It’s a horrible feeling to be betrayed by someone you thought you could completely trust. When I caught my husband…but I’m running ahead of myself.
I’m Tina Birch, formerly Mrs Tina Donnelly. Tim and I met when we were both 23, and on the rebound from other relationships. We married at 25, and spent 13 years together, as far as I knew happy and in love.
Of course we irritated each other at times, what couple doesn’t, and we had rows, but I assumed we were, well, at least comfortable with our marriage. His teaching career prospered, my Civil Service career rather stalled; shortly after I met Tim I had an opportunity to join a fast-track scheme that night have seen me shoot up the ladder, but I turned it down because I thought it was more important to be supportive to my then fiancé. We never had children — we were both a bit diffident about the idea, and although we made a few token efforts it never really took. Perhaps if we had, things would have turned out differently. Probably not. Well, anyway.
I started to suspect something at a party we went to, thrown by friends. One of the women at the party was a decorator who’d done some work at our house a few months earlier. I’d got on well with her at the time. Naturally we chatted with her, and she and Tim seemed to have a sort of sparky humour between them. There were also tiny glances between them that I picked up, the sort of momentary look you give someone when you want to share a secret with them, but you can’t because someone else is there. Later, I went to look for Tim because I was ready to leave, and I saw them standing in a little summerhouse, holding each other’s hands, their heads very close as they talked quietly. They didn’t see me. Tim broke away — reluctantly it seemed to me — and I scuttled away to let him find me.
When we got home, he could tell there was something wrong, and asked me what it was. I shrugged, and asked, “How long has it been going on?” You and Gillian?” He dredged up a bewildered look, and pretended he had no idea what I meant. That angered me. “Oh come on Tim, I’m not a complete fool. I saw the looks between you. And I saw you in the summerhouse. Please at least show me enough respect to be honest with me.”
The look on his face at that comment made me wonder what I might have seen if I’d got to that summerhouse a few minutes earlier. But he sank into a chair, gave me an earnest look, and said, “Tina, I’m sorry. I’ll end it, I promise. I know it’s a terrible cliché, but it doesn’t mean anything to me, I don’t know why I let her start it. I love you sweetheart, you know that.” I spent a couple of nights in the spare room, thinking about the position. Then he told me he’d finished it with Gillian, and, well, we ended up making love that night, for the first time in weeks. I lay awake for hours afterwards though, wondering if I could ever really trust him again.
A few nights later I found out. On Mondays Tim went to a regular pub quiz with a number of work colleagues. He’d originally asked me to be a member of the team but I’m not into quizzes — as far as I’m concerned I get asked quite enough stupid questions at work. Normally he took a taxi home, so he could drink, but that night I decided to go and pick him up. God knows why I chose that night, maybe I felt guilty about not having faith in him, or perhaps it was my subconscious talking to me. Whatever; anyway, I turned up at the pub, and there were the team, sitting laughing and boozing, except that one chair was empty. When they saw me they immediately went quiet and a bit shifty, and I knew something was up. I asked where Tim was, and one of the guys, probably a bit too pissed to be sensible, said, “He’s just gone out the back for a moment.” Then he winced as another one kicked him under the table. He called to my retreating back, “Tina, hang on, I meant he’s out the back at the loo”
I stalked down the small corridor to the rear entrance of the pub — past the gents’ toilet — with my heart racing. That door was hardly ever used, and led into a grubby little alley strewn with empty bottles, newspapers and used condoms. As I opened the door, in the half-light from the toilet window I saw about five yards away a figure leaning back against the wall. He was groaning, and there was another figure crouched in front of him, her head pressed to his groin. As I watched in open-mouthed horror, I heard my husband’s voice mutter, “Oh fuck Gill, that’s sweet.” Tim didn’t see me standing there, but I’m pretty sure the fucking bitch-slut did.
I had trouble driving home. At one point I shot a red light and had to pull over to calm down, swiping angry tears from my face, before I finished the journey slowly and carefully. Tim arrived home about 20 minutes later, and his friends had clearly told him I’d rushed back through the pub and screamed that they were bastards. He stood across the room to me, shrugged, and said simply, “Tina, I’m sorry.”
I clenched my hands, determined not to cry. I replied, “For what? For lying to me and not really breaking it off? Or about me finding out?”
He stepped closer to me and reached a hand out to me. Then he spoke to me as if I was a petulant child — I always used to hate it when he patronised me like that. “Look, we’re both a bit overwrought tonight. Let’s just go to bed, and we can talk about this tomorrow, when we’re less tired.”
I stared at him in total disbelief. Then I hurled myself at him, fists flailing, and screaming, “You fucking, fucking bastard, how dare you!” I think the suddenness of my attack caught him off-guard, and he staggered back. I saw a trickle of blood from his lower lip, and realised I’d really connected. He looked furious for a moment, then turned on his heel and strode out of the room.
The next morning he tried to speak to me, but I’d locked the door to the spare room. I waited until he’d left for school, then threw as many clothes as I could into our biggest suitcase, phoned in sick to work and wheeled the case down to the nearest tube station. The house belonged to Tim, inherited from his grandparents, so there was no question of him moving out. It was as I was standing on the crowded train, wondering which stop I was getting off at, that I realised I didn’t have the slightest idea where I was going to sleep that night. I went to an internet café and found a cheap hotel in Kings Cross. I thought it would do for a night or two until I sorted myself out. After I’d checked in I stood and stared at myself in the full length mirror on the wall in my room. So this was me — 38, pale, shoulder-length blonde hair a bit bedraggled from the drizzle which had been falling outside, at least half a stone overweight, separated — permanently — from my cheating shit of a husband — and homeless. I’m five-feet-four, with boobs that strain a B-cup and wide hips, and any amount of extra weight looks terrible on me. I hadn’t been to a gym for about three years, but I decided that was one of the first things that was going to change.
The next few days were some of the worst of my life. With no cooking facilities I was eating at Burger King for my supper, and the hotel room was tiny and a bit smelly, with nothing to sit on but the bed. The other girls in my office – there are five of us – could tell something was up with me, but I wasn’t ready to tell them my marriage had collapsed. I had to set up my own bank account, transfer a fair share of our joint account into it, let all sorts of other people know not to contact me at home…it was all too much for me. On the Thursday, after two nights in my dingy hotel room, I snapped at one of the other girls over something really trivial, she snapped back, and next thing I knew I was in floods of tears, with the poor kid standing there bewildered, wondering what the hell she’d done. Of course, it all came out then. The girls were great about it, cuddling me until I calmed down, making me cups of coffee, cracking jokes to try to cheer me up…that evening all four of them took me to a pasta place for dinner, then to our local pub.
I drank rather too much, and my best mate in the office, Carmen, helped me home on the tube. She was shocked when she saw where I was staying. “No way! Look, I live on my own – the place is tiny, but tomorrow you’re going to pack up all your belongings, check out of here and come and crash on my bed-settee till we find you something better. Tine, are you listening?” I nodded drunkenly. The next morning she phoned me to make sure I really had heard her, which was just as well otherwise I’d probably have slept all day. By the time I’d dragged my huge suitcase onto the tube, getting dagger stares from hundreds of commuters, then up to my office on the fifth floor of our building, I was knackered. As I flopped into my chair Carmen brought me a lovely cup of tea and grinned triumphantly. “I’ve got a better solution for you. You know Alice, downstairs in Contracts? Well, she’s looking for a new housemate at the moment, and she said she’d be happy to let you share with her.”
I certainly knew Alice. I also knew I wasn’t at all sure I’d be comfortable sharing with her. She was a cheery girl of about 23, solid without being fat, with short red hair and freckles. I went and talked to her about it, and all the arrangements sounded fine. There was one issue bothering me, but I hesitated to mention it. Finally, nervously, I said, “Erm, there’s just one thing — aren’t you gay?”
I was sure she was going to be offended, but she grinned. “Oh yeah, totally. Don’t worry though Tina, I’m just offering you a place of your own, not trying to pull you. No offence, but you’re not my type.” I laughed and thanked her, feeling a complete fool. That evening Alice helped me with my case back to her place in Kensal Rise. It was a terrace house, with a shared lounge and kitchen downstairs, shared bathroom upstairs and two bedrooms. Mine was a decent size, and besides the single bed and the other usual fittings there was a writing desk, a comfy armchair, a good quality TV that the previous occupant had left, and a Yale lock on the door. I immediately felt I’d be very comfortable there. Alice and I shared a glass of wine in the lounge to mark my arrival, then she left me to settle in. I sat on the bed and reflected with amazement that on Monday morning I’d been a married woman, by Friday night I was the separated flatmate of a young lesbian.
I didn’t see much of Alice at the weekend, but on the Monday we travelled to and from work together. That evening I was just settling down in my room to watch TV over a bowl of soup when she tapped on my door and asked if I’d like to join her downstairs. Being the new girl I had felt a bit nervous about just barging in, but I was happy to accept her invitation. Alice and I quickly became good mates. It turned out we had quite similar tastes in TV, especially soaps and comedy, and we regularly spent the evening together watching, or listening to music as we talked about everything and nothing. I usually made myself scarce when she had a girlfriend round — rarely the same one twice — unless I was invited in to join them (in the lounge I hasten to add, not Alice’s bedroom!). We both took a half-day off work one day and sneaked back to my old home — Tim’s home — to pack my remaining belongings into the mini van we’d hired for the purpose. They made my room back at my new home a bit cluttered, but it was worth it.
The Sunday after that, Alice tapped on my door just before noon. “Hi Tine, I normally go and meet up with a few friends down at the pub on a Sunday for lunch. D’you fancy coming along?”
“Thanks Alice,” I said, “but you young things don’t want an old bag like me there.”
She grinned at that. “You’re as old as you feel. Honestly, you’ll like the girls, and they’ll like you. Some of them are ancient — as old as 27, even! Seriously, they’re a friendly bunch – come on Tine, it’s a laugh.”
A thought occurred to me. “Er, Alice, are the girls…”
She smiled and shook her head, in half-amusement and half-irritation. “Yes Tina, we’re all gay. And what we do is, we have this big lesbian orgy right there in the middle of the pub floor every week, gives the lads something to watch over their pints till the football comes on the telly.”
I laughed at my own stupidity, to try and cover my embarrassment. “Sorry I’m such an arsehole. Yeah, I’d love to come, thank you.”
I did have a really good time. I accompanied Alice regularly after that – there were usually somewhere between five and eight of us there, and we talked, laughed, lunched on typical pub grub, and listened to the regular live set of classic ’70s blues and soul from a local duo. Within a couple of weeks I was just accepted as one of the gang — nobody could have cared less that I was straight, and I enjoyed the catty gossip among the girls about their friends, enemies, romances, and the evils of men in general, as much as they did. The other regulars all knew the noisy birds in the corner were a bunch of dykes, but weren’t in the least bit bothered, greeting us with jovial cordiality.
There was one girl who seemed to particularly take a shine to me. Her name was Laurel and she was 25, tall and slim with long, chestnut coloured hair, and a pretty face with big brown eyes, high cheekbones and lips which seemed to form a natural pout. She had a soft voice with the slightest trace of a Scots accent — she was from Stirling — and made a point of bringing me into conversations if I seemed to have drifted out of them. At first she always arrived with another woman called Jenny, a few years older than her, but after a few weeks Jenny stopped appearing. Alice told me they’d split up, and left it at that.
After Jenny faded away, Laurel and I usually found ourselves sitting next to each other, and increasingly we seemed to be talking more just with each other than as part of the main group. One day I realise that they’d gone quiet, and looked up to see the other five all staring at Laurel and me; then as one they burst out laughing. I felt unaccountably embarrassed, and said, “What?!”, while Laurel smiled into her beer glass.
Laurel worked in the sports department of the local council. I told her that I had resolved to start going back to the gym, but hadn’t found the enthusiasm yet. She said, “You should come with me. I go at least one night a week, and on Saturdays. In the summer I play tennis too. I used to be quite good as a kid, and it’s a much more interesting way to keep fit than pounding a treadmill. Do you play?”
I told her, “I used to, years ago, but I wasn’t very good even then. I think it’d kill me now.”
She chuckled at that. “We should have a game sometime. Not a real game, just a gentle knock-up. Honestly, it is good fun, and I’m not exactly Amelie Mauresmo.”
I agreed to meet Laurel at the gym one evening. It was only a few minutes walk from the house, so I changed into my sports togs there and made my way over. I have to admit, my breath was taken away by Laurel when I first saw her in the fitness room. She was wearing a bright yellow spandex leotard which hugged her figure, and black footless tights, and looked like a glamour model advertising sportswear. The leotard emphasised a bust larger than I’d realised before. She seemed delighted with my reaction to her. I knew all the equipment in the gym, but Laurel helped me get used to it again, then did her own regular routine. I didn’t even try to keep pace with her, the girl was super-fit. Afterwards I dragged myself back to the house for a shower and an early night to bed. After that, the gym on Tuesdays and Saturdays with Laurel became another regular thing in my life. After one session I lay happily in bed reflecting on how well I seemed to be re-inventing myself. I had a new circle of friends, two particularly good friends in Alice and Laurel, I was starting to get fit, and I felt happier and less uptight than I had in ages.
A couple of weeks after Laurel and I started our gym sessions, she called me in the office one morning. “Hi, I’ve got the day off work and I’m in town doing a bit of shopping. I wondered if you’d fancy meeting up for lunch?” I thought that sounded lovely, so I agreed a long lunch break with my colleagues and we arranged to meet at the Pizza Hut close to my office. I virtuously ordered a salad, then Laurel showed me the purchases she’d already made. She seemed unusually giggly and a bit nervous. I placed a hand on hers to try and calm her down, and asked her if anything was wrong.
She sat staring intently at the half-slice of pizza she was pushing around her plate with her fork. “Well, no, not wrong really, but…” She raised her eyes to me and bit her lip before going on. “The thing is, I…well, I wondered if you’d like to have dinner with me one night?”
I sat back, momentarily stunned. I didn’t want to misunderstand what was happening here, and said, “Hang on — are you asking me for a date?” Looking uncomfortable, she shrugged shyly. I placed my hand on hers again. “Laurel, I’m really flattered, and you know how much I like you, but I thought you knew — I’m not a lesbian.”
She raised her head to look at me properly. “Neither am I.” She saw bewilderment in my face, and continued quickly. “No, seriously, I’m not. I’ve had boyfriends and girlfriends. Okay, I admit my last few relationships have all been with women, but it’s the person I’m attracted to, not the gender. If I like someone it’s simply irrelevant to me what sex they happen to be. And I really like you, Tina. You’re funny, intelligent, lovely looking — anyone would like you.” She seemed to be becoming more embarrassed with every word, her normally pink cheeks turning crimson.
I felt totally confused. I really liked Laurel too. I just didn’t think I liked her in that way, but I really didn’t want to hurt her feelings. She turned her hand over on the table, her fingers interlacing with mine, and spoke again. “Okay, look, let’s not call it a date; let’s call it two people who are good friends and maybe a wee bit lonely, going out for an evening in each other’s company. After all, we’re eating a meal together now, that’s all I’m really suggesting, and we’re having a good time. Aren’t we?”
I tried to re-assure her with a smile, and said, “Yeah, ‘course we are. And yes, I’d really like to have dinner with you.” We talked about the arrangements for a few minutes, then I returned to work and Laurel went off to spend more money. That afternoon I e-mailed Alice and asked if she’d meet me in the tea room. When she arrived, I said simply, “Laurel’s asked me out.”
Whatever I expected Alice to say, it certainly wasn’t “Good, about time.”
I stared at her open-mouthed. “What do you mean ‘about time’? Alice, I…” I glanced around us nervously and lowered my voice. “You know I’m not…into girls.”
She looked me in the eye, and said, rather loudly for my comfort, “How do you know? No, don’t give me that look, I mean it, have you ever been with a girl?”
I hissed back, “Of course I haven’t. And I know because, well, I like sex with men.”
Alice wasn’t to be discouraged though. “The only thing a man’s got that a woman hasn’t is a cock; and we can buy them, bigger, longer and harder than…Tine, you’re giving me that look again! Seriously, a woman can do anything a man can do, plus we’re softer, we’re more sensitive, we understand other women better, we smell better…and we’re made the same way as each other, so we know better what feels good.”
I hadn’t felt as uncomfortable with a conversation since that first night I found out Tim was having his affair, and I profoundly wished I hadn’t started it. Alice just kept right on though. “Think about this Tina: and really think about it, don’t just answer now, off the cuff. Knowing everything you do about Laurel, be totally honest, if she was exactly the same but a bloke, instead of happening to be the same sex as you, would you even hesitate about going out with her, now you’re single again? You’re both my friends, and I’d like to see you both happy. I think her asking you out could be the best thing that’s happened to you in a long time.”
I already knew the answer to the question. If a young man who had Laurel’s looks, her personality, her intelligence, her dry, quirky humour, her warmth towards me, if such a man had asked me out, not only would I have agreed in a moment, I’d be making damn sure I had a packet of condoms in my handbag as well, just in case. The realisation really scared me. Licking my lips nervously, I said, “But…Alice, please don’t take this the wrong way, but I’ve seen you with girls — several girls. I’m not ready to be hurt again.”
She grinned at that. “Not all dykes are like me. I’m not into commitment, I like variety. Laurel isn’t like that. She told me once all she wants is to find true love, but if anything she’s been more unlucky than you. She came down to London with a university lecturer she was involved with, but she dumped Laurel almost as soon as they got here. Then Jenny — you remember she used to come to the pub on Sundays when you started coming? Well, Laurel and her were together for a few months, and Laurel was just starting to think it might be the real deal, when she walked in one day to find Jenny with her head buried in some other girl’s twat. To be honest, I never really thought Jenny and Laurel were right together, Jenny was too controlling. But you and Laurel, every time I see you together it looks like a relationship waiting to happen. The only one of our Sunday crowd who hasn’t already cottoned onto that is you.”
My mind reeling, I stood and thanked Alice. I started to return to my office, then a thought occurred to me. I turned back to her. “Alice, I don’t know if Laurel asking me out is a good thing or not, not yet. But I do know one thing — the real best thing that’s happened to me in a long time is you becoming my friend.” For the second time in a few hours I made a lesbian blush, but this one gave me a big grin and told me to piss off!
For the next few hours I couldn’t concentrate on my work, or anything else but how I really felt about Laurel asking me out, and about her declaration of attraction to me. That evening, when I wandered into our lounge to be with Alice, she looked a little surprised to see me. Hesitantly, she said, “Tine, you’re not pissed off with me are you, over what I said? Only you hardly said a word to me all the way home from work today.”
Now it was my turn to feel embarrassed. I crossed quickly to Alice and brushed a hand across her hair. “Oh I’m sorry Al, no, of course I’m not pissed off with you. I was just a bit pre-occupied.” I was about to offer to make her a fresh cup of coffee, but at that moment my mobile phone buzzed.
It was Laurel, sounding even more nervous than at lunchtime. “Hi Tina, sorry to bother you, I just wanted to check we’re still on for tomorrow night, that you haven’t changed your mind.”
I sat opposite Alice, and locked my eyes on hers as I replied to Laurel. “No Laurel, I haven’t changed my mind about tomorrow night. Only…I think we should call it a first date.” Laurel sounded delighted at my comment. As I disconnected Alice leapt out of her chair, threw herself down next to me on the couch and, for the first time, we had a big sisterly hug. It felt lovely.
I was so nervous at work the next day, and finished early to get home to prepare. Alice helped me choose my outfit — a pale blue dress that emphasised my curves and my cleavage, and flat shoes for comfort — and she showed an unsuspected talent for hairstyling. I wore my hair up, with little ringlets hanging down in front of my ears. As I left Alice gave me a kiss on the cheek and another hug, and said, “Just relax and have a good time, okay?”
Laurel and I were going to a local Indian restaurant, and had agreed to meet there. She looked absolutely stunning, in a figure-hugging black trouser-suit, with a low-cut black silk blouse. Her long hair was tied into a ponytail with black silk ribbon. She’s naturally about three inches taller than me, but with the court shoes she was wearing her height advantage was doubled. We gave each other friendly pecks on the cheek, and she placed a hand in the small of my back to guide me into the restaurant, murmuring how lovely I looked. We were both a bit reserved until we’d eaten, but over liqueur coffees Laurel asked, “So tell me, what was it that changed your mind about this being a date?”
I smiled. “I had a chat with Alice — she talks a lot of sense, I think she’d make a good psychologist. And what you said was true, as well: if you like someone enough, it really doesn’t matter whether they happen to be male or female. I love spending time with you. I mean, I’m not saying that I’ve definitely decided to…erm…”
I couldn’t think of the right words to say what I meant, but Laurel understood. She reached across the table and squeezed my hand. “I know. Let’s just take things slowly, and see what happens. At the very worst, I’ve got a really good friend in you, and I wouldn’t want to do anything that would mess that up.”
As Laurel started to walk me home, she slipped her arm around my shoulders. It felt nice, and entirely natural, and I rested my arm in turn around her waist. When we reached my home we stood with our arms around each other’s waists, gazing into each other’s eyes. Laurel said softly, “May I kiss you goodnight?”
I nodded. “Mmm, that’d be nice.” I closed my eyes as she lowered her head and her soft lips met mine. It was just a nice, affectionate kiss with closed mouths — but my pussy gave a lurch that caught me completely by surprise.
I asked Laurel if she’d like to come in for coffee, but she smiled and shook her head. “Not this time. I’ll see you tomorrow at the gym. Take care, sweetness.” Then she turned and left. I didn’t go inside until the click of her heels along the pavement had faded away. I wasn’t entirely surprised to find Alice waiting up with a cup of cocoa for me, and we sat up for two hours talking excitedly and giggling like schoolgirls.
The following day was Saturday, and I bounced out of bed, eager to get to the gym and see Laurel again. She was waiting slightly nervously for me in the fitness room. Nobody else was around, and I walked straight over to her and kissed her on the cheek, telling her how much I’d enjoyed our date. She smiled happily. “Well, if you’d like to do it again, you could come round to my place this evening if you like. I’ll cook us dinner then walk you home,” she added quickly, obviously worried that I might get the wrong idea from her invitation. “That’s if you want to. There’s no pressure, tell me if you think I’m going too fast.”
I shook my head. “No, I don’t think having another dinner together is going too fast. I’d love to see your place.” All through our gym session I could barely take my eyes off her. Every time we touched, just brushing each other’s arms or whatever, my skin tingled excitingly. I rushed home from the gym and spent the rest of the day readying myself for the evening. As I soaked in the bath, I thought long and hard again about what I really felt for Laurel; and how my feelings seemed to have changed in the last few hours.
I decided to go for a more casual look than the previous evening, wearing my hair down, with black jeans, a plaid lumberjack shirt and trainers. After much debate with myself, I chose thong panties and a half-cup bra that pushed my boobs up and left my nipples exposed. They were clearly visible pressing against the material of my shirt.
When Alice saw me she gave a long, low wolf whistle and waggled her eyebrows suggestively. I sat down in front of her and said, “Alice, I…I think I might want to sleep with Laurel tonight. I don’t know what to do.”
She looked momentarily taken aback, then gave me a wicked grin and said, “Just go for it girl.”
I shook my head, laughing quietly. “No, I mean…I don’t know how to…oh God Alice, you must know what I mean, how do lesbians make love? I mean obviously I’ve got an idea, but, well…” I trailed off, feeling embarassed and pathetic.
She looked at me for a moment as if I’d gone made, then burst out laughing. She stopped though when she saw a look of pain on my face. “Oh Tina, I’m sorry. Are you seriously asking me to tell you how to have sex with another woman? Did you ask someone how to do it the first time you screwed a feller?”
I shrugged helplessly. “That seemed pretty obvious.”
Alice nodded, serious now. “And so’s this. Just do what you feel you want to, I promise you it’ll come naturally and you’ll be fine. Think about what you like men doing to you — apart from the obvious, I mean.” She could see how worried I still was, and squatted on the floor in front of me, taking my hands in hers and kissing my palms. “Look babe, Laurel knows you haven’t done this before, and she’ll be gentle with you, I know she will. Try not to be scared, just relax and enjoy it, and everything will be great.” She sat on the couch next to me for the next half hour, cuddling me, stroking my hair and reassuring me. Then she saw me off at the door with a worried smile.
When I reached Laurel’s place she greeted me with a huge beam. As her eyes passed up and down me my stomach knotted nervously and my pussy tingled again. I would never have believed just a few days earlier that another woman could have such an effect on me. She looked as lovely as ever: this time she was in a dress, a simple black one, buttoned to the waist, knee-length and sleeveless and a modest V neckline. Her hair hung loose down her back. She had a studio flat above a row of shops, and what she had done with it was amazing. It was an oriental look, with silk prints of Japanese figures, cranes and so on on the wall, and paper screens decorated with Chinese lettering separating the bed from the lounge area. I told Laurel I thought it was quite beautiful.
Appropriately, she’d made us a beef teriyaki with stir-fried vegetables, which was really delicious. We didn’t chat much, just ate in easy silence, smiling at each other and sipping a gorgeous red wine. Afterwards I sat on a couch patterned with jasmine flowers with Laurel opposite me in a matching armchair while we listened to a CD of jazz music, the lights turned low. I’ve never really heard much jazz, and this was wonderfully mellow, original recordings from the 1920s and ’30s featuring artists with names like Bix Beiderbecke, Kid Ory and Ma Rainey. I closed my eyes and drank in the sweet melodies. Then I felt my shoe laces being untied, and a moment later Laurel’s warm hands closed over one of my feet, massaging it gently but firmly. I couldn’t help groaning with pleasure and in a quiet voice, she asked, “Do you like that?” I could only moan again in confirmation. The feelings her hands were creating in me were quite incredible, and were racing straight up my legs and into my pussy.
After a few minutes she stopped massaging me and stood, taking my hand in hers. She smiled down at me and whispered, “Would you like to dance?” I stood and we held each other close, both barefoot, shuffling around the tiny space, our bodies pressed against each other, completely ignoring the changing rhythms of the music.
As we danced, I whispered to Laurel, “Why are you interested in me? I’m just a dowdy old frump, and I’m so much older than you.”
She shook her head emphatically. Then she said, “Age is just a number. Anyway, I’ve always gone for more mature women. And you’re not dowdy or frumpy, you are so, so beautiful.” She kissed me lightly on the lips, then continued, “Do you know why Jenny left me?”
Slightly embarrassed, I said, “Well, Alice said you caught her with another woman.”
She nodded, then spoke again. “That was only part of it. That day, when I walked in on her with the other girl, she knew what time I’d be home. She wanted me to catch them, to save her the hassle of having to tell me we were over. The reason she did it — well, part of the reason — was that she accused me of wanting you, said I’d fallen in love with you and I was cheating on her in my mind. The absolute truth is, she was right.” She kissed me again, and for a moment her tongue flickered against my lips.
Just as my body began to meld into Laurel’s, she pulled way and said, “Well, I suppose I’d better walk you home.”
Perplexed by the sudden change of gear, I stuttered, “But I thought…”
She stopped me, placing a finger on my lips. “Not yet. I’m terrified of freaking you out, and driving you away. I want you to be absolutely sure before we make love for the first time.”
Her eyes widened slightly in surprise as I pulled her to me. Wrapping her in my arms I said, softly but determinedly, “Laurel, I am sure. Absolutely. I love you, and I want to express my love for you.”
Before she could react I kissed her, our most passionate kiss yet, pressing my tongue past her lips and circling it around hers. Her eyes closed and she pushed against me with a moan, the fingers of one hand trailing through my hair while her other arm pulled me even tighter to her. After a while she broke away, gasping for breath, and clung to me, whispering, “Oh God darling, I want you so much.”
Without breaking our clinch we shuffled in the direction of the bed. I suddenly felt incredibly nervous over what was about to happen. As if she understood that, Laurel lay me on the bed then broke our contact, walking quickly round to the other side. For probably a full minute we lay about a foot apart, just smiling at each other in silence. Then I felt her toes stroking my foot, and she leant in, placed a hand behind my head, and kissed me, with infinite tenderness. Her arm slipped down to my back and she gently pulled me to her. I began to reach out to hold her too, but my hand fell short, cupping around her breast, outside her dress — it just felt the natural thing to do. The intensity of our kiss began to increase, and Laurel’s thigh pressed between mine, rubbing against my jeans. I could feel my thong dampening, and beginning to stick to my pussy.
Acting of their own volition, it seemed, my fingers undid a button of Laurel’s dress and my hand slipped inside. I eased it under the silky material of her bra and, for the first time in my life, I held another woman’s breast. She moaned into my mouth and pushed against me. The boob I was holding was a little smaller than mine, but considerably firmer. I squeezed it timidly, and felt her nipple press against my palm. Laurel quickly unbuttoned my shirt and began to pull it off my shoulders. We sat up, rather awkwardly, our lips still locked together, so that she could remove my shirt entirely, leaving in it only the arm whose hand I was reluctant to remove from her chest. She whispered “Wow!” against my mouth when she saw my half-cup bra.
We fell back into our lying position, and Laurel immediately detached her mouth from mine and, easing the cup fully down with her fingers, sucked one of my breasts between her lips. As her warm mouth closed over my tit, and her tongue began to caress my nipple, I felt my eyes pricking with tears. I couldn’t have explained why: what she was doing just felt so incredibly right, as if I’d been waiting my whole life for it and only just found out. Struggling to breathe, let alone talk, I murmured, “Laurel, I want to get undressed.”
She released my boob, held my face between her hands and kissed my nose, then whispered, “Good idea, honey.”
For some reason I felt ridiculously shy in front of this woman who was about to become my lover, and turned my back to her to quickly slip off my clothes. I had to peel off my thong — I couldn’t believe how wet I already was, and she hadn’t even touched me there yet. When I turned back to Laurel, she had slipped under the duvet, but had rolled it down to her waist. I just stared at her, thinking she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Her body was quite pale, her neck long and graceful like a swan’s; her breasts stood up proudly — when I lay on my back mine spread out across my chest. My nipples are round, like little berries, but Laurel’s were long and slim, a dark pink colour. Her slim waist began to taper out into full hips where the duvet covered her. I realised she was taking in my body too, and slipped under the duvet to join her.
I felt momentarily awkward, but Laurel wrapped me in her arms and pulled me to her, and for the first time I felt a woman’s breasts nestling against my own, her soft belly pressing against mine. It was an incredible experience, and I got an attack of the shivers. Laurel held me tightly, pressed her cheek to mine and stroked my hair, whispering, “Shh, shh, it’s okay honey.” Cupping my face in her hands again, she looked into my eyes, and asked, “Do you just want to cuddle up for now, and get used to it? We don’t have to do anything else, really.”
I shook my head determinedly. “No, I’m sorry, I…I really want us to make love tonight, Laurel.”
She smiled, a lovely sight, and kissed my cheek, whispering, “Oh Tina, I am so in love with you.” We kissed deeply and I began to relax into her embrace. Again Laurel pressed her thigh gently between my legs, this time meeting my bare pussy. My hips started twitching back and forth, wetting her leg with my juice. A sudden surge of emotion overtook me and I bear-hugged her to me, pressing my face into hers as I threw all my passion into our kiss. Any reluctance I might ever have felt was a distant memory — at that moment I wanted that woman more than I’d ever wanted anything in my entire life.
Laurel giggled at my enthusiasm and eased me onto my back, laying half across me. Dragging her lips from mine, she attached them to my throat, then kissed her way back to my breasts. She kissed one then the other, over and over; each time she stroked the other one with her hand, her fingertips flicking against my nipples. Somewhere, a long way off, I could hear someone moaning wildly, and I knew it was me. I closed my eyes and my head arched back on the pillow, feeding my breast deeper into her mouth as the most amazing sensations coursed from my chest, down through my body and into my pussy. Her hand followed. I shivered as her fingers trailed across my sensitive belly, then I felt the heel of her hand resting on my neatly trimmed blonde pubic bush, as fingertips entered the top of my pussy. I jumped and squeaked as they brushed across my clit. Through a mouthful of breast, Laurel mumbled, “Oh angel, you’re so wet. Can I kiss you there?”
I’d lost all power of speech, and groaned assent, nodding my head desperately. My eyes still squeezed shut, I felt her kiss across my tummy, then her tongue connected with my clitty, her fingers simultaneously sliding smoothly into me and stroking my tender inner flesh. It felt as if all the breath had been driven from m body. Immediately the most incredible feelings began passing through me in waves. It felt as if my blood was boiling in my veins, and my entire being was concentrated in those few inches of myself between my thighs. Tim had done this for me a few times, with little enthusiasm, but as Laurel alternated her hands and her mouth between my clit and my inner pussy it was like experiencing the finest wine ever bottled after previously tasting only tap water.
My throat was becoming raw with my moaning, and I honestly thought I might die from the sheer ecstasy of what Laurel was doing to me. I felt my legs pulling my knees upwards, and I reached down and wrapped my hands behind them, trying to give Laurel as much room to pleasure me as possible. I could feel my climax building inside me, and when it came I screamed and sobbed, rolling from side to side, clawing at my own legs as it felt as though my internal organs were actually pumping themselves out of me and onto Laurel’s sweet tongue. She moaned too as I released, but continued stroking me with her tongue, nose and fingers, and within seconds my hips lurched again as I enjoyed one of the first double orgasms or my life.
Afterwards I felt faint, and at first my eyes seemed as if they wouldn’t focus. Laurel’s voice sounded somehow far away as she cuddled up to me, telling me how much she loved me and kissing my face. I stroked her soft, warm back, feeling the beautiful velvety texture of her skin. I had been with several men in my life, and with Tim hundreds of times; but I couldn’t remember ever feeling so totally aroused, or so mind-blowingly satisfied by sex as I felt that evening. I leaned up on one elbow, pushing Laurel back to the bed, and whispered, “Thank you…that was amazing.” I realised she was crying softly, and hugged her to me. “Oh sweetie, don’t, please. What is it, have I upset you?”
She shook her head, crying harder. “No, no, of course not, you’re wonderful. But I’ve been in love with you for weeks, and I’ve wanted you so much. I really didn’t believe it’d ever happen, and now it has I’m so scared I’m going to fuck it up, like I always fuck things up.”
I was desperate to reassure her, and tried to kiss her tears away. “Oh Laurel, my love, you’re not going to fuck anything up. You’ve given me the most incredible feelings I’ve ever had. I love you, and nothing’s going to come between us, for as long as you want me.”
She smiled up at me, and sniffled. “Tina, I can’t imagine not wanting you. I’ve been with a few girls, and a couple of guys, but I’ve never had feelings about any of them like I have about you. Really. Oh God, I’ve only known you a few weeks, that must sound such a fucking corny line.”
I kissed her cheeks, and said, seriously, “No, it doesn’t sound corny at all. I think I feel the same way. My mum used to say you could fall in love with the right person in a second, and I adore you.”
We just held each other for a long time. I think we were both rather emotionally drained by what had passed between us in the last hour or so, and we slept in each other’s arms. I awoke at some point in the night, to feel Laurel kissing my face, her arms around me, her hands softly kneading my buttocks. Seeing I’d woken, she pulled my hips towards her, and a blast of electricity shot through me as she began to grind her pubes against mine. I realised I hadn’t done anything for her yet, and slipped my hand between us, my fingers slipping straight into her pussy. She breathed, “Oh fuck!”, and her head fell against my shoulder for a moment. Then she ran her tongue around the contours of my ear, as she in turn sunk her fingers inside me.
For the next few minutes we lay gazing into each other’s eyes, panting as with one hand each of us caressed the other’s breasts, while with our other hands we fingered each other to heaven. It was the strangest feeling. The only vagina I’d ever played with before was my own, and I was doing all the things I knew I liked, drawing moans and gasps from Laurel, yet getting different sensations to the ones I was used to when I did those things, because it was her hand, not mine, that was reaming around inside my pussy. Her love-hole felt tighter than mine, and she was incredibly wet. She cried out as she came, and her hips pushed at my fingers. I withdrew from her and, my eyes still fixed on hers, slipped my fingers into my mouth, sucking her juices from them. That, and the steady rhythm with which she had begun to fuck me, sent me over the top, and I had another crashing orgasm, before Laurel fed her fingers not into her own mouth but into mine, and I tasted my own sex, the bitter-sweet flavour mingling with hers.
We hugged, kissed and whispered together for the rest of the night, then slept late into Sunday morning. Laurel made us both coffee, then we dressed for the pub, I pulling on the same clothes I had slipped out of a few hours earlier. Laurel wore a yellow vest top and a pleated white tennis skirt, showing her long, slim legs. As we were about to leave, I pulled her to me, her back to me, and buried my face in her neck. “Laurel, I’m sorry I didn’t go down on you last night. I wish I had.”
She turned and gave me a genuine smile, kissing my cheek. “Don’t worry about it, angel. I’d love you to do that for me sometime, but there’s no rush, and no pressure. It’s a big thing the first time; honestly, it took me a while to pluck up the courage. I’ve had a lovely night, and I’m looking forward to a lot more like it.”
While Laurel had been showering I’d phoned Alice and told her my news. She was over the moon about it, but promised not to say anything to the other girls. Laurel and I wanted to get properly used to each other before we came out as a couple, and Alice had agreed to meet me outside the pub, ten minutes after Laurel went in. Our ‘secret’ lasted about another 20 minutes though. As I returned to the table balancing a tray of drinks, having got my round in, Laurel was grinning in a slightly embarrassed way, and all the other girls were beaming at me. As I sat, one of our friends, Kit, leaned over to me, kissed me on the cheek, and said “Welcome to the club, girl.”
I turned to Alison, who was grinning like the Cheshire cat, and asked her, “Did you say something?” I knew Laurel wouldn’t have done.
Alison shook her head, and Kit told me, “No-one needed to say anything Tine. It’s been obvious from the moment you two came in — you can hardly keep your hands off each other, let alone your eyes. We’ve all known it was going to happen for weeks, we’re just glad it has.”
Four hours later, a bit pissed and glowing with the warmth of our friends’ happiness for us, Laurel and I returned to her place, via mine to pick up a change of clothes — I doubted I’d make it home that night either! Laurel half-collapsed into a chair and I sat at her feet, resting my weight on one hand and rubbing my other hand up and down one of her smooth legs. I don’t know if it was the beer, or the friendship I’d been basking in, or just that I so wanted to make my lover happy, but I suddenly knew exactly what I wanted to do. Kneeling, I reached my hands under her skirt and began to pull at her thong panties. She had been almost drowsing, but she gave a little giggle and lifted her bum to help me get her pants off. I placed both my hands on her thighs, eased them apart and shuffled between them. She realised with shock what I was intending, and murmured, “Tina, baby, you don’t have to…oh Christ!”
My mouth was within inches of her slit, and I gently blew air up its length, making her squirm, as I gazed at it. It was much more beautiful than I had expected. My bush ends at the start of my vulva, but Laurel had a thin line of black hair either side of her opening, her pink lips glistening between it and the pearl of her clitoris clearly visible. I was glad that, like me, she trimmed her pussy hair short: I’m not sure how I would have coped with an Amazonian bush. As I moved in she thrust her knees wide apart, and whimpered in anticipation of what I was about to do. Acting on instinct, I grazed my teeth lightly across her clit. She almost screamed, and pushed hard at me. Pleased at her reaction, I stroked her clitty with my tongue as I pressed two fingers deep into her pussy, stroking her lips with my thumb.
Before long Laurel’s bum had slipped off the chair, her back supporting her on it as she thrust onto my probing fingers and tongue. I was amazed at how much I was enjoying what I was doing, and revelling in the effect I was having on my sweet Laurel. I longed to please her, but I had a deep desire to really taste her as well. I slipped my thumb onto her clit and licked my tongue down the length of her pussy then pushed it deep inside, savouring the full flavour of the taste I had only had traces of before. I waggled around inside Laurel as she vibrated on my face, then she gasped loudly, over and over again, her burning hot pussy walls tightening around my tongue. Following her earlier example I continued licking and stroking her, and I was sure she came again before landing on the floor in front of me with a thump, her legs splayed either side of me, her eyes glazed, and her body as limp as a rag doll’s. I hugged her to me with tears streaming down my face, feeling that my transition from betrayed wife to lady-lover was complete.
A few weeks later I met Tim again. Laurel had met Alice and me out of work as we had planned a night on the town, and we were all sitting in the pub in our glad rags when he suddenly appeared at our table. I assume he must have been waiting outside the office to see me. He stared at me, and murmured, “Hi Tina — you look great.” Thanks to Alice’s skills I was wearing my hair differently, and under Laurel’s influence I was dressing younger and more stylishly.
I greeted my estranged husband coolly — I really had no wish to see him. He glanced nervously at my friends, sitting either side of me, then pulled out a chair and invited himself to sit down. Trying to be civil, I said, “How are you? And how’s Gillian?” I managed to stop myself calling her the bitch-slut.
He gave me a weak smile, and said, “We’ve split up.” Rather cattily, I asked if she’d dumped him and, trying for dignified aloofness, he responded, “No, I told her it was over.”
Alice leaned into me and whispered, “He probably caught her with someone else’s cock in her mouth.” Laurel heard too, and the three of us cackled together like the witches from Macbeth.
Tim shot Alice a poisonous look, and snapped, “I’m sorry, what did you say?”
Alice smirked and said nothing. Breathing a big, dramatic sigh, I said, “Look Tim, we’re here for a fun night out — what is it you want?”
Still looking daggers at Alice, and at Laurel, he said, “I want to talk to you — in private, if that’s allowed.”
I shook my head. “Laurel’s my girlfriend, and Alice is my best friend. Anything you want to say to me, you can say in front of them.”
The look on Tim’s face was a picture. He spluttered, “Your girlf…? Tina, you’re not gay — believe me, I work with enough of them, I should know. Look, I miss you. I want to ask you to forgive me for the stupid mistake I made, and I’m offering you the chance to come home with me.”
I couldn’t believe the arrogance of the man. I stared at him silently for several seconds. Alice touched my hand, sensing the storm that was brewing inside me. Finally I found my voice again. “Christ, you prick! Not only do you apparently know my mind better than I do, on the basis that you happen to work with a couple of dykes; but, out of the graciousness of your heart, you having split with that cocksucker, you’re inviting me to give up the new life I’ve made for myself and come and be your little wifey again, in the hope that you can keep your fucking fly zipped up this time!” I really should have tried to keep my voice down, but I was livid. Tim sank back in his chair, as if I’d slapped him, as I continued. “Well for your information, dickhead, Laurel and I love each other, I intend to spend the rest of my life with her — and she’s a hundred times better in bed than you ever were!”
The only sound in the stunned silence that followed was the students at the next table sniggering into their drinks. Then the spell was broken: Alice started chortling with laughter, and Laurel squeezed my hand under the table and grinned into her glass. Tim’s face was purple with rage. He looked as if he was about to speak; but then he glanced at Alice and Laurel again, slammed his half-drunk pint down on the table, and stalked out of the pub without a word. I slumped back in my seat, suddenly feeling exhausted as both my friends hugged me.
Three days after that encounter I received formal notice that Tim had started divorce proceedings. That same day Laurel asked me to marry her, and we’re planning a civil partnership ceremony as soon as I’m free. She’s moved into my room with me, and we’ve installed a double bed and re-decorated in her style. My life has been turned upside-down in the last few months; but I’ve never felt more settled than I do now, more certain of my future course, or of my love for my partner, and hers for me.