Monday, 25 August 2008

Chapter 19

On waking up on the last day they had left in Australia, Leah bounced out of bed, waking up Richie in the process. She wasn’t going to spend the final day moping about thinking of going back to work tomorrow. Although the original plan was just for the guys to take a holiday, Leah and Dot had also abandoned any attempts of work while they had been there. She was actually looking forward to getting started on the project again and as far as she could tell Dot was too. She noticed over the time they had spent together that the guys loved their job too, it was more of a hate they had towards the travelling, Jon in particular hated living out of a suitcase. Turning her thoughts back to the plans for today, Leah went for a quick shower and was dressed in record time. On her return to the room she attempted to pull Richie out of bed to a chorus of moans and groans about it being to early to get up and accusing Leah of being too cheerful in the mornings. Eventually he forced himself out of bed and got dressed while Leah went to make them breakfast. On his arrival downstairs he found his breakfast sitting at the table ready for him but no-one else there. After he finished he went a walk around the garden and found Leah in the pool. Kneeling down to talk to her, Richie was shocked when he realised he was falling into the water. Ava had pushed him, giving him no way to save himself from going in. As he resurfaced the shock on his face disappeared as he heard Leah and Ava laughing and giving each other a high five and realised he had been set up. Laughing, he jumped up and picked up Ava, holding her high in the air then dunking her into the pool. The plan seemed to have backfired on Richie because she loved it and kept telling him to do it again.

After spending the morning in the pool, they couldn’t decide on where to spend the day so they left the decision up to Ava who wanted to go surfing again. Richie didn’t seem so keen on the idea but not wanting to disappoint his daughter he agreed to go along. The three of them were having a great time together just messing about on the surf boards and having a laugh. Eventually Richie got tired of the sea and made his way back up to the house to deal with some things he had to do. Ava refused to go with him and stayed behind with Leah. They continued to play in the sea for a further hour, with Leah teaching Ava all she knew about surfing and Ava adamant she would one day be a championship surfer like Leah. Returning to the house they found Richie sitting outside with a pile of papers in front of him as he was choosing a house to buy. He had arranged for all the documents to be sent to him so he could narrow down the houses he wanted to view when he was back in America. Leah left him in peace while she went to get washed up. As she came back down the stairs she was met with Ava running at her telling her to pick what house she liked best. “So what’s all this for?” Leah asked Richie. “I’m looking for a new home, somewhere different this time though. I’ve got my place in LA but I want a quieter place where I can just kick back and write some songs,” Richie told her. Leah took a look at the choices he had been given, they were all nice houses but he seemed to have narrowed the choice down to two in Sedona, Arizona which surprised Leah. It wasn’t a place she expected he would like which he obviously noticed in her face as he told her, “you clearly haven’t seen the sunrise in Sedona. It’s breathtaking. The perfect place to write music.”
“I’ve heard it’s a nice place but there’s a severe lack of ocean for my liking, the places I like are all near the sea,” Leah said. “Well I better change your mind then,” Richie smiled at her then added as an afterthought, “Where is your permanent home anyway?” Leah laughed before answering, “You’ll think I’m nuts, but I’ve never really had a “home” as such. I’ve got a place in New York for work and a place in London but I wouldn’t call them a home. I think a home is a place that you love and want to stay, it’s like a place you have to find throughout your life, I just don’t have mine yet.” Richie looked a little confused then laughed softly, “Well that was a deeper answer than I expected,” as he leaned over to kiss her. Richie then made some phone calls to the estate agent but wasn’t getting anywhere with Ava dancing and singing around the room so Leah took her to the shop to get her out of his way while he made his phone calls.

After he had finished, Richie got a visit from Jon who had spotted Ava and Leah leave the house. “So how’s things going with Leah?” Jon asked, straight to the point. “There great. She’s great. I know it’s only been a little while but I really, really like her, Jon,” Richie told him, choosing his words carefully since he thought Jon would think he was a little mad if he had said what he had been thinking over the past few days, that his feelings for Leah were stronger than just “really liked” her. She had made him feel different from any other women he had had a relationship with in the past. He was slightly worried at the pace in which these feelings had developed since he hadn’t known her a long time but they also made him feel optimistic, he had taken the view that they must have a good thing going if he felt so strongly about her in such a short period of time. He expected Jon to look happy for him but he looked rather worried. “What’s up?” Richie asked him. “Richie, I don’t know how to say this but here goes. Dot think’s Leah’s hiding something from us. She’s been watching her over the past few days and at first I thought it was just her overactive imagination but the more I think about it, I think she might be right. I mean how much do we really know about her?” Jon said solemnly. Richie looked as though he had been hit with a shovel, he looked torn between anger and worry. The anger from the fact Jon could suggest something like that and the worry incase he was right. “I just don’t want to see you get hurt again, Richie. I thought it would be best to say something now before it’s too late,” Jon said putting a hand on Richie’s shoulder. Richie seemed to be finding it hard to take in what Jon was saying, he turned round and said, “It could just be Dot’s imagination, Jon. She just seems like a private person to me.” Jon looked at him for a minute, he looked so sad and so determined to believe that she wasn’t hiding anything. Jon got out his phone, “If she’s hiding something we can find out. There’s always people you can call.” Richie was unsure but after thinking about it he decided he would rather know what it was now than find out later. He told Jon to make some calls and see what he could find out.

As Leah and Ava made their way back to the house they met Jon and Dot at the front door. “Ava, you’re dad wants you to stay here just now. Come on in,” Jon shouted from the doorway. As Ava made her way to go into the house she still had Leah’s hand so took her along too. Smiling and skipping along they made their way to the door where Ava ran inside. Jon held his hand out to stop Leah from entering after her. “Richie wants a word with you,” Jon said with an icy tone that she had never heard before. Unsure of what it was about and aware that Jon wouldn’t answer her if she asked she turned at headed to the other house. Entering the house she found Richie at the kitchen table with his back to her. “Hey, you wanted me for something?” Leah asked. “Don’t give me that crap! I know about you,” Richie almost growled. “Know what, Richie?” Leah asked unsure of why he was so mad. “Your fucking married!” he yelled at her as he turned to face her. His face red with rage. “Am I just some idiot you fancied a fling with? I bet he’s that Josh bastard! What, you and him got some kinky cheating game going on? Was that Emily in on it too or is she just another idiot?” Richie kept yelling at her. Leah just stood string at him, the rage building up inside her. “How could you go behind my back and find out about me. I told you I would tell you my story when I was ready. If you didn’t want to wait you should have just told me and I would have finished things between us then,” she had began to yell back at him. “So you were going to tell me some time down the line that you were nothing but a cheating bitch who picked me as your idiot?” Richie asked incredulously. “Richie, you don’t understand! Who did you find out from? Why didn’t you ask me?” she asked, her voice calming down as tears began to spill from her eyes. “Because I think I’m in love with you! That’s why! I didn’t want to end up the same as the last time!” he shouted as he leaned his arms on the side of the table, fighting back the tears that were welling up. Leah stood silently, taking in what he had said. She reached out to touch his arm, “Richie, you don’t understand. He’s dead. My husband’s dead.” Richie continued to stand there unsure where to look as he took in the information. “He was killed many years ago now. It was the anniversary of his death the other day when Josh was here and I forgot about it, that was what upset me. I didn’t mean to hurt you Richie. I’ll get out of your way now, I’ll be gone in the morning,” Leah told him and walked away. Richie pulled on her arm, “If you could forgive me for going behind your back, I would love for you to stay on this tour with us.” Leah looked him straight in the eye, he was being serious and she realised that it was her fault that it had happened in the first place, if she had just told him. She hadn’t realised that he had been hurt so much in the past too. What she did realise was that they needed to get to know each other more but when they were both ready. She touched his face with her hand and nodded while smiling through the tears. Richie smiled back at her as he pulled her close to him.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Chapter 18

The next morning Leah woke up with her head resting on Richie’s chest, not wanting to wake him up so early she continued to lie where she was just thinking about last night. Eventually she felt him move and chanced looking at him, hoping he had woken up. “Sorry did I wake you?” Richie asked her smiling and moved in to kiss her. “No, I thought I had got you up there. I’ve been awake for a while now,” Leah smiled back. “You mean I’ve been lying here with a dead arm all morning, not moving incase I woke you up for no reason?” Richie laughed and they adjusted themselves on the bed so they were looking at each other. For the next hour they spent the morning talking and learning more about each other, Leah still careful not to reveal too much. She wasn’t ready to tell him about her past yet and Richie didn’t push her for answers. She felt so at peace with him just lying there that she didn’t want to get out of bed until Richie suggested a shower to wake them up. They both made their way to the bathroom and got in the shower and all was going well until they heard Ava’s voice, “Dad? Are you in the shower? I need you to fix my bike, its broken.” The look of panic in Richie’s face made Leah laugh as she made her escape out of the shower to hide behind the door while Richie went out to see to his daughter. Hearing him leave the room she decided he would be a while and took a shower alone.

Creeping down the stairs, Leah held her breath hoping that she wouldn’t bump into anyone. She wanted to make her way back to her room to get changed before she was spotted. Explaining to Ava why she was creeping out of her dad’s room wearing the same clothes she had on last night was a conversation she was happy to avoid. She had made it all the way up to her room before she was seen by Jon just as she went in the door, “Good night I take it,” he grinned. Leah only managed to look embarrassed as she made her escape into her room, leaving Jon chuckling in the hall. After she got changed and had breakfast Richie called her to ask her over at Ava’s request. Arriving back at Richie’s shortly after, Ava bounced up to her and gave her a hug while thanking her for going to the theme park with them. She only had a second with Richie alone before Ava came back to take her into the garden. He had whispered an apology for leaving earlier that made Leah laugh again as she remembered the look on his face. Taking Richie and Leah up to the garden table, Ava set out some games that she wanted them to play with her. Leah thought sitting with the two of them would feel awkward but she soon learned that it was a lot of fun as they joked around playing the games. Ava seemed to really like her, always asking her opinion before she made any moves on the games and constantly asking questions about what kind of things she liked. They continued to play the games until they got to the end of twister that Ava was the expert in, after winning every game they played. When Tico and his wife returned from their shopping trip, the five of them got started on organising things for the BBQ they were having for dinner. Leah was especially looking forward to seeing Josh and Emily again.

Josh and Emily were the first ones to arrive, shortly followed by Jon and Dot who gave Emily a warm welcome. David and Katie turned up half way through the night after being held up after a road accident. The night was going well with most of them already half drunk by time the food was over with. Leah was surprised at the difference in Emily after a couple of drinks, she was much more talkative and Leah found it easier to get to know her. “So where’s the wedding going to be?” Jon asked them. “Well, we’ve actually got it all planned and booked and we’re having it at Loch Lomond in Scotland. I know that will surprise you Leah since I go on about the beach so much but that’s a place I love so much from my childhood. Remember the holidays we spent up there? Plus Emily has a lot of relatives there and you‘re all invited,” Josh explained. Leah was more than surprised by the choice of location, she was expecting it on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean, Loch Lomond was a beautiful place but the cold and historic element of it never really appealed to her but she could remember all the good times they had spent there when they were younger. Josh pulled her aside and walked with her to the bottom of the garden where they sat with their heads resting together. “Will you be alright with the wedding being there? I know we spent a lot of time there during the summer’s and it could be emotional,” Josh asked her. “Josh, it’s what you want that matters, I was surprised at the choice but I will be there no matter what,” she smiled at him and gave him a cuddle. They spent a long time sitting there catching up with each other and Leah told him all about Richie which he was pleased to hear. “Talking about Richie, he hasn’t taken his eyes of us all the time we’ve been up here. I think he’s feeling a bit left out,” Josh stated, laughing softly. Leah looked around and waved at him. “It’s good to see you happy again, I don’t remember you being like this for a long time. Infact I don’t ever remember you like this, whatever you’ve got with this guy’s working. You look happier now than you were with Joe and you’ve only spent one night with him,” Josh laughed nervously wondering whether he should have mentioned Joe or not. At the moment he said the name he wished he hadn’t, Leah looked devastated. “Oh my god, Josh. It was today! It all happened today and I forgot all about it. How could I do that?” she struggled out, trying not to cry. “Leah, it’s not a bad thing. You’ll always remember Joe in your own way, he was a big part of your life, of both of ours. It’s better to remember him in other ways rather than today, and I reckon he’d be glad you forgot. He’d like nothing more than to see you happy and before I opened my big trap that’s what you were,” Josh pulled her close to him hoping that she would agree with him. Eventually she calmed down and got herself together.

Making their way back towards the rest of the party, they found Emily had drank a little too much while they were away and Josh decided to take her home. He and Leah lifted her through to the front door while they waited on the taxi and bundled her in before saying their goodbyes. She couldn’t help notice that Richie was watching her from the front window with a less than cheerful expression on his face. On her way back in she stopped off in the living room to find out what was wrong with him. “What’s up with me? I was just wondering what kind of friend that is? You were hanging over him all night. Forever cuddling him with your head on his shoulder just the way you were with me this morning,” Richie said in a sarcastic manner. “He’s my best friend, Richie. He’s the one person in the world that’s always been there for me no matter what. He reminded me about something tonight that got me a little upset but I’m over it now and I would like to keep seeing you, if you want to that is, because I’ve had a really good time the past couple of days. I know I don’t tell you much about me, I’m just not ready yet but I promise you I will tell you my story one day,” Leah said sincerely, hoping he would trust her on the subject. He paused for a minute just watching her as though to decide what to do before he stepped towards her and wrapped his arms around her, holding her tight. Both unaware they were being watched from the hallway by Dot.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Chapter 17

Leah bounced out of bed the next morning. She had a busy day planned with meeting Josh’s fiancée and going to the theme park with Richie and Ava, both of which she was very excited about. After she showered and got dressed she made her way into town to meet Josh and Emily. When she first saw Emily she was surprised, she wasn’t the usual overly confident type that Josh normally dated. She seemed quite shy and reserved, only smiling politely when Josh introduced them. During the time they spent together she gradually came out of her shell and Leah came to the conclusion that she was good for Josh. She was a really sweet girl and it was clear from their interaction that they were both mad about each other which pleased Leah. “So does she get the thumbs up then?” Josh asked as he waited with Leah until her taxi showed up. “Two thumbs up! She’s great, not what I expected but I like her,” Leah smiled. She could she the relief sweep over Josh as he took in the news that she liked her, he always valued her opinion. As the taxi drew up Leah invited Josh and Emily to a BBQ they were having at the house on Saturday, which he told her he wouldn’t miss and they parted company.

Leah had agreed to meet up with Richie and Ava outside the theme park as she wasn’t sure how long her meeting with Josh would last and didn’t want them hanging around at the house waiting on her. The area was busy and it took her a few minutes to spot them both through the crowds before she made her way over. She was greeted by a big hug from Ava who seemed really pleased she had come along and a kiss on the cheek from Richie. Before she could say anything Ava had taken them both by the hand and started running towards the entrance. They could only go on the smaller rides due to Ava not meeting the height restrictions on the big rides, which Leah was pleased about as she’s scared of heights. They did managed to get her on the water rides, that seemed to be her favourite and after the third time the three of them were soaking wet and doing more of a waddle than a walk. They made the glass maze a competition with the first one out being allowed to pick the next ride. It was a lot harder than it looked and Leah saw a lot of people taking bumps to the head. Taking it easy at first she felt her way around and Ava did the same. Eventually she saw Ava outside the maze and jumping in excitement that she had won. Richie had also seen her and thought he had found the way out making a run for it so he wasn’t last out. Leah didn’t know whether to laugh or panic when she heard the massive thud from the glass where he ran straight into it. It had been so funny from her point of view but she didn’t know if he was hurt or not since he had managed to knock himself flat on the floor.

Making her way towards him she found him curled up in laughter. The way he was laughing made her buckle too and the two of them were sitting on the floor of the maze attracting strange looks and pointing from the people passing by which made them laugh all the harder. Eventually helping him up they made their way out and over to the first aid cabin to have him checked over at Ava’s orders, “Know dad, you always tell me to take a bump to the head seriously! You could have brain damage.” Leah couldn’t help but laugh at the seriousness of her voice as she dragged her father to be checked out. After being told he would be bruised but okay, the three of them made their way to get dinner. Ava won at the maze so she made the choice of a diner in the theme park that had windows looking in on the people in a haunted house ride. Leah thought it was a good choice as she was entertained by watching the reactions of people getting a fright. “Leah, did you have a bump to the head too?” Ava asked her with a serious tone that confused her. “I think she’s wondering what you’re laughing at,” Richie added. Leah explained that in movies the people that get a fright always scream but in reality they do silly things. She made them watch as they saw people make low wails and run into walls while others screwed up their faces and ran on the spot. Soon it had all three of them in fits of laughter. Richie was also intrigued by how much she could guess about the people around her. While in the park he kept asking her to tell him the story of people that he would point out to her. It wasn’t anything she considered special, it was just a habit of hers while she was bored that she began watching people and soon was able to identify different emotions and place a story on them. She left Richie amazed when she guessed a lot about him, “You’re a psychic or something,” he had exclaimed. “You believe in all that stuff? I think it’s a load of rubbish personally, if you watch someone you can tell them about there self, and the people that go to them usually want to believe so whatever they tell them they will link it to something in their life. I think they are just con artists,” Leah said. Richie thought about what she had said and nodded in agreement. “I never thought of it like that before, I mean I never really believed it but I did wonder how they knew things they shouldn’t. You’ve got a few more brain cells in there than you let on,” Richie smiled at her and she thought she was going to melt, those eyes when she felt them on her were intoxicating.

By the time they left the theme park it was late and Ava was falling asleep in the car. She had been so lively all day that she had exhausted herself. Leah and Richie spent the drive home almost in silence so they wouldn’t wake Ava. When they arrived at the house Richie handed Leah the key to the door while he picked up Ava and carried her in and up to her bed. On his return he got out two glasses and filled them with wine and passed one to Leah before going into the living room. They sat close together on the couch deep in conversation. Even when they were talking about a serious subject he still had the ability to make her laugh, which she loved. Moving in close to her and looking straight into her eyes Richie asked, “So you’ve told me my story and almost everyone’s we passed today, are you going to tell me yours?” Leah looked at him for a few seconds before answering, “That’s for another time,” and moved in to meet his lips with hers. The kiss was long and passionate, both of them desiring to taste more of each other. Richie gently forced her backwards until she was lying on the couch with him on top of her tenderly kissing her neck, as his warm breath met her skin with a soft tickle. As he made to remove her top she sat up quickly pushing him backwards until his head was rested on the arm of the chair, “Who said you were in charge?” she asked as she moved in to kiss him deeply and slowly began unbuttoning his shirt as he allowed his hands to take in the shape of her body through her clothes. Just as she completely removed his shirt they heard the front door open and Tico and his wife come back. Laughing Leah grabbed Richie by the hand and they ran up the stairs before they saw them.

Bursting into Richie’s room they both landed on the bed trying not to laugh too loud incase they woke up Ava. It took them a while to calm down enough to be able to speak. “Well that could have been really embarrassing,” Leah said. “We might get a visitor in a minute. She’s going to go nuts when she see’s the couch! Has a thing about the chairs, you either sit properly or not at all, God forbid you ever crumpled a cushion and I left my shirt so I’ll be in the bad books in the morning!” Richie told her causing her to laugh again. Richie pulled her over to him and kissed her again, this time pausing after it to look her in the eye. They just stared at each other feeling their desire grow. Leah pulled his mouth back to hers while exploring his bare chest and arms with her hands. He responded by pulling her up so he could remove her top, his breath warm on her skin as he tenderly kissed her from her neck down until she felt his mouth brush the tip of her breast while his hand engulfed the other causing her breath to quicken. As he moved down further to the rim of her skirt he felt her begin to tremble and retraced his movement back to her mouth enveloping her in his desire. Reaching down his body, she felt the hardness in his jeans grow and giggled as she began to unbutton them. Slowly and seductively she made her way down his body, kissing and massaging him all over before she finally reached his cock which rose in anticipation at the warmth of her breath. With the touch of her wet and inviting mouth he suppressed a groan. Slowly she teased him at first, enjoying the power she had over him at this moment which made her laugh, the vibration through him causing him to groan then she let her tongue dance around him as she felt his muscles tighten in pleasure. Feeling his hand on her head she looked up at him as he picked her up and put her on the bed as he leaned over her and kissed her once again with a hunger more powerful than before. Slowly he kissed her on her neck, working his way down to her breasts and stomach and all down each of her legs before making his way back up and removing her skirt with a mischievous smile that made her melt. Feeling the anticipation building as he kissed the top of her inner thighs he finally lowered his mouth and tasted her. Effortlessly working her clitoris and inserting a finger as she tried not to groan with the pleasure of it. Her wetness encouraging Richie’s erection to throb between his legs. Her heart pounding as she felt her orgasm approach and her hips lift from the bed as the sensation swept through her. Pulling Richie up to face her she kissed him longingly, wanting to feel him inside her. Slowly he entered her, moving slowly together until desire won over and they began to quicken the pace. Both of them caught up in the moment unable to focus yet aware of every move, every touch and every sensation. Taking in each other’s scent as they built up speed, he drove into her feeling the pressure increase. As he felt her come, he gave into his release as the pulsation of orgasm enveloped them in pleasure. Long and intense, they collapsed on the bed as after shocks ran through her and she felt him grow soft inside her. Exhausted, they pulled the covers over themselves as Richie held her tightly, both still breathing heavily.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Chapter 16

Although Leah never went to bed until late and was tired, she spent the night tossing and turning unable to sleep properly. She couldn’t understand why she refused to go into the house with Richie as it was something she really wanted to do. She didn’t know if it was feeling nervous that had stopped her, which made her wonder why she would be nervous. Since Joe she had had a few relationships, nothing was ever really serious but she hadn’t been hesitant to spend the night with them after she got to know them. She felt she knew Richie quite well now and it scared her how much she liked him. No-one else had ever made her feel the way he did just by being there. She had a great night with him and wanted to spend more time with him but it terrified her how out of control of her feelings she was when it came to Richie. Eventually deciding that sleep was going to be impossible, Leah dragged herself out of bed and away from her thoughts and got showered and dressed.

Richie made his way over to the house Jon was staying in. Before he could step up to the door Jon had already opened it to let him in, “So I never heard Leah come in till late last night, I take it you had some fun?” Jon asked with a cheeky smirk. Richie laughed, “Well good morning to you too.” Making his way through the door and into the living room, Richie glanced around. “She’s not here. Her and Dot went for a walk,” Jon told him, guessing he was looking for Leah. “So are you going to tell me or not?” Jon was perched on the edge of the chair eagerly awaiting Richie’s news. “It was a great night, the whole thing. But I’m going to have to disappoint you because nothing happened,” Richie said. “Yeah right, stop the lying. I saw the two of you last night and Dot and I both thought you’s were heading straight to the bedroom,” Jon said, adamant that Richie was talking rubbish. “Yeah, that’s what I thought or hoped. But seriously Jon, nothing happened,” Richie replied. “Well what the hell were you doing all night? Playing scrabble and swapping cooking tips?” Jon’s amazement made Richie laugh. “You know it is possible for me not to pounce on every woman I like. Anyway, even though nothing happened I still had a great time. Infact I would call it one of the best nights I’ve ever had. I definitely want to see her again.” Jon laughed at how into Leah Richie was, he hadn’t seen him like that over anyone for a long time. “So what did you do that was so fantastic all night then?” Richie thought for a minute before answering, “I don’t exactly know what to call it but I think I’ll keep it for myself just now.” Jon was about to coax him into spilling the beans when the door went. Stood at the other side Jon immediately recognised the man as Josh. Letting him in and welcoming him he took him to meet Richie. “This is Josh, one of Leah’s friends that we hung out with for a bit in Hawaii. And Josh, this is Richie,” Jon introduced the two men and they shook hands. “So what brings you here, Josh?” Richie asked. “Leah told me she was staying out here and I was passing through so I thought I’d drop by and pay her a visit. I’ve been in Australia for a while now this is the last stop before I leave in a couple of days,” Josh answered.

The walk with Dot was refreshing, Leah needed it after the lack of sleep she had gotten. They mainly spoke about the dinner they had the night before and how they enjoyed the night. Leah knew it was coming but it didn’t make the question any easier when it arrived. “So you enjoyed hanging out with Richie, I never heard you come in last night. Will you be seeing him again?” Dot inquired. Leah laughed, “I suppose I’ll have to answer that one, since it’s a straight forward question.” “Well I hope so since I’ve been dropping hints all day and getting nowhere with them,” Dot laughed. “For starters nothing happened last night, we just went down to the beach and sat for a while talking. I had a really good time and I would like to see him again but that depends if Richie wants to,” Leah said hoping that would change the subject, but it didn’t work. “Why did nothing happen? Jon and I were so sure something would,” Dot asked, curious. “It was me I just didn’t feel comfortable, well not comfortable. I was definitely comfortable. I don’t know how to explain it. I wanted to, I really did but something stopped me,” Leah provided in an uncomfortable babble. She didn’t want to be having this conversation with Dot, not when she knew she wouldn’t understand. Dot sensed that Leah didn’t want to talk about it so let it be and they continued to walk. It didn’t stop it playing on her mind though and she found she was suspicious of her new friend.

As Dot and Leah returned to the house, they could see three men through the window. “Who’s that other guy? It doesn’t look like Tico or David,” Dot asked. Leah studied the man for a minute before shouting “It’s Josh!” Running at full speed she was in the house in seconds, barely allowing Josh to realize she was there. She jumped on him and gave him a big cuddle while saying hello to Jon and Richie. She couldn’t help notice the look on Richie’s face as she cuddled Josh. Dot entered shortly after her also greeting Josh with a hug. “What are you doing here?” Leah asked all excited. “Came to see you, I’m here for a couple of days and I need your approval on something,” Josh told her, just as excited to see her. “My approval? On what?” Leah asked looking confused. “Well I just got engaged then I realized that my best friend hasn’t even met my fiancée, so I thought I’d come over and see if you had any time to spare this week? Preferably on Saturday though because I have plans for most of tomorrow?” Josh said with a straight face as though unsure of Leah’s reaction of not being told he was going to propose. She jumped up and gave him another cuddle. “Your getting married? Wow! I’m so happy for you. She’s definitely normal though, yeah? Not like the other psycho?” Leah joked. “Come on, it’s not only psycho’s I attract. Want to go a walk and I’ll fill you in on the details?” Josh suggested, already heading towards the door. They arranged to meet for breakfast the next morning since Josh had plans the rest of the day and Leah was eager to meet Emily. He told Leah all about her and he seemed really happy with her, which pleased Leah. “So what’s your problem then?” Josh asked, catching Leah off-guard. “Don’t lie to me though, I know something’s bugging you,” he smiled. “I swear you are psychic or something! I’m just a bit confused about something, well someone,” Leah explained all about her and Richie. “You know I haven’t heard you talk about someone like that since, well you know since when. It was you who told me to take a chance, can you remember? Well that chance led me to Emily. I think you should take some of your own advice. Just see where it goes. Now I’ll see you tomorrow, I have to go,” and with that Josh left Leah to make her way back to the house. His words worked, by the time she reached the house she had decided that she would ask Richie to go somewhere with her tomorrow and they arranged for him, Ava and Leah to go to a theme park the following day.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Chapter 15

Leah left the house feeling a mixture of excitement and embarrassment. She couldn’t believe how much like a teenager she felt again. It had been a long time since a man had made her feel this way. Fighting away the urge to start giggling she let herself into the house and comfortably planted herself on the couch staring into the distance beyond the window, allowing herself the occasional grin. Her thoughts were soon disrupted when she heard the front door open and the others came pouring in, most of them rather tipsy. David and Katie almost knocked Leah over in their eagerness to escape to their room, while Jon and Dot greeted her with a hug. Jon stumbled towards the couch while requesting that he would like another drink. “So a good night I take it?” Leah asked Dot who seemed to be most sober of them. “Oh it was fantastic! First good night out we’ve had together in so long,” Dot replied while raiding the cupboards for Jon’s wine. Finally managing to find some she got out a glass and poured it rather chaotically, leaving more on the worktop than in the glass itself. More spilled out as she made her way towards Jon with it. Stopping just short of him, she turned back laughing and handing the glass to Leah. “I guess this is your’s now. He’s fell asleep over there.” Leah took the glass saying thanks and studied the tiny dribble left in the glass which Dot apparently hadn’t noticed. “Wow lady! If you keep drinking like a fish your going to end up flat on the floor. I turned round and you’ve finished the whole thing,” Dot said wide eyed. Leah couldn’t help but laugh before explaining that most of the wine was on the floor.

Leah took charge of the wine pouring duties and the two women sat at the kitchen table talking until the early hours of the morning about everything and nothing. Leah eventually worked up the courage to tell her about her kiss with Richie and was shocked when she told her she already knew, that Richie had phoned Jon and he had told her. “Seems like he’s had the same effect on you as you have on him,” Dot smiled. “So you fancy some shopping when we get up to buy something for tomorrow night?” Leah looked at her puzzled as to what she was talking about. “I take it Richie hasn’t phoned you yet then? Jon arranged a night out for me, you, him and Richie. Well you know now, I’ll text Richie and let him know you’re going,” Dot said. Leah laughed at the lack of choice she had been offered in the decision. Before they went to bed they had to take an arm each of Jon and pulled him up the stairs eventually getting him to lie on the bed. It seemed impossible to wake him until there was an almighty thud of the two women falling over a lamp cable and he jumped up from the bed to find Leah and Dot lying in a heap on the floor. “Dot, did you go all lesbian on me and I fell asleep and missed it?” he mumbled in a disappointed tone before lying back down and falling asleep as though nothing had happened. Leah and Dot were in hysterics at the way he spoke before getting off the floor and heading to bed.

Leah was so excited about the prospect of a night out with Richie that it had taken her a long time to fall asleep resulting in her waking up late the next morning. Before she knew it Dot had her breakfast cooked and was ushering her out the door so they could start their shopping trip. They trailed around the shops for the majority of the day, both unsure of what to buy. Trying on what seemed like most of the shop, Dot eventually settled for a long, classy black dress with a deep cut back while Leah chose a simple yet beautiful long, blue dress with a split at the side. Making it back to the house in just enough time to get ready before the car pulled up outside to take them to dinner. Leah followed Dot down the stairs to where Jon and Richie were waiting. When she spotted Richie, Leah felt her heart race. He was wearing a black suit that looked great on him, it was a colour he really suited. As she approached him, he took her arm and walked her out to the car, opening the door for her. They hadn’t spoken a word to each other but they didn’t have to, their eyes were speaking volumes and Leah felt Dot and Jon had noticed it too as they kept glancing over to them. Arriving at the restaurant the four of them took their seats and gave their orders. Before they knew it dinner had been and gone and they were moving into another room for the entertainment. Dot and Jon were one of the first couples to get up and dance, leaving Leah and Richie alone together. She had earlier been told by Jon that Richie doesn’t dance and it was one thing she was determined to change. Grabbing his hand she pulled him up on the dance floor and she immediately sensed he felt uncomfortable and could see him checking for people watching him. She was surprised at his reaction as she had always thought him a confident person. She walked him over to the gardens where it was empty hoping it would make him feel better about dancing. To her relief it worked, at first he just swayed nervously on the spot but after a while he relaxed and Leah thought he was actually quite a good dancer. They spent the rest of the night out in the gardens alone just dancing and talking, occasionally Leah thought she could see Dot or Jon’s head peeking round the corner watching them.

The drive home felt much quicker than the drive to the restaurant. Jon and Dot seemed happier than Leah had ever saw them, she waved goodnight to them both as they went into the house leaving her and Richie outside alone. “I had a great night tonight,” Leah said hoping Richie also had enjoyed it. He didn’t say anything for what seemed like an eternity, but moved closer to her never once taking his eyes off hers and picked up her hand. “I enjoyed it too, but you know it doesn’t have to be over yet. There’s no one in the house tonight, Ava’s with David and Tico is away for the night, you could come in for a while,” he said pulling on her hand to lead her to the house. Leah stopped where she was. “You know I could do that, but I would prefer to go this way,” she said tugging on his arm and running towards the beach. He followed after her, catching up he threw his arms around her waist lifting her up and swinging her round until they both fell on the sand. They spent a short time just lying there staring into each others eyes, both seeing the hunger they had for each other. Leah jumped up first, “Come on, I want to show you something. The water is perfect for it right now.”

She took his hand and they walked towards some rocks that were leading out to sea. Carefully they made their way out. “Where are you going? Please don’t tell me your some suicidal nutcase that’s brought me out here to die,” Richie joked. Leah laughed only telling him to follow her. She made her way towards what looked like open water but on closer inspection was rocks that were just under the surface of the water. They finally arrived at a large rock that both of them sat on. “Right close your eyes for 10 seconds and listen to the sea. When you open them, look up at the stars,” Leah instructed Richie. He did as he was told and looked at the stars, which he thought looked amazing. He hadn’t noticed them all night but sitting out there they seemed so bright and full of life. “Now look around you,” Leah smiled at him. Everywhere he looked around the rock they were on seemed to be the sea, he couldn’t see any of the rocks they had used to get out there. The view was breath-taking, it looked like they had their own little island that no-one could get to, surrounded by the peaceful sound of waves and the beauty of the stars. Richie appreciated the place more than Leah had imagined he would. They spent a long time lying on their backs staring up at the sky in silence. Richie leaned over and moved in to kiss her. It was a soft, tender kiss that felt electric due to the surroundings they were in. The energy engulfed them both as they tasted each other hungrily. Getting carried away they both rolled off the rock and into the sea. Leah laughed hysterically as she got back on the rock and pulled Richie out, who seemed shocked at having landed in the water. “I think we can call it a night now,” Leah said standing and taking Richie’s hand as they made their way back to the beach and went their separate ways.