A Night At Millicent’s

A Night At Millicent’s

Originally published February 2016 as Smokey Saga #60

*****

Enjoy, bibliophiles, this one’s for you! Forgive me if I left out anyone’s preferred sections laying out this little shop of wonders. This story is dedicated to you, Reader—yes, you; you rock!—and also to any British fans in particular. This story highlights my Anglophilia. Even though I’m American and the story takes place in America (Juniper, MN, like all of mine), this is written from a Brit’s P.O.V. Aren’t dedications great? They’re free, and can encompass whomever you choose them to. I haven’t dedicated that many stories because I suspect most of them would be to the same individuals—the Readers as a whole. But, you know who you are, and you know how much you mean to me. And as always, your feedback is welcomed, valued and appreciated.

*****

Me Bloke-Mate’s Back

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016, 6:56 p.m.

Her cell rang.

Oh, buggers,” Sophie muttered, taking the obligatory moment to answer. She was on her way out the door, but she’d never been one to ignore a ringing phone and send it straight to voice-mail, even in the case of unknown numbers. She pressed talk.

“’Ello?”

A British male voice came through the line.

“’Ello there, is this Sophie Trimble?”

“Yes! This is she.”

“Oh, goodness, love! I can hardly believe it! It’s me, Nigel!”

Sophie stopped in her tracks, feeling her heart suddenly melt.

Nigel??...You’re joking!

It was Nigel Finehammer, her childhood best friend. They’d met when they were just wee children in Lincolnshire, having discovered their mutual love of books and reading in single-digit years. They buddied up in language arts/lit class in grammar school. Their intrigue in each new story studied in class made them stand out, two lone wolves in their own little pack. When Sophie was fourteen, the Trimbles came to America. It broke her heart to part ways with Nigel, but she hadn’t any say in the matter. Now grown up, they’d reconnected a bit online, and exchanged phone numbers as a mere formality, but she hadn’t heard his voice in ages. And now he was calling her. This was his actual voice on the other end, her lifelong pal. She couldn’t believe it either. This was amazing.

What was yet more amazing was that now being an international businessman, Nigel was actually in town. The company had put him up right here in Juniper, Minnesota for a couple of months, and once he found himself in Sophie’s home city, he naturally had to tell his buddy girl the news. Sophie was only too ecstatically happy to hear.

“Come off it!” she giggled excitedly. “You’re kidding me!”

“Not at all!” he replied. “I’m staying at the Meridian. That’s where I’m calling from right now; I just settled in me room.”

“The hotel?” asked Sophie. “Sweetie, that’s hardly necessary! Come stay with me! Really, I’d love to have you!”

“Oh, love, you’re just as sweet as ever,” said Nigel. “Well, the company’s already booked me ’ere and made all the arrangements, but I’d be honoured just to visit and hang out with you indefinitely.”

“Yay!” replied Sophie. “Hey, speaking of books, I’m just about to go to Millicent’s! Why don’t you meet me there? I can’t wait to see you!”

Nigel yawned. “Aw, Sophe, I wish I could, mate. But I’m actually terribly jet-lagged, and all I’ve the energy for tonight is a nap. I, eh…I guess I should’ve opened with that for a start, but…oh, I was just so happy to ’ear your voice.”

Oh well. This was perhaps a bit disappointing, but of course she understood.

“Oh well. That’s perhaps a bit disappointing, but of course I understand.”

“But I’m free all day tomorrow.”

“Oh, smashing!” she exclaimed. “So am I! Oh, double yay! This is going to be so much fun!”

They chatted a bit longer, briefly catching up. Not to be gotten wrong, Sophie could have sat down and shot the telephonic breeze with Nigel all night long, except for the facts that he very much needed some sleep, and that she still wanted to get to her destination tonight. They’d do some serious catching up the next day when they met in person. And now, she was a woman on a mission.

She needed to get a nice present for her best buddy.

*****

Tomes Away From Home

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016, 7:45 p.m.

Sophie Anne Trimble pulled around the corner from the shopping centre and into the lot surrounding the massive, three-storey Millicent’s Books & Gifts, her favourite retail shop for just the two things in its name. She grew excited already before impatiently locating a parking space and exiting her Taurus. So excited, in fact, that she almost left her keys in the car and locked herself out. Almost.

She scampered to the front door. It was dark and in the 30°s outside, but for all Sophie was concerned, it could’ve been a bright, sunny June-y afternoon-y. She was simply thrilled as always to be here. She pulled open the bulky door and let herself in.

Oh! she breathed. Here she was in one of her favourite places in the world, a veritable sanctum sanctorum for her. She looked around.

Well, there was one obvious distinction from her last visit. A huge banner had been hung, wishing customers a Happy New Year. As she stood and took a gander around, she noticed something else. Normally, the store’s stereo system—over which the staff also made announcements—piped light classical music through the speakers, which today was absent. Hm, she thought. Perhaps the stereo system was malfunctioning. Oh well. Sophie began on her usual path around, turning left to circumnavigate clockwise.

She loved this bookstore. Moreover, reading was her favourite pastime, and she loved books in general—of just about every variety and genre: fiction, nonfiction, mystery, romance, thriller, humour, comic…then of course all the subdivisions available therein. There were a couple retailers and a library or two nearby Sophie’s home, but these outlets were bluntly smaller and ordinary with a sparse selection, compared to the mighty Millicent’s. This, her beloved happy place, resided about thirty miles away. It was one reason her trips here were sporadic and special. Another reason was so that the store retained an elusive novelty and allure that kept Sophie wanting more again another day. Visiting Millicent’s was more than a mere activity for her. It was an event.

Clearly, she couldn’t come here every day; otherwise, her mileage would go through the roof. The drive was time- and gas-consuming, and parking was no picnic either, but successful entry made the hardships worth it. First and most noticeable of all, the place was enormous: as aforementioned, three storeys, goodies on sale top to bottom. Squared away in their own assigned corners sat—

Endless assortments of bound, printed parchment filed under a hundred labeled categories, a magazine/periodical newsstand, a separate section for CDs, DVDs and audiobooks, escalators to ferry clientele from floor to floor, adjoining displays of toys, board games and other knickknacks (bookmarks, nightlights, paperweights, et cetera), a built-in cafeteria, bordered by a fro-yo and smoothie bar (boasting high-speed Wifi for laptop-toting visitors), a children’s area, an aquarium, and a life-size bust of Samuel Langhorne Clemens himself, better known to most as Mark Twain. Finally, the observant customer would note a patch of open space here and there reserved for special occasions, such as in-store author signings and hosted readings for kids.

Sophie had missed the place. Again, her trek to reach it was lengthy, but made her all the more appreciative when she finally got there. And it had been extra long since her last visit, on November 7th. She usually tried to make it to the store about one Saturday per month, but wisely skipped December, in deference to the craziness of the holiday season. She’d done all her Christmas shopping a month or three before, as with every year, beating the rush.

And so it went without saying that she wanted to get back to the store for another visit as early in the new year as she could. Yesterday was off-limits, being a federal holiday, and she already had a lot on today’s proverbial plate as was. First of all in the morning, she had a doctor’s appointment. Secondly, her beloved cherry red Ford Taurus desperately needed an oil change. Ben Trimble, her Dad, usually accompanied her on trips to tend to her vehicle. They took separate cars, so that while Sophie’s was being worked on, Ben could take her out for lunch—not always, but oftentimes, at the Wendy’s a few blocks down.

This took her into the early afternoon. Her next errand included another family member, her big sister Clara. Both sisses had been in need of groceries, and so had elected to go together to the Angels supermarket, which would, this one day and one day only, be hosting an extravagant Happy New Year Sale, with deals too good for the Trimble girls to pass up. After splitting up with Clara, adjourning back home and putting her goods away, she took the next little while to answer nature’s call and hop in the shower.

The sun was down, but that was okay; it was early January, and Millicent’s was open until 10:00 every night. Her last activity before leaving for the store was the only unanticipated: the phone call from Nigel. She’d gotten dressed, just pulling on her trainers as he rang. A bit over half an hour later, she made it to the store.

The entrance took her into level two of the hexagonal outlet, escalators right in the centre. There was also a lift behind the back wall, but like most, Sophie didn’t typically use that. The bookshelves and other furnishings were arranged in such a pattern that Sophie could circulate through on her clockwise path, floor by floor. When she made 360°, she turned to go in between the shelves in the same direction, and so on further inwards to form a spiral. When Sophie thought of the visit in this way, it made her want a Cinnabon.

She decided to do things a bit differently this time. She’d saved up a nice bundle from her job at the Crafts Chest—Juniper’s answer to bigs like Michaels and JoAnn—where she helped customers find and buy artsy-crafty supplies. And now it was time to treat herself and splurge. Especially since she’d be hanging out with her friend the next day. She picked up a basket at the entrance and began packing it with whatever merchandise struck her fancy. Normally she wouldn’t plan such an involved spree, but again, she felt she’d earned the right to indulge herself. Besides, behind Millicent’s doors, she didn’t have to shell out cash on anything she decided against.

Right; let’s see… thought Sophie, traversing the second floor, surveying the se(le)ctions it had to offer. This level was all nonfiction books: Geography, Travel, Culture, Language, Reference, Religion, Politics, Sports, Music, Entertainment, Medicine, Pets, Animals, Nature, History, Science, Maths…basically pure and concrete facts. Nothing wrong in learning about the world and everything in it, but the bulk of Sophie Trimble’s shopping dollar was usually spent elsewhere. She supposed she just preferred literature that allowed her mind to be touched, her emotions to run free. Sophie lived a pretty peaceful, normal life, and didn’t expect a book—or really even a short story—would ever be written about her, which was fine; she very much enjoyed reading the varied, diverse adventures and escapades of others, both fictitious and real. Having her own wild adventures, while exciting, might intimidate her.

Nevertheless, she found a couple interesting informatives here in the middle floor to occupy space in her basket. There were checkouts on each floor, so it didn’t matter where she ended up. She entered, as all did, on level two, and so it was really a flip of a coin which to choose next. One and three both had their niceties to offer. Sophie was usually inclined to go down to the bottom floor on the second leg of her journey, saving the top for last. She couldn’t really say why; if questioned about it, she’d answer, “Because…reasons. That’s why.” But while she didn’t fully realise it, Sophie liked to settle down and rest on the top floor, which was where the developers had placed the café and juice bar, surrounded by tables and chairs. After filling the first two levels with printed bound pages of words, the books left over occupied floor three, as did the refreshments, snacks and bevvies. So as in the majority of her past visits, Sophie finished combing level two, worked her way to the centre hub, and hopped on the down escalator.

Here below-ground, level one was called home by a completely different assortment—as well as the children’s area, restrooms, and media centre, where one was to find CDs and DVDs. As for the parchment, on these shelves Sophie was greeted by Fine Arts, Painting, Crafts, Architecture, Horticulture, Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Poetry, Philosophy, Manga, and the little cubby hole devoted to Erotica, which Sophie secretly liked more than she’d admit. These were the sections that really stimulated her (in more ways than one). She truly did love stories in the narrative form. She adored letting them take her away, escaping the world, her imagination running wild. She couldn’t wait to turn the page and see what happened on the other side. They made her laugh, they made her cry, they made her glad she was alive. To complement the passion, she was blessed with the ability to read swift and rapid, while absorbing every riveting word. It went without saying that she devoured truckloads of books—more than half of which were novels. Most she merely liked. Some she loved, feeling the need to purchase, to enjoy over and over again. Then there was the occasional gem she’d unearth, and wind up treasuring so much, she went online to find the author and write him or her, to say just how much.

She giggled again with giddiness, giving a few excited hops in place as she remembered sharing childhood literary adventures with her dear mate Nigel, and how she’d actually be getting to relive those happy moments tomorrow. What a magical, marvellous time they would have. It made her want to just buy up the entire store. Unfortunately, she couldn’t afford to spend quite that much.

Her basket grew fuller and fuller as she combed level one’s aisles. In searching for novel(la)s to tickle her fancy, just about anything went. Sophie boasted a wide open mind which welcomed new experiences and new friends found on the printed page. Very few tics browned her off or made her wish to stop reading. Oh, to be sure, she had her pet peeves like anyone else, and it went without saying that not every book would so greatly enchant her. But that was fine. If every book was as equally appealing as the next, there would be far too much to read in her meagre time, and she’d be robbed of the joy of digging up those diamonds in the rough.

Sophie found no CDs or DVDs that she’d want and didn’t already own, but she did find an audiobook. Books on CD were a fantastic invention, she’d always felt. They allowed her to be entertained by a real speaking voice—likely one she was already familiar with—and to lie back, shut her eyes and ever more vividly imagine the story. They were also good for listening to on short or long road trips, such as making her way to Millicent’s itself. She might just listen to this one on the way back home. They made Sophie feel special, as if she lay in bed hugging her teddy bear while a famous voice personally blessed her with a lovely reading.

Indeed on floor two, she’d only filled about a quarter of her basket space with new material for her eyes’ pleasure, but down on one, it bulked up to more than half. Oftentimes such as this, Sophie felt like Matilda, the little girl and title character in Roald Dahl’s children’s book. Matilda was also quite the bibliophile, borrowing literal wagonloads of books from the library. The library too suited Sophie fine when she was small, but alas proved less than ideal now. As an adult who worked for a living, and slept much of the time she wasn’t at work, Sophie hadn’t all the free time in the world to devote to her hobby. By this point, it might take her longer than granted by the library to make her way through borrowed—and even renewed—books, thereby rendering the act sort of pointless. Sophie liked to take her time to really sink her teeth into a read. Besides which, she preferred up-to-date editions. She relished that new parchment smell.

Done with floor one, she rode the escalators up to three. Here alongside the lounging and dining areas were all the books that weren’t found in the levels below. The biblio-setup here was a mishmash of different things: Business, Psychology, Self-Help, Love And Sexuality, Relationships, Computers, Puzzles, Games, Humor, Comics, Social Studies, Cultural Studies and (Auto)Biographies. She saw only a couple of folks sitting at the tables around the café, reminding her that she was running out of time. She dug out her cell to check. Dead.

Oh, bollocks, she thought. It hadn’t been fully charged to begin with, and the call from Nigel must have drained its remaining battery life. She looked for a clock or an employee, finding neither in eyeshot. So she approached a fellow standing from one of the tables.

“Pardon me, mate,” she waved. “Have you got the time?”

“Oh. It’s, uh…” He checked his own cell. “…9:32.”

Sophie had just under a half hour remaining. She thanked him, made a quick reassessment of the third floor sections and determined that she had done enough shopping. Her timewise friend with the undead cell departed. She performed a quick mental calculation of how much she’d racked up. Most publishers were thoughtful enough to print their book prices right inside or on the backs of their volumes. Sophie roughly totaled them, arriving at a number she’d more or less expected.

She’d best be getting to the register to pay. Factoring in Minnesota’s high sales tax and her audiobook, she was looking well into triple digits here. Oh well, this was why nifty little plastic cards had been invented, after all. She trotted to the checkout, lugging the basket along with both hands. She could almost feel her muscles getting bigger carrying all this around. Finally, she reached it.

There was only one person in front of her, a short, older lady buying a single book. Perfect, Sophie thought. That was perfect. Just enough time to set the basket down and give her arms a rest, and not long to wait at all. She wrung out her arms and wrists for a bit of relief and studied the little gifts and knickknacks surrounding the checkout area. She heard the cashier’s voice.

“I’m sorry, ma’am, your card didn’t go through.”

Sophie arched her brows. Uh-oh, she thought. She always felt bad for a person when this happened.

“Oh,” said the lady, taking the card back, “It does that sometimes. It’s an old card. You just kinda gotta…”

She gave the magnetic side a breath, rubbed it on her sleeve and handed it back. “Here, try it again.”

The cashier obliged, to the same result. “No, ma’am, I’m sorry, it still didn’t go through. Do you have another card?”

“No, no, I’m telling you, it’s fine,” the woman calmly insisted, performing the same touch-up again. “I promise, I’m nowhere near my limit. This really is just an old card. It’s just kinda temperamental, ’s all.”

Sophie now felt slightly less bad for her. She considered heading off to checkout on one of the two lower floors, but she didn’t want to appear rude…or carry this basket too much more. Then again, rudeness was in the eye of the beholder…then again again, she was also British, and polite almost to a fault. But none of the three of them had all the time in the world left here.

And then on top of all this, she was getting a message from her digestive system.

Mm-mm…double uh-oh.

The cashier shook her head and broke the news a third time. “Sorry, no dice.”

Also for the third time, the woman took the card and shined it up, trying to make the strip readable. “It really is just an old card.”

Perhaps you should trade it in for a newer model, Sophie forced herself not to say. Or better still, just get a little green together and use that, on the one single solit’ry book you’re purchasing. She found herself losing patience. This was getting her nowhere. It looked like she’d have to just suck it up and lug the bloody basket back downstairs, hang it all. Yes, she’d be carrying the same weight in books out the door either way, but using a big sturdy Millicent’s shopping bag was amazingly easier.

She gave a wince and picked the basket back up to hear, “Ah! That did it.”

She looked up. The woman’s card had finally been successfully approved. “See? I knew it!” she told the cashier. “Fourth time’s the charm.”

Ohwell, thank goodness. As the little old lady was given her receipt and sent on her way, Sophie at last got her turn. The cashier smiled at her and her unwieldy load, anticipating a big sale to close out the day.

“And good evening to you as well, ma’am!” she chirped to Sophie. “Did you find everything you were looking for?”

“Oh, and then some, love,” Sophie smiled back. “This place is awesome. It’s me favourite store.”

“Aw, thank you!” said the cashier, ringing up Sophie’s items as she stacked them on the counter. “How sweet of ya. Well, my opinion’s not quite as glowing, but of course, I come and work here every day. Do you have a discount card with us?”

“Oh, well, for what it’s worth, I still reckon you’re lucky,” she told the cashier, handing her the discount card. “I live thirty-five minutes away, so I can’t come ’ere that often, so yeah, I really try to get the most out of it when I can.”

“I certainly see that,” chuckled the cashier. “Okay, and your total is…one…thirty-two…seventy-five.”

Sophie smirked. Clearly, the girl was trying to let the heavy total down on her nice and easy, but she’d already seen the dollar amount coming. And without the discount, it would have been almost ten bucks more. She gave over her own plastic. It went through beautifully the first and only necessary time, and the cashier produced the massive shopping bag with her purchase.

“All right, good night, ma’am, and thank you so much!”

“And you as well,” Sophie returned. “Sweet dreams, lass! Cheers!”

Finally. Sophie didn’t know how much time she had left, she only knew she had to make this quick. She hurried to the escalators, ran down them to get to the bottom floor extra fast, and hastened to the girls’ room. The store didn’t like customers to take unpurchased merchandise into the restrooms, so it was fortunate she’d already paid for her books (although at this point she couldn’t see it making a world of difference). She got into a stall, sat to get on with business, retrieved a book, opened and flipped to the first chapter.

This novel she’d plucked from tonight’s purchase was entitled Come Back Down. It was a fantasy about an elderly woman called Karen who passed away. The story opened with her death, but when she was taken to heaven, she was told that she’d be given a second life. The unique stipulation was that her second life would be lived in reverse. She would begin life number two on the day before she died, at her current age of 72. Chronological time would progress as normal, but with each passing day, while others were burdened by age, Karen was relieved of a small wrinkle of time. After a year at 72, on the anniversary of the day she died, she degrew to 71 years of age. Her deathday, it was explained to her, would become her new “birthday.”

The other condition of the revival was that her loved ones would continue on with Karen in their lives, and they in hers, as if she hadn’t died at all. And at first, this wondrous second chance, Karen felt, was the greatest thing that could ever have happened. As the years went on, gradually, life began to get easier. Her withered face and skin grew fresh and pure again. Her body and bones strengthened. Her system accelerated. Her grey hair reverted to its natural auburn. It became less difficult to move about and lose weight.

But now literally having the time of her life, Karen found herself faced with a host of questions about her “future.” What would happen to her when she became a teenager again? A little girl? Would she have to go back to school? Would she need to be taken care of again? Who would look after her? And the most frightening thought of all: what would happen after the day she was originally born? What then? Would she be sent back to heaven, or to nowhere at all?

As Sophie turned page after page, these questions popped up in her own mind as well. A true bibliophile at heart, she wasn’t too difficultly intrigued in fun stories, and such an original, creative narrative as this absolutely captivated her. She found herself engrossed. She could not, stop, reading. This book was astoundingly fascinating. The cliché was true: she literally couldn’t put it down. She had to keep turning pages. She had to know what happened next. The world outside her little restroom stall vanished as she got lost in this wonderful, mystical book. She forgot about everything else…including the most important thing of all.

Eventually, her tongue went dry from licking her fingertip to smoothly turn the pages. Coincidentally, right about the time this happened, she reached the end of chapter three. The riveting story lost still no steam, but chapter three was the first to end on an odd-numbered page. Each new chapter also began on an odd number, and so on the even number in between, a blank page stared back at her. Chapter four was clearly visible on the adjacent side, but seeing this blank page psychologically helped Sophie decide to bring her leisure to a full stop. Maybe she had finally read enough for tonight. Blimey, she thought. I read three whole chapters! I

Her eyes jumped open.

Waitwait a minute

She went for her cell phone, only to be reminded it was dead. She suddenly had an uneasy feeling.

She fished out her receipt, used it as a makeshift bookmark at the beginning of chapter four, returned Come Back Down to the bag, rolled off some toilet tissue, and finished up. An initial bout of anxiety set in as she hefted up her bag, flushed, exited the stall, washed her paws and left the ladies’ room.

Just as soon as she egressed back into the store, she knew her worries were founded. The lights were off.

It was after 10:00, she realised. She’d obviously spent more time in the loo reading her book than planned. She made her way about, just enough guidance from the moon and streetlights out the windows. The escalators had also been shut off, turning them into essential staircases. Sophie ran up to level two and rushed for the door, harbouring a hope that she confirmed straightaway was in vain. Locked.

She couldn’t get out.

She’d overstayed her welcome in the restroom—where she guessed no one, not even a janitor, entered to check for customers—and now everyone had left. Oh no, she thought. I’m locked in! They’re closed! Everyone’s gone! Why didn’t they make an announcement over th

Oh, rot. That was right as well; there was something wrong with the system. There was no music playing when she came in.

Oh no! she reiterated to herself. What am I going to do?? I can’t call anyone, and everybody’s left! Well, maybe I could use the phones that belong here, butbut, oh, even if I could, whom would I call? The only people who have keys are the ones who run the store. I don’t know how to get in touch with them! What’ll I

She suspected she was left alone, but guessed there was a minute possibility someone else may have still been here. Perhaps someone stayed too long in the gentlemen’s restroom while she was in the gentlewomen’s. She stepped away from the front door.

“’Elp!” she called, trotting back out to the main body of the store, trying to carry her voice throughout. “’Ellllp! Someone, anyone! Is-is anyone ’ere?! ’Elp, I’m locked in! Please, somebody!”

She heard her cries faintly bounce and echo around the empty, dark space. A bad sign. Sophie was starting to get frightened. She was stuck—albeit in her favourite store, but still, in the dark, and trapped. Alone. And now, with her system evacuated, she was starting to get a little hungry again. She tried to stop severe panic from taking her over.

Okayokay,” she whispered to herself. “Just keep calm, Sophe. Just think. There’s got to be something we can do. Just be calm.”

Be calm??! another part of her silently answered. How do you propose we manage that??

Well, it won’t help anything to go to pieces, she told her panicked side. While we’re in herewellI hesitate to even bring this up, but, we could be in troubleat least until tomorrow morning. Maybe we shouldhave a snack? There’re Godiva bars over by the registers.

Have a snack? Take a candy bar? As in nick store goods, in other words?!

Well, not necessarily! I’m sure if we just explain the situation in the morning, be honest with them and pay for it, it’ll be okay.

Well, you do what you’ve got to do. But for the record, I’m against it. Let it be on your head.

Good to know.

Without much other visible recourse at the moment, Sophie approached the register, incumbently looked around, and snuck a bar of Godiva chocolate from the display rack. Just feeling it in her hand and peeling the wrapping off made her hungrier.

Oh, did it taste good. This may have been technically dishonest behaviour, but she was in something of a bind. And now that she had some comfort food to settle her nerves, she could come at this more rationally.

Right. Okaywell, there’s no shortage of sweets. We may get a cavity, but at least we won’t starve.

All right, and so just what are we supposed to do about sleep then, clever girl??

We’lloh, we’ll sort something out, don’t worry.

I will.

*****

The Bookworm Turns

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016, 10:44 p.m.

Since she hadn’t much else to do at the moment, Sophie fetched a couple more chocolate bars, and took herself and her items downstairs to the first floor, where the streetlights and moonlight filtered in through the immense windows. If the idea didn’t shock the wits from her, she’d consider trying to break through a window to get out, but these panes looked so thick and durable, she wasn’t sure she could dent one with a sledgehammer. So instead, she sat in a chair by one of them, opened Come Back Down to chapter four, and continued reading. She had no idea where the store lights were, and even if she’d found and activated them, folks outside might believe the shop was still open for business. But far from ideal though this situation may’ve been, a sweet treat in her happy tummy took her a good way back to calm.

Furthermore, if she took sleep deprivation out of the picture, she could actually view this situation as being rather…cool. Look at it this way, she thought. We have the whole bookshop to ourselves! That’s actually sort of brilliant! Visibility’s imperfect, but nothing can disturb our reading right now. We do quite like that.

She finished chapter four. A page and a bit after five began, Sophie heard something that diverted her attention. She looked up.

It was a sort of shuffling, rustling sound coming from the children’s section. Sophie abruptly sat up with a gasp. She was certain she’d been left completely alone in here. What if a frightening or dangerous creature had found its way in, with which she was now trapped? Maybe Sophie had an overactive imagination, but here in the dark with no means of illumination, she was uneasy. She couldn’t see what was moving back there. Her eyes widened as the noise went on another moment, then stopped.

A figure pushed to its feet—a woman, Sophie relievedly determined, by the femininity in her bemused voice.

“Wh—…what…what-what happened…” she stammered.

Sophie’s relief in being safe from scary monstrosities quickly metamorphosed into stark astonishment, at the sight of another human being here in the store after hours. She stood from her chair and called with a wave, trying not to scare this disoriented person herself.

“Uh, hi! Hi there,” she waved. The shadowy figure turned her way and froze. Sophie stood still in place as well, not sure what more to say just now. After another few seconds, her companion spoke.

“…Wh—…what’s…happening?...Where am I?”

Sophie raised her eyebrows, even though they couldn’t see one another’s faces.

“Erm, we’re in Millicent’s…the bookshop. And…well, it’s after 10:00,” she told the stranger. “It’s past closing time. I’m, eh…I’m afraid we’re locked in ’ere.”

The young woman raised her own eyebrows, even though they (still) couldn’t see one another’s faces.

“…I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news,” Sophie went on, “But there’s really quite nothing I can do. I tried. You see, what happened is, I was in the little girls’ room, and when I came out, the lights were shut and the door was locked.”

The young lady placed her hands over her cheeks as her bearings came back to her.

“Oh, God,” she meekly whimpered. “I…I must have fallen asleep in the castle.”

Oh, right, Sophie recalled. There was a fairy-tale-esque castle in a corner of the children’s section, the same corner where this sleepy lass had emerged. It was about five feet high and four feet wide, sufficiently sizable for most children to crawl in and out of. This girl, however, Sophie noted, was no small child. The tone of her voice was grown-up, as seemed her stature. Sophie gave a pause, and asked a question that naturally came to mind—though its answer could’ve gone a number of ways.

“Eh…may I ask what you were doing in the castle?”

“Oh…uh…” Her mate yawned, as if to answer. “…I was…well, really tired today, and, uh…well, I-I guess too tired to drive home. And after the kids left, I…suppose I thought the castle was a nice little, like, cubby-hole to crawl in and just kinda be alone for a while. I…” She felt a bit sheepish. “…I didn’t mean to fall asleep, I just wanted to lie down and rest my eyes.”

Sophie nodded in revelation. “Gotcha. Well, that’s actually a bit funny; I mean, you were in the castle, and I was on the throne. I just got so hooked on this book I’m reading, I fully forgot about the time. So then, yeah, like I said, when I came out…boom.”

Silence. The young woman in the dark shadows slowly nodded.

“…Wait…” she finally said. “So…you mean we’re stuck in here?”

“I’m…afraid that’s the way it’s looking.”

Her companion was scared. She didn’t know what to say, do or think.

“…I’m scared. I don’t know what to say, do or think.”

“Same ’ere. But I don’t reckon there’s any immediate cause for panic. There is some food—even if it’s just chocolate. I brought a few Godiva bars down with me. There isn’t any big shortage of them, and of course I intend to pay for them when the store opens in the morning. But you’re welcome to share them with me. And to be honest with you, I’m a little amazed and actually kind of happy someone else is ’ere. Not happy you’re stuck, of course, but just that, you know, I don’t have to be alone in this.”

The girl nodded again, taking in everything Sophie was saying.

“…Okay,” she finally said. “Well, um, I guess…I guess we’ll be all right, eh…so to speak.

“Well, I mean, as…as long as you’re not, like…a murderer or anything,” she chuckled. “I promise I’m not.”

Sophie laughed good-naturedly.

“No offence taken, me friend. Nor am I.” She approached and held out her paw. “I’m Sophie. Sophie Anne Trimble.”

With just enough light to make out the gesture, the girl gave her a royal handholding and curtsied.

“Nice to meet you. My name’s Gabby. Short for Gabriella. My full name’s Gabriella Laurel Whitmore, but I just prefer Gabby.”

Sophie returned the curtsy. “Well, brilliant to make your acquaintance as well, Gabby and not Gabriella.”

“I really like your accent,” Gabby smiled, shuffling a step closer. “You’re British, right?”

As Sophie watched Gabby come into her small patch of light by the window, she noticed something else: this girl’s remarkable beauty. Her hair was strawberry blonde, and she appeared to sport a light dusting of freckles over her nose and cheeks. As she smiled, her lips almost seemed to form the shape of a heart. She couldn’t tell what colour her eyes were, but she was guessing blue. Her nap on the floor had mussed her hair and smeared her makeup a bit, but somehow, this only endeared her more to Sophie. There was something about her that Sophie just couldn’t put her finger on. But somehow, a part of her felt almost as if maybe this was meant to happen, in some strange, cosmic way. That she and this darling vixen were destined to meet.

“I am, yes, very good,” said Sophie. “I was born and raised in Lincolnshire. It’s a county right near England’s east coast.”

“Oh, God, I adore British people,” Gabby declared, clasping her hands to her heart. “I swear, I’m not even kidding or trying to be nice. I’m the biggest Anglophile there is. Their voices sound like heaven. Even the funny cockney ones. I could just listen to them talk all day.”

Sophie’s heart fluttered. She felt a sudden urge to hug this doll, and whisper sweet British nothings in her ear. She made herself remain under control, though. She couldn’t get too carried away just yet. But she had a wonderful idea.

“Oh, why, well then…” she grinned, purposely overenunciating her accent, “Perhaps I may indulge you. You see, I bought a lot of books tonight before the shop closed, and I’m already four chapters through one of them. It’s about an old lass who dies, but then is brought back, and lives her life again, but in reverse. She starts out old and gets younger.”

“Wow,” the strawberry blonde commented. “Sounds fascinating.”

“‘Fascinating’ does it little justice, love,” Sophie smirked flirtatiously. “So this is just a suggestion, and of course you’re welcome to decline…but if you’d like…I could go back to the start, and read to you.”

Sophie could tell by the smile crossing her face that her new friend loved the idea.

“Oooooh…” chuckled Gabby, reciprocating the flirtation. “I’m enchanted already. Take me away, madame raconteur.”

*****

The Gift Of Gab

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016, 11:37 p.m.

Before presenting the enchanted Gabby with an indefinite narration, Sophie wisely chose to run up to level three, where was displayed another item she would pay for in the morning: a beverage. Most plainly and clearly, a bottle of Voss water. Filtered, cool, refreshing, flawlessly quenching H2O. This would give her voice and throat the soothing cleanse they needed to speak, to grace Gabby’s ears with the most refined British nuances until such time as the beautiful strawberry blonde fell veritably heels over head for her…possibly.

Gabby waited, keen and eager, sitting collected in a generous chair. She’d removed her shoes and pulled her legs and feet up with her, hands around her knees in anticipation. She’d made it clear to Sophie that she could stop reading anytime, but secretly, Gabby wished deep down inside that she never had to stop hearing this regal voice.

She didn’t know how she’d ended up here tonight or how this had all happened so quickly or splendidly, but she felt a compulsion to thank her lucky stars. While she also didn’t know this, she was near Sophie’s age—mid-20s—and never fathomed she was drawn to other girls until recently. She’d been with boys in her late teens and early 20s, but never a girl. She’d begun looking at girls in a different way, a way most boys did at a decade younger. She questioned herself as to the possibility of being gay, until driving herself crazy. Finally, she tried an experiment one day to see for sure. About to graduate college, she concocted a sexual fantasy involving a hot older female teacher.

Biology professor Taryn Tatum was a smoking hot brunette who stirred up funny feelings in Gabby while in her class. So one restless night approaching her finals, Gabby lay in bed thinking incessantly about Professor Tatum. Finally, she eased her dominant fingers into her pussy and slowly took herself into a schoolgirl trance, fantasizing. She imagined she cheated on an exam and Prof Tatum caught her. So after dismissing the rest of the class, she forced Gabby to stand at the teacher’s desk—face down, bottom up—and spanked her. The fact that such strict, extreme discipline hadn’t been permitted for decades made this taboo scenario even hotter in Gabby’s mind. Fueled with such mad, rampant administrative fire, Gabby Whitmore proceeded to girl-wank herself into a far more powerful, mindblasting orgasm than a boy’d ever been able to give her. Apparently, she was gay after all. She guessed too that she had a dirty and kinky mind, but then again, in some way or other, didn’t everyone?

Short though it remained, biology class wouldn’t be the same. After graduation, Gabby almost got the opportunity to ask Professor Tatum out on a date. She chickened out, but in something of an Aesop twist, she rationalised that she had a ridiculously minute chance of getting a yes anyway. She found herself disillusioned at the Sapphic minority she’d dropped into. This was one reason she’d never been with a girl before: in her experience, finding another dolly who also liked chicks was akin to the needle-haystack dilemma.

It made her feel sorry for herself. Surely, she’d concede, there were others who were much worse off. Still, such odds stacked against her finding someone to love, call her own, perhaps even with whom to share her life, seemed unfair in such a heterocentric world. The advances in technology in her generation gave her a bit of a leg up, but even so…it was hard enough finding that special person to begin with. While she knew it wasn’t a good idea to get her hopes up so high…in this case, Gabby did.

In the short time they’d been chatting it up, the loquaciously gabby Gabby noticed with budding delight, Sophie seemed to be flirting with her. The overly friendly manner with which she giggled to Gabby and bestowed her with light, subtle touches fueled her with a bit too much conviction to believe otherwise. Unbeknownst to Gab, Sophie knew a good thing when she saw it. Beknown to her, this pretty witty Britty had a gorgeous smile and baby soft-looking chestnut hair. Prof Tatum had helped Gabby realise how partial she was to brunettes.

She could hardly wait until Sophie got her water and came back down to read to her. The book sat innocently unopened on the sill beside the cold, frosty window. Gabby had to struggle a bit to resist the temptation to pick it up. She instead helped herself to a bit of Godiva to bide the moments. She shut her eyes and sat back, smiling dreamily, waiting for Sophie.

She thought of a possible way to see if Sophie liked her. Well, there were a few ways to be sure, but she needed one that was innocuous, and not too aggressive. She heard her footsteps coming back downstairs. She quickly put her plan in motion. She slid her butt down the seat of her chair, deposited her feet in Sophie’s, laid back her head and rested her hands on her belly. Finally, she peacefully shut her eyes.

The corners of her mouth curled up as Sophie audibly approached. Don’t smile, Gabby forced herself. Just look cute and unassuming.

“Okeydokey!” she heard Sophie contentedly sigh as she half-walked/half-trotted back over. As she got closer, Gabby heard her stop.

Don’t smile, Gab! Don’t smile!

“…Gabs?”

Gabby raised her head, but kept her eyes closed. She raised a paw, swiped at the air, and meowed.

“…A—…” Sophie chortled, a bit unsure just what Gabby was on about.

“…Are you sleeping?...Are you…dreaming you’re a cat?”

Gabby brushed her other forearm against her temple, swiped again and let out another meow. She indeed had Sophie a bit bewildered, but whatever the deal, Sophie supposed she was willing to play along.

“Are you being a kitty?...Are you a cute adorable kitty cat right now?”

Gabby couldn’t keep herself from grinning any longer. She snickered through her crinkly nose.

“Ah, so I see you’re not asleep.”

Gabby shook her head, and gave herself a light, demonstrative scratch under the chin to convey Sophie a message.

“You…want me to tickle you under your chin, little kitty?”

Her already big grin grew still as she nodded. “Mraow!”

She heard Sophie laugh.

“Right. Okay…”

Gabby felt her do just so. It felt nice enough to make her tingle inside. She tilted her head back and vibrated her tongue against her palate, trying to sound like she was purring.

“Aw, feel good, that? Kitty like it?”

Gabby nodded. A moment later when she’d had enough chin tickling, she placed one “paw” on Sophie’s fingers to get her attention. With the other, she lifted her shirt and caressed her own belly. Sophie looked down.

“You…want your tummy rubbed?”

Gabby finally opened her eyes to look up at Sophie. Now that Sophie was back here with her, she felt a little sheepish. In her head this seemed fun and quirky. It was Gabby’s whimsical way of saying that she felt she could trust Sophie, as a real cat would do by rolling over on its back for a belly rub. Now, if Sophie felt this was getting a little weird, Gabby couldn’t say she would blame her. She spoke.

“Kitty likes her tummy rubbed.”

Fortunately for her, Sophie found it only adorable. She again obliged, crouching beside her and gingerly smoothing her palm over Gab’s abs. Gabby resumed purring. A few silent moments passed.

“What else does kitty like?”

Her eyes popped open, catapulting her brows. She tilted up to see a smirking Sophie stroking her belly and batting her own eyes.

Gabby’s heart fluttered and raced. She was. She was definitely flirting with her. There was no mistaking this. Gabby felt her emotions running wild. Her logical brain told her there was no way she could be falling in love already, having known the stunning British lass for barely two hours. But her heart reminded her that love knew no logical bylaws. Love played its own game, by its own rules.

Just go with it, said her heart. Take it to the next level. Tell her how you’re feeling.

She smiled. “Kitty likes you.”

Sophie blushed.

“Why, how lovely. I do believe I fancy this kitty as well, quite.”

Gabby blushed back.

“Does kitty like being read to?”

Her fingertips danced playfully over Gabby’s rising and falling stomach. She blinked, seeing stars in Sophie’s eyes.

My GodI think I am in love already. My God, is it possible??

“She does.”

Sophie’s smirk spread into a nice grin of her own. She kissed her fingertips, gave them one more gentle pass over Gabby’s belly, and climbed up on the windowsill with her copy of Come Back Down. She flipped to the first page.

“Ready?”

So ready. I can’t wait.”

Sophie crossed her legs at the ankles and swung them back and forth. “Right; ’ere we go. Chapter one.”

She took a deep breath as an introductory caesura, and started reading.

“‘I thought that I should never see a tree so lovely as a poem,’ the bedridden Karen lamented. ‘And I was right. One of my fondest wishes had always been to see that which was real, as beautiful as that which was not. Unfortunately, some wishes do not come true.’”

Gabby sat and listened, shifting position so her hands sat under her head for a manual pillow. The story started off sad, but since Sophie’d already told her the main plot, Gabby knew it would cheer up eventually. She had no trouble following, but were there anything that could distract her right about now, it was Sophie Trimble’s elegant inflection.

The nowhere-to-be-found clock struck midnight shortly before she began reading. She took pauses here and again for a sip of Voss, and concluded the first chapter an approximate twenty minutes later. She made a small announcement to the effect, gave a yawn, and unscrewed her water bottle once more.

“Gosh, you read so beautifully,” Gabby gushed. “I barely heard you stumble over any of the words.”

“Oh, I owe a good bit of it to me folks,” Sophie modestly admitted. “I had a wonky back tooth when I was younger, and Mum and Dad got it fixed for me. They also bought me elocution lessons. But yeah, I suppose me love of reading ’elps as well.”

“Have you gotten very far through it?” asked Gabby, gesturing to Come Back Down.

“I’ve finished chapter four on me own. So I know what happens up to that point. If I keep reading to you after that, I guess the tone’ll change a bit, ’cause it’ll be new to me as well. Want me to start chapter two?”

“Sure! Maybe after that one we can take a little break, and…I dunno, get up and walk around?”

“Well, yes; if there are two things we can do in Millicent’s, they’re read, and walk about. I knew this place was brilliant the first time ever I came here and saw it.”

Gabby laughed.

“Sorry, I’m sorry,” she apologised. “I’m not trying to make fun of you, I just…you…you just said ‘sawr it.’ But I’m not laughing ’cause that’s funny, I swear; I love it. I just love it when British people do that. But, I’m curious, though, what’s up with that? Why do they do it?”

“Oh,” Sophie chuckled. “Well, be honest, it comes so naturally to us, we don’t even know we’re doing it. But yeah, that happens because Brits drop our ‘r’s. Even the letter ‘r,’ it sounds like ‘aw,’ you know. But when we have two vowel sounds come together, we link them with an imagin’ry ‘r.’ So ‘saw’ and ‘it’ together, just like you said, turns into ‘sawrit.’ That’s why. So if your next word starts with a vowel sound, you’ll also get stuff like ‘idear,’ or ‘bananar.’”

“Oh, I see. Yeah, I thought I noticed that happen a couple times while you were reading. That is so cool!”

Sophie laughed. “Glad you like it. It’s a bit like the way we spell words like ‘colour’ with a ‘u,’ but you don’t over here. Lots of folks around the world do the imagin’ry ‘r’ thing, not just us. Australians do that, so do people in Ireland. Actually, some Americans do too, I’ve noticed, people in New York and New Jersey. They also drop the ‘r’s where they belong and put them in where they don’t.”

“Well, maybe, but people in New York and Jersey don’t sound nearly as refined or classy or smart as you do.”

“Aw, Gabby, that’s very sweet of you. Yeah, I’ve always liked being British. We moved here twelve years ago. And I was sad at the time, ’cause I had to say goodbye to me best mate Nigel. But coincidentally enough, he’s actually in town right now on business! I’m going to hang out with him tomorrow! And I like it here in the States too. I do quite like the attention. Americans hear me talk, and just like you, they automatically want to tell me they like me accent.”

“Yeah, I guess America’s such a big country, we don’t get to hear that many accents that aren’t ours,” mused Gabby. “And Canadians sound just like we do…except when they go ‘eaut and abeaut.’ That’s one thing I remember from geography: countries in other continents are way smaller. So they get to mingle around and experience each other’s ways a lot more. Size does matter.”

“Very true,” nodded Sophie. “And if we were to have any doubts, look where we are! We’re in a bookshop! We could just look it up!

“Actually, come to think of it…right now, we could probably look up anything we might be wondering.”

“You’re right!” Gabby giggled. “I should make a list of stuff I’m curious about and we can go check it all out!”

“Well, while we’re stuck in ’ere. Once we can go back home, you just get on your computer, and you’ve lit’rally got the world at your fingertips. Books are an incredible thing, so’s the Internet.

“What makes me sad about it, though,” Sophie went on, her smile evapourating, “Is that the advances in technology and entertainment we’ve got now’ve put a lot of shops out of business. Like…we’ve still got Millicent’s, thank goodness, but we lost Borders four or five years ago. I still miss them. There were lots of those near our house.”

“Oh yeah…I liked Borders too. I have a Nook now, but I still like coming to the store.”

Sophie nodded again. “Ah, yes, the iPods of lit’rature. Yeah, Nooks and Kindles are nice and convenient. But for me personally, nothing’ll ever replace the feeling of a book. Slipping your finger in to slide it out from the shelf…the way it feels in your grasp…the sound of pulling apart the pages that’ve been pressed together for so long…turning page after page to see what happens on the next…the smell of fresh parchment…” She took a deep whiff of a random point in the middle of Come Back Down. “…Ahhhh. So nice.”

Nose still literally in the book, she opened her eyes and looked up to see Gabby half-smiling at her with arched brows.

“I see,” she amusedly commented. “Real treat for the senses, huh?”

“Well, we love books, we devour books, but we can’t exactly…you know, eat them.”

“Food for thought, huh?”

“Right!” said Sophie, taking another swig of water and picking the book back up. “Well, shall we go on to chapter two then?”

*****

Champing At The Brit

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016, 12:54 a.m.

After an equally enjoyable chapter two, the girls stood to stretch out their legs and traverse the store in their bare feet. Even though it was below freezing outside and the lights were off inside, Millicent’s remained warm enough to traipse shoeless. It was a no-no under normal circumstances—as was being shirtless—making it all the more freeing to break the rules, as it were. The carpet was soft, cushy and felt good on their soles. They started on the first floor and ambled through together, pointing out their favourite sections and books they’d perused and/or purchased in past visits. These books, amongst other things, served as launchpads to get to know one another better.

They’d left Sophie’s purchased books by the first floor window, seeing little chance of them being stolen. They plucked a few from the shelves, playing a game of opening to a random page and reading passages they found. Some were surprising, some were whimsical, some were melancholy, some were sensual. Then Gabby began trying to read her selections in a British accent, and Sophie hers with an American one. They exchanged more cordialities and flirtations. Their inner affections grew. Though neither could be certain, and both were a little timid to ask, two hearts were ballet dancing. They were feeling a secret desire to take their fledgling friendship up a level. They spent a lot of time on the first floor, combing the narrative sections and acquainting themselves with a myriad of lovable fictitious characters, sparking according discussions. Finally, they left floor one and ascended.

“What did you wanna be when you were little?” Gabby asked as they started up the escalator.

“Well, for a couple years in the ’90s I wanted to be a Spice Girl. Then I hit double digits and after that for a while I wanted to be a teacher. Then a short time after that—very short—I wanted to be a cowgirl. Then I grew up. And you then?”

Gabby laughed. “Wow, how aspiring. Well, for me, that’s easy: I always wanted to be a cat.”

“Really?”

“Absolutely,” said Gab. “If you’re a cat and you can latch onto a good, loving owner who’ll feed you and play with you and give you a nice home, your life is made. Cats have some of the simplest, most carefree lives. They sleep more than half the day, eat when they want, play when they want, bug you for attention whenever they want, lie around wherever they want, you get the point. They make our lives revolve around them. And we don’t even care, ’cause they’re just so damn cute.”

“Ha!” Sophie tossed her head back. “I must admit, that is hard to argue with. Okay, next question. What’s your biggest fantasy?”

Gabby felt a tiny smile creep up her lips. Her cheeks reddened.

“Ummm…ssssssexual or non-sexual?”

Sophie tingled. This girl was a flirty bird, that was for sure.

“Let’s start with non- and go from there.”

“Hee hee…well, besides being a cat…believe it or not, it’s unoriginal, I know, but…I wish I could fly.”

“Ah, there you are! Well, unoriginal may it be, a dream’s a dream. Who wouldn’t love that?”

“Well, yeah, there’re all sorts of reasons: it’d be so liberating, such an amazing feeling of defying gravity…and it’s practical, too. Would save a ton on travel expenses. Of course, I can only imagine it. I’ve only been able to fly in my dreams.”

Speaking of her dreams, Gabby felt as if one of them came true just a moment later. They began circulating the second floor of the store side by side, and Gab felt something warm and soft. She realised what it was. Sophie was holding her hand.

“Perhaps we could come up with a way to make you fly, love.”

Gabby all but buckled in the legs and fell on her knees where she stood. She couldn’t believe her fortune. Sophie’s tone of voice and the tenderness she fostered linking her fingers were definitive. Sophie liked her. She wasn’t kidding when she said she fancied the kitty. And Gabby sure as shooting stars wasn’t kidding about liking her. She began getting so excited inside it was overwhelming. She’d never had another girl like her in this way before. She felt happier than she’d been since the day she’d jilled off thinking about her professor, and realised she was gay. Not only was this gal a British brunetty betty, she actually mirrored her fancy. Gabby’d always subscribed to the theory that if something seemed too good to be true, it probably was, but this belief was being questioned right now. It was after midnight, but she knew she was wide awake, and she knew this wasn’t a dream. Somebody up there loved her. She was glowing. She wanted to cry.

“Right,” she heard Sophie say. “Shall we browse some more? Travel and Geography are up here; we could find a nice book on England.”

Gabby had a bit less interest in reading books just now. She raised the hand being held by Sophie’s, and planted a kiss on her knuckle.

The girls came to a halt in their tracks. Sophie looked down to see and feel the peck, and it was her turn to be enchanted. Her own heart swooned. What the girls didn’t suspect was that both felt just about exactly how the other did. Neither dreamt the other’s excited infatuation could have surpassed her own. It was ever so much more than a mere coincidence. It was a double miracle of love at first sight, that put ordinary coincidences to shame. Neither planned on meeting her soulmate here tonight in this bookstore—let alone by themselves after business hours—and yet, here they were. All of a sudden, Sophie’s immediate interests also shifted elsewhere.

Buh-limey,” she whispered.

Gabby clasped Sophie’s other paw so that both pairs were linked. “Sophie…” she whispered.

Yes, love?

“…I’veum…” Gabby swallowed and blinked multiple times, trying to locate and sequence her words. Sophie could see she was nervous.

It’s okay, sweetie,” Sophie told her, giving her cheek a caress. “Whatever you’re feeling, I think I’m feeling the same way.”

Gabby’s heart began to pound. She took a step closer to her. Looking into each other’s sparkling eyes, they felt themselves launch into a round of stand-up footsie. Gabby released Sophie’s other hand.

Be brave, Gab. It’s not a dream. Just be brave. It’s not a dream. Do it. Don’t be afraid.

She gingerly palmed Sophie’s cheeks, leaned forward, and to both girls’ euphoric bliss…it happened.

Once the kiss was underway, Sophie Trimble and Gabby Whitmore left everything to obey the laws of chance. They lovingly threaded their arms around one another’s soft comfy bodies, adding the ‘o’ to the ‘x.’ It felt so devastatingly good…almost forbiddenly good. It was very possibly the happiest moment to date in either of their lives. In the middle of this closed bookstore in the wee twilight hours, with the freezing winter cold outdoors, it suddenly became much warmer.

Mmmmm…” the girls harmonised, moaning and whimpering through locked lips. Their motors were revving up inside, purring like the kitten Gabby was pretending to be earlier. They extended their arms around as far as they would go. They forced breath back and forth through their noses, neither wanting their first kiss to have to end. They felt such a rushing whirlwind of love stirring up, they’d both swear a heart-shaped cloud of steam billowed above them, generated from their passion alone.

Sophie, an experienced lesbian, had been with other women before, and was familiar with these feelings, but never quite to this exhilarating an extent. This night was indeed like a mystic, other-worldly fairy-tale, meeting this wondrous creature out of nowhere and falling in what looked like mutual love with her. She was feeling ecstatically happy. This short time with Gabby made her feel like no other suitress had managed. Sweet innocent Gabby, on the other hand, was going wild inside. This whole escapade felt like a surreal blur in her mind. She couldn’t believe she’d woken up here tonight to find only one other person left inside this store after closing, with whom she’d fall in undeniable love. She knew she was gay, but now confirming it just so perfectly…this was something else again.

Oh my gosh, I think I love you, she thought, praying Sophie did indeed feel the same way.

At last, neither could keep up the breathing anymore. They needed to break the kiss on account of oxygen. They reluctantly detached lips, panting and beginning to perspire. They blinked fluttery eyes, refocusing view on one another.

Oh, God,” Sophie raspily murmured. “That was bloody amazing.”

Hell yes,” agreed Gabby. “Can we do it again?

Sophie vehemently nodded. “Please.”

She took Gabby by the hand and they padded back down the escalator to the first floor, holding on to the rails just so they didn’t hurt themselves. Sophie guided her to the back of the fiction section, where the romance books were stacked. By the far corner, the romance novels met the erotica, under a heading that read, “Beyond Fifty Shades.” They began by lowering to sitting position with their legs swept to the sides. They hugged, cuddling together, and shimmied up against the back wall, just below the erotica section.

The second kiss commenced. This kiss could not compare to the brilliant, stunning discovery of the first, but that didn’t stop them from trying. They repeated their soft groans and desirous whimpers, unable to get enough. Arms in position, they set their paws to work. Gabby rubbed Sophie’s back. Sophie sifted Gabby’s hair. Gabby fingered Sophie’s cheek and ear. Sophie tickled Gabby under the chin, making her giggle and resume purring all over again.

Good heavens, I do love you.

They momentarily shifted to random pecks along one another’s faces, with irreversibly smiling lips. Then when Gabby sensed the moment was right, she slid her leg along the floor and lapped it over Sophie’s, interlocking their lower limbs as well.

Ooh, that feels good, love,” Sophie approvingly remarked.

I really really really really like you,” Gabby professed, not ready to bring the other other ‘l’-word out in the open just yet. Using it as a cute pet name like Sophie did was well in bounds; declaring it out loud—using the most emotionally charged three-word phrase in the English language—required forethought. And she didn’t have to say anything, especially while keeping her mouth occupied with Sophie’s. The British girl couldn’t read her mind. She could think the ‘l’-word and not voice a single thing. She could just sit back and enjoy it. And oh, was she ever enjoying it.

Shall we read one another some dirty girl stories?” Sophie asked, gesturing to the erotica on the shelves above them.

Gabby flushed crimson. She felt something funny going on inside with her hormones.

Oh, goshwell, II dunno,” she whispered. “It, ehit might be a little too much for me.”

Too much?

Well, possibly. M—…my, um…” She batted her shy eyes at Sophie. “I have a veryuhshall we sayI have a very ticklish libido.”

Hearing this admission, Sophie arched her eyebrows.

“…Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

“Well, I’m…not really sure, actually,” Gabby chuckled. “I think…it just seems like when I get…y’know…excited, in that special way, it just feels a little, kinda…overwhelming.”

Sophie’s eyes softened. “Ohhh, I see…” she cooed. She took a loose tendril of Gabby’s strawberry blonde hair between her fingers, and gave it a twirl before brushing it back behind her ear. “Well…if I have that effect on you, I’ll play easy. I’m gentle.”

Sophie leaned back into her and continued kissing, on the side of Gab’s face.

“Um…w—…Sophie, there’s something else I should tell you too.”

“Okay. Go ahead.”

“Well, you see, eh…love…the thing is…

“…I’ve never been with a girl before.”

Sophie’s face clouded over with surprise.

“Really?”

“Yep, honest to goodness. But, I know I’m a hundred percent gay. I can only…y’know…pleasure myself, with a girl in mind.”

Sophie smiled at her nurturingly, almost even a little motherly.

“Aw, sweetie, you’re a Sapphirgin!” Sophie caressed her. “It’s fine, love. Don’t you fret about a thing. I’m an angel! I’ll take care of you! Tonight, Sophie Anne Trimble will be your love cherub. She won’t let anything happen to you. If I make you cry, they’re going to be tears of joy. Rest assured, me sweet, if you know what you’re doing, no one does it better than lesbians. Trust me.”

Gabby smiled at Sophie, and kissed her on the nose. She lowered her voice back down.

I do lust you.”

*****

Like A Sapphirgin

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016, 1:53 a.m.

You’re going to be just fine, sweetheart. Now we’ll just ease in, nice and slowI promise it shan’t hurt a bit. On the contrary, in fact.

Right, so let’s pick up where we left off, and go on kissingassuming that’s all right with you, love?

That was all right with Gab. They settled back in to snuggle, reattaching their satiny lips, letting their juices flow. The next phase they morphed into saw them start to grope and fondle. They migrated to and from each other’s necks, shoulders, arms, hips, tummies, legs, thighs and tushies. Sophie gave Gabby small tweaks and touches, sticking true to her word about being ginger with her. At the same time, she encouraged Gabby to be as aggro as she so chose. As they worked themselves up to a nice mutual arousal, Gabby surprised both of them by snaking her hand up inside Sophie’s top, and squeezing her bra-cupped tit.

Mm!” Sophie squealed as her body coursed with heat. That felt good. The gal may’ve been a Sapphirgin, but apparently had some hidden talents up her sleeve. Sophie wanted to reciprocate, but again, didn’t want to overwhelm her. She slipped her own hand under Gabby’s shirt and slid it up the side of her torso. Gabby felt herself start to melt. She slinked her legs around one of Sophie’s and pumped on it.

The kisses grew hotter and shorter, the girls needing to come up for air more and more frequently. Still under one another’s tops, they carried on grazing, caressing, petting. Giddy, randy giggles emitted. They held on ever tighter and tighter still, virtually feeling their dancing hearts beating against each other. Inevitably, Gabby’s wandering paw found its way to Sophie’s other breast. It was Sophie’s turn to melt. She couldn’t keep her girls caged another second. She let go of Gabby, reached around to her back, undid the bra clasps and let it fall. She subsequently returned right to her, kissing passionately and guiding Gab back to her freed breasts.

When Gabby felt the velvety skin of Sophie’s sleek, curvy, naked British orbs, her sensitive libido indeed received a ticklish stroke. She’d never handled such a lovely rack that wasn’t her own. Disbelief over her incredible imminent fortune only grew. Her heart rate skyrocketed. They were marvellous. She didn’t even have to see them to tell. She definitely wanted to see them—as a matter of fact, she rather thought she’d insist on it—but her sense of touch alone told her they were exquisite. Especially as they tangibly reacted. Gabby felt Sophie’s nipples perk, puff up and stiffen to her palms. Her pussy sprung a leak under her panties. She could barely longer contain herself.

Oh my God, I’m turning her on! I’m…really turning her on!!

This was turning into the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Gabby had resolved to keep herself psychologically restrained in the act, trying to hold the overwhelmingness at bay. But she was starting to wonder just how much she had to worry. Her self-proclaimed love angel seemed to have a way of exciting her while keeping her protected. Furthermore, she was loving groping her love angel’s splendid titties. And Sophie’s lust-laced groans told her it wasn’t too shabby for her either. Trying to keep in mind to go easy and light on her, Sophie affectionately rubbed Gabby up and down the middle of her chest, just between her tits. She didn’t want to make Gabby take off her clothes if she wasn’t ready, but she was getting a little too hot to keep her own on. Finally, she pressed the pause button.

Time out,” whispered Sophie. She pulled away, grabbed the hem of her shirt, whipped it up and off over her head, revealing her brilliant nudie boobies. She let it fly and land where it would. “Time in.”

Gabby immediately made a capital ‘t’ with her own hands and paused herself. She did the same, pulling off her own top and subsequently undoing her bra, to Sophie’s visible delight. This brought them down to only their pants and knickers. Now topless, the girls reembraced, kicking off round two of their footsie game, and deliciously mashing their unleashed tits together. A new, more intense wave of warmth and passion drowned them as their lips came back together. Both pairs of panties were getting increasingly damp.

Finally, they surrendered to the gravity pull, lowering onto the floor horizontally, unable to keep their hands or lips to themselves to save their lives. Beneath four heaving boobs bouncing off one another, their hearts glowed. They kept their pants on the next few moments, enjoying playing with one another’s boobs. Next, Gabby took some initiative. She rolled over on her back, pulled Sophie close, shuffled under her and made herself bottom to Sophie’s top. With that, she flung her arms back around Sophie’s elegant, statuesque figure, entangled their legs once more, and tugged Sophie down to where they could kick their sweet loving up a notch.

This uptaking upon herself aroused Sophie like mad. The girls opened their mouths wide for the next kiss and hungrily swished their tongues together. Worrying about being too rough or overwhelming Gabby was all but out the window at this point. They were both far too happy, enamored, and horny to fret. Gabby couldn’t pinpoint Sophie’s feelings, but she didn’t think she could hold in her own anymore.

S—…Sophie…” she rasped between rushed breaths.

Yes?

II think I l—…I mean, I-II llll—”

She had a little trouble getting it out, but Sophie took care of her, just as she said she would.

“I lust you too, sweetie. Now then, off with the trousers.”

Gabby gasped, almost violently cumming on herself in said trousers right on the spot.

Thirty short seconds later, both lasses were stark naked, larking and romping wildly on their small naughty cranny of the first storey. Neither could believe it. Sophie was now thanking God she’d overstayed her restroom visit and gotten stuck here, and that Gabby’d fallen asleep in the children’s play castle as well. Gabby, conversely, could neither believe that she’d been so earlier preoccupied about her ticklish libido. The ladies were going to town on one another. Sweat rained off their stitchless bodies. Waves of goodness surged them through and through. Strawberry blonde and chestnut hair swished everywhere. Sophie waggled her bum, straddling Gabby’s left leg and humping and rubbing her pussy on her thigh. Feeling and detecting what it was, Gabby reacted. Gasp.

Sophie opened her eyes to see Gabby’s face washed in hot elation. She leaned down to butterfly kiss her cheek.

You like that, do you, love?

Gab replied by grinning saucily, sliding her paw down Sophie’s back and goosing her goosebumpy tush, making Sophie gasp in surprise.

Why, you naughty thing!” Sophie giggled, leering down at her. Gabby innocently batted her eyes.

Naughty?...Moi?...I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Sophie nodded. “Mm-hm…” She forced another kiss on Gabby, upping her own aggro.

“Mm!” said Gabby. Smooch. “I can taste the chocolate on your tongue.”

“That may well be the sexiest damn thing I’ve ever heard.”

Gabby took it up another notch.

“I think the sexiest thing I’ve ever heard is…my finger squishing in my wet coochie.”

Sophie’s mouth burst out in a playfully raucous laugh, but her own coochie had a different reaction. Conjuring an image to mind of Gabby wanking herself, in turn, melted her pussy, and made Sophie greatly wish to give Gabby’s hand a night off.

“Oh?...” she giggled. “Are you a big…eh…jiller-offer?”

Gabby laughed back. “‘Jiller-offer’??” she repeated, impishly skirting the question.

“Well, I didn’t want to say ‘wanker.’”

Gabby snickered. “I appreciate that. Well, not so much when I was younger. But since I found out how extremely gay I am, I’d say yes, I have turned into a much bigger…jiller-offer.”

“Ah, well, yes,” Sophie agreed, nuzzling Gabby’s jaw with her nose tip. “Being a lesbian can be such a lovely thing. I like it ’cause I love loving lovely girls—right at the moment, you, sweetheart.” She kissed her, making Gabby’s eyelids flutter yet again. “Of course, while there’s no guarantee, we’ll probably always have those dodgy sods who reckon that being bent is, y’know, whatever,” she tossed off, “But I don’t care. They haven’t the foggiest clue what they’re talking about, and that’s a discussion for another time anyway.”

“Yeah,” said Gabby, nuzzling Sophie in return. “Let’s go back to loving women.”

“Indeed…and loving ourselves whilst thinking about it.”

It was the most effective of plans. Their juices set to flowing once more, blood accelerating through their veins to swell up their reddening cunts. Sophie shifted position on top of Gabby to align their pussies, reached down, culled her own ajar, held it open at the sides, and tried to lap it over Gabby’s without her fingers getting in the way. When Gabby felt the moisture of Sophie’s hot pussy mingle with hers, she just about went crazy. Her eyes—and cunt—widened in growing pleasure. Arms around Sophie, she hugged her extra tight, flexing her muscles and clenching her hands into fists.

“Oh, God, I love that!” she praised, smushing her face in Sophie’s cheek. “That feels sooooo good! Please, love, keep wanking me!”

Sophie arched her brows. This wasn’t her actual intent, but it seemed she’d achieved something different in the process. Apparently, it felt to Gabby that Sophie was rubbing her pussy with her fingers, performing an introductory stroke before entering to make her day. Well, this may not have been exactly what happened, but Sophie felt that Gabby’s wish was her command. She subtly scooched over a bit more to give her hand room, kissed Gabby, slipped her tongue into her mouth, and gently massaged her inviting labia with her fingertips.

Gabby soon could not get enough of the heavenly treatment. She writhed on the floor beneath her princess, letting her right hand drop between to play with Sophie’s tits, tickle her belly and pet her pussy as well. The reciprocal sizzle made Sophie want to give more and more, to make this an evening they could and would never forget. Then, she thought of something. She smiled, leaning down to Gabby’s ear to whisper, enunciating her smooth, buttery British accent, as eloquently as possible, fingering her fragile slit.

Now tell me your hottest sexual fantasy, me little crumpet.”

Gabby gasped, feeling a shot of warm, searing exhilaration go through her. Both girls felt her quickly melting pussy almost instantly generate an entire layer of moisture. Her tits too puffed to life as her extremities curled up. She’d never shared this secret with anyone she’d met before, not even her parents, or her closest, most confided friends. But then again, she’d also never met anyone like Sophie, with whom she’d expect to so magically fall in instant love. The thought remained that this experience could be “too much” for her, but somehow, with Sophie lying atop her, she felt safe and protected. Sophie gave off such a benevolent vibe, Gabby thought that if she shared her fantasy with Sophie, and they made it cum to life, this could very well be the greatest night ever. She smiled back and complied.

Okayso, I’m in collegeand you’re myliterature professor,” she purred, launching right into it. Sophie caught the hint that Gabby wanted to play this out with her. She grinned and intensified the handjob, edging two eager digits inside.

I like it already,” Sophie cooed back, fingers squishing in Gabby’s wet coochie. “Do go on.”

Gab moaned, laying her head back. The fantasy had been originally concocted about her biology professor, but Gabby made it a lit professor to adapt to their setting and interests. She hugged Sophie around the neck, holding her close enough to whisper in her recumbent pose. She indeed loved the idea of bringing the fantasy into play as a sort of condiment to texture and spice up their twilight romance. She felt Sophie plunge her with her index and middle fingers, while suddenly also circling her clit with her thumb.

Ohhhhhh!” Gab helplessly cried, winging her head back on the carpet. Sophie wondered for the obligatory half second if she was okay, but the giddy way she immediately giggled afterward set her apprehension to rest.

“I…I…can’t concentrate if you play with my clit!” she insisted.

“Very well,” smirked Sophie, unthumbing her twitching, nubbing button. “Do tell, love. Tell Professor Sophie all about it.”

Another burst of ecstasy assaulted Gabby. Oh, this was going to be good.

“Okay…” she panted. “So…it’s a big exam day…and I didn’t study…so, I’m…cheating off one of my classmates.”

Sophie let out a small gasp of her own, playing along with the scenario.

“Why, how naughty of you!”

Gabby grinned, nodded and went on.

“…And…you…catch me.”

Sophie’s smile spread ear to ear, clearly grasping where this was headed.

“Hm…I see severe punishment in your near future.”

Gabby’s heart pounded again, her cunt spilling liquid arousal over Sophie’s hand and the floor. She found herself having trouble waiting to get her “punishment” underway. She made her mouth spit out the last few words.

“…And…you…spank me.”

Gab winced, mentally bracing herself for the laugh. To her pleasant surprise, it didn’t come. Sophie found this amusing, but exciting as well. Her fingers curled up inside Gabby’s pussy, giving way and pulling back. She felt her own wet cunt leaking down their thighs. If Gabby wasn’t on fire already, the next words she heard Sophie whisper made her blaze up in flames.

Right; roll over on your tummy then, you little ruffian.”

Gabby did as instructed, quickly and eagerly as she could without injuring herself. A flattered Sophie smiled in self-satisfaction at the wild sexual power she went on exercising over her playmate. She resumed her position atop the face-down Gabby. She straddled her across the lower back, turning over her shoulder to address the exam-cheating delinquent.

“You’re lucky I’m ambidextrous, me little rugrat.”

Gabby was so riled up she was about to burst. Her fantasy was actually about to come true. She couldn’t believe it. Her fanny tingled, anticipating the stern disciplinary attention it was about to receive. If fortune had been arranged for her here tonight, it had really been done above and beyond the call of duty. She couldn’t help wondering if Sophie felt just so fortunate as she, but she saw this a pretty tall order right about now. She also couldn’t help but wonder what Sophie’s biggest sexual fantasy might be.

“Um—please don’t hurt me,” she called up to Sophie. “I wanna pretend like it really hurts, ’cause I think it’s hotter that way. But, I don’t want you to really spank me hard enough to actually hurt me.”

Gabby felt her caress her ass. “Of course, sweetheart. You’re in good hands with me, quite lit’rally.

“Now then!” Sophie called down to her bum, poking her in the left cheek as she continued finger-boinking her. “You, Miss Whitmore, have committed a serious act of dishonesty ’ere today. As there is no just cause or provocation whatsoever for cheating on an exam, you must be given a severe reprimand. So today I am going to teach you a different sort of lesson.”

Wow, Sophie was good at this kind of thing. It almost made Gabby want to go back to school and cheat for real. What could she do herself to heat this up?

“I-I-I’m sorry, Professor Trimble!” she stammered out guiltily, as her fantasy character. “I-I didn’t mean to! I didn’t mean it!”

She felt the first blow. Spank!

Gasp—“Ouch!” Gabby’s cunt blew a spurt of pre-cum.

“Yes, you did,” Sophie contradicted.

Well, yes, of course, she “did.” Nobody cheated by accident. As Gabby’d told her, the “ouch!” was artificial. Just as she’d stipulated, it didn’t really hurt. But acting as if it did, thereby heightening the mean brunette professor’s cruelty in her mind, made her hornier than a cat in heat. She relished the privilege of being so divinely submissive, under the hot brunette’s wicked hands. Just to accent her dedicated submission, she stretched her arms in front of her, to their maximum length, and held them there, as if her professor had restrained them. This enabled her to pretend her punisher had her bound to the desk—or in this case, the floor—unable to protect herself or interfere with the reprimand. It all had her poor mind spinning so uncontrollably, she didn’t know what to do.

Spank! “You’re a naughty, naughty young lady!”

Gasp. “OW-w-w!” Gabby whined, throwing in a few croc tears. “I’m sorry!”

“Is that quite so?!” Sophie demanded. “Well, then, let’s find out just how sorry!”

Another spurt blew from her pussy as the next hit came, on her other cheek.

Spank! “How dare you make a mockery of your lit’rary education!”

“Ouuuuch!” shouted Gabby, banging the palms of her hands and the tops of her feet on the carpet. “Professor! Please, I’m so sorry!

Spank! “Your feeble apology is not honoured, you little urchin! You will continue to serve your punishment!”

Gabby mock-sobbed, trying to hide the huge grin on her face.

“But, I’m sorry!” she repeated. “Please, I’ll never ever ever do it again!”

Spank! “It’s too late for that, Miss Whitmore!” Spank! “You’ll soon learn that the Trimble Academy does not tolerate cheating!”

Oh my GODthis is the hottest, thing, ever.

But lo and behold, it was about to get even hotter. Right after Sophie gave her a quick break. She turned over her shoulder again.

“Time out, sweetie. I’ll be right back!” She jumped to her feet, leaving a sticky wet spot on Gabby’s lower back.

Gabby turned her head, feeling—amongst other things—her pussy vacated. “Wh-what?”

Sophie grabbed the closest paperback book on the closest shelf she could find, scurried back over, knelt down to re-straddle Gab and took a moment to play her ass cheeks like bongos.

“Okay, time in.” She slipped a trio of fingers into Gabby’s impatient pussy and resumed wanking her. Feeling the magnificent sensations return, Gab settled back down into the floor, moaning, groaning, desire and hunger the fire she breathed. This love was a banquet on which they fed. Sophie took a few moments just to jill her, watching her thighs, legs and feet tremble, bringing her back closer to the edge again before she carried on with the spanking.

Right…” came Sophie’s ominous voice. All of a sudden, without warning—

Spank! “OHHH!”

“You are soon to find that books are our friends, Miss Whitmore! That they exist for our reading pleasure, and are not to be taken for granted, or put away to sit forever like some family heirloom! You’ll learn to read your books, and take an honest exam on them!

“And this particular book wishes to admonish you for your indiscretions!”

Gabby opened her eyes. She started to raise and turn her head to look around.

“…Huh?”

Digitally penetrating her pussy all the time, Sophie picked up the book with her other hand, and spanked her with it. WHAP!

Gabby gasped once more, and almost laughed. “WHA—?!”

Sophie smacked her other cheek with the book. WHAP!

“That’s right, scoundrel! Mistreat your books, they’ll mistreat you back!” WHAP!!

“OH my GOD!” Gabby squealed. Their act had sort of taken a turn for the odd, but this bizarre kink seemed to be working. As Sophie went on thrusting inside her, spanking her, taunting her, pouring it on, Gabby shot up to her previous zenith of arousal, and straight beyond. She could no longer get her words out. Her faculties were gone. Having what could very well have been the girl of her dreams breathing genuine life into her fantasy, with her stunning body, brain, voice, British accent…set her aflame.

And it didn’t hurt that Sophie was jamming her fingers inside her so rampantly and potently either.

“You know, Miss Whitmore, I don’t reckon I can simply allow you off the hook, even after being done with you.”

Gabby wasn’t sure if she liked the sound of this.

“…Um, wh-what do you m—” WHAP! “OUCH!...What do you mean, professor??”

Sophie squeezed her fingers inside Gab as far as she could get them to go, urging Gabby to clench her cunt down on them. She shouted to be heard over Gabby’s groans of yearning.

“Perhaps we shall have to see what the headmistress has to say about this!”

“Oh! Oh! OH! OHH! OHMYGOD!!

“That’s right, you little cheat!” Sophie threatened, palming and groping Gabby’s bum cheeks, one by one. “She can be quite strict, you know! She is every mischievous student’s worst nightmare! You reckon I’m giving you a rough time?? One session with the headmistress, and you’ll be begging to be back ’ere with me again!”

Gabby went positively intoxicated. Sophie had her about to explode. Sexual torridity crackled over her, head to soles. She loved Sophie. She loved her. Her world had been entered, shaken up, and turned upside-down by someone whom she could not only trust, but could allow into her heart and pussy without being overwhelmed. And all in a scant four hours! It was an incredible feeling—on just so many levels. Gabby knew she didn’t need her own words; her drenched, soaked cunt on the edge of orgasm did all the communication for her.

And before her dizzied eyes, her other fantasy came true as well: she was flying.

She felt as if the floor vanished underneath her and she was floating free of the undefiable force of gravity. She could see daylight right now, at half past two in the morning. She could see everything, in a psychedelic daze. Her passion proved just this great. Sophie never let up. She wouldn’t stop until it was done.

Whap! Spank! “Suffer, little weasel!” Sophie intoned. “You’ve not finished paying the price!”

AAAAAAHHHH!” screeched Gabby, about to blow like St. Helens. “AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHGOD!!

The more pre-cum Gabby’s pussy spewed forth, the less premature it became. Sophie could see just how imminent it was now. The moment had arrived. It was time to finish her off.

“You’ll now cum for your professor!…” she ordered, “And you’ll cum to your professor’s satisfaction, else I’ll blackmail you! And I’ll go on doing so, indefinitely keeping your ass and your pussy to do with as I will!

“And if I ever catch you cheating further more, you shall stand nude in front of the class, wearing only a dunce cap, and be spanked before your fellow students for abject humiliation!”

This follow-up scenario almost made Gabby giggle, but she was far too charged up for anything but orgasm now. Finally, Sophie sent her arms into turbo mode, spanking Gabby rapidly on both cheeks, and pumping her fingers inside her cunt, at their hardest and fastest.

“Now cum!

Gabby did as she was told.

OOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!” she erupted, banging her fists and feet on the floor as her hot white cum blew out, worshipping at the altar of Sophie’s hand. The climax was long, tremendous, and utterly fulfilling for both. Sophie was too happy to express in words at what she’d just made happen. She’d been wet-humping her lower back all the time, but while all focus was on Gab, Sophie thought she’d felt herself orgasm as well on the inside, at the visual and tangible sensation of making her lady-friend and fantasy student cum. Just between her and herself, Sophie would refer to Gabby as her lady-friend, until things progressed to where she could call her something more.

Gabby’s red face slowly reverted to its normal tone, as her eyeballs rolled back in place under their lids, and she drifted off to post-climactic sleep. This left Sophie to review what happened: she and a girl she’d known for four hours had just had momentous disciplinary sex on the floor of her favourite bookshop. She supposed she could view the experience a couple of ways. On one hand, it might seem that she had desecrated the store while taking advantage of a sleepy waif who’d fallen prey to her advances. On another, she could look at it as having paid tribute to the establishment, or “christened” it, so to speak, with another consenting adult who’d desired to make love to her much as she had. She opted for the latter. It made more sense, and there was no need to punish herself when she honestly didn’t feel she’d done anything wrong. It was a simple set of circumstances that tonight had led where they would. A natural progression. And that was all.

Yet, she mustn’t forget that they were still trapped in the bookstore for another several hours, and that when the doors reopened, it would behoove them to be decent. So she pushed up, forced herself to keep from giggling as she returned her spanking book to its shelf, found her clothes, dressed, took Gabby’s and laid them over her for an improvised blanket. She didn’t think she could find anything to use as a real blanket, and now that they might start to get cold again, she settled in beside Gab, snuggled her up, and their mutual body heat saw them through the rest of the twilight till morning.

*****

And I Never Want To Leave

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016, 9:14 a.m.

Sophie was roused out of sleep by a sound coming from upstairs. It was a faint jingling, followed by a click. Once stirring to consciousness, she heard equally distant voices. She blinked rapidly, pawing at her face, taking the necessary moment to get her bearings. As she did, back to mind came the events of the last twelve hours, culminating in her and Gabby’s shared slumber, bringing them to the current moment. The managers had arrived, she realised. The front door was open. The girls would finally be able to leave—but not before they took care of the more pressing matters at hand. Most prevalently, the fact that Gabby was still naked under her garment blanket.

Gasp. Bloody hell! Sophie thought. She pushed herself up onto the knees and gave Gabby a light shake, patting her on the cheek. “Gabby!” she muttered. “Gabby! Sweetie! Wake up! They’re ’ere!

Gab made a sleeping face, turning back and forth before she came to. Awakening for the second time in the bookstore, just as she had last night, she stammered out her first question.

“Mmm…wh-wha—…what happened?”

“Gabs, it’s me, Sophie! We fell asleep ’ere in Millicent’s after we made love last night. But it’s morning now, and the shopkeepers’ve just come in, and you’re still in the nuddy! Come on then, I say, get up and scarper! Get your bum into the loo!”

Gabby didn’t quite understand all of these words, but she realised the situation was urgent. She did as Sophie said.

Twenty minutes later, the girls had tinkled, redressed, gotten together Sophie’s purchase including the book- and earmarked copy of Come Back Down, collected the Godiva candy wrappers and what was left of the Voss water, taken everything upstairs to floor two, made their presence known to the staff, explained what had happened, paid for the edibles they’d consumed after hours…

…And at long, long last, pulled open the tall, unlocked front door…to step outside.

Both girls breathed in deep, greeted by the brisk, cold January morning. It was the third day of a brand-new year, and as with every day before and after, the first of the rest of their lives. And now, each girl had found a new treasure to brighten up her days. They affectionately held hands as they happily made their way from the store, first to Gabby’s silver Civic.

“Right. So what are you going to do today then?” Sophie asked her, brushing windblown chestnut hair from her face.

“Well, uh…” yawned Gabby, doing the same with her strawberry blonde locks, “…I thought I’d go home, take a shower, and then, uh…I dunno. I was thinking, I’d love to hear more of that book you read me, but of course I’d rather listen to you than read it myself. But I wasn’t sure if I’d get to hang out with you today, ’cause I think you…didn’t you say something about your friend?”

“Oh yes, yes, indeed,” Sophie confirmed with a nod. “Me best mate Nigel, from grammar school. We’ll probably sort out something to do together, but I’m sure he’d love to meet you as well. He’s a great happy chappy; super-friendly. So, tell you what: why don’t you let me give you me number, you can put it in your mobile, go take your shower, and then you can ring me. Or look me up online.”

“Oh, well, okay, I guess, but…I don’t really wanna intrude on you and Nigel’s special day together.”

“Ah, no worries, love,” said Sophie, caressing Gabby’s cheek. “If I still know the lad, he’s the ‘more the merrier’ sort. And remember I told you last night I wanted to be a Spice Girl when I was little? Well, you know what they say, if you ‘wannabe my lover.’” She winked.

Gabby laughed. “Excellent point. Okay, well, cool! If you’re sure he won’t mind. But, if I overstay my welcome at any point, just say the word, and off I go.”

“Aw, sweetheart. We’ll have the grandest, jolliest day together.

“And, if you’re a good little kitty cat, Sophie’ll buy you a Cinnabon.”

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