To celebrate the blooming of the District of Columbia cherry trees, Ellen offered cherry brandy to her guest. Suzan found the liqueur smooth, inviting and pleasing just as she found Ellen—in a long, sleeveless dress of cherry-red —inviting and captivating. Red seemed to be her color, a vibrant compliment to her fair skin and hair.
“Let me show you my Cézanne,” Ellen announced with a pleased smile. “I have it hanging in my bedroom.”
“I’d love to see it.” Suzan followed her hostess up the sweeping staircase to the second floor and on to the master bedroom. As soon as she entered, Suzan took in the details with an awe-inspiring appreciation for the Arabian fantasy décor. Yards of red and mauve tulle curtains hung from the ceiling and draped the walls. They also framed the round king-sized bed with its cream satin comforter and mounds of pillows in garnet- and eggplant-hued velvet.
Ellen’s gilt-framed painting sat on a white and gold-trimmed easel, the painting depicting two women in sky-blue dresses with their arms placed lovingly around each other, the colors vivid, the technique an unbridled work of long strokes.
At first, the subject matter seemed innocuous enough; the women appeared either as two close friends or sisters in a loving, platonic embrace, perhaps sharing a secret between them. But upon closer examination, Suzan noticed the depth of emotions involved with both women as the looked at each other with bright, longing eyes, their expressions rosy and warm with seemingly growing passion. Did artists paint such subject matter? Suzan held off asking her hostess as she sipped her brandy.
“It’s very...stunning,” she said at last, her gaze still riveted on the women’s faces.
With her extensive knowledge of art history, Ellen elaborated. “During what was called his dark period, Cézanne painted a series of paintings with a palette knife. He later called these works—mostly portraits—une couillarde, a coarse word for ostentatious virility. It has been said that Cézanne’s palette knife phase was the catalyst for modern expressionism, and the idea of art as emotional ejaculation made its first appearance at this moment. During his dark period, Cezanne painted several erotic and violent subjects, such as The Rape and The Murder which depicts a man stabbing a woman who is held down by his female accomplice. Later on, as Impressionism flourished, Cézanne concentrated on landscapes.”
Ellen added, “I happened upon this masterpiece, The Sharing, in a SoHo gallery in London. At the time I paid 500 pounds for it, a real bargain when you consider it might fetch three million or more at auction today.”
“You definitely found a wonderful deal,” Suzan agreed although she had no idea of the worth of artistic endeavors. She had heard the universal maxim that an artist had to die first in order to become famous like Van Gogh whose paintings were discovered and praised only after his death.
Now as she stepped back, Suzan bumped into Ellen, unaware that the woman had been standing right behind her. She quickly moved aside with a stricken look. “Oh, I’m sorry! Did I spill your drink?”
Ellen laughed lightly as she swirled the remnants of her brandy in the snifter. “Not at all! I should have warned you of my presence. But you seemed so entranced with the painting that I didn’t want to disturb you. Renoir seems to inspire conflicting emotions whether he meant to or not.”
Suzan breathed a sigh of relief that she hadn’t upset the amiable connection between them. “Well, the quixotic subject matter certainly provokes scrutiny. Are the women friends or relatives giving each other a loving hug or lovers in a provocative embrace?”
Ellen offered an adroit smile. “What do you think, Suzan?”
“I’m still not sure.”
“Which may, perhaps, be a reflection of your own feelings, if you don’t mind my saying so.”
“No, not at all.” As mixed thoughts and emotions rushed her head, Suzan donned a penetrating look, unsure of what to say or do next. The room felt suddenly hot despite the open window and the slight breeze that ruffled the tulle draperies. The scents of jasmine and patchouli drifted around them, almost cloyingly sweet like the brandy that had been warming her body degree by degree until it registered at very and dangerous level.
“Why don’t you take off your jacket,” Ellen suggested as if sensing Suzan’s discomfort. She eyed the doctor’s casual but trendy attire, the short denim jacket with rhinestone bling, the yellow muslin top with a yoke of embroidered butterflies, and the skinny-legged jeans with heeled ankle boots in buff leather.
“Yes, it is rather warm in here.” Glancing about, Suzan looked for a place to put her brandy snifter but nixed the surfaces of the beautiful furniture without a coaster for protection.
“Here let me...” Ellen came to her rescue by taking the snifter from her hand and placing both of theirs on the lace runner of the dresser top.
“Oh, thanks.” Suzan gladly shed her jacket and laid it over a padded plum-velvet vanity chair. Then with a whoosh of relief, she ran her fingers through the spiral strands of her hair.
“Have you always had curls?” Ellen asked with an appreciative look.
“Yes. I was born with curly hair and curly it will stay regardless of what I do to straighten it.”
“Don’t straighten it, please. Your hair is beautiful as is.” Reaching out, Ellen imitated her guest’s gesture by running her fingers through the soft, vermeil curls.
Suzan shivered in pleasure as Ellen took up a wide shaft of her hair, fanned it out between her fingers and then allowed it to cascade back in carmine ripples. She couldn’t mistake the look in the woman’s eyes, that of bright, luminous desire. Suzan matched it with her own hungry gaze while her pulse began to rev and her flesh became mottled with goose bumps.
She melted into Ellen’s embrace and offered up her mouth as an offering to this golden goddess. Ellen’s lips felt so warm and tasted so sweetly of brandy. As their kiss deepened, Ellen’s fingers skimmed beneath Suzan’s top and burrowed under her bra to find warm, inviting flesh. Pulling away from Ellen’s seductive mouth, Suzan quickly shed her top and bra, a gray sports bra that now spurred a twinge of embarrassment. For Ellen, she should wear something more feminine, bras and panties of pink satin and lace. The thought of such a combination, of Ellen’s fair hair and body along Suzan’s pink satin and lace, made her breath catch in excitement.
With arms crossed, Ellen lifted the hem of her dress and pulled it up and over her head to reveal her naked body beneath. Then, quickly, she cupped Suzan’s breasts and closed her mouth over the sensitive flesh of the left nipple. Suzan let her body go limp, sighed, and combed her fingers through Ellen’s silky ginger hair as the woman continued to nibble and suck her breasts.
But when Ellen pulled away, Suzan ached for more, her breasts stimulated to a hard, rosy glow. Instead, Ellen unzipped Suzan’s jeans, and tugged the waistband along with her panties down and around her thighs, imprisoning her legs in denim and cotton. As Ellen ran her fingers up and down Suzan’s milky thighs and over her hips, the doctor purred in pleasure, and then moaned as Ellen bent to kiss her stomach, lick her navel and sweep her hands around her tight derriere. When her fingers gently delved between her legs and stroked the sensitive hub within her folds, Suzan yelped in shock and delight. She felt as if she would fall over in pleasure until Ellen scooped her up with surprising strength and brought her over to the bed. Then, as Suzan lay prone on the soft, cool duvet, Ellen pulled off the rest of her clothing and knelt between her legs. The woman’s kisses along the inside of her thighs sent Suzan into a tailspin of pleasure and made her quiver as Ellen found and exploited her sensitive spots.
Eager to give the same sensual torture, Suzan reached down and pulled Ellen to her so that their bodies molded together, breasts to breasts, hips to hips, pubic mounds to pubic mounds, with Ellen’s fine caramel hair meshing with Suzan’s auburn curls in ticklish delight.
When Ellen slipped beside her, Suzan eagerly explored her body, the smooth, soft alabaster skin without a mark or tattoo, the perfect curves, the full breasts, the classic features and divine lips. Ellen did the same for Suzan, the doctor bowing to this enticing woman’s expertise with the eagerness of a new pupil wanting to learn fast and furious. With greedy lips and tongues, and deft strokes of fingers, they brought each other to the heady brink of climax more than once.
Davis had stroked her flesh like this many times, but Suzan felt as if her sexuality—her needs and desire—had only been awakened under Ellen’s touch and tutelage, her flesh unexplored territory until Ellen stimulated every pore, muscle and tendon, charging her with electric pleasure. Until this moment Suzan expected a standard way of lovemaking, but this...this was incredible, fantastic and more potent than anything she experienced before. Suzan wanted to know Ellen Lambert intimately—where she had come from, how she felt about everything, what brought her the most pleasure, and why she chose Suzan of all people to pass on her gift of rapturous love.
But right now Suzan just wanted to feel the moment, not over-analyze the situation as if she had to convince herself of the rightness of the relationship. The touch of Ellen’s hands on her seemed like a miracle, chasing away any doubts and fears. Ellen stroked and soothed so that arousal rose quickly, although Suzan’s climax came slow and easy with a quiver and moan of bliss.
Then she reciprocated. The romance of the air, the light, the textures, the smells, the tastes, and the surrender of a strong beautiful woman became gloriously seductive to her. Suzan watched Ellen’s face as she filled and fueled her arousal with intimate caresses. She became fascinated by the intensity of Ellen’s bronzed gaze and how her eyes grew glassy like hard amber when orgasm rolled through her in a violent wave, making her clench, shudder and go pliant. Suzan learned quickly how to love another woman, memorizing all of Ellen’s sensitive and vulnerable spots. She couldn’t get enough of this woman, her hunger voracious and unyielding, and she knew she could go on like this all night and into the next day.
Ellen personified sex to the nth degree. Her body was meant for sex, all of her—lips, hips, hands, arms, shoulders, ankles, legs, and the deep, dark, moist mystery between. Suzan felt her heart beat through her skin as Ellen folded her in a warm, sensual embrace and kissed her slowly and longingly, the after-sex bonus of love, comfort and affection only another woman could offer. With the men in Suzan’s life, it had been mostly “wham bam, thank you ma’am,” even with Davis. When finished, they usually rolled over and went to sleep. Any foreplay and after-play seemed like a rote exercise, thrown in to appease her. But Ellen’s continued loving in the afterglow of sex was genuine and oh, so wonderful.