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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The stairs climbing upward to the first floor apartments seemed never-ending as Maca climbed and when she finally reached the top, she had to stop for a few moments, just to let her muscles recover. She couldn't believe how tired she was; her door was mere feet away but her legs felt so immovable that she couldn't even get up the strength to walk even that short a distance.
As soon as she did manage to dredge up her last reserves of energy, Maca vowed she was going to fall straight into bed.
Her shift at the hospital had been a rollercoaster ride come World War III. Her brief encounters with Esther had been the only thing stopping her from hiding out where no one could find her. It had been one sick child after another all morning with no end in sight despite her constant efforts. And then a train collision had sent the ER staff into a state of complete chaos; patients were being seen to on floors and benches, crammed into every available office and apartment. There simply weren't enough doctors to cope with the masses of injured that were virtually falling through the doors. The blood was everywhere, people screaming and crying in their pain as they waited for a doctor to attend them. Some victims didn't last through the wait to be seen by the hospital staff.
When shift ended, Maca was still up to her elbows in blood and injuries. The long ordeal had sent her into a brief state of catatonia where she could do nothing but stand and stare at the chaos around her. People shouted in pain and frustration, drowning the ER unit in an inescapable clamour. Doctors and patients alike were reaching their limits and more than once an aggravated patient had lashed out. One patient had made the mistake of lunging for Teresa and found himself face down on the hard floor with several doctors sat on him, Maca being one of them.
Maca's obligation to duty had ended an hour ago; 17 hours after her official shift had ended and right through to her next one. Rodolfo had practically pushed her out of the hospital and she'd never been so grateful in her life. She'd have stayed if it had been asked of her, but she couldn't bring herself to volunteer further when she felt like she'd been bulldozed. She'd wobbled to her motorbike in the car-park only to call a cab at the last minute and collapse in the back seat until she reached home.
Digging into her pocket, Maca pulled out the keys to her apartment and staggered the last few steps to her door. She fumbled the key in the lock before managing to turn it a full circle and push the door open. The familiar creaking was a welcome sound to her as she practically fell through the open door and swung it shut behind her.
Maca didn't bother to turn the lights on as she went to her bedroom. She tossed her crash-helmet down on the sofa as she passed the living room and carried on through, only one thought on her mind and that was to get to bed as soon as possible. As she rounded the corner her bed came into sight, haloed in ethereal silver by the moonlight spilling through the windows and it was the most rewarding sight Maca had seen all shift.
She didn't even bother to take her shoes off before flopping down on her mattress, falling asleep as soon as her eyes closed.
Maca slept soundlessly. Not even a single dream disturbed her and she slept the sleep of the weary; deep and peaceful. Mid-evening gave way to the dead of night and would have gone through to morning undisturbed if it hadn't been for the tentative knock on the front door.
The sounds coming from the front door seemed to be only those of a dream they were so far away. Maca sighed in her half-sleep, cuddling into her pillows as she fought to return to her deep slumber. But the knocking was persistent and it tugged at the corners of her wakefulness until she couldn't ignore it any longer.
With a groan, Maca shuffled from her bed and blindly walked down the corridor to her front door. The knocking grew louder as she went and it pierced her tired ears. Only when she turned the deadbolt over on the door did the knocking stop.
Maca opened the door to her apartment and was met by the glaring lights of the hall. The light was so sharp it nearly brought tears to her eyes but through her squinted vision she could make out a blurred figure in front of her. Maca rubbed her eyes to try and clear them but it didn't improve anything and she was forced to strain further to discern who was at her door.
"Esther?" Maca asked, still squinting heavily but making out the woman's shape in the light. "Are you okay?"
"I'm sorry " Esther apologised, truly sorry she had woken Maca when she'd so obviously been deeply asleep. "I didn't mean to wake you. I just " She stalled her words, more than a little embarrassed over the reason she'd come tonight.
Maca reached forward to bring Esther into her arms. By her body language alone, Maca could tell that something was wrong. She held Esther close, stroking a hand down through her silky hair and whispering little words of comfort into the smaller woman's ear.
"It's okay." Maca soothed, still keeping Esther close to her.
"I couldn't sleep " Esther whispered, her voice unsteady and her fingers clutching at Maca's clothes for safety. Those few words seemed to break whatever barrier Esther had set up to keep her emotions at bay and she started to tremble in Maca's arms, desperately seeking the feeling of safety that Maca always gave her.
Esther had worked for as long as Maca at the hospital and it had affected her more than she would ever admit to anyone. The long hours combined with the emotional whirlwind of watching so many people in pain and not being able to help had taken their toll. The young woman had finally caved at the end of shift when she'd gone home to a dark and lonely apartment with no comfort in sight. She'd tried to sleep but she tossed and turned on her bed, unable to close her eyes to the trauma of the day.
Maca guided Esther into her apartment and shut the door, enveloping them both in darkness. She placed tiny little kisses over Esther's face as silent tears ran down her cheeks. And for a while they stayed beside the door, leant against the wall as Maca held Esther in her arms, soothing her with whispered words and the occasional kiss.
"I'm sorry." Esther sniffled, burying her face further into the crook of Maca's neck and hiding.
Maca smiled and squeezed Esther softly. "You've nothing to be sorry for, honey."
When Esther's tears eventually died away, Maca lifted the woman's head from her neck and smiled to her. She was rewarded with a small smile back and Maca placed a kiss on Esther's lips, lingering for a little longer than needed. When she reluctantly started to pull away, she found herself kept in place by a hand that snaked behind the back of her head and toyed with her hair.
Esther cupped Maca's chin as her other hand slipped up into the other woman's long brown hair, keeping her mouth whispering over her own in small kisses. Her body inched forward subconsciously, leaning completely into Maca's arms as the doctor's hands wrapped around her waist to draw her ever closer. Esther found her mouth wandering, leaving Maca's lips in favour of tracing her jaw-line in tiny, open-mouthed kisses that left a warm trail over her skin. Maca tilted her head as Esther travelled down her jaw and neck, covering her skin in kisses.
So unused to being truly alone when ever they shared a kiss, Maca half expected someone to walk through her door to exclaim at the sight of them. But Maca had to admit; being caught was a small price to pay for the feel of Esther's lips on her own, or any part of her they may choose to claim. Their kisses never failed to instil a fire in her that burned on and on. She'd wanted nothing more than to lock the two of them in a room and let her lips roam Esther's skin for hours.
Maca turned her head toward Esther's as her mouth began lavishing attention on the other side of her neck. A small moan of appreciation slipped past her control as Esther caught the sensitive skin of her ear in her lips. Maca placed her hands under Esther's chin to draw her back up, rubbing her thumbs along her jaw lovingly before pressing their lips together again in a deeper kiss than before.
Esther didn't know how long she'd been caught up in Maca's attentions but when she drew away, Esther almost pouted at her loss. Ever since Maca had first kissed her, Esther hadn't been able to stop the craving for more, making her find the other woman out just so she could have a few seconds alone with her. And as soon as their moments together were over, Esther would already be counting down to the next time.
In the darkness, Maca lead Esther down the hall to her room, guiding the other woman in slow steps through the unfamiliar gloom. Esther followed without hesitation, her hands intertwined with Maca's as they walked. When the bedroom came into view, the moon was still casting its glow over the queen-sized bed and it retained the ruffled shape of a sleeping woman in the sheets, making Esther smile a little, thinking how peaceful the tall brunette must've looked in her sleep.
Maca lead Esther into the room and turned her around so that she was pressed lightly against the foot of the bed, her calves coming into contact with the mattress. Esther swallowed hard suddenly, surprised at how being alone with Maca, up against a bed, scared her; sharing kisses was a lot different than what was racing through Esther's mind at the moment. She knew Maca to be a perfect gentleman in such matters but her heart fluttered regardless. She wanted to say something to perhaps change the direction things were progressing, but part of her couldn't wait to find out exactly how beautiful Maca really was and her voice faltered yet again with indecision, despite her fast encroaching fear.
The doctor's deep brown eyes twinkled slightly in the moonlight and Esther found herself staring into those soft depths, lost in their intensity. She flinched slightly when a hand began trailing up the front of her jacket. She hoped to God that Maca hadn't noticed the move; the last thing she wanted was to give the impression that Maca's touch frightened her. And if the woman had noticed her fear, she wasn't showing it. Instead Maca continued slowly on her intended path and gently looped her finger around the zipper to Esther's jacket.
Maca could see the trepidation in Esther's eyes as the smaller woman looked up at her. She could imagine what she was thinking right now, considering their situation, and Maca had to admit that the thought had crossed her mind. She loved Esther she knew, although she may never have said it out loud, but she'd leave the decision to go further up to Esther and not push the matter. Right now, all Maca wanted to do was take care of her, be there for her and keep her safe.
The zipper slipped down the front of Esther's jacket silently, opening the folds of material as it went and revealing the same clothes the nurse had been wearing during her shift; like Maca, she hadn't had the energy or the will to change. Maca placed a single kiss in the hollow of Esther's throat, keeping her lips in contact with the soft skin while pulling the zipper free, then resting her hands on Esther's shoulders and pushing the jacket from its owner to the floor.
Esther shuddered involuntarily as a pulse of energy sparked over her skin. She couldn't bring herself to stop Maca and wasn't sure if she wanted to help the process of undressing along either. Maca's touch was intoxicating, still as thrilling as the first time she'd felt that warm mouth on her skin and it addled her brain too much to think coherently. So she stood lamely with her hands at her sides, lost in Maca's tender touch.
Searching again for any kind of resistance, Maca hooked her fingers under the loose shirt Esther was wearing and began drawing up. Esther's skin was warm to the back of her fingers as she went, slower than slow, gathering the material in her hands. When she reached a certain height, Esther moved for the first time and lifted her arms, allowing Maca to move the shirt above her head to discard it on the floor.
Another kiss found its way to Esther's naked shoulder, staying in contact for long moments as Maca wrestled with her emotions. She allowed her hands to briefly slide around Esther's bare sides as the nurse flipped off her sandals but quickly regained herself and pulled her gaze away from the now partially undressed woman she was holding.
Maca trailed her fingers lightly over the waistband of Esther's skirt, playing with the light material and gathering it in her fingers. Refraining from slipping her hands inside the skirt, Maca tugged lightly on the fabric whilst lowering herself to her knees, drawing the skirt down to the floor where it pooled about bare feet. She lifted each of Esther's feet in turn and removed the skirt from around the nurse's ankles, abandoning it with the rest of the clothing.
Esther sighed deeply, contentedly, as Maca's hands continually smoothed over her skin. Her slow breathing and the sounds of skin on skin were the only noises in the room. The darkness and the half-light leant the bedroom a romantic ambience that Esther felt right down to her toes. The way Maca's hands smoothed her skin, and her lips touched her every now and again, it almost took her breath away. She couldn't stop her fingers slipping into Maca's cool brown hair at the ministrations, as well as burying her face into the doctor's neck and breathing her in.
"I needed you tonight " Esther whispered, surprised herself at the depth of the need she had to be with Maca; to be safe and loved after so many years alone.
"I'm glad you came to me." Maca sighed, tilting her head toward Esther as she hugged the smaller woman close.
The two women stood for long moments in the dark of night, just holding one another in silence. Maca had loved other women, quite a few others, but she'd never felt like this about anyone before. Esther's open fragility and her spirit of steel made her character just so indefinable that it had Maca aching to find out what else the other woman had to offer. No woman had ever captured Maca's heart like Esther had.
Maca stepped back a little from their embrace so she could see the woman she was holding. Esther looked up at her expectantly, waiting for something, though she wasn't quite sure what. When nothing came and Maca continued to look down on her, Esther consciously wrapped her arms about her middle, suddenly worried Maca might be disappointed with her. But instead of allowing her eyes to travel the body in front of her, Maca reached across to a chair in the corner where a casual satin slip was draped. Esther assumed it was what Maca wore to bed when she had the energy to get changed.
Esther raised her arms without being asked and allowed Maca to slip the material over her body. It smelled faintly of roses and Esther sighed as the scent and its coolness enveloped her, familiar and comforting. Maca had to admit that the sight of Esther in her clothes was both sexy and beautiful, preying again on her emotions. She wanted to lay her hands on that skin again, just for a few seconds more, but she fought it back, knowing that a few more seconds would never be enough.
Maca took Esther's hands within her own again and guided the woman around the side of the bed where she pulled back the sheets and gently lowered her to the mattress. Brushing a lock of brown hair away from her love's face, Maca leant down and placed a kiss on Esther's lips.
"You're safe now." Maca whispered, smiling when Esther took her hand and held it tightly to her face, leaning into the touch.
Esther looked up from the mattress at the woman so lovingly stood over her bed. She'd initially worried over whether this would be the right place to come tonight; whether or not their relationship had progressed to the point where it was acceptable to be turning up in the middle of the night. But laying there now, surrounded by Maca and her influence, Esther knew she'd made the right decision in trusting the other woman to take care of her.
"Stay with me?" Esther asked quietly, tugging lightly at Maca's arm to draw her down onto the bed.
Maca regarded the woman in her bed for a moment, noting the reflection of light in her eyes and how stunning it made her look. She'd never considered that Esther would allow herself to rely so much on another person; Maca had hoped she would, but the woman was so strong for herself that it was hard to believe she'd rely so much on anyone else. Esther would never realise but by coming here tonight when she needed help, she'd made Maca really fall for her; more than she realised she could have.
Maca kicked off her shoes and slipped into the bed beside Esther. Her arms immediately wrapped around the smaller woman's frame as she spooned in behind her, nuzzling into Esther's neck.
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