Chapter 15: Lunch, Dinner, and Dessert

For Invid Fan, my patient friend and mentor whose wisdom and gentle cheerleading and firm criticism is deeply appreciated.
You look at me so funny
Love bite got you acting oh so strange
You got too many bees in your honey
“Unskinny Bop” Bret Michaels (“Poison”)

A warm and pleasant jolt burst inside Karen at the sight of Gail. Her friend’s face lit up with genuine delight when she saw Karen. Gail stood up, her arms open, and a strange thrill zinged inside Karen.

“Hey girl,” Gail said, and when they embraced it was a full on hug.

“Hey yourself,” Karen said, squeezing Gail in return. “Finally, I get to see you as my Gail, not the lawyer.”

Gail released Karen and smiled. “Oh yeah, it’s been a long time, sunshine.”

Karen shrugged off her coat and draped it over the chair next to her before stamping snow off her booted feet and sitting down. She briefly looked the place over. It was decorated to look like a cross between a Parisian cafe and a deli. The air was redolent of garlic and coffee, a strange but not unpleasant mix.

Situated, Karen turned her attention back to Gail. It always struck her that her friend and former lover bore a striking resemblance to the singer Shania Twain. “So,” she said. “I’ve been dying to hear about how it went in court Friday.” A young waitress appeared and gave Karen a menu, and took her order for a large coffee with cream only.

Gail sipped her own coffee, her eyes bright and dancing. “Oh my god, Karen, you would have shit your pants! That woman is a hideous hag, just repulsive,” Gail said with exaggerated disgust. “I have no idea how a woman so disgusting could produce Laci. It just does not compute. Emaciated, pale skin, no teeth, stringy hair, and that’s after being sober for a while, eating three squares a day, and getting showers. I can’t imagine how she looked that night.”

“Luckily, I don’t have a clear memory, I was a little too keyed up to notice details like that, just her eyes, like two burnt holes in a blanket.”

“Trust me sunshine, the thought of being between those legs makes me want to puke. And Laci! My god, one of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen, her father must be an Adonis, or she’s one of Darwin’s genetic mutations.”

“The hearing, babe, how did the hearing go?”

Gail almost choked on her coffee before she burst out laughing. “Oh my god! The judge was Mary Beth Kennedy, I’ve had a couple romps with her over the last few years — yes, Her Honor is a discreet connoisseur of lovely women.”

Gail paused when the waitress came with Karen’s coffee and her order pad. Gail ordered a small taco salad, and Karen a grilled cheese with bacon.

“OK,” Karen said when the waitress left, “So you fucked the judge, any woman so inclined would be stupid to pass up that opportunity with you, and judges aren’t stupid. What happened?”

“Mary Beth can be a hard-ass bitch, she does not tolerate bullshit. Being a fuck buddy of hers does not grant special privileges. So Sandra’s case was called, and she’s up there in shackles, and I stepped up to the bar next to the ADA, and Mary Beth noticed me. So she says, ‘Ms Wright, what’s your interest here,’ and I said, ‘I’m representing the interests of the defendant’s daughter, Laci Harper.’ And as soon as I said that, Sandra’s head snaps up, her eyes on fire, and she yells – yells! – ‘My daughter? Is that fucking bitch’ – only she used the C word, not bitch— ‘is that fucking bitch here? It’s all her damned fault!’

“Oh my god, I deal with some scummy people at times, but I have never seen anyone do that in court.” Gail’s face was alight at the memory of the episode. “Mary Beth bellows, ‘What did you say? Contempt, thirty days, bailiff, remove this prisoner from my courtroom!’ And the bailiff and the CO, a big, bruising butch, they had her in cuffs and out the door in thirty seconds flat! Oh Karen, it was priceless!”

Karen chuckled at the image, but underneath there was a little worm of anxiety. “What about bail? How did that go?”

“The ADA tried for fifty grand, the defense ten grand, so Mary Beth split the difference and stayed with twenty-five grand. Plus no contact with Laci stipulations.”

The waitress delivered their lunches. Karen separated her sandwich into halves, strings of melted cheese keeping them connected. “Yeah well, that’s pointless,” she said, her disappointment evident. “It’s not worth the paper it’s written on.” She took a bite of her sandwich.

Gail poked at her salad. “Yeah, I know, but don’t worry babe. She’s not gonna make a twenty-five thousand dollar bail. No bail bondsman in the country would touch that with a ten foot pole, and if it looks like she might, I’ll file a motion to have the bail condition stipulate it come directly from Sandra, no third party allowed. And even if she did bail, you’d be informed.”

“Gail,” Karen said solemnly, “If that woman gets out and comes anywhere near Laci, I will kill her, I shit you not, I will kill her. I’ll buy a handgun and put a bullet between her eyes if she so much as shows her face anywhere near Laci. I will not! Let. That. Girl. Be. Harmed,” Karen growled, each word a complete sentence, a Mama Bear inspecting her claws. “I don’t care what I have to do.”

“I know, babe, I do. But it’s not gonna happen, she isn’t getting out on bail no matter how you slice it. She has a public defender for a lawyer, and they don’t like to do trials because they can’t win them, and they don’t get paid enough to waste their time with pointless trials. I know her lawyer, Denise Ashton, she’s sweet – has a crush on me,” and Gail grinned devilishly. “But she’s also very smart, and she’s going to get the best deal she can.”

“And what might that be, Oh Wise One with the ego as big as the moon? Crush on you my ass.”

“Hey,” Gail said, putting up her hands, “I admit it, what can I say.”

“None of them would know what to do with you if they got the chance, you’d leave them in ruins.”

A romp with Gail was an amazing thing. It was usually raw, growling, rutting sex. Gail was very aggressive in bed, and she liked to talk, and not sweet girl talk, either. Most of the time Gail fucked, pure and simple. It was like a wrestling match, and nothing was off limits, though she didn’t believe in toys. Who needs fuck toys, she’d growl. I’m not good enough that you need a fucking piece of rubber? I’ll fuck your ass and your pussy at the same time with my goddamned fingers, and lick and suck your clit while I’m at it, and if you need a cock, tough shit, go find a man.

“Alright,” Karen continued. “Back to Sandra and what she’s looking at.”

Gail munched her salad, looking pensively at the plate. “OK, realistic, no extremes either side — right now, this is being handled state level by the Attorney General’s office, rather than by the DA on county level. At first, it makes you think they’re playing hardball, but it’s the boyfriend they want. My guess is they’ve had their eye on him for a long time. Sandra is just collateral damage, caught up with the wrong guy and the wrong time – apropos of nothing, but who’d fuck a woman like that? I know a woody is just looking for a wet hole, bag the face, but come on, bring a little dignity to the show.”

Karen looked at Gail with a wry smile playing around her eyes. “You amaze me with your genteel, lady-like way of putting things.”

“Hey, I call ‘em as I see ‘em, and that is seriously gross. Anyway, she’s small potatoes. My guess is the AG will offer her a plea of a lesser felony with some prison time, if she cooperates and helps bag the boyfriend. If she flat out refuses – a distinct possibility given how dangerous he is. Hanging his ass out to dry might be the more dangerous option. She isn’t the sharpest crayon in the box, but she is street smart, and she’s not going to jump from the frying pan to the fire. The state can’t kill her, boyfriend can. If she refuses a plea, I’d guess the state would punt her back to the DA while they concentrate on building a case against the boyfriend. The DA would probably be less inclined to be generous. My guess, when it’s all said and done, if she agrees to drug and alcohol rehab and cops a plea, five years with two suspended, long term probation, which means two years in real time.”

Karen closed her eyes and rubbed her temples. The math was clear. “Shit, that would put Laci at sixteen.” When Karen looked up, there was a hard glint in her eyes. “Gail, if that woman walks at any time before I can get Laci and me out of town for good… ” Karen left it at that.

“OK Bette Davis, relax. It isn’t coming to that.”

“Yeah, well if it does, I’ll be ready.”

“From the lasers shooting from your eyes, I’d say I don’t doubt it.”

Karen smiled ruefully. Did it really show? If anyone could read her like a book, it was Gail. “OK Cap’n, my feet are back on the ground.”

“Good. I’ve been talking with our criminal guy, he’s handled a lot of drug cases, and I may have you sit down with him at some point. Before the week is out, you’re going to be contacted by someone from the state — DEA agent, state police, assistant AG, someone. They’re going to want to talk to you — and Laci. Especially Laci. That’s fine, they’re the good guys, we all want the same thing, but when it comes to drug cases these people tend to get tunnel vision. They’re not past some less than honorable tricks to get what they want. I wouldn’t put it past them to show up at the house while you’re at work, and try to get Laci to talk to them while she’s by herself, like the cops did when they corralled her at school.”

Gail took a bite of salad then continued, “They won’t have to read her her rights because she’s not a suspect, she’s a victim, a witness. They’d be hoping she’d say things she wouldn’t if you or I were there. The problem here is whatever she says becomes evidence, and if it comes to a trial, she may have to testify about the casual remarks she made because she was intimidated and alone. It’s sneaky and underhanded, but effective and perfectly legal. She must – must – understand that if the cops come a-knocking when she’s alone, she is not to say anything – anything – to them except, ‘Excuse me while I call my foster mother.’ She’s a tough girl from a tough world, so she might be somewhat immune to prosecutorial intimidation, but you have to pound it into her.”

Karen savored a sip of her coffee. “What if I bring her with me to work for the time being?”

“That might not be a bad idea, or something to get her out of the house so she’s not home alone.”

“Would they really do something like that?”

“Absolutely. They dragged her fanny out of class to interview her without you there. They’d show up, knock on the door, flash badges, and say they want to speak with her about that night and other things she might have seen. Even if she was able to say, ‘No, not without Karen or Gail here,’ and stood her ground, they’d say, ‘Fine, we’ll even call Karen for you, do you mind if we come inside and wait?’ She’d think, "Harmless enough." and let them in. She’s not a suspect so there would be no need to Mirandize her. Then, while everyone was waiting for you to come home, they’d try engaging her in non-threatening, but very leading conversation, never telling her that everything she said was potentially evidentiary.

“In the long run, we all want the same thing, we want that ugly bitch and her cocksucker boyfriend in jail, and anything that helps is great, but we need it done on our terms. I don’t have to tell you how important that is.”

“No dear, you do not. You know, sometimes in the dead of night, I ask myself how the hell I got myself into this mess, but then, I turn and look at her, and…” Karen trailed off and simply shrugged.

“I’m not one to believe in God or Fate or whatever you want to call it, but if anything was going to make me a believer, it would be that – kid, that little gem. It’s like she was the kid in the manure pile, you know, the one who was digging in the pile of manure because with so much horse shit, she figured there had to be a pony in there somewhere.”

Karen laughed. “You certainly have a way with images, m’love. But I get your point. I have her, and I have to make sure she comes out of this in one piece — and better than when I found her by an order of magnitude.”

“You got it. So we need to do whatever we can to get through the frigging mine field we’re in.”

It wasn’t lost on Karen how Gail used the collective pronoun “we” in talking about the situation. Any lingering doubts about Gail’s involvement were disappearing fast.

“So,” Gail continued after a sip of coffee, “everything else notwithstanding, we have a girl who is clearly gifted, and we can’t ever lose sight of that.”

“Which leads up very nicely to my visit with her art teacher, Jay Belden, earlier this morning.”

“Art teachers in the morning,” Gail said with a grin, “attorney and old flame over lunch, bunch of city and business Pooh-Bah types in the afternoon, you’re all over the place with important meetings. How’d that go?”

“Good, really good. He’s not at all what I expected. He’s obviously gay, very good looking, and he clearly knows all about showers and dressing sharp. No bohemian starving artist. He’s also almost as smitten with Laci as she is with him. I tried to get him to explain what it is that makes everybody stop dead in their tracks when they see a drawing she’s done. I mean sure, they’re really awesome, especially for a girl who’s had no training at all, and comes from a living cesspool, but I’m sure there are plenty of kids who can draw really good pictures. All he could say was, sure she draws pretty pictures, but they also captured ‘the essence, the heart’ – his words, not mine – of the subject. Subtle but very apparent to people trained to notice such things.

“And she does it unconsciously. He brought in three roses in a vase to use as props in a class on still life art. He said she drew those roses while carrying on a conversation with classmates about things that had nothing to do with art class as she was sketching, and when it was done, her roses looked as if they were living, breathing souls. Christ, I can’t even begin to fathom how you see something like that in a drawing of three roses and a vase, but he saw it.

“He asked me what was the difference between a Stradivarius violin, and the one the first violin for the BSO used. I told him damned if I know, and he said he didn’t know either. However, real musicians, people born with brains wired for music, have no trouble telling the difference. That’s how it is with Laci’s artistic ability.”

“That’s an interesting way of looking at it.”

“That’s what I said. So, basically we have girl who has an artistic talent that goes way beyond being able to draw pretty pictures, you just have to be artistically wired to really pick up on it. He told me he’s believed she’s special right from day one, but he thought maybe he was making more of her in his mind because most of the time his job felt so meaningless, and he needed something to keep his enthusiasm up. Meg’s take validated his thinking.”

“Wow!” Gail listened raptly, her chin propped in the heel of her hand. “So, our little refugee from the sewers of this godforsaken mill town is maybe a Renoir waiting to be rescued.”

“Yeah,” Karen said, nodding solemnly. “So it seems. As if this relationship needs to be more complicated.”

“Who knows. Maybe there’s something to this Fate shit after all. So, on a practical level, what does all of this mean?”

“Well, the consensus is, first and foremost, she needs private lessons – and not just any lessons, but with someone who can really get the most from her. Belden’s partner – soon to be husband, apparently – is the head of the art department at Bentley.”

“Wow, really? It isn’t Ivy League, but even tucked away in this shitty little city, it’s a helluva school, it’s actually turned out Nobel prize winners, so that’s a pretty good thing to have on your CV.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Anyway, Belden is going to ask his hubby for the names of good art teachers in the area, and we’ll see if we can find one for her. Next, he said I should let her decide for herself what medium she’s most drawn to: painting, photography, sculpting – somehow I can’t see Laci chiseling away at rocks, but hey,” Karen said with a shrug. “Whatever. Right now, she seems most set on painting, so he’s going to draw me up a list of basic stuff she’ll need, you know, brushes, easels, canvas, paints, whatever, it might as well be the stuff every carpenter needs to build a house for all I know.”

“Gotta start somewhere, babe.”

Karen stared into her coffee cup. Without much warning, the feelings which flowed just beneath the surface like an undertow at the seashore, bubbled up and left Karen inwardly trembling. She suddenly felt very alone, naked, and incredibly vulnerable, so much so that she felt the hot surge of tears begin to swell inside. She swallowed hard to keep them at bay. A single crack in the stout facade was all it took. Try as she might to hide it, she clearly failed on that count, because when she looked up, Gail’s smile morphed into a frown of concern, and she said, “Hey, you OK sweetie?”

Karen took a deep breath. “Shit. I thought I could hide it.”

“What? Hide what?”

“Oh Christ, Gail. Now I know how it must feel to win the half a billion dollar Powerball lottery, and go overnight from one step ahead of the debt collectors to being rich enough to buy a third world country. All of sudden, everything, every frame of reference I had to make sense of life, to let me function as a reasonably normal person, is gone. Minefield? Yeah, I’ll say. Dropped in the middle of a minefield with a bag holding the Crown Jewels, and I have to get them to the other side without blowing everything to Kingdom Come. Every time I turn around, there’s someone throwing lighted torches and running chainsaws at me, and I have to juggle them all, and still get the fucking Crown Jewels out, and who the frig knows how many more chainsaws are going to be thrown at me while I’m doing it. I got myself in deep, all because I fell ass over tea kettle in love with a teenage girl. Am I going to be able to do it? If I fuck up, it isn’t just me who’s going down. Do I have it in me to get that girl to the other side, in better shape than I found her, without killing myself in the process? Aw, shit, I have to get hold of myself, this is not a path I can afford to wander down today.”

Gail reached over and took Karen’s trembling hand in both of hers. She lifted Karen’s hand and, her eyes sparkling, she kissed it. “I can’t make it all better love, but I can offer you one thing, for what it’s worth.”

Karen picked up a napkin with her free hand and dabbed at her eyes. So far, the crack in the facade was just that – a crack. The wall hadn’t been breached yet. She struggled to compose herself. “And just what might that be, Oh Wise One,” she said weakly, trying a little wry humor in the process.

“Me. You won’t be totally alone. I’ll be there with you. If you go down, I go with you.”

Both hands freed, Karen wiped her face. She looked at Gail through the filmy haze of the tears still trying to well out of her eyes. Gail’s smile was almost serene, and it said she was sincere. “That’s a biggie,” Karen said before blowing her nose. “More than you know. But why? Why put your life on the line?”

“Oh you silly goose! Isn’t it obvious? Because I love you. I have my middle of the night ruminations too, you know. I keep trying to tell myself you were just a damned good fuck, but it always comes back as, ‘Sorry, wrong answer.’ I did pretty good until you staggered back into the picture. I’m not going into all the metaphysical details of those midnight ruminations, just know they always come back to the undeniable fact that I love you, and – do you remember that stupid Hippie era peace-love-drugs bit of wisdom? If you love something, let it go. If it comes back, it’s yours, if it doesn’t it never was yours. I’ve loved you and let you go, and you half-assed came back, so I guess that’s something. I can still love you, and if you love someone, well it isn’t love if you aren’t willing to back it up with everything you have. I will do whatever I need to do to get us through this. And get your filthy mind out of the gutter, I won’t be asking to rock n roll with the two of you. I do have some class, y’know.”

Karen couldn’t help laughing. “I don’t know how you do it, but goddamned girl, you know how to keep me from going over the deep end.”

“Your problem is, you feel like you can’t let yourself show even a hint of vulnerability for fear people – even the people you love – will think you aren’t strong enough to deal with things. But you can’t hide it from me girlie, I know you too well.”

“You do Gail, you do, and I forget that at my own risk.”

“So, let’s get you put back together so you can go to that meeting and make some money.”

“Is my mascara running?”

“Nope, you’re as beautiful as ever.”

Laci scanned the pantry shelves looking for something for lunch. The thought occurred to her that it might be nice if she made dinner for them tonight so Karen didn’t have to cook after working all day.

There must be something I can make for us that isn’t too hard, I’ve been watching her cook and paying attention, but what? I could maybe make it all romantic, with candles in the dining room, and wearing something I know she’d think was sexy, she works so hard while I just hang out being lazy, and maybe we could love after supper, that would be awesome, cause I’m already feeling super sexy. But what can I make? 

Thoughts of lunch vanished, replaced by her fresh vision of a romantic dinner. Karen had already taken out a pound of hamburger, saying she’d figure out what to do with it by the time she got home. What could she do with hamburger? Laci wondered.

Laci’s notions of romantic dinners were hazy at best, framed mostly by movies she’s seen along the way. It didn’t seem likely that hamburger was a component of many fancy romantic dinners. They more likely involved ritzy foods not unlike the stuff they had for dinner over the weekend, but she had to work with what she had on hand, and it needed to be relatively simple.

Laci started her search by looking in the freezer, and almost immediately, she spied something that got her attention: a bag of frozen cheese raviolis. She took the bag out and inspected it, wondering if she might be able to work with it. The directions on how to prepare them were simple, not much more than adding them to boiling water, and cooking them for five minutes. The picture on the front of the bag – “Serving Suggestion” – showed a plate of steaming raviolis covered with a swath of some sort of tomato sauce.

That’s an idea, she thought. Karen has, like, a gazillion jars of homemade spaghetti sauce in the pantry – she calls it marinara, but same difference, we’ve had it a couple of times and she says it’s good on any pasta, not just spaghetti, so why not on these cheese raviolis? The only raviolis I ever had is the kind in a can, but those are nasty, it’s probably a lot better this way. So yeah, why not? Maybe cook the hamburger and mix it into a jar of the sauce? I can do it.

Images and thoughts of how she might carry out her idea began to unfold in her head. It particularly pleased her to imagine how Karen would respond to her efforts. Surely she would be delighted to find dinner, a candlelit dinner prepared by Laci at that, waiting for her when she got home.

She would embrace Laci and the delight in her voice would be unmistakable, and her praise would be genuine. Perhaps Laci would be modest and say something like, I did the best I could, I just don’t think it’s fair you should work all day and have to cook when you come home. Of course, a candlelit dinner being by nature romantic, Laci would have to dress up in something especially nice, something Karen would find sexy. Karen’s embrace and her happiness would leave Laci warm and excited and wet. Just thinking about it was making her muffin thump deliciously and grow juicy.

Before they came back home from Boston, they stopped at a shop in the train terminal which sold such things as coffee, cheese, pastries, and assorted breads. Karen bought several different kinds of coffee, assorted cheeses – most of which Laci never heard of – and a couple of different loaves of bread, one of which Karen said was a crusty Italian bread (the other was something she called a boule, which Karen wrapped up and put in the freezer). Karen said they’d find a way to use the Italian bread this week. Why not now? Laci reasoned.

Ohmygod! I can do this! Laci thought. I can do this, I can make a fancy romantic dinner for Karen and me, I can surprise her and show her I’m not some little kid, and she’ll be so surprised, I can start showing her how much I love her, how I can do things for us. This is such an awesome idea, and I thought of it on my own!

Laci glided into living room, hardly aware of her surroundings. She instinctively understood that the term, the concept “romantic dinner” was really just a euphemism. You didn’t do romantic, candlelit dinners as a prelude to an evening of sitting on the sofa watching movies. They were meant to be a way of signaling your interest in sex, and there was no escaping the fact right then, her sleek young body hummed with lust.

The heat kindling in her tummy was going to be a bonfire before long. She laughed when an adult and very crude thought popped into her head: sometimes you just wanna fuck!

She chided herself for getting too worked up just yet. It was another six hours before Karen would be home, and it would take no more than a couple of hours to get everything ready. It didn’t matter though. Once the fire caught, it couldn’t be snuffed out. It could only grow. Convenient or not, her insides hummed like a smartly struck low pitch tuning fork, and her muffin grew swollen and wet. Boys get hard, girls get wet, I’m a girl and I’m seriously wet.

Her leggings were suddenly maddeningly tight and chafing. Raw, vivid sexual images pranced in her mind. Oh shit, I gotta calm down or I’m going to go freakin’ crazy, but that’s what thinking of Karen does to me.

Karen. Right from the day Laci met her, Karen provoked strange and wonderful feelings, feelings that came from some secret place deep in her body. About a year after that first meeting, Laci discovered masturbation, which brought her infatuation to a whole new level.

What am I gonna do before she gets home, I’m already all hot and sexy. Maybe I’ll go upstairs and listen to some love music and draw, yeah, that’s a good idea.

Laci went to the room that would soon be her studio to gather up her sketchbook and box of colored drawing pencils. Before long she hoped there would be an easel, canvases, palettes, tubes of paint, brushes, knives in the room. She’d have the easel over by the fireplace in the winter, maybe by the windows in the summer.

Suddenly the very idea made her smile both inside and out. My Studio, she thought. Yeah, a studio, just like a real artist, my own place to draw and think and dream, and pretty soon, paint, and who knows what else. She stopped and looked around, and an odd but an exhilarating idea came to her.

This is my home, this is where I live now, not some shitty, disgusting, filthy apartment with roaches and dirty dishes and junkies and bums all around. I live here with Karen, it’s our home, we sleep in the same bed and snuggle together and keep each other warm and make love and bring each other to places that are like heaven, and we love each other, I love her, she loves me, and this is our home! 

Laci bent her head back, flung her arms out, and pirouetted with singular elation. It’s all true, it’s not a fairy tale, it’s real, Karen could love almost anyone in the world, but it’s me she loves, and she is the most beautiful and sexy woman ever, and I would do anything for her, and we are going to be so happy together!

Exhilarated, she gathered her drawing supplies and ran up the stairs and into the bedroom. She tossed everything on the vast king-sized bed, and flopped down face first, her arms out as if she was flying. She laid like that, sprawled out on her tummy, for perhaps a minute. Even though the bed was made, and it had been a few days since they’d made love in it, her nose found and homed in on the faint but unmistakable fragrance of their love nectars. It wafted like a faint puff of smoke up her nose, and thence to her brain where it was mixed into the pot of the amorous stew already simmering inside her.

Laci closed her eyes, hoping she could come up with an idea of what to draw. It pretty much had to be something sexy – sensual, she reminded herself, Karen said ‘sensual’ is a better word than ‘sexy’ – and the thought made her smile.

Without consciously thinking about it, she let the sound of the music flowing from the array of hidden speakers slide in and join the stewpot. She barely realized she was actually listening to the music, letting it pick her up and carry her, as opposed to simply hearing. She didn’t recognize the piece, but it had an odd familiarity. It’s that Mozart guy, it has to be, it’s such a happy song, I can hear the piano, and the violins, and I’m starting to get how each one sounds now, and I can hardly believe that Beethoven guy wrote that music at the symphony the other night when he was mostly deaf. That is just un-fricken-real, but I guess I can kinda get it, he must see and hear it in his head, like I did, that was so weird. But this has to be that Mozart, Karen says he’s the warm and fuzzy one, and Beethoven is like volcanoes and thunderstorms. This is so gentle, and…

As she unconsciously knew it would, an image – the only correct one, at that – came to her almost fully formed. Karen from the neck up, her eyes closed, one of her innumerable enigmatic smiles on her face, but this smile was special. The whole look was special, the look Karen had just as she was on the very cusp of an intense orgasm. Her hair would be all mussed up, and her cheeks would be flushed, her lips parted ever so slightly. Her body would be tense, an arm flung over her head…

Laci pulled herself from her creative reverie so she could turn the inner image into a drawing. She situated herself on the bed with her pencils and erasers carefully laid out, and the sketch book opened to a clean white sheet.

It didn’t take much conscious effort  to sketch out the main details using an ordinary number 2 pencil, which was much more forgiving than a real graphite pencil. She intuitively understood  conjuring up an image and holding it was one of the things, like a vivid imagination, that went with creating visual art.

She had the basic details sketched in when her phone trilled. Laci glanced at the screen. Karen! A sharp jolt hit her like an electric shock. She quickly answered with an excited, “Hi!”

“Hi to you. Whatcha doing to occupy yourself all alone in that big house? Behaving?”

“Not much of anything, doing some drawing and stuff. Hey, what do you mean, behaving myself?”

Karen’s laugh was soft and teasing. “No wild orgies with strange woman you invited in after they got stranded in the storm?”

Laci giggled. At least she was getting the jokes now. “Nooo, ‘course not. But I wouldn’t tell you if I was, not til you got home and could join the party. Seriously, I am feeling that way.”

“What way?”

Laci seamlessly switched to speakerphone so she could talk and draw a the same time. “You know,” she said, blushing. “Sexy and stuff. We didn’t get to love each other last night, we were too tired when we got home.”

Karen’s chuckle was filled with delight. “It’s good to know I’m not the only one feeling hot and bothered. Careful what you wish for baby girl.”

Laci, her knees bent and her lower legs scissoring back and forth like a clever lawn ornament in a fresh wind, returned to sketching the image of Karen, her hand working almost unconsciously. “What time are you coming home? I have a surprise for you, and I need to know exactly when you’re coming home, or it’ll ruin the surprise.”

“Oh?” Karen said, her curiosity piqued. “A surprise, huh? What kind of surprise?”

“If I told you that, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise would it? Seriously Karen, I have a surprise for you, and I need to know when you’ll be home. Seriously, I’ll be really upset if the surprise is ruined.”

Karen laughed. “OK baby, I won’t pick and prod. I can wait. It’ll be fun to be surprised…I hope.”

Laci smiled. The sketch was quickly taking on a life. “If you behave and come home when you’re supposed to, it’ll be a very nice surprise. The time doesn’t really matter, so long’s I know when.”

“Well let’s see. I have a big meeting downtown in about half an hour. That should be done by four, then I have to go to the office for a while. I’ll head out at five thirty or so.”

“Can you call me when you leave your office?”

“I guess I can do that. Now you’ve really got my curiosity piqued, you realize that, don’t you?”

Laci giggled. “’Course I do.”


“You love it.”

Karen chuckled, then sighed. “Of course I do. I love everything about you. OK baby girl, we’ll leave it at that. I have to get my fanny in gear.”

“Hey! Did you talk to Mr. B?”

“I did, and it was a very interesting and productive meeting. We’ll talk when I get home.”

“He’s pretty awesomely cool, isn’t he?”

Karen laughed. “I sure came away liking him.”

“Did he talk about…”

Karen gently cut her off. “I’ll tell you all about it at dinner sweetie.”

Laci sighed. “That can’t come soon enough. So, you promise to call me?”

“Cross my heart, hope to die. Now I need to see what this surprise is, so I won’t do anything to ruin it. I have to get going, kitten.”

“I know,” Laci said with a touch of pout in her voice. “I love you, Karen. I love you so much.”

“I love you too, my little princess, with every ounce of my heart. Bye.”

Laci turned her attention back to the sketch while she mentally plotted out how she should spend the rest of the afternoon.

I probably ought to go online and see if I can find something about how you set up super fancy dinners – no, it isn’t about if I can copy some rules, no I can figure that out on my own, that’s not what it’s about, but I ought to find out where the fancy plates and stuff are kept, make sure I have everything. Then, maybe I’ll take a hot bath, soak and figure out what I’m going to wear and stuff, and somewhere in there maybe I can call Emily and see if we can hook up one day this week and hang out. But jeez, I feel so sexy, if Karen was here she’d know what to do, maybe she squeeze and rub me, and that would make me soooocrazy.

Laci unconsciously pressed her tender mound against the mattress. The sensation was warm and full, and it spread through her pelvis and into her thighs and tummy. Her image of Karen’s face in an almost trance-like repose at climax had a strong erotic effect on Laci, and she had to catch herself before she went too far.

Laci, though she scowled and scrunched her eyes as she came to the delicate cross-hatching she needed, didn’t look as though she was even paying attention to her work. It was as if her mind was elsewhere – which it in fact was. She was thinking about her plan, whether she should call Emily now or later, and wondering how she was going to dress.

Art class this year dwelled mostly on using basic drawing materials – chalk, graphite, colored pencils, charcoal – to do basic sketching, simple stuff requiring relatively inexpensive materials, yet meaningful enough to hold the interest of most of the students. Mr. Belden had talked about the various types of art there were, and the one called plein-air, the kind the Impressionists and Winslow Homer used, where painting was done outside, intrigued Laci. Mr. B said it required a strong grasp of fundamentals and required a lot of discipline. Still, it was something she thought she’d like to try somewhere down the road.

In the time B.K. – Before Karen – after school she’d go to the library with a sketchbook and pencils Mr. Belden let her take. She would read books and visit websites on the various non-painting drawing techniques, and it seemed she grasped them with ease. She started doing realistic images in her sketch pad, but she found it a bit tedious and unrewarding to simply draw an exact copy of something you saw. Even before the blizzard, she had unconsciously started doing subtle alterations in the images she was drawing so they seemed to take on a new dimension, a life, with emotions, feelings.

Mr. Belden told her some of her drawings were amazing. He said, “Laci, I just hope you fall in love with art, because you have amazing talent.” It spurred her on. Nearly every day when she was at the library after school, she’d do her regular homework, then spend an hour or even two drawing, practicing, learning. Then came the blizzard and everything after it, and her art took a back seat for a time.

Now things had changed, oh yes they had! And she had Karen to thank.

As she drew, her mind wandered through assorted fantasies of how later tonight she might bring Karen to the place she was in the drawing. She closed her eyes and imagined herself kneeling over Karen’s face, and she could almost feel the very tip of her lover’s tongue do butterfly kisses on her swollen button, dancing ever so lightly, the soft traces sending little shocks through her tummy.

Laci shook her head, as if to clear it. When she put aside the sketch and slid off the bed, she let out a tinkling laugh. “Fucken A, look how wet I am, I’m soaked!” Her pink leggings suddenly felt very tight, chaffing her tender spots. She stretched and smiled. The urge to jam her hand down her pants and rub her glowing button was almost irresistible.

But she resisted – for the time being.

Laci grabbed her phone, flopped on the bed, and called Emily. Maybe that would keep her mind occupied. Emily was home helping her Mom do housework, and just hanging out and reading. She seemed delighted to hear from Laci, especially her increasingly breathless account of the weekend. Laci took special pleasure in recounting the bidet, which made both girls cackle with glee.

By the time the conversation was over, Laci and Emily made a date to hang out at Em’s house the day after tomorrow. That call killed half an hour.

As soon as she didn’t have anything occupying her attention, Laci’s thoughts once again turned to Karen and making love. She sprawled out on her back and closed her eyes. Yes, she could see herself devouring her lover, and it was getting harder to resist the temptation to touch herself.

Laci suddenly tugged at her excessively tights leggings, twisting and wriggling them down her legs  until they were bunched up at her feet. Giggling, she kicked them off. Now all she had on was her cropped t-shirt and her wet, pink Hello Kitty undies.

Laci idly ran the back of her middle finger ever so lightly over the wet fabric barely covering her sex. It was going to be almost impossible to resist the Siren Call to touch herself. She kept trying to tell herself to save everything for Karen later tonight.

Suddenly, Laci jumped up from the bed. Restlessness demanded she move, even if for the moment without purpose. What about a hot bath or shower? But I already took one and shampooed my hair just a few hours ago, and like Karen says, sometimes the best perfume is a girl’s own body. Damn, those leggings were really chafing my pussycat. I’m here alone, nobody can see me, so I can run around in my undies or even naked as much as I want.

The thought made her giggle, then laugh with a sense of glee. There was a wantoness to the very idea of doing things she wouldn’t typically do if she had an audience.

She pranced over to the stereo to find some music to both complement her flushed, skittish mood now, and the sexy atmosphere she’d want later on. She was beginning to grasp how Karen organized things. It was actually pretty simple and straightforward. She found a folder simply labeled “Sexy”, and when she opened it, there were sub-folders labeled “Pop”, “Classic,” “Jazz” and “Rock”. Laci opened the “Jazz” folder. Of the playlists available was one named “Instrumental Jazz, Lounge, Bossa Nova, Piano”. Why not? It had the virtue of being eight hours long, truly click and forget. It was worth a try.

It wasn’t wholly unfamiliar music – soft, upbeat, smoky, and modestly suggestive. Laci’s body picked up the tempo of the music and she almost unconsciously started to sway and swirl in a sensuous and provocative dance.

Alone and feeling deliciously sexy, she cast aside self-imposed modesty when she reached the mirrors. She tried on several poses – scowls, smiles, frowns, pouts – and eyed herself critically.

Frig it I am a hottie, I wish my boobs were bigger, but they’re just starting out, and Karen says to be patient, and she thinks what I have is sexy, and my tummy is flat and my ass, oh yeah, nice.

Laci continued trying out poses and expressions, cocking her hips side to side and pushing her pelvis out, raking her fingers through her hair. With a smile, she ran her hands over her tummy, stopping them just above her mound. She decided that she could even get Gail to stammer.

Still posing, swaying her hips, she tippy-toed into the bathroom. Because of its size, bright lights, and the tall mirrors running the full length of the vanity, and behind each door, the bathroom was their dressing room, the perfect place to pose and – play?

What to wear? I wanna look like totally sexy, that’s how I’m feeling. I wanna fuck, god my muffin is all tingly and throbby, and imagine Karen’s fingers up inside me, fucking me, I’d be totally at her mercy, and my pussy would be all squishy, and fucken-A she finds spots inside me and it’s like how can I not know I have such important places like that built into me until she finds them? 

Laci rubbed her hand over the thin swatch of wet panty fabric, the only obstacle between her fingers and the tight, juicy confines of her as yet undefiled sex. She impulsively stripped off her cami top, turned and tossed it basketball-style at the hamper, before twisting back to face the mirror, her hair spraying out.

Doing a sinuous dance, Laci cupped her breasts and gave her erect nipples a squeeze and a tug before letting her hands wander down her sides. She skated the pads of her fingers over the front of her panties, and sampled the wetness while watching intently in the mirror.

Laci let two fingers slip between her panties and her sex. She opened her slit just enough to wet her fingers so she could bring them to her mouth to savor. She was no stranger to the taste of her own nectar, but sucking her fingers like that in front of a mirror while watching, well that was just too awesome, and she giggled, her eyes sparkling.

She thrust her hips forward and let her hand stray back for more exploration. She let out a low sighing moan when she massaged her clit through its protective layers, sending out warm trickles. Oh yes, that feels soooo nice, mmmmm, look how wet I am.

She squeezed and kneaded her crotch, then drew her fingers up and down her slit, her panties keeping her from opening any more. She smiled at herself. “I am getting to be such a slut,” Laci said aloud in a soft voice, “Horny all the time, thinking about sex constantly – well maybe not constantly, almost, but goddamn nothing even comes close to how good it feels. I’ll bet hardly any girls at school dare to play with themselves in front of a mirror like I’m doing because they’re ashamed of their bods, not me though.”

She could take only so much self-teasing. Hopping on first one leg, then the other, and almost stumbling in the process, Laci pulled off her panties and brought them to her nose, inhaling deeply their aroma before tossing them aside.

Now she could watch and feel her fingers glide up over her mound and down the thick ridges of her outer labia. Her pubic hair was as yet confined to a respectable downy swath above her clit. She toyed with it, pulling on it until the skin was tented, enjoying the sensation.

At last, she let her middle finger open her slit and nestle in the natural sleeve. Her body found the demanding tempo of the music, and she swayed and rolled with it as she sawed her finger up and down the sluice of her sex.

She moved with the smooth, serpentine grace of an erotic nymph. None of it was conscious. Laci stared into the mirror, and watched herself masturbating. There was something so deliciously wanton about it.

Laci thrust her hips forward toward the mirror, as if she was inviting her reflection to come trib with her. It felt odd to both see and feel her fingers stroking and probing her glistening wet creases. She had a brief moment where she felt oddly detached from herself. Both she and her reflection broke into naughty smiles. Ohmygod, I really am a hot muffin, flashed through her head before the spasms of incredible pleasure drew her back into the corporeal world.

Laci dropped both hands to her hips, glided them over the curves of her pelvis to her mound. She massaged herself firmly above her clit, creating the most delightful throbbing sensation while her mind captured a fantasy.

In the fantasy, she was doing her dance for Karen, who was sitting mesmerized on the edge of the bed. Laci was in charge, she would dictate what happened. She pushed her lover back on the bed, and mounted her on all fours, growling softly. She pinned Karen to the bed, and began to slowly devour her.  

She found a rhythm that matched the tempo of the music, and her fingers danced with as much sinuous grace as her hips. She circled her clit, firmly rubbed it side-to-side, sawed her fingers up and down.

In her mind, she was devouring Karen. In front of the mirror, she propped herself against the door jamb, and her body began to hitch. She didn’t fight it this time. She let out a series of sharp gasps, and hunched her body. Her free hand clenched into a fist, and her toes scrunched like talons grasping a branch. Everything let loose with a flush.

Even in the middle of the afternoon, the snowstorm absorbed so much of the available light that it was almost like dusk when they stepped out of the cafe. Karen and Gail stood in the shelter offered by the canopy overhang and finished preparing themselves to head out into the storm.

Karen shrugged until her greatcoat was situated properly, then wrapped her scarf – more for show than for any practical purpose. Gail’s scarf and her tam were both real wool and offered decent protection from the nasties of winter.

“So what’s on your agenda this afternoon?” Karen asked Gail.

Gail paused and frowned. “You know, I have no fricken idea. Today was supposed to be a court day for me, so the court taking a storm day left me in limbo.”

“Hey! Why don’t you come to that closing with me?”

“I’m half tempted, but I really should use it to get caught up on a couple of cases I have pending. Look at you. Dressed in tight pants tucked into calf-high black leather boots, that greatcoat – you’re looking positively Valkyerian.”

“Valkyerian? What the hell are you talking about?”

“You know the Valkyries, Wagner’s warrior princesses.”

“Aren’t they the fat ladies who have to sing before it’s over?”

Gail broke into a spasm of laughter. “Maybe, but you look intimidating today, especially for men.”

Karen frowned, then announced out of the blue. “Dammit, I want a cigarette. I haven’t had one in days, but I want one now.”

Karen fumbled with her purse, and Gail looked on with amusement. “Go ahead,” Gail said. “I don’t have a fire extinguisher, do I?” Gail gave another sharp bark of laughter. “I just had an image of you barging into that meeting with a cigarette dangling from your lip, a whip in one hand and a broadsword in the other! Ha! You’d have them crawling around, barking like circus dogs.”

Karen finally dug out a cigarette and lit it. “You have a very twisted mind, my lovely friend.”

“Ya think?” and even in the low light Gail’s eyes sparkled.

“Come, I’ll walk to the parking garage with you,” Karen offered.

“That invitation is accepted.”

In an exercise in futility, the streetlights were on. It occurred to Karen that the scene, walking down an almost deserted downtown street, buildings indistinct hulks dampened by the falling snow, might look very romantic to someone of that mindset and little experience with real snow. To her, it was an unpleasant reminder that spring was a long way off.

“So, what’s on the agenda after the big meeting?” Gail asked.

“Assuming the meeting goes as planned, back to the office to do some wrapping up, then home. I have a feeling my little prodigy has something up her sleeve.”

“Oh yeah? Like what?”

“I have the sneaking suspicion that she’s cooking supper for us. She’s been after me whenever I fix something, asking questions, wanting to help. Then when I called her a while ago while you were in the john, she was all evasive, said she had a surprise when I got home, she needed to know exactly when I was getting there or it would ruin the secret. So, I suspect I’ll be treated to some sort of special feast.”

“So, artist, now chef. Impressive.”

“Chef? That remains to be seen.”

There came a low, loud clanking sound from behind, and both women instinctively stepped to the right. A city plow truck rumbled by, tire chains rattling, and pushed a curling wave of snow to the side, trapping several cars in their parking spaces. As the truck faded into the swirling gauze of snow, Gail smiled wickedly. “That’ll teach them. When they say on-street parking ban, they mean it.”

Karen, eyes squinted, looked up into the swirling snow and grumbled, “We still have at least another month of this shit. I promised myself when I listed this godforsaken property that when it was sold, I would use the commission to go to the Caribbean. I guess it’ll have to wait.”

“Any other celebrations in mind?”

“Nothing out of the ordinary, except whatever surprise it is Laci has cooked up. Hey, I have an idea.”

“Uh oh.”

“’Uh oh’ my butt. How about we get together for dinner this weekend. You can come out to the house and one of the two of us will make dinner.”

Before Gail could answer, they arrived at the entrance to the parking garage and the scant shelter from the weather it offered. “Where are you parked?” Karen asked, stamping her feet to knock off clumps of snow and slush.

“Third level.”

“We’ll do our goodbyes here then. I’m not huffing up three flights to say, ‘Have a great day, sweetie.’”

“I know. I wish the practice would jump the gentrification bandwagon and relocate downtown. Then I could just walk.”

“So what about the weekend? Interested?”

“Sure, why not. I’d like to see what the girl can do in the kitchen.”

“OK then, it’s a date. Saturday evening?”

“I’ll be there. I hope she cooks half as good as she looks.”

Karen embraced Gail. “I’ll call you before then.”

“Oh god yes, I’ll need to hear all about this surprise you have waiting for you.”

When Gail turned and trotted up the stairwell, Karen stepped out of the dubious shelter of the parking garage, and looked up and down the street. There were no vehicles in sight, and only a lonely handful of souls braving the storm.

Might as well get going. I hope they have coffee. Karen stepped over a slushy berm created by the snowplow, and with a sigh headed for the meeting.

On her tippy-toes, Laci didn’t so much walk across the polished wood floors as bounce. Excitement had her fully in its embrace now. The outlandishness of prancing around in just thong panties and a cami top only added to her exhilaration. What if someone comes to the door? Yeah, right, who’s gonna show up here in a snowstorm. Mailman with a package? Cops to interrogate me? This is my house and if you don’t like it, tough shit, don’t let the door whack you in the ass on the way out.

Laci nibbled on the tip of her middle finger and looked around the spacious dining room, hoping something she saw might inspire her to figure out where Karen kept the fancy plates. Her eyes captured the antique furniture along the back wall between the windows.

There was a hutch of sorts displaying antique knick-knacks, which held promise. In the middle, a very curious record player with a big horn atop it which you had to crank up to play – Karen called it a Victor Rolla, probably the guy who invented it she reasoned. Not likely anything there.

All the way over to the right was a stout chest of drawers topped by a display case behind three glass doors. There were individual plates on discreet display stands behind the door, along with assorted pieces of crystal which, truth be told, were impressive works of art. The problem was, those plates and crystal were obviously meant for display only. Still, there were quite a few somethings in those drawers and behind the doors, and Karen did call it a china cabinet, and “china” was apparently another name for fancy and expensive plates, so…

Laci squatted down in front of the cabinet until her butt cheeks touched the floor. She opened the nearest door, peered in, and laughed. There were neat stacks of different sized gilt-edge white plates, bowls and serving dishes. Holy shit, how about that, first place I looked, I guess that means it’s meant to be.

Laci carefully removed two of everything except the serving dishes and put her finds on the dining room table. She furrowed her brow and tried to figure out what went on each. Big plates, easy, the pasta, the next was likely for salad, which they weren’t having because they hadn’t been grocery shopping for fresh things lately, and – and she’d figure it out later. They couldn’t eat without forks and knives, surely there had to be fancy utensils to go with the plates.

She started opening drawers. The first one held cloth napkins, the second had colored napkins, but the third drawer was the jackpot. Utensils were tucked into velvet lined nests. Something unusual caught her attention. She picked up a fork, and to her horror, it was mottled black!

Aw shit! What’s up with this? They can’t be black on purpose. Great, now I have to come up with a plan B. Laci chewed on her knuckle and tried to relax. I guess the regular stuff will have to do. Damn!

When Karen finally turned the SUV into the driveway and activated the automatic garage door opener, there were perhaps eight inches of powdery snow on the ground, and it was still coming down at a respectable clip. The heavy vehicle had no trouble pushing through the fluff into its accustomed spot in the garage next to the Audi.

Karen was in an excellent mood. All that remained to put a cap on a very productive day was to discover – no, experience – whatever surprise Laci had conjured up. It was nice to finally have a reason to want to go home at night.

In her mind’s eye, she saw herself taking Laci to some isolated Caribbean island. Someday, she thought, when all the bullshit is done and over, then…. She was hungry for her girl lover, and her thoughts were not as pure as the falling snow, no indeed.

Karen grabbed her work bag and made her way in the dim light to the pantry entrance. She hesitated. Maybe she ought to knock first. She didn’t want to ruin the surprise, especially since it was obviously a big deal to Laci. Karen took off her gloves, and rapped smartly on the door before cracking it and calling out, “Laci Honey! I’m home. Is it safe to come in?”

“No, no, no, noooo no!” Laci squealed in answer. “Don’t come in! Stay there til I come get you.”

“But it’s dark.”

“You afraid of the dark?”

“No, but…”

“Then hold on, it’s only a minute.”

Karen had to smile. What on earth had Laci been up to? She picked up on the smell of marinara, and what reminded her of burnt toast. Spaghetti, Karen thought. She’s made us spaghetti and marinara for supper. Karen shed her greatcoat while she waited.

Then came the quick but uncertain taps of stiletto heels worn but not mastered. The door cracked open. “You still there?”

For an instant, Karen thought about saying something wiseass, but went with, “Uh huh, patiently waiting. In the dark.”

Laci giggled, and the sound sent a delightful shiver over Karen. “Scaredy Cat,” she teased. Then she shifted gears. “Give me your coat so I can put it away before you come in.”

“Who do you have in there? A bunch porn stars wanting to do a video with us?”

“Just give me your coat, wise ass,” Laci chuckled.

“Whoa! And she’s feisty, too,” Karen retorted as she handed over her coat. It pleased her to see Laci feeling comfortable enough to engage in repartee.

At last, Laci let Karen into the pantry where it was only marginally less dark than the garage. In a promise of things to come, Laci, heels raising her up, grabbed Karen in an embrace and swooped in to slather her lover with hard kisses and swipes of her tongue.

“Wow!” Karen murmured. “I like that that surprise.”

“That isn’t the surprise, silly,” Laci announced. “That was just ‘cause I missed you.”

“Then what is the surprise?”

“Almost,” Laci said, lightly tugging Karen into the kitchen, where the smell of marinara was stronger. “Now,” she said in a firm voice, “You hafta close your eyes and let me lead you. You can’t open your eyes until I say so, OK? Promise?”

“I promise.”

“Seriously, I’ll be wicked upset if you cheat and peek.”

“I won’t peek, I promise,” and Karen closed her eyes.

“OK, give me your hand.” Laci took Karen’s arm and led her out of the kitchen.

Karen sensed she was at the entrance to the dining room. The burnt toast smell was buried under the marinara’s fragrance, which remained strong and inviting even under Laci’s floral scented body spray.

“OK, stop here,” Laci instructed.

“Can I open my eyes yet?”

“No, not quite. Almost. OK, you can open them now,” Laci said in a voice tinged with excitement.

Karen let her eyes open. It took two, maybe three seconds for her to take everything in and make sense of what she beheld.

The room was dimly lit from the chandelier at a low setting, and two tall candles in silver and crystal holders flanking the china serving tureen; and china! Her best china dinnerware, a wedding gift from her grandmother which had been used perhaps twice in all the years between then and now. The flatware was laid out with neat precision beside the  plates. There was a second, smaller covered serving dish, and bread cut into slices of widely varying thicknesses was carefully placed into a napkin lined soup bowl, a champagne glass for each with an unopened bottle of Evian between them. The period at the end was the napkins formed into origami-like statues. How in god’s name did she figure out how to do that?

Karen was aware that Laci was standing with her palms pressed together in front of her mouth, anxious to hear her reaction. “Oh! My! God!” Karen said in a low voice not much above a whisper. “Laci, my sweet baby! This is unbelievable!”

Laci visibly let out her breath and clenched her fists. “Do you like it?” She still needed validation.

Karen gathered Laci into her arms and hugged her tight, swaying her side to side. “Ohmygod! Laci, my precious baby girl! Whatever possessed you to do this?”

Laci seemed to bask in the radiance of Karen’s praise. “I just thought, you know, you’re working all day, and I’m not doing anything, the least I could do was fix us dinner. Then I thought it might be a nice surprise for you.”

“’Nice surprise’” Karen chuckled. “That’s like saying the sun is bright. It’s… unbelievable… amazing! Just like you. Beautiful and amazing! How… where…” Karen’s voice trailed away, and Laci snuggled closer.

Karen at last brought her focus on Laci. The girl was stunning, as breathtaking as the night at the symphony, only now, instead of a cultured air, she looked downright vampish. Her hair was parted far over on the right, and pulled over to cascade over her other shoulder. Her makeup was heavier than usual, more typical of how ordinary girls Laci’s age would use it. She was wearing heels, which put her almost as tall as Karen.

And the outfit! The black knit miniskirt clung to her like Saran Wrap, the white tank top was just as snug and breathtaking, while the black bolero jacket softened the biting edge of her sexual aura. When Karen knocked on the pantry door, her arousal thumped like a quasar in her midsection; now it flared like a nova.

“Good god, you are so amazing, so incredible!”

Laci turned her face up, and their mouths came together, tongues clashing. Those quick, hungry kisses said Laci was every bit as much in heat as Karen was. The urge to start tugging on Laci’s clothes was nearly irresistible. Karen struggled back into control. “I’m just blown away.”

“I wanted to do something special for you.”

“You did baby, you absolutely did. It smells wonderful. What did you make?”

“Come,” Laci directed. “Let’s sit down.”

Karen smiled wryly at Laci’s assertiveness. This was her show, best let her direct it. Karen let Laci tug her toward the table until an idea sprang into her head. “Just a minute sweetie, I just had an idea.”

“Oh? What?”

“Hold on a sec.” Karen skittered to the wine cabinet, opened it and scanned it in the dim light until she found what she wanted. “Aha!” she said. “I still have it.”

“Have what?” Laci said with a confused wrinkling of her forehead.

Karen turned and held up a green, long-neck bottle, the end wrapped in foil. “This! It’s a bottle of Moet and Chandon, vintage two thousand two. Champagne, honey. I can’t even remember how I came to have it – I think my father gave it to me at Christmas one year. Anyway, this calls for something fancier than Evian. I’m just glad  I remembered it was still in there.”

Karen, now as gleeful as her lover, brought the bottle to show Laci. She lifted Laci’s chin with her free hand and planted a full kiss on her lover’s mouth.

“I’ve never had champagne before,” Laci said.

Karen laughed. “I’d be very surprised if you had. But whether you knew it or not, you picked out the right glasses. Those are champagne flutes. Seeing them was what made me remember I still had the champagne.”

“Psychic I guess,” Laci smiled.

Karen took a deep breath through her nose. “Come, I’m dying to see what you fixed for dinner.”

Each self-conscious in her own way, they seated themselves. “Is it true,” Laci said, pushing her hair back from her face, “that the cork pops out when you open champagne?”

“Yup, it’s true. Watch.” Karen pointed the top away from them, and twisted the cage wire.

Laci was startled by the inevitable POP. She clapped her hands. “Awesome!”

Karen smiled to herself at the innocent glee in Laci’s simply seeing a champagne cork pop. “Cool, huh?”

“Why’s it do that? Pop like that.”

“Magic,” Karen said with a wink. “Here, hold your glass up and I’ll pour.”

Laci raised her glass, smiling demurely. Karen deftly filled Laci’s proffered flute, then in single fluid move, did the same with her own glass. “We won’t get sloshed, will we?” Laci said only partly in jest.

“Why? Are you planning on taking advantage of me?”

“Yup, with or without the getting sloshed.”

Karen laughed. “Well now, that’s a promise I’m going make sure you keep. OK, a toast,” Karen said, holding up her glass. “To this absolutely stunning dinner, and the equally stunning little goddess who threw it together.”

Laci giggled coquettishly, and tapped her glass against Karen’s. She sniffed the flute hesitantly, then looked to Karen for guidance.

Karen’s body thumped heavily, and she jiggled her knees like a child trying to hold her pee at a birthday party. “Careful honey,” Karen cautioned with a small smile. “It’s not going to be sweet like a soda. It’s going to taste like fizzy wine.”

Laci hesitated, took sip, frowned, then finally swallowed. “Different,” she announced. “Not sweet at all, for some reason I thought champagne tasted sweet.”

“Like it?”

“It’s – OK, I could see myself coming to like it.”

“So, this,” Karen said, sweeping her hand to indicate the dinner setting. “What humble repast have you prepared, milady?”

Laci snickered, then straightened to a more formal pose. “It isn’t really fancy,” she said, reaching over for the handle on the serving tureen’s cover. “But I’m still not far above the Spaghetti-Os level.” She lifted the lid, revealing the steaming sauce. “I found some frozen cheese raviolis, then cooked the hamburger, and added a jar of that sauce you made last fall.” Laci uncovered the serving bowl holding the raviolis.

Karen looked it all over, momentarily speechless. At last, she shook her head and said, “Astounding. Laci, honey, I’m – flabbergasted. I mean – how – where –”

Laci beamed under Karen’s praise. “It wasn’t too hard. You can find almost anything on the internet. Soon as I saw the directions on how to do it, the napkins were easy. I figured if you were going to have fancy dishes, they’d be in that china cabinet by the window.”

Karen simply shook her head. “This calls for another toast. To my amazing and talented little love, Laci,” and Karen tinked her glass against Laci’s.

Laci, blushing furiously but trying to look nonchalant, sipped her champagne, her bracelets tinkling. “I just wanted to do something special for you.”

“You did my love, you did. Now. Let’s eat. I’m famished. Seriously, how on earth did you think of this,” Karen said, spooning rounds of pasta onto her gilt-edged porcelain plate.

Laci shrugged. “I was looking for something for lunch, and I just got the idea that you shouldn’t have to cook dinner after working all day, and then I thought about how it’d be ‘specially nice to try making it, you know, romantic and stuff. Cooking was easy, just boil the ravioli and heat up a jar of sauce.”

“What’s that burnt toast smell?”

Laci blushed and looked down at her plate like a little girl caught with her hand in the cookie jar. “I tried to make us garlic bread, I even got a recipe online. I sliced some of the Italian bread you bought at the train station yesterday.” She looked up, a pained expression on her face. "I put it into the oven and forgot about it until I smelled it burning.”

Karen chuckled and shook her head. “When I was about your age, I pestered my Grammy to show me how to bake her special chocolate cake. Everything went fine until she gave me the glass mixing bowl to take to the counter where the cake pans were. I didn’t have a good grip, and the bowl slipped out of my hands, and Crash! Right to the floor, shards of glass and cake batter all over the floor.”

“No!” Laci cried. “Did you really?”

“I did, and I thought she’d never trust me again, which goes to show I didn’t understand Grammies very well. And you, you only burned garlic bread. And you know what? Considering what I hope we’ll be doing in an hour or so maybe not having garlic bread isn’t such a bad thing.”

“I didn’t think of it like that,” Laci said with a playful grin.

Karen marveled at the place setting. “Look at this. How did you even know I had formal china?”

“I didn’t know, but I just figured it’s the kind of thing you’d have. And you did, just like I thought. I found some, like knives and forks and stuff, but they were all black and I didn’t dare use them, that’s why it’s just the regular stuff we use every day.”

Karen poured marinara from the serving boat over the pasta. “These are just fine. The black you saw is tarnish. When silver is exposed to air, in time it develops that blackish tarnish. Someday I’ll show you how to clean it off.”

Karen put the serving boat back so Laci could use it. Her smile was radiant when she looked Laci over. “And look at the way you’re dressed! Jesus Mary and Joseph, are you trying to send a message?”

Laci flashed Karen a coy and flirtatious smile. ”Umm, you think?”

“Message received. Now let’s see if how you stack up as a chef.”

Laci fixed her own plate. “Hey,” Laci suddenly demanded. “You said you’d tell me how the meeting with Mr. B. went.”

“Ah yes,” Karen said. “Considering how distracted you’ve made me, I never would have remembered.”

Karen took the next few minutes to give Laci the concise version of her morning meeting with Jay Belden, and his suggestions on basic supplies and private lessons.

Such concrete issues held no charms for Laci tonight. “What’d he say about the club? That’s what I want to know.”

Karen finished a bite of bread and sipped her Moet. “You and that club. Well, it’s pretty straightforward. He’s been wanting to have a way for artistically inclined kids to get together and support each other, like the kids who are into chess and math have with their clubs, but he’s never sensed a great deal of interest. He thinks the idea needs someone to give it a spark, and that’s where you came into the picture. He thinks you’re the one who can bring that spark.”

“Me? Why me?”

Karen chuckled and shook her head. “Laci, my precious baby girl, no one can accuse you of being full of yourself. All I can say sweetie is that when you’re not stressed, you have a way of lighting up any room you walk into. Ha! Look at you blush! Just like Rudolph’s nose.”

“Karen, quit teasing me.”

“Why? I like making you blush – in private anyway. So, you have this – je ne sais quoi, this aura that makes people wake up and pay attention. He’s hoping you’ll provide some of the positive energy – not the middle school drama hurricane energy — that’s needed to make it take off. Besides that, he wants you to be in a leadership position, treasurer I think.”

“Treasurer? What’s that?”

“You have to understand something. This club is going to get exactly zero help from the school other than a place to have it. You’re going to have to, as a group, raise money for things like supplies. As treasurer, you’d be responsible for keeping the money and buying the supplies you need.”

“That sucks. Where do we get money if the school isn’t going to help?”

“That’s one of those things being treasurer is involves. I’ve decided to donate enough money for the club to get started with basic supplies…” Karen said, holding up her hand up to silence Laci. “It’s with the understanding that you club members raise the money to keep yourselves going. That’ll involve fundraising activities, and basically begging for outside help. You, by virtue of your gorgeousness, and your sunny personality, are more apt to convince people to donate, so you get to be treasurer by acclamation. We’ll discuss that later. Anyway, the hope is that you club members will have projects done in time for the downtown art festival Memorial Day weekend, where you can try selling your work.”

“Wow,” Laci said. “I didn’t even think of that stuff. Will you be helping me?”

“Of course. But let’s not worry about that yet. Let’s pay attention to right now.” Karen cocked her head, as if listening to the music for the first time. “What is that music? It’s very lounge jazzy, nice and sensual.”

“It’s an eight hour playlist I found, something about what you just said, lounge jazz. It sounded nice and romantic, so I put it on. Click and forget.”

Karen’s smile was broad and bright. “Imagine that. I leave you alone for one day, and you broaden your music horizons from Classical love music, to modern jazz love music.”

Laci finished the last of her ravioli, blushing as she did. She shrugged and mumbled, “You’re the one who’s teaching me.”

“Then this – dinner. I didn’t teach you any of this,” Karen said, sweeping her arm to encompass the whole. “When I saw this, you could have knocked me over with a feather.”

Laci blushed harder still. “It wasn’t hard or anything.”

“I would not have thought a girl your age could dream up something like this.” Her meal finished, Karen put her napkin on her plate and picked up her champagne flute. “How’s the champagne treating you?”

“A little buzzy. I’ve drank booze before, back in the ‘hood, and I didn’t really like it. But this is nice, just a little warm glow, makes me feel even more – sexy?”

“Now I like that.” She raised her glass. “To feeling sexy,” she offered with a hungry smile.

Laci raised her glass. “To feeling sexy, both of us.” They tapped glasses and emptied them.

“Now let’s put our dishes in the sink. We’ll worry about them tomorrow.”

Once they took care of their plates, Karen led Laci to the living room. “Let’s dance,” she said, and she gathered Laci into her arms.

The music had a sensuous Bossa Nova rhythm, and they both picked it up almost immediately, swaying their hips and moving with ease. Karen rested her hands on Laci’s butt, pulling Laci’s pelvis close so they could grind together and stoke their fires. “You seem to be handling heels pretty well,” Karen murmured.

“I’m trying. They make me almost as tall as you, so it’s easier to kiss you – like this.” Laci captured Karen’s lips with hers.

They swapped deep, rolling kisses, their tongues sweeping with each connection. Laci moved her hands up to hold Karen’s face while she kissed her lover’s cheeks and neck. She nibbled the rim of Karen’s ear, sending shivers rippling over the woman. The glowing embers in Karen’s pelvis flared hot and bright. It was time, she thought. She needed her girl lover properly.

Karen looked into Laci’s glowing eyes, and let herself be hypnotized. “I’m yours, baby girl,” Karen whispered.

Once Karen let Laci, smiling promises, take her hand and lead her upstairs, she surrendered herself to her girl lover’s whims. Karen would go along with whatever she might want, and from the naughty glimmer in her lover’s emerald eyes, all bets were off on just what that might be. Karen’s sex, already so wet she squished with every step, thumped mightily in anticipation.

Laci’s sudden burst of self-confident assertiveness was, truth be told, very arousing. What the hell is she going to be like at twenty? Karen wondered. Karen looked around and saw that Laci left no detail untended. The covers were already neatly folded down. Karen almost snickered when she noticed the stack of fluffy bath towels on the hope chest at the foot of her bed. Well that right there tells me everything I need to know about where she intends for us to go.

The Bossa Nova jazz danced and caroused, and Laci glided to Karen, her face like a hungry tigress. She moved with sinuous grace, gliding into Karen and snaking her body against her lover’s. Karen was sure she could smell the girl’s heat.

Laci brought her mouth agonizingly close to Karen’s before she backed away, smiling wickedly. She turned around and nestled her firm bottom right in the cup of Karen’s pubis. When she began to roll her hips against Karen’s mound, the woman couldn’t suppress a soft gasp. It sent electric thrills crackling over her body. She put her hands lightly on Laci’s hips and let the girl’s dance move them in languid circles.

Oh god, if she doesn’t stop I’m going to cum right here and now! Oh shit, she’s got me on fire!

As if understanding she’d already brought Karen up to a line of no return, Laci spun around and pushed Karen back to the bed. “Sit,” she ordered, and Karen complied almost meekly. I’m a ball of Silly Putty in her hands and she knows it. She owns me and I’m loving it.

Laci straddled Karen, her knees against the mattress for support. She wore the look that Karen now knew meant the girl was in a hypersexual state. Her pupils were dilated making her eyes obsidian, her nostrils flared, and her breathing rapid and shallow. Laci rested her arms on Karen’s shoulders, and she found Karen’s eyes with her own, holding them, not letting Karen look away.

Laci suddenly swooped in, and they came together in a hard collision. Their mouths battled in a series of urgent, roiling kisses, tongues wrestling and seeking. Karen cupped Laci’s sleek ass in her hands, stroking the firm buns. She was aware of how close her fingers were to Laci’s sex; she could feel its sultry heat. Karen began kneading her fingers closer, ever closer to the girl’s sweltering treasure.

Suddenly, Laci pulled her mouth away, shook her ass as a dog might shake to shed itself of water. “Ah ah ah!” she breathed in a scolding tone. “No, no, no you don’t.” She laid her forehead against Karen’s and murmured in a low, sonorous voice, “You have been very verynaughty lately.”

“Me?” Karen said, puzzled. “How have I been naughty?”

“You haven’t been letting me take care of you first, even though I keep telling you I want to. You always have to do me first, but not tonight.” Laci’s delicate fingers found the buttons to Karen’s blouse, and nimbly undid them until the garment hung open. She pushed it off Karen’s shoulders, and the woman lifted her arms off the bed one at a time so Laci could peel it off and fling it aside.

Laci straightened enough to shrug off the jacket component of her outfit, fully exposing the bodycon tank top she wore underneath. Her young nipples stood out in sharp relief. Holy fuck! Where does she find these outfits? I don’t remember her getting it. To hell with it, I’m giving her a thousand bucks, and turning her loose in Vickie’s Secret, tell her to surprise me. Oh fuck!

Laci leaned back in and devoured Karen’s mouth with hers. They melded in a dance of snaking, probing tongues, and all the while, Laci’s fingers sought the clasps of Karen’s bra. She deftly kicked off her heels as her fingers found the clasps that freed Karen’s full mounds.

Laci slid her mouth up to Karen’s ear, and she whispered, “No being naughty tonight, I won’t allow it.”

She  darted the tip of her tongue out to trace the arc of Karen’s ear. It sent a shudder rippling over Karen, and she cried out, “Jeeeee ZUS!” Her loins burned like a Delphic offering, and she squirmed like a little girl trying to hold her pee, which seemed to delight Laci.

Still Laci seemed in no hurry. She pushed her mane of hair back and began nibbling her way down Karen’s neck while scraping her nails over her lover’s shoulders and upper back. Karen was becoming overwhelmed by the sensations surging over her. Her moans – purrs really – were soft and steady, and every now and then she let out a gasp when Laci nipped a particularly sensitive spot.

At last, at long last, Laci came to Karen’s breasts. Where she’d been gentle, even delicate in working her way to Karen’s breasts, she suddenly became almost rough. She cupped Karen’s globes in her hands, and squeezed and kneaded them, then pulled firmly on the erect nipples, so she could roll them between her fingers, making Karen cry out.

“C’mon,” Laci breathed. “Lay back but keep your feet on the floor.” She guided Karen to the position she wanted, then she straddled and mounted her lover. It was an awkward, even precarious position, but Laci, in her youthful agility managed it. Now their mounds touched through the layers of clothing. Laci seemed quite satisfied with where she had Karen. Her body picked up the flirtatious tempo of the music, and she let the rhythm guide her.

Even through their clothes, the sensation of Laci’s mound grinding against hers in an undulating fucking motion was more than enough to push Karen to her first orgasm. It rose up and spread out like a zipper opening on a too tight jacket. “Oh fuck!” Karen gasped.

Laci evidently took great delight in getting Karen off like that. “I’m not done with you, you know,” she burbled. “Not even close. Now get your fanny up on the bed and lay down on the pillows.”

When Laci slid off Karen she squished audibly, but she seemed composed, if very aroused. The sound sent a fresh ripple over Karen, and conjured fevered images of Laci’s legs open and beckoning.

Karen scrambled to do as she was told. She hungered to know what plans Laci had up her sleeve. It didn’t take long to find out. Laci knelt on the vast bed and knee-walked over to straddle Karen. She raked her hair back, then pulled her top off in a fluid motion, tossing it aside to join Karen’s blouse. Her small but perfectly formed breasts sang their own peculiar siren song. She toyed with her nipples, apparently well aware of the effect it would have on Karen.

Karen instinctively lifted her hands to pull Laci down, but Laci called her out. “Ah ah ah, no ma’am! No touchy feely. Put your hands over your head. I’m gonna make sure you behave yourself. You can’t be trusted.” With a giggle, she slid her hand under the pillows and pulled out two pink robe sashes. “Go on,” she demanded. “Put your arms over your head.”

Karen chuckled mentally. So that’s her plan. Fuck it, I’m game, she’s bound to make me go off first, fine.

Laci quickly looped the sashes around Karen’s wrists, then tied them loosely to the metal posts of the head of the bed. They weren’t really restraints, Karen thought, just reminders. Though she could free herself in no more than a second, Karen had no intention of ruining the game.

Thus hobbled and at Laci’s mercy, Karen surrendered herself to the girl’s whims.

Laci dove in and devoured Karen’s mouth. Their tongues wrestled and sparred while Laci’s fingers found Karen’s hard nipples again. She gleefully toyed with them, squeezing, tugging, rolling them between her thumb and forefinger until Karen was panting, gasping, and squirming. Laci freed Karen’s mouth so she could work her tongue magic on Karen’s sizzling breasts.

“Ohhhh,” Karen moaned. “You naughty, sexy, hot little wench!” she almost hissed.

When Laci took Karen’s nipple in her teeth and stretched it to its limits before letting it snap free, Karen grabbed the frame in a white knuckle grip while holding her breath. She let out a cry of “Oh fuck!” when it slipped from her lover’s toothy grip.

Laci straightened as Karen lay there, her every breath a moan or a gasp. Laci wore a wicked smile on her face. Karen was dimly aware that something special was coming. Indeed it was. Laci lifted the hem of her skirt, and even in the dim light, her entire crotch area was glistening wet. Oh god, how Karen wanted just a taste of that!

Laci pulled aside the small swatch of her panties clinging to her wet mound. Breathing hard, she slipped her middle finger deep inside her sex and probed around. When she drew it out, she slid it up and down the sleeve of her pussy, scritching her finger pad over her clit nub. Her masturbating grew more and more urgent, and it drove Karen absolutely wild. She squirmed on the bed helplessly. The sight of Laci masturbating made Karen’s inside swell up in a maddening, hot bubble that stopped just short of bursting.

It wasn’t just the sight of the girl toying with her sex that drove Karen so wild, it was the sounds she made, those maddening squishes and slurps and the ever more urgent moans that really made Karen seethe.

Laci’s strokes grew faster and faster, and she bit her lip and whimpered. Karen could see the ambrosia she lusted for dribble out of her girl lover’s beautiful little honey pot. Oh yes, it was driving Karen wild – yet she never contemplated breaking the game and grabbing the girl. All of this was part of the game she’d tacitly agreed to play, so she was committed. Karen  knew Laci was testing her willingness to play.

Laci whimpered and arched her back. Karen knew the look on her face. The girl just came. She knelt there breathing heavily for a few seconds, her face sweaty and flushed, being apparent even in the low light. When she opened her eyes, she gave Karen a mischievous smile. She hooked two fingers deep into her pussy and wriggled them around almost as if she was searching for something.

Laci removed her fingers and she leaned forward to hover over her breathless lover. She giggled and said, “Wanna taste?” and without waiting, she pushed her fingers into Karen’s mouth.

The taste of her girl lover’s nectar and the feel of her fingers in Karen’s mouth sent a fresh shock over the woman. She cleaned every bit off, savoring the tangy sweetness. Laci giggled again and pulled her fingers back. “You like that?”

Karen, flushed and still gripping the headboard’s metal frame work, gasped, “Where the hell did you learn to be so bad?”

Laci’s giggle morphed into a laugh. “Don’tcha know? I have the best teacher in the world. You!” Before Karen could reply, Laci pushed her hair back and pounced on Karen’s receptive mouth. After a groaning clash, Laci pulled her lips free and almost immediately began kissing her way down to Karen’s tummy, taking her time savoring the feel and taste of her lover’s flesh.

Karen’s fire didn’t need stoking, but that’s what it got, hot puffs from the blacksmith’s bellows until she was groaning. All she was aware of in her fevered state of mental chaos was that her pubic area felt maddeningly confined.

After tonguing Karen’s belly button and making her lover squirm, Laci straightened up. She pushed her hair back. “Think it’s time to finish getting you undressed?”

Karen eyes snapped open and she lifted her head to look. She dropped back and laughed. “No wonder it feels like I’m wearing a frigging chastity belt!”

Laci slid down and tugged off Karen’s boots, tossing them onto the floor with a thunk, then Karen lifted her butt so Laci could slide her pants off. Karen drew in a sharp breath when the cool air hit her sopping wet crotch. Laci crept up on all fours until her mass of silky hair cascaded around their faces, and said, “Jeez, did you pee or something?”

“No I didn’t pee,” Karen said, her voice thick from her arousal. “Mind your manners or you’ll get the wet spot tonight.”

“Looks like everything’s already a wet spot,” Laci observed playfully as she slipped a hand between them.

Karen gasped and jumped at Laci’s touch. “That’s your fault, you do that to me.”

“I’m gonna do a lot more to you, ready or not,” Laci lilted as her fingers made promises as they skated over the ridges of Karen’s labia.

Karen shifted and purred. The beat of the music, the electric sensation of Laci’s fingers, her warm cloud of arousal, all of it left Karen floating in sexual bliss. She opened her eyes and focused on Laci, mere inches above her. “My god, you are so beautiful,” she hummed.

Laci answered by swooping in and kissing Karen, while she let her fingertips dance on the slick curve of her lover’s labia.

Karen lifted her hips when Laci started moving her fingers up and down the sleeve of her sex. “You like that,” Laci murmured. She used the flat of her hand to masturbate Karen, up and down, circles, teasing her clit, kissing her the whole time. Karen moaned and gasped with nearly every breath, lost in the waves of pleasure flowing from her pelvis, and the kisses shared with Laci.

Laci suddenly straightened, making Karen whisper, “No, what are you doing?”

Laci’s smile was just as impish as before. “What else?” She slid down until she was on her tummy, her face inches from Karen’s juicy sex.

Karen had played the game the whole time, keeping her arms overhead in their loose restraint, but now she needed her hands free. Without giving it any thought, she drew her knees back and spread her legs to fully expose herself. “There baby,” she said in a low, harsh voice.

Laci simply smiled and snugged herself as close to Karen as she comfortably could. She drew the flat of her tongue up from Karen’s tender anus, over her introitus, up the sleeve of her pussy, ending with a flourish of her tongue at her lover’s swollen clit.

Being able to both watch and feel Laci in action made Karen tremble and moan. Laci giggled her delight at Karen’s reaction.

It was confined tucked up close to Karen, but it wasn’t a problem for Laci. “Oh god!” Karen gasped at Laci’s first kiss on her clit. From there, it was sheer, utter bliss.

Laci carefully but enthusiastically massaged and devoured Karen’s sex from asshole to the puffy rise of her mound of Venus. Karen moaned and rolled her hips, and as Laci brought her up, up, up, she gasped and cried and squirmed.

Laci seemed to instinctively understand how far she could bring Karen without letting her lover go flying off into a night-ending orgasm. Oh god, she’s amazing, how does she bring me there without letting me go over, just like Gail, did she get lessons from Gail? Doesn’t matter where or how, and oh my god!

Karen was flowing freely, and Laci tried to gather as much as possible, cooing and burbling with delight as she lapped like little a kitten. Freed now, Karen’s hands flitted and trembled about Laci’s head; she buried them in Laci’s hair, but she didn’t guide the girl. No, Laci didn’t need to be guided anywhere.

Laci twisted herself so that she could corkscrew two fingers deep into Karen’s slurpy wet honey pot. Karen jumped at Laci’s fresh touch. Yes indeed, the girl knew exactly where Karen’s hot spots were and how to touch them for maximum effect. Massaging those spots deep inside caused Karen to come unglued and gush nectar.

Each stroke of Laci’s fingers sent hot pulses deep into Karen’s pelvis, and each one added to the already glowing sun in her mid-section. “Oh god Laci,” Karen growled through clenched teeth. Her hands held Laci’s hair, and her body stiffened and trembled. “Be careful baby,” Karen gasped. “I’m close, very close!”

Laci turned her eyes up to gauge for herself where her lover was at. She gave Karen a few more strokes of her tongue, drawing yet another gasp. She pulled her fingers free of Karen pussy, and a fresh rivulet of nectar ran down the creases of Karen’s sex.

Laci smiled at the sight, and when she leaned in this time, it was to smother juicy kisses all over Karen’s magic triangle. She licked and lapped, drinking as much honey as she could with her hungry tongue.

Laci extricated her hair from Karen’s grip and straightened to her knees. Her eyes still sparkled playfully. Karen hummed inside, the brief pause hardly registered by the nova burning in her tummy. She was as flushed, sweaty, and breathless as if she’d just run a mile.

Laci swung herself around so that she was straddling Karen and facing her feet. Karen smiled to herself. Finally! It was getting harder and harder to hold back the one that must be the Finale. She was already drenched in sweat, her body twitched and trembled, and the hot ball of magma still simmered just below the surface, deep in her pelvis.

Karen laid back and used her hands to push Laci’s legs apart and rip off her scant panties, accepting the girl’s weight in the process. Laci hooked her arms around Karen’s thighs, and even splayed out she didn’t seem at all awkward.

At last, Karen could turn her full attention where it belonged. Laci’s taut muffin lay hardly more than an inch away, as puffy and receptive as a minx in heat. A hot tremor passed through Karen, and she gasped at the vision.

The entrance to Laci’s sex was flared open, glistening, dripping wet. The sleeve from her clit to her introitus channeled its own rivulets of nectar to drip on Karen’s face. The intricate ribbons of her labia were like a finely sculpted porcelain figurine, stark and beautiful, even breathtaking. The natural funnel of her fine labia led inexorably to her pearlescent clit, surrounded by the protective sheath of its hood. Its call was irresistible.

As Karen took in the treasure before her, she was startled from her brief reverie by Laci pouncing on her own mound. It was like a gust of wind over a bed of smoldering embers. Letting out a tremulous gasp, she yanked Laci down to devour her.

In no time, they synchronized, their fingers probing, stroking, and squishing, bodies entwined and writhing, both moaning and slurping, at times growling, at others giggling. Karen struggled to focus on Laci, but it could only be a matter of time before she went over the edge.

When she went over, it was as if a bolt of lightning and explosion of thunder went off inside her, echoing and booming across her body, followed by torrents of hot rain. Even as more lightning bolts went off, making her kick her feet and scrunch up her toes, she managed to continue devouring Laci, though she was only distantly aware that her lover was also being wracked by her own seismic activity.

Karen fell back on the bed, her body still humming as if every nerve crackled with a life of its own. She was jolted by little spasms of elemental pleasure which made her twitch and gasp out loud. It was by degrees that her sizzling nerves quieted to a pleasant hum. Along with that pleasant hum came the uncomfortable realization that the room was sixty-five degrees, and she was naked and wet – soaking wet.

Karen lifted her head and looked around. She was near the foot of the bed, near the spot her feet would normally be. If it hadn’t been for the cold and wet, she would have been content to just lay there and bask. Instead, she sighed and said, “I’m getting under the blankets before I freeze.”

Laci sat up and stretched like a cat waking from a nap. Karen noticed Laci seemed to be losing her self-consciousness about her body. She was no longer quite so shy about being openly naked.

Karen slid as far from the wet spot as she could, and Laci scooted over with her. She gathered her girl lover close and relished the sensation. “That’s a big wet spot,” Karen murmured softly.

“Yeah,” Laci agreed. “Does that happen with all girls? Get that wet when they make love?”

“I honestly don’t know, baby. I’d guess all women can get this wet, but I doubt too many do. Not everyone is with someone who makes them feel super passionate like we do.”

“Too bad for them. It’s a good thing we have thick and fluffy towels. I’ll wash everything and put on clean sheets while you’re at work tomorrow.”

“Work tomorrow,” Karen sighed. “That reminds me, Gail wants to make sure you know that there’s a very good chance either the state police or prosecution lawyers are going to show up while you’re here alone. I hate talking about this shit right after we’ve made love. I’d rather talk about how beautiful you are, or how much I love you.”

Laci chuckled and unconsciously let her fingers caress Karen’s body. “Is that bad? I mean, won’t it be to put my disgusting mother and her thug boyfriend in jail?”

“Uh huh, yeah, but they might try tricking you into saying things better handled – thoughtfully. So anyway, if they do it’s important that you don’t talk to them until either Gail or I are with you. Even chit-chatting they might try tricking you. If they show up, you politely say you’re not going to say anything until we’re with you. Do you think you can do that?”

“Cops and stuff don’t scare me.”

“I think if they don’t show up tomorrow we ought to find a way to get you away from here during the day for the rest of the week. It’s safer that way.”

“Oh, that reminds me. Emily wants me to come over to her house to hang out one day this week, like day after tomorrow.”

“That might be a good idea. As long as it’s OK with her mother. And I’d like to meet her mother, or at least talk to her on the phone first.”

“OK, I’ll talk to Em tomorrow and work it out, I’d need you to take me over and pick me up.”

Laci scraped her nails up and down Karen’s back, making her shiver and reawakening her hunger. Her voice thickened noticeably. “Maybe you can come to work with me Friday. I’m doing showings and other field work.”

“What’s ‘showing’?”

“It’s when I show people houses they’re interested in, and try to get them to buy it. I don’t do much residential anymore, mostly commercial, but having you with me can only be a good thing.”

“Really? How come?”

Karen chuckled. “It’s like I said, because you’re so beautiful.” Karen knew genuine praise of any kind was an aphrodisiac for Laci. She stroked her lover’s hair and caressed her cheek, and marveled, I could fuck her a dozen times a day and still want more. Gail has nothing on her.

“I think that’s pushing things a bit,” Laci said, but in a case of actions speaking louder than words, she snuggled closer to Karen and found her lover’s lips with hers. The first kisses were light, playful butterfly kisses. Even when she finally sent her tongue out to play, it was coy and teasing.

“Nobody kisses like you,” Karen said, her voice soft and thick. She was growing very restless, and she adjusted the covers so she could pull Laci closer. “They make me hot.”

“Everything about you makes me hot,” Laci giggled.

Karen surrendered her mouth to Laci’s. Yes indeed, kissing Laci was much more making love than making out. Still, Karen wasn’t about to let her hot little lover do all the giving.

Karen shifted so she was on her back, with Laci on top where she could more easily make love to Karen’s mouth. After a time, the natural dance their bodies did beneath the blankets brought them on their sides, more or less face to face. Karen’s sex was fully awake from its brief nap, wanting in on the action.

Now Karen pushed Laci on her back, so she was atop her increasingly antsy and jumpy lover. Laci was all but fucking Karen’s mouth with her tongue when Karen moved her hand between Laci’s legs, which lay splayed open in invitation. She cupped Laci’s crotch and squeezed firmly, the heel of her hand massaging the sensitive spot between the rise of her mound over her pubis and her clit nest. Laci jumped and made a mewling sound, and she pressed back against Karen’s hand, seeking more.

Karen used her fingers to massage Laci’s wide labial ridges, gradually opening the girl’s sex. She now massaged the opened sleeve of Laci’s slit, teasing the girl’s clit and making her squirm with increasing urgency.

At last, Karen opened Laci’s honey pot with her index and middle fingers, and gently but firmly hooked them into the girl’s vault. Laci released Karen’s lips and cried out sharply. Laci’s sex was still so tight that for Karen, it was like immersing her fingers in a glove of heated jelly.

“Karen!” Laci whimpered.

Laci’s pussy was still small and compact enough that Karen had no trouble massaging the inner sanctum of her lover’s vagina and her engorged clit at the same time. “You like that baby girl? You like it when I fuck you like that?”

Laci writhed her hips, seeking Karen’s fingers, demanding she push deeper and harder. There was nothing subtle or languid about it. Karen responded by doing exactly what Laci wanted. She worked her fingers deep into Laci’s pussy until, with some contorting, the pads of her fingers were behind Laci’s throbbing clit.

Karen squeezed her fingers together and kneaded Laci’s clit from inside and out. Laci cried out sharply. “Oh shit! Karen, Karennnn, I’m gonna cum! Make me cum, make me cum!”

Laci’s plea was sweet music to Karen’s ears. Her own pussy surged and flared, and gave up fresh nectar. “Cum for me,” Karen purred. “Making you cum sets me on fire! Cum for Mummy Karen, baby girl.”

Laci’s body went rigid and she bore down. Her pussy clamped around Karen’s fingers, and the woman could feel her lover’s pelvic muscles ripple and quiver as she let our her breath in a great gust. She squealed and kicked her feet and held Karen in a death-grip, and her sex squeezed out thick, frothy cum honey

Karen was on fire now too, her pussy sizzling and insisting on attention. She assumed she’d need to masturbate for relief. Surely Laci would be close to spent. Her orgasms tapered as Karen’s probing slowed.

“Oh Karen,” Laci groaned. She lay on her back, flushed and sweaty, her hair wild and sprawling. Karen slowly, carefully extricated her fingers, though Laci’s pussy was reluctant to release them. When she brought them out with a squishy plop, a stream of milky nectar flowed in a rivulet out of Laci’s sex,  around and over her anus and onto the sheets.

Karen brought her wet fingers to Laci’s mouth and worked them in, and Laci instinctively sucked. “Taste yourself my precious baby. I could drink what comes from you all day.” Karen freed her fingers and let them dart between her own sprawled legs lay back so she could fuck herself.

Laci suddenly sat up, blankets spilling around her waist. With a smile, she slid under the blankets between Karen’s legs. She slapped Karen’s mound several times, startling her lover, and sending jolts through the woman’s body and making her cry out. Karen was caught by surprise by Laci’s sudden surge of energy.

There was nothing graceful about Laci’s actions. She slathered Karen’s natural lubrication with the flats of her fingers while she used the balls of her thumbs to expose and massage her lover’s clit. It was pure fucking with tongue and fingers to get her lover off hard and fast.

“Holy Fuck!” Karen cried out. “Laci, you hot little wench!” Her orgasm came fast and hard, sharp bursts like some interstellar quasar trapped in her pelvis. “Oh god! Oh my fucking god! Amazing! Laci, you are amazing.”

Laci peered out from under the covers before sliding up snuggling close to Karen. “Why are you so beautiful?” Karen teased.

“Because you love me and I love you.”

Karen chuckled. “Good enough for me.”

Once again Karen found herself unable to sleep. She got up to have a cigarette and visit an old friend. Laci was lost to Morpheus, mostly on her side with her arms akimbo. She touched Laci’s bare leg and smiled. Love. So this is what it is, this is what all the ho-hah is about, and it’s pretty intense. I just had to wait for 35 and a nearly 14 year-old girl to come together in a Perfect Storm to finally find it.

Karen stood and pulled on her robe.

Well hello old friend.

The moon, a waxing gibbous, his face easing behind the door jam, was readily visible in the window overlooking the back yard.

Well hello old friend. Fancy meeting you here.

Karen looked out over the backyard, sloping down to what would in summer be a ragtag meadow. It had been snowing a mere hour ago. Now it was clear enough that the fresh snow fairly glowed under the moon’s light. Grampy used to say if a storm ended quick like that, it meant we were in for a cold stretch. Christ, that man knew everything worth knowing, oh yes, even things a gnarled up farmer mechanic wouldn’t be expected to know.

Karen took a drag from her cigarette, and stood like Annie in “The Birds” pondering the imponderable. She studied the land rolling out to the tree line. After that, what? A swamp? Another meadow? She never could bring herself to go and check.

She looked up at the moon, and when she spoke, it was a whisper. “Oh yes, we know why, indeed we do. I’m not that frigging stupid.”

The farmer’s trees are full of fruit, the barns are full of hay, flitted through her head. The incongruous bit of verse had been playing at the edges of her awareness all day, the annoying song you couldn’t get out of your head, no matter how silly. She pushed it back as best she could.

She felt more than heard the furnace come on. It sure looked cold out there, cold and a long way from high summer nights where the crickets and whippoorwills made up for the moon’s reticence.

Karen snuffed out her cigarette and set the ashtray on the window sill. Now when she spoke, her voice was soft yet tinged with anger and sadness. “Why? Why ignore me when I ask something, then follow along when the shit hits the fan, like some two bit Peeping Tom? Fuck it, nothing new here, I’m going to bed.”