Saving Grace

by Ms. C. Mouse

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/22671.html)

Gracie cried out as she woke up. The sensation of falling sent adrenaline pumping through her system. Her hands groped for anything solid. Her legs stiffened. A few seconds passed before her addled brain accepted the fact that the mattress under her wasn’t actually moving and allowed her fingers to let go of the bunched up cotton sheet. Breathing deeply, she tried to slow her heartbeat. The instinctual fear ebbed away.

It was bad enough to wake up with a mild hangover. The imagined fall – annoying in its own right – could only be karma’s first of many paybacks because of her stubborn ways. Now she recalled why she had downed those extra drinks, exceeding her limits. She pushed herself up with aching arms for a moment before collapsing back on the mattress. Her head hurt and her stomach was still dancing to the music of last night. She found herself wishing for a cool glass of water to wash away the cotton-dry feeling in her mouth.

Ignoring the faint throbbing at her temples, Gracie looked around the dimly lit room and tried to remember where she was. She appeared to be in a large bedroom, but the low wattage lamp at the far end of the room provided only a weak illumination, making it difficult to see more than vague shapes.

She thought she was still at Frank’s house, but she couldn’t be sure. The music at the party had been too loud, but she’d stayed on the first floor anyway, so she wouldn’t appear nosy. But maybe she had decided to take over this bedroom after drinking too much.

Her clothes had been draped over the footboard of the queen-sized bed. Everything seemed to be in good shape and she was thankful that she didn’t see any other clothes mixed in with hers. The thought of having to recall someone’s name and what she had done was too much. More than likely, she’d made a fool of herself, throwing herself at nearby people and shouting angrily at random strangers. Gracie couldn’t imagine what sort of man would be attracted to that behavior, but she wasn’t interested in having sex with him no matter how desperate she felt.

Wondering what time it was, she glanced about for a clock, but didn’t find one. Because the house was so quiet, she guessed that it must be the early hours of the morning. She needed to return to the dorm to finish the paper that was due on Monday, but first she had to find a phone so she could call a taxi. The phone proved to be as elusive as the clock.

“You are awake. I thought you might be having a bad dream.”

With a start, Gracie turned too quickly towards the voice and the room careened sharply to the right. Her heartbeat spiked again, and she clutched at the sheets, pressing her body into the mattress. It was embarrassing enough to be in this condition, let alone have someone in the room with her. Karma had managed to get another kick in while she was down.

“Can I get you some Tylenol?”

Gracie felt like an idiot. The woman who had asked her the question was probably the person who really belonged in this room and who should have been sleeping in the bed. Her voice sounded familiar and Gracie was almost certain she was looking at Dena, Frank’s sister. She had met Dena earlier at the party, but she hadn’t said more than a few words to the woman at the time.

Rubbing her forehead, Gracie rolled onto her side and attempted to ease herself off the bed. “Yes, please. Tylenol would help. Give me a moment to dress – then I’ll leave.”

Dena guided her back onto the bed and tucked the covers over her. The woman was strong and almost statuesque in her proportions. Gracie wasn’t able to put up much resistance in her current condition. As Dena propped several pillows under Gracie’s head and upper back, Dena’s silky bathrobe billowed open and Gracie could see that she wasn’t wearing anything underneath. Along with the show of tanned cleavage, she caught a brief glimpse of an erect nipple. She turned away, embarrassed from staring.

“Relax, Sugar, it’s three-thirty in the morning. And besides you’re in no shape to drive.” Dena stood up and adjusted her robe.

Gracie tried not to sound ungrateful, but she didn’t want to be here. “I didn’t drive. I’ll take a taxi back to the dorm. Don’t worry about me.”

Dena left the bedroom and returned in about a minute with a tall glass and two Tylenol. Gracie’s hands trembled as she reached for the white pills. One pill rolled away from her and threatened to land on the carpet, but Dena managed to catch it in time. Gracie really hoped Dena wasn’t under the impression that she got smashed on a regular basis. She was usually so responsible, so careful; yet sometimes she did stupid things when she was upset. She watched helplessly as Dena lifted the glass to her lips. A sugary-sweet aroma made her pause.

“It’s apple juice,” Dena assured her. “It’ll make you feel better than water would.”

It was the first time she’d ever heard someone recommend juice to cure a hangover, but then again, she hadn’t been in this situation often enough. And she couldn’t investigate treatments in class – she was studying to be an entomologist – since bugs didn’t get hangovers.

Dena smoothed back Gracie’s hair with a gentle touch. “I saw the guy you arrived with. Is he your boyfriend?” She pressed the white tablets into Gracie’s hand.

The Tylenol tasted bitter, yet no more bitter than her thoughts at this moment. “Evan? No, he was just a guy I was with. We didn’t have any kind of exclusive relationship.” She wondered who she was kidding when she talked like nothing mattered to her. She had wanted to be his girlfriend, yet he had made it clear from the start that he wasn’t interested in any long term commitment. Despite that confession, she had continued to see him. They’d formed a half-baked agreement to stay together over the summer, keeping each other company and occasionally having sex while waiting for something better to come along. She hated herself for falling into that trap – hated her wanting, her neediness. And now the semester had started and everything had changed between them.

“Aren’t you angry that he left with another woman?”

Clenching her jaw to keep from saying something rude, she was reluctant to answer any more questions. She couldn’t understand how a person could be so direct at this hour of the morning. At least if I was a bug on a pin, I’d be dead so I wouldn’t care how much someone gawked at me.

The juice surprisingly banished the dryness and quenched her thirst. The aches and throbs subsided a little, giving her reprieve from the hangover. She handed the glass back to the Dena. “Thank you. The juice helped a lot, but I’m leaving as soon as the Tylenol kicks in.”

“You’re Gracie, right?”

“Yes.”

“Don’t worry about anything, Sugar. My brother and I own the house so you’re my guest. I insist that you stay.”

“You and Frank own the house and you go to classes at the university?” She had been under the impression that Frank was renting the house.

“Well, I should say that my parents own it. They bought it for Frank and me. They thought it was a better investment than spending the money on rent or a dorm room. I think it only gives Frank and his friends more occasions to party. He can be such a jerk sometimes, but I still love him.”

Gracie withheld any negative comments. She had only ever heard good things about Frank, although his reputation for partying was legendary on campus. “I don’t know your brother all that well. We met last semester in Psych class.” It was Dena’s brother who had introduced her to Evan. That was another reason not to go to any more of Frank’s parties.

Dena shrugged her shoulders. “He’s a wild one. Thank goodness he has some brains also. He pays me to stay sober and keep an eye on everyone at the really big parties like tonight.” The sudden pause in conversation made Gracie nervous. “Frank was telling me about you. Hmmm…now don’t go making a sour face. He didn’t say anything bad. In fact, he was trying to understand why a nice girl like you put up with Evan’s bullshit.”

Again, Gracie didn’t answer. In her mind, she wasn’t a nice girl. She wanted sex way too much to be a nice girl. She hoped the conversation would end, or at least move on to less volatile subjects; yet somehow it always kept wrapping around and returning to Evan.

Dena continued speaking. “I got worried when I saw you start knocking back the wine coolers like they were Kool-aid. There are always some two-legged dogs hanging out at this house and they just love to jump on the girls who’ve had too much to drink.”

Gracie wanted to curl up into a ball and disappear. “Sorry to be so much trouble,” she whispered.

“You’re not any trouble. Between the nursing clinics at the hospital and Franks stupid friends, I’ve put up with much worse.”

Gracie found her attention slipping away from the conversation. Part of her might fantasize about something romantic happening after a drunken encounter, but she knew it would only lead to nasty rumors about her. Her cravings to be touched and held were annoying. She tried so many things to keep her mind off her base physical needs and it was all just driving her insane. Sleeping around would only give her a reputation. Yet there were times that she wanted to just chuck it all for a few hours of pleasure. She looked up in surprise when Dena touched her arm.

“I cut you off in the middle of the third bottle ’cause I had no idea how much you drank before starting the wine coolers. Then I brought you up to my room so you could have a chance to recover without being groped by some sex hound.”

Gracie wanted to start crying, but the tears wouldn’t come. Her eyes were dry and the contact lenses she was wearing might as well have been made of sandpaper. “Do you know where my purse is?”

“I put it on top of the dresser.” Dena retrieved the purse and set it next to her on the bed. Gracie fumbled with the latch and dug around in the purse. Her head was still a little foggy and it was like she was trying to move another person’s fingers. She really disliked looking so trashy, yet there was nothing she could do to change things now. At least she hadn’t thrown up. “What are you looking for? Maybe I can help you find it.”

“Eye drops. I wear contact lenses and my eyes are dry.” The bottle wasn’t there. She did find some breath mints and she shoved one in her mouth to cover the nasty taste that was lingering in there. “Maybe I left it in the dorm room.”

“Let me look.” She knew she was in bad shape when the woman found the bottle within seconds and carefully handed it over to her. Gracie’s coordination was not at its best and she dropped the plastic bottle twice before her shaking hands could successfully remove the cap. Leaning back into the pillows, she attempted to bring the tip of the bottle in line with her eye. Several drops went sliding uselessly down her cheek. Gracie, now gritting her teeth, was tempted to throw the bottle across the room. “Come on,” said Dena. “Give it to me. I hate to see you struggling.”

Dena smoothed her fingertips over Gracie’s right cheek, wiping away the wet trails of saline solution. “Just relax, Gracie.”

Gracie did her best to remain still as Dena held her eyelid open with her fingertips and put the drops in. Dena was leaning in close and Gracie could smell her perfume: a hint of citrus and sweet herbs. She liked the scent. Breathing a little deeper, she let her mind wander. There was no denying it. Girls smelled better than boys.

“I like your perfume,” said Gracie.

Dena’s fingers had now moved to hold open the other eye. “Thanks.” Dena laughed and Gracie wondered what she found so amusing. However the woman’s laughter was as gentle as her touch and there was plainly nothing derisive about it. Gracie felt immediate relief as the drops soothed her eyes. She blinked a few times and was about to take back the bottle when she realized that Dena was still touching her face. The woman’s thumb brushed against the corner of her mouth and swept over her lower lip. Gracie’s lips tingled as if a faint electrical charge had sent through them. “You have lovely brown eyes.”

Dena was closer now. Gracie thought about telling her that she also had pretty eyes, but she knew that would sound so stupid. “They feel better now. Thank you.”

“Good.” The kiss happened so fast that Gracie wasn’t sure how to react. Dena’s full, soft lips pressed directly against hers. Despite the roller coaster jolt to her belly, she told herself that Dena couldn’t mean anything by this. She had seen Dena greeting both men and women with a kiss at the party. Some of the people had called her sister. The kiss might be in that category. But Gracie had two older sisters and they had never kissed her like this. Nonetheless, Gracie missed the contact as soon as Dena pulled away. “You get some more rest. I’ll be sitting over there in the recliner if you need anything.”

Confused and guilt-ridden, Gracie started talking before she considered what she was going to say. “You must be tired also. I don’t mind sharing the bed if you don’t. I feel like a total jerk for getting drunk and putting you through all this trouble.”

Dena grinned at her. “Did you forget what you said to me when I brought you upstairs?”

At this moment, she couldn’t remember walking upstairs. “Well… yes.” Gracie cringed, hoping she hadn’t said anything too rude to her hostess.

“Before I helped you upstairs, you were mostly ranting about Evan and what a shit head he was for leaving you. You even slapped some guy who told you to calm down and get on with your life.”

Gracie frowned. Yep, there was more proof that she was an angry, loose-lipped drunk. It would be awhile before she went to any more parties. She hated making a fool of herself and she was sure that Frank would have something to say to her in class about her lack of restraint.

“But that wasn’t the best part.” Gracie wanted to bury her own face in the pillow. What situation could be any worse than airing her dirty laundry in front of other people? “As I was walking up the stairs with you, you hugged me really tight around my waist and told me that you wished you were a guy so you could fuck me senseless and then fall asleep between my legs.”

Gracie covered her face with her hands as she turned away from Dena. What a horrible image formed in her mind! Dena had big bones and was at least a foot taller than her. At barely more than five feet tall, Gracie thought she must have looked like a dog trying to hump Dena’s leg.

Was there a window she could jump out of and end it all right now? She had managed to completely embarrass herself and the hosts. Calling a taxi sounded like the best thing to do. No, strike that. She would take a taxi to the airport. She could fly home and never return. Even if someone else could see the humor in all this, Gracie doubted she could look Dena or her brother in the eyes ever again.

A breeze wafted over her bare skin as the sheet was lifted off of her and she heard the bed creak as Dena lay down. Their combined weight caused the mattress to sink in the middle. Gracie tensed as she tipped backwards into the pocket that had formed. Dena’s breasts pressed against her back. The body contact was pleasing; however Gracie’s brain was temporarily overloaded by the reality of them cuddled up naked on the bed.

“Don’t be ashamed,” whispered Dena. “I thought it was cute. And do I have to be a boy for you to fuck me senseless?” The words were soft and husky; Gracie wondered if she’d heard correctly. She found herself blushing deeply regardless and continued to conceal her face so Dena wouldn’t see how embarrassed she was. Dena said nothing for awhile and Gracie wondered if she had gone to sleep. There was something so tender about the way she was spooning with her and yet she knew without a doubt that she could never fall asleep like this. Minutes later, Dena reached up and took hold of Gracie’s wrist. “Please show me your pretty face.”

Gracie dropped her hands without turning to look at Dena. Her heart was thumping in her chest as she tried taking some slower, deeper breaths to calm herself. Yet she couldn’t seem to relax. She wanted to understand why this touching felt so right even as she could hear her mother’s voice in her mind calling her a bad girl. A bitter memory of Evan telling her to stop clinging to him after sex joined the fray of emotions. Her breath hitched in her throat. With no warning, her life came into clear focus for the first time in several months.

“If you need to cry, it’s okay.” Dena moved a box of tissues to Gracie’s side of the bed.

“I don’t want to cry. I want to scream.” Her words were barely above a whisper. She twisted about so she could hide her face against the other woman’s shoulder. Comforting warmth surrounded her as Dena rolled over and gathered her up into a tight embrace.

“I’m listening, Sugar.”

Gracie panted as she forced herself to speak. Below her mouth, a patch of Dena’s skin was soon wet from the moisture in her breath. “I should have told Evan to go to hell. But I couldn’t.”

She wanted to bang her head against the nearest wall. Quaking with pent up rage, she now understood her own wretched part in this affair even if she didn’t like it. “Evan didn’t force me to do anything. I expected him to eventually change his ways.” The tears were falling now, dropping onto Dena’s skin and rolling away. “Those expectations kept me from moving forward. I shouldn’t have stayed in such a one-sided relationship.”

She snagged one of the tissues and blotted her eyes. She hated crying in front of other people. Dena’s hand soothingly rubbed her shoulder. A final shudder raced through her body as the last bit of resistance disappeared. “But I’m weak. I’m so lonely at times. Thousands of people around me and yet I always feel like I’m alone.”

Why couldn’t I have understood all this before making an ass of myself at the party? With the confession over, she slumped on top of Dena’s chest. A moment ago she had wanted to hit something. Now she just felt limp. Dena’s strong hands were kneading her shoulders and her back. It was the best massage she’d ever had.

When the tears were gone and her breathing had slowed, Gracie spoke again. “Thanks for putting up with my whining. You’re a good friend.”

Dena pressed a quick kiss to her cheek. “Don’t think of me as just a friend.” The woman’s tongue flicked against Gracie’s ear. “I want something.” Her hands roamed over Gracie’s spine and along the back of her legs, leaving goose-bumps in their wake. “I want to be your lover.” Gracie couldn’t resist the urge to spread her legs as Dena’s nails lightly raked the inside of her thighs before traveling back up along the clef of her butt cheeks.

Gracie hesitated for a number of seconds before answering. She was already touching this woman so intimately, yet that didn’t seem to be the point. She reluctantly pulled away while maintaining eye contact with Dena. “I’m not looking for a quick fix,” she said bluntly. “I’m tired of living like that.”

“Please listen. I think we both want the same thing – good sex and a devoted relationship.” Gracie was amazed by the sincerity in Dena’s voice.

Is it really that simple? Her mind tried to come up with a reason to prove this relationship just couldn’t work; but the best it could do was to keep hammering in her father’s voice at the obvious fact that Dena was a girl. Gracie chuckled at the absurdity of such a judgment. “Amen, sister.”

As she kissed Dena on the lips, her new lover pulled her into a full body hug using her arms and her legs. Gracie let Dena take the lead. She had never been with a woman, nor had she even considered experimenting with her sexuality, but after a few seconds she knew it didn’t matter. Dena was touching her everywhere, using all of her body, instead of just concentrating on one or two areas. The kisses deepened and she enjoyed the way their tongues were sliding together as their bodies pushed against each other.

As the minutes passed, Gracie could only try to keep up with Dena’s passion. Dena kept licking and nibbling parts of her body that had been aching for such intimate attention. The backs of her knees were particularly sensitive as were her ribs. Even the space between her fingers wasn’t ignored. Gracie was overwhelmed.

She wobbled a bit as Dena helped her to her knees and gently positioned her so that she was facing the headboard. “Just hold on to steady yourself.” Gracie wasn’t at all sure what Dena had planned, yet she didn’t question her. She felt the mattress give to one side as Dena leaned over towards the nightstand. Gracie heard the drawer open and close. She glanced at Dena’s hand to see what she was holding. However, the object was small enough to be hidden. “No peeking,” Dena said, with a teasing smile.

Dena’s hands returned to Gracie’s body and she shivered with delight as wet kisses traveled the length of her spine. Her legs felt so weak that she thought she still might collapse despite her grip on the headboard and the added support of Dena behind her. She bit her lip to stifle the moan that formed as Dena’s fingers brushed over her vulva. She knew she was wet as the fingertips easily glided over such a sensitive area. Dena’s hands then fondled her neck and breasts before sweeping down over Gracie’s thighs and out to the tips of her feet. The amount of foreplay was sending her to new levels of pleasure and she wondered how she had settled for anything less.

As Dena’s fingers entered her, Gracie rocked her hips in time to her lover’s rhythm. She could hear a juicy slurp as the fingers worked in and out of her.

Trembling now, Gracie looked down as a curious humming sound filled the air. A tingling sensation coursed through her body as the tip of a small vibrator brushed over her nipples and down across her belly. So that’s what Dena was hiding. The vibrator made memorable stops at her clit and inner thighs as Dena continued to finger her from behind. Gracie spread her legs even more and tilted her hips in an attempt to allow the fingers to go deeper.

“I have three fingers in you. Do you like that?”

“Ah, yes…feels good. I’m so close.” She clutched the headboard. Her fingernails throbbed and Gracie wondered if she was leaving marks in the wood. The vibrator moved against her throat before dropping down to tease her nipples again. She couldn’t take much more of this. A small gasp escaped her lips as the pressure within her body continued to build.

“You’re squeezing so tight. Let me hear you when you come.” The vibrator touched her clit once more and Gracie’s world shattered around her. The orgasm ripped through her as Dena held her close. Her mouth opened wide though she had no idea if she shouted Dena’s name or made any noises at all. Her tired hands dropped from the headboard and her knees began sliding out from under her as Dena helped ease her down. “Lie on your stomach.”

Gracie didn’t have to be asked twice. She already felt like she had melted into a puddle of goo. Best sex ever was the thought that kept rolling through her mind. She wanted to ask Dena to lie down next to her, only she couldn’t talk coherently. When the vibrator touched her butt, she arched her back slightly even though it didn’t feel like Dena was trying to put it into her. It sent wonderful shivers up her spine and all through her body. Dena seemed to be letting the vibrator rest on top. “What… now…?”

“You can cradle it for me while I do this.” Dena straddled Gracie’s hips while grinding against her. Now the vibrator was sandwiched between her butt and Dena’s pussy. Dena put most of her weight on her as her arms circled Gracie’s body.

She enjoyed the sound of Dena panting her name. The sharp gusts of breath stirred her hair and tickled her ear. Dena’s hands cupped Gracie’s inner thighs and her breasts wiggled against Gracie’s back. It was almost like being slowly crushed, but Gracie didn’t mind because she liked to be cuddled and pressed on. As her lover’s cries grew more frantic, Gracie knew that Dena was about to come. She tried to encourage her with sweet words even though her lungs ached for air. Dena’s body stiffened and jerked several times before molding itself to Gracie’s.

Soon enough, Dena rolled away and put aside the vibrator. Now the only sound in the room was labored breathing. Gracie snuggled up to Dena and kissed her on the lips once more. She didn’t care that they were both sticky with sweat and slick between the legs. Feeling so alive and satisfied was a beautiful way to begin a relationship. It was so good just to be by Dena’s side. Her hands continued to caress her lover’s body even as she felt herself growing drowsy.

“Rest for awhile,” said Dena, her voice husky from exertion, “then we’ll go take a shower.”

Gracie nodded as she helped brush aside the long strands of hair that clung to Dena’s damp forehead and cheeks. Maybe my karma isn’t so bad after all, she told herself before drifting off to sleep with a smile on her face.

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