Disclaimer one: These characters resemble Xena and Gabrielle, who are the property of MCA/Universal Studios pertaining to the show Xena Warrior Princess. However, the story is all mine!

Disclaimer two: This story depicts graphic consensual sex between two women falling in love and there is also use of strong language. There is no violence, and yes there is a plot. If the alternative nature offends you then you came to the wrong websiteóso shoo go on! Feedback pleassssse at Minerva.

This story is a sequel to Rí Place. It takes place a few weeks after the characters meet, around Thanksgiving. Rí Place takes place in late October. Our couple are still going strong with reality rearing its ugly head. They make discoveries about themselves as individuals and as a couple in moments of completely lucid clarity. Gabrielle learns how the other pieces of her life will fit also. Cryptic and vague enough lol? Well, on with the show.

Silent Lucidity


© 1999 by Minerva

Part I

"Damn, damn, damn," Gabrielle muttered into the still air, as she hung up the phone with a satisfying click.

Sometimes she hated family tradition. She had to go home for Thanksgiving, and she should have known she couldnít get out of it.

"Whatís wrong girl?" Shannon rubbed her shoulders.

"I gotta go home to Gary for the holidays, and that means leaving Tara and telling my family about me."

She closed her eyes and rubbed the bridge of her nose.

"I donít envy you that. I told my mom over the phone. Hung up and waited for her to call back."

"When did she call back?"

"About fifteen minutes later. She was crying saying that it would take some getting used to but she loved me nonetheless."

"Well, seems like you got the good end of the stick."

"Yeah, until I told my dad and brother. My dad barely tolerates me now and my brother was talking bout all fags needing to die."

"Ugh, no he didnít!"

"Uh, huh but itís okay, I never liked him anywayóalways made me eat glue when we were little."

Gabrielle raised a russet eyebrow and look at him questioningly. Shannon smirked as she began to giggle.

"Okay, okay you, I gotta start cooking. Tara is coming over in a couple of hours for an early dinner."

"Oooo, the she-devil herself? I gotta stick around for this!"

"Nuh uh, youíre outta here my friend."

"Ahh, come on! I love being in the same room with you two," he laughed, "the energy just crackles around you. Itís down right arousing."

"Shannon! Youíre a nasty man, and I'm sure Wayne enjoys it," she said smirking. He wiggled his dark eyebrows suggestively.

"Okay, okay Iíll go, but tell her I said hello. We need to all get together sometime soon."

" Ya mean at the club?"

"Nah, to eat or something. Maybe your place so we can watch yall crackle away!" She threw a pillow at him.

"Kay, Iíll ask about it."

"See ya later," he waved as he shut the door.

Gabrielle sat down heavily on the couch, tucking her feet under her. Her mind raced and her heart thudded in fear. The little woman moved a stray red gold strand behind her ear. ĎNo more writing for me today.í She said to herself. She closed her eyes and thought about the ramifications of telling her Bible thumping parents and her hellion sister about Tara. Gabrielle remembered the upheaval Lilian had caused when she got pregnant at 19, out of wedlock. While her parents grew to love their granddaughter, they still picked at the old wound now and again. What was in for her? She could be disowned, ostracized, or even preached to. Was she ready for that? Ready to possibly lose her family for a woman she barely known for a month? "Tara," she spoke her name like a prayer. If she closed her eyes, she could see the long silky black tresses, electrifying blue eyes, wonderful, sensual lips, and the irresistible smile kept just for her.

Her breathing picked up as did her heart but for a different reason. It was already too late to turn away from her loverótoo much of her heart had been lost to her. A greater fear permeated her consciousness. The fear of being without Tara. A whimper wrenched from her throat, as pain crashed through her body. Gabrielle's heart felt as though it was in a vice, making it heavy and strained. A piercing ache tore through her head, knocking the wind out of her, leaving her nervous and shaky. She licked the sweat from her upper lip. "I canít lose her. I canít! They have to understand or to hell with them!" She screamed into the empty air.

Tara's shop was one of many businesses that lined the narrow streets. There were boutiques, a mom and pop store, and even a dollar movie theatre. Her garage wasn't big, and it did not particularly stand out. Still, it was hers, and that was enough for her and apparently even her clientele. Standing there now behind the counter, Tara grated her teeth and looked at her watch as the man spoke in pleading tones, " You have to fix her now, while I wait. Itís after five and your my last hope!"

"Mister, this is a bike shop not a car shop!" She sneered.

"Come on youíre my only hope. Itís not even my car. I borrowed it from a buddy. Please maíam?"

Tara took a deep breath. "I canít fix it, but I have connections. Let me make some phone calls." 'Ahh, the benefits of living in a small town,' she thought to herself.

"Thanks maíam, I really appreciate this."

Tara gave him a wan smile and cursed her pussy cat nature, knowing there was barely any bite behind her worst bark. She was going to be late for dinner and decided where her first call was going to be, regretting that it was going to be a little while longer before she saw the smile, felt the skin, kissed those lips. She smiled to herself remembering how she left Gabrielle shaking and exhausted this morning. Tara growled inwardly as the manís nasal voce yanked her from her reverie. She gave him a flash of white that could in no way pass for a smile, as she dialed the number.

Gabrielle wiped the drying tears from her face, as she finally got up to putter around the kitchen. The phone rang.

"Hello," she said flatly.

Taraís eyebrow rose into her hairline, knowing something was wrong. "Hey whatís wrong Red?"

Gabrielle smiled hearing her loverís nickname for her. "Iím better now, but Iíll tell you about it later."

"Okay baby, listen Iím gonna be a little late, but Iíll call you from the car on the way over."

"Kay. Hurryómiss you."

Tara bit her lip and smiled outwardly. "Hope youíre well rested, cuz itís gonna be a long night. I canít seem to get enough of you."

Gabrielle sucked in her breath, licked her lips, and cleared her throat. "Please hurry." Tara chuckled as she said her good-byes and hung up the phone. Gabrielle chopped veggies and sliced chicken. Her problems forgotten temporarily in the warm wake of her lover. Meanwhile, the man looked at Tara bug eyed. She stared right back at him until he lowered his head. Ď The bark is good for something,í she thought. Finally, the man and his car left with the aid of a friend and a tow truck.

The tall, dark woman looked down at her greasy, grimy appearance. Her hands were blackened with oil and lubricant, matching her fingernails. Smudges of the same substance trailed up her arms and smeared along her neck and face. She smelled and looked like a grease monkey. Deciding to clean up instead of having Gab thinking she was a slob, Tara headed to the bathroom. She pat herself on the back for having the foresight of installing a full bathroom, and turned the water on, getting into the shower.

The water beat a sensual path down her long, lithe body, slicking midnight down her back. The sluicing water trailed over the hills of her breasts, sliding through the valley between them. It traveled down the chiseled abdomen, over hard muscled thighs, dipped to graze curly black hair, and cascaded further down well-toned legs until it spilled within the shower stall. Not paying attention to the erotic play of the water on her skin. Taraís mind was on her lover. She wondered what was wrong with the little woman. Hoping beyond hope that she wasnít having second thoughts about her sexuality or their relationship. They had so much to learn about each other, and she guessed that Gabrielle knew this too. Still, it was hard to get through the sexual haze that seemed to surround them.

Beyond that, Tara knew what they had went further than sex. There was a connection, a sense of familiarity that made them so comfortable with each other. A connection she couldnít explain. They had established a routine of seeing each other everyday and almost every night, dinner, conversation where they laughed and learned, and touching that didnít necessarily lead to sex. She was really looking forward to them spending their first holiday together. In just a little while her heart and she knew her soul was being captured. She felt compelled to let it happen to open up to receive as well as give. Something she never had before. "She could hurt me if she wanted to," Tara whispered into the steamy water, and shivered despite the heat. Her heart and breath quickened in panic. Then she remembered the looks of fascination, tenderness, desire, and of caring ever present in the jade eyes. She immediately calmed, and with resolve, she knew she had to be on her way, with hopes of making her lover feel better any way she could. She left closing the shop for the holidays. She ran out, battling the brisk wind to get to the dark blue sunbird.

Finishing dinner a few minutes earlier, Gabrielle decided on a long hot shower. Now, she ran through the house to answer the ringing phone.

"Hello," she said breathlessly.

"Ooooo, what WERE you doin?"

Gabrielle smiled upon hearing her loverís throaty purr. "I was in the shower you goof."

"Oh really," there was a pause. " Still naked?"

"Behave you. You are soo bad!"

Tara lowered her voice an octave. "Iím serious Red. Are you still naked?"

Taraís mind worked overtime at the sudden possibilities. Gabrielle shivered not just from her cooling body.

"Uh, yeah," she replied over a lump in her throat.

"What room of the house are you in?"

"Um, the dining room. Why?"

Tara voice grew husky. "Get on top of the table."

"T-Tara, what are you doing? Are you calling me from your car?"

"Yes to the latter, and youíll see to the first question."

Unbelievably, Gabrielle scooted herself on top of the table with her body already buzzing with anticipation. Her skin made screeching noises on the wood, and she silently thanked the gods for its sturdiness.

Tara whispered in a husky voice, "I betcha your nipples are already hard, arenít they?"

"Uh, huh. Oh, god."

Tara didnít know what had gotten into her to start this, but it had its hot possibilities. She thanked the gods herself for the speaker feature on her cell phone because she needed both hands to maintain control of the car. The smaller woman lay on top of the cool surface of the table, feeling goosebumps rise due to her body being air dried and something more sensual awakening. Her thighs rubbed together sexily. She caressed her muscled abdomen and curled the phone cord around her finger, as she watched her nipples get more rigid; the skin crinkling before her eyes in response to being talked about. Her breathing caught and accelerated with the beginnings of arousal.

"Betcha wanna touch them donít ya?"

"Mmmm yess."

"Betcha wish my hands were teasing and pinching them?"

Gabrielle whimpered, and Tara went on relentlessly.

"Betcha wish my tongue was circling them, flicking them."

The woman on the other end moaned loudly. As if she could read her loverís mind, Tara purred, "No, no donít touch them. Not till I say." Gabrielle mewed in protest. She sighed in exasperation and wondered what to do with her hands. She wound them in red-gold tresses and whimpered in surprise as it caused a pleasurable tightening in her belly.

"Mmmm, I can just see them now standing up proud and pink like ripe berries. " Tara tried futilely to taper her own accelerating breathing.

"I love the way they fit perfectly in my hands; the way they feel at the back of my throat. You love it when I suck it all the way in donít ya?"

A hoarse moan was torn from Gabrielleís lips, as she moved her hands down up under her breasts lifting them as in offering to her invisible lover. The phone lay cradled in the crook of her neck. Her nipples were painfully hard and throbbing even the slight air circulating through the house tantalized them. Her back arched involuntarily as her breath heaved in and out of her chest.

"Wet your fingers for me baby."

Gabrielle didnít question it, she just did as she was told. Tara could hear her tongue and mouth working. "Good girl. No caress your nipples for me." She didnít have to ask twice. "Oooh, Fuck!" Gabrielle didnít know whether it was the anticipation or the warm moistness but just the same she cried out, ending the cry in a harsh whimper. Not coincidentally her sex flooded with wetness. She automatically bent her knees and parted her legs, moaning again as the air kissed her wet mound. Tara growled at the sound, as her stomach twisted in knots of desire. Her blood was set ablaze, and she pushed down harder on the gas, slicing through the arrival time.

"We will baby," Tara replied her voice broken and breathy with unspent passion.

Gabrielle tweaked and pulled on her aching nipples, and her hips, as if on a string, bucked in response. Her body was covered in a fine layer of sweat attesting to the state of arousal and the restraint she was exhibiting. The smaller womanís sex was alive, and it hadnít been talked about or touched. Still, she could feel her clit pulse and jump and her juices ooze from her core coating her thighs.

"Thatís it baby make it feel good," Tara groaned. This was too intense as it seemed to get each time they touched each time they made love, each time they climaxed. Each moan from Gabrielleís lips pulled an answering throb from Taraís clit. Her breasts felt heavy, and the nipples scraped deliciously against the fabric of her clothing. This was hot, incredibly so.

"I betcha so wet for me right now. I can taste it. I can smell it. Taste it for me baby."

A sob was torn from Gabrielleís raw throat. She extended one hand over her stomach to the apex of her thighs. She dipped in and opened like a flower, sticky with dewy wetness.

"Oh god Ės-soo wet."

Her fingers glided over her own wetness. Her sex so moist and coated it felt like touching nothingónothing but hot silk. She brought her dripping fingers back up to her mouth and began to suck and lick themóloudly.

"Mmm, sweet."

Tara whimpered and tried to stay on the road, as control was quickly fluttering out the window. The dark woman wiped her sweaty brow.

"So, sexy. Now." There was an audible pause. "Fuck yourself for me."

Gabrielle cried out at the vulgarity, sounding impossibly sweet to her ears, and in blind seeking pleasure, completely bypassing her clit, plunged two fingers into her searing opening.

"Unghnn, shit!"

She pounded the fingers in and out slowly, deeply, curving them to get even deeper. The string pulled and she continued to tease her nipple and her hips raised to meet her hand. Her heightened wetness perfumed the sex laden air with sucking, slapping sounds. Gabrielleís breath came out in ragged gasps, whimpers and moans. Taraís hands shook on the wheel, and she felt her own wetness increase, trickling down her thighs.

"Let me hear baby. Move the phone down."

Gabrielle lowered the phone. The command somehow getting to her muddled brain. Taraís vision went hazy when she heard the wet slapping sounds. She hastily covered her mound in an attempt to stop the pulsating and imminent orgasm in reaction to the sexy noises. The car swurved on the shoulder before it righted itself. Gabrielle incoherently moved the phone back up to her ear and rasped out, "You hear?"

"Oh hell yeah," a deep sensual voice whispered. "Baby? Baby!" All she got was a whimper in return. " Almost there. Iíll be there in less than five minutes. Wait for me. Please donít come!" Tara said frantically as Gabrielleís street was illuminated by her head lights. She thought she heard a soft, "Kay. Try," but wasnít sure. Gabrielle just lay there floating, slowly fucking herself into a frenzy. Her auburn hair providing a flash background, and her flush body glowed in contrast to the dark wood and the soft light from the setting sun.

Tara kicked off her shoes in the car and prayed that the door was unlocked. Adrenaline pumped through her veins as she ran up the driveway. She said a silent thanks to the gods when the door opened right up. Hands shaking, keys falling on the floor as did shirt, jeans and panties. She could hear the tantalizing sounds of Gabrielleís moans from the living area. The smell of sex hung in the air. She couldnít tell if it was her own musky scent or her loverís. On shaky legs, she walked quickly to the dining room.

She stood at the entrance and whatever control she had left pooled at her feet. There laid Gabrielle, a picture of erotic perfection. A wet dream come true. Her legs were bent at the knee and spread wide, revealing treasures. Her fingers were buried inside her sex moving deeply, slowly. In and out, in and out. When they moved out, Tara could see the coated fingers glisten with creamy wetness. When they moved in, she could hear the noises of wet flesh that set her on fire in the car. Tara looked further up between the legs at the sweat gleaming on the muscled stomach and glowing on her softly bouncing breasts. Her lips were parted, and her hair was slick and dripping in labor. Tara noticed the phone on the floor as she saw a hand and dark, sparkling green eyes beckoning her beseeching her. The tall, dark woman whimpered at the sight, and her whole body shook with intense arousal the likes she had never experienced.

Mustering up enough concentration, like a big, dark panther, she crawled on to the table and kneeled on all fours in between Gabrielleís parted legs. Tara licked two fingers seductively, and then trailed them along the inside of her loverís thighs, where they gathered even more moisture. Without warning, she plunged them inside her writhing loverís opening, mixing them with Gabrielleís own. Tara groaned, watching them slide in, and she felt Gabrielleís hot opening suck them in deep. The small womanís body arched like a bow, and she screamed in pleasure at being so full. "Tara, unghnn!" Tara growled like the cat she was. In response to the passionate intensity of the moment, their fingers moved faster, slipping, sliding , and guiding each other.

Slowly moving up her body, Tara mounted a firm thigh, and Gabrielle gasped at the wetness there. With hooded pale blue eyes flashing, Tara lowered herself until her mouth was centimeters away from a pert nipple. With a grunt and a moan, she began gyrating her hips against Gabrielleís thigh, leaving a trail of sticky wetness in its wake, and like it was an afterthought, she snaked out her tongue and quickly flicked her loverís nipple, while her other hand palmed and kneaded the other breast. The flicking quickly changed to devouring as she sucked the breast into her mouth, while teasing the hard point with her busy tongue. Just to add a little more to her loverís pleasure, Tara found the erect flesh of Gabrielleís clit, and began to rub it furiously with her thumb. Gabrielleís brain, her senses, and her body quickly went into overload. Fingers pounded trying to get deeper, moving faster. Whimpering sobs leaked out of Gabrielleís now sore throat with each thrust, with each suck. Tara moaned into the little womanís breast as she ground down harder and harder on the accommodating thigh. The table creaked under the weight of the moving bodies.

Gabrielle lifted higher, floating, higher as white light burst behind her eyes. Her orgasm tore through her like a sweet knife drawing out the pleasure that was almost painful in its acuteness. She simply screamed as her body arched and crashed, arched and crashed against the table, finally floating down. Her dark lover was pushed closer to the edge by the sounds of her release. Tara redoubled her efforts to reach her own pinnacle. Their fingers still inside Gabrielle, Tara jerked her fingers quickly not wanting to go alone. She removed her mouth from her loverís breast, and just lay her head there letting them function as a pillow. The room was filled with her loud sensuous moans, and Gabrielleís quiet whimpers. Gabrielle suddenly cried out again as she was pummeled by another intense orgasm. Everything went quiet except for the sound of harsh breathing and creaking wood, and then one strangled word spilled from Taraís lips, "GóGabrielllllle!" Her body stilled then was assaulted by an array of shivers and convulsions, as one big orgasm and several smaller ones reverberated through Taraís body. She jerkily continued to gyrate softly, milking the pleasure.

Below her, Gabrielle cried out for a different reason, as hot tears ran down her face and into her hair. The sound of her name from Taraís lips felt like home; felt like forever. Her heart filled and burst with emotion, as she cried in cathartic sobs. Coming down herself long minutes later, Tara finally looked up and whispered her name once more. Gabrielle cried and shivered in reaction. Tara watched through an exhausted haze in total awe that she could mean that muchóthat the sound of her loverís name from her lips could mean that much. Tara knew at that moment there was no one else in this world. She had found the other half of her soul. Her heart slammed against her chest and her eyes watered. Silent moments later, as if by mutual consent, they removed their fingers. Gabrielle gasped at the aftershocks. Tara gathered the shaken women in her arms tightly, kissing the tears and mumbling words of understandingówords of love. They drifted into a quiet sleep. There on top of the table in a tangled heap of arms and legsóraven hair spilling into red-gold. Dinner was forgotten.

Tara was the first to awaken with the dim rays of moonlight filtering in, illuminating the rooms of the house. Supporting herself on her elbow, she watched her Gabrielle in restful slumber. Unable to resist, she brushed back the hair on her loverís smooth brow, and kissed the cool forehead softly as not to wake her. Her slightly upturned nose was next, along with the flushed cheeks, and Tara went down further and blessed each collar bone with a kiss. She whispered, "I love you," like it was the most natural thing in the world, like it was meant to be, and stared in odd fascination at the woman who owned her heart, her soul. They had much to talk about, and she certainly had much to tell. Tara noticed the rising gooseflesh on Gabrielleís skin. Talking would have to wait. She untangled herself and gracefully slid off the table. Tara put away the discarded dinner and hung up the silent phone. She then gently lifted the smaller woman, holding her like a fine, fragile piece of china. Gabrielle curved into Taraís neck with a murmur that made the tall woman smile. That murmur was her name. She made her way to the bedroom and laid her precious cargo on the plush bed. She joined her as the sandman took over once more.

Gabrielle awoke slowly, surrounded by warmth. She opened one crystal green orb to see Taraís long body hovered around her. The other luminescent orb opened as she smiled. She traced a loving path from Taraís temple to her chin with only finger tips and whispered, "How can I love so much so fast?" There was nothing she could hide from this woman, her woman, and she realized there was nothing she wanted to. Home. Safety. Warmth. Passion. Love. These were words she associated with her dark lover. The final puzzle piece slid into place, and she would do anything to keep it there, including losing her family. Gabrielleís eyes were heavy with sadness but resolve, and as if sensing her lovers distress, a pale gaze that seemed to light the whole room opened toward her. Not knowing the right thing to say, but the words were indeed written on her heart. Tara touched a finger to the upturned nose.

She then whispered,"I love you, Red."

Gabrielle eyes closed heavy with emotion, and when they opened, they shined with such love, and devotion that Tara swallowed.

Gabrielle whispered back, "I know."

Tara threw her head back and laughed at the sheer joy of it. The taller woman was about to speak when she felt cool, small fingers cover her lips.

"No, I have so much to say let me get it out?" Tara nodded in agreement.

"When I first met you, I knew youóI-I mean my heart knew you. I canít explain the connection. I wonít even try. All I know is, I couldnít turn away and I couldnít fight it. I knew it for sure when I heard you say my name the first time. It was likeó" she looked up for words, "my heart was coming home." She smiled, knowing she had found the words. "My heart knew it first, then my body. It should have scared me, since I had just admitted to myself to being a lesbian, but---" Gabrielle looked up into deep blue pools with eyes shining with hungeró"I had to have you, and I knew I was going to get you. I know the time we've had is short, but I want to share everything with youómy dreams, my hopes, my painóeverything."

Tara looked deeply into her loverís eyes and layed bare her soul in that one stare. She hung her head, then looked back up again, swallowing. Never had she felt so humbled. Never had she felt so enriched. She slowly opened her mouth to speak, and extended her hand to touch a cheek not wanting to sever any contact.

"Iím not much on words. I know that, and I donít know if this is gonna come out right. Where I was closed up before, I canít hide from you now. So much has happened and so many people have used me and hurt me just to get what they want, but it was like all that baggage fell awayóya know? I canít compare you to anyone because you are like no one I've ever known, and I donít know if I deserve you." She swallowed. "I canít let you go. I canít stop touching you. I canít stop wanting you. I know all of this doesnít make me weakóI-it makes me strong. You make me feel like I could take on the world, slay dragons and all kind of nasty shitóya know?" "You know that joke about lesbian's and Uhaul's? Well, you could say you Uhauled my heart in a really short period of time." Gabrielle laughed and nodded her head. Tara raised a small hand to her lips. "I need you," she said her voice shaking with emotion, "and I love you. I wanna know what pains you, whatís behind that smirk; I wanna know everything." Gabrielle wanted to weep with joy. There was no way she would lose this happiness, this sense of well-being.

They talked and shared for what seemed like hours. Dreams of being a best-selling author, helping children, home, babies, marriage were discussed. One dream intermeshed with another, overlapping and strengthening the bond. They talked and laughed. Gabrielle had forgotten her own woes and problems in the face of planning, touching, and discovering, in the midday sun. It couldnít be forgotten forever. The phone by the night stand rung insistently. Gabrielle whispered a silent curse and she reached over to answer.


"Hi, honey. Your mom tells me your coming home tomorrow. I tried to call you last night, but I got your voice mail."

Tara was stricken by the look of panic on her loverís face, and grabbed her hand in response.

There was a strangled, "Uh, Hi dad."

"So, is it true honey? Youíre going to come home?"

"Itís tradition right? I wouldnít miss it for the world."

"Okay, but be careful. I know we are only a four hour drive away, but it's the holidays."

"Kay, dad. See you sometime tomorrow."

Gabrielle closed her eyes as she hung up the phone. "Damn, reality and itís ugly head," she said to no one in particular. She opened her eyes to see a look of concern on Taraís face.

"Tara, its family tradition that we all come home for at least one holiday a year. This year that holiday is Thanksgiving. I gotta go to Gary baby. I donít want to leave you, for godís sake its our first holiday together." She sighed. " Well, you know about my sister. She doesnít live but a few blocks from them. So, she is coming. Itís just going to be the four of us."

Tara nodded remembering the conversation a couple of weeks ago concerning her sister and the problems she had. Gabrielle hung her head and began to sob.

"Um, I thinkóI want to tell them about us, about me. I wonít hide, but Iím so scared of how theyíll react," the little woman said as tears streaked down her face. "I canít lose you. I wonít!"

Tara made shushing sounds and she held on tightly to the crying woman. "Iím not going anywhere baby. Promise."

Gabrielle wiped the tears with the back of her hand. "If it has to come down to them or you, itís youóI canít Ėoh god." Gabrielleís heart jerked in pain at the thought of not seeing her niece or her sister again.

"Shhhh, I know. I know. It hurts. Let it out. I love you no matter what." Tara hugged her tighter and kissed the top of her head. Her own heart lurched to see Gabrielle in this pain, but she wasnít going to lie to herself because she knew how families could be concerning this particular subject.

They lay there for long minutes with Tara rocking her small bundle, kissing her consoling her, supporting her. "Hey, listen Iíll just be a phone call awayóya know. Call me and Iíll be there with bells on to get you if you need. I want you to call me anyway to let me know that youíre okay?" Tara whispered in her ear. Gabrielle seemed to gain strength, resolve, and conviction in her loverís arms. "Kay," she said in a stronger voice. "Youíre so good for me. You know that?" she said kissing the taller womanís chin. Tara looked down at her with a lopsided grin.

"I know." They both began to giggle at the familiar phrase. "Okay, kay I need to get up to shower and pack. Ugh, at least weíll have Christmas together, and if all goes well you may get to meet my sis."

"Okay, but I wonít be upset if itís just us."

To lighten the mood, Tara started to tickle Gabrielle. She giggled till she hiccuped, and the whole thing quickly turned into a pillow fight. It ended when Tara finally tackled Gabrielle and imprisoned her under her body. It seems that was when their consciousness sent the message to their bodies that they were naked. Gabrielle became aware of Taraís solid weight on top of her. The intelligence behind the pale blue quickly discerned the change. Gabrielleís gaze lowered from Taraís eyes to her lips. She licked her own in anticipation, in memory of taste, in carnal delight. She arched her smaller body upward, making their nipples graze tantalizingly. The air was stung by a combined whimper and suddenly harsh breathing. Hips touched seductively and parted to make way for thighs. Gabrielle roughly wound her hand through Taraís hair, and with a grunt pulled her down for a searing kiss. It was hungry, wet, and uneven. Their lips met with bruising force as tongues battled and twisted past each other. Tongues snaked out and met outside of mouths, flicking sexily, moistly.

Fiery hunger burned through their bodies, showing no compassion, forgetting that the bodies exploded in pleasure a few hours earlier. There was no tenderness just animal hunger needed to reach past impending pain to cloud it. The hard tips of their breasts scraped and grazed each other time and time again. Diamond hard nipples rubbed making the sister pair grow and tingle. Thighs pressed against the moist points at the apex, and moans of pleasure were muffled as mouths drank from each other refusing to let go. Electric tendrils of pleasure shot up both bodies radiating from the spine to the fingertips. They were one being blindly seeking. The bed squeaked under the work and bodies glistened. Gabrielle reached down to palm the rounded cheeks of Taraís behind, pulling and yanking her harder against her. Bodies undulated at unbelievable speed. It was all too hot to last, to intense not to burn out of control. Moans caught by the binded lips became louder as pleasure became more intense. Tara snaked one hand to clasp part of the head board to push harder, faster. Just like a flame being fueled things reached white hot capacity.

Light flashed behind Taraís eyes as her body imploded from the inside out. Yanking her from reality to put her in a plane of intense spiritual and sexual satisfaction. She all but screamed into Gabrielleís mouth, as her body jerked and bucked. Her lover drank it in, and screamed her own release that left her floating on a cloud of orgasmic bliss. They came down quickly murmuring words of love, and sprinkling each other with tiny kisses. Moments later they got up by mutual consent, and showered separately not wanting to be tempted by the eroticism of water on flesh. Tara helped her pack a bag an promised to lock up her house. They kissed good-bye once, twice, three,--four times before Gabrielle finally left with promises to call. Tara stood and watched, waving. The concern she was feeling hidden behind her eyes.

Part II

Tara muddled around the house a little longer doing some light cleaning, making the beds, filling the dishwasher, and vacuuming the shag carpets. All the time remembering her first time here. She wasn't surprised really. The house fit its owner. From the outside, the red brick never seemed austere but rather inviting. The inside was even more so, decorated in lavender and other pastels, soft and intricate like the decorator. Tara smiled remembering the fun and talk they had over dinner. Finishing her chores, she left, leaving the light on out front as a sort of vigil. Finally, she made her way back the apartment she shared with her brother. It was a house really, and they were renting the first and second floors. The odd orange colored stucco seemed like a stranger, having spent the time mostly with Gabrielle. 'Well, it's gonna be home again for a couple of days,' she said to herself. Tara pulled up to her own driveway and slowly walked in. Where Gabrielle's place seemed light, their place was decorated in darker blues, grays and black. It was quite a contrast. She smirked in acknowledgement and amusement. Jake was singing loudly and off key, as he was obviously cooking. The smells wafted around the house. He looked up surprised, but smiled nonetheless.

"Hey T. What are you doing home? I thought you and G were spending the holiday together?" He quirked his eyebrow at the look of concern on his sisterís face.

Tara hung her head, and whispered with a voice raw with emotion, "I was, but she had to go home. Something about family tradition."

"Uh, huh Iím sure there is more to this than what youíre saying."

"Sheís gonna tell them about me, about us I mean.."

"Oooo boy, I see. Well, it seems like she really cares," he rubbed her back, "so donít worry too much. Just be there for her when she needs you. Cuz you and I both knowóknock on woodóhow things can go. We havenít heard from mom in over a year."

"Ya, I know. Iím just a little scared is all. Her parents are all religious and shit, and it sorta makes me wonder if they are gonna try to talk her out of it, ya know? I-I canít lose her Jake. I-I told her I loved her this morning."

Jake raised both dark eyebrows ,"Oooh, thatís a big one for you. Hell, I can barely get you to say that to me."

She gave him a lopsided grin and stuck her tongue out. "I lub ya Jakie!!!" She made loud kissing noises. "But, I LOVE her, and I donít know how it happened so fast. It was sorta like a bomb but the sweet kind, and each explosion just got through a little further."

He looked at her and smiled slowly. "Mmmm, Iím so happy for you, and she seems sweet and good for you. I like little Ms. Firecracker!"

"Good cuz she is going to be around for a long, long time. Iím just worried about her. Parents can get pretty nasty." She sighed. "Sheís supposed to call when she gets there, so donít tie up the lines, and come get me no matter what. Iím gonna work on the bikes in the back."

"Okay will do T. You sure you donít want anything to eat? Iím making one of my famous clubs and some soup?"

She mumbled as she walked out the back door, "Maybe later save me some."

Gabrielle turned into Lincoln street and was finally just a few hundred feet from her parents house. It was about time. It seemed like she had been driving forever, and she admitted to herself that she had never been so tired of seeing corn fields in her entire life. The city of Gary itself was nothing to see. Boarded up and abandoned businesses and houses lined every street. She remembered it was not always like this. From her youth, she recalled many people crowding the streets and stores from department to candy who's windows she would look in. That was before "The Great White Flight" as her mother called it, when African Americans moved in and racist, rich and well off whites moved out. "Just plain silliness on white folks part," her mom used to say. 'Good old Indiana and it's Mid West hospitality,' the red head said to herself. She stopped at the corner. This was the fourth time she had pulled over, but the closer she got the more nervous she became. She took a swig from the Evian bottle, and tried to calm her beating heart. She wiped her sweating hands on the side of the seat. Gabrielle had thought long and hard about how she was going to tell them. It ranged from, Ďpass the peas--Iím gay;í to Ďyes mother Iím seeing someone and sheís great with her hands.í She almost laughed out loud at that one picturing her mother fainting in the mashed potatoes. Still, she finally decided to tell her sister first, immediately and work her way up from there.

She drove up to her parentís driveway, and all most at once saw the curtain swing back. Her sister came running out carrying her niece. They hugged fiercely. Where Gabrielleís hair was almost red, Lilianís was more of a brunette with complimenting, intense blue eyes, pouty lips, and a wicked smile. She was taller by comparison, with a muscular build. Looks were spread even among the sisterís and so were brains. They walked arm in arm into the house, heading by mutual agreement to the den for some privacy. Gabrielle yelled, "Mom, Iím home! Lil and I are going in the den to play catch up!" She heard a slight, "Welcome home dear. Oh, okay," coming from the direction of the kitchen. Gabrielle grabbed her niece, who pulled and tried to chew her hair. She cooed and kissed Jamie on the forehead, ruffled the dark curls, and got a happy gurgle in return. "Hey sweat pea. Oooo youíve gotten big."


Gabrielle giggled, smiling into the gray eyes, "Yes, you have. Now, go to your momma. I got to make a phone call. Be just a few minutes Lil."

"Kay. Take your time because weíve got all night."

Gabrielle sat down heavily in the plush leather chair, and picked up the phone.

The phone rung twice. "Hellllo?"

"Hey Jake is she home?"

"Oh, hey G let me get her. She was working on the bikes, but I think sheís napping."

A few moments later. "Hello," Tara said in a sleepy purr.

Gabrielle smiled, her face flushed, and she shivered inside at her loverís voice. "Hey yourself."

She could hear the smile in Taraís voice, "Hey Red. How ya doin?"

"Just got here, and I miss you already."

Lilianís ears perked up at the change in her sisterís tone, and the words she was saying.

Tara laughed throatily, "Mmm nice to hear. I started missing you when you pulled out the driveway."

The smaller woman ducked her head trying to hide the widening smile and the heightening blush on her face. "Yeah?"

There was an audible sigh. "Yeah." Tara smiled herself. "Are you okay? Um, you know what I mean."

"Yeah, Iím going to be okay because I have you."

Lilianís eyebrows shot up and her eyes widened.

"You sure do Red, and youíre not gettiní rid of me. Listen, call me day or night for whatever reason okay. I-I just need to hear your voice and know youíre alright."

"Anything for you. You know that."

Her sister scooted to the edge of her seat.

"Love you, Red."

"Love you too."

She silently hung up the phone, and slowly looked up at her sister. "So, howís school."

Lilian gave her a strange look. "Nuh uh, whatís going on here. Youíre seeing someone and it sounds rather serious." She grabbed Gabrielleís hands. "I want to know about him."

Gabrielle took a deep breath. It was now or never. "Itís a her, Lil. Tara."

Lilianís mouth moved a few times but nothing came out. Finally, "Oooo- youíre a -oooo um lesbian?"

Gabrielle eyed her warily. "Uh, huh. You okay with that?"

Lilian smiled wickedly, "Oh, yeah, and actually me and a couple of friends that you know were talking about that the other day."

Gabrielle leaned in and looked at her suspiciously. "You mean my name and gay came up in the same conversation.?"

Lil bit her lip, "Umm hmm. I was saying you hadnít been with a man in five years, and Carla said, "Well, she could be gay." "I believe my exact words were, "Well maybe. You never know, and I wouldnít put anything past my sister."

They looked at each other for a few silent moments except for the cooing baby playing on the floor, and then there was simultaneous laughter. Lilian got up to hug her sister as they both ended up on the sofa, giggling. After long minutes of uncontrollable laughter, Lilian looked at her sister curiously.

"Um, er so whatís sex with women like?"

Gabrielle turned several shades of red to her sisterís amusement. "Oh god Lil, itís the most intense and sensual experience. The things Tara can do with her hands, and oh my that tongue!"

Lil wriggled her eyebrows. "Oh, realllllly? And Taraís her name huh? Tell me about her, but first the sex!" Gabrielle giggled. They talked for over two hours about Gabrielleís lover, and how their parents would take it. They both decided there would be some tears, some Bible passages thrown, some harsh words, but still the final outcome wasnít known. Gabrielle, her sister, and her niece left the den with the smaller woman knowing someone else was behind her one hundred percent.

Gabrielle touched base with her parents, answering the customary questions about her health, her career, and her love life, which was vague as she could make it. Walking up the stairs to her old room, she made up her mind to tell them in the morning over breakfast. She kept her bag packed just in case and talked to Tara one more time, letting her velvet voice lull her to sleep.

Gabrielle rose the next morning with a nervous flutter in her stomach. Surprisingly, she slept well with visions of midnight hair, dark skin and sensuous lips. She called Tara just to hear an I love you and gain needed strength. Lilian gave her a supportive hug as they made their way downstairs. The mood around the breakfast table was somber for some, for others customary. Food was passed as well as helloís. Lilian kept looking at her sister wondering when the moment was arriving, and as if by some miracle their mother gave the perfect opening.

"Gabby honey you can help me make the pie your father likes so much." Her father shook his head in agreement. "And while youíre cooking, you can tell me if youíve met a nice young man yet. You didnít answer me earlier."

Gabrielle put down her fork. She was just picking at her food anyway. Lilian shot her a loving look. "Um, mom. I have met someone, and SHEíS the best thing to ever happen to me."

There was total silence in the room save the tick of the wall clock. Her mother grabbed hold of her husbandís hand and laughed warily, "Gabby sweetie thatís not funny. We donít talk about those kind of people in this house."

"Well mom Iím one of those kinds of people and I love another one just like me. I came home to be honest with you. I donít want to hide her because she deserves more from me. Now, I know how you and Dad feel about this, but Iímó"

"Shut up. SHUT UP!!" Her father screamed. "You listen to me! You are not one of those perverts. Youíre just sick. Shóshe corrupted you thatís all. We can go to Father Steve and pray about this. It can be made right."

Lilian and Gabrielle looked at each other. The younger sister spoke. "Dad come on. Itís not like that. Sheís in love and happy canít you see that. It took a lot of guts for her to say anythingó"

"YOU! You have no right to talk about such things. You have been a disappointment to this family, acting as a common whore. It was your influence that started thisóthat made way for these--these thoughts!" Her mother cried.

"Dammit mother, donít talk to her like that. Weíre people. You canít expect us to live up to your standards when we have some of our own! You canít push your life on us! Iím not going to lie about who I am, and Iím not gonna apologize. Youíre supposed to love me unconditionally. Youíre my MOTHER!" Gabrielle lowered her voice. "I know this will take some getting used to, but if you meet her you will see what I see. She makes me so happy."

Her mother held on to her husbandís hand like a vice. " I canít understand it. I canít. I thought we raised you right. Stu, did we do something wrong?"

He shook his head. "No Jean I donít think so." He looked at his daughters with tears in his eyes. "What did we ever do to get such god forsaken children? Gabby, I-I donít know if we can accept thisóif we ever can. Give us some time." He looked at his sobbing wife and back at his daughter. "I think itís better if you leave as soon as possibleóbefore the night is over." He escorted his crying wife upstairs.

Gabrielle slumped heavily in her chair, eyes red with unshed tears. She put her face in her hands and wept. Jamie cried in sympathy and in reaction to the tension and the yelling. Lilian rocked her daughter, as she too couldnít hold back the flow. She reached across the table to touch her sisterís hand. "Iím sorry Gabs. Iím used to them laying into me like that, but I didnít think they would do this to you. You can come stay with me if you want, and hey," she rubbed Gabrielleís wrist, "they might come around give them some time."

Gabrielle wiped her face with shaky hands. "Yeah right, and thanks for the offer. Iím going home."

"Okay, but youíre in no shape to drive. You should call Tara."

The three of them made their way upstairs to Gabrielleís room. She picked up the phone and waited for her lover to pick up.


Gabrielle sobbed and covered her mouth. "Come get me, please?"

"Oh, god Red. Iím on my way. Iíll bring Jake with me to drive your car back. Baby? Shhhh, itís okay. I love youóyou know that no matter what. You just hold on okay? And weíll be there as soon as we can."

"Okay, love you too. Hurry." She wiped her nose on her sleeve and tried to stop crying.

She hung up the phone and turned to Lilian. "Sheís on her way."

"Okay. Iím gonna be in my own room then downstairs. You try and get some rest. Itís gonna be awhile." Lilian sat her now quiet daughter on the floor with a toy and tucked her big sister in. She kissed her forehead, picked up her daughter and left the room. So emotionally drained, Gabrielle fell into a restless but dreamless sleep.

A few hours later there was a knock at the door. Lilian went to answer it. She opened the the door. "Oh my." The most beautiful woman she had seen stared back at her not so friendly. "Whoa, tiger. You must be Tara. Iím Gabbyís baby sister Lil. Nice to meet you." She smiled wickedly. Tara raised an eyebrow and gave her a toothy grin back. She waved an okay to her brother in the car. She wasnít the enemy.

"Yeah, guilty. How is she?" Tara asked losing her smile.

"She was upstairs sleeping last time I left her. Come on Iíll show you."


Taraí s face lit up. "Hello precious, and you must be Jamie?"


"Oh, Lil she is beautiful."

Lilian looked up at her unflinchingly. "Uh, huh." She thought to her self Ď whew so are you.í She led her new friend upstairs.

It wasnít as easy as she thoughtógoing upstairs. Half way down the hall a door opened. A woman stepped out, and Tara figured it was Gabrielleís mother.

"So youíre the pervert who took my daughter from me?!"

Tara looked at her sadly. "No, Iím the woman who loves your daughter, and Iíve come to take her home."

Jean huffed and stared, then went back into her bedroom with a slam of the door. Finally making it to her loverís room, Tara waited inside when she heard the shower running. She said good bye to Lilian with a hug, and ruffled Jamieís hair. She sat on the edge of the bed waiting for the shower to stop. Gabrielle patted out of the bathroom naked. She gasped when she saw the figure sitting on the bed. "Hey Red, been looking for me?" Gabrielle walked slowly to the bed in front of her lover. Tara reached out and wound her arms around the naked waist pulling the smaller woman to her. She turned her head and pillowed her face against soft breasts.

Gabrielle whimpered and hugged her tightly. " I need you. I donít want to leave this place with bad memories." Knowing instantly what her lover wanted, Tara turned her head and started to kiss the valley between Gabrielleís breast. She slid both hands up from her waist to cup and knead full breasts. Gabrielle arched her back with a hot whimper. Tara began to pull and rotate the now erect nipples between her fingers. She watched them as they grew harder, fuller, rosier. She pulled and watched them snap backópulled, snap back. Gabrielle felt her legs begin to shake. She guided herself onto Taraís lap, wrapping her legs around her. Her breathing ragged. She tried unsuccessfully to contain her moans. That damn hidden string made her hips buck and lift against Taraís clothed stomach. Tara moaned herself, but hardened her determination to stay in control. She turned up the heat a little, knowing what her lover needed, knowing she wanted it hot and heavy. Without notice, she bit into the pink nipple. Gabrielle arched and cried out, trying to push more into that delicious mouth. To even things, Tara pinched and pumped the other nipple with increasing fervor. She whispered hoarsely into Gabrielleís breast, "Tell me what you wantówhat you need."

Gabrielle was desperate to forget, desperate to feel. "Inside me. Pleassse!"

Tara slid her hand from breast down to the fiery bush, teasing the hair, teasing the swollen, thick lips, and then quickly, deceptively, she impaled Gabrielle on three fingers. Gabrielle bit into the dark womanís shoulder to hide her scream. She slammed her hips down onto the fingers, riding them, her hips moving like pistons. She grunted and bit harder into the shoulder with each thrust drawing blood. Tara tried so hard to concentrate on Gabrielle to ignore her own arousal, her own wetness coating her thighs, but each grunt made her vibrate, made her pulsate. She knew when her lover exploded she would too. Gabrielle widened her legs, allowing Tara to go deeper. Tara rubbed against the point that was high and deep, massaging it with her fingers. She caressed trembling walls, and moaned at the flooding wetness, the sexy slurping, smacking sounds, and the constant moans.

One, two, three more thrust, and Gabrielleís body began to shake. Tara moaned long and hard, when she felt her own thighs quiver. A symphony of low moans filled the room as they both tried so hard to be quiet. Their mouths met, bruisingly, swallowing cries of pleasure. Their bodies shook together, milking, drawing out anything that felt good. They sat there for long minutes, murmuring, gyrating softly. With a whispered, "I love you," the tears came. The were quickly kissed away and assurance was given that it would all get better. Believing her, Gabrielle knew her heart had no choice but to do so, they both got up to get ready to go.

Weíd better hurry, Jake is in the car waiting."

Gabrielle nodded and looked one more time at the room just remembering what had happened in the past and what just happened presently. With a soft click she closed the door, and went downstairs. Seeing her sister she said softly, "Thank you for supporting me, for taking me the way I am."

"Hey, what are sisterís for. Oh, and donít think I'll stop coming to visit. We will be there soon enough. We need each other nowómore than ever." They hugged and Gabrielle kissed Jamie bye. Not turning back they got in the car.

"Hey, Red." Jake exclaimed.

"Hey you, and thanks."

He turned and looked at her. "Anytime," his voice filled with emotion.

Tara gave him the keys to Gabrielleís car, and he got out. She pulled Gabrielle close to her as they cuddled in the front seat. She looked at her lover, "Letís go home."

The end? We will see.

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