DISCLAIMER: I made up all the characters.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Okay, this is a fairly unlikely scenario, but it's nice to imagine while sitting at an overcrowded airport. Heh.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

An Unexpected Weekend
By Karjens40


Introduction-The Airport

Natalie Porter made her way through the sea of humanity crowding the seating area in front of gate 6, praying she wouldn't bump into someone and spill hot coffee all down her front. Gritting her teeth in aggravation, she finally managed to sit down in the seat next to her friend Anita and stared impatiently at the growing crowd. She hated crowded flights. It seemed like every time she flew anywhere lately, the entire airport would be empty except her flight.

She tried not to let the congestion ruin her excitement. After months of saving and planning, she was finally getting ready for a five day vacation to the Yukon in Canada. And it was the peak time for seeing the Aurora Borealis something she'd always longed to see. But already she felt her enthusiasm slipping. For one thing it looked like half of Austin was on her flight. It also seemed that part of the mob was a large group of women that seemed to be traveling together. That meant it was also probably going to be loud and she had been hoping to grab some sleep.

The other fly in the ointment was currently sitting next to her, checking her makeup. Natalie had mentioned she was taking this trip to Anita one day while they were having lunch and next thing she knew Anita had announced her plans to join her. She had desperately wanted to take this trip alone in order to try and figure out some things but as always, she'd been unable to say no. What made it worse was that Anita had convinced her to put the trip on her credit card instead of booking the trip separately, swearing she'd pay her back. Natalie had yet to see a dime so now her funds were a lot more limited than she'd planned. But she firmly insisted on separate rooms. She wanted some time to herself.

She let her eyes drift around the area wishing they'd hurry up and let them board. A burst of laughter caught her attention and her eyes sought out the source of the throaty, happy sound. Her eyes stopped on a tall, smiling blonde woman and she couldn't look away. She wasn't sure why. The woman was attractive, in an understated sort of way. She wasn't wearing much, if any make up and had her blonde hair pulled off her face in a tight ponytail, but even from where she was sitting, Natalie was drawn to the woman's smile as she talked to her friend.

She didn't mean to stare, but her eyes simply refused to move. She didn't know how long she'd been watching the other woman, but suddenly her heart jumped up into her throat when the subject of her appraisal turned and met her gaze. She didn't need to have a mirror to know her face must have been beet red. The blonde grinned at her and offered a small wave. There wasn't any malice in her expression so Natalie waved weakly back before turning to strike up a conversation with Anita to keep from embarrassing herself further.

"God I wish we could have gotten first class," Anita complained as they strapped into the tiny coach airplane seats.

Natalie sighed realizing she'd probably have to listen to the incessant complaining all the way to Vancouver.

"I couldn't afford first class tickets," Natalie replied as patiently as she could, wondering if Anita would pick up on the subtle reminder that the other woman still owed for her share. "Be glad. At least you got the window seat," she added, somewhat irritated. She couldn't stop thinking about the woman at the gate and it was making her edgy.

She had just leaned her head back on the head rest and shut her eyes when someone bumped into her arm.

"I'm sorry," came a rich feminine voice.

"That's okay," Natalie said as she looked up. Her breath hitched when her eyes met the smiling blue eyes of the woman she'd been caught staring at. She smiled and the blonde finished placing her carry on in the overhead bin and then took her seat which happened to be the window seat in the row in front of Natalie. Natalie knew she was going to have to fight to keep her stubborn eyes from straying. At least it was only a few hours before they stopped in Salt Lake City to change planes, then she'd not have to see the disturbing woman again.

"Hi there."

Natalie turned around and swallowed a groan when she saw the now familiar blonde standing behind her in line at the fast food restaurant. She was a lot taller than Natalie had thought as she noticed her head only just past the top of the other woman's shoulders.

"Hi," she finally managed.

They stood looking at each other in awkward silence for a moment, before the young girl working the counter asked Natalie for her order. Natalie wanted to hug her in gratitude. She suddenly wasn't hungry so she just ordered a large coffee. She paid and grabbed her drink.

"See ya," the stranger called to her.

"See ya," she replied before joining Anita who was already at a table in the food court eating a salad. There was still an hour before their connecting flight to Vancouver boarded and Natalie couldn't get her mind to focus. The image of the stranger stayed at the front of her mind and filled her with a heat she wasn't sure she knew what to do with.

"I thought you were starving?" Anita said, noting Natalie's coffee as she took a bite of her salad.

"I changed my mind," Natalie said distractedly.

The two friends were silent as Anita finished her salad and Natalie let her imagination wander.

"Okay, Natalie. What's wrong?"


"I asked what's wrong. You've been distracted every since we left Austin."

Natalie sighed. "Nothing's wrong. I'm just tired. I didn't sleep well last night."

"Really? Why?"

"Oh you know, worried about oversleeping and whether I packed everything," Natalie replied lightly, not really wanting to get into the thoughts that had really kept her up. Not with Anita.

Anita glanced at her, not entirely convinced. "You sure that's it?"

"Yeah. I'm sure. I think I'm going to head over to the gate.

"Okay. I'm done, I'll come with you."

The two friends were chatting pleasantly about the plans they had once they got to the lodge when Natalie stopped short as they approached the gate.

"Crap," she muttered. The same group of women, including the woman Natalie was quickly beginning to see as a nemesis, was already seated in the waiting area. The blonde was talking with one of her companions and Natalie took the opportunity to quickly move toward the opposite end of the waiting area out of the woman's line of sight. She wasn't aware of the blue eyes watching her not so subtle departure with a curious tilt of her head.

"What was that?" Anita said as they finally found seats.

"What was what?"

"You stopped, swore and then all but ran all the way over here. In case you didn't notice our gate is down that way, "she said. "Is there someone in that group of women from Austin that's bothering you?"

Natalie's eyes shot to her friend's wondering if she suspected something, but it didn't appear there was anything behind the question.

"No. I just hate crowds," she said lamely.

"Uh huh," Anita commented, looking at her friend as if she'd lost her mind.

Natalie shrugged and took a seat, wishing this part of the trip would hurry up and end. The likelihood that these women were also going all the way to Marsh Lodge was impossibly small, but somehow the thought of not seeing the blonde stranger again was more depressing than it was a relief.


Part 1-Day 1 The Arrival.

Natalie stepped out of the shuttle bus and groaned in pleasure as her vertebrae popped back into place. After traveling for what seemed like days, she and her friend Anita had finally arrived at the large lakeside resort. It was more beautiful than the pictures had led her to believe and took her breath away as soon as she saw the big, sprawling, two story log structure. The pristine white snow on the ground only added to its magnificence and she felt the tension that had built up over the last eight hours start to fade.

"Wow," Anita said looking around. "This is nice. In the middle of nowhere, but nice."

"Isn't it?" They grabbed their luggage and headed into the lodge and made their way to the check in desk.

"Good afternoon, ladies, Welcome to Marsh Lodge," greeted a pleasant young man who looked to be in his early twenties.

"Hi," Natalie replied happily, already warming to the pleasant atmosphere. "We're checking in."

"Okay. I'm happy to help you with that," the man whose name tag read "Mark", turned to his computer. "We should have your rooms ready. Let me double check."

"Wonderful, thank you."

"Okay, you're all set. Here are your room keys. You're on the second floor," He said to Natalie and you're on the first floor down the hall. "Natalie took them and handed one to Anita.

"We're not on the same floor?"

Mark managed to look sufficiently apologetic. "I'm sorry but no. The lodge is booked solid this weekend. You two managed to get the last two available rooms. "

"Great," Anita muttered.

"Relax, Anita. We're women in our forties. I think we can manage being separated," she said as she picked up her suitcase. "Thank you," she said to Mark.

"Of course. Enjoy your stay. If you need anything, please let me or any of the other staff know. "

"Thanks." Natalie and Anita left the desk and after agreeing to meet in the lobby in a couple of hours for a walk around the grounds and a drink before dinner, the two women went to their separate rooms. Natalie opened her door and was thrilled by the simple elegance. The pine walls, the king sized bed with a thick burgundy comforter all gave her room a sense of warmth and comfort. She took in the charming rustic furniture but her attention was almost immediately drawn to the window. She opened the curtain and was stunned. She had a near perfect view of the lake that currently rested under a thick layer of snow and ice. She noticed a large patch that had been cleared and was currently occupied by three figures ice skating. The purple hued, snowcapped mountains seemed so close she could touch them and the sprinkling of evergreen trees added a splash of color to the white backdrop. God. Just looking at the view through the window filled her with a peace she hadn't felt in years.

She sighed and closed the curtains and went to unpack. Despite her anxiousness to get out and explore the property, it had been a long day and she really needed a nap.

Shortly before six o'clock, Natalie put on her coat and made her way down the stairs and was startled by the mass of women gathered in the lobby. Apparently the travel group had arrived. Suddenly it struck her. She knew these women. Well she'd seen them before at any rate.

Dazed, she managed to make it to the bottom of the steps without incident and saw Anita approaching.

"Hey," she greeted her friend, her eyes unwillingly scanning the lobby for a familiar figure.

"Hey. I can't believe it's the same women from Austin," Anita commented.

"Who'd have thought they'd show up here?" Natalie replied in amazement. It was just too bizarre and way too much of a coincidence, but Natalie could complete hide a small smile that she'd be able to see the mysterious woman again.

They made their way through the small mob toward the doors leading to the back of the lodge. As they passed the desk, Natalie inadvertently bumped into one of the members of the tour group.

"Oh, I'm sorry," she said. The woman turned around and grinned when she saw Natalie.

"Well hello again," she greeted pleasantly. "This is a surprise."

Natalie forced herself to stop gaping and smile but her expression faded when she looked up into friendly blue eyes. Inexplicably, her mouth suddenly went dry and she felt her heart skip a beat.

"Yes it is. Small world, I guess," she laughed nervously. She saw the blonde's friendly look turn questioning and she felt the need to flee. "Um… Well, sorry again." Natalie smiled and quickly followed Anita out of the building.

Tracy Martin watched the two women as they left the lodge, in particularly the smaller dark haired one. It seemed totally implausible that the woman she'd caught watching her back in Austin Texas, was now here in the Middle of Nowhere Canada. A small smile crossed her face as she turned back to her companions.

"This is gorgeous," Natalie said as they walked along the snow packed path along the lake. She looked up to see an enormous bird soaring over head looking for dinner.

"It is lovely. I just wish it weren't so far from everything," Anita said.

Natalie rolled her eyes. "That was the idea of coming here, Anita. You can't see the Aurora Borealis that well in Vancouver."

"Yeah, I know," Anita replied somewhat uninterestedly as they walked. "I wonder what that group is here for," she said changing the subject.

"Who knows? It's probably some woman's retreat or something."

"Well, doesn't that sound…boring? Too bad it's not a man's retreat."

Natalie laughed. Her friend was definitely man crazy. "I don't think they have those. Men aren't secure enough for that."

"Yeah, but a girl can dream. "

They spent the next thirty minutes exploring. They found the rental shed where guests could rent anything from snow shoes to snowmobiles and a small refreshments hut for those people who were playing outside and needed a hot beverage without having to go all the way back to the main house. Natalie was very much looking forward to trying as many of the activities available as she could.

After they finished looking around, they headed back to the lodge and after taking their coats back to their rooms they made their way into the dining room and found the gourmet food had been arranged in a buffet style set up. Natalie told Anita to get her plate while she found a table. She looked around at the other visitors to the lodge and noticed a group of five handsome men in their thirties which, she thought with a smile, should make Anita very happy. There was another table with two couples that Natalie assumed were retired and traveling together and a semi-secluded table seating a young couple that seemed very much in love. The rest of the tables were made up of the women from the tour group. She couldn't prevent her eyes from seeking out the woman she'd run into earlier.

"Okay, your turn," Anita said setting her plate down and taking the seat across from Natalie, blocking her view.

"Great. I'll be right back." Natalie made her way through the tables and into the line at the buffet. When it was her turn, she grabbed a plate and looked warily at the fancy dishes. Most of them were either unrecognizable to her or food she wasn't particularly fond of.

"It's not going to bite you."

At the amused voice sounding right in her ear, Natalie jumped. She turned to see the woman who'd haunted her entire trip so far, standing right next to her.

"What?" she managed to get out.

"The food. You're looking at it as if it's going to hurt you."

Natalie frowned for a moment and then laughed shyly. "It's not that. I'm just not sure what most of it is."

The woman grinned. "Well, you're on vacation. Explore a little."

Natalie saw a glimmer of something in the blue eyes looking down at her. It made her nervous. She started helping herself to small portions of the food she sort of recognized.

"I'm Tracy," the woman beside her said as she started to fill her own plate.


Tracy watched as the other woman finished getting what she wanted. She found the tiny samples of each amusing. Natalie was apparently not a woman given to trying new things.

"It was nice to meet you, Tracy. I'm sure I'll see you around this weekend."

Tracy laughed. "It does appear to be unavoidable," she teased. "It's nice to finally meet you, too."

Natalie smiled and headed back to her own table. She cautiously tried the food and was pleasantly surprised to find she actually enjoyed most of it. She and Anita talked about their plans for the following day and Anita prattled on about the guys sitting across the room. It was during Anita's shameless ramblings that Natalie found herself distracted when she happened to look away from her friend only to meet Tracy's gaze. Her pulse sped up and she quickly turned back to Anita. She could almost hear the chuckle coming from the other woman.

After they finished eating, Anita suggested they check out the recreation room and Natalie agreed. As they left the dining room they had to walk by Tracy's table and despite feeling the weight of curious eyes watching her, Natalie fought the urge to look back.

Natalie flopped onto her bed in exhaustion. The nap she had earlier hadn't done much to alleviate her tiredness and the two beers she'd just had in the bar after dinner didn't help. She was grateful there was cloud cover tonight so the Borealis wouldn't be visible as she didn't think she could stay up much longer.

Reluctantly dragging herself off the comfortable mattress she changed into her pajamas and went through her nightly ritual before flicking on the television, turning off the lights and getting into bed. She had just gotten settled when she found herself thinking of Tracy.

A part of her whispered she didn't want to go there, but she shushed it and let her mind roam. She had only recently discovered that she wouldn't be opposed to a romantic involvement with a woman. It was a strange discovery to make at forty years old, but there wasn't a hell of a lot she could do about it. So far she'd only found herself attracted to a few women she'd seen on television. She'd never found a 'real' woman that caught her interest…until now.

She wasn't really sure what it was about the other woman that caught her attention. She thought that maybe it was her eyes which were such a gentle blue and surrounded by long beautiful eyelashes. Or, maybe it was that sexy, confident smile that did it. She wasn't sure, but she knew she wanted to see it again.

Natalie sighed and turned off the television. She wasn't watching it anyway. Her fascination with the stranger was irrelevant. She figured if Tracy went for anyone it would be one of the handsome men that she'd seen earlier. She supposed it didn't matter. She hadn't come on this trip meet anyone anyway. With that thought, she closed her eyes and waited for sleep.


Part 2-Day 2 The Ski Trip

The first full day after their arrival was an exciting one. At least for Natalie. She and Anita had taken a shuttle to a ski resort for the day. Natalie had only been skiing a few times in high school, which was twenty years earlier so she spent half of the day on the bunny slopes learning the basics.

Anita, of course, decided to take a snow boarding class so she could get some 'hands on lessons from the instructor. After finding out her instructor was a woman and after only a couple of downhill runs, she had chosen to spend the rest of the day in the lodge by the fireplace. Natalie was initially pissed about being left to ski by herself and wondered why the hell the woman had bothered to come in the first place, but as the day went on, she became relieved that Anita decided not to ski with her as her mind kept pulling up images of a leggy blonde with a smile that turned her knees to jelly, which is never a good thing to have happen while speeding down the side of a mountain.

It was late afternoon when she decided to call it a day. She was far too distracted to fully enjoy herself so she went into the lodge for some lunch and hot tea before they headed back to the hotel. She quickly found Anita sipping on a hot toddy in the bar while flirting with a good looking man who looked to be about fifteen years too young for Anita.

"Hey," she greeted.

"Oh, hi. You ready to go?"

Natalie gritted her teeth. This friendship was really starting to wear on her nerves. "Not exactly. I thought I'd grab something to eat since it will be past dinner by the time we get back to the lodge."


"Well, I'm gonna get back to the slopes," the guy said to Anita and nodded to Natalie. "See you ladies around."

Natalie bit back a snort of amusement at the look of relief on his face. "See ya."

"Bye, Tony."

Natalie watched as Anita ogled Tony and desperately tried not to laugh out loud. Fortunately she was saved by the waitress who approached and took her drink order and handed them both a menu.

"I thought you were going to be out there all day," Anita teased, taking a sip of her drink.

"That was sort of the plan, Anita. This is a forty minute drive from the hotel and is the only chance we'll get to downhill ski while we're here."

Anita looked at her friend. "I know, Nat. I was only joking. What's the matter with you? You're wound a little tight for someone on vacation."

Natalie grinned sheepishly. "I'm sorry. I've just had a lot on my mind lately."

"Want to talk about it?"

Natalie thought for a moment. She'd known Anita for years, but just couldn't see herself talking to her about what was bothering her. "Nah. But that's why I wanted to come up here. I just need to work through some things and relax. I'm sorry if I've been a bitch."

"That's okay. I'm used to your surly personality."

Natalie laughed. "Thanks. "

"Don't mention it."

"What's this?" Natalie asked the bartender as he placed a bottle of Lead Dog Ale in front of her.

"Courtesy of the woman at the end of the bar," he smiled taking her empty Guinness bottle. Natalie turned around and Tracey tipped her own bottle in greeting.

Natalie was startled to say the least. She picked up the bottle and mouthed 'thank you'. Tracy grinned and walked over to her.

"You're welcome," she said in greeting. "Mind if I join you?"

"Not at all," Natalie replied, ignoring the butterflies that started fluttering in her stomach and the way her heart was pounding.

"Where's your friend?"

"Anita? She found out the guys were hanging out in the hot tub and decided to join them."

"Ah. Not your cup of tea?"

Natalie snorted. "Not likely. I don't do swimsuits."

"So, you hot tub naked then?"

Natalie choked on the beer she'd just swallowed. "What? No…" she saw the mischievous grin on the blonde's face and laughed. "Cute."

"Are you having a good time?" Tracey asked as she sat on the stool next to Natalie and leaned casually against the bar. She took a moment to examine the woman who had unexpectedly caught her interest. She looked cute in her jeans and gray sweater with her dark hair tied back at her neck.

"Definitely. We went skiing today and I actually managed to survive with all my limbs in tact."

"I see that."

Natalie was fully aware of the eyes running slowly down her person and she shivered. Clearing her throat, she decided to change the subject. "I just hope the skies clear up at least one night so I can see the Lights. That's the main reason I came here."

"I hear ya. But the reports are saying tomorrow night will be perfect."

"I hope so. So what about you. Are you guys having fun?"

"Yeah. We all pretty much went our separate ways today. Some went into town and the rest of us went cross country skiing. I've never done it before and it was a hell of a lot harder than I expected," Tracey laughed. "I may have to take advantage of the hot tub myself. My thighs are killing me."

Naturally, Natalie's eyes went straight to the limbs in question. She swallowed hard as Tracy's hand rubbed one of the aforementioned thighs. Which, she couldn't help but notice, was a very, very nice one. She lifted her eyes and met Tracy's gaze. What was this woman doing to her? She took a long pull from her beer to clear her throat enough so that she could speak.

"Sounds like a good idea," was the best response she could come up with.

"I don't know about you, but I'm finding so much more here to do than in Austin," Tracy commented.

"Me too. Plus I grew up in snow, and I've missed it," Natalie shared as she took a pull from her beer.

"I've actually never seen the snow," Tracy said wryly. "Well at least not so much of it. It's so beautiful."

"I know," Natalie said animatedly. "There's just something about winter that makes me feel…warm." She stopped and thought about what she said. "Well that didn't sound too stupid, did it?" she laughed self consciously.

Tracy laughed with her. "Not at all. Believe it or not, I know what you mean. It puts one in mind of lazy days snuggling by the fire."

There was something in Tracy's voice that Natalie wasn't experienced enough to identify, but she felt her cheeks warm as an image of them together in front of a fireplace raced through her mind. Deciding a retreat was in order before she embarrassed herself, she stood up from the barstool. "Yeah. Anyway, I...uh...I think I'm going to go ahead and turn in. I'm pretty beat."

Tracy was fully aware of why Natalie was leaving. She was both pleased, knowing that she had an effect on her, and disappointed that she felt the need to run away. But there was always tomorrow. Tracy frowned. At least she hoped there was tomorrow.

"How long are you staying?" She blurted before Natalie could run off.

"We're leaving Monday morning. How about you?"

Two more full days. That's good, Tracy thought with relief. "We don't leave until Tuesday."

"Oh. Okay. Well, thanks for the drink."

"You're welcome."

The two women stood silently studying each other for a moment.

"Good night," Natalie said quietly.

"Night," Tracy watched her walk away, wondering about her reaction to this woman she'd just met. She'd never been the type to act on spontaneous attractions, she prided herself on having some self-control, but something about Natalie made her want to forget her self imposed rules and she wasn't sure why. She thought back to when she caught the other woman looking at her in the airport. Tracy hadn't been offended by the stare. She'd noticed the look of interest in the dark eyes, but she suspected Natalie hadn't been aware of it. She found that thought intriguing which surprised her. Physically, Natalie was kind of cute with lovely dark hair and whiskey colored eyes but her small stature and curvy figure were normally the antithesis of what she looked for in a lover. Oddly, she thought the look suited Natalie. So while she didn't understand the basis of this attraction, quite frankly she didn't care. She finished off her beer and decided she might as well go to bed herself.


Part 3-Day 3 The Fight

"You will not believe what I found out," Anita muttered conspiratorially as she joined Natalie at the breakfast table.

"Can't I have my coffee first?" Natalie grumbled. It was hard to vacation with someone who not only was a morning person, but also didn't appreciate the restorative effects of coffee.

"You know I was hanging out with the guys in the hot tub last night and….

"Oh, Really? Get lucky?"

"Ha. Funny. Anyway, one of the guys, Scott said he had been talking to one of the women from the tour group and It turns out this group is some sort of organized lesbian vacation."

Natalie's eyebrows rose in surprise, but her main reaction was an unwanted jolt of hope. If Tracy was with this group then that meant…

"Can you believe it?" Anita was saying, looking none too happy about the revelation.

"What's the big deal?" Natalie asked sipping her coffee, the words Tracy likes women running happily through her mind. She had wondered last night, but to have her thoughts confirmed…

"What's the big deal?" Anita repeated in amazement "It's bad enough you drag me out here to the middle of nowhere, but now we're stuck with a bunch of lesbians? That's just great."

Natalie put her cup down slowly. Over the past year or so, her friend had slowly started to become very tiring but Natalie had ignored her impatience with the other woman for the sake of the years of friendship that had come before. But there were some things she wouldn't put up with.

"I can't believe you're acting like this," Natalie said looking in amazement at her friend.

"Like what? I have no desire to fend off a bunch of women the entire weekend. "

"For gods sake Anita, do you know how know how ridiculous you sound? Not to mention extraordinarily conceited. For all you or I know these women may already be in relationships," Natalie ignored the slight pang she felt at the thought, "and even if they were all single, what makes you think they'd be interested in you? Have they hit on you yet? Have you thought that perhaps they're simply here on vacation?"

"Well I don't like it. The hotel should have warned us."

"For fuck's sake, Anita," she replied, trying to keep her voice down and not completely succeeding. The nasally whiny tone of the woman's voice was grating on her nerves "You're making a big deal out of nothing. They're just women on a vacation who happen to be gay. So what?"

Anita was quiet for a moment. "I'm not comfortable staying here," she said firmly.

Natalie's eyes widened. "You're joking, right?"

Anita frowned at her friend. "No. I'm not. After I found out, I went to the computer room. I booked us a nice hotel in Vancouver for tonight and the rest of our trip. The cab will be here in about an hour."

"You did what?" Natalie was almost speechless in shock at the presumption.

"Well," Anita replied unapologetically, "I didn't pay all this money to be stuck in a middle of nowhere lodge with a bunch of queers. "

That did it. At that moment, Natalie knew their friendship was over. "That was totally uncalled for," she said dangerously quiet. Finally, she pushed away from the table and got to her feet, unaware of the several pairs of eyes focused curiously on the bizarre scene.

"First of all, you haven't paid anything toward this trip," she continued. "I put it all on my credit card and you were supposed to pay me before we left, in case you've forgotten. Secondly, you want to leave? That's fine with me, but I'm not going anywhere." She looked at Anita in disgust. "God. I had no idea you were such a bigoted ass."

Natalie turned and left the dining room, indifferent to the shocked face of her former friend or the looks from the other guests. She felt a tingle at the back of her neck and she turned her head to meet sympathetic blue eyes. She shook her head and fled the lodge to go walk by the frozen lake, for the first time in a long while feeling close to tears.

Back in the dining room, Tracy sat somewhat taken aback by the display, as did the other occupants of the dining room.

"Wow. Breakfast and a show," muttered Tracy's friend Sandra. Sandra had been the one who had talked her into this trip and right now Tracy was rather glad she'd agreed. She hadn't joined this tour group looking for romance. She hadn't wanted to meet anyone. But something about the short, fiery dark haired woman spoke to her.

"Not really funny," Tracy commented as she watched the red faced Anita leave the dining room. She almost felt bad for her until she remembered the words she'd spoken.

"I know," Sandra replied. "Sorry. I'm surprised though. I sort of wondered if those two were…together."

"I didn't," Tracy said immediately.

"Really? What made you so sure they weren't?"

Tracy felt her cheeks heat. "Just a hunch."

Sandra looked at her friend thoughtfully. "Uh-huh," she replied. "You realize that she's probably straight, you know."

"Not necessarily," Tracy said despite herself. She clearly remembered Natalie's gaze in the airport and the reactions to her in the bar the night before.

"Care to elaborate on that?"

"Not really. Actually, I think I'm going to see if she's okay." Tracy stood up from the table, grabbed her coat and left, ignoring the soft, "you go girl," that followed her out of the room.

Natalie had found a bench and was sitting dejectedly with one leg pulled up to her chest, her chin resting on her knee. Part of this was due to the fact that she was freezing. She had stupidly forgotten to take her coat before she ran out and was only wearing exercise pants and a thin long-sleeved t-shirt.

She started when she felt a coat being draped around her. She turned around to see Tracy sitting down next to her.

"That was quite a speech," Tracy said calmly.

Natalie ignored that for a moment as she took in the woman next to her who'd given her her coat. "Here, you need this," she said, moving to take the coat off her shoulders but Tracy put a hand on hers.

"It's okay. I'm in a sweatshirt. You need it more than I do."

Natalie looked up into compassionate eyes and melted a little inside. "Thanks."

"Are you alright?" Tracy asked after a while.

Natalie thought about brushing off the question, but something about this virtual stranger made her want to open up.

"Well, I just lost my best friend of over ten years after finding out she was hiding this ugly side, not to mention totally humiliating myself. Other than that, I'm good."

Tracy studied the other woman for a minute. "You didn't humiliate yourself," she tried to assure the sad woman. "But it's more than that, isn't it?"

Natalie looked at her, curiously. "What? I don't… I don't understand."

"Well, while your response to your friend was admirable, it also seemed to me a little more…heated than the situation warranted. It sort of looked like you were a little panicked."

Natalie's eyes widened and she laughed weakly. "Sorry, I think you read it wrong. I just…over reacted."

Tracy didn't believe her for a minute. But she didn't even know the woman so who was she to say. "Okay. Look, I know we don't know each other, but if you need an ear, I'm here. For the next few days anyway."

Natalie smiled at that. "Thanks. I appreciate it."

"No problem. "

That sat in companionable silence for a moment, Natalie feeling a lot better than when she'd come out. She didn't know if it was because of the peaceful scene, or the comforting presence beside her.

"I guess I should give you your coat back and head inside."

Tracy nodded and they stood up. She gestured for Natalie to keep the coat until they got inside.

"So…how badly did I embarrass myself?" Natalie asked cautiously as they walked toward the doors.

"I wouldn't worry about that. It was for a good cause," Tracy said with a grin.

"Great. That helps," Natalie grimaced. "I should apologize to you, though."

"What on earth for?"

"I did sort of draw a lot of attention to you and your friends. I didn't mean to."

"Don't worry about it," Tracy soothed. "So what are you going to do about your friend?"

"Nothing. I may have been a bit too…overdramatic, but I meant what I said to her. I don't need or want to be around someone like that."

"I see. Well I can't help but feel responsible for what happened," Tracy admitted as they entered the lodge.

Natalie couldn't help but laugh. "Why?"

"I don't know. Because I'm a member of this group and…"

"Stop. I'm glad this came out. She's been saying some things for a while that…well this friendship has been more work than it's supposed to be for some time. It's not your fault, or your groups fault. Okay?"

"Okay." The both spotted Anita at the same moment. She had her bags with her and was waiting at the front door.

Natalie was debating whether she wanted to say goodbye to her when she felt a gentle nudge.

"You should say something to her."

Natalie nodded. "I guess." She started to walk toward her former friend when a hand on her arm stopped her.

"Um... Some of us are going to go snowmobiling later. You want to come with us?"

Kristy was going to refuse. She really wasn't in the mood, but then decided she was not going to let Anita ruin this vacation. "Sure. That sounds like fun."

"Great. We're going to meet up here at ten thirty. See ya then?

"Okay…and thanks, Tracy. For everything."

Tracy flashed her captivating smile. "Maybe then you'll answer my question about what really upset you." With that she walked off, leaving Natalie to face Anita.

"You're really staying?" Anita said looking up from where she sat near the doors as Natalie approached.

"Yeah. I came here for a reason. I don't see why that has to change."

"Because, what they're doing is an abomination. Not to mention disgusting," Anita protested, nodding at two of the women who were walking through the lobby holding hands.

"They're holding hands. How is that disgusting?" Natalie honestly wanted to know.

Anita rolled her eyes. "It's not just the hand holding, it's knowing what else they're doing. It's not natural. It's….sickening."

Natalie briefly remembered a scene from a television show she'd watched recently where two women shared a very passionate love scene. It wasn't the stereotypical sleazy action portrayed on late night cable. She couldn't remember ever seeing anything as tender and loving before. It seemed perfectly natural to her, even if it was a scripted and choreographed scene. Suddenly her anger fled, to be replaced by sadness.

"I really had no idea you were like this, Anita. I don't think I can be friends with someone who is so judgmental. And just…mean."

"I'm sorry you feel that way."

"Me too," she said walking away from the other woman. She only faltered a little when she heard Anita's snide voice; "have fun with your new…friend". Briefly, Natalie wondered how quickly after they returned that Anita would be spreading rumors to all their co-workers. Then she realized she didn't care. She did know that she needed to change her plane reservations. She sure as hell didn't want to sit next to her on the flights back home. She smirked as she decided to splurge and upgrade to first class.

At ten thirty Natalie entered the lobby and saw a group of five gathered by the front desk. Her eyes immediately located a head of blonde hair that she instinctively knew belonged to Tracy. She stopped short of joining the others. She'd never been comfortable meeting new people and she wasn't sure how to introduce herself. What if Tracy had forgotten her invitation? What if she hadn't really meant….

"Natalie, hi. Come on over."

Natalie ignored her nerves and walked over to join the group who watched her approach curiously.

"Hi," she said uncertainly.

The other ladies greeted her warmly.

"Natalie, this is Sandra, Lois, Carol and Helen. Ladies this is Natalie."

"Nice to meet you," Sandra greeted.

"Actually, she was on the plane with us from Austin," Tracy told the others.

Sandra looked at Natalie closely then her eyes widened in recognition. "Oh yeah. I thought you looked familiar."

Natalie recognized the woman who had been sitting with Tracy that morning. "Uh, I'm sorry about this morning. I didn't mean to cause such a scene."

Sandra shrugged it off. "I understand. I heard some of her comments and I was tempted to smack her one. You handled it a lot better than I would have."

Natalie could only shrug in reply.

"Are you alright? She did sort of run off and leave you here by yourself," Lois commented.

Natalie snorted. "Thank God," she said, drawing surprised laughs from the other. "I mean, she basically invited herself in the first place and I wasn't up to spending the rest of my vacation listening to how bored she was."

The other women were just as kind as they all headed out back to the rental hut. It turned out there were only four snow mobiles available so two of them were going to have to double up. As Natalie was by herself, they let her have one of the machines to herself. After they were signed out and given the equipment and the instructions for use, the women climbed on the snowmobiles and began their hour long track across the huge grounds of the elegant resort. There were longer, guided tours, but they all opted for the short term individual rentals.

Natalie found herself lagging behind the others quite a bit as despite the instructions she was trying to figure out how to operate the damned thing without killing herself. At one point they had stopped to let Natalie catch up again. Feeling embarrassed, she pulled to a stop and took off her helmet and goggles.

"I'm sorry guys. There's no point in your having to keep waiting for me. Just go on ahead. I think I'm going to turn back. "

"Nope. You're not going anywhere," Carol, who was riding behind Lois, ordered kindly. "We don't mind waiting. We know it's your first time."

Natalie was touched. "I appreciate that Carol, but if you want, I can swap places with someone so one of you can have a solo turn." She didn't notice the elbow that Tracy quickly shoved back into Sandra's stomach.

"Uh. I'll change with you," Sandra quickly volunteered before Carol could respond. Carol didn't seem to mind being interrupted; in fact she appeared to be smirking.

Natalie's eyes met Tracy's goggled covered ones and she felt a shiver pass through her.

"I'm harmless," Tracy teased, seeing the uncertainty in the other woman's eyes.

"I doubt that," she muttered to her self, but she nodded and after securing the snowmobile, promptly got off and switched places with Sandra. She heard the other woman's "make sure you hold on tight" and shot her a look, but Sandra only looked back with an unbelievably innocent expression on her face, her goggles hiding the knowing gleam in her eyes.

Natalie replaced her helmet and goggles and slowly climbed on behind Tracy and tentatively placed her gloved hands on her waist. It was strange. Even though the thickness of Tracy's jacket and her own gloves, she swore she could feel warmth beneath her hands.

"Nope. You need to hold on tighter than that," Tracy said, suddenly pulling Natalie's arms completely around her. The quick movement took her by surprise and she wound up falling against the taller woman's back. She tried to scoot back, but Tracy stilled her.

"You're fine," she said quiet enough for Natalie to hear. "Okay guys, shall we?"

The other ladies signaled their readiness and they once more set off down the snow covered trail. It took Natalie a few minutes to drag her mind away from the feelings of being so close to this alluring woman in front of her but once she did she was finally able to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding her. This was so much more relaxing. She had been so worried about not wrecking the snowmobile and losing her $1500 deposit that she hadn't really been able to enjoy the view. Now she could. She sighed wishing that she wasn't wearing the bulky helmet so she could rest her head against the other woman's shoulder.

"Thanks for inviting me today," Natalie said as she joined Tracy and the others in front of the large stone fireplace in the sitting room for a cup of hot chocolate. Something compelled her to sit next to Tracy on the couch so she did. Closer than she really needed to. The fact that Tracy kept her arm along the back of the couch filled her with a warm feeling neither the fire nor the hot chocolate could match. It was amazing. She'd never reacted so strongly and so quickly to someone.

"So, you enjoyed yourself then?" Helen asked. The sly grin the redhead shot Sandra didn't go unnoticed, but Natalie chose to ignore it.

"Oh I did. I'm sorry I slowed you down so much though."

Tracy nudged Natalie's arm playfully. "Stop apologizing. You did fine."

"How was the ride after we changed places?" Sandra asked with a leer directed at Tracy.

Tracy glared at her friend, refusing to rise to the bait. She had no idea what was going on with this woman but she didn't want Sandra to blow it before it began.

"Fine," Natalie said calmly. "I nearly got thrown off a few times, but other than that…" She turned and smiled up at the blonde.

"Hey, not my fault. I told you to hold on,"

"If I was holding on any tighter, I would have been sitting in front of you," Natalie laughed.

The other four ladies made suggestive noises more appropriate for junior high school boys than women in their thirties and forties. Tracy rolled her eyes and Natalie blushed.

"On that note," Natalie said as she finished off her cocoa, "I think I'm going to head to my room for a while."

"Chicken," Tracy muttered, with a daring gleam in her eye.

Natalie smirked and got to her feet.

"Thanks again guys. You made what could have been a miserable day so much better."

"You're welcome. You gonna be okay?" Carol asked seriously.

"Yeah. I think I am."

"We'll see you later?"

"I imagine so. It's a small lodge," she replied with a cheeky grin.

With that, Natalie waved and headed upstairs to her room. If she wasn't mistaken, she had just successfully flirted with her first woman, and she enjoyed it.


Part 4-Day Three-The Party

Tracy didn't see Natalie for a while after that. Her friends had dragged her out to go dog sledding and then they had run into town. Four members of the group had chosen to stay in one of the chalets's and were going to have viewing party that night for the Northern Lights and they wanted to get some supplies.

Tracy hadn't been able to work up much enthusiasm for the trip. She loved seeing the dogs and the rush of sledding was incredible even if she did feel a little sorry for the dogs having to haul her butt around, but her thoughts kept going back to the brunette back at the lodge. She'd only known her a couple of days but she couldn't stop thinking about her. She knew several people who had no problems with vacation flings but she never thought she was the type to have one. Apparently she was. What made it challenging was the fact they both lived in Austin. Would these feelings continue once they were back home?

Sandra had of course teased her friend unmercifully. Before they had decided to take this trip, Tracy had sworn up and down she wasn't in the market for romance. Now here she was moping around after a woman, a potentially straight woman that she'd just met.

"Are you going to ask Natalie to the party tonight?" Sandra asked as they pushed their shopping cart through the beer isle at the grocery store.

"I'm thinking about it. I feel bad that she's here by herself."

"Uh-huh," Sandra said, clearly not believing that was the reason.

"I'm being an idiot, aren't I?" Tracy asked rather glumly.


"I don't even know this woman. The whole thing is ridiculous." Tracy grabbed two long neck twelve packs from the shelf and put them in the cart.

"Tracy, you're not being an idiot and this isn't ridiculous. You're attracted to her. You're not the first person who's ever become smitten with someone they've just met. And you won't be the last. It happens. It's called chemistry."

"Yeah, well it's also called pointless," she muttered as they continued their rounds down the liqueur isle. Chances are we'll never see each other again once our vacations are over and I don't want to become emotionally involved with someone I won't see again. It's too hard."

"That doesn't have to be true, Tracy. You live in the same city for heaven's sake. It's not as if you're on different sides of the continent."

"Austin may not be a metropolis, Sandra, but it's still a big city."

Sandra stopped pushing her cart and looked at her friend. On the outside, Tracy appeared to be a strong, independent woman, but inside, Sandra knew, she was a marshmallow. But despite that, Tracy was always very protective of her heart and careful about whom she dated. She wasn't sure herself if it was wise for the two women to start something they would possibly never finish, but she also recognized the strong pull between them and that it would probably hurt them both in the long run if they didn't pursue it. Something brought these two women from the same big city to this small isolated town. There had to be a reason.

"Besides, this all may be a moot point anyway," Tracy continued. "I have no idea if she's even interested. She may not even be gay."

Sandra snorted at that as they continued to shop. "I can't say if she was straight before she came here, but I'd have to be blind and stupid not to see she's got the hots for you."

Tracy blushed and Sandra laughed.

"Just ask her to the party. When it gets time to see the lights, you and she can go for a nice walk alone and get to know each other. See what happens."

Tracy considered her friends advice and realized she was right. About all of it. "Yeah, what the hell."

"You're such a romantic," Sandra said laughing as they went to join up with the others.

Natalie was enjoying a pleasant conversation with one of the retired couples over dessert when she saw Tracy and the others enter the dining room. She couldn't stop the smile that crossed her face when they made eye contact and it didn't go unnoticed by her tablemates.

"Are you with that group?" Joyce, the older woman sitting beside her asked politely.

"No. I just met them a couple of days ago," Natalie replied, unable to keep her eyes from following the taller woman.

"Oh. It's just that you seemed rather happy to see them. Or at least one in particular."

Natalie's eyes shot toward the older woman but saw nothing but gentle teasing in her expression. "I...no. She…They've just been very nice to me after what happened this morning …that's all."

"I see." The tone of her voice told Natalie that she didn't believe her.

"Natalie, you're a nice young woman…"

"I'm forty, Joyce," Natalie said with a laugh. "Hardly young."

"You're young to us, kiddo," Richard replied.

"We heard what happened this morning. Now, don't be embarrassed, it took courage to do what you did," Richard said kindly when he saw Natalie's face turn red at the remembrance. "Joyce and I are of a different generation so to be honest neither one of us completely understand um…" He looked at his wife for help.

"Well, you know…lesbians," Joyce finished with a whisper. "But we've also reached the age where we know how short life is, and how rare it is to find someone you really care for. It's obvious by the way your face lit up when you saw that lovely blonde over there that you feel something for her. You should act on that."

Natalie was blown away by this couple's easy acceptance. These were people who grew up in a time period not known for tolerance and yet they were more accepting than Anita who was half their age.

"It's not that simple, Joyce. This is just a short vacation. When it's over…it's over. "

"Do you have someone waiting for you at home?" Richard asked.


"Then would it be so bad to let yourself enjoy the moment?"

Natalie couldn't help but laugh. "You know, my parents wouldn't even consider suggesting what you have. But I appreciate it. I'll definitely take your words to heart."

Natalie looked over to where Tracy and the others were standing. She was startled to find blue eyes watching her. Joyce and Richard stood up and Joyce patted her shoulder. Natalie reached up and clasped the hand.

"Thank you both. I'll see you later?"

"Of course."

Natalie watched as Richard took Joyce's hand and led his wife from the dining room. It was obviously that even after fifty years they were still in love. She wanted that.

"Cute couple."

Natalie jumped at the unexpected voice and turned and saw Tracy standing beside her. Her hair was once again pulled back in a tight ponytail and she had a self assured smile on her face that Natalie found incredibly sexy.

"Why don't you sneak up on me or something?" She asked trying to get her pulse under control. Oh, I'm sorry. Please, sit."

"No. That's okay, I can't stay." Tracy couldn't help but feel a little satisfied by the disappointment that flickered across the other woman's face. "Actually, I came over to see if you wanted to come to a party tonight. A few of our group rented a Chalet by the lake instead of staying in the lodge and they're having a party tonight to watch the Borealis. Would you like to come?"

Natalie thought about refusing. She had actually planned to find a nice secluded spot on the back deck to watch the show, but as she looked into Tracy's eyes, Joyce's words about 'enjoying the moment' whispered in her ear.

"I'd love to come. Thank you."

"Great. Do you want to meet down here at nine?"

Natalie checked her watch. It was just after six. That give her time to shower and figure out what she was going to wear. "Sure."

Tracy offered a broad smile. Natalie sort of wished she'd stop doing that as she found herself staring at the little line around the side of her mouth.

"Okay then. I'm uh…I'm just going to go. So...bye," Tracy stumbled. If Natalie didn't stop staring at her mouth, she was going to give her a closer look.

Natalie could feel the heat that was coming from Tracy's eyes. "Bye," she croaked.

Tracy finally tore herself away and joined the others who were waiting for her by the door.

Later that night, when Natalie met up with Tracy in the lobby, she was slightly disappointed to see Helen, Lois and the others there as well. She was hoping they could have some time alone. She did take a quick moment to run her eyes over the tall blonde. Her mouth went dry as she saw she was in all black from very snug black jeans, a form fitting black turtle neck and black jacket. Natalie finally understood what it meant to want.

Tracy was relieved when she saw Natalie approaching. She had wondered if the other woman was going to bail, but here she was wearing jeans that didn't do anything to hide her curves and royal blue sweater set off by the black leather jacket she wore over it. She shivered as she saw Natalie give her the once over, but it was the look of desire that appeared in the dark eyes nearly killed her.

"Hi. I'm glad you're here," Tracy greeted when Natalie finally approached.

"Did you think I wouldn't be?" Natalie grinned.

Tracy shrugged somewhat shyly. "I wasn't sure," she admitted.

"To be honest, I almost changed my mind."

Tracy nodded. "Well, I'm glad you didn't."

"Hey, are we going to the party or not?" Lois teased.

"Yes, Lois. We're going." Tracy finally pulled her eyes away from the smaller woman and they followed the others out of the lodge. As the group of six made their way down the snowy path to the chalet, Tracy and Natalie found themselves walking alone behind the others. Neither woman fooled themselves into thinking it wasn't planned that way and they took advantage of the time to talk about their respective lives in Austin and what brought them to Canada.

"So how did you wind up…what made you…choose this particular tour group?" Natalie asked. She wasn't sure why, but she needed Tracy to tell her what she already knew.

"Sandra talked me into it actually. She and Helen were talking about taking one of these specialized vacations for lesbians and thought I'd enjoy it." Tracy glanced at Natalie's reaction to the word lesbian. She knew that Natalie had to know she was gay, but it hadn't been specifically said. She saw the brown eyes flicker briefly.

"Oh? I didn't know they had those."

Tracy smiled at the near hoarseness of Natalie's voice. She was nervous, but Tracy suspected it wasn't in a bad way.

"Yeah they do. I've never gone on one before, I usually prefer to travel alone or with just a couple of other people, but this place looked so lovely that I agreed. I'm so glad I did," she added pointedly as she watched rounded cheeks flush pink.

"Me too," Natalie replied quietly.

"So what about you? Why did you pick the Yukon of all places for a vacation?" Tracy asked in order to put the other woman at ease.

Natalie shrugged. "I was looking online for some place sort of quiet for a vacation and came across the website for this place and it looked perfect."

"I'm sorry it got off to such an unpleasant start," Tracy said as they caught up to the others in front of the Chalet.

"That's okay. I think it's worked out pretty well," Natalie looked up at her with a smile. Her heart did a little flutter at the smile she got back in return.

"Hey guys, you planning on joining us some time tonight?" Helen called out.

"Shut up, Helen," Tracy called back politely. The group laughed as they caught up and entered the house where Tracy introduced Natalie to Cheryl, Peggy, Michelle and Lori who remembered seeing her at the airport.

"Glad you could join us," Peggy greeted. "There's beer, wine, margarita's out on the deck and if you're hungry some snacks in the kitchen. Help yourself."

"Thanks. And Thanks for having me." Natalie looked around feeling a little intimidated. It wasn't so much that she was at party with nothing but women, gay women to be precise, but it was the fact that there were so many of them.

"Come on," Tracy said, seeing the other woman's nervousness. "You look like you could use a drink."

It was after eleven by the time Natalie found herself fully relaxed and enjoying the party. The two beers she'd already had may have helped with that, but the women were all so friendly and made sure Natalie was having fun. Tracy had been dragged off by Michelle for a talk about twenty minutes earlier and Natalie had been content to sit and watch the other guests. She was sitting on a leather couch talking with Cheryl when a beer bottle appeared in front of her face. She turned to see Tracy standing beside her.

"Thanks," she greeted as she took beer and Tracy sat in the chair closest to the couch.

"You and Michelle have a nice talk?" Cheryl asked with a grin.

Natalie fought back a touch of jealousy as she caught the look. Michelle was a very beautiful woman. She looked to Tracy.

"It wasn't anything major; she just wanted my opinion as to whether she should put the moves on Sandra tonight."

"Ha. Now that should be interesting," Cheryl said watching the red headed Michelle making her way over to Tracy's friend. The two extroverted personalities would definitely make for great weekend fun for their friends.

"Where's your better half?" Tracy asked, wishing Cheryl would leave so she could move over to sit next to Natalie.

"I think she was setting up some chairs on the deck for later." She glanced at Natalie's puzzled look. "Peggy," she said reading the question on Natalie's face. "We're celebrating our fifth anniversary together this weekend."

"Wow. That's great. Congratulations," Natalie said sincerely. She knew very few people who had made it even half as long with their relationships.

"Thanks. So, Natalie, I've been meaning to ask; are you gay?"

Tracy choked on the beer she'd just swallowed, and Natalie just sat there without a clue as to how to answer.

"Good God, Cheryl. You ever heard of something called tact?" Tracy said, but she was carefully gauging the startled and spooked expression on Natalie's face.

Cheryl looked appropriately remorseful. "Sorry, Natalie. I didn't mean to upset you."

Natalie smiled weakly. "You didn't upset me. Really. It's just that I don't exactly know how to answer that right now."

"Ah. I see. I think I understand," Cheryl said and she did. She remembered when she was first trying to come to terms with her own sexuality.

"Hey guys, the lights should become visible here pretty soon."

The people still inside the Chalet turned toward the French doors leading to the back deck where Lori had popped her head in.

"You want to head out?" Tracy asked, feeling a wave of nervousness wash over her. She had been planning all night to get Natalie off alone so they could view the Borealis together and where she hoped she would be able to kiss her. She was almost sort of sure Natalie would kiss her back. Kind of.

"Yeah." Natalie stood up. 'I just need to grab my coat."

"I'll get it," Tracy volunteered rather quickly.

"I'll come with you," Cheryl said. "We'll be right back."

Tracy and Cheryl left a bemused Natalie watching them.

"So. What's going on with you and Natalie?" Cheryl asked curiously as they made their way to entryway closet.

"Nothing," Tracy said as they waited for three other guests to get their coats before it was their turn.

"Do I detect a 'yet' at the end of that sentence?" Cheryl asked smugly.

Tracy declined to answer as she quickly found her coat along with Natalie's.

"I do believe that's a yes," Cheryl said with a laugh as she answered her own question. "You've picked an interesting nut to try and crack. My guess is she's going through a bit of a hard time."

Tracy waited while Cheryl got her own coat. She knew what Cheryl was talking about. Natalie's non-answer about being gay told her a lot, but not as much as the vibes she'd been picking up from the apparently confused woman.

"I know," she responded as they headed back. "But I like her. "

Cheryl simply smiled as they reached Natalie who hadn't moved an inch from where they'd left her.

"Hey sweetie," Peggy greeted, draping her arms around Cheryl and kissed her gently on the cheek. She was quickly joined by Sandra and Michelle who Natalie saw were holding hands. Natalie bit back a giggle. Apparently Sandra didn't fight Michelle's advances too hard.

"Shall we ladies? " Sandra asked as they all finished putting on their coats and gloves.

They started toward the door when Tracy stopped Natalie. Pausing for a split second, Tracy reached out and carefully buttoned up Natalie's coat. She sensed, rather than heard, Natalie's breath falter.

"It's going to be very cold," she explained quietly "And you already had your gloves on."

"Th-thanks." Natalie was proud of herself that she was able to speak at all.

"Let's go," Tracy said, putting her own gloves on over her trembling hands.

Sandra, who'd witnessed the scene, shook her head, but then leaned over to whisper in Tracy's ear.

"There's a really nice spot further down the path by the lake. You guys should walk down there. The view should be spectacular and…quiet."

Tracy nodded once in thanks. When they reached the deck, Helen turned out the lights inside the chalet so the deck was in full darkness and all they could see is the starlit sky. Tracy snagged a couple of beers from the tub.

"Come on," Tracy said quietly to Natalie, who followed without a word.

Natalie was well aware of the several pairs of eyes watching them leave the deck, but she didn't care. All she cared about was the woman by her side. As they walked, she kept looking at the sky hoping to see the brilliant colors she'd come here to see. So far, the sky was silent.

"Here we go," Tracy said stopping in front of a large, lovely wooden bench that sat close to the frozen lake. She handed a bottle to Natalie as they both sat down and waited for the show to begin.

They were silent for a while as they took a moment to look at the sky. It was clear and the land was free of street noise. She'd never felt more at peace.

Tracy hated to break the silence but she felt the need to follow up on what Cheryl had asked earlier. "Can I ask you something?"


"I know we've just met, so you don't have to tell me, but what did you mean when Cheryl oh so delicately asked if you were gay, and you said you couldn't answer?"

Natalie was silent so long Tracy figured she'd offended her."I'm sorry, I didn't…"

"It's okay, Tracy. I was just thinking."

"About what?"

"How to answer. This was part of the reason I wanted to come here. So I could figure things out."

"Tell me," Tracy said quietly. She knew first hand that Natalie's talking about her feelings would be a lot more productive than merely thinking about them.

Natalie sighed. "I've only been having these feelings recently. I can't even tell you how or why. But lately I've been thinking a lot about what it would be like to have a relationship with a woman, which makes no sense. I mean why would I be having these thoughts now? At forty? Part of me thinks, maybe I'm just tired of being single, and since I've not had any luck with men, maybe I'm turning to women as a last resort. Then I start analyzing my life trying to figure out if there'd been signs I'd missed…"

Natalie's voice was growing agitated so Tracy placed a gloved hand over one of hers to quiet her rambling.

"Natalie, it's okay. It doesn't really matter why it's happening now, or whether it happened in the past. Let me ask you something. Forget about all that. How do you feel about me?"

Natalie's eyes widened. She hadn't expected that. "What?"

"Labels in general are inconsequential, Natalie. Gay, straight, bi, whatever. Those words don't really matter. How do you feel about me?"

"I've only known you a few days,"

"So? If it helps, I found myself attracted to you from the moment I saw you looking at me in the airport."

"I was hoping you'd forget about that," Natalie muttered. Then it sunk in what Tracy had said. "You're attracted to me? Why?"

Tracy laughed and shrugged. "Blunt aren't you? I don't know. Who understands how attraction works? But you haven't answered my question."

Natalie hesitated for only a moment. "Yes. I am."

"Good," Tracy replied happily. "Does it bother you? To be attracted to a woman, that is."

Natalie frowned as she thought about her answer. "Actually, it doesn't. Not really," she said somewhat surprised. "I'm more concerned with the fact that we've only known each other a short time and that if I allow it, I'll get more attached to you than is wise."

"Oh. " Tracy wasn't quite sure how to respond to that.

They were quiet as they drank their beer and looked up at the sky, each woman thinking about what they wanted to do next.

Suddenly the sky came alive. It started slowly and before they knew it streams of green and blue began to flicker across the sky.

"Oh my god," Natalie whispered. Never in her life had she seen anything as beautiful. It went beyond everything she had expected when she planned this trip. All the pictures in the world couldn't do the real thing justice.

"It's amazing," Tracy said just as awed. She found herself placing an arm around Natalie who leaned her head on her shoulder as they watched the show as it grew in intensity.

Neither knew how long they had sat there quietly watching. Natalie was completely torn between the feelings inspired by the view and the feeling of Tracy's arm around her. She was having a hard time containing the emotions rolling through her. Suddenly she felt Tracy rub her cheek against the top of her head. She lifted her head and turned to look into blue eyes that were now focused intently on her.

Tracy placed her bottle on the ground next to the bench and slowly reached out to stroke her fingers down Natalie's cheek. Neither woman moved for what could have been a full minute or just a split second. Then Tracy slowly lowered her head and did what she'd wanted to do all night.

This is not smart, Natalie warned herself, even as she tilted her head up to meet Tracy's lips. This is stupid, it's reckless, it's…oh god, it's wonderful. The colors of the sky suddenly faded away as Natalie allowed herself to become caught up in the sweetest kiss she'd ever received. Tracy gently introduced her tongue to Natalie's who welcomed it whole heartedly. Natalie raised her hand to touch Tracy's face, but groaned when she realized she was still holding her beer.

Tracy laughed softly as she pulled away only to take the bottle from Natalie's hand and place it beside hers on the ground.

"Thank you," Natalie whispered politely.

"You're welcome," Tracy whispered back before she kissed her again, sliding an arm around her back. This time, Natalie's hand found the back of Tracy's neck without impediment, her only regret being that the thick gloves she wore prevented her from feeling the warmth of Tracy's skin.

After a blissful eternity, though she really didn't want to, Tracy finally pulled away from Natalie. Their breath visible between them as they tried to calm their racing hearts. Tracy ran her hand down Natalie's cheek once more before they sat back to watch the continuing spectacle of the Northern Lights, Natalie's head once again resting on Tracy's shoulder.

Sooner than either would have liked, it eventually became too cold for them to stay out any longer. They picked up their bottles and made their way back to the chalet, Tracy holding tightly to Natalie's hand.

Wolf whistles greeted their return to deck. Natalie blushed and Tracy told them to grow up, though the grins on both women's faces belied their irritation.

The party broke up about an hour later and Tracy, Natalie and the others, minus Sandra who, to no one's surprise had decided to stay with Michelle, made their way back to the lodge. Natalie had her hand wrapped comfortably in Tracy's arm as she relived the evening in her mind. She had wanted a peaceful, quiet vacation, but this was turning out so much better.


Part 5- Day 4 The Date

Natalie had just finished getting dressed when a knock sounded at the door. Her heart immediately knew who it was and started pounding in anticipation. She opened the door and wasn't disappointed to see Tracy standing there already in her coat.

"Morning," Tracy said warmly just before she bent down and kissed Natalie thoroughly.

"Hi," Natalie croaked out after Tracy finally pulled away.

"I wanted to see…well, if you didn't have anything planned I mean, if you wanted to spend the day with me?"

Natalie didn't even hesitate. "Sure."


Natalie slipped into her coat and grabbed her gloves. "What did you have in mind?" She asked as they headed down to the lobby.

Tracy laughed. "To be honest, I hadn't planned that far ahead."

"Um. Okay. How about we start with breakfast?" Natalie teased her. She was moved by how flustered the self assured woman appeared.

After breakfast, Natalie suggested they go ice skating and Tracy readily agreed. As they left the lodge, they ran into Richard and Joyce who were on their way in along with the couple they were traveling with. Natalie greeted the older couple with a hug and introduced Tracy who, Natalie was amused to notice, shifted uncomfortably under the inquisitive gaze of the older woman.

"I can see why you like her. She's very pretty," Joyce whispered loudly as the two couples left to go into breakfast, and Natalie blushed.

"What was that about?" Tracy asked curiously as they walked down the steps headed toward the rental hut.

Natalie wasn't going to answer, but the thought of flustering the tall confident woman next to her appealed to her.

"She said you're pretty and she knows why I like you." Natalie wasn't disappointed as Tracy turned a beet red and she chuckled. It didn't take long, however, before Tracy turned the tables.

"So. Do you?" she asked quietly.

"Do I what?" Natalie knew what Tracy was asking, but was hoping to hold on to some control of the conversation.

"Like me."

Natalie glanced at the taller woman who looked so good with her long hair pushed back off her head with a thick black headband.

In response, Natalie reached out and took Tracy's hand as they went to get their skates.

Natalie couldn't remember having so much fun. Tracy was a surprisingly playful woman and so easy to be with, even if they were lousy skaters. Her favorite moment came when Tracy had been skating backwards and was taunting Natalie's novice skating abilities, when her feet went out from under her and she wound up on her butt.

Natalie's burst of laughter was short lived as Tracy grabbed her hand and jerked her off her feet as well. Then it was Tracy's turn to laugh. Natalie couldn't maintain her pout as she gazed at that smile and she found herself laughing again.

"My ass is cold," she said, causing Tracy to laugh again. Finally Tracy got to her feet and helped Natalie to hers. She wore a smirk that caused a shiver down Natalie's spine that had nothing to do with her frozen posterior.

"Need me to warm that for you?" Tracy whispered into her ear as she ran a hand over the body part in question.

Natalie bit back a moan and decided to get even. "Maybe later," she said and grinned to see the smirk quickly removed from the lovely face.

Her efforts were rewarded by a brief but powerful kiss that warmed both women considerably.

"Come on," Tracy said, taking Natalie's hand and pulling her from the ice. They removed their skates and changed back into their boots. Natalie took the skates back to the office while Tracy made a phone call.

Natalie returned bearing two cups of coffee just as Tracy disconnected.

"Thanks. You ready?"


"I was thinking. Do you want to go into town today?"

"That sounds great. I had planned on going with Anita but…" she shrugged.

"I'm sure you'll have more fun with me," Tracy teased having seen the sad look cross Natalie's face.

"We'll see."

They walked back to the lodge so they could arrange for transportation all the while Tracy commenting freely about Natalie's sore backside.

It was close to five o'clock when the two ladies returned to the lodge. Natalie had to admit that Tracy had been right. There was no way she would have had as much fun with Anita.

They had spent the day walking around the beautiful old town and stopping into various shops. They stumbled across a friendly hockey game in progress on the outdoor rink in the middle of town and watched a bit of that before heading to the local diner for hot tea and a small lunch. At one point, Tracy had talked Natalie into taking a Curling lesson which didn't go that well. It was way harder than it looked and the two women had spent more time laughing then actually playing. After a bit more shopping they decided to head back to the lodge.

Tracy had relished the fact that here she could hold Natalie's hand, or kiss her in public without a big ruckus from nosey observers and she took advantage of Canada's openness as frequently as she could. Sooner than she liked she knew it was time for them to head back to the lodge. She had plans that needed to be completed.

"So, do you want to grab a beer or something?" Natalie asked as she removed her gloves, sighing at the warm heat from the lodge.

Tracy frowned, removing her gloves as well. "I can't. I've got something I need to take care of."

Natalie bit back her disappointment and smiled. "Oh. Okay. Um…will I see you…before I leave tomorrow I mean?"

Tracy was startled by the question. It hadn't even occurred to her that Natalie would think this was the end of their time together. "Of course you will… I…" she looked around seeing the several guests scattered through the lobby and the sitting area. "Come on. I'll walk you to your room."

They walked up to Natalie's room each lost in their own thoughts. When they reached her room, Tracy looked up and down the hall and saw it empty. Next thing Natalie knew, her back was against the closed door and her arms were full of a tall, amorous blonde who was kissing her as if there were no tomorrow. Which, in away, Natalie supposed there wasn't.

Tracy groaned as Natalie slipped her tongue into her mouth. She raised her hands so she could slide them into Natalie's dark hair and lost herself in the rush of feelings this one woman's kiss induced. Though her body protested strongly, she gently pulled away.

Natalie fought to catch her breath. If she never kissed another person as long as she lived, she wouldn't care as long as she had the memory of Tracy's warm, strong lips. She and Tracy stood for a long moment merely looking at each other. Needing to maintain contact, Natalie slowly reached out and unzipped Tracy's jacket without breaking eye contact. Tracy stood patiently letting Natalie slide her hands inside to rest just above her breasts.

"Will you have dinner with me tonight?" Tracy finally asked, willing the smaller woman to move her hands before she either collapsed or gave into the fire building inside of her.

"Of course," Natalie replied. She lifted a hand to push Tracy's hair back from her captivating face, letting her fingers trail down her cheek.

"Good. I'll come by and pick you up at seven?"

"Alright," Natalie agreed quietly.

After another few moments Tracy bent and kissed Natalie briefly and walked away without another word. She only hoped Natalie would like what she had planned.

Despite her trembling hands, Natalie somehow managed to get the door to her room opened. She felt dazed, her lips still feeling the pressure of Tracy's kiss. She brought her fingers up and touched her lips. She could still feel the dampness and wished the feeling would never go away. As she changed into her sweats so she could lie down before dinner, her knees grew weak as she contemplated the way this evening was likely going to end. Or at least the way she wanted it to.


Part 6-Saying Goodbye.

At almost seven o'clock on the dot, Natalie heard a knock on her door. She ignored the flutter of anticipation in her stomach and opened the door. The anticipation turned to arousal when she came face to face with the tall blonde who was looking remarkably sexy in tight jeans and a close fitting purple sweater. Her blond hair was loose and framed her face which as usual wore no make up. Natalie fought the desire to touch that face.

"Hi," she greeted after realizing she'd been quiet too long.

"Hi." Tracy pulled her arm from where it had been resting behind her back and held out a little stuffed dog with the lodge's name on his chest.

Natalie melted as she took the adorable toy. "He's so cute. Thank you."

Tracy looked slightly embarrassed. "I wanted to bring you flowers, but I couldn't find any. Plus I figured you could keep him longer…if you wanted to, I mean."

Natalie placed her hand on the taller woman's cheek. "I love it. Really. I wish I had something for you."

"Don't worry about it," Tracy said as she took Natalie's fingers from her face and then kissed them before releasing her hand. "Oh, you may want to grab your coat." Natalie was wearing jeans and a thick white cable knit sweater but it was still very cold outside even if the walk was going to be a short one.

"Why?" Natalie had assumed they were eating in the dining room.

"I kind of have a surprise," Tracy responded nervously.

"A surprise? For me?"

"Uh huh."

"Oh. Okay. Hold on a second." Natalie went back to grab her coat feeling a thrill of excitement run through her. No one had ever organized a surprise for her.

She and Tracy left the lodge and it only took a moment for Natalie to realize they were heading toward the chalet from the night before.

"Um, Tracy? Where are we going?

Tracy coughed nervously. "The chalet," she replied simply.

Natalie chuckled. "I sort of figured that out, but what's this surprise?"

"Well, Peggy and the others staying there sort of suggested the idea. They thought it would be nice if…well, they wanted us to have…"

"Tracy," Natalie put her hand on the taller woman's lips to quiet her. Something about seeing her discombobulated turned Natalie on.

"Well, they are staying in the lodge tonight. Peggy and Cheryl are taking my room and Michelle is staying with Sandra. I think Lori is going to stay with Helen."

Natalie almost had a heart attack as she realized what these ladies she barely knew had in mind. "And?" she managed to ask. She wanted to hear it all.

"They decided that they liked you and since you're leaving tomorrow, they wanted to give us a um…private night together."

Natalie was speechless. She had been hoping for something like this, but to hope and to have is two very different things. She wasn't sure she was ready.

Tracy saw the multitude of expressions cross the brunettes face and stopped walking. She put a hand on Natalie's shoulder to stop her.

"Natalie, it's okay. If you don't want to…"

"I do," Natalie blurted. Having Tracy offer to back out convinced Natalie that this was right. The slow smile that brightened Tracy's face only served to seal the deal in her mind.

They continued their walk in a comfortable silence. When they approached the chalet, Tracy opened the door and gestured for Natalie to proceed her, anxious to see her reaction. She wasn't disappointed.

"Oh my," Natalie breathed. Though it was still daylight, the curtains had all been drawn so the house was dark enough for the scattered candles that had been lit to be effective. The table was set elegantly for two.

"You like it?" Tracy asked

Natalie was stunned. No one had ever done anything like this for her before. Unable to express verbally how much she liked it, she instead reached up to kiss the surprisingly romantic woman.

"I take it that's a yes?" Tracy laughed when they finally pulled apart.

"Definitely," Natalie agreed. Both women removed their coats and Tracy took them to the closet and then led Natalie to the table.

"Here, have a seat. Dinner's ready and warming, I just need to bring it out."

"Can I help?"

"You can pour the wine if you want," Tracy said as she headed into the kitchen.

Natalie took the chilled bottle of chardonnay and poured two glasses while waiting for Tracy to return. The smells coming from the kitchen were making her mouth water.

Within moments Tracy returned with their dinners and they spent the next hour engaged in pleasant conversation which they deliberately steered away from Natalie's imminent departure the next day.

After they finished, Natalie helped clear the table and the two women quickly took care of the dishes before they grabbed their wine and headed to the sofa which faced the lit fireplace. Tracy stopped to put on some soft music and then joined Natalie on the couch. She quickly put her arm around the smaller woman's shoulder and pulled her close, sighing when the dark head lowered to rest on her shoulder.

They sat in silence for a long moment before Tracy moved her hand to lift Natalie's face, savoring the feel of the smooth skin that warmed to her touch. She stared into gleaming dark eyes for a moment before she lowered her head and kissed the quiet woman. They exchanged small gentle kisses before Tracy pulled her closer and slowly slid her tongue inside to join with Natalie's. She groaned to find it warm and welcoming.

It wasn't long before Natalie slid her arm up around Tracy's neck and thrust her hands into the silky strands of blonde hair and she slowly ran her fingers through it even as Tracy slowly ran her tongue over Natalie's. Natalie moaned deeply as Tracy's hand moved down to stroke her throat, her fingers so long they almost wrapped completely around it. Her thumb stroked the throbbing pulse point for a moment before sliding lower to just below a full breast. Natalie whimpered slightly when Tracy pulled away and simply looked into her eyes for an endless moment.

"I love kissing you," Tracy said quietly.

"I love kissing you too." Natalie lifted hand and brushed a lock of blond hair from the face looking down at hers, her eyes focused on the full lips so close to hers. "I don't want to go home tomorrow," she whispered.

Tracy sighed. "I don't want you to go either." Then she bent to kiss Natalie again before both made promises that neither would be able to keep.

After several moments, Tracy's more experienced hands down to Natalie's shoulders and then moved down her chest. She tentatively used her fingertips to caress the outside of Natalie's full breasts, aware that this was all new to the other woman. When Natalie's head fell back, Tracy immediately placed her lips against the soft skin of her throat even as she let her fingers play.

"Please," Natalie groaned, not sure of what she was wanting. Her emotions were running rampant and she couldn't decide which one to focus on. She know longer knew what she was, but she knew what she wanted. She'd waited forty years to meet someone who could make her feel this way. Someone who could show her that passion did exist outside of television and movies. Her hands flew up to firmly clasp Tracy's face and brought her lips back to hers.

Natalie trembled as she slid her tongue into Tracy's mouth and heard the other woman moan. She savored the feel of Tracy's smooth tongue against hers and basked in the hint of wine that flavored the warmth of her mouth but soon it wasn't enough. Everything inside of her was begging for more.

Tracy seemed to read Natalie's urgency and broke away. She took a moment to look into glazed eyes and at the flushed cheeks. It secretly thrilled her that she had this effect on the other woman who'd never considered a same sex relationship before. Too soon the pounding heartbeats and panting breaths had Tracy on overload. As calmly as she was able, she got to her feet and held out her hand, ecstatic when a small warm hand slid immediately into hers.

Tracy calmly led Natalie upstairs to the room that Peggy and Cheryl had set up for them. Natalie was happy to follow, taking a moment to briefly ogle the view in front of her as they climbed the stairs. When they entered the large bedroom, Natalie was touched to see more candles lighting the room. She hoped she had enough time tomorrow to thank the ladies for their generosity. But for now, she had only one thing on her mind, the tall, sexy blonde who was looking at her so intently.

Moving forward, Natalie placed her hands on Tracy's chest letting her fingers feel the pounding of the heart beneath the sweater. Her eyes stared into blue ones as she slowly began to stroke up and down, wondering how long the recipient of her touches would continue to stand tamely, letting her explore. Her eyes lowered to the full breasts beneath her hands. She was overwhelmed by what she was feeling but amazed she was actually doing what she was doing. She watched in fascination as her hands seemed to move of their own volition and cupped Tracy's breasts, completely intrigued by the weight in her hands. Then her attention was captured by the sounds coming from the throat above her. She looked up to see Tracy's head tilted back and she couldn't resist reaching up to trail her lips down the long, pale neck, nibbling at the corded muscles. At that moment, Tracy lost her inability to stand still.

Her hands moved to Natalie's hips and then pulled the sweater slowly over her head, pleased that Natalie didn't appear the least bit afraid. In fact, Tracy had to bite back a chuckle as Natalie grumbled when the removal of her sweater caused her lips to be separated from Tracy's neck. Within a second she was free to return to her task, but Tracy was ready to move forward.

"Natalie," she whispered, loving the feel of those warm lips on her skin, but wanting to feel them elsewhere.

"Hmm?" Natalie had found something that fascinated her and she wasn't ready to let go. She groaned when Tracy placed her hands on her biceps to gently push her away.

"What?" She asked suddenly afraid. "Am I…did I…did I do something wrong?"

Tracy smiled reassuringly at her. "No, you didn't do anything wrong, but I would like my turn." She could see the other woman's cheek turn dark even in the candle lit room.

"Oh," was the whispered reply.

Tracy laughed softly, stepping back from her innocent lover. She lowered her hands to lift her own sweater, but Natalie interrupted her and moved her hands.

Natalie paused briefly unsure if she could go through with what she was contemplating. Then the back of her fingers brushed the warm skin of Tracy's belly and her doubts vanished. She raised the sweater as far as she could up Tracy's long arms before Tracy had to help her.

Quickly both women were in pants and bras and both had opposing thoughts running through their minds. Tracy was wishing for more light so she could see the woman who'd come to mean so much to her. Natalie was grateful for the darkness as she knew her body was no match for the tall athletic frame standing in front of her.

Aware that this was Natalie's first time, Tracy knew she'd have to take the lead. She sat on the bed and pulled Natalie forward to stand between her legs. She had to fight to stay still and let Natalie familiarize herself with the experience. There was just enough light in the room for her to see brown eyes gleaming down at her intently. She sat perfectly still as Natalie's trembling hands lifted to sift through her hair.

"You have such beautiful hair," Natalie said quietly.

"Thank you." Tracy said as she carefully reached up and placed her hands on Natalie's soft belly. She had to be honest with herself if no one else, that the women she normally went out with always seemed to match her in physique, but she realized there was something to be said about extra softness. She felt the muscles beneath her fingers quiver and she slid her hands up to cup the large lace covered breasts and squeezed gently, savoring the deep moan that was her response.

As fingers brushed through her hair, she leaned forward and pressed her lips to the skin of Natalie's cleavage. It was so warm and smooth. She dropped several kisses along the edge of Natalie's bra. She could hear the panting breaths coming from both of them. Gentle hands cupped her cheeks and raised her face.

Natalie studied the face looking up at her. She felt her knees grow weak when the full lips lifted into another of her sexy smiles. She had to touch. Her finger lifted and touched the dimple and then she couldn't resist bending down to let her tongue flicker out and taste it. She felt Tracy tremble at the touch.

"I love your smile," Natalie said quietly. "It's what caught my eye in the airport."

"I felt your eyes on me," Tracy acknowledged, taking Natalie's hand in hers and kissing the palm. "You had this adorably confused look on your face."

Natalie shivered when Tracy skimmed her hot lips up her wrist. She was almost overwhelmed by the multitude of feelings running through her, but there was one thought that seemed to overpower the others. She ran her fingers over the sharp, sexy jaw of the woman sitting on the bed.

"You really want me?"

The question was asked quietly, but though Tracy was surprised she had to ask, she also knew what the other woman needed. She took hold of Natalie's hands, stilling them and capturing the vulnerable gaze with her own.

"Oh, yes. Very much," she answered seriously. Her heart melted as she saw the dark eyes fill with tears. She leaned forward so that she could kiss the soft belly in front of her and was surprised when Natalie took a step back.

"What's the matter?" she asked, afraid that Natalie had changed her mind.

"I… "Natalie looked down at her rounded belly then back into the puzzled blue eyes, unable to put her fear into words.

Seeming to read her mind, Tracy smiled comfortingly before moving her hands to Natalie's hips and pulling her back. She slowly moved in and this time her lips made contact and small hands flew to the blonde's shoulders to keep herself from falling to the floor.

Natalie couldn't believe that this woman was kissing one of her most embarrassing features. The feeling of the silky lips skimming over her stomach mixed with the surprising flicker of a velvet tongue was almost over ridden by Tracy's tenderness.

The very moment that Tracy's long fingers moved to the button on her jeans, Natalie gave up everything to her instincts. She lifted Tracy's face away from her belly and leaned down to taste the lips that had been giving her so much pleasure. She kissed her once, twice and then again, this time sliding her tongue into Tracy's welcoming mouth. Her mind seemed to be on fire and she had no idea what to do. Her knees almost buckled in relief as Tracy seemed to understand and finally took control.

She couldn't even dredge up a tiny bit of protest as Tracy lay back, pulling Natalie with her. She wasn't sure how it happened, but she was soon lying on her back with Tracy's long frame on top of her. Tracy's lips had taken complete control of hers and she loved every second of it. The kisses Natalie had experienced before completely paled in comparison. As far as she was concerned, she'd never been kissed before. She slid her arms around the slender body covering hers and stroked the firm skin, pausing briefly as her hand encountered the lacy undergarment Tracy still wore. Taking a deep breath, she slowly moved her hand around until she could caress the breasts that were so close to her own.

Tracy broke away from Natalie's kiss when she felt the small hand caressing her. Her mouth went dry at the sensation. For a novice, the smaller woman was amazing and had her senses spinning with desire. She moved to kiss her way up Natalie's jaw and then down to where neck met shoulder. She had no idea how long she spent sucking gently at the spot where Natalie's pulse throbbed beneath her mouth, but she smiled to herself when she realized that the woman beneath her was going to be taking home an unexpected souvenir on her neck.

Tracy grew hotter when she heard the little pants and felt the warm breaths in her ear. She sat up to where she was straddling Natalie and she simply looked down at a woman that she was disturbed to think she may have ignored in different circumstances. She was fascinated by the dark hair that was spread out on the pillow, the dark eyes that were starting up at her with needy passion and the flush that seemed to cover Natalie's entire body, well what was showing anyway. She wanted to see more.

Tracy slid her hands down to the jeans she'd already unbuttoned. She was fully prepared to finish undressing the woman below her, when small hands reached up and softly explored her firm stomach before moving up and once more cupping her breasts, stopping her in her tracks. A low, long groan was pulled from her throat as Natalie learned her body. When shaking fingers undid the front hook of her bra and then resumed their caressing, Tracy quickly lost the control she'd barely been holding on to. Ignoring the hands that were doing such wonderful things to her, she reached to grab hold of Natalie's shoulders and pulled her upright. She kissed her with every ounce of heat that running through her, and in the process managed to remove her bra and they were now breast to breast.

"Oh my god," Natalie choked out when Tracy moved her kisses down her throat and toward her chest. She never in her wildest dreams expected to feel this way. Her hands grabbed hold of Tracy's head as if afraid she'd move away.

For her part, Tracy let out a grunt then a chuckle as she felt a sharp tug in her hair as soon as she reached Natalie's breast. She knew the woman beneath her was anxious to participate, but Tracy wanted to make Natalie's first time all about her and she did. Thankfully, Natalie was a fast learner.

Natalie lay wide awake, listening to the soft breathing coming from the woman curled up next to her. She had no doubts or regrets about what had happened. She loved every second of it. After the first time, the two women had gone outside to watch the Lights once last time before returning inside where Tracy warmed her up all over again.

Truth be told, Natalie was hoping Tracy would wake up so they could do it again before she had to leave.

Smiling, she looked down at the blonde head that rested on her breast and the arm that was thrown across her stomach. Natalie wasn't used to sharing a bed. She'd always thought she would feel cramped or crowded and she was quite used to having the whole bed to herself. Now, she wondered if she'd be able to go back to sleeping alone. Tracy's presence gave her a sense of warmth and security that she'd never felt before.

Unable to help herself, Natalie began stroking Tracy's back lightly, savoring the feel of soft skin over firm muscle. It took only a heartbeat before she felt lips moving on her breast. She moaned softly when Tracy's tall body moved over hers and the lips that had been on her breast moved to her throat and lingered for an excruciating moment before finally covering Natalie's.

Tracy couldn't think of a better way to wake up as she felt the body beneath hers moving seductively against her own. She trailed her fingers down the shorter body studying every whimper, groan and occasional giggle when she hit a ticklish spot.

"I've got to leave soon," Natalie whispered even as her hands slid into the soft blonde hair pulling her closer.

"I know," Tracy murmured against Natalie. "But not right now." The reminder of Natalie's departure ignited a fire inside of Tracy and she began making love to the woman below her in earnest. Natalie stopped worrying about the time.

Tracy sighed as she opened her eyes. She glanced at the clock and then reached out her hand and found the bed next to her empty.

"Natalie?" Tracy sat up afraid the woman had snuck out on her. She let out a sigh of relief when she saw the light coming from the bathroom.

"I'm here," Natalie said coming back in the room, fully dressed.

"You're leaving?" Tracy reached out and pulled Natalie down to sit on the bed next to her.

"I've got to. It's six o'clock and I still need to shower and pack before I head to the airport."


Natalie looked at the blonde for a moment before reaching out a hand and brushing her hair back from her face.

"Thank you," she said quietly.

Tracy's eyes widened at that. "For what?"

"I came here completely confused about who I am and you…well you helped me figure it out."

Tracy frowned as she considered what Natalie had said. "I…was this just an experiment then?"

"Oh, no," Natalie said emphatically, cupping the strong jaw in her hands. "Please don't think that. I just explained it badly."

The sincerity in the brown eyes was clear and Tracy relaxed. She'd always steered clear of straight women with sexuality issues for that reason.

"Can you change your flight?" she blurted, not wanting Natalie to leave.

"I wish I could, but I have to be back at work tomorrow." Natalie took a moment to caress Tracy's still sleepy face. "I've got to go."

"Wait a few minutes and I'll walk you back. It's still dark out and…"

"I'll be fine. The sun is starting to rise so there's some light out and..." she paused, lowering her hands.


"I'd sort of rather say goodbye here."

"It doesn't have to be goodbye, Natalie. I really want to see you when I get back to Austin."

Natalie's head raised in surprise. "You do?"

Tracy laughed. "Well yeah, silly girl."

"I'd like that."

Tracy took Natalie's hand and unconsciously began playing with her fingers. "I know this is new to you, so we'll go as slow as you want to."

"That really means a lot to me," she replied. She wasn't sure that she was up to dealing with the questions and comments her friends were bound to throw at her, but she knew she wanted to see this woman again.

"Can I pick you up at the airport tomorrow?"

Tracy thought about her car which was sitting in long term parking at the airport and then into the warm brown eyes. "I'd love that. Thank you." She'd have to get Sandra to give her a ride back to the airport later to pick up her car but it was worth it.

"Well then. I guess I should go. Thank you for last night. You were…it was…" Natalie shook her head not knowing how to put her feelings into words.

In response, Tracy pulled her close and kissed her as if she wasn't going to see her the next day.

When they finally pulled apart, Natalie was seriously considering the ramifications of missing her flight but then she regained her senses. She handed Tracy a piece of paper. While Tracy had still been sleeping, Natalie had gone down stairs and wrote down her cell phone number and email address.

"Call me tomorrow and let me know when and where to pick you up."


"Tell the girls I said thanks and goodbye for me."

"I sure will. I'm sure they'll want to see you again too."

"I'd like that."

The two women stared at each other for a long moment before Natalie got to her feet.

"Well, goodbye then."

Tracy grabbed Natalie's hand and kissed the palm. "Not goodbye. I'll see you tomorrow." She pulled Natalie down for another lingering kiss before Natalie pulled away and without looking back, left the room and then the chalet.

She blessed the silence that surrounded her as images from the previous nights ran across her mind as brightly as the Northern Lights had flickered across the winter sky. Fighting the urge to turn around, she made her way back to the lodge, for the first time in what seemed like forever, looking forward to what the next day would bring.

The End

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