The Brass Ring
By Mavis Applewater
For Disclaimers See Part One
Thanks to my beta reader, Joanne
As Always For Heather
Jamie shifted slightly, trying not to disturb her companion. She eased her way out of bed, hoping not to awaken her new friend. Jamie blinked slowly as she focused on the loud decor of the strange apartment. 'What is it they say? I would never choose this wallpaper,' she thought as she searched for her missing clothing. "Where are you going?" a voice murmured from the bed.
"Time to go," Jamie answered bluntly as she pulled her jeans on.
"But . . . I thought that maybe," the brunette began in a desperate tone.
"Sorry . . ." Jamie paused as she tried to recall the woman's name, unable to decide if it was Trudy or Tracy. Perhaps it was Stacy. No, it definitely began with a "T". Jamie shook her head, deciding to move on. "I don't do overnight. I told you that." Jamie's tone was gentle and yet unwavering. "It's late. I need to get going," Jamie offered as she pulled on her T-shirt and then covered it with her charcoal sweater. She pulled on her leather car coat and leaned over to kiss the woman goodbye.
"Can I call you?" the brunette inquired hopefully.
"No." Jamie turned away, tucking her underwear into her coat pocket.
"Oh, that's right. You said that too." The brunette sighed heavily. "An honest cad."
"Something like that," Jamie confessed as she fished her car keys out of her pocket. 'Never get attached and never tell them you'll call when you know you won't. You taught me that, CC. '
Jamie found herself sitting in her car outside the brunette's apartment building. Another one night stand. Granted, it wasn't something she did very often. Well, not anymore. Seeing CC at the hospital had not only shaken her, it had reopened a very old wound. After work she made it to the bar by last call and found herself escorting the tall brunette out of the bar before the lights were turned up.
She had hoped that a night of sexual exploration would extinguish her demons. But once again it left her wanting more. Those first few months in med school, Jamie had found herself wandering from one woman to the next until she received a very unorthodox wakeup call.
It was one night when she found herself in a stranger's apartment. They were naked and fooling around on the woman's bed. Much to her surprise, the woman's girlfriend entered the bedroom. Jamie panicked. Surprisingly the woman wasn't angry over Jamie's presence. In fact she was thrilled and decided to join them. Jamie found herself being made love to by two women as they explained to one another just what they should do to Jamie. The experience was wonderful, but at the same time it had unnerved her. She realized that these two women had planned the evening. This wasn't who she was.
From that night on Jamie decided not to be such an easy target. She dated more and started insisting on safe sex. After time had passed, she gave up on meeting the right woman and concentrated on her studies. Although she still went out and occasionally satisfied her carnal desires, for the most part Jamie simply focused on herself and her career. Now here she sat wondering where in the hell she was. 'Getting too old for this, Jamie. You're in a strange town with your underwear in your pocket,' she mentally chastised herself. Finally she started the car and headed off towards what she hoped was a main road that would lead her back to the highway.
Two hours later she found herself completely lost and her gas tank nearing empty. She pulled over across the street from a park and tried to get her bearings. She looked across the street; her eyes widened as she noticed the wooden sign - 'Cold Springs Park'. "How in the hell did I end up here?" she mumbled absently.
Without remembering how or why, Jamie found herself walking through the park until she stood in front of the carousel. The antique was still beautiful. The brass plaque was still there, explaining the age of the carousel and the restoration dates. It had been the first and last place CC had taken her. It was the last good time they'd shared, the last date with CC right before she left a shattered naive girl behind. "Fool," Jamie groaned as the tears began to fall.
A noise off in the distance snapped her back to reality. As she turned, she half expected to see CC standing there. Jamie shivered at the thought and then quickly realized that hanging out in the park in the middle of the night was far from safe. She twisted her keys through her fingers as she hurried back to her car. She knew her way back to Boylston from here and hopefully she'd have just enough gas to get home.
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