Part 3

"Um, if we hurry, we can watch the sunset from a really beautiful spot on the other side of the island. Let me just clean all this up," Andrea said suddenly and hopped up, gathering their soiled plates and napkins.

Miranda gathered the bowls of butter and the used utensils to bring inside, ignoring Andrea's objections. She did not need to be waited on, and she wanted to help. She waved away Andrea's words and deposited everything in the sink so that they could wash them later.

Turning, she nearly walked into Andrea. "Let me just get us some jackets," Andrea said nervously as she removed her hands from Miranda's hips, where they had ended up when they had nearly collided. Miranda's skin burned from the contact. She nodded mutely.

"Okay. This way," Andrea said brightly as she led the way outside and turned left. They picked their way downhill and around the bend. The sun was nearly at the horizon, causing the sky to burn orange, red, and purple. They stopped at some large boulders close to the high tide waterline and sat on one, so close their thighs touched.

It was magical. The colors intensified before fading over the calm, dark ocean. Miranda felt so full. She could not quantify her feelings, but she knew she was glad to be sharing this day with Andrea. Feeling eyes on her, Miranda turned her head and caught her breath. Faces close together, they gazed at each other. Miranda watched as an expression of wonder overtook Andrea's sweet face, and she could not resist any longer.

Cocking her head slightly, Miranda saw Andrea copy the motion as they moved toward each other slowly. Miranda focused on parted lips, and soon she felt them pressing against her own. The explosion of feeling overwhelmed her, and she moaned. Slowly, they moved their lips against each other, not moving any other part of their bodies—only connected by this delicious kiss. When Andrea's tongue touched her lips, Miranda felt a strong current of lust rise to the forefront. She groaned and pulled Andrea forward by the back of her neck for a deeper kiss. Chills ran through her as their tongues tangled, and Miranda stroked the inside of Andrea's mouth provocatively.

Miranda felt desire overtake her, dictating that she explore this woman's body. "Andrea," she whispered when the kiss broke. She wanted Andrea to be sure. She wanted Andrea to want this as much as she did. She wanted to know that this would last more than one night.

"I have wanted this for a long time, Miranda," Andrea said, again reading Miranda's thoughts easily. "Tell me you want this, too. Tell me you've missed me, you've thought about me, you want me."

"I do. I have." Miranda admitted before crushing her lips against Andrea's mouth for another kiss, this time much more heated and just as intoxicating. She felt strong arms embrace her, moving restlessly over her back before cradling her head with such care that it made Miranda shudder.

Andrea pulled away abruptly and rose from the rock, pulling Miranda off and into her arms. They hugged, and Miranda loved feeling Andrea's body against her. Sliding an arm around Miranda's waist, Andrea led the way back to the cabin. Miranda vibrated with awareness, wanting to get back quickly so she could feel those lips again.

"I have to finish cleaning up," Andrea said apologetically. "It won't take long."

Miranda nodded and entered the cabin while Andrea remained outside. Seeing the sink, Miranda made quick work of washing the bowls and utensils and placing them on a dish rack to dry. She opened a door off the side and, seeing it was a small bathroom, used the facilities to wash up. Noticing a new toothbrush wrapped in cellophane, she was even able to brush her teeth. Feeling cleaner, Miranda reentered the kitchen just as Andrea came in from outside. They gazed at each other for a moment.

"Let me, I just have to," Andrea indicated the bathroom. Miranda smiled. Andrea really was adorable when she was nervous. She moved out of the way so that Andrea could pass by. When Andrea became level, Miranda leaned in and kissed her smooth cheek. Andrea smiled shyly. "Be right back."

Wandering out of the kitchen and in to the living room, Miranda lit some candles and one of the hurricane lamps. She debated whether to start a fire in the fireplace but decided to see what Andrea wanted. Sitting on the couch, Miranda admitted to herself that she was a bit nervous. This step they were taking would change their dynamic dramatically. Miranda would not be able to dictate their interactions. They would be equals. And as their relationship changed, Miranda would be more susceptible to becoming hurt. Although she did not believe that Andrea would seek to hurt her, that did not mean it would not happen. Was she willing to take that risk?

A hand taking hers refocused her attention as Andrea sat down beside her. "Are you all right?" Andrea asked.

Miranda thought about that question. Although she had concerns, she felt better now than she had in quite a while. She knew that was due to being with Andrea. Smiling slightly, Miranda answered, "I believe so. You have taken me by surprise, Andrea, although I suppose I should have anticipated my reaction toward you. There's always been a certain tension between us."

"Mm. Yes. It took me a long time to figure it out, though. I just had no clue. I never expected to feel this way. I have to admit, I find it incredible that you feel something for me, too."

Andrea's words washed over her, warming her. Miranda smiled fully. "I do feel something. I would like to feel more." Reaching out, Miranda wove her fingers through silky strands, welcoming Andrea's kiss. They kissed softly, short kisses that whetted her appetite and left her wanting more. Tamping down on her desire to demand more, Miranda slid her lips over a cheek to suck on an earlobe, smiling as she felt Andrea's body tremble. She licked the shell and kissed behind the ear before kissing a line down her arched throat. At the base she licked the indentation where the collarbone rested before sucking on the protruding bone. Arms pulled her closer as she made her way to the other collarbone and repeated her actions.

"Miranda," Andrea whispered fervently.

"You taste wonderful, Andrea. That boy was a fool to let you go. He'll realize that too late. You are in my arms now, and I will make sure you remain there," Miranda whispered into Andrea's ear before nipping it. She pulled Andrea toward her as she leaned against the couch. Soon Andrea's body draped over her prostrate form, and Miranda reveled in the heat emanating from the body resting on her. She framed Andrea's lovely face with her hands, holding back the curtain of chocolate hair to search passion-stained eyes. "Is this what you want, Andrea?" she asked seriously, not willing to go further if Andrea was unsure about her feelings.

"Yes. I want this. I want you. So much," Andrea answered firmly.

Miranda believed her. She pulled Andrea's face forward and delivered a heated kiss. Miranda sucked on Andrea's tongue, loving the moans and mewls she heard as she continued to get lost in their kisses. Miranda explored Andrea's body, her hands touching the skin readily accessible under the hem of Andrea's tank top. She traced the curve of Andrea's spine, lifting up the top as she did so, and ended the kiss to gaze on rounded breasts heaving against her chest. She pushed Andrea up slightly so she could view tight nipples begging to be tasted. Miranda pulled the top off completely and slid her lips down Andrea's chest. She circled a nipple gently before licking the bud, eliciting a long groan. Taking the nipple into her mouth, Miranda leisurely began sucking it, licking it, pulling at it as Andrea practically sobbed her pleasure. She kneaded the side of the breast with her hand while her other hand explored a long, toned leg.

"Oh my God," Andrea moaned. "It feels so good. You feel so good." Spurred on by Andrea's enjoyment, Miranda switched to the other breast and began to lavish more forceful attention on it. She nibbled on the bud, gently biting it and sucking strongly. Andrea's body moved against her, distracting her enough that she paused to look down. Her hand stroked a shapely hip as Andrea's legs bracketed Miranda's jean-clad one. Moving her hand inward, Miranda cupped Andrea's backside, massaging one glorious globe in time to her movements.

"Don't stop. Oh, please, don't stop," Andrea wailed as she practically thrust a breast back into Miranda's mouth.

Andrea's lower body pressed against Miranda inflamed her. She continued to suck on a breast while her other hand found the waistband of the shorts and slipped beneath the thin panties. Not wanting to wait even another second, her hand searched for Andrea's center, loving how hot and wet and open she felt. Miranda hummed as her fingers slipped effortlessly through slick folds and inside Andrea.

"Yes!" Andrea exclaimed as her movements became more focused. Miranda curled two fingers and thrust in and out of Andrea while rubbing strongly each time she was fully inside Andrea's channel. Andrea's heavy breathing signified that she was close, as did her jerky movements. "Ahh, Miranda, Miranda, I'm gonna, oh my God, this feels so incredible. I'm gonna—co—ahhhh," Andrea expelled in a loud groan as her head snapped back. Pulling Andrea's body even closer, Miranda raised her knee slightly and guided Andrea's gyrating body against hers while continuing to thrust in and out as fast as her wrist and the limited space between Andrea's waistband and her body allowed.

As Andrea began to slow down, Miranda delivered kisses to her glistening chest, licking at the perspiration. Her hand continued to push and pull at Andrea's backside, signaling that she should not stop her rhythm, although she did allow the pace to slow down. Miranda withdrew her other hand enough so that she could rub against the protruding center of nerves. Andrea's body reacted strongly to the new touch as Andrea cried out.

Searching lips found Miranda's, and they kissed with more and more passion as the pace sped up once more. Miranda was so hot—she was burning up. She wanted her clothes off, she wanted to feel Andrea's skin sliding against hers, she wanted to feel Andrea's hands all over her. But first, she wanted to watch Andrea climax again.

Andrea broke off the kiss, wild eyes staring into Miranda's. "Jesus! What are you doing to me? How are you doing this? Oh my God! I'm gonna—"

Miranda watched in awe as Andrea's eyes slammed shut and her body arched back as another orgasm hit. Miranda's eyes widened at the sensuality so obvious in the rolling of the woman's hips. Each thrust was long and slow. Andrea's mouth was parted, eyes still closed, and neck curved toward the ceiling. Her arms were on either side of Miranda's body, holding herself up as she slowed her pelvic motions with a low "mmmm" that skittered down Miranda's back. When her eyes opened, Miranda gasped, and watched breathless as Andrea slowly licked her slightly swollen lips, much like a well-fed lioness. "That was fantastic. I want you to feel just as good. Let me make you feel good," Andrea said as she leaned forward to deliver an ardent kiss.

Miranda was not objecting.

Strong hands pulled Miranda up into a sitting position as they continued to kiss, finding their way under her shirt to torture sensitive breasts. Moaning her assent, Miranda attacked Andrea's mouth, kissing her with abandon. She hardly noticed when her jeans were unbuttoned or the zipper lowered, but she most certainly noticed when hot fingers explored her, gathering her excitement and rubbing it against her clitoris. Miranda muttered, "Andrea," against those addictive lips as her hips began to move against those wicked digits, chasing them as they moved everywhere but where she needed them to be. "Andrea!" she complained, not appreciating the chuckle against her lips, and certainly not liking when the hand was withdrawn completely. Opening her eyes, she watched as Andrea licked her fingers before bending forward to remove Miranda's pants and underwear in one swift motion.

Miranda gasped as hands roughly pushed her legs apart and lips firmly sucked her clitoris. Fingers entered her as she undulated helplessly, not knowing where to focus, all the sensations working to overload her ecstatic body. A tongue began to deliver a staccato beat on her engorged nerve center, and she knew she would not last long. "Andrea," she panted as she felt tension build low in her belly, growing and expanding rapidly as fingers pushed inside her forcefully, just the way she loved. Her back bent so much that only her head touched the couch as the orgasm washed over her, and all she could focus on was the intense sensation of wave after wave of bliss flowing through her, over her, drowning her, making it hard to breathe, to think, to do anything other than accept the moment and everything that had led to it.

When her mind caught up with her body, she found that her body continued to tremble with pleasant aftershocks. Andrea kissed her hip while sliding her fingers out, and Miranda watched with half-closed eyes as Andrea took great pleasure licking her fingers clean. Catching her eye, Miranda raised an eyebrow.

"I love how you taste, Miranda. If I have my way, I'll be tasting you as often as possible," Andrea said as she kissed Miranda's belly and nuzzled the underside of one breast.

That sentiment alone stirred Miranda's blood into a frenzy. She pulled Andrea up to her and kissed her voraciously, her hands divesting Andrea of her shorts and panties expediently. Feeling Andrea smiling against her, she murmured, "What are you smiling about, Andrea?" even as she smiled in response.

"I think you have too many clothes on," Andrea answered before pulling off the t-shirt and bra Miranda wore. "And I think we need more space."

Moments later they were splayed against each other on a bed, skin to skin as they kissed languidly. Miranda knew they had much to discuss, but she also knew that Andrea would not walk away. With that assurance, she would do what was needed to make sure Andrea never regretted that choice.

Miranda opened her eyes before the sun rose. She was surprised, really. They had enjoyed exploring each other's bodies late into the night, and Miranda was tired. Yet, her internal clock would not allow her to sleep late, not even in Andrea's comfortable arms. Turning her head toward the window, she felt a breeze ruffle through her hair and smiled, remembering Andrea's hands feeling just as gentle merely hours before. Disentangling herself reluctantly, Miranda used the facilities and showered quickly, wanted to save some hot water for Andrea. She idly wondered when Andrea would be returning to New York. Perhaps they could travel together.

Moving to the kitchen, Miranda found some coffee to grind and set about making breakfast. Andrea obviously knew how to rough it—she had all the necessary supplies to make the stay quite enjoyable. Just as she was finishing frying some eggs over the fire, she felt a kiss on the nape of her neck. Looking over as Andrea stood next to her, she smiled slightly.

"Morning," she heard Andrea greet her. "How did you sleep?"

"Very well, Andrea." Miranda handed over a cup of coffee and transferred the cooked eggs to two plates. "I would very much like to see the sunrise. Is there a particular place on the island that affords a good view?"

"A great view. I know just the place."

They ate in companionable silence before cleaning up and making their way to the eastside of the island. They rested on rocks, listening to the waves as they crashed against the shore. "When will you return to New York?" Miranda asked softly.

"Today. I have a car on the mainland, so once we get back, I'll probably find some place to have lunch and then drive back. Would you, I mean, if you want—" she said before looking off in the distance.

"Andrea." Miranda waited for her to look at her. "If you are inviting me to join you, then I do want." She smiled at the relieved look on Andrea's face. "Or, if you prefer, I can assign someone to drive your car while you travel back with me. It doesn't matter to me, as long as we travel together. And I would very much like to come back here with you some time soon. Perhaps with the girls at some point, but I cannot say that I am quite ready to share this with them just yet."

"I, that would be great. That will be great. I don't think anyone will want to drive my car, though. It's old, and the air conditioning doesn't work." Andrea shrugged.

"Well, then, that's settled. We will go back in the town car. That will give us ample time together. Someone else can drive your car. It's the least Emily can do after renting us a boat with a hole in it." Before Andrea's pride could get the better of her and make her object, Miranda kissed her. "I'd like to spend more time with you." That seemed to take the fight out of Andrea as her eyes softened. Miranda smiled.

They turned their faces toward the east and watched the sun rise. Miranda was reminded of Langston Hughes' poem, "Walkers With the Dawn."

Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
Walkers with the sun and morning,
We are not afraid of night,
Nor days of gloom,
Nor darkness-
Being walkers with the sun and morning.

Miranda did not realize she had recited it aloud until Andrea said, "I love that poem. And we are. I feel invincible with you by my side. This sunrise," Andrea pointed toward the sun rising over the ocean, "it's different with you, brighter."

Humming her agreement, Miranda leaned in for a kiss. She knew exactly what Andrea meant. If she had her way, she would never walk alone again. Neither of them would.

A sharp cry pulled them away from each other. Miranda turned to see Emily and Nigel standing nearby. Irritated by the interruption, Miranda glared. Andrea's soft chuckle pulled her attention away from her soon-to-be-fired assistant.

"Looks like the rescue team has arrived. We might as well get our belongings and get going." She leaned in and whispered to Miranda, "The sooner we get back, the sooner I can hold you in my arms again." Miranda shivered at the promise delivered through those words. Nodding, she stood up and extended a hand to Andrea.

Andrea's bright smile rivaled the sunrise as she took Miranda's hand. They walked toward Emily and Nigel slowly, Miranda shooting a warning glance at both of them. Nigel just smiled and nodded at Andrea.

"Six! Fancy meeting you here. But I suppose if Miranda were going to be shipwrecked, it's only right that you be around to rescue her." Nigel clapped a hand on Andy's back as they passed him.

"Hi, Nigel. Yup. You're right. I'm like the tides—I may come and go, but I'll always come back again. I just can't help myself, I guess."

"So, Miranda's the moon, then?" Nigel joked as he flanked Andrea, Emily sulkily walking to his right.

"The moon, the stars, the sun, the world." Andrea laughed, and Miranda felt herself flush with pleasure at those heartfelt words. She looked over at Andrea and smiled warmly. She wanted to make similar declarations. She wanted to make Andrea feel as loved as she felt, but it would wait. She had time. They had time.

Andrea was right. Like the tides, they were pulled toward each other. Miranda had never stopped feeling the pull. And as she had told Andrea last night, she would not allow her to leave so easily this time, not now that she knew their feelings were mutual.

She could say one thing, though. "I don't believe I can be all those things, although I appreciate the sentiment. If I am the sun, though," Miranda tapped her fingers against her lips in thought, "I suppose that makes you the morning." Miranda cocked her head in thought. "My daily beginning, my horizon."

She leaned in to whisper to Andrea, "And I cannot wait to warm every inch of your delectable body once more." Watching her beautiful face blush, Miranda teased, "You see? I have begun already."

Andrea's carefree laugh warmed Miranda from the inside out, flowing over her in waves. Looking around she noted how the sun was burning away the fog, delivering its warmth to the welcoming land. Yes, that's how she felt. Finally, she was burning away the haziness that had enshrouded her, and her future was clear. And bright. And warm.

The End.