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Whispering Pines

Part Six

Dark Skies

By Mavis Applewater

 

For disclaimers see part one.

 

A special thank you goes out to my beta reader, Mary.

 

As always this is for Heather.

 

 

Part Six

 

Stewart, Massachusetts 1912

 

            Catherine shifted her body as she felt a weight pressing against her.  The blonde’s eyes fluttered open. She looked down and found her naked body covered in a blanket of soft, auburn hair.  She traced Anna’s creamy white shoulders with the tips of her fingers.  ‘Now I’ve really done it, haven’t I?  In all the years I’ve pursued my perversion sleeping with one of my brother’s wives was never among my transgressions,‘ She mentally berated herself. “Of course my other brother’s wives were pasty prigs like their respective husbands.  Anna is a breath of fresh air.  She is the light in this dark world and now I’ve ruined everything between us.’

 

            “Troubling thoughts,” Anna’s sweet voice interrupted her inner turmoil.  “Please do not tell me that you regret the love we shared?”  The younger woman pleaded.

“Never,” Catherine honestly answered the pleading look in her young lover’s eyes.  “The only regret I possess at this moment is that you belong to another.”  She added in hopes that Anna would understand her fears.

“I never belonged to him,” Anna corrected her.  “I was sold to him for a handful of coins.  He may rule my life, but my heart has never been his.  It is yours and yours alone.”

“Do you understand what you are saying?”  Catherine inquired in a slow careful tone.

“Yes,” Anna reassured her as she snuggled closer to the blonde’s body.  “I am yours if you want me?”

“Of course I want you.”  Catherine blew out quickly.

“There were others before me?”  Anna shyly inquired as she rested her chin on Catherine’s chest.

 

            “Yes my love,” Catherine answered her with a slight frown as she ran her fingers through the younger woman’s long, auburn hair.  “In my travels I was granted the luxury of exploring my true self.  I stayed away from what my family considered to be my home for as long as I could.  Until I thought I had discovered my heart and my true home in Paris.  I stayed there for as long as I could, until my money ran out and I limped my way back here with an empty purse and a broken heart.”

 

            “Ah,” Anna sighed heavily as she traced Catherine’s face with her fingers.  “The depth of her love was equal to the depth of your purse.”

“Hmm,” Catherine sighed thoughtfully as she filled her hands with Anna’s hair.  “I was a fool.”

“No,” Anna corrected her.  “She was the fool.  You, my love, are a treasure that should be worshiped.”

“Worshiped?”  Catherine laughed as she felt Anna’s naked body brushing against her own.  “Surely you jest?”

“Never,” Anna chastised her with a playful poke before she lifted her body slightly above Catherine’s.  “You have freed me, and unlocked my heart with a simple smile.” Anna emphasized her point by placing Catherine’s hand against her rapidly beating heart.  “I was drawn to you the first time I heard your voice. From the very beginning my heart knew that I belonged in your arms.  It just took my head time to catch up.”

 

            Catherine could feel her own weary heart soaring as her fingers caressed Anna’s soft skin.  “This is far too dangerous,” she whispered as her touch drifted to the swell of Anna’s breasts.  “We shouldn’t even speak of such things.”

“Hush,” Anna whispered as she cupped Catherine’s face with her hand.  “I know, and yes I understand the danger, for today we have each other and tomorrow he could return.  We will tread carefully as if we are crossing a pond during the winter thaw.”

“If we fall it will be together,” Catherine vowed as her gaze drifted to her lover’s breasts swaying dangerously close to her lips.  “Now, how shall we spend this rainy day my dear Anna?”  She flickered her tongue across one of Anna’s nipples.  She was pleased by the sharp intake of breath the redhead released.  “Shall I show you how I love you?”

“Yes.”  Anna whimpered.

 

            Their days passed merrily each of them treading carefully around others.  Catherine had never experienced such joy as they prepared for Richard’s return for the coming holiday.  The only cloud lingering over them was that with the changing seasons Horatio’s return was nearing.  “I wish we knew when he was returning.”  Catherine said absently one evening as she held her lover in her arms.

“God forgive me, I wish he would never return,” Anna whispered against Catherine’s flesh.  “If only his beloved sea would claim him.  I’m a horrible person.”

“No you are not,” Catherine chastised her.  “He is not worthy of you.  I fear his return will bring out my ire.”

“I need to show you something,” Anna said softly as she slipped from Catherine’s embrace and slipped on her robe.  “He often returns when it is dark.  He can not find us together.”

 

            “I almost wish he would that would certainly wipe his smug look off of his face,” Catherine hissed as she climbed off of the bed and donned her own dressing gown.  “Yet, I understand that we must be careful for the sake of your child.  Now, what is it you wish to share with me other than your heart my love.”

 

            Catherine watched as her young lover crossed the room and placed her palm on the wall.  Anna smiled at her playfully as she pressed against the wall.  Catherine watched as a small section of the wall opened.  “What is that?”  She asked as she crossed the room to join her lover.

“No one but I am aware of this,” Anna explained as she opened the panel revealing a dark entryway.  “It must have been constructed with the servants in mind.  If you follow the stairs all the way up it opens into your room.  If you descend to the bottom it opens in the back of the kitchen near the pantry.”

“A servants entry?”  Catherine was astonished.  “But why does no one else know of its existence?”

 

            “I think it was constructed in error,” Anna reasoned.  “Since the Captain objects to others residing in the house.  The builder went to great lengths to hide it.  I can only assume that he realized his error and did not wish to have the Captain try to reduce his wages.    If the Captain were aware of it he would certainly force the servants to use it so he wouldn’t need to see them.  Or he would simply barricade it, so I would be unable to use it to avoid him.  Which of course I do on many occasions.  There is another exit just down the hall that opens by the linen closet.  I discovered it not long after we arrived and the Captain set off on a voyage.”

 

            “If he knew he would most certainly use it to spy on you,” Catherine agreed as they closed the door.  Catherine looked at the wall amazed that she still couldn’t see the seams.  “It is a true stroke of luck that I am housed in what was to be the maid’s chamber.  We need to keep our clothing nearby so we can dress quickly.”

 

            “When he returns flee,” Anna cautioned her.  “Do not look back no matter what you hear.”

“I can’t promise you that,” Catherine argued.  “I will not endure him mistreating you.”

“You must,” Anna tried to reason with her lover as she guided her back to her bed.  “Now take me to bed my love.”

 

            Almost a week later in the middle of the night they heard him.  Catherine did as Anna pleaded with her to do and fled up the back stairwell.  She felt like a coward as she listened to him berating Anna.  The next morning she felt sick as she looked into her lover’s tired gaze.  Since the Captain’s return the only thing that kept Catherine from striking her brother down was the secret passageway that Anna would use whenever she could.  They stole a few hours together in the safety of Catherine’s tiny room, losing themselves in one another’s embrace.

 

 

            ********************************************************

 

 

New York City 2003

 

 

            “Oh, yes, Baby!”  The brunette cried out as Shawn pleasured her.  Their bodies rocking wildly as Shawn straddled her lover.  Deb cried out one last time before collapsing against the mattress.  “I missed you.”  Deb whispered as Shawn fought against the guilty pang.

“I missed you too,” Shawn lied not understanding why she just couldn’t relax and enjoy their reunion.  “I’m sorry I won’t be home long.”

“Another job?”  Deb sighed deeply.  “Why don’t you just take some time off?”

“I can’t do that,” Shawn argued.  “I’m in demand now.  That could change at anytime and the jobs won’t be as good.  I could end up reading cards for Miss Cleo.”

“Right,” Deb chuckled.  “Come here baby, let me make you feel as good as I do.”

 

            Shawn hid the frown she was sporting as she allowed her lover to lower her down onto the bed.  One of things that first had sparked her interest in Deb was that the stockbroker didn’t believe in psychics. It was nice for the young doctor not to have to deal with the constant ‘do you know what I’m thinking?’ crap.  Now it bothered Shawn that Deb didn’t take her work seriously.

 

            As Deb caressed her body Shawn was desperately trying to feel something from her lover’s ministrations.  There had been a time when their relationship was new that the small brunette could make Shawn scream out with the slightest touch.  Tonight was lost in guilty images of Faith clouding her mind and her mood. 

 

            The guilt was strangling her.  Finally she did what every woman did at least once in her life, she cried out like it was the second coming as she arched her body.  She hated pretending that she had climaxed, but she knew if she didn’t Deb would just keep trying to pleasure her.  So, she faked it.  By the time she flew to Boston she felt like a complete jerk.

 

            ***********************************************************

 

Danvers, Massachusetts 2003

 

            A pimple faced young man, named Tommy, met her at the hotel.  He was an intern for the production company that was funding the shoot at Hammond Castle.  He helped her unload her luggage and equipment inside.  “I’m really looking forward to this,” Tommy stammered as they rode the elevator up to her room.  “You’ll be sharing your room.”

“No problem,” Shawn shrugged.  “That happens all the time. Whom am I bunking with?”

“Miss Charles,” He answered with a shy smile.  “She checked in yesterday.”        

“Son of a  . . .,”  Her biting comment trailed off as the elevator doors opened.  “I can’t believe it.”  She grumbled as she followed the nervous young man down the hallway.

 

            “Here is your keycard.”  Tommy handed her the thin plastic card after he opened the door for her. He helped her load her things into the room as Shawn nervously scanned the room for Faith.  Thankfully the tall brunette was nowhere to be seen.  “If you need anything I’m on the floor below.”  He offered sheepishly as the hair on the back of Shawn’s neck began to prickle.

“Thank you Tommy.”  She offered as she turned to find Faith leaning in the doorway.  “Miss Charles.”  She coldly greeted her ex-lover who had the nerve to smirk at her.

“Dr. Williams, always a pleasure.”  Faith responded with a wink.

 

            Shawn released a low growl as she glared at the tall brunette.  Tommy quickly excused himself as the tension in the hotel room grew steadily.  Shawn’s anger continued to simmer as she caught the puppy dog look young Tommy cast up at Faith.  ‘Great, now I’m jealous,’ She mentally grumbled as she watched Faith saunter into the room.  “Why?”  Shawn fussed as she tossed her suitcase onto the bed.

 

            “Why what?”  Faith quipped as she sprawled herself across the bed Shawn was using to unpack.  The brunette propped herself up onto her elbow as she watched the smaller woman carefully.  “Why do you always find a parking space in front of your house after you park twelve blocks away?  Why does the Red Sox game fall apart every year after the All Star Game?  Why does it always rain after you wash your car?”

“Stop it you big freak,” Shawn cut her off.  “Why am I rooming with you?”

“Because we are the only two members of the talent on this shoot that are women,” Faith bluntly explained.  “As talent we are entitled to nicer rooms than the crew.”

 

“I’d rather sleep in a shoe box than next to you.”  Shawn hissed.

“Forget it,” Faith sighed heavily.  “I already asked Althea about changing the sleeping arrangements and she said it wasn’t possible.”

“You asked for a room change?”  Shawn questioned her suspiciously.

“Yes, I did.”  Faith flatly responded.

“Oh?”  Shawn said suddenly feeling a little dejected.

“What?”  Faith grumbled.  “I thought I was doing the right thing.  I left and I lost you, it hurts, but I’m not a complete idiot.”

“Sorry it just surprised me.”  Shawn softly apologized.

“You sound a little disappointed Sparky?”  Faith quipped with a confident smirk. “Don’t tell me that you’ve been missing me?”

 

            “Get off my bed you arrogant jerk,“ Shawn yelled.  She hadn’t meant to lose control.  Perhaps it was the gleam in the brunette’s eyes, or the confident tone, or maybe the way Faith’s image popped into her head the last time she was making love to Deb, or that the arrogant reporter was right and she really hated it when Faith was right.  “You know I was about to thank you for being so understanding and mature about the situation and you just had to act like the big, overgrown goober that you are.”

 

            Faith’s lips curled into a sneer as she climbed off of the bed.  “Just for the record Shawn I was trying to be understanding,” Faith explained in a solemn tone.  “So in the spirit, no pun intended, of friendship why don’t we just drop this and try to get some work done?”

 

            Shawn blew out a frustrated sigh as she calmed herself.  “You’re right,” she agreed feeling a sense of guilt at the way she over reacted.  “Tell me what exactly are you doing on this shoot?”

“I’m the host.” Faith beamed.

“My God you’re the new Lanie Larson.”  Shawn teased her unable to control the smile that suddenly emerged.

“Only with smaller boobs and a brain,” Faith boasted as Shawn’s eyes drifted to the brunette’s chest.  “Anyhoo,” Faith said as she cleared her throat and redirected Shawn’s gaze to her eyes.  “I’m really enjoying this.  I get to research the whole thing and lead you guys around and ask probing questions.  This is going to a lot more fun and safer than my last assignment.”

 

            “I was thinking about that the other day,” Shawn confessed as her smile faded while Faith looked at her with a curious expression.  “I was watching the news the other night; that reporter from Jordan that was killed.  I’m glad you passed on going staying over seas.”

“Me too,” Faith responded quietly.  “I have done my time.  I can’t do it anymore.  And if I do well on this gig I won’t have to.  So want to hear about Hammond Castle?”

 

            “I’d love it.”  Shawn smiled as she began to unpack while Faith gathered up her notes.  “So no more trying to discredit me or my colleagues.”

“Nope,” Faith confirmed.  “In fact I can’t take sides.  I’m just along for the ride and narration.  Ready?”  Shawn nodded in response as she sorted out her clothing.  “John Hays Hammond, Jr. built the medieval-style castle between the years of 1926 and 1929.  He used it as his home and to house his collection of Roman, medieval and Renaissance artifacts.  He also used it to house the Hammond Research Corporation.  He was an inventor.  The guy produced over four hundred patents.  Only Edison had more.  Guess what he is best known for?”

 

            “Besides having more money than God and good taste in artwork?”  Shawn teased her mood was becoming lighter the more playful Faith became.

“He invented the remote control.”  Faith informed her.

“Wow,” Shawn blinked with amazement.  “If you think about it that is probably the most popular invention of this century.  I know you break out in a sweat whenever you can’t find it.”

 

            “At least I don’t surf constantly like some people,” Faith protested.  “Getting back to the Castle, it has eight rooms including the great hall.  You are going to love that room.  Then we have an indoor courtyard, Renaissance dinning room, two guest bedrooms, the inventions exhibit room, and the Natalie Hays Hammond exhibit room, the tower galleries, lots of passage ways and some smaller rooms.”

“You’ve seen it already?”  Shawn inquired thoughtfully.

“One of my cousins got married there.”  Faith explained. 

“At a castle?”  Shawn asked.

“It really is beautiful,” Faith continued.  “A lot of people get married there.  They also do Renaissance Fairs, and at Halloween they do the best-haunted house in the area, with the possible exception of the real thing of course.  If you get a chance you should take a stroll around the grounds, it is amazing, and the view of the Atlantic is breath taking.”

 

            “Okay, between looking for things that go bump in the night I’ll take time to stop and smell the roses,” Shawn promised.  “Speaking of things that go bump in the night.  It sounds like Mr. Hammond was a nice, normal guy, and the castle isn’t that old so, do we have things that will go bump in the night?”

“You tell me?”  Faith taunted her.  “The place really isn’t known for it, but several tour guides and staff members over the years have seen and heard some mighty strange things.”

“Sounds like fun.”  Shawn perked up finally feeling better about her renewed working relationship with her ex-lover.

 

 

            ********************************************

 

Magnolia, Massachusetts 2003

 

            “I can’t believe you losers are drunk!  Althea screamed at the inebriated crew and talent that were hiding under a tarp as the rain poured down around them.  Faith and Shawn chuckled in unison.  Shawn started to slip from her perch on Faith’s lap.  Faith tightened her hold on the smaller woman. The brunette shook her head for a moment as she tried to recall just how Shawn ended up curled up in her lap.  ‘Right, Shawn’s birthday, crappy weather, and a shoot that is a little on the dull side always equals tequila.’ Her foggy mind finally pieced together. 

 

            “Relax Althea,” Faith tried to reason with her as she handed her one of Clyde’s special blue shooters.  “We can’t shoot inside the castle because of the private party, and we can’t shoot outside because of the rain.  And it is our little Shawn’s birthday.”

“Do I want to know what is in this?”  Althea asked as she held up the shot glass.

“Ask Clyde,” Faith motioned towards the burly cameraman who was hiding beneath his well-worn Dodgers cap.  “He calls them Baby Blue Rita’s.”

 

            “Wait, I remember,” Shawn volunteered with a giggle as she shifted her position.  Faith bit back a moan as the smaller woman squirmed in her lap.  “Liked that did you?”  Shawn asked as she looked down at the blushing brunette.  “Anyhoo, these have tequila, tequila, pineapple juice, tequila,  blue what cha called it?

“Blue Curacao.”  Faith provided smirking at the inebriated woman who seemed to be primarily focused on the main ingredient.

“Right blueberry and tequila,” Shawn finished triumphantly.  “Wasn’t it nice of Clyde to do this for my birthday?”

 

            Althea eyed the way Shawn and Faith were curled up together on the tiny folding chair.  Her dark eyes quickly shot over to Clyde who was scratching his thick gray beard as he watched the couple.  “I think he was just hoping to get the two of you drunk enough so he can watch you make out.”  Althea noted before she downed her shot.

“Well, duh.”  Shawn chuckled as she snuggled closer to Faith.

 

            The brunette was having a hard time trying to keep her hands from wandering, and Shawn’s constant touching wasn’t helping.  “Pervert,” Faith grumbled as Shawn’s hand slipped between her thighs.

“I’m only human.” Clyde smirked in response.

“I wasn’t talking to you,” Faith corrected him in a dry tone as she cast a challenging look at her former lover.

“It’s my birthday.”  Shawn’s gray eyes twinkled back at her in a defiant manner.

“Goodie does this mean I get to give you spankies later?”  Faith smirked as Althea choked on the shot Clyde had just given her.

 

            “If you’re good.”  Shawn purred into her ear.  Faith bit down on her bottom lip as she felt the blonde’s hand slipping further between her thighs.

“I’m always good,” Faith panted as she felt her body trembling.  “You are playing with fire.”  She added hotly in the smaller woman’s ear.

 

 

            Shawn leaned closer her breath tickling Faith’s sensitive earlobe.  “I know what you are thinking.”  She whispered softly. Faith’s eyes fluttered shut as she felt Shawn’s tongue trace her earlobe.  She opened her mouth to offer some form of protest when she felt Shawn’s hand cupping her mound.

“What happened to Steve?”  Althea asked halting the brunette’s attempt to stop the frisky physic.

“Passed out.” Clyde offered with a shrug.

 

            Faith squirmed slightly as she carefully extracted Shawn’s hand from between her thighs.  “This day is a bust.” Althea grumbled as she shook Steve harshly. 

 

            Faith squeaked when Shawn’s hand slipped under her coat and cupped one of her breasts.  “Shawn.”  She hissed as her jaw clenched.

“No one can see what I’m doing.”  The smaller woman whispered as her fingers searched for the brunette’s nipple.

 

            Faith had no doubt that Shawn’s action couldn’t be seen because of the heavy coats they were wearing.  She also had no doubt that they were still very aware of what was going on.  Faith was torn as her body craved Shawn’s touch while her pesky conscience reminded her that the blonde was drunk and had a girlfriend waiting for her back in New York.

 

            “I haven’t seen Steve this screwed up since the day we tried to do the shoot at Whispering Pines.”  Clyde explained to Althea who had given up on trying to awaken the reporter. 

 

            Shawn suddenly jerked away as Faith’s body tensed.  “What?”  Faith asked quickly as she caught the terrified look in Shawn’s eyes. 

“Kitchen.”  Shawn offered as an explanation as she tapped on Faith’s forehead.

“Sorry,” Faith shivered when she realized that Shawn must have caught a glimpse of what happened in the kitchen when the psychic was lost in visions of the murders.  “I didn’t know there was a second shoot at Whispering Pines?”  Faith asked Clyde in an effort to clear her mind from the disturbing image of her cradling Shawn as she cried out.

“I said we tried to do a shoot,” Clyde corrected her.  “We ended up folding up half way through.  How in the hell did the two of you spend the night there?”

 

            “Not much of a choice after a certain point,” Faith tried to explain as the memory of holding Shawn tightly as she tried to put her arm through one of the windows in a desperate attempt to get the two of them out of the house.  “When things got really wild I couldn’t open the doors or windows.  We were trapped in there.  Tell us about your experiences?”

 

            Faith first met Clyde when she was first starting out.  He had been her cameraman the first time she went into a hot spot.  He never flinched as gunfire surrounded them.  Now he was pale and shaking.  “When we first got there I thought the whole thing was a load of horse puckey,” He began to explain.  “I went into the kitchen and nothing happened.  It was just an empty kitchen.”

 

            “I don’t doubt that nothing would bother you in the kitchen,” Faith chuckled.  “You’re straight.  Captain Stratton saves his big show for us queers.”

“Lucky you,” Clyde smiled as he stroked his beard.  “With me it started with the garden.”

“What garden?”  Shawn quickly asked.

 

            “In the back of the house,“ Clyde continued.  “I filmed around the house and there was nothing there, just a lot of dirt and trees. Later on I went back outside to the canteen truck and it wasn’t barren anymore.  It was filled with flowers in full bloom.  After I stopped shaking I filmed it.  Steve was still boasting that the whole thing was a hoax when I told him about it.  So I showed the arrogant bugger.  He still wasn’t buying it.  Then we walked back to the house and I felt like someone was watching me.  He must have felt it too because we both looked up and there was a woman standing in one of the windows watching us.”

 

            Faith held her breath waiting to hear just what it was that drove Clyde out of the house.  “We ran back into the house,” Clyde continued slowly.  “I was filming the whole time.  We reached the room on the third floor where we had seen her.  Steve threw open the door and there she was.  My heart stopped when she stormed over and slammed the door in our faces as she screamed for us to get out before it was too late.  I about peed my pants.”

“Third floor?” Faith asked.

“Catherine,” Shawn supplied.  “Was she a really tall blonde?”

“From what I could see of her yes,” Clyde confirmed.  “She was misty if that makes any sense.”

“That is the way I saw her,” Faith confirmed.  “You got it on film though?”

“The tape was blank when I played it back,” Clyde groaned.  “The most amazing thing I’ve ever shot and it just vanished.  But that isn’t what sent us running.  Later the douser showed up.  You know they wander around with a couple of sticks looking for bodies.”

“Oh yeah those guys.”  Faith chuckled as Shawn swatted her playfully.

 

 

            “We started to film this dude wandering around with his sticks like he is looking for water,” Clyde continued ignoring the couple that had begun snuggling once again.  “No big deal until we followed him into the house and it was like we were in an earthquake.  No lie, everything was shaking right down to the glass in the windows.  The lens on my camera exploded.  Then this voice booms out, ‘get out!’

“What do you do?”  Tommy asked nervously.

“I got the hell out there,” Clyde scoffed.  “I wasn’t alone, the whole team just took off once the floorboards started breaking apart.  A team went back later and the house looked just fine, it was like none of it had happened.”

 

            “They are in the house.”  Shawn mumbled thoughtfully.  Faith looked up at her.  She could see the wheels in the young woman’s mind turning.

“And that old bastard is making sure no one finds them.”  Faith muttered in disgust.

“Evil in life usually means evil in death.”  Shawn informed her.

 

 

            “Did you hear that the owners are trying to get a new team together,” Althea threw out in a hopeful tone.  “I heard they want the both of you to go back.”

“Not a chance.”  Shawn flatly refused as Faith thought about what Clyde had just told them.

“Faith?” Althea beamed.

“Not without the good doctor,” Faith finally answered as she patted Shawn gently on her firm backside.  “Speaking of which Birthday girl . . .,”

“You never told me you saw the ghosts as well, Faith.” Althea cut off the lewd comment the reporter was about to make.

 

            “She didn’t read our book,” the brunette gasped as Shawn giggled. “I’m hurt.  It was when I was trying to get Shawn out of the kitchen.  My radio was dead, Shawn was freaking out, and I couldn’t get any of the doors or windows open.  Suddenly there she was waving for me to follow her.  I just followed her out of the kitchen as she held the door open for us and then she was gone.”

 

            “Enough,” Shawn growled as she snuggled up against the brunette’s body.  “It is my birthday.”  Faith wrapped her arms around the smaller woman’s body as she fought an internal battle between her over heated body and her over active imagination.  As her body warmed from Shawn’s touch a small voice was whining a constant reminder that she and Shawn were no longer together.

 

            “We will be pulling a long day tomorrow,” Althea informed them.  “Start packing it in guys, before some one decides to crash the wedding inside of the castle,” She harshly directed at her crew.  “And please tell me the drivers didn’t join in the festivities.”

“Nope, it was just us wayward idiots.”  Faith assured her as Shawn burrowed her face in the brunette’s neck.  ‘Why are you doing this?’  Faith silently questioned as her fingers slipped under Shawn’s jacket and up under the dark gray sweater she was wearing.

“Which one of us are you thinking about?”  Shawn murmured in her ear.

“Both,” Faith confessed as she felt the muscles on the blonde’s stomach responding to her touch.  “Now stop peeking.”  She added with a playful smirk as she tapped the giggling psychic’s forehead.

“Stop thinking so loudly and I will,” Shawn countered as she rested her head on Faith’s shoulder.  “It is my birthday and I don’t want to think.”

“Alright,” Faith laughed in response.  “No more thinking.”  She agreed as she brushed back Shawn’s long, curly hair from her brow.  Faith peeked around at the crew who were busy packing up the tent.  She placed a tender kiss on Shawn’s cheek. 

 

            The brunette’s heart was pounding as her lips began to tingle from lightly caressing Shawn’s skin.  “Happy birthday Shawn,” she whispered as the blonde began to caress Faith’s thigh.  “We should get moving.  The guys need to break down the tent.”

 

            Shawn murmured softly as Faith assisted her off of her lap and to her feet.  Shawn swayed slightly as the alcohol hit her.  Instinctively Faith wrapped her arms around the smaller woman and held her steady.  As they walked through the rain to the van their arms remained around the other’s waist. 

 

            Faith helped Shawn up into the van and climbed in behind her.  They nestled against one another.  Faith could feel her body warming as she relaxed into Shawn’s touch.  During the ride back to Danvers they continued to cuddle.  Faith refused to give into the fear that was calling out to her that things were happening much to quickly, and that the both of them had been drinking.

 

            Instead of listening to her fears Faith’s hand slipped from Shawn’s waist and began caressing the blonde’s hip.  Having Shawn back in her arms even for one night, she reasoned, was worth the risk.  She could feel Shawn’s breath on her neck as the blonde rested her head against the brunette’s shoulder.  Faith inhaled the scent of the smaller woman’s hair.  She hummed softly as the sweet aroma of peaches filled her.

 

            She brushed aside the pang of guilt that crept up on her for enjoying the feel and scent of her former lover.  For the first time since she had arrived on the north shore she was thrilled that they were sharing a room.  Her hands continued to caress the perky little psychic’s body under the guise of warming the smaller woman. 

 

            Shawn’s fingers crept up along Faith’s body until she was caressing the brunette’s neck.  She smiled blissfully as she felt the cool metal of the silver bracelet touching her skin.  She kissed the top of Shawn’s head and, once again, drank in the soft scent of peaches.  She couldn’t help the way her heart swelled knowing that Shawn was still wearing the bracelet.

 

            Each time she saw the silver band that was engraved with two swans on Shawn’s wrist she couldn’t help feeling a small glimmer of hope.  Perhaps someday they would be together again.  Before she left the country and her lover behind she wanted to offer Shawn a token that would tell the blonde how she really felt.  Each time Faith had tried to verbalize her emotions the words either failed to come or came out wrong.  It amazed Faith that she could stand calmly in front of a news camera while mayhem surrounded her, and she couldn’t tell one pesky little blonde that she was in love with her.  When she found the bracelet in the dusty old antiques shop back in Boston she just felt right about it and prayed that Shawn would see the deeper meaning.

 

            Despite the heavy clothing they were wearing as they snuggled in the back of van, Faith could feel the rapid beating of Shawn’s heart.  She stifled a groaned as she felt Shawn’s fingers drifting back down the front of her body and slipping beneath her coat.  The reporter quickly scanned the van in order to see if any of their fellow passengers were watching them.   Clyde was seated up front with the Seth the driver.  The two of them were engaged in a heated debated over whether or not the Red Sox would ever win the World Series.  Althea was busy working on her laptop while Steve loudly snored next to her.

 

            Feeling confident that their actions were hidden from the others as they nestled closer to one another, Faith allowed her hands to continue exploring Shawn’s body.  The reporter’s hands drank in the feel of Shawn’s skin as the psychic cupped her breast.  Faith felt her nipples awakening as Shawn began to kiss her neck.

 

            Faith was thankful for the cloudy, rainy day that cloaked them in darkness as her head fell back and she offered her neck up to Shawn’s warm kisses.  She filled her hands with Shawn’s backside as she felt blonde’s tongue teasing her sensitive neck.  She licked her own lips as Shawn’s began to nibble on her neck. 

 

            Her skin tingled with excitement as her stomach clenched.  Shawn’s touch could always send her body into turmoil, and after months of not being allowed to give herself to the smaller woman, she was ready to explode.  She clenched her jaw tightly as Shawn began to suckle the pulse point on her neck. 

 

            Faith’s heart was pounding as they instinctively shifted their bodies so that their legs became entwined and Shawn was half on her lap.  ‘Just as long as she doesn’t kiss me I’ll be fine.’  Faith mentally reasoned feeling confident that they could still stop what was happening between them.  Despite her unrealistic rationalization her body was already taking control as her hips thrust against Shawn’s firm thigh.

 

            Their bodies became one as Faith began to caress Shawn’s body.  The blonde’s lips began to trace Faith’s jaw as the brunette’s hands reeled in the feel of the blonde’s flesh quivering from her touch.  Faith dipped her head and their lips met in a searing kiss.  Faith was lost in the taste of Shawn’s mouth as they fondled one another.

 

            The brunette’s heart was racing as she began to tease Shawn’s nipples through the thin material of her bra.  “Ahem,” Althea’s voice disrupted their groping session.  “We are at the hotel.”  The producer grunted as the slightly embarrassed couple sighed in unison.

 

            They stumbled out of the van and into the hotel lobby.  Shawn took the brunette by the hand and pulled her towards the elevators.  Neither of them spoke, as their hands remained linked while they rode the elevator to their floor.  Faith could feel the electricity flowing between them as they walked towards the room that they were sharing.  There was something about the way Shawn’s thumb was rubbing across the back of her hand that was driving the reporter insane with desire.

 

            Faith released a strangled breath as they lingered for a moment outside of the room that they were sharing.  She could feel the heat pouring from Shawn’s body.  Faith swallowed hard as their eyes met and she was trapped by the darkened pools filled with pure desire looking up at her.  She knew that she should protest or simply put Shawn to bed and sneak away before she was led astray by her desires.  Instead her hand tightened around Shawn’s as the smaller woman opened the door to their room.

 

            Faith released Shawn’s hand and assisted her with the removal of her wet coat.  She turned her back on the psychic as she removed her own coat.  She could feel Shawn watching her.  As Faith undid her damp shoelaces she valiantly struggled not to look back at her ex-lover.  She heard Shawn’s shoes thumping across the carpeting.  A jolt tore through her body when she heard the distinctive sound of a zipper being lowered.

 

            Faith refused to turn around knowing that seeing any glimpse of Shawn’s body would be her undoing.  She fumbled with the heavy, wet material of her top as she heard Shawn softly sighing as the sound of wet jeans made contact with the floor.  Faith’s hands froze with her shirt half way up her torso.  “Faith,” Shawn beckoned her as the reporter heard the bed creaking.

 

            “If you don’t want to just say it,” Shawn sincerely whispered. 

“You know I do,” Faith uttered as her resolve crumbled and she turned around.  Faith felt her heart breaking as she looked down at Shawn reclining on her bed dressed in nothing but her top.  ‘Why did I walk away from this?’  She mentally berated herself as she crossed the short distance and knelt before Shawn.

 

            “I wish I knew,” Shawn answered her unspoken question as she brushed Faith’s wet hair from her brow.

“I hate it when you do that,” Faith laughed as her hands came to rest on Shawn’s thighs.

“Then stop thinking so loudly,” Shawn chastised her playfully as she swept the back of her fingers longingly across Faith’s cheek.  “The first time we let Clyde ply us with tequila on my birthday this is how I wanted the day to end.”

 

            “So did I,” Faith confessed as she clasped Shawn’s wrist and ran her thumb across the bracelet she had given her.  She raised Shawn’s wrist and placed a soft kiss on the cool metal.  She could feel Shawn’s pulse racing just beneath the silver band.  Her lips moved to the palm of Shawn’s out stretched hand.  Shawn trembled as Faith blew against her skin before she brushed her lips against her palm.  “Now this is what I want.”

 

            Shawn cupped Faith’s face and drew her closer.  “You’re the birthday girl,” Faith said in a hushed tone as she fell into Shawn’s embrace.  “What do you want?”

“You did promise me a spanking,”  Shawn breathlessly replied as their bodies met.  The kiss was shy and gentle.  It always amazed Faith how Shawn’s kisses could be so soft and electrifying at the same time.  She was certain that her toes were curling from the intensity the tender kiss was evoking.  Her body leaned into Shawn’s as the kiss deepened.  She felt Shawn teasing her lips as her legs wrapped around Faith’s waist and pulled her half way up onto the bed.

 

            Faith’s hands caressed the bare flesh of Shawn’s thighs as the smaller woman’s fingers became laced in her hair.  Faith’s fingers dug deeper into Shawn’s flesh.  Faith released a moan from the back of her throat as she felt their bodies becoming one.  She was stunned when Shawn suddenly broke away from the fiery embrace.  “Deb,” Shawn gasped.

 

 

            Faith’s body and heart turned cold as she lifted her body slightly away from Shawn’s.  “I know it has been a long time,” Faith growled as she glared down at Shawn.  “But my name is Faith.”

 

No,” Shawn argued her eyes filled with panic as she unwrapped her legs from Faith’s body and pushed the taller woman away. 

 

Faith stumbled backward before standing.  “Yes it is,” She flippantly threw out as she continued to glare down at the frightened woman.  “Has been for some thirty odd years now.”

 

“Faith,” Shawn growled as she bounced up off of her bed.  “She’s on her way up here.”

 

“Who?”  Faith asked as she suddenly felt sick.

“Deb,” Shawn blurted out in panic as she looked around the room.  “She is in the elevator.”

 

            Faith felt as she was hit by lightening as she watched Shawn struggling to climb back into her wet jeans.  Faith clenched her jaw as her fear turned to anger.  She folded her arms defiantly across her chest.  “Good I can’t wait to meet her.”

 

PART 7

 

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