Fire and Ice

Part 3 of 4

by Friction

Danielle sat paralyzed on her bed. She had no tears left. The best day of her life had suddenly become the worst. She had always envisioned her twenty third year as a turning point in her life. Always hoped that by some miracle things would at last fall into place for her. Instead, she was devastated, her heart broken.

She reached for the medallion hanging on the bedpost. Her fingers tingled as she ran them over the surface. She clenched it tightly in her hand. Her thoughts drifted to Alex and her deception. The medallion grew warm. As, her hurt and disappointment escalated to anger and frustration, the medallion began to radiate a heat that she could not ignore. She opened her hand and touched the delicate engravings. The spiral patterns like those on her journal made her thoughts return to Alex.

Her mind flashed back to Alex saving her life and she knew it wasn’t all a lie. It couldn’t be. She had an instinct about people. Alex had been kind to her. There was no denying that the time she had spent with her had been the happiest in her life. But it was much more than that. Danielle was in love with Alex, hopelessly. The medallion popped open with a soft click, startling her. Carefully she held it up and looked inside.

She blinked her eyes, disbelieving what they revealed. The locket held two oval sepia tone photos. On the right side was a picture of a woman that could have been Alex’s twin. On the left was a woman who looked very much like herself. She knew immediately that it was her grandmother who had died before she was born. Carefully, she extracted the image with her likeness and looked at the back. It read, Briana, descendent of Gabrielle of Poteidaia. She carefully replaced it and took out the one that resembled Alex. The notation on the back indicated that the woman’s ancestor was Xena of Amphipolis.

The half remembered tale of her grandmother running off with a woman came back to her. The implications of the photos were clear. She closed the locket and clutch it to her chest. She needed to find Alex. They had to talk. She grabbed her car keys and headed out the door.


Part V


Alex berated herself for her carelessness. She couldn’t imagine why she hadn’t gotten rid of the scarf and wondered if subconsciously she had wanted Danielle to find out all along. It had ended their friendship quickly and irrevocably. Something she did not have the will to do. She deeply regretted the pain she had caused Danielle, but it was out of her hands now. The important thing was that Danielle was safe. Somehow Alex had to move on.

Never one to indulge in self pity, she tried to convince herself this was for the best and struggled to keep sorrow from engulfing her. If she focused on what she had lost, the pain would paralyze her. She had to plan her next move. She couldn’t afford to get sloppy. Her mother and brother would be in danger if she were arrested.

It was time to leave town. Her heart grew heavy as she thought of the numerous times had she packed up her few belongings and moved on. For the first time it felt like she was leaving home. Her pain deepened as she realized that Danielle was the reason for that.

Walking through the cabin, gathering up her scant possessions, proved to be tortuous. There were memories of Danielle everywhere. Her eyes fell on the champagne cork on the stand beside the bed. She flashed back to the surprised expression on Danielle face when the champagne had sprayed her. The memory of Danielle tore at her heart. Alex carefully set the cork down and hastily left the room.

She was almost out the door when her cell phone rang, startling her out of her thoughts. She hesitated answering it, then relented.


"Julian." She expelled a frustrated sigh. This was the last thing she needed.

"My sources tell me your in New York. I have a job for you to do."

"I was leaving today. Things are beginning to unravel here." She forced the emotion she felt from her voice.

"I’m sure you can handle it. What difference will a few days make?" She grimaced. The idea of remaining at the cabin with her memories was unbearable.

"What do you want?"

"A van Gogh from the MET."

"Alex laughed sarcastically. "Oh... is that all."

"You can consider it a personal favor." There was a hint of urgency in his voice.

Alex listened intently, wondering if she might at last have an out.

"It’s not like I’m asking you to break into Fort Knox. This shouldn’t be much of a problem for you."

"Easy for you to say,"

He laughed. "Alex, you’re so resourceful. I’m sure you won’t let me down. I’ll contact you in a few days."

Unable to leave town and unwilling to return to the cabin, Alex set up camp in the surrounding woods. When her life was bleakest she found solace in the forest. The quiet darkness and star filled sky were usually a comfort to her, but not tonight. She was miserable. She sat by the fire staring at Danielle’s journal. She couldn’t summon the will to read it. Yet she found a curious comfort in holding it close.

If only she hadn’t gotten involved in Danielle’s life. But she had, and Danielle was suffering because of it. Had the young woman been serious about her journal being of no use to her? Did she mean she wouldn’t write anymore? Alex pushed the thought from her mind. It was too painful. She ran her hands over the spiral design and summoned the courage to open it. Nervously she flipped to the last entry.


In my mind, there is but one certainty. I want Alex: in my heart, in my life and in my bed. My attraction for her is utterly compelling. The desire I feel for her is overpowering. I long for her touch. I want to feel the heat of her skin beneath my fingers. I can’t stop thinking of what it would be like to feel her body pressed to mine. I want to climb inside her, feel her arms around me. The thought that it might never be, leaves me aching, hungry. Traces of her scent linger in my mind. I dread the time we are apart. At last I know desire and my misery is exquisite.

When I can’t be with her, the night is my solace. In sleep I have Alex. My unconsciousness thoughts are more than fantasies. They have the feel of recollections, something between a dream and a memory. Her arms have never held me like a lover. Her lips have never kissed mine and yet I hunger for the sensations they would elicit. When we are together my eyes refuse to leave her. And when our eyes meet, even fleetingly, it is electric. I know those eyes. But only in my dreams do I see the need in them, their hunger for me.


Alex closed her eyes, her soul blanketed in a sorrow from which there was no escape.


The drive to the cabin seemed endless. Faced with the prospect of never seeing Alex again, the memories she had of their time together made her heart ache. Yet her mind refused to discard the vivid images. As painful as they were, they seemed essential to her very being.

It was inconceivable that only hours ago her life had been filled with promise and now things were desperately bleak. Danielle feared Alex was already gone. The thought that she might never see her again was terrifying. She prayed for a second chance, one more opportunity to speak with her.

Danielle’s heart sank as she pulled into the driveway. Alex’s car was gone. The cabin was dark. She tried the door. It was locked. She slipped her hand deep into the sleeve of Alex’s leather jacket and broke the glass on the door. Reaching inside, she unlocked it and entered. The sight of the familiar room filled her with longing. She went to the bedroom. The closet doors were open and Alex’s clothes were gone.

Suddenly weak, she sat on the bed. She had never felt so alone in her life. She was ready to walk out of the room when something on the bedside table caught her eye. She picked up the champagne cork and rolled it in her hand, gently she closed her fingers around it. "Where are you Alex?"


Danielle walked out on the porch and looked out over the water. If Alex didn’t want to be found it was unlikely that she would ever see her again. She walked toward the lake unsure of what to do next. The moon light sparkled off the surface of the water, but Danielle never noticed the beauty before her. She walked along the shore lost in her thoughts.

The medallion around her neck seemed to pulse against her skin, bringing her out of her contemplation. As she ran her fingers over the spiraled surface, her pain became more acute and her eyes filled with tears. When she tilted her head back to wipe them away, a flicker of light in the distant woods caught her attention. Mindlessly, she headed toward it. As she neared, she saw it was a campfire. Her heart began to race as she moved quietly toward it. She was about twenty feet away when she saw her, bathed in the glow of the fire’s light, her head bowed down solemnly. Danielle came forward slowly. Her approach was nearly silent but Alex felt her presence long before she heard her. She turned to face Danielle. Her face mirrored the anguish she felt.

Even in the dim light Danielle could see her pain, She had never seen Alex so vulnerable. Danielle stilled, afraid her friend might bolt. Alex turned back to the fire, struggling to compose herself.

"Alex I need to talk to you..."

She kept her back to Danielle, knowing her face would betray her and reveal too much.

"Please, you owe me that much." Danielle watched Alex’s shoulders stiffen at her words.

Alex did not respond. It was all she could do to keep her body from shaking.

"Did you read my journal?"

Alex looked deep into the fire, as if to draw strength from it. She nodded. "I’m so sorry. I never meant to hurt you."

"Were you going to leave without saying good-bye?"

"I thought you would call the police" She swallowed her pain. "You should have."

Alex’s words hurt. "I would never... What reason have I given you not to trust me? I… I lied to protect you. You... read my journal. You know everything... and I know nothing." Tears slid down her cheeks.

Alex lower her head in shame. "I don’t deserve your trust."

"You saved my life. You... touched my heart. If you care even a little... you’ll stay, give me time to understand... time to talk."

"I... Danielle please... you should leave."

"No, damn it! Tell me what your thinking! Don't shut me out." Danielle was frustrated, desperate.

"I can’t... I’m sorry... Please believe me... you’ll be better off without me." Her voice was shaky but resolved, for once in her life she intended to do what was right.

Danielle closed the distance between them and grabbed her wrist, pulling the taller woman around to face her. "I’m not leaving until you talk to me."

"Please... let this go." Alex felt the skin of her wrist tingle from the young woman’s touch. She avoided the hypnotic green eyes that sought her out, fearing she would lose what little control remained.

"No, you mean too much to me! I have to know the truth. I have to know how you feel."

Alex met her gaze for the first time, reaching deep inside for the strength to do what she knew was right. "It doesn’t matter how I feel, I’ve done things... things you can’t begin to imagine. I’ve made enemies. People who would get pleasure from hurting you. We can’t be together. I’ve been fooling myself. I can’t put you in that kind of danger." Her voice was firm, final.

Danielle released her wrist and looked down sadly. "I’m never going to see you again, am I?"

Alex felt the young woman’s despair. The last thing she wanted was to cause her more pain. Her hand reached out to comfort her. "I’m sorry. It’s best this way." Her fingertips lightly brushed the smaller woman’s arm.

The casual touch ignited a spark inside Danielle. Her body responded instantly and she knew she could not give Alex up without a fight. There had to be a way to convince her.

"Your leaving is not best for me!" Danielle clenched her hands in frustration. "You don’t know what you’re throwing away, for both of us. I can’t let you give up on us."

The young woman’s words hurt so much that Alex didn’t think she could endure it. She took a shaky step back.

"You don’t understand. I have a darkness in me that..." She paused knowing it was impossible for Danielle to comprehend the extent of her sins. "I’m no better than the monster that tried to rape you. I’ve done so many things I..." Her voice cracked with emotion. "You have to forget me." She looked at her helplessly.

The pain Danielle saw broke her heart. She met Alex’s eyes. "There is good in you, so much. I see it. I feel it." Her voice was gentle, but resolute. "We’re meant to be together. I don’t understand it, but I know in my heart it’s true and I think you do, too."

Danielle slipped the medallion from her neck. "Alex, this isn’t a medallion. It’s a locket. It opens." She placed it in the woman’s palm and gently curled Alex’s finger’s around it.

"Think about leaving me for my own good. Think about a life without me." Alex’s eyes welled with tears. She opened her hand quickly, startled by the medallion’s change in temperature. She looked at the young woman, puzzled.

Danielle’s took Alex’s hand in her own and pressed her fingers closed on the medallion. She held Alex’s fist in both of her hands. "Now, think of the time we’ve spent together, the moments we shared. The time at the lake."

Alex inhaled as she felt an energy build within her, surging down her arm until it passed through her skin into Danielle. For an instant they were one, it was electric. Danielle released Alex’s hand and stepped back, breathless. Alex stood motionless, trying to understand what had happened.

"Open your hand." Danielle watched as Alex raised her hand, the medallion in her outstretched palm. It popped open. Alex held it up in the firelight.

"That’s my grandmother. And I’m willing to bet the other woman is your ancestor. The resemblance is amazing."

Alex’s hand trembled as she gave the locket back to her. She knew she had experienced something miraculous, but it didn’t change her situation or the danger she posed to Danielle.

"Danielle, I can’t gamble with your life. I won’t."

"Tell me you don’t feel anything for me and I’ll leave."

Alex looked away, summoning the courage to lie. Before she could begin, Danielle interrupted her.

"Alex, please don’t do this."

"I’m sorry ... I can’t. My past would haunt us, destroy any chance we might have of a life together."

"This is the biggest mistake of your life. Please give us more time!" Alex looked away and stepped back, putting more space between them. Danielle watched her retreat sadly. "There’s nothing I can say to change your mind?"

Alex shook her head.

Danielle inhaled deeply. She had never known such despair. "That’s it then?"

"Yes..." Alex responded weakly.

Tears overflowed Danielle’s eyes and she turned to walk away. The medallion tingled in her grasp. She stopped and turned to face Alex. It was now or never. She could not leave without expressing what was in her heart. Danielle took a deep breath.

"Alex, I... I love you. You touched something deep inside me. From the first moment I saw you, I knew you were the only one for me." Alex remained silent.

"God I wish you could tell me how you feel. I know you care. I’ve seen it in your eyes... felt it in your touch."

"Danielle, I’m sorry...I don’t... feel..." She quickly averted her eyes, unable to finish the lie.

"You don’t feel what...? The same....? I don’t believe you. Why were you following me the night I was attacked? Why did you return my journal and the medallion? Why have you stayed?" Danielle tired to make eye contact. "Alex, why did you save the champagne cork?"

She braced herself for Alex’s denial. When it didn’t come she continued. "Can you live the rest of your life wondering what we might have shared? I can’t." She took a nervous breath. "I.. I’m drawn to you. I have nearly driven myself crazy with fantasies of what it would be like to share my life with you... to be with you."

Danielle glanced away shyly. "I... I never felt desire until I met you... I can’t live my life not knowing the feel your lips on mine. I... I want you to...."

She raised her eyes slowly to meet Alex’s. "I need you to kiss me."

Danielle’s heart hammered desperately, fearing both rejection and acceptance. "Please, one kiss and if you still want me to, I’ll leave... let you go."

Alex took a step toward Danielle. Her heart ached as she viewed the anguish and longing in the young woman’s eyes. She wanted to take Danielle in her arms. Her need was so intense it seemed a physical pain. She reached her hand tentatively toward Danielle’s face. Her fingers lightly brushing the young woman’s trembling lips. Alex could not suppress the urgency pulsing through her. She wanted Danielle, desperately.

Danielle placed her right hand behind Alex’s neck and sunk the fingers into the dark silky hair. Alex’s body reacted before her mind could object. Her head bent forward, her lips only inches from the woman before her. Slowly, Danielle pulled her in. When their lips touched, Danielle moaned, her entire being tingled with sensation. Her mind and body reeled. Suspended out of time and space, there was only she and Alex.

She pressed into the kiss and shivered as Alex’s tongue slipped past her lips. She felt Alex tremble as her body succumbed to her need. The powerful woman melted in her arms, all resistance gone. The moment was electric.

Alex’s strong hands gripped Danielle’s waist, pulling her in. Their bodies pressed together in a fevered union. The heat was searing. Their kiss was endless.

Danielle’s body came alive. She ground her hips sensually against Alex. The dark-haired woman moaned and broke the kiss, her eyes searching Danielle’s. The love and need she saw there were dizzying. She closed her eyes, struggling to regain control. Her body thrummed with desire, making rational thought impossible. She didn’t have the will to fight it. Nothing in her life had ever felt so right.

Danielle whispered breathlessly. "Don’t stop, please... let it happen." Her eyes pleaded, but Alex never saw the urgency there. She was focused on Danielle’s full lips. She had tasted their sweetness and she was lost. Alex swept the young woman up in her arms and carried her to the fire, laying her gently on her sleeping bag. She knelt beside her.

A primal need reflected in Alex’s eyes as she stared hungrily at the woman before her. Her feelings spilled from her in a heartfelt confession, her voice hoarse with passion. "Forgive me... I want you so much."

Danielle didn’t hesitate, she took advantage of Alex’s weakness and pulled her down, rolling on top of her. She bent down, her tongue seeking the sweet taste of Alex’s mouth. Her thirst was insistent, driven by years of yearning. Every nerve in her body tingled. The thought that Alex might falter and pull back made her advances even more fervent. She had to have her, there was no turning back. "Alex I need you... I need you so."

"Yes... Oh yes."

Her words caused Danielle’s passion to shift from a slow burn to a blaze that was totally consuming. Their lips met again and her body trembled with the contact. Danielle’s heart felt like it would explode. All thought was gone. She was driven by instinct alone, euphoric as her body pressed against the length of Alex, claiming what she so desperately desired. She moaned and drank in her heat.

Slowly she pulled back, straddling Alex. Her face flush with excitement. Her lightweight skirt was pushed up tightly around her hips. Her breathing was heavy, fevered. A thin covering of moisture shone on her skin in her body’s futile attempt to cool itself. She looked to Alex for the release only she could provide.

When their eyes met, Alex thought she might die for want of this woman. She reached up and slowly unbuttoned Danielle’s shirt, sliding it off her shoulders. The sight of the young woman’s breasts took her breath away. Her erect nipples strained forward, begging for attention.

Her hands roamed up Danielle’s sides. She wanted to run her tongue over the eager flesh, to take each tenderly in her mouth. It was impossible to hold back. Her fingertips gripped the soft skin as her thumbs grazed the tip of each breast.

"Ohhh yes." Danielle moaned and her head fell back.

Alex pulled her down, capturing the young woman’s mouth. The sweet taste of her was indescribable. She could not get enough. Effortlessly Alex rolled her over, gaining the top position. She sat back on her heels, breathless. Kneeling between Danielle’s legs, she unfastened her skirt, tossing it aside.

Danielle reached up to unbutton Alex’s top. Her fingers trembled with anticipation, making the task difficult. Desperately, she grabbed the edges of the material and forced them apart, releasing a shower of buttons.

Alex gasped in surprise. Danielle smiled, pleased by her reaction. The passion Alex saw in her young lover’s eyes inflamed her. She claimed Danielle’s mouth once more, groaning as their bare breasts touched. Her hands grasped Danielle’s bottom, kneading the pliant flesh. She pulled her onto her lap.

Danielle wrapped her legs around Alex’s waist, causing her to emit a low passionate groan. Alex had never felt such softness. Their bodies melded, as if they were each part of the same being.

Danielle greedily captured her mouth. Alex breathlessly relented as her lover’s inquisitive tongue pressed past her lips, exploring her with the ardor of a first love.

Throughout their kiss, Danielle pressed her sex firmly against Alex. The sensation of the wet cotton panties against her belly inflamed her. She slid a finger past the elastic waistband, desperate to rid Danielle of the garment without breaking the delicious contact.. She pulled back and looked into her lover’s eyes while tugging gently at the thin material that separated her from what she needed more than air.

"Pleeease... do it!" Danielle’s voice was hoarse, her eyes glazed with passion.

Alex recaptured her mouth and with two quick rips removed the unwanted clothing. With the last barrier gone, she felt Danielle’s naked sex press against her and released a shuddering sigh. Danielle immediately spread her legs wider, increasing their contact. Alex moaned as she felt the evidence of Danielle’s desire, wet and slippery, coat her skin. She pressed the young woman to her. Nearly lost in the rapture, she wanted to taste her, to thrust into her. Her fingers gently grasped the young woman’s bottom and slowly lifted and lowered her in a sensual rhythm. The heat of Danielle’s slick center gliding over her taut abdomen was delicious. Alex lightly caressed her lover’s earlobe with her lips. Then softly nipped her neck, breathing hotly against her skin.

Danielle was delirious with pleasure. The sensation of her swollen clit rubbing against Alex’s hot flesh caused her to moan unrestrained. The contact was intense, unrelenting. It was ecstasy. She felt an exquisite tension coiling inside her and knew instinctively that the rapture that she had yearned for her entire life was almost upon her. She was nearing orgasm, and she wanted it, more than she had ever wanted anything.

Her head fell back as she clung to the strong woman’s shoulders. "Ohhh... Alex... "

"Let go, I’ve got you." Alex whispered softly.

Instantly it was upon her. Danielle’s body went rigid and she cried out, gripping her lover’s shoulders as spasm after spasm tore through her. Her body quivered as glorious sensations spiraled outward from her center. It seemed to go on and on as Alex maintained the steady rhythm, prolonging her pleasure.

Danielle took a long trembling breath and collapsed against her lover, her head cradled in the hollow of the older woman’s shoulder. Nothing had prepared the young woman for the magnitude of her release. When her senses slowly returned, the raw intensity of her emotions overwhelmed her and she cried in her lover’s embrace. Alex pulled the sleeping bag around them and held Danielle lovingly in her arms, rocking her gently.

Soon, Danielle calmed and looked deeply into her eyes. "Alex, I remember you. My body remembers you."

She softly kissed Alex’s face. Her lips lightly brushing her brows. She tenderly stroked her dark hair, afraid this was some wonderful dream that she would awaken from. Her fingers gently trace the fine features of Alex’s face in an attempt to verify she was real.

Danielle searched Alex’s eyes for a sign that her love was returned. The adoration she in her lover’s eyes made her fears disappear.

"I’ve never been so happy. Please... give us a chance."

Tears rolled down Alex’s cheeks as she hugged Danielle. She tried to imagine how she could go on without this woman in her life. Her carefully constructed walls were crumbling. Like it or not, her heart had opened to this remarkable young woman. She realized that regardless of her decision, she owed Danielle the truth about her feelings.

She pulled Danielle tightly to her and whispered. "No matter what happens... know that I love you... more than life."

Alex’s words filled Danielle with joy, renewing her conviction. She would find a way to make Alex understand that they were stronger together than apart. She looked deep into her eyes, trying to express feelings there were no words for.

The sky opened, releasing a light rain. Alex tipped her head back and let the cool water splash her face. Danielle watched entranced, as water droplets sparkled on her lover’s lashes. The woman before her was truly magnificent... and hers. Her mouth hungrily claimed Alex’s and their passion flared, mindless of the persistent rain.


Back at the cabin, the two women sat naked in front of the fireplace holding hands. They stared into the glowing flames. Both needed to maintain physical contact, a link between them. Unfamiliar emotions left Alex confused and vulnerable, for the first time in her life she was truly afraid.

Danielle looked dreamily into the fire. She was caught in the wake of physical pleasure of an intensity she had never imagined. She didn’t want it to end. Her body had felt nothing for so long, that now she allowed herself to reveal in the incredible sensations she had experienced. Alex loved her. There was nothing she could not face. Danielle would not back down. She had to have Alex in her life.

Finally, she drew in a long breath and summoned the courage to speak, praying she would be able to convince Alex of the miracle that she now wholeheartedly embraced: they were destined to be together.

"I want to express what you mean to me, but I don’t have words to communicate the love I feel. I need to be with you." She took Alex’s hand and press the long fingers to her lips.

"My entire life, I knew that something vital to my being was missing. At last I have found you. I feel whole." She paused and looked intently in her lover’s eyes. Finding only love there, she continued. "Can’t you feel it?"

Alex did, but couldn’t reply. Her throat was tight with emotion. Her feelings were consuming her. It was too much. She gently squeezed Danielle’s hand.

Danielle squeezed back comfortingly. "Alex I know I told you I would leave if that’s what you decided, but I... I don’t think I can. There’s no going back for me. I am so sure of us. I am willing to risk anything to be with you. Anything... Please don’t send me away. I’m asking you to trust in our love."

She held Alex’s face in her hands, desperate for her lover to understand.

A single tear slid down Alex’s cheek. She rose and stood before the fire, staring into the hypnotic flames. The thought of something happening to Danielle terrified her. The young woman’s safety was her main concern. Still, she couldn’t dismiss the miracle of Danielle’s love. She had no doubt that they were meant to be together. There was no denying that for some inexplicable reason their destinies were intertwined. She needed Danielle and believed in her heart that Danielle needed her. There were no easy solutions.

She felt the warmth of Danielle’s hand as it slid into her own and a calm enveloped her. The tension drained from her body. She sat down and parted her legs, gently seating Danielle between them. Alex eased her lover back against her bare chest, solving her need for contact, without revealing the emotions she was struggling with. She wrapped her arms tenderly around Danielle and gently rocked her back and forth, unsure if her actions were meant to comfort herself or her young lover. Danielle remained silent, relishing their closeness. She waited patiently, allowing Alex the time she needed.

Slowly Alex came to her decision. Closing her eyes, she allowed herself to feel the soothing presence of the young woman’s sitting between her bent legs. The warmth of Danielle hips against her inner thighs, the softness of her hair against her breasts was heavenly. She was keenly aware of the heat that radiated from her body at each place their skin made contact. It amazed her how in such a very short time Danielle had come to mean everything to her.

She took a deep breath and whispered softly into her lover’s ear. "Together then... for better or worse, we’ll go through this together." Danielle’s heart leapt. She tilted her face up and eased back against her lover’s soft breasts.


Alex bent to capture the eager lips of her young lover. Her kiss sent streams of tingling pleasure to Danielle’s core. A warm flush radiated through her body and she became acutely aware of Alex’s erect nipples pressing against her back. She wanted to turn to face Alex but her body refused to break the warm embrace.

She struggled to speak. "Alex I want you, I want to make love to you. Show me how to please you."

Alex smiled and breathed hotly into her lover’s ear. "Mmmm... yes, I’ll show you. We’ll practice... on you." The deep tone of Alex’s voice made Danielle’s pulse quicken, her body instantly responding to the idea.

"I’ll go very slowly, so you’ll remember every kiss... every touch." She felt her young lover’s body tremble. Danielle moaned, her passion heightened by her lover’s words. Her head lolled back and rested on her partner’s strong shoulder. Alex’s fingers moved across Danielle’s torso with feathery light caresses. The teasing contact was delicious. Alex cupped her lover’s breasts in her hands. Her thumbs circled Danielle’s erect nipples.

"I love the way your body responds to me." She whispered sensually.

The warmth of her lover’s breath and heat of her words eroded the last of Danielle’s inhibitions. All traces of the reserved woman she had once been were gone. Unabashed, she arched into her lover’s touch.

Alex’s thumbs brushed the harden tips of the her lover’s breasts, flicking the sensitive points. Danielle moaned as she felt moisture trickle from her opening. Encouraged by her lover’s reaction, Alex rolled the aching nipples between thumb and forefinger, pulling gently. Danielle groaned with pleasure. Alex’s left hand continued to caress her lover’s breasts while her right hand ventured lower. Her fingers at last reaching their destination, slowly sliding through the curly golden hair and across the moist outer lips. Danielle could not contain her excitement. She cried out.

"Do you need me to stop?"

"God no... please."

Alex smiled, pleased at the urgency in her voice. She used two fingers to spread her lover’s lips and glided through the ample wetness, the inside of her fingers lightly stroking either side of the young woman’s clitoris. Danielle felt herself climbing quickly. She was very close.

"Mmm, you’re so swollen, so ready." Alex smiled. Do you now how desirable I find you, how much you please me?" Danielle’s breathing quickened.

"You’re capable of such pleasure. This beautiful body was just waiting for me, for my touch." Alex purred.

"Yes... oh God I... I..." Danielle exclaimed. Her heart pounded as her body flooded with excitement.

"You’re almost there again, aren’t you?" She stopped the motion of her fingers and felt her lover’s hips thrust toward them in an attempt to resume contact.

"Ohhh Alex... pleeease... "

"Oh no... not so quickly this time. You can sustain arousal for a long time. A very long time." Danielle trembled. It was such exquisite torture. Her body writhed against Alex, begging for her touch. She wanted more.

Alex redirected Danielle’s attention by lightly squeezing her nipple. At the same time, she ran the other hand along the inside of Danielle’s thigh. "I’m going to enter you very slowly. Are you ready?" Danielle couldn’t form words, she nodded vigorously.

Alex poised one finger at the young woman’s entrance and slid into her teasingly slow. She delighted as Danielle’s muscles tightened around her, pulling her deeper, until at last she was all the way in. She remained motionless allowing the young woman’s body to become acutely aware of her presence. Alex reveled in the warmth and softness surrounding her. It was heavenly.

"Oh, Alex.. I feel you ... so deep..." It was utter bliss for Danielle. Her emotions were raw. She felt so much. Alex sensed her surge of emotion and began to ease her finger out.

"Please..." Danielle grabbed her wrist, holding her firmly in place. "I... I feel you... your energy inside me. It’s... oh God. Pleeease... I need you."

Alex kissed her tenderly, then began a slow rhythmic thrusting, pushing deep inside then retreating to the edge of her entrance. She took her time, allowing the sensations to build inside the young woman. Danielle was climbing higher and higher, delirious with pleasure. Climax was nearly upon her, the steady pumping driving her wild. Poised at the brink of release, she held her breath. It was divine.

Then, without warning, Alex slowly extracted her finger. Danielle groaned, her inner muscles clutching at empty air. The loss made her ache. Alex adjusted her position moving out from behind the young woman and lowered her to the floor, careful not to sever physical contact. The young woman’s eyes locked with hers, desperate for an outlet for her mounting passion. She needed more and kissed Alex hungrily to express it.

Her tongue sought entrance to Alex’s mouth and the stronger woman relented, thrilled by the intensity of her lover’s desire. The kiss was more forceful and demanding than Alex had expected from the gentle woman but she loved it and submitted completely to the aggressive exploration. Soon both women were lost in the heat of the kiss, equally matched in their passion.

Gradually their frenzied efforts eased. When Alex felt Danielle’s body relax, she began to slowly rekindle the urgency. She lightly stroked her erect nipples, gently brushing her nails across the hardened nubs. Danielle’s head fell back and Alex gently pressed her knee between her lover’s legs, reminding her of her need.

Danielle moaned and arched into her partner’s thigh. Alex teased, pulling back. She positioned her firm leg inches above Danielle pulsing sex, forcing the desperate young woman to lift into her again and again, for but the briefest contact, each touch leaving her wanting. Danielle’s eyes were closed tight, fully concentrated on her effort. Her body unable to remain still.

Alex looked down at Danielle’s tense expression and longed to see the desire cloaked by long lashes and silky lids. Slowly she lowered her leg, pressing firmly against her lover’s wet center. Danielle’s eyes opened and Alex found herself looking into the depths of the young woman’s being. A soul that sought it’s twin.

Alex’s breath caught. The playfulness in her blue eyes, replaced by luminescent desire. Danielle’s heart hammered and she opened her mouth to beg her lover to continue. But, the words evaporated as she watched Alex’s head dip down and felt warm, wet lips closed on her nipple. Alex’s teeth grazed the sensitive erection, pulling while her tongue licked the aching tip. Danielle moaned softly and Alex began to suckle, with gentle but unrelenting pressure. Danielle squirmed under the tender assault, her mind adrift, swimming with pleasure. She was floating, lost in the sweet sensations.

Without warning, Alex entered her with two fingers, sliding deep inside. Danielle gasped. Alex caressed her tight walls, heightening her awareness, awakening every fiber of her being. Her suckling became more insistent. With each deep thrust, her mouth drew hard on the nipple, pulling sensations through the Danielle’s body like an electric charge. Their combined energy was building inside her, intensifying with each thrust, every pull. It was too much, and not enough.

Danielle was straining, desperate for even the slightest pressure on her clit. Her hands clenched at her sides, entangled in the fluffy comforter. The temptation to use them was great but she held back . Even at the height of her torment, she understood the perfection in her lover’s attentions and wanted experience their full impact. Just one touch and she would merge with this incredible woman, body and soul.

As if reading her mind, Alex circled the swollen nub with her thumb. It was divine torture. Danielle wanted desperately to shift her hips, force the contact. Her teeth clenched to keep from crying out and she struggled to keep still. At last, her lips parted and she exhaled in a long groan. She could not hold back.

Alex felt Danielle’s hips lift, her will broken, and let her thumb slowly glide over the swollen pulsing surface. That single stroke was all it took. The orgasm was upon her like a tidal wave. Danielle was helpless, plummeting over the edge. She cried out as currents of ecstasy raced through her, exploding in brilliant colors. She knew at once that the beautiful light that engulfed her was Alex.

As Danielle slept, Alex tried to imagine what she had done to deserve such a love. She would move heaven and earth to protect this woman. From this moment on, she would try be the person Danielle deserved.

To do that she had to free herself and that meant at least one more person had to die. And somehow she had to keep Danielle from being tainted by it.

Alex eventually drifted to sleep and dreamed of the beautiful woman she held in her arms.



Part VI


Alex awoke to a deep seeded pulling sensation. As she came to her senses, she discovered Danielle was gently suckling her breast. She opened her eyes and watched as the young woman efforts became more concentrated. A spasm shot through her as Danielle gently nipped the hardened point and she groaned in pleasure.

The young woman lifted her head and looked up innocently. "I didn’t mean to wake you. I guess, I got carried away. I couldn’t resist. You looked so luscious lying here." She was surprised by the frankness of her own words, her face colored beautifully.

Alex smiled and caressed her cheek. "So do you."

Danielle’s eyes blazed with desire as they ran the length of her lover’s body, finally fixing on Alex’s breasts. "Your nipples responded to my touch, even when you were sleeping." She said proudly, barely resisting the urge to casually swirl her tongue over the sensitive flesh already stiff with desire.

It was Alex’s turn to blush. She didn’t usually sleep so soundly. In fact, she was stunned that she hadn’t been awakened by her lover’s ministrations sooner. She could not remember the last time she had slept through the entire night, felt so at peace. The edgy tension that was so much a part of her was gone.

"What a wonderful way to wake..." Her words were abruptly cut off as Danielle ran her finger lightly across Alex’s sex and held the glistening digit up to the light, marveling at the sight. She slowly ran her tongue over her finger, sampling her lover’s essence. The erotic act sent a shiver thorough Alex.

Danielle met her gaze and smiled playfully. "I want more."

Alex inhaled sharply as the implications of her words slammed home. Before she could recover, she felt Danielle’s hair tickle her skin as her eager lover’s tongue blazed a hot trail down her anxious body.

"I want to feel you climax... with my mouth."

Danielle’s breath blew lightly against her sex. Alex eagerly lifted her hips. The first contact was a long gentle stroke, the full length of her sex. It was nearly Alex’s undoing. Her body surged with desire, responding to her younger lover’s caress.

Danielle was thorough in her exploration. Her lips gently encircled her swollen clit, eliciting a moan from her lover. She flicked her tongue over the tip in a teasingly slow rhythm that was as steady and persistent as her own heartbeat. Each stroke was timed so precisely that Alex knew it was coming an instant before the contact was made.

Her inner muscles clenched each time in anticipation. Danielle’s touch was maddeningly light. Alex tried to thrust her hips forward to force greater contact, but Danielle’s left hand pressed down on her lower abdomen, commanding her to be still.

It was all Alex could do to not to use her superior strength. The temptation to rock her hips into Danielle’s touch was irresistible. "I need more."

Danielle lifted her head for but a moment. "I know." She smiled and lowered her mouth once again to the sensitive nub, teasing her mercilessly.

Alex exhaled a long anguished moan. The world drifted away until there was nothing but the persistent attentions of Danielle’s tongue, the gentle impact of each touch. The pulsing between her legs was driving her wild and Alex trembled as she strained for release.

Suddenly, Danielle’s fingertips brushed her thigh, adding a new sensation. The determined fingers traveled slowly up to her sex. Alex stiffened and groaned as her lover’s tentative fingers pressed against her opening, seeking entrance.


As Danielle pushed deep inside, Alex’s restraint snapped. The feel of Danielle inside her sent currents of pleasure through her body. She grasped Danielle’s head with both hands. The young woman yielded and slid her tongue back and forth with increasing pressure while pumping firmly inside her.

Her inner walls clutched at Danielle’s fingers with each thrust. She sucked in a long, deep breath, and stiffened in climax. Her thighs shook and she pushed against Danielle’s diligent tongue. She shuddered, her sex pulsing with sensation.

Danielle held her, stroking her hair. "I love you Alex."

Alex looked into the green eyes that gazed at her, brimming with adoration. "And I love you. You were wonderful."

Danielle sighed happily. "I was given excellent instruction."

"Apparently..." Alex smiled. "But I don’t recall that particular lesson."

She kissed her lightly. Danielle was happy that she had pleased her, but she sensed that Alex had held back. The raw passion that burned inside her had not been released. She felt the power of the untapped energy within Alex so keenly that it crackled like static on the surface of her skin. She ran her fingers over the fine hair below Alex’s navel, expecting it to cling to the tips of her fingers.

In time her love would help Alex let go of the guilt and pain she carried. Only when Alex allowed herself to be vulnerable, allowed herself to trust, would she at last unleash her full capacity to be loved. With time, Danielle was determined to earn that trust and take her lover where only she could.

She took a deep breath and rested her head on Alex’s soft breast. "It feels like I’m awake in my dreams. I’m so happy."

Alex closed her arms around her beautiful lover and made a silent wish that she would never forget this moment.


The delicious scent of sex filled the room. Danielle was insatiable, proving the perfect match for her energetic lover. They made love all morning, napping until early afternoon. Their bodies entwined.

When Alex awoke Danielle was asleep on her breast. The feeling engulfing her was foreign and powerful. She was happy. Alex wrapped her arm around her lover’s waist, causing Danielle to stir.

"Been awake long?" Danielle asked dreamily.

"No." Alex replied kissing her lightly. Danielle looked at her wistfully.

"What are you thinking about?" Alex questioned.

"I was just thinking that I will never forget this room, this cabin, these woods." Danielle looked at Alex seriously. "We won’t be able to stay much longer, will we?"

"No, I’m sorry. Will you mind?"

Danielle shook her head. "As long as I have you, I can be happy anywhere." Alex held her close.

"Where will we go?"

"Where would you like to go?"

"I’ve always wanted to see Greece."

Alex smiled. She had similar dreams. "I think that can be arranged."

"Can we afford it?"

"Money isn’t a problem. I..." Alex stopped talking as memories of her past sins surfaced. She looked at Danielle with deep regret.

"I’m truly sorry about the robbery. If I could get your uncle’s things back I would. They’re gone." She took a deep breath and waited for Danielle’s anger to arise.

"It’s only money Alex. My uncle has lots of it. It doesn’t matter." She tried to reassure her, but felt Alex almost imperceptibly distance herself.

After several minutes Alex put her arms around Danielle and looked into her eyes.

"What. .. What is it?" Danielle asked.

"You are so quick to forgive." Danielle looked puzzled by Alex’s remark.

"You know... the robbery, the journal... the deception." The words made Alex wince. She looked away, but not before Danielle saw the sadness in her eyes.

Danielle turned on her side to face Alex directly. "Well, you didn’t know me, when you tied me up so I gave you some latitude on that one." She smiled lightly and shrugged. "As for the journal, I admit at first it felt like a terrible invasion, but..." She paused. "Alex why did you take my journal?"

"I’m not sure. There was something about the design on the front that attracted me. I didn’t even know what it was."

"Well, then... not much to forgive there."

"It’s that easy, huh?"

"Well, no" Danielle said thoughtfully. "I’ve been thinking of ways for you to make up for those little indiscretions, believe me." She winked playfully.

Alex looked back seriously. "I intend to spend the rest of my life making things right."

Danielle smiled, refusing to let her lover lapse into guilt, "It shouldn’t be such a difficult task. I can think of some very pleasurable ways for you to do that."

Alex looked off into the distance. Danielle waved her hand in front of her lover’s face. "Hey, I was hoping that would make you happy."

Alex smiled for Danielle’s benefit. The love she saw on the young woman’s face was so genuine.

Danielle stroked her lover’s cheek. "I can see the wheels turning. What are you thinking?"

Alex glanced away, unable to mask her feelings from this incredible woman. Danielle looked deep into her lovers’ eyes. "You know that I love you. There’s nothing that can change that."

"I wish that were true." Alex replied doubtfully. Danielle opened her mouth to speak but Alex continued. "You don’t really know me... at least you don’t know who I used to be." Danielle remained quiet. " If you knew everything about me, you wouldn’t be able to love me."

Danielle took Alex’s hand and pressed it to her lips. "Alex I can tell you that nothing from your past will ever change the way I feel about you. But I can’t prove it to you unless you take the first step and talk to me. I know it’s scary, but you’re going to have to trust me."

Alex slid out of bed and put on her robe. "Lets get this over with, but not here." Alex couldn’t bear to taint the memories of their incredible love making with the ugly tale she was about to tell. Danielle followed in silence out to the deck and pulled up a chair next to her. She watched as Alex poured a glass of scotch, then took her hand in support.

Alex took a sip. "I want to start at the beginning. I can’t justify what I have done. But I need you to know it all. If you decide to leave me, I’ll understand." Danielle nodded and with a deep sigh, Alex began.

"Power has always been a lure for me. I’m drawn to it, intrigued by it. All my life I was drawn to people who had it and intrigued by how they used it. At a young age I realized I could use sex to my advantage, to exert control. I used my body to get what I wanted. It was a powerful tool in those early days, an easy way to manipulate people."

Her grip tightened and she raised her eyes to meet Danielle’s. "It never meant anything to me... not until now... not until you." Danielle squeezed her hand reassuringly. The tender gesture filled Alex with such relief that she was tempted to stop and take the young woman in her arms. She forced herself to continue.

"I grew up in a bad part of the city, a rough neighborhood. My father walked out on us when I was very young and mother had her hands full trying to care for the three of us. She seemed powerless and weak. Others controlled her. I was young and foolish then and had no idea of the inner strength she possessed. I only knew her life wasn’t for me. In nature, the strong survived and I intended to be a survivor."

"I talked my younger brother into joining a gang with me, convincing him that it was the best way to protect what was ours. I had a knack for leading people and in no time I controlled the small group of street kids. They were fearless and had a ruthless reputation that was well-earned. Soon our small territory wasn’t enough for me. I wanted more... more power, more control."

"And I got it. But for a terrible price, my brother’s life. He was stabbed during a skirmish with a rival gang and died instantly. He had been the calm voice of reason in my world. Without his steadying influence, I allowed rage to envelope me."

"It didn’t take me long to track down the kid who killed him. I broke into his house and cornered him in his own bedroom. He was smaller than me and it was easy to grab him from behind. Without a second thought I slit his throat. His warm blood spilled from his body over my hands and it was done." She clasped her trembling fingers in her lap in an attempt to cover the blood only she could see there.

"When I released him, he dropped to the floor, dead. I remember looking at his motionless body, amazed at how easily I had ended his life. I..." Her voice cracked with emotion as she replayed the memory.

"I heard a noise and looked up. His kid brother, no more than 5 years old had witnessed the whole thing. He sat cowering in bed, whimpering helplessly. I’ll never forget the look on his face. I was his worst nightmare come to life, a monster. It was as if he had held a mirror to my face. For the first time I understood what I was all about. There was no going back. I knew my soul was lost."

Danielle saw the anguish on Alex’s face and held her hands in an attempt to comfort her. Alex looked right through her. Her eyes filled with regret. "There are some things that can’t be atoned for."

She freed her hands and took a long swallow of scotch. It didn’t help. The entire bottle would not have been enough to dull her memory sufficiently.

"My mother was heart broken by my brother’s death. I saw the scorn in her eyes whenever she looked at me. Both she and my elder brother blamed me. They understood the evil I was capable of even back then. They wanted to be free of me."

She took a deep breath. "I can’t blame them. I was responsible for his death as surly as if I had wielded the knife that killed him."

"I feared if I gave into my grief, I would not survive it. The gang was all I had to keep me going. I let my anger consume me. They respected strength and detested weakness. The course of my life was set. I allowed myself to be ruled by anger and pride."

"Those who knew me, feared me. This became one of my strongest weapons against my enemies. My reputation was becoming widespread. It wasn’t long before the gang wasn't enough. Soon I was recruited by a middleman for a large and powerful crime ring. In no time I had his job. The position was a stepping stone to the people who had real power."

"By now, I had proven myself sufficiently and had come to the attention of Julian Sezaree, a powerful crime boss. He was intelligent, charismatic and even more ambitious than I. In addition, he had the vision my youth lacked and showed me possibilities I had not even dreamed of. I was easily tempted by his promises of wealth and power." She shook her head and took another drink. "He had me figured me out from the beginning."

"I was eager to learn everything that he had to teach. I got into high end jewel and art crime, and even an occasional bank robbery. I was never so naive that I trusted him completely. But I was naive enough to think that I could keep one step ahead of him. I was young and stupid."

"I never worked with Julian directly back then. I was too green. In those early years, my work was sloppy and people died because of it. Although I always got the job done, Julian was often angered by my lack of planning. Eventually he set me up with partners who trained me in the areas I was weak. I was more than willing to do whatever it took to improve."

"I had learned well and went a number of years without a single kill. I meticulously planned every robbery. Soon, Julian was confident using me for the more important jobs. Things were going well, until I made a grave error. I trusted my partner and Julian."

"We were to steal a valuable collection of art work from a senator’s house. Julian put my partner in charge of the details. The job was poorly planned. The senator and his wife returned home before we were finished and in a rash move, I killed the senator."

"His wife watched in horror as his life blood bubbled from the open gash in his throat. I dropped him and went for her. She never moved. She looked right at me. Her eyes..."

Alex paused and struggled to continue. "There was something about her eyes that made me think back to that first one... and that little boy. I don’t know what came over me but I dropped the knife and pulled off my mask. That’s all I remember. My partner said I froze and he had to finish the wife. He told me that I just stood there for nearly fifteen minutes. It would have ended there if he had left me, but he didn’t. Later I found out why."

"I knew I couldn’t do it anymore and went to Julian. He laughed and said it was a little late in the game to be developing a conscious. He told me emotions made people weak, that I had a lifetime of money to make for him. It was far from over for me."

"I told him I was finished, knowing it might cost me my life and not caring. That’s when he showed me the tape my partner had made of me killing the senator. That in itself wasn’t enough to hold me and he knew it. He taunted me with my mother’s life, said how easy it would be for she and my brother to have an accident. He owned me and he knew it."

"That was four years ago. He gets about 5 million a year from me and leaves my family alone." She paused. "I’ve done some terrible things. Things I can’t change. But please believe me when I say that all I want now is to be out. I can’t do it anymore."

"You don’t have to. You can stop."

"I’m not sure I can. I’ve wanted to before… but Julian’s too powerful."

"Before you were alone. Now your not." Danielle spoke softly.

Alex searched her face for any hint of misgiving, afraid to believe Danielle would want to stay with her after everything she heard.

"Are you saying... you still want to be with me?"

"Yes, nothing will ever change that." She took Alex’s trembling hands in her own. "I’ll always be here for you." Danielle’s love seemed unshakable. Alex was deeply moved by her loyalty.

"Why? After everything I..."

"Alex, the past is written. We can’t change it. I still love you, I always will. But, I think you know that. What you’re reluctant to believe is that you deserve my love."

Danielle lovingly brushed her cheek. "You do. I’m not going anywhere. Together we’ll find our path. Our life together starts here and now."

Alex would have no more lies or deceptions between them. She paused and took her hands. "Danielle, I only know of one way to get out from under Julian’s control. As long as he’s alive I can never be free. He will never let me go. The only way we can have a life together is if he’s dead. He’s asked me to do a special job for him. I’m going to use it to lure him in and finish something I should have taken care of a long time ago. I’m going to kill him." The disapproval in Danielle’s eyes was plain. Alex avoided her glance.

"First, I have to get you out of town. Make sure your safe."

"Alex, I’m not leaving."

"Please Danielle, I need you to do this for me."

Danielle could not mask her frustration. "Alex, if you knew I was facing a danger from my past, would you leave me, to protect yourself? If I asked you to walk away, told you I needed for you to be safe would you go? Could you leave me?"

The answer was too obvious to verbalize. They both knew it.

"And why do you think it is any different for me?" She took Alex in her arms and kissed her tenderly, leaving no doubt about her complete devotion. She gently pulled back and held Alex’s face lovingly in her hands.

"There is nothing anyone can do to make me leave you. Not even you. Whatever the consequences I’m willing to pay them, because the alternative is unthinkable."

Alex knew with certainty that her salvation lie with this young woman.

"Your not alone anymore. Together we are stronger than we could ever be apart. There’s a way out of this and we’re going to find it… together."

Alex pulled Danielle to her, hugging her close.


The Conclusion - Part 4


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