Fun bags, honkers, earmuffs, double whoppers, glory melons. Quite fitting nicknames for a soft pair of boobies. And also the perfect description for the current view Sharon had from her place on the wooden bench. Five pairs of tiddies proudly on display, steam rising from the middle of the room, fluffy towels for the ass to chill on. Sweat trickling down chests and backs, eyes trying not to follow the paths the drops took. Being in a sauna and letting the heat encompass every part of your body worked like a cleanser for both mind and heart and the quick dip into the cold water in the lake afterwards seemed to breathe new life into you. Sharon still remembered her first time being in a sauna with Tarja a few years back, how her hands had been itching to grab her towel and wrap it around herself and how it felt like her eyes would melt out of her eye sockets. And with Tarja being her outmost confident self in everything that she was. Which was nude.
“They call me Tarjatata because I’m tatalicious.”
It seemed that the fight they had had the evening before hadn’t affected the Finn at all. The look in her eyes was the same, her persistent flirting with Sharon was the same. Nothing had changed. And Sharon felt like screaming at it all. Her best friend didn’t see what was wrong with her, didn’t see what was brewing beneath her skin.
“Oh yeah well… Charlotte?”
Merel and Charlotte were close to cuddled up together in one of the corners of the sauna. During the week they had spent at the cabin, they had all gotten to know Merel a bit better and she seemed to be a sweet and funny but shy girl. But her stay with them had messed with the group dynamic. Floor had been nothing but pissed during their entire stay, and Charlotte acted like she constantly wanted to hump Merel’s leg. Usually the two singers were inseparable, but the new addition to their little foursome had torn the two women apart. Why was Charlotte distancing herself from the taller woman?
Moving her eyes away from Merel’s puppy ones, Charlotte began raking her eyes up and down Tarja’s body while gears seemed to be turning in her head. Comments with a not so innocent nature were often fired off when all the women were in the sauna together. And how could they not?
“You’re like my little toe, because I’m going to bang you on every piece of furniture in my home.”
“OHHH NICE ONE!” Tarja exclaimed loudly before getting up from the bench and giving the redhead a high five, giving Sharon a nice view of her well-shaped backside. A backside one could go sledding on, one worth all the love in the world.
“After taking you under my wings, I expected better from you Merel.”
Taking her un-
“Well I did…the thing we talked about… with the neck. You showed me how to…”
“Yeah, drives them crazy right? You’re lucky Charlotte, she’s a fast learner!” Tarja said while putting on a bit of a swagger to her hips as she walked towards Sharon before sitting down beside her.
So Tarja had been with Merel so that she could… Tarja really had no shame at all. Jumping into bed with Merel just because Sharon didn’t want to have sex. She really was that replaceable. When she first started singing and joining a metal band, everyone had abandoned her. Her friends and family never understood, never supported her in her life choices. And now she was being thrown to the side once more, by the woman she loved.
“Okay, then how about this one… the word for tonight is “legs.” Let’s go back to my place and spread the word?”
Sharon could have sworn that she had heard the sound of wood spliting in half after Merel’s ridicolous line and looked over at Floor to see that a fire had been lit in her eyes, rage slowly leaking out of her pores while her hands gripped the bench she sat on tightly. Charlotte on the other hand seemed a bit impressed by Merel’s comment. Sweeping her eyes across the smaller woman’s body while letting a grin cross her mouth, the redhead leaned in and kissed Merel’s cheek. And Sharon could have sworn during that moment that the temperature began dropping by multiple degrees. The tall brunette having everything to do with the shift.
“Now you’re a true charmer.”
The tiniest spark was all it took to light a flame. And in this case, a comment to set off the gentlest of giants.
“I’M NOT DOING THIS ANYMORE!” a now towel clad Floor shouted while breezing past a seated Sharon, Charlotte quick to follow the tall brunette in what seemed like panic.
Concern for her friend drumming through her veins, Sharon got up and followed the women, barely registering Merel and Tarja doing the same. Walking out of the sauna and following the sound of raised voices coming from the kitchen, the confusion and pile of questions seemed to grow even more.
The sight of Charlotte openly sobbing while simultaneously trying to keep her towel from falling to the ground had Sharon pausing. Floor stood in the kitchen on the other side of the archway while the other women were in the living room and looked so crushed that it nearly brought tears to Sharon’s own eyes. Snorting in what seemed disbelief over Charlotte’s words, Floor’s shaking hands began clenching on the counter top. Her breathing was shallow and rugged, Sharon only now noticing how worn the brunette looked, how haunted her blue eyes were.
“I promised you a week, Charlotte. A week. And I thought I could handle it but… you know what, I can’t.”
Unclenching her hands, the tall woman started to open drawer after drawer, her hands seemingly looking for something that could calm her down and distract her from the turmoil that went on inside her head.
“I can’t because I want nothing more than to cuddle with you in front of the TV.”
The wobble in the usually calm and stoic woman’s voice tugged at Sharon’s heartstrings, realization about what was going on spreading through her veins. Choked whimpers shook Charlotte’s body, her whole frame releasing what she had kept hidden. What they both had.
“I can’t because all I want to do is to sneak you kisses while we’re out swimming in the lake.” the brunette said, her hands stopping their search and settling on the counter. A tangible pain radiated off Floor’s body, her chest moving rapidly up and down while she looked at Charlotte. Her secret, the woman she loved. The whole room seemed to still, Sharon barely being aware of the two women behind her. It all clicked into place then. Floor’s temper and Charlotte’s sudden interest in Merel.
“And I can’t because she’s there and I see the way she looks at you!”
Stepping out from behind the counter and out into the living room with the label maker in her hand, Floor’s fingers began typing furiously.
“I’m the one who’s been with you through your highs and lows, NOT HER! AND I’LL BE DAMNED IF I LOSE YOU, BECAUSE I LOVE YOU!”
The machine in the brunette’s hand gave off a low hum as a small sticker came out of it, Floor quick to tear it away and sticking it to Charlotte’s forehead, the redhead not even flinching at the rough movement.
“Because I love you. So… damn… much… and I want to show other people that I do.”
With tears brimming over in her ocean blue gems, Floor briskly turned around and dropped the label maker before making her way towards the back, the door there opening and closing with a bang. Gulping down what felt like the first breath of air in several minutes, Sharon could feel the guilt washing over her. She had been a part of all of this, one of the wedges between the two lovers. She should have seen the signs. They had been right there.
The whisper coming from Merel’s mouth had the redhead turning around, the word Mine printed across her forehead. She looked so lost, a piece seemingly missing. She didn’t face the smaller blonde, nor did she say anything before she too disappeared from the other women’s sight.
A few seconds, even a few minutes might have been passing by, before Tarja became the first one to speak.
“So, seems like all that flirting with Floor was in vain then!”
The breath that Sharon had managed to take disappeared once again, coating the room in a thick tension. Thick enough to cut it with a knife. Here she had been for a week, hoping that Tarja would see her as more than a pretty woman to fuck. Sharon had been so overwhelmed with her own problems that she hadn’t seen what was going on between Charlotte and Floor. There was hope there. Unlike between her and Tarja it seemed.
“In vain, of course it was!”
The smile Tarja had been sporting was quickly wiped away.
“It was a waste of everyone’s time! I could have been there to help and support them!”
The gates were open, Sharon’s previous fear of being rejected completely vanishing. This was now bigger than she first could have imagined. She had let her friends down. And for that, she would never forgive herself.
“And not with you, trying to knock some sense into you that I’m right here! Right here and loving you with all that I am!”
Not even bothering to face the woman she cared so much about, Sharon turned on her heel and made her way towards her room. Cursing the fact that they all went to the cabin in the first place.
She looked so beautiful where she sat, so beautiful in fact that it had Charlotte pausing in her steps just a little bit. Hair fluttering in the wind, eyes on the horizon while sunlight touched and memorized her features. They were both still dressed in their towels, the vulnerability noticeable during their time of undress.
It was never meant to get this far. Charlotte never meant to break her beloved’s heart. But somehow she did and now they had to repair what was left.
Voice rough from crying, Charlotte noticed how Floor’s ears perked up at the sound. And when she turned her head, Charlotte could still see the love shining through them. All was not lost.
“Hey” Floor replied, making room for Charlotte to sit down beside her on the red painted bench underneath one of the apple trees in the garden. Simply being this close to the other woman had things stirring in her stomach.
“No I… I should be the one to apologize. I shouldn’t have put this here.” the brunette said while carefully peeling away the sticker from Charlotte’s forehead, the redhead having forgotten about it entirely.
“You are mine. I mean not in the possessive kind of- you are your own person but I want you t- Oh you know what I mean!”
Gently rubbing the tip of her nose against Floor’s shoulder, Charlotte showed her girlfriend that she understood while also reassuring her that she wouldn’t leave. They belonged together. Something that Charlotte felt down to the very core of her being. This week had shown them that.
“You two make a cute couple.”
The women hadn’t even heard Merel approach, and now that she was here, Charlotte felt even worse than before. She had taken advantage of the guitarist, played with her feelings for her own selfish gains. Charlotte had kissed and touched her and with that, bringing a whole lot of promises of her own. They were friends and this trip had brought them even closer. And Charlotte didn’t want to lose that. Straightening her back, the redhead brushed her right hand fingers against Floor’s forearm, quietly seeking support from the brunette. They had both been in on this after all.
“It was wrong to do this to you, Merel.”
The blonde hugged the towel closer to her body while her eyes settled on a spot of grass next to Charlotte’s feet.
“We’re both very sorry for what we did. But w-“
“You’re not “out” yet and you got scared. It’s okay.”
“It’s not okay, Merel. We shouldn’t have taken advantage of you.”
The guitarist looked more and more uncomfortable as the seconds passed, her lower lip venturing in and out of her mouth repeatedly while her teeth tried to catch it. The clearing of a throat made her stop.
“I know that you have feelings for Charlotte, but can you please stop…doing that?”
Eloquent as always, just like when she had asked Charlotte out for the first time. Her reason being because they both wore the same kind of nose piercing. Charlotte felt how the corners of her mouth started twitching and soon, Merel was mimicking those exact movements.
It was going to be okay.
“Don’t worry Floor. After all of this I won’t even look at her the wrong way again.”
Seemingly soothed by those words alone, Floor grabbed Charlotte’s hand and gave it a squeeze. It would probably take some time before they got back to where they were before in their relationship, but it was worth it. Together they felt whole.
“This whole week has taught me something though.” the blonde said while sitting down in front of the other two women, the familiar brightness back into her eyes.
“And it is that you have to try new things in life. And to not be afraid while doing them. Life is too short to be lived in fear.”
Looking over at Floor, Charlotte saw that Merel’s words had hit something within her too. Friends, families, careers. They all seemed smaller and less significant the longer they looked into each other’s eyes. As their lips met in a short but loving kiss, that unexplainable notion of love settled in Charlotte’s chest once more.
Lifting her head from her tear soaked pillow, the brunette caught the sound of Tarja’s timid voice along with a knock on the door. She didn’t know how long she had been buried under the blankets on the bed, but her chest and arms were aching from hugging herself and the pillow in her arms.
“Can I come in?”
A big part of her wanted to scream at Tarja to never return, but her body was too tired. Her mind was too tired. It was all in at this point. And it seemed that Tarja wouldn’t walk away just yet.
As the Finn emerged from behind the door, Sharon quickly realized that she too had been crying. No longer clad in a towel, but wearing one of Charlotte’s shorts and tank tops, she carefully walked into the room until she stood at an arm’s length away from the bed. Her arms were hugging her stomach, seemingly trying to hide the fact that they were shaking badly.
“Are you dressed?”
Nodding while gesturing for Tarja to sit down beside her, Sharon began pushing herself upwards so that her back rested against the wall. The type of clothes she wore were similar to Tarja’s, but as luck would have it, they were turned inside out. Pretty much like she felt.
The bed dipped slightly as the Finn sat down, her body angled so that she managed to face Sharon’s front just a bit while still remaining at her side. Pulling her blanket to the side, Sharon brought up her legs to her chest and hugged her knees tightly to her body. Everything in her was set for rejection, just because she went for something that she felt in her heart was right.
Their movie nights disappeared, their late night Skype calls disappeared, and the tender moments of lovemaking were roughly torn away.
Clearing her throat before opening her mouth to speak, Tarja began fiddling with the sheet beneath her.
“After I was fired from Nightwish my whole world was turned upside down. I lost the friends I had made through the band and my reputation in Finland was ruined. Ten years disappeared during the span of a couple of days.”
Sharon still remembered the stories Tarja had told her and how much it had taken her to do so. The rock and roll lifestyle wasn’t as fun as people made it up to be.
“I started making my own music after a while, but I still felt lonely with this thought in my head that nothing was permanent. And would never be.”
Her voice started shaking slightly and Sharon looked up just in time to see tears fall from her beloved’s eyes. She had never mentioned that she felt lonely before, only that she got bored easily and never wanted to stop moving. To keep going forward. When she was in fact running from herself.
“At first I didn’t plan on sleeping around, because it didn’t felt like me. But it later turned out that that was exactly what I wanted. Not to be me.”
The brunette was close to sobbing, but she still held firm while Sharon’s entire body screamed at her to hold the woman in front of her. She knew that it took a lot of her to open up about this.
Wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, Tarja connected her emerald gems with Sharon’s chocolate ones, the emotions she saw swirling around there rattling her into her very bones and making her lungs constrict.
Tarja loved her too.
“And then I met you and I… it felt like I had finally found home. That I could rest with you, that my heart could rest easily with you.”
The singers were both openly crying at that point, pouring their hearts out and letting them sing for once.
“I knew what you had been through and I didn’t want to hurt you. But I did. I did and now I just want to fix that and… Please forgive me, Sha-“
Launching forwards and connecting Tarja’s lips with her own, Sharon put her arms around the Finn’s neck and brought her body closer to her own. Tears mixing together and sparks igniting from where their skin touched, Sharon dug her nails into Tarja’s scalp and felt as the Finn did the same against her lower back.
They had shared many kisses before, but this one was different from all the others. It was one that you could feel down to your toes, one that spoke more than words ever could.
Pulling back to get some air back into their lungs, Sharon leaned her forehead against Tarja’s and caressed the fine hairs on her neck gently. Their eyes met, still swollen and red, but they spoke of another feeling entirely.
“I love you.”
And this time, Sharon let herself feel it. From her fingers and down to her toes. In every cell in her body. And deep down she knew that this feeling would never leave. That this person would never leave.
They had both found home in each other.
“I love you too.”