GENRE: Lesbian Romance
LENGTH: 9,801 words
After the birth of their daughter, Camilla, new parents Natalie and Maura are looking forward to their first Christmas as a real family. But obligations are fierce -- when both girls are guilted into attending family functions, Christmas looks like it’s going to be split, busy, and no fun for anyone.
Maura’s dad is overtly resentful of the life Maura’s built, but Natalie’s passive-aggressive parents may be even worse. The relationships are worth saving, and Natalie hopes, at the end of it all, she can keep her promise to Maura and Camilla that together they will live happily ever after. Can the two women defend their new family from ... the rest of their relatives?
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
As everyone converged on the food -- Maura’s brother Joey had come down to make an appearance, and so had the baby Angela, who was almost fifteen now, good God -- Maura elbowed Natalie in the side.
“Ow,” Nat muttered, shifting Camilla in her arms so that she could rub at her ribs. “What?”
“That was supposed to be subtle, be a little louder, won’t you?” Maura complained. “Come out on the porch to eat with me.”
Nat shrugged. “Don’t you want to eat with your --”
“No, we’ve established this. Come on,” Maura assured her. Natalie trailed after her like an obedient duck.
The porch on the ranch house was impressive, wraparound and finished wood, with painted white eaves and a huge deck swing. Maura was sure that fussy Camilla, once fed, would be out like a light if they started the thing rocking. Natalie seemed pleased with it, too, whispering “wheee!” as she pumped the swing a few times. They set their plates on the arms and just sat in the cool Mississippi evening, watching the last dregs of sunlight drain from the night sky.
It was quiet on their little speck of porch, the lights from the house not quite reaching far enough to illuminate them and the trees around the property blocking disruptions from the road. Natalie was grinning up at the sky, taking in all the stars.
“So, it’s not going that bad, is it?” she asked.
Maura shrugged. “Well. It hasn’t exploded yet.”
“And your dad hasn’t yelled at me,” Natalie said proudly.
“You haven’t even seen him yet,” Maura countered.
“Yep. I’m damn good at avoiding people when I want to be.”
“Yeah. I know that you disappear whenever it’s time to go shopping,” Maura said, sticking her tongue out and poking Natalie’s cheek.
They sat in silence, happily rocking in the quiet. Maura vaguely wished she still smoked, but Natalie had been such a dick about “no narcotics around kids.” Other than the extreme lack of nicotine, the evening could be considered ... well, nice. The baby was asleep, her wife was all cuddled close to her side, and she was full and sleepy.
“Can it be like this all the time?” Natalie asked quietly, so quietly that Maura started. Natalie never spoke that softly; her volume was always turned to maximum.
“Like what?” Maura asked. “Hiding on the porch from my crazy relatives? Mostly unwelcome and significantly stressed?”
“... Just us. Just our family. You and me against the world.” Natalie didn’t look Maura in the eye, putting the arm that was not rocking Camilla around Maura’s shoulder. “I want to always be holding my girls.”
Maura didn’t answer, instead burying her face in Natalie’s neck. She nodded slowly.
For a time, all was evening breeze and stars.
“I’d like that,” Maura finally whispered, her breath on Natalie’s throat making the woman shiver.
Then Maura’s Abuela was calling them to come inside.