A Handful of Heaven
It was just after 10.30am when Eden awoke again.
She loved Saturday mornings. They'd decided that they wouldn't work weekends. Although they were dedicated to making their business work, they were also dedicated to making their relationship work. And that meant free time. No weekend working. Weekends were for fun and each other.
Eden regarded her still sleeping lover. She had taken her twice since she's woken up, the first time hard and fast. The second time soft and slow.
She was still amazed at the way Tori gave herself to her. She remembered the first time she'd taken the taller woman, actually having to wait until she was asleep to claim the tall woman.
She watched her lover for a long moment, smiling slightly as she took in the relaxed features.
The phone on the bedside cabinet noisily announced its presence, and Eden hurried to reach across her lover to silence it. But she was too late and Tori awoke to a breast hovering just above her face.
Blue eyes blinked groggily, taking in the sight above her. And then the vision was gone as she was staring at the textured ceiling above her.
Eden pressed the `talk` button on the cordless handset and lifted the devise to her ear.
"Hello?" She said, propping herself up against the headboard and reaching with her free hand for her lover's.
"Eddie, you are in so much trouble." Announced the voice.
"Good morning to you too Cath, yep it is a lovely one, isn't it." Eden squeezed Tori's hand as the taller woman shifted on her side to face her.
"I've just had a call from your mother Eddie, she still thinks you live here."
Eden's head dropped. "Oh boy. Sorry about that." She took a deep breath. " Did you..........?"
"I didn't drop you in it Ed, but I really don't like lying to her. You're going to have to talk to her sometime."
Eden nodded. "I know, I'm sorry. What did she want?"
"Just to confirm she's coming to the wedding. Oh, and that she'll be staying with your Aunt Marilyn."
Eden winced. "I didn't know you'd invited her."
"Of course I did! I spent a lot of time at your house before they moved away. I told you that. I told you three times. What's gotten into you Ed? You never used to forget things."
"You know what's gotten into me." Said Eden, casting an affectionate glance at her naked lover. "Just can't keep my mind on anything lately. Sorry."
There was an audible sigh. "Ok. Anyway, tonight."
"We'll be there. We're looking forward to it."
"Ok, eight o'clock in the Hobgoblin, then we'll work our way up through town. Tori's coming right?"
"Oh yeah." Said Eden, looking down at her lover, whose eyes were closed and was in danger of dozing again.
The tone of her answer must have sounded odd. "Eddie, what are you doing?"
"Nothing much, why?"
"You sound strange."
"Eddie are you still in bed?!" She didn't wait for an answer. "My God woman, last time Darren and I popped 'round on a Saturday you were still in bed. D'you get up at all at weekends?"
Eden chuckled. "Of course we get up...... eventually."
"I'm going. See you tonight."
"Ok Cathy, bye." Eden disconnected the phone and placed it on the cabinet on her side of the bed.
"Cathy?" Asked Tori, her eyes still closed.
Eden leaned over and kissed her lover, trying to comb the dark hair into some semblance of order with her fingers. "Yeah, she was just checking we were still ok for tonight."
"What's tonight?" Asked Tori, enjoying immensely the feeling of the small fingers in her hair.
"Tori!" Exclaimed the blonde, giving the dark locks in her hand a gentle tug.
This caused the blue eyes to flutter open. "What?"
"It's her hen night." Eden watched the realisation cross the beautiful face, then something approaching panic. "You're not getting out of it. You said you'd go and you're going."
Tori sighed. "How many are going?"
"Just you, me, Cathy and three of her friends." She leaned down and gave the pouting lips a kiss. "Cathy says we can escape later. We don't have to go to Cadillacs with them."
"Cadillacs!? Thank God for that. 1 wouldn't survive three minutes in that meat market. What would possess Cathy to go there?"
"Mostly for fun." Said Eden, settling herself down at Tori's side and luxuriating in the feeling of long arms encircling her again. "But we can disappear to the Tap. She understands."
"That's ok then." Said Tori, tightening her hold on her lover. She was quiet for a moment, enjoying the tranquillity and the feeling of the small soft body burrowing into her side. "What else?" She asked and waited patiently while Eden gathered her thoughts.
"My mother rang Cathy." She fixed her eyes on her hand which was tracing patterns around Tori's bellybutton. "She's coming to the wedding."
"I haven't told her I moved out from Cathy's yet." She looked up at the angular profile and prayed she wouldn't see disappointment there.
"I thought you did." Said Tori turning towards her.
Eden shook her head. "I haven't seen her since we came back from London. I don't really want to have a conversation like that over the phone."
"A conversation like that? What do you mean?" Asked Tori.
Eden took a long breath. "When I tell her that I'm living here, with you, I have to tell her why. Not just that I'm living with another friend. I have to tell her I'm living with someone I love very much. And I want to be face to face with her."
"So you're not putting it off because you're afraid?"
"Or that you're ashamed?"
Eden sat up suddenly and regarded her lover. She was amazed at the fear she saw in the beautiful face. "You think I could be ashamed of this?" She asked. "Other people may have a problem with it, but not me." She caressed Tori's cheek. "I love you, very much. I will never be ashamed of you, or of this." She said.
"Eden, you have the gift of the gab, but right now, I want you to shut up." Tori pulled the blonde into her arms and the two snuggled down for a couple more hours of cuddling.
The day passed peacefully for the two lovers, and by the evening they were relaxed and ready for their night on the town with Cathy and her friends.
The Hobgoblin pub was but a stones throw from the Bath Tap, Baths one and only gay bar. Eden waved to Annie, who was parking her car and who looked quizzically at them as they entered the Hobgoblin. The blonde shrugged and mouthed `later` to her friend.
Cathys three other friends could only be described as loud. Eden caught Tori wincing twice at the shreeking laughter of Fiona who only got louder as the alcohol poured more freely. The other girls, Tracey and Sharon, spent little time with them. They were on a constant look out for members of the opposite sex, and usually made a beeline for any group of men as soon as they saw them.
By the third pub, Tori had lost any good humour she had started with. The final straw came when she caught Edens disapproving look, and followed the green eyes gaze down to her own hand which was comfortably stroking her lovers thigh.
With a high sigh of exasperation Tori shoved her hands under her own thighs and sat in abject misery.
Cathy watched the interaction between the two women and attempted to start a conversation. Unfortunately it was the wisest subject to discuss.
"So Eddie, youre serious about this rugby thing?"
Eden drew in a deep breath and cast an anxious glance at her lover who regarded her with interest. "Yes I am." She said. "Ive always wanted to be involved in a team game."
"But rugby Eddie. Its a bit rough isnt it?" Cathy picked up her drink and also picked up the look on Toris face. "You dont agree with this then?" She said to the taller woman.
"Rugby is not a womans sport." Said Tori shortly.
Eden blew out an exasperated breath. "How can you possibly say that?"
"It is NOT a womans sport." Tori repeated. "Youre just going to get your neck broken."
"Ill be playing against other women, not seven foot tall men."
"No probably six foot tall women."
Cathy held onto her glass and watched the exchange. It was the most animated shed seen Edens lover all evening. "So you two have discussed this?"
"No." said Eden. "Tori refuses to."
Tori sat back in her chair and crossed her arms across her chest. "What do you think Cathy? Do you think she should go on with it?"
Cathy had been put on the spot. She looked from one to the other. "Have you played before Ed?" She asked the blonde who was glaring at her tall companion.
"Ive been training with the team for the past few weeks. Were training two nights a week. They seem to think Id make a good scrum half."
"Um?" Cathy shook her head at her friend.
Eden sighed. "The scrum half is the one who puts the ball into the scrum. And I wouldnt get involved in the really rough stuff, the ruck and maul, Id just wait at the back until the ball came out."
Cathy looked at Tori, who shrugged.
Another sigh from Eden. "Look, the womens game isnt as rough as the mens. Ill be fine."
"When is your first game?" Asked Cathy.
"Next Sunday." Eden finished off her drink. "Just a friendly before the season proper starts."
"Ill be in Ibiza!" Said Cathy.
"I know. But you can come to another game. I wouldnt expect you to put off your honeymoon for a rugby match."
"Id liked to have watched though. Even if I do know nothing about the damn game."
"Thats ok, Tori will be there taking pictures."
The last comment earned her a slowly raised eyebrow.
Eden decided to change the subject. "So anyway, is everything set for next week?"
Tori realised the subject was closed. For now.
It was a little after 10.30 when Cathy, slightly slurred, suggested that Eden could take Tori away if she wanted to.
"Are you sure?" Asked the blonde, giving Cathy a hug.
"Yeah, go on. She lasted longer than I thought." She said, looking over her friends shoulder at the tall woman who had a look of extreme concentration on her face as she listened to something Tracey was saying.
"Ok. Look, if I dont see you before, I hope it all goes smoothly next week. Well be there." She gave her friend another strong hug and turned towards Tori. "You wanna go?" She said, putting a hand on her lovers shoulder to get her attention.
"But Im learning all about foundation." Said Tori giving her best shit eating smile. "And eyeshadow."
Eden smiled sweetly as she pulled Tori to her feet.
"Arent you two coming to Cadillacs?" Asked Tracey, tottering slightly as she pulled her jacket on.
Tori opened her mouth to reply but Eden beat her to it. Leaning around the taller woman she smiled sweetly as she explained their early departure to the inebriated woman. "Toris feeling a little tired. Its past her normal bed time."
Before Tori could protest Eden had hauled her out into the cooling evening.
They walked down through town, avoiding the groups of roving young men and tipsy women. Theyd ended up the opposite end of the City to the Bath Tap and it took them about ten minutes to reach the closed doors of the pub. A short knock on the door and it opened to them.
"Eden. Sweetie!" Said the peroxide blonde who had opened the door. He grabbed her by both shoulders and pulled her into a crushing embrace.
"Marco." She said returning the hug. "People will talk."
He held her at arm's length. "Let them." Then he met the amused blue eyes over her shoulder. He leaned in and whispered into Eden's ear. "I'm getting the evil eye."
Eden chuckled. "I don't think so Marco, she's not the jealous type." She gave him a peck on the cheek. "Besides, she knows I'm as safe as houses with you."
"Don't count you chickens sweetie. For you I'd throw away my frocks and dye my hair brown."
"Marco!" She said with a hint of surprise in her voice. "You know, that is the nicest thing anyone has said to me all day." She felt long arms encircle her waist. "Well, the second nicest thing."
Marco waved them into the club after Tori insisted on paying the entrance fee, even though it was only five minutes after the time limit for doing so.
Eden felt a hand encircle her arm and pull her into the small corridor that led down the stairs to the basement, which held the dancefloor. Arms pulled her closer and she found her mouth claimed by soft insistent lips and an equally insistent tongue. She relaxed into the embrace, reaching up and encircling her lover's neck with her own arms. Her hands filled themselves with dark locks, pulling the taller woman down into the rapidly spiralling kiss.
"Now that's what comes of spending the evening in straight bars." Said an amused voice behind them.
Eden buried her face in Tori's chest while her lover cast two slightly dazed blue eyes in the direction of the interuption.
Annie laughed at the sight before her and made her way past them and down the stairs to the basement. She called back over her shoulder, "there's an old friend of yours in the bar Eddie."
"Really?" Said Eden, though her concentration was back on the tall woman in her arms, and the lips that were, once again, closing in on their target.
A few minutes later Eden reappeared in the bar towing a smiling Tori behind her.
Tori walked into the back of the blonde as she stopped abruptly.
"Oh my God." Gasped Eden, and even as she did she reached back with her left hand caressing her lover's thigh as she felt Tori against her back.
"What?" Tori asked nibbling a conveniently close ear.
"Jude." She said quietly.
Tori followed the direction of Eden's gaze and saw a number of women deep in conversation at a corner table. One of them, a woman with her blonde hair cut in a tastefully short style, looked up and over in their direction. Her face creased into a smile and she rose from her seat and made her way silently towards the pair.
Eden took a step forward breaking her connection with Tori and fell into the arms of the woman.
"Hello darlin'" Drawled the woman, pulling the blonde close.
The embrace continued as Tori shifted from foot to foot. She glanced around the room and found that some of the bar's occupants had stopped to watch what was obviously an emotional reunion. The her eyes fell on the pair in front of her again and she found herself captured by a pair of amused blue eyes twinkling back at her from behind steel rimmed spectacles. One eye winked at her, and the woman in her lover's arms gave her the tiniest of nods before pushing Eden back and taking a good long look at her.
"God Jude, what a surprise." Whispered Eden, shaking her head ever so slightly. "Why didn't you let me know you were visiting?"
"I didn't know myself. I had a weeks vacation, and thought dammit, why the hell not."
Tori heard the American accent and took a step closer to the pair.
"I'm sorry," said Eden taking a step back and turning towards her lover. "Jude, this is Tori."
The American extended her hand to the tall woman. "Pleased to meet you Tori."
Tori took the offered hand. "Likewise." A brief shake and then Tori cleared her throat. "I'll get some drinks, what will you have Jude?"
"I still have a drink at the table, thanks. Won't you join us?" She started back towards the small group sitting at a table against the wall.
"We'd love to, wouldn't we?" She asked Tori, who merely nodded and made her way to the bar to get the drinks.
Return to The Bard's Corner