Disclaimers. This is going to be a somewhat light-hearted effort. But I dare say I can squeeze some angst in somewhere. Probably some sex too.
My thanks as always to my beta reader, Barbara Davies. Her work can be found on her page, Barbara Davies.
Day Two. Saturday
For the second day running, Dani woke with her face pressed against the wall. She rolled onto her back, and regarded the ceiling for long moments.
"Chris," she whispered, closing her eyes, picturing the blue ones she'd seen in her dreams.
She turned on her side, snuggling into her pillow. The sun shone through the thin yellow curtains, which billowed gently.
She was peaceful, and she closed her eyes, hoping to recapture the dream of blue eyes and silky soft skin she'd been enjoying before she woke.
Suddenly the door flew open, causing the whole caravan to shudder. And there, framed in the doorway, was a nightmare of blonde hair and smudged make-up.
"What have you done?" rasped Melanie, staggering further into the room.
Dani didn't move, and peered up at the horrifying sight, only her green eyes peeking from beneath the pillow.
"It’s horrible," Melanie said. "Horrible." Dramatically she raised a hand to her forehead, pressing her palm against the space between carefully plucked eyebrows.
Dani remained still, watching the suffering woman. "I tried to stop you," she said in a small voice.
Melanie cast bloodshot eyes upon the blonde woman in the bed. She dropped her arms to her sides, swaying slightly. "I can't go home again," she said finally, before walking shakily out of the room.
Dani sighed as the door drifted shut, and slid out of bed. She had a long t-shirt on, which came to just above her knees, and she ventured out into the main part of the caravan.
The first thing she became aware of was the sobbing, and she followed the sound to the tiny bathroom, where Steph was sitting on the closed toilet lid holding a wash cloth to her stomach.
"I told you last night it would hurt," said Dani reasonably. "They say you have to keep it clean and the redness will go down in a few days."
Steph lifted the cloth, and Dani winced at the reddened area around her navel piercing. The dark-haired woman stood, but didn't straighten, and brushed past Dani, walking with a stoop into the bedroom, where Melanie was lying face down on the bed.
On the blonde's upper right buttock was a dressing, peeking out from above the waistband of her bikini briefs.
Melanie was sobbing into the sheets, undecided as to whether the pain in her head or her backside was the greater. Steph eased herself gingerly onto the bed, and sat with her back against the headboard. She turned accusing eyes on Dani, who hovered in the doorway.
"Look," protested the short woman. "I tried my best to talk you out of it."
Melanie mumbled something into the mattress.
"What?" said Steph, trying to peer down beyond her bosom at her new jewellery. She turned her attention to Melanie. "What are you saying?"
"What does it say?" sobbed the distraught blonde.
"What does what say?" asked Steph, trying to pull her fingers through her own matted hair.
"The bloody tattoo!!" screamed Melanie, instantly regretting it as she slumped back down onto the bed.
Dani took a couple of tentative steps forward, and sat on the bottom edge of the bed. "You want me to look?" she asked, putting a gentle hand on Melanie's calf.
Melanie peered over her shoulder, Alice Cooper once more making an appearance. "Please," she snivelled.
Dani slowly pulled back the dressing, revealing the reddened and scabby skin beneath. She bent closer, peering at the artwork on her friend's butt.
Her eyes widened. "Ah," was all she said.
Melanie sniffed noisily. "What?" she asked, craning her neck trying to see for herself.
"Um, yeah." Dani replaced the dressing carefully, and sat back. "Can you remember at all what you asked for?"
Melanie shifted onto her side, careful to keep her weight off her sore rump.
"Oh, my God. Here," said Steph, handing the still sobbing blonde a box of kleenex. "You're a damn mess."
Melanie blew her nose noisily. "I don't even remember going in there." Then she blinked rapidly. "Oh wait." She took another tissue and started to wipe at the mess of mascara around her eyes. "I do remember. I remember Steph screaming. She called me a bitch. That's what I had put on." She looked pleased with herself for a brief moment. Then she caught Dani's wince.
"It says bitch, right?" she asked the short blonde, who was standing and backing out of the room.
"Almost," said Dani.
Melanie sat up quickly, screaming when her full weight fell on her tattooed backside. "What does it say!?" she screamed.
"Well, it, um, looks like you didn't quite point to the right picture when you were showing the guy what you wanted," said Dani, backing further into the living area of the caravan. She could still see Melanie's large, black-rimmed eyes peering at her from the bedroom. Behind Melanie, Steph had flopped over sideways; she was lying behind the blonde trying to get the dressing off the tattoo again.
A scream of laughter erupted from the dark-haired woman, immediately cut short by a gasp of pain from her abused navel.
Melanie looked from her writhing friend to Dani. "Tell me what it says," she said in a low, dangerous voice.
"It says 'butch'," said Dani, turning and running into her room and slamming the door. She heard a stomach-churning scream, and then everything was very quiet.
Dani was walking along the cliff-top path, looking out across the sea. It was another beautiful day, made even more serene by the fact that she was alone.
She'd quickly pulled on a pair of shorts and a tank top, and escaped her two manic friends, who were going into fits of hysteria. Not wanting to witness the complete descent into madness by her two friends, she'd sneaked out of the caravan into the beautiful and comparatively peaceful outdoors.
Her aim was to take a walk, anywhere. But she soon found herself in the street that held the pub where Chris worked. There were a couple of tables on the pavement outside the pub, and her breath caught when she saw Chris appear from inside the pub to collect a couple of empty glasses.
The tall woman stopped suddenly, and stood straight. She scanned the heaving throng of people meandering along the narrow street. Blue eyes fell on the small blonde and the beautiful face creased into a smile.
Dani was rooted to the spot. She watched as Chris called back into the pub. Another young man came out and took the cloth that Chris had been using to wipe down the tabletops.
She took a slow walk towards the frozen woman, stopping a few feet away.
Once again Chris was wearing a sleeveless t-shirt, and a pair of cut-off jeans.
She pushed ebony hair away from her face. "Hi," she said.
Dani looked up at the taller woman, the mid-morning sun picking out auburn highlights in the otherwise midnight-dark hair. "Hi," she croaked back.
Chris looked beyond the blonde. "Where are your friends? Sleeping it off?"
Dani chuckled. "Sort of. They had a close encounter with a tattoo parlour last night. Melanie has 'butch' tattooed on her butt."
Dark eyebrows rose and disappeared beneath dark hair. "I'm guessing that wasn't intentional."
"Not exactly." Dani looked around. The narrow street was heaving with humanity, Saturday obviously bringing out more people looking to take advantage of the lovely weather. "You must be busy in there," she said, nodding towards the pub.
Chris shrugged. "Yeah, it's busy," she said. "But being the boss means I can delegate."
Dani chuckled. "Like yesterday, when you took the whole afternoon off?"
"Exactly." The tall woman smiled down at the blonde. "You want to go somewhere quiet?"
Dani's mouth opened and closed a couple of times, but no sound was forthcoming.
"To have a quiet drink," Chris added, before plunging her hands in the pockets of her cut-offs.
Dani's face creased into a smile. "That would be nice," she said.
A short time later, Chris was negotiating a route out of Bournemouth, avoiding the heavy traffic that always occurred on a Saturday during the summer. She drove a small jeep-type vehicle, the top pulled down.
"Where are we going?" asked Dani, one hand on the roll bar just above her head.
"Just for a ride in the sunshine." She looked across at the blonde. "Is that okay?" Chris reached across and patted Dani's thigh. "I know a nice quiet little pub, beside the river."
"River?" asked Dani.
"Well, wide stream," said Chris as she negotiated a complicated junction. "Damn weekend drivers," she said disgustedly as she had to brake sharply to avoid an elderly gentleman driving an equally elderly car. She fell into place behind him. "He has a hat on," she said distractedly.
Dani peered at the car driver in the vehicle they were following, and he did indeed have a flat cap on. "So?"
"Men who drive cars in flat caps are always bad drivers." She shifted down, and managed to speed past him. "And Volvo drivers."
"Really? I never noticed," said Dani, chuckling.
A short while later, Chris steered the small car into the car park of a pub. "Here we are," she said unnecessarily as she jumped out of the jeep.
Dani eased herself out a little more cautiously. "This is nice," she said, looking around.
And indeed it was. What was obviously an old farmhouse had been converted into a pub and restaurant. A sloping garden led down to a wide stream, meandering down to meet the River Bourne, which ran through Bournemouth and into the sea. In the distance were Corfe Castle and the small village of Corfe, which grew at its base. The castle was little more than a ruin, but the outline and what was left of the sturdy walls could still be seen. It was also the scene of one of the first recorded murders in England. In April 975, 17-year-old King Edward, the Saxon King later known as Edward the Martyr, was stabbed to death on the orders of his Stepmother.
"Wait here," said Chris and disappeared into the pub.
Dani wandered down to the edge of the stream, watching a couple of ducks come gliding across to her expecting food. They squawked angrily at her, when they realised she had nothing for them, before returning to the shaded side of the stream.
Chris joined her and handed her an ice-cold glass. "Home made cider," she said. "It's the best I've ever had."
Dani took a drink of the crisp, cold liquid, and it was indeed refreshing. "That's lovely," she said quietly. She began to sit on one of the benches.
"No," said Chris. "I know a really nice spot." She held out her hand. "Walk with me?"
Dani stared at the offered hand.
In fact she stared for so long, Chris withdrew her hand, plunging it into the pocket of her shorts. "Sorry," she said quickly, and turned, assuming the blonde would follow.
Dani sighed, watching the tall woman walk away from her towards the bank of the large stream.
By the time she'd caught up with her, Chris was sitting beside the stream, her shoes beside her and her feet dangling in the water. Her glass of cider rested precariously on the grass.
Dani sat beside her new friend, who didn't acknowledge her arrival, instead staring down at the meandering stream.
"Listen," said Chris, still watching the flowing water. "I'm sorry." She shook her head. "I made a mistake."
Dani cocked her head, taking in the profile of the woman sitting beside her. "By inviting me out here?"
Chris smiled, turning her head and regarding the blonde. "No. I didn't mean that."
"So tell me what you meant?"
Chris sighed. "I thought… I..." She shook her head in defeat and took a long draught of cider.
The dark head turned and wary blue eyes found nervous green eyes. "Yeah?"
"Would you kiss me?"
"Is that what you want?"
Dani smiled and nodded her head. "Yes, I do."
Chris studied the blonde for a heartbeat, then leaned forward, meeting Dani halfway.
It wasn't that Dani had never kissed before; she had. It wasn't that she had never kissed someone before that she had really wanted to kiss; she most certainly had. But never before had that kiss lived up to everything she had expected. She felt herself being pushed down onto the soft grass as the kiss continued, and in the back of her mind she knew her glass had toppled over, its contents dampening the ground by her right hip. She reached up, tangling her hand in ebony hair, not wanting the taller woman to relinquish possession of her lips. She felt her heart racing, her breath shortening. Her eyes, which up until that moment had been tightly closed, sprang open as she felt the unmistakable spasm of desire shoot to her belly, and she held on tighter to the warm body covering hers. She closed her eyes again, giving in to the feelings assaulting her, her arms losing their strength and falling to her sides.
Chris pulled back, recognising the signs of something getting way ahead of itself. She looked down at the small woman beneath her, the flushed face, the swollen lips still glistening from their encounter and still slightly open in invitation for her to continue.
"Hey," the taller woman said on a husky breath. She pushed blonde hair away from a glistening forehead, and traced a line down across a pink cheek to a rapidly beating pulse point. The blonde still had her eyes closed, and Chris bent and nipped at the bottom lip, drawing it between her teeth, before releasing it and leaning back again. "You alright?"
Slightly glazed, green eyes fluttered open and slowly focussed on the woman above her. "Why did you stop?" she asked.
Chris chuckled and leaned back down, nuzzling the side of Dani's face near her ear. Her weight was supported on her right forearm, her left played idly with the hem of Dani's short tank top, which barely met the waistband of the shorts she wore. "I want to make sure you're ok with this," she husked into a nearby ear.
"Fine," was all Dani could manage.
"And this?" Chris felt the muscles under her palm twitch as her hand found the silky smooth skin beneath the cloth of Dani's tank top. She dipped her finger into a trembling navel, circling it as her lips found the blonde's again.
Dani managed to regain the use of her arms, and her own hands fluttered across the strong back, lowering until they found the hem of Chris's t-shirt and trembling when they delved beneath the fabric, encountering warm soft skin. Short nails drew pictures across the firm back, and she smiled into the kiss when she realised she was having much the same effect on the tall woman as Chris was having on her. She felt the woman lean more heavily into her, and she pulled her down, only the fabric of their clothes separating them.
Somewhere in the back of Chris's overheated mind a small voice called for caution, and reluctantly she drew back. The blonde beneath her raised her body, not wanting to end the pleasure she was feeling, but flopped back down onto the grass as Chris drew out of reach.
Dani smiled up at the dark-haired woman still hovering above her. "You do that….very well," she said, slightly breathless.
Chris chuckled. "It takes two," she said simply. She opened her mouth to say something else, but quickly stopped when La Bamba suddenly started playing in a rather tinny, electronic sort of way.
"Bugger!" exclaimed Dani, rummaging in the pocket of her shorts and pulling out the tiniest cell phone Chris had ever seen.
Dani looked at the caller ID and sighed deeply. She sat up and glared at the still ringing phone.
"You going to answer it?" asked Chris, reluctantly sitting up and looking for her drink, which she found had met the same fate as Dani's.
"It's Melanie," she said, as the phone stopped ringing.
Dani looked for a long moment at the now silent instrument, cursing her decision to bring it. Then she pressed the button she knew would connect her to the last caller.
Chris watched in fascination as Dani listened to whatever it was Melanie had to say once she was connected. Dani didn't say a word, just listened, wincing on more than one occasion. Then she simply said, "Ok," and disconnected the call.
Chris was cradling an empty glass in her hand, watching a couple of ducks snoozing on the opposite bank of the stream. "So what's up?" she asked, seeing Dani's consternation.
"Well," she began. "She's going to kill Steph, and I have to get to the cliff-top car park as soon as I can."
"Was that all she said?"
Dani shook her head. "No, but when she gets excited she gets garbled. Talks too fast. I heard the occasional 'bitch' and 'dead'. So I think something major may have happened." She looked up through long eyelashes, almost relieved to see the disappointment on Chris's face. "I'm sorry. I was really... enjoying it here."
Chris sighed and got to her feet, reaching down to help the blonde up. "I was too," she said, pulling Dani close and giving her a heartfelt hug. They stood there a while, enjoying the contact, until Dani pulled away but kept a hold of Chris's larger hand.
"I'm sure it's nothing too dramatic," she said, pulling Chris back towards the pub car park after picking up their empty glasses. But even as she said it she heard the sirens, and somehow knew her friends had something to do with it.
The drive back to Bournemouth and the cliff top car park had taken place mostly in silence. Both women wondering at the intense emotions just kissing the other had invoked.
Dani had sneaked glances at the driver, taking in the strong profile and the corded muscles in Chris's forearms as she manoeuvred the jeep through the traffic. But most of all, she had come to decide that Chris was one of the most gorgeous women she had ever seen. Not that she'd really taken notice of other women, but she was sure if she'd met someone as lovely as Chris she would have noticed before. And she was sure she hadn't.
"Here we are," said Chris, as they approached the large and very full car park. But what was most noticeable was the large fire engine, its lights flashing, and half a dozen firemen packing up their gear.
Dani could hear Melanie's shrieking, and turned to Chris. "You want to stay here?"
Chris stood up in the jeep and saw Melanie's fair head and Steph's dark head as the two women seemed to stand toe to toe. "I think so," she said, sitting again. "Give me a shout if you need me."
"Thanks," said Dani, under her breath, and she started threading her way through the parked cars towards her two friends.
The first thing Dani noticed was the horrible stench of burning rubber. Then she saw Steph's small white car, or rather small white-and-black car, as it was now.
It was surrounded by foam, the bonnet open, and the remains of the engine steaming gently. The steering wheel was melted, and both front tyres were gone.
Melanie looked... frazzled. She was screaming at Steph, who was looking from her to the remains of her car in utter bemusement.
"I told you I could smell smoke!" Melanie screamed. "Were you trying to kill us both?"
"We passed an Indian restaurant," said Steph reasonably.
"Since when does Chicken bloody Vindaloo smell of burning rubber?!"
Steph opened her mouth to comment.
"Don't," Melanie said. "I don't want to hear it." She turned and saw Dani. "Dani!" she cried, rushing into the shorter woman's arms. "We almost died."
Dani winced as Melanie's solid hair hit her in the face. "Did you?" she asked Steph over the crying woman's shoulder.
Steph shook her head. "We'd just got out when it started to smoke."
Melanie suddenly gasped and shoved Dani away. She tore open the passenger door, which was still slightly warm, and hauled the remains of the seat forward, peering into the back seat. "My bag, my make-up," she screamed, pulling a blackened bag from the back of the wreck. "Oh my God, it's alright." She turned to her two friends, clutching the bag to her chest. "It's alright." She went off mumbling, rooting through the contents of the precious bag, "It's alright."
Dani went to stand next to Steph, who was still slightly hunched over after her experience in the tattoo parlour. "You okay?" the blonde asked.
Steph nodded. "Yeah. I'll call Dad later. It's insured, so I'm sure it'll be fine." She sighed. "We'll probably have to take the train home, or the bus."
"That's not a problem." Dani looked up to see a tow truck winding its way through the parked cars. "Is there anything in there you want?" she asked, nodding towards the burnt out car.
Steph showed her the keys, which included the key to the caravan. "I managed to pull these out of the ignition before it went up. Everything else I had, tapes and stuff, was in the glove compartment, and that's gone."
"Okay, what are you both going to do now?"
"We're going to go down into the town and have a drink, get something to eat, then go back to the camp site." She looked across at Melanie who was now sitting on a grassy bank, peering at her reflection in a small hand-held mirror. "We were going to try one of the night-clubs tonight, maybe Bumbles." Steph frowned. "Where were you anyway?"
Dani scratched her head, and her gaze automatically found the small jeep and the woman sitting in it. "I was having a drink with a friend."
"Someone I met yesterday."
Steph's face creased into some kind of leer. "Yeah?" She looked around. "What's he like?"
"Nothing that would interest you, dear," she said, pushing the brunette towards Melanie. "Look, you two go on, and I'll meet you back at the caravan later."
Steph was still peering over her shoulder, trying to see Dani's mystery acquaintance. But her attention was drawn to the young man climbing down from the pickup truck.
"Oooh, the day is looking up," she said, as she pushed past Dani and approached the man, who was writing down details of the smouldering car on a clipboard.
"Is this yours?" he asked the approaching brunette.
"My what?" she asked, taking in the muscular torso visible through the open overalls. He had some oil smeared across his face, and his hands were almost black, but this seemed to add to the appeal for Steph.
"Your car," he explained.
"Oh, yes." She never took her eyes off the man. "It was terrible." She took a step closer. "I'm still shaking." And to demonstrate, she reached out, placing her hand against a muscular forearm.
He threw the clipboard into the door of the truck, and pulled a long chain with an evil looking hook from the back.
Dani heard the sound of rapid footsteps behind her and turned to see Melanie approaching, making her way with determined strides towards the brunette and the mechanic.
"Hello," she said to the man, placing herself between him and Steph. "Have you come to save us?"
"I've come to take the car," he said simply.
"Well, you have a lot of room in the front of your little van there," said Melanie. "Couldn't you just drop us off in town?"
The man straightened up after attaching the tow chain to the front of Steph's car. "It's only a short walk. Or you could take the cliff railway."
Melanie smiled and edged closer. "Please?" she said, ignoring Steph, who was muttering behind her.
"Hey, you two," interrupted Dani. "I'm going back into town, I'll meet you back at the caravan at about 7."
"Okay," they both said in unison, their attention on the mechanic.
Dani shook her head, and wound her way through the parked cars towards Chris and her jeep. Her heart rate picked up when took in the vision of the woman sitting in the small car with her eyes closed and her face turned towards the sun. Behind her she heard a commotion and turned to see her two friends fighting over who could get into the truck first and so have a seat next to the bemused mechanic.
She approached the jeep slowly, seeing Chris open her eyes and turn her head towards her.
A glorious smile lit up the dark-haired woman's face and Dani eased herself into the passenger seat. "Where to now?" asked the blonde.
"Wherever you want," said Chris, starting the engine.