The following book selections are reproduced as criticisms and are not intended to promote any of the books.

The listed books are either physically available in one of our County libraries or are available as an eBook which can be accessed online by anyone of any age with a library card.

These are a fraction of the harmful books for children and teens available in our County. We do not address other books of concern on other topics.  For example, the following books introduce children to Critical Race Theory: What is Anti-Racism for ages 10-13 and Understanding Identity for ages 8-11.  And The Teen Witches Guide to Spells and Charms for ages 10-14 introduces children to the power of dark "forces in our universe."  Of the 17 libraries in the Roanoke Valley those books are only available in Botetourt libraries.

The Every Body Book: The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Guide for Kids about Sex, Gender, Bodies, and Families for ages 8-12 published in 2020

The first Paragraph:

“People of any gender with any genitals can have sex together when they want to be close to each other in a sexual way.  The only type of sex that can form a baby, though, is with a penis (and sperm) and a vagina (and an egg). Some other types of sex can involve the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the vulva, and the penis and the anus.”

The second paragraph describes why sex is fun and why orgasms are especially desired, and can be achieved alone via masturbation.  How is this not sexualizing 8-12 year-olds?

On the left is the end of the chapter on safe sex. The page on the right begins:
"Some people think genitals decide our gender and that people with penises can only be boys and people with vulvas can only be girls. What body parts you have, which bathroom you use, and whether you are transgender or cisgender is private"

The image on the upper left is presumably "okay" since it's a drawing.

The image on the lower left shows a pregnant man.

The image on the right shows two men cuddling in bed to introduce the chapter on sexual intercourse.

Amazon Review from October 28, 2022

I am completely and utterly disgusted that this book exists for children. Where did childhood go? Why is this indoctrination so celebrated? My 9 year old happened upon this book at the library and brought it to me because it was so disturbing for her. How sad that this is the world we now live in.

There are three copies in the Roanoke valley and two of those are in Botetourt (Blue Ridge and Fincastle libraries). It's also available as an eBook on the library website.

Making a Baby for ages 5-8 published in 2021

Note where the child is looking and the satisfied expression on the man's face. The takeaway is it's normal for a five-year-old to shower with men. And why is the little girl getting dressed in the men's locker room?

 

A depiction of a woman being used for her body to be a surrogate mother for two men.  A woman reduced to a rent-a-womb... the baby reduced to a commodity to be bought... no wonder teen girls are increasingly identifying as asexual.

Available at the Blue Ridge library.

You Know, Sex for ages 10-12 published in 2022

This 432 page cartoon serves to introduce pre-teens to sexuality and to confuse them about their own sexuality. On this page traditional male and female roles are undermined and it's implied if you are an effeminate male or a masculine female you must be non-binary.

From the chapter titled "What is Pornography?"... as Supreme Court Justice Stewart said, "I know it when I see it."

Maybe pornography for children isn't so bad...

How is this not condoning pornography for children?

How is this not encouragement for pre-teens to become sexually active?

Available at the Fincastle Library and available as an eBook on the library website

Bodies are Cool for ages 2-5 published in 2021

A picture book for toddlers which shows scars from gender reassignment surgeries.  It's hard to see here but the shirtless girl on the blanket at the beach has scars from a mastectomy as does the shirtless woman at the bottom of the picture to the far left.

To the immediate left, "Features rearranging bodies" attempts to normalize it all.

Available at the Fincastle library.

The Rainbow Parade for ages 2-5 published in 2022

Another picture book for toddlers which introduces the excitement of going to your first pride parade where you'll get to see naked people and couples in S&M gear.

Available at the Buchanan library and available as an eBook on the library website.

Being You: A First Conversation about Gender for ages 2-5 published in 2021

"You are the expert in being YOU"...

What could go wrong with giving total authority and decision making to your two year old?  

Available at the Blue Ridge library.

Together: A First Conversation about Love for ages 2-5 published in 2022

Apparently being "straight" only represents 25% of how you can love.

Available at the Blue Ridge library.

ABC Pride for ages 3-5 published in 2022

Learn your letters and be indoctrinated at the same time.  These books, we're told, are only published by reputable publishers but this publisher can't catch obvious grammatical errors as it should be "whomever", not "whoever."  

Available at the Blue Ridge library.

I Am Jazz! for ages 4-8 published in 2014

Based on a real person, there's plenty of indoctrination to go around here.  The "good" doctor has set the stage for the medical industry to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in hormone therapies and reassignment surgeries from this family.

 

The real Jazz Jennings is not so upbeat: 

(9) A Sad Confessional By Jazz Jennings - YouTube

Available as an eBook on the library website.

 

Gender: Queer for 12 and over published in 2019

Originally this was for 18 and over but then the American Library Association gave it their Alex Award which re-classified it as being suitable for younger readers from 12 to 18. 

Note: the characters are actually young women and not teenage boys. But the text to the left is clearly prurient: "I can't wait to have your cock in my mouth - I'm going to give you the blow job of your life... then I want you inside of me". And the response: "This is the most turned on I've ever been in my life. I am DYING."

Available as an eBook or by pick-up at any Botetourt County library.

Anne: An Adaptation of Anne of Green Gables for ages 8-12 published in 2022

The drawing is amateurish; the story is boring; but what matters is, in the end, Anne acts on her desires and her friend welcomes it.

A beloved children's classic co-opted for an agenda.

Available at the Eagle Rock library.

All Boys Aren't Blue for ages 13 and over published in 2020

page 266 (CAUTION- Explicit)

For the first few minutes, we dry humped and grinded. I was behind him, with my stomach on his back as we kissed. After a few minutes of fun and games, he got up and went to his nightstand, where he pulled out a condom and some lube. He then lay down on his stomach. I knew what I had to do even if I had never done it before. I had one point of reference, though, and that was seven-plus years of watching pornography. Although the porn was heterosexual, it was enough of a reference point for me to get the job done. I remember the condom was blue and flavored like cotton candy. I put some lube on and got him up on his knees, and I began to slide into him from behind. I tried not to force it because I imagined that it would be painful; I didn't want this moment to be painful. So I eased in, slowly, until I heard him moan. As we moved, I could tell he was excited and I was, too, but the pride in me told me not to show it. I felt like I was in control and proud of myself for getting it right on the first try—all the while still being nervous. I wanted to stay dominant in that moment. We went at it for about fifteen minutes before I started to get that feeling. Weakness in the legs, numbness in the waist. I finally came and let out a loud moan—to the point where he asked me to quiet down for the neighbors. I pulled out of him and kissed him while he masturbated. Then, he also came. That night was glorious. I had conquered a fear and had sex with a man on my own terms

Available at the Fincastle library and as an eBook on the library website.

Flamer for ages 14-18 published in 2020

While not as explicitly graphic as other books targeting teens, the danger here is the author’s persuasive telling of the modern meme: a boy is bullied and doesn’t fit in; he rejects his religion; he contemplates suicide; he is "saved" when he realizes he is gay and embraces it. 

Interestingly, his self actualization manifests itself as a being of fire whom the boy invites to dwell within him.  

At this point the main character, Aiden, is 14-years-old and at Boy Scout camp.  He has a flashback to when he discovered porn and masturbation. The older scouts he's with in the tent are having a masturbation contest and Aiden doesn't want to take part.  But then on the next page he goes to his tent to masturbate alone.

Available at the Buchanan library.

George (now published as Melissa) for ages 8-11 published in 2017

Page 102

"And you know what?  If you think you're a girl... then I think you're a girl too!" Kelly leaped onto her best friend and gave her a hug.  "So you're, like, transgender or something?"  Kelly whispered as best she could in her excitement.  "I was reading on the internet, and there are lots of people like you.  Did you know you can take hormones so that your body, you know, doesn't go all manlike?" "Yeah, I know." George had been reading websites about transitioning since Scott taught her how to clear the web browser history on Mom's computer. "But you need your parents' permission."  "Your mom's pretty cool," Kelly said, her eyebrows lifted.  "Maybe she'd be okay with it."

Available at the Fincastle library.

Sex is a Funny Word for ages 8-11 published in 2015

It's okay to be naked...

It's really okay to be naked...

First get naked, then get touched, and then it goes on to show a picture of an anus with the text "Like other holes in the body, the anus is usually very sensitive, which means it can feel good to touch but can also hurt if we are rough with it."

 

We're told it's about parental rights to not remove any books but then the books do their best to undermine parents and their family's values.

Available as an eBook on the library website.

It's Perfectly Normal for 10 and over published in 2021

On it's face, this is a sex-ed book for children but the title sums up the common theme: it's all perfectly normal.

 

How to for masturbation with the disclaimer that some people think masturbation is wrong and some religions say it's a sin "but it can't hurt you" and "it's perfectly normal."

Available as an eBook on the library website.

 

Sex: An Uncensored Introduction for ages 13 and over published in 2015

Just what teens need to be taught, slang terms to coarsen, cheapen, and objectify the human body.

 

The Greatest Love of All?

 

How to and encouragement for anal sex...

The summary at the bottom of the page: "you should know that it's all entirely normal."

The chapter describes kink as "an activity that you're interested in trying or are likely to try when you feel comfortable with your sexual partner.  Some common examples of kink are spanking, tying each other up, role-playing, or wearing costumes.  A less common, but totally valid, kink might be pinching during sex."

It goes on to describe "watersports" as "basically peeing on your partner before or after sex which some people report being really into.  Urine (from a healthy person) is actually sterile, so having it come in contact with your skin is not really that unsanitary."

Available at the Eagle Rock library.

Queer: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens for ages 11 to 18 published in 2019

Again, this is a common theme, seek out a trusted adult which means someone who will tell you what you want to hear:

pages 81-82

FINDING ADULT ALLIES

There's usually one teacher who everyone thinks is cool.... If you're not sure if a teacher or faculty member is supportive, you can suss them out much like you would a fellow student... Is there a "safe zone" sticker with a pink triangle on her bulletin board?  If so, chances are this teacher is one you can trust.  

Another great place to find adult allies is PFLAG (a support group for families of LGBTQ folks), at pflag.org.  

Don't overlook that supportive uncle, neighbor, or librarian.

 

Textbook instruction or grooming?

Page 183

Queer sex is just as natural and healthy as straight sex. And it doesn't matter that many types of queer sex don't lead to reproduction (in case you were worried about that). Lots of straight sex - oral and anal sex, vaginal sex with birth control - doesn't lead to reproduction either! The whole point of sex (even when it does lead to reproduction) is to enjoy each other's bodies. Queer sex is great, and there's nothing weird about it at all.

Available at the Blue Ridge library and as an eBook on the library website.

Tricks for ages 14 and over published in 2017

This novel follows five teenagers (as young as 15) from different backgrounds who end up in Las Vegas as prostitutes. On one level it's a gritty, cautionary tale; but it glorifies first-time sex in prurient language wholly inappropriate for teen readers.  There are two copies in the Roanoke valley and both are in Botetourt.

page 178 (CAUTION- Explicit)

But when he kisses me, I'm shaking, and there are tears in my eyes. We don't have to, he whispers. "I know. I want to. I'm just..." Unsure. I'm completely unsure about my body. What if he hates it? But now he touches me. His hands are tentative, and I remember that this is new for him, too. Is this okay? he asks. Tell me what you like. He kisses me as he picks me up, lays me gently on the bed. A slow, mutual exploration begins. As we learn together, the fear falls away, and sheer exhilaration-- like standing on the very edge of a cliff, with the wind in your face--replaces it. He likes my body, and I love his, and there are only a few seconds of pain, before waves of pleasure. Wave after swelling wave of everything right. Wave after wave of love. 

page 384 (CAUTION- Explicit)

The men we perform for like when we dance with each other, breast-to-breast or belly-to-ass, tan skin against pale, ebony hair on blue-streaked blond, fingers touching hidden places we won't let "clients" touch. Powerful! That's how I feel, seeing how helpless we make them. I so enjoy reducing them to masturbation.

page 483 (CAUTION- Explicit)

You ever seen a ramrod like Dan's? I shake my head as I roll the condom down over it. No, of course you haven’t. Let’s see just how good you are. I close my eyes, fight not to gag at the taste of lubricant, not to choke on his thrusts against my throat. ...Dan decides he's done...He pulls me to my feet, moves behind me, drapes my back with his chest. His muscles are thick cables, but his skin is smooth and cool as snake skin. Check it out. the little boy likes that. He reaches down between my thighs. Look how hard he is. No! How could something so messed up turn me on? Whatever he does, I won’t...His lips brush the back of my neck toward the bed, urges me facedown. The sheets smell of bleach. ...Down go my boxers. Oh my. What a sweet little bottom. Dan's hands, moving over my skin, are soft, and when he lowers himself over me, a cloud of cloves and apple sinks around me. ...Dan is in for a real treat, isn't he? He presses up against me. I brace and he pauses. Do you think it will hurt? Let's see. He pushes, but only a little. A test. Oh yes, I'm afraid it might. And after Dan, nothing else will do. I Bite Down On a strange metal taste--a metal taste of emotions. An odd blend of fear and... excitement. For some fucked-up reason, I'm excited. I can't want his! Adrenaline firecrackers through my body. Blood pulses in my temples. You make Dan happy now, hear? Pain! Oh my God! Nothing has ever hurt like this. I tense, beg him to stop. But he doesn't stop. Doesn’t slow. Can't take it. Can't. Through the rhythmic pain, apple. Pressure. Pressure, deep. Oh! Nothing has ever felt so good. Exquisite. Exquisite. No! I won't. No matter what, I won't. This isn't me. ...But I do. And when I do, it's over the top.

Available at the Blue Ridge and Fincastle libraries.

Cool for the Summer for ages 14 and over published in 2021

page 177 (CAUTION- Explicit)

We inevitably end up in her bed, curled around one another and playing with each other's fingers or giving each other chills until one of us finds an excuse to place a kiss on the other. It's agony, waiting until I can figure out how to get away with it, or waiting for her to, waiting, waiting, waiting until we can explain it away with sleepiness or drunkenness or just wanting the other one to feel and taste how amazing this new lip gloss is. I've started to think about them in advance, how I might excuse dropping a kiss on this one spot on her neck that always elicits this tiny noise that makes my toes curl. It isn't quite a moan and it isn't quite a growl and as soon as I hear it, I'm out of my mind for the rest of the night. Maybe tonight we can pick up where we left off. If I can get a dab of guac on her throat, I can watch her close her eyes as I lick it off. Hear that sound she makes as I lick again for good measure. And again. Maybe I gently suck at her throat, the way I did the other night. Judging by the way she pressed against me, by the way I can still feel the pressure of her fingertips below my waist, the way I could just barely hear her begging me to do it again... Images come to mind of sliding off her shirt- for easier access to that spot, of course. Of taking mine off, which only makes sense. Who wants a rough cotton shirt against your skin when someone else's skin feels so much better? And her skin is soft, scented with that peach lotion, and- I don't realize what I've been doing until my nails scrape the tile of the shower, trying to find something to hold onto while my body shudders around my fingers. I grasp the indentation in the wall meant to hold soap and promise myself that I'll think about how messed-up this is later, I'm done feeling so, so good. ...I don't know how else to describe it because I don't feel gross, exactly- it's not like I think there's anything wrong with masturbating (or, let's be real, like it's my first time), or with finding a girl attractive.

Available at the Eagle Rock library.

Kingdom of Ash for ages 13 and over published in 2023

page 472 (CAUTION- Explicit)

With a growl, Rowan swept her into his arms, never tearing his mouth from hers as he carried her to the bed and set her down gently. Off came their boots, their jackets and shirts and pants. And then he was with her, the strength and heat of him pouring into her bare skin.
She couldn't touch him fast enough, feel enough of him against her. Even when his mouth roved down her neck, licking over that spot where his claiming marks had been. Even when he roamed farther, worshipping her breasts as she arched up into each lick and suckle. Even when he knelt between her legs, his shoulders spreading her thighs wide, and tasted her, over and over, until she was writhing beneath him.  But something primal in her went quiet and still as Rowan rose over her again, and their eyes locked.  "You're my mate," he said, the words near-guttural. He nudged at her entrance, and she shifted her hips to draw him in, but he remained where he was.  Withholding what she ached for until he heard what he needed.  Aelin tipped back her head, baring her neck to him. "You're my mate." Her words were a breathless rush. "And I am yours."
Rowan thrust into her in a mighty stroke as he plunged his teeth into the side of her neck. She cried out at the claiming, release already barreling along her spine, but he began moving. Moving, while his teeth remained in her, and she moaned with each drive of his hips, the sheer size of him a decadence she would never be able to get enough of. She dragged her nails down his muscled back, then lower, feeling every powerful stroke of him into her.  Rowan withdrew his teeth from her neck, and Aelin claimed his mouth in a savage kiss, her blood a coppery tang on his tongue. He went wild at that, hoisting her hips to angle himself deeper, harder. The world might have been burning around them for all she cared, all he cared, too.  "Together, Aelin," he promised, and she heard the rest of the words in every place their bodies joined. Together they would face this, together they would find a way.  Release crested within her once more, a shimmering brightness.  And just when it broke, Aelin sank her teeth into Rowan's neck, claiming him as he'd claimed her.  His blood, powerful and wind-kissed, filled her mouth, her soul, and Rowan roared as release shattered through him, too.  For long minutes, they lay tangled in each other."

Available at the Buchanan and Fincastle libraries.

Seeing Gender for ages 14 and over published in 2022

page 19

We get to break the rules of gender because they aren't real and are often harmful. By not playing by gender rules, we move away from gender being necessary toward everyone living life unabashedly and unafraid in the body they want, loving whom they want and dressing how they want. We've gotta learn to undo our own creation…or at least try. 

page 36

Children should be believed when they state they are a gender other than the sex they were assigned at birth. And should be believed if they want to change their gender the next day

page 128

Abortion is an essential human rights issue and fundamentally grants people Assigned Female at Birth (AFAB) the choice of bodily freedom, reproductive decisions, family planning, and privacy. When women are compelled to carry and bear children, they are subjected to 'involuntary servitude' in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment. Abortion is a legitimate and medically necessary choice for a number of reasons: unintentional pregnancy, an inability to financially or physically care for a child, cultural or religious values, not being emotionally ready to have a child, pregnancy due to sexual assault, unstable relationship, family pressure, fear and shame.

page 150

Using the term 'sex work' reinforces the idea that sex work is work and allows for greater discussion of labor rights and conditions. …In addition to the exchange of money for sexual services, a person may exchange sex or sexual activity for things they need or want, such as food, housing, hormones, drugs, gifts, or other resources.

Available at the Fincastle library.

Like a Love Story for ages 13 and over published in 2019

page 385 (CAUTION- explicit)

A wave of excitement passes through me at the thought of us naked together. He starts first. He peels his tight ripped jeans off in the blink of an eye, and then his tank top. And finally, with a smile, his underwear. He waves his underwear around in the air and tosses it at me. I duck and laugh. "Your turn,” he says. "Yean,” I say, every part of me thrumming with anticipation. I can feel my arms shaking as I slowly take off my black jeans and my T-shirt. I pause before taking my underwear off. I search his eyes for the reassurance I need. “Art,” I whisper. I want to tell him I’m scared, I like feeling it on my tongue. “Art.” And then again more decisively, “Art. We lie naked next to each other, and we kiss for what feels like either a split second or an eternity. It’s a kiss that stops time. There is no past or further, just this moment, just this kiss. Time starts again when he removes his lips from mine and kisses the back of my ears, my neck, my shoulders, my chest. He works his way down. “I want to kiss every part of you,” he says. And he does. When he takes me inside his mouth, it’s almost over. "Wait, slowdown,” I beg him. And then, when he does, I just repeat, “Wow. Wow. Wow.” I must sound like an idiot, but I don’t care. I don’t feel like an idiot. I feel like me. I pull him back up when I can’t take any more, and I do the same to him. I kiss and lick every inch of skin on his body, tasting the expanse of him, drawing him into me. The moment my lips heave his neck, I miss it already. Then when they leave his chest, I miss that. I want all of him, all at once, all the time.  "I love you,” I whisper, my breath heavy. "Me too,”” he says, laying me on my back and finding his way on top of me.  I turn to the bedside table and get a condom. I give it to him with a smile and a nod. “Wow,” he says. “Wow, I didn’t think…"  "What?” I ask, mischievous. “You thought I’d remain like a virgin forever?" He beams. A hand on my cheek, he says softly, “Quien es est nino?’ Who’s that boy?" I realize I’m a new person now, the person I’ve been waiting to be. I feel it’s only right to quote Madonna back to him, so I kiss him once more, then whisper, “I’m a young boy with eyes like the desert that dream of you, my true blue." His smile radiates love. “True blue,” he repeats. He tries to open the condom wrapper but fumbles with it. He tries his teeth. I grab it from him and tear it open. I try to put it on him, doing my best to block out why the condom is necessary, trying to forget all those images of death and disease. My hands shake as I place the condom on him. “I think you’re putting it on upside down,” he says, laughing. He smiles. I smile. We have a layer of protection between us now. He squeezes some lube onto him, then onto me. I wrap my legs around him, pulling him closer to me, or deeper into me, because he‘s in me now. We thrust and grunt and sweat until we almost fall off the bed. "I need to catch my breath,” he says. Then, with a smile, he adds, “I think this is the first team sport I like."

Available audio book at the Eagle Rock library.

The First to Die at the End for ages 13 and over published in 2022

page 331 (CAUTION-explicit)

I flip Orion to the bed, and he fakes concern over the unlit candle but he’s speechless when I lift off my shirt. His fingers trail down from my collarbone and through my pecs and trace my abs before unbuttoning my pants. It’s much smoother than me wrestling with his skinny jeans that cling to his legs for dear life. But once we’re both fully naked, we stare at each other with the biggest smiles.
        “Best day ever,” I say.
        “Best motherfucking day ever,” Orion says.
Then we move as if the world could end in the next minute. He passes me a condom, and I slide it on and slowly move inside him, and it feels so good that I can’t believe I’m only going to be able to experience this once.

Available at the Blue Ridge library.

This Book is Gay for ages 14-17 published in 2021

page 171

Is it a slip that it says it's a diagram of a "boy" vs. a man and that it's about "Boy-on-Boy Sex"?

 

Page 173

The gift of intimacy reduced to....

Available as an eBook on the library website.

 

Forever... for ages 14 and over published in 2014 but added in 2021 as an eBook

page 77 (CAUTION-explicit)

“Katherine…I’d like you to meet Ralph…Ralph, this is Katherine. She’s a very good friend of mine.” “Does every penis have a name?” “I can only speak for my own.” In books penises are always described as hot and throbbing but Ralph felt like ordinary skin. Just his shape was different- that and the fact that he wasn’t smooth, exactly- as if there a lot going on under the skin. I don’t know why I’d been so nervous about touching Michael. Once I got over being scared I let my hands go everywhere. I wanted to feel every part of him. While I was experimenting, I asked, “Is this alright?” And Michael whispered, “Everything’s right.” When I kissed his face it was all sweaty and his eyes were half-closed. He took my hand and led it back to Ralph, showing me how to hold him, moving my hand up and down according to his rhythm. Soon Michael moaned and I felt him come- a pulsating feeling, a throbbing, like the books said- then wetness. Some of it got on my hand but I didn’t let go of Ralph.

page 174 (CAUTION-explicit)

I kissed his ears, running my tongue around the edges. I used my hands on his body while I worked my way down, kissing his neck, his chest, his belly. “You’re aggressive tonight…” I hadn’t thought about that until he said it. I was surprised myself. “Do you mind?” “I like it.” I lay on top of him, feeling Ralph against my stomach. “Can we try it this way?” I whispered. “Any way you want,” he said. I straddled him, helping Ralph find the right angle, and when he was inside me I moved slowly- up, down and around- up, down and around- until I couldn’t control myself anymore. “Oh God…oh, Michael…now…now” And then I came. I came before he did. But I kept moving until he groaned and as he finished I came again, not caring about anything- anything but how good it felt.

Available as an eBook on the library website.

Last Night at the Telegraph Club for ages 14 and over published in 2021

page 286 (CAUTION-explicit)

Before, she had been afraid of being discovered and afraid of discovering herself, but the more they kissed, the less afraid she felt, until her fear was subsumed beneath much more powerful feelings. She wanted to touch Kath’s skin. She tugged the hem of Kath’s blouse out from her skirt and slid her hands beneath it, and finally she felt the warm skin of her back, and the quiver of Kath’s body as she touched her. Kath drew back briefly and reached for the buttons of Lily’s blouse, asking, “Can I?” Lily helped her unbutton it, and then Kath put her hand on the bare skin of Lily’s waist, and Lily closed her eyes. Kath’s hand slid up over her ribs and cupped the curve of her breast, and her thumb trailed electrically over the outline of Lily’s nipple through her bra. And then she pushed her leg between Lily’s thighs, and Lily gasped at how it felt— the pressure and the movement there—and it was exactly what she wanted. She was astonished by the way this worked between them so instinctively, as if they had been made to do this together. But Lily felt as if there were no time. She couldn’t entirely forget that they only had an hour together. A desire for something more was rising inside her as Kath moved against her, their skirts riding up as their bodies rubbed together. It felt urgent, as if they were counting down the seconds till a bomb would explode. There was no time; they had to do this right now. And she reached for the hem of her skirt and tugged it up to her hips, and she took Kath’s hand and moved it to the cleft of her body. Kath hesitated. “Are you sure?” she whispered. “Please,” Lily said, overcome. So Kath put her hand between Lily’s legs, and Lily helped her, fumbling with her underwear. It was awkward, but when Kath’s fingers touched her, they both gasped. “Am I in the right place?” Kath asked. “Yes,” Lily whispered. It all felt like the right place. Kath’s fingers rubbed and rubbed, and it was so marvelous, so intoxicating—she’d never even really touched herself like this before—and now she was pinned against the side of the filing cabinet, and it made a dull metallic thud as her hand slapped against it. “I’m sorry,” she gasped, but she couldn’t really be sorry because it was all happening so quickly, so unexpectedly, and she clutched Kath close to her as the sensations took over, her body shuddering, and she pressed her face into Kath’s neck until it was over. There was a minute in which she breathed in and out, in and out, and Kath held her gently, her head resting against the filing cabinet. Then Kath kissed her neck and shifted herself over Lily’s thigh and whispered, “Can I—is this all right?” “Yes,” Lily said, and she leaned into Kath, holding her as she moved, feeling Kath’s wetness slide against her leg. …How different this was from when Lily was alone in her room. How different, and how much more: an overflowing amount of more. Kath kept rocking against her thigh, her breath ragged against Lily’s cheek, and Lily stroked her hand over Kath’s hair tenderly, feeling impossibly close to her. How precious she was, and how miraculous.

Available as an eBook on the library website.

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