DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. Characters belong to Shed Productions. I would like to thank my Beta Reader Rebelgirl. She has been a great help.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Sins of the Past
There was a strange stillness that overtook the house after the sun set for the evening and it was something Kris would never grow accustom to. She was a city girl and needed to be accosted by the sounds of honking horns or the drunken fights of the married couple who lived in the flat below them. She put down her mystery novel and watched the flashing lights of the clock turn from 11:23 to 11:24. Kris knew that she should be asleep but the lack of a warm body next to her prevent any thought of slumber.
Selena was sitting at a small desk working on forms for her drug recovery group. Her red hair fluttered over her face while her nose crinkled in concentration. Kris smiled as she watched her lover. It still amazed her that such a woman would ever be interested in an uneducated foul mouthed taxi driver like herself. When they first got together Kris was sure that it was just a fling; Selena's walk on the wild side before bunkering down for a stable upper class relationship. It wasn't that her girlfriend was rich, just that her parents had enough money to raise her in a certain lifestyle. Her family was the type that liked to go to the opera and museums and talk about art. After meeting Mr. and Mrs. Geeson, she was sure Selena was going to chuck her to the curb. Yet for some unknown reason her beautiful angel stood by her; but not because of her money like they always joke about at parties. They really loved each other.
"Are you going to stare at me all night?" Selena asked never looking up from her paperwork.
"That depends," she replies. Selena looked up at her girlfriend's statement; a curious look crossed her sparkling blue eyes. "Are you going to be working all night?"
She smirked knowing that it would drive the blonde crazy. "Maybe. Unlike some people I have to do my own paperwork."
"Well, then you're going to have to deal with me watching you then," Kris countered.
Selena set down her pen to get a better look at the blonde resting on the bed. She felt her heart race and couldn't help but smile at the sight before her. Since the moment she met Kris, Selena knew she would never find a more amazing woman. Kris had no idea how beautiful she truly was both on the outside and within. The redhead came from a life of ease and happiness. She loved her parents and they accepted and nurtured her. She went to the best school and received every advantage. Living such a privileged life drew the redhead to work with those who had nothing. She wanted to give back. Selena started first with the homeless, volunteering in shelters and adult education programs, but she soon realized the place she could do the most good was the prison system.
Kris attended a charity fundraiser for one of Helen's many programs and Selena hated to admit that she stalked the blonde throughout the night. It amused Selena every time Kris seemed shocked that the redhead showed any interest in her. They danced around each other until she finally convinced the blonde that she really wanted her and not just a fun fuck. As with every couple they dated then soon moved in together. It wasn't until they leased their first flat that Selena found out how much money Kris really had. She loved that the blonde never flaunted her wealth. Selena enjoyed being pampered and Kris loved to pamper her, but neither desire to throw money around.
A year later, she met Millie. Kris' parents were a non-issue. The redhead knew the topic upset her lover and never pushed the subject. When Kris' little sister ended up on their doorstep beaten and drained, Selena was shown a world she knew too well. A home where love was seldom given and booze and alcohol took precedence. Little by little, the blonde told her about her life on the streets and the pain of her home environment. There were still parts that Kris wouldn't go into but Selena hoped that on day she would gain her complete confidence. It amazed Selena that Kris thought her past would cause the redhead to run for the hills when all it did was make her love the blonde more.
They took Millie in and from that point on they were the family that neither of the Yates sisters ever had. Selena loved the Millie like she was her own. It was amazing to watch the young girl come out of her shell, start making friends and become the woman she was meant to be. Not that she would ever tell Kris, but as the years started meld into each other her thoughts looked towards the future. Part of her wanted more, but she didn't want to scare the blonde off. Kris loved her there was no doubt about that but words like forever made her jump. There was no way she was going to tell her that she had been looking at rings at the small jewelry store that they both loved. For now she would just be happy with the way her life was going.
"You're gorgeous," she exclaimed.
"I am aren't I," Kris replied proudly.
Selena abandoned her work and moved towards the bed. Kris placed her book on the nightstand and pulled the covers down to let the other woman in. As their bodies slide together in perfect unison, Kris closed her eyes and breathed out a content sigh. It was corny to think about but the blonde never felt whole unless she had her arms wrapped around her girlfriend. A fact that she would never voice out loud in a vain hope to keep some of her tough as nails image. They shared a soft kiss before Selena pulled away.
"What's wrong?" Kris asked.
There was a slight pause and she watched her lover's brow crease. She wanted to forget the drama of the outside world but sticking her head in the sand was not her style. "I.. I'm concerned. When we leave here and return to the real world, nothing is going to be the same is it?"
"No." It wasn't the answer either wanted but lying wouldn't help anything. "The prison is going to be hounded and Nik is going to have to seclude herself for at least another few months before the vultures find a new story to latch on to. And I think that Helen is only at the beginning of the ride."
There was a long pause as Selena turned away from Kris. Helen was a dear friend and to think of her going through anymore drama because of her past with Nikki. It didn't seem fair. She didn't blame Nikki for any of this, but part of her disliked the actress' deception. They had become friends, true they had the type of friendship that develops with lover's old mates, but she still cared for the brunette. The idea that Nikki had been using her to get information about Helen was frustrating. Selena hadn't betrayed any confidences, but who knows what she had said that the wing governor would have liked to keep private. Nikki and Kris had the same outlook on the world. They kept themselves closed off and only share when they have to but have no problem asking questions.
"So Nik's going to leave her out in the wind?" she said unable to keep from voicing her concern.
Kris' brow creased. "What do you mean? Leaving is in Helen's best interest. The longer they stay around each other the more the papers are going to get involved."
"I just don't think that it is fair. Helen doesn't have the option to run away. She has to face the shit and try to move on with her life," Selena continued.
This was leading up to a fight that neither wanted to have, but both were loyal individuals and after each other Nikki and Helen were their closest friends. Kris didn't feel comfortable having this conversation in bed. When she argued she liked to be on her feet, so she pushed off the covers and started to pace the room. Selena took a calming breath as she watched her lover stalk. She knew this wasn't going to go well, but they needed to have this conversation. The longer it stayed silent the worse it was going to be for them.
"Nikki isn't running away," she started.
Selena didn't give her a chance to continue. "Really? Leaving Helen to face everything while she jets off to some remote location isn't running away. Please Kris. I love Nikki she's my friend too, but there are steps that she could be taking to help Helen out."
That hadn't best choice of words. "Help Helen out, you don't know what you're talking about. I know that you and Helen are close but you are talking about something that you have no information about. Nik has already taken steps. She went on that damn talk show and told everyone that they were school mates and hadn't seen each other in years. It's Nikki's life that is getting turned up side down."
The redhead no longer felt comfortable in bed. If they were really going to have this out then they needed to be on equal footing. As she rose, Kris groaned internally. This hadn't been the point at all. She had wanted Selena to stop her work so that they could go to bed not have it out over their friends.
"I'm not blaming Nikki," Selena tried to reason.
"Well that's what it sure sounds like. You don't even know what you're talking about. This isn't one of your group sessions," she interrupted. That was bitchy and uncalled for but she couldn't help the words from being said.
The mood in the room changed very quickly. Selena closed the distance between them. "You will not speak to me in such a manner are we clear? I love you more then life itself but you will not speak down to me."
Kris clenched her jaw. "I'm sorry." She was sorry but she hated when Selena got the tone. The tone that implied that she knew what she was talking about and that she should be listened to.
"Nice try, but we need to make this perfectly clear. Yes, Helen is my friend, but so is Nikki. Right now they are both in a lot a pain because Nikki won't tell Helen what the hell is going on. She has known where Helen was for the last decade and chosen to stay in the shadows watching from afar. Now she is back not because she wants to be but because someone else forced her hand. Do you have any idea what that must feel like? Helen has tried to get on with her life and now that she seems happy this has all landed in her lap. I am not saying that it is all Nikki's fault, but all this lying and secrecy is doing no one any good. Why didn't Nikki just go to Helen after she became a star and have their talk? Secrets don't help anyone." She hadn't intended on giving a speech but it just happened.
"You talk about honesty and not keeping secrets what do you think about her dealing with Sean? He has no idea that they were an item. Why should he care now if they were? Helen just doesn't want him to know that she swings both ways and is walking on eggshell to keep that hidden. You can't make her out to be a victim," Kris argued.
"My god, nobody's a victim here Kris," came her exasperated reply.
"I mean what's so wrong with what Nikki did? Some bad shit happened and instead of cry to everyone she keeps it to herself and survives. Not everyone is comfortable in therapy." She argued but there was something else to her voice. Kris wrapped her arms about herself annoyed that she had let that last part out.
Her first instinct was to attack. Kris hated therapy it had been one of the first things that she had found out about the blonde and soon the ending to many of their arguments. 'Don't shrink me.' They had been fighting about Nikki and Helen but somehow whatever she had said struck a nerve with the blonde. She took in the other woman's defensive posture and was taken aback.
"Baby, please talk to me," all of the anger and annoyance was gone.
The look in her blue eyes was pained. Kris wanted to talk to her. She knew most of the shit that had gone down with her folks. It was something she hadn't planned on sharing but once Millie was in the picture she had to show that her little sister could trust Selena. The one thing that had always been off limits was aspects of her life on the streets. She knew that her lover would never judge her, but she couldn't be looked at like another one of Selena's cons who had a shit life and the pain that followed with it. She would never intentionally treated her different but Kris had lost people before after talking about her experience with the real world.
Selena walked towards her. She could see the struggle and wished she could convince Kris that she loved her no matter what. The only reason she wanted her to talk about her street life and drug use was so that she could let it go. Bottling wasn't helping. There were times when the blonde would retreat into herself turn cold, not only to her but to Millie as well. If she couldn't only let the past move on then maybe she could be free of it.
"There's nothing to talk about." Patented statement number one.
Unable to stay away any longer Selena caressed her cheek. Kris closed her eyes at the contact and leaned into the caress, needing the comfort. "Please, I love you. Let me be there for you. Nothing you could say will ever change that."
She retreated, her body moving on its own volition needing space from Selena's words. "I can't do this, not here please. We are supposed to be here for our friends right now." Kris was tired. Selena usually never pushed the topic and right now she couldn't handle it. Only Nikki ever saw her darkest moments. It was one of the things that they had in common; dark days that they wished to leave far behind.
Selena could feel the pain that was washing over her. This was why she never pushed. They needed to talk about it but it hurt Kris and any time her lover was in pain Selena felt it just as badly. She walked over to Kris who was looking down at the floor and with a gentle hand raised the other woman's face so that their eyes locked.
"I love you. No matter what happened I will always love you. If you don't want to talk about this then we won't but I wish you would trust me. You are the most amazing woman I have ever known," she said as she placed a soft kiss on Kris' lips.
Kris breathed in deeply trying to take a part of Selena inside her as they kissed. "I don't deserve you."
Their eyes locked once more. "Of course you do."
Nikki hated stupid people, she always had. Whether it was the narrow minded prats that hated anyone different or those who felt their status and money made them better then those without, the brunette never had time to deal with their bullshit. Over the years, she had searched out people that were honest and down to earth. She hated to say that it was easier to find such qualities for ex-cons then most of the people in LA. Navigating the slippery slop that was Hollywood, Nikki chose to become a recluse instead of tabloid fodder; not that it matter much now.
The thing about hating stupid people is when she realized that she was now acting in the same manner that she despised.
It was human nature to be selfish. With almost every act committed the thought of ones self resided in the recesses of the mind. Nikki gave money because she wanted to help those who were less fortunate then her but it also quelled her guilt that she had so much while other had nothing. Helen had been right to call her selfish the other day and now she felt like a child because she didn't want to have to admit that she was wrong. Instead she chose her favorite course of action. Sticking her head in the sand and pretending that the argument never happened. She lied to herself; saying that she would give Helen her space and everything would be fine.
Nikki had been out of the closet since she was eighteen. She never hid her preference and even when she became a star it was something that she would never lie about. Sometimes she forgot that other people preferred to keep their sexual taste to themselves. From everything she had been told, Helen had only been involved with men since university. It is understandable that their affair is something that she would like to keep in the past.
Now they were together again and Nikki didn't know how to act. She knew how everyone else wanted her to act. Barbara wanted her to tell Helen everything and let the chips fall where they may, but that wasn't going to happen. There were things that even the house keeper didn't know things that she couldn't let on to. Yvonne wanted her to send Helen away. The wing governor's presence had cause only problems. Nikki knew that it was Yvonne's way of protecting her from the pain of things in the past, but now that Helen was back in her life she didn't know if she wanted to give her up. Kris along with most of the others wanted her to be happy but they had no idea how to accomplish such a task. And Helen
Helen wanted answers. Answers that would change her life and not for the better. Everyone always says that honesty is the best policy but that ideal works better in theory then practice. The truth had a way of stabbing you in the gut and leaving the knife firmly in place. From what she could tell, Helen was happy and maybe it was for the best to let her stay that way. It was heart wrenching to see her with Sean but he seemed to make her happy no matter how much of a prat he was to everyone else.
No she would do what was best. She would tell Helen what she wanted to hear and send her on her way. That way her illusions of the world would stay intact. Nikki couldn't stand the idea of Helen knowing the truth about their past. Now that her mind was made up she knew what she needed to do. Apologize for all the shit she had been pulling and send the other woman home happy.
It was getting late. Dinner had been served a few hours ago. Nikki had taken it in her father's study not really in the mood to face everyone. It surprised her how scared everyone got after her outburst. Yvonne said that she would give her some space and poor Zandra didn't know how to act. The only people that were treating her normal were Helen, Kris and Selena. The first two had seen this side to her before and took it with the appropriate strides, but the last one was the biggest shock. She and the redhead got on well but she would never call them close. Selena was her best mate's girl. She assumed that Selena was used to outburst so was taking everything in strides. Nikki was grateful for her calming presence. She could see how Selena and Helen were friends and she was happy that the wing governor had someone to rely on during the next few months until all the shit blew over.
Standing outside of the Helen's room, Nikki paused. The pep talk that she had been giving herself seemed to fade now that she was standing there. Her heart and head started to battle each other. Head demanded that she go in there and follow through while her heart pleaded for her to stop. If Helen knew everything then they could take and just maybe a chance for them to get back together. With a deep breath she pushed such thoughts away and knocked on the door before opening it and walking in.
"Sorry to bother you Helen, but I just want to ." She never got the rest of thought out.
Helen hated to admit it but Nikki's script was spot on. Whomever did the research knew what to look for and wasn't afraid to leave everything in. At first she was concerned with the lead guard who was depicted as an overbearing manhandling bastard, but as she continued found out that he was more the exception then the rule. It showed the hardship and pain of those living behind bars without making them martyrs. Every woman committed the crimes they were arrested for though some, like Nikki's character, have extenuating circumstances. What impressed Helen the most was that many of the guards are hard working as they try to help in a system that rarely cares about the inmates' rehabilitation. Soon she was imaging people for G Wing as she reread the script. If Nikki would only show herself, Helen would have told her to sign on immediately, but the actress was still nowhere to be found.
The sound of the television station being change roused her from reading and reminded her that Sean was still in the room. It was just after supper and everyone decided to turn in early. It was Sunday evening and even though Helen and Selena had the next day off both would return to work on Tuesday. Sean turned to look at her and continued to change the channel. It was a childish ploy to get her attention but the longer they stay here the further his decent into adolescence. She hoped his attitude would change once they were away from here and Nikki.
"Why is there nothing on?" Sean asked, not really towards Helen but into the room in general.
"I don't know," Helen replied closing the manuscript.
He turns to look at her. She could tell that he wanted to say something but didn't know how to broach the subject, which meant that it was about Nikki. For the most part he had ignored most of the drama floating about, but there was only so much that Selena and Barbara could do to distract him. Helen decided it was best to let him steer the conversation so she didn't have to acknowledge any more then necessary.
"I'm amazed at how wrong the papers had it," Sean finally started.
"What?" she asked surprised by the statement.
He paused before continuing, "The papers. They always describe Nikki as calm and well mannered. Yvonne must keep a tight leash on her in public."
"I think that's a bit harsh," Helen defended. Nikki might not have the best temper but it wasn't like she was out of control.
"You have to be joking. I'm wondering if she's bi-polar. The mood swings we've witnessed, hell the ones that you had to take control of. When we first got here she was all smiles and kindness but over the weekend she has descended into a state of hysteria. If the press ever heard how she was acting " Sean complained.
"I hope you're not suggesting." Helen stopped that thought before he could finish it. Nikki was having enough problems at the moment there was no way that she was going to let Sean add to that.
Sean almost looked hurt. "No of course not, but you have to admit that she isn't what pretends to be."
Masks that people wear. It was something that Sean never really had to deal with. At Larkhall it was something that Helen witnessed every day. Inmates wear masks to protect themselves. Whether they are acting tougher then they really are or playing the victim to be left alone they show the rest of the world what it wants to see. Sean only had to deal with his plants. Nikki had to deal with the entire world. She had to be something to everyone all at the same time. God as teenagers the brunette could barely handle keeping her parents and the school happy much less millions of people. The strain of such a task was mind blowing.
"Sean. She's an actress. How would you like for everyone to be in your business and questioning you about every misstep from your past." She tried to reason.
"You can't justify her actions Helen. Sure the pressure of the press and fans must be difficult, but explain her actions here. She is surrounded by friends and she just went off like that. So what if someone from her past got the facts wrong and said that the two of you were an item. I mean it's silly really," Sean said turning back to flip through the channels.
Helen rolled her eyes. She was happy that Sean didn't suspect anything but how could he really be so dense. It wasn't that hard to believe that Helen and Nikki were an item. God Nikki was gorgeous even a straight woman would want her. She paused at the thought. This was not the time for her to think about her attraction. She was supposed to be working on her relationship with Sean.
"It's not that simple," she started and Sean turned the television off to look at her. "Nikki has always been private. Her family situation and their money is something that is no one's business and she took a lot of effort to keep that off the press and now a stupid cow from high school is telling the world. She got pissed."
"Well, maybe if she hadn't lied about her past?" Sean pushed.
Her brow creased. "What are you on about?"
"She gave all these interviews about her life on the streets and gave subtle hits about the pain she lived through and now people are finding out that she has more money then the queen. It doesn't fit the image she wants people to have of her. Don't you think that is the real reason that she went off, nothing more." He seemed please with that answer. Almost like he knew Nikki better then anyone else in the house.
"You know nothing about her," rage was starting to boil under the surface.
"Helen, do you really know her anymore. I mean it's been years since you two have seen each other and to be honest I'm tried of everyone going on about how she was as a teenager now that she's acting like a drama queen," he countered before she could continue.
"Sean, I don't want to fight so could we please just drop this," she finally said. If they kept this up for much longer she was going to say something that she would regret latter.
He smiled back at her and nodded, oblivious to his fiancé's angered state. Helen felt a little sick as she looked at him. His smile was no longer charming and warm to her but more smarmy and egotistical. She scolded herself for the thought. When she got out of this place and they were both back at their flat things would go back to normal. He moved in closer and she closed her eyes as she felt his lips upon hers. His hands soon joined hips as he pushed her down on the bed. With only a moment of hesitation, she soon joined him in the kiss and ignored the protests that were screaming in her stop. It wasn't long before both their shirts were shed and Sean was pulling at the zipper of her jeans.
There was a knock on the door as it opened. "Sorry to bother you Helen, but I just want to ." Nikki said as she walked into the room. The actress stopped dead at the sight before her.
Helen looked up in shock. There was nothing she could do in her current position but soak in the broken look in Nikki's eyes. She had tried so hard to keep her PDA with Sean at a minimum while Nikki was around. Mostly because she was never in the mood to be that close to him since they arrived but also because she had Nikki's feeling in mind. Now there was nothing she could do. She should say something, before Sean does, but Nikki beat them both to it.
"Excuse me. I should never have barged in. Please forgive me." Her voice was cold and shut off but the emotion behind her eyes spoke volumes.
She was out of the room as quickly as she entered it and as the door slammed shut Helen finally processed what just happened.
"SHIT!" she cursed.
Helen strained to see through the monsoon that escaladed down from gorged black rain clouds. She had no idea when the rain began but the weather seemed to feed off of Nikki's hate filled glare. In the few moments it took to chuck Sean off and get out of the bedroom, the front door slammed shut causing a painful echo throughout the entire house. Ignoring Sean's protests and the questioning glances of those who responded to the commotion, she threw the front door open in hopes that Nikki would still be in sight.
"Son of a bitch!" she cursed. A bolt of lightning followed by a crash of thunder was the only reply.
She checked off the list of places that Nikki could have gone. There were only a few but each was located in opposite directions. Helen prayed that the actress wouldn't be foolish enough to run out on foot during a thunderstorm but it wouldn't have been the first time. None of the cars had moved so it was unlike that she drove somewhere and only the gardens were in running distance. She needed to make a choice and soon. The others would be after her to discover what the new fight was about and she didn't feel like having another round until she was sure that Nikki was alright.
Another flash of lightning provided just enough light for Helen to see Nikki race away on horseback towards the south pasture. Fear was replaced with rage as she ran towards the stables. This had gone on long enough. Helen hadn't done anything wrong, it was completely acceptable, hell expected, for her to be snogging her fiancé. She had no reason to feel guilty but she did and that royally pissed her off.
Helen didn't question the fact that Walter had a young mare saddled and ready to go when she reached the stables. She simple mounted the animal and raced out of the building. The rain soaked her clothes and chilled her to the bone. They were far enough north that a stark wind accompanied the horrid weather. Once or twice Helen had to steady the horse when a bolt of lightning cracked a little to close. If she made it to the boat house, Nikki might not come back alive.
In the distance, she could make out the large structure of the boat house, squinting she just barely made out the distinct form of Nikki dismounting and sending her horse away. Pushing the poor mare the last half a mile, Helen dismounted before Nikki could seek sanctuary inside the old building. Confused brown met with rage filled hazel as each women gazed at the other.
"Helen! What are you doing here?" Nikki asked breaking the staring contest.
That was it, no more waiting. It was time to finish this. "What I'm I doing here? I'm doing what I always do, placing you above every thought of logic or sanity. And as always, you are doing what you do best legging it." Helen screamed to be heard over the heavy downpour.
"Go back to your sodding fiancé and leave me alone," she responded.
"If that's what you want that's what you're going to get. I will not be made to feel like this. I'm doing nothing wrong yet at every turn you're making me feel like an adulterer. You left me. Our current situation is your fault," Helen ranted. It felt amazing to say everything she had wanted to for the last couple of days.
Nikki didn't respond at first. She just left the rain streak down her face as she looked at Helen. That god damn wall was built firmly in place. "Then leave Helen. The reason I brought you up here was so you could have some peace. If you're not happy here then go back to London. I'm not the same person you knew so it might be for the best that we "
"That we what? Never see each other again and pretend that none of this ever happened. Oh you would like that so you could go back to playing the martyr. Well guess what? I'm not going to play that little game. The sad thing is that whatever you're hiding, I don't even care anymore. It's been fifteen years Nicola Wade. You're right you're nothing like the woman that I loved. She would have never treated me like shit and make out that it was my own doing. You are a shell, one that I have no interest in knowing. It took a while and by god it was painful but I got over you." Helen was done.
"Don't you think I know that!" the brunette screamed in return talking a couple of steps forward before she stopped.
Just like in the attic, Helen watched the emotions flash across Nikki's expressive face. Rage, fear, pain and then finally defeat. Helen's sense of euphoria disappeared as she watched the protective wall crumble laying Nikki's emotions bare.
Nikki gulped as she realized that she had said too much. Turning so that her back was facing Helen her shoulders slumped. She had no energy left. "Who finds the love of their life when their eight. It's ridiculous really." She mumbled more to herself then to Helen.
She could barely hear the words over the thunderstorm, but as each word left the actress' lips a little of her cracked. It sounded horrible but part of Helen needed to hear the anguish in the other woman's voice. She needed to know that Nikki felt the same pain of their parting and it wasn't all in the wing governor's head. Helen was so wrapped up in her own head that she almost missed the next words.
"I never stopped loving you." Nikki was lost to the world, trapped someplace else.
That was it. Helen couldn't stand not looking at her anymore. She stormed up the two steps that separated them and spun Nikki around. "What did you say?" She had heard just fine but she needed Nikki to say it to her face.
Nikki was crying. "I never stopped loving you Helen. You were my world. To be without you was like ripping my own heart out every morning."
"Then why did you leave me?" Helen begged.
"I didn't deserve you." Helen could feel herself shaking at the other woman's confession. "I wasn't strong enough. After what happened with my parents I couldn't handle the rest of the world. You were my everything. I couldn't let you be tainted "
"Tainted by what?" she questioned.
"My life has been shit but at least you were alright and that was all I cared about " Nikki was looking at her but she wasn't in the present.
Helen had seen this before. A con lost in a memory or time unable to break the state on their own. A part of her wanted to slap Nikki but a greater part of her did the only thing she could think of. She pulled Nikki into her and kissed her with all the love she still felt.
Nikki pulled away from the kiss and looked at Helen with wide eyes. The dam broke. Before either woman could speak, Nikki spun both of them around and pushed Helen against the outer wall of the boat house. Her lips crushed against the smaller woman's with such need that both gasped. The battle of wills a moment before turned into a battle of lips as they struggled to find the balance they once knew. Helen's hands were in Nikki's short hair while the other's where wrapped around Helen's waist trying to pull them closer together. Air soon became a necessity as they parted resting their foreheads together and looking into each other's eyes.
"I've wanted to do that since the moment you arrived," Nikki gasped still out of breathe.
Unable to trust her own voice, the Scot pulled Nikki back into the kiss. She easily maneuvered them around so that it was now Nikki who had her back slammed against the wall. She hungrily devoured the taller woman's lips. Her right hand remained tangled in brown tresses while her left hand traveled southward. Simultaneously her hand reached Nikki's breast as Nikki's cupped her ass lifting slightly as she kneed the soft mounds of flesh through Helen's jeans. Both gasped the parting allowing oxygen to return to their lungs. Right soon followed the left as Helen moved to unbutton Nikki's shirt. The task becoming more difficult as her hands had gone numb from the cold and Nik's shirt was soaked through from the rain giving little assistance.
Nikki was about the rip off her shirt the buttons be damned when light flooded the boat house. Startled, it took a moment for them to separate. A large jeep came into view as its high beams illumined the dark stormy night. The driver's side door opened.
"Nikki," Lauren said sticking her head out of the vehicle.
"Damn It!" Nikki screamed as Helen stepped away.
Now untangled they looked towards the blinding light and wondered what they had done wrong in a past life to deserve such ill-fated karma. If only they had gotten inside, Lauren might have passed them by and they would be doing something much more enjoyable.
"I'm sorry Nik, but Ma needs you back at the house," Lauren wasn't a stupid girl. She knew what she interrupted and what the repercussions would be for her actions but her mother's instructions had been quite clear.
She turned to look at Helen. Soaked to the bone and shivering the Scot was still the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. There was no way she was going back to the house only to watch Helen go back to Sean. "Tell her I'll be back when I'm damn good and ready."
"She told me to tell ya 'William Tucker just rang!'" the younger Atkins explained.
Helen saw her tense as she sucked in a hard breath. "What?"
Lauren frowned. "William Tucker just rang."
Nikki ran. It was an action that no one expected and had no reaction for, and the actress was already in the field calling her stallion towards her. Helen finally moved away from the boat house closer to the jeep as both women watched Nikki mount the horse and gallop back towards the mansion. Not willing to lose all the headway that she had just made, Helen rushed towards the jeep.
"Well, what are you waiting for?" she demanded when Lauren just stared at her in confusion.
Helen's words seemed to jostle Lauren from her state and she started the jeep.
"Who the hell is William Tucker?" she continued when no explanation had been brought forth.
Lauren looked uncomfortable. "It's someone from Nik's past that we thought we gotten rid of."
"Thanks for answering in a way that provides no helpful information at all." She didn't mean to give a bitchy response but it was out of her mouth before she realized.
"Sorry, I'm used to reporters. I don't know much about the guy except that he's a real piece of shit. You thought this weekend was difficult you're about to witness a shit storm of universal proportions." There was silence in the Jeep after the answer.
She didn't have an answer to that. A cold sick feeling formed in her stomach. How could this get any worse?
Lauren stopped the jeep and rushed through the door that was already open. Dominic was leading the horse back towards the barn. Helen followed not surprised by the raised voices that were coming from inside.
"I want to know how that bastard got this number." Nikki bellowed.
Everyone was there. She was soaked to the bone but it seemed that no one was paying attention to Nikki's wet state and figured that hers too would go unquestioned. Yvonne and Barbara were hovering near the upset woman afraid that things might get out of hand. Kris was sitting on the stairs her head in her hands. It looked as if she was just doing her best to stay out of the way, but be present if her friend needed her. Selena was standing on the other end of the hallway looking uncomfortable unsure of what she should be doing. Everyone else had seated themselves on the second floor watching the fireworks that were just starting to kick off. Helen ignored Sean who was leaning against that banister next to Shell.
"There's no reason to shout Nikki," Barbara tried to reason. "We haven't changed the phone number here in thirty years so he probably never lost it."
Everyone noticed as Helen entered the house. Barbara tried her best to look positive but the angry glare from Nikki was all that she saw. She was about to question the woman when Nik turned her back and focused her attention on Yvonne.
"I thought that this had been sorted. You promised me that it had been." Rage mixed with confusion and a tinge of fear colored her voice.
"I hoped that he would stay in the sewer he's been residing in for the last ten years but with all the press it was only a matter of time before he showed himself again." Yvonne explained. She turned to Lauren and nodded towards the study. "I have Charlie on it. It will be sorted."
"That's not good enough. I expect results and I expected them now, or else." Was her decree.
Helen blood flowed cold as ice. The deep tone and authoritative bellow caused her to flash to a moment she wished to forget. Nikki's father was a quiet man with a warm smile. One of the many qualities that he bestowed upon his only child. Now it would seem she acquired a trait Helen would wish on no one. Mr. Wade had a temper that could rival a rugby player. She had only witnessed it once and that had been enough. It was something that the Nikki never spoke of as a teenager but colored her outlook more then her mother's cold disinterest.
"Well, I never thought I'd see the day," she said returning to the center of attention.
Nikki slowly turned to look at her. There was a cold fury that she had never seen directed at her before. "Oh, and what would that be?"
She boldly took a step forward not letting Nikki's size overpower her. "I never thought I'd see that day that you would become your father. He would be proud to see you storming about demanding result no matter what."
Wade paused looking at Helen for a moment calculated her next step. The words stung but she would not let anyone see how much. Only Barbara grimaced at the words, but she ignored the housekeeper as well. Her posture which had been tight as a rail relaxed as she took a step forward. Most let out a sigh of relief thinking that once again Helen had found a way to quell the raging beast, but she knew better. Nikki was stalking, hiding her next move to make sure that it had the desired effect.
She closed the distance between them and in a calm soft voice, "You think that I've become my father? Well allow me to truly finish the picture for you darling. Get out of my house. And if you don't I'll have you thrown out you conniving, gold digging Scottish tar "
"Nikki!" Barbara shouted before she could finish.
It didn't matter though. The damage had been done. Nikki watched as something inside her love broke. She needed to make sure that Helen would stay away and she had done the one thing that would. The fight that she had with her father all those years ago was a darkness that she would never forget and wished that Helen would never have to know about. Her own happiness be damned.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I thought that you wanted his last thoughts on the matter when it came to our 'friendship'. You have fifteen minutes to get out of my house. There's no room in it or my life for you anymore." Nikki started to walk away. She stopped at the stairs and looked at Kris. "Make sure her bags are packed and she is out of here."
Kris stood and gave Nikki a reluctant nod. She didn't want to get in the middle of all this but she knew that the brunette wouldn't have done something so cruel if it wasn't for a reason. She walked over to Helen and gave her a sympathetic smile. The wing governor was at a complete lost and the taxi driver knew it. She didn't give two shits about Sean but the longer it took for them to leave the more questions that might pop into the wanker's head and that was something no one needed.
"I think it's time we head out." Her voice was kind. She had known Nik a long time but Helen was still a friend and pain was radiating off her in waves.
Kris' words pulled her out of her shocked state. Unsure how to react she shut down. "You're right. It's rude to stay where you're not welcome."
Ten minutes later bags were backed and loaded into the car. For the first time this weekend Helen was happy to have Sean around. He got their things in order while she changed out of her wet clothes. She hadn't noticed the cold wet garments until he had said something. Helen was trying to piece together what the bleeding hell was happening. Less then an hour ago she and Nikki were snogging out in the rain and now she had little interest in ever seeing that blasted woman again.
Kris and Selena were already at the door when she came down with the last load of suitcases. Barbara was nowhere to be seen. It surprised Helen that the old housekeeper wasn't there to see her off but at the moment she didn't have the energy to care.
"Nikki please!" Barbara's voice came from Mr. Stewart's study.
"Don't give me that bollocks. I want to keep Helen as far away from this shit as possible. She can't know," Nikki yelled.
There was something in Nik's voice that caused Helen to stop in her tracks. The rage that she felt lessened in knowing that the brunette still cared even after her actions, but soon doubled at that thought that something was going on and she was being kept in the dark. Nikki thought that she couldn't handle whatever this new drama was about.
"Come on Helen," Selena said placing her hand on her shoulder.
The car was silent for half of the drive. Kris was surprised that Sean could keep his gob shut for as long as he had. She already had a headache and Selena and she had only gotten through the first round up in their room. When they got home she wasn't sure things were going to get any better. The problem was she didn't have many of the answers to the questions that were about to come, and she wasn't sure that she could divulge more of her own painful past to explain why secrets were necessary.
"Are we going to talk about this?" Sean finally asked.
"No," Kris stated hoping that it would be the end of it.
"What do you mean no? Is she always like this? I mean it looked like she was about to take someone's head off," he continued.
Selena looked back at Helen. "Sean I think this might not be the best time."
"Not the best time. That cow comes screaming into the house and then goes after my fiancé and we are just supposed to let it go. I don't care what the hell is going on in her life." He countered.
Well so much for calm reason. Part of Selena was happy to see that Sean wanted to defend Helen, it helped remind her that even though he was a prick there were a few good sides to him, but at the moment it was more about him getting answers and using his concern as a cover to extract them.
"Look, Sean none of us knows what is going on and it isn't helping Helen to have you kicking off." Kris yelled from the driver's seat.
Sean sneered at her. "Please she's your best mate and all so we know what side you're on."
"That it! Sean, shut your gob. I don't want to hear anything from you until we get back in London." Selena had had enough. She turned to glare at him and make sure that he understood that there was no room for negotiation.
Silence filled the car once more. They made it to the helicopter and into the air before the silence was finally broken.
"Do you know who William Tucker is?" Helen finally asked.
Kris sighed. "I don't know what you want me to say."
"So you do know who he is." She replied, it wasn't an accusation just a statement.
"I don't know much Helen," she started. "All I know is that he is a real piece of shit and he made things really bad for Nik before Yvonne showed up."
"Yvonne?" she asked.
"He knew something. Something that Nikki wanted to keep secret. I guess she had a stash of money that she got every month. She said that is was something that Barbara demanded if she wasn't go to stay at the house. A way for her to live while on the streets, but all of it went to him. I don't know what he had on her but every time she came back from seeing him it was the only time I ever seen her using." Kris flinched. Nik would kill her for revealing that but Helen needed to know how badly this guy fucked her over.
Drugs? She didn't want to believe it, but didn't doubt Kris' words. The idea of Nikki using drugs made her wish that she had stayed and fought more. Nikki hated drugs of any sort. Hell she hated when people overindulged on alcohol, something about shutting off oneself from the world and their own feelings.
"And how did Yvonne fix it?" Helen asked unsure how the manager was involved.
There was a slight pause. "Well, Charlie took care of it."
"Oh." There wasn't much else to say to that. She had met Charlie Atkins once at a charity ball and he seemed like a nice man but it was hard to ignore what people say about him especially when he don't feel the need to contradict them
"I guess with all the tabloid fodder going on William Tucker is hoping to cash in." It was the last thing that was said but it was enough to occupy everyone's thoughts, though for different reasons.
They said their goodbye once they got back into the city and headed home.
Helen's head hurt. This holiday was a bad idea. Instead of feeling better about what had happened all those years ago, she felt worse. Something truly horrific had happened but Nikki felt that she couldn't have handled it. What did that say about her opinion of Helen? She thought they had shared everything back then but maybe they hadn't. Nik said she loved her but her actions didn't back her words. Now all she wanted was a stiff drink and a good night's sleep. Hopefully things would look better in the morning.
They were about to enter their flat when a deep voice stopped them.
"I'm sorry to bother you, but are you Helen Stewart?" a voice asked from the shadows.
They turned to see a man in his mid fifties walking towards them. He was dressed in a wrinkled brown suit and a long grey coat. In the bad light she could just make out his balding salt and pepper colored hair that had just a little too much grease in it. In his left hand was an old briefcase.
"What can I do for you?" Sean said taking a step forwards so that he was in between Helen and the new arrival.
"I'm sorry to bother you, but my name is William Tucker and I wondering if I could have a word."
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