Tempting The Fates
By Mavis Applewater
For disclaimers see part one.
A very special thank you goes out to my beta reader Mary.
As always this is for Heather.
Stewart, Massachusetts 1912
The morning brought a smile to Anna Stratton’s face as she descended the staircase and spied her husband’s travel bag sitting in the foyer. The hair on the back of her neck prickled with excitement as she felt another presence approaching from behind her. “Good morning Sister,” she greeted Catherine without turning around. “I pray that you slept well.” The smaller woman brightly commented as she descended the staircase.
“How did you know it was me?” Catherine inquired in a bright tone as they made their way towards the kitchen.
Anna turned towards Catherine as they entered the kitchen. She gave the tall blonde a shy smile as she brushed something from her white lace dress. “I always know when you are about,” Anna tried to explain not fully understanding how she could simply feel the other woman’s presence since they had only become acquainted a few short weeks ago. “We should begin preparing the Captain’s meal.” She quickly suggested as she nervously reached up to ensure that her long auburn hair was still neatly tucked into a bun.
Anna felt relieved when Catherine smiled and simply nodded in response. The mood was light in the kitchen that morning as they went about preparing breakfast. Anna felt a sense of peace working along side the blonde, and knowing that the Captain would soon be departing for what she hoped was an extended voyage. She found herself humming a simple tune.
“You are in fine spirits this morning, Sister.” Catherine whispered playfully in her ear as she leaned in from behind her.
Anna swayed slightly as her skin tingled from the feel of Catherine’s breath caressing her neck. Catherine’s hands came to rest on her shoulders in an effort to steady the smaller woman. Anna’s body quivered as she felt Catherine’s body brushing against her back. She blinked her eyes in confusion as she leaned into the taller woman’s touch.
Anna stumbled slightly as she reluctantly stepped out of Catherine’s embrace. “He is leaving,” She explained in a hushed tone unable to look at the other woman. “At least I think he is.”
“Wouldn’t you know?” Catherine questioned her in a quiet.
“There are times when he only pretends to be leaving,” Anna explained as she gathered up the food. Her heart was pounding in the most disturbing manner as she fought against the desire to look at the other woman. “Yet, he hasn’t traveled in a long time. I pray that he is really departing on a voyage.”
Anna’s movements were halted as Catherine patted her lightly on the arm. “The more I learn about my brother the less I understand.” Catherine confessed as Anna’s arm trembled as she felt her skin warming from the blonde’s simple touch. Anna was unable to speak as her emerald eyes stared at her sister-in-law’s hand that was still resting upon her arm.
“Wife!” The Captain bellowed from the dinning room.
Anna’s eyes fluttered shut as she felt Catherine’s touch leaving her arm. She felt cold as if she missed the other woman’s touch. “Please be going.” She softly pleaded as she slowly opened her eyes and prepared to serve her husband.
After the morning meal had been served and the remnants cleared away, the Captain announced his departure. He didn’t explain where he was going or how long he would be at sea. He just said he was leaving on a voyage and walked out of the manor. Anna smiled brightly as she listened to his fading footsteps.
That evening Anna was relaxing by the fire in her bedchamber as she neatly stitched a piece of embroidery she had been working on. She felt at peace knowing that she and Catherine were alone in the house. She was humming softly as she focused on the tiny stitches when there was a shy knock on the door. “Enter Sister,” she eagerly called out as she set her embroidery down onto the table. She couldn’t stop the smile that emerged as Catherine stepped shyly into her room. “Please sit with me.” Anna offered as she watched the tall blonde sheepishly stepping into her room.
Anna’s throat felt suddenly parched as she noticed that the light of the fire illuminated Catherine’s nightgown in such a manner that Anna was greeted to a glimpse of the taller woman’s well-sculpted body. Anna tore her gaze away and adjusted the collar of her own dressing gown as Catherine approached her and took a seat at the mahogany table. “Here,” Catherine offered as she held out a tiny crystal glass filled with a dark liquid.
“Sherry?” Anna asked in puzzlement as she accepted the glass. She shuddered as their fingers lightly touched. “I’ve never tasted spirits before.”
“Then it is time you did dear Sister,” Catherine encouraged her as she raised her own glass. “You cook for him, clean for him, and raise his child when he allows it; at the very least you deserve a drink every now and then.”
“If you insist,” Anna jested as she prepared herself for her first taste of alcohol. She took a tiny sip and was surprised by the warmth that invaded her mouth. “Interesting.”
“If you enjoy this you should really try rum.“ Catherine offered with a hearty laugh.
“Sister?” Anna squeaked in surprise. “You are shameless.”
“You have no idea,” Catherine responded in a deep rich tone that caused Anna to blush. “This is nice. To be able to simply sit and chat without worrying about who might be listening.”
“It is,” Anna agreed as she took another careful sip of her sherry. “I enjoy the nights when the Captain has been called away.”
“I can understand why.” Catherine grunted in displeasure.
“This is lovely,” Anna commented as she felt the warmth spreading through her body while she lightly fingered the fringe on the shawl that was draped over Catherine’s shoulders. The long fringe felt so light on her fingers. The white shawl was embroidered with large blue flowers and hung down past the tall woman’s waist. “It is so soft.”
“Silk.” Catherine offered as she leaned back in her chair and sipped her sherry.
Anna continued to sip her drink as her fingers absently played with the silk fringe. She felt slightly light headed as she placed her now empty glass on the table. Her fingers continued playing with the fringe until they drifted to the light blue embroidery. She watched the steady rise and fall of Catherine’s chest as her fingers lightly traced the delicate pattern.
Anna was mesmerized by the way her fingers tingled as she continued to trace the blue flowers while her focus remained on Catherine’s breasts. She licked her lips without understanding why, as she noticed her sister-in-law’s nipples pressing against the sheer material of her nightgown. Anna felt her lungs fighting for air as her face became flush. She wondered if it was the sherry that was causing the unusual stirring she felt in her stomach and lower anatomy.
Her eyes drifted up to Catherine’s full lips, which were parted slightly. The sight sent another rush of warmth through her small body. She leaned slightly closer as she noticed Catherine leaning forward to place her empty glass on the table. Anna had no sense of reason as her hands drifted along the shawl until her fingers were caressing the opening, which was dangerously close to the blonde’s breasts.
She looked up to find her sister-in-law watching her, as Catherine’s breathing grew heavier. There was something electrifying in the blonde’s flushed features and smoky gaze that encouraged Anna’s fingers to continue until she felt the swell of Catherine’s breasts beneath her touch. Anna’s eyes once again drifted to Catherine’s warm inviting lips as her fingers slowly traced the supple curve of the blonde’s breasts.
Anna’s heart was pounding in a demanding rhythm that was mirrored by the strange throbbing emanating from her lower body. Her lips began to quiver as she felt Catherine’s fingers brushing her hair back from her cheek. Her entire body was shaking as she felt Catherine’s fingers gliding down along her neck.
Suddenly Anna’s body felt cold as Catherine’s touch jerked away from her body. The blonde jumped up and looked down at the smaller woman with a stunned expression. Anna was terrified as she realized what had just transpired between them. “Good night.” Catherine blurted out before dashing out of the room.
Anna looked down at her trembling hands as if the appendages were foreign to her. “Sweet Jesus,” she stammered as she felt the horror filling her being. “What have I done?”
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2003
“Can I come in?” Faith finally asked in a weary tone as she ran her fingers through her long dark hair. They had been staring uncomfortably at one another for a long time. Shawn chewed on her bottom lip as she wondered if she should just refuse and send Faith away. The sight of Faith looking so tired and pale tugged at her heart. Shawn stepped aside and motioned for the taller woman to enter. She was careful not to touch the brunette as she stumbled into the motel room.
Shawn could feel her heart racing as she turned away from the exhausted woman and closed the door. Her body failed to calm as she turned back to the woman who was standing with her back to her with slumped shoulders. “When did you get back?” She asked in an effort to calm the both of them.
Faith rolled her neck before turning to face her. The brunette’s face was gaunt as her tired blue eyes looked down at her watch. “Today?” Shawn blurted out with surprise.
“Shawn I need to talk to you.” Faith began in an uncharacteristically shy tone as she dropped her bag onto the floor.
“No,” Shawn refused as she folded her arms across her chest. “You need a shower and a good nights sleep. Then we can talk.”
“Shawn I . . .” Faith choked out.
“I’m seeing someone.” Shawn cut her off. She hadn’t meant to be so blunt or cold, but she felt it was best to get it out in the open before there were any misunderstandings.
“That was quick!” Faith shouted.
“No, it wasn’t,” Shawn, argued. “Faith you have been gone for a very long time. I honestly didn’t know if I was ever going to see you again.”
“Some psychic,” Faith sneered as she bent over to pick up her bag. “I’ll just get out of your way then.”
“Stop,” Shawn requested in a calm tone. “I can’t let you just wander off in the condition you are in. You may be a jerk, but it is the middle of the night and you look as if you haven’t slept in days.” Shawn held up her hands still careful not to touch her ex-lover as she implored her to accept her offer.
“You’re afraid to touch me?” Faith asked in confusion.
“No,” Shawn corrected her. “I just don’t want to see where you have been.” ‘Or who with.’ She mentally added. “Normally you can shut me out, but not when your defenses are down. And with the state you are in I just don’t need to see you being shot at or worse.”
“I’m so tired,” Faith muttered helplessly. “I can stay?”
“For tonight,” Shawn reassured her as she fought against the urge to wrap Faith up in her arms. “Go take a shower and then we can go to bed.”
Shawn’s gray eyes widened in disbelief when Faith flashed her a cocky smirk. “Not a chance in hell,” She admonished the reporter. “I can’t believe you.”
“What?” Faith innocently responded.
“You can barely stand and we haven’t seen one another in months,” Shawn chastised her. “Not to mention we didn’t part on very good terms and you think you’re going to get lucky?”
“Who me?” Faith protested with mock indignation.
“Yes, you.” Shawn growled. “Go take a shower and I suggest you make it a cold one.”
Faith shrugged before stumbling off towards the bathroom. The brunette left the door wide open as she shed her clothing and stepped into the shower. “She’s incorrigible.” Shawn muttered as she tried not to peek into the bathroom. “And still sexy as all hell.” She added with a heavy sigh and a tiny whimper.
Shawn’s nerves were on edge as she pried herself away from the foggy view of her former lover’s naked form peeking out from behind the flimsy shower curtain. She crawled up onto the bed and reminded herself that she was dating someone. She frowned as she realized that her new lover’s name had momentarily slipped from her mind. “Deb,” She muttered in an effort to remind herself that Faith was in the past. It didn’t help when the leggy brunette emerged from the bathroom clad only in a skimpy towel. “Get dressed.” Shawn demanded as she felt her body shaking.
“I don’t like to wear anything to bed,” Faith quipped with an inviting smile as she ran her fingers through her long dark tresses. “You know that.” She added with a sultry purr.
“I am not playing this game with you,” Shawn fumed as she tried to divert her gaze. “Now get dressed, and for once, try and act like an adult.”
“I’m all for acting like an adult,” Faith responded in a husky tone as she planted her body down next to Shawn. The smaller woman’s skin erupted in a rash of goose bumps as she felt the heat flowing from the taller woman’s body. “Besides, what does it matter? You’re the one with the girlfriend.” Faith offered in a breathy tone her lips lingering dangerously close to Shawn’s ear.
Shawn’s eyes drifted shut as her body quivered with a surge of desire. She bit down on her bottom lip as she felt Faith’s warm breath teasing her neck. She snapped her eyes open in a panic. “What is her name?” Faith taunted her as her lips brushed lightly across Shawn’s sensitive earlobe.
Shawn jerked her body away in an effort to distance herself from Faith and her all too inviting advances. “Deb,” Shawn spat out as she glared at the now grimacing brunette. “Her name is Deb and she is very important to me. Now put something on and behave.”
“Fine,” Faith answered her in a dejected tone as she stood and tore the towel aside. Shawn’s gray eyes widened as she watched the naked woman bend over and start to rummage through her bag. The psychic’s eyes remained fixated on her former lover’s attributes until Faith lifted her body and turned back to face her. “Having trouble breathing Sparky?”
“I’m having a really bad day,” Shawn grumbled as she watched Faith pull on a well-worn t-shirt that was emblazoned with an image of the robot from Lost In Space and the words, ‘Danger Will Robinson’ sprawled across the front. “Understatement of the year. Underwear to you pervert.” She grumbled as Faith rolled her eyes before slipping on a pair of boxer shorts and climbing onto the opposite side of the bed.
“Spoil sport.” Faith grunted as she pulled the bed covers up.
“Hold on,” Shawn squawked suddenly. “Isn’t that my shirt?”
“Good night.” Faith blurted out quickly before quickly rolling over.
“Jerk,” Shawn muttered as she climbed under the blankets. She was once again careful not to touch her ex-lover, which led to her to hang off of the edge of the full size mattress. “I’m in hell,” She muttered as her gaze drifted over to Faith who had fallen fast asleep. Her lips curled as she studied the sleeping woman’s profile. Faith always looked deceptively at peace when she slept. Shawn fought against the tears that had begun to fill her eyes. “I missed you.” She painfully whispered before rolling onto her side and away from Faith.
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