The L Word : Behind the Scenes

The L Word Bette Porter Tina Kennard


Remembering Me – Part One

Bette_Tina intheSheets


Lying in bed next to Tina, our baby asleep nearby in her cradle, my mind begins its uncertain drift – in and out of a satisfied state.  It’s been a wholly new experience having Tina back, after so much uncertainty.  After controlling my rage to not wrap my belt around Helena’s neck in revenge for all the damage she’s done.  Well, nearly did…before Tina regained her senses, finished her payback fling, and came home.

It’s also not lost on me that I’m relating with total strangers on the Internet, instead of with any of my friends. Or someone else involved in all of this – Tina springs to mind, but not yet, I can’t talk to her about what feels obsessive to me.

So, who in our circle of friends could, first of all keep a fucking confidence, or relate to any of my questions about being a new parent?

Alice has gone off the rails. Her obsession with Dana is all consuming. Tina feels really badly about it, and so do I. If we weren’t juggling with Angelica’s uncertain schedule of sleeping, feeding and pooping, followed by a fourth ball in the air, her blistering screams sometimes just for the hell of it, I know we’d either be admitting Alice into a psyche ward, or taking a long walk down the beach with her to size up the need for it.

Other’s neuroses aside, my quest for today is to understand this: When the primal bond between baby and mother is imprinting Tina as the sole provider of mother’s milk, what is left for me? Where do I fit in?

I stare out the window and wonder. Could I’ve predicted these lesbian Daddy blues?

More clouds roll in off the ocean and I feel lost.

LA Remembering Me Sky

If it’s being their provider, I never open my power suit closet any more. By now, I’ve probably forgotten how to walk in heels and not crash into a busboy.  I do, however; recognize the part of me who’s half-heartedly sending out her CV for job prospects every morning, but mostly, I stare at the professional listings letting my tea grow cold.

And without guilt, I like the new me, who has no desire to work, or wrestle with people’s egos, who mistakenly believe they know more than me. No. Fuck them. I’d rather spend my early mornings painting watercolors of Tina and the baby while they sleep, and my afternoons fantasizing about having sex some day, one day, any day again.

My eyes drift down from the clouds and I hope the secret blog I started will have answers today.  My cravings for the milkiness of Tina’s breasts, a very new scent in my house, has me tuned to it like a hungry dog.

I slip out of bed and stealthily make my way to my computer in the dining room.

Twenty minutes later –

I hear the shower cutting off and I switch my browser to NPR. On a low volume, Fresh Air with Terry Gross plays through the speakers, as Tina comes down the hallway and breezes past me on her way to the kitchen.

The refrigerator opens and closes.

“Bette, I’m going out shopping to buy grapes. What else do we need?”

”There’s a list around here somewhere.” I slap at my hips, but for the eighth day in a row I’m still in pajamas, no pockets.

”Here it is. Okay, got it,” I say, as her head appears around the corner of the dining room. “I found it under a notebook.”

”Bye!” she says, taking the list. “The baby’s fed and she’ll need changing soon.”

“I got this.” I answer, as Tina scoops up her keys and leaves.

Immediately, I reconnect to my blog, ostensibly about breast feeding, but I’m actually seeking more.

I see a post from DaisyMae33 and I clap my hands together.  Maybe today I’ll get some answers!

DaisyMae33 writes:

”This is my first pregnancy, and I really didn’t know what to expect. My hometown is far away from where I live so, I’m pretty much doing this alone with my boyfriend. Do any other new mothers have this going on? My boyfriend has lost his mind over sucking my breast milk.”

I stop reading and my mouth drops open.

Jesus, I’m not alone…

”At first, when I got home from the hospital he was really good about keeping away from me, but then, one night after I’d gotten some rest, he was on me like a thunder for my milk.”

I repeat her description aloud in what I guess is her rural accent, “on me like a thunder.”

Nodding my head, I read on.

”It’s something I’ve never dreamed of mixing with sex. It’d felt strange at first, cause it was meant for the baby, but he loves it so.

“Last night he came home, after talking to his older sister about her having babies, and said, if I wanted to I could keep lactating after the baby was weened.  I know he’s getting serious about this new thing between us, and honestly, I’m thinking about it. Any of you other new mothers being asked about this?”

I lean back in my chair. Would Tina ever, ever, ever in a million years…?

The next post is from BabyRuth123:

”This is our first child, and I’m not the daddy exactly. My girlfriend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last month, and every body if you need to, just get over it ’cause we’re lesbians.

“Where we live there aren’t any women, who are so openly gay they wanna hang a big sign over their heads by having a baby, but we finally just didn’t give a hoot anymore, and we live out of town on my ranch, anyway.

“The baby’s schedule’s finally settling down, but my girlfriend’s hormones are still running the show! Anybody got any thoughts on how long this new mother phase lasts? I’m starting to feel a little sex crazy out here.”

I write my post using my handle, MilkyWay33, and describe my own breast milk dilemma with Tina.

”My partner had a C-section, not by design but by emergency. Her scar is healing, but she’s still sore and the baby never sleeps through the night.  So, what we do share is not much sleeping, but no lovemaking either.”

I lean back in my chair wondering: why it feels so good to confess my problems to total strangers?

I continue, ”A few night ago she came to bed with her breasts still full of milk. Maybe she’d forgotten to pump after feeding the baby, or maybe she was just too tired – I don’t know how it happened – but it did.  Now, every time night falls and the baby’s had her last feeding, I want her milk again.

“Helpful advice from new mothers and their partners welcome.”

I never have days like this.

I hit ‘Send’.

One hour later –

Angelica is in her baby carrier in the bathroom with me. My plan is to shower and take a much needed reevaluating look at myself in the mirror. Should I get job? Or should I borrow money until I can support us on my newly discovered fixation of painting mother and child watercolors? I suppose that’s a plan,…if I’m feeling delusional.

No sooner do my pajamas hit the tile floor, and the much needed shower spray hits my skin, the baby begins to fuss and cry. I ignore it, as the smells of me having been away from soap and water too long begin to wash away.

After a minute or two I peek from behind the shower door to see Angelica red-faced and really pissed off at me. I hurriedly wash my hair, while the baby continues her incessant yowling.

On the sensitive subject of baby crying Tina and I are back and forth about how long to let it go on, but this fit is really escalating into a hurricane of a wail.

I abandon my efforts at showering.

“Okay, okay, listen here, you’re fine.” I try talking Angelica down, when I’m faced with two monumental decisions.

Drawstrings on my pants today? Or elastic to hold them up?

I toss the towel back toward the bathroom door, and go with blue Nike drawstrings.

Tucked between the bed pillows, the baby continues to wail.  If she weren’t so obviously safe, so over-the-moon cared for, and a thousand pictures of her taken everyday by three, I’d worry about her, but I think she’s just letting off steam.

“Baby, baby, baby, what’s the trouble here? Not enough colors in the rainbow for you today? ” I tickle her tiny foot, but that only proves to be more infuriating.

Wow! This child can scream, when suddenly, the bedroom door flies opens and Tina,  wet patches spreading across the her blouse, charges in.

“What?” I shrug, sure of my innocence. “I didn’t do anything at all to get her twisted off like this.”  To prove my point I pick the baby up and rock her. “See we’re good. I was just putting some clean clothes on.”

Angelica still cries in my arms, but her volcanic bellowing has subsided.

Exasperated, Tina looks at her soaking wet blouse. “Bette, just give her to me. I’ll take her and feed her. I mean…look at me!”

“I know we’re a handful. You’ve got it hard.” I laugh sympathetically and hand Angelica over to Tina. “How was the outside world anyway?”

“They put a new wood-fired pizza oven at the market, and the smog’s not too bad today.”  She walks out of the room calling over her shoulder, “Will you put the groceries away, while I feed the baby? I didn’t buy much at all. Grapes, a few things, you’ll see.”

Instinctively, my nose follows the whiffs of her breast milk down the hallway. and my hungry horny dog is back.

A few hours later –

I sneak back to see if anyone’s answered my blog confession.

LibertyBell33 writes:

“To tell the truth y’all, it does get better. Hang in there Mommas! It may sound simple but, as soon as you can, go find somethings you used to do regular, and then go do them two days in a row. I swear it’ll make you feel yourself again. I know it’s just a little thing, but don’t dismiss it.”

The next post is from RodeoRider77:

“Good, another gay mom! Glad 2 CU BabyRuth.  My baby’s and mine sex life really did flip flop around there for a while. I finally had to take a firm hand about it with her one day and remind her that it was time, so let’s go. And it was trouble only a few times after that.

“If this seems like your style, then I’d say, quit wasting time reading my post about it and get on with your business.”

I switch back to on my browser page and look at the time.

Four o’clock.

Not enough information to gauge how I might pull this off, or if it’s even possible.  Four o’clock could mean any number of things.

Quickly, I rinse the bunch of grapes and put them in a bowl. Next, I make two lemonades, spiking mine with vodka and wonder…a flower on the tray, maybe?

No, too much. Just the grapes and twenty uninterrupted fucking minutes.

I walk out to the pool where Tina’s sitting on the steps doing baby dips into the salt water with Angelia. I sip my spiked lemonade. “Delicious!” I say, handing her a plastic tumbler.

“Come join us. You want to take her? She loves this!” Tina sips her lemonade, while Angelica comes to bounce in the shallow water with me.

“I thought it might be nice for us to have a drink and visit a little.”

“’bout what?” Tina fishes a lemon seed out of her drink.

“Hm. Oh. About. . . did you see that hummingbird just now? Early for this time of year.”

“I didn’t,” Tina says, and we look around our garden for hummingbirds that were never there.

“Tee, look at me for a second.” I crook the baby in my arms sideways and she wiggles to swim away. I lean over and kiss Tina’s lips once, twice and I wait an inch from her mouth. She kisses me back softly.


I draw her into a deeper kiss, lovelier even still, when a rapping comes from Shane’s side of the fence.

“Hey, are you guys cool with me dropping off a gift for the baby?” Shane’s voice carries into our garden.

Tina looks at me for my answer.

“I was enjoying this…between us…what’d you want to do?” I ask the ‘Question of the Hour’.

“I hate to turn her away,”  Tina says, hesitantly.

Hearing no answer from our side, Shane calls, “Look, I’ll just come back…whenever.”

I shout over the fence to her, “Shane, how about you watch Angelica for half an hour? Could you do that for me?”

The gate creaks open and Shane walks through with an armload of crazily wrapped packages.

Tina says, “Bette! Look at these handmade papers!” Then to Shane, “This is so sweet of you.”

I nod my head in definite agreement while silently mouthing, “T H I R T Y…M I N U T E S,” behind Tina’s head.

Shane plays it cool. “I was just messing around with the airbrush yesterday at the skate shop.” She leans down to Angelica, who sends back a delighted baby-blubber of giggles, and that’s my cue to leave.

I hand the baby off to Shane. “My friend, this means the fucking world to me right now. You have no idea.”

Shane_Med_bluegreen bckgrd

“I have an idea.” She rocks the baby in her arms. “I’m gonna take her home, and not hang out here by your pool.”

Almost at the gate, she turns back and says, “You look good, Bette. Not working suits you.”

“I’ll find you in about…?”

“An hour is fine. Whatever. Hey, you don’t mind if I smoke weed around the baby, do you?”

“Puff away.” I bow to Shane and run inside my house.

Down the hall I hear the shower running. I can do that again! I strip off my clothes in the hallway and throw open the door to the bathroom.

“Good God! What are you doing?” Tina shouts, as I collide with her. “Did something happen? Is the baby all right?” Then she looks curiously at me. “Bette, where are your clothes?”

This brings me up short. Make a move or die time.

I go for it.

Gripping her by the hair at the back of her head, I kiss her with everything I’ve got and send up a flare to all the other frustrated motherfuckers out there, everything’s a negotiation, absolutely everything.

Here’s my point: This next kiss must go well.

I hear a sports announcer’s voice narrating in my head.  “This dive is very important. It all rides on this, doesn’t it Cecily?”

Cecily says,”You’re so right, Lance. Her form, how she enters the pool, how many back flips she makes, all determine this diver’s score.”

Lance says,  “Let’s show our viewers a graphic of Porter’s double-flip-twist combo.”

Cecily’s voice over continues, “Impressive!  But can she do it from such a high diving platform?”

Lance sounds excited to be a witness to my feat of greatness, “I’ve gotta admit, she’s very, very high up there. . .eight hundred feet above the water.”


Cecily finishes breathlessly, “Let’s see what the judges say, as she makes her final diving attempt now…for the gold.”

Bedroom –

In a series of diagonal backwards steps and sudden turns I lead Tina through doorways and around corners and now, softly down.

I make wind of her clothing. Some fly to the left, more off to the right, everywhere but still on her.

From the bed, she watches my stomach muscles flexing as I pant and wait and lean over her…waiting…waiting…waiting…because I don’t want to forget this look in her eye of remembering me.


My tongue moves down her neck to awaken the milk in her breasts. Sucking, sucking, sucking her nipple, until it weeps a salty-sweet milk flow.

She massages her breast while whispering, “Bette, you have no idea what this feels like with you. You can’t. But I think somehow you do.”

A mist appears between us.

I can’t wait.

“Ohhh…Babe,” Tina cries, as we slide and slide together.

“I love you.”

“Oooo…you feel good.”  She lifts me up from her nipple by my chin.  “But I promise, I don’t have the stamina, Bette, for one of your long journeys to the edge and back again.”

”But you know, I’m no good at quickies. I’m just not built for it.”

”Yes, you are.”  She quickens our pace, thrusting her hips against mine. ”Bette, it’s a known fact.  You know exactly how to make me orgasm.”

”Well, when you ask for it so nicely…”

”Ooooo…ohh…” she moans, as her muscles throb up and down my fingers.

”We won’t wait.”  I shake my milk haze away and concentrate on making love to her.

“Don’t wait. Don’t wait.”

I lick the milk dripping from her nipples and feel her touch moving round and round on my clitoris.

Arching my back, reaching deep into her with beats against her cervix, ripples of orgasm shake her body.

She cries out, “Oh that hurts, hurts, hurts…with perfect pain.”

Knowing I’ll never stop, no matter what she says, we go over the edge and our orgasm breaks in waves between us.

She moans until our last shutter.

Finally, breaking our kiss, she says, “Bette, we have to find a babysitter.”


Remembering Me Part Two is here:


I Remember Rivers – Tina Kennard

CU Bette tank top JPEG

The Coincidence of Wind

Dana, Alice and Shane are here having mojitos before they drive to Malibu for a party up in the canyons. Maybe? I wasn’t paying attention. Alice is excited. That much I have tracked. Shane could care less about all the cool people who’re supposed to be there. That’s how really cool people are I realize as I watch her laugh at Alice’s exaggerations, and in the nicest, most unapparent ways she assuages Alice’s constant nervousness.

Dana and Tina are at the other end of the garden peering over a mysterious yellow and purple flower that just appeared yesterday. “It really looks like an orchid doesn’t it?” Tina says excitedly. “But how is that possible?”

My attention drifts away from their botanical mystery and I pour another Mojito. I’m standing just far enough away from everyone to join in if I feel the desire, but have not disappeared inside so they might come looking for me. Sometimes the best place to be alone is to be just on the edge.

At this moment it is a lazy Saturday afternoon, and I’ve not been this relaxed since we stayed in New Orleans a year ago. Our visit coincided with a moody, tropical stormy weekend of rain. An artist friend of mine had vacated his studio in the French Quarter for the Cape to paint and romance any number of people over the summer. Tina and I had the second and the third floors of a mid-eighteen fifties Creole mansion whose top windows overlooked the Mississippi River as it rolled by New Orleans. The food was incredible everywhere we managed to dodge a rainstorm to get into. It was a perfect time for that trip. After a few months of us both busy with work and not connecting – that stormy weekend by the river brought us together again.

I like a storm. I don’t like the drenching part, although the hot shower afterwards is always lovely. I like the rolling clouds, and I like the thunder, and I especially like the lightning. The tropical storm had come in waves all day Saturday, and after making love Tina and I had watched the river lazily from our bed. I think I was drunk by three.

Our Godsend was the French Creole café downstairs. They were so incapable of being phased by anything having run a French Quarter café for fifty years I was tempted late Saturday night to go down there one last time, but in my bathrobe. It would not have mattered.


Samuel Clemens spent a lot of time in New Orleans back when everything went by the Mississippi. My artist friend had a Clemens’ quote about lightning on his refrigerator under a Dixie beer bottle opener. It read, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” I know from a stormy battering of recent experiences how destructive the chasm in meanings can be between the right words, and all the other words in a love relationship.

Relationships eat up words. They devour them and they eat them greedily. The cravings never satisfy, never satisfy the eternity of dissatisfactions. It frightens me how incredibly hard it can be to have even one morning a week of un-aggravated happiness. I dress for work, try to psych out Tina’s agendas and needs for the day, or week, and where they conflict with my own. Try to weigh my answers accordingly, try to temper my attention and my responses to make a clean break for the office – where things are anything but relaxing. At least there I can openly be aggravated.

I’m still uncertain how our relationship came back around like a sail boom in a strong wind. Thank God, I was alert enough to catch the ropes as they thrashed in front of my face, and I tied them off finally catching the wind that came past me. What if I hadn’t been quick enough? What if I had been in jail for murdering Helena? What if I had missed the wind?

It’s incalculable and yet my mind restlessly tries to figure it out in case I ever get in a jam like this again – I want the keys to get out of it. I don’t want my relationship with Tina to be a mystery. I want this to be solved. And I still don’t know what I said or did that changed her mind to come back around like a sail broken free in a storm.

Perhaps I didn’t do anything at all, and it was all her sorting it out. That’s interesting. If I erase myself from the picture and no traces of my pleading with her, yelling then apology flowers, beseeching emails, drunken voice messages, urgent texts, or wax sealed letters delivered by courier with more creative gifts, what if those never existed to sway her attention back to me for one fucking second to please listen to me tell you…what? See, that’s it! I didn’t have the lightning words then, and I don’t have the fucking lightning words now!

Tonight probably that dream will come again where I’m walking stark naked down a dirt race track, and Formula racing cars drag past me at incredible whining speeds. That’s how close I am to knowing what the chronology is about any of this with Tina.

Tina snaps me back to this moment. “Bette, it’s nearly four. You’re coming tonight, right?”

“Ah, so that’s what time it is. Yes, of course, I’m coming to clap the loudest when they give you your honors!” I walk over to her.

“It’s the last thing I’m doing with Helena. She wants me to meet a few philanthropists she thinks will help the Social Justice Center.”

“I will stay clear of you, and Helena Peabody, and any staircases.”

“That would be wise. I’ll see you there.” She kisses me goodbye.

“Of course, I’ll see you there.” I walk back to Shane, Alice and Dana.

“So, all this looks very promising.” Alice smiles and cheers her glass in my direction.

Dana looks up at me relieved, but also confused, “I can’t keep up, but then I had my own marriage plans to destroy.”

“You are a hard act to follow.” I agree, “But yes, we’re back together.”

“Dating and having a baby.” Shane finishes.

“It sounds so trashy the way you say that, Shane.” I admonish her.

“Plenty of people’s parents weren’t even dating still by the time they were born, Bette.” Shane sends me a “think about that for a minute” look.

“The baby’s named, Alice, of course.” Alice looks around us as if this were a given.

“The only clues I have is that it’s down to three and two of them start with an, A.” I confess with a laugh that drifts.

“Well, are you the final vote? Who decides if we have another, Alice?” Dana asks me.

“I have a vote. I just haven’t voted yet. Who knows Tina may change the alphabet all around on me and start with E’s or C’s tomorrow.”

“What about your mother’s name? Have you considered naming the baby after her?” Dana asks.

“I couldn’t do that. No, I just couldn’t do that.” I shake my head slowly.


I stop by The Planet on my way to Sunset and the hotel banquet room. My father is meeting Kit and Benjamin here tonight for dinner, and I feel the need to drop by and see Kit before Daddy comes, and my evening gets swept into another paradigm entirely.

“There you are, Lil Sis. Don’t worry. Daddy is going to be fine here unless he doesn’t like the food, but I’ve made sure that doesn’t happen.” Kit says as she greets me inside the door.

“No, I’m not checking on you.” I say as we sit at the bar.

“Do you want something?” The bartender asks me.

“Pellegrino is fine.” I turn my attention back to Kit. “Do you think Daddy just had affair after affair while he was with our Mothers?”

“Something other than the obvious bringing this on?” She looks at me sideways, “Any new developments I should know about? Any missiles gotten loose that might fall from the sky?”

GRT CU Bette

“I was thinking about my mother today. Names for the baby, and she came up. I just wondered how many, many women’s hearts he broke before slowing down?”

“That’s the thing about those old timey men. They may beat you with a peach tree switch if they catch you sneaking off from church, but they’re burning through The Commandments as fast as they can.”

“I know. I have to really work to forgive Daddy for his hypocrisies, and for the way he treats Tina. Don’t get me started on his rejection of the baby.”

“But to answer your question: How much of a dog was our father? I have no idea. But considering how we turned out? My guess would be a bad dog, Bette. A very bad dog. But look, don’t you get all twisted up about it. Things are better with you right now.” I watch Kit’s attention drift from talking to me over to a group by the door.

“Listen, Sista, I gotta go, but Daddy will be fine. And you and Tina are getting more and more so. Go to the party and enjoy yourself. You won this one!”

Six Days Later – Bette

I don’t mind hospitals the way some people do. They complain they feel out of control, at the mercy of the doctors, or the disease. I don’t know why the reality in here is so different for them than outside the medical center? To me, the chances of getting bad news, or having something completely obliterate your life and happiness, can happen while drinking a latte in Santa Monica for Christ’s sake.

The fact that I have many people who will come running if I yell, or probably what they’d prefer is my pushing this Call Button instead, but the fact that there are computers doing calculations, people that will run in here when I want them to, are not the reasons we are going to my house now to move my father to stay with me. It’s that I see it very clearly as the next chapter for us. I think he can still get better, and if he doesn’t then he doesn’t. But he’s not going to die here in that hospital bed. That’s final.


Eight Days Later – Bette’s House

Kit’s shift with Melvyn

Kit has chased me back into my master bedroom to shower, and to do anything other than read to my father. He’s now in a coma, but I read the Mississippi River poem he loves to him over and over. Kit is now through with that. It’s her evening with him until midnight, and as I drop my clothes into the laundry bin, and twist on the hot water I hear a tap on the door.

“Bette?” Tina’s voice comes from outside the door.

“Here, just getting in the shower. When did you get back from Sacramento?” I test the temperature and enter.

The bathroom door opens. “When was the last time you ate? Do you remember?”

Hot water hits my face and I adjust the three shower heads to pulse on my body. Oh God, that is helping make me feel alive again. “A few hours ago. This morning I had oatmeal with Daddy.” I spurt out some water.

“Okay. It’s four o’clock, and Kit tells me you have circles under your eyes.”

“I don’t believe that’s true, but I haven’t looked in a mirror much in over a week. Would it matter anyway?” I feel myself getting furious. “Who the fuck cares if I have circles under my eyes? My fucking father is dying in the next room!”

The shower door flies opens. Tina is dressed in a long silk scarf we bought in India, and a navy and black maternity dress. Her hand is on her hip as she stares at me.

“I, for one, fucking care. Turn back around and look at me. I should not have gone to that conference in Sacramento with Oscar. I can see that now.”

I smooth the water from my face and cut the shower heads off. “Hand me a towel please. Can’t I even get a fucking shower in peace? Here look at me.” I wrap a towel around my waist. She takes my chin in her hand and looks at my weary face.

“Ok. Got it. Here’s what we’re going to do. You stay right there and put the clothes on I’m going to pick out for you.”

“No, I really don’t want to go out tonight. Maybe Saturday night?” I wipe the steam away from the mirrors. I do have circles under my eyes. She’s right.

“Don’t do anything to yourself. Just towel your hair. We’re walking down to the food truck and getting fish tacos and lemonades.”

As I walk to the doorway a pair of jeans hits my face and chest. I step back a pace. Next comes my Irish linen white shirt flying toward me, and then sailing by my ear is a bra. Tina turns toward me as I assemble the clothes on my arm.

“That should do it. Put those on.”

“You forgot my underwear.”

“No, I didn’t.”


“Yes, I like how it makes you focus.” She shoots a look at me before she leaves the bedroom.

FoodTruck WeHo

Food truck experiences can vary so greatly from love to hate there is no computer invented that can plot all the probabilities. But this little man and his son have the fresh fish tacos down. The tortilla is made right there. All the tomatoes and chilies are fresh, and for eighteen dollars he recalibrates my world. Tina and I drink lemonade as we stroll through our neighborhood.

I put my arm around Tina’s shoulder, “Thank you for the rescue. I get a tunnel vision, you know? Blinders on and I can just disappear.”

“It’s your way of coping right now.”

“Narrow the field of intake.” I nod.

“Bette, I need you to cope with something else right now, too, though. Listen, the baby is due really soon. You’ve got a lot of things going on all at your house.”

“Where would you go?” I feel myself getting unsettled.

“That’s what I need you to focus on. I may need to go somewhere else. Think about it. Can you see me giving birth there right now?”

Lightning Strike_canyon

Midnight – Bette

My house is on the ocean side and fairly high in the desert hills and heavy rains are rare here. But as a storm comes down from the canyon tonight it wakes me up from a dream that has painted me with sadness. I slip out of bed and tip toe past Tina sleeping to look in on my father. His breath is rough, and a word twists out as a moan in his sleep. The light in the hallway flickers on, and erases the dimness around his bed. I feel Tina beside me.

“I don’t think it’s going to be long, Babe. Prepare yourself.”

“I think I have.” I say resolutely.

“Why do you think he had such an endless pervasive indifference toward me. He was capable of completely erasing me even as I sat right in front of him.”

Maxine Bette and Tina Photograph Melvyn's story:color corrected

I walk over to my father’s bedside table and pick up a photograph of me and Tina, blonde-headed like my mother. “You must remind him of her. That’s all I can think.”

“I had wondered,” Tina takes the photograph from me, and puts it back on the table. “But you’re not going to sit in here all night, Bette.”

“No, you’re here, and I don’t want to. God, this storm is incredible, isn’t it?”

“Come back to bed. We can watch the lightning through the skylights.” Tina takes my hand and leads me down the hallway.

Bedroom – Bette

Tina lies on my shoulder and looking up through the skylights we watch flashes of lightning through the thousands of raindrops that splatter above us. Thunder rolls in from the canyons, then booms around us. My mind moves from place to place as the wind tears around the house and through the palm trees in the garden. I visit my father’s rough breath as he slowly leaves his life behind. I feel the curve of Tina’s and my baby beside me. The two dynamic poles of life so close, yet seemingly in limbo as a storm thrashes at every window around me. Tina hugs me to her and shudders.

“Bette, did you just feel the house move a little?”

“Incredible isn’t it? The wind seems to be coming from everywhere.” I feel her shift next to me and pull my arm tighter around her. “Wait? Are you not alright?” I try to see her clearly through the strobes of lightning.

“It reminds me of that storm in New Orleans,” Tina says.


Bedroom – Tina

As I say this I watch Bette’s face changing as she begins to remember, too. We had been preoccupied with our jobs before we flew in that weekend, and as the time grew closer for us to leave I had begun to regret the plans. I had so much to do wrapping up my job before leaving to get ready to have this baby. But once we got to the old city, and our forays out exploring restaurants, and then rushing back to the house for shelter from the weather, I became a happy tourist.

Saturday was the day we were stranded completely by the storm that became more and more violent as the morning wore on. I admit that with New Orleans’ reputation for hurricanes I was unsettled – even though this was a breeze compared to their last killer hurricane, Katrina. Bette and I had sipped wonderful, dark strong coffee in bed as our plans began to change, and our lovemaking began.

The clock had just turned on our being together for seven years, and being preoccupied with our work had become okay. Sometimes, too, I get so reactive to her mood swings my focus goes away from her incredible waiting sexuality that with the slightest attention will awaken and curl out to find what disturbed it, and why.  I realized that morning in New Orleans my loneliness for her. My need felt complicated, and unsettled by the weather growing more and more violent. I had handed my coffee cup to her and slid down her stomach, and put her in my mouth. Then I had heard her clink our cups on the table and moan.

For me oral sex can give me that desired for feeling – to fall back into a lover’s visions of seduction and leave the planet with them if that’s what happens.  I remember the rough breezes of the storm coming through the open French doors and mists gathering in our room as I made love to her. Fog horns from the river sounded urgently, and she had fallen back, and let me take her.

Bette Bed passion expression

I don’t know what it was. The smells of the storm and the rising river, the sounds from the ship horns, or those she made herself – but I watched Bette become for a time, a much younger woman experiencing the pleasure of her body. Not as the first time, but as sensations still unusual and thrilling, as I had kissed her and teased her until finally she had threaded her hands on the back of my neck, and had looked at me sometimes with shakes of surprise at her pleasure.

Tonight, as I watch the lightning flashes through the skylight, and the reflections from the pool erratic against the walls of the bedroom I moan as Bette kisses my belly. I feel the baby kick in the fluid bubble inside me, and I feel Bette’s tongue slip between my legs.

She’s so good at this, but tonight I want to feel her confining arms – not a flight of pleasure for the hour she likes to do this. As she looks up from me, I watch her become entranced moving now to my breasts swollen with milk.

”I want to taste it. Is that wrong?” She licks my nipples over and over again, and then watches me for my reaction. ”I’ll stop if you want to stay dry.” She waits to see if I’ll let this burn for her begin.

”You did finally read something then.”

She laughs. ”Yes, I’ve been reading, you can check my browser cache.” She moves her leg between mine and circles my nipples with her fingers. ”I really want to.” She looks up at me questioning at first, but then a piercing look of desire overtakes her. I feel my skin flush up my chest to my neck.

She smiles slyly at me, “I’ll take that as a yes.”

One of my nipples feels very wet now in her mouth, and I hear her moan.  My other breast seeps with a stickiness she catches with her fingers. An urge of wanting to fuck and suckle confuses me. I feel myself suck in my breath hard. She lifts her lips from me.

”What happened? Too weird?” She licks my breast as it seeps, clearly not wanting to stop.

”Not too weird. But too something, though.”

”Something, what?”

”Something that you now have to finish quickly. If you suck my breast milk anymore I’m going to lose it with it you.”

”I can’t take all night while it storms and thunders?” She asks coyly as I take her hand and press her to push inside me. ”Okay, I get the picture.” She whispers softly, ”Lean towards me a little more.”

She sucks my breast again as a wonderful probing rhythm from her exploring me begins inside. The air around my exposed breast mixes and tingles with the milk seeping from it. An itch begins. Then her mouth switches, and she licks more of my milk away. I feel her fingers come out of me slowly.

”I need a pillowcase, a towel really, but a pillowcase to catch this gush I’ve started.” She slips a pillow case free and puts it up to my left breast. We watch as the cotton darkens with moisture.

”I can’t tell you what it feels like, but I love it.” I tell her.

As her mouth takes over my nipples the feeling of my milk going out of me dissolves the last resistance I still had of being back with her again.

I’m gliding on the edge of orgasm when she asks, ”Can you feel the wind around us?”

I feel her arm muscles tighten as I run my hand up and down almost to her elbow. ”Only you inside me.” Her mouth on my nipple again. The unusual flow between us returning.

”You have no idea what that feels like. God!” I cry out as I feel her licks take the milk from my breasts.

”I need to. Tell me.”

Inside me she has found the place she wants. A field of ecstasy between us now spreads out with edges to fall from everywhere. Her long, taunting kiss on my lips for me to find her now.

”You don’t know what you mean to me anymore do you, Baby?” But the edge has approached before I can tell her. We see it in each others’ eyes.


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The next story in the series is, Come Back to Me.