This is my first posting ever, so please be kind, gentle but honest. You can feed the bard at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessie pressed the Off button on the answering machine. Slowly she turned towards the bedroom, a grim frown plastered on her ashen face. She began to take deep breaths to quell her anger but it was not helping.
She stood motionless, her hands clenching and unclenching, eyes closed as she continued to try to center herself and separate herself from this burning anger. In the deepest recesses of her mind echoed haunting whispers from an almost forgotten past.
"Do not let emotion override truth like a herd of stampeding horses. Anger, jealously, sadness, revenge, hate, fear and all the rest are lies they are phantoms of the night that seem real but in reality are just puffs of smoke that are easily dispelled by the breath of reason. Before you do anything remember to breathe reason upon it and see if the shadows disappear. If it does vanish then let your feelings go with it, if it doesnt let wisdom embrace it and lead you. Let her whisper in your ear the path you should take."
Sage words that transcended time and space to help her restore her control. Those words of caution should have stopped the waves of emotion that were crashing within the small blonde, but they didnt. At this point Wisdom could not fight her way to the forefront of Jessies mind with a machete and a small army.
Silently she padded down the short hallway and peeked into the room she shared with Becca. A curly head was barely visible above the sheet that covered the trim body.
She watched her roommate sleep as the words from the answering machine came once again to her recollection with burning clarity.
"Just wanted to know how things went with Jess?"
" Vic said that not only is she getting the condo but shes gonna have us flown to Florida in her daddys private jet."
"Oh dont you worry your little head about that, I know how to handle Jessica."
Green eyes became slits as these words rang through her mind. She did not like being handled, and that is exactly what Shannon and Becca had done. They had taken it upon themselves to handle not only her but also the whole Victoria situation.
Her lips curled into a sneer as she thought about how nice Victoria had been at the track, she acted the way she did before she knew about Jessies sexual orientation
Oh yeah, be nice to the naive little girl who was being manipulated. Ya know she is too trusting to ever suspect her good friends would conspire behind her back. No, she trusts us; shell never suspect a thing. HA! And Victoria if you think you had my friendship and forgiveness bought and paid for you have another thing coming.
Her simmering anger came to a full boil as she picked up her pillow and began to pummel the slumbering figure before her. Becca instinctively began flailing her arms and legs in a vain attempt to stave off the battering she was receiving from the little blonde.
"WAKE UP!" Jessie shouted.
Becca sat bolt upright in bed, her heart racing with the shock of being hit, as her mind tried to grasp exactly where she was and what was happening.
"What in the Sam hell do ya think you are doing, Jessica? Have you completely lost your mind?" Becca angrily cried as she looked up at her, now almost unrecognizable roommate.
Jessies normally well-coifed hair was in total disarray. Sweat was running down the sides of her contorted face. Her eyes were dark slits of anger and her jaw was set so tight that Becca was surprised that she didnt hear the sound of her teeth cracking. She was so incensed about something that her entire body pulsed with an energy that was unfamiliar and menacing.
Becca sat perfectly still for some moments cautiously watching Jessie. She was not sure what had brought on this fit of rage and she certainly wasnt going to do anything that could exacerbate the situation.
Reluctantly, she admitted to herself, she was actually frightened of her long time friend. She had never seen Jessie lose control. Angry yes, hurt definitely, sloppy drunk on several occasions but out of control never.
"Becca, what the hell do you think you are doing?" Jessie growled.
"What am I doing about what? What in the are you talking about, Jessie? What have I done to deserve this?" Becca answered.
"You and Shannon and the vacation. Oh itll be so much fun Ill be sure you have a good time .caint yall just bury the hatchet once and for all oh please, please come with so much cheaper with four " she sneered all the while mimicking Beccas accent. "Yeah, cant get much cheaper than free can ya?"
"Damn it, Jessie! What the HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" Becca shouted losing her own control.
"The tape I heard you and Shannon talking about it on the answering machine. Do yall really think Im this stupid and wouldnt eventually figure it out? And Victoria, all chummy with me on the jogging trail this morning. Money talks and shit walks isnt that right? Victoria can just whip out her Visa card and everything is suddenly ok, yep platinum can buy anything cant it? Just never thought you guys were for sale."
Becca scooted off her bed and stood toe to toe with little blonde.
Barely restraining her anger Becca said, "That is the most awful, hateful thing anyone has ever said to me. I caint believe those words came out of your mouth. It was Shannon and I, we were tired of seeing you two go at each other knowin full well that ya both were miserable. We CARE ABOUT YOU, YOU LITTLE IDIOT SO WE TRIED TO HELP." At this point she was nose to nose with the irate blonde, glaring directly into angry green pools. "But Ill tell ya one thing, it will be a cold day in hell before I EVER TRY TO HELP YOU AGAIN."
"I can handle my own affairs," Jessie growled through clenched teeth.
"Really," Becca replied with a condescending tone, "Yes, you are quite the social butterfly arent you?" Placing her finger at the side of her temple, Becca continued, "I see how well you have handled this whole ugly affair with Victoria. I am just in awe of your powers of persuasion. Jessica, how do you do it?"
Jessie at this point was angrier than she had ever been. Her hands once again balled into tight fists of rage.
Becca, unaffected by her roommates posturing continued, "My dear, you must tell me your secrets. My God, look how well your methods worked with Sara. Honey, I should have never doubted your ability to work that same wondrous magic on Victoria. Hmmmmm?"
Jessie countenance completely changed the moment those words dropped from Beccas lips. The anger fled and was replaced with pain. Jess felt a searing white-hot blade split her soul. She blanched noticeably and turned away from Becca.
Becca cursed the day she ever learned to speak. Her voice now soft and apologetic, "Awwww, suga Damn I am so sorry I said that. Jessie, Jessie please say somethin, anythin. Im so sorry I said that please talk to mee," Becca pleaded.
Jessie silently turned and left the room, Becca close on her heels trying to get her roommate to speak with her. But Jessie was ominously silent as she walked back into the living area. She sat on the sofa and placed her running shoes back on her feet. Slowly, methodically she tied the laces then stood, and walked to the door.
Squaring her shoulders she pushed the unwelcome thoughts of Sara back to the dark recesses from which they came. She would lock that door and lose the key, hopefully, forever ridding herself of the pain.
Once this was accomplished, the words on the answering machine floated back into her agitated mind like thunder on a dreary overcast day. She could feel her anger rising within her again. Becca kept trying to speak with her but she was deaf to any plea the brunette was making. She twisted the brass doorknob and without another word left the apartment.
Shannon was seated in her favorite chair listening to a pop music station through a set of earphones while perusing the latest surfer magazine. She was lazily flipping the pages when she thought she heard pounding at the front door. Pulling the right headset cup away from her ear she sat up to listen.
Mustve been my imagination.
Shannon once again reclined into her comfortable chair and was about to replace the earpiece when the pounding at the front door erupted again. Shannon removed the headset and laid it carefully on the floor next to the chair.
Who the hell is that?
She slowly unfolded her lean 57" frame, threw the magazine into the seat of the chair, and sauntered to the front door as the phone began to ring.
Ill let the machine pick that up.
Looking out the peephole she saw Jessie standing in the hallway arms crossed tightly across her chest.
Oh man... Shes probably been tryin to get my attention for awhile.
Shannon smiled and threw open the door.
"Hey Jess, hope you havent been waiting too long Vic is in the shower and I had the headphones on and couldnt hear the door," Shannon greeted her friend warmly.
Jessie brushed past Shannon without saying a word. Shannon shrugged and closed the door behind her.
It was then that Shannon noted the tense posture of her friend.
Now what is this all about? Shannon thought, confused by her friends angry demeanor, She cant have been waiting ALL that long.
Jessie stood in the center of the living area, arms still held tightly across her chest.
What is up here ? Shes totally pissed about something.
Ring RING ..RING
With slight irritation in her voice Jessie looked over at Shannon and said, "Arent you going to answer that?"
Shannon pasted a plastic smile on and said, "Nope, the mac will pick it up. Ahhh, Jess," she cleared her throat, "take a load off and tell me whats on your mind."
Shannon cautiously approached the obviously irate blonde. Shannon was taken aback by the anger she saw in the normally calm jade pools.
"No, I dont think so. Shannon, tell me something. What do you think of me?" Jessie asked.
Whats going on here? This is a trick question I can feel it.
With some effort Shannon maintained her easy demeanor and shrugged, "Jess, you are way cool, why?"
Jessie rolled her eyes.
"What?" Shannon asked.
Ring ..RING ..RING .
"Way cool, is that all you can say?" Jessie did not realize the volume of her voice was slowly rising.
Shannons smiling countenance changed slowly and her smile was replaced with a grim tight-lipped expression.
"Ok, Jessica, ya want to tell me what your malfunction is or are you goin to make me guess?"
"Ill be just too glad to tell you what my malfunction is . why the hell have you three lied to me about this stupid vacation?" Jessie demanded her voice booming through the apartment.
Flopping back into her favorite chair Shannon began to chuckle. "Is that what has you all bunged up? Jess, Becca and I, well we were just trying to clear the muddy waters, no big deal .."
"Really, then why is Victoria footing the bill for this little excursion?" Jessie asked venom dripping from the question.
"Because I can," a melodious contralto voice floated from the hallway.
Two sets of eyes turned to see Victoria standing in the archway of the hall swathed in a bath sheet while toweling dry her long onyx locks.
"Victoria, I dont need your help. I am perfectly able to support myself. You think that just by whipping out your Platinum card you can buy forgiveness and friends " at this point she sent a scathing look at Shannon.
Shannon slowly uncoiled herself like a snake that was about to strike.
Victoria opened her mouth to say something but closed it once again when Shannon raised her hand and motioned for her to stay quiet.
"Jessica, you are WAY OUT OF LINE HERE. You have a damn nerve coming here pounding on doors and insinuating that anyone here has been bought and paid for by a this vacation." Shannon paused, as she walked closer to the little blonde and purposely stood between her and Victoria. "How dare you accuse either of us of such... such betrayal? There was nothing cloak and dagger about anything we have done. Becca and I thought if we could get you two away from here, in close quarters maybe just MAYBE you two would start talking and stop all this BULLSHIT youve put ALL OF US THROUGH."
"I wont be treated like a child," Jessie growled in response to Shannons lecture.
"COME IN!" Shannon shouted startling both Victoria and Jessie.
Slowly the door opened revealing a very timid Becca. The tension in the room was palpable. As she looked from one face to the other each woman had a look that Becca did not recognize. The fires of anger burned in both Shannons and Jessies eyes. Victoria, for the first time, looked like a lost child as she clutched the towel shed been using to dry her hair to her chest.
"Ahhh, yall didnt answer your phone," Becca quietly stammered.
Shannon turned back to Jessie and began to rail once more. "Jessica, your biggest beef is being treated like a child. OK then lets address that because your whole attitude has been driving me CRAZY. Ill let you in on a little secret, if you dont want to be treated like to a child then STOP ACTING LIKE ONE. Only a child, a spoiled child at that would come barging into our home spouting accusations and pointing fingers. Youve got guts, little girl, but Ill tell you something, try that again and Ill knock you into next week. Your constant indignation is getting old. Your height or lack there of has nothing to do with how people treat you, its your attitude. This little Napoleon thing you have going on is totally bogus. Yeah the way Vic has been acting is bullshit..." at this point Shannon glared at Victoria with a Just wait, youre next look in her eyes. Victoria shrank under her roommates scowl. "But you tell me one thing, Jess, just how high do you intend to pile it because Im telling you it already really stinks around here."
Taking a breath Shannon continued, "No, the way she treated you is totally wrong, but jeez shes apologizing the only way she knows how. Right now shes trying and YOU ARE NOT. So what that shes paying our way, SO WHAT! She has everything available to her and shes making it available to us. In other words, NOTHING WE DID HERE WAS MEANT TO HURT OR DEMEAN YOU IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM, SO STOP LOOKING A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH AND JUST SAY THANK YOU."
As the tirade changed direction from Jessie to Victoria, the other three women were completely silent. All dumbstruck, they stood with slack jaws, the unflappable Shannon was losing it and losing it in a big way.
"Now for you, princess I am sick and tired of Daddy and Mummy and what they would have to say or how they would feel about anything. For Christs sake youre 22 years old dont ya think its TIME TO CUT THE DAMN CORD? Get off your high horse and join us peasants for awhile maybe youll learn something." Victoria clutched the towel alittle tighter to her chest. "You broke this, now FIX IT!" Shannon just about shouted directly into Victorias face.
With that Shannon whirled around and grabbed a still speechless Becca by the arm and steered her towards the door. Without a look back Shannon shoved Becca out the door and slammed it behind her.
As the sound of the slamming door echoed through the apartment Victoria and Jessie were left in a vacuous silence. For several moments Victoria and Jessie stared blankly at the closed door. As if awakening from a long slumber both women turned and looked at each other. Green eyes meeting dark brown, silently they stood taking in what secrets those orbs would reveal.
They both simultaneously broke eye contact and looked down at their feet. Noticing that they both used the same nervous mannerisms they smiled then began to chuckle.
"That was quite the performance," Victoria began.
Nodding her head absently Jess said, "Yeah."
"I have lived with her for years and have never seen her like that."
"Nope." was Jessies monosyllabic answer.
Both women, heads bowed as if inspecting the intricate patterns of the carpeting, remained silent, lost in thought for a few awkward moments.
Jess looked up sheepishly watching Victorias still down turned head. She took a few cautions steps toward the tall dark woman. As she did Victoria looked up and was pleased to see a set of contrite eyes, sure that the sorrowful green eyes before her matched her own shame filled brown.
"Uh Jessica "
"Uh Victoria "
Saying this in chorus they both began to laugh. The laughter ringing through the room seemed to break the dark spell that hung there from the moment Jessie set foot in the apartment.
Wiping tears from her eyes Jessie began, "Ya know, Shannon is right about everything."
"Yes, I know. Look Jessie, I was not trying to buy your friendship or your forgiveness. The thought never even crossed my mind when I was telling Shannon about the condo."
"I know, Victoria. I dont know what came over me to act that way," Jessie replied.
"I probably had alittle to do with that melt down. Jessie..." Victoria closed the remaining space between them till she was standing directly in front of the little blonde. "I am so sorry for the way Ive been acting. Shannon was right, I need to be who I am and I hope that will include being your friend."
Victoria had a hopeful look in her dark eyes as she waited for Jessies verdict. It seemed an eternity before Jessies stoic countenance was broken by a bright smile.
"Yes, you are my friend, Victoria," Jessie said.
Victoria let out the breath that she didnt even realize she was holding and threw her arms around Jessie pulling her into a tight embrace. For the first time in months Victoria could feel all the tension leave her body.
Shannons right, it is time to cut the cord. Its time for me to be me I just have to figure out who that is.
Jessie was surprised by the strong and absolutely unexpected hug. Surprised but quite happy with the feel of her friends strong arms surrounding her.
Well if this is any indication of the New Victoria, Ill take it.
The embrace continued until Victoria realized she was still in nothing but a towel. Awkwardly she released Jessie saying, "Uh guess I should get dressed, huh?"
Victoria face flushed pink.
Jessie chuckled good-naturedly. "Yes, I guess ya should. Dont want you parading around town in nothing but a towel. Besides we better go find Becca and Sha, I think we both owe them apologies too. Especially me that is."
"Yep, we do. Look, make yourself comfortable and Ill be out in a flash," Victoria called as she rushed down the hall and disappeared into her room.
Shannon had Beccas arm in a vice like grip as she led her out of the condo complex, down a flight of stairs to the sidewalk that ran parallel to her building. Not a word was spoken as they continued to walk at the quick pace that Shannon had set. Becca noticed that her arm was throbbing but could not get her appendage out of Shannons hawk like grasp.
After they had walked almost a half a mile Becca began to squirm against Shannons hold.
"Sha, honey, you are hurting me let me go," Becca half whined, half cajoled.
Shannon didnt seem to hear Beccas pleas so Becca with a Herculean jerk recovered her arm from Shannons strong talon-like fingers.
Shannon turned to face Becca for the first time since she looked up at her when she stepped through the door of her apartment. Her eyes were vacant for a moment, as if she had no idea of what had just happened.
Next to the sidewalk was the side of a small neighborhood market. Shannon turned to the smooth wall and placed her head on the arm that now leaned against the cool stone. Becca stood silently, not really sure what was going on or what to do. She watched in silence as Shannons shoulders began to shake ever so slightly. She waited and watched but Shannon was unmoved though her shoulders had begun to shake with alittle more violence.
My dear lord, shes cryin. This whole mess has been too much for her.
Becca placed her hand gently on the shaking shoulder and turned the down cast Shannon to face her. Shannon, with her back pressed against the concrete wall, did indeed have tears streaming down her face but to Beccas surprise these were not tears of misery they were tears of laughter.
At the sight of the bewildered look on Beccas face Shannon burst out laughing. A smirk crossed Beccas face as she hit Shannon smartly in the shoulder.
"OUCH what was that for?" Shannon chuckled rubbing the spot on her shoulder that Becca had just assaulted.
"For making me think you were all torn up by everything. Darn it girl, I thought you were cryin." Becca smiled as she good-naturedly hit Shannon in the other shoulder.
Shannon ducked trying to avoid the second blow but was not fast enough. From her crouched stance she looked up at Becca with a bright glint of mischief in her eyes.
"Why, Shannon, you planned this all along didnt you?" Becca said with a bit of Scarlet lilt in her voice.
Shannon smiled brightly and wiped away her tears. "Well no, not actually, but when Jessie came bursting into the condo like a bull in a china shop I got an idea and just went with it." After a dismissive shrug she continued, "I just cant believe it actually worked." Shannon chuckled as she stood up from her crouched position and stretched to her full height next to Becca.
Becca put her arm across Shannons shoulders and gave her a peck on the cheek. "Well if the looks on their faces are any indication Id have to say Job Well Done."
Shannon threw her arm over Beccas shoulders and the two walked toward their favorite café to have an expresso, well pleased by how this very odd day had turned out.
Becca fumbled with the grocery bags while she tried to get the house key from her pocket. She cursed herself for always sliding the key into the deep recesses of her pocket whenever she had her arms full of bags or packages. Finally the elusive keys were in her hand and she unlocked the now frustrating barrier called her front door.
She placed her foot against the bottom of the door so she could remove her keys from the suddenly stubborn lock. She jostled the bags in her attempt to free the key to the point that everything she was carrying almost landed on the tile floor.
Well Ill be damned this stupid door
Her irritation with the door peaked, Becca was about to slam the stubborn portal with all her strength when she noticed the small frame of her sleeping roommate sprawled upon the sofa.
Once the keys were retrieved from the blasted lock she gently shut the door and quietly slipped into the adjoining kitchen area. She placed the bags softly on the counter and returned to the archway to view the slumbering Jessie.
Becca noticed how small and delicate she seemed lying on the couch. Strands of blonde hair cascading carelessly across her forehead, her face totally at peace. The way she was curled, holding a pillow to her chest she looked so innocent, so child like that Becca felt a protective almost maternal instinct flood her being.
A slight smile crossed Beccas lips as she recalled the events of the last few weeks and the sweeping changes that had come upon both Victoria and little Jessie. The four were closer than ever, spending a good deal of time together once again. Laughing, sharing victories and defeats, supporting one another just as it should be.
Victoria had changed the most and as far as Becca was concerned all for the better. The arrogant, haughty, cold demeanor was almost gone completely. Normally she would only wear a stoic, unreadable countenance now she smiled almost constantly.
Victoria genuinely smiled and actually laughed quite easily now. Will miracles never cease? Her painfully sharp dry witt had morphed into truly funny comedic one liners and even Becca grudgingly had to admit she had a very good sense of humor. No more holier than thou attitude, Victoria, for the first time seemed to be actually enjoying life, her life and not one that had been cooked up for her.
Good for you Victoria... Becca thought good for you.
Yes, everything was the way it should be, even better since Shannons little diatribe.
Smiling again Becca thought, Oh yes, Shannon, that will be our little secret.
With that thought in mind she turned back to the kitchen and began dinner. The girls would be coming over in about an hour to have dinner and firm up the plans for the next day. As she worked around the kitchen Becca noticed a spring in her steps as she walked from counter to cook top to fridge. Now that everything had been settled between Victoria and Jessie she was free to look forward to what could be the best vacation she had ever taken. She hummed as she thought of the warm sands, the cool ocean caressing her feet as she walked the beautiful beaches in search of the sunbronzed god of her dreams.
Once all the foodstuffs were either chilling, simmering or baking, Becca walked to the archway of the kitchen to look upon the still sleeping figure, which remained curled on the end of the comfy sofa.
Wiping the moisture from her hands on a kitchen towel Becca thought,
Dont you worry, little one, I always keep my promises. You WILL have the best time ever, I will see to it personally.
Sadness dimmed the previously sparkling eyes.
Honey, I pray that we find someone who will just sweep you off your feet and whisk you away from the memories of Sara forever.
Setting that unhappy thought aside, she returned to the kitchen to finish dinner.
Jessie was so excited that she could hardly sleep the night before. All the bags were packed and at the front door by the time Victorias driver came to pick them up for the 30-minute drive to the airport.
To Jessies and Beccas surprise, when they emerged from their apartment, the sight of a beautiful, luxurious stretch limo greeted them.
Jessie giggled, "Victoria, whats this?"
Victoria shrugged and smiled, "Daddy sent it and who am I to refuse?"
They all laughed as they climbed into the roomy back of the limousine. They were all talking and giggling excitedly as the long car wound its way down the streets of the city until it joined the other commuters on the nearest highway. Everyone was so giddy that Jessie almost didnt notice how quiet Shannon was being.
She took a moment to watch Shannon as Victoria and Becca chatted away like magpies. Shannon statuesquely sat, the glass of untasted champagne grasped tightly in her hand. Jessie noticed that Shannons normally tan jovial features were drawn and pale.
"Sha, you ok?" Jessie whispered into Shannons ear.
Shannon mutely nodded her head to the affirmative.
Jessie was unsure of what was happening with her friend but decided to best leave things be until they got to the airport. So she settled into the decadent softness of the leather seats and just enjoyed the moment.
The limo raced through the tarmac gates and pulled in front of a private hanger. A plane, not a Lear jet, but definitely a customized plane sat in from of the hangers open bay doors. A uniformed gentleman walked slowly around the plane, he seemed to be going over a safety checklist on the clipboard in his hand. He looked up and smiled as the long car came to a halt.
Victoria jumped out and barked a command to the driver to place the luggage into the plane, while at the same time putting out a hand to greet the uniformed gentleman. Becca was the next to pop out of the limo, with Jessie following and bringing up the rear a very tentative Shannon.
"Jessie, Shannon, this is so great we are on our way," Becca cried excitedly as she climbed the few stairs and entered the plane.
"Come on, you guys, you gotta see this, its the bom," Becca called as she disappeared from view.
"Come on, Shannon, lets go," Jessie said and smiled up at Shannon.
Shannon didnt move a muscle. She stood in an almost catatonic state just staring at the plane.
Jessie maneuvered her position so that she was standing directly in front of Shannon. Reaching up Jessie placed her hands gently on either side of Shannons face then she rotated her neck until their eyes met.
"Shannon, whats the problem here? You look like youve seen a ghost." Jessie asked very smooth and softly.
Shannon gulped audibly, "Jess, I cant do this."
"You cant do what?" Jessie asked confusion coloring her voice.
"Get in that plane," Shannons voice squeaked as she nodded her head towards the offending vehicle.
"Why?" Jessie asked all the while maintaining eye contact with the much taller blonde.
"Cause, Jess..." she gulped even louder, "Im afraid to fly."
Shannon shrugged and smiled a sickly half smile and repeated, "Im afraid to fly."
"Shannon, why didnt you say something sooner?" Jessie queried a slight tint of exasperation in her voice.
Shannon broke Jessies hold and began to pace back and forth, talking excitedly. "Cause I thought I could lick it. Ya know, damn, thought I could do it, thought I could change. Hell you and Vic did, faced your fears and insecurities thought I could too. Damn, guess Im not as strong. Jessie, I cant."
The last words passed Shannons quivering lips and touched the little blondes heart.
Taking her hand, Jessie said, "Look, Shannon, we can do this, no one else has to know. Ill help ya, hell Ill sit on your lap all the way to Florida if thats what it takes, but we will have to figure out how to tell Vic and Becca that we are dating."
Jessie began to giggle and was glad to see some of the panic drain from Shannons face to be replaced by slight though bright southern California surfer girl smile that Jessie had come to love.
Small smile, Jessie thought, good Im starting to get through to her.
"Hell, sounds like a plan to me as long as I dont have to think about bein up in the air." Shannon chuckled uneasily then replied tentatively. "Hey, do ya wanta join the mile high club? That will definitely keep my mind off things."
Jessie laughed when she saw the slight blush that colored Shannons pale features. She gave Shannon a playful shove and began to giggle at the prospect of her and Shannon being together. Soon both young women were laughing. Jessie patted herself on the back for handling this little emergency so admirably.
Not too shabby Jessica good job, the little blond thought to herself.
Becca poked her head out of the planes doorway.
"Hey, whats so funny?" Becca called
"Aw nothing, tell ya later. Hey Becca, is there a mini bar in there?" Jessie called back to Becca.
"Hell, nothing is mini about anything in here, ya want me to fix you a drink?" Becca replied.
"Yeah, fix one for me and Shannon well be right there," Jessie said.
"How about Victoria?" Becca inquired.
"None for me," Victoria returned as she strolled over to Jessie and Shannon, a small book and a wad of papers tucked neatly under her arm.
Shannon watched Victorias approach as she simultaneously watched the retreating form of the uniformed gentleman.
Not moving her eyes from the disappearing uniform Shannon said, confusion coloring her voice, "Why not, Vic?"
"Cause Im designated driver." Victoria answered waving the book and papers in her hand.
"Youre what??" Shannon and Jessie cried out in chorus.
Victoria giggled. "Dont say it like that. I've been flying since I was 12, its no big deal. Gone cross country a million times, so dont make a fuss leave the driving to us."
With her lilting laugh still echoing in her ears, Shannon watched Victoria climb into the airplane. Jessie turned to see Shannons face completely drained of color.
"Shannon?" Jessie asked softly as she gently touched Shannons arm.
Suddenly Jessie found herself lifted off the tarmac and looking down from her elevated position into Shannons totally panicked face.
"Shes flying the plane, Jessie. Jessie, SHES FLYING THE PLANE."
"I know Sha, now put me down." Jessie replied, trying with all her might to control the tenure of her voice.
"We dont have a pilot here, we have Victoria. Jessie, you dont understand. SHE CANT EVEN WORK THE TOASTER AND SHES GONNA FLY A PLANE..." Shannon babbled as she continued to hold the little blonde aloft.
With all the soothing tone she could muster Jessie began, "Shannon, Shannon listen to me. Victoria does not have a death wish, does she?" Shannon shook her head no slightly though her eyes were wide with fear.
Jessie softened her voice even more before asking the next question, "OK and she kinda likes all of us, right?" She purposely dragged out the word right.
Shannon nodded her head quickly to acknowledge Jessies statement.
"And she said shes been flying for years, right?" Jessie added praying that some of her gentle words were getting through to a now very hysterical Shannon.
Shannon again nodded quickly. Looking down into the fear filled doe eyes, Jessie tried not to giggle at the absurdity of this whole little scene.
"So that means everything is going to be cool. Now put me down and well get you that drink, ok? And I will join the mile high club with ya today if that will help." Jessie smiled seductively down at the taller blonde.
She watched the vacant eyes for any glimmer of hope that her words were penetrating Shannons fear filled mind. But, Shannons terrorized countenance remained unchanged.
While still being held aloft by Shannons strong hands Jessie called, "Hey Becca, about Shannons drink."
"Yeah?" came a disembodied voice from the bowels of the plane
"Make it a triple."
To be continued
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