The sun shone brightly in the sky against the backdrop of the mountains and a few birds could be seen flying about. The view could make anyone looking at it breathe a deep sigh of contentment, but not the woman standing in front of her office window. In fact, the sigh that she gave was one of sadness – not the deep heart-wrenching kind she had sighed six months before, but sad just the same.
Toni asked herself if those twinges she felt whenever she thought about her would ever stop. At least now she could say her name in her mind without having the waterworks start.
‘Has it really been six months?’ Toni thought. Well, time flies when you are busy especially when you are trying to forget and she had been at that. In the past six months she had up and left Los Angeles to set herself up in Denver with a new job, new house and a new small business on the side. She even had a new look – her raven hair used to be cut into a bob, but it was now past her shoulders, bringing out her natural waves. With her hazel eyes, it made her appearance more alluring. She had worried about her chest size going down from a C-cup when she lost weight from a size 14 to a size 10, but happily it hadn’t changed. On the lighter side it kind of felt like being in the witness protection program, except for the fact that she hadn’t had to change her name. She was still Toni Stevens: daughter, sister, aunt and ex-lover. Another twinge at that last role. The only bright spot about her transferring to Denver was being close to her sister and her family.
Lost in her thoughts, her intercom buzzed loudly in the room. “Toni, your sister is on line two. Should I tell her to call you back?” Ems, her secretary asked.
“Thanks, Ems. I’ll take the call.” Toni punched the line. “Hey Liz! Is there something I can do for you that you can’t do for yourself?”
“Oh Goody! I see some of your humor is coming back!” Liz tossed back at her. “For a while there I was worried you were getting too old to join the land of the fun-loving and living, sister.”
“Hey! May I remind you that I am 31 years old and you are 35 which makes you the older one.” Toni quipped. “Besides, don’t I join the land of the living whenever I am with you at the bar every weekend?”
“Honey! Helping out bartending every Friday and Saturday night at a bar that you part-own with your sister is not what I would call having fun. Especially seeing as how you totally ignore all the flirting coming your way from our customers of both the male and female persuasion.” Liz sighed. “It’s been six months, Sis. You have to move on. Anyway, the reason I called is to remind you that you are having dinner at my house tonight. No excuses! Gotta go – I have to pick up Ward from preschool. Love ya Sis!” then hung up.
Putting the phone down, Toni thought back to six months ago when her world was torn apart by Laurel, the woman she had fallen in love with. She was the first woman Toni had fallen for since she had always dated guys before. From the first moment she saw her, there was just something about Laurel that Toni could not explain. They met accidentally in a lesbian bar that she and her friends went to on a dare – and by ‘accidentally’ it meant just that.
When she and her friends entered the bar, the place was so packed that they were separated from each other. In trying to locate her friends, Toni backed up on Laurel when a tall, dark butch tried to put the moves on her.
10 months before….
“Come on guys! Hurry up and let’s get in there already.” Deidre hissed at Toni and Jen as they dawdled outside of the bar.
“Do we really have to do this? Couldn’t we just lie to Jeff and the others at the office and tell them we went in?” Jen pleaded while holding on to Toni’s arm with a death grip as she saw some butch type coming in the place with one of them giving her the once-over.
“No way! I am not going to lose out on the $100 cash that we’ll each be getting once we get this over and done with. Besides, we have to show them pictures from our cellphones and a receipt showing we were inside. That was the deal. So get in there and let’s party!” Deidre ordered, pushing the two girls ahead of her. As soon as they entered they were separated from each other as the place was packed.
The next thing Toni knew she was already alongside the dance floor. She tried in vain to look around the crowded place, searching for either one of her friends. That was when she noticed a tall and dark butch come up to her and lean in really close. “Hey baby cakes! I haven’t seen you here before. How about you and me getting to know each other better?” the butch flirtingly said as she touched Toni’s hair.
Toni was so shocked with what was happening that she instinctively moved away and backed up into somebody. She turned around to apologize and stopped dead. As she gazed into the face of the blonde woman she had bumped into, she experienced a sense of rightness she had never experienced in her life before. Deep azure eyes pulled her in like a magnet. The woman she was staring at looked to be in her early to mid thirties.
“Are you alright?” asked the beautiful stranger as it took Toni a few seconds to get her bearings, especially when two arms were holding her waist to steady her.
“Umm..yeah…I’m so sorry to bump into you like that.” Toni replied. The blonde looked over Toni’s shoulder and saw her predicament. She gave Toni a wink and whispered, “Follow my lead, OK?” And before she could even respond the blonde kissed her on the lips and said rather loudly for the butch to hear, “Honey! Where have you been? You said you would be here early.”
Upon hearing this, the butch grumbled and walked away. “Okay, she’s gone now. I’m Laurel by the way. What’s your name?” Laurel asked.
“Toni. Thanks for helping me out.” Not wanting to let go of Laurel yet she tentatively asked, “could I buy you a drink as a token of my appreciation?”
“I would love one!” Laurel grabbed her hand and lead her to the bar. After securing their drinks they were able to find a small secluded table and sat there.
“Is it your first time in a place like this? You don’t look comfortable being in here.” Laurel asked as she reached out and rubbed her fingers on the brunette’s arm. Toni’s breath hitched as she felt all tingly from the blonde’s simple caress.
” Am I that transparent?” she asked. “My friends and I were dared to come here but as soon as we entered I lost them. I was looking for them when I bumped into you.”
“Well finders keepers losers weepers!” The blonde smiled and took Toni’s breath away. ‘Damn! Why am I feeling this way about her? I have never felt like this with another woman.’ Toni thought.
They talked well into the night about everything and anything. At one point, the music in the bar changed into a slow tune. The song ‘Hold me in your arms’ by Whitney Houston started to play and Laurel asked her to dance. As Toni looked at her eyes she could not deny her anything so she nodded and went to the dance floor.
Laurel held her by the waist and slowly pulled her closer. As their bodies touched, Toni closed her eyes and sighed. ‘Why does this feel so right? I just want to keep holding her and not let go.’ Toni buried her face in the blonde’s neck and breathed in her scent. Laurel slightly shuddered feeling the breath of the brunette at her neck. She lifts her right arm and holds the head in place whilst spreading fingers over her hair. ‘God! This feels so good!’ The blond thought. Even the lyrics of the song begin to feel like it was made for them.
I’ll hold you and touch you and make you my woman
I’ll give you my love with sweet surrender
Tonight our hearts will beat as one
And I will hold you, touch you, and make you my woman tonight
There’s something in your eyes I see
A pure and simple honesty
Hold me in your arms tonight
Fill my life with pleasure
Let’s not waste this precious time
This moment’s ours to treasure
Hold me in your arms tonight
We’ll make it last forever
When the morning sun appears
We’ll find a way together
I believe you when you say that you love me
Know that I won’t take you for granted
Tonight the magic has begun
So won’t you hold me, touch me, make me your woman tonight
There’s something in your eyes I see
I won’t betray your trust in me
Hold me in your arms tonight
Fill my life with pleasure
Let’s not waste this precious time
This moment’s ours to treasure
Hold me in your arms tonight
We’ll make it last forever
When the morning sun appears
We’ll find a way together
As the song ended, they both pulled back and looked at each other. “That is now officially my favorite song.” Toni whispered. “Mine as well.” The blond softly said as she rubbed the lower back of the brunette.
After the dance they both decided it was time to go. Laurel offered to bring home Toni and since she came in Deidre’s car she accepted. When they reached Toni’s apartment Laurel turned towards her, “Look I know that you are straight but there is something between us that I just can’t explain. I don’t know if you feel it as well but I really want to see where it will lead us.” Looking at the brunette intently. “Would you….would you have dinner with me on Saturday?” she tentatively asked.
“I feel the same way.” Laurel smiled at the response. “I have never felt anything like this with another woman. It’s just a little scary for me since I don’t know how my friends and especially my family might react.”
“All I’m asking for is the chance for us to get to know each other. Try to see where this will go, Toni.” Laurel pleaded as she reached out and held the brunette’s hand. “I don’t want to just have sex with you. I want something deeper and I feel that I could have that with you.”
After a month of Toni hesitating, it being her first time going out with another girl, they were exclusively dating each other. The first time they made love was so special and romantic since Laurel wanted Toni’s first time with a woman to be memorable. She understood where Toni was coming from especially knowing the very conservative background of her girlfriend.
Their first time together was in Laurel’s apartment. The bedroom had lit lavender candles and their favorite song playing in the background. They started out slow dancing beside the bed. “You feel so good.” Laurel said huskily. “You make me feel so many emotions I can’t even think straight.” Toni responded as she touched Laurel’s face as if memorizing it. “Don’t think just feel.” The blonde slowly brought her head down to kiss Toni.
Their lovemaking that night was slow and sensuous. Laurel was an unselfish lover in the way she patiently handled Toni’s body. It was as if she was a symphony being played and when the crescendo was reached she was there to lovingly hold her as she wept from the beauty of the experience.
After three months of being together and Laurel trying to persuade Toni to move in with her, things started to crumble. There were factors involved in contributing to the relationship’s demise. The first one was the fact that Toni still had not told her family about them, while Laurel, on the other hand, introduced her to her family and even had Toni join her family for Thanksgiving. The second factor was Toni’s officemate Chad who Laurel felt was forever flirting with her even when Laurel was around. During a lover’s quarrel, Laurel once said angrily that Toni was just experimenting and given the chance would ‘jump Chad’s bones.’
Toni could still vividly picture Laurel’s impassive face and hear her response on that horrible day six months ago. Laurel looked up at her from the bed they had shared on so many nights which she was now sharing with another woman and said in a cold voice when she cried out asking why: “You aren’t worth it.”
The words still reverberated in her mind after all this time and her eyes glistened as she remembered the pain of that fateful day.
“Toni, it’s Doug on line one and he says it’s very important that he speak with you.” Ems buzzed, bringing Toni back to the present.
“Yes Doug. What is so important that you would call me while you’re supposed to be vacationing in sunny Florida?” Toni asked.
“I am so sorry to bother you, but remember the Forrester deal I was working on before I left? Well the buyers are insisting on signing the loan today instead of next week when I get back. It’s either they sign now or they cancel buying the house. Please! Please! Could you just handle the transaction for me and I swear I will make it up to you.” He pleaded.
“Where are the documents and what time are the clients arriving?” she asked without preamble.
“Umm… They are actually in the conference room and Lori has already given them the paperwork. All you have to do is sign off on the transaction.” He stated.
“Wow! They must really want the house. Okay I will handle it from here. Just do me a favor and enjoy your vacation.” She ordered.
“Thanks Boss! You’re the best!” He shouted as he ended the call.
As Toni walked towards the conference room she saw Lori waiting for her just outside the door. Lori winked at her and said, “You’re one lucky devil. The client is a hunk!” Toni raised her eyebrows and just shook her head at Lori as she pushed open the door. Mr. Forrester was sitting while his female companion was looking outside one of the windows. Lori introduced her to the client. “Mr. Forrester, this is Doug’s boss who will be handling your transaction. Ms. Toni Stevens.” After Lori’s introduction two things happened at the same time. Mr. Forrester stood up from the chair and his female companion whirled around from her perusal out the window with a loud gasp. It was the latter that made Toni turn towards the sound and her whole world started to spin. “Oh my God! Laurel!”
“Miss Stevens, are you alright?” Mr. Forrester asked as he looked into the ashen face of Toni.
“I have been feeling under the weather lately. Please call me Toni.” She quickly replied and shook his hand. Making sure that she not look where Laurel stood. “Only if you call me Kyle.” Then he turns to the window. “This is Laurel Parker , my lawyer.”
Hoping that her face does not show anything, she turns and acknowledges Laurel with a slight smile and a nod. “Alright Kyle, If you could just sign on the following documents will have the paperworks processed and Lori here will give you the keys to your new home.” Getting down straight to business wanting to make a hasty retreat. She tries to ignore the curious look that Lori is giving her which was easy for her. The hardest was trying to ignore the silent but searing look she was getting from Laurel across the table. ‘Damn it! She’s wearing the perfume I love on her!” She thought.
“Well, now that the business side is done. Let’s celebrate!” Kyle was exuberant when he finished signing all the documents. “Would you care to join us for dinner and drinks, Toni?”
“Umm… Thank you for the offer but I already have something planned.” She tried her best to gracefully exit the room all the while wanting to hightail it out of there. “Congratulations on your new home, Kyle. Lori will be handling you from here.” Shaking his hand once again and leaving. This time totally ignoring Laurel.
As soon as the door of her office was closed Toni slumped to her chair and put her head down on top her desk. “Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!” she was muttering to herself. Taking deep breaths trying to calm herself but to no avail. She jumps up grabs her purse and leaves the office.
“Alright! Alright already! Hold your horses!” Liz shouts as her doorbell kept ringing. She opens her door to a distraught Toni. “Hey Sis, I did say dinner and not tea right?”
“Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!” Toni enters the house heading straight for the sofa. Sitting down she hugs her stomach as if in pain and rocks her body back and forth. Liz sits on top of the coffee table across from her and holds her face up.
“Sweetie! What’s wrong? Are you hurt? Talk to me!” she checks Toni for any injury as she frantically asks. Really worried but not getting any response she decides to do something drastic. She slaps her sister.
If there was one thing that got Toni out of that mode it was the slap across the face. “OOWW!! God damn it! Why did you hit me, Liz?” she rubs her throbbing cheek.
“Well you were like a broken record and normally giving a little tap would fix the problem.” She said sheepishly.
“A tap?!? That was most definitely not a tap!” Toni argued. “Geesh! Have you thought of being a domme cuz you sure have the makings of being one.” Moving her jaws to check if she broke anything.
“Who says I am not one with Ed?” Liz threw back with a smirk. “I’m sorry for the slap but you had me really worried.” She apologized.
“Eeewww! Too much information sis! Somehow picturing your hubby with a collar is not a good thing.” Toni shuddered.
“Ok now that you are back to your old self, would you please tell me what is wrong?” Liz asked.
“Oh God Liz! It’s Laurel. She’s here in Denver. Toni answered as her eyes glistened.
“What?!? Why is she here? Where did you see her? Who was she with? Did she say something to hurt you?” Liz fired off.
“Whoa! Hold on! I handled a transaction this afternoon and Laurel was the lawyer of the client. We were both surprised.” Toni leaned back on the sofa suddenly feeling tired. “We didn’t talk to each other. Once everything was done I left the office and rushed here.”
“So you think she’ll be staying or setting up her practice here in Denver?” Liz asked as she looked at her sister’s face intently. Toni half smiles at her sister. “Forget about being a domme. You make one helluva good interrogator sis.”
“Hey! I’m just worried about you kiddo.” Liz tightly grabs Toni’s hands.
“I’m worried about me too.” Toni said softly.
“Well all these emotions got me hungry. Let’s eat now so we could be at the bar early.” Liz jumps up from the coffee table and heads for the kitchen.
“Aww! C’mon Toni just this once have a spin around the dance floor with me.” Madge, the raven haired butch asked her as Toni served her beer. For the last two months, Madge has been asking Toni to dance with her but she always lets her down easy. The butch was a loud drunk but harmless. “Now Madge be nice or I start serving you coffee.” She threatened playfully.
Toni had just given one of the waitress her order when Liz gave her a dollar to change into coins. “What do you need the change for?”
“Ed texted saying to check out the new album he placed on the jukebox. Calls it the ‘mood motivator’. So I’m checking.” Liz took the change and headed towards the machine.
Leaning her head around, but with her eyes still watching her sister, Toni asked a customer at the far end of the bar. “What’s your order?”
“A midori sour please.” Toni’s world started to spin again. She closed her eyes for just a second before slowly turning to the origin of the familiar voice. “Hi Toni. Since when have you been a bartender?” Laurel asked trying to capture the brunette’s eyes.
“Not long. Couple of months.” Toni moves to the center of the bar to prepare the drink. As she was doing this she looks up to see Liz looking at her then at Laurel with a scowl on her face. She slightly shakes her head at her sister silently telling her to not do whatever it is she plans to do. Toni then saunters back to the blonde to give her order and get the payment from her.
“Aren’t you even going to say ‘hi’ or are you still going to pretend you don’t know me, Toni?” Laurel asked as she took a sip from her drink. “I would say we knew each other pretty well in the three months we were together.” She taunted.
“I was just following your lead, Laurel.” As she looked at Laurel’s face for the first time in six months. And before the blonde could respond Liz joins in.
“Who’s lead are we following? Do I get to join?” She stands beside Laurel and looks at her. “Hi! I’m Liz. Toni’s sister and partner of this place.”
“You own this place?” Laurel looked from Liz then Toni. “Yep! It was Toni who sold me the idea and a pretty good one at that.” Liz said with pride. “So what brings you to our side of the world, Laurel? You planning to move here and set up practice?” she asked the blonde.
“Liz! I don’t..” Toni started to call off her sister but she was given the ‘look’ that even her husband and son is afraid of. “Go back to work sis the customers are waiting and that’s bad for business.” She growled. Toni sighs and turns around to leave them alone.
As Toni left, Laurel realizes something. “Wait! How did you know my name and what I do? We only just met.” She asked. Somehow not wanting to know the answer.
“I knew of you six months ago when my baby sister called me to let me know she was in love. She also told me that she and her girlfriend would be coming over from LA to visit me so I could finally meet the woman she was sure she was going to spend the rest of her life with.” Liz looked at Laurel straight in the eyes as she rattled off ignoring the ‘gasp’ that came from the blonde. “Then the next thing I know my sister comes over not to visit but to stay for good without you and here we are.” She sees the expression on the blonde’s face and the tears in her eyes. “So you want to tell me the missing parts of the story, Laurel?” She softly asked.
“Oh God! Oh God! I didn’t know!” Laurel whispered. “I know I have no right to ask especially from you but you have to help me!” She pleaded to the smaller brunette. “Please!” Liz nods at her and gives her a big smile. “I am such a sap when it comes to a really good love story. Ok here is what we’ll do..”
Toni grumbles as she parks her car in front of what looks like a log cabin. Her sister’s car already there parked at the side of the house. Liz called her that morning to tell her to meet her here at 4 p.m. She wanted Toni’s opinion on the place she was thinking of buying . It was a good thing she was given specific instructions or she would have ended up getting lost in these woods. As she got out of her car she took a deep sigh looking around at her surroundings. She always wanted to have a log cabin and to have someone to cuddle up to on those cold nights.
She goes up to the porch and opens the door as she enters the view from the high windows overlooking the mountains takes her breath away . She hears movements in the kitchen but was too enthralled with the beauty of it all that she went straight for the window. “God! It’s so beautiful. I could just stay here forever.” She whispered.
“Yes beautiful. I would want to stay forever as well.” That familiar voice said from behind her. She whirled around with her mouth open in shock. “What are you doing here? Where’s Liz?” And before she could even get an answer it comes to her. “I’m going to kill Liz after I find her!” She starts heading out for the door.
“Wait Toni! Stop! Please! Don’t be mad at her I asked her to help me.” The blonde grabs Toni’s arm before she could make it to the door. Fearing that if she did not stop her she would not be able to get another chance like this. Toni halts but her back is to her. She could feel the anger emanating from the brunette as she was taking deep breaths . She rubs her fingers up and down the arm she was holding hoping to calm her. “Please Toni! We need to talk.” She pleaded.
Toni turns around and Laurel felt the jolt in her body as she sees the pain reflected on the brunette’s face with tears swimming in her eyes. “Why? Why do you want to talk now? You didn’t want to the last time we saw each other.” Toni demanded.
“So we could fix things between us. I want you back Toni. I want us to be together again..this time forever.” Laurel said with tears in her eyes as well.
“You want me back? I remember you telling me in my face when you had another woman in your arms in our bed that I was not worth it!” Toni hugged herself while having her right hand over her aching chest. Trying to ease the hurt away. “Why would you want me back when I don’t mean anything to you?!” She finally shouted at the end.
“Wait! You have to know that nothing happened between me and the woman you saw in our bed. The moment you left I couldn’t..I couldn’t go through with it. And I lied when I said ‘you are not worth it.’ I just said it cuz I was hurt and I wanted to make you feel what I felt.” The blonde explained.
“What?! What did I ever do to you to?!” Toni demanded.
“That day six months ago, I went to your office to surprise you and take you out for lunch. But when I got near your room I heard you and Chad talking about planning a romantic weekend together . I also heard him tell you to make sure I was to be told when you got home that night. Then I saw you hug each other.”
Toni’s jaw just dropped as the tears she was trying to hold rolled down her cheeks. “Thank you! Thank you for trusting me and believing that I will never betray you with anyone let alone a man!” she sobbed. “I only ever loved you! You were my first in almost everything! I gave you everything! And just because you thought you heard my betrayal you threw me out like yesterday’s garbage without having to talk to me!” as she angrily wiped the tears away.
“What you heard was a conversation between two friends helping each other out with their respective partners.” She sniffed. “He was bringing his girlfriend to that romantic weekend to propose to her . While I was supposed to finally tell you that I will be moving in with you and that I have spoken with my sister about us. That we were to have our own romantic weekend here at Denver when we visit her to meet you.”
“I’m sorry! Oh God I am so sorry Toni!” Laurel sobbed. She knelt in front of the brunette held on to her waist tightly and pressed her face into her stomach as the tears rolled. “Please! Please forgive me! I love you so much..so much it hurts. I’ve only been half alive these past months without you.” She continued. “I promise to make it up to you. I swear to you just please come back to me and love me again.”
There was only silence from Toni. Her body rigid that Laurel was so afraid to let go in case she decides to turn and leave. Suddenly she feels the brunette lift her face up look at her. “Damn you! I never stopped loving you!” Toni hugs her tightly to her body.
Laurel jumps up from her kneeling position and starts to kiss Toni all over her face. “Oh baby! I love you! I love you!” She kept saying as she backs her up the sofa. As she laid her down she kept her eyes on the brunette’s face seeing the passion there. “I want to make love to you.” She whispers. Without waiting for a response she lowers and kisses her lips. She palms Toni’s breast sliding her hand up and down the aroused nipple. She does the same to the other breast. Toni groans as Laurel trails kisses down her neck and throat making her arch her torso into her. They stripped each other off and when their naked bodies aligned they both sighed. “You feel so good.” Laurel groaned as she started suckling Toni’s breast full into her mouth while licking the nipple. Her hands roams and moves in between their pussies. “Oh please!….please…” Toni begs spreading her legs. Laurel transfers to the other breast as her fingers spread and enters the hot core of the brunette. “You’re so wet baby.” She croons loving the feel of the wetness of her lover. She puts in two more fingers going a little bit faster as Toni starts to hump on her hand. “Uugghh! Yes! Faster baby please….I’m cumming.” Laurel gasped when the brunette inserted her fingers in her cunt. “Cum with me! I want….yes….I want us to cum together.” It may have been seconds or minutes but they did cum together. It was the strongest and loudest orgasm they both had since their last time together.
Toni woke up to Laurel gazing at her while stroking her face lovingly. “Hi there.” She smiles up at the blonde.
“Hey you. I love you..so much.” Laurel whispers.
“I love you too.. so much. Why are we whispering?” Toni asks gliding her fingers to the body beside her.
“Afraid of what?”
“Afraid that if I get too loud I will wake up and find that this was all a dream.”
“Oh honey! C’mere!” Toni brings the blonde’s body close to her and holds her tight. Burying her face at Laurel’s neck. “I’m real and I love you.” Rubbing her back as if soothing a child.
“I want to stay here forever with you.” Laurel said huskily.
Remembering where they are, Toni asks. “Umm… baby I would want that as well but this is not our place. I think we should start dressing up and leave should the owner come back.” Then she heard Laurel giggle. “What? It isn’t going to be funny when they see us like this.”
Laurel looks at Toni and holds her face. “Honey, I am the owner.”
“What? When? How? Why?” The blonde laughed out loud. “You know you really are sisters the way you fire off questions.” She kissed her lover on the lips. “Okay let me see if I can answer all of them. Yes, I am the owner. well the new owner. I gave a check for the earnest money this morning and the rest will be given by the bank when I sign the documents first thing on Monday. Your sister helped me since she knows the previous owner of this place and the bank that will provide the loan. As for the ‘why’ part it’s very simple, you once told me you wanted to have a log cabin in the woods to have someone cuddle with on all those cold nights. I wanted to be the one to give that to you especially the ‘cuddling’ part.” She coyly said. Toni looked at Laurel with so much love and passion that the blonde had a hard time breathing