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
Allie stopped at Tracey's house just after seven on Sunday night. She helped to carry their luggage into the house while Tracey carried the sleeping Elizabeth. Once everything was in the house, Allie waited for Tracey to come out of Elizabeth's room. She looked around the house more intensely now. It looked like a home, and not just a place to live. Allie tried to compare it with her house, which she hadn't changed after her father's death. She felt an intense desire to do something different with it now.
"Thanks for bringing the luggage in," Tracey said as she came out of Elizabeth's room.
Alli didn't show any indication that she was leaving. "Is there anything else?" Tracey asked.
"I was hoping we could talk. I didn't want to get into a discussion while Elizabeth was with us."
"Take a seat then. Can I get you some coffee?"
"That'll be great."
"I won't be long." Tracey walked towards her small kitchen.
Alli got up and followed her. "We could talk while you make the coffee."
"I don't have any chairs in the kitchen."
"I don't have a problem with standing." When they were in the kitchen, Alli leaned against a kitchen cupboard while Tracey got everything out to make the coffee.
"So, what do you want to talk about?"
Tracey's hands stilled. "Us?"
"Yes. You and Elizabeth need to move in with me."
Tracey almost dropped the coffee mug. "What?"
"We'll probably need to start tomorrow. Charlie and Megan will be here by Friday, because they wanted to give you time to move in first. We need to get everything sorted, and you guys settled in by then "
"Whoa, back up there for a second!" Tracey was now staring at Alli in utter disbelief.
"We need to get you guys settled in by Friday."
"No, go right back to the beginning. Since when are we moving in with you, and what's this about Charlie and Megan coming?"
"Charlie spoke to me just before we left today. She said it was only fair that she take a step towards getting to know me, so they're coming to visit us for a week."
"There you go again with 'us'."
"Yes 'us'. You were the one who said yes in front of them. Don't you see, this is an ideal situation. I thought I'd have to wait for another invitation to go back to the farm, but they're coming to me, and they're doing it in five days!"
Tracey just shook her head from side to side. "Did you forget about the conversation we had on Saturday night?"
"I'll explain my reasons to you if that's what it'll take, but not tonight. It'll take a while to go through everything. I'll explain when you've moved in. Please, I need your help. It seems like I say this a lot lately, but I'll do whatever you want."
Tracey contemplated Alli's words. For a moment she thought about the last comment. 'I'm sure you won't be willing to do what I want,' Tracey smiled at her thoughts before she answered Alli. "OK, I'll do it your way, but if I don't feel comfortable with your reasons, I'm coming right back, and it doesn't matter if it's before they arrive, or after."
When the car pulled into Alli's driveway, Elizabeth was jumping up and down. "Are we going to live here?" It was more a statement than a question.
"Only for a few days, until Charlie and Megan go back home."
"And Alli lives here all by herself?"
"It seems that way."
"I don't think I want to be here anymore. It must take hours to clean this house."
Tracey had to laugh. "Yes, it's a big house, but I'm sure she has lots of help to keep it clean."
"That's OK then." Elizabeth went back to staring at the house as they approached up the hill.
Tracey's heart was racing. They hadn't seen Alli at all since Sunday evening. They had only spoken over the phone, as Alli made all the arrangements to give the appearance that they had moved in with her. As Tracey sat there watching her daughter looking at the big house in awe, she felt a moment of guilt about her inability to give her child the best. The guilt didn't last very long when Elizabeth turned around and looked at her. Without a word she moved closer to Tracey and hugged her.
"I love you Mommy."
Tracey had tears in her eyes as she hugged her daughter tightly. "I love you too Angel."
Elizabeth pulled slightly away from Tracey as she used her fingers to wipe away her mother's tears. "You shouldn't be sad Mommy. This is a happy place for us."
Tracey just stared at her daughter. Elizabeth never stopped amazing her. Before she got to reply though, the car stopped and the door was opened by a smiling Alli. Tracey's heart skipped a beat when she saw her, and she was unable to move immediately. Elizabeth saved her once again by jumping out of the car and into Alli's arms.
Alli felt the nervousness seep from her body when she opened the car door after it had stopped. She wasn't prepared for the flying girl that leapt out at her, but she welcomed the feeling of the little arms wrapped around her in a tight hug. When Elizabeth rested her head on Alli's shoulder, Alli could see the face of the woman who, for some reason, had stayed on her mind since she had last seen her. She felt a strong bond with Tracey, and knew that she needed her to be her friend, and not just the woman that she paid to help her.
It had been three days since she last saw Alli, but Tracey knew now for certain that she was falling in love with Alli, and that she was moving on very dangerous ground. Her heart would be the one thing that wouldn't come out of this situation in one piece, but she knew she couldn't just walk away and desert Alli, even after threatening to do so. Tracey knew that she needed to find a way to protect herself against the inevitable heartache that would follow her job's completion.
Tracey got out of the car and walked towards the back to retrieve their luggage. "Don't be silly," Alli said as she turned around with Elizabeth still in her arms. "Albert will bring your things in. Angela has set up lunch on the patio and is just waiting for us." Alli didn't wait for a response, she just walked on, and Tracey knew that she was expected to follow.
'How in the hell did I manage to fall for someone so different from me?' Tracey scolded herself, but knew it wouldn't do anything to make the feelings go away.
Lunch went well, and all the arrangements got finalized. Elizabeth would have the room next to Alli's, which would allow Tracey to sneak into her room after Charlie and Megan went to sleep, as well as all the staff. Alli explained that she didn't have a close relationship with her staff, and thus didn't trust them to keep their secret. To the world outside, it would have to look like Tracey and Alli were a couple. This revelation concerned Tracey deeply. It wasn't easy pretending in front of Charlie and Megan, but now Alli had made it even more difficult, and Tracey wasn't too sure that Alli had actually thought the whole situation through. If Alli's staff thought she was gay, it wouldn't take long before more people knew about it. Tracey was afraid that Alli's desire to take revenge on Charlie, might seriously be clouding her judgment. Alli got called away to take a business call, but asked Angela to show Tracey and Elizabeth to their rooms to unpack.
Tracey had to swallow a giggle when she saw the expression on Angela's face. There was just no way Angela could hide her shock, when she was told that Tracey was going to share Alli's room. As the three of them walked up the stairway, Angela kept on glancing over at Tracey, who in turn walked with a smile on her face, although she felt totally intimidated by her surroundings.
Elizabeth had no problem with her surroundings. When she saw the huge room that she was going to stay in, she ran to the queen size bed and started jumping on it. "Elizabeth! Get down from there this instant."
"But Mom, I've never had such a big bed all to myself." With that, Elizabeth jumped high in the air and landed flat on her back. "It's so soft," she yelled out.
"Elizabeth, I'm not going to tell you again. Get down from there this instant!"
"No buts young lady."
Angela smiled at the mother and daughter. Although Elizabeth was being scolded, the love between the two was very obvious. Angela's mother had worked for the Palmer family, and Angela had been reared to take over her position. At forty-five, Angela had never seen true family love in the Palmer house. This situation, although a bit out of the ordinary for her, was like a breath of fresh air. Even the bond that Alli and her father had had didn't fool anyone in the house as being a bond of love. Alli might have thought that it was, but everyone else had really known Mr. Palmer and his ways. He had tried to mould Alli into his image after his attempts with Charlie had failed the first time around. Everyone had felt sorry for Alli, even though she had started to treat them just like he had. They still had hope that the little, scared girl they had all taken care of so many years ago, was still somewhere underneath the hard exterior Mr. Palmer had created.
Tracey and Elizabeth were left on their own, after Alli informed them that she needed to go into the office. The phone call she had received was to inform her of a problem that she couldn't solve over the phone. Alli gave them free rein to do whatever, and go wherever they wanted.
Elizabeth went outside after promising her mother that she wouldn't do anything she shouldn't. She was hoping to find a swing or anything else to play with, but found nothing but green lawns, beautiful flowers, and Gavin, the old gardener, who she spent her afternoon talking with.
Tracey still felt intimidated by the huge house, but she decided to walk around, hoping that it would make her feel more at ease. She found a lot of bedrooms, a beautiful study with books from wall to wall, a music room, two sun rooms, a room with a pool table and bar, an indoor swimming pool, and a gym.
When Tracey walked into the gym, she saw the exact same bench press she had fantasized about next to the pond, on the farm. The image that she had had that day, of Alli's sweaty body pushing up the weights, while she straddled her, popped back into her mind. Tracey felt her temperature rising and her pulse increasing.
"I see you found my sanctuary. Care to join me for a work out?"
Tracey went ice cold at hearing Alli's voice. This caused her previously rising temperature to suddenly settle as two bright, red spots on her cheeks. "Maybe if it was a bit cooler in here, I would, but I'm feeling too hot."
"No problem, I'll switch on the air conditioning while you go and change."
Tracey swallowed hard while trying to think of another excuse, but her mind wouldn't function. Without saying a word, she turned, and made her way to their room where she changed into a tracksuit.
When Tracey returned to the gym, she found Alli on the bench press. She was about to turn around when Alli noticed her. "Come in, but you need to stretch first."
Tracey stood as if glued to the spot. She only moved when Alli got up to show her what to do. Alli showed her the different stretching exercises before walking to the cooler bottle to get a drink of water. When she saw that Tracey didn't pull her leg straight enough in one of the bending movements, Alli came from behind and placed her hand on Tracey's thigh to press it down. The touch resulted in Tracey straightening up in a flash, causing her to crash into Alli, and sending them both to the floor in a heap.
Both Tracey and Alli didn't move for a minute. Alli because she was seeing stars after Tracey's head connected with her jaw, and Tracey because she didn't want to move. They were both lying on their backs, but Tracey was on top of Alli. Her head was resting on Alli's stomach and the rest of her was nestled between Alli's legs with her hands on Alli's thighs.
Alli held onto her jaw, moving it from side to side to make sure it was still intact, before she pushed herself up on her elbows to look down on Tracey, who still hadn't moved. "Are you OK?" Alli asked before pushing herself up more.
Tracey opened her eyes and bent her head slightly backwards to look up at Alli. "I think I should be asking you that question."
"A few stars, but otherwise I'm fine. What happened?"
"I'm really sorry; I'm a very jumpy person, and you surprised me. I was concentrating very hard on getting that exercise right and didn't see you."
"Then I should apologize. I didn't intend to frighten you. That was enough stretching anyway. You can start on the treadmill, while I continue on this side."
As Tracey made her way to the treadmill, her mind was running wild. She now not only had real images of Alli on the bench press in her mind, she also had a very real idea of what it would feel like to run her fingers up Alli's muscled thighs. Her little fantasy was becoming too real and much more vivid in her mind. She knew she had to get away from the situation and feigned a cramp in her right calf muscle. "I've got a cramp in my calf muscle. I think I'm going to give up on today's exercise to go and apply some Deep Heat on it."
"OK, but make sure you rub it until it's warm."
"Will do." Tracey made her way out of the gym as quickly as possible. 'If you only knew what I would like to rub, you would be running away from me, instead of me away from you.' Tracey was once again red in the face by the time she closed the bedroom door behind her. She first contemplated lying down in Elizabeth's room, but knew that it wouldn't be a good choice with all the staff walking around in the house. She found Alli's king size bed very comfortable and fell asleep within minutes after lying down.
Elizabeth found her mother asleep in Alli's room after asking one of the staff if they had seen her. She didn't want to wake her, so she went looking for Alli.
"Hey Kiddo," Alli said when she saw Elizabeth walking into the gym. She was just finishing up and ready to head to the shower. "What have you been up to?"
"I like that," Elizabeth said while looking at Alli intently.
Alli looked a bit confused. "You like what?"
"I like that you called me kiddo."
"And why would that be?"
"Because it makes me special."
Alli smiled. "But you are a special child."
"I think you're special too."
"You do, do you?"
"Well, I think special people need special treatment, and seeing that we are both special people "
"Yes?" Elizabeth's excitement at the unknown possibility was evident.
"How about you and I get the cook to make us some chocolate milkshakes?"
"You have a cook who can make milkshakes?"
"I sure do. I remember spending many days in that kitchen when I was just a little bit older than you. I think I had a milkshake every single day."
"Wow, every day! Can we have a milkshake every day while we're here?"
"I don't see why not. I'll probably have to exercise twice as much to get rid of all the calories, but it will be worth it."
"What are calories?"
"Something you worry about when you get older Kiddo, but right now I'm going to have a quick shower, and then we can go downstairs for milkshakes. I'll phone Margaret to have the milkshakes ready on the patio in fifteen minutes."
"Couldn't we rather have our milkshakes in the kitchen like you used to?" Elizabeth's pleading look made up Alli's mind for her.
"I don't see why not." Alli picked up the phone and dialed the kitchen extension. "Margaret, I need you to make two chocolate milkshakes Yes, you heard correctly No, don't take it anywhere, we'll have it in the kitchen Margaret? ... Margaret, are you still there?" Alli pulled the phone away from her ear and looked at it as if there was something wrong with it, before she placed it over her ear again. "Margaret? What happened? I didn't know we had problems with the phone system Oh, OK, just shake the phone to make sure nothing inside it broke when you dropped it. We'll see you in about fifteen minutes then."
Alli replaced the phone in its cradle before she turned to Elizabeth. "All settled. Why don't you go downstairs in the meantime and wait for me there."
"OK, but I'll wait in the kitchen."
Margaret was still standing with the phone in her hand, staring at it like it was a foreign object, when Angela came walked into the kitchen. "Margaret, what's wrong?"
Margaret looked up at Angela, but her face was one of utter disbelief. "She's going to have a milkshake in my kitchen."
"No, I'm not. She just phoned me from the gym and ordered two chocolate milkshakes. She said 'we'll have it in the kitchen'."
"She must be talking about her and that little girl then. When I saw that little girl and her mother earlier, I knew things were going to change around here. We didn't even know that Alli was into women. With the way Mr. Palmer went on about it, it's no wonder she kept it a secret." Angela was smiling from ear to ear.
"Oh my god!" Angela jumped at Margaret's outburst. "She'll be here in less than fifteen minutes." At age fifty-two, Margaret was moving her round, little body quicker than Angela had ever seen her move before. She had to grin. It was quite obvious that Margaret was excited to have Alli in her kitchen again after so many years. The two of them used to have a very strong bond, until Mr. Palmer caught Alli in the kitchen. No one knew what he did or said to her, but after that, Alli never went into the kitchen again.
When Alli got out of the gym shower, she realized that she had forgotten to bring clean clothes with her, so she put on a bathrobe and made her way to her bedroom. When she walked in, she found Tracey sleeping on the bed. She was lying on her side and looked very peaceful. Alli didn't want to wake her, so she moved as quietly as possible to her cupboard and took out what she needed before walking to the en-suite to get dressed. She didn't bother closing the door, as it wasn't in direct sight of the bed, but something she did not think about, was that the dressing table mirror was in direct sight of the bed, and it was directly opposite the en-suite door.
Being a mother, Tracey became aware of the movement in the room. She slowly opened her eyes and saw Alli walk into the en-suite. When she disappeared through the door, Tracey turned onto her back and sighed deeply before she swung her legs off the bed to get up. As she brought her body up, her eyes couldn't miss the refection in the mirror. She had a full on front view of a very naked Alli, reaching for her pants. Tracey kept on telling herself that she needed to look away, but she just couldn't do it. Her eyes were transfixed on the mirror, and she was unconsciously licking her dry lips.
She watched as Alli pulled on her pants without putting on any underwear, before she picked up her golf shirt and pulled it over her head, once again without underwear. Tracey had to admit that Alli's firm breasts certainly didn't need support of any kind. 'This is not fair,' Tracey thought to herself. 'How much temptation can one woman handle, and it's only the first day.' Tracey couldn't help the moan that escaped her lips. Unfortunately it was loud enough for Alli to hear, and caused her to look up at the door. What she saw made her gasp. She was staring into the reflection of Tracey's shocked eyes.
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