Rose'cliffs

Her thirty second birthday had been a blast, it lasted three days. She couldn't remember the last twenty four hours of it, but she knew that she had had a good time, if hangover was anything to judge by. Then add she couldn't find the underwear she had worn at the beginning of her party; in fact she woke up from her drunken stupor on the floor of her bedroom in an ill-fitting man's shirt half buttoned and at least two sizes too small for her 34C breasts, one of which lay unrestrained and exposed, from the tight shirt, and someone else's way too short skirt that had rucked up, exposing the bare fact she was without any underwear at all. She peeked in at her roommate; Shelly was passed out naked on her bed three naked guys were arranged artfully around her. Obviously she had enjoyed the party too.

She was thirty two! Well actually thirty two and two days. Arleen looked at herself in her full length bedroom mirror. She was tall at 5'10".Her cornflower blue eyes were bloodshot and the lids puffy, the long lashes that shrouded them, normally making her eyes appear mysterious were matted and clumped. The eye shadow was smudged and her eyebrows had been plucked to thinnish arches above her enigmatic eyes. Her cheekbones were high and complimented her eyes. Her face was heart shaped, her nose was straight and slender with narrow nostrils, her mouth was wide, with sensual lips, her chin was sharp but slightly rounded, making her appear determined rather than darn right ornery, which she knew she could be.

She staggered to the bathroom and managed to stumble into the shower without tearing the shower curtain down. In her borrowed clothing she let the warm water cascade over her. She slipped out of the sodden clothes, turned up the hot water and stood as the almost scalding water stung her naked body, what was left of her make up ran down her cheeks in twin grayish rivulets she guessed she looked like a raccoon. She stood letting the water soothe her soul for at least fifteen minutes before, gingerly, she applied soap, shampoo and moisturizer and cleaned herself.

After drying herself with a big fluffy towel and brushing her teeth she walked to the kitchen still wrapped in her towel, the apartment was a mess, bottles everywhere, some quiet full but mostly empty, and overfilled ashtrays were strewn carelessly everywhere. Her answering machine had been destroyed by some maniac with a baseball bat and lay in two hundred unfixable parts in the center of her bed. Someone was thoughtful enough to drink all the coffee cream as well as the milk, when they raided the fridge, leaving it bare except for three empty beer bottles and half a bottle of Russian Vodka. Well with the way she felt it would be wise to drink her coffee black, she went about the complicated task of filling the coffee maker and switching it on.

Thank God the coffee maker still worked; scalding black coffee and the handful of Advil she took began to deaden the dull throb behind her eyes. Within an hour she was almost capable of rational human thought, and simple coordination like getting dressed and brushing her long dark hair.

It had been more than a birthday bash; her birthday had coincided with the end of the tour. She had spent the last year touring with singer-songwriter Harry Hamilton as one of his back up singers. They had toured every major city in North America, now he was headed to Europe, but, because of some complicated union rule he was not able to take his back up singers to Europe and would audition for European back up singers once he landed.

She was out of a job, her agent had mentioned some commercials where she might be able to get her an audition for, but there was nothing 'concrete' on the horizon for her. Being on the road had been hard, it drove the final coffin nail into her nearly four year relationship with Bradley, he had, she found out waited at least a week after she left to go on tour, to fuck her best friend. They were still together and blissfully happy, or so she had been told. She'd miss Angie! She sighed and sipped her third mug of the now overcooked stale black coffee.

She searched for her purse, and found it stuffed behind the sofa with her mail, and latest copy of Variety. Bills, credit card statements nothing of interest, no Hi Arleen your long lost Uncle has named you the only heir to his multi million dollar estate, please contact us at 555-1234 …. Blah, blah…..

She refilled her coffee mug with the dregs of the pot, and thumbed through Variety, noting who had shafted who, who was sleeping with whom, who was hot and who was not. When at the back she saw a square bordered advert:

COUNTRY SINGER NEEDED

The World Famous (one day)

ROSéCLIFFS TAVERN

Seeks

A TALENTED COUNTRY MUSICAN

Entertainer

Contract will be discussed after audition

Send CD or DVD to……

It was a Canadian advert. Ah what the hell, she had nothing on the horizon, right? There was nothing to loose. She dug through her closet, finding a copy the blurb she had printed on her computer and a promo CD and she had cut a few years before, when she still had dreams she'd make it as a headliner, in Nashville. She sighed self pityingly, yet another steppingstone to mediocrity. Still singing back up and making jingles beat waiting tables or taking off your clothes for a living, right?

On her way to meet her agent, she popped the CD and blurb into the post and promptly forgot about it. The meeting with her agent led to a little work over the next few days singing jingles for under arm deodorant and dog food, which helped pay the rent and restocked their depleted refrigerator. There was also talk of some radio work.

A week later she had been asked by KLXJ to do some commercials. It turned out to be a bitch of a day, the radio station for which she was doing a jingle had a manic art director and he demanded that he sit in on the takes. He was short and obese; he had tried to rub up against her and it had taken all of her tact to keep him away without ruining her chances for more work at the radio station.

The traffic home was bumper to bumper her nine year old Nissan constantly threatened to overheat, typical of any bored nine year old she reckoned. She looked forward to getting home, sprawling out on the sofa and watching the CMT awards.

Shelly, her roommate was doing a short stint as a replacement in a musical, and she had the place to herself. She had kicked off her sneakers and just opened her second beer, and watched while Toby Keith took a jibe at Natalie Mains of The Dixie Chicks before telling everybody he was just a working stiff, like everybody else, and who cares if he owned two mansions, his own jet and about a dozen sports-cars, his success had not spoiled him or his family, and while they were thinking about buying a small Caribbean island, they still considered themselves white trash.

The phone interrupted the pontificating white trash, Arleen who normally would have let the answering machine pick up the call, but of course some demented idiot with a baseball bat had destroyed it, she hit mute on the remote and picked up the phone." Hi Arleen Armstrong, speaking to you live from her sitting room!"

A female responded at the other end. "Um, hi Arleen this is Thelma Verren, from the Rosécliffs Tavern, my sister and I really liked your promo CD, would you be prepared to come up to Ontario Canada for a final audition? Well gladly meet your expenses." She added. "If you like we can have a return airline ticket waiting for you at the airport."

Arleen did not understand and stammered. "Huh? What CD, what audition, what are you talking about?" she said warily suspecting Shelly or one of her friends was pulling a prank.

"Is this Arleen Armstrong the country singer? You sent us a promo CD in answer to our advert in this month's Variety." The soft spoken woman on the other side of the phone continued.

Vague memories of posting off a CD and publicity blurb while hung over after her birthday party surfaced. "Oh yes." She responded. "That's right, yes,yes,yes, I'm Arleen Armstrong, sorry, I was watching Toby Keith being an asshole to Natalie Mains on TV it threw me for a sec, but yes of course I'll like to come on up there, I'm free after next week, I can fly up either on the Friday night or Saturday morning, if that suites you?"

"Oh that's so cool, let me see what I can arrange with the airline, can you hang on a sec?"

Arleen could hear Thelma Verren's muffled voice even though she held her hand over the phone. "Mel, she says she can come the weekend after next, its two weeks before we open, its perfect, get hold of Air Canada see when you can get a ticket, she's holding on."

After a minute or two, Thelma spoke to her again. "Hi again. We can get you on the Friday night flight; it leaves Nashville at 6:00 PM you have to change planes in Rochester New York, and should arrive at Toronto 10:00 PM. My sister will drive down and meet you at the airport. When you get to Nashville airport, just give the Westjet counter your name and this code RC46732, they'll have your ticket, transfers and stuff, is that ok?"

Arleen was all professional by that time." That sounds perfect, I will contact my agent and see about a work permits and what documentation I'll need in the mean time, I look forward to meeting both you and your sister the weekend after next, thank you both for giving me the opportunity."

"We look forward to meeting you too, bye, now." Thelma said as she put down the phone.

Carefully Arleen wrote RC46732 on her calendar for the following Friday, and settled down to watch the awards show.

The two weeks went by fast enough, her Agent gave her information about working in Canada and gave her some forms and documents she'd need if she wanted to work in Canada for more than three months, as well as the necessary contact and fax numbers. By 6:30 on Friday her plane was rolling along the runway. Her guitars and amplifier being the bulk of her luggage was in the cargo hold. She was in time to catch the New York transfer, and enjoyed a glass of wine and a few elegantly prepared sandwiches that tasted like cardboard during the short flight from Rochester to Toronto.

She walked into the Terminal carrying her overnight bag of clothes, and was happy to see that her equipment had arrived safely with her in Toronto, and was already rattling around the baggage rotunda and had not flying out to some exotic destination like Freezeyerassoff in Iceland, Fuckenmuddy in Brazil or Yourawanka in Australia.

She picked up her instruments, mixer board and amp and wandered along to the exit with the hundred odd passengers, from her flight. A young woman stood to one side with a number of uniformed limo chauffeurs holding a sign "Arleen Armstrong". Arleen estimated she was somewhere in twenties with curly dark hair. She was short, just over 5' Arleen guessed. Her eyes were green, with a cute turned up nose, her lips wide and sexy, her boobs, beneath a thin silvery blouse were generous and proud, her designer jeans, showed her figure off extremely well. When Arleen drew nearer she noticed that her large eyes were green and flecked with gold and her skin unblemished and unadorned by any cosmetics.

"Hi there, I'm Arleen, are you Mel?" She asked.

"Hi Arleen, uh huh, yeah, I'm Melody Verren, welcome to Canada, eh. I hope you enjoyed your flight. Can I help you with your stuff, it looks heavy."

Arleen unburdened herself of the amplifier and cased mixer board; the amp was designed to be pulled along on recessed wheels. Melody tugged it behind her as they made their way out towards the car park.

They stowed her guitars and other equipment in the back seat of Melody's four wheel drive SUV and headed out of the airport and along the freeway, making small talk. "Have you been to Canada before?" Melody asked.

"Oh yeah we did Toronto as part of the tour, also, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver." she rattled off.

"Well we're a little off the beaten track, our club is about three hundred kilometers North of Toronto, in a little town called Birchacres. We grew up there my parents died last winter in a car crash, Thel and I have spent most of our time and money rebuilding it and bring the place up to code. It'll take about four hours to get there, would you like to stop and get something to eat?" Melody continued.

"Oh no, it's fine, I had something on the plane." Arleen answered politely.

"Well then let's get moving shall we?" Melody said, turning onto a wide highway and headed north. She pointed out various landmarks along the way, Arleen found her to be a lively and animated tour guide. Melody, she discovered, was not a garrulous type, and there were often times of silence, not stilted silence but easy contemplative times when it didn't seem necessary to speak, she enjoyed Melody's company. Although it would have appeared rude, she stared at Melody who was concentrating on driving quiet a bit during the trip.

It was close to 2:00 AM when the white SUV pulled up outside a motel and Melody handed her the keycard. "We've booked you in here for the weekend. Its room eleven. Sorry it's not a Jacuzzi suite Try and catch some sleep, I'm really sorry it's so late; Thel will call you around noon to set up the audition. Oh yes, I forgot you musicians don't go to bed before three AM and don't get up before noon anyway, eh?" She giggled prettily.

Melody helped her take her equipment into the motel room; it was medium sized with a large bed and colour TV with a bathroom leading off opposite the closets. It was neat and clean, and far better than some of the rooms she had used while on tour.

"Well get some sleep, Thel will set up the audition in the afternoon, see ya, eh?" Melody said while walking out the door. For some reason it was an awkward moment, almost as if there should have been more.

Arleen lay awake for a while, Melody seemed really nice, it was strange, she felt she had to get to know Melody better. She hoped her sister would be nice too, it would be good to get out of Nashville for a while, even this weekend, although it was also an audition seemed like a vacation. These thoughts soon lulled her to sleep.

She rolled out of bed around 10:00 she showered and dressed in black jeans and a tooled leather belt with an oversized oval western buckle and a simple white tee-shirt and slid into a pair of fancy stitched high heeled black western boots that matched her belt; she used the room's hairdryer to blow-dry her hair, before venturing out. It was a shock. The temperature was close to 100 degrees. The Birchacres Motel was just off a long straight tarred road. About one hundred yards to the right was a gas station and a Subway sandwich store and one hundred yards to the left a MacDonald's, and nothing else to see for miles but farmer's fields. This had to be a prank, ok a really expensive prank, Ashton Kushner better watch out. Damn! She'd fallen for it.

She ambled over to the MacDonald's and ordered a burger and fries and a coffee. The young guy who took her order, who's name was Dave according to his nametag seemed to be the only employee; rushed about and put her order in front of her on the standard brown plastic tray. She dug into her jeans and pulled out a $10.00.

Dave, Employee of the month, verified by his picture against the wall, shook his head. "No, no!" He said." Thelma and Melody Verren were running her tab; it was all already paid for."

"What would have happened if I went to the sub place at the gas bar? She asked Dave.

"Oh, they probably made arrangements there too, I saw Thelma or Melody, I'm not sure which, stop by there after she came here yesterday". He said.

She sat down and ate her burger, and sipped her coffee wondering what the hell she had gotten herself into.

She finished her meal and wandered back to her room and cranked the air conditioner up higher, she took her acoustic Hohner guitar from its case and practiced a few chords while tuning the strings before moving into Gretchen Wilson's raunchy 'Redneck Woman'. She then took her Fender electric guitar, plugged in her amp, and launched into a heady version of Heart's 'Barracuda'. She continued practicing with her acoustic guitar doing the haunting 'Don't tell me the time' made famous by Martha Davis, until the phone rang.

"Hi this is Thelma Verren, we have set aside all afternoon for you, so tell us what time you think you'll be ready, and I'll come and fetch you." She said.

"Hi Thelma, thank you for the burger at MacDonald's that was kind of you. I'm ready anytime." She answered.

"Well ok then, I'm on my w…. Ow! Ow! Jesus stop hitting me bitch! I'm on the phone here." Arleen heard a couple of muffled 'thunks' before Thelma continued. "Sorry about that. Melody is already on her way to fetch ya, see you soon, eh?"

Arleen unplugged her amp, and put her guitars back in their cases. She opened the drapes and sat on the bed looking at the road and farmland that surrounded her, there didn't seem to be any town nearby.

The white SUV pulled up outside the motel room after about ten minutes, and Arleen grabbed her equipment and went out to meet it, as it Melody climbed out Her face flushed. She wore blue jeans and a pink t-shirt with Rosécliffs Tavern emblazoned across her ample chest in Burgundy letters. Their greeting was awkward and stilted, again as if both women realized that something was missing. Melody took the amp and mixer as before and stowed everything in the back. They both climbed in silence and drove out of the car park and onto the tar road and headed North again. This time Melody seemed reserved and there was not much conversation, it was almost as if they were strangers again.

The town was a few miles North of the motel, at a crossroad Arleen saw the sign, Birchacres 5> they turned off the main road and followed the sign. The Rosécliffs Tavern nestled beneath towering pinkish coloured rock cliffs of a tall mountain and on the other side of the road the land sloped down to a large blue lake and the town. The two story building was painted an identical colour to the cliffs. "We're here." Melody said unnecessarily.

With Melody's help she carried her equipment into the bar. She looked around the bar room. The ground floor was a large windowless air conditioned square room with an oaken bar counter running the length of one side, in the center was a good sized wooden dance floor, and against the wall, opposite the bar counter was a small stage; the rest of the tavern had chairs and tables. All the lighting seemed to be recessed or hidden. A kitchen was situated opposite the ladies and gents rest rooms, altogether it was well set out and looked like all the furniture and equipment was new, and the walls smelled of new paint.

She was surprised to see Melody already standing behind the bar counter. She must have moved fast, she thought. "Hi you must be Arleen, I'm Thelma." Melody said holding out her hand, and shaking hands. Arleen realized that they were twins. Their voices were practically identical, Thelma was the mirror image of her twin, but there were subtle differences, it was the eyes; Thelma's eyes were pure green, without the golden flecks. She was slightly taller as well, Arleen saw, on closer inspection, Thelma's breasts beneath the pink emblazoned Rosécliffs Tavern T-shirt were significantly smaller. Outwardly they appeared virtually identical.

"Hi Thelma, pleased to meet you, shall I set up on the stage?" She asked.

"Sure suit yourself." She acquiesced. "Where's Mel?" she half queried

"She was right behind me, a moment ago, I thought she had slipped past me and was you, standing behind the bar." Arleen answered, grinning.

"We don't normally do the 'twin thing' wearing the same clothes, it confuses the heck out of people. The last time was at varsity a few years ago. I guess we just chose to wear the same things today, sorry if it confused you. Oh there you are Mel, are you ready to hear Arleen play?" She asked her sister.

"Do you want John to come too?" Melody asked in reply.

"No it's ok, I'm sure he'll come when he hears the music." She said to her sister before continuing her conversation with Arleen. "Plug yourself in and start whenever you are ready." She said, while hopping onto the bar.

Arlene plugged in her amp, and set up a mike, and began a few sound checks, noting the readings on her mixing board, and dragging the sliders up a little until the clippings were registering better and making for allowances for the room size. She flicked on the drum machine and set it before launching into of Gretchen Wilson's 'Redneck woman' and followed up with her own bawdy version of Heart's 'Barracuda'. She switched to her Hohner and did tribute to Patsy Kline with "Crazy" all the time looking into Melody's gold-flecked green eyes. She flowed it into Shania's 'No one needs to know' but unconsciously changed the he for a she in the lyrics, for no reason she could fathom. She continued straight into Jennifer Nettle's and Sugarland's 'Baby girl' Finally she chose the Fender again and ended the set by using her unique talent for mimicking voices to do a flawless rendition of Melissa Etheridge's 'I'm the only one', that, if the artist herself had heard it, would have sworn she had just sung it.

There was a stony silence from the audience of three, a man, who must be John that Melody had asked about, was standing alongside Thelma, they were holding hands. He was well over 6' with wide shoulders, heavily muscled arms and a narrow waist; dressed all in black, above brown eyes and spectacles, he was wearing a pink baseball cap with Rosécliffs Tavern emblazoned across the front in burgundy. He looked tough and confidant enough of his manhood to wear a pink baseball cap.

Then simultaneously the three clapped. "You are hired!" Thelma said.

Arleen stepped off the stage, and walked towards them, it was Melody who asked. "That was awesome Want a beer?"

"Coors Lite, if you have it?" Arleen answered.

"Canned, bottled or draft?" Melody replied.

"As long as its ice cold, any way it comes." Arleen answered her.

"Here ya go." Melody said, holding out a dewy cold bottle." It's colder than the draft." She said pointing to a digital temperature gauge on the draft tap that read 3.5 degrees.

Thelma was all business. "Can you do a six month contract, this summer? Say from the beginning of July? Can we agree to $500.00 a night with three one hour sets, Tuesday to Thursday and $750.00 for Friday and Saturday? Three to four one hour sets from 10.00 PM depending on amount of people et cetera, until we close at 2:20PM, the last call is 2:00PM we can renew it after six months if we are still happy with each other." She stated before continuing, "Oh by the way, this is John Tompos, our muscle, he's in charge of security." She said, punching him left-handed on his enormous bicep, by way of introducing the man holding her hand. He smiled at her, his teeth slightly skew.

"Um sure, six months is fine, and ok, after that, if we can get along, we can talk about an extension. I don't see a problem with starting then either; it all depends on your Canadian Musician's Union agreeing to the contract, and their fast-tracking a work permit for me. I have the documentation and a standard contract for us to sign, we can fax them today with it still, but we'll probably have to wait for any answers. In the mean time I can fly back get things in order back home. If Canadian authorities give us the go-ahead I can be here ready to sing Sunday July 1st, if that's ok with you?" she said.

She, Thelma and Melody filled in the blanks and signed on the dotted lines, after which John and a blonde barmaid, who had just walked in, signed as witnesses. Thelma and John went off to the office to fax the documents, leaving Melody and Arleen once again together in an awkward silence. "Um John is more than the bouncer, he's Thel's boyfriend, and he does a lot for us." She said "Can I get you another beer? I want one myself."

"Sure I'll have one more. If you're buying" Arleen answered, her words sounded wrong to her, she was dry mouthed and tongue-tied, she hadn't felt giddy like this since high school…

Melody popped the tops off two icy cold Coors Lites and handed one to Arleen, "It's my bar." The exchange took a little longer than necessary, their fingers touching briefly during the exchange. "You sing beautifully." Melody complimented her while holding the bottle out to her and gazing into her eyes.

Arleen blushed. "I was trying very hard to impress." She replied softly, while her face turned different shades of red…

"You succeeded, I wanted to sign you after we heard the first Shania Twain song you did, you copied her almost exactly. Come; let me show you the place." Melody took her by the hand and showed her behind the bar, the kitchen, and both the rest rooms before taking her upstairs. Melody's touch was electric, her hand was warm and soft,

Arleen found it hard to breath, and she followed dumbly.

The upper floor consisted of a large office at the top of the stairs and what appeared to be two apartments. As they entered the office Thelma and John were definitely not faxing any documents, they sprang apart, hastily, John pulled his hands out from under Thelma's t-shirt, while Thelma snaked her hand from the front of John's pants, and pulled down her top blushing profusely. Melody apologized, backing out of the room. She turned bright red and stammered, "I can show you my apartment, if you like, Thel and John kinda like their privacy as you just saw." She said while unlocking the door to her part of the upstairs living space.

Her apartment was spacious, everything was new, the sitting room was furnished with a burgundy leather suite, and an acoustic guitar was set to one side on a chrome stand. An expensive black faced stereo and surround sound speakers stood alongside a big screen plasma TV that filled a wall. The kitchen and bathroom were neat and functional. Her bedroom was dominated by a huge bed. Altogether it was orderly and clean. It appeared she lived alone in there. They returned to the sitting room, Arleen pointed to the guitar." A guitar I see, do you play?" She asked as Melody finally let her hand go.

Melody chuckled." Not as well as you." She answered. She looked at her watch, "Oh lord! It's six already, would you like to stay here tonight…?" She turned red. "I mean will you like to hang out tonight, perhaps have supper with me, I mean us, me, Thel and John?" She stammered.

"That sounds nice; sure I've no other plans, what's for dinner?" Arleen asked.

"I was thinking of a fresh salad followed by sorbet ice cream. That's normally the summer fare around here, you've already had your daily burger, or we could send John for subs from Subway or for a pizza if you're really hungry."

"Salad and ice cream sounds perfect, need any help getting it ready?" Arleen asked.

"Oh no its fine, it only takes a few minutes, I'll take it down to the bar, and bring the two love birds down with me, if I can pry the two apart. Normally a few of the regulars drop by even though we aren't officially re-opened, we never really closed down, if that makes any sense."

Melody went back into her kitchen, Arleen, a little confused, went back downstairs to find more than a few people had entered as had two pretty servers, wearing the prerequisite pink Rosécliffs Tavern T-shirts. A blonde haired server was popping caps of beer and pouring shots of Bourbon, Vodka and all kinds of spirits as fast as she could, while a pretty red head bustled between tables with a tray full of bottles. Arleen sipped her beer, walked up onto the stage, picked up her Hohner and began the poignant 'Travelin Soldier'. That particular song always made her feel kind of melancholy and she stayed in that mode by doing a cover of Gary Allan's 'Smoke rings in the dark'. She followed it with Juice Newton's 'Angel of the morning' before shaking her self out of an emotional slide by changing to the electric Fender and doing an upbeat cover of Alison Krauss' 'You say it best'. By that time the bar was almost full, the crowd was not limited to the young generation, Arleen saw a couples in their thirties and forties and gray haired men in sweaty coveralls standing alongside casually dressed guys in their twenties.

She leaned into the mike. "Hi and welcome to the Rosécliffs Tavern, I'm Arleen Armstrong, I'll be entertaining ya this summer, so ya'all dance, listen, drink up and have a great time. I don't mind requests so let me know what you like, if I know it, I'll play it." She said to her audience, and seeing Melody beckoning her to a table where her sister and John the loving bouncer sat. She rocked back on her heels a second before picking the Spanish beginning to the Eagle's 'Hotel California' on the Hohner, and substituting Rosécliffs Tavern in the lyrics for Hotel California, her southern accent making it sound like roh-zay k-liffs-ta-verrr-na, instead of hoh-tel cala-forrr-nia and then stepping off the stage and sauntering to the table while the crowd clapped and cheered.

She sat alongside Melody and opposite Thelma and John. "That was really cool, Arleen, thank you." Thelma said. "It wasn't necessary, but it'll be great publicity for when we open. I'll put an ad in the paper confirming you as our entertainer, if that's ok?" She asked before continuing, "I like how you changed the words to Rosécliffs Tavern, instead of Hotel California, can you open with that, the way you sing it, fits in perfectly with the tune. You are really talented. Sit and chill with Mel, she'll get ya back to the motel whenever you like, if that's ok?" She said.

"She's awesome!" Melody gushed. She turned bright red and started paying a great deal of attention to her salad.

When the meal was finished, John got up and returned with some beer which they drank in silence. The crowd had swelled and he excused himself, and began to fulfill his duties as bouncer, as the patrons got a little rowdier. Thelma went behind the bar; even though more servers were on duty they were getting swamped. Melody grabbed another pair of cold beers and they sat drinking, not quiet talking but not really quiet, sporadic bursts of conversation, followed by silence filled with promise and yet not a comfortable silence either, both girls realized something was short. They discovered that neither had a significant other, both loved country music. Melody loved motorcycles; hers was parked behind the bar in a shed, and a million other little things people having a couple of drinks tell each other without getting bogged down with personal private facts.

They drank a few more beers and chatted, mainly it was Melody, pointing out local personalities, giving her the gossipy details about who was sleeping with who, who the local drug dealers were, the local hookers, and trophy wives, who spent the summer in their huge expensive cottages on the lake and seduced all the good-looking and athletic local studs while their husbands worked in the city.

It was way after 11:00, Melody and Arleen were really enjoying each other's company and they had consumed more than a few beers, and although Arleen was fine, Melody was sitting glassy-eyed and had slumped in her seat and began to slur her words. Silently, Thelma and John came up behind her, and gently led her upstairs. Arleen followed, as Thelma put her sister to bed. "I love my sister dearly." Thelma stated, "But unlike me, she can't drink, or hold her licker, for that matter, after a few drinks she falls asleep. You must be a bad influence on her" She chuckled, turned and went downstairs leaving Arleen alone with Melody who had rolled onto her back and had begun to snore softly.

Arleen watched Melody from the sitting room, she sat on Melody's new leather sofa and picked up the guitar, and strummed a few chords, testing and tuning the strings, and began intricately picking and crooning Natasha's Beddingfield 'Unwritten' until she too fell asleep.

Mornings comes early in Central Ontario, dawn painted the pink cliffs a pale orange, Arleen woke up to bright sunlight streaming through the open drapes of Melody's sitting room. The door to Melody's room was closed. She slipped off the couch and made her way to the bathroom. In the bathroom vanity she could see she was a mess. Hastily she washed her face and used her fingers to rake her long dark hair into some semblance of normality.

She left Melody's apartment and wandered downstairs, and was surprised to see John sitting on the bar counter sipping from a mug, over the smell of stale booze she smelled coffee, and John slipped off the bar and poured her a cup, asking her, her preference with cream and sugar. They stood beside the bar drinking their brew in silence, before John said, "Don't think badly of Mel, she just isn't a drinker, Thelma on the other hand, well, she can drink me under the table any day. Although they are twins Thelma is the business brain, and Mel, well Mel is a lot softer quieter, more artistic, did better at school too. Then there's that Thelma's straight, but Mel isn't, but make no mistake, cut one, they both bleed, trust me, I found out the hard way." He said before continuing, "What time is your flight back to Nashville?" He asked.

"I'm booked on the afternoon flight, direct, this time, Toronto to Nashville, I guess I should pack my things and get out of here, after last night I guess I'm not wanted." She said trying to comprehend what John's comment about Thelma being straight but Mel wasn't, meant.

"Thel said you might feel that way, but that she and Mel both want you here for the summer, so sure, lets go back to the Motel, and get your bags, you can leave your equipment here if you like I'm sure Thel and Mel will look after it, it saves you hauling it home on the aircraft, only to haul it back out here in a few days again."

John led the way to his pickup, they stopped at the motel, and Arleen had a shower and changed into fresh clothes before he drove her to the airport. The drive to Toronto seemed much faster, possibly because John drove faster, the conversation and companionship wasn't there like it had been with Melody, and she was glad when John dropped her off at the terminal and she walked into the departure lounge and had arrived for her flight a good two hours early.

The flight back went without a hitch, she caught a cab home and was just ready to hit the shower when the phone rang. Naked she answered, "Hi this is Arleen."

"Um hi Arleen, this is Melody, Did I catch you at a good time? I hope you had a good flight back."

"You caught me ready to have a shower, but yes I did thanks, are you ok, you sound a bit strange?" Arleen asked.

There was a brief silence on the other end, before Melody continued, "Oh sorry, I won't keep you then; no I'm fine, I hope that you are still coming here, John said you might have had second thoughts."

"No I'll be coming up as promised, I never break a promise." Arleen replied.

"Thank you, I'm sorry about Saturday night, I guess I got carried away a little, I'm really sorry." Melody apologized softly.

"Its fine Mel, honestly, I've been that way before its no big deal. You should have been here for my birthday." Arleen said.

"Um…… I would've liked to see that, I like it when you use my whole name, Melody. Rather than plain ol' Mel, everyone calls me Mel, I love how you say it, Mello-dee " she said.

"I love your name, it really suits you Melody, I enjoyed out time together." Arleen said finding it hard to say the right words and feeling that it came out wrong.

"So did I, I have to go now. Oh I sent you something, and I've put your guitars, amp and things in my room, they'll be safe until you return. Speak to you later, eh." She said, her mouth close to the phone.

"Night-night Melody, thanks for phoning." Arleen said before putting down the phone.

She watched something trivial on the TV before falling asleep.

Monday turned out busier than she expected, but she managed during the day to get hold of her agent and told her to contact the Musician's Union and tell them she was going to work in Canada for six months and that she needed their help fast-tracking a Canadian work permit. Canada and the US being neighbors presented a few problems but their respective Musician Unions worked well with one and other as did their customs and immigration departments. She had to visit the Canadian Consulate, where she paid the required fee for the work permit, and was told she should have it within a few days, barring any snag or outstanding criminal warrants. Since she led a blameless life she knew for certain, except for a few paid traffic violations, her criminal record was clean. She was told that her permit should be issued within a week.

That evening she had decided to crawl into bed early. She could hear Shelly and some guy groaning in unison, next door, on a squeaky bed, she lay in the darkness and thought about the weekend and then she centered on Melody, who seemed ….. When her phone rang.

"Hello?" Arleen mumbled

"Arleen?"

"Melody?"

They laughed together.

"What're ya doing'?" Melody asked.

"Is… Is that you? That is Melody, right?"

Melody snickered and said. "Yeah it's me, not Thel."

I didn't think Thelma would phone me, and hi," Arleen replied dryly, propping pillows up behind her head so she could lean back against it.

"So what do ya want?" Melody asked, her tone accusatory

.

"Me? What do I want? You called me remember." Arleen said exasperatedly

"Uh huh, that's true" she replied.

She was quiet for a moment, and Arleen could visualize her grinning.

"What can I do for you?" Arleen asked, it was most definitely a weird conversation.

Arleen was about to speak again, when Melody said, "I dunno… Just wondered what you were doing."

Arleen's heart missed a beat, and she stretched out naked beneath the covers and replied, "Um… Just got into bed, actually. I was just thinking."

"About me? So you weren't gonna call me? You were just thinking about me, eh?" she asked.

"I don't know, now, what I was thinking," Arleen replied quickly knowing she had been thinking just that.

"No," she said. "But you were going to." Melody said illogically

"Yeah. I was." Arleen replied.

"Uh huh… and?" Melody queried.

"And what?" Arleen answered chuckling.

"And why were you going to call me?"

"I forget," Arleen replied.

"Oh man! " Melody sighed.

Briefly Arleen mused, if she had really wanted to phone Melody at all, she knew she had been thinking about her.

"Do you want my private number?" Melody asked.

"What would I do with your private number, Melody?" Arleen asked.

"You can phone me on it. Write it down, dummy, 705-555- 3423" Melody demanded.

Obligingly Arleen wrote it down. For the next hour, they chatted, sometimes giggling like schoolgirls and sometimes whispering Arleen lay curled up naked under the covers.

"You sound tired," Melody commented.

Arleen yawned into the phone.

"Yes." She whispered.

"And this from a musician who stays up all night and sleeps until noon. Ha! Gotcha! Ok, seriously want me to let you go?" Melody asked

"Not really," Arleen answered

"It's almost eleven," she said. "What are you doing tomorrow."

"Working on a jingle for a radio station, whose chubby art director is a sex maniac." Arleen replied.

Melody was quiet for a moment, and then she said in a soft voice. "I like talking to you," she said softly into the phone.

"Good," Arleen whispered, " I enjoy talking to you too."

"Night-night Arleen, sleep tight" Melody whispered.

"Night-night Melody, speak to ya soon." Arleen breathed and put down the receiver.

The next day at the radio station was every bit a nightmare as the time before, the slimy art director, tried to get as close as he could, Arleen became adept at slipping past before he could slither any closer. Most of the day was wasted, and the final product was less than perfect, never the less, after being semi-groped and partially slobbered over half a dozen times, Arleen was just about to let him have it, when the odious toad, thanked her kindly and announced he was satisfied, and called it a day.

She drove home, her car once again threatened to overheat, in the bumper to bumper traffic, she was really pleased to make it home, the needle of the heat gauge, had risen very close to the red line, when she pulled in to the parking lot. She checked their mailbox, there was an envelope from Canada. She opened it while walking to her door. I was a card. On the front was a cartoon goose holding its wings behind its back, printed on it was 'I have a surprise for you.'

On opening the card, the same goose had opened its wings wide the card read, 'ME'

Underneath Melody had written,

'I really enjoyed meeting you. I look forward

To you coming up for the summer.

Regards

Melody

Shelly was sitting in the sitting room when Arleen opened the door. "Your girlfriend just phoned." She said.

"My girlfriend? What are you taking about? And why are you answering my phone?" Arleen answered puzzled.

"Since you don't have an answering machine I picked up, it might have been important. Yeah girlfriend! Some Melody chick who says you spent the weekend with her, when you said you were going up North for an audition, ohhhhhhhhh, serious lesbo action honey. Why didn't you say you swung that way earlier? We could have played carpet muncher together, when the guys are out of town?" She snickered.

"Fuck off Michelle, it's not like that!" She retorted, clutching the card to her chest and stormed past her and slammed her bedroom door.

She sat on her bed and fumed, she picked up her phone and dialed, it had barely rung once before Melody picked up.

"Who is Shelly?

"Hi Melody, thank you for the card." Arleen replied, slightly taken aback by Melody's tone. "Shelly and I rent this apartment together; we share an expense, that's all. Not that it's anyone's business."

"Ok, bye!" Melody said, clicking off the phone.

There was a knock on the door. "Arleen? Are you ok? I was joking babe, don't get all upset, it can't be that time of the month?"

Arlene threw the phone at the door. "Shut up Shelly, just leave me alone ok?" She begged as tears began to flow, for some unknown reason. She sat on her bed hugging her knees and sobbed softly.

"Jesus girl, what is it?" Shelly asked concerned, "Why the tears hon, come on, tell me whats happening."

Arleen shook her head, still sobbing. "I dunno, I just dunno."

Shelly sat next to her and stroked her long dark hair." Its ok babe, really, I'm sorry I teased you." She said while stroking Arleen's head. "I never thought you were a dyke, I mean you and Bradley were together for what, three years? "She said while continuing to soothe her.

"But what if I am?" she sobbed, "I dunno Shell, I just dunno I am so confused right now, just let me sleep, ok?" she asked her friend softly.

"It's ok with me if you are, nothing can change our friendship, we've done some crazy things together babe, don't let it get to you, if you wanna talk, I'm here for ya, ok? Just know this, happiness doesn't come a knocking, you have to find it, and then that's your choice, it doesn't matter if it's with a guy or girl, it's your happiness. Don't condemn yourself, others will do it for you no matter which way you swing." Shelly said as put the phone back on its charger next to the bed and closed the door behind her allowing Arleen to lay down fully clothed in the darkened bedroom.

Half an hour later Arleen was still on her back, her eyes red and sore, the phone rang.

"Arleen?"

"Yeah."

"Sorry, I don't know why I did that, honest. Are you crying?" Melody whispered.

"It's ok. " Arleen sniffled.

"No its not, I'm really sorry, please don't cry." Melody pleaded.

"It's ok, honest, don't sweat it." Arleen whispered

Arleen could hear Melody choking up on the other end. "Are you crying?" She asked

"Yeah"

"Sorry"

"Sorry I made you cry. Gonna ring off now, speak to you tomorrow, ok?"

"Promise?"

"Yeah, sure, night-night."

"Night-night Melody." As Arleen put down the phone, big sobs burst the silence.

Shelly came back in, hands on her hips . "What the fuck is going on?" she asked.

"I dunno." Arleen wailed.

"Jesus girl; whatever it is, you've got it bad; come tell me whats bugging ya."

It came bubbling out in half sentences as the tears flowed. The poignant silences the way there should be more when they greeted each other, the wanting to touch and hold, being tongue-tied in Melody's presence, the changing of the lyrics from him to her. Singing while looking into her beautiful gold-flecked green eyes. How beautiful she was, the strange ache she had now that they were apart. The card and its half subliminal message.

"And she feels the same way?" Shelly asked.

"I dunno." Arleen wailed.

"Whadda ya mean you don't know? Then find out dummy!" Shelly said exasperated.

"How?" Arleen wailed again.

"Fuck me girl, what's her number?" She asked shaking her head.

"You're not gonna phone her!" Arleen exclaimed in shock.

"Damn right I am! Holy shit girl, I've never seen you like this, I heard that you never even batted an eye when Bradley began fucking Angie." Shelly shot back.

"Please don't phone her Shell, I'll be fine, honest."

"Yeah sure, listen Arleen, if you want her go to her, find out if she feels the same, if not get the hell outta there, come home, and we'll find ya some cute chick to squeeze, ok?

"I don't want a cute chick , I want her, just her!" Arleen began to sniffle again." I just wanna be with her."

Arleen finally fell asleep, her lips pursed like a baby, as she slept, her body coiled in the fetal position.

The following day went pretty much the same as the previous one. Arleen was not hungry, she pecked at a burger the radio station had had brought in from some burger joint, the art director managed slither his hands briefly over her blouse a couple of times, before, pulling the plug on the production and calling it a day. Her car finally overheated and she had to have it towed, all in all, not a successful day.

She could hear her phone ringing, while she unlocked the front door, she grabbed it."Melody?" She asked.

"No, It's Claire, hi Arleen." Her agent greeted her. "I have good news! I have your work permit, and all your documents, for your stay in Canada. Do you want me to post them to you, or do you want to fetch them, Robbie at KLXJ tells me he's not happy with your work, and he's abandoning the project. Pity that could have been a permanent gig for you."

"Claire, he's a sleaze, my shirt has an oil slick where he tried to grope my boobs, he can keep his regular gig, I want nothing more to do with KLXJ while he's there. Yeah, I'll stop by tomorrow and pick up the documents for Canada. I think I'll go up a few days early, now that things are over here, in Nashville. Is that ok?" She asked.

"Sure honey, I wont be in the office, I'll leave them in an envelope for you, at reception, just asks my secretary. Have a good time in Canada; let me know how it's going, if you have the time."

Her mind was made up, quickly she dialed, and the phone was answered on the first ring. "Hey, it's me?"

"Me who?"

"Don't be a jackass, it's Arleen."

"I knew that, I was just testing you." Came Melody's lame reply.

"My work permit and visa are ready; do you want me to come up earlier?" Arleen asked.

"Let me ask Thel, care to wait?"

"No! You wait; I can't do this crap, ok? I don't understand whats happening here. I don't do innuendos well. Maybe I'm reading signals that don't exist, maybe I've got it all wrong, I dunno, but you have gotten to me. If I'm making an ass of myself, well I guess you can find yourself a new singer for your club, so, ok, here goes, I'm attracted to you ,ok? But I am not a lesbian; the only woman I ever kissed was my mother. I don't understand what's happening, I sense you feel the same way about me, but you never said or did anything to confirm that I'm right or wrong." Arleen took a deep breath before she continued. "So don't tell me you need your sister's approval."

There was a long silence, before Melody finally said, "Ok."

"Ok, what?" Arleen stormed.

"I won't ask Thel's permission. I'll meet you at the airport, when's your flight?"

"Is that it? When's my flight?"

"Isn't that what you wanted to hear?" Melody asked.

"No Melody, I want more, I need to know, what you want."

"Ok, you need to know more? It's like this Arleen, you say you aren't a lesbian, I am. You want to know what I want. I want you, I did from the first night I met you. You say you aren't a lesbian, so where do we go? I have fallen in love with you, you say you have feelings for me, but you don't understand them, well, when you do, let me know. I didn't mean for this to happen, and I'm sorry, I want you to be in love with me, like I am with you, but its not easy, I understand, it's a big thing, not just for you, for me, for us, its far more than flying up here to work . I am ringing off now. Call me when you've had time to think."

There was silence, never had Arleen felt so alone, she stared at the phone in her hand. Even though it wasn't dark outside yet, she crawled under the covers and went to sleep.

It must have been around midnight when Shelly thumped on her door, waking her up. "Hey girl, get some clothes on, I've brought home, some company."

Sleepily, Arleen peeked around Shelly's shoulders; she had brought home two guys, who were sitting in the living room, drinking beer. Unwillingly, Arleen dragged a brush through her hair, slipped into a pair of faded sweats and gargled some mouthwash, and joined her room mate and the two guys, in the sitting room. She was introduced to Elliot, who was by his own admission an accountant, and Barry, who had paired up with Shelly, and said he was a broker. A ball game was on TV, Shelly spent most of the time, playing barmaid, fetching and carrying. As the evening progressed, Barry began to fondle Shelly, who lay back, allowing herself to be groped. Eventually she and Barry withdrew to her bedroom, leaving Arleen alone, with Elliot, who was in his thirties, slightly overweight and his hair had begun to recede. He leaned across Arleen, letting his hand wander across her chest. They kissed. Arleen allowed Eliot's hands wander over her body; she felt nothing, there was no arousal at all, just revulsion. She and Shelly had brought home guys many times, they had even done a few kinky 'sharing the same guy,' or swapping men after a few hours together, but tonight, all she could think of was a short curly haired, green eyed girl with big breasts in Canada. Feeling Elliot's hand inside her pants made her mind up. She clamped her thighs tightly shut, startling Elliot, as she pulled his hand from between her legs. She stood hastily, shaking.

"Sorry Elliot, I can't do this, I'm really am sorry, I'm going to bed. I'm going to bed alone! If you want to try go join Shelly and um, what's his name? Um.. Barry, I'm sure Shelly can take you both. Sorry, I just can't do this." She left Elliot sitting on the sofa alone nursing his hard on, and went back to her room locking the door behind her. She looked at her bedside clock; it read 3:05 AM.

She dialed, the phone was answered after the third ring. "Hi"

"Did I wake you?" She asked.

"No. What do you want?" Melody sounded sleepy.

"I want to be with you."

"Ok."

"Ok, what?" Arleen asked again, feeling frustrated and remembering their earlier conversation. "Are we having Déjà vu here?"

"Ok, what time's your flight?" Definitely déjà vu.

"It's 3:00AM, I haven't booked a flight."

"Are you sure you've had enough time to think this through? I don't want you to rush on my account." Melody asked.

"Melody?"

"Yeah?"

"It's what I want." Arleen breathed

"I'm an it?" She quirked.

"No. You know what I mean."

"No, I don't, you tell me what you mean." Melody whispered.

"I mean I love you, I'm in love with you. I mean I want you to love me, I mean I want to be with you, I mean I want to make love to you and have you make love to me, to hold you, kiss you, go to bed with you, wake up with you." It came rushing out of Arleen's mouth before she could think of something smart to say.

"Ok, what time's your flight?"

"I'll let you know as soon as I've got one."

"Ok."

"Do you want me to phone now?"

"Yeah."

"Can you say more than one word at a time? Can I phone you back?" Arleen asked.

"Right now, all I'm good for is one word at a time. Yes of course phone me back, silly."

Desperately Arleen searched for the airline's number, and made arrangements for the earliest flight to Toronto, in the morning paying for it on her Visa.

This time Melody picked up on the first ring. "So?"

Arleen began to realize two could play monosyllables. "Yeah"

There was silence, Melody caved first. "So tell me, what time's the flight?"

"Tomorrow." Arleen whispered.

" I didn't ask what day, I asked what time." Melody chuckled playfully.

"Morning" Came Arleen's terse reply.

"When in the morning? Stop it now, it isn't funny anymore." There was nothing playful in Melody's tone.

"You started it, I catch the 10:00 American Airlines direct to Toronto, I should be there at 1:00

"Ok, I'll be there, don't change your mind on me."

"I wont." Arleen whispered.

"Hey."

"Don't start that again, Melody, hey what?"

" Hey, I love you, Arleen."

Arleen, felt herself tremor. Her insides felt like jelly, she croaked a reply. "I love you too."

"Sleep tight my love I'll see you tomorrow." The phone went dead, as Melody clicked off.

Arleen realized she had no time left to sleep. It too at least an hour for her to settle her affairs, and arrange a taxi to the airport. She dressed herself carefully in new designer jeans and satiny off the shoulder t-shirt that showed her cleavage off well. She slipped into her western boots, and cinched the matching belt around her trim waist with the large oval buckle. She peeked into Shelly's bedroom. Both men were asleep beside her, she closed the door, leaving her a short note thanking her for helping her with her decision, and sending her, her love and gratitude, finally leaving Melody's phone number as her contact number.

The plane trip was spent sleeping untidily in the cramped seat alongside a insurance salesman. The plane touched down on time, and Arleen was the first person off the plane. She breezed through customs and rushed to the terminal, arriving just as her baggage began its endless tour of the rotunda.

She picked up her cases and wandered along to the exit with the hundred odd passengers, from her flight. A young woman stood to one side with a number of uniformed limo chauffeurs holding a sign " I love Arleen Armstrong". Arleen knew she would be somewhere in twenties with a turned up nose and beautiful curly dark hair. When Arleen drew nearer she noticed that there were tears in her large green, gold-flecked eyes that were the most exquisite eyes she had ever seen. She was so excited she wanted to run and touch her, hold her kiss her.

"Hi there, I'm Arleen, you must be Melody?" She asked.

Some people say the first kiss shapes a relationship, the sign was dropped hastily, as were the pair of matching suitcases. Both girls melted into one and other, their arms folding and touching each other's skin and hair, as their mouths hungered for each others. Their tongues tasted and explored each other's mouths, their eyes were tightly shut and they were oblivious to the people around them and the comments about 'getting a room'

They drew apart, well not exactly apart; they held each other staring into each other's eyes. Melody was the first to speak. "Come, we need to get your bags sent up to the club." She said almost dragging Arleen to a UPS office in the terminal.

Arleen, was still in a daze, and blithely followed as Melody handed over her luggage to the courier service giving instructions, to overnight them to the club's address in Birchacres, without letting Arleen's hand go.

Melody pulled Arleen out of the airport towards the car park. Instead of the bland white SUV, Melody had ridden down on her motorcycle. There was nothing girly or sissified about the big Honda Goldwing.

Melody fastened a full faced helmet that was identical in colour of the bike over Arleen's head, donned her own matching one after putting on a leather biker's jacket, cocked her leg over and straddled the seat, before kicking the bike off its stand. She beckoned Arleen onto the pillion. In a semi daze Arleen climbed behind Melody. With a loud roar, the big engine under the girls burst into life, with a surge Melody accelerated into the interchange, and skillfully maneuvered the large bike in the traffic as Arleen clung to Melody, her hands clasped around her waist.

Sitting behind Melody Arleen could feel the silky power of the motor every time Melody, accelerated, The helmets had a radio link, they spoke silly things into the mike while Arleen leaned forward, and clasped her hands tighter around Melody's waist, her head resting between, her shoulders. The pair tore up the highway, and cruised through the farmlands of Ontario.

When Arleen saw the Birchacres Motel flash by, she knew that although the trip was just about over, her journey was just beginning. Melody piloted the bike to a stop in front of the Tavern. Biking up had taken half the time a car would have. Together they pulled off their helmets and pushed the bike onto its main stand, and walked into the bar, hand in hand, their hair flattened by their helmets.

Melody's twin was behind the bar; in exactly the same place she had first seen her. "I somehow knew you two were going to get together, I knew it. Hey Arleen, welcome babe." Thelma leaned across the bar and kissed Arleen on the lips. "You should have seen this girl." She said pointing at Melody. "She hasn't eaten or slept at all, since you left. She gets cranky when she doesn't eat or sleep, so remember to keep her fed; I'm not too sure how much sleeping you two'll be doing."

Melody blushed, a deeper red than Arleen. "Arleen needs to shower and settle in, I'll take her upstairs. You can chat with her later." She said taking Arleen by the hand and leading her up the stairs.

They entered Melody's apartment hand in hand, Melody guided her into the bedroom. "We can shower later, I need you, now." Gently Melody led her to the bed. She knelt, her strong hands pulled off Arleen's boots, and nimble fingers unclasped her belt. Melody pulled off Arleen's jeans and panties together, folding them carefully at the foot of the bed. Arleen pulled her satiny blouse over her head, and sat naked before her.

Melody plucked at her own clothing, and hurriedly undressed and sat, naked, beside Arleen, who was trembling slightly. "Are you cold? You're shivering." She asked.

Arleen looked into Melody's green-flecked eyes, and shook her head, "No, I'm not cold, I'm frightened, I'm excited, I'm confused, I want so much to please you, I'm scared to hell I'll fuck up, I guess I'm just nervous."

"It's ok to be nervous." Melody coo-ed softly into her ear, as she put her arm around her, pulling her down onto the bed. "I love you Arleen, trust me, ok? I'll never hurt you, ok?"

Melody whispered soft words of love into Arleen's ear as her hands began to caress her sensitive skin. She lifted her head, and sought Arleen's lips with her's; they kissed, taking in each other's essence, like their first kiss at the airport, only this time it was longer and more intense, Arleen responded with pent up passion, tasting Melody's tongue while her own tongue slid over Melody's teeth and inquisitively inspected every square millimeter of her mouth.

Melody's hands became bolder; her fingers traced the areola of Arleen's breasts, ignoring the engorging nipples. The teats at first contracted, then hardened to Melody's touch, becoming rubbery as feelings of pleasure began to flow from Melody's finger tips. Melody sighed contented; her own hands caressed Melody's back, as she slid on top of her. They lay belly to belly, pussy to pussy. Melody lowered her face to Arleen's breast, her tongue traced where her fingers had been only moments earlier. She sucked, her tongue probing each rubbery nubbin one after the other.

Laying beneath Melody, Arleen arched her back; Melody could feel heat and moisture seeping from between Arleen's legs. Her own pussy, she felt, was responding in exactly the same way. Arleen's nipple slipped out of Melody's mouth with an audible 'plop'.

Melody dragged her tongue across Arleen's navel, and down further below her belly, mouthing and sucking as she went. Instinctively Arleen spread her legs wide, and thrust upwards, by tensioning her backside, offering Melody her densely haired damp pussy. Melody needed no second offer; delicately she lowered her mouth onto Arleen's labia, tasting her. Her tongue probed Arleen's slit, flicking open the moist lips, and finding her pearl-like clitoris.

Arleen whined softly and thrust her pelvis upward, mashing Melody's face into her sodden pussy. Melody sensed the change in Arleen's breathing, her thighs began minute electrical little jerks, she pumped up and down on the bed, moaning, her hands were in Melody's hair, holding her face between her legs. "Yes, yes, oh yes there, oh, god." She groaned, while drawing her knees up, her toes flexed wide, she began to thrash, her thighs jerking wildly. She began to plead, "Please, please please!" She whined.

In between Arleen's widespread thighs, Melody had pressed first one, then two, fingers into Arleen's wet walls slurping noisily as copious juice flowed as Melody contracted, tightening a wet grip on her fingers as the dove into her soft core with a timeless rhythm, she pressed her nose onto the clit, with short jerks she shook her head, while pressing her nose hard, swiping and squishing Arleen's clit against her pelvic bone. Arleen erupted. Melody heard her whine and scream her name, before, the stiffening in orgasm, her fingers digging into her hair, spurts of whitish lube gushed from her pussy, as one orgasm rolled into two, then a third, each significantly lesser than the one before, until she lay spent, her heart pounding, her breathing coming in short gasps, her body covered in perspiration, finally she giggled, "Now I know what I've been missing."

Melody slid back up on the bed next to her, caressing her. She planted soft wet kisses along Arleen's neck, and jaw-line, her fingers trailing across the still heated damp skin, as Arleen's labored breathing eased. She raised herself on one elbow, and kissed her mouth, watching Arleen's eyes close taking her kiss open mouthed. She drew apart, and whispered softly. "I love you Arleen, give me your hand."

She took Arleen's hand and placed it over her left breast. "This beats only for you, it's my heart, take it, keep it. It's yours." She whispered.

Arleen could feel Melody's heart beating beneath her hand, tentatively; she bent forward, and kissed where her hand had been. Melody's skin was soft and firm, her breasts were big, far bigger than her 34C's. Her nipples had contracted to a puckered coppery brown; her breathing had altered as Arleen had kissed her breast. Playfully Arleen asked. "I only have your heart? What about this?" She asked sliding her hand down to the moist junction of Melody's thighs. Unlike her's; covered in dense pubic hair, Melody's pussy was plump, completely smooth and hairless. Arleen closed her hand over Melody's shaved mons. "Is this mine too?"

"Oh god, yes! All of me, you don't have to ask!"

Arleen squeezed Arleen's plump pussy possessively; her finger parted the thin lips of the outer labia, she used three fingers to pare Melody's plump little pussy open. Her core was superheated, automatically; Melody widened her knees, and spread her thighs. At the apex she found an erect little clitoris, she circled it with her forefinger, and listened to Arleen's contented sighs. She lowered her face her lips pursed around Arleen's clit, she sucked noisily. Almost instantly Melody's hands flew to hold Arleen's head between her thighs. While she continued to kiss Melody's clit noisily her fingers delved into the wet cloying warmth of Melody's pussy walls. She pressed her fingers as far as they would go and slowly withdrew them, only to shove them back deeper than before. Melody had begun to pant and strain, her thighs and pelvis undulating as her orgasm approached. Arleen grazed Melody's clit with her front teeth pushing Melody over the edge, her orgasm which had begun as tiny electrical tics along her thighs, exploded, her legs flailed, her breathing ceased, her whole pussy pulsed in time with her fast beating heart, she cried out, her body stiffened, as bliss overtook her.

Arleen began to lick the copious amounts of liquid oozing from Melody's pussy, she licked and licked like a cat swallowing cream, as Arleen's heart slowed to a normal pace, and her breathing became regular.

"Jesus! She swore, and you said you weren't a lesbian." She breathed, as Arleen slid up alongside her and began to snuggle close and kiss her tender breasts softly, as if she knew, and wanted to sooth them.

"Before now, I wasn't, but I've watched porno, ya know. I know what would please me, I hope I did please you, 'cus I love you Melody, with all my heart, I'm just so happy right now."

"Oh, so you learned from porn! What else did porn teach you?" Melody asked.

"You'll have to wait and find out." Arleen chuckled.

Melody chuckled. "I can't wait to find out."