I Found My Heart in San Francisco

Book 15: Osmosis

By SX Meagher



They stayed up late; talking and catching up on all of the small details of their lives. Mia and Jordan got into bed at midnight, but Jordan asked Ryan a question and she and Jamie sat at the end of the bed and talked for another half hour. Ryan finally looked at her watch and said, “I’ve gotta get to bed. I’ll be dragging tomorrow.” She and Jamie got up and started to walk to their room. Ryan paused at the door and turned to look at her friends. “Now that the children are home, everything seems right with the world.”


They went into their room and closed the door. Even though Ryan had said she was tired, she looked wide awake as she flopped onto the bed on her back. “Can we keep them? I love having them here.”

Jamie lay down next to her and started to play with her hair. Running her fingertips across Ryan’s scalp made her partner’s eyes close. “I wish we could. I miss them so much. It seems so ... normal to have them sitting at the dinner table.”

“Yeah,” Ryan said, her voice soft and low. “That’s when I miss them the most. Eating dinner together was such a nice way to connect and keep up with everyone’s day.”

“Did you have a nice time talking with Jordan? I tried to give you two some time alone.”

Ryan’s eyes blinked open. “Did you really?”

“Yeah. I know you both talk more when you’re alone.”

Grinning, Ryan asked, “If we’re alone, how do you know we’re talking?”

“’Cause you often have a new perspective or information after you spend time with Jordan. I think she opens up with you.”

“Yeah. I guess that’s true.”

“So ...?”

Ryan turned and smiled placidly. “So ... what?”

“What did Jordan have to say? How does she think things are going?”

“Not good,” Ryan said. She shook her head. “The team isn’t playing well and she’s afraid she’s not gonna get the chance to show her stuff if they don’t synch up soon.”

Jamie slapped at her shoulder playfully. “I mean her real life. Not the team.”

Blinking ingenuously, Ryan asked, “What’s a real life?”

“Fine. You don’t have to tell me.” Jamie rolled onto her side and slid off the bed. “Mia and I have secrets too.”

Ryan grasped her arm and pulled her back onto the bed, sprawled across her body. “That’s good, babe. Mia needs you to confide in. So knows she can tell you things that won’t get back to Jordan.”

Biting Ryan’s earlobe, Jamie said, “Don’t be so superior. I wouldn’t tell you anything Mia said that she didn’t want me to talk about.”

“I know,” Ryan said, grinning. “One more reason not to tell you anything juicy. I won’t get a good return on my investment.”

“I’ll give you a return ...” Jamie bit a little harder, making Ryan squirm under her. She started to daintily touch various parts of Ryan’s ear with the tip of her tongue, not stopping until her lover was purring. “Are you too tired to make love?”

Ryan paused, then smiled when she heard a squeal coming from Mia’s room. “I believe we’re gonna be up anyway. Let’s turn on some music though. I don’t wanna have a four-some.”

“I love ’em,” Jamie agreed. “But not like that!”


Mia woke from a deep sleep to find her partner gazing at her. Jordan was lying on her side, her head propped on her hand, her long golden hair swaying gently with the cool spring breeze from the nearby window.

Hugging herself and grinning happily, Mia said, “Now this is how to wake up. In our bed, with the sun shining and our buddies here or someplace close. It’s nice to be home, isn’t it?”

Jordan responded with a soft, moist kiss. She stayed right where she was and added another longer kiss. “I was just thinking about how good it feels to be here.” She shifted and held her head again. “I don’t really have a home right now. Since I gave up my apartment I don’t even have a permanent address. But being here reminds me that this feels like home—even though I’ve never officially lived here.”

Mia gave her a beatific smile. “This is where we fell in love. What better home could we have?”

“Do you think Jamie would really like us to come back here when I ... don’t have to be in Colorado any more?”

Threading her fingers through Jordan’s hair, Mia looked into her eyes, amazed at the feelings that always burned in her chest when she gazed into the cool, blue depths. “I know they want us to come back. No doubt.”

“You look happy. Happier than you’ve been for the last couple of weeks.”

“I am.” Mia tightened her grip on Jordan’s hair and tugged her forward. They kissed for a few moments; Jordan pressing her weight forward and resting against Mia. They were both silent for a while, their heads sharing a pillow, eyes focused on the other. “I’m happy here, Jordy. But I need to be with you. You make me happy no matter where I am.”

“Is that true?” Jordan moved back just enough to be able to focus.

“That I love you?”

“No, baby. I know how much you love me.” A smile borne of certainty settled on Jordan’s lips and she lay back on the pillow. “I want to know if you’re happy no matter where we are.”

“Yeah, I am.”

“Then why do you seem ... energized in a way you haven’t been?”

“Well ... it was good to be with my peeps. I saw all of my friends and hung out with ’em. Now I’m filled up again and I can go back to Colorado and be with my sweetie.”

“So ... coming here helped you ... right?”

“Yeah. I guess I’d have to say it did. It helped to see my parents, too. And my grandparents.”

“So ... it looks to me like being with me isn’t enough for you. You need some time back here to make you truly happy.”

Mia sat up and gave Jordan a vaguely perturbed look. “What’s on your mind? I feel like I’m being questioned at police headquarters.”

“No, no, nothing like that. I just want to understand.”

“This is all there is to understand,” Mia said, pushing Jordan onto her back. “I love you, Jordan Ericsson, and I want to be with you every minute of every day. But we can’t always be together, and when we’re not, other people help boost me up. 20 of them help make up for your not being here.” She leaned over her partner and kissed her gently. “Barely.”

“I think it’s more than that.”

Snuggling against Jordan’s body, Mia put her hand on her belly and gave it a playful tickle. “And I bet you’re gonna tell me what it is, aren’t ya.”

“Yep. I don’t wanna drop this until we both understand each other. I think you need to be here once in a while. Not just that it’s something to do when you can’t be with me. And I think you should decide to come here whenever I’m on an extended trip. I think it’s good for you and good for your family. And ... it’s good for me because I know you’re happy.”

Still stroking her tummy, Mia moved her mouth just enough to be able to nibble and kiss around Jordan’s ear, something that always gave the taller woman chills. “I want to make you happy. I’d do anything to make you happy, Jordy. And I think you’re trying to make me more important than you. I know you were disappointed I didn’t go to Russia with you—”

“I was at first,” Jordan admitted. “But once we got there I realized that Toni and Jill were right. It’s no fun to go on a trip like that unless you’re playing. It’ll be different at the Games because there’ll be lots of things to do and lots of parties and stuff. But a regular tournament is boring as hell if you’re not involved. I’m sure of that now, babe. Totally sure. And I barely had time to make sure I ate and slept. I wouldn’t have been there for you—at all. And that’s no way to travel together.”

“No, I guess it’s not.”

“So, make plans now to come back here during my next trip. It’ll be better for all of us.”

“Jamie said the same thing,” Mia said, chuckling. “She wants me to make reservations so she doesn’t have to send me a last-minute ticket.”

“Even Jamie hates to throw money away.” Jordan smiled at her partner, then kissed her, teasing her mouth open with her tongue.

Mia responded immediately, wrapping her arms around her lover and grinding against her. “I’ve missed you,” she murmured. “I like you. A lot.” With a wicked grin, she crawled down Jordan’s body and captured a pink nipple in her mouth. Gently suckling, she relished the feel of the supple skin in her mouth. Lifting her head, she purred. “I’ve missed these. They’re nice.” She lifted her head and smiled. “They’re getting a little bigger. You’re starting to put a little weight back on.”

“Yeah. I’ve gained two pounds.”

Mia dipped her head and focused on Jordan’s breasts again, sucking and licking them with rapt attention.

Her eyes were half-closed, and Jordan’s lazy voice asked, “How did you manage to go without sex all this time?”

“I didn’t go without. I just thought about you and imagined your hand was touching me.” She climbed back up and licked all around Jordan’s tender ear. “But my imagination doesn’t come close to the real thing.”

“Sex didn’t enter my mind,” Jordan said. “Not once.” She spent a moment kissing Mia, building up the intensity of her attentions. “But it’s making a comeback. Big time.”

“That’s my girl.” Mia returned her kisses, managing to take Jordan’s breath away in a matter of seconds. “I missed you,” she whispered. “So much.”

“Me too.” They kissed for another minute, their hearts starting to beat more rapidly. “Maybe having little breaks is good for us. God knows I can hardly keep my hands off you.”

“Who wants that?” Mia giggled. “Your hands and every other part are supposed to be on me. Bring it on, baby. I’m ready for you!”


When they finally emerged from their room, Jamie and Ryan were long gone. “I want to go to the volleyball offices and see if anyone’s around,” Jordan said. “Wanna go with me?”

“No thanks. After she’s finished with class, Jamie and I are gonna go to a day spa.”

“Ooo ... sounds like fun.”

Mia’s smile brightened. “Come with us!”

“No, I’d rather try to find some of my old teammates. I know where they hang out on campus. Then I wanna go to softball practice. Heather will be there and Ryan says Ashley’s usually there too.”

“That’s cool. If we’re finished we’ll go to practice too.”

“I’ll take off then. Are you ready?”

“No way. I’ve gotta have breakfast, then I’ll make some calls. I can’t be rushed in the morning.”

Ostentatiously looking at the clock, Jordan said, “You’re back in your Berkeley mode. It’s 12:30, honey.”

Mia grinned happily. “It’s morning to me!”


Jamie and Mia lay side-by-side on massage tables, both of them covered from head to toe in warm towels. Their faces were partially exposed, with each wearing warm packs on their eyes, adding to their relaxation.

“I love a clay body wrap as much as a girl can love dirt,” Mia murmured.

“I like this pink clay a lot,” Jamie said. “It doesn’t seem as dirty as regular clay.”

“Such a prude.”

“I’m not a prude. I’m clean. There’s a big difference.”

“I guess so,” Mia conceded. “Our hour isn’t up yet, is it?”

“We might be close. But we’ve still got other things in store for us.”

“We do?” Mia’s voice rose in pitch. “What?”

“We’re gonna have a citrus body scrub after massages.”

“Ooo ...” Mia sounded like she was on the verge of orgasm, making Jamie giggle.

“You’re easy to please, girlfriend. Just put you on a table and pamper you and you’re as happy as can be.”

“That’s the key, James. Pampering is highly underrated.”

“You didn’t even seem to mind having your legs waxed.”

“I don’t mind it. I’m not crazy about the bikini line, but I’d never subject Jordy to stubble. That’s inhumane.”

“I believe stubble is mentioned in the Geneva Convention,” Jamie joked.

“Think Ryan will notice you’ve been plucked like a chicken?”

“I have no idea. But if she doesn’t ask, I’m not gonna tell. She doesn’t have to know everything about me. A girl’s gotta have some secrets.”


After softball, Jamie and Mia stopped at the market and bought dinner. Jamie didn’t want to spend their last night together cooking, so she bought cold cuts and various kinds of cheese along with two kinds of bread. She and Mia had everything arranged on platters by the time Ryan and Jordan got home. “What took you guys so long?” Mia asked.

Jordan went to her and kissed her quickly. “We were talking to Heather and Ashley. Time got away from us.”

“Go wash your dirty little mitts,” Jamie instructed her partner. “Dinner’s ready.”

Ryan had to playfully dangled her filthy hands in front of Jamie’s nose.

Eww! They smell like dirty leather.”

“There’s no clean leather involved in softball,” Ryan pronounced. “Be right back.”

When she’d returned, Ryan had not only washed her face and hands, she’d changed into a golf shirt and jeans. Jamie didn’t comment, but she gave her a knowing glance and a wink, silently thanking her for continuing to eschew sweats at the dinner table.

Mia and Jordan each took a platter to carry into the dining room. Jamie started to follow them, but caught a quick look at her partner. There was something wrong, but she had no idea what could have happened in the last few seconds to cause Ryan to look so sad.

Ryan went into the refrigerator to take a beer and when she drew near Jamie she felt her belt loop snagged. “What’s wrong, Tiger?”

Replying with an anemic smile, Ryan shook her head. “Nuthin’.”

Jamie took her partner’s free hand and squeezed it. “You look sad.”

Shrugging, Ryan looked away and said, “They’re leaving tomorrow.”

“Ooo.” Jamie slipped her arm around Ryan and hugged her. “Makes you sad, huh?”

Another shrug. “A little.”

“Hey.” Reaching up, Jamie tugged on her chin, forcing eye contact. “A really smart woman once told me that she tried to live her life in the moment. She said she tried to enjoy each day because she knew the next day wasn’t guaranteed.”

A smirk slowly formed on Ryan’s face. “Sounds like psychobabble.”

“No way!” Hugging her even tighter, Jamie rocked her lover back and forth. “I believe everything this wise woman told me. I think you should try it. Enjoy dinner, baby. Let’s have fun with our friends. Don’t miss them before they leave.”

Bending, Ryan placed a gentle kiss on Jamie’s lips. “Good advice. I’ll give it a try.” She rubbed her nose against her partner’s. “Thanks.”

“Any time, slugger. Any time at all.”


On Tuesday afternoon, Ryan was in her room going over her French homework when she heard the front door close quietly. “Jamie?”

“Guess again,” Jordan called up.

“Cool! Come up here and save me from going nuts.”

Long legs and a quick stride had Jordan standing by the desk in seconds. She ruffled Ryan’s hair and sat on the bed. Kicking off her shoes she twisted around and lay on her stomach. “What’s going on?”

Ryan turned in her chair. “I don’t understand why I have to be able to read a foreign language to be able to study math or science in grad school. Who’s the idiot who came up with this stupid idea?”

Shoulda taken a language when you were in high school, Boom. That’s what the smart kids did.”

“Funny. You went to a French school. You and Jodie Foster.”

“She was there waaaay before me,” Jordan said, smirking. “You want help with your homework?”

“No. I just have to study. No shortcuts.”

“French didn’t seem hard when I was 14. It just ...” She waved her hand. “Came to me. I barely noticed I was learning a language.”

Ryan took a large rubber band from the desk and hit her friend squarely in the ass. “Good shot!” Jordan declared. “You must have been doing that when the other kids were taking language class.”

“You’re quite a smart-ass today. Feelin’ good?”

“Yep. But I’d like to stay longer.”

“I’d like to hold you both hostage. But somebody from the team would probably track you down.”

“Wouldn’t be too hard. I had to tell them where I was going, how long I was staying, what flight I’d be on going back. Worse than parents.”

“But you don’t mind going back, do you?”

Jordan smiled, and Ryan noted once again that her friend’s smile changed her face more than anyone she knew. When smiling Jordan looked open and playful and younger than her age. The change from her often cool, aloof, overly-mature image continued to catch Ryan by surprise despite their close friendship.

“I’m ready to get back to work. It doesn’t take long to get out of a groove.”

“Are you happy?” Ryan asked, gazing at her intently.

“Yep.” Nodding decisively, Jordan said, “I’ve got everything I’ve ever wanted. And I think Mia and I have figured out how to make things easier for her. She’s agreed to come here whenever I have to go on a long trip. I think that’ll work better for both of us.”

“Both of you guys are welcome here. Any time. You don’t even have to tell us you’re coming. Just come in and make yourselves at home.”

Jordan’s smile lit up her entire face. “That means a lot to me, Boom. I couldn’t do that with either of my parents, so ...” She shrugged and looked a little shy. “It means a lot.”

Ryan rolled her desk chair across the floor. When she reached the bed she patted Jordan firmly on the back, then propped her bare feet up on the bed. “You’re part of our family. That’s permanent.”

Nodding, Jordan said, “I know you don’t say things like that unless you mean ’em.”

Ryan met her eyes, but didn’t comment. She knew she didn’t have to with Jordan.

“How’s your ... head?” Jordan asked. “I mean your—”

“Emotional stability?” Ryan asked, crossing her eyes and sticking out her tongue.

“Yeah,” Jordan said, laughing. “You seem back to your old self.”

“I guess I am most of the time,” Ryan admitted. “Things are a lot better.”

“Everything okay with you and Jamie?”

It sounded like a tossed-off comment, but Ryan took it more seriously than that. Her tone turned a little sharp. “Yeah. Why? Did Mia say something?”

Jordan visibly recoiled. “No! Damn, why would Mia say anything? Is everything all right?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Ryan muttered. “I just ... we’ve just been having a little trouble. Nothing too big, but I thought Jamie might have said something to Mia.”

“If she did, Mia didn’t say anything to me. What’s going on?”

Ryan crossed her arms over her chest, debating with herself about what to say. “Uhm ... let me ask you a question.”

“Oh-oh. I hate these kinds of questions.”

Nudging her not-so-gently with her foot, Ryan said, “You don’t know what I’m gonna ask.”

“No, but if I answer one way I’m on your side and if I answer the other way I’m on Jamie’s side.”

“No sides,” Ryan said. “Honest. I just wanted to know if you and Mia ever talk about your pasts.”

Jordan half-closed one eye and tilted her head. “Our pasts?”

“Yeah. Things you did before you got together.”

“Like sex? Relationships?”


“No.” Jordan didn’t elaborate, giving Ryan a blank look.

“No? Just no?”

“Yep. Just no. I don’t really have a past and if Mia wants to tell me something, she will. I never ask. Never have. Never will.”

“’Cause you’re ... worried about what she might say?” Ryan asked tentatively.

“Not really. I don’t much care about what Mia did before we were together. I mean, I’m interested in anything she shares with me, but I don’t hunt for info. Not my style.”

Ryan’s head dropped back and she threaded her fingers through her hair, freeing it of tangles. “I wish it wasn’t Jamie’s style.”

“Mmm ... Jamie’s not like me. She’s much more ... what would you call it ...?”

“Depends on the day,” Ryan said, chuckling evilly. “Usually she just wants to understand me better and she does that by trying to know about everything that shaped me. All of the experiences that made me who I am.”

“You can’t know people,” Jordan said rather flippantly. “You know what they show you. That’s what matters to me. If you used to be a self-involved jerk who didn’t care about her friends, that wouldn’t make you any less of a friend to me. Knowing that would only make me look for signs of jerkiness.”

“Exactly!” Ryan said, slapping the bed with her open palm. “Jamie knows about some things I did that she thinks are wrong. She claims she doesn’t judge me, but I know she does! It’s in the back of her mind and she brings it up every time she gets a little insecure.”

“You didn’t kill a prior lover in her sleep, did ya?”

“No, nothing that dramatic. But you heard I was a player before we’d ever met. Jamie knows too much, and I’m pissed with myself for telling her a lot of things. I should have just told her that her past was hers and mine was mine.”

“I don’t know how I knew to keep my nose out of Mia’s past, but I knew,” Jordan said. “I can’t imagine anything I’d learn that would make our lives better.”

“Wish I would’ve asked you for some advice before I started flapping my trap.”

Jordan rolled onto her side and looked at her friend for a few moments. “You’re just an open person, Boom. Jamie wants to know stuff and you like to be honest.” She giggled, her nose wrinkling up. “Bad combo.”


Part Thirteen

That evening, Ryan pulled the BMW into the driveway and cast an appraising glance at Jamie, who’d barely spoken on the trip back from the airport. The silence unbroken, they went into the house, where Ryan headed for the refrigerator, her stomach rumbling.

She munched on a piece of cold pizza as she walked into the living room. Jamie was going through the mail, throwing items into the categories that she used to organize the hefty volume. Ryan picked up a catalogue from a lingerie store. “Mmm ... nice,”she said. “What pile is this?”

“That’s the ‘things Ryan might want to look at’ pile.”

“Really? You’re the lingerie queen. Why isn’t it in your pile?”

“It doesn’t fit in mine. There’s the bills to pay pile, the things one of us ordered or will definitely want to see pile and the ‘perhaps’ pile for each of us. The things I think you might want to see go into your perhaps pile.”

“Again,” Ryan said, rolling up the catalogue and looking through it like a telescope, “why isn’t it in your perhaps pile?”

Jamie gave her a puzzled look. “That lingerie is trashy. I don’t wear things that make me look cheap.”

With a half-grin, Ryan said, “But you think I like to look at women in trashy lingerie?” Jamie didn’t answer. She just raised an eyebrow and nodded when Ryan put the catalogue in her own “definite” pile. “You don’t have to look so smug,” Ryan said.

“I’m not being smug. I just know you.”

“Wanna bite?” Ryan asked, putting the pitifully small piece of pizza in front of her.

“No, thanks.” She glanced at the assorted stacks of mail. “Okay, I’m done with this; I guess I’ll go upstairs and read.”

Her voice held so little enthusiasm that Ryan put her hand on her shoulder and turned her around. “What’s wrong, sweetums?”

Laughing soundlessly, Jamie said, “Sweetums is just a little down. My team’s playing in the PAC-10 championships, and I really was looking forward to that. I think we could have done pretty well.”

Ryan lifted Jamie’s arm and kissed her hand, which had finally begun to look normal. “Of course you could have. If you were playing, you probably would have won the whole thing.”

“I’m not saying that, but I wanted to play.”

“Anything else?”

“Yeah. I miss Mia ... and Jordan.”

“Me too. But I think Mia might be coming home more often.” When Jamie gave her a quizzical look, she added, “Jordan said you convinced Mia that it’s better for  their relationship if Mia’s happy, and that coming home when Jordan’s gone makes her happy.”

Jamie smiled up at her. “That makes me feel a little better.”

“And even though you want to play, you’d be all alone up in Eugene.” She took Jamie by the hand and led her to the sofa. Ryan sat down and pulled Jamie onto her lap, where she settled in comfortably. “It’s no fun to be all alone, is it?”

“No. It’s not,” she said wistfully.

“Isn’t it more fun to be together?”

“Yes. You know it is.” She rested her head on Ryan’s shoulder, feeling a little better. Patting Ryan’s belly, she said, “Okay, you’ve cheered me up. I can get to work now.”

Ryan locked her arms around Jamie’s waist. “Do you have to?”

“Uhm ...” Tentatively smiling, Jamie asked, “Why?”

“I was just thinking of some things we could do, things we couldn’t do if you were in Eugene.”

“Ooo ... were you now?” Relaxing against her lover, Jamie asked, “What kinda things were you thinking of?”

Ryan looked down, letting her gaze run up and down Jamie’s body. “I don’t know.” She trailed her hand over Jamie’s torso, letting it settle on her breast. “I like some of these curvy parts.” Cupping Jamie’s flesh, she weighed it in her hand. “I’m sure I could think of something fun to do with this.”

“You do have a good track record.” Jamie looked down and saw Ryan’s hand encircling her breast. A twitch in her vulva made her think that letting a little schoolwork slide wasn’t a bad idea.

“If you really wanted to,” Ryan murmured, “you could find some parts on me that you like to play with. No obligation, of course.”

“Know what I’d like?”

“No.” Ryan nuzzled against Jamie’s neck until she could feel the goosebumps start, then she pressed her lips against her ear and hummed, “Tell me.”

“I’ll do better than that, I’ll show you.” Draping her good arm around Ryan’s neck, she pulled her close and kissed her gently. Pulling away just an inch or two, she stared at the full, pink lips and whispered, “I just want to kiss you. There’s nothing better than kissing you.”

“Mmm ... great idea.” Ryan lifted her knees enough to cause Jamie to press against her more firmly, then she kissed her back — slowly and gently and lovingly.

Minutes passed with only the soft sounds of their breathing and the sweet press of lips merging and separating breaking the silence of the house. “So nice,” Jamie breathed. “No rush. No goals.”

“None,” Ryan said, sighing. She dropped a gentle kiss on Jamie’s forehead and said, “One goal. To show you how much I love you.”

“Mission accomplished.”

Jamie pulled back and smiled at her, and Ryan took her in, noting the gentle tilt of her head, eyelids slightly closed, lips pink and moist. “You’re such a beautiful woman.” She ran her hand over Jamie’s face, then traced her lips with her thumb. “Too pretty for words.”

“I never feel prettier than I do when you look at me just like you are now. It ... makes my heart race.”

Ryan’s hand moved to her lover’s chest, covering her heart. “Mmm ... it is a little fast. Let’s slow it down.” She tightened her hold and snuggled Jamie into her body, rubbing their faces together until Jamie began to giggle.


Purring almost imperceptibly, Ryan shifted and started to kiss her again, keeping up a slow, aimless exploration of her mouth. They traded back and forth and back and forth ... one leading, the other following ... for a very long time.

Jamie was astonished that Ryan didn’t try to press for more, but she was grateful to her partner for having heard what she needed and backed off from what had clearly begun as an invitation to have sex. She, however, had amended her wish list and now wanted to move along. Knowing that a little signal went a long way, she took Ryan’s hand and placed it on her breast, pressing the strong hand into her flesh.

Amazingly, Ryan didn’t take the bait. She kept kissing Jamie leisurely, seemingly perfectly content to go no further.

Not to be dissuaded, Jamie covered Ryan’s hand and firmly pressed it into her flesh, urging her to take the hint. She could feel Ryan start to smile, and knew her lover had been playing with her.

“Have an itch?” Ryan asked.

“Yes,” she whispered, keeping her lips so close to Ryan’s that she spoke into her mouth. “Help me scratch it, will you?”

Ryan cupped her breast and gave it a gentle squeeze, making Jamie press her thighs together in response. She made a gurgling sound and pressed against Ryan’s hand, asking for more.

Holding the breast in her hand, Ryan moved it around in a circle, all the while probing Jamie’s mouth with her tongue.

“Harder,” Jamie murmured.

“Still itchy?”

Pale blue eyes blinked slowly and Jamie wrapped an arm around her neck and said, “Don’t play with me, O’Flaherty.”

“Play? I’m not playing. You said you wanted to kiss. If you want something else ...”

Tilting her head, Jamie looked into her eyes. “You want specifics?”

“Yeah. I’m not catching on.”

Ryan was the picture of innocence, and Jamie imagined how remarkably easy it must have been for her to get away with murder when she was young. “Okay. Here’s what I’d like. I’d like for you to take off your shirt — that’s a nice one, by the way — then your bra, then your shoes, then your socks, then your slacks. You look good in these khakis, too.” She reached down and traced along Ryan’s thigh. “And your underwear.”

“You want me to do all that?” Ryan’s eyebrows lifted.

“Uh-huh. Then I want you to take every stitch of clothing off me. Let me know when you’re finished and I’ll give you the rest of your instructions.”

Grinning lasciviously, Ryan followed her instructions to the letter. A few minutes later, they were standing, facing each other, stark naked. Jamie took her hand and led her into the library, then pushed her until Ryan sat on the leather sofa. “Now I’m going to have you. Any complaints?”

“None.” Ryan smiled up at her, and held out her arms. “Anything you want is exactly what I want.”

“This splint is a little problem, so I might have to direct you a bit. Is that cool?”

“The coolest. Top me.”

“I’d be happy to, if you hadn’t engineered this entire evening,” Jamie said, tweaking Ryan’s nose. “I thought the top was supposed to be in charge.”

“Nah. The bottom’s always in charge; the top just thinks she is.”

After surveying her very receptive lover and the sofa, Jamie sat down and said, “Will you lie on top of me with those stupendous breasts very near my mouth?”

In a flash, Ryan scooted down to the end of the sofa, giving Jamie plenty of room to lie down. As soon as she was comfortable, Ryan rested her weight on her arms and offered her breasts to Jamie, who immediately filled her mouth with the luxuriantly soft skin. Her appetite for Ryan was voracious, and she suckled and nipped and mouthed her breasts for so long that Ryan’s nipples were swollen and nearly mauve when she paused for breath. “Good God,” Jamie breathed. “I can’t get enough of you.”

Ryan’s face was flushed, and her skin was dewy and pink. “Could you,” she panted, “please lift your leg? I’ve gotta ...” Her eyes closed when Jamie immediately responded, and Ryan pressed hard against her thigh. With her tender breast being firmly suckled, Ryan started to pump her hips, moving up and down Jamie’s thigh—her moisture coating the skin lavishly. Her eyes were tightly closed, and Jamie could see her lips moving—but not a sound came out.

The harder Jamie sucked, the faster and harder Ryan pumped. Light-headed with lust, Jamie grasped her ass with her hand and pulled Ryan’s entire breast into her mouth, then started to close her teeth. With a whoosh of air, Ryan grabbed her lover’s shoulders and thrust hard, moaning loudly until she eventually began to slow her pace and her power until she was barely moving her hips, just a slight tilting of her vulva pressing against Jamie’s; her body wet and hot and slippery and very heavy.

Jamie ran her hand through Ryan’s hair, whispering to her while she recovered. It took longer than usual, but Ryan finally lifted her head. “You almost killed me,” she said, her speech slightly slurred.

“If you weren’t so heavy, I’d have my hand between my thighs right now,” Jamie purred. “I’ll come if you so much as brush against me.”

Ryan pushed herself up, then maneuvered so that she was sitting on the floor. Tugging at Jamie’s legs, she slung them over her shoulders and opened her lover with her fingers. Mesmerized by the glistening flesh, she delicately began to taste her, stunned when Jamie grabbed the back of her head and panted out a quiet, quick orgasm. Not moving her head, Ryan stroked her lover’s thighs, waiting until her flesh stopped pulsing to tentatively start to nuzzle against her again.

“Wait,” Jamie moaned. “Give me a minute ...”

But Ryan didn’t obey this time. She slipped her index fingers inside and played with her, stretching and probing at her until Jamie’s body grew relaxed and limp. “Go on,” she finally purred. “This is good.”

Ryan dipped her head again and started to lap lazily, once again surprised when Jamie groaned, “Oh! I’m coming ... ahh ... yeah ... yeah,” while pushing her vulva against Ryan’s mouth.

Waiting patiently, Ryan finally looked up and said, “How about a little more?”

“Give me a few,” Jamie said. “Come up here and hold me.” She scooted over onto her side, giving Ryan room to cuddle.

“I meant me,” Ryan said, grinning shyly.

Jamie’s eyes opened wide. “Really? Think you can?”

Lips pursed, she said, “I’m still really turned on. And I’ve been reading about orgasms. I haven’t found any research that says there’s a physiological reason for my not being able to have more than one orgasm in a day.”

“You’ve had two a couple of times.”

“Yeah, but I hate to miss an opportunity to be a glutton.” She chuckled. “And I am really turned on.”

Jamie turned and kissed her. “Where do you want me?”

“Would you mind if I kinda ... got on top of you? I’m dying to feel your mouth on me.”

“Let’s go, Tiger. I’d love to be able to play with you all night long.”

Ryan made a few adjustments, getting Jamie at just the right angle. Then she slowly lowered herself to her lover’s mouth, moaning in relief when the warm, wet tongue touched her throbbing skin. “Oh, Jesus, that feels fantastic!”

Jamie looked up to see her lover pinching and pulling on her own nipples, her eyes closed and her mouth open just enough to show the tip of her tongue. Without thought, she reached around Ryan and started to play with her own clit, gently touching herself just enough to keep her high going.

Moving her hips in a stunningly sexy fashion, Ryan sought more and more pressure from Jamie, finally pressing so hard she whimpered in pain. “Fuck,” she growled, lifting her hips and sliding off. Standing on rubbery legs she said, “This isn’t gonna work. But I’m desperate to come.” Her look of frustration turned to delight when she saw where Jamie’s hand was. “May I?”

Jamie pulled her hand away. “No, not right now. I’m just keeping it warm. What can we do for you?”

Ryan thought for a moment, then said, “Do you mind a little help?”

“No. Not as long as it’s not another woman.”

“Ha! Who’d want that?” She started for the door. “Don’t go away.”

“Where would I go?” Jamie asked, looking down at her wet, slippery body.

In a few minutes Ryan was back, carrying the small bag of sex toys she’d brought from home. “I was wondering if we’d ever use any of that stuff,” Jamie said, sitting up to look over Ryan’s shoulder.

“Haven’t had the need,” Ryan mumbled. “Ahh ... this should work.” She pulled out a good-sized vibrator and handed it to Jamie. “Do you wanna ... or should I?”

“You do it,” Jamie said, eyes sparkling. “I wanna watch you.”

Ryan’s eyebrows waggled and she scampered to plug in the device. Sitting down, she said, “This is a little ... clinical. I mean, it doesn’t have the same feel that our lovemaking—”

“I get it,” Jamie said, smiling. “I just wanna watch you come again. No biggie. I don’t think the things in your bag are a substitute for making love. They’re ... like sprinkles on a sundae.”

“Good one!” Ryan put her arm around her partner and said, “My arousal has taken a nose-dive. Having to get up and rummage around in a closet isn’t really erotic.”

“May I?”


Jamie put her arm around Ryan and kissed her softly. Moving away, she stuck out her lower lip in a slight pout. “Making love to you was so incredibly hot that I’m still throbbing. Feel me,” she whispered, taking Ryan’s hand and pressing her fingers between her lips. “You made me that wet.” She kissed Ryan hard, then pulled back and licked all around her lips. “You made me shiver and shake when I came.” She grasped the back of Ryan’s head and held her still while she kissed her so thoroughly that she wound up with her knee between Ryan’s legs. When she released her grip, Ryan’s head fell back onto the sofa.

Ryan picked her head up and gave Jamie a totally blank look, then turned on the vibrator and started running the blunt, bullet-like end of it against herself. Her eyes closed and her head fell back again as she kept the device on the outside of her vulva.

This surprised Jamie, but the pleasured half-smile on Ryan’s face showed her that it was working. Jamie leaned over and started to kiss her again, getting hotter as their kisses got harder and needier. She moaned and Ryan opened her mouth and sucked her tongue in, pulling on it hungrily. Jamie put her hand down to feel the vibrations, amazed at how strong they were. She felt Ryan’s hand move and shifted so she could watch her.

Ryan held the vibrator in one hand and pressed it hard against herself, using the fingers of her other hand to apply even more pressure. Jamie was amazed at how rough she was with herself, given that Ryan still tended to beg for nothing but a gentle touch when she was on the verge of orgasm. Even though she wasn’t touching her clitoris, the vibrator was thrumming against her relentlessly, and Jamie couldn’t imagine what her lover was feeling. Giving in to her curiosity, she slipped her fingers into Ryan, watching as her eyes closed and she grimaced for a few seconds before she grunted loudly and began to shake, her flesh gripping and releasing around Jamie’s fingers. The orgasm went on longer than usual, and when Ryan dropped the still humming vibrator to the floor, she looked completely exhausted.

Jamie pulled the vibrator up by its cord and turned it off, then slid her arm around Ryan and cradled her to her body, peppering her face with kisses.

Ryan eventually opened her eyes. “I’m gonna regret that tomorrow,” she said, grinning crookedly.

“Really?” She kissed her temple. “Why don’t you use it on me so I can empathize?”

Ryan’s eyes shifted and she shook her head, chuckling. “Gotta see for yourself, huh?”

“Yeah.” Her eyes were sparkling with interest. “You almost sprained my fingers when you came. I want some of that!”

“Oh, all right,” Ryan said, feigning irritation. “But I’m not gonna use the big gun on you. You won’t need it.”

“Why?” Jamie hefted it in her hand. “I want the big one.”

“Let’s start with something more ... delicate,” Ryan said. “Then we can move up if you want.”

Ryan took out a small, lipstick sized blue vibrator and put a pair of watch batteries into it. “I feel a little like a gynecologist,” she said, grinning. “This is even more clinical.”

“Just do me,” Jamie growled, giving her a scowl which turned into a giggle.

Ryan kissed her quickly and knelt down. Jamie lay down and rested her head on Ryan’s arm. “Ready?”

“No foreplay?”

Ryan’s voice dropped. “You won’t need it. Trust me.”

She turned on the vibrator and spread Jamie’s lips apart. Very delicately, she slid the little blue toy along Jamie’s inner lips, smiling when her partner gasped, “Wow!”

“Uh-huh.” Ryan lifted it then slid it around again, barely touching her skin.

Jamie purred with delight, making the sexiest little moans Ryan had ever heard. Then she put her hand on top of Ryan’s and pressed the vibrator against her clit, growling and thrusting her hips as she came once again.

Ryan started to pull it away, but Jamie opened her eyes and said, “One more.”

“Such a greedy girl.” Ryan kissed her and started touching her again, letting the little toy bring her partner to one orgasm after another. After six climaxes in just a few minutes, Jamie pushed Ryan’s hand away and collapsed, hardly able to breathe.

Ryan held her and pressed her ear to her heart, listening to it go from a galloping rhythm to a much more normal beat.

“Throw those things away,” Jamie weakly ordered.

“You don’t like my toys? Those rapid-fire orgasms belie your protests.”

“You’re cute when you talk like that. You sound like an 80-year-old English teacher.” She kissed Ryan gently. “And yes, I like your toys. I like ’em too much. You don’t have to throw ’em out, but don’t make ’em too available. They’re like crack cocaine.”

“Okay, baby. We’ll stick to nature.”

Jamie opened an eye. “Maybe once in a while ...”

Ryan kissed her gently. “Can I take you to bed?”

“I’m begging you,” she said dramatically, “truly begging you to.”


Ryan got up the next morning and got into the shower, waiting for Jamie to join her. She grinned at her partner when she entered the steaming shower. “How do you feel?”

“Great! You?”

“Itchy. And not good itchy.”

“Really?” Jamie frowned and patted Ryan gently between her legs. “Here?”

“Yep. I’ll itch all day.”

“Why? Do you know?”

“Not really. All I know is that when I force myself to have a second orgasm I always feel kinda swollen and irritated the next day.”

Jamie let the water wash over her face, then sputtered some of it at Ryan. “Then why do it?”

Ryan kissed her. “’Cause you make me hot, goofy. I get turned on and want more sex. But my body doesn’t think it’s a good idea.”

“That’s a damned shame. ’Cause I could get the vibrator out and peel off another dozen.” She giggled, showing Ryan her teeth.

“Yes, I’m jealous,” Ryan said. “You know, some of that research I did says that multiple orgasms can give you a kind of high. Did you feel that?”

“Hmm ... kinda. If we’d kept going I could have gotten into a zone I think.”

Ryan started to wash Jamie’s hair, since Jamie still couldn’t bend her left arm. “Every time you come, you release endorphins. If you don’t rest between them, you just keep releasing endorphins and they aren’t dissipated. So you can literally fuck yourself into a stupor.” She laughed and blew a raspberry against Jamie’s bare back. “Who’d’ve thought a stupor could sound good, huh?”

“I’m trying to think of what I’m not gonna get done today,” Jamie teased. “My stupor calls!”


Ryan sat in Ellen’s office on Thursday morning, tapping her feet and moving her shoulders a little to a beat only she could hear. “You know, Ryan,” Ellen said, “I would hardly believe you were the same person who first showed up for group therapy. Are you feeling as good as you look?”

For a few moments Ryan was perfectly still, then she nodded slowly. “I ... guess I am.” She smiled and shifted her gaze from Barb to Ellen. “I’m not sure when I started feeling better, but I really do feel good.”

“You seem much more comfortable talking about the things that upset you,” Barb said. “You don’t look like you’re being tortured any more.”

“It doesn’t feel like torture. You know, the first few times, I felt like I had lead in my pockets when I left here, but now I feel energized most days. Talking in here lets me live my life without stuffing all of my fears down.” She met both of their gazes. “Being here has really helped me, and having it be just the three of us has made me feel safer.”

“That’s very good to hear,” Ellen said. “How’s your travel schedule? I know you were having trouble when you had to be away from home.”

“It was more when Jamie had to leave, but I didn’t like to go, either. But I’ve got to go to Seattle this afternoon, and then to Los Angeles from there on Friday, and I’m looking forward to it. Of course, Jamie’s going with me, thanks to her broken elbow. I never would have thought that her being injured could be such a good thing, but it really has made my life better.” She grinned impishly. “I’m not sure she’d agree, but her break has helped me heal.”


Jamie woke up on Friday morning, reached out, and patted an empty space next to her on the bed. “Where’s my teddy bear?”

Ryan got up from the chair and walked over to the bed, sitting down and wrapping Jamie in a warm hug. “Right here. I was going over some conjugations. Now that my project is mostly finished, I’ve gotta start breathing French.”

“I’ll speak French at home if that would help. Speaking of home, why aren’t we in our bed?”

“’Cause we’re in Seattle. And it might help if you speak French at home. But you have to talk as if you’re talking to a small, dull-witted child.”

“That’s how I think of you.” Jamie smiled sweetly and winced when Ryan pinched her.

“I’ve got to go to breakfast soon. Want me to bring you something?”

“Nah. I saw some decent looking places when we came in last night. I’m gonna poke around Seattle and then come to your game.”

“Baby, you don’t have to come. You’ve seen enough softball for three lifetimes. Why not go shopping or do something fun?”

“Hmm ... I’ve never been to Pike’s Place. I’d like to see them throw fish.”

“Then do that. Go there and hang out and check out Puget Sound. It’s really beautiful!”

“I’ll see. If I miss you, I’ll come to the game; If not, I’ll wander around.”

“Cool. Just be at the softball field at the end of the game to catch the bus.”

“I think I’ll just take a cab to the airport. I don’t wanna have to rush.”

“Okay. The flight’s at 4:15. Alaska Airlines.”

“I won’t miss it. And don’t worry about me, okay? I have years of experience in getting to airports on time.”

Ryan kissed her, lingering for a few moments. “Have fun. That’s your job today.”

“Yes, ma’am. And your job is to have fun and play well.”

“If I play.”

“I always assume your coach will figure out a way to use extra players. He’s smart.”


Fifteen minutes before their flight was scheduled to depart, Ryan was standing at the gate, scanning the crowd. She let out an audible sigh of relief when Jamie came rounding a corner, her cheeks flushed and a charming grin on her face.

“Told ya I’d make it,” she panted.

“Barely! What took ya?”

“I’ve been shopping. You know I lose track of time.” Jamie held up the shopping bags that filled her hands. “I bought you stuff!”

“Oh, boy!” Ryan said, her lack of enthusiasm apparent. “New clothes?”

“Yep. If you’re dressing up to please me, I might as well choose your stuff.”

Ryan took her hand to board the plane. “There’s a certain logic to your actions. It eludes me, but I know it’s there.”


They arrived at their hotel at 7:30 p.m. Jamie got their room key while the rest of the team was standing in the lobby waiting for the student manager to get everything sorted out. They slid away from the group and got on the elevator before anyone saw them.

“I hate to admit how nice it is to be able to just check in and get out of that crowd,” Ryan said. “I don’t even mind having to pay for a separate room ... which is remarkable in itself!”

Jamie put an arm around her and hugged her. “You’re so cute.”

Giving her the hesitant smile she always showed when she wanted Jamie to elaborate on a compliment, Ryan said, “Cute? Why?”

“I was just looking at you downstairs. Everybody else had on warm-ups or sweats or jeans and T-shirts. You, however,” she snuck her fingers into the placket of Ryan’s neatly ironed pink and white checked shirt, “look like you thought about what you put on today. You look put together.”

“I want to look like I belong with you.” She auspiciously eyed her partner. “You look fantastic. Heck, you’ve even managed to wear clothes that don’t show you’ve got a broken arm! I don’t know how you do that.”

They reached their floor and made the short walk to their room. “Ooo ... right by the ice maker,” Ryan said, chuckling. “They must have saved a special room just for us.”

“Wanna move? Just say the word.”

“No. I don’t care about that. I don’t hear anything when I sleep with you. It’s just when I’m alone that I hear every cockroach.”

Eww! Did you have to say that? Now I’m gonna be itching!”

Ryan dropped her bag and wrapped Jamie in an enthusiastic, unexpected hug. “I’ll scratch you. Anyplace you want.”

Jamie stood on her tiptoes and kissed her. “I’ll consider your offer. Hungry?”

“Yep. And if we hurry, we can make our reservations.”

Smiling with delight, Jamie looked up at her. “Reservations? What kinda reservations?”

“Restaurant reservations. What else?”

Jamie gaped at her lover. “You know how to make restaurant reservations?”

“Ha. Ha. Wash your hands, put on your lip gloss, and get your bag. We’re going out.”

“Is it my birthday?” Jamie asked, tapping her chin with her finger.

“No, but it’s gonna be the day we go to bed without dinner if you don’t shake a leg!”


Ryan knew the absolute best way to make dinner reservations: she’d called Catherine and asked her where Jamie might like to go. Always happy to lend a hand, Catherine had called a friend in LA to ask what was new and notable. She’d made the reservations, dropping her friend’s name to make sure a good table would await the girls.

Jamie was amazed when their cab dropped them in West Hollywood at a lovely, obviously wildly popular restaurant. She’d never heard of it, but it seemed that everyone in Los Angeles had—and they’d all decided to eat there that very night.

With the nearly regal bearing that Ryan could summon when she needed to, she led the way through the crowd milling about on the sidewalk, smoking. Jamie smiled up at her as Ryan confidently approached the host and said, “O’Flaherty. Party of two. Eight o’clock.”

He gave her a quick glance to see if she was anyone, then looked at his book. There were two red stars by her name, indicating she should be seated quickly and well. He was a bit surprised, because she didn’t dress like a well-connected Angelino, but the reservations staff only gave a guest two stars if they were very well-connected. “It may take a moment, but I’ll have your table ready as soon as possible,” he said, giving her a generous smile. “May I get you a drink while you wait?”

“Not for me. Jamie?”

Stunned at the treatment her lover was receiving, Jamie managed to shake her head. “I’ll wait until we’re seated.”

“Very good,” the man said, looking at her as if she’d made the perfect decision.

Their table was ready in just a few minutes, and, rather than handing them off to one of the lovely young women dressed in simple black dresses who were his assistants, the host escorted them himself.

He held their chairs out for each of them and said, “Your server will be with you in a moment. Please enjoy yourselves, and let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.”

“I will,” Ryan said, acting like she was catered to at every meal she ate.

Before Jamie had time to ask what magic she’d used to make the host grovel, a young woman arrived, bearing two glasses of champagne on a tray. “Hi, I’m Geneva, your server. I’ve brought you a little starter. Do you like champagne?”

“Yes,” Ryan said, and Jamie nodded her assent.

“Great.” She set down the glasses and handed them menus. “I’ll let you study the menu for a minute, then I’ll come back and confuse you by describing all of the specials we have.” She leaned over and said conspiratorially, “If you like beef, don’t bother looking at the menu. I have a special you’ll kill for.”

Ryan closed the menu and smiled up at the woman. “I trust you,” she said, showing her even teeth.

“I’ll be back,” Geneva said.

Jamie picked up her glass and held it aloft. Ryan mimicked her and touched the rim of her glass to Jamie’s. “Here’s to you, Ms. O’Flaherty. I don’t know what you did to have these people treat you like a super-model, but I’m lovin’ it!”


Sharing bites of her peeky-toe crab appetizer with Ryan, Jamie said, “Remember the last time we were in L.A.?”

“Wish I didn’t, but, yes, I do. Why? Do you want another broken chair to add to your collection?” Ryan smiled wryly, but Jamie could tell she didn’t mind talking about it.

“No, I think one is enough. But I was just thinking ...” She put her fork to Ryan’s lips, watching her pull the bite in with the tip of her tongue. “That’s only been about a month, but you seem so much better. It amazes me.”

“Thanks,” Ryan said, smiling confidently. “I feel better. I was just telling Ellen that yesterday.”

Jamie sipped the delicate white Bordeaux that the sommelier had recommended. “Fabulous wine,” she said. “Sip?”

“Sure.” Ryan let Jamie lift the glass to her lips, managing to keep the wine on her tongue. “That is good. Mine’s good too.”

“That’s a good cabernet. I thought you’d like it.” She took another bite of her appetizer and chewed thoughtfully. “Why do you think you’ve made so much progress so quickly?”

“Quickly? It’s almost May! You call this quick?”

“Yes I do, given that just a month ago you were so down.”

Ryan sipped at her wine, letting the warm, cherry-tinged liquid slide down her throat and warm her from within. “I’m not sure why I feel better, but I sure do. It’s kinda like I finally stopped fighting it and cut myself a break.” She looked at Jamie, clearly puzzled. “I have no idea why that helped, but it did.”

“It’s hard to feel better when you’re angry with yourself. If you’re not on your side, who is?”

“Yeah, I guess that’s true. I feel like I just stopped being so harsh with myself. It was all kinda unconscious, though. I didn’t do much work.” She held up her hands, looking rather amazed.

“Sometimes that’s the best thing to do,” Jamie said. “Stop trying so hard.”

“That makes no sense,” Ryan said, smiling. “Hard work is always the answer.”

“That’s where you’re wrong, sweet cheeks. Sometimes the best thing to do is slow down and let yourself heal. Just stay out of the way.” She held up her arm. “I wouldn’t be healing well if I took off my splint and made myself use my arm as usual.”

“No, I don’t think that experiment would last very long. Maybe ... two minutes.”

“Right. It’d never work. I think some emotional wounds are like that. You can’t rush them. They heal at their own pace, and being angry at yourself for not healing fast enough doesn’t do a thing for you. It just makes you depressed.”

“Been there. Didn’t like it.”

“I didn’t like it either. But sometimes you have to go through those periods. There’s not a heck of a lot you can do to get through them, either. You just have to ride them out.”

Ryan made a face that had Jamie laughing. “But I don’t like to wait,” she said, sounding like a child. “I have no patience.”

“Yes, you do. And I think it’s being patient that has helped you feel better.”

“Maybe,” Ryan said, taking another sip of her wine. “Let’s make a deal that we don’t have any more big traumatic events, then we won’t have to test your hypothesis.”

“It’s a deal, buddy.” Jamie raised her glass and Ryan touched the rim with her own.

“To boring, routine lives.”

“Life with you will never be boring, Stretch. But no matter what happens to us, we can get through it together. That’s the important part.”

“To togetherness,” Ryan said, smiling broadly. “The important part.”


The End

Book 13: Monogamy

Visit Author's Page

Return to the Academy