Through Thick And Thin

Through Thick And Thin

Originally published July 2015 as Smokey Saga #52

*****

Welcome! This is a sweet story with a little “bite.” In other words, it contains a tidbit of violence and some profane language. So if that doesn’t gel with you, you might want to skip this one. Other than that, however, it will shine with my tender, whimsical, loving style. It’s a cute, feel-good piece overall. “Through Thick And Thin” here is dedicated to anyone who calls him-, her- or itself a true-blue best friend forever to anyone else. Happy reading, buddies and pals. Your feedback’s welcomed, valued and appreciated.

*****

A Promising Proposition
Saturday, March 30th, 2013, 11:38 a.m.

A navy blue Subaru Outback made its way down the road. The two young women occupying the car enjoyed the pleasant ride on the brisk spring day. The driver took a deliberate path, unbeknownst to her companion, who was under the impression they were simply out for a casual trip. The passenger grew curious, however, as their surroundings faded from manmade to natural.

“…Jade?” asked the passenger, gazing through her window as acre after acre of greenery passed. “Sweetie?...Where’re we going?”

“I told you, Portia,” the driver replied, eyes fixed on the road. “I just thought we could both use a little fresh air.”

Portia Jo Aames felt this was an unusual path to take on a random joyride for fresh air, but had learned not to question her girlfriend Jade’s motives. Portia loved Jade. She was bold and beautiful. She was young and restless. She was Portia’s guiding light.

Portia pressed her nose and palms against the window, with the same sense of childlike wonder she’d held onto all these years. She’d turned 30 a couple months ago, and still viewed the world through the eyes of a child. Her innocence and idealism, while lightly tattered, remained intact. She watched endless forestry roll by as they trolleyed along the narrow road at 25 miles per hour. She loved nature. It was so beautiful. Everything was so beautiful. Life was so beautiful.

Wasn’t it?

As the overlapping rows of trees grew sparser and less dense, Jade slowed down. Portia turned, noticing the deceleration.

“…Are we, uh…here…yet?”

Wishing to answer with actions rather than words, Jade smirked, pulled onto the bumpy shoulder and parked. Portia had no clue where they were, much less what they were doing here. And her mate didn’t seem to want to tell her just yet. All she saw was a clearing beyond the trees, bordering a duck pond. Interesting… she thought.

“Well, it’s…it’s certainly pretty, honey,” she remarked. “But, um…what’s going on?”

Keys out of the ignition, Jade opened her door. “C’mon.”

Portia obeyed as Jade led her into the clearing, to what she appeared to have chosen as a specific spot. Jade checked the pocket of her coat to make sure. She proceeded to sit them down together on a soft grassy tuft. A few minutes passed before she spoke.

“So what do you think, Porsh?”

What did she think? Well…she wasn’t exactly sure. In order to discern what she thought, she needed at least a little hint.

“Uh…well, like I said, it seems like a lovely little…

“…Jade, where are we?”

“Oh,” Jade tossed a hand. “I found this place a couple weeks ago. Just driving around. Thought I’d bring ya here and, y’know…” She shrugged. “…See what might happen…?”

“…Huh.” Portia nodded. Does that mean she wants to make love to me out here? ’Cause I don’t think I’m cool with that…

Fortunately, this wasn’t what Jade had in mind. She waited a moment before continuing.

“You, eh…remember a couple weeks ago when I told you my company quadrupled my medical premiums?” she asked Portia. “And so even though I was supposed to be getting a raise, I actually wound up making less?”

“…Yeah?”

“And how if we got married, then we could put me on your insurance, off mine, and I could have my whole salary again?”

Portia’s eyebrows arched into two symmetrical, curious caterpillars.

“…Yyyyyes?”

This would be her cue. Jade fished into her coat pocket and removed the box. The velvet made the lovely criiiiick sound as she opened it.

“…You wanna?”

A number of emotions hit Portia at this moment. On one hand, she’d dreamt of this day since she was but a little girl. On another, this wasn’t precisely how she’d imagined it. She’d fantasized her beloved Jade tenderly holding her hand as she lowered to one knee, gazing adoringly up into her moist brown eyes…perhaps a speech. A heartfelt prelude to the grand unveiling. Nothing extraordinary, just a few thoughtful words about the start of a new romantic, happy life together. The setting didn’t really matter; she guessed she’d just kind of pictured a more…“traditional” proposal.

On a third hand, Portia’s pragmatic nature made her focus on the bottom line. Whatever the circumstances, she was in fact being proposed to right now. Never mind how you thought it might be, she told herself. Big picture! Your sweetie, Jade Elaina Cosgrove, the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you…is asking you to be her wife!

She reminded herself not to question things. Following her own advice, she became touched and swept away. Her heart melted.

Oh my gosh…oh my gosh! My girlfriend proposed to me! I’m...I’m getting married!

“YES!” She flung her arms around her. “My darling, of course I do! A zillion times over!”

Jade heard her new fiancée cry with joy. This made her feel a bit awkward. While happy Portia’d said yes, she herself didn’t feel the need to break into tears over it.

“Oh, honey, I love you!” Portia sobbed ecstatically. “I love you so very, very, very much!”

Jade rubbed Portia’s back, trying to think of the most appropriate thing to frankly say.

“…Thanks,” she softly replied.

*****

Phony Flirtin’ And Chiro-Practice
Two years later: Monday, June 8th, 2015, 9:27 a.m.

“Hi, Jade…”

Hey, babe. Happy Anniversary.”

“Happy Anniversary, honey…”

“’M I on speaker?”

“No.”

Good. Guess…what the fuck I’m gonna do to you tonight.”

“…Um…”

“Don’t you try and play innocent with me, sweets. I know you like it rough.”

“Er, Jade—”

“No no no, Porsh; no need to thank me now. And don’t you get too excited; I want you good and hungry when I get my hands on ya. See you tonight, dirty girl.”

“Bu—” Click.

Portia sighed, having a feeling this would not be the most pleasant night of her life. True, it was her anniversary, which at the least entailed a romantic dinner after work. It was the real intimate portion of the evening that uneased her.

“Dr. Cosgrove?” called Jim, her receptionist. “Your 9:30’s just arrived.”

Portia thanked him and asked that the patient please be sent back when ready. Things were fine at the clinic, her work wasn’t suffering, but lately, marriage had her mind on things other than her chiropractic career. Not to be gotten wrong; she was…happy…she guessed…it was just that the last two years hadn’t exactly turned out like she’d had in mind. The thought that something about Jade dramatically changed once that ring slid onto her digit struck her as cold and callous…but not inaccurate.

Oh, there were certainly very nice days together, to be sure. Jade had a warm body in which Portia loved being swaddled, and her wife remained devastatingly foxy on the outside. Her extraordinary beauty grew only more irresistible since she’d proposed to Portia. There were definitely no reservations in this department. Somehow, though…

…Jade wasn’t quite the same woman Portia once knew…on the inside.

“Oh, hi there,” she greeted. “Good morning, Mr. Roberts.”

“Morning, Doc.”

“Okay, so let’s see, what do we have here, some…upper vertebrae discomfort?”

“Yes, correct,” he confirmed, turning around to indicate. “It hurts right about here.”

“All righty, well, just be so kind to roll up your shirt for me, and let’s have a look at’cha.”

It wasn’t like Jade turned into some evil, vindictive monster at the words of the officiant. It was just that at the time, some of her true colors had yet to surface. As time went on, Portia began to feel taken for granted. It seemed Jade’s needs and wants ranked higher in priority. This order of regard placed Portia on the horns of a perpetual dilemma. She was often content to honor and cherish her lovely bride, as she’d pledged till death do them part. But other times, she grew indignant with this arrangement. Jade had taken those vows too, to love, honor and cherish her back, and Portia didn’t feel Jade was living up to her end. She tried to give her a break—Jade had her own demanding full-time career, as a corporate executive. She had enough to contend with on the clock. And she was entitled to some pampering after a week full of deadlines and obligations, Portia’d agree. But her occupation wasn’t always a breeze through the beach either. She’d appreciate her meals cooked and her feet rubbed now and then as well.

Half an hour later, she’d finished giving Mr. Ken Roberts one of her famous and fantastic adjustments. He was rather appreciative, to say the least.

“Good God!” exclaimed an astonished Mr. Roberts, as they exited the office. “You’re amazing! How do you do that?”

Portia smiled, gentle and modest. Sometimes it seemed her patients valued her more than her own wife did.

“Oh,” she waved a hand. “A great magician never reveals her secrets.”

He shook his head. “Feels like I’m on some kinda wonder drug,” he laughed.

Portia joined him in the good-natured chuckle. “My pleasure, sir.”

He departed, off to his next activity. Portia briefly wondered where he might be going now, what he was doing after this. She often entertained this curiosity with patients, or with random individuals who crossed her path. This was all it was—curiosity—but Portia harbored a wealth of this sort of interest in her fellow human being. She’d entered a division of the medical field because she was a caregiver at heart, and as a bonus, she met all different kinds of people. The downside was the doctor-patient dynamic, which restricted her level of friendliness. The upside was that she needn’t see a client as often as would other doctors. So the professional relationship tended not to last very long.

She and Jade had friends together. But it was easy for her to believe that were Jade no longer around, neither would be the friends. Portia wasn’t the most charismatic person, and often felt her marriage was the only link to other relationships. Inane, perhaps, but she got the feeling their chums knew and referred to her merely as “Jade’s wife.” These to her were really Jade’s friends, who accepted her presence because she was Jade’s wife. None of them initiated touch with Portia separately, if only to say hello, or invite her out for a cup of coffee. They were neither highly keen on speaking to her while hanging out socially. Their outings made Portia feel invisible. Deep down, she wondered if Jade’s pals even knew her name. Jade was far more extroverted and outgoing, but once in a while, Portia wished she could have a friend who was…just hers.

Actually, she wished she knew how it felt to have anything that was hers. She’d lived with her folks right up to the day she moved in with Jade as serious girlfriends. She worked for a living, made her own money and shared everything with her spouse—which was fine—but remained oblivious to a feeling and responsibility of looking after her own one-lady home. It was something she thought she’d be quite good at, given the chance. Residing with Jade, however, she did keep the basement as a second bedroom and hangout, to which she fled when she needed a bit of time to herself. It was comfy, homey and relaxing. Cool in the summer, warm in the winter. Down here Portia kept a computer, entertainment center, video games, DVDs, books, a mini-fridge, snacks, bevvies, and anything else to occupy her time. She called it her lady-cave.

Luckily, for all Jade seemed to put her concerns ahead of Portia’s, she supported the lady-cave. Jade knew what it was to need one’s own space, and liked that they divided their time between being together and separate. It kept them from tiring of the company and getting in each other’s way. Looking after such a union required enough effort as was, especially with a partner who didn’t always have Portia’s best interests at heart. She often found herself thinking about it until her head hurt. She wanted to talk it out with Jade, easy to plan without her around. But in Jade’s presence, intimidation always took over. She didn’t know what Jade might do if she became seriously upset. She knew it wasn’t good to live in fear of one’s mate, no matter how minimal, but…

“Dr. Cosgrove?...Doc?”

She looked up. Her receptionist was trying to get her attention.

“…Huh? Oh, uh, yes, Jim?”

“I said your 10:30 is here. Should I send her back?”

“Oh, eh…yes. Yes, Jim, please. Go ahead. Thank you.”

*****

Roughin’ It
Monday, June 8th, 2015, 9:48 p.m.

Portia was indeed treated to a splendid, sumptuous supper, which took place at the posh Irish eatery Madigan’s. Now that their bellies were happy, it was time to head home, for the portion of the evening to which Jade looked especially forward: the romp.

Jade was erroneous in her belief that because she liked it rough, her wife did too. But both knew full well that Jade controlled things in the bedroom. She was dominant by nature, complementing Portia’s demure submission. Jade had already begun pouring on hot and heavy seduction during dinner. Judging from their phone conversation that morning, Portia was a little daunted at whatever might be in store. Approaching the front door, her beloved wife started her off with a bit of pre-taunting.

Are you scared, babe?” Jade purred.

Ummm…a little.

There’s no need to be. I won’t hurt you…much.

Portia gulped. She’d prefer not to be hurt at all, but…

Jade pulled her into their living room, starting a trail of stray clothes with their shoes. Joining them, along the carpet fell Portia’s cocktail dress, and Jade’s suit pants, tie and suspenders. This left undergarments plus Jade’s button-up work shirt. Forgoing the buttons, she tore it right open, revealing to her blushing bride a braless rack. Her sleek, curvy and very naked tits bounced out, and played against Portia’s modest cupped orbs. Done with the shirt, Jade immediately palmed Portia’s cheeks and came in for another kiss of sizzle. Well, Portia had to admit, this wasn’t half bad so far.

They got into the bedroom. Portia gasped as Jade seized her at the hips and whipped her panties down. A bit of pussy moisture clung to the fabric as it was removed from her skin. Her pink bubblegum-like nipples plumped and extended. She’d never thought she was fond of raw sex in her younger years, but this was before she’d met Jade, a core-torrid siren. Once Jade got in the mood, there was no going back till the deed was done. Jade’s red cunt was so hungry and wet its secretion bubbled like water on the stove. She still had her panties on, which were soaked clean through. Her taut flesh burned with Portia’s nearness, culling sweat through countless pores.

Portia was overwhelmed with heat herself, her own perspiration divinely mingling with Jade’s. She sighed and gasped, rapidly losing faculties as Jade groped at her. One thing Portia could say about her wife: Jade knew what she was doing in the bedroom. Portia’s legs wobbled, about to give out. Fortunately, they reached the bed first.

Before letting her down, Jade gave Portia an ominous glare. She took her by her silky fair brunette mane, tilted back her head, sucked her face through another mesmerizing kiss, and proceeded to fling her onto the mattress.

Oh!” Portia sank into the spongy blanketed foam, heart thundering through her chest. Jade let her lie still while she prepared. She dug into the closet until she located the piece of equipment she was looking for. She strapped it on, spun around and stormed the bed at its foot. Portia’s eyes had rolled to the back of her head, and so she could only feel her legs being forced apart. Jade crept nearer her exposed, vulnerable cunt.

You’re gonna get it now, you little fucking bitch,” she hissed. “Your pussy is mine.

Portia barely heard a word she said. But she did notice her labia being opened. Jade wasn’t much for foreplay; she liked to go straight in. Literally. Portia was more agreeable to whatever the situation called for. If her partner wanted foreplay, she was fine with that. If not, that was ostensibly pretty okay too, as Jade had proven since their first tryst. She’d gladly and openly admit that Jade owned her in the sack. And she was all too willing to play bottom to Jade’s top, as even though her wife’s demeanor was sometimes disenchanting, wild hot sex was one hell of a diversion.

Jade squeezed a few digits into Portia’s pussy, retracted and smeared them over its lips to ease entry. Portia moaned obediently. Jade coated her hand with more cunt juice and lubed up her latex dick. Portia already didn’t know how much she could take. Jade had such a sexual hold over her, she made Portia die to have the living hell fucked from her.

At long last, Jade climbed on top and pushed her dick in. Portia screamed, arching her back and clenching her thighs, doing anything she could to encourage. Jade, however, needed no further encouragement now that the major movement was underway. Once her cock was firmly inside, she launched into a quick rhythm she’d perfected. Jade got off madly invading Portia’s fragile womanhood, forcing her to squeal for mercy, despite the lack of attention her own pussy received. When she was normally done, poor sweet Portia spent and drained, Jade liked to turn the healthy-sized dildick on herself, or use her own paws. But usually, Portia came first, in every sense of the word.

Take it, you little bitch!” Jade growled as she rammed the strap-on inside her, and Portia whined and bawled with lust. “Take it like a woman, you little fucking cunt!”

She loved verbally abusing Portia while giving it to her. Under usual circumstances, such language would break the proverbial deal. But in bed under Jade’s hypnotic erotic power, anything went. Portia couldn’t hear over her shrieks anyway. Jade’s aggression rocked her so hard, Portia’s head ground under the pillows and into the mattress, hair flying all over. Her arms flailed helplessly, paws whapping, snatching at the bedspread, searching for purpose. They soon clenched into fists as Jade made her next move.

Rhythmic pace set and uninterrupted, Jade leaned down over her. She tossed the pillows away from Portia’s grimacing, sweat- and lust-soaked face, and grabbed her around the neck with her left hand. Portia began to react, but Jade silenced her with a sharp smack! across the face. Portia groaned in anguish between yowls. This novelty brought Portia a long way back to stone-cold sober. This had never happened. Her overwhelming passion raged on, but now with it came a wave of sudden shock.

Jade had decided that she would surprise her this evening. She’d hurled Portia degrading obscenities and other humiliations before, but this was new. Jade had never forcefully struck her like that. When Jade said they were going to have it rough, she’d meant it. This was the form of discipline she’d elected to experiment with tonight. And how deliciously it paid off—for her. Portia’s pained shout at the smack! set Jade’s hormones aflame. In Jade’s mind, she wasn’t really harming her, but merely spicing up their romp for a degree of kink previously untapped. Jade became so volcanically hot at the agony that spread over Portia’s face, she achieved an initial orgasm without even handling herself. Her pussy splattered hot cum over the sheet.

YES!!” she thundered, struggling to hold on to Portia as her head flew back in the air. “FUCK YES!!

Portia was dizzied, unsure of how to feel. She loved Jade, and wanted her to be happy, and the sound of her wife hitting climax and cumming like hell made her want to cum right along. But…she was disoriented. She was being pulled in opposite directions: one by the compelling, monstrous fucking, another by the lingering sting in her reddened cheek, in turn generating a sting troubling her mind. She tried to tell herself this random act of violence hadn’t really just happened, but the throbbing in her face wasn’t imaginary.

She justshesh—…

The relentless pounding in her cunt splitting her wide open didn’t allow her to dwell on it. When Jade finished cumming, she kept up the penetration, pushing herself back up to her knees, releasing Portia’s neck. Portia felt herself unhanded and took her neck in her own hands with a wheezing cough. She didn’t appear to be injured, but wasn’t permitted to focus on this either. The energetic Jade steadied herself upright, and reached between Portia’s legs with one hand, resting the other on her belly. Portia was dizzied beyond belief and unable to focus, but the next thing she felt was undeniable. Jade fingered and rubbed her in a circular motion over her clit.

Portia erupted. She howled with every vestige of strength and breath she was afforded, as Jade fired her through the planes of ecstasy, into the hidden forbidden. Jade threw it home while massaging her wife’s swollen clit, dealt more verbal mistreatment which fell on deaf ears, and didn’t stop until Portia exploded. She watched with satisfaction as Portia visibly blew through the stratosphere into oblivion. Portia screeched through one dimension after another, hot surges blasting at every turn. It was possibly the most intense orgasm she’d ever experienced. But as with all orgasms, it had eventually to wind down. Jade backed off once she saw her precious princess could stand no more.

Portia’s face and body leaked numerous fluids. Jade plucked her cum-drenched dick from her wife’s puffed womanly folds, and retreated to clean off. Portia lay motionless in bed, barely conscious, a thousand thoughts fighting to be foremost in her mind. But there’d be no thorough consideration—of her life, or anything else tonight. Jade had worked her far too hard to recover any time soon; she’d been worn flat out. She was down and out for the night. All she could process now were three little words.

…Sweet dreams, Portia.

*****

I Think My Kid Stepped On A Crack
Tuesday, June 9th, 2015, 11:28 a.m.

“Dr. Cosgrove?” Jim called. “Your 11:30 phoned. She’s gonna be a few minutes late, but she’s definitely on her way.”

Portia emerged from the office to get some paperwork. “Thanks, Jim. When she gets here, please send her right back. We’ll have her fill out her forms later.”

“Will do.” Jim started back around in his chair before noticing something.

“Doc? You all right? You’re kinda…walking a little funny this morning…” he remarked.

“I’m fine, thanks for asking,” she chuckled. “Last night was my anniversary, that’s all.”

Jim smiled knowingly, having gotten the picture. “Ah.

Five minutes later, Portia was not the only person in the office walking funny. Her 11:30, an early-30s blonde, hobbled her way in with a spot-on impersonation of Quasimodo.

“Hi there,” she uttered, studying Portia’s Keds. “Are you Dr. Cosgrove?”

“The very same. You can call me Portia. And good morning to you, Miss…?”

The patient, Miss Vikki Bowman, offered her hand. Feeling Portia shake, she curtsied.

“I’m Vikki. Vikki Bowman. You’ll forgive me if I don’t make eye contact,” she joked.

Portia politely chuckled. She found it a bit remarkable that with the pain this young lady was clearly in, she was able to make light of the situation. She must’ve carried an especially sunny disposition, a trait Portia found quite endearing.

“So what’s the tale, nightingale?” asked Portia, letting out her more whimsical side.

“Uh, heh…” Vikki paused for a wry chuckle. “Well, you see, chickadee…I think my kid stepped on a crack. But I just mean metaphorically. I don’t have any children. Or goats.”

Portia covered her mouth to stifle the next laugh that wanted out. This quirky patient seemed to shine in the whimsy department herself. She cleared her throat. “A-hem…I see,” she noted. “And when did we get…thrown out, so to speak?”

“A couple days ago,” Vikki recalled. “This was the earliest appointment I could get, but I was impressed by your site and testimonials and stuff. So I was patient. Pun intended.”

Wow, thought Portia. Upbeat, funny, flattering and tough. Impressive yourself.

“Okay. So what were you doing when it happened?”

“Exercising,” Vikki sighed. “I did gymnastics when I was little, and I still like to practice routines, but…” She chuckled with a shake of the head. “Too bad I’m not little anymore.”

“Gotcha. Okay, well, I can see you can’t exactly lay down, so let me getcha a gown. And you can go ahead, lean over the ol’ table here for me, lift your shirt and undo your bra.”

“Oh, goodness,” Vikki said facetiously. “No dinner first? No wine, no flowers, nothing?”

This time Portia could not stop the laugh from bursting out.

“Oh, gosh, please pardon me,” she apologized. “I’m very sorry, it’s just…I’ve never had a female patient react that way before.”

Gown on, Vikki followed her instructions. “I like to think I have a unique sense of humor,” she smiled. “I’m a rare bird.”

“Hee hee…yes, I can certainly…” Portia’s eyebrows rose at the sight of her shapely torso, sans shirt, as she bent over.

“…See that…”

For sure it wasn’t the first time she’d adjusted a female patient with a curvaceous body. This was simply her profession, healing through manipulation of the musculoskeletal system. Jade knew and understood this, and it was clear nothing underhanded—pun intended—went on. From the moment she’d taken her vows and new wife’s name, Portia remained one hundred and one percent true to Jade Cosgrove. There’d still be urges and temptation, but Portia had yet to face an allure too great to resist. She entertained stray thoughts, which she wasn’t proud of, but chalked it up to human nature. Such ideas crossed everyone’s mind; this didn’t mean they acted on them.

“Okay, ma’am, now please rest your arms in front of you, just—perfect; good girl. Now first of all, I wanna get a sense of how much tension you’re carrying, so on a scale of one to ten—ten being the most tender...”

Portia rested her fingertips at the ridges separating Vikki’s top three vertebrae and gently applied pressure. “How’s it feel right here?”

“Oooohh!” Vikki gave a small cringe. “I’d, uh…I’d say that’s about an eight.”

“’Kay…” assessed Portia, moving down a bit. “…And how about here?”

“WHOA, uh…nine…”

“All right, and…here?”

“AHHH—eleven!

“Good. Now, Miss Bowman, I’m gonna give you what I refer to as a ‘sweet release’…”

Vikki’s eyebrows jumped. “Oh, my…”

“Basically, I’m gonna massage and roll out your spine to loosen up your vertebrae. Now, rest assured this is not going to hurt much at all. Chiropractic adjustments generally aren’t painful, though they can also be tender, depending on your tolerance. But the whole point is to relieve you. So take it easy, relax, and soon you’ll be good as new.”

“Oh, gosh,” Vikki said. “I’ll do my best, but…Dr. C., I gotta tell ya, I have an extremely low threshold for pain.”

“I’ll be gentle. Y’know, some patients like to have a little chat with me, to divert their minds from soreness or discomfort.”

Vikki laid her head on her arms, facing the side to converse. “Okay, well, uh…how long have you been doing this, Doc?”

“Six years. I can’t complain; ’s a great privilege to be able to heal people for a living.

“May I ask what you do, Miss Bowman?”

Ohhhhh…” Vikki moaned. “I co-manage a day care center.”

“Really, a day care? That’s fantastic.”

“Yeah, I love kids…and it’s given me better self-control too. Like, obviously, you can’t curse in that kinda environment, so now I’ve got myself in the habit of saying stuff like, ‘Whammit!’ Or, ‘Brother-trucker!’ Or even, ‘Shiitake mushrooms!’”

“Ha! Well, whatever you gotta do. I wish my wife watched her language like that.”

Vikki’s next groan was unintelligible, but bent up at the end in the tone of a question.

“Yeah, she’s a potty-mouth,” Portia went on. “But, y’know, she’s…she’s got a lot of redeeming qualities too, though, so…”

“Ahhhehh?...” muttered Vikki, face now half-buried in her arms. “Like wha?...”

“Oh, gosh, well, y’know, she…uh…

“…And-and she’s also really…erm…

“…Yeah, y’know, she’s got a lotta…that is…”

Portia saw something was amiss. Try as she might, she was hard-pressed to find good things to say about the woman with whom she’d pledged to spend the rest of her life.

“You don’t say,” Vikki chortled.

“Yyyyyyeah, she’s…she’s the whole package, a’right. I’d-I’d much rather hear about you, though,” Portia sidestepped. “Tell me more ’bout’cha.”

Mmmrrrrr…

“…Or, just enjoy the adjustment; that’s fine too. Either way.”

Vikki smiled. “Well, lessee…I’m three hundred and eighty-two months old…I’m single, bisexual…ummm, you know what I do for a living…so you know I love kids. I also love animals and nature…I do crafts, play golf and blog in my spare time…and I’m also something of an actress. Well, or…hostess, you might say. At the day care, the others and I put on funny stage plays for the kids. And we also make videos, where we do skits and stuff, y’know, teach them how to interact, treat each other nice, all that jazz.”

Portia was touched. “Aw, that’s even ‘awesomer.’ Well, I salute you; much as I love kids too, I don’t think I could even take care of my own, much less other people’s. My wifey’s gutter-mouth wouldn’t exactly play in our favor either.”

Vikki giggled as Portia approached a particularly sensitive spot on her back.

“Well, we are essentially organized babysitters, but even we can get a lit—OHHHfudge-dudge-get-the-judge!” she moaned.

“Tender?”

“Um…” Vikki winced. “It’s okay, it just…kinda pinches. I’m…really sensitive back there.”

“’Kay. Deep breath for me, please…”

Portia eased Vikki down by the shoulder. Once she had her back arched at the angle she wanted, she asked Vikki to hold as still as she could, folded her hands over her spine, delivered a firm thrust downwards, and finished with a sharp twist.

“O—…oh!” said Vikki. “Oh my gosh!”

“You’re fine,” Portia assured, repeating the gesture. “Just…fine.”

“I can tell!” Vikki confirmed. “That…oh my God, that feels good!

“So how long have you been at the day care?”

Ohhhhhhh…

A pause. This seemed to be the sum total of Vikki’s response.

“…Miss Bowman?”

Ahhhh, call me Vikki.”

Portia’s brows arched in amusement. Such a pleasantry was also her first from a female client. She acquiesced, politely repeating.

“Mmmmmmfour years,” Vikki purred dreamily.

“Wow…well, forgive my mediocre math skills, I know you said you’re…what, three hundred-something months old or whichever,” Portia chortled. “Would it be rude of me to ask how many years that is?”

Vikki laughed through her nirvana. “Of course not. I’ll be 32 in August.”

“Oh, now, you have got to be kidding me; you don’t look a day over 25.”

“Aw! You are so sweet, and such a liar!”

“On the contrary! You have such youthful-looking skin! What’s your secret?”

“Honest?...Sleep.”

“Huh. No kidding?”

“Nope. Good eight hours every night. Simple as that. Little cream rinse and a healthy diet doesn’t hurt either.”

“Wow, who knew…” Portia mused. “All righty, Miss Vikki, almost done, and…”

She gave one more semi-firm wrench, culling out from her a relieved gasp! The next thing Vikki knew, Portia unhanded her.

Arise.” Portia waved her hands over Vikki’s ‘L’-shaped body, like a chiropractic David Copperfield. Vikki cautiously pushed herself up. To her awe, she stood perfectly erect again, without so much as a hint of an ache. She couldn’t believe it. The pain was gone.

Oh my gosh…oh my gosh!” She reached to feel her spine, whirling on Portia in stark astonishment. “I’m…I’m healed!”

“Gee, that’s funny,” Portia coyly quipped. “I rather thought that’s why you came here.”

Vikki was so happy she leapt in the air. “YIPPEE!!” She threw her arms around Portia. “I love you! You’re the best!

“Oh, wow! Okay,” Portia giggled, modestly accepting. “It’s all right. All in a day’s work.”

“Lemme treat you to lunch,” Vikki offered, taking Portia’s hands. “Really, please, I insist; it’s the least I can do.”

It was Portia’s turn to be surprised.

“Oh…well, I’m…actually, I am free for lunch, and…I guess I’m also kinda hungry…”

She paused, leaving the sentence hanging. From her tone, Vikki expected a “but.” But…Portia was just weighing options. Medical professionals weren’t to fraternize with patients for pleasure, but once she left the office, Vikki wouldn’t be her patient anymore. And quite frankly, Portia liked the idea of someone—not exactly just anyone, but a delightfully charming young woman such as Miss Vikki Bowman—asking her to a nice luncheon. Just as a budding friend, no strings attached. It could possibly be the start of something special, the sort of a friendship she’d been looking for…perhaps not, but…

“…And…I guess a little lunch couldn’t hurt. Sure, Vikki, why not.”

Vikki’s hopeful eyes lit up. “Oh, fantastic!” she clapped. “Can we go to the Moonbeam Café? It’s my favorite.”

*****

Out To Lunch
Tuesday, June 9th, 2015, 12:29 p.m.

“Well, I’m from here; I was born and raised in Green Plains—went to GPHS, then Denmore, and then to Hopkins Medical.”

“And the rest is history.”

“Pretty much. I’ve always been a huge admirer of the medical world, and so I wanted to join the ranks in one field or another. Then when I was sixteen, my kid brother hurt his neck and shoulder, and after a little reading and studying up, I literally straightened him out again. Our parents thought it was prodigious, like an area of randomly discovered expertise. And boom, there was my calling: chiropractor.”

“That’s a beautiful story. Mine pales in comparison, but it’s cute. Some years ago my own brother and his wife had to go out of town, so they asked me to babysit their kid, my niece, who was five at the time. So I did, and…well, by the time they came back, I’d just…gotten so darn attached to her…I didn’t want it to end. And I still don’t think I’m ready to have any of my own kiddos yet, but I figured, what better way to make a living than taking care of children when their parents aren’t able to?”

“Well, and plus, too, you’re single, and…I know points of view vary on this, but in my humble opinion, kids benefit much more from a family with two parents than one.”

“Oh, I couldn’t disagree less. Y’know, Portia, this may be premature, but I think we may be more of kindred spirits than one might think. I know that’s a weird thing to hear from someone you just met an hour ago. But I get these hunches now and then, and they turn out to be right surprisingly often. Let me ask you: what’s your favorite holiday?”

“Mm, I guess I’d have to go with Christmas.”

“Me too!! Oh, Portia dear, this is so cool! Forgive me for getting ahead of myself, but I’m having a great time hanging out with you. The pleasure of your company, all the stuff we have in common…it’s very encouraging. I’ve never had a close friendship that lasted, y’know, that stood the test of time. Oh, I’ve had friends, sure, but…over the years, we lost touch, or they moved away…got to be a real bummer after the umpteenth time. But I’ve never given up. I’ve never lost hope that somewhere out there for me is that one true-blue B.F.F., and all the fun times we’ll have together, just ripe for the taking.

“Portia…in all seriousness and sincerity…do you think, after this, you may like to…y’know…play with me again sometime?”

“Hm…well, Vikki, it’s kinda funny you bring that up. I’ve never really had that sorta long-term friendship either. Close, but no banana.”

“…No kidding?”

“A’right, ladies, here’re your sandwiches; please do enjoy. Anything else I can get you?”

“Oh, I think we’re fine, thanks.”

“Yup; we’re beautiful.

“…I hope you don’t mind me being a copycat and getting the same thing you got, Portia. It just looked and sounded so good.”

“Of course not, Vikks. This is America; you’re allowed to order anything on the menu you want. Besides, if anything, I think you made things easier on the waiter.”

“Hee hee…I really like you, Portia.”

“Why, thank you, Vikki. I’m…feeling a sorta…unique camaraderie with you too.”

“I know, right?! Like I said, sometimes I get a little ahead of myself, but I’m really feeling good and excited about this.”

“Yeah…it’d be interesting to see just where this might lead.”

*****

Birds Of A Feather…
Tuesday, July 7th, 2015, 5:17 p.m.

It led to a plethora of new experiences and grown-up play dates for the girls. Over the next few weeks, Portia Cosgrove and Vikki Bowman shared more of their lives with one another than many friends do in years. It was a remarkable coincidence that both had searched for a close buddy to pal around with like this on a semi-frequent basis. A confidante with whom to have fun while time flew, to celebrate good times and help each other through bad. Portia had Jade, who fulfilled some of these desires, but failed to meet others. Vikki was a wonderful avenue for Portia to open up about things that might harm the feelings of her wife. She felt a bit guilty about keeping such secrets from her betrothed, but she wasn’t foolish. She knew Jade. She knew what made her tick. And she knew that honesty was sometimes the best policy—not always. The truth was, she’d been rather longing for someone to let her get these things off her chest. She could’ve gone to therapy, but she didn’t really want a therapist. She wanted a friend.

Vikki’d wanted the same, and let Portia in on her own feelings and desires, hopes and dreams, fears and joys. She didn’t mind if Portia unburdened herself vis-à-vis Jade, or whatever else. She wanted Portia to feel she could talk to her about anything. Vikki fancied herself an open book, a blank diary for Portia to flip to any page and let her thoughts out. It proved beneficial, as confiding in Vikki allowed her feelings to be absorbed while not having to scribe them down on paper. Portia didn’t want to take the chance of having a real diary read behind her back. And thankfully, Vikki had loyalty by the codes of friendship to keep everything just between them.

Every couple days, they took turns, each showing the other to a venue relevant to her interests. After the Moonbeam Café—Vikki’s pick—Portia took Vikki to the Juniper art museum. Vikki took Portia to a Twins game. Portia chose the Hard Rock Café. Vikki chose Barnes & Noble. Portia went with the arboretum. Vikki went with the zoo.

They celebrated Independence Day with their own families. Which led them to this date, four weeks after they’d originally crossed paths. It was Portia’s turn, and she’d thought long and hard before deciding to invite Vikki home and introduce her to Jade. While not really miffed at her diminished time with Portia, Jade had grown curious about the infamous Vikki, and agreed she wouldn’t mind seeing what this chick was all about.

Vikki found the house without a problem, approached, and rang the bell. She was a bit nervous, but determined to just be herself, and let the proverbial chips fall where they would. If, hypothetically, Jade didn’t take a liking to her for whatever reason, she couldn’t believe it would mean she’d have to give up Portia as well. Still, she hoped. She considered herself quite the likable, lovable lass, but her record wasn’t flawless.

An excited Portia pranced to the door and let her in.

“Hiya, buddy!” Vikki grinned, holding out a single hand palm up.

“Hey pally!” Portia greeted, granting the requested low-five. “Well c’mon, get on in here!”

Jade studied her. She was decked in a light flowered peasant dress, offset with a pair of brown ankle boots. Her blonde hair was down, bowed on top with a pink ribbon. And she was smiling at her, big and bright.

“How the heck do you do, Mrs. C.!” Vikki exclaimed, turning her paw sideways.

So this was her bride’s new bud. Well, while Jade promised nothing, she’d do her best to be polite and hospitable.

“I do quite fine,” she replied, extending her own hand. “Mrs. Vikki Bowman, I presume?”

“Oh, no; it’s Miss,” Vikki corrected, holding up her other paw. “No ring on this finger!”

Really now… Jade thought.

And so the Cosgroves set about to give Vikki a tour. When they got downstairs, Portia perked up to proudly display her abode within the abode. She tossed the door open, danced into the middle of the room and twirled like a ballerina, arms flourishing.

“And this…is my lady-cave!” She bounded back to where her friend and wife stood at the entrance, took Vikki by the arm, and led her about, exhibit by exhibit. The Portia-cave was cozy and lovely, Vikki noted. It was walled by finely polished wood paneling, and opened in the middle by a Venetian blinded bay window. The window led outdoors to a staircase that took Portia up into the backyard, she explained.

“That’s right,” Jade confirmed. Her tone seemed to carry a note of sourness. “This is where she comes to be by herself. And if she wanted, she could just up and leave the house and come back without me finding out about it. Hell, she could be out there having an affair, f.f.s., and I’d never even know.”

Vikki girlishly laughed, assuming Jade was making a funny. But her giggling tapered off when she realized Jade was not laughing. In fact, she was wearing a quite unamused frown. Vikki abruptly turned serious and cleared her throat, a bit perturbed.

She…is joking…right?

“Bad taste, Jade,” she heard Portia admonish. “In bad, bad taste.”

“Yes, well, anyhow, I’ve gotta get upstairs and start dinner. Staying to eat, Vikki?”

Vikki turned to Portia. Portia completed the visual triangle, looking back to her wife.

“…You don’t mind, do you...honey?”

Jade stared inscrutably back at her a moment before answering.

“Of course not.” She waited one more beat, then started back to the door.

“Supper’ll be ready in half an hour. You two have fun.”

*****

…’Til The End
Saturday, July 11th, 2015, 8:24 p.m.

Jade pulled back around the corner from her weekend errands, which took hours longer than they should’ve. It had frankly been a terrible day. Everything had gone wrong. As if as soon as she got into her car, someone had placed a curse on her. For starters, she was cut off on the highway while taking a sip of Minute Maid, causing her to slam on the brakes and spill juice on herself. Secondly, when she reached the store, she was dismayed to find they’d somehow run out of everything she needed. She was getting tired, and didn’t feel like going to another store. So to cheer and energize herself up a little, she stopped on the way home for a burger and fries.

Unfortunately, while the fast food had the desired effect at first, it subsequently brought on a bout of heartburn. Luckily, the heartburn didn’t take long to go away. Unluckily, that was because her physical anguish was nudged aside by panic and anger. This resulted from sitting patiently at a red light, still in broad daylight, and being bopped from behind by an inattentive driver. Great, she thought. Now on top of everything else, she had to wait for a cop to show up, fill out a report, and stop by her insurance office the next day. At least it was closed right now, giving her an excuse to skip this chore today.

To finish it all off, her cell was dead, she was perilously low on gas, and didn’t make it to the station. So to add insult to all her injury, she was forced to walk a quarter mile with her portable tank just to get home. She was beyond aggravated, and just wanted all this behind her. If one more thing went wrong, she felt like she would snap.

She was so exasperated, she failed to observe the additional car parked alongside their curb. At first inside glance, no Portia was to be found. Oh, please let her be here, goddammit, Jade groused to herself. I really don’t feel like being by myself right now.

Portia was at home. So was someone else.

Down in the lady-cave, If These Walls Could Talk 2 swelled the emotions and moistened the eyes of the galpals who sat together watching, sharing a bowl of popcorn. The blinds were shut and all lights were out, simulating a private cinema for two. Similarly, they exchanged small snippets of conversation at whisper-level.

I’m so glad you picked this movie,” Vikki murmured. “I’ve loved it ever since it came out. It helped me realize I’m bisexual.

Same here,” Portia nodded. “I, meanwhile, couldn’t be gayer, but, ditto.

Mmm…which vignette’s your favorite?

Honest?...Believe it or not, the first one.

Gasp. “Me too! It totally kills me every time! Buckets! I love how it goes from sad to funny by the end, though, too.

Yup; everyone loves Ellen.

Especially you…Portia.”

Vikki sniffled, eyes welling up. Emotions indeed getting the better of her, she slipped her arm in Portia’s and sat her head on her shoulder. Portia neither recoiled nor reciprocated. Engrossed in the film, she merely continued munching popcorn.

Upstairs, Jade kicked off her shoes and threw her purse. “Porsh?” she called out.

Letting all other sound fade, she listened to the stillness, and heard something coming from the basement.

Figures. She longed for her wife to be here for her right now, and said wife was hanging out in her little bridey-hole. Jade was normally content enough to grant Portia private time in the lady-cave, and find something to do on her own. Right now, however, was an exception. She’d reached the end of her rope. She started down the stairs. Portia’d forgive if she intruded on such rare occasions, needing her comfort and succor.

Oh, goody! Michelle and Chloë’re gonna make love! Yes, ladies; go for it!” Vikki celebrated, bringing her twitching bare feet up onto the sofa and snuggling in closer. “Portia, I’m about to start melting all over you.

So pay for my dry cleaning,” Portia replied, offering a piece of popcorn. “Shh. Here.

Vikki’s eyes were glued to the screen. Keeping the glue intact, she leaned down to the kernel in Portia’s hand and gobbled it straight from her palm. Her head returned to Portia’s shoulder. She idly walked her fingers into the bowl where Portia’s hand rested. Their paws went on autopilot and linked. With Portia’s occupied, Vikki retrieved another kernel with her free paw, looked up to Portia’s illuminated face, and fed her.

Captivated as they were, neither noticed the hand that pulled the open door further ajar, or the figure who slipped inside.

Jade was a bit bemused to see a dark room with only the TV on. It was true she didn’t spend a lot of time down here, but she hadn’t known Portia to just sit in the dark by…

…Herself?...

Her eyes shifted from the TV to the sofa.

She wasn’t by herself.

The room was dark, but the glow from the screen was bright enough to expose two bodies to Jade’s dilated eyes. One of them was her wife. The other was also familiar, sitting cuddled up to Portia…and seemingly…feeding her popcorn.

A chilly feeling rushed her. She flipped on the doorside switch. The ceiling fixture alit.

“What’s going on??”

The sudden light and accusatory alarm in her voice broke the film’s spell. The interlocked Portia and Vikki turned and looked up.

“J—…Jade?”

“Mrs. Cosgrove?”

Jade’s eyes widened intensely as she clearly saw Portia stand up, pulling herself out of Vikki’s embrace—looking rather guilty, Jade thought.

“What the hell is this?!”

Oh, God,” Vikki silently mouthed. Portia, now on her feet, began speaking.

“Okay, now, just hold on a minute here, Jade. Nothing happened. There’s nothing going on here; we are only watching a movie.”

Jade felt that she may have been stepping out of line and getting a little carried away, but she knew a thing or two about intimidating the truth out of someone. And she couldn’t have stopped the next word out of her mouth if she’d wanted to.

Bullshit.

Vikki felt her blood run ice-cold, realizing she was in (big) trouble, even though they’d crossed no serious boundaries.

“Don’t you hand me that,” Jade ranted, marching closer in on Portia. “Don’t you fucking dare stand there with those innocent little doe eyes and lie to me. You think I don’t see what’s really going on? How the hell blind do you think I am, Portia?? The movie, the popcorn, the cutesy little snuggles? Flirting disguised as emotion? Feeding each other?

Just how it started with us, Portia.” Jade’s angry eyes narrowed. Her voice quieted, but lost no hostility. “Right before our first time.

Portia was afforded little silence to think back, but tuned out the next few words to do just so. She honestly didn’t believe she could remember the first time they’d made love. She found only spotty, vague recollections of it not being very pleasant for her. Come to think of it…Jade seemed to have a way of making life not very pleasant for her.

Meanwhile, Jade’s venting continued. “Two more minutes, and you’d be all the fuck over each other. Don’t deny it, Portia Cosgrove. I can read you like a goddamn book. Nothing puts you in the mood like that scene.” She shook her head, inching in.

“You’re so fucking pathetic.

“You’re weak, Portia. You’re weak, and needy. You just can’t handle it when things are any less than perfect, can you? No, that doesn’t work for you. God forbid your wife has a shit day, and comes home to find the only person who’s supposed to be there for her, on the couch with someone else. Oh, it must be so much nicer being around her, huh?”

Portia absorbed these accusations like one blow to the soul after another. She felt her heart begin to bleed. A small opening of silence found its way into Jade’s speech, which Vikki took as an opportunity to plead her case. She got to her feet as well.

“Mrs. Cosgrove, please, she’s telling you the truth! Portia wouldn’t lie to you for the world! Honest to all goodness, nothing ha—”

Jade instantly silenced her with a piercing glare.

“I’d keep my whorey little fucking mouth shut right now if I were you, you conniving slut.”

Vikki immediately clammed down. “Yes, ma’am,” she mouthed. She dropped her eyes to the floor, her nervous toes digging into the carpet. Suddenly, Portia piped right up.

Hey!” she shouted, pointing one indignant finger. “Don’t you dare talk to her like that, Jade. Don’t you dare talk to her like you talk to me. It’s one thing to abuse me. But I won’t stand here and allow you to menace Vikki like this. She’s my friend.”

“Oh, I believe that,” Jade retorted, closing the space between them. “That, I’ll buy. Introducing her as your ‘friend’ just as a red herring, Portia? Just to throw me off? What, ’dya think it’d just magically slip by me? That I wouldn’t even notice, for fuck’s sake?!”

Portia’s blood was beginning to boil. She glared back, turning red.

“I’m telling you, there is nothing to notice,” she huffed, struggling to keep her tone under control. “I did not cheat on you, nor was I about to, nor would I ever. And I’ve had just about enough of these accusations. But y’know what? Yeah! We were sitting on the couch together, and maybe we were cuddling a little! Yeah! Okay! Maybe we did even feed each other a little popcorn! ’Cause we all know that’s so exactly the same as red-hot infidel sex, but, oh, GOD forbid anyway! Anything doesn’t make Jade happy, God forbid it makes Pathetic Portia happy! So shoot me, Jade, if yes, it does happen to be nice to spend time with a person who has a little heart! And kindness! And compassion!

It was Portia’s turn to rant. It kept flowing out; she was now the one who couldn’t stop.

“’Cause you sure as hell don’t, Jade. And I dunno if you ever have. Yes. I may be weak, even a little needy. But you, Jade…are selfish. You’re a selfish, egoistic woman. And those’re your good qualities. You’re not a nice person. Y’know something? I thought you loved me these two years. But you never really did, did you? Did you?? No. You tricked me. You made me think you loved me, then you changed. You only proposed to me to get on my insurance plan ’cause your job raised your premiums. Admit it, Jade: everything you’ve ever done in your entire life’s been only for yourself.

Jade flinched, visibly wounded by this remark. Portia felt guilt flood in, but forced it back away. Jade poked her in the sternum.

“You take that the fuck back, right now.”

Portia was not proud, but took a small bit of satisfaction in injuring Jade like this, in giving her a taste of her own medicine, as it were.

“Oh, why? Did I hurt your feelings, Jade? Your selfish, egoistic feelings? Doesn’t feel so hot to be on the business end, now does it?” Portia stepped up to Jade nose to nose. “Let me tell you something, wifey. It’s not entirely uncommon for someone who really is having an affair to project her guilt onto her spouse. Sound familiar, Jade?

“Tell me…just who might your conniving slut be?”

Jade seethed. Her blood turned to acid. Her eyes went fiery and her nostrils flared.

You fucking bitch.

She raised an open hand in one fluid motion, and smacked Portia across the face with such brute force, she was knocked off-kilter and fell to the floor. A terrified Vikki threw her hands over her face and cried out, telepathically feeling Portia’s pain. But as great a fright as was thrown into her, it doubled as her eyes rose…to see Jade turning on her.

She put up her hands. “I…pl—…p-please, Mrs. Cosgrove, I…I-I bruise easily.”

Vikki regretted saying this once it was out of her mouth. It sounded as if she were only concerned with her own safety. But she didn’t know what else to possibly say right now. She was too petrified. Jade gazed back down at Portia, still on the floor, cupping her sore cheek. All three hearts pounded in alarm. Jade was stunned by what she’d done, but…she’d snapped. She’d just needed one more thing to go wrong, and it had. How dare she, thought Jade. How dare she?? She had not cheated on Portia, but instead walked in on the two of them…huggling, watching a movie. When she thought of it this way, it did seem maybe she’d overreacted just a bit. Maybe Portia had a point. Maybe she was selfish, egoistic…perhaps even abusive…but she was too angry and upset to care. Her straw had severed. Her camel’s kid had stepped on a crack. She took a breath, and ominously ordered Portia the following.

“…I want you…and your ‘lady-cave’…”

Her voice cracked, but she forced her emotions in check to maintain authoritativeness.

“…Out of my house.”

She reached down and plucked the wedding ring off Portia’s finger. She stopped to bore another hole of fury into Vikki with her searing eyes, forcing Vikki to tearfully shut her own. She didn’t strike Vikki, but picked up the almost empty popcorn bowl, and flung the remaining kernels, salt and duds on her. Finally, she turned and marched back upstairs.

As her ired footsteps faded away, Vikki began to sob. She felt very possibly worse than ever in her life. She felt totally to blame, that she’d destroyed her dear friend’s marriage. She hadn’t meant for any of this to happen. Her legs went wobbly, and she lowered to her knees, dropping her face in her hands. She didn’t know what to do. She wished she could turn the clock back and avoid this whole horrible scene. She wanted to run after Jade, fall at her feet, hug her legs and cover her in tears and apologies until everything was somehow okay again. But she couldn’t. Besides the fact she didn’t feel an apology (or seventy) would do any good, she wasn’t lying when she said she bruised easily.

An indeterminable number of minutes later, she felt someone approach, a pair of arms taking her in them to console and comfort.

It’s okay…” she heard. “It’ll be okay…it’s all right, cry all you need to. I’m here, honey. We’ll survive this. I won’t let anything happen to you. Don’t worry, everything’ll be fine…

…Everything’s gonna be just…fine.

The movie ended.

*****

Best Official Friends Forever
Saturday, July 18th, 2015, 6:45 p.m.

One week later, proceedings were underway. Once she learned the big bad ‘D’ was really happening, Vikki hated herself all over again. But Portia assured her it wasn’t her fault. It’d taken some time to find out, but she and Jade weren’t right for one another. She promised that even if Vikki hadn’t entered the picture, something else would inevitably have gone too wrong to fix. The timing was simply unlucky, she insisted. The marriage was coming to an end, like it or not. Some couples were meant to be together forever, and some weren’t. Sadly, she and Jade fell into the latter category.

Portia took a vacation week from work to get a bunch of boxes together and pack her things. It was inconvenient, and unfair to her clients and schedule, but so, oftentimes, was life. And she knew Jade was serious about what she’d said. While incomparable to friends and family, her material possessions were important to her, and she very much wished to keep them. It broke her heart to separate them and herself from this beautiful house to which she’d grown so accustomed. But had anything of Portia’s remained in the house—including her body—it would be unceremoniously disposed of. Or worse.

Vikki still couldn’t help but feel responsible for some of this happening, and insisted on helping Portia move. And offering her apartment as a place to stay, if only during the daytime. Her dwelling couldn’t house all Portia’s things, but Portia’s folks’—the Aameses’—could. While grateful for Vikki’s offer of shelter, Portia didn’t know how she felt about sleeping in her friend’s home. But Vikki suggested now that she was free, it could be fun, like a slumber party. And they could run the gauntlet of traditional slumber party activities: playing games, doing each other’s hair, cooking up more popcorn, s’mores or other snacks, telling funny and scary stories, pillow-fighting in their jammies, gabbing about cute girls, childhood, or anything else under the sun.

Portia let herself be convinced. Her things were taken out of Jade’s house. It was time to move on, put this chapter behind her and continue with life. She felt a little sad, but moreover, she felt relieved and liberated. It took a hurtful shot to the soul as well as the face, but she was free. Her cheek and heart would heal. Things would look up again.

Vikki kept a tasteful apartment a few blocks off Juniper Street, in a residential suburb called Statler. It charmed Portia the same way Vikki herself did. The apartment was just so her. It was a perfect extension of Vikki’s delightful personality. It wasn’t enormous, but hypothetically comfy enough for two—if a wee bit cramped.

On the 18th, two weeks after America’s and one after Portia’s own Independence Day, she agreed to spend the night with Vikki. So they got into their pajamas, ordered food, and spent the evening doing everything else on the itinerary. It was one of the most fun nights Portia’d enjoyed in recent memory. So much, in fact, by 10:30 both were ready to hit the hay. Vikki decided she’d leave it up to Portia where she wanted to sleep. She could make up the couch for her, or if she wanted, she had Vikki’s permission to share the bed. Preferring beds to couches—and knowing they were better for the skeletal system—Portia took her up on it. They lay together under the covers, holding hands, staring at the ceiling and talking, till they could hold their eyes open no longer.

Nine hours later, they awoke, groggy but happy. Once they realized they were both up, they shared a coy smile.

“Hi, stranger,” slurred Vikki. “Fancy seeing you here.”

“Hee hee…isn’t it though?” Portia chuckled.

Neither saw immediate cause to vacate the bed just yet. Instead, they went on exchanging minor flirtations: a wink-smirk-look-away here, a light fingertip caress there, an ever so subtle kissing gesture, which didn’t go unnoticed.

“…Are we still having a slumber party?” Portia wanted to know.

“…Are we still only and nothing more than really really good friends?” Vikki rejoined.

Portia gave it some thought. It had been quite an eventful almost six weeks since they’d met. Portia’d learned more about Vikki Bowman than she fathomed learning about anyone. They really had become super-fast buddies. It was easily the quickest friendship she’d ever drummed up. And yet more remarkable, of all the varied Vikki-isms shared, Portia found few she could view in a negative light. After being with the woman who was now her ex, Portia felt Jaded—pun certainly intended—and was a bit used to detecting the less favorable traits in a person. It wasn’t a skill she was proud of. But so few red flags went up as she got to know Vikki, it was disorienting—in a good way. Portia was always on her guard, but Vikki helped her relax and invest some trust.

“I dunno,” Portia smiled. “Care to find out?”

“Well, y’know…” said her hostess, “I am a bit regretful we didn’t get to finish that little cuddle sesh we had going at your place.”

“Hm…well, I suppose there’s nothing wrong with a little innocent cuddling.”

The way she cooed the word “cuddling” filled Vikki with such warmth and enthusiasm, she quivered, giddy like the little girl she wanted to remain. They sidled up towards one another, inch by inch, till they were close enough to embrace.

“Ooh, that feels nice,” Portia commented.

Vikki shut her eyes dreamily. “So ‘snugglable’…” she purred, making up another word.

“Yeah…” Portia sighed. Her face abruptly fell a bit, as a bittersweet memory crossed her mind. “Forgive me…I don’t wanna spoil the mood, but…Jade never really wanted to cuddle. She just always wanted to have rough, havoc-wreaking sex.”

Vikki arched her brows. “Oh?...Well, that…uh…that can be fun too.”

“Mm, not the way we had it,” Portia shook her head. “I should’ve known something was up from the kinda stuff she did to me. She would grab me by the throat, and start choking and smacking me. I couldn’t breathe. And I think she liked it.”

A look of stunned consternation washed Vikki’s face. “Oh, no! That’s terrible!”

“Yeah…and the smacking—not like a soft little slap. I mean hard. Like you saw her do to me that night. Heavy ‘ouch’ factor.”

God,” Vikki shut her eyes in sympathetic concern. “How you must’ve suffered. I’m so sorry those things happened to you. Well, you know what, though? You survived. That’s behind you now. You’re a free lady. She can’t hurt you anymore.

“And for the record,” she added, “Speaking hypothetically, I would never do rough stuff to someone I cared about. I mean, I have little inner kinks and things too, but none of them are dangerous. Mine are really just very…fluffy, and playful.”

Portia smirked, taking a tendril of Vikki’s loose hair between her fingers and twirling it.

“Well, you’re a fluffy, playful person.”

“That I am,” Vikki laughed. “My speed’s more…I dunno, dressing up like a French maid and…teasing someone with a feather duster. Something along those lines.”

Portia considered. “Sounds ticklish…but after the stuff I’ve endured, that’d be a breeze.”

“Really?...Hmm…” Vikki summoned bravery to take her flirtation up a notch. “Might have to put that theory to the test sometime.”

Portia smiled. “I’m game if you are.”

Vikki’s heartbeat accelerated. A green light if ever she was signaled one.

Portia…” she whispered, “…I really like you.

Thank you, Vikki, I really like you back.

…And you know, usually in a situation like this, I’d be worried about taking things further, because I wouldn’t wanna do anything to hurt our buddy-ness. I mean, let’s face it; this kinda friendship doesn’t come along every day. But, I already feel such a strong bond with you, I don’t think it’s very possible to hurt it.

Oh, I know!” said Portia. “I’ve been feeling the same way! Vikki, meeting and hanging out with you’s filled a void in me that’s been there a long time. I don’t make friends too easily, and not that it’s been a big horse race, but I think I feel secure and confident right now in saying that you are my best friend.

Vikki blinked. As her eyes reopened, a glimmer of moisture appeared.

You’re mine too, Portia. And this is also the most unique friendship I’ve ever had. ’Cause every moment I look at you…you just get prettier and prettier…until I can’t wait one more second to kiss you.

Portia’s heartbeat joined Vikki’s in double-time. If they hadn’t known they were thinking the same thing before, they did now.

The magical first kiss happened.

The instant their lips made contact, they settled into a dual moan of sublime happiness. Soft whimpers followed as they broke each subsequent kiss, losing no time rushing to the next. All of a sudden, they couldn’t stop themselves. They entwined legs, playing an intimate round of footsie. They each took one another’s faces in both palms, fluttering eyes, tickling with their lashes, getting acquainted with each other’s pheromonal scents.

Fabric was pinned under writhing limbs as they twisted and turned. Their sleepwear hugged them snug and tight. They alternated pawing faces and holding embraces, one arm around the other’s back. They Eskimo kissed, butterfly kissed…they even doggy-kissed. Eager tits pressed and bumped against each other. Each movement generated more body warmth. Fingers fumbled their ways along the pajamas, feeling for equally soft bare skin.

They stopped kissing out of need for oxygen. Their lips were kept occupied by now whispering sweet nothings. All four eyes shimmered with limerence.

You’re beautiful,” Portia proclaimed, gliding a finger down the tip of Vikki’s nose.

You’re ‘beautiful-er,’” Vikki ad-libbed.

She was blessed with the heaven in Portia’s gleeful, giddy laughter.

You’re ‘beautiful-est,’” she declared back.

Oh yeah?” said Vikki. “Well, you’re ‘beautiful-est’ infinity.”

More laughter. Vikki steeled her nerves and mustered courage to say what she wanted.

And I want to…to…

She blinked several times, praying Portia felt the same way.

I wanna love you…Miss Portia Aames.

Portia, who liked the idea of returning to her maiden name, eyed her adoringly.

Welllll…having reminded us I am in fact no longer married…since you put it that way…

Vikki was so elated she gasped, then squealed. She didn’t wait for the rest of the affirmation. She couldn’t; she was too enthusiastic. She closed any remaining space between their precious flesh. All twenty fingers picked up speed roving and roaming, fondling, reaching, groping, fewer and fewer patches of territory untouched. The clock ticked away, minute after passionate minute. Juices flew. Hormones raced. Neither girl could take much more before needing to shed her pajamas.

Portia let herself be marvelously seduced, lolling her head on the pillow as Vikki traced an aimless pattern of kisses over her, of varying degrees: a peck here, a hickey there. The unpredictability turned Portia wild, keeping her libido guessing. She felt Vikki nose up the front of her shirt, circling her bellybutton. She giggled.

Then things weren’t so humorous anymore, as all of a sudden, Vikki ever so tenderly palmed her braless breasts, in both hands.

Gasp. “Oh!” Portia rejoiced, tilting her head further back. How she’d longed for this, the ginger touch of one who treated her like the delicate flower she was. Her libido and psyche no longer took to rough sexplay: harsh grabs and squeezes, digging, thrusting, malicious and profane pillow talk. She’d experienced all these with Jade, and any once-existent interest in their novelty quickly wore off. Portia wanted only soft gentleness. Something Vikki was able to give, where Jade Cosgrove had failed. Jade made her cum hard, but her heart was never quite in it. But this…this Portia could get on board with. This lady made Portia feel, at long last, what she could only imagine for so long.

And the loveliest part was she hadn’t even to ask. She didn’t need to say what was on her mind, how she wished to have such light, celestial love made to her, how fragile she was. Vikki knew. She knew Portia so well by this point, it was now she who could read Portia Aames like a book. Portia liked this. She vastly enjoyed being looked after by a playmate so caring, so empathetic, so…wonderful.

Eyes closed in ethereal bliss, she felt a double dose of euphoria, as Vikki snugly hugged Portia’s thigh with both of hers—sending tingles through her with strokes and licks over her perking nipples—and also as she realized what was happening. For once in her life, she had a chance to be with someone who made her truly happy. Who would gratefully accept the devotion she offered, and give equal parts of herself in return. Who would actually prioritize Portia’s feelings and desires above her own, encouraging Portia to reciprocate. Oh, this was going to be even more splendid than she thought.

Vikki fingered one nipple and tranquilly sucked the other, wrapping her legs and feet yet tighter around Portia’s as the divine romance finally generated dampness through Portia’s pussy. Oh, it felt good…she couldn’t believe how lucky she was getting, in more ways than one. This was all she wanted in the intimacy department from the lass she’d call her own. This was really just it. She didn’t feel it was too much to ask. And it wasn’t.

Part of her couldn’t help but wonder if Vikki wished she could receive the same affection she was bestowing, but she remembered a time Vikki’d told her how much more vital (or “vital-er”) and rewarding it was to give, rather than get. Vikki Bowman was a giver by nature. Doing things for others and putting smiles on their faces made her even happier than having a favor granted for her. And so Portia told herself not to worry about it, to just revel in the magnificence. It was what Vikki would want.

Oh, yay…” she smiled, colors dancing and swirling in front of her eyelids. “Oh, finally…

Vikki’s upper hand, which had been absentmindedly playing with Portia’s hair, floated down with the rest of her. She repositioned herself further over Portia’s sprawled frame, to reach the other nipple with her mouth. Lifting her pajama shirt, she let free her own tits to brush lovingly over Portia’s belly. It was similar to her doctor appointment, except that now she was the top, she thought with a roguish chuckle. The paw which was toying with Portia’s hair now set about to soothe the wet nipple she’d been sucking. And her other hand slipped further south, gliding so very serenely down her skin, producing goosebumps on Portia’s bare tummy. But her tummy was not the hand’s destination.

Portia gasped as she felt Vikki sneak her fingers beneath the hem of her jammie pants.

Oh my gosh…” she exulted. “Oh, yes, my angel, yes…

Vikki blushed and smiled in modest pride, easing Portia’s other nipple in her grinning lips. She was loving how happy she was making Portia. It briefly crossed her mind that it was safe to say they were no longer just friends, but this was a thought for another moment. Her lower hand traversed the rest of its way down, and finally graced Portia’s wet pussy. Portia’s eyes went back. In this instant, she could swear she heard beautiful music swelling around them, culminating in a great crash! of cymbals.

Just now, Portia Jo Aames could have died an ecstatic woman. A beautiful, warm girl draped over her, one paw working her right breast, lips and tongue administering supple oral love on her left, other hand grazing the slit of her exhilarated cunt. She felt Vikki’s stiffened nipples tickle her abs, both legs still hugging one of hers, the girl’s feet sliding up and down her calf and ankle, massaging with her soles. Her overlapping body provided all the warmth Portia needed, and her gloriously haphazard hair tossed all over. It boasted the sweet scents of botanicals that wafted into Portia’s nostrils.

She, was, in, heaven.

She couldn’t believe sex could ever be this spectacular. She couldn’t believe anything could. She could, however, have literally perished the happiest girl on Earth, if she didn’t want to live forever by Vikki Bowman’s side. She began to cry.

Her still weeping was cut off as Vikki’s fingers burrowed through her labia, and entered.

OH!” she bellowed. Vikki marveled. She had barely felt her on the inside, and it was just about all it took. She needn’t push, thrust, ram, jam, cram, not at all. She slipped inside, taking time to thoroughly explore, letting her fingers do the walking. Portia’s hands ran through her silky hair, appreciatively petting and stroking. Though Vikki didn’t anticipate, she wouldn’t have to do much more to bring Portia’s experience to its zenith.

Portia’s mind was blown. With Jade, raging sizzle was forced upon her, again indeed making her cum like a sprinkler, but something was undeniably missing. Now she knew what: the emotional component. True heart and devotion in the technique. She was right; Jade never really loved her. Jade couldn’t make love to her this way. Vikki could.

She loves me.

So this was how it felt. She could get used to this. For Portia, whose heart was won with unbridled romance, the realization that she was now doubtlessly loved finally did it.

She came.

It was astonishing. Her emotions and libido became one in this unique dual climax, making her laugh, cry and scream all at once.

“OMIGOD! OMIGOD!! OH DEAR GOD!!” she shrieked. Vikki heard that she was cumming, and hastened her actions, applying pressure to intensify her pleasure, while remaining gentle and mild. She didn’t want to give Portia more than she could handle.

Well…

Portia’s cries of joy carried on. “Oh! Oh! Vikki! I love you! I love you! ILOVEYOU!!...

Everything she’d felt with Jade was washed clean and purified with Vikki. She blew through the unlimited dimensions, somersaulted the plateaus, rode the shooting stars, spiraled through oblivion, nabbed the brass rings. Finally, the smoke began to clear.

When she could think and see again, the clouds vanished from her sight, and a pretty 31-year-old blonde was smiling at her with glowing teal eyes. Portia felt her own damp baby browns dripping tears down her face. It was true, without a shadow of a doubt.

I do…I do!” she told her. “I really do!!”

Vikki arched her brows. “Did…you just marry yourself to me?” she asked amusedly.

Portia blinked repeatedly and bit the insides of her cheeks to keep from bursting.

No,” she shook her head. “I mean…I love you, Vikki Bowman.

Vikki’s face morphed to astonishment. “What??” she gasped in disbelief.

I do. With all my heart and soul. From the very bottoms of my feet,” she joked.

“Ohhh!” Vikki flung her arms around her once more, squeezing now hard as she could. “Oh, my darling! I love you too!”

They spent the better part of the morning in one another’s arms, sobbing tears of joy. Each was more thrilled than she could ever recall. They’d both found the friend they’d always wanted, and now, the girl of their dreams, in one fell swoop. Their worries and cares eroded away. Everything was going to be fine now. Better than fine.

An hour or three later, tears dry, Portia’d almost fallen back to sleep. Meanwhile, Vikki remembered something. She slipped free of Portia’s embrace and rolled away from the bed. Only semi-conscious, but feeling Vikki part from her, Portia whined.

“Don’t you worry, my love, I’m coming right back!” Vikki promised. She went into her closet, and rummaged till she found what she was looking for. She pranced around to the other side of the bed, closer to Portia’s half-asleep body—which now faced the other direction—let herself down to her knees, and tapped Portia on the shoulder blade.

Portia turned just a little the other way and looked behind her. “Hmm?...”

“I have something for you.”

Portia blinked about a dozen times and shifted around till she and Vikki were face to face again. She covered hers momentarily, yawned, and propped herself on her elbow. Vikki produced before her a small velvet box.

Portia’s weary eyes opened to full wideness at the sight. They then moved up to Vikki’s face. Vikki held up her free hand, asking for a few moments. “Just humor me, please, darling.” Portia held on, willing to play along and let her orchestrate. Vikki continued.

“I don’t have a speech prepared, and I’m lousy at them anyway,” she chuckled. “But I’m okay at just saying what’s on my mind. And I wasn’t sure I thought it was possible to meet someone who could make me so happy, in so many ways before. I cannot believe we have only known each other for a month and a half. But I don’t believe loving or being with someone is necessarily a function of time. I absolutely believe in love at first sight. And I believe it’s possible to fall heels over head in love overnight, because…it’s happened to me. Portia Jo Aames…in the short time we’ve spent together, you have become my sweetheart, my mentor, my love, my soul, my role model, my guardian angel, and most importantly, my best friend. I love you, so much. All this being said…”

She popped open the box, bringing about that same familiar, lovely criiiiick sound of the velvet. Portia looked, her heart abruptly starting to pound.

Inside lay a beaded bracelet.

“…Will you be my best official friend forever?”

Portia gasped with a smile, eyes watering all over again. “Oh-ho-ho-ho!” she laughed. It was the sweetest, most adorable thing she’d ever seen. Her heart stopped pounding, and swelled like a warm, happy balloon. Then she thought of something.

“‘Best official friend forever’?” she repeated. “…Your…B.O.F.F.?...Your ‘boff?’

Vikki processed what Portia had just said. She darted her eyes back and forth a moment, realizing the unintended acronym. Her eyes shut in embarrassment, and she blushed even redder than she had in the midst of their passion.

“…Um…yes?...Well, we, uh…we did just…y’know…”

Portia was so enchanted she found this only even more charming. She caressed Vikki’s cheek with the back of her hand.

“Of course I will, buddy.”

Vikki grinned with zeal, and removed the bracelet. She took Portia’s hand, and gingerly fastened it. “There you go. I really hope you like it; I had it made special for you.”

Portia studied it. The bracelet consisted of beads of different shapes, sizes and colors. They made up a symmetrical pattern, with six small cubes in the middle. As she held it close and looked, six tiny engravings on the cubes bore letters spelling her name.

“Aww, Vikki…I love it so much. Thank you.”

Vikki shook down her pajama sleeve and showed her wrist, wearing an identical bracelet with five cubes to spell her own name.

“It’s official.”

She popped up, stretched, and removed the box. “So then, mejor amiga por siempre…what would you like for breakfast?”

“Hmm…I’d love to go to the IHOP.”

“Oh, capital idea!” said Vikki. “And while we’re out, I can pick up a French maid’s outfit and a feather duster.”

She winked at her with a mischievous smile, and headed off to the bathroom, as Portia felt her ticklish spots tingle.

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