From the story
“Apartment 2A: Please”
Without saying anything, Nat took her hand and drew her back to the living room. They were seated side-by-side on the couch, within touching distance, before Ash sipped from her snifter.
“Oh my,” she breathed after a small swallow. “That’s wonderful.”
“My favorite. Zoe liked Courvoisier, but when that ran out I decided to indulge my own tastes.” Almost as an afterthought, she doffed her fedora then ran one hand through the damp curls across her brow. Ash tossed her bucket hat onto the coffee table next to the fedora, liking the picture they made.
“Good for you,” Ash said softly. She wanted in the worst way to play with Nat’s thick salt-and-pepper hair. “That’s as it should be.”
“I promise,” Nat said abruptly, “not to talk about her all the time.”
After another little sip, Ash put her hand on Nat’s. “I’d think it odd if you didn’t talk about her to a degree.”
“You’re right about the women. I couldn’t even talk to them. A hot date was sex with me and talking on their cell phone.”
“Surely all young women aren’t that way.”
“Probably not. Just the ones looking to get into bed with a dyke daddy.”
Ash spluttered into her brandy. “I’ve never thought of you as a daddy, Nat.” She let her gaze openly roam over the unmistakable swell of Nat’s breasts. All the running in the world wasn’t going to change the fact that Nat still had a bust line supermodels paid for.
Nat took a much longer swallow from her glass, then set it down on the coffee table. Extending her long legs in front of her, she leaned back comfortably into the cushions. “So, what’s your philosophy about how a femme should treat a butch?”
Ash eased out of her heels, then curled her legs under her. “Well, first of all, a butch in my life will think she’s in charge.”
Nat hooted. “Just think it?”
“It takes some skill to give her the impression of her masterful control of all she surveys.” Ash quirked one eyebrow.
“I’m sure it does.”
“A butch in my life will know she’s strong and capable, and so am I.”
“I have no doubt about that.”
“A butch in my life can put me on a pedestal if she likes, but I reserve the right to get off it. I might whine if I break a nail changing a tire, but I will change the tire and then fix the nail.”
Nat tangled her fingers with Ash’s. “You do have beautiful hands. I like the way you talk with them when you’re really excited about something.”
Ash found herself once again at a loss for words. She sipped nervously, aware that before long she and Nat would reach the point of a kiss. They’d known each other a long time, and if that first kiss didn’t go well, they’d likely not try another. She tried to calm her nerves with one more little sip, then she put her glass down as well. “A butch in my life…”
“You’re blushing,” Nat said softly.
She made a face. “It’s the very fine brandy. Besides, a butch in my life will see me blush and hopefully like it.”
“I do like it. I like it very much, Ash.”
“A butch in my life will know that I’m a lesbian.”
“I should hope so!”
“Yeah, well, for all the pillow queens you seem to have found, I’ve run into a few butches that expect me to be a pillow queen. I know there are lots of different ways to be a lesbian, but the kind of lesbian I am likes…” She tightened her grip on Nat’s hand. “Not just likes, but adores making love to a butch.”
Nat didn’t move. She might not have even been breathing for all Ash could tell.
A slamming window startled them both. Ash realized she’d been holding her breath too. Please, she thought, don’t let Nat pretend she didn’t hear me.
Minor edits have been made to maintain a PG-13 rating for the Web.