A/N: This was written for the TwiSlash Unveiled Femme Slash Contest. My heartfelt thanks and appreciation go out to my friends who have supported me through every crazy writing idea I've had.

BPOV

"Alice," I groaned. "Why are you setting me up again?"

"Because I love you. Trust me on this one. Last time you let Rose set you up, and you know how she can be; she likes to keep the good ones for herself."

Alice's laugh relaxed me and reminded me that she was on my side.

"Besides, honey, it's been a while. You need a good woman to remind you of what you're missing with those boys you keep finding yourself tragically involved with."

It was my turn to laugh, then.

"Alice, stop it. There's nothing wrong with men. Simply because you don't appreciate their assets doesn't mean I can't."

Each time she harassed me about being bi, I reminded her that the parts and pieces didn't matter to me – when you fell in love with someone, you made it work – cock or vag. Apparently not everyone subscribed to this theory, as Alice would repeatedly make scrunched-up disgusted faces when I brought up any sort of encounter with a guy.

"Oh God, Bella, please. How can you even like that? I mean, it's all veiny and thick, and bulg-"

"Alice!" I interrupted her. "If you keep talking like that, I'm gonna speed-dial James and make a date with him instead. Now, just tell me when and where I'm supposed to meet this girl and let me get the pain over with."

I sighed, knowing that arguing with Alice was useless. I'd cave to her good intentions, go out on a likely mostly-enjoyable first date and go home to my Hitachi. Some things in my life were just predictable.

"You're meeting at the coffee shop down on First Street, Friday night at six-thirty. Don't be late, Bella, it's just rude."

"Fuck you, Alice. Sometimes traffic is worse than I realize," I huffed. I hated that Alice knew all of my typical stall tactics when it came to dating.

"Uh huh. Save it, sister. Be on time, please?" She turned her sweet voice on, the one that attracted me to her in the first fucking place, and I was a goner.

"I promise."

#~#~#

I was surprised by her, once I spotted the woman I was pretty sure was my date. Alice knew I didn't have a "type" I usually went for. We had long talks involving bottles of wine and our philosophies on life. Whereas Alice preferred glam, beauty, "someone who could appreciate the finer things in life" (her words, not mine), I appreciated a heart. Mindfulness. Joy. A sense of humor never hurt. Alice liked a girl with heart, too – she just wanted one she could take to the MAC counter as well. Me? I liked having girlfriends and girlfriends. I didn't expect a magical all-in-one solution.

Standing back, I watched her. She had long, slender fingers and they were wrapped around the water glass. Her fingertips swirled in the condensation, creating lines and patterns, grouping smaller droplets and then watching them fall to the table. She kept her head down, mostly, stopping to check her phone a few times. Christ, she looks more nervous than I am. I walked to the table and offered my warmest smile.

She was beautiful in a way that made my heart ache for no apparent reason. When she lifted her head, I expected to see deep, dark eyes, and was genuinely shocked to see the light bounce off what I could only describe as gold-infused toffee. Her dark, shiny hair was pulled back in a loose braid, and came to an end almost halfway down her back. Dressed simply in a fitted black tank top, faded, dark camo cargo pants, and black flip flops, she was a bit of a contradiction with the sparkling diamond studs in her ears.

"I'm Bella," I said, smiling. "Are you Leah?"

She nodded, then motioned across the table for me to sit. I pulled the chair out and sat, watching her intently. Shifting my weight nervously, I saw a server approaching and thought about what I might want. I ordered a French press and scanned the pastry case as she walked away. I had spent several afternoons in this coffee shop, sometimes just reading a great book and sometimes debating with Alice about which new shoes to get from the mall around the corner.

"Do you want something?" she asked softly.

My eyes darted back to hers, lost in the sea of uncertainty there. "Maybe. They make some great desserts here. You?" I said.

She smiled and my heart leapt just slightly. "I know the pastry chef." She lowered her voice and whispered conspiratorially, "Used to date her."

I raised an eyebrow and breathed a sigh of relief that we seemed to have broken the nervous energy. The next several hours passed in comfortable conversation and I learned so much about Leah. Much like the earrings, I found out she had so many other juxtaposed facets of her personality. Each time we stumbled onto a topic that was typically "girlie," she would embarrassingly admit to having some connection or appreciation, only to backpedal and counter it with something more masculine.

To say I was fascinated by her would have been an understatement at that point. She was intelligent, beautiful in more than just physicality, and she cared passionately about her friends and family. She spoke eloquently and her voice was melodic. I never wanted to stop listening to her or learning about her. I wanted to know what made her tick, why she seemed so uncomfortable with certain aspects of herself, and what I could do to ease that discomfort. I was disappointed that our night was coming to an end, the cafe clearly beginning to close up shop.

I explained that I lived down the street and she asked if she could give me a ride home since I had walked and it was now dark. I happily agreed, hoping perhaps I would invite her in for a drink. I learned long ago that I wasn't the kind of girl who was opposed to sleeping with someone on the first date. I wasn't a slut, I just knew what I wanted sometimes and was okay with getting it.

We got into Leah's modest car and drove the two seconds to the house I shared with Alice. I owned it, but she lived with me to help offset the cost of the mortgage and upkeep, plus it was nice to have someone to watch movies and eat ice cream with on boring nights.

"Would you like to come in? Maybe have a drink?"

My nerves were back, and I bit the edge of my lower lip as I shifted my eyes to hers.

"I wish I could, but I have to be up early in the morning. Can I walk you to your door?"

She hit me with that smile of hers and the butterflies began. There was something so sweet and innocent about her wanting to walk me to the door, and I found myself unable to resist the temptation. I nodded and climbed out of her car. Leah was waiting for me by the hood and took my hand for the walk up to the illuminated porch. Her skin was soft and warm, and as she laced her fingers through mine, I sighed. It hadn't been the best first date I ever had, but I was definitely looking forward to the next.

At the porch, I fumbled in my purse for my keys, even knowing Alice never bothered to lock the door. I was stalling, hoping she would make the first move – not because I couldn't or wouldn't, but simply because I wanted to know she wanted me in some sort of a meaningful way.

"Bella..."

Shifting my eyes from the inside of the cave that was my purse, to hers, I saw her expression had softened, oval eyes no longer radiating the discomfort from the beginning of our date. She moved her body closer to mine and I instinctively took a step back. Her hand came up to my face and I took another step back, my body now resting against the textured stucco coating the exterior of my house. The contrast of the sharp material against my back and the softness of her body as she pressed into me was delightful and made me hungry with need.

"I had a nice time tonight," she said softly, tucking my loose curls behind my right ear. Her thumb trailed to my cheekbone and then down to my lips. I fought the urge to open my mouth and lick, still wanting her to set the pace in that moment. She leaned her head toward mine, words spilling out in a soft whisper almost directly against my lips. "Can I kiss you?"

My eyes were closed and my head was spinning. She went all that distance to ask? I was so used to the prissy girls who required me leading them, the aggressive men who took first kisses without as much as a second thought, and all of the people in between I had dated. I searched my memory as quickly as I could for anyone who had ever asked me for a kiss before, only to come up empty handed.

"Yeah," came my inelegant reply.

We kissed softly and slowly, learning each other in this new way, without words. Her hands warmed my waist with their touch and my breathing sped in anticipation when her thumbs arched up. She must have noticed my positive response, as her fingers tilted and began to shift up on my body, stopping after her thumbs had swept over my ribs and then came to rest beneath my breasts. My mouth moved faster, taking the frustration of my entire body out on hers.

When her hands crept slightly higher, thumbs skimming the swell of my breasts and then finally over my nipples, already tight with arousal, I broke our kiss to sigh again. It came out as a half-mangled moan, the lightest touch of frustration mixed in with pleasure, knowing we weren't going any farther than the fucking porch.

Resting my head against the solid foundation of the house behind me, I felt Leah trail kisses down the side of my face, then lower onto my neck.

"Can I see you again?" she asked breathlessly.

"Please," I whispered.

"When?"

"Tomorrow?" I offered.

Her lips kept working against my skin and thoughts flew from my brain at an alarming rate. I wanted them lower, wetter, hotter.

"Yes."

Her breath was hot in my ear and I almost came from a single word. A single fucking word. It was the tone, the inflection, the implication. I wanted to hear it again. I needed to hear it again.

Arching my body to press tighter against hers, I tried to convey my need. I was intensely frustrated when she began to slow her lips. The frantic kisses became soft and slow again, trailing back to my mouth. Her hands left my body and framed my face once more, and I almost stomped my feet in petulant need.

Stepping back and withdrawing her body from mine, she pulled her phone from a pocket and began to program my name and telephone number. We agreed to meet the next night for dinner and Leah said she would text me to figure out the specifics.

She waited on the porch until I was inside, and I peeked through the window to watch her drive away. I was frustrated, but knew her company would be worth the wait, even if we simply walked away from each other as friends.

#~#~#

We agreed to meet at a fairly nice restaurant downtown. I was nervous the entire day. Not the kind of bad nervous, where you think you might throw up because something awful is going to happen, mind you – the absofuckinglutely great nervous, where you just can't wait to get to the next moment in your life, because it draws you one second closer to something good.

I took a long, hot shower before getting dressed. I took my time cleaning up, washing and conditioning my hair, shaving, and then finally, relaxing under the spray of the water. Alice helped me pick an outfit, and I was pleased with myself. I had an off-white lace bra and panty set on that I thought accented my body nicely. It was warm outside, so I chose a sleeveless red silk dress and paired it with some modest heels, foregoing pantyhose. I twisted my hair up and off my neck, swiping on some light make-up before proclaiming myself ready.

I was pacing the living room when there was a soft knock on the door. I practically hopped to the door, opening it quickly. Leah had brought me a bouquet of wildflowers, only some of which I was able to identify. I invited her inside while I put the flowers in a vase, and she chatted with Alice, since they were already friends.

When I walked back into the living room, I gave Leah a quick hug of thanks. Her hair was down in soft curls around her face and as I nuzzled my nose against her neck, I inhaled deeply. She smelled so faintly of sandalwood, mint, and the tiniest bit of fruit. I smiled. It was perfect for her, this mostly gender neutral scent, mixed with just a hint of feminine.

She didn't look uncomfortable in her pants and blouse, but I could tell this wasn't her favorite way to dress. Her top was short-sleeved and I was once against struck by the gender balance, her toned muscles appearing beneath her shirt, right next to the soft swell of her breast.

We held hands on the walk to her car, Alice wishing us a fun night with a wink. She made sure to tell us she'd be gone when we got back. Our hands slipped away, the warmth of her touch dissipating much too quickly for my preference. We talked casually in the car, and then once we were seated at the restaurant. Conversation flowed easily with Leah, and the more I knew, the more I liked her. I kept waiting to find some nugget of information that would turn me off or lead me to want to end the date, but it never came.

The only tenuous moments of our conversation came as we discussed sexuality. I had assumed Alice told her I was bisexual, she had assumed I was gay.

"I don't fall in love with genders, I fall in love with people," I explained.

Her face crumpled a bit, and I tried to search for the right words. It felt like we were having a much bigger conversation under the surface, than just discussing sexuality.

"Facets of you are just parts and pieces that make up the whole of who you are, not a gender, not an identity."

"Bella," she whispered. "I hear what you're saying, I'm just not sure I completely agree. I've spent a good portion of my life feeling like I'm pretending. I grow my hair long, pull it back in a braid, and I have breasts, but I'm not going to lie. I struggle with who I am. My best friends are all guys, with the exception of Alice," she laughed lightly, and I joined her, knowing how forceful Alice could be when she was convinced you were meant to be her BFF. "I've only ever been with women. Only ever want to be with women. I sometimes think maybe I was born the wrong gender, although I would never do anything about it."

"As long as we're being completely honest with each other," I said, taking a deep breath. "I'm going to just come right out and say it. I don't see what the big deal is. I don't understand why you can't mesh the two in your head. Why can't you like both male and female things, and still be a woman, guilt-free? There's no need to beat yourself up over who you are – I promise not to tell anyone that you secretly enjoy a chick flick now and then, if you promise not to tell that I'm completely unable to change the oil in my car."

I reached across the table and took her hand, thankful we lived in a place that we wouldn't likely get a second glance at the action.

"You are who you are, Leah. You shouldn't apologize for that, nor should you want to change it. From what I've seen, you're an amazing person. Own both sides of your personality and be proud. No one has exclusively male or female traits, we're all a mix of each. Finding the balance we're comfortable with is the key."

She smiled softly at me as she seemed to contemplate my words. We continued to hold hands through the rest of dinner. Our conversation waxed and waned as we ate, trading bites of our entrees, then dessert. I had a glass of wine and she abstained, saying even the single glass would make her uncomfortable with driving. I admired her fortitude and conviction, and told her as much. She smiled broadly and my heart rate sped up, as it had the night before.

Leah insisted on paying the bill when it arrived, and I acquiesced only once she relented and agreed to let me get the next check. I was hopeful this meant she would stay the night with me and could feel my need for her growing.

As she drove, she told me about some of her favorite bands and musicians. We had different taste from each other, but nothing that was so far apart it was tragic. I suspected the larger problem was that we simply had not been exposed to what the other enjoyed, each growing up and living very different lives.

She parked the car, and I turned my body to hers.

"Come in with me?" I asked.

"I can't," she sighed. "Can I walk you to your door again?"

The corners of her mouth lifted and I waged an internal battle at being disappointed that she wasn't going to come inside. At the end of my short debate, I smiled at her and nodded, grateful for what little she seeming willing to give.

We both got out of the car and she held my hand again, walking me to the porch. In almost an exact replay of the night before, Leah backed me against the wall and kissed me slowly. One of her hands came up behind my neck, playing with the wispy tendrils at my hairline. Each time she touched me, no matter where, was even better than the time before.

As her lips played with mine, I brought my hands to her body. They slid up the curve of her hips, dipped into the narrowing of her waist and then gently sloped out again at the swell of her breasts. I wasted no time brushing the backs of my hands against the tips of her nipples, teasing her. Her kisses became more urgent, more insistent as I moved my hands.

"Why can't you come in?" I asked against her lips.

She pulled back slightly, then. Her forehead was pressed to mine, the cool mint from the gum she chewed fanning across my face as she tried to regulate her breathing. Her upper body straightened and she looked me in the eye.

"On Sundays, my brother and I take my mom to church. We go to breakfast, then we visit my father's grave."

Fuck.

"I'm so sorry, Leah. I didn't know."

Despite my desire not to, my eyes watered and I wasn't sure if I was more upset about her father, her display of empathy and compassion for her mother, or for being so god damn selfish that I just wanted her to spend the night and morning with me, anyway.

"I know you didn't, it's okay."

Her lips reached out to mine again and I knew I was forgiven for any unintentional hurt I had caused.

"Can we meet in the afternoon?" I asked, hopeful. I had no clue how I was going to get through the entire workweek without seeing her, since I couldn't seem manage a full 24-hours.

"Yeah," she said, smiling softly. "How about you pack us a picnic? We can go to the beach and spend the afternoon together."

As she spoke, her hands tightened around my waist, and I was unable to stop my thoughts from turning dirty again. I closed my eyes and shook my head slightly, needing to focus.

"That sounds nice. Will you text me in the morning?"

I moved my mouth back to hers and it was several more minutes before she answered me. I had ramped our kissing back up and one of her hands slid under the hem of my dress. As her fingertips grazed the sensitive spot just beneath the swell of my bottom, I groaned, breaking our kiss again to rest my forehead on her shoulder. She shifted her body and her hand slid closer to my inner thigh, grazing the very edges of my lips. My mouth turned to her neck and I nipped lightly, playfully at her skin.

"Stop, please," she begged. "God, I refuse to take you the first time right up against the wall of your house, outside, where everyone can see you. I want you all for myself, all to myself, but you're so fucking irresistible."

My mind once again fought a battle: spur her on, let her make me come right then and there, or respect what she said and back off, allowing whatever we had a chance to grow a little more and explore each other in private when we could.

Slowing my movements with my mouth, I kissed up the short distance to hers again. I was hoping my agreement to stop progressing our teasing was obvious from the slow, tender kisses I was giving her, and I felt her hand trace a lazy path returning across the back of my leg. My dress fell into place again, the cool silk tickling me in the heat of the night, and her hand moved to rest safely on my waist.

"You never answered me," I pointed out. I smiled against her lips and looked into her gorgeous eyes.

"Yes, baby, I'll text you. Do you just want me to let you know when we finish up at my mom's, or do you want to pick a time right now to meet?"

Her lithe fingers were stroking the back of my neck again and I nearly let out a purr at the affectionate gesture.

"mmm, we can talk tomorrow. I want to see you as soon as you're available."

Leah chuckled lightly, then gave me one last peck on the lips. "Well, once I'm done at Mom's, I'll need to go home and change. Church clothes and the beach don't usually mix. It shouldn't be too much past eleven or twelve o'clock, though. Can I text you in the morning? Do you usually sleep in on the weekends?"

The casual way we were getting to know each other made me smile with a sense of ease and satisfaction. I realized she wanted to know as much about me as I wanted to know about her.

"I do usually sleep in, but I can only think of one better way to wake up, than to a text from you."

My grin grew and I hoped she could detect the tone of mischief behind my sweet voice.

"You are bad, Bella Swan. Very, very bad."

I laughed, loud and deep. We embraced and I enjoyed the radiance of her body one last time. Her fingertips danced on my back before she whispered, "I have to go." I could hear the regret in her tone, which made me a little glad. At least it was difficult for her to be leaving, too.

"I know," I sighed. I shifted my body back against the house, after giving her one last kiss. "Good night. Thank you for a lovely date. I'll see you tomorrow," I said with a smile.

She picked up my hand and kissed the skin stretched over my knuckles before dropping it back again. "Thank you, Bella. I'll see you tomorrow. Go inside and lock the door before I leave, so I know you're safe." Rolling my eyes, I did as she asked, leaving my palm flat against the door once I had done so.

I spent several hours of alone time that night exhausting myself. I came at least six times, each one involving a different fantasy of or with Leah.

I imagined her above me, fingers pressed deep inside of me and stroking me at the perfect rhythm and speed, while mine performed the actions on my body. My mind drifted the second time to her mouth, her perfect, full lips against my body everywhere I wanted them – my breasts, nipples, the crook of my elbow, the flesh of my hip, and then finally where I needed her most.

My fingers teased my body for the third time, plucking my nipples between thumbs and forefingers, an exercise in extended teasing. I used my fingernails against my skin, imagining it was her teeth scraping. The pads of my fingers were her fingers, working my skin into a frenzy behind my eyelids. By the time my hands reached their final destination, I was so worked up I came within a few quick movements.

I gave my body a quick rest, letting my thoughts continue to simmer and float in my head. The next round had me over Leah, my fingers exploring and touching every part of her body, eventually settling into her wet pussy. As I stroked my fingers in and out of my own physical body, it was hers in my head, and I came quickly. I stopped only briefly to grab the closest toy from my nightstand and bring it to my lower half. Teasing myself, I imagined her body above mine again. She had a toy in her hands, attached to her body, and was playing with me. She stroked the head up and down between my lips, just as I was doing, and then shifted her hips and slid into me. I moaned and lifted my hips to meet hers as she began to move inside me gently, building speed and friction as our bodies joined. That time, I came loud and hard, my body aching with need.

I didn't stop my movements after number five. I kept going, pressing deeper and harder, still imagining her above me. I angled my toy to hit my g-spot and brought myself to one last orgasm with my fingertips pressed against my clit, breathing labored, body exhausted.

When my need for sleep was finally greater than my need to orgasm, I curled my arms around my pillow and imagined it was her body against mine. Soon, I hope.

#~#~#

The next morning I woke up to the chirp of my cell phone, and smiled. Leah texted to let me know she could pick me up at one o'clock. Once I was showered and dressed in a soft cotton summer dress, I went to the kitchen to pack up our picnic lunch. Alice was sitting on the couch in the living room, and kept me company while I cooked.

"What're you making?" she asked.

"Chicken salad sandwiches, fruit, and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies," I said, then turned and smiled at her. "That's good enough, right?"

Alice laughed and nodded at me, reassuring me that it was fine. I went through the motions of getting everything ready, even packing up a basket with everything in it. I put two bottles of water in, and declared myself ready. The last thing I had to pack was the cookies, but I was giving them a few extra minutes to cool down.

I went to my bedroom to freshen up before Leah arrived and Alice just laughed at my near-frantic behavior. When I came back out, two cookies were suspiciously missing, but I let it go and packed the rest into the basket carefully. When the doorbell rang, Alice got to it first, letting Leah in.

I smiled at her, just the sight and presence of her causing my heart to beat faster. She walked into the kitchen to grab the food and I followed closely behind her. Once she was against the counter, hooking her hand through the basket handles, I pressed up against her back. I kissed the top of her shoulders, exposed through her tank top, and took in a deep breath of her scent.

"I missed you. I don't know how, it's only been a few hours, but it's true."

An overnight epiphany made me realize that I didn't want to waste any more time with her. I wasn't a game player, but sometimes I'd get caught up in the chase. It could be fun, but the catch was where I wanted to be with her.

My hands slid around her waist and her head fell back against my shoulder. "I missed you, too," she whispered. Her head turned to mine and I kissed her hard. I briefly wondered if I could just take her back to my room and have my way with her, when I heard a throat clear from behind us.

"I hate to break you ladies up, but uh, yeah. No sex in the kitchen," Alice said with a giggle.

I felt Leah laughing in my arms, too, and I joined in. I was beaten for the moment, I decided, I might as well just give in and go with it.

"Ready?" I asked.

She nodded and I let go of her body reluctantly. As we left, Alice hugged us goodbye.

"I'm going out with Rose tonight, so I'll just stay over," Alice said casually. Her eyes, however, spoke a different story, and I could hear the words in my head, even if she wasn't saying them out loud. Seal the deal already.

I shot her back a look that said "I'm trying!" as much as I could.

Leah dropped the basket off in the trunk and we drove to the beach. She had a blanket she got out once we got there, and we dropped down into the sand to relax and talk.

"So, tell me about your mom?" I said, popping a grape into my mouth.

We were sitting next to each other and I shifted my body, wrapping my arms around her. I rested my chin on her shoulder, my nose buried against her skin. She told me all about her mom and brother, and her relationship with each. Now and then, I would grab a piece of fruit and tease her lips with it. Sometimes I would let her eat whatever it was, and others I would eat the fruit, slowly licking the juice from her skin.

"Do they know you're gay?" I asked.

"I came out before my dad died, so he knew. Sometimes I worry the shock of him finding out was what finally did him in," she said solemnly.

I felt her hurt as if it was my own, and my grip on her body tightened in that moment. I wanted to hold her together, reassure her, but the truth was, I fully understood the crushing pain of hurting and disappointing your parents. That her father died soon after he found out about her was likely coincidence, but that sort of guilt was something you kept forever anyways.

"I'm sorry," I whispered.

We sat quietly together for a long while, absorbing each other and just being together. Our breathing matched up and I was so peaceful and calm for a moment, I worried I might fall asleep against her.

Leah's hand came up to my face and she stroked my cheek gently. I pressed into her hand, grateful for the sign of affection after such an intense conversation. "Hungry?" she asked. I kind of was, so I nodded and we broke apart.

"Tell me about your family?" she asked as we took bites of our sandwiches.

I talked about Phil and Renee, my father Charlie, and how I was an only child. I told her about how I never wanted to come out to my parents in the beginning, but it just sort of happened one night after Charlie caught me giving a goodnight kiss post-date to a girl. I never was good with subtle.

"Sometimes I think my parents were disappointed in so many ways. Here I was a firstborn daughter, and then I tell my parents I'm gay, as if they weren't already heartbroken. Thankfully they have Seth to carry on the family name, I guess," she said.

"No children for you?"

She laughed, a sort of half ironic and half heartbreaking sound.

"Uh, Bella, you know I'm a lesbian, right?"

Leah turned to look at me, and then I saw the pain in her eyes.

"So?" I asked, as if it was the easiest question in the world. To me, it was.

"Aside from that, Bella, family is complicated. I don't come without baggage, or fault. I don't know how much of my history and childhood I want to inflict on someone else. How much of this..." she trailed off, pain marring her features. "... damage is genetic."

"Damage?"

It came out as a whisper; I had intended to ask it in a strong, secure voice. I wanted her to know I was prepared for the answer, but the fight between my brain and vocal chords was clearly won by my voice.

"This battle that rages inside of me, Bella. I love that you don't see it as an issue and want to accept me as I am, but there's more under the surface than just what you know so far. My father was not a patient, understanding man. What if I'm like that? And my mom? She did the best she could, but it still wasn't anything like what I imagine your house was like. I can't do that to an innocent child, bring them into this world and then do anything less than my absolute best. I would hate myself even more."

Taking her hand in mine, I grabbed the sandwich from the other one and set it back in the basket. I climbed up into her lap and straddled her waist. My hands went to either side of her face, and I kissed her softly.

"Leah, I'm not sure of much about us right now, but I do know this. Children aren't essential to me. If you feel the same way, that's great. If not, that's great, too, but don't ever think you shouldn't have them because of who you are. You," I pause to kiss her lips again. "Are one of the most." This time, my kiss lands on her jawline. "Wonderful." I press my lips against her neck. "Giving and caring people I've met." I ended at her ear as I took the lobe between my teeth and nipped.

"Giving?" she asked, with a hint of playfulness in her tone.

I laughed and she groaned. "Don't laugh while you're sitting on top of me, it's just not fair."

"I'm sorry, baby."

My lips landed on hers again and we spent the next few minutes enjoying each other. I started to worry when I felt her hands on my body, but let it go quickly. It was late on a Sunday afternoon and no one else was around.

Her warm hands settled on my upper thighs, under my dress, as we continued to kiss. The languid pace was building the heat between my legs at an alarming rate. When I felt her hands move, fingertips tracing circles on my skin, I broke our lips apart. My forehead rested against her shoulder as she slowly trailed her fingers higher. It was taking everything in me at that moment to not beg her for more.

My breathing increased and a whimper or two slipped out as I felt her stroke the outer edge of my panties. I gasped when she dipped them under the fabric, then moaned when they passed along the top of my swollen lips. Without thinking about it, I pressed my body closer to hers and was then reduced to actual begging.

"Please, baby. Please," I whispered right against her ear.

We had danced around being together twice now and I just couldn't wait any longer. From our awkward position, Leah somehow managed to slide her long, slender fingers into my panties and teased my opening. I, however, was done with teasing, and shifted my body the slightest bit toward hers again on her next stroke in, pressing her fingers deeper. I moaned and gasped, my body tight with need.

Her thumb arched up and danced over my clit. As she pressed harder, I came fast and hard, surprising myself with just how quickly it was over. My arms tightened around her neck as I came, pulling our bodies as close together as we could be.

She continued to stroke me carefully as I recovered, gently withdrawing her fingers and kissing my body wherever she could reach. I sighed and realized everything felt so perfect in that moment. I was pleasured, sated, happy, and full of a million other emotions.

"Thank you," I said as I moved back to look at her. She laughed, thanked me back, and we packed up the picnic basket. The sun was beginning to set and I really wanted to take her back to my house early that time, allowing us some moments alone before she would undoubtedly have to leave again.

We held hands on the drive home, my fingers breaking from hers to skim up and down her arm. Sometimes I would flatten my palm against her leg and tease her as she had teased me on the beach, drawing slow, lazy circles against her bare skin.

It would not have been possible to get to my house fast enough. As soon as the picnic basket was put away, I gave her a devious smile. I took her hand in mine and pulled her to my bedroom. Once the door was closed, I unbuttoned her shorts and pulled them down, then slid her tank top off. Her hands went to the hem of my dress and she removed it much slower than I had her clothing, pausing to press kisses to my skin as it became exposed.

I turned our bodies so I could have Leah sit on my bed, then kneeled between her legs. Looking up to make eye contact with her, I grabbed the waistband of her panties and slid them down her legs. Once she was exposed to me, I smiled at her and raised my eyebrow. It was a small, simple gesture, but I wanted to be sure. She laughed then nodded slightly and I tugged behind her knees, pulling her closer to me. At that point, I was certain she could feel my breath across her wetness and I could smell her excitement.

My hands ran the length of her upper legs, turning and stroking every part of her exposed flesh. She leaned back on her palms and I ached to reach out and touch her breasts, but wanted to tease her slowly. I moved forward, kissing and licking her inner thighs, above her mound, nibbling teasing bites against the fleshy part of her other thigh. Watching her hair swing back and forth as she lost herself in pleasure was beyond gratifying for me. I moved my mouth to place a soft kiss at the top of her pussy. Just one, to let her know what was about to happen.

"Open your eyes, sweetheart," I requested. "I want you to watch me."

As the words left my mouth, I felt my arousal grow. The aching swell throbbed through my own lower half. Her eyes opened and focused on mine, and I moved my tongue out slowly to touch and taste her. I used my thumbs to play with her lips, spreading them apart after a few movements over her clit. As I lapped between them, I hummed against her, knowing the vibrations would add to the sensation. She gasped and her hips shifted forward just slightly.

I crossed my ankles to find a more comfortable position on the carpet and then let my hands work their way up her body. I cupped her still-covered breasts in my hands, teasing her nipples to hard points as I licked her. My lips moved over her swollen clit and I sucked it gently between them. I gave one last pinch to her right nipple and moved my hand lower again.

Moving slowly, I pressed my middle and forefinger into her. I was still moving my lips against hers, kissing and licking her, bringing her closer to her orgasm. The sights and sounds she was making were too delightful to move any faster; I wanted to prolong it simply for my own selfish reasons. Once my own need grew too great, however, I picked up the pace. I needed her again already and wanted to see her come apart beneath me first.

My fingertips stroked her g-spot and she cried out. I traced a few more lazy licks up and down the length of her before I concentrated again on her clit. Leah began to whisper and mumble, and I suspected she was close to coming. I winked at her, her eyes still focused on mine, and she laughed lightly before I stroked against her g-spot again, causing her laugh to turn into a strangled moan.

A few moments later, I could feel her contract around me and heard her as she moaned loudly. Her head fell back, eyes either closed or trained on the ceiling. I watched as she moved through her climax, the slow build-up to the frantic need right before it hit, then the unstoppable pulsing which eventually led to the quiet letdown.

She laughed after her body had stopped moving, becoming ultra-sensitive to my touches and kisses. It made me smile that I had brought her so much pleasure. That she had allowed me to touch and love her in that way.

Shifting my kisses to her legs, I backed up slowly and then stood, gazing down at her the entire time. Leah had a lazy smile on her face, a grin of ultra-satisfaction, and I fought the urge to curl up and make lifelong plans with her.

"C'mere," she said, scooting her body back until she was completely on the bed.

I straddled her and she sat up, unhooking my bra. She spent several minutes teasing and playing with my breasts, alternating between licks, kisses and bites – both playful and harder. I might have confessed to her earlier in the day that my breasts were one of my favorite hotspots on my body for teasing, and in that moment, I couldn't have been more thankful that she was a good listener.

One hand shifted to my panties and we awkwardly fumbled on the bed together to remove them. Once they were tossed off to the side, her hands moved to my hips and she used her strength to lift me above her.

"Do you know how difficult it's been not to do this all day, smelling you on my fingers?"

She let go of my hips as I was angled above her face, her tongue reaching out to stroke me. I moaned as it made contact with my body and she kissed and licked me with almost as much need as I felt. It turned me on to see how much she was enjoying going down on me, and I felt my body responding.

"Lean back. Put your hands on my legs."

There was something about the tone and inflection she used when talking to me that made me want to do anything she asked. I leaned back and she had greater access to my body. Her hands immediately moved between my spread legs. She worked both slowly and methodically, but roughly at the same time. She wasn't as gentle as I was with her, and I fucking loved that. Her fingers, mouth, lips, teeth - everything worked together and brought me to an intense orgasm. I screamed so loud I was sure the neighbors heard.

My body was exhausted and I could only bring myself to sit back up, shift my hips to straddle her again, and then flop over onto her chest. I was heaving with the effort of breathing, but trying to catch my breath to thank her. I buried my head against her neck and kissed her.

"Thank you," I whispered.

She turned her face to mine and I could see the look in her eyes. It was full of passion and longing, fulfillment and need, and a thousand other things I didn't recognize yet.

"Thank you, Bella, for more than just this."

That was the moment I knew I was in love with Leah.