DISCLAIMER: These characters look like two people we all know and love, but the characters are my own creation.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I've had so many requests for a sequel to Promises, that I decided to do something about it. I'm not a big fan of sequels, so I'm writing a sequel of sorts. This story introduces new characters whose lives intertwine with those of Charlie and Megan. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to let me know what you think. I need to thank Steve, my beta reader, for assisting me with the English language and teaching me more about it as the story continuous. Writing in my second language does proof to be difficult every now and then, but he has been there to help me over those hurdles and I'm very thankful.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Promise Me Again
Megan practically dragged a smiling Charlie out of the bedroom. As soon as they had closed the door behind themselves, Alli threw the covers off and jumped out of bed. "Why didn't I think of locking the door? Am I losing it here?" She was running her fingers through her tousled hair.
Tracey's feeling of anguish turned to amusement as she watched Alli pacing up and down. She tried not to laugh at the comical picture before her. "You did think of it Alli, but I told you that we had to keep the door unlocked in case Elizabeth comes looking for me."
Alli's flustered look made way for a smile when she saw the amusement on Tracey's face. "Oh yes, I forgot." The smile grew bigger on Alli's face. "That was close wasn't it? When I heard them at the door I did the only thing I could think of."
"That was quick thinking and very smooth. I didn't even feel it when you got into bed."
Alli's uneasiness returned at the mention of her in the bed. "I was taught to think on my feet," she said but her thoughts were different. 'You might not have felt me getting into bed, but you definitely felt me up.' She went red at her thoughts and turned towards the en-suite. "I'm going to take a shower while you have your breakfast."
Alli waited for Tracey to take her own shower and get dressed before they went down to look for the others. It was very important that it look like they had a solid relationship. This way Charlie would trust them, and not suspect what was coming. As Alli and Tracey came down the stairs, Elizabeth almost ran into them.
"Wow sweetheart," Tracey laughed as she caught her daughter to prevent her from stumbling. "Why are you in such a rush?"
"I'm late. I promised Harry and Becca that I would meet them at the tree house at eight."
Alli bent down to look Elizabeth in the eyes. "A tree house. That's impressive. I've never been in one before."
Elizabeth looked Alli up and down for a second. "I'll speak to Harry and Becca. Grownups aren't allowed in the tree house, but maybe they'll make an exception for someone that's never been in one before."
"I think I'd like that, but how about a good morning kiss." Elizabeth threw her arms around Alli and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and a hug before she started running off again, only to be stopped by her mother clearing her throat rather loudly.
"Did you forget who I am?" Elizabeth turned around and saw the smile on her mother's face.
"You're a beautiful woman?" Elizabeth could see that her mom was in a playful mood and went along with it.
"Flattery will get you nowhere." Tracey stood with her arms crossed in front of her chest.
"You're a beautiful woman, and Alli's girlfriend?" At hearing this Alli's smile grew. Elizabeth was an amazing child, and in just two days she had managed to climb into her heart.
"Keep trying." Tracey wouldn't budge.
"You're my mother and I love you always." Elizabeth placed a kiss on her own hand before she blew it to her mother who caught it in her right hand and placed it over her heart. Tracey did the same, and Elizabeth caught the kiss and placed it over her heart. Tracey opened her arms, and Elizabeth ran into them to give her a hug and a kiss.
Alli looked at the display of affection between mother and daughter. This was something she hadn't known. Her thoughts went back to the years with her real mother. All she ever got from her was beatings and instructions yelled at her. "Clean the house", "bring another beer", and the worst was when she had to open the door for her mother's clients. Her adoptive mother was great, but never this affectionate. It was much better than what she was used to, but this scene in front of her made her yearn for the same kind of affection. She was pulled out of her thoughts when Tracey spoke.
"That's better. Now go and have fun, but be careful." Tracey gave Elizabeth a soft pat on her behind as she was about to run off.
"I will Mom. Enjoy your horseback riding."
Tracey looked at Alli. "Horseback riding?"
"Yes, I forgot to tell you. Charlie and Megan are taking us horseback riding today. They have a few places that they want to show us."
"I've never been horseback riding."
"Neither have I, but I suppose this is the weekend of firsts. Let's go and find those two."
They walked into the kitchen to find Charlie, Megan and Katrina sitting at the kitchen table having a cup of coffee.
"You just missed Elizabeth. Want some more coffee?" Katrina said, as she got up to take out another two cups.
"She practically ran into us on the stairs," Alli said as she pulled a chair out for Tracey to sit down.
"It's so nice for her to have space. Our house and yard is rather small, and she is such an energetic child." Tracey thankfully took the cup of coffee that Katrina offered to her. "She's in her element here, and having other kids around is obviously a bonus. I'm afraid if I don't keep checking, I might forget that she actually came with us." Everyone laughed at the statement.
"So, they don't live with you in that big mansion Alli. What do you do with yourself alone in that huge place then?"
Alli looked at Charlie, and without flinching, she answered. "Actually it's Tracey's choice. I've asked her a couple of times to move in with me, but I'm still waiting for a positive answer."
Tracey choked on her coffee. Megan quickly patted her on the back to help. When Tracey could breathe normally again she looked up to see everyone looking at her expectantly. Her thoughts were racing to think of an answer. 'This is what you are getting paid for,' she thought as she turned to look at Alli. "Yes, we'll move in with you."
"Yes?" Alli sounded slightly taken aback.
Charlie slapped her sister on the shoulder. "She said yes!"
"Huh?" Was Alli's only response.
"Have you turned into a blundering idiot little sister, or are you just in shock? Tracey said yes, which means they'll be moving in with you."
"Umm, I I don't know what to say." The look Alli gave Tracey was one that promised a serious talk later, and Tracey knew that she had screwed up again.
"Just be happy. If it wasn't just after eight in the morning, I would've suggested a glass of champagne, but I think we must leave the celebrations for tonight." Megan turned to Charlie before she spoke again. "I'm sure you'll agree that we need to take them out to dinner tonight to celebrate."
"Definitely," Charlie responded, before planting a kiss on Megan's lips. "You took the words out of my mouth." She turned towards Alli and Tracey again. "The restaurant isn't like the fancy places you have in Cape Town, but it's what we find to our taste out here. It's even kids friendly, so Elizabeth can come with. She'll be part of your family, so she should be part of the celebration."
"That's sounds great." Tracey smiled at Alli and placed her hand over Alli's hand.
"Yes, just great. I think it would be a good idea for us to take a walk don't you?" Alli smiled at Tracey, but Tracey could see that the smile wasn't genuine.
"I want to help Katrina to clean the kitchen first." Tracey didn't feel like having a confrontation that early in the morning.
Katrina put a stop to Tracey's escape plan. "Don't you dare my dear. You have something to celebrate." Katrina smiled and winked at Alli.
Alli got up and held her hand out to Tracey. "Yes Angel. Let's go and 'celebrate'."
Tracey looked up at Alli and knew that she had to go with her. She wasn't looking forward to it, but she knew that she had to keep up the act. She took Alli's outstretched hand and allowed Alli to pull her up. Alli's hand was like a vice grip on hers, but she still smiled at the others and thanked them before they walked out of the house, although it felt to Tracey like she was being dragged out. They walked in silence for about ten minutes before they were completely out of sight. Alli let go of Tracey hand, but not before she swung Tracey towards her.
"Are you out of your mind?" Alli's anger was now apparent.
Tracey was angry as well for never seeming to do anything right in Alli's eyes. "You were the one that said it was up to me. I know I'm an actress, but there's no script for this part, and I don't read minds either. What do you want from me?"
Alli looked at Tracey, but although she wanted to shout at her, what Tracey had said was the truth. They were improvising as they went along, and Tracey was only doing what she was getting paid to do. "I'm sorry. I'm over reacting as usual. It seems that this whole situation is more than I anticipated. We'll deal with the consequences when they come up."
Tracey felt sorry for Alli. She was obviously out of her depth and needed all the help she could get, but she was also able to get Tracey more upset than most people. She had to admit to herself though that Alli was absolutely stunning when she got upset. Her eyes looked like sparks were flying around in them and the colour intensified. She could see the muscles in Alli's upper arms moving as she was clenching her fists which just once again convinced Tracey that Alli must spend a lot of time working out. Tracey's mind started drifting off as she could see images of Alli pushing weights while lying on her back. Tracey's breathing increased when her mind went one step further, and she could see herself walking towards Alli and slowly straddling her body.
"Are you even listening to me? .......Tracey!"
Alli's shouting brought Tracey back to reality. "What?"
Alli looked at Tracey with a slightly lifted left eyebrow. "Tracey, what's wrong?"
"Mmm sorry what did you say?"
"I asked what's wrong."
"What's wrong with what?"
"What's wrong with you?"
"I'm sorry. It must be all this fresh air. I don't know where my mind was." Tracey went slightly red as she remembered her thoughts. "It's been way too long since I last touched a woman," Tracey thought as she started walking back towards the house.
Alli looked at her doubtfully, but thought it wise to leave it there when she took in Tracey's flustered look. Alli held out her hand to Tracey who took it hesitantly. They walked back toward the house hand in hand, and halfway there Tracey pulled her hand out of Alli's hand and wrapped her arm around Alli's waist instead. "We have an audience," Tracey said to Alli, who in turn wrapped her arm around Tracey's shoulder.
The closeness brought back the memory of Tracey's fantasy to her, and she got flustered all over again. When they reached Charlie and Megan, who were waiting for them on the porch, Tracey's face convinced the two of them that Alli and Tracey had indeed done some 'celebrating' on their own.
Alli and Tracey did well on the horses. It didn't take them very long to get used to being on the horses, so before long they were on a slow tour of the farm. Alli rode next to Charlie, and Tracey next to Megan. Tracey and Megan were a few meters behind the other two.
"I've been meaning to ask about the signs on the gates. We saw them as we came in, and I thought they were funny, but for some reason I don't think we got the full meaning behind the words." Tracey looked sideways at Megan when she heard her laugh at what she had said.
When Megan stopped laughing she looked at Tracey. "That's a long story. In order for you to understand the meaning behind the words, I'll have to start at the beginning of my relationship with Charlie, although back then it was anything but a relationship, that's for sure. Do you really want to hear it?"
"Is it a romantic story?"
"Yes, but I'd say it was a rather comic romantic story."
"Then yes, I'd love to hear it."
As Megan told Tracey the story of how she and Charlie had got together, Charlie and Alli were having a heart to heart talk of their own.
"So little sister, how did you snag a beauty like Tracey?"
"To be honest Charlie, some days I wonder about that myself. I think I must be one of the luckiest people around."
"Then I'm sure luck is running in the family like some other things. If the question is not too personal, how long have you been out?"
Alli cleared her throat as she was thinking of what to say. She and Tracey had gone over the basic details of how long they had been together and how they had met, but this was a bit more complicated. She decided to be as vague as possible, but also to use as much truth as she could. This would prevent her from trying to remember what she had lied about. If she only lied about everything involving Tracey, she would be able to control the situation better. "Tracey was the one who made me realize what I truly wanted and needed. I've been such a workaholic all my life that I haven't really bothered with seeking out relationships. As a matter of fact, I found them to be a waste of time."
"Was this before or after our father died?"
"It was after."
"Did you ever sleep with men?"
"Yes I did, but the occasions were few and far in between, as were my relationships with men. I preferred my studies, and then eventually my work."
"So Tracey's the first woman you ever slept with?"
"Yes she is, and I'm sure she'll be the last as well." Alli decided to steer the conversation in a different direction. "What about you? Has there ever been anyone before Megan?"
"Yes, I came out when I was a teenager. At that point I'd kissed a few girls, but nothing serious. I made the mistake of coming out to our father first."
Alli got very excited. This was exactly the direction she wanted their conversation to go into. "Why do you say it was a mistake?"
Charlie gave a deep sigh before she spoke. "These are not good memories for me Alli, and I really don't want to change your image of our father. He obviously did a great job with you, and what's in the past should really stay there and not stain our future."
Alli's face fell in disappointment, but Charlie didn't see it. Alli kept quiet for a minute trying to think what to say to get Charlie to talk about it. Alli had been finding herself questioning her plan, and if it was really necessary. Charlie hadn't shown her any of the characteristics that her father had told her about. She seemed to be this caring, loving person that she wasn't suppose to be. Alli thought that if Charlie told her what had happened, she would either hear the truth as her dad had told her, or Charlie would lie to make herself look better. If she was going to lie, it would be the fuel that Alli needed to keep her anger going. "Dad is gone now, and nothing that you say can change what he's done for me over the years. I do realize that no person is perfect, and that he must have made his mistakes in life just as you and I do. Hearing your story will help me understand why you weren't around when I grew up."
"I don't know Alli. It's not a pretty story, and I don't know if I can go through the emotional turmoil of reliving it in my mind again."
"I'm your sister Charlie, and I want to be there for you, and I want to understand." Alli looked at Charlie pleadingly.
"OK, but there is so much to say, that I don't think we'll get through everything now."
"That's OK. Let's just start then. It'll make it easier to continue later."
Charlie looked at Alli and saw the need in her eyes. "When I came out, our father and mother didn't want anything to do with such things. They tried to fix me. Eventually, they gave me an ultimatum. I had to either let go of my wrong ways, or they would disown me. I didn't want to be who I wasn't, and I didn't think they were serious. I must admit that I was a real spoiled brat at that time, and always got my way. I was wrong on that occasion. I didn't get what I wanted, and they were serious. So at age sixteen I got thrown out of the house. I ended up on the street, not knowing how to survive on my own. All my so-called friends disappeared like mist before the sun. It was probably the worst time in my entire life."
Alli kept on looking sideways to see the expression on Charlie's face. She prided herself on being able to see when people were telling the truth. At this point, Charlie was a closed book to her. She didn't see what she wanted to see. Instead she saw Charlie's hands trembling where they were holding onto the reins. Charlie's knuckles were white, showing that she was clenching her fists. This was something Alli knew she did herself when trying to cope while having to deal with something that was difficult for her to do.
Charlie closed her eyes and took a deep breath before she continued. "What happened to me on the streets shouldn't happen to anyone. I was lucky to have someone there for me." Charlie stopped again as she was trying to control herself. Thinking about what had happened all those years ago still made her want to cry.
"What happened to you Charlie?"
"I I got gang raped."
"Oh god," was all that Alli could say. She tried to tell herself that Charlie had brought it on herself, but that didn't convince her. Even if Charlie had walked away from her family as her dad told her, she didn't deserve that. Charlie was right, no one deserved it. When Charlie didn't say anything else, Alli didn't try to get her to keep on speaking.
Charlie and Alli rode on in silence until they came across the pond. Megan was the one that spoke up. "Charlie honey, we're at the pond. Didn't you say if we felt like it when we got here that we would go for a swim?"
Charlie stopped and turned around in her seat to face Megan with a smile. She didn't want her thoughts to ruin their outing. Before she could say anything though, Alli spoke.
"You didn't say anything about swimming. We didn't bring our swimming costumes with."
"Not to worry little sister. Out here we do it au naturel." When Charlie saw Alli's shocked face, she had to laugh. "But don't worry, if you feel uncomfortable with it, you can always swim in your underwear. In this heat you'll dry quickly."
"Come on then. Let's go and take that swim." Megan was off her horse before the others.
"Is this the pond you were telling me about?" Tracey asked Megan in a whisper when she stood next to her.
"Yes, the very one." Megan winked at Tracey.
Megan and Charlie had no problem getting undressed and walking into the pond leaving a stunned Alli and smiling Tracey behind. When they were in the water up to their shoulders, Charlie turned around. "What's wrong you two? Afraid of the water or getting naked? The water has nothing in it to be scared of, and we are just a bunch of women. If it will make you guys feel any better, we promise not to look at you until you're in the water." With that she took Megan in an embrace and moved away from the side.
"Come on," Tracey said to Alli. She was pretty sure that it was the nakedness that was having Alli standing like a statue. "They said we can swim in our underwear if we want."
Tracey started unbuttoning her blouse.
"I don't do underwear." These words made Tracey stop what she was doing and look up in surprise at Alli.
"You don't wear underwear?"
"Did I not just say that?"
"Yes you did, I just can't imagine it."
"You don't need to imagine it!"
"Sorry. I promise I won't look while you get undressed. Why don't you do it behind that rock? It's close to the pond, and you can just walk in from there."
"It will look rather silly for us to 'sleep' together and then undress a mile apart. You'll need to come with me. We can both undress behind the rock, but you can go first, and while you get into the water I can get undressed."
"It does sound like a plan."
They walked to the rock where Alli turned around to give Tracey time to undress. She felt rather uncomfortable as she waited, listening to the sounds of Tracey undressing. She tried to think of anything else except what was happening behind her.
"I'm done," Tracey said before walking into the water.
"Thanks," Alli said and turned around when she heard the sounds of Tracey going into the water. What they didn't realize was that it took longer before Tracey reached the deeper water from that side, so when Alli turned around she was met by a full view of Tracey's naked back from her thighs upward. She watched Tracey walk into the water as if transfixed. Alli shook her head a few times from left to right as she busied herself in getting undressed. "This place is getting to me," she said to herself. "First I start to like these people, and now I'm admiring a naked female body, although I must admit it is a well kept body." Alli shook her head from side to side again. "The sooner I get back home, the better. I need to ask Tracey if she has made a move on Megan yet." When she was naked, she walked into the water quickly to get to where Tracey was standing with her back towards her.
When Alli was covered up to her hips she sank into the water completely and swam to where Tracey waited. When she was about a meter away from Tracey she stopped. "You can turn around now."
Tracey turned and swallowed deeply when she could partly see Alli's breasts through the water. "This is going to be torture," Tracey thought, as she took a deep breath before submerging herself in the water completely.
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