Author's Note: Ooooh, all sorts of good suggestions for the next story! But first, I'm really happy that everyone seemed to enjoy the weddings. Those were some of the hardest chapters I've had to write, but I thought both ceremonies turned out very well. One reader, alphaMilca, mentioned some interest in who some of the other performers at Hannah and Lola's wedding were. Well, I had actually thought about that myself, and the set list I had come up with included the wonderful Kelly Clarkson (as seen in the last chapter), Paramore (who performed "Brighter," "Hallelujah," and "Miracle"), Gwen Stefani and No Doubt ("It's My Life" and "Spiderwebs"), Flyleaf ("There For You"), Sophie B. Hawkins ("Only Love") and ending with U2 ("All I Want Is You," "Everlasting Love," and "Ultraviolet"). Even in a dream world I don't think I could get Veruca Salt and Nina Gordon back together, but they'd have been a great addition as well. I miss the sound of them together. There are several other bands that would be great as well, but the ones above are the ones who made the most sense to me.
Some of the other reviews were very touching to me. J.S. Jamesbrooke, your review in particular was very heartfelt. You've gotten exactly what I try to convey with Miley and Lilly, and you sum it up perfectly with your statement, "Love, no matter the form, is truly a gift." Saiba (aka MiddiVampira), I love your reviews because you're always so energetic! You also happen to be the first reviewer to suggest combining a senior trip with high school graduation, with several others voting for one or both of those settings. Therefore, that's going to be the setting for the next story, which I expect will be a rather long one. But afterwards I'm planning on continuing the series through different stages in their lives, so at some point there should be a college story, at least one pregnancy story, and at least one story with their child or children. That way everyone gets what they want! (Especially Miley and Lilly.) I also am intrigued by the suggestion of Jd Midnight, who thought a skiing trip would be an excellent setting for a senior trip. I can't ski for anything (although I fall pretty well), but that does have a certain appeal to it... Finally, to all my readers and reviewers, thank you much for following this story of our heroines. It's been my pleasure and an honor to have you all along for this joyous ride.
For my list of disclaimers, please see Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. I need to add several other names to the list of celebrities over whom I have no and make no claim, including Regis Philben, Kelly Ripa, and Dr. Laura Berman. Also, please exercise some common sense when reading this or any other story. If you don't like it, then stop reading it!
As I Am, I Take Thee
by Jo P.
Chapter 7: Sweet Surrender
True friends will go to the ends of the earth
To find the things you need
Friends hang on through the ups and the downs
'Cause they've got someone to believe in
--Hannah Montana;"True Friends"
After the wedding and private reception inside the restaurant on the second floor of Cinderella's castle, Cameron had taken them back to the secret apartment on a higher floor. Once there, they changed into more typical clothes, a light blue t-shirt and khaki capri pants for Miley and a red tank top with blue jean shorts for Lilly. They helped repack their wedding gowns and veils into the protective bags they came in, then they placed their shoes on the floor beside the bed. Lilly softly said to Miley, "What do we do with the wigs?"
Miley looked into the mirror, remembering that she and Lilly still had their wigs on. She slipped hers off and placed it in the protective silk bag she had in her rather large purse. "I guess we go ahead and take them off," Miley said, not seeing many other alternatives. They still needed Cameron to operate the locked elevator to take them down. She looked at Lilly. "I think we can trust Cameron. I mean, how the heck is she going to recognize us? Plus, she'd get in huge trouble if she told anyone what we looked like. Oh, and how does she know these are really wigs?" she said, holding up the pink silk bag with Hannah's wig in it for emphasis. "As far as she knows, these might be the wigs," she added, tugging slightly on her own curly chestnut brown hair.
Lilly pondered that thought for a few seconds, then she removed her pink Lola wig, dropping it into her own silk bag, this one lavender. "Good points." She replaced the wig bag in her purse then zipped the purse back up. She slung the black and pink bag over her shoulder and stepped into her pink Crocs. "You ready?" she asked.
"Yeah," said Miley, straightening out Lilly's wedding gown bag. "I just want them to be okay."
Lilly walked over to Miley and said, "Miles, Cameron is going to have them professionally stored and vacuum sealed, then she's going to have them shipped to our house, just like we already talked about last month. Like you said, we can trust her." As Miley turned and took Lilly's hand, Lilly added, "I like her. There's just something... spunky about her."
Miley grinned. "Yeah, like another blonde I know," she said as she opened the door to the bedroom.
"You ladies ready?" Cameron said, turning away from the window. She had changed from her dress into a blue Walt Disney World polo shirt and khaki shorts, but her energy still radiated like an aura. Not a word was said about the change in the girls' appearance, and Cameron's warm smile never so much as flickered.
"Yep," Miley said as Lilly nodded. "Thank you again Cameron, so, so much," Miley said, hugging their wedding coordinator.
Lilly likewise hugged Cameron, pushing Miley back into the hug as well. "Yeah, you did a terrific job!" she said happily. "Without you, things would have been a wreck."
"Oh, I don't know about that," Cameron said. "But thank you. I had a great time getting your wedding planned out and making sure it ran smoothly." She led them over to the elevator and pressed the button, with the door immediately opening. "But now I think I'll take about a week off," she said with a more mischievous grin as she stepped into the elevator and inserted her key, selecting the ground floor.
As Miley and Lilly laughed, Lilly added, "You've earned it." When the elevator stopped and the door opened, it revealed a shadowed section on the ground floor of Cinderella's castle. The three women stepped onto the stone floor of the castle, seeing the walkway through the castle a few yards in front of them. None of the many tourists passing through gave the women so much as a glance, which reassured Miley and Lilly tremendously. As they stood there for a minute, Cameron quietly said, "Shouldn't you two get started on your honeymoon?"
Miley and Lilly looked at each other and smiled. "Oh yeah," Miley said. "Everything's done. Nothing else we have to do."
"Woo hoo!" Lilly said, in a voice softer than she normally would use for a celebratory whoop. "And now I get you all to myself for three days!" She kissed Miley on the lips, then added, "That was a great idea to get the rest of our families rooms at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. That way we have our privacy while they still get to have a great time down here." As Lilly released Miley, they turned to look back at Cameron. "Thanks again," they both said together.
Cameron smiled back at them and said, "You two are going to have a great life." She gave them a little wave and took a few steps back, still facing them as she said, "And when you have kids, I fully expect you to bring them back down here and see me." She then turned and stepped back onto the elevator, waving as the doors closed, leaving Miley and Lilly by themselves in the little alcove.
Miley and Lilly watched the elevator doors for a few seconds, still smiling as they held each other. "She reminds me of somebody," Lilly said, squinting her eyes in concentration.
"Tinker Bell," Miley said proudly, turning and leading Lilly by the hand into a walk toward the park entrance.
"Yes!" Lilly said happily. "The hair, the personality, the spunkiness, it's all Tinker Bell!" She looked proudly at Miley. "Nice job," she said.
"I'd been trying to think of it for weeks when it finally hit me this afternoon," Miley said. "Right after we got up to the apartment to change."
"Well, you just saved me some brain cycles trying to think of it," Lilly said as she leaned against Miley for a few seconds while they walked, then she straightened back up while continuing to hold Miley's hand. "So now where are we going?"
Miley said, "I was thinking we should go make sure everything made it to our room."
Lilly said, "Yeah," drawing the word out over several seconds. "I think I know the other reason you want to go to the hotel room, Miles," she added with her sultry voice.
Miley smiled. "Well, that too."
"Good choice, Ste—" Lilly paused, then said, "I mean, Truscott." She laughed. "Sorry. Almost five years of habit there."
Miley thought it was cute. She pulled Lilly closer and said, "Whatever you want to call me, sweetheart, I'm still yours."
"Well, I like being able to call you Mrs. Truscott."
"Then Mrs. Truscott it is!" Miley said cheerily before she added, "Mrs. Truscott," with a grin, getting a bump from Lilly's shoulder in return.
After a monorail ride through the Contemporary and Polynesian Resorts, they arrived back at the Grand Floridian. As they disembarked with a handful of other resort guests, they made their way to the bungalow inside the resort where their suite was located. "Yay, we made it," Lilly said, pleased that they had made it to their room without anyone recognizing them. Lilly slid the key card into the card reader outside their hotel room door, smiling as she got a green light and a soft click after the reader acknowledged her card. She opened the door and very nearly stepped inside before Miley grabbed her arm.
"You forgetting something, Truscott?" Miley said, not releasing her grip on her wife's arm.
Lilly smacked herself on the forehead lightly. "Duh. Sorry Miles, it's been kind of a long day," she said, turning to smile at Miley.
Miley returned her smile and ran her free hand through Lilly's silky blonde hair. "It's okay, hon. But we're not gonna disrespect tradition!" Lilly grinned as Miley squatted slightly and grabbed Lilly by both thighs, lifting her wife up in a sitting position with them facing each other as Lilly wrapped her arms around Miley's body, holding on tightly. Miley tried not to laugh as she carried Lilly across the threshold into their hotel room, letting the door close behind them.
"Aren't you supposed to carry me sideways?" Lilly asked, a smirk on her face as Miley set her down carefully.
Miley gave Lilly a look that was supposed to indicate ambivalence as she said, "You're across the threshold, aren't you?" However, she could only hold the serious face a few seconds before Lilly leaned forward and began tickling her, getting squeals of laughter from Miley. Miley quickly recovered enough composure to push Lilly toward the large king-sized bed, covered in a soft pink and white comforter. As Lilly fell backwards onto the bed, Miley followed up her counterattack by pouncing atop Lilly, straddling Lilly's torso. "I got you now," Miley said with relish.
Lilly looked up, her arms pinned by Miley's hands. "So what are you gonna do to me, Miles?" Lilly said, asking a question for which she already knew the answer. As Miley leaned forward, she released Lilly's arms and moved to her hands to gently grip the sides of Lilly's head. She tenderly kissed the woman to whom she had sworn her life and everything after. The kisses quickly escalated from tender to heated, and then from heated to sizzling as the passion inside the two very mature seventeen-year-olds began to boil. Without any further words, Lilly began stripping Miley's t-shirt off, tossing it sideways as soon as it had cleared her head and arms. Miley started to do the same for Lilly's shirt until Lilly reached down and pulled her shirt off, dropping it on the bed above their heads. As they quickly shed their clothes between kisses, the two of them somehow managed to pull back the covers before they finally lost all restraint and gave in to their desires, mixing cries of passion with soft whispers of love as they consummated their marriage.
Some time later, Miley woke to a tickling sensation on her nose. "Mmm, stop, Lilly," she mumbled lightly. The tickling sensation intensified in response to her sleepy request, prompting her to open her eyes. As she did so, she saw Lilly beside her, leaning slightly over her face as she tickled Miley's nose with a few strands of her hair. Miley couldn't help but snicker at how cute Lilly looked, a look of concentration firmly on her face as she focused on her task.
"I see you're awake," Lilly said with a giggle. "You enjoy yourself back there, Miles?" Lilly asked with a lilt in her voice.
Miley smiled as she wrapped her right arm around Lilly, pulling her warm body back against Miley, settling perfectly against her side. "I enjoyed myself... a LOT," Miley said, emphasizing the last word dramatically. "You seemed pretty hot about it too, I think."
Lilly closed her eyes, shuddering as she remembered the searing heat accompanying Miley's fingertips as she ran them along Lilly's skin during their lovemaking. "You were setting me on fire just by touching me, Miley," she said, still slightly amazed. "I mean, you always send tingles down my skin by touching me, but it was like..."
Miley grinned. "Yeah, same for me too, Lil. And I'm sorry if I freaked you out when--"
"No!" Lilly said, opening her eyes back up. "You didn't freak me out at all, Miles, I swear. It felt really, really good."
"You sure?" Miley asked, concerned.
Lilly nodded. "Oh yeah," she confirmed. "In fact, maybe we should do that again on some other... special night."
Miley tried not to laugh at Lilly's attempt to not seem so eager. "What, like days that end in the letter -y?" she asked. As Lilly nodded her head again, her eyes sparkling, Miley laughed, finally letting go of all her worries, all her concerns for the time being.
As Lilly took in the happiness, the pleasure in her wife's laugh, she knew that all the stress of the last few months of planning the weddings had been worth it. Simply hearing Miley laugh so freely would have made almost anything worth doing, as far as Lilly was concerned. She reached up and lightly touched Miley's nose with the tip of her right index finger. "Miley, I don't think there's a way you could touch me that I wouldn't like."
"Except when I pinch your butt too hard on accident?"
Lilly winced in reflex. "Well, I still know you're doing it because you love me, and that it's an accident when you do it too hard." She leaned into Miley's caress as Miley slid her fingertips up and around Lilly's neck and cheek. "Mmmm, that feels good."
Miley tenderly kissed Lilly's soft lips, tasting a hint of Lilly's strawberry lip gloss mixed with the taste of Miley herself. "I totally agree," Miley said, savoring the taste of them together. "Want to go get in the hot tub?"
Lilly opened her eyes again, looking into Miley's matching ice-blue eyes. "That would feel really good, I bet," she said. She smiled as she added, "Whether we make out in it or not."
Miley's smile mirrored Lilly's as she said, "Well, we are newlyweds, you know."
Minutes later, the two were leaving the large bungalow housing their suite and several other rooms. They walked quietly through the warm night air, the soft popping sound of their flip flops the only noise announcing their presence. While there were still quite a few people moving around the resort, no one so much as raised an eyebrow at the two young women holding hands as they weaved their way through the pool area until they reached the hot tub. The hot tub already held three girls and two boys, roughly their age but maybe a few years older, laughing as they talked among themselves.
Miley pulled a pool chair closer to the hot tub and placed their beach bag holding their room keys on it. She then took off her oversized t-shirt, revealing her bright electric blue bikini, as Lilly snatched two towels from a nearby towel cart. As Lilly handed the towels to Miley, she arranged them to cover their beach bag, but she managed to get a good look as Lilly took off her own t-shirt to show off her horizontally striped bikini, its baseline dark brown material highlighted with stripes of bright colors, including blue, pink, yellow, green, and orange. As Lilly tugged the shirt over her head, the muscles in her stomach slightly stood out. While not particularly visible when she wasn't trying to accentuate them, those muscles were still quite well-developed, and just a glimpse of them still made Miley's stomach leap into her throat. You look SO hot, Miley thought, then she smiled and laughed at herself. Four years ago, I'd have freaked out at thoughts like that. But three years ago I was having them all the time about Lilly. And now I realize that my feelings like that for her are as natural as breathing for me.
"What is it, Miles?" Lilly said, having seen the expression on Miley's face.
Miley smiled and said, "Just thinkin' about how things change over time. And how sometimes that change can be so amazingly good that it seems like a dream."
Lilly smiled back and took Miley's hand. "C'mon," she said as she led Miley to the hot tub, "let's get in. There's a little chill in the air."
As Miley followed Lilly over and into the hot tub, she saw the others in the hot tub scoot slightly closer to each other, giving the newcomers their space. Miley sat next to Lilly, their shoulders and sides touching as they held hands under the water, which came up to partly cover their breasts where they were sitting.
"Hi!" Lilly said cheerily to the others, getting a few greetings in return. "Vacation?" she asked.
One of the young men, his dark hair cut close to his scalp, nodded and said, "Yeah, our classes don't start back until Wednesday."
The young brunette sitting beside him added, "This is our last night here, because we have to start driving back tomorrow. We all go to UNC Chapel Hill."
As Lilly spoke, Miley slipped her left arm around her wife, holding her even closer, which prompted Lilly to smile even more than usual. She let the fingertips of her right hand gently graze the top of Miley's thighs as she caressed her partner while leaning into her embrace. "UNC, that's North Carolina, right?" Lilly said, getting nods in return. "We're seniors now, trying to narrow down our choices for where to go to college. We brought our grades a lot over the last two years, trying to make sure we get our top choices for schools."
Another girl, this one a blonde, said, "We're all over the place with class standings. Particularly Jerry here," she said as she pointed at the second young man, "who's on the seven-year plan." The others laughed at her joke, including Jerry, whose wavy blonde hair would have looked right at home in California.
"Hey, I happen to like college!" he said in mock protest.
As everyone shared a laugh, the blonde asked, "Which schools are you two looking at?"
Lilly and Miley looked at each other briefly before Miley said, "Well, we're applying to several different schools. Right now it's USC, UCLA, Pepperdine and Stanford."
"And UT," Lilly added. She looked at the others and said, "Miley's brother starts at UT next year, plus her family's from Tennessee."
Miley said, "Well, some of that was to make Daddy happy."
"But we'd really prefer to stay close to home," Lilly continued. "We're from Malibu."
"Nice," said the young man with short dark hair. "Is the weather there like this all the time?" he asked, gesturing expansively with his hand.
Lilly laughed, sending shivers of happiness through Miley. "Pretty much. I had never even seen a real snow until we went to Miley's Mamaw's last Christmas." She turned and looked at Miley and said, "Are we going back for Christmas this year?"
Miley smiled and said, "You want to?"
Lilly looked surprised. "Duh?" she said, feigning shock. "What do you think, Miles? Of course I want to go back and see your family for Christmas!" She smiled sincerely and softly said, "I had a great time there with you last year, and I plan on us making that a holiday tradition." She then leaned in and kissed Miley, lingering on her lips for a few seconds. As she pulled back and licked her lips, she and Miley noticed the hot tub had gone silent. They looked over at the five sitting across from them in the hot tub, all of whom were looking at them with expressions ranging from amusement to attraction.
Miley said with a smile, "We got married yesterday. This is our honeymoon."
Wanting to deflect any suspicion that they might be Hannah and Lola Montana, Lilly added, "We flew up to Niagara Falls to get married. It's legal in Canada." She saw a few nods as they considered that.
"That's cool," said the third girl, who had remained silent until now. Her hair was a rich black, pulled back into a ponytail. She leaned forward slightly and asked, "How long have you two been together?"
Miley felt Lilly stop running her fingers along her legs and instead grip her firmly under the water. Uh oh.
Lilly leaned forward herself as she said, "We've been together two and a half years now." She looked directly into the other girl's dark eyes and added, "And we're exclusive. Now and forever." Her voice became firm and slightly icy as she made that point.
The other girl stopped easing forward at Lilly's words. "Okay," she said with a smile. "But you two are pretty cute." She leaned back, settling into her spot between the other four.
The brunette said, "Pay no attention to Tara," turning to look at the girl Lilly had just put the brakes on. "She's a bit oversexed."
Lilly's face remained resolute as she said, "I don't share. Not when it comes to my Miley." She settled into Miley's lap, allowing Miley to wrap her arms around Lilly as Lilly settled her head on Miley's right shoulder.
Miley couldn't help but glow as Lilly settled into her embrace. "And I don't share my Lilly, either," she said. "Never have, never will."
"Better not," Lilly mumbled softly against the soft skin of Miley's neck, getting a grin from Miley.
Miley kissed Lilly on top of the head, then she leaned back against the smooth wall of the hot tub, reveling in the sensation of the jets of warm water on her back and legs and the even warmer body she was holding.
"That is so hot," said Jerry with lust in his voice, prompting Miley and Lilly to open their eyes and look at the others in the hot tub with them. As they did so, they saw Jerry suddenly jump out of the hot tub, shouting wildly as he scrambled away from the water. "What the fuck did you do that for?" he yelled in Tara's direction.
Tara looked up at him and coldly said, "Because you were being an asshole!" She turned to look back at Miley and Lilly and smiled. "Grabbing a guy's balls and squeezing is a great way to get him to shut up," she said sweetly. "C'mon," she said to the others, "let's head back to the rooms."
As they got out of the hot tub, the others said good night to Miley and Lilly, leaving the two of them together in the hot tub. As the bubbles sputtered around them, the spray reflected some of the light around the hot tub platform, giving them a miniature light show as they relaxed. Lilly shifted her position so that she was faced more toward Miley, then she captured Miley's head with both hands and kissed her deeply. Miley continued to hold Lilly with her right arm, but her left hand began drifting until it brushed against Lilly's right breast. Miley then gently squeezed, getting a giggle from Lilly. "Tease," Lilly said with a laugh.
"Not me," Miley replied as she slid out from under Lilly, turning Lilly so she was in the same position Miley had just been in. Miley leaned forward and kissed Lilly hotly. Without any conscious thought, Lilly brought her arms up and around Miley's back, pulling Miley closer until they heard the voices of children approaching. Miley smiled as she pulled away from Lilly's lips, once again taking Lilly's hand under the cover of the bubbly, steamy water. She had just settled down beside Lilly in front of one of the more gentle jets of water when several little heads became visible as they approached the hot tub.
"Mom! There are already people in the hot tub!" one little boy who appeared to be about eight or nine called out.
A little girl beside him, roughly the same age, elbowed him as she pushed past him. "They're not people, Justin, they're girls! Get it right." Miley and Lilly tried not to laugh as the girl dropped her towel down next to the hot tub and slid in. She looked at the two young women already in the hot tub and said, "Hi! I'm Samantha."
Miley smiled back as she said, "Hi Samantha! I'm Miley, and this is Lilly." Lilly waved slightly with her free hand as she said, "Hello."
The boy splashed his way into the hot tub, much to the little girl's chagrin. "You got me wet, Justin!" she said, outraged.
"You're in a hot tub, Sam! Didja think about that?"
Samantha angrily sloshed water his way as she said, "I didn't want to get my hair wet! Ooohhh!"
Before the boy could return fire, a woman who appeared to be in her early to mid thirties yelled, "Samantha! Justin! Behave yourselves!" She looked at Miley and Lilly, then turned back to the children. "I don't think these young ladies want to get caught in the crossfire of a water fight between you two."
"They're both so cute," Lilly said. "Are they brother and sister?"
Their mother nodded her head. "Fraternal twins, actually. They both turned nine last week, so I brought them here for their birthdays."
Miley looked at Lilly and saw something in her wife's eyes. Something hungry, and not just for Miley. "You ready to get something to eat, Lil?"
Lilly smiled and said, "You read my mind, Miles." She turned to the family across from them now. "Maybe we'll see you three around. We're here for the next few days."
Samantha's mother started to say something, but the excited girl cut her off. "So are we! And we heard people saying that Hannah Montana is staying here, too! I hope I run into her so I can get her autograph!" She turned to look more closely at Miley and Lilly. "You're not Hannah Montana, are you?" she said to Lilly.
Lilly and Miley both laughed. "No sweetie, I'm not," Lilly said. "Is it the blonde hair?" The little girl nodded. "Well, she can sing way better than me," Lilly said truthfully. She leaned forward and said in a quieter voice, "I heard that the front desk is taking names of children staying here, so that Hannah can give them an autograph or something else."
Samantha quickly turned to her mother. "Mommy! You have to call the front desk! Hannah Montana's gonna give me her autograph!"
Her mother looked at Miley and Lilly, prompting Miley to say, "It's true! Our, uh, housekeeper told us about it!"
"Well, I'll check with the front desk when we get back to the room," Samantha's mother said, getting a little clap and jump from Samantha.
"Good night, Samantha, Justin," Lilly said, then adding, "Good night," to their mother. Miley climbed out of the hot tub then turned to help Lilly out. She handed Lilly her towel and proceeded to dry herself off as Lilly did the same. As they wrapped the towels around their hair, they grabbed their shirts and beach bag, then set off for their room. With no conscious thought, they held hands as they walked down the gentle steps from the hot tub.
"You want to order room service?" Miley asked as they got closer to the building where their room was located.
"Yeah, that works," Lilly said. "Don't really feel like going anywhere tonight." She yawned, then added, "Kinda tired."
Miley smiled as she said, "We've had a full day, Lilly Bear. But it's been a great day."
Lilly looked into Miley's eyes as she said, "One of the best, Miley. One of the best."
As they reached their room, Miley reached into the bag and retrieved one of their cards. Once the door was unlocked, they stepped inside. After a quick rinse in the shower, bathing suits and all, they dried off again. Lilly found the room service menu and flipped through some of the choices. She walked into the bathroom where Miley was scrubbing her face. "What are you in the mood for, lover?" Lilly asked.
Miley gave her a knowing look, then she clarified, "Foodwise, you mean?" When Lilly grinned, Miley said, "I want you to have one of the best, juiciest steaks you've ever had. We are celebrating, after all."
"Mmmm, that sounds great, Miley, but room service steaks can be pretty scary."
Miley took the menu from Lilly and walked over to the nightstand, where she dropped the menu behind the lamp. "This is where being a star can come in handy," she said. "You remember that number that Cameron gave us? The one we can use for 'special' requests?"
Lilly nodded. "I think so..."
Miley picked up the phone and dialed the number. Immediately a voice said, "Yes, Mrs. Montana?" Miley looked at Lilly and smiled as she said, "My wife and I would each like a great steak dinner, please, but we're really tired from all we had to do today, and we just want to enjoy it in our suite."
"Certainly! Where would you like your steaks from, and how would you like them prepared?"
"The restaurant here would be great, and we each like our steaks medium rare. Oh, and can we get the full meals, please? You know, the bread, vegetables, plus some water and juice to drink?"
"Of course, Mrs. Montana! We'll have it over there as soon as possible. Is there anything else we can do for you at this time?"
"No thanks," Miley said. As Miley replaced the handset on the phone, she started to say something when Lilly jumped onto the bed, tackling her. As Lilly held Miley down, she began untying the knots on the shoulder straps of Miley's bikini. "You," Lilly said, "are my hero." She reached underneath Miley and untied the last knot of Miley's top. "How long do we have before they get here with the food?"
Miley pulled Lilly's head down for a steamy kiss, then she untied Lilly's bikini top in return. "I'd guess fifteen minutes or so," Miley said as she began breathing more heavily.
"That's too soon," Lilly said as she went to work on Miley's bottoms, quickly removing them as well. "But I guess we have all night to finish what we start, huh?"
Miley shivered as she felt Lilly's fingers brush against her, but she managed to say, "Lil, we have the rest of lives," then she could only gasp with pleasure at Lilly's loving touch.
After several very enjoyable minutes, their dinner arrived. They had reached a good stopping point, and once they had settled down they fairly demolished the dinner. Lilly was in rare form, taking care of her salad, potatoes, squash and steak, as well as two glasses of water.
"You know, they do have more food where that came from," Miley said, giving Lilly a look of disbelief. "In case you want some more or something."
Lilly sighed contentedly. "Nah, I'm good, but thanks." She waited for Miley to finish her juice, then she wheeled the cart outside the room, leaving it beside the door. As she came back into the room, she used the bathroom and then brushed her teeth. As she was doing so, Miley slipped by her and went to the bathroom herself, washing off when she was done. When Miley stepped out, Lilly already had her toothbrush ready for her.
"Here you go, hon," Lilly said, handing Miley the toothbrush. She stepped into the bathroom and washed her body with a washcloth to remove any sweat from their vigorous activities earlier. Lilly smiled as she patted her skin dry with a clean towel, then she opened the bathroom door only to find that Miley had already turned off the lights and was waiting for her in the bed. Lilly smiled and made her way over to the bed, where Miley turned down the covers for her wife. Lilly slid into bed, thrilling at the coolness of the sheets as well as the warmth of Miley's skin. "Remember to say your prayers," Lilly softly said to Miley as they wrapped their legs and arms around each other.
"I will," Miley said. Some time ago Miley had made a promise to be thankful for every day she had with Lilly, and she had held to that promise. Lilly had made a similar promise to always appreciate each day they had together, and both girls had found that saying their prayers together made them feel even more thankful for all God had given them. Since they both had grown up saying their prayers at night, they soon got into a rhythm of saying their prayers at bedtime, each girl saying her own silent prayer before they fell asleep together. Tonight they both had many things to be thankful for, but at the heart of each prayer was a common idea: Thank you for helping me find the other half of my soul.
As the alarm clock went off, Miley and Lilly both reached to slap the snooze button and turn it off. Lilly guessed correctly and was rewarded with the clock going into snooze mode. Miley guessed the wrong side and slapped the wall. "Ow!" she said, sitting up and shaking her hand.
Lilly sat up quickly, taking her hand and examining it. She gave Miley a knowing look. "Hit the wall again?" she asked, trying not to laugh.
"Yes," Miley hissed. Lilly gently kissed her knuckles, taking her mind off her fingers that were smarting. "That feels nice," she said to Lilly.
"What am I going to do with you, Mrs. Truscott?" Lilly said playfully. "You work such magic with those hands! You can't be going and getting them hurt."
Miley smiled. "Force of habit. I'm so used to hitting that thing on school mornings."
Lilly ran her finger across Miley's pink lips, getting her to part them slightly. "Guess what?" Lilly said, her eyes bright.
"You never have to wake up without me again."
The simple truth of that statement and the honest love behind it surged directly into Miley's heart, triggering an instant emotional response of both elation and relief. Miley immediately started crying as she wrapped her arms around Lilly, startling her new wife.
"Miley?" Lilly said, now worried. "Miles, talk to me! What's wrong?" She debated trying to pull away and get a grip on Miley's shoulders, but the strength with which Miley held to her told Lilly that right now it was more important to just hold Miley for now and wait until she could talk. Lilly wrapped her own arms around Miley and gently lowered them to the bed. "Shhhhh, it's okay, Miles. Everything's okay," she said softly as she rubbed Miley's warm back. "Just talk to me when you're able to, okay?"
Miley sniffed a few times, then she said, "I've w-wanted this for so long, Lilly. And now that it's here, it's just..."
While it would be easy to take Miley's unfinished statement to mean she was having doubts, Lilly understood Miley on a deep, instinctive level, and she knew that Miley's words meant nothing of the sort. She just had to wait for Miley to tell her what she did mean by them.
Finally, after a few minutes of soft sobs, silent tears (from Lilly as well), and gentle touches to comfort each other, Miley thought she could speak. "I'm so sorry if I scared you," she said first, knowing from Lilly's smile in return that she was already forgiven. "We've just wanted this for so long, and we've done everything we had to so we could be together from now on, and now--," she said with a smile as she pulled a corner of the sheet up to wipe tears from her eyes, then she did the same for Lilly. "And now, I get to wake up every morning with an angel on my pillow beside me," Miley said, her lips quivering in a smile until Lilly quickly kissed her partner. Lilly then gently rolled Miley backward until she was lying on her back, looking at the ceiling. "I think my emotions are frazzled," Miley said, blowing out a sigh of irritation as Lilly gently ran a hand through her thick chestnut hair.
"Ya think?" Lilly said softly, adding just the hint of a southern accent to her voice. "I bet a nice warm shower will help unfrazzle them." Lilly sat up and took Miley's hands. "Up, girl!" she said, tugging Miley into a sitting position. "Remember, we have that interview on Regis and Kelly this morning from the Magic Kingdom."
Miley swung her legs off the bed and stood, stretching slowly. She saw Lilly look at her with a combination of adoration and desire that made Miley feel incredibly sexy and incredibly loved. "See something you like, Truscott?" she said as she lowered her arms back to her sides and walked to the bathroom.
"Lots of things I like," Lilly answered with some sass in her voice. "And I'm still seeing 'em," she added as she watched Miley's butt while she walked. "You know, I seem to remember stretching like that for you the morning after our first time."
Miley glanced over her shoulder and gave Lilly a smile. "Really?" she said, her voice a tone lower than normal as she smiled and batted her eyelashes. "We should probably conserve water," she said as she turned around to face Lilly.
Lilly didn't bother to look at the clock to check the time. She kept walking until she was right in front of Miley, making her wife lean just slightly back over the bathroom counter. "I think that's a wonderful idea," Lilly said with her sultry voice, leaning in like she was going to kiss Miley but then abruptly turning and hurrying into the shower, giggling all the way.
"You are so bad!" Miley said as she hurried into the shower behind Lilly. "Hey Lilly?" Miley asked as she stepped behind Lilly.
"Yeah hon?" Lilly asked as she wet her hair.
"I do remember you stretching like that for me, the morning after we made love for the first time," Miley said as she reached around Lilly and grabbed the shampoo, stealing a hug along the way.
"Mmmm, I thought you did," Lilly said, enjoying the sensation of Miley's wet skin sliding against her own.
"In fact," Miley said as she began shampooing Lilly's hair, "I remember every little detail about that morning."
Lilly bent her head down and turned toward Miley so she could wash the rest of her hair. "Do you remember teasing me on the phone while we were talking to your dad?" Lilly asked.
Miley tried not to laugh, but she let a giggle slip. "Yeah, I remember. You were about ready to pounce on me before we could hang up the phone!"
Lilly turned and placed her head under the stream of water, with Miley helping her rinse the shampoo out of her hair. Once that was done, Miley immediately squirted the conditioner directly on Lilly's head, then she began working it in. "That feels soooo good when you wash my head, sweetheart," Lilly said, pleasure evident in her voice.
"I'm glad you like it so much," Miley truthfully said. She did enjoy making Lilly feel good, and she had grown to love their morning ritual of showering together. As Lilly began to rinse the conditioner from her hair, Miley hugged her from behind, turning her head to escape most of the water's spray. "We get to do it every morning from now on."
Lilly turned and opened her eyes, the blue in them a brilliant sapphire hue now. She grinned and gently pushed Miley against the rear of the shower, getting a gasp from her lover as she encountered the cold tile. "Just like we get to do this every morning from now on," Lilly said as she kissed Miley.
"Amen to that," Miley said as she lowered her hands until she had a steady grip on Lilly's butt, then she pulled her wife close as they continued to kiss.
By eight o'clock, Miley and Lilly were ready and waiting at the monorail terminal. For Hannah today, Miley was wearing a bright pink shirt under a floral print halter top, with khaki shorts and tennis shoes. Lilly had chosen Lola's soft blue wig, pairing it with a white Hannah Montana concert shirt and bright green short skirt, with her own hot pink sneakers and several assorted bracelets of varying colors to round out the outfit. As they stood at the terminal by themselves, both wondered how long the relative peace would last. That question was soon answered as a group of parents flanked by several children of various ages reached the platform where Miley and Lilly were standing. As the piercing squeals from several little girls rang out, Miley and Lilly turned to each other and grinned.
"HANNAH MONTANA! LOLA LUFTNAGLE!" several high-pitched voices screamed in unison as they descended on Miley and Lilly like a swarm of bees on two brightly colored flowers. Lilly knelt down to the ground and greeted the girls with hugs as Miley smiled and bent over to offer her own hugs. Once all the girls and one of the boys had gotten hugs, Miley and Lilly began signing autographs. As a train approached the station, Miley and Lilly helped the parents gather the children back from the edge of the platform, pausing the autograph signing for a moment. Once the monorail had stopped and the doors opened, the small crowd hurried onto the train, where the remaining autographs were handed out.
As the girls were looking at their autographs, one of the mothers said, "You two are so sweet! My daughter just adores both of you."
"Thank you!" said Miley and Lilly at the same time. Lilly added, "Your kids seem very well-behaved."
One little girl said, "Hey, why did you sign your name Lola Montana? I thought it was Lola Luftnagle! That's what it always says on TV when I watch Heroes."
"Kathleen! You're not supposed to watch Heroes! It's too scary for you!" said a woman Lilly took to be the girl's mother.
"It's not scary!" the little girl countered. "It's cool! 'Specially when Lola uses her powers!"
Miley smiled and put her arm around Lilly, holding her snugly as she said, "I think it's cool too, but you shouldn't be watching it if your mommy tells you not to. You might have scary dreams."
Lilly nodded, then she remembered Kathleen's question. "Kathleen, my name changed yesterday," she said to the little girl, smiling proudly. "I got married."
Kathleen looked up at Lilly, wide-eyed. Lilly guessed she was probably around five or six at the oldest. Kathleen asked, "Who did you get married to, Lola?" She looked like she was about to cry.
Lilly knelt down and said, "I got married to someone who loves me very much, someone I love more than anything."
"Are you going to leave Hannah?" Kathleen said, tears now rolling down her adorable cheeks.
"What?" Lilly asked, surprised. "No, sweetie, I would never leave Hannah! I love her."
"But when a girl gets married she marries a boy and goes to live with him," Kathleen countered, her mouth curling downward in a frown.
Lilly smiled warmly and moved some blonde bangs out of the little girl's eyes. "Most of the time you're right," Lilly said, "but sometimes two girls or two boys might be such good friends and love each other so much that they can't be apart. And in those cases, sometimes they get married, like Hannah and I did yesterday."
Kathleen looked up, her expression a guarded neutral. "So you and Hannah are still friends?"
Lilly nodded. "Best friends."
"And you get to stay together?"
Lilly nodded again. "Always," she said, reaching back and up for Miley to take her hand and squeeze it. "I promise," she added. "That's why we married each other, Kathleen. So we get to be together forever."
Kathleen pondered this new information. "Well... I guess it's okay that you got married, then," she said seriously. "Is that why you changed your last name to Hannah's last name?"
Lilly grinned. "You're pretty smart!" she said, impressed with the little girl's deductive ability. "Yes, that's why I changed my last name to Montana. Sometimes a woman will do that when she gets married." Kathleen seemed satisfied with Lilly's answers, so Lilly held her arms open for a hug. Silently she was dreading a negative reaction from the girl's parents, but no objection or complaint was offered. As Kathleen stepped forward and hugged Lilly, Miley released Lilly's hand so she could hug the little girl tightly.
As Kathleen stepped back from Lilly, another girl, this one maybe ten or eleven, stepped forward and put her arm around Kathleen. "Kath, Hannah sang all those love songs on her last album for Lola, remember?"
"Oh yeah," said Kathleen. The barest hint of a smile was starting to show on her face, which pleased Lilly immensely.
Through the entire conversation, Miley also tried to assess the reactions of the parents listening to the conversation. Remarkably, no one seemed to be angry or upset as Lilly talked with the children. She has such a way with kids. That's one of her gifts. She's going to be an amazing mother to our children. Miley smiled as Lilly hugged Kathleen tightly, then she passed the girl over to Miley to hug, laughing at catching Miley off guard. Miley quickly recovered and gave the girl a firm hug, then she set her back down on the floor of the tram. She looked at the parents and said, "Ya'll stayin' at the Grand Floridian?" Getting nods in response, she leaned over and said, "When you get back to the hotel, go to the front desk and tell the concierge that you saw us today, and that I said to get your names so we can send everyone some stuff when we get back home, okay?" The children cheered at that, with several of them clapping.
The monorail slowed as it began its approach into the Magic Kingdom. As it came to a stop, Miley and Lilly let the kids get closest to the door. Once the doors opened, the parents efficiently shooed the children out of the monorail car, with Miley and Lilly following them. As the fathers and one of the mothers arranged their children, two of the mothers looked at Miley and Lilly. "Thank you," the first one said, with the second adding, "And congratulations." The first mother smiled as she said, "It's so nice to have good role models for our children today. You two are always well-behaved, polite, kind and encouraging to our girls and boys."
"Thank you!" Miley said, with Lilly wiping a tear before she also said, "Thanks." Miley said to the children, "Maybe we'll see you around here today," expecting maybe a few cheers, but instead she and Lilly were swarmed again by the children, all of them hugging the girls as best as their little arms could. The two of them made sure to hug all the children before they were released. "Bye," said Lilly, waving as she and Miley began walking toward the exit. "Always remember to keep love in your hearts!" she said, taking Miley's hand as she said it, then she turned around so she could see where she was going.
"They were sweet kids!" Miley said.
"Yeah, they were adorable!" Lilly replied, still smiling at their interaction with them. "And it didn't feel like their parents were weirded out by us or anything."
"Yeah, I agree," Miley said. "I was watching them, and they didn't seem upset at all." She looked toward the entrance to the park, where several protesters stood watch, displaying signs with charming slogans such as Homo Sex Is A Crime, God Hates Lesbians, Pray For Your Soul!, and Hannah Montana Burn In Hell. Miley shuddered as she said, "Sure wish we could say that for everybody."
Lilly took Miley's hand, tugging Miley along when she involuntarily began to slow her stride. "We keep walking, Hannah, that's all we have to do. Whatever they say, we smile, hold hands, and keep walking."
Lilly's tone of voice indicated that there was no room for argument, which comforted Miley. When Lilly's mind was firmly set, nothing was going to knock it off course. Miley put her head down as they approached the protesters; thankfully, they hadn't been spotted yet. Maybe we can get through the picket line without being spotted. It was a hopeless thought, but it gave Miley something to focus on as she started to get queasy. This is silly! Why am I so worried about what these obnoxious people think? I've had critics before, and they've never affected me like this. But then Miley realized what had changed. Lilly. I'm worried about what they're going to say to Lilly. What hurtful things they'll try to do to her. They had faced criticism before. They had already been yelled at, been called lesbos, dykes, temptresses, and a host of other equally hate-dipped names. But this... This was their honeymoon, for heaven's sake. Shouldn't they be allowed at least three days where they didn't have to deal with the vocal minority who were ready to cast them into the depths of Hell just because they loved each other?
Thankfully, most people had already realized that their love was something beautiful, something just as precious as it would be in any boy-girl couple. The protesters, the hate mail, the angry shouts, the ugly names, they were diminishing over the last year. There were never really that many detractors to their relationship, and their numbers dwindled by the week. Miley was so caught up in her line of thinking, her attempt to distract herself from what they faced in the next hundred yards, that she hadn't realized the two of them had stopped walking until she heard Lilly's voice.
"Earth to Hannah," Lilly said with a smile. Her blue eyes twinkled with love as Miley looked deeply into them. This close, with the sun shining just right, Miley could see the little flecks of gold in Lilly's eyes. That's how I know you're really an angel, sent to be with me, she had told Lilly the first morning they woke as lovers, as she examined the hints of gold in Lilly's eyes. And Lilly had smiled, ran her fingers through Miley's unruly head of hair, and replied, Funny, that's how I've always known you were an angel too.
"Just thinkin'," Miley said. She sighed, then said, "It'd be really nice if we got some time during our honeymoon where we didn't have to deal with people who hate us."
Lilly smiled and gently ran her fingers down Miley's left cheek. "Yes, it would. But that's not how it is." When Miley lowered her gaze again, Lilly shifted her fingers and caught Miley's chin, tipping it back up so they were looking in each other's eyes. "Hey," she said. "We hold our heads up when we walk past them."
And just like that, Miley felt resolve surge back into her. I have Lilly, and that's all I need. I'm not ashamed of her. I don't regret loving her. And we should never have to hide our relationship. No one should. She smiled as she looked at Lilly. "You always know just what to say to me."
Lilly's eyes twinkled again as she wrinkled her forehead with a huge grin. "That's because I love you," she said as she leaned forward until their foreheads were touching. "And sometimes we all need a pep talk."
Miley took both of Lilly's hands in hers. Now they were starting to draw a crowd, as enough people were starting to recognize them despite the rush to get into the park. But for now, only one other person had Miley's attention, and she squeezed that particular woman's hands and said with a smile, "I'm ready, as long as I have you with me."
As they turned and began walking toward the protesters at the park entrance, Lilly said, "Sweetheart, I'm always with you, and I always will be." She tightly held Miley's left hand, willing all the love she could through that physical contact as some of the protesters spotted them and began yelling, waving their signs and pointing until all the protesters had joined in the frenzy of shouting. But the two young women ignored the catcalls, the insults, the tirades, the profanity, the threats directed at two girls whose only crime had been to fall in love with each other. They held their heads up high and smiled as they walked with the crowd past the picket line. And they were not ashamed.
As they reached the park gates, they went through the lines like everyone else. For mornings like these, they had been given a second set of keycards, two cards that had been made with Hannah's and Lola's names and pictures linked to them. As soon as they had passed through the gates, though, they were directed to the side where two park employees sat, obviously waiting on them. As Miley and Lilly approached the two young men, both of them stood. They were next to a cart that had been designed to look like an automobile from the twenties or thirties, painted a glossy red. "Mrs. Montana and Mrs. Montana?" one of them said.
"Yes?" Miley replied, stopping just short of them. Lilly stood next to Miley, her arm wrapping around Miley as they stood.
"We've been asked to take you to where the show is shooting today, ma'am...s," he said, awkwardly pluralizing the last word, which got giggles out of both Miley and Lilly.
"Sounds good to me!" Lilly said as she stepped up onto the rear section of the car, reaching down and helping Miley up before they both sat, hips and torsos touching as they held each other. "Even with that monorail thingy, there's a lot of walking here!"
Miley tried not to laugh at Lilly's statement, but she came up a bit short. "Lola, I think there's gonna be a lot of walking today!"
"All the more reason for us to ride when we can," Lilly countered, not missing a beat. As the car eased into motion, Lilly leaned over and gently rested her head against Miley's. "I'm so glad I get to share this with you," she said as the car zipped through the tunnel beneath the train tracks encircling this part of the Magic Kingdom and moved as quickly as it safely could through the early crowds. "What are we going to see today, once the interview is over?"
Miley thought about that. "Well, you can't come to Disney World and not ride Space Mountain," she said. "Plus I want to see the Finding Nemo ride."
"Ooooh, and the Haunted Mansion!" Lilly said with glee. "We have to see that!" She knew that Miley didn't enjoy scary stuff that much, just like she knew that such a ride would be guaranteed to put Miley in her lap for most of the ride. "Maybe twice."
Miley leaned over and said, not too softly, "There are easier ways to get me in your lap, sweetheart, and with less risk of me peeing on myself."
"Pirates of the Caribbean?" Lilly offered.
Miley nodded. "That works," she said happily. "After all, how scary could that be?"
Lilly grinned. "I guess we'll find out." She stopped talking as the cart slowed and then came to a halt. Miley hopped down first, then she turned and helped Lilly down, not releasing her hand until her wife was safely on the ground. As they shaded their eyes and looked around, they could see equipment set up in what appeared to be a haphazard manner, but before they looked around too much, a woman who appeared to be in her early or mid-thirties approached them.
"Mrs. Montana?" she asked, hesitantly. Miley and Lilly both fought not to laugh as they watched the woman try to decide on the correct form of address for the two of them.
Miley decided to let her off the hook. "You can call us Mrs. Montana and Mrs. Montana, or maybe the Mrs. Montana... but we're fine with Hannah and Lola, too."
"Thanks," she said as she extended her hand and firmly shook each girl's hand in turn. "I'm Kathy. Please follow me, and we'll get you two ready." She turned and led them through a small maze of cables taped to the ground, stacks of equipment, tables covered with everything from food to a disassembled camera, and finally to the makeup area. Miley and Lilly each sat in a chair, not needing any direction here. Each of them had a makeup artist, and they both closed their eyes as the light makeup was applied in an attempt to diffuse the harsh light of the sun that was beating down on central Florida today. After a few minutes, the two of them were ready. As they stood, Kathy smiled and led them along another path through the makeshift maze. As they reached the inner perimeter of the broadcast area, Miley and Lilly could see Regis Philben and Kelly Ripa, seated on tall chairs in the center of a minimalist set, chatting as casually as if they were in someone's breakfast area instead of being broadcast live to the nation in the middle of Disney's Magic Kingdom.
As Kathy discreetly waved, catching the hosts' attention, Kelly turned to see Miley and Lilly and eagerly said, "Oh look, Reege! Here they are now." She motioned for Miley and Lilly to step forward and take their places in the two tall chairs placed between and behind the hosts.
As she did so, Regis began his introduction, his voice's volume slowly building as he went on. "One of our two special guests today has sold over fifty million copies of her first four CDs on the way to winning two Grammys earlier this year, while the other is a rising young actress who is expected to be nominated for an Emmy this year for her work on NBC's Heroes. They were married yesterday on live TV in a ceremony held here in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom that we're told had more viewers than the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. They have become the public face for same-sex marriage and gay and lesbian rights. And did we mention they're both only seventeen?!?"
As Regis paused to catch his breath, Kelly seized the opportunity and said, "Please welcome Hannah and Lola Montana!"
As Miley and Lilly stepped forward, they continued to hold hands as they walked to the hosts. As they reached Kelly and Regis, the two hosts stood. Miley first hugged Regis while Lilly hugged Kelly, then they switched so each could hug the other host. Regis and Kelly seemed genuinely happy for them to be there, and their pleasant mood was contagious, putting Miley and Lilly in even brighter spirits than they already were. As the hosts settled back into their seats, Miley sat next to Regis with Lilly next to Kelly. Without any conscious effort, Miley's left hand and Lilly's right hand both sought and found each other, fingers interlacing as easily as blinking as the girls found comfortable spots in their seats.
"Thank you for having us here!" Lilly said, her grin brilliant in the early morning sun.
Regis smiled and said, "Well, thank you for taking time from your honeymoon to spend some time with us this morning!" He looked at Miley as well and added, "You two have certainly been busy these last few months, haven't you?"
"Um, yeah, that's one way to put it," Miley said, laughing slightly as she spoke.
"Do you two go to school?" Kelly asked, leaning forward slightly.
Lilly looked at Miley and cautiously said, "We'd really prefer not to give out too many details of our private lives. We make a very strong effort to keep our privacy when we're out of the public eye." Then she smiled and said, "But yes, we are finishing high school, and we're looking at colleges now."
"How are you going to adjust to college? I mean, I guess it'd be hard for other students to focus if they're in class with either of you," Kelly asked.
"Well, I don't really think we'd be a big distraction," Miley said. "I mean, we're talking college here! Famous people go to colleges all around the world, and you never hear that much about them."
"Well, Mary-Kate and Ashley," Lilly said, giving Miley a quick look.
"Okay, Mary-Kate and Ashley, they drew some attention, but only for a few weeks," Miley countered. "Then it died down."
"Along with their grades!" Regis said abruptly, getting a few chuckles around the set. He took a drink of his coffee, then he looked at his note cards before he said, "Now, ladies, I understand there are a few things you're wanting to tell us about this morning. Some announcements you're wanting to make?"
While Lilly had become a celebrity in her own right, she still liked to let Miley take the lead in most of these situations. It wasn't just shyness or fear of saying the wrong thing, although both those were still present in a small amount, it was more that this was Miley's place. She was a natural entertainer just as Lilly was a natural athlete, and for the two of them to deny those talents would be to deny part of themselves. With this in mind, Miley smiled and spoke first. "Lola and I are very happy to announce that as of today, the Hannah and Lola Montana Foundation is open for business. The HLM Foundation is a nonprofit charity that will be focusing on several issues, including children's health, support for the arts in public schools, and of course support for gay and lesbian teenagers. These three core issues are going to be the foundation's main focus, but we will also be supporting other charities, like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, the March of Dimes, and several other charities that we believe in very strongly." Miley paused and looked at Lilly, waiting for Lilly to add her part.
Oh my gosh, she is so beautiful! Lilly found it hard to focus due to how captivating Miley was right at that moment. Her face, her voice, her enthusiasm, her kindness... How did I get so lucky? As Miley squeezed her hand once she was finished speaking, Lilly realized she had to collect her thoughts long enough to speak coherently. She smiled and squeezed Miley's hand in return, then cleared her throat as she said, "Sorry, I got lost in just how amazing you really are, hon." That comment made Miley blush slightly and got a chuckle from Regis and Kelly. Lilly turned to Kelly and said, "For the first activity of the HLM Foundation, we've spent the last two months planning a big one to kick things off. We've been working with Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish, Life Span, which works with victims of dating assault and violence, several Boys' and Girls' Clubs, and a heck of a lot of teen counseling and support organizations to arrange for transportation, room and board, and admission for right around ten thousand children, teenagers, and their parents to come down here over the next few days. These families come from around the country, with at least one family from every state including D.C. and Puerto Rico. Our goal for all these families is the same: to tell them that they're loved and to help them heal both physically and emotionally. For some of them, they've fought crippling illness. Others have been the victims of rape or assault. Some are families learning to deal with straight parents raising gay children or gay parents raising straight children. And still others are innocent victims of poverty or homelessness. But what all of them have in common is that inside, they're all exactly like us. They want to be loved, they want to be healthy, they want to be safe. They want to be allowed to grow up and experience their own life, with all the opportunities that life can offer us. And we want to help them do just that."
Even before Lilly finished, the applause was starting. When she stopped speaking, the applause surged in volume, becoming a thunderous ovation not just from the show's crew, but from all the Magic Kingdom guests watching and listening to the show's broadcast. After nearly a minute of applause, Kelly raised her voice enough to be heard over the dwindling cheers and said, "How have the two of you handled becoming the face of same-sex couples in America today?"
Miley laughed as Lilly snickered as well. "Well," Miley said, "we never really set out to become anything like that. We just fell in love and wanted to be together. And from that, we wanted to be honest. Honest with each other, of course, but also honest with our fans. Honest to the millions of girls—and some boys—who look up to us as role models. Being a celebrity carries with it being a role model, and we accepted that a long time ago. Why should we hide a very big part of ourselves from our fans? Some of those fans may already be having some questions about their sexuality. Many more of them will have the same questions eventually. They need to see that falling in love isn't wrong. Lola and I never made a conscious choice to fall in love; it just happened." Miley moved her other arm over and began lightly running her fingertips up and down Lilly's forearm as she held her hand. "Our love grew out of our friendship, and for us, it was the most natural thing in the world."
Lilly added, "That was something that my mom pointed out to us after we had told our parents that we were in love with each other. She said that it was a bit weird seeing us kiss at first, but the more she watched us together the more she saw that we were only doing what felt natural to us." She looked at Miley and smiled. "When I wake up every morning, the first thing I feel is how loved I am, because I have this amazing woman's arms around me. I couldn't imagine not having her with me."
Miley gazed at her partner for a few more seconds, then she turned back to Kelly and said, "So getting back to your question, while we didn't set out to become the spokewomen for gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers, we realize that we do fill that role, and we're proud to accept it. I hope that by watching us, people across the country and around the world will get a better understanding of how love really is love, whether it's between a man and a woman or two women or two men. Honest, true love is something precious, and it should always be recognized and respected for that."
Regis looked at the two of them as they grinned at each other. Lilly lifted Miley's hand to her lips and kissed her knuckles as Regis said with his friendly blustering voice, "How did you two grow up so fast?!"
Miley turned to look at the older man and said, "Love does funny things." She smiled at Lilly and realized that if they had to live their lives in the spotlight, somehow they could survive. But it was really nice that they didn't have to do this all the time, that sometimes they could just be themselves. "For us, love made us stronger than we were separately. All we had to do was stop fighting what our hearts were telling us and accept our feelings for each other."
Lilly was thinking much the same thing as Miley. She spoke up, saying, "Where we've really been blessed is that our friends and families understood and accepted how we felt about each other. Not everyone is so lucky, though, and every day there are teenagers struggling with their feelings all around the world. When we're confused, what we need more than anything is for someone to just listen to us, someone we can talk to about what we're feeling inside. Don't yell at us, don't judge us, don't tell us we're going to Hell. Just listen to us... and remember that if you really care, then you'll accept us for who we are."
Miley led the applause this time, as she loved to do when Lilly made a statement like her most recent one. She had watched Lilly grow over the years, from a girl into a teenager into a young woman and now, into a star in her own right. Miley sat back and tried to imagine giving up her own career and instead just being Lilly's wife, focusing on raising on their children. She was shocked at how it easy it was to visualize. But it wasn't time for that just yet. Hannah and Lola still had quite some time in the spotlight together.
A gentle squeeze of her hand brought Miley back to the present. "Hannah?" Lilly said, softly. "You want to give them our other news?" Miley shook her head, hoping Lilly would guess her intention, then she realized Lilly didn't have to guess. She already knew what Miley was needing, and she turned back to Regis and Kelly and said, "I think Hannah's a bit overwhelmed still, so I'll go ahead and mention our other piece of news. Lately there's been some complaints that our faces are popping up everywhere, from clothes to dolls to decks of cards to toothbrushes to hair spray and so on and so on." Lilly took a deep breath before she continued. "Well, those people complaining are right. There's entirely too much stuff out there with our faces and names on it. Some of it is appropriate, but some of it is just silly. That's why Hannah and I are happy to announce that as of four days ago, we have acquired all the rights to our names and likenesses. From now on, all licensing of us and our names will be controlled directly by the two of us. This should cut down on the number of products out there with Hannah Montana or Lola Montana on it." Lilly paused, hoping Miley would step in any time.
True to form, Miley spoke right up as soon as Lilly paused. "We're hearing the complaints about our faces being on everything but toilet paper, and those complaints have a good point. Yes, we've made lots of money off royalties on these products, but we'd rather give some of that up and preserve our image. Now we can do that. By controlling our own licensing, we're going to cut out the really silly things with our names on them and instead focus on things that make sense or that are dear to our hearts. Clothes, purses, dolls, posters, those kinds of things will stay. Shampoo, toothbrushes, bottled water, temporary tattooes, those things will be gone."
Lilly looked at Miley and gave her a questioning gaze, causing Miley to pause. "I like the toothbrushes," Lilly said in a loud whisper. "I think they're cute."
Miley smiled at her partner and said, "Okay, the toothbrushes can stay," getting a happy little squeal and clap from Lilly. "But we're redoing the dolls so they have faces that look at least halfway like us."
"No argument there," Lilly muttered. She had been just as irritated about the dolls that looked nothing like them.
Miley looked back into the camera and continued. "While controlling the licensing rights will ensure that we continue to make money off these products, Lola and I think it's more important to protect the integrity of our names and likenesses. Let's face it, all these Hannah and Lola products are really just too much. We need to get rid of the silly ones and preserve the ones that are important to us in order to protect the integrity of who we are and what we stand for."
Miley turned to look into Lilly's deep blue eyes, as she acutely felt their gaze on her cheek. Before she could say anything, Lilly leaned forward and quickly kissed her on the lips, not lingering more than two or three seconds. "I love you so much," Lilly said with a smile as they pulled their faces apart slightly.
"I love you too, sweetheart," Miley said. "I'm so thankful we found each other."
Lilly grinned, her eyes twinkling despite the glare of the sun down upon them. "We were always meant to find each other. We just had to stop fighting what our hearts were telling us and accept it." She lifted Miley's hand and turned it over, taking a good look at Miley's engagement ring and wedding band before continuing. "Kelly, Reege, thanks for having us on here today. We hope that what we have to say will give just one confused girl or boy out there the courage to follow her or his heart..."
"..And one set of parents the courage and faith in their child to let that child follow those feelings without condemning or abandoning them," Miley finished. "If we've done that today, if we're able to continue helping children and teenagers through hard or painful times, then we can feel like we've accomplished something worthwhile."
For the third time during the interview, applause and cheering made the show come to a halt. This time it was hard for Miley and Lilly to not blush underneath the television makeup, but they did their best. Kelly and Regis both stood, triggering Miley and Lilly to do the same. Once all of them were on their feet, Kelly and Regis stopped clapping long enough to hug Miley and Lilly and wish them both the best of luck in their careers and lives together. Miley and Lilly thanked them and then waved to the crew and the crowds that were also cheering before stepping off the broadcast set, hands still held throughout the entire show. As they made it back to the staging area, the cheers continued loudly, prompting Regis to declare that the show would go to commercial and then be back with their next guest, Dr. Laura Berman, a psychologist and expert on sexuality from Northwestern University.
The rest of the day seemed to race by for Miley and Lilly. They spent the rest of the morning in the Magic Kingdom, where they made sure to ride Space Mountain, the Peter Pan ride, Pirates of the Caribbean and the new Finding Nemo ride. Disney officials had been kind enough to give the girls VIP access, allowing them to use the FastPass lines for the rides, greatly cutting down their wait times. However, even when standing in line, the girls had a great time speaking with kids and families also waiting for the rides.
When it was time for lunch, Miley took Lilly to the restaurant at Cinderella's Castle, prompting cheers from the kids already in the restaurant when Hannah and Lola stepped onto the restaurant floor on the second floor of the castle. Even with the fairly steady visits to their tables from excited girls and boys and their families, Miley and Lilly found it relaxing. They had grown accustomed to the attention of fans, and these fans and their families were almost all well behaved. Seeing the smile that just an autograph or a hug could put on the face of a small child made both Miley and Lilly light up themselves, like it always had.
Following lunch, they made their way to Animal Kingdom. Lilly got her way (as usual) and she and Miley rode the Jurassic Park ride, which guaranteed that Miley would be in Lilly's arms and lap most of the ride. The picture from the ride captured a rather impressive scream of Miley's as one of the dinosaurs on the ride lunged at them, much to Lilly's delight. "We'll take three of these, please," Lilly happily told the clerk at the store after the ride.
"Why, so you can embarrass me three times as much?" Miley grumbled.
Lilly paused and turned to look at Miley. "I just thought it was cute, how you were screaming. Look at how you had your arms wrapped around me! It's so adorable!"
"I was scared, Lilly," Miley said, a touch of a whine in her voice.
Lilly took note of the hint of true discomfort in Miley's voice, making her rethink her purchase. As the clerk handed her the bag containing her prints, Lilly didn't bother to look at the photos. She simply put them in their large carry bag and said, "Okay, let's shred them when we get back to the Grand Floridian." She made sure to smile so that Miley would realize she was being sincere and not teasing her.
"Really?" Miley asked. She knew that Lilly loved her, but she also knew that Lilly really did like that picture.
Lilly nodded as she took Miley's hand. "Really," she confirmed. "The picture was cute, but I'm not even going to look at it if it upsets you for real. It's not worth making you uncomfortable, hon."
Miley leaned against Lilly and silently thanked God for about the thirty-seventh time that day for bringing the two of them together. Then she kissed her wife on the cheek and said, "Thanks, Lola," her brilliant smile now once again on display for everyone to see.
For dinner that night, the two chose to eat at Narcoosee's, a restaurant inside the Grand Floridian itself. While there were still some fans who came over to speak to the two of them, it was a more subdued dinner overall. The dim lighting inside the restaurant, coupled with the growing dusk outside, gave the setting a sense of intimacy that Miley and Lilly appreciated.
Following their peaceful dinner, they strolled back to their bungalow, holding hands as the breeze blew and a few drops of rain began to fall. They laughed at the impending storm, until a bolt of lightning overhead made both of them jump. The peal of thunder almost immediately afterward put a new urgency in their step, and they hurried to their bungalow, just barely beating the opening salvo of rain. As they looked around to make sure no one was watching them, they hurried up to their room, unlocking the door and going in quickly. As soon as they were inside, Lilly said, "Okay, potty break," as she hurried to the bathroom.
Miley patted her partner's butt as she hurried past, then Miley made her way into the main room of the suite, sitting on the bed as she took off her shoes. She had changed out of her boots while they were still at the Magic Kingdom, thanks to Lilly's suggestion to do so. Nice call, girlfriend. You saved me some serious blisters today. Miley stood and began slipping off her shirt, smiling as she felt two strong hands begin to help her. "All finished and clean?" she asked Lilly.
"Yep. And ready for you to get cleaned up, too."
As Miley tossed the shirt into the corner where they had placed the dirty clothes bag, Lilly's fingers unsnapped the catch on Miley's shorts and began working them down her long legs. "Mmmm, I'm looking forward to tonight," Miley said. Though they hadn't said a word about it, Miley knew that tonight would be Hannah and Lola's honeymoon, just like last night had been hers and Lilly's. She turned and was surprised when she saw that Lilly was wearing Lola's powder blue wig and nothing else. She smiled as Lilly rubbed herself up against Miley's nearly nude body, just her bra and panties between them.
"Go wash up," Lilly said with a smile. "I'm not going anywhere."
Miley smiled and replied, "I know," kissing her wife warmly. She turned and went into the bathroom, snatching a washcloth and soaking it with warm water. After quickly washing her body off, Miley brushed her teeth, then turned off the light. She walked back into the suite's main room, then she crawled across the bed, sliding under the covers as Lilly turned them down. As they curled together, kissing while their hands searched out tender targets along their bodies, Miley whispered, "I love you, Lola."
Lola grinned, then gasped softly as Hannah's fingers found their goal. She swallowed, then said, "Oh Hannah, I love you, sweetheart. I love you so much." Then her own hand found its destination, triggering a jerk and moan from Hannah as well. After just a few minutes, both of them surged into their orgasms together, tightening their grips on—and in—each other as they both lapped up the sensations shooting through their bodies, minds, hearts and souls. The affection, the desire, the support, the friendship, the love, all of these passed from one to the other and then back again, stronger with each circuit.
After a short rest to catch their breath, Hannah and Lola made love again, and then again. Finally sated for the time being, they curled in each other's arms as they began to drift into sleep.
Before sleep claimed her, Miley remembered something before she fell asleep, and she whispered, "Lilly! Lilly, did you remember to check on those fertility centers?"
Lilly's eyes slowly opened, and a smile creeped across her lips. "Why, yes, I did," she said with an adorable grin. "I think that USC and UCLA are going to be the best ones to start with. They both seemed excited about working together to build a research facility using those stem cells that can be made from epi-whatsis cells."
"Epi-whatever," Lilly said with a playful wink. "And when I talked about building it into a fertility center over the next ten years, I thought they were going to faint, they were so excited."
Miley paused, then she said, "Did you already set things up?"
"Yeah, we deliver the first grant check when we get back later this week. I figure a total of fifteen or twenty million will be a good start for them. Plus we've got the donations that were already promised to us from our friends."
Miley smiled, then she kissed Lilly good night. "You are amazing, and I love you with all my heart."
"I know, and thank you," Lilly said as she brushed some of Hannah's hair out of Miley's eyes. "Just like I love you." She closed her eyes and pulled Miley a bit more tightly against her. "Now go to sleep, sweetheart. We still have lots of stuff to see tomorrow, and we'll be able to do it without all the crowds following us around."
Miley did as Lilly said, closing her eyes and immediately feeling herself drift off, swept away by the warmth and security of being in Lilly's arms. The fertility research center and clinic was going to happen sooner rather than later, much to their delight. Before slumber claimed her, Miley had one last thought: Sometimes you just have to nudge the future in the right direction.
As I am is how you take me
Never try to push or make me different
When I talk you listen to me
As I am is how you want me, and
I know I've found the piece that's missing
I'm looking at her
Author's Afterword: I would like to point out that Dr. Laura Berman is quite real, and she has been a very strong proponent of acceptance and recognition of homosexuality as not simply a choice, but instead as part of who some of us truly are. We all have certain qualities that we're attracted to whether we like it or not, and for some of us that extends to being attracted to both genders or to our own gender. Dr. Berman has worked to educate society that these feelings are as natural to some of us as breathing, and that the love between two women or two men can be every bit as real and wonderful as the love between a man and a woman for others. Dr. Berman, lots of us out there deeply appreciate you and are happy that people like you are working to change society's perception of how we see sexuality. While there are some out there who consciously choose to experiment with homosexuality, for the vast majority of us, it's not a choice. It's simply part of who we are. And love really does conquer all. Dr. Berman's website is easy to find and is a great resource for anyone looking for information on a host of sexuality-related topics.
Wow, so now we're at the end of another story in Miley's and Lilly's lives together. I hope everyone enjoyed this story as much as I enjoyed telling it! As I noted in the Foreword, the next story is going to be a combination senior trip/high school graduation story. I still haven't decided exactly where to take the seniors for their trip, but the most likely destinations are going to be Washington, D.C. (the classic senior trip, justified by seniors taking U.S. Government) and a ski resort (a great suggestion and easy to do in Northern California but a bit harder to get the school board to approve). I promise that we'll see several of our other characters that we've all come to know and love, along with some new ones that you have yet to meet. Hope to see you back soon!
-- Jo --