Authors Note: I created a short playlist to be listened to while reading. I strong suggest listening to it before, during, or after reading as well, for an increased sense of tone. The link will open in a new window, or click the video at the end of the story.

I looked at the wrinkled post-it on my dash, squinting out the passenger window at the faded numbers 935 on the side of the powder blue single story house. I pulled up to the curb, getting together my file folder and purse. I checked myself one last time in the rear view mirror. The air was chilly outside the car, the mild breeze seeping through my thin sweater. I pulled open the aluminum screen door, rapping my knuckles on the hardwood door. They ached and turned pink, I rubbed them gently and listened for noises of anyone inside.

No one else had wanted this job, but I was glad to take it. I had only been out of school a few months, and finding decent work as an at home care nurse wasn’t as easy as I had thought it would be. Most of the jobs were short-term, and most of the clients horny old men. If I wanted that I would’ve stayed at my old job. I checked my file again, making sure I had the right address. My eyes skimmed over the short client details, female, 30, double mastectomy, two-week detail. A shuffling inside got my attention, the door opened, an exhausted, pale looking butch opened the door.

“Hi, I’m Jennifer, the nurse you called about.” I smiled, trying to seem easygoing, but really I was a bundle of nerves.

“Oh good, I’ve been home alone a couple of hours and its been hell. I’m Mel, come on in.” She barely looked at her, shuffling away from the door and to a large brown couch where had obviously been disturbed from when she arrived. She eased herself down, a wince as her torso bent slightly to rest on the cushions. I followed her in, clearing papers from the recliner nearby, getting out my notepad.

“Ok, well, I just need to make a few notes on your condition, and we can work out a schedule for when I’m here. Is there anyone else staying here that’s going to be taking care of you as well?” Having a girlfriend or wife follow her around and nag at her while she was trying to work always made things more difficult.

“Till this morning my girlfriend was taking care of me, but she’s out-of-town for the next couple weeks. So I’m on my own.” She didn’t sound pleased about the situation.

“Ok” I began setting up a schedule for us, taking down her medications and allergies, she started to relax.

I had learned quickly my first couple of jobs that being a nurse was only half my job, the other half I often spent picking up the clients home, making their meals, and sometimes running their errands. It could be exhausting, but I didn’t want to be trapped in a cold hospital all day working twelve-hour shifts either.

Within a couple of days we established a pattern, meals, medicine, dressing changes, naps. I was reading whole books in a day, nothing much else to do.
Day five, we were watching a movie, Phantom of the Opera. I had closed my book, engrossed in the film. I was so embarrassed, starting to tear up near the end as I always did, I sneaked at glance at Mel. I caught her eyes just before they darted away. She had seen that I wanted to cry. I felt a heat crawl up my back to my face.
“Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.” She teased.

This was the first time she spoke to me about anything other than her recovery. I didn’t know what to say back, but I didn’t want to lose what bit of comfortability she was gaining with me. I stuck my tongue out at her instead, settling for a childish retort. She laughed, catching me off guard, making me laugh as well.

After that she started opening up to me, telling me about her surgery, how it made her more comfortable in her body, about how difficult things were for her before. How painful her binding was, and the cuts she would get on her side from the tight sports bras. How she could hardly go to the doctor because she hated being naked so much it would make her cry. She also told me about her girlfriend, who I slowly came to despise. Though they had been together five years, the girlfriend was jealous, possessive, and sometimes abusive. I couldn’t wrap my mind around why Mel stayed with her. She said she didn’t know what she would do without her. I tried to keep my opinions about the matter to myself, but the look of disgust on my face a few times when the subject of Aimee, her girlfriend, came up, was hard to hide.

Day eight, she fell asleep on the couch, shirtless, the dressing wrapping a white line around her torso, faded black sweat pants loose on her waist. I found a blanket and pulled it over her, a half asleep “thanks” muttered to me. I looked at her peaceful face, how handsome and beautiful she is. Freckles sprinkled across her nose and cheeks. Curling lashes that make femmes like me jealous. I had memorized her eyes, the green fading to brown, with flecks of gold. Without thinking I ran my fingers through her short hair, the tiny curls teasing my fingertips. She cuddled deeper into the blanket, I stepped back. What was I doing? This was my client! Not to mention she had a not so mentally stable girlfriend due back in a few days. A tingling that I was trying to suppress was working its way through my veins, around my heart and stomach.

The next few days as our friendship grew, so did my crush on her. I could hardly concentrate when trying to read or watch a movie, I took extra care changing her dressing, discouraging any thoughts to let my hands linger on her any longer than necessary. I didn’t want her to know how I felt, the frustration and attraction in me refusing to fade. At night I thought of her body on me, the delicious weight of her. Her hands capturing my wrists, her mouth searching mine.

Day twelve, I could hear her on the phone with her girlfriend in the kitchen. The muffled sounds are angry, I know they’re fighting. I looked at the pictures in the bookshelf, pictures of them on the couch, one of Mel in her football gear, a few random family photos. Mel came in, her eyes rimmed in red, her muscles tense. She fell onto the couch, silent, I’m at a loss for words. I put my arm around her shoulder, trying to act like a friend if nothing else. She turns the tv on, silent for a while. Next she’s leaning into me, and I put my other arm around her, holding her. I play with the curls in her hair, stroking the back of her neck. I feel her weight relax, her breathing even. She’s asleep against me. I dozed off too after a while, feeling her there for so long, unable to move away, there was nothing else to do. When I woke later, she was just stirring. She looked a little embarrassed to have fallen asleep on me. I wanted to tell her it was ok, but the words died inside me.

Day thirteen, our second to last day together. She was almost completely healed, I hardly needed to be there. I knew she would still need to take things slow and careful for a week or two more, but she wouldn’t need me caring for her anymore. Especially since Aimee returns in two days I remind myself. When I walked into her house she was already awake, showered and dressed on the couch. Her house was picked up, not like when I usually show up in the mornings. I looked around nervous, not quite sure what is going on. Her face was exhausted.

“Is everything ok? What time did you get up this morning?” I asked anxiously.
“I’ve been up since six. Aimee called last night, she said she doesn’t know if she wants to be with me anymore. I think we’re broken up.” She said monotonously.
“I’m so sorry” I stammer out. “Um, what should I do? Is there anything I can do?” I felt like water was rushing in my ears.
“No, just stay with me today like we have been. I don’t want to be alone, I don’t know what to do.” She stared at the tv, her face expressionless.
“Ok, I’ll make some coffee and get your meds. Want to watch a movie?” I offer.
“I’ll find something on tv” she calls back.

We watched tv for two hours. She leans on me again, I can smell the soap on her skin. I feel like I’m dying inside, how I felt in high school around the softball girls I would tutor. I get up to get a glass of water, my skin feeling hot. In the kitchen my feet are cooled on the cold tile floor. I drink water slowly, sipping, staring out the window at the leafless trees, the fall cold masked by sunlight. I don’t hear her come in behind me, but I know she’s there, her shadow in my peripheral vision.

“Everything ok?” she asks, a question any friend would ask, nonchalant, expecting a similar answer.
“Just a little sad, after tomorrow I won’t see you anymore”
“We can still be friends”

It sounded like a breakup, without the relationship. Her hands were on my shoulders, turning me slowly around. They slid down my arms to my waist, wrapping around me, pulling me to her. Her soft t-shirt pressed to my cheek, I let my arms go around her shoulders, small extravagances I allow myself. I feel as if I could fall asleep there, so warm, comforting, protective. I could make a home of her embrace and live there.

Her head dips down to my neck, making the hairs there stand at attention. Her lips press to my skin, gentle, making a trail to my ear. I can hear her breath quickening, feel her chest rise and fall faster. Could this really be happening? For the sake of my job I know I should stop, but I can’t bring myself to. I feel selfish and greedy. I turn my head slightly towards her, her mouth catches mine, the kiss tight at first, then opening, warming, teasing.

I carefully pull the t-shirt off her, my fingers tracing the barely healed scars. I kiss down her chest, let my lips make a trail of kisses along the lines. I’m not sure where the boundaries are here, but my mouth doesn’t seem to care. I find the nipples, lick gently at their freshly healed sensitivity. She’s watching me, her pupils large, absorbing the view. She’s holding her breath, possibly afraid I will break or tear her. My nails tease her back, hard where my mouth is soft. She finally pushes me back, lifting me onto the counter.
“Stay here, I’ll be right back.” She rushes out of the room, I’m almost afraid she’s changed her mind.

I sit there, unsure of what to expect, when she returns, nothing seems to have changed. Her hands unbutton my pants, sliding them off my ass and carefully pulling my legs out of them. They’re tossed to the floor, my skin raises in goose bumps at the cold counter top. My panties are next, they end up near my jeans. She kisses me again, not holding back this time. Her tongue parts my lips and opens me, absorbing my breath and the moans I won’t hold back. Her hands ease up my sweater, pulling me until my legs are spread wide, my pussy open and wet on the chilly counter top. My sweater is taken off in one quick movement, my bra taken moments later, my naked skin being warmed by hers.
My breasts press into her chest, she moans into my mouth, then kisses down my neck, nipping there.

Her hand slides between my legs, her fingers tracing circles of wetness on my inner and outer lips, making tiny dips inside then back out of me, teasing me to a frenzy. Just take me, is all I can think, so frustrated, so exhausted of waiting for this moment. Just wanting to finally have all of it. Two fingers sink into me as if she heard my thoughts, her thumb rubbing against my clit. She pumps into me, my wet sound loud in the silent kitchen. I try to grind my pussy onto her hand, wanting more. I arch my hips out, but she takes her hand from me, pulling her sweat pants down, the flesh-colored cock bobbing out at me. Her hand strokes it, massaging my wetness into the shaft. She rubs the tip against my pussy, dragging me so I’m teetering on the edge, half off the counter, almost on her cock.

I brace myself, my arms behind me, she grabs me and with one thrust we are connected again, her cock entering me without ceremony, the only signal the high-pitched gasp that escapes as I am entered. She pulls me again, so our bodies are together, and I catch her looking at my breasts against her chest, pulling away just far enough to catch a glimpse of the base of her cock sunken into my pussy. My hands are around her neck now, I’m trying to get closer, millimeters feeling like miles between us.

Her hands grip my hips, wrapping my legs around, carrying me, still impaled on her cock, to the couch. Her mouth is hot on mine again, her noises tiny and almost unheard. I can’t contain my sounds, my moans and cries filling the empty house. We are wrapped around each other, silicone and leather holding us together, a rising and meeting of our bodies. Her hips thrust faster, I find her pace and match it, fallen against her, her hand in my hair, the other around my ass, both guiding me in case I lose my way. I scream and bite down on her shoulder, the leather from her harness grinding into my clit, the base of her cock stretching me further. My body is stiff and thrusting, overcome with orgasm. The noise I make deafens my ears. I can feel her still moving under me, her chest vibrating with her noises, as I subside, hers rises, coming into me, almost crushing me in the grip of her crashing orgasm. Her hand brings my face up to her, our kisses messy and wet. Everything is wet, our bodies drenched. I ease off her, grimacing at the emptiness when her cock slides out. I help her with the straps, it drops, pushed to the floor. Her arms go around me, and our breathing evens out. I want to ask what will happen, but I’m so relaxed, I can’t think, I must sleep.

Hours later I wake up, the room is dim with the fading sun. She’s still asleep. I look at my watch, its time for me to leave, but I’m not sure what to do. Her arm tries to pull me closer, but I’m sitting up. She wakes.
“Where are you going?” She asks, half asleep.
“It’s late hun, I have to get home. I have to feed my dog, I can’t leave him alone all night.” I reply apologetically.
“That sucks. Will you be back tomorrow?” Her eyes open a little more, a bit more alert.
“Of course. Maybe we’ll have breakfast together.” I kiss her, pull a blanket over her. “I’ll see you in the morning.”

Day fourteen, it’s the last day I’ll work for her, but not the last day I’ll see her. Who knows what will happen next? Maybe we can go on some dates, turn this friendship into something real, something I’ve been waiting for. I get dressed, thinking of all these possibilities. I get to her house, let myself in. She’s already on the couch, there’s a little mess for me to clean up, she doesn’t look showered either. Last night probably took a lot out of her.

“Ready for breakfast?” I ask, hardly able to contain my smile.
“Hm, no, I’m not hungry, I think I’ll just have coffee today.” She says absentmindedly.
I get things ready, pick up the house, give her the medications and coffee. We watch tv, but she seems distracted.
“Is everything ok?” I feel silly repeating the line from yesterday.
“Yeah I’m just really tired. I was up late.” Her smile is forced.
“What can I do? Do you want to sleep some more?” I feel a bit at a loss, like the person who opened up to me over the two weeks was gone, and this was someone else.
“No, I think I’m done for today. Um, you can go home, I just want to be alone.” She doesn’t look at me as she says it, I’m so in shock I’m not even sure I heard right.
“Ok, well….call me later ok? Let me know you’re alright?” I ask, not wanting to give anymore of myself.

Later that night, a phone call from her, telling me she’s just wasn’t ready for a relationship, that she wasn’t ready for anything at all. I insisted I hadn’t asked for those things. Her words were brisk, short, and empty. I couldn’t believe what was being said. Mel didn’t even want to talk to me anymore. The paycheck I received a few days later felt like it sealed the deal, the remnants of our time together just another job. It made me feel more like a whore than dancing ever had. I wanted to tear it up, but I needed the money too badly.

I took care of myself, trying to stop caring about being so deceived, trying to forget the time, it was just two weeks after all, I tried to remind myself. I went to the store, did my usual shopping for one. While walking to the checkout, I glanced down the aisles looking for anything I might have forgotten. I saw a familiar face, noticed Mel, her arm around the girl from the pictures. Mel saw me, then looked away, Aimee didn’t notice. I kept going, almost laughing, incredulous at what I had seen. I felt anger rise up, wanting to scream at her, but it was pointless, it wouldn’t change anything. I paid for the groceries and left, back at start again, not quite healed, my scars still to fresh to share.