The Gentle Touch (1/1)

Set anytime in the future: Kim & Kerry are together, living in their own house.

Thanks to Sharon & Ainsley for their encouragement.

Kerry turned the key in the lock, slid silently past the open door, and closed it with a soft click of the dead bolt. Slipping off her shoes, she placed them and her bag, containing needed files and her "civvies", against the walk and proceeded further into the house. She hoped Kim was not on the couch in the living room, awake or asleep, as she often was, trying to stay awake to greet Kerry after a late shift. Sighing with relief at the empty couch, she turned into the hall leading to the bedroom. Even from this end of the hall, she could see that the small light by her side of the bed was on. This was Kim's "Wake Me" signal. It was a rare occurrence for Kerry to come home to a darkened bedroom. Kim was almost always ready to talk or make love when Kerry got home, no matter how late.

But tonight Kerry would have preferred the dark. As she reached the door of the bedroom, she stood for a moment to watch her lover in the faint light. Kim was deep in sleep, her body turned toward the door. Her hair was brushed back behind her ear, one arm under her head, the other stretched slightly toward Kerry's side of the bed. The covers were bunched about her waist, revealing the MN Lynx t-shirt she has purchased the week before when they had been in the Twin Cities visiting friends.

Kerry silently limped the few steps to the bed, grateful that the plush carpeting muffled the sound of her crutch hitting the floor. She turned off the light and slid under the covers, remaining in the supine position, hoping the small movement of the mattress as she lay down would not disturb the other woman. The low slung moon outside their window provided the only light in the room, shining lightly on Kim's torso and casting shadows across Kerry's face as she attempted to go to sleep.

Kim, attuned to the small changes that occurred when Kerry entered their bed, gave her a half-asleep "hi, honey". Eyes still closed, she stretched her arm the few inches that should have brought her in contact with her lover's waist. Realizing that Kerry, for some reason, was on the far side of the bed brought Kim to a wide-awake state.

"What are you doing way over there"? She whispered. "And why are you in scrubs?"

"Just don't feel like moving" came the reply in even softer tones, ignoring the second half of the question.

Kim rolled across the bed, aligning the front of her body with Kerry's side. One arm formed an arc above Kerry's head, the other lay on her chest, the hand resting softly between Kerry's breasts. "Bad night?"

The only response was silence.

"Honey, what is it?" She moved her hand from Kerry's chest to stroke her lover's forehead. "Talk to me, please."

Again, no words. Then Kerry turned into Kim, pressing her body tightly against the other woman's. After several moments, Kim felt patches of wetness against her cheek. She gently rolled Kerry over onto her back. Kim rested her weight on her knees, which were now on either side of Kerry's legs, and on her elbows, which were even with and surrounded Kerry's head. She lowered her mouth to Kerry's ear and whispered, "talk to me, Kerry. Tell me what happened."

Kerry's reply was to seize Kim's mouth with her own, nipping at her lips and driving her tongue into the other woman's mouth. "Touch me, Kim Make love to me. Make me feel..."

"What, baby, what?"

"Just do it!" It was a command, in a voice harsher than Kim had ever heard come from Kerry, even when she barked at Malucci after one of his particularly inane comments.

"This isn't right," Kim thought, as she held the smaller woman tightly. But Kerry's body became insistent, and Kim started the process of giving her partner what she wanted. She rose to a kneeling position, removing her own t-shirt, then reached for Kerry's clothing. She hesitated as she felt the other woman tense. "It's okay, sweetie," she whispered. Kerry turned her head to avoid eye contact, and lifted her hips slightly, allowing Kim to remove her pants. Kerry remained listless as Kim then lifted the top over her head. Lowering her body back down, again balancing on her knees and forearms, she placed small kisses along Kerry's neck and up across her face. She moved one hand along her side, across her stomach and up to her left breast. As she circled around the soft tissue and moved onto the nipple, she felt no response from her lover. She lowered her mouth to the nipple, gently kissing, licking, and then sucking on it. By now, Kerry ordinarily would be pressing Kim's head to her breast, urging her on. Her breath would be irregular and her body beginning to move under Kim's. But still there was no response. No sounds, no puckering of the tender flesh between her lips. She moved her hand back down the woman's side and across her stomach. She was startled to feel Kerry's hand grasp her wrist and thrust her hand between her legs.

"Do it, Kim, do it."

Kim froze as she realized her hand was resting in a totally dry place.

She looked into the redhead's eyes and saw a blankness she had never seen before. She stopped her ministrations and bent her head to her lover's. "I love you, Kerry, and I want to make love to you. But not like this. Not when you're not ready. Talk to me, NOW!"

They stared into each other's eyes for long moments, neither one wanting to give in, until Kerry blinked and nodded, almost imperceptibly.


"Okay", Kim repeated, rolling back onto her side, her chest keeping contact with Kerry's side. "I'm right here. Tell me."

Tears welled again in Kerry's eyes as she told the story of the family brought into the ER that night. How both parents were DOA. How, despite all the efforts of the trauma team, one of the 12-year-old twin girls had died in the ER. And how her sister had died in surgery just before Kerry's shift ended.

"They're all gone, Kim. The whole family. In a moment, everyone gone. As soon as I could, I showered, changed into scrubs, and left. I had to get that feeling off me before I came home. I couldn't bring it into our home, into our bed. But even when I got home, I couldn't shake the pain. I thought about sleeping on the couch, but I needed to be near you. I just couldn't touch you. I was afraid you would feel the pain I was in, and that wouldn't be fair to you."

As she listened to Kerry's story, Kim's own eyes filled with tears. She caressed Kerry's face with the back of her hand, wiping away the tears as they fell. When Kerry had finished her story, Kim kissed the last tears away, then brought her mouth to Kerry's, barely touching the dry lips. She moved away slightly, catching and holding Kerry's gaze, then moved back to her mouth, this kiss a little more intense.

Breaking the kiss, she carefully moved across Kerry, getting out of bed on her lover's side. Stretching out her hand, she quietly beckoned, "Come with me, darling." Kerry let herself be gently pulled out of bed, and arm in arm they walked to the bathroom.

Kim sat Kerry down on the chair by the tub as she turned on the water, adding their favorite bath salts as the tub filled. She carefully lifted the smaller woman into the tub, making sure her head rested on the plastic pillow. It had been a gift from Kim for Kerry's last birthday. With it, she could relax in the tub, her head and neck supported by the pillow, and not have to worry about sinking too deeply into the water if she nodded off while soaking. Kim took the soft, palm-sized sponge from the shelf and began running in over Kerry's arms. Up one side, her other hand supporting the arm as she sponged, and down the other side. She repeated this on her lover's other arm, then moved to her toes, then up the outside of one leg, then the other. She moved to her lover's face, brushing the hair from across her forehead, following the fingers with her lips. Then soft kisses down one cheek, the neck, and across the clavicle.

She smiled into the hollow of Kerry's neck, hearing the sharp intake of breath from the other woman she had been waiting for. She dropped the sponge into the water, slipping one arm behind Kerry's back, lifting her upper body slightly out of the water, just enough to bring her breasts above the water line.

One kiss on the outside of her partner's right breast. Another, higher on the soft skin. Making a circle, then moving to the other breast. Again, feathery touches with her lips, occasionally drawing her tongue across the wet skin. She felt Kerry's breathing quicken, both felt and heard the moan break from Kerry's chest, out through slightly parted lips. Kerry's body pressed upwards, into the kisses. Finally, lowering her mouth as Kerry arched into her, Kim took one nipple between her lips. Softly, at first, then with increased pressure and intensity. The moans became more urgent as the tissue in Kim's mouth puckered and hardened.

"Kim. Please. Kim."

That was all she needed. Still holding one hand behind Kerry's back, she shifted to place mouth on mouth. Kerry placed one hand on the back of Kim's head, deepening the kiss, while finding Kim's free hand with her own. She slid her hand on top of Kim's, guiding it under the water to between her legs. The smile that crossed Kim's face almost broke the kiss, as she felt the thick moisture between Kerry's legs. Kerry nursed at Kim's mouth as she pulled Kim's hand tighter, then gasped as the blonde slipped into her. Slowly at first, then more rapidly, Kim moved her fingers in the motion she knew would bring her lover the release she needed. Tearing her mouth from Kerry's and moving to her ear, she whispered, "This is how it should be. This is how I love you. Not from pain. Let it go. Let yourself go."

And Kerry let go. Not with the crashing orgasm wrenched from pain, but the soaring release brought forth by passion, by the safety of being held in the arms of the one she knew would not let her fall.

Kim held still as the waves within Kerry slowed and ended. Slipping her fingers out of her lover, she moved her hand to the woman's face, wiping away small tears, as Kerry wiped away hers. Both smiling, they gazed into each other's eyes for what seemed like endless moments. When their breathing finally returned to normal, Kim stood, then lifted Kerry out of the tub. First toweling her own upper body dry, she wrapped Kerry in a large towel, holding her close to her body as the cloth dried the beautiful pale skin.

Towel discarded, the two women returned arm in arm to their bed, Kerry lying down first, with Kim snuggling in beside her. Kerry wrapped her arms around Kim's waist, pulling her into a kiss. Kim, in turn, encircled Kerry with her arms and lay one leg over Kerry's, drawing their bodies in line head to feet. Kerry moved one hand between them, seeking Kim's breast. Kim placed her hand on Kerry's, holding it in place, then moved her mouth to Kerry's ear. "It's okay, honey. You need to sleep."

"But.." Kerry protested. "I want to touch you."

"I know, but you need to rest more than I need anything physical right now. I'll still be here in the morning. How about, sort of a rain check?"

Kerry wanted to object, but the warmth from the water and the warmth of the body next to her overtook her. She closed her eyes and was asleep almost before Kim could say goodnight.

Kim gently realigned their positions as she drifted off, snuggling in tightly behind Kerry, ending up in the same position she was in when Kerry first walked into the bedroom earlier, but this time holding the precious form of her beloved in her arms.

The sky was just beginning to lighten as Kerry awoke. She had shifted during the brief time she had been asleep, now facing her lover, one leg splayed across Kim's, arm resting on arm, cheek resting on her breast. Quietly she moved her head so her mouth was even with the other breast. She began laying soft kisses on the underside, then moved to the nipple, taking it into her mouth, gently at first, then with slightly increasing pressure until she was suckling. She felt Kim stir, then move her hand to the back of Kerry's head.

"Ummm. Good morning," she said in her deepest, not-quite-awake voice. "And what do we have here?" She stretched her long form to provide the woman better access to her body. She couldn't suppress a giggle when a voice that seemed to emanate from her breast mumbled
"rain check".