A relieved shout sounded through the woods, making a few birds around them fly up. One by one the woman crawled out of the car and almost everyone laughed as they saw Merel kneeling and stating how happy she was to finally arrive. Almost everyone, since Floor only grimaced as she stretched her aching legs.
‘You have nothing to complain about.’ She mumbled while massaging her calves. ‘You are only half our size and you didn’t have to drive.’
Charlotte knew what her girlfriend was talking about. She herself had also been behind the steering wheel for nearly three hours and her knees hurt from sitting in the same position almost the entire day. But it still wasn’t a reason to act like this.
‘Come on, we’re not here to fight.’ Charlotte said as she placed her hand on Floor’s shoulder. ‘We’re here to have fun, so let’s bring our bags to the rooms and go into the city to find some dinner.’
‘Good.’ Floor said as she stood, her knees cracking at the movement. ‘I’m sleeping with you, I don’t want to be stuck with one of the rabbits.’
‘Oh…’ Charlotte looked up and frowned as she saw the disappointed look on Merel’s face. What was there to be sad about? They only just arrived at the cottage, nothing could possibly be wrong. ‘I was hoping to share a room with Charlotte, you know, since we’re in the same band and at least I know her…’
‘Oh, I’m sorry.’ Charlotte apologized. ‘Floor and I always share a room when we do these kind of trips, to catch up you know? But you can have your own room, then you don’t have to share with Sharon or Tarja and watch them do their thing.’
‘Eh, okay, I guess.’
Charlotte smiled and tried to ignore the look on Merel’s face, but she still felt the guitarist’s gaze on her back as they entered the house. She followed Floor upstairs and they immediately claimed the same room they had used the last time they were here. But back then they had just been friends.
Charlotte closed the door behind her and let out a surprised laugh as she was pushed against the wood. Floor’s blue eyes smiled at her before their lips found each other and a warm feeling spread through Charlotte’s body.
‘I missed this.’
‘Me too.’ Charlotte breathed as Floor pulled back. ‘But I think we need to be careful. Did you see how Merel looked at us?’
‘I did, but what else do you want to do? We barely even touched each other today and she still seems to suspect something. Just let it go.’
‘I could flirt with her.’
‘Excuse me, what?’
‘Flirt.’ Charlotte repeated. ‘If Merel sees one of us flirting with someone else, there’s no reason for her anymore to think we’re dating. She’s the closest one age wise and let’s be honest, you are terrible at flirting.’
‘Sweetie, your motivation for asking me out the first time was because we have the same kind of nose piercing…’
‘Right… you should do the flirting.’
‘You have nothing to worry about.’ Charlotte laughed as she swung her arms around Floor’s neck. ‘I only love you, and your non-existing flirting skills.’
Another laugh sounded as Floor stuck out her tongue before the redhead kissed her again. They got interrupted by Tarja’s voice, shouting that everyone got exactly 2 minutes and 36 seconds to get downstairs or the Sharon-wagon was leaving without them.
The restaurant that was chosen was a cozy Italian place. The colors red and green decorated the table, the turntable next to the bar played some stereotypical Italian music and the air smelled like pizza. Charlotte simply loved this place, loved how everything was so typical that it never failed to make her smile. Maybe it were the memories of Tarja’s attempt to speak Italian, maybe it was the statue of the mafia figures next to the door, but this place would always make her smile.
Or maybe it was Floor’s face as she studied the menu and decided which unknown dish she would try today. Charlotte had to bite her lip and remind herself that right now was not a moment to think about her girlfriend’s hidden cuteness, there was another cute girl to focus on. Her heart might only beat for Floor, no one could deny that Merel was incredibly cute.
Charlotte kept her eyes on the menu as she let her hand lightly rest on Merel’s knee, as if she hadn’t already decided she wanted the Pappardelle all’ aragosta and had no control over her hand. She felt how the girl next to her flinched for a second but Charlotte simply smiled as if nothing was going on. The poor guitarist was still too surprised to speak as a waiter asked her what she wanted to eat, resulting in Charlotte having to order for her, lightly squeezing her knee the entire time. Just to let her know it was okay.
‘I need to pee!’ Merel almost shouted as she jumped up from the table, Charlotte’s hand slipping off her knee in the process. Her voice was lightly shaking and everyone frowned at her, Charlotte simply smiling the entire time.
‘Me too, I’ll join you.’
The redhead had to fight back a smirk as she could almost hear Merel gulp. She felt bad for her guitarist, it wasn’t her goal to make her uncomfortable. She just had to make sure her relationship with Floor was safe. It only took the young musician a few seconds to reach the safety of the ladies’ room and Charlotte used those seconds to stare at her behind before following her. She found Merel looking into the mirror but fleeing towards a cabin as soon as the redhead entered.
‘Merel, are you okay?’
‘Eh, yeah, no problem. Just a little… nervous.’ The fake smile on the girl’s face made Charlotte feel guilty. ‘About Sharon and Tarja, I mean. I-I don’t really know them and they seem so… touchy.’
‘Oh, but we’re all very touchy.’ Charlotte smiled and placed her hand on the girl’s arm to prove her point. ‘But pay Sharon and Tarja no mind, they always take things to another level. You just have to tell them if the touching gets too much for you, even though you can’t really blame them.’
With a wink Charlotte disappeared into one of the cabins. She wasn’t surprised when she found the ladies’ room empty a few minutes later and returned to the table with a smile. Her hand returned to its spot on Merel’s knee, causing the girl to flinch once again. Internally, she was dying from laughter.
Merel was in a light shock, Floor’s eyes held a hint of jealousy and Tarja seemed unable to keep her hands off Sharon, again. Oh yes, this definitely was going to be one more dinner at the Italian place that Charlotte would never forget.