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For Love & Country

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Ali watches from the beach as her wife bobs in the ocean waves. She sits atop her favorite surfboard, face turned towards the rising sun. Ali hopes those rays and waves are cleansing her spirit and restoring her inner peace. She smiles when she sees Ashlyn point the board towards shore and start to paddle, easily rising to her feet as she rides a smooth wave towards shore, stepping off as it dies in the shallows. She then turns and paddles out again. On her fifth trip out, she turns and stares towards the shore. Ali smiles, recognizing the cue.

“Time to surf,” she says as she grabs her own board and paddles out to her wife. She finally ends up sitting side by side with the blonde. “Better?”

Ashlyn smiles and reaches over to take Ali’s hand. “Definitely. Thank you for giving me a few moments to just...just...”

“Find your center again?” Ali supplies.

Ashlyn considers that answer and nods. “Yeah. Exactly. I just needed this to remind me I am only one small piece in life’s puzzle. I can’t control everything but I can control my little place in the picture.”

Ali leans over and gives her a kiss. “Right. And in case you’re wondering, your piece is pretty damn important to my life’s puzzle. I’m glad you’re getting a couple weeks off to just relax and refresh.”

“Me, too,” Ashlyn smiles. “Especially since I get to celebrate the second best day ever.”

“Second best day ever?”

“Yep. Our wedding. Second best day ever,” she states positively.

“So what is the best day?” Ali asks with a grin, assuming Ashlyn will say the day the brunette was born.

Ashlyn lifts Ali’s hand and gives it a kiss. “A very important birthday.”

“Awww, Ashlyn...” Ali blushes.

“Yep. October 19, 1985.”

“WHAT?!”

“I mean, come on, look how dull this world would be without m- - WHOA!”

Ali surprises the blonde by leaping at her, sending them both off their boards into the water. When they surface they are both laughing. Ashlyn pulls the love of her life close. She gives her a kiss.

“I was kidding. The best day was the day you said yes to going out with me. I knew then I would do whatever I could do, change the bad things about me, to be worthy of your love. You made me a better person, Alex. Thank you.”

Ali pulls her close, choked up. “You made me better, too, Ash. You kept me from being so serious I missed the splendor of the little things in life. The good times have been so much better since you showed me how to enjoy life, not just live it.”

The two share another kiss, then reel in their boards. Ashlyn looks at her wife.

“This set’s yours, baby.”

Ali grins. “Perfect!”

She waits a second, then starts to paddle. Ashlyn watches with pride as the defender pops right up as if she had been surfing her whole life. It may have taken a while, but the woman is now as avid a surfer as her wife and nearly as good. Nearly.

When Ashlyn takes her wave, she shows off a bit, walking up and down the board while Ali laughs. Ashlyn grins, admiring that Krieger nose crinkle from afar. She’d do anything to keep that smile shining.


 

Around noon, the women pack up their things and make their way back to Ashlyn’s childhood home. Her grandmother smiles at the women as they enter the house.

“Good surf today, ladies?”

Ashlyn gives the woman a kiss on the cheek. “The best, Grandma. Need us to do anything?”

“Nope. Groceries are bought for now and Christmas. I believe you two need to get ready to leave.”

Ashlyn frowns in confusion. “Leave? Grandma, we don’t leave for Cancun until the 26th. It’s only the 22nd.”

Ali wraps her arms around her waist. “That’s our anniversary trip. But tonight is a present from me to you. I want to take you somewhere.”

“Oh? Uh, okay. What do I wear?”

“The outfit in my hanging bag,” she answers with a grin.

Ashlyn chuckles. “I didn’t know I had an outfit in there. You, Mrs. Krieger-Harris, are sneaky.”

“I know,” Ali says proudly. “Come on, let’s get you showered and looking pretty.”

Grandma laughs as Ashlyn rolls her eyes and follows her bride to their room. Ali grabs her hanging bag out of the closet and lays it on the bed. Ashlyn’s mouth goes dry when Ali removes a black, shimmering dress with slits in the sides, and hangs it on the door frame. The defender then pulls out Ashlyn’s dress uniform, including her highly polished shoes.

“You really are a sneak! But...where are we going?”

“You’ll see.” She glances at her watch. “We have just enough time for a nap if you want. You’ll probably need all your strength tonight.”

Ashlyn laughs and pulls her wife close. “A nap? I have a better idea,” she decides as she kisses her deeply as her hand undoes the bikini top Ali wears.

Ali moans. Naps are soooo overrated!


 

Ali hands her keys to the valet at the nicest hotel in Satellite Beach. Ashlyn offers her arm and Ali hooks it as they walk into the lobby where others dressed to the nines are gathered. When Ashlyn sees the sign announcing the gala, she stops in her tracks, her eyes getting wide.

“Are you...kidding me?”

“Nope,” Ali says proudly.

Ashlyn walks towards it as if in a trance. The sign reads, “First Annual Youth Sports Banquet to Benefit the Renovation of the Ashlyn Harris Soccer Fields.” Ashlyn slowly turns and looks at her wife in confusion.

“But...but...why? I mean, I never...I left the National Team and...and...”

“But you won 3 National Championships with UNC. You helped win the inaugural U-19 Women’s World Cup. And you won the WPS Championship in an amazing shootout. Baby, you then walked away from the soccer to serve your country. You are an inspiration to so many here. You’ve said it yourself: this is a town where it’s easy to get stuck. You’re proof kids can dream big and then make those dreams come true,” Ali explains.

Ashlyn is biting her lip, trying to keep her tears at bay. “This is...is...fuck, Alex...”

“You’ve made us proud, Ashlyn,” a deep voice says from behind them. Ashlyn turns and sees her high school principal. “I knew when you buckled down and did what you had to do to get into UNC you would make us proud. I had no idea just how proud.” He smiles and offers his hand. “Welcome home, Ashlyn. I can’t wait to see future players growing the game on the fields bearing your name.”

Ashlyn shakes his hand, still too choked up to speak. Ali gives her a quick squeeze around the waist.

“Thank you, sir,” Ali says on her behalf.

He steps away to give his alumna time to gather herself. Ashlyn finally looks at Ali.

“You knew about this?”

Ali nods. “Yes. Your grandmother called me when they contacted her.” She nods beyond Ashlyn’s shoulder. “Look, baby.”

Ashlyn turns to see her parents, grandparents and brother standing nearby. They are all smiling proudly. Ash chokes up again. Chris walks over and gives her a bear hug.

“I am so happy for you, sis. You’ve earned this.”

She then hugs her parents, making sure to tell them both how much she loves them. And then she goes to her grandparents, pulling them close.

“When times were tough, you never gave up on me. This is as much for you as for me,” she tells them.

Grandma kisses her cheek. “We always knew you’d become a great woman.”

“We’re so happy with the amazing lady, and officer, you’ve grown into,” her grandfather agrees.

Ashlyn hugs them again.

“Don’t use up all those hugs,” another voice chimes in.

Ashlyn looks up in surprise to see Deb and her husband standing with Ali. Ashlyn steps over to them.

“Never, Deb Deb,” she says. “Thank you for being here.”

“When Alex told us there was no way we’d miss it.”

Ashlyn slowly looks around, making eye contact with each member of her family. “You all mean so much to me. I could have never done the things I did then and what I’m doing now without the support and love I feel from each of you. My name may be on the sign, but each of you are the ones that made it possible.”

Ali smiles and steps up beside her, wrapping an arm around her middle. “That was beautiful, baby. Remember to say all that when you give your speech.”

Ashlyn’s face pales. “Speech? What speech? I don’t do speeches?”

“Oh, I think they want us to get seated now,” Ali says, leading the group towards the banquet hall.

“Alex...what speech. Alex?”

Ali just grins, knowing she has a few talking points written down to help her wife through the brief speech she is expected to give.

And despite the horror of the public speech, Ashlyn has a wonderful time with her loved ones and old friends as they raise money to improve the fields where she’d honed her soccer skills.


 

Ali giggles as Ashlyn slowly, carefully and stiffly sits down on the couch in their hotel suite. Ashlyn just glares at her.

“Shut it, Krieger,” she grumbles.

“Actually, it’s Krieger-Harris,” Ali points out with a smile.

Ashlyn just grunts. After spending Christmas with Ashlyn’s family as well as Deb and her husband, the women had flown the next day to Cancun for their anniversary. With the uncertainty of Ashlyn’s job and the many trips Ali has to take for soccer and soccer-related appearances, they had decided to make this week just for them.


This morning they had quickly donned their suits, lathered up with sunscreen and hit the beach. They had swum, played, and soaked in the ocean. As they exited after 2 hours, Ali had returned to their stuff to reapply sunscreen. Ashlyn, however, had seen 2 kids making a sandcastle and had hurried over to help them. Ali had watched in amusement as her wife had played and laughed like a kid.

By the time lunch time rolled around, Ashlyn’s skin was red. Bright red. Ali had shaken her head.

“Baby, you’ve got sunburn.”

“Nah, I’m fine!”

“Honey, you’re not. Here, let me put more lotion on you.”

Ashlyn had rolled her eyes as she sat down in front of her wife and allowed her to apply the lotion.


 

But it was much too late and now she is paying the price as dinnertime approaches.

“I’ve called down to the front desk. They are sending up some Solarcane for you,” Ali tells the miserable blonde.

“Thanks. Um, about dinner...”

“I’ve already cancelled our reservations and ordered room service so you can eat wearing nothing but Solarcane,” Ali tells her with a smile.

“You rock, baby,” Ashlyn says.

A few minutes later the medicine arrives. Ashlyn stands in the bathroom while Ali sprays down her back, arms and shoulders. Ashlyn sighs in relief.

“Damn, that feels so fucking good.”

Ali chuckles. “I bet it does.” There is another knock on the door. “Stay in here and I’ll get our dinner brought in.”

Ashlyn just nods as Ali closes the bathroom door and signs for their dinner. She had ordered lobster salad, steaks, baked potatoes, green beans, and, for dessert, crème brulee. Her mouth waters as she looks at the scrumptious meal.

“It’s safe to come out, baby.”

Ashlyn walks out of the bathroom and makes her way to the table in the room. She inhales deeply. “Smells great, baby.”

“Looks even better.” Ali pulls a bottle of champagne out of the ice bucket and pops it open. She pours two glasses and offers one to her wife before they sit down. “To us and a love strong enough to overcome any obstacle or hardship that may befall us.”

Ashlyn smiles and clinks their glasses together. “To us. I love you, Alex.”

“I love you, too.”

The two take a sip, kiss, then sit down to a wonderful dinner. When it ends, Ashlyn pats her full stomach.

“That was incredible, baby. Well chosen.”

Ali grins proudly. “I have my moments.”

Ashlyn nods. “Definitely.” She studies her wife a moment, then sighs. “I so want to make love to you right now...”

“...but your sunburn keeps you from moving very much. I get it.” She stands and extends her hand. “How about we lie in the cool sheets and watch a movie. We miss a lot of cuddle time with our schedules.”

“Damn right we do.”

Ashlyn accepts her hand and stands. Ali sprays her down once more, this time adding some zinc lotion to keep her wife’s skin from getting too dry and tight. In the bed Ashlyn changes up the way they usually lie, this time cuddling into her wife. Ali strokes her hand through long, blonde locks. They queue up a comedy they had both wanted to see and settle in for a couple hours of laughs.

They aren’t long into the movie when Ali loses interest in the storyline. It’s not that it’s a bad movie or she doesn’t like the actors. It’s because she is watching her wife laugh with unadulterated glee. She sees just the brief time they have been able to concentrate on family and love had recharged dull green eyes. Once again the sparkle that had been missing lately is there and her face actually appears younger (though sunburned). After a few minutes, Ashlyn looks up.

“How are you not laughing at this?”

Ali smiles, still stroking her wife’s hair. “Because I’m too busy loving you.”

Ashlyn shifts in the bed, the movie forgotten. She straddles her wife, pulling her into a passionate kiss. Her hands start to lift Ali’s shirt. The brunette pulls away.

“Ash...your burn...”

“Fuck it,” she mutters and proceeds to strip them both and make love to her wife for the next several hours.


 

The rest of their week in paradise goes much better, especially since Ashlyn pretty much insists on reapplying sunscreen every hour on the hour. On their last night, they once again decide to eat dinner in their room.

Naked.

Ashlyn had pulled on shorts and shirt long enough to let the room service waiter in then had once again stripped down. This evening, they had ordered an array of appetizers and other finger foods so they could sit together and feed each other. They are on a blanket on the floor in front of the couch. They tease, they play, they laugh, they kiss.

They are midway through dinner, when Ashlyn reaches under a couch cushion. “While I try my best to get the fire from that wing out of my mouth, I have a little something for you.”

Ali’s eyes brighten. “Baby! I thought we agreed no gifts!”

“We did. But see, I had already bought this so it was pre-agreement and therefore not binding by that accord,” Ashlyn says smugly.

Ali laughs. “Oh, so you got big words now, soldier?”

“Yep! It’s that ‘Word a Day’ toilet paper Chris gave me for Christmas.”

Ali continues to laugh and shake her head as she opens the gift. Her eyes widen when she sees the golden chain with a small diamond pendant hanging from it.

“Oh, Ashlyn...it’s gorgeous!” She spins around. “Put it on me?”

Ashlyn nods and does so. She smiles as she sees it settle between and just above Ali’s perfect breasts.

“It’s beautiful, Ashlyn,” Ali breathes, looking down at it.

“Not nearly as beautiful as the woman wearing it,” Ashlyn says softly, her eyes on her wife’s face.

Ali looks up. She sees the lust in the eyes of her love. She feels her nipples harden. Ashlyn smirks when she sees the same thing. Before Ali can comment, Ashlyn pulls her into a deep kiss, her tongue demanding entry. Ali moans, her hands moving to Ashlyn’s shoulders, pulling her closer. Ashlyn reaches down with one hand, grabbing a lush, chocolate covered strawberry. She runs the cool treat over Ali’s pert nipple, making the brunette moan. Ashlyn breaks the kiss as she offers the treat to Ali. As Ali bites into it, Ashlyn ducks her head down to lick the slight chocolate trail off Ali’s nipple.

“OH! Oh, Ash,” Ali says around a mouthful of sweet fruit.

Ashlyn brings her mouth up, sucking at her wife’s neck, feeling when she swallows. Ashlyn then kisses her, the taste of the dessert mixing in both of their mouths. Ali lays back, pulling Ashlyn on top of her. No words need to be exchanged, dinner is over. Dessert is in full swing. And both women will be feasting heartily. Hands glide over warm skin, each woman feeling an electric pulse wherever she is touched by the woman that owns her heart.

“I love you so much,” Ashlyn mumbles against Ali’s mouth.

Ali can’t even speak. She just moans her agreement. Ash grins and starts to kiss lower. Her mouth lavishes attention on both breasts that stand at attention. Her tongue travels the valley between them, circling the pert peaks that her teeth then nip. Ali’s hands are tangled in blonde hair as her back arches up in pleasure. After several minutes Ali’s nipples are red and slightly swollen. Ashlyn leaves them to kiss and nip her way down. Her tongue slowly traces around the defined abs and belly button of the defender. Ali is still undulating, her body reacting to the soldier, no longer obeying the pro athlete.

“Fuck, baby...so good,” she murmurs.

Ashlyn finally moves even lower, placing kisses and licks along Ali’s panty line. She can smell just how aroused her wife is and it’s making her wet as her own clit throbs. Ashlyn lifts her head and stares into eyes nearly black with desire. Ali looks confused...until Ashlyn starts to turn around.

“Oh, fuck, Ashlyn...yes!”

Ashlyn’s knees carefully land on either side of Ali’s head. Her arms wrap around strong hips as she lifts up her wife’s eager center. Ali’s hands grip her wife’s thighs and pull glistening curls towards her hungry mouth. As one, the women drag their tongues up wet slits, moaning at the taste. Ashlyn’s long tongue buries itself into a warm, throbbing core as Ali’s teases the pulsing pearl at the center of her wife. They had been together so long they knew everything that would drive each other crazy with want and desire. They temper their eagerness to give the other an orgasm, preferring to prolong the pleasure; preferring to give the other a memory to get them through the separations that mark their marriage.

Ashlyn’s hips start to rock as she feels Ali’s start to tremble. Though they try to hold back they finally drive each other over the edge, screaming into the heart of their bodies as they cum at the same time. Ashlyn collapses half on her wife, her body shivering with aftershocks of pleasure. Ali runs her hands up and down the toned leg that is splayed across her chest.

“Baby...” she starts but is too spent to finish.

Ashlyn just smiles. “Yeah...” she agrees with the unspoken emotions.

After a few minutes, they resituate themselves, Ali snuggling into Ash’s shoulders. “I wish we could stay here forever. No interruptions. No media. No crises.”

“Me, too. But I bet the next couple in this suite would be pissed if we stayed,” Ashlyn teases, earning a smack on her rock hard ass from Ali.

“You know what I mean, jerk.”

Ashlyn kisses her temple. “Yeah, I do. I can’t believe we leave tomorrow.”

Ali snuggles closer. “I love you so much. And I hate when we have to be apart and I know sometimes I get sad when we are separated but...but I hope you know I’m your biggest fan and supporter. You do amazing things with the Corps of Engineers. What you do is so important and I get so...so...braggy when I know you are somewhere helping families rebuild and find a little light in the darkness of whatever happened. When the girls ask where you are they even laugh because I can’t just say, ‘Thailand’. I have to say ‘Thailand’ and launch into a 40 minute spiel on all the amazing things you are doing over there. They think it’s cute mostly but I am sure I drive some of them crazy.”

Ashlyn smiles and kisses Ali’s cheek. “I understand. I tend to brag about my wife being the hottest, smartest, and overall best damn right back in the world. Most guys have learned not to ask soccer-related questions around me. But more than a few have become National Team fans because I show them clips of you being a badass. And the smart soldiers don’t talk about how hot you are until out of earshot.”

Ali chuckles. “And the not smart ones?”

“Find out I can assign major shit duties to people that disrespect me or my wife.”

“Oooo! The power!” Ali teases.

“Yep,” Ashlyn says proudly. She reaches over to their spread and picks up a chocolate covered cream puff. She takes a bite. “Mmm! Good.” She offers the rest to Ali.

“Whoa! That is good!”

They smile and turn their attention back to the food for a few minutes. When Ali bites another puff, some of the cream squirts out onto Ashlyn’s knee. The women both stare at it a moment. Ali then turns until she is kneeling between Ashlyn’s legs. She slowly leans down and licks it up, making sure to drag her tongue farther up Ashlyn’s thighs then necessary.

“Oh, Alex...”

Ali smiles wolfishly as she licks even farther up. Ashlyn spreads her legs and that is all the invitation Ali needs. Soon her face is buried between Ashlyn’s legs, driving her into yet another orgasm. Ashlyn throws her head back. She is perfectly fine if they make love until they have to check out in the morning.

And it seems Ali is on board with that plan, too. What a hell of an anniversary trip!