It was late when Kate got home. She had gone for after work dinner and drinks with some of her work colleagues. She had expected to be out for an hour or so later than normal, not four hours.
On the approach to her house she noticed that Joan wasn’t home yet. Not surprising lately. But she was worried about the toll it was taking on the woman she had grown fond of. High stress job, long hours becoming longer by the week, nearly no down time. It was bordering on insanity. But she knew Joan was dedicated to her work, nothing would persuade her to dial back the input and just have some quiet time, not when there were things needing to be done.
Kate poured wine and scrounged around for some snack foods to indulge in while watching junk T.V. Taking a pinch of flakes she crumbled the fish food into Ludo’s bowl and watched happily as he swum around in circles, catching the food he had been waiting all day for.
An episode of something reality-based later and still there was no Joan across the road. Kate was tired. It had been a long day, after a long week, after a long month. Hence the after work drinks, everyone needed to let off a little steam and her boss had instructed that he would be buying the first round for anyone that wanted to join. She felt bad going to bed before Joan was home, especially after last night and that long, lingering kiss they had shared. Kate’s body tingled again as she thought about it. How Joan had tasted on her lips, the soft feel of her skin, her scent. It was just one kiss, but it felt like so much more.
But Kate knew she was asleep on her feet and needed a shower after the evening at the pub. So she stripped naked and ran the water steaming hot, watching as the steam built up in the bathroom and swirled around like a magical fog. She spent twice as long as usual standing under the water, letting her stress wash away with the bubbles down the drain. It was cathartic watching them disappear into oblivion, like it could take away all the stress and anxiety in her body with it.
A quick dry then on with the bath robe and she kept the towel around her shoulders to dry her hair as she stepped out of the bathroom into the main hallway.
She saw through the frosted glass panel in the front door the swing of headlights and the flood of fluorescent white light as Joan finally pulled into her driveway. It was late. She must be exhausted Kate thought to herself.
Without any rush Kate made her way to the front door to sneak a peek at her neighbour. Maybe she would still be standing by her car, taking a moment before going inside as she so often did. But Kate was startled as she reached for the handle of the front door and a loud knock came from the other side.
Switching on the hallway and front porch light, Kate opened the heavy front door to find a very distressed Joan standing on the other side of the fly screen.
“I needed to see you,” were the only words Joan could muster as she breathed heavily as though she had just run across the road to the doorstep she was standing on.
Kate clicked the screen door unlocked with a definitive ‘click’ in the silence of the night and Joan walked through the door immediately, locking it behind her again.
Joan walked straight through to the lounge room and started pacing, her usually perfect bun of hair was a mess, the neck tie was loosened and the collar button of her shirt was undone. She sucked in air as though she couldn’t get enough as she walked up and down the length of the small room behind the lounge.
Kate closed the solid door and hung the towel on her bedroom door handle before following her friend through to the lounge room where she was still pacing and tapping her own forehead.
“Joan.” Kate grabbed her by the shoulders and held her in place, her bright green eyes staring straight into those dark ones trying to bring her back to the present moment. Kate could see the stress. Joan was cracking under the pressure. She grabbed Joan’s suit jacket by both lapels and pushed the garment from her shoulders, catching it and placing it on the arm of the chair closest before Kate took Joan’s hand in her own. “Come. Sit down.”
Joan allowed herself to be led to the lounge and sat beside Kate. Her hands were shaking as she tried to control her breathing. Kate kept her hands on Joan to keep her grounded; she had done extensive training in mental health and could see the signs of burnout. One hand was on the back of Joan’s neck, gently caressing the basilar artery to help alleviate tension, the other hand rested on Joan’s knee as she sat close.
“What’s happened?” She kept her voice low and calm, not wanting to inflame the situation.
“An inmate escaped.”
The words hung in the air like a thick fog and for a moment Kate froze as the words sunk in. They both knew the implications. They both understood the consequences. Neither of them were willing to voice them.
She regained her composure within a few seconds and continued to massage Joan’s neck and squeezed her knee gently. “Okay. How?”
“I should have seen the signs, they were right there in front of me.” Joan was beyond distressed at the situation. Her foot was tapping against the wooden floorboards creating a rhythmic sound and a vein in her neck was throbbing. “There was a fight between two prisoners. They both had weapons and both copped a hiding from each other. But one ended up with slashes right up her wrists deep into the tissue. I thought they were defensive wounds.” Her voice broke as a flood of tears erupted, her body shook and she buried her face in her hands.
“Shh, it’s okay,” Kate soothed gently, instinctively rubbing her hand across Joan’s shoulder blades to ease out the stress.
“It’s not okay!” Joan yelled in frustration dropping her hands from her face. “I should have seen it! Only the person themselves goes up the golden road, not the one attacking them. She did it so we couldn’t handcuff her, she knew the protocols. She was sent to hospital for surgery and by the time I had the information that she had done it to herself it was too late, my officer had left the inmate alone for a moment and she had escaped.” Joan took deep, shaking breaths to try and calm herself as tears continued to tumble down her cheeks. She hated herself for missing the signs.
“Sit back,” Kate instructed Joan with gentle pressure on the front of her shoulder.
Joan was completely unable to think for herself and followed the instruction without hesitation, sitting back into the overstuffed sofa that felt as though it was cuddling her.
Kate lifted her body and straddled Joan’s legs so they were face to face, Kate sitting on Joan’s lap.
“What are you doing?” The tone of voice almost showed fear as Joan realised Kate was wearing nothing underneath her bath robe. She grabbed a hold of Kate’s bare thighs as though to push her off if things suddenly became too uncomfortable.
“Just relax and let me take care of you for a moment Joan.” Reaching around the back of her neighbours head Kate plucked out the pins that were attempting to hold Joan’s hair in place and watched it cascade down the sides of her face. The grey strands seemed to have multiplied exponentially in the last few weeks and they sparked like silver among the black in the dim lamp light. Collecting the pins in one hand she carefully deposited them in the pocket of her robe.
Joan was wary, especially after their kiss last night. She may have given in to it, she may have even instigated it in her tense and weakened state, but she was still wary about getting too close to people. Everyone she had ever loved had left her. She didn’t think she could bear to go through that again. As much as she was intrigued by Kate, as much as she was infatuated with her, as much as she had fantasized about moments of lust and love with her neighbour, she was still very wary of what might happen between the two of them and what would happen when it ends, because for Joan it always ended.
Kate spread her fingers and found Joan’s scalp with her nails. Gently massaging she watched as the stress and anxiety in Joan’s face slowly melted away. Her eyes closed. Her head tilted back to allow better contact. As she gave in to the pleasure and easing of tension that was coursing through her body Joan’s fingers changed direction in their pressure and dug into Kate’s naked thighs as she pulled her body closer.
Obligingly Kate leaned in nearer so their bodies were almost touching.
A small whimper escaped Joan’s lips as the stress washed from her under Kate’s touch. She could feel her heart slowing to a normal rhythmic pace and a swarm of butterflies filled her stomach as the anxiety that was flooding her body only a moment ago was replaced with anticipation.
Kate felt an ache deep inside her pelvis as she watched her beautiful neighbour turn to putty in her hands. She leaned forward and allowed their lips to touch again.
Stars exploded behind Joan’s eyes as she felt the delicate touch of Kate’s mouth upon her own. All control was gone in that instant; all fear and hesitation were blown out the window from the heat of passion that raced through Joan’s body. Her hands reached around to the firm buttocks sitting on her thighs and she pulled Kate forward so their bodies were pressed hard against one another as they explored each other.
Kate moaned as Joan’s nails ran a rough trail down her thighs and back up again to her lower back. Bringing one hand around she used it to untie the knot at Kate’s waist she loosed the bath robe and peeled it from Kate’s body, leaving her completely naked while Joan was still completely clothed, but their lips still never leaving the others. Then she felt those long fingers upon her body once more, they traced a path of goose bumps all over her back right down to the cleft of her buttocks and continuing down to directly underneath her, gently, teasingly. She started undoing Joan’s tie with shaking fingers that refused to work without her eyesight but eventually she managed to slip the knot and pull the tie from around Joan’s white collar.
Those nails were still doing magnificent things upon Kate’s skin and making her tingle as Kate’s fingers moved onto the shirt buttons. The second one had just been plucked undone when suddenly two fingers were plunged deep inside of her and Kate gasped from shock and pleasure all at once.
“I’ll stop if you want me to,” Joan spoke quietly, her voice thick with desire as she pulled back from Kate’s lips only a fraction.
“Don’t stop,” was all Kate could manage in a breathy gasp as Joan started to move her fingers in just the right way and Kate knew exactly what was about to happen.
“Good girl.” A small, almost sadistic smile played on Joan’s lips as she watched Kate give in to the pleasure rocking her body. With her free hand Joan grabbed a handful of Kate’s hair and pulled her into a deep, passionate kiss once more as she expertly massaged the most intimate recesses of the woman’s body.
“Oh,” Kate moaned, pulling back from the kiss as her head tilted back. She could feel herself riding closer and closer to the edge as Joan worked her fingers deeper. Her body was grinding against Joan with the motion and build up of pleasure as she felt herself reaching the crest.
“Yes, come for me,” Joan encouraged with true passion and a gravelly voice. It was all she wanted in this moment and her black eyes burned with a desire she hadn’t felt for longer than she cared to remember. Nothing else mattered in that moment; it was just the two of them and her animalistic need to take what she wanted from the beautiful naked woman sitting on her lap.
“Oh Joan!” Kate cried as a deep orgasm rocked her body and Joan rode it right to the very end.
Kate panted to catch her breath as Joan stole small kisses from those beautiful lips which were swollen and red after their passionate encounter. “Do I get to make you come too?” Kate asked playfully as she leaned into their kisses.
“Oh, I’m not done with you yet.” In one swift movement Joan manoeuvred herself and Kate so that Kate was on her back on the seat cushions of the couch, Joan on top of her between her naked legs. There were many, many things Joan suddenly wanted to do to Kate and she was no longer willing to be patient.
It was two hours later that Joan returned home for a shower, a quick feed of leftovers, and a plan, before returning to the prison to fix her mess.