Squire’s Isle Created by Geonn Cannon

Keeping House

Summary: Amy, Kate, and Nicole make the final steps in their move, and christen their new home. (explicit, drug use (although the drug is legal in Washington state)).

They didn’t take everything out of the old place; the couch was still under the window, and the bed was hidden away in the bedroom. Kate’s favorite chair was gone, and its absence was jarring. Amy stood in the doorway, the last box of tchotchkes sitting at her feet as she tried to think of anything she was missing. They’d spent all afternoon running back and forth and she wanted to get home, take off her shoes, and start getting used to the fact she had a real home.

She wasn’t quite sure how Nicole’s search for a place to live on the island had turned into her and Kate joining her, but she didn’t want to poke too much at it. The apartment behind Coffee Table Books had been a default halfway-house that she just never moved on from. It was a palace compared to her cell, and it was bigger than the hotels she’d been staying in after her release. When Kate moved in it went from comfortable to cozy, and then Nicole became their semi-permanent houseguest and Amy had to admit the balance had shifted to cramped. When she was given the option between kicking Nicole out and just moving somewhere else altogether, it was surprising how easily the decision came to her.

She was still going to keep the apartment. It was included with the lease for Coffee Table Books, and she expected she would spend a few nights per month sleeping there rather than waking up and driving across town to open the store. She took out her phone and texted her girls to see if there was anything they needed before she left or if they wanted her to pick up dinner.

Kate responded within a minute. “N called in takeout; she’s going to pick it up in 20. We’re good. Hurry over. We miss you.”

Amy’s heart fluttered and she put the phone into the box, hoisting it against her hip and giving the apartment one last look before she stepped outside. She put the box in the back of her car and pulled away from the curb. She drove west away from the harbor, going deeper into town. A part of her wondered if she’d spent all these years since returning to the island hiding in the touristy part of town, living and working in the business district, so she wouldn’t have to pay attention to the world of the island locals. She was one of them, she’d spent her entire life on the island save for a three-year stint on the mainland. Most of that was due to a prison sentence, so she figured it couldn’t be counted as time away.

Now, as she drove past the high school, she had to glance down at the directions Kate had written down for her to make sure she didn’t miss the turn. Here there were no tourists, whereas in her old home she’d gotten used to people passing by her window until the late hours of the evening. There were a lot of things she would have to get used to; not being able to just pop between home and work whenever the whim struck was tempered by the fact their little family would finally have enough space to breathe.

Their house – their home – was on a side street near the athletic center. Kate loved the location because it meant she’d only have to walk two blocks after baseball practice in the summer. Nicole liked the little playhouses in the backyard that she planned to combine into a darkroom-slash-studio space. Amy was happy they were so thrilled with the house, and she was glad neither of them had designs on her kingdom.

Amy planned to have a full-on affair with that kitchen. She had never had a full kitchen of her own, and she was looking forward to the possibility of a full-on Thanksgiving dinner with the space to host all their friends. She pulled into the driveway, her tires almost on the grass so Kate would have room to get past her in the morning if she had to leave first. Deadlines and cook times meant that they would alternate early morning departures. She left the box in the backseat for the time being and looked up at the house.

It was a Craftsman home, according to the realtor, with a two-car garage with a bedroom over it. The light was on in that room, already claimed as Nicole’s, but the curtains hadn’t been hung yet. The lights in the living room were on as well, also without curtains, and she saw Kate walk past the couch with her head down as she struggled to untangle a handful of fat wires. The house had the feel of a stage play just before show time but the theatre had forgotten to keep the curtain down. Amy smiled, took the last box, and went in to join the other cast members.

Kate was crouching next to the TV stand when she came in. She glanced back, smiled, and then focused on her task. “Hey. I don’t remember Star Trek having all these wires.”

“Data had all kinds of wires going in and out of his head. They just kept them out of sight.”

“Hm.” Kate twisted to look at the back of the TV, then looked at the options in her hand. “I’m going to just shove things where they fit and hope we can watch Riley Parra.”

Amy went over and kissed the crown of her partner’s head. “You’ll figure it out, baby. And if you leave Riley’s final episode up to chance, Dean will slaughter you and I’m not paying to have these carpets cleaned so soon.”

Nicole came downstairs, still wearing the work shirt and old jeans she’d worn for the move, her hair up but her shoes on. “Hey, Ames. I thought I saw you pull up. Are we all moved over?”

“We are officially moved over,” Amy said, greeting her girlfriend with a kiss. “I would have gotten dinner on the way over…”

“No, you’d have had to wait.” She looked at the clock. “I don’t have to leave for another five minutes. Kate, you haven’t figured out the TV yet?”

Kate growled without looking and Nicole backed up a step. “Okay. We don’t need TV tonight.”

Amy chuckled and said, “I’m going to take the box up to the bedroom. If you need help with the TV, I think Nadine is spectacularly gifted when it comes to electronics. You could give her a call.”

“No, this is personal now. I must defeat it or I can never watch TV again.”

“We’ll hold you to that,” Amy said. She picked up her box and went upstairs. The house had three bedrooms, and Amy still remembered standing in the empty space of the master bedroom discussing the sleeping arrangements in a whisper while the realtor was downstairs speaking to someone on the phone. The final solution came from Kate.

“Okay, Amy gets the biggest bedroom.”

“Why?” Amy had asked, willing to take the one that overlooked the backyard.

Kate said, “You’re the one who brought me and Nicole together. You’re the glue in this little triangle, so it just makes sense you would be the one we have to go to. Plus it has a private bathroom so you can get ready in the morning without disturbing Nicole’s sleep. Okay, so you have the master bedroom, and Nicole and I will figure out who gets which–”

“I’d like the little room over the garage.”

Kate raised her eyebrow. “Really?”

“Yeah. I looked around during the tour and it’s perfect. It’s cozy, it’s right at the top of the stairs, and I can hear you guys leave in the morning so I can wave goodbye if I’m awake enough. Besides, Kate, you’re the one who said you wanted to have the water view? The back bedroom is the only one that faces the harbor.”

Kate kissed her. “Thank you for thinking of that. Okay, so that’s arranged.”

“And you both are welcome in my room any time,” Amy said. “That goes without saying, right?”

“Sure, but it’s nice to hear it,” Nicole said.

Amy bumped the door open with her foot. They had only been able to afford the house by pooling all their resources, and they’d had enough in savings to buy new beds for each room. Hers was larger than any she’d ever had, bought specifically to accommodate three people on those nights it would be required. She, Kate, and Nicole had spent every night crammed together in her old bed out of necessity, and some nights Nicole had elected to sleep on the couch rather than risking a thrown elbow or a repeat of the night she’d woken up to pee only to have Amy lying on top of her completely unconscious. She put the box on the foot of the bed and opened the flaps.

The door opened and closed downstairs and she knew that Nicole was on her way to retrieve the food. She put off unpacking and went back downstairs, shocked at how much time passed before she decided to ask Kate something and actually seeing her. At the old apartment they had been able to converse from anywhere in the house just by slightly raising their voices. Now it required seeking someone out. It was freeing, and it was isolating, and the jury was still out on whether it was good or not.

“Hey, Kate. Do you have any weed?”

“I do.” She straightened and reached into her pocket for the small tin she kept her joints in. It originally came filled with tea, and no amount of washing had been able to completely eliminate the smell. Amy liked it, though; it made the joints smell like orange peels and blackberries. Kate fished one out and offered it to her. “I think I might join you.”

“Actually, I need a few minutes by myself. Just…”

“We’ve been crowding you all weekend and you need air. I get it.” She cupped Amy’s cheek and kissed her. “I’ll get plates and silverware for dinner, then.”

“Thanks.”

She picked up the lighter and went outside onto the back deck, pausing to light her joint before she went to the rail. Kate could see the harbor from her window, but the view was blocked from the ground by trees and other houses. She took a hit and held the smoke in her mouth, eyes closing as she finally exhaled. She looked at the burning tip and smiled ruefully. She spent two years in prison for dealing this junk, and now it was legal. Well, it was probably still frowned upon to deal… If she hadn’t gone to prison, she would have kept wandering around the Pacific Northwest, getting farther and farther away. She might have gone too far to justify coming back when her father left her the store. She’d have never met Kate or Nicole.

She blinked back tears at the thought, rubbing her knuckle against the corner of her eye. She looked over her shoulder and saw Kate setting the dinner table. She was grateful they had such clean and clear lines of communication. If one of them asked for space, they got it no questions asked. If one of them said she wanted to sleep alone, the other two understood that they could still spend the night together. Amy admitted that she wanted to beg off a few times just so she could imagine Kate and Nicole sharing each other without her in the way. She loved them so much and watching them make love was one of her absolute joys. Knowing they were elsewhere in the house having sex…

Amy grinned and pushed away from the railing to go back inside. When they were looking for houses, once it became a group effort rather than just a place for Nicole to keep her stuff, Amy turned down quite a few spacious places just because she’d feel the need to fill the space with junk. The home they ended up with was the perfect balance of space and coziness. The living room was a sitting area with a half-wall separating it from the dining room, where Kate was currently setting out plates. The kitchen formed an L around the laundry room, all maple and black accents, and Amy couldn’t stop thinking it looked like the set of a TV cooking show. She kept expecting Rachael Ray to pop up to check the oven.

The stairs stood to the left of the door, a constant subtle reminder that there was an entire second floor for them to occupy. She hadn’t had a second floor since she was a little girl, and every time she saw the newel post she felt a little more like a grown-up.

“We should probably put up some curtains before too long.”

“I thought you were all for voyeurism.”

Amy shrugged. “Yeah, but there’s a difference between that and spying.” She saw one of their boxes marked CDs. “Want some dinner music?”

“I don’t have the frigging stereo set up, either,” Kate said.

“Aw.” Amy went into the kitchen and offered Kate the joint. She took it, inhaled, and Amy kissed her cheek. “Take a break. We can always figure it out in the morning.”

“I will not have it defeat me.”

“You can take a cease-fire.”

Kate sighed. “Fine. If you say so.”

Amy put her arms around Kate’s waist, her chin on her shoulder. “Besides, if we end up watching TV tonight, we’ll be doing the housewarming all wrong?”

“Oh, yeah?” Kate turned in Amy’s arms so they were facing each other. “You have plans?”

“I have schemes and designs, I have all sorts of devious tactics.” She grinned as Kate took her lips in a slow kiss. When it ended Amy said, “Feeling more relaxed?”

“Much more.”

“Good. Give me back my pot, then.”

Kate held up the joint. “This pot? Uh-uh, this is my pot.” She demonstrated by putting it between her lips again and taking a drag. Amy pulled it away, Kate turned her head, and they held their lips apart as Kate exhaled into Amy’s mouth. Amy held the smoke for a moment before letting it out, and Kate grinned. “Remember that?”

“How could I forget? Our first time with Nicole.” She put her hand on Kate’s neck, her fingers tangling in the dark hair. “Thank you.”

“For the pot? I have enough.”

“No… that night, you could have freaked out. You could have been the jealous girlfriend who thought I was bored with you or still in love with my ex. You and Nicole like to say I’m the one that holds the three of us together, but none of this would be possible if you hadn’t been brave enough to say yes.”

“I’m glad I said yes, too. You and I always push the envelope. That’s one of the things I love about you. I’m not afraid to try anything once, and this is just… just something we tried and discovered we really liked it. I try to think of it as a normal relationship and I can’t. I would never leave you, Ames. Not for her, and not for anyone.”

Amy said, “Would you stop sleeping with her if I asked you to only sleep with me?”

Kate said, “I don’t know. I think I would, but it would be hard.”

“Thank you for being honest,” Amy said. “And for the record, I don’t think I could do it. I love you more than I’ve ever…” She bit off the end before it made her cry. “But the thought of cutting her out is wrong to me. If you asked me to do it, I’d…” She searched for the right words and finally said, “I could never break up with either of you. If I did, I’d have to break up with both of you.”

“Then we would just charge you rent.”

“Can I pay it in sexual favors?”

Kate sighed and rolled her eyes. “I mean, I suppose. But then what’s the point of breaking up in the first place?”

“If we’re broken up, you could be the hot lesbian couple I rent from, and occasionally you take advantage of me.”

“Ooh. Remember that. We’re going to play that one day.”

Amy chuckled and kissed her, sliding her hand higher into Kate’s hair. They were still in the clinch when Nicole came in with a takeout bag from the Shipwreck. She glanced into the kitchen and saw her girlfriends making out. She put the bag down, then reached across the counter to snatch the joint from Kate’s fingers. “What have I told you guys about starting without me?”

“That your laptop has a camera on it,” Kate said.

Nicole took a hit and nodded. “Exactly.”

Amy released Kate and walked around the counter, hugging Nicole tightly before kissing her as well. “We love you.”

“I love you, too.”

“What do you say we eat before we proceed to christen the house?”

Amy smiled without breaking eye contact. “Yeah. We’ll need the energy.”

“I like a girl who knows what she wants.”

Amy winked at her and took the bag of food to the dining room table. With Kate’s help she transferred the meals out of their plastic containers and arranged them on the plates as they would have appeared at the restaurant. Nicole got a turkey chicken wrap with a side of steamed vegetables, and Amy was surprised to find the last two meals were both grilled chicken breast with red-skinned potatoes. “Nick, I think they gave you the wrong order. Kate’s Dynamite & Cattle isn’t in here.”

Kate grinned. “I’m not going to eat a jalapeno cheeseburger right before we break in the new beds. I have some foresight, you know.”

“Good point,” Amy said.

Nicole poured their drinks and they stood next to the table for a moment. Nicole said, “When I was a kid, we had… not assigned seating, but we had places where we always sat at the table. Are we going to bother assigning seats, or will it just be a free-for-all?”

Amy shrugged after putting the containers into recycling. “I’m fine either way.”

“Seems like something you can’t force,” Kate said as she sat down. “We’ll just see how it happens naturally.”

“I’m good with that,” Nicole said.

They ended up with Amy and Kate facing each other, with Nicole at the end of the table facing the living room. They talked about work and the upcoming Halloween party at Coffee Table Books, and Amy was once again struck by how easily things worked with their odd little family. Nadine still sometimes stared at them like they were a science project, trying to figure out the logistics without coming right out and asking.

Ironically, that was their secret. They didn’t have the luxury of letting something go unspoken or taking things for granted. They asked for what they wanted, they spoke about what they didn’t want, and they avoided hurt feelings and simmering resentments by being open and honest. They couldn’t afford to get bogged down in petty high school shit; no whining if Kate says “I love you” to Nicole without repeating it to Amy and no scorekeeping on who spent more nights in whose bed. It hadn’t been an issue in the apartment, but now they would have to be careful that it didn’t become a game of musical mattresses.

“I’m really looking forward to sleeping on my own again. Not tonight, of course, but…” She waved her fork to indicate the future. “The possibility.”

Nicole rubbed her foot against Amy’s ankle under the table. “Having two sexy ladies in your bed every night was too much for you?”

Amy smiled. “Sometimes. But I’ll be very happy to have you both right down the hall if ever I should need your warmth.”

“Nights are starting to get colder,” Kate pointed out.

“Mm,” Nicole said, sliding her foot higher.

Amy reached over and took a steamed broccoli from Nicole’s plate. Nicole pointed at Amy’s chicken with her small finger. Amy cut off a cube and handed it over to make up for her theft. As they ate, they discussed the new editor suspected to be taking over the paper. Nicole told them about the girl she was mentoring, Callie, and said she had a few pictures she needed to find places for. Amy looked into the living room and smiled.

“Well, we certainly have the wall space.”

“She actually lives not far from here, so she might come over and use my studio after school. I was going to give her a key to the outside gate so she can get back there if you agree.”

Amy glanced at Kate and nodded. “Sounds fine to me.”

They’d never had trick-or-treaters at the apartment, but Amy mentioned they would have to plan for the eventuality now that they lived in a neighborhood. Kate volunteered to hand out candy, and Nicole pointed out that her costume would have to be kid-friendly in that case.

“I’ll have one for the kids, and then after dark I’ll change into something just for the two of you.”

Amy purred and Nicole smiled. When they finished their meal, Amy took their plates to the sink and ran the water to rinse them off. As she scraped the detritus into the garbage disposal, someone pressed against her from behind, pinning her to the edge of the sink as a pair of hands spider-walked along the waistband of her jeans to join on her hips. She tilted her head to the side and closed her eyes as Kate licked her neck.

“They’ll wait until tomorrow,” she whispered.

“I’ll just run a brush over them…”

“Uh-uh.” She undid the button of her pants and Amy laughed. “We behaved all through dinner, but now it’s time to make this house ours, right and proper.”

Amy opened her eyes and looked toward the table. “Where’s Nicole?”

“She’s upstairs putting the curtains up in your bedroom.” She put her hand into Amy’s pants and pulled her back. Amy rubbed against her, rolling her head back to rest it on Kate’s shoulder. Kate’s free hand slid higher, wrinkling Amy’s shirt on the way to her breast. She squeezed once and Amy whimpered, turned and cupped Kate’s face with hands still wet from the tap. She closed her eyes and let Kate’s tongue into her mouth, thankful she’d chosen to skip the peppers as she sucked on the tip and tasted the spices from their shared meal. She managed to get her feet out of her shoes without breaking the kiss and stretched slightly to make up the inch or so difference in their heights. Kate’s hand was still in her pants but at the back now, so she took the opportunity to squeeze Amy’s ass.

Nicole finished her task and came to find them, pausing at the foot of the stairs when she saw what was happening at the sink. She crossed the living room and rounded the dining room table, approaching them silently but not so stealthy that Amy didn’t hear her coming. She broke the kiss at the last possible moment and looked at her girlfriend with eyes that were clouded with lust.

“You started without me again.”

Amy said, “You’ll just have to catch up.” She reached out and cupped the side of Nicole’s head, drawing her in. As they kissed, Kate changed her angle of approach to kiss Amy’s neck. A tang of mint revealed Nicole had brushed her teeth before coming down, and Amy appreciated the small gesture even as she wished she could taste the other part of their first dinner. She pulled back and Nicole kissed Kate’s cheek, drawing her forward and moaning as their lips met. Amy watched them, kissing Nicole’s cheek and then Kate’s. Nicole wrapped them both in her arms, and Amy felt doubly entwined.

“Let’s go upstairs,” Kate whispered.

Amy pecked the corners of her mouth, then turned to repeat the gesture with Nicole. “You two go on up. I’ll turn everything off down here and lock up.”

“We might start without you,” Nicole said.

“I’m counting on it,” Amy said, kissing her again with more passion before she pulled away. “Go on. I’ll be right up.”

Nicole and Kate reluctantly disentangled themselves and left the kitchen, turning off the living room light as they passed on their way to the stairs. Amy ran the water in the sink to let the dishes soak, knowing she should stick them in the dishwasher but not willing to spare the precious seconds it would take. She made sure the back door and patio door were locked, shuffling her feet across the carpet to the front door. One bad thing about a bigger place was the endless number of doors and windows that had to be secured. Locking up the apartment had taken literally ten seconds.

Once she was certain they were safe from burglars, she headed upstairs. Nicole’s bedroom was first, and Amy peeked in as she passed. Moonlight came in through the windows, making it look like something out of a dream. Her bed was neatly made, her shoes lined up next to the closet door, and every book on the shelves were lined up according to height. A row of beautiful wooden storage boxes they’d found at a yard sale stood in a line under the window, and Amy knew that her photography supplies were kept snug in each compartment. She figured the tidiness was a leftover from her time as an embedded photographer overseas, and she felt guilty for how long they’d made her live in what must have seemed like slovenly conditions. Now she had her own space where she could be as tidy and shipshape as she wanted.

Next was Kate’s room, separated from Nicole’s by a narrow bathroom. Kate’s room was much messier than Nicole’s and even more of a hodgepodge than Amy’s. Her bed was unmade, and she tended more toward stacking than actually cleaning. A chair in the corner was already draped with Kate’s clean clothes. Amy knew her ritual was to find what she wanted to wear and hang it in the bathroom the night before. That way the steam from Amy’s shower could begin the unwrinkling process, and Kate’s shower completed the job.

Finally, Amy reached the master bedroom, or the mistress bedroom as Kate decided it had to be called. The door was standing open and Amy paused at the threshold and peered in. A standing lamp next to the bathroom door was on, just bright enough to cast shadows over the women currently wrinkling her sheets. The bed was perpendicular to the door, and Nicole was sitting on the near side of it with Kate standing in front of her bending forward so they could kiss. Nicole had her hands at work at Kate’s waistline, either undoing her pants or starting at the bottom with her shirt. Amy slipped quietly into the room, pushed the door most of the way shut, and slid up behind Kate like a ghost.

“About time you joined the party,” Kate said as Amy pressed against her.

“I’m all about making an entrance,” Amy whispered. She kissed Kate’s neck and moved her hands around her, meeting Nicole halfway. Nicole got the jeans undone and started sliding them down, so Amy nibbled Kate’s neck as she began working the buttons of her blouse. The jeans fell first, and Kate obediently straightened her arms so Amy could relieve her of the shirt. She unhooked Kate’s bra, and Kate hooked her thumbs in her underwear to push them down as well.

Nicole said, “My turn,” and turned Kate around. Kate fell into Amy’s arms and kissed her. Amy had gotten her own slacks undone and Kate pushed them down with her underwear. Amy broke the kiss to peel off her T-shirt and Kate bent down, licking a cross on Amy’s chest before cupping her breasts and squeezing through her bra. Amy grunted and reached back to undo the hooks, dropping the bra before pushing Kate back onto the bed.

Nicole’s shirt was off and her jeans quickly followed, and she scooted out of the way so Amy could lay Kate down on the bed. Kate squirmed a bit until her head was lined up with the pillows, and Nicole finished undressing before stretching out next to her. Amy straddled Kate’s waist, running her hands over Kate’s body as she watched Kate and Nicole kiss again. She rocked slowly against the curve of Kate’s hip, transfixed by the sight of Kate’s tongue sliding over Nicole’s closed lips before being allowed past. They were both women she had fallen for independently, and seeing them together like this… sometimes she wondered how either of them could get as much of a thrill out of their arrangement as she did, but they didn’t seem to have any complaints.

As Kate and Nicole kissed, Kate slid her hand over Amy’s body, charting a path over thigh, waist, stomach, and breast before reaching her neck. She pulled her down, breaking the kiss with Nicole only when Amy was close enough to take over. Their tongues met and Amy imagined she could taste Nicole on her partner’s tongue, sucking it eagerly as she increased the cycle of her hip movement, rubbing herself against Kate’s sharp hip. Nicole lay on her side next to them, one hand in the small of Amy’s back to guide her movements while the other stroked Kate’s hair. Amy looked down and saw that Kate’s hand was between Nicole’s legs. Nicole kissed Amy’s chest, turned to close her lips around Kate’s nipple, and Amy closed her eyes and breathed deeply. She felt Kate’s hand on her thigh, Nicole’s hand on her back, and she heard both women quietly sigh with pleasure.

“I love you,” Nicole whispered, and no one needed her to clarify. They’d established a long time ago, when Nicole was invited into their bed on a more-than-just-playing-around basis, that any declarations spoken in bed didn’t have to be weighted with an identifier. They’d experimented with it once and dissolved into a fit of giggles when Kate slipped in a “Good night, John-Boy.” Since then a simple all-inclusive love was all they needed.

Amy was the first to finish, as she almost always was. She liked to jump right in and then lazily enjoy her lovers, but neither of them seemed to mind indulging her selfishness. Getting her orgasm out of the way meant she was free to focus on theirs. She began moving faster, and Nicole moved a hand between her legs to stroke Amy to the finish, and when one finger slipped inside her, Amy gave in to her climax. She hunched her shoulders and leaned back, grunting quietly as she tightened her legs around Kate. She ran her hands down her partner’s chest, raked her nails over her stomach, and looked down to kiss Nicole’s forehead as Nicole kissed her breast.

Amy slid off of Kate, cupped Nicole’s face to kiss her, and then scooted away from them. Kate looked momentarily abandoned and forlorn until Nicole moved between her legs. She bent her knees and moved her legs apart as Nicole settled between them, wetting her lips as she slid a hand between Kate’s ass and the mattress to lift her up.

“Pillow?” Kate whispered, and Amy slid one of the pillows under Kate’s waist to prop her up. Kate thanked her by kissing her breast, then moaned as Nicole lowered her head. Kate and Amy kissed, and Amy held her tongue against Kate’s lower lip to feel it tremble as Nicole tenderly drove her crazy. Kate slid her tongue over Amy’s, lifting her hips to meet Nicole’s mouth.

Kate broke the kiss and whispered Amy’s name. Amy whispered Kate’s name back to her, and then looked down to watch Nicole, who was staring up at them as her tongue pressed deeper.

Kate pressed her lips to Amy’s temple and whispered in a rushed, quiet voice, “I couldn’t do this with anyone but you and her.”

Amy dragged her hand up Kate’s stomach and cupped her breast. “I wouldn’t want to,” she said, and kissed Kate’s lips. Nicole sat up and took Amy’s hand, guiding it lower. Kate smiled against Amy’s mouth as her hand was placed between her legs, and Amy began to tease the hood of Kate’s clit as Nicole’s tongue went back to work. Kate put one hand on top of Nicole’s head, the other snaking around Amy’s hip to pull her closer.

Nicole sensed Kate was getting close and pushed herself up, covering Amy’s hand with her own as she settled on top of Kate’s body. “Push against me,” Nicole whispered, and Kate’s body complied almost by instinct. She broke the kiss with Amy and was immediately taken by Nicole, moaning into her mouth as she thrashed underneath them. Amy held her down and kissed Nicole’s neck, moving her mouth up and then flicking her tongue against their joined mouths. Nicole turned her head and kissed Amy as Kate stiffened underneath her with a “God, fuck, there.” She shouted, then sagged down, her thighs closing around the hands still gently stroking between them.

“Fucking love you,” Kate gasped, and both women kissed her in response.

Amy moved her lips to Kate’s ear as she kissed her cheek. “What do you wanna do with Nick, Kitty Cat?”

Kate purred. “Oh, I think I wanna fuck Nick, Ames.”

“Me too, Kitty Cat.”

Nicole grinned and stroked Amy’s hip, brushing her wet fingers over Kate’s breasts as she rearranged herself across the bed. Amy only had to roll onto her side and stretch out to straddle Nicole’s head, while Kate rolled onto her stomach and lifted Nicole’s leg onto her shoulder to gain access. She lifted up and tugged at the sheet underneath her, repositioning the wet spot that she’d left behind after Nicole’s attention, and then lay down with her feet braced against the headboard. She ran her tongue over her lips and then pulled Nicole to her.

Nicole wrapped her arms around Amy’s waist and sat up, leading with her tongue. Amy crossed her arms behind her back, hands clasping the opposite forearm, and straightened her posture as she dug her knees into the mattress. She pressed her lips together and closed her eyes, opening them just long enough to watch Kate’s tongue slide over Nicole’s folds. Kate made Nicole moan, which traveled through Amy like an electric current, and she bared her teeth as she neared orgasm again. That was her, Amy Wellis, the bookend orgasm of their little parties. Nicole actually came a few seconds after her, but Amy still felt like it was a good way to close proceedings. She lifted herself off of Nicole and then bent down to kiss her. Kate kissed her way up Nicole’s body, kissed Amy, and then kissed Nicole.

“Stay with me tonight,” Amy said.

“Are you sure?” Kate asked, obviously grateful for the invite. “The whole point of moving was so we wouldn’t have to cram together in the same bed.”

“So we wouldn’t have to,” Amy repeated, “and so it would mean more when we chose to. You don’t have to stay, but I would really like it if you did.”

Nicole said, “I’ll stay.”

“Me too.”

Amy smiled and kissed them both. “I’ll, um… washcloths.”

“And I’ll change the sheets for you real quick,” Kate said.

“Thank you, sweetie.”

She retrieved two washcloths from the bathroom and cleaned the sweat from their skin and the moisture from their thighs. Kate swapped out the sheets as Nicole and Amy changed into their pajamas – a T-shirt for Nick, panties and a tank top for Amy. They got into bed first, snuggling on the sheets that still felt cozy and fluffy from the Laundromat. That was another change, Amy realized; they had their own washer/dryer downstairs in the garage. No more trips down the street to wash their clothes. Kate climbed into bed once she had put on her sweatpants and T-shirt, pressing against Amy from behind and leaning over her to kiss Nicole goodnight.

They settled in with Amy in the middle. She had an arm around each of her girls, one of Nicole’s arms spanning her body to rest on Kate’s hip. Amy closed her eyes and listened to their breathing. It wasn’t the life she would have chosen, and a year ago she never would have seen herself in a house with Kate and Nicole as her partners. Then again, she never planned to run a combination bakery/bookstore. She never planned prison or half the things that shaped her life. Maybe the purpose wasn’t to plan, maybe the purpose was to just weather the storms that come and make the best of them. She kissed Nicole’s forehead and Kate’s hair.

“I love you.”

Two voices in the dark whispered back, “Love you,” and Amy’s heart soared.

She didn’t know what the life she would have chosen looked like, if she would still live on Squire’s Isle (doubtful) or if she would be single or dating someone. The life she would have chosen would look different, that’s for certain, but it would be a far cry from the perfection of the life with which she’d been gifted.

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