Megan’s dreams became intense and frequent again. She woke up every night screaming and sweating. The dark circles under her eyes became more and more prominent. She had spoken to Katrina again, but Katrina told her that she had to deal with the issue or go and see someone for help, but Megan refused to be drawn back into her childhood hell. She would find a way to deal with it, but she wouldn’t see someone again. Some nights she found herself wishing that Charlie would be there to comfort her again, but her anger towards Charlie would quickly drive those feelings away. It didn’t stop her from having those feelings again though. Although she couldn’t remember the previous dreams, she knew something was missing, but hell would freeze over before she would approach Charlie again. She felt humiliated in more ways than one.
Charlie woke up every night from Megan’s screams as well. It took a lot of self-control not to give in to her desire to go to her. She was angry at herself for her body’s betrayal, and didn’t want to risk it again. She knew she loved Megan, even after what had happened, but she still wouldn’t allow herself to be used.
Days went on, and things got back into a normal routine except for the nights that still held Megan’s screams. Charlie’s cows were calving, and things weren’t looking as bad as she had thought. The new vet in town came by to introduce herself and she took an immediate liking to Charlie who in turn thought she might be a good distraction. They were sitting on the porch with Katrina when Megan came around the corner. She looked very dishevelled after spending most of the morning with Harry and Rebecca in the field on another picnic.
“Megan!” Katrina motioned for her to come join them on the porch. “Come and meet Allison and have a cup of tea with us.” Megan walked towards Allison with an extended hand.
“Megan, this is Allison Montgomery, the new vet in town, and Allison, this is Megan, the other owner of the farm.” Allison gave Megan the once over and smiled, but Megan could feel the woman’s antagonism and an ice-cold chill went down her spine. She gave a fake smile and went to sit down on the chair next to Katrina.
Allison took a sip of her tea and turned to Charlie. “You must let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you. I’ll be on twenty four hour call whenever you need me.” She completely ignored Megan and Katrina, and laid her hand on Charlie’s. “Maybe when you have some time, you can show me around this little town of yours.”
“I have time tonight. Why don’t you join me for dinner? We actually have a nice little restaurant in this town of ours.”
“That’ll be amazing.” Allison smiled from ear to ear. She was running her fingers up and down Charlie’s arm.
Megan felt a twist in her stomach when she saw how Allison flirted with Charlie. She didn’t like what she saw at all. She felt suffocated and wanted to get away from them as soon as possible.
“I need to get cleaned up, so please excuse me,” Megan said as she got up to walk away.
Allison gave her a smile. “It was nice meeting you Megan. Maybe we can get to know each other a little better before you leave at the end of the year.”
Megan immediately felt anger building up in her. “Who says I’m leaving at the end of the year? I haven’t finalized any of my plans, and people shouldn’t presume what they don’t know.”
Charlie and Katrina looked up at Megan in shock.
“But aren’t you selling your half of the farm to Charlie?” Allison looked from Megan to Charlie in puzzlement.
Megan glared at Charlie. “Do you go out of your way to tell every stranger about our business?”
“I didn’t know it was a state secret. You implied that you would only be here for the year.” Charlie glared back at Megan.
“It’s my life, and I can change my mind without asking your permission. Don’t presume that you can drive me away so easily.”
Megan turned to Allison with a cynical smile. “Don’t sharpen your teeth for Charlie just yet, she’s frigid.”
There were several moments of shocked silence after Megan’s declaration, during which she turned and walked away..
That evening Katrina and Megan had dinner on their own after Charlie left to have dinner with Allison.
“Charlie looked very nice tonight.” Katrina sounded like a proud mother. “I haven’t seen her put so much effort into her looks in a long time.”
“I don’t know what she sees in that vet.”
“Why Megan, do I detect a bit of jealousy?” Katrina was smiling.
“There’s nothing to be jealous about.”
“That’s not what it sounds like from this end.”
Megan looked at Katrina for a long while before she spoke again. “What’s wrong with me?”
“What do you mean?”
“What’s wrong with me that she doesn’t want to touch me?”
“That’s something that you would need to discuss with her.”
“No way am I discussing anything with her!”
“Then you will just have to keep wondering, or forget about it.”
Katrina had a faint smile on her face through the rest of the meal. “It’s about time,” she thought. “Those two broken souls will one day be one. Claire’s idea wasn’t so harebrained at all.”
After their dinner, Allison invited Charlie to her house for coffee. Once inside, Allison made sure that Charlie knew what her real intentions were. She wrapped her arms around Charlie and pulled her closer. She pulled Charlie’s head down to her and explored her lips. The kiss grew more intense as Charlie participated, but it wasn’t very long before Charlie pulled away.
“I can’t do this. It isn’t fair to you.”
“Why not? We both want it.”
“I would just be using you, which is exactly what I was accusing Megan of.”
“But I don’t mind being used by you until you know what you want.”
“That’s just it, I know what I want. I want Megan.”
“Yes they do. Mine has changed into the love I feel for her. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, and I don’t want to hope for too much, but I can’t be untrue to my heart.”
Allison got upset. “If that’s the case, then run back to her. She was so jealous that anyone who didn’t know better would have thought she was your girlfriend.”
“Don’t get upset Allison, we both knew what we let ourselves in for… uhmm, what do you mean she was jealous?”
“Oh come on. Anyone could have seen it a mile away.”
“Anyone but me,” Charlie muttered.
Charlie drove home with her mind running through the day’s events. She still couldn’t believe that Megan had blurted out that they shouldn’t presume that she was leaving at the end of the year. She had to admit that Megan had been very antagonistic toward Allison from the start, and maybe it was because she was jealous. Charlie smiled at the thought. Maybe there was some light at the end of this tunnel after all..
Megan couldn’t sleep. It was after one in the morning, and Charlie still wasn’t home yet. “Why am I letting this upset me so much? We’re not involved. She doesn’t owe me anything. She has a right to see whoever she wants, even if it isn’t me.” Megan looked at her watch again. “They’re probably having sex right now. What the hell does she have that I don’t?” Megan was getting all worked up again. “I have a good body, I know I’m worth looking at, and I wasn’t asking for any commitment. What more could she ask for?”
Megan got up from her bed to get herself another drink. “A few more of these might get me a night’s sleep, and then I might stop talking to myself.” She laughed at herself as she walked down the stairs with the whisky glass in her hand. She was halfway down when she bumped into Charlie. With the feelings of anger still fresh, she smiled sarcastically. “Well Charlie, I didn’t take you for the fuck them and leave them type. Are you losing your edge?”
Charlie’s looked at the half drunk Megan. “Maybe you should leave the comments to tomorrow and get some sleep.”
“You have no right to tell me what to do. I’m not part of your life; I’m not even good enough to have sex with.”
“I think you really need to stop talking.” Charlie just looked at Megan in amusement. It looked like Allison was right.
“Stop telling me what to do!” Megan was shoving her finger in Charlie’s face again.
“Didn’t I tell you before not to do that?”
“Oh, I almost forgot about that. It just means that the experience was nothing worth remembering.”
Charlie had a wicked grin on her face. “Is that so?”
“Yes,” Megan responded defiantly. “I don’t even know why I was ever interested in having sex with you.” Megan was right in Charlie’s face by now. She was pushing her finger into Charlie’s chest, but her finger managed to miss the spot and land on a full breast. Even in her alcohol induced state, the feel of Charlie breast under her finger sent a tingle through Megan’s body.
Charlie let out a soft moan and closed her eyes for a second. “Then maybe we need to do something to remedy that fact.” She pulled Megan towards her. “I can’t have you going around thinking I don’t know how to please.” She brought her lips down onto Megan’s who waited in anticipation. Her mind was a bit fuzzy, but she knew she wanted this more that anything else.
Megan was breathless by the time Charlie pulled away. She was swaying slightly. Charlie took the glass out of her hand before she turned Megan around and pushed her back upstairs. Megan’s mind was still spinning and she just went with the flow.
Once outside Megan’s door Charlie gave her a soft slap on the behind. “Now, go and sleep it off like a good little girl,” Charlie said as she turned around and walked to her room.
Megan just stood in place, completely taken aback by Charlie’s behaviour. Once the clouds in her mind started clearing a bit, she shouted towards the now closed door to Charlie’s room, “You arrogant arsehole, you don’t know what you’re missing!”
She only heard laughter coming from behind the door, after which she marched into her room and slammed the door shut.
Megan looked and felt like death the next morning when she eventually got up. Even in her drunken state, she wasn’t able to get away from the nightmare. She was cradling her head in her hands as she was sitting at the dining room table. Harry and Rebecca chose that moment to run past their mother shouting out loud on their way to find Charlie who had promised to take them horseback riding. Megan felt ready to accept death over the pounding in her head. Hopefully the aspirins she had taken would eventually work.
“Are you coming horseback riding with us Megan?” Harry asked excitedly.
“I’m really not a rider.”
“Charlie promised me that I could ride with her on Mobius. Maybe she could teach you like that as well.” Rebecca’s innocent remark made Megan groan inwardly.
“Oh, I don’t think so.” Megan tried to smile. “I’m sure Charlie has more important things to do.”
“As a matter of fact, I don’t.”
Megan stiffened when she heard the words before she looked up to see Charlie casually walking into the dining room with a wide smile on her face. “We’d be happy to have you join us.”
Megan glared at Charlie. “I don’t own riding clothes.”
“No need for them. You can come as you are.”
“Please!” Harry and Rebecca said in chorus.
“I really don’t think it’s a good idea.” Megan continued to try to get out of it.
“Come on kids, let’s leave her to sleep some more. At least you guys aren’t scared of horses.” Charlie took Rebecca by her hand as she moved towards the door.
Megan’s face turned red at the statement, and she was boiling inside. She really wanted to swear at Charlie, but had enough self-control not to do it in front of the children. “I’ll meet you guys at the stable in ten minutes.”
Charlie looked over her shoulder at Megan with a huge grin on her face. “Take your time, we’re in no rush. It’s Sunday after all.”
By the time Megan got to the stable, Harry was already on a horse named Matilda. Charlie was leading the horse to get Harry comfortable in the seat, not that he looked uncomfortable at all. He looked like he was born in the seat. When they saw Megan approaching they stopped.
“I have a horse all saddled up for you.” Charlie walked towards one of the open stall doors and led out a horse that looked very calm. “You shouldn’t have any problems with her.”
“Granny’s great to learn to ride on Megan. She doesn’t do anything but walk.” Harry smiled proudly. “That’s how I started.”
Megan looked at Charlie and gave a big smile, but her eyes told a different story. “Great!”
Charlie could see the fire burning in Megan’s eyes, and decided to test it a bit more. “You could always learn to ride with me on Mobius. I’ll even let you sit in front.”
“No, it’s fine. Granny will do.”
After riding for an hour they got back to the stable, where Charlie suggested Megan should stay with her for another lesson. The kids agreed that it would be a great idea, because if she could learn to ride better, they could actually ride a bit faster instead of just letting the horses walk.
“Unless you aren’t up to it?” Charlie asked.
Megan wished she could wipe that smirk off Charlie’s face. “I’m up to anything that you can suggest.” Internally she just wanted to get off the horse, because she had stopped feeling her behind thirty minutes ago.
Charlie’s one eyebrow lifted up a notch. “Very good to know. How about a different horse? Maybe one a little bit faster?”
“Bring it on!”
Charlie arranged for Thunder to be saddled. When Megan saw the horse her eyes widened. “You call that a little bit faster? The horse doesn’t look like it knows how to stand still!”
“Thunder’s a gentle horse once you’re on him. He just needs to get used to you, so come closer.” Charlie could see Megan swallow a lump in her throat. “If you’re scared, just say so.”
“I’m not scared,” Megan said a little too quickly.
“Maybe we had better get Granny again.”
“No, I’m fine with him.” Megan walked closer to the horse while trying not to think of him biting her.
“This might help.” Charlie handed Megan an apple. “He loves these. Mobius is a sugar freak, but Thunder prefers the healthy things in life.”
The lesson went well. Being on a horse that actually had some spirit made a difference for her. Before long they were trotting at a steady pace. Megan was enjoying it so much that she even forgot about not being able to feel her behind.
They stopped at the river to give the horses a bit of a rest, but Megan and Charlie walked in opposite directions after they agreed to meet back at the spot in twenty minutes. As Megan walked away she could feel the stiffness setting in, but tried to walk normally.
After twenty minutes they both got back to the horses, except that Thunder was nowhere to be found. “Something must have scared him. I’m sure he’ll be at the stable when we get back.”
Megan was panicking a bit. “Great, and just how on earth am I suppose to get back?”
“Well, you have two choices. You can either walk or ride with me. I wouldn’t suggest the walking part, the sun is way too hot.”
“Why can’t you ride back to the stable and come back with another horse?”
“Don’t be silly Megan. There is enough space on Mobius for both of us.”
“That’s the horse that threw you off isn’t it?”
“Yes, but only because I was distracted when it got a fright.”
“If I have to choose between the combination of you and your horse, versus the sun and walking, I think I’d rather be walking.” Megan turned around and started walking in the direction of the house.
Charlie ran after her. “That’s just stupid.”
“You need to make up your mind whether you think I’m silly or stupid,” Megan said without looking back.
Charlie reached Megan and stopped her with a hand on her shoulder. Megan turned around as she sighed. “You also need to make up your mind if you want me or not. I’m tired of these games.”
“I don’t want you in the way that you think.” Charlie couldn’t look into Megan’s eyes as she said this.
“Great, just great. At least now I know where I stand.” Megan was seething. She spun around and started walking again. “What other way could you be wanting me if it’s not sexually? Why do you feel the need to play with words? Just tell me you’re not interested, and at least have the decency to act like you don’t want me as well!”
“Megan, you have it wrong.” Charlie rushed after her and stopped her again.
“Get your hands off me! I don’t ever want you close to me again.”
“Stop acting like a child.”
“Stop telling me what to do, and leave me alone!” Megan spun around again.
“That’s it. I’ve had enough.” Charlie rushed after Megan again, but this time she came to a stop in front of her which made Megan bump into her. She grabbed Megan by the waist and pulled her over her shoulder and walked back towards Mobius. Megan tried with all her might to get off, but she couldn’t budge. By the time they reached the horse she had given up fighting.
“This day just keeps on getting better and better. Are you getting in touch with your Amazon roots again?” Megan glared at Charlie when she lifted her onto the horse.
“You’re the only person that pushes me to extremes like this. I’m sure that deep down in that little mind of yours, you’re enjoying every minute of this.” Charlie silently cursed herself for even thinking that her plan would have a good outcome, but chasing Thunder away in order to force Megan to ride with her had backfired. She mounted Mobius to sit behind Megan who looked like she had a broom up her behind. “You better hold on.”
Megan tried to have as little contact with Charlie as possible on the ride home, but when Charlie brought Mobius to a sprint she was leaning back and clinging onto Charlie’s thighs. Charlie automatically brought her arms down tighter to create a more secure circle for Megan. Even in their angered state, both of them were very aware of each other and every part that was touching.
Once they reached the house, Megan almost jumped off. She was inside the house and on her way to her room before Katrina, who was sitting on the porch, could even say a word. Katrina turned her attention to Charlie who dismounted slowly. “Should I even ask what happened this time?”
“Well, I’m rusty to say the least. I think I need to go and read a manual on how to be romantic, and she needs to take a Valium or two. She’s strung tighter than a bow; it’s a wonder I still have a head on my shoulders.