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 4

Present Day:

Randi leaned over the bathroom counter to get a closer look at herself in the mirror. She turned her head this way and that, checking out her skin, her eyebrows and finally her entire face. She backed away when she saw Shannon 's reflection in the mirror as he entered the bedroom and passed by the bathroom doorway. She returned her gaze to her own face once more, nervous butterflies flapping in her stomach.

“So, you're sure you can't make it?” she called out.

After a moment, a naked Shannon walked up behind her, his intent very clear. He grabbed Randi from behind, cupping her breasts through her nightshirt with large hands. “I'm sure,” he said into her neck. “Tell Anne and Adam I'm sorry I can't make it for dinner.”

Randi's eyes fell shut when she felt her panties pushed down over her hips. Obediently, she stepped out of them and held onto the countertop. She wasn't ready but knew it didn't matter; it wasn't up to her. Even so, suddenly she saw a flash of blue eyes…




Randi could feel Canton behind her as they both knelt on the backseat of the Plymouth , naked breasts pressed against her back as Canton held their bodies together. The dildo was buried deep inside Randi's body as Canton rained kisses down along the side of Randi's face and neck.

“I love being inside you,” Canton whispered, slowly moving her hips, beginning a lazy rhythm that made Randi whimper for more.

“Oh, baby,” Randi breathed, one arm resting against the backdoor window for balance, the other hand reaching around to grab the side of Canton 's thigh.

They moved together, reveling in the feel and presence of the other, a true bonding of the body and soul, working towards a slow, yet powerful climax, which had them both trembling and out of breath.

Canton ran her hands up and down Randi's body, still buried inside her. “Oh, Randi,” she whispered into her neck. “I love-“ she stopped herself, fear clenching her insides. “I love being with you,” she said instead. “I can't imagine not being able to make love to you.”

Randi sighed happily, turning her head as far as she could to initiate a kiss. “I don't want you to ever stop making love to me.”



Present Day:

Randi was shocked as she felt a climax rip through her body, but then quickly recovered as she gripped the bathroom counter tighter as her body was being thrust with more force towards it. She braced herself as the thrusts got harder, Shannon 's moans and heavy breathing burning her neck. His hips slapped ruthlessly against her behind until he finally stilled, a keening sound erupting from his throat. Randi could feel the throbbing heat inside her body, along with the lava-like wetness that oozed out as Shannon pulled out with a quick, stinging slap to her ass with his hand.

“That was good,” he growled, content as he sauntered into the bedroom and climbed into bed.

Randi quickly shut the bathroom door, just before she slid to the floor, the tears coming in silent waves. Her sex still pulsed with the remnants of her orgasm, which had nothing to do with Shannon , and she knew it. She felt like she'd just cheated on him with Canton . Again. After a long while, she got herself together and cleaned up then got into bed. She glanced over at Shannon , watching him as he slept on his back, breathing becoming deep and even.

She studied him for a long time, so many thoughts running through her mind. She wanted to reach out to him, to try and reclaim any reasons that she'd had for marrying him, for staying so long. Only one came to mind: Blake. On both counts.




Randi couldn't get her lunch down fast enough. Her second semester in college was proving to be far more challenging than the first. She'd taken a heavier load of classes and had little time between to do anything but grab a quick bite then shoot off to the next. Such was her situation in the small café that was on campus, nicely place dead center so no one building was further than any other. She was studying her notes for the upcoming quiz in her next class as she shoveled in the spaghetti.


Randi glanced up at the unexpected voice, a noodle hanging out of her mouth. A good-looking guy stood by her table, his smile turning into a grin when he saw the noodle, which Randi quickly sucked into her mouth. She felt embarrassed as the guy chuckled.

“I'm really sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if you'd like to go to dinner with me tonight.”

Randi blinked up at him for a moment, surprised by the suddenness of the invitation. She'd seen the guy around the café before, and in fact thought he worked there. “Um, I can't.”

He did his best to hide his disappointment, but Randi could still see it in his dark eyes. “Oh. Okay, well how about tomorrow night? Or whenever you're free next?”

Randi felt shy and unsure. She'd been at school since June, and in that seven month period of time, had been asked out a half dozen times. She'd only accepted a couple of them, but had never gotten into anything serious. She just couldn't get herself to be interested, no matter what she did. As she looked up at this guy now, she figured it would be the same thing.

“Look,” he said, able to see the play of uncertainty on her face. “My name is Shannon and I cook here at the café. IF you decide you wanna have dinner with me – or lunch – then let me know. Okay?”

Randi had to admit his smile was charming, and he seemed to be really understanding. “Okay,” she said. “Thank you for asking.”

With another smile and a nod, he walked away, disappearing in the crowd of gathering students. Randi turned her attention back to her lunch and her studies, feeling a little giddy. Regardless of whether or not she was interested, it was still flattering.

For the next month, every time she saw Shannon Lehey at the café, he found her and asked her out. After awhile, it became a game of who could get the words out first: will you go out with me? No. One day, Randi decided to throw Shannon off balance and before he could say anything, she said a simple yes. Their date had gone extremely well, and Randi had to admit despite herself that she liked Shannon . A lot. It helped to get her mind off the events of the past school year, which she had decided to chalk up to experimentation and the fact that she'd never see Canton Landis again.

Imagine her surprise when he proposed over the summer break, even though she refused to sleep with him. Amongst the pressure of her parents, Randi accepted, but insisted they wait until marriage before they had sex. Shannon had reluctantly agreed, and they'd gone back to school for the fall semester.

Randi sat in her dorm room, which had to her joy become a single, as her roommate decided to drop out and go home. She sat on her twin bed and stared down at the small diamond ring Shannon had given her, which glinted brightly in the reading lamp on Randi's desk. As she stared at it, she was filled with so many different mixed emotions. She cared for Shannon , that much she knew. He seemed to really love her and treated her well. Hell, what man in this day and age would be willing to wait to have sex with his girlfriend until after they were man and wife? Not many that Randi could think of.

Even so, she couldn't help but get lost in thoughts of her own future. Did she even want to get married? Was a wife and mother her personal goals, or that of her own mother? She loved college and was doing really well in it. She'd made some good friends and was enjoying life as an eighteen year old woman.

She thought about Shannon and the reasons she'd insisted they don't have sex. First off, she had no desire to get pregnant right now or do anything that could get her even close to that condition. The second reason was a little more deeply rooted. She couldn't help but think that this time two years previous, within a months' time Canton would start to pursue Randi, even if Randi would try to play hard to get. She smiled at that thought, as she'd proven to not be very good at it.

“Damn it,” she sighed, her hand flopping into her lap as her head rested against the wall her bed ran along. Her eyes fell closed as she felt the emotions rising. She was so confused, in deep turmoil.

She didn't have a chance for those emotions to reach the surface as they were interrupted by a knock on her dorm room door. Randi uncurled herself from the bed and padded over to it, dressed in flannel pants and a college t-shirt. She could only stand there and stare as Canton stared back at her.



Present Day:

Canton pulled the door open, Randi standing on the other side. They shared a small smile before Canton stepped aside, allowing Randi to enter, which she did, handing Canton the bottle of wine she'd brought as she passed.

“It's strange for me to not be bringing food of some sort, so I couldn't come empty handed.”

Canton smiled in understanding. “Thank you, this was sweet of you. It should go along great with the chicken, too.”

Randi waited in the entryway for Canton to close and lock the front door, not sure where she wanted her to go. She took a look around, swarmed by warm memories of being in these rooms with Canton and her grandfather. Everything was torn up now, however, leaving almost skeletal remains in some of the rooms.

“Come on back,” Canton said, leading the way down the hall to the kitchen, which was one of the few rooms that had been spared of the carnage.

Randi followed, taking a seat at one of the chairs. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“Nope,” Canton said with a smile over her shoulder before she took the glass cooking dish from the oven with an oven mitt. “I hope you're hungry; I made enough to feed a small army.”

Randi poured them both a glass of wine as Canton loaded plates and got everything settled on the table. Canton sat in the chair across from her and grabbed her glass, raising it for a toast.

“What shall we toast to?” she asked.

“How about new beginnings? With you here in the house, essentially rebuilding,” Randi offered.

“I like it. Alright then: to new beginnings.” Their glasses clinked in toast and they sipped. “Mm, good wine, Randi.”

“Thank you.” Randi set her glass down and began to dig into the wonderful-smelling dinner of chicken and rice with steamed veggies and homemade rolls. She had made a pact with herself that she'd put any thoughts of their past out of her mind. The past was the past and needed to stay there. It would do no good drudging all that up now. After all, they were women pushing forty, and had been just kids then.

“You know Randi, I'm really surprised you came back here after college,” Canton said, glancing at her dinner guest.

“Well, after Shannon finished his degree, we already had a two month old, so we decided to head back here to set up house. I knew my mom would help out with care so I could go back to school.”

“You didn't finish?” Canton asked innocently, sipping from her wine.

This was a touchy subject to be sure. Randi studied her plate for a moment before responding, her voice quiet. “I wanted to. But,” she sighed, looking at Canton . “It just wasn't in the cards. Being a mom and wife took over.”

Canton was surprise, knowing how against that life Randi was when they were seventeen. “Do you regret it?” she asked softly, understanding in her voice.

“Sometimes. I mean, don't get me wrong; I'll never regret being home with my son, but yes, I do.” Randi was surprised such truth had come out of her mouth, as she always had a patent answer to these kind of questions: I love my family and am glad I was able to be there for them.

“I have this credo that I live by, and that is: you're not dead until you're six feet under.” She said no more, instead meeting and holding Randi's gaze. “There's always time, Randi.”

Randi snorted derisively. “What on earth would anyone want with a forty-three year old lawyer, just starting out, Canton ?”

“Well, first of all, you're only thirty-six – soon to be thirty-seven if I remember correctly – and secondly, who cares about ‘who'. All that matters is you. If you want to accomplish becoming an attorney in this life time,” Canton shrugged, “nobody's stopping you.”

“But me, right?” Randi bit out, far harsher than she intended. She stopped herself, taking a deep breath. “I'm sorry. You don't deserve to have my insecurities tossed in your lap.”

“It's okay.” Canton gave her a reassuring smile. “I'll let it go. It's your life Randi, and as long as you're happy, nobody has a right to say a word otherwise.”

“Thank you,” Randi said softly, feeling foolish. She decided it was a good time to get the conversation off her life: after all, there wasn't much that was all that interesting about her life to talk about. “What about you? I know you have a medical practice, but what else? You must have someone back there in the Big Apple waiting for you to return.” She was fishing and they both knew it.

Canton was quiet for a moment, organizing her thoughts before she responded. “I had a partner for five years. Robin. But,” she let out a heavy sigh. “She was killed four years ago in a motorcycle accident.”

Randi sat there, stunned. She felt her face go pale and stomach knot up. “My god,” she whispered. “I'm so sorry.”

“It's alright. I've had time to deal and, hopefully, heal.” Canton gave her a reassuring smile then finished her glass of wine, holding up the bottle to offer another glass to Randi, who accepted.

“This may be a mistake – as I rarely drink – but why not,” she laughed, holding her glass up for more.

Canton grinned. “I'll call you a cab if it gets too out of hand.”


Shannon glanced into the rearview mirror, making sure his chin had stopped bleeding from the quickie shave job he'd done at home. Free and clear, he pushed open the door to his car and grabbed the bottle of wine he'd picked up on the way, then slammed and locked the door, making his way up the walkway that would lead to Anne's house.

He rang the doorbell, waiting a moment until finally Anne opened the door, giving him a smile of greeting. “Hey, Shannon ,” she said, leaning against the doorframe. “What's up?”


Randi hadn't laughed so hard in years! She fell over on the sofa, watching as Canton demonstrated how their old gym teacher used to walk.

“And don't you remember?” Canton said, pushing her ass out and her head forward, looking like a duck that mated with a penguin as she strutted across the half-destroyed living room. “And then,” Canton laughed, more amused by Randi than by the memory of the teacher. “And then she used to turn and look at you with those beady little eyes,” she turned and faced Randi, her face scrunched up like a raisin. “Randi!” she screeched, causing even more shrill laughter to erupt from Randi. “Randi O'Shea! Where are your gym shorts! I'll have to spank you!”

“Oh my god!” Randi laughed, sitting up and holding her stomach. “Stop! Oh my god, stop! I'm about to pee my pants!”

Canton laughed even harder, grabbing her wine glass and downing the last bit of her fourth. She plopped down on the couch next to Randi, grinning over at her. “I forgot how much friggin' fun we used to have, girl.” She slapped Randi on the leg.

“We sure did.” Randi got herself under control and looked at Canton , both erupting into fresh giggles.


Shannon slammed into the house, looking for what, he wasn't sure. He headed up to the bedroom he shared with Randi, searching through the drawers of her dresser and nightstand. He only found clothing and the vibrator he didn't know she had. Tossing it aside, he continued searching.


“And, in here I'm going to pull down this wall to make the master suite bigger. It'll bring the number of bedrooms in the house to three rather than four, but it's not like I plan to bring a family in here, so,” Canton said, leading Randi into her bedroom.

Randi turned in a small circle as she checked the space out. She'd never been in the bedroom, as it had belonged to Canton 's grandfather when they were teenagers. “Wow. This will be an amazing house when you're done,” she complimented.

“Thanks. I look forward to it.”

Randi studied Canton for a long moment. “What's your plan, Canton ? You've got a practice in New York , so what would you need with this place?”

“Well,” Canton sighed, hands on hips as she looked around. “I don't know.” She met Randi's gaze. “I'm sort of looking for a change. My business partner and I have been talking about opening more offices along the east coast, and I mentioned maybe moving some out further west.”

“Here in Denver ?”

“Here in Denver .”

Randi considered that for a moment, a slow smile spreading across her face. “I think that's wonderful, Canton ,” she said softly, meaning every word.


Randi tried to be quiet as she let herself into the house. It was past two in the morning, and she was exhausted. Figuring Shannon had long ago gone to bed, she intended to climb in beside him and crash. She hadn't had such a late night since her brief stint in college.

Making her way through the living room towards the stairs, she nearly screamed in surprise when a lamp was flicked on and Shannon was revealed, sitting in his recliner. He looked at her with hard eyes, his mouth tight and jaw muscles clenched.

“Jesus, Shannon ,” she breathed, a hand to her pounding heart. “You scared the hell out of me.” She was about to head on past him and towards the stairs but was stopped with a vise-like grip on her arm, which made her swing around and nearly collide with him. “Stop it, Shannon , you're hurting me.”

“Where have you been?” he growled.

“I told you. I had-“

“Dinner with Anne,” he finished for her. “Don't lie to me,” he said, face close to hers and voice dangerously low. Randi stared at him with wide, frightened eyes. “I was over there, Randi!” he boomed, fingers tightening on her arm. “Where were you?!”

“I'm sorry I lied,” Randi breathed, her fear making her nearly breathless. “I had dinner over an old friend's house.”


“A girl I haven't seen since my senior year.”

Shannon glared at her for a long moment, he jaw muscle flexing. “It was her, wasn't it?” he growled. “Ben was right.”

“What does my father have to do with this, Shannon ?” she asked, her arm still held in the painful grasp of her husband.

“He told me about that girl. It was her, wasn't it? Wasn't it?!”

Randi started, transported back to a day long ago. She saw the rage in her father's face in the face of the man she'd married eighteen years ago. “Please don't hurt me,” she whispered.


Anne glanced over at her friend as she spread the sheets over the guest bedroom bed, which hadn't been used since her mother-in-law last visited, eight months before. She couldn't believe it as her friend huddled in the corner, her bruised face hidden from view. Anne's stomach roiled with the realization that Shannon had finally taken it too far. She knew he was a tough customer, but never thought he'd actually strike Randi.

“The bed's ready, sweetie,” she said softly, patting the soft mattress.

Randi looked up from where her aching face had been buried in her raised knees. “Thanks, Anne,” she whispered, pushing up from the armchair tucked into the corner of the small bedroom. She tried to give her best friend a smile, but it failed miserably.

Anne sat on the edge of the bed, unsure what to say. Ten minutes before she'd opened the door to a sobbing Randi, begging for a bed for the night. It was nearly three in the morning, and Anne was exhausted, but she was on full alert to a situation she didn't understand. She looked at her friend, who sat next to her on the bed.

“What happened?” she asked softly, trying to keep her own emotions in check, even as she reached out and gently brushed the backs of her fingers of an un-injured portion of Randi's face. “Please tell me why he hit you.”

“Can we talk about this tomorrow, Anne? I'm so tired.” Randi looked at her with red-rimmed eyes. “Please?”

“Okay, sweetie.” Anne hugged Randi tight then left her alone, softly closing the door behind her.

Left alone, Randi tugged off her shoes and clothing, slipping into the t-shirt and shorts Anne had given her to borrow. Dressed for bed, she lay down and curled up on her side, the tears coming once again.




Randi stared up at Canton , not sure what to say. Rarely left speechless, this was certainly one of those moments. Canton looked as beautiful as ever, dressed in all black, with a black leather jacket. The thing that caught Randi's attention, however was the intensity in her eyes.

“Hey,” she said, her voice velvety smooth. Randi was still too dumbstruck to speak. Canton took a step forward, forcing Randi to take a step backward or be run into by the fierceness of Canton 's presence. Canton slammed the door shut behind her, not stopping until she had Randi against a wall.

“What are you doing here?” Randi finally managed to breathe. Her emotions were going haywire, caught between anger and deep regret.

“I heard through the grapevine that you're getting married,” Canton said, though it hurt her to let the words pass through her lips.

Randi nodded. “Yes.”

“Not on my watch.”

The kiss came so quickly, Randi had no time to react or stop it. Instead, by the time her mind caught up to events, she'd already brought her hands up, tangling them in thick dark hair, whimpering in desperation as she pulled Canton closer.

“Oh, Randi,” Canton whispered, placing kisses all over Randi's face and neck as her hands worked to remove the blonde's clothing. “I can't let you do this.”

“ Canton ,” was all Randi could manage, her hands helping as she shoved her shorts down her legs. Standing naked, she returned Canton 's savage kiss, which was nearly painful in its intensity.

Canton never broke the kiss as she shrugged out of her jacket, throwing it on the floor. She stepped back just enough to allow her shirt to be removed by Randi, then her mouth was back, demanding control. Within moments she, too was naked.

Randi's back hit her bed with such force that it nearly knocked the wind out of her, but she didn't care. She clung painfully to Canton , pulling their bodies together as their tongues continued to battle for dominance. With near super-human strength, she pushed until she'd reversed their position, Canton lying beneath her.

Randi left Canton 's mouth, instead her lips and tongue exploring a graceful neck and further down until she had one of Canton 's breasts in her hand and finally the stiff nipple in her mouth. Canton cried out, her hands burying themselves in blonde hair, her hips thrusting up into Randi, who's narrow hips were cradled between her thighs.

“Baby,” she whimpered, needing desperately for the release that only Randi could offer. She reached one of her hands down until she was cupping Randi's butt, pulling her closer into her. “Please,” she begged.

Randi abandoned Canton 's breasts and worked her way further down the gorgeous body until her mouth was where Canton needed it to be most. She wrapped her arms around Canton 's thighs, holding in her place as she feasted as though it were her last meal.

It didn't take long for Canton to come with a loud cry, her chest heaving and sex pulsing as she felt Randi kiss her way back up her body until she had her in her arms. The kiss they shared was a bit calmer, more about exploration than ravaging. Canton gently pushed Randi onto her back then got up from the bed, reaching for her jacket. From the inside pocket she pulled out her dildo and harness, watching Randi's expectant face as she secured it to her body.

Randi spread her legs in invitation, even as she reached from between them for Canton , pulling her on top of her. “I can't believe you hid that in your jacket,” she smiled.

Canton grinned. “Better than waving it for all to see.”

Randi's next words died on her lips as Canton entered her slowly and smoothly, her sex beyond saturated and ready. “ Canton ,” she moaned, holding the brunette close.

“I'm here, baby,” Canton said, laying a soft kiss on Randi's lips.

She rested on her elbows, her breasts pressed against Randi's as her hips began to move. She knew this wouldn't last long as Randi was so near the brink already. She didn't bother with sensual as she wanted to give Randi as much pleasure as possible.

Randi cried out as Canton began to pump her hips, easily sliding within Randi's slick depths. She reached down, cupping Canton 's behind as she encouraged her to take her. “Yesss,” she hissed, raising her knees and opening them wider. Her eyes slammed shut at the deeper penetration as she felt her orgasm beginning deep in her belly.

Blue eyes bored into her own, chiseled features flushed with the height of passion. Blue eyes closed as full lips opened, perfect white teeth bared as pleasure overtook, two sweaty bodies climaxing as one. Randi's fingers flexed and relaxed as she clung to the body atop hers, her sex pulsing in time with her raging heartbeat.

“I love you, Randi.”

I love you, too, Canton .”

Canton thrust a few more times, hard enough to bang the headboard into the wall. Randi cried out for what seemed minutes as her pleasure lasted, though in truth was but a few precious moments. She hugged Canton to her as she wrapped her legs around her waist, wanting her as close as possible.

“I want you to crawl inside me,” she murmured into Canton 's sweaty neck. “I want you to live inside me.”

Canton sighed at the words, lifting herself as much as her human bindings would allow. “I love you. I've wanted to tell you that since the day I first kissed you.” She kissed her long and deep. “I love you.”

“I love you so much.” Randi held her close. “I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry I treated you that way.” She felt the tears come and couldn't hold them back.

Canton slowly pulled out of Randi, quickly unbuckling herself from the harness, which was tossed to the floor, and pulled Randi to her. She gently rocked her as she caressed her back and hair. “It's okay, baby,” she cooed.

They lay there in silence for a long moment, both absorbing the other. It had been nearly a year and a half since they'd last seen each other. Randi rested her head on Canton 's shoulder, wrapping a possessive arm around her. “How did you find me?” she asked softly.

“A little investigation goes a long way. I heard from back home about you and this guy.” Canton 's voice grew hard, her jealousy an ugly monster that she was trying to keep in tow. Her eyes squeezed shut, jaw clenching as she desperately tried to push it down. “I can't watch you marry him, Randi.”

Randi lifted her head, flipping her hair to the side as she studied Canton 's face. It broke her heart to see the pain in those blue eyes, blue eyes that once scared her with their intensity and now made her melt. “Baby,” she whispered, cupping Canton 's cheek with her palm. “I don't know what to do.”

Canton met her gaze, her own filling with unshed anguish. “I can't tell you what to do, Randi. I don't want you to hate me.”

“Oh god,” Randi cried, taking Canton in a hard kiss, her own emotion spilling over. “I could never hate you,” she breathed. “Never.”

“Don't marry him, Randi. Please, don't marry him…”



Present Day:

Canton 's words echoed in Randi's head, even as she sat at Anne's kitchen table, staring off into a distant past, her friend watching her closely. “We were up all night,” she said, her voice as soft and lifeless as it had been since she began her story. “We talked, we fought… we made love.” She looked down at the nearly-cold cup of coffee that sat before her.

Anne could barely breathe, stunned by all that she'd been told. How had she not seen this when they were in their senior year of high school? She felt slighted as Randi's best friend that she'd never been told, and foolish that she'd never noticed. Finally she took a deep breath and slowly let it out. She grabbed Randi's cup and her own, dumping the cold remnants and refilling both, then slid Randi's back in front of her as she resumed her seat.

“I don't know what to say, Randi. I'm stunned.” She studied her friend, who still refused to meet her gaze. “Then what happened?”

“We made a plan.” Randi looked at Anne, her eyes bright from unshed tears, her voice shaky. “I was going to leave school and go back to New York with her.”

Anne could tell Randi was on the edge of losing control of her emotions. She reached over and took one of her pale, cool hands. “So what happened?” she whispered. “Why didn't you?”

Randi accepted the napkin Anne offered her, wiping at her eyes as the tears fell. “Because when I woke up she was gone,” she whispered, her tears coming in full as a sob was ripped from her throat.

Anne left her seat and hurried to her friend, hugging her close. “Oh, sweetie,” she whispered, placing a loving kiss on top of her head. “You've held all this in for so long.”

“I was devastated. The next night I went to Shannon , needing to prove something.” She laughed bitterly through her tears. “I needed to know if it was the right thing to do, to keep him as my consolation prize.” She looked up at Anne with red-rimmed eyes. “I had decided to cancel the wedding and then I found out I was pregnant.”

Anne rocked her as fresh tears came, her own stinging the backs of her eyes.




Canton had been lying awake for more than two hours, since the last time they'd made love. Both had been so exhausted, sleep was the next natural course of action. At least for Randi, anyway. Canton hadn't been able to shut her mind off, so instead she lay there, stroking Randi's soft hair and studying her face, memorizing every feature, every line, every dip and curve.

“I love you so much,” she whispered, more inside her own heart than out loud.

Even so, she knew as she lay there with Randi that she had to do what was right: right for Randi, but right for herself, too. She felt like a piece of her soul was being ripped away as she slowly moved out of the bed, silently gathering her clothing and tugging them on, her gaze never leaving her heart, who still slept in the bed. She didn't dare touch Randi again, or even kiss her goodbye, because she knew then she'd never leave.

The door clicked softly closed and suddenly Canton was thrust into the harsh lighting of the dorm hallway, quiet at just before five in the morning. She leaned against the wall next to Randi's door, knowing this was her last chance. She glanced over at the doorknob: all it would take was one step and a simple gesture with her hand, and she'd be right back, basking in the warmth that made her complete.

Heart breaking wide open, Canton tossed her leather jacket over her shoulder and hurried down the hall, shoving the stairwell door open and plowing down the three flights of stairs that would take her outside and to her chosen destiny.



Present Day:

Canton 's black Jeep Wrangler sat silent on her land, surrounded by nothing but darkness, other than the light of the full moon above, which drenched her in silvery light as she reclined on the hood of the Jeep. She stared off into the darkness, hands tucked behind her head. Like a spotlight, a beam of moonlight caught one of her tears as it slid down her cheek, a silvery streak following in a zigzag path.



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