A light layer of frost covered the window in the master
bedroom of the farmhouse, a testament to the fact that old man winter was well
on his way. Warm and snug inside, Olivia Spencer yawned, groaning softly as she
sleepily ran a hand through her tousled hair. Shuffling into the bathroom, she
stretched slowly, working the kinks out of her back. Leaning forward on the
vanity, she stared at her reflection and shook her head, smiling as she recalled
just how she got those achy muscles.
“God, you’re getting old, Spencer.”
“I don’t believe a word of it, querida,”
Natalia Rivera said as she stepped into the spacious bathroom and wrapped her
arms around her grumbling partner.
“Hmph. So says the woman who tried to kill me last
night. Somehow I think you’re a little biased,” Olivia grumped but leaned
into the embrace.
“Besides, don’t you know that cougars are sexy?”
Natalia nuzzled along the soft hair behind her lover’s ear before finding and
nipping playfully at a tempting earlobe. “I’m just sayin’.”
Olivia turned in her lover’s arms, enjoying the sweet
curves pressing her back against the vanity and closed the scant distance to
taste her lover’s full lips.
“We will be late if you keep this up, missy.”
Natalia sighed and nodded, nuzzling closer. Their
dinner in Chicago with her parents had been arranged for weeks and a part of her
was dreading it, but she knew it was the right thing to do. Her mother had
sounded stunned when she had called to make the arrangements. It would almost
have been funny if it hadn’t been such a sad statement about their
relationship. Regardless of the less than warm reception Natalia had Christmas
presents wrapped and ready from their family for both of her parents.
Natalia leaned into her lover, taking comfort from
her sleepy warmth as long fingers dragged lazily through her hair. The one good
thing about all the craziness around them this year with Edmund was that Natalia
realized just how important all her family ties were. Leyla’s deciding to come
back into her life had been an unexpected blessing, one that Natalia cherished
more and more with each passing day as she got to know the young woman better.
And now, despite how she had been treated over the
years, Natalia still wanted her older brother Leo and her parents involved in
her life in some way too. She didn’t hold out much hope of their actually
attending the wedding ceremony over New Year’s, but deep down a part of her
wished her parents would surprise her and rise to the occasion. Realistically
though, she knew they had a hard enough time admitting their daughter was in a
committed lesbian relationship.
Olivia sensed the change in her lover’s mood and
pulled the slight brunette into a tighter hug, tucking the dark head under her
chin. She wouldn’t push Natalia when she went into one of these introspective
funks but she could just hold her, so she knew she wasn’t alone. Sometimes
actions were more important than words.
“We can head out of town once we swing by the
Beacon to drop Sweet Pea off and then it’s just you and me and some serious
retail therapy with the credit cards.” Olivia smirked into the soft dark hair.
She still wasn’t sure what she was going to get the dark-haired beauty for
Christmas -- hopefully something would come to her soon.
“And alone time with my parents.” Natalia said
“And time with your parents.” Olivia conceded
with a slight grimace. Her eyes suddenly twinkled with mischief. “And I’m
definitely looking forward to finding our honeymoon present.” Olivia waggled her eyebrows and flushed with pleasure as
Natalia blushed slightly, snuggling closer into the crook of her neck. Grinning
unrepentantly, she pulled back to catch the dark eyes of her lover.
“You still want to, right?”
Natalia bit her bottom lip and nodded her head
shyly, her gaze travelling down Olivia’s body. The desire she felt for the
other woman did things to her that she never would have even considered before.
And now…well, now she couldn’t wait for the next adventure with her lover.
“In fact, I don’t know if I can wait until our
honeymoon to…” Natalia leaned in, trapping her lover against the vanity and
whispered the naughty details into Olivia’s ear.
Olivia smiled knowingly and tugged, pulling the
tails of Natalia’s white cotton shirt out of her jeans, all thoughts of a
shower and getting dressed disappearing with the suggestive words falling from
those delectable lips. Natalia caught her roving hands and pressed them to the
countertop behind her, effectively trapping her before starting a searing trail
of kisses down her body.
Olivia grinned as she felt herself guided up onto
the marble vanity countertop, Natalia making quick work of removing her sleep
shorts as she went.
“Well, so much for an early start…
(CLICK HERE TO READ AFTER DARK CONTENT NC-17. WILL OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW.)
It was quiet in Company, the usual Friday morning crowd
having thinned as patrons dashed off to work after picking up a quick bite to
go. Doris Wolfe sat at the counter watching her girlfriend chat with an older
couple sitting in a booth by the window.
Olivia sauntered in and made her way towards the
counter, sliding into the stool beside Doris and smiling happily at her.
“You look disgustingly chipper this morning."
Doris turned slightly to greet her friend, and quickly assessed Olivia's mood.
"Someone got some last night.”
Olivia raised an eyebrow and simply smirked, denying
nothing. After all, what would be the point?
“Someone around here should, don’t you think?”
Olivia couldn’t help the teasing jab, grinning wider as Doris’ eyes narrowed
at her over the rim of her cooling coffee mug.
“Olivia, are you picking on Doris again?” Blake
efficiently filled two take out cups of coffee, popped the lids on, and quickly
made change for the ten dollar bill Olivia slid across the counter.
“Heavens no!” Olivia grinned, dropping some change
in the tip jar and pocketing the rest. “Would I do that?”
Blake paused and stared a moment in obvious disbelief
before shaking her head and making her way back into the kitchen. Olivia and
Doris quietly watched her leave and then turned to face each other again before
giggling like two school girls.
"So?" Olivia prompted, taking a quick sip of
her coffee cup.
"Blake still has no clue." Doris grinned
happily. "It took some digging to find decent tickets, but that's why you
pay your amazing assistant Keira so well." She had been planning the
theatre trip to Chicago for a while now, wanting to surprise Blake as an early
Christmas present. Enrolling Keira’s help had been Olivia’s suggestion,
having great faith in her assistant’s abilities to live up to her Beacon staff
nickname, the Miracle Worker. "We have tickets for tonight."
"Tonight!" Olivia blinked. "That's
"I know, but it was the best we could do on such
short notice." Doris glanced back at the kitchen to see where Blake was.
The coast was still clear so she turned back to Olivia. "I booked dinner
reservations before the show and then we'll slowly make our way home after the
show." Doris smiled softly, suddenly far away in her thoughts. "I
can't wait to see her face."
Olivia reached out to squeeze Doris' arm. For all her
teasing, she was genuinely glad to see her friend so happy. Looking over the
mayor's shoulder she saw Blake dash out of the kitchen with a breakfast order
and head straight for one of the busy tables.
“As much as I’d love to stay and chat I have to get
going.” Olivia grabbed both of her takeout cups from the countertop and stood
“Good luck with Natalia’s family tonight.” Doris
said, waving her off, not wanting to be in either of her friend’s shoes
tonight for anything. Shaking her head, she took another sip of her coffee as
the door closed behind Olivia. “You’re going to need it, my friend.”
"Hey there," Leyla looked up from her desk as
her sister Natalia wandered into the daycare center of the Beacon, the electric
door chime giving her fair warning of someone opening the door. "You look
fantastic today. Did you do something different to your hair?"
"Um, no." Natalia flushed slightly and bit
her bottom lip, flashing instantly to Olivia passionately washing her hair in
the shower earlier that morning. "I-I was in a bit of a rush to get out of
the house and just sort of let it do what it wanted, I guess."
“Well, whatever you’re doing, keep it up.” Leyla
flashed another bright smile at her sister, who seemed to blush harder at her
comment, before coming around her desk to take her squirming niece from
"How's my little Sweet Pea this morning? Are you
gonna stay with me for awhile until your Papi comes?" Leyla tickled
Francesca's wee belly, both women smiling at the girl's happy giggles.
"Are you sure you'll be okay at the farmhouse with
the kids until Frank and Phillip show up Saturday morning?" Natalia asked
pulling one of the baby’s socks up higher.
"Please, it’s an armed fortress. We will be
fine." Leyla turned to her baby niece and dropped a soft kiss to the
closest chubby cheek. "Won’t we, m’ija?” Leyla smiled as the
small girl reached out and tugged on her hair. She glanced back at her older
sister, growing concerned by the small frown she found there.
“What about you? How are you doing?” Leyla asked,
watching Natalia continue to fidget with Francesca’s clothes. “You’re
worried about Mama and Papa, aren’t you?”
Natalia shrugged and looked down before sighing,
nodding her head. For all the independence and security she felt with Olivia and
the family that they had built together, Carmen and Hector Rivera were still her
parents. For all their past drama, their intimidating hurtful ways, they were
still very important to her. She couldn’t help feeling deep down that they had
the potential to love and accept her for who she truly was.
Leyla looked down and thought about how much she should
say. They hadn’t really discussed their parents much since she’d come to
live in Springfield and with good reason. She cleared her throat and glanced
back up at her older sister.
“Listen, we both know what Papa is like. His whole
rampage forbidding me to see you, telling me that you and Olivia would corrupt
me with your evil sinful ways…” Leyla rolled her eyes and sighed. “Well,
it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I was out of there as soon
as I could call you to see if your offer was still open. And the whole time Mama
never said anything, y’know?”
Natalia sighed, knowing her mother’s silences
sometimes said more than someone yelling at the top of their lungs. Leyla
reached out and tucked a strand of hair behind her sister’s ear and smiled
“My point is Mama didn’t disagree with him, but she
also didn’t say anything bad about you either. She just looked out the window
or started baking cookies whenever the topic came up.” Leyla’s lip twitched,
knowing that the baking thing seemed to be genetic if Natalia’s own habits
were any indication.
Natalia blinked, thinking about Leyla’s words and
suddenly feeling a little better. Maybe there was a glimmer of hope after all.
“Ma-mi! Ma-mi!” Francesca squeaked, bouncing and
reaching out for her mother from Leyla’s arms. Natalia’s heart clenched, her
baby’s simple words choking her up. It still thrilled her to hear her baby
girl call her that. It made her think of Rafe at that age, with the same dark
hair and big eyes. And her heart clenched again as she thought of her baby boy
so far away at this time of year. She pulled her daughter back into her arms for
another hug before she’d have to leave.
The door chime sounded again and both women turned to
see Jonathan enter with little Sarah not far behind him.
“Hey there.” Leyla couldn’t seem to stop the
smile that spread across her face, Natalia noted.
“Hey.” Jonathan waved as Sarah suddenly raced over
to the two women and tugged shyly at Leyla’s pant leg.
“Yes, Sarah?” Leyla glanced down at the small girl
grinning widely at her.
“Hi,” Sarah said.
Leyla and Natalia laughed
“Hi, Sarah. Are you ready to spend some time with me
today?” Leyla asked, pleased when the girl nodded excitedly and glanced over
at the center’s stuffed toy box.
“What am I? Chopped liver?” Jonathan asked, mock
hurt as he put his hand to his chest as if wounded and pouted.
“I think your daddy needs a goodbye kiss before he
heads off to work.” Leyla smiled at the man’s antics. Sarah looked over at
her father, a little torn between going to play with the toys or going to see
him but finally running over to him.
Jonathan lifted her tiny form up into his arms and gave
her a squeaky kiss on her cheek.
“Goodbye, my little princess twinkle bottom,”
Jonathan murmured into her dark hair, smiling as she squeezed him harder.
“Bye, Daddy,” Sarah said. “Have good day.”
Jonathan chuckled and nodded his head, his baby
sounding so grown up all of a sudden.
“You too, baby girl.”
Natalia’s heart warmed at the sight of Olivia’s
nephew so in love with his daughter. Jonathan was a good man and a good father.
She glanced over at Leyla who was watching them with a huge smile on her face.
Natalia’s eyes narrowed, realizing that her sister was quite taken with the
man as well.
“I’ve got to go,” Jonathan said, slipping Sarah
back to the ground and gently swatting her bottom as she made a beeline to the
toy box. “Thanks, ladies. I’ll see you later, Leyla.”
They both waved as Jonathan left, the door barely
clicking shut before Natalia turned to her sister.
Leyla rolled her eyes at Natalia, before pulling
Francesca to her.
“Say goodbye to your nosey mami, Sweet Pea.” Leyla
shook her head. She had been enduring teasing on all fronts as she and Jonathan
had been trying for weeks to set up a date, both their schedules and a bout of
stomach flu making it harder than it should have been. Natalia just grinned at
her and leaned closer to her wiggling daughter.
“Love you.” Natalia ran her fingers through
Francesca’s dark hair and kissed a pudgy cheek in goodbye and then turned to
drop another quick kiss to her sister’s cheek too.
“Love you too. And if you play your cards right with
that one, maybe I won’t be the only one getting lucky this weekend.” Natalia
couldn’t resist before turning to go.
Leyla’s mouth opened and closed, a little shocked at
her sister’s words. Olivia was definitely rubbing off on her big sister.
Natalia’s laughter followed her out of the daycare
Doris crushed out her cigarette, dropping it into
the tin in her purse and popping a mint into her mouth before knocking on the
door to Blake’s home. Her excitement grew as she stood outside in the late
afternoon air, waiting for the door to open.
“Hi there!” Blake smiled as opened the door and
leaned against it, just staring at Doris looking all nervous and adorable.
“Come on in before you freeze to death.”
“Thanks” Doris grinned and stepped into the
warmth of the home. Pulling her leather gloves off and tucking them into her
long dark coat, she noticed the quiet in the normally bustling household these
days. “Where are the kids?”
“Clarissa is at a sleepover at Emma’s and my
mother is taking the boys out for burgers and a movie. She wanted to spend some
quality time with them before she flies out on Tuesday to meet up with Ed in
California,” Blake said happily. “So I’m all yours.”
“Perfect.” Doris smiled knowingly, having
already recruited Holly Reade’s help before starting this venture. Blake’s
mother was actually quite refreshing to deal with, seemingly cut from the same
cloth as Olivia and herself. She wasn’t exactly sure if that was a good thing
or a bad thing, but Doris did know that she’d have to remember to keep an eye
on the woman. For now though they were definitely starting out on the right foot
together. Grinning like the cat that ate the canary, Doris bounced slightly on
her toes, anxious to reveal her plans. “Actually, I have a surprise for you.
An early Christmas present.”
“Really? For me?” Blake’s eyes widened, her
smile warming Doris’ heart, and a few other body parts.
“For you, really.” Doris pulled a simple white
envelope out and handed it over to the surprised woman. With a little shocked
laugh Blake opened it, pulling out two theatre tickets.
“Oh, my God. Tickets to see Wicked at the Cadillac
Palace Theatre in Chicago! It’s been sold out for weeks.” Blake gasped.
“I wanted to see it when the musical was first here, but my life was crazy at
the time and I could never make it. And I just loved the book.”
Blake looked closer at the tickets; clearly they
were two of the best seats in the house. A lot of thought and effort had gone
into getting these and it touched her that her girlfriend had gone to such
trouble. The most Frank had ever done when they were together was get
two-for-one coupons for the Applebee’s in the next town over. And she had
treated that time, if she recalled it correctly.
“I know.” Doris said softly, grinning. “I
remember your mentioning it was one of your favorites.”
Blake looked up at that, pleased that Doris
remembered. The woman was constantly surprising her now that she had finally
decided to give their relationship a chance to grow. Stepping closer, she leaned
forward and gently kissed Doris’ lips. Pulling slowly away, she let her
fingers linger on the mayor’s flushed cheek and let her feelings seep into her
eyes as they continued to stare at each other, the moment stretching out
“Thank you,” Blake said quietly, still lost in
“You’re more than welcome,” Doris said just as
softly. “Now we also have dinner reservations in Chicago, so if you’re
ready…” She offered a lopsided grin as Blake blinked at her before dashing
to grab her winter coat and gloves from the closet. They headed out into the
cold, both women ready for a night on the town.
The Fellowes Inn was a small, privately owned hotel
that Olivia had booked them into for their little weekend getaway. She had told
Natalia that it was a good opportunity to check out what similar types of hotels
to the Beacon were like. Which was true, but in reality it was also one of the
most romantic places she had stumbled across when looking for accommodations.
Olivia wanted a haven for them this weekend before the hustle and bustle of
Christmas and their wedding overtook all their time. Swiping the key card
through the reader, Olivia pushed the heavy oak door open and entered the
elegantly decorated suite.
“Wow, this is nice!” Natalia said from the doorway
behind her. A small fireplace was along one wall and there was a large picture
window to the right, overlooking the cityscape which was just starting to
twinkle with lights. Both could be easily viewed from the large king sized bed
that dominated one side of the room. A comfortable couch was nestled in front of
the fireplace and a small dining area sat back to one side.
Their bags were already in the room, neatly placed near
the chest of drawers. They had been brought up earlier when they had registered
and dropped them off in the lobby before heading out to hit some of the shops
that afternoon. Olivia dropped several shopping bags filled to the brim onto the
plush-looking bed and sank down, enjoying the soft comfort it offered.
“My feet are killing me,” She grumbled, kicking off
her stylish winter boots with a thump as they landed on the carpeted floor.
“At least we were able to get a good start on our
Christmas shopping,” Natalia said sitting down beside her lover and lying back
to join her on the mattress. “Oh, this is really nice.”
Both women sighed happily.
“I don’t want to move from this spot.” Natalia
“Me neither,” Olivia murmured before turning her
head to take in the contours of the dark beauty’s face. Rolling to her side
she propped herself up on one elbow and glanced down at her lover. “Have I
told you lately how much I love you?”
“Hmm…” Natalia tapped her lip and frowned, making
a show of thinking hard. “I vaguely recall something this morning, but I had
some water in my ears so I can’t be sure…” She grinned up at Olivia, who
was rolling her eyes.
“Why do I put up with this abuse?” Olivia murmured
softly as she leaned over, dropping her lips ever closer to her intended target.
She stared down at her lover’s mouth, watching fascinated as Natalia moistened
them with a slow lick of her lips.
“Poor Ms. Spencer, so hard done by.” Natalia
teased, running her right hand up and into thick honey-blonde hair. “Let me
see if I can make it up to you.” She gently tugged her partner closer into a
slow tender kiss.
Pulling apart, they smiled at each other a moment
before a small beep from Natalia’s cell phone caught their attention, followed
closely by a discreet chime from Olivia’s BlackBerry.
“Where are your pills?” Natalia nuzzled along
Olivia’s ear, dropping a series of butterfly kisses there.
“In my makeup bag.” Olivia kissed the tip of
Natalia’s nose gently, before lifting herself off of her lover and shifting
away. Standing, she looked down at her fiancée wanting nothing more than to
pounce on her seductive curves and never come out from under the covers. She
sighed and checked her watch. It was getting late. “We should get dressed
anyway. Don’t want to keep your parents waiting.”
Reluctantly, Olivia headed for their luggage as Natalia
sat back up. Finding her pills, she grabbed them and made her way to the
washroom. Watching the door close behind her, Natalia sighed.
“No, we don’t want to keep them waiting,” Natalia
murmured, biting her lip, trying hard not to worry about what would happen
tonight. Standing, she made her way over to the large window and stared out at
the glittering lights of Chicago.
“Please, God. Give me strength…”