Never Letting Go [Erotic Gems]
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by Suzanne Graham
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Ree has been Leila's best friend since her first day of work at the nonprofit research organization five years ago. They bonded immediately with a common interest in science and technology, as well as shared addictions to chocolate and Thai food. Being in the minority in a male-dominated field has made their friendship even more precious to Leila. She can't risk losing her best friend by exploring her new desire for Ree, but as desperate feelings of something wonderful slipping out of her reach flood through her, she wonders how she could ever let go.
eBook Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC, 2011 September
eBookwise Release Date: February 2012
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [32 KB]
Reading time: 16-22 min.
"Wait! I'm not dressed yet." Leila used her elbow to keep the dressing room door closed while holding up the front of the purple, strapless gown.
"What? You think you've got something I don't?" her best friend Ree quipped as she pushed her way into the small changing room.
"Fine. Since you're here, help me with this zipper." Leila faced the mirror and watched Ree in the reflection.
Ree's gaze slid over Leila's exposed skin as she raised her hands to the small of Leila's back. A shiver ran across Leila's skin as she considered her friend's eyes. Was there hunger in that look?
Slowly, Ree dragged the zipper up. "Lift your hair." Her voice was husky and sent tingles swirling in Leila's stomach.
Leila removed one hand from the front of the gown, tilted her head and swept her long black hair to the side. As she watched in the mirror, Ree bent forward. Her blonde hair tickled Leila's shoulder as she brushed her lips across Leila's bared neck.
Shocked, Leila froze as the sensation of both watching and feeling Ree's kiss penetrated her brain. Before she could respond, Ree finished zipping the dress and stepped back as far as the tiny square room allowed.
With a half-smile, Ree stared at Leila's reflection in the mirror. "You're beautiful. Patrick is a lucky man."
Leila's gaze flicked from the aubergine dress that complemented her olive skin to Ree's face. Sadness swamped her. She didn't want to wear this dress for Patrick, or for any man. She wanted to wear it for Ree, to see the appreciation that now shone in Ree's eyes as she spun around the dance floor with her best friend. They'd make a striking couple with Ree's fair coloring and Leila's darker looks.
She swallowed the words she wished she had the nerve to utter. Instead, she said, "Are you bringing Tony to the charity ball?"
Ree shrugged. "I might go solo this year."
Solo? Maybe it was time to finally set Patrick adrift if Ree was willing to take that step with Tony. They'd both been dating their men about the same length of time, nearly four months, and for the past three months, Leila had known Patrick wasn't her one true love.
Leila turned to face her friend. For a moment, she allowed her thoughts to fly free as she lost herself in Ree's sky blue eyes. How wonderful would it feel to surrender to this magnetism and give herself to Ree?
Then reality grounded her as she thought about what the stodgy conservatives from their office would say about two female employees attending their biggest fundraiser of the year as a couple.
"Did you and Tony have a falling out?" she asked before she did something out of character, like pull Ree into her arms and kiss her lush pink lips.
"I decided he wasn't really my type." Ree gently brushed back a strand of hair that had caught on Leila's eyelashes.
Leila's breath caught in her throat at the soft touch, and her stomach fluttered with anticipation. "R-ree...?" She stuttered to a stop, not really wanting to know the answer to her unspoken question. Regardless of where her daydreams took her, she wasn't prepared to act on her feelings if Ree actually indicated that Leila was her type.
"Yeah?" Ree waited.
"Uh, would you unzip me? I think I'll get this one." She spun around, putting her back towards her friend and stopping whatever had been about to happen in that moment.
"Sure." With a quick tug, Ree helped Leila with the dress. Then she grabbed the door handle. "I'll meet you out front." Her words came out short and clipped as she slipped out of the changing room.
Leila held the front of the gown to her chest and sank to the bench seat. Staring at her reflection, she watched tears gather at the corners of her eyes as desperate feelings of something wonderful slipping out of her reach flooded through her. Why was this happening to her now?
For the past five years, Ree had been her best friend--ever since meeting on Leila's first day of work at the nonprofit research organization. They'd bonded immediately with a common interest in science and technology, as well as shared addictions to chocolate and Thai food. Being two of only a few females in a male-dominated field made their friendship even more precious to Leila.
She couldn't lose her best friend over these feelings, not when she was unprepared to follow through on them. She would just have to leave this dressing room and act as if nothing had happened and hope Ree would do the same.