A sexual reawakening between two young adults.
"I love you," Tara whispered, her eyes closed.
Rae dropped another kiss on Tara's cheek. "I know." She pulled blankets over them and pulled Tara close. She inhaled deeply, not just smelling her lover but also the aromas associated with the children in the house. To Rae, those smells had come to mean home.
Tara woke the next morning to the smell of muffins baking. She stretched, smiling as her body ached in the familiar spots that said Rae's presence had been real last night and not just another vivid dream. She heard Rae's soft voice followed by her son's answer. He was talking about muffins and soccer and the playground at school. Tara sighed in contentment and settled comfortably into the blankets. When Rachel woke, Tara started to sit up, but heard Rae making her way across the room to the bassinet. Rae bent over the side of the crib, talking to the baby before picking her up. When she turned, her eyes landed on Tara, who rewarded her with a sleepy smile. "Well, good morning, sleepy head," she greeted, leaning over to touch her lips to Tara's. "Good morning," Tara answered. "I could wake up like this for the rest of my life." She turned her head to glance at the clock so she missed the curious expression that flashed across Rae's face. Her eyes widened and she sat up. "Oh my goodness, why did you let me sleep so late?"
"It's all right, princess," Rae assured. "Will's ready for school. I'll take him while you get ready. What time do you work today?"
Tara relaxed a little, taking the squirming baby from Rae's arms. She shrugged the arm of the negligee to expose her breast and immediately Rachel latched onto the swollen nipple. "I have to be there at 8:30, but I can call in sick."
"That's all right. I have some errands I need to take care of today, anyway, but is it all right if we get my mom to keep the kids this evening so we can be alone?"
"Your mother will love that," Tara replied, her voice dropping to an intimate register, "and so will I."
Rae leaned down for another kiss, the touch carrying the love and tenderness she felt for her girlfriend. "I'll take Will to school and see you this afternoon, then. I love you." She disappeared from Tara's vision, shooing Will into the bathroom to brush his teeth. He obeyed immediately.
Tara leaned back, enjoying the time to allow Rachel to nurse while Rae took care of the normal morning stress. The thought that it could always be that way touched her mind, but fear chased it away. "Honey," she said with caution in her voice. Rae mumbled in response. "I thought you were in the middle of a tour. What are you doing here?"
Rae did not answer immediately. Tara listened as dishes rattled. Finally, Rae replied, "We'll talk about it this evening, baby."
The answer did not satisfy Tara, but she knew she had to accept it for now. It haunted her the rest of the day. Rae's words nagged at her brain during every lull of the day. It gnawed at her heart and threatened to turn her stomach. Time took turns crawling about as she anticipated an evening alone with her lover and speeding by as she dreaded what Rae had to say.
Her mother had been waiting when she dropped off Rachel that morning and had seemed relieved to see her. They didn't talk about anything but the baby's needs for the day. When Tara got off work, Rae was standing in the employee parking lot, leaning against her car. Tara almost broke into a run for her lover's arms. Instead, she added a little skip to her step in order to get there quicker. Rae opened her arms and Tara stepped into the warm embrace. Their kiss spoke volumes about where their thoughts had lingered during the day and their anticipation of what the night would hold. Tara was breathless when she stepped away. "Hi," she whispered.
"Did you have a good day?" Rae asked, her arms looped loosely around Tara's waist.
Tara leaned against her lover, stretching up to receive another kiss.