Ruth, Roses, and Revolvers

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 Ruth, Roses, and Revolvers

But Ruth was anything but cool to the ministrations of Lina’s strong, bold hands.

“There wasn’t a card,” Ruth confessed over dinner. “I don’t know who sent them.”

Lina nodded, her mouth full of garlicky pasta.

“But they’re just lovely, aren’t they?” Ruth continued, reaching up to stroke the petals with her fingertips. “Love’s blood and baby’s breath. It doesn’t matter who sent them, I don’t care.”

“Your food’s getting cold,” Lina said. Ruth obediently lifted a forkful of the pasta and its fragrant tomato sauce to her mouth.

“This is delicious,” she said.

“I made your favorite,” Lina said with a wicked smile. “Pasta Puttanesca. Whore’s delight.” Both women chuckled.

“I’m no whore,” Ruth said.

“There’s no such thing, though, as Coquette’s pasta,” Lina replied, and Ruth giggled, hand demurely placed over her mouth.

A moment later, Ruth said, “you know our anniversary is coming up,”

Lina raised an eyebrow.

“Our half-year anniversary.” Ruth dabbed at the corner of her mouth with her napkin. “It’s been almost six months since you moved in.”

Lina smiled. “How could I forget?” she said.

“I don’t know,” Ruth said, setting her lips in a mock-pout. “Maybe I should be concerned.” She cocked her head and failed to suppress a small smile.

“About what?” Lina asked.

Ruth shrugged with a slow, fluid roll of her shoulders. “I don’t know. Maybe you’re having an affair.”

“You’re the one who’s getting flowers,” Lina said.

Ruth smirked. “Touche,” she said. “So what are we going to do for our anniversary?”

“Whatever you like, baby,” Lina said.

“Anything?” Ruth asked, coy.

Lina nodded. “Name it.”

Ruth put a finger to her cheek, thinking. “So many choices. I’ll have to get back to you on that. But remember,” she said, aiming a finger at her lover, “you owe me.”

“You’re not eating,” Lina said.

“It’s delicious,” Ruth assured her. “I’m not hungry. Not for food, anyway.” And she stood to clear her plate, hips swaying in her black crepe dress as she stepped into the kitchen.

Lina left her plate on the table and followed Ruth upstairs to the bed.

***

Ruth arranged herself on the bed, still dressed. Lina sat on the edge of the bed, one arm braced between Ruth’s parted thighs. She kissed Ruth once on the lips, then at the juncture of her neck and shoulder.

Ruth lifted her fine-boned hands to Lina’s belt. Quickly, she pulled it free, taking the leather holster that Lina wore with it. She cupped this to her