Late ValentinebyAlex the Cat©
Tanner just stood there wide-eyed and dumbfounded.
"Hey you two. Breakfast is ready so let's eat before it gets cold." Casey announced.
They all took a place at the bar and engaged in casual conversation that Mouse soon dominated with all of her questions regarding computer programming while Casey and Tanner kept stealing glances at one another.
The threatening clouds from this morning had brought with it a rather large storm by night fall that was quickly turning to ice. Tanner sat on the couch with her socked feet up, shaking her head as she glanced at the weather radar on her smartphone. This weather sure is something. The last half of January was unusually warm, and now into the second week of February and the weather decides to start acting like it's supposed to be winter. . Working on her research notes while thumbing through human physiology and anatomy, she lost track of the hours that passed. Suddenly she heard a hurried knocking coming from the sliding glass doors. Walking over, she pushed aside the blinds to find a very wet and shivering Casey. She opened the door and motioned the small woman inside. "What are you doing out there?" Tanner asked.
"I went out for some dinner, stupidly locked my keys in the car and Mouse isn't home." She set down the drenched plastic bag on the bar. "Normally we keep a spare house key available for the rare circumstances like this one but a certain sister of mine didn't return the key to its spot."
"That's a bummer." Tanner commented. "Let me get you a towel and something dry to change into." She returned quickly. "Here ya go. I also brought a pair of fleece pajama pants, socks, and a flannel shirt. They'll be big on you but at least they're warm and dry."
"Thanks." She began to strip completely in front of Tanner without much thought. She noticed the taller woman was unable to turn her gaze away as she continued to dry off. "You like to watch, don't you?"
At first, Tanner wasn't sure how to respond to that, and then she answered, "You like to be seen, don't you?"
"Touche." Casey commented. "But...just because I like to show, doesn't mean I easily put out when I meet someone. A person has to work hard to get me, and so many have failed. That's why I don't have a girlfriend."
Tanner stood stock still, the surprise evident from Casey's admission. Then with one eyebrow raised, she asked, "And what kind of work do I...umm...does someone have to do?"
Casey caught the slip as she finished slipping the socks over her feet. "Hmm, you're the first person who's asked. Let's see..." She crossed her arms across her chest and paced a bit. "Wine and dine me, be romantic and thoughtful ----a good listener. This person has to be patient. Oh and there must definitely be a spark. The electricity has to surge between me and the other ---- it's like that person is able to touch my very soul." She momentarily got lost in her thoughts.
In one graceful panther-like step, Tanner moved closer. Ever so softly, she brushed the back of two fingers down Casey's cheek. "And do you feel it? This spark?" She asked with a purr.
Something tingled through Casey's entire body, ending right at her core. She gulped as she looked up into those beautiful ocean blue eyes which turned a shade darker. Her body automatically began to lean into the palm that gently cupped her cheek. Her mouth went dry, and she tried to recall the question. A strike of lightning abruptly broke them out of the moment. Casey grabbed her wet clothes, and asked, "Do you mind if I throw these in the wash?"
"Not at all." Tanner responded.
When Casey emerged from the small laundry space tucked neatly under the stairs, she said, "Hopefully what I picked up to eat isn't ruined. If I could use your microwave, that would be great." She dug through the plastic bag, setting the containers out. "Have you already eaten?"
"No I haven't. I got too busy with studies."
"Why don't you join me? There's plenty of sweet and sour chicken and Mongolian beef. I couldn't decide on one or the other when I ordered."
Tanner chuckled. "Okay sure." She grabbed a couple of plates and utensils, setting them next to the white cartons of food.
"I also have potstickers."
"Oh I love those."
Without much thought to her actions, Casey grabbed one and offered it to Tanner's lips. The taller woman took it, brushing her lips against the blonde's fingertips. Their bodies slightly shivered from the contact, yet neither one wanted to dare speak of it.
My god there is something different about you Tanner --- definitely something different. Casey thought to herself. I think you're really trying and I like that but I'm also scared. Clearing her throat, she said, "I'm starved --- let's eat."
They talked about how Casey started working at the library and her penchant for being a bookworm while growing up. Each of them silently realized the number of things they had in common and how much they enjoyed talking and laughing.
Noticing how late it had become, the tall woman already regretted when the beautiful blonde would leave. Her ears were beginning to itch from having the sound control devices in them for so long, so she decided to just take them out. "Please excuse me," she began, "I've had enough of these today."
"That's fine." Casey watched her slip the little things into her pocket. Chewing her bottom lip in thought, she wanted to ask about them. "I wonder how much she hears without them?" she softly asked aloud.
Blue eyes regarded her and a slow smile grew on Tanner's face. "I have these because I hear too much, not because I'm deaf."
"What?" she asked with furrowed eyebrows.
"I have a condition called Hyperacusis. It basically means I'm rather sensitive to all sounds. The devices I wear help keep the volume down for me so I can tolerate things like a normal individual."
"Wow, I must say I've never heard of such a thing," Casey commented in disbelief.
"So that day with Mouse blasting her damn music, here I thought it was causing feedback on the hearing aids for you. Wow, how much can you hear without them then?"
"Well...," she thought about how best to answer that. "Remember our nights at the balcony doors?"
"Yeah," Casey slowly answered.
"I could hear you as clear as if you were talking right in my ear."
"Wow." Casey's mind wandered to that night they put on a show for one another. Such a thing would normally be so taboo for her shy personality, but there was something about the raven haired woman that made the whole incident feel so natural and sensual.
"So what time do you believe Mouse will be home?" Tanner innocently asked.
"Damn it, right, I meant to mention earlier that she isn't returning until sometime tomorrow morning. She went to visit her 'friend', Connie, up in Quincy."
"I see. Well then I'll just sleep on the couch. You can have my bed. You know where it is." Tanner got up, and grabbed the dishes to place in the dishwasher.
"Oh no, I couldn't do that. I wouldn't sleep knowing you were on the couch. I'll just..."
"No. Now we can stand here all night facing off about who is going to sleep where or we can actually get some rest. This is my place, and therefore my rules. You will take the bed."
Casey sighed, exasperated. They stood silently staring at one another for a couple of minutes, each of them with their arms folded stubbornly across their chests. The shorter woman finally broke the silence. "I guess then we'll both share the bed and sleep."
"Fine," Tanner said with surprise. Once upstairs, the tall woman emerged from the bathroom wearing loosely fitting blue and gray flannel pajama pants and a gray Henley. "Do you need anything?" She asked the small blonde already under the covers.
"No thank you," Casey nervously mumbled.
Tanner methodically climbed into the bed, shut off the bedside lamp and laid with her back towards Casey. "Good night," Tanner warmly spoke.
Casey remembered the ear devices had been removed earlier, so she softly responded, "Good night."
The morning sun filtered between the curtains, shining warmly on the honeysuckle colored carpeting. Two bodies were entwined under the cozy warm comforter. Tanner felt a wonderful weight on top of her. Instinctively her arms encircled the body firmly and she smiled. As her mind began to slowly gain consciousness, she caught the faint whiff of shampoo on the crown of hair just below her chin. A delicious sensation emanated from her southern region. Ebony eyebrows furrowed slightly wondering why this was but she couldn't put her finger on it. Suddenly there was a slight movement causing ocean blue eyes to spring open, finally registering what was there. Tanner noticed Casey was practically perched on top of her, and that alone felt so nice. Once again there was a slight movement between her legs. She carefully pushed the covers off, and looking down her body, she could see Casey's hand was definitely inside her pajama pants. Oh my god, does she even know she's got her hand right there? The fingers moved ever so slowly, gently brushing through the short black curls of Tanner's mound. Now what do I do? Gods it feels nice. Damn it, I shouldn't be enjoying it when she's asleep.
Casey snuggled deeper into the body beneath her. A sense of peace ---- of coming home filled her heart. Absently, a slight contented mew came out of her mouth when she sighed. Sea green eyes slowly fluttered open. When her mind registered where she was, who was here, and exactly where her hand was located, she breathed out, "Jesus Christ!" Her head sprung up, connecting with hooded ocean blue orbs. Pulling her hand away, she began, "I'm sorry...I don't know why I was....my hand...I didn't mean..."
Tanner tenderly cupped her cheek, placing a thumb over the blonde's supple lips. "Shh.....no harm done." She then got up and entered the bathroom, giving the young woman a moment to recover from her obvious embarrassment.
Casey made her way into the kitchen still berating herself for basically copping a long feel with her new friend. Hoping to make amends for her actions, she decided to get the coffee going and look in the fridge to see what she could make them for breakfast.
A few minutes later Tanner walked in and poured herself a cup of coffee.
"I hope you don't mind I was searching through your fridge." Casey said.
"Nope, what are you making?"
"Omelets sound good to you?"
"Sounds great." Tanner set out a couple of plates on the counter next to Casey. Leaning back against the sink, she sipped her coffee while watching the curvy back side contained within her fuzzy fleece pants. It's bad of me to just stare. She thought to herself. Well it's not like this is worse than her having her hand down my pants. Mmm that was nice. Really though, I shouldn't just stare. Clearing her throat, she asked, "How's it coming along?"
"It's okay, though I think I may have made the omelet too big." The fine hairs on the back of her neck suddenly prickled, and she knew Tanner was very close behind her. She swallowed audibly as the nervousness crept up her spine. "I...uhhh....umm having trouble turning it over. It's thick so I'll have to cook the other side."
"If you'd like, I can show you how to flip it," Tanner softly said near her ear as she looked over Casey's shoulder.
"Alright," Casey answered wondering how this was going to work.
Tanner leaned forward, pressing her body against Casey's backside. Placing a hand gently yet firmly over Casey's hand holding the spatula, she whispered, "Now let yourself relax, and let me guide you." Tanner felt the body give way as Casey let out a deep breath. "That's it." Her warm breath brushed across the peach fuzz around the blonde's ear, and Tanner felt the body slightly quiver. "Now just let me use your hands," Tanner continued.
Casey watched, mesmerized as Tanner guided the one hand on the black rubber handle of the pan to tilt it slightly as the other hand with the spatula lifted one end of the omelet part way. She watched the remainder of the runny eggs that wasn't cooked, slide down to that end of the pan. "We'll just let that solidify for a moment," Tanner commented as she very slowly and lightly brushed the tip of her nose along the edge of Casey's ear. She felt the shorter woman slightly tremble within her arms, and she couldn't help but smile evilly. They then dipped the spatula under the now ready eggs and with ease flipped it over without it falling apart. "There, now we're ready to add stuff." Tanner kept contact as they worked together adding the scallions, shredded cheese, and the already sautéed mushrooms. Folding it in half, they slid the thick fluffy concoction onto a plate.
The familiar ring of a cell phone jerked them out of the moment. "Excuse me," Casey commented as she reached across the counter for her phone. "Hey," she greeted. "Why are you calling me? Oh you're back already?" She looked at the clock on the wall. "No, I didn't realize what time it was. I just woke up recently. What?! No!" She stepped around to the other side of the breakfast bar towards the sliding glass doors.
Tanner smirked as she went about toasting a few slices of bread for them. She could hear Mouse at the other end of the line giving her sister hell and wanting to know if she's had sex and that's why she wasn't home.
"Yeah, I'll be over in a bit. By the way, I locked the keys in the Jeep. I couldn't get in last night because you failed to return the spare key to its designated location. Yeah, talk to you later." She sighed as she took a seat at one of the stools.
"Everything okay?" Tanner politely asked even though she overheard their conversation.
"Yeah, Mouse is back." Casey began buttering her toast, and then continued, "Thanks for the lesson with the omelet."
As they continued eating, Tanner said, "Have dinner with me tonight."
Casey smiled. "Okay."
"Dress nice. I'll pick you up at 6pm."
A sandy colored eyebrow slid up. "How nice?"
Tanner's answer was plain and to the point. "Nice." She did not want to reveal any part of her plan which had been brewing in her mind the past couple of days.
Casey just shook her head and chuckled.
At precisely 6pm, the doorbell rang. Nervous, the young woman let out a huge sigh just before opening the door. Sea green eyes locked on to ocean blue. Each of them was momentarily stunned by the beauty of the other. Tanner sported black pants, black boots, a royal blue collared shirt, and a black suit jacket. "Wow, you look dashing." Casey commented.
"And you look absolutely radiant. I most definitely like it." Tanner said with a huge smile as she drunk in the sight before her. Casey wore a dark brown accordion pleated skirt that fell just to her knees with mid-calf brown heeled boots, and a hunter green button blouse.
"Thanks. Come on in."
As Tanner stepped in, she pulled from behind her back, a mixed bouquet of pink carnation and irises with one red rose, one pink, and one white in the middle. "These are for you."
"Oh my...they're beautiful." She took them and deeply inhaled the sweet fragrance. "Thank you."
"You had mentioned that you like sushi," Tanner commented as the hostess walked away from their table.
"Yes, very much. I've been to this place only once though, and the food was divine." It's also rather expensive which is why I only came once. Okay calm down Casey. You're on a date. With a gorgeous woman who obviously wants to get to know you. "So have you been here before?" she casually asked.
"Just a few times for lunch; and I agree, the food was divine," she answered with a smile. "I really like how these half circle booths on this side of the restaurant afford some privacy with the partitions between each table and the partial folding screen in front.
"Yes it is very nice." In a way that she didn't want to admit, Casey knew the tall raven haired beauty was quickly unveiling the layers that enclosed her heart. A part of her was afraid of revealing her emotions and giving into to Tanner's gentle advancements earlier. Not that she didn't want any of it to happen ----- it's just that she wasn't sure if she could give her heart again to anyone. All in all, she had enjoyed the playful and sensual exchanges between them. Something about the tall woman just brought this side out of her.
The waitress came with a bottle of plum wine and a bowl of edamame. "Are you ready to order?" she asked with a smile.
Tanner looked over at the strawberry-blonde who was still engrossed in the menu. Leaning in, she softly said, "I'll order for us ----- if you trust me."
Casey quizzically eyed her, and to her own surprise, gave up the menu. "Okay." She listened to Tanner request various rolls, a couple she knew and others she didn't. Looking at the short glass holding the chilled golden liquid, a mischievous idea came to mind. As the waitress left, she dipped two fingers into the wine, and then brought them up to Tanner's lips.
The feel of the wet digits brushing across her top and bottom lips made Tanner's stomach clench with desire. She couldn't resist taking the fingers in her mouth, and gently sucking on them. She heard the whimper that escaped Casey's throat, making her smile. Upon letting them go, she said, "Mmm, that was delicious."
Casey had not expected Tanner to turn the situation around, but didn't regret it playing out that way.
"I have a surprise," Tanner casually stated while driving down Broadway Avenue.
"Oh really?" Casey inquired. As she watched Tanner nod, she added, "So what is it?"
"You'll see," Tanner answered excitedly. They pulled into an alleyway, parking behind a two-story brick building. She lead the shorter woman to the unmarked door which she began to unlock. Once inside, she entered a numeric code on the key pad affixed to the wall to deactivate the alarm.
"Where are we?" Casey asked softly.
Tanner gave her a lopsided grin and then turned on the main light. Sea green eyes lit up at seeing the room full of so many different flowers and plants. "It's my friend, Kenny's, flower shop. He's allowing me to use the surroundings tonight."
"For what?" Casey asked curiously.
"For this," she stated as she took the blonde's hand in her own and lead her further into the room towards the small table containing a plate of chocolate covered fruit and champagne.
Grinning from ear to ear, Casey said, "This is so beautiful and romantic." She sat down on the chair that was held out for her and watched as Tanner opened the bottle. "How did you manage this?"
"Kenny and I go way back. We used to live next door to each other all through high school and we even went to prom together because both of us were still in the closet to everyone but ourselves."
As they enjoyed dessert and conversation, Casey could not deny any more that she was beginning to fall for this woman. She found Tanner charming, strong, thoughtful, romantic and definitely very sexy. Suddenly Casey grew fearful as all of these revelations came to a head. The last thing she wanted was a repeat of her last relationship.
"Casey, are you okay?" Tanner asked upon noticing Casey's body language growing pensive.
"I'm fine." She got up, walking towards the cash register counter, as she tried to reign in her emotions and thoughts.
Curious, Tanner joined her, leaning against the counter. "Thank you for the pleasure of coming out with me tonight." The tall woman announced softly while the backs of fingers tenderly caressed Casey's cheek.
Casey was becoming lost in those beautiful blue eyes. When a pair of soft lips made contact with her own, she gave up the fight with her heart. Tongues danced and caressed without skipping a beat. A slight moan escaped her throat when it came to an end.