Unbridled, page 1
Bold Fox Publishing
First Edition: April 2017
This is a work of fiction. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without the author’s express permission. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Other Books by Fox Brison
The night sky was hidden behind a bank of scurrying cobalt grey clouds and the wind, although holding the rain at bay, violently shook my small SUV crossover like a pit-bull with a ragdoll as I fought to steer a straight course.
Straight course. Straight A student. Straight and narrow. There were many phrases that started with straight that I could use to describe myself and I chuckled at the irony, because I realised I was anything but ‘straight’ at eleven years old.
Early to realise you’re a lesbian, I know, but I was always a quick learner. Plus that was the first time I saw Bad Girls at my friend Olivia’s house. It was also the first time we’d been left alone and the first time we watched a fifteen rated movie. Oh hell yes, we were the bad girls that evening.
Madeleine Stowe in chaps and a Stetson, need I say more?
I’ve spent my whole life trying to travel a straight road to get from A to B with as little disruption as possible. I studied my route meticulously, carefully calculated every contingency - bumps, bends, potholes. Yet no matter how well prepared I was, or how thoroughly I planned, there were always those pesky diversions and detours that simply couldn’t be avoided.
I growled. Not about the weather. Well maybe a little about the weather; whichever bright spark came up with the idea of naming every storm that darkened our shores needed a slap, because since being given monikers we’d had nothing but storms chasing even more storms.
At least that’s how it felt anyway.
But I digress, a family trait I’m afraid. It takes my Mum half the night to tell what should be a five minute anecdote about Mrs Warner from next door and her runaway motorised shopping scooter. Anyways, the main reason for my ill temper was that after leaving work in Brighton at four o’clock the previous afternoon, and driving two hundred and seventy miles north to Halifax in West Yorkshire, the conference on equine emergencies I’d been slated to speak at was cancelled at the eleventh hour. Dr Max Maxwell (I know, some parents have a warped sense of humour) from the good old US of A and one of the preeminent authorities on foaling complications, had contracted a nasty case of food poisoning whilst giving a lecture in Glasgow that afternoon.
If the haggis didn’t get him, the fried Snickers bar for dessert probably did.
I loved being a vet, and conferences and seminars were essential to keep up to date with new techniques and information, but the truth is I’d rather have my arm disappear up the rear end of a cow than attend most of them. I considered staying in Halifax for the night but I hated staying in hotels, especially alone. Besides which, there was another far more important reason for my urgency to return home.
I wanted to escape the doghouse.
It was Dawn’s (my partner of five years and counting) birthday and she’d had a major hissy fit when I announced I wouldn’t be home until late to celebrate with her; that was one shit storm the Met Office hadn’t forecasted. Her anger was perfectly understandable, yet now I had the whole day free to spoil her. Silver linings, I chuckled to myself. And the much brighter and more satisfying silver lining was the fact that Dawn would be in bed totally unsuspecting. Things had been… difficult for the past few months but that was all about to change for the better. I needed Dawn but more importantly I wanted her. I grinned. The ice age we’d been experiencing in the bedroom would be over very shortly and a new age was about to begin - the orgasm age
So regardless of it being nearly midnight, I hopped into my car and started the long journey south; the music was pumping, the coffee in my to go cup was piping and the GPS was primed and ready.
What could go wrong?
Yes, okay, curse of the commentator, counting my chickens, each and every pithy warning phrase was bracketed with a stream of curses at around three am (not long after passing Cobham services whilst circumnavigating the third circle of hell, or the M25 as it’s more commonly known) when the traffic came to a sudden and shuddering halt.
Great. What was I saying about meticulous planning?
After another few minutes of profanity laden frustration, I whipped out my phone and checked the traffic information app I’d downloaded. I was duly alerted, about twenty minutes too late, that a lorry had overturned due to high winds near junction eight spilling its entire load, and the motorway was currently swimming with twenty tonnes of mackerel and eels.
I growled again in frustration; why did everything always happen to me!
I’ll admit I didn’t like my petulant side (spoiled brat rarely looked good on anyone) yet it had been a frequent visitor these past eight months. Essentially, all I had to do was sit in my warm car while some poor bugger shovelled rotting fish off the tarmac, but the delay was a pain in the arse. So bad news I wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry, good news it gave me the chance to grab forty winks.
Silver linings, Haley, I laughed. Twenty tonne of mackerel, you couldn’t get more silvery lined if you tried!
Escaping my nightmare on eel street I arrived back at Brighton just after six in the morning and stopped in at the 24hr Tesco to grab a few bits and pieces before going home. I planned on making Dawn the best breakfast in bed she’d ever had. Looking at the three bags I realised I may have gone slightly overboard, but hey, why wouldn’t I spoil the woman I loved on her special day?
I also picked up two bouquets of flowers; one was a mixture of cream roses and baby pink carnations, the other purple and white chrysanthemums set off by lovely green foliage. For a supermarket they were surprisingly beautiful. I ticked off my mental checklist for the perfect romantic morning. Yummy foodstuff… check… Flowers…. check…. Raging libido… double check.
Yep, I was ready.
Let the fun begin!
Poised on my doorstep, keys in hand, I felt a tingle of anticipation pass through my body and a small smile lingered on my lips; there was a small black velvety box hidden in my duffle coat that would make the day complete.
The house was quiet, eerily so, the
I heard nothing from upstairs.
I expected Dawn to be awake. Even though she’d booked the day off from work for her birthday, she was religious in her habits: six am alarm call, six fifteen work out in the gym, seven fifteen shower, seven thirty breakfast, eight leave for work with a perfunctory kiss on the cheek for yours truly. It wasn’t always so regimented, but things happen… life happens.
Slipping off my trainers I crept up the oak staircase, my hand trailing along the smooth banister as my mind immediately raced to the memory of trailing fingers along Dawn’s smooth back. Today it was time for me to let go of the past and embrace our future. It had been a while, too long since we’d spent the morning ‘catching up,’ and yes that was a euphemism. It had even reached the stage where I was beginning to believe that lesbian bed death wasn’t so mythical after all. I paused and rubbed the back of my neck which felt like the Christmas lights after a year of being stuffed in the cupboard – full of impossibly tight knots.
Why couldn’t I be honest, even with myself?
There was no mystery surrounding our recent lack of intimacy, no mystery as to why I spurned Dawn’s advances, frequently turning my back on her and claiming tiredness… a headache… feeling bloated… each and every excuse lamer than the last until in the end, almost without notice, Dawn gave up trying and then things simply drifted.
Inspecting myself in the landing mirror I removed the several butterfly clips holding my tight bun in place, releasing my wavy blonde hair which cascaded down over my shoulders. I fluffed at it, trying to introduce a bit if volume and bounce. Normally the colour of ripe corn, it seemed to have lost its lustre. Wiping the tiredness from my eyes, I spied a rare twinkling in the blue of the iris, another thing that had been AWOL lately.
A soft moan echoed from the master bedroom and I quickly erased all thoughts other than the one foremost in my mind; waking my girlfriend and making love to her. I opened the door wider, the bottom scraping along the thick wool carpet like a whisper of wind, and with a soft smile I edged slowly towards the bed.
The bed with two occupants.
I stopped and stared.
What the fuck?
My face fell and I checked the room. Were there hidden cameras? Was I the star of a real-life Truman show? Was this a dream? I narrowed my eyes and stared down at the antique four poster again. No, it wasn’t a dream, this was the recurring fucking nightmare I’d been having for the past eight months coming true. The blood pounded in my ears, the rising boom, boom, boom mirroring the waves that on a wild day, when the direction of the wind was just right, you could hear from our bedroom balcony as they viciously hit the Brighton shore. Dawn gradually began to stir, maybe sensing someone else was in the room, but no… wait a minute… she leant over and kissed the other woman’s neck before opening her eyes and catching sight of me.
“Oh, oh fuck, Haley, it’s not what you think,” she said, her face pale.
It seemed breakfast in bed wasn’t the only surprise of the morning.
One month later…
Collecting my luggage I hurried through the arrivals hall of San Francisco International Airport and into chaos. Okay I tried to hurry, but it was like shopping on Black Friday in a store selling fifty inch flat screen televisions for £1.99.
I’d been up for seventeen hours straight and to say my brain was slightly befuddled was like saying PricewaterhouseCooper accountants shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the Oscars; in hindsight my discombobulation might have been a good thing.
I was often accused of being too busy in my own head to leave it and actually move on with my life. I hold my hand up and freely admit that I, Haley Jones, wallow. I frowned. Having said that… I’d only thought about Dawn once since boarding the plane. Now that’s what I call progress. It seems abject terror of flying, or rather abject terror of crashing, was one hell of a distraction.
“Hales!” I heard the familiar voice of my sister, Jen, rise above the clamour and eagerly searched for the familiar face to go with it. I was greeted by the sight of my insane younger sib holding a homemade sign adorned with hearts and horses jumping through candyfloss.
Candyfloss? I guess they could be clouds. Seriously, I shook my head, pink clouds? But that made more sense, just, than candyfloss. I smiled. Smack bang in the middle of the chaotic attempt at art was my name, and although it looked as if a four year old with ADHD had made it, the sign totally brightened my day.
“Hales, I can’t believe you’re here!” Jen ran over and grabbed me tightly around the waist. We embraced for what felt like an age and I didn’t give a hoot that we were blocking the path of the other passengers. I’d waited an awfully long time for this and wasn’t about to rush it.
“I sure am, thanks in no small part to your generosity. Business class was amazing.”
“I know, right? Mind don’t get used to it,” Jen, smiled “I think the air miles might be about to dry up.” There was something about the way she said it and her sudden blush which indicated it wasn’t merely a throw away comment, but I was too happy to give it too much thought. I honestly hadn’t realised until this moment how much I’d missed my sister. Hen (the portmanteau our Mum used to call us before it became all the rage to merge names together) back together again and we had a lot of catching up to do. There were tears in both our eyes but for the first time in a month mine weren’t of sadness, a little regret, perhaps, that it took a major betrayal to ultimately get me on the plane to visit, but on the whole they were tears of joy.
“You look great, have you lost weight?” she asked.
“A bit,” I said, recognising my sister’s hesitation to discuss exactly why I’d dropped the pounds. Grief can affect a person’s appetite in one of two ways; you either completely pig out or lose it completely. I had one day of comfort eating and then my taste buds revolted and everything tasted like cardboard.
Back to silver linings.
“I bet Posh wannabe is kicking herself now. You look awesome!” My sister had never liked Dawn, hence the bitchy disparaging. Jen was precisely what the doctor ordered. She was free and spoke her mind, often to my detriment I might add, because she was quite cutting and occasionally confrontational, and big sister would have to rush in to smooth troubled waters.
She was the complete opposite of my anal and slightly introverted leanings.
“Are you humming ‘Going to the Chapel’?” I asked as we headed towards the carpark.
“Oh, erm… yeah maybe. Must’ve been the last song on the radio,” she laughed nervously. And bit her bottom lip as she avoided eye contact with me.
What the hell? “So how was Vegas?” Jen had been to a hen party that weekend and had arrived back in San Francisco six hours before me. From the barely concealed lavender bruises beneath her eyes, I’d say she’d had a blast. “Or is it a case of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?”
“No, it’s the complete opposite in fact,” she said with a grin as wide as the Golden Gate Bridge, vanquishing any anxiety she may have had a minute before. “Listen, Hales, you cannot judge me here. Promise you won’t go off your head.”
“How can I-” I began, but quickly halted my immediate argumentative retort when I saw her body tense. “Okay, okay. I promise,” I said, albeit it reluctantly. Suddenly my hands were sweating and my stomach resembled a bingo drum spinning over and over. Nobody ever started a conversation with a statement like ‘don’t go off your head’ unless they were about to drop a bombshell… and an enormous one at that.
“I took the ultimate fate test,” she said as if that should have made everything clear.
The fate test was a litmus test Jen and I would use if we were unsure about something. The last time I’d used it was to decide whether or not to purchase a new dress. It was quite pricey so I left it on the hanger, telling myself if it was still there the following day it was meant to be. When I went back to Nola boutique not only was the dress still there, it was in the sale.
“You bought a pair of boots in Vegas?” I hazarded a really bad guess. In my defence I’d been up since four am and, despite travelling in business class, didn’t sleep a wink. The four mimosas and three gin and tonics probably didn’t help either.
“No, well actually yes, but that’s not it… right, so you know I was in Vegas on Shannon’s bachelorette party.”
“Yes, Jennifer Jane, we’ve established you were in Las Vegas.”
“Alright, smarty pants. Well, in the same hotel as us, actually on the same floor in the same hotel as us, there was a bachelor party.”
“Okay.” I wasn’t capable of anything other than one word prods of encouragement by this point.
“Everywhere we went, there the bachelor party would be. The casino, the Britney Spears show, the strip club.”
“Shannon’s marrying a woman. I think she and Susan are worried that the same sex marriage law might get repealed, so they basically decided to go for it. I’m so glad they did. They’re totally hilarious. It’s like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are an actual couple.”
“Jen!” I wished she’d get a wriggle on. I was tired, hungry, and wasn’t particularly in the mood for one of her three hour tales which any normal person could relate in five minutes.
There was definitely a digressing gene in the family.
“Okay. Right, well there was this guy, Jack, he was incredibly hot. Adonis like even. In fact, Adonis was like Mr Bean compared to Jack.”
“Not the groom to be I hope,” I joked and my sister let out a high pitched noise which I could only describe as being caught between a cry and a laugh; a craugh if you will.
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