Authors: Susan X Meagher
Tags: #Lesbian, #Romance
It had been a long day, and they were both hot and tired. When they had carried the last box in, they sat out on the steps to catch their breath before they went back inside to start unpacking. A stiff breeze blew the door shut as they simultaneously realized that the keys were inside. A few seconds of shock were followed by near hysterical laughter from both of them. That was when she realized that he might be "the one." Even hot, and tired, and cranky, he could still see the humor in the situation. He didn’t blame her and he didn’t get mad at himself--he just laughed until his stomach hurt. He had to stay at her parents’ house overnight since they couldn’t get the management company until morning, but he didn’t let it bother him one bit. He stood outside her room that night and spent a long time kissing her. Her resolve almost melted that night, but she held firm and he took it well, merely giving her a final kiss and a crooked grin as he walked down the hall to his room.
Her thoughts turned to the night that she decided to sleep with him, just a few days after she had accepted his marriage proposal.
She was at his apartment on a Saturday night, just after finishing her sophomore year, and she was planning on staying at her house in Berkeley for another few days while she cleaned up some last minute details.
She normally stayed in Palo Alto all day on Saturday and left around midnight to return home. This night it was near midnight, and she was being driven absolutely crazy by his kisses. He looked at her with such longing and desire on his face that she could no longer refuse him, so she stood up, and he gazed up at her with his normal stoic face. This time she held out her hand and, as he took it, she pulled him to his feet, wrapped her arms around his neck and whispered, "Let’s go to bed."
She would always remember the look of joyous anticipation on his face as he gazed at her to make sure she was certain. He didn’t ask her for confirmation, but he put his hands on her shoulders and held her at arm’s length, gazing deeply into her eyes. He saw that she had made her decision, and was ready to take their relationship to this next level, so he bent over and took her into his arms, carrying her to his bed. Their lovemaking was feverish and passionate, both of them being carried along by the stored up feelings they had harbored for so long. But what she most remembered was the tenderness of his touch after they had finished. He gently touched her face as he trailed his long fingers along her cheeks, then ran his hands down her body, soaking up the sensation of finally being able to love her completely. She recalled the tears in his eyes as he looked at her with such love that her heart ached in remembrance.
Even though they would never share another intimate moment, Jamie realized that having fond memories of her time with Jack was a very positive thing. She felt all of the anger from earlier in the day begin to lift.
Squaring her shoulders, she started the car and slowly drove past some of their favorite restaurants and bookstores. When she had seen every place that had meant something to them, she drove back to the spot where he had proposed, getting out of the car to sit on the bench again. She let the memories wash over her once again, and as they passed by she felt the pressure in her chest start to lessen. For the first time all afternoon she allowed herself to think of her beloved Ryan, closing her eyes to picture her lover in her mind. Finally back on track, she stood up and took a deep breath. "I’m sorry I wasn’t the woman you needed, Jack. But you weren’t the woman I needed either," she thought to herself wryly as she got back into her car to be with the woman that she would always need.
Jamie had driven no more than ten minutes when her cell phone rang. She smiled to herself as she opened it and touched the button. "Hi, gorgeous," she purred into the phone.
"How’d you know it was me?" came the low voice from the other end.
"Well, I only date gorgeous women, so I knew it would be one of you," she answered logically.
"Conor misses you and wants to know when you’re going to be home," Ryan joked right back.
"You tell Conor I miss him too, and I’ll be home in about 40 minutes," she said. "And tell his sister that I can’t wait to get her alone in bed."
"I know his sister will be very glad to hear that," she purred. "I miss you, Sweetheart. Drive carefully."
"I miss you too, Ryan. I’ll be there soon."
When she pulled up in front of the house, Ryan and Duffy were sitting on the front steps. Ryan had changed into a favorite pair of navy blue sweats and a long sleeved white T-shirt. She had obviously been exercising, as her blades were still on her feet and her hair was wet, her face pink from exertion. Even Duffy was panting, further evidence of their shared activity. Her face broke into a luminous grin when Jamie stepped out of the car and both she and Duffy bounded off the porch, with Duffy arriving first due to his advantage in dexterity. He jumped all over Jamie until she squatted down and let him lick her all over her face and neck. She giggled from the assault as Ryan stood by, arms crossed over her chest, and let him have his way with her.
When Duffy had finished with her she stood and shot an accusing glance at Ryan. "I thought you were supposed to protect me," she said.
"Hey, it was either him or me," she explained. "He just got there first."
Holding her arms out to her partner, Jamie smiled and offered, "Come on…start licking."
Ryan chuckled at the invitation and indicated her sweaty body. "I need a shower before I’m worthy of your attention."
Jamie wrapped her arms around her tightly, unaccustomed to her partner’s increased height. Her head rested against Ryan’s breast, rather than her chest, but she didn’t mind the new view in the least. She held on so tightly that Ryan knew she was upset. "Hey, hey," she said softly. "What’s wrong?" Her long fingers reached down and tilted Jamie’s head up. On closer inspection she could see that her partner had been crying today, quite a bit, if her swollen eyes were a proper indication. "Tell me, Honey."
Jamie sucked in a deep breath and shook her head. "I had a lot of memories to purge today. It just caught me by surprise," she admitted.
"Do you need to talk about it?" Ryan asked. "Or do you just want some physical comfort?"
"I don’t want to talk about it now. I might take you up on your offer later, though."
"Anytime, Sweetheart. I’ll always be here for you."
"You really will be, won’t you?" There was not a hint of question in her statement.
"As long as I live," Ryan whispered, nuzzling her chin against the top of Jamie’s head.
They stood on the quiet street, cuddling for a few minutes. When they finally released each other, Jamie looked up at her partner and asked, "Any big plans this evening, Tiger?" She fixed Ryan with her best sultry gaze, leaving little doubt where she thought the evening would find them.
"That all depends," Ryan mused, leaning against the Boxster to better equalize their heights.
"Oh…mostly on how tired you are." Ryan had something on her mind, but Jamie knew she had to let the little guessing game play out.
"I’m not very tired physically," she revealed. "Emotionally, I’m toast, but as long as we don’t get into any big emotional scenes, I’m good to go."
Ryan laced her hands behind Jamie’s neck and gazed at her fondly. "You’re quite the little trooper, aren’t ya, Sparky?"
"That’s me." Jamie smiled and kissed Ryan on the tip of her nose.
"Well, I have good news." A sly grin was curling the corners of Ryan’s mouth and Jamie knew she was being set up, but she didn’t mind a bit. "I’ve spoken to the committee and you’ll be glad to know that I have been given permission to extend full membership privileges in the lesbian community to you." Waggling eyebrows punctuated this announcement.
"Wow," Jamie said, playing along with the joke. "I think we’d better get right to bed so you can show me the benefits package." She started to pull away, but Ryan gripped her a little tighter.
The dark head shook as Ryan informed her, "That’s not how the initiation is performed, Babe.
You’re a member of a community now—even if you’re only in the group by marriage," she added, trying to let Jamie know it was perfectly fine if she didn’t feel like a member of the lesbian nation.
The blonde eyebrows knit in confusion. "I don’t have a bloody clue what you’re talking about, Ryan O’Flaherty."
"Jamie?" Ryan said, leaning her head to one side and appraising her partner carefully, "do you remember New
The dark blonde eyebrows edged closer together the small woman scrunched her face in puzzlement. "New
Eve?" she repeated
think I remember most of it."
She rolled her eyes, recalling the hideous hangover she had suffered on New
Ryan obviously had a point, but she was certainly taking her time to get to it.
"Do you remember coming to the Mark Hopkins?"
"Yes, Dear, I remember stumbling across the street just to see how you looked
in leather pants." Waggling eyebrows showed that the trip was more than
worth the effort.
Ryan smiled at her unspoken compliment and continued her questioning. "Do you remember what I asked you that night?"
me?" Now the puzzled face took on a blank look. "You asked me something?"
"Yesssss," Ryan drawled. "I asked if you were there for a special purpose. You weren't ready then, but you've displayed a marked aptitude, and I now think you're ready." She said this with such a serious look on her face that Jamie was even more confused.
"I...I don't," she stammered, embarrassed that she had been too drunk to remember an obviously important exchange.
"Jamie," Ryan said as she reached down to grasp her partner's hand, "tonight, you are finally going to learn the secret handshake."
"The secret..." Jamie's questioning voice trailed off, and the look of puzzlement on her face was replaced by a broad grin. "The secret handshake," she repeated with confidence, anticipation bringing a sparkle to her eyes and a very becoming blush to her cheeks. "I've enjoyed every single thing you've ever taught me, Ryan, and I doubt that this lesson will break that string."
The two young lovers tilted their heads together and ascended the stairs to the O'Flaherty home, laughing the whole way