Disclaimers: This story and its characters are the sole possession of the author and may not be used in any shape, form, or fashion without the author’s specific consent. I made ‘em up; I get to keep ‘em. If you cringe at the idea of a loving sexual relationship between two consenting adult female persons, stop reading now and go knit yourself a sweater or something. If for any reason it is illegal for you to read about the aforementioned type of relationship, come back when your legislators get a clue or when you reach legal age. If none of the above applies, and you’d like more information about my novels, I’d be tickled for you to visit my website at margaretahelms.com.
Language/violence/sexual situations: no/no/YES
Feedback: Always welcome. Forward to MargaretAHelms@aol.com Flamers will be shot.
Thanks for reading!
c. 2003 Margaret A. Helms, all rights reserved
“I think we’re stuck.” Karen shot me a worried look from behind her unruly blonde bangs.
“Try rocking,” I suggested.
She shifted the Explorer into reverse and hit the gas. The vehicle lurched backward, Karen slammed the shifter into drive and pounded the gas pedal again. We jerked forward. The wheels whined, and for a moment it felt as if we might spin free from the snow-filled ditch, but the tires lost their traction and we slid backward again.
“Damn,” Karen moaned. “I can’t believe the storm hit this fast. It wasn’t supposed to start snowing until tonight.”
I looked out the window. There was already at least five inches of snow covering the desolate landscape and more huge flakes were piling up. Heavy clouds smothered the nearby mountaintops and I knew that if we didn’t make tracks soon, we’d have to call for help.
“Don’t panic,” I said, trying to sound confident. “Try it again.”
Karen blew her bangs from her brown eyes and hit reverse again. Nothing but spin. We were good and stuck.
“Damn,” she muttered again. “The Weather Channel sucks.”
I had to laugh. It was the first time I’d seen Karen in nearly fifteen years, but she was still the same girl as in high school–a bit scatter brained, but sweet. And cute as hell. When she’d picked me up at the airport, I’d been amazed by how little she’d aged. Her fair complection was unlined and her strawberry blonde hair bounced around her shoulders just as it had so long ago. Still, she had a weary look about her, and when her somber brown eyes met mine, I felt a twinge of regret. How could so much time have passed so quickly?
“I’d better call the office,” Karen said as she pulled her cell phone from her purse. “Maybe Mike is still there.” She punched the numbers and gave me an anxious glance as she pressed the phone to her ear. After a moment she spoke into the receiver. “Hey, it’s me. I’m out at the Blaylock farm and we’re stuck in a ditch.” She smiled at me and after a pause, went on. “Yeah, I know it’s stupid, but you remember Angie Edwards from high school, don’t you? She’s back in town and wanted to look at the property. I thought we could take a quick peek and beat the storm.” Another pause. “We’re about a half-mile from the main road. We’ll walk out if you can meet us.”
I looked at my sandaled feet. Great. Leave it to me to fly out of the Carribean in resort wear. It was the middle of winter in the good old mainland USA and I had on khaki Capri pants and a cotton sweater.
“What do you mean?” Karen shrieked.
“What?” I whispered.
She waved me off. “What the hell is a big rig doing on that road in the first place? It’s not wide enough to pass a Volkswagen in the summertime, much less pull Cash Hill in this weather.”
A sinking feeling hit my stomach. “What?” I asked again.
“Call the Highway Patrol and call me back.” Karen snapped the cell phone shut and slammed her fist against the steering wheel. A bit more composed, she looked at me. “Okay, we may have a little problem. A truck jack-knifed on Cash Hill and the road is closed. Mike can’t get in, and we couldn’t get out even if we could get to the main road.”
“Oh shit. That’s the only way in or out, isn’t it?”
She nodded. “Mike is calling the Highway Patrol to see how long it’ll be before we can get out.”
I glanced back out the window. The snow showed no signs of letting up. This little reunion wasn’t turning out as planned. But it had seemed like such a good idea when I dreamed it up.
My newfound wealth hadn’t held out like I’d hoped, and if I the money was going to last, I needed to settle down. Besides, I hadn’t been home in ages, and I was starting to miss the old place. Imagine my surprise to find that the Blaylock farm was on the market and that my old friend Karen was the real estate agent handling the property. Okay, this meeting wasn’t a surprise to me, but it was to Karen.
The cell phone chirped and I nearly jumped out of my seat.
“Hello,” Karen answered. As she listened to the caller, her face went pale. “Please tell me you’re kidding! What are we supposed to do till then?”
“What?” I slumped down in my seat and tried to remember what I’d packed in my suitcase. Nothing of help. A deep tan and sun-bleached hair had served my social life well back on St. John, but they wouldn’t do much good against a freak snowstorm.
Karen closed the phone and huffed out a long breath. “Well, looks like we’re stuck here for a while,” she explained as she looked up and down the dirt road. “The main house is about two miles further in, but the hunting cabin is just up around that next bend. The electricity is off, but I think there’s running water, and there’s a fireplace. The only thing I know to do is hunker down there until Mike can get here. At least we can keep warm.”
“Peachy,” I muttered and pointed to my nearly bare feet. “How am I supposed to get there in this snow? I’ll get frostbite.”
“Don’t you have any other shoes in your suitcase?”
“I’ve been on the Virgin Islands for eighteen months. Why would I have snow shoes?”
“You never were much of a planner.” Karen smiled, unsnapped her seatbelt, and wiggled into the back seat. As she maneuvered her slender body across the center console, her hips passed close to my face. I shuddered, but not from the cold.
My friend planted her knees in the back seat and rifled through the rear compartment. When I realized that I was staring at her ass, I snapped back around and pretended to be looking at the ominous clouds.
A moment later, Karen tossed a pair of bulky, fur-lined boots toward me. “You’re still a size nine?”
“Nine and a half, but let’s not quibble.” I took the boots and dropped them in the floorboard. “While you’re back there, pass me my carry-on bag.”
She handed the bag forward and clambered back into the front seat. “The cabin is about a ten-minute walk from here. When Bobby and I were still married, he came out here all the time with Randy Blaylock. It’s a little rustic, but we had a cleaning crew here last week. We’ll be fine.”
While Karen double checked her cell phone battery and gathered her purse, I stuffed my feet into the snug boots and shouldered my bag. Without a word, we got out, locked up the SUV and plodded toward the cabin. My arms immediately broke out in gooseflesh and I shrugged against the cold.
“Here, put your arm around me.” Karen opened her wool jacket and I slid my left arm around her waist. She tugged the jacket around my back as much as possible and pressed her body against mine. Things could’ve been worse.
Even in the midst of the storm, the walk only took about fifteen minutes. The cabin was a squat log structure with a stone chimney on one end and a long porch across the front. In different circumstances, I would’ve fallen in love with the cabin’s simple charm, but I was on the verge of hypothermia and all I cared about was warming up. After a few more steps, I spied an ample stack of fuel stored under the porch.
We hobbled up three steps onto the porch and stamped most of the snow from our shoes. Karen slid the key into the lock, turned the tumblers, and opened the door.
The cabin was small but cozy. Built for utility, it was basically one room with a standard-sized bed near the fireplace on one end and on the other, a tiny kitchen area with a refrigerator, sink, and small dining table. The only inside door led from the kitchen area to what I assumed was a bathroom.
“Oh well, it beats sitting in the car all night.” Karen sighed.
She turned to face me. “Yeah, Mike said the accident on Cash Hill is a real mess. The wrecker has to come all the way from Dickson, and with the snow and all, it could take all night.”
“Great,” I muttered. “I’ll get some firewood.”
But as I turned back toward the porch, Karen took my arm. “You won’t gather wood dressed like that. I’ll go. You see if you can find some paper to get the fire started.”
I didn’t argue. After she disappeared out the door, I went to the kitchen, dropped my overnight bag on the table, and rifled through a couple of cabinets. The cupboards were clean, but bare. Besides a can of tuna fish, an empty kerosene lantern, and two ball point pens, I found eight old Playboy magazines.
Flesh rags in tow, I went to the fireplace. There were three clean blankets folded on the bed. I spread them on the floor in front of the hearth and sat down. I ripped a few pages from the first magazine and wadded them up. As I tossed them into the fireplace, I glanced at Miss October. Dark and mysterious, she peered up at me from a tropical beach. Her skin shimmered. Her lips pouted. I felt a little hot despite the snowstorm.
“Whatcha looking at?”
Karen’s voice startled me. I wadded Miss October into a tight ball and tossed her in the fireplace with her naughty friends. “Uh, an article caught my eye.”
My friend stacked an armload of logs on the hearth. “Good, you found some paper.” She picked up one of the magazines, glanced at the cover, and dropped it back onto the stack. An empty condom wrapper fell from between the pages. “Figures,” she snorted. “ I knew Bobby had more going on out here than hunting.”
“Maybe it wasn’t Bobby’s,” I offered, knowing that Karen was probably right about her ex-husband. Bobby Dingus was a dog in high school, and was still a dog when Karen had divorced him. I’d been away from home for years, but news of my friend’s marriage and breakup had made its way through the grapevine. I’d gathered that it hadn’t been pretty.
Karen leaned in and placed a handful of twigs and two small logs on the wadded magazine pages. “Oh well, it’s over now. Guess I knew all along that Bobby wasn’t the one for me.” She looked up and caught my eye. “Funny how time changes things, huh?”
“How’s that?” I asked as I fished a lighter from my pocket.
“Take us for example. You went away to college and never came back. I stayed right here and got married. And here we are now, both in the same place.”
“I guess.” I pretended to focus on lighting the paper. Hopefully, she’d never discover the lengths I went to to see her again. So much time had passed. We’d grown in different directions, but I never forgot. I’d tried.
Karen sat back on her heels and warmed her hands by the flickering blaze. “I remember when I heard about you hitting the lottery. I thought if you ever came back here, I wanted to be your agent.”
“It’s amazing how many friends come out of the woodwork when you suddenly have a couple of million dollars.”
“I didn’t mean it that way, Angie, really, I . . .”
“Don’t give it another thought.” I winked at her. “Besides, we were good friends back then and I didn’t have a pot to piss in.”
We sat silent for a few moments, watching the fire grow. Karen stretched out, reclining on her elbows, her feet toward the fire. I couldn’t look at her. I wanted to, but I knew she’d see right through me. She’d know what was on my mind.
Remembering why I’d brought my carry-on bag along, I got up and ambled to the kitchen. I retrieved a bottle of rum from the bag and returned to my spot beside Karen.
“Wow, and I thought you didn’t plan ahead,” she mused, eyeing the bottle.
“Duty-free. Straight from the U.S. Virgin Islands,” I replied as I removed the cap. “If we’re going to be here a while, I don’t see the harm.” I mocked a toast and took a quick pull before passing the bottle to my friend. The silky liquor warmed my insides and settled my nerves a notch.
Karen took a generous swallow and smiled as she dabbed a drop of rum from her lip. “Mmmm . . . that’s good stuff.”
“Makes a hell of a rum punch. I stole the best recipe in the Carribean.” I said, replacing the cap.
“Maybe you could make it for me some time.”
I scratched my temple, faking indecision. “Gee, I don’t know.”
“You’ll make it if I have to use force!” She slapped my shoulder and reached for the bottle. “That was really good. Mind if I have another sip?”
I nodded and watched her take another generous drink.
She returned the bottle to the hearth. “This reminds me of that time my folks went to West Virginia and we got drunk in the basement.”
“Good times, huh?” I sniggered, a bit embarrassed that I’d thrown up in the back yard that night.
“We had some fun, didn’t we? Remember when we dropped water balloons on the girls track team?”
I laughed out loud. “Oh God, I though Celia Duffman was going to rip my head off!”
I turned to face my friend. She was laughing so hard tears were streaming down her face. Without thinking, I brushed her cheek with my fingertips. She seemed startled by my touch, but didn’t flinch. I pulled back and returned my gaze to the fire.
“How about the time we glued a quarter to the counter in the school office?” she asked. “Remember that?”
“Oh yeah, Principal Riggins finally pried it off with a crowbar.”
“We got hours of laughs out of that one,” Karen said.
Lost in thought, I mused, “I think we had more fun talking about those times after the fact that actually doing the deeds.”
“Most of the time.”
Karen sat up straight and folded her legs beside her. “There was one thing we never talked about.” Her voice was softer now, timid. So much for the small talk we’d been exchanging for the last couple of hours.
I swallowed hard. This wasn’t going as planned. I wanted to talk about it. For years I’d wanted to tell her the truth about my feelings, but now that the moment was finally at hand, it didn’t seem right. What if she didn’t remember it like I did?
She cleared her throat. “Angie, do you ever think about that night?”
And there it was, out on the table like a purple elephant demanding to be recognized. When it stared me right in the face, I wasn’t sure I was ready to go through with this discussion. Maybe the past was better left alone.
After a long silence, she spoke again. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I just wondered if you remembered.”
“I remember,” I whispered. I stared at the growing blaze, lost in the memory of us as we were that night–frightened little girls clinging to one another, searching for something we couldn’t understand, longing for a closeness we’d never known. Was tonight that different?
“Oh well,” she said. “It was about a million years ago.”
Her nervous laughter filled my ears, but I didn’t look at her. My heart was in my gut, and I wondered if I could work up the nerve to tell her the truth. Could I confess? Could I actually say out loud that I still dreamed of her lips, that I’d give back all the years in between just to have a second chance at the morning after? Would it even matter if I said I was sorry for running away? Would Karen understand?
“Angie, are you okay?” she asked.
I made myself look at her. The winter day was waning, and I could barely make out her features in the firelight. “Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just a little freaky talking about it after all this time, you know?”
“Yeah.” Her eyes were unreadable. “I shouldn’t have brought it up.”
“No, it’s okay. Honestly, I’ve thought about it some. I guess I owe you an apology for pretty much ignoring you for the rest of the school year.” I grabbed the rum and took a healthy swig. It hit my stomach hard and made my head ache for a couple of seconds.
Karen took the bottle from my hand and indulged in another drink. “I was really scared at the time. I worried for weeks that I was a lesbian or something. But now I know it was just one of those girl things.”
“I guess so.” I rubbed my palms together to get rid of the gathering dampness.
“It was, right?” Karen bit her lip. “It was just one of those girl things, right?”
“Maybe.” I drew a breath and summoned my nerve. “There is something you should know.”
She nodded, never looking away from me.
“Kar, it’s like this.” Another deep breath and my head cleared a little. “I know it was years ago, and we didn’t do anything but kiss, but that night it was like something inside me woke up. I fought it for a long time, but that’s when I realized that I am a lesbian.”
Karen didn’t say anything for a long time. When she spoke, her voice was only a whisper. “So, you’ve been with women since then?”
A genuine look of hurt crossed her lovely face. “You know, it’s funny, but I always hoped it was just me, that I was that someone special you’d remember for the rest of your life.”
“You are someone special.” I wanted to reach for her, but didn’t. “I freaked out after that night. You were all I could think about, and I knew you’d never be with me. It just hurt to be around you, so I ran away.”
“I wish you’d told me how you felt.” Karen tossed another small log onto the fire. Sparks scurried up the chimney.
“I should have, but I couldn’t stand the idea of you hating me. It seemed easier to just go away.” I felt like an idiot. Who was I trying to kid, thinking I could breeze into town after fifteen years and tell a straight woman that she was the love of my life? Had I really expected this to go well?
Karen sat quiet for another minute. Not looking at me, she asked, “So what’s with you now? Do you have a . . . what’s the word?”
“Girlfriend? Lover? Partner?” I looked hard at her. “No. I don’t.”
Still, she stared at the fire. “Why not?”
“Come on, why don’t you have a girlfriend?”
“I don’t know. I’ve been with a few women, but it never fit.” I snatched the fireplace poker from the stand and stabbed at the blazing logs. “I guess that’s why I’m here. I’m tired and just want to come home.”
Karen took my arm and pulled me close. “You are home,” she whispered into my ear.
I dropped the poker and wrapped my arms around her. When our bodies touched, I felt eighteen again. Again I was lost in this woman. Just like before, something inside me woke up and demanded I act. But, just like before, I was terrified of rejection. I buried my face in the nape of her neck and held on tight.
After a few minutes, Karen released her grip on my waist and pulled back an inch. Our faces were millimeters apart. She stared at my eyes.
“I almost cried when you called me last week,” she said softly. “I couldn’t believe that I was really going to see you again.”
Something twitched in my stomach, but it wasn’t the rum. It was Karen, reaching in and touching a part of my soul like only she could. It was as if no time had passed, as if I’d never touched another woman. Nothing existed but Karen and me.
“Why can’t I forget you?” she whispered. Her breath was warm against my mouth.
“You don’t have to,” I replied.
I hesitated, then touched my lips to hers. She let out a long sigh and traced her hands along my shoulders and up to my face. Karen pulled me close again, this time smothering my mouth with hers. This lady wasn’t a kid anymore. She knew exactly what she was doing when she parted my lips with her tongue. I couldn’t stifle the moan that rumbled out of my throat as I clambered to pull her hips toward mine. I had to feel the parts of her that I’d missed the first time.
We fell back on the blankets, my thigh between her legs, her thigh between mine. She kissed me deeper and ground her body against me.
“We won’t stop this time, will we? Tell me we won’t stop,” she whispered.
“We only stop when you say so.” My own breath rushed back into my face. I shuddered when her hand slid inside my sweater and up my back.
As she struggled with my bra fastener, she giggled. “I’ve never done this before. You’ll have to help me.”
I reached behind my back and unhooked my bra, then slipped my hands under her blouse and unhooked hers. We pried our bodies apart only long enough to strip off our tops before falling back into our embrace, skin against skin, breast against breast. Karen gently squeezed my nipples, sending a shockwave to my groin. I gyrated against her.
She guided my hand between her thighs. “I want you to touch me.”
Through her heavy jeans, I could tell she was serious. I unbuttoned the fly and eased her pants down over her hips. Kissing her neck, I tangled my fingers through the trimmed hair of her groin. She was finally mine, and I wasn’t going to miss a minute of her.
I eased my lips down her chest. As my tongue found her nipple, I finally stroked her wet flesh. She arched against me and wrapped one leg around my hips.
When I felt her struggling with the button of my slacks, I was more than ready for her. She tugged my pants down to my knees and thrust her hand between my legs. Hovering just above my aching sex, she paused, torturing me with pleasure. All the while, I caressed her wet warmth and teased her nipples with my tongue.
Finally, her fingers found my swelled center. I gasped, and closed my thighs around her. I knew I wouldn’t last long, but I tried to control the bucking of my hips against her hand. I’d waited fifteen long years for this, and I wouldn’t let it end in five minutes.
Her lips found my ear. “Is this right?” she whispered, still stroking me with a steady rhythm.
“Perfect.” My voice came out as a croak.
Certain that I couldn’t take much more, I pulled her hand away from my crotch. “Not so fast,” I whispered. “I want to taste you.”
She wrapped her arms around my shoulders and kissed me deeply before guiding me down her body. I traced my tongue between her breasts, along the center of her stomach, and to the edge of her pubic hair. There, I paused and nibbled her skin. Her fingers tangled through my hair. Her hips lurched toward me.
Another few inches, and I was truly home. I drew her into my mouth, savoring her scent, her taste–feasting upon the woman she’d become. I explored her slowly, finding the spaces that sent her writhing against my touch. As her body demanded satisfaction, I followed her motion, moving faster as she did, pressing harder as she did. All too soon, she arched against me, lost her breath, and finally drew away.
“Good God!” she moaned. “Where’d you learn to do that?” She pulled me close and smiled. “I take that back. I don’t want to know.”
I looked into her eyes. “It’s all about you, Karen. It always has been.”
“Now it’s all about you,” she whispered as she slipped her hand between my legs. “Show me what to do.”
By that time, I was so excited that all she had to do was be in the room. But she found her way as if she’d touched me a thousand times. She knew exactly where to go and how long to stay there. I’d never given myself completely to any woman, but Karen made it easy. I allowed her to control my body, to please me at her will. She stared into my eyes as she entered me. The intensity of her gaze and the tenderness of her touch sent me spiraling to the point of no return. I came to her in an exquisite release of lust and compassion.
Spent but satisfied, we huddled together in the dwindling firelight.
My lover looked into my eyes and whispered, “What now? Am I going to have to wait a decade to see you again?”
I stroked her cheek with my still-moist fingertips. “Karen, I didn’t come here to seduce you. I swear I never expected things to go this far.”
“This wasn’t exactly on my agenda for today either.” Karen sat up and pulled one of the blankets over our naked bodies. She settled back down beside me and draped her arm across my waist. “I’d planned on having my nails done this afternoon.”
“I hope you’re not disappointed.”
“Never.” She propped up on her elbow and looked down at me. “I didn’t come here today to seduce you, either, but I was hoping for a chance to talk. I wanted clear the air and tell you that I’ve been in love with you since high school. I didn’t care what you might think of me. I just had to tell you the truth.”
I slapped my hand to my forehead. “Oh my!”
“I’m sorry if this is too much too fast, but I wasted a lot of time with the wrong person. Bobby wasn’t the one for me. You are. I want you to stay here with me, but if this was just a one-time thing and you want to catch the next flight back to St. John, so be it. Either way, I wouldn’t trade this day for anything.”
“Call the Blaylocks tomorrow. I want to make them an offer they can’t refuse.” I pulled Karen into my arms and covered her with flittering kisses. “We’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”
The End (I think)
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