~ Flu Season ~
by Focus

Disclaimer: Folks from the Pappas & Covington Families are not mine. I just borrowed them from Renaissance Pictures.

Context: This could be defined as a good old fashion alternative, Janice and Melinda, first-time, hurt/comfort tale. Although I don't think Xena with 2 chakrams could protect Janice from those tiny little influenza buggers.

Sex: Female, oh?you mean them. By the gods, I sure hope so. If this is illegal where you live then I really feel sorry for you and hope that you can find the opportunity to move someday. In the mean time, I wouldn't bother to read this.

Timeline: No exact year except the events at Ares Tomb don't occur.

Feedback: This is my first attempt at fan fiction so please bear with the mistakes. If feel like dropping a note, you can send feedback to focus_21@yahoo.com

Melinda Pappas couldn't help but to have strong feelings for Dr. Covington. Although she had met Janice Covington only once over 20 years, she had never forgotten her. Their fathers were very good friends. Both in the field of archaeology, the men corresponded as often as possible despite Dr. Pappas' responsibilities to the University of South Carolina. Dr. Harry Covington, on the other hand, would always be in the field bringing his little girl along. One day, Harry Covington came by to pay a visit on his old friend with his little girl. Dressed in khaki pants and with dirt on her face she looked more like a little boy but Janice didn't care. But under the dirt was a very pretty little girl with emerald green eyes and long blond hair that she kept in a pony tail. She only cared about what her father thought and he was always very proud of his little girl. Before the two colleagues were about to go out to the porch to enjoy a glass of whisky and talk over recent discoveries, Dr. Pappas called, "Melinda! Come down, there is someone I want you to meet." Melinda came down the steps wearing a pretty white dress. Even for her age, she was quite tall and had beautiful blue eyes and long black hair.

"Melinda, this is the daughter of Dr. Covington. Would you play with her for a little while I talk with her father about some important stuff," he asked.

"Sure Papa," she said cheerfully.

While the two men headed out to the porch laughing and slapping each other on the back, Melinda turned and smiled at the smaller girl. "Hi, my name is Melinda, what's yours?" Janice just looked at the floor, not looking up at the taller girl. "Would you like to play with my dolls?" Melinda tried. Still no response. She just stared at the floor not wanting to look up at the pretty girl. Janice normally never cared what other people thought but for some reason she suddenly felt self conscious around this tall girl with striking blue eyes. While trying to get this shy little girl to open up, Melinda sincerely said, "I like your clothes." Janice looked up slightly to see if Melinda was just making fun of her but saw a warm, heartfelt smile. "Are you an archeologist too? My Papa's one. He's wonderful. Your clothes look like his. I hope Papa lets me be an archeologist." she was saying hoping to get her to open up a bit. Realizing that she was not teasing her she finally started to smile, although she was still looking down. As Janice tried to tuck in her shirt, Melinda extended her hand to the other girl and said, "y'all wanna see my tree house?"

"um, sure.." Janice said hesitantly but with a small smile as the two girls ran out of the house, hand in hand, toward the back yard.

Janice never had any friends, at least not friends her age. Everyone in the field was much older than she was. Although they were very kind, she always had to go back to her tent at night to study and missed having someone to play with. The few kids she ever did meet made her feel bad by making fun of her short size or her oversized, khaki colored clothes. It was just hard to get clothes that fit a little girl properly in Macedonia.

As the two girls got to the tree house, Janice was surprised how quickly Melinda scrambled up the ladder in a dress and buckled shoes. Though Janice felt very shy, she slowly started to talk as Melinda was enthusiastically showing her all of her rock collection. Melinda was glad when she finally got the shy girl to say a few words. Melinda enjoyed being around Janice. She seemed much more sincere than the other little girls in Columbia who just wanted to play with dolls and would never climb into her tree house. For the first time in her short childhood, Melinda was having a fun time playing with another girl. For two hours, they played together until she heard, "Melinda!! Janice and her father have to catch the plane!!"

Melinda sadly turned to Janice and said, "I'm sorry you have to go. I hope you come back to Columbia sometime." And that was the last time she saw Janice till now, but she never forgot how nice it felt to be around her.


Melinda Pappas always sat in the back row of class since her height always seemed to bother other students who couldn't see over her head. Sometimes, sitting at the back did pose a problem since Dr. Janice Covington wasn't all that tall. Dr. Covington joked in class about being "vertically challenged." But her personality, knowledge, and respect from students as well as most colleagues more than made up for her lack of height. Melinda thought it was really great to have a female professor within the male dominated field of archaeology. She remembered her father wanting to hire more women in the Department of Anthropology but there were no women with Ph.D.'s. Until Janice. Which was why this young woman with green eyes and long blond hair was at the University of South Carolina. Janice was small but she was strong; it must have been from all those years out on a dig or in the field. She was definitely the first woman in this department.

At first, Melinda was doing fine in the class but as the semester went on she found herself just being captivated by watching and listening to Janice. Before she knew it, class was over and her notebook was blank. Sometimes these strong feelings made Melinda feel like a high school kid in love. Melinda brought her thoughts back to class and caught a few words from Dr. Covington's lecture. She was determined not to let her mind wander again. She leaned back comfortably against the chair and stretched out her long athletic legs in front of the desk. With her note pad open and a pen in her hand, she took notes intently for the remainder of the class.

It was a chilly Thursday morning when Melinda saw Janice at the cafeteria and decided to join her for breakfast. Janice always wore her professional face even around Melinda. She was just afraid of people and always kept her "cards close to her chest." Although she remembered Melinda from long ago, she knew that people changed and was afraid to be friendly to her. Janice was always polite but never opened up to anyone in Columbia. Her father warned her about the some of the other archaeology faculty who didn't like him and would not want the daughter of Harry Covington in their department. But Janice was good at what she did. She published quite a bit because she had a gift for writing and was just getting a research program started. Moreover, the reason why she kept to herself was because she liked woman. And women who liked women didn't seem to succeed in the "ol' boys network" of a university, especially conservative, southern universities. Though it was difficult to attend formal faculty functions alone, she often joked about "just not finding the right guy yet" just to throw nosy people off the track. Yet she didn't know who her friends or enemies were, so she mostly kept to herself.

"Hello Dr. Covington. Can I join you? "

"Good morning Melinda. You don't have to call me that you know."

"I know but you *are* my professor for my Archaeology class."

"Yes. Yes...I know. You were doing very well in class until lately but lately it doesn't look good for you. Why?"

"Well, um?.. I don't know. I guess the part about translating ancient syntax got to be a bit difficult. Plus I've had a bunch of tests in my pre-med courses and I guess I've been really busy doing volunteer work at the local nursing homes."

Melinda was lying. She knew why she was doing so poorly in the course and it was because of the beautiful blonde across from her.

"Well, I'm glad to hear that you're keeping up with your other studies. Pre-med...it's a tough major. So why are you taking Archaeology?" asked Janice.

"I've always loved archaeology and was fascinated by my daddy's research. I'm just taking it as an elective."

"Melinda well its nice to see that you're doing well in your other classes."

"You can call me Mel since my daddy used to call me Mel. I was wondering if you could help me out a bit?"

"On what? (COUGH, COUGH) Sorry, excuse me."

"Are you OK?" Melinda inquired.

"Yea, I'm fine. Seems there's a cold running around the department now that the weather is changing."

"I'm having a bit of difficulty in the subject we've been covering this past week. With finals coming up, I was wondering if you could help me out."

"Well, why don't you come by during office hours?"

"Can't. I either have a class or need to work during all your office hours."

Melinda asked her if she could extend her office hours for some private tutoring. She told her that the subject that was being covered in class was giving her 'H-E-double hockey sticks' (proper southern woman don't say hell). It was no wonder since lately Melinda had been paying more attention to this woman than her lectures. As always, Dr. Covington was glad to help and told Melinda to come by at 6pm that evening.

From the first day that Melinda walked in her classroom, Janice was struck with the memory of the gracious southern belle with blue eyes and midnight black hair that was so thoughtful to her many years ago. She particularly tried to remain polite yet distant, keeping in mind her position in the University and not knowing if Melinda even remembered her. The few times they spoke after class, Janice made reference to their meeting long ago not knowing how Melinda would respond. Melinda, in turn, would suggest coffee after class but Janice would "chicken out" not wanting to expose her growing feelings for the woman. While secretively looking forward to every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 am, she would often tell herself, 'just get through the semester and you'll never have to see that warm face sitting in the back row. Maybe after the semester is over, coffee would be OK Covington, but not now. Do you want to lose your job? Just focus!!'


Though the two women were about the same age, Janice already had her Ph.D. because of all her advanced field work and Melinda didn't begin college right away because of her father's poor health. Melinda got through another hectic day of classes and worked at the nursing and made it back to her place by five. As soon as she got home the phone rang. She answered it and it was Janice. The young professor explained that she couldn't make it because she injured herself while running. She pulled her hamstring, which caused her to trip and fall.

"Jeez, y'all alright? Can you walk?"

"Well the scrapes and bruises aren't too bad. But as for walking, I think that's out of the question. I'm hoping the muscles will relax by tomorrow so I can make it to lecture. I'm really sorry about this Mel." There was a long pause in their conversation as Melinda wondered if she should offer her a massage to loosen the muscles.

"Hello?...Mel?....are you there?"

"I'm sorry Janice. I was just wondering if you wouldn't mind me helping you get better."

"Better? How?"

Melinda explained to Janice that she was a certified EMT and did volunteer work as a physical therapist.

"Wow! That'd be great, Mel. I would really appreciate it. Afterwards, we can go over the recent lectures."

Melinda was quite anxious to help the new professor. She quickly grabbed her backpack and first-aid kit was over her place within minutes. On the drive, all sorts of thoughts rushed through her mind. Melinda was quite concerned for Janice. She wanted to help her out and make her well. Maybe it was because she was just a couple years older, taller, and stronger than Janice. But for whatever reasons, she had a strong desire to help her and the warm feeling she felt 20 years ago was returning again.


Melinda got to her place and found Janice sitting on the couch with her left leg up on the coffee table. She looked quite different. Melinda wasn't used to seeing Janice in a non-class environment. She looked much smaller sitting on her big burgundy couch.

The tall woman knelt down next to Janice on the floor to inspect her injuries. Melinda's face had a big frown and concerned look as she realized the injuries were quite serious. Dry as well fresh blood covered her knees. Her hands were no better. Melinda was rather surprised she didn't go to the emergency room.

"Why didn't you go to the ER?"

"Well...the wait is way too long. Besides this isn't a REAL emergency."

Melinda gave Janice a disapproving frown. The smaller woman didn't notice the swelling in her left ankle. Probably because the deep cuts on her knees and hands were hurting more than the sprained ankle. Melinda cleaned the cuts and bandaged them. Janice seemed a bit squeamish as fresh blood flowed out of the cuts as Melinda wiped the dried blood off.

Melinda noticed Janice shivering and tried to help her out of her wet running clothes. Janice tried to insist that she could take it off herself, but she was so bruised that she quickly gave in to Melinda caring assistance as she helped her change into loose sweats. Melinda quickly covered her with several blankets.

"Janice, I think the best thing for you right now is just get some rest. Your looking a bit pale and?."

"Yes....but?(COUGH, COUGH, COUGH)....why don't you get your book. I can still help you with the lecture."

"No...it's okay. We'll do it later."

"Mel. Look you drove out to my place to help me. The least I could do is help you."

"Well....." before she could finish, Janice interrupted.

"Mel. Get your books or else I'm flunking you," she said with a smile.

Melinda reluctantly headed out to her car for her backpack. Once she returned, she found her blonde friend sleeping on the couch. Melinda felt comforted by Janice's light snoring and peaceful face. "Good. She thought to herself. A goodnight's sleep will help."

It was getting late, so Melinda helped Janice to her bedroom. Melinda decided to stay for a while longer just to make sure that Janice would be okay. Then she dozed off on the couch.

It was 2:30am. As Melinda was lying on her couch very much awake, she could smell Janice's fragrance on the cushions and pillows. Melinda couldn't believe she was actually staying at her home and was far too excited to sleep. She just wanted lie still and to look around the room at her books, pictures and other personal possessions trying to get to know her personality outside class through what Janice liked to surround herself with. Suddenly, from Janice's room upstairs Melinda heard this loud thud and a painful moan.

Melinda bolted up the stairs as fast as she could and rapped heavily on the door, (bang, bang, bang), "Janice, ARE YOU OK?" Melinda was too polite to walk straight in but after the second moan she opened to her bedroom and turned on the light. Janice was on the floor. Curled into a ball, clutching her leg. Her eyes were shut tightly and Melinda could see a light sheen on her skin to from perspiration. Her T-shirt and underwear she was wearing were totally soaked in her sweat.

"My God Janice what happened?"

The best she could do was croak out the words, "?.it hurts?."

With her eyes still tightly shut, Melinda easily picked up the smaller woman and placed her back in bed. Melinda rubbed her back as she tried to get her to uncurl and slow down her heavy breathing.

"Is it your leg?" Melinda asked, but she knew it was more. Nobody sweats that much from a leg injury. Seemed like this flu had claimed another victim.

In a small but painful voice, "?.yes?.head too?.." Melinda arranged the pillows behind her back and grabbed her under her arms to pull her up on the bed. Melinda's thumbs rubbed against the firm breasts under the T-shirt giving her a brief thrill and warm sensation but she couldn't think about that. Janice's head kept nodding forward since she didn't seems to have the strength to keep it upright. Janice still could not open her eyes; the light seemed too bright and caused her head to ache. The young professor was starting to wonder what hurt more; her throbbing leg or her pounding head? Interesting competition between the opposite ends of her body. She at least had the option of cutting off her leg but the same option didn't seem to hold for her head. 'Somebody please kill me,' she thought to herself. Somewhere outside this pain she started to hear a voice.

"Janice, I need you to listen to me. I can give you something for your leg. Would you like that?"

Janice just nodded, tears forming in her eyes from the ever-present pain. From Melinda's experience at the nursing home, she knew what Janice needed was a strong dose of naproxen sodium. If she was guessing correctly, Janice had a high fever which was causing her to sweat. This pain killer would also help with that.

When Melinda returned with some pills and water, Janice was curled into a ball and was now shivering under her blankets. 'First the pills, then I have to get her out of that wet T-shirt,' the concerned woman thought to herself. Janice barely sat up to take the pills and immediately fell back into the bed moaning. Melinda straightened out her leg and checked to see if she tore open the gash in her leg . 'Not too bad,' she thought to herself, 'but I'll need to re-bandage that as soon as I get her settled.'

"Janice, you need to get out of that T-shirt." Janice just moaned again and buried her head deeper into a pillow. Melinda walked over to her dresser to retrieve another T-shirt and underwear which looked like men's boxer shorts. She realized that Janice was not going to be any help with this project and determined that she was just going to have to take care of this herself. She grit her teeth and had to remind herself that Janice was sick and probably not interested in her advances. She pulled down the duvet to the small woman's waist when Janice immediately reacted to the cold air by fighting to pull the covers back.

"Janice! Janice! Stop it!" Melinda yelled, although she was not sure if she could hear her. The fever seems to have made her a bit incoherent. Melinda was not sure if she realized who she was or where she was at. The tall woman decided it was time to change tactics as Janice pulled the covers around her neck. Melinda could see her small body shivering under the blankets.

"Janice?..Janice?Janice?..," Melinda said in a softer voice trying to get her to calm down. "Please, let me help you." Finally this small but feisty woman stopped struggling with her. Firmly but slowly Melinda pulled the covers again down to her thigh while Janice began to shiver harder and realized she need to work fast. Because Janice was so small, Melinda figured that she could easily divest her of her wet T-shirt and underwear like changing a doll. After a brief glance at her dry T-shirt and boxers, Melinda quickly forgot about the idea of trying to get them on her and quickly covered her nude body. Janice was quickly back in a ball trying to hold in as much warmth as her small body could. Her face was rubbing against the pillows trying unsuccessfully to warm for herself from friction. Legs were moving up and down with little success. In frustration, her arms started to flail around when Melinda quickly caught her wrists to prevent herself from causing additional injury. Melinda felt guilty because her brain could not come up with any other ideas other then to crawl into bed with this woman to keep her warm and safe. Releasing Janice's wrists for a brief moment, Melinda quickly shed her own clothes except for her tank top and underwear. Melinda wanted to get as much skin-to-skin to help warm the little woman. The brief release lead to another episode of thrashing which the more powerful Melinda was able to quickly control. Melinda enfolded the smaller woman into her body. Janice instinctively sought out this source of warmth, and buried her face into Melinda's neck. Melinda lifted the weak woman onto her chest to maximize her surface area body heat. At least that was what she was telling herself. After a few more moans and some more activity, Janice's body soon settled into a deep sleep. Melinda was feeling quite guilty but rationalized that she probably was helping and would only stay long enough to make sure Janice's body could keep in heat. Certainly Melinda's body was feeling quite warm as she gently brushed the damp hair from the small woman's face. 'If only you were mine' she wondered to herself. 'I would take care of you. Yes I know you're tough, but I can also see a side of you which could use some care. You certainly don't seem to take care for yourself' remembering the brief glance into the woman's cabinets and fridge. 'How does anyone live on just potato chips and beer? No wonder you are ill?.'

Now that Janice seemed warmer and was resting, Melinda soon came up with a plan. It was still quite early in the morning, the sun hadn't even risen but Melinda thought she no longer had an excuse for being in her bed. Without disturbing the small woman, Melinda stealthily freed herself from Janice. She moaned and whined a bit but quickly settled as Melinda tucked her under the duvet. Melinda quickly went downstairs and grabbed a note pad scribbling out a shopping list. 'Milk, juice, fresh fruit, veggies, stuff to make a chicken soup??hum??," She grabbed her car keys and ran back upstairs to check once more on Janice. Grabbing an extra blanket, she positioned Janice comfortable on her back and tucked the covers around her neck. Melinda softly put her lips to the sick woman's head. "Ummm?. you smell nice, but you're also still really hot. Just rest here for a while little one. I promise I'm going to help y'all get better."

Melinda bounded down the stairs and made a quick call to the department informing them that Dr. Covington was quite ill and would not be in today. Luckily it was Friday which would give her the weekend to improve. Grabbing her keys she ran out the door to her car.

Melinda soon returned with 4 bags filled with groceries. With the pouring rain, it was a miserable, cold day and she was very glad to be inside. Before she got started, she first wanted to check on her patient. She quietly entered the room to find Janice still asleep and sat beside her. Melinda enjoyed just watching the small woman and brushed aside her hair to rest her hand on Janice's forehead.

'Damn, did someone get the number of that truck?' Janice thought to herself. Every part of her body ached with her head and leg competing for first place. Janice could hear the rain pounding outside. Though it was early morning, the cold, heavy rain made it seem like evening. What seemed like a soft, distant voice, Janice started to hear some one calling to her.

"Janice? Can you hear me?" Janice immediately recognized the angelic voice and attempted to sit up but neither her body nor the hands on her shoulders would abide.

For all her eloquence in the classroom, the best she could do was, "Ugh!"

"Janice, it's me, Melinda. Y'all are very sick and I think you should just rest"

Her mind disagreed and told her to get up and get to the campus, but her body had some other ideas.

Although barely opening her eyes she could see Melinda and said, "what happened to me?"

"Ya have the flu and you need to rest."

"Flu? I don't get sick!"

"Well y'all are doing great impersonation of a sick person my dear."

Suddenly a wave of nausea over came Janice. She frantically looked at Melinda, eyes darting back and forth. "Please? please help me up!!" Melinda immediately knew what was happening and helped the woman up while wrapping a bed sheet around her like a toga. Half dragging, half carrying, Melinda got her to bathroom in time, Janice quickly emptied the meager contents of her stomach. Janice remained over the sink for almost a half an hour till she was just heaving empty contents. While Melinda basically supported her over the sink, she was also able to put a damp cloth to her face to help cool and clean this poor woman. Soon, Janice was no longer able to prop herself up on her own and was just leaning against the taller woman while holding her aching ribs from the dry heaves. As easily as before, Melinda lifted Janice and was able to return her to her bed. While removing her bed sheet, Melinda covered her in warm blankets.

"Well it's no wonder y'all are sick given your diet. I saw your food stock. Ya can't live on just beer you know." Melinda scolded.

"Why not? Monks used to do that it the 15th century. Besides, I figured that no self-respecting germ would what to inhabit my body." She softly said in hoarse reply, not even recognizing her own voice. Melinda could see that Janice was in pain after a long series of rough, hacking coughs. "Ok? maybe I should take today off??..could you contact my department for me. I don't think they would know who I was with this voice."

"Ah, sure. No problem. Why don't you just lie back for a bit and rest for a while. I'm going to get some stuff to help you." Melinda arranged Janice so that she was comfortable and checked her fever. Grabbing a basin filled with cold water, she soaked a wash cloth with cool water and placed it on the hot forehead, over her eyes.

"Hmmm?..that feels nice." Janice whispered. While Melinda was wiping her head and neck with the damp cloth, Janice continuously moved her head from side to side, adjusting for Mel's sponging. Melinda was starting to get a little warm herself reacting to this little woman's moans and whimpers. The taller woman was glad to see Janice slowly drift off to sleep since she didn't know how much longer she could control her feelings. She knew that Janice was having a hard time getting any rest because she kept having these sudden coughing fits. She also knew that Janice was probably dehydrated and needed to get some fluids into her.

Melinda returned a half hour later with a bowl of hot chicken broth to see a very weak Janice fading in and out of sleep. "Well hi there," she cheerfully said. "Do ya think you want some soup?"

Janice just looked up, too weak to actually sit up. "You shouldn't be doing this. Don't you have to get to class? I mean, I'm OK. Its just little cold. I'll be fine and?.."

Melinda frowned until she realized that Janice was just trying to be tough and in control like she was on campus. Janice was just having a hard time letting anyone take care of her.

"You're not *fine*." she interrupted. "And no, I don't have to be at class because I'm acing all my classes except for yours." she said meekly.

"Well yea, that's a problem. I'm your professor and you shouldn't be here taking care of me."

"Fine, I'm dropping your class"

"YOU CAN'T DO THAT!!" As quickly as she said it, her body was racked by another series of coughs. Her ribs and her back was killing her and she found it impossible to sit up. Melinda wrapped her arms around the small woman, holding her and rubbing her back while the coughing caused her body to seize. Janice was panting out of breath as she stopped convulsing, slowing realizing she was probably not as tough as she thought she was.

"?no?its not right?." she wheezed.

Melinda decided to try to reason with her. "Janice, I know for a fact that you're new in Columbia and haven't had a whole lot of time to make friends. Our fathers were really good friends and colleagues which practically makes us sisters or something like that. Look, we'll make a deal. You let me help you get better in exchange for help in my class. OK? You're just not looking too good and it just wouldn't be right for me to leave you."

Janice was too weak and tired to argue. She was also starting to enjoy having this woman take care of her. She never had anyone care if she was sick in the past. This was just such a new and unusual feeling but a feeling that she liked. Melinda couldn't help but smile realizing that won this argument with this woman. Janice was looking every part of a sick, sad puppy, and smiled slightly when Melinda smiled. The little woman gave in with a slight nod of her head.

"Good! Well let's get some fluids into you. Just relax and I'll help you sit up." Melinda arranged several pillows above Janice's head as a back rest. While holding her under her arms, Melinda easily placed Janice in a position to feed her. Blankets were carefully re-tucked around the woman's body to keep out a chill while she sat by the side of the bed.

"Ah, Melinda??.."


"What happened to my clothes?"

"You're? ah what?.." she stammered as she quickly tried the think of a proper answer.

"My clothes. I think I was wearing some when I went to bed"

"Well?er ah?.do you remember what happened in the middle of the night?"

"Hmmm?not really, just fuzzy things?.. I remember waking in a lot of pain and I tried to get to the bathroom to get some aspirin??I don't think I made it, did I? I really don't recall anything after that"

Melinda let out a sigh of relief realizing that Janice wasn't conscious while she slept with her. "You're right, you didn't make it. In fact, I found you on the floor covered in sweat. I couldn't put you back into the bed while wearing wet clothes so I?..um?.I," she said as she looked away while turning red.

"Oh, it's Ok?..thanks?.really. I'm sure I'd still be on the floor if it wasn't for you," she whispered. Feeling congested, Janice was starting to find it hard to talk without coughing.

Melinda meekly smiled as said, "Here, why don't we try a little soup." Janice didn't even try to argue but just relaxed and let herself be fed. With a napkin under her chin to catch any dribbles, Melinda carefully fed the quickly tiring woman some broth. "Not too hot, is it?" Janice shook her head back and forth. "I don't want to give you too much right now. Let's just see if we can keep this down, OK?" Janice nodded up and down. "We'll work on getting some solid food into you later. Normally Janice would really be annoyed at letting someone speak to her as if she was a child but for some reason she found this to be very comforting. With some warm broth in her stomach, felt herself wanting to close her eyes. Melinda adjusted the woman so that she was resting on her back again knowing that she needed some sleep for a while.

Returning to the kitchen, Melinda put away the rest of the groceries and filled the refrigerator with milk, fruits and vegetables. Grabbing her backpack, she went back to Janice's room. In the corner was a large chair with a lamp where she could read over her notes for finals next week and watch over her friend. Although sleeping, Janice appeared to be having a hard time resting. She spent most of her time tossing and turning. Sometimes the small woman was crying and Melinda would go over to brush the hair out of her eyes and place a cool cloth over her forehead which would help her relax a little. When the chills hit, Janice would start to shiver and Melinda would bring over extra blankets. As Janice's fever rose, she would start to toss and turn. Melinda would remove many of the covers leaving a light sheet over her naked body. As Janice would perspire from her high fever, Melinda would run a cool cloth over her head, arms and neck. The small woman seemed to be getting worse instead of better and Melinda hadn't had a chance to get more fluids into her. Janice's head was rocking side-to-side trying to find some relief from this fever. Melinda was just about to consider filling the tub with cool water to try to help bring this fever down when she heard a rough voice.


"I'm here Sweetheart"

"Mel?it hurts"

"I know Honey. I know?..Shhhh?.I'm here. Janice, I have an idea which might provide you a little relief." Janice just nodded. "Why don't I fill the tub with some cool water. I'll help you get in and out, OK?" Janice nodded again. Melinda quickly ran to the bathroom to fill the tub. Janice lived in an old house which had an old claw foot tub. The water wasn't cold but just cooler than normal body temperature. Just cool enough to give Janice some relief. Melinda quick ran back to the bedroom. Janice just looked up with a tear in her eye. "Um, Janice, I hope you don't get real embarrassed but this should help?" Janice just shook her head. Although Janice was not known for her modesty around digs, universities often had other ideas of the proper way a woman should dress. Melinda pulled back the sheets the rest of the way to reveal the small woman's naked body. Melinda just gasped at the sight of the perfect shape. Though weak at the moment, these arms and legs looked strong but not too muscular. She could also see the ripple in her flat abdominal muscle. Melinda had to shake her head out of here reverie and get this woman to the tub. Melinda easily picked her up and carried her the short distance to the tub. Gently, she started to lower the smaller woman into the tub and Janice gasped at the feel of the water against her butt. Grasping tighter around Melinda's neck she started to relax. Janice was just a little shocked at the coolness but immediately the water start to provide her some reprieve from her pain. By the time Melinda lowered her the rest the way, Janice just lulled her head back with her eyes shut and smiled. Melinda knew that she needed to remove the wet bandages from her leg. All things considered, a bath was good idea. Janice didn't get to shower after her run last after her injury and the cool water was helping her fever. As Janice was relaxing, Melinda went downstairs to begin several little projects. First she put some fresh pillows and blankets on the couch then started a small fire to warm the house. Although this wasn't New England, winters here could still get down to the 30's. A small fire was just enough to take the chill off the house.

In spite of all that had transpired, Melinda still knocked on the bathroom door.

"?come in?" Janice said as she was clearing her throat. The water level was such that it was just above Janice's breasts. Melinda was glad, otherwise the distraction would have been too much.

"Feeling better?" Janice just smiled and nodded.

"?thanks?." she whispered.

"Sure Janice." When Melinda walked in, she could see Janice struggling to clean herself. "Here, want me to get your back?" Janice just smiled. It seemed like the best way to communicate lately. Talking just caused her to cough, besides, the swelling in her throat made her voice come out as a whisper. Melinda soaped the washcloth while Janice leaned forward to allow her access. Gently, she soaped and rinsed the young woman's back. Just for good measure, she gave her ears a little extra washing, behind and inside which Janice seemed to enjoy. "Hey, I could wash your hair for you too if you'd like. Just lean back and let me put a little shampoo on it." This old style tub was ideal for easy access to Janice's head where she could lean back and relax while Melinda worked up a lather in her long blond locks. Janice was just wallowing in the feel and massaging of fingers in hers hair plus it felt good to be clean again. No one had ever looked out for her in the past. Though she loved her father when he was alive, he always taught her to fight her own battles. Thus she never let anyone get close enough to her to let anyone care for her. This just felt so good. "OK, rinse time." Melinda grabbed the shower head above the tub and started to rinse her hair with clean, warm water . "Just a little more and I think I would have gotten all the suds out." Janice liked the feel of having her hair washed and let out a little giggle but quickly covered her mouth hoping that Melinda didn't hear her. "Are you ready to get out? I can help you." Strangely, now that Janice was feeling better, she suddenly started to feel a little embarrassed about her nakedness. Melinda recognized her dilemma. "I promise not to look. I'll just help you stand a bit and you could rinse yourself off." Janice nodded. Melinda just smiled and shut her eyes real tight so the Janice would let her help her up. Janice wasn't doing too well with totally vertical so she sat at the side of the tub with Melinda there to help balance her. Quickly Janice finished rinsing herself which required more energy than she thought. As Melinda grabbed Janice's large terry cloth bath robe she wrapped it around the woman proud of herself that she didn't sneak a peek. Throwing another towel over her shoulder, she cradled the tired woman in her arms and carried her down the stairs to the couch. Placing her easily on the bed she had set up, Melinda started to dry off her legs inspecting the previous wounds.

"?..strong?" she said pointing to the dark haired woman.

"No, not really, you're just light." Melinda put the towel over the pillows to catch the water from her wet hair and went to retrieve the first-aid kit. Janice was starting to doze again when she felt Melinda re-bandage her leg. "I should get an ice pack for your ankle but I'd really like to get some more liquid in you. Is that OK?" Janice nodded. Melinda covered Janice's body. The cushions behind her back allowed her to sit up but still relax. Janice was looking around her rental house, noticing for the first time how warm and homey it now seemed. The fire-place crackling in the background gave the room a warm glow. She never took the time to make the house a home. Yet now with Melinda there, the fire and the smell of food cooking in the kitchen, it seemed more like a home. Janice never had a home before, not that she minded that. Its just that now, for the first time, she knew what one felt like. Melinda returned with the bowl of hot chicken broth with a few bits of noodle this time and sat beside the small woman.


Janice just smiled and opened her mouth.

"Too hot?" A head shake and another open mouth. Janice had lost a lot of fluids from these continuous sweats and felt queasy but still hungry. Initially, when it went down her raw throat, it burned from the soreness but the soup was fantastic. Nice and salty just the way she liked it. Melinda did use a little extra salt knowing that she need to get more sodium to rebalance her system. The warm soup was also having the additional effect of putting the small woman to sleep. After many spoonfuls and a few noodles, Janice just kept her mouth shut and shook her head. Knowing that she would be asleep soon, Melinda grabbed a few extra blankets and tucked her in. After a few minutes of watching her, Melinda was relieved when it seemed like she was truly sleeping although starting to wheeze a bit.

Though she hated to see the poor woman suffer, Melinda felt great. So useful, so needed and wanted. She hadn't felt this good since before her father died. She and her father were very close and was just lost after he past away. Not knowing what to do she just remained in Columbia and started taking classes until she realized that she liked medicine and seemed to have a knack for it. Everything was normal until the day that Janice accepted the appointment at the University. Then, everything changed. She knew Janice from meeting her 20 years ago as children. But since Janice was so reticent and would never let her guard down, she would be afraid to approach the young Ph.D. While reliving these memories, she whistled while she pulled the soiled sheets off the woman's bed and went to look for clean ones. Taking the bed sheets and a monster pile of Janice's soiled clothes, she paused to check periodically on the sleeping woman. Janice seemed to have quite a bit of congestion in her upper lungs causing her to wheeze however this partial reclined position seem to help her rest.

After an hour of rest, Janice woke herself up with a hacking cough. Melinda was quickly over by her side rubbing her back and she worked through the series of coughs clearing her fluid filled lungs. Exhausted, Janice collapsed against the pillows with her arm across her eyes just panting. Melinda sighed and started rubbing the woman's other shoulder knowing that this flu was making her quite sore. Guiltily, she brought down her other arm hoping that the other shoulder might get the same treatment but frowned when Melinda stopped.

"I think its time to take your temperature. You're still hot but you seem much better than this morning." With big green round eyes, Janice just agreed to whatever her savior requested, knowing that she was trying to help her. Looking up, Janice wondered why this lovely woman was taking care of her. 'Jesus, I must look like shit. I sure do feel like it' she thought. Janice just gazed at Melinda and admired her beauty, not just on the outside but the inside too. Janice was snapped out of her recollections as Melinda placed the thermometer in her mouth and said, "After this, will try a little more soup, ok?"

"?.ah um?." she croaked while trying to clear her throat.

"Not with a thermometer in your mouth, dear," she lightly reprimanded. "Just wait a minute." After a few moments and a few tucks here and there, Melinda removed the thermometer.

"Hmm??.1?0?..1?point?5," she said while twisting it back and forth. "101.5oF..*sigh*?. but you feel cooler," Melinda commented wondering how high it was last night when she was burning up.

"Are you sore?"

A nod.

"Meant to do this last night but you fell asleep on me," she said as she walked to the kitchen retrieving an ice bag. She pulled back the blankets to reveal the swollen ankle. After propping it up under pillows and towels, she placed the towel wrapped ice bag over the ankle. Janice winced and hissed but relaxed as the cool ice bag went around the ankle.


A smile.

"Let me go stoke the fire a bit, ok?" Melinda grabbed a couple more logs to put in the fire and returned to the small woman's side.

"Still congested huh?"

Janice just frowned and answered with a cough.

"I can put some ointment on your chest to help you breath. My mama used to rub it on my chest when I was a little girl and was sick. I think it can help you." Janice was willing to try anything to help her sleep more than a few minutes at a time. Suddenly Melinda thought, 'What am I doing? I can't do this. Maybe if I shut my eyes I won't notice those lovely, soft, perfect, round?..Stop Melinda Pappas, she's sick and needs you!!' Melinda steeled herself and pulled down the blankets and pulled open the robe. Janice was again returning to the land of sleep when Melinda started applying the cool, soothing ointment. The robe was open enough so that Melinda could see her entire upper body and was slowing losing the battle as her hand rubbed the ointment near a pert breast. The cool air caused them to harden quickly and stand at attention. Melinda was relieved to see her friend was quite asleep, softly snoring was her body was starting to feel relatively awake. 'My, it's hot in here' she mused to herself. 'I think that I might need a cool bath myself.' Shaking her head, she re-covered Janice's breast and tucked the woman back under warm blankets. Giving her a soft kiss on the forehead she said, "Rest well, my little one."

Melinda busied herself changing the bed sheets, doing laundry, straightening the messy house and checking on Janice from time to time. While organizing the papers on Janice's desk, she came across a old photograph of two men wearing khaki clothes and big smiles. She was surprised to recognize one of the men as her father; beneath the photo was written, "Dr. Pappas and dad." Melinda recognized that the other man was Dr. Harry Covington. She knew that her father had corresponded frequently with the elder Covington, often writing from some dig he was currently working on. Dr. Pappas knew that Harry Covington never wanted a desk job but he hoped that his daughter would stop wandering from dig to dig, living on long, hot days in the sun and short nights over a log book recording artifacts while downing a glass of whisky. Harry would write to his old buddy inquiring about academic positions in the states for his daughter. When a position opened up at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Pappas said that he would give his support to hiring a woman into this all male field. Although Janice refused to apply she reconsidered after her father's death, no longer wanting to be in the field without his constant support and companionship. Melinda knew that if Harry Covington could see his daughter today, he would be proud.

The sound of loud coughing suddenly woke her out of her musings and she quickly went back to the small woman. After a record breaking coughing session, Melinda could see that Janice was quite out of breath and sore. Melinda was concerned that if she kept at up this rate, the young professor would strain her back muscles. "Why don't I take you back upstairs?" Janice leaned forward to try to get up when Melinda scooped her up in her arms. This time, she didn't even try to argue knowing the outcome and just rested her head against the taller woman neck. As Melinda easy ascended the stairs, Janice buried her head more trying to get a sniff of her but failed with her stuffed up nose. When Melinda got to the bed, she paused to give the woman a reassuring hug before placing her in the fresh sheets. Melinda helped Janice out of the terry cloth robe and while she squirmed her bare body under the blankets and was quickly covered. Grabbing a glass of orange juice off the night-stand, Melinda lowered the glass to hand to Janice. Reaching for the glass with one hand, Janice winced and started with the other when Melinda realized how sore she was. Melinda grabbed a straw off the night stand and held the glass while Janice sighed and started drinking. Recognizing the Janice's body was probably ached quite a bit from the flu, she suggested, "How 'bout I give you a back rub? It will make a lot of your aches go away."

Janice started to roll over while Melinda helped her and moved the pillows out of the way. Melinda pulled back the sheet to expose the tired woman's bare back. As she rubbed the oil in her hands to warm it, Melinda admired her strong muscles although sore and weak at the moment from her illness. She began at Janice's shoulders and neck giving her relief that neither sleep nor aspirin could provide. Janice started to moan her approval while under the spell of the massage. As her hands moved, she was especially gentle on her lower back where her muscles were tender from the violent coughing and sneezing. With Janice's moaning, Melinda was starting to feel warm, especially between her legs. She quickly reprimanded herself and went back to focusing on her task. While applying more oil to her hands, she guessed that the small woman was dozing off because she started to drool. After a brief chuckle, Melinda grabbed a small wash cloth and wiped her mouth. "Come on dear, just roll over," she coaxed as Janice mumbled and whined but finally come to rest on her back. Melinda hoped that the back rub would allow her to pass into a deeper sleep. Melinda returned to her vigil on the large chair in Janice's room while reviewing her notes for her finals. Soon, she too was asleep when she heard her name and returned to Janice's side. As Melinda sat near the headboard of the large bed, Janice started to crawl into her arms and Melinda just gathered the small woman up. Janice curled up in Melinda's arms having a feeling of safety and love she hadn't felt in a long time.


Early the next morning, Melinda slipped out from underneath the young professor placing her in a comfortable position. After placing a soft kiss on the sleeping woman's head, she proceeded to the kitchen to prepare some breakfast. Melinda knew she needed to stop at home to pick up her anatomy and physiology books and some clean clothes since she guessed that she would be with Janice for the weekend.

When Janice awoke her bladder needed attention from all the additional fluids she had been taking. Previously, Melinda was always there to help her to the bathroom door. From that point, Melinda just waited outside to make sure that Janice didn't faint or injure herself as she hobbled around the bathroom. Although Janice could hear Melinda below in the kitchen, she was determined to get the bathroom herself. As soon as Janice sat up she started to feel the room spin and paused waiting for the spinning to stop. 'Come on Covington, you can do this.' Soon she was balancing on one leg while throwing the robe around her shoulders. Using night stands, book cases and as anything else hanging near a wall, she managed to get to the bathroom. After relieving herself, her next mission was to make it back to her bed but she was having a bit more difficulty on the return trip as the spinning resumed. Misjudging the stability of a shelf, Janice came crashing down on the floor with luckily only a small number of paperbacks. Melinda threw down the wooden spoon she was using to stir up a fresh pot of chicken soup and raced up the stairs to see Janice on the floor but holding her upper body up with her arms. "What the HELL do y'all think you're doing?" she yelled and she lifted Janice up and carried her back to the bed.

"Bathroom?." she whispered.

Melinda frowned knowing how hard this illness was for Janice to understand if she never had the flu before and Janice seemed to have it bad. Previous to returning to the States, Janice had spent most of her time in the Mediterranean area and probably never ran into the flu. But 'final-exam-stressed-undergraduates' carry a wealth of new flu strains just waiting unsuspecting hosts like Janice.

"Are you OK? Did you hit your head?" She asked as she ran her hands over the blond head looking for bumps.

Melinda stroked the soft chin trying to get the smaller woman to look at her. After those initial harsh words, she wanted to let Janice know she wasn't mad but just concerned. Janice enjoyed the feel of Melinda palm against her face and leaned into her hand while closing here eyes.

"Look, you made me say the 'H'-word" Melinda remarked to lighted the mood. Janice just smiled and was dying to make some commentary about "the H-word."

When breakfast was ready, Melinda helped Janice down the stairs knowing that she wanted to resume moving around the house by herself. Although Janice assured her though that she wouldn't try the bathroom stunt again without Melinda nearby. While feeding Janice the fresh, hot soup (she still needed some help since Janice bruised an elbow on the fall), Melinda told her of her plan to run home to get more things. As expected Janice indicated that she was fine and that Melinda didn't need to stay. It didn't take long for Melinda to win the argument which Janice was glad for anyway. Grabbing a pad, Janice wrote that she had a favor of to ask since Melinda was going past the Anthropology department. Handing Melinda her office key, she asked if Melinda could stop by the department and pickup her briefcase. Although it was awkward to have a "student" entering her office, Janice figured since Melinda basically grew up in the Department knowing all the faculty and secretaries that this would be alright. However, Janice thought that she needed to address this professor-student association after she was better except Melinda was way ahead of her and already formulated a plan. Melinda knew that if she did well in Janice's class and started spending more time with her (which was Melinda's other plan), it would look bad for the young professor. That's why she decided to act quickly.

Melinda drove over to her house picking up some text books and clean clothes. Although she was able to shower over at Janice's, she could only change into some oversized sweats that the small woman owned which were uncomfortably until her own clothes got out of the dryer. When Melinda was picking up after Janice she noticed that the small woman had no pajamas and just seemed to sleep in a T-shirt and men's boxers. Out of her top dresser drawer she grabbed a pair of plaid flannel pajamas that she wanted her sick friend to wear around the house until she got better. After picking up everything she needed, she drove over to the Department of Anthropology.

Melinda knew that Dr. Randolph, the head of the department and an old family friend, liked to work on the weekends. After grabbing Janice's briefcase out of her office, Melinda walked down the hall to Dr. Randolph's office and knocked.

"Come in?" said the kindly voice.

Melinda opened the door and peaked in to see and older, gray haired gentleman sitting behind the large oak desk she used to play under as a child.

"Melinda, my girl, come in! It's been too long since I've last seen you dear. How are your pre-med classes coming along? I've heard that you were doing well!!"

"Thank Uncle Teddy, I'm doing great with most of my classes. How's Aunt Sara?" she asked. Melinda wasn't actually related to Theodore Randolph but he had known her since she was a small child, she always called him that.

"Sara is fine and wants you to come by the house before Christmas. But want did you say about one of your classes? Which one is it?" he said with concern knowing Melinda to never have trouble with school.

"Ah er, its?. my? um?Archaeology 201 class" she said with a bit of embarrassment.

After a long pause of disbelief, he finally asked, "What's wrong? Is the Professor?"

"OH NO! NOT AT ALL!" she said so quickly and loud that she surprised herself. "Um? No?. Dr. Covington is fantastic! One of the best professors I've ever had. Its just?.I'm?. just not doing well in the class and I want to drop the class. Ah?" she said thinking quickly and kicking herself for not thinking through this before walking in, "I want to drop it so I don't hurt my GPA."

Dr. Randolph sat quietly thinking before saying, "Melinda, I've known you since you were a child and I know when you are lying. Remember when you were playing baseball with the boys and hit a home run but the ball when through your porch window. You were afraid to tell your parents because your mother didn't think it was lady like to play baseball so we came up with the story about me breaking the window. If I recall, you worked off the expense by raking leaves that fall. I was just glad I got to see the homer!" Dr. Randolph just chuckled, while Melinda turned a little red remembering that time as she sat in the big leather chair opposite his desk. "I know you know this material, you've know about Greek Archaeology since you were eight years old. You know you can tell me anything. I've always kept your secrets. What is troubling you my dear?" he said in a reassuring voice.

She took a deep breath and sighed. Uncle Teddy was right. She could tell him anything and he would never judge her. "I like Dr. Covington, Uncle Teddy " she finally confessed, "I just don't want her to get into trouble because she is my professor. You know this department, and some people are just looking for a reason to get rid of her. Archaeology is not my major and I'm not even in this college. So if I'm not in her class, maybe she'd like to spend some time with me. I'd really like to be her friend and?.."

"Enough said, done! I'll give Alice the drop slip on Monday and it will never show up on your transcript. I've been worried about Dr. Covington too. Both your father and I knew she would work out but others here didn't want a woman in the department."

Melinda was so grateful she walked around the desk and gave her 'uncle' and hug. "Oh thank you! And I promise to come over to see Aunt Sara soon."

"By the way, Dr. Covington didn't come in yesterday. Do you know how she is?"

"Oh my! I've gotta run. Janice, er ah, Dr. Covington is at her house but she is really sick with the flu."

"Dear me, I've heard that a bad strain of the flu is going around. Is she OK all alone in that big house? I've really been concerned about her. Janice is such a sweet girl, especially when you break through that shell of hers. She does great research and spends a lot amount of time in her office working late hours?.." *sigh* "?.but keeps to herself too much and doesn't seem to have too many friends. That's not good for a young person."

"I know," Melinda said, "and on top of it too, she's really stubborn and doesn't like to accept help. I've been trying to take care of her while she's been ill. I've gotten close and I've like to have the opportunity to get to know her more."

"Well I'm glad she has a friend like you, my dear. Give her my best and tell her to get well," he said giving the tall woman a kiss on her cheek.

"Thanks Uncle Teddy. I'll come by soon, I promise."


Melinda returned to Janice's house to find her still asleep in the bed upstairs. When Melinda came into her bedroom, Janice awoke, glad to have Melinda return. Though she wasn't gone long, Janice needed Melinda's help again to get to the bathroom. "Hold on a second" the taller woman said. "I've got some pajamas for you. Its better than just a T-shirt and your 'underwear'," thinking that she had to get Janice to explain to her why she wore boxers. At first, Janice didn't like the idea but soon figured that if Melinda went to the trouble then she should just wear them. Melinda was starting to re-think the idea after seeing her plaid pajama's hanging on the smaller woman. On the other hand, Janice was starting to think this was an excellent idea since the clothes carried the smell of the beautiful, taller woman. Quickly, she again reprimanded herself, 'Covington, forget it! Remember, she's your student and she's just here to help.' Melinda help her put on some heavy socks since it seemed that Janice was usually cold now and had the high fever and 'sweats' less often. After helping Janice back down to the couch, Melinda started a fire to make the house warm. Janice was going through her brief case taking out some journals to read when she came across some quizzes she had planned to return to her students on Monday. One which was currently building a warm fire for her as the professor started to feel uncomfortable about.

'Oh Melinda,' she thought, 'if I were not your professor, I'd? Stop Covington! You are her professor! Act like a professor for God's sake! You're suppose to be a professional!!'

"What's wrong?" Melinda asked as she could see Janice's face turn angry. Janice didn't notice when Melinda returned to her side on the couch. Then, it struck Melinda why Janice was acting that way, that maybe Janice just didn't like her and didn't want her around. Melinda's chest became tight and she started to look away as she felt tears start to well up in her eyes. Janice, although not known as the most sensitive person, was also no clod and quickly spoke to reassure Melinda although her voice came out a whisper.

Grabbing Melinda's hands, she rasped, "..not that, (cough)?bad situation. I'm a professor. You're my student. Department displeased. Otherwise I'd?.um?.like?.um?"

Melinda thought for a moment, trying to think of the best way to tell her. "Well, I think I solved the problem. I dropped the class?... I saw Uncle.. um Dr. Randolph and he let me drop the class." Janice just sat there stunned, not knowing what to say.

"?but I could help? still time before final ??don't you like my class?" Now it was time for Janice's eye to begin to tear as she started to look down at the blanket on her lap. Janice had figured that she could coach Melinda the rest of the week and she could get an 'A'. It was the least she could do for Melinda after spending so much time taking care of her, but to prevent any gossip in the department or risk Melinda's career in Medical School because of a questionable impropriety, she knew she couldn't see Melinda after the final.

"Nooo! I like your class just fine. It's my favorite class plus I love Greek Archaeology its just?..just" she stammered. Melinda placed her hands on Janice's cheeks to gently lift her face so that she could look into her emerald green eyes. "Janice...when we met over 20 years ago, it felt very nice being with you. It was a very different feeling....a feeling that I can't describe. Maybe it was because I was too young to know anything. But in the past few days those same feelings are came back. And I know what those feelings mean." Melinda hesitated for a moment and finally said "I love you." Whew! She said it?.it was worth dropping the class just so that she could get the words off her chest. "I love you. I want to spend time with you and I knew you wouldn't do that if I was your student or even your former student. So I dropped the class because I want to spend time with you." Janice couldn't believe what she heard. This intelligent, attractive woman with long dark hair and striking azure eyes wanted to be with her. Still not able to speak too well, she just pointed to herself with a questioning look. "Yes you, you Janice Covington, I want to be with you." Melinda answered. Melinda could feel her heart pump madly as she slowly leaned forward and softly kissed Janice's lips. Janice was a little surprised at the kiss but welcomed it and lovingly kissed Melinda back. Melinda restrained herself from going any further because she knew Janice wasn't 100% yet. But it was very nice to know that Janice liked her as well.

Finding it difficult to talk because of her sore throat, Janice quickly scribbled on a piece of paper. Showing it to Melinda, it read, "I'm glad you dropped the class. I love you too!"

Melinda planted a kiss on top of Janice's forehead. "We can continue this later, but for now why don't we both get some rest." As Melinda picked the light professor up into her arms, Janice really wanted to do more with Melinda but all she could do was wrap her arms tightly around Melinda's neck and bury her head into her chest and let out a deep comfortable sigh.

Melinda and Janice retired comfortably into the bedroom. Melinda peeled off the pajamas from Janice and slipped in next to her wearing her panties and her tank top to keep her warm. This time there was no guilt that hung over her head. Melinda kissed Janice on her forehead and wished her a good night's sleep. Melinda was ready for a nap herself. In between taking care of Janice, studying for her finals in between taking care of Janice was quite exhausting. With her new love cradled in her arms, Melinda fell into a deep slumber with Janice in her arms.

Melinda was woken up by some loud rumbling noises. 'My lord, what's that?' she wondered to herself. Drowsily, Melinda looked over at Janice who was softly snoring. "I must be in love," Melinda mused to herself, "only a woman in love would find this snoring cute." The next rumble came from Janice's tummy. Melinda had to pause a moment to be sure she heard to right but the rumble was there again. "Yes, definitely cute and definitely in love." Melinda lingered in bed enjoying the warmth and smooth feel of Janice's body against hers. The moment of peace was interrupted by once more by the rumbling in Janice's stomach. She knew if she didn't get down stairs and start cooking there would be one very hungry women in the house soon. She gave Janice a kiss on the forehead and headed downstairs to the kitchen.


Half awake, Janice glanced at her clock on the night stand. It read '8:00'. With a smile on her face she plunked her head back onto the pillow and decided to get back to her dream of the striking woman with blue eyes who was taking care of her. Just then, Melinda came in carrying a breakfast tray with some soup and tea.

"Morn'in Hon! Do ya think you're ready for some more soup?"

Melinda set the tray of food on the night stand and sat next to the young professor. Janice's eyes began to well with tears as she realized that she didn't have a dream. It was all real. That Melinda dropped her class to be with her. Melinda's smile turn into a concerned frown. "What's wrong Janice?" I thought you might like--"

Janice cut her short and rasped "No Mel! It's just that I'm so happy that you're here with me."

"Now, Sweetheart, why don't you get something to eat." said Melinda with a big grin on her face. "After you finish I thought it might be nice to give you a massage in front of the fireplace. I think it'll do your body a lot of good. You must be pretty sore with this flu."

Janice looked up at her new companion and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

"Janice, I'll always take care of you. Now why don't I help you with you pajamas and we can go downstairs and finish breakfast."

Janice just looked too cute in the large flannel pajamas, heavy terry cloth robe and those wool socks. Melinda just smiled seeing the young professor in her oversize pajamas flop around the room and walked over to give her a big hug. She followed Melinda slowly down the staircase while the pre-med was acutely aware of her every step to make sure there were no accidents. Janice was starting to feel better but she thought that she shouldn't push herself too much yet since she still felt a bit woozy. After soup and tea, Melinda had an idea for way for her to study. She positioned herself on the end of couch and had Janice sleeping on her lap while all her textbook and notes were scattered around her. This way she could work and keep a keen eye on her new love. Fortunately, Janice was now able to sleep longer with less disturbance from her coughing. A long span of rest was what she needed. While nestled into Melinda's lap, she was in a deep, healing sleep. Melinda took a break occasionally to play with her hair either braiding or twirling. Usually she just liked to stare at Janice, studying her soft face and neck. By the end of the day, Melinda felt ready for her tests and coaxed Janice awake enough for a some more broth.

"Damn, I'm feeling a bit more like a human again, " she said as her voice was slowly returning.

"Y'all have a bit more color to you too."

"I don't know what I would have done without you. You've saved me. Otherwise I could have just shriveled up and died here in this old house and the department would not have come by to investigate for a week," she chuckled as she looked around her house. "You know, previous to you coming, this place was just a house. But now, with you, these warm smells, it makes this place a home."

"You know, while y'all were comatose I was think'in. I know it's a little pre-mature but I really thought about it. Maybe, that is??." she stammered. "Well, I've got lots of room??.. I mean, you've been to the house before and you know how big it is and??? y'all are not my professor anymore and??.."

Melinda paused, afraid to say the next part when Janice reached out to hold her hands. "What is it Hon? Ask me anything" she entreated.

"Would y'all like to come live with me in my big old house? Its been so lonely since Daddy died, Melinda said as she started to sniffle.

Janice leaned over and kissed her softly on the lips and said, "I'd love to go home with you."


The next morning, Janice watched Melinda leave the room with the breakfast tray. She felt so much better than she had for the past few days. Her leg was better and she started eating whole food again. Given her good feelings, Janice opened the drawer on her night-stand and withdrew a cigar. She clipped it and lit it. With her head tilted back and resting against the head board and she let out a sigh. A sigh that said she was glad to be feeling better again. It was strange she thought to herself, 'My life seemed so empty and dark the day that Dad died. I didn't even have a chance to tell him that I loved him.' Janice puffed on the cigar and blew several round smoke rings into the air and closed her eyes. 'But my life doesn't seem so empty with love anymore,' she thought to herself, 'Mel has filled that gap.' Her thoughts were interrupted as she heard Melinda's footsteps. Melinda poked her head in the smoke filled room and coughed "Hey sleepy head, are you going to join me downstairs?"

"Hi. Yeah...I was just relaxing."

Melinda sat on the bed and waved her hand to clear the smoke "Is that thing really good?" she asked pointing to the cigar.

"You betcha," said Janice as she blew another smoke ring up into the air. "This is the best cigar money can buy. It's from Cuba you know."

"I don't see how good it can be with that awful smell," replied Melinda as she blew the circular smoke ring apart. Feeling mischievous, Melinda grabbed the cigar from Janice's mouth. "Y'all not quite better yet. I don't think this is good for you."

"Hey!! Give it back," she begged knowing that she was not up for a fight. Melinda just raised her long arms up in the air beyond what Janice was able to reach.

"Awwwwww, pooh!" she resigned. "It's not fair. I didn't want to smoke them in your house so I thought I try to get a few extra in here."

"Well lucky for you Daddy had a smoking room. Actually I think you smoke the same brand he did so it will be nice to have the smell around the house again. BUT, Missy! For now, its just healthy stuff for you. Understand!!" Janice just pouted Melinda gave her a kiss. "Come on down when y'all are ready."

Janice worked her way out of bed and walked into the bathroom. "Ugh!" was all she could say as she saw herself in the mirror. "I can't believe Melinda saw me like this all weekend." She felt better but looked like a mess. Janice got in the shower and decided to get cleaned up. She put on a khaki shirt and slacks. "Hmm...much better," she said to herself as she looked in the mirror.

Downstairs, Janice found Melinda curled up on the couch by the fireplace reviewing her notes.

"Good morning, Mel." she said with a girlish smile.

"Good morning? It's already mid-afternoon."

"Ah...you're right. I feel so spoiled to have stayed in bed so late. Are you ready for your finals?"

"Sure. I was able to get in quite a bit of studying while you slept this weekend."

"Do you mind if I join you?"

"Nope. I'd love it."

Melinda lifted her right arm signaling Janice to curl right in. Her small body tucked nicely against Melinda as they spent the rest of the afternoon napping in each others arms.


Janice looked out the kitchen window and watched the sun set over the horizon as she did the dishes. She had seen the sunset so many times in the past few months since she arrived in Columbia, but today it felt different. She realized that having Melinda's company made the difference. She was definitely enjoying the companionship that Melinda had brought into her life of solitude. As she did the last remaining dishes in the sink, Melinda came up from behind and wrapped her arms around Janice's waist and gave her a peck on the cheek.

"Did you like the chicken gumbo dinner?" Melinda asked.

"I loved it! I've never had anything like that before. It's very different from the type of food I'm used to eating out in the field."

"I thought you might," said Melinda "Well, how about that nice massage I mentioned earlier? I think it'll be good for you."

"I would love that too!" Janice said like a little girl.

"You get ready. Just wear the robe and nothing else. OK?!" she said with a wink.

"Um?. OK," she said not knowing why she suddenly felt shy.

Realizing Janice's sudden modesty, she explained, "I'm going to use some lotion and oils on y'all to loosen those tight muscles of yours. I'm bettin y'all are pretty sore from your flu, huh?" Janice twisted her back a bit and realized how right Melinda was. "I'll get the towels and oil and meet you in the living room."

"Deal!" said Janice as she headed for the bathroom.

Melinda helped Janice lay on the soft blankets that she had set out in front of the fireplace. Melinda couldn't help but notice how fit Janice was. As she laid on her stomach, Melinda placed a towel over Janice's legs. She poured oil into the palms of her hands and slowly rubbed it onto Janice's soft silky back.

"Mel, thank you-" but before she could finish Melinda interrupted.

"Shhh?..just relax and enjoy this, Janice. You'll feel much better after I'm done."

Melinda continued to massage Janice's upper and lower back taking note of any knots in her muscles and massaged them out. Once the back was finished, she placed the towel over her back and moved down to Janice's legs. Melinda rubbed the oil onto the back and insides of the strong legs and down her ankles to the insides of her thighs. Janice felt the dark woman's hands come up high into her inner thighs and was pleasantly aroused. She remembered Melinda telling her that the massage would be good for her, but she didn't think it would be this 'good' for her. Janice closed her eyes and earnestly tried to hide her arousal from Melinda. The Belle loosened the tight calf muscles and skillfully worked her way up to Janice's tight hamstring. She looked up at Janice's face and saw a very dreamy look and also noticed her hips rocked very gently.

She smiled to herself.

"Are you doing alright, Janice?" Melinda asked. Janice didn't answer, but just continued to rock her hips very gently. "Janice?Janice?.are you doing okay?"

"Oh God?..uh?yes?..I'm???fine?..really."

With a smile Melinda continued. She knew she couldn't do anymore than what she was doing. She would just have to wait a bit longer. Yet she was having some innocent fun with Janice. As Melinda's hand parted Janice's leg to massage the insides of her legs, she could see Janice's pubic hair glisten with moisture. With another smile on her face she massaged the other leg as she wrapped up the massaging session.


Finals week was hell but Melinda survived it, as always. She aced her Anatomy, Biochemistry classes but wasn't sure if she got a 'A' in Physiology. Oh well, it didn't matter since she was already accepted to the University of South Carolina-School of Medicine. Previous to Janice's flu, Melinda wasn't sure if she was going to stay in South Carolina for medical school but now things were different. Melinda was happy that semester was over. Now that all exams were over, all she could think about was Janice. She stopped by her place to pick up a few extra clothes and headed over to Janice's house.

Melinda stormed into Janice's house excited that she knew she aced most of her exams.

She opened the front door and yelled, "Janice. I'm home."

"I'm in the kitchen." Janice called out.

"Exams are over. Whew! Let's celebrate!" Melinda wrapped her arms around Janice's waist and swung her around. All Janice could do was laugh with glee. The young professor was back to 100% now and wanted to start spending more time with Melinda. "So, how do you think you did on your exams?"

"I did great! I was so relaxed and prepared. And look," said Melinda as she took out a bottle from her backpack, "I brought a bottle of wine for us."

Melinda leaned forward and passionately kissed Janice's lips. Janice couldn't believe how breath taking the kiss was and welcomed it. Melinda had restrained herself all week from making any advances on Janice, but now that she was well she wanted to devour the blonde. In previous encounters with women, Janice had always been the aggressor but now, Melinda was talking the lead. Melinda wrapped her arms around the smaller women's body and pressed her body against hers as she passionately kissed Janice's lips, ears, and neck. "You smell so nice, hon." said Melinda as she kissed her lover's neck. Wanting to touch Janice's bare breast she removed all that were in her way without any argument from Janice. Before she knew what happened, she was divested of her shirt and was on lying on the couch. Melinda placed her hands behind Janice's back and unhooked the bra. She slid the bra off of Janice's shoulder and cupped the two breasts into her hands. Melinda gave each nipple a squeeze between her fingers as they slow came to full attention for her.

"Janice...I've been wanting to touch y'all week long but resisted."

"Uhhh?.." was all Janice could respond with as she felt Melinda's hips rock gently against hers. She could feel herself getting wet and realized that it didn't take much for her to get aroused lately. Janice felt Melinda's thigh ride up high in between her legs.

"Mel... I think you're making me wet...," she rasped.

"Really? I'll just have to check for myself," said Melinda as she unbuttoned the slacks and slid them down. A wet spot on Janice's boxers revealed the truth. Melinda slid her fingers up and down the outside of the boxers. "You are right." With a deep breath, she could smell the small woman's arousal. She had been enduring all week waiting for Janice to get better and now she wanted her reward. Gently, she arranged her almost naked prize so that she was lying on the rug in front of the fire place. Melinda could lean against the couch with Janice's butt on her lap. With her hips tipped into the air, Janice's calves rested on the seat of the couch over Melinda's shoulders. Everything happened so quickly that Janice's mind was in a blur; one second she was kissing Melinda and the next minute she was on her back with her legs in the air. The tall brunette removed the last barrier to her ultimate goal. Then, still sitting between Janice's legs, Melinda lifted both of Janice's legs and rested them on the couch. She pulled Janice closer to her and slid several throw pillows under Janice's buttocks for support.

"Ahhh......very nice." said Melinda as she stared at the wetness of Janice's labia.

With Janice's shoulder comfortably against the rug, she let her arms just rest over her head since she could not find the balance to sit up. Melinda just let her hands lightly caress the strong abdominal muscles. 'Mine?.' she thought to herself, 'all mine' as she possessively stroked over the lithe blonde's body. Without warning, Melinda, quickly removed to last barrier to her ultimate goal and stared at the wetness of Janice's labia.

Janice gasped and pleaded, "?Mel?.."

"Shhhh?. I know Honey. Don't worry. I will. I just want to admire you for a bit." Janice's head just rolled back and forth against the rug hoping that she could last while Melinda played with her like a new toy. Melinda blew a little air against the young woman's folds when a small, glistening knob poked through the blonde hair. "Well hello little one," she said with a bit of amusement.

'Who the hell is she talking to?' Janice thought no longer able to form coherent words.

"My, my. Are you here to greet me?" she teased and she blew more air against Janice's clit. Melinda smiled as it seemed to nod back at her. In spite of being on her back and her elevated legs, the intensity from the throbbing was causing the blood from brain to rush between Janice's legs.

'God! She's talking to my clit!'

As the throbbing clit seemed to disappear under the blond locks Melinda blew at it again and said, "don't be shy. I'm Melinda and were going to become very good friends." With that wicked remark, her clit was fully swollen and poking straight out while Melinda bent her head slightly to give her new friend a lick. Janice just gasped and let out a long moan which sounded a little like Melinda's name. Her glistening clit just pulsated back and forth when Melinda asked her new friend, "liked that?" Her new friend seemed to nodded back and forth. "Me too!" Melinda quipped. As she started to feel the room spin, Janice was hoping that she could remain conscious while Melinda had her way with her. Licking her lips, Melinda could see more and more fluid build up in Janice's vagina and felt thirsty. Suddenly, Janice felt Melinda begin the lap and drink in her folds, cleaning her like a cat.

Feeling a vibration at her clit, Janice thought, 'Oh my God??.. now what is she doing.' After pausing for a moment to feel Melinda's chin bath in her fluid she realized, 'she humming!'

Melinda just purred while enjoying her tasty treat. While coaxing her by licking her clit, Melinda murmured, "come on Honey. Become wetter for me. I'm verrrrry thirsty." With that request, Janice felt her orgasm begin to cause her cum start to flow from her vagina while Melinda just continued to lick and drink from her while holding an arm securely around the blondes waist. Janice screamed Melinda's name as she felt the wave of her first orgasm. Acting as if she didn't notice, Melinda continued to work at the blonde's clit causing Janice to quickly begin her second, powerful orgasm build even before the first ended. With her tongue deep inside her, Melinda could feel the muscles inside Janice start to tighten again knowing she would soon cum again. Her second orgasm, more powerful than her first, caused Janice eyes to roll back in her head as collapsed and went down for the count. Knowing that Janice was OK, Melinda smiled as she saw her new lover's chest rise and fall taking in deep breaths. As the blood started to return to her brain, Janice return to the land of the living. This time, her calves were no longer on the couch but stretched out on the rug and her eyes were slowly focusing on deep blue ones. Strong arms were wrapped around her keeping her warm.

While Melinda was getting warmed up again, she whispered into Janice's ear, "Med school is going to be so much fun. Just think, everyday I can come home and play doctor."

"Gad,," Janice thought as Melinda hands were on the move again, "it's a good thing she knows CPR. I might need it."


The Athenaeum's Scroll Archive