Twenty Minutes Ch. 02

byMercuryLove31©

She only wished, as she lay down and tried to sleep, her churning stomach would agree to let it go as well.

***

She was in labor for 17 difficult hours. And at 2:31am, a beautiful baby girl, named Olivia Roberta, was brought into the world. Robbie, while elated for her friend, was pretty sure she would never, ever give birth. The many hours of waiting, the enema, the hormones, Larry's worries, and the horror of that head finally emerging through that little, tiny slit...yeah, the experience pretty much cinched it for her. No movie watched in nursing school could match what she'd witnessed tonight. She would be Janet's daughter's god-mother, but she would most likely never have a child of her own.

She was chuckling to herself as she waited in front of the hospital for the taxi to arrive. The miracle of birth, yuck! She was happy for her friend...and would regret her preoccupation later. She should have been more careful, more cautious, but was too exhausted to take in her surroundings. She noticed the male approaching her much too late, wondering what might be on the cloth that he shoved over her face before she saw black. *

The nausea hit her first. Considering she'd been working at keeping it down for days, it was no surprise she wasn't successful. She rolled over, hanging her head over the bed, and grabbed a garbage pail that seemed to be placed there just for her. Her stomach felt no better when she finished heaving up the little she'd ate the day before, and the pain screaming in her head didn't diminish at all. She lay on her back, looking up at the ceiling, trying to ease the discomfort a little.

It was the stucco pattern on the ceiling that caught her attention. That and the small cracks she'd counted so many times over the last few days. Was she in her own room at the bed and breakfast? After a few more deep breaths, she forced herself into a sitting position, holding onto the garbage pail just in case. When nothing more rose from her depths, she took in her surroundings. She was still wearing the jeans and tee shirt from the hospital. All of her personal items were gone, but her bag was packed and waiting for her by the door. Why would someone kidnap her, take her back to her own rented room and pack for her?

She'd paid extra for a private bathroom and it was there she went to wash out the garbage pail and rinse her mouth. Whoever had packed for her was kind enough to leave out some of her toiletries, so after brushing her teeth, she took a quick shower, rummaging through her packed bags for a set of clean clothes. Most of the nausea had passed, but her head was still throbbing. She wasn't sure why, but she finished packing her few remaining items. Someone clearly wanted her to leave and perhaps she would oblige them.

She'd just finished combing her hair, pulling it back into a pony tail, when someone tapped lightly on the door. Her heart hitched. Things were so out of whack, she had no idea what to expect. The person didn't wait for a response, opening the door and stepping inside. Robbie simply stared. Her eyes combed over the woman's figure from head to toe, taking in her full breasts and small waist, the long, slim legs encased in tight jeans, those hazel-green eyes and soft, enticing lips. She was still attractive. It was her first thought, just like before, until reality penetrated past the haze in Robbie's mind. How? How could she be here?

"You're dead." They were the only words that came to her.

Terese smirked, closing the door behind her and leaning back against it.

"Clearly not."

"B-but...the news. They said-"

"Hardly a reliable source. Sorry about the chloroform, didn't realize it would make you that sick."

They stared at each other for a moment, Robbie's mind swirling with confusion. How could she be talking to this woman right now? This woman that had caused Shy so much pain...this woman that had cost Shy her life?

"She thought you were dead. She went after them because she thought-"

It was the first time she'd seen the woman respond with any kind of emotion. Terese shifted as if she was uncomfortable and then shrugged it off.

"Yea, I know. Look, there's a hit out on you. I thought she told you not to come back here?"

Robbie couldn't stop staring at the attractive woman, trying to understand the words, the shift in conversation. But all she could think about was the fact that this woman was here, standing before her, and Shy...Shy was gone.

"She's dead because of you. They killed her." She choked on the words, the tears trapped in her throat.

The smirk was back although it was halfhearted, "you listenin'? People here want you dead. You can't be here. Your flight leaves in a couple of hours, let's go."

Terese grabbed her bag, turning to open the door. Robbie rushed at her from behind. She pushed her into the door, pounding on the tall, slim woman with her fists, her tears blinding her.

"She's dead because of you! You have no right to be here! They took her from me because of you!" She repeated the words over and over, screaming them, the sobs stealing her breath.

Terese turned to face her, grabbing her wrists, wrestling her to the carpeted floor. She straddled the hysterical woman, waiting until she calmed a bit before easing her grip. When Robbie was simply crying, the fight gone out of her, Terese shifted her position, kneeling beside her.

"Jeez, you really are a feisty one, aren't you?" She teased. But she took pity on the raw pain she saw in the woman's warm, dark eyes.

"Look, I'm sorry. And I wish I could explain. But there's a cab waiting for you downstairs and you have to make this flight. I can't promise you'll be safe otherwise. Everything will be okay, alright? Just calm down."

Robbie closed her eyes, trying to take control of her emotions. When she spoke, her voice was cool and flat, "nothing will ever be 'okay' for me again Terese. Don't kid yourself."

Terese watched the smaller woman compose herself, unable to stop herself from admiring her full breasts and well rounded hips. She shook her head, chastising herself mentally. Robbie had already retrieved her bag and left the room. Terese followed her from the building.

*

She wasn't sure why Terese wouldn't leave her alone. She hadn't wanted her company during the cab ride and she definitely didn't want it at the airport. But the woman refused to leave her side, even following her to the bathroom. She thought she should care about this "contract" on her head, thought she should ask some questions about it, but she couldn't force herself to do so. She didn't care. Seeing Terese, realizing Shy was killed for no reason...she just couldn't comprehend it. She didn't understand why Shy was gone and this woman stood here, alive and breathing. It wasn't fair. It simply wasn't fair.

She bought magazines to keep herself occupied, lest she attack the taller woman again. She called Janet, apologizing profusely without providing all the details. She walked around the terminal, looking in shop windows, trying to waste time, ignoring the woman following her to the best of her ability. And when she was done with all of that busy work, she still had 30 minutes before her flight. She sighed, making her way back to the sitting area and finally turning to Terese.

"How are you alive? We saw the news report."

Terese shrugged, having the decency to look mildly apologetic at least, "again, hardly a reliable source."

Robbie simply stared at her, then shook her head slowly from side to side.

"She went after them...she killed people because-"

"Look, it's gonna work out."

"Really, how?" Robbie couldn't help but spit the words in her face. There was a quick flash of some emotion on the woman's striking face, and then nothing. They sat in silence for a moment, Robbie trying to piece things together.

"The money in the safe deposit box. Did you take it?"

"Wasn't your best move, putting it under your own name. Didn't take much to find it."

"It wasn't yours to take. Shy died for that money. She wanted me to have it."

Terese looked at her for a moment, raising a brow, "and what would you do with it? Go shopping?"

"Fuck you. I'll do whatever the hell I want with it. She gave it to me. It's all I have left of her. I want it back."

Terese shrugged again, "and people in hell want ice water, but they ain't gettin that either."

Robbie resisted the urge to hit the woman again, wrapping her arms around herself instead. She felt so cold...so empty. And the space that Shy had left inside of her was quickly being replaced by rage toward this woman. She only had one more question.

"Why the hell do you care if I live or die? If you didn't care about a woman who thought you two were best friends, why do you care about me?" She hoped the words hurt. She wanted this woman to feel pain. It would be nothing like the sick, hollow feeling she'd been forced to carry around with her for the past year, but she still wanted the woman to suffer just a little.

But Terese didn't react to the words, ignoring her instead. They sat in silence after that, and when her flight was finally called, Robbie couldn't help but feel a little relief that she would hopefully never see this woman again.

"You can't come back to Philadelphia," Terese told her as she boarded the plane.

"Don't worry, I have no reason to come back here."

***

It was Spanish moss hanging from the branches of Cypress trees. That is what created the rich, green, weeping effect on the trees in Louisiana. And as she passed those trees, and the lovely plantation style homes, on the way to her small house in Thibodaux, she felt herself starting to relax. She'd missed the thick, heavy accents of the people living here, the slower pace, the friendly dispositions. This was as far from Philadelphia as she could get and it felt...good. She should probably buy a place down here and settle down, making this her home now. She needed to feel grounded again...and she needed to start over after losing Shy. That thought sickened and depressed her.

She wondered how a year could have passed and yet it seemed she was processing her feelings for Shy as if everything had happened yesterday. Maybe she'd been in a state of shock...or maybe seeing Terese brought all the feelings up. It sure felt like she was starting all over again. Glancing at the lovely trees as the cab continued to make its way along the highway, she brushed tears from her cheeks. She'd taken a leave of absence, but maybe they had space for her at the nursing home. She couldn't imagine sitting around doing nothing all day.

The cab driver carried her bag to the front door and she smiled at the southern hospitality. So unlike cab drivers in Philadelphia. She gave him a hefty tip, waving as he pulled away from the curb. She stared at the front door for a few minutes, damning Terese to hell. She had stolen the sense of comfort this place brought her. Now she could only imagine how lonely she would feel in the queen-sized bed tonight. Sighing, she fit the key in the lock.

She wasn't sure what she noticed first. The packed bags in the corner or the smells coming from the kitchen. She felt her body tense, worried that the Philadelphia nightmare had followed her here. But why would someone be cooking if they wanted to kill her? Had Terese followed her here? She sure hoped not. She closed the door with a loud thud, hoping to alert the person inside. She was curious to see who would emerge.

Except nothing could have prepared her for the person emerging from her kitchen. Nothing. Not the subtle hints that Terese had dropped or the familiar nylon Reebok bags. It was utterly incomprehensible that she was here, in Louisiana, in her small kitchen, cooking. It couldn't be...

"Shy?" It was a croak, just a whisper. This was not happening. How could this be happening? She was alive? She was okay? How? How? But it was her. Larger than life, dressed in a familiar tank top and fatigue bottoms, the broad face she'd dreamt of so often still colored that beautiful bronze. Those eyebrows, dark, thick and unruly, the crooked nose and thick lips...and those eyes, slanted, almost like an Asian person's, and gray, a dark, smoky gray that she'd missed so terribly these many months.

"Hey you," that deep, throaty voiced caressed her, filled the empty space inside of her, easing the pain and suffering she'd carried with her for so long.

"Shy?" It was all she could say. Her entire body was shaking violently, the shock settling over her. How could this be? How could this be? The question kept repeating in her head.

"Hey," Shy was at her side, concerned, helping her to a small, overstuffed sofa, "sit, baby."

Robbie could only stare at her, tears clouding her vision, "Shy?"

She hadn't noticed the cane until Shy set it aside and knelt before her on one knee, her good knee evidently.

"Baby, you okay?"

Robbie choked out a laugh. It was an odd sound, filled with emotion and disbelief. Was she okay? Was that a joke?

"Shy." Nothing else would come. She raised her hands, framing Shy's face, caressing the soft flesh, staring into those bottomless gray eyes. How could this be? Shy was alive. And she was here, in Louisiana, with her. How could this be?

She didn't care, pressing her lips to Shy's hungrily, her arms encircling Shy's neck to pull her close. If this was a dream, she would enjoy it. She inhaled that familiar scent of Shy and soap, her tongue hungrily seeking out Shy's. Suddenly she was on her knees, her body desperate for the feel of this woman who had disappeared from her life and left her alone, so alone. They were shedding clothing with lightning speed, lying beside one another on the carpeted floor caressing, exploring, confirming. Her body knew this was Shy, but her brain kept repeating the same question, how was this possible, how was this possible?

She was trembling, afraid she would wake and Shy would be gone again, desperate to keep her near, enjoying the feel of those calloused hands against her heated flesh, creating wickedly delicious sensations. Shy nipped at her flesh, tasting of her as if starved, wreaking havoc along the way. Robbie knew she wouldn't last long, her body was so hungry, so taut, so ready. When she felt the heat of Shy's mouth against her breast, licking, teasing, nibbling, she wanted to scream. She couldn't be toyed with, not now. She needed this woman within her, atop her, completing her, like she needed air. It had been so long, so very long.

"Shy, please," she begged, hoping to motivate her.

But Shy would not be rushed. She took her time, stoking the fires, savoring the taste of her. Robbie thrust her pelvis against Shy's massive thigh, desperate for any relief, but Shy shifted, moving away. She pouted, frustrated, but then smiled. She never thought she'd be in this woman's arms again, never thought she would feel this way again. She wouldn't rush it. She wouldn't.

Shy took a hardened nipple in her mouth, lashing at it with her tongue, suckling it as hungry as any infant. Her tongue burned a path to the valley between Robbie's full breasts, memorizing the texture and scents, the sweetness of Robbie before moving on. The other nipple was just as ready, just as hard, and received the same lovingly devoted attention. When she finally decided to explore further, moving downward slowly, Robbie couldn't help but whimper, writhing against her.

Had it really been a year since she'd held this beautiful woman in her arms? Yeah, it had. And it was this, this headiness, these sensations, this constriction around her heart that had kept her going after the coma, the surgeries, the long months of painful rehabilitation. It was Robbie's face, her scent, her soft, luscious body that made Shy determined to walk again after the bullets had pierced her body, one shattering her knee. And it was this moment, knowing she would be welcomed, knowing she would be loved, that had helped with the months of depression and desperation when no one could find Robbie. Terese had been there, through the thick and thin of it, but it was this woman that had saved her life. She was as certain of that as she was of the love she felt for her.

She dipped her tongue into Robbie's navel, smiling to herself as the woman squirmed uncontrollably beneath her, anxious for her touch. Then her mouth covered Robbie's heady center, her tongue seeking out familiar buried treasure, her arms holding Robbie in place securely. She knew it would only take a few moments before she was rewarded for her efforts. She smirked as Robbie's body froze and then bucked violently, coating her tongue with sweet liquid heat. She didn't stop, couldn't, desperate for the taste of this woman, anxious to please her as well. Robbie cried out as she crashed into another orgasm...and then another. It wasn't until she heard Robbie whimpering, softly begging her to stop, that she finally did.

They held each other close later, satisfied for the moment, snuggled beneath the quilt on the queen-sized bed. Robbie breathed Shy in deeply, imprinting the feel and smell of her on her brain just in case she woke and this was just a dream. She didn't want to sleep, she wanted to talk, to listen, to share, to spend every moment possible with what could be a figment of her imagination. But she was tired, so very tired.

***

The other side of the bed was empty when she opened her eyes. It was dark and she reached over to turn on a lamp, holding her breath and praying as she looked for any sign that Shy had really returned. Besides rumpled linen, she saw no evidence that anyone else was in the house. Her foggy brain recalled their bout of lovemaking started in the living room, so Shy's clothes would be there, right? Perhaps it was enough of a sign that the clothes she'd worn earlier were no where in sight.

Certainly her body felt as if someone had been there. She ached in a sweet, familiar way that she never wanted to forget. It hadn't been a dream, had it? Shy was alive and had finally come for her? It just couldn't have been a dream.

She stood and pulled on a pair of sweat pants and a tee shirt, taking a deep breath before opening the bedroom door. She was trying to prepare herself for anything, especially an empty house, but she knew she would be devastated if Shy was no where to be seen. But she had little to worry about. The tantalizing smell of food greeted her as she stepped from the small bedroom, as did the clothing, haphazardly strewn about. She couldn't stop the smile from spreading as she slowly made her way to the kitchen and simply stood in the doorway, watching the hefty woman moving around her tiny kitchen as if she'd lived there all along.

She was here. She was alive. She was okay. The words wouldn't stop repeating themselves. It wasn't a dream. She took in the imposing coco-colored frame, covered only in an oversize sports bra and fatigue bottoms. There were scars where none had appeared a year ago. Small, round wounds that had healed over and marred her body. She counted four of them, two on her back, one on her left shoulder, the other on the lower part of her right arm. And then there were long, jagged scars, some the result of stitches. She noticed that Shy limped as she moved around, plating the simple meal, and then smiling with surprise when she turned and encountered Robbie's gaze. They stared at each other for a moment before Robbie stepped forward to take the plates and carry them to the tiny dining area off the living room. She noticed Shy had grabbed her cane before she joined her in the small space. They sat across the table from one another, but Robbie didn't have much of an appetite.

"They shot you." She couldn't seem to stop the absurdly simple observation.

Shy watched her carefully for a moment and Robbie could see her calculating how much she should share. She didn't know what she would do if Shy held back now. Not after everything they'd gone through. She watched impatiently as Shy scooped up some of the flaky fish she'd broiled and placed it between her lips, chewing and swallowing slowly.

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