The Things Inside Our Hearts


Carrie sat motionless. Everything that Nell was saying was true. It made sense, but at the same time it made a mockery of the entire system of world politics.

Nell continued – "What I am trying to say is that we approach this in completely the wrong way – maybe the time for guns and patrols is gone. Maybe we should be giving a little more instead of gripping and controlling. I don't know. It makes sense to me, but nobody else seems to see it…" A dreamy look spread across her eyes as they came to a stop at a junction. She seemed resigned – as though her emotional reserves had been slowly drained.

"I do," said Carrie quickly.

Nell glanced over and moved her hand towards the blonde's cheek. "I know you do, darling. You're different, I sensed it right away. But at the moment I'm afraid that you're not in a position to do anything at all about the situation."

"But I might be one day…"

"Carrie, when you become the most beautiful foreign diplomat that this country has ever known…" The Brit was already giggling as Nell pulled out onto a wider road and sent the car bumping over concrete that felt like off-road terrain. "Then I hope you will remember the conversation we had – along with all the potholes, the terrible drivers –" She suddenly leaned on the horn at a beaten-up lancia swerved over the sidewalk. Startled, Carrie grabbed on to Nell's thigh in an unconscious knee-jerk reaction.

The car passed, carrying just an elderly man, his grey hair barely visible above the steering wheel. It was something that was the same the whole world over, and Carrie felt strangely refreshed by the experience.

Nell was smiling again, and it was quite some time before Carrie realised that her fingers were still wrapped around the woman's thigh. She moved her hand away and felt the blood rushing to her cheeks. "So what languages can you speak other than Dutch, English and Arabic?"

Nell was softening under the sudden interest. Either that or the accidental hand had taken its effect. Slowly the barriers were being lowered and the earlier angst was lifting like morning mist. Despite the surprises, for Carrie it had reached the point where Nell was no longer some unreachable an object of admiration, but a person – and for once the reality was proving to be every bit as good as the fantasy.

"I also speak fluent German," she began, "quite good Russian, Spanish, reasonable Italian, and I'm currently in the process of learning Tagalog."

"Of learning what?"

"Tagalog, darling. It's one of the main languages spoken in the Philippines."

"Well, that's useful…"

Nell started to laugh, "It could be. I have no idea where I could be sent to next. But what about you, Carrie? Tell me about yourself."

Gradually the two women were becoming more and more relaxed in each other's company. They chatted about home, about friends, about family until it felt like they'd known each other for a lifetime. The further out they travelled, the worse the bends in the road became, but still Nell showed no sign of slowing down.

"Sorry!" she called out as they roared around another corner. "But I'd really like to get there before the sun goes down, if that is possible. I want you to see everything."

"That's assuming that I'm still conscious by the time we get there!"

Nell laughed, intoxicated by the thrill of the ride. Once the car had ribboned free from the dreary city, she leaned even heavier on the gas until Carrie found herself pinned to the seat with her legs trailing ahead of her in the g-force.

They were heading directly for the mountains, travelling higher and higher up the dirt road, and although the vegetation was still sparse it seemed to be thickening with every mile they covered. Nell was right – the further they travelled, the more it felt like they were going to a place completely removed from the rest of the God-forsaken country.

At the sides of the road there were now patches of grass, the distance between each one decreasing all the time, until they merged into a rolling field. Solitary oaks and poplars soon multiplied into miniature forests, and as they rounded another corner Carrie was staggered by the sight of a henna bush, larger than any she'd ever seen and covered with red and white flowers.

For the last few minutes the two women had been travelling in silence. The beauty of the surrounding countryside was just too spectacular to miss through idle chatter. This, however, seemed to demand some kind of response.

"Wow!" breathed Carrie as they sailed past the shrub, "You weren't kidding about this not being a place to be missed!"

"We still have quite a few miles to go," replied Nell, evidently pleased with the reaction of her new friend, "and then you can see for yourself."

"Nell –"


Carrie had opened her mouth to offer a compliment, but what she found on the tip of her tongue was her heart. It was too soon – too crazy, too much of a whirlwind crush that she had on this dark beauty… She closed her mouth again.

"What is it, darling?"

"Nothing. I was just thinking, that's all."

"Should I offer you a penny, or was your thought worth more than that?" enquired Nell, a playful smile on her lips.

"It was priceless," replied Carrie, suddenly floundering under the realisation of how near she'd come to breaking her rule of restraint when it came to women.

"Would you like to share it?"

Carrie sighed. There wasn't any way out of this situation, and a contradictory little voice inside her head was telling her that this wasn't a bad thing at all. "I was just thinking…" she began, and then suddenly the dams burst, leaving the rest to come gushing out like a waterfall. "Please don't be annoyed with me for saying this if it isn't your thing. I honestly won't mind – it's happened to me so many times before that I don't even feel the stab anymore. But I just wanted you to know - I know I haven't known you long, but so far I've loved every second I got to spend with you. I think you're out of this world."

Nell turned a deep crimson and Carrie instantly regretted what she'd said. But the Dutchwoman's next statement erased that feeling in an instant.

"I don't know what to say, Carrie. I have to tell you that I am only human, just like everybody else, and it's something that we get reminded of on a daily basis in this part of the world. But I appreciate the compliment – especially as it came from you."


"Yes, really. I like you a lot, Carrie – even when you act just like a man and stare straight at my breasts." Nell's eyes were fixed on the road ahead, but she managed a wink as she pulled off the road onto a dirt track and reduced her speed considerably.

Without saying another word, Carrie reached across and took hold of her hand. This time, however, she kept it wrapped up in her own, allowing her fingers to caress, stroke and explore every inch of Nell's skin from her fingertips right to her wrist. At the initial contact the brunette had jumped slightly, but now she was returning the gentle touches with a rhythm that made Carrie glaze over with pleasure.

"We are nearly there now, darling." Carrie felt a squeeze on her hand as the red jeep wove into a shady grove.

"Already?" She stirred as though she'd woken from a deep sleep. She hadn't closed her eyes for a split second, but somehow the landscape had changed beyond recognition. Where there'd previously been grass, there were now flowers as far as the eye could see - sword lilies, carnations, chrysanthemums, tulips, narcissi, lilies of the valley and more other species than Carrie could recognise. In fact, the entire area in which they'd stopped was a sea of colour and scents, and as she wound down the window to breathe in the experience, she was infused with a sense of paradise.

Carrie got out of the car without uttering a single word, the click of the door reverberated around the valley several times over. She listened harder and picked up the sporadic tapping of a woodpecker. A gentle gust brought the sound of rustling leaves, and with each step she took her senses were bombarded with more features of the natural world – more real and more vibrant than anything she'd witnessed for a very long time. She turned back towards the city that they'd come from, but it lay shrouded by dark ugly clouds, which seemed to be holding a flood of Biblical proportions. Not wishing to remind herself of the ongoing tragedy beyond those crumbling walls, Carrie focused again on the setting sun and the glow that came from the embers of a day that had swung from hell to heaven within the space of just a few exhilarating hours.

"Do you like it?" asked Nell rather shyly.

"It's…" Carrie searched for a word that wasn't trite or inadequate, but nothing came to mind.

"Paradise?" suggested Nell.

"Maybe it is."

"Well, the religious texts had to get their ideas from somewhere."

"You mean –"

"Who knows. Who cares." Nell slipped her arm over Carrie's shoulders. "I have no time for people who spend all their time thinking of good deeds when they could be doing them instead. Come on – the best is yet to come. Are you ok with heights?"

"Not really," replied Carrie truthfully. "I was up on my nan's step-ladder last June and had a touch of the spins."

Nell smiled a little, but was careful not to encourage nor ridicule this little admission of weakness. There were plenty of grown men who would have blanched at the thought of what the Dutch woman had in mind, so in a way it was better that Carrie stayed with the image of her old nan's ladder and enjoyed a couple more moments of sweet oblivion.

Without the need for further conversation the two women made their way through the wood, Carrie resting her head against Nell's shoulder as they followed a path that rose and curved along the edge of the mountain. It was beautiful, but it didn't escape realise that the real beauty of the moment was coming from within – contentment, happiness and more than anything else, a feeling of complete and utter fulfilment.

Eventually, the trees cleared to expose miles of empty sky. They were nearing a small summit. Carrie could hear the empty rush of the air, and although the vanishing sun was partly to blame, the temperature had become noticeably cooler. Soon they came to a stop and Nell turned to face her once more.

"Do you trust me, Carrie?"

"Yes, I do."

"Good. Then you must trust me a few minutes longer, and I promise you that you will not be disappointed."

Nell moved behind the apprehensive Brit, covered her eyes with both hands and began leading her forwards. After half a minute Carrie knew they must be close to the edge of the path, but still she was guided forward. The grass and bracken had now given way to loose stones, and with the exception of the growls of the distant storm the empty echo was growing by the second.

"Ok…" Nell kept her hands in place, but at last Carrie's blind journey had ended. "I'm going to remove my hands, but you have to trust me, Carrie. I have you. You can't fall. You can't slip – unless you panic and do something stupid. Are you ready to look?"

Carrie nodded. She'd never had a head for heights, but somehow, with this woman as company, she had the feeling of being able to jump from the top of Everest. It was the rush of first love, of invincibility, and suddenly she felt stronger than ever before.

When Nell removed her hands, Carrie found herself looking at the same stretch of sky that she'd seen on their approach - but this time there was considerably less ground beneath her feet. She was on an outcrop, no wider than a couple of feet, and beyond that lay a drop that seemed too far away to be real.

Carrie looked around and gasped. Although not quite among the clouds, the thin wisps certainly weren't that far from the heads of the two women. Carrie moved a foot to steady herself and send a small rock plummeting over the edge. They were far too high to see how it shattered, but the crash reverberated for several seconds, amplified by the rocky slopes.

"Nell…" she began, casting a frightened glance over her shoulder, "Is this safe?"

The brunette now had a hand either side of Carrie's waist, her little fingers resting against the blonde's hips. "Compared to the place we've just come from? Absolutely."

Carrie took a deep, calming breath and slowly found herself enjoying the view. The land before her was lush, green and looked more like a scene from an Alpine postcard than anything the Middle East had to offer. Beyond the stream and the meadows and the eagle that soared and glided along the thermals, Carrie noticed a band of blue.

"What's that?" she asked, pointing towards the distance.

"That, my darling, is the sea. And I'll bet you never realised how close it actually is." Nell rested her chin on Carrie's shoulder, and for a while they stayed in that position, enjoying the closeness and enjoying the warmth. "Just think – across that stretch of water is the rest of the world…"

At this range Carrie could appreciate every subtle detail of her beautiful temptress – the firmness of her breasts, the feather-light stroke of her hair as it blew in the breeze, and the soft scent of her smooth skin, which was drawing the young Brit like a moth to the flame. Without realising what she was doing, Carrie's head began to turn towards the woman. It happened slowly, without even ruffling the cool, still air around them. Soon their cheeks were touching and Carrie found herself gazing deep in those clear green eyes, watching how the pupil dilated and glazed over in what was probably a mirror image of her own. She turned her body, and Nell's hands adjusted accordingly, one snaking around her waist as the other came to rest on her stomach before travelling upwards until its fingers came to rest around her breast. Almost passing out from the pleasure and the eruption of desire, Carrie allowed her nose to graze against Nell's, slowly, lovingly, enjoying every new sensation until, in a moment of pure bliss, their lips found one another.

It was a gentle kiss, but the intensity made Carrie's head spin far more than the height. Nell's lips were soft, probing, persistent and real experts in their art. Tentatively, Carrie pushed her tongue between them. It was taken in an instant, sucked sweetly between the brunette's lips into the soft wetness of her mouth. The fingers traced their way along Carrie's breast, finding her nipple but then sliding back down.

Even though her feet were on firm ground, Carrie felt as though she were falling – deeper and deeper as the kiss took her out of her body to a place that was deeper still and bathed in waves of pleasure.

Nature provided the fireworks -just a flash of summer lightning that momentarily lit up the sky. A loud rumble caused the pair of them to jump, and with great reluctance they emerged from the kiss, misty-eyed and breathless.

"I think that we should maybe move from this ledge, darling –" began Nell, but the rest of her sentence was smothered by yet another kiss that would have thrown her off balance were it not for the arms of the young blonde, which were now completely entwined around her body. She kissed back hungrily, and it wasn't until the sky lit up a second time she regained control of the situation and led her eager young lover back towards the path.

"We should go, Carrie…" she began as a large rain drop landed on her arm. "There's a storm coming, and it probably isn't wise to be standing on the highest point on the horizon."

Carrie looked at her longingly. With that kiss, every ounce of her inhibition had exploded into the past. There was a part of her that accepted the sense in Nell's words. The sky over the city was black, and the light where they were standing was fading by the minute. When it came, the storm was bound to be ferocious. But somehow there were so many things she wanted to say – so many things that would evaporate or just seem stupid once they were back in the confines of civilisation.

"Carrie?" Nell leaned forward and brushed a stray strand of hair from the blonde's face. "Don't you think we should?"

"I know we should… but I don't think I want to just yet."

"What do you mean? We have all night, and tomorrow night, and the night after that ad infinitum if that's what you want. I know I want it."

Carrie shook her head and finally summoned the courage, her blue eyes shining. "I'll do my best to make it back to one of our apartments, but if I don't get to have you soon I'm going to explode because you're setting me on fire!" She blushed a little as she uttered the words, worried that maybe her response had been a little bit theatrical, but it was how she felt and her emotions had long passed the point of tidy control.

Nell suddenly leaned forward and placed an unexpected kiss on the young woman's forehead. "You're a sweet girl, Carrie," she whispered as another gentle splash of rain landed on her face this time, rolling down her cheek in a single tear. Carrie's heart was melting, and before she could stop herself she was reaching forward an unbuttoning Nell's linen blouse, holding her breath as a small line of flesh was revealed.

Slowly, as though she were unwrapping the most treasured gift, Carrie slid the blouse from her lover's shoulders, revealing a white lace bra that seemed to accentuate the gentle swells of Nell's breasts. She was losing herself by the moment, her fingertips brushing lightly over the Dutchwoman's stomach as they felt their way to the warm brass fastenings of her jeans.

The ground was now trembling with the force of the thunder as Carrie undressed the woman before her. Any thoughts of getting away from the storm had evaporated from Nell, who simply stood there, her breathing slightly ragged as she surrendered her body to both the elements and to Carrie's expert touch.

Once the jeans hung open, exposing the top of her matching white panties, Nell pulled Carrie deeper into the trees. Although far from perfect, the canopy of branches and leaves would at least offer them some protection against the falling rain. They found refuge under a stunted peach tree, ripe fruit scattered on the velvet ground around it. When Carrie's lips found Nell's for the third time, the Dutch woman was forced to slide down the trunk into a sitting position, allowing the blonde to slide the jeans down over her hips and tug them off her legs, scattering her sandals in wild abandon.

She was now down to her underwear, sprawled against the tree with her lips slightly parted. Carrie followed the outline of her long legs and strained to see beyond the outline of her panties, but Nell had completely different ideas.

"Take your clothes off, Carrie," she instructed.

Carrie obliged, kicking off her shoes recklessly, and pulling her lightweight cotton dress in one short tug over her head. When she was down to her underwear, however, she stopped, overcome by a sudden shyness. Without the protection of her skimpy underwear, Nell would be able to see the wetness soaking through the material of her thong and the way in which her hungry pussy had become engorged. She didn't want her new relationship to begin in such a voracious way, but yet her body was telling a different story.

"I meant all of them," said Nell after a short pause.

Carrie reached behind herself and unfastened the clasp of her bra, allowing her breasts to fall free onto her chest, where they hung there round and ripe as the fruit that surrounded them. Never in her life had she stripped for a lover. Never in her life had she stood naked in broad daylight to be admired and to be enjoyed, but it did nothing to deter her from completing the act by hooking her fingers around her skimpy thong and allowing it to drop around her ankles.

Nell looked her up and down. "You're beautiful," she whispered and waited for the girl to approach her. Carrie wasn't ashamed of her body. With the lack of anything else to do outside the hotel complex, she'd spent most of her nights during the past month either at the hotel gym or the pool. She wasn't as tanned as Nell, and with her fair skin was unlikely ever to become so, but for the Dutchwoman, who had craved such a girl for so long, Carrie was everything and more than she'd ever dreamed of.

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