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Advocate & Rsawest

For Disclaimers see Chapter 1a

1a 1b 2a 2b 3a 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b


Chapter 6b

"You drive a bright orange Gremlin?" Amanda asked, hoping she didn’t sound too surprised. Even in the muted glow of the streetlights, its pumpkin finish shone proudly. Amanda and Jody exchanged looks of mutual disgust.

"Oh, yeah! This car is Mark’s baby," Claire informed the women. "He loves it."

"Ha ha, Claire. You know damn well, this piece of crap isn’t mine." Mark turned eyes begging to be believed on Jody and Amanda. "It’s my 17 year old nephew’s car. I didn’t want my truck to get messed with and I thought this would make a less attractive target.

"I don’t know" Claire said skeptically. "Weren’t you telling me earlier that this beauty was a classic? How much did you say you were going to offer your nephew for it?" Paybacks for Gumby...Sucker.

Mark narrowed his eyes. "You’re asking for it Claire," he threatened.

Jody and Amanda smiled at the familiar bantering as Claire and Mark went around to the driver’s side and whispered something to each other. Meanwhile, Jody and Amanda entered the passenger’s side. "Shit!" Mark cursed, as the door handle broke off in his hand. Jody was already inside so she reached across the driver’s seat and opened Mark’s door from the inside. Amanda settled in next to Claire in the back seat.

The car smelled like a mixture of beer and stinky sweat socks and... "Ewww!" Amanda crinkled her nose. "What’s that smell?" She tried to hide from the hideous combination of aromas by burying her nose in Claire’s denim jacket.

"Which one?" Claire answered disgustedly as she kicked a piece of stale pizza crust under the seat. "Jesus Mark! Couldn’t at least have found a car that wasn’t ripe?"

"Stop complaining. It was last minute, okay. I noticed you didn’t want to take your car," he shot back. "And I think the specific smell you’re referring to is Clearasil. There’s a half-squashed tub of the stuff under Jody’s seat.

"Ahhh. I thought I smelled medicine," Jody mentioned as she finally gave up trying to attach her broken seat belt.

Mark fumbled with the keys for a moment before the small car roared to life...really ROARED. "Sorry, I think the muffler has a hole in it," Mark apologized.

"There is no muffler. It fell off on the way over here." Claire happily snuggled with Amanda enjoying her musky perfume rather than the other unknown smells.

"Why didn’t you tell me?" The large man questioned. "Jimmy’s gonna be pissed!"

"Somehow I don’t think Jimmy will notice, Mark," Claire snorted. "This is officially the most revolting vehicle I have ever ridden in...or seen for that matter."

Mark laughed. "You’re right about that Claire. Sorry guys." His apology was greeted with several half-hearted grumbles.

Claire was surprised the Gremlin actually started again at Amanda’s house. But now it seemed to be even slower than when they drove to Amanda’s. Will a missing muffler do that? They were heading back to the area where the Explorer had been found and it would take an hour at this rate. "Why are we going so slow, Marko?"

"Have you seen the dashboard? Cause if you can ‘see’ it then you’re doing better than I am. There’s not even one light working up here. I have no idea how fast I’m going."

"Maybe there’s a flashlight in the glove box?" Jody speculated.

Mark smiled and nodded. "Good idea. Why don’t you check it out."

Jody grabbed the handle and pulled but nothing happened. She pulled it again. Still nothing. "This must be broken I can’t get it open."

Mark scratched his jaw. "It’s probably just stuck. Give a good yank and see what happens."

Jody shrugged and gave the handle a strong pull. On the third tug the door flew open and a large mass of small packets flew out. The bulk landed Jody’s lap, but a few others scattered throughout the car. "What the..." She jumped back not sure what to expect. Each occupant picked up a packet to examine it. Mark blushed, Jody’s eyes widened and Amanda started giggling. Claire simple tossed her packet back onto the floor and pulled Amanda closer.

"I got a super-ribbed model," Jody shared, after selecting a random packet from the pile.

"Oh yeah? Mine’s an ultra sensitive, glow in the dark, one sized fits all," Amanda countered as both women began to laugh.

"How many rubbers does one teenager need?" Claire wondered aloud.

"At least he’s thinking safety," Mark defended as he tossed down the classic Trojan. "They teach that in school, you know."

"Looks like he’s gunning for valedictorian!" Jody exclaimed, making even Claire chuckle.

After several more rounds of condom jokes Mark turned to Jody. "You said you were Amanda’s partner..." The two began a conversation about both of their careers that basically ignored the backseat passengers.

"Looks like we’re in a veritable love-nest, sweetheart," Claire whispered to Amanda as she gently kissed her cheek.

Amanda smiled at the unexpected endearment. "Umm Hmm." She agreed as she returned the kiss to Claire’s jawbone. "But I still like the backseat of your car better."

Claire growled remembering just how much fun she had picking out her new car. Lightly grasping Amanda’s chin she tilted her face up to meet hers in a soft kiss. Claire groaned and Amanda whimpered as the kiss deepened.

"Hey you two had better cool it back there," Jody interrupted in her best adolescent voice. "If one of you gets pregnant my mom won’t let me hang around with you anymore."

"If one of them gets pregnant I’m quitting my job and we’re taking the show on the road," Mark quipped to Jody as he accelerated through a yellow light. "There’s bound to be big money in that." He smiled wickedly.

"Oh yeah, I’d pay to see that," Jody agreed.

"Okay, you perverts. No getting your jollies at our expense!" Amanda protested.

"They’re calling us perverts?" Mark questioned. "Hey Claire, do you still have your tongue or did Amanda swallow it completely?" The entire car burst out laughing.


The evening had begun on a promising note. Mark had called one of his police buddies and got some decent leads on different places Monica might end up ‘crashing.’ Early on, they had even encountered several people who recognized Amanda, thinking she was Monica, and telling her how fantastic she looked. Not surprisingly, these people who hadn’t seen Monica for several years.

Eventually, the foursome ended up checking out what Mark called ‘flophouses.’ They scoured empty warehouses, decaying motels and even few decrepit private residences that were well known to law enforcement. Their occupants were mostly young people, runaways Jody guessed, and clearly addicts. But mixed in among them were a smattering of the elderly homeless and several people who appeared to be mentally challenged.

After entering the first warehouse, Claire decided she was very glad that Mark had insisted on coming along. His size alone deterred most of the unwelcome attention. But the last place was by far the worst. Although it was a house, it was filled with all types of people, some stretched out sleeping on rickety furniture on the floor, someleaning against the wall staring off into space. No one paid the newcomers any mind as they walked through the house sticking their heads into the various rooms. The stench in the rooms made the Gremlin’s interior seem like perfume. Having no success on the bottom floor the foursome carefully made their way upstairs.

The room at the end of the hall had several filthy mattresses scattered across the floor. Empty bottles, trash and syringes littered the torn stained carpet. The room's only non-rodent or insect occupants were two small boys that were practically sleeping on top of each other. The children were dirty and thin, and one little boy was wearing a single shoe.

Jody and Amanda had wanted to pick up the children right then and take them out the house. But Mark explained it would be better to allow social services to come and get the boys. That way they could see the squalid living conditions for themselves and figure out if one of the passed out people on the lower floor were the children’s mother or father.

"Oh my God!" Amanda exclaimed, her voice a little shaky as she pushed open the heavy metal door and took a deep breath of the cool night air. "That’s it. That’s the last one. I don’t want to go into anymore of these places. Thank goodness we didn’t find her here. I..."

Claire wrapped her arms around the smaller woman. "Shh. I know." She looked at Mark and Jody who both shook their heads in agreement. It was time to call it a night. "We can try again tomorrow." The lawyer smoothed the blonde hair under her chin. "Let’s go home." She took hold of Amanda’s hand and began walking to the Gremlin, Jody and Mark traveled silently several steps behind.

Before starting the car, Mark opened his cell phone and called the police. The women grimaced as he relayed what they had seen and asked that a social worker accompany the police their current location. After the very brief call, Mark clicked shut his phone and took a deep breath. "I think I could use a drink." He looked at his watched a sighed. It was almost 2:30 a.m.

"How about we head back to my house, Marko? I think we could all use a little time to wind down after tonight." Claire’s thumb stroked the back of Amanda’s hand and she received a little squeeze telling her that at least Amanda would be joining her.

"Not tonight, Claire. I’m wiped out. And I need to pick up Bobby and Keith from my mom’s in the morning."

She’s not as bad as I thought. And she does seem to really care about Amanda but...well...I still don’t have like her. Defiantly, Jody decided to address Amanda rather than Claire. "I need to be getting home too, Amanda." I can’t believe I’m going to suggest this. "Maybe you should stay at Claire’s place tonight. I don’t like the thought of you being at home alone."

Mark muttered something that echoed Jody’s statement.

"Well..." She’s growing on you, isn’t Jody? Amanda smiled knowing her friend’s stubborn resolve to dislike Claire was beginning to falter. Not that it mattered. She had no intention of being alone tonight. "What do you think Claire?"

A brilliant smile was her answer.


The foursome stood outside the Gremlin as it unevenly idled in Claire’s driveway. Claire grumpily looked underneath the rumbling beast, praying an oil leak wasn’t among its many ailments. "You guys sure you don’t wanna come in?" She motioned to her house with one hand, Amanda’s hand held firmly in her other.

"I’m sure. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Just let me know when you guys are going out again so I can come along too." The tall man looked down at Amanda who stood half a head shorter than everyone else. "Hey, Amanda do you ever miss Oz?"

Amanda narrowed her eyes as Jody and Claire tried unsuccessfully not to laugh. "Probably not as much as you miss Babe the Blue Ox," she retorted. The other women gave up their attempt to stifle their laughter as Mark bent over to kiss Amanda on the cheek. This drew a raised eyebrow from Claire, which only made him enjoy the platonic kiss that much more.

After the light peck on the cheek he whispered in her ear. "I’m sorry about your sister. Don’t worry. We’ll find her."

The blonde smiled affectionately as Mark waived goodbye to Claire and ducked into the Gremlin. "Not so fast, tough guy." She stuck her head through the open window and returned the kiss on a stubbley cheek. "Thank you, Mark," she remarked sincerely. "I wouldn’t have wanted to go into those places without you." She could see his faint blush in the moonlight and backed away, not wanting to embarrass him further.

"Good night, Amanda." Jody walked over and hugged her friend. I’ll call you tomorrow."

"Bye." Amanda looked at Jody as she climbed into the car. She wriggled her eyebrows so only her friend could see. The older therapist nodded, reluctantly conceding Mark was extremely attractive and that Amanda was right.

The car doors slammed as Claire and Amanda walked across the yard, the damp grass soaking their shoes as they made their way onto the porch. "What do you think about them?" Amanda asked as she Claire keyed in the security code.

"What do I think about who?"

Amanda rolled her eyes.


"I assume your car is at Amanda’s place, or do you want me to take you straight home?" Mark asked as he exited off the highway.

"No, it’s at Amanda’s. And thanks, I appreciate you taking me back." Jody shifted in her seat, at little nervous at being left alone with Mark.

The big man turned to Jody and smiled, the cool night air blowing his hair wildly around his face. "No problem. I was planning on going there anyway. Besides, I’m too wound up to go right to sleep. The fresh air will do me good." Think of something interesting to say! "So, why do you dislike Claire so much?" Oh that was smooth! Shit.

Jody forgot about her nervousness. "You know, you’re just as rude as she is! Have you ever heard a little thing called manners?" What is with this guy? He can’t miss the Ox. He is an Ox!

Mark’s eyebrows disappeared behind flying bangs. "RUDE! You’re the one who wouldn’t speak to Claire all night. I’d say that’s pretty damn rude." He considered stopping, but he was on a roll. "You’re acting like a spoiled brat who’s jealous because her playmate has a new friend. SO DON’T CALL ME RUDE!" The tall man tightened his grip on the steering wheel causing it to creak loudly.

"ME! You’re the one who wouldn’t let Claire get more than 10 feet away from you. She practically had to peel you of her so she could use the bathroom at that gas station." Jody was yelling. "Do all attorney’s have hero complexes or just you and Claire?"

Mark leaned across the seat and looked into Jody’s eyes. "Nope, their more brown than green. "Jealous much?"

"Smartass," she muttered, knowing he was at least in part, right. "Just take me to my car," she ground out between gritted teeth.

Uh...Oh. Now she’s pissed. I’m so suave. No wonder I’m alone. Damn, she really is nice. She must have handed out 50 business cards tonight offering free counseling. And the way she wanted to take care of those kids...

"Turn left here."

Mark slammed on the brakes as the tires screeched and the car fishtailed. The momentum sent Jody crashing into the dashboard. "Oh Christ!" Mark yelled as he retook control of the vehicle. He immediately pulled off the road and began trying to tug Jody off of the floorboards.

"Don’t touch me!" Jody slapped his hands away as she settled back into her seat with a groan. "Are you crazy? I know you’re mad at me, but you didn’t have to try to kill me!"

"Here." Mark winced and handed her a wrinkled handkerchief.. "Your nose is bleeding."

Jody warily accepted it and pressed it to her throbbing nose. "Ouch."

"I am so sorry, Jody. I’m not used to the brakes in this car. Who knew they would pick this second to decide to work? And, I’m not mad at you."

Jody looked at him expectantly.

"And I don’t want to kill you," he added hastily.

"It’s okay," she sighed. "It doesn’t hurt...MUCH."

Mark slowly pulled the car forward, looping around to turn on the street he’d missed. The rest of the ride proceeded in silence. When they finally arrived at Amanda’s house Jody was totally dejected, sore and tired.

"Thanks for the ride." She didn’t even look at the man as she reached for the door handle."

"Jody, hold on a second."

"Oh sorry." Jody realized she still had the handkerchief and tried to hand it back.

Mark waived off the bloodied cloth. "Umm. No. You can keep it. I’ve got plenty. wanted to apologize again."

The shorthaired woman sighed tiredly. "It’s okay, I know it was just an accident." She moved for the door again, only to be stopped by a gentle hand on her shoulder.

"Do you suppose you’d give me the chance to make it up to you?"

"Make it up how?"

"How about dinner? I can cook," Mark coaxed.

"What can you cook?" Jody asked as a little of her spirit returned. "And are you sure? So far the only time we’ve spent alone together has been disastrous."

"You name it, I’ll fix it. I’m willing to live dangerously if you are! I call you tomorrow so we can set something up?" He asked hopefully.

"I’m in the book." Jody smiled cheerful and exited the deathtrap. That was worth a bloody nose!


"Your kitchen is so gorgeous, Claire. It's almost a shame that you don't cook in it more often." With a final swipe Amanda finished wiping off the kitchen table.

The search for Monica had left them tired, and after several long hours of walking up and down stairs, hungry as well. It was nearly 3:00 a.m. and they were almost finished cleaning up after a snack that had turned into a full-blown meal. To her delight, Amanda discovered that one of the few things Claire could make was French toast.

"Trust me, you don't want me cooking anything else. Besides, look how nice and clean my kitchen is. How many peoples kitchen appliances still gleam after several years of ownership?" Claire rinsed the last dish and slid it into the dishwasher. She stopped talking for several moments wondering whether she should bring up anything remotely related to Monica. "You know, Mandy, if Jody hadn’t said anything about you staying here tonight, I would have."

"Because of Monica and Chucky?" Amanda asked vaguely disappointed that the only reason Claire may want her to stay over was for her safety.

"Well...only partly." Claire looked slightly guiltily. "I was sort of hoping you’d stay over no matter what happened tonight." Seeing no response from her companion she began to panic. "I have a really nice guest room, with clean sheets and everything," she added nervously, not wanting to rush her friend.

Noticing her friend’s insecurity, Amanda quickly moved to dispel her fears. She smiled wryly. "If you hadn’t asked me, Gumby...."

Impossible. I was DEFINITELY gonna ask, Claire thought.

"I was going to ask you."

Amanda walked over to the attorney and reached up to push back bangs that needed cutting. She smiled as she traced the prominent cheekbones. "I do believe you promised to play the piano for me," Amanda reminded her.

Claire returned the affection with a gentle kiss to the psychologist's forehead.

Pulling back she smiled. "All right, I did promise, didn't I?"

Taking Amanda's hand, Claire led her into her mostly empty living room. After depositing Amanda on the couch, she padded over to a short standing Tiffany lamp and clicked it on. The lamp provided just enough light for Claire to see the keys. Sitting down on the piano bench she stretched strong fingers. "Any special requests?"

Amanda beamed and shook her head. "Not right now, play something you like."

Claire closed her eyes for a moment and then began to play a relatively short piece by Debussy. The music was slow with a lovely melodic line and Amanda sat transfixed as she watched Claire play. She was amazed not only by Claire’s obvious proficiency with the instrument but by the flowing grace the larger woman exhibited.

Watching Claire play was pure sensual enjoyment as Amanda grinned, loving every minute of it. Long fingers almost caressed the keys and the smaller woman found her eyes her lingering on Claire’s hands. Finally her attention was drawn to Claire’s face. The attorney’s demeanor was intense but open, allowing Amanda to share in what Claire was experiencing. This woman ‘feels’ the music, Amanda thought as the musician transitioned into another slightly more vibrant piece. She felt her own breathing increase at the sight. Oh yeah. I’m certainly feeling something. Amanda was delighted and more than a little attracted to the unexpected creative side Claire was so impressively displaying.

Claire’s expression changed again as she focused intently on a particularly intricate section. Amanda smiled in reflex. The way her brow furrows when she plays is beyond cute. Recognizing the end of the piece Amanda moved toward her musician. Yes...yours, her heart happily supplied.

"That was beautiful, Claire. Debussy right?" Amanda asked as stood along side the brunette.

Claire nodded pleased Amanda had recognized her selection. "Yep, the Sarabande from Pour Le Piano. Debussy’s especially relaxing," she explained. "When I want to think, I play Scarlatti or Bach because their music is so organized." Claire fingered the keys gently. "Debussy is so free flowing, and there's no set formula to it. Sometimes it takes the whole piece to find the melody." Claire shrugged. "It makes me feel free to play it."

Amanda smiled and leaned against the piano. "You can play the classical masters for me another time. Would you play something else for me?"

Claire blushed slightly embarrassed that Amanda would want to listen to her play. During her childhood Claire had considered the piano a chore. Her parents had forced her to take lessons leaving her resentful of the time they took away from her other interests. But despite herself, as she grew older, she began to enjoy playing and even tolerated the frequent recitals. She never really paid attention to those who insisted she had a real talent. Her ‘talent’ was irrelevant. She played for pleasure alone.

"Why not," she acquiesced pleased the music seemed to take Amanda’s mind off of her sister and the horrid night they’d spent searching. "Do you want to hear some New Age music? I do a mean George Winston imitation."

Amanda laughed at the raised-brow expression on Claire's face and looked at Claire sheepishly. "I'm a sucker for torch songs and ballads. Would you sing something too?"

"Mandy, this isn't exactly a smoke-filled bar, and I..."

"Aw, come on... please? You play so beautifully. I have a hunch you have a wonderful voice too."

"Flattery will get you everywhere," Claire muttered as she shook her head. I am just a big old mushball. But how can I deny her? After a moment's thought, she knew exactly what she wanted to play. Amanda continued to lean against the piano as Claire began to make music.

"I wished on the moon for something I never new. Wished on the moon for more than I ever knew. A sweeter rose, a softer sky, an April day that would not dance away."
Claire stared directly into green eyes as she sang. Amanda found herself mesmerized by the smooth sexy alto voice and couldn't keep the smile off her face as Claire continued to serenade her.
"I begged of a star to throw me a star to throw me a beam or two, wished on a star and asked for a dream or two. I looked for every loveliness, it all came true. I wished on the moon for you."
Wow! Amanda felt a little weak in the knees. "You like those big band ballads too?" she asked softly as Claire finished.

"Oh yeah. They don't write good ballads anymore. That's one of my favorites. But I also like Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra."

Amanda settled herself on the bench alongside Claire before leaning in and kissing her lightly on the lips. "Claire, that was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. Thank you."

Only pulling her face a few inches away from Amanda’s, Claire brushed her finger along Amanda's up-turned lips enjoying the way the shadows played along the youthful face. "I'm glad you liked it. If there was ever a song for you, that's it."

Wrapping her hand around the back of Amanda’s neck she returned the light kiss with a passionate one. Amanda felt strong arms wrap around her, as the kiss deepened and intensified, leaving both women wanting more.

"I guess we're going to finish what we started in the car lot, huh?" Amanda whispered breathlessly as she pulled back a little but left her arms resting low around Claire’s waist.

Claire nodded and kissed her again allowing her hands to roam along Amanda's sweatshirt, finally finding their way under it to feel soft skin of her stomach. Amanda mirrored Claire’s actions as she placed both of her hands on Claire's middle, slowly caressing her through the thin cotton blouse, until she reached under the garment and rubbed her hands over the trim waist.

Claire groaned deep in her throat as she felt Amanda's hands move upward, continuing their sensuous massage. "That feels so good, Mandy..." she moaned huskily as they both took a moment to remember how to breathe.

Amanda silently pulled back and began removing Claire blouse. She smiled when she saw that the darker woman wasn’t wearing a bra...again. Green eyes, already darkened with arousal, admired the creamy, perfect breasts. "Claire..." she mumbled as she leaned forward and laid her cheek against the attorney's chest, drinking in the overwhelming sensations of softness and heat. She hugged Claire tightly and stroked the velvety skin on her back.

Closing her eyes, Claire found herself unable to speak but continued to hold Amanda close, nuzzling her hair. They continued that way for several long moments before Amanda finally moved. With a smile, she stood and slipped off her sweatshirt. Tossing it aside, she took Claire's hand and began leading her to the couch.


Amanda stopped instantly, afraid she’d done something wrong. She looked around in confusion. "I’m sorry. I thought..."

Claire pulled her back into a hug and quickly reassured the smaller woman. "You thought exactly right, Mandy. I was just hoping we could move upstairs." Claire eyed the narrow couch ruefully. Dammit! I knew I shouldn’t have listened to that twit decorator.

Amanda followed Claire’s line of vision and shook her head in agreement. "One of us would probably roll off and get killed."

"Let’s go," Claire laughed as she grabbed Amanda and began ushering her upstairs. Amanda smiled at her friend’s obvious frustration over her slow pace. After stopping several times for tortuously languorous kisses the women finally made it into Claire’s room.

Amanda slipped her hands into the waistband of Claire's favorite jeans and much to the older woman’s delight, began slowly slipping them off, leaving soft kisses in the wake of the denim. "You are so beautiful Claire, I just..." Amanda stopped becoming a little flustered.

"It’s okay. I know and ... Mandy..." She lost her train of thought as she was drawn into another deep kiss. Impatient large hands moved to unclasp Amanda's bra and couldn’t help lingering on the delicate skin they found underneath. Slowing working her hands down Amanda’s stomach and around slim hips Claire finally slid off Amanda’s jeans and lovingly stroked firm thighs. She paused there and leaned forward to deposit a light kiss.

With a sigh, Claire freed her lips from the soft skin of Amanda’s inner thighs. If I’m going to kiss every inch of this delicious body I can’t linger here...yet. Sure moist lips traveled to Amanda's throat where Claire began to smother her with the softest of kisses.

Amanda moaned, completely captured in the oral assault she knew would be her undoing. I can’t believe I’m still standing. Her legs had turned to jello long ago and she had only managed to stay upright because of the tight grip on her partner. "No hickeys, Claire..." she joked as she loosened her grip and ran her hands over Claire's muscular bottom.

Claire snorted but continued to rain kisses on her chest and breasts. "That’s NOT my style, Mandy. Well... at least not where they would show," she mumbled as she dropped to her knees and began kissing her way back down the therapist’s body. Claire was lost in the light salty taste of Amanda’s skin and the musky aroma flooding her senses.

Amanda's arched against the nearly overwhelming sensations, her hands finding their way into Claire's hair. Pushing Claire away gently, she cupped the attorney's face and tilted it up. Both women were panting, their eyes betraying a combination of lust and affection and desire. Without a word, Amanda pulled Claire onto the large bed. Sensuously crawling up Claire’s body, Amanda made her way to waiting lips and kissed her passionately. Small trembling hands caressed the length of Claire's long frame. The attorney growled deeply as she tried to gain a tighter hold Amanda’s slick moist skin.

"I'll never get enough of you..." Amanda whispered as her lips moved to heaving breasts.

"But let's give it the old college try," were the last coherent words spoken for several hours. Claire gasped as Amanda’s tongue circled her bellybutton and continued its trek downward.


Claire opened her eyes. It was all a dream. I know it was. Nothing so wonderful could have possibly happened to me. I can still feel that soft skin ... A slight movement caused Claire to look down to see Amanda's red gold hair spilling onto her stomach, Amanda's left hand firmly grasping her bicep. Claire smiled and took a deep breath as she stroked Amanda's back. That was real... I am so lucky.

The attorney stretched as best as she could with Amanda molded to her. She kept her movements slow and silent, not wanting to wake her sleeping lover. She looked around her bedroom, not quite remembering how they made it to the bed. Claire was sure she would find their clothes strewn about in the living room. I’ve always wanted to wake up here with someone I really care about. I just can’t believe it finally happened. But here she was, and her heart swelled as sleepy green eyes slowly opened to greet her.

With a small groan Amanda turned her head and looked up at Claire with a sweet smile. Lifting herself up, she moved up the bed and gently laid her head on Claire's chest. "Hey, good morning," she husked, her voice still rough with sleep. She closed her arms around Claire.

"It most certainly is a good morning," Claire laughed as she planted a kiss on her forehead.

"This is the way I want to wake up every morning," Amanda mumbled as she returned Claire's kiss.

"Me too. I just thought it would never happen."

"Claire do you mean you've never slept overnight with someone after making love?" Amanda asked a little surprised by the admission.

Claire shrugged. "Anything that's happened before was just sex." Claire struggled for a moment, not really wanting to continue but sensing that Amanda wanted to know. "I...I never wanted to stay or have them stay. It made me uncomfortable and nervous."

Amanda looked down at their entwined bodies. Well, she doesn’t exactly look uncomfortable. "Are you feeling nervous now, with me here?"

Claire shook her head and held Amanda closer. "Absolutely not. I've never felt more safe or comfortable than I do with you in my arms."

"Good," Amanda sighed relieved her feelings weren’t one sided. "Because I don't know what I'd do if you were. I feel so happy, Claire. It all right."

Claire murmured her agreement and reached down to grab the maroon down comforter that had slid off onto the floor. After several awkward tugs she managed to settle the fluffy spread over their naked bodies. "Lets pretend that’s not really the sun shining in my window and get a couple more hours sleep, hmm?" Claire yawned.

Amanda nodded, listening contentedly as the heartbeat below her ear slowed even further. She wanted to say more but still wasn’t sure the time was right. Soon Claire...very soon. Burrowing closer she inhaled the faint scent of roses. "Hmm. I love..." The words trailed off as she joined her lover in sleep.


Continues here...

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