The alarm clock by her bedside table sounded off like a marine. The loudness awakened Lisa instantaneously, her head suddenly jerking up from her lavender pillow, whipping her matted blonde hair about her face and shoulders. It took even less time to note the beams of light piercing through the gaps between her curtains. It definitely was morning. Lisa yawned a moment and sighed. It was nearly 8.00 according to her alarm clock. And it came as a surprise because normally she'd wake up a lot earlier this. Lisa Whitfield was something of a night owl. Normally she woke up at about 3.15 am, usually for no other reason than to crash the net and do anything she needed to, be it replying to any unanswered e-mails, checking up on her favourite forums and blogs, or posting reviews of any stories she had read at fictionpress.com over the weekend. So because of that it was a surprise to her that she'd woken up so late. She was a light-sleeper and didn't get more than five hours at best, regularly. She could only think that to be indicative of stress she had been under thus far; yet another unwelcome gift from Dani.
The dark-blonde yawned again and crawled out of bed in her pajamas, an electric pink with little red loved hearts dotted across its fabric randomly. As she awoke, Koenig came up from her usual hiding place under Lisa's bed and rubbed her little head into her ankle.
"Good morning, Koenig," Lisa whispered, stroking her kitten under the chin.
After playing with her for a few seconds, Lisa left her bedroom and went into the bathroom. She started off with her normal morning routine, first by undressing and then by catching herself a quick hot shower. When she came out of the plastic curtains of her shower compartment, fogged up by the steam, she cleansed her pale skin with a little baby oil and re-dressed in her pajamas to placidly brush her teeth. Thirty minutes or so later on the bathroom door opened and Lisa emerged feeling somewhat refreshed. She returned to her room and ignored the computer for now; anything she didn't do this morning would have to wait until she got back from school. What followed was her packing the books she needed for class today, her wallet, as well as her cell and then turned to choosing what clothes to wear. Lisa was no fashion horse. It was a quick decision -- stonewash jeans shorts, a plain white tee, and some shoes. If her family was lacking in anything it certainly wasn't money, so buying designer was in no way a stretch for her, but for the most part Lisa couldn't fathom spending more money on something that was only marginally more functional than your average retail brand. She had a habit of being reasonably pragmatic.
Lisa put her clothes on, gave Koenig a goodbye stroke, then grabbed her bag and headed for the door. She went downstairs where Richard and Daphne were already awake. The Whitfield patriarch sat in the mahogany dining room table with a croissant in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. The Whitfield matriarch on the other hand was in the kitchen, pouring herself a glass of orange juice. They were both dressed for work and as usual they kept to themselves in the morning. They didn't see each other much. It had a lot to do with their jobs -- Richard was the chief of medicine at a local hospital and Daphne was a legal partner in a law firm downtown. Because of Richard's shifts and Daphne's casework, the two hardly ever saw each other. One of the few exceptions had been yesterday. They both had the say off and at the same time no less, a rarity. Lisa couldn't help but note that they wasted that time doing things together that they easily could have done (and almost always did) alone.
Instead of continuing to review and analyse the clearly weakened foundation of her parent's marriage, Lisa went into the kitchen and poured herself a cup from the coffee maker, greeting her Mom softy. "Good morning, Mom."
"Morning, Honey." Daphne said in a yawn. "You're up late today, aren't you?"
Comments like that made Lisa wonder how mundane and systematic her life was. The slightest deviation from her normal pattern of behaviour and her parents were all over it. "Uh, yeah... I don't know, I guess I was just tuckered out yesterday. I feel fine now though."
"Are you sure? You look a little pale, even for you."
"I'm fine, Mom." The lies were never-ending. "Um, listen Mom... could you do me a favour? Could you feed Koenig for me? I'm running a little late and I just don't have the time to do it myself."
Daphne sighed. "...Okay. Just make sure you're not late for school."
She thanked her mom then took her cup of coffee to the dining room table where her father was seated. They gave each other the normal, casual, indifferent greeting they always did and sat down in silence. She wasn't as close with her father as she was with her mother. There didn't seem to be any real reason for it other than the fact that they had so little in common. Lisa tried to finish her coffee as quickly as she could without burning herself so as not to prolong the time with Richard. When she was done she set the cup down and stood up again.
"I better go now." She checked her watch. "It's almost 8.40."
Richard glanced at her. "Before you go, I should tell you. You're mother and I will be attending a wine party tonight -- a kind of promotional event for her firm's recent merger with O'Caplen & Wintermire. We'll be out the night so, we probably won't see you until tomorrow morning."
Lisa winced. Now she had no excuse for avoiding Dani tonight. "Okay, Dad."
"If you get hungry, your Mother left you a chicken casserole in the refrigerator. And don't stay up late."
"I won't, Dad," She gave him a goodbye kiss. "I'll see you tomorrow morning then."
He nodded. "Bye bye, Sweetheart."
Before she got any later than she already was, she headed for the corridor. Her mom was just coming down the stairs with Koenig in hand by the time. Lisa said a quick goodbye to her and then left, shutting the door behind her. A surprise was waiting for her on the curb though. She was about to walk down to the bus stop to go but saw the polished black finish of Dani's car parked up at the sidewalk.
Lisa, in her disbelief, jogged down to the curb and balked. "W-what are you doing here?"
"Where's my `hello' kiss?" Dani quipped with a grin.
The blonde looked from one side to the other to make sure that they weren't being listened in on or being overheard. Neither was happening apparently. And since she knew her parents weren't at the window that gave her licence to speak more. "Dani, you can't come here...!"
"Oh no?" the brunette leaned back on the hood of her car. "I just wanted to give you a ride to school is all."
"Look, that's... that's really nice of you, but you're-you're making this awkward..."
Dani's grin widened. "Oh I bet I am. Wouldn't that just be the biggest kick in the teeth for those snobby, buttoned-down, George W. Bush-loving, suburbanite parents of yours? I can see it now. `News flash, mother-lovers! You're goddamned daughter's a goddamned dyke'."
When Dani got like this Lisa just couldn't read her. She seemed angry about something and yet she appeared as equally cheerful as that. It was then that Lisa paid close attention to Dani's face. She was wearing shades today. But at the edge of her lower right eye she saw something. It was the purple swelling of a bruise. Lisa dropped her fear of the sarcastic `outing' that Dani was talking about and reached out to her, softly touching her upper cheek. Dani's smile fell. She shut her eyes at the feeling. Lisa always had such a gentle touch.
"What happened?" Lisa asked with notable concern.
Dani pulled the sunglasses off her face and revealed the extent of the bruise under her eye. "It's nothing. I probably sleepwalked into a door or something."
Lisa just stared at her.
"I said it's nothing, okay?" Dani fitted the shades back onto her eyes. "Now am I taking you to school or what?"
Dani walked around to the driver's side and hopped in just as Lisa did the same through the passenger's side door. The car peeled off just a few moments afterward and drove out from Lisa's street and off toward school. The drive wasn't long, no more than fifteen minutes. With the passing of that time they reached Alderson High School. The car drove up one of the side streets that led cars around the back of the campus and into its car park. Dani turned at the wheel in search of a parking space, and found one two spaces down from the far left corner. She reversed into the space and locked off her car, turning to Lisa with a smile.
"Yeah. Thanks for taking me," she reached for the door. "I should go."
Dani's smile fell a little. "Wait a minute."
"What about tonight? Is everything okay for it? Can you come see me?"
For the brief few seconds she was given to answer Lisa pondered what her response to that should be. She couldn't lie very well but she didn't want to complicate things any further by suggesting that the two of them were heading somewhere. For the most part Lisa still wasn't sure if Dani was what she wanted -- especially considering how she'd been acting of late. But there was no good excuse. She could come. That wasn't an issue now that her parent's were going out for the night. Lisa just wasn't sure if she wanted to. Eventually the struggle led her to her inability to discover a solution. So she tried to do the next best thing -- stall.
"...Maybe w-we should do this... you know, next week or something?"
Dani shrugged and nodded. "Yeah, why wait? I don't wanna just be sneaking around in cars trying to do this. I want us both to be comfortable, you know? So what's the deal? Is there like, something up at home that you can't come today or what?"
"Well, it's not like that..."
"So it's them, huh?" A sigh left Dani as she leaned back in her seat. "You know, I don't get why you always bend over backwards for those two."
Lisa frowned. "They're my parents..."
Dani took a long and deep glance out of her side window. "...Parents are overrated," she commented.
"...Dani... it's just not a good time right now."
She glowered. "Oh bullshit. You're bailing on me. So what's the problem now, huh? Did they see me yesterday? What'd they say? Did they tell you to stay away from me? Don't want me corrupting their precious daughter, huh?"
"W-will you stop talking about my parents?" Lisa pleased. "It's not even about them, t-they won't even be home tonight...!"
It didn't occur to Lisa that she'd dropped the ball until she witnessed the grin on Dani's face return and widen. After that she realized that she'd just blurted out the absence of her parent's for the night. That also meant losing the last real excuse she had for not wanting to be with Dani tonight -- at least in her books. Lisa nervously leaned forward and tugged a strand of her blonde hair back behind her ear, pensively glancing ahead of her. After that admission she didn't dare look that gloating grin of Dani's in the face.
"So the WASP-patrol is off duty tonight, yeah?" Probed Dani.
There was no point in hiding anything now. "...There's a wine party at my Mom's law firm tonight. She and Dad are going together. They won't be back until the early morning, my Dad said."
"Good. Then that means we have the house to ourselves."
Lisa's body and will visibly deflated. But she knew there was no point in saying anything to try and dissuade Dani. She always got what she wanted. Instead she just had to get out of car and get some air. She tried to do that, but then just like yesterday, Dani restrained her by the wrist.
"...Dani, class starts soon... we have to go..." She mumbled.
The brunette smirked. "Where's my goodbye kiss?"
Lisa heaved a sigh before leaving over the stick shift and giving the eager lips of her lover a gentle butterfly kiss. The smack was so audible in that confined space. Lisa pulled back, only to have Dani reach out and cup her cheek. It wasn't a tender touch despite the lace-softness of Dani's hands. It was that possessive touch that the older girl was so good at. Lisa bit her lip for a moment; suppressing whatever lust she felt bubbling up inside her again. She turned to leave. But again Dani held her back.
"I didn't get a `hello' kiss this morning, either," She stated matter-of-factly.
Lisa blinked with disbelief. Was she serious? Apparently so -- and so Lisa exhaled and leaned over the stick shift once more. Only this time Dani reached up, held Lisa's cheeks with both strong hands, and passionately brought their lips together. Their more rigorous kiss stifled Lisa's surprised gasps, rendering her powerless, as Dani's kisses always did. The smaller one melted in that moment, so startled and so overwhelmed, as Dani's moved hungrily against hers. Lisa's hands remained caught between the two of them, sandwiched between her small breasts and Dani's much larger ones. And as Dani kissed her like that, head tilted to one side, her restrained dissolved. That was until Dani slid one of her hands down her flushed red cheeks, along the length of her neck, the down the outline of her tiny right breast. Lisa tensed. Then a lustful Dani, so drunk on her Lisa, slipped that hand underneath her white tee shirt and cupped the mound. Alarmed, Lisa quickly disengaged from their kiss.
"Dani, don't!" She quipped in gasps, leaning back.
The older girl drew in breaths with a lazy grin, her own tanned cheeks rosy. "Yeah. We can save all that for tonight. Meet me back here after your Western Philosophy afterschool class, okay? Don't be late."
"I won't. I'll... see you later."
This time Lisa was `allowed' to go without restraint. She opened the door, swung her backpack onto her back, and shut the door. She didn't look back as she marched from the car park out into the side streets and back around to the front gates of Alderson High. The morning bell rang on her way there. Lisa sped up and strode past all the other chattering kids funnelling into the arch door of the main building. The first thing she did was go to her locker and put away some of the books she didn't need until later on in the day. She took them out of her bag, slotted them into her locker, then slammed it shut and turned to leave.
The very second she did she knocked face-to-face into someone else.
Both girls gasped and reeled back, eliciting a few sniggers from the passers-by, and causing Lisa to drop her bag to the floor. Her eyes shut reflexively; in front of her she heard the girl snipe `son of a motherfucker!' under her breath. Lisa opened her eyes and quickly apologized, "Oh God, I'm so sorry!" before catching an actual look at the woman she was talking to. The girl was gorgeous. She was roughly the same height as Lisa, perhaps a few centimetres taller, with an equally petite yet much `fuller' body and profile. Her hair hung around her forehead, shoulder and upper back in long wavy locks of natural cinnamon brown, accentuating the slight tan on her creamy white skin. Her eyes were the most fascinating colour of green; they were like dazzling emerald gemstones. Add to that her cute, lightly freckled button-nose, luscious cerise lips and long curling eyelashes, the girl was a sight to behold. The angry snarl on her face did nothing to take away from her beauty.
Lisa bit her lip and looked away, blushing.
The girl (who had been holding her head in pain up until now) peered at her. "Jeez, could you watch where you're going a little? God, I hate California already!"
"I'm so sorry, I... I should have been more careful..."
"Yeah, you should've," The unknown girl petted her heavy dark-ginger bangs back into place. " But you're forgiven if you can tell me where Mr. Peterson's English class is?"
Lisa smiled a bit. "That's my next class. I-I could show you there if you'd like?"
"Lead the way," she replied.
The blushing blonde turned to do just that, before the still nameless girl said, "Hey, wait a minute."
She pointed at Lisa's bag, still on the floor. "Isn't that yours?"
"Oh...!" And now she felt like the world's biggest dork. "Oh right, yes, that's... that's mine..."
Lisa grabbed by bag and gestured for this woman to follow her. The two girls walked through the crowds of the corridor, up one of the conjoined (and quieter) stairwells, then into the corridor of the second floor and along all the doors of its lengthy right wall until they came to door no. 230. Lisa told the woman `this is the place' and in reply she patted Lisa on the shoulder with a nonchalant `thanks'. They both went inside. The English hadn't started yet but most kids were seated. Lisa darted off to her normal seat in the bottom right corner, while the girl she'd helped parked herself somewhere in the middle-left. When Lisa sat down she got her stuff out -- but privately stole glances of that girl she'd run into. She was so pretty. Already some of the boys in the class started throwing glances her way, though she remained largely indifferent. Then the English teacher, Mr. Peterson, walked in through the door and all the other kids started piping down.
Mr. Peterson plopped his briefcase down on the pine wood desk in front of the whiteboard (still scribbled over with the notes of other teachers) and took off his glasses to greet the class. "Morning everyone. Before I get down to the subject of your screenplay assignments... I want to introduce a new student to our class... uh, Nicole Milligan?"
The girl Lisa bumped into, the one with the golden brown hair, raised her hand briefly. "Right here."
"Yes," Mr. Peterson continued. "This is her first day here. I'd like you all to make her feel welcome. Now, moving along, I hope that you all have..."
As their English teacher started to waffle on about the assignments that were due in today, Lisa smiled privately and observed the stunning girl known as Nicole. She spent the rest of the class staring at her. And for this first time in a week... she wasn't thinking about Dani.