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This is part two of a lesbian romance. I’ve split the story into three parts to keep each one a reasonable length but it is a continuous story so you’ll need to read part one first, which can be found at:
Many thanks must go to EarthlyRose for her help editing this story. In addition, gratitude and thanks also to Winterreisser for his further editorial comments and suggestions.
If you enjoy this story please rate and leave a comment.
CHAPTER 6 — Still Looking for Mr Right
The weeks passed and we settled into each other’s lives. My shop was doing well; Uncle Graham came to visit and check over the books (the keeping of which was a Sunday afternoon chore I detested with a passion) and declared that I was doing better than predicted. That did allow me to persuade him to upgrade the shop’s PC so the bookkeeping wasn’t quite so tedious.
I took him for a coffee next door where Milla was at a table in the corner. I called across, “Hi Milla, this is my Uncle Graham who owns the shop.” I turned to Uncle Graham, “And this is Milla, my very close friend and maker of exquisite coffee.” Milla came up behind me and, placing one hand affectionately on my shoulder, shook Graham’s hand. I barely noticed Milla’s hand but, looking back, I realize now that Uncle Graham didn’t miss it; at the time he simply looked intently at the two of us.
“Hello, Milla, love,” said Uncle Graham. “I ought t’ thank thee for helping our Amber out, with that oval glass and the like, and being such a right good neighbour and friend to her.”
“Thank you, Mr, um, Uncle Graham. Amber has spoken about me then?”
“Aye. She don’t email or phone as often as she might, but I reckon your name crops up in all of ’em.” He and Milla smiled at my flaming cheeks.
Not surprisingly he was completely charmed by Milla and seemed genuinely pleased that she and I were such good friends. He was also impressed with the leaflets for ‘In the Frame’ that were on the counter with their discount voucher. “I wish some of t’ other shop managers would show t’ same initiative as thee, Amber,” he praised, “I’d be fair minted by now!” Milla overheard and gave me a big smile and two thumbs up.
I would frequently spend most of every Wednesday in the Caffè helping out and just being with Milla. On one occasion I was wiping down tables when I heard a thickly accented voice behind me. “Hey, Camilla! Da quando abbiamo impieghiato una nuova ragazza?”
I turned to see an old man in a worn, brown jacket, grey trousers and white shirt open at the collar, and whom, despite being much older, I recognised from the photographs as Nonno Carluccio. Although not understanding a word he’d said, I held out my hand to shake as Milla hurried over to introduce us. “Nonno, lei non è un dipendente; she’s not an employee. This is Amber; she runs the framing shop next door and she did the framing of all the photographs.” She turned to me, “Nonno asked, ‘Since when did we employ a new girl?'” she explained.
I nodded. “Pleased to meet you, Nonno Carluccio,” I said as we shook hands. “I’m just helping Milla out as my shop’s shut today,” I explained.
“And for this helping she pay you?” he asked.
“Of course not; she’s my best and closest friend and we help each other out from time to time.” He nodded and thanked me before walking slowly over to behind the counter where he proceeded to inspect everything.
Milla looked at me, her eyes shining. “Amber, that was so sweet to call me your ‘best and closest friend’ and the way you called him Nonno too.”
“It just sort of slipped out.”
“If Nonno wasn’t here I’d give you such a big hug!” she told me as she surreptitiously took my hand and squeezed it.
Milla passed the inspection as, apparently, did I along with the photos I’d framed. Milla told me Nonno had declared me “A very nice young lady,” but probably in Italian — or with an Italian accent at least.
Though there was no hug that day, there was generally a great deal of physical contact between us: Milla would link her arm through mine when we walked, would touch or hold my hand or arm when we were close and talked, put her hand on my hip or waist as she slipped past me. Initially, I was a bit uncomfortable with this and I didn’t reciprocate but I gradually found myself doing the same with her. And following an afternoon bent over the workbench it was wonderful to feel Milla’s fingers on my neck and shoulders kneading away the ache and stiffness and after that, I was always happy to repay in kind.
I suppose I should mention the dreams. They weren’t every night but the warm and humid summer nights that year often made my sleeping restless and so I would wake in the dark, the memory of a dream still vivid. Milla featured frequently: kissing her; us naked in the Caffè or in my workshop or in her flat; touching each other; massages that went göztepe sınırsız escort further… There was one I struggled to remember, but white dresses were involved so I suspect it was something to do with a wedding. I never again came in my sleep but I was usually very wet afterwards and my fingers and little vibe got lots of use relieving me. I absolutely needed that release; without it, I’m quite sure that the temptation to do something inappropriate with Milla or of leading her on would have been too great.
Ah yes, then there was my one date. It was in mid-August with a young guy, Kieron, who had brought in several of his watercolour pictures for framing over a number of days. He was friendly and good looking and, as I handed him his third completed frame, he asked me out. I hesitated for a moment and, though I wasn’t really attracted to him, agreed to go; I’d been single for months, I reasoned, so I needed to get out there again.
At seven o’clock the following Saturday night, our agreed time, Kieron picked me up in his little Ford Whatever car (it was red, anyway, and quite old). My first warning should have been when we drove into the car park of The Maid and Dragon pub. The evening Milla and I had spent there had been wonderful, only becoming more magical in my memory, so it was going to be hard for this date to match that.
He escorted me into the pub where he’d booked a table in the restaurant area. We sat and chatted before the waiter arrived, small talk about ourselves: how I came to be running the shop (an abridged and less embarrassing version), his hobby of watercolour painting.
The waiter came and we ordered. We continued talking but it became more and more stilted and uncomfortable. I kept imagining what it would be like with Milla; the easy conversation, the laughter, our legs brushing under the table, the warmth of her hand on mine that could still burn right through me.
We ate our food but we didn’t offer each other tasters from our own plates. I drank but the alcohol numbed rather than relaxed me. In the end, I found myself declining dessert and apologising. “I’m sorry Kieron. You’re a really nice guy but this isn’t going to work.”
“You mentioned splitting up with someone. Are you still, like, not over him?” he asked, anxiously.
I hesitated, Milla’s face in my mind’s eye. “I… well sort of. There is someone and I’m definitely not over them.” I told him. “I don’t know if I ever will be,” I added to myself.
He was gallant to the last: he insisted on paying, taking me home and then, finally, he even thanked me for the evening. All I could do was to apologise for being such crap company.
I had barely closed my door when there was a soft knocking and I opened it to find Milla there. She came in and I made us some hot chocolate. “Are you alright, Amber? You looked sad as you came back. Was your date okay?”
“Let’s put it this way: he was definitely not Mr Right.” I tried to laugh. “I’m not sure that there is a Mr Right anymore,” I muttered. It was mainly frustration talking but maybe subconsciously I meant more. Whatever it was, there was no mistaking the hopeful gleam that twinkled in Milla’s eye when she heard it.
CHAPTER 7 — ‘She’s not my girlfriend!’
It was now late-August and I had just finished serving a customer. As she left the shop, the postman came in and handed me several letters.
“Thanks, Joe,” I said, looking through the boring bills and circulars. There were two more interesting letters at the back but when I looked they were for Milla, one with an Italian stamp. “Hang on, Joe, these letters are for Milla.”
He came over and took them. “Ah yes, they’ll be her birthday cards.”
“They’re a bit early, aren’t they? Her birthday’s next week.”
“I don’t think so; it’s probably tomorrow or Saturday.” He saw the look of concern on my face. “What’s the matter? Did you forget your girlfriend’s birthday? And it’s her quarter century too.”
“She’s not my girlfriend,” I replied automatically, checking the calendar on my phone.
“Yeah, right, if you say so,” he said sarcastically. “See you tomorrow,” and left the shop.
I found the calendar entry:
Friday 01 September: Milla B’day (25).
Had I entered it a week late? If so: shit!
I took an early coffee break and popped next door. I had to wait while Milla served the customers at the counter so I fell to my usual habit and cleared and cleaned the few tables and refilled the sugar sachets in the pots. Eventually, Milla was done and she gave me a quick hug as she handed me my ubiquitous skinny latte. I had decided on a sneaky approach to checking Milla’s birthday.
“What do you have planned for your twenty-fifth birthday tomorrow?” I asked.
“I was hoping you’d surprise me,” she replied. Damn: it was tomorrow. “Though, that meal we had at the pub was lovely,” she smiled at the memory.
“It was great, wasn’t göztepe ucuz escort it? So let’s go there — but with or without the run?” I asked.
“Yeah, why not? Let’s run there; we’ve not had a run this week and I always like seeing you in Lycra!” she grinned.
“Okay,” I replied, trying desperately to work out what I was going to give her and when I could buy it.
And so it was that, for once, I closed the shop at lunchtime and headed into the town centre. I vaguely recalled a jewellery shop that I thought might have something. I found it eventually: Kaufmann Jewellery. The window display had a huge range on show and I was a little overwhelmed by the choice available. Earrings? Bracelet? Necklace? I wanted something just right, but what? Then I noticed something: an orange stone in a pendant. No, not just orange: amber, real amber. Her eyes, my hair: perfect! I looked closely. It was a slightly irregular teardrop shape on a gold chain and at the bottom of the amber was a tiny, dark speck, like a little seed. I couldn’t see a price so I went in.
There was a large older woman behind the counter. “Good afternoon, can I be of help to you?” she had a slight but noticeable German accent.
“Um, yes. There’s an amber pendant in the window; I wondered if I might look at it and find out how much it costs?”
“Certainly,” she replied and she went round to take the pendant from the window. She reached out the pendant and passed it to me. “It is for you, perhaps, to match your hair?”
“It’s a present, actually.”
“Ach, I remember: you are from the Caffè on the North Road, no? I get coffee there sometimes and you I have seen there, with Milla.”
“No, well yes. I actually run the framing shop next door but I give Milla a hand when I’m in there. I’m looking for a birthday present for her.”
“Ach, yes, and you are a couple, nein?”
“What? No! We’re just friends, not a couple!” I answered. Two people making the same mistake on the same day was getting to me.
“Really? Perhaps you should be. I think you love each other much; you are sweet with each other.”
“Well, she is my best friend so I do love her. But we can’t be a couple, we’re just friends,” I finish, but I cannot help a slight note of sadness in my voice.
“Hmm. You are not so sure of this, I am thinking.”
“Look, why do you care? What’s it to you?” my frustration making my voice harsh.
“Maybe I am just a busy-body old lady. Or maybe I know someone, many years ago who knew a girl whom she loved and this girl loved her also… but there were lots of reasons, sensible reasons, why this love could not be and so her head decided and the heart… the heart was disappointed, yes. Maybe I should not want you to make the same mistake as Hanna and Liesel did, perhaps?” She handed me the pendant but I was sorely tempted to flee the shop and this strange woman with her gnomic comments. Only my desperate need to find Milla a gift kept me there.
The pendant close up looked beautiful; the colour, slightly darker than my hair, would be a perfect match for her eyes. Close up I could see the dark speck is actually a tiny ant, perfectly preserved “It’s lovely; how much does it cost?”
She looked at the price tag in the box. “£160. The chain is gold, fourteen carat old and quite long.” I swallowed hard; that was much more expensive than I’d expected. “However,” the woman continued as she saw my reaction, “it has been on display such a long time and not sold, so it is overpriced, I am thinking now. Perhaps £90 is more the right price, no?”
“I can’t, I mean that’s far too generous of you.”
“Nonsense, I insist! I know Milla also, though not so well as you: she is a very kind woman. Perhaps I will be kind too.”
“Thank you, you are very kind. It’s perfect for her.”
“Because of your hair, ja?”
I blush slightly as I confess, “No, well, maybe a bit, but mainly for her eyes.”
The woman smiled broadly, “Would you like me to wrap it for you?” she offered and I accepted, watching as she arranged the pendant carefully in the little box then wrapped it in gold paper, tying it up with red ribbon. The wrapping was almost a work of art in itself. She placed the present in a little bag and I paid her. I saw her writing something on the receipt which she placed in the bag before handing it to me. “Für Ihre schöne Freundin,” she said and when I looked blankly at her she translated, “I said: ‘for your beautiful girlfriend.’ You wish her a happy birthday from me too, please?”
I bowed my head in embarrassment but managed to thank her and say goodbye before hurrying out. Walking back I reached into the bag and took out the receipt, unfolding it to see what she had written on it:
Remember to listen to your heart and not just your head.
CHAPTER 8 — ‘I can’t take it anymore!’
We had agreed that birthday celebrations would have to wait until after kadıköy anal escort both the Caffè and my shop closed so we wouldn’t have to worry about customers. It was sensible but I was so excited all afternoon and I’m sure Milla was worse!
I had phoned the pub earlier and, with a lot of whining and wheedling, managed to persuade them to reserve the table in the beer garden at which we’d sat previously. That would give us some privacy, so I resolved to keep Milla waiting a bit longer and wait until we were at the pub before giving her the present.
We set off on our run just after six, the present secure in my running belt pouch. Though Milla’s running fitness had improved greatly (much more than my sprinting!) we were going to take it very gently, not least because it had been such a hot day. However, as The Maid and Dragon came into view, Milla again decided on a sprint finish. I immediately pushed off hard, determined to give her a good run for her money. Pain shot up the inside of my right thigh and I gave a little cry as I fell sideways onto the grass bank.
I saw Milla turn at my cry and hurry back, her face full of concern. “What’s the matter, Amber? What happened?”
“I think I pulled a muscle or something,” I told her as I rubbed the inner thigh that remained acutely painful.
“Here, let me,” she offered and I lay back on the grass as her fingers massaged the aching area. The pain eased a little as her fingers worked their magic, pressing and rubbing, long strokes and little circles. She worked from the knee upwards and by the time her fingers were at the top of my leg, most of the pain had gone. I became aware of the gentle tingle of arousal beginning within me and when, suddenly, the back of her hand brushed over the mound of my pussy I squealed and sat up.
“Is that nice?” she asked and she continued to massage a little lower.
“A bit too nice, if you know what I mean.”
“Oh, God, Amber I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to…”
“Hey, it’s okay, Milla; no harm done. And my leg feels a lot better, thank you. Here, help me up.” With Milla’s help, I stood. “It feels a bit sore still but I can walk, I think.” I limped slightly so Milla put her arm around me to help support me as I hobbled to the pub.
We entered the pub and I gave my name to the landlord who led us through to the reserved table in the beer garden and gave us menus. “Your girlfriend’s very persuasive,” he said to Milla, “we don’t normally reserve tables in the garden. I hope this isn’t a dangerous precedent.”
“She’s not my girlfriend…” Milla began but he’d already turned and headed off.
“Don’t worry about it,” I advised, “I’ve had comments like that twice in the last couple of days.”
“Really?” she asked. “Are… are you okay with that?”
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “People will think whatever they think and I guess we are pretty, well, close and tactile. It’s a bit awkward and uncomfortable though. What about you? You’re sort of being outed without even being in a relationship.”
“Perhaps it’s meant to be and I should stop pretending. I just worry about Mama, Papa and Nonno finding out, that’s all,” she said in a tired voice.
“Hey, come on, it’s your birthday!” I said as I reached into the pouch and took out the present. She smiled as I placed it on the table between us. “Happy birthday my lovely Milla — your quarter century.”
“Don’t remind me… oh, wow!” she exclaimed as she looked at the present happily and began carefully untying the ribbon and opening the paper. She held the little box in her hand and hesitated a moment before slowly opening it. “Oh Amber!” she gasped, “It’s gorgeous: Amber from Amber!” she laughed.
“No, amber for your beautiful eyes,” I corrected her.
“It’s the most wonderful gift I’ve ever received, and the most special,” tears welled in her eyes and she wiped them away. “Thank you so much. Will you help me put it on?”
She half stood and leaned across the table as I opened the chain and placed it around her neck. As I reclosed the clasp I kissed her hair. “Happy birthday, my darling,” I whispered. She looked at me and I saw again that glimmer of hope in her eyes, making me regret speaking those words out loud, however true they might be.
She sat back and the pendant shone against her skin: it was perfect. She reached up and touched it. “Well,” she asked, “how does it look?”
“It’s beautiful and looks perfect on you!” I said.
Just then the waiter came up. “Are you ready to order?” We hadn’t even opened the menus so we simply ordered a bottle of wine and the same food as we’d had the previous time so we could be alone again.
When we came to dessert, chocolate fudge cake, of course, I cut the first piece and offered it to Milla, who laughed as I slipped it into her mouth. I felt her leg rub against mine under the table and recalled the meal with Kieron and how I’d imagined her doing just this. Her touch felt wonderful and being her with her so right. Oh God, this was so difficult but I wasn’t gay I reminded myself once again.
After the meal, we made our way home in the peaceful evening. The alcohol had banished the pain, though my leg was still stiff and we were both a little tipsy. We walked arm in arm, snuggled as close as any lovers might do.
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