Subtext Warning: This story implies a loving relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18, this type of thing is illegal in the state/country in which you live, or you are offended by it, read no further.
Author's Note: Alright, alright, I was told to do it. How many more stories do you people want me to put in series? I'll never get anything finished at this rate. I didn't exactly realise that Do You? was screaming for a sequel, but enough people have mentioned (and that word is an understatement) that a sequel was definitely required. Sheesh, the things I have to do for my art! So, if you haven't done so already, you may wish to read Do You? before this story, otherwise, you will be left wondering how the hell they got to this point. Well, I'm probably going to get yelled at, but I promised Laura I would write her a story, so this one is for you, Laura. Sometimes, even when nobody tells you, you are still special. Now don't go getting all verklempt on me, you hear?
Acknowledgements: A big thank you to Kamouraskan for ripping into this for me. Hopefully the changes she suggested have made it a better read.
Feedback: I'm firstname.lastname@example.org
The light was dying quickly as the last of the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a velvety hue against the sky. Mel's voice rang in my ears, you have no idea how much I love you. I searched her shadowed eyes for what seemed like an eternity before she dropped her gaze. She smiled wanly and gave my hands a gentle caress, fingers trailing lightly over the backs of my palms. She sighed and stared up at me before rising to her full height. Silhouetted against the glowing sky, her expression was impossible to read. I swallowed hard as I looked at her, not really seeing her at all.
"Love?" I asked after a long moment.
She shook her head and was gone. I stared after her, watching her long legs carry her further away from me than I thought possible. What did she mean? Did those few words mean anything at all? I swung my eyes back to the horizon and caught a glimpse of the first star, struggling to make itself known. Somehow, it reminded me of me, smothered and blanketed at the same time. I took a deep breath. I had to find her. I had to know if her words were real.
I hesitated at the entrance to our tent, listening. There was a silence, and then I heard it, a sob. Why was she crying? I pushed back the tent flap and found her sitting at our desk, wiping quickly at her tears. She sniffed and offered me a crooked grin.
"What's all this for?"
I couldn't fathom, that a few moments ago, I had been the one in tears.
"I'm sorry," she began, her voice wavering slightly, "I don't know why I said that."
My heart collapsed a little inside me and it must have shown because she covered her mouth with the back of her hand.
"You must hate me." she continued as I strode across the tent.
"No, I don't hate you."
She was half slumped against our desk, excavation papers bunched roughly in haphazard piles about her. She looked so alone, as alone as I felt. Her watery eyes met mine as I moved to sit on the edge of the desk. She reached out a hand and I took it. Neither of us needed to feel abandoned.
"Why?" she asked. Shadows from our lantern danced, golden, against her skin.
"I don't know." I said softly as I drew her hand up to my lips and brushed lightly against her palm. I heard her breath catch and I raised my eyes to stare at her wondering expression. "I love you." I whispered against her flesh.
She moved forward in the chair, her other and reaching out to cup the side of my face. I closed my eyes and leant in to the warmth that she offered.
"You do?" she asked, hesitancy clear.
I kissed her palm again, she was right, it was going to be alright, "Yeah."
She rose then, drawing me with her. We stood like that a moment, me with her hand to my lips and her, cupping my face. Slowly, I lowered her hand and placed it on my waist. I licked my lips and watched as her eyes dropped to take in the movement. I smiled as her chest heaved in a sigh. I stepped in closer, our bodies nearly touching. The erratic warmth of her seemed to explore me. I felt her hand snake about my waist and draw me in. She stroked the side of my face gently, and trailed the backs of her fingers down my neck to my shoulder. Nothing could have spoilt that moment. I moved my hands to her back and rested my cheek against her chest. I could hear her heart beating erotically as I lazily traced the muscles of her back beneath her shirt. We stayed like that, each accepting the comfort that we were there, and we were together.
"I've loved you for so very long." I heard her whisper against my ear. I shuddered as her breath teased me lightly, or perhaps it was more her words, for they echoed my own emotions.
I pulled back from her and searched her expression. A smile flickered across her lips briefly, and I knew that she was struggling as I was, to believe that we were here, like this. I returned the smile, and reached out a hand to stop any further words from her with my fingers. Her lips were warm and soft against my skin. She reached up between us to remove my hand before leaning in to place the lightest of kisses against my cheek, high on my cheek bone. That kiss lingered there an instant, burning against me with something I could not define. All I understood, was the fire within me had ignited with the simple gesture. By the flickering light of the lantern, shadows crept across Mel's features, creating ghosts of emotions impossible to read. I didn't need to, our intentions were mutual as Mel's lips brushed against mine in a tentative dance. The moment was so tangible. It was more a joining of spirits than an impassioned embrace. Something passed between us then, something ancient.
When we parted after a what seemed like forever we simply stared, unbelieving into each other's eyes. Then for some reason, she grinned, and I found myself responding in kind. It was as though we had found each other after what we had been searching for had been directly before us for years. It was with near embarrassment that she pulled away from me, a sensation I did not particularly relish. But she turned away shyly, as if she couldn't believe what had just transpired.
I followed her the few steps, and wrapped my arms around her waist, pressing myself into her back. I felt her slip her arms over mine, and we simply stood there like that a moment. I had always loved her hands. Strong, tapered fingers now caressed my forearms as I nuzzled into her back.
"I love you." I murmured again, against her shirt. She shifted as I held her and I felt a shudder run through her, and I gripped her more tightly against its wake.
"I've been so afraid." she breathed.
"So afraid that I couldn't hold myself together."
"I know." I said again, as she turned in my arms and looked down at me. She caressed my cheek with the back of her hand, as if she had done it a thousand times before, but needed to reaffirm reality.
"We've both been very stubborn, haven't we?" she asked as she leaned in again to capture my lips with her own.
"Very." I mumbled against her flesh, savouring the sensation as I let everything fall away from me, not caring if I couldn't return it later.
Until next time,