Disclaimers: Well, I don't really have to do this with this one. My characters, my story. There might be a certain resemblance to two ladies some of you might recognise but hey ... that could be purely coincidental...<smile>
Subtext: Yup, all the way through the story ... if this bothers you or if you are too young, please don't read this story.
Violence: No, not really. Some fist-fights maybe.
Language: I don't use English in my day to day life so I apologise for any spelling or grammar mistakes. You're welcome to point them out to me, though. <smile> Oh yeah ... I'm using 'proper' English spelling - just thought I let you know...
Setting: There are not a lot of stories out there set in Europe so I thought I might change that. (My being European and all ... <smile>) Set in northern Germany. A town called Lübeck. All the places, streets and bars are real. And it's a beautiful little town....I tried to keep German to a minimum - just some phrases now and then....
A Final Note: For all of you who read "Falling"…………this is going to have a happy end. I had to promise……<smile>
A Final Note, part 2: I will use some German phrases in this part, I think I need to give translations to. When you find italic words in the text you should be able to click on them and they should take you right here, to the translation of the word.
Kleines --- Little One
Großer --- Stretch
Die Blaue Rose --- The Blue Rose
Jag älskar dig. --- (Swedish) I Love You.
Rathaus --- townhall
Ja --- Yes
Any comments are welcome: email@example.com
Fragments - Part 3
by Grit Jahning
Here in these arms
Our history began
Before there was you
There was thirst in my heart
Look at my lips, you will see
I have drunk from the river
That flows to the sea
Of true love
<chorus> Safe in these arms,
That's where I want to be
Safe from the harm, in these arms
That's where I want to be
If I may die
Let it be here with you
For here with you
I shall surely be safe
Safe from the hate, from the lies
From the vultures of Christ
I need no Gods
I have no fears, I have you
Never let me, never let me
Say you'll never let me go
Take me in you arms
And say you'll never let me go
Take me in your arms and hold me
Say you'll never let me go
*"Safe In These Arms" written by Gary Butcher and Jimmy Somerville
- 10 -
The door closed with a soft sound. Echoing eerily through the dark and quiet apartment. Through the windows in the kitchen and living room beams of lights were crawling across the light carpet.
Outlining furniture and frames on the wall in sharp contrasts.
Muted sounds coming from the street and the apartments below drifted through the quiet and then a soft sigh stirred the air.
A small hand reached out and brushed wind-blown pale locks to one side. Dropping a small bag next to the kitchen door.
A slim frame - all but a shadow in the dark - made its way into the living room.
Dropping into the arm chair. Hit by a beam of light.....highlighting the smile on red lips. Increasing the gentle sparkle in pale green eyes.
Liv closed her eyes and her right hand reached up to touch her lips. Still tingling from Rayne's kiss good night.
The taller woman had brought her to her apartment. Those blue eyes simply looking at her....so many emotions, spoken and unspoken, shining in the blue depths.
After the kiss in the Botanical Garden they had stood there - holding on to each other in an almost desperate need. Until other visitors had entered this part of the park. Looking at them in confusion, amusement....indignation.
Not that any of them had said anything after they met a steely blue gaze.
The smile on Liv's face got bigger. My protector. The somewhat mushy thought entered her mind and she giggled. But, god, it had felt incredible!
Nothing in her life had ever felt so right.
The kiss had been so gentle, so soft. Undemanding and yet hinting at a passion and love unmatched by anything she had ever experienced.
Green eyes opened and she bit her lower lip. Pale brows wrinkling in thought. She had thought she loved Torben. But getting lost in Rayne's embrace.....the warmth of the strong frame.....her scent..... Gosh, I had no idea what it feels like to be in love.
But she knew that she was falling.
And she was falling hard. For Rayne.
Thinking back to their first meeting.....the smile appeared again.....there had been something between them right from that moment when Rayne had yanked her car door open.
Their eyes had met and it was....
She had no words to describe what it had felt like but it had been the most amazing feeling of knowing the tall stranger standing there next to her door. Trying to form words. Pale blue eyes looking at her in astonishment.
A sigh as the small frame leaned back in the armchair. Stretching out tired legs and tugging a shirt from the waistband of the jeans.
She had had no idea what would happen.
Just being with Rayne had been all she wanted. They had talked, laughed.....been silent with each other. A silence that was very comfortable and there had been no need to fill it with words.
God, she had never expected that Rayne would kiss her.
But, oohh, was she ever thankful the older woman had decided to go ahead. The small smile got bigger. White teeth shining in the dark. And those lips had been as soft and as gentle as she had known they would be.
Rayne's touch gentle and strangely familiar...
They had finished their tour through the Gardens but neither Rayne's nor her attention really on the sights around them.
Both of them had caught the other looking. They had laughed.
They had had some coffee in a small bar next to the University and then decided to return to Lübeck. Rayne knowing that she had classes in the morning.
They had stood in front of her apartment house for a long time. Over and over saying good bye - and yet not moving.
Those blue eyes twinkling in gentle amusement.
She had reached up to touch Rayne's face. Had touched her cheek in a hesitant and yet gentle caress. Her heart missing a beat as she had watched those blue eyes close while the dark head had leaned into her touch.
It had taken a moment before they had opened again.
Even now, remembering this moment, made her stomach flutter. Tingling with something so intense she uttered a small sound.
Curling up in the armchair she closed her eyes again.
Resting her head on her hand that had touched Rayne's face, she released a slow breath. Her mind alive with images of the handsome face.
The low voice.
The gentle laughter.
The soft touch.
The water was slapping lazily against shore. Washing away small rocks and twigs. Leaving nothing but empty canvas ready to be used again. Waiting for new footprints to be taken away into the world. To shores strange and alive with dreams....
The sand had cooled down considerably with the dawning night but the tall frame sitting at the beach didn't care.
She heard the far away sound of a ship horn. Announcing its presence.
Pale eyes squinted into the dark but she couldn't make out the outlines of the ship. Probably a fishing trawler.
Her eyes followed the line that separated the sea from the sky. Barely visible in the blending darkness they shared.
She hadn't been able to settle down after Liv had entered her apartment. She had to do something. So she had decided to drive out to the beach.
Hoping to calm her heart and body down.
She took a deep breath. Tasting the salty air at the back of her throat. Savouring it for a moment. Reminding her of long, quiet nights she had spend as a child on her father's boat. Accompanying him on his catches.
As always the memories carried the last remains of grief. Her father had died in an accident almost ten years ago. She had already been at college in Germany.
The dark head dropped to her chest and the sad, little smile that had played on her lips changed.
Because she detected the faintest trace of a so well known scent on her shirt.
Letting herself fall backwards into the soft sand she raised her eyes towards the sky. Seeing the stars sparkle above. Pale grey clouds slowly, lazily moving along. Playing hide and seek with the spots of light.
And yet.....her gaze reached far beyond the sky.
Reached beyond - looking for a soul she knew was waiting for her. A soul, she always knew she would find one day. It had been a certainty in her heart she had never doubted. She had dated others before. But she had never had the desire to turn it into something serious or deeper.
None of them had ever got inside. Really inside.
Where the muted, untouchable memory of pain lingered....
Pale blue eyes tracked the movement of a plane on the dark sky. Its blinking lights seemed to be strangely displaced amongst the ancient aloofness the stars next to them represented.
And then she had run right into the most beautiful pair of green eyes she'd ever seen and she had been falling.
Tumbling into something new and yes, scary.
But this little part inside of her that had always been looking. It had smiled. And sighed in relief....
Long arms raised and folded behind the dark head. The wind getting stronger. Dancing through dark locks. Tugging them.....tempting them......Caressing along high cheekbones and across red lips.
Rayne's smile got bigger.
What had happened today.....she touched her lips......she couldn't have stopped it - just like she couldn't stop breathing.
To close her arms around Liv's softly trembling form. To hold her.
To kiss her.....
She took another deep breath. Barely able to hold back the happy - almost giddy laughter that tickled her lips. The happiness she felt inside so intense, her chest close to bursting with it.
Hearing a very faint buzzing sound she turned around and looked behind her. The dark outlines of dunes visible in the dark lingering around her.
And she saw fireflies.
Flashing points of light that danced through the slim blades of grass growing on the dunes.
Tilting her head a little Rayne sat there watching the small bugs.
The door clicked close behind him and Lorenz yawned. Scratching his shaved head, he immediately turned his steps towards the kitchen. Knowing that he'd probably find some left-over food there.
He passed the door to the living room and stopped.
Turning around again, he leaned against the doorframe....an affectionate smile playing around his lip. The piercing on his lower lip moving to the side.
There on the armchair was a curled up form. The pale head resting on one arm - and a small smile on her lips.
He stepped closer and crouched in front of his sleeping friend.
"Hey, Kleines......." As he got no reaction - not that he expected one, Liv's talent to fall asleep in any place and to be dead to the world while sleeping, well known to him - he shook her shoulder very gently.
Getting a soft moan as an answer.
"Liv, come on, your back's gonna kill you tomorrow."
The pale head started moving and then sleepy green eyes blinked at him. It took a moment before they seemed to recognise who he was but by then a welcoming smile met his gaze.
Liv yawned and sat up. Stretching her small frame she groaned as she felt the muted pain of abused muscles in her lower back.
"Gosh....you are a lifesaver, Lorenz."
She slowly got up from the armchair, biting her lower lip a little. Lorenz laughed softly and straightened his own small frame. The tight T-shirt he wore nevertheless highlighting a very toned body.
"Yeah, I know. That's why people - including you - love me!" His gentle brown eyes twinkled at her and they both moved into the kitchen.
The young man busying himself at the refrigerator. A happy little sound escaping his throat as he found some pizza in the back of it.
The small blonde had taken a seat on the small table they had bought for the kitchen and had started running her fingers along its edge. Her mind still alive with the events from today....her eyes found the clock at the wall and she shook her head. Yesterday, since it was two a.m. in the morning.
Again, a happy little sigh stirred the air around her.
She turned her head and met Lorenz' questioning gaze. The young man happily munching away on the cold piece of pizza.
Liv laughed and mock-shuddered. Getting innocently lifted shoulders as an answer.
She bit her lower lip. Her green eyes studying her friend for a quiet moment. Then she took a deep breath and motioned him over to the table.
He took a seat opposite from her and resting his elbows on the surface, blinked his eyes devotedly at her. "Yes, my Queen?"
She swatted at his arm. But then got serious. Her pale head tilting to the side a little.
"How did you know you were gay?"
They had switched on the small light in the kitchen which hung directly over the table. Keeping part of the room in darkness. The only sounds in the flat the ticking of the clock and the soft creaking of their chairs.
Lorenz' gentle brown eyes looked at her in surprise. "Mmh......good question." He smiled at her. "I fell in love."
He laughed and leaned back in his chair. "No....no, it wasn't that easy." His voice suddenly serious. "I was scared to death of the feelings I suddenly had for one of my friends. I mean....I was fifteen at that time and all my friends were talking about girls - and all the 'experience' they had. And I......I spend my days thinking about...." He released a slow breath. "His name was Kirsten. He had the cutest smile and I just.....I had butterflies in my stomach every time I saw him or he talked to me. At first I didn't know what was happening but eventually....well, I figured it out and..........trust me, I was scared."
He met the gentle green eyes in front of him and smiled as Liv touched his hand.
"I couldn't talk to anyone. At least, that's what I told myself. No way I would tell my parents so I chose to ignore what was happening to me inside and played along. I dated girls. I bragged with the guys about 'how far' I had got with some of them.....but inside I was curling in to a ball because I just.....it felt so wrong to me to kiss a girl. I didn't want to hold a woman in my arms but feel the strength of a male body next to mine.
Well I read a lot at that time. Because I wanted to understand what I felt. Why I was different from my friends. ......... A few months after I found out that I was gay....." His gaze moved to the window. The midnight-dark slowly turning into a pale grey of a new day. "They had chased and beaten a gay couple in the town I lived in. Both if them had to spend a few weeks in the hospital. I was terrified. And to hide I started to get into a lot of trouble....you know, 'boys stuff' ....." Lorenz snorted. "I got into a lot of fight. But I earned the image of being a real tough guy.......yeah....."
He was silent for a moment. His brown eyes far away.
"After I finished school I started an apprenticeship in Berlin. ....... God, it was a totally different world. Suddenly what I felt wasn't something 'bad'....something that needs to be hidden. I went to gay bars and for the first time in years I felt free and alive.
And then I met Klaus....." Now a bright smile lit up his handsome features and was mirrored on the gentle features of the face in front of him Liv knowing how much he loved Klaus.
"Well, that's when I decided to tell my parents. I didn't want to live a lie and things between me and Klaus quickly became serious. So one weekend, when I came home I told myself: 'It's now or never.' We were sitting in front of the TV one night......I had no idea what we were watching ......I was desperately trying to find the right words. It was my father who asked me if everything was all right. And I just blurted out: I'm gay."
He laughed again. His eyes twinkling at his friend.
"They looked at me as if I had announced to be the Messiah. I didn't know what I expected. Shouting.....cursing.....accusations.......something......anything. Most I was afraid of my father's reaction. I was scared to death he would beat me. I don't know why......he had never laid a hand on me......but that's what happened to Klaus. His father told his brothers and they beat him badly." His brown eyes clouded over for a moment.
"My mum started crying after a while. My dad....he just looked at me. ........ I think the silence was the worst. And then my father said: 'So, I guess, that means you won't join the Army.' ..... You could have knocked me over with a feather. My mother looked at him with wide eyes. ........ She still can't deal with it. Not really. But my dad......he surprised me. I mean....we were never close or anything but his approval always mattered to me. And here he was, smiling at me..........From all the scenarios I had expected and prepared myself for this was the one I hadn't anticipated........"
There was silence for a moment. The refrigerator came to life with a soft humming noise and down on the street the sound of a car drifted up to them.
The young man stretched his upper body. Raising his arms above his head. He took a deep breath and turned his attention to his friend. Liv had turned thoughtful while he had talked. Her green eyes alive with something he couldn't quite place....
They had been friends for almost five years now.....having started their studies at the University together. When she and Evelyn had looked for a third fellow occupant, he had said: 'sure, why not.'
He really liked the small Swede. Always saying that if he wouldn't be gay, he would ask her out for a date. And he was only half joking about that.
There was something about her......a gentle aura that seemed to touch anyone that met her. Those green eyes and her smile captivating you within moments.
And they had spent many nights like this. Talking about everything and nothing of importance. Their relationships.....politics.....books.....their studies.....
He put his right elbow on the table surface and rested his chin on his palm. Looking at her with questioning eyes. "Why did you ask?"
Liv took a deep breath. Her fingers playing with a piece of paper she found on the table.
"Torben and I broke up."
Lorenz' eyes raised in surprise. Then jest danced in his brown eyes. He leaned forward and the light hit his shaved head. The smooth skin sparkling. "He's gay?"
Despite herself Liv started laughing.
"No.....no. He's not." She fell silent again. Her friend giving her all the time she needed to collect her thoughts. He was almost sure what this was about but he kept silent.
Knowing that Liv had spent the day with Rayne Wilson, owner of the bar Die Blaue Rose.
"I.....um....." Those green eyes met his gaze. "Rayne and I......we kissed, today."
Her voice dropped to a soft whisper filled with wonder.
"And I liked it." An unconscious smile played around her lips. Making her eyes sparkle. "I liked it a lot."
"Mmh." By now Lorenz barely contained his smile.
"And....I think she liked it, too."
Dreamy green eyes looked at him....and yet reached far beyond his gaze.
Remembering how right it had felt to be in Rayne's arms. The feel of her body.....the soft swell of Rayne's breasts.......Lorenz bit his lips as he saw the soft blush creep up Liv's features because of whatever she was thinking about.
"So, you think you're gay?"
His soft voice brought her back from her musings about soft skin and gentle touches.....
Her brows wrinkled in thought. To her it didn't matter if she was gay or not. She knew that what she felt for Rayne was new to her. New and beautiful.....and she wasn't about to put a label on these feelings.
"I know, that I l....like her a lot."
Brown eyes twinkled at her. "'like her a lot'?"
The blush deepened. But Liv held his gaze. "Yeah....."
They smiled at each other and then Lorenz got up. Dropping to his knee in front of her chair, he took one of her hands in his. "All that matters, Kleines, is that you are happy."
She smiled and hugged him. "I am, Lorenz,.......I am."
Somewhere in the building a door closed rather noisily. Echoing through the still sleeping house. Steps on the stairs announced that someone left for work....or went home.
The clock on the kitchen wall told them that it was well past four.
Lorenz yawned and Liv rubbed his head jokingly. "Come on, Großer, you need to get some sleep, too."
They both left the kitchen. Heading to their rooms. And soon the apartment was silent again. Pale darkness settling once again. Through the windows soft light crept slowly through the shadows - announcing the awaking of a new day....
- 11 -
"How does it taste?"
There was a soft, appreciative humming sound. Followed by a low chuckle.
"So, I take it, you like ice cream, right?" The low voice held a gentle amused tone and twinkling blue eyes were met by equally smiling green.
"You're kidding, right? .... Do I like ice cream, she asks......" A pale head shook in mock-indignation. "For your information, Miss Wilson....I love ice cream."
Rayne laughed and leaned back against the tree they were sitting next to. They had chosen a place at the small lake that was located at the outskirts of the old city of Lübeck.
Deciding to enjoy the warm, late spring day. The sun was already warm enough that some people had chanced to wear shorts. Trying to get their first tan of the year.
The tall woman raised a hand and brushed her fingers through her hair - loosening it to get a little air to her neck.
Her movement followed closely by pale green eyes that traced along the chiselled features. Taking in the comfortably resting frame.
Liv cleared her throat as she felt warmth travel through her body that wasn't caused by the sun.
"How come you're so tanned?"
Surprised blue eyes turned her way.
"Um....." Rayne sat up. "I used to go out on the sea with my father a lot. I guess, I caught quite some sun on those occasion. It stuck....obviously...." A smile.
Liv answered it with a bright smile of her own and leaned forward. Touching a hesitant hand to Rayne's cheek. Not quite able to suppress a soft trembling.
"You're skin's soft, though."
Rayne got lost in deep green eyes and cleared her throat. Moving a little. Yet not breaking the contact with Liv's hand.
But trying to come up with something to say. "Um.....yeah....well, I ....um...." Unable to form any coherent words. Her mind filled with thoughts what those fingers would feel like caressing her body.
The pale head next to her tilted to the side in question as Liv noticed the slight blush on Rayne's face.
The small blonde took her hand away and turned back towards the lake. Her eyes following ducks ad swans floating across the water. Children and elder people throwing bread crumbs at them.
People on bikes passed them....followed by dogs chasing after them. Their long, pink tongues hanging out of the sides of their mouths.
Others were strolling along the path. Simply enjoying the quiet afternoon.
Rayne and she had chosen a shady spot on the lawn. Bringing something to drink and a small snack along.
It was Tuesday. And Liv had returned from the University to find a message on her answering machine. A low voice asking if she might be interested in a small picnic and a movie later.
She had stood next to the table the machine was sitting on. Sighing happily and commenting to the empty flat: "Well....twist my arm...."
Now, sitting here with Rayne by her side.....gosh, it felt incredible.
The taller woman had picked her up.....greeting her with a gentle kiss. Something Liv was very grateful for because she hadn't known if she should greet her with a kiss or not. They had stood in front of Rayne's dark Mazda......looking at each other. And she almost, almost suggested to forget about the picnic and the movie.
She didn't want to share Rayne with anyone.
All she really wanted was to find a quiet spot she could simply snuggle up to the tall frame. Knowing that there was no safer place than in Rayne's arms.
But....here they were. And she had to admit it was beautiful.
Rayne had told her a few funny stories from her childhood. Mischief she had got in, in the small village she grew up in on the East cost of England.
In turn the small blonde had shared memories of her youth. Her narration followed by eager blue eyes that got lost in the soft voice. Listening to the soft accent that characterised Liv's English.
At the moment Rayne had got very quiet. Her eyes tracing a small sparrow fighting with a pigeon for a piece of bread. The small bird puffing up his chest to impress the bigger bird. Chirping angrily at his opponent who didn't seem to be very impressed.
The soft voice brought her back from her musings and she turned a little.
Liv smiled at her....but those green eyes seemed worried.
Rayne released a slow breath. There was something she wanted...needed to ask the small blonde but she didn't know how to approach the topic.
"Yeah.....can I....." The dark head turned and face confused green eyes. "I'd like to ask you a question."
Liv felt a nervous flutter in her stomach. "Sure."
Rayne bit her lower lip for a brief moment. A habit Liv had found out usually meant that the tall woman was nervous.
"Did you.....have you talked to Torben, yet?" There I said it. But she hadn't the courage to meet Liv's gaze. Not quite sure what her reaction would be.
And then a small hand touched her hand, resting next to her knee. Entwining their fingers....a thumb stroking her skin in a gentle caress.
The small Swede waited until pale blue eyes lifted and then she smiled. "Yes. I talked to him before we went to Hamburg."
Rayne released a breath she hadn't been aware of holding.
She squeezed the hand in hers. Amazed at how small it really was. Quite without conscious thought did she turn it. Her fingers tracing along the palm.
Liv swallowed. Her skin tingling where Rayne touched her and she took a trembling breath.
Suddenly, deep blue eyes looked up. Tracing along gentle features....soft lips....gently curving cheeks. The soft, fine hair that covered them. I love you. The words popped into her mind all of a sudden. And she almost - almost said them aloud.
The small blonde smiled at her brightly.
Matthias sighed and closed the notebook he had been writing in. Well, this month went well. He smiled to himself and got up. Putting the book into one of the drawers of his desk, he got up and left the office he shared with Rayne.
Mmh. Speaking of the devil......where was she, anyway? She wasn't supposed to be here tonight but usually she showed up for an hour or two anyway. But so far no trace whatsoever.
He pursed his lips and entered the busy bar.
A band was playing in the back of the bar. Quite a crowd surrounding the small stage - cheering and clapping.
He smiled again. Quite pleased with the success their bar had within such a short time.
A tall brunette worked her way through the crowd. Coming to a halt in front of him. Brushing her hair from her face in a slow motion. Smiling at him brightly.
"Have you seen Ray?"
The blond man bit back a sharp comment about the fact that only friends used this abbreviation of Rayne's name - and this one certainly wasn't a friend.
Her name was Susie - and she had turned into somewhat of a groupie of his tall friend. Constantly hitting on her.
Dark eyes narrowed for a moment. The way too bright smile staying in place, though. "Oh? Will she be here tonight, though?"
Matthias sighed. "I don't know. She hasn't called so I figure, she won't. ....... Excuse me, will you, there is someone I need to talk to."
With that he let her stand there and moved away. Soon swallowed by the crowd.
Geez, what's her problem? He shook his head. And then he had to suppress a giggle. Imagining Liv having a word or two for the obtrusive brunette. Knowing that the small blonde had quite a temper.
He had almost reached the group of people he was heading to, when suddenly loud voices at the entry caught his attention.
One of their guards, a tall, massive Turk, came in and released a deep breath.
The sky was alive with gently blinking stars. Pale clouds moving slowly across the dark surface.
A comfortable chill had settled and Liv took a deep breath of the fresh air.
Closing her eyes to enjoy the moment.
Next to her she heard the soft rustle of clothes as Rayne closed her light jacket. Fiddling with her keys as they walked away from the cinema they had just left.
"I really liked the movie."
Liv smiled and turned towards the taller woman.
Pale blue eyes, almost grey in the dark, looked at her and then Rayne sighed. Putting her hands into her pockets, she shrugged her shoulders.
"It was all right."
Liv bit her lower lip to hide the smile.
"You've never seen the TV show either?"
They kept walking in silence. Making their along the Königsstraße heading towards the old Rathaus. The streets were almost deserted. Only late movie goers and a few teenagers still out and about. A stray dog passed them. Dark, sad eyes watching them for a moment before he disappeared in one of the small alleys so characteristic for Lübeck.
"I always liked how they kept hinting at them being more then friends, you know? The 'are they or aren't they' question."
Now interested and slightly amused blue eyes met her gaze and she laughed. Swatting at a conveniently close arm.
"I'm a mushball at heart, okay?"
Rayne stopped walking. Her face suddenly serious. "That's very all right with me."
Liv swallowed. And felt her face warm in a soft blush as the taller woman stepped closer still. A large, surprisingly warm hand cupping her face. Stroking her cheek in a soft caress.
"I like you just the way you are."
"....thanks....." Was all the small blonde could think of. Suddenly drowning in those blue eyes so close to her face. The dark head tilted a little and then lowered ever so slowly.
Rayne watched green eyes close and with a soft smile touched her lips to Liv's. Again marvelling at how soft they were.
It was a soft, brief kiss.
But it took a moment before those green eyes opened again. Rayne released a slow breath. Waiting until now deep green eyes met her gaze again.
"So don't go and change, hear me?"
Liv laughed softly and shook her head. Sighing silently as Rayne took her hand and entwined their fingers.
They walked in silence the rest of the way to the taller woman's apartment. Coming to a halt next to her car.
Both not yet willing to say good bye.
"Do you want something to drink?" Inwardly Rayne hit herself for the lame question but her worries vanished as the pale head started nodding before she even finished the question.
"So, why do you want to become a paediatrician?"
They had sat down on the dark couch. Rayne sitting sideways a little, one arm resting on the back of the couch. Her upper body facing the small frame next to her.
Liv bit her lower lip and brushed a few short locks behind her ear. Her voice quiet as she answered.
"I always wanted to help people. I don't know.....ever since I was a child I wanted to make a difference in someone's life. Be there for them if I could.....ease the pain they're in. When I was ten my little sister died of cancer. It was a terrible time for me and I think it was then that I decided to become a paediatrician."
Rayne rubbed the small hand she held in a warm gesture. Liv turned to her and a small smile played around her lips. She released a slow, slightly shaking breath.
"When will you be finished with your studies?"
"Next year." Big green eyes turned towards the handsome features. Seeing a gentle and yet serious smile there.
"I know, you are going to be a great physician."
Rayne smiled and squeezed the small hand she was holding as she saw the slight blush working its way up Liv's neck.
"What about you?"
The taller woman shrugged her shoulders. "My father always wanted me to join the Royal Navy. He had to retire after an accident and went back to his life as a fisherman. I mean, he was happy but he always wanted me to have the best opportunities."
Rayne fell silent. Her gaze turning towards the television. The sound was turned off and at the moment a commercial for a big German telecommunication company was running.
"Did you join the Navy?"
"No. I.....becoming a soldier didn't feel right to me. I couldn't explain it but......well, he was disappointed but he accepted my decision. So I moved to Berlin and studied economics."
Surprised pale brows rose.
"Yeah......I had some pretty good offers. I worked in one of the biggest British companies and well, everybody told me what a great career I'd have ahead of me." Again the tall frame shrugged.
"Then my father died during a storm out on sea......It kinda throw me of course for a while. Then I met Matthias again and he kept talking about having his own business. Asking me if I'd like to join him.........Well, and that's how I ended up here."
They looked at each other for a quiet moment and then they said at the same time: "I'm glad you are."
They laughed. Effectively breaking the tension that had started building up. And then Liv became very aware of the large hand moving from her hand to her leg. Gently stroking her thigh.
She looked up into deep blue eyes and cleared her throat.
Rayne tilted her head. "Easy, okay? We don't have to rush anything. I want you to be comfortable."
"I am. I just......." Again, she was blushing. "Just.....I never....you know.....with a woman."
"Mmh....." Rayne studied the gentle features. "Afraid?"
"No!" The pale head shook in a strong motion. "Nervous, though. I mean......" The blush got more intense. "I read some....stuff.....but I don't know if I know what to do....you know...."
The tall frame moved forward a little. "Trust me - you'll know." Seeing that Liv was getting uncomfortable she tried to ease the mood. "And what's this stuff you've been reading?"
Her voice was obviously teasing and the small blonde started laughing. Moving closer to the taller woman she whisper. "As if I would tell you...."
They were close enough for Rayne to see golden specks in the green of Liv's eyes. Close enough for her to smell her perfume and the scent that simply was Liv.
She swallowed. Closing the space between them she touched her lips to the ones so close to her. Hesitantly at first but then she felt Liv response and felt the small frame move closer to her own body.
Small hands reaching for her as her own started moving......
<ring> The sound of her phone startled both of them and pale blue eyes narrowed at the offensive machine.
Again it rang and she heard Liv take a shaky breath. Heard the soft whisper: "....whoa....."
Not quite able to suppress the smile on her face she reached for the phone. "Ja?"
The smile leaving her face as she recognised Matthias' upset voice. His German fast and almost incoherent to her as his strong Northern dialect came through.
"Hey....easy...slow down. What's wrong?"
She listened to him......and Liv noticed how her face got very still. Those pale eyes turning cold. The expression in them sending a chill down her spine.
After a few minutes Rayne hung up and already reached for a sweatshirt that was resting on the armchair.
"I have to leave. Do you want to stay or go home? I don't know when I will be back."
Pale brows wrinkled. Taken aback by the cold in Rayne's low voice - so at odds to the soft gentle warmth it usually held.
Rayne tugged her keys into one of her pockets. "Trouble at the bar. Some idiots....." She didn't finish but her hands clenched into fists.
"I come with you."
Astonished blue eyes met serious green.
"What?!......No, Liv listen.....this...."
"No, you listen! Do you honestly believe I am going to let you go into a probably dangerous situation by yourself? Sitting here....worrying myself sick?.......No way are you going to leave me behind!"
The first thought that entered Rayne's mind was, that the small blonde looked awfully cute getting all angry.......and then how familiar this 'argument' seemed. Actually.....dark brows wrinkled. She'd been disappointed if Liv wouldn't have tried to come with her. Strange....
So she took a deep breath and released it slowly.
"All right......but please...." She took a step towards the small frame. "Stay out of trouble."
A small hand lifted and touched her cheek. Slowly caressing her skin and then briefly a finger traced along her lips.
Rayne swallowed. Closing her eyes to enjoy the soft touch for a small eternity and then she straightened.
Leading them out of the apartment. Leaving it in silence and darkness.
The light from the street lights painted a yellow glow on the road. Swallowing any colour. Dark shadows crept along the sidewalks as they drove by darkened buildings. Along the Untertrave the dark outlines of boats were visible.
They hadn't reached the bar but up ahead Rayne already made out something that looked like a bunch of people.
She parked the car a few metres away from the entry and led her companion to the back door of the bar.
But they did hear the words that were shouted. Hoarse voices.....ribald laughter.......Liv swallowed and moved closer to the tall frame close to her.
A look at Rayne's face told her that the Brit was very obviously angry. Her jaw moving in a rapid motion.
They were met by Matthias. His blue eyes nervous.
"God, I'm glad you're here."
Rayne only nodded and let her eyes travel over the bar. Getting a picture of how many people were still here.
Matthias noticed that and shrugged his shoulders. "Some left through the back door but I didn't want everybody to leave this way. I was afraid it would attract their attention. ...... I already called the police and they said they'll be hear as fast as possible."
A low snort. "Right."
Ahmed, one of their orderlies, walked up and nodded briefly at Rayne. Smiling at Liv. "They're drunk, boss. Talking won't do any good, I'm afraid. ...... " He fell silent for a moment. "Some have bats with them."
It was eerily silent in the bar - considering that close to fifty people were still present. All eyes were on the tall frame standing at the bar counter. An intense look in those pale eyes.
She started moving towards the main entry, when she felt a tug at the back of her shirt. Turning she was met by worried green eyes.
"Do you mind telling me what exactly you want to do?"
Despite the situation Rayne had to smile. Noticing the small crinkle Liv got on the bridge of her nose. She only got that when she smiled or when she was concerned....and angry.
"I'm going to go out there and have a......talk.....with those bastards."
Cold blue eyes met green and Liv swallowed. Taking a step away she let go of Rayne's shirt - turning away as the older woman walked towards the entry. Followed by Ahmed and Matthias.
>>>All right....in this part there will be some 'foul' language. I will use German and I will not give any translations to these phrases. It's not really necessary for understanding the next scene. Nor is it worth translating....<<<
There were eight of them. Young men....most of them not older then sixteen or seventeen. They stood next to a grey VW Golf. Laughing, drinking from cans of beer they had with them.
Most of them had very short hair. Some had their heads shaved. The low light from on of the street lamps sparkling on the smooth skin.
Heavy boots on their feet with white laces, identifying what scene they belonged to. And three of them had baseball bats in their hands.
Rayne didn't even slow down as she walked towards them. Her skin tingling with energy. Despite herself remembering why she didn't want to become a soldier like her father had wished.
Deep down inside there was a part of her, she'd always been afraid of. A part she knew would enjoy killing. It frightened her.
It frightened her what had happened those rare times she had got into fights.
The smile, she knew, that had appeared on her face. The subtle smell of blood that had touched a very dark spot inside her....
Shaking her head a little she cleared her mind of those memories. Pale eyes returning to the young men standing there.
One of them noticed them and alerted his friends. Youthful features turned their way. Hate and disgust painfully obvious on their faces.
"Hoho, schaut mal an was da kommt. Ein Haufen Perverser!" One of them yelled. He dropped his can and reached for his bat. Taking a step towards them. Followed by the rest of his friends.
"Hey Schatz.....brauchst du mal 'ne richtigen Kerl, der's dir besorgt? Wie wär's?"
They laughed again. Obviously enjoying themselves. And then one of them throw his can of beer against a window of the bar. The glass bursting with a loud sound. Pieces of it flying onto the street but most of them flying into the interior of the bar.
Rayne heard muted screams of surprise and fear.
Slowly.....slowly she turned to the group of young men.
The dark head tilted to one side.
"Was ist los, Schlampe?....." The young men, obviously the leader of the group, looked at her contemptuously.
Matthias reached for his friend who was heading towards the group. Her face set and cold. He had only once seen her like this and at that time, the guy who had provoked her, had spent some time in a hospital.
"Come on, Ray....let them be. The police should be here any minute. They are not worth it."
She didn't seem to hear him. Her pale eye still fixed on the young men.
And then a soft voice from the door caught all their attention.
Shocked blue eyes turned to find Liv standing at the door. Her face pale and a soft line of crimson blood slowly running down her left temple.
It took only a moment for the tall woman to realise that Liv was hurt - and in the next moment the young man who had thrown the can was with his back against the car he had been leaning at.
Two large hands clenching at his shirt.
"Hey....was läuft denn bei dir schief?? Laß mich los, du Schlampe!....Leute, kann mir mal einer helfen?"
But just then a fist connected with his face. A soft crunching, followed by deep red that ran down his nose. Across his lips....Dripping down his shirt.
A soft gasp drifted to her from behind but she ignored it.
The young man was trying to get loose but Rayne's grip was tight and before any of his friends could intercept, the sounds of a police car became audible.
The young man kept struggling. "Laß mich los!!" His face turned into a mask of fear as he saw his friends scramble away. The sounds of their boots muted thuds on the deserted road.
The police car came around the corner and to a halt next to Rayne and the boy she was still holding.
One officer got out and took in the situation with a surprised look on his face. He scratched his beard and turned to his partner. Shrugging at him.
"In Ordnung. Was genau ist hier passiert?"
- 12 -
Soft splashing sounds. That was the only thing she was aware of. Soft splashing sounds. Waves that hit wood. The muted sounds of metal clanking against wood. Creaking sounds of ropes moving in their suspensions.
Strange what names people gave their boats.
The water was a dark grey. Lights sparkling on its surface. Reflections dancing back and worth.
The tall frame moved forward in a strangely defeated motion. A deep sigh stirring the air.
It was early morning. The sky just slowly starting to change into a pale blue. Clouds still hanging heavily over the sleeping city. A soft drizzle brushing past chiselled features.
Rayne took a deep breath and rested her elbows on her knees. Pale eyes tracing the ground. Her foot kicking at a small rock she found there.
The police had left a few minutes ago. Asking her to come to the station later today to give them a full report of what happened. They had taken the young man with them. But since he was underage, all they would do was to bring him home to his parents.
She knew that Matthias had taken Liv back inside to take care of the cut she had receive from the broken glass spraying into the bar. She couldn't even meet those green eyes.
It had been a long time since she lost her temper like that.
The guy had kept teasing her. Calling her names and challenging her. She had had a few beers already and at one point......he had pushed her. Trying to get her to fight him.
Pale eyes closed.
And fight him she did.
She could still remember the feeling of her fist meeting his face. What it felt like to hear the crunching of bones....to see the blood.....the fear in his eyes.
It was Matthias who had pulled her away from the guy after he had passed out. She had kept hitting him - getting lost in darkness.
Seeing the blood on Liv's face. It had scared her. Scared her profoundly. Just the thought of Liv being hurt........it had brought back memories of dreams she used to have. Of blood and violence and pain. Pain of losing her soul. Pain of holding a cold, unresponsive body in her arms...
Pale eyes narrowed.
Hands clenching into fists. She had accepted that part of her a long time ago. But she never wanted Liv to see her like that.
Not like that.....
Well, Wilson.....you screwed this one up for sure. The dark head lifted and pale eyes traced along the sky. Feeling gentle drops of rain hitting her face.
Aware of soft footsteps coming towards her.
Her eyes never leaving the dark form sitting on a bench next to the canal. The defeated drop of those broad shoulders.
The cut on the side of her head was throbbing and she felt a slight burning sensation where Matthias had used antiseptic.
She sighed. Her small frame shivering a little as the rain gained in strength. Losing its gentleness.....turning harsh. The drops exploding with soft thuds on any surface.
Green eyes studied Rayne again. The tall woman hadn't so much as moved.
"Just give her some time."
Matthias' voice sounded up behind her and she turned to him. He had just locked up the door and said good bye to Ahmed and the last of their customers.
The tall German took a step towards her and stroked her arm in a friendly gesture. "Trust me. I know her. She needs some time to calm down. She's going to be fine."
Pale green eyes moved back to the lone, dark form. Every instinct in her telling her not to leave. To be there for Rayne.
Matthias sighed and pulled his jacket closer around him. "Want a lift?"
The pale head shook. Spraying rain around the small frame. "No."
The blond head tilted a little and then Matthias smiled. Reading the expression in those green eyes right. Well, Ray.....you've got a winner, here.
"All right. See you tomorrow."
With that he got into his car and with a last look towards Liv he left. Still a small smile on his face.
Thunder was rolling across the sky. Echoing through the quiet dawn.
A small hand raised and brushed wet bangs to one side. Crossing the street, Liv came to a halt behind the hunched over form.
There was no response and Liv took a deep breath. Taking another step she was close enough to touch her.
Feeling the slight shiver as her hand touched Rayne's back.
Hearing the deep breath the taller woman took.
"Let's go home, huh?"
The rain became stronger still. By now a steady rush.....a clear wall of water hitting the ground. Painting circles on the water surface that moved into each other.....embracing and dying.....Its noise drowning out anything else but two steady heartbeats and two sets of breathing. Two souls reaching.....
Pale eyes met gentle green.
Dropped to the hand reaching for her.
Finally coming home as she took the small hand into her own. The warmth of their joined hands making her body tingle.
She got up. Looking down at the small frame and those gentle features smiling at her.
"Yeah.....let's go home."
Heavy raindrops were knocking against the windows. A steady rhythm. A thick layer of water streaming down the glass - blurring any image outside.
Pale eyes lingered on the early morning scene and then returned to the curled up form on the couch, wrapped into a thick, soft robe. Swallowing the gentle curves hidden within.
This is becoming a habit, isn't it? A affectionate smile was playing around red lips. It disappeared, though, as she saw the thin bandage wrapped around Liv's forehead. They had both taken a shower but not able to go to sleep immediately, they had sat down on the sofa and just talked.
The small blonde eventually falling asleep.
The dark head returned to the window.
Liv had seen her worst side tonight and yet....here she was. Fast asleep on her couch. A small smile on her lips.
A hand reached up and Rayne touched her own lips. Still tingling from the soft kisses they had shared.
A soft sigh.
The tall frame, dressed in soft pyjama bottoms and an old T-shirt, moved forward. "....hey...."
The small frame moved. A soft sound but Liv didn't wake up. Rayne smiled and shook her shoulder very gently.
"Hey....sleepyhead....come on, let's get you comfortable."
Another noise.....sounding suspiciously like a grunt. "mmh.." Then sleepy, green eyes were blinking at the taller woman and Rayne had to suppress a smile as Liv's nose wrinkled as she furrowed her brows. Gosh, she's beautiful.
Liv sat up slowly. Brushing her hands through her hair. Trying to get some order to it.
"You did it again." A soft smile took away any sting the words may have carried.
A bright smile and the dark head nodded. "Yup."
They smiled at each other. Enjoying their closeness.
"You want to go to bed?"
"That's not a serious question, is it?" Liv smiled and got up.
They snuggled up together in Rayne's bed. Without any words spoken between them. Liv rolled onto her side and put her head on a conveniently close shoulder. Slowly reaching up with a hand to touch Rayne's belly. A motion that turned into a gentle caress.
Then green eyes lifted and met smiling blue.
The small hand moved again. This time tracing the smile on Rayne's lips. The small frame leaned forward and replaced fingers with soft, trembling lips.
Pale eyes closed and Rayne almost missed the words that drifted up to her in a soft whisper.
"Jag älskar dig."
She moved her a head a little to look at Liv. "What does it mean?"
Quiet green eyes looked at her. Then the pale head shook in a slight motion. "It means good night."
The dark head tilted a little. "Oh, okay.......Good night, Liv."
Silence settled around them and Rayne took one moment to enjoy the warmth of Liv's body close to hers.
The scent of her shampoo.
The scent that was Liv.
One long arm reached out and turned off the light. Leaving them in darkness. The only sounds the ticking of the clock. Soft sighs of wood......and the slow awakening of the city outside.
To be continued in part 4
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