faint whispers died out gradually as the woman began her solitary
journey up the aisle between the round tables. Some of the luncheon
guests at the luxurious hotel didn’t know whether to look away or
stare openly at her.
Ward’s green eyes dared all the people present at the stockholders’
yearly luncheon to pity her. She propelled her expensive, state-of-the
art wheelchair through the vast ocean of people, her back ramrod
straight and a half-smile on her firm lips. She wore her black hair
short, in large locks swept back from her face, looking deceptively void
of makeup. Dressed in a Saville Row black pantsuit over a silver gray
shirt, she looked immaculate.
Mitchell waited in the wings by the head table, cursing everyone who
glared at her boss with their jaws dropped. Don’t they realize how
hard this is for her? Why the hell did she have to make her usual
entrance like that? But Lark knew why. True to tradition, Sheridan
Ward, like her father and grandfather before her, opened the yearly
stockholders’ convention by hosting a luncheon for all participants.
Also tradition was to “march past the troops” as the Wards had
always done. I wonder how many even tried persuading her to refrain
from it. I know I did, and she bit my head off. Lark shuddered at
luncheon was the starting shot for a week of events, crowned with Ward
Enterprises Inc.’s stockholder meeting. Sheridan’s personal staff
had prepared for this event for months. God knows how she’s managed.
Lark sighed in silent relief as Sheridan approached the head table,
managed the ramp without problems before elegantly circling the long,
elevated table, and wheeled up to her seat in the middle. The two men
flanking her rose quickly, looking quite forlorn since there was no
chair to hold out for her. Sheridan smirked, wheeling in place and
engaging the breaks. “By all means, take a seat, gentlemen.”
a glance in Lark’s direction, Sheridan raised an inquisitive eyebrow.
Lark nodded, raising her hand in a gesture meaning everything was set.
She turned around and gave the man by the door handling the electronics
a thumbs-up. He turned down the dimmer, throwing most of the Rosary
Ballroom into semi-darkness, and directed a spotlight at Sheridan.
didn’t matter the stunning woman couldn’t stand on her own two feet
anymore; she was every bit the despotic president of Ward Enterprises,
commanding the audience with a mere glance as she began her welcome
speech in a clear voice. Her face illuminated by the stark light, its
shadows and planes emphasized, left no one uncertain who ruled the show.
sighed inaudibly. It was heartbreaking to realize how much she was going
to miss this sight.
kept the half-smile on her lips throughout the luncheon, knowing very
well how her once so statuesque frame looked nowadays. Fighting to
remain upright, although she admitted the defiant posture killed her
back, she moved the wheelchair skillfully between the tables toward the
exit. Where the hell’s Lark? Her personal assistant had
remained close throughout the two-hour event, but was not in sight now. Personal
assistant, Sheridan huffed. More like my
right arm. Or my legs, as it were.
Lark showed up at her side and placed a bottle of regular water in
Sheridan’s hand. “Here. You didn’t eat much, nor did you drink.”
at the other woman, Sheridan grudgingly admitted Lark was right. “Thanks.”
As she studied her assistant over the bottle she sipped from, Sheridan
noticed signs of fatigue in Lark. The marbled eyes were definitely more
of a slate gray, and her naturally pink, full mouth was pressed into a
fine line. “You okay?”
fine. Let’s get you out of here.” Knowing better, Lark didn’t
attempt to push the wheelchair, which was impossible anyway since it had
no handles for this purpose on the back. Lark merely stepped toward the
exit, and Sheridan was about to follow her when something hit her in the
head from behind, making her drop the bottle in her lap where the water
ran freely across her pants. “Shit!” The word escaped Sheridan’s
lips before she managed to clench her teeth around it. Raising a hand,
she felt the back of her head, while she pivoted the wheelchair with the
whirled, taking in the situation in a second. “Sheridan!” She rushed
forward, removing her employer’s hand from her head. “Let me look.
woman standing close by stared at them in horror. She was holding a
square purse, with hard metal edges. “I’m so terribly sorry,” she
gushed. “I was adjusting my shawl, and … Oh, Ms. Ward. What can I do
it was an accident and not an attack, Sheridan began to calm down. She
looked in dismay down at her lap. Damn, it looks as if I peed in my
pants. “Nothing, thank you. I’m quite all right.” Her lips
felt stiff as annoyance still flared.
sure?” Lark’s low voice, followed by soft fingers in Sheridan’s
hair, made her suddenly forget everything else.
You’re right. Let’s get out of here.”
nodded and removed her fingers, and the loss of the careful touch left
Sheridan feeling robbed of something. Irritated, she only nodded toward
the woman with the purse before wheeling out the ballroom doors. “You
have the key?”
had reserved a suite for them, to avoid a strenuous four-hour drive home
after this first event. They didn’t need to commute to the many
meetings and appointments Ward Enterprises held during the stockholders’
the elevator, Sheridan leaned back in the wheelchair, examining Lark.
The woman was dressed in a cream, tailored, sleeveless dress, with a
simple string of pearls around her neck. Wearing her long
caramel-colored hair loose, she looked stunning, new. Sheridan had known
her for eleven months, ever since she became ill, and never quite seen
her this way. I’ve been a bitch the last few weeks. Perhaps she’s
had enough. She tried to disregard the stab of panic. Who am I
kidding? I was always the company bitch. Still, watching the tired
face, with the normally so rosy cheeks pale and the smooth forehead
wrinkled, bothered Sheridan.
suite consisted of two bedrooms, a living-room area, and a small, fully
equipped kitchenette. Sheridan knew the fridge held some of her
medication. She had little patience for taking it and was completely
oblivious to the schedule. That’s her job.
me check the back of your head,” Lark said. “That was one
mean-looking purse. Sharp edges.”
right.” Sheridan refused to acknowledge how much she liked the touch
of Lark’s hands in her hair. Human touch.
Eleven months and only health-care pros have touched me. And Lark.
fingers carefully divided Sheridan’s hair in several places, examining
her scalp. “There’s a small bump. Looks like she didn’t manage to
break the skin, at least. Thank God.” Lark sighed.
the wheelchair, Sheridan caught one of Lark’s hands, obviously
startling the other woman. “Are you going to tell me what’s wrong?”
she asked, her voice stern. To her alarm, tears welled up in Lark’s
eyes, clinging to dark brown eyelashes like perfect diamonds.
having her vision distorted by stupid tears, Lark saw Sheridan’s face
alter into an expression close to fear. Lark took an involuntary step
backwards, her nerves too raw to endure a closer inspection.
me.” Still demanding, Sheridan now sounded almost breathless.
can’t …” Lark held up a hand to forestall a new request for an
explanation. “I can’t do this anymore. I … can’t.” This wasn’t
how she planned to do it. A formal letter of resignation lay in her
the hell are you talking about?” Sheridan growled, her fists rolled up
and rigid in her lap.
refused to answer, staring at her employer’s hands. The black fabric
clung to Sheridan’s legs, reminding Lark why they had hurried to the
suite. “Let’s get you changed. What do you want to wear?” She
turned to walk into Sheridan’s bedroom.
out faster than any reptile, one of the strong hands caught Lark’s
wrist. “Just a robe. You’re not off the hook. You owe me an
I? Lark stopped, only raising her eyebrows.
“Later. You’re soaked.”
the bedroom, Sheridan slid over from the wheelchair onto the foot of the
bed. Lark moved in front of her, after placing the complimentary white
terry-cloth robe next to them, nudging the wheelchair out of the way
with her foot.
Lark undid Sheridan’s black, shiny shoes, tugging them off carefully
while the other woman unbuttoned her trousers and pulled the zipper
down. Because she knew her employer detested being rolled around to
remove her clothes, Lark reached around her, ready to pull the trousers
down as Sheridan lifted her own weight by pressing her palms against the
bed. Sliding off the wet piece of clothing, Lark hung it neatly over the
back of a chair. “You can manage now, right?”
Stay.” Sheridan was still giving orders.
right. What else can I do?”
eyes narrowing, Sheridan seemed to carefully debate her reply. “Is
there a limit to what you would do?”
this game about? “As long as it’s in my
job description, no.”
answer. But then you’re a smart woman, aren’t you?”
do you mean?”
smirked, sitting with her elegant, long legs bare; there was no visual
evidence of how painful and immobile they were. “Your job description
is pretty arbitrary, isn’t it? You’re supposed to meet any of my
breath caught in her throat. She’s at it again. Her games. Her
self-deprecating games. “I can’t do this anymore.” The words
came out staccato, Lark’s emotions tearing through her like wildfire.
“You play me, or try to, and I have no idea what you think you’ll
accomplish by antagonizing me. Or are you simply testing me?” Lark
flung her hands in the air. “All right. You win. I quit.”
silence between the two women seemed to stop the world.
heart bled. She knew the phrase was a cliché and such things didn’t
happen unless you suffered a coronary, but it was still true. Lark,
flowery scented, golden-haired, soft-handed Lark, was leaving. The dream
was over. The drama a moot point.
Sheridan’s voice hardly carried the short distance between them. The
short distance equaled a vastness of oceanic proportions.
to my contract, I have to give two weeks’ notice. Since I haven’t
had a vacation for the eleven months I’ve worked for you, I’ll give
you three days to find a replacement. With the salaries you pay, it
shouldn’t be hard.”
Sheridan heard the unspoken words. With my not-so-winning personality,
it will be a nightmare. “Why not leave right away? Why wait?” Why
twist the knife constantly for three whole days?
seemed to calm down. “You need help. I know you’re capable of
fending for yourself, but these upcoming days will be tough. I’m sorry
… I shouldn’t have sprung this on your right now, with the
convention just starting …” She took one step closer. “Let me help
you with the robe …”
I’ll manage. Leave me.”
Lark regarded her with a range of emotions flickering over her sensitive
features. Sheridan scrutinized her, but of all the feelings present in
the other woman’s eyes—none of them were close to pity.
Lark left the room, Sheridan slumped to the side, hiding her face
against the coarse fabric of the bedspread. More loss. Can I cope?
Can I? She stayed in that position for a few minutes, breathing
deeply to regain control, before sitting up, unbuttoning her jacket and
shirt. She pulled them off and tossed them carelessly on top of the damp
pants on the chair. Not wearing a bra, she pulled the robe toward her,
moving from side to side to wrap it around her body.
with her hands, she pulled herself up against the pillows. As she took
one and held it close to her stomach, Sheridan closed her eyes against
the physical pain, as well as the emotional torment. Her hands. Why
do Lark’s hands contradict what she feels? When she touches me, it’s
as if she wants to. Sheridan tried to rouse the anger, but in vain.
Instead the hurt blazed through her again. Her voice, even, sometimes
suggests she cares on a personal level. From day one, Lark was
always so professional and loyal. When everyone else among Sheridan’s
staff either didn’t know what to say or do, or behaved as if Sheridan
had not only lost the use of her legs, but also her brain, Lark’s calm
personality was like soft cotton against raw nerve endings. And
now the day I always knew would come is here. She’s leaving. Of course.
refused to let the pain take over. Instead she kept her eyes closed and
the pillow pressed against her chest. Burying her face into the softness,
she willed herself to relax.
don’t want to leave. I have no choice.”
hands pulled the pillow from her arms, wrapping her up in a soft
truth is ... I never wanted to leave you in the first place.”
hands described slow circles on her back. “You’re all that
matters to me. My heart’s breaking and I can’t even tell you,
face to face.”
moved toward the warmth, the hands, but could not open her eyes,
no matter how she tried. She attempted to speak, but in vain. No
words, not even a mere sound, came from her lips.
did your best to test me, to drive me away, and now I can’t see
any other solution than to grant your wishes.” She felt a soft
kiss on her forehead. “But, before I go, I want something.”
to ask what, Sheridan moved restlessly in the tight embrace--still
want something to remember. I want a piece of your heart to take
tossed her head back and forth, frantically trying to communicate
with the beloved voice. Finally she broke free, drew a deep breath,
and called out a name.
in the living-room area of the suite, Lark stared at the envelope in her
hand. She had typed her letter of resignation only two days ago, while
nourishing futile hope she’d never have to hand it in. As things
turned out, it had been a good idea to bring it with her.
last eleven months of her life had proved to be much more complex than
the “cushy job” her agent promised her.
acting as a nanny to this wealthy woman,” he said, grinning. “After
your latest job, that’ll seem like child’s play. No nosy relatives
to give you grief.” His face had become serious. “No nephews with
octopus arms and with no tolerance for alcohol.” Shuddering at his
words, Lark had accepted the position.
retrospect, Lark didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the ‘cushy
job’ remark. Her agent was a nice guy, but he obviously hadn’t done
his homework on Sheridan Ward’s history. After spending almost a month
in the ICU battling bacterial meningitis, the dynamic president of a
multinational corporation was now confined to a wheelchair, probably for
the rest of her life. When Lark entered the scene, she realized the
other woman still suffered from excruciating pain sometimes, and had not
even begun to accept her new situation. A registered nurse as well as a
physiotherapy assistant, Lark found herself also becoming a watchdog,
secretary, and live-in maid.
with their head screwed on right would’ve left much earlier. I just
couldn’t. It wasn’t just the fantastic salary. It was her.
Sheridan Ward was not like anyone Lark had ever met. Dynamic, yes, but
also a despot at times, able to turn into a roaring monster within
seconds. Lark knew what Sheridan battled on a daily basis and was one of
the few who wasn’t scared stiff of her. Still, when Sheridan was in a
particularly bad mood, even she stayed out of her way. She wasn’t paid
enough to listen to that.
back against the couch, still clutching the now crushed envelope, Lark
wondered when everything had begun to change for her. Was it in Newport?
They had spent their first weeks together during the summer at the Wards’
beach house there. With Sheridan conducting business via Internet
teleconferences, Lark had grown to love the surroundings, the whole
area. Born a city girl and raised in Brooklyn, she was mesmerized by the
fresh, salty Atlantic air.
had grabbed her by the heart even more was how incredibly different
Sheridan became when the fax quieted and the computer was switched off.
Sitting on the large veranda, the other woman had stared at the ocean
for hours every evening, staying out too long until her tall frame
shivered from the night breeze.
would then simply go out and wrap a blanket around Sheridan, rub her
shoulders until she stopped shaking, and suggest they go inside.
Sometimes Sheridan refused, and Lark learned that only if she said that
she herself was cold did the other woman relent.
eyes followed every movement Lark made as she readied Sheridan for bed.
There was still medication she needed to take. At that point, her
employer was not so skilled at moving in and out of the chair, so they
practiced. I held her quite a bit during those weeks, and through the
summer. I had to, to guide her body while she learned as much as
possible, to regain her independence. I taught her not to need me, but,
oh, God, how hard it was to let go of her sometimes. The way she clung
to me, in fear of falling, her face buried into my neck, breathing hard
while regaining her balance … Lark drew a trembling hand along her
face. It was still her best-kept secret, how good Sheridan felt in her
they came back to the city, a more rigorous schedule took place, to
ready Sheridan for returning to work. Relentless, until Lark knew the
tall body screamed with pain, Sheridan drove them both hard, working
endless hours in the gym. One evening, Sheridan just wouldn’t let go
of the bars, forcing her practically immovable legs, strapped into
braces, to slide on the surface while she hung on straight arms, sweat
dripping down her taut, aching body. Only when Lark pulled rank on her,
yelling at Sheridan that she’d destroy everything she’d gained
unless she slowed down, did she listen.
let go of the bars and she fell forward, in slow motion at first. Not
even thinking, Lark threw herself in between the bars, catching the much
taller body with her own. They slid to the floor, and Sheridan ended up
on top of Lark, pressing the air out of her lungs with her weight. Lark
didn’t care. She held on to the sweat-drenched body, her eyes roaming
worriedly over the pale face. “Are you hurt?”
question made Sheridan give a bark of laughter, sounding almost like a
sob, “Are you kidding? I’m crushing you, and you’re asking me if I’m
hurt? No, I’m not hurt. My body doesn’t function, everything is
going straight to hell, I can’t walk, and I’m about to suffocate
you, but I’m fine!”
certainly sound dandy.” Lark peeked up at Sheridan, relieved she hadn’t
fallen in a way that worsened her condition.
eyes widening in surprise at Lark’s words, Sheridan laughed again,
this time more genuinely, before rolling off her assistant. It was
easier to breathe without the tall body wedged in between her legs, but
Lark was still reluctant to let go of her. “How about if I help you
onto the exercise bike and you can go for another five minutes to cool
down?” she suggested. Sheridan merely nodded, accepting her assistance.
was then, as if Sheridan had worked out hard enough to keep the demons
at bay, they’s begun to talk. After they showered and shared the
intimacy of Sheridan’s naked frame and Lark only wearing Nike shorts
and a tank top, they moved to the Ward residence’s luxurious kitchen,
where Lark put Sheridan to work with chopping vegetables while she
cooked some pasta.
spoke together, nothing deep or revealing in the beginning, but Lark
reveled in the calm and content tone in Sheridan’s voice during
evenings such as these. Several times she wondered how many of Sheridan’s
employees saw this side of her. Just as many times, a not-so-generous
part of her rejoiced that she was probably the only one.
moments were rare at first, but when Sheridan became convinced Lark’s
working method was effective, a tentative camaraderie and trust began to
form. Sheridan lowered her guard enough for Lark to see someone else,
someone entirely different behind the formidable business tycoon.
Besides being the most stunning woman Lark had ever seen, Sheridan
possessed a deep knowledge of many things and anonymously donated large
amounts of money to several different charities and research projects.
When Lark mentioned her generosity while helping Sheridan with some of
her personal correspondence, the other woman dismissed it with a smirk,
joking it away, “We all need good points when we meet our maker. This
is one way.”
leaned back and looked at the envelope that held the end to her life in
Sheridan’s presence, turning it over and over between her fingers. She
wondered if Sheridan’s brush with death, when the dynamic woman fought
for her life in the ICU, had prompted this attempt at being facetious.
At this point Lark stopped being afraid of Sheridan and allowed herself
to relax in her presence. She dared to share some of her own
lesser-known sides, and she knew Sheridan found it intriguing when Lark
showed her the moves she’d learned in her self-defense classes. She
never asked Lark why she went to this particular class, but Lark had
hoped one day they’d be comfortable enough with each other for her to
tell Sheridan about what happened at her last workplace. Somehow she
knew Sheridan would understand how paranoid and vulnerable the incident
had left her. The thought of her patient’s twenty-five- year-old
nephew was still an open wound. Only the sharp pair of scissors she’s
carried in her uniform pocket had prevented him from succeeding what he,
in his drunken state, referred to as a “seduction attempt.”
hand tightened around the envelope, inadvertently wrinkling it when she
directed her thoughts back to her employer. Six weeks ago, when the
reality of the outside world caught up with Sheridan, and she began
pushing herself harder than ever before to get ready for the stockholder
convention, their newfound friendship simply didn’t stand the test.
Suddenly out of control, their peaceful work schedule turned into a
maddening pace, and it escalated in intensity every day after that.
tried to warn Sheridan, fearful the other woman was pushing herself
toward a collapse, but Sheridan reacted with fury, lashing out at her at
any opportunity. Six weeks. It didn’t seem long, but the constant
rejections had been agony, and the loss of the togetherness they’d
shared hurt like hell.
The outcry from Sheridan’s bedroom was bloodcurdling.
flew up from the couch, dropping the envelope on the floor when she ran
toward the bedroom. Flinging the door open, she stopped on the threshold
and stared at the woman on the bed.
was crushing a pillow against her chest, tossing and turning on the bed,
obviously trapped in a terrible nightmare. About
hurried toward the distraught woman, seeing tears streaming down pale
cheeks, the firm, curvy mouth trembling. “Sheridan! It’s just a
dream, Sheridan. Wake up.” Lark took the other woman by the shoulders
and shook her gently. “I’m here. I’m here.”
more …” Sheridan was still trapped in the private hell. “No more
here. Sheridan, it’s Lark. You’re safe.” Nothing seemed to reach
the shivering woman.
Lark pulled Sheridan up into a firm embrace, unable to witness such
torment. Her strong, healthy arms held the other woman tight, rocking
her. “Shhh. You’re okay now.” She heard a deep breath from
was a profound stillness. Lark stopped rocking but didn’t let go. She
held on to Sheridan, burying her face in the damp, black locks,
expecting a terrible eruption for her audacity to offer consolation.
The husky whisper was such an anticlimax, Lark almost laughed.
Lark’s astonishment, Sheridan raised one arm and wrapped it around her
waist. “I’m sorry.”
scent of fresh soap and the faint musk-based perfume Sheridan used
filled her senses. Lark tried to focus on what Sheridan was saying, but
all she could think was how good and right it felt to hold
her. “I know.” She kissed the other woman’s hair. “I’m sorry
what?” Sheridan pulled back enough to look up at Lark with narrow eyes.
destroying your day of triumph. The day you showed everyone that you’re
back in charge to stay. You worked so hard for it.”
pulled free, rolling away from Lark. Her empty arms ached. I
knew it. She hates me for it.
the pillow next to her head, Sheridan gave a tired smile. “Won’t you
lie down with me, Lark?”
eyes turned a brilliant blue. “What?”
don’t make me ask twice.” It was hard enough the first time. Sheridan
held her breath while she studied the careful expression on Lark’s
face. The petite woman, so strong and capable and often surprising,
looked at her with clear apprehension.
right.” Lark kicked off her pumps and lay down. “I’m here.”
you are.” With a contented sigh, Sheridan let her eyes roam freely.
Lark’s dress revealed more than the other woman knew right now. The
top, where one part of the front overlapped the other and gave the
illusion of a generous décolletage, fell apart, revealing a cream lace
bra holding firm breasts.
drank in the sight unabashedly. So luscious. Like velvet and satin. Further
down, the skirt of the dress had ridden up the slender thighs, showing
off naked, long legs. No stockings. Oh, my.
wrong?” Lark’s eyes were even darker blue now. “You don’t have
I? If you only knew how I’ve tossed and turned, with some difficulty
to boot, when your face has haunted me in the night. And your body is a
torment in itself. She had fantasized,
spent many nights, awake or asleep, dreaming and imagining. You. Just
like this. “Sometimes I do,” Sheridan confessed noncommittally.
sorry. I haven’t heard anything, or I’d have woken you up.”
Troubled eyes, that soft, pink mouth.
a remedy for all this,” Sheridan said huskily. “There is
something you can do to help me get rid of my nightmares and stop the
pain. However, I’m afraid it’s not mentioned in your job description.”
tell me anyway,” Lark whispered. “Let’s just say I’m off duty
right now. I’ve gone home.”
Sheridan closed her eyes briefly. “Kiss me.”
flinched visibly. Her lips trembled, and she stared at Sheridan with
something resembling panic.
God, oh God, I was wrong. I take it back. Don’t look at me like that,
like I’m a freak. Please, I take it back. The
horrified litany never made it to Sheridan’s vocal cords. Suddenly, in
a flurry of movements, Lark was on top of Sheridan, pressing that
enticing pink mouth onto hers. Gasping, Sheridan parted her lips and let
Lark’s passionate tongue inside to probe and taste. Finally able to
engage her arms, Sheridan pulled Lark closer, kissing her deeper,
ravaging the mouth so willingly attached to her own.
breaking loose, Sheridan gasped for air, then pressed her greedy lips
onto the very skin she had studied only moments before. Her hands tugged
at the dress, pushing the top of it down. She gasped when she realized
she’d inadvertently trapped Lark’s arms in the process. Not above
using this for her own advantage, Sheridan slowed down, staring
lustfully at the heaving chest before her. The lace bra strained over
me?” Sheridan looked at Lark. A two-second pause was about to stop her
heart from beating.
raised her chin, arching against Sheridan. “Yes.”
latched onto the left nipple, biting and sucking it through the lace,
reveling in the whimpering sounds of pleasure coming from Lark.
Impatiently she pushed the bra up, revealing two rock-hard nipples,
looking ready like ripe raspberries. Sheridan licked them, nibbled and
chewed them. She couldn’t get enough. When they were finally too raw
to even blow air at, she helped Lark out of the top of the dress
completely and released her arms.
her bra, Lark tossed it on the floor. She gazed at Sheridan with a
calculating expression in her eyes, suddenly reaching up and sliding the
robe off her broad shoulders.
brown nipples, pebbled and awaiting her touch. Lark didn’t know where
she found the courage, but she pushed the terry-cloth robe open all the
way down. Sheridan wore lace thong panties, which Lark already knew. She
stared at the dark triangular shadow beneath the flimsy fabric.
like what you see?” Sheridan asked in a hoarse tone of voice.
mouth watering, Lark could only nod. She had seen Sheridan in a state of
undress many times before. Never like this. She’s beautiful.
“You’re beautiful.” Her own voice startled her into action.
Leaning forward Lark took a taut nipple into her mouth, sucking it
lingeringly, increasing the pressure on it until Sheridan cried out.
Oh. Damn it, Lark …” Shivering, the other woman pushed herself off
the bed and further into Lark’s mouth. “I have needed this … you
… so much. For so long. Damn you.” Sheridan was sobbing now.
bothered by what Sheridan was saying, Lark pinched the abandoned nipple
as she moved onto the other, biting it, lavishing attention on the
puckered skin with her tongue.
Sheridan obviously tried to remain in control of her raging lust, but
she failed miserably. It was as if each little bite of Lark’s teeth
fueled the fire, drove her closer and closer to the abyss.
Sheridan’s hands shot out and grabbed Lark by the shoulders before she
rolled them both over. Ending up half on top of the smaller woman,
Sheridan kissed Lark deeply, and her tongue probed every part of the
sweetness of her mouth.
heart thundering, Lark surrendered. She knew the built-up energy between
them, the lust, the looks, was all going to come crashing down today.
They had circled each other for almost a year, sticking to their
respective roles of employer and employee, but now that was all over.
Lark knew Sheridan was going to take her.
soft fabric of Lark’s skirt lay bunched up in a ring around her waist.
Sheridan’s eyes burned at the sight of the silk and lace boxers
underneath. Don’t shred them. Careful now. She slid down the
bed, grateful for all the training allowing her to move as effortlessly
as she did. Nuzzling the boxers, she reached up under the skirt and
found the waistband, tugging at it.
wordlessly raised her hips, allowing Sheridan to remove her underwear.
She groaned quietly at the feeling of pushing the garment down silky
smooth legs. Lark surprised her, kicking off with when Sheridan couldn’t
reach any further down, spreading her legs slowly, in a gesture of trust
moaned out loud this time and knew there was no turning back. She had to
have Lark, even if it was only this once. Mine to have, this one
time. She had to take what was offered and use it well, or she’d
go insane. Maneuvering her body in between the slender legs, she inhaled
the special scent that was a little bit flowery, but mostly all Lark.
Soft, downy hair, trimmed but not shaved, did not manage to hide the
damp folds, swollen and slightly separated, underneath.
Sheridan’s amazement, Lark reached down, using both hands to part them
further. “Please. Touch me.” There was a bated anticipation in Lark’s
Is she crazy? Doesn’t she know how much I want this? Want her? Resting
on her elbows, Sheridan dipped her head and let her tongue slide along
the wet sex. Avoiding the protruding ridge, she licked and tasted every
part of Lark, making the woman beneath her cry out and shiver--long,
reverberating shudders rocking the bed.
no, no! Take me!” Lark cried out, when Sheridan had enjoyed her taste
for minutes that seemed like an eternity. “You owe me. You owe me for
all these months … all this time when I’ve looked at you …
forbidden fruit…” Tears streamed down flushed cheeks. “You owe me,
Sheridan tried to grasp what Lark was saying. I owe you, do I?
She couldn’t think clearly. Flattening her tongue against the
trembling clitoris, coaxing it further out with her agile tongue,
Sheridan could only think of one thing. Lark was going to come, and come
hard. And it was going to be because of her, Sheridan.
soared. She climbed towards the orgasm, sometimes almost having it
within her reach, but it eluded her time after time. She whimpered,
spreading herself further, making more room for the woman between her
she groaned. “It hurts. I need to come.”
felt Sheridan move to the left and then several fingers of Sheridan’s
hand pressed against her, moving into her, filling her up, while the
skilled tongue massaged her clitoris.
The convulsions came without any forewarning. She clenched her teeth,
her back arching off the bed as the prickling needles of pleasure
erupted from her sex, traveling via her veins, throughout her legs and
abdomen in wave after wave.
filled her, and yet she was still bucking under Sheridan, whose fingers
still took her. This is it. This is what I’ll
have to remember, to take with me.
fingers still inside, Sheridan hauled herself up along Lark’s body,
the robe half on, half off. “You’re amazing. You’re wonderful.”
Her voice was a strange mix of fury and reverence, and Lark buried her
face against the damp skin of Sheridan’s neck.
it over?” she managed.
Touch me,” Sheridan replied darkly.
a dying woman gaining reprieve, Lark pushed her right hand between them,
sliding her fingers in between Sheridan’s legs, in underneath the
thong. The molten heat and copious wetness made her gasp, and without
thinking, she pushed on, going inside. Feeling immediate flutters of an
imminent orgasm, her thumb began to circle the large, swollen clitoris.
a strangled sound, Sheridan pressed her cheek against Lark’s shoulder,
deep sobs shaking her tall frame. Seeping from her eyes, the tears ran
down both their cheeks, mingling with sweat.
close,” Lark murmured. “You’re … close.”
flutters turned into waves, which in turn built up to convulsions,
rocking back and forth inside Sheridan, tugging at Lark’s own body,
sending her across a second precipice. Hearing the heartbreaking cries
from Sheridan, Lark closed her eyes, knowing they moved toward the end.
She carefully retracted her hand, and instead wrapped both arms around
the other woman. “I don’t want to leave. Not really.”
lay resting against Lark’s shoulder. Her heart rate was slowing down,
as was her breathing. Her mind, on the contrary, was whirling, examining
Lark’s words. She doesn’t want to leave. Or
was that lust speaking?
faint trembling in the smaller body next to her defied that last worry.
“Why?” There was no reply and Sheridan realized she would have to
take the next leap of faith. “I don’t want you to leave me either. I
want you to stay.”
enough. Digging deep into the recesses of what
was left of her courage, Sheridan raised her head and, looking up into
the marbled eyes, saw nothing but guarded kindness. “I can’t imagine
my life without you.”
eyes turned into the softer kind of blue. “Anyone can help you with
physiotherapy and administer your medication.”
I know that.”
why do you want me to stay?”
…” Sheridan closed her eyes for a moment. “You reach me like
nobody else can. You’re very good at what you do. If you leave, it’ll
be hell …”
do you mean?” Lark was apparently not beyond prodding to get an honest
flashed for a second and made Sheridan tighten her grip around Lark. “This,
damn it! The way you touch me. How you don’t let my fucking body turn
you away … turn you off, for that matter.” Her voice sank into a
husky whisper. “With you, I feel like I can be well again, whole again,
even if I’ll never walk.”
smiled, a tremulous movement of lips displaying perfect teeth. “You
mean a lot to me.”
she staying? Barely able to breathe she pushed
Sheridan’s cheeks, Lark’s warm hand sent the message even before the
other woman spoke. “If you truly want me to stay, I’ll have to be
more. I mean, more than your assistant.” She raised her head, brushing
her lips across Sheridan’s. “All the time I’ve worked for you, I’ve
felt I belong here. Even some of your other employees commented on it.
It tore me apart when you were the only one who couldn’t see it.”
see it,” Sheridan whispered. Oh, God, I could have lost her. “I
know that now.”
see you.” And I never want to close my eyes
Lark kissed her again. “I see you too.”
Promise me. No more fantasies. Reality.
Sheridan pulled the discarded robe over them both.
up against the taller frame next to her, Lark simply nodded, then yawned.
right. “All right, baby. Sleep now.” Sheridan
was afraid to relax enough to go to sleep. Not just yet. I
won’t close my eyes.
few minutes later, she knew sleep was settling upon her. Giving in, she
pulled the woman in her arms closer.