"Goodnight you two" Helen Stewart called, standing at the bottom of her best friend Anna Potter's stairwell. On hearing nothing but a muffled giggle she rolled her eyes and mumbled a quiet 'Goodnight Helen' to herself before falling down on to the sofa and closing her heavy eyes. She and Anna had gone back many, many years. University had been a blast for both of them, and throughout their friendship, both had informed the other about every detail of their lives. They were like sisters, only now they had grown up a little. Helen worked at Larkhall prison as a Liaisons officer; Anna was a respectable barrister. She had it all at one point in her life, the job she enjoyed, a nice house and a secure relationship. The relationship to Sean Parr had failed miserably and only months earlier had she decided to call it a day. Upstairs she had set in her mind just what Anna and her boyfriend of 4 years Jim Fenner were getting up to. That was Anna's problem, she was a lovely person, but after one too many vodka's all she cared about was herself, hence Helen being dumped on the sofa.
It was times like these that Helen couldn't help but feel in the way. She enjoyed seeing her best friend yet it was blatantly obvious that she was the odd one out now that she didn't have Sean. Many a time after the painful break up, Anna and her other girl friends had set her up on dates from hell. In the past she'd gone on each one in order to keep them from moaning at her. But Helen Stewart wasn't interested. Everyone she knew, including her family members had told her 'Helen, sweetheart, you're 30 years old. Its time you settled' But Helen had figured the time just wasn't right. It didn't help however, that her best friend was upstairs enjoying stupefying sex with the love of her life.
Jim and Helen had never got on. She found him sleazy and had caught him on more than one occasion undressing her with his eyes. She was a beautiful woman and everyone seemed to think it. With her full-bodied, mousy brown hair, green eyes, full lips and soft Scottish lilt, she was never, ever short of offers. When Helen turned the majority down, it left her friends totally stunned. But that was just Helen. Love would happen if it wanted to.
Sighing, she pulled the duvet Anna had left, up to her chin and tried her best to fall off.
"There's nothing in here Anna" Helen crouched down at the refrigerator and scrutinised each shelf. Breakfast didn't look likely.
"There's got to be something"
"Look on the top shelf, there has to be something"
"Just some eggs" Helen frowned, taking the box and standing upright.
Anna walked in wearing socks, knickers and a bra, blinking her lopsidedly coloured eyelashes.
"You and your subtle ways miss Potter" She giggled some more.
Jim entered the kitchen with his seedy smile. Sighing, Helen tried to return something other than a dirty look.
"Morning Helen" He nodded, standing in his irritating 'I'm a man and you're a woman' position, his chest stuck out in a sign of masculinity.
"Babe, we're out of food. Will you run down to the shops?" Anna flicked her blonde hair behind her ear and moved into his arms. Couldn't Anna see that this man wasn't right for her? Couldn't she tell that he was a sleazy creep who molested every female with those eyes?
By the time she had returned from La la land, Anna was looking at her oddly, but luckily Jim had done as asked.
"Are you ok?" Anna smiled curiously
"Fine" Helen nodded furiously, taking a gulp of lukewarm coffee.
"Positive" Helen smiled
"Good. There's something I need to tell you"
"Oh?" Helen asked, taking far more interest in the conversation.
Now it was Anna's turn to nod furiously. "I'm getting married"
Helen knew the contents of her mouth would have been spat out in utter disbelief if it weren't for the sheer, pathetic look of happiness scribbled across the blonde's face.
"To Jim Fenner?" She asked, with more calm than she felt.
"Yeah," Anna nodded, shoving her diamond ringed finger up Helen's nose. "He's fantastic isn't he?"
But Helen was finding it hard to smile
"Aren't you happy for me?" Anna frowned.
Their eyes met.
No, he's a moron and I wish you could see it
"Yes of course!" Helen smiled, leaning forward and hugging Anna "That's great"
The part that came next unnerved her even more.
"Jim has some great colleagues Helen, really nice guys they are" Anna sat back and raised her eyebrows "Who knows? We could set you up with..."
"That's great" Helen repeated, not feeling quite so hungry after all "But I'm fine, honestly I am"
"Helen Stewart, you are a gorgeous woman and you could quite easily take your pick. Now I am going to find you a man!" Anna said seriously
Oh please! Someone save me! she though to herself, wanting out of the Anna/Jim household, sooner rather than later...
Nikki Wade sat with her feet up at the desk in her own private office on the third floor of her club Shambles, jointly owned with her business partner Trisha Clarke. Dressed smartly in a charcoal pinstriped suit and white blouse, with her head tilted back, sucking on a well deserved cigarette, she allowed the proud feeling of achievement to invade her body as she smiled out at the stars, twinkling in the heavy sky.
Her parents would be shocked if they could see her now. An attractive, 32 year old, independent woman with a successful gay club in Soho, a good circle of friends and a healthy social life. They had rejected her when she was just 16, all because she wasn't, and never pretended to be sexually attracted to the opposite sex. Back then, she was a disgrace to the Wade household because of her sexual orientation. What would dear mummy and daddy think now?
"Nikki darling, things are going great!" Trish burst through the door like an activated missile, her blue eyes twinkling happily, her smile broader than ever.
"Bloody Marvellous!" Nikki laughed, watching as Trish made her way over to the desk, perching in a very lady like fashion.
"How about we go for a drink tomorrow night, seeing as this place is doing so well? Just the two of us" She leant forward so that her face was close to Nikki's, her shirt opening to an extend Nikki didn't particularly want to see.
They had attempted a sexual relationship when they first started out, but in all honesty it didn't work for either of them, no matter how many attempts they gave it. Nikki shrugged it off. Trish was an attractive woman who knew what she wanted in life, but she wasn't what Nikki wanted. Now she just looked at her as a good friend and that was all. In fact, Nikki Wade wasn't looking for love. She had everything she could want and now wasn't the time to settle. After all, relationships caused all sorts of troubles, ones that she didn't want just yet.
"No thanks," She finally answered with a smile, moving so that Trisha's breasts weren't so noticeable. "I have plans"
Trish swivelled round on the desk as Nikki stood, a defeated look on her face. "Fine, fine. Play safe. But I swear you're taking a vow of celibacy Nikki Wade."
Nikki turned and grinned. "That's my business."
Trish shrugged and stood up. "If you say so. Catch you tomorrow then," and with a sigh, she left the room, making a conscious effort to wiggle her behind as she went.
After checking security and the late night staff, Nikki switched off the lights and locked her office. She called through to one of the security men, before heading out to her car, safe in the knowledge that Shambles was in good hands.
Helen had, had a bad few days. After making some feeble excuse to go without breakfast at Anna's, she'd gone home, trying to get her head round her friend's engagement to the biggest arse-hole of the century. Then Anna had phoned announcing their engagement party, due to take place the following weekend. Somehow she'd agreed to go but it was undoubtedly more to do with being there for Anna than for Jim. Work had been demanding, with Psycho's and Junkies, scrapping at every opportunity, her Governing Governor Simon Stubberfeild breathing down her neck and continuous reports and files to look through, she'd left Larkhall feeling wound up.
The party was fast approaching but she couldn't look forward to it, knowing that Anna would pile her off with some technical bozo who preferred to talk to her chest.
By the time the event did take place, Helen had accomplished the skill of keeping her actual opinions to herself. After all, she wasn't the one committing her life to Jim. Dressed in a floor length pool of royal blue silk, with a low neckline and thin, delicate straps that emphasised the golden skin of her back, she made her way to Anna's parents mansion, the house Helen had only visited once or twice, simply because the size intimidated her. The house was filled with many faces. Some she knew and some she didn't want to get to know. Regardless, she tried her very best to enjoy herself.
"Helen!" Anna smiled hugging her tightly
"Hiya Anna." She responded warmly
"I'm so happy," Anna grinned, looking down at the glittery ring on her finger, then back up again "I mean look at him!" She nodded over to where Jim was now staggering across the room in a drunken stupor.
Helen dragged her eyes away and forced a smile. "I'm happy for you both"
When she was certain the balcony was empty, Helen hid behind a stone, cold pillar and let her smiling mask slip. For what seemed like hours she'd laughed and chatted and circulated like the perfect guest. She'd even tolerated the presence of Jim's 'sound' friends for longer than usual. But enough was enough. The whole engagement party had been a test but unfortunately for Helen, missing the celebration wasn't an option.
The breeze was cool, and she shivered as it found her bare skin. Soon she could make up some excuse and go-where? Home to an empty flat? She stared malevolently at the view, until at last a slight cough alerted her to unwanted attention.
Oh god, not another one of Jim's friends
She was shocked to see a grinning Anna stood with a female guest in tow.
"Helen, meet an old friend of mine. She's come alone tonight too. Maybe you two could find comfort in each other's company?" Anna said with a drunken slur, turning to her friend. "I tell you Nikki, she refuses to settle down and I'm not having you both stood alone. Maybe you could find her a man?" She giggled, but neither Helen nor Nikki found the funny side.
Helen looked at Nikki for the first time. A tall, dark-haired woman, dressed in a smart suit and looking equally as uncomfortable as she herself felt.
Then they were stood opposite each other. Alone.
"I'm sorry, she grabbed hold of my arm and told me she had a good friend who needed cheering up as much as I do. Then she shoved two glasses of wine into my hands and lead me out here." Nikki shuffled guiltily "I had no idea where I was going."
Helen didn't speak at first as she admired this woman's eyes, dark and intense. "Ah well, that's Anna Potter for you." She tried to smile
They looked at each other again
"Sorry," Helen laughed faintly "I'm Helen Stewart."
"Nikki Wade." came the reply. Nikki smiled and handed her a glass "Something tells me you might be glad of one of these."
"Thanks," Helen took the glass "So then Nikki Wade, where did you meet Anna?"
"Through a friend, years and years ago." Nikki turned and looked at her properly, "She hadn't met Jim Fenner and if I could have prevented it, I would have."
Helen relaxed against the pillar, surprised to find she rather welcomed the woman's company after all. "Your secret's safe with me" Helen assured "I'm not a fan either."
"I could tell." Nikki laughed, "You look about as happy to be here as I am."
"I'm no party animal really." She confessed "Anna disapproves of my lack of interest in finding myself a respectable man."
Nikki laughed and their eyes met again. Helen couldn't help but seek the attention of them. Nikki was very beautiful.
"I think she's far too euphoric tonight to set you up on a meaningless date."
"You'd be surprised." Helen laughed, dragging her eyes away to look out at the gardens.
With a reluctance that shocked her she spoke again. "Why aren't you with a man this evening Nikki?" She turned "If you don't mind me asking?"
Their eyes met again and Nikki's mouth twitched playfully, "Because I'm gay"
Helen noticed how comfortably the words slipped off her tongue and then there was silence.
"Have I shocked you Helen?" Nikki laughed again.
"No, not at all" She tried to smile, aware of a burning in the hollow of her stomach. She couldn't figure out how she felt about this revelation but tried her hardest not to look puzzled.
Nikki moved slightly, her jacket sleeve brushing Helen's arm and to her astonishment, felt a flicker of reaction.
"And your reason for being without male company tonight is?" Nikki raised her eyebrows.
"Because I'm staying clear of relationships" Helen sighed, moving slightly away.
"Wise woman aren't you?" Nikki commented, taking a sip of wine.
"You don't have a girlfriend?" Helen asked.
"No. Not looking" Nikki said calmly taking their empty glasses "Refill?"
Helen nodded and watched her disappear through the mass of bodies. She leaned on the balcony for a while, sure Nikki Wade was a figment of her imagination. She was good to talk to, yet not in a totally girlie way, very attractive, yet there was something she was uneasy about, something she couldn't comment on just yet. As she turned to find her, Helen collided hard with the woman in question.
"Shit!" Nikki cursed, jumping back a little.
"Sorry!" Helen gasped.
"Don't worry about it. I was worried about ruining that dress of yours." Nikki stated, handing over the glass. As it was passed their fingers touched momentarily. The charge of sudden feeling to pass through them caused Helen to loose her grip, sending the glass crashing to the floor, tiny pieces scattering everywhere. They both bent down.
"Shit." Helen said breathily, trying to recollect her thoughts, refrain from looking at Nikki, and pick up glass.
"It's ok" Nikki assured her, "I'll get you another."
"I shouldn't." Helen said quickly, not wanting to be in Nikki's company any longer.
"Why not?" Nikki looked up.
"I'm tired Nikki." She stood up and placed the broken pieces in a nearby bin, regaining her posture. She didn't like what just happened and she knew that staying here could carry a risk of it happening again.
"Its early Helen." Nikki said, catching an unease in her eyes and misinterpreting her mood "Its me isn't it? Because you know I'm a lesbian!"
The statement briefly robbed Helen off speech.
"It is isn't it?" Nikki asked angrily.
"No!" Helen said quickly.
"Goodnight Helen," Nikki sighed handing her the remaining wine and walking briskly back inside, without looking back.
Helen sighed as she watched the retreating back.
Nikki slammed the bathroom door behind her. She peered at her angry facial expression and thought about what just happened. When Anna had spotted her miserable mood and dragged her outside to meet another friend, she hadn't expected the woman to be as devastatingly gorgeous as what Helen Stewart was. There had been a fine line between turning up tonight and not bothering as far as Nikki was concerned. But when she met Helen she was glad she'd turned up. It had crushed her to hear that she was straight, yet still Nikki wanted to get to know Helen and get to like her as a person. Then Helen had gone all strange on her and she knew it was the fact that she was gay that got to her. As far as she'd been aware she'd been on her best behaviour, hadn't looked at her for too long, flirted, asked too many personal questions or pushed her into anything. Just what had she done wrong?
Helen had quickly emerged from her hiding place and said her round of goodbyes, even kissed Jim on the cheek before hailing her taxi home. Now she was stripped, washed and dressed in a cotton shirt, sprawled across her double bed wondering what the hell had happened. She'd never experienced inner body reactions quite like it before and she was baffled to say the least, because Nikki hadn't gone out of her way to do anything-except be Nikki. She enjoyed her company and then went and ruined it all by reacting the way she did, giving off the wrong impression. She'd come to conclude that the feelings that were elicited in the presence of that woman were alcohol related, because Nikki was beautiful. Now she felt bad for being how she was and she wanted to make it up to Nikki and have a friendship, if there was a chance of one any more.
Nikki screwed up the fifth invoice of that morning. She didn't usually take the time out throughout the day to tend to bills, offers, phone calls, or in fact anything to do with the running of Shambles. But she wasn't thinking straight. Whenever she was alone or unoccupied, Helen Stewart popped into her head and made her angry. Angry for silently judging her, angry for being beautiful and for having an impact over her life in such a short period of time, without even knowing. She slammed her fist down on the desk, causing Trish to look at her in surprise.
"Bloody hell Nikki!" She said ardently, her eyes wide with shock. "What the hell is wrong with you?"
"Nothing" She mumbled in response, refusing to take her eyes from the paper in front of her.
"Nothing?" Trish asked, moving across the room to crouch beside her. "Doesn't look like nothing." Her voice was full of sympathy.
Nikki tried to smile. "I'm just not in the best of moods Trish. I'll snap out of it soon enough" she sighed.
"Listen you don't need to do this now Nikki. We could quite easily pay for someone to work our finances if you want you know?" She smiled "We have money now that Shambles is doing so well."
"No. I want to do it. I don't think we need people to watch the money Trish" Nikki said seriously, turning to face her companion.
"You look tired."
Nikki hadn't slept well since the engagement either.
"Well look," Trisha stood and took the papers strewn across the desk "Go home and sleep off that foul mood, it doesn't suit you. We have time for this whenever."
Nikki had to smile as Trisha's rare moment of mothering. "Ok" She finally agreed, standing up and stretching. As she was about to move her phone rang. Trish gave her a look that screamed 'be nice'.
"Hello, Nikki Wade?" She answered professionally, earning a smile from Trish.
"Nikki, how did I know you'd be at work?" It was the over cheerful voice of Anna on the other end.
"Because I'm not at home, maybe?" She joked, perching on the edge of her desk.
"Exactly!" Anna laughed "How are you darling? I didn't see much of you at our engagement. Did you enjoy yourself?"
"Yeah...it was great." Nikki said with as much enthusiasm as humanly possible
"Good." Anna breezed "Now, the reason I'm phoning you is because I'm sick of going to the same night spots every time we go out. So I was wondering if you'd mind us coming over to your place?"
"Here?" Nikki asked, surprised that a bunch of straight women would want to come on to the gay scene.
"Well yeah. I'd love to see it" Nikki could hear her smiling "It's ok isn't it?"
"Not at all" Nikki nodded "I mean, yeah come over and give it a go if you want."
"I want it to be a night that you're going to be there though Nikki." Anna carried on "We haven't seen each other in aaaaaaaages so I'd love it if it could be a night you could perhaps come and have a drink with us."
Nikki thought for a second. "Friday I could, if you want?"
"Yeah. Great. Sounds perfect."
"What? A night without beloved Jim Fenner?" Nikki tried not to be too sarcastic.
"Nikki!" Anna muttered.
"Joking. Joking. See you Friday." She laughed, saying a brief goodbye and putting the phone down.
"What's raised your spirits then?" Trish grinned, watching Nikki retrieve her coat.
"Punters darling. Friendly punters," and with a smile, she left the office.
"Helllllllleeeeen!" Anna whined like a baby and Helen always hated it. The sound of her name dragging on always managed to irritate her, yet Anna always found a way to make it sound much worse.
"Anna I'm really not up for it. I've got a hell of a lot of work to do at Larkhall."
"Look can we momentarily forget that we are adults with jobs and unhinged lives and have a little fun?" Anna had been going on one for the last hour, begging her to go out on Friday night.
She didn't answer.
"Helen? Please? Come on, our old friends will be there. Geri and Becky and Cassie and Laura and..."
"Ok, ok I'm coming" Helen decided.
Thinking about it realistically, she needed out of her house and into the wildness of an alcoholically charged atmosphere for a change. Larkhall could wait, and hopefully, the guilt of how she'd made Nikki Wade feel at Anna's could be forgotten for a moment too.
"Great! Everyone's meeting at Shambles"
"Where?" Helen asked, completely confused.
"Just down the road from the Frontier? You know?"
"I don't" Helen laughed "But I'll find my way."
"Great" Anna squealed "See you Friday babe!"
The phone went dead and Helen smile to herself. She was actually looking forward to a night on the tiles with her old University friends.
Larkhall had kept her later than usual. So at 8pm on the Friday night she found herself running a brush though her hair and reapplying her mascara and lipstick in the car. She would have to go out in her suit but she didn't mind going sophisticated for once. At least this way, although she was rushed, she'd saved herself the frustration of choosing what to go out in.
"What bloody kept you miss Sophistication?" Anna smiled. She looked radiant in a black strappy dress, obviously made for clubbing.
"Work" Helen breathed locking up her car.
"I hope you're not planning on driving that thing home tonight?" Anna gasped.
"No." Helen turned and grinned "But I do intend on getting absolutely plastered. Where's the others?"
"All inside" Anna beamed, taking her by the arm.
"This is Shambles?" Helen looked up at the neon lighting and liked the sound of music pumping through the main doors.
"Yep" Anna grinned, pulling on her sleeve "Now come on Stewart, I need a drink."
Inside the warmth and music swathed them both. Helen took a moment to take in her surroundings. A spacious, brightly coloured dance floor, lots of seating, a bar illuminated with beautiful lights, and a room full of genuinely happy people. Even the bar staff seemed to be enjoying themselves.
"Wow" She smiled, "I'm impressed"
"Great isn't it?" Anna shouted above the loud music.
In the next instance she was bombarded with feminine flesh, as her old Uni friends hugged and kissed her. These were women she hadn't seen in a while.
"Helen Stewart, you look great!" Geri grinned, "Let me get you a drink."
She smiled and gave her order, watching her friend bounce over to the bar.
Anna gestured the other girls over to a free sofa, close to the dance floor. "Here she is!!" Anna announced with a grin as she turned to Helen "You remember doll? The woman I left you with at my engagement? Nikki?"
Helen was lost for words, but as she stared at Anna in amazement all she could think was
"Nikki's here?" She nodded furiously.
"It's Nikki's club, didn't I say?"
"No" Helen, drained her glass of vodka in one "You didn't". For some reason she couldn't hide the offence in her voice. With each step Nikki took towards them, she felt her confidence waver. She did look gorgeous in a navy suit. Gorgeous? Where had that come from?
Their eyes were the first to meet and Helen daren't look away first.
"Nikki!" Anna jumped up and wrapped her arms around the taller woman's neck, planting a wet kiss on her cheek. "Everyone, this is a good and gorgeous friend of mine, she owns Shambles."
Helen could see Nikki's embarrassment as she smiled at each of them about the table. When her eyes set on Helen again, she quickly turned away. It was too much and she still felt embarrassed herself for giving her the wrong impression.
"Everyone enjoying yourselves?" She asked, pulling up a chair.
"Nikki it's fabulous" Laura commented, soon to be agreed by each woman. Apart from Helen.
Realising Nikki wasn't about to leave, Helen knew she had to take more of an active role in the discussion, unless she wanted to draw attention to herself. But every time she did, it was a conscious effort to avoid Nikki's eyes. Why was it so difficult being around her? She wondered, besides the obvious misunderstanding at Anna and Jim's?
Nikki offered to pay for the rounds of drinks, which of course only served to make Helen fonder of her.
"Same again ladies?" Nikki shouted above the music. By this point the girls were beginning to lose their lucidness. Nikki's drinks were arriving thick and fast and by the looks of things, she too was bordering on drunk.
Helen decided to follow this time. "Nikki?" She shouted as they approached the bar.
Nikki turned and her smile faded as she realised who it was. She ordered the drinks and then turned and fixed her eyes on the Scot, now stood beside her.
"Look, you misunderstood me at the night of Anna's engagement."
"Did I?" Nikki asked flatly, palming some of the drinks into Helen's hands. She began to move again but Helen stepped in the way. They were close and both of their bodies seemed to react to the fact.
"Yes, you did" Helen stated firmly, her voice quivering slightly.
They looked at each other and, realising Nikki wasn't any more convinced, she spoke again.
"I have no problem with you at all. I like you Nikki. It had nothing to do with you being gay." Helen sighed, "I don't even know what was wrong with me...tired I suppose."
Nikki took one look at this gorgeous woman and relented. "I'm sorry Helen, it's just that I hate it when people judge me. I jumped way over my head."
Helen smiled, happy she'd succeeded in apologising. "So you'll accept my apology?" She asked.
"If you'll accept mine" Nikki laughed as they made their way back to the table that had Anna has it's only occupant.
"What's wrong with you?" Nikki asked, sitting beside her.
"I'm drunk" Anna moaned "Jim won't like me if I'm drunk."
"We all are" Nikki laughed "Now get up and enjoy yourself woman." She pointed to the others, dancing on the floor.
"Go on Anna."
"Ok, I'm up!" Anna smiled lopsidedly as she gripped the table "Anyone wanna..."
It was too late as Becky grabbed her by the arm and pulled her into the crowd.
Both Helen and Nikki watched for a while. "Maybe I should call her a taxi?" Helen spoke, trying to focus on Nikki's face.
"Maybe I should call you a taxi?" Nikki laughed.
Helen turned, flashing a smile, "Are you presuming I'm drunk Miss Wade?"
"Maybe" Nikki couldn't help but flirt.
"Well in that case I think you should get a taxi too cause you sure as hell aren't sober."
They both laughed and Nikki raised her hands in mock surrender. "Guilty. Send me to prison"
Helen smiled. "BUT" Nikki continued "I don't do this very often at all. I shouldn't be getting pissed."
"Your secret's safe" Helen laughed, "Nice place by the way."
"Thanks. Its jointly owned" Nikki sat back in her chair.
"Yeah, me and a friend."
"A friend? Is that all she is?" Helen regretted saying it as soon as she did. It was such a jealous and assuming statement.
"Who said it was a woman?" Nikki grinned.
"Sorry Nikki, I just assumed that..."
"You assumed right and yes, she is just a friend."
They looked at each other and again their eyes lingered.
"Maybe we should go for a drink sometime. Nothing heavy Helen, don't think I'm coming on to you." Nikki looked sheepish as she spoke.
Helen nodded at the idea.
"I think it's time Anna got home, or to a bed" Geri interrupted, catching them both by surprise.
Flustered, Helen stood. "I'll call one" she said, looking back at Nikki "I'll be back in a minute"
Helen dialled the number and quickly ordered the amount of taxi's they would need. Even now, with alcohol in her system she was having trouble calming down. What was wrong with her? No one had stirred feelings up inside her like this-ever.
"Taxi's on their way?"
Helen flinched at the sound of Nikki's voice. "Yeah," She smiled "Where's Anna?"
"In there" Nikki pointed to the main room "The others are doing a great job of holding her up."
"Shall we wait outside?" Helen asked, wrapping her jacket around her "Or do you have to stay and keep watch?"
Nikki gave a little snort. "In my condition Helen?" She smiled as they were engulfed by cold, late night air. "Nah Tony's taking care of it tonight"
One by one the taxi's arrived and Helen hid giggles as the women said their goodbyes and bundled into taxi's, quickly roaring off into the night.
"This one's yours" Nikki laughed, opening the door for Helen to climb in. As she got to the door their eyes met in that strange way for what seemed like the millionth time that evening.
"You could come to mine for a night cap if you like?" Helen asked, unsure of why she wanted to see Nikki Wade again.
"Are you sure?" Nikki asked quietly.
They stood in silent contemplation. Was this a good idea?
"Yes" She finally said, waiting for a nod from Nikki before they both got into the final taxi, unsure of just what lay ahead....
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