Full CirclebyPAUL C©
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The twig snapped under her foot like a firecracker.
She stopped. Listening intently for sounds of pursuit. All was quiet. She hurried on. Why hadn't she listened to her friends and stayed in the States until the New Year. No, she'd wanted to surprise them. She was certainly going to do that. If only she hadn't gone back and found Richard in bed with that bitch Christy. No. It was better to know. The bastard. He'd fucked her as well that morning before she had left to catch her plane. If she hadn't realised she'd left a gift for the Wagstaffe's from her mother in the flat she wouldn't have needed to go back. The bastard.
It was snowing again.
Another frozen twig snapped beneath her foot. With each step she took the Moon lit shadows before her moved and twisted and changed shape. Somebody was following her. She was certain of that. She broke into a clearing near the top of the hill. There were two tracks. One leading off to the right past a solitary old oak and the other down a steep path to some buildings. The tree looked familiar. One building at the bottom of the path had a single light in a downstairs window. That one would do. They would help her.
She ran to the front door, past a black Rover Metro parked on the drive to one side of the house. The snow was piling up against its side. Pressing the bell she banged with her hands in her panic. A light went on in the hall.
"Who's there?" A woman's voice asked through the door.
"Help me please."
"What's wrong?" The voice asked.
"I've crashed my car and I heard on the local radio that a patient had escaped from the local secure hospital. This man stopped and he tried to get into my car and I'm sure he's followed me."
The door opened on a chain and an eye peered through the gap and looked her up and down.
"Are you alone?"
"Yes. Please hurry."
She heard the chain being lifted and the door was thrown open. Quickly she stepped inside and the woman closed and locked the door behind her.
"You look frozen. Come and sit down by the fire." The woman said showing her into a small living room with a roaring wood fire. "Let me take your coat. It's soaking wet."
It was warm in the room so she allowed the woman to remove her coat.
"I think you had best take your shoes and tights off." The woman said.
Looking down at her snow-covered feet and the trail of footprints she'd left from the door she stammered an apology.
The woman stepped closer and placed an arm around her shoulders. She smelt fresh. As if she had just got out of the bath. There was another smell. She knew it but couldn't place it. She was wearing a quilted dressing gown that looked a size too big.
"Don't be silly. My name is Rachel, by the way."
"Mine's Cleo. Cleopatra el McToomb."
"That's impressive." Rachel said picking up Cleo's shoes.
"My father is an Egyptian."
"And your tights. I'll bring you some slippers. My partners should fit you."
He must be a small man. Cleo thought as she pulled off her wet tights and sat in a chair by the fire. She only took a size six in English sizes.
"Where is he. Your partner I mean?" Cleo asked.
"She." Rachel corrected, sitting down opposite. "Lesley. We only moved in this week and it being Christmas Eve she decided she would visit her parents tonight and get it over with for this year. With all this snow around I don't suppose she'll make it back up the road tonight."
"You didn't go?"
"They don't approve."
Cleo looked across at Rachel. What was she? Thirty-two, three. Three or four years older than herself? She was small. She couldn't have weighed more than seven stones. A lot less than her ten and a half. Well, her mother had turned into a big woman. Fortunately Egyptians like them like that.
Cleo was conscious of Rachel studying her and suddenly felt uncomfortable. Automatically she pulled down on the hem of her skirt. She gave up the unequal battle. There was no way it was ever going to cover her knees.
"Can I use your phone? Please." Cleo asked. "I have some friends near here and I'm sure they would come and pick me up.
"I'm sorry." Came the reply. "As I said we only moved in this week and it's not connected yet. Where do your friends live?"
"Oh yes. It's just around the hill. Which way did you come to get here?"
"Over the hill and down this steep path."
"If you had taken the other path, past the old oak, you'd come to Chipping Marsden. We had a walk up there a couple of days ago. You can walk down by the stream past this lovely cottage with a walled garden."
"That's where I want to go." Cleo almost swore. If only she'd taken the other route. Of course she knew the tree and the path. Ten minutes, five if she'd run would have taken her to the bridge over the stream. She had a key to the door and knew the alarm numbers if they weren't there. "That's where my friends live."
She could have stayed in their flat in London. Just a phone call from the Airport but, no. She had to take the hire car even though it had meant waiting for it for two hours. It was all Richard's fault. She could still see his cock pistoning in and out of that bitch. Hear the squelching sounds it made. Little wonder he wasn't giving her as much as he used too if he was servicing that cow as well. And that was why he didn't want to come with her on this visit.
"I don't think I know them. But then we haven't really met anybody yet."
"Paul and Jennifer Wagstaffe."
"I don't know him but I do her." Rachel smiled in memory. "She used to teach English in my school. She was always coming back from the holidays either in plaster or bandaged. It was because of her I decided to become a teacher. She interviewed me for the job I'm starting in the New Year. A lot of schools won't take you if they find out you are gay. She said she'd take me because I was the best person for the job. I told her my days of lusting after girls in Gymslips are long gone."
But not twenty-eight year old Doctors. Cleo thought catching the way Rachel was glancing in her direction and crossing and uncrossing her legs.
"That would be her."
"How do you know them? You're an American aren't you."
"They have been friends of my parents since before I was born." Paul had been a very good friend of my mother's, Cleo could have added.
"You certainly don't look Egyptian."
No. Cleo thought. But I did share the same womb and mother with a descendent of a Pharaoh. She'd asked that question herself when she'd been fourteen and on a visit to England. Her mother had always insisted that she have contact with the Wagstaffe's at least once every year and was forever sending copies of her first drawings and writings to them. She told her and Jenny had confirmed it that Paul was her father. He was probably the only person who didn't know. But from that time on her visits to England had taken on a new meaning. Something to look forward to.
"No. Strange that. My brother is exactly like our father."
Cleo gave Rachel a smile.
"Would you like something to drink?" Rachel said rising and pointing to the sideboard on which were a small selection of bottles and glasses. "I was going to stay up for another hour just in case Lesley does make it back. The kettle's not long boiled for coffee and I was going to sit up with a pot and a glass of Brandy."
Not for the first time Cleo was glad her mother had not allowed her to be brought up a Muslim like her brother.
"Coffee and Brandy sound great. Can I switch your TV set on?" Cleo asked, indicating the set in the corner.
"I'm afraid it doesn't work properly yet. The receptions very poor in this valley and we have a man coming in the New Year to install a satellite system. We just use it for playing videos on."
"Don't you feel a bit frightened, on your own here?" Cleo asked, following Rachel in to the kitchen where she started to make the coffee.
"I wasn't." Rachel replied, spooning some instant coffee into a pot and switching the electric kettle back on. "Not until you arrived. We'll be safe here together."
Rachel reached out and squeezed Cleo's hand gently. Cleo felt herself tense, then relaxed. She shouldn't read something into everything. What if the man at her crashed car had been only trying to help her? Had she over-reacted when his hand had touched the door handle? He'd been carrying something long and black in his hand. She'd certainly taken him by surprise. Leaping out like that and kneeing him in the balls. At least outside the car she'd have room to move. If he'd smashed a window and got in she knew from many hours spent on the back eat of cars during her teens that few women could fight off a determined man in a confined space. Fortunately all her partners on the back seat had been Gentlemen-ish.
"Yes." Cleo said, realisation dawning upon her for the first time. "Yes. I suppose I will have to stay the night. If you'll have me."
"Love to. Have you stay, I mean."
Cleo sat down in her chair. Rachel set down the coffee and cups on a small round coffee table and collected the bottle of brandy and two glasses from the sideboard. She poured two sizeable measures Brandy and a cup of coffee each and sat in the armchair opposite.
"I'm sorry." Rachel looked up and smiled at her. "I didn't ask whether you took milk or sugar."
"Black is fine thank you." Cleo replied. "You say reception on the TV is bad but can you receive anything? Or do you have a radio?"
"Our radio alarm was broken in the move and the rest of our things won't be arriving until the New Year." She smiled again. "I'm afraid we just had to move in. We've only had a flat before."
"What does your partner do?" Cleo asked, sipping at her brandy and feeling the warmth spreading throughout her body.
"Lesley is joining a firm of Accountants in Taunton."
"Paul Wagstaffe has an Accountancy firm in Taunton."
"He must be one of the last of the Independents. Most have amalgamated over the years to save costs. Lesley is joining one of the large Internationals."
"I don't know. He does a lot of work in America."
Especially recently. He'd been to Dallas four times this year to her knowledge alone.
Cleo took another sip of brandy. Almost before her glass had touched the table Rachel had topped it up unbidden.
It was warm in the room. Perhaps it was just a delayed reaction from the excitement of the chase over the hill but she felt very tired. She thought of her medical bag back in old Michael de Vane's surgery in Washington. There would have been something in there to keep her awake.
Old Michael. She'd known him all her life. He'd guided her footsteps, as a father would have. Easing obstacles in her path. Helping her each step along the way to her chosen profession. It had been easy to want to follow her mother into the Medical profession. Having been brought up in a medical environment Michael had estimated that she had covered seventy percent of the course work needed to become a doctor before she started it. The hours she had spent listening to discussions and proposed treatments between members of the practice. How each member of the practice had been willing to take the time to explain what they considered before prescribing a course of treatment. All little nuggets stored away in an enquiring and eager mind.
She looked again at the Television set. Was there somebody out there who had followed her across the hills? Was he an escaped inpatient from a secure Hospital?
"Would you like me to switch the set on and see if we can pick up something." Rachel asked, as if she read her mind. "It is time for the local late news."
Rachel stood up. One of her boobs was sticking out of the front of her dressing gown. It was small with a hard brown nipple. Should she point it out or not draw attention to the fact she had noticed? She kept quiet.
Rachel bent from the waist to switch on the TV pointing her small, round backside towards Cleo. She turned her head away. She shouldn't be looking. When she looked again Rachel was still twiddling with the tuning dial. Some of the material of her dressing gown had ridden up between her ass cheeks. Cleo felt an almost irresistible urge to reach out and pull it free.
Suddenly the set crackled into life and Rachel straightened and took a step backwards. The picture was cloudy with heavy black lines racing down the screen but the commentary could just be made out.
'Roberta Long, the inpatient from Tone Vale Hospital has still to be been found. She left the hospital late this afternoon by slipping out through the kitchen area whilst the staff were enjoying a pre-Christmas drink. A black Rover Metro, the property of one of the Nurses, was stolen around this time. Neither patient nor car has been seen. Miss Long is described as five feet three inches tall. Seven stones four pounds in weight with Mousy coloured hair and a pale complexion. Police ask the general public not to approach Miss Long if seen but to report to them.'
'The police have also issued a warning to motorists that due to the heavy snowfall forecast for this evening and night people should only make journeys that are absolutely necessary. Driving conditions are treacherous.'
Cleo could vouch for that. That bastard Richard. She'd even left her mobile phone on the hall table in her rush to get away from them.
Reception faded and Rachel bent forward to switch the set off. The dressing gown was still pushed up between the cheeks of her ass. Unconsciously Rachel reached behind her back and pulled it out.
"Sorry." She said, realising what she had done.
"That's alright." Cleo replied.
So, the escaped patient was a small woman. Rachel was a small woman. With mousy coloured hair. Rachel's was a chestnut brown. A black Rover Metro. There was a black Rover Metro parked outside.
She did know Jenny Wagstaffe though. She'd spoken with real affection in her voice.
That smell. A smell from the hairdressing saloon. The smell of somebody who'd just coloured her hair.
Rachel reached forward and poured a little more Brandy into her glass. Cleo watched her lift her own glass to her lips and drink.
"More coffee?" Rachel asked, leaning forward in her chair.
"I'm fine thank you." Cleo relied, picking up her cup. "I haven't finished this yet."
Started it, would be nearer the truth, she thought.
"Are you hungry at all?"
"No. I'm fine. Thank you."
"As you wish."
He couldn't be more friendly and caring. Cleo thought. Was that suspicious in itself? But she moved so easily around the house. She knew where everything was. She knew that the TV reception was poor. She could have tried the set before she'd arrived. Looked around the house to see what was there. Her hair was dyed. That wasn't a crime. But on Christmas Eve?
Cleo looked across at Rachel. She was smiling at her. Cleo smiled weakly back. That Bastard Richard. Finding him fucking that bitch like that had prevented her thinking clearly. How did she allow herself to end up in a situation like this? She found herself standing up and walking to the window. Pulling open the curtains slightly she looked out. The snow had stopped falling and the sky above was clear of clouds. The stars twinkled brighter then she could ever remember seeing them before. She could see the shadows cast by the bright moonshine over the clean, freshly fallen blanket of unbroken snow. She looked across to her right. Past the old barn towards the steep path down which she had come earlier. The snow was not unbroken in that direction and she gave an involuntary gasp. She could clearly see a set of footprints leading down the side of the building. She almost jumped out of her skin as Rachel moved silently to her side.
"What's wrong?" Rachel asked.
Cleo could feel the warmth of Rachel's body as she moved closer to her and looked out of the window following the direction of Cleo's eyes. She felt Rachel stiffen by her side and gasp.
Large snowflakes started to fall again as the light from the moon was suddenly cut off as if somebody had clicked a switch. It looked cold and dark out there.
The two women looked at each other.
"Somebody's out there."
Rachel could hardly speak the words.
"What should we do?" Cleo asked leaning her head against the cold windowpane and straining her ear to catch any sound from outside.
"I don't know." Rachel replied. Cleo looked at her. She did seem really worried.
"How far is it to the nearest house?" Cleo asked. She should know. She remembered playing in the old barn when he was young.
"Less than a mile away." Rachel replied moving closer.
Cleo found herself automatically placing an arm about her shoulders and saying soothingly.
"Don't worry. We'll be all right. After all there is two of us."
"Yes. And she is a small woman. She can't be any bigger than me. I almost thought it was me they were describing on the TV."
"But you don't have mousy hair."
"I do. I dyed it this evening as a surprise for Lesley when she gets home. She always said I'd make a good red head."
"She's right." Cleo found herself saying. "It suits you."
"If we go upstairs we can look out of the windows at the front and back of the house. We might see who's out there."
"Good idea." Cleo said, following Rachel from the room and up the narrow flight of stairs watching the movements of her buttocks beneath her dressing gown.
Stop it. Cleo admonished herself. It had been years since she had had anything like an affair with another woman. She and her long time friend Marty, the daughter of a practice member, had fooled around a bit at first. Feeling each other's boobs in play. Examining each other's pussy's during various stages of their development. Discussing what it would be like to have a boy touch them. To let him push his finger inside. To let them rub their clits until they came. Until, that is, the day when, in the room they were sharing at Marty's house, they had agreed to take turns playing the role of the boy. She couldn't remember who's idea it had been. It didn't matter anyway.
How nervous she had been yet how excited to feel Marty's lips so soft and moist. To rub then, to prod them, to spread them. To smell the heady aroma of an aroused female. And when Marty had placed her hands behind her head and pulled her face down towards her opening she hadn't resisted. It had felt so right at the time. Instinctively she knew exactly where to place her tongue. The places where she most liked her own fingers to explore. And when Marty had gone down on her. Such feelings and sensations as she had never dreamed of before. Again and again that first night they had played out their roles. Somehow acting the part of a male lover freed them both of any guilt. They weren't doing it. They were pretending to be somebody else.
They had always spent most weekends staying at each other's houses. Jut good friends. Now their friendship had taken on a new meaning. They would spend ages slowly bringing each other to a peak of pleasure. Taking their time. How different it was to be for both of them when they allowed boys into their lives. A quick fingering to open them up then the bulbous head of a cock at their openings.
Cleo shook her head to clear it of the image of Marty's bushy mound and rich pink slit.
"Sorry." Cleo realised they were in the main bedroom. A pretty room. A woman's room. "I was miles away."