tagLesbian SexThe Sun on my Skin Ch. 02

The Sun on my Skin Ch. 02


This story, as the title suggests, is a sequel to 'The Sun on My Skin Ch. 1', though, I have tried to ensure that can be read on its own, even if (not surprisingly) I think you'll understand Tina a little more if you read Part 1 first.

To be fair to you, dear reader, I should warn that, though I didn't set out to do so, it has become a long story. I should also say that it is a lesbian romance with sex rather than simply a 'wham, bam, thank you mam' sex story. I'm sorry if this disappoints some but, hopefully, others will enjoy the slower pace and emotion.

Thanks, as always, to my editor Winterreisser for his support and encouragement to produce better stories and for his dedicated and stalwart battle against my endless typos. If any remain then blame me for including so many in the first place!

Despite the title, there is very little sun and while writing I've always thought of this story as 'The Cold on My Skin'. However, the rules on Literotica mean that stories in series must (at present at least) share the same title.

I hope you enjoy and please rate the story and comment if you feel moved to do so -- your feedback is much appreciated.


PART I -- Life can be a dark place

Monday 27 April

I stomp my way into work. It's another busy week ahead now Jojo has left, the ungrateful little cow; as soon as her results from her payroll exams were in she resigned. I know the company didn't exactly pay for her exams but she did get every Thursday afternoon off for study, not that she was being paid a fortune. Perhaps I'm just jealous of her youth and freedom to go off to try something new, whatever it is she's doing now.

Anyway, it's actually something of a relief to be in work; a year ago I would have thought it inconceivable that Clive and I could spend all weekend arguing but that's all we seemed to do and all because of that fucking letter, which arrived on Saturday morning and is now engraved on my memory: ' Dear Ms Norton, Further to your recent letter, I must confirm that you do not currently meet the requirements necessary for your IVF fertility treatment to be funded by this Health Authority. I understand your complaint that in some other regions the qualifying criteria are different and that, under such rules, you might qualify; however, we believe the rules operated within this Health Authority strike the necessary balance between need, availability of resources and successful medical outcomes...'

I take a deep breath: I could burst into tears or scream in frustration -- I've done both repeatedly over the past two days -- but I don't want to do either at work. Malcolm is sat at his desk, in early as is his habit, and typing something whilst looking at the paper beside his keyboard. He looks up briefly and nods to me in greeting, the tapping of the keys continuing without a hesitation. He is very proud of his self-taught touch-typing; I remember him when I started here nine years ago; he was already in his fifties and he sat slowly and painstakingly using the correct finger for each key. I'd thought he was silly at the time, but his dedication has definitely paid off.

"Is Tina in?" I ask, tilting my head towards her closed door and this halts his typing.

"Yes, and she seems more than a little out of sorts. I think we can guess why." I nod.

"Jojo. I suppose she only found out when she came in."

"No, she was angry when she arrived. Perhaps the girl had the decency to tell her directly and contacted her at home: they were friendly, off and on, weren't they?"

The relationship between Tina and Jojo had been both a surprise and a bit of a puzzle over the year the young woman had worked here; a surprise because Tina is thirty-six, a little over a year older than I am, while Jojo was barely nineteen when she started, and a puzzle because of the way their relationship fluctuated between friendship and distance, intimacy and upset. Actually, it had thoroughly intrigued Malcolm, almost to the point of obsession, with his repeatedly commenting on it and more than once asking me if I thought they were 'more than, you know, just good friends?'

I knew what he was asking but I was pretty sure I had the answer, though I've never said anything, not a word to anyone. The truth is I've always found Tina a very private, reserved person. She never mentions her home life and rarely shares what she gets up to outside of work, save the occasional 'went out for a meal' or 'saw a movie', though she once mentioned going to a friend's wedding, though with no details of bride or groom. The name 'Alex' did pop up occasionally when she let it slip. I also know she swims -- she told me so when I commented on how she often comes in with wet hair on Tuesday and Friday mornings -- which seems to work keeping her lithe, athletic figure as enviably toned as it is.

The thing is, I still have access to the HR database and noticed -- okay, I was being nosey and deliberately looked up -- Tina's details trying to find out something about her. The day before I'd overheard the name Alex once again while she was on the phone and I was sure that Alex was someone close, but what I saw listed as Tina's emergency contact was not simply Alex Kowalski but Ms Alexandra Kowalski and living at the same address. Tina had been discreet but, her tone and the look on her face told me that Alex wasn't just a housemate. The obvious conclusion was that Tina was gay. Okay, I didn't obsess over it like Malcolm but I did wonder what exactly had gone on between Tina and Jojo. I knew Jojo had dropped out of school because of issues with a boy but what did that mean these days? And who hasn't, at some point wondered about their sexuality?

I guess something bad happened between Tina and Alex because last summer, with a week's notice, Tina and Jojo went on holiday together. Tina might be a paragon of discretion but Jojo wasn't. Yes, I'm pretty sure Tina and Jojo were more than 'just good friends'... but seemingly not anymore. It looks like it's time for me to be a supportive colleague to Tina; a discreet and supportive colleague, naturally. Maybe it'll help distract me from my own troubles.

It's an hour or so later that Tina finally comes out of her office and heads to the kitchen area to make a cup of tea. My own cup is long empty and Malcolm is away from his desk so now seems a good time to find out how she is. I approach her as she rinses her mug out in the sink, her tall, athletic frame bent forwards as she does so, and I hear her give a little sniff. "Hi," I say to announce my presence and she gives a little start, her hand reaching up to her face; I suspect she has hastily wiped an errant tear from her eyes.

"Oh, um, morning Janice. Are you okay?"

"Well, more or less; what about you?"

"Um... yeah, I suppose. Why only more or less?" she asks, evidently trying to turn the focus from herself.

"It's just stuff at home; some disappointing news. Jojo walking out and leaving us in the lurch is a right pain, isn't it? A bit of a shock for you, I suspect, walking in and finding she'd resigned whilst you were on that secondment to the Liverpool office."

"Yes, you could say that. She..." Here it comes, I tell myself as Tina hesitates, the hurt plain on her face. "She... she's let us all down hasn't she, just walking away like that!" Her voice is bitter with betrayal but as our eyes meet there is a pleading look in them but I do not know what it is she so desperately wants: to talk or to be left alone? An answer? A hug? The moment is broken by the sound of Malcolm's humming as he returns to his desk and Tina looks down.

"Look, Tina, if you want to talk at some point; you know, out of the office, one lunchtime or after work..." I let the offer hang there, unsure of what else to say. We've been colleagues for four years, since I moved to Payroll from HR, and this is, by a very long way, the most intimate conversation we've ever had.

"Thanks, Janice," she replies quietly as she pours the boiling water from the kettle into her mug and then into mine. "And the same for you, if you want an ear to bend with your, er, disappointing news." I nod and there's an awkward moment as neither of us knows what to do next before we take our drinks and go our separate ways.

Oh well, at least I offered.

Friday 1 May

Thank God it's Friday! Actually, I'm not sure how much I really mean that because while work hasn't been much fun, home life hasn't been much better and things between Clive and me are a bit strained. If I'm honest, I know a lot of it is down to me and I'm not being fair on Clive, so perhaps that's why he's arranged to meet some of his mates after work tonight. It's just that I wish he'd show the same anger at how unfair our situation is and then I'd know that having a child is as important to him as it is to me. "It's so bloody frustrating!" I mutter as I check through the bank's report on salary payments made yesterday.

"What is?" Tina's voice behind me makes me jump, literally off my seat in what is probably an utterly hilarious way if you're not the one whose heart has almost just leapt out of their chest. "Oh, Janice, I'm so sorry," she immediately apologises as I try to recover my composure and dignity. "I wasn't trying to sneak up on you."

"No, I'm sure you weren't; I was obviously too engrossed."

"What, in a BACS transfer report?" she asks disbelievingly and with the faintest glimmer of her old humour.

"Well, no, obviously. It's just other stuff, er, you know, home stuff." She nods in understanding but seems hesitant.

"Um... you know on Monday you mention that, um, if I needed to talk..?" Now it's my turn to nod, trying to conceal my surprise. "It's, well, I know I've been a miserable cow this week and, to be honest, I simply can't stand the thought of going home and just sitting and moping on my own. I owe you and Graham some explanation but... would you come for a drink tonight so I can tell you first?"

"Clive's out at some work's do this evening so, er, yes, of course, if that would help you..." I pause, weighing up my next words. "And perhaps this miserable cow owes you some explanations too."

And so it is that, by unspoken agreement, Tina and I both have a little bit of work to finish up at the end of the day, staying on until Malcolm has left. I find a strange mixture of apprehension and curiosity inside me as we walk down the road, not to The Royal Oak, which is the default meeting place for after work drinks, whether celebrations or farewells, but to The Three Feathers on River Street. I've never been there before but it is surprisingly quiet for a Friday evening and we have no trouble finding an empty corner, I with a gin and tonic and she with a white wine.

Having got this far Tina seems not to know where to start so I decide to take the lead. "Did you know that I was pregnant eighteen months ago?" I ask and the question seems to startle her. Fair enough: it wasn't an obvious opening line. "I fell pregnant in the spring and, you probably remember, we went on a Baltic cruise that summer and Clive proposed." I take a sip of my drink and see I have Tina's complete attention. "It was very romantic, idyllic even, until a few weeks later, I miscarried."

"That must have been... terrible," Tina empathises. "I didn't know."

"It was, but don't feel guilty for not knowing because I didn't tell you. Anyway, at the time I had convinced myself I had felt her moving but... well, I was wrong and..." I shake my head, unwilling to recall the event in detail, much less to retell it. "I hadn't told you or anyone else at work about being pregnant so it never seemed right to tell you about the miscarriage. Anyway, I assumed that after a few months I'd be pregnant again."

"But?" she asks, reading my expression.

"But I never have. I've had tests and investigations, Clive's had tests and there's nothing obviously wrong, apparently, I just don't get pregnant, no matter what we try: ovulation tests, looking for stringy mucus, time of day, raising my hips after sex... still nothing. Sorry, that was probably rather too much information," I add, seeing the slight pink of embarrassment on Tina's cheeks.

"What about, whatsit, test tube... I mean, er, IVF?" she asks and I feel my throat constrict with emotion.

"That's what I've been upset about. According to the local Health Authority's rules, because I was pregnant and there's no obvious problem I don't qualify for IVF treatment on the NHS until after three years from the pregnancy."

"Okay, I see...so that that would be in what, eighteen months' time?"

"I can see what you're thinking: a year and a half isn't long to wait, surely?"

"Well, it isn't really. Is it?"

"Yes, it is, because in eleven months I shall be thirty-five!" I exclaim to Tina's evident bewilderment. I take a breath and a steadying drink. "You have to be under thirty-five to qualify for treatment," I explain. I feel the warmth of her hand cover mine as it rests on the table and she squeezes gently.

"Oh, Janice, that seems so unfair. I know there have to be rules but couldn't they make an exception? You'd only be a few months over the age."

"I have asked and apparently not. I guess there's never enough money in the NHS for everything and this is the way they limit how much they spend on IVF. I do try and understand; I know that me wanting a baby isn't the same as someone with cancer or who needs a life-saving operation or whatever but still..." I rub my hand over my eyes, fighting back tears.

"Janice, forgive me if it isn't my place to say this but have you talked to Clive? I guess it wouldn't be cheap but perhaps you could pay and have IVF treatment privately?" I look at her, momentarily stunned by her words.

"Oh my God, you're right! I never considered it but we could look into it, maybe save up..." I know I shouldn't get too excited, that this is only a possibility and not yet a solution but I feel the sadness inside me lift and a surge of hope come in its place. Instinctively I half stand and put my arms around Tina to hug her briefly. I feel her rather awkwardly pat my shoulder. "Thank you!"

"Um, you're welcome," she says as I release her. "Glad I could help, I guess."

"Oh it has helped, really it has. Now, let me get some more drinks and it's my turn to listen, okay?" She nods nervously and that nervousness is still evident when I return a few minutes later with our new drinks. Now it is her turn to take a steadying sip.

"Um... oh god, I don't know where to start..."

"Tina, if it's too hard we can just have a drink and talk about, I don't know: favourite restaurants or what we last saw at the cinema or something."

"Did you know Jojo and I went on holiday together last summer?" she blurts out.

"Well, I did wonder when she suddenly took the same week off as you but I wasn't completely sure."

"I invited her when..." Tina hesitates and gives a little sigh before glancing. "I really need to tell you something first, Janice, but..."

"Tina, I promise that whatever you want to tell me I will keep in the strictest confidence."

"Thank you." Her voice is very quiet and she's looking down, swirling the wine in her glass. "Janice, I'm lesbian." She looks up quickly at my face, obviously wanting to see my reaction. I almost reply that I'd guessed as much but something tells me it would be the wrong thing to say; she's obviously striven to keep this hidden and private so the last thing she'll want to hear is that her colleague has deduced the truth.

"Okay, that was... unexpected," I tell her, opting for the white lie. "I, er, I'm not sure what the right way to put this is but you being gay is, you know, is not a problem with me. Sorry, that sounds like I think you need my permission, which you don't of course... sorry..."

"It's okay, Janice, I understand what you're trying to say," she stops my babbling with a slight smile, "and thank you."

"Does your being gay have anything to do with Jojo coming on holiday with you?" Her cheeks colour instantly and I cannot help a smile.

"Well... sort of. Let me just tell you the whole story..." And she does: that Alex had been her partner of almost five years, about how she and Jojo had become friends trying different weird and wonderful foods; the way Alex, had left her a couple of weeks before their holiday in Spain; that she had invited Jojo because they were friends and, Tina admitted, she wondered if they might become more.

"And..?" I prompt, too curious to help myself.

"Yes... and of course no," she sighs. "You won't repeat this, will you; for her sake as much as mine?"

"Of course," I assure her.

"She, well, she's lesbian, or maybe bisexual, and I really thought that we... but she fell for a young woman at the resort. Oh, shit, things happened between Jojo and Marta -- that was the woman's name -- but I thought it was just a holiday romance and the effect of finding out she liked women. I really did think that, after we came back, we might be girlfriends. It never really worked, though and now she's gone back to Spain to be with Marta, the girl she met there. That was why she was reading those books in Spanish, apparently," she adds sadly.

There's a minute or two of silence as I absorb this and Tina regains her composure. "I'm touched that you could tell me all that," I say.

"I've been so worried that people knowing I'm a lesbian might go against me at work or that people would treat me differently. That won't happen will it?"

"Tina, I used to work in HR and I can say it shouldn't make any difference as far as the company's concerned. As for people knowing and treating you differently well, speaking for myself, I can't say that won't happen." Her grey eyes widen in alarm and her lips become pale and thin as she presses them together. "No, Tina, don't worry; all I mean is that I think you won't be just a work colleague anymore and that we might be more like... friends, maybe?"

"That would be good," she replies, relaxing. "I could definitely use a friend right now."

"Me too. That's the trouble when you're part of a couple: most of your friends are shared with your other half so you can't really say all you feel."

"Very true. I think that was part of why..." she hesitates and then, continues, "why I asked Jojo on holiday: she didn't know Alex or any of our mutual friends. That and the fact she was cute and fun. Oh well." It's been a long time since I've thought of another female in quite that way, but she's right: Jojo was a cute, pretty girl. I wonder if Tina is going to make a habit of making comments like that to me about other women. "Another drink? It's my round." Tina's voice snaps me out of my reverie.

"Oh, yes please but I ought to stop there or I'll be getting drunk."

"Well, we could always get something to eat, if you wanted. You said, um, Clive was out tonight."

"Yeah, why not?" A suspicious thought crosses my mind. "You're not planning on it being weird food like that 'try anything' thing are you?"

"Only if that's what you want; I'm very happy to go for something ordinary."

It occurs to me that, though she seems happier than when we arrived and much happier than last Monday, re-visiting places she went with Jojo would be a step too far, even if I wanted to try giraffe burgers or whatever it was they used to eat together. "Pizza?" I suggest and she nods.

Saturday 2 May

I open my eyes blearily as the movement of the bed disturbs me and see Clive looking down at me. "Hello, sleepyhead," he says, a gentle smile on his face.

"Hello you," I reply, my head throbbing as I try to raise it and so, for the time being at least, decide not to. "What time is it?"

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