FEEL LIKE A WOMAN (2)
Foreword: Continued from Part 1. Thanks to everyone who sent feedback. I really appreciated that you took time to drop me a note. Because you asked, here is part 2.
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Close to noon on her day off, Kelli packed her knapsack with a book and a sandwich lunch, stuck a cap on her head and skipped down the stairs of her apartment building. It was a beautiful spring day; much too nice to cloister herself indoors.
She whistled softly as she walked up the main street to snag a coffee and an almond horseshoe from a little bakery. It was conveniently located next to a newsagent that distributed local papers for free. Juggling her coffee, she picked up the weekly gay rag, tucked it under her arm, and tried to drink her coffee while it was still hot as she walked. Her path to the bay took her past her favourite bookstore where she slowed to see if the window display had changed.
The familiar black and white hardcover was still there. Kelli already had the book. She had read it cover to cover and made her own notes even. It seemed silly for her to long for something she already knew intimately. She certainly didn't need to tell anyone that she owned a copy - as if they would care – but it would be nice to show off occasionally. Elena had wanted it. It, being the book or sex?
Did she have someone in mind to share it with? Maybe I was 'practice'.Her abrupt departure smacked of shame, or disregard that Kelli almost felt bitter, but the look in her eyes when they met – comic shock – struck her as too genuine. Elena had seemed too guileless to plan a seduction. What the hell did she want from me? Kelli scowled at her reflection and stalked off.
Damn that woman. Kelli did not enjoy the discomfort of her feelings of abandonment warring with passionate memories that still prickled. What happened that afternoon had to have been unplanned. They had come together so smoothly, so naturally, that she could still remember touching Elena – covering her body with broad caresses and being crushed between her legs. She imagined Elena's scent still clung to the recesses of her bedroom; when she closed her eyes at night, the rustle of sheets sounded just like the crush of her blonde hair.
By all that was holy and good, how could Elena leave - sneaking out like she had a dirty secret? Had she misjudged her interest for more? Was she straight, married, bisexual, secret service?!
Were Elena's bright blue eyes and luscious body so captivating that she could not look at another blonde woman without hoping it might be her?
No, it had to be more than that. There was something about the way Elena had looked at her – the uncertainty and the need in her eyes – that had pulled her in. She hadn't expected their attraction to escalate, but she didn't regret it either. If anything, she couldn't forget it, and it was killing her that Elena left without a word or a trace. Now all she had was an obsession with a woman who had disappeared from sight but who had left an indelible impression. She sought her, it seemed, in every buxom blonde.
Kelli forced her mind clear of all thoughts. Enough. She haunts me at night, I just want one day free. Determined to enjoy her day, alone, she let the sun's heat on her bare arms and legs warm her muscles. Stretching her pace, the metric beat of her feet on the pavement lulled her into a meditative state soothed by the perfume of flowers that not even the tickling leaves of passing unruly hedges could penetrate. In a lighter mood, Kelli hummed her way to the park.
The beautiful sunny weather seemed to bring everything alive; nature was blooming around her, people were smiling more and exposing body parts more too. Kelli breathed in the smell of grass and flowers, but winced at the sight of pale legs coming out post-winter. It's gonna be busy at the gym with everyone getting into shape for summer. She hummed appreciatively under her breath at a couple of women who didn't need toning up at all. Bring on the hot weather, bikini ladies, she peered over her sunglasses at them.
Children screaming in a playschool cut through her peaceful haze. She had been running her palm along a row of bushes when, abruptly, they ended at a clear space filled with energetic children who seemed to be in a shrieking contest while running about aimlessly. Kelli doffed her cap to air her hair. The kids looked like they were having a good time just being kids. Not for the first time, Kelli gauged her contentment to remain single and unattached.
She had never felt clucky; she didn't even feel like dating seriously. Maybe she should continue acting like those kids and have fun, regardless. Goodness, they are cute. She smiled at the antics of the children and waved to them. I could never have a child; I wouldn't know what to do. A blonde-haired girl playing with a doll reminded her of Elena. That princess is going to be a heart-breaker when she grows up.
Hmm, I wonder if Elena likes kids. The passing thought did not register long enough to germinate as Kelli continued onto her destination. The greening parkland would be filled with college girls soon.
Elena stepped out of the day care centre to help her friend herd in the 4 to 6 year olds from the playground. They scattered like sheep, hoping to pull her into their game and prolong the break but Elena was wise to them. This wasn't her first visit. Having carefully chosen this as Andrew's pre-school, Elena was one of a group of mothers who volunteered at the community centre to familiarise themselves convincingly with the routine, and to lift the load on the small staff. He would be ready for a soft introduction in a few months, she hoped.
"That's a pretty doll, Shereen." Elena squatted next to a blond child who was combing Barbie's hair. The stiff figurine was encircled by a complete miniature salon that, if real, would have made a drag queen envious.
"Would she like to play inside? There are milk and cookies and ...." The child glared evilly at her with enough venom to send a shudder up Elena's spine.
Dear God, she'll eat Andrew alive!
The low buzz of conversation floated under the familiar smell of smoke scented carpeting in The Vineyard, the bar where Kelli was playing pool and having a drink. Her competition, Rod and Julian, were alternating games against her. They weren't trying very hard to win.
Kelli ignored their wimpy attempts at the table but if she had smoked, she would be grunting inconsequentially at their technique while her cigarette wagged her disapproval. C'mon, guys, I know pool isn't your game but you could at least show some stick style. Rod and Julian posed around the green, paying more heed to the attention from the other patrons than the game. They were good looking boys and they knew it.
Kelli rolled her eyes at their attitude - right into view of Martha, the proprietress, who gestured with a tip of her head towards the other side of the room where, surrounded by a loose arc of one-night stands and interested women, Xixi perched on a low table in a way that told everyone how she would look during sex. Thin, lean and predatory, the huntress was on the prowl.
Kelli quickly averted her gaze lest she was spotted. It would only be a matter of time till Xixi approached her, she almost always did; sometimes overtly, mostly subtly, her green eyes would be hungry with lust or hard with certainty. Kelli had had the pleasure, once. It was enough.
There has got to be someone else, she thought. Her sweeping gaze landed on another player. Pia, with her hard won muscles that she showed off in rolled up short-sleeves, was dressed as usual in jeans. She liked to leave her shirt buttons undone to reveal her chest - flattish under her ribbed tank-top but with permanently alert nipples, it seemed.
Pia would have been a great choice for Xixi. They were both sexually aggressive and not fixed on any single woman. Unfortunately, while Xixi wasn't particular about her lovers - only what her mood dictated - Pia had a fetish for boobies; the bigger the better, and as far as Kelli knew, they had never done the dirty.
Right now, Pia was involved with someone else. She was moving in on a busty blonde who was by herself at the bar. Even across the venue, Kelli could see her intentions telegraphed by her arms on either side of the blonde, trapping her against the counter. They were talking, but as Kelli watched, Pia surreptitiously manoeuvred her stance until her legs were close to straddling the blonde's knees. The blonde moved to pick up her glass and Kelli got a clear look at her smiling face. It was Elena.
Elena's cheeks ached from smiling. Or is that from grinding my teeth? Be nice...be nice. She calmed herself. Okay, too nice... too nice. Back it up, ma'am, sir ... Elena was a hairsbreadth from pushing Pia's face away from her cleavage. She had moved back until the bar blocked her reverse, then she tried leaning back but that only stretched the view of her chest and seemed to encourage Pia to reposition herself closer.
Please God, I swear I won't accept drinks from strangers at a bar, even a lesbian bar, ever again.
It was only a martini. Like you haven't needed a drink after a rough day before. She grumbled to the celestial switchboard. I'll show you where you can shove that olive if I ever...
"Waiting for me?" Elena's head whipped towards Kelli so fast her eyes had to catch up.
About that olive ... you know I didn't mean it. Thank you!
"What do you want, Wilford?" Pia pouted at Kelli's appearance.
"This is the – my – friend that I told you about," Elena breathed, relieved. Her hand fluttered to her throat which suddenly felt drier than a Maxi Shield pad. Kelli Kelli Kelli. Elena smiled, her spirits lifting for the first time that day.
When she had seen Elena at the bar, Kelli had been stunned, then angry. Her anger had welled up from a place she had not known existed, immediate and blinding. It was all mixed with hurt and bewilderment, and a cruel satisfaction when she realised Elena's discomfiture. She knew Pia could be forceful, and Elena didn't look like she could handle her. It would serve her right if she bit off more than she could chew. Pia was a screwer, not a screwee. This would be a turn around for her if she tried to pick up Pia.
Sneering, Kelli had gone back to her game, only to drop the cue along with her concentration. She drained her glass then strode purposefully towards the bar.
Pia could get in line. Elena was hers first.
"Thanks for keeping her company. I can take it from here." Kelli placed her arm around Elena's shoulders and kissed her soundly. "Glad you could make it, honey."
Elena trailed after the kiss, falling into Kelli's steady hold. It took her a moment to say, "Er, what took you so long, baby?"
Kelli shrugged, "I had to finish my pool game, sweetheart. You know how I hate leaving in the middle." She flashed a fake smile. "Unlike someone I could think of."
"That's good, um," Pia had left them but was still watching from a corner. "Perhaps you can go back to your game after I buy you a drink, or we could talk?" Elena fiddled with the hem of her skirt. After the rush at seeing Kelli, she hoped to explain her actions, or something.
"How generous," Kelli said sarcastically, her eyes blazing like amber. "Will I receive flowers tomorrow? Oh wait, you might pull a David Copperfield again and disappear. I'll take the money now, if you don't mind, Miss Elena. Then I could say it was a pleasure." Her eyebrows arched challengingly as her anger seeped through.
The sight of Elena's crestfallen expression, her genuine anguish, stopped Kelli's tirade in its tracks. Dammit, is she crying? So much for closure, she thought, guilt now adding to her fray of emotions.
Kelli's cutting words shredded Elena's short confidence. Justified as they were, she was already suffering from the effects of a horrid encounter with her ex, one that had lasted all afternoon, and she was not prepared for another battering. First, she had had to deal with Pia's unwanted attention that could have ended badly, and then Kelli's appearance - the woman she had not been able to forget - had pulled her ass from the pan to roast her for her actions. A film of tears crept into the corners of Elena's eyes and she lowered her head to hide them from view.
"I'm sorry," she said, only it came out choked and throaty. She couldn't meet Kelli's searing gaze in light of the accusation. It was all true, she could say nothing.
Kelli worked her jaw. She wanted to believe Elena because, unexplainably, she just wanted to. A movement in the corner alerted her that Pia had noticed their tense exchange and was about to try again. One lover's spat could be another one's lucky night. She took Elena's hand.
Elena floated after her mutely. In her mind, she was being punished for her unwise actions that day. She didn't regret their physical union, it had been amazing – too wonderful to last - it was what kept her sane in the long nights. It also drove her mad with need and recrimination. She wished she had gone back and apologised. She wished she had taken a chance on pursuing more with Kelli. She wished she had not allowed her ex-girlfriend to make her feel less of a woman nor for Kelli to make her feel so much. It was time to pay for her wishes.
The moved into each other's body, their arms acting as borders to keep everyone else out. Their hands rested in shapely crooks and curves that were naturally created just for each other. Elena kept her eyes closed as she nuzzled along Kelli's open collar. She would do anything she had to to explain later but in this insane moment, she wanted Kelli, and that took over her mind. The spicy deodorant Kelli wore sent an ache to her core, waking up her nipples as it shot past. She nipped at a tempting patch of skin, and then licked it. The resulting response was a thigh pressed high between her legs. Elena didn't know if she or Kelli moaned.
Their dance was a slow grind against each other. Hip inside hip with roaming hands as back-up, Elena and Kelli kissed. It was a reunion they had played out differently in their minds but the kiss was the same. Verging on hunger, they lipped and tongued open mouthed, playful and serious. They were getting to know each other again. Their confrontation had been subsumed by the gentle art of kiss and make up. Explanations would come later.
Lost in their kisses, Elena had taken hold of Kelli's face to keep her mouth available for ravishment. Kelli's hands separated; one to pull Elena in tighter and the other journeyed up to stroke her breast. At the slight pinch on her nipple, Elena whimpered lowly and pushed her chest further into Kelli's hand. Growling at the feel of the luscious mango within her palm, Kelli wanted to touch it naked – the woman flesh in both her hands and her mouth.
Kelli broke the kiss to graze her way down to Elena's chest, thankful that her scoop-necked dress was so generously wide. When she licked at Elena's cleavage, she felt Elena's nails clutch into her back, under her shirt.
They both froze simultaneously. With Kelli face down in Elena's chest and Elena's head thrown back in rapture, they had been oblivious to their surroundings - the unbroken hypnotism of Trance music drawing them deeper into sensuality. But decorum had finally broken through desire, and Kelli and Elena came to. They couldn't do this in public.
"Come home with me," Kelli whispered urgently, her hand resuming its strokes.
Elena arched into the caress. "I ... can't," she said raggedly. She dearly wanted to but she had Andrew to consider, and the emotional cost of another encounter.
"Sure you can." Kelli flicked her nipple, sending waves of pleasure to Elena's clit. "You know you want to."
Elena groaned with her eyes closed. "Yeeesss ..."
Kelli dragged her lips along Elena's jaw line up to her ear where she breathed hotly, "Don't you want to feel me inside? Remember how good it felt when I touched you? I want you so much, Elena." She kneaded the breast in her hand. "I can't get you out of my mind. Come home with me," she urged. The feel of Elena writhing under her, close to the way she was rubbing up against her body now was driving Kelli delirious. She was so hard that she was ready to push Elena's hand into her jeans, but she would rather wait for the bedroom.
"Well, well. If it isn't my Kelli ... making out with another woman. On the dance floor, no less." Xixi laughed, "I'm impressed."
'Her Kelli'? Elena caught the reference and it confused her. Is this Kelli's girlfriend? Her eyes widened as she remembered what they were doing moments before. She must've seen us!
Elena imagined the whole bar looking at them, more on her because she was the girl who had thrown herself at Kelli. The dramatic tableau would send gossip through the grapevine like wildfire .
Maybe they have one of those open relationships. Her cheeks grew warm as she noticed Xixi judging her in one glance. The other woman was painted into a red leather dress, she looked wild and sexy. In comparison, Elena felt awkward. Her curves could not squeeze into anything that small. A familiar shroud of insecurity settled over Elena, the behaviour of her ex in her fears.
Elena knew she had to leave. This wasn't her scene. She had chosen this bar because it was a safe place to get her head together for a while, not because she expected to be picked up. If only that had happened before she met Kelli she wouldn't have disappointed either of them.
Kelli placed herself between the two blondes. "What do you want, Xixi?" She asked, suspicious.
"An introduction, for a start," Xixi was smirking and checking out Elena. "Hello, I'm Xixi."
"Not going to be one of your playthings," Kelli snarled.
Xixi eyes narrowed fractionally, "Why would you assume I wanted her, darling? Is she one of yours or are you one of hers? Or is she Pia's?"
"She's ... mine." The statement left an odd feeling in Kelli's chest. She usually found possessiveness distasteful, she chafed if anyone tried it on her, but the idea gentled when she thought of Elena. She couldn't bear it if someone else took her instead.
She turned to see Elena's reaction, trying to show her apology with her eyes, and hoping she could explain it later, but Elena was gone.
Kelli hurried outside when she could not find her in the bar. She rushed through the door only to see a car drive off. In the darkness beyond the lights, Kelli remained rooted to the spot. She's done it again!
"What's the rush?"
Kelli whirled round and paced angrily around Xixi. "Shut up."
"There's one way to keep me quiet, lovergirl." Xixi lick her red rouged lips slowly. Then, she advanced, her short red dress doing nothing to hide the sway of her hips.
When she finally brushed up to Kelli, they were both breathing harder, Kelli from running, anger and arousal, and Xixi from hunger. But when she leaned in for a kiss, Kelli halted her.
"Not here," she said abruptly. She grabbed Xixi's slim wrist and dragged her to the alley behind the bar.
She placed a hand on Xixi's shoulder and pressed down, directing her to her knees. "Not a word."
Xixi smiled and licked her lips eagerly, getting them wet and ready. She unzipped Kelli's jeans, pulled them down just enough and used her mouth for something she was very good at. If anyone had looked, they would have seen the blaze of triumphant lust in her eyes.
Kelli splayed her hand in Xixi's hair as her eyes closed and her head fell back. She concentrated on the tongue stroking her, giving her relief, and the fingers thrusting deep inside. She gripped Xixi's head to her crotch, not caring if she was uncomfortable or that her jeans limited her movements. She just wanted to get off with Elena still in her mind.
When she came, she crushed Xixi's face to her cunt and ejaculated in her face.
The gym was alive with the sound of clanging weights and the soft repetitive grunts of its clientele. Women and men moved in and out of the area, some in groups, most in pairs, their sweat stained flushed bodies attesting to an hour's hard workout. Kelli finished stacking the free weights and rolled up the mats. It was closing time. As she cleared up systematically, she could see the place emptying until there were only one or two people left. She tossed a spray bottle and rag into a toolbox before tucking them into the side closet for the cleaners who would arrive later. It was the end of another unexciting day.
Rolling her stiff shoulders, she stepped through the staff door into the reception desk that was barricaded by a marble and chrome counter. A bank of security cameras showed the remaining customers in the building and the rest of the staff heading down. The sight reminded her to do up the roster for the next month.
"A to F are closed," Rod said as he pushed through the short swing doors into the service area where Kelli stood. He was followed by Julian, who tossed him a bunch of keys for the remaining rooms. They made their annotations into the daily checklist and started the procedures to close the gym while waiting for the stragglers to finish.
Rod hopped up onto the counter to evade the muscle-bound Julian who was industriously cleaning the desk and wiping down every surface. It was a staff joke that Julian got his workout more from cleaning than body building. Rod looked at Kelli who was leaning her hip on a low cabinet. Like the rest of the staff, she was dressed in shorts and a red shirt, her top tucked neatly into the waistband. Her short hair was layered tightly to taper into the line of her graceful neck which was currently bent over a clipboard. She was frowning, a pencil tapping cursor-fast on her chin.
"You doing the roster?" he asked.
"Yep," she said curtly. No one liked sorting the staff schedule. It was only ever written in pencil because it was constantly changing. Balancing staff needs with efficient coverage needed her full concentration.
"Wanna grab some dinner?" Rod asked while waving to the last customer.
Kelli barely glanced at her watch – she knew it would take her a good hour before she could finish. "You guys go ahead. This will take a while," she declined without further thought.
"Come on, Kelli. It's late. Let's eat." Julian added, his deep voice rumbled manly from his trunk. He wiped his hands, and every single finger, before dropping the rag into the bin. "You can finish that later."
Rod came up and slung his arm around Julian's shoulders in support of the idea. "Yeah, come with us. We never get to see you no more," he said cheerfully when actually, he was more concerned that Kelli had been working harder the last few weeks, behaving more subdued than he could ever remember, and just generally being too quiet - and he had known her for two years. It would be good to spend time with her, the way they used to hang out after closing the gym. She didn't have anyone waiting at home but she hadn't been as social lately either.
Kelli's irritation flared for an instant. Why were they insisting on her time? There was work to be done. Her eyes flashed at them, stormy instead of carrying the golden warmth they were used to seeing.
Despite her immaculate physical condition, Kelli's features were harder, almost flinty in their angles. Her cheekbones appeared carved from the shadowed hollows of her face. Her hair, once cheekily curled, was now thinned close to her scalp, and the tendons in her neck and hands screamed of overwork. What the hell happened, she looks like shit. Rod kicked himself mentally for not noticing the changes in his friend.
Her snappy retort was bitten back in the face of the invitation. She might not have felt like socialising but these were her friends. Truth be told, she had been driving herself harder at work, welcoming the nights to come quickly so that she could fall asleep, exhausted, saved from reliving bewildered feelings about Elena and Xixi. They had both claimed her in different ways but at least Xixi had stayed. The quick fuck in the alley had left a wretched taste in her mouth. She couldn't bring herself to carry on because she had wanted sweetness and soft curves. Xixi, hot as she was, was left standing in the dark as soon as Kelli zipped up. She hadn't gone back to the bar since, or any other places where they might meet.
A loud click plunged the building into darkness, startling Kelli from her reverie. Sighing, she threw the clipboard down and grabbed her bag. The boys held the door open until she joined them. All clear, they slammed the shutters down, activating the alarms.
"Who's buying?" She asked as they walked down the street. It wouldn't do for the boys to know she had been pining. They would think her mad.
Gloria sighed as she watched her friend prepare dinner. Something was up. Elena had been moody and depressed lately, even Andrew had picked up on it. He had been quieter too, which for him was saying a lot. She knew that Elena had something on her mind; Probably a woman. It was upsetting her but she wasn't sharing, yet. Definitely a woman. With a little more wine, Elena might start talking, or she had to come up with a plan to cheer her up.
The loud clatter of pots in the sink made her wince. Okaaay, someone needs to get laid.
"I know what you're thinking."
Startled, Gloria eyebrows flew up, "I didn't say anything!"
"You didn't have to. Your sighs blew my curtains last night." Elena spun round to face her. "I'm fine."
"Although, you could ..."
"I just ..."
"Do you want dinner or not?"
"You win. Butjustfortonight." Gloria pushed in quickly.
Elena rolled her eyes and smiled, "I'll take what I can." She busied herself with the food, half her mind on the task and the other half pondering the question she blurted out, "Am I pretty?"
Gloria paused in her shuffle for peanuts. "Sure you are. I mean, you're not my type but," she scrutinised Elena, "if I were into blonde, blue-eyed bodaciousness, you'd be in the running." She waggled her eyebrows and said salaciously, "I always wanted me a pair of those."
Elena laughed at the reference to her breasts. She pointed to them, saying, "What, these old things? They come with stretch marks and a body that won't quit for chocolate."
Gloria giggled and snorted into her drink. "Aren't lesbians supposed to look beyond external appearances and see the wo-mon?"
"College must have been a good influence on you. Too bad egalitarianism only works in theory."
"Like polyamory and bisexuality. You'll be fucked either way."
They laughed hard at that. "No more wine for you. I'll have the rest, thanks." Elena held out her glass.
"Can I get you anything else; oysters, a foot rub, a half-naked slave girl...?" Gloria teased.
Swirling the pale gold liquid in her glass, Elena quietly said, "Claire came by."
"What, when? What did she want?" Gloria had never liked Claire. She suspected she was having affairs even before Elena became pregnant, but she had never broached her suspicions. As it turned out, Elena terminated their relationship because Claire wasn't around most of the time. Towards the end, arguments ruled the house and Claire had finally moved out. Elena never told her that Claire had accused her of sleeping with Gloria or wanting to. Elena had been shocked, but it was the also last straw.
Elena had continued with their baby plans. Claire had never understood Elena's choice to have a child, and she was jealous when it took so much of Elena's time away from them. Even before he was conceived, Claire already resented the baby. When Elena was successful after the break-up, Claire had disclaimed all interest. It was a hard lesson for both of them.
"Relax. She didn't want anything, at least, I don't think so."
"I don't trust her."
"Hmm." Elena was non-committal. There was too much water under the bridge.
"Is she the reason you're in a funk?"
"I'm funky?" Elena smirked.
"Pass the cheese." Gloria sprinkled strips of parmigiano on her salad. "Yes, you are, and don't change the subject. Thanks for making my favourite, by the way." She crunched on a large leaf.
Elena waved her off. "You're welcome." She pushed her chair back and said, "I'm going to check on Andrew," before leaving the kitchen.
Definitely a woman.
Her mobile phone chirped just then, the blue screen showing that the caller was her cousin, Rod.
End of part 2
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