Looking back at it now, perhaps it was obvious, but at the time I thought I was just like any other unattached heterosexual woman in her late twenties. I had an active lifestyle, a good job, was reasonably intelligent, sociable (although slightly reserved), fit and healthy, slim figure, and I'm told; was considered attractive.
I had been through a number of relationships, always hopeful of finding "the one" but never feeling that spark that you expect when you finally find him. I'd had one romance that I thought was close, it started very promising, lots of fun and good sex but after a while I realised there was something missing, so I ended it.
I was quite happy with my life, work kept me busy and I was positive about the future but other people didn't agree. Being "still single at your age" when you are expected to be settling down, I was getting lots of hints and offers of "I can fix you up with my brother" or "there's a guy at work who's single" etc etc. I did show willing a few times but of course it never worked out. Evenings sat in a restaurant trying to make conversation with someone I had nothing in common with, or listening to a guy who talked non stop about himself and showed no interest in my likes and dislikes, was not my idea of fun.
I became a popular fall back date, for trips to the theatre, parties or some such other social event by friends or work colleagues who's partner had at the last minute fallen ill or couldn't make it for some reason. It was on such an occasion when it finally happened, my life changed forever but in a way I would never have expected.
My boss Phil, who had recently split with his wife Julia, asked if I would accompany him (for moral support) to his ex's office Christmas party. Phil had previously got on well with Julia's work colleagues, they had often socialised, and so it was no surprise when he got the invitation. Julia and Phil were still on good terms but found it difficult without others around them.
On the day of the party, a Friday, I decided to take the afternoon off work, giving me more time to get ready. The party was being held at a nearby up-market hotel that the company used for visiting clients, so it was going to be dressy affair. I wore the outfit that I bought back in the summer for a friends wedding. Phil was picking me up at 7, which was getting closer and closer as I fussed over my appearance, I couldn't get my hair right so in the end had to leave it down, curling it with the tongs as best I could to make it presentable then rushing with my make-up. At seven o'clock sharp, Phil arrived (looking rather dapper I must say) and off we went.
We arrived to a grand reception, waiters serving drinks and everyone in good spirits. I felt very conspicuous clutching onto Phil's arm but we were greeted with mostly warm and friendly smiles. I did notice a few smirks when they saw Phil had company but it was the look on Julia's face that took me back a bit. She quickly recovered and came over to us, giving Phil a kiss (on the lips) and warm hug for me. A waiter came by and offered us drinks, which being nervous; I accepted a bit too eagerly and before I knew it I'd drained the glass. Phil and Julia were chatting away comfortably and after a while, not wanting to get in the way; I made an excuse to powder my nose.
On the way to the ladies room I bumped into a guy I knew from my old sailing club days. In my late teens I used to sail small sailing dinghies (not very well!) and Mark was one of the people I raced with. We got chatting, reminiscing about our lost youth, he got me another drink and we carried on talking. He'd been working for the company for several years as a designer and knew Julia and Phil well. It wasn't long before the drink started to affect me; I was feeling quite lightheaded. I hadn't eaten much that day, partially from a loss of appetite from nerves and also not wanting to spoil tonight's dinner.
It was at this point that I noticed a pair of eyes staring at me from across the room, they were gorgeous, I couldn't take my eyes away. My stomach started doing somersaults, I could feel myself trembling and my cheeks were burning. I tried to tear my eyes away and carry on the conversation with Mark but I couldn't concentrate, I just wanted to get lost in the depths of those incredible eyes. The eyes belonged to the most beautiful woman I've ever seen; about my age, maybe a little older, she was of similar height and build to me, possibly slightly taller, her face was just perfect, with the most amazing auburn curls falling onto slender shoulders covered with silk like skin, pert breasts, a slim waist and long shapely legs, she was stunning. She was wearing a striking, very dark brown figure hugging dress trimmed with gold, she looked so elegant. Mark was saying something to me with a concerned look on his face; I reluctantly dragged myself back to reality and realised we were being called for dinner. I quickly ran over to Phil who was still talking to Julia and we made our way through to the restaurant.
I was in a daze, I couldn't think straight and I was still shaking, was it the drink? My cheeks must've been bright red; Julia was asking if I was ok. I just hung on to Phil as we walked into the large room, letting him lead me to where we were sitting. The layout of the restaurant consisted of five or six large round tables, each laid with places (named) for around a dozen people. I was seated next to Phil, with Julia to his right (contrived or what!). It was a boy-girl-boy-girl layout so when I sat (nearly fell) down, I was greeted by a cheery looking fifty something man named Joe on my left. Joe proved to be a godsend and kept me going throughout the meal, Phil and Julia were totally absorbed in each other so I didn't get much conversation out of them. Joe chatted about all sorts of subjects (much to the annoyance of his wife, who sat to his left!) asking about my job and interests I had outside of work.
After being seated for a few minutes I began to recover enough to relax a bit and take note of whom and what was around me. As I quickly looked around our table, going from left to right, I could almost feel her presence before I even got to where she was sat; the auburn haired "Goddess" I'd seen earlier was actually sat on the same table, just a few places to my right. My heart nearly jumped through my ribcage and my stomach did more somersaults, I looked away quickly but not quickly enough for her not to have noticed me staring with what must've been the dumbest expression on my face, I blushed, my whole face must've been bright red as Joe asked if I was alright, my heart was racing and I felt so hot. Throughout the rest of the meal I couldn't help but keep glancing at her, she was so hypnotic and must've noticed me staring because I'm sure she was looking at me while I had my head turned talking to Joe; I could somehow feel here gaze. I didn't eat much of the lovely food we were served, I just pushed it around my plate, my stomach was all in knots, I couldn't get her out of my mind. Whenever I felt her looking in my direction I would start to get aroused, I couldn't stop myself, my nipples were hardening and I felt a great heat between my legs, for God's sake; not even the most sexy guy I'd ever met had this effect on me, why should a woman make me feel this way?
The meal was finished and more drinks were brought round, which seemed to keep me going. The CEO gave a speech and then wished everyone a merry Christmas; finally we all toasted for the success of the forthcoming year. With the formalities out of the way, the tables were cleared away and a band started playing, trying to temp people onto the dance floor. The flow of drink had lowered people's inhibitions so it wasn't long before the room was full of dancers. I decided to look for Mark as Joe's wife had dragged him off to dance and Phil and Julia were wrapped up in each other.
I spotted Mark talking to someone at the bar so I made my way over to where he was stood. After squeezing past a group of people stood near the bar, I stopped dead in my tracks; right in front of me was the "Goddess"; she was the person I'd seen Mark talking to. I must've been there only a second or two but it seemed like minutes before I regained my wits and started backing away but they must've seen my movement, for they both looked around in my direction. She looked straight at me, disarming me with the most wonderful smile. Once again my heart pounded like crazy, my stomach hit the ceiling and my knees went weak. Recovering as best as I could I tried to smile back, I must've had such a stupid look on my face; mouth gaping and eyes popping out of my head. Mark was looking at me and moving his mouth, I then realised he was talking to me; "hello again Rachelle" he said. Then through the crashing in my chest I could just hear he was introducing me to the beautiful Goddess; "Amanda this is Rachelle, an old sailing friend of mine. Rachelle this is Amanda, who is one of the consultants we use" We smile and shake hands, just making physical contact with her has an electrifying effect on me. I struggled to regain my composure but managed to pull myself together in time to reply to Mark who was asking me if I was feeling ok. Amanda looked concerned and said that I looked a bit pale and she'd noticed I hadn't eaten much at dinner. I made an excuse; blaming it on the drinks we had before dinner.
The three of us settled into a conversation, for my part I was just happy listening to the sound of her voice but Amanda kept me talking, asking about my connection with the company, I explained about Phil and Julia, we agreed how lovely it was to see them getting on so well, saying it would be so good if they could get back together. After a while Mark made his excuses, saying he'd spotted someone over the other side of the room he needed to see. Amanda and I both laughed when we saw who that someone was; a rather attractive blonde who was all smiles as Mark led her onto the dance floor.
Time seemed to fly by as Amanda and I chatted easily about all sorts of subjects, she soothed my nervousness away. It turned out we had a lot in common; our likes, dislikes and expectations were very similar. I learned that she was 30, single and loved the outdoor life. She was very career minded and had, despite her young age, worked her way up to partner level in the Management Consultancy firm where she worked. She too had had disappointments in romance and had endured pressure from her parents to find a partner but she was happy with the way things were, especially with work keeping her busy most of the time.
It only seemed like we'd been talking a few minutes but apparently nearly half an hour had passed, when turning around after receiving a tap on my shoulder I found Joe looking at me with a big smile on his face. He insisted I dance with him; he grabbed my hand and dragged me off to the dance floor. Having now recovered from my previous dreamlike state, I was now enjoying the evening; Joe was really getting carried away, making me laugh with his antics and drawing quite an audience. I could see Amanda grinning at me from the sidelines but it wasn't long before the smile was wiped from her face when she too was pulled onto the dance floor, the CEO who had now loosened up a great deal, taken off his jacket and tie, was displaying his dancing skills with the best of them. We all laughed and enjoyed the spectacle of these normally stuffy guys, who'd now been transformed into, in some cases, quite impressive movers. After a few more dances, they began to run out of steam and headed for the bar, which just left Amanda, me and few of the other younger women to dance by ourselves.
A couple of songs later, the band slowed things right down and couples came on to dance with arms wrapped around each other. I was about to make my way to the side when Amanda grabbed me, put her arms around my waist and pulled me close to her. Without even thinking, I just put my arms around her neck and cuddled into her as we moved slowly around the room. It all seemed so natural, to hold and be held by this wonderful creature, it felt like something once lost had now returned, like coming home after a long long journey, sheer contentment and joy. An incredible warmth and serenity seemed to envelope us; the whole world disappeared, leaving just the two of us. Her smell, the smoothness of her skin, the pressure of her breasts against mine and the security of her arms around my waist made me feel like I was in heaven. Everything about her seemed so familiar, like we'd done this a thousand times before. Amanda was pressing her face against my cheek; I felt her sweet breath on me, I could feel myself getting aroused, my nipples were hardening and between my legs my sex was getting hot and wet. Without thinking I moved my head round to face her and kissed her, it must've lasted for just two or three seconds, our mouths opened and we plunged our tongues into each other, exploring and tasting each other, tongues entwined.
Suddenly, reality hit me and I realised what I'd done, I pulled away, shocked. Not looking at Amanda and not sure what else to do, I just ran off the dance floor and headed for the Ladies room. Once inside I locked myself into one of the cubicles, fortunately no one else was there to see me; tears were streaming down my face, I was shaking all over, I felt hysterical, what had I done! What would Amanda think of me? She'll never have anything to do with me again, did anyone else see me? I cried and cried, going over and over the events in my head, I was so confused, was that really me, kissing a woman? I'd never had sexual thoughts about women before, ok so I did like to look at other girls in the changing rooms when I was at school and at uni but not in that way.
Slowly I calmed down enough to hear a gentle knocking on the cubicle door and a concerned voice asking if I was ok. It was her, it was Amanda. I didn't know what to say, I told her I wanted to be left alone but she was persistent and gradually by gentle persuasion she made unlock the door. I couldn't look her in the eyes, I was still sobbing and must've looked dreadful; red eyes, blotchy skin and makeup all down my face. She brought me a glass of water and tried to tidy me up a bit but I still couldn't speak or manage to look her straight in the face. She had that concerned look again and spoke to me in a soothing voice, attempting to cheer me up, telling how funny some of the other people looked while dancing, trying to make me laugh and take my mind off my distress. When I felt a bit better she held me by my shoulders and made me look at her; she said everything was ok and not to worry, it was just the heat of the moment, she wasn't upset or offended; it just happened. I apologised and thanked her for all she'd done in looking after me. It was getting late now so I said I should be getting home and asked if she would mind getting my coat. Amanda returned a few minutes later wearing her own coat and carrying mine. She said that as Phil was still with Julia, she'd promised him that she would see me home and had already phoned for a taxi.
A few minutes later as we walked out through the hotel foyer, I realised that the events of the evening had taken their toll on me; I was tired, I'd had nothing to eat virtually all day, more drink than I can handle and now the cold air was making it worse, I felt a bit woozy and everything seemed to be spinning around me. I thanked Amanda for her kindness and understanding once again, she just looked at me with those big green eyes, gave me one of her wonderful smiles and put her arm around me and guided me towards the waiting taxi.
I gave the cabbie my address and we both slid into the back seat and set off. The movement of the taxi made me feel sleepy, Amanda pulled me close to her and held my hand, she was talking to me but I had no idea what she was saying, I just rested my head on her shoulder and closed my eyes. The next thing I remember was Amanda gently shaking me, I'd fallen fast asleep; we had arrived at my apartment and she was climbing out of the cab. Fumbling for my keys I followed her and made my way (stumbled!) up the steps towards the entrance hall as Amanda paid the cabbie. I felt so weak, she had to support me as we made our way through the entrance and into the lift. As the doors closed behind us I tried to apologise for my condition but Amanda just smiled and put her arms around me and for the second time that evening, I felt that same warm contended feeling I'd experienced earlier. The moment was only too brief as the elevator soon chimed; telling us we'd reached my floor and the doors slid open. Amanda took my keys as I showed her to my apartment, she unlocked the door and we both entered.
Once inside, I expected Amanda would want to take her leave and make her way home but to my delight she insisted on staying for a while to make sure I was all right. I was totally exhausted by now so she sat me down on the couch and went to find the kitchen to make some coffee. I remember her asking if I took sugar and hearing a few chinking noises as she found the cups, I closed my eyes with more sounds coming from the kitchen and.......... that was the last I remember.
The next thing I was aware of was being in a large, elegantly decorated house with comfortable furniture arranged around a beautiful expansive lounge. A roaring fire was burning in a grand fireplace and through bright windows I could see green fields with horses grazing in the distance. Somehow I knew this was my home and we were preparing for a great celebration, I was so pleased; I'd found something that I had been looking for such a long time. I'd searched far and wide for this thing, No!; it was a person, someone very special. At last we had found each other, the person I loved had come home to me. We kissed and held each other, bathing in the rapture and contentment we both felt. Then you were calling out my name, "Rachelle, Rachelle".....
Then I woke up, I was in bed in my little one bedroom flat, I'd been dreaming. I lay there for a while with my eyes closed, remembering the dream, it was such a happy one, I just wanted to go back to sleep and carry on with it. I became aware that my head was aching and I was very thirsty, my mouth was so dry. I then remember having too much to drink at the Christmas party and then..... it comes back to me; that beautiful, wonderful, incredible woman Amanda. OH MY GOD AMANDA! And I kissed her! I actually kissed her...my stomach flipped over several times; I opened my eyes and sat up with a jolt! Things slowly started clearing in my head, I remember Amanda bringing me home, we got a taxi, then in the lift she gave me a hug, we were in my lounge, then... I don't remember anything else, or how I got to bed. I looked down at myself, I'm wearing just my underwear, I can see my clothes neatly hung on the back of a chair. I then notice some noises coming from the kitchen, I hear someone walking towards my bedroom and then......... it's as if I'm dreaming again; those enchanting green eyes, wonderful auburn hair framing the most beautiful face and that incredibly sexy smile; my heart starts to race as Amanda glides into my room, wearing my bathrobe and carrying a cup of tea. "Ah" she said, "you are awake, I called you a couple of times, how are you feeling this morning?" I looked at her in amazement as she put my tea down and sat on the edge of the bed. I can't think what to say, I just nod my head and smile, I'm so happy and it really is her, not just a dream. While I drank my much-appreciated cup of tea, she explained that last night, when she came out of the kitchen with the coffee, she found that I was fast asleep. She managed to get me into the bedroom and onto the bed, took off my shoes, undressed me and tucked me up in bed. She then went back into the lounge and not wanting to leave me on my own, decided to sleep on the couch (how does she spend the night on a couch and still look that good in the morning?).