For complete Disclaimer see: Part 1

nyway, If you still like what you read please give me feedback at: kenishia15@gmail.com

I'm fairly new to the writing world so I would really appreciate any advice or comments.




Nervous fingers tapped loudly on the steering wheel as Hayden patiently waited in the car. She couldn't believe how fast the week had flown and now she was sitting in Seth's black SUV ready to head up to Fairview with a ‘friend'. Well, that is what she had told Reese. She just reframed from mentioning that the friend was Maddie (her secret –well, whatever they were). But otherwise her aunt gave her the go ahead. They would only be back from the Big Apple late tomorrow night, anyway.

Her eyes drifted to the digital clock encased in the dashboard. It was slightly after 10am so they should probably arrive at their destination after 2pm. It was only a three hour drive but she had one or two detours she wanted to share with the blonde, knowing she would appreciate it. The festival only started to happen around after 3pm, anyhow. Hayden picked her head up when she heard Maddie's front door click open. As if customary, her breathing stopped in anticipation for the figure to step into view.

Then, there Maddie was, her open hair swaying with the early spring wind, still chatting casually away with someone inside her house. She was dressed in a pair of blue jeans, a white thin strap top that sat nicely against her cleavage and the comfortable pair of boots the brunette warned her on due to the dust in that area. The blonde slipped on her light denim jacket then turned, those emerald eyes capturing Hayden immediately.

The brunette felt her lips go dry and her heart start to pound at the incredible sight. A sight that unraveled her each time. She gently lifted her hand in response to the wave and earnest smile she received.

Maddie's hand fell as she checked the contents of her handbag, anxiously making a U-turn into the house. “Lamar, did I take everything?”

A half exasperated man appeared from the kitchen, sighing heavily for the fourth time that morning. “For the hundredth time, yes! You are not moving to Peru, for God sakes.” He held up his fingers and flicked them down as he went through the list. “Purse, house keys, girlie unmentionables, vibrators, strap-ons, handcuffs, condoms and your sunglasses.” When her eyes narrowed dangerously, he just sighed again and held up a hand. “Okay, I was just kidding. I didn't put any condoms in. But only because I don't think you'd need them, anyway.”

She rolled her eyes, eyeing out her bag suspiciously. She knew he didn't put the sexual selection of his list in. But it was Lamar dammit. Biting her lip, she took the bait and quickly raided through it, listening to his annoying chuckle. She threw him an irritated glance. “You're a pain in the ass, you know that.”

“That's what she said.” He winked and laughed at the brief wave of disgust that passed through the blonde's face. “Okay, okay, get out of here, you.” He began a shooing motion to the door. “And don't come back home a virgin.” He said nonchalantly, getting a hard smack to his belly. “Hey!” He jumped and scowled. “What? It worked years ago, the first time I said it.”

“Yeah, but then I was actually a virgin.” Maddie reminded him, wryly.

Lamar gave her a placating look, patting her arm. “Maddie honey, you take born again virgin to a whole new level. I'm not so sure it's different this time.”

“Ha ha, you are hilarious…”

He sighed gravely, shaking his head. “I wish I was, but if I didn't have sex in nearly t –”

Maddie's hand covered his mouth swiftly. “Don't say it! It's depressing enough.”

He grinned when she dropped her hand. “Fine, enjoy your trip. Smurf and I will do what we do best. Pretend the other doesn't exist.”

“Yeah, he really doesn't like you.” She shrugged.

“I can never understand why. I'm so lovable.”

“Of course you are…” It was her turn to smile wickedly and pat his cheek. She raised her handbag onto her shoulder and headed towards the SUV.

“Hey, I am!” Lamar insisted with a puffed chest.

“Uh-huh…” She giggled a little and waved knowing he would be tweaked. Serves him right for picking on her non-existent sex life. That was then. Now… Now, that's all she pitifully thought about. Maddie's eyes met Hayden's as she made the final few strides to the car.

Opening the front passenger door, the blonde hopped in with a coy smile. “Hey you.” Maddie greeted, yanking her seatbelt into place.

Hayden was lost in that enchanting smile, Maddie's simple words barely registering. The brunette cringed, realizing the blonde said something.

“Oh, um hey…” She murmured softly, unable to draw her gaze away. At the look Maddie was giving her, Hayden felt the confines of the car getting smaller. Her lips tingling with the urge to kiss the blonde. All she had to do was lean in and take. Instead, reminded by were they were, she nodded towards the dark seething man on Maddie's porch. “What's got his underwear in a twist?”

Maddie blinked twice at the non-squitter, adjusting her attention to Lamar. “Oh him.” She giggled. “I just made him second guess his lovable-ness .”

Hayden let out an amused chuckle, starting the ignition. “Rough,” she said as they pulled off from the curb.

“Serves him right.” Maddie snickered, tucking a stray piece of blonde hair behind her ear. “He was picking on my se–” Wide-eyed, Maddie held her tongue, looking over at the brunette.

Hayden felt an incredulous grin take over her lips, facing Maddie swiftly before her eyes were back on the road. “You so have to finish that sentence.”

Maddie felt her body sink more into the leather seat, lowered her eyes bashfully and then looked up again, feeling the blush spread through her cheeks. “Do I have to?”

The brunette nodded vigorously. “Hell yes!”

“Fine…” Maddie mumbled with a pout as they stopped at the red light. Hayden slanted her an amused smile, unrelenting. “He was picking on my sex life…” She said with an obvious strain on the word sex .

Hayden couldn't acquire any form of restraint and burst out laughing. “I swear you just turned fifty shades of red when you said sex .”

“No, I didn't.” Maddie disputed futilely, trying to contain her enflamed cheeks.

“Then say it again.”

“No.” The blonde scowled as the brunette continued to laugh. “It's not that funny.”

Finally, Hayden relented, the charmed grin still plastered on her face. “It's adorable and amusing…” She stated looking straight ahead as the light changed again.

“How is that different from being funny?”

“Got me there…” The brunette shrugged, smirking.

Maddie rolled her eyes. “Well, you try saying it with a straight face.”

“Sex…” Hayden shot her an impressively stoic expression. Then a slow, sly smile formed on her lips. “Sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex…” She chanted, almost as if it was a song.

Maddie giggled, swatting Hayden on the arm. “I get it! I get it!”

“Jeez, you're still turning red!” The brunette said in a chuckle.

“Shut up…” Maddie stuck a tongue out before she also erupted in laughter. They both continued to laugh as they passed the ‘You are now exiting Red Bay' sign…

… … … … … … … … … … … … …

Hayden leaned back on the blanket, her weight was supported on her elbows and her legs crossed at the ankles in front of her. Aviators covering those blue eyes, she raised her chin so that she was looking up into the oak tree that spilled odd sunlight through the smallest of crevices. Branches dancing to the gentle breeze. Closing her eyes, she listened to the serene melody spring time usually summoned while she waited for the blonde to return from the bathroom. They had made a half-way stop at one of the picnic parks along the way. She had packed a blanket, a couple of breakfast burritos, a few sodas and some coffee in a basket for such an occasion. She was just happy the weather was permitting enough to whip them out.

A few other unfamiliar families and couples, probably from neighboring towns, also had the same idea. They were scattered in drips and drabs around the front of the restroom area. Wanting some privacy, Hayden had maneuvered them around the back onto a small hillside flagged with a tall oak tree. They were pretty secluded.

Experiencing an unexplainable sensation stir in the air, Hayden's eyes cracked open. She lowered her potent gaze until she had a perfect view of the blonde on the bottom of the hill.

Maddie stepped out of the restroom, wiping the remnant moisture of her hands on her jeans. Her eyes casually journeyed up the contours of the land to be met with one of the most breathtaking sights. There was Hayden, spread out insouciantly on their blanket simply enjoying the outdoors and fresh air. But at that moment Maddie wasn't so sure. It was as if they were enjoying her. But this was Hayden she was talking about, could she really blame them. So this is what the high school senior was like when they didn't have the stresses of keeping their relationship a secret. It was nice, she decided. More than nice. She was definitely going to milk this day for all it was worth.

Climbing towards her date, her appreciative gazes never falter. Hayden was wearing a three quarter sleeved blue button up shirt that brought out the sapphire gems of her eyes. Maddie was almost sorry they were covered up at the moment. She wore fitting black jeans that reached her boots at the appropriate length. Today, her black hoody was traded in for a worn-in black leather jacket that she had folded in half and was left on the corner of the blanket. Hayden never fussed about her clothes. Not that she needed to with her exquisite beauty. She just seemed to go with whatever worked for her. And black completely worked in her case. All in all, the complete package was so Hayden.

“Find the restroom, okay?”

“Yep, there was a sign and everything…” Maddie smirked and plopped down near the brunette's shoes, facing her.

“I'm glad… Wouldn't want you to get lost.” Hayden raised her aviators to the top of her forehead so that she was looking directly into twinkling green eyes.

“Yeah, what would you do on our date without me?”

Hayden felt a little tingle in the bottom of her stomach at the word date . She knew it was silly but… But it felt like Christmas morning when she was a kid, everything so shiny, so new. “Well, whatever I do, I doubt it would be nearly as entertaining as having you with me,” she said honestly.

Maddie's smile softened. She nudged Hayden's boot. “Sweet-talker.”

The brunette rolled her eyes. “There you go again, throwing words around that have nothing to do with me.”

Maddie giggled, her eyes teasing. “When are you going to get it through your head? I think you're cute and adorable.” She loved this game between them.

Hayden groaned dramatically, flopping her head on the blanket and covering her eyes with her hands. “God, kill me now.”

Maddie lay down on the left of Hayden, shoulder to shoulder, her eyes facing the tree above them. “I don't know, I kind of like you alive,” she murmured.

Hayden dropped her hands and cracked an eye open. “Why so you can torture me?”

The blonde shrugged, turning her head so they were face to face. “Pretty much.”

“And you say I'm evil.” Hayden muttered, both blue eyes open deeply searching the blonde's so close to her own.

“You just do evil better.” Maddie countered in a hot whisper.


Hayden smirked when Maddie stuck out a taunting tongue at her. Then Maddie's tilted her gaze down the line where their hands met. Hayden followed it, realizing she was unconsciously grazing the back of Maddie's hand with the tip of her fingers. The motion stopped suddenly. She dragged her vision back up level with Maddie's eyes that were now blazing. She sucked in a breath as she watched the blonde's lips part slightly. Her own lips only inches away. Inches too far for her liking. She leaned in a little –then hesitated. She wasn't quite sure what their rules were.

Curiously, Maddie watched Hayden's soft lips stop mere breaths away from hers. As if reading those blue eyes burning with pained desire, her left hand reached over to caress the brunette's flushed cheek. She knew she was taking a deep risk. But today was a day she didn't want tainted with consequences or the past. “Pretend I'm just Maddie… Pretend you're just Hayden…” Maddie whispered lightly. “Pretend nothing else exists…”

At the reassuring words, Hayden's eyes fell closed. Maddie's lips were soft on hers, just a whisper of contact. A gentle brush, tug and a nip. Hayden felt fingers thread through the luscious locks of her brunette hair tugging her closer, deepening the kiss…

A few minutes later, they were cuddled together with Maddie's head on Hayden's shoulder, her hand stroking up and down the brunette's arm, relishing in the contact.

“You didn't tell me what the festival is about…” Maddie murmured.

It took a few second for Hayden to realize that Maddie was speaking to her. She was much in her happy place right now. “What?”

“I said you didn't tell me what the festival is about.”

“Oh.” Hayden hummed, thinking about how to explain it. “Well, it's split into two parts. The first part is sort of an amusement park.”

“An amusement park? Like with all those rides and junk food designed to make you throw up?”

“Do you know any other kind?” Hayden asked, amused at the unmistakable excitement that leaked through the blonde's tone.

“No…” There was a brief pause. “I just haven't been to one before.”

Hayden jolted at the blonde's quiet response, leaning back so she could peer down at her. “You're kidding me, right?” The blonde glanced up and shook her head. “Seriously? But LA has tons of amusement parks.”

“Yes well, our parents didn't really care what we did as long as we did it in the manor… I think I asked them to go to one once when I was ten but they shot me down, saying something about embarrassing them in public. Since then I didn't bother.”

“Your parents suck.” Hayden said after a quiet moment.

Maddie's lips curved. “Yep.”

Hayden considered the sad smile that played on the blonde's lips. She pressed a small kiss against Maddie's forehead. “Well, I'm glad I'm the one who gets to show you what you're missing.”

Maddie smiled, touched at the gesture. But also because she had dropped the depressing topic of her parents. “Me too… What's the other part?”

“Well, for people like you and me, the second part is the best part.”


“Oh yeah.”

Maddie waited a few beats, before her brows winged up. “Well… Are you going to tell me what it is?”

“I was thinking about it.” The brunette shrugged.



“Tell me.” Maddie poked Hayden in the ribs causing her to jolt.

“Ow, that hurt.” Hayden playfully frowned.

“Hayden, seriously, tell me!” Maddie let out exasperated and continued her prodding.

“Okay, okay.” The brunette chuckled warding off the blonde's wriggling fingers. “It's a preliminary band exhibition.”

“Preliminary band exhibition?” Maddie repeated in a frown, her ministrations stopping. Her eyes softened in realization. “Oh, oh, like a concert that shows off new talent?”

Hayden grinned. “Well, concert is a bit extravagant of a term. But the concept is spot on. You see this is a testing ground for pre- signed bands and some solo acts, I suppose. Just to see what reaction they draw from the crowd. We are the small destinations before they are given more prominent gigs. It happens about every three years or so.”

“Oh…” Maddie conceded, her green eyes deep and thoughtful. “Is it weird that I didn't know about this considering my music relations? Because honestly, I've never heard about this before.”

“Didn't think you would. It only really happens around small towns to see if their baby signings are worth some real air time. They are usually the reject pile.”

Maddie giggled at that. “So the best part is listening to bad bands and singers?”

“No, Miss Smarty-pants.” Hayden rolled her eyes. “They are not all bad, some are okay. And then you get the shiners. Trust me, it is worth it when you sift through that pile and catch the one that you know will make a great difference in the music industry.”

“I think I can understand.” Maddie's smile was slow thinking she was looking at one right now.

“You'll enjoy it too.” Hayden returned the smile. “They should be down for the Red Bay festival in two weeks.”

Maddie jolted. “There's a Red Bay festival?”

“Of course, I told you this thing travels around the small towns.”

The blonde cocked a brow. “Then why –”

“Fairview? For obvious reasons.” Hayden held her gaze. “I wanted to go with you… And I understand that we can't do it down there right now. But… but it doesn't make me want it any less. Does that make any sense?”

Maddie's eyes softened and she nodded slowly. “Perfect sense.”

“Plus, since we will be expecting the same festival down in Red Bay, we won't find any of them here.” Hayden smirked, absently tucking a strand of blonde hair behind Maddie's ear.

Maddie smiled at the brunette's fleeting touch. Sometimes she really wondered which of them the younger, less experienced one was. Hayden made it really hard for her to keep up with their roles. She was beautiful, incredibly smart and with a maturity level that surprised you at times. It left you in awe and sometimes a little sad that she grew up faster than she had to. But Maddie could relate. She also had her fair share of growing up when her brother died. “You thought this through…”

“I wanted time with you that wouldn't get us in trouble.”

Maddie had to laugh at Hayden's sheepish smile. “How much more troubled situations do you actually think we can get into?” At the challenging arch of Hayden's brow, she held up a hand releasing a half chuckle. “Fine, fine, don't answer that. We really are bad.”

Hayden shook her head. “We're not bad people, Maddie. Just people caught in a bad situation.”

Maddie's breath froze at the base of her throat as her brother's words echoed back at her in the form of Hayden's low voice. As she looked into deep thoughtful blue eyes, it finally clicked into place. She finally understood his need to be where he was. Her need to be where she was right now. Slowly and deliberately she captured Hayden's lips in a kiss that left them both breathless before they pulled back. She lowered her forehead to the clammy skin of Hayden's neck.

Hayden wrapped her arms around the blonde. “Ready to get back on the road?” She asked in a pant.

“Not really…” Maddie smiled, enjoying the mixed scent of the outdoors and soap. “I like it here.”

“Me too…” Hayden's smile widened as she rolled her tongue in her cheek. “But you know there's an amusement park calling your name…” She almost purred.

Dead silence.

“C'mon, what are you waiting for!” Maddie exclaimed hauling a laughing brunette onto her feet.

… … … … … … … … … … … … …

To say Maddie held any giddy excitement was an understatement of note. Upon arriving, her nose was glued to the car window staring out in awe at the monstrous metal contraptions that consisted of many shapes and colors. As soon as the car stopped she jumped out grabbing the brunette's hand and squirming among the locals to get a closer look.

She had seen some before on television or driving by. But walking among them –they were almost intimidating by their great heights, sounds and motion. The enthusiastic screams made her overlook that. As well as the colorful blinking lights that was there to draw you –to hypnotize you. She had only been here a few minutes and she was completely under its spell.

Then there were many stalls advertising all sorts of food –well Maddie was pretty sure the more accurate term for them was artery-cloggers. Even so, she was utterly intrigued.

The people. You could definitely tell this was a small town with the way most of the friendly people horded in clumps laughing or gossiping about Becky Crawford's pregnancy. She had no clue who Becky was but by the end of the day she was pretty sure she'd have a clear image, the way gossip soared around. In the minutes she was here, she was able to gather that the baby's daddy was a toss-up between Jack and his brother Jesse Claremont. Whoever they were…

“Well, are we just going stand here staring at everything?”

Maddie's head snapped back to meet an amused brunette. “There's just so much to choose from. Where does anyone ever start? Where do you usually start?”

Hayden smiled, tugging the blonde closer by their joined hands. “Well, I can take you on a play by play of what order I go by. Would you like that?” She asked Maddie who was staring at their linked fingers.

“Yes.” Maddie nodded blankly.

“Does this bother you?” Hayden slowly lowered her gaze to their hands.

Maddie just stared down at their interlaced fingers, feeling the softness of Hayden's palm against hers. It fit perfectly she thought with awe. Her stare ended up on the brunette and she knew she felt it too. “No…” She shook her head. Far from it . “I just realized this was the first time we actually did this.”

Hayden gave a quick grin. “We do tend to do things a little backwards, huh?”

“Story of us…” Maddie let out in a half laugh squeezing the brunette's hand in hers.

“C'mon, corndogs usually go first.” Hayden winked as they started their progressive raid through the amusement park.

… … … … … … … … … … … … …

Darkness crept through the sky leaving a soft red hovering above. The burnt, golden sun depleted until its final arc in the horizon. Soon that would vanish completely too. It looked like it leaked out of a priceless painting. The only thing that could have made it more spectacular was observing it from the top of a Ferris wheel. Maddie was completely absorbed in it, she didn't even feel the slight chill in the air.

“It's incredible, isn't it?”

It was spoken so softly, Maddie almost thought she was dreaming. She lowered her chin until the glow of blue eyes held her. “I've never seen anything like it. Except maybe in Paris from the Eifel Tower. They're different though.” She considered the vacation she spent in Europe with her family at a tender age of fifteen. It was a terrible affair filled with countless of formal parties with her father's associates. The only reason she and her sister were even there was because the man her father was trying to impress was big on family. The whole trip was built on a fallacy except for the quiet moments she had exploring in Paris. “Paris felt more elegant, more of a sophisticated allure. This…” She smiled serenely. “This feels more free, more exhilarating.”

“It's American.” Hayden shrugged as if that was explanation enough, enjoying the way the colors danced in Maddie's eyes.

“True…” Maddie grinned, shifting more into the brunette as they started moving again. “You chose this ride last on purpose.”

“Maybe…” Hayden smirked, closing her eyes and stretching her arms across Maddie's shoulders in a calculated move. “It hardly ever disappoints when you want to score points with someone?”

“Oh, so you're trying to score points with me?” Maddie sounded amused.

“Yep.” The brunette cracked an eye open. “How am I doing?”

“Hmmm… ten.”

Hayden jerked, both eyes open. “Only?”

“Isn't it enough?” Maddie had to swallow a chuckle at Hayden's piteous frown. “Okay, fine twelve.”

The brunette clutched her shirt over her chest. “Jeez Conner, you slay me.”

“I don't know what you're complaining about.” Maddie rolled her eyes mockingly. “The scale is only out of ten.”

“Oh… Oh.” Hayden pursed her lips, pretended to think about it. “Okay, I feel better.” They both started laughing.

Once they jumped off the ride, night had completely consumed the dusty air. Together, at ease, they made their way to the massive and congested white tent that had a small wooden stage near the end. People either had a beer cup in their hand or were swaying to the sounds emitted from the band currently on stage. Mostly both.

Entering the tent that had the volume at a blistering level, Maddie's mouth fixed in a pained grimace.

Hayden had to laugh at that expression. She leaned over close to Maddie's ear. “Don't worry, it gets better.” She yelled.

“Thank God!” Maddie shout over what she assumed was rock music. That's if you could call that noise music. She read the band name that was on a banner hung above stage. The Cracking Skulls . No kidding, her skull felt like it was being cracked. “How are people dancing to this?”

“They're drunk. They don't know any better.” Hayden shrugged her shoulders.


“Want a beer? It's cold, not that good though. But it's a hell of a lot better than the music right now.” Hayden asked jerking a thumb towards the bar setup in the corner.

“Yeah okay…” Maddie nodded. Anything would be a better option right now.

They slinked through the crowd until they reached the beer stained wooden counter near the back. The bartender reached them in no time at all. He gave the two pretty women a quick grin.

“Can I get you ladies a couple of beers?”

“Just one for her.” Hayden answered putting a bill on the counter.

“Oki doke.” The man nodded, swiftly holding a cup under the tap. He held out the beer.

“Thanks.” Maddie smiled taking hold of the cup.

But he continued to hang on, flashing her a winning smile. “Will that be all ma'am?”

Hayden raised her brow at his obvious flirting ways. “What else do you have to offer? You only serve beer.” She pointed out dryly trying to conceal her irritation.

“Well, I reckon I can think of something to the lady's preference.” He winked at Maddie who was feeling really uncomfortable at the moment.

“Will, stop flirting with that pretty girl and get back to work. Can't you see she's taken?” A rough voice roared from behind them.

“Taken?” Will arched a brow at his boss who ambled his way towards them. He looked curiously at Maddie and then Hayden. He snapped his hand away when realization dawned. “Oh.” His grin dropped to a nervous smile. “Yeah, got me some customers piling up on that end.”

His boss had to chuckle at the swift escape Will made to the other end. “Sorry about that. He didn't know she was yours.” The middle aged man said as he leaned against the counter next to them.

Hayden studied him with a placid glance. He was well structured beneath the leather waist coat and worn out jeans with a body that looked like it should belong to a thirty year old. Though his true age could be made out by the weathered crinkles in his face and his baldness concealed by the pale cowboy hat. “What makes you think she's mine?” The brunette countered, coolly.

He only gave her a devilish smirk. “What you think I can't look into your eyes and tell?”

“You were always very perceptive.”

“Why you think I'm here? It's my opinion the record companies really gives a damn about.” He scoffed.

“Good to know.”

“Get over here kid!” Hayden grinned and stepped into the bear hug which lifted her four inches off the floor. She chuckled when he jerked her back just to look at her. “My God, you look like your mama. Got your da's eyes and height though.” His grin slipped a little when her smile turned a little sad. He placed two fingers under her chin and raised it until their eyes met. “I heard about what happened. I'm sorry, I would have been at the funeral but I was in Europe when I heard. They were good people, your mama and your da.”

“I know…” She smiled weakly.

“Well, are you going to introduce me to this pretty thing or what?” His grin was full blown again, nodding his head towards Maddie.

Hayden had to smile at the charming way he wriggled his brows. “Harvey, I'd like you to meet Maddie Conner. Maddie, this here is Harvey McLean. He was a friend of my mom's and is the festival's chief coordinator.”

“It's nice to meet you Mr. McLean.” Maddie smiled politely holding out a hand.

“Pleasure, Ms. Conner.” He flashed her his most charming grin accepting the hand. But instead of shaking it, he brought it to her lips. “But I do prefer it if you call me Harvey.”

Maddie had to giggle at his smooth move. He released her. “Only if you call me Maddie.”

“Maddie.” He winked, considering her. “I know this may sound a tad odd but have we met before?”

Hayden had to roll her eyes at that line. “Say that to all the girls, Harvey?”

He chuckled, loud and boisterous. “Only the ones I think I have a chance to slip right under your nose, kid.” He nicked Hayden's nose.

“Fat chance, old man,” Hayden snorted. Maddie had to smile at the relaxed way they teased each other. You could see they went way back.

“Don' I know't. I may be an irresistible God to women everywhere.” He said with a shit eating grin, making both women laugh. “But I do know when to cut my losses. I know love when I see it.” He winked, amused at the fiery tint of red that coated both of their cheeks. Well, well, well… They hadn't told each other, he thought slyly. He turned his attention back to the blonde. “But I'm serious, have we met? You look very familiar and I never forget a pretty face.”

Maddie bit her lip slightly. “We could have, in LA maybe. I used to live there.”

“Yes, maybe…” He nodded and let it go for now. “So what do you think of our bands?”

Maddie had forgotten all about the music. A new one had come on. They were a bit softer and the music was a lot more bearable. The banner read; Blue Lions . They were all dressed in blue jumpsuits and had long blue hair that could resemble a mane if she thought about it and squinted.

Maddie arched a brow. “This one is not bad. A bit scary though. The Cracking Skulls were absolute crap.”

“This one here is a keeper.” Harvey laughed, smacking Hayden on the arm in friendly gesture. “We have about three or four later on that maybe worth any trouble otherwise the rest are crap as you put it.” He told Maddie. “They will pass anything for music now days. Not like it used to be.” He slung an arm over the brunette's shoulder, giving it a little squeeze. “Like when you had this one and her mama hitting the stage.”

“That was only once, three years ago in Red Bay.” Hayden reminded him softly, memories of that night swarming her mind. Her mother's glorious smile, the crowd in an uproar as her voice hypnotized them. Standing there, side by side, shoulder to shoulder. Her father, Reese and Seth cheering on the magic they created together.

“Best duet performance in all the towns.” Harvey declared, his tone filled with strong emotions.

Maddie's smile was warm. “You performed with your mother?”

Hayden shrugged. “It was for fun.”

“Which is a damn shame if you ask me. Should've gone pro, your mama. She was hundred times better than these low-lives. And as I recall so were you.” He raised a brow. “Gonna perform tonight?”

The brunette felt her stomach jump at the thought. “Oh no, not tonight, Harvey.”

“And why not? I'm absolutely sure you can show these vermin, what real singing is.”

“No…” She shook her head vigorously. “No, I can't.”

Sensing the panic and apprehension from the girl, he let out a resigning sigh. “Oh alright, kid. But if you change your mind, you know where I'll be.” He jerked a thumb towards the sound station tucked in the corner. “T'was nice meeting you, Miss. Maddie.” He tipped his hat up.

Maddie smiled a little but it was laced with concern. “You too.”

He began to turn, but halted. “Oh and Hayden, I know this is an unfair thing to say but I think you know your mama would have wanted you on that stage... Even if it was just to have a little fun.”

Hayden could only stare at his retreating back. She flinched at the touch on her arm. When she saw it was Maddie, she relaxed marginally.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I'm good.” Hayden nodded slowly, her wistful gaze drifting up to the stage where a new band just got set up. She needed to clear her head. “I think I'm just going to use the restroom. You can hang back here, finish your beer and listen to these guys.”

Sensing Hayden's need to be alone right now, Maddie smiled stroking the brunette's arms. “Sure, they're actually pretty good.” Surprisingly, she meant it. The languid beat was kind of catchy.

Hayden smiled softly. “Okay, I'll just be a few minutes.”

Maddie leaned back against the bar counter watching the brunette slip through the exit. She brought the beer to her lips, her foot tapping. Hayden was right, she thought, the music was starting out to be a little pleasant. Or maybe that was the beer getting to her head. Either way, she was starting to enjoy it.

It sort of reminded her of the open night they had every Friday at the campus bar during her college days. Most of those Fridays, she was up on stage herself. The freedom of music racing through her pulse, the lightness and wholesomeness it brought her was something she thought she would never trade for anything. But sometimes life caught up with you no matter how much you tried to escape.

She downed the last bit of her beer, crunching the cup in her hand. Spotting a trash can on the other end, she maneuvered her way to it. Tossing her cup into the overflowing can, she turned and bumped forcefully into what felt like a brick wall. She held her head trying to steady it as a voice screeched in her ears.

“God, watch where you're going hillbilly!”

“I'm so sor –” Maddie's breath lodged in her throat as shock spread through her face. “Ke –Kelly?” She stammered, staring blankly at her ex-girlfriend.

“Maddie?” Kelly was just as astonished. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Her dark raven hair was longer than Maddie remembered. Her face and green eyes also seemed a bit harder, she noticed. She was dressed in a denim skirt that rode high on her thighs and a simple white cotton shirt that was adorned with a denim waistcoat. To complete the outfit were long leather boots and a cowboy hat. The blonde had to take a double take considering the woman she once dated wouldn't have been caught dead in this type of ensemble.

“I, I came for the festival.” Maddie answered slowly, the initial shock still lingering.

Kelly blinked at her a few times before she roared out a laugh. “That's rich. Just rich. What on earth would you come for a low class festival for?” She rolled her eyes. “Seriously, I told you in the emails I'd meet you up in LA. How the hell did you find me? I never tell you where I was.”

Maddie shook her head, bemused. “I wasn't looking for you, Kelly.”

“Nonsense.” Kelly waved her off, grinning smugly. “I know this behavior of yours. The one that used to follow me like a pitiful pup after her own tail. I'll admit in college, I used to find it a bit annoying and stalkerish. But I guess the extra effort you put in was just who you were. I got used to it.” She shrugged.

The blonde swallowed the sudden rise of bile in her throat. The raven haired woman's comment throwing her into her college days. She didn't consider occasionally meeting your girlfriend outside their lecture rooms stalking . Kelly always knew how to belittle her and then she would go to her room and find some flowers and an apology note. She would come to Maddie's room and be all sweet and caring until the blonde was forced to forgive her. That was their cycle until Kelly had left her for good one day. But that was in the past. She was not the weak person Kelly perceived her to be. Not anymore.

“I didn't come looking for you, Kelly. I never even read your emails,” Maddie said evenly.

The raven haired woman sized her up with drawn brows. “You expect me to believe you're here for this dumb festival –by yourself.” She shook her head and scoffed. “I don't believe you.”

“I don't care what you believe.” Maddie countered, starting to get riled up.

Kelly's eyes widened for a moment. This was the first time Maddie had ever spoken to her this way. Then they flashed red.

“Hey Kel, boss says he wants you to check on the next band.” A bulky woman said in a deep voice as she walked up to them. She wore the exact same type of outfit as Kelly.

“In a minute, Pat,” the raven haired woman replied through gritted teeth.

Boss , Maddie thought, puzzled. Her own eyes grew dramatically when it hit her. That would explain why Kelly was here. The woman she once knew hated places congested with people that she considered beneath her and the stale stench of beer. She works here.

Pat raised a thick brow staring at the two women. “Is there a problem here? Who's she?”

“This is Maddie.” Kelly answered, the daggers in her eyes quite heady.

“Maddie?” Pat tasted the name on her lips briefly. Her eyes popped wider. “This is Maddie? That princess from LA? What's she doing here?”

“She says she's here for the festival.”

“Here all by herself? Is that so?” The big woman let out a deep chuckle. “You know, I never believe you when you told me how clingy she was. I think she's here looking for you like you said she would when she read your emails.”

Maddie started to feel awkward and apprehensive with them talking about her like she wasn't standing right there. “No, actually –” She tried to get in a word but was interrupted.

“Hey Kel, it must be. What else would a LA princess be doing down here?” Pat scanned the blonde from head to toe, while Kelly smirked at her fiend's logic. “Kind of pathetic if you ask me. I don't know why you'd want her back.”

Outnumbered and intimidated, Maddie considered cowering away when she was whipped around. Before she could even comprehend what was happening, a hot mouth was crushed down on hers in a ravishing kiss. It reached deeper, probing her, devouring all her senses until she couldn't remember where she was –who she was. It ended with their foreheads pressed together. Her eyes blinked open to be met with tiny specs of green swimming in piercing blue eyes. She could feel those full lips curl before she saw it.

“Hey baby, sorry I took so long. The line to the restroom was a killer. Must be all this beer.” Hayden kissed her softly again.

“S'okay,” Maddie mumbled against her lips, still not sure what was happening, her arms creeping around the brunette's neck on their own accord.

As Hayden pulled back, her gaze were on the other two woman who were staring at them openly. The bigger one was gaping whereas the other bitchy –she decided – one's mouth was fixed in a hard scowl. She still kept her arms wrapped loosely around the blonde and raised a brow in their direction. “Friends of yours?”

Maddie adjusted so that her back was pressed against Hayden's front and realized she had completely forgotten about them in that moment. “Well, I'm not really sure who she is.” She gestured to Pat before she faced Kelly. “But this is –”

“Kelly Burton and you are?” The simmering raven haired woman answered sharply, with a raised brow of her own. She studied the taller brunette intently. She was absolutely stunning with enthralling ocean eyes that seemed to draw you in. Probably someone from Hollywood was her first guess.

“Hayden Oliver.” The brunette response was somewhat perky.

“I've never heard of you.”

“Why would you?” Hayden smiled slowly. She knew these types of women, who had an air of superiority to them. They were very uncommon and she knew how to cut them down to size if need be. “It's not like I've heard of you,” she retorted.

Kelly felt a wave of anger but she contained it. “Oh, so Maddie didn't tell you?” She tried a different angle.

“Tell me what?”

“We were involved for two years,” she said all too smugly.

“No kidding? I wouldn't have guessed. She has never ever mentioned you.” Her gaze fell to Maddie. “I didn't think you dated anyone down here.”

“I didn't, we met in college.” Maddie told her. “Then she got a job at Singer Enterprises.”

“Singer Enterprises?” Hayden's eyes grew huge, clearly impressed. “World renowned record company, Singer Enterprises?” She couldn't help the incredulous laughter that bubbled out of her. “Holey shit! Who did you piss off to become one of Harvey's lackeys?”

Fury flashed in Kelly's eyes and she launched forward at Maddie. “Your father fucking set me up!”

Hayden intercepted right in time for Kelly's smaller form to knock into her instead. Then shot a hard look down at the raven haired woman, pretenses were over. “Look, I'm done being nice.” She flicked a dangerous glance at Pat that was a warning. When she was comfortable enough that Kelly's big friend wouldn't start throwing any punches, she returned her stoic gaze to the raven haired woman. “I don't know you. And I know I don't like you. So we are just going to end our conversation right here.” Her voice was low and hard.

“Like hell we are!”

“Kelly! Didn't I tell you to go check on the next band?” Harvey shouted as he rounded the sound station.

“In a minute, Harvey!” She yelled back, all eyes were on him.

“No, now if you still want this job! They are about to go up in a minute.”

“C'mon Kel, let's go.” Pat urged her away, feeling nervous enough with the brunette. She didn't need to lose her job as well.

“Fine! God! This is not over Maddie.” Kelly sniped, dragging herself away.

Harvey walked up to them, shaking his head, a beer in his hand. “Sorry about that, she's new. Bitches twenty-four hours a day. But she knows her stuff.” His eyes grew with concern as he turned it on the blonde. “Is she okay?”

Hayden turned to Maddie that she had tucked behind her. “Conner, are you okay?”

Maddie snapped out of it and nodded. “Yeah, yeah I'm fine.” She smiled though it didn't fully reach her eyes. What did she mean her father set her up?

Hayden squeezed her shoulders. “She just used to – know her .”

“Oh, I'm so sorry.” He said it so mournfully, Maddie couldn't help but let out a shaky laugh.

Hayden was glad to see some color come back to the blonde's face. “So what's her story? Apparently, she used to work up in Singer Enterprises? How'd she end up working for you?” She asked, knowing if there was anything to know, Harvey McLean would know it.

“Blacklisted her good for embezzlement, that one.” Harvey took a deep slug of his beer.

“Embezzlement?” Maddie's voice wavered. “She embezzled money from them?” Kelly was a bitch, she knew that. But a thief?

“Yep, that's right.” He nodded. “She paid back the full amount and then some, to avoid a jail sentence and dragging Singer through the presses, of course. But no company will even look at her now.”

Maddie stomach lurched as she watched the raven haired woman order a bunch of half-naked cowboys around up on stage. Kelly turned towards them and snarled. Was that hateful look justified?

Hayden, in deep thoughts of her own, considered the blonde. It was still early in the night but… She pulled Maddie into a hug that she simply sank into. Maddie just buried herself into brunette, wanting everything else to go away. “We can leave now? Or we can stay and not give her the satisfaction of thinking she ruined your evening.” Hayden whispered into her ear.

“She didn't ruin it.” Maddie began. Hayden just tilted the blonde's chin until their gazes met. She arched a disagreeing brow. Maddie blew out a breath that ended on a sad chuckle. “Well –not completely.”

Hayden just smiled. “Want to leave or make this evening better?”

“Better? How?”

“Do you trust me, Conner?” It was said so softly and so sincerely that Maddie almost melted into a puddle at her feet.


Hayden's smirk grew as she whirled to face Harvey. “Okay,” she told him.

“Okay?” He frowned bringing his beer to his lips.

“Okay, we'll perform tonight.”

He choked on his drink slightly and flashed a hopeful grin when he caught himself. “You will? Great! I'm going to change the line-up. You're on next.” He rambled on so fast and bolted before she had a chance to change her mind.

“What?” Maddie looked shell-shocked.

“He said we're up next.” Hayden grinned, rubbing the back of her neck.

“Hayden! How can we –” She sputtered, indicating at the stage. “This is original music. We don't have a song.”

“The one we worked on together.” Hayden shrugged.

“That has no lyrics yet.”

“It sort of does.”

Maddie was caught off guard with that response. Her eyes narrowed. “It sort of does?”

“Ah-huh…” Hayden nodded nervously. “It was eating at me and the words kept coming to me at odd times. In school, in the shower, while I was eating breakfast. So I kind of wrote them down and have them memorized.”

She looked blankly at the brunette. “You made up lyrics for our song?”

“Your song.” Hayden corrected.

Maddie sighed. “Hayden, I consider it ours since we both worked on it.”

Hayden took Maddie's hands in hers. “Then will you share these words with me? Up there, now?”

“I don't know them.”

“You'll catch on. I promise. I won't go up there without you, Conner.”

Maddie stared down at their hands and then up into sincere blue eyes. Deep down, part of her wanted to be up there as much as she wanted to see the brunette up there. “Yes… Okay. I trust you, Hayden.”

“Good.” Hayden grinned and gave Harvey a thumbs up. He signaled to her with a grin of his own. Together, they watched the half-naked cowboys drift off stage after their performance. “Ready?” She gave Maddie's arm a light squeeze.

“If you are.” Maddie smiled as they made their way onto stage to setup.

Kelly rounded on them as they started to select their instruments. Hayden threw the guitar strap over her shoulder as Maddie settled herself at the piano, adjusting the mike. “What the hell do you two think you're doing?”

“Kelly, there's a change of plan!” Harvey shouted from his station. “The Red Jackets are going on after these two.”

“What!” She yelled in disbelief. “You can't be serious!”

“As a heart attack, darling.” He winked at Hayden. “Now go see to the Red Jackets.”

“But Harvey!” She whined.

The chief coordinator simply sighed. “Get the hell off my stage, Kelly, before I fire you!”

Sparing the two musicians a deadly glare, she stomped off the stage.

Maddie inhaled a deep breath trying to center herself. She wouldn't think about Kelly right now. She looked at Hayden poised over her own mike, her fingers running lightly over the strings of her guitar making sure it's in tune. Hayden grinned at her and gave her a brief nod. She nodded back, her heart beating rapidly. Yet she knew it had nothing to do with nerves and everything to do with the woman up the about to bare her soul to the world. The woman she was in love with, she thought pensively.

Hayden took the mike, her other hand on the pendent she always wore around her neck. She waited until the noises died down. “I wasn't supposed to be up here tonight.” She began. “But sometimes you just gotta do what you love doing especially if it's just for a little fun. And what better way to do that than in front of drunken strangers that won't remember your name in the morning.” She said with a cheeky grin eliciting a roar of chuckles from the lively crowd. “Anyway, my partner in crime over there and I collaborated this piece. So I hope you enjoy it.” She looked into Maddie's eyes and whispered into the mike. “This one is called; Is it so wrong .”

Hayden hovered over the mike as her eyes raked over the crowd. They returned to the blonde and she nodded. Slowly, very slowly sound drifted from the piano into the room note by note until it came alive –breathed. Soon, the acoustics joined in mating the music together until they were one and the same. People were already paired up, languidly, helplessly swaying to the melody. When the time was right, Hayden's voice awakened.


A lost soul walking in the cold

Through the memories of a past life

With little of the future foretold

But I feel you there

Why, I don't know

But my chaotic mind is drawn to you

My sad eyes watching you go


Then you look at me

Your eyes pinning me down

I know I'm supposed to run

But all I do is drown


Maddie felt her pulse thicken, every breath in her body frozen, yet as if enthralled her fingers continued to play –to dominate her very being. She succumbed every time she heard the brunette sing. It was different this time though. It was about Hayden. It was about her. It was about them. And she knew the moment she was apprehended with sapphire eyes, she was the one drowning in Hayden's words…


Is it so wrong

To feel this for you

What's in my heart

That I can't help but do

Is it so wrong

To want you with me

To watch the world stop

And just let us be


Our separate lives walking us by

Is distanced by circumstance

Torments me to no sleep

Leaving me with a stolen glance

Of what could be


I try to relent

Though the spaces between us

Are the only things I repent


Hayden couldn't take her eyes off Maddie, burning a hole through her. Her voice was strong, powerful, each uttered verse tearing a piece of herself. The rest of the room ceased to exist. It was just them there, as she spilled her mind, heart and soul at the blonde's feet.


Is it so wrong

To feel this for you

What's in my heart

That I can't help but do

Is it so wrong

To want you with me

To watch the world stop

And just let us be


I know you feel it too

When we collide together

Control is almost lost

Dismissing all thoughts of never


Hayden's eyes were shut as the music and words moved her, completely undone. Abruptly, it snapped open as Maddie took the chorus this time. She couldn't help but grin at Maddie who was smiling back, her voice echoing through the room, leaving many awed and in cheers. Not that they could hear anything so caught up in each other.


Is it so wrong

To feel this for you

What's in my heart

That I can't help but do

Is it so wrong

To want you with me

To watch the world stop

And just let us be


Together, their voices mingled creating magic that spread its mystical force through the land. Their hands still pouring their talent into the instruments they wielded.


Is it so wrong

To feel this for you

What's in my heart

That I can't help but do

Is it so wrong

To want you with me

To watch the world stop

And just let us be


Their instruments yielded and the music died down as Hayden murmured the last few words bringing them back to the world.


Is it so wrong

Is it so wrong

To want you with me

To watch the world stop

And just let us be…


At the whispered end, they both were panting lightly and grinning at each other. The crowd was hysterical, whistling and cheering at the two beautiful musical Goddesses. Hayden tossed the guitar strap off her, setting the instrument down. The instant it hit the floor, she had an armful of the blonde tight against her.

Hayden laughed in all the excitement and shouted against Maddie's hair. “Want to leave now?”

Maddie muffled an exuberant laugh into the brunette's shirt. “Oh yeah. I think we made our point and then some…”

... … … … … … … … … … … … …

The drive back was silent. Both of them still reeling on the adrenalin from after their performance. Maddie stared out into the clear night. The crescent moon was swimming in constellations of burning light. She had to smile even though it was wanly. This was one of many things she appreciated about small towns.

Today, she thought, was one of the best days of her life. If only it wasn't tainted with her ex-girlfriend. Kelly… Her mind couldn't stop bringing her back to the raven haired woman and where she had ended up.

Feeling the car slow down, she turned to face Hayden. “Why are we stopping?” Maddie asked when they pulled off on the side of the road. They were only about half-way home, she noticed.

“The night is still young since we left the festival earlier than I intended. I'm too riled up to go home just yet.” Hayden said and Maddie gave her an understanding smile. “Plus, I figured we need to talk. Grab the blanket in the back.”

The blonde nodded and did as she was told. They jumped out of the car and Maddie suddenly realized they were back at the picnic park. It looked so different in the dark. The only thing she could make out was the huge oak tree on the island hillside. Hayden flicked on the flashlight that she found in the glove compartment using it to guide them.

They spread the blanket lower on the hill so that they could look up at the stars. Side by side, they were sprawled on the blanket watching the wonders of the night sky.

“Who's Kelly Burton?” Hayden asked softly breaking the comfortable silence they fell into.

Maddie sighed. “She's my ex-girlfriend.”

“I figured that much out. But I doubt I despise her for that very reason. I mean, I could –I really think I could. But I just got a vibe from her that tells me there's more.”

“There is more…” Maddie swallowed the lingering lament feelings down. She relayed their vicious cycle on the brunette.

Hayden frowned through it. “Why did you get involve with her? She's such a –um, I mean, you could of done better.”

“It's okay, you can say it. She's a bitch, I know.”

“Then why?”

Maddie sighed, turning her head away, shamefully. “It's a stupid reason.”

“Try me.”

Maddie let the cool air fill her before answering. “She made me feel wanted,” she whispered faintly. “She was the first person that actually made me feel wanted after my brother died.”

It was spoken so softly and hazily that it broke the brunette's heart. As opposed to Maddie's parents, she realized. The neglect, being unwanted weighed more heavily than the blonde let on. Hayden reached over, gripped Maddie's chin drawing it until she looked into swimming green eyes. “It's not stupid.”

“Sure it is.”

Hayden shook her head. “No. It's not. I mean, sure she's stupid. But it's not stupid.”

Maddie let out a watery chuckle burying her face into the brunette's shoulder. Hayden simply pulled the blonde until she was laying half on top of her. She was certain both of them needed the contact.

“There's more…” Maddie said after a quiet while.

“I figured.” Hayden murmured, stroking a hand through loose blonde hair.

“We dated for a while. We moved in together off campus and were getting serious or so I thought. She would get frustrated with me because I wouldn't introduce her to my parents. They hadn't known about me and I was terrified to tell them. Only Michael had known and –I think Liz knew but she never let on.” Maddie frowned. “But anyway, she gave me an ultimatum one day. Tell my parents about her or she'd leave me.”

“Let me guess, she used the whole you are ashamed of me, aren't you. That's why you don't want to introduce me.”

Maddie picked her head up and looked down at Hayden. “How'd you know?”

“Bitchy people are always so predictable.” The brunette shrugged.

Maddie laughed and resettled her head back on Hayden's shoulder. “So, I built up the courage and brought her home with me.” Her voice went impassive as she remembered.

“It was bad?”

“It was horrible… They had security escort us off the property.”

“Jesus.” Hayden pinched the bridge of her nose. She didn't think people could be so cruel. Let alone your own parents.

“Yep. I was shattered, but I think I expected it a little. A month later, Kelly and I were having our usual problems. And my mother comes to me, tells me to quit my foolishness and come home.”

“Being gay was your foolishness?” Hayden rolled her eyes.

“Yes. But she only wants me to come home because Liz was having that family special on the Jack Coulson's show. And if I'm not there, I'm ruining Liz's career.”

Hayden licked her lips, her eyes lit up. “I remember that special… God, the songs your sister performed that day were fucking out of this world. For a moment there, I thought she had outdone your father's entire career in a few songs. I can't understand why she only ever performed them once in her career though.”

Maddie stared at the stars, vacantly. “I don't know…” She said softly.

“You were there too before she went on. But I never see you after.” Hayden recalled.

“Yes, I had a fight with David. And he mentioned something about Singer Enterprises as a parting shot.” She blew out a sadistic chuckle. “I only realized what he meant when I got home and her things were gone. She was gone.”

Hayden's heart leaped into her throat. “David bribed her with a position at Singer Enterprises to leave you?”

“You could say that. He has all the right contacts to make it happen. But David never simply makes deals with people. He sets out to destroy them.” She glanced back at Hayden, her breathing slightly impaired. “He did it Hayden, he did it.”

“What did he do, Conner?” Hayden asked, slightly confused.

“David set her up –with the embezzlement. He set her up.”

“How'd you know?”

Maddie's eyes went cold. “Because I know my father. I know what he is capable of. Kelly was smart. If she wanted to progress faster, all she had to do was threaten to go to the papers about his bribe. But David is smarter. I know he murdered her on a professional level. Who would ever listen to a thing she says now?”

Hayden waited a beat, letting the information absorb. “Don't tell me you blame yourself?”

“I…” Maddie started but Hayden gripped her chin forcing her to meet blazing blue eyes.

“No, Conner. You don't get to blame yourself over this. She chose a stupid job over you. That comes back to her being stupid. Not you. You didn't do this to her. She did it to herself.”

Deep down, she would probably agree but this was David. Her father was ruthless when he wanted something. “What would you do if you were offered the world at your feet?”

“If all I had to do was leave you alone?” Hayden pretended to ponder on it. “I'll tell him to go fuck himself.”

“You're a little biased.” But Maddie smiled anyway, knowing that Hayden would mean it.

“Conner, you couldn't make me stay away from you. And I actually value you. I don't care if he is David Conner. It means nothing to me.” And you mean everything, she realized. “Did you love her?”

Maddie sighed. “I loved what we were when she was sweet not so much her.”

“Would you want her back?” Hayden wondered, her own insecurities starting to pop up.

The blonde leaned back, a dry look on her face. “Do I look insane?”

The brunette had to appreciate that answer. “You're here with me.” She pointed out.

Maddie smiled at that. “I guess I am insane. But there is a difference.”

“How so?”

“I want to be here with you. Anywhere with you. That's my insanity.” She looked deep into blue eyes. “But with her –I'd have to be fucked up in the head to want her back.”

Hayden roared out in laughter, they both did. “I'm so glad you're not fucked up in the head.”

“It's a welcome relief… It just hit me hard when I saw her today.” Maddie grimaced as she reminisced. “I lost my virginity to her.”

Hayden nodded, no one ever forgets their first even when they are assholes. “When?”

“When what?”

“When did you lose your virginity?”

“I was twenty…” The blonde smiled timidly. She could feel Hayden's charmed grin spread against her forehead. “I was a late bloomer, okay.” She defended weakly.

“That explains why you go as red as a tomato whenever someone mentions sex.”

Maddie pushed up and pouted. “I do not.”

Hayden was failing miserably at hiding her amused smile. “You know, your mouth says no. But your face waves red flags at me.”

Maddie giggled, trying to contain her blush. “Shut up.”

Sensing another teasing quip on the brunette's tongue, she shut her up herself by covering her mouth over Hayden's. Because she had an urge to ever since they had stepped off stage –but mostly to shut her up. Yep, mostly to shut her up. Yeah right, Maddie…

Hayden was taken off guard by the kiss but almost immediately sank into it. Her hands reaching up to get tangled into thick blonde hair. Maddie shifted so that her entire body was covering the brunette. They let their mouths and hands explore, graze and nip.

Suddenly, a thought hit Maddie squarely between the eyes. She pushed on Hayden's shoulder's breaking the kiss with a pop.

“God, you're not a virgin, are you?”

Hayden burst out in a fit of chuckles at the blank look of shock on Maddie's face. She shook her head, tears actually forming in her eyes, her body quaking beneath. “No, I'm not. Sixteen –early bloomer. Tessa, didn't work out.” She managed between breaths.

Maddie's breath of relief was very evident. “I can't believe we didn't discuss this before.” Her brows narrowed in a frown. “I mean, I just assumed you weren't. You didn't feel like one.”

“Oh, so you know what a virgin feels like?” Hayden couldn't restrain her laughter. She didn't think she had laughed so hard in over a year. Maybe, her entire life...

All the blood in her body shot to Maddie's cheeks, mortified. “No, that's not what I meant! I mean, I mean…” She let out a defeated sigh, squeezing her eyes tight and hiding her hot face in the brunette's neck. “Oh God, kill me now.”

Eventually after a long time, Hayden's laughter had relented leaving a highly amused grin. She picked at Maddie's hair, her other hand grazing down the brunettes back. She couldn't explain it but something had changed today –between them. “I don't know, I kind of like you alive.”

“Why so you can torture me?” Maddie rolled her eyes, but smiled.

“No…” Hayden's tone was but a whisper as she cupped Maddie's cheeks between her palms. “So I can do this.”

She brought the blonde's lips down to hers in a soft kiss that was meant to merely taste, sample and savor. Instead, it stirred their blistering blood melting them into puddle of wonderful sensations. It ended just as quickly as it began, their husky breaths mingled, their noses skimmed and their eyes opened –searching for meaning. The only glint left in them was an abandoned hunger, petrifying and thrilling them both. The silence hovering in the chill air only whispered of desire and longing. But neither could move, neither could breathe.

Then as if they couldn't do anything else, they collided, mouth first. Hands, limbs and bodies joining in.

Maybe it was still the adrenalin from their performance but the only thought that remained in the brunette's head was it wasn't enough –not nearly enough. She slipped her hands under Maddie's top meeting heated flesh pulling a moan from her lips. Her knuckles traced over the blonde's rippling abdomen until they reached the underside of the bra.

Maddie felt like she was floating, or maybe she was free falling. She couldn't decide. She was so taken over by this woman, all rational thought leaked out through her ears. Hayden's hands were torturing her to no end. She dragged her lips away, sitting up, straddling the brunette. All Hayden could do was watch with bated breath as Maddie yanked her shirt off, shaking her hair free. She grabbed Hayden's hands and brought them to her bra clad breasts.

“Oh God.” Hayden moaned at the feeling that flowed straight between her legs.

“Touch me, Hayden… I need you to touch me.” Maddie managed in a whimper.

Hayden was absolutely sure she would die if she didn't, right this instant. With a growl, she pushed up, crushing her mouth against Maddie's in a kiss that sintered their ability to think. Their tongues met in a dance they knew all too well as Hayden's hands left the blonde's breasts to rake around her body. Releasing the catches on Maddie's bra, she pulled the material down and off.

Hayden broke the kiss, leaning back, she wanted to see. God, she wanted to see. Those breasts. She had dreamed of those full creamy breasts, the feel of them –the taste of them. But nothing she had ever dreamed of compared to how breathtaking they really were. Her hands itched as they slid up the planes of soft skin, both anticipating the destination. Hayden wasn't sure which one of them had whimpered more when she cupped Maddie's bare breasts for the first time. Their erect nipples pinning into her palms as she fondled them, extracted the most erotic sounds from the woman bestriding her. She looked up into shimmering green eyes, the hint of vulnerability rapidly replaced by a desolate need. She kissed her. Then kissed her again and so forth –each one longer than the previous until somehow their positions were reserved.

Maddie was pinned to the blanket, the brunette's wonderful weight above her, pushing against her. The ache between her legs unbearable as they moved together. Her fingers between Hayden's shirt liberating button by button. Sensations were flying high, she could barely keep her eyes open. Her naked breasts pressed against Hayden's bra clad ones. Their skin connecting briefly at each stir. Her head arching when the brunette ripped her mouth away, to leave a hot wet trail along her neck. She was almost gone.

A small blue light flashed in Hayden's eyes tearing her from the pleasurable task at hand. Instinctively, she jolted using her body to cover the blonde's beneath.

“Hey! Hey! You guys are not allowed to be here after hours!”

“Oh fuck! There's a security guard!” Hayden hissed trying to get her bearings, squinting to make out the chubby guard near the restroom area flicking a flashlight at them.

“Oh my God!” Maddie was too mortified to move. “Oh my God, this can't be happening.” All she could think about was that she was naked from the waist up on the top of a small hill in the middle of the night . How the hell did that happen!

“Shit! C'mon, I think he's coming up here.” Hayden tossed her own leather jacket, which Maddie quickly used to cover herself, zipping it up. Scrambling up all their stuff, they made a dash for the car in such a comical fashion they exploded into hysterical giggles.

“Bloody teenagers!” The man shouted as they drove off.

… … … … … … … … … … … … …


Maddie watched the car disappear into the night from her porch. The remaining drive had been quiet after their laughing bout had ceased, each lost in their own mind and thrumming bodies. The tension grew with mysteries of what would have happened if they weren't interrupted. What she wanted to happen…

“God…” She pinched the bridge of her nose before storming into her house. Heading straight for the cabinet near her piano, she startled Lamar and Smurf who were settled on the couch and floor. Lamar sat up suddenly, watching the blonde dig through the cabinet.

“Hey, how was it?” He asked, stifling a yawn against his arm.

Ignoring him, she continued to search through the cupboards, until she found what she was looking for. She pulled out the vintage bottle of whiskey and slammed it down on the coffee table.

“I'm in love with her,” she said simply, retrieving glasses from the kitchen.

Confused, Lamar looked at the bottle with a raised brow. “Okaaayy…” He drawled picking up the bottle and admiring the label. “So, we are going to get drunk on a good whiskey, why?”

Maddie plopped down beside him, swiping the bottle from him and pouring a healthy amount of the golden liquid into each glass. She handed him one and downed her own, slightly choking as the burning sensation overwhelmed her throat. “I'm in love with her, Lamar…” She repeated in a grimace.

“I know…” He smiled and rubbed her back, swiping the bottle away with his other hand before she decided to pour another snifter. “I've known for a while now.”

She frowned, feeling the heat twist in her gut but it didn't deter the other feelings. “I hate when you do that.” She mumbled dropping her chin.

“Do what?”

“Tend to know things about me, before I do.”

He chuckled and slung an arm around her slumped shoulders. “I'm your best friend. It's kind of my job.”

Burying her face in her hands, she moaned. “God, what's wrong with me?”

“You mean, besides the obvious things?” She picked her head up and glared at him. He sighed. “There's nothing wrong with you, Maddie. You just met a girl, add a few twists and you fell in love. Typical love story, if you ask me.” He snorted.

“I was her teacher. That's typical?” She let out a shaky chuckle feeling a slight moral tug.

“Well, duh! How do you think most erotica's start?” He scratched his chin. “Though they definitely have a lot more sex than this tease.”

She let out a frustrated grunt, rubbing her hands down either side of her face. “Don't remind me, I already feel like a ball of raw sexual energy ready to explode!”

“And whose fault is that? If you just screwed her brains out from the start, you wouldn't be squirming in your seat right now.”

“We almost…” She trailed off, closing her eyes, her thoughts travelling back to that secluded spot. Hayden's hands smoothing over the bare skin of her abdomen, over the cups of her breasts, over her pointed nipples.

“Almost what?”

Her eyes snapped open as a surge of electricity spiked in her gut. “Went that far tonight… If that guard hadn't kicked us off the field, we would have.”

Lamar's eyes widened. “Man, this is serious if you considered field fucking.”

“I think I need a lobotomy. I just feel so on edge, I can't breathe, I can't think. I definitely need more alcohol.” She grabbed the bottle from him and pouring herself another.

“I can help you with that, you know.” He nudged her playfully with his shoulder.

She laughed and shoved him back. “Ewe, no.”

He scoffed yanking the bottle back, “fine, don't say, I didn't offer… But in the meantime, I'm taking this.” He tucked the bottle under his arm, securely. “There's no way I'm letting you waste a good vintage on your sexual frustration.”

… … … … … … … … … … … … …

Hayden stepped into the house, tossing the car keys into the wooden bowl on the table. She locked the door and went to do all the window checks before she headed upstairs. Stumbling into her room, she closed the door, leaning against it as memories of tonight assaulted her mind and body. God, she was literally on fire. She had never felt so paralyzed with want and need before.

Shaking herself out of her sinful thoughts, she walked into her bathroom. An ice cold shower was definitely in her near future.

After her shower, Hayden pulled on a large sweatshirt over her naked body. She did one last check around the house in case she forgot something. Satisfied that everything was secure, she slipped into bed, the feeling of cool sheets against her naked thighs heightened. She was still so hot, the shower proving to being futile. Her eyes slid closed as Maddie's beautiful breasts filled her vision. Maddie's silent moans whispering in her ears, as those hard dusty nipples raked over her palms. Hayden felt her breath hitch at the memory, her hands starting to wander south. Trailing over the hem of her sweatshirt, to graze over the inside of her thigh. The slickness she found there surprised her a little considering she had a shower not even ten minutes ago.

She dragged a finger up and down her thigh close to her need but not quite touching it. She wasn't sure why. On most nights, she usually took care of it quickly and went to sleep. But tonight, almost having the real thing halted her ministrations. She should just get over and done with, get some sleep and prepare for another frustrating day. She forced her hand to roam the final distance and gasped at wet heat that met her.

Her eyes shot open, pulling the sheets off her body. She removed her hand and sat up, jaw clenched. “I can't do this…”

… … … … … … … … … … … … …

Stepping off Maddie's porch, Lamar whistled into the night, his car keys swinging around his index finger. Just as he was about to turn the corner he crashed into a running, dark hooded figure. He stumbled a few feet back, his keys flying out of his hand and skiing on the pavement. Getting the wind knocked of him, he used both his hands to steady himself against the lamppost.

“Fuck, who parked that bus there?” He grunted, turning his head, watching the figure race up the few steps. He straightened. “Hayden?”

“Don't come back anytime soon.” She panted out , consistently hitting the doorbell.

Naked, Maddie was just about to step into the misted shower stall when wild chimes echoed through her home. Perking her brows, she cocked her head at the unrelenting noise. The idiot must have forgotten something, she thought with an impotent sigh. Switching the shower off and pulling on her silver robe, she made her way downstairs mumbling curses. All she wanted now was a shower and her bed to ease the tension.

Annoyed and fumbling with the locks, she yanked the front door open. “What the hell was so important that you couldn't wait until tomorrow to have?”


“Jad–” Was stifled against the determined lips that crushed down on her. Maddie was pushed into the house, the door kicked closed.  All she could do was hang on, fingernails clawing into Hayden's shoulders as her mouth was getting properly ravished.  She gasped as her back slammed into the wall, her legs wrapped around the brunette's hips.

Hayden couldn't contain whatever beast that had taken over her body and soul. Her hands sailing over the silk robe which rid high on Maddie's thighs that straddled her, molding the blonde's glorious curves. She could feel the naked skin beneath, swallowing languid moans –some that were her own. “I want you, Conner.” She nipped, palms sliding under silk. “I want you so damn much.” She squeezed.

“God,” Maddie moaned breaking the kiss, her hips bucking. Hayden's wonderful mouth had moved to her smooth neck and along her collarbone. Licking and nipping in its haste.

She shoved the brunette's hood back, leaning back until she was looking into darkened blue eyes filled with so much than just want. That was her undoing. Always had been. Burying her hand into thick brunette hair, she pulled Hayden's mouth back to hers. Her vision blurring with need that stunned her body. Her thighs squeezed tighter needing some sort of purchase against Hayden's jeans. Her desperate movement causing the brunette's knees to grow weak.

“Shit, floor,” Hayden groaned into the kiss, nearly dropping them to the ground.

They slid down, their lips still fused. Hayden rolled over, her body trapping Maddie's against the hard wood, her leg roughly driving the blonde's apart and pushing into her. Maddie moaned, spreading her legs wider, baring her, her naked thigh rising through the slit in her robe to press against Hayden.

Hayden tore her mouth away, planting wet frantic kisses across the blonde's jawline. Her hands slipping through the thin material to touch feverish flesh.

Maddie whimpered when her breast was cupped, the sensation shooting straight down. Her own fingers clawing into Hayden's butt and pressing the brunette even harder into her.

Hayden's body began to rock faster, their breathing erratic as the intense pressure built layer by layer. Their vibrations causing the replacement vase to take a dive off the edge of the table and shatter into a million pieces.

“God, Hayden!” Maddie cried out, arching into to Hayden's as fiery spasms exploded through her entire body. Hayden's body stilled, burying her face into Maddie's hair as she came too. She collapsed on the smaller body beneath her…

They started to calm down, chests heaving, bodies still pulsing in ecstasy. Their deep breathing was the only sounds that could be heard in the blonde's quiet darkened home. It took them a while to even out.

Hayden was about to move her heavy self off of the blonde, only to be held in place by arms that wound around her.

“Stay,” Maddie breathed into brunette hair.

“We're never going to play by the rules, are we?” Hayden said, nuzzling into the blonde's neck, reveling in the musky scent of sweat and Maddie.

Maddie stirred under the pleasant weight that was sprawled on top of her. She felt so wonderfully mussed up, her hair, her robe –well some of it that was still covering her –was probably in a state. “I'm afraid not.”

The brunette placed a kiss behind the blonde's ear. “I can't say I'm sorry, Conner,” she whispered.

Maddie opened her eyes. Reaching up, she threaded her fingers through brunette hair lifting Hayden's head until she was looking into hazy blue eyes. “I don't want you to.”

Hayden felt weak to the bones, every time the blonde looked at her like that. Her emotions twisting severely and chaotically inside her. Feelings that she hid, that she pretended didn't exist, bubbling to the surface –all of them.

“God Conner, you have no idea what you do to me.” She leaned down seizing Maddie's lips in a rough hot kiss. Maddie's hands gripping, bringing her closer, teeth scraping and tongues battling in a war they both lost.

Minutes later it broke, both out of breath, eyes sealed, foreheads resting together.

“I think I have an inkling,” Maddie murmured as she opened her eyes, smiling slightly at the shattered porcelain pieces near their feet. Her fingers running up and down the brunette's back.

“Maybe…” The brunette smirked as she followed Maddie's gaze. “But it's more than that.” Her eyes were back on the blonde, sobered. Maddie cupped Hayden's face between her palms. “More than anything I've ever felt.” Hayden whispered, swallowing the sudden thickness in her throat. Looking down into such loving green eyes, she couldn't help the emotions that spilled out of her. “I… I love you, Conner…”

Maddie's smile faltered, her breath caught as those words plowed straight into her heart. “Hayden…”

“I love you Maddie.” Hayden punctuated with a kiss that was so soft, so incredibly gentle that Maddie's eyes filled, her body trembled. “I love you.”

“God, I love you too.” The blonde's eyes squeezed shut as their quivering body clung tightly, their lips simply pressed together, too overwhelmed to move.

Maddie never knew how three simple words could affect her, not hearing them often enough. Not with her past lover, not with her parents. But here, with the woman in her arms, it was as if they were opening up the whole world. She felt wanted. But it was more than that. She felt loved. For the first time in her life she could say she felt loved.

Hayden tasted the first tear as it seeped in between their lips. It stirred her soul. She leaned back, winded at the beautiful sight that greeted her. She came back to Red Bay, not wanting to feel anything. Craving that state of numbness. But since that first night she met Maddie, all she ever did was feel. Feel every goddamned thing. She brushed her lips over Maddie's eyes drying her tears.

“Don't…” Hayden whispered, placing a kiss on the blonde's nose. “Pretend that I'm just Hayden… Pretend that you're just Maddie… Pretend that nothing else exists.” She murmured before her mouth was on Maddie's. “ Here. Now .” Emphasizing each word with a kiss.

Maddie's mind was reeling as the kiss deepened, the brunette's hands grazing the length of her sides, sensations overpowering her. She knew she was lost. At this point she didn't care if she was ever found. She broke the kiss, her own hands pried between their bodies pushing Hayden until she was flat on her back. She followed, upright, straddling the brunette's hips.

Hayden could only look up in wonder, her hands grasping the blonde's hips, the teasing hints of flesh peeking out from beneath the robe sintering her ability to move. Maddie was a goddess bathed in the moonlight streaming in from the large living room window. Lips swollen, hair tousled –she was gorgeous.

Maddie shook her head and smiled slightly. “I don't have to pretend.” With a slight tug, she released the belt on her robe, what was left of the flimsy material merely slipping off her shoulders.

Hayden's eyes followed the flowing movement of the silk, swallowing the sudden clump that formed in her throat. Her hungry blue eyes helplessly engraving every inch of the blonde's smooth naked body. Those beautifully toned thighs, the flat stomach and finally the perfect swells of her breasts

Maddie could feel her insides turn to jelly at the way the brunette's eyes raked over her as if they were touching her. And right now, she wanted to be touch. She wanted those clinical musician hands on her. Hayden's gaze lingered a bit before her darkened blue eyes penetrated through Maddie's green eyes, held there.

“I love you Hayden.” Maddie bent over, furiously taking Hayden's mouth, pouring all she had into the kiss. Her naked body molding against the brunette's clad one. Her body was on fire. She needed contact, she needed skin. Roughly, she shoved at Hayden's jacket and shirt.

Grasping onto what the blonde was trying to do, Hayden lifted her arms over her head to accommodate. Both items were forced over her head and tossed aside. They both moaned at the feel of their bare breasts pressed together, their mouths resuming where they had been interrupted. Their stiff nipples brushed against each other. God, Hayden thought she would come from that feeling alone. Her fingers restless, scraping along the blonde's spine down to until she cupped her ass, grinding Maddie into the seams of her jeans.

Maddie drew her mouth away in a gasp lowering it to trailing the planes of Hayden's neck, across her jaw as the brunette's breathing increased significantly. Her hands began fumbling with the button of Hayden's jeans. She wanted it off –she wanted it all.

When the button popped open, Hayden rose and helped kick it off in their haste, underwear and all. Hayden hissed as Maddie resettled her between her legs, the wet heat between them, sweltering. Hayden's fingers simply burying themselves in blonde hair as Maddie's made quick progress licking her way down, her tongue sliding between the brunette's breasts. Anticipation torturously dispersing through her blood.

Hayden moaned and threw her head back helplessly, as a warm mouth closed over her painfully aroused nipple.

Maddie was in a state of euphoria as she continued to lap at the taut bud between her teeth. The brunette squirming beneath her as she elicited a series of moans and whimpers from her. Never had she thought she had the ability to create such need or have such need. Her desire for this woman fueling her, possessing her, stunning the brunette into an illness of utmost submission. One of her hands reaching up to cup Hayden's other breast testing their magnificent weight and softness in the small of her palm. She experimented with the tip between her fingers, delighted with resultant jerk of Hayden's hips as the sensation dug into her core.

The brunette's restless movement telling Maddie that she was needed elsewhere. Maddie's meaningful touch ran over the brunette sinking deeper down her body, the heat increasing the lower she went.

“Oh sweet Jesus,” Hayden groaned, eyes squeezed tight as her center was cupped, her whole body going taut.

Maddie gasped at the drenched heat that met her, her lips leaving the breast so she could watch her hand work between Hayden's legs. Her fingers dipped through the swollen lips of Hayden's sex, suddenly immersed in a liquid inferno. “God, you're so wet,” she breathed, her own arousal escalating.

Hayden's breathing hitching unable to respond, her thighs only opening wider as the blonde's fingers ran up and over her clit. Her hips moving to the rhythm Maddie had set. She pulled Maddie's mouth to hers needing that extended contact as she was expertly strummed like an instrument. A groan ripped from her throat against thorough lips as she was entered by two fingers. It didn't take long.

“God, Conner!” Hayden's eyes squeezed shut as her body convulsed in pleasure that ran through her blood like molten gold. She could do nothing but lose control and drown in it over and over again.

Maddie own stomach tightened with desire that engulfed her as she watched the brunette fall off from the proverbial edge –never seeing anything so beautiful in her life.

The brunette's eyes opened, looking into the blonde's, seeing the fire. Without warning, she pushed Maddie onto her back capturing her mouth, her hands exploring, running everywhere. Her need to touch fiercely competing with the blonde's need to be touched. Hayden found Maddie's breasts –something she couldn't get enough off. The hard nipples sensitive to even the delicate of touches.

The blonde sucked in a breath as one of Hayden's hands flitted close to her need, almost crying out when a skillful tongue swiped at her erect nipple. Reveling in the response, Hayden took the nipple in her mouth letting her lips form around it. Maddie's fingers tangling into brunette hair pushing down. Hayden suckled each breast before her sensual haze drew her lips lower.

Skimming, lower and lower until it lingered at the end of the flat stomach. The potent scent of arousal pulling her. She slid lower, mindful of the vase pieces, n udging the blonde's legs further apart with her shoulders so she fit better between them. Maddie's head fell back, a long slow breath fleeing her lungs as realization of what Hayden was about to do dawned. It had been so long since. Too long…

“Oh God!” She let out a raucous groan, her hips shooting up at the first fleeting swipe of Hayden's tongue through her sex. It was as if it was testing, tasting and tormenting before it got to work.

Maddie only had sexual encounters with the woman who didn't appreciate her enough for two years and maybe a one night stand somewhere along the line. But neither of them had come close to drawing the passion from her that this (not so simple) eighteen year old seemed to do.

Maddie's breathing became faster and more furious, her fingers digging into brunette hair, pushing. The brunette could sense the blonde was close. Hayden's wonderful mouth focusing on her swollen clit as her fingers joined in the mix, entering the blonde and setting a merciless pace. Finally, Maddie cried out, her entire being shuddering with release, the waves of pleasure crashing one after the other until she was spent.

Hayden climbed up the blonde's body, peppering soft kisses along her way until she was looking into loving green eyes. She didn't know how she did without them in her past. She knew she couldn't do without them in the present. As for the future?

Maddie weakly cupped the brunette's face, smiling. “Hayden…”

“I love you,” Hayden breathed, leaning over claiming her lover's lips.

And when Hayden said it then, it had nothing to do with the past. Not even to do with right now. But was a promise for the unforetold future...


To be continued in Part 10


Song: Is it so wrong by Madeline Conner and Hayden Oliver ;)

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