It’s Valentine’s night. I should be out with some hot guy, some hot guy that’ll take me out to that cozy little Italian joint I like and buy us an overpriced bottle of really good Cabernet Sauvignon so I can get completely blitzed, lose my inhibitions and let him take me home and screw me every which possible way, I was thinking.
Notice I said I should be out with some hot guy.
I was, in reality, not out with a hot guy. In fact, I was not out with a guy at all. I was out of the house, that was about it.
I was sitting at a table in a small, local bar watching couples dancing to the contagious rhythm currently pouring out of the speakers. As my fingers drifted absently to my glass to swirl the ice around my Sex on the Beach, the band returned from its 15 minute break. As the lead singer approached the microphone, I felt an involuntary grin creep across my lips. Seeing Caitlin on a stage was always such a surprise, yet she looked so at home there.
Caitlin and I have been friends since I can remember. She was always pretty, but in an understated way. With her beautiful brown eyes and dark hair, she didn’t command attention when she walked into a room, but you always seemed to notice her after a bit. Cai hadn’t completely blossomed into the vixen currently prowling the small stage until after she had divorced her jerky husband that had tried to repress her sense of fun and adventure. She had always wanted to sing in a band, but he was a respected local attorney and there was no way his wife was going to make a spectacle of herself in front of a bunch of rowdy drunks; he was always saying that when she would mention anything about singing. After Cai found some incriminating video of Mr. Prim and Proper making a spectacle of himself with a secretary, a blow-up doll and what looked like the entire produce department of the local market, she figured it was her turn to make some fantasies come true.
At 41, she had really come into her own, answering an ad looking for a female vocalist with an extensive knowledge of 80s and 90s music. Cai had auditioned and the rest was local lore. Her band, No Return, quickly became the most in-demand cover act in town.
Tonight, she was in her element, strutting around the stage, dressed in her very best rock chick gear. The gray calf-length boots had just the right amount of heel to compliment her great legs which were swathed in tight black leggings. Her tunic-length shirt was belted low and sexy around her waist, a waist that had no problem swiveling around the more suggestive lyrics.
She slunk around the stage, all innocence one minute and pure seduction the next. Her voice was in fine form, purring when necessary and soaring through some of the more demanding notes when needed. She was as close to a rock star, I used to tease her, as we were gonna get in our town.
I waited for her to finish the last set of the night and after she bid the crowd a good night and a happy Valentine’s Day, I went to meet her at the side of the stage where people were still milling about, waiting to congratulate the band. Even local bands have groupies, I thought.
As I went up to her, I saw a blonde break away from her group of friends and quickly go up to Caitlin. I wondered what was up as I got closer and saw that Cai was looking slightly flustered. Cai beckoned for the blonde to follow her into the short hallway that lead to the small dressing rooms located in the back of the club.
Curious, I followed at a short distance and I could hear Cai talking to the mysterious blonde.
“Is there a reason you’re not returning my calls?” the blonde was saying as I approached.
“I’m sorry, Wendy, I’ve just been really busy. I didn’t mean to not…” Caitlin responded, but the blonde cut her off.
“I take it you’re not interested anymore, is that it? I’m a big girl, Caitlin, I can take the truth, you know,” said the blonde, crossing her arms in front of her and fixing Cai with a serious stare.
As I hesitantly approached, both women turned to look at me and while the blonde stared me up and down, I saw something like dread cross Caitlin’s face.
“Cai, is everything okay?” I asked, wondering what exactly I had walked into.
“Oh, okay, I see. This is what’s kept you really busy,” said the blonde, turning back to Caitlin. “And I’m not jealous, by the way. Is she?”
“Yes, yes she is,” said Caitlin, surprising me by reaching out and taking my hand. “And I’m not into sharing either. I hope you understand.”
“Sure, not a problem. She’s cute,” she said and wished us a happy Valentine’s Day as she walked away.
“Care to explain? Or can I just assume that I saved you from a very pushy groupie?” I joked, since Caitlin was currently turning a nice shade of red.
“Oh, shut up, Brenda,” she muttered, dropping my hand and turning to continue to the small dressing room.
“Hey, that’s not nice!” I continued to tease until we got to the room. Caitlin kept a change of clothes there so she didn’t have to go home in sweaty stage clothes. Without answering me, she stripped off her boots and leggings, tossed them into a duffel bag and pulled out a pair of shorts which she quickly pulled on. The tunic and belt were also thrown into the duffel and a plain blue t-shirt quickly replaced them. The transformation from rock star to my old best friend was complete as her feet went into slide-on sneakers. She pulled out her hair from under her t-shirt, ran her fingers through it and turned to face me, still slightly red.
“Look, that girl…her name’s Wendy…she’s been chasing around after me for about two months now. She’s incredibly persistent. About a week ago, she showed up at one of our gigs, I hung out with her after the show, had a little too much to drink and ended up at her apartment somehow. Things started to get a little crazy and I had to get out of there because…well…like I said, she’s really persistent,” Cai finished, her face going from slightly red to incredibly red.
“What are you trying to say?” I asked, slightly stunned. “Are you…I mean, it’s fine if you are, it doesn’t change anything, but I…” “No, I’m not gay, if that’s what you’re afraid to ask. It’s more like…curious, I guess. I mean, I’ve never… you know…been with another girl. And I guess we just wonder what we’ve never had. I have to admit that all the attention was a great ego-boost after the hell Charlie put me through, but I just…I couldn’t do it. I’ve never been into the whole casual sex thing, even before Charlie. If I’m going to be that intimate with someone, that close, it’s because I trust them completely, you know? The physical intimacy is an outcome of that emotional intimacy,” she said, leaning back against a wall. She let out a sigh and looked up at the ceiling; she was avoiding looking at me at all costs.
“And since I’m completely humiliating myself at this point, I may as well tell you the rest. I knew that if I did anything with that girl, I’d be thinking about someone else the whole time, wishing it was someone I really cared about and not just some cheap way to satisfy my curiosity.”
She took a deep breath and then looked straight at me. She didn’t have to say a word.
“Me?” I asked stupidly; I even pointed at myself like a nitwit.
“Yeah. Look, I’m sorry if this is freaking you out, okay? I mean, I’m not gonna make a play for you or anything like that. You’re my best friend, I don’t like keeping secrets from you, but now I’m afraid this has completely screwed us up,” she said, sounding so depressed that my heart went out to her. Before I could say anything, she bent down, picked up her duffel bag and went to leave.
“Hey, wait,” I called to her quietly. I may as well have yelled; the effect was the same. She froze in place, her back to me.
“Why do you think this screws us up? Come on, Cai. You know how crazy I am about you and our friendship. What, I can’t handle honesty? Well, guess what? Just because I’ve never brought it up doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it. Like you said, people wonder about what they’ve never experienced. And I’m not against the idea of…whatever, but how do you talk about something like this, anyway, without sounding like you want some nasty porn girl-on-girl type of…thing?” I asked, running out of steam as she turned around.
She had a slight smile on her face as she opened her arms to pull me into a hug. “I know what you mean,” she said, as my own arms went around her. We held each other for a few minutes, her hand stroking my hair as I turned my face to give her cheek a soft kiss. We had hugged many times in the past, but this was different. The atmosphere around us underwent a smooth transition, from a simple embrace to subtle intent.
“You know something’s going to happen, right?” I murmured in her ear as my right hand came up, my fingers gently stroking her cheek.
“I know,” she whispered back, her arms tightening around me.
“I think we need to get to my place,” I said, my pulse speeding up as I felt her lips graze my neck.
“And I think I can’t wait,” she whispered, her lips wandering upwards and tugging at my earlobe.
“Ohhh, that feels…wait…not here, Cai!” I said, struggling to bring myself under some sort of control. What was she doing? And why did it feel so good?
“Why?” she asked, her lips brushing my jaw line and heading dangerously close to my lips.
“Because we’re in a…oooh…stop…dressing room! There’s a hotel across the street, let’s just go,” I begged, knowing the second that her lips touched mine, all bets were off.
“Fine,” she said, pulling away quickly, leaving me flustered. She grabbed her duffel bag and made a beeline out the door.
We walked through the club, saying hurried good-byes to the people we knew. I headed straight across the street, pulling my wallet out of my purse and praying they had an empty room. Cai waited by the elevators as I impatiently shoved my credit card at the bored desk clerk. He gave me back two keys and went back to reading his magazine as I scurried towards Cai.
The elevators took an eternity, of course. Cai certainly didn’t help matters by standing a little too close to me and letting her fingers innocently (yeah, right) brush my thigh more than a few times. By the time the elevators got there, I was a hormonal mess.
The room was at the end of the hall and we raced each other down, giggling like kids the entire way. My fingers were shaking so much it took a few tries before the stupid card key worked.
She followed me into the room and the second the door closed, she had me wrapped up again. Her lips went back to work on my neck as she slowly guided me towards the bed, her hands finding their way under my shirt. She pulled it off, leaving me in my new dark red bra; it was Valentine’s, after all. As her lips went over the swell that rose out of the cups, my hands slipped into the band of her shorts and pulled them down, revealing her satin thong. She stepped out of her shorts without missing a beat. I wanted to say something, but found I couldn’t breathe. She hooked her fingers into the top of my skirt and off it went; I was happy someone would get to see the bra’s matching bikini.
Her breath was warm on my skin as she worked her way casually back up my neck. She gently pulled her lips away and stayed looking at me for a bit, her arms around my neck. My arms went around her waist and I pulled her closer without even meaning to.
A small smile danced its way across her lips as she traced my lower lip with one of her fingers. “If I never told you before, I love you.”
How sweet, how sentimental. All I could muster was a “shut up” before I leaned in and kissed her, surprising myself.
She started a little; she hadn’t been expecting it. Her lips, however, had no trouble responding to mine almost immediately. It was so soft and even after the intensity increased and her tongue sought out mine, the gentleness somehow remained.
The kiss continued, stopping only so I could pull her shirt off. It was then my turn to let my lips wander over her breasts as my fingers entwined themselves in her hair. I felt her head fall back; soft little moans started filling the room. One of my hands left her hair and glided down her side, stopping for a second to rest comfortably on her hip. An audible gasp escaped her when my fingers slipped past the thong and gave her that first, gentle stroke.
“Bren…” she breathed as I slowly leaned her into the bed, the strokes increasing a bit. I pulled away from her so I could look into her eyes. She matched me look for look, her teeth biting her lower lip. “There…right there…oh, God,” she groaned, her lower back coming off the bed just a bit. She started moving her hips in rhythm with the motion of my fingers as I felt them becoming slick. I was slightly pleased with myself; I couldn’t believe how quickly I had gotten her aroused.
“Kiss me…quick,” she said breathlessly and I rushed to satisfy her request, my fingers never stopping their sweet task. As my lips touched hers, her tongue darted out impatiently and mine answered just as eagerly. Seconds later, she started trembling, her arms pulling me against her as she whimpered against my lips.
I brought her down slowly, my fingers giving her a gentle good-bye stroke. I held her as her breathing returned to normal, her heart commencing its regular rhythm. I trailed soft kisses on her neck as I waited for her to come back. When she finally opened her eyes, they looked drowsily pleased.
She stretched in my arms and then brought her own around me. Our foreheads touched and she teasingly licked my lips with the tip of her tongue. “Thanks. I needed that!” she said, letting out a giggle.
“Jerk! That’s all you have to say after all that?” I said, pretending to be upset. I went to pull away, but she held on to me.
“Actually, I think I’ll make you say something now,” she said, her hands slipping over the curve of my butt, her fingers resting familiarly there.
“Really? And just what do you think I’m going to be saying?” I replied, as her lips dipped down my neck and burned a little path over my breasts.
“Oh…something along the lines of…” she said playfully, returning her lips to mine as her hand traced inside my thigh and her fingers brushed innocently against the satin of my bikini. I sucked in my breath suddenly and I felt her smile against my lips.
“Well, that’s not exactly saying anything, is it?” she asked, pulling away a bit. “How about…” she began a deeper stroking, causing my fingers to involuntarily clench in her hair. Every nerve in my body was paying very close attention to what she was doing.
“Don’t stop…ohhh…yesss,” It was all I could whimper out, not caring what I was saying as I felt the wetness begin between my legs. My hips raised up to meet her and I groaned her name, mixed in with assorted pleadings.
“Come on, baby,” she whispered, her lips back on mine, all joking over when she realized where she had taken me. Her fingers worked their delicious magic on me as her tongue demanded mine’s attention. I gave in gladly, beginning to feel the gathering storm.
“Cai,” I murmured against her lips as the first lightning bolt struck.
“I know…let go, baby…come for me,” she replied softly, her tongue lightly caressing mine, causing more bolts to come crashing down.
It was my turn to arch my back off the bed as the hurricane she had been stirring up inside me demanded release. She pulled her lips away to watch as it happened, eyes widening as the moment hit.
I shuddered against her fingers, crying out unintelligible sounds, collapsing back on the bed, eyes closed. I was suddenly exhausted, but satisfied to the core. I couldn’t even summon the strength to move my lips to tell her how perfectly breath-taking it had all been.
I opened my eyes after a few minutes to find her looking anxiously at me. I held out my arms to her and she cuddled up against me, her back against my breasts, as my arms encircled her.
“Bren,” she began, shyly, the confident teasing nowhere in sight. I knew what she wanted to say; I’d known her too long to not know.
“It was…there aren’t any words. I can’t believe how awesome it was,” I said, caressing her shoulder lightly with my lips and hugging her a little tighter.
“I’m glad. I was so nervous; I wanted it to be perfect for us,” she sighed as she snuggled against me a little more.
“How could it not be perfect?” I teased her gently. “It’s us! Anything we do together is nothing short of sheer art. We should be framed and hanging in a museum after that show.”
She gave a sleepy giggle and turned to kiss my cheek. The tender gesture made me smile and I whispered “And here I thought I wouldn’t get any this Valentine’s.”
“What? Sex?” she asked, as she started fading off to sleep.
“No,” I whispered. “Sex I can get anywhere. Love is a lot harder to find.”
She stiffened and turned to look at me questioningly, sleep held off for the moment.
“Love?” she asked.
“You’re my best friend. In case I never told you before, I love you,” I said, stroking her cheek.
She smiled back. “Shut up,” she said as she kissed me.
She turned back again to her original snuggling position, pulling my arms around her. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Bren,” she said, as she fell asleep.
“Yes, it is,” I answered, drifting off myself.