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TAKING A STAND
Jodie and Melissa have had a wild one night stand that ended with a vague agreement that they would talk about what happened the night before the next morning. When Josh turns up out of the blue with an engagement ring Jodie is quite content to let it all go until help turns up from an unexpected quarter. Now she has to come up with a counter proposal but will Melissa say yes or is she just wasting her time?
Jodie opened her eyes as the tapping increased in intensity. Was it a bird, a squirrel, a possum? She discarded all of them when she heard a man’s voice.
“Melissa, you awake?”
Jodie rolled over to look at Melissa lying beside her, the younger woman was fast asleep and a few moments later she nudged her and sat up.
Melissa mumbled something and flopped over onto her belly as Jodie slid out of bed and reached for her dressing gown, remembering at that moment that she was still stark naked. She rarely slept naked but out here it didn’t seem to matter and besides, she’d had company last night.
“Fuck,” Melissa raised her head, “what’s he doing here?”
“John, my brother,” she got up on her knees, “I’ll handle this, you get dressed.”
A few moments later she put the shirt back on and walked to the door.
“Aren’t you gonna put on panties?”
“What for? He’s seen it before, he just ain’t never touched it,” she exited the room and Jodie looked frantically around for something to put on. A tee shirt and sweat pants lay on a nearby chair and by the time she put them on Melissa was in the kitchen talking to someone on the phone. John was leaning on the door jamb and he nodded politely at her as Melissa talked.
“So, you want me to come home? We had an agreement. We meet at hotels not each other’s homes, this had better be good or you’ll wish you had cancer,” she hung up and leaned on the bench and stared at the fridge.
“That boy picks the damnedest times to show up,” she looked at him, “you sure he’s sober?”
“As God is my witness,” he held his palms up, “I thought he was a fucking fed, all dressed up in a suit, he’s got flowers in the car.”
“Flowers?” Melissa pinched her nose, “you sure it ain’t poison ivy?”
“I’d know that for sure.”
“Well no time like the present,” she pushed away from the bench, “I better go sort this crap out, I’ll be there soon as I get showered and changed.”
John followed her out into the front room a moment later leaving Jodie staring at the doorway with a sickening feeling in the pit of her stomach. Melissa headed straight for the shower and John got back in his pickup. Jodie went back to the bedroom and put her back against the bedhead as she tried to sort through the situation. She was so focused that she didn’t realize Melissa had come back into the bedroom until she knelt on the bed. She was wearing the same clothes she’d had on last night but the shirt was hanging loosely about her and she’d tied her hair back into a ponytail.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” she looked at her, “so, what’s Josh doing in town?”
“Hell if I know,” she wrinkled her nose, “the flowers worry me but, he wants to talk in private but I’m pissed that he just turned up at my house. He knows the rules well enough.”
“Maybe he’s finally left his wife,” Jodie offered.
“He didn’t say,” Melissa looked past her, “but it’s possible, look I gotta get out there and see what the hell he’s playing at, but I haven’t forgotten about your birthday dinner tonight,” she leaned over suddenly and kissed her cheek.
“I’ll see you soon, don’t call me I’ll call you.”
And then she was gone, summoning Dog and heading for the door. It was only when she’d driven away that Jodie finally spoke her mind.
“Thanks for nothing,” she directed her voice at the ceiling, “and you wonder why I don’t pray.”
A few moments later she too headed for the bathroom but not even a hot shower could distance her from the feeling that this was another one of those moments. She’d had enough of them over the years, it all started nice and romantic but somewhere along the line it all fell apart. It seemed almost as if she was cursed to be alone with only memories to keep her company. It was a stupid thought and she knew the arguments against it but all morning it was like a stone in her shoe. She almost called Melissa a few times but backed out at the last minute and went back to checking emails and organizing her work schedule for the following week.
She was so engrossed in that task that she didn’t notice anyone had pulled up until the doorbell rang and it was only when she walked past the front window that she saw the vaguely familiar car sitting in the driveway. Her suspicions turned out to be correct when she opened the front door and found Julie standing on the other side of the screen door.
“Mind if I come in?”
“Sure,” Jodie pushed the door open, “come on in, I’m just sorting through the work schedule for next week.”
“Getting a jump start on the week, huh?”
“Something like that,” she closed canlı bahis the door behind her as Julie stepped into the front room, “how’s Melissa?”
“Oh I imagine she’s doin’ some hard thinkin’ what with Josh driving up from Charleston.”
“She spent the night here.”
“Yeah I guessed as much,” Julie looked around the room, “looks pretty much the same as the last time I was here,” she squinted at a Budweiser picture.
“So,” she sat down on a sofa chair, “what did go on last night?”
Jodie sat on the couch and stared straight ahead as she tried to formulate an answer, and Julie raised an eyebrow.
“It must have been some night if you’re too wore out to answer me.”
“We, um, we you know?”
“What? Played Monopoly? Went online? Got drunk?”
“See, it’s not so hard to say it,” Julie flicked at her hair, “she’s twenty years old and she’s been having sex legally since she was eighteen and probably before that as well, but nothin’ bad came of it and she seems fairly sane.”
“We were going to talk about it this morning but then John came around to tell her about Josh and she just grabbed a shower and promised to get back to me about this birthday dinner, it’s my birthday next week and she wanted to take me out.”
“Well a promise is a promise and Melissa keeps her promises, we raised her that way. Always keep your word even when it hurts to keep it.”
“Is that what she’s doing with Josh?”
“Oh I don’t know what the hell she’s doin’ with him, that boy’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine. I thought someone had gone and died when this guy turned up in a suit with a bunch of flowers,” she looked down at the coffee table.
“She came back to see him all right and he proposed to her.”
“Okay,” Jodie closed her eyes, “so I guess that’s it then.”
“For a professional woman with such a responsible job you sure are down on yourself, what makes you think she said yes? Granted she didn’t say no either, she gave him a hug and took off with Dog to do some thinkin’ alone. Josh is sitting with Dan looking about as confused as a blind lesbian in a fish market, especially seeing as I came down here to see you.”
“So what do I do now? I mean I like her, a lot but I don’t want to get in between her and someone else, I’ve been there before and got the tee shirt.”
“A lot depends on you I guess,” Julie crossed her legs and pulled a stray thread off her dress, “you can sit there talking yourself out of it or take a stand and make your play. I ain’t sayin’ my daughter is gay but she sure as hell ain’t particularly keen to get hooked up. She’s blown more chances with guys than I’ve had hot dinners and this thing with Josh has always had me curious because up until now it wasn’t goin’ nowhere.”
Jodie straightened up slowly as Julie spoke again.
“This Pittsburgh job, you goin’ to go for it or go back to New York?”
“It’s a tempting thought, it’d get me out of New York. I always get the feeling that my boss, Mark is just dying to put some distance between us.”
“Bad blood between you?”
“Kind of,” she ran a hand through her hair, “I was set to get the job he’s got now but the person doing the hiring and firing was his old buddy from college, and so he got the job but it was me who had to walk him through it until he found his feet. It raised some eyebrows at work but then I put myself up for this kind of work where I’d be out of the office, it’s made things a bit easier for me and I suspect him as well. Mark’s not a bad guy, but he does have an image to keep up and I’ve got to play along and do as I’m told.”
“Uh huh,” Julie nodded, “so relocating to Pittsburgh would be a welcome change.”
“Yeah, kind of coincidental what with all this happening.”
“There is that and all,” Julie replied, “you’d be two hours away from here, give or take.”
She uncrossed her legs and leaned forward to study the floor.
“Tell me honestly, woman to woman,” she looked at her, “how would it be between you and Melissa if you did get together?”
Jodie blinked and looked at the kitchen door for a moment.
“Um for a start she doesn’t have to move in with me, I’d get a house with a couple of extra rooms and a yard for Dog, although he seems to prefer being inside. But if she did move in I’d want her in college, furthering her education. I could find her work through what I do of course, but it’d be a part time thing. She’s got so much going for her and I don’t know what she sees in me, if anything at all but if I’m going to be part of her life then I want to be a positive part. If she stays she stays but I’m not going to force her to stay just for me, maybe that’s the wrong thing to say but I’ve been in too many situations where I arranged my whole life around one person only to find they were only there for a little while.”
She finished suddenly as Julie’s face changed slightly, a wistful look came into her eyes.
“Huh,” she grunted, “and here was me thinkin’ you were goin’ to walk her down the aisle.”
“We’re not there yet, we bahis siteleri had one night and the week or so before it, let’s not get the cart before the horse.”
“Well said,” Julie looked her up and down, “but if it does get to that you’re gettin’ married here.”
“Will the preacher even allow that?”
“Who do you think does his books and keeps her mouth shut, I been here long enough to know where all the bodies are buried and who buried them,” she rose.
“Come on, fix your hair and I’ll give you something I never gave Josh.”
“What?” Jodie stood up.
“A leg up,” she grinned.
They headed out some twenty minutes later and in that time Jodie had managed to call Mark and leave a message that she was going to take the Pittsburgh job.
“I gotta get out of New York,” she told Julie as the older woman backed out of the driveway, “the rent alone is taking a chunk out of my salary.”
“Most folks are dying to get into the city,” she replied, “but I hear ya, it ain’t all skittles and beer, I’ve been there a couple of times over the years just to see my sister. She’s out on Coney Island with her husband,” she shifted into first, “now Helen is one of those swinging types. She had a thing with an older woman when she first moved into the city but that all ended in tears and she fell in with Brian, her therapist.”
“Well that’s a classic New York tale,” Jodie managed a smile, “so, how did Melissa get together with Josh in the first place?”
“She hasn’t told you?”
“Not how they got together.”
“They met at a rifle range,” Julie replied.
“She was shooting competition and he was just there on his own but they got talking after she finished and the rest is history. I wasn’t real impressed that she was going with a married guy. Not that I’m a prude, hell I probably done worse,” she smirked and glanced at her, “yeah, I definitely done worse when I was her age but in my opinion getting involved with someone who’s still very much married ain’t my idea of hitting the target.”
“Me neither,” she replied, “I keep ending up with the straight curious types, they’re fine for a few weeks and even a couple of months but then it all turns to shit.”
“What about the actual lesbians, who ain’t got a straight bone in their body?”
“Now there’s a hurdle I can’t jump, I start off flirting with them but then some curious woman homes in on me or her and I’m back on the same train.”
“Huh,” Julie frowned, “it must be tough working out straight girlfriends from gay ones, you want a piece of advice?”
Julie changed gear, “I’m gonna give it to ya straight. Fix your eye on the target and don’t stop until she’s in your arms, seems to me you’re sabotaging yourself right out of the starting gate. I had two boys trying to get me when I met Melissa’s father but he was the only one who kept coming at me even after I told him I didn’t want him. He just wouldn’t take no for an answer, the other two kind of backed off when I told them the same thing. We want to know that the other person wants to just be with us and no one else. It’s a security thing, it’s hard wired into our brains. If your partner spends more time looking at other girls than you then it’s time to ditch the bastard and find someone new.”
Because of the new situation she found herself, Jodie started opening up more than she’d planned and Julie listened on the half hour drive that took them north of the township and into the hills but when she finally pulled up onto a dirt road that cut away from the blacktop and headed downhill, Julie had a thoughtful expression on her face.
“Okay, you and I part company here. Walk down that road until you can’t go no further, she’s down there with Dog and knowing Mel she’s wearing her West Virginian bathing costume,” she smirked.
“What you’re wearing under your clothes,” she reached out and squeezed her shoulder.
“Give yourself an even break for Christ’s sake. There ain’t nothin’ wrong with you that a bit of home style lovin’ cain’t fix. I cain’t say for sure that my Mel is the one for you, but she sure is more into you than that useless lump of lard sittin’ on my back porch. Take as much time as you need and when ya get back we’ll take it from there,” she released her shoulder.
“And don’t stop talkin’ either, if things go your way I’ll be your mother in law,” she smiled.
Jodie waited until Julie was heading back the way they’d come before starting out down the hill but once the blacktop disappeared from view she felt a slight twinge of fear. It was a natural sensation for someone born and raised in big cities but she steeled herself to go on and when she came around a bend she saw Dog sniffing his way towards her. He came to a stop when he saw her and then ran forward to meet her.
“Hey, Dog,” she nuzzled his ears, “where’s your mom?”
Dog barked twice and turning around, headed back around a hairpin bend to a small pool that was just the run off from a creek not far away. Melissa’s pickup was parked near the shore, the front pointing towards a steep bahis şirketleri incline that led up to a bit of cleared ground. She could see movement on the water and then Melissa broke the surface. The two women looked at each other and Jodie raised a hand in greeting but Melissa didn’t return it, instead she swam towards the shallows and when she stood up Jodie saw that she was stark naked.
“Ain’t you afraid someone will see you like that?”
“What do you think Dog was doing up there, I ain’t stupid,” her eyes shifted to her clothes and Jodie noticed the rifle lying against a fallen tree.
“What brings you out here?”
“Your mom,” she sat on the trunk, “she dropped me off up there and just drove off.”
“Shame, good looking woman like you and all,” Melissa took a few steps backwards and the water level rose to her upper thighs.
“You want to join me?”
Jodie was about to say no when she remembered something Julie had said not long ago. ‘She’s really into you in a big way.’
“So I got to strip down naked just to talk to you.”
“Seems that way,” Melissa took two steps backwards and launched back into deeper water, “unless you got a thing about getting naked with a woman. Besides, I sure am curious now. You know Josh done proposed to me.”
“Yeah I heard that,” she started undressing, “and I’m here to take a shot at the title.”
“If my phone rings I gotta answer it though,” she took out her phone and put it on the tray of the pickup, “I put in for that job in Pittsburgh.”
“So I might be seein’ more of you?”
“A lot more,” she murmured as she pulled the tee shirt off and fumbled with her jeans, “let’s say I might like to see a lot more of you,” she undid her jeans.
“Do I have to strip right down?”
“All the way,” Melissa grinned, “it’s called a West Virginian bathing costume.”
“If my therapist could see me now,” she started taking her jeans off while Melissa watched. It felt almost erotic stripping naked out here and once or twice she peered into the surrounding forest just in case some hunter or hiker had spotted her. The water felt icy cold and she winced slightly as she stepped into the shallows.
“If I get infected by some parasite there’ll be hell to pay.”
“Water’s clean,” Melissa encouraged her and Jodie went deeper, feeling the gooey mud between her toes, she kicked against a stone and then pausing for a moment, dived forward into deeper water just as Melissa finished her sentence.
“I mean deer piss in it and fish fuck in it but it’s clean.”
Jodie choked at that as she swam towards Melissa, who seemed to be amused at her first experience swimming buck naked and when she neared her, Melissa wrapped her sinewy legs around her waist and paddled out into the middle of the pond. They separated finally and Melissa spun around and dived beneath the water, her buttocks almost in Jodie’s face. She followed her but it was hard to see and when she kicked for the surface it got darker. Confused, she turned and flailed her arms. A flash of white shot past and she waved her arms and kicked but she was going sideways not up.
Jodie stopped and looked around with a sickly feeling in the pit of her stomach. Something moved beneath her, another flash of white. Her lungs were about ready to burst when she felt the impact of a body beneath her and arms wrapped around her. She kicked but the grip was too strong and then they were moving swiftly through the water. She hit the surface and sucked in clean fresh air and heard Melissa’s shriek of delight.
“Where were you?” Melissa giggled, “you were like a fucking dolphin.”
“I thought up was down,” she finally managed.
“Sorry, I should have warned you, the goddamn lake is haunted I swear.”
Her breasts pushed up hard against her back and she could feel the hardness of her nipples, she kicked gently, propelling her through the water and Jodie felt her genitals against her buttocks and smiled at guilty pleasures.
“You’re safe,” she whispered, “ain’t nobody gonna hurt you out here, I know every inch of this goddamn pond.”
Jodie lay in her arms and kicked with her as they drifted towards the shallows, her measured breathing keeping time with her heartbeat. Eventually she released her and swam parallel to the shore, Jodie followed suit until she reached a half submerged tree.
“It’s a regular treasure trove down there,” she pointed, “folks throw all kinds of things in there, bottles, coins, I even found me a handgun once,” she smirked, “my daddy made me hand it into the police station.”
“Did they link it to any crime?”
“Bank heist,” she shrugged, “in Albany, New York, I found the article on the Internet a few years back and printed it out for my scrapbook.”
“It’s peaceful out here.”
“Yeah, it’s a real haven,” she looked around, “I love coming here at night with Dog,” she glanced over her shoulder at Dog who was shaking his coat as he emerged from the water, “even though they say it’s haunted.”
“Haunted,” Jodie looked at her.
“Yeah a boy drowned there twenty years ago, some folks say he still comes out of the water and goes looking for his mom. They weren’t from round here, they were on a road trip from Michigan to Florida and stopped off here,” she stared at the opposite shore.
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