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When the Lights Go Out (FF)


Heat Rating: SENSUAL
Word Count: 12,985
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Nicole approaches the Christmas holiday with sad nostalgia after a recent breakup with her girlfriend Emma. But much to her surprise, she finds herself attracted to a woman in her forties who her grandfather has been dating.

During her holiday visit, a storm takes out the power, and in the resulting black-out, romance blossoms between Nicole and Poppi’s “friend.” Then Nicole’s former partner shows up to complicate things.

Will this holiday drama end in heartache, or will Emma and Nikki get a second chance?


"So tell me about how you and Poppi met -- if you don't mind."

"Of course -- it's a crazy story. Your grandfather already had the part of Juan Peron -- I thought he was so distinguished -- and that voice! I was part of the chorus at first. Still nothing to sneeze at, you know."

I nod politely.

"The music is really difficult. Then, a week into rehearsal, the girl -- young woman -- who played the part of Peron's cast-off mistress quit. I think she had trouble with her girlfriend not wanting her to play the part."

I caught this bit. "She was gay?"

"That was what we were told. I didn't give it a thought beyond a rehearsal problem. But then the director asked if I would give it a try. I was flattered, of course, and terrified. But he seemed to think I could pull it off -- and I did. So that's how the mistress in her forties met the dictator in his sixties."

"Wow," is all I can come up with. By this time, we're at the liquor store -- an upscale shop specializing in fine wine. For holidays, Poppi always wants the best.

Everything goes smoothly in Vino Loco. We have no trouble agreeing on a white and a red and buying a case of each. That should get us all through the evening and the next day with Aunt Janice and Dennis.

Lenore suggests we have a glass of wine at the bar to celebrate the quick success of our first errand. It's a tad early in the day for me, but I can't seem to resist whatever this woman wants. We find a seat and order Chianti, apparently Lenore's favorite. The barista pours two glasses after showing us the bottle. It reminds me of a dinner date with Emma just before we split up, and I feel a bit emotional.

Lenore holds up her glass for a toast. I lift mine as well, and our fingers touch for an instant as we clink our glasses together. I try my best to subdue the fluttering I feel in my stomach.

After the wine, I'm feeling more relaxed, and Lenore seems to be, too. As we walk out to the car with our purchases, I mention that I'm feeling a little sentimental about a recent messy break-up. As soon as we load the wine boxes into the back of Lenore's car, she turns to me and holds out her arms. I walk into them without a second thought. The hug only lasts a moment, but I feel the warmth of her body against mine. She whispers near my ear, "You're beautiful, you know. Someone new for you is right around the corner."

Once we get back in the car and head to the bakery, that hug is all I can think of. I feel like I'm moving on automatic pilot, picking out loaves of bread and dinner rolls and loading them in the car.

Too soon, we head back to Poppi's house. The first thing I notice as we pull in the driveway is that Ashley's car is gone, and Aunt Janice's familiar Dodge Aspen is present.

Well, I had fun with Lenore on our shared errands, and I guess now it's time to pay the piper.