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Threshold

By Mavis Applewater

August 2003

 

Disclaimers, the story and characters are the sole possession of the author and may not be reproduced posted or sold without the author’s permission.  So there!  If for any reason real or imagined you do not wish to view material containing graphic descriptions of two consenting adult women in a loving sexual relationship then do not read this story or anything else I have ever written.  If for any reason it is illegal for you to view this material then please leave now and don’t come back until it no longer a crime. 

 

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

 

As always this is for Heather.

 

 

 

            “This just sucks,” I mutter as I tap foot impatiently waiting for the next line of questions.  At this moment I honestly don’t know what is worse, that I died or how I died?  I mean who punches their ticket by having a shelf load of bread collapse down upon them?  It really pisses me off that this is the way I am going to be remembered.  All I wanted was my favorite brand of raisin bread, a small treat to reward myself for a long and difficult week.  Was it so wrong to want to lounge around on Sunday morning reading the paper, and drinking a gallon of coffee while I happily munch on my favorite toasted snack? 

 

            Just my luck that the one and only loaf left was way up on the top of the rack out of reach.  Being my usual pig headed self I didn’t ask for assistance.  Heck I figured that I was tall enough so why not just climb up and get it?  I just bet the clowns at the office are having a good laugh over my being wonder-breaded to death.

 

            Funny thing about being dead you don’t know that you are until some pesky gal in a white suit tells you that you are.  Now here I sit facing some guy with a pinched face reviewing my life.  You know when I was amongst the living I thought I had led a pretty decent life, and that deep down I was basically a nice person.  Apparently I was mistaken.

 

            I’ve been staring at this guy in a little weigh station nestled in the clouds listening to every transgression I’ve ever committed.  I had no idea that they really do keep a permanent record.  I mean who knew that stealing change from my mom’s purse when I was five so I could buy candy, and then sticking the gooey remains in little Susie Turner’s hair might keep me out of Heaven?  Then there was the little matter of my creative accounting when it came to doing my taxes. Not to mention several million teeny weenie fibs.  It is amazing just how many transgressions you can rack up in thirty-three years.  You know when you are alive and doing them they really don’t seem like a big deal.  But let me tell you having each and every one of them read back to you and reviewed can be shocking to say the least.

 

            Oh, and I’m a lawyer which is so not helping my case not be sent to Hell or be reincarnated as a cockroach.  “That is just about everything,” He drones on and I finally perk up.  “Except,” Milton, that’s his name, pauses as he studies a large white tome before him.  “We just have one more matter to cover before we can determine just where you belong. Your love life.”

 

“Oops,” I cringe as I wonder if hot as hell is just a colorful expression?

 

            “Oops, is that all you have to say?”  He chastises me in the most unpleasant manner.  “Are you aware of the fact that you have told twenty-seven women that you love them just to get them to sleep with you?  Most mortals don’t sleep with twenty-seven people in one incarnation.  Politicians don’t count,” He cuts me off before I can point out this little fact.  I sigh deeply and await my fate.  “I can see that you honestly did try to make amends with most of the women you’ve been acquainted with.  Granted most of the time it was a lame, half-hearted effort.”

 

“I told you that deep down I’m good person,” I protest only to receive a harsh glare in return. 

“Very, very deep down,” He responds in a droll tone.  “Most of them have forgiven you accepting that you are a louse.”

 

“Hey!”  I bark out before I cringe when I remember my current situation.

 

“Except one,” He sternly informed me.

 

            My mind raced as I tried to remember whom the one hold out might be?  I feel like I need a shower when I am unable to narrow the list down to a reasonable size.

 

“Need a hint?”  He taunts me.

 

“I just never realized that there might be so many women who could hate me,” I answer meekly.  “Why did the others forgive me?”

 

            “They finally realized that you were a shallow jerk and hating you was just a waste of energy,” He dryly explains.  “Of course most of them never forgave you until they heard that you had died.”

 

“Thanks a lot,” I mutter.  Who knew an angel could be so pissy?

 

“This woman was changed forever,” He tried to explain to me.  “She never trusted anyone ever again and became cold and bitter.”

 

            I feel sick as I realize that this still doesn’t narrow the list for me.  “Who?”  I finally ask.

 

“I can feel your remorse,” He informs me and I perk up just a little hoping that this just might be my ticket into Heaven.  “Gina Beauchamp.”

 

            I quickly review my conquests and still don’t recognize the name.  “She was a virgin. You seduced her because she was a virgin then dumped her the morning after,” Milton finally informs me.

 

            “Oh,” I stammer as my heart sinks once again, I feel sick.  Suddenly the memories came flooding back to me.  She was a nice, sweet girl, and the moment I looked at her I set my watch to see just how long it would take me to get into her knickers.  I was twenty-one and she was nineteen, and possibly the sweetest person I had ever met.  I feel even sicker as I recall how I plotted to seduce the naïve girl.

 

 

            I was working my summer job at the parks department.  I was the supervisor for the staff.  Gina was one of the lifeguards, and she was going to begin her sophomore year at Dartmouth in the fall.  I took one look at her long, blonde hair and her tight, little body and decided that I just had to get her into my bed.  I was a pig plain and simple.

 

            When I found out she was a virgin the idea became all that much more appealing to me.  I know just say it oink, oink.  I knew that she had been warned by some other folks who worked under me that I was nothing but a mangy dog.  But the poor thing was so trusting that she fell hook, line, and sinker for the whole boat load of crap I poured on.

 

            Seventeen short days after meeting me she was in my apartment.  I plied her with wine and sweet words.  I can still remember how her lips felt when I kissed her for the first time.  Funny how I remembered every curve of her nubile body but didn’t recall her name until Milton reminded me.  She was so sweet and eager.  She only hesitated slightly when my hands began to caress her body.  Her hesitation faded when I whispered that I was falling for her as I unbuttoned her blouse.

 

            I promised her that we could stop if she became uncomfortable as I cupped her firm, full breasts in my hands.  It was the only truth I told her that night.  I suckled her nipples and caressed her in ways she had never thought possible before, and when I knew that she was too turned on to turn back I led her into my bedroom and took her innocence.

 

            The following day at work I ignored her.  After a week of ducking her calls and inquiries I finally let her down easy.  I could see how much I had hurt her, and yet at the time I didn’t care.  “I’m a selfish bastard,” I blurt out as I recall how she stood in my office trying not to cry.  Milton is stunned by my outburst.  “Sorry,” I offer sheepishly.  “I guess cursing isn’t allowed around here.”

 

“No,” Milton scolds me.

 

“I just can’t believe I was so callous,” I try to explain.  “She was nothing more than a game, a conquest for my own amusement.”

 

“What you have done troubles you,” He says in a solemn tone.

 

            “Troubles me?”  I shout out.  “I never really thought I was a bad person before, and now I suddenly discover that I’m cruel, uncaring bit. . . Uhm I mean witch.  I’m ready to be judged,” I grimly concede.

 

“Not so fast,” He cautions me.  “If you could some how undo what you did or make amends would you?”

 

“Yes,” I assert and for the first time in my existence I’m not doing it simply to save my sorry butt, I really want to change what I have done.

 

“Wait here,” He instructs me.

 

“Where am I going to run off too?”  I quip as he evaporates into a mist.

 

            I sit there in the mist listening to an orchestral version of Feelings which I’m quite certain is part of my punishment.  I recall every moment I spent with Gina and every lie and misconception I used to simply get her into bed.  I feel sick.

 

            Suddenly Milton reappears.  He looks down upon me as I begin to fidget nervously.  I haven’t been this nervous since the last time I was audited.  “I have to ask you one more time Simone, if you could would you make amends?”  His voice is very ominous as he speaks and I literally quake with fear.

 

“I feel sick about what I did to Gina,” I confess.  “If I could change that I would.”

 

“Do you truly mean that?”  He demands.

 

“Yes,” I assert.

 

            “I am going to give you a chance to redeem yourself,” He informs me his tone softening slightly.  My heart leaps as I carefully listen to what he is saying.  “You will go back, but not as yourself since you’re dead.”

 

“Thanks for reminding me,” I snarl before I once again realize just who I am dealing with.  “Sorry.”

 

            “As I was saying,” He booms in a very displeased tone of voice.  “You will go back as another; someone is just about to depart the earthly plain.  You can receive redemption by accomplishing three tasks.”

 

“Okay,” I eagerly agree.

 

“Gina must forgive your former self,” He instructs me.

 

“Not an easy feat, but I can try,” I vow.

 

“Gina must fall in love with you,” He continues.

 

“Not a problem,” I shrug.  Heck if I could get her to fall for me once a second time should be a snap.

 

“I’m talking true love here,” He cautions me.

 

“I understand,” I mutter as I try to figure out just what he means.

 

“Lastly you must fall in love with her,” He informs me in a slightly amused tone.

 

“Huh?”  I gape up at him wondering if I ever felt the emotion even once during my sorry existence.

 

“You must fall in love with her,” He repeats in calm voice.

 

“But what’s the point?”  I argue.  “I mean if I’m just going to kick the bucket again in the near future then what good would falling in love do me?”

 

“This is the way it must be,” He is stern with his response.

 

            “Oh I get it,” I sigh heavily.  “I’m supposed to learn a lesson from all of this,” I grumble fully prepared to tell him to forget it or at least try to renegotiate.  Suddenly my mind flashes to the look in Gina’s eyes the day I dumped her.  “I’ll try,” I offer in defeat. Knowing that I wouldn’t succeed.  “I have to try.”

 

            For the life of me, no pun intended, I have no idea whatever possessed me to agree to such an unselfish act.  Next thing I am aware of is looking in a mirror and a stranger’s face is looking back at me.  I press my fingers against the glass and realize that the image I am seeing is my own. 

 

            My short red hair is gone, and I’m several inches taller than my former self.  All in all I’m pleased that I’m not that bad looking.  The blue eyes are a definite bonus.  I smile thankful that Milton hadn’t sent me back as a man.  Then again I would have loved writing my name in the snow just once.

 

“Interesting thought,” Milton’s voice disrupts my thoughts.

 

            I turn to discover I’m standing in a restroom and Milton is glaring at me.  “Okay so who am I?”  I ask my first question.

 

“You tell me?”  He asks as I look at him as if he’s lost his mind.  “What is your name?”

 

            I roll my eyes fully prepared to answer, Simone Ryder.  “Hilary Styles,” I offer flatly.  My jaw drops and I am gaping at him like a guppy as I realize what I had just said.

 

“What is your birthday?” Milton inquires.

 

            I snap my mouth shut and take a hard swallow determined to answer November eighth.  “May third,” I hear myself saying.  “What gives?”

 

“Everything you need to know about your new self is inside of you,” He explains.  “You are still a lawyer, but you are two years older than your former self.”

 

“Older?”  I gasp in horror.  “Well at least I’ll know how to do my job.  So am I still a big dyke?”

 

“Yes you are a lesbian,” He confirms with a slight smirk.

 

            “So much for those holier than thou freaks who told me I couldn’t go to heaven because I like girls,” I snort with satisfaction.  “So how much time do I have and where do I find Gina after all of this time?”

 

            “No mortal knows when his or her time will come,” He shrugs informing me that I am on my own.  “As for Gina you’ve been placed where your paths will cross.  What happens after that is entirely up to you.  And you can never let her know who you really are or why you are here.”

 

“But?”  I begin to stammer only to have Milton fade away before I can ask him anything else.  “Just great,” I huff as I spy someone entering the ladies room.

 

“Are you alright Hilary?”  The dark skinned woman asks me with concern.

 

“I’m fine Wanda,” I answer blinking with surprise that I actually know this woman.

 

“Another fun filled weekend?”  She asks me in sly tone.

 

“Oh you know,” I hedge as Hilary’s weekend suddenly plays out in my mind.  I blush at the images.  “She’s a worse slut than I am,” I choke out.

 

“Who?”  Wanda eagerly inquires.

 

“Huh?”  I sputter realizing what I had just said.  “Doesn’t matter,” I shrug with indifference.

 

“Another broken heart,” She says with a smile, yet I can hear a slight edge to her voice.

 

            “Not anymore,” I assert deciding that it might be too late to change my past, but Hilary’s life was about to change.  I excuse myself and walk out of the ladies room.  I pause for a moment bewildered by my surroundings.  Somehow I know that I am in the corridor of the law offices where I work.  I simply start walking until I find myself standing in the reception area.  “Shelia could you get me a cup of coffee?”  I ask the woman who I somehow know is my assistant.  She blinks with surprise.

 

“Certainly Ms. Styles,” She stammers as I walk into my office. 

 

            I take in my new surroundings.  The office was nice slightly bigger than mine, but the décor was cold.  I frown at the modern style of guest chairs.  “That can’t be comfortable,” I grimace before settling in behind what is now my desk.

 

            Shelia knocks shyly before entering.  Once again she seems surprised when I thank her for the coffee.  “Ugh,” I choke out once the milk and sweet and low hit my system.  “Uhm Shelia I hate to be a bother, but would you mind, I’d really prefer nothing in my coffee?”

 

            “Certainly Ms. Styles,” She stammers seemingly stunned once again by my manners before she leaves.  I try to remember what I know about Shelia and come up decidedly short handed.  All I seem to know about her is that she is very good at her job and she may or may not be married.  “Wow you really are a jerk Hilary,” I grouse as I try to think about what I know about my assistant Roger while I start compiling a list of names and supplies that I will need.

 

            I am filled with a sudden sense of sadness when I realize that I know less about Roger’s life than Hilary knew about Shelia.  I watch the list I am preparing grow before I stop suddenly and realize that I am writing with my left hand.  “Imagine that,” I smirk as Shelia timidly reenters my office.

 

“Here you are Ms. Styles.  I’m sorry I hadn’t realized that you changed the way you took your coffee,” She apologizes.

 

“No need to apologize Shelia.  It is a very recent change,” I reassure her.  “I’ll need the Dickerson file and could you pick up these items whenever you get a chance?”

 

            I hand her a detailed list of what I will need.  Then I realize that I requested a file that I knew I had to work on that day.  “I’m an estate attorney,” I whisper thinking that this would come in handy.

 

“Yes?”  Shelia questions me as her face darkens with concern.

 

            “I’m sorry Shelia,” I laugh at the situation as she hands me the cup of coffee.  “Thank you,” Once again she looks very surprised.  “I know I don’t say that often enough, or ever, but I think it is time I did.”

 

            She seems like she has no idea just how to respond to my friendly smile.  “I have your messages,” She offers carefully.

 

            She goes over the messages most of which are from women I know that Hilary has added to the notches on her well worn bed post.  “Shall I handle the personal calls?”  She asks and I feel sick knowing that I had used Roger in the same manner.  Shelia seems more than accustomed to screening the calls and making excuses to irate lovers.  I know I can’t change my past, but Hilary is about to get a fresh start.  I just hope I have enough time, since she was a very busy girl.

 

“No,” I softly inform her as I take the messages from her trembling hand.  “I will handle it.”

 

            Each day I work late balancing Hilary’s caseload with long notes and telephone calls.  Somehow I am managing to apologize to each and every woman Hilary had scorned.  Just maybe she would be able to leave this world with their forgiveness.  Hilary’s redemption wasn’t my only concern.  What can I say?  Deep down one of the reasons I had come back was to save my sorry butt.

 

            Along with apologizing for Hilary I was painstakingly writing to everyone I had ever wronged.  I was mailing them under the guise of fulfilling the late Simone Ryder’s last wishes.  The hardest was the one to Gina.  After I had finished I did something I almost never did during my life, I cried. Then, when I realized I had no idea where to send it, I cried even harder.

 

            As the weeks passed I received letters and calls from so many people from Hilary’s and my past.  Everyone seemed truly touched by my gesture.  I had even managed to track down an address for Gina and mail her letter.  She was one of the few people I hadn’t heard from.  Since I was still walking in Hilary’s stylish pumps I doubt that she enjoyed my letter.

 

            I am working late on a client’s file wondering if my change in attitude was coming from within or perhaps there had been some divine intervention.  That and if I should redecorate Hilary’s office.  The décor was really starting to bug me.  But then again I could be dead again by morning so why bother?  “Ms. Styles there is a woman here to see you and she doesn‘t have an appointment,” Shelia’s voice stirs me out of my musings.

 

“What are you still doing here?”  I chastise her in a playful tone.  “Isn’t little Tommy’s play tonight?”

 

“I was just about to leave,” She smiles in response. 

 

“Then go and make sure you take lots of pictures,” I instruct her as she lingers in the doorway.  “What?”

 

“Don’t take this the wrong way but you have changed so much,” Shelia states with wonderment.

 

            “I know,” I can’t help smiling since I really like the new me.  I am amused by the way the new Hilary shocks people.  “Lets just say I’ve seen the light,” I explain, as my smile grows brighter.  I am also tempted to add that the light is purple.  Well it is.

 

“I hope I’m not out line, but I just wanted to say that change looks good on you,” She offers sincerely. 

 

“Good night Shelia,” I blush as I wave for her to leave.

 

“Your visitor,” She reminds me.

 

“Right.  I forgot,” I explain.  “Who is she?”

 

“I don’t know her,” She begins to explain.  “As I said she doesn’t have an appointment but she insists upon speaking to you.  Her name is Miss Beauchamp.”

 

            My jaw drops as my palms begin to sweat.  “Send her in,” I manage to squeak out as I stand.  My knees feel weak as I prepare myself to face Gina.  My nervousness grows when she steps into my office.

 

            She is just as beautiful as the first time I had seen her.  Only now there is coldness in her eyes that had never been there before.  “Miss Beauchamp,” I stammer as I cross the room to greet her.  She refuses the offer to shake my hand, and I can feel the waves of anger flowing off of her.  “Please have a seat,” I offer as I try to calm myself.

 

            She looks down at the chairs with a hint of disapproval.  I can’t disagree with her assessment.  I cross back and sit behind the desk.  “How can I assist you?”  I ask as I fight against the fear swelling up inside of me.  She finally sits down.  I am surprised by the crispness in her demeanor and actions.  She looks at me coldly as she tosses the letter I had written her onto the desk.

 

“Would you mind explaining this?”  She practically hisses at me.

 

            I am stunned not by her anger at having received my letter, but by the grim expression she was sporting.  There was only one time I didn’t see Gina smile and that was the day I had hurt her.  Even after that day she still smiled, not as brightly, but somehow she managed to keep up a brave front despite my unwelcome presence in her life.  I was relieved when she opted to quit her summer job rather than continue being around me. At the time I selfishly thought it was the best thing that could have happened.

 

“I’m waiting,” She demands in voice that makes me flinch.

 

            “I was employed by Ms. Ryder to mail out some letters in the event of her death,” I offer as an explanation, hoping that the news of my death might bring out a small shred of remorse on her behalf.  After all I still had a mission to complete.  My heart sinks when her eyes demand that I expand upon my explanation.  “You were aware of her passing?”  I ask in a vain attempt to crack through her icy façade.

 

“Oh I heard alright,” She smiles.  I shiver from the cruel smile she offers instead of the warm glowing smile I remember from our youth.  “Couldn’t have happened to a nicer gal.”

 

“I see,” I can feel my heart breaking as the cruel smile grows.  “She felt a need to make amends to some of the people she had known,” I continue in an effort to get through to her.

 

“I hope you got a bulk rate on that mailing,” She quips.

 

“I should have,” I agree in a halfhearted tone.  “I know she feels, I mean felt terrible about what had transpired between the two of you.”

 

“Transpired?”  She responds hotly.  “That is one way to phrase it.  You also confirmed something I suspected.”

 

“What is that?”  I ask as I shrink away from the look of pure hatred she is directing at me.

 

“The letter was in your envelope,” She coldly explains.  “You know what happened.”

 

“I’m sorry,” I blurt out more about what I did in the past than from what she would naturally assume I was talking about.

 

            “I never told anyone about what she did,” She fumes.  “I spent years trying to forget I had ever met her, and now she gets one last dig from the grave by letting a stranger know what happened.”

 

            “I’m certain that was not her intention,” I argue wondering why I didn’t put her letter in a separate envelope rather than the company stationary.  I had written and rewritten it a dozen times before I tracked down a valid address for her.  I didn’t stop to think.  I just rewrote it one more time and sent it off.

 

“Simone Ryder was a heartless bitch that only thought of herself,” She yells.

 

“Not completely,” I fire back in an effort to defend my former self.  “Once she took in a stray kitten,” True I am grasping at straws but her words hurt so damn much.

 

“Please,” She spits back.  “How can you defend her?”

 

            “I know for a fact she regretted what happened,” I repeat thinking that Gina had not only grown bitter, but she had more than a few issues and was carrying more luggage than Amtrak.  Certainly all of this couldn’t be my fault, could it?

 

            Gina is scowling as she continues to shift in the chair.  “Look Miss Styles if you are looking for me to forgive her it isn’t going to happen,” She finally offers as she continues to squirm.  “Who picked these things out?”

 

            “I’m afraid that I did,” I admit even though it was Hilary.  I swear the woman had no taste what so ever.  But since I had to live as Hilary I would have to endure her tacky furniture.

 

“What were you thinking?”  She asks me and I can’t help chuckling at the question.  “This look is all wrong for this space.  Plus the furniture isn’t comfortable.  I suspect you actually lost clients over it.  Now where was I?”

 

            “You were telling me what an evil troll Simone was,” I offer suddenly in complete awe of this tiny powerhouse.  “Feel free to continue.  What I . . . Simone did was reprehensible, but once she truly realized the pain it had caused you it hurt her deeply.  If it makes you feel better please keep telling me what a complete jackass she was,” I have no idea why I had just encouraged this woman to rip me to shreds, but somehow it seems like the right thing to do.

 

“Kind of takes all of the fun out it,” She sighs as she stands.  “I’ve said what I came here to say.  All I ask is that you don’t repeat anything about this matter.”

 

“I promise,” I vow as I walk her to the door.

 

            “Oh, and if you ever want to do something about the mistake you’ve made,” She begins as my chest tightens.  Suddenly I fear that somehow she has seen through my charade.  Instead she hands me her business card.  “I’m a decorator.”

 

“Your hired,” I blurt out, my body trembles as our fingers brush.

 

“Excuse me?”  She stammers.  “I came in here and ripped you a new one over something your client did and now you are offering me a job?”

 

“Look at this place,” I say as I wave my arms across the room.  “Please save me from myself,” I plead knowing that I am not talking about the furniture but my very soul.

 

“What the hell?”  She laughs.  “I’ll call you about setting up an appointment.”

 

            I can’t stop myself from watching the sway of her body as she walks away.  I blow out a pensive breath as I feel my body temperature rising.  “Stop that,” I caution myself.  “I can’t let myself turn into a jerk again, no matter how hot she is.”

 

            I was a nervous wreck all week until Gina finally called me back and set up a schedule with me.  It wasn’t hard since I told her I was very flexible.  I found myself blushing at her response. After Gina started visiting the office in an effort to redecorate it, I quickly learned she bore no resemblance to the shy teenager I had once known.  Nope she certainly wasn’t a kid anymore, she was a woman.  W-O-M-A-N!  And it was driving me up the wall.  Since my unorthodox return to the earthly plain I remained steadfast in my convictions to change my wanton ways.

 

            You know that expression going from zero to sixty?  Well I did just the opposite, and let me tell you it is painful.  I went from being an all you can eat buffet to a starvation diet over night.  The only thing I am grateful for is that when my life was being reviewed, no matter what anyone tells you self exploration isn’t on the list of no, nos.  Oddly enough flipping someone off in rush hour traffic is.  You don’t even want to know how many times I did that in one lifetime.  But hey I’m from Boston.

 

            Of course now after spending a lot of time working closely with Gina, I’m going through D cell batteries like they were tic-tacs.   Gina has the most unnerving habit of standing very close to me whenever she wants to show me a fabric sample or explain something.  The woman smells amazing.  I made the mistake of asking her what perfume she wore and almost passed out when she told me she didn’t wear perfume.  Yes that yummy aroma is all her.  After I found out that little tidbit of information I dragged Hilary’s scanty ass down to her doctor’s office and had her tested for everything and I do mean everything.  Thankfully Hilary was just as self centered as myself and took precautions.  That and she worked out so I now have a body I can be seen naked with.  Now if I could just get Gina to fall for my considerable charms, I’ll be one step closer to Heaven, in more ways than one.

 

 

            Now Gina is certainly sending out the right signals, but so far nothing has happened yet.  I keep reminding myself that I need to get the girl to fall in love with me.  Oh, and to forgive me which based on the reaction I get every time I bring me up in conversation, and by me I mean Simone, I am convinced I would have an easier time convincing her to stick a sharp object in one of her lovely green eyes.  She has changed so much and it really does hurt me to know that I was the cause.  I dimmed the light in her eyes, why would she ever forgive me?

 

            Of course getting her to forgive me might prove to be a cakewalk compared to my falling in love with her.  Despite the changes in me, and trust me I like the new me a lot more than the old me, falling in love is still a foreign concept as far as I am concerned.

 

“Now what is that worried look for?”  Gina asks me as she steps into the office.  I notice that she has her trusty tape measure handy as she saunters over to the desk.

 

“Just thinking,” I offer my eyes never drifting from her body.  Briefly I ponder if I need to make yet another stop at the store on the way home to pick up more batteries?

 

“Good night Ms. Styles,” Shelia calls out from the doorway.  “Don’t stay all night again,” She warns me.  I smile at her motherly tone and blush as she nods towards Gina and winks.

 

“Good night Shelia,” I chuckle.  “Drive safe.”

 

            Shelia and Gina exchange goodbyes before she leaves the two of us alone.  “She seems nice,” Gina says as she begins to measure the windows.

 

“She is,” I respond honestly as I sneak a peek over at my companion.

 

“You certainly keep late hours,” Gina continues as she brushes past me our bodies touching slightly from the contact.  I manage to bite back the moan as I feel myself tremble.

 

“Oh you know the life of a lawyer,” I throw out as I pretend to look over my paperwork.

 

“Must not leave much time for a social life,” She pries in a rich tone.

 

            “No,” I shrug as I sneak another glance at her firm ass as she retracts her measuring tape.  “But I certainly have had more of a social life to last a life time,” I know my tone has turned slightly grim.  She looks at me curiously not understanding the depth of my statement.

 

“Let me guess you got burned,” She says as she perches herself on the edge of the desk.

 

            “No.  I did the burning,” I confess.  I can see that she is stunned by my admission.  “I use to be just like her.  I was Simone.”  I look around the room warily awaiting Milton to pop in and drag me off to Hell for my admission.  When nothing happens I assume that my little confusion didn’t cross the line.

 


“I find it hard to believe that you would think that you and Simone Ryder are the same species much less anything alike,” She teases but I can see the hint of pain clouding her eyes.

 

“I was,” I admit suddenly fighting off the need to cry.  “One day I was forced to face my misdeeds.  I was offered the chance to change and I grabbed it with both hands.”

 

“Just like that?”  She asks with a hint of harshness.

 

            “It wasn’t a difficult choice,” I answer her with complete honesty as the tears start to well up in my eyes.  She cups my face and I lean into her touch.  I lick my lips as I watch her face nearing my own. As we kiss I am lost in the wonderful feel of her lips caressing my own.  She still tastes just as sweet as she did so many years ago.  Yet her touch isn’t the same.  She is more in control and somehow colder.  I, on other hand, am baffled by my shy caresses and tender touch.  I tell myself that it is just the newness of the body I inhabit.  Somehow I know I am lying.

 

            I would have thought that I would be hurried in my advances instead I am gentle despite the inferno raging inside of me. I suck her tongue as I cup her face. I tingle from the way her hands roam down my body.  I feel the air kissing my skin as she opens the buttons on my blouse.  I lace my fingers through her long, golden hair and draw her closer to me.  I feel alive as I feel her body pressing against my own.

 

            My head falls back as I feel her nimble fingers taunting one of my nipples.  I cup her firm round bottom and pull her closer.  I need to feel all of her, and still I am unwilling to hurry what is happening.  She slips from my embrace and guides me to my feet.  I clench my thighs in effort to ebb the demanding throbbing calling out to me as she captures me in a smoky haze. 

 

            I am stunned by the look of pure desire as she guides me to the center of the room.  She releases me from her touch and I feel cold as I watch her stride confidently over to the door and close it.  My clit twitches as I hear the lock snapping into place.  Once again I am fighting against a raging flood when I see the look of pure lust in her eyes.

 

            She closes the gap between us and I can feel the heat emanating off of her body. “This is why you need a comfortable sofa in here,” She informs me in a husky tone that makes me quiver.  She pulls me to her and captures me in a possessive kiss.

 

            I can feel my clothing slipping from my body as she lowers me down onto the carpet.  “But then again getting rug burn can be a lot of fun,” She purrs into my ear as I begin to remove her clothing.  I am overwhelmed by her touch as we struggle to free one another from our wardrobe.  When our naked bodies meet for the first time I capture her in a lingering kiss.  The kiss is slow and promising as she covers me with her naked body.

 

            I feel our wetness meeting as our hips begin to slowly move together.  Something inside of me shatters as I feel her tongue gliding along my neck and I caress her back.  I am amazed at how soft her skin feels.  As our legs wrap around one another until we are caressing the other’s wetness I no longer care about completing the tasks that Milton has given me.  I simply want to bring her pleasure, and cater to her every whim.

 

            I feel her movements becoming urgent as I try to slow things down in a desperate need to savor each moment.  She growls with frustration before capturing my nipple in her mouth.  She suckles me harder as I cling to her.  I tighten my thighs against her and paint her skin with my desire.  My clit is pulsating as I press harder against her firm body.

 

            I cry out as I feel her teeth grazing against my hardened nipple.  My body erupts as she kisses her way over to my other breast.  She feasts upon it as her fingers capture its neglected twin.  The scent of her body fills me as we meld together.  For the first time in my existence I feel as if I am a part of someone.

 

            She lifts her body up and gazes down at me with eyes clouded with passion as her hand drifts down the front of my body.  “Oh baby you have no idea what you are doing to me,” She pants as the tips of her fingers greet the dark patch of my triangle.  I am stunned by her bravado as she parts my swollen lips.

 

            She nudges my thighs open as her fingers slip deeper inside of my passion.  I reach up and fill my hands with her breasts.  She moans as I feel them teasing her nipples with the palms of my hands.  We became locked in a fiery gaze as her fingers brush lightly against my aching nub.

 

            I wrap my legs around her as I pinch and tease her nipples.  “Harder,” She commands and I am helpless to resist.  Her fingers glide along my sex.  I gasp when I feel her touch leaving my desire.  Her fingers are glistening as she brings them to her lips.  I press against her as I watch her slowly licking my passion from each digit.  “I need more,” She boasts as she dips inside of me once again and gathers my wetness.

 

            Once again her passion coated fingers slip from my body.  She inhales my scent before painting my nipples.  I arch against her as she eagerly devours my breasts licking away every last drop.  I thrust against her painting her taut abdomen with my wetness as she suckles my tender nipples.

 

            She laughs as she raises her head and looks down upon me.  “So wet,” She moans as I thrust harder against her.  My body quivers as I feel her fingers tracing their way back down the front of my body.  She parts me once again and captures my clit between her fingers.  I cry out as she teases me.  My hands release her breasts and begin to caress her body.  I cup her mound amazed by the pool of desire filling it as I tease her with the heel of my hand.

 

            She bites back a moan as her body sways against my touch.  She slips deeper inside of me and I feel her pressing against my core.  I mirror her actions and we slip inside each other’s warmth.  I can feel the walls of her center tightening around my fingers, knowing that my body is doing the same.

 

            We kiss hungrily as our fingers plunge in and out and our bodies rock wildly.  I am unaware of the roughness of the carpeting.  The only thing I care about is how good it feels to touch and be touched by this woman.  I am calling out her name as I commit her touch to memory.  Once again something deep inside of me shatters as I feel my world spinning.  “Oh baby,” She cries out as I feel the passion consume her.

 

            We collapse against one another.  I reach out to her only to have my hands brushed aside as she begins to kiss her way down my body.  Once again I am helpless to resist as I feel her breath caressing my wetness.  I call out her name as she parts me with her tongue.  I feel her hands on my backside as she draws me to her. 

 

            I look down my body, needing to see her.  She gazes up at me as she captures my clit in her mouth.  I watch as she drinks in all I have to offer until I am once again calling out her name.  I whimper in protest as I feel her touch slipping away.  Once again I reach out for her only to be guided to roll over.  She lifts me too her.  I feel no shame as I balance myself on my hands and knees while she traces my ass with her tongue and fingers.

 

            I grip the carpet as she nudges my legs apart.  I can feel her gathering my wetness and painting the puckered open.  “Yes,” I plead as I feel her pressing against it while her tongue strokes my clit.  She groans with satisfaction as she plunges her tongue inside of my center while her finger greets my opening.

 

            My body thrusts wildly as she fills me completely.  I feel the climax ripping through me as she continues pleasure me.  My body is spent as her touch slips from me.  I feel her wetness against my skin as she straddles my hips.  I thrust back to greet her touch as she rides against my body.  “Oh God, Baby!” She screams out as the fire consumes us.  It hurts me that not once has she called me by my name, yet I am unable to resist her touch.

 

            We collapse onto the floor panting heavily.  She kisses my sweaty brow as we lie there.  I feel a pang as we struggle to our feet and she shies away from my touch.  “You are amazing Baby,” She coos after we have dressed.  She gives me a quick kiss.

 

“We don’t have to stop,” I offer as she gives me a lopsided grin.

 

“It’s late, and I have an early morning,” She explains as my heart crashes.

 

“I see,” I grimly respond recognizing the excuse I had tossed out so many times.

 

            “I hope you do,” She gently cautions me.  “I don’t want to lead you on.  I would never do that.  But I’m not into monogamy.  If this is going to be uncomfortable then I’ll stop working for you.”

 

“Something else taken from you,” I mutter angry at what I had done.

 

“You don’t know me,” She barks back.

 

“That’s just it,” I sigh.  “I do know you.”

 

“I’m sorry Hilary, but I’m not into relationships and it has nothing to do with my first lover,” She tries to explain.

 

“Sure it does,” I counter gently.  “I just want you to be happy.  But don’t worry I’m not going to start stalking you.  That is only fun until someone’s pet is barbequed.”

 

She laughs at my comment.  “So we’re okay then?”  She asks tentatively.

 

“Yes,” I confirm while I felt the strangest pang in my chest. 

 

            It is weeks later and she is in the office again putting on the finishing touches.  I kept my word.  It wasn’t hard since I decided to screw Milton’s agenda and do what I said I would do.  I want Gina to be happy, truly happy.  And that isn’t going to happen with me since I could kick the bucket at any moment.  She needs to learn to trust again.  I have to agree with good old Milton on one thing; Gina isn’t going to let her guard down until she forgives me.

 

            Funny thing is despite what had happened over the past few weeks I found that we really get along.  There is still a sexual current flowing between us that could power an entire city block, and no matter how much Gina has tried to coax me, I haven’t given in to the temptation.  This is no small task.

 

“I’m finished,” She announces as she hands me the bill.

 

“I love it,” I answer her with sincerity.  Granted it is a new word in my vocabulary, and I really like it and what Gina did with the office.

 

“I still don’t understand why you decorated it in such a cold manner in the first place?”  Gina exclaims.  “This is much more you.”

 

            “I wasn’t myself back then. Thank you,” I blush at her compliment as she wraps her arms around my waist.  I love the way she holds me.  I pull away knowing that all she wants is my body.  Gina has made it quite clear that she was more than willing to continue a sexual relationship.  As tempting as the thought of being with her again is, I know she needs and deserves more out of life.

 

“This isn’t goodbye is it?”  She asks me in a shy tone.

 

“No,” I reassure her praying that I wasn’t lying to her.  “I’d like to think that we’ve become friends.”

 

“Why just friends?” She presses with a hint of sadness.

 

“I told you.  I want to see you happy,” I explain gently.  “Trust me I want to sleep with you.  I really want to sleep with you again.”

 

“So?”  She presses.

 

“So you deserve more,” I continue.  “You don’t see just how truly special you are.  Gina, I wish that you could see that you are so much better than a long list of fuck buddies.  I hate that I . . . That Simone took that from you.”

 

            I brace myself for her tirade.  “You’re right,” She smiles in response.

 

“Huh?”  I stammer like an idiot.

 

            “After you refused to sleep with me again I took a long hard look at my life,” She begins and I see the light in her eyes.  The same light I had extinguished years ago.  “I let what Simone did to me make me like her.  I thought about the letter she sent me.  And I finally saw what she was trying to say.  It must have taken her a lot of courage to write it.  I was finally able to forgive her.”

 

            “You what?”  I blurt out as I look around the room.  I honestly don’t know what I’m looking for or what I expected.  That Milton would float by and give me a big thumbs up or a thirty-piece orchestra would suddenly blare out ‘Climb Every Mountain’.  But nothing happened except Gina took me by the hand.

 

            I fell into her gaze and saw something I had never seen before.  “I forgave her,” She repeats.  I smile as I feel myself falling deeper into her gaze. “Hilary,” She begins tenderly.  “I don’t know how or why it happened . . .”

 

            Suddenly I am filled with horror and jerk my hand away as I realize what is happening.  I can’t let her say it.  If she says it then I’ll be taken away from her.  My movements stun her. 

 

            I am struggling to breathe, as the room is suddenly plunged into darkness.  Gina has vanished and a purple light appears along with Milton.  “You can’t do this now!” I scream.

 

“Do what?”  He asks in confusion.

 

“Take me away from her,” I scream.  “I never said I loved her.”

 

“You don’t have to say it to feel it,” He points out in the most annoying fashion.

 

“She can’t love me!” I am screaming.

 

“Why not?”  He asks me in a calm voice that is really working my nerves.

 

“Because she can’t,” I rant like a child.

 

“Why?”  He pushes.

 

“Because if she loves me then I have to leave her,” I finally admit. “If she is in love with me then you’ll take me away.  I can’t leave her again.”

 

“Why?” He is so cocky this time that if he weren’t an angel I swear I’d smack him.

 

“Because I love her and I can’t hurt her again,” I sob.  “I couldn’t bare the pain knowing that I had hurt her.”

 

“You would give up your soul and risk being sent to Hell just to keep her from hurting?”  He asks me and again I’m tempted to smack him.

 

“Yes,” I answer without hesitating. “Do anything.  Bring Hilary back and change her into a nice person.  Just don’t hurt Gina.”

 

            “I’m afraid that Hilary is a lost cause,” He grumbles. “You on the other hand have exceeded what was asked of you and now you are willing to throw it away for Gina’s happiness.  Hilary . . .”

 

“Simone,” I correct him feeling slightly queasy from the sound of my name.

 

“Not anymore,” He smiles.  “You are not going back.”

 

“Huh?”  I gape at him looking once again like a moron.

 

“You did what was asked,” He says. “And your fate has been decided.  You will stay Hilary as the person you have become with no memory of being anyone else.”

 

“I can stay?”  I bounce up and down.  I stop suddenly.  “Wait I’m not going to turn into an asshole again am I?”

 

“No,” He laughs.  “You are who you’ve become.  We’ll have to tweak your memory a little to compensate the change in your life.  But mostly it will be for the reasons you told Gina.”

 

“Thank you,” I gush.

 

“No thank you,” He smiles once again before vanishing.

 

            “I’m sorry,” I stammer out as I look over at Gina trying to figure out just why I had pulled away from her?  Suddenly it dawns on me what is wrong.  “Gina I’m in love with you.  I can be your friend but I refuse to be a conquest.”

 

            She is smiling as she takes my hand.  “I love you Hilary,” She admits before kissing me gently.  It is so different from the first kisses that we shared, so soft and gentle.  I return her kisses amazed at how much more exciting they are than the over heated ones from the first time.  Each of us is gasping for air as our lips part. 

 

            I guide her over to the new sofa and gently lower her down.  I pause only to go over and lock the door.  “It is the middle of the day,” She teases me.

 

            “I love you,” I offer as an explanation as I begin to kiss her soft supple neck. My caresses are tender as I whisper sweet promising words that for the first time in my life I actually mean.  I unbutton her blouse and trace the swell of her breasts with my tongue.  I lick my way down her body savoring the taste of her skin. 

 

“I love you,” She echoes my thoughts as I lower the zipper of her slacks and slide them down her hips.  My eyes fill with tears of joy as I lower her panties and nuzzle her stomach. 

 

            “I love you,” I repeat over and over again as I taste her skin.  She moans deeply as I drink in her essence before I part her with my tongue.  Slowly I drink in her taste.  I suckle her throbbing clit tenderly as she laces her fingers through my hair.  I suckle her harder until she is clinging to me as I enter her gently. 

 

            I can feel her body tensing against me as she cries out my name.  I cradle her in my arms.  “I’m taking the rest of the day off,” I murmur softly.  “Care to join me?”

 

“Yes,” She responds in a breathy whisper.

 

            We gather up our belongings and I take her by the hand and lead her out of my office to begin our life together.

 

 

The End

 

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