An Indispensable Woman Ch. 02
Note: Okay, I was amazed by the response to the first chapter of this story. Thank you so much for the feedback – it was both positive and constructive. I’m pretty new at this and learning as I go so your comments and emails are truly helpful. This is the second chapter of 4 or maybe 5. All characters are fictional, and everyone’s over 18. Chapter 3 is on the way in maybe a week or so.
Kelsey pushed Amara up against the kitchen counter and yanked the older woman’s skirt up over her waist.
“Not wearing underwear?” the HR assistant said, her lips curling in a wicked smile. Amara could only shake her head, enthralled by Kelsey’s brilliant green eyes that gleamed like gemstones in the early-morning sunlight.
The younger woman’s fingers slid easily between Amara’s wet folds, stroking back and forth to collect the slick moisture, then finding her engorged clit with practiced skill.
“Feels like someone is eager for fun,” Kelsey said, the fingers stroking faster, bringing Amara closer and closer to paradise. With every stroke and every hot, ragged breath, Amara yearned for…
…No. It wasn’t working.
Amara sighed and opened her eyes, dispelling the fantasy, allowing the sights and sounds of the nearly-deserted office to assert themselves upon her awareness again.
She felt nothing. Her assistant Kelsey was young, gorgeous, witty, graceful, and had truly lovely green eyes, but she didn’t generate any kind of sexual interest or response from Amara. She was one of the prettiest, smartest women in the office, but she didn’t evoke anything resembling lust. There was simply no attraction there.
But replace Kelsey’s brilliant green eyes with Dani’s pale blue-gray ones, Kelsey’s grace and wit with Dani’s straightforward manner and self-assurance, and Kelsey’s killer curves with Dani’s lithe body, and everything changed. Thinking of her young housekeeper brought an immediate rush of warmth and the unmistakable stirrings of arousal.
And that was the puzzle that confounded her. Amara wasn’t attracted to women. Never had been, not one time in forty years. Boy-crazy in high school, boy-crazy in college, hungry for her husband’s touch right up until the bastard left her for a younger woman. It was silly to think that in middle age she would feel the first awakenings of same-sex attraction. Wasn’t it? Weren’t these preferences established in the womb? Had she been in denial for the first four decades of her life? Repressing it? Had the feelings always existed but lain dormant, waiting for the right woman to activate them?
Was there something about Dani specifically? If so, what? She wasn’t drop-dead gorgeous, not elegant and charming, not refined or cultured. She was kind and reliable and hard-working but surely Amara had met plenty of women like that during her journey through the professional world. None of them made her knees weak and heart pound the way Dani did.
The thought of the younger woman reminded Amara that she was on a schedule now; she only had half an hour left to finish her work. She found it incredible and a little unnerving how easily she’d capitulated to Dani, agreeing to allow her housekeeper dictate her schedule. How had that happened? How had the woman she’d hired three weeks ago to do the laundry managed to rise to a position of authority in her life?
And why did the idea of Dani being in charge feel so comfortable, so soothing?
Amara shook her head and returned to her work. She’d beaten these questions to death all day and was no closer to having any answers.
With her splinted left hand she clicked awkwardly through her Inbox, slowly working through the massive email backlog that had build up over the course of weeks. With her time limited, she’d have to prioritize, devote herself to the most important work. It remained to be seen whether her presence in the office could keep any of her projects from dying a slow death, but it made her feel better to be there. The captain always went down with the ship, after all.
It was half an hour later that Amara pushed through the double doors out into the parking lot. Her eyes immediately fell on her Lexus IS idling in the pick up area. Dani jumped out of the driver’s side, grabbed the bulging laptop bag from Amara and set it gently in the trunk, then helped her into the back seat. Maneuvering into the car was a challenge with no hands.
“Mommy!” An excited voice greeted her; Anne was strapped into the car seat. Amara’s spirits lifted immediately.
“Baby! What a lovely surprise!”
“Picked her up from daycare on the way here. Figured that would be a regular thing – you two could spend some quality time on the way home?” Dani said, making eye contact in the rear-view mirror.
“Thank you. That was so thoughtful.”
“Hey, an extra half-hour per day with your kid. Every bit counts.”
Dani pulled the car into traffic and started them on the drive home. Anne was eager to tell her mother about her day; finger-painting, the boy who spilled her canlı bahis apple juice, how she found an acorn outside during playtime. Simple, priceless stories Amara would usually have missed while working until eight or nine at night. Another gift her housekeeper had given her. She revised her earlier assessment; she hadn’t met anyone quite as kind as Dani on her voyage through the working world.
Nor anyone quite as efficient – when they got home there was beef stew in the slow-cooker and crusty bread waiting on a cutting board to be sliced. Anne ran to the bathroom to wash her hands without being told.
“I chopped everything small. Easy for you to eat with just one hand,” Dani said in her usual matter-of-fact tone. She was already spooning some stew into a small bowl for Anne.
The stew was hot and delicious and Amara savoured the first few ungraceful, left-handed fork-fulls.
“Where did you learn to cook like this?” she asked. It was hard to believe that someone who ran away at thirteen would have had the chance to develop such culinary skill.
“I used to do short-order stuff at Randy Max’s. You know – downtown? I can cook a lot of the stuff they offer.”
Amara couldn’t wait to sample the rest of the menu. How had she managed to find such a multi-talented woman? Surely the greatest hire of her seventeen-year HR career!
It was nearly seven by the time Dani cleared away the dishes and began the washing up.
“I’m thinking an eight o’clock bed time for Anne. Sound okay with you?” the younger woman asked. Clearly, Dani had taken it upon herself to map out her daughter’s schedule, too. Maybe that was for the best – Amara’s efforts had left Anne with too many late nights and too many early mornings. A healthier sleep schedule could only benefit her baby.
“I like it.”
“Good. Go enjoy mommy-daughter time. I’ll finish up and get some towels in the wash.”
And enjoy it she did! They played Snakes and Ladders, drew with Crayons and read picture books. When eight rolled around it was Amara gingerly helping with the tooth-brushing, tucking in her child, singing to her quietly and planting a kiss on her forehead as she drifted off. She couldn’t remember a more emotionally satisfying evening.
In the living room she found Dani watering the plants.
“Don’t you ever take a break?” Amara asked.
“Hey, you’re paying top dollar, right?”
“Come and sit down. Let’s chat.”
“Something wrong?” Dani said, frowning as though trying to figure out what the problem might be.
For all the evenings they’d spent together over the last three weeks, she didn’t know much about her young housekeeper. She knew Dani’s character, but not much of her life and not much of her plans. Part of it was that housework kept her always on the move, but part of it was Dani’s naturally reticent manner; she seemed to prefer silence to conversation.
Amara wanted to dig a little deeper into Dani’s personality. Maybe she’d discover something that would explain the puzzling attraction she felt to the younger woman. Something subtle, maybe even subconscious that was drawing her interest and keying up her arousal.
“Nothing’s wrong. In fact, I have to admit you were right. Getting off work earlier will make me a better mom.”
Dani gave her a pleased half-smile and put down the watering can. She joined Amara on the couch.
“I’m glad you didn’t fight me too hard.”
“Me too,” Amara said. “Of course, if I didn’t have you to handle the house…”
Dani shrugged. “We’re a good team.”
Amara smiled. That’s how she viewed it, too. They were a team, and Amara could count on the younger woman to support her.
There was silence then, as Dani held her attentively in her blue-gray eyes but didn’t say anything.
“So, what do you like to do? In your spare time, I mean,” Amara said. She realized she’d probably have to prod the conversation forward at intervals.
“You mean like when I’m here during the day?”
“No, just generally. What are your hobbies?”
“Well…bowling, I guess. I sometimes score near two-hundred. One time I bowled two-twenty-five, but that was a once-in a lifetime thing.”
Bowling? Amara scoured her brain to come up with something interesting to say on the topic, but came up empty. She must have taken too long because Dani flashed her another half-grin.
“Not your thing, I guess.”
Amara smiled sheepishly. Busted. “I’m not sure I’ve ever been bowling. Do you like other sports?”
“I used to be okay at darts. Me and some buddies used to hang out at O’Sullivan’s downtown. I wasn’t much of a drinker but I liked the darts. They had a pool table too but I never got the hang of it. The cue just did whatever it wanted.”
Darts. Pool. Irish pubs. It was like Dani was intentionally picking topics that Amara knew nothing about. If she’d said ‘I love drinking’ at least there would be some common ground!
“You don’t drink?”
“I kind of scared myself off it when I was younger. Got drunk and woke up someplace I bahis siteleri didn’t want to be. Figured I should tone it down after that,” Dani said.
Drinking stories – finally was a topic Amara could relate to.
“When I was in college me and some girlfriends went to a campus bar and I had way too many shooters. I woke up in a strange bed with two naked guys I’d never met before,” Amara said, smiling and blushing at the memory. “I couldn’t remember what had happened the previous night…or whether we’d…you know…”
Dani grinned. “TWO guys? How could you forget something like that?”
“Too much alcohol and too little common sense.”
“So what happened?” Dani asked, leaning closer.
“I couldn’t find my clothes anyplace so I had to just lie there until they woke up. Turns out they were equally surprised to see me there, and not in a good way. The guys were lovers – I’d somehow ended up in their dorm room.”
“You dodged a bullet there!”
“Two bullets, you might say.”
Dani laughed for the first time Amara could remember. It was a carefree laugh, gleeful, unrestrained and totally incongruous with her restrained personality. It delighted Amara and made her determined to hear it more often.
“So what else do you like?” Amara said. The mood had changed; Dani looked more relaxed and unguarded, and she felt the same way. Thank God for drinking stories.
“Okay, I’ll tell you, but you can’t laugh.”
“I would never laugh at you,” Amara said, and meant it.
“I do adult colouring books.”
“Colouring books?” Amara said, not quite believing it.
“No. ADULT colouring books. Not like for kids, it’s a totally different thing. Wait a sec.”
Dani got up and Amara could hear her in the guest room. When she came back to the living room, she was carrying a large hard-cover book. She sat close to Amara on the couch and opened the front cover to reveal a forest scene with hundreds of leaves hanging from gnarled trees, thick ivy vines, several tangles of underbrush and a single, proud stag in the foreground. The intricate stencil had been carefully coloured in what must have been many hours’ worth of effort.
“This is gorgeous!” Amara said, truly impressed.
Dani smiled proudly. “There are thirty pages. Each one has a different picture. Forests and oceans and stuff like that – nature scenes. It takes me a few days to colour each page.”
Amara slowly flipped through the book and marveled at each new page; the brilliant, almost exuberant colour schemes seemed somehow out of character for the matter-of-fact, pragmatic young woman. There was a depth to her that wasn’t obvious on the surface. Was that what had drawn Amara to her?
“This girl I know, she does Yoga. I mean she’s really into it, with incense and chanting and not eating meat and all that. She wanted me to try meditation with her but I didn’t like it so she put me on to these colouring books. It really works – when I start doing a page the time just flies by before I even know it,” Dani said. “Really relaxes me, you know?”
“I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s incredible,” Amara said after reaching the final page.
“Can I show Anne when she wakes up?”
Dani turned and caught Amara in her eyes. “Keep it. I want you to have it.”
“Oh, no. You put so much work into this, I wouldn’t want to-“
Dani gently took Amara’s left hand with both her own.
“It’d mean a lot to me if you kept it.”
The contact between them was all it took. Amara felt her pulse quicken and her breath catch. She didn’t want to look away, Dani’s gaze enthralled her, and she realized how close her face was to the younger woman’s. The emotions were powerful and certain; there was no denying how she felt.
The silence lasted several beats.
“Would you like a kiss?” Dani asked, and there was no teasing smile, no suggestive undertone to the question. It was straightforward and direct, and demanded a response.
“I…don’t know,” Amara said in a whisper. How would it feel to have a woman’s lips on her own? Did a kiss represent the point of no return, a commitment to a lifestyle she wasn’t sure she wanted? Or would it simply be the next step in a mid-life journey of self-discovery? She wanted Dani, craved Dani, but was still thinking through the implications of it all.
After a few moments of pregnant silence, Dani gave a gentle smile and put her lips close to Amara’s ear. “I want to kiss you. Tell me when it’s okay.” The younger woman’s hot breath caused an erotic shiver down her neck, down her spine.
And then Dani was rising from the couch, walking out of the room and Amara felt a sense of loss; she’d been enjoying the warmth, the closeness. She was also confused – last night Dani had brazenly and intimately fondled her in the shower but tonight she felt she needed permission for a kiss? Amara couldn’t tell if there was a game being played or if Dani just had her own way about things.
Dani soon returned from the kitchen with two glasses of water, one bahis şirketleri with a long straw. She put one glass in Amara’s immobilized right hand so the straw reached almost to her lips, then sat on the couch facing her and sipped from her own glass.
“You’re going to have leisure time in the evenings from now on, after Anne goes to bed. How will you spend it?” Dani said.
Leisure time? Amara smiled and shook her head; the idea seemed almost alien to her.
“Well, I brought some work home…reading, mostly. I suppose if I have some extra time I might as well…”
“Uh-uh. Work stops at five-thirty on weekdays, remember? I said LEISURE time.”
“Wait…I can’t even work if I’m done everything else?” Amara said.
“But…it’s just reading. Not really work at all.”
“Sorry.” Dani didn’t sound apologetic.
Amara sighed. No point in arguing – she’d agreed to those terms this morning. And so far she had to admit they’d led to a very pleasant evening.
“Okay, what if I want to read something that’s not about work? Leisure reading.”
“Sure, that would be fine,” Dani said.
“Could you please get me a book from the bookshelf,” Amara nodded to the three-tiered bookshelf stuffed with books she’d always wanted to read but hadn’t touched. “Nicomachean Ethics, please.” She’d have retrieved it herself but trying to get off the couch with no hands and while holding a full glass of water was a losing proposition.
Dani stood and approached the shelf uncertainly. “You may need to describe it to me.”
“It’s on the top shelf. It has Aristotle’s name on the spine.”
“Um, okay. What colour is it?”
Colour? Dani couldn’t read?
“Blue. Third from the end,” Amara said, quickly recovering from the surprise. Dani grabbed it and brought it over. It was the first time Amara had seen the younger woman’s cheeks flushed with embarrassment. The look didn’t suit her.
“Uh, I ran away from home when I was thirteen, but even before that things weren’t good. I missed a lot of school-”
“You don’t have to explain. I can only imagine what it was like,” Amara said.
It was hard to comprehend how anyone could function without the ability to read. How did she use her phone? How had she passed her driver’s license written test? Amara guessed there must be options available for illiterate people, but still…
“I’m planning to go back to school, someday. There’s an adult learning centre close to where I live. But, you know…hard to hold down jobs and do school at the same time.”
“You’re absolutely amazing at everything you do. When I was your age I didn’t have half your skills.”
Dani looked surprised, then smiled. Amara read gratitude in her eyes.
“I should be thanking you,” Amara said.
“You read. I’m going to switch those towels to the dryer.”
For the first time in ages, Amara read something that wasn’t work-related. It was difficult to quiet the voice inside that screamed at her to do something more productive with her time, but the fact that she’d turned that decision over to Dani somehow made it easier. The choice was out of her hands; all she could do was accept what the younger woman decided. Just let go and enjoy Aristotle, knowing that someone she trusted was handling things. It was a comforting feeling.
“Time to get you ready for bed,” Dani said, then slowly stood up and stretched. She’d been reclined on the couch across from Amara, playing with her phone while Amara read.
“It’s only nine o’clock.”
“I know. Bed time’s at ten.”
“Ten?” Amara said, incredulous. “That’s pretty early.”
“In bed by ten, up by six. Eight hours of sleep every night.”
“If we start now, there’s time for you to get a hot soak in the bath before bed,” the younger woman said with a sly smile.
Amara felt the now-familiar blush creep up her neck to her cheeks. “And if not?”
“Cold sponge bath in the morning.”
“You willing to take that chance?” Dani crouched next to Amara and looked into her eyes. If the younger woman was bluffing, it didn’t show in her expression.
Those eyes eyes caused Amara’s heart to pound – or was it the idea of a hot bath with her young housekeeper? Warmth spread through her.
“Mmm. I got bath oil for Christmas I’ve been dying to try. It’s under the sink in the bathroom.”
“Sounds like you made your choice.”
Dani reached out with one hand and caressed her cheek. “I’ll run the bath,” she said.
A few minutes later she returned and helped Amara to her feet, then led her to the bathroom, slowly undressed her and pinned her hair up.
Getting into the bathtub with a bum shoulder and wrist required a lot of support and stabilizing from Dani, but once Amara was submerged to her neck in the steamy, bubbly bathwater, the struggle was worth it. She sighed as all the stress of the day seemed to drift away.
Dani had stripped to her bra and panties in preparation for wrestling Amara into the tub, and seemed to content to remain that way as she sat on a folded towel on the floor, resting her arm on the side of the tub and absently trailing her hand through the hot water near Amara’s feet.