Gillian looked at her watch for the twentieth time that morning. Boredom filled her, making her eyes heavy and her attention wander. She had agreed to attend and record this lecture as a favor to a sick friend. Since the subject matter of the lecture was of absolutely no interest to Gillian, she was having a difficult time staying awake as the speaker droned on about risk management and commercial property insurance. To keep herself awake, Gillian thought about the errands she needed to run later in the afternoon.
She planned the route she would take, she thought about what she would purchase at each stop even going so far as to budget how much she would most likely spend at each vendor. As she thought about the evening ahead she realized that she faced another night alone in her home. Although quite content on her own, Gillian often craved a close companion to share her time with. As she contemplated her evening, Gillian amended her list of errands to include a stop at the Obelisk, the local Gay and Lesbian bookstore. A nice lesbian novel or two would be a welcome change from an evening in front of the television.
Finally, at noon, the lecture was over and Gillian was able to file out of the meeting room and go about her day. She made stops at the dry cleaner; the office supply store and the drug store then drove to the Obelisk. As she scanned the curb for a parking space she noticed a space available just behind a gorgeous buff colored Harley.
She pulled her PT Cruiser into the available spot, careful to leave the Harley enough room to maneuver. As she looked at the bike her thoughts went to a news story she had seen that morning about a boudoir photographer. One of the layouts they had featured was of a woman sitting on a Harley wearing a black leather jacket, chaps and nothing else. The woman that had been featured in those photographs had done nothing for Gillian. Gillian supposed that the woman’s husband would be pleased, but to her the woman had simply looked garish and cheap. Her make-up had looked like something a streetwalker would wear.
Gillian left her car and walked into the bookstore. As she crossed the threshold the bell over the door rang and the clerk behind the counter looked up. “Hey Gill! How you doin’ grrl?” beamed the clerk.
Gillian smiled in recognition, “Hi Bruce! How’re things and how’s that gorgeous hunk of flesh you’re keeping at home?”
Bruce’s smile spread at the mention of his handsome lover, “Things are good and Michael is faaaaaaabulous!”
Smirking, Gillian replied, “I’ll just bet.”
“You looking for anything special today?” Bruce asked
“Just something good to curl up with this evening” answered Gillian.
Bruce’s eyes twinkled, “Wouldn’t you have more luck with that at one of the clubs?”
Gillian laughed and slapped Bruce on the arm. “You are so bad. I’m going to go look for a book to cuddle up with!”
“Gill, a book won’t keep you warm at night” Bruce commented.
“Bruce….” growled Gillian in warning
“Suit yourself, doll face, but I’m tellin’ ya, you need to find some wonderful woman to keep you company. You’re too special to be all alone.” Bruce smiled softly at her.
Gillian sighed at the well-meaning words of her friend, “Thanks friend, but not just anyone will do for me. You know that.”
“I know. I just hate seeing you alone, hon.”
Gillian nodded her head in understanding then headed back to the lesbian fiction sections of the cozy bookstore. As usual, Gillian was soon lost in the titles and synopsis on back covers of the books. ‘Clair McNab…got it, Helen Black…got it, Hmmm…here’s a new one…” As Gillian reached for the new book, the bell over the entryway rang signaling a new patron. She heard Bruce greet the newcomer and heard a low, sultry voice return the greeting. Something in the newcomer’s voice struck a chord inside Gillian and as the sound of footfalls came closer to where she was she looked up to discover what the owner of that voice looked like.
The woman that came into view was breathtaking. Close to six feet tall with a lean athletic build; long dark hair with bangs that ended just above brilliant blue eyes. As the woman spied Gillian, she smiled and nodded a greeting. Gillian’s breath caught in her chest and she swallowed convulsively in reaction to the smile that lit up the dark woman’s face; fortunately, she kept enough presence of mind to smile a greeting back, her green eyes meeting the beautiful blue. After what seemed like an eternity, but what was actually only a moment, she forced her attention back to reviewing the book in her hand.
Gillian surreptitiously watched as the tall woman scanned book spines then reached out to pull a book from the shelf. She admired the strong hands that plucked the books and gently put them back in place. Gillian was having a difficult time concentrating on the books in front of her, so intrigued was she by this woman. Finally, she picked three books she thought looked at least mildly interesting and made her way to the counter.
As she approached the counter, Bruce mouthed to her, “Did you see her!?” as he fanned himself dramatically.
Gillian smiled and nodded, doing some fanning herself. “Pretty amazing, huh? Ring these up for me will you Bruce?”
In a normal voice, Bruce said, “Sure Gill.” Then whispering he said, “Go talk to her.”
Although Gillian was sorely tempted to do just that, she felt unusually reticent to go talk to the woman. Part of her wanted to march back to where the woman was and start up a conversation but another part of her was scared to death to do so. The scared part won out.
Bruce watched Gillian’s expressions as she warred with herself. When he saw the sad resignation on her face he realized she had decided against the path of courage. Bruce was saddened that his friend wouldn’t or couldn’t take the first step. He had been around when Gillian had met, wooed and ultimately had her heart broken by another woman so he understood her trepidation and didn’t push her in the matter. He bagged up her purchases and handed them over to her. “There ya go, Gill. Enjoy.”
“Thanks Bruce, give Michael my love when you get home.”
“I will, hon, I will.” Bruce winked.
Gillian took her purchases, and with a last glace over her shoulder toward the tall beauty, exited the store. As she walked to her car she noticed that the Harley was still parked at the curb. She remembered her earlier thoughts about the photographer and the photo on the Harley. She smiled and allowed her imagination to place the striking, tall, dark and very gorgeous woman on that bike in the same black leather As her imagination pictured the woman on the bike, leaning forward so that the outline of a breast was visible through the unzipped jacked, her pulse quickened and she felt a definite pulling low in her belly.
Realizing where she had allowed her mind to wander, Gillian mentally slapped herself, ‘Stop it, Gill! She’s probably in a committed relationship and here you are lusting after a taken woman.’ She tried desperately to change her thought patterns but the picture of the tall woman on the Harley was stuck in her brain for good.
After leaving the bookstore, Gillian made one more stop before finally heading home. She fixed herself a light supper then sat down to read the books she had purchased. Even with the distraction she had faced in the bookstore, Gillian had managed to choose books that were able to keep her attention and so she was engrossed in the third chapter of the first book when the phone rang.
The phone call was from a friend she had had since her high school days. Alice had been one of the few girls in school who had stood by Gillian even after she had rejected the advances of the football team’s quarterback in favor of Joyce, the star on the female track team. Alice had been there when Joyce dumped Gillian claiming she was too talkative and “deep”. It had been Alice that held her while she cried out her broken heart and it was Alice that told Gillian that her best qualities were that she was talkative and deep. She reassured Gillian that being extremely intelligent, gregarious, and spiritual were all good things and that Joyce had been a fool.
Gillian and Alice talked for over an hour on the phone. Alice begged Gillian to meet her on Tuesday for drinks and dinner at a restaurant she had discovered. She was certain the Gill would love the place and love the food. “C’mon, Gill,” coaxed Alice, “They have such great food and the portions are big enough for even your appetite! Besides, I haven’t seen you face to face in forever, please?”
“Oh, all right, Al, I’ll be there.” Gillian finally agreed.
“Yes!” exclaimed Alice then proceeded to set a meeting time and to give Gillian directions to the eating establishment.
Tuesday arrived and Gillian was pleasantly surprised to realize that she was looking forward to an evening out. She always had fun with Alice and they were never at a loss for things to talk about. They often talked about their work. Gillian would share the struggles or victories she was having writing her latest novel and Alice would talk about her exploits as a special consultant to technical firms. The two women loved to talk about Alice’s family. Alice was married to a wonderful man and they had three children that were always getting into some predicament or another. The more Gillian thought about spending the evening with Alice, the happier she became.
Gillian took special care when dressing for the evening. Alice always showed up looking wonderful and Gillian was determined that she was going to look equally stunning! She wore a green silk ensemble she had purchased a while back but had never worn; she put a light touch of make-up on and brushed her strawberry blond hair until it shimmered. After she was done dressing and primping, Gillian grabbed her small handbag and headed out to find the restaurant.
The directions Alice had given her were perfect so Gillian found the restaurant in good time. As she pulled into a parking space her cell phone rang. She finished her parking job before answering the small phone. “Hello?”
“Gill, it’s me.”
“Hey Ally, you on your way?” smiled Gillian
Alice sighed into the phone, “No, Gill, James just called and the twins have gotten into it again. It looks like Suzy’s arm is broken and Bonnie has a goose egg on her head, he’s taking them to the ER and I need to get there. I’m sorry.”
“Ally! Don’t be silly; of course you belong at the hospital with the girls. Please let me know how they are…no matter what time you get out of there tonight. Promise?”
“Promise. I’ll make it up to you Gill. Love you, bye.”
Gillian was sorely disappointed that the evening with her close friend had fallen through but she was also concerned about the injuries the twins had received. As she sat in her car she contemplated what she should do. She could simply drive back home and have a quiet evening or she could go on into the restaurant and have a nice dinner by herself. She looked down at herself and decided that since she’d gone to the trouble of looking nice, she’d take herself out to dinner. Smiling at the thought of taking herself out on a date, Gillian exited her car and walked in to the restaurant.
As Gillian entered the lobby, a lovely dark haired hostess greeted her, “Good evening, may I help you?”
Gillian smiled, “I’m quite early. I believe you have a reservation for two at 7:00 in the name of Capelli.”
The hostess checked the reservation book, “Yes, here it is. I’m afraid your table won’t be available for at least thirty minutes. Would you like to wait in the bar area until we can make a table ready?”
“Sure, that’s fine,” Gillian smiled, “Oh, my friend had to cancel so I’m dining alone this evening.”
The hostess smiled, “We’ll make sure you have a wonderful evening.”
Gillian chuckled, “I look forward to it.”
As Gillian entered the bar area of the restaurant she noticed that it was decorated to look like the library of a grand estate. The walls were lined with bookshelves filled with books. The seating was arranged in groups of leather wingback chairs around dark wooden tables. Green shaded library lamps with low wattage bulbs illuminated the tables. As Gillian strolled over to one of the book bedecked walls she was surprised but pleased to find that instead of the false book fronts she had expected, the books were real and that she was able to pull one out to peruse while she waited for her table. She chose a book of poetry then found an available chair to sit in. Before she had time to shift into a comfortable position a waitress was at her side asking for her drink order. Gillian ordered a glass of wine.
When the waitress returned with the glass of wine, she said, “The gentleman over there sent this over.”
Without even looking where the waitress was pointing, Gillian replied, “Oh, please tell him thank you, but no thank you.”
“Certainly, I’ll just tell him you’d like to pay for your own refreshments” replied the waitress.
“Thank you…” Gillian glanced at the waitress’s nametag and replied, “Ellen.”
“Not a problem.” Ellen smiled.
Gillian took a sip of her wine and opened the book of poetry. Before she was able to read even two stanzas she was interrupted by a masculine voice asking, “So, the pretty lady won’t accept a drink from me, mind if I join you?”
Gillian looked up at the man thinking, ‘what part of “no thank you”, didn’t he understand?’ With a small sigh, she said, “Actually, I’m waiting for someone so I’d prefer if you didn’t.”
The man simply smiled at her and sat down beside her anyway. “Aw, come on, I’ll just keep you company until your friend shows up.”
Gillian felt a tiny flame of panic ignite with in her. “Sir, I have tried to be polite. I have said “no thank you” to your drink, I have told you I prefer to wait alone. Please, leave me alone.”
“I’m not hurting anyone, and you’re such a beautiful woman. What will it hurt if we sit here together to have our drinks? Huh?” As he talked, he leaned in close to Gillian’s face and he placed a hand on her knee and started to give it a squeeze.
Before his hand could contract enough to complete the squeeze, the man’s wrist was grasped in a vise-like grip. “I believe the lady asked you to leave.” said a firm, smooth female voice. Gillian looked up and felt her heart leap as she gazed into intense blue eyes, instantly recognizing the woman from the bookstore. The woman smiled down at her then leaned over placing a soft kiss against her temple, “Sorry I’m late, hon.”
“Hey!” cried the man whose wrist was still within the crushing grip of the tall woman. “Let go, Dyke!”
“Gill, excuse me for a minute, will you? I need to escort this “gentleman” out.” A dark eyebrow disappeared beneath the bangs.
“Um, sure love, just don’t take too long.” Gillian adlibbed.
Again, the tall woman leaned down and planted a soft kiss against the blond hair and said, “I’ll be right back.”
As Gillian watched the woman escort the complaining man out of the bar and out of the main doors to the restaurant. She heard the man exclaim, “You have no right to throw me out!” She saw the tall woman reply but couldn’t hear what the reply had been. Her curiosity was running as wild as her heart was! Where had the woman come from and how had she known her name? She was certainly grateful for the rescue and she was extremely glad to see the woman again but all of that was mixed in with puzzlement over the beautiful woman’s sudden appearance.
Gillian eagerly watched the doorway and after only a few minutes the tall, dark and very beautiful woman strode back to the table. As the woman got close to Gillian’s table, their eyes met and held. “Are you all right?” asked the dark haired woman.
Gillian smiled softly and nodded, “Thanks to you, yes. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get rid of him.” Smiling a puzzled smile, she went on, “I’m at a clear disadvantage here. You obviously somehow know my name but I don’t know yours. How do you know my name, by the way?”
A smile graced the tall woman’s face, “Ah, I heard the clerk at the book store call you Gill and tucked it away in my brain.” She held out her hand to Gillian, “My name is Jacqueline Papathelasanis.”
Taking the offered hand, replied, “Hello Jacqueline, as you already know, I’m Gillian or Gill…Codi.” A bright smile covered Gillian’s face as she said, “Since you’ve rescued me with the obvious ‘fact’ that we’re a couple ‘hon’, why don’t you sit down and share a drink with me? I want to hear how you happened to come along right when I needed you.”
Dark brows disappeared beneath bangs and a stunning smile broke out on Jacqueline’s face, “I think that’s a great idea, ‘love'”. Looking toward the bar, Jacqueline signaled for Ellen to bring her a drink then she sat in the chair that the offending man had occupied. Within moments a tall glass of soda was placed in front of Jacqueline.
“There ya go, Jacq.” Ellen said, “Nice moves, by the way.” she winked.
“Get back to work troublemaker!” chided Jacqueline jokingly.
Gillian watched the exchange between the two women with interest. She wanted to know just who Jacqueline was and what had prompted her to come to her rescue. She wanted to get to know Jacqueline in any and every way.
Once Ellen had returned to the bar area, Jacqueline turned back to Gillian, “You’re staying for dinner?”
“Yes, I was meeting a friend here; but her twins ran into some trouble and she had to rush to the hospital for them. I decided that since I was already here, I might as well get a bite.” Taking a deep breath to screw up her courage Gillian went on, “Are you meeting someone here or can I convince you to join me for dinner?”
With an enigmatic smile Jacqueline answered, “Uh, no, I’m not meeting anyone here and…” she looked at her watch, “I’d love to join you for dinner.”
Jacqueline reached across the table and placed her hand on Gillian’s forearm, “Sit tight for just a minute, I’ll check on a table.”
“Ok.” Answered Gillian softly. The hand on her arm felt warm and sent tingles of sensation all through her body. ‘Get a grip, Gill.’ She thought, ‘It was only a friendly gesture. ‘
Within minutes Jacqueline returned to Gillian’s table. She held out her hand inviting Gillian to rise and join her, “The table is all set, are you ready?”
Raising her blond eyebrows, Gillian said, “They said it would be a while, how’d you score a table?”
One dark brow raised and a half grin flashed, “I have my ways.”
Chuckling, Gillian joined Jacqueline as they moved into the dining area. As they walked, Gillian felt Jacqueline’s large warm hand against the small of her back. She instinctively pressed against the hand in acknowledgement and acceptance of its presence. When they reached one of the tables by a window, Jacqueline stopped and pulled out one of the chairs. “Here you go, Gill.”
Taking the seat offered, Gillian looked out the window at a beautiful view of a lush garden with ponds and streams running through it. The atmosphere was tranquil and made Gillian feel somehow calmed and at home. Gillian immediately fell in love with the space. “Oh, this is beautiful Jacq. Do you come here often?”
“Yes. Just about every night.” Answered a smirking Jacqueline.
“I feel like I’m missing something here. What is it?” asked Gillian
“This place is mine.” The dark haired beauty confessed. “My family has always owned and operated inns and restaurants and this one is mine.” The blue eyes surveyed her domain with evident pride and contentment.
“It’s wonderful, Jacq” an awed Gillian breathed. Her green eyes surveyed the room with its classic comfortable design. “Did you design it all?”
“Pretty much, yes.” Jacqueline answered. “My Mother helped a bit, but for the most part it’s my baby.”
“Wonderful,” Gillian sighed.
The two women took their time over dinner. Their conversation covered topics as varied as what each did for a living to what was happening in politics and where each woman stood on certain issues. “So, you’re a writer?” inquired Jacqueline.
“Yes, I’ve been very fortunate. Two of my main stream fiction novels actually hit the best seller list.” Gillian couldn’t keep the blush from her face.
“What’s that blush for?” asked Jacqueline softly.
“Oh, I was just hoping you didn’t think I was bragging. Plus, I’m proud but also amazed that the books have done so well.”
“You should be proud!” exclaimed Jacqueline. “I know what it’s like to put your heart and soul into something. It’s like giving birth then sending your baby out into the world hoping the world won’t eat it alive. The fact that your work has been so well received is something to be extremely proud of.” Jacqueline paused in her speech to reach across the table to take Gillian’s hand and say softly, “I’m just getting to know you, and I’m proud of you.”
Gillian sighed as her eyes misted. “I’m glad we’re getting to know each other and it means a great deal that you’re proud of me.” Gillian’s eyes moved to encompass the restaurant and the gardens, “I’m really proud of you for all of this.”
It was the tall raven haired woman’s turn to blush, “Thanks, I’m glad you like it.”
Jacqueline suddenly got a twinkle in her eye and she asked, “So, what was that clerk whispering to you about the other day? He had a decidedly conniving look on his face.”
Gillian blushed in earnest at the question and she smirked. After contemplating for only a moment she decided to answer honestly. “Oh, he saw that I was smitten by a certain tall, dark, gorgeous patron and was trying to nudge me into going over to talk to her.”
Jacqueline’s eyebrow shot up and disappeared into her bangs, “Oh really? I think I missed seeing her.”
Gillian’s grin grew, “Yeah, well there aren’t many mirrors in that store, so I guess you wouldn’t have.”
Jacqueline pursed her lips to fight the smile that wanted to break out on her face, and then grew serious, “So, why didn’t the beautiful blonde take his advice?” She then leaned in to say, “I was smitten by you as well.”
“You were?” Gillian’s green eyes sparked.
“Definitely.” Blue eyes smiled, “So why didn’t you come back and talk to me?”
Gillian’s happy demeanor slipped as she replied, “I was afraid.”
Jacqueline squeezed the hand she still held, “What were you afraid of?” then trying to ease the look of sadness from Gillian’s face, she added, “I don’t think I growled at you or anything.”
The growling comment accomplished its goal and Gillian smiled and returned the squeeze to her hand. “No, you didn’t growl. You actually gave me a smile that made my heart about leap out of my chest.” At that comment, Gillian received another heart stopping smile from her companion. She continued, “I was afraid because the last time I actively pursued someone, I got my heart plucked out and stomped on. The experience has made me a bit gun shy.”
“Oh, Gill, I’m sorry. I hate that someone hurt your heart.”
“Thanks. I now realize that she was completely wrong for me, but she had me fooled for a while.” Gillian said softly.
“I don’t know you well, but everything I’ve learned and experienced from you so far tells me that she was the fool.” Jacqueline stated.
Gillian’s mind automatically compared what Jacqueline had just said to what Robin would have said and shook her head, “God Jacq that made me feel so good. As you said those wonderful things I couldn’t help but think that Robin would have found some way to point out what I must have done wrong to screw things up.”
“Only proves my point, Robin was a fool.”
The hostess interrupted the women’s quiet moment, “Hey, you two going to hog this table all night? We have paying customers waiting!”
Jacqueline and Gillian both laughed. Jacqueline glanced up at her hostess and gave her “the look”.
“Ok, ok…um…take your time ladies,” smiled the hostess.
After a moment Jacqueline sighed, “I suppose we should let the paying guests have the table. Would you like to take a walk with me or do you need to get home?”
“I’d love to take a walk with you.”
Jacqueline stood and pulled some cash out of her pocket to put on the table. Gillian stopped her before she dropped the bills, “Hey, you provided dinner; the least I can do is leave the tip!”
“You don’t need to do that, I’ve got it.” Jacqueline said then noticed the stubborn look and stance of her blonde companion. She chuckled as she looked at the tapping foot then acquiesced, “Alright, you leave the tip.” Then with a twinkle in her eye added, “I just hope you’ll be as generous as I was going to be.”
“I’ll give you generous!” Gillian quipped.
“Lookin’ forward to it.” Jacqueline answered waggling her eyebrows.
Gillian put on her best southern accent, put her hand over her chest and said, “Why, Ms. Papathelasanis, are you flirting with me?”
Jacqueline barked a laugh, and in her best Rhett Butler voice replied, “Why, yes my dear, I believe I am.”
“I’m so glad.” Gillian replied in her normal voice.
Jacqueline smiled, “Me too. Come on, let’s take that walk.” She took Gillian’s hand and led her to a door in the back of the restaurant. The door led into a comfortable office. A large mahogany desk stood in front of a wall of books much like what was in the bar, tucked behind the desk was a plush desk chair of soft leather. The wall opposite the desk was wall to ceiling glass and overlooked what Gillian realized was an extension of the restaurant’s garden. There was a large, comfortable looking sofa against the far wall and two guest chairs in front of the desk. As Jacqueline walked over to the glass wall and flipped a catch, Gillian realized that the wall was actually a huge sliding door. Half the wall slid open, and Jacqueline smiled, “One of my splurges.”
“It’s wonderful, Jacque.” Gillian said in awe. As she stood in front of the opening she said “With the wall open you can hear the water trickling in the pond and the wind rustling the leaves on the trees. It’s so peaceful I can see why you splurged on this.”
“Mmm hmm, I use this area to meditate. No matter what kind of stress I’ve been under, when I come in here and kneel on my mat I can let it all go and just be for a bit of time.” Jacqueline said reverently.
“I understand completely. I have a spot in my house that I use but it’s nothing like this.”
Jacqueline smiled and held her hand out to Gillian, “Walk with me, please.”
Gillian took the large hand and allowed herself to be led out into the garden. The two women walked along the gravel pathways that meandered through the garden. The night air was warm with a slight breeze that was filled with the scent of night blooming jasmine. The full moon illuminated the area giving it a surreal feeling. Jacqueline led them to the edge of the good-sized pond and turned to Gillian, “This is one of my favorite spots. I love to come out here and think or talk to the koi.”
“I can see why you’d love it here, I think I’d spend all my time out here too if I had this space. I can imagine bringing my laptop out here and writing for hours.”
Jacqueline nodded in acknowledgement.
As they stood in the moonlight together, Gillian relaxed her head against Jacqueline’s shoulder and Jacqueline’s arm automatically encircled her. As Gillian put her arm around her companion’s waist, a huge yawn escaped which she quickly covered with her free hand. Jacqueline smirked, “I hope it’s not the company.”
Gillian turned slightly and put both arms around Jacqueline’s middle and looked up into the sky blue eyes, “Yes, I’m afraid it is the company. I don’t know when I’ve felt more at peace with a new friend. To be honest, part of me is completely relaxed with you and another part is giddy with excitement at getting to know you, and yet another part is trying to figure out how long I should wait before trying to kiss you…”
“I think I can answer that last question…” Jacqueline whispered as she leaned down to press her lips to Gillian’s. The kiss was soft and brief but both women returned for seconds and thirds. They were soon sharing deep, soft, wet kisses and softly moaning into the night air. After a time they broke apart to feed their oxygen starved lungs with deep breaths of crisp night air. They stood wrapped in each other’s arms with their foreheads together, breathing heavily.
“I should go.” Gillian whispered huskily.
Jacqueline groaned, “I know.”
“Walk me to my car?” asked Gillian
“If you give me your number first.” Jacqueline smiled.
Gillian smiled back, “not going to let me kiss and run, huh?”
“You’ve got that right!” Jacqueline growled.
The women walked back into Jacqueline’s office and Jacqueline pulled Gillian with her behind her desk, she sat down in the office chair and pulled her companion down into her lap. After sharing another kiss or ten, Jacqueline pulled away and opened a drawer and pulled out two objects. She pulled the first object out of its case and unfolded it to reveal a full size keyboard. She then took the second item and inserted her palm computer onto the keyboard, turned the palm on and opened up the address book. She turned the keyboard toward Gillian and said, “Gimme.”
Gillian laughed and entered her personal information into the small device. As soon as she was finished entering her information, she reached forward to grab her purse. She pulled the bag toward herself then opened it pulling out her own palm computer. She pulled Jacqueline’s palm off of the keyboard and popped her own onto it and turned to Jacqueline. “Quid” kiss, “Pro” kiss, “Quo” kiss.
Jacqueline smiled and shifted Gillian in her lap so that she could reach the keyboard. After only a moment she realized how awkward it was to type with her arms around Gillian and decided on another plan of action. She leaned forward, wrapped her arms back around Gillian’s middle and whispered, “I’d rather keep my arms right here, how about if I tell you the information and you put it in?”
The feeling of the tall woman’s lips against her ear and the warm breath against her skin made Gillian shudder as a flush of warmth infused her. “Sounds like a good plan to me.”
After many stops and starts and more than a few nibbles on Gillian’s ear, the information was entered, and the palms were put away. Sighing, Gillian said, “I guess it’s time to go.”
Jacqueline’s sigh matched Gillian’s, “I guess so.”
The women disentangled themselves and stood up from the chair. “We can go out this way.” Jacqueline said, indicating a door in the side wall of the office. The door opened onto the parking area of the restaurant. As they exited Gillian noticed the vehicle that was parked in the space reserved for owner. It was a gorgeous buff colored Harley. “Oh gods…” she moaned.
“Make that sound again and I won’t let you go home, Gill. What was that about?” husked Jacqueline.
Gillian took a moment to swallow, or rather, to try to get some saliva going in her mouth so that she could swallow. Her mouth had gone completely dry as the moisture in her body had migrated south at remembering her fantasy earlier that week. Clearing her throat she finally answered, “I saw your bike outside of the Obelisk the other day”.
Jacqueline moved to stand up against Gillian’s back and wrapped her arms around her from behind. “And my bike makes you moan like that?”
Gillian felt a blush cover her face, “Uh sort of.”
Jacqueline nipped at the throat in front of her, “Sort of? I think I want to hear this.”
“Oh gods,” Gillian moaned, “When I first saw the bike, I remembered a story I’d seen on some photographer who does boudoir photos. He had done some pictures of a woman dressed in leathers and nothing else on a Harley.”
“Ah…and the pictures excited you?”
“Actually, no. The idea of the pictures was…stimulating, but the woman in the pictures did nothing for me.” Gillian admitted.
“Mmm Hmm, so why the groan now?” asked Jacqueline.
After another swallow, Gillian whispered, “Because when I left the store and saw the bike again, I pictured you on the bike…”
“And that picture was better?”
“Oh god, yeah.” Gillian moaned. Gillian’s moan sent most of the blood in Jacqueline’s body surging to certain very private areas and she knew she needed to send her beautiful companion home before things got out of hand.
“You’d better go, Gill. Where’s your car?”
Gillian pulled her keys out of her purse and pointed toward her car. The women walked over to the car and Gillian hit the unlock button on her remote entry device. Once the car door was opened, she turned toward her tall companion. “Thank you. For rescuing me, for dinner, for your friendship, for…everything else. I’m having a hard time leaving you.”
“I’m having a hard time letting you go.” Jacqueline answered. “We’ll talk soon, yes?”
“Yes. I can’t wait.”
“Kiss me and go.”
Another round of passionate kisses later, Gillian was on her way home.
The phone was ringing as Gillian entered her house. She rushed to answer it before the machine could pick up the call thinking it would be Alice with news of the twins.
“Hello, Gill. I miss you.” Gillian recognized the sultry voice immediately.
“Oh, Jacq,” she sighed, “I miss you too.” At that moment the call waiting tone beeped in Gillian’s ear. “Hey, hon, can you hold for a bit? Someone’s on the other line.”
“Sure, go ahead” replied the restaurateur, the corner of her mouth raised in a grin at having been called ‘hon’ by the beautiful writer.
“Thanks, be right back.” Gillian said before hitting the button to connect to the other call, “Hello?”
“Hey babe,” said a tired sounding Alice.
“Aly, hey. How are the girls?”
“Well, Suzy’s arm is fractured in two places and Bonnie has a mild concussion.” sighed the tired mother.
“Oh, Al, I’m sorry. Are you home now or are you still at the hospital?”
“We’re home. I just got the girls down and wanted to call you before it got too late. I’m really sorry I missed out on dinner with you.” Alice stated.
“Well, um, I stayed and had dinner without you. You’re right it’s a wonderful place.” Gillian gushed.
“Gill, what’s that tone in your voice?” Alice asked with a grin.
“I’ll explain it to you in the morning, Al. Actually, I need to go. I have someone on the other line.”
“Oh, thank you very much Gill!” exclaimed Alice, “Now I’ll not only be awake all night because I have to wake Bonnie up every two hours, but I’ll be wide awake wondering what this mystery is!”
Gillian laughed, “Suffer! Call me in the morning, Al. I love you.”
“Love you too, sweetie.” Alice signed off.
Gillian clicked the phone to return to Jacqueline. “Jacq? Sorry about that, it was Alice letting me know how the girls are.”
“I figured as much. How are they?” Jacqueline inquired.
“Suzy’s arm is broken and Bonnie has a mild concussion.”
“Ouch!” exclaimed Jacqueline, “will they be all right?”
“Oh yeah, they bounce back quickly and they’ll be at it again. They were trying to be Xena and Gabrielle this time.”
A deep chuckle reached through the phone and poured over Gillian. “Where are you?” Gillian inquired
“I’m at home,” Jacqueline answered, “I called to tell you I miss you and to say goodnight before I turned in. While you were talking to Alice, I got ready for bed and now I have you under the covers with me.”
Gillian groaned, “You’re not nice.”
In a deep, sexy drawl Jacqueline replied, “Oh, I can be very nice…you just wait and see.”
“Mmm hmm…you complaining?”
“Not in this lifetime.” Gillian said seriously. “Jacq, I was thinking on my drive home. I have a book signing up in Orange County in two weeks on a Saturday afternoon. Would you like to go with me?”
“I’d love to. I’ll need to make sure my sister, Barb, can work the restaurant that night before I make it definite though.”
“That’s fine. Call me once you know for sure?” Asked Gillian.
“I’ll call as soon as I talk to Barb.” Jacqueline said. “It gives me a good excuse to call you again.”
“You don’t need an excuse to call me. I hope you’ll be able to join me.” Gillian said wistfully.
“I’d like nothing better, Gill.” Jacqueline answered softly.
“Ok, I’d better say goodnight so I can get my beauty rest for the weekend.” Gillian joked.
Jacqueline chuckled, “You’ll be beautiful no matter what. I’ll talk to you soon, sleep well Gillian.”
“I wish I could kiss you good night again,” Gillian said softly.
“That would be perfect.”
“Good night, Jacqueline. Sleep well.”
“Good night, Gill.” Jacqueline replied before hanging up.
Both women sat for long moments, gazing into nothingness and feeling the warmth that infused them. Thoughts of the evening ran through both minds and each woman eventually went to sleep with the other’s face in the forefront of their mind and the taste of their kisses on their lips.
Just as Gillian was rinsing the conditioner out of her hair, she heard the phone ringing. As was her habit, she had brought the phone into the bathroom with her. She turned off the shower, reached out to retrieve the phone and, still standing inside the shower, she answered it.
“Good morning.” The low sultry voice had a visceral affect on Gillian. She was glad she was in the shower because she knew she’d have to wash off the effects of that voice or the whole world would catch the scent of her arousal.
“Jacq, hi.” Gillian smiled into the phone.
“Where are you?” Jacqueline asked, “You sound all echoey.”
Gillian blushed, “I’m um, in the shower.” She heard a long low moan come from the other end of the line.
“Gill..” Jacqueline said with a moan, “are you trying to kill me?” After taking a deep cleansing breath, Jacqueline went on, “After last night, I couldn’t get you out of my head. All I’ve thought about is you. I was going to call this morning and be all grown up, tell you I want to court you, tell you I’d like for us to get to know each other and find out if what I’m beginning to feel for you is what I hope it is.” Jacqueline paused for another breath, “I was thinking that we should cool it a bit on the physical side to give us a chance to really connect…and what do you do? You answer the phone in the shower and blow my resolve all to hell because now all I see in my head is that tight body of yours dripping and pink and smelling of lavender.”
As Gillian listened to Jacqueline, she felt her knees grow weak and she allowed herself to slip down the tile wall to sit on the built-in bench. A silly, sexy smile covered her face at the realization that the visceral attraction was mutual. She had had thoughts almost identical to those voiced by Jacqueline.
Smiling, Gillian sighed, “I like the way you’ve been thinking.”
“Yeah?” Jacqueline asked.
“Very much.” Gillian replied, “I’ve actually been thinking the same thing. I was hoping you’d be able to go with me to Orange County. Hoping it would be a good way to continue to get to know one another. Though, I’m honestly not sure how well I’ll be able to rein in my libido around you…you drive me crazy.”
Jacqueline chuckled throatily. “Mmm glad to hear that, Darlin’. Barb said she’d be happy to work the restaurant that night.”
Gillian’s heart sped up at Jacqueline’s news, “Really? So you’ll go with me?”
“Wild horses couldn’t keep me away.”
“I’m really glad, Jacq.” Gillian said softly, “I’ll pick you up at 11:30 that Saturday morning, alright?”
“I’ll be ready.”
“I know we both said we want to concentrate on getting to know one another, but…I plan on kissing you until your eyeballs dry up.”
Jacqueline groaned low and long. “I was right; you do want to kill me.”
The women said their good byes and ended the phone call. Gillian was unable to keep the smile from her face as she moved into her writing room. She had planned on working on her newest mystery novel that morning but the thoughts and feelings that were surging through her after talking with Jacqueline made that prospect all but impossible. Instead of pulling up her main stream novel on the computer, she opened up one of her less well known works. This series of books, though not as lucrative as her other writing, was what she truly poured her heart and soul into. Her series of lesbian romance novels sold well in their market and her publisher had been asking for the series to continue. Up until the troubles she’d experienced with Robin, she hadn’t had to struggle to write them as she sometimes struggled with her main stream characters. She had hit a writer’s block on her lesbian series after Robin’s betrayal. It had only been last month that she had finally been able to work on the series again but even then she had been unable to write any plausible love scenes.
Gillian re-read the last portion of her manuscript noticing that she had stopped writing as the two main characters had been about to have a romantic liaison. As Gillian thought about the tall raven haired woman she’d spent the last evening with; her creative, as well as other more physical, juices began to flow. She began to type and found that the story flowed out of her and onto the pages with a passion she’d feared she had lost forever. It wasn’t until her stomach rumbled loudly that she halted her writing. She sat back and rubbed her eyes then looked at her watch. She was shocked to see that was almost half passed two o’clock in the afternoon! She had started writing before ten that morning, it was no wonder her stomach was rebelling.
Gillian started toward the kitchen when she remembered that she had neglected her food shopping and that there was nothing but a jar of olives and a bunch of wilted lettuce in her refrigerator. She mentally slapped herself for putting off the marketing then moved to get her keys to go out to rectify the situation. As she drove toward her favorite Whole Foods Market, Gillian’s heart felt a yearning. Deciding to follow her heart, she turned away from the market and pointed her Cruiser in the direction of a certain restaurant. As she neared Jacqueline’s restaurant she realized that she didn’t know if they were open for lunch or if Jacqueline would be there. Instead of letting doubt dictate her actions, Gillian kept driving and allowed herself the hope that she would find the restaurant open and the further hope that the beautiful owner would be there.
About a block away from the restaurant, Gillian noticed a young man standing on the side of the road selling flowers. With a smile, she rolled down her window and motioned for the fellow. Gillian pulled her car around the side of the restaurant and felt her heart start to pound with excitement when she spied the beautiful Harley parked in Jacqueline’s space. After she turned off her car she remained in her seat and took a few deep breaths in an attempt to calm her shaking nerves. Once she felt the shakes ease, she stepped out of the car, flowers in hand and walked to the door marked, “Private Entrance”. Once there she took another series of breaths then knocked on the door she knew lead to Jacqueline’s office.
After only a few moments the door opened revealing the tall beauty with a huge smile on her face, “Hey!” She leaned in and placed a soft kiss against the blonde’s lips, “What a great surprise…come on in.”
Gillian smiled shyly as she offered up the flowers, “I was on the way to buy food for lunch and started thinking of you which made me realize how much I was missing you…so…here I am.”
Taking the flowers, Jacqueline said, “Thank you. I’m so glad you came. I was just about to pick up the phone to call you but I didn’t want to disturb your creative flow if you were writing.”
Gillian nodded, “I got a lot done this morning, but it would have been fine if you had called. It made my day when you called this morning.”
“Mine too.” Jacqueline said with a sultry look on her face. Jacqueline shook off the thoughts that their early morning phone call had stirred up and asked, “Did you get lunch?”
“Um, no,” answered Gillian, “I just took a chance that a certain woman I know might feed me if I barged in on her.”
Jacqueline leaned in for another kiss, “Don’t ever say that. You could never barge in; consider yourself perpetually invited.”
“Perpetually invited, I like that.” smiled Gillian. “Ok woman, give me another kiss then feed me!”
Jacqueline did just that. She took the small woman into her arms, dipped her and gave her a kiss that would have made Valentino jealous. She then stood her upright again and made sure she was steady before walking into the dining area to get her now favorite woman a late lunch.
There wasn’t a day that passed when the two women didn’t at least speak on the phone. They called each other every night after they were in their beds to talk about their day and to say goodnight and share a good night kiss over the phone. They shared tidbits from their lives and love histories. Each woman felt destiny knocking on their door each time they talked.
On the Friday before her book signing, after working for a few hours Gillian decided to take a break and check her email. After clearing up any business that needed to be taken care of she smiled as she remembered that Jacqueline’s information had included an email address. She quickly walked into the living room to retrieve her palm, she hot synched the information into her computer then copied the email address into her internet address book. After thinking for a moment, she opened the mail program and began typing.
Jacqueline sat at her computer doing an on-line wine order when she heard “You’ve got Mail!” Thinking it was a confirmation of her order; she opened up the email program and saw the return address CodyBard4. Smiling broadly she opened the mail and began to read.
I hope that no one else reads your emails! If the person reading this is not Jacqueline Papathelasanis, please stop reading NOW!
Ok…now that that’s covered…
I miss you. I’ve been working on my novel. My editor is breathing down my neck for the next five chapters. For some reason, I’m having a hard time concentrating on work these days. You see, there’s this tall, beautiful blue-eyed woman that invades my thoughts constantly. The though of her kisses distract me to the point of madness.
May I tell you a secret?
Jacqueline smiled at the email as she immediately hit the ‘reply’ button:
I miss you too. I’m having the same trouble with work, Darling. I almost ordered 2000 cases of wine instead of 20! We would have been swimming in it instead of drinking it.
I’m dying to hear your secret…please tell me.
Gillian’s computer announced that she had mail and after reading Jacqueline’s reply she sent the email she had written in anticipation of Jacq’s positive reply.
The secret is this:
Late at night or early in the morning…sometimes both…I lay in my bed thinking of those kisses. As I think about them I feel my breathing increase and my heart beat pounds in my chest. More times than not, I find my hand sliding over my body as I imagine it to be her hand. Can you imagine what that hand does?
Upon reading Gillian’s second email, Jacqueline’s mouth dropped open and all the moisture in her body moved south. She slammed her head onto her desk and let out a long low moan. With shaky fingers she returned an email:
Do you have any idea what just happened in my Tasmanian Devil boxers?
If that hand were my hand it would slide over your tight belly. It would feel the soft silk of your skin and the tight muscles beneath. If that hand were my hand it would journey up to cover your right breast and gently cup it. It would savor the weight of that breast in its palm. If that hand were my hand it would brush a thumb over a turgid nipple, circling then pinching lightly. If that hand were my hand it would then slide back over the velvety skin of your abdomen until it reached the smooth damp warmth of your womanhood. If that hand were my hand it would slip between the soft lips of your sex to stroke and circle you. If that hand were my hand I’d bring it up to my nose to smell the musky sweet fragrance of you. If that hand were my hand I’d lap the juices from those fingers and taste the ambrosia that you are.
Gillian was certain that her heart had stopped. She was certain that she had never been more aroused in her entire life. She hit reply one more time.
My silk panties just gave up their life for you.
If we don’t stop this now, I’ll say to hell with my resolve and beg you to come over here. I’m not sure we’re ready for that in real life yet (though at the moment I am more than ready).
I can’t wait to spend the day with you tomorrow. I’ll pick you up at 11:30 as planned.
I must go take multiple cold showers now.
At 11:25 Gillian pulled up in front of the address Jacqueline had given her. As she walked up the flagstone walkway she looked at the beautiful yard and garden. The yard was ripe with flowers of every color and hue. Gillian paused in her walk toward the door to take in the beauty of it. As her eyes surveyed the yard she noticed that the flowerbeds seemed to be alive and in motion. As she looked more closely she realized that there were butterflies, bumblebees and hummingbirds galore flitting and feeding throughout the splashes of color.
Jacqueline stood at the large picture window of her house and watched the beautiful blonde’s reaction to her garden. She treasured the looks of wonder, then awe, then joy that came over Gillian’s countenance as she stopped to take it all in. Jacqueline felt her heart fall another notch in love with the woman she gazed upon. So many people simply charged up the walkway to get to the front door, but not this woman. It was obvious that Gillian not only saw the garden, but she also saw the life teaming there and, beyond seeing it, she obviously relished it.
As Gillian stood and watched two hummingbirds vie for the nectar of a bright yellow flower she felt two long arms slip around her. Her grin immediately blossomed into a smile and she leaned back into the body behind her. “Hey,” Gillian greeted.
Jacqueline’s lips left a soft kiss on the side of Gillian’s neck, “Hey.”
“Did you do this?” asked Gillian, still entranced in the color and movement of the garden.
“Well, me and God I guess.” Jacqueline answered with a chuckle. “Do you have any idea what it means to me to see the appreciation in your eyes?” Jacqueline gave Gillian’s middle a squeeze before continuing, “More people than I can count don’t even notice the garden, much less the life that’s in it. You found it and reveled in it within moments of arriving. I doubt you’ve even noticed the house yet!”
“The house?” Gillian said absently.
“Yeah, the house.” Jacqueline said, grinning. “Most people only see the house.”
At that point, Gillian moved her eyes from the garden to the house. “Oh!”
Jacqueline laughed out loud, “Exactly.”
“Well, holy hell Jacqueline!” Gillian exclaimed, “It’s gorgeous…and huge!”
“Thank you.” Jacqueline acknowledged, “But it is still only a house. It’s brick and mortar. You found and relished the life.”
“How could I not? There’s so much of it!” exclaimed Gillian sincerely.
Jacqueline shook her head and smiled at the little blonde, “C’mon inside, I’ll show you around.”
“Ok,” Gillian answered as she entwined the fingers of her right hand with those of Jacqueline’s left. “So, Ms. P, are you just rich or are you filthy rich?” Gillian asked waggling her eyebrows at the tall brunette.
Jacqueline belly laughed, “Obscenely.”
“Woo hoo!” exclaimed Gillian, “My Mom always said it’s just as easy to fall for a rich woman as a poor one! Of course, I think she’s still holding out for a doctor or lawyer.”
“Is that what you’re doing, Gill? Falling for me?” Jacqueline asked.
“I thought you had that figured out already, gorgeous.” Gillian answered.
Jacqueline stopped and looked deeply into sage green eyes, “Good, because I’d hate to be falling all by myself.”
Once the couple had crossed the threshold and closed the door they found themselves locked in an embrace. Lips softly met as promises were made with kisses. Jacqueline’s arms were wrapped around Gillian’s back and one hand cupped the back of the blonde’s head, her fingers pressed into the soft hair and massaged Gillian’s scalp. As they broke apart, Gillian looked into Jacqueline’s blue eyes and whispered, “I should be afraid, but I’m not.”
“I’m glad.” Jacqueline stated. She pulled her left arm away from Gillian and glanced at her watch, “It’s noon, baby, we should get going.”
“Oh!” Gillian rolled her eyes at her own forgetfulness, “Yeah, we should.”
During the first hour of the drive from San Diego to Orange county, the women talked about Jacqueline’s family and how they’d come into their fortune. Jacqueline explained that she had inherited her huge Victorian home from her grandmother who had emigrated from Greece. She talked of olive orchards still owned and operated by their family and about her annual trips to check on the running of those orchards. She spoke about the merging of a family of Olive tycoons with the family of restaurateurs and how the rest had been history.
Whenever safety permitted it, the women would hold hands. When Gillian needed to keep both hands on the wheel, Jacqueline would relinquish the hand but would automatically rest her hand on Gillian’s thigh. The two women exchanged smiles and hungry looks as they exchanged words. Once Jacqueline had finished telling her family history, Gillian decided to voice what had been on her mind since their early morning phone call.
“Jacqueline,” She began, “I’ve decided that, for me at least, I’m not going to play any kind of games with you.” Gillian screwed up her courage to go on. “I want to be honest with you, I want to tell you what I’m feeling when I’m feeling it and not second guess whether or not I should say what’s on my mind or in my heart.” Gillian paused to look at Jacqueline.
Jacqueline nodded and smiled, “Go on.”
“Ok,” Gillian continued, “I think we’re at the beginning of something amazing. I detest the part of a relationship where I constantly worry if I’m saying too much or not saying enough. I don’t want to lay in my bed at night and have questions running through my head about our friendship, relationship, whatever…because I was too chicken to simply come out and ask you what I want to know.” She paused to take a sip of her bottled water, “I don’t want you to wonder either. If you want to know something, or tell me something…I want you to just do it. Am I making any kind of sense here?”
Jacqueline laid her head back against the headrest and sighed. “Gill, you’re making perfect sense. I don’t want to play games either, I don’t want to walk on egg shells wondering what is and what isn’t ok to share with you. So…let’s agree to be as open in our communications as we can be. I think it will save a lot of bullshit in the long run.”
“Thank you.” Gillian said softly. After only a moment, a grin came over Gillian’s face, “First hard question…”
“Yes?” Jacqueline quirked a single brown brow.
“When I introduce you to my publicist, I’d like call you my girlfriend. I know it’s a bit early in our relationship to do that…but it’s what I feel.”
The brilliant smile that covered Jacqueline’s face could have energized the entire California power crisis and had energy to spare. “I’m honored to be your girlfriend, Gillian.”
“Isn’t that a lame term?” laughed Gillian, “We’re both successful, strong women and we’re reduced to the term ‘Girlfriend’. I’d like to think that down the road I’ll be calling you my partner, but it feels too soon for that, even to me!”
“I hope that’s where we’re headed as well, but I agree that it’s too early for that so I guess we’re stuck with girlfriend.” Jacqueline said as she rolled her baby blues.
After only a few moments Jacqueline leaned forward, “Gill I just thought of a solution to the girlfriend thing. One of my fellow students in Grad school…”
“Grad school?” Gillian interrupted.
Jacqueline shot Gillian an exasperated look, “Yes, darlin’ grad school.” Before Gillian could launch into more questions Jacqueline went on, “I’ll give you all the gory details in a minute…but listen. My friend Kathleen used the term Sweetheart whenever she spoke of her boyfriend. I never heard her use the term boyfriend or partner; she always referred to her sweetheart. For the first few weeks I honestly didn’t know if her “sweetheart” was a male or female. I always admired that. So, what do you think about introducing me as your sweetheart?”
“Sweetheart,” Gillian felt a warmth wrap around her heart and smiled, “I like that a lot. Now, tell me about grad school. Do you have a masters?”
“Actually I have two doctorate degrees. One in business/restaurant management and the other in agriculture.” Jacqueline replied softly.
Gillian hooted and slapped the flat of her hand against the steering wheel, “Yes! I shoot, I score! I’ve got my doctor Mama!”
Jacqueline dropped her head into her hands and groaned, “What have I gotten myself into?”
Aw, Jacque, I’m just kidding with you.” Gillian patted then squeezed the tall woman’s thigh, “My mother is constantly harping on me about ‘dating people who are my intellectual and educational equal’. I’ve always cared more about the person rather than their resume’. If you were a PhD but a toad, you’d leave me cold” Gillian gave the long thigh another squeeze and a suggestive slide then continued, “…and believe me, Doctor, you do not leave me cold.”
Jacqueline felt a warm flush infuse her being at the feeling of the small, strong hand on her thigh. She swallowed hard and reached down to take the hand in her own then brought that hand up to her lips for a kiss. “Honey, if I were any warmer, I’d be a Roman candle right now.”
Gillian muttered, “Too bad there aren’t any cold showers at Barnes & Noble…I think I’m gonna need one.”
Jacqueline chuckled, “Me too, believe me, me too.”
When the women arrived at the parking structure for the shopping center, Gillian parked her car on the lower level hoping that it would keep the car from turning into an oven. The women exited the car and, seemingly as one mind, walked to meet at the back of the vehicle. As their paths met, they automatically wrapped their arms around one another and shared a full body hug. Two sighs filled the air as they both allowed the stress of driving in the San Diego to Orange county traffic to be whisked away by the sharing of their personal space. After long moments of holding each other quietly, the two women shared a brief, soft kiss before turning and making their way to the shopping center.
Jacqueline glanced at Gillian as they passed the large book store, “Isn’t that where you said your signing was going to be held?”
Gillian had been lost in thought and reined herself back in to the here and now, “Hmm?”
“We just passed the bookstore, Gill.” Jacqueline commented softly.
“Oh, yeah, I’m supposed to meet up with my publicist at the Jamba Juice® to go over some business stuff and to plan exit strategies if we’ll need them. I’ve had a few…overzealous fans at a few of these signing and store security is lacking more often than not. I just feel more comfortable if we have a plan in place.”
Jacqueline’s brow creased in concern, “Have any of your fans threatened you?”
Gillian realized that her comments could have sounded more dire than they actually were, “No, no…” she paused with a small laugh, “Well, I’m sure the guy that said I was meant to be his wife and that he would do everything in his power to fulfill my every desire didn’t intend for that to be a threat. But…ugh…I don’t care if he did look like Ares on his best hair day, he was a guy and I just don’t do mad danglers.” Gillian shuddered at the thought. “I am and always have been a penis-free zone, thank you very much.”
Jacqueline leaned in so that her lips were touching Gillian’s ear, “Good to know. But I have one question. What if a certain anatomical facsimile was worn by a woman…would you still say no to that?”
Gillian felt herself flush. She turned her head and when green eyes met blue she husked, “That, would be a completely different story.” Then gulped again, “Are we sure there are no cold showers somewhere around here?”
Jacqueline tipped her head back and laughed, “You’ll be fine, darlin’, just think of the real thing and that’ll cool off your ardor.”
“Ewww, Jacqueline, what a way to kill a great buzz.” Gillian said scrunching up her nose.
Jacqueline’s grin faded as she asked, “Gill, is that the only kind of thing you’ve needed an exit plan for?”
Gillian sighed, “There have been a few times where people are overly attached to my work. They seem to think that because they’ve read everything they’re aware I’ve written that they know me. Some of them can get very intense and want to take up more of my time than I’m able or comfortable giving.” Gillian paused for a breath, “Most of the time I can manage to convince them to move on but on more than one occasion I’ve needed some outside person to help.”
Jacqueline slid her arm around Gillian’s waste, “I can be pretty intimidating, can I volunteer my services today?”
Gillian thought back to the Tuesday night in Jacq’s restaurant and the way this tall, dark and beautiful woman had quickly neutralized what could have been a bad situation. “I think I’d love that.” She smiled up into the beautiful face of her companion.
Once the business meeting and planning strategy was done Gillian, Jacqueline, and Adelle, Gillian’s publicist, made their way to the bookstore. Jacqueline noted that there was already quite a line up of people, with book in hand, waiting for Gillian’s signature. Gillian turned to Jacqueline and said, “It looks like I should get started, I hope you won’t be too bored for the next few hours.”
Jacqueline smiled as she gazed into verdant eyes, “I’ll be standing close by, and watching you, so I won’t be bored.” She raised her hand to cup Gillian’s soft cheek, “You impress me. Not just because of this,” she nodded toward the line up of fans, “but every moment I’m with you, I discover something wonderful about you. My heart is falling fast and hard, so standing here and watching you will be a pleasure, never a bore.”
Gillian felt her heart swell and she had to blink her eyes to clear the mist that filled them. “Jacq, the things you make me feel…” she turned her head and kissed the palm that had cupped her cheek, “my heart is so full of you I’m afraid it will burst through my chest”.
Misty blue eyes blinked, “Go. Your adoring fans are becoming impatient.” Gillian nodded and tore herself away from her tall beauty to sit at the book covered table.
Gillian did her best to focus on each person as they handed over their book to be signed. She had been at signings and conventions where fans were herded like cattle through the line and had vowed that she would never make her fans feel that they were unappreciated. Granted, she couldn’t spend more than a few moments with each person, but she did try to make eye contact with each one and get each name. Some of the faces became familiar over time and those fans that returned time and again were always thrilled when their favorite author remembered their names.
As Gillian finished her signature and handed the book back to one reader, she looked to the next person in line and felt her heart jolt. “Tam!” She exclaimed as she hopped up to lean over the table to hug the woman. “What are you doing here?” Gillian asked excitedly.
The tall, striking blonde smiled and drawled, “Why, Darlin’, I’m in town for a case I’m workin’ on and noticed that my favorite author was signin’ her latest novel so I got my skinny southern ass on over here.”
“Oh, honey, I’m so glad to see you!” exclaimed Gillian.
Jacqueline, who stood only a few feet away, overheard the exchange and the endearment Gillian had used toward the beautiful blonde and felt a painful stab of jealousy pierce her heart. She tried to mask her expression as she took deep breaths to calm her furiously beating heart. A moment later her heart soared again as she continued to watch and listen to Gillian’s interaction with Tam.
“Darlin’, it’s always good to see you.” Tam smiled.
“Do you have time to spend together this afternoon?” Gillian asked.
“I like nothin’ better, Gilly.”
Gillian smiled, “I should be done here in another forty five minutes.” She turned her head and looked toward Jacqueline, then turned her gaze back to Tam, “Why don’t you wait with that tall, gorgeous woman right there? Oh, and Tam, don’t get any ideas…she’s mine.”
Tam let out a long low whistle, “Gilly, Darlin’, I’d tattoo my name on her forehead if I were you. Lord Almighty.”
Gillian laughed at her old friend then sent her over to wait with Jacqueline.
Tam walked over to Jacqueline and put out her hand, “Hello, my name’s Tamera Miller. Little Gilly tells me you’re her beau. So, gorgeous, are you good enough to claim that little beauty over there?”
Jacqueline’s brows disappeared into her bangs as she shook the extended hand. “I’m Jacqueline Papathelasanis. To be honest, Ms. Miller, I’m not sure there is anyone alive who would be good enough for her. I can only tell you I’ll do my best to love her and I will never intentionally hurt her. I’ll cherish her for as long as she’ll allow it.”
Tam smiled and nodded, “I believe you’ll do, Ms. Papathelasanis. I’m surely glad my little Gilly found someone that actually values her. I wanted to string up that no good, two timing pole cat she had hangin’ on her before.” With fire in her eyes, Tam continued, “I’ll warn you right now, if you hurt Gilly I’ll remove your spleen through your nose with a spoon.”
“If I hurt her, I’ll supply you with the spoon.” Jacqueline stated truthfully. “And please call me Jacqueline or Jacque.”
Tam nodded. “Yeah, my Mama is Ms. Miller so please call me Tam.”
“Thank you Tam. So, how do you know Gillian?” Jacqueline asked.
“We shared an apartment when we were at Columbia.” Tam grinned.
“Mmm so you have stories?” Jacqueline smirked.
“You bet your boots, I do!” Tam declared. “Why don’t we go get a cup of coffee and I’ll tell you a few?”
“I’d love that, but I need to stay close. I want to be here in case any of her fans become overly zealous.”
“Yup, I’m likin’ you more and more, J.” After a moment, Tam broke out in laughter, “Hey have you guys realized yet that you’re a fairy tale?”
“Excuse me?” Jacqueline asked.
“Jacq and Gill!” Tam laughed, “Bet if you go up a hill it won’t be to fetch a pail of water!”
Jacqueline groaned, “Oh god, no, I hadn’t thought about that. My sisters are going to have a field day with that.”
The book signing continued without incident and soon Gillian joined Jacqueline and Tam. Gillian slipped her arm around Jacqueline’s waist and leaned her head against the strong shoulder. “You two getting to know each other?”
Jacqueline placed a soft kiss against Gillian’s hair. “Yes, love, we are.”
Gillian’s eyes lit up and flew to meet Jacqueline’s love filled eyes. “Say that again, please.”
Jacqueline realized what she had said and realized that it was true so she repeated huskily, “Yes, love.”
Gillian grinned and shook her head, “You choose to say that for the first time in the middle of a bookstore, in front of the biggest mouth this side of the Atlantic. Good timing, my love.”
“It wasn’t planned, Gill, it was simply my heart speaking.”
“Aw, that is just too sweet.” Tam sighed. “I think I should leave you two alone to celebrate this moment.”
Gillian quickly looked over to her good friend, “No, no…Tam, please, I haven’t seen you in almost a year. Please have dinner with us?”
Jacqueline seconded Gillian’s plea, “Absolutely Tam, besides you said you would tell me stories about my spitfire here.”
Gillian groaned as she watched Tam rub her hands together conspiratorially. “Oh that’s right!” Tam exclaimed, “I have some nice juicy ones too!”
“Just kill me now,” Gillian moaned while Tam and Jacqueline laughed.
The three women found an ocean front restaurant for dinner and talked for hours. Jacqueline enjoyed all the stories that both Gillian and Tam told about one another. The more she learned about her new sweetheart, the deeper her heart fell. Jacqueline and Gillian were in constant physical contact with one another throughout the entire evening. If they weren’t holding hands, then one or both of them had their hand upon the other’s thigh. The light strokes and touches had both women’s libidos at a steady simmer. Tam noticed her old roommate’s slow blush and decided it was time to end the evening and let the two women have time to themselves.
“Well, my friends, I’ve taken about as much time as I can away from studying my case files. I need to head on back to my hotel.”
Gillian was torn between being sad about parting from her long time friend and being elated at being alone with Jacqueline. She rose from her seat and wrapped Tam in a hug, “I’m so glad you took the time, Tam. I’ve missed spending time with you, honey.”
Tam returned the warm hug, “Darlin’ you know I’d never pass up a chance to see you. I’d planned on popping down to San Diego when the case is over.”
“Oh, I hope you’ll still do that!”
“Sure, Darlin’, I’ll let y’all know when I have this thing wrapped up and when to expect me.” Tam said then looked over to Jacqueline, “It was a real pleasure to meet you J. I’m glad short stuff here finally found someone who will treasure her.”
“It was wonderful meeting you too; I’ll look forward to seeing you in San Diego.” Jacqueline said sincerely.
The three walked out to their cars and hugged one another good bye. After Tam had driven away, Jacqueline turned to take Gillian into her arms. The pair stood in the moonlight holding one another and soaking in the feeling of peace that their connection brought them. After long moments, Jacqueline leaned in and kissed Gillian’s pink ear. “Take a walk on the beach with me?”
Gillian snuggled closer into her sweetheart’s embrace, “Mmm… that sounds perfect. Let’s drive down the coast a bit to find a stretch that isn’t quite so populated.”
After only a short drive, Gillian pulled her car into a large beach parking lot then got out of her car and opened and leaned into the trunk to pull out an old blanket. As she stood back up, she felt Jacqueline’s body mold to her back and she felt the tall woman’s arms surround her. “I can’t stand to be apart from you.” Jacqueline murmured.
Gillian sighed and leaned back into the tall woman’s body, “I know. It’s like I’m incomplete when we’re not touching.” She turned within the circle of Jacqueline’s arms, “It isn’t about sex, Jacque. Well, not just about sex. I want you with a raging passion that almost frightens me, but this is more. When I’m with you, touching you even casually, I’m more at peace, more centered.”
Jacqueline took in a deep breath of sea air, “That’s it exactly. Gill, you complete me.” She unwrapped her arms from around Gillian, retained a hold on one hand, and led them down onto the beach. Gillian slung the blanket over one shoulder and walked down the beach beside her heart’s desire. As they walked down the coast, the women shared more of their hearts and dreams. Their connection building and solidifying with each step they took. At one point, they stopped walking and started kissing. Soft kisses intermingled with long, passionate tongue filled kisses as both women lost track of anything other than their passion and their bond. Until they were abruptly interrupted as a wave of cold seawater crashed over their feet and soaked them up to their knees. Both women jumped and ran up the beach to avoid another soaking.
Jacqueline laughingly said, “I guess that’s nature’s way of saying we need to cool down!”
Green eyes twinkled, “I guess she knew that I was ready to throw this blanket down and have my way with you.”
Jacqueline cupped Gillian’s face in her hands and husked, “Oh, baby, I had the same idea.” After glancing at her watch, she added resignedly, “I guess we should get going if we’re going to drive back to San Diego. It’s already past 11:30 at night.”
“You’re right.” Gillian agreed, “I want to get on the road before the drunk drivers come out.”
As they turned to walk back to the car, Jacqueline stopped and pulled Gillian against her once more. As they stood in the moonlight with the waves crashing against the shore her gaze locked with Gillian’s as she declared, “Gillian, I love you. I’m not sure how this happened so quickly, but I am deeply, profoundly, and eternally in love with you. When I’m with you, I’m home. My heart has found its home.”
Gillian’s eyes filled with tears and emotion choked her words as she replied, “Oh, Jacqueline, I love you. From the moment I saw you in the Obelisk I was drawn to you. My heart had been so raw and hurting that I had put it into hiding. You reached in and found my heart, healing it and making it whole. You’ve made me feel safe to live, safe to laugh, safe to love. I am so in love with you I ache. You are my heart’s home, my beautiful love.”
They sealed their declarations with another round of loving kisses before making their way back to the car. During the drive back to San Diego, the women touched at every opportunity. Much of the drive was done in comfortable silence, interrupted by short periods of conversation when Gillian felt herself becoming tired. Jacqueline offered to take over driving but Gillian assured her that their conversation was enough to keep her alert. They pulled up in front of Jacqueline’s house at a quarter to two in the morning. Gillian walked Jacqueline to the door and kissed her good night.
“Baby, are you sure you’re awake enough to drive home?” Jacqueline asked concerned.
Gillian placed her hand over Jacqueline’s heart, “My home is here, love. But yes, I’ll be fine for the 10 minutes it will take me to drive to my house. Thank you for being worried.”
“I’d never survive if anything happened to you. I have plenty of room if you want to stay here.”
“Honey, if I stayed here I’d never have the strength to sleep anywhere other than with you. We’ve both agreed to wait.” Gillian said, and then continued under her breath, “even if it kills us.”
Jacqueline’s keen hearing picked up the muttered words and she chuckled, “It may just kill us, my love.” She stroked Gillian’s soft cheek, “I want you so badly right now I ache to my core. But it is important to me that we do this right. Fifty years down the road, I don’t want either of us to have any regrets. I’ve been thinking about this…a lot. How does this sound? We’ll wait until we’ve met one another’s family. If those introductions go well, and I don’t see any reason for them not to go well, and if we feel we’ll fit into each other’s respective families, it will be a good time to consummate our love.”
Gillian’s heart fell another notch in love with the beautiful woman before her, just as her libido screamed in frustration. “I think that sounds like a good idea. I know I’ll be paying a much higher water bill though…with all the cold showers I’m going to need!”
Jacqueline leaned in to suck on a soft ear lobe before she whispered, “You can take cold showers…or…you can think of me while you…” she brought Gillian’s fingers up to her mouth and kissed them, “…take care of the ache yourself.”
Gillian moaned and felt her already soaking panties become even wetter. Panting, she backed away, “I have to go. Now. God, I love you.”
A sexy smile covered Jacqueline’s face, “Call me when you get to your place. I love you.”
Gillian squirmed in her seat, moaning at the pressure the seam of her slacks exerted against her swollen sex. She was glad that there seemed to be no police on the streets because she broke a land speed record to get to her house. Once Gillian arrived at her house, she rushed through the door then shed her clothes as she made her way to her bedroom. Once she was completely naked, she crawled into her bed and picked up the telephone and dialed.
The call was picked up before the first ring finished peeling, “I miss you already.” Jacqueline’s husky voice answered.
Tears stung Gillian’s eyes, “I know, my love, my heart aches.”
“Where are you?” Jacqueline asked.
“In bed. Naked”. Gillian heard a long sexy groan in response to her answer.
“Touch yourself for me. Tell me what you like. Tell me what your fingers feel. Please, love.” Jacqueline’s voice cracked.
“Ohhh Jacq, Yes. I’ll love myself for you if you promise to return the favor.”
“God, yes Gill.”
Gillian switched her phone to speakerphone and set it on the nightstand. “Can you hear me, love?”
“Yes, Gill. Tell me what color your sheets are.”
“Mine are forest green.” Jacq supplied.
“I’m running my right hand over my stomach, just barely touching…almost tickling. I can feel love bumps rising up all over my body.”
A low moan echoed through the speaker.
Gillian’s voice became deeper and more breathless, “I’m cupping my left breast, squeezing gently. My thumb is circling the nipple. My nipples are hard and erect. I need to pinch them. Baby, touch your breasts with me.”
Jacqueline’s hands were already busy on her own breasts, breathlessly she said, “I am, baby, ohhh gods, you feel so good.”
“Mmm so do you, Jacque, god so do you.” As Gillian moved her right hand she breathed, “Baby, I’m sliding my hand down my body, circling my navel, down my belly…” as Gillian’s finger slid between her curl covered lips she let out a low sultry moan, and panted, “I’m sliding my middle two fingers over my clit…god, I am so wet for you.”
Jacqueline’s hand had taken a similar route and her moans joined Gillian’s, “I’m soaking the sheets, I’ve never been this wet. My clit is so engorged it’s standing out from the hood. Oh baby, I’m not going to last long…I’m already…oh…Gill…come with me…”
Neither woman spoke as they each stroked themselves to climax. At the moment they both fell over the edge they called out one another’s name, declaring their love for one another. Neither woman was completely satisfied and, after a moment’s rest, both hands began stroking again until simultaneous crescendos were reached once again.
A breathless Gillian answered, “Jacqueline…”
“I love you. I’d give anything to be able to hold you right now.” Jacqueline fought to get her breathing under control.
“Honey, I’d put up matching funds to be against you right now.”
“I love you, Gill. Think you can sleep now?”
“Yes, how about you?”
Jacqueline’s voice already sounded sleepy, “Mm hmm. Sleep well my beloved. Call me when you wake up, ok?”
“I will, I miss you. I love you. Good night, my heart.”
Both women disconnected their phones and snuggled into their pillows to dream of one another.
A few months passed with both women spending as much time together as possible. Their nightly phone calls and mutual self pleasuring interspersed with many cold showers helped them to keep to their resolution. As time passed, both women fell more deeply in love with the other. Jacqueline had ordered every book Gillian Cody had penned and had voraciously read every one. She realized that she would have been a fan of Gillian’s writing even if she hadn’t known her. She understood why there were lines out the door at each of her love’s book signings.
As Jacqueline was reading the final chapter in the latest Gillian Cody novel, she heard a distinctive knock at her office door. A smile broke out on her face as she jumped up to open the door. “Hey baby!”
Jacqueline pulled Gillian close and kissed her as though they’d been apart months instead of days. Gillian returned the kiss with enthusiasm. Once the women broke apart, Jacqueline moved over to her desk chair and pulled Gillian into her lap. “It’s good to see you, love.”
Gillian ran her fingers through Jacque’s dark tresses, “I missed you so I decided to come on over.”
“I’m glad you did.” Jacqueline smiled.
Gillian’s eye landed on the book laying face down on Jacqueline’s desk. She picked it up and cocked an eyebrow at the beautiful woman. “What do we have here?”
Jacqueline felt herself blush, “Mmm, that, my dear, is a book.”
“Yes, love, I can see that.” Gillian smiled, “Where did you get this book? I have it on good authority that the author of this thing would gladly have given you a copy.”
Jacqueline smirked, “Well, I hadn’t read anything you’d written so I went to Amazon.com and ordered everything written by Gillian Cody. I read all your books in the order that you published them. Honey, you’re amazing.”
It was Gillian’s turn to blush. “That means everything to me, coming from you. Thank you.”
“Gill, I mean it. Once I started reading, I would get lost in the story. I can’t tell you how many times I completely lost track of time because I was simply not willing to put a book down.”
“Thank you for telling me that.” Gillian said sincerely. “But, you said you’ve read all my books. If you only ordered books written by Gillian Cody, then you haven’t read everything I’ve written.”
A dark brow raised, “Oh?”
“Nope.” Gillian grinned. She turned in Jacqueline’s lap to face the computer. “Are you on line?”
“Yeah, got a cable modem so I’m always up.”
Gillian snorted and ground her fanny into Jacqueline’s lap suggestively, “Honey, I know you’re always up.”
Jacqueline let out a belly laugh, “Yeah, well, with you around that’s true.”
Chuckling, Gillian leaned over to the computer and pulled up Amazon.com. She then entered, “Cody Glenn” under the search engine for authors.
Jacqueline’s eyes grew wide, “Wait a minute, you’re Cody Glenn?” After seeing Gillian nod, she scooted out from under the smaller woman, walked over to one of her bookcases and pulled off a stack of books. She carried the stack over to the desk and plopped them down in front of Gillian. “Hell, baby, I’ve been half in love with you ever since I read the first one of these! I just didn’t know who you were. I loved the heart of the woman that could write such amazing romances between women.”
Gillian’s response was to stand, plant herself against Jacqueline and kiss her long and passionately. “I wrote those from my heart, pouring what I’d hoped for in a relationship onto the pages. I never thought I would actually have that kind of relationship…but with you, my love, I do.”
Jacqueline bounced on the balls of her feet like an excited child, a sparkle in her eyes. “Will you sign these for me?”
“Oh my god, you’re so cute!”
Jacqueline sobered and growled. “I’m not cute.”
Gillian shook her head and grinned, “Yes, my love, you were just very, very cute. But I promise no one will ever know about that but me.”
“I guess I can be cute for you….just this once.” Jacqueline conceded, “So, will you sign them?”
“Of course, honey.” Gillian pulled the stack over and began to write in the first book. Before she could complete the first word Jacqueline stopped her.
“Baby, will you just sign your name in these? If you’re going to write anything personal in them, I’ve got a whole other set at home that I’d prefer you put that in.”
“You have two sets of my books?” Gillian asked surprised.
Jacqueline blushed and nodded
Gillian noticed the blush and had to ask, “Why are you blushing?”
Jacqueline’s blue eyes met lush green eyes, “I’ve used the copies at home when I’ve needed to release some pent up…uh…tension.”
Gillian’s smile could have powered an entire city, “You’ve made love to yourself using my words?”
Jacqueline’s eyes half closed then closed all the way slowly, “Oh yeah.” She growled huskily. “Those were the best orgasms I’d had until…” Her eyes opened up and looked into Gillian’s, “our phone calls.”
Gillian’s knees felt weak. The thought that the words she poured into her books, as her heart yearned for a woman, had brought the love of her life to ecstasy was a heady experience.
Gillian snuggled against her tall love’s body, turning her face to kiss her neck, “Thank you.”
Jacqueline’s arms tightened around her small sweetheart, “Mmm thank you.”
They stayed in one another’s arms for long moments, relishing their closeness. Finally, Gillian pulled back enough to look at Jacqueline, “Guess what?”
“You love me.” Jacqueline smiled.
“Oh yes.” Gillian sighed, “But besides that, I got a call from my Mom this morning. They’re going to be here next month. Dad’s going to a convention of cardiac surgeons and they decided to make a family vacation out of it. They’re coming the week of the convention and then the following weekend they’ve bought tickets for my sister and her family to fly here.”
Jacqueline felt herself flush, “Have you told them about us?”
“Oh, honey, you know that I have!” Gillian’s hand moved in circles against Jacqueline’s back, “They’re looking forward to meeting my knight in shining armor.”
“I’ll always be your knight and protector, Gill.”
“Yes, you will.” agreed Gillian. “I was wondering if, while my family is here, we could arrange a big barbeque with both of our families. I’ll want you to meet my folks and sister before that, but I thought that a family get together would be fun.”
Jacqueline smiled at her love, “That sounds like plan, love. We can have it at my place. I have plenty of room both inside the house and out. It should still be warm enough to swim in the pool.” She pulled Gillian closer.
Gillian nuzzled the chorded neck beneath her lips, “And I’ll bring a change of panties for the morning.”
Jacqueline’s knees gave out and she landed with a thud against the edge of her desk.
As Jacqueline glanced at the calendar, she realized that Gillian’s birthday coincided with the date they were holding the family barbeque. She smiled at that thought and made some changes to the plans for the upcoming event. With her smile still in place, Jacqueline left her office to go in search of her pastry chef.
As she walked into the kitchen, Jacqueline smirked at the flurry of activity the pre-lunch preparations caused. If a person wasn’t aware of what was happening, they would think that it was picture of mass confusion; but Jacqueline knew all too well that this was a highly orchestrated and organized buzz of activity. She watched the movements within the kitchen for a moment in order to plan her best pathway through. She joined the dance and made her way to the pastry station at the back of the kitchen.
Jacqueline leaned against the counter and watched as frosting became lace atop a rich chocolate cake. “Hey, Bunkie” she greeted Charlotte Bunker, pastry chef extraordinaire.
Charlotte, without taking her gaze from her work smiled, “Hey Bean!”
Jacqueline and Charlotte had been friends since childhood. Jacqueline had shortened Charlotte’s last name to Bunkie when they were in pre-school together and Charlotte had believed, at age five, that Jack and the Beanstalk had been written about her best friend Jacq. They had been Bunkie and the Bean even since. Jacqueline never failed to smile when one of Charlotte’s children called her “Aunty Bean”.
As she concentrated on her work, Charlotte smirked, “You’ve been too busy to come over much lately. The kids miss their beanstalk.”
With true regret at missing time with two favorite rug rats, Jacqueline said, “I miss them too. I just…”
“Bean, it’s ok. You’re in the ‘all consuming, can’t breathe without her’ stage.” Charlotte smiled then added, “This is the real thing, isn’t it?”
“Bunkie, I never believed I could feel like this. I had no idea that I had a gaping hole inside me. When I met her she moved into my soul and made everything brighter and more alive. When I’m with her I get the same level of peace I could only begin to reach through deep meditation. Yet, at the same time, I’m also more alive and more…gods, Bunkie, I’ve never wanted anyone as much as I want her.”
“So, is the sex amazing?” Charlotte smirked.
Jacqueline blushed, “We haven’t…um…we’re waiting…”
Charlotte actually stopped her work and looked up at her best friend, “You haven’t slept together yet?” Then she quietly exclaimed, “Wow.”
“I want forever with her. We want to build a firm foundation with one another before we let the physical stuff color our vision. I didn’t want the lust-haze to be the basis of our life together. I think the waiting is gonna kill me, but, we’re waiting until we’ve met one another’s families.” Jacqueline took a breath and continued, “Which reminds me of why I’m here. We’re having a family barbeque with both of our families three weeks from Saturday. In regard to that I have a few requests. First, I’d like you, Jacob and the kids to be there. Second, I realized that the day of the barbeque is also Gillian’s birthday. I was hoping I could bribe you into make her a special birthday cake.”
Charlotte’s mind immediately started working on a special creation, “I’d love to make something for her! I’ll look at the family calendar, but almost sure that it’s clear that weekend and we would love to be there.” Charlotte turned and threatened Jacqueline with her loaded pastry bag, “But, before then you need to come over and spend time with your god children! Bring Gillian. If she’s going to be part of your life then we need to get to know her.”
Jacqueline held her hand up warding off the threat of being sugar coated, “Ok, ok!” She smiled and said, “Tonight’s the night I would usually come over so…” She pulled a cellular phone out of her pocket and hit one of the speed dial buttons. Charlotte watched Jacqueline’s expression flow from her usual relaxed, almost bored look to one completely filled with love before she heard Jacqueline’s voice drop to say, “Hey, love….mmm, I miss you too…” Charlotte smirked at the slow blush that colored her best friend’s countenance as she heard, “love, I’m in the middle of my kitchen…uh huh…” Jacqueline cleared her throat then continued, “I was wondering if we could change our plans this evening? Bunkie’s been threatening me with bodily harm from a pastry tube if I miss another Monday night supper with the family.” Jacqueline’s expression changed once again to mild panic, “No, Gill, I don’t want to break our date tonight, I want you to come with me.” Jacqueline’s eyes tracked to look at Charlotte, “Of course, she knows you’d be coming with me…” before Jacqueline could finish her sentence, Charlotte snatched the phone out of her hand.
“Hey, Gillian, this is Bunkie. Hey, if you don’t come along the big guy here will ditch again! I’d love it if you’d come over this evening. It’s just going to be a casual dinner after which my kids will attack and try to climb their favorite bean stalk.” Charlotte paused laughing, “Yeah, it is worth the price of admission to see that. So, you’ll come? Great! Ok, here’s Bean back.” She handed the small cell phone back to its owner.
“Hey…yeah, I’ll pick you up at 6:00, ok?” Jacqueline turned slightly away from Charlotte, “I love you too, baby. I can’t wait to see you.” She pulled the phone away from her ear and snapped it closed. “Ok, Bunkie, are you happy now?”
“Extremely; you do realize that Jacob will give Gillian the third degree. He’s as protective of you as he is of me and the kids!” Charlotte smiled.
“She can handle Jacob. You should have seen her with Papa,” Jacqueline smiled, “By the end of her meeting with him she had him eating out of her hand. I think that if I wasn’t planning on keeping her around for a lifetime that he would have tried to adopt her!”
Charlotte let out a long low whistle, “Now that’s saying something! Papa’s a tough sell.”
“No kidding! Remember when he scared that one twit so bad she about wet her pants?” Both women laughed. “Oh, and you should have seen Mama. She fussed and buzzed around Gillian so much you would have thought I’d brought home royalty.”
Charlotte laid her hand against Jacqueline’s arm. “You did, Bean. You brought home the woman who’s won their princess’s heart. In their minds no one but royalty could do that.”
At that moment Jacqueline was overwhelmed by the love she had for her best friend. Being able to share her deepest feelings with her was something she cherished, “I love you, Bunkie. Thank you for always knowing the perfect thing to say.”
Charlotte felt her eyes mist, “You had better keep that girl, Bean, and I like the person you’ve become with her in your life. Now, get outta my work area, my boss is a real bitch if I don’t have the pastry done on time!”
Charlotte’s boss smiled at her, “Yeah, I’ve heard that about her. We’ll see you this evening.”
Charlotte, already engrossed in work on her next creation, simply nodded a response.
Jacqueline left her office a bit earlier than usual that evening. She’d been hit with what she hoped was a brilliant idea and she had a few errands to run before it was time to pick up Gillian for their dinner at Bunkie’s. As she hopped on Argo, her beloved Harley, a smile creased her face at her plans.
Jacqueline was pleased at how well her errands had worked out and was in a wonderful mood as she pulled up in front of Gillian’s house. She bounced on the balls of her feet as she knocked on the front door and waited for it to be answered. When the door opened, Jacqueline’s heartbeat sped up at the sight of the beautiful blonde. “Hi Baby!” She greeted before swooping in to kiss Gillian stupid.
Gillian wrapped her arms around Jacqueline’s neck and gave as good as she got into the kiss. Both women broke away from the kiss winded and wanting. “Do you have any idea what your kisses do to me?” Gillian asked with a moan.
“Mmmm, I hope it’s the same thing your kisses do to me, love.” Jacqueline answered, leaning in for another mind-blowing kiss. Backing away from the kiss, Jacqueline asked, “Are you ready to go?”
Gillian ran her fingers through Jacqueline’s ebony hair, “Yup, all ready.”
“Good, let’s hit the road.” Jacqueline said with a sparkle in her eye. As soon as Gillian closed and locked her front door, Jacqueline wrapped her arm around her shoulder to walk toward the curb. As they walked down the path to the street, Gillian stopped short. “You rode Argo? Is the Navigator having trouble? I thought…oh, do you want me to drive?”
Jacqueline smiled, “Yes, No, you thought what? Nope, don’t want you to drive.” Once they reached the pristine bike, Jacqueline unlocked the saddlebag compartment nearest them and pulled out a box then handed it to her companion. Gillian accepted the box, tilting her head in bemusement. “Open it.” Jacqueline prompted. Gillian opened the box and was immediately hit with the smell of leather. Her eyes closed and she inhaled deeply, enjoying the scent emanating from the box. After only a moment she opened her eyes and pulled out the contents of the box. When she realized that she held a replica of Jacqueline’s leather jacket, only in a size appropriate for her smaller frame, Gillian squealed and threw herself at her tall lover in a hug of gratitude.
Jacqueline returned the hug with a smile, and then reached over and snagged the helmet she’d purchased for her lover. “I thought it was about time you got to know Argo a bit better.”
Gillian jumped a little joy jump and exclaimed, “Yes!” She then tugged at the zipper of her lover’s jacket and said, “C’mon, stud, show me what this thing can do!”
Jacqueline was overjoyed at her sweetheart’s reaction but schooled her expression into a faux bored smirk. She pulled out a new set of helmets she had purchased and fit the smaller helmet to Gillian’s head and then switched on the helmet-to-helmet communication system before she turned and mounted her bike Once in place, Jacqueline turned to help steady her love as she too mounted the powerful machine. As soon as Gillian was seated on the bike, she wrapped her arms tightly around Jacqueline’s waist and squeezed strongly. “Thank you baby, this is the best surprise!”
Jacqueline reached behind herself to return the hug, “I’m glad you’re pleased. Ready to roll?”
“Hell yeah!” Gillian’s voice sounded through Jacqueline’s helmet.
Jacqueline was pleasantly surprised to find that she had to make very little adjustments riding the bike with her companion on board. Gillian’s movements were in perfect synch with her own as she leaned into turns or adjusted her balance on the bike. It was as if they were one person as they rode along the coast to Charlotte’s home.
Once they had arrived at Charlotte’s home, Gillian hopped off of the bike and pulled the helmet from her head. It took everything she had to stop herself from tackling her tall companion before she dismounted the bike. Once Jacqueline was off the bike, Gillian jumped into her arms. “Gods, that was great! I felt every move your body made; it felt like we’d done that together forever. Thank you lover, thank you.”
Jacqueline smiled brilliantly. “Oh, baby, it was amazing to feel you against me while we rode. I’m so independent that I thought someone else would just throw off my balance; but that’s not how it was with you at all, not at all. Thank you.”
During the lengthy hug, they heard “Hey you two break it up and get your carcasses in here!”
Gillian and Jacqueline broke apart laughing and made their way to Charlotte’s front door. Jacqueline had her arm around Gillian’s shoulder as she introduced her two closest friends. “Bunkie, I’d like you to meet the love of my life. This is Gillian Cody. Gill, this is Charlotte Bunker-Cranmore, she’s been my best friend since we were in diapers together.”
Charlotte smiled warmly at Gillian, “I’m so glad to finally meet you! It seems that every time you’ve been at work I’m away or up to my elbows in one sweet thing or another.”
Gillian returned the smile, “I know. I’ve been thinking that this best friend Bunkie was an imaginary one.” she quipped. “I’m glad to find out you are, indeed, real.”
There was laughter all around as the three women moved into the house to spend a wonderful evening of food, shared stories. Once dinner was finished, Jacqueline automatically got up and pulled thirteen-month-old Rachel from her high chair. She took the sticky baby and held her at arm’s length until they reached the bathroom. Once in the bathroom, she set the baby on the edge of the counter and held her with one hand while dampening a washcloth with the other. As she cleaned the little girl’s face and hands of all their sticky mess, she talked to the little squirt. “So, Baby Bunkie, what’cha think of Aunty Bean’s new love? Huh?”
As the little girl bounced her diapered back side on the counter, Jacqueline continued, “You like her, do you? Well I’m glad because I like her too. I more than like her Baby Bunk, I love her. Yes, I do!” As soon as the baby was clean, Jacqueline picked her up and snuggled her against her shoulder. “C’mon, little one, let’s go play with your big brother.” Jacqueline turned to exit the bathroom only to find Gillian leaning against the doorframe with a look of complete adoration on her face. Realizing she had been caught talking with the baby and making silly voices, Jacqueline blushed.
Gillian moved into the bathroom to wrap her hand around Jacqueline’s neck. She pulled against the back of the dark head and brought it down for a short but meaningful kiss. “Every time I see a new facet of you, I fall deeper in love with you.” The moment was disrupted by an excited baby who wanted to be included in the affection. Rachel leaned her little body into the embracing women and put one little arm around her beanstalk’s neck, sank the little fingers of her other hand into Gillian’s blonde tresses then promptly pulled the three heads together and laid a sloppy open-mouthed baby kiss on both women.
“I guess that’s her seal of approval.” smiled Gillian as she rubbed the little girl’s back.
Half of Jacqueline’s mouth quirked up, “You’ve got that right. Baby Bunkie doesn’t usually take to strangers like this. It is definitely a huge stamp of approval.”
The rest of the evening was spent alternating between playing with the kids, talking between the adults and a team effort of getting the children washed and into their beds. Once the little ones were tucked into bed and had been told a story by none other than a best selling author, the adults were able to settle in and truly get to know one another. Jacqueline was not surprised to see that both Charlotte and Jacob were completely taken by Gillian. Conversation was easy and filled with laughter. Charlotte told tales about Jacqueline and Jacqueline returned the favor by telling on Charlotte. When ten o’clock rolled around, the visitors decided it was time to take their leave and stood to leave. Before they were out the door, hugs were exchanged between the four adults and it was decided that the regular Monday night family dinners would resume henceforth, and they would now include Gillian.
Jacqueline mounted the bike first then assisted Gillian. Instead of heading directly back to Gillian’s place Jacqueline rode to a beach parking lot, parked and, in silence, dismounted the bike. Once they were out on the sand, Jacqueline pulled the small blonde into her arms for a lingering kiss. “I love you, Gill,” came the heart felt statement. In that moment Jacqueline’s simple words were all that was needed to make Gillian feel as though she was the most precious thing in the universe.
“You are my heart, Jacq.” Gillian answered.
As they stood beneath the star filled sky, with the waves crashing against the shore and the moon taking a silver slice out of the night, Jacqueline gazed into Gillian’s eyes and spoke her heart. “Gillian, before I met you I was content. I had a good life, good friends, an occasional short-term relationship, and a family that loves me, even when I’m a pain in the ass. I didn’t know I was missing anything. Then I met you and you’ve changed everything. I can no longer imagine my life without you in it. I want forever with you.”
Gillian felt a sob break free as she threw herself at her tall beloved. “Forever won’t be long enough.” As she ran her fingers through Jacqueline’s long tresses Gillian continued, “I know what you mean when you say you had a good life. I did too. I love writing and I’m fortunate to be a success at it. I’ve got good friends that supported me through my awful relationship with Robin. I’d escaped from that situation and was happy on my own…and then I met you. When I take a breath, I breathe you in. Do you know I talk to you constantly throughout my day? Whenever I see anything wonderful, my first thought is that I want to share it with you. I must tell you how much I love you at least fifty times every day…but silently, and inside my head. I cant’ stand the thought of my life without you, either.”
“I think I hear, and answer, each of your silent proclamations of love throughout the day. You’re never completely outside of my thoughts.” Jacqueline smiled softly, “I like that…. a lot.”
Gillian teasingly grinned up at Jacqueline, “So, are we engaged now?”
“Not yet,” Jacqueline said as she reached into her pocket and pulled out a glittering ring. As she slid the ring on to Gillian’s finger she said, “Now, we are.”
Gillian’s breath caught as she looked at the ring on her finger. “Jacqueline, it’s…it’s…this is amazing. But, my love, we’re not yet engaged.”
Jacqueline’s heart lurched at Gillian’s words, and then beat a staccato rhythm as she watched Gillian reach into her own pocket to pull out a ring. “I’ve been carrying this around for days waiting for the perfect moment.” Gillian slipped her grandmother’s ring onto Jacqueline’s finger. “Now, my love, we can call it official.”
The kiss that followed made the heavens envious.
After long moments of kissing and careful caresses, the women moved back to the bike for a ride back to Gillian’s. After only a block Gillian’s voice sounded through Jacqueline’s helmet speaker, “Honey, why don’t we make the family barbeque into a commitment ceremony?” She gave the body in front of her a gentle squeeze, “We’d already planned on that being our first night together so let’s make that our wedding night.”
Jacqueline was glad she had gloves on because her hands were suddenly sweating profusely. She shakily pulled the bike to the side of the road, which was coincidentally just back in front of Charlotte’s house, and jumped off of the bike. She pulled Gillian off the bike and into her arms and held her tight. After pulling both helmets of their heads, she kissed her fiancé thoroughly. After breaking off the kiss, she leaned her forehead against Gillian’s, “You know, you shouldn’t break things like that to a woman driving a moving vehicle! You do remember my reaction to your ‘I’ll bring a change of panties’ comment, don’t you? Hell, my knees wouldn’t hold me up that day…and here you are, planning our wedding night on the back of a Harley!” She wrapped her arms tightly around Gillian and spun her around, “I’d love to have our commitment ceremony that day and I cannot begin to tell you how much I’m looking forward to our wedding night.”
“Hey you two!” A holler came from the house, “Don’t you have homes to go to?” Charlotte called laughing. Jacqueline looked at Gillian with pleading eyes and Gillian, knowing it was a plea for them to share their good news, simply nodded. Jacqueline assumed an air of nonchalance as she walked hand in hand with Gillian up to the front porch.
Jacqueline leaned her shoulder against the porch post and said, “Bunkie, there’s been a slight change in plans for the barbeque. In addition to the item we’ve already discussed, we’ll need a wedding cake.”
“What!?” Charlotte exclaimed loudly.
Jacqueline reached for Gillian’s hand and brought their hands up to show off their rings. Charlotte let out a whoop and launched herself at the couple in front of her. After only a moment, Jacob, dressed only in pajama bottoms, flew out the front door with a baseball bat in hand.
“Honey, I heard you scream, are you alright?” He stopped short when he realized that his wife was in a clinch with her best friend. He also noticed the ring sparkling from the hand wrapped around his wife. “Well, I’ll be damned,” he smirked. “Bean pole’s been bagged and tagged! Come on in the house you two, you’re on the bike so I know you won’t drink alcohol but we’ve got plenty of sparkling cider. Let’s toast!”
The intercom on Jacquelyn’s desk buzzed just before she heard her hostess’ voice say, “Hey, Jacq, guess who just called in and made a reservation for two?”
“Well, she’s average height, bright red hair, and sees the world through a camera lens.”
Jacqueline smiled, “You’re kidding? When is she coming?”
“Tonight. Reservations are for 7:30.”
“Great! Let me know when she gets seated and where. Oh, and will you please make sure we have her favorite wine in the house?”
“All ready done, hon.”
That evening, at a few minutes before seven, Jacqueline’s intercom buzzed again to let her know her old friend had arrived. She got up from her desk and made her way to the table where the redhead was seated.
Placing her hands on both of the redhead’s shoulder’s she said, “So, you don’t call your friends when you come into town?”
The photographer jumped up from her chair and wrapped Jacqueline in a tight hug, “Hey, you big lug, I’m here aren’t I? I knew they’d let you know that I was coming. How are you, Jacque?”
“Couldn’t be better, Dot. How about you?”
“Life is good,” she said then turned to her dining companion, “Jacque, this is Kathy Getts. Kath, this reprobate is my good friend Jacqueline Papathelasanis.”
Kathy smiled and greeted the tall beauty. “I’m glad to finally meet you. When we realized we were coming to San Diego, Dot’s done nothing but rave about your place here.”
“Well, I hope you enjoy your dinner.” Jacqueline answered, “Dot, how long will you be in town and how busy are you?”
“We’ll be here for a few weeks. We’re shooting all over the county. Why, what do you have in mind?”
Jacqueline felt herself blush as she thought about her plan, “Um, well, if you think you might have some spare time, I’d like to hire you for something.”
“Jacqueline, you’re blushing!” Dot cackled, “Kath, I have never in my life seen this stud blush. No matter what you want, I’ll do it…and you will not pay me, Jacque. I can never repay you for everything you did for me.”
When the redhead had shown an interest and great talent but had lacked the capital, Jacqueline had bankrolled Dot’s early foray into photography. When Dot’s talent had propelled her into the top echelon of photographers and she had started making loads of money, Jacqueline had refused to be paid back. She had simply told Dot to pass on the help to another young talent some day. There was no way that Dot would ever allow Jacqueline to pay for her services.
“Ok, well, I can’t really talk about what I want right here so, will you call me when you have a while to talk?” Jacqueline asked.
“Sure, no problem.” Dot was intrigued.
Jacqueline returned to her office and picked up her phone.
“Hello?” Gillian answered.
“Hello beautiful.” Jacqueline leaned back in her chair and pictured her beautiful fiancé. “How is your writing going?”
“It’s going really well tonight,” Gillian told her excitedly, “I’m really on a roll. I love when the story just flows.”
“I’m happy for you Baby, you sound really excited.” Jacqueline was genuinely pleased for her love.
“Mmm, and how’s my beautiful love this evening?” Gillian asked.
“I’m great. An old friend is here having dinner, it’s good to see her.” Jacqueline said, “I’m hoping to talk her into doing the photography at our wedding, if that’s all right with you.”
“Honey, that’s fine. Is she any good at it?” Gillian asked half joking.
“I think it’s safe to say yes to that. It’s Dot McLaren.” Jacqueline laughed.
Jacqueline heard a screech, “What?! You know Dot McLaren? THE Dot McLaren? The one whose photographs are all over my walls?”
“Uh huh,” Jacqueline answered.
“Baby, I know you’re rich, but are you that rich?” Laughed Gillian.
Jacqueline chuckled, “Actually, I could hire her for a day if she’d let me pay her. But I get the feeling she’ll refuse to let me, the brat.” Jacqueline explained.
“Why do I feel like there’s a story behind all of this?” Asked Gillian.
The women talked on the phone for a while longer, until Jacqueline heard a knock at her office door then saw Dot’s head poke inside. “Gill, I have to go, Dot just poked her head in here.”
“Ok, lover, call me tonight when you get to your house?” Gillian’s voice dropped an octave as she added, “I’ve been writing juicy love scenes and I’m in dire need of some relief.”
Jacqueline moaned into the phone, “Gillian…” taking a deep, calming breath she went on, “I’ll call you when I’m settled tonight.
I can’t wait.”
“Good. Bye for now, I love you.”
Jacqueline replied, “I love you, Gillian. Bye for now.”
Dot had moved farther into the office and stood gaping at Jacqueline. In all the years she had known Jacqueline, she had never heard to speaking to anyone in the way she was speaking to this Gillian person. She had heard the tall brunette speaking lovingly to her friends and family, but never with the passion she just overheard. She was even more intrigued than when she had entered Jacqueline’s office. Once Jacqueline had settled the handset back into its cradle, Dot sat in one of the comfortable chairs and looked Jacqueline directly in the eyes.
“Spill.” Dot demanded.
A lopsided grin came to Jacqueline’s face. “That was Gillian, my fiancé.”
“Your what?” Dot’s voice cracked.
“You heard me.” Jacqueline laughed as she held up her left hand, showing off her ring. “One of the reasons I wanted to talk to you is that we’re having a commitment ceremony in two weeks. If you’re still in town…”
Before Jacqueline could finish her sentence, Gillian interrupted, “I’m shooting it. That’s all there is to it. Hell, Jacque, if I had an assignment to photograph the president, I’d dump him to do this. Oh my god, you’re getting married! Tell me all about her. Where’s her picture?”
Jacqueline laughed at her old friend’s enthusiasm. She started to pick up the framed photograph of Gillian, and then had a better idea. She opened her desk drawer and pulled out one of Gillian’s novels then handed it to Dot.
Dot took the book from Jacqueline and quirked a brow at her friend and said in a tone usually reserved for the very slow-witted, “Jacque, honey, this…” she held up the book, “is a book. Can you say ‘book’, Jacque? Although, I’ve read this book and it is a very good book, I wanted to see a photograph of your wife-to-be.”
Jacqueline rolled her eyes at her friend’s antics and calmly took the book out of her friend’s hand and turned it over so that the author’s picture faced the photographer. She pointed a long, slim index finger at the picture and said, “My Gillian.”
Dot laughed and stuck her leg up on Jacqueline’s desk, “Here you go, pull the other one.”
Jacqueline aimed her patented glare at Dot, “Put your stinky feet back on the ground, you brat. I’m not kidding. That…” she indicated the photo again, “is my fiancé, Gillian Cody.”
“I love her!” Dot exclaimed.
“I know you do. Since meeting her, I’ve read everything she’s written and I now see why you’ve been such a rabid fan.” Jacqueline smiled softly, “But Dot, her books don’t hold a candle to how wonderful she is as a person.”
Dot and Jacqueline talked about Gillian and about the courtship they had shared. Dot told Jacqueline about meeting Kathy and that Kathy and Dot were thinking about moving in together. After about a half an hour of conversation Jacqueline got up the nerve to ask Dot for the second favor she wanted. It took Dot a nanosecond to agree and they made plans to make the favor happen.
Gillian’s phone rang as she was putting in her second earring. “Hello?”
“Hi Mom!” Gillian smiled into the phone. “How was your day?”
“Oh, you know I always have fun shopping. I’m calling to let you know that Daddy and I will be a few minutes late. He stayed to talk to a few of his cronies at the conference and then we took a little ‘nap’ together. He’s in the shower now so we’ll be ready to go in about ten minutes.”
Gillian shuddered at her Mom’s reference to her parent’s “nap”. She had known for years that it was the euphemism her parents used for when they made love. Granted, she was happy that her parents were still very much in love after over thirty years of marriage, but she simply did not want to know that they had been playing hide the sausage that afternoon.
“Uh, that’s fine Mom. I know Jacqueline has reserved a table for the entire evening. We’ll see you at the restaurant whenever you can get there.” Then, feeling like being bratty she added, “Just make sure you and Daddy don’t get delayed by another ‘nap’.”
“Humph, young lady, if it weren’t for our naps you wouldn’t be here!”
Elaine Cody laughed at her daughter’s chagrin. “See you in a little while, Gillian.”
When Gillian arrived at the restaurant, she let herself in to Jacqueline’s office using her brand new key. Once she stepped into the office she halted to feast her eyes on the sight before her. The back wall of Jacqueline’s office was open onto the garden area and Jacqueline was sitting, deep in meditation beside the koi pond. Her back straight, her breathing deep, even and coming from her Dan Tien (or lower belly). Gillian’s heart felt a rush of love, passion and peace in equal proportions.
Knowing her parents were running late, Gillian decided to join her love in her spiritual pursuit. She quietly walked over and retrieved her own meditation pillow and placed it beside her lover and began the process of relaxation, centering herself and clearing her mind for her meditation. After a period of time had passed, both women instinctively knew it was time to gather themselves back in and end the meditation period. It was as though a silent communication happened between the two women because they opened their eyes at precisely the same moment.
Without even glancing to her side, Jacqueline knew that her partner was beside her. Once she was finished with her meditation process, she allowed the feelings and thoughts to flow and gratefully accepted the overpowering emotions that filled her. Without thought she reached out her hand and grasped the hand that had, at the same moment, reached for her hand. After only a moment, both women shifted on their pillows to face one another and to look into one another’s eyes. No words were needed as their feelings shone from their faces. The spell was broken by the buzzing of Jacqueline’s intercom announcing the arrival of Gillian’s parents.
As they stood up, Gillian smiled at her beautiful love, “You ready to meet your future in-laws?”
Jacqueline assumed a bored expression, “Nothin’ to it.”
Gillian slapped her lover’s back side, “Sure of yourself are you?”
Jacqueline took Gillian’s hand and replied, “No, sure of us.”
“Good answer.” Gillian sighed.
They walked out to meet Gillian’s parents and Jacqueline proceeded to win over two more Cody hearts. After spending hours talking, laughing, and observing their daughter’s interactions with the tall beautiful woman, the Codys felt at peace about their daughter’s choice in a life mate. Gillian’s father had gone as far as to ask about Jacqueline’s financial stability, causing Gillian to pitch a royal fit.
“Daddy!” Gillian squawked, “You can’t ask her that!”
“Of course I can, pumpkin, I asked the same question of Brian when he wanted to marry your sister so I can sure as heck ask your tall drink of water.”
“Daddy, I have enough money on my own to last me the rest of my life.” Gillian reminded him.
“That’s beside the point,” her father insisted then turned his gaze to Jacqueline, “well?”
Jacqueline tried to hide her enjoyment of the father-daughter interaction and answered, “Sir, I’ll be happy to refer you to my financial advisor; but I assure you, Gillian will never want for anything for the rest of her life. I own this restaurant and two others outright and I share ownership of others with family members. All of them are highly successful.”
Gillian’s forehead hit the table top as she heard her father ask, “All right then. Now, how about children?”
Jacqueline’s eyes sparkled realizing that Gillian’s father, by asking the things he was asking, was giving his tacit approval. As she answered her future father-in-law, she rubbed soothing circles against Gillian’s back, “Sir, nothing would make me happier than to share a family with Gillian. I’ve seen her interact with my nieces and nephews, my two god children and with Alice’s two girls. Seeing her with those children made me ache for the day we hold our own children in our arms. We would like to wait a few years; we’d like to have time for just the two of us, to travel and such before we start our family.”
“That’s very wise, dear.” Gillian’s mother approved as her father nodded his agreement.
After dinner, Jacqueline gave the family a tour of the kitchen, her office, and the rest of the eating establishment. As she walked, she explained the complex procedures necessary to running a restaurant. Things necessary to make it hum like a well oiled machine. Dr. Cody was impressed with the tall handsome woman. At one point he wrapped his arm around his green-eyed daughter and placed a kiss on her head, “You chose well, pumpkin, you two fit like your Mother and I do.” This was the highest compliment he could ever give Gillian. Her heart soared at having her relationship with Jacqueline compared to her parent’s close bond.
“Thank you Daddy”, Gillian hugged her father, “She’s the stuff that dreams are made of. I look at her and can’t believe she’s mine.”
“I feel that way every time I look at your Mother. Every single day of my life it gets stronger,” Dr. Cody’s voice was gruff with emotion, “I won’t kid you, daughter, relationships are hard work. They take time and nurturing. Make sure you are always honest, make sure you keep the lines of communication open, and never ever go to bed angry at one another. I’ll tell you this: There has never been a day, nor a moment, when I haven’t been completely sure that your Mother was the one for me. In over thirty five years of marriage, every bump in the road has been just that, a bump. Her love for me and mine for her has made me a better person.” Taking a breath he continued, “I’m sure that when your Mom and I are very old and grey, you’ll be telling me the same things about your life with Jacqueline.”
Gillian’s Mom pulled out a package of tissues and silently handed them out to the younger women. All three females had tears streaming down their faces in response to Dr. Cody’s sincere words. Elaine Cody slipped into her husbands’ arms and gave him a heart felt kiss just as Jacqueline and their daughter shared their own moment of intimacy.
The day of the Barbeque/Birthday/Commitment ceremony dawned, not bright and beautiful, but overcast and cloudy. No one was overly worried about the grey morning because the forecast predicted a bright warm afternoon. There was a flurry of activity as Jacqueline’s staff set up the buffet tables, prepared the enormous barbeque grill, and as friends and family set up flowers and decorations in various parts of the huge back yard for the afternoon’s celebrations. The garden arbor was draped with boughs of flowers. Roses and hydrangeas made a rich combination as they decorated the area where the commitment ceremony would be held. In the pool and barbeque area, white wedding bell decorations were mixed with Happy Birthday banners in a whacky combination of merriment.
Jacqueline moved about her bedroom placing candles all around the room, she changed the sheets on her bed to a new, smooth, crisp set. She walked into the adjoining bathroom, placed candles there as well, and then checked that the flowers she’d purchased were in water. She wanted everything to be perfect and romantic for her bride.
A bustle of activity was happening at Gillian’s house, as Gillian readied herself for her big day. A permanent smile was on her face at the thought of joining her life with Jacqueline’s. She moved around her box-filled house, preparing her suitcase for the evening to come. Most of her clothing was packed into the boxes littering her bedroom floor. As a matter fact, most of her belongings were packed into boxes throughout the house, boxes that were being loaded into a rented van by the “moving crew” contingent of family and friends. The soon-to-be-wed couple had decided that, if they were getting married, they should share a household. Gillian had rented her house out and was moving in to Jacqueline’s beautiful home.
As Gillian stood in the midst of the activity, she wondered if they hadn’t planned too much for a single day. As she looked at the faces of her friends and family, saw the excitement and joy they all showed, she realized it wasn’t too much at all. Her heart beat with anticipation. As she stood and thought about the woman she was about to join her life with, her body experienced a new level of anticipation. She smiled as she placed the special negligee she had purchased for her wedding night into her bag. ‘I wonder how long this will stay on? ‘ she wondered.
Gillian was anxious to see Jacqueline, but both families were diligent in their plan to keep the two brides apart until they met at the altar. Gillian’s mother herded her daughter into the assigned space. She made sure, via cell phone calls to Jacqueline’s mother, that the dark-haired bride was safely ensconced in her own area of the house. Gillian and Jacqueline both bridled at the archaic custom, yet secretly loved the game of it all. Gillian’s heart beat against her chest as she contemplated the day ahead, ‘the life ahead’, she thought as a warmth filled her spirit.
Time seemed to both drag by, and yet before they knew it, it was time to dress for the ceremony. Their mother assisted each woman and each woman had to take breaks in the preparations to dole out hugs and tissues to their emotionally overwhelmed parent. All the brides wanted to do were to reach the altar and to join their futures.
Finally, the preparations where finished and the time had come for the ceremony to begin. Jacqueline’s Mother led the way to the end of the aisle where they met up with Jacqueline’s Father. Jacqueline took a deep breath and looked out over the group of friends and family seated in the flower bedecked chairs in her back yard. She felt her heart swell with love and appreciation for the support and love this gathering of people represented. She brought her attention back to the people beside her and she looked into the eyes of each of her parents and tried to talk around the lump in her throat. “Thank you Mom and Dad. I…” her voice caught in her throat, “I just love you so much.”
Jacqueline’s father leaned over and placed a soft kiss against her cheek, “Baby, you’re the light of our lives. All we’ve ever wanted for you is for you to be happy. Gillian does that. We see how she completes you.” He pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and dabbed at his daughter’s teary blue eyes, “Let’s go add another member to the family.” Jacqueline smiled brilliantly and tugged her parents’ arms as they moved forward down the aisle. Once they reached the fragrant arbor, the threesome stopped and each kissed Jacqueline before they turned to sit in their front row seats. Jacqueline turned to look back down the aisle and felt time stand still. Her vision tunneled to include only one thing: her beloved Gillian. The beating of her own heart was so loud in her ears that she barely heard the string quartet’s music as it accompanied her bride down the aisle. Her eyes locked with verdant green eyes so filled with love it left her breathless. “Mine.” Jacqueline was so lost in her haze; she didn’t realize that she breathed her thought aloud; she only knew that Gillian’s smile became more brilliant after the thought.
Gillian’s thoughts churned and fell over one another as she made her way to the backyard. She prayed she would remember the vows she had written. She hoped that she wouldn’t trip on her way down the aisle. The completion of the preparations the way both she and Jacqueline wanted worried her too. Her turbulent thoughts became as focused as a beam of laser light the moment she joined her eyes with Jacqueline. None of the guests existed; she forgot her parents on each side of her. The only thing in her universe was the stunning brunette at the end of the aisle.
Jacqueline, the vision at the end of the aisle captivated Gillian’s attention. Jacqueline’s eyes were her main focus until she saw, more than heard, Jacqueline’s luscious lips claim, “mine”. Gillian’s heart swelled at the love in Jacqueline’s eyes and her smile doubled at the whispered declaration of possession. At the end of the aisle, Gillian kissed her parents goodbye then stepped up and stood beside Jacqueline. She slipped her hand into Jacqueline’s and felt her soul slide home. Pastor Gloria Redmon cleared her throat softly and then addressed the small congregation, “Today is a momentous day. Today, Gillian and Jacqueline have honored us by inviting us to participate in the joining of their two lives into one. Love is a gift from the universe. It is the most precious gift and I’m happy to see that both Jacqueline and Gillian appreciate the depth of this gift.” The pastor took a break and looked from one seated guest to another; she met each person’s eye briefly. “It is our responsibility, as this couple’s chosen family, to support them in their love, to protect them from those who would deny them their right to be a family, to share in their joy, and to be there for them in their trials. Are you willing to take on this responsibility? If so, please signify by saying, “We will.””
The entire assembly wholeheartedly agreed with an enthusiastic, “We will! Both brides smiled radiantly at their gathered family and then turned their attention back to Pastor Gloria. The salt and pepper haired pastor smiled at both women then continued with the ceremony, “Gillian, Jacqueline, the joining of your lives is not an action to make lightly. Any relationship takes dedication and work and a relationship between those who love differently has trouble built into it from the start because of the small mindedness of so many in our society. The love and support of so many blesses you both incredibly. Remember that you are not alone; remember that although you are joining your lives together, you each need to maintain your own individuality. Respect one another’s differences and be willing to allow your partner to grow as an individual as you grow in your partnership.” Gloria turned to Jacqueline, “Jacqueline, please make your vow to Gillian now.”
Jacqueline looked into Gillian’s eyes and let her heart speak, “Gillian, I love you. I get frustrated because those words are so woefully inadequate. What I feel for you is so all encompassing that there are no words to express it. I promise to love you every day for the rest of my life and when this life is over, I’ll find a way to love you from beyond the grave. I promise to stand by you, to support you, to allow you to support me. I promise to keep you close but give you room to grow. I promise my passion to you and I promise always to be faithful to you. ” She cupped Gillian’s cheek in her palm, “Oh, baby, I can’t wait for our adventure to begin. You are my completion…I love you.”
Gillian leaned into Jacqueline’s palm then took that hand and held it against her own chest. “Jacqueline, my love, my heart…mine.” She took Jacqueline’s hand and kissed it before returning to its place against her chest. “A year ago, I believed that I would be alone for the rest of my days. My heart was so scarred it could never love again, I thought. Then, I found the person that I was destined for. I met my soul’s completion; I met you. I promise to live each day loving you. I promise that I’ll be proud of your every accomplishment and I will always encourage you when you feel discouraged. I will proudly call you my lover, my friend, and my spouse. I promise my love, my passion, my heart, and my fidelity to you. You are what forever means to me…I love you.”
Pastor Gloria smiled at the couple then held her hand out, palm up, presenting the couple’s wedding bands. “Love is like these rings. It has no beginning and no end. It surrounds us and protects us. These rings symbolize the joining of your lives. Their presence on your fingers is a reminder to you of your vows and a sign to others of your commitment.” She offered her palm to Gillian first, “Gillian, please place Jacqueline’s ring on her finger.”
Gillian took the larger ring then slipped it on Jacqueline’s finger, “With this ring, I join my life with you. Wear it as a token of the pledge I make to you today as your lover, your partner, and your friend. I love you.” She then placed a kiss on the gleaming wide band. Jacqueline then took Gillian’s ring, slipped it on her blonde-haired bride’s finger, and repeated the same words and actions.
Pastor Gloria beamed at the couple before she placed her hand over the couple’s joined hands and declared, “These two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever they go, may they always return to one another in their togetherness. May these two find in each other, the love for which all people long. May they grow in understanding and in compassion. May the home that they establish be a place of sanctuary. May these two rings symbolize the spirit of undying love in the hearts of both of them. I now pronounce you as one. You may kiss your bride.” As Jacqueline and Gillian kissed, their friends and family looked on with gentle smiles and a few hooted cat calls. When the couple parted from their kiss, they leaned their foreheads together and simply rocked in one another’s arms for a moment before they turned to greet the gathered crowd with beaming smiles. The couple waded into the waiting throng with hands clasped to be hugged, kissed, and back slapped. Jacqueline stopped at one point to open her mouth and stretch her jaw, her face actually hurt from smiling so much!
After each and every person had hugged both brides, Jacqueline and Gillian allowed Dot to do her thing as wedding photographer. Groups formed and photographs taken, the two brides posed at different locations around the property, and the astute photographer captured plenty of candid shots. Once that chore was out of the way, Jacqueline took Gillian’s hand to lead her into the house. Jacqueline’s sister, Brenda noticed the attempted escape and yelled out, “Hey you two…can’t wait to start the honeymoon, eh!?
Gillian grinned and hollered back, “Jealous much?” The adult contingency howled in laughter. Once the hoots and giggles had died down, Jacqueline smiled and told the gathering that they were simply going in to the house to change from their wedding finery into barbeque/birthday party togs.
Brenda snorted, “Uh huh, sure you are Sis…” She then looked at her watch and said, “I’ll be timing how long this ‘change of clothes’ lasts!” Unbeknownst to Brenda, their mother had positioned herself close by and her last comment was rewarded with a swat to the back of her head and a stern, “Behave, Brenda Diane.”
Jacqueline laughed, Brenda obeyed, and the party continued while the brides retreated into the house to change. Once inside the house, Jacqueline led Gillian to the room where Gillian had prepared for the wedding and where her suitcases still resided. “I…” Jacqueline’s voice left her as she looked into Gillian’s eyes, “Do you have any idea how much I love you?” Her hand slid into soft blonde hair as she cupped Gillian’s head, “I look at you and my chest actually aches, I am so overwhelmed by you.”
Gillian lost it. Her eyes filled with tears and her emotions exploded inside her, “How did I live before you?” she asked. “I swear only learned to breathe properly after I found you. I feel like my whole life was a dream and now I’m finally awake. Jacque,” She sighed, “We’re married.”
Jacqueline’s eyes twinkled, “Mmmhmm, we are. This is the best thing I’ve ever done.” The sound of voices raised in laughter brought her back to earth, “We’d better get changed and join everyone again or we’ll never hear the end of it from Bren.”
“Bren can kiss my Lilly white ass…” Gillian smirked.
“Oh no she can not!” Jacqueline reached around and caressed the body part in question, “That is mine and mine alone to kiss.”
Gillian’s eyes closed at the feeling of Jacqueline’s hand on her back side. Just that one, innocent touch was enough to set off her deep seeded desire. She groaned deep in her throat and leaned forward to drop her forehead against Jacqueline’s chest. “Baby move your hand or…”
“I know…” Jacqueline’s voice was an octave lower than usual as she fought her own growing desire. Finally, she stepped away from Gillian, “I was thinking we’d take your bags into our room and change there…but…you’d better change here while I change in our room, otherwise…”
Gillian’s eyes glazed with desire, “We’d never leave the room….”
“Oh yeah…” Jacqueline moaned then turned to walk to her part of the house. After she had walked two steps, she stopped and turned around to look back at Gillian. Her blue eyes were intense as she looked at her bride, “Gillian, you are the most beautiful bride. I am so blessed. I will never forget watching you walk down that aisle…I will never forget the vision of you.”
Gillian felt a sob escape her. She walked the three steps required to wrap her arms around her wife. “I couldn’t wait to get to you. You were standing there, the most stunning woman alive, waiting for me…for me…to meet you. You were all I could see. My god, Jacqueline, I thought my heart would jump out of my chest to get to you sooner! I love you my handsome, beautiful, amazing wife.”
A kiss later, the brides moved to their respective rooms to change. Gillian removed the Vera Wang gown and lovingly hung it on its special hangar. She smiled as she thought about the way Jacqueline’s eyes had worshipped her. She realized she was lost in thought and hurried to change into casual clothes. Once changed, Gillian tossed her cover-up over her suit and went in search of her new wife.
Jacqueline waited at the base of the stairway for Gillian to arrive. When she heard soft foot steps at the top of the stairs, she looked up and lost her breath. Gillian’s cover up parted to reveal a toned body covered by a green patterned tankini top and matching moderate swimsuit bottoms leaving a modest swath of Gillian’s abdomen and navel bare. Jacqueline rushed up the stairs to meet Gillian halfway and her hand reached out and stroked the warm, soft skin revealed between the pieces of swimsuit. Gillian laughed happily at her wife’s reaction, “Easy there tiger…” she warned.
Jacqueline growled and slipped her fingers just inside the top band of Gillian’s suit bottoms. She ran her fingertips along skin and around to Gillian’s back then slid her hand in further to cup a firm cheek. “You’re going to drive me insane in this…”
Gillian’s eyes closed as she moaned. She allowed her own hand to slide into the cleavage revealed by Jacqueline’s suit. “And you’re expecting me to keep my hands to myself all day with you wearing this?”
A swarthy smile covered Jacqueline’s face, “Uh huh…if I have to suffer, you have to suffer!” She removed her hand from her wife’s ass and grasped the hand that had been exploring her chest, “C’mon birthday girl, we have more celebrating to do.”
Hours later, Gillian sat on a comfortable lounger and watched as Jacqueline frolicked in the huge pool with various children. She had little floaty bedecked Rachel in her arms, as she tried to teach the baby the rudiments of swimming. The little red-headed toddler was more interested in her tall playmate than in learning any new skills but the patience that Jacqueline displayed warmed Gillian’s heart. Gillian watched as little Rachel splashed Jacqueline square in the face and laughed uproariously. Upon hearing her wife’s laughter, Jacqueline’s eyes sought out her new wife’s and they shared a laugh together across the space of the pool. After staring into Jacqueline’s blue eyes, Gillian glanced at the baby then returned her gaze to Jacqueline’s eyes. Without saying a word Gillian rose, walked to the edge of the pool, jumped in and made her way to Jacqueline’s side. “You are going to be the most amazing Mother some day…” Gillian rested one hand against her lover’s strong neck and the other against the back of little Rachel’s head, “I’m so glad I’m the one that will get to share that with you.”
Jacqueline felt a new, overwhelming wave of emotion crash over her at Gillian’s words. They had talked about kids in a general way, but had never actually stated that they wanted to be parents. This quiet acknowledgement from Gillian meant the world to Jacqueline. She leaned forward and kissed the tempting lips she loved with all her heart before she voiced her heart, “You’re the only one I would be willing to be a parent with. Some day, I want a bunch of little green-eyed babies to be running around here so I can look at them and fall in love with you all over again through them.”
Gillian smiled, “How about if we compromise and have half our babies with green eyes and half with blue eyes so I have little parts of you to fall in love with?”
Jacqueline smiled brilliantly, “That’s a deal. I love you Gillian.”
“I love you too, gorgeous.” Gillian grinned.
“Hey, you two, get on out of that pool…we have a couple of cakes to cut!” Charlotte’s voice cut into their moment.
Jacqueline and Gillian crossed the pool and walked up the steps to exit the water. Just before they left the water, though, Jacqueline gave Rachel a playful toss in the air and a dunk into the water which caused the baby to squeal with joy. The tall brunette then walked over and deposited a drenched toddler into Charlotte’s arms. “There ya go, Bunky!” She laughed as she rushed away from the now-soaked baker.
Once they were dried off, Jacqueline led the gathered crowd in a roaring rendition of “Happy Birthday” and then grinned like the Cheshire cat as Gillian attempted to blow out all of the candles on her expertly decorated birthday cake.
After cake was doled out and eaten it was time for birthday gifts to be opened. When it came time for Jacqueline to give her gift, she handed the slightly overwhelmed woman a card and a small festively wrapped box. When Gillian opened the card her face broke into a huge smile as she read her card.
The outside of the card read, “The smartest thing I’ve ever done…” Gillian opened the card to read, “Is to marry you. Happy Birthday, wife!” The fact that Jacqueline had picked out and purchased this particular card before their wedding day struck a chord in Gillian. The fact that Jacqueline knew, beforehand, that she would feel this way was deeply moving for the small blonde.
She held the card against her chest, grabbed a handful of long brunette hair and pulled her wife down for a lengthy kiss. When the gathered friends started to shuffle their feet and clear their throats loudly, Gillian finally released the lip lock she had on her wife. She finally turned her attention to the small box in her hand and she unwrapped the gift and found a beautiful set of emerald ear rings and a matching necklace. Jacqueline leaned in to whisper, “They reminded me of your eyes.” Jacqueline was rewarded with another breath-stealing kiss. Life was good.
When the guests finally departed, the brides looked at one another and sighed with relief. They were both so exhausted from the day that thoughts of consummating their union were set aside in favor of a well needed nap. As they climbed the stairs to the second floor Jacqueline asked tiredly, “Do you want me to go get your bags from the other room?”
Gillian wrapped her arm around her wife’s waist, “Baby, all I want you to do right now is fall onto a soft bed with me and sleep.”
“Thank you.” Jacqueline sighed in relief. She truly doubted that she had the energy to get the bags had Gillian wanted them.
Once the couple reached the master bedroom, Gillian saw the flowers arranged around the room and the candles placed in strategic areas. “Oh, love, look what you did…” she sighed. “Have I told you how much I love you lately?”
“Not in the last few minutes, certainly.” Jacqueline smiled.
“Mmmm” Gillian smiled back, “Gotta remedy that. I love you sweetheart.” She paused as she led them to the side of the king-sized bed strewn with a rainbow of rose petals. “Now, do you think we have enough energy left to help each other out of these damp suits? I need to be against your naked skin.”
Jacqueline moaned as she reached for Gillian’s tankini top. “We should at least rinse off in the shower, honey. We smell like chlorine.”
The two women essentially sleep walked to the huge shower alcove. They shed bathing suit pieces as they moved. Once under the spray of warm water, the women leaned against one another relishing the skin on skin contact even through their fatigue. Jacqueline squirted a dollop of body wash into her palm and slid her hand over Gillian’s back and down to her firm bottom before her hand simply flopped against her side in exhaustion. “Was it good for you?” she asked.
“The best.” Gillian replied with a tired kiss to the upper curve of Jacqueline’s breast.
The newly married couple managed to exit the shower and dry off before they stumbled back to the huge bed. The moment they hit the edge of the bed they literally fell into it, rolled into one another’s arms and dropped off to sleep.
Jacqueline awoke in the middle of the night when her bladder screamed for relief. She untangled her limbs from Gillian’s and rushed to the bathroom. Once the restroom crisis was taken care of, she walked back into the bedroom and stood beside the bed and simply looked at the beautiful form of her wife.
Soon though, the looking wasn’t nearly enough and she felt compelled to slide back into bed. She slid in behind Gillian and wrapped her arms around the sleeping form. In her sleep, Gillian mumbled Jacqueline’s name and automatically moved the large hand until it cupped her breast and her backside snuggled deeper against Jacqueline’s body.
Jacqueline took some deep breathes to control her now raging desire and attempted to get back to sleep. It didn’t work. Jacqueline even tried to roll onto her side, away from Gillian, in order to control her rampant yearning; but as soon as she turned over, Gillian innately moved to wrap herself against the long back of her wife.
Jacqueline finally moaned in frustration and turned back to face Gillian’s sleeping form. She slid her hand up and cupped Gillian’s cheek. She leaned in and left a trail of kisses down the side of Gillian’s cheek, down her neck and over her shoulder. Her hand followed behind the trail of kisses then continued on down to grasp Gillian’s hand.
She brought the sleeping woman’s hand up to her lips and kissed each finger, then kissed the palm, then kissed a trail up the inside of Gillian’s wrist until she heard a sleepy moan. “Mmmm love you,” Gillian’s sleep husked voice stated.
“I love you too.” Jacqueline leaned in and kissed sleep pouted lips. Gillian immediately returned the kiss and wrapped her arms around the taller woman’s body. Their kiss lasted for lifetimes and their passion built with each stroke of tongue on tongue.
Before their kiss ended, both women panted in need of air and their bodies moved against one another with barely restrained fervor. Jacqueline realized how frantic she felt and backed off a bit.
“Baby, baby…shhhh…” She gently stroked her fingers through sleep tousled blonde hair. Gillian was grateful to Jacqueline for calming thing down a bit. Both women wanted their first time together to be soft, slow and to come from their hearts, not their just from their hormones.
Jacqueline leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss against Gillian’s lips. “I love you,” she whispered.
“Love me,” Gillian pleaded.
Jacqueline felt a warm flush run through her body at Gillian’s request. She moaned deep in her throat and whispered, “Yes,” before she leaned in and kissed a trail down Gillian’s throat.
Gillian’s hands slid over every inch of Jacqueline’s skin she could reach. She wrapped one leg around Jacqueline’s body and her hips began a rhythmic movement against her tall lover’s hips as she sought to join her body with her wife’s.
Jacqueline moaned as she felt her lover’s passion paint a damp swath on her lower body. Her mouth moved down and devoured first one breast then the other as she worshipped the body beneath her.
Gillian sighed, “Ohhh, yes, Jacque, please…” For a woman who made her living using words, Gillian felt completely speechless in her desire. Her usual eloquence was stolen by her passionate desire for the darker woman’s touch.
Jacqueline’s hand finally slid down between their bodies to cup Gillian’s softness. As damp desire filled Jacqueline’s hand, tears of utter love and joy filled her eyes.
“Oh god, Gil, you fit my hand perfectly…” Jacqueline breathed into the shell of Gillian’s ear as her finger’s pressed deeper between the swollen nether lips and stroked Gillian’s distended clitoris.
Gillian felt the warm ball of orgasm begin to form in her lower belly and didn’t want to experience the bliss alone. She slid her own hand between darkly furred lips and stroked Jacqueline’s body until they both fell into their first shared bliss.
The newly married couple loved one another until finally their thirst and hunger made it impossible to go on. Jacqueline brushed sweaty blonde bangs out of Gillian’s eyes and panted, “I’ll go down and get us some sustenance.”
As Jacqueline began to rise from the bed, Gillian rose as well with her arms wrapped around her wife and wearily replied, “You’re not going anywhere without me. I’m not ready to give up your skin yet.”
Jacqueline chuckled sexily as she kissed the top of Gillian’s head. Still naked, the couple made their way down the stairs and to the expansive kitchen where they rifled through the cupboard and refrigerator for food and drink. They took their food into the den and sat cuddled together on the sofa where they fed one another sumptuous leftovers from their wedding day feast. Soon, kisses and caresses became more pressing requirements than the food and drink and the couple christened every surface in the den with their lovemaking.
Later that evening the exhausted couple lay in one another’s arms. As Gillian’s hand traced lazy patterns against Jacqueline’s torso she asked, “What time should we get up in the morning?”
Jacqueline’s fingers were busy as they stroked through Gillian’s soft hair, “The car will be here at 5:00 am.” Gillian groaned as she heard the early hour they were going to leave for their honeymoon trip.
“Baby, I’m not sure I’ll be able to walk yet, much less be able to wake up at that hour.” Gillian teased.
“Mmmm, I think we’ll survive.” Jacqueline smiled. After they had snuggled quietly for a time, Jacqueline rolled away from Gillian, reached beneath the bed and pulled out a beautifully wrapped gift.
Gillian’s eyes lit up when she was the box in her wife’s hands. She scooted up to sit against the headboard and asked, “What’cha got there?”
Jacqueline grinned at her lover’s enthusiasm over the present, “This, my love, is one more birthday gift I have for you. It’s actually the original gift I got you. I…I didn’t want to give it to you in front of everyone so…” she pressed the gift into Gillian’s hands, “I wanted to wait until we were alone to give it to you.”
Gillian smiled as she ripped the paper from the box. When she lifted the lid from the rectangular box she found a black leather bound book inside. As Gillian reached in to remove the book from the box, Jacqueline felt a mixture of feelings flow through her. Anticipation, not a little bit of pride, and quite a dose of unease drifted through her psyche. She took a deep breath, plastered a patent sexy smirk on her face and waited for Gillian to open the studded leather album.
Gillian’s eyes gazed at the obviously custom-made album in her hands and then she looked up at the countenance of her wife. Upon seeing the half-lidded sexy smirk on her wife’s face, Gillian’s anticipation for what might be inside the book raised up a notch.
Gillian opened the front cover and felt every fiber in her body flood with electric fire, her eyes opened wide and her pupils immediately dilated. The album contained picture after picture of her wife wearing a black leather jacket, chaps and nothing else draped over her Harley. The jacket was unzipped so that the curve of Jacqueline’s breast was visible through the front opening. Gillian realized this was the fulfillment of her initial dream of her wife. She set the book aside and crawled over to straddle her stunning lover, “You fulfilled my first fantasy.”
Jacqueline’s hands encircled her wife’s body, “I promise to fulfill your every fantasy, for the rest of our lives, and beyond.”