Jayden Daniels took advantage of a brief respite in her day to enjoy the view from her 21st floor office. The building was in a prime location and off to her right she could just make out the perpetually blue-grey waters of Lake Tennyson. The evening was winding down and she could see sun lovers packing up for the trip home, making way for trysts of a different kind. A few birds circled overhead, calling to each other noisily she assumed, although she could hear nothing through the reinforced glass. She sighed. A part of her longed to be out there: to be out enjoying life.
Not that many people would think there was anything wrong with the life she did have. No one in their right mind would look at her and ever guess she was anything other than a successful businesswoman with a bright future laid out before her. In fact most would downright envy her. It wasn’t difficult to see why. At 45, she still retained the good looks of her youth. Sure there might be an extra line or two around her eyes, and a stray grey hair made an appearance now and then, but Jayden always took good care of herself. Her skin was still smooth, her dark brown hair was still lustrous and a ridiculously expensive personal trainer made sure that her body was surprisingly toned.
A knock on the door pulled her out of her reverie and she turned to see Edie Matthews, her secretary/friend/self appointed bodyguard, standing in the doorway and looking at her with an expression that was equal parts concern and amusement.
“Jayden, I’m leaving for the day. I just came in to drop this off.”
Jayden looked at the little box and smiled. Kathy’s anniversary gift. She felt a tiny twinge of guilt that she hadn’t gone out to get it herself, but running one of the largest advertising agencies in the region didn’t leave much time for anything else. Edie had been after her for the longest while to take a step back and hand over at least a few of the reigns to some of her more trusted executives, but Jayden had started this company herself. It was her baby and she had a hard time letting go.
She and Kathy had talked about having kids at one point, had even picked out names. They had, in fact, planned their entire lives, right down to the white picket fence. It was a lovely dream, but then their careers got in the way. They didn’t even realise it at the time. It had happened so slowly, so subtly. One more meeting. One more opportunity that couldn’t be missed. There was always just one more. Edie must have the sensed her growing sadness.
“Are you okay? You look like you drifted off there for a minute.”
“Hmm? Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just been a long day.”
“Every day is a long day for you. Go home Jayden. It’s your anniversary. Go home to Kathy.”
“I am. I will. I’m just waiting for a fax and then I can leave.”
“You can leave now. It’s nothing that can’t wait until morning.”
“It can’t. It’s for the ActaCorp account. They’ve got to approve some designs so I can give Marketing the go ahead.”
“Oh alright.” Edie always had a difficult time hiding her irritation. “But you’re out of here right after. You’ve got to live your life Jayden. You can’t keep hiding.”
“I’m not…” That was all she got out before Edie closed the door on her.
She knew it was childish but Jayden couldn’t stop herself from uttering some who-does-she-think-she-is grumbles, interspersed with a few choice expletives. It didn’t help that Edie was right. Ten minutes later, faxes received and emails sent, Jayden was just about to lock her briefcase when she heard the click of her door opening.
“What did you forget this time?” Edie was notoriously absentminded, although thankfully not when it came to her professional duties.
“To tell my boss goodnight.”
Jayden’s head jerked up in surprise to find what could very well be every gay woman’s wet dream casually leaning against the doorframe. Jenna Stewart had been with the company for roughly six months and during that time at least a third of her employees had developed a crush on the young woman. Jayden wasn’t blind, nor was she ignorant of Jenna’s charms. She was clearly a runner and had the legs to match, a fact easily confirmed by her penchant for wearing just-this-side-of-decent skirts. Hair the colour of burning coals was matched by amber eyes, and the package was topped off by pert breasts that should come with their own ‘might cause dizziness’ warning label. No, Jayden wasn’t ignorant of her charms, especially when Jenna had made it very clear who she had in her sights.
“Uh, Jenna. I was just leaving.”
“I can see that.” Her full lips curled in an amused smile. “Care to go for a drink or…something?”
Jayden didn’t miss the emphasis Jenna had placed on the last word and she felt a tiny shiver running through her. What was wrong with her? There was no denying that the younger woman was beautiful but she was married for Heaven’s sake. Today was her ten year anniversary. She shouldn’t be letting anyone get to her like this.
“I’m sorry Jenna. I’ve got plans.”
“With the wife?”
The way she said ‘wife’ made it sound as though she could have mustered the same amount of enthusiasm for ‘rabid, three toed sloth’.
“Hmm. You’d have a better time with me.”
“Jenna.” She’d meant it as a warning but Jenna was advancing towards her and it came out a little too high pitched than she liked.
“You know it’s true.”
It might well be but Jayden wasn’t about to admit it, or that she was currently thinking about clearing the table and taking the younger woman with all the reckless abandon she could muster. She was plotting an escape route when it all went to hell and Jenna kissed her. Her mind didn’t register what was happening at first, but her lips did and they were quite alright with it. It wasn’t until she felt a hand brush against her breast that she managed to pull away.
“Jenna, this isn’t going to happen. You need to leave now.”
“Is that what you really want?”
“You and I both know it isn’t, but I’ll go…for now. You know where to find me, when you need me.” With that she sauntered out of the office, fully aware of the effect she was having on Jayden. There were only two things women like Jenna craved, great sex and even greater power. Her current boss was a prime candidate to provide both and Jayden knew it was only a matter of time before her resolve crumbled.
Jayden barely noticed the three other cars in the parking lot, as buried in thought as she was. She’d managed to calm her body somewhat after the scene in her office, but her mind was reeling. Luckily driving was second nature to her. Kathy always said she was sure she could do it in her sleep but she hadn’t yet had the opportunity to prove it.
Her thoughts kept going back to Kathy. Where had it all gone wrong? Except that it wasn’t really wrong. They’d been together for fifteen years now, married for ten, having been fixed up by a mutual friend who had shown a startling amount of insight for once. It hadn’t exactly been love at first sight. No, the like had been there but the love had grown. Had it dwindled over the years? She didn’t think so. She still loved Kathy and she didn’t doubt that Kathy still loved her, but it was all a routine now. They’d settled into a rut and, try as she might, she didn’t see any way of getting out of it.
Maybe that was why she had found herself sneaking not so covert glances at Jenna, found herself being tempted by her. Jenna was almost half her age, full of ambition, and she didn’t hesitate to make it clear that she’d do just about anything to get to the top, or anyone for that matter. She wanted to feel that kind of fire again. She wanted to feel that passion, that desire. She was tired of comfortable. That’s what she and Kathy were now. Comfortable. Somewhere along the line they’d gone from being lovers to friends with benefits. Even their occasional sex felt as though they were simply going through the motions.
She mentally steeled herself as she pulled into the driveway and headed into the house. This wasn’t the time for such thoughts. It was her anniversary and she owed it to Kathy to at least pay attention, even if it was just for their annual ritual: an expensive dinner and an exchange of even more expensive gifts.
Kathy greeted her at the door and Jayden was surprised to note that she was in her regular clothes, although her still damp hair showed that she was freshly showered. She was a tall woman who, through the blessings of an apparently lightning fast metabolic system, had retained her lanky figure in spite of a love for anything that included the word ‘chocolate’. She was a talented painter and Jayden had converted the entire top floor of their three-storey home into a workroom for her.
“Happy anniversary baby. I missed you today.”
“I missed you too. You’re not dressed?”
“I thought we’d stay in tonight.”
“I know. We always go out for dinner. I was just in the mood for something a little different this year.” She laughed; a light, infectious sound. “Why don’t you go up and have a nice, long bath? I’ll be in the dining room when you’re done. Oh and I’ve taken the liberty of turning the phones off.”
Jayden was momentarily taken aback. She knew she had a bit of a problem with control and, with everything that had already happened, she felt distinctly out of control. She didn’t like not knowing what was going on. She felt as though someone had changed the rules and neglected to tell her what the new ones were. Still, there wasn’t anything she could do about it and she dutifully went up to bathroom as Kathy had requested, pausing in the bedroom to disrobe. Her jaw nearly dropped to the floor when she opened the door. A bath had already been drawn and she could tell that the water had already been infused with her favourite scent, jasmine. The only light in the room were strategically placed candles and the soft strains of Chopin’s Ballade No. 1, one of her favourites, greeted her. When was the last time she had a chance to just sit, soak and relax? She couldn’t remember.
She was so relaxed that she damn near fell asleep and nearly jumped when she realized that Kathy had come into the room unheard and was now sitting on the side of the bathtub, making little circles in the water and smiling.
“I take it you’re enjoying that?”
“I am, very much so. Thank you.” She meant it. She’d almost forgotten what time to herself felt like.
“Well I’m not done yet. Come on.”
She held her hand out and Jayden took it, accepted the offered towel, and allowed herself to be led into the bedroom. Kathy left her to dry off, but not before giving her a look that Jayden was almost certain she had imagined. Kathy never looked at her with such raw hunger…not anymore. She shook her head, in the vain hope that things might start to make more sense. When they didn’t, she figured that she might was well head downstairs. She wasn’t sure what she was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t the sight of Kathy sitting cross-legged on the floor in the midst of what appeared to be a picnic.
“Come sit next to me.”
There wasn’t much she could do other than comply.
“Do you remember our first anniversary?”
How could she not? They’d both been rather short on funds, having decided to rent an apartment together and Kathy had assured her that she didn’t want or need some expensive gift. Knowing Kathy as well as she did, Jayden knew she meant it. That didn’t mean she couldn’t do something special. So she’d taken the day off and arranged an indoor picnic, slaving over the stove all day to prepare Kathy’s favorites. She’d painstakingly cut out ‘I love you’ hearts and littered them all around the room, careful to leave a trail of chocolates from the front door. Kathy had cried and, truth be told, she’d gotten a little teary eyed herself.
“I do. I love you, you know.”
“I love you too, but…”
“But what?” Jayden felt a sinking sensation in her stomach. Surely Kathy wouldn’t go through all this just to leave her, would she? At one point she didn’t think it would be the worst thing in the world, but she suddenly became aware of a certainty that the last thing she wanted was a life without Kathy in it.
“But, I think some things need to change.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s not like it was before. Don’t say anything. I know you’ve felt it too. We’re not the same anymore. It’s like the romance just died one day and we’ve been living with the corpse ever since. We need to make more time for each other. I feel like we’ve been drifting apart, like everything’s become more important than us. I don’t want that. I don’t want to lose what we have. Don’t get me wrong. I love our life and all the perks that money can buy, but the most important part is you. I don’t think I could find joy in any of this if I didn’t have you to share it with.”
“I couldn’t agree with you more.” She tried to put her arms around Kathy but she was already getting up.
“I have something for you. We’ve been together a long time now my love. I think you deserve something special.”
“I have something special.” And she did. She’d just forgotten.
Kathy bent to kiss her quickly and got something that had been hidden behind the door. Jayden correctly guessed it was a painting, but couldn’t help the gasp that escaped her when she realized exactly what was captured there. Kathy had taken one of their old pictures and recreated it perfectly. They had been unaware and Kathy had been in the process of brushing a leaf from her hair. She had looked into Kathy’s eyes and the world seemed to stop. Someone had seen fit to catch that moment on film and, seeing it now, Jayden was filled with both love and shame.
Her own gift seemed to pale in comparison. She thought of the long hours Kathy must have devoted to getting every stroke just right. She hadn’t even had a clue. They had long ago agreed that Jayden wouldn’t disturb Kathy while she was working, no matter how eager she was for a sneak peek. And what had she done? Sent her secretary out to by a pair of earrings. Designer, to be sure, and outrageously expensive, but where was the love in that? Kathy was right. They both needed to start making an effort for each other, the way they had when their love was young. Kathy had taken the first step, a huge one, and Jayden was determined not to be left behind. She wanted to say the words, but she was never very good at expressing emotions, so she did the next best thing.
Their kisses started off gentle, the tentative explorations of new love, but soon gentle just wasn’t enough. Passions flared and tongues dueled, neither seeking to conquer or dominate. Jayden felt lost. She could feel the frenzied beating of her own heart. How long hadn’t it been like this? How long had they simply enjoyed the easy, contented sex that so many long term couples eventually drifted into? This wasn’t that. This was the way it was in the beginning when all they had time for was each other. They tried to make it to the bedroom but failed miserably.
Kathy pulled away, flushed and breathless. “Bed.”
Jayden couldn’t wait that long, “No, here.”
She pushed Kathy down onto the sofa and straddled her, feeling her body as though for the first time. Kathy was five years her junior and had dabbled with bodybuilding in college. She had never gotten to the point where she had lost her curves though and her body was more lean than muscular. It was one of the things that Jayden had always loved about her, the coiled strength just waiting to be unleashed. Jayden desperately wanted to be the one to set it free.
She had perfect access to Kathy’s neck in their current position, and she used that fact to her full advantage, nipping lightly and soothing the pain with her tongue. Her fingers trailed along the button of Kathy’s shirt before slipping under and upwards, caressing her nipple through the silky material of her bra until it stood erect. She sucked on Kathy’s earlobe while pinching the pebbled flesh, making the younger woman’s back arch against her. Kathy’s hands weren’t idle, reaching to undo the clasp on her pants before slipping them around to cup Jayden’s ass. She gasped as Kathy pulled her forward; closing what little space there was between them. Her hips rocked and her hand tightened on Kathy’s breast. Suddenly it wasn’t nearly enough. She needed more…much more. She moved to stand; disregarding the quizzical look on Kathy’s face as she none too gently removed the other woman’s shirt and bra.
“I need you naked.”
Kathy just smirked as Jayden practically ripped her remaining clothes off and knelt before, a look of reverence on her face.
“You are so beautiful.”
It was true and Jayden vowed then and there to make sure Kathy heard those words every day. She ran her hands teasingly along Kathy’s legs, nearly digging her nails into soft skin as her lover parted in invitation. Seeing Kathy spread so wantonly before her, her arousal evident in the slickness on her inner thighs, was nearly Jayden’s undoing.
“I need to taste you.”
“So taste me.” The look on Kathy’s face was pure fire.
Jayden sat back and pulled Kathy’s legs over her shoulders. She kissed the inside of her knee and let her tongue trail upwards, rewarded when Kathy reached down and tangled her fingers in her hair. Jayden could smell Kathy’s musky scent and she paused to breathe deeply before taking her into her mouth. Kathy’s hips bucked at the first touch and she whispered Jayden’s name. Jayden kissed the heated flesh and ran her tongue along Kathy’s entrance, reveling in the taste of her lover. She pushed a little further, penetrating the wet heat, and felt Kathy’s fingers tighten against her almost painfully. She withdrew and pressed deeper, knowing how teasing her touch was. It seemed like only seconds had passed before Kathy was begging.
“I need you…now…please baby.”
She knew that Kathy couldn’t wait any longer. Her hips were moving of their own volition, desperately seeking to increase the pressure. Even though she wanted to prolong Kathy’s pleasure, Jayden decided to be merciful and, raising to her knees, slowly slipped one finger into Kathy’s heat. Kathy clutched at her arm, her fingernails stinging, and Jayden knew she’d have a few welts to show for it later. She didn’t mind. She added another finger to her gently thrusting digit, bringing a moan of satisfaction from Kathy. She doubted her partner could do much more than that and the thought thrilled her. She felt herself growing even wetter, the friction of her slacks against sensitive flesh becoming almost unbearable.
Kathy was so close. Her movements were becoming more frantic, her noises reduced to gasps and low keening. Jayden felt alive, more alive than she had been in a long, long time. She lowered her head and took Kathy’s clit into her mouth, sucking on the engorged flesh as her lover lost control. Kathy came with a strangled yell, reaching for her and pulling her up alongside her. Jayden rode out the aftershocks; her fingers still buried deep in Kathy’s body, and cradled her as she caught her breath. Kathy’s recovery time always amazed her and it wasn’t long before she felt a soft, hot tongue against her neck. She bit her lip so hard that she expected to taste blood.
“I really, really want to be between your legs right now.”
“Kathy.” She was whimpering and she knew it.
“I want you naked with your legs spread wide for me. I want my fingers buried so deep inside you. Are you wet love? Should I check?”
“Baby…uh…” This as Kathy bit down on her sensitive skin.
Without another word, Kathy got up and held a hand out to her. She took it, allowing herself to be led upstairs. She would happily follow wherever Kathy chose to lead her. Kathy didn’t bother with turning on the lights once they got to the bedroom. Jayden couldn’t care less. She doubted she would have cared even if all the neighbors had their binoculars out. She ached for Kathy’s touch and nearly jumped out her skin as her wife’s fingers brushed against her while undressing her. They both lay down in the bed, each loving the feel of the other’s nakedness.
Then Kathy kissed her. Jayden could never understand how someone could be so gentle and yet infuse a simple touch with such passion. She arched her back as Kathy’s tongue made its way across her neck and down to her shoulder, pausing on its way to lather each delicate spot with attention.
“My breasts…oh…I need…your mouth…”
Kathy complied and took first one pebbled nipple and then another into her mouth, teeth grazing gently. Jayden cried out and her fingers clutched at the sheets around her. Kathy continued her journey southward, nipping and then soothing the pain with cool, wet strokes. After what seemed to Jayden to be an eternity, Kathy finally reached her destination; that throbbing bundle of nerves lying nestled between her thighs.
With the first caress of a practiced tongue, Jayden lost all ability to remain coherent. Kathy knew the language her body spoke and was a master linguist. Soon soft licks gave way to increasingly fast strokes and Jayden felt the pressure starting to build within her.
“Oh…oh baby…I’m going to…”
And then Kathy thrust two fingers inside her, with almost bruising force, and the world before her exploded in display of pleasure. When she came back to herself Kathy was still moving within her walls, although she had eased into a slow ebb and flow.
“Uh huh. Mind blowing even.”
“Oh sweetheart. I hope your mind isn’t completely blown yet. I still have plans for you.”
Hours later, a completely sated Jayden woke to find Kathy curled up against her, her head resting on her shoulder. She didn’t know what had woken her, but she decided to use the time wisely. She could think of no better way than watching Kathy sleep. A feeling of love suffused her, and a determination rose. There was something she needed to take care of at the office first thing in the morning.
The tension in the air was so palpable that Jayden was almost certain, if she turned her head to the right angle and squinted, she could see it shimmering. Edie looked just about ready to launch her stapler at Jenna’s immaculately coiffed head while the younger woman seemed just as eager to tell her elder where she could stuff said office supply. Jayden took a deep breath and gave Edie an almost imperceptible nod, one that she knew her faithful friend would understand. Edie withdrew and Jayden took a few minutes to really look at Jenna.
The woman was beautiful, there was no denying that. Stunning. Downright delectable. Perhaps if she’d been younger and hadn’t yet been lucky enough to meet the love of her life, she might be tempted to take a chance. She admired ambition, and certainly she had found herself attracted by it, but there were things that even she drew a line at. Had she really been that blind? The only way the woman could be more blatant was if she crawled into Jayden’s lap, and Jayden had the sneaking suspicion she wasn’t above doing that given the slightest of encouragement.
“Is there something I can help you with boss?”
It was an innocent enough question, coming from anyone else. With Jenna, you never knew if she was asking whether you needed assistance with a report or with a belt buckle. It had been flattering, thinking that this bright young thing could be interested in her. She could have had her pick of the executives, married or not, but she had honed in on her. Granted, she was the boss, but it had stroked her ego to think it might have been more than that. She remembered her fantasies from the other night and prayed that she wasn’t blushing. Strangely enough, she didn’t feel any of that now. She felt nothing more than a detached appreciation for an attractive woman. Could it be that love had won out over lust?
“Sit down Jenna. There are some things we need to discuss.” Jayden nearly rolled her eyes at the seductive pose struck by her underling. “When I hired you, I did it because I saw potential in you. So far I think I made the right decision. I’ve had no complaints about your work and if you keep it up you’ll have a bright future here. You can go far in this company, but if you do, it’ll be solely because of your performance on the job. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
“And will you be the judge of my performance?”
“Your on the job performance? Jayden was amazed that she still wasn’t getting it. “That’s the only one I’m interested in and yes, I’ll be the final judge. It’s my company after all.”
“I see. Well if that’ll be all, I’ll get back to work.”
“Jenna? You’re a talented young woman and you have the professional skills to go far. Don’t lower yourself. You might find someone willing to take you to the top with them, but most are just going to use you and then kick you right back down the ladder as soon as a prettier face comes along. In this business, reputation matters.”
The younger woman’s expression softened just the tiniest bit and she nodded before closing the door. Jayden hoped that she’d gotten through to her even though she doubted it would long before she was on the hunt again. She remembered what it was like at that age, unsure of yourself and your capabilities. Looking at other people sleep their way to the top and wondering why you couldn’t do it too. She guessed it didn’t matter to some people, in fact they were proud of it, but it mattered to her. Kathy mattered to her. She reached for the intercom, gratified when Edie picked up almost immediately.
“Edie, could you arrange for a meeting of the executives for this afternoon? Let’s say around three?”
“I’ll see what I can do. Is everything okay?”
“Everything is more than okay. I just need to make some changes around here. I think it’s about time I learned how to delegate.”
“Damn right it is.”
A click told her that Edie had pretty much hung up on her but she didn’t mind. She could almost see the grin on her secretary’s face and why not? She was smiling too.