Synopsis : The book centres around two characters called Casey Alder and Jodie Flynn. Casey is a mid-twenties cycle courier in London and lives in the area of Finsbury Park which is in the North end of London. She rents a first floor flat from an older lady, who lives in the ground floor of the house. The lady insists that Casey calls her Aunt Essie and she treats her like another grand-daughter. Casey is known as a player though out the gay scene, and is happy with that. That way it is easier to be safe. A childhood in care can make you uneasy of relationships.

Aunt Essie, though feels that Casey could do with being in a relationship, and would love for her to meet her grand-daughter Jodie. This proves harder than she thought and the two girls keep missing each other. Then Casey is shot and sees another person killed as she does a late night pick up for her job.

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Part 1

 

A Parcel of Trust

By Kerry McNair

Part 6


Over the next couple of weeks, things seemed to calm down a bit. After Sean and Nicky put new locks and an upgraded alarm system, Casey felt slighter safer leaving Essie alone, though she did make Sean ring a couple of times a day to make sure she was ok.

During this time neither Jodie or Casey tried to contact each other and it was breaking Essie's heart to watch the both of them.

One evening as Essie was watching the clock waiting for the slam of the front door that let her know Casey was home. Deciding to give the bureau in the dining room a clear out she marvelled at how she managed to accumulate so much junk. Turning the shredder on, she started to go though the paperwork on the top, wondering why she felt the need to keep all this junk mail. The next item to make it into her hands was a crumpled jiffy type envelope, “What's this? she asked out loud. Essie didn't recognise the name on it, turning it over in her hands while she tried to place it. She suddenly gasped and felt for a chair to sit down. Holding the envelope like it might explode at any minute, she tried to calm down her breathing. This had been in Casey's shorts that she had brought home from the hospital to be washed. When Essie had checked the pockets she had put their contents on the bureau and then totally forgot about them as she had worried and fussed over Casey. This is what that man had wanted when he beat up Casey and Jodie. God it was in my dining room all along, just then she heard the front door open. “Casey is that you?” shouted Essie.

“No it's me Aunt Essie, where are you?” called Sean.

“In here” Essie said as she walked toward the door.

“Aunt Essie are you alright? You look as white as a sheet. Come on and sit down. Do you need a drink? Taking a breath Sean realised Aunt Essie was holding something tightly in her hands, “What's that? he asked.

Putting the envelope on the table Essie looked at Sean, “I think this is what that man wanted from Casey, it's been here all along. I need to find Casey and get her home. Do you think you could take me to some of the pubs she goes to?” While she was saying this, Essie was putting her coat on. Sean stopped her “ I don't think you should be going to these pubs Aunt Essie. He then tried to make light of the situation “You never know you might just get lucky' he laughed nervously

Essie gave a small smile, then held onto Sean's arm “Well how am I going to get her home Sean?”

Sean thought about it for a couple of minutes, “I'll give Nicky a ring, see if she will help.

Finishing the call, he told Essie that Nicky and Ella said they will give it a try, Nicky knows the pubs Casey likes, but if it goes on late, she is taking the morning off” he laughed.

Ella was beginning to drag her feet, “Nicky I love a pub crawl as much as the next dyke, but they are no fun when we aren't drinking” she sulked.

Nicky turned and smiled at the pout on Ella's face, How did I get so lucky she thought. Kissing the pout away she took her hand and pulled her on up the street. “ I know it's no fun, but needs must, and I for one don't want Sean or Aunt Essie on my back cause we couldn't find her. Look. One last bar. She has to be there, if she's not there then I have to think the worst that she's picked someone up and has gone home with her, and that is a thought I don't want to have. Come on. Rosey will be there, its Wednesday and you know you love a bit of Rosey time,” Nicky laughed as Ella did a little dance in the street, mimicking how the DJ danced, “ You got it to a tee girlfriend' she camped up to Ella.

Nicky moaned as they got to the door of the pub, “God It's busy! It's a Wednesday night! Do these people have nothing better to do?”

Ella laughed “Let me buy you a drink then we can try and locate the elusive Casey. God that girls been like the bleeding scarlet pimpernel tonight”

Nicky and Ella, with drinks in hand, pushed and shoved their way though the throng of people dancing and just about made it to the DJ box unscathed. Nicky moved up behind Rosey and gave his very pert leather-shorted ass a slap. She stood her ground as Rosey turned round with an outraged look on his face. “ How dare you to...'. He stopped as he realised who had dared to touch him. “Nicky what you doing out on a school night?” He draped his arms over her and then gave her his usual air kiss. Nicky rolled her eyes at Ella who was trying not to laugh, “James could you be any more camp'? laughed Ella. “Darling I could be whatever you wanted me to be, but I think your tastes run more animal punned than mine', he squealed at her with a smile showing of his dimples to a tee. 'Ok so why are you two out and about? What's the goss? Oh hold on, let me put a long track on'. The girls gave the pub a quick look over hoping to see Casey. James turned back “Right what's the problem, you both look concerned as well as sober?”

Nicky looked at her beer, “Sober yep. Think Sean would kill me if I got drunk, on a rescue mission, Sean has asked us to try and locate Casey and bring her back to the roost. Don't suppose you've seen her? We have been everywhere, but she has always been a step ahead of us”

“You are in luck. I saw her a few minutes ago. She was sitting over by the stairs. Hold on let me check again'. James stepped up into DJ Booth and nodded. 'Yep. She's still there, God I never really looked at her. She just waved as she went past and I was distracted so only waved back. She looks terrible! What's been happening? She looks ill. Oh, and very drunk, since when did Casey do drunk'? he asked the girls. James was worried now. He had known Casey for years. They had both been in care together and she had seen him through more heartache than she had had hot dinners. “Wait a minute'. He jumped down and rushed over to the bar, grabbed a young man by the arm and pulled him back with him. “Ben can you cover for me, I have a family problem that needs to be sorted.”

Ben nodded and moved gracefully into the booth, “No probs. Go sort her out. I take it you mean Casey when you say family.' James sighed and said yes.' Come on girls let's see how she is'.

Nicky moved ahead of the other two and motioned for the baby dyke who was sitting on Casey's lap and licking her neck to move. The girl looked Nicky up and down and then went back to her task of trying to raise an interest in Casey. Nicky sighed then got a hold of the girl and dragged her off Casey's lap. The girl stood there with her hands on her hips “Who the fuck do you think you are? She pointed at Casey, “She is taken. You want her come back another night'. The girl then turned back as if to sit back down. Again Nicky got a hold of her. 'I think I am your worst nightmare. You do not want to upset me, now I am asking you nicely to fuck off. Casey does not need you tonight” The baby dyke screwed her eyes up, “Who's Casey and why... Oh is that her?' She pointed back at Casey who it looked like she was fast asleep.

Sensing something different, Casey stirred in her chair. She opened her eyes to find four people leaning over and looking intently into her face. Casey shut her eyes, shook her head then opened them again. Ok, they are still there. Pushing herself more upright she looked again and saw Rosey Nicky and Ella and some very unamused stranger.

Nicky knelt by her knee and rested her hand on her knee. “Hey sleepy head, want you to do me a favour? Do you know who this girl is'? Nicky pointed at the grumpy girl standing beside James.

Casey gave her a look over then shook her head, “Nope. Why? Should I? she slurred. That was all it needed for the girl to stomp off. 'Oh oh! It looks like I upset her, I'm good at that Nicky, I seem to upset everyone these days'. Casey then started to cry.

Nicky moved onto the chair beside her and pulled her into a hug, James and Ella shielded them from the crowd, as they both knew Casey would not like this to be common knowledge. Nicky held on tight to Casey as sobs racked her body. She realised she could feel how thin Casey had gotten. How the hell has this all got so fucked up she thought. Casey and Jodie hurting like mad, Jodie and myself no longer talking and Casey looking like death warmed up. Nicky rubbed Casey's back as the tears subsided. Then she pulled her upright and kept a firm handle on her as Casey stumbled about. “Great an emotional drunken wreck to get back to Aunt Essie in one piece” James took one side of Casey and Nicky took the other, and between them they managed to follow Ella though the pub and out into the fresh air. They moved down the road and round the corner away from the noise and crowd.

“I can walk by myself” Casey stuttered and got free of both James and Nicky and promptly fell of the kerb and into the road. James went round the front of her and put his hands under her arms and lifted her upright, looking into her face. He flinched at how bad Casey looked; thin, pale skin and the bruises under her eyes, made her look like she hadn't slept well in weeks. He passed her over to Nicky who held onto her from behind, Casey's head was now slumped against her shoulder and she was breathing alcohol into Nicky's neck. “Nice Casey, real nice. Ella can you get my phone out and ring Sean to come and get us, as I don't think a taxi will pick us up with Casey in this state”

They all sat on the pavement with their backs against the wall, Casey wedged in between James and Nicky as they waited for Sean. James tapped Nicky on the knee, “Ok, give. Why is Casey in this state, I don't think I have ever seen her this bad, and we have been to some bad places.”

Nicky grimaced “In a nutshell, Casey and Jodie got beat up a few weeks ago by some guy who we think is attached in some way to the ones who killed that guy and shot Casey. Upshot of the beating is a lot of misunderstanding and now Casey and Jodie are no longer a couple, and Jodie and I aren't talking either.”

James shook his head, not sure if he was hearing things right. Casey isn't with Jodie? Why on earth is she not with one of the few people who can see her for who she really is? Nicky shrugged her shoulders, “Shit happens James. Surely you of all people should know that” They then all lapsed into silence, Casey fell asleep then Ella fell asleep leaning against Nicky.

Nicky held onto both Ella's and Casey's hand as they waited.

James and Nicky turned as they heard a car come round the corner and pull up beside them. Getting out of the car, Sean shut the door then leant against it. “Well aren't you lot a sight for sore eyes” He knelt down between Casey's legs and gave her a shake to wake her up, Casey looked up into eyes saw that were the same colour as Jodie's and smiled. The smile tuned sadder as she looked harder and saw that it was Sean not Jodie looking at her. “And how drunk are we Miss Alder?” Sean smiled at her with sympathy in his eyes. Casey giggled at him, “Just a titchy bit, honest. It's these

lot they wouldn't let me walk home, I am perfectly fine” she stated.

Nicky laughed a humourless laugh, “Perfectly fine eh? Sean the first and only time we let her go to walk on her own she promptly stumbled and fell off the kerb, that is how there is a graze on her face, hands and more than likely her knees. So yeah, she's fine”. Ella by this point had woken and she got Nicky's attention, “Don't shout at her Nicks, not now. You can tell her off or do whatever with her tomorrow, but for now let's get her home safe. She looks bad bless her.”

Nicky closed her eyes and counted to ten in her head. “You're right'. she kissed Ella, 'as usual. Let's get the idiot home”. Between them all they managed to get Casey into the front seat with the seatbelt on. Then James, Nicky and Ella got in the back-seat. Sean tapped Casey on the shoulder, “If you even think and I mean even think of being sick in here, you will be in even more trouble than you can think possible”. He got no reply, as Casey lolled in the seat like a rag doll. 'Great' Sean thought 'this is going to please Aunt Essie.' As soon as Sean had pulled up by the house, Essie was already out the front door, “Where is she? Where's my girl?' She pulled up short as she took in how bad Casey actually was. Pulling her lips together in a tight line she ordered the group of friends, “Get her upstairs now, and if she wakens at all in that process can you let her know that if she thought she had upset me before she ain't seen nothing yet. The bollocking she is going to get will see her into next week”

They all took a step back from Aunt Essie, as none of them wanted to feel her anger centre onto them. James and Sean got Casey up the stairs and then gently put her onto the bed. James then folded the quilt from the other side over her, and put a bin by the bedside. “I'll be next door if you need anything Casey ok?” Getting no answer they all traipsed out of the room. James saw them out, then settled himself with the throw on the sofa and rang his other half, Nate, to explain what had happened, and that he needed to stay with Casey tonight.

Sean, Nicky and Ella, all stood in the hallway looking like naughty schoolchildren in front of the headmaster, or that is at least what if felt like thought Nicky. “Where was she?, demanded Essie. 'Was she alone and how on earth is she covered in cuts?” Sean decided to be the brave one, so he attempted to answer. 'She was in a pub in Soho, and she got the cuts when she tried to prove she was capable of walking then fell over. And I don't know if she was alone'. Sean looked to Nicky and Ella, Nicky couldn't look Essie in the eyes, so Ella answered. “Ah she wasn't alone, there was some girl there, but Casey was practically asleep, and when we asked her who the girl was Casey didn't know. So I don't think much happened.' Essie looked them all over, then gave them each a kiss, “Thank you for helping me find her, I don't know what I would have done if she hadn't come home tonight. Sean you go on and give these two girls a lift home. And make sure you wait till they are in the door you hear me?”

Sean smiled used to his Aunts temper, which he knew was only worry. “Course I will, ring me in the morning to let me know that Casey has survived the yelling”

Essie waved them off, then looked up the stairs thankful that James had stayed. Feeling more tired than she had ever felt, Essie went and got ready for bed.

James tossed and turned on the sofa, and eventually giving in to the fact that he wouldn't be able to sleep. He got up and grabbed a cushion and the throw and quietly went into Casey's bedroom careful not to wake her. He settled himself on the floor with his back against the wardrobe and watched her sleep. In the stillness of the room, his thoughts went back to when he and Casey first met. They were both 7 years old when Casey walked into the care home he had just been brought to and never looked back. It was like he had no choice; they would be friends, look out for each other and make sure no one ever got hurt physically and emotionally. James used to think that Casey was much better at that than him, but looking at her now he realised how wrong he had been. Oh Casey always put on the good show, just as she had done through childhood, but now it seemed that that was slipping. He smiled at the trouble they had both got into over the years, the joy when he realised he was gay that so was Casey. And he loved how she loved how camp he was, even made him play it up more for people to see the shock on their faces. How she had pushed him to get in being a DJ, how she believed in him, and god had she. Now his life was good, a nice flat, dog and a loving partner. That is what he wanted for Casey, and when Jodie had appeared it looked like he had got his wish, only now that seemed to be falling through Casey's hands. James wasn't sure how much more Casey could cope with being alone. As he watched Casey, she turned in her sleep and opened her eyes, looking straight at him, and those eyes usually so crystal blue looked haunted as she reached out him. James didn't hesitate, he was off the floor and crawling into the bed with Casey before she could ask. He held her close as she clutched at him, whispering in her ear, 'It's going to be alright Casey, It's you and me always, you and me kiddo” he relaxed a bit when he felt Casey fall back to sleep again.

It was 8am when Essie opened the door to Casey's flat, smiling to herself when she knew how much of a hangover Casey would have. She marched straight to the bedroom, ready to shout right in her ear, but as she entered the room she stopped abruptly at the sight before her. There on the bed was Casey held tightly in James arms. Her heart melted again, as it did every time she saw Casey looking frail. “God in heavens what am I to do with her? One moment I want to scream at her, the next I want to hold her and promise her she will be ok. Oh she'll be the death of me that one, I tell ya.”.

Essie closed the bedroom door went to the kitchen and put the coffee maker on. As it was beginning to bubble, James came in. “Hi Essie. This is a quiet entrance. I thought there would be a brass band playing by the bed to wake her up” He smiled and then came over for the hug that Essie was offering him. “Ah this is nice. It's been too long Essie. You give the best hugs for a woman”

Essie gave him a hug then he got a clip round the ear, “Ah be getting on with ya boy. Best hugs for a women indeed, I give the best hugs full stop!” James laughed and poured himself a cup of coffee. “Sorry I haven't been around a lot. It looks like Casey could have done with me and I wasn't there. I thought that with Jodie around she didn't need me looking out for her as much. Can you tell me what's wrong, why Jodie isn't here?”

“Oh James, when they both got beaten up, Casey wanted Jodie to move out so she was safe. Jodie took that to mean, 'I don't need you around'. Total misunderstanding, and I can't see either of them giving in. They are both as stupid and stubborn as each other and I am stuck in the middle, I can't take sides they are both daughters to me and it is driving me mad. And now I need Casey to go to the station with me to see that detective Defoe man, as I think I have found what the man who beat them both up wants. She looks a nightmare, it looks like I cant look after her!' By this point Essie was shouting and shaking James arm.

James gently got hold of her hand, and tried to get her to calm down enough so that he could move her into the sitting room and not waken Casey. When they were sitting, he asked Essie what she meant. Essie took a deep breath and settled herself, “The night that Casey got shot, she had just picked up a small parcel. Now from what I can gather she must have put it into her shorts pocket and not the courier bag, to save time or something. When I brought her clothes back from the hospital to be washed I put whatever was in her pockets on the dresser. So I think that the parcel is what that man was after who beat the two of them up, and Casey needs to take it to the police. Maybe now she will get left alone.”

James rubbed his face, still tired from the night before. “Oh Essie, I wish I had your optimism that Casey is just going to take this to the police. You know as well as I do that she will want to look in the envelope and sort it herself. It's her pride that got hurt as well, and she will want to somehow get back at that guy who beat up Jodie. That she won't forgive or forget.”

Essie groaned, “You're right. Why didn't I think of that! I should just take it myself and then Casey will be none the wiser. And then we can try to get back to being a normal family, I'll take it now before Casey realises I have even been up here with you James”

Essie rose from the sofa and turned to leave and looked straight at Casey who was leaning against the bedroom door frame. Essie froze as Casey moved towards her and asked her “ I believe you have something of mine and I would like it Aunt Essie please?”

Essie looked back at James who just shrugged, unable to help, deciding to play dumb “What you talking about girl? What have I got of yours apart from some dirty washing. You must be hearing or seeing things. It's all that alcohol you drank last night. The state of you, when James half carried you in the front door, I don't know what we are to do with you Casey. Now I need to be getting on so have some coffee and try to sober up a bit more.” Essie started to move slowly towards the door, praying that Casey was still too drunk or hungover to understand what was happening. It would seem Casey had other ideas, and she moved pretty quick and stood in front of the door.

Holding her hand out to Essie, “ Aunt Essie, I may have the hangover from hell, but I am quite capable of listening to both you and James talk about me and this package, now please let me have it and I will decide what happens next, after all it was me that was shot wasn't it!”

Knowing that she was beat, Essie held her hands up in surrender “Ok you can have the package, Its downstairs in the front room, but I have to tell you that I think you are being unbelievably stupid and reckless Casey.”

Casey opened the door and motioned for Aunt Essie to go out then followed her down the stairs “Well why break the habit of a lifetime, it's got me this far in life so it must be working”

James sat down at the kitchen table with a mug of coffee in his hand waiting for Casey's tread on the stairs. How had it come to this he had no idea. He always thought it would be Casey who settled first and then moaned relentless at him to buck his ideas up and settle down just like she had. It felt strange to realise that after all these years it was he who was the protector and not Casey.

James smiled as he remembered that first day at the care home. He was all of seven years old and scared as hell. The social worker had sat him in one of the rooms while she went to deal with some paperwork All alone, he huddled himself into a corner and cried. He sensed rather than heard someone sitting next to him. “Who are you? He was asked. He had just tried to hide his head in his arms hoping they would go away and not hit him or do something worse to him.

“Not talking then?' the voice beside him said. 'That's Ok. I didn't speak for two months when I got here, I'm Casey, do you want to be my friend?”

James had peered up with one eye at this person who wanted to be his friend, It was a girl, who was grinning at him. She had short messy hair that looked like she had cut it herself and dirty shorts and a t-shirt that were covered in mud, and what were very possibly once a pair of white trainers. She looked harmless and James smiled tentatively back at her, lifted his head and wiped the snot from his nose down his sleeve. “I'm James' he stuttered 'and I am seven. Why are you here? What did you do wrong? My mum said I was noisy and that she had to hit me to keep me quiet, though sometimes when she hurt me I made more noise and that made her hurt me more, then a woman came to the house and took me away, now I am here. Where is here anyway?”

Casey looked at James then rubbed the tears from his face. 'James this is where we live now and I won't let anyone hurt you, if you want to make a noise then you do just that, and I will make sure no one gets near you. We can be friends, I will be your friend for life it you want. I have no one who wants me, well they did, but it was very wrong, they did nasty things to me, things that you shouldn't do to children, It was horrible, but I bit one of them on the face and ran out of the house, I ran all the way to the police station, it was a long way. A policeman brought me here, but everyone is either to old or young to play with me, I'm eight you see” James looked at Casey with wide eyes. This girl wanted to be his friend, he smiled at her, then kissed her on the cheek, “ I like you Casey and I want to be your friend” From that day on they couldn't be separated. Even though they had their own bedrooms, the care home workers often found them asleep in each others rooms, and no matter how may times they told them that they had to sleep apart they didn't listen. Happy with each other they had no need for any other friends. Casey had even flunked some maths exams so they wouldn't be apart in school. He often wondered if Casey would have gone on to university if she hadn't held herself back for him. Would she be some high powered person in the city or something similar? Sometimes he felt guilty for letting her do that for him, but when he was a child, he felt so scared if Casey wasn't by his side. When she was there he believed in himself just like she did in him, It was always Casey telling him he could be and do whatever he wanted. If anyone else had said that to him, he would have laughed or walked away.

Now it looked like it was time he paid back with interest the faith that Casey always had in him, and turn into the protector. He has let her be by herself for two long. Why had he not known that Jodie and Casey has split up, “Stupid stupid boy he muttered to himself”

Getting up to make a fresh coffee, he turned as Casey opened the front door. She held aloft the package. “You with me? James, or not? If it's not, can you shut the door when you leave please” Casey then went into the bedroom. James sighed, looked up to the heavens sighed again. Then set himself the task of making two mugs of coffee.

James kicked the bedroom door open and stood in the doorway, Casey looked up at him from the bed. He lifted the mugs as if in invitation, Casey smiled and made room on the bed for him, just like she always did. James passed her a coffee then got himself settled, “So Casey what shit are we going to get into now? I'm getting on a bit, but hey, nothing ventured nothing gained, and with the two of us together who can hurts us eh?”

Casey leant her head on James' shoulder, “Just like when we were kids James, just like when we were kids. Though now bad people seem to have moved onto guns, just means we have to be a bit quicker is all, ain't that right?”

James smiled, gulped down his coffee and then picked up the package and turned it round in his hands. This is either going to be easy or we are in for a roller coaster ride from hell. Nate will kill us both if we haven't already been killed of course.”

Casey with her hands shaking a bit, took the package and opened it carefully. She then shook the contents onto the bed, spreading them out they both looked at some photos and a USB stick. “Well what do we have here'. Casey laughed as she realised what she was holding, “Oh my god James, isn't that Joey Lucas? You know the hard nut who runs some of the gangs and prostitutes round North London, always in the paper as he manages to always get off any charge?” James took the photos and shuffled though them. “I think that these might just hurt his macho image. It would look like Joey leads a double life, hard man one day and a guy who likes to be punished while wearing women's underwear by a big and I have to say it, rather unattractive ugly hairy man! Who did you do the pick up from again Casey?” Casey thought about it, “Harris, was it Harris? No It was Horris, I remember thinking the woman I picked up from was a bit weird. Wait a minute! Isn't Horris the other gang family in this area? Oh great! We are in the middle of a blackmail drama between the biggest drama queens. They are worse than us I tell you James. They think they are the best thing since sliced bread, but they don't even have good dress sense,unless you find thick gold chains and rings sexy? Casey wiggled an eyebrow at James, James gagged and sagged against the headboard, “Oh really Casey even I wouldn't go there, and I have been some places'. They both laughed, looked through the photos again, then James plucked up the courage to lift up the USB stick, “ Well shall we my dear?”

Casey went and got the laptop from the lounge, turned it on and got more coffee while they waited for it to warm up. Sitting shoulder to shoulder, Casey inserted the stick and loaded the information stored on it, she then clicked on the folder which held a film clip, clicking play they both jumped as suddenly coming from the laptops speakers where the words “Hit me harder. Joey has been a bad boy, he needs to be punished. They both tried to turn down the sound, so they didn't have to listen and watch the sex scene happening before their eyes. Casey with one eyebrow cocked looked sideways at James, “I often wondered what boys did in the bedroom, now I know. They dress up in really cheap and tacky underwear, and beg at the feet of hairy men wearing ill fitting leather boxers” She then ducked as James went to slap her. “Take that back, there is no way I would wear such horrible underwear, I would at least make it tasteful' He laughed. 'Oh my god Casey this is like one of the worst pornos we have ever seen, and we have seen some in our time. I mean the lighting is awful to start with. They both then turned their heads at a angle to watch the screen, Casey hit the stop button, no dyke should ever have to watch that, shuddering she put the laptop on the bedside table. Turning so she sat cross legged facing James “So what do we do with this?”

James stretched out looked at the ceiling, “I think I should go home and have mind blowing sex with Nate, to erase the horridness I have just had to watch, and I think that you should ring Jodie and do the same.” James looked Casey straight in the eye as he mentioned Jodie's name. Casey tried to jump of the bed, but James got a hold of her wrist, “Not so fast girl, when where you going to tell me about the fact that you and Jodie are two of the most ridiculous people I have met? Jodie was the best thing that has ever happened to you. You were settled, you were thinking of using that brain of yours when all this was over, now I find out you our out most nights getting drunk and sleeping with all sorts of low life,” By this point, James was shouting at Casey. Casey got free of James and told him to shut up 'Look James, I have and I am fucked up at the moment, but I wont talk about it till all off this crap is over and I know we are all safe. Understand? I refuse to put Jodie in danger, even if it means she hates me and never wants me back. I cant see her hurt again. I love her to much to see it happen.” James sat on the edge of the bed and pulled Casey towards him and pulled her to her knees so that he could look her in the eyes, Eyes that he had always loved, were now clouded with un-shed tears and pain. Pulling her to him, he held her tight as he promised to do whatever she wanted as long as when it was all finished she would ring Jodie to meet to explain everything.

Over the day James finally persuaded Casey to move in with him and Nate till this was sorted. Casey was worried about Aunt Essie, but as James pointed out, the people who wanted the stuff back were not interested in an old woman who lived in the ground floor flat.

While James arranged it all with Nate, who was more than happy to have someone else to fuss over, Casey went downstairs to talk to Aunt Essie. Essie was in the kitchen cooking enough food to feed an army, just like she always did when she was upset or angry, Casey wondered which she was at the moment, then guessed correctly at both. So you have the brains to make it down the stairs, but not to take yourself and that package to the police and get this finished! Casey Alder you are not fit to have the brains you were born with girl” Essie said all this while waving a wooden spoon in Casey's direction. Casey moved to the kitchen table to avoid being actually hit with the wooden spoon and waited for Essie to stop shouting at her,. It took some time when Essie got a bee in her bonnet about something. she didn't stop till that bee was out of the bonnet.

Eventually Essie began to quieten, she turned the hob down that held a big pot of what smelt like chilli and sat down on the other side of the table from Casey. “So try and explain to me why you think this is the right thing to do child”

Casey took hold of Essie's hand, I don't know if it is the right or wrong thing, but I need to try and sort it out myself. I just can't trust the police to do what's needed. I hand it over to them and I think me and Jodie would still be in danger, in fact more danger,as they are going to be mighty pissed off that we involved the police.” Casey sighed and rubbed her face, “ I love Jodie more than anything in the world, and that world fell apart when she walked out the door not understanding why I was doing what I was doing. I will do anything I can to make sure those people never hurt her again and if that means that she hates me forever, then I will have to live with that, but at least she will be safe”

“Oh child, Essie murmured as Casey sat across the table from her with tears running down her cheeks and a world of hurt in her eyes. When did it come to this, both my girls hurting. Casey, let me tell you, Jodie doesn't hate you. She loves you just as much as you love her. Why not just ring her and let her know that you love her, explain what you are doing?' Essie pleaded.

Casey jumped up, “No Essie! When this is all over I will speak to Jodie and explain. Only then will we try and figure out what to do. I am not putting her in danger. Why does everyone have just a hard time realising that I am only looking out for her! Anyway I came down the stairs to let you know I am going to move into James and Nate's for a week or so. With me not here, they will have no reason to be her either, which means that one more person is safe from these mad men.”

Essie stood up and gripped the table with both hands “ Did you just hear what you just said Casey? You said mad men! Mad men for God's sake girl! I am not being funny but what do you think a tom boy dyke and a drama queen can do to stop them? Really you are not thinking right, go to the police and let them deal with it”.

Casey laughed at what Essie had said. 'Please Aunt Essie. Have you met today's police force? They are basically the same as James and me; only difference is they wear uniforms and we have to be polite to them. Look I need to go pack, If I leave it to James God knows what I will be wearing for the next week”

Essie smiled at that, and realised that there was nothing she could do to convince either of them to go to the police, so she walked Casey to the door gave her a hug, and made her promise that she would come back to her in one piece, cause if she didn't she would have her hit into next year herself!

Casey smiled at Essie and promised her that she would. Walking up the stairs, she caught herself crying again, “God I am going to miss that woman and her awful sayings'. James was waiting in the bedroom for her as she came back into the flat.

“Oh now that's just not fair', he pouted. 'I was just about to give up on you and pack your bags for you, can't you let a boy have a bit of fun once in a while?”

“No fucking way, if I let you pack I would be dressed in all that stuff you keep buying me for a laugh to see what I would look like as a girly girl! Nope, its jeans, t-shirts and sweatshirts thank you very much”

James laughed, “Ok ok, but only because I don't think chasing after criminals in high heels is a good idea”

A couple of hours later Casey was lying on the bed in the bed in the spare room at James and Nate's, thinking about what to do, when all of a sudden she got hit in the stomach by a very solid yet fluffy object. “Ummmpphh, Benji !You are getting heavier' she mumbled as she scratched the labradoodle puppy behind the ears. 'Do your daddies know that you have got out of the kitchen and are running riot round the house? Oh well, never mind you lie with me while I try to think of a way out of this mess.” Just as she was dozing off, she could hear muted voices from down below, it would seem the boys had figured out that Benji had escaped again, Casey pulled the puppy closer loving the softness and how he looked at her with a slightly quizzical expression, “Yeah that's how most people look at me' she said to him. Just then a head popped round the door. “Ah! there's the little bugger. I swear that dog knows more escape tricks than bloody Houdini. Nate laughed as he sat on the side of the bed. “Well well looks like my two lost kids have found each other. Did the lie down catapult any ideas into that bone head of yours, because I can tell you that for the past two hours, no matter how much I tell James that he is as stupid as stupid comes, he insists in doing this. If it wasn't the fact it was you Casey, I would put my foot down, but I know that I won't win when it comes to you. Now don't be getting your knickers in a twist over that. I love you too, and I knew when I got into a relationship with James, you came as well, and I accept that, but sometimes I wish he wasn't so loyal, and then I think well he wouldn't be the James I love if he wasn't'. He smiled as he tried to make the words seem less harsh. 'And now not only do I have you two idiots to look after, I also have the world's stupidest yet clever puppy! So come on get up we are all going for a walk to see if we can get some ideas as to what to do next. Wrap up its getting chilly out there now” With a kiss to Casey's head, Nate lifted Benji up and left the room.

Casey sat up rubbed her face, took a deep breath and set about the next phase in her very chaotic life.

A few miles across from where Casey was staying, Jodie was just coming in her front door after a hard day at work. She passed through the flat to look out the bedroom window. It was that time of the day when it was just dark enough to turn your house lights on but not quite dark enough to close the curtains. As she stood there in the dark in her own flat, Jodie could see into the flats across the street without being seen herself. She watched as families with young children were finishing their dinner; as couples greeted each other with a kiss as they came home one by one. It seemed at the moment no matter where she looked everyone was with someone, be that a partner or children. She had been alone before Casey and had never felt this bad. Each day was a struggle she knew she was like a robot, just doing what had to be done to get through the day. Work was manageable so long as she didn't run into Nicky, the times that she had, Nicky had looked right through her and spoke to Sean instead. She knew it was up to her to say sorry, but she didn't know how, how could she say sorry to the best friend she ever had. For saying the worst things she could say to her. It was all good with Casey. It made sense and she had never felt so protected in her life, it was like Casey's love put a protective barrier around her. Even if she wasn't even near her, she felt safe. Now she just felt cold and to be it quite bluntly she wished at times that she wasn't here any more. Closing the blinds, Jodie made her way to the kitchen picking up the phone on the way, just like she did every night when she got home, in the hope that maybe Casey had called. Sitting down she hit play for

any messages. There were none. Same as last night and the night before and the night before that. Jodie sat with the phone in her hand and tears running down her face. She placed the phone on the table and looked around at what was her life now; an empty flat, a job where she could be on her own, and no friends she felt she could turn to. Making a decision she wiped her eyes and nose, picked up the phone and rang Casey's home number. As it rang in her ear, Jodie held her breath waiting on the pick up, when it went into the answer machine, she let her breath out and her voice choked as she heard Casey's voice for the first time in weeks. Unable to think of what to say she quickly put the phone down, but not before she had unintentionally left one whispered word of Casey. Taking another deep breath, she rang Casey's workplace. Maybe she was there, One of the other couriers answered. He told her that Casey wasn't due back for another couple of weeks and asked if there was anyone else who could help. Jodie thanked him but said no, the only person who could help her was Casey.

Not wanting to ring her mobile as she was scared as to where Casey was and more scared that she was with someone else, Jodie picked up the phone and rang Nicky before she chickened out. Yet again the phone went into answer phone. Jodie looked at the phone in her hands and shook her head Really, is everyone really out or are they just not picking up because the know its my number she wondered. Talking to herself as she got up and put her coat back on, “Well they can't ignore me if I am right in front of them, can they now” and with that Jodie was out the front door of her flat and running down the stairs two at a time.

Nicky had just turned onto her road when up ahead she could see someone sitting on the steps leading up to her flat. She stopped dead in her tracks, looked again then backed up around the corner. Getting her phone she rang Ella, as she waited for it to be picked up, she peeked round again just to make sure that her eyes hadn't been deceiving her. She had seen right. Leaning against the wall, she smiled as Ella answered the phone.”Hey Baby, I'm at the supermarket is there anything special you want for dinner while I am here?”

“Whatever looks good,” Nicky replied, but look, Ella I think I have a problem I'm at the bottom of our road and sitting on the steps at the flat is Jodie, what do I do?”

There was a intake of breath over the phone, “Is she? Well well well. It looks like she is taking the first step baby. Why don't you take the next one and ask her in for a cup of tea. You miss her Nicks and you need her about. She's part of you and you know it. She made a mistake, a big one admittedly but even so, she deserves a chance. Now, stop sulking with her.” Ella ended with a noisy kiss through the phone then hung up.

“Oh well that's just great Ella, I just walk up there do I, just like that, Nicky grumbled at the phone. Just then it started to rain, not just a little bit, but the heavens opened. “Oh bloody hell, that's all I need'. Turning the corner yet again Nicky ran up the road to her flat, she stepped over Jodie who was still sat on the steps. Opening the door Nicky looked back “Well are you coming in or not? You can sit there and catch a cold if you want or you can come in and dry off'.

Jodie snapped out of the trance she had been in, she had not even noticed Nicky go pass her let alone open the door, she stood up and looked Nicky in the eyes, at the moment they were blank, blank was better than anger, so she followed Nicky down the hallway to her flat.

Once they were both in the flat, Nicky shut the door, turned up the heating and went in search of a couple of towels. Moving back into the hall on the way to the kitchen, she threw one at Jodie. “ Well come on then, get that wet jacket off and dry off a bit. Kick your shoes and socks off to. You can get a dry pair in the airing cupboard” with that she walked away.

Jodie gave herself a shake and did as she was told, then she tentatively walked to the kitchen. Leaning against the door, she looked at Nicky and as she put the kettle on and put the cups out ready, she 'blurted out “I've missed you Nicky, I'm sorry”

Nicky leant herself against the counter as she waited for the kettle to boil, and really looked at the girl across the kitchen. What had happened to her? She looked terrible. She was pale and she in fact looked haunted, the shadows under her eyes matched the shadows within them. She didn't say anything as she went about making the drinks, sitting down at the table she held one of the mugs up for Jodie “instant hot chocolate, the cheap brand you love so much” she smiled as she saw a little smile creep onto her face.

Jodie couldn't believe how nice Nicky was being. Why wasn't she shouting at her? Telling her she was a bitch and she deserved all that happened to her. She sat down and wrapped her hands around the mug loving the warmth and the smell, Nicks was right she did love cheap instant hot chocolate.

“Why are you being so nice to me? I thought you would make me suffer when I got here” Jodie looked at Nicky.

Nicky sat back in her chair holding her mug to her chest, she shrugged “To be honest, I don't think there is anything I can say or do that is worse that what you have said to yourself. You look like shit Jodie. When did you stop caring? Sean hardly sees you at work. I definitely haven't, but then I have put some effort into avoiding you as well. You don't go and visit Aunt Essie and as far as I know you haven't seen Casey. And before you stop me” she waved down Jodie as she was about to speak, 'you were partly right with what you said that night. I had been just another one night stand, and yes I had had a few of them, I just didn't like someone especially you using it as an insult at me, made it hit home a bit harder. I always looked up to you Jodie, you were always in control, knew what you wanted, all I ever wanted for you was to find love, and when you found Casey, well god you had everything I wanted, I was so happy for you, and then when you said those things it really hurt, I always thought you excepted what I was like, and then it was like you didn't even like me, and that was a horrible feeling. But there was truth to it, so don't shake your head like you want to take it back” Nicky finished and sipped her hot chocolate.

“Ok I am sorry that I said it in the context I used' Jodie started, 'It was Casey I was livid with, not you. I have never had a problem with you and any one night stands you may or may not have had. I loved you for you. You were my buddy, the girl who made me do things instead of just sitting on my ass waiting for life to happen. You went out there and lived it,and I lived it through you. Now look at you, you have what you say you wanted and I have never seen you happier, you look good Nicks you really do. And yes I do look like death warmed up.” Standing up she went to look out the kitchen window, “I tried to ring Casey at home, but there was no answer,so I tried her work but she's not due back yet, do you have any idea where she is?” turning back she looked at Nicky and say her grimace. “This isn't going to be good is it?”

Nicky shrugged “To be honest, Casey is in a worse state than you, Aunt Essie had me and Ella go round the bars last night to find her. In the end it was the last place we went to, you know the bar club thing that Rosey is the DJ at?” As Jodie nodded Nicky carried on. “ We spoke to James and he had seen her a bit earlier, by the time we located the idiot she was that drunk she couldn't stand up on her own and to begin with I don't even think she knew who we were” She stopped as Jodie waved her hand at her. “Was she on her own, I mean was anyone with her, you know like a girl?” Jodie looked down into her mug, not sure if she wanted to hear her answer.

Nicky did an internal groan, shit why did she have to ask me that she thought. She took hold of

Jodie's hand, “There was a girl there but I don't even know if Casey had done anything, because when we asked her who the girl was, she clearly had no idea, so it's possible that the girl had just seen the state that Casey was in and thought she would take advantage, and to be honest Jodie she could have done anything to her and she would have been none the wiser she was that drunk”

Jodie thought about what Nicky had just said, took her hand back and said, “Or she could have known who the girl was and played dumb with you, just to get herself out of a situation”

Nicky smiled “Nah. I don't think so, Casey was really drunk. I mean really, when we had her outside she insisted she could walk perfectly well thank you very much, shrugged James and me off her arms and promptly fell off the kerb into the road, and cut her face and arms, the bloody stupid idiot. We rang Sean to come and get us as no cab would have let her within five feet of it she was that bad” They both turned as they heard the front door open and Ella came running in and then proceeded to shake herself like a shaggy dog to get some of the rain off. “Fucking Hell, its wet out there” she shouted towards the kitchen.

Jodie got up and put her mug in the sink and turned to leave. “I'll let you two get on, thank you Nicky for understanding, and letting me talk. I've missed you so much”

Ella came into the kitchen and blocked the doorway “Where do you think you are going? I have ordered a Chinese take away, it should be here in about fifteen minutes, so don't be stupid. Do you think I am going to let you leave the first chance you get? Oh women can be so stupid sometimes. Behave yourself now and get Nicks to find you some joggers and a dry t-shirt then settle yourself in for the night for a takeaway and Dvd night. Jodie, by the way you look like shit. Don't be such an ass next time eh? Now I is going for a shower ladies” With that Ella leaned down and gave Nicky a kiss then gave a look to Jodie “You better be here when I get back, or there will be trouble” then walked towards the bathroom stripping as she went.

Jodie looked stunned “Is she always that forward? And I really don't want to intrude on the pair of you”

Nicky was already up and in the hallway rummaging in the linen cupboard for clothes for her, “Here you go, and yes she can be like that, its lovely isn't it? Now go on use the bedroom, and stick your clothes in the laundry basket, and don't forget your underwear as that must be wet too”

Jodie took the clothes and stepped towards the bedroom “What about you? You wet as well?

“Never mind me, I can get changed in the bathroom, now go on” she ushered Jodie into the room and shut the door behind her.

Still in shock, Jodie stood in the bedroom she had just been shoved into. Slowly she looked around, My God, she thought this has changed. In the past couple of months the room had changed from a room where Nicky occasionally led her head, to a room that was warm and well lovely. Definitely a room where two people in love slept. Jodie began to step out of her wet clothes thinking this is what Casey and I should have. Instead we both have nothing. She looked into the mirror. God Ella was right she did look awful. She was pale and she just looked sad, all over, not just her eyes it was like her body had given into her sadness as well, Jodie stood there not moving till she heard a knock at the door.

“You done Jodie?” Nicky called through the door.

“Ah um. Not quite” Jodie looked round trying to sort herself out before she got shouted at again.

The door opened slightly and Nicky peered in, seeing Jodie half undressed and looking frantic she came in and shut the door behind her. She got hold of Jodie who was crying while trying to sort the clothes out “Hey hey, its ok Jodie, its ok, come here give me a hug” Jodie clung onto Nicky as she cried her eyes out, Nicky felt like her heart was breaking for her. God when did she get so fragile? Why hadn't she been there for her, stupid words said in the heat of the moment are a nightmare. The door opened again and Ella stuck her head in, she waved the bag of take away that had just arrived and nodded as Nicky held her hand up to say give me five minutes. Ella smiled and softly closed the door on them.

Nicky sat Jodie on the bed and passed her a tissue. After she had blown her nose she started to take the wet clothes of her, when Jodie started to protest, she just shushed her, “Don't be silly, I've seen it all before, how many times have we got undressed in front of each other. Now be quiet and let me get you sorted, it's about time you had someone look after you for once. I don't know. You and Casey both need your heads knocking together I can tell you'. Once Jodie was dry and fully dressed Nicky stood back from her, “ That will do. Now come on let's eat I am starving and from the look of you you could do with a good meal inside you.” Taking her hand she pulled Jodie along behind her into the lounge where Ella had everything set up on the coffee table. Nicky rubbed her tummy “Oh yes, bring the food to mama.

Ella turned from rummaging in the DVDs, “I think its a night for Mama Mia. What do you two think? Doing a double take of Jodie she laughed “Oh bless you, you look like a waif and stray. Those clothes look huge on you! How much weight have you lost? Oh well never mind, you'll be fed and watered here regular like. Three meals a day until you are back on your feet.”

“What', Jodie said looking between the two of them, 'do you mean?

“Well you don't think the two us of us are letting you out of our sight till you look like a proper human being again. In fact I think the box room will be yours till you and Casey decide to sort it out. Thought it will have to be the sofa tonight. Have to get the junk out of the box room before you can move in there. And don't be saying no, you have no option, its this or well, this. Now sit down and start eating before I do that for you to and don't think I won't” Ella warned.

Jodie looked at Nicky who was laughing out loud at the look on her face. “Looks like I better do as I am told then' and with that swiped the bowl of food that Nicky had already prepared.

“Hey that's mine Nicky complained,

“Don't have a go at me I am only doing what your girlfriend told me to do, Jodie smirked at Nicky then smiled happy to be in the company of good friends.

Ella sat back on the sofa and groaned, “Oh Lord I think that last bowl of popcorn has sent me over the edge, I can't believe we ate so much” Hearing muffled laughter she looked up at Nicky and Jodie, who were by now laughing out loud. “What? What's so funny you two? I have a feeling having the two of you back together is going to be a nightmare, so spill it, what is so funny'?

Nicky looked at Ella, “Well the thing is you ate that last bowl yourself. We didn't get a look in, its no wonder that you are over the edge darling'. She smiled at Ella and threw a cushion at her. Ella stood and stuck her tongue out at them. 'Well I am going to bed then, and the two of you can clear up! See you in the morning Jodie, I'll let Nicks set the sofa up for you. Try and get a good nights sleep.

After they had loaded the dishwasher, Nicky grabbed a sheet and tucked it onto the sofa then threw a quilt over the top of it. “There. Almost as good as the Ritz. What do you think Jodie?' asked Nicky as she turned to find Jodie looking out the window. 'Jodie' she repeated, 'What do you think?'

Jodie turned and looked at Nicky. It felt strange that things changed so much that Nicky was now the one looking after her. Looking out the window again at the night sky which for once was clear enough to make out the stars, she took a deep breath and slowly let it out. “Where did it all go so wrong Nicky? I was happy plodding along on on my own. Then Casey crashed into my life and I realised that I wasn't living I was just existing. Getting on by day by day thinking this was how my life was meant to be. With Casey I felt... Oh I don't know how to explain it, but everything seemed like it had been injected with colour, as if I had been living in black and white. Oh I know that must sound like the biggest bunch of crap you have heard' she laughed without any humour.

Nicky smiled and leaned over the sofa and grabbed Jodie by the hand and pulled her around till she was sitting beside her. “You are right. Sometimes you do speak a load of crap'. She winched as Jodie hit her on the arm. 'Ow that hurt, you! I was going to say sometimes you do, but right at this moment you are making perfect sense, Casey and you were made for each other. She makes you come out of your shell and you give her the love and home she has always wanted. Now everything is a big ugly mess, and it's going to take some time to get back what you had. Jodie, I know that you didn't understand why Casey was wanting you to go away, but she was really doing what she thought was best for you. She wanted you safe. You thought she wanted you out of her life. Two very different things!'

Nicky continued. 'I have been chatting to James and he told me some things from their past. You know about being in the care home?' She looked at Jodie who nodded back at her to continue. “Well he said from the moment he set eyes on her at the age of seven, she has always been his protector. He said it was her way of staying in control; of making sure she called the shots so no one could hurt her or him in the way that they had been. In her eyes if you were staying with me she had the control. She couldn't let what happened to you happen again. She felt like she had failed you and because of that you wouldn't forgive her for you being hurt. Oh God! Does this make any sense? Anyway, I think that you will have to work at getting back to where you and Casey where before this shit happened”.

Jodie brought her knees up wrapped her arms around them and rested her cheek on them as she looked at Nicky. “When did you grow up and become so smart?” she smiled “ I know I acted like a total bitch that night. I can only say that being beaten up is no good for my intelligence, I can see it now. Casey was right. I would have been safer here, but, oh no I go and fuck it up. I don't even know if Casey will even want to speak to me let alone anything else. Time for me to grow up, and face the consequences of my actions. Thank you, Nicky for telling me it straight. Now get yourself to bed, and tell Ella, that she is a wonderful girl for putting up with you and me'. Reaching over she gave Nicky a hug then kissed her on the cheek, “I'm glad we at least are back where we should be”

Nicky kissed her back and moved to the door, “ Back where we should be... oh you mean you on the sofa listening to me having some of the most excellent sex down the hall?' She laughed as a cushion hit her on the ass as she ran out the door. “Night hun. Try and get some sleep”

Nicky quickly cleaned her teeth and had a quick wash before quietly entering the bedroom, trying not to wake Ella. She took her t-shirt off but left her boxer shorts on and carefully slipped under the covers. She jumped as she heard Ella whisper from the pillow beside her “I thought you were never coming to bed! I kinda started on my own. Sorry about that'. Ella reached over to kiss Nicky as she pulled her hand beneath the covers to cup her, “ Can you feel how wet and hard I am for you. Seeing you being the protector was very sexy! I have been waiting for this all evening.

Nicky smiled as she let her fingers slip into the hot wetness between her girlfriends legs. She groaned as she felt how hard her clit was. “You started without me, I think you very nearly finished without me darling'. Nicky then pushed the quilt down to their feet, “In fact I think you should finish. Let me see you come, I want to see you push your fingers in while you rub that very very sexy clit to a climax. She looked up at Ella whose eyes were barely open with lust, then moved down the bed so her head was right beside her girlfriends pussy. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply “God you smell beautiful. 'She then put her fingers into her mouth and sucked the juices off them. Ella moaned and started to play with her own clit, whilst not taking her eyes of Nicky. She pushed one finger inside her pussy, slowly bringing it out to the tip and then back in again. She began fucking herself slowly as she watched her girlfriends face cloud over with wanting, Nicky looked up, “I want you to fuck yourself with more fingers. Look at you! You're so wet! Put another one in baby, I want you to feel full when you come'. Watching as Ella put in not just one but three fingers and began to fuck herself in earnest, her fingers over her clit were becoming a blur and

Nicky knew it wouldn't take her much longer. She moved closer so that Ella could feel her breath on her clit and as soon as she had done this, Ella let out a strangled cry as she began to come. Nicky quickly moved Ella's fingers out of the way and let her mouth settle over the hot and now twitching clit to catch the end of her orgasm, “Oh god you taste as good as you smell baby'. She watched out of the corner of her eye as Ella's fingers slowly left her dripping pussy and fell to her side, Nicky took the opportunity to let her tongue lick from her clit to her hole that was now dripping and sucked it all in deeply. She felt Ella shudder below her and smiled as she took the clit between her teeth and nipped gently before sucking it hard. Ella let out a scream as another wave of orgasm hit her and then collapsed. Reaching down, she got a hold of Nicky's hair and pulled her up to face her. “Oh you are bad! I was trying to be quiet. Now Jodie knows what you can do to me'. She laughed as she tried to get her breath back. “Now you must be ready. Take off those boxers quick!'.

Nicky had the boxers off in one move and turned into Ella's waiting arms. Kissing her deeply she moaned as Ella urged her upwards. Swinging one of her legs over, she straddled Ella, and let her head fall back as her hands found her breasts and pulled at the already erect nipples. Then Ella grabbed hold of her backside and yet again urged her upwards till she was right over her face. Nicky slowly lowered herself, then she felt the relief and the feeling of being where she should be as Ella stuck her tongue deep inside her. Ella kept a hold of Nicky with one hand on her back, looking up and into the eyes of her little butch girlfriend, she started to tongue fuck her hard as she used her other hand to circle Nicky's clit.

“I must be in heaven, this feels so good'. Nicky looked at her hands which where holding the bed frame so tightly the knuckles had tuned white. She then looked lower and fell directly into the love of her life's eyes, which were looking up her, so in tune with what she was feeling and that was all it took for her to come and to come hard. She jerked as Ella continued to let her tongue lick inside her, then she felt herself being lowered onto Ella's tummy. Unable to do anything more than curl up beside Ella, she sighed as Ella reached down and pulled the quilt over them. Nicky felt Ella kiss her forehead then she fell fast asleep unable to function any more.

Jodie squirmed under the quilt on the sofa as she heard Ella scream out. Then hearing it go quiet she began to relax, when suddenly, she heard Nicky call out she was coming. 'Really Nicky! You didn't need to tell me you were coming! Half this street along with myself could hear that!' She gave a small laugh, and turned onto her back in the hope of getting some sleep, but listening to Nicky and Ella having sex had got her turned on. She pushed her hand under the jogging bottoms she had on, and found that she was already wet. She started to play with herself, thinking at least if I come, I might get some sleep. But no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't climax. All she could think about was how Casey made her come and nothing she could do could replicate that. Not even her imagination was helping! With a frustrated cry, she gave up and went into the kitchen for a drink. Trying to be quiet, she located the hot chocolate and put the kettle onto boil. Leaning against the counter to wait, she closed her eyes and thought of Casey, “God that is all I can think of any more!” she muttered, then she jumped as she heard Ella ask from the doorway “Think of who hun?”

“Holy crap Ella! You nearly gave me a heart attack. I thought you two would be fast asleep by now, I was just making a hot chocolate, you want one?”

Ella nodded and sat at the table, “Oops! Did we keep you awake or did we wake you?”

Jodie laughed as Ella blushed. “Kept me awake. Actually I think you might have kept your neighbours awake as well' and then laughed again as Ella groaned into her hands.

“Would you believe me if I told you I was trying to be quiet so we didn't disturb you?' She looked up as Jodie laughed even harder.

“It that was you both being quiet good Lord, I see I am going to have to invest in some earplugs

while I stay here”

Ella smiled “Yep! Might be for the best. Thanks', she said as Jodie passed her a hot chocolate, “So who are you thinking of then?”

Jodie sighed and sat down across from Ella, “Casey, who else. She is all I think of. I hurt her, and I don't know if anything I do will change that, I don't know if Casey can forgive me, or if we can even try to get back to where we where before all this crap”

Ella leaned back “Only way to find out is to reach out to her, and don't give up at the first try. Hell, don't give up at the fifth try if you are sure that she is the one.”

Jodie smiled “Yep. She is the one. The one and only, and now I have to sort out the mess I got us both into, I mean I am a mess, but I believe that Casey is in a worse state. Is that right Ella, is she that bad?”

Ella looked Jodie straight in the eye “Yeah she is. I have seen her in some states before she met you but that night when Nicky and I had to go and find her was the worst I have ever seen her. I'm sorry Jodie, but she really is on downward spiral and it is going to hurt big style when she hits the ground. Sorry kiddo, but she needs you, even if it is the case that at the moment she believes she doesn't, but she does. So please try and get through to her.” Ella stood and placed her mug in the sink, turned and got hold of Jodie's hand and took her back into the lounge. Getting Jodie to lie down she tucked her in like she was a child. Ella kissed her on the top of head and told her to sleep tight, she was safe here.

Jodie smiled and believed that for the first time in a long while that she could actually sleep.

Casey waited till she heard the front door shut, then she made her way down to the kitchen, she put the kettle on, then reached over and switched the radio on for some background noise as she thought about what she need to do. As much as she wanted to hurt or possibly maim those that had dared to hurt Jodie, she had no idea as to how she and James was going to achieve this. I mean for goodness sake she was a cycle courier and James was a DJ! Admittedly he was a very good one, but it didn't necessarily have the qualities or indeed skills required to get even with an East London crime family! Was she just being selfish and putting her needs before those she loved? She knew that whatever she decided to do, James would help her. Looking over the kitchen, she saw her backpack leant against the puppy bed. Bending down, she picked it up on the way to turning off the kettle that was whistling loudly in her ear and made a cup of coffee and searched inside the bag for her wallet. Eventually finding it, she made a mental note to clear her bag out. Taking a sip of the coffee she opened the wallet and took out three photos; one of Aunt Essie, one of James and finally one of Jodie. She spread them out in front of her and took hold of her coffee mug with both hands and settled down to look at them. Aunt Essie. The woman had looked her up and down when she went to see about renting the top floor of her house, and had then asked her when she had last has a good meal. She remembered stuttering, trying to explain her eating habits as the woman had taken her up the stairs, showed her around, gave her one more long look. She had then nodded to herself and informed Casey she could move in next Monday. Not only that, she expected her downstairs for dinner at six pm sharp and no excuses. Casey had barely uttered two sentences, yet here she had a nice place to stay at what was a very reasonable rate and apparently dinner reservations with her landlady! Casey smiled as she thought about how Aunt Essie had become so much a part of her life. She worried about her, she made her laugh and most of all for all her sins and Casey admitted to herself there were many, she loved her. Could she put her at risk?

Casey turned her attention to James, her Rosey-Posey as she called him. This was the name she used when she wanted to annoy him, which was often but always with affection. How long had they been part of each other lives? How many times had they got themselves into trouble and how many times had James got her back? God far too many times is how many! From that first meeting in the care home, she knew that James would always be her friend, and she would always protect him. How anyone could have hurt such an innocent child was beyond her. Now James had found his own love and had what she had always wanted for him; a partner who loved him, and a home where he could always feel like he belonged. These were things that were hard for kids from care to achieve. God knows how much she knew that. Casey took a sip of coffee and pulled a face when she realised it had gone cold. 'Yuck' she thought as she placed it on the table and finally lifted the photo of Jodie. It had been taken one afternoon when she had fallen asleep on the sofa. Casey had waited patiently for her to wake up as she thought her most beautiful when she was caught totally unawares. Especially when she was just waking up. She looked so cute. It hurt Casey to look at the picture of Jodie, She loved her and this in itself was enough to make her realise that what she was contemplating to do was wrong. Even though it seemed that Jodie wanted nothing more to do with her, this was obvious by the lack of contact. If she wanted to be with me she would have called, but she hadn't and in Casey's mind that meant the usual. Thanks for the ride, but really you have far to many issues and I can't deal with that.' Casey had tears running down her face as she kissed Jodie's photo. “ I will always love you Jodie Flynn, you have my heart please look after it. Without you I don't want it back. Without you it means nothing.”

Casey put all three photos back into her wallet, wiped her eyes dry and waited for James and Nate to get home so she could tell them what she had decided to do.

It had been two weeks since Casey made the decision to hand the packaged she had found into the police station. Detective Defoe had given her a lecture on not coming straight to them and withholding the evidence. Casey had just nodded and told him she was sorry. She asked him to keep her up to date with anything that happened and she would see him in court.

The next week, she was starting back at work on a part time basis, but for now she would do what she had done most nights for the past two weeks, and that was to go out and drink until she no longer thought about Jodie all the time. It was driving James and Nate up the wall, and no matter how many times they shouted at her, tried to shake her into seeing that what she was doing was so destructive, Casey just put a wall up and escaped by taking Benji for a walk. Benji didn't judge her, he loved and loved only and for that she was grateful.

Getting herself ready, she turned as she heard a knock on the door, taking a deep breath she waited for the usual argument to begin.

“Hey Nate, what's up?” she sat on the bed and put her trainers on. Her face remained as neutral as she could make it.

“Don't worry Casey! Not here to shout at you or tell you what a waste you are making of your life,” Nate smiled down at the bane of his life at this moment. Oh he loved her, but she infuriated him too.

“ I was wondering if you fancied some company tonight? My sister Jessica is in town for a conference and she always loves to go out and dance with me, as her husband has two left feet and hates it. So, when they come to visit, Jessica and I go dancing and Peter meets up with his university buddies and has a night out at the pub. Are you up to it?”

Casey stood looked at Nate, “Sure! If you think you can keep up with me, then lets get going. Where are we meeting Jessica?

“Outside Catchers in about 25 minutes, so we need to get going” Nate shouted behind him as he went to get his coat, He offered Casey her coat who shook her head, “Nah. I'm good, got my sweatshirt”

Nate rolled his eyes, “its 5 degrees out there. Do you always have to be this butch?” he asked.

“Of course I do! I have a reputation to uphold” Casey laughed as she shut the door behind her.

Jodie tried to convince Nicky that she didn't want to go out. She had no inclination to go dancing. That was for happy people, and at this particular moment she did not fall into that category. Nicky from what she could see, was refusing to listen to her. She was in fact, looking though the wardrobe looking for clothes that were deemed acceptable for the nights entertainment. Sitting down on the bed she let herself fall backwards and she watched the ceiling as Nicky gave her a running commentary on her lack of club clothes. Once Ella put her head through the doorway, she knew she was doomed. She had hoped Nicky was meeting Ella there as she believed she had so far been able to convince Nicky that going out was a bad idea, but Ella..'. She pulled herself up onto her elbows, looked at Ella and then let her head fall back in defeat. Ella laughed as she knew she had won this battle. Jodie would come out with them and try to get back into living.

Jodie stood up, “Ok if I am being forced into going out, then I choose what I wear. Ok?? No arguments as to what I pick either. Now out the both of you and I will be ready in a few minutes'.

She shut the door behind her friends and quickly stripped down. Grabbing a deodorant she quickly sprayed herself then, put on her oldest pair of jeans; the ones that were worn in just the right places, with the holes right where they should be. Next, she pulled out a long sleeved t-shirt and a pair of baseball boots. As an afterthought, she added some perfume. Making her way out of the bedroom she stopped as both Nicky and Ella, looked at her in disbelief. “What? What's wrong” Jodie asked as she looked behind her in confusion.

Nicky shook her head and turned Jodie round and pushed her out the door, “Nothing is wrong. You are just as you should be I guess. The girl who isn't interested in company or socialising!”

It was nearly midnight and Casey was bored. Why did she ever find this fun? Tapping Nate on the shoulder she mimed getting a drink and pointed in the direction of the bar. He smiled and asked for a beer. Casey looked around for Jessica, but couldn't see her. Shrugging her shoulders she slowly moved through the crowd to the bar. She stood on the bar rail and leant over to get the bartenders attention, then settled into wait her turn. Sensing someone push in beside her, she moved to try and make room. Her eyes looked to the left to see who was pushing in. She smiled as she saw it was Jessica. “Hey where did you get to? Looked for you to see if you wanted a drink”

“Oh great! Can I have vodka and coke? My throat is parched, and my feet are sore from dancing' She smiled at Casey, 'You good? You look a little tired'.

Casey gave her order to the barman and turned her attention back to Jessica, “ Tired... yeah I guess I am. Tired of a lot of things' she muttered as she looked around her.

“Nicky please can we go, I am bored. I hate dancing when I am on my own. I don't want another drink and watching you and Ella kiss all night beside me is torture. Can you stop being happy and in love with each for at least five minutes?' she pleaded to Nicky. Ella laughed and took pity on the upset Jodie, “Ok. Here's the deal. We all have one more drink. You have a dance with me and then we go home. You put your earplugs in and Nicky and I will have rampant noisy sex and you won't hear a thing”

Great. Just what I need. Ok one more and that is it! I am calling time! You continue with your foreplay and I'll get the drinks in” Jodie moved along the edge of the dance floor and made it to the steps leading down to the bar. Holding onto the hand rail, she groaned as she saw that the people at the bar stood two deep. This will take forever!. Taking a closer look to see if there was a gap where she could get in, she nearly stumbled forward as she saw Casey for the first time since she had run out on her. 'Oh my god! What do I do? she muttered to herself. Sneaking another look, she felt her heart sink as she saw a good looking girl lean into Casey and whisper into her ear. Jodie felt sick, but couldn't stop staring over at them. Just at that moment Casey moved her head and looked straight at Jodie. Jodie felt tears running down her face, “Oh god I have to get out of here, I can't watch Casey get of with some stranger” Finally finding her feet she stumbled most of the way to the door, saying sorry to all the people she bumped into.

Casey jumped away from Jessica like she was on fire “Oh shit shit shit!! she shouted, Sorry Jessica I have to go that was Jodie!' and with that Casey ran out the door after Jodie.

Jessica paid for the drinks and made her way back to Nate.“Where's Casey got to? I thought she was getting the drinks in' he asked as he took a long drink of the cold beer.

“She saw Jodie and ran out of the club after her. Oh crap! I bet Jodie saw me leaning in and chatting to Casey. It must have looked dodgy, but I was only standing that close so we could hear each other. Of course to Jodie it must have looked like I was getting it on with her” Jessica shouted in Nate's ear so she could be heard over the music.

“Oh crap is right little sister! Come on! Lets get after them, and see what's happening' Nate said as he pulled Jessica behind him to the entrance of the club.

Casey ran out the club doors and ran into the street. Looking frantically both ways she saw Jodie walking up the road to her right. “Jodie please wait, It wasn't what you think I promise you! I promise you, please Jodie just wait” Casey shouted up the road, her heart pounding at seeing Jodie.

Jodie continued walking barley able to see with the tears in her eyes. She then she felt Casey touch her shoulder and try to stop her walking away.

Jodie turned and looked into what seemed to be a mirror image of agony etched on both their faces.

“Casey' she at last managed to choke out, 'I can't hear this. I can't. It's too hard, I hope you are very happy”

“Jodie, no! I promise it wasn't what you thought! Please. Just please look at me'. Casey watched as Jodie slowly looked her in the eyes. 'That girl Her name is Jessica' she continued, 'Nate's sister. His, very much married with three kids, straight sister. She was just trying to be heard over the music is all.. God, do you really think I would be with anyone else? Jodie, please believe me. I only want you, thats it!' Jodie watched as Casey broke down in tears, unable to walk away Jodie did the only thing she was capable of doing. She got hold of Casey and held her tight as she continued to cry. Its,

Ok baby. I'm here'. Jodie then heard Casey's name being called from down the street. It made her hold on more tightly. She didn't want this feeling to end.

Nate came running out of the club with Jessica right behind them. Seeing Casey up the street, he started to chase her, shouting her name at the same time “Casey, you idiot, wait up! I mean it Casey Alder you stop and wait” skidding to a halt beside Casey, he realised with a start that the woman holding her was Jodie. “Oh thank fuck for that. Now can you both talk some sense into each other before you send me, James, Nicky and Ella round the twist.

Jodie kept her head buried into Casey's chest, loving the sound of her heart beating. She felt Casey's arms tighten round her as she spoke to Nate, “ Wait a minute. Was tonight a set up? Did you all get us to a club in the hope that we would just fall into each other's arms? Like it would all be Ok?”

Nate tried to hide a grin as he spread his arms wide at her and Jodie, “Well if the cap fits honey bun, because it looks to me like you have just fallen into each other's arms!'

Casey sighed and settled her chin on the top of Jodie's head and tried to find her centre. It was quiet for a bit, while everyone tried to figure out where to go now. The silence was broken by more shouting coming up the road.

'Nate! have you got Jodie there? I saw her run across the club but then lost sight of her” Nicky shouted as she and Ella came to a stop beside them. “Oh, Yep! That's Jodie, and low and behold look who she is with!' She turned to Jodie. 'You look at me now Jodie Flynn! What do you think you were doing running out on us like that? How are we meant to look after you if you are not there, you bloody woman!'

Nate laughed “I second that. I swear you lot are more for the drama than James and I are. So do we leave them here or do we take them with us?” Jodie moved her head and whispered into Casey's ear “I don't want to go back in the club. She then moved her head so she was looking into eyes that were hazy with hurt and confusion, “Please can we just go back to Nicky's?”

Casey closed her eyes with relief Jodie wanted her to come back with her. There was a chance she could make her know that she did what she did because she loved her.

Everyone looked at Casey as they waited to see what she would say, then as they watched tears come down her cheeks. They all looked away apart from Jodie, who reached up and kissed them away. Jodie waited on the answer and nearly collapsed when Casey said yes.

Nate flagged down a taxi for the girls, kissed them all goodbye, then took his sister by the hand. “Drama over. You ready to dance some more little sister?' he said as he walked back towards the club.

“Hell yeah! Was the reply, 'Let's do it!” Jessica grinned, not fully sure what had just happened.

Ella opened the flat door to let them all in. Nobody had said a word the entire journey. Now they all stood in a line in the hallway. Raising her eyebrows at Nicky, she moved backwards past Jodie and Casey and stood at the bedroom door, “We're off to bed. Knackered, and all that. Night you two!'

and before Nicky could say anything, Ella grabbed hold of her arm and she was swung into the bedroom and the door shut behind her. “What the fuck Ella? We can't just leave them. They have no idea what to do! I bet if we open the door in a couple of hours they will still be in the same place not talking! We have to help! Come on. Let me just get them started..”

Ella put her finger against Nicky's lips, “No we don't. They need to do this on their own but just with a little push. Watch and learn baby”

Nicky watched as Ella opened the bedroom door and sure enough neither of them had moved. Ella cleared her throat to get their attention. “Right. Here is the deal. You can stand there all night not talking, but listening to me and Nicky having very vocal sex, or you can move your butts to the lounge and try to talk for a bit. Which option do you want, because I am more than willing to start on the sex right now!' and she pulled Nicky towards her and started to fondle her breasts though her top. On hearing Nicky groan, the two girls in the hallway quickly found their feet and almost tripped over each other to get into another room. Laughing Ella shut the door, and pushed Nicky against that, “That is how you get them to move' letting her body move closer till she was flat against her girlfriend, She claimed Nicky's mouth in a hot lingering kiss. 'Lets see how quiet you can be baby', as she undid Nicky's jeans and lowered them to her ankles. She then sank down and kissed her belly, “In a hurry tonight? It looks like you forgot your pants' and before Nicky could answer her back, Ella got hold of Nicky's hips and settled her mouth over her pussy and let her tongue tickle her clit. Nicky let out a loud groan. Ella smiled as Nicky failed to keep quiet.

Jodie and Casey sat on either end of the sofa. They turned to face the door as the heard the noise coming from the bedroom. Jodie got up and shut the door, then turned the CD player on for some background noise as the silence between them was almost deafening. Standing across the room from Casey, she could barely recognise her as the girl who was usually so cocky and solid. Even when she had just come out of hospital, she had never seen Casey so dejected. Shaking her head she sat on the armchair and willed her brain to kick into gear so she could attempt to talk to Casey.

Casey sat on the sofa and felt the heat of Jodie's stare. Unable to stand the silence which was threatening to over come them both, she stood and nearly shouted out “I'm sorry Jodie, its all my fault. My fault that you were beat up. My fault that you can't even bear to be in the same room as me, can't even speak to me. I'm so sorry, I thought I could protect you, but not only did I fail to do that, I got you beat up! Then I actually thought about putting you and everyone else in danger because I think I am the big fucking know it all and can sort it out” Casey was shaking at this point. She wasn't sure if it was from anger or from fear, because she was scared to look Jodie in the eye.

Jodie rubbed her eyes, “ Casey since when did this relationship become just about you looking after me? Because I must have missed it. We are meant to look after each other, so don't ever be sorry for not protecting me against something or someone over which we both had no control. We both messed up that night' Taking a breath she thought over what Casey had just said.”Hold on, what did you mean when you said that were going to put me in danger? What danger? I don't understand what you are talking about?”

Casey looked everywhere but at Jodie as she told her that she had found the package that the man who had broken in had wanted, and thought that she and James could blackmail them into leaving them all alone, but she changed her mind when she sat down and thought about what the consequences might be

Jodie was dumbfounded, “You mean you actually thought that putting you and me in danger was a good thing? That making that family even more angry at us would do what Casey? What did you think it would do'? Jodie was furious that Casey would even think of doing something like that. She moved over and shoved Casey, trying to get her to talk, “Come on Casey! Talk! What did you think would happen? With each word that Jodie spoke she pushed and slapped at Casey. Casey held her arms over her head and the slaps rained down on her, Shit! She knew that Jodie would be angry, but God this hurt. She peeked though her arms, and watched as Jodie took a deep breath to start in on her again, Casey quickly got hold of Jodie's wrists and held on tight as Jodie thought to get free. “Let go of me, I haven't finished telling you what an idiot you are! How stupid and arrogant you are!' As they struggled with each other, they knocked the side table over, causing the lamp to crash to the floor. The both of them hardly noticed the crash as they continued to shout at each other. Jodie was red faced with anger “I mean it Casey, let me go, I hate you! I really do”

Casey stopped moving and unable to stop herself pushed Jodie up against the windowsill and kissed her. Jodie tried to push her away, but found that she was actually pulling Casey in closer. As they both came up for breath, Jodie bit down on Casey's bottom lip, “I still hate you Casey Alder, but don't you dare stop now. If you do I will never forgive you'. That was all it took for Casey to push Jodie up onto the windowsill and step between her legs and claim her with a hard crushing kiss, Jodie felt her head bang into the window, but couldn't stop Casey taking control.

Behind them the door opened slowly as Nicky and Ella peeked through to see what was happening. After the crash, they had ran from the bedroom, unsure what they would see. They weren't expecting the scene happening in front of them. Moving backwards they quietly shut the door and made it back to the bedroom.

“Well fuck me, I really didn't think I would see that! Christ they are both going to be sore tomorrow the way they were going at it', laughed Nicky. Ella sat on the bed and smiled, “Think we might need some of those earplugs that Jodie bought to shut us out.”

In the lounge, Casey and Jodie were totally unaware of anyone but themselves. Jodie cried out as Casey bit down on her neck and sucked hard. Unable to stop herself she pulled at Casey's hips to bring her to the centre of her body praying that Casey was packing, as she really needed to be fucked and fucked hard. She groaned as she felt the long hard shaft in the jeans in front of her. As Casey pulled her t-shirt off and then her bra, she fought to get a hold of the buttons on her jeans.

“Casey for god's sake help me here!” Jodie cried out in frustration.

Casey stumbled back a step and took her sweatshirt and t-shirt off in one go, smiling as she watched Jodie's eyes darken as she looked at her chest. She then tapped Jodie on the nose making her follow her hands as she started to undo her jeans, slapping Jodie's hands away as they tried to hurry her up. Taking her time, she slid the jeans down her slim hips to her ankles, kicking off her trainers she bent over to take the jeans off. As she straightened, she felt Jodie touch the length of her cock through her boxers. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, she pulled Jodie of the windowsill and quickly stripped her of all her remaining clothes. She then pushed her back up on to the ledge, loving the squeal that Jodie gave as her bare ass made contact with the cold surface. She drank in the sight of Jodie, naked, before her. A sight she thought she would never see again. She sank to her knees pulling Jodie's legs over her shoulders so that she was wide open for her. She parted the hot wet lips and held them there as she sank her mouth over the trembling clit and sucked it for all she was worth, hearing Jodie scream out above her. This made her work harder. Taking her hand she pushed three fingers straight up into her. She twisted them around, feeling Jodie's muscles clamp hard onto her. She started to fuck her slow, all the time sucking or nipping on her clit, she held on tight as Jodie began to shake, not wanting her to fall. Pushing hard into her one more time, she felt and heard Jodie come. Casey sank to the floor and looked up into Jodie's eyes. Even though they were mostly filled with lust, Casey could still see some anger there. Not sure what was going to happen now, she went to get up, but before she could move Jodie held her in place. “Where do you think you are going? I haven't even begun' Pulling Casey to her feet, she leaned in and licked the sweat that was running down her chest. She slipped her hand beneath the band of the boxers and wrapped it around the thick cock that was strapped onto Casey's hips. “Looks like someone is ready for me, as she could feel how wet Casey was as she was dripping onto her hand. Pushing Casey's underwear down she held onto her, “Since we have been apart, has there been anyone else Casey? Give me the truth, or God help you”

Casey shook her head trying to get words out

“Speak to me Casey. What are you trying to say baby?' she waited as she watched Casey struggle for the breath to form a complete sentence.

“I swear there has been no one. How could I do that when all I want is you', Casey managed to grind out.

That was all Jodie need to know as she dropped to her knees and took Casey in her mouth, and licked her up and down. Feeling Casey shake, she wrapped her arms around her lower back and held her tight as she licked the tip of the cock that Casey was wearing. Keeping her mouth in place she raised her eyes to Casey, “What do you want Casey? What do you want me to do?',she asked as she began to suck hard. “Jodie, I want you. Just you. Let me love you, please, let me love you', she stumbled as Jodie stood up, then she felt herself being pulled out of the lounge and down the hallway to Jodie's temporary bedroom. Leaving the light off, Casey followed to where Jodie was sitting on the edge of the bed unsure of what was wanted from her. She just waited. Jodie lay back on the bed and pulled at Casey's hand to follow her. As they lay beside each other, Jodie took Casey's head in her hands and gently kissed her. 'I want you to make love to me Casey Alder, now and always.'

Casey, with tears of happiness in the eyes, moved her body till she was lying between Jodie's legs. Taking her cock, she placed it at Jodie's pussy and waited for a signal. That signal came in the form of Jodie pushing down on her bottom. Sinking deep inside of Jodie, Casey stopped, loving the feeling. 'I think I could just stay here', she thought, then Jodie slapped her on the arse, “Casey please, don't tease me” Casey smiled and did as she was told. She made love to her girlfriend. Taking it slow, making sure that Jodie was ready before she began to thrust hard feeling the orgasm come and take over them both.

Casey collapsed on top of Jodie unable to hold her weight any more. Falling to her side, she brought Jodie close into her side and sighed, happy to be back in Jodie's arms. She knew that when the morning came things wouldn't seem as simple as they seemed to be right at this moment. Casey grimaced as she knew that she would be feeling the brunt of Jodie's anger, and in the cold light of day with both Nicky and Ella there, she knew that angry make up sex would not be on the cards. But right now things were good, and Jodie was safe. Casey held Jodie even closer as she let sleep overtake both of them.

The next morning Nicky and Ella sat in the kitchen waiting for one or both of their house guests to make it out of the bedroom, Ella was tapping her fingers on the table. Nicky put her own hands over them to stop the noise. “Ella please stop tapping, its driving me insane” Nicky said.

Ella stood, “Well come on Nicky. Look at the mess in the lounge, table overturned and a broken lamp all over the floor. At least after an argument have the decency to clear up after themselves. Oh I haven't got the time to wait for them to get up. Make sure you tell them off, and make sure they know Ella is very much not happy!” She leant down and kissed Nicky.

Nicky sat back in her chair, waiting on the loud bang as Ella slammed the door on purpose, and there it was nice and loud. 'Surely that will wake one of them', she thought. So getting up she put the kettle on in the hope she may have some company soon.

Sure enough five minutes later, a very cautious Jodie stuck her head into the kitchen. “Em, is everything Ok? Is Ella upset about something'? Jodie groaned as she sat down, but before she could settle, Nicky grabbed her by the arm and dragged her though into the lounge. Looking at Jodie, she asked “Well what do you think Jodie? Is this something to make Ella a happy bunny?' Jodie looked across the room at the chaos. “Oh shit, did Casey and I do this? I don't remember....' Jodie sat on the edge of the sofa as the events of the night came back to her. “Ooh, I remember being mad at Casey because she had been planning to do something unbelievably stupid, and I was shouting and hitting her to try and knock some sense into her, and the next thing I know we were kissing and then, well, I am sure you can guess the rest.” Jodie blushed.

Nicky laughed at Jodie going all shy on her, “Hun, believe me you don't have to tell me what you got up to, because one, we heard it loud and clear even with earplugs in!' She laughed louder as Jodie fell backwards onto the sofa. 'Two, your lips are looking very bruised and three, good God girl! Was Casey trying to eat you alive? Your neck and throat are covered in bite and suck marks! I wonder if Casey is in such a state too!. Come on lets get you some tea and you can tell me all the sordid details” Jodie leant up, “But what about the mess? Ella is going to kill me and Casey if we don't clear up”

Nicky pulled her back to the kitchen, “Oh, we can clean it up in a bit. The most important thing is what is happening with you and Casey”

As they both sat at the kitchen table, Jodie was unsure where to start, as she really didn't understand what had happened herself. One minute she was running down the road to get as far away from Casey and the next she was in the bedroom begging Casey to make love to her. Lets take our time here. Think about why we weren't speaking and talk, but, no lets not do that. Lets just make powerful passionate sex for hours instead. Jodie was jolted from her thoughts by a kick on the leg from Nicky who was sat waiting on some explanation for the events of the past eight hours or so.

“Nicky what can I say? I love her for all her faults and believe me there are many and I am going to give her a piece of my mind as soon as she drags her arse out of bed, but could you stay in the room when I do, as I think we could very possible do a repeat of last night', she chuckled. 'I couldn't get enough of her, I think most of her body must look like my throat, I was like something possessed with her'. Giving Nicky a wink as she got up to put her cup in the sink, “ I am going to have a shower, but I will tell you one thing Nicks. Make-up sex is great.”

Casey poked her head out of the bedroom door, and heard the shower running. Making her way slowly to the kitchen, she stopped and looked around thinking she was alone. Suddenly Nicky stood up from the other side of the table. Casey jumped and held onto her chest “Holy crap Nicky, you nearly gave me a heart attack, what the hell are you doing hiding under the table?”

“I dropped a spoon! You're jumpy girl and Casey, do you think you could have put any less clothes on?” Nicky waved the spoon at Casey. “lovely underwear, though.”

Casey blushed and looked down, looked back at Nicky, then frowned, looked down to her legs again, “Bloody hell! Look at the state of my legs”. Casey then lifted the bottom of her t-shirt and looked at her tummy, and held it up for Nicky to have a look. “Well, I don't think she was gentle last night' she smiled

Nicky laughed, “Well I can say that neither were you! Jodie looks exactly the same. She's the one in the shower at the moment, and do me a favour and look in the lounge at the destruction you both caused. Ella is out for your blood, but from the state of you both I don't think you have much of that left to give”

Casey threw a confused glance as she opened the lounge door, “Whoo! Did we do that? No wonder Ella wants to kill us. Give me a couple of minutes and I will get it cleared up and both of you pick out a new lamp. Whatever you want, you can have” Casey turned as she felt someone behind her, looking over her shoulder. Her mouth gaped open as she took in the sight of Jodie standing with a towel round her and water dripping down her forehead. Unconsciously, she reached out to the edge of the towel, only to have Jodie slap her hand away. “Hands off you! Not when we are in company”, nodding at Nicky who was sat with her hands clasped behind her head, “Oh don't mind me, I can sit here out of the way” Jodie glared at Nicky then started to push Casey towards the bathroom, “Shower now and then you and I are going to talk, without any distractions! So make sure you are fully dressed when I see you next”

Casey unable to speak did as she was told and stepped into the bathroom. A minute later she was still standing there. Jodie opened the door and put some clean clothes on the linen basket for her, “I mean it Casey, get in the shower” Jodie pulled the shower curtain back and started the shower then left the room.

Knowing when she was beat, Casey stripped and stood under the hot water. Resting her hands on the wall, she let the pounding water soothe her back, she wondered how long she could stay in here where it was safe and away from the questions she knew where coming. Ah well lets get this over and done with. Casey quickly washed, yelping when she rubbed to hard on some of the areas that were coming out in bruises. After getting dressed, she sat on the linen basket to try and get her thoughts into order. A few seconds later the door opened and Jodie stood across from her with her hands on her hips. “Think I would get tired of waiting? Your ass in the kitchen now!” Casey knew an order when she heard one, so tentatively made her way past Jodie, only to be rewarded with a clip across the back of her head. “Ow! what was that for? Casey grumbled rubbing her head as she made it to the kitchen, “Where is Nicky'? she asked.

A voice came from the lounge “In here, I am being nice and cleaning up, and if I hear any noise that isn't you talking or Jodie shouting at each other, I am to run in and make sure you aren't having make up sex.”

Casey sat down at the far end of the table, as far as she could get from the hands that were twitching to slap her on the back of the head again.

Jodie rolled her eyes and pulled the chair out beside Casey. “Right I will start. I was stupid. I didn't listen to you, or even give you any attempt at an explanation as to why you thought what you was doing right. I should have known that you were only thinking of me, but the thing is Casey, I was terrified and I needed to be with you. I was scared that man would come back and that he would hurt you. How was I meant to protect you if you wouldn't let me, because as much as you think it is me that needs protecting, it was both of us Casey. But I let you walk out, and that is something I will never forgive myself for.” Jodie reached over and held onto Casey's hand. “On the other hand could you explain to me what the hell you were thinking when you found the package they were after? What were you and James, and I presume that James was involved in all of this, thinking'? At Casey's nod Jodie went on. 'Good grief! You are both as stupid as each other. Not being funny Casey, as much as you are my beautiful butch lover, you are no way as butch as them. They pack weapons. The only thing that you are packing is what's in your underwear. Not much of a match. Can you see what I am getting at? Sometimes the best way to protect the people you love is to take the easy way out. Why did it take you so long to see that the police were the best people to deal with this, and when made you decide to hand it in?” With her free hand, Casey rubbed her face and let out a deep breath “What made me decide was looking at three photos I carry in my wallet. One of Aunt Essie, one of James and one of you. I laid them out on the table, and just looked at them and thought about what each person means to me and I couldn't do it. I realised I was being beyond idiotic! Hell! Sometimes I can't even ride my bike in a straight line, so who was I trying to kid. And as to the two of us that night, I think we both have to take some of the blame. All I could see was that guy with his hands round your throat and I have never felt so helpless, not since before I was put into care. I swore to myself then at the age of seven, I would not let myself be hurt again, and I wouldn't let my friends get hurt either. Then this happened and the only person I have ever loved apart from James, was being beat senseless and I could do nothing'. Before she could help it, Casey found herself crying. Jodie moved to be beside Casey and held her while she cried. With her whole body shaking Casey just gave into it.

Jodie held her tight, knowing that no words could help Casey now, she just had to let it out, and all she could do was see it out. Whispering soothing noises into Casey's hair, she rocked her slowly, hearing a noise from the door, she smiled as Nicky waved her coat at them and quietly said she would be back later.

Jodie lifted Casey out of the chair, and steered her to the bedroom, getting her settled under the quilt, Jodie sat on top and pulled her close. “Try and get some sleep baby” Seeing panic come over Casey, she smiled “I will be here when you wake up. Let me look after you for a change baby”

 

Waking with a start Casey looked frantically round the bedroom, and was relieved to find Jodie fast asleep beside her. Slowly moving from under the covers she tip-toed round the bed and pulled a rug over her, then backed out of the room and went to get a drink.

Nicky and Ella were sitting on the sofa as she passed the lounge, “Hey! Would you like a drink, Casey asked as she carried on into the kitchen. They both said no so she just got a glass of water and made her way back into where the girls where. Sitting as far away from Ella as she could, she said 'Hi. Erm. About the mess Ella we are really sorry and please buy any lamp you want. If I had been aware of what we had done, I swear we would have cleared up. You must think us so rude” Ella held her hand up to stop Casey rambling on, “Oh don't worry really, I was pissed this morning when I walked in on it, but hey it was only a lamp, and I was more concerned about you two. At least you look to be kinda in one piece after last nights shenanigans. God! And Jodie thinks we are loud? Are you like that all the time, or just when you haven't seen each other for a while? Poor aunt Essie, she must be driven mad by the pair of you”

Casey relaxed into the armchair and grinned. 'Um! I hadn't really thought about that! Now you come to mention it, Aunt Essie does give me some funny looks now and then. And here was me thinking older houses had thicker walls and so not as much sound got through! Guess I was wrong but I still want to replace the lamp”

“Ok, Ok! You can buy us a new lamp. God woman! How are things with you know who? Is she going to be out house guest for much longer or are you taking her home with you? That reminds me, James has rang your mobile loads so ring him in a bit to let him know you are alive. Nicks and I are going out for a meal tonight and we would love it if you and Jodie came with us. So?...”

Casey sat quietly and looked between Nicky and Ella, shook her head and said, “What did I do to deserve such good friends? Yes we would love to! Well, I guess Jodie will say the same. I just need to go back to James' to get a change of clothes. If it is Ok can I wait here till Jodie wakes up and gets ready?”

Nicky answered he original question, “What did you do to deserve us? Guess you just got lucky! She smiled over at Casey. 'And you are welcome to stay as long as you want. Just consider this another home from home. Now Casey , lets change the subject. Please tell me you can play games on the PS3 because Ella and Jodie are crap. Surely a good butch like you can play” Nicky got down on her knees and pleaded to her.

“Play? Of course I can play! What type of butch do you think I am? What game am I going to whoop your ass at then?”

Ella rolled her eyes at the two of them, “Well you both kill the world or whatever it is you do on

that machine. I am going to have a bath and read a book”

Two hours later, Casey and Nicky were still playing when a very tousled haired Jodie sleepily came in and flopped behind Casey. She yawned and stretched out her legs in front of her.“What are you two doing? And what time is it? God I am starving. Is there any food here?”

We're killing mutants and food will be happening in a couple of hours. I just need to go to James' to get changed as we have been invited out for dinner by our two gracious hosts. You want to come with me while I get ready? I'm sure I can rustle you up a packet of crisps or something to keep you going” Casey replied never lifting her eyes from the T.v. Screen.

“Well, I can see what is more attractive to you! Girlfriend or mutants? Let me think which one I would rather look at”

Jodie moved so she sat with her legs wrapped round Casey's hips and then began kissing her neck.

Casey groaned, “Aw baby, that's not fair!” Jodie grinned as her girlfriend began to squirm and lose her concentration on the game. “You alright there? You still beating Nicks? Come on Casey! You can win!'

As Casey tried her best to win, Jodie moved her hands under her girlfriends top and raised them higher so they were grazing the bottom of her breasts. She knew she had won when Nicky let out a triumphant cry “Oh yes! I have beaten the newcomer! I is the champion!” Jodie and Casey laughed as they watched Nicky do a victory dance around the sofa.

Casey dropped the control in defeat. “You may have won this time, but next time I will get you! I was slightly distracted by the evil girlfriend here. So unfair, so unfair, but I guess I better be on my best behaviour and get myself sorted for dinner.. Where do you want to meet up later Nicky?”

“Outside the National Portrait Gallery at eight and eating at the Texan Embassy. That Ok with you two?” replied Nicky as she glanced over at the pair sitting on the sofa as she put away the controls for the console.

“Yep! That sounds great. It's what, five thirty now? No probs. Jodie. You want to get changed here or at James'?” Casey asked as she went in search of her trainers.

Jodie smacked her on the backside as she passed her on the way to the bedroom. Give me five and I will be ready to go.”

“Jodie that hurt! My god my ass is sore! Can you look at it later to see what damage you exactly did to that area last night or maybe Nicky could have a look seeing as she is here?' Both Nicky and Casey laughed as the air turned blue with the abuse being shouted from the bedroom.

Ella opened her bedroom door, “Jodie Flynn and Casey Alder! Are you both always this noisy? I remember a time when this flat was peaceful and tranquil”

Jodie stepped into the hall, “Sorry Ella. We can be quiet, but we never seem able to do that for long. But you have a couple of hours peace as we are going to get Casey a change of clothes before we go out tonight. Come on you!' she gestured to Casey.

Casey was smiling like an idiot as she said goodbye and followed Jodie out of the flat. Walking down the street, Jodie pulled Casey to a halt. 'Why do you look like the Cheshire cat?'

Casey ducked her head and blushed “ Oh you'll think I am being silly, but you wearing my sweatshirt which is to big for you makes me feel good. I like seeing you in my clothes, makes me feel closer somehow to you”

Jodie tucked her am though Casey's, “Silly? No. I don't think that! Sweet and cute, that is what I think, and I like wearing your clothes. I love how they smell, so we are both happy with the

situation. Now taxi or tube?”


 

To be continued in Part 7

 

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