Northbound Love Tolls
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Every morning, Gwen took the same route to work. She would leave her apartment complex and drive, sometimes half asleep down a winding back road. Ending up on Sunrise to catch the turnpike North. She listened to the radio and drove without much thought, the road that had become habit. I could drive this with my eyes closed, she thought. She let her mind wander as it often did on Monday mornings. Reviewing her weekend and the typical loss as people just weren't what you assumed they should be. Tired of the clubs and the bar scene, Gwen had given up on finding her soulmate and just decided that if it was going to happen, well, then she would bump into them in the supermarket or in some wildly obscure manner.
Amber picked up her brown paper bag from her simple breakfast and tossed it into the nearby trash can. Stretching, she yawned and made her way to her locker. Five a.m. was an ungodly hour, and she was still adjusting. Having started working for the Turnpike a little over a month ago, it was an adjustment to what she was used to. She crossed to her North bound booth, dodging cars that paid little to no attention to her in her bright orange vest. She settled down on her stool and watched the traffic merge over as she turned on her green light. Here we go, another day another dollar. She pasted on her smile as she tied her long dark hair back out of her face. Thank you, have a nice day. Her mantra firmly in place. Everyone needs a smile, right?
Gwen fought her way to the left hand lane, the one moving the least slowly. Gripping the steering wheel, she got frustrated with the slowpokes that paid no attention to rules. Gwen, you've got to slow down anyway, your speeding is going to get you a ticket one of these days. She took a couple of deep breaths, and settled into the turtle-like pace of the morning.
Amber watched as the hunter green Lexus made it's way into her lane. Money, I wonder how they feel about paying tolls? She pasted on her smile as the car came even with her window.
"Good morning." She said, and watched as a stunning blonde with the greenest eyes, smiled back at her and handed her a twenty dollar bill.
"Good morning, sorry I haven't got anything smaller." Gwen looked into deep blue eyes, and felt an odd sense of déjà vu.
"Oh, that's no problem. Here you go, have a nice day." Amber counted out her change and handed it back to the blonde, her eyes never leaving the endless green.
"Thanks, you too." Gwen took her change and drove off. That was odd. She shook her head and continued on to work.
Amber took a deep breath as car after car passed by her booth, her mind stuck on the blonde that had invaded her thoughts. What is up with that? She tried to focus on something else, anything else. Her minds eye flashed green eyes, and a big smile. Well, she was pretty, nice way to start my day. Amber shrugged it off and handed out more change.
Gwen headed Southbound on the Turnpike on her way home. She found herself thinking of the dark haired, blue eyed girl from the morning. She won't still be working, and certainly not southbound. She found herself disappointed by that fact and sighed in frustration. What is wrong with you? All day her thoughts kept drifting to the piercing blue eyes that seemed so familiar and yet were a stranger to her. You need to get a grip, Gwen. She paid the toll and made her way home.
The next morning Gwen fell into the same routine, winding road, Sunrise to Turnpike, to toll booth. She directed her car to the same booth from the morning before, subconsciously hoping to see the blue eyed woman again. As she pulled up and rolled down her window, she was caught off guard.
"Well, now don't look so sad, put a smile on your face, little lady." An older man with white hair and a toothless smile greeted her. Handing her change he spoke again. "Have a nice day ma'am."
"Thanks, you too." Gwen smiled halfheartedly. As she rolled up her window, she turned to her left and caught blue eyes, one booth over, smiling at her. Against her will she smiled and waved.
Amber had watched all morning for the Lexus, hoping to see the blonde again. Her heart picked up pace when she saw it pulling forward. She smiled, much to her surprise, with anticipation. Man! What is going on with me? she questioned herself. Her smile faded as the Lexus pulled up to the booth one lane over from hers. What did you think she was going to do? Find your booth
on purpose? C'mon dummy. Get a handle on things. People, waiting for change here. Amber forced herself out of her thoughts and back to the people waiting to start their day. She glanced up, and caught green eyes looking in her direction. She smiled and the blonde smiled and waved back, shrugging her shoulders. Does that mean, she was looking for my booth? Maybe she just
missed it by one. Amber felt her spirits lift considerably as she smiled down to the grungy construction worker. "Good morning! Thank you. Have a nice day!" She smiled and handed out change.
Gwen pulled into her parking space at work. Shaking her head, she sat in her car for a moment before getting out. Blue eyes invading her day, she couldn't put her finger on just what it was that had affected her this way. She was startled by a tap on her window.
"Hey, Gwen, you going to come in this morning?" John smiled at her.
Oh shoot, Gwen, get your head on straight will ya? She grabbed her bag and turned off her car,.stepping out as John waited for her.
"Morning, John. I must be more tired than I thought, didn't get much sleep last night," she lied as they walked into the building.
"No problem, um, a couple of us are gonna head over to Danny's for a drink tonight, do you wanna…I mean would you like to join us?" He looked down at his feet shyly.
He wasn't bad looking, a little gangly and nerdy. But he was nice and sincere. Gwen thought about it and decided it wasn't a bad idea.
"Sure, I'd love to join you guys. Let me know when you are leaving." She smiled at him as she headed towards her office and sat down in front of her computer. That should be a good distraction.
Amber took her lunch out of the fridge and popped it into the microwave in the small lunchroom. She hummed lightly to herself as she took a seat at the end of the table.
"Hey Amber!" Marsha sat down beside her. "What is with that cheesy grin on your face? You get laid?"
Amber's eyes opened wide, "Marsha! No! I can't believe you." She blushed, much to her chagrin.
"Well, something's got you on the upside today. C'mon tell Marsha all about it." The sassy redhead stared at her dark haired friend.
"It's nothing Marsha, I just felt like smiling, give me a break." Amber lied, knowing that the blonde had put the smile on her face this morning.
"Ok, if you say so. Anyway, I wanted to stop by and let you know that a bunch of us are heading over to Danny's for happy hour tonight. Feel like joining us? I know you get off at noon today, but I thought you'd like to maybe come out later."
Amber thought about it, she hadn't been out in a while. "Sure why not? What time are you guys gonna be there?"
"Great! Meet us there at seven. You know where it is, right?" Marsha smiled broadly.
"Yeah, I know where it is." Amber smiled back and finished her lunch.
Gwen and the guys from work walked into Danny's at about eight p.m. There was a problem at work that kept them all there late. Needing a drink to relax the tension, they headed for the bar. Gwen glanced around the tiny bar, noting the dimmed lights and the smoke that hung in the air. She noticed a couple of people dancing on the tiny dance floor and smiled to herself. They sure look they are having fun. She ordered a rum and Coke and turned to watch the people dance.
Marsha laughed as she dragged Amber to the dance floor. The redhead’s smile was contagious. Amber couldn't resist the tug on her arm as Marsha and her coworkers invaded the small dance floor. She was glad that she had come out. It wasn't often that she got to just let her hair down and have a good time. She was working at the Turnpike and also took care of her younger brother, who needed constant attention.
She danced with Marsha and let herself forget about her troubles for the moment. She spun around as her hips pulsed to the beat. As she turned, she saw those green eyes. She stumbled in her surprise, and had to catch herself. Her eyes never left the green at the bar as she stopped dancing altogether.
Gwen’s breath caught in her throat as she recognized the girl from the Turnpike. She was much taller than Gwen had imagined. She was wearing black jeans, that hugged a slim waist, a navy bodysuit and dark boots. She couldn't tear her eyes away from the long form before her. Something inside of her wanted to reach out and touch the blue eyed beauty. Where is this coming from? When did I start digging chicks? Gwen questioned herself but couldn't deny the feeling of familiarity inside of her. She knew this woman, but from where she did not know.
Amber smiled as the recognition washed over her. She felt an overwhelming urge to be next to the blonde. Just to be anywhere near her, if only for a little while. It didn't make any sense, she had never felt anything like this before. Warm and familiar, those green eyes seemed to steal her soul. Amber gathered her courage and headed for the bar.
"Hi there." She smiled down at the blonde.
"Hi." Gwen swallowed reflexively and looked up into smiling blue eyes.
"This is a happy coincidence." Amber couldn't help but smile at the tiny blonde. She's a lot shorter than I thought she'd be.
"Yeah, wow, that is odd." Gwen wasn't sure what to say. She couldn't deny the electricity between them. She was surprised at her reaction to this woman. "Um…I'm Gwen, by the way." She held out her hand.
"Oh! Yeah! I'm Amber." She took Gwen's hand and smiled, the common contact sending a jolt of sensation down her back. Silently she wondered if Gwen had felt it too.
Whoa! What was that? Gwen shivered as something clicked in her brain, a flash of leather and lightening. This hand felt familiar in her own. Soft, smooth and yet incredibly strong at the same time. She squeezed it gently and broke the contact. "It's nice to meet you Amber," she whispered and tried not to look into her eyes.
"Hey Amber! What are you doing c'mon!" Marsha yelled from the dance floor.
"Oh excuse me, my friends are waiting. It was nice meeting you, Gwen." Amber smiled and backed away, not wanting to break eye contact with the blonde.
Marsha grabbed her friend. "What was that all about Amber? Who is that woman?" Marsha nodded her head in Gwen's direction.
"Just someone I know." Amber wasn't sure how to explain what she was feeling, so she didn't elaborate.
"Oh, ok. So she doesn't want to dance with us?" Marsha asked mischievously.
"I don't know." Amber turned towards Gwen and motioned for her to join them.
Gwen pointed at her chest, her eyebrows lifting in question. "Me?"
Amber nodded and curled a finger out to her. "Yeah, you. C'mon." She mouthed an answer.
Gwen took a deep breath, set down her glass and forgot about her friends at the bar. She headed purposefully out onto the dance floor.
Amber danced over to the blonde and looked down into sea green eyes. "You feel it too don't you?"
Gwen could only shake her head in agreement.
"I know you. From somewhere far away." Amber spoke as they swayed to the music and the people around them faded away.
Gwen shook her head again, unable to form words.
"I don't know how I know you, I don't know from where. I just know that I have never needed to be near somebody this way. You invade my thoughts." Amber looked into green eyes and knew that Gwen felt the same.
Gwen could feel her knees give out and her world begin to spin. Amber caught her before she could fall.
"Hey! Are you ok?" She looked into green eyes.
"Yeah, I'm good." Gwen whispered dazedly.
"C'mon, let's get you walking." Amber took her by the arm.
Gwen looked up into blue eyes and promptly fell on her butt. "Oh my god!"
"What? What's the matter?" Amber looked at her, concern on her face.
"You are beautiful!" Gwen breathed.
Amber leaned down and helped her up. "Uh huh! And You are drunk."
Gwen felt her world tilt and slide into place. "Amber, I can't lose you again." She looked into blue eyes, pleadingly.
"Gwen, I'll always be here." Amber whispered and felt her heart fill with the love from ages past. Green eyes lifted to hers in absolute trust. She leaned forward and captured lips that were as familiar to her as her own breath. With that kiss two souls reached across time, and connected with the determination of a lifetime.