Chapter 3: Eveningtime

For Danny, who believes
If you go out in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.
For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.
Picnic time for teddy bears,
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today.
Watch them, catch them unawares,
And see them picnic on their holiday.
See them gaily dance about.
They love to play and shout,
And never have any cares.
At six o'clock their mommies and daddies
Will take them home to bed
Because they're tired little teddy bears.
“The Teddy Bears' Picnic” A Sweet Lullaby

It took Karen the better part of half an hour to gather her wits, at least enough to feel as though she could stand up without falling. From out of the blue, a most mundane thought came to her – I’m starving! 

Turning to her 14-year-old lover, Karen mumbled, “Laci, honey, could you help me up? I have to pee, and then we need to go downstairs and get something to eat and drink.”

Laci giggled. “Okay.” Wow… I made her so weak and shaky she needs help to sit up! She got out of bed and padded around to the other side, extending a hand to Karen.

With Laci’s help, Karen levered herself into a sitting position, then remained motionless for a second. “Pheewww, so dizzy!” She reached over to turn on the lights and… nothing. “Oh, shit,” she muttered. “The power’s out. Damn.”

“No electricity?” Laci wasn’t sure if this was a big problem. Karen obviously wasn’t alarmed or mad, just annoyed.

“Nope, no electricity. Damn. We can’t brush our teeth, at least up here. And no bath or shower. The well pump runs on electricity. Well, I’ve got a dozen gallon bottles of spring water. Knew they’d come in handy.” Karen slipped into her flannel nightie and her robe from the night before last, then slid her feet into a well-worn pair of slippers. “I’ll get you one of Amy’s old flannel nighties and pair of scuffies to keep your tootsies warm. Don’t want you to catch a cold.”

Karen padded into the bathroom with Laci close behind and plopped down on the commode, which shocked Laci. Peeing front of her like it was no big deal? Unable to help herself, the teen giggled, then covered her mouth. 

“What?” Karen said. “What’s so funny?”

“You! Going to the bathroom in front of me like that.”

Karen almost said something about a certain young girl having had her face between Karen’s legs half an hour ago, but thought better of it. “It’s no big deal.”

Laci giggled even harder. “You make me laugh!” she said with childish glee. 

Karen shook her head and smiled. She wasn’t particularly shy about her bathroom habits. It did use to bother Amy, until she simply accepted it as one of her mother’s idiosyncrasies. 

Finished, Karen stood up, tore off a strip of toilet paper and wiped herself. “Okay, all done.

Your turn. I even warmed the seat for you.”

Once again, Laci dissolved into a fit of giggles. Well, what did you think, dummy? Everybody goes to the bathroom! But she’s so funny about it… Oh, she makes me feel good! 

Nonetheless, Laci was reluctant to sit on the toilet herself while being watched. Luckily, Karen was sensitive enough to understand. “I’ve got a new toothbrush for you to use,” she said, taking one from the vanity drawer. She grabbed her own brush and a tube of toothpaste. “We’ll have to brush with bottled water in the kitchen, though. Oh, and don’t flush the toilet!”

“No?” Laci said, scrunching up her nose in surprise. “How come?”

“The tank won’t refill when the well-pump isn’t working.” With that, Karen stepped out and shut the bathroom door, leaving Laci alone. 

Laci blushed, chastising herself for not figuring that out for herself. Then again, such details as how toilets flushed simply never occurred to her. Why should they? In her world, they just did. Lost in reflection, she came dangerously close to flushing the toilet anyhow out of sheer ingrained habit, but just managed to catch herself in time. 

She entered the hallway in time to see Karen emerging from Amy’s old room, a flannel nightie with a yawning cartoon girl and the words I just want to be in bed in one hand, a pair of fuzzy scuffies in the other. “Here y’go,” Karen said, helping Laci slip the nightie onto her lithe young body.

Downstairs, Karen went to one of the windows to peer outside. “Holy Guacamole, Bat-girl!” she exclaimed, her eyes wide.

“Wh-what’s the matter?” Laci said with mild alarm.

“Jesus Christ! Look, honey. Look at all the snow!”

Laci stood on her tippy-toes, balancing herself by putting a hand on Karen’s arm. “Ohmygod!” she squealed. 

Outside, there was nothing but white. The snow in this sheltered part of the house was piled high enough to reach the window. Looking to the side, she found herself unable to make out the road. There was a hump where the snowplow had once passed, now indistinct. The driveway was invisible, and the bird bath on the lawn was gone except for part of the bowl. And it was still snowing hard, too! The trees on the other side of the driveway were hazy ideas, shrouded by a thick veil of falling flakes. It was all very beautiful… also, a little scary. 

Laci turned to Karen, nibbling nervously at her lower lip. “I’ve never seen this much snow, ever. Are we – are we trapped here?”

“’Fraid so, baby girl. We’re not going anywhere for a while.” Karen shrugged. “But there’s plenty to eat, the house is heated with gas, so is the stove. It might be kind of nice to be stuck here together.” She slipped her arm around Laci’s waist. “Let’s go eat. I’m starved.”

It was cool but bright in the kitchen. Karen rummaged around the under-counter cupboard and pulled out a gallon jug of spring water. She took a toothbrush, still in its package, from the pocket in her robe and handed it to Laci. In truth, she wouldn’t have had a problem with letting the child use hers – it had always struck Karen as a little silly to get grossed out about sharing a toothbrush with someone you’d French kissed. That’s the way people were, though, and obviously Laci would be squeamish. Luckily, she always had extras on hand, left over from her daughter’s sleepover and slumber party days. All too often, one of the girls would forget to pack hers, and Karen had learned to be prepared.

Karen peered out over the backyard in awe as she brushed her teeth. It was a sea of white, shrouded behind a foggy curtain of falling flakes. The deck was gone, the trees were reduced to mere shrubs, and the garden shed was completely buried on one side by a drift. Oddly enough, there was a large bare spot over by the above-ground pool where the wind had scoured away the snow and sent it drifting off to who knew where. She hadn’t seen this much snow since she was a girl of seven or eight, and then they’d been stuck indoors for three days. 

She rinsed her mouth and nodded. “There. Now I need my nicotine fix.” She found her extra cigarettes and lit one, exhaling a plume of smoke. The mother in her was conflicted about giving Laci a cigarette. Then again, what was the point of saying no? Laci already had the habit, and they’d shared a few last night… no use to get all high and mighty now. After a second drag, she handed it to Laci.

“You don’t mind?” Laci said, a bit sheepishly.

Karen shrugged. “Tell you what - we’ll quit soon. Both of us. Together.” She sighed, already missing her coffee. Her options were instant or tea. She chose tea, and set about making it. “Do you want tea, honey? Or hot chocolate? Juice?”

Laci shrugged. “Juice is okay.”

Karen got a jug of orange juice from the refrigerator. “Karen?” Laci said pensively. “The fridge runs on electricity. Won’t the stuff in it go bad or something, now that the power’s out?”

“Excellent observation, sweetie,” Karen said, and Laci blushed at the compliment.

 “If we don’t open the door except when we really need to, everything will be fine for a while. It’s like those big coolers you take to the beach. But if the power’s still out tomorrow, you and I will have to move everything to the garage to keep it cold. Later, I’ll get a big pot we’ll fill with snow, and we’ll melt it and use that to flush the toilets. I know it grosses you out to not flush after going.”

“Yeah, my mother never does and it stinks, and her gross boyfriend pees all over the seat, which is so totally guh-ross.”

“I’d say so. What would you like for breakfast?”

“What can we have?” She thought of the pancakes Karen made for sleepovers, how they were the best she’d ever had.

“Anything your precious heart desires, baby.”

Laci adored the pet names Karen used when talking to her, things like baby, sweetie, honey, baby-girl. They made her feel so good. No one had ever talked to her that way before – certainly not her mother! The thing was, she could tell Karen meant those nice names, they weren’t just words. The one she liked best was “baby-girl”. It was exactly how Karen made her feel, like a girl who wasn’t exactly grown-up, yet somehow like a baby, wanting to be held and cuddled. 

Laci sighed happily, then realized with a start that Karen was waiting for an answer about breakfast. "Um, could we have pancakes?"

Karen smiled. “Pancakes it is.” 

As she went about fixing breakfast, Karen turned on the radio, listening long enough to hear that it was going to snow for another twelve hours, and it would reach at least four feet before it was over. Grimacing, she switched the radio off, pausing to sip her tea before she poured the pancake batter onto the griddle. She made them three pancakes each, deftly stacking them atop two plates when they were done. Grabbing the syrup from the fridge, Karen handed Laci her plate and led the girl to the breakfast nook, which was smaller than the kitchen but much more intimate.

Just as they sat down, Karen’s cell phone rang. “Damn it,” she muttered, and she went to the kitchen to retrieve it. 

Laci sat waiting, feeling increasingly anxious. Who could that be, phoning during a storm? Her mother? No, her mother was probably drunk, stoned, high on meth or all three. On the other hand, she might try to track her daughter down for the forty dollars Laci had taken. Oh God, please don’t let it be her.

When Karen came back, her face was neutral. She sat down with a sigh. “Well, we aren’t going anywhere until at least the day after tomorrow. That was my plow man. He won’t be able to unblock the road until tomorrow night at the earliest. Oh well, we’ll be fine,” she added with a smile.

Relieved, Laci dove into her pancakes. She hadn’t eaten anything since heating up a can of Spaghetti-Os the previous morning, and was ravenously hungry.

Watching the girl wolf down her food, Karen asked, “When was the last time you ate, honey?” When Laci admitted the truth. Karen’s eyebrows went up. “Spaghetti-Os? Yesterday? Jesus H. Christ. Honey, that just flat-out isn’t right.” Karen felt a bubble of anger forming in her mid-section. “Does your mother even do groceries?”

“Yeah, usually. You can’t use the food stamp cards for anything else. Sometimes she sells the card for drug money, but only once in a while.”

“Oh for Christ’s sake!” Karen said, then fell silent. When she spoke again, it was in a quieter tone. “Laci, baby, can I ask you something very personal… maybe a little embarrassing? It’s important to me.”

Laci paused. If she Karen said it was important, then it had to be. “Okay, sure.”

“Your mother has a lot of different boyfriends, doesn’t she?”

“Uh-huh. They come and go, then sometimes they come back. They’re all nasty and gross and I hate them.”

“Has any of them ever… hurt you? Or tried to touch you in a way you didn’t want?”

Laci furrowed her brow as she thought about Karen’s question. “No. A couple have tried, but I’m not afraid to fight back. Once when I was six or seven, I almost let one put my hand on his…” She shuddered at the thought. “His thing. Because back then I thought you were s’posed to do what adults told you to do. I remember my mother came in before it could happen, and that was before she was really messed up. But no, I never let any of them touch me.”

Karen’s heart thudded as a wave of sudden remorse washed over her. I had sex with this fourteen-year-old girl. I undressed her, took her to bed, fondled and licked her. Am I really any better than the scumbag who tried to make her touch his cock? She felt a crazy impulse to kneel before Laci, seize her hand and plead: You don’t think of me that way… do you?

Karen studied the child as she wolfed down her pancakes, her face sweet and guileless.

No, she told herself after a moment’s reflection. It’s a selfish question. Look at her, so damned beautiful and content after our night together… don’t fuck up what we had by making an issue out of your own guilt. 

Suddenly Karen recalled Laci as a scabby-kneed, angelic child of ten, seated at this same table eating breakfast after a sleepover with Amy. Her lovely eyes sparkling like a little wren’s, her demeanor always warm and gentle despite the sad hand of cards she’d been dealt by life. Karen’s breath caught in her chest. No, let’s leave well enough alone. 

Still, Karen felt the necessity to know more about Laci’s mother, painful though the subject was. “Doesn’t your mom protect you?”

“No,” Laci said matter-of-factly. “She’s usually too drunk or… fucked up…” She glanced up from under her eyelashes to see if Karen would react badly to her using such a powerful swear word. But Karen only sipped her tea, listening attentively. “I don’t think she really cares what happens to me,” the girl continued. “When she sobers up enough, she’ll do things like buy me clothes. Sometimes. But that doesn’t happen much. And even then, she keeps going on and on about what a big favor she’s doing me.”

Laci finished the last bite of pancake, then laid her fork down with a happy sigh. Karen lit a cigarette, then offered Laci the pack. “What about your father? He’s not around?”

“I’m not sure who my father is,” Laci said resignedly, taking a cigarette, leaning forward to get a light from Karen.

“Oh, wonderful,” Karen muttered, shaking her head in disgust. 

Laci shrugged as if it were no big deal. “She does it with so many guys, it’s hard to tell. Maybe that’s why I like girls, huh?" Then she shook her head. "No, I doubt it, I just like girls. But I’m a mistake, she says. I wasn’t supposed to happen, and she reminds me of that all the time.”

Karen felt a hot, unpleasant bubble of raw fury rise up in her. How could such things be? What kind of person treated their own flesh and blood like a stupid mistake? Was the call of drugs and alcohol so strong that it destroyed one’s basic humanity? Apparently so. 

Karen reflected on how she always refused to list apartment buildings from that seedy, derelict section of town where Laci lived whenever they came up for sale. It shamed her, but she dumped them on the younger realtors. She hated dealing with the willful misery of the people who existed there. 

Yet unpleasant as such miniscule contact with the city’s poverty-ravaged netherworld was, Laci lived there every day. It was her life. Every day a struggle to survive, never mind thrive and retain a measure of hope in something better out there. Under the circumstances, it was a miracle that the only bad habit Laci had picked up was smoking. 

Sweet Jesus Christ! How can I allow her to live like that? And how the hell can society label ME as evil and wrong because I give Laci pleasure, while her rotten, despicable mother barely feeds her? How is that fair? She sighed. Let it go, let it go. 

“See, though,” Laci continued, oblivious to Karen’s anger, “that’s why I always liked coming out here. I always felt like you guys cared for me, even your ex-husband - and you never made me feel like I was an annoying brat." She paused, her cheeks suddenly flushed pink, then blurted, "And I had a crush on you, too!"

"Oh, Laci…" Karen whispered, "I didn’t know. How could I have missed it?"

"I’ve always loved you," the child declared. "At first, I just wished you were my real mommy, but later, I started dreaming of hugging an’ kissing you, and when I figured how to rub myself, I liked to think of us being naked together, kissing and touching… just like last night." She gave Karen a worried look. "Um… you don’t think I’m a slut or something, do you?"

“No!" exclaimed Karen, appalled. "God, no! Christ, like I said last night - if you’re a slut, what does that make me?”

Laci answered quietly, “It makes you someone I love. With all my heart.”

Heart throbbing with adoration, Karen rose to her feet and moved to where Laci sat. Bending down, she embraced the child, burying her face in Laci’s sweet-scented hair. Her tummy was tightening most deliciously, a sign of reawakened lust. “Come,” she whispered, “let’s go upstairs, okay?”

Laci nodded, smiling with relief, her eyes bright. “Okay.”

By this time, Laci was feeling much better. She didn’t especially like all these questions – not so much the questions themselves as the fear of where they might lead Karen. It would be awful if Karen started to think she was touching Laci in a bad way. 

But that’s not fair, the young girl told herself, ‘cause it’s not the same! What they had shared last night was a million times better than what those gross, nasty creeps wanted to do to her. Karen touched her with love, made her feel like she was… an angel, or something else really nice. 

As she followed Karen up the stairs, Laci briefly squeezed her eyes shut to make a silent wish. Don’t let her ask me any more about my mom, or her boyfriends, or my father. No more stuff that makes us feel bad. Maybe some other time… just not now. 

The upstairs bedroom bore the brunt of the howling northeast wind, so it was colder. There was a large, old fashioned fireplace against the back wall on the other side of the room that had long ago been converted to gas. With the push of a button on a remote, the fireplace crackled to life. To Laci’s eye, you couldn’t tell it wasn’t a real wood fire. She thought it was a pretty awesome set-up, making the room feel nice and snug.

Karen picked up a hairbrush from her vanity. “How’d you like to have me brush your hair?”

Laci smiled brightly. “That would be really nice. Amy used to brush my hair and I’d brush hers.”

Karen slid back from the edge of the bed and opened her legs, making a spot big enough for Laci to sit. As she moved her robe fell open, exposing her breasts. Laci glanced at them longingly, a sight that made Karen smile. “Come,” she said, patting the space between her legs.

Laci seated herself, relaxing against the firm globes of Karen’s breasts, now pressed snugly into her back. She was starting to feel that warm, tingly pressure in her pelvis again and gave a little shiver of delight.

Karen lifted Laci’s mane of hair, slowly trailing her fingers through it. Oh, how she loved this stream of honey-hued silk - soft to the touch like a kitten’s fur, long and gently curled at the edges. She drew the brush along the length of Laci’s hair from underneath in one smooth, even stroke. There were still a few sleep tangles, but Laci didn’t flinch when the bristles of the brush caught them. 

Laci’s eyes were closed, her breathing slow and regular as though she was in a trance. Karen continued to wield the brush in long, slow sweeps - the back, the sides, over the top. Pausing in mid-stroke, Karen brought a handful of Laci’s mane to her nose. Its fragrance was subtle and delicious… the lingering aroma of fruit-scented shampoo or conditioner, enhanced by a tiny hint of Laci’s natural body fragrance and a trace of her sex, left over from last night. “I love your hair, baby girl," Karen said, "it’s so beautiful and soft, and it smells so nice.”

“It feels good to have you brush it, so relaxing,” Laci murmured thickly.

Karen gently tilted Laci’s head back until she could gaze down at her little lover’s upturned face. Laci’s eyes were still closed, her naturally long, thick lashes resting against her cheekbones. Her full, almost pouty lips, so wonderfully delicate and soft, were parted slightly. 

Karen was already entranced by the simple act of brushing Laci’s dark golden tresses, and taking in the fairy-like beauty of her face filled the woman with a frantic desire that had to be dealt with. Dropping the brush to the bed, Karen curled an arm around Laci’s shoulder to tenderly cup the girl’s chin in her hand. She slid her cheek against Laci’s, touching her lips to that achingly lovely mouth. Laci moaned in mixed surprise and pleasure, but her eyes remained shut as Karen tenderly kissed her, again and again. 

Finally, Karen let her kiss linger, using her tongue to gently penetrate Laci’s lips and slip into her mouth, seeking out the child’s tongue and encouraging it to play. They shared a gentle but intensely passionate French kiss, finally parting with a last tiny peck. 

Laci sighed blissfully, her eyes still closed. “Karen?” she breathed. “Can we do something special? I’ve dreamed about it for a long time.” A part of Laci was shocked that she was about to give voice to her most secret longing, but another part of her didn’t care. 

“Of course we can, precious darling. Anything you want.” Karen allowed her hands to slip down Laci’s body to stroke her thin flanks, then bent to nuzzle the nape of her neck, making the girl giggle softly and shrug her shoulders. “What’s your dream? Tell me.”

Karen was struck by Laci’s languid, sleepy eyes, by how relaxed and at ease the girl was with their lovemaking. Such a sensual creature, she told herself. My God, she’s a perfect lover. 

“Can I suck on your… breasts… y’know, like they’re filled with milk, an’ I’m a baby drinking from them?” Laci’s heartbeat sped up at the revelation of her long-concealed fantasy. Would Karen think she was weird?

Karen shifted her hands up to Laci’s chest, gently cupping and squeezing the teen’s breast buds through the nightie she wore. “Of course you can, princess. I’d like that very much.” 

Karen was sensitive enough to understand that this was one of Laci’s most secret desires. She decided, then and there, that she owed this angelic child a secret of hers in return. 

Karen shifted, lying down on her side and bringing Laci along, so that the girl was facing her at breast level. Laci’s eyes were sparkling now.

”You know, Laci," Karen said softly as she stroked Laci’s freshly brushed mane. “I’ve never told anyone this before, but when Amy was a baby and I breast fed her, sometimes it felt so good that I’d put my hand between my legs and touch myself until I had  – oh, wonderful orgasms. Sometimes, I’d get so full, milk would dribble out and I’d need to nurse Amy or feel like I’d explode. And if we were alone, just the two of us, I’d nearly always finger my pussy while she drank from me." She sighed wistfully. "It’s funny… but those seem like the times when I was closest to Amy. I always felt guilty afterward, too, but I couldn’t stop.”

"Wish I’d been your baby," Laci said wistfully. "I would’ve loved for you to do that with me."

With a loving smile, Karen lifted her breast with one hand and drew Laci’s head to her with the other. "You can be my baby now, sweetheart," she whispered. Her nipples were now stiff and very tender, just from thinking of Laci nursing. 

Laci used her hands to frame Karen’s creamy breast, imagining it full, firm and heavy with warm milk. She parted her lips… and Karen gasped when Laci drew the stiff but pliable bud into the moist heat of her mouth and began to suckle.

Laci glanced up at Karen but continued nursing, her eyes shining with delight as she took in the look of pure joy on her grownup lover’s face. See how stupid you were… so afraid she’d think you were all weird and creepy cause you wanted this? 

Karen cradled Laci close, stroking her hair. This precious angel never had the chance to be a baby, never really knew what it’s like to be this close to someone who loved her. She trailed her hand down Laci’s side and began to gently stroke her belly, then began to croon a little lullaby she’d sung to Amy when she was an infant. “If you go out in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…”

Laci hummed contentedly at the comforting sound of Karen’s voice. No one had ever sung to her before. Her body was warm all over now, and that glow under her tummy grew stronger and started to spread. She suckled harder, nipping gently at the swollen tip of Karen’s breast. Oh how I wish there was real milk coming out, Laci thought with an inner sigh.

Karen inched her hand down further, still singing of happy teddy bears and gazing in wonder at Laci, who seemed to become more beautiful by the minute. Gently lifting the hem of Laci’s nightie, she slipped her hand between the child’s damp thighs. Laci moaned, opening her legs to receive Karen’s touch.

Karen’s heart pounded as she stroked Laci’s puffy outer labia, still smooth and naturally bare. As she finished the lullaby, she cupped and squeezed the girl’s mound, then ever so carefully pressed her middle finger between Laci’s labia and eased it into the hot, sticky slit. Laci whimpered and her breathing began to quicken.

How could anything feel so good? Laci wondered. When Karen touched her down there, it was magical - unlike anything she’d ever experienced. She lifted her hips, wanting more of that lovely finger moving around inside her. Her mouth slackened and she released Karen’s breast with a wet sound, a strand of saliva connecting her lips to the glistening nipple. Another half-inch of Karen’s finger entered Laci’s sex – the girl arched her body in response, a tiny cry escaping her quivering lips.

Karen continued to penetrate Laci, pushing a little harder, nudging deeper. At last, she had her finger hooked into Laci’s exquisitely tight vagina, making the lovely girl chirp like a delicate bird. She was hot inside, like warmed liquid silk. Probing Laci’s pussy, she murmured, “Do you like that, baby girl?” steadily working her finger in and out.

The pleasure Laci felt from Karen’s touch wasn’t as intense as it had been last night; now it seemed nicer, more friendly. Almost automatically, Laci began to move her hips to the rhythm of Karen’s caresses. “Ohhh, Karen,” she whispered. “It feels so good when you’re inside me.”

Karen replied by pushing her finger as deep as it could go, and the girl shuddered, opening her legs even wider. After a few more strokes Karen withdrew her finger, then used the flat of her hand to massage Laci’s vulva, spreading her honey-like essence over the child’s delicate sex. Laci’s moans grew louder, longer. 

“Your little treasure is sooo beautiful, my sweet darling,” Karen cooed. “So warm and wet and wonderful…”

“Karen, rub me… please, rub me there.”

Hovering over the girl, Karen lowered her face to Laci’s and their lips came together, tongues tangling in a deep kiss. Meanwhile Karen was moistening two fingers in the wetness of Laci’s pussy, then slowly trailing them up the smooth slit in a single firm stroke until she found the throbbing pearl of Laci’s clit. She teased it with the tips of her fingers, brought it forth so the  jewel beneath the fleshy hood could come out to be loved. 

Laci gasped into Karen’s mouth, seized by a jolt of pleasure. Her body instantly fell into the rhythm of Karen’s strokes and she helplessly thrust her hips up and down, back and forth. The warm bubble inside was swelling steadily, and little tendrils of heat rippled outward from her pussy to warm the whole of her.

“That’s my precious baby,” Karen whispered, her lips brushing Laci’s flushed cheeks. “Your love spot feels so good to my fingers, so hot and slippery.” She kept up those tiny circular strokes as Laci drew closer to sexual release, her undulations growing ever more urgent.

Suddenly Laci whimpered, buried her hands in Karen’s hair and arched her body up from the bed, her whimper building to a scream as an orgasm came before she expected it. 

When it happened this time, it wasn’t with the same explosive force of last night, but more like an ocean wave that grew and grew as it neared the rocks, finally collapsing with a rush. Her pussy tightened, quivered and released again and again, and she cried out loud, her little body tightening and trembling.

“That’s my love - let it happen, baby girl,” Karen encouraged, still stroking Laci’s wet sex. “Just like that. Come for me, honey, I love it when you come.” 

Laci gasped with each new surge, the pleasure becoming nearly too powerful to bear - but Karen didn’t stop this time. She eased the pressure, but kept stroking. Her head spinning crazily, Laci fell back on the bed, expecting Karen to stop then. When she didn’t, Laci was surprised at the way her body responded. There was room for more good feelings in there! Her sex didn’t turn sensitive, like it always did when she rubbed herself. Instead she felt herself opening up, longing to feel it all again.

“Can I keep going, baby?” Karen purred.

Panting for breath, Laci licked her lips. “Ohhh yes, Karen, keep going, there’s more in me. It feels soooooo good, so so good. Oh Karen, Karen, I love you so much!”

Karen gradually increased the pressure of her caresses, careful to make sure Laci wasn’t overwhelmed. “Would you like me to kiss you there, baby girl? Do you want me to kiss your lovely treasure?”

“Yes! Oh, yes! Please kiss me there, kiss me hard!”

"Let’s get this nightie off, then." Karen took hold of the hem of the knee-length nightie - now drawn up far enough to expose the child’s naked lower half – and tugged it up and over Laci’s head, the girl sitting upright and raising both arms to make Karen’s task easier. 

That accomplished, Karen tenderly lay the now nude Laci down on the bed, pausing to drink in the sight of her bare beauty before they made love. 

Her heart racing, Karen bent down to suckle each of Laci’s breast buds in turn, and the child gasped and shuddered. Taking her hand away, Karen carefully moved between Laci’s spread legs, then reached over to grab a pillow from the head of the bed. “Okay baby, lift your sweet bottom off the bed for just a sec.”

Eyes fixed on Karen, Laci lifted her butt off the bed, and Karen deftly slipped the pillow beneath her. “There, baby,” Karen smiled. “Let the pillow lift your sexy little honey pot for me.” With an experienced partner, there usually wasn’t a problem getting into a reasonably comfortable position to give or receive oral love; there always seemed to be an unspoken understanding of the need for easy access. But Karen didn’t want to overwhelm her child-lover with worrying about such things. The pillow made it much easier for both of them.

Karen sprawled between the little girl’s open legs, gazing hungrily at Laci’s sex. Her entire crotch was wet and glistening, thighs sticky. Laci’s eyes were wide with anticipation and she made tiny little noises with each rapid breath. Her fragrance was much stronger this time, an intoxicating, vaguely ocean-like aroma cut through with a humid musk. Breathing deeply of the thick perfume, Karen framed the child’s elevated pussy with both hands, tenderly spreading her open. 

Laci’s open vagina was frothy and bubbly with nectar, and Karen watched in awe as a small driblet trickled down into her crack. The space between her inner and outer labia were coated with a layer of glistening honey. None of this took more than a few seconds to digest.

Karen settled into a comfortable position on her stomach, knees bent and feet up, girlishly swaying back and forth. She gave a satisfied sigh, buried her face between the little girl’s legs and began to devour her love. She ran the flat of her tongue up Laci’s sleeve once, twice, three times, gathering her delicious offerings. Laci squealed with each lick, burying her fingers in Karen’s hair. Holding the narrow slit wide open, Karen worked her tongue as deeply as she could into Laci’s pussy hole - probing, tasting, slurping. After a moment she withdrew, drawing her tongue up through Laci’s vaginal opening to find her swollen little clit. It was a little awkward at first, but she was able to slip two fingers into the child’s vagina and still keep her spread wide enough to fully expose her pink pearl. Karen flicked that pulsating button with the tip of her tongue while she fucked Laci with her fingers. 

Laci cried out with each gasping breath. The sensations were lovely; too intense to resist. Her entire body seemed to tighten, then let go in a long, shuddering, quivering surge. Laci’s legs kicked out almost violently as the young girl strained and grimaced and moaned, a slave to ecstasy. Then it happened again and again and again, great shaking spasms that made her tremble all over and sent the most amazing feelings pulsing through her. She cried out and blurted, “Oh Karen, Karen, ohmygod, ohhh, ohhh, fuck, fuck, ohmygod,” completely oblivious of the swear words that flowed from her mouth.

Laci’s mound was now a frothy mess, a mixture of her own love honey and saliva. Karen continued to feast on the mewling child - lapping up her wetness, stoking her lover’s vagina into a bubbling, boiling, overflowing cauldron. 

Karen instinctively knew from the subtle changes in Laci’s cries when she reached the line between just enough and too much. Her kisses and fondling grew gentler, then tapered off completely… and at last Laci fell back panting, eyes glazed, chest rising and falling, bangs plastered wetly to her forehead. 

What an incredible girl, Karen marveled. I’ll bet I could get her pussy to gush if I tried. But not now. She’s spent. Look at how sweet and gorgeous she looks, lying there all tuckered out. Oh my, she’s such a beautiful, lovely little muffin.

Karen gently eased the pillow from under Laci’s bottom before scooting up to draw her girl into a loving embrace. 

Laci’s mind swam in a sea of warmth, her thoughts jumbled. One managed to peek through. I can’t be selfish this time, I have to love Karen back. OoohhhhhhGOD I can’t believe how good she makes me feel, so relaxed and warm, I could lie here forever… NO! She forced both eyes open, trying to rouse herself. I can’t be lazy, I gotta make her feel good now. 

She groped for Karen’s pubis - but her hand moved unsteadily, as if she were waking from a dream. Karen caught that soft little hand and brought it to her lips to kiss. “No baby, wait," she crooned comfortingly. "There’s plenty of time.”

“ But Karen,” Laci murmured thickly. “It’s not fair. You made me feel so nice, an’ I haven’t done anything for you. I don’t wanna be selfish.”

“Shhhh, baby girl. You’re not selfish, I promise. Just rest a little, cuddle with me. We can worry about the rest later. Right now, I just want to snuggle with you. That makes me very happy.”

It was a magic time for Karen, this interval of rest between rounds of lovemaking, a time of glowing warmth and the promise of more to come, once their strength had been regained. It was also the time when both Karen and Laci were at their most open and vulnerable.

Karen held Laci, stroked and caressed her, lovingly kissed her sweet mouth again and again. 

But soon her contentment was interrupted by guilty thoughts, flaring like a toothache and refusing to go away. What the hell am I doing, having sex with a thirteen-year-old girl with mommy issues? My daughter’s friend, for Chrissakes! Why am I letting myself fall for her? 

Why? Looking at Laci; so incredibly beautiful, her body so taut, so soft, so perfect, swimming in those deep, hypnotic eyes – God, those eyes, so guileless and adoring and pleading, so honest. Then there was the memory of her frantic cries, her kicking legs, the urgent thrusts of her pelvis against Karen’s mouth as she was wracked by orgasms, her luscious pussy, its juices flowing freely. The wet patch on the bed, proof of Laci’s passion – that was why. Karen understood now that Laci was one of those girls with a ravenous emotional appetite, and once the door of her sexuality had unlocked and opened, there would be no putting Humpty back together. That’s why. 

In her heart, Karen had known even last night what she was going to do, soon as Laci had admitted the love she felt for her best friend’s mommy. Now they were lovers, lying together in the aftermath of sexual union, and Karen, once and for all, refused to back away from her decision to let this thing happen.

There was no use fighting it. Time to put aside those nagging worries. Oh, she wouldn’t kid herself - this relationship might well cost her everything she had, send her to prison, shatter her heart into a million pieces. But she was determined to stop fighting the passion she felt and love this girl, wholeheartedly and without reservation. She’d move carefully, of course, and wait to cross any bridges until she came to them.

Laci didn’t fall asleep this time. She lay curled in Karen’s arms, eyes wide open. In the dim light of the bedroom, Laci’s eyes seemed dark as those of a raven. I could swim in those eyes, Karen thought. The child’s gaze was unintentionally hypnotic, holding Karen’s in its grip. There was no pain in those deep, dreamy pools, just contentment and… love. 

At last, Karen pushed back a strand of the girl’s silky hair. “Penny for your thoughts,” she murmured.

Laci shifted and smiled shyly, as if a little embarrassed at being caught in a trance. She sighed happily and shrugged. “You. Me. Us. Being in love with you. I-I feel so warm, and good. Like I’m in a magic place no one ever told me about.”

Karen chuckled. “Me too, kitten. Me too. I guess we needed each other to find it.”

Laci stirred, slipping her hands from beneath the warmth of the bedclothes to draw Karen’s face down to hers. Their lips meeting, the girl plunged her tongue into Karen’s mouth to taste her lover. Laci’s heart throbbed with excitement as Karen drew her in, the woman’s tongue stirring to life and dancing with hers. 

They kissed long and deep, and when Laci pulled back, their mouths parting with a wet smack, she traced her older lover’s beautiful lips with the tip of her tongue.

“Karen,” she murmured.

“Yes, kitten?” Karen whispered against the girl’s chin.

“You promised. You promised I could make love to you.” There was a gentle but firm tone to her words. 

Why should I insist on fighting this? Karen asked herself. Why be a frigging martyr to this stupid guilt? 

Taking a deep breath, Karen let her heart speak. “Nothing would make me happier, kitten. You can do whatever feels right to you. It’s just that… see, I don’t want you to make love to me because you feel you’re supposed to.” She cupped the little girl’s face in her hands, their noses nearly touching. "When you feel a need deep inside, like you’ve got to make love to me or you’ll explode… well, that’s when it should happen."

On an instinctive level, Laci understood what Karen was telling her. The pleasures she had already experienced were already a little overwhelming, and Karen seemed to feel like taking this much further would be like throwing Laci into the deep end of the pool for her first swimming lesson. She’s telling me I should slow down, relax. Don’t rush things. 

But Laci’s hunger was too sharp and ravenous for her to relax. "Karen?" she breathed.

"What, baby girl?"

"I… I feel that way right now. Like I’m ‘bout to explode, I want to love you so much…"

With that, she thrust herself against Karen, kissing her with a fierce urgency, her tongue probing and exploring. Laci’s hands wandered over Karen’s body, the child marveling at the softness of her older lover’s skin, the warm, cozy aroma of her, the way Karen gasped at her touch. 

Laci was astonished at how certain parts of their bodies could be sexual, sensual things, parts it had never occurred to her to think of in a sexual context. Fingers, hands, tummies, thighs, necks, shoulders, ears… 

But there were sexy sounds, too – everyday noises people made that became much more exciting when heard in the heat of lovemaking. It seemed magical, the way she could touch Karen in the most ordinary places, like her neck or her tummy, and feel her shiver and coo with pleasure. Or how Karen could touch her in those seemingly innocent places and it felt so amazing, like she’d discovered some mysterious spot Laci never knew existed.

It was that way now as Laci explored Karen’s body with the tips of her fingers. Oh, how soft and wonderful her skin feels… touching her makes me feel so warm and squirmy inside. She nuzzled Karen’s face, her lips lightly brushing the woman’s mouth, her cheeks, her chin. Karen moaned quietly, tilting her head back like a cat taking delight in being scratched.

Laci gently, subtly nudged Karen until her dream-love rolled onto her back, opening herself in an offering to the princess-child. Laci covered Karen’s face with kisses while seeking out her breasts with both hands, cupping the tender globes lovingly when she found them. Karen inhaled sharply when Laci’s fingers brushed her erect nipples. Her lust now in full flame, she reached out for her young lover, drawing her nearer.

Hungry for more, Laci climbed atop Karen, grinding her taut young body against Karen’s softer frame. She shook her hair, then swept it back. “Am I too heavy?” she asked.

“No baby,” Karen murmured. “You’re just right.”

Laci lowered her wet mouth to Karen’s creamy breasts, her hair spilling over her lover’s skin. She took a nipple into her mouth, more aggressively than she had when she was pretending to be a baby. She suckled it, held it in her teeth and let it slip free, then did it again… and again.

“Oh God!” Karen cried out as the sweet shock of Laci’s gentle bites surged through her breasts. “Oh God!” She buried her trembling fingers in the child’s hair, arching her body up from the bed. Oh God indeed! A bubble of molten lava seemed to be forming, growing in her pelvis, spreading its heat through her body. 

Laci thrilled at Karen’s response to her loving. Her boobies – her tits – are so wonderful, like big warm pillows, and she loves it when I bite them just a little bit! Laci straightened up and tossed her hair back, now straddling her lover’s belly. She reached down to cup and squeeze Karen’s breasts, stroked them, delighting in how her stiff nipples felt against the palm of the hand. She unconsciously began to slide her hips back and forth, and ooohhhh golly that made her sex tingle deliciously. 

“Oh baby,” Karen whispered. “My precious, darling muffin, you make me feel so good.”

Laci’s breathing was hard and sharp as the child concentrated on Karen, her mind focused on the woman’s pleasure. I’m not gonna ask her this time. I’m just gonna kiss her… pussy. Her pussy. And lick her, and taste her, and love her, too! Just do what my heart says, and my heart loves her so much, so very much… 

Laci gingerly climbed off Karen’s body. She wasn’t going to do it to Karen the way she had last time, lying between her legs. No, there was another way, Laci was sure of it, she’d dreamed of it when she masturbated, seen it in pictures she found on the internet. She softly said, “I want to try it a little different, okay?”

Karen peered up at Laci through the thick swirling haze that seemed to be clouding her mind right then. She was puzzled by Laci’s cryptic assertion, but wasn’t going to argue over what her child-lover wanted. I told her to act when she felt that need deep inside; now she’s doing just that and it couldn’t be lovelier. Far as I’m concerned, she can have me any way she wants.

Laci reached for the same pillow Karen had placed under her own hips earlier and shoved it beneath her tummy, stretching out her legs. Now she lay perpendicular to Karen, stretched out with the pillow comfortably tucked under her hips. She licked Karen’s tummy, making her gasp and shiver. “Oh, that’s lovely,” Karen murmured.

Laci smiled and repeated the action, but lower this time. She let her hand wander over the rise of Karen’s pubis and her lover moaned softly, subtly raising her hips to encourage Laci to continue. On impulse, Laci sought out Karen’s belly button with her lips, sensing that she would like to be tongue kissed there. The child wriggled her tongue into the tiny opening and, at the same instant, made a vee of her middle and index fingers and traced the puffy ridge of Karen’s outer labia with them. Laci’s twin actions made Karen yip in delighted surprise, and who knew which of the two sent the pleasurable pang through her midsection? Then again, what did it matter? This girl was amazing.

Laci drew her fingers back up along Karen’s outer lips, then down again, repeating the process. Up, down, pressing firmly, Laci stroked Karen’s pussy, still playfully twirling her tongue in the woman’s navel. She nuzzled her way over to the crease where Karen’s thigh met her pelvis, and it was warm there, so warm and sticky. Karen was moaning now, rocking her legs back and forth, hips slowly churning. Laci kissed a pathway down Karen’s abdomen, moving steadily closer to her mons while she lightly caressed Karen’s sex with the back of her hand, then teased the moist opening with the pads of her fingers.

Oh Jesus, how did this sweet girl know how to do such things? Karen hadn’t had a huge number of lovers in her life, but only one or two had known how to touch her like that. It made that bubble of lava swell inside her, its heat echoing the rising warmth between her thighs. Every breath Karen took was accompanied by a soft moan, and her hips continued to roll without any conscious input.

As Laci reached the rise of Karen’s mons, she teased a finger between the moist labia at the base of the woman’s pussy. Oh God, she would never tire of the way Karen’s pussy felt to her fingers. It was sooo moist and hot - fever hot. 

Drawing her finger upward, the sleeve of Karen’s sex opened like a zipper. It was sticky and wet, a path with genuine tactile wonders to be touched and explored along the way. She paused to trace a fingertip around Karen’s clitoris, making her lover cry out in reply. Be careful, Laci told herself. You can’t spend too much time touching her special place, not unless you want to make her finish really soon.

Karen felt as if she was floating in a friendly, toasty-warm haze. Those pangs were surging over her, growing stronger each time, the lava bubble still inflating, filled with the promise of ecstasy.

Laci ran her tongue over the smooth-shaven mound while using all four fingers to smear wetness over Karen’s labia. Unfortunately, her position was a little awkward, her access to Karen’s pussy trickier than it needed to be. Laci pondered the problem, slowly nodding as the solution came to her.

The child remembered Karen telling her that lovers could talk to each other during sex. She lifted her head, shaking her hair back and out of her face. “Karen?” she said. “Can you lift this leg just a little bit?"”

Karen broke free from her reverie just long enough to realize that Laci had asked her something. "What – what’s that, baby girl?"

"Your leg," Laci replied, tapping Karen’s upper thigh. "If you lift it some, I can make love to you better."

Karen obliged, drawing her right foot in about six inches.

"Yeah, like that – up just a little," Laci chirped, and hooked an arm underneath the slightly raised thigh before resting her chin on Karen’s hip, watching her hand as it slid between the woman’s legs to toy with the opening of her vagina. The child then drew closer, paused to kiss the rise of Karen’s mound, took a deep breath - then wriggled her index finger deep, deep into Karen’s pussy. Once again, the girl was amazed at how hot and wet her lover was inside. 

A trickle of nectar dribbled out of Karen when Laci used her probing finger and thumb to open the juicy vagina, catching a glimpse of fiery pink flesh. It was a breathtaking sight. And the smell! It was… beyond anything in Laci’s catalog of aromas. Musky, oceany, like the thick scent of an armpit without deodorant, a fresh-mowed lawn, sweat and so many other things, mingling into a rich and intoxicating fragrance. Laci closed her eyes for a moment to breathe it in, then went back to work.

Karen shuddered as her muscles began to stretch, then tighten. Oh my, yes… this is what it’s all about. How can anything feel so, so GOOD! She struggled to raise up onto her elbows, wanting to see her little goddess lover. Oh good God, the sight of Laci’s unruly mass of hair,  drawing nearer as her tongue emerged to touch Karen’s throbbing clit. That first lick brought a passionate moan from Karen’s throat, but when Laci plunged into her once more, this time adding another finger… 

Karen cried out, threw her head back and collapsed on the bed. Her leg began to jiggle on its own and she clutched at her thigh to still it.

Oblivious to all but her lover’s body, Laci thrust her fingers even deeper into Karen and began to explore her for real, inside and out. She flicked her tongue up and down the woman’s labial channel, tickling and tasting. While she fucked Karen, the child shifted her hand this way and that, feeling around inside Karen as if trying to memorize the warm interior of her vagina. 

Suddenly, Karen cried out and stiffened, her pussy clamping tightly around Laci’s finger. Laci could feel it quiver! Knowing the time was now or never, the girl quickly sucked Karen’s clit between her lips.

Karen hadn’t planned on coming so soon, but what was happening inside her at that instant was beyond any ability to control. Her pelvis churned wildly, despite her effort to stay relatively still so as not to throw Laci like a wild stallion. Instinctively, she braced herself for more, sensing that her orgasms were going to roll out hard, fast, and furiously. 

Laci twisted her hand once more - this time, so she could explore the roof of Karen’s vagina while suckling her older lover’s pearl. Her finger found a subtle spot… a smooth, round bump, a dome about the size of the top of a bird’s egg. It wasn’t all that different from the other bumps she’d discovered. But when she investigated this one by pressing it with her finger, Karen yelped, her body jerking as if she’d been shocked. Laci give a squeak of surprise, then pressed the spot once more. 

Karen jerked again, now panting furiously. “Oh yes, baby girl!” she cried. “Right there! Th-that place! Ohhhh my GOD!”

She was coming now, shaking from head to toe as Laci’s touch sent pulses of raw, primal pleasure surging up her spine; but there was more, oh God yes, there was a liquid heat inside her, a surging, cascading river of it. 

Only one other lover had found that secret spot before. It was something Karen had never allowed herself to describe to her other sexual partners, afraid they would accuse her of playing fast and loose with the truth, if not flat-out lying. But this teen girl had found that magical place almost by accident - and once she did, Karen lost all control.

Laci was a bit overwhelmed by the intensity of Karen’s orgasm. She’d seen her grownup lover come pretty intensely already, but not quite like this. It was a bit intimidating… but totally exciting, too! Still, Laci understood that she mustn’t stop now, she had to keep going. Her body was contorted though not uncomfortably, so she could work her fingers in and out of Karen’s pussy while nursing her clit, bathing in wetness, drinking down the thick nectar, her saliva blending into the frothy soup. The woman’s pussy seemed alive, hungry; taking everything Laci had to give and demanding more. 

Karen writhed, her arms spread out, hands snatching at the bed sheets. Then suddenly she gasped, gone rigid. Her body was clenched like a fist, muscles quivering, the breath frozen in her lungs. Then exhaling in a rush, again she cried, “Oh God! Oh G-God!" 

Suddenly, her agonized ecstasy seemed to reach its peak. It built and built, her body moving urgently to its inner rhythm. Karen let out a half-gasp, half-screech when Laci used the pads of her fingers to rub firmly at her magic spot, then she went into a full body spasm - breath held tightly, face violently contorted, back arched up from the bed as if in a seizure. Then in a rush, she blurted, "Oooooohhhh GOD! Oh God oh God oh God! OOHHH FUCK!” Her pussy, her entire pelvis seized up under Laci’s ministration, nectar flowing freely from the vaginal opening. 

“Huh! Huh! Huh! Huh!” Karen panted, her hands fluttering rapidly on Laci’s back. With each wave, her pussy offered another surging gush of honey, oozing over Laci’s hand and dripping onto the bed.  

They kept coming, those undulating spasms; for how long Laci wasn’t sure. It felt at once like hours, then mere seconds. The child’s soul sang with exhilaration that she was able to do this to Karen – for Karen. Nothing in her young life had prepared her for what her lover was going through. 

Was it too much? Should she stop? Something inside said No, not yet. Laci continued to massage the interior of Karen’s pussy with her fingers while letting her mouth drift down from Karen’s throbbing clit to slurp from the flowing nectar. The volume of liquid seemed astonishing, as though Karen had peed herself - but it clearly wasn’t urine that Laci tasted. Its flavor was tangy, vaguely like lemonade, and wasn’t coming from Karen’s pee hole, as Laci could touch that spot with her tongue and found it to be clean.

At last, Karen’s orgasms began to taper off. Sensing that she’d finally had enough, Laci carefully extracted her fingers from Karen’s pussy, then began to cup and tenderly caress the dazed woman’s vulva with her dripping hand. 

Pausing a moment to catch her breath, Laci laid her head on Karen’s tummy, listening, awed by how much there was to feel and hear. Karen was still quivering, heartbeat racing frantically. Every so often, a sweet aftershock would pulse through her, making Karen cry out as her body jerked. Laci stroked her lightly, lovingly, turning to leave soft kisses on her lover’s belly. 

After a while, Laci lifted her head to see Karen lying limp and spent, eyes peacefully closed. Laci sat up, stretched herself, then noticed that the room had grown slightly colder. The blankets were bunched and tangled at the foot of the bed, so the girl reached down to grab them, dragging the covers up to pull over their damp bodies. That done, Laci snuggled into Karen as closely as she could, relaxing with a happy sigh. 

Karen turned to face her, but at first it was as though she wasn’t really there, a faraway light in her eyes. Then she seemed to see Laci as if for the first time, frowning at the child for an instant before breaking into a sleepy smile. “I’ve never been to the place you just took me,” she murmured, the smile still on her lips as she shifted onto her back again, eyes drifting shut.

Nuzzling Karen’s ear, Laci whispered, “Karen, I love you. I love you with all my heart.”

Karen, eyes still closed, replied, “I love you too, Laci baby.”

Laci couldn’t help but smile hugely. For so long the young girl had craved love, ached for it – first, as a child with an uncaring, neglectful mommy; then as a preteen who secretly liked girls and women instead of boys. Especially one woman, Laci thought, and now… now we love each other. Her heart at peace, Laci brushed Karen’s neck with her lips.

Karen was dazed, barely part of the conscious world, still aglow from her lovemaking with Laci. It was as though she’d been on an enormous roller coaster cradled by a cloud: rising up, up, up – slowly drawing closer to the peak, her body tensing in anticipation as it neared the indeterminate top. Then over and plunging fast, her insides surging and pulsing with delight as she went plunging to the bottom in a breathless rush before starting the climb again. Up, up, up to the heavenly heights, and this time the drop was even steeper - lurching, turning, spinning, wrenching deliciously at her flailing body. Then more rises, dips, twists, turns, lights flashing and strobing all the while, the air warm and wonderful as it raced past. Then, oh then, the steepest climb yet, so far, so high, her soul quivering in anticipation of the plunge to come. Reaching the top left her weightless, all but floating in mid-air until the final heart-stopping drop. She was laughing, screaming with joy, arms extended heavenward, the bottom rising to meet her like a great lake of warm water. When she hit, it was like plunging into a tropical ocean, liquid spraying and splashing every which way, her body skittering across the surface like a skimmed stone. Bouncing over and over with an exhilarating sense of joy, she finally came to a rest who knew where. 

Karen saw herself in a ocean paradise, bathed in warmth from the sea and the brilliant sun. On the far shore she saw Laci, laughing and calling to her. Laci, the angel who’d brought her to this ride. Such an adorable little girl, so full of love. Karen wondered how she’d ever earned the right to have such beauty in her life. 

When at last she floated to the shore, laughing with delight as she emerged dripping from the sea, she had to tell her sweet little love, “I’ve never been on this ride before. How did you know about it?”

“Because I love you.”

“I love you.”

Karen dozed peacefully, fast asleep.

The house was completely still and dark except for the soft whisper of their breathing. It was late – though honestly, Karen had no idea was time it was. She was tired, oh so tired, but it was a wonderful kind of tired, sweet and satisfying. Laci was gently, idly caressing Karen’s bare buttocks while pressed in her lover’s arms. 

It seemed almost impossible for Karen to comprehend how she’d be able to function in any practical way, not after the place Laci had taken her to. But there was no getting around it – they were snowed in and without electricity, and she had to find some way to provide light, get something to eat and drink, melt some snow to flush the toilets before they stank like an outhouse. Both of them, woman and child, simply wanted to stay in the warm bed, happy and secure in each others But… there was work to be done. 

Laci understood, and in all her youthful vigor, she recovered quickly from their workout and did her best to help Karen. After finding Coleman lamps and a couple of old fashioned oil-and-wick lanterns, Karen put a stock pot of snow on the stove to liquefy, then heated up cheese raviolis with sauce from a jar. Quick, easy and filling.

The chores accomplished, it was time to rest, and the two lovers snuggled together, each tenderly stroking the other.

“Karen?” Laci murmured hesitantly.

“Yes, darling girl?”

“Am I going to be able to stay with you all the time?”

Karen took a deep breath, slowly released it. She was feeling a little sleepy and not really in the right frame of mind to wrestle with this subject, but it had to be dealt with some time. Obviously. So then, she asked herself, how can I make this sweet child mine for real?

She began to toy with Laci’s hair, letting her fingers glide through the golden strands. “Well, honey… I think, for a little while anyway, you’re going to have to stay in town during the week and come out here on the weekend. Ssshhhh, baby, listen to me,” Karen said, placing her fingers over Laci’s lips before the child could interrupt her. “I need time to figure out how we’re going to live together. We have to be very careful about that, because of our being lovers. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” Laci sighed.

“Plus, I have a job, and that’s how I’m going to keep food on our table. But you have a job, too."

Laci cocked her head to one side, giving Karen a confused look. "I’ve got a… a job?"

You need to – you have to keep going to school. I know it’s hard already and it’ll be even harder now. But you’ve got to stick with it. You’re an incredibly smart girl, that’s obvious. Amy used to talk about how well you did in school, how easily everything came to you. Well, you have to keep making those good grades. In time, I’ll figure out another way for you to go to school. But I need to concentrate on fixing it so you can live here with me before I can do anything else. I know it’s going to be rough for you – for both of us - but I think you’re strong enough, adult enough to trust me to do what has to be done for us to be together like we want. Does that make sense?”

With a sigh, Laci snuggled into the warmth of her lover. She knew Karen was right. It wouldn’t be easy, having to go back to her old life and wait for things to happen, so that one day she and Karen could be together for always. But she had to do her part; to carry her share of the load. “I know,” she whispered. “I’ll get by, and do what I have to do. As long as I know you love me, and that someday we’ll be together… " She lifted her head, gave Karen a hopeful look. "Do I get to see you on the weekends?”

Karen placed a kiss on Laci’s brow. “Yes, baby, the weekends will be ours. And we’ll talk during the week. But let’s not worry about all that right now. We’re going to be snowed in for awhile, so we should enjoy the time we’ve got.”

“ I love you, Karen," Laci declared, hugging the older woman fiercely. "I would do anything – anything for you. I’ve never loved anyone so much.”

Karen returned Laci’s hug. “I love you my dear, darling kitten.” She was on the verge of adding, I love you more than Amy. Horrified, she quickly stifled the thought. “Now, baby girl, let’s cuddle up and get some sleep.”

Without another word, Laci settled into Karen’s arms and relaxed completely. 

Cradling Laci to her, Karen marveled at the enormous turn her life had taken in barely twenty-four hours. Winning the hundred-million-dollar lottery was the only thing she could imagine that might bring a similarly profound change. And I never buy lottery tickets, she thought with a wry smile.

Out of nowhere. an image came to her – little Laci, completely nude and with the words Fragile: Handle with Care stenciled on her tummy. Karen nodded. Handle with care, indeed.

She began to hum very softly, then, almost whispering: “If you go out in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. If you go out in the woods today, you’d better go in disguise…”

By then, Laci’s breathing had become steady, as the child snoozed peacefully in the cozy embrace of her grownup lover. 

When Karen stirred the blanket lifted a bit, and the fragrance of sex emerged to tickle her nose in a most delightful way. She smiled. Is there, anywhere in the world, a lovelier scent? Not that I’ve ever known.

In the dead of the night, the silence heavy as a thick blanket, the house suddenly, secretly seemed to come to life, to take a deep breath and awaken. Karen turned to glance at the clock on the nightstand. It blinked 12:00… 12:00… 12:00.

The power was back. She sighed contentedly, then let herself drift off to sleep.