Disclaimers: Mine.

Sex: Of course, and lots of it! I wouldn't recommend reading this one at work, guys. That being so: there will be "gasp" a bit of hetero in here. Sorry guys, just needed for the storyline.

Warning: I do not give permission for anyone to re-post this story anywhere with any changes, such as: change in title, character names, storyline, etc. I will seek legal action.

If you'd like to tell me what a wonderful writer I am or that I royally suck, feel free at: XenaNut@hotmail.com .


First Time


Kim Pritekel


Part 2

Present Day:

The wind blew through long black hair as the black Jeep Wrangler drove through the back roads of the country, the smell of animal manure in the air. Mirrored Oakleys reflected a landscape of blue sky with scattered fat, white clouds and seemingly endless flat land. The Jeep took a dangerously fast turn onto the gravel road that led under wrought iron arches and then sped along to the homestead, stopping in front of the two-story ranch house that was in desperate need of a paint job.

Booted feet hit the gravel with a crunch, the crunch continuing as they walked towards the house, the sound of jangling keys mixing in with the symphony of crunching gravel, blowing wind and the distant whinny of horses. Inside, the mirrored sunglasses were removed from blue eyes as a tired breath was released and keys, wallet and sunglasses were placed on a small wooden table set just inside the front door.

Canton made her way down the hall that ran alongside the stairway and led to the kitchen, her boots thudding dully on the wood floors, which were in serious need of refinishing or replacing. All that would come in time as she pulled a cold bottle of water out of the fridge and flung her tired body into one of the wooden kitchen chairs. No sooner had she taken a long swig from her water when her cell phone chirped to life. She grabbed her iPhone from where she'd set it on the round table and brought it to her ear.

“Dr. Landis,” she said, taking another swig of her water, listening as her office manager explained the reason for her call. “I can't, Whitney. I'll be at the ranch that week.” She listened more, finishing her water then tossing the empty bottle into the recycle bin. “Alright, tell her I can be back in New York week after next.” She rolled her eyes as Whitney went on and on, finally getting to the point. “Excellent. Thanks, Whit and I'll see you later. Bye.”

Tossing the phone to the table top again, Canton pushed up from her chair and jogged up the stairs and down the long hall, four bedrooms in all lining the way, along with a bathroom. Her bedroom was the last door on the left, which she stepped into, tugging her shirt over her head as she went. She'd spent the entire morning shopping and organizing her list for the supplies she'd need to renovate not only the house, but also the out buildings that she'd decided to keep. The others had been demolished already, their structures unsafe and useless.

The bedroom that her grandparents had used for forty years now belonged to her, their old furniture still in place, as well as their old wall paper and their old carpet. Nothing had been changed, even by the few tenants that had rented the place over the past ten years. In short: the house needed a serious facelift, and Canton was in a place in her life where it was time.

She stepped into the shower, all her clothes creating a trail through the bedroom. The water pressure sucked, especially compared to her loft in Manhattan . But, for now she'd have to make do. After her shower, Canton padded into the bedroom with a towel around her hair and her body. She walked over to where she'd left her suitcases the night before, heaving them onto the bed. Opening the first, she gasped at what lay atop the neatly folded clothing. She reached and grabbed the framed picture, bringing it up for her inspection.

Behind the glass, Canton and Robin smiled at the camera, Canton sitting behind Robin on the stoop of the stairs that led up to the building their loft was in. Canton held Robin, their heads resting together and looking so happy. Canton used the edge of the towel to clean the glass and then set the framed picture on the bedside table, a sense of sadness flowing through her. She pushed it down as she grabbed herself some clothing from the suitcase then headed back into the bathroom to dress, slamming the door behind her.



Present Day:

Randi looked around the bedroom with a critical eye, hands on hips. Satisfied that everything looked perfect, she moved on to the upstairs bathroom, which Blake used and refused to clean. It was, as she expected, a disaster. With disapproving eyes, she noted the wet towel he'd left lying on the floor, as well as last night's underwear, discarded after his shower that morning. Toothpaste splattered the mirror and sink, the half-squeezed tube lying carelessly on the marble countertop.

With a heavy sigh, Randi readied herself to clean the next room in the house. It was her daily routine to go after the men in her life, cleaning up after them, making sure the house was spotless and perfect. After all, what else was she supposed to fill a ten hour day with? She volunteered at the daycare twice a week, but that was only for four hours at a time, and did nothing to fill her time. Though she knew Shannon and Blake didn't have one lick of appreciation for her work, it had become her mission anyway: to have a perfect house was to have perfect balance.

Even so, when the phone rang, Randi nearly hurdled her bed to grab it. “Hello?” she gasped into the receiver.

Laughter met her on the other end. “Finally bring that UPS man in?”Anne joked.

“Funny,” Randi quipped, sitting on the newly-made bed, then jumping up as she realized she'd ruined her art piece. “No, just-“

“Cleaning, I know. So I wanted to share something interesting with you. A little gossip, if you will.”

“Oh! I always have time for gossip. What's up?” Randi made her way downstairs and flopped into the comfy leather couch in the living room.

“I heard today that Canton Landis is back in town and she's some big doctor in Lost Angeles or Chicago. Maybe it was New York . Anyway, she's back in town. Remember what a freak she was?!”

Randi was quiet for a moment, remembering instead her drive to Gulch Way two weeks before. She hadn't allowed herself anymore thoughts or memories of Canton , instead trying to return her focus to her family and making it work. It did no good to get angry or lament what would never be. It was what it was, and nothing could change that.

Though she tried to fight it, her mind flew away from her.




Randi was nervous as she made her way down the halls of her high school the following day, which was Monday. She just knew her time spent with Canton the day before would be written all over her face: she hadn't even told Anne about it, none of it. The voices and laughter in the halls around her did nothing more than set her nerves even more on edge. She had been tempted to ask her mother if she could stay home sick that day, just so she wouldn't have to face her peers. Or Canton . No such luck, as she had a test in chemistry that she knew she couldn't miss.


Randi nearly jumped out of her skin as Anne came up beside her, both now walking the halls together. She smiled over at her friend. “Hey.”

“Jesus, girl. You look like you've seen a ghost.”

You have no idea. “No, you just startled me is all.”

“Whatever,” Anne chirped, going into a description of her weekend with her new boyfriend, slinging details that Randi really didn't want to hear, even if she could slightly understand them better now.

The two friends parted as Anne headed off to her first hour class and Randi headed off to the bathroom. As soon as she pushed the heavy wood door open, she was grabbed from behind and pulled into a bathroom stall, a silencing hand placed over her mouth. Eyes wide, she looked up into Canton 's grinning face, her heart about to beat out of her chest.

“You shit!” Randi exclaimed once the hand had been removed, smacking Canton for scaring her.

Rather than responding verbally, Canton reached down to cup Randi's ass in both hands and pulled their bodies together, her mouth claiming Randi's in a hard, passionate kiss, her tongue pushing inside. Randi gasped in shock into the kiss and touch, but quickly recovered, her fingers grabbing handfuls of Canton 's shirt as she pulled the brunette closer.

Canton broke the kiss, both breathing heavy. “Ditch school with me today,” she murmured against Randi's lips.

“I can't,” Randi murmured, taking another quick kiss. “I've got a test today.”

“What period?” Canton breathed, pulling Randi's body even closer to her own, groaning softly at the feel.

Randi, though scared out of her mind at the giant sexual leap Canton had taken since the day before, couldn't help but respond. She felt Canton 's hips pressing into her and she pressed back. She almost felt as though her body had a mind of its own, her brain left back at the starting line.

“Second,” Randi murmured, her gaze fixated on Canton 's mouth.

“Meet me in the south parking lot after second,” Canton whispered, taking Randi into a quick but hard kiss before stepping away.

“Wait,” Randi panted, “what about miss top of our class?”

Canton grinned at the door where she stood, hand on the handle. “Baby, I've been ditching classes since pre-school. Sometimes in life you gotta prioritize.” With that, she was gone, leaving an amused Randi behind.



Present Day:

Canton stood in the middle of the trashed living room area, hands on her hips as she surveyed the damage. She hadn't been in her old stomping grounds since the day she'd left for college, nearly twenty years before. She was disgusted and disturbed as she carefully made her way through the obstacle course that was torn up furniture and debris.

Stepping through the doorway from the living room into the bedroom, Canton 's eyes immediately found the old bed, which was miraculously almost completely intact. Her gaze was caught by that bed and just what it had signified during her latter teenaged years. A slow smile spread across her face, part rogue part sheepish. Regardless of just how many different girls and women had known that bed, one immediately came to mind.




“Okay, so you got me here, now what?” Randi challenged, standing in the middle of Canton 's living room, even as the brunette was closing her front door.

“What are you bitching about? I got you out of a day of boring classes.”

Randi snorted and rolled her eyes, even as her gaze looked over the rooms she was just in the day before. “I can't believe how neat and clean you are,” she complimented. “My mom would have a coronary if my room looked like this.”

“Well,” Canton drawled, walking towards the blonde, “your home is a direct reflection on who you are as a person.”

Randi looked at Canton with a raised brow. “Then in your case it should be a disco ball with porno music playing in the background.”

Canton smiled, amused. “You're just jealous,” she murmured, standing within a couple feet of Randi.

“Of what? All the hapless girl before me who wandered into your woman trap?”

Canton placed her hands on Randi's hips, pulling her against her. “You're a funny girl.”

“I do my best.”

“Uh huh,” Randi quipped, doubt in her voice. She pulled away from Canton's grasp, suddenly feeling a sense of power. She could see in Canton's eyes how much she wanted her, and though it did frighten Randi, something instinctively kicked in, allowing her to make her choices, knowing deep down that Canton would never force the issue, but would happily follow.

Canton wanted to growl as she lost physical connection with Randi, instead watching as the blonde wandered around her living room, looking at book titles and glancing at Canton over her shoulder from time to time, giving her a look that would make anyone combust.

“So tell me,” Randi asked, making her way towards Canton's bedroom, an area which she had not yet dare venture into.

“Yes?” Canton asked, following at a distance.

“Have you ever had your heart broke?” Randi asked, looking around the small room, her fingers trailing along the rough-hewn footboard of the bed, her gaze turning to Canton who slowly entered the room.

“Nope,” Canton said with a shake of her head. “I've never given anything to a woman but,” a lecherous grin spread across her lips, “pleasure.”

Randi rolled her eyes. “You are absolutely shameless, Canton.”

“Yeah, pretty much.” She was also being pushed to her limits.

Randi made her way to one of the thick four posters, her hands wrapping around it as she leaned on the sturdy wood. “What if someone turned you down?”

Canton moved into the room, slow like a lion stalking its prey. “It would never happen.”


Canton shook her head, wolf eyes never leaving Randi.

Randi felt her heart pounding in her chest. She knew she was playing with fire, but wasn't entirely sure why and wasn't entirely sure what would happen because of it. “What if I turned you down?” she asked, her voice low and sultry of its own accord.

Canton grinned, shaking her head. “I don't think so. I can see it in your eyes, Randi. Those gorgeous green eyes…” she reached her, placing her hands on narrow hips. “You want me and I know you want me.”

Randi looked up into Canton's eyes, a shiver running down her spine at the need she saw there. “I'm scared,” she whispered, surprising herself that the words had escaped her brain.

“Don't be,” Canton whispered back, gently pushing Randi back onto the mattress and following suit. “I won't hurt you.”

“What about the kids at school?” Randi whispered, sighing as she felt Canton's weight settle on top of her, their bodies pressed fully together.

“What about them?” Canton asked, her tongue running a fiery trail up Randi's neck.

Randi's eyes slid closed, her head falling to the side. “You won't say anything, will you? They might think I'm into girls or something…”

“Aren't you?” Canton murmured against Randi's neck, one of her thighs pushing Randi's open and slipping between. They both groaned at the feeling. When Randi didn't respond, Canton continued. “They can think what they want, Randi. We graduate in five months. Who cares?” She moved her mouth to Randi's delivering a deeply passionate kiss. “All that matters is the here and now.”

Randi had no answer for that as her body was flooded with brand new sensations. Her hands trailed down Canton's back as Canton's hips began to move, her thigh pressing into the virgin territory that was Randi's sex. On instinct, her own hips moved with and against Canton's, their breathing increasing as the bed squeaked softly with their movement.

All thoughts left Randi's brain as sensation took over. She met Canton's kisses, her breathing and whimpers growing in pitch and duration. She'd had an orgasm before from her own hand, but had the distinct feeling that those would be nothing in comparison with what was about to come.

Canton held on for dear life as Randi came, holding their bodies together, their hearts beating in time. “I gotcha,” she whispered into her hair and neck, leaving a trail of kisses. “Oh baby, I gotcha,” she gasped, her own orgasm ripping through her. It wasn't huge, but it was intense in its own way, her hips jerking against Randi's.

They both lay there in silence for a long moment, both lost in her own thoughts and feelings. Finally, Canton raised herself to her hands, looking down at the flushed features of the beautiful girl lying beneath her.

“Are you okay?” she asked softly, moving to lie beside Randi, a hand coming up to brush against her cheek.

Randi nodded, eyes closed as she leaned into the soft touch on her face. “Yeah,” she finally whispered. She was gathered into a warm embrace, which she quickly surrendered to, her head resting on Canton's shoulder. She knew there would be a backlash of emotions later, but pushed it aside. Right now she just wanted to enjoy what she'd done and not think it to death.

“Canton?” she asked at length.

“Yeah?” Canton asked, her fingers running through Randi's hair.

“Why do you do this? Bring so many girls to your bed. Why don't you just date one.”

Canton was quiet for a long moment, Randi's question spinning through her head. Why indeed? “I don't know,” she admitted after awhile. “I guess I just need that immediate gratification, I guess.”

Randi lifting her head, brows drawn. She knew somewhere inside that answer was bullshit. “No you don't.”

Canton met her gaze. “You don't know me very well, Randi. I hardly think it's up to you to judge me or why I do the things I do.”

“I'm not judging you.” Randi could sense Canton's walls flying up, trying to shut her out and she wanted to stop that, or at least get in under the wire. “What are you afraid of?”

Canton felt her anger rising to the surface. She had no desire to talk about this, and certainly not with someone she'd just fucked, dry as it was. “We need to get back to school,” she muttered, moving out from underneath Randi and getting to her feet.

“What?” Randi asked, shocked and confused as she sat on the bed, feeling very cold suddenly.

“I'll drive you home or back to school – your choice,” Canton muttered, storming from the room.



Present Day:

Canton sat on the side of the bed, the mattress sagging under her weight. She looked out over the expanse of it, a sigh escaping her lips. “What am I doing back here?” she asked, getting no response.



Present Day:

Randi waited in the car, her fingers tapping on the steering wheel as she waited for her son. It was a Saturday, and she'd insisted they spend the day finding him a job. If he wasn't going to take school seriously, fine. He would get a job and work his way into his own life, no longer able to lean on his parents.

Randi adjusted the knob on the radio, finding a station and song that she liked. She was parked in front of a strip mall, Blake instructed to go into every single store to get an application and perhaps even an interview, so she had time to burn. She got settled in the driver's seat, the air conditioning blowing softly over her as her skin was near blistering from the sun pouring in through the windshield.

She closed her eyes as she let the music seep in and her thoughts fly. She thought back to her conversation with Anne the other day and the tid bit that Canton Landis was back in town. Randi hadn't spoken to Canton since… that night. How had they gotten to that point? Hell, had they gotten to any point? As she glanced at her reflection in the rearview mirror, she wondered how she'd gotten to this point. Her memories may have shown her a beautiful young girl who was filled with life and vigor, eyes bright and filled with wonder and life. The woman who stared back at her now looked old and tired, even though she was just thirty-six.

“Just thirty-six,” Randi whispered, thinking back to yesterday when that seemed ancient to her.

She couldn't help but wonder what Canton would look like now; was she still as gorgeous as ever? What did she do with her life? Was she married? Have a partner? Children? Was she still a skirt chaser who refused to grow up, like Peter Pan?




Canton's grandparents' land was amazingly expansive, seeming to stretch out from horizon to horizon. It was easy to get lost and certainly easy to lose one's self. Randi lay on her back in a field of wild grass, Canton lying next to her, head held up on an upturned palm. They were kissing with interspersed conversation. Spring was finally arriving, the days warming up and all signs of snow gone. The fields were green and trees growing lush and inviting.

“I bet you end up some crotchety old librarian,” Randi grinned.

Canton shook her head, running a finger along the rounded underside of Randi's breast, still encased in bra and shirt. “I'll never be old,” she muttered, glancing down into Randi's face as her finger slid up between her breasts then back down.

“Oh yes you will!” Randi laughed. “Someday you'll be like thirty and gray.”

Canton smirked. “I'll still be hot though.”

If you do say so yourself...”

Canton gave her a devilish grin then leaned down to initiate a kiss that started out with just lips and ended with lips, tongue and soft moans. Canton decided to try her boundaries, desperate to see Randi's magnificent body. She trailed her hand down the center line of Randi's torso as the kiss continued, her fingers toying with the hem of Randi's shirt.

Randi buried her fingers into the soft hair at the back of Canton's head, gasping slightly when she felt the teasing fingertips touch the bare skin of her lower abdomen. She could tell as Canton's finger gently caressed the skin that Canton was looking for permission to precede. It only took Randi a moment of uncertainty before she reached down – keeping the kiss going – and took Canton's hand in her own, nudging it underneath her shirt and squeezing the hand before she returned it back to thick hair.

Canton was overjoyed as she slid her hand up under the shirt, feeling the smooth heat of Randi's flat belly, the twitching muscles under the skin hard. She so wanted to see her body. It only took a moment before her fingers reached the rounded edge of Randi's bra.

“Mmm, baby,” Canton breathed against Randi's mouth, her kiss moving to a warm neck as her hand fully enveloped the bra-clad breast.

Randi's head fell back, her hips beginning to move a bit as her body heated. She opened her eyes and saw Canton's hand beneath her shirt, which turned her on that much more. Suddenly she decided she wanted more. Sitting up, she nearly knocked Canton backwards. She didn't care as she grabbed the hem of her shirt and whipped it over her head, tossing it aside as she lay back down.

Canton was stunned into non-action for a moment before she moved back to Randi, wanting to take absolute advantage of what was being offered. “Jesus, you're beautiful,” she moaned, her sex pulsing with need. She moved to lay atop Randi, gently nudging her legs apart so she could lie between them. She scooted her way down a bit, her mouth licking a sizzling path from Randi's throat to her collarbones and upper chest, her hand massaging the skin of one of her sides.

Randi was lost in bliss, her hands buried in Canton's hair, encouraging her to do… she had no idea, just that she wanted her to do. All thought left her mind as she felt warm wetness surround her right nipple through her bra. Looking down, she saw Canton's hair covering her chest as she tongued the rigid nub.

“Oh god, Canton,” she whimpered, her hips trying desperately to find Canton's body to press against.

Canton hummed in her task, deciding to once against challenge her boundaries as she slowly began to bring her fingers to the front clasp of the bra, looking up into Randi's eyes for permission. Granted with a nod, Canton quickly unclasped the garment and pushed the cups aside to reveal the most beautiful breasts she'd ever seen. “You make me want to cry,” she whispered, never seeing such beauty as she was seeing now, Randi lying there half-naked and wanting. Canton raised herself to her hands and looked down into Randi's face. “You are truly the most amazingly stunning thing I've ever seen, Randi.”

Randi looked up into Canton's face and knew she was speaking the truth as she saw it. She reached up and caressed the side of Canton's face, Canton's eyes closing as she leaned into the touch. “I want you to do what you want, Canton,” she said softly, surprising herself at her fierce certainty and determination, absent a moment before.

Canton looked at her, trying to read between the lines in Randi's eyes. She lowered herself so she was lying flush with the blonde, their kiss deep and filled with promise and meaning. She'd been with a countless number of girls, and at first Randi had been no different than the rest. But now, something inside her was shifting and she no longer saw Randi as simply another beautiful girl. No, it was something more, though she dare not put a name to it: it frightened her too badly.

The kiss came to a natural end as Canton moved on, resuming her place at Randi's breasts. She palmed one, the rigid nipple tickling her palm as she ran it over the nipple in a slow circle. She could hear Randi's breathing increase as well as her chest heaved with each inhale and exhale. She lowered her head to the other nipple, swiping her tongue quickly over it and loving the sound that produced from Randi.

Randi's eyes were closed as she lost herself in what she was feeling. She started this process with such a deep dislike and mistrust of Canton, yet here she was, weeks later lying half-naked on Canton's property, allowing the brunette to have her way with her. She felt no guilt, no remorse and no fear. It seemed as if this moment was planned in her life and nothing could have stopped it. It felt so right.

After long, leisurely licks and suckles on Randi's breasts, Canton pushed to her knees, ready to take this to the next level. She tugged her own shirt over her head, her gaze locked on Randi's, then followed the shirt with her own bra. Randi sat up, shrugging fully out of her bra before lying down again, reaching for Canton, who quickly followed. Randi had never known anything could feel so magical as their breasts felt pressed together. The kiss they shared was deeper than any other they'd had thus far. This one was filled with need and want on a new level of understanding.

Canton pushed to her knees again, this time scooting back so she could reach Randi's tennis shoes, which she untied and pulled off, followed by her socks. When her fingers reached for Randi's pants' button and zipper, she returned her gaze to Randi's to make absolute sure this was what she wanted; after this, there was essentially no going back. Randi gave her a silent nod, which urged Canton to finish undressing Randi and then herself.

Randi looked up at Canton, who stood naked above her. She wasn't sure if she'd ever seen anything so amazing before. Even the most perfect, beautiful sculpture or artwork in a museum couldn't compare to the glory of Canton's naked body. What she didn't know was Canton was thinking the exact same thing.

Canton lay back down and began to explore the perfection that was Randi's body with her mouth and fingers, able to smell Randi's need as she moved further and further down. She ran a hand up and down the strong left thigh before easing her hand underneath it and raising it, followed by the right.

Randi lifted her head to see what Canton was doing, still unsure even as Canton settled herself between her spread thighs. It wasn't until she felt a wet tongue slice through her sex that she got the idea, her head falling back into the grass with a soft moan. Her hands found their way into thick dark hair, her world narrowing down to that tongue in that moment.

Canton wanted to taste every bit of Randi's need, gathering her wetness on her tongue as she went. “You taste so good, baby,” she murmured, running her tongue up Randi's seam until she found her distended clit. She hummed happily as she suckled, Randi's hips popping up off the ground, her sex ground into Canton's face.

“Canton,” she gasped, hips moving up and down with Canton's tongue. “Oh god, Canton…”

“I'm here, baby,” Canton murmured against her clit, smiling when Randi whimpered at the vibration of the words against her most sensitive area. She wanted more than anything to hear Randi's cries of release and passion, so she began to work overtime, running her tongue back down the seam until she entered Randi with it, creating a steady rhythm.

Randi gasped then released a keening moan as her pleasure began to build, her hips working so hard now they were nearly bucking Canton away from her. Canton wrapped her arms around Randi's thighs, holding her in place as she began to feast in earnest. Randi's breathing increased until she was panting and whimpering, finally her world splintering into color and pleasure. Her cries echoed out over the day, causing a distant dog to bark.

Canton grinned as she kissed her way back up Randi's body, lapping at her nipples before finally making it to a waiting mouth. The kiss they shared was passionate and near frantic as Randi's emotions came to the surface through her actions. Finally they both came up for air, Canton looking down at a glowing Randi.

“How are you?” she asked, a pleased grin on her face.

“Mmm,” Randi moaned, closing her eyes as she stretched her body languidly, her breasts rising up to press against Canton's in the process. “Amazing. Beautiful. Awesome. Incredible.” She opened her eyes and smiled up at a beaming Canton. “You can do that any time you want to.”

Canton chuckled. “Oh yeah?”

“Oh yeah,” Randi purred, grabbing Canton and pulling her down for a deep kiss.



Present Day:

Blake sat at the table in the coffee shop, half-heartedly filling out the application. The last thing he wanted to do was to work in some faggoty coffee shop. He glanced up as the over-the-door bell announced someone entering, half expecting to see his mother coming in to spy on him. Instead, one of the hottest chicks he'd ever seen entered, even if she was like thirty. Even old, she was hot !

Canton walked up to the counter and ordered herself a coffee. As she waited, she noticed the handsome young man who sat at a table, a job application and pen in his hand. On a whim, she decided to talk to him.

“You looking for a job?” she asked, standing next to his table.

Blake looked up, shocked to see the hot chick standing over him. Even up close she was hot. “Yeah,” he muttered in response to her question.

“What's your availability?” she asked.

“You the manager here?” he asked, hopeful.

Canton grinned, shaking her head. “No, but I'm renovating an old ranch house and out buildings and I'm looking to hire labor for the summer.”

Randi was jolted awake with a start, her chest heaving and heart pounding. She was embarrassed to realize that she was completely turned on from her memory, which had turned into a very realistic dream. Looking around to see what had awakened her, she was even more embarrassed to see a grinning Blake standing at the driver's side door, motioning that she should roll her window down.

“Hey,” she said, sitting up straighter in her seat, running a hand through her hair.

“Hey. I got a job!”

“Yeah?” she asked, getting excited. “Get in here and tell me about it.” She was about to start the engine on the 4Runner when Blake stopped her with a touch of his hand on her shoulder.

“Nah, she wants to talk to you first.”

“The manager at the coffee shop?” Randi asked, gathering her purse and keys before she stepped out of the car.

“Nope. Better than a coffee shop,” Blake said cryptically, looking quite pleased with himself. “Come on.”

Randi followed her son inside, curious as she hadn't seen his eyes sparkle like this in a long time. The coffee shop was fairly quiet, only a couple other occupants scattered either reading or typing on a lap top as they drank their coffee. Blake wasn't interested in them, though as he headed to a woman sitting by herself at a corner table. Randi walked over to her, her steps slowing then faltering altogether as the woman looked up from her phone, which she'd been texting on.

Canton's eyes widened when she saw the woman Blake was bringing towards her. Her mouth fell open slightly, her heart beginning to pound painfully hard in her chest. “Randi,” she said softly, slowly rising from her chair.

Randi nearly choked when she heard Canton's voice: that same voice. “Hello, Canton,” she said, her own voice nearly a whisper.

Blake stared back and forth between the two women, utterly baffled. It was obvious they knew each other, which was a huge deal considering how small the town was, but it was his mother's reaction to Canton Landis that really caught his attention. He almost felt like he was interrupting a hugely private moment as the two stepped towards each other, stopping a foot apart as they stared at each other. Then, as though there was some unspoken choreography, the two rushed into a tight embrace that lasted several moments.

Canton couldn't believe it as she hugged Randi tight, feeling so many emotions and memories rushing back at her in that moment. When the hug broke, she looked down into the face that she could never forget, no matter how hard she tried.

Likewise, Randi was beside herself. With all the memories she'd been collecting over the past week, she almost felt shy and embarrassed to be standing in front of Canton, afraid that she'd see right through her. Instead, she stepped back from the hug and smiled politely. “I'd heard you'd come back into town.”

“Same old, I guess,” Canton said with a smile. “Word travels fast here.”

“Always,” Randi said with a small nod, the two sharing a knowing look for a moment before Randi looked away, turning her focus to her son. “So, Blake tells me you've got some work that needs to be done.

“Yes,” Canton said, her voice chipper and light, grateful to get out of the past and into the present. She looked at Randi's son and suddenly she felt stupid: how could she have not seen it? He looked exactly like his mother, save for the dark hair and blue eyes. The three moved to the table and sat down. “I'm finally renovating the old house and buildings and I need help. I've already hired a couple local boys for the job, but I still need more, and Blake here said he'd like to do it.”

“Better than working here,” Blake muttered here, nodding towards the obviously-gay boy who stood behind the counter.

“Be nice, Blake. You should be grateful for any job you get,” Randi admonished quietly. Blake said nothing, just looked away. Randi turned her attention to Canton, still trying to wrap her mind around the events of the last few minutes. “What would you have him do? How long, that sort of thing.”

“Well, I plan to gut my old place and start over. Part of the main house will need to be gutted and rebuilt as well. I've got an architect coming out to the house tomorrow afternoon to finalize plans. I'll pay him ten bucks an hour.”

“Sweet!” Blake exclaimed.

“It's hard work, Blake. You'll work for every penny.”

“I'm totally game.”

Canton glanced at Randi, fighting the urge to run, vomit and throw herself at Randi's feet, begging for forgiveness, all at the same time. “Is that alright with you, Randi? And… Shannon, of course,” she ventured.

Randi nodded, a silent message to Canton that she was correct. “I'll talk to him, and yes, it's perfectly fine with me. A little hard work would do him good, I think.”

“Excellent.” Canton smiled at both mother and son. “Blake, I'll give you a call in a day or so to give you particulars.”

“Awesome! Thanks, Canton!”

“I'd better get going. I came in for a cup of coffee while I ran some errands,” Canton explained. The truth of the matter was, she wanted to get out of Randi's personal space as quickly as possible. Her mere nearness was causing all sorts of short circuiting to happen, and Canton couldn't afford to start feeling again. She hadn't allowed her emotions to escape their prison since Robin, and she had no desire to start now.

“It was good to see you again, Canton,” Randi smiled.

“You, too.” Canton turned to Blake. “Talk to you soon.”

Blake followed Canton with his eyes as she left the coffee shop. “Jesus, she's hot,” he muttered.

Randi hid her smile, nodding. “She's a very beautiful woman,” she said softly.

As soon as Canton cleared the door to the coffee shop, she leaned back against the wall, heart pounding as she closed her eyes. “Oh my god,” she whispered.



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