Head resting in her hands, Bree sat. What did this mean? she thought to herself. Her friend. Her poker buddy. Her confidante. What had happened to the status quo?
It began yesterday…or perhaps it began longer ago than that. They were chatting in Lynette’s kitchen; Lynette was feeding Penny. Gradually, the baby fell asleep and gradually, the talk shifted to matters of the heart.
“I don’t think Tom understands that looking after these kids is just as demanding as his job.” Lynette gave a rueful smile as she placed Penny gently in her bassinet.
Bree glanced at her friend. Lynette’s back was to her and she was picking at a loose thread on the edge of the bassinet. She remained quiet as Bree stirred her coffee and placed the spoon carefully on the tissue she had procured just for this purpose. Bree took a sip. “Well, honey,” she said mirthlessly, “at least he’s around, even if it is only sometimes.”
Lynette’s hands grew still. Bree took another sip of her coffee and slowly set the cup down on the scratched surface. “Lynette?” she questioned, moving softly to stand beside her most trusted friend. She placed her hand lightly on Lynette’s right arm. Tears flowed freely down her drawn face as she rubbed the back of her hand fiercely across her eyes. “What is it, sweetheart?” Bree’s voice rang like crystal as Lynette’s broken sobs coursed out of her.
Bree turned Lynette and took her into her arms. They stood there for a moment, taking refuge in the warmth the other gave. Leading Lynette tenderly to the sofa, the two sat down, entwined in each other’s arms. Bree pushed a stray strand of blonde hair from Lynette’s cheek and murmured softly in her ear. “Shh, baby. It’s okay. I’m here. I’m here. Don’t worry, darling.”
The two women remained locked in each other’s arms for what seemed like hours. Eventually, Lynette’s sobs died away and Bree continued stroking her hair, whispering quietly in her ear.
“He just…doesn’t know…hell, I don’t even know, anymore!” She sniffed a little and ran a strong hand through her blonde mane.
Bree held her breath. “Doesn’t…know what?”
Lynette turned away. “I don’t know,” she replied tonelessly. “I truly don’t know.”
Hardly believing what she was doing, Bree took Lynette’s chin firmly in her hand and turned her friend’s face back to hers. Through glassy eyes, Lynette took in every curve, every contour of Bree’s face. She reached out tentatively and traced the outline of Bree’s jaw. Hesitating as she approached the full lips that only moments ago were pressed against her ear, she sighed. Bree closed her eyes. Lynette stopped. Bree’s eyes flew open. “No,” she pleaded, her eyes searching Lynette’s for some sign that this was what she didn’t know.
“Is this…okay?” Lynette whispered, her breath catching in her throat.
In answer, Bree turned her head slightly and captured Lynette’s finger gently between her teeth. This time it was Lynette who closed her eyes. Slowly, tenderly, Bree teased the tip of Lynette’s finger with her tongue. A low moan escaped from deep within Lynette. She arched her neck and let her head drop back, helpless now.
Suddenly, Bree’s tongue became firmer, more insistent. She sucked hard on Lynette’s finger and pulled her mouth away. Cupping the back of Lynette’s head in her hand, Bree drew Lynette closer.
“Open your eyes,” she urged. “Look at me.”
What she saw there shook her to the core: pure, raw emotion; lust, desire, need, passion. She gasped.
Lynette’s eyes welled up once again. “What is it?” she trembled.
“Oh, darling. I’ve just looked in a mirror.” Bree took Lynette’s hands in hers and pressed their palms together. “Honey, what are we going to do?”
The bedsprings squeaked as he rolled closer to her and threw his arm across her body, still in a deep sleep. Groggily, she cracked open an eyelid and turned her head towards him. She sighed. Wriggling slightly to extract herself from the dead weight of his arm, Lynette shimmied to the edge of the bed and slid off the side. She reached for her robe, tied it snugly around her lithe form and shuffled to the bathroom where she clicked on the night-light.
Squinting slightly, she studied her face in the mirror. She poked at her cheekbones and frowned as she peered at her reflection. Today’s crying jag had taken it out of her. She didn’t usually let herself go like that.
Suddenly, it all came flooding back to her. She cringed. Closing her eyes as if to shut out the memory of what she and—no, of what Bree had done, Lynette sagged weakly against the door.
It wasn’t as if she had been expecting it. The crying, the collapsing in Bree’s arms, the…touching and—she cringed again—sucking had all taken her by surprise. Surprise. And what was the most surprising, perhaps, was the sense of relief and ease she felt when she was being held.
Oh, yes, she enjoyed being held by Tom—very much so. And she enjoyed being touched by Tom and kissed by Tom and—well, yes—sucked by Tom, too. But all of that with Tom had never, ever felt quite like this.
Tom didn’t make her heart pound when he brushed past her accidentally. He didn’t make her stomach muscles contract when he wrapped his arms around her. And he certainly didn’t make her want to freeze time when he—if he ever had—whispered in her ear.
And it was Bree who did. Bree who had. She did this. She made her feel this way. And had Lynette really…moaned—another involuntary cringe—when Bree had taken her finger into her mouth. But why had Bree taken her finger into her mouth? And did she really want to pursue this line of thinking?
Lynette sank to the floor. How could this be? What was going on? Wrapping her arms tighter around herself, she lost track of how long she sat sobbing on the cold tiles of the bathroom floor.
After an indeterminate amount of time, Lynette straightened up. Rubbing at her now-raw eyes, she looked at herself one last time in the mirror. I will resolve this. Tomorrow, she thought, tomorrow, I will make her tell me what this is all about.
Taking a deep breath, Lynette opened the door to the bathroom and tiptoed back to bed. Slipping her robe off her shoulders, she slid silently back in bed so as not to wake Tom. After a moment’s hesitation, she reached across the bed and began to stroke him gently. He awakened and rolled over, his smile sleepy as he reached for his wife.
She raised a hand to knock at Lynette’s door and then let her arm drop to her side as she saw a flash of gold through the window on the left. Bree stepped to the side where the curtain hid her from view. Lynette was gathering up armfuls of toys, pots and pans and smoothly depositing them in their rightful places before returning to collect another load. She paused for a moment, stretched and rubbed the small of her back as she rotated her neck, grimacing slightly.
Bree smiled and resumed her original position at the door. Rapping her knuckles firmly on the wood, she subconsciously smoothed a stray strand of copper hair back into place.
The door opened and Lynette looked bewilderedly at her, still kneading her back with one hand. “Did we have plans?” Lynette was confused. She was sure she had the whole day free: the boys were at school and then a birthday party, and Penny was at her mother-in-law’s.
Bree smiled brightly. “No. I’ve come round for an impromptu coffee.”
Lynette nodded. “Sure. Make yourself at home.” She gestured to the now reasonably tidy living room.
As Lynette moved to the kitchen, Bree settled herself into the sofa, half turning so she could still watch Lynette.
Mechanically going through the motions of making coffee, Lynette’s mind was racing: Why had she come round? Did she want coffee? Or did she want something else? Lynette was irritated with herself at the sudden tug she felt deep within her as she asked this last question. Pushing away any thoughts not related to Columbian Blend, she called out. “Decaf or regular?” she queried. “And milk or half and half?”
Raising an eyebrow, Bree suppressed a chuckle. “I don’t mind, and…black, please, just like always.”
Lynette gave herself a mental slap for allowing her mind to wander. Surely she could manage to make coffee for an old friend without having to interrogate her over preferences that she knew as well as her own.
As she waited for the coffee to brew, Lynette continued her tidying with Bree watching silently from the couch. After picking up the same Tonka truck and putting it back down in a different place four times in the last five minutes, Lynette gave up. She glanced over at Bree to see if she had noticed, only to find that Bree had moved into the kitchen and was now pouring their coffee into a pair of chipped mugs.
Lynette reached gratefully for the hot beverage and wrapped her hands around the mug, seeking its warmth, despite the mildness of the day. She turned her back to Bree and made her way back into the living room, choosing to sit in the chair, as opposed to the sofa. Wincing suddenly as she lowered herself, Lynette drew in a sharp breath and grabbed for the arm of the chair with her free hand.
Concerned, Bree put down her own coffee and crossed the room. “How long has your back been bothering you?” She offered her arm to Lynette, who shot her a grateful look and eased herself slowly down.
“It’s been pretty bad this last week.”
“You should get it checked out, Lynette. And stop picking those boys up! They’re old enough to move when you tell them; they don’t need you to shift them!” Bree smiled a little to soften her harsh words.
Lynette snorted. “Easier said than done.”
The two smiled at each other, and Lynette berated herself for thinking that Bree had some ulterior motive for being here. Earlier worries forgotten, she shifted position slightly and took a sip of coffee.
“How are things going with you?”
Bree’s smile slipped for a moment before she managed to get it back into place. “Fine. Just fine.” She busied herself with the first sip of coffee and willed her mask to remain in place.
“You know, Bree, you don’t have to be ‘just fine’ with me. We can be honest with each other. Goodness knows we’ve been through enough.” Lynette changed position again and let out a gasp as pain shot through her lower back.
Relieved to have something else to do, Bree moved across the room and took Lynette’s hand. “Get up carefully,” she instructed. Lynette threw a questioning glance at Bree, but obeyed nonetheless. “Come with me.”
She walked Lynette carefully up the stairs and pointed to the bathroom door. “Get undressed, wrap a towel around you and go wait in your bedroom. I’ll be right back.”
And without another word, she marched down the stairs and out the front door, leaving it slightly ajar. Mouth agape, Lynette stood still and—without knowing why—slowly complied.
Bree exhaled sharply and willed herself not to let her eyes drift to Lynette's window or her legs to break into a run as she crossed back to her own house with a quick glance at her watch. She smiled. Only 10:15. Bree felt only moderately guilty for taking advantage of this perfect situation: her friend was in pain—she could help. She slowed as she reached the steps to her front door and then she relented; her eyes rose to find that window and she smiled again.
Unlocking the front door with the small bronze key she took from her trouser pocket, Bree slipped inside. Swiftly, she moved toward the stairs and, rather uncharacteristically, took them two at a time to the top. Bree opened the well-oiled cabinet in the bathroom and removed two small bottles from the shelf. Task completed, she left the bathroom and returned downstairs, stopping only to glance quickly in the mirror on the way.
As she locked the front door behind her, Bree allowed herself one small fantasy: Lynette, clad in nothing but a towel, watching her with heavy-lidded smoky eyes. Soon, she had promised herself.
And it looked like "soon" was "now".
To be continued...
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