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Ive missed her, Helena whispered, putting her hand on the belly, now not hidden by the desk.
Tina swallowed hard. Helena, dont.
Ive missed you too, said the beautiful brunette as she leaned even closer and gently covered Tinas mouth with her own.
Bette quickly composed herself and forcefully jabbed at the blinking button on her console. Hello Peggy. What a surprise to hear from you, she said in as unaffected a voice as she could manage.
Bette! What a surprise to hear your voice! replied Peggy, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she had initiated the call. Can you meet me at Katana in an hour?
Excuse me? Bette replied, wondering why every conversation with Peggy appeared to have started in the middle of a paragraph.
You know, Katana, that fabulous sushi place on Sunset. Can you be there in an hour? Peggy repeated, one of her dogs barking insistently into the phone.
If I leave right this second I could probably make it in an hour, Bette said.
Well then you best get moving, said Peggy, about to hang up.
Peggy wait! Bette exclaimed. I dont know if I can get away right now, Franklin is coming back at 2:30 for
Bette, just tell Franklin you are meeting me, wait, no–dont tell him. No one knows Im in this God-forsaken city, Peggy said in a conspiratorially hushed voice.
Peggy, could you please tell me what is going on, asked Bette with an exasperated note in her voice. The Peabody family had much more involvement in her life than she cared to think of at the moment.
I had to come and see for myself what was going on with my daughter, Peggy replied. Ive been privy to some of her decisions and I must say, I am not very pleased.
Katana is on Sunset, right? asked Bette.
Tina broke the kiss first. Her face was flushed and her hair tousled from Helenas fingers running through her long hair. What the ***** am I doing? she thought to herself. Suddenly feeling very vulnerable sitting in the chair with Helena leaning over her, she put her arms on the chair and shifted her body to get up.
Stay right here Christina, whispered Helena into her ear as she moved her leg in between Tinas and pressed her back down into the chair with the force of her kiss. Helena unbuttoned the first two buttons on Tinas blouse and slid her hand into the creamy cleavage.
No Helena, please, said Tina, again attempting to move from the chair.
Darling, everyone is busy in the conference room, we are completely alone, Helena said moving to massage Tinas breast again, and Im desperate to touch you.
Wavering between the desire to let herself be touched and feel wanted, and the knowledge that these caresses came at a very heavy price, Tina gasped as Helenas fingers found a hardened nipple and expertly teased it. In a moment of clarity, Tina remembered what it felt like to be a pawn, helpless to the whims of the calculating, albeit gorgeous chess master. But unlike a game piece existing only for the purpose of the master, Tina had a choice.
Helena, Tina said firmly removing Helenas hand from her shirt, Ive told you to stop. I dont want this.
Oh, but you do Christina. Im sure if I put my fingers inside of you right now I would feel how wet youve become, said Helena, reaching into the elastic waist band of Tinas pants.
Tina pushed Helena backwards with all the force she could muster, her anger fueled by the truth of Helenas prediction. The motion gave her enough time to rise from the chair as Helena fumbled to regain her balance.
Get out of here, now! Tina demanded, her entire body shaking with anger.
Tina is everything okay? asked Amelia anxiously, opening the door with one hand while balancing a plate of food with the other.
Yes, Amelia, Helena was just leaving, said Tina in a steely voice, werent you?
Helena looked at Tina with distain, silently gathered her purse and papers from Tinas desk and brushed dismissively past Amelia as she left the office.
So why am I here Peggy? asked Bette once she and the older woman had chosen their meals and the yap-yaps as Bette silently referred to the dogs were being taken for a walk on the boulevard by a restaurant employee.
My daughter Helena is quite simply ***** up, said Peggy, and you need to help me fix it. Oh my lord, you have got to taste this, Peggy offered a luscious piece of sushi directly from her fingers to Bettes mouth. Bette had no choice but to take it. I havent had anything that fresh since my trip to Kyoto last month. Remind me to tell you about the fabulous seaweed wrap that the divine Charlie Liu gave to me at my hotel spa. It was gorgeous, and so was he, Peggy paused, where were we?
Helena and ***** up, reminded Bette.
Yes, of course. Well Im certain that it is all my fault. I was a lousy mother. Really not meant for the whole nurturing, selfless love kind of thing, am I? she asked. I have to admit I was thrilled when she turned seven years old and could go to boarding school. Her father was an actor I met in London. A big flaming *****, but just the sweetest man. How is Tina? Peggy asked Bette with absolutely no segue.
Shes good, said Bette, not wanting to derail the conversation. Helenas father? she reminded Peggy.
Yes, of course. Rogers parents were very good to her, but they were old and lost their passion for life when Roger died. Helena was 12. Horrible disease, isnt it? Absolutely ravaged the theatre community, Peggy continued.
And what do you want from me? questioned Bette, fully aware that letting Peggy dictate the pace of the conversation would result in the lunch meeting turning into dinner.
Tinas heart rate had just returned to normal. Her hands were still trembling with residual emotions. She picked up the photo on her desk and looked intently at the large, soulful, deep brown eyes staring back at her. What the ***** is wrong with me? she thought to herself. She picked up her cell phone and hit speed dial. Baby, can you meet me at home? I need you.
Tina awoke with a start. She remembered where she was and snuggled deeper into the embrace of the most beautiful woman shed ever seen. Bette held her tightly and kissed her neck gently.
I love you T, Bette whispered into her ear.
I love you too, Tina whispered back.
Are you okay? Bette asked softly. The intense conversation they had the night before still evident by the salty dried tear marks and red eyes of both women.
Yes, Im more than okay, said Tina holding onto Bettes arms and bringing her mouth to them to graze her lips over the soft skin stretched over the well-developed muscles.
Bette swallowed hard. The very fiber of her being wanted to roll Tina over and make love to every inch of her body. She had repressed her desire so long that the desire itself was becoming a painful sensation, like a deep tissue massage that crossed over the line of being pleasurable and began to hurt, to throb.
I have to get into the shower babe, Bette said, kissing Tinas fragrant neck again and pulling away from her.
Five more minutes? Tina begged, drawing Bette closer, unwilling to break the connection forged from the overwhelming emotions they had shared the night before.
Marie, Im sorry to call you so early, but I had to talk, Bette apologized into her cell phone as she drove to work.
Whats happening? asked Marie, quietly contemplating the fact that it was dark and cold on the east coast while she imagined Bette in the warm California sunshine. At least Bette is sitting in traffic, she chuckled to herself as she sat up and pulled the blankets up around her shoulders.
Bette told her therapist about the encounter Tina had with Helena the previous day. I wanted to kill her. I seriously wanted to kill her, said Bette.
Helena or Tina? Marie questioned.
Marie! I cannot believe you even said that! Bette exclaimed with irritation in her voice.
Bette, you just told me yesterday how frustrated you were with Tinas withholding of physical affection, and then you find out that she let Helena kiss her, Marie said calmly.
And did you miss the part where Helena tried to force her? Bette asked incredulously, momentarily regretful that shed awoken her therapist who obviously wasnt thinking clearly yet.
And what happened when Tina shared this with you? Marie continued, ignoring Bettes irritation.
She crumbled in my arms Marie, Bette said quietly. She absolutely crumbled. She told me that Helenas behavior reminded her of me.
mm hmm, Marie encouraged.
And she was right, Bette admitted, tears again springing to her eyes.
Bette recounted the painful conversation that ensued. For the first time the two women talked about what happened between them the night that Tina left; both acknowledged the shame of the pain they willingly inflicted on one another; and most importantly, both vowed to never hurt one another like that again.
The only thing we resolved is that we love each other and we need to keep working on figuring out how to be together, said Bette. It was the most hopeful Ive felt in the past six months.
So will your husband be joining us at the next class? asked the teacher as she checked in Tina.
Oh, I dont have one of those, Tina replied with a smile. This is my partner, Bette Porter.
Bette gave the woman a dazzling smile, caused not from meeting the attractive teacher, but from Tinas description of her as her partner.
The five couples spent the next two hours practicing relaxation exercises and learning what to expect over the next several weeks.
Next week we will watch the obligatory video of a natural childbirth, said Dawn.
So I shouldnt eat my dinner on the way here, huh? joked Sam, a nervous-looking young man.
And you have two bits of homework for the week, Dawn continued, the first task, assigned to the mothers, is to choose your focal point object to hang on the wall in your labor room. It can be a painting, a doll, a stuffed animal, anything that gives you a sense of calmness that is big enough to be seen across the room. Id like you to bring in your focal point next week. The second task is for the partners. Take this ointment, she said while passing around small jars to the men and Bette, and apply it every night to your partners perineum.
To what? asked Sam.
The perineum, the skin that separates the ***** from the *****, Dawn explained patiently.
Why? questioned Sam with a horrified look on his face.
To avoid hearing the dreaded 4-letter word during the childbirth, tear, and I dont mean the kind of tear that comes from your eyes either. The more flexible and conditioned the perineum is prior to childbirth, the higher the likelihood of avoiding an episiotomy or even worse, tearing, Dawn answered in a very matter-of-fact voice. And you partners need to do it because in this stage of the pregnancy, it would be very hard for your wives to reach the area in question without straining.
Okay, replied Sam weakly, turning an unattractive shade of green.
Are you ready? asked Bette holding onto the ointment, as Tina came out of the bathroom following her shower, her hair towel-dried and framing her lovely face.
I can do it Bette, Tina replied, a pink flush appearing over her cheeks.
You heard Dawn, Bette said, you shouldnt be stretching over your belly like that. Bette paused for a moment and looked up at Tina with a deep sadness in her eyes. Im sorry Tina, I didnt even think that you wouldnt want me to be touching you like that.
No Bette, there isnt anyone else in the world I would rather have help me prepare for the birth of our child, Tina said, coming over and kissing Bette on the cheek.
Tina laid down on the bed and Bette very gently began massaging the ointment into the tender skin. Tina jumped and giggled at the first touch and then relaxed. Her hands fell to Bettes head and she ran her fingers through the beautiful hair that had just been released from the tight bun it was curled up into for the day.
Hey Bette, do you remember? Tina began.
Of course I do, baby. It was the first time you had your period while we were together, right? said Bette with a ***** grin on her face.
Yeah, it was, Tina replied.
Both women were lost in the shared memory from eight years earlier.
Bette threw on her linen bathrobe and opened the bathroom door, expecting to find Tina dressed and ready to start the day. Instead she found Tina curled up in the fetal position on the bed, hair still wrapped in a turban from her shower and her arms wrapped around her abdomen.
Baby whats wrong, an alarmed Bette asked while moving over to the bed and putting her hand on Tinas forehead. Are you sick?
Oh sorry, babe, its nothing, answered Tina. I just got my period and the cramps hit me hard.
Bette leaned over Tina and kissed her on the cheek. I have just the cure, claimed Bette. Ill be back in a few minutes. You just lie here and rest.
Bette came back shortly with a small tray lined with a bright Tuscan-style cloth and cluttered with tea pot, cups, milk, sugar and a little burnt orange bud vase holding a Gerber daisy just cut from the garden. She was also balancing an old fashioned red hot water bottle under the tray and let it drop to the bed within Tinas reach.
Oh Bette, you are spoiling me! exclaimed Tina, clearly pleased with the pampering. She put the hot water bottle over her abdomen and sighed with pleasure. Where did you get this water bottle? I dont think Ive seen one like this since we cleaned out my grandmothers house after she passed away.
Oh, I dont know where it came from originally, said Bette, but my sister Kit used to fix it for me when I first got my period and had bad cramps.
Id like to meet Kit someday, said Tina its obvious she loves you very much.
She used to . whispered Bette with a melancholy look on her face. Anyway, she continued, brightening up, I want this to help you feel better and I do admit to ulterior motives, said Bette. I want to be able to do our errands today and perhaps enjoy a little extra curricular activity later on, Bette said while raising her eyebrows in a suggestive pose.
Bette, just in case you missed the point here, I have my periodI dont think you are getting lucky for a few days! smiled Tina.
What are you talking about Tina? asked Bette as she stirred the sugar into the brewed tea.
Bette, for a bright woman you are acting a bit thick today, Tina giggled. We cant have ***** until my period ends. Tina took a few sips of her tea and looked at Bette like she was explaining something simple to a young child.
What are you talking about Tina? repeated Bette, looking at her lover with a quizzical expression on her face. Do you actually think that we cannot have ***** while you have your period? Bette paused to make sure she had Tinas full attention. Okay, lets do the math here. she said while easing into her work face.
How many days do you have your period each month? she questioned Tina.
About 6, sometimes 7, replied a confused Tina.
Okay, lets call it 7 days. I get my period about the same amount of time, but usually not more than 6 days, but for convenience sake, lets just call it 7 days. So thats two weeks total, unless we start to overlap, which is certainly possible, Bette continued to ramble while Tina just stared up at her.
So, lets see, there are 4 weeks in every month and 2 of those weeks we might possibly be having our periods. In my book, that works out to be 50% of the time. Do you actually think that we are going to go 50% of the time without having *****? Bette was now standing over her lover with a hand on her hip, defying Tina to argue her logic.
Tina, I cant remember 7 hours going by these past few weeks without us having *****, never mind 7 days, can you? Bette paused and looked up to the ceiling while musing. Well there was that one night we actually slept 9 hours in a row because we made love for the previous 13 hours, Bette recalled.
Tina just continued looking up at Bette, her cramps having been forgotten while watching her gorgeous lover rant. But Bette, how
Are you telling me that Eric never made love to you while you had your period? asked Bette incredulously.
Of course not, answered Tina, you cant.
I have to say, Babe, Im a bit surprised at your somewhat narrow definition of making love, grinned Bette. I think I have some teaching to do right about now. Bette leaned over and took Tinas cup out of her hand, set the tray on the floor and climbed into bed with the startled blonde. Well keep this here, said Bette, holding the hot water bottle against Tinas body while pulling her close for a kiss.
Bette slowly explored Tinas lips with her own, each kiss a voyage of discovery as they became more and more familiar with each others desires. Bette pressed Tinas head back onto the pillow more forcefully now as her mouth increased the pressure, mirroring the pressure Bette was feeling in the rest of her body. Tina opened her mouth to let Bette in, moaning with want and bringing her hand up to hold Bettes head even closer. Bette reached her hand up and pulled on the loose end of the tie holding Tinas bathrobe together and knocked the water bottle out of place.
Dont worry babe, I have an even better cure for cramps, whispered Bette to Tina while gently sucking on her lovers earlobe.
I should never doubt you babe, replied Tina, looking at her girlfriend with eyes that reflected her overwhelming love and desire.
No, you never should, agreed Bette while removing the robe from Tinas body and gasping at the sight of her naked lover, her perfect body waiting to be touched and loved.
Tina reached up and helped Bette get her own robe off of her shoulders and the two women looked at each other for a moment, in awe of the depth of their connection.
My God, Bette breathed, I want you so much. She laid her whole body on top of Tina and they moaned together at the exquisite feeling of their two bodies completely open and vulnerable to each other, the almost unbearably perfect sensation of soft skin against soft skin.
Bette nudged Tinas legs open with her own and settled her body between them. Tinas legs wrapped around her girlfriend and Bette gasped as the warm liquid from her lover began to coat her thighs.
You are so wet babe, said Bette hoarsely. She brought her mouth once again to Tinas and several minutes of scorching bliss ensued. Bette moved her hips against Tinas body in a scandalously ***** fashion and Tina understood the rhythm and played it back for Bette. Both women were out of breath when Bette broke the kiss and moved her body up and off of Tina.
Please, whimpered Tina.
Bette responded by moving lower onto her lovers body and taking Tinas left breast into her mouth, while massaging her right breast with her hand. Tina reached for the headboard and held on as if bracing for an onslaught. The onslaught began as Bette teased her nipple with her tongue and teeth, causing Tinas body to thrash beneath her while guttural noises escaped her mouth. Bette turned her attention to the other nipple and Tina moaned in ecstatic agony.
Baby, I cant take much more, gasped Tina.
Bette reached between Tinas legs and cupped her warm mound in her hand. She squeezed tightly for a moment, trying to relieve the ache she knew Tina was feeling. She continued her love-making by spreading Tinas lips apart and running her fingers up to Tinas ***** and down to her *****, spreading her warm lubrication from end to end. I love you so much Tina, whispered Bette. I love you, I love you, I love you, she continued, punctuating each phrase with a well-placed kiss on Tinas chest and abdomen. Tina was more turned on than she had ever felt in her life when Bette continued encouraging her liquid desire to pool at Tinas back entrance. Bette applied very light pressure to Tinas ***** and spread the lubrication gently in a circular fashion.
Bette, I never began Tina.
Shh, implored Bette, I would never do anything you didnt want okay? she paused looking up at Tina. Do you trust me Tina? she asked.
With my life, replied Tina, her eyes baring her soul to her lover.
Bette continued teasing her lover with light touches and slight pressure as Tina reveled in the sensations coursing through her body. Suddenly Bette stopped all movement and rested her fingertip just at Tinas entrance. Shed know soon enough if Tina liked this exploration or if she should go no further. Tina began moving her body, at first almost imperceptibly and then with more purpose to capture Bettes fingertip in her body. Tina gasped as she felt her lover enter her. Bette looked intently at Tina to make sure her lover was not in any distress. She saw Tinas face contorted, not in pain, but in bliss. Bette knew what she had to do next and she lowered her head in between her girlfriends legs.
You are so beautiful Tina, I want to make love to you forever, Bette declared as she gently began stroking Tinas ***** with her tongue in a tempo matching Tinas movement on her finger.
Tina was grunting her desire, an animalistic, raw sound that she had never heard emitted from herself before. The sound turned Bette on even more and encouraged her to suck softly on Tinas hardened nub. Bette surprised Tina by pulling her fingertip out of her body and stopping her lovemaking.
Oh God Bette, please dont stop, why did you stop? breathed Tina.
I told you I wouldnt do anything you didnt want me to do, smiled Bette, so Im just checking in here.
What do you want me to do Tina? Bette whispered.
Please Bette, Tina answered, almost frantic with desire.
Please what, darling, questioned Bette, knowing that she was driving Tina to the brink of sanity, but loving the incredibly ***** vision of Tina panting and begging.
Please ***** me, Tina mouthed almost inaudibly.
***** you where? Bette continued teasing.
Tell me baby, just whisper in my ear,
***** me in the *****, Tina whimpered in Bettes ear.
Bette needed no further direction, as she gently moved back down Tinas body and stroked in between her legs to lubricate her fingers again with Tinas copious liquid.
Bette tenderly and lovingly entered Tina with one finger. Tina began moving her body as before to take her lovers fingertip deeper. Bette moved an arm up to hold her down.
Just lie there, baby, I dont want you to do any more work. Just lie there and let me ***** you, Bette ordered softly but commandingly.
Tina could do nothing but lie back and feel the sensations running rampant through her lithe body as Bette entered her with her finger and resumed sucking on Tinas *****.
Tina was gasping, moaning, writhing, and clutching at Bettes hair, the bed sheets, anything within her grasp as the waves of ***** began streaming through her.
Oh my God, oh my God, she kept repeating until words were no longer possible.
Bette knew that Tina was about to come powerfully and toyed with the idea of stopping again to prolong her ecstasy. But her own desire to feel Tinas ***** was also overwhelming, and Bette slightly increased the pressure she was applying both with her mouth and her finger and within seconds she felt Tinas entire body pulse with her *****.
Tinas hips were lifted off the bed by the power of her climax, and her head was thrown back to an almost painful position. Her eyes rolled back in her head and her mouth was open, but unable to emit a sound. Just then she felt something shed never experienced before, as her body was experiencing the denouement of her climax, her heart had an *****. Tina collapsed back to the bed in shear exhaustion and complete fulfillment.
Bette rested her head on Tinas abdomen, utterly delighted in the ecstasy she was able to bring to her lover. When Tina was able to move again, she tugged gently on Bettes shoulders, urging her to move up towards her. Bette complied immediately, eager to see Tinas eyes and share her heart. She saw tears trickling down Tinas face and her joy turned to concern.
Baby, did I hurt you Tina? Bette desperately questioned.
No, Tina whispered and then needed a few more seconds to be able to respond.
Bette, Ive never felt anything like that in my entire life. I feel like Ive just been made love to for the first time, Tina explained.
They rested for a long time tenderly stroking each other, the emotional and physical connection between them requiring no words.
Bette gently caressed Tinas taut abdomen and asked, how are your cramps now babe?
What cramps? Tina smiled as she rolled Bette over on her back for her turn.
I guess thats one good thing about being pregnant, a nine-month respite from cramps! said Bette as she finished with the massage. Her fingers moved a bit higher, just grazing over Tinas vaginal opening which was swollen and slick with the lubrication resulting from the combined effects of the erotic memory and Bettes skilled fingers caressing her. Bette let her fingers touch Tina more purposefully, lost in her desire make love to the woman lying next to her. She almost jumped back when she realized what she was doing.
Tina was also in a haze of arousal, interrupted by Bettes nervous start. Tina lifted Bettes head to look straight into her eyes. The electric connection that had somehow dimmed over the past few years was now passing through both of them at full wattage.
Bette, please dont stop. I want us to make love, said Tina as she guided Bettes hand back to the center of her desire.