From O'Hare to LAX
Her body reacted even before she noticed an indistinct and vague silhouette in her peripheral vision field. Like the antelope knows she is a prey before hearing or smelling anything unusual, she was suddenly paralyzed, her blood rushed with adrenaline, her heart was suddenly pounding and every single hair was rising in alert. Jill didn't have to actually look at her to be absolutely sure they were in the same place again for the first time in 3 years.
Fortunately they were in a departure lounge of Chicago's airport surrounded by hundreds of people and Jill could easily hide behind her newspaper. So much for the "cool and collected" attitude she had worked on. Every time she had pictured this encounter she had imagined herself smiling, hugging even. "Hi Jude! How are you?" She would ask with genuine interest, and then some small talk, and always her body language exuding "I'm so over it you know".
HA! I am so NOT! She thought. Two years of therapy and I'm comparing myself to an antelope hunted by a lion in the fucking savannah first time I see her. And then I hide myself behind the newspaper. How mature.
But she couldn't bring herself to act differently, not with her hands shaking and her face so pale.
Her flight has been delayed because of the snow and she could see a yellow snow thrower working on the tarmac through big windows. California has dream weather but deeply she missed the cold. She missed breathing winter air. Coming back for Christmas was always letting her very nostalgic for winters, friends and family. She had no energy left to meet the girl who had ripped her heart out. What was she doing here anyway? They were obviously waiting for the same flight. She was heading to LA? Why? And where was her husband? AND WHY EXACTLY SHOULD I CARE? She summonsed herself.
When they announced passenger boarding it was near midnight. Jill hurried to the plain, not wanting to bump into her accidentally. Once safely seated in the window seat she always chose, she felt herself relax a little.
She loved the takeoff. It always felt like the best roller coaster ever. The lights of Chicago were quickly disappearing and before long they were flying in a total darkness. But she was still looking out the window because her mind had drifted in a place she had not allowed herself to venture for a long time.
Jude was… there is no word to tell how she felt about Jude at that time. She was everything. She was perfect and more. She was her best friend, she was funny and smart and fearless and… beautiful. Very much so. Oh god she had such a crush on her! She would have done anything for her. What it is to have the heart of a seventeen years old! The entire world is totally confusing but the little things you're focused on are almighty. And she was absolutely focused on Jude. I'm so glad I'm not seventeen anymore! She thought, but she knew it was not totally true. She had never felt so alive, so in love since…Jude.
I should stop thinking about it right now. This is a bad idea. Don't think about it. But knowing Jude was somewhere in the same plain make it absolutely impossible. And in no time she found herself replaying that night, 6 years ago, when they were in Jude's room, playing truth or dare, well mostly dare because truth is boring when you know each other that well. Her parents were out and they were supposed to watch after Jude's little brother but instead they were seating on her bed, laughing and daring each other to drink more beer. And like that, out of the blue, Jude said it. "I dare you to kiss me." It was said in a playful tone and Jude's eyes were sparkling with challenge, but Jill sobered immediately, her heart pounding so hard in her chest she knew she was totally flushed. She was sure Jude was seeing right through her. She blinked one, two times, she remembered thinking make a joke of it, don't go there. But she could not. She could not because she wanted to kiss her. That's what she wanted most in the world.
When her lips closed on Jude's she thought that she had the most unbelievable, incredible, wonderful lips in the world. And when Jude began moving them against hers she felt such a jolt of desire and pure happiness she wanted to die right there an then. But then Jude hands were on her hips, pulling her a little closer. Jude parted her lips slightly, and Jill could not stop her tongue from invading Jude's mouth, exploring it with deliberate slowness, her tongue curious and sensuous, sometimes sucking on her upper lips, and then coming back in the warmness of her mouth. Sometimes giving. Sometimes taking. She thought she would be happy to stay there for the rest of her life, doing nothing else than kissing that girl.
She was wrong. Too soon an overpowering desire to kiss and lick every square inch of Jude's skin surge into her and she panicked. She remembered breaking the kiss, panting, shaking, still dizzy from the kiss and yet anxious about Jude's reaction.
Jude was looking at her very seriously with unreadable black eyes. They stayed still for what feels like an eternity, looking into each other eyes, their hearts pounding loudly.
Jill does not know if Jude said it or if she just mouthed it. She does not remember any sound, but she clearly remembers what she red on her lips. "I WANT YOU."
"Are you unable to sleep?"
The question startled her and Jill looked up to find the stewardess kindly smiling at her.
"We are pretty much the only ones awake by now."
Jill looked around for a moment. The plain was half full and everyone seemed soundly asleep, most of them lying under a thin blanket.
"What time is it?" She asked, realizing that she had lost track of time.
"It's 0230. We can provide a cushion and a blanket if it's any help." She stopped for a minute and then whispered with a grin: "And if you're very very tired I will risk everything and bring you two blankets."
"Could you bring me two vodka tonic instead?"
The stewardess arched an eyebrow. "I see, you're not the blanket type are you?" She said, smiling playfully. Jill could not suppress the smile. Is she flirting with me? She was very cute with her curly red hair in a ponytail, her freckles and her honey eyes.
"I will bring you a vodka tonic and a meal tray. You can drink if you eat."
"Good girl" She winked and disappeared in the back of the plain. She is definitely flirting. The thought brought a smile on Jill's face and she realized she was hungry.
"Chateaubriand served in green peppercorn sauce with potatoes au gratin and a mushroom, leek and onion sauté" announced the stewardess while putting the tray in front of Jill. "And a vodka tonic. I even managed a business class menu for you. Don't you love me?" She said with a childish smile, her eyes sparkling with amusement.
"I do. I totally do."
"Call me if you need anything else." She winked again and headed to the back of the airplane. Jill's eyes followed her retreat, admiring her proud and sexy gait.
"She is cute"
Even if she was somehow prepared to it, the voice affected her. She would have recognized it anywhere.
"Jude" she said looking up.
Of course she is as beautiful as ever, she thought, unable to stop her eyes from searching the face she used to know so well. Basically she was the same beautiful brunette, with those wild eyes and fine features, except for the hair she now kept shorter. She was looking at Jill warmly, smiling, looking genuinely happy to see her. Now is the time to prove that you are a mature and well-behaved woman.
"How are you Jude? Would you like to sit down?"
"Thank you. You look… wonderful" She sat next to Jill and added "We are the only ones awake in the whole plain."
"Really? And what kept you awake till 3 o'clock?" asked Jill good-naturally.
A puzzled expression crossed Jude's face.
"The same thing that kept you awake, I guess…"
There was an awkward silence. Jill felt her heart pounding, unable to tear her eyes from Jude's.
"God Jude! Can we stay on safe ground, please?" She whispered.
Jude was going to say something but she seemed to change her mind.
"You're right. I'm sorry." She looked at Jill apologetically, offering a reassuring smile, and Jill felt herself warming under Jude's gaze. I have never been able to resist her. Apparently it has not change. The thought was unsettling but she let it slip, instead focusing on what Jude was saying: "I met your mother Saturday morning at the farmer market. She told me you are still doing great at Caltech. I'm not surprised, though. You had such a gift with numbers."
"Yeah, they love me. Maybe too much." Answered Jill a little bit too enthusiastically, in a tentative to lighten her mood. "Sometimes I spend so much time in their company… I loose track of everything. I can live in my own mind for days, weeks even. And when I come back I feel strangely disconnected, people talk to me and I have to make a real effort to just be there." She laughed softly. "Well it gets better after 2 or 3 beers. After all I just have to knock my mind out."
Jude was listening intently, and Jill could not help but vividly remember how just a certain smile, a touch, a word from Jude were able to bring her back in no time from her number's world. She had never felt disconnected at that time, Jude knew how to claim her back.
Apparently Jude was following the same track of mind because she said gently:
"I'm sure your girlfriend can fix that."
Jill stayed quiet for so long Jude thought she was mad again, but then she answered softly: "No, not really."
"So you have a girlfriend" Jude went on, not missing a beat.
Why am I on the verge of talking about my love life with Jude among all people? Apparently we are absolutely incapable of insignificant conversation.
"I… no. Not anymore. I had a girlfriend, for one year, but it didn't work out."
"Why?" Asked Jude immediately.
"Well, referring to her, I was not passionate enough."
Jude was facing her, she slowly raised an eyebrow, and said:
"Obviously she did not know you very well."
Jill was suddenly angry. What gave Jude the right to say such a thing? How could she come out of nowhere and judge her love life? Who was she to give any kind of comment on the subject? Its not like they were friend or anything!
"She did know me, said Jill angrily, but you know, when you dumped me after three years without looking back, because finally you were not a lesbian anymore, believe me you putted a damper on my passionate side."
Here we are. I said it.
Jill closed her eyes. She suddenly wanted to be somewhere else, very far from Jude and this insane emotional turmoil. She sighed deeply, trying to regain some control, but she felt very tired.
"I didn't want to upset you Jill, I'm sorry." Said Jude, while she began softly stroking Jill's hand with her fingertips. "I am so sorry" She added, and her fingers were butterfly-kissing Jill's backhand. When Jude slowly and sensuously entwined her fingers with hers, Jill felt shivers running up her arm and her breath quickening dangerously. She opened wide eyes and blinked several times, shocked by the expression of intense desire she saw in Jude's eyes.
"You know it is very rude to flirt with someone else when you are on a date, right?"
Jill looked up quickly, confusion written all over her face, to find the stewardess smiling at her playfully.
"W…What?" She asked
"Well I provided your dinner, and a drink, and I was coming back to ask you if you wanted anything else. Technically we are on a date, aren't we? How rude of you to spend the evening with someone else!" Said the stewardess jokingly, looking pointedly at there entwined fingers. "Since you haven't touch your meal, nor your drink, I guess our date was not that successful, though."
Jill disentangled her fingers and laughed.
"I get carried away. But I promise to make it up to you on the next date."
"I can work with that. Can I bring you another drink ladies?" She asked, smiling at both women.
"I'm good, thank you," answered Jill, while Jude just nodded.
"Let me know when you want your breakfast, she added as she removed the untouched meal tray. I make great coffee." She rolled her eyes and finally left them alone.
There were a few minutes of awkward silence, during which Jill was shifting under Jude's intent scrutiny.
"So, what are you going to LA for?" asked Jill in a tentative to regain some control on the situation.
"I live in LA."
"Really?" said Jill in a very surprised voice. "Since when?"
"I needed a change. A friend offered an interesting job in downtown so… I took the opportunity."
"What about your husband? Did he find something too?"
Jude waited a few seconds before answering slowly
"I'm not married anymore."
Jill's throat was inexplicably dry. She took a sip of her drink and asked without looking:
Jude waited a whole minute this time, as if debating something, but eventually she answered with a tired voice:
"I guess he was tired of me cheating on him with every single lesbian in town."
Jill looked at her with wide eyes, momentarily unable to speak, while Jude was obviously avoiding her stare.
"What did you just say?" asked Jill in a high-pitched voice.
"I heard you!" Jill said too loudly, cutting her off. "Fuck you Jude! Just fuck you!"
Jill turned quickly and looked out the window, clearly decided to shut her down.
"Leave me alone, Jude, just leave-me-alone!"
Jude took a deep breath and stood up, her legs shaking, deeply anxious because of the hurt she had just witnessed on Jill's face. She badly wanted to touch her, to explain, to sooth the obvious pain she had, again, inflicted to the only person she had ever loved. But she was not welcome to do so.
She was not good at handling conflict situations. She never had and she knew her reflex to run away was deeply destructive but she couldn't do otherwise. She left Jill alone, knowing it was very wrong, but she didn't know what else to do. She headed to the restrooms because she suddenly suffered from a huge headache.
She was desperately trying to calm down, splashing water on her face to refresh it, when Jill entered the tiny restroom and locked the door. They silently locked eyes in the mirror. Jill was not happy, that was obvious. When Jude made a move to turn around, Jill cut her short.
Without breaking eye contact Jill came even closer and Jude felt her hands slipping under her shirt and slowly running up her back, stroking her skin with her palms and fingertips, all the way to her shoulders, then down again, stopping at the bra fastener. Jude was paralyzed by Jill intense and angry stare, and at the same time she felt overwhelmed by the way her body was reacting to Jill's touch, every square inch of her skin suddenly awake, begging to be touched.
When Jill unhooked her bra Jude immediately felt her breasts painfully hardening and the heat between her legs was unmistakable. She closed her eyes quickly but Jill immediately said in the same sharp tone:
"Look at me."
Jill's fingers were running on her ribs and Jude gasped when she felt those hands closing on her hard nipples.
"That's how you like it, uh?" And Jill was pressing her chest to Jude's back while firmly playing with her nipples between her fingers.
"That's what you want, Jude? Tell me, that's what you wanted all along?" She said while pressing her body intimately against Jude's.
Jude's throat was dry and she swallowed the loud moan Jill was effortlessly tiring from her.
Jill slid one hand lower, stroking her belly before expertly undoing Jude's jean. Jude's legs parted to give her room, and Jill's fingers found her wetness.
"Yes, said Jill, pressing herself tighter against her buttocks, you need me, don't you? You need a woman, don't you?"
This time Jude couldn't suppress the moan and braced herself against the mirror to kip her balance. Jill stroked her from behind, her other hand still mercilessly teasing Jude's breast, while her hips pressed even further against Jude's backside.
"Is it Jude? Is it what you need?"
But Jude was gasping, completely overwhelmed by the feeling of Jill's fingers sliding up and down her hard and wet clit, trying desperately not to make any sound, biting her lips hard, unable to do anything but move against Jill's fingers. Finally she closed her eyes shut while the orgasm crash trough her.
When she was able to turn Jill was shaking with desire. Jude pushed her against the door and quickly removed her jean. Then she kneeled and gently placed Jill's thigh on her shoulder. Without warning she took Jill's hard clit in her mouth and began tracing slow circle with her tongue.
"God Jude…. God…" Jill closed her eyes and pushed her head back against the door. "Jude…Jude…" She doesn't need to say anything more, Jude knew how close she was, knew what she wanted. She slipped two fingers all the way inside, still teasing Jill's swollen clit with her tongue, and it was enough to give her the release she craved. Jill's hips jerked involuntarily in Jude's mouth and she muffled a cry, grapping Jude's hair tightly in an effort to stay straight.
Suddenly Jude stood up and her mouth urgently covered Jill's. She wrapped her arms tightly around Jill, kissing her passionately, kissing her like this first time when she had dared her to make a move, dared her to touch her, dared her to come for her, and eventually dared her to love her.
Jill was still catching her breath when she broke the kiss. They stood silently together for a while, till Jude whispered "I missed you so much Jill, you have no idea how much I missed you."
Jill didn't answer right away, but she slowly extracted herself from Jude's embrace.
"Actually I have a pretty good idea." She was looking at Jude with unreadable dark eyes, slowly pushing her away.
"Don't Jude, just don't."
She quickly got dressed again without a word, avoiding Jude's stare, and then she opened the door and simply walked away.
When the plane landed Jill was so confused she decided to be the last to get out. Of course she was desperately avoiding Jude. She waited till the plane was totally empty to stand up, grab her cabin luggage and head to the exit.
"You look awful," said the friendly stewardess who was waiting for her.
"Well you sure know how to make a girl feel good"
"If it's any consolation your girlfriend looked even worth."
"She is not my girlfriend."
"No? Well she gave me something for you, but maybe I should just throw it out." She was pensively turning a small paper in between her fingers.
Jill gave her a sharp look.
"Or maybe not, she laughed. Thank you for flying with us, Thank you for choosing American Airlines." Jill took the small white paper and smiled back.
"Thank you. I needed a friend tonight."
"I know. If you had needed more I would have been the one in the restroom with you." She winked and Jill blushed profusely.
Jill waited to be safely seated in the cab to finally unfold the piece of paper. A hint of a smile crossed her lips when she red:
I dare you to call me. And her phone number.
I am not the type of girl to refuse to take up a challenge, thought Jill, feeling suddenly exited, scared, alive and half dead. And this is a hell of a challenge.