Dawn stepped up behind Claudia, her arms gently wrapping around the other's woman's waist. Smiling gently, she let her gaze drift over the scene before her, a feeling of awe running through her as the sinking sun met the ocean far in the horizon.
"It's gorgeous, isn't it?" she asked quietly.
With an amused shake of her head, Claudia reached up and brushed a strand of dark hair out of her eyes. Then she slowly turned away from the sunset, her dark eyes practically glowing with the sun's rays. They twinkled slightly as she nonchalantly reached over and clasped Dawn's hand in her own.
"Definitely," she agreed, "but it's not the only thing around here that's gorgeous."
The barest hint of a smile tugged at the corners of Dawn's mouth, and Claudia shot her an impish grin. Without saying a word, the two women leaned closer to each other and let their lips meet in a passionate kiss.
Claudia carefully moved her arm out from under Dawn, smiling slightly as her girlfriend let out a moan and rolled over just a bit. A warm summer breeze drifted through the open bedroom window, sending her dark hair flying chaotically around her face.
She stretched a little, and the sheet that covered her slipped down off her breasts. Her gaze darted toward Dawn for an instant before she slowly stood up, letting the sheet fall back down to the bed. As the breeze caressed her uncovered body, she sighed quietly. Then, with a quick glance at the outside balcony, she reached down and grabbed the oversized T-shirt that she had discarded the night before. With one more fleeting look at the peacefully sleeping woman on their bed, she pulled the shirt over her head and headed toward the door that led outside.
Still smiling faintly, Claudia stepped outside. She walked over to the balcony's railing and leaned against it, her gaze moving out toward the dark, crashing waves several hundred yards away. With a sigh of contentment, she closed her eyes and stood there letting the minutes tick by.
"What are you doing?" a familiar voice asked curiously.
Claudia's eyes shot open, and her head spun around to face Dawn, who had suddenly appeared behind her. Her lover's short blonde hair brushed at her bare shoulders, and a coy smile played at the corners of her mouth. The sheet from their bed was loosely wrapped around her, barely covering her body.
"Well?" Dawn questioned again, her eyes twinkling slightly.
Claudia smiled and moved over enough for Dawn to stand beside her. Her gaze traveled back toward the ocean, and a distant expression appeared in her eyes. "I was just remembering the first time we kissed," she said quietly.
Dawn's smile turned into a smirk as she gently laid her head on Claudia's shoulder. "That was something, wasn't it?" she asked mischievously. "There I was, visiting from California for the first time in almost a year, and full of all sorts of new ideas. And then you asked if I could help baby-sit the Prezzioso kids... because you didn't think you could handle three little kids by yourself."
"They weren't three little kids," Claudia put in with a grin. "They were a former spoiled brat turned pre-teen, a six-year-old from hell, and a toddler going through the 'Terrible Twos.'"
"Anyway," Dawn said with another smirk, "it was an interesting night."
"Especially after we got the younger two in bed," Claudia added.
"True," replied Dawn, an impish glint in her eyes.
Eight years earlier...
Nineteen-year-old Dawn Schafer brushed a few damp strands of hair out of her eyes as she collapsed onto the Prezziosos' couch. Jenny glanced over at her, a smirk on her face. "Did you get Andrea to go to sleep?"
"Yeah," Dawn replied with a sigh, well aware that the ten-year-old was barely holding back her laughter. "But she wasn't very excited about taking a bath beforehand."
"I could tell," Jenny said with a grin. "Did I ever misbehave that badly?"
Dawn raised an eyebrow, causing the girl to go into peals of laughter. Shaking her head, the Californian let out a sigh. "Do you even have to ask?"
"Alex is well on his way of passing you in the spoiled brat category," Claudia said tiredly as she walked in and collapsed beside Dawn.
Jenny grinned as she closed her history book. "So they're both in bed?"
"Yep," Claudia replied with a tired nod, "your room is sibling free."
"Great!" Jenny said as she gathered up the books and papers that had been spread all over the living room floor. "I'm going to do my homework upstairs then. Try not to fall asleep or anything."
Dawn glanced over at Claudia, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth when she noticed that the other teenager had fallen asleep. Shaking her head slightly, she leaned back and quietly stared at her friend's face. Funny how she had never noticed just how gorgeous Claudia was until that moment.
A strange look appeared on the blonde-haired girl's face, and she slowly leaned in closer to Claudia. She smiled just a bit before leaning in and placing a gentle kiss on the other teen's lips. As she did so, her Claudia's eyes shot open as she let out a startled cry.
"What do you think you're doing?" Claudia asked in shock, her eyes widening in surprise as she pulled away from Dawn.
"Kissing you," she said simply.
"I can see that!" the dark-haired girl exclaimed, her breaths coming out in short gasps. "Why the hell did you kiss me!?"
Dawn shrugged casually, but there was a slightly sheepish tone as she spoke. "Because I wanted to?"
"But you're not-- I'm not-- since when are you interested in girls?" Claudia asked skeptically, her body relaxing slightly though she still stared at Dawn as if she was certain it was nothing but a big joke.
"A while now," Dawn answered nonchalantly. "I got drunk at a party a few months ago, and when I woke up the next morning I was with a gorgeous red-head named Catherine. It didn't creep me out, so... here I am."
"Ah," Claudia said softly, a slightly uncertain tone in her voice. "Okay. That's... not what I was expecting to hear."
"You're freaked," Dawn said with a sigh. "Aren't you?"
Claudia opened and shut her mouth a few times, but no sound came out. After a few seconds though, she slowly nodded her head. "Just-- just a little."
"That's fine," Dawn replied as she stood up and stretched slightly. "No big deal. Sorry about the kiss."
"Wait a second," Claudia put in suddenly. "I didn't... I'm not saying that I disliked the kiss. Exactly. It's just that I wasn't expecting it."
Dawn glanced at her curiously before dropping back down beside her on the couch. She cocked her head slightly as she stared into the dark-haired girl's eyes. "Claudia?"
Claudia smiled nervously, and Dawn's face split into a wide grin. She leaned in and laid a gentle kiss on the other girl's lips, but - as she was starting to pull away - Claudia pushed forward more intensely. Before either of them was even aware of it, they found themselves practically wrapped around each other.
Neither of them noticed when Jenny walked into the doorway, grinning until the moment she saw what was going inside the room. She froze where she stood, her eyes widening even more than they already were when she noticed that Dawn's hand had disappeared somewhere under Claudia's shirt.
The sound of a heavy thud nearby caught the two teenagers' attention, however, and they both quickly pulled away with a gasp. Guilty expressions on their faces, Dawn and Claudia sheepishly turned toward the doorway. Jenny just stood there, gaping at them, her history book laying on the floor where she had dropped it. After a moment, the ten-year-old eloquently worded the thought that was running through her head.
"What the heck?"
"I thought that Jenny was going to faint," Dawn said with a burst of laughter.
Claudia nodded, her eyes twinkling. "But she got over her shock pretty quickly once she realized that she was holding possible blackmail. Remember what we had to bribe her with before she promised not to mention to her parents that the two baby-sitters they had hired were making out in their living room?"
"I still miss that purse sometimes," the blonde woman said ruefully. "Especially those two twenties that were inside."
Claudia let out a bark of laughter before she gave Dawn a quick peck on the cheek. "Come on, it's getting cold. Let's go warm the room back up."
"Whatever you say," Dawn replied with a smirk.