Title: My Escape
Summary: Victoria Sutherland is a hardened military vet, a master of extrication. But can Bree Tanner, a student in her class, ensnare and liberate Victoria's heart?
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight: I do not. No copyright infringement is intended. Ms. Meyer created these characters; I just interpret their babbling in my head.
"She's too young; she's too young; she's too young," I chant under my breath as I approach the classroom. Entering, my eyes sweep over the gathered students, and no matter how hard I attempt to remain cool and professional, when my gaze falls on hers, I stare for just a beat too long. Fuck, she's luscious, I think.
Too young, too young, too young, I tell myself as I reach the lectern.
"Ladies and gentlemen, today we will be discussing the attempted mass breakout from Stalag Luft III during World War II, commonly known as The Great Escape," I begin. As I continue the day's lesson, I scan the room without focusing on any one person. Keeping my reading glasses on helps: most of the faces are blurry at best. But I can feel her staring at me, almost as if there's a hum under my skin. Hers is the only face I see clearly. Every time I make the obligatory passing glance through the crowd, she's watching me intently. She isn't typing on her laptop or writing in a notebook or even pretending to take notes. She just looks at me and smiles. Every time.
Her name is Bree Tanner, and I want her desperately. But she's my student, and she is way too young for me.
I became a professor of military history as a second career, a career I had never envisioned, but which I love. After 20 years of service in the U.S. Army as a tactical operations officer and military strategist (I have an innate talent for mapping escape routes and getting troops out of harm's way), I retired just in time for my country to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Fucking bureaucracy. No grunt on the ground following my radioed instructions to safety ever gave a shit that I was gay. I could've fucked monkeys right in front of them, and they would've brought the bananas. "A com from Sutherland is like a command from God," was the phrase the vets taught the cherries. All my men ever cared about was that I was damn good at my job, because my job kept them alive.
Did I get some shit sometimes? Sure. Did I hear the occasional "carpet licker," "gash guzzler" or "muff diver" coughed behind me as I walked by? Of course. The Army is, after all, primarily made up of guys barely out of their teens, and when young soldiers group together, the sophistication level drops to that of an 11-year-old boy. I knew I'd never beat 'em – men still outnumber women in the Army at a ratio of about seven to one. So every time some asshole decided to talk trash about my sexual orientation right in front of me, I'd give it right back to him. I never yelled or bitched or threatened to file a complaint, oh no. That shit don't fly in an Army unit, not when you want the guys to respect you and treat you as their equal. No, I'd hit 'em where it hurts – right in that package they all fucking cherish so much. I'd turn around and start depicting, in detail, my latest exploit. I'd describe how her hair felt against my tits, how tight her ass was in my hands, how savory her pussy tasted against my tongue. After less than two fucking minutes, they'd all be hard and aching, and I'd simply wink and walk away. No one gave Victoria Sutherland shit more than once, 'cause no guy wants to walk around with blue balls all day. Especially not when you're on duty in the middle of the Godforsaken desert in 110-degree heat, wearing tight camouflage pants and 50 fucking pounds of gear. Guys are too fucking easy.
So yeah, my service to my country was challenging at times, but I wouldn't change a second of it. I loved what I did: Those moments when it all came together, when my skills and my experience and my knowledge all converged at my fingertips, almost burning through my veins with a rush of adrenaline – those moments made the shit worthwhile. Indestructible, superhuman, and immortal, that's who I was during those convergent flashes. My focus narrowed: the background completely disappeared. I'd flip through strategies and maps and battles and outcomes at breakneck speed, and I'd see the answer floating in front of me, as though an escape hatch had opened in my mind. I'd fucking see it, right there. And then I'd save some lives.
Can any work ever be as satisfying as saving a life? Or a platoon's worth of lives?
See, that's the thing: Those guys could be a pain in the ass, and sometimes they were cruel, but I loved them. I loved their innocence and their dedication to each other; I loved their earnest, slightly naïve patriotism that would fade into resignation after a tour or two; I loved their jokes. They were crass and boisterous, lewd and crude, funny and engaging. They were fierce. They were loyal. And they were so fucking young. They were Guys, with a capital "G," and I love Guys. I'm just not particularly inclined to fuck them.
You'd think I would have struggled to find partners, especially while based in Arab countries, but you'd be wrong. Anyone who tells you lesbians aren't already serving in the military is a damn fool. Fucking bureaucratic idiots. Old, clueless white dudes. I had my pick, and not always on base. Not that I minded. Every woman has something beautiful about her, at least to me. If it's not her hair, it's her flawless skin. Or the curve of her hip. Her smile; her ripe, full breasts. The way she moves, or the warmth in her laugh. The intelligence in her expression. There's always something that draws me in, no matter what a gal looks like. It's never enough for me to stay: escape is my thing, in more ways than one. But I love women, all types of women.
Unfortunately, Bree Tanner is everything I could want. Everything I can't have.
She is gorgeous, not that it matters to me. I like a little lipstick in my lesbian every now and again, although it isn't necessary. But fuck, this girl: long, wavy hair, just begging to be rolled into my fists; big, soulful eyes full of secrets and smarts; young, tight body with high, firm tits and ass. Christ. She's a tiny little thing, almost boyish in her manner and gait – one of those pretty tomboy types, always wearing jeans and t-shirts with stupid sayings on them. My favorite has a Twinkie on the front; the back says, "Lick Me to Find My Creamy Center." She saw me watching her leave the classroom the day she wore it, and I knew then that she wanted me. She slowed her ascent up the steps, pulled her hair over her shoulder, looked back and pursed those cherry-red lips in my direction. That lipstick. She kills me with that lipstick. Red and shiny and just begging to be smeared all over that pretty little face. Or other places.
Bree's smart as a whip too. Her comments during class are incisive and penetrating, with a touch of wit and flair. Her specialty is playing devil's advocate: She'll throw out a zinger that challenges popular opinion, and then she'll sit back and watch the explosion of debate. She's a shit stirrer, which has made this semester a lively one. Military history is usually dry and boring, but her presence has brought it to life and given my class an energy that's often missing. The day she decried the Geneva Convention – hell, that was fun. Her eyes twinkling with mischief, her face flushed, her mouth turned up in that wicked little smile, her breasts heaving ….
Focus, Victoria, focus, I tell myself as I finish up the day's lecture. I keep my head down, moving papers around and trying to look busy and important until I'm sure the room has cleared out. Bree is too fucking tempting, and I can't afford to spend any more time fantasizing about her. She is off limits.
I go home that Friday intent on putting Bree Tanner out of my head. I need to get laid, but after a long week of obsessing over red lips and brown hair, I don't have it in me to go out and find just any piece. Falling onto my sofa, I take a long pull from my beer, and I sigh. I put on the History channel, call in a pizza order, and resolve to lay low for the night. Sixty minutes and three beers later, someone finally knocks on my door. Pizza's probably pretty fucking cold by now, I think.
Then I open the door, and all thoughts flee. There stands Bree Tanner in a trench coat, black stockings, high heels and that red fucking lipstick, pizza box in one hand, duffel bag in the other. "Good evening, Professor Sutherland," she says. "May I come in?"
"Ms. Tanner, what are you doing here?" I ask, using my sternest voice. "This is beyond inappropriate. Why do you have my pizza? And how the hell do you know where I live?"
She stares at me, moistening those lips that rise into her frisky smirk. Red-lipped devil. "Oh I know quite a bit about you, Professor," she states. "Shall we discuss it further inside?"
I straighten to my full six feet and stand at attention, my hand tightening on the doorjamb. "Absolutely not," I bark, looking down at the stunning vision in front of me with as much authority as I can muster. "Please tell me how much I owe for the pizza, and then please leave. This is my home. If you have something to discuss with me, you can make an appointment during my office hours."
Before I even see her move, she is pressed fully against me. "You owe me nothing; I owe you. You saved my cousin's life in Iraq. Can we continue this inside? I don't care either way, but I'm about to kiss you, and I'm sure you don't want to share that with your neighbors and the campus security cameras."
And in the very next breath, I feel her hand drifting up my arm onto the back of my neck, and I see her mouth getting closer and closer to mine. Hearing a door open and a dog barking close by, my eyes snap to the street in front of us, and I realize I need to take this show inside. Putting my arm around her waist, I pull her up onto her tiptoes, lean down and whisper in her ear, "You win this round, Ms. Tanner. Get inside. Now." Then I pick up the pizza box she dropped on the stoop, wave to Mrs. Cope and her pooch and slam my door shut, rattling the hallway mirror with my anger.
"Crazy girl," I mutter to myself as I approach the living room. "Crazy, gorgeous girl."
I reach the arched opening, and I stop. Bree stands with her hand on my mantel and her legs crossed, a tiny grin on those red, red lips, her hair down and loose and wavy. I halt, and I stare, because the trench coat is gone. In its place is a pair of black sheer panties with a red heart in the exact shade as that fucking lipstick arrayed right over her center; lace-topped, thigh-high stockings; and those heels. Nothing else. Nothing.
"What the hell?" I start to say, but she holds up one hand and narrows her eyes at me, moving the other hand from the mantel to her hip. Holy shit.
"Stop," she commands. "Just stop." She takes one step forward. "Here's what I know, Victoria Sutherland: You're a decorated military veteran who saved countless lives, including my cousin Diego's. To him, you are the finest officer he ever served under; you are godlike in his praise."
Another step. "I know that you're beautiful and brilliant and tough as nails, but you're alone. You've taken care of so many, but no one takes care of you in return."
Another step. "I know that the attraction between us is viscous and powerful. It transcends everything; it means everything. It will not be denied."
Another step. "I know 'Some there are who say that the fairest thing seen on the black earth is an array of horsemen; some, men marching; some would say ships; but I say she whom one loves best is the loveliest.'"
Another step. "I know that to me, you are the loveliest. I know that I am yours. I know that we belong together."
Another step. "I know that you want me."
Another step, and she is before me. I'm hypnotized. She looks up, and her eyes are my beacons. "I know that I can be the woman you deserve. I can take care of you. Please let me."
"Let me love you, Victoria," she breathes, and I am lost.
I wrap my arms around her, and she kisses me, and I am gone, gone, gone. She devours me with those red lips that taste of peppermint. She touches my face; she pulls my hair. She orders me to take her to my bedroom, and I never consider saying no. We stop every few steps to touch and kiss and suck and bite. She is glorious.
When we finally reach my room, I go to spin her and lay her down, but she puts her hand up once again and directs, "No. No, Victoria. I want to take care of you. Let me take care of you." And then she undresses me, so slowly that I think I will implode or combust. Each button opened is followed by a kiss to the newly exposed skin; every garment shed provides an opportunity to explore with her hands. She is thorough and unrelenting in her scrutiny. Her tongue maps the freckles along my chest, and her mouth darkens the birthmark on my thigh. She worships me with her hands, every inch of my skin caressed and squeezed and stroked. She tells me to hold still; she says I can't touch her yet. It is the most excruciating pleasure I've ever known, and she hasn't even started.
She commands me to lie down, and she hovers over me. Her hair flows around us as she bends to kiss me, and the heavy strands feel like cashmere against my cheek, my throat, my chest. She lies fully on me as she dominates my mouth with her tongue; the smoothness of her stockings rubs against my waist, and the heat of her center radiates against my stomach. Before I can catch my breath, she has my hands firmly in her delicate grip and lifted over my head, bumping against the brass bars of my headboard. She moves over me as she kisses and suckles my neck, and she opens her fingers and twines my hands around the bars.
She is everywhere - all over me, all around me. Her hands run down my arms, down my sides, under my waist and over my ass as her mouth descends to my breasts. Christ, her mouth. She licks and teases, licks and teases, licks and teases until I'm begging, "Please, please, please." Finally she sucks hard, lightly scraping her teeth against my nipple, and the shockwaves zap through my entire body. She moves back and forth and back and forth and back and forth, consuming my breasts as her dainty little hands roam over my legs, my hips, my ass. I can feel the lace of her stockings scratching my flesh and her wetness soaking me right above where I desperately want her, where I throb for any part of her, but she is determined to take her time. I try to reach for her and to touch every part of her sweet skin, but she sits up and pulls away from me. Shaking her head with an impish grin, she scolds, "Ah, ah, ah – we're doing this my way. Hands above your head, Victoria."
I attempt to stare her down. I give her my best authoritarian glare, the look I used in strategy sessions with generals and in faculty meetings with pretentious douchebags. I grab her hips and rub circles with my thumbs. I smile; I lick my lips.
She scoots back until that luscious ass is resting on my knees, tsk-tsking me as she retreats. Then, Holy Shit. She puts her pointer finger between those puckered, red lips, and she snakes it in and out until it's glistening. She reaches between her legs and starts teasing her clit, never breaking eye contact with me. "I'm waiting," she enjoins.
I hold onto that headboard for dear life.
"Good girl," she says as she pushes my knees apart and kneels between them. The vision of her heavy, dark hair fanned across my thighs is too much; I throw my head back and close my eyes as she spreads me open. And then all I can do is feel: her hot breath, those soft lips, that tongue – sucking and nipping and blowing and rocking, over and over and over again, warm and wet and there, just there, just there. Fuck, her mouth is heaven. I wriggle and writhe and arch, and she pushes her fingers inside of me as she feathers kisses across my hip and whispers, "Shhh, baby, shhhh."
Bree thrusts her fingers in and out, in and out, in and out as she traces a path from hip to hip with that sweet fucking mouth, licking and blowing. She finds a spot that makes me gasp, and she sucks and bites and sucks even harder until I'm undulating and almost crying with pleasure. She curls her fingers and scrapes my wall lightly with her nails, and I come so hard I stop breathing.
But she doesn't even pause. That tongue takes the place of her fingers, driving in and out of me in a fury, and her fingers scissor my clit, grabbing and pinching and moving in time with her thrusts. She consumes me, all the while holding my hips down with her free hand just when I have an overwhelming need to push up into her sweet, sweet mouth. I'm shaking and panting with want, but still she works me. I feel that tongue start to tease my clit, with tiny, rhythmic brushes, and I whimper and plead for release. When I think I can't take any more, that I must pull away from her unrelenting mouth, she enters me, and I howl. She eases that delicate little fist inside of me, inch by agonizing inch, and I bow off the bed and moan and moan and moan. Still she goes on, sucking and licking as she fucks me, as my hips jerk in time with her motions, and my mouth goes dry. She is hitting that spot inside again and again and again. My legs begin to shake, and I shiver and explode, screaming her name.
I don't know how long I lie there, fighting to catch my breath and waiting for my vision to clear, but soon she's snuggled into my side, running a cool cloth between my legs and softly kissing my neck. I slide my hand down that gorgeous length of hair, and then I finally begin to caress the creamy expanse of her back. Rolling onto my side, I ease my fingers down over her stomach, but she stops me. Positioning my wandering hand around her, she embraces me fully and kisses me passionately. I touch and fondle every bare inch of her, and tickling the back of her knee, I hitch her leg up over my hip. I began to push her onto her back, but she pulls away from me. She traces my mouth with her tiny fingers as she gazes into my eyes.
"Tonight was about me taking care of you, Victoria. Just you. I have everything I need, everything I could want. Now kiss me, and hold me, and go to sleep. We have tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Rest."
I wake the next morning draped in her luscious curves and resolved to end our affair that second. This vivacious young woman deserves so much more than a washed-up old Sham Shield like me. Bree isn't just the gorgeous, witty student I've been lusting after – she is warmth, personified. She deserves someone young like she, someone just starting on life's path with whom she can share an equal journey. She is everything; she deserves everything.
So I make her breakfast, and I tell her just that. And then I kiss her and send her on her way.
What I don't realize is that Bree is as tenacious as I am elusive.
She starts small, with daily offerings left on my porch. All of them are marked with a kiss in that fucking lipstick, and they make me smile. A chocolate-colored rose, its petals the shade of her eyes. A book of Sappho's poetry, the mark placed above the passage she quoted. A Mapquest printout, with directions from my house to her apartment. A compass. A Swiss Army knife. A box of Twinkies.
Despite my intentions, I rush home Friday, but nothing's there. The pang of disappointment is acute, and I realize I'm in far deeper than I thought. This girl has ensnared me, and I'm tired of trying to circumvent her seduction. There is no escaping Bree, not anymore.
I don't want an escape. I want her. I love her.
Shit. I love her.
Grabbing the map, I run to my car and speed off toward her apartment. As I push the pedal to its limit, my focus narrows, and suddenly I'm having one of those moments. I haven't experienced one since I left combat, but my nerve endings tingle, and the adrenaline spikes. Traffic noises fade; the radio goes static; turns and street names and landmarks flash across my vision. The hatch opens, and there it is, right there, right in front of me. The answer.
Her face. My Bree's aspect. And she's smiling, red lipstick in place.
I rush to her door, but I'm conscious of nothing but my vision of her beautiful face. I can't feel the pavement under my boots, the wind burning my eyes, the cold air piercing my throat. I see no one else on the sidewalk or in her building. The world is silent in anticipation. Still her smile is right there, right in front of me, until I reach her floor, and I look down and take a deep breath.
Pizza from my favorite joint and a six-pack of my preferred brew are sitting on her welcome mat. Red-lipstick kisses cover the box, the bottles, her door. I knock, and she takes me in.
My Bree. My Love.