“Welcome to NOLA, ladies,” Marie, the B&B hostess, smiled warmly. “Here for the French Quarter Music Festival, are you?”
“Yes.” Dory grinned back. “And excited to be here! Robby and I lived here for years and have missed it since we moved, and believe it or not, it’s our friends’ first visit.”
“Hello, I’m Charlene,” Charlene said, shaking Marie’s hand.
“And I’m Jill,” Jill added, doing the same. “And this is my friend Taylor.”
“Robby,” Robby said, the last to shake hands.
Taylor’s presence caused a little bit of a stir among the friends. At only thirty-five, she was considerably younger than the others, and she was eye candy for sure. At five feet seven inches and a delightfully curvy 135 pounds, she had cascading layered black hair, vivid blue eyes, and razor-sharp Angelina Jolie cheekbones. In short, she was a knockout. While they loved and appreciated Jill’s multiple charms, the three friends had to wonder what this millennial found so enchanting that she wanted to hang with a bunch of sixty-somethings, even young-at-heart ones.
The two had met at a fundraiser. Jill’s curiosity had been piqued by Taylor’s work. She had a Kickstarter account to raise money to produce a film based on a popular book Jill had read about women—including lesbians—of a certain age, and had raised more than $20,000 locally in addition to funds raised in Los Angeles. Jill had enjoyed the book and was interested in the movie because she was sure there was a big market out there for such work. And then lust had taken over.
Smitten, Jill asked for Taylor to come along, and the friends just rolled their eyes and made room for the newbie, however long she lasted. But while she might be part of the group for this trip, they vowed she was not part of the posse. And since Jill was paying her freight, they just couldn’t resist keeping an eye on her.
“Come on in and make yourselves at home,” said Marie. “I live right next door, so if there’s anything you need or if I can help in any way, just knock on the door or call me. I’ll be happy to steer you to some great little restaurants or groceries nearby, or help with the city’s transit. Whatever, just call on me.”
“Thanks, Marie,” Robby said. “We probably will.”
Marie took her leave and they started to move into their rental house. Online, Robby had found an unusually large three-bedroom classic New Orleans shotgun on Iberville Street. Inside they found a spacious, high-ceilinged living room leading to a long hall, off of which were two of the bedrooms and a bath, and the eat-in kitchen and screened porch were in the back. The third bedroom was luxuriously tucked under the back porch, with its own deluxe bath. From the porch, they looked down at a lovely cobblestone courtyard with a raised fountain in the center, flowers and plants in profusion, and an intricately scrolled wrought iron table with four chairs. Sophisticated, charming, and lush, it was everything one imagined New Orleans to be, and the ladies fell in love instantly.
“Lordy, I could live here, easily,” said Jill, taking it all in appreciatively. “Well, this porch can be the coffee and cocktail lounge. And oh, look, there’s a grill in the courtyard if we feel like cooking.”
“Since I organized this trip, I call dibs on the downstairs courtyard room for me and Dory,” Robby said.
“Good call,” Charlene responded as Taylor looked crestfallen, and they moved back out to bring their bags to their rooms.
“We’re going to take a little nap before we launch out into the wilds of New Orleans, ladies,” said Jill, opening the hallway door to the first bedroom. The other three glanced knowingly at each other and proceeded to get settled in their own rooms.
“Damn, I feel like we should echo,” said Jill. “These ceilings must be fourteen feet tall.”
“I guess they had to be, to let the heat rise away from the people,” said Taylor, admiring the décor. The windows rose to eight feet off the floor, the glass covered with lace and framed with heavy damask draperies. The sleigh bed was a queen with a high, hotel-quality mattress—she could tell—with four down pillows piled at its head and a lace canopy overhead. It was a dark wood, as was the antique dresser to the side, topped by a large mirror. Tufted Queen Anne chairs graced both sides of the night tables. The bedroom and closet doors rose a majestic seven feet and closed with a whisper.
After a quick shower, Jill closed the thick draperies and slipped into bed. She smiled appreciatively as Taylor re-entered from the bath, slipping off her silk robe to reveal a skimpy black negligee. “Darling girl, you are an artist’s dream,” Jill said, holding out her arms.
Taylor’s lips curved as she slipped into the bed. “Oh, does this humble body please you?” she said, pressing close and nuzzling Jill’s neck.
“Um-hmm, and how,” said Jill, arching her neck and sighing.
Taylor’s hands traveled over her naked body, dipping into the curve of her waist and tracing the swell of her hips, then rose up the other side and paused at her breasts. Tweaking a nipple to Jill’s slight squeal, she said “Your breasts are still firm and round, just beautiful, darling.”
“Hormone replacement therapy, honey,” responded Jill. “We’re all on it. It keeps me young.”
“Ummm, yes it does,” Taylor said, as her hands drifted through Jill’s thick hair and traced the outline of her chin, kissing her harder. She slowly traced a path down to and back up from Jill’s knees, caressing and kneading as her strong hands inexorably rose. Her fingers lightly brushed Jill’s cleft, eliciting a groan and raised hips.
“Shhh, baby, not too loud, now. You wouldn’t want to disturb Charlene next door. Be very, very still, lover,” Taylor commanded as her strokes became more insistent. Jill gave another muffled groan, eyes watering with the intensity of feeling pulsing through her body, unable to give it voice. She squirmed and whimpered as Taylor stroked. “Ah, you’re getting wet, sweetheart. Good girl. Be still, now,” she whispered with a wicked grin as she entered her lover.
In an agony of ecstasy and frustration, Jill grasped the pillows in a death grip, lips clamped shut to muffle her keening as she came, over and over again.
“That’s my hot lover,” Taylor said, and settled back on her pillow, smiling into the shadowed room as her eyes narrowed in concentrated thought.
In her room, Charlene was similarly charmed by their temporary home. She brushed aside the lace curtains to look down on the street scene below, watching neighbors sitting on their porches drinking coffee and talking. An artist hurried down the street carrying an enormous portfolio, and schoolchildren meandered home in a cackling cluster. And everywhere there was green—with flowers, bushes, banana trees and palms, as well as stately old oaks. The city was simply alive, she thought.
What a gorgeous place. I’ll have to come back sometime by myself and spend more time. Or, even better, with some engaging companion. I wish Jill hadn’t invited Taylor. I can’t help but feel a little bit like the odd girl out, even though we’ve all been friends forever, seems like. But maybe it’s a good thing I’m solo, actually. Might be that someone has to keep an undistracted eye on Taylor. Something’s not quite right with that girl.
Later, the group discussed their transportation options with Marie and set out for the French Quarter. They walked down the broad promenade of South Jefferson Davis Parkway, shaded by massive old oaks, to the Canal Street trolley stop, and climbed on board for the slow and charming ride through the old city’s neighborhoods. Reaching the French Quarter, they cruised the multiple music performances at the three main stages of Riverfront Park, pausing to lean over the iron rail to watch the dark Mississippi roll by. They strolled down Decatur Street to Jackson Square, circling around to view the artists’ displayed work. Halfway through, they came upon Rue d’Orleans, which stopped Dory dead in her tracks.
“Huh?” Taylor arched her eyebrows in puzzlement. “That’s not what it says.”
“No, but that’s what it is,” Dory said gleefully. “Legend has it that this is the alley where General Andrew Jackson met with the infamous Lafitte pirates, Jean and Pierre, to discuss the defense of New Orleans in the War of 1812. Let’s pop down here. I could use a drink or a good cup of coffee, and we need to celebrate our arrival.”
They turned down the narrow alley, enjoying its shade after the heat of the sun. A small table was set up in the gloom halfway down, with a woman sitting by it. She looked to be in her eighties, garishly dressed in a loud, flower-print skirt, puffy yellow blouse, and an equally colorful scarf partially covering her gray hair, but her dark eyes were sharp and calculating as she took in the fivesome.
“Good afternoon, ladies. Want to know your future?” she asked.
“Oh, sure, let’s do,” cried Robby. “As long as you tell me I’m going to come into a fortune, that is.”
“I don’t know,” said Taylor uneasily, taking a step back. “Sometimes I think it doesn’t pay to tempt the gods, trying to find out things we have no business knowing.”
“Oh, come on.” Jill laughed. “Surely you’re not taking this seriously. It’s just fun!”
“Of course, of course,” crooned the seer. “Just good fun, what could it harm? But I can tell you all something right away. You all have a secret.”
Taylor started and looked away, flushing. Charlene frowned at the reaction and looked to her friends, only to discover that she seemed the only one to notice.
After a second’s silence, Dory started to laugh.
“Ooh, a secret!” She whooped. “Aren’t we the dark ladies?”
The others joined in the uneasy laughter as the crone smiled, eyes glittering.
The group continued walking.
“Come on,” said Jill. “I see a neon sign further down, and that usually means alcohol. It’s after five, so let’s start the evening off right.”
After fortifying themselves with a cool glass of wine, they strolled over to Muriel’s Restaurant on Jackson Square.
“It’s an indulgence,” Dory said, rationalizing. “I’m not used to the prices, but this is our first night and we have celebrating to do. I have my new book, Robby’s short stories are already widely published, Charlene may be our next State House representative, and Jill is finally retired. Let’s blow it out!” Nonetheless, the four friends ordered the prix fixe three-course meal. Taylor, on the other hand, went a la carte, sparing no expense. Glances were exchanged and Jill flushed a bit, but did not demur.
The wine flowed and toasts were offered until finally, groaning and filled to the gullet with Coq au Vin, shrimp and grits, double-cut pork chops, and wood-grilled filet of beef, the five departed with lighter wallets and hearts. Charlene chatted with her seatmate on the trolley back home, pleasantly hearing all kinds of things about New Orleans, including its long tradition of voodoo, Santeria, ghosts, and fortune tellers. That brought the old woman back to mind, as well as Taylor’s reaction, and she frowned again while the two couples quietly snuggled together. Walking through the warm night back to the house, she thought about secrets. Yes, just about everyone had them, she thought, herself included, but surely the posse was beyond all that?
A cloud scudded across the full moon and she shivered. Maybe not.
Suddenly tired from the travel and walking, the five sought out their rooms. Robby and Dory opened the French doors to the courtyard and stood arm in arm for a moment, looking at the rising moon.
“What do you think, lover?” asked Dory. “Feel up to some loving tonight?”
“No, afraid not,” Robby replied. “I’m pretty tired.”
“Yeah. Me, too,” Dory said, then paused. “But honey, you’ve been tired a lot lately. Is there something you’d like to tell me? Some secret, that you’ve been hiding?” she asked, trying to joke.
Robby turned to look at her, sighed, and paused long, looking around the courtyard and at the moon. “Okay, honey. I have been thinking about something, I confess. And you’re right, something hasn’t been right with me and for quite some time I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I finally did, but couldn’t figure out how to broach the subject. And we share everything honestly with each other, so hiding something from you disturbed me even more.”
Dory looked away, then back at Robby.
“I know, you’re probably shocked. I’m sorry. But I did finally figure it out; it’s your book. It’s a big success and I’m so proud of you, but at the same time it’s like a seismic shift in our relationship. I’m the butch here, right? I’m supposed to be the strong one, and all along I’ve been the one in the lead, including writing-wise. And now you’re gaining notoriety and fame and I’m still stuck in the little path I’ve been following. It makes me feel a little inadequate all of a sudden, and I don’t like that feeling. And to tell even more of the truth, I feel a little threatened in our relationship’s roles. I’m not proud of the way I’ve been feeling, but I can’t seem to help it. I didn’t want to tell you because I feel ashamed of it, but you asked. I guess that makes me a little bit of a shit.”
Dory took her hand and led her over to the wrought iron chairs, where they both sank down. The fountain splashed gently as she leaned forward and took her lover’s hands in her own. “Darling, you are my guide, and you always will be. That will never change, nor the way I feel about you. I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone. You are absolutely essential to my life, both as Robby the person and as my North Star. I depend on you, sweetheart. I rely on knowing that you’re with me, the solid rock of my life, and the strength that supports me and guides me when I veer off course. Which I do a lot, as you know.”
Robby smiled at that and stood, pulling Dory to her feet and into her arms. “So you’re not hurt or mad at me?”
“Good grief, no. Well, maybe a little. I wasn’t jealous of your successes, was I?”
“No, you weren’t.” Robby sounded a little sheepish. “But I’m the butch, and I’m supposed to be the successful tide that raises all the boats. Or just two, in this case. But you’re right, which is partly why I’ve been a little ashamed of how I’ve been feeling. You didn’t go there and I shouldn’t either. But it’s how I feel, and I can’t seem to control that.”
“No, you can’t control feelings, lover, and I understand that. But I hope it passes soon. We have so much together, you and I, and I don’t want to waste even a single moment to jealousy or doubt or shame. After all, we’re not kids anymore. Who knows how long we’ve got?” She raised her face and stretched up on tiptoe to kiss Robby’s lips.
Softly at first, and then with increasing urgency, Robby kissed her in return. “I adore you, you know that? I’ll try to bring my ego into control, my love. It might take time for me to get used to the shift. I’m not used to thinking of you as a powerhouse in your own right, just as my girl and my woman, as well as the complete person who just enchants me. I’ve always admired you and loved you, but this is a new persona that I have to adjust to. You understand?”
“Yes, sweetheart,” Dory replied, brushing her lips to Robby’s as her hands roved over the body she loved. “I adore you, too. And I think I’m feeling a lot more energized than I was before. Want to go to bed?”
“Oh, honey, honey, honey. I’m always ready to go to bed with you, sweetheart. Lead on. What’s a big strong butch for, anyway?” Robby took her lover in her arms and planted kiss after kiss on her lips, deepening the kiss each time.
Dory melted into her arms. “Oh, baby.” She sighed. “Is this not perfect? In a lush, walled New Orleans garden, fountain splashing, moon above?”
“Yes, it is.” Robby ran her hand through Dory’s salt-and-pepper hair and then suddenly grabbed and pulled it, to Dory’s gasp. “Your silver is glinting in the moonlight,” she said, leaning close to her petite lover. “And your scent is filling my mind with the unspeakable things I’d like to do to your luscious body. Interested?”
Dory was weak at the knees. She could never resist Robby anyway, but especially when she pulled her hair and went all domineering on her. “Yes, my love,” she said in her lowest, sexiest voice. “Please do come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.”
“Ha! We’ll see who the spider is.” Robby laughed, and then shocked Dory by sweeping her up in her arms and carrying her into their room.
“Ooh, honey, your workouts have really paid off,” Dory said after being summarily dumped on the lace-canopied bed. She looked on with appreciation as her lover stripped, her strong arm and leg muscles products of hours in the gym and the pool. She sighed a little bit as she pictured herself, the relatively soft dumpling that she was. She thanked her lucky stars that Robby didn’t seem to mind her very non-athletic status. In fact, she liked her curves and told her so repeatedly, so she chose to believe it.
Robby hovered over her, pulling at her top, but rather than sitting up Dory jumped out of bed. “Why don’t you lie down, baby, and I’ll give you a little preview entertainment?” Robby smiled and settled on the down pillows, eyes shining as she watched her lover slowly disrobe. Dory inched up her silk top, pulling it over her head and offering it to Robby, who breathed her scent in deeply and then dropped it to the floor. She rose up on one elbow, watching as Dory wriggled out of her shorts, turning around to step out of them and giving Robby a good view of her rounded ass, which produced a low whistle of appreciation. Turning again, she unsnapped her bra and slowly draped one strap off her shoulder, then the other, and looked down demurely as she slipped it off to free her “girls.” Robby sat up at that and slipped off the bed.
“Let me,” she said, and began to ease Dory’s lace panty down. Ever so slowly, she pulled it, leaving kisses in its wake on the exposed skin over which it traveled. She began on her abdomen, moving down to her smooth cleft, kissing the juncture of hip and leg on both sides. Dory gasped as Robby’s nose nudged her cleft, and felt her body moisten in response.
Robby worked her way down, kissing her inner thighs, the tender spot behind her knee, and down her calves. “Sit down,” she commanded hoarsely, and Dory complied, perching on the soft bed. Robby slipped the lace off and, standing over Dory, dropped it to the floor. She put her hands on Dory’s shoulders and gently but firmly pressed her down onto the bed, reaching over as she did so to grab a small hand towel from the antique stand by the bed. Tucking the towel beneath Dory’s hips, she climbed above her and slipped between her legs. Looking deep into her eyes, she said “Love, we’ve been together for twenty years now, and still you take my breath away. I simply adore you.”
Dory breathed deeply as Robby caressed her body, but her breaths soon shortened as her need grew. She moaned softly when Dory massaged her breasts, circling her nipples and then squeezing them. The delightfully soft pain caused her juices to flow even harder. Robby began to brush her clit, and it wasn’t long before Dory was pleading. “Please, baby, please.”
“Please what, lover?”
“Oh, please baby, give me your fingers,” she begged, squirming and hips rising. “Please, please, please…”
“Okay, soft and gentle.” Robby inserted one finger. Dory moaned as the tickle increasingly aroused her vaginal nerve endings, her volume increasing with her rising need to be filled.
“Please, please, honey,” she begged again, and was rewarded with two, then three fingers. As her orgasm approached, she had to concentrate to keep her voice down, finally burying her head in the pillow as her muscles contracted and she screamed out her pleasure. “Oh my God, Robby, please fist me,” she said faintly when she could speak again.
She felt Robby pause, then remove her hand. Hearing the pop of the lube container lid, she smiled in anticipation, her body still on high alert. She felt her lover’s hand again, slowly filling her deeper and deeper. Her pussy began to stretch to accommodate the larger object, to the point of pain. No stranger to pleasurable pain, she pushed down to receive Robby’s fist, feeling like a woman in loving labor, a conflicted mass of pleasure and pain. At last Robby was deep inside her, and she exulted in the feeling of fullness. She wished Robby would pump, but this was still a relatively new practice of theirs and, being still a little nervous, she didn’t ask for it. But Robby gently moved her hand inside, and Dory buried her head in the pillow again to stifle her loud moans of pleasure, lifting her hips in joyous welcome.
After a few moments, Robby withdrew, tenderly wiping her pussy with the towel. She slipped into the bathroom to wash the lube off her hands and came back to hold her lover tightly in her arms. Dory snuggled into her embrace, endorphins flowing so freely in her brain that she began to giggle. Robby, used to this, held her still tighter, smiling.
“You amaze me, you know?” she said softly. “You have the body, and certainly the pussy, of a much younger woman. Many women our age have a problem with dryness—”
“Not me, that’s for sure,” said Dory.
“—and cannot open enough to be fisted. You are the perfect woman for me.”
“And you for me.” Dory sighed, snuggling even closer, draping her leg over her lover’s. “Most people seem to write off women our age for sex. But I wonder if that’s true, especially in the age of HRT? I’m having the best sex of my life with you, darling, and I just can’t believe that others aren’t, too. It’s just not discussed…except for the complaints about the absence of sex.”
“You’re right,” Robby responded thoughtfully. “I mean, consider the number of single lesbians out there. It’s enormous. Why do people have such trouble finding each other?”
“I know. But think about us. It was an unimaginable stroke of luck that we encountered each other when we did at that party. Maybe luck has an awful lot to do with it.”
“Yeah, maybe it does. Or Fate. I’d just wish this for all our friends, for everybody, actually. Although, you know, an awful lot of people would find us unbearably kinky, with me enjoying tying you up and you enjoying some pain. Maybe we should just wish this kind of contentment for everybody, whatever they enjoy.”
Dory smiled sleepily. “Yeah, contentment, definitely.”
And with that, nestled in each other’s arms, they drifted off to sleep.
Upstairs, Jill relaxed in the tufted armchair, wearing a long white sleeveless silk gown that perfectly complemented her long, thick blond hair and cornflower blue eyes, breasts seductively swelling from the plunging neckline. As she filed her nails, she looked up as Taylor came in from her bedtime prep. Dressed in a lace-trimmed blue silk babydoll set, she crossed to Jill. Hands resting on the chair arms, Taylor stood quietly, waiting.
With a raised eyebrow, Jill looked up at the younger woman. “Something on your mind, lover?” she asked, a smile ghosting her lips.
“A few things, actually,” replied Taylor. “One will require some…time to cover, but the other is shorter. What can you tell me about Robby and Dory? They interest me.”
“Ah, really?” Jill put her file down. “What would you like to know?”
“Well, I’m curious. Robby seems to run the show somewhat. You’ve known them a long time, right? What makes them tick? How do they complement each other? Are they in some kind of D/s relationship?”
“Yes, I have. And I might be able to tell you, as soon as you tell me what a D/s relationship is,” Jill answered, laughing.
“Dominant-submissive, where one is the stronger personality in the relationship than the other. In BDSM—oh, do you know what that is?” She sat back, resting on her heels.
“Umm, like S&M?”
“Yeah, S&M plus. The B and D are bondage and discipline, the S is submission or sadism, and the M is masochism.”
“Goodness,” Jill said. “That’s a lot wrapped up in one little acronym.”
“Yup. And the relationships can go from mild, like just the titillation of being tied up or held down during sex—to extreme, where the Dominant actually runs every aspect of the submissive’s life in a complete power exchange.”
“Really. Huh. And what does the submissive get out of this arrangement?”
“Well, for one thing, she or he is free to live their life without any worries. They have no responsibility other than what the Dominant requires of them, and the Dominant usually takes care of every detail of day-to-day life.”
“Wow, who wouldn’t want that? And what does the Dominant get out of it?”
“Well, the Dominant controls everything. And if you take it to the extreme, where the submissive wants to be a slave, the last decision she makes is to agree to this relationship. After that everything is essentially controlled by the Dom: who she sees, where she lives, what she eats or drinks, when and where she sleeps or wakes. Her chores. If she works, she turns her salary over to her Dom. Everything she does is with the Dom’s permission, or not done at all, even the music she listens to. And of course, she is submissive to her Dom’s sexual desires, whatever they are, within the parameters of their agreement or contract.”
“Boy, doesn’t sound like much of an exchange to me,” Jill exclaimed. “The Dom gets it all, and she gets what? No free will at all.”
“Not quite true. She can always say no, although that risks her losing the relationship. And many people crave this kind of thing, especially, surprisingly, people in very powerful and responsible positions. For them, it’s a relief to simply let go when they get home.”
Jill looked thoughtful, but still a little dubious. “Wow, is all I can say. I can’t see any of that in Robby and Dory’s relationship, at all. They just complement each other. Dory’s a little harebrained and Robby’s more logical. And they operate at different speeds; you might say Dory’s the second hand of a clock and Robby’s the hour. See? Complementary.”
“I see. Well, I was just interested. Now, lover,” Taylor said, rising to her knees and tracing the lines of Jill’s exposed arms and décolletage. “At what speed would you like to move tonight?”
“Oh, lordy,” Jill said, shivering in delight. “You’re going to have to take it slow on this old girl tonight, baby. It’s been a big day.”
“Don’t say ‘old girl.’” Taylor caressed Jill’s face with ghost kisses, then nibbled on her ear. “You’re just about the youngest-spirited person I’ve ever met, Jill. Sometimes I have trouble keeping up with you.”
“Thank you, sweetie. I do still feel like I’m thirty-five, I confess. And you,” she continued as she rose, pulling Taylor up close in an embrace. “You make me feel every bit that young. Come to bed, darling, and let’s be wild and young together. Wait, what are you doing?”
“Wild it will be.” Taylor practically purred as she held Jill’s hands above her head. “Keep your arms up, lover,” she commanded as she kissed her hard.
“Oh, baby.” Jill breathed a satisfied sigh as Taylor’s lips descended from her face to her breasts. “Oh, my,” she said, squirming as her lover’s hands explored her body and pulled up her gown. “Yes, baby, yes,” she said, the lacey canopy disappearing as her eyes closed.
Next door, Charlene tossed in her bed. She was charmed when they checked in, and she loved the French Quarter. Ah, to have someone to share it with. She adored her friends and reveled in their adventures, but it wasn’t the same as having a lover to intimately connect with.
Charlene was as sensible a woman as a jurist should be and she often served as counselor to her friends, but she had her own secrets.
She grew up in Atlanta, in a lower-middle-class family that emphasized education but had little money for her college. She went through college and law school on loans, work, and scholarships. In college, she made extra money as a “party girl,” dancing and semi-stripping but never prostituting herself. The secretaries and desk clerks would tip her off about the keggers, parties, and platonic escort opportunities. All this history she kept to herself, along with her occasional anonymous sex with high-priced lesbian escorts. The irony of now being the client instead of the service provider was not lost on her.
But between her public and private life, Charlene knew what was what, which was why she was concerned about Taylor. Jill was impelled to follow where her enthusiasms led her, and lord knew she was currently enthusiastic about Taylor. There was something off about Taylor, but Charlene didn’t know what—yet. As a former judge, she had the contacts to find out, and she intended to. Given Jill’s generous inheritance, Charlene’s radar was on high alert for her friend.
In the meantime, here she was in a romantic, lace-canopied, top-quality bed, surrounded by antiques and flowers, and…alone again, naturally. She thought about calling her contacts in Atlanta to arrange for some companionship in New Orleans, as she could always generate some story about a long-lost college friend’s niece. But then she nixed the thought; it was too risky, even if appealing. Her girlfriends might not mind if they found out—hell, they might even applaud her—but the media had a way of finding out the most well-disguised foibles. But still. She opened her laptop and pulled up hearts.com, typing in New Orleans as her location.
Like classical music? she typed. I’m in NOLA for the weekend festival and will be at the chamber music concert at the Ursuline convent tomorrow afternoon. Care to join me? I’m a very young 60-ish lesbian, not bad to look at, who loves good conversation and intimate sharing with other lesbians. I’ll be wearing a magenta scarf and white floppy hat.
“Well, a shot in the dark. Who knows?” After closing her laptop and putting it on the bedside table, she opened the drawer and took out her vibrator. “Hello, old friend,” she said with a sigh. “Here we are again, but at least in more romantic surroundings.”
Ten miles away, the door swung open to Sappho’s Dream, New Orleans’s lone lesbian club, and Lee Childs entered. Carefully wiping her size ten cowboy boots on the rug, she smiled at the greetings called out to her and ambled up to the bar. Sporting a light brown crew-cut hair and a big smile, she was undoubtedly butch, but her swagger belied the shy, almost courtly nature that was the bedrock of her personality. Lee had been looking for a wife for some time.
Behind the bar, Krista pulled her favorite brew from the chiller and placed it before her. “How’s it going, Lee?” she asked.
“Still shoveling, Kris,” Lee replied with a smile. “Anything happening with you?”
“Nah, nothin’ much ever happens in my life.” Krista laughed. “I’m just an old married woman.”
“Well, count your blessings, girl. I wouldn’t mind being in your shoes at all.”
“Still no luck on the internet? You’d think with the millions of people on it, someone would pop up eventually.”
“Wouldn’t you, though? I haven’t checked tonight, but if it’s anything like the last few months, it’s more really old pictures and wishful profiles that don’t match the reality. Well, let’s see, why not?”
Pulling out her phone, she opened the usual website and scanned it desultorily. Yadda, yadda, yadda; same, same, same. Why wasn’t there ever anything new? Wait a minute. She scrolled back up. What did that say? Classical music?
Lee was a country and jazz aficionado, but she had grown up with classical music and still had a soft spot for chamber music. Hmm, that’s different. This could be interesting.
She lifted the cold bottle to her lips and considered. The French Quarter Festival was sure to be jammed with crowds, which she abhorred, but this invitation was intriguing. Good conversation was always fine and not always available, and “intimate sharing,” well, that just left a world of possibilities. The age didn’t bother her; she was closing in on that herself.
She finished off her beer and reached for her wallet in her back pocket.
“Leaving already, Lee? You just got here,” Krista exclaimed.
“Yeah, think I’ll hit the sack early,” she replied. “I might have a hankering to go to the fest tomorrow and hear some music.”