The all-around mood throughout the house that morning had been tense. Correction, it had been incredibly high-strung. Floor had been stomping around in the living room all morning and nearly wearing a hole in the carpet. Come to think of it, it had already started the evening before at the restaurant they all had been eating at. They always visited the Italian restaurant the first night they spent at the cabin, but the usual coziness and easiness didn’t seem to settle between them. At first Sharon thought that it was because of the new addition of Merel, but it became quite clear that it stemmed from both Charlotte and Floor. The tall brunette’s leg had been bouncing impatiently under the table throughout most of the night, especially when she caught sight of Charlotte being particularly chummy with Merel.
And Tarja had just been… Tarja. Sharon had even ordered them a dessert to share together, but it had ended up with Tarja hogging the spoon and shoving most of the sugary goodness inside her own mouth. Shamelessly flirting with Sharon the entire time. Oh the romantic setting Sharon had tried to create evaporated the second that ice-cream started to trickle down Tarja’s chin.
“You ready to head out?” Charlotte exclaimed while popping her head inside the living room, Floor’s insistent pacing stopping completely.
They had all agreed on going on a hike for the day to show Merel the surroundings, and also to soak in the nature before they all went back to the city. Their hiking boots were waiting in the hallway, along with lunchboxes packed securely into backpacks. Merel and Tarja were just finishing up washing the dishes from the breakfast they all had shared just a moment ago while Sharon and Floor had been occupying the living room and gathering strength for the day ahead.
“Let’s do this then.” Floor spoke in a low tone as she breezed past a clearly stunned redhead, not even making eye contact as she made her way towards the hallway.
Yeah, tense indeed. Normally the two friends exchanged bright smiles when greeting one another, so seeing Floor giving Charlotte the cold shoulder had Sharon’s stomach turning into knots. Standing up, Sharon made her way towards the other woman.
“Hey, what’s going on with you two?”
Brown meeting green in a haze of hurt and confusion, a loud exhale fell from Charlotte’s lips and seemed to mask the feelings swirling in her eyes.
“It’s nothing. Let’s just go on the hike, okay?”
Disappearing from her line of sight, Sharon heard how Charlotte disappeared through the front door and slammed it shut.
“Fuck these birds, am I right?!”
The words, followed by a melodic laugh, pulled Sharon out of her deep thoughts and made her focus on the person walking next to her. Tarja’s steps were steady across the moss and fallen logs, her eyes scanning the trees and making a mental map of the area. Even though the metal ladies had followed the exact same path around the woods for the past couple of years, the Finn still treated it like it was new and undiscovered. Tarja seemed right at home in the woods, her stories about growing up surrounded by the dense forests of Finland always managing to pull small sounds of awe from Sharon’s mouth. Tales of a young brunette believing in fairies and gnomes, in trolls and mermaids.
“I mean not fuck them as in the actual… fucking. That would just be weird.”
Laughing at the silly attempt to make her feel better, Sharon fumbled around with her hand until she found Tarja’s own, carefully lacing their fingers together. Those bubbly butterflies were back in full force as Tarja squeezed the digits, the footsteps of the other three women becoming more distant. The forest was living and breathing around them, the crunching of their boots and the small breeze rustling the leaves lulling Sharon into a state of comfort. It was so unlike the previous years “I’ll race you to the top!” type of mentality.
Turning her head, Sharon saw Tarja looking at her with a small glint in her eyes, if it was one of affection or amusement she couldn’t decipher. Tarja was no longer scanning the trees, instead her eyes travelled over Sharon’s slightly flushed face, seemingly looking for something while it looked like gears were turning in her head.
Sharon’s heart beat faster and faster while her insides screamed at her. Could Tarja see what she felt for her just by looking into her eyes? Could she see the love and care she held for her?
While her heart pounded away in her chest, Sharon slowly started to lean in towards the other woman, all thoughts about keeping their relationship at a friendship level flying out of the window. It was just about the two of them, no bands, no tours, only memories of stories and hands caressing bodies and minds. The goofiness and easiness Sharon had fallen in love with was right beside her, whispers after lovemaking and movie nights swirling together and robbing the very air from her lungs.
Breaths started mingling, shoulders touching, Sharon pulled to a stop and closed her ey-
The shriek coming from Tarja’s mouth was followed by a flurry of movements, the most noticeable one being the slip of her right foot on the moss, black hair ending up covering Tarja’s face with her butt hitting the forest floor, all the while her hands tried frantically to swat away the insect.
The laugh started to rumble inside her chest and was out of her mouth before Sharon could stop herself, the sight and the seriousness of the events previously taking place becoming too much. It was just so surreal.
“Are you okay?!”
Sharon hadn’t even heard Charlotte approaching between her fits of laughter, the redhead bending down to help Tarja up from the ground.
“Yeah I’m… CAN YOU PLEASE STOP LAUGHING?!”
But Sharon couldn’t, couldn’t stop laughing at the fact that Tarja had looked to be so close to figuring it all out. So close to easing the tightness in her chest. It became too much, the hatred for her own cowardness growing.
Wiping tears from the corners of her eyes, Sharon turned her head and noticed how both Floor and Merel had joined Charlotte’s side, the redhead brushing off dirt sticking to Tarja’s pants. Merel still hadn’t said much to anyone except Charlotte, the woman looking a bit uneasy while being in the company of anyone other than Charlotte. But the look in Floor’s eyes was far from uneasy, instead it spoke volumes of knowing.
Had she picked up on what had transpired between Sharon’s and Tarja’s earlier?
Turned out that nothing had changed.
Once back at the cabin, the sour mood continued. After having pizza for dinner one would think that they would all be passing out happily on the couch and the living room rug, but that was not the case.
With Tarja’s head perched on her lap, Sharon gently massaged the brunette’s shoulder and neck while Tarja was busy sexting one of her “bed warmers”. The more explicit the conversation got, the shakier Sharon’s hands became.
“Hey, we should totally do this!” Tarja exclaimed while shoving her phone in Sharon’s face.
“Pfffttt, you wish!”
Not only was the position ridiculous, but Sharon really didn’t feel like having sex tonight. She just wanted to sleep and forget that this day ever happened. Or a hammer to smash some sense into Tarja’s head. Anything to get her attention.
Charlotte had upped her flirting game with Merel, the women sitting next to each other on the rug in front of the fireplace, the redhead unable to keep her hands off the other woman’s thigh while they spoke quietly to one another and giggling every now and then. It seemed a bit out of character for Charlotte to be hitting on someone so strongly, especially since she hadn’t mentioned that she and Merel were close to becoming a thing. But hey, people change. Except for the murderous look Floor had been sporting all day, jaw tight and teeth grinding together. Floor may look like a badass, but all the residents in the room knew that Floor was actually a giant teddy-bear.
A very pissed off looking ball of fluff. Who looked to be needing something or someone to distract her. And Sharon who could us-
“So, Floor… I like your butt, can I… wear it as a hat?”
The silence in the room was deafening while four pairs of eyes turned towards Sharon. Straightening in her seat, she tried her best to will away a blush and the embarrassment from her suddenly blurting out the worst pick-up line in existence.
The singer had a plan. And with that came flirting, and in the end, hopefully some jealousy from Tarja’s side.
“Ehm, excuse me?”
Moving out from beneath Tarja’s head, Sharon made her way towards the armchair Floor was seated in. Sitting down on one of the armrests, the brunette crossed her legs and tried to subtly lean in towards the taller woman, their shoulders barely touching.
“Indeed. I would love to see it on full display someday.”
Her heart was screaming at her to stop this madness, but Sharon was determined. She knew that she was being selfish, but the fear of a possible rejection from Tarja’s side was tearing her apart. And hopefully, Floor wouldn’t be too upset with her for using her. She knew that Floor could spot bullshit from miles away.
While her inner turmoil kept gnawing at her, Sharon completely missed the looks between Floor and Charlotte, the redhead nearly stomping her foot while not so subtly using her head to point in Sharon’s direction. And also the more important one belonging to Tarja, her entire face speaking of nothing but confusion.
“Ssssure, yes. Sounds good.” Floor finally managed to produce before cleaning her throat, her left hand shakily being placed on Sharon’s knee and squeezing it awkwardly.
A few seconds passed before Charlotte rose from the carpet.
“Come Merel, let’s leave these two lovebirds alone.”
Watching as the two women left in the corner of her eye, Sharon put her right arm across the top of the backrest, twirling some of Floor’s long, brown hair between her fingers.
“So, what do you want to do now?”
A loud squeak of the springs in the couch was heard right before Tarja passed by the duo.
“Long day, need some sleep. Good night!”
The door to their joined bedroom slammed shut, the room close enough to the living room that Sharon could hear Finnish swearwords and several loud thuds.
Not letting the sounds distract her from her goal, Sharon got up from the armrest and sat down on Floor’s lap, the brunette confused as to why Floor would let it get this far.
Staring at each other for what felt like an eternity, Sharon could feel how her courage slipped and swiftly removed her hand from Floor’s hair.
“That’s… good night. Take care of that ass, for one day I’m going to mow it!”
Leaving the other woman completely stunned, Sharon cringed at the sheer stupidity of what she had just said and all she wanted to do was to hide beneath the sheets on her bed.
She had set things in motion today and hopefully they would all turn out well in the end.