Entered into the Radclyffe-Writings mailinglist Author Challenge, August 13, 2005.


By Gun Brooke


”For heaven’s sake!” Ginny Soderstrom knelt and leaned her head against the cool surface of her front door. Glowering at her arm, which disappeared through the mailbox slot, she realized it was hopelessly stuck. “Locksmiths are apparently not in my immediate vocabulary,” she murmured and pushed long tresses of blond hair behind her ear. The truth was, she was short of cash, and this fact had made the idea of trying to reach the lock through the mailbox slot very appealing, and plausible. Damn, it seemed entirely doable.

Ginny pulled at her arm again, only to grimace from the pain shooting up through her elbow. “Ow!” How stupid can you get?

It was just not her day. She’d been late for a meeting, had no time for lunch, and the instant coffee from the machine in the corridor outside her office tasted like crap. Not to mention how it looked, a few minutes later, when it spluttered all over her new off white skirt when that idiot Sander slapped her back in his usual exuberant way to say ‘hello’. Then Dr. Frost handed over ten long overdue charts and demanded she update the computer records within an hour. She hated Dr. Frost.

The day had moved on with a phone that didn’t stop ringing, a patient who gave her hell for something a colleague had promised, but never owned up to. Later, the chief-of-staff, the almighty Dr. Denver found it in her heart to demand two hours’ over time, and then had the audacity to comment on the faint coffee stains Ginny had spent fifteen minutes in the restroom trying to rinse out.

“If she uses the words ‘decorum’ and ‘duty to appear representative of the hospital’ again, it will be too soon, and I’ll end up in jail for throttling the old bat,” Ginny hissed to herself where she sat on the cold concrete floor. And to end a perfectly horrible day--this.

She had searched her pockets and purse at least three times, and her keys weren’t there. I knew I locked the door this morning and put them in the…in the…oh, wait a minute… Ginny’s mind reeled when she envisioned herself putting the keys in the bag she kept her lunchbox in. The bag I shoved into my bottom file drawer together with at least four of Dr. Frost’s damn files. Another groan escaped her and she tugged at her arm again. And now I’m stuck. Great. Ginny made an impatient sound and thudded her head against the door. “What else can possibly go wrong today?”

A faint whining sound told Ginny that someone was using the elevator. “Please, please, please, stop at this floor and help me…” Then, when the elevator actually slowed down just before her floor, she hastily changed her mind. Don’t let it be her! I can’t let her see me like this!

The door to the elevator slid open and an elegant woman with short, silver-gray hair stepped out. She carried two large paper grocery bags and at first she didn’t seem to notice Ginny, who crouched next to her front door.

For a moment, Ginny thought Patricia Edmond was preoccupied with managing her burden and her keys, but when the woman came to a dead stop, she knew her luck was still out. I never should’ve gotten out of bed. Period. I should’ve simply called in sick and blamed the freakin’ plague or something. “Fu-…” She bit off the rude word.

“Ginny? What on earth are you doing down there?” Stern blue eyes nailed her. “Are you all right?”

Wonderful. She already thinks I’m nuts after I got stuck in the elevator and flooded my bathroom in the same day two weeks ago. “Oh, hello. Hi.” She felt her check warm and knew she blushed profusely as she gestured with her free arm. “I…eh… I’m locked out.”

“And?” Patricia put her groceries down by her door and approached Ginny with determined steps.

“And I tried to reach the lock.”

Was there a twitch at the corner of Patricia’s mouth? Ginny wasn’t sure. Patricia was a very collected and neat woman, always dressed impeccably in slacks and tweed jackets. Very conservative looking. And incredibly sexy in an understated sort of way. Ginny wanted to groan at her erratic mind, but now Patricia was kneeling beside her.

“I guess it would be redundant to tell you how implausible that idea was?” The other woman shook her head and scrutinized Ginny’s bare arm. “Does it hurt?”

“Only when I pull.” Ginny tried to keep the sarcasm out of her voice.

“I realize that. But what about now?” Patricia slid her hands up along Ginny’s arm. “Ohh.”

Goosebumps rose with every soft blond hair that rose to attention on Ginny’s bare arm. Ohh, indeed. Ginny leaned her head against the door. “The arm’s okay, but I’ve been here a while and my legs are almost numb.”

“I could call the rescue service?” Patricia suggested, her hand still on Ginny’s arm.

“Oh, God, no!” Ginny balked at the idea. “I work as a medical secretary in the ER. I know all the boys and girls in the rescue service. Please. They’d never let me live it down. Or off the hook.” She tried her best pleading look.

“All right. I have another suggestion. You’re not allergic to olive oil, are you?”

What? “Er, no. I don’t think so.” Ginny frowned. “Why?”

“Lubrication.” Patricia rose and walked over to one of her grocery bags. She pulled out a bottle with golden-green liquid and waggled it triumphantly. “Very multi-purpose.”

Ginny began to understand. “Okay, why not? I can’t very well sit here forever.”

Patricia took off her tweed jacket and revealed surprisingly well-toned arms and a slender, lithe frame that belied her age. Her perceived age. Despite the fact the woman had completely gray hair, Ginny detected no other obvious signs of aging. Patricia’s eyes were clear and focused, and her nose slightly bent in an aristocratic way. Her lips were narrow, but became fuller when she spoke or smiled. Was she forty-five, fifty, perhaps? Hard to tell.

Patricia knelt next to her again, apparently mindless of the fact that her immaculate brown slacks were getting dusty and dirty. She opened the bottle, but instead of pouring directly on Ginny’s arm, she filled her left palm with oil and began stroking it on the stuck limb in slow motions. Patricia used her fingers to coat the part of Ginny’s arm that was jammed into the narrow mail slot. “I think we need some more, so you don’t scrape off skin when we pull.”

Ginny could sense Patricia’s discreet perfume, something flowery, with a tinge of classic soap. “You’d think a woman my age would be somewhat less of a…klutz?” she murmured. “I mean, I’m thirty-five, and you must think I’m hopeless.” Why was it important what Patricia thought?

“I think nothing of the sort! Don’t sell yourself short, just because of a few mishaps. You’re a good neighbor.”

“I flooded my bathroom.” Ginny drew a deep breath as Patricia’s warm hands massaged more olive oil into her skin, from her shoulder down to the jammed elbow. Internal shudders reverberated throughout her abdomen and she realized with a start that she was reacting to the assistance in a most inappropriate manner.

“Only because the super didn’t do his job with the pipes. Not your fault.”

“I got stuck in the elevator. The same day.” Oh, God, don’t do that. Don’t slide your hands up and down my arm like that. And don’t stop. Damn, what’s going on here?

“I can’t see how an electrical malfunction could have anything to do with you.”

“Kiss of death?”

Patricia stopped her movements. “Now, that I might consider. You do seem to be prone to mishaps, that’s true.”

Ginny shook her head. “More like predestined.”

Patricia gave a surprisingly soft smile. “Ready? Let’s try this.” She pulled gently at Ginny’s arm and at first it seemed as if it were permanently stuck, but then it gave way with a resounding ‘plop.’

Relieved, Ginny began to massage her numb limb, only to watch in astonishment as Patricia took over and examined it thoroughly. “You have a few scrapes here. We’d better clean those up.” She rose to her feet and extended a hand to Ginny. “Care for a cup of coffee?”

“You don’t have to… oh, crap!” Ginny’s legs were asleep and she wobbled into a standing position.

Patricia wrapped a strong arm around Ginny’s waist. “Easy now. Come with me and I’ll help you clean those scrapes and make us some coffee. No arguing. Besides, you can’t sit on the stairs while you wait for a locksmith.”

When Patricia spoke in that decisive voice, it was obvious that she was in charge. Ginny wasn’t going to confess that she couldn’t quite afford a locksmith at this point, and that the only solution was to take the bus back to the hospital and retrieve her keys. She shook her head, but stumbled willingly next to her neighbor as they made their way to Patricia’s apartment that mirrored Ginny’s.

Ginny sat down on a kitchen chair and watched Patricia put her groceries away and start the coffee-machine. She glanced over at Ginny and that half-smile appeared again. “You look like you’ve been through a disaster.”

Ginny glanced down. Coffee-stain. Dirty hem on her skirt. Dirty bare knees. Oiled right arm. Yup. She’s right. She nodded and gave a deep sigh. “Not exactly representative, am I?” She gave a hesitant smile.

“Come with me. I’ll help you.”

Patricia led Ginny to the bathroom and motioned for her to sit on the toilet seat. She took out a first aide kit and began cleaning the small scrapes just above Ginny’s right elbow. “There. They’re very superficial and will heal quickly.” She turned to the sink and rinsed a washcloth. “Let’s get all that oil off before you stain your blouse as well.”

Ginny couldn’t resist closing her eyes when Patricia washed her arms in slow, languid movements. “That feels good. I finally have the feeling back in it,” Ginny said huskily.

“Good. Just relax.” A soft, dry terrycloth towel replaced the washcloth. Patting Ginny’s arm dry, Patricia moved closer and Ginny could again sense her faint perfume.

Then, to her astonishment, she felt the warm, wet washcloth slide over her knees, cleaning the dust and grime from the concrete floor away. Is it my imagination, or is she reaching a little too far up my legs with that cloth? Ginny’s heart picked up speed and she had to force herself to breathe slowly and not let on how the other woman affected her. Imagine that: my stern, collected neighbor: this sexy, this breath-taking!

Patricia dried her legs, sliding the towel slowly up and down, perhaps a little longer than necessary, but Ginny wasn’t about to complain. This has a very obvious effect on me. She’s bound to notice that, isn’t she?

“You look tired.” Patricia kept her hands on Ginny’s knees.

“A long day at work. Overtime.” Ginny struggled to sound lucid. She was becoming increasingly wet and an inner voice urged her to get a grip, or Patricia would pick up on her state of mind.

“It’s okay. You can just relax.”

There was something hypnotic in the clear, resonant voice that reassured Ginny. She leaned into the touch when Patricia moved her hands and began to comb through Ginny’s long hair with gentle fingers.

Ginny instinctively followed Patricia’s movements, involuntarily seeking the touch.

“You’re just like a kitten,” the other woman chuckled quietly. “You like how this feels?”


“Good. Relax.”

Ginny knew she should probably sit up straight and decline any further assistance, but Patricia’s hands did not relent. They stroked through Ginny’s hair, down along her neck and gently rubbed her shoulders. Ginny turned her head and leaned toward her neighbor.

She gasped as her head ended up on a plump breast.

“Shh, don’t worry. Just rest for a moment.” Patricia’s voice didn’t change. Or did it? Ginny wasn’t sure, but it sounded even deeper as it rumbled in her ear. It was soothing, hypnotic even, and yet it made her skin tingle and her breath quicken.

“You ready to move out into the kitchen and have some of that coffee?” Patricia asked. “You look tired.”

“I’m fine,” Ginny managed and stood up. Their reflection in the mirror caught her attention and she couldn’t look away when she saw them standing so close together. Patricia was slightly taller than her, perhaps an inch, and her starkly handsome features seemed to emphasize Ginny’s softer, more rounded face.


Ginny turned toward Patricia, and for the first time, she wasn’t intimidated by the other woman’s stern persona. There was kindness and caring in those intelligent eyes, and something more… Is she attracted to me? There is something in the way she looks at me, and her hand is still on my shoulder, rubbing…no, caressing, me. “Yes.”


“Sure. Kitchen.” Was that her voice? Ginny hardly recognized the low purr that emerged from her throat.

“If you like, you can have a shower or a bath afterward, while you wait for the locksmith.”

Ginny struggled with the truth as they walked toward the kitchen. “Er, I’d love to,” she muttered. “But, really, I’ll just pop back to my office and pick up my keys. No big deal.”

“That’s a cab ride all across town.” Patricia raised her eyebrows.

Cringing, Ginny knew she had to level with her neighbor. “Bus ride, actually.” She averted her eyes.

Patricia’s grasp of her shoulder tightened and Ginny turned around, facing her. “I’m not going to pry, Ginny. Why don’t you spend the night here and bring the keys home with you after work tomorrow?”

Her heart overflowing, Ginny could only stare at the unpredictable woman next to her. “Patricia, that’s…I mean, you don’t have to…”

“Ginny…” Patricia whispered. “Trust me. I do. I do have to. I don’t want you on a bus across town at this hour. You won’t be home until way past midnight. If my car wasn’t in the workshop I’d drive you.” Her eyes never left Ginny’s face, as if looking for something hard to find. “For heaven’s sake, girl!” She pushed her free hand through her short hair, disheveling it completely.

As if the mussed hair, that normally was perfectly coiffed, made Patricia more human, more accessible, Ginny stepped closer, chest to chest. “I’m no girl. I can take care of myself!”

“I know you can. Most of the time, if you’re not trapped in your own mail slot.” Patricia chuckled, sounding only kind as she teased. “And no, you’re not a girl. “ She pulled Ginny close, her slender hands around her shoulders. “You feel it too, don’t you?”

Ginny nodded, knowing for certain that her voice would betray here if she tried to speak. I do. I sure didn’t see this coming.

“Want to sit down and have some of that coffee?” Patricia motioned toward the kitchen table. “Or do you want to be more comfortable, like on the couch in the living room?”

“Living room.” On a couch with Patricia? Sounded too good to be true on a Murphy kind of day, like today. Ginny fully expected this improvement to end as fast as it had begun.

“All right. I’ll bring a tray. Why don’t you go in and make yourself comfortable?”

Reluctant to leave Patricia, Ginny nodded and headed for the living room. She sat down on the couch, sinking into the cushions with a sigh of content. Patricia joined her only half a minute later, with coffee and crackers on a small tray.

“Here we go.” Patricia sat down next to Ginny and placed the tray on the marble coffee table. She poured the coffee into two large ceramic mugs and was about to give one to Ginny when she suddenly stopped and put it back on the tray.

“Ginny.” Her name sounded slightly strangled from Patricia’s lips.

Without bothering to think if it was appropriate, or even very clever, Ginny leaned forward and pressed her lips to Patricia’s mouth, preventing them from speaking any further. The kiss was chaste to begin with, merely a firm joining of lips. Ginny felt Patricia’s hands on her shoulders, and was sure she was going to decline any further caresses or overtures.

Instead, Patricia pulled her closer, more or less up on her lap, and slid her tongue between Ginny’s lips. She deepened the kiss and examined every part of Ginny’s mouth, stealing her breath. Ginny returned the caresses with enthusiasm. Nothing I have done has ever felt this good. She ignored her surprise, and merely enjoyed the moment. She had no idea where this was going, but she hoped it was moving towards the bedroom, and that Patricia had treated herself to a bed matching the couch; big and plush.

Ginny placed a gentle hand around Patricia’s left breast and was taken aback at how fast the other woman’s pulse was. Her heart seemed to scramble to do its job and Patricia’s breaths game out in short gushes. She made a muted grunting sound and began to push Ginny back, onto the armrest.

Oh, my. Sure, sure. Anything…oh, god, yes…So good.

“Ginny. Let me.”

The words hit just between Ginny’s legs, sending her sex into pre-orgasmic spasms. “Anything you want, Patricia. Anything.”

Patricia tore her shirt off, baring her naked, small breasts to Ginny, who thought she was going into overload. “Oh, God.” Her hands moved by themselves, and she cupped the beautiful breasts and then lunged on them, unable to hold back anymore. Ginny filled her mouth with a rigid nipple and the treatment she gave it made Patricia arch and push Ginny farther into the cushions. She slid her hand up Ginny’s skirt and found the damp cotton panties instantly.

“Ah, ready for me!” Apparently pleased by this assumption, Patricia slid her fingers under the soaked fabric and found the aching wetness underneath. It only took a few strokes along the protruding ridge before Ginny began to soar. She groaned out loud and undulated against the determined hand, desperate for the magic Patricia’s fingers created.

“Ahh!” Ginny tensed and pulled her new lover down on top of her. Orgasms were meant to be shared and she wanted Patricia to feel how every muscle in her abdomen and thighs twitched and quivered when she plummeted. “Oh, yes! Yes, yes!”

Almost inadvertently, but not quite, Ginny slid a leg in between Patricia’s gabardine clad legs. Pleased to feel a humid heat against her thigh, she pressed upward. Patricia slid her pelvis back and forth, quickening the pace with her hand still inside Ginny’s panties.

“Oh…my…!” Patricia sounded baffled, as if she hadn’t expected this to happen, or perhaps to feel the way she did. Ginny doubled her efforts by reaching between them to hold onto Patricia’s breasts. When this sent a jolt through the other woman, she knew she was on the right track.

“I want you to come, honey,” she murmured, “I want you to come so I can undress you and start over!” She kissed Patricia’s damp cheek as she lowered her head next to Ginny’s. “There. Can you feel it? It’s starting.”

It was true. A wave of pleasure seemed to cascade though Patricia, who gave a short cry. Small orgasms erupted inside Ginny as Patricia rocked against her, pushing her fingers deep inside in the process.

“Trish!” The nickname left Ginny’s lips before she noticed. “Baby…” Her voice turned to a whisper.

Patricia slumped to the side and didn’t take her eyes off Ginny. “Are you all right?” she murmured huskily.

“Yes, why wouldn’t I be?” Ginny panted.

“It was just supposed to be coffee.” Patricia was just as out of breath.

“It’s not too late for coffee.”

“But no regrets?”

Ginny cupped Patricia’s cheek and kissed her lips with slow determination. “Never.” Another kiss. “You?”

“Certainly not. No matter how unexpected.”

“So you haven’t been ogling me at all before today?”

There was a half-mocking, haughty expression on Patricia’s face. “I don’t ogle.”

“All right. Let me rephrase that. So you haven’t been checking me out at all?”

“Of course I have. I can’t live next door to a beautiful woman for more than two years without noticing her.”

“So that’s all you did,” Ginny wrinkled her nose, “noticed me?”

Patricia leaned in closer and placed a soft kiss on Ginny’s lips. “All the time. Every day.”

“Really?” Ginny’s heart jumped and a small, tender glow of happiness expanded in her chest. “So you just bided your time?” she teased.

Patricia winked. “I had a feeling I just had to be patient until you finally got stuck in your mail slot.”

Ginny laughed out loud. Her dry sense of humor was a wonderful surprise in this extraordinary woman. “Then I’m glad I had such a rotten day – until now.”

Patricia seemed to have stopped listening. She kissed a long, hot, trail of open mouth kisses down Ginny’s neck. “Stay here tonight!”

Ginny arched her neck and began unbuttoning Patricia’s slacks. “Yes.”

No other words were necessary. Yes, yes, yes!