Rachel checked her coupons and let out a sigh. At least turkey is still cheap. I'll be eating it until New Years, though.
As if the economy wasn't tough enough, she was still trying to recover from her divorce a year earlier. Fortunately, she hadn't given in to her ex-husband's near demands to quit her job. If not for that, she might very well be living in a homeless shelter instead of squeaking by to rent her modest home.
Rachel tugged a strand of shoulder-length, dark blonde hair from beneath her purse strap and headed toward the checkout. Her lips twitched up into a slight smile as she passed a pair of stockers. She could hear them whispering about her, and could feel their eyes on her. At thirty years old, she couldn't help but smile when two such young men found her attractive, despite her inability to have any sort of relationship since her divorce.
With Thanksgiving dinner and a week's groceries in her basket, Rachel returned to her ten-year-old Oldsmobile for the short trip home. She had no more than pulled into the driveway when the local sheriff stopped in front of the house.
Thinking nothing of it, Rachel waved and popped the trunk of her car. As she sorted through her keys for the one to the front door, the sheriff stepped out of his car and walked in her direction. Rachel paused in her path to the door and asked, "Can I help you, officer?"
The sheriff sighed and walked up to her, carrying a piece of paper. "Ma'am, I'm afraid that I'm here to give you all the notice I can. I have an order to evict you."
Rachel's keys clattered to the concrete below. "Evict me? But, my rent is paid. I've always paid it on time."
"I'm sorry, Ma'am. Your landlord defaulted on his mortgage. The bank is taking possession, so you're going to have to move. By law, I should be doing it today, but I found out that you were renting. I have enough other evictions to execute that I can give you a day or two and claim overload."
Tears flowed down Rachel's cheeks as the weight of the words settled on her shoulders. She shuddered as she fought down sobs, her face burning with shame as neighbors turned in her direction. "But, I don't have enough money for a deposit. I don't even have enough to rent a truck. How can they do this? I thought the bank had to give me notice."
"The bank did give notice — to your landlord. I'm sorry, Ma'am, but you're not likely to get back your deposit, either. I recognize the name on this." He waved the document in his hand. "Your landlord has run off somewhere. You're not the first one he's left high and dry in town."
Feeling faint, Rachel stumbled back against her car, no longer able to contain her sobs. Her next door neighbor, Elise, put down a pair of pruning shears and walked over, having overheard the conversation. "Oh, Rachel ... I can have my son bring over his truck."
"I ... I don't have anywhere to g-go," Rachel sobbed.
"Isn't there anything you can do, Gerald?" Elise asked.
The sheriff shook his head. "There's nothing I can do except give her a couple of days, Elise."
More neighbors approached, all concerned for the seemingly shy young woman whom they'd come to like in the last six months since she'd moved into the neighborhood. Despite knowing this, Rachel couldn't help but feel burning shame at having her life turned upside down in such a public manner. Everyone offered suggestions and help, but there was little anyone could do about Rachel's most critical problem — lack of money to start over again.
The sheriff left, promising to give Rachel as much time as possible, but warned her that he couldn't forestall the eviction for long. Rachel managed to regain her composure enough to thank him and her neighbors for their efforts, though she was steadily slipping into a helpless melancholy.
An older gentleman from the other side of the street approached just as Rachel was about to go inside. A couple of obviously Native American descent followed him. "Here now, you should hear these two out," he suggested.
The native man offered a friendly nod and said, "I'm Chaytan, and this is my wife, Mika. We live on Plymouth Avenue, and we might be able to help you. We're looking for a boarder to help keep our utility costs down. Our house was once divided into two apartments. We thought to remodel it, but haven't had the money to do it, yet."
Rachel shrugged her shoulders and said, "I don't have any money for a deposit."
"We want to help," Mika offered. "We won't ask for a deposit."
"How much?" Rachel asked, unconsciously twirling a lock of blonde hair over her finger as she tried to keep from getting her hopes up.
Chaytan answered, "We decided that four hundred would be enough — utilities included. That will pay all of the utility bills and let us save that money for the future."
Tears of joy rolled down Rachel's cheeks, as the price was less than the rent she'd paid to her unscrupulous landlord, and included utilities.
Mika offered a wide smile and suggested, "You can come see it, if you like. We are only using one room on that side of the house for storage right now."
"It would have to be pretty bad for me not to accept with the straits I'm in," Rachel responded with a nervous laugh as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
Chaytan took his wife's hand and said, "Come, then. Let us see if we can help each other."
Rachel thanked her old neighbors as they left to return home, having succeeded in moving all of her things in only one day. She let out a sigh of relief, amazed at her good fortune.
Though she didn't have quite as much room as in her old home, she had more than enough. All of the utility hookups remained from when the house had served as two apartments, which meant she could have her own kitchen and laundry room. She could easily live completely separate from her new landlords, but socializing with the couple as she moved gave her indications that she probably wouldn't.
Mika stood in the doorway separating the two halves of the house when Rachel shut her door. "Care for some tea?"
"I'd love some. Thank you."
Mika beckoned Rachel into the other side of the house and turned. Rachel felt a little envious of Mika's long, dark locks, which reached nearly to her shapely bottom. Rachel tore her eyes away from that sight, not wanting Mika to see the evidence of her constantly suppressed desires. Her attraction to both sexes had awakened at almost the exact same time in her youth, though she'd never indulged her attraction to other women, and felt ashamed of the feelings.
Mika had already prepared the tea, which sat steaming on a coffee table in front of the couch. The dark haired beauty remarked, "It's nice to have some company. I don't really fit into the social circles here."
Rachel smiled as she sat down and revealed, "Neither do I. How long have you lived here?"
"We moved here last year when Chaytan was promoted," Mika answered.
The two women chatted about their past for more than two hours, learning much about each other and growing more comfortable by the minute. When Mika rose to prepare dinner before her husband returned from work, Rachel offered to help.
Rachel quickly proved her capability in the kitchen, prompting Mika to mention, "I noticed you have a turkey. For Thanksgiving?"
Rachel nodded and dried the wooden spoon she'd just washed. "It's far too much for one, but I just couldn't break tradition. I was put in charge of the holiday meals when my mother took sick when I was thirteen. After that, it just became my place, even once Mom recovered."
Mika smiled nervously and chuckled. "My only attempt proved a disaster. We ended up going to a Chinese restaurant that year."
"Do you have any plans for Thanksgiving?" Rachel asked.
Mika shook her head. "Both of our families are out West, and they don't celebrate Thanksgiving."
"It sounds like we can help each other out again, then. I'll cook Thanksgiving dinner, and the two of you can help me eat it so that I'm not still having turkey sandwiches in mid January."
"I was hoping you might say that," Mika said with a slightly embarrassed smile. "I can help, and maybe learn how not to have cardboard turkey hours later."
"I wasn't looking forward to spending Thanksgiving alone," Rachel admitted.
"I thought you looked a little sad when you put the turkey back in the freezer. I guessed that might be it."
Rachel started to ask a question, but thought better of it. The thought must have shown in her expression because Mika asked, "What is it?"
Rachel answered, "It's nothing. Way too personal."
"We won't know that unless you ask."
Rachel took a deep breath and said, "Well ... I just wondered about you celebrating Thanksgiving."
Mika smiled and let out a little laugh. "Our families don't understand it either. There are still hardships for our people, and there's still prejudice, but Chaytan and I believe in moving forward, not looking back. It's a wonderful celebration about family, and reflecting on the blessings of the previous year."
Mika sighed, and then shrugged. "We lost touch with a lot of our heritage to break free of the chains of poverty, but we hope to someday support those who maintain the old customs, and do our part in our own way."
Rachel smiled and said, "I think you understand Thanksgiving better than most people do."
The egg timer on the counter went off, drawing a glance and an odd stare from Rachel. Mika noticed the look and asked, "Is everything okay?"
Rachel chuckled and waved a hand dismissively. "Just reminds me too much of my biological clock — tick-ticking away."
Mika's shoulders slumped a little and she nodded her head in sad agreement. Rachel groaned, "Oh no." She walked over and said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring up something painful."
Mika shrugged and forced a grin. "I'm coming to grips with it. Everything is just fine — except my eggs. For some reason, they just won't develop."
"Now I feel terrible," Rachel said, and hung her head.
Mika took Rachel's hand and said, "Don't. Sounds like we can both use some support and encouragement. Maybe we can do it for each other."
A chill raced up and down Rachel's spine from the soft touch, bringing a little smile to her lips. The temporary dip in the mood vanished as quickly as it had arisen.
Not long after, the sound of the front door opening heralded Chaytan's return, and he wore a wide smile when his wife and Rachel set the table with baked chicken and all the trimmings. Somehow, Rachel didn't feel at all out of place when she joined the couple at the dinner table. In fact, it felt more strange to her to pass back through the door into her side of the house a couple of hours later.
Feeling upbeat and remarkably comfortable in her new home, Rachel quietly hummed as she showered in preparation for bed.
Rachel assisted with dinner again after work the next day, and once again shared the table with her new friends. The couple seemed even more animated this evening than the last, and Rachel found that she opened up more as well. Something about the three of them clicked, and did so perfectly.
Rachel's mood was simply too buoyant to let her sleep when she stepped out of the shower, so she lay down on the couch to read until her eyes felt heavy. The novel was a recommendation from a colleague at work, and Rachel quickly discovered that the romance was far steamier than what she was used to.
Growing more aroused with every passing minute, Rachel continued to read — completely defeating the reason for picking up the book in the first place. Her sex tingled and her nipples pressed against the thin cotton of her nightgown, prompting her to touch those intimate places on occasion to calm the fires building within her.
Eventually, Rachel looked up at the clock and realized the lateness of the hour. She started in surprise and snapped the book shut with a self-depreciating chuckle, embarrassed to have let the erotic novel draw her in so completely. Just as she sat up to seek her bed, a whimpering sound caused her to cock her ear and listen.
Rachel's cheeks burned when she realized what the sound was. She recognized the distinct quality of Mika's voice in the whimpers of pleasure, which mingled with the creaking of the couple's bed, and Chaytan's vocalizations. Unconsciously, Rachel's hearing tuned in to the sounds, fanning the cooling coals of arousal that the novel had spawned within her.
The building volume and intensity of the couple's lovemaking signaled that they were nearing a crescendo. Rachel only snapped out of her heated trance when both Mika and Chaytan cried out in apparently simultaneous climax.
Rachel shuddered from the chilling jolt shooting through her that accompanied those cries, and almost immediately stood up. The air swirling around her as she crossed the hardwood floor to her bedroom left a chilly spot between her legs — evidence of a damp spot on her panties.
Once she closed her bedroom door, the chuckles and squeals that continued to sound from the bedroom on the other side of the house were no longer audible. Her body demanded attention, but Rachel felt self-conscious about surrendering to that call.
Weariness finally took hold of her, and she drifted off to sleep, her body still aching.
The next morning, Rachel heard a knock on the door adjoining the two sides of the home just as she was about to leave for work. Only recently awakened and caffeinated, the image of Mika in a clinging nightgown merged directly into Rachel's memories of the sounds from the night before — and the dreams that had followed.
Mika said, "I'm glad I caught you. I forgot to add pumpkin to the list that I gave Chaytan. Do you think you could pick some up?"
"Of course," Rachel answered, glad that her work attire hid the evidence of her rapidly stiffening nipples. "How many cans?"
"Four I suppose. I'll either have enough to bake another pie later, or enough to save myself if I burn the first one," Mika answered with a laugh.
"I'll see you this afternoon, then," Rachel said as she draped her purse over her shoulder.
Mika waved and turned, revealing that her nightgown hugged the curves of her backside just as snugly as it did her small, firm breasts.
It took Rachel most of her commute to fight down the beautiful image in her mind, and the embarrassing arousal that came with it. Little did she know that it was only a prelude of things to come.
A slow day at the office allowed Rachel to leave earlier than expected. Even the stops at three grocery stores to locate pumpkin so close to Thanksgiving put her back in the driveway more than an hour early. The door between the two halves of the house was open, which didn't surprise Rachel. Mika had mentioned that she probably would do so at times to help balance the temperature, due to a shortage of vents on Rachel's side of the house.
What Rachel saw when she peeked through the doorway with her sack of pumpkin in hand did surprise her.
Apparently engrossed in her phone call, Mika didn't notice Rachel frozen in the doorway with a wide-eyed stare. Mika wore nothing but a sheer pair of pearly white panties and a matching bra. The dark cascade of the native woman's hair and her light, reddish-brown skin formed an eye-catching contrast to the bright material of the undergarments. Even from across the room, Rachel could easily see the prominent points of Mika's dark nipples, and the silhouette of her curl-adorned sex.
"I know. I've never had an orgasm like that," Mika said to her husband on the other end of the phone. She then let out a purring moan and added, "I wish it could be real, instead of just a fantasy. I'm going to ravish you again tonight — you know? I already had to use my vibrator twice today."
Rachel's face burned from a combination of overhearing the conversation and her own reaction to it. Her thoughts raced to her own vibrator, safely secreted in the small chest of drawers next to her bed.
"I'll see you in a couple of hours, then," Mika said, indicating that she was about to hang up.
Rachel snapped out of her trance and quickly stepped out of the doorway, her heart racing. A minute later, she heard the distinctive, short creak that the couple's bathroom door emitted when someone opened it. Rachel took several deep breaths and clenched her intimate muscles, slowly squelching the shameful flame of desire within her.
Thanksgiving morning found Rachel and Mika hard at work in the kitchen. Chaytan tried to help at first, but quickly discovered that he was only in the way. His wife shooed him to the television so that she could learn the mysteries of a successful Thanksgiving dinner.
Rachel, having held this task since her early teens, proceeded with effortless efficiency. She started every dish at exactly the right moment to have everything come out either piping hot or properly chilled at the same time. The boon of having two stoves, ranges, and microwaves in the house made the effort easier than ever before, providing ample opportunity for Rachel to explain exactly what she was doing.
Chaytan found his place to help when the time arrived to set the table. Though the women had purposely scaled back most of the recipes, the table still groaned with food by the time the three of them sat down to eat and share in each other's company.
Rachel put down her spoon with a sigh and leaned back in her chair. "No pie for me just yet."
"Me either," Chaytan declared. "The two of you are a marvel. Everything was perfect."
Mika positively beamed from the praise and took her husband's hand. "Our first real Thanksgiving dinner." He smiled and leaned in to kiss her. Once their lips parted, Mika turned to Rachel and said, "Thank you for making it possible."
"I couldn't have done it without your help," Rachel countered. "But, you're welcome."
The three continued to chat for nearly an hour, and then reluctantly abandoned their chairs with groans of overstuffed protest to clean up. With everything put away and the first load of dishes in the dishwasher, Chaytan's eyes started darting toward the clock on the wall on a regular basis.
Mika laughed. "Go — watch your precious football." She then dropped her mock sarcastic tone and said, "You've earned a day to be lazy," before giving him a kiss.
Chaytan hurried to his chair, only pausing long enough to grab a beer from the refrigerator. Mika suggested, "There's a good movie on Lifetime," and pulled out two wine glasses from a cupboard.
The thought of relaxing with a glass of wine was hardly unappealing to Rachel, so the two women adjourned to her side of the house, bottle and glasses in hand.
The bustle of preparing the meal had kept Rachel's mind centered, but she quickly discovered that her unwelcome — and potentially disastrous — attraction to Mika resurfaced with a vengeance as the two sat sipping wine. Mika sat with her long, shapely legs pulled up on the couch, seemingly begging for Rachel to caress them.
Rachel did her best to concentrate on the movie, and drank a little more wine than she probably should have. She discovered this upon rising to go to the bathroom and promptly losing her balance. If anything, the embarrassment of her stumble was a welcome relief from the turmoil of suppressed desire within her.
Mika turned toward her as Rachel returned from the bathroom. "I think I may be a little tipsy, too," she said with a laugh as she poured more wine. When she attempted to sit the bottle back on the table, it slipped from her hand. She managed to catch it with a little yelp of alarm, but sloshed wine from her glass all over her blouse in the process. "Oh no, oh no, oh no," she exclaimed, quickly putting down her glass and looking with alarm at the red wine stain.
Rachel knew exactly how to come to the rescue. "I found something on the internet that is a miracle on red wine stains."
"I hope it works," Mika lamented, "I love this blouse. I'll be in the bathroom."
Rachel hurried to the kitchen to fetch the dishwashing soap. The other half of the magical potion was already in the bathroom — hydrogen peroxide. She stepped into the bathroom just in time to see Mika remove her stained bra.
Caught off guard, Rachel couldn't help but drink in the sight. Mika's breasts were perfect teardrops, culminating in tips of chestnut brown. Thankfully for Rachel, Mika was too busy laying out the garments flat to notice her stunned boarder standing in the doorway, holding her breath. Rachel continued into the bathroom, knowing that she had little choice but to face the temptation now.
Purposely keeping her eyes away from the enticing sight of Mika's bared breasts, Rachel opened the medicine cabinet and took down the peroxide. "It's mostly peroxide, with a touch of dishwashing soap," she explained as she opened the bottle.
Mika watched as Rachel carefully poured the peroxide over the blouse, and then worked in the dishwashing soap with a washcloth. The stain faded as if by magic with every pass of the cloth, causing Mika to emit a sigh of relief. She picked up the peroxide and a second washcloth to work on her bra.
Oh god, Rachel thought as the woman at her side moved the washcloth in slow circles. The motion caused Mika's breasts to jiggle hypnotically, threatening to attract Rachel's eyes like a magnet. Try as she might, she couldn't keep her eyes from flashing toward the beautiful sight.
"It's like a magic potion," Mika remarked as she glanced over to see that the stain on her blouse was almost invisible.
"It's saved my life a couple of times since I found it," Rachel responded as she put down the cloth.
Mika put down her cloth as well, since her blouse had soaked up most of the wine, leaving only a small, faint stain on her bra — now gone. Again, Mika sighed in relief and turned to Rachel to say, "Thank you." She then reached out her arm, and Rachel's heart skipped a beat when the beautiful native woman hugged her.
Rachel's hand moved to Mika's bare back, the feeling of soft skin beneath her fingertips sending chills racing throughout her body. Mika moved closer, wrapping her other arm around Rachel, and the blonde followed her friend's lead. The hug lingered, so wonderful and frightening to Rachel at the same time. She could feel the warm kiss of Mika's breath on her neck, and an almost electric tingle where her breasts touched Mika's smaller ones.
Mika let out a small, almost inaudible moan, and one of her hands slipped lower, to the small of Rachel's back. Unconsciously, Rachel caressed her hands over Mika's back, her breathing quickening. Then, she gasped and shuddered as Mika's hand slipped even lower, gliding over her bottom.
Both women pulled back at the same time, but didn't lose contact with the other. Their eyes met, and they knew. Mika's liquid brown eyes and Rachel's bright blue ones were both filled with desire.
"I..." Rachel began, but could find no more words. Her fingers continued to caress Mika's back.
"Have you ever... ?" Mika had little more luck framing her thoughts into words as she remained locked in Rachel's eyes.
Rachel shook her head almost imperceptibly. "Have you?" She asked, her voice still soft, with a breathless quality.
"No. It always frightened me until Chaytan coaxed the fantasy from me."
"How did he react?"
Mika shivered, her eyes fluttering closed for a second. When she opened them again, her eyes glowed with even stronger desire. "He asked what I thought about you. We've never had such incredible sex."
Rachel gasped, unable to resist the reaction in light of Mika's words and the smoldering need in the woman's brown eyes.
One of Mika's hands moved from Rachel's back, directly to the blonde's right breast. In a soft, irresistibly sensual voice, she said, "I want it to be real."
That touch burned through Rachel's shame, fanning her own desire into a roaring bonfire. Her hand found Mika's breast, to caress the firm globe even as Mika did the same.
A quiet moan escaped Rachel as a smile spread across Mika's face, and she reached for the top button of the blonde's blouse. Her breathing heavy with excitement, Rachel worked on the buttons at the bottom, until the two met in the middle. Rachel had no more than shrugged off the blouse before Mika deftly popped the clasp on Rachael's bra.
Mika slipped first one, then the other strap from Rachel's shoulders, and the concealing cloth slid away. Mika teased the blonde's stiff nipples with her fingertips, and then pulled Rachel into a kiss.
"Who wants some pie?"