Red opened her eyes as the sun of a new day filtered through the curtains. Her back hurt like she had been sleeping for too long. She turned to each side cracking her back and arching in pleasure as her muscles loosened.

“That’s kind of creepy, just saying.” Norquay was slouched slightly against a wall watching her.

“I got tired of sitting.”

“Huh. Come sit anyway. You, standing there watching me triggers my fight-or-flight reflexes.” He sat quickly. “I like that about you.”


“That fact that you don’t want to hurt me.”

“I would kill anyone that hurt you.”

Normally, she’d brush a comment like that off. Not this time, she knew and her byema confirmed that he meant every word he said. The only worry she had now was if her ex was still alive.

“Is my… the guy who… is he still alive?”

“Care to share his name?”

She let out a deep sigh. Norquay had asked more than once for his name. She hadn’t given it to him not wanting to utter it. Her reticence had saved a life, even if it belonged to the scumbag of the earth.

“No. I want to get up.” When she threw the cover off it was to see that she was wearing one of Norquay’s shirts. “How long was I out?”

“A week.”

A week of not knowing what was happening around her. A week of being dependent on another person. A week of being cared for by Norquay.

“Thank you.” She gave him her best smile. He cared or her without taking advantage of her. She wanted to introduce him to Pete and Ginger. She wanted her mother to meet him, to look into his blue eyes and see the stars shining bright. Her hands wanted to touch him, to explore him, to find out what he liked, what made him tick. She wanted to take a step in the direction of letting her femininity come out to play. Did he want that?

“I should take a shower, brush my teeth, and all that.” She tripped over the last words getting out of bed. His eyes raked over her. There was heat in his gaze like he knew the directions of her thoughts. He was encouraging each thought with his eyes, giving a blessing that felt holier than any she received in church. At this rate, she was sure she’d be stoned for heresy before any of her other imagined sins caught up with her.

He stepped in front of her impeding her progress to the bathroom. Go around was the thoughts ringing through her head. She didn’t listen, instead, she licked her lips and boldly lifted her eyes to stare at his mouth. When his lips descended, she went to her tiptoes to meet them. Warm flesh pressed against hers making her heart beat a little faster as her pulse played games with her mind.

His tongue came to lick against her lips which she opened like a spring flower reaching for the first tastes of the warm sun. When his tongue darted against hers playing games that made her chase him, she learned the power of a kiss. Not only did it affect her body, but her mood and her mind came along for the ride. There was a promise in his tongue touching hers.

She never knew that a kiss could be a promise while telling the other person what its intentions were. When Norquay pulled back, she knew that she hadn’t just experienced a kiss. He had made her promised that one day his actions would back up. He had gifted her with the moon and the sun, then included protection. The only thing she wasn’t sure of was if he had gifted her with love. That was okay. Some things should be opened slowly like a present she would cherish for the rest of her life.

“Some of us really need that shower and a toothbrush.” She lowered her head needing to protect herself.

“The next time you attack me pressing luscious kisses against my mouth, make sure you brush your teeth first.”

His words startled a laugh from her. It set everything to rights. Once again, she was comfortable with the male she was now claiming as her own.

“I’ll remember that.” She went through into the bathroom a smile lighting up her face

“I’ll be in the kitchen waiting for you, I’m sure Teak will be there also.”

Family, Teak was now family, Norquay was family. That was something she walked away from so long ago. All she had was her mother, now her mother was gone, out of her reach. The words of her byema haunted her. She wanted to go get their mother also.

“Sleeping beauty arises,” Teak announced when she walked into the kitchen.

“Have you been watching Disney movies without me?”

“Maybe…” The three of them laughed.

“No fair. Now I need to know which movies you watched so I can watch and catch up with you.” She turned quickly to face Norquay almost falling off her chair. She raised a finger to wag it at him. “If you start singing let it go, I’m going to hurt you.”

His deep chuckle went through her like a hot knife through butter. She almost fell off the chair for a different reason. Her pussy contracted, then relaxed, before doing it again. Damn, her hand shot out to hold the edge of the table. That was different, amazing, the butterflies in her stomach were flying so hard she had to press a shaky hand to hold them in place. Was this feeling part of sexual desire? Why were her nipples hard? This wasn’t the random stuff that happened to her as a teen. Why now? She knew the answer it was imprinted on her bones. Safety, she felt safe with Norquay in a way she had never felt from her first conscious memory.

When she looked up at him, the knowledge that her mask had slipped was reflected in his gaze. His warm hand came out to rub the side of her face. Never had she wanted to be a cat or a dog, now she wanted to push her cheek against his hand like she was an animal that wanted nothing more than to feel the touch of the one that loved her.

“You are an animal,” Byema-Red said. “Don’t get it twisted.” Then she snuggled into Norquay’s hand without a thought.

“I thought it was hard being one person,” Red sighed sitting back up. “Now I get the joy of being two.” She glared at Norquay daring him to laugh.

“You can’t intimidate me that easily,” Teak laughed placing a bowl of soup in front of her. “Eat that if you’re still hungry after, I’ll make you something else.”

“You need a girlfriend,” she grumbled before taking a bite of her soup. Chicken noodle, one of her favorites.

She helped Teak clean up before he left declaring some of his friends wanted to see him, and he wouldn’t be back until tomorrow. He hoped they could fend for themselves for a day.

“He’s a little obvious, forgive him.”

“He was?”

“Uh-huh.” Norquay pulled her close wrapping his arms around her before breathing in her scent. “Living room.” His voice was a little strangled before he let her go.

Red felt the tremble in his hands that went up his arms before he got it under control. That made her heartbeat wild. She felt sexy. There was not one day in the past she ever felt sexy or desirable until she met Norquay. The way he looked at her made her feel like she always had his full attention. How many times had she seen someone walk in the room and everyone stop to look at them? That was never something she wanted for herself. Having a whole room look at her would have made her feel too vulnerable, but she did want the eyes of that one special person on her. That person was Norquay.

“Are we going to…” She sat on the couch suddenly nervous. How did you ask a question like that?

“We are only going to do what you want to do.”

“Really?” Wait, he wouldn’t lie to her. She wasn’t sure he could even lie.

“Yes, really.”

She met his eyes looking for the sadness or the anger for taking her as his abraza. All she found was gentleness mixed with a bit of teasing. There was also a light shining bright in his eyes, but she didn’t know what it was. It reminded her of times she had taken her mom unawares as she was staring at her.

Red moved closer to him on the couch enjoying the heat of his body.

“Do we have to watch a movie?”

“What do you want to do?”

In the corner was a huge Christmas tree. He must have gotten it when she was out of it. The fireplace was on making the room warm and toasty. All they needed was eggnog, music, and decorations.

“I was thinking we could decorate the tree, drink eggnog, and listen to Christmas music. Then later maybe shift and lie in front of the fire.” That probably wasn’t romantic enough.

“Grab the eggnog, I’ll get the decorations.” He was out of the living room so fast she almost didn’t see him leave. A tiny smile slid to her lips. Maybe she was better at romance than she thought. Then she shook her head, Nope, nothing romantic about her, but she was willing to learn for him.

“There are two types of eggnog.” She held up a cup of the milky goodness. “Type one is, I’m a virgin – nothing to see here folks.” She presented the cup for him to take a taste.

They had strung the lights on the Christmas tree, then turned them on to take a good look at their hard work. They still needed to put the decorations on, but she felt they deserved a break. The music was playing making her sway back and forth. Norquay was looking at her like she was the eighth wonder of the world. These were memories she wanted to imprint on her brain for the rest of her life.

“The second kind of eggnog?” He brought her back to the moment.

She held up the second cup then took a tiny sip. “The second kind is more whoops am I dancing on the bar top with my skirt around my waist? I’m not drunk – fuckers.” She giggled, maybe she had one sip too many.

She almost tipped over when she handed the cup to Norquay. Good thing he was good with his hands. She giggled again.

He deftly switched cups, but she wasn’t drunk. Just a little tipsy since she wasn’t much of a drinker. It would pass quickly, she hoped.

“I should make cookies and pies. I’m a pretty good cook. Had to be growing up in my house.” She had gotten comfortable with her head lying on one of his impossibly thick thighs.

“You’re too hard you need a layer of fat.”

“I do?”

“Yep, cushion.”

“I do appreciate cushion.” His hand was on her belly moving in small moves making her want to rub her thighs together.

“You make me feel desirable.”

“Because you are desirable. Anyone who can’t see your beauty is the one missing out. I’d call them ignorant, but honestly, they are smart enough to stay away from what is mine. I can’t complain.”

“I’m not complaining either. Up and at it lazy bones, we got a tree to finish. Then my byema wants to come out. She’s giving me the silent treatment because we’re not done yet.”

“Now we know they’re really mates. Mine is doing the same.”

She started humming a song while they decorated.

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