Manipulated DestinybyAlex the Cat©
Heartfelt thanks to my beta-reader for your assistance.
The young strawberry-blonde med student shut the door behind her and leant against it with a sigh. "Goddamn what a day." Closing her eyes, she thought about how glad she was to finally be home. Her nose caught the scent of something delicious coming from the kitchen. She ran a small hand through her golden locks, set her black leather briefcase down, and discarded her hunter green zippered hoodie in the closet. The brown leather DocMaertens ankle boots were kicked off next onto the closet floor. Wiggling her toes as she stepped onto the carpeting, she took a few seconds to stretch her whole body before heading to where the wonderful aromas were coming from.
In the kitchen, sea green eyes noticed the stock pot on the stove, steam trying to desperately escape from it making the lid rattle every now and then. The sweet smell from the oven alerted her to the fact that it held a dessert of some kind in there. Looking at the table settings, the young blonde wondered what her mate was up to.
Suddenly a pair of long arms snaked their way around her waist from behind. The body leant forward and a head ducked down as a pair of lips tenderly caressed her cheek and then her ear. "Hey sexy, I'm glad you're home," the contralto voice whispered.
The short medical student leaned into the body holding her firmly from behind, reveling in the pleasure of being "home". She turned her face to be met with the luscious lips that were just caressing her skin. The kiss was gentle and heartwarming. When it ended, she looked into ocean blues eyes that captivated her each and every time. The smile that graced her lover's face was intoxicating. "Is there something special going on that, I stupidly, don't know about?" She asked with the hope that she was wrong.
Miss blue eyes stood up to her full stature as raven eyebrows rose on her forehead. "Your sister and her husband are coming over for dinner and a movie, and I agreed to cook since I had a short shift today. You don't remember?"
Small hands reached rubbed at her temples, trying to understand how she could forget that was happening tonight. Racking her brain to even recall when this agreement between them took place was futile. Her head hurt from the stress of doing rounds earlier today and needing to finish her thesis this weekend. Finally she said, "Damn. I...I'm sorry my head's a mess. Ugh." She buried her face into her tall lover's chest. Enjoying the feel of the strong beat of her heart and the warmth that radiated safety. "It's been such a hell of a week and I've got these reports to finish writing, not to mention my thesis and I just completely forgot. Damn. Damn. Damn. I hate when I forget."
Del held the woman she loved as she tenderly ran long fingers through the long strawberry blonde locks. Hooking a finger under her lover's chin, she gazed into those beautiful forest green eyes and said, "Well, would you prefer to head out to the library? I can spend the time with your sister and brother-in-law. Or knowing that it's Friday night, you've got all day tomorrow and Sunday to finish what you need to. I'll even make sure not to bother you."
The blonde smiled knowing her lover was right. She would begin tackling the papers tomorrow morning, but tonight was for them to be together with family.
Skyler wrapped her arms around her small frame tight as she watched the surf pound against the boulders in the early morning hours. The spray of the salt water matched the quiet tears trickling down her face. Wiping at her cheeks with the back of a hand; she ran a shaky hand through her shaggy blonde locks and took a deep breath. She looked at the photo one more time. Fingertips gently caressed the image of the tall brunette sporting a goofy grin as a hand comes towards the camera to snatch it away. It's been ten years. Ten long fucking years and I still feel like it happened yesterday. Skyler wiped at her face again, and shoved the photo in the pocket of her dark gray sweatpants. Turning up the volume of her MP3 player, she resumed her jog down the boardwalk. She already knew it was not going to be a good day.
Hanging the keys on the hook near the door, the tall woman tossed her coat onto the chair. Black DocMaertens boots were kicked off to the underside of the same chair, giving freedom to sock laden feet that padded into the kitchen. She stretched tired and aching muscles from the long day, and tossed the half sheet of notebook paper she found taped to her door into the trash. The words, "Don't forget movie night", were scrawled across it. Inside the fridge, the goat milk was pulled out and chugged straight from the carton.
Devyn lived in a small one bedroom apt that was perfect for her. It was only a few blocks away from work, which allotted her the opportunity to walk every day. In fact, she spent most of her time walking the streets of the city by her lonesome. She preferred it that way because she believed it was not worth it to have friends, and get close to people, only to have them disappear or worse be taken from her. In fact there were only two people that Devyn could consider friends, but even then she kept them at a distance. She just couldn't let that pain take her again.
Out of these two friends, one of them was at a shorter arm's length than the other. She hadn't noticed the difference beforehand until it dawned on her they were spending more and more time together. There was nothing wrong with her friend Hannah, she was actually a nice young woman, shy, many times naïve as hell but nice. Maybe that's why Devyn felt a need to protect her. Hannah lived in the apartment across the hall, and it was one fateful day in winter when she saw the quiet woman hobbling on crutches and trying to carry a sack full of clothes down the hall to the laundry room. Hannah lost her balance and had fallen, and Devyn immediately came to the rescue.
Travis, on the other hand, was just a laid back kind of guy who enjoyed drinking quality beers from around the world, and therefore he was a great beer buddy. He worked with Devyn, and he always did good to make her laugh; especially on the days she felt the worst.
Making her way to the couch, she decided to put her feet up and close her eyes for a few minutes before heading across to Hannah's in an hour. She knew the woman would have a spread of junk food laid out for them like she did each week on movie night. It was her turn though to bring the ice cream. She made a mental note to grab it, and began to doze.
"Good afternoon Ms. Wright," the agent stated as he walked up and shook her hand. "My name is Anthony Buckland."
"Nice to meet you," the tall brunette responded. "This is my spouse..."
The agent looked at them with a frown before she finished. "Your spouse?" he queried before she finished.
A jet black eyebrow rose in challenge to his tone and obvious disdain for the two of them.
Clearing his throat and squaring his shoulder, Agent Buckland knew he had to remain professional regardless of his viewpoints. He reached out and shook the other woman's hand. "Hello miss." He momentarily reviewed the file in his other hand, and then said, "I'm sorry, what is your involvement here?"
Auburn eyebrows shot up under her bangs. "I'm not directly involved. I just want to know what's going on and what we need to do to get this over with."
The tall raven haired woman could tell by his body language that he was apparently uncomfortable with the both of them. "Excuse me, but this is my wife and she has every right to be here. My attempt to assist the FBI in bringing down a drug warlord involves my life and well-being and therefore it affects her too."
The agent cleared his throat again and flipped through the file without a word. Taking a deep breath, he looked up and said with the most fake smile imaginable, "Okay, so tell me what you witnessed on Saturday..."
Devyn was jostled from her dream by the shrill sound of her cell phone. She sighed as she glanced at the caller id. "Yeah, what's the story?" she asked the caller nonchalantly. Running a hand through her jet black shoulder length tresses, she glanced at the clock on the wall. "Yeah sure, I'll work a double shift tomorrow. I've got nothing better to do." Tapping the screen to end the call, she quickly got up and grabbed the ice cream from the freezer along with the Magic Shell chocolate sauce. She twirled the bottle in her hand as she thought about the dream. Why does my brain keep going back to that? God I fucking hate dreaming about any of it. She looked at the bottle, a sad smirk turned up the corners of her mouth as she remembered something else.
"Honey, where is the Magic Shell?"
"In the cabinet next to the sink, bottom shelf, right hand side." The tall brunette sauntered into the kitchen and circled her lover's waist from behind. "Mmm, I see you found it. Are you sharing?"
"What if I don't want to?
"That would be so sad," came the reply as she nuzzled her lover's neck. Soon she was nibbling and licking the sensitive area, eliciting a delightful moan from the shorter woman.
"Well, maybe I will share if I can get more of your mouth."
"Hmm, anytime love, anytime."
Devyn wiped the single tear that spilled down her cheek. Stamping her emotions down, she grabbed the necessary items and headed out to Hannah's place.
The bright orange sun beautifully illuminated the small seacoast town of Portsmouth, NH. Skyler was busy with patients all day. It was a welcomed relief because it kept her mind away from the memory of this day so many years ago. It was bad enough that she had that photo in her pocket this morning. Now she needed to just focus in the reality of the present and maybe, just maybe she'll make it without falling apart. She stepped out of exam room four, and over to the small laptop at the nurse practitioners' counter. Entering her security code, the screen pulled up the patient she just saw. She typed in a few remarks and the prescriptions administered before looking at the board to find who her next patient would be. She was surprised to find no one scheduled for the next hour so she figured it would be a good time to have lunch. Just as she was about to walk away, she heard her name.
"Dr. Catherwood, I have a phone message for you."
"Thank you Laura." Skyler glanced at the piece of paper, and proceeded to her office. Picking up the phone, she dialed a familiar number and waited. "Hey Jocie it seems like I am free. You want to meet at Carrigan's?"
Devyn thumbed through the book she was currently reading as she scooped up the last spoonful of macaroni and cheese from her bowl. A knock on the door pulled her out of it. Opening the door, she wasn't surprised to see Hannah standing there. The shorter mousey neighbor appeared nervous from the apparent fidgeting of her hands. "Hey, something wrong?"
"Oh Dev, I'm so nervous," came the response as she stepped inside the apartment.
The tall brunette rolled blue eyes. "Alright, well if this is going to get you so upset then don't do it."
"No...no, I'm not upset. I want to do this, I'm just worried that she won't like me. I mean, yeah we met at that Con a year ago, but we hung out with a group of other Con folks. So what if I don't like her? You know on a one on one basis? Oh god, what if this is a big mistake?" Kim removed her glasses to rub at her eyes and try to calm herself.
Devyn deposited her lunch dishes into the dishwasher and then sat back down to pull on her boots. "Well, let's see," the tall woman began calmly, "you chat almost daily online and that's been going on since before that Con you went to so you're already friends."
"I know, I know but.....well people tend to have a different online persona than the one they have in real life."
"Yes, I'm aware of that, but at least you've had this ongoing communication with her for a couple of years, and you did catch a glimpse of her personality in person already. It's not like the two of you are professing marriage, right? So either you take this opportunity to really hang out with her or you don't." Devyn checked that she had everything she needed before leaving. "I just need to know if you are still going through with this and if you need me."
Brown eyes widened, "Oh yes I do need you. There is no way I'm flying to the east coast to some strange town alone. You're my enforcer."
Devyn chuckled. "Okay then. I work a double today, so I'll be in late. But don't worry, I'm packed and ready to go."
"Oh, you're going to be so exhausted."
"It's okay, I'll sleep on the flight," she commented with a smile. That way I won't have to think....and then I won't have to remember.
It was late when the short blonde finally entered her kitchen. She set the tea kettle on the stove, and began perusing the cabinet for which tea she was in the mood for. Her cell phone suddenly chimed. Looking at the screen, she rolled her eyes with a smile. "Hey Joss, what's up?"
"I'm just checking on you. How about we get together for a movie?"
"Hun, I'm exhausted. I've suffered through a business meeting at the women's shelter, and getting bogged down with paperwork at the clinic. I just want to go to sleep."
"I understand....I just thought it would be a good idea..."
"I know, Joss, I know. But tonight I think I'll be fine. I'm so sleepy, I'm not sure I'll make it through my tea. My mind has been very occupied today. I'll be fine."
"Okay...well if you're sure. You know you can call me anytime and I'll be right there, okay?"
"Yes, I know. Tonight I believe I'll make it through. Thanks for your concern. Night." Skyler put a spoonful of agave nectar in the steaming mug and headed upstairs to her room. Changing into a comfortable pair of soft cotton pajamas, she climbed in bed, picked up the copy of the New England Journal of Medicine on the nightstand, and searched for the article she had wanted to read a couple of days ago. About half way through, eyelids began to feel like sandbags. Determined to finish the article, she stubbornly continued in vain.
An arm came up to lie across her waist as a body began to snuggle up to her. With tea mug in hand, Skyler looked down and smiled. She set the mug on the nightstand and slid further down on the bed so that she was face to face with the beautiful Grecian features of her lover. Leaning forward, she lightly kissed the inviting lips. "I love you," Skyler whispered ever so softly.
Azure blue eyes slowly fluttered opened. A smile graced the dark haired woman's features causing Skyler to smile even wider. "Why are you still awake?" she softly asked in a sleepy voice.
"I was just catching up on a few articles," Skyler responded.
"Is that all you think about?" the raven haired woman playfully questioned.
The blonde chuckled lightly. "Can you guess what I'm thinking now?"
Blue eyes closed momentarily as a smile graced the sculptured cheeks. She slowly moved forward, placing gentle kisses on the front of Skyler's neck and clavicle. "You're thinking....what I'm thinking," she casually stated as her hand slid over the curve of Skyler's tantalizing hips. The long cotton pajama shirt had been languidly pushed up for long fingers to touch heated skin.
Skyler chuckled again. "Is that so? You seem so sure."
An inky black eyebrow rose up in challenge. Desirous cobalt blue eyes penetrated Skyler's being. "Tell me I'm wrong," the raven haired woman softly stated as her thumb lightly brushed across an already attentive nipple causing Skyler to moan.
Sea green eyes gazed at her lover. She knew she was had and she actually loved it. "I love you."
"I love you too......forever and ever, even after I'm gone."
Skyler snapped to attention, and frowned at hearing those words. "What?" She looked at her lover confusedly.
"Remember I'll always love you honey.....even when I'm gone....even in death."
The blonde jerked awake in a panic. She looked briefly around the dimly lit room. The magazine laid in her lap and the untouched mug of tea sat on the night stand. Tears began to spill from jade green eyes which quickly turned into racking sobs that Skyler tried to stifle. "I hate remembering," she choked out. "I hate it!" She screamed out, and then laid on her side, curled up into a ball trying to calm herself. "Why couldn't I die too? Why?!?!"
These were the nights that Skyler's buried memories would re-surface into the waking nightmares of the accident. These were the times she tossed and turned, begging for the memories to be less painful.
The two friends finally settled in at the small hotel Hannah booked for them in Porstmouth. Devyn laid on the bed with hands behind her head as she stared up at the ceiling. Something feels weird about being here, and I'm not sure why. Hmm, something is just odd. It's like a string is tugging on my heart about this place. Maybe I'm just sensing Hannah's nervousness paired with the uncomfortable flight and having worked a double shift today.
A small knock on the door pulled her out of her thoughts. Hannah poked her head in through the doorway which connected their rooms. "Hey, you about ready to leave?"
"Anxious, huh?" Devyn playfully responded as she got up.
"Well, I just wanted...." Hannah re-adjusted her glasses once again. "Yeah, I guess."
"Don't worry too much," the tall brunette stated as she placed an arm around her friend and they walked out.
It was just after 8pm when Devyn and Hanna pulled into a parking spot near the restaurant. Hannah blew out a long held in sigh.
"I know you're nervous, but I believe you'll be fine," Devyn casually stated.
"What if I'm not good enough?" Hannah hesitantly whispered.
"Hey now, what kind of thinking is that?!"
"I wasn't good enough for you," she added almost inaudibly.
Raven eyebrows shot up at this confession, and ocean blue eyes looked upon her friend of four years. "Hannah, you knew from the beginning that I couldn't be in a relationship. I made that very clear up front. It had nothing to do with who you are. I just couldn't bring myself..."
"I know." A small hand reached out, squeezing her friend's arm in support. "You still hurt. I know," she stated softly. "Sometimes it still hurts me when I feel so lonely and wish I had someone. Dev, being a computer geek and gamer is not easy. You were the hottest thing I encountered in real life and you lived across the hall from me." Kim brushed an errant tear as she remembered the day Devyn turned her down.
Devyn's fingers gently reached out to turn Kim's face to look at her. "If I had been able to move on with my life, I would have asked you out and not brought you here to possibly connect with the woman of your dreams. I'm sorry I just couldn't move forward. Even when I tried a one night stand....gods. You remember how horrible that turned out?"
"Oh god yeah, that poor woman."
"Yeah, I still feel bad about that." Devyn chuckled.
"Well you're still the hottest thing around."
"Thanks. You're pretty swell yourself, and this new friend is going to be at a great loss if she doesn't see that."
"Thanks Dev." She breathed another sigh, and then said, "Well, I guess this is it."
As they entered the restaurant, they were each escorted to separate tables situated where they could still see one another. They had agreed to meet in the bathroom before dessert so Devyn could get a heads up as to how things were going and whether she could go on her own.
Hannah and Jocie met, ate, and talked and laughed for hours like a pair of high school friends at a reunion. Devyn was grateful she brought a book to read. Mid way through their evening, Hannah confessed that because of her shyness and extreme nervousness for their first, she brought a friend with her, and pointed to the woman sitting at the nearby table.