pink, satin, and pearl
Soft fingers at the apex of her thighs, breath hot and whispery against her skin, the catch of long fingernails against her inner walls. Jess arches and forces the fingers in deeper, her own breath snagging in her lungs as she careens higher, every sensation magnified, every touch just right.
Long hair brushes against her bare belly, tickling and making the muscles flutter.
"You're so delicious," a feminine voice says, digging her fingers further into Jess and curling them. Jess mutters something, but she's pretty sure it's not English. Latin, maybe.
"Can't believe I'm doing this."
Jess isn't even sure she can remember her own name right now, much less that of her one-night stand, but she cants her hips, her body juicy and open and accepting. The girl between her legs had been drunk when they left the bar, her dark hair wavy, her blue eyes fogged by alcohol, but she had been pretty enough and Jess had really been feeling it.
Some long-ago heard song flits through her mind.
Jess is aware that this is likely the first time this girl has done anything like this, but it's okay, because Jess has been doing it for years.
Sometimes, like now, with the girl camped between her thighs, she'll think of Jo and those few fumbling caresses they'd shared, growing up in the same room, the same bed, at the back of The Roadhouse.
Jess had been an orphan, Jo had been fatherless. They'd clung to each other, slowly but surely falling into the type of love that, years later, is proven to be nothing more than infatuation; at the time, she'd been so sure that Jo was the one and only person for her.
Ellen--Jo's mom--had been so busy running the bar that she'd never noticed how close the girls had become. Or how incestuous the relationship was, when you considered that Jess had been four years old when her parents died in a house fire and she'd wound up at The Roadhouse because Ellen Harvelle had been listed as her next of kin when the cops came and found her, shivering, on the damp lawn outside her burning house.
Yet somehow it had never felt wrong, when she was learning about the changes in her body, to experiment with the girl who might as well have been her sister.
Jess flushes hot, the sudden trip down memory lane pushing her orgasm back, and that's not fair to the girl between her legs--trying so hard, and her first time with a girl, too--so she closes the carton in her mind marked 'Jo' and squeezes her eyes shut until all she can feel is the dark-haired girl's fingers working her.
"Ah--!" she says, and her body clenches down on the girl's fingers. There's a sudden, completely unbroken silence.
And then the fingers are gone; Jess hears the faint whisper of cotton as she wipes her fingers on the over-starched motel sheets.
"I heard something," she says. "Like scratching."
Jess's eyes flutter open, but even post-coital, she's a finely tuned machine. She hears it too: a light, faint raspy sound of nails against the wall. And not like rats, either. Or, for that matter, someone in the room next door.
Jess sits up so fast she goes faint for a second, vision fluttering black.
"Hey, uh," she stops, then finds it in her memory banks after all, "Cory, you should go."
"What? Why?" She's still wearing her tank top and her white satin bikini panties. Jess rolls over, off the bed and onto her feet in one smooth motion, yanking her jeans up her slim hips--no time to bother with panties--and, just the same, tugs her shirt back over her head.
"I just realised I have to call and check in with my mom," Jess lies. Her long-dead mom, yeah, she really cares where Jess is right now.
The girl--Cory--looks slightly offended, but she pulls her black slacks back on and grabs her purse.
"You're a lousy lay," she says, as she nudges the door open with her hip and walks out.
That's probably true; Jess has had to hurry a girl out of her room more than once. And by the same token she's snuck out of enough bedrooms and motel rooms and back alleys to have learned not to suffer any guilt over it.
She reaches under the motel bed and brings out her shotgun.
Most spirits don't leave the places they haunt, but that doesn't mean there aren't those who have gotten malevolent and strong enough to do so if they like.
Or anything else nefarious could be out there.
Jess pumps the shotgun and holds it up, picking up her flashlight, and creeping towards the door.
"Hi, my name is Sarah. Sarah Blake. And you are?"
"Kate Myles," Jess says, taking the young woman's hand and shaking it. She's exceptionally pretty in that fine-boned, delicate fashion some girls have; she's wearing a slinky black dress that loves every curve.
"I don't think you're on the guest list..." Sarah says doubtfully, then glances behind her, wrapping her slender fingers around Jess's and pulling her towards an alcove. "We just won't tell anyone," she says, and gives Jess a slightly lopsided smile. Somehow, the less-than-perfect smile makes her even prettier.
Jess is investigating a haunting, but she finds herself wanting this girl just the same. Her black hair is pulled back, her blue eyes astute, and Jess wonders...
"Hey." she says. "You want to grab coffee?"
"I--" Sarah frowns a little. "I can't right now, but maybe later?"
Ah ha, Jess's gaydar is still functioning at peak levels. She suspects that Sarah Blake is bi, and probably just looking for the right girl to experiment with to see if she likes it.
Jess should probably feel guilty for the number of times she 'corrupts' young women into sleeping with her, but her libido just wants Sarah Blake beneath her in bed.
"Awesome." Jess reaches into her purse, scribbles her cell number down onto an old gas receipt. "This is where you can reach me; I'm staying just outside of town."
"I'll give you a call when we're done here," Sarah says. She smiles shyly this time, less self-assured. It's endearing. Jess squeezes her fingers--their hands are still linked--and then makes her graceful exit.
Always leave them wanting more.
They grab a coffee at a little place Sarah swears is amazing. Jess could get to like New York, she thinks. If she didn't have a job to do, if she didn't have to move on as soon as it was finished, she might have considered starting something more long-term with Sarah.
Then again, Jess's track record with 'long-term' boils down to the six months--and not necessarily consecutively, either--she spent messing around with Jo before realising it was never going to work; she took to the road the next morning, hunting alone even though she'd always been warned against it.
But she'd caught Jo flirting with a sexy, bad-boy type, and wondered. Maybe she'd just been the interlude, a phase; Jess hadn't been able to accept that, and she'd driven off before she could really think it through.
Sitting here, talking to Sarah about the art history course she took at community college one summer, Jess asks herself yet again if she made the right decision.
How could she know, for sure, if she hadn't even bothered to confront Jo about it?
"So..." Sarah says all of a sudden. "You look really pensive. You wanna talk about it?"
The answer is 'no', really, but she opens her mouth and says, instead, "Just thinking about my ex."
"Yeah? How did it end?" Sarah flushes; the rosy hue looks flattering against her alabaster skin. "I'm sorry, that was an intensely personal question." Sarah rubs her cheek as if she can somehow scrub the blush away, then twirls a lock of hair around her finger. "I just feel like... like I can say anything to you. Isn't that strange?"
"I'm easy to talk to," Jess says. "People tell me that all the time." She doesn't add, I cultivate that, so that I can pump people for information.
"You really are." Sarah looks away for a second. "Was it... messy? I know I shouldn't ask, but..."
"Not really," Jess says. Time to either reel her in or send her running. "It was stupid, really. I saw her talking to a guy and freaked out. Overreacted, decided a road trip would be just the thing to clear my head."
"I'd like to go on a road trip someday," Sarah says, smiling a little ruefully. "Sometimes the family business gets a little overwhelming."
You have no idea, Jess wants to say, but doesn't. Her phone beeps, and when she checks it, it's another text from Jo. She deletes it unread--she's too much of a coward to face whatever Jo might have to say.
But Sarah didn't go running for the door when Jess mentioned the sex of her past lover, so she figures her gaydar hit it right on the money.
"You wanna go back to my place?" she asks, diving in with both feet.
Sarah hesitates. "I shouldn't." Then, as if she thinks that sounds wrong, she adds quickly, "Not that I don't want to. Just, my dad will probably have a heart attack if I don't go home by a reasonable hour." She shrugs diffidently. "He still thinks I'm a kid sometimes."
"We can just watch a movie," Jess offers. "Get you home by ten." She's kind of ashamed of herself; she could get this girl off in about fifteen minutes, tops, and send her home by eight-thirty. But she wants to take her time.
Sometimes a quick fuck is just what the doctor ordered.
Sometimes she wants to savour things, though; go slow and learn every inch of someone's skin, even if her hands will only travel that undiscovered country one time.
"Yeah," Sarah says, smiling again. This one brings out a dimple in her cheek. "That sounds nice."
"Come on," Jess says. She gives Sarah her best grin, the one that convinces guys she's hot for the taking. "We gotta hurry to get you back in by ten."
Sarah looks almost impossibly gorgeous all mussed up, dark hair contrasting the white of the pillowcase, her chest heaving, breasts nearly spilling over the cups of her bra.
Black satin with black lace edging on the demi cup; not at all the demure sort of thing Jess had been expecting. She runs her fingers up and down Sarah's sides.
"This is..." Sarah pants, words uttered between breaths.
"Just enjoy it," Jess says. "Feel remorse in the morning."
"I won't," Sarah says. Jess slips two fingers into the elastic of her black lace panties and slides them down her thighs, over smooth, probably just shaved skin. Sarah is shaved all over; Jess trembles. She'll take anything, but the softness of that most tender skin? It makes Jess's mouth flood with saliva.
Sarah's knees fall open, welcoming Jess in. Jess kisses the inside of one silky thigh, right over a beauty mark. She licks the place she just kissed, then slides her hand up Sarah's inner thigh.
Sarah's already wet when Jess parts her folds and delves inside. Sarah likes this--Jess sometimes wonders how any girl couldn't.
"Kate..." Sarah moans, and Jess hates the deception. She distracts herself by opening Sarah up for her mouth.
Sarah tastes sweet and musky and Jess sets about the task of eating her out.
Jess deals with the haunting faster than she'd like, because all too soon she's saying good-bye to Sarah.
Sarah doesn't look like she does regret the time they spent together, even though it took about five minutes to get her off and around thirty to teach Sarah what she liked so that Jess got off, too.
"Will you come back this way again?" Sarah asks; she winds an arm around Jess's waist. "Say you'll stop by again to see me."
'Yeah," Jess lies. "Of course I will."
She presses a kiss to Sarah's lips; this is their first kiss. Jess doesn't always kiss the girls she hooks up with, but Sarah is special.
Sarah is a good kisser, but Jess knows it's from practise with boys. That leads to a sharp pang in her chest and she pulls back, taking a second to tuck a lock of Sarah's hair behind her ear.
"I've gotta move on," she says.
"Good-bye," Sarah says. She reluctantly lets go of Jess.
"Call me if you want," Jess says. "I'll always pick up for you."
This, too, is a lie: Jess can't afford too many personal connections, and she's already made too much of one here. She's going to have to switch phones again.
She climbs into her car, knowing that Jo will just get Ash to find her new number, but she's not hiding from Jo, not exactly.
No, she's not hiding from Jo, just avoiding the inevitable.
"This is what I do," Jo says, and she pokes Jess in the ribs. "Watch."
Ellen's gone out to get more pretzels, and Jess and Jo are sitting in the humid air of their bedroom, which has one bed, a dresser, and a sagging couch because before Jo was born, this was just another spare room.
The Roadhouse does good business, but it was still a financial stretch to take Jess in when she was orphaned, though Ellen has never complained.
Jo grins, wickedly, and gets to her feet, leaving Jess sitting cross-legged on the bed, watching her. Jo is wearing only a tank top with thin straps and bikini panties; no bra.
She straddles the arm of the couch, hands folded on top of each other in front of her, and slowly starts to grind herself against the rigid arm beneath her.
Jess watches, fascinated, as Jo's eyes flutter closed and her body writhes a little, liquid grace and beauty, all coltish fourteen-year-old limbs and pretty blond hair falling in lank strands in her face.
It's too hot to do much of anything, but this is not the first time that Jess and Jo have explored their budding hormones together. It's still innocent, Jess thinks, just a little experimentation and who could possibly mind it?
She stares at Jo, whose body is rocking back and forth on the arm of the couch, her lips slightly parted. She moves just right, apparently, because she lets out a little gasp and a shiver runs through her body.
Jo's boobs are still small, but the nipples are peaked and easily visible through the thin fabric of her tank.
"I'm gonna--watch me, Jessie," Jo says, the words interwoven with a moan. "Watch, watch!"
As if Jess could take her eyes away; Jo rubs her lower body hard against the couch and gasps, her body going tense all over, and then she's wracked with shudders, making noises like nothing Jess has ever heard. Pants and 'aah, ooh, aahh!' types of noises.
She can feel her eyes widen. She's pretty sure Jo just had an orgasm, which is something she's never achieved yet. Maybe it's because she's a year younger than Jo, but she springs up off the bed and trots over.
"I wanna know what it feels like!" she says, grabbing Jo's bicep. Jo opens her eyes, looking glassy and out-of-it.
"I'll help you," Jo says. "It's hardest the first time, 'till you learn what you're doing, but then it gets easier."
"I wish I were a boy," Jess mumbles. "Seems so easy for them."
"I'll show you," Jo repeats. She flops over onto the couch, legs falling open, and the crotch of her panties is wet through. Jess is utterly transfixed. She's never been that wet, either.
"Can I--?" she starts to ask, and Jo cracks an eye.
"Whatever you want, babe," she says, and Jess hears the attempt at sophistication that Jo technically doesn't have yet.
She reaches down tentatively, hand nearing Jo's crotch, the plump mound that's so damp. Just looking at her, Jess can tell how swollen her body is down there.
But, in the end, she can't bring herself to make contact. She yanks her hand back.
"I don't know," she says, but when she moves, she can feel the slight dampness in her own panties. She's turned on, a bit, and she doesn't know if it's because she's young and horny, or because of Jo. It's not normal to get like this over a girl, right?
She backs up. "I'm just... you should show me."
Jo stretches, then slides off the couch and to her feet in a perfectly graceful move that Jess is incredibly jealous of.
She threads their hands together and tugs Jess over to the bed. "Lie back," she instructs.
Jess does as she's told; Jo settles in between Jess's legs, nudging them apart.
And then she--
Jess's eyes snap open. She's been parked in a rest stop on the way to Toledo for awhile, catching a nap so she doesn't crash her car. She's frustrated, her lower body throbbing and wet inside her jeans and panties.
She's sick of the memories; they constantly assault her when she sleeps, they creep in whenever she lets her guard down, and she doesn't want to remember Jo.
It's painful, thinking of those halcyon days, those innocent romps with her best friend, the closest thing she's ever had to a sister, the most awkward lover, yet the very fact of their awkwardness, their inexperience, throws a golden cast over Jo.
Something about that, those fumbling caresses, those clumsy times they fucked, still means more to Jess than anyone since. Still makes her hot. Still haunts her, even though she knew someday it would come to an end. Like Jo would ever want Jess after she could have anyone--and that hot guy, with the leather jacket and the piercing green eyes, really seemed to have caught Jo's attention.
Fuck it. Fuck everything. Jess adjusts the seat back up and turns the key in the ignition, putting the car in gear and pulling out of the rest stop parking lot.
She's not going to think of Jo any more, goddammit. She's going to move on with her fucking life.
Not that it's likely, but maybe someday she'll find someone else; someone to replace Jo, to nullify the ache in her chest when she thinks of her first love.
How stupid is she, anyway? How stupid was she, to fall in love when there was never any guarantee that Jo wanted anything more than to mess around as they learned the way their bodies worked?
She shakes her head and speeds up on the highway, letting the white lines blur and her mind turn to the instinct of driving.
She should be in Toledo by later in the afternoon to check out a mysterious death.
In Toledo, Jess discovers two things: one, that the body she's come to look at has had his eyes literally liquefied in his skull; and two, an adorable blond named Charlie who brings all sorts of things to the surface of Jess's mind and heart that she doesn't want to think about.
"I don't know why Donna said it," Charlie says. "I begged her not to, but she just called me a freak and did it anyway."
Jess sits down on the bed, one leg underneath her, the other foot balanced on the floor, and rubs Charlie's back. "There wasn't anything you could do," she says soothingly. "But I need to know... who died, Charlie?"
Charlie glances down, fingers moving restlessly in her lap, tears falling unchecked and leaving tiny wet splotches on the denim of her jeans.
"How did you now?" she says in a tear-clogged whisper. "I've never told anyone."
"It's the spirit's MO," Jess says. "It's really okay, Charlie. Whatever happened, I'm not going to think badly of you because of it."
Charlie sniffles, twisting the hem of her shirt in her hands. "Jill was one of my best friends," she whispers. "I know that doesn't seem relevant, but when my family moved here, Jill was the first person to let me sit at her lunch table in the cafeteria. The first person who didn't think I was a freak."
Jess makes approving noises, wanting to keep Charlie talking, whether it takes her five minutes or an hour to get to the point. It might be unfair, but she thinks Charlie's hot, and so she has more patience than she might otherwise have.
"Back where I used to live," Charlie continues after trying to compose herself a little, "I had a baby sister. And I was supposed to be watching her. And I was, but I... I was stupid. I looked away from her in the tub for two seconds and the next thing I know, she's not breathing."
Jess can feel the bottom drop out of her stomach: how awful that must have been for her. Jess has no doubt Charlie really didn't intend for it to happen.
"My mom got blamed," Charlie adds. "It was ruled an accident, but everyone in town thought it was her fault, and it's the reason my parents broke up and we moved. And when we got here, no-one knew that about me, so it seemed like things were going to be okay. And then..." she goes silent and still, tears still sliding down her cheeks.
"I'm so sorry," Jess says, and it's not a lie, actually, which is a miracle, considering how often she has to lie on gigs. "That's why Mary's after you: she's trying to punish you for carrying a secret where someone died. But you don't deserve that punishment, Charlie, I promise."
She gives her a quick hug, and then checks all the shades, the coverings on the mirrors, any reflective surface.
"I have to go find a way to dispel her spirit," she tells Charlie. "As long as you stay on the bed and don't look in any mirrors or other things like that, you will be okay, I swear to you. And as soon as it's safe, I will come back for you."
Just before she shuts the door, Charlie lifts her head, and her eyes meet Jess's, and Jess's gaydar goes suddenly haywire.
And she thinks, maybe Charlie told me that information about Jill for a reason. She carefully closes the door and strides down the hall, trying to look confident and unmolestable so that no-one will impede her progress--sometimes people do, just because they think she's hot (usually guys, so she's not interested)--and exits her motel.
It just so happens that here, now, she's keeping the secret that her parents died, and her little sister died, and it was all her fault. So she's just going to have to summon Bloody Mary herself.
People--Ellen and Jo, mainly--know that Jess's parents died. But no-one, absolutely not a soul, realises Jess used to have a baby sister. She's not sure why; she should have had a birth certificate, she should have existed to someone outside of her own mind, but Jess went searching for information once when she'd gotten older, and she hadn't found anything.
Nothing to suggest she'd ever been born. No record of her death. It was like she'd dreamed her up entirely.
Jess has no idea why there's no birth certificate. She's not even sure why Ellen was listed as her next of kin, since there's no true relation and Jess's mother hadn't spoken to Ellen in years--long before Jess was born, even.
Maybe it wasn't Jess's fault that her family perished in that fire--but Jess can't say that conclusively. She remembers next to nothing about that night. It's all flashes and bright lights and then pitch darkness sliding like a curtain over her mind.
Sometimes, in that dim, transitional state between sleep and wakefulness, she'll feel like she's running, carrying something that fills her arms with its size and weight, but whenever she finally comes to wakefulness completely, she can't remember anything beyond the ache in her arms.
Jess thinks maybe it was her fault. Maybe she started that fire somehow, she can't remember, and that elusive, lost memory plagues her.
Only once, in the bitter darkness of winter at the Roadhouse, Jess had confessed to Jo that she thought she'd killed her parents.
"I think it was my fault," Jess lets hang in the air, Jo's bed rustling, mattress creaking, as she rolls over.
"What is?" Jo asks sleepily, clearly half-buried in her pillow and on the verge of drifting off whether Jess is having an epiphany or not.
"My parents. Do you think they died because of me?" Jess knows she sounds a little desperate for reassurance that she didn't do it, she didn't cause it.
"No," Jo replies immediately, even though she's still obviously nearly asleep. "It was an accident, like Mom says."
Seventeen-year-old Jess wants to believe that more than anything. She slides out of her bed and goes over, shoves Jo so that she pushes over, and presses in between the covers, scrunching her fingers into Jo's hair and leaving her hand, opened like a claw, clasped over the back of Jo's neck.
"I think it's my fault," she says. Jo squirms against her, petite breasts rubbing against her arm.
"It isn't," Jo says with authority. "My mother would know, and she said it wasn't. Come on, Jessie, let's sleep, all right?"
Jess curls closer into her--it's cold, and Jo is warm and pleasantly soft. Jess remembers those formative years and slowly she angles her head, giving Jo time to respond, but when she doesn't move away, Jess kisses her--just for a second, really.
But it makes her heart give a shiver, and she closes her eyes, wondering why they stopped fooling around.
By the time Jess is done getting rid of Mary Worthington--a feat that takes all of her strength and a good dose of luck--it's pretty late. So when she gets back to her motel room and finds that Charlie has slipped off to sleep while she was gone, she can't bring herself to wake her up to take her back home, even though she suspects Charlie's father is going to wonder where she is.
But the door makes a soft click as she closes it, and Charlie sprawls out onto her back, eyes blinking open in the dim light.
"Is it safe?" she asks sleepily, and Jess crosses the room, gets on the bed next to her.
"Yeah," she says. "Sleep, and I'll tell you about it in the morning when I take you home."
"All right," she says like she's not really awake, and Jess doesn't think she is, not really. Her eyes droop closed again and Jess has a more difficult time finding sleep, so she winds up twirling strands of Charlie's long blond hair around her fingers.
"You remind me of someone," she whispers, voice so low even she can barely hear it. Charlie obviously doesn't, lost to a dream world, breathing even and regular, face relaxed.
Jess wishes she could relax, but there are so many thoughts clamouring at her mind, trying to claw their way to the forefront, that she can't hush it. Restless mind, restless body; Jess keeps her eyes trained on Charlie and gradually her body does relax a little, but only because it's opening up in arousal, panties going wet, a heated flush streaking up into her cheeks.
"You remind me of someone I used to love," she tells Charlie, yet one more secret that only one other person really knows, and that person's not around to divulge it, even if she would. "She had blond hair, straighter than yours, and a little brighter colour, but... blond and slender and cute, and it's just..." Jess snaps her mouth closed. Even if there's no-one to hear, she still doesn't want to be saying these things, doesn't want to be giving a voice to the nagging emotions she's still trying to bury.
What she's not ready to admit to anyone, especially herself, is how much someone I used to love is untrue.
Jess's cell phone buzzing on the table by her head wakes her the next morning. She grabs it, about ready to answer, when she opens her scratchy, tired eyes, and makes out the number of the Roadhouse flashing on the screen.
It might be Ellen, and if so, Jess should answer it--but it's more than likely Jo, and she's still not ready to go there, not able to face Jo or the fact that she'd done something as impulsive as run away.
She rejects the call and turns her phone off.
Charlie's still sleeping, so Jess puts her legs over the side of the bed, yawns and stretches her arms above her head, and heads into the bathroom to brush her teeth and take a shower.
She knows someday she is going to have to retrace her steps back, at least talk to Jo.
But Jess keeps hoping that maybe if she puts it off just one more day, she won't ever actually have to.
Jess is using her computer to search for more possible hunts by the time Charlie comes out of the bathroom, teeth brushed and hair hastily finger-combed. She's wearing her clothes from last night, since she obviously didn't bring anything with her to change into.
Jess tries to keep her eyes from wandering back to Charlie, but it's difficult, because Charlie is pretty damn hot. She's also pretty damn young, but Jess isn't really all that concerned about that--she should be, but she's not going to be in this town long enough to run into any consequences, and she's not going to make Charlie do anything she doesn't want to do, either.
But after a few moments Charlie comes over. Jess allows herself a closer peek, and discovers that Charlie is actually wearing her shirt from yesterday, no bra, and bikini panties with little decorative bows on the sides.
She leans into Jess's space, her breath fluttering against Jess's scalp and the side of her face, and says,
"You look awfully busy."
Jess has the feeling that Charlie's leading up to something--and probably something she's going to enjoy. It's intuition, but Jess's intuition is rarely wrong.
She turns and lifts her face, staring straight up at Charlie, who immediately cups her neck and sinks down, lips covering Jess's as her knees touch the floor.
Jess tangles her fingers in the long blond hair and dedicates herself wholeheartedly to kissing Charlie. And she's a really good kisser.
She's not sure how much experience Charlie has with girls, but she clearly has had experience with kissing, and judging from that, she's at least made out with a few, because boys rarely know how to take their time and do it right.
And boy, does Charlie know how to take her time and do it right. Jess can feel herself getting wet; can feel the way her lips swell from arousal as well as Charlie's kiss; can feel how her body heats up and goes soft and pliant, ready for more.
Charlie either senses this, or she has more experience under her belt than Jess expects, because her hand snakes down between them to press at the front of Jess's jeans.
She grinds the heel of her palm against Jess, and Jess widens her legs to give her easier access; Charlie's kisses don't falter, and pretty soon Jess is gasping into her mouth, hips jerking against Charlie's hand, and she actually has to push Charlie's mouth away for a moment to get her bearings.
She's always thought that, given time, she could be a good lover--she does, for instance, know what girls like. But usually time is a luxury she doesn't have... right now, though, it would appear that she has more time than usual, and she is going to take advantage of it.
She reaches in between Charlie's legs and cups her; her panties are already dampened through, and Jess feels saliva well up in her mouth, desperate to touch, to taste.
"The bed," she whispers hoarsely, and stands up, guiding Charlie across the room, carefully nudging her backwards onto the mattress.
Jess slips a finger into Charlie's panties by each hip and starts to tug them down; Charlie lifts her hips and helps Jess get them down over her thighs.
Jess drops them to the floor and climbs onto the bed, one knee between Charlie's thighs, the other pressed against her hip, and she puts one hand on the bed by Charlie's head, and then uses the other to stroke over the soft outside curve of Charlie's breast through her tank.
She ducks her head down and re-initiates the kiss, thumb caressing Charlie, and Charlie's hands come up onto her shoulders first, tentative--then she grows bolder, running both palms down over Jess's chest, pausing at the apex of her breasts, her fingers just brushing Jess's nipples.
Jess groans into her mouth and licks her lower lip, then closes her teeth gently on it, tugging a little until Charlie makes a little breathless moan.
Jess slides her hand down Charlie's body, flattening it on her belly first, just holding it there, until Charlie begins to squirm underneath her, hips lifting off the bed, trying to get Jess to move down.
She kisses her deeper, tongue sinking into the depths of her mouth, chased by Charlie's; as soon as Charlie's preoccupied, she slips her hand down the rest of the way and over her.
Her lower lips are already swollen and slick, and it doesn't take any effort to push the first finger inside, crooking it so that Charlie lets out a gasp, hips jerking up, and inadvertently driving Jess's finger in deeper, all the way to the second knuckle.
Charlie's plenty wet, but she's also plenty tight, and Jess gets the impression that she must have done something like this with a girl before, but she's still a virgin when it comes to guys.
She has a strange, fleeting thought: she wants to get to know this girl, suddenly; wants to ask her if she's bi, what kind of music she likes, who her favourite actor is.
And then her mind is swamped by the feel of Charlie's teeth on her lip, the soaked, rich heat of her body, snug around Jess's finger; Jess positions another finger at her entrance and urges that one in alongside the other.
Again, as soon as she gets it inside, Charlie's hips cant up and her mouth opens on a startled cry. But it's the good kind of cry: a sound of inescapable pleasure.
"More," Charlie pants, "please."
Jess isn't sure if she means, deeper, or more fingers, but she decides to try the latter; she gets the tip of another finger into Charlie's soft channel, and Charlie's muscles squeeze against the fingers already within.
Jess tears her lips away, sucking in great draughts of air, her hair sweaty at her temples, her own body twanging like a well-tuned guitar, desperate for contact.
She plunges her fingers in and out, and then gets two in as far as she can, and bends them at the knuckles against that slight bump within Charlie--Charlie squeaks, her body spasms, and her muscles begin to clench and release around Jess's fingers.
Jess counts it as a win, really. She slides her fingers out, and then, just as Charlie's body is starting to calm, the tremors fading, she circles Charlie's clit, fingertip still drenched with the come from her body, and sends her reeling all over again.
Her own jeans are chafing against the swollen, wet flesh of her own body, and she doesn't know if Charlie's going to get her off, or if she's going to have to do it herself; Charlie is breathing in erratic bursts, and her heart, when Jess plants her hand over it, is racing.
Charlie has just gotten the button undone on Jess's jeans when a cell rings loud into the closed, charged air surrounding them.
"Fuck," Charlie breathes. "I'm so sorry," she apologises, and pulls her hand away. She rolls onto her side underneath Jess, who sighs silently and flops onto the bed next to her.
Charlie opens her phone and says, "I'm sorry, Daddy, I'll be home soon. I stayed over at Tessa's last night. I thought I called and left a message, but I might have gotten distracted and forgotten." There's a span of time where her father must be speaking, and then Charlie says, with slightly panicked eyes in Jess's direction, "A boy? No! I was just, uh, I just had a shower."
Jess plants her face in her palm. Charlie's dad has apparently noticed that his daughter sounds out-of-breath and, well, like she's coming off the rush of orgasm.
She really should know better than to get involved.
Charlie says something else Jess isn't paying attention to, then dumps the phone on the bedside table and scrambles off the bed, finding her clothes and shoving herself into them.
"I am so sorry," Charlie says again. "I would... thank you so much. But I have to go."
"I'll drive you," Jess tells her. "And it's okay, I understand."
Jess knows that Charlie is thanking her for more than just saving her life, and Jess does want to ask if Charlie's wondered before whether she was bi or lesbian, and whether Jess answered that question for her, but it's really none of her business--not because she's uncomfortable asking someone a personal question (if she were, she wouldn't get very far on any gig), but because she has no right to carve out a place in Charlie's life as more than just a one-night-stand.
She wonders if Charlie will think about her, this morning, in the coming months; Jess knows she can't dwell on that.
Jess buttons her jeans again and grabs the keys to her car, waiting as Charlie quickly finger-combs her hair in the mirror again and splashes water on her cheeks to try and make the sex-flush go away.
Jess snags her around the waist just before they go through the half-open door, giving her one last kiss. "It was nice meeting you," she says honestly, even though she knows that as soon as she drops Charlie off, she's going to be coming back here to pack up and bail. She's not sure Charlie realises that, so this is good-bye, even if the girl doesn't know it yet.
It's the story of her life, that she never has time to get close to anyone, and in some ways, it's cruel to even try.
As Jess drives out of Toledo, she turns her phone back on because she knows she can't leave it off forever. Immediately it chimes at her to signify a text message.
Her body is still worked up, her flesh throbbing hot all over. She needs to find a bar or a truckstop or something and find someone to get her off, even if it's in a cheap motel with the taste of whiskey in her mouth.
Jess asks herself, not for the first time, how she wound up in this state, in this way of life, and the only answer she can ever come up with is that it seems as though most hunters eventually find themselves alone and seeking companionship in the arms of strangers.
When she stops for a red light, she grabs the phone. This time, the text message is from Ellen, and while Jess isn't sure that Jo isn't just stealing her mother's phone, she opens it.
Shame on you, it reads. Could at least keep in touch.
Jess sees the light go green out of the corner of her and drops the phone between her thighs, then clicks on her turn signal and pulls the car into a parking lot. As she's finding a space, the phone vibrates against her body, which doesn't help matters at all.
She really needs to get off. And she needs to find a pretty brunette to do it, too, so that she won't think of anything--anyone--else while it's happening.
She shoves the gearshift into park and picks up the phone again. The display shows the Roadhouse's number again, and Jess sighs. She pushes the button and the call connects.
"Jessica Lee," says Ellen sternly, "Do you know how irresponsible it is to run away from your problems?"
Jess doesn't think Ellen realises just why Jo might be considered on of her 'problems', but she replies,
"You tell me this every time. What's up?"
"Well," Ellen says. "If you're going to hunt... there's weird goings-on in California, and I think you should check it out."
"All right, yeah," Jess agrees, planning to look up in the papers in California as soon as she gets the chance to boot up her laptop.
"And answer Jo," Ellen says firmly, and Jess sighs.
"I will," she lies, knowing that when Ellen realises she lied, she's going to be in such deep shit it will be like she's in an elephant's pen.
She and Ellen exchange good-byes and Jess flings the phone onto the seat next to her.
part two! -->