© 2008 By C. J. Wells
Disclaimers: See Chapter One.
LINES IN THE MEHNDI
As they rode in the back of the Lincoln Town Car on their return to the hotel after Jo's Super Bowl party, Lindsay and Rejeanne both stared blankly out of their respective passenger windows, deep in thought of what they had learned from Jo's dream journal.
“So, you're okay with staying in Chicago again tonight?” Lindsay asked, breaking the silence.
“Yeah,” Rejeanne replied. “I always take the Monday after Super Bowl off work anyway.”
Lindsay didn't respond, but rather allowed a few more moments of silence pass before starting her long-awaited argument with Rejeanne.
“Jo's a thing of beauty,” Lindsay stated.
“Yeah, she's pretty hot,” Rejeanne agreed.
“So, why did you two break up?”
“I told you,” Rejeanne replied. “We decided that we were better off as friends.”
“That's it?” Lindsay asked in disbelief. “You two just decided one day, ‘let's stop having sex and just be pals.'”
“I'm not buying it, Jeannie,” Lindsay said.
“What are you not buying?” Rejeanne asked contemptuously.
“Women like you two don't just decide out of the blue to call an intimate relationship quits after two years,” Lindsay said. “Something had to have happened.”
“How do you know what kind of women we are?”
“Oh, I don't know,” Lindsay snarked. “Maybe because we all seem to have known each other for over two thousand years.”
“Okay, smart-ass,” Rejeanne retorted, “so what are you asking me?”
“I want to know what happened,” Lindsay responded.
“And you are so sure that something happened?” Rejeanne asked.
“Yes,” Lindsay replied. “So, what happened?”
“I think you already suspect, but okay, if you must know the details,” Rejeanne started, “there was an incident at a party in K-zoo.”
“ Kalamazoo , Michigan ?”
“What kind of incident?”
Rejeanne folded her arms as she continued, fully aware of the path Lindsay was taking the conversation. “We had a mutual friend, Tammy, who was in a grad program at Western Michigan U. She invited a bunch of us up to K-zoo to celebrate her birthday. At one point in the evening, Tammy invited me and a couple of other girls into her bedroom to do some lines with her.”
“What do you mean, ‘do some lines?'” Lindsay asked.
“You know what I mean,” Rejeanne barked.
“No, I don't.” Lindsay replied sincerely.
“Snort coke, okay?”
Lindsay did not respond. Rejeanne continued. “Jo was out on the back porch talking politics and someone went and ‘narked' on me. Jo caught me in the act and blew up. She called me a fucking junkie and said that she was totally done with me. I called her a controlling bitch and told her to go fuck herself. She was my best friend in the world. We had never before raised our voices to one another, let alone called each other names, but that night, it got downright ugly. Jo was so hurt and disappointed in me that she got into her car and drove back to Chicago that night without me. I crashed on Tammy's couch and took the Amtrak back the next day. Between Jo ditching me and coming down from a bad cocaine high, I practically cried the whole trip home.”
“Were you proud of yourself?” Lindsay asked with utter derision in her tone.
“No, I wasn't,” Rejeanne responded. “I was devastated, but I broached the situation the only way that I knew how. I wrote a poem and placed it on Jo's windshield wiper a couple of days later. When she called me to acknowledge getting it, we agreed to have lunch and talk. It was then that we decided that our friendship would not survive being in a continuing romantic relationship.”
“Jo had too much disdain for your recreational drug use?” Lindsay asked scornfully.
“I'm not a recreational drug user, Lin,” Rejeanne snapped. “I had only done coke a couple of times prior to that night, and after what happened between Jo and me, I never touched the stuff again.”
“That's reassuring,” Lindsay said sarcastically.
“What is your damage, Lin?”
“Frankly, I don't know how you can say you're not a drug user when you're practically beaming with pride over smoking your dad's potent pot.”
“I'm not a stoner,” Rejeanne exclaimed. “It ain't like I smoke it everyday. I don't do illicit drugs and, anyway, weed isn't even a narcotic.”
“Oh, it's not?”
“No, it's not,” Rejeanne fired. “Weed isn't in the same category of drugs as cocaine or heroin or crystal meth. It's not addictive. There's really no such thing as marijuana detox. You don't hear about people going off and robbing banks, writing bad checks or prostituting themselves to get money for their next pot fix. No one's ever died of a marijuana overdose. You can't get AIDS from passing a joint. And unlike drinking booze, guys don't get high and then decide to drive recklessly or beat their wives.”
“That may all be fine and dandy, Jeannie, but the stuff is still an illicit drug and it's still very illegal.”
“Well, it shouldn't be illegal.”
“Yeah, well it is illegal.”
“It shouldn't be.”
“But it is.”
“But it shouldn't be.”
“But it is.”
“But it shouldn't be.”
“But it is.”
“Excuse me, ladies,” the driver, Gian Carlo, interrupted, “We've arrived back at the hotel.”
Rejeanne opened her door and got out of the vehicle before Gian Carlo could get to her. Lindsay did wait for her driver to open her door and, after stepping out, whispered to him something before handing him a one-hundred dollar bill and wishing him good night. She then joined Rejeanne, who was standing in front of the hotel entrance.
“Are you happy that Jo and I broke up because I'm a so-called pot-head?” Rejeanne asked as her eyes began welling up. “Are you going to break up with me because you think I'm a pot-head too?”
Lindsay sighed. “I don't think that you're a pot-head, and no, I could never leave you,” she professed. “I love you too damned much.” She wiped away Rejeanne's tears with her thumbs. “It's because I love you so that I'm bothered by the marijuana use. I don't ever want to give you an excuse to ‘escape' whatever lay ahead for us as a couple.”
“I understand your concern, and I'm flattered,” Rejeanne replied. “But you have to believe me when I tell you that I don't smoke pot that often, and when I do, it's not to ‘escape' anything. I smoke it because, honestly, I enjoy the high. But if it bothers you that much, I won't ever smoke it again. My relationship with you is far more important to me than smoking a joint.”
“Honey, I would never tell you not to do something, even if I don't necessarily approve. You're an adult, and I have to respect your decisions. So, no, don't stop smoking pot on my account. If this is something that you like to do on occasion, I'll just have to learn to deal with it.”
“Just like I'm still dealing with the fact that you voted for Dubya?”
Lindsay smiled. “And his dad in '88 and again in '92.”
“Eww! I would say we're even, then,” Rejeanne jibed as she wrapped her arms around Lindsay's waist.
“We're even,” Lindsay agreed. “Now, let's get inside. It's cold out here.”
* * * *
After entering the hotel room, Lindsay walked up behind Rejeanne and gently peeled off the smaller woman's coat. After she tossed the coat over to a chair in the room, Lindsay began massaging Rejeanne's shoulder blades with her thumbs. Rejeanne raised her head and closed her eyes as Lindsay began kissing Rejeanne's neck under her left ear.
“That's nice,” Rejeanne swooned.
Lindsay then circled Rejeanne's neck with kisses from ear to ear as her hands moved from Rejeanne's shoulders to her breasts. Lindsay lightly circled the nipples, over the clothing, with her index fingers for a few seconds before pausing to unbutton Rejeanne's blouse and remove both it and the sports bra underneath it. She was still behind Rejeanne.
“Your nipples are so hard,” Lindsay whispered.
“Of course they are,” Rejeanne responded.
Rejeanne raised her arms and wrapped them behind Lindsay's neck as she pressed her back up against Lindsay's still clothed upper body. "Lose the coat," Rejeanne murmured just as Lindsay took off both her coat and the button-down blouse that was underneath it. She then reached back and unclasped her own bra and allowed it to drop to the floor with other garments. Both women were now standing in the middle of the hotel room completely topless. Rejeanne's arms were still raised and wrapped behind Lindsay's neck. Lindsay was feverishly kneading Rejeanne's breasts as she suckled her neck. Lindsay then began licking behind Rejeanne's ears, first the left, then the right, before grabbing Rejeanne's forearms and removing them from around her neck. She turned Rejeanne around to face her and, tenderly cupping her cheeks, brought Rejeanne's face to her own where the twosome's lips met in a long-anticipated kiss.
As their tongues fought for dominance in each other's mouths, Rejeanne brought her arms around to Lindsay's back, where she began both massaging and passionately stroking. The sensations caused Lindsay to let out a prominent moan that vibrated into Rejeanne's mouth. Exciting Rejeanne even more, she grabbed Lindsay's belt and began eagerly unbuckling it. Lindsay unbuttoned Rejeanne's pants and both women unzipped simultaneously without breaking the kiss.
Moments later, their lips did separate, but only long enough for both women to remove their pants, shoes, socks and panties. Rejeanne then climbed onto the bed and lay supine. Lindsay crawled behind her and straddled Rejeanne at her torso. "You are so very beautiful," Lindsay said as she lowered her body onto Rejeanne's to resume kissing.
The two women continued to kiss as Rejeanne raised her right leg and positioned it between Lindsay's legs, where she began rhythmically rubbing her hip bone on Lindsay's saturated sex. Lindsay let out a second deep moan as she thrust her right hip bone up against Rejeanne's clit. The two women's thrusts became harder and faster.
“I can't get enough of you,” Rejeanne declared.
“This is bliss,” Lindsay professed.
Sweat beaded up on Lindsay's back as perspiration from both women poured down the sides of Rejeanne's torso. Rejeanne held tightly onto Lindsay's buttocks as they reveled in their sexually charged propulsion. Lindsay's fingers were tangled in Rejeanne's damp hair. Both women panted and moaned in their primal delight. Sensing her climax was on the horizon, Rejeanne constricted the muscles inside of her sex in order to hold off her impending orgasm until the right moment. When she felt Lindsay's body begin to quiver from her own climax, Rejeanne relaxed her muscles and her entire body flushed from a powerfully perfect orgasm.
Lindsay was still shivering as her orgasm pulsated throughout her body. She rested her weight on Rejeanne and brought her lips to Rejeanne's ear. "I love you so much," she whispered.
"I love you too, Lin, "Rejeanne replied. "And you know what?"
"Nothing beats post-argument make-up sex."
* * * *
Lindsay was awakened by the bright sunlight coming in through the large hotel windows. She looked first at the small alarm clock on the end table to note the time, 10:24 a.m., before turning her attention to a still sleeping Rejeanne. Not wanting to awaken her exhausted lover, Lindsay peeled herself from their intertwined bodies and padded over to bathroom to take a shower.
Rejeanne finally began stirring as Lindsay was finishing her shower. “Lin!” Rejeanne called out.
“I'm almost done in the shower, dear,” replied the voice from the bathroom.
Rejeanne rose up and wiped the sleep out of her eyes before looking over at the clock. At that moment, the bathroom door opened. “When is check-out?” Rejeanne asked.
“Eleven, I think,” Lindsay responded. “Go look on the door.”
“Well, it's 10:40 now,” Rejeanne said. “I'd better get my ass in the shower.”
“Don't worry about it, sweetheart,” Lindsay said. “I think I can afford the late checkout charge.”
“Typical Alastair,” Rejeanne joked. “Always be flauntin' that somethin' somethin'.”
Lindsay sat down beside Rejeanne on the bed. “Where do you think we should go from here in our search for the scrolls?” she asked.
Rejeanne thought for a moment. “If Jo's dream chronicled events that really happened, then there really was a Lady Harry.”
“I'm sure,” Lindsay replied, “But I doubt that ‘Harry' was her real name.”
“Sure it was,” Rejeanne said. “She was the wife of some Earl of Addington dude. ‘Harry' was probably her nickname for Harriet or something. All we have to do is an internet search on this Earl of Addington from back in the late 1800s. We find him, we find the wife.”
“Sounds simple enough,” Lindsay said. “How about heading to an internet café after checkout? I'm eager to get on this right away.”
“Works for me.”
It was passed the noon hour before the two women entered an internet café a few blocks from the hotel. Sitting down in front of an unused monitor, Rejeanne logged on to the computer and clicked on the internet explorer icon. “I'll call up a search engine site and type in Earl of Addington,” she said.
Lindsay sat back in her chair and casually sipped a hot cup of tea while Rejeanne poured through volumes of text on the five-hundred-year-old history of the Earl of Addington peerage. “God, I totally don't understand this British royalty shit,” she said.
Lindsay chuckled as Rejeanne read the text in a faux English accent. “ When the fifth Earl died, the titles passed to his grandson, the sixth Earl, son of Lord Edmond Hastings, who was also Lord-Lieutenant of Brookshire and Gaunt. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the seventh Earl, who sat as a member of parliament for Brookshire. His son, the eighth Earl, was a courtier and notably served as Master of the Hounds. He had no legitimate male issue and on his death in 1744 the earldom became dormant, blah, blah, pig shit, and blah.”
Lindsay laughed. “It all sounds truly fascinating,” she joked. “Gotta love the English.”
“Whatever,” Rejeanne remarked. “Anyway, the ‘Earl' that might be the one we need to research further is the fourteenth Earl of the seventh creation, whatever the hell that means, a guy named Sidney Holkeham Hastings. He lived from 1822 to 1871. He'd be about the right age to be married to Lady Harry, if she was about the same age as Maggie. The next Earl in the line was born in 1856. I think he would have been too young. So, I'm going to do a further search on Sidney .”
“Okay,” Lindsay said.
Moments later, Rejeanne clapped her hands in delight. “I found her,” she announced.
“Yup,” Rejeanne began reading, “Dowager Countess Harriet Canton Hastings, 1832 to 1890, widow of Sidney Holkeham Hastings, the fourteenth Earl of Addington, was a philanthropist, essayist and free-spirited adventuress… blah, blah, blah… was affectionately known as ‘Lady Harry' in her inner circle of friends… blah, blah, blah…”
“Cool,” Lindsay remarked.
“Awesome,” Rejeanne agreed as she continued reading. “Blah, blah… oh, no!”
“It says that Lady Harry was murdered in Ethiopia in 1890 while in pursuit of the legendary Xena scrolls.”
“Does the site claim that she never found the scrolls?” Lindsay asked.
“It doesn't say one way or the other, but that's the implication, it seems,” Rejeanne responded.
“Well, that can't be right, if Jo's dream is accurate.”
“But Jo's dream ended just as the women were about to dig,” Rejeanne said. “Maybe something or someone intercepted them.”
Lindsay sighed. “Well, we know that Maggie lived almost another thirty years after that,” she said. “I have to believe that she managed to get those scrolls somehow.”
“You don't think that Maggie killed her, do you?” Rejeanne asked.
“My gut tells me no,” Lindsay replied. “If Maggie was anything like Xena, she had her flaws, but she was loyal. Maggie and Harry were working together, and although Maggie was not the charmer, I do believe her heart was in the right place.”
“Well, I don't think that the Ethiopian woman, Jo's previous soul, had anything to do with it either,” Rejeanne remarked. “Like Bahri, loyalty is in Jo's DNA. I have to believe that Alemnesh was very loyal to Harry as well. Someone else had to have betrayed them.” She continued reading. “According to this site, some English guy wrote a book about Lady Harry's adventures. It was published in 1973.”
“Please tell me that he's still alive,” Lindsay remarked.
“I'm looking,” Rejeanne replied as she feverishly plowed through the information being provided by the search engine. “Here we go,” she said. “Sir Robert Timothy Malcolm, born in 1931, is a great-great nephew of Lady Harry. He is still alive, and coincidentally, he lives in Birmingham , England …”
“… Where Maggie lived,” Lindsay injected.
“Finally, a person who knows about these people and is still breathing,” Rejeanne remarked. “Do you think that he'll talk to us?”
“It can't hurt us to ask.”
* * * *
For Rejeanne, the flight back to Dell Valley was as eventless as the flight to Chicago . Taking a Dramamine with water just before take-off, she quickly drifted into a deep sleep. Lindsay snickered after giving Rejeanne a couple of quick glances while she flew the plane. She is so God-awful adorable , Lindsay thought. She was also grateful that the weather was, for the most part, cooperating with her. She only hit a couple of small pockets of turbulence, not even enough to stir Rejeanne from her slumber.
It was nearing the dinner hour when Lindsay drove her vehicle into her garage at Stone Hills. Rejeanne was looking forward to another relaxing bath in Lindsay's hot tub, but Lindsay was already anticipating how she would get in contact with Sir Robert. As the two women entered the kitchen, they were immediately approached by Betty Shively.
“Excuse me, Ms. Alasdair, but…”
“Hi, Betty,” Lindsay interrupted. “I'm sorry for not calling to let you know that we were back, but I do have some pressing matters to go over with you…”
Betty injected, “But, ma'am, I think you should know that…”
“Take this,” Lindsay said, cutting off Betty, “I want you to find the best way to contact this individual directly. I don't want to speak with an attaché or a press secretary. I need to talk with this gentleman, Sir Robert Malcolm personally.”
“I'll get on it right away, but you really should know…”
At that moment, another interruption came from the library. “LINDSAY!” the powerful male voice shouted.
Lindsay stopped in her tracks. “Who's that?” Rejeanne asked.
“That's what I've been trying to tell you, Lindsay,” Betty spoke up as Lindsay opened the French doors leading into the library. At that moment, she saw something that she hadn't seen in over twenty years; her parents standing next to each other in the same room.“What is all of this nonsense about you turning into a raging homosexual?”
CONTINUED IN CHAPTER SIXTEEN
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