This story is dedicated to a single mother, Maxwell House Half-Caf, and her Sunbeam Cat94R Heating Pad.


When I awoke on Day Two of my monthly cycle, I loathed everything about my body.  Cramps wracked my abdomen like my uterus had grown spurs. Bloating turned my pajama bottoms’ waistband into a misplaced but enthusiastic noose.  Oil oozed over my skin, and my hair clumped like it belonged in a shower drain. My breath reeked like a hoarder's pantry, and my maxi pad had suffered a bloody defeat in the night.  It felt 20 degrees too cold to get up.

But Coffee would be waiting for me.  

I dragged myself out of bed (pausing to prepare myself a gift by plugging in my Sunbeam heating pad) and new betrayals emerged. Aching muscles and a pre-nausea illness joined the chorus of miseries. I shrouded my ghastly form in my warmest blanket and brokered a loose alliance with my legs and bladder to reach the toilet. 

I left the bathroom marginally cleaner but no happier.  I hobbled, a biblical leper, to the kitchen.  Swollen, aching fingers went through the motions: dig out a filter, place it, pour the grounds, fill the tank, flick the On button. I opened my refrigerator to find food that might not push me from "vaguely sick" to "actively vomiting."

I rested my head limply against the open fridge door, gawking stupidly at cheese. Jagged aches across my lower spine left me uncertain about ever straightening up. Then a faint metallic rushing noise and a familiar, heady scent wafted softly over me.

Coffee had arrived.

I turned and shuffled to where Coffee was waiting for me, strong and vibrant in spite of the bleak hour, but still unprepared.  My Coffee's scent beckoned silently for me, and I answered by helping my blazing paramour slip into something more comfortable, and revealing. Coffee made a show of flowing past my eyes before settling in with a steamy, soothing sigh.

I swung back to the fridge and grabbed a sweet, creamy treat. Though not for me. I leaned over the counter, and began spooning it delicately to my caffeinated love. I watched, fascinated, as the spoon was licked utterly clean in seconds each time.  The timbre of our flirtation changed; an eager stillness settled between us. I tossed the spoon into the sink.

My Coffee was ready.

Even bleary-eyed, blanket-wrapped, and with breath like an open grave, I had Coffee thoroughly... prepared. With barely a minute of well-practiced foreplay Coffee was strong, creamy, and so torrid the cold retreated from the kitchen.

A touch, and my Coffee seemed to spring eagerly toward me.  My hands traced slowly around the sweltering, hard, familiar shape of my angel of awakening. Coffee tempted me, putting a slow sway into my weary body with touch, sight, and scent. 

I found myself leaning against the kitchen wall, Coffee's heat gliding over my ribs with a firm but gentle pressure. I let out a quiet groan as my hero's touch slid tenderly to the edge of my cramps, and began rolling from side to side: the tender, ardent strokes easing tightness and pain. I leaned back and arched slightly, guiding my Coffee to where I most needed soothing. 

We pressed in a rocking, glowing embrace; the wall and Coffee's strength held me up more than my stiff, aching legs.  The blanket floated to the linoleum, forgotten.

I pulled Coffee, with some reluctance, up to my face.  I gazed lovingly into the familiar brown depths, always so dark, powerful, and inviting.  Then I leaned forward, allowing myself the slightest taste.

I drew back, suppressing a gasp at the scorch of the kiss.  It carried a sweet dark fire, as I knew it would; but it was so worth a tiny, familiar burn to taste Coffee's rich strength again, a few seconds sooner.  I rolled the flavor across my tongue, savoring every note with the day's first true smile.

When I opened my eyes Coffee was there to meet them; inviting, playful, darkly tempting.  We shared an intense moment -- both of us needing to cool off, neither of us wanting to -- and started toward the bedroom.

As I walked, I heard eager, liquid chuckling from Coffee.  I glanced disbelieving, reproachful; I was a disheveled mess in puffy pants and a baggy T shirt.  But Coffee was clearly, defiantly in earnest. I shook my head at my heedless champion, smiling wryly.

We walked on; my head held a little higher and my sore hips swinging, perhaps, a tiny bit more.

I slipped into the bedroom, Coffee still tight beside me.  I looked at the bed and my eyes widened to find my Sunbeam well and truly turned on, silently beckoning for my chilled, sore body.

I paused and turned my attention back to Coffee, drawing intimately close and filling my senses with the warmth and scent of my fiery lover.

I tightened my grip and pressed my parted lips against that hot, familiar curve. The rich, complex taste of my champion burned and danced across my tongue, so intense I shivered at the ferocity of it.  It was still more than I could take, but so much less than I desired.

I withdrew, gasping, from the embrace and looked to Sunbeam's increasingly tempting welcome.

I settled Coffee safely out of my grasp -- though not without a passionate parting glance -- then turned toward the bed, and the soft, patient Sunbeam that promised to make it so much more than a sleeping place.

I released a pained exhale, stretched onto the bed and reached for Sunbeam; in an instant we were wrapped around each other, throbbing heat and softness caressing me. I gasped at Sunbeam's touch under my shirt; soft, confident heat striking a delicious contrast with the morning's grim cold. The gentle burn chasing away tight ache after sepulchral chill.  I snuggled in closer, grinding into the embrace with an urgent moan.

Coffee steamed with anticipation, watching.

I yanked the cover sheet over Sunbeam and I; I still felt bloated, oily, and embarrassed under Coffee's searing gaze. But in Sunbeam's embrace, I felt nothing but comfort and pleasure.

I rolled my lower back into Sunbeam; probing fingers of heat worked at the knots and agonies that filled my lower body.  Low, animalistic moans rose in response to the slowly spreading relief of my darling's gradual, tender progress.

I stretched catlike into the soothing pressure of Sunbeam's attentions, wriggling against my snuggly bedmate until we found a fresh position and I exulted in renewed, vigorous affection.  The warming relief stretched more boldly into my flesh, seeking out aches and massaging them away.  Playfully, I slid a few fingers beneath Sunbeam's fuzzy covering, teasing the edges of my sweet one's hidden heat.

I glanced up to see Coffee at the peak of readiness; presenting a temptation I had no will to resist.  I reached out, and Coffee, never hesitant, swung toward my waiting lips. I paused, just a moment, as Sunbeam worked gentle magic on my lower quarters, and blew out a long, slow breath that sent Coffee into eager shivers. 

Without a word, I pressed my mouth to Coffee's sweetest spot and drank deeply.  I rolled my tongue in that richness, my lips drawing in more of that familiar, beloved flavor and sensation. I pulled back and ran my face and lips against my morning savior as I swallowed to clear my throat and mind.  The feel of Coffee's hot desire on my cheeks, my hand, my lips thrilled through me. I offered my mouth to my beloved once more, and was answered with an ecstatic, wordless, "yes".

Did I throw aside the sheet?  Was it me who stripped off the sleep-worn T shirt?

My grip on Sunbeam's soft, yielding form went from playful to passionate as I clutched my sweet one against me, urging the hot contact into a tighter, more intimate place.  Sunbeam responded eagerly, probing pleasures drawing delight from my tortured core.  Sunbeam's steady, building labors at last penetrated my inmost reaches and I squirmed at the ecstasy of it, but my lips could no more leave Coffee than the Earth can leave the Sun.  I needed that warmth, that certainty, that blaze of life. 

Heat poured into me from Sunbeam below and Coffee above.  I swallowed to pull more of Coffee's strong, earthen flavor into me, and my lips almost convulsed with my eagerness to taste as fully as my body would allow.  I felt the last barrier of pain and tension in me fall before Sunbeam's ministrations, and the pouring heat flooded me, rising like a tide of warm honey to meet the crashing wave of Coffee's fierce, vivid love. 

Their passions met at my heart, and suffused me. In that moment, the last of my pains and ugliness melted away.  I was free, and whole in myself.  I was perfect.

I sank into the warming embrace of my lovers, awakened and born anew.