A Little Piece of Paradise.
Eden followed Tori out of the club but had trouble keeping up with her. The woman`s long legs took her through the doors and out onto the street, while the shorter woman got caught in a small crowd entering the club.
"Tori!" She called to the retreating back.
Tori didn`t seem to hear and carried on walking at a brisk pace.
"Tori, will you stop!"
The angry voice pulled her up short. She didn`t turn but waited for Eden to catch up with her.
"Thankyou." Said a breathless Eden as she came level with her. She looked up into the emotionless face. "Where are we going?"
Tori laughed sarcastically. "You tell me." She looked around her and spotted a taxi. Whistling, she gestured toward the driver who pulled in.
The two women climbed into the back and Tori gave her address. The journey was made in silence.
They arrived back at Tori`s apartment in quicker time than they`d taken to get to the club, the reason being the lighter traffic flow.
Tori immediately went to her kitchen and rifled through her freezer. "I have a couple of pizzas." She called from the kitchen.
"That`s fine." Said Eden who settled onto the sofa.
By the time Tori had retrieved the pizza`s from the freezer, read and reread the instructions and put them in the oven, Eden had fallen asleep on the sofa.
Tori found her curled up in one corner, one arm under her head the other curled round a large cushion.
Tori sat in the chair opposite and watched her sleep. `She really doesn`t know what she`s getting into. What were you thinking of taking her to that place? Best end it here. Save us both some heartache.`
She crept over and sat on the edge of the sofa, brushing some golden hair back from Eden`s shoulder.
The green eyes fluttered open and a soft smile lit the small woman`s face. "Hi." Eden whispered, and started to get up.
"No, stay there, it`s been a long day. I`ve put the pizzas in, but if you`re too tired don`t worry." Tori gently pushed her back down onto the soft couch.
Eden lay back and then reached her arms out to the older woman. "Come here."
Tori stood abruptly. "No........... I can`t , I have to............."
"What? What is it?" Eden`s brows knitted in consternation.
"The pizzas, they`ll burn."
"Go and turn them off."
Tori stood for a moment, seemingly uncertain, then left for a moment. She returned and resumed her place, standing in front of the reclining form of Eden.
"Now." Said Eden in a softly seductive voice. "Come here." Again she opened her arms.
This time Tori allowed herself to be pulled down into a soft embrace. Eden wrapped her arms around her, pulling the dark head down onto her shoulder.
"You going to tell me what`s wrong?" The blonde asked.
There was silence for a while, then a long drawn out sigh from Tori.
"What Debbie said was true." Tori`s breath was warm on Eden`s chest, her voice muffled by the smaller woman`s denim shirt.
"I hurt people, I`m no good for you." Tori started to pull away from Eden, but the blonde strengthened her grip.
"Oh no you don`t." Said Eden. "I`m the only one who decides what`s good for me." She gave Tori a gentle shake. "Why won`t you give us a chance?"
"I want to, believe me. But..........."
"But what? Let`s just see what happens." Eden spoke into the soft ebony hair. "No rushing, no great expectations. Just take each day as it comes." She pushed Tori away so that she could look into her eyes. "What d`you say?"
Tori doubted she`d be able to deny this woman anything. She nodded. "Ok, but don`t say I didn`t warn you." This was said with a smile but Eden knew there was a serious warning behind it.
"Let`s go to bed." Said Eden.
Tori raised an eyebrow. "Bed?"
"Yes, bed, I`m worn out. Like I said before, last night I had a date with the most beautiful woman I`ve ever seen, and after she left me I couldn`t think of anything else. I didn`t get too much sleep." Eden smiled as Tori nodded.
"You`re right, let`s go." She stood, waiting for Eden to join her."Um, where should I............?" Eden waited.
"With me." Was all that Tori said as she took her hand and lead her to the bedroom.
By the time Tori had finished in the bathroom Eden was in bed and fast asleep. She had donned one of her oversize teeshirts and was flat on her back, dead to the world.
Tori eased into bed beside her and lay on her side facing the blonde. A small chuckle found its way from the dark woman`s lips. `You`ve got a beautiful woman in bed with you Tori, and you`re not going to touch her. That`s a first!` She turned onto her back and regarded the darkened ceiling. `It`s also a first having someone in this bed.`
She looked across at the glowing numbers on the alarm clock. 02.37. She`d get a few hours sleep and then start thinking about what she wanted to take to Bath with her.
Eden chose that moment to turn in her sleep and Tori found a warm soft body snuggling up against her right side.
Eden settled down again and Tori closed her eyes, though she doubted sleep
would find her in the near future.
Eden took a moment to take in her surroundings. Then she realised where she was. She looked to her right at the alarm, the glowing numbers told her it was 10.12am. The thick curtains were pulled but she could see the grey London light filtering through the cracks. She`d known as soon as she awoke that she was alone. She heard noises coming from another part of the apartment and eased out of bed to investigate.
Eden found Tori sitting on the floor in the spare bedroom dismantling her computer.
"Hi." The blonde said.
Tori turned, a smile of genuine affection graced her features. "Good morning, sleep well?"
Eden nodded and made her way over to the seated woman and bent, putting one hand behind the dark head. "Very well." She said and dipped down giving Tori the softest of kisses.
Eden straightened back up and smiled at her friend who hadn`t moved or opened her eyes since the kiss.
"You shouldn`t have let me sleep so long." Said Eden who sat on the bed.
Tori went back to her dismantling. "You needed the sleep." She looked up to her with a mischievous grin. "And you looked so cute, didn`t have the heart."
Eden laughed and stood. "I`m going to get dressed then I`ll give you a hand." With that she left the small room.
An hour later they had the back seat of the Shogun folded down and were starting to load Tori`s computer into it. She also had a few bags with some of the clothes she`d left behind, though she`d brought three cases with her when she`d checked in to the Bath Spa.
"Let`s get some lunch, then we`ll make a move. Ok?" Said Tori.
"Sounds good to me." They`d had some toast and cereal, but were both still hungry. The half cooked pizzas had found their way into the bin.
After a pub lunch Tori went back to her apartment and made sure it was secure. She saw the doorman and told him she wouldn`t be back for a few months. She remembered to empty the bins, not wanting the smell of mouldy pizzas to welcome her back when she returned. `If I return,` flashed through her mind.
They did surprisingly well considering it was a Saturday and by 6.30 they were heading into Bath.
Eden had chattered constantly on the journey, becoming increasing frustrated that Tori seemed, once again, to be retreating into that unaccessable place that Eden had no way into.
In the end Eden gave up. The last hour or so of the journey was completed in silence.
"D`you want me to help you unload this stuff?" Eden asked as the Shogun sped down the new dual carriageway that bypassed the small village of Swainswick, much to the villagers relief.
"No it`s not much, I can manage." Tori said, not looking at the woman beside her.
Eden nodded. "Ok." She was running out of time. They turned right, towards Larkhall. "What about the tour?"
"I`ll call you."
Tori negotiated the narrow streets and found Eden`s building without any prompting from the girl.
"Here you are." Said Tori.
"What`s going on?" Asked Eden, regarding the dark profile with concern.
"Nothing, just brought you home." The smile on Tori`s face was strained.
"Ok." Said Eden pulling open the door and jumping out. She leaned in and snagged her bag from the back. "If that`s how you wanna play it, carry on." She slammed the door shut and walked up the steps to the front door, determined not to look back. It took a moment for her to find her keys in her bag, all the time aware that the Shogun was still there, its engine running. She finally got the door open and dove inside, slamming yet another door behind her.
Eden stood with her back to the door, her heart hammering in her chest, and listened to the sound of the car pulling away.
Tori had sat and watched Eden`s tense back from the safety of the Shogun and winced when the heavy door slammed. Her fingers were digging into the steering wheel, and her head dropped when Eden disappeared from sight.
She pushed the gear stick forward and sped forward.
The idea had started some time after they`d left London. Eden was chattering away, but Tori hadn`t heard much of it. She was lost in her own insecurities. She hadn`t had a long term relationship with a woman since Jodie. She hadn`t been in a long term relationship period. Damien had known why they were engaged. Sure, they slept together once or twice, but both realised that it was a relationship more to do with convenience than anything else. She thought she`d be able to live with that. Damien didn`t seem to object to her `evening`s out`, and the question of them living together was never raised. They played the `couple` for her parents. But she became increasing uncomfortable with the arrangement, culminating with her calling the wedding off. She`d recieved a few irate calls from him, a couple downright threatening. Her father got in on the act too, using emotional blackmail and another, even more terrifiying weapon, her mother.
So she`d decided on the journey back to her new home that she couldn`t bring the young woman into such an already complicated life. She wouldn`t be able to commit anything to her, and she guessed Eden was the sort that would eventually want some sort of commitment. She could have used her for a while, she`d done that before. The thought was banished quickly though. She liked Eden, and that was the problem. She wanted her more than anything she could remember. Sharing her bed with her the previous night had been devine. She`d woken to find her face buried in soft, fragrant red-gold hair. She`d pushed the hair back from the sleeping face and watched her for long moments. Her hand crept beneath the white teeshirt and smoothed across a soft hip and down a taut thigh.
It was then that the doubts started to surface. Would she be able to walk away from this woman when the time came? She thought not.
So as she made her way back to Summer Cottage she decided she`d done what was best.
Best for Eden.