“Oh shit,” Rachel Parker exclaimed as the twenty-five-year old redhead recognized the well dressed older woman standing at the corner bus stop, not ten feet from the building she had just exited.
Her outburst had been louder than she’d realized as both of her companions turned in her direction. Mary Ann Bradley, standing to Rachel’s left, had been a friend since high school while Brenda Phillips, on Mary’s left, had only met the two of them at another club a few weeks before. Realizing that, whatever the reason, her comment was directed to something ahead of them, they shifted their attention in that direction.
“Fuck!” Mary said in a much lower tone, echoing Rachel’s reaction, as she recognized the woman, now close enough to display a similar recognition.
“Oh my goodness, Rachel, it is you,” Belladonna Giordano said as she closed the distance between her and the three girls. “I was sure when I first saw you standing there that I had to be mistaken, but I can’t say how happy I am to have been right.”
Normally, Rachel would’ve had no problem with running into Belle Giordano, no matter how unexpectedly. After all, up until nine months ago the forty-two-year old was on track to become her mother-in-law, and throughout the two years that Rachel had dated Anthony Giordano she and Belle had enjoyed more cordial relations than she did with her own mother.
That situation was exemplified by the different way Belle and her own mother had reacted to the couple’s breakup, only three days before the wedding, when it came out that “the asshole”, as Rachel would now forever think of him, had been cheating on her. Elizabeth Parker’s counsel had been to forgive his little transgression because, after all, men were men and good ones were hard to find.
Getting a blow job by, or even screwing, one of the hookers his best man had hired for the bachelor party was a little transgression, Rachel had shot back at her mother in an angry tone she had never used before. What Anthony had been doing was fucking his former high school girlfriend, Karen Miller, who he’d run into a few months before at his grandfather’s garage. Moreover, he had been doing it right up until two weeks before the planned nuptials
Belle, on the other hand, had been the first one to refer to her son as “that asshole” and had immediately taken her almost daughter’s side, agreeing with her that the wedding be called off. She had divorced her own husband for similar behavior a few years after Anthony had been born and had zero tolerance for such behavior.
No, running into Belle Giordano wasn’t the problem. The problem was that she had run into her just as Rachel and her friends were coming out of Cherry Pie, one of the best lesbian clubs in the city. Going there tonight had been Brenda’s idea and as luck, or lack of it, would have it; Belle had to have seen them. It just didn’t seem possible that she couldn’t have since she was looking right at her as they came out the door.
Yet, as she kissed Rachel on the cheek, the statuesque brunette didn’t seem to have any reaction to it at all. In fact, she was just going on about how much she had missed spending time with Rachel.
“I’ve missed you too, Mrs. Giordano,” Rachel finally replied with a surge of relief as she accepted the fact that the impossible was indeed possible.
“Oh, it’s Mrs. Giordano now, is it?” Belle asked, taking a step backward to better see the young woman.
“I’m sorry, Belle,” Rachel apologized, “I’ve missed you too.”
“And are you going to introduce me to your friends?” Belle asked.
Introductions were quickly made and Belle smiled at Mary Ann and Brenda, remarking that she knew Mary Ann, didn’t she? When the younger woman replied that yes she did, Belle made a further remark that she really had to make the time to have her eyeglass prescription checked.
“It’s getting so I can’t see what’s ten feet in front of me at times,” Belle laughed, “or at least clear enough to really recognize it.”
“Let’s hear it for bad eyesight,” Mary Ann whispered to Rachel in a very low voice.
“So where are you all off to tonight?” Belle asked after explaining that she was meeting a friend and going to the late night showing of her favorite old movie at a theatre on the next block.
“Oh we had no specific plans,” Rachel quickly said, “just a girls’ night out.”
“Well you all have fun,” Belle said, adding that she’d love to come along but knew they didn’t need an old lady like her slowing them down. “It’s been a long time since I had a girls’ night out,” she laughed.
“You’re hardly old,” Rachel insisted, a sentiment both of the other girls echoed.
“Well I really must run,” Belle said, “Julie will be waiting at the theatre and wondering what’s become of me. But before I go, I want you to promise that you’ll come to dinner next week, and I won’t take no for an answer.”
“All right,” Rachel gave in, “how about Thursday night?”
“That would be fine,” Belle agreed, “say about seven?”
“I’ll be there,” Rachel said as she leaned forward and kissed Belle on her cheek.
Belle took a further moment to say goodbye to Mary Ann and Brenda, saying again how delighted she had been to meet them. Then she turned and hurried down the street toward the old Rialto Theatre.
“Wow, that was close,” Mary Ann said once Belle was across the street and far out of earshot.
“You’re telling me,” Rachel laughed.
“I don’t get it,” Brenda said, feeling she was missing something.
“Well, let’s just say that not all of us are out of the closet,” Mary Ann explained.
“I still can’t believe that she didn’t see us coming out of the club,” Rachel said.
“So what if she did,” Brenda asked. “It’s not as if she would’ve known what kind of club it was, would she?”
Both Mary Ann and Rachel turned around and took a long look at the “Cherry Pie.” It really didn’t look any different from any other club they had been to. In fact, except for the decorative lettering, and the picture of a pie with a slice cut out, on the smoky front window, there was nothing to identify it at all. The short line of girls waiting outside to get in really didn’t say much either since you could find similar lines at many straight clubs too.
“I guess we were just being a little paranoid,” Rachel concluded.
“Or feeling a little guilty,” Brenda suggested.
“I guess that too,” Rachel agreed, if somewhat reluctantly.
“God, that’s why I’m glad I’m not in the closet anymore,” Brenda laughed. “Life is too short to spend your time worrying if someone is going to find out that you’re a dyke.”
“Half-dyke,” Mary Ann said with a grin. “Some of us still drive stick on occasion.”
“So, are you going to have dinner with the old lady?” Brenda asked Rachel, not wanting to have that particular argument with Mary Ann again.
“Sure, why not. I have honestly missed her,” Rachel answered, then added in a stronger tone, “and I meant it when I said she wasn’t old. She has more energy than any two of us.”
“Hey, I didn’t mean anything by it,” Brenda replied, “In fact, I thought she was still pretty good looking, nice tits too. If she had decided to come along with us, I might’ve even tried giving her a tumble.”
“Brenda!” Rachel exclaimed in a shocked tone, unable to imagine what Mrs. Giordano’s reaction might’ve been to being approached by her friend.
“Hey, it was just a thought,” Brenda laughed. “You know what they say about good women and fine wine, they both get better with age.”
“Let’s just end this here and head on to the Pink Pussycat like we planned,” Mary Ann interjected. “It’s obvious that Brenda here is in serious need of a good fuck, and it wouldn’t do you or I any harm either.”
All three of them laughed in agreement and started out for the other club, which was about five blocks north.
Leaving work six days later, Rachel decided to stop off at the liquor store on the corner and pick up a nice bottle or two of wine to take with her to Mrs. Giordano’s. Anthony’s mother had called her earlier in the day to confirm their dinner date and to assure her, in case she had been worried, that her son wouldn’t show up unexpectedly.
“Actually, Anthony moved out not long after the wedding that wasn’t,” Belle had said. “He’s been living over at his grandparents’ until he can afford a place of his own. The two of us didn’t see eye to eye about a number of things and we both thought it best.”
It was one small bit of consolation, at least to Rachel, that “the asshole” had been left with the cost of the wedding reception even though no one actually went to it. The caterers, band and photographer still had to be paid, having signed contracts that had passed the date he could get any kind of refund. In addition, without the money he expected to get as gifts, all of it had to come out of his own pocket.
Faced with several thousand dollars in bills, he’d actually had the nerve to suggest that Rachel cover half the cost. She in turn had suggested that he ask Karen Miller for half, since she was the reason there hadn’t been a wedding. Unfortunately for Anthony, she had already moved on to another hard cock and wasn’t returning his calls.
With two bottles of wine that she was sure would go well with what Belle was making for dinner, Rachel boarded the cross town bus and headed over to the Riverside section. She worked later than she planned and hadn’t had time to change, but she was sure Mrs. Giordano would understand. The last thing she had wanted to go to dinner in was the black skirt and white blouse she wore as a hostess at Papa Giovanni’s.
The bus left Rachel off two blocks from the Giordanos’ so she found herself ringing the doorbell at five past seven. Almost as if she had been waiting by the door, Belle answered the chimes before the echo had a chance to fade.
“I’m so sorry I’m late,” Rachel said as soon as the door was fully open. “Things were crazy at the restaurant and my relief was late and...”
“No need to apologize, my dear,” Belle assured her with a warm smile. “As far as I’m concerned, you’re right on time,” she added as she led her dinner guest into the foyer.
“And I’m sorry that I didn’t have time to change,” Rachel continued as she followed Belle out into the kitchen with the bottles of wine, thankfully noting that the older woman was also dressed on the casual side, with a soft blue blouse atop a pair of dark slacks.
“Perfectly understandable,” Belle said as she took a large bucket out from under the cabinet and filled it with ice. “Work does come first. Besides, I think you look really cute in that outfit,” she laughed.
Rachel replied with a smile as she took the two bottles out of the bag and put them into the bucket of ice. The smell of lamb chops in the broiler filled the kitchen and she remembered the best thing about nights at the Giordanos’. One thing you could say about Belle was that she really knew how to cook. A few years ago, she had started a small but highly successful catering service, and Rachel had often thought that if she ever wanted to open a restaurant, Belle could’ve given Mario Giovanni a run for his money.
“Now if we’re lucky, these will be chilled by the time everything else is done,” Belle said as she checked on each aspect of their meal. “If not, I already have a bottle in the fridge that we can open first.”
It turned out that they did need to use the one from the refrigerator, but that in no way detracted from Rachel’s enjoyment of the meal. The over dinner conversation was pretty commonplace, more a matter of just catching up with what had been happening in each other’s life since the break-up of Rachel and Anthony. It wasn’t until the dishes had been cleared and they’d retired to the living room couch with the first bottle of Rachel’s wine that their discussion became more personal.
“So,” Belle said as she stretched out her legs, kicking off her shoes so that she could slide her legs up onto the cushion, “are you seeing anyone?”
“No, not really,” Rachel replied, following Belle’s example and making herself more comfortable. “I guess I’m just not ready yet to get into anything serious.”
“That’s understandable,” Belle said as she took a drink from her wine glass. “In fact, I think you’re probably better off being like that for a while. I never said it before because I didn’t think it was my place to interfere, but I thought you were way too young to be getting married.”
“Really?” Rachel said in surprise.
“You have your whole life ahead of you,” Belle went on, “and if at some point you want to follow the traditional wife and possibly mother route, there will be plenty of time for that. But I think that someone as young and beautiful as yourself should take the time to see what’s out there, to enjoy life before you get yourself tied down.”
“That’s funny,” Rachel said.
“Why is that?” Belle asked.
“Because that’s exactly the opposite of what my mother still tells me,” Rachel replied. “That there are only so many good men out there and that I should latch onto one before they’re all gone.”
“Well, men aren’t the world,” Belle said as she refilled her glass.
“What?” Rachel asked, not sure what she had meant.
“Oh nothing,” Belle said, discarding her remark with a wave of her hand as simply thinking out loud, then changed the subject to how Rachel was making out at Papa Giovanni’s.
“I’m doing okay,” Rachel answered, “but it has become sort of a dead end.”
“Well, it’s fine being a hostess,” Rachel said, “but I’d really like to get more involved in running the restaurant. I’ve been taking some business classes at the community college and I really think I could contribute something in that area.”
“So have you talked about that with Mario?” Belle asked as she refilled Rachel’s glass.
“Twice,” Rachel answered as she took a slip from the now filled glass, “but as long as he has two unmarried daughters working there, he really doesn’t need anyone else in the back office.”
“I see,” Belle said. She remembered Maria and Sophia Giovanni well and was quite ready to accept that the two of them were going to be unmarried for a very long time. It wasn’t a nice thing to say, but the truth was that the only way a ring was going on either of their fingers was if a percentage of the restaurant went with it.
“Have you thought of looking elsewhere?” Belle asked after a moment’s pause.
“I’ve actually gone on a half dozen interviews,” Rachel said, “but the end result is always the same. I don’t have any real experience and no one is going to hire me without it.”
“Catch-22,” Belle observed. “You can’t get hired without experience but you can’t get experience if you don’t get hired.”
“At least not until I get my associate’s degree,” the redhead clarified, “but at the rate I’m going that’s going to take another two years at least. With the hours I work at Papa Giovanni’s, I can only take one or two classes at a time.”
“I see,” Belle commented, thinking that she might have a solution to Rachel’s problem but that now wasn’t the time to bring it up. Not when she had other things on her mind.
The phone on the end table rang, providing a break in the conversation. Belle excused herself for a few minutes while she went back out into the kitchen to take the call in private. Closing her eyes as she rested her head on the couch’s high back, Rachel remembered how much she’d missed spending afternoons and evenings with Belle. In a way, they had been the best part of her relationship with Anthony.
Of course this wasn’t the first time that thought had occurred to her. During the weeks after she and Anthony had broken up, Rachel had often asked herself that if she hadn’t enjoyed being part of his family so much, would their relationship have lasted as long as it did. Even before the Karen revelation, Rachel had been having second thoughts about the marriage. She had chalked it up to cold feet, but the nagging thought that she might be making a mistake never really went away.
“Sorry that took so long,” Belle said as she came back into the room. “I have a catering job on Sunday and the client just wanted to confirm some last minute details.”
“That’s okay,” Rachel replied as Belle took back her place on the other end of the sofa. “It must be nice being your own boss.”
“It is,” Belle agreed, “if only for the reason that you get to set your own hours, allowing time for other interests as well.”
“Yes, that’s definitely an advantage,” Rachel said, thinking how her own life was ruled by the big assignment board in Papa Giovanni’s kitchen.
“It was nice seeing Mary Ann the other night, she’s a lovely girl,” Belle said, again changing the subject. “She always seemed very nice.”
“She is,” Rachel said. “We’ve been friends a long time.”
“And that other girl, Brenda was her name, right,” Belle asked. “Have you known her long too?”
“Actually, Mary Ann and I just met her a few weeks ago at a club,” Rachel said, bringing her glass up to enjoy more of the wine. “We all just seemed to hit it off and became almost instant friends.”
“I see,” Belle said while Rachel took her drink. “Was that at “Cherry Pie” or another club?”
Caught in mid swallow, it was all Rachel could do not to spit out the wine in her mouth. As it was, it took a few long seconds before she could stop choking from having the wine go down the wrong way.
“The what?” she sputtered.
“Cherry Pie, the club the three of you were coming out of the other night,” Belle repeated. “You seemed a little embarrassed about it at the time so I thought it best to act like I hadn’t noticed.”
“Oh God,” Rachel gasped, thinking herself pretty foolish to have bought the poor eyesight excuse. Then again, she had accepted it because she wanted to believe it. “Mrs. Giordano, Belle,” she corrected herself, “I swear to you, I’m not, I mean I was never...”
“Rachel, take a deep breath,” Belle said in a calm tone.
“Belle, I swear, I’m not...” Rachel started to say after taking that breath, then paused as she realized that she was reacting defensively without any regard for whether she was speaking truthfully or not. She had never lied to the woman sitting across from her and she wasn’t about to start now.
“It’s okay Rachel,” Belle said in the same reassuring voice, “take your time and say what you want to say. I promise that, whatever it is, it will be okay.”
“I was about to say that I’m not a lesbian,” Rachel said, pausing for a few extra moments before going on, “but that wouldn’t really be the truth, at least not the whole truth. I guess I’ve always been attracted to other women, but I like men too, at least sometimes.”
“So you’re bisexual,” Belle said, her tone carrying no more surprise than if she’d accused Rachel of not being a natural redhead.
“I guess so, I mean I think so,” Rachel replied, then added in a much more determined voice, “but I want you to believe that I did love Anthony, I really did, and when we were together I never cheated on him with another man or woman.”
“Well, then you were a lot more committed to the relationship than he ever was,” Belle said, “but then again you were always a lot more mature than Anthony.”
Rachel showed surprise that Belle would make an observation like that about her own son.
“Don’t look so surprised,” Belle said, “I’m only speaking the truth. Do you remember when you were planning the wedding and I offered to take care of the catering? If not to do it myself then to at least make all the arrangements. Anthony wouldn’t hear of it and had to do it all on his own, just to prove his independence. In the end, that cost him a lot.”
“I remember,” Rachel said, the smallest of smiles on her face.
“Mary Ann and Brenda, are they like you too?” Belle asked, her question seeming to carry a lot more weight than simple curiosity.
“Mary Ann is,” Rachel answered. “I mean she likes both guys and girls. Brenda is totally into women only.”
“I see and have you and they... ?” Belle further asked, the full extent of the question not needing to be said.
“Mary Ann and I,” Rachel started to answer, pausing to think that this was a discussion she could never imagine having with her own mother. “Mary Ann and I used to, I guess you could call it experimenting, back in high school. We were never really a couple, you know girlfriends not just girlfriends,” she added, trying to explain what she really didn’t know how to explain.
“Have you ever had a lover?” Belle asked, her use of the word leaving no doubt she wasn’t talking about a man.
“Two,” Rachel said, surprising herself with her honesty. “One before I met Anthony, and one after. The first one lasted about six months, the second less than six weeks.”
“She caught you on the rebound, huh,” Belle smiled.
“I can’t believe I’m having this discussion,” Rachel finally said, adding her earlier thought that she couldn’t have imagined having it with her mother, or that Belle didn’t seem to be shocked by what she’d already told her.
“Well, I’m not your mother,” Belle grinned, “and I don’t shock easily.”
Belle waited a beat, then went on.
“Have you stopped to consider for a moment, how it was that I knew what kind of club the three of you were coming out of that night?” she asked. “It’s not like they have a big neon light outside flashing ‘lesbian bar’.”
The look on Rachel’s face said she hadn’t.
“Well, I could say that I knew exactly what the Cherry Pie was because I’m friends with the owner and did a few catering jobs for private parties there,” Belle answered. “And if anyone else asked, that’s the answer they would’ve gotten. The truth, however, would be that I knew what kind of place it was long before that, because I’d been there several times as a customer.”
It took a moment for the implications of that admission to sink in. Then Rachel asked the obvious question if Belle was also bisexual.
“Actually, I’m more like your friend, Brenda,” Belle said without hesitation. “I’ve never had any interest in men, at least not sexually. Men can be great friends, but I’ve never felt the need for one in my bed.”
“I don’t understand,” Rachel said, the confusion in her voice quite evident. “You were married, you have a son.”
“And that, is a story and a half,” Belle said, adding that Rachel should open up that last bottle and sit back to hear a tale, one that didn’t involve a fateful trip but a walk down the aisle for two people who were as unlike as could be.
It only took Rachel a minute to open the bottle and fill both glasses, after which Belle began her story.
“I met Stephen Giordano back in high school,” she began as she picked up her glass again. “He was a junior and I was a freshman. As I’m sure it still was in your day, the two groups hardly mixed. In our case, it was different, but I’m getting ahead of myself.”
“Stephen was the All-American boy back then,” she explained. “Top of his class in almost every subject, as well as lettering in both baseball and track. His parents had great dreams for him, among which was setting him up in the family business. Even back then they already owned two garages and were planning a third. Also of prime importance to his grandparents was for him to eventually find a suitable bride and continue the family line. The latter seemed much more important to the family judging from their reaction the first time he brought me home to meet them.”
Even though her own family consisted only of her parents and a little brother, Rachel could easily imagine the family structure and priorities Belle described.
“I think Nanna Giordano starting planning our wedding that first night at dinner, never mind that I was barely thirteen and we’d only been on a few dates so far,” Belle said. “Still, her persistence paid off and only three years later we walked down the isle according to plan.”
“I don’t understand,” Rachel interrupted. “If you never liked men, why would you marry one?”
“Well, I said it all went according to plan, but I didn’t say exactly whose plan it was, did I?” Belle grinned.
Rachel’s face displayed an even more of an ‘I don’t understand’ look.
“You see, there was one aspect of Stephen’s life that his family never knew,” Belle said. “Dear Stephen was as queer as a three dollar bill.”
“Anthony’s father was gay?” Rachel said, finding the revelation the biggest surprise in a night of surprises.
“Absolutely,” Belle beamed. “He was a cocksucking, fudge packing, member of the fraternity.”
“I’m getting confused,” Rachel confessed.
“It was really quite simple,” Belle continued to explain. “Even at thirteen, I knew I was as queer as he was and somehow we managed to recognize that in each other. We worked out an arrangement between ourselves and all through high school we covered for each other. Neither of our parents ever suspected, seeing only the nice traditional couple that they wanted to see. In fact, we used to double date our respective significant others, going so far as going on vacations together. Of course after the day was done we used to switch bed partners when no one else could see.”
“I’ve heard about things like that, but I never imagined that they really happened,” Rachel commented.
“Getting married seemed the logical next step,” Belle said.
“And you had Anthony as part of this plan?”
“No, we would never have had a child just to help the masquerade,” Belle stated emphatically. “Our baby was, living proof of the adage that, yes you can get pregnant the very first time.”
Belle stopped to catch her breath and have a sip of wine.
“While Stephen and I didn’t mean anything to each other sexually, we were always the very best of friends,” Belle continued. “Otherwise this never would’ve worked. There came a night when we got a little drunk celebrating something or another, I forget what it was now, and for some also long forgotten reason, we decided to give it a try. Find out what straight sex was like, if only out of curiosity. Of course, impaired as we were, and the need never having come up before for either of us, birth control never came to mind.”
“Anthony was an accident,” Rachel noted.
“Yes, as many babies are,” Belle admitted, “but that didn’t mean we loved him any less.”
“Okay, I can understand most of this,” Rachel said, “but both you and Anthony have told me that you divorced his father because he was screwing around with a girl in his office.”
“And that’s what the divorce papers say,” Belle confirmed. “That had always been our exit strategy, and with his grandparents now satisfied with an heir apparent, it seemed time to put it into practice. It was far easier for the family to accept that Stephen was a skirt chaser who couldn’t keep it in his pants than that he was the kind of man who liked to take it up the ass.”
“I never imagined,” Rachel said, thinking that her life was hardly as complicated as she thought it was.
“So with the cooperation of a girl that he hired only two months before with the understanding that she was in no way being employed for her office skills, we had our divorce and our individual freedom,” Belle said as she brought the story to a close. “We could’ve never envisioned that tragic car accident that poor Stephen was in only a year later, and after that, it hardly seemed important for anyone else to know what our marriage had really been about.”
“Did he have someone who was special to him?” Rachel asked, her curiosity aroused.
“Yes he did,” Belle said, an obvious affection in her tone, “there’s a picture of the two of them on the bookcase over there.”
Curious, Rachel got up and walked over to the bookcase and picked up the framed picture. She was surprised to find that it was their wedding photograph.
“That’s Tom Albert,” Belle said from over on the couch. “Not only was he the best man at our wedding, but he was the one we used to double date with all through high school.”
Rachel’s eyes then focused on the maid of honor in the photograph, wondering if she had been the other half of those double dates. That thought was quickly superseded, however by the realization that aside from the dress and hairstyle, the girl in the picture bore a striking resemblance to herself, right down to the short red hair.
“Her name was Lucy Walsh,” Belle asked when she saw the recognition in Rachel’s eyes, adding as she put the frame down and started back to the couch, “and yes, she was my Mary Ann.”
“What happened to her?” the younger woman asked.
“She was like Mary Ann in a number of ways, the most important to the answer being that she found still liked boys as well,” Belle explained. “Some girls go off to college and sample lesbianism. In Lucy’s case, it was heterosexuality. She met a nice boy, things just seemed to work out and now they have three lovely children, two boys and a girl.”
“This is all a lot to take in,” Rachel said as she sat back down.
“I know it is,” Belle said, “and I hope you’re not too overwhelmed by it all.”
“No, I’m pretty sure I’m okay,” Rachel replied.
“Good, because there’s one more thing that I need to tell you,” Belle said. “In fact, it’s probably the hardest thing to tell you and if I wasn’t just a little bit tipsy right now, I don’t think I’d even consider saying it.”
“After everything else, I can’t imagine what that might be,” Rachel said, feeling the effects of all that wine herself, “but this does seem to be a night for secrets. So what the hell, let me have it, I doubt anything else could shock me.”
“I’m very attracted to you, Rachel,” Belle quickly said, as if to hesitate would be to lose her nerve. “I’ve been attracted to you, as women like us are attracted to each other, from the day Anthony first brought you home to meet me. And it’s not solely because you resemble Lucy, although that might’ve been responsible for the initial infatuation. I never would’ve said anything while you were with Anthony, but now I can’t hold back from at least saying it. Even though I know that nothing will ever come of it.”
“Oh my God!” Rachel said, each syllable seemingly taking an eternity to come out of her mouth. She had been wrong; this had been the most stunning disclosure of all.
A deafening silence hung in the air as Rachel continued to absorb what had just been said. Belle knew that her revelations had been a shock and a part of her now wished she had never made them. It certainly hadn’t been her plan when she invited Rachel over for dinner, but the wine had loosened her inhibitions just enough for her to say what was on her mind. Nevertheless, what was said was said, and her concern now was how Rachel would react to it. Would they ever be able to put the genie back in the bottle and let things go back to the way they were, or would the admission of a sexual attraction to her sunder their friendship?
If Belle had only confessed that she was gay and that her marriage had only been one of convenience, then the awkward moment would’ve already passed as both were easy enough for Rachel to accept. It was her attraction to her that was giving the redhead pause and not for the reasons Belle might think. It wasn’t how Belle saw Rachel that was on the younger woman’s mind, but rather the opposite. How did she now see Belle?
Actually, it wasn’t so much how she saw her now as revisiting how she had seen her all along. By her own admission, Belle’s company had been a good part of the reason she had continued her relationship with Anthony. And the other night, when Brenda had, jokingly or not, alluded to a sexual interest in Belle, Rachel had truthfully felt a tinge of jealousy rather than the outrage she expressed verbally. Searching back her memories of the past two years, she now knew that it had been Belle she was always looking forward to seeing, not Anthony. If they had met at Cherry Pie or some other place where that attraction could’ve been more honestly expressed, Anthony might never have come into the picture at all.
“Belle, I...” Rachel started to say, and then decided to hell with words. Instead, she propelled herself across the couch and kissed the brunette in a way not usually exhibited by women who had almost been family.
Rachel’s response was one that Belle had dared not hope for, and as such, the unexpectedness of it took her by surprise. Nevertheless, that lasted only a moment as her body responded almost instinctively, with her conscious mind only a heartbeat behind. Once the reality of her dream took hold, she responded to the soft lips against her own with all the passion she was capable of. Her tongue dancing across Rachel’s, probing deep into her mouth.
That first kiss lasted what seemed an eternity, only to be eclipsed by the one that immediately followed. By the third time their lips met, Rachel had taken Belle’s hand and placed it against her breast, letting her feel the excitement of her heart. Even though the thin layers of clothing, Belle could feel the warmth of her skin.
Their mouths still interlocked, Rachel reached out and began to unbutton Belle’s blouse. Despite having seen the older woman in various stages of undress during shopping trips many times before, this time she knew it was different. This time she looked at her as a desirable woman, one that was now attainable. As more of the brunette’s flesh became visible, Rachel found it harder to concentrate on what she was doing. Belle sensed the distraction and found it only increased her own excitement.
Even with the distraction, it didn’t take much longer for Rachel to work her way top to bottom. Sliding aside the folds of Belle’s shirt, she exposed the large round mounds, now only covered with a white lace bra, the top of which barely covered the edge of her nipples.
Feeling the same fires burning within, Belle reached for Rachel’s top, only to have her hand stopped halfway there. With an eager smile, the redhead eased Belle back onto the cushion, her own body following close enough for her to whisper in her ear that she would get her chance soon enough. For now, she just wanted her to lay back and relax.
Maneuvering into a position where her knees could rest between Belle’s legs, Rachel leaned even closer and ran her hands down the length of Belle’s body, caressing the exposed flesh with outstretched fingers. Her hands met at the underside of her breasts, closing around the ample globes as she squeezed them softly.
“Damn, Brenda was right,” Rachel found herself thinking as she looked at the well kept form beneath her, “she does have great tits.” It was an observation that she dared not take note of before.
“Mmmmm,” Belle moaned softly as she felt the tips of Rachel’s fingers rubbing against her nipples, causing them to grow hard against the soft material of her bra.
Rachel leaned in and again kissed Belle softly, a kiss that was returned with equal fervor as the older woman wrapped her arms around the younger and pulled their bodies tight.
Another round of deep, endless kisses followed as their hands roamed at will, taking stock of the delights yet uncovered. The promise of what was to come.
Breaking their embrace, Rachel lifted herself up and, starting at the top, worked her way down her own row of buttons, pausing at each just long enough for Belle to nod in appreciation and encouragement. The plain uniform shirt was casually tossed aside, as was the equally ordinary white bra.
Belle’s eyes reflected the smile on her face as she gazed upward at the pair of symmetrical orbs above her. They were perfectly rounded, with only the smallest of nipples to mar their flawlessness. In the months Rachel had been dating her son, Belle had lost track of how many times she had chided herself when she realized that she had been staring at Rachel’s beautiful bust. Now there was no need for reproach, only admiration. That, and anticipation.
Unable to miss the eagerness in her dark eyes, Rachel again lowered her body, this time bringing her bare breasts to within an inch of Belle’s mouth. The initiation was enthusiastically accepted as Belle reached out with her tongue and caressed the tip of the closest nipple. Then, lifting her head just a bit higher, her lips closed around its totality.
Now it was Rachel’s turn to softly moan as Belle drew her deep inside, caressing her flesh with her tongue, massaging her softness with her lips. The enjoyment of a treat long desired was shared by both as Belle duplicated her attentions on Rachel’s other breast, then returned to the first as the sensations she produced echoed across the redhead’s body.
Finally, Rachel couldn’t wait any longer to return the compliment and slipped her hands under the cups of Belle’s bra, feeling now the warmth of her flesh against bare skin. The thick, hard nipples of the larger mounds filled the space between her fingers as she squeezed them tightly between.
The clasp of Belle’s bra was situated between the two cups and while Rachel was enjoying the mix of hardness and softness, the dark haired woman brought her own hands up and undid the restraint. The once tight material collapsed upon itself, falling loose across the soft flesh and Rachel’s fingers.
Moving those fingers ever so slowly, Rachel teasingly exposed what was beneath a little at a time. First one cup fell away, then the other, and finally Belle’s breasts lay naked in all their glory.