A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by Littlespit

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
By Littlespit

It was the middle of June and Darlene Beacon was in her front yard playing “bite the water” games with her dog, Sam. Darlene would chase the little mutt with the water from the hose then Sam would turn and take a bite at the stream then bark excitedly. It was game that they both enjoyed and one that cooled them both down on the hot summer afternoon. As they played their game, Darlene was so absorbed in playing with the pooch that she didn’t notice Teri, her neighbor across the street as she struggled to carry her six month old daughter, as well as the mountain of stuff that goes along with a baby, out to her classic VW Bug.

“Ok, pumpkin, let’s go see Doctor Jessie,” Teri said to her daughter, Lucy. When she reached the passenger side of the car, Teri dropped the diaper bag and her purse on the ground and struggled to keep a hold of Lucy who had spied Sam across the street and was doing her bouncy “I want to go play” thing in her mother’s arms.

Struggling to maintain her hold on a wiggling, bouncing baby Teri said, “Honey, we have to go now, I’ll take you over later to play with Sam.” She wasn’t sure how much of the logic her six month old understood, but she found herself explaining things to her anyway.

Lucy squealed her desire to play with the dog…and its tall owner.

“Later, Luc,” Teri said again as she buckled the little girl into her baby seat. She picked up the diaper bag and her purse and put them on the floor board of the passenger seat then went around to sit in the driver’s seat. Teri inserted her key in the car’s ignition, turned it and….nothing. Sighing, Teri tried to turn the key again and yet again, the little car had no reaction. Teri exited her car, turned around and faced Darlene’s yard then let out a very loud, very frustrated yell. “Aaaaaa!”

Darlene heard the frustrated exclamation and turned to face Teri’s side of the street. “What’s wrong, Teri?”

“You said if I ever needed help on this old Bug to give you a holler!” Teri said exasperation coloring her tone. “It won’t start, no click, no nothing. I have to get Lucy to her pediatrician for a check up and..” Teri dropped her voice to a whisper, “S. h. o. t. s. I’m pushing it for time.”

Darlene glanced up and down the street to make sure no traffic was coming then jogged over to Teri. Once she reached the smaller blonde woman she gave her a quick consoling hug, “C’mon little one, I’ll give you a ride wherever you need to go then later I’ll look at the car and see what it needs.” As she spoke, Darlene made her way to the passenger side of the car and reached in with her long arm to unhook the baby seat. She pulled the baby seat out baby and all and brought Lucy’s face close to her own. “Hey little Lucy! How’s my favorite squirt today?”

Lucy let out a high pitched squeal and gave Darlene a huge smile. “Da!”

Teri laughed as she watched the tall brunette interact with her tiny daughter. She and Darlene had become good friends after Teri moved into the neighborhood four months previous. Lucy loved the tall beautiful woman and adored playing with her scrappy mutt.

Darlene had been the only neighbor to come over with an offer of help when she had moved into the house. The tall, strong, beautiful woman had pitched in without a qualm and, between the two of them; they had the house in order in no time at all. Teri had watched as Darlene took a tiny Lucy into the nursery and set her in the bouncy seat then proceeded to explain every move she made as she put the baby’s crib together. She explained the importance of double checking how tight the screws were turned; she would hold up each piece or part and tell the tiny girl what it was and what it did. She had, unknowingly, won Teri’s heart that day.

In the four months since that day the women had shared time together but for some reason had never shared their views on dating or their love lives. Teri didn’t know if Darlene dated and if she had, she didn’t know who she dated. She secretly hoped that Darlene shared her side of the fence because she harbored a deep affection and attraction for the tall, dark, blue-eyed woman.

As Darlene walked across the street she looked back to Teri, “I’ll strap Miss Lucy in the car if you’ll put Sam in the back yard for me.”

“Um, sure, thanks Dar.” answered Teri after a moment’s delay. She had lagged behind and had let herself check out Darlene’s back side as she strode across the street. ‘oh, I hope she didn’t notice where my eyes were!’ Teri thought.

‘Was she checking out my ass?’ Darlene wondered. ‘I could swear her eyes were glued to my gluts just then…interesting.’ Darlene allowed a wide smile to cover her face and brought the baby close so she could whisper, “I think your Mommy was checkin’ me out little one. Think I should do some investigating to see if she’s interested?”

“Ga!” Lucy chirped as if she understood perfectly.

“I think so too, baby girl,” Darlene agreed quietly. As she buckled the baby seat into the back of her Navigator she continued, “I think your Mommy’s the prettiest woman around. She makes my palms sweat.”

The baby made loud wet raspberry sounds.

“Oh yes she does, baby girl, don’t you try to tell me otherwise!” laughed Darlene.

“Are you two having a private conversation or can anyone join in?” asked Teri from behind Darlene.

“We were having a private chat, but we’re done now.” Darlene leaned in and placed a kiss on the baby’s forehead, “aren’t we sweet pea?”

Standing up to her full height, Darlene closed the back door and then opened the front passenger door. With a wink and a bow she said, “Your carriage awaits, beautiful woman.”

Teri smiled and wondered, ‘Is she flirting?’ “Thank you, gallant madam.” She replied and went up on tip toes to place a quick kiss on her companion’s cheek.

Darlene walked to the driver’s side of the car and got in. She looked over to Teri then palmed the spot on her cheek and smiled. “If opening your car door will get me a kiss, remind me to open all your doors for you.”

“Who said you had to open a door to get a kiss?” Teri asked with a grin.

Darlene’s brow disappeared into her bangs before she said, “I didn’t know you were so free with your kisses.”

Teri’s eyes met Darlene’s, “I’m not. I am very, very selective in my choice of those who share my kisses.”

Maintaining eye contact with Teri, Darlene husked, “That’s good to know.”

“We need to get this one to her appointment.” Teri reminded as she pointed to her baby girl.

With a smirk Darlene said, “Ah that’s right, the princess has a needle with her name on it.”

“Don’t remind me!” exclaimed Teri.

“Is she very bad about it?” Darlene asked as she pulled the SUV out of the driveway.

“Oh, I can’t say she’s bad about it. I think I get more upset about it and she feels that from me so it just makes it all worse. Then she cries and I cry. It turns into a vicious circle.”

“Are you afraid of getting shots?” Darlene asked.

“I’m terrified of it!”

“What if I hold her this time?” Darlene offered, “I can’t guarantee that she’ll be any better about it but it might make it easier on her Mommy.”

Teri reached across the seats and squeezed Darlene’s arm, “You’d be willing to do that? I think that would be a good idea.”

Darlene took the hand that Teri had placed on her arm and brought it to her lips kissing it lightly. “There isn’t much I wouldn’t do for you. For either of you.”

Teri felt a light sheen of tears in her eyes, “The same goes for me, Dar. You’ve become very important, very special to me.”

Darlene nodded, afraid to speak around the lump that had formed in her throat.

****

When the threesome reached the pediatrician’s office, Darlene hopped out and quickly made her way to the passenger side. She was quick enough to be able to open Teri’s door for her and help her out of the large vehicle. After assisting Teri, Darlene turned and opened the back door then released Lucy from her car seat and lifted her to lie in one arm. She then reached in to retrieve the Winnie the Pooh diaper bag and Teri’s purse. As she turned to Teri, she adopted the most pathetic facial expression then said, “May I carry the princess, please?”

Teri shook her head and smiled then reached out and took the bags from Darlene’s hands. “She has you wrapped around her tiny finger.”

A smile brightened the face of the brunette, “Yep, and she’s not the only one.”

Teri simply smiled and led the trio into the doctor’s office. As they entered the bright waiting room Teri made her way to the receptionist area and signed in on the sheet. “Hi Blaine,” she greeted the receptionist, “How’s the family?”

“Teri! Hi!” smiled Blaine, “Oh they’re all great. The boys are growing like weeds and Bob just got a nice promotion at work.”

“That’s wonderful news, congratulate him for me.”

“I’ll do that.” Blaine nodded before she craned her neck around the frosted glass window, “Where’s Lucy?” She asked just before she spied Lucy in the arms of a drop dead gorgeous woman. Blaine sat back in her chair and fanned herself with a file folder, “oh my!” she exclaimed.

“Breathtaking, isn’t she?” Teri smiled.

“She could make me play on your side of the fence!” laughed Blaine.

Teri leaned into the reception window, “Oh no you won’t. I’ve got my eye on that one…and I think she’s got her eye on me too…so you stay on your side missy!”

Blaine raised her hands in defense, “Yes, Ma’am. You are gonna have your hands full with that one, I think” she said with a conspiratorial wink.

Teri smiled, “I can only hope.” At that moment Teri heard Lucy begin to cry. She looked over to see Darlene hold the infant close, cuddling her and cooing to her. She watched as Darlene checked every inch of the Baby’s body. She watched as long, dexterous fingers unsnapped the baby’s outfit and carefully pulled her diaper away to check.

After only a moment she saw a look of mild disgust come over Darlene’s face. She heard Darlene say, “Whew, Baby girl you’ve got a toxic waste dump in here!” Just as she began to go retrieve her child to give her a change she saw Darlene reach over and into the diaper bag to pick out a clean diaper, baby wipes, powder and changing pad.

“Hey, I’ll do that.” Teri interrupted Darlene’s mission.

Darlene simply continued with what she was doing. She placed the changing pad on the seat beside her and carefully placed Lucy on it. “I’ve got it. We’re bonding here.”

Teri smiled, “You two bonded the day you had her ‘help’ you put her crib together.”

Darlene blushed, “You were supposed to be unpacking in your room.”

Teri walked over and gathered Darlene’s long black hair into a makeshift ponytail, knowing it would be pulled by a curious Lucy. She bent down close to Darlene’s ear and said, “I kept hearing talking and couldn’t resist going to see who you were talking to. You won my heart that day, sitting on the floor showing my precious daughter the ins and outs of crib construction.”

Darlene swallowed hard. She was being overwhelmed by two very diverse things. Her heart was besieged by what Teri had just said and her nose was plagued by the diaper she was in the midst of changing. “Do you think you could have picked a less romantic time to tell me this?” Darlene asked as she cleaned the tiny bottom.

“Nope, this was the right moment. You came to my rescue, carried me and my daughter to where we needed to be then you willingly subjected yourself to a dirty diaper. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Darlene held up the folded up dirty diaper, “Want to keep this for the scrap book?”

Teri smiled while she scrunched up her face, “Oh, gross, let’s not go that far!”

Darlene laughed, “Well, then can you find a place to throw this out?!”

Teri took the smelly bundle and threw it in the diaper genie in the corner of the waiting room while Darlene finished powdering and diapering the baby. After snapping up Lucy’s outfit, Darlene lifted the baby up to her face and took a deep whiff. “Mmmm, all nice and fresh, princess.” She then placed a kiss on the baby’s tummy making Lucy giggle with delight.

Teri walked back over to Darlene and ran her fingers through her hair, “Thanks, Dar.”

“Any time, Ter.”

At that moment, Blaire let Teri know that the doctor was ready to see Lucy. When Darlene held Lucy out to Teri, Teri said, “You bring her, big guy.” She saw an immediate smile brighten the beautiful woman’s face and watched as she unfolded her long body to follow along into the examining room.

After a thorough check up, the doctor pronounced that Lucy was a fine healthy baby. She said that she could feel some new teeth starting to come out and reminded Teri about what to do when the baby got fussy over it. Darlene asked the doctor if she had any objections to the baby receiving oriental medicine treatments including mild herbs to help her get through the teething and the doctor replied that she had no problem with it at all. She said she’d rather have her patients use a more natural approach to healing when it was possible. Darlene nodded then looked over at Teri and asked her if she would allow Lucy to be treated with an alternative method. Teri, knowing that Darlene was a doctor of Oriental medicine, said she would trust Darlene implicitly with Lucy’s care.

The doctor looked at her watch and regretfully reminded, “It’s time for little Miss Lucy to get her shot.”

Darlene looked over at Teri and softly asked, “Do you want to wait outside while I help with this?” The doctor smiled at this suggestion, knowing how needle phobic the baby’s Mommy was. Each time it had been time for Lucy to get a shot, Teri was the one that needed comforting.

“I feel like I should stay.” Teri answered.

“What will do more good for Lucy?” Darlene asked softly, “If you stay, can you keep from scaring her with your own fear?”

“Probably not. You’re right.” Teri said before leaning over to place a kiss on Lucy’s head. “Be good for Dar, baby girl. I’ll be right outside.”

While in the hall, Teri waited for Lucy to start crying. After only a few minutes, the door to the exam room opened and out walked Darlene with Lucy wrapped in her arms. Lucy had huge tears in her eyes but was staring intently into Darlene’s face as Darlene talked to her softly. Darlene was telling the baby what a good and brave girl she had been, telling her what a pretty baby she was, talking in soft sing song tones to keep the baby’s attention. Teri witnessed Darlene’s long fingers as they gently wiped the tears from Lucy’s eyes and felt tears spring into her own eyes as Darlene kissed each baby soft cheek. Teri fell into step beside the tall woman and wrapped one arm around her waist while sliding the other hand over her daughter’s tummy, rubbing in circles to add her soothing touch.

Once assured that Lucy’s tears were over, Darlene looked at Teri. “Ready to go? Do you need to stop for anything on the way home?”

“I’m ready and no, we can just head on back.” Teri answered.

Once they were back in the car and on their way back to their neighborhood, Darlene looked over at Teri. “Can I take you out to dinner tonight?”

Teri’s heart sank, “Oh, Dar, I’d love that but I have to work tonight. One of the regular trainers is out sick and I can’t find anyone to fill in…so I’m it.” She reached over and took Darlene’s hand, “How about if I cook you dinner tomorrow night?”

“It’s a date.” Darlene smiled.

“Yes, it is.” Teri smiled in return.

“Teri?”

“Yes?”

“How are you going to get to the club tonight?”

“Oh shit.” Teri groaned.

Darlene laughed, “If you can reach the pedals, just take this. I won’t be going anywhere.”

****

Later that evening, after Teri had borrowed Darlene’s vehicle and gone off to work, Darlene sat at her computer. She updated patient files and did some research for her upcoming appointments and did general book keeping tasks that always seemed to be necessary. As she worked her mind kept drifting to daydreams of her beautiful neighbor. She realized that she had become attracted to the young mother soon after she had moved in. She had fallen in love with little Lucy the moment she laid eyes on her. As she thought about the pair, Darlene’s face broke into a smile as bright as the sun.

About an hour after sitting down at her computer, Darlene heard her doorbell ring. When she answered it she found Lisa, one of the neighborhood teenagers and Lucy’s regular baby sitter, on the doorstep with a sobbing Lucy in her arms. Lisa was almost as tearful as little Lucy.

“Dr. Dar, I’m watching Lucy and my Mom just called. My grandpa had a heart attack and I have to get home so we can fly up there.” Lisa took a steadying breath, “Teri said that if I needed anything or if an emergency happened that I should call you.”

Darlene wrapped the crying teenager in her arms and gave her a reassuring hug. “Hey, sweetie, you’ve done the right thing. Here, give me Lucy and we’ll walk you over to your house.”

Darlene took the crying Lucy into her arms and cooed to her. She tucked the baby into the crook of her neck and rubbed her back while rocking her. Within a few minutes Lucy’s tears stopped and she snuggled into Darlene’s neck with a sigh. Darlene wrapped her free arm around the teenager’s shoulder and walked her home.

After greeting Lisa’s mother and conveying her hopes for her father’s speedy recovery, Darlene assured the family that she would watch out for the house while they were away. She said she’d make sure that the mail and newspapers were taken in and that she would feed Puffball, their beloved cat. Lisa’s parents thanked Darlene profusely saying that it was a huge load off of their minds to know that Darlene would be taking care of things for them and they gave her a key to get into the house. After a final wish for health, Darlene turned and walked back to Teri’s house.

Once inside Teri’s house, Darlene spied a note that Teri had written for Lisa giving feeding instructions (Do not microwave the breast milk!) and emergency contact numbers. Darlene’s smile brightened when she saw the notation: “Emergency Contact: Dr. Darlene Beacon. And written at the very bottom of the page was: “If you can’t get Lucy settled, or if you have any questions just call or go to Dr. Dar’s house. She’ll know what to do…I trust her with everything.”

Darlene turned her head and placed a kiss on Lucy’s head, “Hey Lucy girl, your Mommy says she trusts me with everything.” At that point Lucy started to whimper then broke into a full-blown cry again. Darlene tried cooing to her, singing to her, and rocking her. Nothing seemed to soothe the little girl. She checked her diaper, which was dry and clean. She finally bought a clue and re-read the list of instructions only to see that it was way past time for Lucy’s feeding. “No wonder you’re cranky, love bug, you’re tummy’s empty.”

Darlene heated a bottle and fed it to the hungry baby then decided to go watch some Television until Lucy dropped off to sleep. She made herself comfortable on the sofa, put the sleepy baby on her chest and settled in to watch Witchblade. After only a few minutes Lucy began to be restless and whimper. Darlene tried to calm the little girl, she tried to do some gentle pediatric Tui Na massage techniques which usually calmed a baby down quickly, all to no avail. As she looked down at little Lucy the baby opened her mouth and spewed. She didn’t just have a bit of spit up, no, she lost everything she’d eaten for dinner and then some. The baby puke went all over the front of Darlene and all over the front of Lucy’s sleeper, and all into Darlene’s long dark hair. Darlene fought against the urge to jump up from the couch and made herself calmly rise. She looked down at her soiled clothes and at Lucy’s ruined jammies and decided on a plan of action.

****

When Teri arrived home she noticed a note on her entryway table:

Teri,

Lisa had an emergency so I took over with Lucy. The princess’s dinner didn’t sit well and I have been baptized in princess puke! I’ve taken Lucy to my place so that we can shower and change. You can either come on over or we’ll come back when we’re done.

I missed you tonight…

Love,

D

Teri was out the door and across the street as soon as she finished reading the note. Once at Darlene’s door she paused for a moment then walked on in. Darlene’s house had the same layout as her own rented house so she knew exactly where Darlene’s bedroom and bathroom were. She hadn’t truly considered what she was doing; she simply saw that her baby had been sick so instinct overrode propriety. Teri walked through Darlene’s bedroom and into her bathroom whereupon she stopped dead in her tracks. There in the shower stood a goddess holding and singing to her child. The impact of the sight actually made her knees go weak and she plopped herself down on the toilet seat to gain her balance. After only a brief rest Tina allowed her eyes to truly study the form before her and she felt the attraction and desire that had been brewing for the past four months fire to life.

Darlene was so intent on playing with the wet baby in her arms that she missed Teri’s stunned entrance. Lucy’s sudden up chucking seemed to be a one-time thing and the baby was now happily snuggled under the shower with her favorite giant. As the tall woman rocked the little girl she asked, “How am I supposed to wash my hair with you in my arms, hmmm?”

“Maybe I can help with that” came a soft voice from behind Darlene as she felt two small hands slide to surround both her and the baby. She felt a hard body against her back, a soft kiss on her shoulder and she completely forgot how to breathe.

“God, Teri,” Darlene groaned. “Do you know how often I’ve fantasized just this?”

“Probably as many times as I have.” Teri replied as she licked the back of Darlene’s neck.

Darlene groaned, “Teri, we haven’t even been out on a date.”

Teri licked another path, “Do you require a date? I’ve known for months that I want you. I’ve known for months that I was in love with you. We’re already best friends…”

Darlene looked over her shoulder and into green passion filled eyes. “Stay right there…I’ll be back in a moment.” With that she stepped out the front of the shower carrying a squeaky clean baby with her. She walked, dripping wet through the bathroom and back into the bedroom where she dried off, diapered and dressed Lucy. The baby’s eyes were all ready closed by the time Darlene gently put her in the spare room surrounded by pillows. After making sure the baby was safe, Darlene returned to the shower.

As she stepped back into the shower stall, Darlene looked to Teri, “No, I do not require a date. I’ve fallen head over heels in love with you…and that little rug rat in there. I’ve loved you as my best friend almost from the moment you drove up in that god awful moving van and I’m tired of watching you from afar.” With that she took the compact blonde into her arms and kissed her with all the pent up passion she had in her.

Once their lips parted, Teri slowly opened her eyes and smiled. She took Darlene’s hands and placed them on either side of the shower. “I’m going to wash your hair, then I’m going to run my soapy hands over every inch of your body, then I’m going to take you into that bed over there and love you until you pass out.”

Darlene groaned long and low.

Teri squeezed a puddle of sage fragrance shampoo into her hands and worked lather into Darlene’s hair. She used her nails to massage and stimulate Darlene’s scalp and neck. She worked the lather all through the long dark locks and then slowly began to move her soapy hands over the tall woman’s shoulders. Teri watched her own hands as they slid down over Darlene’s breasts. She circled each nipple then gently pinched each peak until it stood tall and erect. Darlene moaned and fought the impulse to move her hands from the side of the shower. Every touch of Teri’s hands was driving the tall woman insane with passion.

Teri reached up and pulled the showerhead from its cradle and rinsed the soap from Darlene’s hair and chest then promptly moved forward to capture one of the turgid nipples in her mouth. She suckled, licked and bit first one nipple and then the other until Darlene was in a state of complete arousal. Darlene’s breathing was labored and it took every ounce of strength she had to maintain her hold on the shower walls.

Teri reached for the bar of soap in the holder and lathered her hands up once again. After working up a large mound of lather, she placed her hand low on Darlene’s abdomen and worked her hand in circles. She dipped a finger into her lover’s naval then ran her soapy hand down her lower belly and into thick dark curls. With one hand she spread Darlene’s lower lips so that her soapy hand could slide between and lather up all the sensitive parts.

“God, Teri…” Darlene moaned as she rocked her hips against the soapy hand.

“Mmmm, have to make sure you’re all clean, love.” Teri husked.

Darlene growled as Teri took the hand held showerhead, set it to pulse and proceeded to rinse the suds from her belly. She whimpered when Teri spread the lips of her sex and aimed the pulsing water directly at her clitoris. “Don’t you dare come yet, Dr. Beacon. I want your first come to happen in my mouth.”

“Shit!” Darlene expelled a breath, attempting to stave off the orgasm that had been about to burst forth.

Teri turned off the water and stepped from the shower. She plucked a thick terry towel from the towel rack and motioned for the tall woman to exit the shower. As she dried Darlene’s body she stopped at strategic areas to stimulate and taunt her erogenous zones. Once Darlene was dry, Teri led her into the bedroom and into the bed.

Crawling up to straddle Darlene’s body, Teri let her breasts drag over the tall woman’s abdomen, breasts, and finally she settled with her breast resting against Darlene’s lips. Darlene immediately opened her mount and devoured the flesh before her. She moaned and then gasped in surprise, as she felt then tasted the warm sweet burst of milk that flowed into her mouth. She suckled with renewed passion as she heard Teri moan above her. Her hands slid up the backs of Teri’s thighs and stopped to cup her perfect ass.

Feeling herself begin to lose control, Teri backed up then moved down so that she could kiss the lips that had been so lovingly wrapped around her nipple. Lips met, tongues dueled and passions burned hotter as the two women lost themselves in a kiss that reached beyond time. Finally, Teri broke away from the kiss and looked deeply into Darlene’s eyes. “I love you.”

“I love you, Teri.” Blue eyes promised forever.

With a sexy half grin, Teri moved down the long body. She tasted every inch, sucked every mole, kissed every freckle along the way until she reached the apex of Darlene’s long legs. “Open your legs for me love,” she requested. Darlene immediately spread her legs and bent her knees to give her lover full access. Darlene’s head slammed back against her pillow as she felt Teri’s mouth close over her sex. Her hand automatically went to the back of the blonde’s head and held it in place where she needed it. Teri ran her tongue, first the tip then the flat of it over and around Darlene’s distended clit. She listened for and felt what excited the woman the most. Once she realized what areas were most sensitive she began to focus on those areas in earnest. She licked and stroked and sucked until Darlene was writhing and moaning her name. When Teri felt that Darlene was about to peak, she thrust two fingers into her warm slick center and began a rhythm that sent Darlene over the edge. Teri lapped up the juice that flowed from her lover, savoring every drop. Teri moaned deep in her throat at the musky sweet taste on her tongue.

“Ohhh, baby,” sighed Darlene, “Come up here.”

Teri moved up to lie over Darlene’s body. She savored the sensations of Darlene’s aftershocks. Darlene wrapped her arms tightly around Teri “You’ve completely wiped me out, woman.” she rasped. “Give me a bit of time to recover, and then I’m going to love you until you can’t stand.”

That “bit of time” Darlene asked for ended up being hours as both women drifted off to sleep in one another’s arms. They didn’t rouse until the wee hours of the morning when they were awakened by the cries of a very hungry Lucy. Darlene, always one to awaken quickly, slipped out from beneath Teri and went in to get Lucy. After a much needed diaper change, she carried the baby in to the master bedroom. Teri was propped up on the pillows, rubbing her eyes and trying to get herself awake when her two favorite females came back into the room. The sleepy woman smiled a sleepy smile as Darlene handed the baby to her then slipped in behind them to cradle them in her arms.

As Teri put Lucy to her breast she commented drowsily, “She hasn’t woken me up in the middle of the night in a long time.”

“Well, she lost her supper so it’s understandable that’s she’s hungry sooner than is usual. Maybe with this feeding she’ll sleep later in the morning.” Darlene suggested as she leaned down to kiss Teri’s neck. She ran her hand over Lucy’s head and laid her fingers against her cheek, feeling her suckling motion. “This is so beautiful, baby. Watching you feed her, knowing what the milk you give her tastes like. It’s incredible.”

Teri turned her face and joined her lips with Darlene’s. Darlene tightened the hold she had around Teri and Lucy and put her heart and soul into the passionate kiss. She stroked Teri’s lips with her tongue and kissed her over and over again. Each kiss grew deeper and more intense until both women were gasping for air. They broke apart in reaction to the popping sound that Lucy made as she pulled away from Teri’s breast. Darlene smiled down at the little girl and said, “You’re a little piggy, princess. You won’t even stop suckling when you’ve finished your milk!”

Teri’s eyes sparkled as she looked into crystal blue eyes. “I seem to remember another certain someone who wouldn’t give up my breast without a struggle.”

Darlene chuckled, and as Teri put Lucy over her shoulder and patted the little back to encourage a burp. “So we’re both little piggys.” Darlene commented. After cupping the breast in question she continued, “Who could blame us?”

Lucy let fly a huge burp that made both women laugh. She then made it clear that she was not done with her early morning meal and tucked in heartily when Teri placed her at her second breast. Darlene supported Teri from behind and wrapped her arms around them to hold Lucy against Teri’s breast. Teri was able to completely relax as she fed her daughter and was soon lulled to sleep by the warmth behind her and the special connection to her daughter in front of her.

Once Lucy had finished nursing, Darlene maneuvered Teri so that she was flat on the bed then she took Lucy and burped her once again. As she held and rocked the baby, Darlene’s eyes became heavy and she slipped down to lie beside Teri. Teri automatically turned on her side and snuggled up to Darlene with her head in the crook of her arm. Darlene stayed awake long enough to prop a pillow beside her and wrap one arm around Teri and the other arm held Lucy against her chest. The budding family slept peacefully into the night.

****

Darlene was awakened by a mouth at her breast. The last thing she remembered was falling asleep with Lucy cradled on her chest and her eyes flew open and looked down. Instead of a strawberry blonde baby suckling at her chest she found a strawberry blonde woman suckling her.

“Mmm I was worried that Lucy was going to feel gypped.”

Teri smiled, “No, I already fed her again and she’s back in the other room.”

“I missed it?” Darlene scowled, “I can’t believe I slept through that.”

“You’ll have plenty of opportunities, love.” Teri comforted.

Darlene sighed then a gleam entered her eyes as she looked at the beautiful woman beside her. “I have some unfinished business to attend to this morning.” With that she rolled Teri onto her back and began a thorough exploration of every nook and cranny on her body. She explored with her hand and then with her mouth as she stimulated every nerve in Teri’s body. She gently kissed and suckled Teri’s breasts and then slowly moved down her body until she rested between strong thighs.

Darlene parted blonde furred lips to study the beauty they concealed. As her eyes devoured the pedals and bud of Teri’s sex she felt her mouth water in anticipation. When her heart could wait no longer, she lowered her mouth to the wonders between Teri’s thighs. She feasted upon the nectar flowing freely from Teri’s body. Hearing Teri’s moans and cries incited her to slip her fingers into Teri’s center.

As her fingers picked up the rhythm of Teri’s hips, Darlene’s lips closed over the sensitive tip of Teri’s clitoris and she alternately sucked and stroked with her tongue until she felt Teri’s inner walls grip her fingers and heard Teri cry out her name. As one peak was reached and ebbed, Darlene’s fingers and tongue would work together to coax forth another and another until, finally, Teri begged her to stop.

“Hold me,” Teri croaked out. “Please come up here and hold me.” Darlene moved quickly and wrapped the smaller woman in a tight embrace. She Kissed her lips before reaching to the side table to offer her lover water.

After she downed almost the entire bottle of water, Teri buried herself in Darlene’s arms. “I’ll never walk again. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Each expression of gratitude was accompanied by a soft kiss.

“Loving you is my pleasure.” Darlene assured her.

****

After another round or three of passion, the women dragged themselves out of bed and spent the day playing with Lucy and Sam. At one point they walked together over to Lisa’s house to check on the mail and to feed the cat.

Every task they accomplished was interspersed with kisses and caresses. The two women could neither get enough of one another nor profess their love enough. When Teri sat beside Darlene as she repaired the VW’s faulty starter she couldn’t keep her hands off the curve of Darlene’s ass. Every time Darlene leaned over to reach a tool or to knelt and leaned into the rear-mounted engine she felt Teri’s small hands on her.

Finally, when she had finished working on the small bubble shaped car, Darlene smiled and asked, “So, do we still have a date tonight? I hope so ‘cause I think I might get lucky!”

“Baby, you’ve got a date tonight and every night for the rest of your life.” Teri assured her.

From her bouncy chair Lucy squealed an enthusiastic “Da!” as she gave her whole tiny-hearted seal of approval.
Part 2: Another Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood
Darlene Beacon gently, but firmly palpated a point on her patient’s sore shoulder, “Shawna, is it more tender here…”, she moved her fingers slightly down and to the right and pressed again, “or here?”

Shawna Bascom grunted as the second point was pressed upon, “There, that’s the really tender spot.”

“Good, Ok, Shawna take a deep breath in and let it out” As her patient let out the deep breath, Darlene tapped the end of a hair-thin needle and then removed the guide tube in order to gently insert the acupuncture needle into the sore area. This process was repeated a number of times until Shawna’s shoulder sported what looked like an array of thin stainless steel antennae. Once Darlene had inserted a few additional needles into points on Shawna’s lower legs and arms she allowed her patient to rest and relax while listening to soft music.

Darlene walked to her office and jotted down notes in the patient’s file. Picturing the points she’d used she wrote down a record of each needle location. As she was pondering what other treatment might be helpful the phone rang. She picked up the hand set and answered, “Living Balance, Dr. Dar speaking.”

“Good Morning, gorgeous.” Darlene’s heart sped up at the sound of her lover’s voice.

“Good morning to you, love.” Darlene’s low sexy voice answered.

“Why didn’t you wake me up this morning?” Teri asked.

Darlene’s voice dropped an octave, “I had to be at the clinic at 7:30 to meet my one patient for the day. I thought that since I kept you awake until almost dawn….”

Teri’s sleep deepened voice moaned at the reminder of their previous night’s activities, “All the more reason to wake me, lover, I would have loved to give you a thank you kiss…and more. Last night was…” another low moan, “amazing, Dar. Tonight is my turn.”

“I would love nothing better, Ter, but we’ll have the munchkin back tonight…”

“Honey, Lucy is sleeping through the night now. I’ll be able to have my way with you for long, uninterrupted hours.”

Darlene moaned low in her throat at her lover’s words. “Speaking of my Lucy girl, when is she due home?”

“Oh! That’s one of the reasons I’m calling.” Teri laughed at herself. She’d been so lost in her post coital haze she’d lost track of the purpose of the phone call. “James just called in and he’s sick as a dog so he can’t lead his classes today. Would you be able to go and get Lucy?”

Darlene smiled at the prospect of having little Lucy home again. The 10 month old had spent the past week at Teri’s parent’s house and both women missed the little girl desperately. “Aw Sweetheart, I know how anxious you are to have the baby back. You know I’m chomping at the bit to be able to go get her…but I also know you really want to be the one to pick her up. Isn’t there anyone else that can take over James’ classes for you?”

Teri sighed deeply, “I’ve already called everyone I can think of, tried to call in markers, and there just isn’t anyone.”

“I’m sorry, love.” Darlene consoled, “What time are your folks planning to be at ‘The Springs’?” ‘The Springs’ was a favorite restaurant situated at the halfway point between Teri’s and her parent’s place. It was a two hour drive, without traffic, for both parties and it was a convenient meeting place for the family to get together or, in this instance, for a handoff of the family’s favorite offspring.

“Mom said they’re going to leave their place at 9:00. How will that work for you?” Teri asked.

Darlene looked at her watch, “I’m just getting ready to remove needles from the patent on the table, I’ll give her shoulder some Tui Na after that but I should still be able to be out of here by 9:00.”

Teri sighed in relief. “Thank you, baby; I’ll see you both at home later tonight, then. Call me when you reach ‘The Springs’ and get our girl, ok?”

“I will. I’m sure little miss gabby girl will want to talk to her Mommy on the phone. I just hope I’ll get a word in edgewise!” Both women laughed as they thought about little Lucy’s propensity for grabbing the telephone out of adult hands and proceeding to go into long dissertations in her baby language. Although it was adorable trait, it had been a problem a time or two when Darlene’s patients had called her at home with an emergency. Having to remove globs of baby drool from the phone was yet another disadvantage of the tyke’s new talent.

Darlene pulled into ‘The Springs’ a few minutes past eleven. Darlene was flushed with anticipation as she scanned the parking lot and spotted the late model Cadillac owned by Teri’s parents. Darlene turned toward the entrance of the restaurant with a definite spring to her step. The moment she pulled open the front door, Darlene heard a high pitched squeal followed by, “Mama Da!” Fortunately for everyone involved, Darlene possessed amazing reflexes because the moment Lucy spotted her favorite tall brunette, she launched herself out of her grandfather’s arms and into the air toward Darlene. With her heart pounding in her throat, Darlene rushed forward and caught the baby out of mid air; she swept her up in her arms and kissed her soundly on the cheek before she gently reprimanded the child for her reckless flight. As she held the child of her heart close, she said, “Lucille Samantha Hawkins, don’t you ever jump like that again. If you had fallen and hurt yourself it would kill me, baby.” Lucy backed away from Darlene’s close embrace enough to look into the dark woman’s eyes and with a serious look in her big green baby eyes, she placed both tiny hands on Darlene’s cheeks then sighed, “Da”, and placed her little forehead against Darlene’s lips.

“I swear she was just tellin’ you that she knew you’d catch her!” Sam Hawkins, Lucy’s grandfather, exclaimed.

Darlene glanced from Sam’s eyes to look into Lucy’s eyes, “I’ll always catch her. She owns half my heart.”

Velma Hawkins moved to rub small circles on Darlene’s back, “We know that dear. It does our hearts good to know that you’re there to watch over our girls. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m famished!”

Darlene shifted Lucy to ride her left hip and smiled at Sam, “I see that the apple of my eye didn’t fall far from the tree!”

Sam chuckled, “Nope, when Teri moved away from home I swear our food budget was cut by enough to finance our yearly vacations.” Velma swatted Sam on the behind and made a comment about sleeping on the couch which had Sam trying to backpedal with amazing speed.

Once they were shown to a table, Darlene attempted to put the baby in the high chair the hostess had provided. Lucy refused to let go of Darlene in order to sit in the padded chair. “No! Mama Da, Da, Da…” The baby chanted as she clung to Darlene and buried her little face in the woman’s cleavage. Darlene blushed a bit as she realized what little Lucy wanted; she looked at the child’s grandparents, “Um, if you’ll excuse us for a bit, I’m going to take her into the lounge for a few minutes.” She rose from her seat and carried Lucy into the women’s lounge and settled into one of the comfortable over-stuffed chairs. Once settled, she reached into Lucy’s diaper bag and pulled out the nursing supplimenter she used when feeding Lucy. After Teri and Darlene had become a couple, Darlene had expressed the ache she felt when she watched Teri nurse Lucy. Teri had suggested that they look into finding a way for Darlene to share that special bond. Darlene had taken herbs that promote lactation and had used the nursing supplimenter and now Lucy expected to feed from the breasts of both women. It was a special bond that Darlene treasured.

Darlene draped a blanket over her shoulder that draped down far enough to provide privacy while she held Lucy at her breast. She rocked the 10 month old and gently ran the back of her fingers along the baby soft cheek, “I’ve missed you so much this week little girl. The house was so quiet and empty without you there.” A little hand came up and grabbed Darlene’s larger one. Darlene brought the baby’s fingers up to her lips and kissed each tiny finger. “Yes, little one, I missed you. But you know what, pumpkin? I loved having a week alone with your Mommy. Mmm Hmmm, Yes I did.”

Darlene was so rapt on Lucy that she didn’t hear the door to the lounge swing open. She looked up when she heard the soft clearing of a throat and saw Teri’s mother standing beside her with a gentle smile on her face. “Teri said that you had gone through agony in order to participate in breast feeding. I have to admit, I was curious to find out how this works. Do you mind showing me?”

Darlene’s mouth quirked into a half smile. She pulled the blanket away from herself to show the older woman the reservoir of breast milk that Teri had provided and indicated the small, thin tube that lay against her breast to her nipple. “Although I’m taking lactation inducing herbs and pumping each day, I still don’t produce enough milk for her myself; so, I use this supplimenter so that she gets enough when I’m the one feeding her.”

“What a lucky little girl she is, to have two Mommies that want that bond with her.” Velma sighed. Both women laughed out loud when Lucy pulled away from Darlene’s nipple with a loud pop. Darlene rolled her eyes still chuckling, “I never cease to find her greediness amazing. The first time I witnessed her nursing from Teri she did the same thing. It’s like she’s full, but doesn’t want to give up the breast.”

Velma smiled, “Teri did the same thing. Maybe you have a little lesbian in the making…because none of my other girls did that.”

Darlene chuckled along with Velma, “That would be fine with me. She can be whoever she wants to be as long as she’s a woman of honor and integrity.” Darlene put away the feeding apparatus and checked Lucy’s diaper before she and Velma returned to the dining room. This time, when Darlene moved to put Lucy in the high chair the little girl acquiesced without a whimper. Darlene reached into the diaper bag and pulled out a baby biscuit for Lucy to chew on and put a few toy on the tray to keep the child occupied. Once the lunch orders were taken, Darlene took a deep, calming breath and took a large swallow of her water. “I’m actually glad that Teri was called away today. I have something I wanted to talk to you about.”

The older couple glanced at each other then looked expectantly at the tall beauty. Darlene took another gulp of her water. “I love Teri with all I am and all I ever hope to be. I look in her eyes and know I’m home.” Darlene reached over and took Lucy’s hand then leaned in and kissed it, “This little one has stolen my heart. I couldn’t love her more if she had grown within by body. I want to ask Teri to join with me. I know it isn’t legal to for us to marry, but I want a ceremony where I pledge my life to her…to them. I’d like to legally adopt Lucy and make us a family with as many strings attached as the law will allow.” After taking yet another sip of water she continued, “I know it’s ridiculously old fashioned, but I’d like your blessing before I ask her.”

Teri’s parents sat silently for a moment and then Sam grinned from ear to ear and called the waiter over to their table. “I saw that you have non alcoholic sparkling wine on the menu. We’d like a bottle brought over right away please. my little girl is getting married!”

Darlene smiled to the point that her cheeks ached. As the bubbling grape juice was poured and glasses clinked together little Lucy slapped her hand against her highchair tray and exclaimed, “Da!”

****

Teri was taking a much needed break between classes. She usually only taught two fitness classes a day but with James out sick, she had to teach five classes. Her body’s need for nutrition and water was making itself known. As she bit into her second sandwich, her cell phone rang, “Hewo?” She managed around the bite in her mouth.

A low chuckle met Teri’s ears followed by, “Stoking the furnace, love?”

Still chewing, Teri hummed her reply, “Mmm hmm.”

Darlene pictured her beautiful lover in her work out clothes, sweaty from physical exertion and munching on a sandwich. The picture in her head made her heart swell. It astounded the tall brunette to realize how such a mundane mental picture could set her heart pounding. “God, I love you, Ter.” Darlene sighed into the phone. She heard Teri’s corresponding sigh and continued, “I’ve got little bit and we’re on our way home. How late do you have to teach tonight?”

Teri swallowed the latest bite of sandwich and washed it down with a water chaser. “My last class should be over by 7:00. I wish I could be home when you get there…I miss both of you.”

Darlene chuckled, “Baby, I miss you too.”

Teri said, “You miss me, huh? You just saw me this morning,” she paused and continued in a low, sexy tone, “You saw parts of me that I don’t think even my gynecologist has seen.”

Darlene felt a clench in her lower belly at Teri’s words, “Mmmm and I plan on doing more research in those areas very very soon.”

“It’s my turn next, beautiful.” Teri reminded Darlene.

“Lookin’ forward to it.” Darlene purred before steering the conversation back to more mundane topics. She cleared her throat then asked, “What times are your remaining classes today?”

Teri mentally ran through her schedule, “I have my regular 3:00 class in a few minutes then I have James’s Yoga class at 6:15…after that, I’ll be running home to see my baby…” Teri let her voice drop, “and my baby.”

“Mm, both of your babies are anxious to see you.” Darlene assured her, “Drive safely to get to us. I love you, Teri.”

“I love you too Dar, give Luc a kiss from me, ok?” Teri asked with a lump in her throat from missing her baby girl.

“Aw, Darlin’, I will.” Darlene assured her lover.

After disconnecting from the phone call, Darlene looked in the rear view mirror at Lucy who was fast asleep in her car seat. Darlene checked her watch and realized that she would have plenty of time to pull off the plan she had in mind. She was only a few minutes away from home and that would give her time to stop and pick up what she needed. Darlene pulled into mall not far from Teri’s work. As she pulled Lucy from the car seat, the little girl barely stirred and as Darlene settled the baby against her shoulder, Lucy simply snuggled in close and slipped back into a deep sleep. Darlene smiled at the sweet smelling child and rubbed her warm back as she allowed the loving, protective emotions to flow through her. Darlene made her way through the mall to her intended target but was halted along the way at a window display. Although Darlene was not usually a shopper, she could not pass up the opportunity to purchase what she spied in the store window. As she entered the store she was immediately greeted by a ridiculously cheerful clerk, “Hi! Welcome to the Disney Store, What can I help you with today?”

Darlene swallowed the smart aleck remark that first came to her mind, and simply smiled at the perky sales person, “I’d like that costume in the window in her size, please.” She rubbed Lucy’s back in circles to indicate the ‘her’ she meant.

As the clerk moved to find the costume in the appropriate size she oozed, “Oh! That will be soooo adorable on her! Is this her first Halloween?”

Darlene smirked, “Yup, this is her first and she’d be adorable no matter what she wore.”

“Here you go!” The clerk held the costume up against the sleeping baby’s body to ensure it would be big enough, “That should fit nicely. Can I get anything else for you?”

“No, thank you. Oh, wait, can you put it in a gift box for me?” The clerk acted as if putting the purchase in a gift box was the highlight of her day and swiftly moved to comply. Darlene was already itching to get out of the store. She paid for her purchase and beat feet back into the mall and made a land speed record to her next destination. Once she concluded her business at the second establishment, she carried the still sleeping child out to the Navigator and strapped her back into the car seat. After one more stop at a local catering business, Darlene drove to Teri’s Health Club. While still in the car, Darlene used her cell phone to call the reception desk inside the club. When the receptionist answered the call Darlene asked if Teri was still teaching her 3:00 class.

“Oh, hi Dr. Dar!” The young receptionist whispered conspiratorially, “Yeah, they’re doing the cool down stretches right now…so if you come to the front door, I’ll tell you when you can sneak past.”

“Thanks, Buffy, I appreciate it.” Darlene rolled her eyes at the receptionist’s name. ‘Who would name their kid Buffy?’ she wondered.

Darlene gathered her purchases together. She stacked bag handles up her arms and then reached in to unstrap Lucy from her car seat. This time, however, Lucy woke up from her motion induced nap and whined in protest. “Shhh, baby girl, I’ll get you settled in just a few minutes.” Darlene held the baby close and began to hum a tune into the little ear. The combination of humming and rocking seemed to appease Lucy for the moment and Darlene quickly moved to the front entrance of the club to wait for Buffy’s signal. When she saw the young blond waving frantically at her, Darlene entered the club and made her way to Teri’s office. Once in Teri’s office, Darlene placed Lucy in the wind up swing that the little girl loved hoping that would keep her calm long enough for her to set up the surprise. It was as if little Lucy knew exactly how much time her tall companion needed, because the moment that Darlene set out the last of her arrangements Lucy began to fuss and make the sucking/smacking noises she used to indicate she was ready for a meal. Darlene warmed up the home made baby food she had brought and fed Lucy until the little girl began to shove the spoon away and turn her head at what was offered. As was their custom, Lucy expected to finish up with her favorite part of the meal. Darlene debated about how to handle this particular instance, knowing that Teri would want that special connection with her daughter yet she knew Lucy would send up a loud protest soon if she wasn’t allowed to nurse after her meal.

Teri headed directly for the showers after she finished her 3:00 aerobics class. As she stood beneath the warm spray of water she thought about the hours that remained before she would be able to go home and see her baby girl and her beautiful lover. As her hands ran over her body, washing the perspiration away she realized that she would have to pump her breasts as soon as she got to her office. Tears sprang to her eyes as she felt the ache from missing her child. She had adored her week alone with Darlene, but she was more than ready to have her baby back home. As she dried her body off, Teri allowed herself to remember the free, abandoned loving she had shared with Darlene during the past week. She smiled at the instant rush of desire she felt whenever she thought of the woman she loved. It didn’t seem to matter how often they made love, they always craved one another. It wasn’t sex, it was a deeper connection that neither woman could ever clearly articulate. Love simply wasn’t a strong enough word for what they shared.

With a smile still on her face, Teri walked into her office and stopped dead in her tracks. Her office was aglow in candle light, on the floor in front of the couch a picnic was spread out, complete with gifts and flowers. All of this was enough to take Teri’s breath away, but what made her knees actually buckle was the sight of her lover sitting on the floor, shirt open and breasts bared, rocking and nursing her daughter. Tears flowed from Teri’s eyes as she rushed to embrace her family. No words were spoken as Darlene leaned over and kissed Teri’s lips. Darlene brought her feet up close to her body so that her knees and lap supported Lucy as she reached over and lifted Teri’s shirt and bra from her body in one continuous move. As soon as Teri’s torso was bared, Darlene detached Lucy from her own breast and placed the drowsy baby against her mother’s breast. Lucy fussed at being removed from Darlene but as soon as she saw her Mommy, a huge smile covered her bow lips and she sleepily pronounced, “Mama!” before latching on to Teri’s breast with great gusto.

Darlene moved Teri and their precious bundle so that they were seated between her long legs, she wrapped her arms around both of them and whispered, “Surprise.” She could feel Teri’s body shaking with sobs and she wrapped her arms more securely around her two favorite females. Teri’s voice got stuck behind the lump in her throat as she whispered, “thank you, thank you, thank you.” Once she had her emotions under tentative control, Teri looked back at Darlene, “Do you have any idea how much I love you? You knew how badly I needed to see her…and you did this beautiful thing.” Tears once again choked her voice, “When I walked in and saw you there, feeding our child, I thought I might die from the wonder of it.” A puzzled expression furrowed Teri’s brow, “You weren’t using the supplimenter, are you…”

Darlene shifted her lover so that she could look her more fully in the face, “No, I’m still not producing enough milk to satisfy her. I didn’t want her to get loud and tip off the surprise or get full before you got here. I wanted you to be able to have this with her as soon as possible, so I was basically a pacifier until you arrived.”

Teri kissed her partner long and passionately, “Thank you. I needed to see her.” She then moved her eyes to the feast that was before them. “What’s all this?”

“Mmmm, I figured we could have a light dinner together before your last class…and then I thought we’d all go home together when you’re finished. You like the plan?” Darlene’s brow quirked.

“I love the plan. I love you. I love….this.” Teri snuggled back into Darlene and held Lucy just a bit tighter against herself. At that point, Lucy disengaged with her customary ‘pop’ and snuggled deeper into her Mother’s arms. Once Lucy was deeply asleep, Darlene gently moved her onto a soft blanket beside the picnic blanket and then proceeded to reach for the finger foods spread out before them. The women took their time and fed one another, nibbling as much on one another’s fingers and lips and they did on the food. Though their hunger for food was sated, their hunger for one another burned bright. Darlene broke away from the passionate kiss she shared with Teri and in a breathless voice said, “Baby, we don’t have time to finish…this…here…now.” She cleared her throat and continued on, “Besides, you have gifts to open.”

Teri took in great gasps of air in an attempt to calm her raging libido. “Mmm, I love gifts!” She took the box with the Disney logo from Darlene’s hands and opened it. As she peeled back the tissue paper, she laughed out loud as she pulled the adorable Piglet costume from the box. “Oh, Honey, she is going to look so cute in this! Thank you.” Darlene received yet another heart-felt kiss.

“Here, sit up on the couch for a moment, ok?” Darlene requested. Teri scooted up so that she was sitting on the couch, but Darlene remained on the floor. Darlene changed positions so that she was kneeling beside Teri. She looked into Teri’s eyes, “That was the fun present. This next one…well…it comes with strings attached.” She reached under the sofa and pulled out two small velvet covered boxes. Darlene handed one of the boxes to Teri, “Teri, I love you with my whole heart, my soul found its home when you moved in across the street. I want to spend the rest of my life loving you…and loving Lucy. Teri, will you please be my love, my partner, my wife?” She popped open the box in her hand and showed Teri the stunning ring it contained. Teri slid off of the couch to kneel beside Darlene.

“Yes” kiss, “Yes,” kiss, “Yes,” kiss. Teri’s hand shook as she reached out to stroke the diamond and emerald ring that sparkled at her. She looked into Darlene’s eyes and held out her left hand so that Darlene could slip the ring onto her finger. About a thousand kisses later, Darlene backed away and indicated that Teri should open the other velvet box. Inside the box was a miniature version of Teri’s ring, as well as a chain. “I thought both my girls should have engagement rings, since I’m marrying both of you. She can wear hers on the chain once she’s older.” Teri’s tears blurred her vision as she pulled her tall lover in for a loving embrace.

Teri backed away after a time and slapped Darlene on the arm, “You would do this now, when I have another class to teach.” She shook her finger at her lover, “I have something for you too. Stay right there.” Teri rose from the floor, stepped carefully over her sleeping daughter and walked to her office safe. After she opened the safe, she pulled out a fat legal sized envelope as well as another item. She returned to Darlene’s side and mimics Darlene’s earlier request, “Here, sit up on the couch for a moment, ok?” Darlene’s face brightened with a half smile as she complied. Teri knelt in front of Darlene, “I knew the moment I saw you putting that crib together while talking to my daughter that you were the other half of my soul. I started to fall in love with you that day and I’ve been falling ever since. Every time I look at you, every time I think about you, every breath I take I fall deeper into love with you.” Teri opened the small velvet covered box she had pulled from the safe, “I’ve agreed to be your love, your partner, your wife…Darlene Elizabeth Beacon, will you be my love, my partner, my wife…” Teri pulled out the contents of the envelope and placed the legal documents in Darlene’s hands, “And Lucy would like to know if you’ll please be her Mama Da forever?”

Darlene attempted to swallow the lump of emotion in her throat and tried to blink away the tears that were blurring her vision. The papers she held in her hand were all legal documents that needed to be signed, the heading at the top of the first set read ‘Petition for Adoption’, the next set were ‘Durable Power of Attorney’, ‘Medical Durable Power of Attorney’, and ‘Last Will and Testament.’ Darlene’s gaze moved to the jewelry box Teri held in her hand. Two rings lay nestled in the midnight blue velvet. The first ring was a wide channel set diamond ring, the second was a signet style ring set with a lapis lazuli stone. Darlene looked up at Teri with a question in her eyes.

Teri took the diamond ring and placed it over the tip of Darlene’s left ring finger. Before slipping the ring down she said, “You haven’t given my an answer, baby…”

“Oh!” Darlene rushed to reply, “Yes! The answer will always be yes.”

Teri smiled and pushed the ring onto Darlene’s finger then she reached for the second ring and for Darlene’s right hand. “This one is from our daughter; the stone is her birthstone.”

As Darlene pulled Teri up onto her lap to kiss her breathless, Teri’s phone buzzed and Buffy’s voice spoke, “Um, Teri, I’m really reaaly sorry to bug you…but um…Dr. Dar said I should buzz you ten minutes before your next class.”

Teri signed at the interruption but rose from her comfortable position to lift the phone handset and thank Buffy for the reminder. Once that was done, she walked over to her tall lover and resumed her position on the long legged lap. She poured her heart into a short kiss then pulled away gasping. She rested her forehead against Darlene’s and sighed, “I’m going to go teach people how to be pretzels…and when I get back, we’re going to talk about the timing of your proposal.”

Teri stood up, her eyes held a mock reprimand as she shook her head at Darlene. “And don’t think that because you proposed first today that it changes the fact that tonight it’s my turn to explore every inch of you.”

Darlene groaned and fell back against the couch. Her synapses were on full alert and ached for the attention of the spunky blonde dynamo. ‘Good timing, bucko,’ she told herself, ‘ask the girl to marry you then have to wait for hours before taking her to bed…or I guess wait before she takes me to bed.’ Darlene corrected herself with a grin and a groan.

As Darlene relaxed on the couch thinking about what her lover might have in store for her later, she felt a tug against the sleeve of her shirt. She turned her head to look into the bright green eyes of Lucy. Darlene’s smile was automatic, “Hey, princess! How long have you been awake, huh?” Darlene rolled onto her side in order to talk to the baby who had pulled herself up to a standing position against the couch. “You’re going to be walking before we know it, aren’t you, big girl?”

Lucy slapped her hand against the leather sofa cushion and smiled at her dark Mama, “Mama Da! Gad a bbbbbb”

“Oh? Is that right?” Darlene wiped the shower of baby spittle from her face as she acknowledged the little one’s baby talk. She pushed herself into an upright position and reached down to do a diaper check. “Whew, stinky pants, let’s get you changed.” Once Darlene changed the smelly diaper, she showed her new lapis ring to the baby, “Thank you for my beautiful ring, baby girl. Did you know you gave this to me? Huh, did you?” Lucy grabbed the shiny object on Darlene’s finger and immediately brought it to her mouth to chew on it. “This says you want me to be your Mama for always. Is that what you want, little love?”

“Da!” Lucy exclaimed as she held her little arms up to Darlene.

Darlene picked the baby up and cuddled her close; she thought her heart would surely burst from the overwhelming emotions surging through her spirit. She realized that she would never again be satisfied with being merely content. Before Teri and Lucy had moved into the house across the street, Darlene had been perfectly content with her life. But now, now life was full beyond measure. She had a love that completed her and a child that kept her in a constant state of wonder. No, content would never hold the appeal it once did; she now wanted the roller coaster ride that loving and being loved brought.

Darlene set Lucy in her round rolling walker and then moved to clean up the left over picnic mess. Once the floor was cleared, Darlene took Lucy out of the walker and carried her into the hallway that led to the room where Teri was “teaching people to be pretzels”. Once they were only 10 feet from the entrance to the room, Darlene placed Lucy down to stand on the floor and then she steadied the baby with one hand while she offered her index finger for the baby to grab onto. Once Lucy had latched onto one finger and balanced herself, Darlene let go of the little body and offered the second index finger for Lucy to hold. With Lucy hanging onto the two long fingers, she began to walk with exaggerated steps between Darlene’s long legs. The pair walked down the corridor until they reached the large wall of windows that led into the class Teri taught. Once at the window, Darlene squatted down and let Lucy use her thighs to balance herself on. “Look, baby girl, there’s Mommy. Isn’t she pretty?”

“Mama Mama Mama,” Lucy chanted while leaning into Darlene’s strong body.

“Mmmm, I think we’d better walk around some more, love bug.” Darlene whispered into Lucy’s ear after she saw Teri move into a new pose, “If I stay here and watch her like this I’ll drive myself completely insane.” Moments later, the tall brunette navigated the hallway hunched over with a ten-month-old baby marching between her feet, holding onto the aforementioned index fingers. After a full length of the hallway, Lucy had had enough walking practice so she let go of her tall Mama’s fingers and sat down with a plop. With pleading green eyes she looked into Darlene’s face, lifted her arms up and pronounced, “up!”

Darlene happily picked the little one up. She even added a special toss up into the air, causing Lucy to cackle with glee. Darlene turned around when she heard Teri’s voice teasing, “You break her, you buy her.”

Darlene smiled brilliantly, “You gave me the bill of sale earlier, Darlin’. All I have to do is sign ’em and she’s mine.” She leaned in and placed a swift kiss on Teri’s lips, “But, I want the family plan. I want the Mommy above all else; that I’m getting this beautiful baby girl is icing on the cake.”

Teri sobered a moment, “That’s nice to hear. I’ve wondered at times if you’d want me as much if it was just me.”

Darlene cupped Teri’s cheek and looked deep into her eyes, “Baby, I love you…for you. There isn’t any question about that. Yes, I love Lucy; but I fell in love with her separately. I love that she’s part of you, but I love her for her individuality apart from you and I love you as a woman, not just as a mother.”

“I knew that.” Teri stated, “It’s just really nice to hear it out loud.” She held her arms out toward Lucy, “Come here Lucy girl, I’ve got a week’s worth of hugs to make up for!” Lucy dove willingly into her Mommy’s arms. Once Teri had Lucy securely in her arms she looked up at Darlene and with a definite gleam in her eyes said, “C’mon, handsome, I’m gonna take you home and make you scream my name until you’re hoarse.”

****

Since Lucy had slept so much in the car earlier in the day, she was awake and wanting to play once the family got to their home. Darlene and Teri took turns as they played games, put puzzles together, or read to the baby. Finally, at almost 10:30, Lucy crawled over to Teri and buried her face between the blonde woman’s breasts. Darlene smiled at Teri, “Looks like tonight you’re feeding and I’m pumping.” As Teri held Lucy to her breast, Darlene went into the kitchen to use the breast pump. Once she had expressed the milk from her breasts, Darlene returned to Lucy’s room, leaned against the door jam, and stood silently watching as mother and child rocked together. The light from the dresser fell over the pair, highlighting the golden red highlights in both Teri and Lucy’s hair. The beauty of moments such as this never failed to move Darlene’s soul. She said a silent prayer of thanks to whatever Powers were at force.

Once Lucy had had her fill, she cuddled with her Mother for a bit longer before whining to have her special time with Darlene. She looked over toward Darlene, reached out her arm and repeatedly opened and closed her little hand. This was her signal when she wanted something, and since she was also chanting, “Mama Da, Da Da,” Darlene knew that she was what the baby wanted at the moment. She moved into the room and took Lucy up into her arms. Lucy immediately tucked her face into the crook of Darlene’s neck and sighed. Darlene took a deep whiff of the clean baby scent and relished the warm body snuggled against her. She looked down at Teri, still seated in the rocker, and said, “I’ve missed this so much this week. I hadn’t realized how much until just now.”

“I know, love.” Teri smiled softly. Teri rose from the chair and headed out of the nursery. As she passed Darlene, she ran her hand across the taller woman’s back side, “I’m going to go get something to drink, be right back.”

“Mmm, come back here and do that again.” Darlene said throatily.

“Honey, once we get our daughter to sleep, I’m going to do a lot more than just rub that ass…” Teri promised as she left the room.

“Your Mommy’s going to be the death of me, little one.” Darlene placed a soft kiss to the baby soft hair, “And I’m lovin’ every minute of it.”

After going to the kitchen for her drink, Teri took a side trip to the bedroom she shared with Darlene. As she walked into the spacious room, she thought back to the first night they had made love. Lucy had been sick and Darlene had brought the little one here to get cleaned up. Teri had rushed over and had found the tall woman and little Lucy standing in the shower. She remembered the overwhelming urge that had possessed her and blushed as she recalled stripping and stepping into the shower behind the woman she loved. That night had been the beginning of a bright future. The women had been best friends before that night and they remained best friend to this day; but now they also shared a mutual love that surpassed anything they could have ever imagined. Their passion for each other burned brighter with each passing moment and their commitment to one another was a foundation onto which they would build every tomorrow. After a month of constantly being in one house or the other each night, Teri had given notice to her landlord and had moved in with Darlene.

Teri moved about the room, she pulled a myriad of items from a drawer and tucked a few things under the pillows on the bed. She placed a mug half filled with hot water on the bedside table and dropped two small bottles, one dark and one clear, in to get warm. Once that was done, Teri walked over to her dresser and pulled out a lacy chocolate brown silk night gown and matching robe and pulled them on. After dotting strategic points with Darlene’s favorite perfume, Teri walked back down the hallway toward the nursery.

Teri’s breath was stolen from her chest as she witnessed the scene before her. Darlene sang a lullaby to sleepy Lucy cuddled in her arms.

We’ve cleared off the table, leftovers saved,
Washed the dishes and put them away.

I’ve told you a story and tucked you in tight at the end of your knockabout day

As the moon sets its sail to carry you to sleep over the midnight sea

I will sing you a song no one sang to me, may it keep you good company.
You can be anybody that you want to be

You can love whomever you will

You can travel any country where your heart leads

And know that I will love you still

You can live by yourself, you can gather friends around

You can choose one, special one

And the only measure of your words and your deeds

Will be the love you leave behind when you’re gone.
There are girls who grow up strong and bold

There are boy quiet and kind

Some rush on ahead, some linger behind

Some grow in their own space and time

Some women love women

And some men love men

Some raise children and some never do

You can dream all the day, never reaching the end

Of everything possible for you
Don’t be rattled by names, by taunts or games

But seek out spirits true

If you give your friends the best part of yourself

They will give the same back to you
You can be anybody that you want to be

You can love whomever you will

You can travel any country where your heart leads

And know that I will love you still

You can live by yourself, you can gather friends around

You can choose one, special one

And the only measure of your words and your deeds

Will be the love you leave behind when you’re gone.
Darlene’s beautiful alto voice lulled Lucy to sleep. As she moved to the crib and placed the sleeping baby down, she felt Teri’s gaze upon her. She turned to see a vision in silk leaning against the door jam. Darlene used the edge of the crib to steady herself as she felt her knees go weak. “You take my breath away.” She whispered.

Teri’s eyes held promises as she crooked her finger and beckoned Darlene. Darlene crossed the floor and met Teri at the doorway. As she leaned in to kiss her lover, she was held back by a finger on her forehead. Surprised blue eyes opened wide in question. Teri smiled seductively at Darlene as she removed her index finger from the tall woman’s forehead and brought her other hand up to dangle a length of silk in front of her. “I’m running the show tonight.” Teri stated. “Turn around and close your eyes.”

Darlene grinned at the new game but quickly complied with Teri’s command. She turned her back to Teri and bent down a bit so that the shorter woman’s reach was easier. Once the blindfold was in place, Teri took Darlene’s hand and led her down the hall to their bedroom. “Mmm, it smells good in here…” Darlene commented.

“Shhh,” Teri ordered, “Your job is to be quiet and feel.”

Darlene nodded her understanding and allowed herself to relax. Teri led Darlene toward their bed. Darlene felt fingers undo the buttons on her blouse; as each button was undone, she felt the lap of Teri’s tongue on her newly exposed skin. When all the buttons were undone, the blouse was slipped from her shoulders. Darlene’s abdominal muscles tensed in anticipation as she waited for Teri’s next move. After moments of feeling nothing but the room’s warm air against her torso, Darlene felt a lick run from her navel to just below her bra and then she felt a flow of air as Teri blew against the moist trail. Darlene’s entire body shuddered at the sensation. Teri’s voice broke through Darlene’s haze, “Turn around.”

Darlene complied once again and soon felt the softness of Teri’s tongue as it ran from just above the waistband of her slacks up her spine to stop at her bra strap. Again, Teri blew a breath over the moist skin. Darlene bit back the moan that threatened to escape when she felt Teri’s fingers undo her bra and felt Teri’s fingernails run down the length of her back. Again, Teri’s voice spoke, “Face me.”

Darlene turned so that she faced Teri and felt her lover’s small hands lower the straps of her bra down her arms to remove the undergarment. As the air hit her bare skin, Darlene felt her nipples harden in anticipation and excitement. “Mmmm…” Teri purred after she blew a puff of air over each nipple, “I see you’re aching for some attention…but not yet.” Darlene couldn’t hold back the moan of disappointment, and when she heard her lover’s evil chuckle, she dropped her head back in frustration.

Darlene felt Teri undo the closure on her slacks and she trembled as she felt the vibrations from the zipper being lowered. Teri’s low chuckle reached her ears just before she felt a gentle tug on the front of her slacks that brought the inseam into contact with her already distended clit. “Getting a little excited there, stud?” Teri teased as she released the pressure on the slacks and then lowered the garment down Darlene’s long legs. Darlene doubled over at the short tease to her sensitized sex. ‘you’re killin’ me here, baby.’ She thought.

Darlene felt Teri’s closeness just before she felt a breath blow through her panties to warm her pubic region. Her knees buckled, but she soon stood back up when she heard Teri’s stern voice, “Oh, no. Stand back up there lover. I’m no where near finished with you.” Darlene heard a deep inhalation and struggled to remain standing when she heard Teri husk, “I can smell you. I can smell the musk of you. If I slid my fingers into your sex they’d come away dripping….but not yet.”

Teri slipped the remaining scrap of fabric down Darlene’s legs and struggled with her own desires. Darlene’s pubic hair glistened with moisture, beaconing Teri to taste. But Teri wanted to prolong Darlene’s anticipation so she steeled herself and continued with her seduction.

“Hmmm,” Teri said, “I’m thirsty again. Don’t move. I’ll be back.” Darlene stood where she was; her body trembled with need as she heard Teri’s soft footfalls walk out of the room. As she waited for Teri’s return, Darlene pressed her thighs together and moved her hips as she attempted to relieve some of the pressure in her groin.

“Ah ah ah,” Teri chastised as she re-entered the bedroom. “No cheating.”

Teri smiled as she slipped a small ice cube into her mouth and then took a sip of her warm tea. She moved to where Darlene stood and carefully put her mouth over one of Darlene’s tender nipples. Darlene jumped at the sensation of warm lips and liquid touching her nipple and then felt a shock as Teri pressed the ice cube against her skin. The combination of warm and cold accompanied by steady suction sent Darlene over the first cliff of climax.

“Did you just come?” Teri asked in wonder.

Darlene nodded, her body still trembled from the unexpected trip. “Lord,” Teri sighed, “I am so going to enjoy this night…”

“Lay down on your stomach.” Darlene obeyed Teri’s direction and immediately noticed that their usual cotton sheets had bee replaced with smooth, silk. She allowed her body to writhe on the sheets and enjoy the texture against her skin. “Mmm, you like the new sheets, huh?” Teri asked. Darlene nodded her agreement. “Quit wiggling and lay still, baby.” Teri husked.

Darlene relaxed against the soft surface and waited for what would come next. She felt the bed dip as Teri climbed onto it and after another moment, Darlene gasped when she felt Teri straddle her back side. Darlene felt the moisture of Teri’s sex as it settled against her buttocks, she groaned deep in her throat as realized that Teri intended to bring herself to orgasm as she thrust her hips against her. Darlene felt the moisture pour from her own sex as she heard Teri’s deep, rapid breaths and her moan of fulfillment. Darlene’s hips moved in a silent plea to join her lover in orgasm but she quickly stopped when Teri panted, “Don’t you dare…” Darlene grabbed handfuls of the sheets and stilled her hips in reaction to the implied threat.

Once Teri had her breath back, she reached into the mug of warm water and removed the dark bottle of massage oil. She held the bottle above Darlene and dripped a stream of the scented oil down the center of the long muscled back. Darlene hummed sensuously as she felt the warm oil land on her skin. She groaned out loud when Teri’s small strong hands began to knead the muscles in her back. Darlene thoroughly enjoyed having her back rubbed and relaxed into the special attention. Once Teri felt the muscles beneath her hand relax she changed the pressure and intent of her massage to become a sensual act of foreplay. Her thumbs ran along Darlene’s side and brushed against the sides of her breasts, instead of focused pressure, her hands moved in long strokes down Darlene’s body. Each set of caresses moved lower and lower until Teri was stroking Darlene’s buttocks. Teri’s hands each cupped a cheek and her thumbs fell into the crease between. Darlene moaned long and low and she raised her hips in reaction to the intimate massage. Teri smiled at her lover’s reaction as she allowed the tip of one thumb to brush over Darlene’s anus. Darlene immediately bent one leg up, to afford Teri better access. “Like that, do you?” Teri asked softly.

“Mmmmm” Darlene moaned as she lifted her ass further into the air.

“I thought so…” Teri smiled. “Turn over, lover.”

Darlene whimpered in protest. She had been thoroughly enjoying the intimate touches, but she did as Teri commanded. “Don’t worry, my love, I’ll take care of you.” Teri assured her tall lover. Once Darlene had rolled onto her back, Teri reached up and removed the blindfold. Green eyes gazed into violet blue, “I love you,” Teri whispered. “Now get ready for the ride of your life.”

Darlene’s body was already on overload. Every nerve synapse was firing and begging for fulfillment. Teri was well aware of Darlene’s state of arousal and decided to give the woman some much needed release. Teri kept her eyes locked with Darlene’s as she slid her hand under the pillows to retrieve one of the items she had stashed earlier. Darlene felt the movement of the pillow and wondered what Teri was up to. Her question was answered in the next moment when she felt something being dragged over her shoulder, then around her neck to slide down the center line of her body. She looked down and saw Teri dragging the tip of one of their toys over her body, “ohhh god….” Darlene gasped.

“God has nothing to do with this,” Teri murmured, “This is all me…loving you.” Teri moved down Darlene’s body until she was situated between her long legs. She slid the tip of the purple dildo through dark pubic hair and pressed it just enough to slide between Darlene’s nether lips. She slid the toy back and forth over Darlene’s distended clit and smiled at how high Darlene’s hips jumped at the contact. She slid the toy down further until the tip was just outside Darlene’s center. She swirled the toy around the entrance and teased the woman yet again. Finally, Teri’s desire to taste Darlene’s overflowing sex overrode her desire to tease and she leaned forward and took Darlene into her mouth. As she sucked Darlene’s clit deep into her mouth, Teri pressed the toy deep within her lover. While her tongue and teeth worked on the outside of Darlene’s sex, Teri’s hand plunged the toy in and out of her until she felt Darlene’s vaginal muscles grab and spasm and she heard her name screamed.

Once the first major orgasm was accomplished, Teri removed the toy from within Darlene and slid three fingers into the warm, wet opening. Teri curled her fingers up and felt the swollen, spongy area within Darlene and knew her lover was primed and ready for more pleasure. Teri moved up on the bed so that she could wrap one arm around Darlene and hold her close while she plunged her free hand back into her lover’s center. She looked into Darlene’s eyes as she made love to her, “I love being inside you, god, I love when you open up and my whole hand gets taken in…” Teri’s words were as forceful as her powerful thrusts and yet Darlene felt cherished as she was cradled against Teri’s body. The words, the motions and the closeness brought Darlene over another, higher crest and she finally collapsed and sobbed into Teri’s body, “I love you, I love you. God, the things you do to me…you make me feel wanton and cherished all at the same time.”

Teri kissed Darlene deeply and allowed her a short time of rest while she quickly went to check on Lucy. Once assured that the baby was still sleeping soundly, Teri returned to the bedroom and offered Darlene a bottle of water. “Drink this, you’re going to need it.” She said with a smirk. Darlene took the water and downed it in one long swallow.

The rest of the night was spent with Teri exploring every orifice of Darlene’s body. By the time Lucy woke the next morning, Darlene was indeed hoarse from screaming Teri’s name.

****

A week later, just before dusk, Darlene and Teri carried their little piglet around to neighbors’ houses and gave their daughter her first trick-or-treat experience. The baby’s pumpkin shaped bucket filled up quickly because every neighbor gave her extra treats as a reward for being adorable. As the family returned to their own home in order to give out candy to other trick-or-treaters Darlene laughed, “Lucy sure has flirting down pat already.”

“I know,” Teri chuckled, “Did you notice that she flirts more with the women?”

Darlene rolled her eyes and nodded her head. Once inside their home, Darlene changed Lucy from her piglet persona into her jimmies. Lucy was not happy about giving up her time in the spotlight and pitched a royal fit. Darlene sat the little one on the edge of her changing table and sternly said, “Lucy, quiet!” To hear her hero speak in such a stern tone shocked Lucy into a moment of silence. Her teary green eyes looked up at Darlene and her bottom lip protruded in a championship pout. Darlene picked the baby up and calmly said, “It’s time for jimmies now. We’ve had our fun trick-or-treating but now it’s time to give the big kids goodies, ok?”

Lucy continued to scowl and pout; so Darlene decided to give her a choice, “Luc, if you want to pout you can stay in your crib to do it. If you want to be a big girl and come help Mommy and me give treats to the big kids then you have to stop pitching this fit.” Darlene hoped that the little girl was able to understand her reasoning. “Do you want to stay here in your crib?”

Lucy’s eyes filled with tears at the prospect and she shook her head no. “Ok, pumpkin…”Darlene reached up and wiped the tears from her daughter’s face, “Let’s go find Mommy.”

“Mama!” Lucy chirped, her piglet suit forgotten. Darlene shook her head at the mercurial moods of a ten month old and carried Lucy into the front room to listen for the door bell.

An hour later, a pause in trick-or-treaters gave Darlene and Teri a moment to sit together on the sofa. Lucy was crawling around on the floor playing with various toys and generally making herself happy. Darlene pulled Teri close and bent her head to kiss Teri’s tempting lips. As usual, one kiss led to many more and when the women came up for air, Teri scanned the room to find Lucy. Teri gasped softly then said urgently, “Dar, look…”

Dar looked over to see Lucy, standing balanced by a low table. The baby had only one hand against the table and as they watched, Lucy let go of the table completely and looked over to her Mothers. Darlene and Teri moved as one and slid off the couch and onto their knees, holding their arms out toward the teetering child. Teri’s heart clutched as she watched her child take her first tentative steps. She heard Darlene’s soft, encouraging voice, “C’mon, baby girl, that’s it…come on, walk to Mommy…”

Lucy smiled a huge smile and launched herself forward, she took four unsteady steps and landed safely in her Mothers’ arms. Darlene and Teri showered the baby with kisses and praise and laughed out loud when Lucy raised her arms in triumph, looked at Darlene and exclaimed, “Da!”
Part 3: A Beautiful Addition in the Neighborhood
It was the middle of June and Darlene Beacon was in her front yard playing “bite the water” games with her dog, Sam. As she watched her pooch’s antics, Darlene smiled as she remembered another session of water play with her dog and how on that day her neighbor’s car had been on the fritz. Darlene had volunteered to drive the beautiful neighbor and her baby Lucy to a doctor’s appointment. That ride had turned into a lifetime commitment to both the woman and the child. Darlene was happy beyond all expectations. She had a thriving acupuncture practice, a wife she worshipped and a child that brightened every day. She didn’t think life could get any better.

Just as Darlene coiled up the hose and turned to towel dry her tired and happy dog, a car pulled up in front of the house. Darlene’s smile broadened and she jogged over to the vehicle. She opened the driver’s side door and leaned into the passenger compartment. She placed a soft welcome kiss against her petite wife’s lips. “How was it?” she asked.

Before Teri could open her mouth to answer, a squealed, “Da!” resounded from the back seat. The little girl pulled at the straps of her car seat and wiggled around like a contortionist from Cirque du Soleil as she attempted to escape from her confinement. “Out Da! I played wif all the little children!”

Darlene smiled into her wife’s eyes “She played with all the little children, huh?”

Teri shook her head. “She doesn’t seem to grasp the concept that she is one of the little children.” Teri exited the car and turned into Darlene’s arms. She laid her head against Darlene’s shoulder and sighed, “Our baby is growing up, Dar. You should have seen her. She just walked in there and joined the kids like she’d done it all of her little life.”

Darlene rubbed comforting circles against Teri’s back. “Honey, we can’t keep her a baby forever. Don’t you realize how wonderful it is that she’s not afraid in new situations? You’re raising a strong, confident little girl… you should be so proud.”

Teri slid her hand down to pinch a firm butt cheek. “We are raising a strong, confident little girl.”

Just then another frustrated squeal emanated from the back of the car. Darlene left a quick kiss on her wife’s lips and laughed. “A strong, confident, strong-willed little girl.” She moved around to the rear passenger door of the car and opened the door. “Hey Princess! Settle down and stop that screaming. Let Da get you out of that seat.”

The little three-year-old stuck out her arms and demanded, “Out Da!”

A dark brow raised as Darlene looked at her daughter, “Excuse me, young lady?”

The little strawberry blonde head bowed just a tad and big green eyes looked beseechingly at the tall brunette. “Pwease Da, pwease, get me out.”

Darlene leaned in and kissed the top of Lucy’s head. “Much better, pumpkin.” She proceeded to extricate the youngster from the car’s child seat. Darlene pulled Lucy from the car and balanced her on one hip then walked over to Teri and wrapped her other arm around her shoulder. The family walked into their house with Darlene listening to the mother and daughter account of the first day at pre-school.

After dinner, Darlene and Lucy were settled in one of the comfortable chairs in the living room reading a book and Teri was in the laundry room doing a load of wash when the doorbell rang. Darlene stood bringing Lucy with her and the pair went to answer the door. Darlene’s heart leapt into her throat when she saw that Lisa, Lucy’s usual baby sitter, stood on the front porch sobbing. Darlene rushed forward and wrapped her free arm around the distraught teenager. “Lisa! What’s wrong? Come on, come in the house.”

Lisa could barely catch her breath. “I don’t know what to do!” Another bout of sobs wracked her body.

Lucy leaned into Lisa’s body. “Don’t cwy Lisa, Da will make it all better.” Darlene’s heart swelled as she heard the confidence in her daughter’s voice. There was no doubt in little Lucy’s mind that her tall mother could make everything all right in the world. Darlene relished being her daughter’s hero, but she worried that she might not have the solutions for whatever was severely troubling the teen before her.

“Sit here, Lisa.” As Darlene was helping settle Lisa on the sofa, Teri walked into the room. Darlene looked beseechingly at her wife. “Honey, can you get a glass of water for Lisa please?”

Teri’s face was a mask of concern as she moved to the kitchen for water. She brought the water back and sat on the opposite side of Lisa and waited for the teen to take a drink and then explain what the trouble was.

Lisa sipped the water then sat and rocked back and forth working up her nerve. “I don’t know what to do. I can’t tell my parents… they’ll be so disappointed in me. I can’t…”

Darlene rubbed her hand along Lisa’s quaking shoulders and advised, “Take some deep breaths, honey. Come on, in… out… in… out.” Lisa did as instructed and felt herself calm a bit.

Darlene looked over at Teri then back at Lisa. “Lisa, what is it?”

Lisa looked up with a desperate look on her face, “I… we… he…” She took another deep breath. “I only did it once… he said if I love him I’d do it… he said it couldn’t happen my first time…” Another round of sobs brought Lisa into Darlene’s strong arms.

“Aw, sweetie…” Darlene sighed then leaned in to look into the teenager’s face, “Lisa, are you pregnant?”

Lisa nodded and sobbed again, “He said it couldn’t happen my first time… I didn’t even like it… I didn’t want to!”

“Did he force you?” Darlene asked in a panic.

Lisa’s looked up quickly. “No! No… he just… I didn’t want to lose him…” Her face scrunched up anew. “I told him today about the…about…” she put her hand over her lower abdomen. “He said it’s my problem!”

Darlene hugged the distraught girl to her again and Teri added her own soft comforting touches. Even though Lucy didn’t understand what the adults were talking about, she patted her babysitter’s cheek and repeated that her Da would make it all better. Her Da had her doubts about her ability to fix this particular problem.

While Darlene worked to calm Lisa enough to have a discussion, Teri took Lucy into her room and got her settled down for bed. Once Teri was back in the living room, Darlene began to gently question Lisa. . She found out that Lisa was already three months along. The fact that she hadn’t been able to button her jeans that morning had panicked her because she realized she wasn’t going to be able to hide the pregnancy much longer. She voiced her fears about telling her parents, not for fear of what they would do but because she knew they would be disappointed in her.

Teri asked a few of her own questions but overall was simply content to sit back and watch as Darlene gently guided Lisa. Darlene asked questions without prejudice and without judgments. She found out the facts and doled out recommendations. When she realized that Lisa had already been going to a local clinic for pre-natal care, she praised the young girl for her care of the unborn child.

Finally, Darlene took a deep breath and said, “Lisa, you have to tell your parents. This isn’t something you can do alone.” She looked from Lisa to Teri and back again. “Would you like us to be with you when you tell them?” A hopeful glimmer entered Lisa’s eyes and she nodded her head.

“All right,” Darlene said. “We can’t leave Lucy here alone, so why don’t I go to your house and get your folks?” She paused to make her case, “If they come here, you can tell them with us here, and without your brother listening in.”

Lisa’s eyes rolled at that thought. “God, that’s all I’d need.” She swallowed and screwed up her courage. “Ok, they should both be home now… so… ok.” Her heart beat hummingbird fast in her chest in fear of breaking her parents’ hearts.

Once Darlene left and returned with Lisa’s parents, James and Rhonda, Lisa was back in tears. When her parents saw their daughter’s distress they rushed to her side. It took a few false starts, but Lisa finally got her story and her predicament out in the open. Her parents were shocked and disappointed that she had allowed herself to succumb to the pressure to have sex, but they were also supportive and assured Lisa that they would stand by her. The teenager’s family decided to walk home in order to talk more about what to do next and into the future.

As Lisa and her parents left, James turned to Darlene and Teri. “Thank you so much for being here for her. I’m glad she has trustworthy adults to turn to. We appreciate that you helped her tell us. You’re both true friends.”

Teri smiled at the threesome. “We adore Lisa. She’s an honorary member of our family.” Lisa smiled shyly at the comment and snuggled deeper into her own mother’s arms before they turned to return home.

Once Darlene closed the door, she brought Teri into her arms. She sighed deeply then said, “Let’s go check on our baby…”

Teri realized how deeply the incident with Lisa had affected Darlene. Darlene moved into Lucy’s room and carefully picked up the sleeping toddler. She sat down in the nearby rocker and held the youngster close, inhaling the clean baby smell. Teri walked over to her family and wrapped her arms around Darlene and Lucy.

After long moments, Darlene finally rose and tucked Lucy back into her little bed then took Teri’s hand and led her to their bedroom. She sat on the edge of their bed and wrapped her arms around Teri’s waist. She laid her head against Teri’s stomach and said, “I don’t ever want Lucy to be afraid to come to us if she’s in trouble.”

Teri’s heart melted yet again. Every day there was one more reason to fall deeper in love with her wife. “Honey…” Teri slipped to her knees in front of Darlene. “Baby, all we can do is support Lucy and do everything in our power to make her feel safe. It wasn’t that Lisa was afraid of her parents per se, but she didn’t want to disappoint them.”

Darlene’s eyes held despair. “I know, Ter. But she was still afraid to tell them. I always want to take care of our Lucy. I don’t care if it’s a skinned knee or a broken heart or even a baby on the way! She’s my baby and I just want her to know she can come to me… to us no matter what!”

Teri simply held her wife and allowed her to relax. “We’ll do everything we can to make sure that happens. But the reality is, my love, no one is a perfect parent. We can raise Lucy in a loving and supportive home and we’ll have to trust that she’ll either come to us or, like Lisa, go to someone she trusts to lead her to do the right thing.” Darlene simply nodded, but deep inside she wanted Lucy to come to them first. “Let’s get some sleep honey,” Teri finally suggested. An hour later the women were sleeping safely wrapped in one another’s arms.

****

Teri reached across the bed, expecting to find, and snuggle up to, Darlene’s warm skin. When all she found were cold sheets she waited and listened for movement in the adjoining bathroom. When she heard no toilet flush or no water run she arose to search for her missing lover. She found Darlene in the family room curled up sideways in the oversized leather chair. Her legs were folded beneath her and her head rested against the back of the chair. Darlene’s eyes had a far-away look about them as she stroked the scar that bisected her left eyebrow.

Teri had witnessed this behavior on other occasions and her heart ached for her partner. She walked over to the chair, reached out to stroke Darlene’s dark hair and softly ordered, “Scoot over, love.” Darlene’s countenance didn’t’ change but she shifted her position in the chair so that Teri could slip into the chair with her. Teri moved so that she supported Darlene against her chest. She stroked Darlene’s long dark locks as she asked, “Another dream?”

Darlene snuggled against Teri’s warm chest and nodded. “I woke up in the middle of it again. I didn’t mean to wake you.”

Teri placed her cheek against the top of Darlene’s head. “You didn’t exactly wake me. I missed your skin.” That got a soft smile from her lover.

Teri turned Darlene’s face toward her enough to kiss the scarred brow. “Dar, you’re getting these dreams and flashbacks more often lately. I think you should call and make an appointment to talk to Sue.”

Darlene snuggled even deeper into Teri’s embrace. “I know,” she acknowledged with a sigh. “It always gets worse around the anniversary of her death.”

Teri’s eyes filled with tears of compassion, “Baby, this is about more than losing your lover.”

Darlene stiffened as her mind reeled back in memory. She remembered the night, ten years ago, when she and her partner, Emily, had been brutally attacked by a group of thugs. She relived having her lover wrenched from her grasp and the horrors that had ensued which ultimately resulted in Emily’s death and Darlene’s struggle for life. She shuddered as she remembered each blow and each cry that Emily uttered.

Teri felt her heart lurch at her partner’s long felt pain and loss. “Baby, there is a reason you lived through that horror. I cannot imagine my life without you. Lucy’s life wouldn’t be complete without her Da. I hate that you had to go through that, but I’m so glad you survived it.” She felt Darlene’s head come to rest on her shoulder and she stroked the tall woman’s back to soothe her. “Come back to bed so I can hold you.”

The couple moved back to their bed and the small blonde held the tall brunette until they both fell back to sleep.

****

Darlene’s body thrummed with excitement in reaction to her dream. Soft hands stroked her body and a soft, warm, wet tongue circled her nipple. Her dream lover licked and nipped all over her body. Darlene moaned Teri’s name. In her sleep, Darlene opened her legs in invitation. She came wide awake as she felt very real fingers slip inside her body and take up the rhythm of her hips. “Ahhhh, Teri, oh I thought I was dreaming…”

Teri pulled her mouth away from the nipple she was devouring long enough to say, “Not a dream… wanted you…” She latched back onto the distended nipple and slid her fingers deeper into Darlene.

Darlene moaned long and low at the penetration and voiced another need, “Baby, more, please…” Teri knew what Darlene wanted and needed and quickly moved to fulfill her every desire.

Once Darlene had cried out her fourth climax, she flipped her wife over and consumed her from top to bottom. She made Teri beg, she made her cry out, she made her call upon deities. Later, both women fell back into sleep, pleasantly sore and sated.

Mornings always came too early for Teri but she had learned to rise early after having had Lucy. This morning though, instead of waking to the sound of her daughter calling, Teri woke naturally and in her own time. As she rose to consciousness, she realized that Darlene was no longer beside her and that the sun was much higher in the sky than was usual upon waking. Teri stretched her body beneath the sheets and felt the pleasant soreness between her legs. She smiled in remembrance and brought her fingers to her nose, smelling the musky odor of her lover’s sex still clinging to her digits. She brought her fingers into her mouth to try to taste her once again.

Darlene walked into the bedroom to see Teri with her eyes closed, the fingers of one hand in her mouth and the other hand moving purposefully under the sheet. She sat on the edge of the bed and leaned down to whisper in Teri’s ear, “Do you have any idea how beautiful that is?” Teri only moaned and replaced the fingers in her mouth with the tongue of the woman she loved as she brought herself to completion.

Once she could breathe again, Teri stated, “I woke up and missed you.”

“Mmm, I see that.” Darlene smiled crookedly. “I wish I had more time to watch, but I have a patient coming in an hour and I really need a shower.”

Teri took in a deep whiff and smelled the combination of their sex and bananas clinging to Darlene. Teri chuckled, “Sex and bananas. I can see why you think you need a shower.”

“Mmm hmm. I got one scent from my wife and the other from our daughter at breakfast. I guess she heard someone at play group say that bananas were good for the skin. So she squished up her banana and proceeded to smear herself with it this morning.”

Teri laughed at the mental picture of her little minx covered in banana. “Oh no!”

“Oh yes.” Darlene chuckled. “I’ve got her all bathed and in clean clothes. She’s coloring in her room. Now, beautiful, you want to shower with me?”

Teri’s answer was to flick the sheet off of her body and wrap her arms around Darlene’s neck. “To the shower, Baby.”

Darlene laughed and picked her wife up in her arms. Fortunately, Darlene’s first patient was late.

****

Three weeks later, Lisa’s parents called to ask if they could come over. When Lisa’s family arrived they all settled in the living room. After only a few minutes, Brian, Lisa’s brother offered to take Lucy into her room to color. Lucy excitedly took the young man up on his offer, leaving the adults and the teenage girl to talk.

Rhonda sat close to her daughter with a comforting hand on her back. “Go ahead honey…”

Lisa looked from her parents over to Darlene and Teri. “Ok, um…” Lisa took a deep breath and charged in, “I’ve done a lot of thinking and talking with Mom and Dad. I can’t have a baby and still go to college and medical school, not really.” She looked to her Mom for reassurance. “Mom and Dad will raise the baby as their own if I want, but… I know that they only wanted two kids and it isn’t fair to them. So…” Lisa looked into Darlene and Teri’s eyes, “I wondered if you guys wanted any more kids? I mean, you don’t have to take this baby but… if you wanted more kids… and I know you don’t like men… well…” Lisa blushed at what she had just said.

“Lisa!” Both of her parents gasped at her comment.

“Well they don’t!” Lisa defended herself.

Darlene and Teri were so stunned with this turn of events that they ignored the small ruckus going on about not liking men. They sat side by side, hands held as they tried to keep their minds from short circuiting.

When James saw the stunned looks on their faces, he said, “We know this is a lot to consider. As Lisa said, we are willing to raise this child so that Lisa can continue on with her life plans. But, we see you three and what wonderful parents you are. We can’t think of anyone we would trust our grandchild with more.” He took a moment to breath then continued, “Think about it, talk about it and let us know. We will respect whatever decision you come to. No matter where this baby ends up, it will be loved.”

Two zombies accompanied Lisa’s family to the door. After a time, Darlene looked at Teri, “Did you see that coming?”

“I had not one clue!” Teri answered honestly.

Lucy chose that moment to run into the room exclaiming, “We’re having a baby!”

Darlene and Teri panicked at their daughter’s outburst. Teri knelt down to catch the dynamo. “What do you mean, honey?”

“Bwian said that Lisa’s pegnat. That means she’s having a baby!” Lucy explained excitedly. Sparkling green eyes gazed at Teri and Darlene, “Can we get a baby too, Momma and Da?” Darlene slapped a hand over her eyes and groaned at the irony.

In all honesty, both women had been thinking about expanding their family. Each woman had kept the thoughts to herself, waiting until the appropriate time to bring it up. It seemed that life with a three-year-old was hectic enough without having to worry about planning a conception and pregnancy. But now, they were being offered a gift of unbelievable proportions and a decision needed to be made.

Once little Lucy had been calmed down she was instructed that it was her Mothers’ decision whether or not a baby would join the family. The pouting three-year-old sequestered herself in her room to play ‘Mommy’ with her baby dolls.

Darlene and Teri sat at the kitchen table and sipped cups of tea. Darlene broached the subject first. “Have you thought about another baby?”

Teri smiled up at Darlene, “Honestly? Yes,” she blew on her tea then continued, “I almost talked to you about it after Lisa first showed up on our doorstep.”

Darlene’s eyes sparked. “Yeah, me too. I love being a parent with you and I wanted us to start thinking about adding to our family.” Darlene wagged her eyebrows. “I thought you might like to try to get me pregnant… or the other way around.”

Teri laughed. “We can try anytime you want, stud.” She sobered a bit before she continued, “So, what do you think about adopting Lisa’s baby?”

Darlene blew out a breath. “It’s such a shock; I don’t feel prepared to make any decision about it yet.”

Teri agreed and they decided to table the discussion of the baby’s adoption for the time being and sleep on the idea. The baby wasn’t due for another five months so they had time to make the right decision, both for Lisa and themselves.

****

Two weeks and many discussions later, Darlene sat in her office as she updated patient’s charts. After a soft knock, Teri’s head popped through the doorway. “Hi love, are you busy?”

Darlene pushed her chair back and stood. She walked over to Teri and gathered her in her arms, “I’m never too busy for you. What’s up?”

“I want the baby,” Teri stated.

A rush of relief flowed through Darlene. She had already started thinking of the unborn child as theirs. “Thank god.” She sighed into Teri’s hair.

Teri backed away enough to look into sapphire eyes. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Darlene smiled. “So, who do we tell first, Lisa or Lucy?”

****

Two Mommies and a little girl walked down to Lisa’s home. When the door was answered, little Lucy squealed, “Lisa! Mommy and Da and Me are gonna ‘dopt the baby you got in your tummy!”

Lisa couldn’t keep the smile off of her face in reaction to the little girl’s exuberance. She squatted down to Lucy’s level. “You are, huh?”

“Uh huh. Mommy said we have to wait until the baby is borned, but that you said we could love it forever.”

Lisa’s eyes filled with tears, both from loss and relief. “That’s right, Lucy. The baby has to grow inside my tummy for a while but when it’s born you’ll have a little brother or sister.” The teenager stood and her eyes met the women’s “Yeah?”

Teri moved forward and wrapped the teen in her arms. “Yes, honey. We’d be honored to raise this child. Why don’t we go have a chat with your folks?” Lisa nodded her agreement and led the way to the kitchen.

After hours of talk it was decided that Darlene and Teri would go to childbirth classes with Lisa and would both be birth coaches when the baby was born. Lisa’s parents wanted to be included in the child’s life as grandparents and the new mothers agreed enthusiastically to this caveat.

Lucy sat quietly and colored until the topic of grandparents arose. “Hey! If you’re gonna be my baby’s grandma and grandpa does that mean you’re my grandma and grandpa too?”

Rhonda pulled the little girl into her lap, “Lucy, I would be honored to be your grandma.” She looked up at Darlene and Teri. “If it’s ok with your Mommies…?”

Darlene and Teri smiled immediately. Darlene replied, “I think our children are very lucky to have three sets of grandparents.”

With that issue settled, the group got back down to the nitty gritty details of medical bills and lawyer’s fees. Darlene and Teri felt that since they were taking on the responsibility that it should be their place to pay all the fees. Lisa’s parents argued and finally won the compromise that they would split all the fees not covered by insurance.

****

As the months passed, Lisa spent more and more time at Darlene and Teri’s house. Many a night found Lucy wrapped around Lisa’s belly as she talked to her future sibling. Little Lucy wasn’t the only one to spend time talking to Lisa’s belly. Both Darlene and Teri spent hours talking, singing and reading to their child. Darlene even purchased a special stethoscope so that they could all listen to the baby’s heartbeat and movements.

Lisa continued to go to school and kept her grades high. She applied to several colleges and was accepted by more than half of those she applied to. Her parents advised her that she should go to the school that she had always dreamed of attending. So, after the baby was born, Lisa was Stanford bound.

Darlene and Teri accompanied Lisa to her pre-natal doctor’s appointments whenever possible. There was a lively discussion at one point about whether or not to know the baby’s gender before its birth. Both Darlene and Teri wanted to keep it a mystery but Lisa really wanted to know. In truth, Lisa was happy to wait but she so enjoyed making her friends squirm a bit that she kept up the argument. It made Lisa’s heart swell when she watched the older woman trace the outline of the baby on the sonogram screen. Darlene had such a look of awe on her face turning to gaze at Teri with an all-encompassing look of love. Lisa knew beyond a doubt that she was doing the right thing in giving them this child to love and raise. She hoped that being “Aunt Lisa” would be enough; she was determined that it would be enough.

The only true bump in the road came when the adoption attorney advised everyone that it would be prudent for Kenny, the father of the baby, to sign a paper relinquishing his parental rights. Lisa didn’t want to talk to him, much less ask him for a signature on a legal paper. The young man had used her, broken her heart, and then left her to deal with her pregnancy alone.

Lisa’s parents accompanied her to Kenny’s home. By the look on his parents’ faces it was clear that Kenny had not told his family about the pregnancy. Kenny’s father, Jeffery, looked at his son with a mixture of anger and disappointment on his face. “I thought we’d raised you better than this. This is wrong on so many levels…” Kenny squirmed in his chair, his bravado deflated in the face of his heartbroken parents.

Lisa looked at Kenny with deep hurt in her eyes, “Kenny, I should’ve had the guts to tell you no. But… I… well… we did what we did and we made a baby. I’m not ready to be a Mom yet and you obviously aren’t ready to be a Dad.”

“Hey! I could be a Dad if I wanted!” Kenny argued.

“Young man, sit down, be quiet, and listen.” Jeffrey admonished.

Rhonda placed her hand over Lisa’s and squeezed encouraging the girl to continue. “Yeah, anyway, I’ve decided to give the baby up for adoption. The lawyer says that it will make everything easier if Kenny signs a legal paper giving up his parental rights.”

Amy, Kenny’s mother, spoke up, “This must have been a very difficult decision for you, Lisa.” Tears filled Lisa’s eyes as she looked at the people around her. She couldn’t make her voice work around the lump in her throat so she simply nodded.

Jeffrey asked, “Are you giving the baby up to an agency?”

Lisa’s father, James, answered, “No. Actually, we already have a new family arranged. They’re a wonderful couple that already have one little girl. Lisa baby sits for them and we all admire them a great deal. They’re really excited about expanding their family.”

Kenny jumped up. “Hey! You only baby sit for those Dykes! No way am I letting my kid…”

“Kenneth Vincent Cramer shut your mouth!” Amy stood toe to toe with her son. “You gave up any say in the matter when you told Lisa this was her problem. And, young man, we do not use vile names like that in this house. How dare you?” His mother’s eyes filled with tears as she turned in to her husband’s arms and sobbed. Lisa and her family were confused by this turn of events and looked at one another bewildered.

Jeffrey, arms wrapped around his wife, launched into an explanation, “My wife’s sister…” he turned his gaze onto his son, “and your favorite aunt…” his gaze returned to Lisa’s family, “Emily was gay bashed and killed several years ago. She and her partner were out for their anniversary and a group of skin heads jumped them on their way to their car.” He placed a soft kiss against his wife’s hair. “Shhh, honey, I’m so sorry. Do you think you can stay so we can deal with the situation at hand?”

Amy sniffed a few times then straightened up and blew her nose. “Yes. I’m fine.” She looked at Lisa and her folks. “I apologize for my outburst. It’s been a rough day. I learn that my baby boy has taken advantage of a sweet girl, then I find out that he shirked any kind of responsibility in the matter and to top it off he uses homophobic slurs. A mother’s heart can only take so much.”

Rhonda stepped forward and wrapped her arms around the grieving woman. “Believe me; I understand how disappointing this must be for you. What is important now is to make sure that this child is taken care of. Doctor Beacon and Teri are wonderful parents. As we said, they have a three-year-old daughter now whom they adore. Darlene is a very successful doctor of oriental medicine and Teri owns and runs that huge fitness center outside of town. ”

“Wait a minute, Darlene…Darlene Beacon?” Amy asked.

“Yes.” Lisa answered. “Why?”

Amy turned angry tear-filled eyes on her son. “How could you? I don’t understand you lately! Did you know Darlene was one of the women Lisa baby sits for?”

Kenny shrugged his shoulders and mumbled, “So…?”

Jeffrey stepped in and put a hand on his son’s shoulder. “Kenny, Darlene Beacon is your Aunty Dar.”

Kenny’s head snapped up at this news. “What? No way! My Aunty Dar was so cool. She couldn’t be some…”

“STOP!” Amy yelled at her son. “Not one more word out of you.” Amy turned to Lisa and her parents. “It’s obvious that we need to have a serious talk with our son about a lot of things. You said that Kenny can’t sign anything until after the birth, but we’ll contact you soon and discuss everything.”

James nodded his head in agreement then looked at Jeffrey with a “good luck” expression on his face before he lead his family out of the Cramer home. Once they were out on the sidewalk Rhonda said, “Sounds like we opened up a huge can of worms in there.”

“I agree,” James replied. “I wonder what they meant when they said Darlene was Kenny’s Aunty Dar?”

****

Darlene and Teri were on tenterhooks waiting for news on the outcome of Lisa’s meeting with the baby’s father. The attorney had warned both families that without the biological father’s signature, there was a chance that he could step in years later and make a claim on the child. As the couple sat talking quietly on the sofa, a knock came at their door. Darlene popped up first and went to open the door with Teri right behind her. The fatigued countenance of Lisa and her parents sent both women into despair. “He won’t sign?” Darlene asked.

James sighed, “It’s obviously more complicated than we thought.”

Teri motioned everyone into the living room. “Have a seat, I’ll get some tea. Lisa, honey, want to help me?” Lisa joined Teri and once they were in the kitchen, Teri turned to the teenager. “Are you all right, sweetie?”

Lisa’s eyes welled up with tears. “It was awful…” Lisa laid her head against Teri’s shoulder as strong arms wrapped around her. “He called you guys really nasty names and then his parents got upset with him. His parents seem fine with you guys being lesbians… but Kenny was awful!”

“Honey, I don’t care what he called us. Right now I’m worried about you and that beautiful heart of yours.” Teri pushed a lock of chestnut hair behind Lisa’s ear. “How did he treat you?”

“Like I was just some girl getting him in trouble with his parents.” Lisa sobbed.

“Aw, love, I’m so sorry.” Teri sighed.

Lisa shrugged her shoulders. “I knew better. I didn’t listen to my little voice…the one my Mom says will keep me out of trouble. Dad says hindsight is 20/20…now I know what he means.”

“I wish you hadn’t had to go through all of this in order to learn these lessons,” Teri acknowledged.

“Me too.” Lisa sighed softly. “Thanks for caring about me, and not just about the baby. You guys are the best.”

“We love you, Lisa. Nothing will change that.” Darlene’s voice sounded from the kitchen archway. She looked at the pair that embraced in the kitchen. “I was concerned when you were taking so long to get the tea.”

Green eyes glanced at Lisa, “I was just doing a heart check…” Teri informed her wife.

“I thought that might be the case.” Darlene smiled softly. “So, how is the heart, sweetheart?” she addressed Lisa.

“Bruised and battered, but surviving,” Lisa assured both women.

Darlene walked over and joined in a group hug before suggesting that they join Lisa’s parents back in the living room. Soon, tea was distributed and Darlene and Teri listened to what had transpired at Kenny’s house. James began the explanation describing the way Kenny had shown no remorse in his part of the pregnancy and then describing his outburst when he realized Lisa wanted Darlene and Teri to adopt the child. “His parents were already in shock due to the pregnancy but when Kenny started using that crass word his mother hit the ceiling!”

Teri broke in, “So the parents don’t seem to have a problem with Darlene and me being lesbians but Kenny does?”

“I guess that Amy, that’s Kenny’s mother, had a sister who was gay and was killed years ago…” Rhonda began to explain. Teri felt Darlene stiffen and then lean forward with her head in her hands.

Alarmed at Darlene’s posture, Teri wrapped her arms around Darlene. “Honey?’’

Darlene looked up with a stricken expression; she gazed into Teri’s eyes. “Emily’s sister was Amy…and our nephew’s name was Kenny.”

The reality and the irony of the situation hit Teri in her solar plexus. “Oh baby, ohhh Baby… I’m so sorry.”

“Oh my gosh! You were Emily’s partner!” Lisa exclaimed incredulously.

Darlene took a deep breath as she attempted to calm her wildly beating heart and nodded her head. “Yeah. Emily was my first lover. We thought we had the world by the tail… then… then…”

James reached over and consolingly rubbed Darlene’s knee. “We know. Amy told us what happened.”

Teri spoke up, “Darlene almost didn’t survive.” She stroked the scar that bisected Darlene’s eyebrow. “She still has nightmares some nights.”

Rhonda leaned forward, feeling deep sympathy for the woman before her. “Honey, I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that. I’m grateful though, that you survived and allowed yourself to love again. I don’t know what Lisa would have done if you and Teri hadn’t been here at this tough time.”

Darlene simply nodded and gave the group a weepy smile. After a moment she gathered her composure and asked, “Kenny called us names… because we’re lesbians?” She looked deeply hurt by that thought.

“Yeah,” Lisa answered. “Honestly, he hasn’t always been like this. He started hanging out with these really creepy kids at school and now he’s gotten really mean.”

The adult all sat and contemplated this turn of events. Soon, Teri turned to Darlene, “Honey, did you know they lived so close to us?”

Darlene smiled sadly. “No. At first Amy kept in contact and would try to get me to spend time with them. But… it was too hard. It all reminded me of Emily and what I had lost, so I ran. I don’t think I’ve talked to them in five years.” Lisa listened to the soft conversation between Darlene and Teri then spoke up, “Dr. Dar? Are you still going to want the baby…since…well…since Kenny is acting like such an ass?”

Darlene’s expression softened as she looked at Lisa. “Oh honey, of course I still want this baby. The fact that our child will be related to Emily,” she looked at Teri and received an understanding look in return. “Only makes me love it more. She was a magnificent person.” Darlene’s heart warmed as she felt Teri’s hand squeeze her thigh in solidarity and understanding. She looked into her wife’s eyes. “I love you.”

The sound of a nose being blown caught everyone’s attention. Everyone looked over at Rhonda who was using a handkerchief to catch the moisture from her eyes and nose. “All we see on the news lately is a world filled with hate and terror. Seeing you two reminds me that there is hope left in the world. I feel so blessed that you two will be raising my grandbaby.”

“I hope we get the opportunity to do that,” Teri replied softly. “It sounds like Kenny might not sign over his parental rights.”

Jim sighed at the reality of Teri’s statement. “I hope that his parents will help him through his attitude problems. They seem like very good people and I have to believe that deep down Kenny knows what’s right.”

After Lisa and her parents had gone home, Darlene turned to Teri with a concerned expression. “How do you feel about all of this, honey?”

Teri wrapped her lover in her arms. “Baby, other than being really afraid that Kenny won’t sign that paper, I’m fine. I’ll admit it’s an awfully strange twist of fate we’ve been handed, but the fact that the baby will share genes with your first love is a plus in my book.” Teri leaned in and kissed Darlene then continued, “I understand the love you shared with Emily. I’d like to think that Emily is looking over all of this and smiling. I know she can see what an amazing parent you are and I’m sure she would be proud to have you loving her grand-niece or nephew.”

Darlene’s throat ached where a lump formed. “I thank everything that’s holy for bringing you into my life. I loved Emily so much but what I share with you goes beyond anything I ever hoped or dreamed I could have. Thank you.”

Later that evening, after Darlene rocked Lucy to sleep and settled the little girl in bed for the night, she sought out her wife. The emotions from the day’s discoveries and the evidence of Teri’s unwavering commitment and love washed over Darlene. She thought about her wife and allowed her feelings free rein and felt a raging desire to show her wife just how loved she was. She found Teri in the living room, curled up on the couch reading a book. Darlene leaned against the archway and soaked in the vision of her wife. The longer she watched, the more overwhelming her emotions became.

Teri felt Darlene’s presence and looked up to meet her lover’s eyes. “Did you want…” She recognized the expression in Darlene’s eyes and felt a rush of heat wash through her. “Oh,” she sighed.

Darlene held out her hand in invitation and Teri lifted herself from the sofa and immediately accepted the offer. Darlene led Teri through their bedroom and into the attached bathroom. As Teri reached out to unbutton Darlene’s blouse her hand was caught, kissed, and returned to her side. “Uh uh. Tonight is about my loving you.” Darlene saw that Teri was about to object and placed a kiss against her lips to quell the coming protest. “Relax and feel how much I love you. Tonight I want to give you anything you want, everything you desire.”

“Then let me see you naked. Now.” Teri groaned. A sexy grin and bedroom eyes dominated Darlene’s expression as she slowly unbuttoned her own blouse. “Is this what you wanted to see?” She teased as each inch of skin was revealed to avidly watching green eyes.

“Uh huh.” Teri devoured each millimeter of tanned skin as it appeared before her. Her fingers itched to rip the remaining clothes from Darlene’s body yet another part of her enjoyed the slow strip tease her wife performed. Darlene finally dropped the silk shirt from her body then taunted Teri as she ran her hands up her own abdomen and up to cup her breasts. She used her fingertips to scrape over the generous mounds which made her nipples stand at attention and strain against the silk of her bra. Teri groaned and felt her sex swell at the show. Her hips rotated so that the seam of her slacks popped over her now extended clit. Darlene noticed Teri’s actions and reached forward to unbutton and unzip Teri’s slacks. “Are your pants a little tight, lover?” Darlene asked before she tugged the garment in question, as well as soaked silk underwear, down Teri’s legs.

Teri groaned in protest. “I was getting so close… ”

Darlene nodded her understanding then turned Teri so that she faced the mirrored wall. She stood behind Teri and wrapped her arms around her. At first her hands massaged patterns over Teri’s lower abdomen and belly but soon one hand reached down and spread damp furred lips apart while the other hand moved to slide over and around Teri’s distended sex. Teri’s eyes closed in reaction but snapped open when Darlene husked, “Watch me touch you,” in her ear. In only moments, Teri cried out in release.

The night that followed was filled with a passion that surpassed Teri’s wildest dreams. The next morning, she was treated to a romantic breakfast in bed followed by a wonderful play day with her family. Teri’s love for Darlene was multiplied once again and she marveled at the fact. She had believed that their love was as rich as it could ever be, but she came to realize that love is indeed boundless and has an unlimited capacity for growth. She prayed that love would be enough to conquer the obstacle of Kenny’s attitude, but even if that didn’t happen, she was positive that the love she shared with Darlene would allow them to weather any outcome.

****

Darlene was home alone. Teri and Lucy were out grocery shopping, which meant they were out shopping in general and would eventually be home with not only a car load of food stuffs but also a myriad of other goodies. Darlene sipped her iced tea as she read an engrossing lesbian mystery novel. Her attention was diverted as the telephone rang. Darlene set her book aside and picked up the receiver. “Hello?”

“Hello, Dar? This is Rhonda.”

“Hi Rhonda. How are you doing?” Darlene asked.

“I’m fine, dear. Honey, I just got a call from Amy. She asked me for your phone number and I didn’t want to give out your personal information. I told her that I would call you and give you her number and leave it up to you to call her or not.” Rhonda paused. “Would you like the number?”

Darlene felt nervous butterflies begin to flutter in her gut, but she answered, “Yes, I’ll take the number and give her a call. Hey, Rhonda, I really appreciate you preserving our privacy.”

Rhonda laughed lightly. “Well, I’d be mighty peeved if someone gave out our number without our consent!”

“As well you should be,” Darlene agreed. Once Rhonda imparted the necessary phone number, Darlene disconnected from one call and then picked up the phone to make another.

Teri entered the house with a sleeping Lucy in her arms and heard Darlene’s voice in conversation. She walked into the family room and saw Darlene on the phone with tears streaming down her cheeks. She gently placed Lucy on the sofa and moved over to her lover. She questioned her wife silently with a concerned look in her eyes and received a slightly sad smile and a nod as an answer. “I’m ok,” Darlene mouthed. Teri leaned forward and kissed the trail of tears from her wife’s face. She pointed her own chest and then to the doorway and then to the floor in front of her, silently asking, “Do you want me to go or stay?”

Darlene’s eyes softened and she patted the spot beside her on the sofa, a silent signal that said, “Stay.” Teri immediately sat beside her lover and leaned into her body. Darlene was grateful for her wife’s warm solid support. The conversation with Amy had been a mixture of good and bad, happy and sad, and Darlene needed the stalwart support of her partner. It had been difficult to dredge up memories of her long lost lover and yet even as she had done so, Darlene realized that those wounds were indeed healed and that Teri, Lucy and hopefully the new baby were her future. She had talked with Amy about Kenny’s attitude and about his parent’s concern. Just as Teri had walked in, Amy had asked Darlene if she and Teri would come over for dinner that evening so that they could all talk. Darlene asked Amy to hold on a moment and then turned to Teri. “Welcome home, love.” She leaned in and placed a welcome kiss on Teri’s lips. “Amy would like us to come over for dinner and to talk about the situation. What do you think?”

Teri considered the request and though she was mildly nervous about facing Darlene’s former lover’s family, she knew it was the right thing to do. “As long as Lisa is available to watch Lucy, I think we should go.”

Darlene nodded and relayed the information to Amy. She told Amy that unless they called to cancel, that they would be over at 6:30 that evening. She even remembered to ask if there was anything they could bring and was promptly told no, that all they needed to bring was patience…because they were bound to need it when dealing with Kenny.

Darlene and Teri pressed the doorbell at precisely 6:30. Amy opened the front door and gasped, “My god, Dar, you’ve gotten even more beautiful!” She automatically stepped forward and took the woman she considered her sister-in-law into a tight hug. Darlene wrapped her arms around Amy’s back and felt tears once again prickle behind her eyes. “Hey Ames.” She backed away and put her arm around Teri. “Amy, I’d like you to meet my wife, Teri.”

Teri smiled a winning smile and greeted Amy, “I’m so glad to finally meet you.”

Amy grinned . “Teri, it’s wonderful to meet you. I was so happy to hear that Darlene had found someone special to love.” She stood aside and waved the couple into the house. “Come on in you two. Dar, I’ll give you one guess where we’ll find Jeff…”

Darlene laughed. “Putting out whatever fire he’s set in the grill!”

“You got it in one, big guy!” Amy laughed and turned toward Teri. “My husband has a sad history of bringing burnt offerings to the table.”

Teri smiled at the ease with which she was included in the conversation and inside joke. “Sounds like Darlene should go out and volunteer her superior grilling skills!”

Amy nodded enthusiastically. “That would be the only way we can hope to have anything recognizable come off the grill.”

Teri looked over at Darlene to make sure she was comfortable with the idea before she slapped the tall brunette on the butt and instructed, “Well, baby, you know how I like to eat so you’d better go rescue our dinner.”

“Yes Ma’am.” Darlene smiled softly at her wife and saluted. “Believe me; we do not want to deprive this one of food!” she laughingly told Amy.

“Hey!” Teri spoke up in mock protest.

Darlene chuckled then leaned over to place a kiss on Teri’s forehead and offered her the book she held in her hand. “Will you be alright here if I go find Jeff?”

“Go ahead, love. Amy and I will be fine,” Teri assured her as she accepted the book. Darlene nodded and headed toward the smell of burning meat.

****

Dinner was saved by Darlene’s intervention and soon the four adults were seated at the dining room table. The animated conversation stopped suddenly when a sullen teen-aged boy walked into the room. Teri watched the boy carefully. She was positive that she saw a flash of excitement enter the boy’s eyes when he saw Darlene. But before it could fully register, the look was shuttered by a glowering countenance. Teri sighed inwardly at the boy’s attitude. She had hoped, for Darlene’s sake that things weren’t quite as bad as Lisa and her parents had painted them. She placed her hand against Darlene’s thigh under the table and gave it a comforting squeeze.

Darlene rose and walked over to the attitudinal teenager. She simply did what her heart instructed her to do and she wrapped her arms around the boy and enveloped him in a hug. “I’ve missed you Kenny boy,” she choked out through a tear clogged throat. Kenny stiffened in Darlene’s arms then tried to push the tall woman away. Darlene simply held on and told the boy that she loved him. She told him that even if he hated her, she would always love him. She hung on and she apologized for disappearing from his life for so long and asked for his forgiveness. Through it all, the boy struggled, he swore at her, he called her vile names and yet deep inside where the boy he truly was still resided, he heard her words and craved her hugs. However, the pseudo-strong hormonally crazed attitude in sneakers wouldn’t allow him to show his true side, not yet.

Darlene finally let go of the boy and sat back down next to Teri. Kenny plopped himself into one of the empty chairs and slouched down in his seat until his father reprimanded him and ordered him to either sit in the chair properly or leave the table. The adults watched the thought process as it was clearly displayed on the teenager’s face before the boy finally sat up in his chair. Both Jeff and Amy thanked their son for making the choice he’d made. Jeffrey passed the plate of grilled meats to his son and everyone was pleasantly surprised when Kenny automatically blurted out, “Now I know Aunty Dar is back, the meat’s not black.” As soon as the upbeat comment was out of his mouth, Kenny snapped his lips shut and tried to regain his aloof manner. But the small crack in his attitudinal armor gave the adults a glimmer of hope.

After dinner the adults gathered in the family living room and talked about the past, about the present, and about the predicament the teenagers had gotten themselves into. Darlene and Teri both expressed their desire to be parents again and Darlene proudly showed pictures of Lucy to Amy and Jeffrey. She beamed when she talked about the daughter of her heart. Teri’s heart fell deeper in love as she witnessed her partner interact as a proud parent. After a time, Darlene looked over at Teri and saw the love shining from her eyes. She allowed the love to shine out of her own eyes toward her wife and then turned to Amy and Jeff, “Will you excuse me? I’m going to go try to talk to Kenny.”

Jeff and Amy looked at each other then back at Darlene; together they spoke as one, “Good luck.”

Darlene nodded then picked up the book she had brought with her and headed to the boy’s room. Once she reached a door that said, “KEEP OUT” she knocked on the door.

“Go away!” shouted an adolescent male voice.

“Kenny, I’m going to stay here until you let me in. If that takes all night, that’s fine but I am not leaving until we talk,” Darlene stated emphatically.

After only a few minutes the door flew open. Though Kenny’s defiant face glowered at Darlene, when she looked into his eyes she saw a well masked look of hopefulness lurking. “What?” the teen demanded.

Darlene smiled at Kenny’s surliness then said, “I wanted to talk to you.” She held up the book she carried. “I wanted to share pictures of my family with you.”

“Why would I want to see pictures of you and your Dy…” Before Kenny could finish the word his mouth was covered with a large female hand and Darlene was in his face so close that he could feel her breath against his skin.

“Do… Not… Ever… Say… That… Word!” Each word was growled out through clenched teeth. It took every ounce of control Darlene owned to regain control of her temper in the face of the belligerence radiating from the teen. She pushed Kenny into his room and slammed the door shut behind them. Darlene removed her hand from the boy’s mouth and ordered him to sit on the bed. “You just be quiet and listen to me, Kenneth.” She paced back and forth in front of the bed, calming and organizing her thoughts. Finally she turned to face the teen.

“When you were little, you adored your Aunty Em. Do you remember that?” Darlene asked. Kenny looked away but nodded his head to indicate that he did indeed remember. “You used to come over and stay with us; we’d go on our hikes and talk for hours on end.” As Darlene recalled the special times she had shared with this boy her voice broke with emotion. “Kenny, you were so important to Emily and me. We thought of you more like a son than as a nephew.” Darlene took a deep breath and continued, “Kenny, how did you feel about your Aunty Em? How would you feel about her today if she were alive?”

Kenny’s face was averted but in a small voice he answered, “I loved Aunty Em. I wish she was still alive. I wish you hadn’t left.”

Darlene felt a stab of pain pierce her heart. “I am so sorry I left your life for so long, Kenny. It hurt so much to look into your eyes and see how similar they were to Em’s. I believed that I had to make a clean break in order to heal.” She moved to kneel in front of the boy. “I’m asking you to forgive me, Kenny. Can you do that?”

Kenny glared at Darlene and spat out, “Go to hell.”

With her heart shattered, Darlene pushed herself on to try to make her next point. “Kenny, Lisa said that your attitude and behavior has changed recently because you’ve started hanging out with a different set of friends.”

Kenny looked up defiantly. . “Yeah, so what if I have?”

“Kenny, what would your new ‘friends’ do if they saw two women leaving a restaurant holding hands?”

Kenny’s face took on a mask of disgust and bravado. “They’d kick their asses,” he stated.

Darlene’s heart sank as she looked at the hate-filled countenance before her. She realized that what she was about to say would be difficult but she knew in her heart that she needed to bring the reality of hate home to her nephew.

“Kenny, years ago I was out to dinner with your Aunty Em. We were out celebrating our anniversary and planning our future. We were planning on starting a family. We left the restaurant feeling blissfully happy, amazingly hopeful and so in love that we were holding hands as we walked to our car.” Darlene’s eyes filled with tears as she remembered that far away special night. She noted that Kenny had begun to squirm a bit beside her so she took his face into her hands and brought his eyes to meet hers before she continued. “A group of boys, teen aged boys, saw us holding hands and called us names. They called us Dykes and queers; they used language I refuse to repeat. But that wasn’t enough, Kenny. When we ignored their taunts they jumped us.”

Kenny attempted to stand up and walk away from Darlene but she reached out to hold him in place and made him listen. She described in haunting detail the horrors she and her lover experienced that night at the hands of hate-filled, small-minded teens. She described the pain, the blood, and the terror. She relived the loss hoping to break through what she hoped was a veneer of toughness in the boy she loved.

“Kenny, you’re telling me that you are willingly choosing to spend time with people who would kill me. You are condoning, if not participating, in behaviors that killed your Aunty Em.”

Kenny jumped in to interrupt. “I would never have killed my Aunty Em! I would never beat you up!”

Darlene cupped the boy’s face. “Kenny, a few moments ago you proudly said your friends would kick the ass of a same gender couple who were holding hands.”

Kenny’s face became confused. “But I didn’t mean you.” He began to sob. “I didn’t mean someone like Aunty Em.”

Darlene wrapped the teen in her arms. “Kenny, almost every gay person has someone who loves them. Most of us have a family. Many of us have little boys that we adore in our lives. If you hate one other gay person, you hate me-you hate your Aunty Em.”

“NO!” Kenny pulled away in horror. “You’re not like that. You weren’t like that!”

Darlene sighed, “Yes, Kenny. I am like that; I have always been ‘like that’. Your Aunty Em and I were ‘like that’.”

“I… I need to think,” Kenny muttered.

Darlene nodded. She understood that she had pushed the teen about as far as she dared with harsh reality. She decided to try to reach him on another level and pulled out the book she had brought with her. She opened the album to the first page and handed it to the boy. “Kenny, I’ll leave you to think in a few minutes but I want to share what’s in this book with you first.”

Kenny glanced down at the open page expecting to see a photo of the pretty blonde woman that had arrived with Darlene. His breath caught in his chest when he realized that the picture was an old one of his Aunty Em and Aunty Dar.

****

After Darlene and Teri’s visit to his home and after Kenny’s long talk with his Aunty Dar, Kenny’s parents noticed that their son was unusually quiet. His behavior around the house was remarkably changed for the better yet they were concerned about his withdrawn manner. He was no longer sullen or hostile, but he was strangely subdued and thoughtful. They decided to give the boy some time before they took any action but they made sure that he knew that they loved him and that they were there for him.

Kenny had withdrawn into himself to think about what he and his Aunty Dar had discussed. His Aunt had suggested that he write down his thoughts and feelings. She told him to be honest with himself and to write down what he thought, not what his new friends would want him to write. After he followed her advice, he realized how far away from his true self he had drifted. He thought about how much he had allowed his new ‘friends’ to influence his attitude, views and behavior and he realized that by trying to fit in he had been becoming the very kind of person that he had previously detested. He realized that he had ignored the inner voice that was his parents had always called his “jiminy cricket” that had warned him against the bigoted attitude and behavior his new cohorts had exhibited. As he realized what he had started to become, his heart broke. His chest physically ached from the pressure of his realizations and, even though it was the middle of the night, he ran to the place that had always been safe. It didn’t matter that he was almost a grown man, or that he hadn’t needed this kind of comfort since he was small. He walked down the dark hallway then stopped at his parents’ door. As he started to knock, he realized how late the hour was and he thought about how old he was and was suddenly unsure so he slid down the door frame and sat on the floor leaning against his parents’ door. Just being closer to them brought him a modicum of comfort.

On the other side of the door, Amy’s mother radar pinged and as she awakened she realized that Jeff was awake as well. They looked at one another and then toward the closed door. After only a moment, they both got up out of the bed and moved to open their bedroom door. They looked down into the tear filled eyes of their boy.

“Mom, Dad, I’ve messed up so bad,” He croaked in an emotion choked voice. The emotions rising in his chest were too much for the teen to cope with and he began to sob. Both parents dropped to the floor beside their son and wrapped him in a cocoon of love. Amy kissed her son’s forehead and rubbed his back.

Jeff ran his fingers through his son’s hair and pressed the boy tightly against his chest. “We love you, son,” the boy’s father choked out. “Take some deep breaths and talk to us when you’re ready. We’re not going anywhere. We’ve got you.”

After long moments of soaking up his parents’ love Kenny was able to speak again. “I’m… I’m so sorry. I’ve been an idiot. I know I’ve acted like a complete turd to you guys.” He sobbed as he thought about how much of a jerk he had been toward his parents. “I’ve been thinking about stuff since Aunty Dar was here. She said that I was acting just like the guys that killed Aunty Emily.” He took a breath and continued, “At first I was really pissed.”

“Hey!” Amy gave a soft smack to the back of her son’s head.

Kenny had the grace to look embarrassed. “Sorry Mom.” He cleared his throat and went on, “I was really mad at her at first. Really mad. She left me! I kept thinking about how much I missed her and I didn’t want to listen to her but she wouldn’t let me ignore her.”

Jeffrey smiled and chuckled a bit. “That’s the Darlene we remember. So what made you finally listen to her, Kenny?”

“I don’t think it was something I decided, Dad. It was more that she wouldn’t leave until she had said everything she wanted to say. And…” He choked on another sob. “She kept showing me pictures of when I was little. There were pictures of me, her and Aunty Em. She told me how much she loved… loves me. Then she cried and said she was sorry for leaving me, leaving us, after Aunty Em died. She said it was too painful to stay around us. She said every time she looked into my eyes she saw Aunty Em’s eyes and it hurt too much.”

His Mom interrupted him to ask, “Do you understand any better now why she left?”

Kenny shrugged his shoulders. “Yeah, I guess so.” He looked up into his Mom’s eyes. “She asked me to forgive her. She’s an adult and she asked me to forgive her.”

His father asked, “And did you?”

Kenny looked down. “No. Not then I didn’t. I told her to go to hell.”

Amy’s heart broke. It broke both for the boy she had raised and for the woman she still considered to be her sister-in-law.

Kenny heard his mother’s sad sigh and looked up. “But I’ve thought about everything we talked about and I do forgive her. I’m gonna go over to their house tomorrow and try to talk to Aunty Dar.”

Kenny rested his head against his father’s chest as he gathered his courage. “Mom, Dad, please forgive me for being such a jerk.” Then after a breath he choked out, “how can Lisa ever forgive me?” He focused pleading eyes on his Mother. “I let the guys talk me into dumping her after I’d…” He jumped up from the floor and paced the hall. The anger he felt toward himself was overwhelming. “I slept with her and then I dumped her! I really like her. She’ll never believe that I’m sorry. She’ll never want to talk to me again!”

It took his parents a few moments to pick themselves up off of the floor but they rose and halted his pacing. “Son, stop,” his father ordered softly. “You could be right. There is every chance that Lisa will always resent you for how you’ve treated her. Not only did you lie to her, you took her virginity and then left her to deal with your child on her own.” Jeffrey took a deep breath to calm himself. “I won’t lie to you and tell you that your change of heart makes everything you’ve done recently magically go away. You have a lot of work ahead of you to repair the damage you’ve caused.”

Amy spoke up. “Kenny, we love you. There is nothing you could do that would stop that love. However, we certainly haven’t liked you much lately. I have missed the wonderful person that I know is the real you. I won’t speak for your father in this, but I forgive you. I believe I can speak for both of us when I tell you that we will do whatever we can to help you. We cannot make amends with the people you’ve hurt; only you can do that. But we’ll stand by you and support you in becoming the man you’ve started to be tonight. It took courage to come to us, son. I am so proud of you right now.”

Kenny gave his Mother a teary smile. “Thank you Mom. I’ll do better, I promise.” He then turned his attention to his Father. “Dad? Will you forgive me?”

Jeff felt a lump in his throat and swallowed before he replied, “Son, I already have.” After glancing at a wall clock, Jeff said, “I think we all need to get back to bed. We can talk more after some sleep.” The family all hugged and kissed one another good night then retired to their respective beds. Kenny slept better that night than he had in a very long time.

****

After school the following day, Kenny made his way to his Aunty Dar’s house. He stood on the front porch for long minutes gathering his courage before he rang the door bell.

When Teri opened the door, she found Kenny standing nervously wiping his hands on his jean clad thighs. She was shocked to see the teen on her doorstep, but allowed a bud of hope to blossom. “Well, hi Kenny.” She welcomed the boy. He looked up momentarily taken aback. He hadn’t considered that Aunty Dar might not answer the door. His first reaction was to flee, but he reminded himself that if he wanted to have his Aunty Dar back in his life, he would have to learn to accept her new family as well.

He looked up uneasily. “Hi, um, Teri?”

Teri smiled. She recognized how ill at ease the boy was. “That’s right, I’m Teri.”

“Yeah, uh, hi.” Kenny stumbled over his words. “I was wondering if I could talk to Aun…um…to…” He wasn’t sure if it was alright to refer to Darlene as his Aunty Dar with this woman.

Teri opened the front door wider. “Your Aunt Dar is still with a patient; but if you’d like to come in and wait I’m sure she’ll be happy to see you.”

Though Kenny still felt ill at ease, this woman’s kind eyes and manner calmed him considerably. He began to understand that his Aunty Dar had moved on in her life with the pretty blonde. “Oh, ok. Uh, Teri, I guess I should apologize to you too. I was pretty rude to you the other night.”

Teri closed the door behind them and motioned for the teen to accompany her into the living room. Before they sat down she turned to the boy. “That took a lot of courage, Kenny. I accept your apology. I know your Aunt has missed you very much it will mean so much to her if you could be back in her life.” Teri saw the light spark in the tall youth’s eyes. She invited Kenny to have a seat and offered him a soft drink. After she had procured the drinks, she sat across from Kenny and looked him in the eyes. “Darlene has told me about your Aunt Emily and about the times the three of you spent together. It’s a very special part of her life. Losing your Aunt almost destroyed her. Having you hate her is hurting her all over again. I don’t want to see her hurt any more; so I’d like to know why you’re here.”

Kenny’s eyes widened as he watched Teri’s face. He could see that if he was there to cause Darlene pain that she would rip him a new bodily orifice. He wondered how someone so petite could look so intimidating. He rushed to assure the small blonde, “No! I’m not here to hurt her. I was a total shi…” He stopped mid word when he saw the look of censure on the blonde’s face. “I was really mean to Aunty Dar the other night. She asked me to forgive her and I…” he looked down at this shoes, too embarrassed to continue.

“You told her to go to hell.” Teri couldn’t keep the anger out of her voice. Darlene had been completely devastated after her talk with Kenny. The dreams of the night Emily had been killed had come back in full force and her lover had been so down that Teri was deeply worried… The usually strong, independent woman Teri loved had been clingy and weepy for days after their visit. Teri saw Kenny flinch at her words and then she saw that the boy had tears in his eyes. Her first instinct was to comfort him, but the picture in her mind of her desolate lover kept her from showing her usual compassion. “She’s been broken hearted over it, Kenny. I won’t let you hurt her again.”

He looked up into determined jade eyes and rushed to ease the woman’s worries. “No. Like I was trying to say, I’m here to accept her apology and to say I’m sorry for what I said.” As Teri watched, the tall teenager suddenly appeared like a small unsure boy. “I’m not sure she’ll be willing to forgive me though. I’ve really been messing up lately.”

Teri’s heart softened at the boy’s words. “Y’know, Kenny, your Aunt Dar has an amazing ability to forgive. I guarantee she’ll welcome you back into her life with open arms.”

Their conversation was interrupted by a call from down the hall, “Mama!”

The child’s call sounded frantic and Teri was on her feet and on her way down the hall in an instant. She looked into Lucy’s room first because the child had been down for a nap; but Lucy was not in her room. “Lucy, where are you?” Teri called.

“I’m in your bafroom, Mama. Help!” Lucy called.

Teri rushed into the bathroom that was off of the master bedroom and found Lucy. The little girl was sitting on, well more accurately in, the toilet. The little girl’s bottom was so far into the toilet opening that the child was just about folded in half. Teri tried not to laugh, but couldn’t keep a small chuckle from escaping. She moved to extricate her daughter as she asked, “What happened, honey?”

Lucy’s eyes were filled with tears as she explained, “I had to go potty and the door to my bafroom wouldn’t open. I had to go bad so I comed in here and my hiney fell through the hole. Mamma, my bottom is in my pee pee!”

Again, it took all of Teri’s might to stop her laughter. This was serious business for her daughter. “Honey, you should have called to me to help you before you tried to use a potty without your special seat.” Teri reached out to pull her daughter from her porcelain prison only to discover that the child had become so wedged in that she was stuck. The realization cause Lucy to panic and try to wiggle more. “Baby, stop wiggling, you’re going to get yourself more wedge in!” Teri’s mind whirled with options on how to free Lucy.

Back in the living room, Kenny sat feeling a bit lost. He realized that Teri had run out of the room for a good reason, but he felt out of place sitting in a strange house all alone. After only a few moments though, Darlene entered the room from a side door he hadn’t noticed before. His heart sank when he saw the dark circles under her blue eyes. He realized that he was the reason for her ragged appearance.

Darlene entered through the door that connected her office to the main house. She expected to find Teri waiting for her in the living room. She had needed her wife’s loving support so much lately that she counted on seeing her as soon as her work day was over. She was surprised to see Kenny seated in the living room; but even more puzzled over the fact that he was alone. She was unsure of Kenny’s reason for being in her home, but she still walked over and greeted the boy she loved with a hug.

The moment his Aunt’s arms wrapped around him, Kenny broke down into sobs. “I’m sorry, Aunty Dar. I’m so sorry!” His voice cracked as he cried out his heart.

“It’s ok, Kenny.” Dar kissed the boy’s sandy colored hair. “I love you.” She felt as though a million pound weight had been lifted from her heart. He wasn’t there to reject her. The fact that her wife was not in the room came back into her mind and she asked, “Where’s Teri?”

Kenny sniffed and wiped his nose on his shirt sleeve. “Um, she ran down the hall when your little girl called for her. She sounded kinda upset.”

Darlene’s first reaction was to jump up to check on her family. She turned to Kenny. “I’m going to go make sure they’re ok.” She looked into eyes so much like her first lover’s. “Please stay so we can talk?”

He smiled as he recognized that his Aunty Dar was torn between staying with him and checking on her family. “Go. I’ll be here.”

She stopped long enough to plant another kiss on her nephew’s forehead then went in search of Lucy and Teri. She walked down the hall way and used a long standing family joke and called out, “Luuuucy I’m hoooome!”

When she heard Lucy’s panicked voice call out, “Da! Help!” She broke into a run as she followed the voice that echoed from the master bathroom. Darlene came to a sliding stop when she witnessed the scene before her. Lucy was a human taco surrounded by the toilet seat and Teri was on her knees in front of the toilet as she squeezed a bottle of Astroglide® around their daughter’s body. “Well, that’s a new use for lube,” Darlene chuckled.

Teri was instantly relieved when she realized Darlene was there. She heard the teasing tone of her wife’s voice and began an explanation. “Her bathroom door locked itself again. She thought she’d just use our bathroom and, well, she’s definitely not ready to use a big girl potty all on her own.” As Teri tried to work the lubricant between her daughter’s body and the wooden toilet seat she explained, “She’s so scared that she panicked when I wanted to go to the kitchen to get dish soap, so I figured this would work as well.”

“It’s slimy, Da,” Lucy said.

“I’m sure it is, princess. That stuff’s pretty slippery,” Darlene replied.

“Did you get your butt stuck in a potty, Da?” Lucy asked her tall parent.

Darlene laughed. “No pumpkin, I’ve never had my bottom stuck in the potty.”

“Then how come you know it’s slippery?” the little girl asked innocently.

Darlene saw a blush grow up Teri’s neck and she let out a low sexy chuckle. “You want to tell her how I know it’s slippery, Mama?”

“Dar…” Teri’s warned her wife, but it was too late.

“Why Mama?” Lucy asked.

Darlene squatted down to be on the same level as her family. “Baby, I just know it is, ok?”

“Oh, ok.” Lucy accepted easily much to Teri’s relief.

“Da, my hiney is in my pee pee,” Lucy complained.

Darlene roared with laughter falling back on her own hiney. Once she had her laughter under control she assured her little human taco that they’d get her all cleaned up after they got her out of her present predicament.

Darlene reached over and rubbed her wife’s back lovingly. “You keep lubing her up; I’m going to tell Kenny we’ll be a while longer.”

Teri smiled with good humor and continued with her project while Darlene went out to ask Kenny to be patient for a while longer. When Darlene returned to the bathroom she suggested that Teri hold the toilet seat down while Darlene tried to lift their daughter up and out. Fortunately after only a bit of maneuvering the little girl was free from her dunk in the potty having learned a lesson in asking for help when she should.

Teri stayed with Lucy to get the little one freshened up while Darlene returned to the living room to speak with Kenny.

The talk was going well between Darlene and Kenny. They were re-establishing their relationship and Kenny told his Aunt that he would sign whatever papers were necessary once Lisa had the baby. The boy’s face looked so bleak as he mentioned Lisa’s name that Darlene felt compelled to ask him about it.

“I blew it with her,” Kenneth sighed. “She’ll never forgive me. How could she?”

Darlene slid her arm around him. “You’ll never know unless you try, Kenny.” Kenny nodded thoughtfully.

Teri walked into the living room with a cleaned up munchkin in tow. The moment Lucy saw her Da her face lit up and she ran across the room to be lifted up onto her dark haired parent’s lap. “Mama gave me a baf, Da. Before dinner. She said I don’t haf ta have another one after dinner ‘case I’m clean now.” The little motor mouth noticed the new person in her home. “Who’s that?” she asked as she pointed at Kenneth.

“Lucy, it isn’t polite to point at people,” Teri gently reprimanded the child.

“Sorry, Mama,” the little girl replied. “But who is he?” she persisted.

Darlene smiled at her precocious daughter. “Lucy, this is Kenneth.”

Lucy remembered that name from earlier conversations and a scowl immediately covered her three-year-old face. She leaned out of her Da’s arms and proceeded to smack the young man as hard as her little arms would allow. “You hurt my Da! You hurt Lisa! You’re BAD!”

“Lucy!” Both of her parents hollered. Darlene scooped her daughter up in her arms and moved her away from Kenneth. In a firm voice she scolded the child, “Lucy, we do not hit!”

“He’s bad,” Lucy persisted.

Teri decided to take the child into her room to talk to, and punish, her for her violent actions. She cast a look at Darlene to do some damage control with Kenneth.

Once Teri and Lucy were gone, Darlene turned to Kenny. “I’m sorry. I’ve never seen her react like that to anyone. I…” She was at a loss for words.

Kenneth shrugged his shoulders. “She’s right. I did hurt you and Lisa.” His voice caught in his throat, “I deserved it.”

Darlene shook her head. “No one deserves to be hit; even if it’s by a three-year-old.”

A defiant “No!” was heard from down the hall and Darlene decided that she needed to be in on the conversation that was obviously not going well. She turned to Kenneth. “Kenny, I need to go help Teri with Lucy. It’s about dinner time anyway so why don’t you head on home and we’ll call you later?”

Kenneth let a small smile come and nodded his head. “It seems like you have your hands full.” He looked into his Aunt’s blue eyes. “But, we’re ok now Aunty Dar? You and me?”

Darlene’s heart swelled as she looked at a precious piece of her past. “We’re good, Kenny boy, we’re good.” She escorted the boy to the front door, gave him a long hug and told him she’d talk to him later.

****

It took a long time and more than one “time out” but Darlene and Teri finally got Lucy to understand that hitting in anger was wrong. They told her that they understood that she was angry at Kenneth, but that hitting was not the answer. They also used the incident as a lesson in both giving and receiving forgiveness.

After they put the little slugger to bed, Darlene and Teri settled into the living room for some quality snuggle time. “Are you sure you want another one?” Darlene joked.

“After today, I’m seriously questioning our sanity!” Teri replied with a laugh. She cuddled into Darlene’s arms while she placed kisses along her lover’s long neck. She reached up and nipped Darlene’s ear fully aware that her partner’s ears were an erogenous zone. She put her lips against Darlene’s ear and whispered, “You’re in trouble for teasing me about the lube earlier.”

Darlene’s body vibrated with excitement. “I’m in trouble, huh?” she husked.

“Mm Hmm,” Teri replied with a sharp nip to Darlene’s tasty ear lobe. “Since you seem to have forgotten just how ‘slippery’ it is, I think I need to give you a refresher lesson.”

Darlene gulped at her wife’s tone and felt herself become ‘slippery’ from her body’s own lubricant. She turned her head and captured her love’s lips in a passionate kiss. The kiss was deep and wet and lasted an eternity. When the couple finally came up for air both women trembled from arousal. Teri stood and held her hand out to her partner. “Tonight, you’re mine,” her deepened voice declared.

Darlene grasped Teri’s hand and allowed herself to be led to their bedroom. Teri closed and locked their bedroom door then turned to her tall lover. Darlene felt a shudder run through her body when she saw the look of want in her wife’s eyes. “God, Ter, you look at me like that and I’m ready to come,” she moaned.

“Don’t you dare,” Teri warned as she reached for the buttons on Darlene’s blouse. Teri’s lips mapped out the skin that was uncovered as each button came undone. She unsnapped the front closure on Darlene’s bra then slid blouse and bra down Darlene’s long arms to fall on the floor. Teri slid to her knees as she traced the center line of Darlene’s abdomen with her tongue. Darlene gasped as her nipples were stimulated to full alert as Teri’s fingertips scraped over the summit of her breasts. Teri lapped around and into Darlene’s navel, another of her wife’s sensual triggers. Darlene’s knees began to buckle as her arousal soared. “Uh uh uh, my love, stay standing until I’m finished,” Teri commanded.

Darlene moaned, “Can’t.”

“Sure you can… unless you want me to stop?” Teri threatened her wife.

“God no!” Darlene exclaimed as she willed her knees back into action.

Teri chuckled low in her throat. “Didn’t think so.” She unbuttoned and unzipped Darlene’s slacks then, with her palms flat against Darlene’s abdomen; she slid her hands down inside the tall woman’s underwear and guided the rest of her lover’s clothes off. Darlene’s body felt like one giant nerve ending; every touch of her wife’s hands affected all of Darlene’s senses. Her heart overflowed with wonder at how much she felt with her lover. “I love you, I love you so much,” Darlene’s declared prayerfully.

Teri stood up and wrapped her beautiful lover in an embrace. “I love you, Darlene. More with every second that passes.” She slid her fingers into Darlene’s ebony locks and gazed deeply into her eyes. “Every day I wake up and think there is no possible way to love you more; then you say or do something or just look at me with a special look and I fall deeper in love with you. I’d be lost without you.” They kissed in worship of one another. After long moments of loving kisses, Teri stepped away from her wife and slowly removed her own clothes. She teased Darlene by unbuttoning her blouse so slowly it was painful. Once she was topless, Teri turned her back to her lover before she undid her slacks. Teri bent over at the waist as she pushed her slacks down her legs. The sight of Teri’s bare bottom and the peek at her glistening sex tantalized Darlene into action. She slid her hand between her wife’s legs and moaned at the copious moisture she encountered. Her moan deepened when Teri rocked her hips against her long fingers. “God, Ter…” Darlene gasped as her control slipped. She wrapped her free arm around Teri’s waist and pulled the woman back into her own groin while she continued to slide her fingers through the slick heat between Teri’s legs.

Teri allowed herself to enjoy the caresses for a moment longer; but before she could immerse herself completely in her lover’s touch she stood and stepped away. Darlene groaned in protest, her sex so swollen it was painful. All she would have needed was another moment to rub against her wife’s luscious back side. “Please…” she heard herself beg when Teri stepped away.

Teri’s breathing was labored as she controlled her desires. She turned to face her beloved and ran her hands up the front of the trembling woman. She caressed every inch of the tall body. Her hands spent long moments caressing Darlene’s breasts. She bent her head and sucked one stiff nipple into her mouth as her fingers pinched and tugged at its mate. Darlene’s head was thrown back and long moans flowed from her throat. The sounds of her mate enflamed Teri’s libido and her imagination. She released Darlene’s nipple with pop then instructed her lover to get onto the bed.

Darlene scooted onto the bed and waited for what would come next. Teri moved to the head of the bed and gathered all of the pillows, save one, into a pile. “Sit up against these, lover,” she instructed. Darlene assumed that Teri had saved the one pillow in order to use it as a kneeling pad and anticipated feeling her wife’s mouth against her engorged tissues. When Teri dropped the pillow on the foot of the bed, Darlene’s dark brows met in puzzlement. Teri sent a sultry smile at her wife’s puzzled look. “Don’t think you have everything figured out, beautiful.” She stood at the foot of the bed and gazed at the goddess before her. “My god, you’re amazing,” she sighed out. “Bend your knees and spread your legs, love.”

Darlene complied with her wife’s request and anticipated whatever would come next. Her blue eyes glowed with arousal and love as she looked at her naked lover. Teri slid up onto the bed and between Darlene’s legs. She reached forward and placed a thumb along each side of Darlene’s swollen labia and spread her treasure open. She inhaled deeply as Darlene’s scent was released from her heated center; the aroma ratcheted her desire up yet another notch. “So beautiful,” she whispered, not for the first time. Her eyes captured Darlene’s as she voiced her desire, “I want you to touch yourself.” Darlene’s right hand shot between her own legs, eager to comply with Teri’s request only to have her wife’s small hand stop her movement. Darlene actually whimpered at Teri’s action, she was so full and ready. “You didn’t let me finish telling you what I want,” Teri reprimanded softly before she continued. “Touch yourself softly. Do not touch your clit or penetrate yourself. Just stroke yourself lightly but don’t you dare climax before I get back.”

Darlene’s blue eyes widened dramatically. “Where are you going?!” she gasped.

Teri’s smile was soft. “Not far, baby. I’ll be right back.” She stroked her thumb against the slick soft lips of Darlene’s sex. “Remember, stay away from…” she looked down at Darlene’s vulva and felt her own sex clench. Darlene’s clitoris was standing up, full, red and glistening. Teri was tempted to throw her ideas away and simply dive into the feast before her; but she resisted the temptation and carried out her plan. “Go ahead, love, let me see you touch yourself.”

Darlene’s fingers moved to stroke the sensitive tissues that surrounded her engorged clit, careful to avoid contact with the overly sensitive organ. She was certain that her wife was the queen of torture at that very moment. She watched as Teri slid off of the bed and walked to the bathroom. She continued her self-ministrations as she waited for her wife’s return, her hips rocked in rhythm with her strokes.

Teri returned to the bedroom with a towel and the bottle of lube in her hands. She crawled up onto the bed and came to rest between Darlene’s legs. She watched, mouth watering, as Darlene’s long fingers stroked her sensitive pink tissues. Teri’s eyes moved up Darlene’s body and finally locked onto passion-filled blue eyes. “Every time I look at you I’m amazed,” Teri’s emotion filled voice vowed.

Darlene moaned at Teri’s words and she begged, “Please, Ter, Please touch me.”

Teri smiled a sexy smile and assured her lover. “Soon, lover, very soon.” She turned to pick up the pillow at the foot of the bed; she spread the doubled-over towel on the pillow then instructed her lover to lift her hips. Teri slid the pillow beneath Darlene’s hips so that the dark woman’s pelvis was tipped the way she wanted. She took the bottle of lube and squirted some of the clear liquid into her left hand. She reached forward and slid her left thumb into Darlene’s aching vagina. She stroked the slick walls as she rotated her thumb inside the warm cavern. Darlene groaned at the welcome invasion and began to rock her hips with more purpose.

“You like that, huh?” Teri teased her wife.

“God yes…please…Ter… love…” Darlene’s speech was choppy and interspersed with deep moans of arousal.

Teri looked back into Darlene’s pleading eyes and instructed, “Mmm, ok lover, go ahead and stroke your clit… slowly and lightly.” Darlene moved to fulfill her lover’s demand; she slid her long middle finger over to slowly circle her clitoris. Teri watched Darlene’s actions; her eyes closed as she felt an overwhelming wave of arousal surge through her. She watched as a blush of arousal spread over Darlene’s torso, she smiled knowing her lover was moments away from an orgasm. “Mmm, don’t come yet, lover.”

Darlene groan in frustration then moaned with excitement as she felt Teri’s lube coated finger slide over her anus. “Oh, yes… please…” Darlene begged.

Teri’s love for her wife blossomed in her heart as she stroked and circled her wife’s puckered opening. Darlene loved to have every orifice filled and Teri was happy to oblige her desires. She continued to rotate her thumb inside Darlene’s vagina as she gently slid her finger into the rear opening. Teri began to pump her fingers into her lover as she watched Darlene’s fingers speed up their clitoral stimulation. Teri’s own sex throbbed and ached for release so as her left hand plunged into her lover, her right hand moved between her own legs as she brought herself to climax in synch with her lover’s cry of release. She felt Darlene’s vaginal walls clamp down on her thumb and smiled as Darlene released a gush of fluid as she came. “God, yes!” Teri cried out as Darlene’s overpowering orgasm caused a follow-up climax in her own body.

Darlene panted in the afterglow of her mind-altering orgasm. Tears flowed from her eyes as she felt the love she shared with Teri overwhelm her. When Teri began to slide her fingers out of Darlene’s body, Darlene begged, “Please, leave them there. Come up here and let me hold you; but leave them there. I need to feel you inside me.”

Teri crawled up her lover’s long body to snuggle into her side. She gladly left her fingers buried in warm wet body cavities. She loved to feel the ripples of internal muscles as they fluttered with aftershocks. The after-glow of their lovemaking was a favorite time for both lovers; their hearts and bodies both connected in that place where only they existed. It was bliss. “I love you,” was whispered in concert as the two women drifted off to sleep.

****

Early the next morning, Darlene woke pleasantly sore and with a smile on her face. She leaned over and placed a soft kiss on her still sleeping wife’s forehead. She blinked her eyes as she tried to clear her sleep fogged head. Something had awakened her but she wasn’t sure what it had been. After only a moment she heard a soft knock on their bedroom door; a knock accompanied by a small voice, “Da? Are you waked up?”

Darlene extricated herself from her wife’s grasp and slid from the bed. She made sure her wife’s naked body was covered with the blankets then slipped on her own robe and moved to answer the door.

“Good morning, princess. It’s way too early for you to be awake,” she greeted her too bright-eyed daughter.

Without preamble, Lucy launched into an inquisition. “Da, you said it’s not ok to hit but you hit people when you wear your white pajamas. How come you can hit and I can’t?”

Darlene groaned quietly at her daughter’s machine-gun rapid speech, she didn’t’ feel awake enough yet to deal with the inquiry of her three-year-old. Her body was still languid from the past night’s loving and she longed to simply crawl back under the covers with her wife; but her little girl, who had obviously been up and thinking, would not be put off. She leaned down and scooped her pajama clad daughter up in her arms and carried her out of the bedroom. At least one parent would be allowed to sleep in this morning, she determined.

Darlene carried Lucy into the little girl’s room and lay down together with the toddler. She took a deep breath and gathered her thoughts before she spoke, “Lucy, when I hit people during my martial arts practice I’m training so that I can defend myself and you and Mama.” She stroked her daughter’s soft hair as she continued, “I only hit if there is no other option, Lucy. If we were out and someone tried to hurt you, or Mama or me, I would do everything I could to get away; But if there was no way I could get away and if there was nothing else I could do to avoid a fight I would have to hit to defend us. But hitting is always a last resort, love bug.” She looked into green eyes so much like her wife’s. “Do you understand, baby?”

Lucy’s little forehead was furrowed as she considered Darlene’s words. “I guess.” Lucy sighed. She had thought that using the fact that her Da hit people when she wore her pajamas would get her out of her punishment for hitting Kenny the night before. As usual, her Da had a good answer so she’d still have to be punished. It wasn’t easy being three. As her Da stroked her hair, she snuggled deeper into her mother’s embrace and slipped back into sleep.

****

Darlene went in search of her wife. She found her in the new nursery, or rather the room that was slowly being turned into the new nursery. Teri was up on a ladder; her concentration focused on the border of Winnie the Pooh characters she was painting on the walls. Darlene leaned against the door jam and gazed at her partner; she felt a physical ache invade her heart as she watched her wife carefully paint the classic characters. Her heart seemed to expand daily with the feelings she had for the small blonde. Looking at her never failed to cause a wave of emotion to break over her soul. Darlene was too closely acquainted with how fleeting life could be and she appreciated every single moment she was allowed to spend with her family. She didn’t want to startle Teri so she softly cleared her throat to get Teri’s attention.

Teri turned from her work to look down at the doorway. She smiled at the sexy woman in the doorway. “Hi love.”

“Hello, beautiful,” Darlene greeted. She looked toward the painted characters on the wall as she walked forward and stood behind Teri. “You’re doing a great job on those. How long have you been at it?” Darlene’s hands ran up the back of Teri’s legs and up to her back side. Her thumbs slid between her wife’s legs in a soft caress.

Teri moaned at Darlene’s touch then looked at her watch. Her eyes widened. “Oh my god! It’s almost time to pick Lucy up from pre-school.” She started to step down the ladder but Darlene’s hands and fingers prevented her descent. She rocked her hips against her wife’s hands for a moment then reminded her tall lover, ‘Baby, I need to get all of this cleaned up so I can go pick up our daughter. As much as I’d love to continue this, I need to get moving.”

A sensual smile covered Darlene’s face. “I can think of soooo many things I’d like to do to you in that position… but you’re right.” She helped her wife down from the ladder and noted the small splotches of paint that dotted her face and hands.

“I’ll clean up here while you go get yourself cleaned up.” Darlene leaned in to join their lips in a kiss that acknowledged their mutual desire. Instead of the usual escalation of their kisses, Darlene decelerated their passion by lightening her touch. She turned her wife in the direction of the doorway and swatted her fanny to get her moving.

****

The following afternoon, Teri returned from teaching classes at her gym to find Darlene and Lucy busy in the nursery. The pair was surrounded by bits and pieces of metal and wood. Teri stood in the doorway and felt a lump of emotion grow in her throat as she watched and listened to Darlene give Lucy another lesson in crib building. Her memory flowed back to the day, almost three years previous, when she’d found Darlene doing the same thing with a tiny Lucy at her side. It had been the day Teri had fallen in love with the tall acupuncturist. When Teri opened her mouth to speak, her voice was thick with emotion,” Hello you two.”

Darlene looked up into shimmering green eyes. The look of love on Teri’s face was more even evident than usual and Darlene’s breath caught in her chest. Darlene’s heart spoke, “I love you.”

Teri moved forward and placed a kiss full of promise on Darlene’s lips. “I love you too. So much.” Teri sat on the floor beside her family then placed a kiss atop her daughter’s head. “I love you too, baby girl.”

Lucy crawled into Teri’s lap and reached out to bring both of her mothers’ heads together. She kissed each parent in turn seeming to know that this was a special moment. She looked up at Teri and said, “Mama, we’re makin’ da baby’s crib.”

Teri smiled at her daughter’s enthusiasm, “I see that,” she acknowledged.

“You falled in love wif Da when she made my crib, huh?” Lucy surprised Teri with the comment. She hadn’t realized that the little girl had absorbed the story so thoroughly.

“I sure did, sweetheart. Aren’t we lucky that Da fell in love with us too?” Teri asked.

“Uh huh,” Lucy acknowledged, “Da told me dat she falled in love wif us dat day too.”

Teri’s eyes locked with Darlene’s. “She said that, did she?”

“Yup,” Lucy said, “But I don’t ‘member fallin’ in love wif you and Da. I just loved you for my whole life,” Lucy said earnestly.

Tears filled two mothers’ eyes; neither woman could speak around the lumps in their throats so they gave their little girl a mutual hug. Once Teri had her emotions in check she spoke, “You and Da are very good at this job. I’ll leave you to it while I go make dinner. I love you both.”

Darlene placed a soft kiss on her wife’s lips. “Call us when supper’s ready. I love you.”

Teri left the room to make her family’s favorite dinner.

****

Lisa napped on the sofa; her history book leaned against her burgeoning belly where it had dropped as the teen fell asleep. The doorbell ringing startled the girl awake and she felt the baby startle with her. She stroked her belly as she tried to calm the little one down. The baby seemed to love to be massaged and rubbed because it always settled down right away when Lisa’s belly was rubbed. Lisa smiled as she walked to the door; she thought about how much time the Beacon family spent gathered around her and her belly. Darlene, Teri and little Lucy spent huge amounts of time with Lisa. Lisa appreciated that Darlene and Teri were as interested in her life and in her future as they were in spending time bonding with the baby in her belly. The women always paid attention to the teen and to her feelings and thoughts.

Lisa’s smile dropped from her face when she opened the door and saw that instead of Darlene, Teri or Lucy, Kenny stood at her doorstep. His head was bowed and he had a bouquet of flowers in his hands. Lisa’s first inclination was to slam the door in the boy’s face but when she saw the look on his face she couldn’t follow through on the action. His face was a picture of nervousness and sorrow and the part of Lisa that had fallen for the boy felt compassion.

“What do you want, Kenny?” Lisa asked.

Kenny flinched at Lisa’s harsh tone; but he knew he deserved no less. He held out the bouquet and answered, “I’m here to beg you to forgive me.”

“For what, Kenny? For lying to me, for sleeping with me then dropping me like I was worthless, for abandoning me when I told you about the baby, or for calling my special friends vile names? What exactly are you sorry for, Kenny?” Lisa was unable to keep the hurt and anger out of her voice.

Again, Kenny flinched at the accusations Lisa spewed at him. He swallowed and admitted, “For all of it… for all of those things. Can I come in, please? Can I please talk to you?”

Lisa looked at the boy she still loved deep down. Her hurt and anger warred with her original feelings and she sighed in frustration. After another look into Kenny’s eyes, Lisa decided to allow him entrance. “Fine.” She reached forward and took the flowers from Kenny’s sweaty hand. “Come in and say what you have to say. I can’t promise you anything, Kenny.”

Kenny nodded his head then nervously wiped his shoes on the doormat before he entered Lisa’s home.

Hours later an exhausted, yet cautiously optimistic, teenage boy exited the Neilson home.

****

The following Thursday was Thanksgiving. The Beacons, the Neilsons and the Cramers celebrated the holiday together at the Beacon home. Darlene looked at the large blended family that sat around her dinner table and cleared her throat before she said, “I’m blessed and grateful to have my family gathered here today.” She looked around the table, stopping at each family in turn, “My original family, my heart’s first family of choice, my beautiful wife and our first child, my honorary family and special Lisa who carries our second child.”

She swallowed the lump of emotion that was lodged in her throat. “I love you all and I look forward to the years to come. Thank you all for being here today to celebrate with us.”

The gathered group all raised their glasses and acknowledged Darlene’s heart-felt greeting. Lucy’s voice piped up, “And thank you that Lisa’s tummy can stretch over my baby and not go pop like a bawoon!” Lisa blushed but joined in the laughter that broke out in the room.

Kenny stood and cleared his throat. “I, um, I wanted to thank you all for forgiving me. I don’t deserve it. I am thankful that I have a family that loves me even when I completely blow it. I…I love you.” Kenny’s parents rose from their chairs to envelop their son in a hug and Darlene rose a moment later and gave the boy a hug of her own.

“Ok, enough emotional stuff everyone…eat!” the hugely pregnant teenager stated with humorous authority. Everyone laughed and began to pass the bounty of food around the table.

Darlene noticed that although Lisa had loaded up her plate, she wasn’t eating. The tall brunette leaned over toward the teen and asked in a concerned tone, “You feeling ok, sweetheart?”

Lisa smiled wanly. “Yeah, I’m just not very hungry. I’ve got a backache that’s bugging me on and off.”

Darlene’s eyebrows raised as she asked, “What do you mean on and off, love?”

“Oh, just since this morning I have a back ache for a little bit then it seems to pass. But now its here more than its gone and I just don’t feel hungry.” The teen sighed.

One of Darlene’s specialties was women’s medicine and fertility so she had a very good idea what the problem was. “Lisa, just how often does the back ache hit you now?”

“Oh, every twenty minutes or so now, I guess,” Lisa answered.

Darlene’s pulse sped up but she made sure she remained calm for the girl. “Sweetie, I think you’re in labor.”

The girl’s eyes got huge as she looked at her idol. “But, but…but, my stomach doesn’t feel crampy or anything!” she whispered intently.

Darlene smiled at Lisa. “It doesn’t have to, sweetie. Some women experience the first part of labor as a back ache alone.”

Teri noticed the intense whispered conversation between her wife and Lisa. She slid her hand onto Darlene’s thigh and leaned over to ask, “Everything all right, you two?”

Darlene turned to look into her wife’s eyes and whispered, “I think our Lisa is in labor.”

Darlene turned back to Lisa as she felt the teen squeeze her arm strongly. “What is it, Lisa?”

“Another one. Stronger.” The teen’s voice had taken on a slightly panicked tone.

“Ok, honey,” Darlene assured the teen, “take some deep breaths. Here, lean forward and I’ll massage your back for you; that might help.” Darlene stood up and moved behind the teen’s chair to apply a relaxing massage to her lower back. This got the attention of everyone at the table and Darlene smiled at the gathered family. “I think we have a baby on the way, folks.”

“Oh my god!” Kenny jumped up and rushed to Lisa’s side, “Are you ok? Do you hurt? What can I do?”

“It’s her lower back that’s aching. Why don’t you rub her lower back like this, Kenny?” Darlene instructed her clearly shaken nephew. Once Kenny had taken over rubbing his girlfriend’s lower back, Darlene leaned over to place a kiss on the crown of Lisa’s head. “I’m going to go call Dr. Julie, sweetie, and see what she thinks.”

“Ok, but really, my tummy doesn’t feel like when I have cramps or anything, Dr. Dar,” the teen said in a hopeful tone, clearly frightened at the prospect of being in labor.

“I’d rather be safe than sorry, honey.” She gently rubbed Lisa’s shoulder. “After I make the call, would you like me to needle you to try to give you some relief?” Darlene had been giving Lisa regular acupuncture treatments through her pregnancy to help ease the process. She had even used the ancient practice to help turn the baby when the obstetrician had been concerned that the baby was in a breech position so late in the pregnancy.

Lisa’s eyes showed a glimmer of hope at Darlene’s offer. “Yes, please, Dr. Dar. If nothing else it will help me to feel calmer.”

Darlene smiled at the nervous girl then moved to make the phone call.

Of course, at Darlene’s announcement the festive thanksgiving feast had been forgotten and everyone was gently surrounding Lisa and offering whatever support the girl needed. Lucy had wormed her way between the circle of adults and was standing with her hands on Lisa’s extended abdomen, her eyes wide with worry for her special friend. “Lisa? Are you scared?”

Lisa ran her fingers through Lisa’s soft strawberry blonde hair. “I’m kinda nervous, but I’m not too scared yet, Luce.” She leaned forward to put her forehead against the three-year-old’s and whispered, “Are you ready to be a big sister?”

Huge green eyes widened at the question but the little girl solemnly nodded her head. After only a moment, Lucy wiggled her way back outside of the circle of adults and trotted toward her bedroom. A few minutes later she came back and made her way back to Lisa’s side. Lisa noticed that Lucy was holding her favorite stuffed animal, a well-loved giraffe that Darlene had given the girl when she was an infant. Lucy offered the giraffe to Lisa. “Here Lisa. You take Spots, she’ll make you feel less scared.”

Lisa’s eyes teared up at the little one’s generous offering and reached out to take the fuzzy animal. “Thanks Lucy, I know how special Spots is and I’m sure she’ll be a big help.”

Teri had followed Darlene to the phone and was slowly rubbing circles against her wife’s lower back as she listened to Darlene’s side of the conversation.

“Yes, Julie. I noticed that Lisa wasn’t eating and she said she’s been having low back pains since this morning.” Dad nodded to what ever Julie was saying. “Exactly. I guess the ‘backaches’ are now coming at more regular intervals and they are now about fifteen minutes apart.” Darlene turned her head and placed a kiss against Teri’s temple as she whispered, “I love you, Mama, ready to start all over again?” Teri squeezed her wife’s side in acknowledgement. Darlene returned her attention to the phone conversation. “No, her water hasn’t broken yet.” Dar fell silent as she listened. “Just a minute, let me ask what she’d prefer.”

Darlene turned to Teri. “Julie said she can come here to examine Lisa or we can go meet her at her office. Will you go find out which option Lisa wants?”

Teri walked out to where the family was gathered. The families had helped Lisa move to a more comfortable chair and Teri knelt beside the overstuffed chair. “Lisa, Dr. Julie has offered to come here and use Dar’s office to take a look at you or we can take you to her office. What would you prefer to do?”

“Um, I think I’d feel better if she came here.” Lisa answered then her face scrunched up in pain, “Ow!” Her eyes were wide with panic and pain. “I felt that in my belly.” She looked up at her Mom pleadingly. “Mommy, I don’t wanna do this!”

Teri saw Rhonda move to comfort Lisa as she raced back to Darlene’s side and informed the tall woman of Lisa’s choice and the latest development. Darlene completed the phone call then moved into the living room to help Lisa get back to her office. At Lisa’s request, Teri and Rhonda accompanied the pair to give support during the upcoming examination.

Once Lisa was settled on one of the comfortable treatment tables, Darlene inserted a few needles in the girl’s upper body to help relieve the stress and to hopefully alleviate the worst of the pain. She also had Teri massage some warm fragrant oil on Lisa’s extended belly. They had removed the girls clothing below the waist and had her covered in a warm blanket. Darlene had Lisa’s favorite calming CD playing in the background.

“This sure beats the cold, white examining room I had to be in!” Rhonda smiled gratefully as she took in the calming, comforting surroundings Darlene had provided to her daughter.

Darlene smiled up at Rhonda. “She deserves the best.” She turned her face to meet Lisa’s eyes, “Not because this baby is mine, but because I love Lisa.”

Lisa’s eyes filled with tears because she knew that Darlene’s words were true. As she began to say something her eyes went wide as she felt a huge gushing come from between her legs. “Oh my god, I wet myself! I’m so sorry, Dar! I…I…”

Darlene moved to wrap her arms around the panicked teen. “Honey, honey, shhh. Your water broke, that’s all. You didn’t lose control at all.”

Lisa broke into tears. “I’m scared! I’m not ready!”

Both Teri and Rhonda remembered feeling exactly the same way when they were about to deliver their children and they both felt sympathy for Lisa. They also realized that the added factor of Lisa’s young age only multiplied the feelings of fear and panic in the girl. Both women moved to support and console the fear-filled girl. Darlene concentrated on cleaning up first the girl and the table beneath her and then the wet floor. Just as she finished soaking up the last of the moisture she heard a knock at the outside door. She looked at the women and smiled. “That must be Dr. Julie. I’ll go let her in.”

The family OB/GYN was admitted to the treatment room and immediately moved to Lisa’s side. “How are you feeling, Lisa? Dar told me your water broke a few minutes ago?”

“Yeah, Dr. Julie.” The teen gripped the doctor’s hand as another contraction hit her. “The pains are coming really close now and I feel like a pressure between my legs. I’m scared.”

“Hmmm…” Dr. Julie began to think that her young patient was further along in her labor than they had first thought. She went to the foot of the treatment table and sat on the treatment stool that Dar had rolled over for her. “Scoot your fanny down here as far as you can, sweetie and let me take a look.”

When the doctor examined the girl’s progress she looked up at Darlene and said softly, “I think we may have to deliver this little one right here. She’s already at 9 centimeters and is almost completely effaced.”

Darlene nodded her head confidently but inside her heart was pounding and her thoughts were tumbling over one another. She was well aware that young mothers were more prone to complications and although Lisa had not demonstrated any signs of potential trouble, she was still nervous about a semi-home delivery. She moved up to the head of the table took Lisa’s hand. “Hey sweetie, it looks like our little one is anxious to make an appearance tonight. We don’t think we have time to get you to the hospital.”

Lisa did some deep breathing to control her rising panic. She trusted Dr. Dar and Dr. Julie implicitly but this was all new to her and she was scared to death. “Is…is the baby ok?” then after a pause she said, “I haven’t felt like screaming or anything yet. I always see women screaming for hours on those baby delivery shows…when will I start hurting and screaming?”

“Ah, Baby, we’ve talked about this. Between the yoga you’ve done with Teri and the treatments you and I have done we hope that your pain is going to be pretty tolerable. You may not have to scream at all, or not ’til this little one is actually at the gate so to speak.” Darlene slowly ran her fingers through the girl’s long hair as yet another contraction swept through Lisa.

Lisa’s eyes got wide as she said, “I feel like I need to push! I want to get this baby out!”

Dr. Julie did another quick check of Lisa’s progress and warned the girl, “Not yet, Lisa. You still have a tiny bit more to go before you’re ready to push.” Julie looked at Teri. “Mama Teri, this is your cue to help her with her breathing.”

As Teri calmly began coaching Lisa in the breathing they had learned in birthing classes, Rhonda left the room in order to fill in the rest of the family about the surprising turn of events. She had so many emotions churning inside her that she had trouble processing all of them. She was worried about her baby, she was excited about the prospect of seeing her first grandchild enter the world, she was so very proud of how well Lisa was handling things and she was eternally grateful to Teri and Darlene for making this process as pain-free as was possible for her daughter.

When Rhonda announced to the family that the living room was now an official waiting room, the entire blended family began babbling with excitement and nervousness. James immediately took his wife into an embrace and looked into her eyes to gauge how she was doing and to find out how his daughter was faring. He sent a prayer up that God watch over everyone in the birthing room that that both his daughter and his grandchild would come through the evening healthy.

Kenny came over to the embracing couple and put his hand on Rhonda’s shoulder. “Tell her…” His eyes filled with tears and he choked on his emotions. “Tell her I love her; tell her I think she’s the most amazing person in the world.” He broke down and sobbed openly. “I’m so sorry she’s having to go through this pain because of my selfishness. I…I…I’m so sorry!” His parents took their son into their arms to comfort him. They wished with all their hearts that the teen had been more responsible but it was clear that he was now taking ownership of his part in the situation and their hearts broke at his pain.

Rhonda’s head turned as she heard Darlene’s voice call, “It’s just about time, you’d better get back in here!” Rhonda turned and ran out of the room toward the ad hoc delivery room.

Lucy’s eyes widened at all the commotion going on and she looked up at her Nanna. “Wow, Grammy Rhonda sure can run fast for an old lady!” The tike’s outburst broke the nervous tension and the entire group laughed with gusto. The fact that Rhonda was only in her early forties and was being referred to as an “old lady” struck all the adults as absurdly funny. Darlene’s mother scooped her granddaughter up into her arms and advised her that she probably shouldn’t tell her Grammy Rhonda that she thought she was an old lady. Lucy shrugged then said, “Ok, Nanna…but she is old.” This brought a renewed round of chuckles.

Back in the treatment room things were moving quickly. Lisa was at ten centimeters, fully effaced and the baby was crowning. “Ok Lisa,” Dr. Julie advised, “On the next contraction I want you to push just like we talked about.”

Lisa nodded her head and gripped Spot against her belly. She looked at Rhonda and said, “I am never having sex again!”

Rhonda suppressed the laugh that came to her lips and said, “I know just how you feel sweetie; but never say never.”

“Oh!” Lisa cried out as the strongest contraction so far ripped through her. “Mommy!” she yelled out instinctively.

Rhonda wiped her daughter’s sweaty forehead and kissed the furrowed brow. “I’m right here, baby.”

Teri moved to support Lisa’s back and reminded her that now was the time to push. “Ok, honey, push like you’re having a BM. Ready?” Lisa nodded and held her breath as she pushed as she’d been taught. While Teri counted to ten, Darlene held the girl’s knees in position since her treatment tables didn’t have stirrups.

This pattern continued as the new life made its way down the teen’s birth canal. Finally a tiny head emerged and Darlene couldn’t contain the tears that sprang into her eyes. She looked up into first Lisa’s and then Teri’s eyes and said, “The head is out, covered in bright red hair!” Just like ‘Em’s, she thought.

“Lisa, I need you to breathe through the next contraction and do not push again until I tell you. Ok?” Dr. Julie instructed.

Lisa was panting with the effort and fatigue but she nodded that she understood. “Is everything all right?”

“Sweetie, everything is perfect. This little one just needs a moment to get into position to come the rest of the way out.”

Darlene looked down and watched as Dr. Julie carefully slipped the umbilical cord that had been wrapped around the baby’s neck over the head so that when the child was finally expelled, it wouldn’t tighten up and strangle the child. Julie’s eyes looked up at Darlene and she winked with a smile to indicate that everything was alright. “Dar, why don’t we trade places to you can catch your child?”

Dar’s eyes widened and her eyebrows disappeared into her hair. “Is that safe?” I mean, I’ve never…really?”

Julie laughed at her old friend. “Sure. Just remember that this little one is gonna be slippery as all get out so keep a good hold on the body.” The women changed positions and Julie advised Lisa to push on the next contraction then coached Darlene on how to catch the baby as it was finally clear of Lisa’s body. Darlene’s eyes never left the tiny life in her hands as it emerged with surprising speed. As the slippery infant sprang into Darlene’s hands she found she had to blink rapidly to clear the tears that filled her eyes. Her heart raced with love and excitement as she turned the baby face up and she looked at the startled, rather piss-off looking infant…she glanced down between the baby’s legs…girl!

Julie gently released Lisa’s knees and reached forward with the rubber bulb and suctioned out the baby’s nose and mouth and smiled broadly as the little girl took a deep breath and belted out her first cry. The OB/GYN realized that Darlene was too overcome with emotion to be able to announce the baby’s gender so she grinned up at the expectant faces above her. “Looks like Lucy has a beautiful baby sister!”

Teri sobbed as her emotions overwhelmed her. She leaned over and gave Lisa a quick, soft kiss on the lips. “Thank you, you were amazing.” Then she rushed down to where her stunned wife sat as she held the wailing newborn. Teri leaned down and placed a loving kiss upon her wife’s lips then gazed down at their new daughter.

“Hey, you two…” Dr. Julie interrupted the moment. “I still have some work to do here.” She talked as she worked; she clamped off the umbilical cord and handed a pair of scissors to Teri. “Care to do the honors, Mama?”

Teri glanced at Darlene and saw her wife’s smile of encouragement. Taking the proffered instrument she snipped the cord at the appointed spot. Once the baby was free of the cord, Darlene rose and walked up to show Lisa the life she had just brought into the world. “Look what you did, Lisa. She’s the most beautiful minute-year-old I’ve ever seen!”

Lisa sobbed as she looked at the life she and Kenny had created. She reached out and stroked the sticky red hair that covered the baby’s head. When Darlene began to place the baby in Lisa’s arms, the teen stopped her. “No, Dar,” She closed her eyes against the pain. “You two are her Mommies. I think if I hold her now I won’t be able to give her back. I need to be strong and do this right now.” She broke down completely and turned into her own mother’s arms.

The new mothers cried in empathy for their special young friend. They respected what Lisa felt she needed to do and they mourned with the teen as she processed her loss. At the same time they felt elation at the arrival of their new daughter.

Darlene gently transferred the tiny body into Teri’s arms then looked into her wife’s teary eyes. Darlene’s eyes conveyed the love and devotion that overflowed from her soul. As the transfer was completed, Darlene said, “Lets take our little one to Dr. Julie so she can perform her first Apgar test, ok?”

Teri grinned then walked over to where Dr. Julie waited. Teri laid the baby on the towel covered counter and she and Darlene watched as the doctor performed the Apgar test. A test designed to quickly evaluate a newborn’s physical condition after delivery and to determine any immediate need for extra medical or emergency care. The test included observation of different body systems and the name was an acronym for: Activity, Pulse, Grimace, Appearance, and Respiration. A perfect Apgar score is 10. The newest member of the Beacon family had an initial score of 9, which pleased the doctor as well as the new Mothers.

Once the test was concluded, the two Moms took their new child over to the sink area where they gently gave the newborn her first sponge bath; cleansing the blood and birth matter from the tiny body. As they washed they carefully counted all ten toes and ten fingers. They marveled at the tiny finger and toe nails, traced the tiny shell of her ear, smiled at the button nose and chucked as their daughter automatically suckled at the finger Darlene offered the tiny mouth.

As Teri and Dar washed the newborns hair, Teri noticed that Darlene’s sniffing had increased and that she was taking more deep inhalations as she tried to control her emotions. Teri looked to her wife and asked, “Honey? Are you all right?”

Darlene stroked her daughter’s red locks and gazed at the tiny face as she answered, “Her hair is exactly the same color as Emily’s. I swear she looks just like the baby pictures I’ve seen of her.” She took a few deep breaths then leaned down and placed a soft kiss against the baby’s forehead. “I feel like…I feel like Em is here…giving us her blessing. Does that sound crazy?”

Teri’s heart clenched and then swelled as she saw the emotions on her lover’s face. She realized that having this particular child join their family was, in a way, bringing Darlene full circle. She reached up and placed a kiss on her wife’s lips then turned and looked at their daughter. She watched Darlene’s long fingers as they worked the Velcro on the baby’s first diaper and then watched as she slipped the tiny cap that her own mother had knitted over the baby’s head. Once the baby was swaddled in a soft blanket and was cuddled in her tall Mother’s arm, Teri reached out and cupped the tiny head in her hand then looked into Darlene’s eyes and, with her voice rough with emotion, said, “Baby, I think we should go introduce the family to our little Emily Darlene Beacon”

Darlene sobbed as she heard the name her wife had given their new daughter. There would never be enough words to describe how deeply she loved this woman. Teri never questioned the love she had shared with her first lover, she had never discounted the love or the loss that Darlene had experienced and now she honored that part of Darlene’s life by giving their child a name that blended her name with her first love’s name. Darlene brought little Emily up to her chest and cuddled the baby close as she wrapped her free arm around Teri. “Do you have any idea how much I love you? I thank everything I hold Holy that I have you in my life. You fill my heart.” She kissed her wife with all the love she felt and then leaned her forehead against Teri’s and repeated, “I love you, I love you, I love you.”

Teri wrapped her arms around her wife and daughter and whispered an answered, “I love you,” to each of Darlene’s declarations.

Rhonda stayed beside her daughter, offering comfort and consolation. She wrapped Lisa in her arms and rocked her as much as she could while Dr. Julie finished up delivering the afterbirth. Dr. Julie took a deep breath and decided to broach a subject that she feared would be difficult for Lisa. She scooted the rolling chair so that she was even with Lisa’s head, she took the teen’s hand and gently began, “Lisa, I know we talked about this before the birth and you thought you would want to pump your breasts so that the baby would get your colostrums. I see this is hitting you really hard and I know that Darlene and Teri will understand if that’s something you can’t do…but now would be the time if you still want to do that.”

The teen looked over at Darlene and Teri as they bonded with the baby and suddenly the feeling of loss was lessened as she witnessed the devotion and love the baby was already enjoying. Yes, it was hard losing her first born child, but this was the right thing to do for herself, for Kenny and most of all for their baby. She turned to Dr. Julie and with a teary smile said, “I want to do it. I want to start her out right.” Dr. Julie’s admiration for the young mother grew as she processed this information.

After Darlene and Teri separated from their embrace, Teri looked toward the treatment table where Lisa and Rhonda and Julie were talking quietly. She walked over to them and gently rubbed Rhonda’s back as she said, “Hey, Nanna, why don’t you go meet your first grandbaby. I’ll sit here with Lisa.”

Rhonda was anxious to get up close with the new tiny life but she was torn between doing that and with staying with her own daughter. Lisa saw the indecision on her Mother’s face and smiled at her encouragingly. “Mom, go. I know you’re arms are aching to hold her. I’m ok, honest.” Lisa turned to Teri, “Maybe Teri can help me with that breast pump thingy.”

Teri smiled at Lisa and said that she would be happy to help her with the device and then she shooed Rhonda away to go meet her grandbaby. Dr. Julie spoke up, “Let’s both go, ‘Nanna’, I need to do the follow up Apgar test. We like to do one at one minute and another at five minutes after birth. You can watch me do the second one if you’d like.”

Rhonda’s grin was from ear to ear as she accepted the tiny girl from Darlene’s arms. Darlene stroked the baby’s cheek and said, “Hey, sweetie, this is your Nanna Rhonda.” She looked at Rhonda and introduced, “Rhonda, meet your granddaughter, Ms. Emily Darlene Beacon.”

“Ohhhh, darling baby girl, little Emily; we are so glad you’re here.” The emotional grandmother sighed happily. “You are so loved.” As she cradled the baby, she turned toward Lisa, “Lisa, baby, thank you so much. I am so proud of you…and you made the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen!” Lisa’s eyes teared as she looked at her Mom holding the tiny baby. Her emotions whirled inside her and she struggled to deal with the conflicting feelings. She had always dreamed of seeing her mother hold her baby; yet though that dream had now come true the rest of the dream was lost. She wouldn’t be going home to a husband and family, she would be going back to her parent’s home and would from this day on be this baby’s Aunty Lisa. She was happy that her child would be well loved and raised by wonderful parents but a part of her would forever feel the loss that her unwise actions had caused.

Lisa fortified her resolve then asked, “Will you bring her over so I can see her, Mom?”

Rhonda carried the precious bundle over to her daughter’s side. “Do you want to hold her?” she asked.

“I…I don’t think I’m ready for that,” Lisa admitted, “Besides, I’m connected to this torture device right now,” she said indicating the breast pump attached to her. “I just wanted to meet Teri and Darlene’s daughter.”

Teri wrapped her arm around Lisa’s back and supported the girl as they gazed together at the baby. “We’ve named her Emily Darlene. Dr. Dar said that she is the spitting image of her late lover, Emily and we wanted to honor her memory.”

Lisa smiled as she looked at the baby that she and Kenny had created and replied, “Kenny will love that. He adored his Aunty Em…and still adores his Aunty Dar. Thank you.”

Rhonda placed a soft kiss on Lisa’s forehead then turned back to Darlene and placed the baby in her arms. “I’m sure we have a room full of anxious family…” she reminded the proud parent.

Darlene smiled broadly then held her hand out to Teri. “Shall we?” she invited her wife.

Teri looked at Lisa. “Do you want me to stay while you finish pumping?”

Lisa grinned crookedly. “Go, Mom will stay with me while I finish this.” She looked at her Mom. “Right?”

Rhonda assured Lisa that she was happy to sit with her while she finished up.

****

Teri and Darlene made their way to the living room and Darlene nodded at Teri who then quietly announced, “Everyone, we’d like you to meet our new arrival, Emily Darlene. She weighs six pounds, seven ounces and is nineteen inches long. She is perfectly healthy as is Lisa. Lisa was amazing.”

The group collectively ahhhed at the baby. Teri picked Lucy up and let her be the first to take a close look at the new baby. “Oh, Mama, she’s the most pretty baby I’ve ever seen!” Lucy declared. “I wanna hold her!” She reached out her arms as if to take the baby and Teri held the toddler tight so that she didn’t squirm out of her arms. She then walked over to the sofa and sat down with the three year old beside her. Darlene walked over and carefully placed the baby in Lucy’s arms as Teri coached and assisted the big sister on how to hold the new life.

As the family snuggled together on the sofa, one of the grandfathers clicked pictures. As the flashes went off, Darlene, Teri and Lucy all looked up with huge smiles on their faces. The resulting picture graced the front of the Beacon’s holiday cards that year.

The end

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