You Think Making Love is Easy?byMarshtickledkitty©
This story was co-written by MarshAlien and tickledkitty and is our entry for the 2008 Valentine's Day Story Contest. We hope you enjoy it and welcome feedback. Please don't forget to vote!
"I'll tell you what really frosts my cookies. We're out there 24/7, 365 days a year, busting our cherubic little butts, and we get into December and it's all Santa Claus, Santa Claus, Santa Claus. I mean for cryin' out loud, he works what, one night a year?"
Tiberius has been my regional supervisor for the last three years now, and is used to the ranting I do on my visits to refill my quiver.
"And it's not like he has to do it on his own," I continue. "He's got all these elves working for him. Hell, he doesn't have to do his own flying."
"Because of the eight tiny reindeer." Tiberius nods in agreement.
"Tiny, my ass. I was an elf for six months. You spend some time cleaning up after those boys, you won't call 'em 'tiny' no more.
"And all those letters." I am on a roll now. "'Please bring me an X-box, Santa, cause I've been so extra good this year.' Like they aren't surrounded by stores where their parents can buy their own frickin' X-boxes."
"How many letters did I get this year? None. How many letters did any of the other cupids get? Huh?"
"Well, none," Tiberius admits.
Tiberius gives me a big smile.
"And exactly how much attention would you give them? 'Oh, Cupid, please make Bobby Smith fall in love with me.'"
"I'd look at them," I say after a grudging pause.
He starts laughing.
"You'd ignore them on principle," he says between laughs.
"If mortals were any good at falling in love, they wouldn't need cupids," I answer. "There certainly wouldn't be anywhere near as many divorces, that's for damn sure."
"There wouldn't be so many divorces in your district, Julius, if the cupid assigned there was even close to making his quota this year. You do realize, don't you, that your five years as a cupid is up in the middle of February?"
I glare at him. I know that all too well.
"You know," he continues, "we still have never had a graduate of the academy with a higher score on Aura Recognition than yours."
I smile. I have always been proud of that.
"But you were last in here four weeks ago for another quiverful of darts. Octavia's been in twice since then."
"Octavia," I mumble. I have no doubt that goody-goody Octavia will be reborn with a silver spoon in her mouth. She and I started at the same time, but by the time I was done with my elf internship, she had already finished the cupid academy. We were assigned adjoining regions, which always requires a good bit of inter-cupid cooperation. She has been exceeding her quota for the last two years.
"And she doesn't even have a college in her area."
"It's a very serious college, you know," I say.
"I know. Excellent academics. Top twenty and all that. But it's still full of horny kids. Remember, you only need minimum aura congruence."
"Minimum aura congruence." I spit out the words in disgust. "You mean they should all settle."
"What I mean is not always looking for the perfect at the expense of the good."
"Shouldn't people be entitled to the best love possible?" I say, bristling.
"In a perfect world, sure. But you're responsible for all the people in your area, Julius. Not just the special few that you can make perfect matches for. All of them."
"I know, I know. All of my matches are still together, though."
"You know as well as I do..." Tiberius begins.
"That that's not our department," I finish. "Yes, I know. Cupids on one end, lawyers on the other."
He bursts out laughing.
"That's a very cynical view, Julius."
"It's not my view," I point out. "I'm the guy with the perfect record."
"I'll tell you what," Tiberius says. "It's December twenty-fourth. You have less than two months. If you at least make your quotas between now and then, I'll see what I can do about getting you out. If not, though, I don't see a lot of hope. Which means five more years of cupiding. Or you could go back to being an elf..."
"No. I'll do it."
Another five more years of this would be hell. The real problem is that you can watch people falling in love, but you can never take part yourself. You find the match, you shoot your darts, and you move on. Oh, all right; maybe I watch for a little bit. And of course, being an elf would be even worse.
I leave his office and collect my quiver of darts from the tech at the warehouse.
"All ready?" I ask.
"Forty matching sets," he says with a smile. "Try not to be a pain in the ass, Julius."
I laugh, even though he tells the same joke every time I pick up more darts. I fly back to my aerie, in the bell tower of one of Berea, Ohio's finest churches. I skim the auras of those I pass along the way, committing them to memory. I spot two people with congruent auras, walking toward each other as it happens, and loose off two darts. She is a forty-something born-again Christian and he is a twenty-something atheist, but hey, if minimum congruence was what they wanted, that's what they would get. And good luck to you guys.
I probably just shouldn't care so much. At the academy, they had taught us to perceive the aura as nothing more than a set of colors. You match one person's set with another, and if enough colors line up, you have minimum congruence. I was the one who had figured out the color spikes that corresponded with major events. The Christian woman, for example, had a vivid red spike at C-7, which told me, apparently alone among the cupids, that she had watched the moon landing in 1969. She didn't have the dark blue spike at B-6 that corresponded to the assassination of President Kennedy, so I could pretty confidently peg her age as somewhere in her middle forties. It was the same with the atheist. He had the purple at E-8 (Challenger disaster) but not the green at D-24 (Reagan assassination attempt). And as far as their religion went, after four years of cupiding, I could just kind of tell that from the shape of the aura.
Maybe the others are right; maybe I should give it up. Maybe I should just hang out at bars and parties -- everywhere significant numbers of humans were likely to gather -- and do what I have been trained to do.
And then I see Gwen Williams. The first thing I notice is the aura, of course. It's striking, and I rack my brain to recall a similar one I had seen over a year ago. While I'm thinking, I notice her eyes, her exquisitely luminous eyes. I nearly lose myself in them until suddenly it comes to me: Luke Turnquist. Those two would be perfect together. I have never seen auras with better congruence than theirs.
Tiberius and the other cupids probably think I spend most of my time watching porn flicks, never realizing how much work it actually takes to do these things my way. All they see is a fuckup who can't make quota. The problem, though, as it is with most of the matches I create, is that Gwen and Luke have no idea that each other exists. Even assuming that Luke is still in the area, the district is large enough that there is a distinct possibility that they will never run into each other. Unless someone arranges something different.
Seven days later, on New Year's Eve, I have the shot. It hasn't been easy getting the two of them to the same party. Each of them was easier to connect to Kevin Bacon than to the other. But here they are. Within feet of each other. Their auras are incandescently similar, the tendrils almost reaching out and intertwining in an orgy of color. I take two darts out of my quiver and slip them into the bow. And fire.
"Fuckin' A! Who the fuck was that!"
I am fortunate that humans can neither see nor hear us cupids, although at a party this loud, no one probably would have noticed my cursing. But damn my eternal luck. I can't believe that someone walked in front of Luke just as I loosed the darts. And now there they are, standing and looking at each other. Oh, fuck.
I'll never forget the first time I saw Danae Swift. It was at that damned New Year's Eve party my friend, Patty, had dragged me to. Patty had disappeared some time before, and I didn't know anyone else there. I was just lamenting the fact that it was 11:40 and I had no one to kiss at midnight, when the crowd parted, and there she was. Danae. Tall and slim, with a boyish figure, her eyes raked down over my body and back up to my face.
Danae. God, even her name sounded exotic, fleeting, poetic. She seemed to be bathed in golden light, with her spiky blond hair and tawny skin. As she sauntered toward me in slow motion (or so it seemed), even her caramel-colored eyes appeared flecked with gold. My stomach dropped as a smile split her heart-shaped face. I gazed at the full lips and gleaming white teeth that slightly overlapped in front, perfect in their imperfection. The wild hammering of my heart drowned out everything in the room, and I realized she must have spoken to me and was holding out her hand to shake.
"Uh, I'm sorry?" I spluttered, heat suffusing my cheeks.
"I said I'm Danae Swift."
She took my hand and leaned closer as she said it. She'd been holding a bottle of beer, and her fingers were cool and damp. Her fresh green fragrance tickled my nostrils.
"Wendy?" she asked.
"Oh, no." I leaned even closer. "I'm Gwen."
Danae laughed again. "Oh, good. Somehow, you don't look like a Wendy. Nice to meet you, Gwen."
"Nice to meet you too." I smiled back.
"I don't remember seeing you before. Are you a friend of Jay's?" Jay was our host.
"No, I actually came here with my friend, Patty, but she seems to have disappeared."
"Patty?" Danae pondered for a moment. "Oh, yeah, I know her. Redhead, right?" "Yup."
Danae reached for the cup in my hand and peered inside.
"You need another drink," she said. "Come on."
She led me to the makeshift bar in the corner. When we got there, she snatched the cup from my hand.
"What have you been drinking?" she asked.
"Rum and Coke."
I watched as Danae expertly mixed my drink, ending with a squeeze of lime.
"Lime?" I asked.
"Trust me," Danae said, handing me the drink. "I used to be a bartender."
She watched as I tried it.
"It's really good," I said. "Thank you."
Danae nodded and bent over to retrieve a beer from the cooler at her feet. To my surprise, I found myself checking out her ass. She caught me as she stood up and winked with a knowing grin. It was strange and slightly embarrassing. I didn't remember ever looking at a woman that way before.
Taking my arm, Danae guided me over to a group of people engaged in an animated discussion. After introducing me around, she became involved in the conversation, and I stood watching her and quietly sipping my drink. She had a commanding presence and moved with the grace of a cat. A regal lioness, I thought, and giggled.
The sound drew her attention back to me, her expression that of one looking upon a precious, enchanting child. Wrapping her fingers around my upper arm, she leaned close once again.
"You have an adorable laugh," she said very close to my ear, her breath stirring my hair and bathing me in goose bumps.
This made me giggle more, and I leaned back with alcohol-slowed movement to look into her eyes.
"And pretty eyes," she murmured with a smile.
"I like yours too," I replied, staring as Danae's pink tongue licked slowly across her top lip.
What the hell was happening here?
"Look." She pointed to the big-screen TV that dominated one wall of the room.
Dick Clark had started the countdown in his convalescent's voice, and the ball was dropping.
"Eight, seven, six, five," the crowd joined in. "Four, three, two, one. Happy New Year!" The room erupted into cheering and the cacophony of wind-up noisemakers and little horns.
Danae reached up to cup my cheeks in her cool hands and pressed her lips to mine in a tender, soul-wrenching kiss. I'd never kissed a woman before—the intensity, the passion, were intoxicating. I don't remember whether I kissed her back or not. She pulled back for a moment, leaned her forehead against mine, and swallowed. Then, sliding her palms back further, her hands braced my neck, her fingers twining in my shoulder-length brown hair.
My hands found Danae's waist, one of them holding my cup against her back. I tipped my chin up and kissed her again. The rest of the room seemed to vanish, leaving the two of us alone on a tiny, silent island. Danae's lips parted, and the tip of her tongue brushed mine. Her obviously untethered breasts pressed against me, the hard points of her nipples grazing my chest behind the silky fabric of her top.
Immediate and complete, my arousal stole my breath and weakened my knees. Danae's liquid gold heat traveled from my mouth right down to my stomach, where it curled into a strong wave of aching desire, melting my insides and flowing out of me like molten lava. A woman's touch was doing this to me. Shocked, I pulled back, and the rest of the room reappeared and spun around us. We stared at each other, our chests heaving.
"Wow," I gasped, rubbing my fingertips across my lips.
"Yeah. Wow is right." Danae grinned. "Happy New Year."
An hour later, we were sitting close on my sofa, drinking hot tea and talking. Danae had set her mug on the coffee table and was stroking the backs of her fingers up and down the back of my hand and forearm. She took my mug and set it down, as well.
"Listen," I said. "I need to tell you that I've never been with a woman before. I'm straight."
"I know that."
She continued stroking absently, watching my face.
"So, you know, earlier, I guess it must have been the alcohol or...something."
I caught Danae's hand to stop the stroking, which was driving me crazy, but ended in holding her hand, which was worse.
Danae touched my bottom lip with the tip of one finger.
"Pink baby lips," she whispered, leaning forward and replacing the finger with her mouth.
Catching my bottom lip between her own, she sucked lightly and let it go with a pop, shaking me to my core.
"It wasn't the alcohol," she murmured.
We kissed again, deeper this time, our mouths open, tongues grazing, drinking each other in. Danae pushed me back gently, so that I was lying down with her body resting between my legs. Then I was gone. All rationality fled, desire and the pursuit of pure pleasure taking its place.
Next thing I knew, we were naked, legs and arms wrapped around each other, both of us writhing and moaning and gasping for breath. Danae's hand trailed down the curve of my abdomen to find my pussy very wet and open and ready.
"Mmmm, perfect," she said, sliding her body lower.
Pushing my knees up, Danae wrapped her arms around my thighs and pulled my outer labia apart with her thumbs. Her tongue touched me just above my anus and stroked a slow, hot line all the way to my aching clit. As the tip of her tongue touched it, she blew out a puff of warm air, sending me over the edge. Spasms racked my body, as waves of pleasure assaulted me again and again.
As I calmed, I looked down to see Danae gazing up at me from between my legs.
"Been a while?" she grinned.
"Uh, yeah." I cleared my throat. "Sorry."
"Don't be, baby. Just enjoy it," she said, lowering her mouth back to my waiting flesh.
Danae was a skilled and generous lover. Her patience with me knew no bounds, as she took on the role of teacher to my somewhat clumsy and awkward pupil. Her joy in pleasing me made me want to reciprocate, while her expertise made me feel slightly inadequate. It was new and different and beautiful, though, and began to feel somewhat familiar after a while.
I awoke very late the next morning with no hangover, amazingly. Danae lay on her back beside me with one arm flung above her head in peaceful abandon. The quilt was pushed down to her waist, and I stared at her nakedness, not quite believing this magnificent creature was really there in my bed. What the hell had I done? Not wanting to wake her, I slipped out of bed and out of the room, escaping to the bathroom.
For what seemed like a long time I stood in the shower thinking about the night before. We'd made love all night long, literally. The brief pauses in between were filled with touching and kissing, so that each time melded into the time before and the time following, creating one long chain of delicious pleasure. I shuddered, realizing the memories were turning me on, making me want her again.
The shower door opened, and Danae stepped inside. Her sunny smile squeezed my heart.
"Want some company?" she asked.
"Do I have any choice?" I laughed.
"Uh, nope," she replied, pulling me against her and kissing me hard.
She leaned back into the spray, smoothing back her hair with her hands. The water rushing over that golden skin made my mouth water. I squeezed some shampoo out onto my palm, rubbed my hands together, and lathered up Danae's hair. She groaned as I massaged her scalp with my fingertips. After her hair was rinsed, I scrubbed her body with a loofah dripping with scented body wash. She propped her hands against the wall and closed her eyes, enjoying my ministrations.
Finally, I could stand it no longer and pressed myself against her soapy slick body, my belly against her back, my hands gliding up her sleek abdomen, squeezing her soapy breasts, then sliding down to cup her sex. I felt I'd hung back a bit before and wanted very much to please her now. I brought her off with my fingers, as she leaned back against me, the warm water sluicing over both of us.
Later, we returned to my room to dress, and I loaned Danae some clean clothes. The idea of her wearing my clothes made me really happy.
"Are you hungry?" I asked.
"Mmm, yeah. Starving."
"I could make us some breakfast. I think I have some bacon."
She turned, looking fresh and young with no makeup and unstyled hair.
"Um, you mean, like, real bacon?"
I laughed. "Yeah, you know, like Porky Pig?"
She visibly blanched.
"I don't eat animal products," she said.
"Oh, I'm sorry. So no eggs either?"
She shook her head.
"Okay, um..." I thought about what I had in my kitchen. "Toast?"
"What kind of bread?"
"I don't eat white flour," she said, looking regretful. "Or refined sugar," she added. Nonplussed, I thought for another moment.
"I have fruit!"
"No, sorry," I mumbled.
Danae laughed. "It's okay, baby. I can eat later."
I sat down beside her on the bed.
"So, what happens now?" I asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I'm not sure how this works," I explained. "I mean, was this a one-time thing, or what?"
Danae looked thoughtful.
"What do you want it to be?" she asked.
"What do you want it to be?"
"I asked you first," Danae replied with a giggle.
"Actually, I asked you first." I smiled, although I felt more confused than amused.
"Okay," she paused. "I'd like to see you again."
"Really?" Now my smile was genuine.
"Yeah! How can you ask me that now?"
"I just wasn't sure."
"I have some stuff to take care of, and then I'll call you, okay?" she asked.
It turned out the "stuff" she had to take care of was a live-in girlfriend/roommate, who Danae had apparently been on the outs with for some time. Upon finding out that Danae had spent the night with me, the roommate moved out in a huff, leaving Danae free to spend as much time with me as she liked. Luckily for me, she liked to spend a lot of time with me. We saw each other almost every night for the next couple weeks.
Danae was a full-time Pilates instructor and encouraged me to enroll in a couple of classes. She also encouraged me to eat healthier by putting me on her own eating plan, which excluded all animal products, including eggs, butter, and cheese, much to my horror. I'd never been an especially bad eater, but as a life-long carnivore, the new diet made me feel deprived. The ban on ice cream was nearly unbearable. Rice and soy products just weren't doing it for me.