When I walked into the club for Gina’s bachelorette party, I was too frazzled from work to wonder who else might be there. I’d left the office closer to seven than six, ran home to change into my one appropriate dress, and now I was late. A broken chunk of sidewalk almost made me later, but I managed not to fall. I was sure I looked ridiculous as I stumbled towards the door, but I got in without further trouble.
Once inside I took a minute to orient myself amid the pulsing music and whirling lights. I hadn’t been to a club in at least two years. At twenty-eight, I was pretty much over that scene. It had been fun, but it got old; or I did. It was hard to say.
It was also hard to think while the music pounded through my head. As the song subsided, a movement caught my eye and I saw Annie, Gina’s sister, waving at me. Relieved, I waved back and started over.
After two steps, I stopped. She was here. I could feel it.
Annoyed, I gave myself a shake and continued over to the party. What had I expected? Lia was Gina’s oldest friend; of course she would be here.
“Iris! You made it!” Gina came over to me, all smiles and hugs. “I was afraid you’d get held up at work.”
I smiled back. “Almost. They tried but I snuck out the back.”
“Well, sit down.” Gina motioned me to a chair and signaled to a waitress.
I opted for a Long Island Iced Tea. That was stronger than anything I’d had in ages, but I felt like I needed it. When it arrived and I tasted it I was glad to find they hadn’t skimped on anything. I took a healthy gulp.
I was happy to catch up with Gina and chat with some other women at the table, friends I hadn’t seen in a while and friends of friends. I was relieved that the party was just at a dance club and that they hadn’t gone in for male strippers. I could admire the masculine physique as well as anyone else, but at the moment a plain old club was more my speed.
Her voice shot through my body. That wasn’t fair. I hadn’t seen her in months and didn’t want this kind of reaction. But I never could help it.
She looked better than ever as she dropped into the seat next to me. Her eyes were a bright blue, her lips cherry red. She ran her tongue over her lips and made no secret of checking me out. Already warm from my drink, my body heated up even more.
“It’s been a while,” she said. “How are you?”
“Good.” I nodded. “Been working more than anything. You?”
She shrugged, bare shoulders sliding against her long, wavy dark hair. “Same company, new position, but work’s work. I was glad when Gina invited me. I thought it would be fun to see some people again.” Lia’s eyes trailed down my face to my chest and back up. Emboldened by my drink, I did likewise. Before either of us could say anything more, Gina dragged Lia off to dance.
I watched for a few minutes, drinking my cocktail but not tasting it. I was mesmerized by Lia. Her strapless dress hugged her body and emphasized her curves. Skinny heels, the kind I could never wear, made her legs look long and sleek. She looked fantastic.
Lia smiled and laughed as she danced with Gina and some other women from the party. They did those faux sexual moves that make some women feel brave and daring while entertaining the straight guys. When Lia did it, my mouth watered.
It took another drink before I would let anyone drag me up to dance. Even with the week I’d had and my desire to shake everything off for a day or two, dancing was not my favorite method of reducing stress. Since it was Gina’s party, though, I tried to be a good sport.
Lia came over and gave me a sexy smile. “I didn’t think you’d had enough to drink for this.”
“I’m not sure I have.”
She grabbed my hand. “Come on, you’re not even trying.”
“You know I don’t like to dance.”
“You always liked dancing with me.”
That much was true, but it wasn’t because I liked dancing. It was because I liked the way Lia’s body moved, both on her own and in rhythm with mine. My body remembered those feelings and I could tell by looking at her that she did too.
I let her pull me farther onto the dance floor. She swayed her hips to the beat and put her hands on my waist, enticing me to mirror her movements. Her eyes locked on mine. I responded to the pressure of her hands and rocked back and forth. After a few minutes, I put my hands on her shoulders and stepped a little closer.
Our bodies touched as we used dancing as an excuse to get as physically close as possible. No one noticed since the place was so crowded, and likely no one cared. This club was gay-friendly, so two women or two men getting close didn’t draw much attention.
Lia kept her eyes on mine as she danced. I relaxed as the alcohol started having its effect and I slipped into the familiar feel of being with Lia. I pulled her to me and trailed a hand down her back and over her ass.
She bit her lip and closed her eyes for a moment. When she opened them, I saw the want. She dragged her hand up from my waist and over my breast before settling on my neck. Her fingernails skimmed over my shoulder and neck, raising goose bumps on my skin. I put one hand behind her neck and leaned in to kiss her.
I was playing with fire but I didn’t care.
I felt her shiver as we kissed. Damn, we had chemistry! Her body woke every nerve in mine and I wanted to do the same to her.
The kiss ended with the song and I stepped back. Our eyes met and I knew we both wanted more. However this was Gina’s night, so any personal desires would have to wait.
Lia didn’t say anything but as we walked back to the group her hand traveled down the length of my arm. I felt sparks everywhere she touched.
We sat down as Gina began to open her presents, which included plenty of lingerie and sexy underwear. One box contained a collection of sex toys that made Gina laugh, blush and squeal all at the same time. I’d gone in on a negligée with Annie. I was all for sex toys, but Gina and I weren’t quite close enough to exchange them as gifts.
After another drink I needed a bathroom. I squinted across the room and saw a sign that was probably the one I wanted and headed over. It was the right place, although the restroom was down a set of stairs and at the end of a short, dim hallway. As I washed my hands I took a deep breath, grateful for the momentary quiet. I could still feel the bass but it was a soothing thrum compared to being out in the main room.
I stepped into the corridor and found Lia waiting.
“I missed you,” she said. Her eyes raked over me.
I knew what I looked like: a sheen of sweat on my face from the heat of the club; my blond hair damp with stray strands dangling to my shoulders; my nipples hard bumps under my thin black dress. Lia licked her lips.
“I missed you, too,” I said. It was true. I’d gotten over it, gotten past it, whatever, but I missed her.
“Wanna try again?” She pushed off the wall and stepped over to me. Her face was flushed and with a dress shorter and thinner than mine, there was no hiding her arousal.
Instead of answering I walked her back against the wall and crushed my lips to hers. She gave a small gasp of surprise but there was no resistance. Her arms came up and gripped my shoulders as I pressed my body against hers.
My hands ran up and down her sides, down over her hips and then back up. Her nipples were hard buds under my palms as I covered her breasts with my hands. Our tongues dueled and I ground my hips against her.
“Jesus, Iris, that feels good.” Lia’s voice was hoarse as she dropped her head back and bared her neck to me.
I latched on to the pulse point in her neck, biting down and then soothing the area with my tongue. Lia’s breath came in short pants punctuated by the occasional soft moan. I loved those sounds.
I wedged my leg between hers and felt the heat of her pussy against my thigh. She hissed out a breath and jerked when I moved my leg; she must have been close to coming already.
I wanted more and tugged down the top of her dress, baring her tits. Still kissing her, I didn’t look at them but took advantage of the access and pinched and twisted her nipples. She moaned again and rocked against my leg. Leaving one hand on her breast, I reached down with the other and yanked up her dress.
She wore a thong but it was no barrier. I pushed it aside and slid a finger into her, letting out a groan myself. I loved the way her slick walls clenched around my finger; after a moment, I added another and used my thumb to massage her clit.
Lia held on to me now to keep herself up. She thrust against my hand as I moved my head down and took one dark pink nipple in my mouth. The pebbled skin teased my tongue as I sucked on the tip. My free hand pinched and tweaked her other nipple and I felt her body tense.
“Iris. Iris, someone might see.”
“Do you want me to stop?” I started to pull my fingers out of her.
She reached down and grabbed my wrist and shoved my hand back up. “No. Hell, no. Not when I’m this close.”
I fused my lips to hers once more, pressing our bodies close. I felt the damp skin of her breasts against my dress and she was dripping wet between her legs. I flicked my thumb over her clit; she moaned and dug her fingernails into my shoulder. Once more and she lost it.
Lia buried her face in my neck to stifle her cries. I could feel her teeth on my skin as she bit down. Her body shook and her inner muscles spasmed around my fingers. I slipped an arm around her to help her stay upright while I continued to massage her clit and draw out her orgasm. After another moment I stopped and stepped back, keeping my arm around her waist so she wouldn’t fall.
She pushed her hair back and gave a throaty laugh. “You haven’t lost your touch.”
Lia followed me into the ladies’ room as we went to straighten ourselves out. We weren’t as much of a mess as I feared, apart from Lia’s dress. We were sweaty, out of breath, and our makeup was a little worse for wear. On the other hand, we probably looked like anyone who’d just spent some time on the dance floor.
I washed my hands and ran my fingers through my hair. My purse for the evening wouldn’t accommodate a comb, so fingers were the best I had. I watched out of the corner of my eye as Lia pulled her dress back into place, covering the breasts I had so recently been feasting on.
She wet a paper towel and used it to remove the makeup smudges around her eyes. I hadn’t worn any mascara or eyeliner but my blush and lipstick were gone or uneven, so I grabbed my own towel and wiped the rest off. With the lighting in this place, no one would notice anyway.
“Iris.” Lia laid a hand on my arm.
My skin tingled as I looked up and my brown eyes met her blue ones in the mirror. I wondered what she’d say. Would she be mad, despite the fact that she’d wanted me to do that? Would she blow the whole thing off as no big deal?
Lia ran a hand down the front of my dress, pretending to smooth the fabric but in reality copping a feel. “Can we go back to your place after the party?”
I hesitated; this was not necessarily a good idea. Lia and I had chemistry to burn, but outside of the bedroom—or nightclub hallway—we didn’t always work.
“Come on, baby.” Her hand drifted down the front of my dress, below the skirt, and her fingers traced circles on my thigh.
I closed my eyes for a moment and opened them after a deep breath. Lia was still there, her hand so close to my sex, which I knew was furiously wet after what we’d done. I wanted her to touch me.
“All right,” I said.
A couple of hours later, our little group headed out the door. The club was still open, but we’d had it and a couple of people—Gina’s sister, Annie, for one—had definitely had more than enough to drink. I stood outside, glad for the chance to breathe without bumping into someone as we said our goodbyes.
Gina came over while I stood on the sidewalk and took a deep breath of cool air. “I’m so glad you came, Iris. It feels like I haven’t seen you in forever.”
I smiled. “I know, and I’m sorry. There’s a big story that’s been taking all my time. I barely have time to eat or sleep.”
“But you will be at the wedding, right?”
“Absolutely. And thank you again for not having a wedding party and making me wear some hideous dress.”
Gina laughed. “I swore after my cousin’s wedding that I’d never do that to anyone else. No one should have to wear that shade of green outside of a hospital. Besides, we’re having a small wedding and I want everyone to be comfortable.”
“I wish more brides were like you.”
“I do try.” She pulled me in for a hug and looked concerned when she stepped back. “Are you okay? I saw you dancing with Lia and then after you guys looked pretty, um, close. I just don’t want you to get hurt,” she added. “I’m not butting in, you know that.”
“I know.” I patted her shoulder. “It’s not like that. We’re just going to hang out for a bit and catch up.” And have sex hot enough to set fire to the mattress, but Gina didn’t need to hear that. “Thanks for worrying, though, Mom.”
Gina shook her head although she was smiling. “You just be careful, okay? I love Lia to death but it doesn’t mean I’m blind to how she can be.”
“She’s just herself, that’s all.”
“All right. Take care, Iris.” Gina gave me another hug. “Thanks again for coming. I better get a cab and get Annie home before she falls over.”
I returned the hug and promised to be in touch more often, then turned to look for Lia. My heart sped up and my stomach churned a bit when I didn’t see her and I scolded myself for it. I was a big girl; if Lia had changed her mind or stood me up, I’d manage just fine.
I spotted her a few feet down the sidewalk, chatting with Annie and another woman. I wanted to walk over and see if she was still coming to my place, but I didn’t want to seem anxious or needy. Since I needed a cab whether she came with me or not, I turned around to scan the street for one. Within a minute a yellow taxi headed towards the crowd and slowed down. I stepped towards the curb and raised my hand to flag it down.
“Leaving without me?” Lia stood with one hand on her hip and raised an eyebrow.
“You were talking and I didn’t want to interrupt.” I opened the door and gestured her to go in first. “I needed the cab anyway.”
Lia got in the back seat; I got a good view of her ass as her dress rode up. She didn’t even try to hide it as she all but crawled over to the far side. When I got in, she gave me a look that confirmed it had been for my benefit.
I gave the driver my address and settled back in the seat, trying to calm down. Having Lia so close made that difficult and it got no easier when I felt her hand on my thigh. I whipped my head around but she just smiled at me as her hand traveled a little higher. I glanced at the cabbie but he was too busy yelling at his dispatcher.
I bit my lip as the driver took a right turn and Lia took advantage to nudge her hand between my legs. Not being an exhibitionist but not wanting to stop her, I held my purse in my lap and kept my skirt from rising any more. Lia grinned as she kept running her fingers over my thigh, getting closer to my pussy all the time.
I tried to smother a nervous laugh but wasn’t successful and couldn’t help but grin myself.
The cab pulled up outside my building just in time; any longer and we would have been candidates for an HBO late show. I paid and tipped the cabbie and went in the building. The elevator ride was torture, both because it was slow and because some guy from another floor got on, preventing Lia and me from doing anything.
When we arrived at my floor I almost pushed the guy aside in my haste to get out. I managed to contain myself and only gave him a glare that he didn’t even notice. Lia covered her mouth to hide a smile, knowing how annoyed I was. She reached over and took my hand and gave it a squeeze.
I hurried to my apartment with Lia right behind me. Once inside, I turned around to shoot the deadbolt and found myself up against the door. Lia ran her hands over my arms, from shoulder to fingers and back again. I closed my eyes and laid my cheek against the cool metal.
“That was hot, in the club.” Her voice was a sultry whisper in my ear. I gasped when her tongue flicked out to touch my ear lobe.
I felt her breath on the back of my neck. I was taller than she was, but Lia’s high heels put her in the perfect position to graze her teeth over my shoulder and the nape of my neck. I shuddered.
“I’m glad you came to the party tonight,” she said. “I was hoping to see you.”
“I didn’t know you were coming.” I swallowed in a dry throat as her hands crept under my dress.
“I didn’t know I was either until you did that in the hallway.” Lia sucked on the crook of my neck and my knees went weak. “Then I was extremely glad I showed up.”
Her hands came around my waist and splayed over my stomach. I didn’t know what I wanted her to do next; my whole body burned for her touch.
“I would have done this at the club, but we didn’t really have time.” Lia’s hands went up and squeezed my breasts.
I groaned and leaned my head against the door as she kneaded my tits and teased my nipples. I sighed in disappointment when she withdrew her hands, then I heard the rasp of the zipper and my dress slithered down my body to puddle at my feet. A strapless dress meant I hadn’t worn a bra, so I stood there in just my heels and underwear.
“You are gorgeous.” Lia ran her tongue up my spine, making me cry out and turn around.
I took her face in my hands and captured her lips. My tongue plunged into her mouth. Lia growled in response and grabbed at my breasts again, pulling at my nipples this time before sliding one hand beneath the black panties I had on.
I tore my lips from hers long enough to say, “Get your clothes off,” then kissed her again.
Her response was to push two fingers into my pussy, angling her hand so that she rubbed my clit every time she thrust inside. I found the zipper on her dress and forced it down, then pushed her dress off. Like me, she’d gone braless. I realized she must have made another trip to the restroom after our tryst in the hallway, because her thong was gone. She was naked but for a gold necklace and her black heels.
“Satisfied?” she asked, nipping at my bottom lip.
“Not yet, but I think I will be.”
She gave a low laugh and pushed her fingers deeper inside. I sucked in a breath and walked her back to the sofa and tumbled her onto it. We lay there for a few moments, necking like teenagers in the backseat of a car. Lia pumped her fingers in and out of me and I met every thrust. My blood simmered as I felt everything build.
“Sit up.” Lia withdrew her hand from my pussy and pushed at my shoulders.
Breathing hard, I rose off her and moved to sit while she slipped off the couch. She knelt in front of me and reached up to snag my panties. Her eyes met mine and never left as she pulled them down. I lifted my hips to help and then my feet, one at a time, as she slipped the lacy thing off. She spread my legs and got between them.
“Feel good?” she asked.
“Want me to do this?” Lia ran her tongue through my pussy, parting the lips and flicking over my clit.
“Yes, do that.”
She did it again, then set about both satisfying and torturing me in equal measure. While she licked and sucked at my clitoris, she shoved two fingers inside me and curled them slightly, looking for my G-spot. I didn’t know if I had one or not but it felt so damn good.
Lia knew how to get me close and take me back; she also knew that too much of that resulted in nothing for me. I hoped she remembered.
I tried to relax but she wouldn’t let me. Her tongue slid over and in me and I groaned as my orgasm neared and retreated. Since her hands were busy I plucked at my nipples myself, pulling and twisting them while she rubbed her tongue over my clit.
“Lia. Please.” I hated to beg, but suddenly I was afraid it might not happen. That would just piss me off.
“You never could wait, could you?”
Before I could reply, she put her lips around my clit and sucked hard. I bucked my hips, choking back a scream. She wouldn’t let me go and I made myself breathe. At last the wave broke and I fell back on the couch, limp.
Lia kissed her way up my body. I jumped when she gave each nipple a quick suck. We stayed tangled on the couch for a while, until I was almost asleep.
I shook her shoulder. “Hey, let’s get up. I think I’d like a shower and the bed is a lot more comfortable than the couch.”
She gave me a curious look and I realized what I’d said. I’d just assumed she’d stay the night, yet I hadn’t even asked. Maybe she couldn’t. Maybe—and I didn’t like this thought—she had someone to get back to.
I cleared my throat. “I mean, if you want to stay. It’s all right if you don’t.”
She chuckled. “You think I really want to go out and grab a cab at this hour?”
“I didn’t know if you needed to get back to your place.”
“Nothing there that can’t wait until later.” She waved her hand in a dismissal and sat up. “Look, Iris. Let’s just get all this stuff on the table. I’m not seeing anyone. I wouldn’t have hooked up with you in the club if I was.”
I believed her. Whatever problems we’d had, cheating wasn’t one of them. “I know, I just didn’t want to assume anything.”
“I’m also not saying I’m looking to get back together.”
“Good. Let’s grab that shower.”
Thankfully the next day was Sunday, because I couldn’t have functioned at work after the night before. I slept until close to eleven and might have slept later but for Lia’s slipping her hand between my legs and making me come. Waking via orgasm wasn’t a bad way to start the day.
It was hard to get into the swing of things after sleeping so late, despite the way I woke up. Breakfast wasn’t worth mentioning, so we went straight to lunch. I never felt like I completely woke up and having Lia there kept me even more off kilter.
We sat at opposite ends of the couch, me with my third cup of coffee and Lia looking as relaxed and beautiful as ever in a shirt and sweatpants she borrowed from me.
“How’s work been going?” she asked.
“Pretty good.” I sipped at my coffee. “I’m on kind of a big story now. Well, big locally anyway. Lots of bribery and corruption going on. You know, the usual.”
“Really? Wow.” Lia looked surprised. “When will you write it up?”
“I’ve been writing it up as I go along. There’s a lot of information to confirm so I’m not sure when they’ll print it.”
I had a lot of things I needed to verify and double-check. I didn’t like the number of anonymous sources I had so far, but few people were willing to go on record with names. I couldn’t blame them. This was going to cost jobs and cause some seriously bad PR for the people involved. My boss had warned me to tell him about any threats I might get. There hadn’t been any so far, but I wouldn’t hesitate to follow his instructions.
“How about you?” I asked. “Still with that pharmaceutical firm?”
“Yep. They’ve moved me over into HR and that’s kind of fun. I get to meet people, work with different departments.” She grinned. “You know me. I get bored without some change.”
I knew that. It had been no small factor in our breakup.
“That’s great, I’m glad for you.” And I was. For everything that had happened, I wasn’t angry at her. Not anymore. How can you be mad at someone for just being who she is?
“Seeing anyone?” she asked.
“No. No time, really.” I shrugged. “I guess I’m just not looking for anything right now.”
She cocked her head. “Have you seen anyone since we broke up?”
That was Lia, always taking the direct approach.
“It’s been a while now. You haven’t met anyone that whole time?”
“No, I haven’t.”
She grinned and laughed. “Spoiled you for everyone else, have I?”
I rolled my eyes. “Hardly. I don’t always have to be dating someone. Besides, like I said, I’ve been busy. Been meeting sources late, that sort of thing. Cuts into my time.”
“Ooooh. Very Deep Throat.”
“Not really. Just a lot of people who work high up and enjoy throwing their weight around by demanding meetings in the middle of the night. They like to think they’re James Bond or something.”
“I guess it isn’t?”
“No. It’s pretty dull, really.” I put my coffee down and stretched. “Kind of like police work. A lot of paperwork, a lot of phone calls, a lot of verifying facts.”
“God, sounds like when I did my research paper in high school. I’d be bored stiff.”
“I don’t know, I like it. You know me.” I shrugged again. “I like to get into things, figure out what’s going on, dig into the background.”
“Not me. That’s all past stuff. That’s boring.”
I studied her. “Is that why you never talk about yours?”
Lia and I had gotten involved about a year ago and stayed that way for a few months. It had been hot and heavy at first, like it had been last night. We’d spent a whole lot more time talking about what we liked in bed than talking about ourselves. That had been all right for a while; novelty can last a pretty long time if you don’t look at it too closely.
Once we moved past the novelty stage, where most people start learning about each other, the learning was only one way. Lia didn’t want to talk much. I didn’t press at first, but it was frustrating to be so intrigued by someone and not be able to solve the mystery, especially for me.
I could find out where she’d gone to school and that her parents had divorced and remarried. That was all a matter of record. But what made Lia tick, what made her her, was another matter, and she hadn’t been interested in helping me learn. It seemed she still wasn’t.
Lia sighed. “Iris, don’t start. We were having a good time.”
“I’m not trying to start anything. I’m just asking a question.”
“I’m leaving.” Lia bounced off the couch. “This isn’t why I’m here.”
“Wait, Lia. Don’t go.” I got up and caught her arm. “I’m sorry. Please, stay.”
“All right. I mean it, though. I don’t want to get into some big talk session. Let’s just hang out and have fun, okay?” She gave me a heated look. “Like we used to.”
“Like this?” I pulled her into a deep kiss and swept my hands over her body.
“Yeah, like that.”
I slid my hands under the thin t-shirt she’d put on and squeezed her breasts. She moaned into my mouth and tangled her fingers in my hair.
“Hey,” I said between kisses. “Why don’t we go to the bedroom? I have something new there.” I knew she’d have a hard time resisting that. “Come on, Lia. Let’s go.”
“Something new? Why didn’t you say so last night?”
We both laughed as we kissed and made our way to the bedroom. I pushed her down on the bed and reached down for the edge of her shirt so I could pull it over her head. I grinned as she leaned back, giving me a good look at her breasts. They had something of a teardrop shape to them and her hard, rosy nipples pointed up at me.
“Not fair.” She pretended to pout and then reached for my shirt. Once it was off, she gave a dramatic sigh. “Really, Iris? You felt the need to put on a bra?”
“You know I’m more comfortable with one.” I was no Dolly Parton, but I had enough up front that going without a bra tended to be uncomfortable after a while.
“I don’t know why you bothered, since you only wanted me to take it off.” Lia reached around and undid the hooks; she was quite adept at that. “That’s better.” She started to flick her tongue over one of my nipples but I pushed her back.
“That’s not why we’re here.”
I braced my arms on the bed and held myself over her. Her eyes were bright with anticipation as she waited for me to do something. Knowing she was likely expecting me to go after her tits, I sat back on my knees and hooked my fingers in the waistband of her pants. Her chest rose and fell faster as she watched me.
I dragged the pants over her hips and down her thighs. She wasn’t wearing underwear and I felt a sting of heat between my own legs. I wanted my tongue on her and in her, to make her beg me for more. Before I took the pants all the way off, I reached up and pushed my fingers inside her; she was already wet too.
I threw the pants on the floor and slid my hands along her legs, pushing them open as I got closer to her pussy. She opened them wider herself, waiting for me. I lay down, my eyes fixed on her glistening lips, savoring the thought of what I was going to do.
“Jesus, Iris, what are you waiting for?” Lia wiggled her hips, impatient. “You’ve seen it before.”
I had to laugh. “It’s been a while. Just enjoying the view.”
“Iris, damn it!”
I laughed again and when Lia started to complain, I dove in. I ran my tongue over her folds, the slick skin covered with her juices. Whatever Lia had been about to say dissolved into a moan.
I used my fingers to open her to me, thrusting my tongue inside and occasionally running it over her clit. Lia undulated under me. I glanced up and saw her playing with her tits. The sight sent a shot of excitement through me and I rubbed my legs together to try to take the edge off. I closed my eyes and concentrated on Lia, the way she felt, the way she smelled.
She was so wet. I loved knowing I’d done that. I pushed two fingers inside her and curled them a little, searching for her G-spot. Whether I hit it or not, she liked what I did and let me know with a loud cry. I rubbed some more, adding my mouth over her clit. I wanted her to come and I wanted her to scream when she did.
“Fuck, Iris, that’s so good.” Lia gasped out the words and flung her arms to the sides, fisting the sheets. She was close now. “Don’t stop. Don’t stop.”
I swirled my tongue over her clit and shoved her over that edge. She screamed, arching up under me as I kept up the movements of my mouth and fingers. At last, with a long sigh, she fell back to the bed. Feeling more than a little smug, I kissed my way back up her body.
“That was fantastic.” Lia closed her eyes for a moment. “So what’s this something new?”
“This.” I stretched over her, reaching for my nightstand drawer.
She took advantage and caught one of my nipples in her mouth. I had to pause for a moment and draw in a breath before I could move again. I reached into the drawer and searched by feel, then withdrew my object.
“Wow.” Lia eyed the purple dildo and grinned. “That is new.”
“Wanna try it out?”
“Oh, yeah. I’m ready.” She drew her legs open and bent them at the knee. “Go.”
I laid the purple cylinder between her breasts and hit the on switch. Lia purred while I dragged it against her skin and around her nipples. After a few moments, I drew it down over her abdomen and watched her tense and jump under the feel of it. I ran it in circles around her belly button before moving it between her legs and running it gently over her clit.
“Oh, yes.” She closed her eyes and smiled. “That is nice.”
Lia moved her hips and I matched her rhythm. Every so often I pushed the end into her an inch or so, then brought it back and teased her clit again. She gasped when I hit a certain spot, still sensitive from her previous orgasm. I bent my head and grazed my teeth over her nipple, making her hiss out a breath.
“Iris, do it again. Make me come again.”
She bit her lip and spread her legs more, giving me more access. I took advantage and pressed the dildo in, turning it so that the vibrations would spread through her. I angled the dildo so that she’d feel it in her clit and the effect was instant. She jerked off the bed and shouted as she thrust her hips up. I kept the toy in place until she pushed my hand away and lay panting on the bed.
“God, that felt good. You ought to try it.”
I took the toy out of her, slowly, unable to hide my amusement when she shivered as it left her body. “I have tried it. How do you think I knew you’d like it?”
“Then I think it’s my turn.” Lia rolled over and pushed at me until I was on my back. I went willingly.
While Lia wiped the dildo off, I slipped out of the yoga pants I’d put on earlier. I was as naked as she was and reveled in feeling her skin, damp with sweat, against mine. She wasted no time, finding all the spots on my body that she knew drove me crazy.
She tweaked my nipples and bit down on the pulse point on my neck, making me shudder. For a moment there was nothing but us. I could smell the soap she’d used in the shower—my soap—on her skin, and her hair was soft. Her hands skimmed over my body, running over my hips and thighs before coming back to my tits. I thought I’d die if she didn’t get between my legs.
I groaned and closed my eyes as I tried to give myself over to the sensations running through me. Lia moved down and flicked her tongue over one nipple before sucking hard on it. Impatient, I started to reach down between my legs, but Lia stopped me.
“My turn, remember?” She turned her attention to my other nipple before I could say anything. She bit lightly with her teeth, then swirled her tongue around the tip. I groaned.
I heard her switch on the vibrator, but instead of teasing me as I had her, she put it right against my clit. “Ahhhhh. Lia . . . .” The tremors from the toy shimmered through me and I could feel my orgasm begin to build. ‘
Lia pushed the dildo inside me, inch by inch. She must have known how hot I was, how much I wanted it, but she refused to rush. My muscles tensed and I felt the orgasm coiled low within me. I tried to relax and reach for it at the same time, frustrated at being so close and so far at the same time.
“Relax, Iris. You always try too damn hard.” Lia’s voice was soft and her breath hot against my skin.
I took a breath. Lia was right. I’d never get there at this rate. I forced myself to relax and concentrate on what Lia was doing to me. She continued to tease my nipples, biting and soothing in turn while she slid the shaft in and out of me. My muscles started to tense and I went with it this time, not trying to fight it or rush it.
She began to move the dildo so that it rubbed my clit more often and my body responded, hips moving of their own accord. The heat and the tension came to a head and I exploded, writhing under Lia’s touch. When she let me come down from the peak, we both lay on the bed for a few moments, getting our breath back.
After a while Lia pushed herself up. “I’m sorry, babe, but I have to go.” She leaned down and kissed me, quick and friendly. “I did have fun, though. We should do this again.”
“Yeah.” I smiled and stretched. “We should.”
“Are you sure you should do this again?” Gina asked me over lunch a couple of weeks later.
Lia and I had gotten together nearly every night during those two weeks and it was like it used to be. Fantastic sex at night, friendly acquaintances during the day.
“Why not?” I took a bite of my burger.
“I just thought you . . . I don’t know.” Gina shook her head, then pushed her brown hair back behind her ears.
“I don’t know either,” I admitted. “I don’t know what I want, or what she wants, but maybe we’re just hooking up for a bit without the pressure.”
“Iris, come on. Lia not knowing what she wants is the problem. We all know that. Truth is, I think that even if Lia decided on something, once she had it, she wouldn’t want it anymore. She likes the chase; you don’t mind the chase, but you like it when the chase ends.”
“She might like that this time.”
“Iris.” Gina gave me a sympathetic smile and patted my hand. “You’re in denial and you know it.”
“I know. What can I say? I can’t help it.” Everyone had a vice, something they indulged in despite the lack of benefits. For me, that was Lia.
“I don’t mean to be harsh, but maybe you should end it now?”
“I wish I could. I seriously do. Part of me hopes it works this time, but the rest of me knows that it’s just going to blow up.” I stared at my burger but my appetite was long gone.
“So why don’t you stop it now, before it blows up?”
I gave her a wry smile. “Because it feels so good right now.”
Gina sighed and shook her head. “Guess I’ll just have to let you learn your lesson the hard way.”
I figured it would take a while to learn this particular lesson. It wasn’t like I’d gotten it the first time around. I wouldn’t be in my current situation if I had. I was a reasonably intelligent woman, but like a compass around a magnet, my center got all screwed up when Lia was around.
So it went for the next month. Lia and I got together, downed pizza or Thai food, sweated up the sheets, ran the batteries down on our little purple friend multiple times, set records for orgasm intensity, and then passed out jumbled together on the bed. Outside of the bedroom our conversations rarely got more in-depth than an analysis of the last episode of Game of Thrones.
When we did talk about other things, it often devolved into a fight because aside from sex, that was what we did best. Lia didn’t want to talk about anything that smacked of deepening the relationship, and she would change the subject by initiating either sex or an argument.
I came home from work one night, exhausted. First thing in the morning, my editor had been on my ass to get the story done. I’d spent the day chasing sources around the city, both on phone and on foot, and had gotten through the day on lattes and chips. When I got to my apartment, all I wanted was not to move for the next week.
Lia came bouncing in from the bedroom, dressed for a night out. “Hey! I was wondering when you’d get here!”
“Hi.” I gave her a wan smile. “You look terrific in that dress.”
“I thought so, too.” She spun around to give me the full effect. The short skirt flared out and I got a glimpse of her ass. “Ready to go?”
“Go?” I propped up on my elbows. “Lia, I just got home and I’m beat.”
“Oh, come on, Iris. It’s Friday and you’ve been working all week.” Lia dropped into a chair and pouted. “I don’t want to stay in. I’m bored.”
“Well, excuse the hell out of me for not entertaining you every minute.”
“You do this all the time. You work and come home and sit or you want to talk.”
“My God, I’m a total aberration. Imagine going to work and wanting to relax afterwards. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
“Oh, for Christ’s sake, Iris. You can’t go out once in a while? What, will it kill you? You act like an old woman and you’re not even thirty.”
“I’m an old woman because I don’t want to go to a club every weekend?” I glared at her. “At least I know when to act my age.”
“So now I’m immature?” she shot back.
“I’m not the only one who’s coming up on thirty, but I’m not the one going to clubs like I’m still in college.”
“I know what this is.” Lia stood up and crossed her arms over her chest. “You’re trying to keep me here with you.”
I barked a laugh. “What an awful thing, to want my girlfriend to spend time with me. How terrible that after a sucky week at work, I might want my girlfriend to put my needs a little ahead of going to a fucking dance club.”
“You’re trying to make me as boring as you are!”
“If I’m so goddamned boring, why do you keep coming back to me?”
“Me, come back? I don’t think so. I didn’t corner you in the club hallway.”
“Bullshit. You followed me down there and waited, and you weren’t trying to get my drink order.”
“I was horny and you were there.”
That hurt and I retaliated. “You have a lot of sex in club hallways with whoever’s there?”
“I’m not a slut, Iris, and you know it!”
“No, you’re just a free spirit, right? No being tied down to anything, just sailing through life. You hook up with someone and drift apart and call it being free and open. Bullshit. You get bored and you get scared and you don’t know how to be a grown-up.”
“If being a grown-up means letting my work suck the fun right out of everything, then hell, yes, I don’t want to be one.”
“Don’t worry, I don’t think you could if you wanted to.” I stood and faced her. “You’re too much of a coward to be a grown-up.”
She jabbed a finger at my chest. “Fuck you! I’m leaving. I am going to go to the club and drink and dance and have fun. You can sit here and play solitaire and watch Lifetime movies in your flannel pj’s and bunny slippers.”
The door slammed behind her and I stomped into the kitchen. Too tired to do much, I had a bowl of cereal and dumped the dishes in the sink. I changed into some sweatpants and a t-shirt and dropped back onto the couch. Our fight had left me frustrated. I regretted saying something to hurt her, but I was getting tired of the way she acted and that outweighed my regret.
With nothing else to do, I found something on TV and left it on, but I didn’t pay it any attention.
I was tired enough that I fell asleep on the couch despite both my anger and the television. The sudden absence of both jerked me awake and I sat up, trying to orient myself.
“Hey, sorry.” Lia set her purse on a chair and lifted one foot to take off a shoe. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“‘S okay.” I rubbed my eyes. “What are you doing here?”
“What are you talking about?”
“The big fight we had before you left. You know, where you said I’m making you boring and you were leaving.”
“Oh, sweetie, I’m sorry.” She kicked off her other shoe and sat next to me. “I didn’t mean it. I was just upset that you didn’t feel like going with me. You know how I get. I just have a short fuse sometimes.”
I made a non-committal sound and tried to steel myself. “That doesn’t mean you can walk out of here like that and expect to come back, or expect me to like it.”
“Iris, really, I’m sorry.” She leaned in and kissed me. “I didn’t mean any of that.”
I couldn’t help myself. “Any adventures in the corridors tonight?” I aimed to hurt her, but whether I did or not, she laughed it off.
“No, no corridors. But there were some rather attractive people on the dance floor.” She grabbed my earlobe with her teeth and tugged before releasing it. “All that dancing, all those gorgeous bodies. It got me thinking.” She nibbled on my neck. “Got me horny.”
“Lia . . . .”
“Iris, come on. It’s late and I said I’m sorry. Let’s get into bed and I’ll show you how much. I’ll make it all up to you. We’ll talk tomorrow.”
With her hands and mouth and our purple friend, she most certainly did make some things up to me. The talk, as I expected, never happened.
It bothered me.
I wanted more of Lia and she wasn’t willing to give. I didn’t know why and it frustrated me. Why wouldn’t she open up? I didn’t want every detail of her life, I just wanted to know about her because, damn it all, I loved her. At least, I loved her as much as I could given the limitations she put on herself and us.
It made no sense and I was pissed at myself for it. I liked facts; I reserved judgment until I had as much information as I could get on anything. So why was I falling for Lia when I didn’t know what I needed to know about her, such as whether she loved me? Or even could? Why did I hope for more when she had given me no indications she would give anything?
The worst part was I’d been here before. I knew if I pressed her she’d withdraw, and she’d do it by starting a fight. It was classic deflection or whatever, and I went along with it every time, in no small part because the make-up sex was incredible.
We went together to Gina’s wedding. The ceremony was short, and it was good to see all of our friends again. As at the bachelorette party, I danced more out of duty than enjoyment, although I did let Lia drag me out to do the Electric Slide after I’d had couple of glasses of wine. Unlike the earlier party, I managed not to attack Lia in the corridor.
Gina and her husband were the most relaxed bride and groom I’d ever seen thanks to the simple plans. I saw no one stressing about clothes, shoes, food or centerpieces. The wedding was unaffected and casual, like they were, and I couldn’t help but envy them. Not the wedding itself—I was more the elope-to-Vegas type—but I did envy them the commitment, the security of knowing someone would be there at the beginning and end of the day for them.
I walked over to the bar to drown my envy in a Jack and Coke.
“There you are.” Lia came over and swiped my drink, which she tossed back without even looking. “Oh, ugh! That’s disgusting!”
I laughed. “That’s what you get for taking something without asking.” She gave me a dirty look and I relented. “Sorry. What do you want?”
“A glass of white wine. And thanks.” Lia wandered away.
I caught the bartender’s attention and ordered Lia’s wine and another Jack and Coke for me. I suspected it was heavier on the Coke than the Jack, but that was probably for the best. When they were ready, I added a few bucks to the tip jar before carrying the drinks over to our table. Lia joined me a few minutes later.
“This was a cool wedding,” she said. “More like a party, like a celebration.”
“Yeah. That’s the way it should be. I mean, it’s a beginning, isn’t it? So they’re celebrating the start of something new.” I was thinking out loud.
“Okay, you’ve had enough to drink, Iris. You’re getting maudlin.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are. You’re going to be thinking about commitment and all that shit for the rest of the day. Then you’ll want to talk about it.” Lia rolled her eyes. “I think I’d better have more wine.”
I didn’t say anything because she was right, and I knew this meant we were going to be over soon. Maybe even tonight.
I didn’t want anything so unusual; most people want someone to share their life with. My problem was that I wanted that person to be Lia, and that was about as likely to happen as me going straight.
Gina came over to thank us for coming and not long after, she and her husband were off on their honeymoon. Instead of a trip to a tropical island or France, they were going to take a road trip across the country and stop at all the goofy sites in different states they’d read about. I’ve heard you never know someone until you travel with them. I figured this would make or break the marriage, and either way, better to find out early.
Lia laughed and gave me a small shove when I voiced the thought. “Good God, Iris, that’s a horrible thing to say.”
“I didn’t say they wouldn’t make it. If anyone will, they will.”
“Come on, it’s time to go. You really are getting maudlin.”
The reception was pretty much over by then anyway and I was getting a headache, so going home sounded good. I was quiet while I drove and Lia fidgeted in the passenger seat.
“Can we get the whole commitment discussion out of the way?” she asked.
“What discussion? I say something, you shut me down, and then it’s over. That’s not a discussion.” I pulled into the parking space and turned off the car.
Lia was out and around on my side almost before I could open my door. “So it’s my fault?”
I sighed as I stood. “That’s not what I said, Lia.”
“But it’s what you meant.”
“No. It isn’t. I was just stating facts. Whenever I bring up commitment, or even just relationships, you panic. You change the subject, or find some excuse to start a fight, and then because I love you, I drop it.”
We entered the building and stepped into the elevator. I was dying to have this over with and go to bed.
“I didn’t ask you to love me,” Lia said as the elevator climbed. “Don’t blame me for that.”
“I don’t. And maybe it isn’t love.” That ended the conversation until we got into the apartment.
Lia changed tactics and slipped her arms around my waist from behind. In her heels, she was able to run her tongue over my neck and shoulders. “Come on, Iris. Let’s not fight. It’s not worth it. Let’s go to bed.” She nipped at my earlobe. “That’s always worth it.”
I could have. I wanted to and it would have been so easy. Instead I turned around. “Then what, Lia?”
“What do you mean?” She ran her hands over my shoulders and gave me a soft kiss.
I closed my eyes and swallowed. This was hard. “I mean I love you but that doesn’t mean I’ll put up with being treated like a toy you can throw away and pick up any time you want.”
She stepped back, surprised. “I don’t do that.”
“Lia, let’s face it. We know we’re good in bed. What do we have outside of that?”
With a sultry voice she said, “What else do we need?”
“I know what I need, but I don’t know what you need.”
“Right now, I need you to use those incredibly talented hands and tongue to fuck me to an orgasm.” Her hands crept under the skirt of my dress. “Or I’ll do you first, I don’t mind.”
“Lia, stop.” This time I stepped back. “I know what I can do to you, and what you can do to me. I know how to touch you, that’s not the question. The problem is I love you, or I want to, but I’m not sure how.”
“You’re serious, aren’t you?” Lia put her hands on her hips. “Christ, Iris. What do you want me to say?”
“I have no idea.” I went into the kitchen. I wanted a drink but settled for a glass of water.
“Look, you know that I’m not someone who wants to have a white fence and all that, right?” Lia leaned against the doorway.
“Right. And I never said I wanted that, either.”
“So what’s the problem? We have fun together, Iris, and we’ve established that the sex is outstanding. What’s wrong with that?”
“Nothing. I just don’t think it’s what I want. Or not all I want.”
“So what the hell do you want?” Lia threw her hands up.
You, I thought. Aloud I said, “Whatever it is, I don’t think you want to give it to me. And that’s okay. I don’t think you could.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake. Are we going to bed or am I going home?”
One night about ten months later, I got ready to go to Gina’s baby shower. She was as ridiculously happy being pregnant as she had been at her wedding.
Lia had gone home the night of Gina’s wedding and I hadn’t seen her since. I missed her, but I’d been through it before. I wasn’t so much sad as resigned; it would have ended, it was just a matter of when.
My life had calmed down, in large part because Lia’s drama was gone. I’d written my story and been nominated for a few awards and received a promotion and a raise. At a housewarming party for one of my coworkers, I met a woman and we clicked. We hadn’t done anything about it yet, but there was potential.
I grabbed my present and headed over to the shower. Traffic was light, and I flipped on some music. Everything in my life was good, I thought. Work pressure was off, the relationship front had some possibilities, and I was going to enjoy an afternoon with good friends and good food. I was more relaxed than I could remember being in maybe a couple of years.
All the good stuff coincided with Lia’s absence of my life. I loved Lia, I might always love her, but I was better off without her. The thought hurt, but I knew the pain would pass, and I could deal with that. I let out a long breath and felt the last of the weight fall off my shoulders. I even smiled and sang along with the music.
The shower was at a small restaurant owned by one of Gina’s husband’s friends. I’d been there once before and my mouth watered. They made the best desserts in town and I couldn’t wait to have some.
I walked in and waved to Gina. After I set the present on the designated table, I turned and saw Lia.
She looked better than a body had a right to, but I’d learned my lesson.