tour of the interior. The living area and kitchen were basically one large space, only separated by a round table and four chairs. The kitchen, with its dark cabinetry, had stainless appliances and copper cookware. A large river rock fireplace dominated the wall opposite the kitchen. A big, soft leather sofa sat in front of the fireplace. A chair and side table resided in the corner under a lamp, a perfect place for reading, but since that was an activity performed alone, it probably wouldn’t be utilized on this trip. The room was decorated in colors of dark green and blue, with heavy fabrics adorning the furniture, windows and floor.

     Drew took their two bags into the larger bedroom to unpack, while Carson put away the food stuff they had brought with them. The kitchen wasn’t huge, but was equipped with everything any cook would need, any utensil, gadget, pot or pan. A double oven, cook top in the center island and oversized refrigerator rounded out the chef’s delight kitchen. Carson began humming as she filled cabinets and cold places with supplies. She had a well thought out plan, cooking several meals at home so they only needed to be slipped into the oven. But one or two meals they would prepare from scratch. A bin in the fridge was stuffed with fresh fruits and vegetables for easy breakfasts and side salads. Plenty of milk and orange juice settled onto a chilled shelf, next to sliced meats and cheeses for quick lunches. Carson patted the coffee maker as she set the can of decaffeinated exotic blend on the counter beside it. A tin of cocoa mix joined the coffee and a small bag of marshmallows was tossed into the cabinet just above. Once all the supplies were organized to Carson’s satisfaction, she placed two small plates on the counter, retrieved the fixings, and soon had a couple of thick ham and cheese sandwiches ready for what was turning into a late lunch. She added a small bowl of home backed pita chips for crunch and removed a container of soup from the fridge.

     For the first time in a long time, she didn’t have to make sure to have something that her son would eat.  At two and a half, Logan was becoming choosey with his food. Fortunately, he loved many different fruits, a trait he shared with both of his moms. He also liked broccoli, pasta and cheese, but the only meat he would eat was chicken. Carson already missed the toddler, who was with his loving grandparents, but she knew that his parents needed some grown up alone time, a few days with no fairy tales, sing alongs or toys…well at least not children’s toys.

     Drew came out of the bathroom, having put away their towels and toiletries. The room was spacious and its décor matched the rustic mood of the rest of the house. She had happily spied the large stone shower, hoping to share a time or two in there with her lady love. Making her way down the small hall, she entered the open living space just as Carson was putting lunch on the table.

     “Drew,” Carson yelled, “lunch!” The doctor cautiously sidled up behind her vocal blonde and wrapped her arms around her. Carson jumped. “Oh Drew!” She turned inside the comforting circle. “Are you part Native American?” she asked. “I swear you can walk across a floor covered in bubble wrap and not make a sound.”

     The doctor chuckled. “Not that I know of.  I’m just light on my feet.” She gave Carson a quick kiss. Smelling the warm bowl of tomato soup on the table beside her, she became distracted. “Mmm, I’m hungry.”

     Carson’s hands drifted lower on her lover’s body. “Me too,” she muttered.

     “Hold that thought and bookmark those hands, but I really need food.”

     “Okay baby, let’s get you fed. You’ll need that nourishment for later. Especially after that little trick you pulled in the car.”

     “I will gladly take my punishment,” Drew said with a crooked smile.

                                                        *    *     *

     After lunch, the couple took a leisurely walk in the woods to enjoy the nice day, before the temperature took a dive. A few other animals, of a smaller variety had the same idea, scurrying around in the leaf litter, foraging for food or just playing. The barren branches above barely made a move under the slight breeze, but they did allow the bright sun to reach the ground. Carson lifted her eyes to the sky, silently realizing that in just about a month, the buds on those now naked branches would begin to peek out, waiting for the spring warmth. She was also looking forward to the spring and all of the new growth it would bring. And then on to summer and the blue of the sky that matched her lover’s eyes. She squeezed the hand in hers, intensifying the strong connection. “Are you warm enough?” Carson asked. “I definitely don’t want you getting sick.”

     “I’m fine sweetie. You know how hot blooded I am.”

     Carson chuckled and snuggled in to the tall woman’s side. “Oh yes, I am well aware,” she said. “I’m just a natural born caretaker I guess. And I love taking care of you.” Carson recalled a conversation they had had shorty after they had returned from their tropical trip, thirteen months ago, where they had their private commitment ceremony.

     “From the day we met,” Carson said, “I don’t think our relationship has been balanced. You have always had to take care of me, for one reason or another. I love you for that, but now it’s time for that to change.”

     Drew took the beautiful face in her hands, placing a gentle kiss upon the lips. “First off my love, from the day we met, I had this urge to protect you, to take care of you. And you only needed a little extra care because of the bad situations in that time of your life. But it certainly was not because you were weak. You had the courage to leave a bad relationship and the dedication to be a wonderful single parent. You had unselfishly put all of your energy into that. That was inspirational. Carson, you are the strongest person I know. I love you for that and so much more.”

     Carson smiled and returned the kiss. “I’m not sure about that strength sometimes,” she said with an emotional hitch, “but I promise right now that I am going to be here to support you in every way.”

     “There will be many times again in the future,” Drew said, “when one of us will need a bit of extra care, that’s normal. But we are going to support each other and make choices together. And love each other every minute of every day.”

     As they walked the forest path, heading back to the cabin, Carson felt very happy with all of the choices they had made so far.

                                                                      *    *    *

     “How about a fire?” Drew asked.

     Carson was putting the dinner dishes into the dish washer in the kitchen.  “Absolutely,” she said. “Get comfortable and I’ll bring in the dessert.”

     Drew was soon nestled into the corner of the sofa, starring into the jumping flames a few feet in front of her. The fire popped and spit, releasing the pleasant, earthy aroma into the room. She wiggled her sock covered feet, enjoying the happy tickle she was feeling inside. Her smile continued as her eyes fell shut.

     “Are you asleep?” Carson asked as she stepped up and placed the tray onto the coffee table. On the tray were two big glasses of milk and two slices of banana cream pie.

     “Oh no my love. I’m just enjoying the peace and patiently waiting for you.” Drew pulled her little blonde onto her lap, wrapping her in love.

     “Careful, babe.”

     “I always am,” Drew affirmed, placing several sweet kisses on Carson’s sweet lips.

     “Mmmm that’s good,” Carson mumbled. “But let’s not let the pie melt.” She slipped off onto the sofa, staying as close to her wife as she could. She handed her a plate and took the other one for herself. Drew cut off a forkful, raised it toward her mouth and hesitated letting the utensil float in midair. Carson glanced up to see why the delay. She received a teasing blue wink. Ever so slowly, Drew moved the fork in Carson’s direction, finally slipping the fluffy confection between the peach toned lips. Carson chewed and swallowed, watching as Drew’s face followed the same approach. Carson grinned just a little. “What, no choo choo noises.”

          “Toot. Toot,” Drew whispered just before making contact.

                                                           *    *     *

     Drew slowly awoke from a very pleasant dream. Snuggled against her back, but still deeply asleep was the star of that dream. Carson had the thick blanket pulled almost over her head. Even though it was perfectly warm in the room, the cover had migrated up her body as the night had moved on and the temperature outside had dropped. Drew lay there listening to the wind howling through the trees outside the window.  All of today’s activities would definitely be conducted indoors. 

     About fifteen minutes later, Drew began contemplating vacating the loving snuggle to go into the kitchen to fix breakfast; it was almost 8:30.  Sleep had come late in the night for the love birds and Drew was still tired, but she accepted this particular lassitude with a happy sigh. After they had dessert, they had shared something even sweeter. After all, they were on vacation, and they could stay in bed all day if they wanted too.  But they wouldn’t.  There were plenty of other things they enjoyed doing together.

     Drew was about to move her leg onto the floor when an arm landed around her waist, worked its way under her pajama top to caress the warm skin on her belly. The doctor couldn’t ignore the touch, so she settled back into the mattress to enjoy.

     “How can you be awake this early, after last night?”

     The question was sleepily slurred, and the words vibrated against Drew’s back, causing the doctor to chuckle. “Two words,” Drew answered, “bathroom and food. Although, I have been delaying both of them for quite a while. Neither one will wait much longer.”

     “I could get you food,” Carson mumbled, “but I’m afraid I can’t help with the former.”

     Drew chuckled again. “Well, as long as I have to get up, I’ll get food for both of us.” She turned and kissed the top of the blonde head that was visible from beneath the covers. “You sleep some more and I’ll be back with breakfast in a bit.”  She pushed aside the blanket and stood, appreciating the thick carpet. She suddenly had a thought, albeit a lovely one. Drew leaned back down, lifted the cover from Carson’s face and whispered, “After breakfast, I think a long leisurely shower is needed.”

     The only answer was a smile and a nod.

      *    *     *

     Drew cuddled in as close as she could to the wet form standing in front of her. She placed her hands on the slender hips and slowly ran them up to meet at the mid-section of Carson’s nude body. She slid her soapy hands over the skin with dual purpose, cleaning and playing. Drew leaned in to her wife’s neck. “Your body drives me wild,” she whispered.

     Carson sucked in a deep breath. Drew’s touch always set her on fire. “I’m glad.”

     “I know we made love just last night, but I cannot resist you.”

     “Please don’t try,” Carson said. “We don’t often get the luxury of time to be this intimate at home. Now we can do whatever we want. And I want you to make love to me.”

     “With extreme pleasure.” Drew moved her hands up, to cup the generous breasts as she started tenderly nibbling on the tempting neck under her lips. The nipples contracted against her palms as Carson’s hands landed on top of hers, not guiding just hanging on for the ride.    

     “Oh, yes,” the blonde slurred. “You know just how I like that.”

     “And I’ll never forget,” Drew assured. She soon had an urge to move on to other areas that she knew very well. One hand remained on the lovely breasts and the other dropped below.                            “Ooops, it slipped,” she mumbled around the earlobe in her mouth.

     Carson smiled. “Butterfingers.” A pause. “Oh Damn!” she gasped, “talented fingers.”

     The extra-large shower allowed them to stand outside the stream of water, but the steam coming from the heated liquid had them covered in sweat in no time. Or maybe it was the heat from their own passion. Whichever it was, the cold outside was long forgotten as the lovers explored each other’s bodies.

     “Let me show you many more of my skills,” Drew said.  Among those skills, included keeping her lover on the edge until Carson was seeing stars. Whispering erotic words into Carson’s ear, served to ramp the up the tension in both hot bodies.  Drew made her final move just at the perfect second, releasing Carson into an ideal euphoria. The blonde’s legs grew weak, but she remained standing with help of her lover’s strong arms.  I love you was spoken to her over and over again, until her breathing returned to normal. Carson finally turned and met Drew’s lips with a crushing force that kept them involved for many more minutes. She finally maneuvered them under the stream of warm water, refreshing them for the day ahead.

                                                                          *    *     *

     Carson had become engrossed in the suspenseful movie playing on the TV. They were curled up in the corner of the couch, a favorite place, in this cabin and at home. She and Drew had spent the day playing board games. Both were very competitive, but in a very friendly way. The victorious one was even rewarded with a kiss. But that also made the loser a winner.

     Every now and then Carson would reach into the bowl beside her and grab a handful of fresh, buttery popcorn. The movie was nearing its climactic end, and try as she might, Carson could not determine just how the story was going to conclude, just hoping it would be satisfactory. The main character tossed her phone onto the seat beside and sat in her car, seething. After several, long dramatic seconds, she got out of the car, slamming the door behind her. She pulled a gun from her jacket pocket and started up the walkway. Carson waited, her eyes wide, as the scene progressed. She suddenly sat forward. “I can’t believe she went into that house alone!” she exclaimed. “Do you believe they are still writing things like this?” With no response, she turned her head and a smile shaped her lips. Her lovely, but obviously tired partner had fallen asleep, her dark head dropped back into the couch cushion. Carson patted her leg and returned to watch the last few minutes of the movie.

     Turning off the television, Carson carried the nearly empty bowl into the kitchen, and then cleaned up a few more things, including setting up the coffee maker for morning. With a flip of the light switch, she walked back into the living area and doused the fire. It was nearly ten o’clock and with nothing left to do, Carson approached her dozing spouse. “Drew, sweetie, come on, let’s get you to bed.”

     “I am in bed,” came the mumbled response.

     “No baby, you’re on the couch. You need to be in that big soft bed down the hall.” Carson leaned in and whispered to the unmoving woman, “I’ll be snuggled in right beside you.”

     “Okay,” the doctor said, “in that case, we’ll go.” With eyes barely opened, Drew followed her lover into the bathroom, changing clothes and brushing teeth.

     Both women climbed under the covers and Drew automatically maneuvered the smaller blonde into her arms. “I love you,” she said, never forgetting to end the day expressing her deepest feelings. And at her core, that’s just what it was…absolute, unconditional love.  Wonderful dreams immediately filled the dark head. 

     Carson lay awake a few minutes longer, just thinking about her beautiful life.  Even the bad moments, and there had been a few in the last year, were easier to handle with her soul mate at her side. Carson smiled and her eyes drifted shut, as she said, “I love you.”

     It was the end of their second day in the woods.

                                                                    *    *     *

     It was Drew’s turn to be served breakfast in bed, and she allowed it without objection, for once. Carson carried a large tray laden with a big bowl of oatmeal for them to share, fresh fruit and whole wheat toast. Carson, always conscientious, had added the two pills that Drew had to have every day.

     “Do you know what I thought about doing today?” Carson asked before snipping a plump strawberry in half. She slipped the reaming piece between her lover’s waiting lips.

     Those lips then suggested, “Learn to play the pan flute.”

     Carson chuckled, loving her spouse’s sense of humor. “Not exactly. I forgot to mention this before, but there is a small town about three miles north of here. There are three or four interesting little shops along the main street.”

     “Oh, that sounds nice.” Drew took a drink of her coffee, hiding her tiny grin behind the cup.

     “Nice,” Carson agreed, but less than enthusiastically. “Yeah, they seem real…nice. On paper, or on screen, but I bet they’re even better in person.”

     “Could be.” Drew wiped her mouth and tossed her napkin on the tray over her lap.       “Thanks for the breakfast sweetie,” she said, leaning over to place a kiss on Carson’s cheek. Those facial muscles clinched beneath her lips. Drew set the tray aside and got up from the bed, while Carson remained in mute demeanor. Drew whistled a little tune as she slipped on her robe, to hold out the slight chill in the room. She gave a quick look out the window at the sunny morning, a smile sitting on her lips. Turning back, seemingly headed for the bathroom, Drew made a quick move, putting her face even with her annoyed wife. “Why didn’t you just say that you wanted to go shopping, beautiful?” she asked with a chipper note.

     Carson’s mouth twisted with a half laugh, and half chagrin. “Because I wanted it to be your suggestion,” she admitted.

     Drew planted a serious kiss on Carson’s lips. “Well, then we’d better get dressed. I doubt they’d appreciate those pjs you’ve got on, as adorable as they are.” This time the doctor really moved toward the bathroom.

     “You do know what they say about paybacks, don’t you Drew?” Carson asked in a sing song voice.

     The dark head popped back around the door. “They’re a bitch.”

     Carson concurred with a devious grin.

                                                                  *    *     *

     Carson’s tepid ire at her teasing lover faded quickly. Though the memory not forgotten. She reached down, clasping Drew’s gloved hand as they leisurely walked down the sidewalk. Carson pulled the collar on her heavy coat a little higher on her neck when a gust of wind blew in her face. The temperature was cold, but not unbearable. But the wind was biting.

     Not catering to many tourists on this off season, they passed only two others on the short trip to the first shop. It was a boutique specializing in hand crafted jewelry. The shopkeeper greeted them cordially, inviting them to browse as long as they like, not making a hard sell of anything, but silently hoping to achieve that goal. Carson nodded with a smile and a thank you. Almost instantly, they both chose something for each of their mothers, intending them as birthday presents, although those dates were some months away.

     A few minutes later and the doctor was finished looking, but knew her partner was far from it. “I’m guessing you’d like to check these things out for a while longer,” she whispered near Carson’s ear, “and that’s fine with me, but I’m going across the street to the wine shop.”

     Carson’s head snapped up. “Wine?”

     “Not for me,” Drew assured, soothing her fears. “Doctor Kline’s birthday is coming up and I want to get him something.”

     “Oh, sure sweetheart. If I get done in here before you do, I’ll wait out front.”

     “Uh huh, you do that.” Drew left the shop, chuckling.

     Making quick work in the wine shop, thanks to the knowledgeable owner, Drew slipped into the place next door, in search of some things for her partner. Hiding those purchases inside the first bag, she ambled back across the street to her wife.  Carson stepped from the jewelry boutique just as Drew reached the sidewalk.

     “What perfect timing you have,” the blonde said, her secret purchase tucked away in her coat pocket.

     “Aw thanks, I didn’t know you thought I was perfect.”

     “I said your timing. Although, you are perfect for me.”

     Drew put an arm around the smaller woman’s shoulder. “The feeling is very mutual.” Arm in arm, they moved on to the next place on Carson’s list.

     The antique shop was quiet, even though there were three other patrons studying the wares, looking for a smart find. Monetary value meant little to Carson, she just liked looking for things that you wouldn’t see in every other house, curious little items to hang on a wall or sit on a shelf, or things with beautiful craftsmanship.

     Drew had stopped to look an old apothecary cabinet, wondering if it would add charm to her office at work. It was totally refurbished, stained in a dark blonde wood tone, but retained the original hardware. But since her patients were youngsters, not really interested in décor, she thought not. But, it might go well in her home office. Letting that thought simmer, she walked over to another area featuring old toys. There on a shelf was a set of original concept Winnie the Pooh stuffed characters. The set carried a price tag of $200. Although the doctor could well afford it, she didn’t often indulge in expensive personal items. She did spend a long time eyeing the well-loved toys, imagining the former owners and their adventures together.

     Carson watched Drew admire the stuffed antiques. She smiled at her tender hearted lover, again wondering about the connection. Carson hatched a plan to call back at a later date and buy the set for Drew for next Christmas.

     Carson turned around and her eyes landed on a patch of colorful material, nearly hidden behind a rather garish metal shield, giving her a twisted, bloated reflection. Carefully moving aside the shield, she pulled out most beautiful quilt she had ever seen. Carson knew that her great grandmother, Millie Parson, used to make quilts, winning many blue ribbon awards and selling others at a well-deserved price. The woman was long passed before Carson was born, but her mother had spoken of her grandmother many times.

     This particular quilt was created in colors of tan, oranges and greens. It had vivid patterns arranged into abstract floral formations.

      “What have you got there sweetheart?” Drew asked as she walked up behind.

     Not taking her eyes from the colorful piece, Carson spoke with awe. “Isn’t this lovely?”

     “It sure is. It’s kind of like the one your mother has in her guest bedroom.”

     Carson met her spouse’s eyes. “You’re right. I always thought it gave the room such an old world elegance. But I know she revered it so much, I was always afraid to use it.” After another contemplative moment, she asked, “This is perfect, isn’t it?” She met the blues eyes again with a knowing smile. “The colors…,” Carson let the thought dangle, seeing Drew’s grin, knowing the doctor was already picturing it in her mind.  “In the corner by the window,” Carson added. “I believe this was a family heirloom and we can make it one again.”

     Without even caring about the price, and missing the initials MP stitched into one corner, Drew carefully folded the precious item and draped it over her arm in preparation to make the purchase. She hugged her wife, a bout of overwhelming emotion surging into her heart. “I love you,” she whispered around the lump in her throat.

     “I love you.”

     The woman at the counter wrapped the quilt in tissue paper and placed it inside a sturdy box. “I knew this beauty was just waiting for her rightful owners to reclaim her,” she said with a smile. “It’s been sitting in that corner for almost four years. I’ve seen many visitors look at it, but always walk away without it.”

     “Well, it’s perfect for us,” Drew said, handing over her credit card.

     “I know it is ladies. Congratulations.”  With a smile and a wink, she sent the couple off.

     The sun had decided to make a re-appearance as the pair walked back to the car. “What made you get hooked on Winnie the Pooh?” Carson asked.

     “You saw me back there huh?” Carson squeezed her hand as an answer. “Don’t all kids like Pooh?” Drew asked.

     “Well, yes, but when those kids become adults, most of them don’t sleep in Pooh pajamas or quote the characters.”

     “First off, my shirt has Tigger on the front, and there is an elite group of us who still worship the Pooh.  And someone has to recruit the next generation. Besides, I thought you said my Pooh infatuation was cute.”

     “Oh it’s adorable. And you are adorable.” They stopped beside the car and Carson gave her doctor a quick kiss. They got into the car, after stowing their packages on the back seat.  Drew started the engine and adjusted the heater. “You never did answer my question,” Carson said, removing her gloves. “About your Pooh obsession.”

     Drew stopped to think about it, her vision turning inward. “Can I tell you later?” she asked rather somberly.

     “Sure sweetie. I didn’t mean to upset you.”

     Drew smiled at her. “You didn’t. It just stirred up some memories.”

*     *     *

     “This lasagna is superb, as usual,” Drew said, waving a breadstick in the air for emphases.

     “Thank you.” Carson stared into her lover’s sparkling blue eyes, made even more so as they caught the flicker of candlelight. Romance was certainly in the air as they savored their time alone. Both missed their son terribly, but at the moment, they only had thoughts of each other.

     Drew blew out the candles as Carson began transferring the dishes into the kitchen. “Why don’t you go reserve a spot by the fire,” she told Drew, “and I’ll be right in to join you.”

                                                           *    *     *

     Drew was relaxing on the couch with her head in Carson’s lap. The blonde was running her hands through the short, dark strands, when she wasn’t adding little massages. Carson had dimmed the lights, allowing the glow from the fire to bathe the room in glimmering soft hues.  Serene piano music was playing low in the background. It was an ideal moment on their final night in the cozy cabin. The trip had been all they had expected and more.

     The doctor sighed. “That feels good.”

     Carson smiled lazily. “I’m enjoying it just as much as you are.”

     “Can I schedule a weekly appointment with those magic digits?”

     “Me and my digits are at your disposal anytime, night or day, for head and foot massages.” Drew grinned below her closed eyes. Carson returned her attention to the shimmering flames in quiet contemplation, occasionally sipping from her mug of hot chocolate. Another half an hour had slipped away before she felt the body next to her stir. “Are you ready for bed?” she asked.

     “Not yet,” Drew answered. She sat up from her prone position, moving sideways so she could comfortably gaze at her partner, which she did for several minutes before speaking. “Would you still like to hear how I was introduced to Winnie the Pooh?” she asked.

     Carson took her hand. “Sure sweetheart, if you’re to ready tell me.”

     “When I was seven, I got the chicken pox. Like most kids, I wined and complained until my parents couldn’t take it more, and that was just the first day. My mom and my little sister went to stay with my grandparents for a few days, so she wouldn’t get sick. Looking back now, both of them were great, they just wanted to ease my discomfort in any way possible. My dad brought home the book one day and he sat there reading it and showing me the pictures. I believe he may have embellished it just a bit with his own ideas.” Drew stopped and smiled. “Like he told me that Pooh’s little sister, Paisley was the princess of the hundred acre woods and she lived in a tree house castle. Kids don’t usually remember much from their early childhood, but I remember just sitting there in my bed, being mesmerized by his voice and believing everything he said. I made him read it over and over again that first night, the last time I had climbed into his lap until I fell asleep.”

     Carson could just picture little Drew in her pajamas with her pink polka dotted skin, being tucked into her bed by her daddy. Carson had watched their family home movies, loving that she had gotten to know at least a bit about the man so important in her spouse’s life. Many times she had watched as Drew carried a sleeping Logan off to bed. And she knew it would happen many more times to come. Drew was an incredible parent.

     “The next day he brought me the stuffed Pooh,” she continued with her story. “I still have it…had it. I never mentioned this before, but it was damaged when that tree crashed into my house during that storm a year and a half ago. I had it restored as much as possible, sealed in a waterproof bag and took it to my mom to keep. So, while those characters are lovable, I think sharing them with my Dad was the most important part.” Drew paused, thinking of her little fellow at home. “I know he’s so young, but I kind of hope Logan will have those kinds of memories of me someday.”

     Carson leaned in, needing to touch. She gently placed her forehead against Drew’s. “He will, baby,” she said, her eyes just a bit watery. “He will always know how important you were to his early life. He loves you. And he always will. And so will I.”  With a small move she brought their lips together for the most tender, but emotion filled kiss.

     Drew eased back. “I didn’t mean to make everything so melancholy.”

     “You didn’t. You made it sweet. Let’s go to bed. I have this urge to have my arms wrapped around your beautiful, naked body.”

     “What great urges you have,” Drew agreed.

     Dousing the fire and the lights, Carson and Drew walked hand in hand to the bedroom. After a quick trip to the bathroom, the couple climbed beneath the sheets. Carson reached into the drawer next to the bed and brought out a flat box, wrapped in decorative paper. She turned around to find Drew holding on to a red bag. “I know we weren’t going to make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day,” Carson said. “This trip was our duel gift.”

     Drew swung the small bag from one finger. “Yes, but I couldn’t let this day go by without giving you a little something.” She handed her the bag. “I love you.”

     Carson passed over the box. “I love you.”

     “You first!” Drew said excitedly.

     Carson peeked inside the crimson bag and saw five tiny boxes, all in different colors. She pulled out the red one first and lifted the lid. The smell of chocolate drifted deliciously into her nose. The shape of the item inside, immediately identified it as a strawberry, covered in creamy Swiss chocolate. She bit into it and moaned in delight. “Oh wow!” she exclaimed. “That is fantastic. Thank you honey.”

     “You’re welcome. There’s a few more. In case you didn’t notice, there was a gourmet sweet shop in town.”

     The blue box contained a coconut drop with a chocolate base. A green one appeared next and inside was a vanilla buttercream, with chocolate of course. The purple box concealed a dark chocolate sea salt caramel. Carson set the uneaten confections aside and pulled out the final gold box. “Well, my sweet tooth thanks you too,” she told Drew, “but I believe I’ll save the rest of these until tomorrow.” Anticipating another candy, she pulled up the lid. Her eyes popped and her mouth fell open. “Oh Drew. It’s beautiful.” Nestled on a velvet cushion was a small sand dollar. A simple thing yes, but Carson knew the deeper meaning. They had found another single sand dollar on the tropical beach, the night of their private, commitment ceremony. Carson kept that memento in her jewelry box to this day. 

     Drew reached out and turned over the oceanic gift in Carson’s palm. The crafty doctor had carved their initials and a heart into the surface. “You can have them made into earrings now, if you want to, that is.”

     “Maybe,” Carson said, never taking her eyes from the beautiful gift. “But this is too special to risk losing. Maybe I’ll just keep them safely tucked away.  I’ll take them out now and then to look at them, knowing that the love of my life gave them to me.” She looked up and reached out to catch a tear that was sliding down her lover’s cheek. They let the special moment linger, not even wanting to interrupt it with a kiss.

     Carson finally broke the intimate interaction. “Open yours now,” she said with a husky voice.

     Drew pulled on the silver ribbon, dropping it into her lap.  Lifting the lid, a smile flew to her face. “You did not buy this in the village today.”  It was a digital picture frame with about two dozen pictures of Carson, Logan and Drew, in various combinations. As the slideshow continued, Drew realized that there were a few photos of herself and Logan together, that she had never seen before. There must have been a phantom photographer at work, she thought.

     “I’ve been working on that a while, Carson said. “ And I’ve left plenty of room to add more in the future.”

     “I love it. Thank you. This is going on my desk at the office. Then I can show off the loves of my life.”  

     The leisurely kiss that followed accelerated and they made love slowly and very tenderly, celebrating their bond of hearts and souls.

     Afterward, the couple lay entwined, with Carson’s head snuggled between Drew’s breasts. Their nude bodies were bathed in the moonlight flowing in through the window.  The doctor waved her hand through the pale beams, almost able to feel a velvety texture. “This place sure lives up to its name,” she mused leisurely.

     Carson agreed with a lazy hum, as her hand made circles on Drew’s mid-section. “What do think Logan is doing now?” Carson wondered aloud.

     “Well, since it’s almost eleven, I would hope he’s sleeping.”

     Carson giggled. “Right, forgot about that. What do you think he did today?”

     “Knowing our son, he probably ran your parents ragged.” Drew looked down at the top of the golden head resting on her chest. “I thought we weren’t going to talk about the subject of children on this vacation.”

     “Well, this vacation is almost over. And how can I not think of our children, when I’m lying here beside you, looking at, and touching, and kissing your adorable baby bump.” She leaned down covering the child within with tiny, noisy kisses.

     Drew laughed and ran her fingers through her lover’s blonde hair. Drew was five and a half months pregnant. And she was due to deliver a baby girl around the time of Carson’s birthday. Everyone in the family was ecstatic about the impending birth. Logan didn’t quite understand what a baby sister was, but his mother’s excitement was contagious and he laughed about it whenever they did.  

     The doctor looked over to the corner, at the box which held the quilt they had bought that morning. It really was perfect. Just recently, after discovering the gender of their baby, Carson had spent the weekend painting the nursery in colors of burnt orange and green. The lovely quilt would be draped over the white rocking chair that had first been purchased for Logan. Although occasionally, he still liked the rocking motion while hearing a story, or if he didn’t feel well, but he didn’t mind sharing it with his future sibling. At least that’s what his mommy told him.

     Drew felt the baby give a strong kick. Even being a doctor and knowing all of the biological details, it still amazed her every time she felt the life inside her. It was a recent development.

     Drew came home after a long and tiring day. Carson had pampered her with a wonderful meal and then Drew had read a quick story to Logan, before Carson put him to bed. The doctor had hoped that a shower would revitalize her weary body.

    She had just rinsed the soap from her body, when it happened. She froze, wondering if she had imagined it. But it happened again.  Drew ran into the bedroom, naked and still dripping water. “I…I…I…” Drew frantically pointed at her middle. “She just…she’s real…it’s incredible!”

     Carson had been lounging on the bed, contemplating something to read, when her spouse burst into the room, raving like a wild woman. Almost instantly and instinctively, she knew what had happened.  A huge grin sprang to her face, matching the only thing worn by her naked lover. She had never seen Drew this excited about anything, except maybe the day she had confirmed she was indeed pregnant. Carson jumped up and ran into Drew’s open arms. “Oh baby, I’m so happy,” Carson said. “I can’t wait to be able to feel her too.” Her hand drifted between them, caressing the still skin over the slight swell of Drew’s belly.

     “Me too, honey, me too,” Drew happily agreed. “And it’ll be soon I promise. I love you.” She sealed the sentiment with a loving, but non seductive kiss.

     “I love you too.” Carson bent down and gave her baby a kiss.” And I love you, little one.”       Carson stepped back, noting that the front of her thin night shirt was soaked and sticking to her skin. They both laughed and Drew apologized. But Carson had not a care in the world. She retrieved a towel from the bathroom, draped it over Drew’s shoulders, and then peeled off her wet clothes. Instead of re-dressing, Carson finished drying the tall body, smiling as all the while, her spouse stood there rubbing her belly like a delighted Buddha. They climbed into bed and slept in a happy dream land.

“Drew, was that the baby?” Carson suddenly asked from her moonlit spotlight in the woods.  She projected a tone of complete awe, rubbing the bump, hoping to feel it again.

     “That it was,” Drew said with a huge grin. “She’s going to be something huh? Do you think pro soccer player, Olympic martial arts champion or world class dancer?”

     Carson chuckled. “Well, I think she gets to choose something like that, although personally, I would hope for dancer. But something we do get to choose, that will affect the rest of her life…is her name. Got any suggestions? I know it’s too early to make any definite decisions, but we can start thinking about it.”

     “Okay,” Drew said, pulling her bottom lip between her teeth to ignite some great ideas. “How about Lucretia?”

    Carson grimaced. “I was thinking more of something from this century. And something peaceful.”


     “Keep going. Forget peaceful.”


     “City in Texas.”

     Their little game continued.



     “Trixie Bell.”

     Carson looked up and pinned a serious faced Drew with a stern look…then she broke down laughing, almost to the point of tears.

     Drew watched with a neutral expression.  “Gonna let me in on the joke?” she finally asked, drolly.

     “Trixie Dixon?” Carson clarified.

     The mirth then bubbled up from Drew’s middle, as the baby shifted. “She agrees,” Drew managed to say between giggles.

     “It sounds like a country music singer,” Carson said around a few more chuckles.

     “Or a stripper,” Drew suggested.

     Carson’s laugher died quickly. “And just what would you know about that?”

     “Absolutely nothing,” Drew assured, adding a kiss for extra measure. “What are some of your suggestions?”

     “Well, it obviously has to flow with Dixon, but not begin with a D,” Carson started. “Something modern…and strong. A unisex name would be good. I’d also like it to fit well with Logan, but not begin with an L.” The body next to her shook with silent giggles. “What?” the blonde asked indignantly.

     “It should be a snap after all that.  She might have a name by her first birthday.”

     “Ha, ha. A name is very important,” Carson said. “Both of us were very lucky and received really nice names. And yes, I deliberated a long time about Logan.”

     “Which, by the way, I’ve always thought was a very cool name,” Drew told her sincerely. “So you take as long you need to choose what you think is perfect.”

     Carson grinned up at her gracious lover. “Thank you sweetie. But with our collaboration, I’m sure it will happen sometime in the next three and a half months.”

     “I’m sure too. And I’m sure you already have a few in mind, so let’s hear them.”

     “Okay. I like Bryce, Cassidy, Everly, Avery.”

     “Hmm, I could go for any of those.” Drew capped her agreement with a yawn.

     “Enough talk, time for sleep,” Carson decreed.  She gave the inflated belly a kiss. “Goodnight my little baby,” she whispered against the skin. She gave the mouth above a much more prolonged and all involved kiss.  “Goodnight my big baby,” she whispered against the lips.

     All three settled in for a pleasant night’s sleep.

                                                                       *    *     *

     After breakfast the next morning, they packed up their clothes and what food they had left. Carson carried everything to the car, the load quite a bit smaller than a few days earlier. On the trip back to the house, she stopped to grab some wood from the huge pile at the side of the house. As a courtesy, she wanted it ready for the next occupant. Stacking it beside the fireplace, Carson walked over and clasped her wife’s face, giving her a kiss.

     “Your hands are cold,” Drew said.

     Carson wiggled one hand down the back of Drew’s pants. “Not for long,” she teased.

     The doctor flinched. “Well, let’s not start something we don’t have time to finish.”

     “Spoil sport.” Carson pouted momentarily. “Then I’ve got another idea; let’s take one last walk in the woods.”

     “Sounds good,” Drew agreed.  Carson proceeded to dress her doctor, by slipping a sweater over the green shirt she already wore. With a heavy coat over that, gloves, a hat and a scarf wrapped around her neck, Carson finally proclaimed her pregnant lover ready for the outside jaunt. Drew had stood there, silently allowing the nurturer to hover until her heart’s content.

     Stepping out the rear door, they cheerfully bounced down the stairs from the back deck. The brittle, winter grass crunched beneath their feet on the way to the well, worn dirt path that led into the trees. The air was fresh and smelled of the evergreens that dotted the forest.

     “We’ll have to come back here again,” Carson said, “when it’s warmer. We could have a few private picnics.”

     “Make s’mores after dark.”

     “Always a good thing,” Carson agreed. She suddenly spotted a bench off to the side of the trail, back in among the trees. “Ooo. Ooo, ooo, ooo. Come here, come here,” she said, hustling her tall spouse over to the spot. They settled onto the seat, which quickly warmed beneath them. The bench had been finely crafted from fallen tree parts, which had weathered well with age. Carson pulled a camera from her pocket, and they huddled close with silly grins as she snapped a few pictures.

     “I just got another idea,” Drew said a few minutes later, as they sat there just taking in nature.

     “Your ideas are always brilliant,” Carson said. “Well, except for maybe that Trixie Bell sugesstion. But I still have faith, so what is it.”

     “Why don’t we build a cabin of our own. Buy a piece of property, maybe a little closer to home and design exactly what we want. We could probably get there at least one weekend a month.”

     Carson grinned brightly. “As I said, brilliant. Logan would love running around a place like this, and exploring every rock and stick.”

     “Let’s just make sure he doesn’t find any snakes.”

     “Oh boy,” Carson exclaimed, “and he would. He will be completely supervised on any of those adventures.”  

     Drew chuckled, but agreed whole heartedly, about their spirited little man. “Well, then I guess we have a plan,” Drew said, wrapping her arm around her spouse. “Then we could have a walk in the woods just about anytime we want.” One kiss, two kiss, three.

     The couple stood and headed for the car, anxious to get back to their son and to begin the next chapter of their lives.

                                                               The end.


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