CLASS OF '88
This alt. romance is an original story. All characters are created by me.
This story depicts a loving, sexual relationship between consenting adult women. If such a story frightens you, you better click on the X in the top right corner of your screen right away.
All characters depicted, names used, and incidents portrayed in this story are fictitious. No identification with actual persons is intended nor should be inferred. Any resemblance of the characters portrayed to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.
The registered trademarks mentioned in this story are © of their respective owners. No infringement of their rights is intended, and no profit is gained.
NOTES FROM THE AUTHOR:
Thank you for your help, Yorksbard :)
Written: September 17th - 24th, 2011.
Finished in Second Place in the 2011 Cocktail Hour 'Bearded Clam' Writing Challenge.
As usual, I'd like to say a great, big THANK YOU to my mates at AUSXIP Talking Xena, especially to the gals and guys in Subtext Central. I really appreciate your support - Thanks, everybody! :D
Description: For Delia Corbett, the party marking the twentieth anniversary of her finishing secondary school turns into a magical, unpredictable evening with plenty of laughter and a few tears. Meeting her old classmates for the first time in years brings back a lot of memories - especially of Vicky Baxter, a honey-blonde beauty who was the first girl Delia kissed…
WELCOME CLASS OF 1988!
Twentieth Anniversary, June 1988 - 2008
"Hmmm…" Delia 'Del' Corbett said, closing her right eye and putting an index finger across her lips while studying the red and yellow plastic banner that had been draped above the entrance.
The car park in front of the building she had rented for the reunion party - the village hall in Barton-upon-Lea - wasn't the world's most inspiring place to be, and it didn't help that the weather left a lot to be desired; it was windy and spitting with rain, as usual.
The gusts of wind made a mess of Delia's long, mousy brown hair, and she had to clamp down on it with both hands to stop it from turning into a haystack.
Delia's sister, Cathy, tried to fight the gusts perched on the top step of an impossibly tall ladder, practically turning blue in the face from trying to hold the plastic banner steady. "Even higher, Del?"
"Hmmm. No. A little down."
"Will you make up your bleedin' mind! You said it was too low before!"
"Woman's prerogative. Ah, keep it where it is. Nobody is going to look at it, anyway," Delia said and waved her hand.
Cathy grumbled and reached for the hammer she had stuck into her pocket. With a little skill and a lot of luck, she managed to put a nail in the wall without ruining either. Finally allowed to climb down from the ladder, Cathy crossed the parking area to stand next to her sister.
A gust of wind nearly tore Delia's hair off and she gave up trying to control it. Sighing, she turned back to the banner. In the meantime, the gust of wind and the weight of the large piece of plastic had joined forces to pull the corner Cathy had worked so hard on down by at least two inches.
"Cathy…?" Delia said in a monotone.
"I know, I know! The banner is crooked again," Cathy said, dabbing her forehead with a pink hankie.
"Yes, but that wasn't what I was going to say. Cathy, tell me, shouldn't there be a comma between 'welcome' and 'class'…?"
"If you want a comma, you climb the ladder to put it there," Cathy said and patted her sister's shoulder.
"Well, it's not that much of a problem, I just thought that it needed… never mind." Harrumphing, Delia crossed her arms over her chest.
"Sis, I really hope you'll put away your anal tendencies while you're chatting to your old classmates… or were you planning to point out all their faults?"
"Oh, come on, I don't do that!"
"You do it more than you think, Del."
"I'm a stickler for details, so what," Delia huffed, turning away from her sister. When all Cathy did was to chuckle at her, Delia strode over to the entrance to the village hall to see how things were going inside.
At once, she took a clipboard from a makeshift table, leafed through the pages and found her to-do list. After running her index finger down the list, she made a check-mark next to 'put up banner.'
Still holding the clipboard, Delia turned around in a circle to take in the state of the rented village hall. She had accepted the task of organising the class reunion thinking that it wouldn't pose much of a problem for her - after all, she was used to brokering thousands of forty-foot containers for Braithwaite Worldwide Shipping - but a few days into the preparations, she'd had to admit that she had bitten off more than she could chew and had asked her sister and her husband to help out.
Even now, with only an hour and a half to go until the official starting time, the village hall was a chaotic mess: the DJ had arrived early and was putting up his gear right in the middle of the main hall, the balloons and the rest of the party equipment hadn't even been unpacked yet and the caterers hadn't shown up - which was actually a good thing since the chairs and the tables were standing unattended in the corner because the carpet had been rolled back in two places to try to pad the uneven surface.
"Sis, when are you going to change clothes? Or are you planning to wear that purple and pink tracksuit for the reunion?" Cathy said, stifling a snicker and poking her finger into her sister's dubious outfit.
Delia turned around and shot her sister a dark look. "I'm sorry, how old are you? Last time I looked, you were thirty, not thirteen! Where's your husband, anyway? Brian was supposed to have the carpet fixed by now!"
"He's yapping with the DJ… looks like they're arranging the play list. Sis, I'm going to start unwrapping the balloons. Can you handle the caterers if they arrive?"
"Sure, sure. Don't play with the helium."
"Ugh, I already have a mother…" Cathy said and hurriedly moved away from Delia in case she was planning to retaliate.
Rolling her eyes over her sister's silly games, Delia turned to look at the pile of wooden boxes in the centre of the hall. They were all marked 'Fragile', but that hadn't stopped the DJ from piling them up three boxes high.
Behind the pile, the DJ and Brian Walsh - Cathy's husband - were having an animated conversation while looking at several vinyl albums. One of the albums the DJ was holding was by AC/DC, and that made Delia bite her lip.
'If he starts playing heavy metal, I'm going to have a quiet word in his ear. We agreed on eighties' pop. He cost me three hundred pounds so I don't want any nonsense out of him,' she thought, scrunching up her face.
When Brian finally noticed Delia standing in the centre of the hall, he said a quick goodbye to the DJ and made his way over to her. "You have a look in your eye that says you want to talk to me…?" he said as he came up to stand next to her.
Brian was thirty-six - which Delia thought was a bit too old for her sister - and he was sporting a sandy-brown full beard that clashed severely with the outfit he was wearing: pale grey trousers, a white shirt and a narrow, black leather tie.
"No, I want us to do something about the uneven floor so we can get the carpet rolled back so we won't have to carry the bloomin' buffet cart across the hall! The caterers are going to be here shortly, Brian!"
"All righty. It shouldn't be too hard. I've looked at it and I think it only needs a few old newspapers here and there. That should level it out," Brian said, nodding.
"Well, get on with it. Please," Delia said, adding the last word almost as an afterthought.
"Anything for my darling wife's sister," Brian said with a grin, rolling up his shirt sleeves.
Fifteen minutes later, Brian nudged the last section of the chocolate brown carpet into place before wiping a few drops of sweat off his brow. "And there we have it," he said, making a sweeping gesture with his hand.
Looking at the carpet, Delia made a slight grimace that signalled that she wasn't sure whether or not she actually liked that shade of brown. "Excellent. Thanks, Brian," she said, taking the clipboard and making a check-mark next to 'fix the floor!' "Would you mind helping me with the tables? I can take the chairs myself, and then you can go help Cathy with the balloons and the rest of the fun stuff."
"Del, the tables are heavy. It's a job for men," Brian said and waved the DJ over to them.
Delia's only reply was a raised eyebrow.
"Henry the Hit Machine and I will take care of it. Right, Henry?" Brian said and patted the DJ's back. The bespectacled Henry nodded reluctantly before shuffling off to get the first table.
Looking at the many boxes that had been placed exactly where the tables were supposed to be, Delia cleared her throat and raised her hand. "Uh, Henry, before you start with the tables… I'm sorry to tell you after you've had the trouble of putting up your gear… but you were actually supposed to put it up on the small stage down there," Delia said and pointed at a dais that had been erected at the end of the hall.
"Oh…" Henry said, looking at his collection of massive boxes containing hundreds of vinyl albums and singles.
"Don't worry, I'll help you move 'em," Brian said.
"Okay," Henry said and shuffled back to his wooden boxes.
"How much did you pay for his services?" Brian whispered once the DJ was out of earshot.
"Three hundred quid," Delia whispered back.
"All right. I'll let you two strongmen have at it. And don't forget, the tables are rented. If you scratch them, they won't refund our deposit," Delia said on her way over to Cathy.
"No problem! We're on top of everything!" Brian shouted, giving Delia a thumbs-up.
"Gives me the shivers just thinking about it," Delia said under her breath.
Clutching the clipboard, Delia walked over to the other side of the village hall to check up on Cathy's progress. Once she got there, she was astounded to see that her sister had already inflated close to three dozen regular balloons and a handful of colourful animals - two elephants, a donkey and a crocodile.
"Cathy… wow, I can see that things are going just fine here," Delia said, tucking the clipboard under her arm.
"Yep. Two packs of balloons and six of those weird animal things to go. Shouldn't take me too long."
"Good, because we don't have much time," Delia said, looking at her watch. "And the helium…?"
"Oh, we have plenty left. Don't worry about that," Cathy said as she finished inflating an eagle. Once it was done, she carried it over to the small stage and tied the string to the bottom part where it joined its distant relatives, almost creating a zoo-like atmosphere.
"Thank you," Delia said and made a new check-mark. "If you don't need me here, I'll go into the Ladies' and change."
"Sure. If there's any drama, I'll just scream your name, like in the old days."
"Ha. Ha. Ha. No, actually, that wasn't funny at all," Delia said and spun around on her heel.
"Yes it was!"
After closing and locking the door to the Ladies' room, Delia found the first peace and quiet of her entire day. Letting out a sigh of relief, she walked down to the other end of the rest room, past the five stalls and the huge mirror above the wash basin.
The rest rooms were lined with cool, white tiles and everything appeared to be squeaky clean and in good condition, something Delia appreciated greatly because if there was one thing she couldn't stand, it was grotty toilet facilities.
She and Cathy each had a dress bag containing their fancy frocks hanging from a stainless steel pipe in the ceiling, and she quickly went over to hers. Unzipping it, she looked at the outfit she had chosen for the class reunion - flats, a pair of form-fitting putty-coloured slacks, a green cotton shirt and a white undershirt.
After removing the items from the bag and giving them a thorough once-over, she decided against wearing the undershirt and put it back into the dress bag.
'After all, it's okay to show some skin once every ten years. Not that anyone will notice,' she thought as she took off her trainers and slipped out of the pink and purple tracksuit.
Three minutes later, she looked at the result in the mirror. Running her hands up her thighs and around her bum, she worried that the form-fitting slacks were far too revealing, but she eventually came to the conclusion that the other women were going to be dressed just as outrageously.
'It's just a sign of these over-sexed times,' she thought as she buttoned her shirt, remembering to leave the top three buttons undone to complete the image she wanted to convey. 'Hmmm… the shirt… inside or outside…? Inside.'
To conclude her dolling-up, she reached for the small jewellery box at the bottom of the dress bag. Once she had put on her two-tier gold necklace that Cathy had given her for her thirty-eighth birthday, she fluffed her long hair so it fell just right, and took a step back so she could see herself in the mirror.
"Well. Hmmm. Not too shabby, I suppose," she said out loud. Shrugging, she scooped up her tracksuit and stuffed it into the dress bag.
As Delia came out of the rest rooms, she stopped to let her trained eye sweep over the various hotspots - Cathy had finished inflating the balloons, and Brian and the DJ had shifted the gear up on the stage and were busy moving the tables into the centre of the hall, placing them in a horseshoe like instructed.
'Great. All I need to do is to move the chairs, the small lamps and the flower arrangements over to the tables… roll the buffet cart over to the other wall and plug it into the wall socket… oh, God, I hope the caterers arrive before the first guests do,' she thought on her way over to the many stacks of chairs.
Grabbing seven chairs, her lower back immediately sent out a distress call, forcing her to reduce her ambitions and try again with four. "Bugger, I'm getting old…" she said under her breath. "Cathy? Cathy…?"
"I'm up here, Del," Cathy said from the small dais where she was busy tying the final three inflated animals to the stage.
"Would you mind coming down here to give your old, old, big sister a hand with the chairs?"
After staggering over to the tables carrying an armful of chairs, Delia quickly distributed the seats along the completed wing of the horseshoe, remembering to leave room to place the tablecloth, the battery powered lamps and the flower arrangements.
"I'll be right there… wow! You should dress up more often, Sis. You look smashing!" Cathy said and pulled her husband over to the side so he could catch an eyeful of Delia.
Brian nodded appreciatively, leering at his sister-in-law's long legs and shapely bum. Cathy noticed and quickly elbowed him in the ribs.
"Thanks, Cathy. Oh, the rest room is ready so you can go change whenever you feel like it," Delia said and scooped up four more chairs.
"I'll do that as soon as we have the tables ready," Cathy said and took the quick way down by jumping off the stage instead of going down the stairs.
"Careful doing that, Cathy. You might sprain an ankle."
"Cathy…" Delia said in a flat monotone - the one she always used when Cathy was doing something that grated on her nerves.
After placing the final table, Brian stood up straight and wiped some sweat off his brow. "That's the last of the tables, Del. The horseshoe is complete."
"You're welcome. Boy, I need a rest…" she said and shuffled over to the couches that would later double as the lounge.
Delia returned to the stacks of chairs and picked up four more. On her way back to the tables, her eardrums were assaulted by a horrendously loud screech from the DJ's loudspeakers that nearly caused her to drop the entire load.
"What the HELL was that?" she howled, quickly stepping sideways to keep her balance.
"Sorry," Henry the Hit Machine said from somewhere behind his equipment. "Wrong jack."
"Wrong jack my foot," Delia growled as she distributed the chairs along the furthest wing of the horseshoe.
When Cathy brought over the four remaining chairs, the two sisters quickly put on the tablecloths, the battery powered lamps and the flower arrangements, making sure - with military-like precision - that the lamps and the ceramic flower pots were lined up dead-centre on the tables.
"I need a cig before I change. Okay?" Cathy said, digging into her pockets to find a crumpled pack of cigarettes.
"Sure, but wear a jacket. It's quite chilly out there."
Before Delia had time to make a snappy retort, Henry turned on his microphone and tapped his index finger on it to make sure it was on - the thumping sound it created reverberated through the village hall. "Testing… testing… testi-" *SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEECH!*
"Gaaaah!" Delia howled, jumping a foot in the air and three feet backwards. Once she landed, she put a hand on her wildly beating heart and sent Henry a whole series of Evil Eyes.
"Sorry… wrong jack," the DJ said, fumbling with the many cables.
"Del! Del! The caterers are here!" Cathy said, standing in the main entrance with her unlit cigarette in her hand.
"Oh, damn, the buffet cart hasn't been plugged in yet!" Delia said and threw her arms in the air. "Brian! Get the cart over to the other wall and plug it in!" she barked, hurrying over to the door to help her sister and the caterers carry in the many trays and Styrofoam boxes.
"Yes, ma'am!" Brian said and sent Delia a salute that wouldn't have cut it in any of the Queen's armed forces.
Once the buffet cart had been plugged in and filled to the brim with all kinds of meats, potatoes, vegetables and salads, Delia took a few steps back to get the big picture.
"Let's see… the pork chops, the roast beef, the bangers and the chips are under the red lamps… the salads are all in the cooling trays… mmmm. The veggies are fresh and inviting… excellent," she mumbled to herself, pointing her index finger at the various items to make sure that everything was where it was supposed to be.
Moving over to the refrigerators, she looked at the beverages through the glass doors, again moving her index finger down the shelves. "… soft drinks, soft drinks, soft drinks, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer… good." Smiling, she made two big check-marks next to 'food' and 'drink' on her to-do list.
After making sure that they had plenty of red, white and rosé wines, Delia dabbed her damp forehead and prayed for a fun, relaxing evening.
"Testing… testing… testing…" Henry said from the stage, making Delia roll her eyes repeatedly.
"Brian, can you turn the lights down, please?" Henry continued, putting on one of his old vinyl records.
Standing at a panel that held all the switches for the lights, Brian sent the DJ a thumbs-up and began to move the slider down until the lights had been reduced to a very faint level.
At the same time, Henry put the needle on the record and activated his four spotlights that had been placed near the stage. Soon, the unmistakable intro to Crockett's Theme from Miami Vice started playing, accompanied by a blue, a green, a red and a yellow spotlight that blinked and rotated to the relatively slow rhythm of the timeless instrumental.
Despite the fact that it was created by only four spotlights, the light show was quite spectacular and Delia found herself rather impressed. As the song continued, her mind was flooded by sweet memories of a party in 1986 where that very tune had formed the soundtrack to an unforgettable couple of kisses, given to her by a girl from her class that she'd had a baby-crush on.
'Vicky Baxter… God, I hope she shows up tonight. I would so much like to see her again…' Delia thought, sighing deeply. A split second later, the moment was ruined when Brian turned the lights back up to full strength without warning.
"Brian!" Delia barked, slamming her hand across her eyes that had already adapted to the semi-darkness.
"Sorry!" Brian said, but the chuckle that followed gave away that he wasn't being entirely honest.
Grumbling, Delia spun around and stomped over to the buffet cart.
Slightly less than ten minutes later, the elderly lady arrived that Delia had rented to handle the cloakroom - or rather, bribed with the promise of two tickets to the opera.
"Miss Corbett?" the woman said, knocking on the doorjamb. Vivian Harper, a retired secretary whom Delia had worked with in the shipping company, kept waiting in the doorway, almost like she didn't think it was appropriate to set foot in the village hall.
"Oh, good evening, Mrs. Harper," Delia said and put down her clipboard. She walked over to the door and gave the woman a thorough handshake.
"It's certainly wet and cold tonight," Vivian said as she turned around to step into the cloakroom that was located in a small anteroom before the main hall.
"Yes. I really hope you won't get too cold out here…?"
"Oh, no, Miss Corbett, that won't be a problem. I'm wearing woolly bloomers."
"Oh… uh, good."
As soon as Vivian had taken off her parka revealing that she was wearing an old-fashioned black and white dress, she emptied a plastic bag of coat tags out on an old and slightly scruffy table. "When you asked me to take care of the cloakroom, I thought up a clever, little system that'll help me keep track of the clothes. How many guests are you expecting, Miss Corbett?"
"Oh… we've sent out twenty-five invitations, but with spouses et cetera, I think we'll be looking at forty guests."
"All right," Vivian said and left fifty tags on the table to have a little overhead.
"Well, thank goodness I bought a few extra coat hangers at Woolworths this afternoon, because that lot over there wouldn't be enough for half that number of guests," Vivian continued, pointing at a small, sorry-looking batch of rusty coat hangers hanging on the inside wall of the cloakroom.
"Oh… I… I hadn't noticed. I'm terribly sorry, Mrs. Harper. Naturally, I'll compensate you."
"That's all right, dear, they were only £4.99 for fifty plastic hangers. You needn't worry about me, everything will be just fine," Vivian said and patted Delia's hand in a reassuring and very maternal fashion.
"Oh, that's good to hear, Mrs. Harper."
"I'll just pop out to my car to fetch them before the first guests arrive," Vivian said and put her parka back on.
"You do that, Mrs. Harper. Thank you very much," Delia said and turned away, happy that at least one part of the evening was handled professionally.
A few minutes later - with the brand new coat hangers in action - the first guests arrived with an excited laugh that made Delia walk over to the entrance to see what was going on.
"DELIAAAAAAA!" a pretty redhead in a floral dress howled the moment she saw Delia's characteristic shape turn up in the doorway. Seconds later, the woman ran forward and practically threw herself into Delia's open arms.
"GAWD! It's so good to see you, Del! Is everything all right? Good Lord, you look fantastic in those trousers! Where did you buy them? I wish I had your grace… look at me, I'm like the Michelin Man… damn that chocolate, ha ha. Have you met my husband yet? Jonathan… Jonathan, get over here, you need to say hello to Delia, one of my best friends from my old class!"
Biting her lip, Delia smiled tolerantly as the woman's excitement didn't allow her to get a word in edgewise.
"Hi, Delia. I'm Jonathan Rhodes," Jonathan said a great deal more subdued than his wife.
"Hi, Jonathan. Hello, Evelyn. It's been a while, hasn't it?" Delia said and gave the excitable woman another hug.
"It certainly has! God, ten years! Can you believe it? Looking at you, I can't! You look sensational!"
"How is your sister? She got married, didn't she? Oh, I need to meet her. Is she still here?"
"Oh, fantabulous! We have so much to catch up on, Delia. I can't wait to give you all the juicy details!" Evelyn said as she hurried into the village hall.
"Evelyn, you need to leave your coat here… that's what the wardrobe is for… Evelyn!" Jonathan said loudly to catch his wife's attention.
"Oh! How clever," Evelyn said and hurried back to the anteroom.
Smirking, Delia smoothed down her eyebrows. 'If I get such a welcome from all my old classmates, I'll need a sedative before the evening is over,' she thought, chuckling quietly to herself.
The next few guests arrived with slightly less hullabaloo - save for the occasional loud squeal bursting out of Evelyn when she met one of her old friends - but the one person Delia was dying to see hadn't turned up yet.
She kept checking her wristwatch, looking at the hands creeping closer and closer to eight o'clock. They were still five invitees short, but the village hall had filled up quite nicely and there was a great buzz going already. Delia knew it would be unfair to the others to keep them waiting for someone who might not show up, so she decided to go ahead with the evening's plans.
Sighing, she moved away from the main entrance and walked over to the tables. 'All right. It's not like we're going to lock the doors like at a rock concert. The most important thing is that they show up, not when,' she thought.
As she stood at her chair at the outside of the horseshoe, she looked at her old classmates with a content, if amused, expression on her face. With a single exception - namely Evelyn - it hadn't taken them ten minutes to return to the old groupings, and she had to chuckle when she noticed that the lines in the crowd were quite sharply drawn.
Clearing her throat, she took a knife and tapped it on the side of her glass to get everyone's attention.
"Ahem! May I have your attention, please! It's been twenty years since we left school and ten years since we last had a reunion party. Most of us haven't seen each other in the intervening years, but looking at the way you lot mingle, who would believe that…? Oh, Geoffrey, I see you've found the beer already."
Laughing, Geoffrey Hutchins - a gardener working for the city council - raised his Carlsberg to salute the speaker.
"While we're on that subject, the soft drinks and the beer are all in the refrigerator over there," - Delia pointed at the far wall - "next to the buffet cart. Oh, and if some of you, Geoffrey, feel like drinking more than your share, we have made an arrangement with the local Constabulary who have set up a small booth out in the car park. No, just kidding… possibly."
The guests laughed appropriately, including Cathy who knew that her sister was only half-joking - they had indeed contacted the local police station, but they had been too understaffed to send a Constable.
"Now, I'd like to introduce our DJ for the evening, Henry Brunton, better known as Henry the Hit Machine… stand up, please, Henry."
Henry had only just risen from his chair on the stage when Delia continued: "Thank you, you may sit down again. Henry has promised us an evening of wonderful music from the golden era known as the eighties… you may recall it, we were still young and beautiful then," Delia continued, earning herself a new round of laughter.
"Well! All that's left to say is, turn down the lights, please, Brian…" - Delia looked to her right where Brian quickly moved the slider down to create a very cosy atmosphere. "and let's all enjoy ourselves! The buff-"
A commotion at the door made Delia and everybody else crane their necks to see what was going on. A rather overweight man and his far slimmer wife were standing in the door, looking flushed and sweaty. The man's tie had been shoved to the right and the top two buttons of his shirt had been undone.
"Hi, Allan!" someone shouted.
"The bleedin' car got a bleedin' flat!" Allan Enfield groaned, looking around like he was searching for something. "Did we miss the buffet?!" he continued, hurrying over to the nearest available chair while mopping his brow.
"No, you haven't, Allan," Delia said. "I was about to say that the buffet is now open!"
A chorus of cheers rose from the guests and they all shot up from their chairs to go over to the buffet cart and the refrigerator. On the surface, Delia smiled at the comical sight, but deep down, she was terribly disappointed that Vicky wasn't there.
Cathy noticed her sister's long face and she walked around the horseshoe to offer her some comfort. "Something wrong, sis?" she said, putting a hand on Delia's elbow.
"Oh… no. No, I was just hoping that… that a girl from my old class would have been here. Oh, well. Perhaps she's busy," Delia said and walked over to stand in the line snaking its way back from the buffet cart.
Thirty minutes later, the reunion party was in full swing - and in high spirits - to the crispy backdrop of the Eurythmics' Be Yourself Tonight-album when a figure in a dark overcoat appeared in the doorway to the hall. After going back to the cloakroom to leave the coat, the figure walked into the hall completely unnoticed by her former classmates.
The figure went over to the buffet cart and took a plate and some cutlery. After pausing at the greasy Cumberland sausages and the dark brown roast beef, the woman scooped up a large spoonful of mixed salad and put several black olives on top. Grabbing a carbonated mineral water from the refrigerator, she made her way around the horseshoe, walking past several empty chairs while seemingly searching for one person in particular.
Delia had been busy catching up with her old classmates, enjoying a glass of chilled white wine and a full plate of cold cuts and potato salad. She had just finished talking to Allan - who had turned out to be more entertaining than she remembered him to be - when a dark figure placed a chair on the wrong side of the horseshoe and sat down.
Sticking her fork into a potato drenched in dressing and wondering who in the world the new person was, Delia got the shock of her life when the other woman moved her face into the battery-powered lamp's cone of light.
The fork never made it all the way to Delia's mouth but got stuck roughly halfway there, suspended in mid-air as Delia's hand froze. The dressing began to drip off the drenched potato, eventually joined on the plate by the potato itself.
"Hello, Del," the other woman said in the husky voice Delia remembered so well - mostly from reality, but also from a few fairly raunchy fantasies she'd had over the years.
"Oh… my… God…" Delia breathed, putting the fork down on the plate. "Vicky… I'm… you are… God!"
Vicky Baxter was wearing a dark blue pinstriped trouser suit over an ivory blouse with a plunging neckline that gave plenty of opportunity to look at her chest and the very top of her cleavage. A thin leather necklace with a gold pendant graced her throat, and she had two, small, gold-and-dark-blue studs in her ears.
Vicky had always been one of the youngest in the class, and even now at thirty-seven, she looked a decade younger than most of the others. Her hair, typically spiky and cut very short in the old days, had turned into a voluminous, honey-blonde fleece that framed her delicate, elfin-like features perfectly.
"Remember me?" Vicky said; her emerald green eyes sparkling with glee over Delia's reaction.
"Uh… yes. Yes, I do. My God, Vicky, you look… look… uh, you've turned into a very attractive woman," Delia said and took a long swig from her wine. The logic of the sentence soon caught up with her, and she clamped her hand across her mouth in embarrassment. "Uh, not that you weren't attractive when you were a teenager, you know… ha, ha," she continued in a croaky voice.
"Thank you. You look dashing yourself, Del. It's certainly been a while, hasn't it?"
"It has. We haven't seen each other since the day we left school in June 1988," Delia breathed. 'But I never stopped thinking about you,' she continued in her mind.
"That sounds about right."
"Yes, your parents moved away soon after. Before we even had time to say a proper goodbye," Delia said, feeling that her head was swimming; not just from the fatigue and the wine she'd had, but from the near-surreal experience of sitting opposite a woman she hadn't seen in twenty years.
A horrible thought entered Delia's mind and she quickly reached below the table to pinch her thigh. When Vicky didn't vanish into thin air, she breathed a sigh of relief and took a new swig from the wine.
"Yeah, I remember it well. And then I fell ill for the tenth anniversary get-together. All in all, it's been a while," Vicky said and leaned forward to put her elbows on the table.
Then blue locked onto green, sending a pleasantly warm wave rushing through Delia's body. At that moment, she knew that nothing short of a nuclear blast would be able to tear her attention away from Vicky's green orbs.
After keeping eye contact for nearly half a minute, Vicky broke out into a charming, crooked grin that made her already pretty face obtain a movie star-like quality. Grinning, she stuck her fork into her salad and began to eat.
Delia gulped several times and took a long swig from her wine to settle down from the giddy heights she had found herself at only moments earlier. When she wanted to pour herself a new glass, she realised that she had emptied the bottle all by herself.
"Vicky… would you like to have something else to drink other than mineral water?" Delia said, rising from her chair.
"No, thank you. I'm fine," Vicky replied, popping one of the black olives into her mouth. Delia just caught a fleeting glimpse of a pink tongue pulling the olive inside, but by association, it was enough to make her knees knock. Clearing her throat nervously, she pushed her chair back and made a beeline for the refrigerator.
Upon her return to the horseshoe holding a new bottle of white wine, Delia saw to her great annoyance that Evelyn Rhodes had discovered that Vicky had turned up. The easily excitable woman practically sat in Vicky's lap as they shared a trip down memory lane, and Delia felt a pang of something she grudgingly recognised as jealousy.
Grumbling to herself, she walked around the horseshoe and sat down at the seat where her plate was. After pouring herself a new glass of white wine, she picked up her fork and quickly wolfed down the remaining food.
Pushing the plate away, Delia dabbed her mouth on a napkin and leaned back in the chair. After a few seconds, she began to observe the honey-blonde woman sitting opposite her.
Over the years, Delia had thought a great deal about the kisses she and Vicky had shared that evening at the party - in fact, she felt that those kisses had opened her eyes to who and what she really was; that they had started a process that had culminated nearly four years later when she finally came out to her parents and her sister.
'But how does Vicky view those kisses? Were they just meant to be a small escapade at a drunken party, or were they meant seriously…? That look we shared before… God, that look gave me the biggest buzz I've had in years…'
Evelyn eventually gave Vicky a small hug and moved out into the semi-darkness. Vicky soon turned back to her salad and resumed eating, occasionally sending Delia a few sly looks.
Up on the stage, Be Yourself Tonight faded out, and Henry the Hit Machine put on something a bit more lightweight, Madonna's True Blue album from 1986. Most people cheered, but there were one or two groans, leading to more laughs - some things never changed.
Delia felt a strong need to reconnect with Vicky, but just as she opened her mouth to speak to her, another of their old classmates, Elizabeth Stewart, appeared out of the semi-darkness to greet the honey-blonde beauty.
Sighing, Delia leaned back in her seat and crossed her arms over her chest. Soon, she had worked herself into such a world class pout that she didn't even notice Cathy tapping on her shoulder.
"Sis!" Cathy said into Delia's ear, making Delia twitch and turn around.
"Whut?! Cathy? Something wrong?"
"You're pouting like someone stole your last lollipop. Time to fess up, sis. What's bothering you?"
"Oh, it's nothing. Don't worry about it."
"All right. If you say so…?"
"I do. It's nothing."
"Hmmm. I'm not convinced. Anyway, there's still some cold cuts left. Do you want me to fetch you a second helping?" Cathy said and put a hand on her sister's shoulder.
"No, thank you, I'm just fine, Cathy. Thank you for caring."
Smiling, Cathy turned around to get back to her husband. At the other side of the table, Elizabeth gave Vicky a goodbye-hug and moved away. Delia perked up, hoping it meant that she'd finally get a chance to talk to Vicky… but then Geoffrey Hutchins put his indispensable can of beer down on the table, gave Delia's back a big slap with his meaty hand and began to speak to her.
Delia knew it would be terribly rude of her to ignore Geoffrey - and it was a class reunion, after all - so she sighed inwardly and turned around in her chair to talk to her old classmate who had already become slightly inebriated.
Ten minutes later, the stars finally aligned and both Delia and Vicky were left alone. Pushing away her empty plate, Vicky leaned forward to get just a little bit closer to Delia.
"Del, I know you've probably said it half a dozen times already tonight, but I didn't want to eavesdrop. What do you do for a living?"
"Oh, that's all right, Vicky. I'm a broker in a shipping company called Braithwaite Worldwide. I stay on top of where our containers are and establish contact between clients… that sort of thing. All over the world, really."
"Sounds exciting. Do you speak several languages, then?"
"Well… I don't want to brag, but yes."
"We have a lot of business in Hamburg so I speak German pretty fluently, and a little bit of French and some Spanish," Delia said, smoothing out a non-existent crease in the tablecloth.
"I find that very sexy, Del," Vicky purred.
Delia's finger froze solid and she looked up at Vicky to see if the honey-blonde woman was making fun of her. The look on Vicky's face told another story, and it immediately sent a warm buzz travelling through Delia's system.
"Ah, uh… well…"
"I'm a book illustrator," Vicky said with a smile, pouring the last of her mineral water into a small glass.
"Oh, really? That's right, you were always carrying a sketchbook, weren't you?"
"Yes! Yes, I was. I still have most of them, apart from one or two that were lost when we moved."
"Oh… what kind of books do you do? Children's literature?" Delia said, putting her elbows on the table and leaning forward. She felt an urge to take Vicky's hands in her own, but at the same time, she knew it would be wildly inappropriate.
"I've done most things… children's literature, a reissue of the complete Sherlock Holmes, a few biographies… I'm using VIX as my signature. Perhaps you've seen some of my work?"
"I'm sorry, Vicky, I have very little time to read b-" Delia said, stopping abruptly when she remembered seeing that signature in a book that was as far removed from Sherlock Holmes as was humanly possible. "Wait a minute…? VIX?" she croaked.
Delia moved even further across the table, prompting Vicky to do the same.
"You worked on 'The Single Woman's One-Handed Guide to a Better Sex Life', didn't you?" Delia whispered hoarsely.
Vicky grinned cheekily and let out a laugh that was so saucy it made Delia's nape hairs stand on edge. "Yes, I did. Do you have a copy of that?"
Stunned, Delia nodded like in a trance.
"That was a fun book to work on. I was particularly proud of the talking bearded clam," Vicky said and drained her mineral water.
Delia just blinked, remembering the illustration - it had been drawn in a style that was supposed to invoke a sense of the slightly ridiculous movies they had watched in Sex Education in school. "God, I remember that one. The caption said… what was it… oh, 'treat me with respect and I'll give you a lifetime's worth of pleasure.' "
"Exactly!" Vicky said and laughed again.
"Well, I have to admit it's not the illustration people usually remember."
"I'll bet," Delia said, still thinking about the unusual image.
For a few heartbeats, the music and the din of the other guests came between the two women, making Delia lean back in the seat, too chicken to go ahead with the plan of taking Vicky's hands in her own.
When Vicky started looking around, Delia thought that the green-eyed beauty was getting bored with her. She began to bite her lip, trying to come up with something intelligent that would keep her dream girl at her table.
"I've kept a few drawings of you, actually. From my old sketchbooks," Vicky suddenly said, putting her hand on top of Delia's.
To Delia, the physical contact made her feel like she had been struck by lightning - electricity swept through her system, going up, down, left and right until it finally pooled at the lowest part of her stomach. A warm tingle spread out simultaneously from her hand and her centre, sending a nice, warm shiver down her back.
"Uh… really?" Delia croaked, using her free hand to reach for her glass. She took a long swig from the white wine to cool down, but Vicky's hand continued to rest on top of hers, making it a futile exercise.
"Yes. I hope you're not freaked out by that…? You face suggests that you are," Vicky said, cocking her head.
"Oh, no-no-no-no-no, it's all right. I think it's cute, actually. Uh… uh, so… so you draw people as well?" Delia said to get back to safe ground.
"Do you think it would be possible for you to make a drawing of my sister and her husband? Perhaps from their wedding photo? It's my sister's birthday next month, and I'd like to give her a unique present."
"Oh, that's a fabulous idea, Del! That's so sweet!" Vicky said and broke out in a very broad smile that once again transformed her face. Smiling, she started moving her thumb across the back of Delia's hand in a simple, yet affectionate gesture.
"Wh-what's your regular rate?" Delia croaked, feeling that Vicky's soft touch was setting the skin on the back of her hand on fire.
"Oh, please! Do you really think I would charge an old friend? Come on, Del!" Vicky said with a laugh.
When Vicky's hand finally moved away from Delia's, Delia quickly leaned back in her seat and put her hands on her thighs to keep them as far away from the honey-blonde temptress as possible. "Okay. I can mail you a copy of the photo… if you're not too busy, of course…?"
"I'm not particularly busy right now. And besides, I always have room for something like that."
Delia nodded, licking her lips. She had no idea what to say or do, but the thought that she would keep in touch with Vicky warmed her heart.
Up on the stage, Henry the Hit Machine faded down the Madonna album before it was over, making everyone turn around to see what the DJ was doing.
Jean Cresswell, the only one of their old teachers who had wanted to attend the reunion party, stepped up on the stage and tapped her index finger on the microphone, creating a wild screech that made everyone cover their ears.
"Oh…! It works. Splendid. I have written a short speech…" Jean said, holding up two closely written pages that sent a ripple of sighs through the guests who vividly remembered similar events in the past. "… that I would like to recite to you. However, my eyesight isn't as good as it once was, so I would like to have a bit more light, please," she continued.
At once, Brian rose from his chair and went over to the light panel. Moving the slider upwards, he quickly found a level that the retired teacher could read by.
Jean quickly sent Brian a polite smile and began to shuffle her papers. "Thank you. All right. Ahem. Twenty years ago, when we said goodbye on the last day of school, I'm sure that some… or maybe even most of you… felt elated to finally get away from that stuffy old bat Miss Cresswell. Well, children, have you considered that you are as old now as I was back then?"
Embarrassed snickers filled the hall, even from Delia and Vicky who had been as guilty of thinking that as all the others.
"Yes, it's true, I was thirty-nine on that June day all those years ago. Now, at fifty-nine, it pleases me tremendously to see that you look exactly like I did back then."
"The clothes are different!" someone shouted from the back row.
"Ah, yes, but do you really think I wore a starched skirt in my spare time?" Jean Cresswell said strongly, earning herself a round of laughter.
"Back on topic: The young, slightly scruffy-looking teenagers I said goodbye to twenty years ago have turned into important, respectable citizens with important, respectable jobs. That makes me proud because I like to think that I had a hand in shaping you, or at least showing you how to break into the careers you wanted to pursue."
'That's very true,' Delia thought. 'Miss Cresswell really did teach me a lot of important things. I wonder if I should tell her that I had a crush on her…? Nah, I better not… it would only freak her out.'
"…lia, would you please come to the stage?" Jean Cresswell said.
Delia snapped out of her thoughts and looked around with a foggy expression on her face, not sure if her name had been mentioned or not.
After a few seconds had gone by without any activity whatsoever, Jean Cresswell cleared her throat and went back to the microphone. "Perhaps the old girl has fallen asleep?" she said, prompting a huge laugh from all the guests, Vicky included.
Scrunching up her face, Delia rose from her chair and walked around the horseshoe to get to the small flight of stairs. On her way there, her old classmates began to clap, cheer and shout her name, a gesture that left her face beetroot-red. Once she was next to her old teacher on the stage, she thrust her hands into her pockets to feel a modicum of comfort.
Unfortunately, the first words out of Jean Cresswell's mouth were: "Hands out of your pockets, please, Delia," which brought on a new round of laughter.
"No, seriously," the teacher continued. "Let's hear it for Delia. She has worked tirelessly to make this evening a memorable one. Delia Corbett, Ladies and Gentlemen."
Delia's former classmates all whistled, cheered and applauded her, almost blowing the roof off the village hall. As the cheers died down, someone stole the moment by whistling a wolf call that rang out loud and clear.
Raising an eyebrow, Delia looked from one person to the next, trying to figure out who the whistler had been. Her eyes soon fell on Vicky who sat with an expression on her face that wouldn't have looked out of place on a little devil.
Chuckling, Delia waved to her former classmates and then made her way back down the stairs with her arm hooked inside Jean Cresswell's. At the same time, Brian turned the lights back down and Henry resumed playing the Madonna album.
After making sure that Miss Cresswell was seated comfortably, Delia went back to her own chair and sat down with a bump. Snatching a napkin, she dabbed her damp sweaty forehead, neck and throat. As she crumpled it up and threw it away, she noticed that Vicky was leaning against the table, still wearing the same cheeky grin.
"I hope I didn't embarrass you too much," Vicky said, offering Delia a fresh napkin.
"Oh, no. It's all right."
Vicky made a sweeping gesture with her hand and leaned in towards Delia. "Do you think they know?"
"About what, exactly?"
"That you and I like girls?"
Delia bit her bottom lip, needing a few moments to allow Vicky's words to sink in.
"So you do like girls?" she said hoarsely, putting her hands up on the table and hoping that Vicky would hold them again.
"Yes. Ever since day one. I'm not mistaken, am I? I could see it in your eyes when we spoke before, but you know, sometimes that doesn't mean anything."
"You're not mistaken," Delia said quietly. Taking a deep breath, she reached out for Vicky's hands and took them in her own. Vicky didn't pull back, something that Delia was grateful for. "They certainly know about me… I was in the spotlight at the last reunion party. You… I doubt it."
Giving Delia's hands a small squeeze, Vicky licked her lips and leaned in even further. "Are you seeing someone?"
Delia just shook her head.
"Oh, I find that very hard to believe, Vicky. Here you are, looking like you've just stepped out of a fashion magazine…" - Delia paused - "…or my wettest dream…" she added under her breath.
"Thank you. Well, it's true."
"The ladies don't know what they're missing…" Delia said, shaking her head.
Vicky laughed out loud and gave Delia's hands another little squeeze. "Oh, Del! I could say the same thing about you. Look at you! Twenty years ago, you were all arms and legs, but now… now, you're a very attractive woman."
"Thanks, Vicky. I think you've had too much mineral water, though."
"Mmmm. You know, a girl like me could very easily fall for a girl like you," Vicky said, locking her green eyes onto Delia's blue ones.
"Oh, good heavens…!" Delia said, laughing nervously.
"I meant every word, Del."
Delia's laughter soon died away when she realised that Vicky was being deadly serious. 'I've waited twenty years to find out if those kisses she gave me were real… I guess they were. God, could it be…? Could we really be meant for each other…? Oh, for goodness' sakes, Del, don't be a fool! This sort of thing only happens in pulp novels.'
"The way people are reacting around us, I'd say the food has run out. Do you want to come over to the lounge and have a drink and a chat, Del?" Vicky said, tickling the back of Delia's hands.
Rendered speechless by the surprising direction her thoughts were taking her, Delia just shrugged and got up from the chair.
"Oh, I'd love to, Vicky, but I can't right now. I need to help my sister and her husband collect the dishes. They belong to the caterer and they'll charge us extra if we haven't gathered them up," she said with a half-smile.
"Ohhh… All right…"
"But, tell you what, I'll meet you over there in ten minutes. Okay?"
"Sure. I'll keep a seat warm for you," Vicky said, adding a wink. She got up from her chair and joined the group of people who were all jostling for a place in the two couch arrangements.
Delia kept standing at her place at the horseshoe, looking dreamily at Vicky's rather healthy shape as it moved into the semi-darkness - at her golden hair, her petite, but fit, frame, her wonderfully sculpted rear end and the two-inch heels she was wearing.
Licking her lips, Delia found herself wishing that something would indeed grow between herself and Vicky. 'It doesn't even need to be a relationship in the classic sense… I'd be perfectly happy just to see her once in a while… at least, more often than once every twenty years…'
"The bar is open, let the Cocktail Hour begin!" someone shouted from the bar cabinet next to the couch arrangements, quickly followed by a loud cheer from the guests.
Chuckling, Delia began to collect the dirty dishes, hoping to do it as quickly as possible so she could get back to Vicky.
Fifteen minutes later, the buffet cart had been unplugged, cleared out and wiped down, and the used glasses and dishes had been put into specially designed plastic boxes.
As Delia was wiping her hands on a towel, Allan Enfield and his wife came up to her. The large man held out his arms and dragged Delia into a crushing bear hug that left her quite winded.
"Thanks for everything, Del, it's been a fantastic evening. Me and the missus need to go home now, we only booked the baby sitter until ten. Can't leave junior alone for too long, eh?" Allan said, thumping Delia's shoulder.
"Well, we haven't heard any fire engines yet, so I'm sure he and your house are safe," Delia joked, much to Allan's amusement.
"Har! Well, here's hoping! Anyway, let's try to stay in touch, right?"
"Oh, absolutely. I have your email address."
"Excellent. Thanks again, Del. It's been loads-a-fun," Allan said and thumped Delia's other shoulder, balancing out the stinging pain.
After Delia had waved goodbye to Allan and his wife, she went back to the buffet cart to check that everything was in good order. Satisfied that it was, she made a beeline for the Ladies' room - the bottle of white wine she had emptied was causing her bladder to send out a distress call.
Once Delia returned to the lounge, she noted to her disappointment that all the seats had been taken. Vicky was involved in a cheerful conversation with Evelyn and Miss Cresswell, and even Geoffrey - holding his indispensable can of beer - was chatting with another old classmate, Julian Thompson and his wife.
Shrugging, Delia moved over to stand behind the couch Geoffrey was sitting in and put her hands on the backrest. She was able to pick up a few words of the conversation, and one in particular caught her interest - 'Vicky'.
Geoffrey, noting that Delia was standing behind him, shuffled to his left and patted the seat next to him. "Come on, luv. We need your professional opinion on a very important topic."
"Uh, okay," Delia said and walked around the couch.
"Beer?" Geoffrey said as Delia sat down.
"No, thank you. I've had wine."
"Ugh, I can't stand that. Anyway, me and Julian were talking… and Julian's wife Suzie thinks so, too, by the way…" Geoffrey said and pointed at a pretty twenty-something brunette who was practically sitting on Julian's lap "… that our old classmate Vicky has, how shall I put it, grown since we saw her last."
"Uh-huh," Geoffrey quipped, cupping his hands in front of his chest.
Delia furrowed her brow and looked across the lounge at Vicky who was still talking with their old teacher. Looking closer, Delia could see what Geoffrey meant. Licking her lips, she shrugged and turned back to the group she was with. "Possibly."
"Oh, there's no doubt about it. They're fakes. She's had a boob job," Julian's wife Suzie said. Suzie was quite well-endowed herself - wearing a bright red, rather deeply cut V-neck blouse - and Delia had to bite back a comment about the apparent fakeness of the woman's own chest.
"I wasn't aware that you knew Vicky from school, Suzie?" Delia said in a steely voice that almost betrayed the temper bubbling up inside her.
"Oh, no, I don't… but Julian has shown me a lot of your old school photographs. She was definitely smaller then."
"She was a teenager then, you know."
"Oh, sure, but still…"
"Mmmm," Delia said and grabbed a handful of peanuts from a bowl. 'I'd like to see *your* old school photographs, brat. Who cares if Vicky has had something done. She looks bloody fantastic.'
To her left, Geoffrey drained the last drops out of the Carlsberg and let out a resounding belch. Delia took that as her cue and left the couch.
"Oi, Del, darling… wouldya mind fetching me a new beer?"
'Get it yourself, you miserable drunken lout,' Delia thought, but somehow managed to screw a smile on her lips. "I'll see what I can do, Geoffrey."
Once Delia had delivered a new beer to Geoffrey, she made her way over to Vicky. The honey-blonde beauty was still talking to Jean Cresswell, but Delia dearly wanted to connect with her, so she sat down on the armrest of a couch opposite the two women, determined to wait for her turn.
She had never seen Miss Cresswell so loose and relaxed, and she started wondering if the rumours floating around the school back then had been true - that her old teacher was one of 'those' women. 'God, what a horrible way to put it… why can't people just accept that we are who we are. Why does everyone insist on putting some condescending label on us?'
When Jean Cresswell happened to look up and lock eyes with Delia, all doubt was erased in Delia's mind, and she sent her old teacher a knowing smile.
Jean returned the smile and patted Vicky's hand. "Well, I've had a wonderful evening, but now it's bedtime for us old girls," she said and got up.
"Oh, not already, Miss Cresswell, it's only a little past ten!" Vicky said, putting down a drink and getting up from the couch.
"I'm afraid so, Vicky. I need to get home to my family."
"Well, goodbye, Miss Cresswell," Delia said and pulled her old teacher into a warm embrace. "Seeing you tonight brought back a lot of memories. Not to mention that it was a lot of fun. "
"I agree, Delia. And… well, perhaps we could meet on a rainy Sunday afternoon for a cuppa and a chat? The three of us…?" Jean said, looking at both Delia and Vicky.
"Sounds like a great idea in my opinion," Vicky said, wearing a broad grin.
Delia nodded enthusiastically. "And mine. Get home safely, Miss Cresswell. Do you want me to walk you to your car?"
"Young lady, I'm perfectly capable of putting one foot ahead of the other. I'm not that old! And with that, children, I bid you farewell."
"How about a compromise, Miss Cresswell? I'll walk you to the cloakroom to give you a proper send-off," Delia said with a smile.
"All right. But only because it's you," Jean said, returning the smile.
A few minutes later, Delia came back and sat down next to Vicky who had opened a bottle of white wine in the meantime.
After pouring wine into a glass, Vicky leaned back and crossed her legs. Cocking her head, she shot Delia a devious gaze that was almost an invitation to mischief.
Delia didn't know how to respond to that look, so she settled for grabbing a handful of peanuts.
Up on the stage, Henry the Hit Machine faded down the album he had been playing - Nik Kershaw's The Riddle - and turned on his microphone.
"Ladies and gents, it's coming! In fifteen minutes, this hall will be turned into a pukka disco! And! It will be sent back in time! Back! Back to the eighties! Stand by for pop!" he said, yanking his effects slider up and down to distort his voice - well, that was the plan, anyway. In reality, it sounded like a child messing around with a £10 synthesiser. Once he had made his announcement, he continued playing the album.
"Can I tempt you to dance a little later on?" Vicky said.
"Oh, I'm not the world's greatest dancer. My legs tend to get in the way," Delia said with a shrug.
"That's a deal, then."
"We dance. End of discussion," Vicky said, tapping her knuckles on Delia's knee.
"Well… okay. But you need to watch your toes."
"I'll be careful. Del… what was it Geoffrey said about me before? I noticed that you gave me a thorough look when you were talking to him."
Delia's face was instantly covered by a deep red blush, and she looked away, unable to hold Vicky's intense gaze. "Oh, he was just being Geoffrey."
"I have an inkling what it might have been about. The answer is yes, I did have something done."
"Vicky…" Delia said in a monotone.
"No, it's all right. On my twenty-first birthday, I decided that I no longer wanted to resemble an ironing board… and I had them enlarged. I've never regretted it, in fact, it was the best thing I could have done. It gave my self-confidence a tremendous boost and it made me blossom as a woman," Vicky said, flicking her hair back from her face.
"Please, Vicky, I'm not judging you."
"I know you're not, but Geoffrey definitely was. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you the truth so you didn't have to rely on half-baked fantasies from the men's room," Vicky said and took Delia's hands in her own.
"Thank you. I appreciate that."
"You're welcome. Isn't it strange how people instantly revert to their old personalities? Look at them, it's as if the twenty years didn't happen at all."
"I know exactly what you mean," Delia said, looking at her former classmates.
"The only difference is that twenty years ago, we all smoked… and now, hardly anyone does."
"At least we got smarter on that account," Delia said with a laugh.
Humming along to the song the DJ was playing, Vicky started toying with Delia's long digits; pulling and squeezing them, and running the tips of her fingers up the outside and down the inside. Once the fingers had been thoroughly teased, she rolled Delia's shirt sleeve up and moved her hand up Delia's right arm, sliding her knuckles across the pulse point at the wrist before moving further upwards.
This sweet torture sent wave after wave of pleasure and heat through Delia, and she had to slam her mouth shut to stop an embarrassing moan from escaping her lips. After a minute or so of squirming in her seat, she couldn't take it anymore and put her hand on Vicky's to still her movements.
"Vicky, please… it's… it's not that I don't like it, but… someone might look at us, and…"
"If they do, they'll see two old friends playing with each other's fingers," Vicky whispered into Delia's ear.
"God, please, Vicky, this is so unreal… I've dreamt of it, but… it isn't the right time. I'm sorry," Delia said and removed Vicky's hand from her arm.
After taking several deep breaths to calm down, Delia turned to face Vicky. Her eyes immediately sought out the blonde's emerald green orbs, her cute button nose and, most importantly, her graceful lips. Feeling her mouth go bone dry, Delia had to mentally slap herself silly to resist diving down and claiming those lips in a searing kiss.
Vicky grinned, seemingly reading Delia's mind. "Hold that thought. I need to go to the Ladies' room," she said and got up from the couch.
Delia could only nod, not quite believing the unexpected twists and turns the evening had thrown at her. 'I've been dreaming about this very moment for more than twenty years… and now that it's here, I balk! Of course, I wasn't planning on having an audience…' she thought, looking at the other guests.
Bringing a fresh breeze and a few drops of rain with her from the outside, Cathy put a half-smoked cigarette into a crumpled pack and sat down next to her sister. After a short while, she started staring at the comical expression on Delia's face.
"What's with you, sis?" Cathy sad, leaning in to put a hand on Delia's thigh.
"You have a strange look on your face. Are you drunk?"
"Of course not!"
"Then what? I'm all ears if you want to dish some gossip," Cathy said and snuggled up next to her sister.
"You are far, far too young to understand what we adults are up to," Delia said in a maternal voice, moving a lock of hair behind Cathy's ear.
"Oh, puh-lease! Did you forget that I'm the only one of us who has a sex life?"
"God, Cathy!" Delia said, making a horrified face.
"Tell me what's up between you and Vicky or I'll tell you all about what Brian and I do when we want to have a little fun!" Cathy whispered, adding a saucy wink.
"One more word out of you and it's off to bed without dinner," Delia threatened, but even to her own ears, it sounded pathetic.
"We were just… just…" Delia said, shrugging. "Nothing much, just…"
"Oh, I get it."
"No, I don't think you do, actually."
"Sis, while you were busy moving the plates over to the buffet cart, Vicky came to me and asked a few questions about you."
"Oh…?" Delia leaned forward; her interest suddenly piqued.
"She asked if I knew what you thought of her."
"And you said…?" Delia said in her patented flat monotone.
"I told her that you were cuh-razy about her," Cathy said with a juvenile snicker.
"Oh, Cathy!" Delia said and slapped her forehead with an audible *smack*.
"You are! Don't try to deny it, I can see it all over your face when you look at her."
"Cathy, I'm thirty-eight years old and, believe it or not, I do know my way around these things. I don't need you to play matchmaker, okay?"
"Fine, fine… but don't growl at me tonight when we drive home… alone… again."
"I won't 'cos you and Brian will be walking!" Delia said and crossed her arms over her chest.
"Hm!" Cathy said and stomped off towards the other end of the lounge.
"Hm," Delia echoed, grabbing a handful of peanuts.
Not long after, Henry the Hit Machine once again faded down the album he was playing and began to fiddle with the effects slider.
"Ladies and gents, it's now! It's here! We're back! Back in the eighties!" he said, cueing Europe's The Final Countdown. Moments later, he activated the spotlights, creating a wall of dancing blue, green, red and yellow lights on both sides of the stage.
At the same time, Brian worked the slider for the hall's lights, turning it so far down that the light levels were reduced to a greyish-brown haze that made the spotlights stand out even more.
Most of the guests cheered and hurried over to the makeshift dance floor that was located between the stage and the horseshoe. Once the song's long intro was over, they began to wiggle and jump about to the cheesy classic.
Still sitting in the couch, Delia groaned loudly over Henry's choice of music, but couldn't keep her foot from tapping the beat. "Oh, this is too gruesome! I didn't even like that song when it was new!" she said out loud to no one in particular.
Without warning, Vicky came tearing back through the hall, grabbed Delia's hands and pulled her to her feet.
"Come on! It's the Final Countdown!" she said, forcibly dragging the reluctant Delia out to the dance floor. "Follow my lead," she continued, planting both hands on Delia's sides.
At first, Delia groaned wildly in protest, but before long - to her great surprise - her hips began to move on their own accord, and she was soon dancing to the best of her ability.
Thirty minutes later, Delia leaned against the refrigerator - flushed and sweaty, but enjoying herself. Taking one of the last bottles of mineral water from the shelf, she quickly unscrewed the cap and drained half of it in one gulp.
Vicky stood next to her, still gently wiggling back and forth to the beat of Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
"Some water?" Delia said and held out the bottle, but Vicky just shook her head, making her honey-blonde locks fall around her face.
"Deliaaaaa! Come dance with me!" Evelyn said, practically throwing herself into Delia's arms.
"No, come on, it'll be fun, just like old times! Come on!" Evelyn said and pulled Delia away from the refrigerator.
At the very last second before she was manhandled onto the dance floor, Delia managed to hand Vicky the bottle of mineral water, earning herself a broad grin and a thumbs-up.
As Frankie's Relax segued into Two Tribes, Evelyn grabbed Delia's hands and began to swing the two of them around and around. Once they had made three complete revolutions, the excitable woman really got down to business, snaking and wiggling back and forth like she was some kind of reincarnated go-go dancer. Occasionally, she moved in to bump hips with Delia, but she mostly kept a safe distance.
Delia couldn't help being infected by Evelyn's enthusiasm and she tried really hard to follow the wildly gyrating woman, but she soon found herself falling further and further behind.
"God, Evelyn! Slow down, will you… I can't keep up!" Delia said, panting heavily, but to no avail - Evelyn just kept going at full speed.
Almost giving up, Delia suddenly felt an arm move around her waist, quickly followed by the rest of Vicky. The intense look in the blonde's eyes made Delia gulp nervously, but, curiously enough, feel safe at the same time.
Vicky moved in close, so close in fact that their fronts were touching. Placing her hands on Delia's rear end, she gave the two globes a little squeeze before beginning to shimmy left and right. Going slowly at first, she soon increased the speed of the movements until they matched the rhythm of the song.
The closeness of the dance and the sly grin on Vicky's face made Delia's heart rate pick up and her temperature rise exponentially. Unsure of what to do with her hands, she put them on Vicky's shoulders, but an unhappy pout on Vicky's face made Delia move them further and further down until they eventually covered the blonde's perfectly sculpted rear end.
Evelyn suddenly noticed that her dancing partner had moved away from her, and she boogied around in a circle to find her. When she saw Delia and Vicky dancing closely, her face lit up and she let out a loud squeal.
"Group hug!" she howled and threw herself at the two closely entangled women, pushing them several steps sideways and nearly knocking them over.
"Ugh! No! Uh! Evelyn!" Delia croaked, trying to shuffle around on the spot to break free of Evelyn's bear hug. Her hands were trapped on Vicky's bum and she just knew it would only be a matter of time before Julian or his wife - or worse, Geoffrey - would see them.
Vicky just laughed out loud, seemingly loving every moment of the hug and Delia's predicament. Suddenly finding space under Evelyn's arms, she managed to duck out of the way and sneak away from the two hugging women.
"I wish I had a camera. This should be kept for posterity," she said into Delia's ear, taking a step back to get the full picture of Evelyn squeezing Delia for all she was worth while her neatly styled hairdo was buried deep into the nook of Delia's throat.
"Oh, Delia, I can't tell you how happy I am that you organised the reunion this time. It's been such a smashing evening! Far, far better than the last time. Oh, that was so dreadful. Remember? Bangers and mashed potatoes… and draught on tap! I mean, really!" Evelyn said into the top of Delia's cleavage.
Delia just bared her teeth in an amused grin and tried to roll with Evelyn's excitement. Up on the stage, Henry segued the music into Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, causing Evelyn to let out a squeal that nearly popped Delia's eardrums.
Evelyn took a step back but kept her hands on Delia's arms. "That's our anthem! Del! Let's do it!" she continued, pulling the taller woman into something resembling a wild, uninhibited tribal dance.
Ten minutes later, Delia plopped down into one of the couches, completely spent and looking like a well-done lobster. She glanced longingly at the refrigerator, trying to muster up enough energy to get herself a soft drink so she could get a shot of caffeine.
Grinning like a Cheshire cat, Vicky was able to decipher the look and stuck an opened bottle of Schweppes Orange into Delia's hand before sitting down on the armrest.
Delia returned the smile - or tried to, at least - and moved the bottle up to her lips, draining more than half of it in one gulp. "An hour on the treadmill is nothing compared to this…" she croaked.
"Perhaps you should step up your exercise…?"
"Perhaps I should stop dancing," Delia said and emptied the bottle. She looked around and saw to her great horror that Evelyn was once again headed for her with determined steps.
"Evelyn… please… I need a break," she said once the easily excitable woman was close enough to hear it above the music and the din of the other guests.
"And I need to go home… unfortunately. We need to open the gift shop bright and early tomorrow," Evelyn said and sat down next to Delia.
"Oh, even on a Sunday?"
"Yes, don't forget it's the tourist season. Now is the time we earn what we spend in the winter. But I've had the time of my life tonight, Del. Hey, remember that one?"
"Yeah, I do actually," Delia said, hoping that Evelyn wasn't about to break out into the cheesy song from Dirty Dancing.
"That's how I feel right now. Please, please, please, Del, let's keep in touch. I'll die inside if we have to go another ten years before seeing each other again." Allowing a small tear to run down her cheek, Evelyn grabbed Delia's hands and gave them a strong squeeze. When the gesture didn't invoke enough emotion for her, she jumped forward and threw herself at Delia, wrapping her arms around the taller woman's torso.
"Ooooof! All right, all right…!" Delia croaked into Evelyn's red hair, completely overpowered by the fiery woman.
"I promise that I'll stay in touch. It's been fun, hasn't it?" Delia continued once Evelyn had pulled back.
"It's been so much fun I can hardly believe it, Del. Goodbye, goodnight and thanks for everything. Goodbye, Vicky. Hope to talk to you, too, okay?"
"Absolutely. You have my word," Vicky said and shook hands with Evelyn.
"Ta-ta everybody!" Evelyn shouted, waving to the remaining guests as she turned the corner to go into the cloakroom where her husband was already waiting.
Delia and Vicky waved back at once, chuckling over the redhead's antics and bubbly spirit.
"You know, Vicky, if I wasn't organising this bash, I'd be heading home now, too. I'm dead-tired," Delia said, trying to stifle a wide yawn.
"I know a great pick-me-up," Vicky whispered into Delia's ear, taking the opportunity to nibble on the taller woman's ear.
"Uh, you do?" Delia said, squirming from Vicky's sweet touch.
"What is it?"
"You'll see in a minute. Come on, let's dance a bit more."
"Ugh, no…" Delia whinged, but allowed herself to be dragged onto the dance floor.
They had only danced to Electric Light Orchestra's Calling America for a few minutes when Henry the Hit Machine faded down the song and announced that the next twenty minutes would be dedicated to 'the lovers among you'.
Pressing a button, he reprogrammed the spotlights to move around slower, and then put on Air Supply's I Can't Wait Forever.
As the slow, haunting song started, Delia felt Vicky's arms sneak around her waist and pull her close. Leaning against each other, they began to shuffle back and forth on the spot, getting the most out of the intimate moment.
"This is what I meant," Vicky said quietly, pressing her cheek up against Delia's throat. After placing a gentle kiss on Delia's collarbone, she sighed in contentment and looked up to lock eyes with the taller woman.
Some people left the dance floor when the slow tunes started, but they were quickly replaced by a handful of couples who came out to dance closely and hold each other tight - Julian and his wife among them.
Soon, Delia felt Suzie watching her constantly, no matter what she and Vicky did or where they went on the dance floor. Eventually, Suzie's eyes were practically burning a hole in the back of Delia's head and she felt her temper starting to simmer.
The simmer was turned up to gas mark three when Delia overheard a few comments as she and Vicky happened to dance past Julian and Suzie. She hadn't been able to catch all of it, but she knew exactly what they had been talking about.
Biting her lip in frustration, her movements became more jerky and finally, the inevitable happened - she stepped on Vicky's toes.
Letting out a brief, but loud, yelp, Vicky held onto Delia's arms for support, took a half-step backwards and began to hop around on one leg.
"Oh, no, Vicky, I'm so sorry…"
"Uhhh… uhhh… I'm okay. It could've been worse, you could've been wearing stilettos," Vicky said through clenched teeth.
"I just got frustrated and then I lost track of my feet and-"
"It's okay, but please don't do it again!"
"I won't. I'll never dance again in my life!" Delia said and turned around, but Vicky kept holding her tight.
"Now you sound like Evelyn! Just ignore those people… I'm not done dancing with you, Delia. The best is yet to come."
"I slipped Henry a tenner before. He's about to play our song."
"Our song…? We have a song? Oh… oh, you mean…?"
Up on the stage, Henry cued Crockett's Theme, causing a whole host of emotions to flash across Delia's face. She couldn't believe that Vicky had remembered that song - after all, it had been more than twenty years since that memorable party where they had kissed for the first time - but she was glad that she had. As the song started proper, she became so emotional that a few tears escaped her eyes and stained her shirt.
"Our song. Remember?" Vicky whispered as she leaned in and began to move left and right to the slow, enticing, electronic beat.
Delia could only nod, so overwhelmed by emotions that she was afraid that she would start to weep for real if she spoke.
As the song went on, Delia's soft, tender emotions slowly gave way to raw, pure passion. She had waited for so long for this moment, and now that it had finally arrived, her body reacted like never before. Every look, every touch sent a wave of sizzling pleasure through her, and as Vicky leaned in to nibble on the pulse point on her neck, she thought she was going to burst into flames.
Still dancing slowly to the beat of the tune, Delia reached up and put a gentle hand on the side of Vicky's face. Moving her thumb up and down, she caressed the honey-blonde woman's cheekbone, growing more and more passionate until she could no longer contain herself.
With a sigh, she closed her eyes and leaned down to claim Vicky's lips in a tender, loving kiss. At once, she felt Vicky respond in kind by leaning into the kiss and even trailing her tongue against Delia's lips.
Behind them, Suzie let out a surprised, even indignant, squeal, but Delia couldn't care less. She opened her mouth to let Vicky's tongue inside, and soon, the two muscles were dancing against each other, adding high-octane fuel to the fire already raging deep within her.
When Crockett's Theme faded out, Henry the Hit Machine segued into one of the other instrumentals from Miami Vice, Tubbs & Valerie, but Delia barely registered it.
The need for air eventually won out and Delia reluctantly pulled back. Sighing, she leaned in and rested her forehead against Vicky's. "Oh, sweetheart…" she whispered without knowing how Vicky would react to such a term of endearment.
Vicky's reaction was to lick her lips and break out into a charming smile. "That was a long time coming, Del," she said quietly, looking the tall woman straight in the eye.
"Yes… twenty-two years…"
Putting her arms back around Delia's waist, Vicky rested her head against the taller woman's chest and resumed dancing to the instrumental.
Behind the two women, Suzie grabbed her husband and stomped off the dance floor, mouthing obscenities all the way over to the cloakroom. After throwing her arms into the sleeves of her jacket, she came back into the hall to see if Delia and Vicky were still dancing - once she had established that they were, she spun around on her high heel and left in a huff.
Delia caught some of the incident, but she refused to let it bother her. Her mind and her body were still trying to cope with the passion coursing through her, and she wasn't able to do a very good job of keeping up with Vicky's dance moves. After a few faltering steps, she laughed nervously and shook her head. "This isn't going to work… I'm worried I'm going to step on you again if we go on. I'm burning up, Vicky!"
Vicky licked her lips again and moved in so close that Delia could feel the blonde's pert breasts pressing into her. "There's a remedy for that. Do you want me to put out your fire, Del?" she said quietly.
Delia opened her mouth to reply, but she couldn't get a sound across her lips. Her heart rate increased again until the sound of her blood rushing past her eardrums was drowning out even the loud music coming from Henry's equipment. Breathing heavily and feeling completely engulfed in a haze of lust, Delia nodded an affirmative answer to Vicky's question.
Putting her fingers inside the waist of Delia's slacks, Vicky pulled the two of them towards the only place they would be able to find some privacy - the Ladies' room.
Once they reached the rest room, Delia pushed Vicky inside and immediately began to check the stalls. Finding that they were all empty, she locked the door to the hallway and turned around to face Vicky who was leaning against the long wash basin.
Bold, unwavering lust was written all over the honey-blonde woman's face, and the sight made Delia's insides quiver harder than ever. Quickly closing the distance between then, Delia leaned down and claimed Vicky's lips in a bruising, uninhibited kiss that did nothing to quell the flames.
Moaning into Delia's mouth, Vicky began to grasp at the green shirt, eventually yanking it out of the slacks. Once the shirt was free, she grabbed at Delia's front and began to unbutton the slacks, moving her hands so frantically that she appeared to be afraid that she wouldn't get to feel the tall woman's skin before it was all over.
Stilling Vicky's frantic hands, Delia simply pushed her slacks down, revealing the dark green panties that graced her curvaceous hips. When the cool air hit the superheated skin on her abdomen and her thighs, she felt even more electrified and she quickly whipped off her shirt and went to work on removing Vicky's trouser suit.
The trouser suit and the ivory blouse soon joined the green shirt on the white tiles, quickly followed by a black, lacy bra. Delia took a small step back to admire Vicky's breasts and fit, lean body, but didn't have time to do anything before Vicky had placed a warm hand on Delia's throbbing centre.
While she was running two fingers up and down the crotch of Delia's soaked panties, Vicky began to fondle her own centre, and she let out a long, husky groan that nearly made the mirror behind her crack. "I want you… inside me, Del. Now… please…" she whispered in a hoarse voice.
The tone of Vicky's voice made Delia's nape hairs stand on edge and she looked down at once. Hooking her thumbs inside the elastic band, she pulled Vicky's lacy panties down to reveal a patch of finely cropped dark-blonde hair.
"Let's do it together… come on," Vicky husked, tugging at Delia's panties.
Delia complied by quickly pulling them down. The thought of what they were about to do and the cool air caressing her slick folds almost made her crash over the edge before they had even started, and she couldn't stop a long sigh from escaping her lips.
Stepping forward, Delia moved her hand down to Vicky's super-slick outer folds and carefully spread them with her fingertips. As Vicky's hips pressed into her hand, she inserted first one, then two fingers into the burning hot opening, but kept them still for the time being.
Quickly using her free hand to guide Vicky's fingers down past her own dark patch of hair, she helped inserting them into her opening. The intense, swirling sensations and the blinding heat that spread through her from the sweet contact made her knees turn to pudding, but the sight of Vicky's hooded eyes and slightly parted lips gave her the impetus to carry on.
Panting heavily, Delia leaned closer to Vicky and once again claimed her lips - this time in a calm, loving kiss. With the connection firmly established, she began to move her fingers up and down inside Vicky, stroking and exploring her velvety cavern and eventually adding a bit of pressure to Vicky's swollen bundle of nerves with her thumb.
Vicky groaned hard into Delia's mouth and began to ride the tall brunette with her fingers. Breaking off the kiss, she sighed sensuously and began to nibble on Delia's lower lip, all the while looking deeply into the hooded baby blues to see how her lover responded to her touch.
Soon, the two women were moaning quietly, rocking back and forth up against the wash basin; pleasuring each other in perfect harmony and almost feeling like one entity.
When Delia's hips suddenly bucked on their own accord, she knew she wouldn't be able to last for much longer, and she quickly reached down to still Vicky's hand. "I… I need a moment, baby… I don't wanna come so soon…" Delia whispered in a hoarse voice.
Nodding, Vicky stopped moving her fingers, but kept them inside Delia. A cheeky grin graced her features and she leaned forward and began to nibble on Delia's collarbone instead. Once that spot was well-loved, she moved further down to the swell of Delia's breasts that they hadn't had time to liberate from the dark green bra.
Feeling Vicky's lips and teeth on her breasts made Delia's eyes pop wide open, and she flung her head back and let out a long, husky groan that left her throat quite raw. Every fibre in her body began to spasm and stand on edge; building up to a higher and higher crescendo that rushed through her like an avalanche.
At the exact same time, Vicky felt Delia's inner muscles quiver and clamp hard down on her fingers, prompting her to grin saucily and to resume stimulating the swollen nub with her thumb.
The results were instant - only a few seconds later, Delia came hard into Vicky's hand, bucking up against her and letting out an animal-like moan that caused Vicky to immediately follow her lover over the edge.
Moving as one, the two women bucked and groaned together, whispering sweet words of nonsense and grinding up against each other in complete, utter bliss.
"God…" Delia croaked as the tension slowly left her, only to be replaced by a warm afterglow that covered her like a blanket. Panting hard, she gently removed her fingers from Vicky's opening, marvelling at the love juices that coated them.
Chuckling, Vicky pulled Delia into a breathless embrace that soon turned into a tender hug. "That was so good, Del. Thank you…"
"You're welcome, baby. And thank you."
"Anytime," Vicky whispered and began to nibble on Delia's ear.
"Uh! Uh, Vicky… I…"
Suddenly someone started pounding on the door to the Ladies' room, causing Vicky and Delia to look up in shock, wearing identical, guilty expressions.
"Uh-oh, we better… uh," Delia said and hurriedly turned on one of the faucets to wipe Vicky's juices off her fingers. Once that was done, she reached down, pulled up her panties and picked up her shirt.
"Where did my panties go?!" Vicky whispered hoarsely, looking under the wash basin for her lacy unmentionables while she was cleaning her hand.
"There!" Delia whispered, pointing at the lacy garment that had flown halfway across the room.
"How in the world did they get way over there…?"
'For Goodness' sake, will you unlock the bleedin' door! There's a queue of women tap-dancing out here! I'm going to get my sister if you don't come out at once!' Cathy's voice said through the locked door. When she still didn't get a reply, she resumed thumping her fist against the door.
Delia snickered like a schoolgirl and continued to fumble with the remaining buttons on her shirt. Once they were secure, she pulled up her slacks, leaving the green shirt hanging loose. Looking at herself in the mirror, she tried to fluff her hair so it wouldn't look so unruly, but it was too damp to fall right.
Studying herself and Vicky, Delia could see that their faces and necks were flushed and that they both had small, red blotches on their cheeks. Vicky's honey-blonde hair was sticking out in all directions, the shoulders of her jacket weren't aligned properly and her upper lip appeared to have been quite badly bruised - all in all, they weren't exactly in tip-top condition.
This didn't stop Vicky from grabbing Delia's long arms and pulling her into a searing kiss that only ended when Cathy thumped her fist repeatedly against the door.
"We better leave," Vicky said in a hoarse voice. "I'll leave the explaining to you. She's your sister," she continued with a snicker.
"Oh, thank you… ah, she'll understand. I hope…" Delia said and moved over to the locked door. Taking a deep breath, she pulled back the sliding bolt and depressed the handle.
Once the door was opened, Cathy and five other women barrelled into the Ladies' room, and within seconds, all five stalls were occupied. "Well, thank you! It's about bloomin' time…!" Cathy said before noticing that it was her sister who had been in there the whole time.
"Whut? Sis? What are you doing in here? Have you been smoking?" - sniff, sniff - "Ohmygod!" she said out loud when the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. Wide-eyed, she turned to look at Vicky who was busy putting her jacket on right.
"No, we haven't been smoking. But we were about to burst into flames. You know, spontaneous combustion," Delia said and winked at her sister.
"Uh-huh… in the Ladies' room…" Cathy said, stunned.
"Well, it was either here or out on the dance floor. Vicky, are we done?" Delia said and put out her hand.
"Oh, we're well-done… for now," Vicky said and took Delia's hand.
As Delia and Vicky walked hand in hand out of the Ladies' room and into the main hall, Cathy kept standing in the doorway, staring wide-eyed at the woman who may have looked like her big sister but who behaved nothing like her.
Up on the stage, Henry the Hit Machine had gone back to up-tempo songs - the original Italian version of Self Control - but neither Delia nor Vicky had enough energy left to go back to the dance floor.
Delia plopped herself down in one of the couches, leaned her head against the backrest and let out a long sigh. Still floating on a golden cloud from her afterglow, she put a hand across the lower part of her belly, wondering if she had dreamt the whole thing.
Vicky answered that question almost at once by jumping up into the couch and kneeling on the seat next to Delia. Leaning forward, she began to play with Delia's long hair, running her fingers through it, twirling the ends and arranging it in new, outrageous hairstyles.
"Once again… thank you. It was wonderful," Vicky whispered.
"No, you were wonderful… I just came. In five minutes flat," Delia croaked.
Laughing over the undeniable truth of that statement, Vicky leaned in and began to nibble on Delia's ear.
"I can go on for a little longer, honest! It was just… God, I was just… twenty-two years, Vicky!"
"Do you mean to tell me that you'd been saving yourself for me all those years…?" Vicky said, letting out an amused little giggle.
"Uh… not exactly, no. Ah, you know what I mean. Uh, Vicky…"
"Where do we go from here?"
"Please tell me it wasn't just a one-night stand," Delia said with a sigh.
"It wasn't. Not if I have anything to say about it. I'm not a love 'em and leave 'em girl. Del, you may have been too hot and bothered to have noticed, but I wanted you just as badly as you wanted me."
"Oh, I noticed all right…"
"I was planning on inviting you over for an early dinner tomorrow to explain what I had in mind, but…" Vicky snickered again and kissed the side of Delia's head. "… but considering the things we've done tonight, how about making it a night cap instead…?"
"Oooh, I'd like that. I accept your invitation," Delia said and turned to face Vicky. Moments later, their lips touched in a nice, little, loving kiss. Once they separated, they kept their heads together, just enjoying the close company of each other.
"Hey, it would give me an opportunity to show you that I'm not a Minute Girl," Delia continued, breaking out in an embarrassed snicker that soon claimed Vicky as well.
"Sounds good to me. I have one or two things of my own I'd like to show you," Vicky said, putting her hand on Delia's thigh.
"You mean… I didn't get to see everything before?" Delia said, caressing the back of Vicky's hand.
"Baby… you haven't seen anything yet," Vicky replied in a husky voice so full of sizzling promise that Delia felt she had been zapped by a high-voltage cable.
"Look at those two… what on Earth is going on with your sister tonight?" Brian said from the dance floor.
Cathy turned around and looked at her sister and Vicky who were obviously so deeply into each other that the world could have gone under without either of them noticing.
"It's love, Brian. Remember that?"
"Oh, but I love you, darling. Don't you believe me when I say that?"
Before Cathy had time to answer, she and Brian had to take a few shuffling steps sideways to make way for Geoffrey who stumbled across the dance floor in a drunken stupor, headed for the Men's room.
"Of course I do," Cathy said after a little while.
"It's just… well, a bit different for us because we need to think about the car insurance and pay off the forty-eight inch flatscreen television set and the mortgage on the house and keep the appointments at the vet for Tiger's shots and… God. There's no time for romance… for passion… for…" - '… for doing the wild thing in the bathroom. When was the last time Brian made love to me outside the bedroom…? Hmmm. Never,' Cathy thought, making a disappointed face.
Sighing, Cathy pulled Brian to the side to allow Geoffrey to pass the other way. Once the drunken man had stumbled past them, they shuffled back into the centre of the dance floor.
"Well, that's true, but it was our own choice to get those things, darling. Your sister has most of those things, too, but no one to share them with. That's got to be worse," Brian said, pulling his wife closer to him.
Cathy furrowed her brow, surprised by her husband's uncharacteristic depth. Just as she opened her mouth to reply, Brian chuckled and shook his head.
"So typical of your sister to score the prettiest girl at the ball," he said, wiggling his eyebrows.
Grunting in surprise, Cathy came to a dead stop and put her hands on her hips. Not only did her left eyebrow creep up her forehead, her mouth turned into a narrow line in her face.
"Oh! Uh, apart from you, of course… ha, ha, but, ummm… she couldn't very well score you, could she…? Ha, ha. Ha… Uh, yeah. Do you fancy a glass of wine, dear?"
"Nice save, Mr. Walsh. Shut up and dance," Cathy said and resumed wiggling to the beat.
Thirty minutes later, Henry faded down the song he was playing and turned on his microphone.
"Thank you for having me here tonight, you've been a wonderful audience. I hope you'll remember Henry the Hit Machine for any parties or events you might host in the future. You'll find my business card at the foot of the stage. This will be our final song of the evening, Take My Breath Away by Berlin. Enjoy it," he said and cued the love theme from Top Gun.
As the first notes of the superhit began playing, Vicky sat up straight and took Delia's hands in her own. "May I have this dance, please?" she said, already pulling the two of them to their feet.
Seeing no point in replying verbally - they were already halfway over to the dance floor, anyway - Delia just nodded and wrapped her arms around Vicky.
Soon, the two women joined the other couples on the dance floor, gently rocking back and forth to the timeless classic. Having never felt better in her entire life, Delia looked lovingly at the woman in her arms, thinking about what they had done and what the future might hold for them.
Smiling, she leaned down and placed a tender kiss on Vicky's forehead, earning herself a blinding smile from the honey-blonde beauty.
When Delia could feel that she was being gazed at, she looked up and locked eyes with her sister.
Cathy, wearing a smile that nearly matched Vicky's, winked and mouthed 'go for it, sis!'
"I will," Delia said even though she knew that Cathy wouldn't be able to hear it over the music.
All too soon, the song faded out and the people on the dance floor started clapping and cheering. After flashing his spotlights one last time, Henry came out from behind the wooden boxes and took a bow.
"Baby, you take my breath away," Delia whispered before leaning down to claim Vicky's lips in a series of little kisses.
"Corny, but true. All too true."
"I was thinking of another song from the eighties," Vicky said between the kisses.
" 'Bang!' "
Stunned, Delia pulled back slightly to take a good look at the blonde beauty. When Vicky broke out into the sauciest grin she had seen for a long time, she licked her lips and decided on the spot to let Cathy and Brian handle most of the clean-up - after all, there were more important things in life than stacking chairs.
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