Naked Vows Ch. 03byRobin_Maxwell©
"What the hell?" Clair closed and locked Laura's office door behind her. "I've never seen you like this." She fidgeted nervously since Laura stormed into the meeting and uncharacteristically displayed her irritation.
"We're still at work, don't call me Laura."
"It's Saturday and everyone is gone." Clair sat on the couch and Laura saw her professional mask drop.
"Someone might be around." Laura leaned against her desk and folded her arms and looked stern.
"Stop it, Laura. I locked the door, no one can hear us."
"I should go."
"Laura!" Sarah took a deep breath with her eyes closed, a gesture Laura knew meant Sarah was losing patience. "Come sit on the couch."
"I'm your boss, don't talk to me like that."
"I'm also your sister-in-law, and right now I think you need a sister more than a secretary." Clair patted the couch next to her. "Come over here and tell me what is up with you."
"I don't know what to say." Laura pushed back from her desk, reluctantly surrendering that symbol of power. Clair was there for her when Tom died and kept Laura sane despite her own grief. Or at least what passed for sane in that dark time. "Have I ever told you how much I owe you for keeping the business going when Tom died?" Laura collapsed onto the couch.
"Oh." Clair patted Laura's shoulder. "I forgot, yesterday was the anniversary."
"Yes. I wish I could forget."
"So do I. It isn't normal." Clair turned to face Laura straight on. "That explains the irritation. Now tell me what else is going on. When you weren't castrating your people, you got this . . . smile. I haven't seen you like that since Tom - holy shit! You met someone."
Laura turned away, hiding her blush from Clair. "I didn't want you to think I was being unfaithful to Tom. I was, I am, afraid you'll be mad."
"Mad, hell!" Clair let out a joyful whoop. "It's about time! Are you blushing? Holy shit! You're actually blushing!" Clair jumped up and danced a jig then ran to the cabinet where Laura kept her modest liquor supply. "Is that why you didn't want to come in today? Were you with him?"
"Yes." Laura sighed in relief and her blush started to fade.
"Wait!" Clair stopped in mid pour. "I didn't interrupt anything fun, did I?"
"No, we just finished." The look on Clair's face made Laura's cheeks flame again.
"You did it! After ten years it must have been great. Look at your blush." Clair laughed and handed Laura a drink. "You screwed your brains out, didn't you? No need to answer, your red face says it all."
Laura took a drink and tried to act calm.
"That explains the smile and why you castrated the idiots who let the situation get this bad. They'll be lucky if they ever work in this state again." Clair slid onto the couch next to Laura. "Tell me everything, the more details the better."
"I shouldn't kiss and tell." Confessing that she cheated on her dead husband had scared Laura although Clair had encouraged her to meet someone new for years. She had no idea how Clair would react when she found our Laura was gay. Homosexuality never came up in conversation.
"Don't be a bitch!" Clair slapped her shoulder. "Where did you meet?"
"At a bar."
"A bar? You? Why?"
"I must have opened an old box of Tom's stuff because I swear I smelled his cologne and grief overwhelmed me. I had to get out of the house and I went out to find someone to talk to. It was stupid but it seemed like the thing to do so I went to a bar where no one knew me."
"Talk about getting lucky. Did you pick him up or did he pick you up? Did you seduce him or did you let him seduce you?"
"We bumped into each other. Neither one of us belonged there and I think we recognized it. We got a table and talked all night. Sexuality practically dripped down the walls and it kind of excited us and we kissed." Laura finished her drink and fidgeted with the glass.
"Good god, you fucked him on the first date?"
"No, well yes, I guess so, but there's more to it."
"What was it like, being kissed after ten years?"
"It was indescribable." Laura grinned at the memory of that first awkward kiss. "I thought kissing someone else would feel like cheating, but I didn't even think about Tom. It felt right."
"Good. Tom wouldn't want you to live the way you have for the last ten years. The man had an unquenchable lust and he would never have wanted you to be celibate."
"I love him so much. I can't imagine giving my body to another man."
"He loved you too, Laura, but I guarantee if you had died he'd have gotten laid within a month. It wouldn't mean he loved you any less."
"He's a man, love and sex are two different things for them. Still, I thought I had to love someone to have sex with them. Loving someone else seemed like cheating."
"Everything with you is complicated. That never stopped you from talking to me before."
"You kept the business together when Tom died and you must have been as hurt as me. Let me pay you more, you're the reason we're here."
"I don't need more money." Clair's good mood started to fade. "Why are you changing the subject?"
"I don't want you to think I don't appreciate what you've done and I don't want you to think I did anything to dishonor Tom's memory."
"I don't think that. Laura, what is going on? I know how much you loved Tom, and I know how much you love me. What aren't you saying? Were you forced?" Suddenly Clair looked scary. "Did that miserable son-of-a-bitch date rape you?"
"No! If anything I started it."
"I feel guilty because I don't feel guilty."
"Of course you do." Clair rolled her eyes. "I guess it's natural. It's stupid but it makes sense. So am I supposed to ask why you don't feel guilty?"
"I think I know why I don't feel guilty."
"This I've got to hear."
"Part of it is . . . I let myself be controlled."
"You? I thought you had to be in control of everything."
"I did. It helped me deal with Tom's death, but all the stress and responsibility of running this place got to me." Laura smiled a small smile. "You don't know how refreshing it was to give up all the responsibility. I didn't wear a stitch of clothing once we were alone. It was such a turn on to be stared at, watched, lusted after. Being naked because I was told to made it even better."
"Laura, I love and respect you, you know that, right?"
"Then stop lying to me."
"I'm not! Why would you think that?"
"During the meeting you were a stone cold bitch. Now you're setting here talking to me and choosing every word carefully. You're hiding something if you aren't outright lying."
"It's hard to admit all these things. Do you think it isn't humiliating to admit I like being controlled? Do you think it was easy to tell you how bad I felt for not feeling bad?"
Clair got them another drink. She poured, handed Laura her drink and sat back on the couch in total silence.
"Say something!" Laura fought not to scream into the punishing silence.
"You have my permission."
"Permission for what?"
"To enjoy a sex life without feeling guilty."
"Thank you," Laura said sarcastically. "What the hell is that about?"
"You're hiding something from me. It's your right, but it hurts."
"You talk about pain and shame and how hard it is to tell me things. Yet you did tell me those things. To tell me you aren't still hiding something when it's painfully obvious you are, hurts. If it's none of my business then say so. Don't insult our friendship with a lie."
Laura stood up and put her drink on the desk. She walked over to the window and stared outside, unable to face Clair. "I'm a lesbian." She had no clue how her friend would react but expected the next few minutes to be wretched. "The person I made love with last night is a woman I met at a gay bar. I went there because I didn't want to be hit on by half drunk men. For some reason it never occurred to me that women might hit on me. I never dreamed I'd be the one hitting on a woman."
"You're not lying." Clair's voice went flat with shock. "You didn't say he or him or anything."
Laura nodded, tears burning her eyes.
"That explains why you didn't feel guilty. Its not cheating if you sleep with a woman." Clair's voice still sounded flat which Laura suspected was to hide her disgust. Then Clair barked out a laugh. "Tom would love this. The man was such a man-whore he'd be humping his own pants just thinking about you screwing another woman." Laura heard Clair gulp down her drink.
"What about you?" Laura turned back to Clair but couldn't quite meet her eyes. "Are you, I don't know, disappointed with me? Do you hate me?"
"Oh, Laura, you poor woman!" Clair jumped to her feet and hugged Laura. "I bet you were scared to death admitting that to me. Of course I'm not mad or disappointed." She drew back and held Laura at arms length. "It is a bit of a shock, though. You have to give me time to adjust."
"It's weird for me too. I've never even looked at another woman like that before. I was so scared you would reject me."
"Nothing you could do would ever make me reject you. You're my family and I love you no matter what."
"Thank you." Laura swallowed the lump in her throat and tried not to cry. "There's one more problem you may have to deal with. If people find out I'm gay, it will destroy the company." She grabbed her drink and took a deep swallow.
"Maybe." Clair didn't sound convinced.
"You know it will. I'll be fine, I've got tons of money and nothing to spend it on, but what about you?" Laura wiped under her eyes before her makeup ran.
"Don't worry about me. My husband is as rich as I am. I don't work here for the money, I'm here for you."
"What about my employees? If business drops enough, there will be layoffs."
"That might happen, but I doubt it."
Clair laughed. "Are you kidding? You have a reputation for being a ball buster. If you don't think your competitors are already calling you a man-hating dyke, you're a fool! All it will do is confirm their opinions. The people who really respect you will still respect you because you've earned it. If they never respected you, well, then you've lost nothing." Clair took Laura's drink and set it aside then took her hands. "You have nothing to be ashamed of. If you're worried then be discrete. I saw glimpses of true happiness in you today. Don't let idiots take that away." Clair hugged Laura and Laura threw her arms around her sister-in-law as her tears escaped. She was so afraid she'd lose Clair's friendship.
"Thank you, Clair." Laura wiped her eyes again, careful not to smudge her makeup.
"Accepting all this. I know it's a lot to take in all at once."
"I'd be lying if I denied it." Clair shook her head and groaned. "When my husband hears about this, god, the fantasies he will have. You realize he'll want you to hook up with me so he can watch."
Laura's eyes went wide and she covered her mouth with both hands to hide her laugh.
"That's better." Clair led Laura back to the couch. "I have some questions I need to ask before you go back to your lady lover."
"What?" Laura felt like she was flying. Her confession went better than she ever dared hope for.
"When do I get to meet her?"
"Later, I want her to myself for a while."
"I can understand that." All the levity left Clair's face. "Were you a lesbian when you were with Tom? Did you lie to yourself?"
"No." Laura smiled triumphantly. "I can say with complete confidence it's not that Sarah is a woman, it's that Sarah is Sarah. Gender has nothing to do with it."
"Good." Clair sighed with relief. "I thought you loved Tom. I would have hated to find out something was missing from your marriage."
"Nothing was missing. To be honest, you're right, it didn't feel like cheating because I slept with a woman. I couldn't have made love with another man."
"Then there's one thing left to do today."
"I'm going to clear your schedule for Monday so you can make up the time you lost today. Go back to Sarah. Yes, go back to her and have some fun. I'll see you Tuesday."
"But I already told those department heads to come in first thing Monday.
"I'll take care of it. Making them sweat one more day might help them get their heads on again. You can afford to take a day off and you will. Now go back to Sarah and make up those lost years."
Sarah tipped the wine bottle over her glass and grunted when nothing came out. She started drinking about an hour after Laura left, and this was the second bottle she finished since then. It didn't seem like enough time passed for her to have drunk two bottles. A glance at the clock told her more than eight hours passed which explained why she wasn't drunk. Those eight hours felt like weeks yet they all seemed a blur, and why shouldn't they? She hadn't bothered to do anything since Laura left. Oh well, time for another bottle.
Sarah made her way to the fridge for bottle number three. She ran over numerous scenarios on what to do when Laura came back. If Laura came back. They ranged from not even letting her in to throwing herself at Laura's feet and begging not to be thrown away.
What was up with that, any way? They knew each other for less than a day and Sarah felt like they had a solid relationship. It made no sense. Just because they had their first gay experience didn't mean they were married. Nevertheless, Sarah did feel married. She wanted Laura and no one else. It must be the wine. There was no other reason for her to feel that way, especially when she knew how this relationship would end.
"Where's the damn cork screw?" Sarah searched the counter top and the drawer where it belonged but couldn't find it. Then she remembered, she left it on the coffee table. She was reaching for it when the doorbell rang. Sarah froze, it had to be Laura. Now what? Let her doomed lover in or pretend she wasn't home?
After a minor eternity the doorbell rang again. Sarah took a couple steps toward the door then hesitated. If she let Laura in her resolve would disappear leaving her unable to protect herself from the inevitable pain.
As if in slow motion Sarah watched the handle turn and realized the decision was out of her hands. The door pushed open and there stood Laura with fresh makeup and a different hair style. She looked like she stepped out of a nineteen seventies fashion magazine. Sarah's mouth dropped open; Laura was beautiful.
"Can I come in?" Laura's bright smile faded a little and Sarah saw her hand work the doorknob.
Sarah stood frozen. She wanted Laura in her arms but how could a woman like Laura not break her heart?
"Say something." All the excitement and joy drained out of Laura's face and she dropped her gaze to the floor.
Sarah wanted to say something but no words came to mind. Just as she predicted, once Laura came in all her self resolve vanished. She couldn't protect herself from the pain she knew was coming.
"You're not being fair." Laura looked up at Sarah but didn't quiet meet her eyes. "I know you didn't want me to leave. I didn't want to leave, but I had to. I'm a mother and I run a business. I always have to answer the phone if they call. No one calls unless it's an emergency. It's not right for you to ask me to choose between you and them."
Choose? Laura thought she wanted her to choose between her work and family and Sarah? Sarah knew how that choice would go. If she had a baby, she knew it would always come first. The only thing she wanted more than Laura was a baby. She took a deep breath and tried to think of something to say.
"Sarah, what's wrong?" Laura's gaze fell on the two empty bottles on the coffee table. This time when Laura looked at Sarah her expression changed. She still looked worried and afraid, but there was a different quality to her features now. "Is that the robe you had on this morning?"
Sarah looked down at her robe and realized she didn't bother getting dressed. Her hand shot to her hair and she winced at how she must look. The two empty bottles on the table and the new one in her hand added to the pathetic picture. She felt like a mouse staring into the eyes of a rattlesnake.
Laura stepped inside and closed the door. "I had a long talk with my secretary after I dealt with work." Laura set down an overnight bag and lifted the empty wine bottles. "She's my friend and Tom's sister. I was so scared but I had to tell her about you."
"Why?" Sarah didn't understand the sudden change in Laura. She looked more afraid than Sarah felt. "You should have lied. That way when . . . " Sarah's throat closed around the words. That way when you dump me no one will know you went gay.
"Not to her. She knows me to well and I love her too much to tell her anything but the truth. Don't get the wrong idea, it was hard admitting I felt like I cheated on my husband."
"You didn't tell her I'm a woman?" Sarah's stomach twisted with bittersweet relief. Laura could go back to her old life without difficulty. Sarah didn't want anything bad to happen to Laura; she was too good a person to let one night with another woman tarnish her reputation.
"Of course I told her you're a woman. I told her all about you. I'm not saying it was easy, her opinion of me matters, Sarah, but I'm not ashamed of you." Laura took the empty bottles into the kitchen. Sarah didn't follow her. Remembering Laura naked in the kitchen hurt too much.
"I can tell something I did upset you," Laura said when she came back in the living room. "Did I remind you of Frank. I understand about scars from the past. I've had to deal with a lot of those."
Sarah felt more naked and defenseless than she ever imagined possible. It was like Laura read her mind. How could she face Laura if the older woman knew all her feelings and thoughts? Was it only this morning she believed she was a strong woman? Was it this morning she thought she would never feel weak and worthless again?
"I know what it's like to want to be free of your scars and change who you are. For the first time in ten years I did it. That's what you gave me. I hope I can give you the same thing." Laura walked back to her bag and opened it before facing Sarah again. "I did something this morning to take away your self confidence, I made you feel like you stepped into your old life. I'm sorry. If that's who you have to be I can accept it, but I'd rather have you be the confident, take charge woman, who seduced me last night."
Laura reached under her left arm and unzipped her light blue summer dress. It came down to her knees and looked like a good breeze would lift it up and give a good show. Laura pushed the straps off her shoulders and let it fall. She stood before Sarah looking demurely at the floor. Her black lace and green satin lingerie offset her skin nicely. Sarah liked the contrast between smooth skin and course lace. Laura put her arms behind her and faced Sarah with squared shoulders and put one foot in front of the other. A garter belt covered the slight sag of Laura's soft belly and covered most of the stretch marks. The straps from the garter belt went down the front of Laura's legs. Her skimpy panties held them tight against her skin until they reached her black stockings.
Sarah stared in awe, Laura was so beautiful, she wanted this moment to last. She tried to etch every line and curve into her memory. Laura might break Sarah's heart in the future but until then Sarah intended to enjoy every second of their time together.
"Can I continue?" For a moment Sarah didn't realize what Laura meant.
"Yes," Sarah finally managed.
Laura knelt down to lift her dress off the floor. She folded it then put it in her bag.
"What do I take off next?"
Laura reached behind her and unfastened the bra. She pulled the straps off her shoulders then peeled the cups off her magnificent tits. As her nipples swelled so did Sarah's lust. Once Laura folded her bra and put it in her bag she stood in the same pose giving Sarah an unobstructed view of her full, luscious body.