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A LOVE OF FOOTBALL; a H & N story by MJnet
Topic Started: Nov 8 2008, 03:28 PM (4,190 Views)
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With just five minutes to go the ball crashed into the back of the net. The large stadium erupted with thousands of delighted fans and on one team there were now a squad of twelve delighted women. “One nil, one nil” came the chants from around the ground as the final whistle blew.
“Nikki!!” a girl screamed from the sidelines. Nikki walked up to her and signed her shirt. “Thanks Nikki, you were fantastic!” the girl said enthusiastically. Nikki gave her one last smile and joined her teammates down the tunnel. “Well done Nik. You really saved us out there man.” Said the midfielder with darkish skin and long dark hair. Her name was Denny Blood. She was one of the youngest team members and looked up to their captain and top goal scorer this season, Nikki Wade. “I guess it must have been my lucky boots.” Nikki smiled back at her. “Well we owe you a drink. You are coming aren't you? Tonight, the girls night out.” Denny asked. “I don't know Denny, I heard the new manager arrives today and I don't want to give her the wrong impression.” Nikki took her football seriously and rarely went out and got drunk, unless there was a really good reason for it. They all walked into the changing room to be greeted by the very woman Nikki had just mentioned. There new manager.
The coach was standing next to her, a man called Dominic McAllister. He was young and likable. Some of the women had a bit of a crush on him, although Nikki was definitely not one of them. She was a lesbian and everyone knew it. Out and proud was Nikki's motto. Nikki was standing just inside the doorway, she hadn't moved. In fact she didn't think she could if she tried. She was admiring the woman across from her, secretly eyeing her up.
“Okay girls.” Dominic began, “I just want to introduce you to your new manager. I'll leave it to you Helen.” He said walking away.
“Hi.” She smiled turning slowly to take in the room and the women that were about to be under her control for the next few years at least. “I'm Helen Stewart. As you can tell from my accent I am not from around these parts. In fact I have just moved down here from Glasgow to take on the job. I will be meeting you all individually but first I wanted to just introduce myself to the team.” She stopped for a second or two noticing the piercing brown eyes from across the room that were looking right at her. She recognised her as Nikki Wade and felt a sudden rush of adrenalin. She broke away from her eyes and continued. “You were great out there today and I hope to see more of the same but even better. That's all for now.” She smiled and promptly left.
Nikki was left with the strangest feeling. The way Helen had caught her looking at her. She wondered if she had read her mind. She hoped she hadn't because her thoughts were definitely not to be shared. Her heart was pounding in her chest and it wasn't down to running around the pitch for almost 2 hours.
Helen Stewart grew up with football. Her father was a footballer many years previously, playing for big clubs like Glasgow Rangers in his successful career. Which was sadly cut short early through injury. Helen looked up to him and wanted to keep up the family tradition so she went into managing. She had worked on some men's teams in the past but didn't really enjoy it. It was a man's world and difficult to get the respect she so desired and a manager's job was virtually impossible. Then women's football began to take off and she found her place, managing various teams in Scotland and then moving down to London to accept the job of manager to London's best female football team Larkhall UTD. When she heard she had been offered the job she was amazed and delighted. She had heard all about them, especially Nikki Wade. She had quite a reputation. Top goal scorer for the club for the past two years and she was England's best. Playing for the national team.
Helen sat at her new desk in her new office and placed some familiar things around the room and on the desk. Including a framed photo of her dad in his heyday, after scoring a winning goal for Scotland.
She had a lot of work to catch up on and she really wanted to meet her team and get to know them individually. This way she knew what she was up against and they knew what to expect. She sat at her desk and picked up a large file. She began to read up on the basics before seeing them all the following day.
Nikki decided to go for that drink after all. They went to a gay club called Divas nightclub, the club was owned by Nikki's ex, a blonde woman called Trisha. They still remained friends ever since Nikki left her a year ago. They did own the club together but Nikki sold her share of the club to a woman called Yvonne Atkins. The woman was straight but loved to make a profit. She was also a good friend to Nikki and Trisha over the years. Nine long years Nikki was with Trisha until she suddenly realised one day that she wasn't in love with her.
Nikki propped up the bar and sank her fourth bottle of beer. Denny walked up to her,
“hey babes, you should go easy, I thought you wanted to give the new boss a good impression.”
“I changed my mind. Besides I deserve to celebrate, I did get us through to the next round of the cup.”
“True.” Denny replied thoughtfully. “So let me know when you want another.” She smiled and walked off to her girlfriend, a young blonde girl who went by the name of Shaz.
Nikki looked around the club from where she was stood. It was pretty packed and she couldn't see Trisha anywhere. She really needed to talk to her about something. One thing would never change between them and that was their friendship. They confided in each other on many occasions and right now Nikki needed someone to talk to. She drank from the bottle and called Denny over.
“Hey I need another and you were offering to buy me one.”
“No probs.” Denny joined her at the bar and ordered more drinks.
The place was getting quite rowdy with all the women celebrating. Nikki decided what the hell, I'll let my hair down tonight and have a laugh with the others. Usually she would rather curl up with a good book but not tonight. Tonight she really needed company and alcohol.
She took her drink off Denny and made her way through the crowd.
Helen Stewart was about to leave the office when Dominic caught up with her.
“Helen wait.”
She looked around as she locked the door to see Dominic standing there in smart but casual clothing.
“You going anywhere nice” she asked looking him up and down.
“The girls are having a celebratory drink at Nikki's friends club, do you fancy coming along?” he replied catching up and walking beside her.
She gave him a curious look. “Me? Are you serious?”
“Yeah why not. It gives you a chance to meet the team, see them out of their shorts.”
“Pardon?” Helen laughed.
“Oh God, I didn't mean that how it sounded.” He said thinking trust me to stick my foot in it with the boss. He was overcome by embarrassment as he looked down at his shoes.
Helen just laughed. “Dominic relax, I have a sense of humour you know.”
Dominic breathed a sigh of relief. “So are you up for it?” he asked looking up at her.
Helen smiled, “Yeah why not. I could do with a drink anyway.”
“Oh I should tell you, it's a gay club.” He added.
“Great” Helen said suddenly enthusiastic. He looked at her in surprise.
“Dominic you should know I suppose before the gossip gets around, but I am a lesbian.”
Dominic didn't know if to laugh or cry or both. He tried not to do either. “Oh.” He replied quietly.
“Something wrong?” Helen asked.
“No of course not. Its just you don't look gay.” He replied trying to hide his disappointment.
“I wasn't aware we had a look” she said and continued to walk to her car. Her dark blonde hair had a shine to it as the evening sun shone above. The cool breeze blew through strands and Dominic couldn't help but notice how beautiful she looked.
He smiled at her, “Can you give me a lift?”
“Yeah sure, get in.”
They arrived at Divas nightclub around 9pm. Helen looked at her watch as they entered. “I didn't realise it was that late” she said to herself.
“Yeah well stuck in that office with all that paperwork I am not surprised,” Dominic commented.
“I'll be drinking orange juice tonight.” She told him as he headed for the bar. She headed towards a group of the women. She had already spoken to some of them and was just learning their names. So she had to familiarize herself with their faces. She recognised Denny Blood right away. She was the kind of woman you couldn't really miss or forget. She had a tough look about her Helen thought.
“Hey boss, good to see you here” Denny said walking up to her smiling.
“You can all blame Dominic.” She replied.
Knowing full well not all the women would be pleased to see her. This was their night to let their selves go and it wasn't so easy with the boss around.
Helen walked through the crowd when someone fell into her hard almost knocking her over.
“What the fu..” she called out stepping back.
Then she looked down to see Nikki Wade at her feet and looking up at her, flat on her back, next to a broken beer bottle.
Nikki looked up and was horrified. There she was flat on her face in the middle of the club with the boss above her, looking at her with the deepest and most beautiful green eyes she had ever seen. She was gorgeous. Nikki couldn't speak. She was not only breathless but also very embarrassed. She sat up slowly and Helen offered her hand. Nikki looked at it. God her hands are lovely she thought to herself as she took one. Helen pulled her up. Then she noticed how drunk Nikki was and was alarmed. Nikki brushed herself down and tried to look sober. She was wearing jeans and a white shirt loose.
Helen's eyes searched her for a fleeting moment.
God. She's sexy.
The random thought popped into Helens head and she pushed it back immediately.
“Nikki what do you think you are doing?” Helen questioned.
Nikki could tell from the sound in her lovely Scottish tones that she was not at all pleased.
“Having a drink with my mates boss. Why is that a problem?” She lent on Helen, she wasn't sure she could stand. And there's no way she would have said those words had she been sober.
“We'll talk about this tomorrow. But I think you've had enough.” Helen replied annoyed.
“Hey, heeeyyyy, don't be like that.” Nikki said and she touched Helen's hair. Helen pushed her hand away gently and helped her to a seat. “I'm calling you a cab.” She said sternly and went to walk away. Nikki pulled at her jacket.
“Don't go.” She pleaded her eyes deep brown and intriguing. Helen had noticed those eyes giving her the same look earlier today but then they were sober. Her heart did a flip and she wasn't sure why.
Nikki opened her mouth and spoke
“As anyone ever told you, you have the most beautiful pair of…” she began and was interrupted by some of the girls. Helen stood there looking from Nikki to the girls. Luckily they hadn't heard Nikki's drunken ramblings.
“Oh Christ Nikki what are you like?” Zandra laughed.
Zandra Plackett was a brilliant defender and also a friend of Nikki's.
“Can you get her home?” Helen asked looking to Zandra who was sober.
“Sure no problem.” She replied seeing the manager wasn't looking too happy she thought she had better hurry up about it too. Oh God Nikki your in it now, she whispered to her as she carried her to the car.
Although Nikki probably wouldn't even remember the events of today by tomorrow. And if she did, she would wish she couldn't.
Helen joined Dominic at the bar and her heart was racing.
“You okay Helen?” he asked noticing the look of concern on her face.
“Yeah. I'm fine, but I can't stay long. I have a lot to do tomorrow.”
“Sure.” He replied and handed Helen her orange juice. She really wished it was a neat vodka. As she sipped it she could still see the look in Nikki's eyes. She tried to make sense of it and of her own sudden feelings. Then it hit her like a thundercloud.
It was desire!
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Nikki Wade stumbled out of bed at around 8am. She found the bathroom and looked in the mirror. “Oh Great I feel like sh*t and I look like sh*t” she said to herself. She splashed cool water on her face in the hope that it would make her feel better. It didn't but it woke her up. She wrapped her white cotton robe around her and walked downstairs barefoot. She picked up her mail and headed for the kitchen, opening one on the way, “More bills.” She sighed.
Nikki sat at her kitchen table with a hot cup of black coffee. She couldn't stomach anything else. Her head hurt twice as bad when she thought about her meeting that afternoon with Helen Stewart. Unfortunately for Nikki she did remember last night, in fact she could vision every detail and she blushed as she recalled her drunken flirtations with her boss. She wanted to go back to bed and hide but she had far too much to do today and her mind was full of Helen Stewart and the ticking off she was sure to face. Not to mention that she thought she might be falling in love with her. “Why me. Why my boss. She's gotta be straight too, that would be just my luck.” She mused to herself.
Nikki poured herself another cup of steaming hot coffee and laid her head across her arms on the table. Hoping the painkillers would do there work and fast. I have s headache and heartache. I am not sure which is the hardest to cope with she thought.
Helen Stewart was just putting the finishing touches to her make-up. Then she grabbed her briefcase and mobile and rushed out of the door. She was due in at 9am for more meetings but this time with the players. She pulled up outside the ground just after 9am. She had to make an early start. She had to see all the players from the first team today. The rest were scheduled for tomorrow. She had all morning to think about Nikki Wade and how she would approach her today and she came to the decision that it would be best not mention last night. The players deserved to celebrate and especially Nikki. She would let her off this time. Besides she was probably suffering enough Helen smiled to herself. And she's far too cute to get angry with. Came the after thought. Helen reached her office and took out the files. She came across Nikki's and smiled again. She didn't know why, but there was something very attractive to her about Nikki Wade, she looked at her photo and had the sudden urge to take it home with her. Was it the expressive deep brown eyes or the way her hair spiked slightly on top when it was messy. Or that gorgeous toned body that looked so fantastic in a t-shirt and shorts. She recalled the first time she set eyes on her for real, running around on the football pitch, looking every bit as impressive as she had heard, and looking very attractive too. Helens mind was full of Nikki Wade and no matter how much she tried to push those thoughts back they kept coming to the front. But players and Managers needed to stay focused on their positions, there was no way Helen could consider flirting with Nikki, it just wouldn't be right. She tried hard to convince herself.
Meetings continued throughout the morning and then she met up with Dominic at twelve for lunch. They had schedules to work out. It was their busiest time with cup matches on top of the occasional weekly league matches and weekend matches. Helen was grilling Dominic for two hours. They had to take lunch back to her office. They were so busy they forgot all about the afternoon meetings and were disturbed by a knock on the door.
“Come in” Helen called out. Dominic turned in his chair to see Nikki Wade enter the room. He stood up and grabbed some paper work. “I'll catch up with you later Helen I didn't realise the time.” He said rushing out. Nikki's eyes followed him as he left. She was feeling a rush of jealousy as she imagined him talking with Helen. Her mind was about to wonder how much time they spent together and if they were just coach and manager after all when Helen spoke.
She could still feel a faint thud in her head and felt rather delicate as she stood forward.
“Have a seat Nikki” Helen said looking up at her from her desk.
“Look about last night, I'm really sorry I…” she began to talk but Helen cut her off.
“Forget it.” She said looking down at the file in front of her.
Nikki looked at her and waited for her to continue. Helen looked up and met her eyes.
“This time. But if I ever see you acting like that again.”
Nikki wasn't about to argue with her.
“Understood Miss Stewart.” She said genuinely.
“Now. I called you here to get to know you better and I am presuming that was a one off last night?” Helen said meeting those deep brown eyes that at this moment looked a little under the weather.
“I rarely drink. Honestly. You can ask any of the girls or Dominic. Its just it was a great win. I got a bit carried away.” She explained but she lied. She was really trying to cover up how she was desperately attracted to the new boss and drinking might help her forget for one night. Nikki was suddenly reminded of her attraction to Helen. Her thoughts turned to desire once more as she watched her speak.
Helen looked at the file on Nikki Wade and then up at Nikki. She caught her gaze and for a split second she felt it again, a deep desire she didn't want to acknowledge or recognise but it was definitely there in herself and in Nikki's eyes. The way Nikki was looking at her was very unsettling in a nice kind of way. Nikki saw that Helen was distracted and smiled to her self. Helen broke the spell and began to speak. “I see you're a keen gardener Nikki”
“Well other than football. Yes it's a real love of mine.” Nikki replied enthusiastically.
Then Helen thought about her own garden and what a mess it looked. She had only just brought the house and it needed a lot of work. “Well maybe you can give me some advice sometime about mine. It's a bit of a mess, I only moved in last week.”
“I'd be happy too.” Nikki smiled back. “Anytime.” Her eyes said more and Helen noticed. She needed a distraction.
Then she looked back at Nikki's file. “I see you like to go to the gym regularly so we don't have any problems keeping your fitness up do we.” Helen smiled. She had already noticed Nikki looked fantastic in her football kit. Nikki her self could have melted there and then. The smile was almost too much. The smile combined with the gorgeous green pools of her eyes and the designer suit she was wearing.
“And you like to campaign for women's issues and gay rights?”
“Yes. I used to work at a lesbian and gay youth centre but then the football got more serious so I gave that up, so I like to keep involved in some way, whenever I can.” Helen was impressed. A woman after my own heart she thought to herself in admiration, especially when she read her list of hobbies included books and reading fiction. Helen had a large collection herself that had yet to be brought down from Scotland.
Helen looked at her, “So how do you make extra money now, we don't pay you much.” She enquired.
“The gardening. I just set up my own business with some money I got for my half of Trisha's club.” She paused. “Trisha's my ex.”
Helen for some unknown to herself reason felt a pang of jealousy at the mention of Nikki's ex. She continued.
“Great so you're quite settled then. Finally, any problems or concerns I need to be aware of?” Helen asked.
“No. Nothing I can think of.” She said. Apart from the fact that my boss is bloody gorgeous and there's nothing I can do about it. She thought.
“And you like to read?”
“Yes.” Nikki replied.
“Me too actually.” Helen said. There was an awkward silence that followed and Nikki wasn't sure what to say. Neither was Helen. They just looked at each other. Helen broke away first.
She closed the file. She was satisfied. “Okay Nikki.” She said standing and holding out her hand across the desk. “Thank you for coming in. It was good meeting our star player.” She smiled. “I look forward to seeing you at training.”
Nikki stood and shook her hand. Their eyes met, green and brown sparkled simultaneously in appreciation. The touch of Helen's hand against her own had a funny effect over Nikki, although she wasn't sure if it was that or her hangover still working overtime. “Thanks Miss Stewart.”
“Please call me Helen. I like to keep things informal.”
“Sure Helen.” Nikki smiled back at her. “See you on Thursday then?”
Helen nodded. She was very much looking forward to seeing Nikki Wade again at training and Thursday couldn't come fast enough.
Nikki shut the door to Helens office behind her. Her heart was pounding yet again. What's wrong with me, she thought to herself as she walked along the corridor. She was so deep in thought that she didn't see Zandra approaching her. “Hey Wade!” she said. Nikki looked up to see Zandra who was on her way to Helen's office. “So how did it go?” she asked. Wondering if she had survived her ticking off from the new boss. “It was fine.”
“What. That's it?”
“Yeah. I guess she likes me.” Nikki joked. But deep down she had a feeling it was true. There was something about the look in Helen Stewart's eyes. Something in the way she spoke. Nikki was definitely sensing an attraction and not just on a physical level. But without being sure there was no way she could act on it. She needed to get her on her own and away from Larkhall UTD.
The next day Helens schedule was meetings. Then later she was invited out for a meal with Dominic. She was looking forward to a relaxing evening and a good old chat about her favourite subject, football. She just wished it were Nikki she was going with.
Nikki took advantage of her day off to get some work done. Her gardening business was doing very well and she was starting to find some regular customers. She was busy getting her hands dirty in Barbara Hunts huge garden. Barbara or babs as she was known was a writer from Kent. She had made a lot of money from her last book about life in women's prisons. Apparently Nikki had heard rumours that Barbara had really been inside and that's why she wrote the book. Babs came outside with a glass of lemonade for Nikki.
“I thought you could do with this. You have been working so hard all morning.” Babs said approaching Nikki who was getting very hands on with a trowel.Nikki put down her trowel and stood, taking the glass. “Thanks babs, I need that.”
They began to have a conversation about football and Nikki told her about their new boss Helen Stewart. She didn't tell her she had a huge crush on her however. But babs could guess from the way she spoke. Admiration flowed in her words.
Nikki thought about what Helen had said about needing advice on her own garden. When babs left her she almost picked up her mobile phone to ring her but then remembered she was busy all day with meetings. Oh well its training tomorrow, I guess I will just have to wait until then to hear her lovely voice again. She smiled to herself as she continued to dig her trowel into Barbara's garden thoughtfully.
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Nikki arrived early for training. She was hoping to get some time to speak with Helen before they started. She walked down the corridors of Larkhall training ground and towards the small canteen to get some breakfast. She had rushed out so quickly that she had forgotten to eat.
She walked into the canteen to find just a couple of players already there. Nikki ordered her tea and toast. She turned around to see Helen Stewart enter the canteen. This time she was looking a lot more casual in black training pants and grey hooded top. Nikki watched her as she walked towards her. “She looks good enough to eat,” Nikki thought to herself. “If only she were on the menu” she smiled.
“What are you so happy about” Helen pulled her out of her daydream.
Nikki felt a little embarrassed that Helen had noticed her smiling to herself. “If only you knew,” she thought.
“Oh nothing. I'm just in a good mood I guess.” Nikki said. She took her breakfast tray and looked to Helen. “Would you like to join me?” she asked bravely.
Helen couldn't resist that offer. “I'd like that. I'll be right over.” Nikki walked over and got them a table. Helen wasn't far behind her.
They sat opposite sides of the table.
“Is that all your having?” Nikki asked looked at Helen's apple and a glass of juice.
“Oh I'm saving myself for lunch time.” Helen smiled.
Nikki's smile disappeared. “Mm and I bet she's having lunch with bloody Dominic again.” She thought sadly.
“So Nikki.” Helen began to speak and looked up at Nikki catching her eyes. “When can you come around and look at my garden?”
Nikki couldn't help but think of better things to do with Helen but replied, “Anytime like I said. I'm free tomorrow.” She took a bite of her toast.
“Tomorrows okay for me. If your sure?” Helen said.
“What did I just say?” Nikki replied cheekily.
“Okay,” Helen laughed. “Is afternoon okay?”
“Sure.” Nikki said taking a sip of her tea.
Helen watched Nikki. “God she even looks stunning first thing in the morning eating her breakfast. Mmm I could happily live with that.” She was deep in her thoughts as she bit into her apple.
They finalized arrangements and Helen gave Nikki her address. Then they went there separate ways, as Helen had to meet up with Dominic and Nikki had to get changed.
Out on the pitch an hour later.
“Nikki that was crap!” Dominic shouted. They were practising taking penalties and Nikki was way off the mark this morning. “What's up Nik, have you fallen in love or something?” Denny joked. Nikki blushed. She knew that's exactly what was wrong with her. She could see Helen watching her every move and it was very distracting. “This is going to be more of a problem than I realised,” she thought to herself.
Helen watched amused at first but then she was concerned as Nikki missed shot after shot. She decided to try and help and walked over to her as the others had a go. She stood to Nikki's side as they both watched the others. “Nikki, is everything okay?” Helen asked looking up at her sideways.
Nikki turned and looked at her. Meeting her eyes. “I don't know what it is. I just lost my concentration. I'll be okay.” She made her excuses and hoped Helen couldn't see through her.
Helen sensed it was more. She decided not to press the issue and walked off to watch some of the others.
“Got to get you lot into shape!” She called out to the girls across from her. “We have a semi-final cup game coming up.” She said. “Lets see what you're made of.” She walked over to them and left Nikki feeling slightly relieved that Helen was no longer watching her. She ran up to take a penalty and it smashed into the back of the net with ease.
“That's more like it!” Dominic called out. “Now lets have more of that.”
Nikki continued to get her shots on target without the distraction of Helen's piercing green eyes on her every move.
Helen would occasionally look over at Nikki when she knew she wasn't aware of her. She was taking in the way she moved, the brilliance in her every kick. Helen was overcome by admiration. She loved nothing more than watching a great footballer in action. That added to the fact that she was desperately attracted to this one.
When the training session was over they went for their showers. Helen said goodbye to Dominic and headed to the changing rooms to see her team. As she walked in she saw Nikki walking out of the shower. Her hair was wet; the towel was wrapped around her at first. Helen almost moaned when she saw Nikki's towel drop to the floor. Then she watched her get dressed. Her eyes were unmoving. She couldn't have moved them if she wanted to, she was transfixed on Nikki Wade. Nikki herself hadn't noticed Helen enter the room and was oblivious to that fact that she was being watched. By the woman she had fallen in love with.
Helen walked over to her when she was fully dressed. “Hi Nikki.” She said coming up behind her. Nikki was startled at first. “Oh Hi.” She replied looking at her. She sat down and tied up her trainers.
Helen wanted so much to ask her out. Just to get her on her own away from work. But she was her boss. What would Nikki think of her? Then she thought of the perfect excuse. “I was thinking.” She began looking down at Nikki. “Would you like to have dinner with me tonight?”
Nikki looked up quickly in surprise. Her heart began to pound in her chest. “Erm..er..” she stumbled for the words. “Yeah okay.” Their eyes met and Helen was feeling a bit aroused. She couldn't believe what this woman could do to her by just looking at her.
“I thought we could talk about the garden. It'll be dark though so we will have to leave looking around for tomorrow.” Helen added. “It'll be nice to have a professional work on it because I have no clue.” She smiled at Nikki and Nikki's heart melted. But she couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed. For a moment there she thought Helen was asking her out on a date. “Yeah sure. I'll bring some of my gardening books and you can take a look.”
“Okay. See you at mine about eight?” Helen suggested.
“Yeah. See you then.” Nikki smiled back at her as she began to walk away. Then she called to attention everyone in the room.
“Can I just have a few words,” She said.
Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked to Helen who was stood in the centre of the room.
“It's going to be a tough week. We have the away match on Saturday, and then next Saturday it's our semi final cup game against Peckham Rovers. I don't want to see or hear of any of you going out drinking this week unless its orange juice. Is that clear?” she said with authority.
“Yes Miss, yes Helen.” Came various calls from around the room.
Nikki smiled, as she was sure the comment was aimed at her more than the others after the other day. “And one more thing. No late nights and any smokers in the team I want you to give up. Use patches, anything.”
There were a few moans among the players. But no one dared disagree. They all wanted to keep their places on the team. Nikki was very glad she had given up the bad habit when she got serious about football. “I want this team in top shape.”
At that moment Dominic walked in. “Giving them a hard time already Helen he whispered in her ear.” Nikki noticed and a pang of jealousy went right through her. Helen turned to Dominic. “I just don't want my first month here to be anything but great.” She smiled at him. Nikki watched them and when it got too much for her, she picked up her bag and exited the room not saying goodbye to either of them.
Helen noticed. She was about to speak to Nikki but she was gone in a flash. “What was all that about?” she thought to herself. Then she turned her attention back to Dominic.
“Are you doing anything for dinner tonight, I know a great Italian restaurant.” He asked.
They began to walk out together and down the white corridor towards the front door. “I cant tonight. I made other arrangements.”
“Who' the lucky girl?” he enquired.
She looked up at him with a questioning smile. “Who said it was a girl?”
“Oh just a guess.” He smiled back.
“Its Nikki.”
“Nikki Wade?”
“Yes. She's giving me some help with my gardening, I am not exactly miss green fingers,” she asked as they stepped out and into the car park.
“Oh I see.” Dominic replied relieved. He really didn't want to see the boss dating a player. Not only would that make his life more difficult but it would be too close for comfort. He still had a thing for Helen even though he knew he didn't stand a chance.
Nikki arrived at Helen's right on time. She checked her watch, it said 8pm and she was pleased with herself for being such a good timekeeper. She rang the doorbell nervously clutching a bunch of daffodils and a bottle of wine.
Helen opened the door and was overwhelmed by the beautiful sight before her. Nikki dressed in a Black denim jacket, blue shirt tucked into black trousers. Her hair immaculate, holding wine and flowers and smiling at her.
Nikki was equally impressed as she looked at Helen stood at the door wearing a low cut figure hugging black top and trousers. Her hair was also immaculate.
After a short moment of eyeing each other up and down Helen asked her to come in and take a seat in the lounge. “Dinner will be ready in about 30 minutes.”
“Great I'm starving.” Nikki replied. She hadn't eaten since breakfast. She had been too nervous about tonight. Helen thanked Nikki for the flowers and put them in a vase in the kitchen then she returned and joined Nikki on the sofa in the lounge.
Nikki's eyes took in the room; she could see some family photographs in frames. A real fireplace. Big TV, video, satellite, stereo unit. Lots of modern technology adorned the room. The carpet was soft and light. A soft rug was placed in front of the fireplace and Nikki suddenly had visions of her and Helen lying across it in a passionate embrace. Her heart flipped.
“Did you bring the books?” Helen asked bringing Nikki back down to earth.
“Oh Christ. I forgot.” She said looking to Helen.
Helen right at that moment couldn't care less about the books; she just wanted to get into bed with Nikki. She felt ashamed of herself for having feelings of lust for her star player.
“Its okay, I'm a bit too tired to do any reading tonight anyway,” Helen replied looking at her deeply. Nikki wasn't sure but she could have sworn that Helen meant more by what she said. She brushed away the thought. There was a tense silence. “I'll put on some music.” Helen said. She got up and walked over to the stereo. Nikki watched her. Helen bent down to choose a CD. “Her arse looks amazing in those tight trousers.” Nikki smiled to herself staring, her thoughts were arousing her and she wasn't sure how she was going to get through this evening.
Dido played quietly in the background. Helen went to check on dinner and before long they were sharing a nice pasta meal and a bottle of white wine at the dining table.
Their eyes met across the table on many occasions. Sometimes Helen had to look away, it was all so intense between them. Nikki felt the same but always managed to keep her cool and didn't take her eyes of Helen. They talked about football to ease the tension.
“Your dad. He was such a brilliant player.” Nikki commented, noticing a photograph of him on the wall.
“Yeah he was. It's a shame he had to end his career so soon.” Helen said sipping her wine.
Nikki finished the last bite of her meal. She looked at the wine. “Oh God!”
“What?” Helen asked worried.
“You told us all to lay off the alcohol.”
Helen smiled, “I am sure a few glasses of wine will be okay.”
“Phew. I don't want to stick my foot in it again.” Nikki replied remembering the night in the club.
“Nikki.” Helen began, “About that night. It's all forgotten, really.” She reassured her.
Nikki nodded and Helen suggested they sit in the lounge for a while and continue their chat about Football. It turned out that Nikki was a big fan of Glasgow Rangers even though she was from London. She had been up to see them many times although not when Helen's dad played for them. Her parents were not enthusiastic about her love of Football at all and discouraged it. So Nikki relied on friends to go with to local matches throughout her childhood. Then she missed out on all that when her father was posted to different places, taking them away from London. Nikki's father worked within the Royal Navy. She hadn't seen her parents since her teens. They couldn't come to terms with her being gay. So Nikki left. She travelled a lot in between jobs. Then she met Trisha and moved in with her. She told Helen about her and Trisha's nine year relationship. Helen was surprised. She didn't see Nikki as the settling down type. She was pleasantly surprised and thinking to herself how she would give anything to spend nine years with this woman. They talked for hours. Helen hadn't ever found another woman who could talk about Football with such passion. She had dated women who usually didn't even like Football. This was a refreshing change. “I want to marry her.” She smiled to herself deep in thought.
Nikki went to the bathroom before she was about to leave and Helen stood and waited for her, she felt sad that Nikki was leaving. They had such a nice evening and talked so easily together. The house was going to feel empty without her. She looked around the room and sighed.
Nikki returned and put on her jacket, walking to the hall. Helen followed close behind. They faced each other in the hallway.
“Helen, I have had a fantastic evening. Thanks for the meal.” She said looking at her, her heart felt somewhat empty at the thought of having to leave her.
“Yeah me too. It was a pleasure.” Helen smiled and then looked down slightly to disguise her disappointment at Nikki leaving.
Nikki noticed anyway, she raised her hand to Helen's chin bringing her face up so she could look at her. Their eyes met and they didn't speak. They looked into each others eyes for a short while and then when Nikki thought she had read all the signals correctly she moved forward bravely and touched Helen's lips with her own. The touch of lips on lips was gentle, soft and very arousing. Helen had tingles up her spine feeling the warmth of Nikki's mouth against her own. Nikki's hands moved down to Helen's waist pulling her closer. Helen responded to her with a small moan of pleasure. The butterflies that had been building up furiously inside both of them all day exploded as Helen gave Nikki just enough room to explore her mouth with her tongue. Then Helen pushed Nikki up against the wall, as NIkki let Helen's tongue explore her mouth deeply. The force of the push gave Nikki an intense rush of excitement. Before they knew what was happening to them they were in a passionate clinch in the hallway, running full steam ahead and there was no stopping them.

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Helen had Nikki pinned against the wall in the hallway. Her hands were in Nikki's soft hair, sending very nice shivers down Nikki's back. Nikki's hands were inside Helen's top, feeling her soft warm skin beneath. They were kissing passionately. Helen placed soft kisses across Nikki's face, lips would meet lips, hands were roaming everywhere, exploring. Nikki opened her eyes and slowly stopped the contact. Her hands were in Helen's hair now, gently brushing through the softness. Then she moved her hands down and wrapped them around Helen's shoulders. Her eyes were dark and full of passion.
“Nikki?” It was almost a whisper. Helen was so breathless. She stroked Nikki's hair as she spoke.
Nikki looked into Helen's eyes and saw the passion reflected back at her, “Are you sure we should be doing this?” she asked concerned and breathless.
Helen took her hand and said, “I'm sure.” Her eyes were telling Nikki a lot more. The fire in them was indescribable and Nikki knew exactly how she felt. She kissed Nikki's hand and then she led her to the bedroom. Helen opened the door and pulled Nikki inside. They both giggled at the force of Helen's desperate attempt to get Nikki into her bedroom as quickly as possible.
Nikki let go of Helen's hand and looked at the room. It had very warm tones and looked cosy. There were many pillows sprawled across the bed and a few teddy bears. Nikki grinned. “How cute” she said taking one in her hands.
Helen watched Nikki for a while in adoration. Then she walked over to her, threw the bear to the floor and placed her hands on her chest. “Do you want to stay the night?” she grinned up at her sexily. Nikki melted. “I want nothing more.” She replied huskily. She lent forward and kissed Helen's face, placing tiny kisses endlessly, finding her ear and sucking on the lobe, Helen moaned with pleasure. She began to undo Nikki's shirt, slipping it off her shoulders. Nikki's mouth tasted Helen's skin. Her tongue explored her neck and shoulders, as Helen reached to unzip Nikki's trousers. There were many moans coming from both women and soon Helen had pushed Nikki back on to her bed forcefully. Yet again Nikki was overcome with a strong feeling of excitement. The urgency within them both was something neither of them expected or had experienced before with anyone. Soon they had both rid each other of all clothing. They made love to each other passionately the first time. The second time they relaxed and explored, enjoying every single sensation that they could bring out in each other. Then they fell to sleep in each other's arms under the warm duvet.
Helen woke in the middle of night to see Nikki sleeping peacefully beside her. At some point they had lost contact with each other and Nikki had rolled over. She had her back to her. Helen looked at her sleeping for a short while then got out of bed and put on her robe. She needed a drink of water so went down to the kitchen quietly, not wanting to disturb Nikki. While she was gone Nikki turned over in her sleep and reached her arm across but found nothing there, she opened her eyes to see that Helen wasn't there, just a warm place where she once lay.
Helen was in the kitchen drinking a glass of water. Her mind was full of the passion they had shared. She smiled to herself. “She looks great and she's great in bed. How lucky am I?” She placed the glass down and returned to the bedroom, she needed to be near her. Nikki was awake with the bedside lamp switched on when she got there, sitting up slightly. Her hair was all messy. Helen looked at her hair and smiled, “You are so adorable” she said walking to the bed. “So are you” Nikki smiled back at her, watching her every move. Helen took off her robe and Nikki's eyes almost fell out. She hadn't seen anything more beautiful. She watched her as she got into bed beside her.
“See something you like?” Helen grinned.
“I like very much” Nikki replied grinning back at her.
Helen moved closer to her and she reached to turn off the lamp. She wrapped her arm around Nikki and held onto her possessively. Nikki enjoyed the sensation of Helen's skin against her own, so intimate, so close and so warm. She snuggled down and sank into the warm bed with Helen wrapped around her.
“Good night Nikki” Helen said placing a kiss on Nikki's cheek.
“Nite Helen” she replied sleepily. Yes I could die happily like this she thought to herself.
The next day was a free day for both of them luckily so they spent much of the morning in bed. Helen made them both some tea and bought it to bed. “Don't forget you promised to sort my garden out today,” Helen said looking at Nikki who was sitting up drinking her tea. “How could I forget my favourite customer?” Nikki replied.
Helen sipped her tea and considered her next move. She could get up and have a shower or she could stay in bed for another hour.
Nikki decided for her. She put down her cup. “Fancy a shower?” she said looking at Helen.
“Mm good idea.” Helen smiled.
“Together I hope.” Nikki added.
“Of course.” Helen smiled. She stroked Nikki's face tenderly.
It was a fact that they couldn't keep their hands off each other the whole time and it was the best shower that either of them had ever had. If last night was anything to go by they were never going to have a problem enjoying their selves. From the shower they ended up in the bedroom again.
“Helen we really need to get out of bed.” Nikki suggested holding onto her lover under the sheets.
“I know but it feels so good in here.” Helen replied kissing Nikki's shoulders.
“Don't say I didn't try.” Nikki said as she worked her way down the bed again.
A few hours later, around midday they finally got the courage to remove their selves from each other. It was difficult for both of them but by now they were both starving. Helen made them both some sandwiches and Nikki finally went outside to explore something else of Helen's. Her garden.
Helen joined Nikki in the garden. It was quite large and Nikki was pleasantly surprised. Plenty of ideas flooded her head. She could imagine making it look fabulous within a few weeks with any luck. “So what do you think?” Helen asked wrapping her arms around Nikki from behind, her head resting on Nikki's shoulder. Nikki held onto Helen's hands. “Its brilliant Helen, so much potential.” Nikki was in awe. Helen could hear it in her voice. She let go and stood before her. Their eyes met. “I'm glad you think so.” Helen said proudly. “Do you want something to eat?”
“You bet I'm starving.” Nikki smiled at her.
Helen took hold of her hand and they headed back to the kitchen. They took their food and some coffee and sat in the lounge. Nikki turned on the TV to catch the 1 o clock news. They sat together on the sofa quietly eating and watching the news.
Helen's mind wasn't on the news. It was on Nikki. How was she going to explain this to Dominic? How would Nikki's teammates react to her dating the boss? Maybe they should keep it a secret, at least for the time being. For the first time since they became intimate, she had concerns. She wasn't sure how to go forward but she knew that she had to be with Nikki no matter what. Nikki noticed that Helen was very quiet and looked to be deep in thought. “Penny for them?” Nikki said looking to Helen. Helen turned on the sofa to face Nikki.
“Oh its nothing.”
Nikki wasn't convinced but she decided it was best to talk later. “Come here.” She told her. Helen leant back into Nikki's arms. Nikki held her lovingly. Whatever it was could wait. This was too good a moment to be spoilt. Nikki thought to herself.
They spent the rest of the afternoon in the garden. It was a nice warm day and Nikki went over some ideas with Helen for the garden. Helen was happy with anything Nikki suggested. After all she was the expert.
Just before Nikki left they had a talk. They sat together on the sofa, holding each other. Nikki stoked her fingers up and down Helen's fingers lovingly.
“Nikki. Don't take this the wrong way but I think we should keep quiet about our relationship for the moment.” Helen said.
“Okay. If you think that is best.” Nikki agreed. “But I'm not sure how long I can keep this from my mates.” She hated lying.
“Well its not like a lie as such is it. You are just not telling anyone yet.” Helen said, hoping that would make it easier for her.
“I guess not.” Nikki said sort of convinced.
She could tell that Nikki was disappointed. “Are you sure your okay with this?” Helen asked her. Nikki looked at her. “Your right its for the best. We don't know how the others will feel if they think I might be getting special treatment.” She paused, “Plus they can really take the piss sometimes.” She smiled. “I'd rather have a quiet life.”
Helen stroked Nikki's short dark hair. “You know you have beautiful hair, I could run my fingers through it all day.”
“And night?” Nikki suggested.
Helen just smiled at her as if to say of course silly.
“And you have beautiful eyes. I could look at them all day and night.” Nikki said brushing her nose against Helen's. This was soon followed by a very slow kiss. They could have stayed like that forever.
It was around 6pm when Nikki decided she should leave.
“Oh do you have to go?” Helen begged her to stay. Nikki's arms were firmly wrapped around Helen. She wanted so much to stay but she had to go home and change, she would remember to bring an overnight bag next time she was invited over for dinner she smiled to herself.
When Nikki kissed her goodbye, Helen had a sense of loss. But she had some paperwork to get through so she decided that would be a good distraction until she saw her again tomorrow. They had an early start, an away match in the Midlands. Helen had intended to take her car but now she was wishing she was going on the coach with the girls. She didn't want to be apart from Nikki longer than necessary. But maybe it was for the best. After all she couldn't exactly be with her, if they were keeping this a secret. She came to conclusion that it was for the best after all to take her car. Nikki phoned her around ten to say goodnight, they spent a good hour or so doing just that. That would have to be enough for them for now.
The next day came quickly. Nikki reached the ground and boarded the coach. Helen was still home and getting ready to leave.
“Hey Nikki did you have a good day off?” Zandra Plackett called.
Nikki walked towards her and got the window seat. “Yeah it wasn't bad.” She replied as she sat down. Zandra sat beside her.
“So did you go clubbing?” Zandra asked her.
“Are you mad? After last time?” Nikki replied.
“Good. I'm glad you're behaving yourself.” She commented.
“Besides I had much better things to do.” Nikki smiled to herself.
“Oh yeah, like what?” Her curiosity was sparked by the tone of Nikki's voice. Nikki just touched her own nose. “I can't possibly tell you.”
“Oh so you have a new girlfriend?” Her eyes lit up.
“I said. I can't tell you.” Nikki replied putting on her headphones. This was difficult and she needed to avoid it.
“Damn you Wade.” Zandra said and turned to her magazine.
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“F*** it!”
Helen was stuck in traffic and the match was due to start in half an hour. She took out her mobile to call Dominic.
“Dom it's me. I'm stuck in heavy traffic, not too far from Birmingham City centre, yeah okay, can you brief them for me please. Bye.” She put down her phone on the passenger seat beside her and looked out at the traffic and cursed again.
Dominic was walking towards the changing room when he got the call. He put his mobile in his pocket and walked into the centre of the room. “Can I have your attention ladies?” He called out. All eyes were on Dominic, except Nikki's. She was miles away. “Where the hell is she?” she was thinking to herself. Nikki was worrying about Helen. It wasn't like a manager to be late, had she had an accident? Had she ran off after last night? Crazy thoughts ran through her head. Denny was sitting next to her lacing her boots. “You okay Nikki?” she asked. “What?” she said surprised by the question. “Oh yeah I'm fine.” She sulked. “You look distracted.” Denny commented. Nikki looked at her with a puzzled look, “Look I'm fine. Okay?” Denny was taken aback by her tone and moved away from her without saying another word.
Then Dominic began to speak. “Helen is going to be late I'm afraid. Stuck in traffic.” Nikki looked up at the mention of Helen's name. “Oh thank god she's alright” she thought and let out a sigh. Denny was watching her and had noticed. “So that's what her problem is. I knew it.” Denny smiled to herself knowingly.
Dominic continued to brief the women, like Helen normally would before they all made there way out onto the pitch. Nikki had an ache of disappointment. She was desperate to see Helen and hoped she would get the chance before the match began. She hadn't stopped smiling all the way there on the coach. Zandra never did find out why.
Helen arrived some ten minutes later. She headed straight for her box out on the ground. She was wearing a black trouser suit and deep red silk blouse with just a touch of make-up. She looked every bit the professional manager. As she walked out into the stadium she could see Nikki out on the pitch running with the ball, her first glimpse of Nikki since she left her the previous night. Her heart did a tiny flip and she felt like a teenager again. She pushed her hair behind her ear and smiled as she took her seat on the bench next to Dominic. “You finally got here then?” he said.
“Remind me to take the coach next time.” She replied dryly. Her eyes moved from Dominic to the pitch. “Before you ask its still nil nil” he quickly said. Ten minutes on Helen stood up impatiently and shouted to various players to get their heads out of the sand and start playing. Then she sat back down again, shifting impatiently in her seat. They needed the win today. If they won they would go to the top of the league. Her lack of patience was also down to the fact that she hadn't kissed Nikki in over 21 hours. Dominic looked at her amused. He had worked with many managers over the years and they all had the same quality, totally obsessed with winning.
Nikki's mind was on her football but her heart wasn't. All she could think about was getting it over with and being with Helen again. Almost 24 hours without her was like torture. She caught the occasional glimpse of her on the bench but tried not to look too often. She didn't want anyone to notice her heart wasn't fully on the game. But it wasn't and she was feeling very distracted, everyone noticed when she missed a pretty easy chance to put them in the lead. She cursed herself. She knew why she was playing crap. She just didn't know how to snap out of it. Helen looked on getting more and more concerned as more chances were missed and all by Nikki.
Half time came and Helen was all set and ready to give them a good piece of her mind. She was already there when the team walked in and sat down. Nikki was wiping the sweat from her brow with a towel when she caught Helen looking at her. Nikki smiled. Helen smiled quickly back at her and then focused her attention on the team. It was back down to business.
“I don't know what you call that, but it wasn't football.” Helen said, standing in the room, pacing gently.
“And Nikki, I don't know where your head is, but can you get it back on the game please?”
Nikki looked up at her and she felt like a child again in class, getting a ticking off for talking too much. She continued to give them more of the same. Before they went back out Nikki approached her.
“Helen can I have a word?” she said hoping to get a few minutes alone with her before she went back out on the pitch.
“Not now Nikki.” Helen replied. Her voice sounded slightly annoyed and Nikki immediately took offence. She looked disappointed taking her eyes away from Helen's. Helen walked away before anyone noticed them both and before Nikki could say anymore. This wasn't the place or the time.
Nikki had an awful feeling that she had done something wrong, other than her football, but what she didn't know, all she wanted was a minute alone with her, “well sod her” she sulked. She took a drink from her bottle of water and followed her teammates out onto the pitch. Time to take it out on the ball, she thought to herself.
Her frustration paid off. They were only out on the field five minutes when she blasted a shot into the back of the oppositions net. Helen stood up excitedly as she watched the ball hit the back of the net. What a beautiful sight, she thought to herself. Oh and the goal was good too.
Nikki felt better too. Not only were they now winning but also she had released some of that pent up tension she had been feeling. She managed to add two more to the total, scoring a hat trick much to the delight of her teammates and travelling fans. Suddenly Nikki's mind was free of Helen Stewart and she could play again.
Helen was in awe. She hadn't seen someone this good in quite some time. Nikki really was as good as she had heard. In fact she was brilliant! She felt proud and secretly scolded herself for giving Nikki such a hard time in the changing room. She would make it up to her tonight.
Helen walked alongside Nikki as they walked off the pitch. She wanted to let her know how impressed she was. And maybe melt the ice that was building up between them. But Nikki ignored her and walked ahead. Helen was puzzled and her heart sank.
She tried to catch her up but decided not to bother when she saw Nikki catch up alongside Zandra. They were laughing together and Nikki looked to be having a better time without her.
Back in the changing room, after their showers, Helen congratulated them and Dominic handed Nikki a bottle of champagne. It was a rule that if anyone scored a hat trick then they were awarded a bottle of bubbly.
She opened it and shared it among the team, as they celebrated being top of the league. It all got a bit rowdy. Helen looked on and felt slightly jealous and proud at the same time. She wanted to be part of Nikki's celebrations. She wanted to tell her how fantastic she was and most of all she wanted to hold her again. She wasn't sure if she would ever have that again. Nikki was definitely giving her the cold shoulder. Helen decided to leave them to it. She said a last “Well done” and left them. Nikki watched her leave and panicked. She didn't expect Helen to go yet. She quickly threw on her training jacket, grabbed her bag and rushed out of the changing room to catch up alongside Helen.
Denny and Zandra looked at each other.
“What is up with her today?” Zandra commented.
“She's in love,” Denny replied smiling.
“With who?”
“Miss Stewart of course.” Denny said looking at Zandra.
“Don't be stupid.” She said disbelieving.
“Its so obvious.” Denny replied. “I bet you a tenner.”
“Your on and get ready to pay up.” Zandra replied with a laugh.
Helen was in a rush too. Heading down the long corridor in a huff.
Nikki caught up with her breathless.
“Helen wait”
Helen stopped but wasn't looking at her.
“I'm sorry.” She apologized putting one hand on Helen's shoulder. Her other hand carried her heavy bag.
Helen turned and looked at her. “This isn't going to work is it?” she said plainly showing no signs of emotion.
“Helen. Don't say that,” Nikki said almost desperately.
Helen continued to walk outside to her car. Nikki followed quickly, her heart racing ahead of her.
“It's too difficult Nikki.” Helen said as she opened her car door and looked to her.
“Why is it? It doesn't have to be.” Nikki said standing beside her.
“Oh But it does.” Helen said getting into her car.
She was about to shut the door when Nikki's hand stood in the way.
“I don't see why we can't tell everyone,” Nikki said and her tone was one of exasperation. “What's the big deal?”
Helen let out a sigh. “Look Nikki, its not just that. We both don't need the distraction right now. We have responsibilities.”
Nikki felt her temper rise. “So what, was I just a quick shag is that it?”
“Nikki!” Helen said shocked.
Nikki didn't say anymore. She thought better of it worried for what might come out of her mouth next.
“Get in the car”
She just stood there with her arms folded.
“I said. Get in the car!” Helen shouted.
And Nikki shook with the force of her voice.
Nikki did as she was ordered and got in the passenger seat, throwing her bag on the back seat.
Helen picked up her mobile and called Dominic. Nikki looked on with a sulky face.
“Dom it's me”
Dominic was standing inside the coach, “Helen have you seen Nikki?”
“Yes she's with me. I just rang to tell you I'm giving her a lift home.”
He looked surprised. “Okay. See you on Tuesday then.” He hung up and began to worry what Helen was getting up to with his star player.
“Sh*t just what we need with a cup match coming up.”
The drive home was a quiet affair. Nikki closed her eyes a few times and caught up on some sleep. It was at these moments that Helen would glance at her. Taking in how gorgeous she looked. Nikki took her breath away. There was no doubt in her mind that she had fallen for her, completely and hopelessly. She turned on the car stereo and slipped in one of her favourite CDs by Faith Hill. The song said everything she felt and she had to force the tears back as she drove.
I can feel the magic floating in the air
Being with you gets me that way
I watch the sunlight dance across your face and I've
Never been this swept away
All my thoughts seem to settle on the breeze
When I'm lying wrapped up in your arms
The whole world just fades away
The only thing I hear
Is the beating of your heart
'Cause I can feel you breathe
It's washing over me
Suddenly I'm melting into you
There's nothing left to prove
Baby all we need is just to be
Caught up in the touch
The slow and steady rush
Baby, isn't that the way that love's supposed to be
I can feel you breathe
Just breathe
In a way I know my heart is waking up
As all the walls come tumbling down
I'm closer than I've ever felt before
And I know
And you know
There's no need for words right now
'Cause I can feel you breathe
It's washing over me
Suddenly I'm melting into you
There's nothing left to prove
Baby all we need is just to be
Caught up in the touch
The slow and steady rush
Baby, isn't that the way that love's supposed to be
I can feel you breathe
Just breathe
Caught up in the touch
The slow and steady rush
Baby, isn't that the way that love's supposed to be
I can feel you breathe
Just breathe
I can feel the magic floating in the air
Being with you gets me that way
They arrived back in London. Nikki looked to Helen, “So what now?”
“I think we should talk. Will you stay at my place tonight?” Helen asked as she drove.
Nikki couldn't resist her plea. “Okay but can you take me to my flat first to pick up some things?”
“Sure” Helen said. “Address?”
Nikki picked up her overnight bag that she had prepared and rushed down the stairs and out of the flat to the awaiting car.
She was feeling a lot less tense now and just glad that Helen was willing to discuss things. The thought of it being over between them before it had even started was too much to take. She couldn't believe how deeply she felt about this woman.
They reached Helen's house complete with Chinese take away that they picked up on the way. Helen went to the kitchen to get the plates. She returned with plates and two beers. “Just the one okay?” she smiled at Nikki. “Sure you're the boss” Nikki smiled back at her.
They sat and ate then retreated to the sofa and television. Nikki was resting back in Helen's arms. Helen's fingers moved through Nikki's dark short hair gently. Nikki was enjoying the feeling of Helen's caresses.
“I've fallen in love with you.”
Helen's heart skipped a beat. “I know how you feel”
“You do?” Nikki asked, her eyes looking up to her.
Helen kissed her head. “Of course I do.”
Nikki sat up. She took Helens hands in her own.
“Lets talk tomorrow. I'm tired.” And following that she yawned.
“And I was hoping to celebrate” Helen replied with a cheeky grin.
Nikki looked at her with a sexy smile. “I'm never too tired for that!”
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Nikki woke to the sound of birds singing, she turned over to reach for Helen and found a warm empty space. She sighed and rolled over. Then she smelt the fresh coffee. “Time to get up Wade,” she said to herself as she stretched, got out of bed then she pulled on her robe.
Helen was in the kitchen and she eventually joined her. Nikki walked up behind Helen who was standing looking out of the window. “Hi darling.” Nikki wrapped her arms around Helen's waist from behind and kissed her cheek. “Mmm, morning sweetheart.” Helen smiled putting her hands on Nikki's arms. Then she turned around to face her. “You want some coffee?” Nikki nodded and sat down at the kitchen table. Helen walked over and filled her cup with fresh coffee. Then sat and picked up the newspaper, heading straight for the back page. Nikki sipped her coffee and looked at Helen. She was feeling slightly anxious. They had some things to sort out between them and she wasn't sure where to start.
“Mmm” she said from behind her paper.
“I want to tell my friends.”
Helen put down her paper and sighed.
Nikki looked at her waiting for her to respond but just saw her frown so she continued to put her point across. “I can't stand this Helen. It's not fair. Why should we keep it a secret? I love you and I want everyone to know it!”
Helen looked across at her. She couldn't help but smile when Nikki said the words I love you.
“Okay” she gave in.
Nikki wasn't sure she heard right, “Uh?”
“I said Okay”
Nikki began to smile, “Are you sure?”
“Yes. Half of them probably already guessed from yesterday anyway.” Helen admitted.
Nikki stood and walked around to Helen, she lent down and kissed her on the lips. Then she stood up straight. “Thank you.”
Helen pulled Nikki close to her and looked up at her. “I love you too Nikki” she said seriously. Nikki smiled back at Helen and stroked her hair gently.
“We have the whole day off, what do you fancy doing?” Helen asked.
“Lets go for a drive. To the coast.” Nikki suggested.
Helen was pleased with her suggestion. A change of scene was just what they both needed. They made up some lunch to take with them and headed off. They returned late that evening after spending the last few hours sitting on a beach, it was a warm evening and they had held each other while watching the sunset.
The next day was Monday and training. They arrived together and raised a few eyebrows. Especially pleased was Denny when she noticed Nikki was holding Helen's hand as they walked towards the building from the car park. “Hand over that Tenner Zan” she said looking over at them and then back at Zandra. Who had just caught up beside her. She noticed who Denny was looking at, “Oh my God! You were right!” she said shocked. “Of course. I'm always right, so hand it over.”
Nikki was the happiest woman on the planet right now. She had never felt better. Her hand was firmly gripping Helen's as they walked inside towards the office. They reached the office and knowing Dominic was probably inside; Helen let go of Nikki's hand before entering. Nikki gave her a puzzled look but didn't protest.
“Hi Dom” Helen said cheerfully greeting him. He was standing looking through some match reports. He turned and was surprised to see Nikki. “Oh Hi.” He said to Helen. “Anything I can do for you Nikki?”
“I'm with Helen.” She smiled looking at her.
Helen smiled uncomfortably, “Nikki maybe you should go and get changed now and I'll see you out on the field?”
Dominic looked on. Nikki's smile vanished. She knew where she wasn't wanted. She looked to Dominic and then to Helen, “Fine.” She left and they both felt the door slam.
“What was all that about?” Dominic asked Helen.
“Oh nothing.” Then she quickly changed the subject. The last thing she needed was an in depth discussion about her love life with the coach.
Dominic decided not to push it; they had more important things to discuss like their new signing.
They both sat at the desk opposite each other. “Lorna Rose arrived today.” Dominic said, passing Helen her file. “Oh great about time.” Helen replied picking up the file. “I just hope she works well alongside Nikki or were screwed.” Dominic commented. Lorna Rose was a centre forward, a prolific goal scorer in her last team in Sheffield. They needed someone to partner with Nikki up front and take some of the pressure off. Nikki meanwhile was getting to know her.
“Who are you?” she said looking at her puzzled. They were stood in the middle of the training field.
“Lorna, and its nice to meet you too.” She sneered back at her.
“Sorry I just was not expecting you.” Nikki said arms folded.
“I heard you need some help up front” she joked.
“You heard wrong.” Nikki said and walked off in a huff. She didn't know if she liked her or not. Only time would tell Nikki thought to her self as she ran after the ball. But right now she seemed a bit too full of herself. She kicked the ball hard, sending it right into the corner of the net.
Lorna Rose looked on, “Not bad. Not bad at all.”
Nikki was resting when Helen walked out on the field. “What's up with you, heavy night.” Helen smiled down at her. “Ha ha. Help me up will you.” Helen held out her hand and Nikki grabbed it pulling herself up.
Nikki was facing Helen and she moved in to kiss her. Helen stood back from her. “Not here Nikki” she frowned.
“Oh for Christ's sake what are you so scared of?” Nikki said annoyed.
“Nikki will you stop being so unreasonable.” Helen said frustrated.
“So much for telling everyone, I notice Dominic still as no idea!” Nikki's temper was flaring up again and Helen didn't know how to stop it.
“And why didn't you tell me about Lorna Rose?” she added.
“Its confidential, you know I cant discuss everything with you.” Helen was annoyed now.
“Well don't mind me, next thing you know she will be in and I will be out.”
“Nikki don't be stupid!” Helen tried to keep her voice as low as possible but was finding it increasingly difficult.
“Oh so now I'm stupid!” she shouted.
“Everything alright over here?” Dominic walked up behind them both noticing the argument going on between them.
They turned to look at him, Nikki then looked down at the ground.
“Everything is fine.” Helen said unconvincingly.
Nikki looked up and looked to Helen and then to Dominic, “Actually its not.”
“Nikki not now” Helen tried to stop her but failed.
“Lorna Rose. What's the deal? Why do you need someone else to do my job?” Nikki asked. Helen looked on slightly relieved, she was sure Nikki was going to tell him about them both. And here and now was definitely not the right place.
“Nikki its not like that, you need help up front, what we have isn't enough and with the cup match coming up…” Dominic explained.
“Oh so I'm not enough.” She said looking down again avoiding all eye contact. “It's not like that..” Dominic began to speak but Nikki stopped him,
“Stuff the both of you.” She said annoyed and ran off back on to the field.
“What's wrong with her this morning?” Dominic turned to Helen.
“Dominic I have something to tell you. After training?”
He nodded, although he had a good idea what it was about anyway and rushed back over to the team on the field.
“Come on girls. I want 100 percent from you!” he shouted at them. “Sloppy” he shouted at Zandra who just let half the team pass her. She was too busy watching Helen who was watching Nikki.
“Sorry!” she sighed and took her attention back to her football.
“And Nikki I want you to practise more shots.” He called to Nikki.
“Why? I thought I was redundant?” she shouted back at him in a strop.
He walked over to her and pulled her to one side.
“Look you either try to get on alongside Lorna or..” she cut in “Or what? You going to sack me?” he sighed. “Nikki why are you being such a pain in the arse, just get out there and do what we pay you for.” Nikki gave him a look that would turn a man to stone then she joined Lorna in taking shots at goal.
“I guess I will have to learn to live with it.” She commented. Lorna heard her. “What is your problem anyway?” Nikki ignored her and took a shot. “She's bloody brilliant and gorgeous but what a moody cow.” Lorna thought to herself. Her mind was on trying to get Nikki on side. Nikki walked back from taking her shot. “How about I buy you a drink after training?” Lorna said smiling.
“No thanks” Then she looked at Lorna. “Some other time.”
“Okay.” Lorna smiled. At least she had got some kind of response of a positive nature from her teammate. That would have to do for the moment.
After training Nikki headed for the office. Her hair was all wet from the shower but she couldn't wait to talk to Helen, they needed to clear the air after what happened out on the field. When she got there she stood outside and she could hear Helen and Dominic talking. She waited for Dominic to leave before going in. He came out and shut the door and looked at her, “It didn't take you long to get in there did it?” he remarked. “It's not like that, we love each other.”
“I hope your right Nikki, because if your not.”
“Don't worry Dom. No ones going to be asking for a transfer.” She smiled. She felt happier knowing Helen had finally told him. That was one less thing to worry about.
Nikki entered the office. Helen was picking up her briefcase and all ready to leave. Nikki smiled at her across the room. God she looked gorgeous in her black suit thought Nikki.
“So you told him.” She said proudly.
Helen didn't respond she was still annoyed with Nikki for her behaviour earlier out on the pitch.
“Helen?” she walked up to her, closing the space between them.
“Yes I told him, I didn't have much choice did I?” Helen said walking ahead of her annoyed.
“Wait” Nikki said stopping her by placing herself in front of the door.
“Nikki move”
“No” she said gently.
Then Nikki gave her a sexy smile, "I love it when your angry"
Helen looked up at her gorgeous brown eyes and felt an ache deep inside her. The woman was so stubborn and so damn annoying but so irresistible all at the same time.
“Nikki” she pleaded.
“I want you” was all Nikki said. And her voice was full of desire.
Helen was taken by surprise. “Here?”
“Yes here.” She said not taking her eyes off her.
Helen shook her head and went to pass Nikki and she grabbed her arm gently pushing her against the door.
“Where do you think your going?” Nikki said.
“Nikki what are you doing?” she whispered urgently.
Nikki began to kiss Helen's neck. She had her trapped against the office door with both of her arms around her. Helen's body was responding to the intensity of it all.
“I'm making love to you,” she whispered back sexily in Helen's ear. The words had an immediate effect over Helen. Her legs felt like they might give way as Nikki's left hand moved between Helen's legs slowly.
“Nikki stop. We cant, not here,” she gasped. Nikki's hand stopped for a moment.
Nikki ignored Helen's plea and continued to run her hand upwards and towards Helen's breasts. “I'm sorry Helen I can't wait, I need you now” she breathed, kissing her face. Helen couldn't resist her any longer, she took her hands and held Nikki's face, then her mouth found Nikki's for a deep and passion filled kiss. Their breathing was ragged, as their clothes became unbuttoned with an increased urgency. Nikki pushed Helen back and across to the desk. “Nikki, the doors not locked.” Helen said, her breathing heavy. “Makes it more exciting” was all Nikki said and Helen was in no position to disagree.
The next few days were filled with training. On Wednesday evening Nikki decided to take Lorna Rose up on that drink, orange juice of course. Helen had persuaded her and Helen was a very persuasive woman. Then it came to Saturday, semi-finals day.
The opposition were Peckham Rovers. Managed by Jim Fenner. He was quite a hard nut apparently and Nikki had heard some very distasteful things about him. Like how he spends his free time and the dodgy deals he does in his spare time. His star player was Maxi Purvis. And although she looked harmless, she was in fact just as tough as the manager. If anyone would stop Larkhall going on to the final it would be Maxi. She had scored in all there recent matches and was on top form. In the Peckham changing room Fenner was giving them a last minute talking to. He walked over to the defender Al “Now don't forget what I told you about Wade okay?” he said in her ear. “She's got a short fuse, make use of it.” Then he walked off ahead of them.
Nikki was nervous. Helen walked over to her in the changing room and put her hand on her shoulder. “Just do your best sweetheart,” she said encouragingly. She felt quite liberated being able to do this in front of the rest of the team. Nikki had been right, it was okay and everyone just accepted them. Nikki smiled up at her putting her hand on Helen's. “Thanks” she said. Helen then turned her attention to the rest of the room.
“Okay go out there and give it your best, no less.” She turned around and looked to Nikki once more to give her a smile. Nikki smiled back sheepishly. Helen could turn her heart to mush in a matter of seconds. Then they all headed out onto the pitch.
Nikki's nerves eased up as she ran onto the pitch and the adrenalin kicked in. The stadium was packed full. She looked up at the sea of faces around her. “I will never get used to this,” she said to herself in awe. She took her place at the centre. The ref blew the whistle and Nikki got the match under way.
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The match had been underway for almost half an hour, it was 0 – 0 and Helen was beginning to get very impatient. She looked to Dominic, “Looks like our new signing and Nikki are having problems adjusting, I knew we should have used Lorna as a sub.” Dominic looked at her, “Give them time. I'll have a word at half time, see if I can see what the problem is.” Helen turned her head back to watching the match and by half time she let out a deep sigh. It just wasn't good enough. Dominic walked over to Lorna and asked Nikki to join him in the changing room as they walked off the pitch. Helen walked on ahead of them, utterly disappointed by the performance.
“Look I need to know you two can work together out there.” Dominic said in the changing room. They stood together in front of him listening. “I'm trying but you've moved my position” Nikki complained. “To fit her in.,” she remarked sarcastically.
Lorna looked at her in exasperation. “Will you get over it Wade. There's more to Football than you, you know?”
“And what do you mean by that?” Nikki's anger began to flare up inside her. She was finding it difficult enough without snidely remarks from Lorna Rose.
Dominic stopped them, “Look, will you two just stop right there.”
They stopped, Nikki looked at him, whilst Lorna stared at her boots.
Helen at that moment walked over seeing he was having a problem.
“Dominic do you mind if I take over?”
“Be my guest.” He said frustrated. He walked off to talk to the other players.
“Nikki. I know this is different” she began and paused slightly, “but we need you both to work together and we really need to win this match.” She stopped and gave Nikki an irresistible look, ”Please. Work together. For me?” She pleaded with those eyes that Nikki couldn't resist. She looked at Helen. Her eyes sparkled a beautiful green colour and melted Nikki's heart.
“Okay.” She smiled. "For you"
Then she turned to Lorna who was oblivious to the obvious flirting going on between the two women, “Sorry, lets start again. Lets go out there and show them.” Lorna smiled. “Your on.” Helen took Nikki to one side, “Thank you.” Nikki flirted with her with a suggestive smile, “Your welcome.” They both stayed like that for some seconds that seemed like minutes, lost in each other's eyes. And they were desperate for some time alone together.
Back out on the pitch Nikki and Lorna had a plan to put into action, if they were going to win this match they really needed to work together. Helen and Dominic immediately noticed the difference, as both Lorna and Nikki had shots on goal. Unfortunately none were successful yet. Al was getting more and more frustrated at Nikki Wade. She was just too good and got passed her every time she ran up the pitch. Time to take some action she thought to herself. She saw Denny Blood with the ball; she was looking to give Nikki a long-range pass that would put Nikki in with a great chance of going for goal. She ran up to mark Nikki quickly. The ball was high in the air as Nikki reached up to head it in Lorna's direction, as she went up so did Al, charging into her side knocking her to the ground. Nikki fell heavily with a thud. “You sh*ting bitch!” Nikki cried out in anger and she saw red, getting to her feet quickly and pushing Al to the ground. The ref turned his head from his notebook and yellow cards to see Al fly to the ground. She fell flat on her face and covered in mud. “I'm gonna git ya for that Wade, ya bitch!” Having not seen Nikki push her, there wasn't a lot he could do, so he gave Nikki a yellow card and warned her.
“Oh open your eyes ref!” Nikki retorted back at him, her blood boiling.
“She's getting one as well and if we have any more trouble from the both of you, you're both off!” the ref came back at her.
Zandra came running up out of nowhere, she had seen the whole thing and was just as angry as Nikki.
“You twatting twat!” she spat out at Al who was now standing.
“U watch who yer calling a twat!” Al spat back, the ref held them back from each other in a desperate attempt to keep the peace.
Nikki cursed quietly to herself, better not to get anymore involved, so she kept a calm head and walked away. Helen looked on concerned. They couldn't afford to lose Nikki or Zandra. If they were sent off, they wouldn't be in the final even if they did win today.
The scuffle seemed to wake Nikki up. Her next chance came soon after and she took it. From just outside the penalty area, Lorna had passed to her just in time and Nikki's boot sent the ball flying into the oppositions net nicely. Nikki ran and the first person to jump on her and congratulate her was Lorna Rose. Her lips met Nikki's cheek as she planted one on her delightedly. Nikki was far to happy to notice it might be anything more than an excitable action on Lorna's part, this was quickly followed by the rest of the team wrapping their arms around her.
Maxi huffed to herself, “Anyone would think they'd won the friggin' cup!” Al caught up alongside maxi. “I thought you were gonna sort her out.” Maxi sneered. “Messed up but nay bother, I'll get her soon enough.” Al returned confidently. “You better do something, she's walking all over you and us.”
“Dinna worry bout it Maxi.” She said and ran off determinedly.
Helen looked on in horror some 20 minutes later. Nikki jumped up to head the ball in the back of the net, Al clashed with her knocking her to the ground for the second time today and this time it was clearly deliberate. Helen swore very loudly across at the ref, so much so that Dominic looked on in surprise, how could such words come out of such a gorgeous mouth.
Nikki crashed to the ground hitting her head. This time Nikki didn't return with her usual anger, she couldn't, she was out cold. Helen and Dominic were both standing now and on the sidelines, waiting anxiously, as the stretcher was bought on.
“Nikki!” the nurse said, “Can you hear me?” there was no response so they put her on the stretcher and took her off. Lorna looked on worriedly. “Bloody hell isn't that just typical, we finally get something good going and this happens” she sulked. “And now its up to me to take the penalty, sh*t!”
Helen turned to Dominic, “I'm going with Nikki”
“Helen you can't, what about the match?”
Dominic looked from the pitch to Helen and back again. And just as Helen began to speak again, Lorna ran forward to take the penalty.
“I'm not discussing this with you, I'm going.” She said plainly and left him standing there. He was too happy to be concerned, as Lorna put the ball past the Peckham goalkeeper with ease. Maxi looked on, “The stupid cow.” She cursed at Al, who had been given her marching orders and was off for an early shower. Fenner was not impressed either. He looked on in dismay as his plans all fell to pieces. “Crap!” he said.
Helen walked off quickly to catch up with the ambulance men and Nikki on her stretcher. “Is she going to be okay?” she asked concerned walking alongside them. “We can't really say at the moment.” One of them said quickly. “Are you coming with us?”
“I'll take my car.” She replied. She quickly got in her car and followed them.
Helen waited in the hospital for some news and her mobile beeped. She should have turned it off but she knew that Dominic would be in touch; she walked outside and answered it.
“We won! Well that's one bit of good news.” She sighed. “I don't know, they haven't told me anything yet.” She continued. “Yeah sure, don't worry about me, but I'll probably be here for a while yet.” She closed her mobile and stuck it in her bag, this time switching it off. The match had been played in London luckily, so if Nikki was kept in over night at least she wasn't too far away from her.
Helen made her way back inside and walked to reception. “Excuse Me,” she said trying to get the woman's attention behind the desk. “Can you tell me how Nikki Wade is doing?” The woman looked at her with a frown. “Take a seat please and I'll try to find out for you”. Helen took a seat and noticed the woman was working alone and probably had a million other requests to deal with. She shut her eyes, suddenly overcome by tiredness.
The next thing she knew she was being shaken from her doze by the same woman. “Sorry, but you wanted to know about Nikki Wade.”
Helen looked up startled; she couldn't believe she had fallen to sleep in a busy reception area. “Yes how is she?” Helen asked urgently.
“She's fine. They just need to keep her in for observation, she took a bit of a hit to her head, which knocked her out.” The woman smiled. “I can take you to see her now if you like?” Helen felt so relieved. She just nodded and followed the woman through some corridors that led to her room. It was a private room, as they usually were for their footballers.
She entered the room and the woman left her to it after explaining things in a bit more detail. Helen looked over at Nikki who was looking back at her smiling. There were some small plasters on her forehead but other than that she looked better than she felt. Her head was sore. But the painkillers were slowly doing their job. Helen walked over to her. “I thought you'd never get here!” Nikki said as brightly as she could muster. “They only just told me how you were.” Helen replied and sat in the chair beside the bed.
“So did we win?” Nikki asked.
“Yes thanks to you.” Helen smiled placing her hand on Nikki's warmly. “Lorna took care of the penalty and did the job.”
“Brilliant!” Nikki said enthusiastically. “Well that's some good news.” She said relieved.
“How you feeling?” Helen looked at her concern written all over her face.
“Like someone ran over me with a truck.” Nikki frowned.
“Awe babe,” Helen teased. She lent forward and kissed her cheek, whilst gently rubbing her hands in her own.
“Mmm that was nice, can I have some more?” Nikki said shyly. Helen moved her chair as close as possible and kissed her forehead gently. Then she raised her hands holding Nikki's head gently. Her fingers stroked through her dark hair. “More, it hurts still.” Nikki sulked adoringly.
Helen placed a few more tiny kisses on her forehead and down her cheek and she stopped at her lips. Their eyes met.
“My lips are sore, can you kiss them better too?” Nikki said with a cheeky grin. Helen was finding the whole act quite erotic and her breathing was beginning to become more rapid. She just looked into Nikki's eyes and saw the love there reflected back at her. It almost took her breath away. Helen smiled and moved in to kiss her on the lips, gently. The gentleness of the kiss made Nikki feel quite light headed and as she broke the kiss that had become considerably more passionate she had to lie back on her pillows and rest.
“Nikki are you okay?” Helen looked at her concerned. Nikki pulled Helen's hand in her own and squeezed it. “Don't worry I'll be fine.” She could see that Helen looked tired and very anxious. “You should go home and get some rest.” Helen was reluctant but she knew Nikki was right. “The nurse says you'll be out of here tomorrow. I'll get them to call me to collect you okay?”
“Sure. I can't wait. I never did like the food in these places.” Nikki smiled softly. Helen brushed her lips tenderly against Nikki's one last time and said goodnight.
That night Helen slept like a log, although the bed felt empty without Nikki and many times she reached out and sighed remembering she wasn't there. The next morning she waited anxiously for the phone to ring. She got the call around midday and couldn't get in her car fast enough. She couldn't wait to get Nikki home. “Home” she thought to herself. Since when did this become there home? She smiled to herself at how comfortable they had got in such a short time and decided she was going to ask Nikki to move in with her.
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Helen and Nikki arrived home around 1pm. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon. Helen had taken Nikki back to her flat to collect some things she would need, she insisted that Nikki stay with her so she could keep an eye on her. Nikki wasn't complaining, the more time she spent around Helen Stewart the better. Nikki put her feet up on the sofa and switched on her laptop. She hadn't checked her email in days and needed to catch up. “550 messages! Sh*t”
“What's that?” Helen called to her from the kitchen where she was preparing them some lunch. She had overheard Nikki's swearing.
“Oh nothing for you to worry about.” Nikki called back. Most of the mail was junk, a few emails off fans. She often wondered how on earth they found her email address. Then she noticed an email that took her by surprise, it was from Lorna Rose.
“Hi Nikki, got your email addy from Dom. Just wanted to say I think we make a good team after all! Have to go out for a drink again when you're up to it. Get well soon and hope to see you at training. Lorna x”
Nikki closed her laptop as Helen came in the room and sat beside her with pasta salad and two cups of steaming hot tea. She placed the tray down on the coffee table and turned to Nikki.
“You didn't have to stop because of me.” She said looking at Nikki's closed laptop. “It's okay I can catch up with it later. After all I can't do much else.” She sighed. She was desperate to get out and start work on Helen's garden. Nikki looked at Helen and could see that she had something on her mind.
“You okay?”
“Mm?” Helen looked at her, “Yeah I was just thinking.”
Nikki smiled at her and pulled her closer, Helen didn't resist. She fell back into Nikki's arms happily. She relaxed back and Nikki could smell the shampoo in Helen's hair, she nuzzled her nose into the back of Helen's neck and whispered, “I've missed you.”
Helen smiled, holding onto Nikki's arms that were wrapped around her waist.
“Nikki. I need to ask you something.”
“Ask away” she said, not noticing the nervousness in Helen's voice, she was too enchanted by Helen's hair and its softness against her face.
“I would really like it if” she began.
Nikki noticed her hesitation and encouraged her to continue, “Go on”
She turned her head slightly, trying to look at Nikki but in her position her lover's arms trapped her. She gave up and looked down. “Would you like to move in with me?”
Nikki stopped nuzzling Helen's hair and let Helen loose. She turned around to look at Nikki and waited apprehensively.
“I don't know Helen. It's a big step.” Nikki said seriously. “We haven't known each other that long and I was kinda getting used to enjoying my freedom after the break up with Trisha.”
Helen was hurt.
She stood up, took her lunch and left the room without another word. She knew if she had stayed there she would have given Nikki a piece of her mind and Nikki didn't need that right now.
Nikki was puzzled. “What did I do now?” she shrugged. She picked up her salad and ate, but suddenly she didn't feel half as hungry.
Helen was in the garden feeling stupid. “How could I have thought she would? I am such an idiot.” She said to herself.
Nikki put down her food. She had seen the hurt expression in Helen's eyes. She knew her words had sounded worse than she had meant them too. She really loved Helen but it only seemed like yesterday that she was sharing a house with her ex Trisha. Since they broke up she had got herself a nice flat, a good little gardening business and her freedom. Something she had seriously missed. Then she realised what had happened to her. She was no longer a single woman; no longer able to flirt and date whomever she wanted. And her relationship was serious. More so than what she ever had with Trisha.
She decided to find Helen and talk to her. She found Helen sitting on the step in the garden. Nikki sat beside her and wrapped her right arm around her.
“I'm sorry Helen. I didn't mean to sound so cold. It took me by surprise. I didn't think you would want this so soon.”
Helen looked to her, the softness in Nikki's voice made her feel calm and safe and she knew they could talk about anything.
“I'm sorry I sprung it on you. I only considered what I wanted.” She apologized.
Nikki took her other hand and touched Helen's face, bringing her to look at her. “I would love to move in with you Miss Stewart, I would be mad not to!” she smiled. Helen looked at her surprised. “Are you sure? Or are you saying that to make me happy?”
“Both” Nikki replied. “I'm sorry I overreacted. I love you Helen.” She said sincerely. Helen smiled and Nikki moved her lips closer to Helen's softly kissing her. Helen let out a little moan. She hadn't kissed Nikki in so long. Her lips ached to be touched. Nikki's teasing became more passionate and the kiss deepened. Nikki was enjoying the taste of Helen's lips and her tongue explored more deeply when Helen stopped the contact. “Helen!” Nikki said breathless.
“Let's go inside” she smiled back at her.
They spent the rest of the afternoon in bed. Helen had managed to cover every bruise and ache of Nikki's body with tender kisses. Nikki was feeling a lot better already. She lay in Helen's arms, and they both were naked under the duvet. Skin against skin. Nikki's long legs were wrapped around Helen's, her head resting in Helen's shoulder. She looked up at her and half smiled.
“I am so happy Helen.”
Helen looked at her and Nikki's eyes were deep dark pools. But they were so full of love that Helen had to remember to breath before she spoke. “Me too” was all that would part from her lips. Nikki's hand ran up Helen's arm, feeling the tiny soft hairs. She nuzzled her nose into Helen's shoulder. “I could stay like this forever.”
The next day Nikki and Helen took time to bring most of Nikki's things from her flat. Nikki started rearranging some things and Helen smiled as she made herself at home. It felt good, really good. Nikki had managed to fill up one of her new bookcases.
“Impressive” she had told her as she looked through her book collection in awe.
“Maybe I should leave mine at dads, Nikki you seem to have every book that I have.” She had said surprised. Nikki raised an eyebrow. “What even this?” she pulled out the Lesbian book of sex and they both fell about laughing.
When they finally stopped Nikki pulled Helen to her for a long kiss. There was nothing like laughter to get you in the mood Nikki thought, but they had things to do. She stopped herself from going any further and continued to unpack her boxes.
Helen admired the view as Nikki bent over in her light brown trousers that fitted her perfectly.
“Hey!” Nikki said catching her, “What are you looking at?”
“Your glorious ass” Helen laughed.
Nikki stood up and grabbed her playfully and they laughed even more.
Moving in with Helen was definitely the best decision she had ever made. Nikki wondered why she ever doubted that it would be a good thing. Maybe her time with Trisha had scarred her for life, she sighed. But Helen wasn't Trish and Nikki was in love this time. This time it was the real thing.
The last of the boxes were unpacked and Nikki fell onto the sofa exhausted. Helen was on her knees and she manoeuvred herself between Nikki's legs. “Mm I like that position.” Nikki grinned at her. Helen laughed. “You are so bad Nikki Wade.”
“But that's why you love me” Nikki teased.
Helen moved in closer and suddenly Nikki was very aware of the pressure between her legs of Helen's body. Her need and want overrode her sensibilities. Helen could see it in her eyes, as she ran her hands up Nikki's thighs. “Helen do you know what you are doing to me?” she said huskily.
“Yes” she said softly. Then she raised herself up so that she could kiss Nikki. She was quickly pulled onto the sofa where they enjoyed another very warm and passionate embrace.
Some time later they were both picking up clothing from the floor after making love more times than either of them could remember.
“Helen, I am going to be good for nothing if we carry on like this.” Nikki said sitting back down and pulling on her socks.
“Oh don't worry, you get the day off on Fridays, I want you in top form for Saturdays matches.”
Helen replied and Nikki could see she meant it.
“God Helen, I have never known anyone so obsessed with football.”
Then she stopped and looked thoughtful, playfulness entered her eyes as she continued to speak, “Well all except for me of course!” They both laughed.
“Soul mates”
“Me and you. Were soul mates” Helen replied.
Nikki's heart warmed at the words and she couldn't believe how lucky she was to have this woman in her life. They agreed on everything. Well almost. Nikki walked over to the CD player and put in one of her own CDs. Her shirt was hanging loose over her trousers and her hair was all tousled from Helen's roving hands.
Helen's heart did a little flip as she watched her, how could someone have this effect over me, time and time again? She questioned herself. It's not possible is it? Helen had truly never felt this attracted to anyone in her life. She could look at her forever and never get bored. The woman was simply gorgeous!
Nikki returned to her.
“Would you like to dance?” The glint in her eye promised more.
Helen smiled back at her, she took Nikki's hand and they held each other close. The song couldn't have been more appropriate. And as the words drifted in their heads, they began to kiss tenderly.
“….That every moment we share together is even better than the moments before. If every day was as good as today was. Then I cant wait till tomorrow comes…..”
Moving to the music, their hips so close together, they were inseparable. And they both realised that is exactly what they were.
“I love you” Nikki whispered.
“I love you too.,” replied the soft Scottish voice.
Helen's head rested on Nikki's shoulder and she knew that if they ever parted she would never be able to stand the pain. Tears fell from her eyes as she was overcome by emotions too strong for her to cope with. Nikki looked down at her and noticed the tears. “Helen what's wrong?” she was concerned.
Helen couldn't speak. “Helen?”
“I'm just” she tried to get the right words out. “Overwhelmed”
Nikki pulled her to her even closer and hugged her tightly. And at that moment she too was overcome by tears.
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Two weeks later.
Nikki returned to training on Monday morning. Everyone looked relieved to see her. Looking especially pleased was Lorna Rose who walked up to her in the changing room afterwards.
“Do you fancy going for a drink tonight?” she asked her.
Nikki was packing her training gear into her bag. She looked up to answer her.
“Well I guess our next match isn't until Saturday so yeah why not.” She smiled.
“Great!” Lorna replied. “Meet you at the club around 8?” she asked.
“Sure. See you there.” Nikki said picking up her bag. She threw it over her shoulder and as she walked away Lorna watched her with curiosity. “She is so fit” she grinned to herself. Denny overheard her, she walked up behind her with the warning, “And she's taken.” Lorna just shrugged and went on her way. “Looking never did any harm, Denny my pal.”
Nikki got into her sporty blue Mazda, “Now I just need to convince Helen that a night out with the girls is just what I need.” She said to herself. She kept forgetting she wasn't single anymore and that she had to consider the both of them now.
Nikki arrived home to find Helen chatting on the phone in the living room. She excused herself to kitchen but couldn't help but have her ear to the door in curiosity.
“We need to catch up Claire, I have such a lot to tell you.” She said into the phone. “Tonight?” she hesitated. “I'll have to check with Nikki first but it shouldn't be a problem.” It went quiet for a bit as Helen listened. “Okay I'll call you back. Bye”
Nikki moved from the door and pretended to be looking in the cupboards as Helen walked into the kitchen across from her.
“Who was that?” Nikki asked.
And her tone was a bit odd Helen noticed. “My friend Claire.” Helen said approaching Nikki who was now standing against the sink.
“Is that all she is?” Nikki enquired more softly. “A friend?”
Helen couldn't help but grin at her. “Your jealous!”
“I'm not.” Nikki lied.
She turned around and went to get the coffee on. Helen walked up to her and wrapped her arms around her from behind. Her head was resting on Nikki's back and her hands were firmly holding her. “Yes you are.”
Nikki slowly turned around. “Okay I am. You just never mentioned her before.” She admitted. Helen took her hands in her own and looked into her eyes. “We've been friends since Uni. Besides she's straight.”
Nikki was relieved to hear it.
“So what did you need to ask me?” Nikki remembered over hearing the conversation.
“How did you know?”
“Sorry I overheard.” She smiled slightly embarrassed as she poured them both a coffee. Helen smiled back at her knowingly. “You were listening?”
“Sorry” Nikki apologized.
She walked over to the table and placed the cups down then sat opposite Helen. “I wanted to ask her over tonight to catch up on things, but I thought I better check with you first.” Helen told her.
“Well actually I'm going out to tonight.”
Helen looked up at her surprised with raised eyebrows. “Oh are you?”
“Yeah. I fancied a night out with the girls. I hope you don't mind? Lorna asked me actually, we seem to be finally getting on.” Nikki said and took a sip of her coffee.
“Well that's good to hear. And of course I don't mind. It gives me a good excuse to ask Claire over, she can keep me company.” Helen replied.
Nikki was grooming herself in the bathroom when Helen sneaked up behind her.
“Mmm you smell gorgeous.” Helen commented as she began to kiss Nikki's neck.
“God Helen you scared me” she laughed.
“Sorry babes.” But she wasn't. She liked to take Nikki by surprise. And Nikki secretly liked it too.
"You can thank Armani for making me smell good"
Nikki finished scrunching the wax in her hair and turned to her. Her hair now styled to perfection. She was already dressed and wearing her black shirt and trousers.
“How do I look?”
Helen admired her girlfriend lovingly. Her eyes feasting on the delight before her, she almost licked her lips.
“You look good enough to eat.” She said in a very sultry tone.
And right at that moment she was feeling very hungry.
She moved in closer and wrapped her arms around Nikki's waist. Nikki's arms moved up and around Helen's back. She gently stroked up and down and moved in to meet Helen's lips. They explored for longer than intended as the gentle kiss turned into a passionate one. The heat was building up between both of them. Nikki was the first to pull away from the kiss reluctantly.
“Do you know how much you turn me on?” she breathed and their noses touched. Her hands were running through Helen's hair now. Nikki's eyes looked deep into her lovers. Helen's eyes were burning with passion. And Nikki could feel it deep within her soul. Helen unbuttoned her own trousers and led Nikki's hand downwards as they both continued to gaze into each others eyes, both women so desperately in love.
“This much?” Helen asked with a sexy soft voice. Nikki's hand felt the heat between Helen's legs and she knew she had to have her.
It was a good thing that Nikki decided to get ready early because otherwise she would have been very late. The next hour they spent making love with fiery passion. Nikki hoped they would always feel this passionately about each other. Helen had no doubt that they would. Each time was just as amazing as the last and they could never fail to turn each other on. Making love for them was a neccesary release, without it they could easily go mad.
Nikki got ready to leave, she was combing her hair that had gotten quite messy again. She placed her comb in her inside pocket and handed the jacket to Helen.
“Say hi to Claire for me and tell her I hope to meet her next time.” Nikki smiled. Helen helped her on with her black jacket. “I will. You have a good time but not too good.” She grinned.
They kissed lovingly and when Nikki had gone Helen went for a soak in the bath before Claire was due to arrive.
The club was packed when she arrived. She found Lorna at the bar chatting to the woman behind the bar. The woman was Trisha, Nikki's ex.
“Hi” Nikki interrupted.
“Oh hi Nik!” Trisha said. “Where have you been hiding I haven't seen you in weeks” she commented.
“It's a long story.” Nikki replied.
“Oh yeah, who stole your heart this time?” Trisha knew by the look on Nikki's face that there was a woman involved.
“Helen Stewart” she said proudly.
Lorna looked from Trisha to Nikki. “You and the boss are?”
“Yes we are.” Nikki replied.
“Well, well.” She smirked.
“You certainly don't waste any time do you?” Trisha said.
“What can I say, some women find me irresistible” Nikki joked.
“You got that right,” Lorna thought to herself. Then she said, “Can I get you the first drink of the night?”
“I'll have a bottled beer.” Nikki said and looked around the club. “Busy tonight isn't it Trish, for a Monday?”
Trisha gave them their drinks. “Its someone's birthday I think.”
Nikki turned to Lorna. “I'm glad were getting on now. Sorry about before and everything.”
“That's okay.” Lorna replied with a smile. Then she turned her attention to a certain blonde behind the bar. “You win some you loose some” she thought to herself. “But there are plenty more fish in the sea.”
Time moved on. Helen and Claire were finishing off a meal that Helen had prepared. They had both shared a bottle of wine and were about to start on the vodka. “Why don't we go to this club you mentioned.” Claire suggested. “We can get a cab”
“Are you sure?” Helen said.
“Yeah. I can meet Nikki then.” Claire was so curious about this woman that had stolen her best friends heart.
“Well I guess we could go over for an hour.” Helen sounded a little reserved to the idea.
“What's wrong?” Claire asked, she could read Helen like a book.
“I just don't want Nikki to think I am spying on her.”
“I'm sure she wont. Come on order a taxi.” Claire was already putting on her coat.
Nikki was on her 4th bottle of beer and she was on the dance floor with Lorna.
“Anyone ever told you how good looking you are?” came a voice from beside her. A tall blonde revealed herself. “Hi I'm Caroline.” She smiled. Nikki smiled back at her. And she had to admit to herself that had she not already been madly in love with Helen, the woman before her now would definitely be sharing her bed tonight. “Hi” Nikki almost shouted over the music. She couldn't quite hear her.
“Do you come here often.”? The attractive blonde stranger called back over the noise. Nikki's eyes spoke volumes as they widened in surprise. Oh Christ she fancies me. She thought to herself.
“Sorry but I really have to go now. Early start tomorrow.”
“Why so soon. We've only just met.” Came the reply with a smile of seduction. And her hands placed on Nikki's shoulders. “Just one dance?”
Helen and Claire arrived and headed for the bar.
“Have you seen Nikki Wade?” she asked the tall blonde behind the bar.
“Are you Helen?” she asked with a smile.
“Yes who are you?”
Trisha reached out her hand. “I'm Trisha, Nikki's ex”
Claire watched the exchange between the two and then looked around the club. She could see a tall dark haired woman and a shorter dark haired woman on the dance floor. The taller dark haired woman was standing very closely with a rather attractive blonde. “How sweet” she commented.
Helen looked around and was shocked to see the couple she referred to as sweet was a blonde stranger and Nikki. She was about to say something when she saw the blonde kiss Nikki.
“What the f”
“Helen what's wrong?” Claire asked puzzled.
“That's Nikki.” She said annoyed. And before Claire could stop her she was rushing over there.
“What the f*ck is going on here?” Helen was mad.
Nikki pulled away from Caroline quickly to see Helen standing looking up at her and she wasn't too pleased.
“Helen. What are you doing here?” she said surprised.
Lorna was so drunk that she hardly noticed her presence or the commotion. Then she walked away in an attempt to chat up a certain member of staff.
“She came on to me. Honest” Nikki explained looking to Caroline and back to Helen, “I don't even know her.” She protested.
“I can't let you out of my sight for one night can I?” Helen's tone was serious but calm.
“Helen you stroppy cow” she laughed.
“I don't see what's so,” and she began to laugh at herself, “Funny.”
Nikki grabbed her to herself and kissed her hard on the lips. “You know I only have eyes for you.”
“You gonna buy me a drink then, or am I too die of thirst?” she smiled up at her.
“Oh and Claire's here, she wanted to meet the love of my life.” She said kissing Nikki again.
Nikki hugged her, “Good because I want to meet her too. Lead the way.”
The mystery blonde was left standing there pouting. She had been watching Nikki all evening and continued to watch her with Helen and their friends.
“Oh hi. You must be Nikki.” Claire greeted her as they all sat at the bar. “I have heard very good things about you.” She smiled.
“Well that's a relief.” Nikki smiled back at her. "it's very nice to meet you too."
Helen put her arm around Nikki's waist possessively. They spent the next hour getting to know each other whilst Trisha shared a few of Nikki's secrets with Helen. They ended the evening by inviting both women to dinner at their house the following week. Trisha added that they would have to have an extra invite to that and smiled at Lorna.
Nikki looked surprised. “You two?”
“Yes us two” Lorna patted Nikki on the back and nearly made her spill her drink.
“Well good for you.” Helen smiled at Lorna. “Just make sure she doesn't come in here too often okay? She's got a cup final coming up in a week.” She said to Trisha.
Helen and Nikki waited outside for their cab, they held hands and tried to stay close as they could to keep warm in the chilly evening air.
“She's nice your friend”
“Yeah she is.” Helen smiled. “Trisha seems nice too. How come you two didn't work out?”
“I wasn't in love with her. It took me nine years to realise it.” Nikki replied.
“We'll maybe it was because you were meant to be with me?” Helen suggested playfully.
“Most definitely.” Nikki replied squeezing her hand. The cab arrived at that moment to take them home. And as they drove away a blonde woman watched them from the shadows.
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The following day was a busy one for both of them. Nikki left early to spend some time at the gym and Helen had a meeting with some Football officials regarding the cup final match that Saturday. When Nikki arrived at the gym she was surprised to see a familiar face. The same blonde women that had tried to chat her up in the club. Nikki hoped she wouldn't notice her and walked past her quickly.
“Oh sh*t” she thought to herself as she turned around.
She could see the mystery blonde smiling at her and waving her over. Nikki walked towards her, “Look I'm in a bit of a rush right now Caroline is it?”
“That's okay I just wanted to say sorry about last night. I didn't know you were spoken for. I am not surprised though.” She winked.
Nikki felt relieved and accepted her apology. “Thanks and no worries but I really have to go.” She said rushing off.
“Sure. See you around.” She said smiling after Nikki. You'll be mine one day Wade. I'll make sure of it. And her heart fluttered.
Helen was in a meeting and her head was beginning to hurt. The guys in the suits did that to her. “Okay we need to get some coverage for the match, TV, radio, newspapers. Interviews with Star players is always an added bonus for these people so lets put forward Nikki Wade and Lorna Rose for promotional activity.” One of them said and he kept talking much to Helen's grief. Then she just lost all control over her mouth.
“Excuse me sir! But my players have training all week, they haven't got time for all this crap.”
He looked at Helen in horror. He was an annoying man by the name of Simon Stubberfield and he really got on Helen's nerves. How could such a useless waste of space get such a high position in women's football she had thought to herself as she tapped her pen on the desk.
“Look I know they must train but are you telling me they train twenty four seven?” he asked pointedly.
“Well no but that's hardly the point” Helen began and threw down her pen in anger. The nerve of the man, like he knew what was best for my players, her patience was wearing thin.
“Well then, it will be done. I will let you know when I have set up the interviews and you can pass on the good news to your players. Tell them I will be in touch with promotional schedules.” Helen sighed. Even as manager she couldn't override Simon Stubberfields wishes. “Okay. But they are not going to like it. They are not going to like this one bit!”
The blonde watched Nikki as she used the gym. She took care to stay hidden so that Nikki wouldn't know she was being watched. She could see her in her shorts and t-shirt. The sweat gleaming on her arms, gorgeous strong arms and her brow was wet, her hair damp, sexy as hell. She was fixed on her body like a target. When Nikki finished her exercise routine and headed for the showers she was completely unaware of the eyes that were watching her.
Nikki arrived home late afternoon after taking a trip into town to do some shopping. When she walked in she could see Helen resting back on the sofa. “Hard day?” she asked.
Helen looked up startled; she hadn't heard her come in.
“The meeting with Stubberfield was an absolute nightmare.” She began to explain. “We didn't agree on anything.” She sighed. Nikki put down the bags and sat beside Helen wrapping her left arm around her shoulder. “Well maybe this will cheer you up.” Nikki smiled as she reached for her pocket. She pulled out a small box.
“For me?” Helen asked.
Then she smiled and took it from Nikki. She opened it excitedly like a child on Christmas morning. The look on her face was of delighted surprise.
”They are beautiful Nikki.” She said taking the earrings out of the box to look at them more closely. “Thank you.” She said looking into her lover's eyes.
“I just wanted to get you something. We have been together a month now.” She added proudly.
“Time flies when your having fun.” Helen smiled at her.
“Come here.” She said and held Nikki close to her, hugging her tightly. “I love you very much.” She whispered in Nikki's ear. They kissed longingly. Relaxing in each others arms.
Then Helen pulled away gently and went quiet.
“Nikki there is something else. I received a very strange letter this morning.”
Nikki pulled back, “What about?”
“About you.” She stated.
Nikki looked at her puzzled. Helen stood up and got the letter to show to Nikki.
Nikki opened it nervously.
“Miss Stewart,
I think you should know that your girlfriend Nikki Wade as been playing away and not just at football matches.”
Nikki looked at it in horror. “Well its complete bullsh*t”
Helen put her head in her hands and sighed.
“Helen. You do believe me don't you?” Nikki said urgently.
Helen looked up at her. “Yes of course I do. But whoever wrote this obviously as a problem with you or with us.”
Nikki sat back and suddenly felt quite drained.
Helen looked to her and lent towards her, taking her hand. “Don't worry sweetheart. Its probably just some girl whose got a crush on you.”
“I hope your right” she replied worriedly.
“Oh Nikki I almost forgot to tell you.”
“What now?”
“Stubberfield is fixing up interviews for you and Lorna before final day, possibly on final day. He said he would let you know.”
“What? Are you serious?” Nikki asked surprised.
“Afraid so. That's one of the things we disagreed on. He just wouldn't listen to me.” Helen tried to sound apologetic.
“Oh well it could be worse I suppose. How much they paying me?” she smiled. Helen laughed. “Enough to pay for those earrings probably.”
The next day Nikki arrived with Helen for training. Dominic greeted them from the car park with a shout of “Hello ladies” too which they both smiled back at him. He approached them with something in his hand, a small package addressed to Nikki Wade.
“Hey Nikki. This is for you. It arrived at the ground this morning.” He handed it to Nikki and she looked at it for the senders address but there was none. “Thanks Dom.”
“Anytime” he said walking back towards the doors.
When they got inside Helen's office Nikki took the seat opposite Helen's and began to open the parcel. She peered inside sheepishly. “Come on, the suspense is killing me” Helen laughed at her. Nikki looked up and gave her a half grin then took out the contents and held them up before her in shock. Helen gazed at the silk red panties dangling above her desk. “What the..” Helen began.
Nikki took out a card from inside the packet and read it out loud so that Helen could hear.
“To my darling Nikki, I thought you might like a souvenir. Love you always.”
Nikki stopped looked at Helen's face and said “Helen!”
Helen felt her cheeks begin to burn and she went a shade of red. “It wasn't me!”
“Well who the hell sent them then?” Nikki stood up annoyed.
“I don't know!” Helen shouted back at her.
“I'm sorry.” Nikki said realising she was getting rather animated.
Helen walked around the desk and put her arm around her. “I told you, its just some fan with a crush on you. Don't worry about it.” She tried to reassure her but Nikki wasn't sure. “I don't know Helen I have had plenty of fans send me stuff before. This one seems a little obsessed.” Helen touched Nikki's face with her hand and looked into her eyes. “Hey, you just concentrate on your football and let me deal with this.” Nikki looked at her searching her eyes. “How?”
“I'll tell Dominic and see if he's got any ideas. We'll keep a watch on you, get you a bodyguard if need be.”
“No Helen I'll be okay. I don't want a bozo following my every move.”
Helen kissed Nikki's cheek. “Go then and do what we pay you for.” Nikki nodded, kissed Helen quickly and left the office.
Helen picked up the packet and sighed. “Bad taste in underwear whoever it is.” She pushed the offending articles into the parcel and placed it in her drawer.
Training was hard for Nikki her mind was on other things. “Nikki what the hell was that?” Dominic shouted. “Now try again.”
Some fans had turned out to watch them train and Nikki noticed Caroline was among them. Her performance got even worse after that. She knew she should tell Helen about her because it could very well be the person doing this to them. But she needed to be sure before accusing someone.
Helen came out to watch her team and noticed Nikki's performance was suffering. Halfway through she walked over to Dominic and told him what had happened, she told Nikki to get showered and changed and she would meet her in her office. Then she took Nikki by her hand and led her out of the ground and to her car.
“Where are we going?” Nikki asked puzzled and amused.
“It's a secret” Helen smiled. “Now get in the car and all will be revealed.”
Nikki just shook her head and smiled. “I adore you.”
“The feelings mutual. Miss Wade.”
They drove off down some streets Nikki didn't know and eventually much to her surprise they were heading for the airport. Helen pulled in at the airport car park. Nikki shuffled in her seat. “So who are we meeting?” Nikki asked. Because she knew she wasn't going anywhere. It was Tuesday and they had a cup final match on Saturday. Helen didn't speak, she just told her to get out of the car and help her. “With what?” Helen walked to the boot of the car and opened it. “With the suitcases”
Nikki looked from the cases to Helen beside her. “Why where are we going?”
“Nikki you ask far too many questions, now help me!”
Nikki laughed at her, “You are mad, do you know that?”
“Yeah but you love me all the same”
Nikki wondered how and when Helen had found the time to plan this and shook her head again as she and Helen walked towards the terminal. “I hope you packed my best clothes Helen or I'll never forgive you” she smiled.
Helen looked up and pointed. “That's our flight, come on.” She urged Nikki. They checked in and Nikki realised they were heading to the south of France. And her head was suddenly awash with sunsets, beaches and Helen. “I hope you packed our swimming gear” Nikki smiled at her. “Of course and the lotion, so you can rub it all over me.” Helen said seductively in her ear so that only Nikki would hear. Nikki's heart skipped a beat. How did Helen do that to her? She thought. Turn her into a lustful teenager with just a look and a few words.
They found their seats on the plane, Nikki begged for the window seat. Helen let her. When they were served drinks, they both took vodka and ice and relaxed back. “Helen have you forgot about the match on Saturday?”
Helen smiled and sipped her drink. “I thought a few days away would do you a lot more good.”
“You thought right. Thank you.” Nikki said and Helen could hear the emotion in Nikki's voice, it was almost like she was fighting back tears. Helen looked to her and saw that she was.
“Sweetheart?” Helen took her hand. “What's wrong?”
“You are so wonderful Helen. I can't believe how lucky I am to have you.”
“Don't be silly.” Helen teased. “I'm the lucky one.” Then they kissed tenderly forgetting the world around them.
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Dominic looked down at his drink and raised it to his mouth. Then he reached for the bottle on Helen's desk and poured another. He was drowning his sorrows with Helen's vodka that she kept in her cupboard for meetings. Helen and Nikki had left without warning and he was left to explain to Simon Stubberfieild why Nikki couldn't attend the interviews he had lined up for her. Dominic was not a happy man. He tried to phone Helen on numerous occasions and just got her answer phone and her mobile must have been switched off. “Sh*t Helen how could you do this to me.” He mumbled and sank the contents of the glass. Then he opened the drawer of the desk to find a pen to leave a note for Helen, just in case she returned here. That was when he noticed the package he had given to Nikki earlier. His curiosity got the better of him as he took it out and looked inside.

Helen was enjoying the feeling of Nikki's soft hands rubbing lotion onto her back and shoulders. “Mmm” she sighed happily. Nikki smiled, she loved how she could make Helen react with just a touch. “Enjoying yourself?” She asked. “Oh God yes.” Helen replied. She took her hands away and Helen missed the contact so much she almost whimpered. “I'm just going for a swim.” Nikki said as she kissed Helen on the back of her neck, then as she took one last look at the beautiful woman lying on her front below her.

She sighed. I love her so much.

“Don't be gone too long!” Helen called out. She closed her eyes and felt the warmth of the sun on her back.

Lorna Rose had been given the task of filling in for Nikki and she was swamped with interviews. Denny Blood joined her for the local TV interview. She always wanted to be on Television and begged Dominic to let her go. After the interview Denny asked Lorna if she wanted to join her and Shaz for a drink later. She said yes and that she would be bringing her new girlfriend with her. When Denny found out who she was, she was more than surprised. “You are kidding me right? You and Nikki's ex?”

“Its nothing serious. We just like each others company.” Lorna replied. “To be honest with you I am much more interested in someone else.” Denny didn't need too many guesses to figure out whom she meant. The evening wore on and Denny was getting very annoyed by Lorna's constant questions about her good friend Nikki Wade. Trisha was too busy with the club to notice. They had all had a bit too much to drink and inhibitions were lost.

“Look Lorna you really need to get Nikki out of your head mate.”

Denny finally said frustrated with her.

“What?” she said in mock surprise.

“Your obsessed with her, she's all your have talked about all night.” Denny replied with a frown. “She's my mate and I know her, she's definitely not interested in you.”

“Good!” Lorna replied. “I'm not interested in her either. And if you breath a word of this conversation to Trisha I'll….”

Denny gave her a hard look. “You'll what?”

“Oh nothing. I think I better go.” She said as she looked over at Trisha with a smile. Some minutes later she was leaving with Trisha on her arm.

Denny was left feeling very unsettled by Lorna's behaviour.

Helen and Nikki had spent a very leisurely and relaxing day on the beach, followed by a stroll around the shops. Nikki had picked up some rather nice designer shirts. Helen was impressed with her taste in clothing. She thought she always looked gorgeous and now she could see why, she spent a fortune on looking that good. They returned to the hotel for dinner around 6pm and then retreated to their room, they showered and changed. Then they both collapsed on the bed together exhausted.

“Remind me never to go shopping with you again.” Helen laughed.

Nikki turned to her and rested up on one elbow, to Helen's side she was looking down into the pools of Helen's gorgeous green eyes. “You had fun admit it” Nikki teased as she stroked her fingers through Helen's hair. “I would have more fun seeing you out of your clothes.” She grinned at her. “So you don't like my taste in shirts then?” Helen put her hand around the back of Nikki's head and pulled her close for a kiss. Nikki didn't resist.

“I love everything about you Nikki Wade.” She whispered between placing soft kisses on Nikki's face.

“I want to make love to you.” Nikki whispered back looking into her eyes. The sound of her voice sent tingles right down Helen's spine. And they were both feeling the desire that was rising between them both.

She began to open Helens blouse, placing kisses as she worked downwards. She noticed Helen hadn't put on any underwear and smiled up at her, “Very wise” then she continued her path down to Helen's breasts.

After some minutes…..

“Nikki stop it.”

“Stop what?”

“Teasing me like that, you're going to kill me.” Helen was feeling very hot and bothered as Nikki's mouth continued to taste her skin, licking, kissing and biting but always avoiding her most sensitive areas. “Now where are you going?” she gasped as she watched Nikki move her way down the bed. She pulled off Helen's jeans and threw them to floor. Helen was completely naked apart from her open blouse. Nikki lay beside her and reached out to Helen's bare feet.

As her tongue licked Helen's toes Helen moaned loudly. And she couldn't stop from calling out “Oh f***!” as her mouth captured them.

Nikki smiled and seeing that she had got a good reaction she pursued Helen's toes with more intensity. Helen was feeling sensations she didn't think possible from just having her feet kissed. “Nikki” she almost cried out. “I need you up here now.” Her voice was desperate and her body was reacting to every small touch that Nikki placed on her delicate and sensitive skin. Nikki kissed her feet one last time and made her way back up the bed stopping half way.

“Nikki please” And before Helen could say anything else she felt Nikki enter her. Her long fingers sent ripples through Helens whole body. The whole room around her seemed to spin as she was overtaken by intense pleasure. “I love you,” she breathed as Nikki sent her over the edge time and time again.

Nikki held Helen in her arms. “We should get out of here. Take a walk.” She suggested as she kissed her forehead lovingly.

“Mmm” Helen moaned.

She was still coming down from the way her body had reacted just half an hour before. She pulled her arm around Nikki tighter. “You are fantastic do you know that?”

Nikki smiled and looked down at her. “Yes I do.”

“You big head!” Helen laughed.

They got dressed and took a walk along the sea front, passing some bars and clubs along the way. Nikki wore one of her new shirts and jeans, Helen was dressed more or less the same. They didn't take their jackets, as it was such a lovely warm evening. As they walked they held hands, stopping occasionally to kiss. Then they found a quiet bar with a table out of view of prying eyes and ordered drinks. The waitress soon returned with their beers and couldn't help but smile at them both. They were sat across the table from each other holding hands, looking into each others eyes, talking and laughing. She felt like she shouldn't be interrupting such a private moment as she placed the beers down on the table.

They looked like a couple so very much in love.

“This was such a brilliant idea.” Nikki said sipping her glass of beer.

“Well I do get them sometimes.” Helen smiled.

Helen felt Nikki's leg rub against her own and felt her desire rise once more. “Nikki I cant go on like this.” She begged.

“Like what?” she grinned as she moved her leg in between Helen's beneath the table.

“You know what”

Nikki removed her leg. “I'll just have to stop then.” She said playfully.

“Don't you dare!” Helen said urgently. Nikki moved onto the seat beside her and Helen gasped ever so gently as she felt Nikki's hand on her thigh and moving closer to a very sensitive spot.

Dominic reached Larkhall UTD the following day and as he walked towards Helen's office he noticed it was unlocked. He walked inside and was shocked at what he saw. The place had been turned upside down. Paper and files everywhere, drawers open. He searched around the room to see if anything was missing but it was such a mess that he couldn't tell. Then he noticed a note on the desk written in red lipstick on white paper. It read, “Helen. Remember the evening at the club. Before you arrived she was mine. We did everything that night. Then you and your stupid friend arrived and spoilt it. But at least I had her first.”

Dominic was shocked at what he read. He remembered the package he had seen and the contents. He dialled 999.

When the police arrived they said there wasn't much they could do. They took some fingerprints but it was virtually impossible with the amount of people that used that office.

Dominic sighed deeply. He liked Helen, he liked her a lot and to see her go through something like this hurt him. He just couldn't imagine who would do this to them. He sat down at the desk and put his head in his hands. He was feeling helpless. He couldn't even contact her to let her know.

Nikki woke early to find Helen sleeping beside her. She just lay there watching her. She couldn't believe she was here. In a beautiful place with a beautiful women, she smiled and then stretching, yawning she got out of bed and headed for the bathroom.

Helen turned over and looked to find Nikki was not there. She rubbed at her eyes to wake herself up.

“Nikki” she called out quietly.

“I'm in here.” She said between brushing her teeth. Helen looked at the time and realised that if they didn't hurry it would be too late for breakfast. And she really needed to eat this morning. Her stomach growled in agreement.

“I'll order breakfast in bed, is that alright with you?” Helen called to her as she sat up and reached for the phone.

“Your keen aren't you?” Nikki called back.

“No just starving. I need to keep my energy up to keep up with you.” She teased. Nikki ran back into the room and jumped on the bed, gently placing herself on top of Helen. “Its me that needs to keep up with you!” Helen giggled beneath her. “Okay so were both as bad as each other!” Then her stomach growled once more. “We better order now.” Nikki laughed.

They spent the morning in bed and then on the afternoon hired a car. It was late when they arrived back at the hotel from seeing the sights. And they knew that the next morning they were flying back to London. They were both excited about the cup final match and glad to be going back but in another way Nikki was dreading it. As they arrived back in London the concern was showing on Nikki's face.

“What's wrong sweetheart? Helen asked her.

“Just a bit worried. After what's been happening with those strange letters and everything. I hope there haven't been any more.”

They pulled up outside their home and went inside. Nikki checked the mail nervously as Helen put the kettle on. Nikki opened a letter addressed to her but it had been forwarded on from Larkhall UTD football club. She read it to herself quietly. “Dear Nikki, Its just Caroline here. I wanted to say good luck for Saturday, I will be there cheering you on. It was good to see you at the gym. I hope we can meet up sometime soon. Oh and did anyone ever told you how gorgeous you are! Lots of love Caroline x”

Nikki's heart was beating faster as she shoved the letter back into the envelope quickly and put it into her pocket of her jeans.

"Well anything?” Helen asked walking in with two cups of tea.

“No nothing.” Nikki smiled up at her.

“Told you there was nothing to worry about” Helen sat beside her.

“Yeah you were right, I was just being silly.” Nikki replied quickly.

“Oh I must phone Dominic. He's probably going out of his mind.” Helen said lifting herself up off the sofa once more and heading for the phone.
Nikki didn't know what to do. Should she show Helen the letter or wait. Caroline seemed nice if a little over friendly. Why would she try to hurt her or Helen? She just couldn't put it all together. For once in her life she had no idea how to handle the situation and it scared her. She sank back into the cushions and sighed.
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Helen finished on the phone with Dominic and sat beside Nikki.

“I've got some bad news.” She sighed.

Nikki and Helen rushed over to the ground and found Helen's office as it had been left. They both walked around the office picking things up and looking for anything that might be missing.

“The police are still investigating the break in.” Came the voice from outside the door. Dominic walked in.

“Sh*t! Helen who would do this to us?” Nikki said as she picked up a broken framed photo. It was a photograph they had taken together. Nikki remembered it well. They asked an old couple if they would mind taking it as they walked along the beach one Sunday afternoon. She shook the glass off and placed it on the desk.

“I don't know.” Helen said. “But this as gone to far.”

Then Dominic gave Helen the piece of paper that he had found on her desk.

“What's this?” she said taking it from his hand.

“Another little present from whoever is doing this. It was left on your desk.”

She looked at it and sighed. Nikki walked up beside her and took it.

“It's got to be her.”

“Who?” And both Dominic and Helen spoke at the same time.

“Do you remember the blonde in the club?”

“Of course!” Helen said enthusiastically.

“Uh? Can someone fill me in?” Dominic said as he watched them both.

Nikki turned to Dominic and explained.

“So what do we do now?” He asked.

“Well she always seems to turn up for training and at the gym.” Nikki began and Helen raised her eyebrows as if to say why didn't you tell me. “Helen I thought it was nothing, just a fan, so I let it pass, I had no idea she was this bad.”

Helen picked up the phone and went to call the police. Nikki felt reluctant about calling in the police. “Helen let me deal with this.” She suggested. Helen shook her head. “No Nikki this is too serious. Whoever did this has a problem mentally. I don't want you going anywhere near her.” Nikki nodded in silent agreement as Helen dialed the number. “It's for the best Nikki.” Dominic reassured her.

The police arranged to be there at training the following day where they would pick Caroline up. Nikki watched from the field as she saw the police take her away. She felt good that they had found the culprit but she also felt sorry for the woman. Denny walked up be side her seeing that she was distracted by the goings on across from them.

“You okay Nik?”

“I am now they've caught that psycho” she said bravely.

“You can never tell. I mean she was a real stunner too.” Denny commented.

“Yeah well like you said. Looks can be deceiving.” Nikki said thoughtfully.

Dominic got them to train hard. It was the cup final tomorrow and he had no intention of letting this little incident ruin their chances of winning. He took Nikki's mind of it every chance he could. Then Nikki noticed Lorna was looking distracted too. She could see her watching Caroline being taken away by the police.

Caroline was being pushed into the back of the police car. “I didn't do anything!” she protested. The policewoman slammed the door ignoring her claims of innocence. Back at the station she was questioned by two Police officers. Mark Waddle and Gina Rossi. “So Caroline why did you do it?” Mark asked. She was seated across the table from them. The tape recorder was on. “Do what?”

“Come on don't play the innocent. Miss Wade tells us you have been following her for weeks. Sending her letters.” He continued.

“I like her. I wouldn't do anything to hurt her. Honestly. Yes I followed her, call me an obsessed fan. But I'm not a psycho!”

“Oh pull the other one.” Gina said sarcastically.

“I swear I'm telling the truth.” She said desperately.

Nikki's football picked up after Caroline was taken away. Finally she could relax and enjoy herself. She also had a word with the team one by one to make sure they were all feeling okay about tomorrow's big match. The only person she was concerned about was Lorna Rose.

She walked over to her after training as they walked off the field. “You wanna help me get this stuff back to my car? “ Nikki asked. Maybe I can figure out why she's so distracted. Nikki thought to herself. Being the team captain meant that she had to keep her eye on the players too and make sure the team was a happy one. She would have a talk with her.

“Sure” Lorna replied happily but first I need to go get my coat. “Okay I'll wait.” Nikki waited out on the field with the heavy bags Dominic had left her. It was her turn to take cleaning duty and she wasn't too pleased. Cup final kits no less. She just hoped she didn't shrink them in the wash.

That evening Nikki had invited Trisha and Lorna over for a meal. Nikki was determined to get out of Lorna what had been bothering her. She could tell she wasn't herself at training and didn't manage to get anymore out of her back at her car. She invited them to dinner and Lorna had agreed happily.

Nikki was helping Helen prepare the salad. She noticed that Helen was quieter than usual. As Helen checked the food in the oven, Nikki looked over at her.

“Helen is everything all right?”

Helen didn't look at her.

Nikki then knew there was definitely something wrong. Helen walked up to her and took out an envelope from the drawer. “I found this today when I was going through the washing.”

Nikki recognized it was the letter Caroline had sent her. She looked down at it.

“Why didn't you tell me?” Helen said steadily but obviously upset.

“I didn't want to worry you.” Nikki looked up at her.

“Really?” she said sarcastically.

“What are you suggesting?” Nikki replied with a sudden burst of frustration.

“Well its all rather convenient isn't it?”

“What do you mean by that?” Nikki felt her anger rising. They were close to each other, Nikki looking down at the smaller woman. Her eyebrows knotted. She couldn't believe Helen was talking like this.

“First I find you all over her in the club. What would have happened if I hadn't arrived?” Helen was also letting her anger get the better of her.

“Nothing!” Nikki shouted.

“You were already kissing her Nikki! And for all I know you could have been doing a lot more before I arrived!” Helen's jealousy really had got the better of her and she just couldnt stop herself.

Helen shook her head and turned away from her. Nikki pulled her arm harder than she intended to, to make her turn around and when she saw the look in Helen's eyes she was wishing she hadn't bothered. Nikki knew she was losing the argument and she tried to plead with her. “You don't think any of that crap is true do you?”

“Well it all makes sense now. You have your fun. Then accuse her of stalking you. I read the letter Nikki, you two meeting up at the gym.” Then she paused and continued angrily. “How often do you meet up for secret sessions together!”

Nikki couldn't believe her ears. “F*ck this” She stormed out of the kitchen before she said something she would regret.

“Where are you going?” Helen shouted after her.

“Out!” She shouted back, she grabbed her long black coat then she slammed the front door behind her.

She knew deep down that she wrong to accuse Nikki but for some reason she needed Nikki to confirm it was all in her head. She regretted the words that had just passed her lips and felt a deep ache at hurting Nikki.

Helen turned to the salad and remembered they had guests arriving in an hour. She looked up at the ceiling “Sh*t!*

Nikki got in her car and drove. She didn't know where she was going but she had to get away from Helen. She felt so angry with her. How could she accuse her like that? After all they had been through together. She thought they had built up a trust just to have it shattered. She pulled up in a quiet country lane and rested on the steering wheel.

Helen was about to cancel dinner when the doorbell rang. She opened the door to find Lorna standing there, alone.

“No Trisha?” Helen asked.

“We split up.” Lorna replied.

She followed Helen into the living room.

“No Nikki?” She asked as she looked around the deserted house.

“We had a bit of a fight.”

“Oh. Sorry to hear that.” Lorna said.

And something about her voice made Helen think that she wasn't sorry at all.

“Look maybe I should go?” Lorna suggested.

“No stay for a drink at least. You did come all this way.” Helen replied looking at her.

“Oh and please take a seat.”

Lorna sat down and Helen handed her a glass of wine. And sat beside her. “Just the one then” she said.

“Well that's all I was offering.”

“Oh yes of course, the big match tomorrow.” Lorna said remembering. And Helen was surprised that it sounded like Lorna had forgotten all about such a thing.

“Can I get you anything else?” Helen asked.

“Yeah have you got any nibbles?” Lorna smiled.

“Sure. I'll be right back” Helen went to the kitchen and left Lorna on her own.

Lorna stood and looked around the room and before Helen returned she took the phone off the hook just slightly so that she wouldn't notice.

Nikki looked in the glove compartment for some sweets some half hour later. As she put her hand inside she pulled out a card. She hadn't seen it before. She opened it and read to herself.

“Dear Helen. It's all going to be over very soon for you. You wont hear my warnings. You ignore me. Can't you see that Nikki is meant to be with me? I'm just going to have to make you listen. L “

“L?” Nikki said out loud. It can't be Caroline. She tried to think of people she knew with L in the name. “Lorna!” she said out loud again. Then she remembered certain things. Like how she asked Lorna to help her take some bags back to her car at training. That must have been when she left the note in her glove compartment. The way she looked at her and the way she spoke to her sometimes. Then she shivered remembering the way she caught her watching her in the showers on more than one occasion. She thought it was just in her imagination but now it all made sense to her. She suddenly felt sick with fear. “And we invited her over for dinner tonight!”

“Sh*t!” She put down the letter and started up the car. Driving so fast that she worried she might get arrested. She took her mobile from her pocket and attempted to phone Helen and warn her. “Sh*t Helen why did you turn your mobile off!” Then she tried the home phone and it was constantly engaged. She was so distracted that she screeched to a halt to avoid going through a red light.
“Bloody lights! Come on. Come on” she said impatiently tapping her steering wheel.
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Nikki pulled up in the driveway and locked the car. It was 9pm, dark and she noticed there were no lights on in the house. She took out her keys and quietly opened the front door. The sick feeling in her stomach got worse as she cautiously walked into the hallway. Had Helen simply gone to bed early? Had she gone out? Or had something else happened? Nikki moved down the hallway and into the living room slowly.

She switched on the light and fear struck her as she saw Helen lying on the floor, her hands tied behind her back and something had been tied around her mouth to stop her from calling out. Nikki rushed over to her in sheer panic. Helen was trying to tell her something but couldn't. Nikki whispered to her “Its okay Helen” as she removed the cloth that was covering Helen's mouth. “Nikki behind you!” Helen shouted.

Nikki turned to look as Lorna Rose kicked her to the ground.

“Nikki!” Helen called out, her hands still tied she could do nothing to help her. Nikki felt the deep pain in her side where the boot had caught her but her rage was now more than Lorna Rose would have ever bargained for. She raised herself off the floor so fast that Lorna didn't have chance to respond. Nikki dived on her and they both crashed to the floor. Knocking over the coffee table on the way, cups smashed against the floor. Helen struggled desperately with the ropes that tied her hands but she couldn't get free. All she could do was watch her lover defend them both. She felt so helpless.

Nikki was positioned underneath Lorna, the woman looked down on her menacingly. “If I can't have you Wade then no one can!” she whispered down at her. Nikki pulled her over and placed herself on top of her. Holding her down. “You sick bitch!” Nikki shouted back at her.

“Nikki she's got a knife!” Helen shouted out.

But it was too late. Lorna had grabbed at the knife in her pocket slashing out at Nikki driving it deep into her arm. The blood began to run down her arm and through her shirt. Helen looked on horrified as Nikki tried to get the knife off her. Nikki just desperately lashed out and smashed her in the face, knocking her out. The knife fell to the floor and Nikki raised herself off the motionless body beneath her and picking up the knife she quickly went over to Helen to untie her.

“Nikki you're bleeding.” Helen said touching her arm. "Badly!" The red on her hands told her how much.

Nikki looked at her arm, “Sh*t!*

She untied Helen, who got up off the floor to call the police. Nikki sat for a moment to look at her wounds. She placed her hand on the cut and she could see it was deep and suddenly she began to feel the pain as a pool of blood emerged on the floor beside her.

Helen walked back over to her and leant down beside her.

“The police are on the way. And an ambulance.” She told her.

Then she began to remove Nikki's shirt.

“Helen I know I'm irresistible but now?” Nikki joked.

“Nikki how can you joke at a time like this.” Helen said seriously.

She removed her shirt and looked at the deep wound.

“Nikki put your hand on it.” She ordered her. "Yes boss"

“Helen I think I'm going to throw up” Nikki said suddenly feeling very queasy.

Her pale face alarmed Helen. She looked over at Lorna who was still out cold and went to the kitchen to get the first aid kit and a glass of water for Nikki. She returned quickly and gave Nikki the glass of water. She struggled to apply a bandage to her arm to stop the blood flow.

“My hero.” Helen half smiled at her.

Nikki tried to smile back but was finding it very difficult. Then she noticed Lorna move slightly. “Helen!” she said startled. “She's awake.”

Helen grabbed the rope that kept her hostage all evening and lent down next to Lorna, she began to tie her hands. “Well she wont be doing anything else tonight.” Helen said as she pulled the rope tightly around her hands behind her back.

Then she returned to sit beside Nikki and hold her until the police and ambulance arrived.

“What's taking them so long?” Helen said impatiently.

“Never around when you need them.” Nikki joked. Then added

“Helen what the hell happened here tonight?”

“I'll tell you later.” She said holding her to keep her warm. She could feel her shaking in her arms and knew that she was going into shock.

The next day Helen found herself waking up beside Nikki's bed. She was getting used to spending time in hospitals. But she still hated them just as much. She stretched and took hold of Nikki's hand. She was still sleeping and looked so peaceful “I love you Nikki” she whispered. Tears fell as she was overcome by emotions and tiredness. She loved this woman more than life itself. Nikki was her life. Every part of her had become a part of Nikki and every part of Nikki had become a part of her. There was no separation, yes they were individuals and unique in their own ways but without each other they could not function. At least not fully. Helen wasn't sure when she came to realise this. But she knew it now as she sat beside her watching her sleep. They were simply meant to be.

It was supposed to be cup final day but after the incident with Lorna Rose it had been cancelled. Helen had spent a very tiring evening in the police station giving a statement. Lorna Rose had been taken to the cells. And now the press had been hanging around the hospital all morning trying to get a statement from Helen Stewart. Helen just wished they would all go away and leave them in peace. She refused to give into them. She needed some space from the world around her. The stress was getting to her and she tried to remain calm for Nikki's sake.

As she sat deep in thoughts she heard someone enter the room. It was Dominic. “Hi” he said quietly. “How is she?” He placed some flowers in a vase and then he pulled up a chair and sat next to Helen.

“She's doing okay. She was lucky, any deeper and they would have had to do surgery.”

“Well that's something positive” he tried to remain cheerful under the circumstances.

“Have the police been to see you? She turned to look at him.

“Yeah this morning. They wanted to know everything. It took ages. Who could have known she was a nutcase” he said amazed.

“Yes and we accused that poor other woman.” Helen remembered. “Have they let her go?”

“Yeah. I believe so.”

Helen let out a sigh and as she did so Nikki stirred.

“I'll leave you two. I'll check back later okay.” Dominic said excusing himself. He decided to take on the job of talking to the press. At least that would be one weight lifted from Helen's shoulders. He could see how tired she looked and wondered if she should be checked out too. Before he left he asked her. “Are you okay Helen, you look terrible”

“I'll be fine. Don't worry about me.” She smiled weakly. But she had to admit to herself she had the worst headache imaginable.

Nikki's eyes opened slowly. “Hi babe” Helen smiled at her. Nikki gently squeezed her hand. She couldn't have opened her eyes to a more beautiful sight. Helen was smiling down at her.

“Darling. Where the hell am I?” she asked disorientated.

“Hospital. Yet again.” She sighed.

She began to wake from her slumber and began to remember. “I'm making an habit of this aren't I?”

“Yes you are. Anyone would think you had a thing for nurses uniforms.”

“Damn you discovered my secret.” She said pulling herself up as far as she could manage. “Ouch”

“Nikki you should lie back down. Your arm.”

She looked at herself and inspected the bandage. “I forgot” Then she felt the pain in her side and thought what a huge bruise she must have there. Not to mention her aching head.

Helen helped her back down. She lay slightly to her side so she could at look Helen and she reached out her hand for Helen to hold. Helen leaned forward as close as possible and kissed her lips as she took her hand in her own. Their fingers entwined gently. Nikki's eyes met Helens and there were no real need for words. But Nikki said it anyway. “I love you so much.” And Helen smiled.

“Have you been here all night?”

“How did you guess?”

“You looked knackered.”

“You don't look so great yourself Nikki Wade!”

They both smiled at each other.

Then Nikki's face turned more seriously. “Did they lock her up?”

“Yes. Don't worry she wont be harassing anyone, anytime soon.”

“Oh God what about Caroline?” she said alarmed.

“They let her out. Innocent after all.”

“I feel awful now.”

“You weren't to know Nikki, we all judged her wrongly.” She tried to reassure her. “None of us suspected Lorna, why would we?”

Nikki sighed. She had suspected something was up with her but hadn't said anything.

“Do you mind if I leave you for a minute. I need a coffee.” Helen asked stroking her hand.

“Of course not.” Helen reluctantly let go of Nikki's hand. She kissed her head before leaving. “Love you sweetheart.”

“I know.” She smiled back at her.

While Helen was gone a tall blonde woman and the nurse entered her room.

“Nikki you have a visitor. Is that okay?” the nurse asked her. Nikki looked up and saw that the visitor was Caroline. Then Helen came walking in behind them just as Nikki was about to speak.

“What's going on?” Helen asked the nurse.

“The young lady wanted to see Nikki.”

Helen looked to Nikki who nodded. “Okay as long as I stay with her.” Helen agreed.

Caroline smiled at Helen as they walked towards the bed. She gave Helen a card for Nikki that said Get Well Soon, which Helen placed on the side.

Nikki looked at Caroline. “I owe you an apology.”

“Hey don't worry about it. I'm just glad they got the real psycho.”

Then she fiddled with her hands nervously. “Who'd have thought she was capable of something like that.”

“She had us all fooled.” Helen replied. “And we are both very sorry for accusing you.” She looked at her. “Anything we can do to make amends say the word.” Nikki added.

“How about cup final tickets?” she smiled excitedly.

“Sure, just let Helen know how many.” Nikki smiled back.

Nikki's eyes began to close again. “I think we had better go.” Helen said. “She needs her rest.”

“Of course.” Caroline said standing. “Bye Nikki”

“See you at the match.” Nikki replied quietly.

When Caroline had left, Helen explained to Nikki that she was going home to get some sleep and a wash. She kissed her goodbye and promised to return soon. Nikki soon fell into another peaceful sleep as the painkillers worked on her aching body.

Helen returned home and with all that had happened forgot the mess the house was left in. “Sh*t” she said as she stood and saw the blood stained carpet. “Now were going to have to get a new carpet.” She began to clear up. She was taking a nap on the sofa when the phone rang.

“Helen Stewart here” she said sleepily.

“Hi. I heard that Nikki Wade lives there?” came the questioning voice on the other end of the line.

“Yes she does but she's not here right now.” Helen replied.

“I know. I heard.” The man replied.

“Who is this?”
“I'm Nikki's father.”
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“I'm Helen,” she paused. How much did they know about Nikki? She realised at that moment that they had never discussed their families. All Helen knew was that Nikki wasn't close to her family and hadn't seen them in years. “Stewart. We share the house.”

“I see.” Came the calm reply. “I was just wondering how she was. We read about what happened and were worried.”

“She's doing good. Do you want to see her? I can give you the name of the hospital.”

“No that's okay.” He interrupted.

“I'm sure she would like to see you” Helen continued. She was totally unaware of Nikki's parents feelings regarding her sexuality.

“Okay then. If your sure.” He replied uncomfortably.

Helen gave him the details and he said that they would visit her sometime that same day. She presumed he meant her mother too.

When Helen put down the phone she decided to get some proper sleep and gave in to her tiredness by retreating to bed for a few hours.

“Were family” The tall man with greyish brown hair said to the hospital receptionist. The woman beside him held flowers, she was tall too with short black hair.

“And your names are?”

“Mr and Mrs Wade.” He replied. “Her parents.”

“I'll just get someone to take you to her room.” The receptionist smiled back at them. Both didn't return the smile. In fact they both looked very nervous.

Nikki was sitting up in bed with headphones on, listening to her walkman that Helen had kindly remembered to bring in for her. The calming sounds of Dido played in her ears. She felt too tired to read any of the books on her bedside cabinet. Music stopped her getting bored. It was the perfect solution. She must have got through 5 CDs today already. “I can't wait to get out of this place,” she muttered to herself.

Her eyes were shut and she was smiling happily when someone put their hand on her shoulder and shook her. She pulled off her headphones and dropped them onto the bed. Her eyes widened in shock at what she saw.

Her father's hand was on her shoulder and her mother was standing beside him. They looked the same just older.

The last time she had seen them she was 18 years old.

And she was devastated.

Then before she could say anything, behind them she could see Helen enter the room. Her eyes moved from them to Helen and back to them.

“What the hell are you two doing here!” she finally said.

Nikki's face was full of resentment and anger as she pushed her fathers hand from her shoulder. He stood upright next to her mother. Helen walked closer,

“Nikki what's wrong?” she asked concerned.

Nikki just shook her head in disbelief and looked up at them. “Well?”

“We heard about what happened Nikki. It was on the local news. We just wanted to see you.” Her mother said sincerely and quietly. “We would have got in touch so much sooner but we had no idea where you were.” She added.

Nikki took her eyes off her mother and looked down as she replied. “After all this time, you think you can just walk back into my life.” Helen could hear the emotion in Nikki's voice and decided to step in. “Maybe you should go.” Helen suggested to them calmly.

They both nodded in silent agreement.

“Great idea” Nikki said under her breath. But they heard it.

As they turned to leave her father turned back and looked at her, she refused to return eye contact. “We'll leave our contact details with the nurse if you want to see us.”

“Sure” she replied with sarcasm.

They both left the room leaving Helen with a puzzled look on her face. She walked up to the bed and sat down in the chair to Nikki's right.

“Nikki are you okay?” she asked quietly reaching for her hand.

“I am now they've gone” she said bitterly looking up and meeting Helens eyes.

Helen suddenly felt terribly guilty as she invited them here. “I'm sorry Nikki I didn't know things were that bad between you. I kind of invited them here.”

“You what!” Nikki replied with a glare. She removed her hand from Helen's and looked away.

“Nikki I…”

Helen felt the loss of contact in her heart.

“I can't believe you did that without asking me” she said and she wasn't looking at her.

“Nikki I said I'm sorry.” And Nikki could hear how sorry she was in her voice. She immediately felt bad for snapping at Helen. She reached for Helen's hand and gave her a vague smile. “I'm sorry. I shouldn't have snapped at you.”

Helen smiled back at her, relieved. “I'll remember not to cross you again.” She joked.

Nikki gave her that shy smile that she loved. And Helen just had to kiss her.

“I was awful to them wasn't I?” Nikki finally admitted.

“I am sure you had your reasons.” Helen said thoughtfully.

Nikki looked down at her hands that were caressing Helen's. “They threw me out of the house when they found out I was gay.”

Helen took a deep breath, “Nikki that's terrible.”

“I know. Now can you see why I was surprised to see them?” she looked at Helen. She just nodded.

“I haven't seen them since. My dads in the navy anyway, so they move around a lot. But never once did they try to find me. I was on my own from the age of 18.” She said bitterly. “I don't even see my brother.”

“Oh Nikki.” Helen began. “Why didn't you tell me all this sooner?”

“I don't like to talk about it. I guess I got used to not having a family. Out of sight, out of mind.”

Nikki's hands squeezed Helen's gently, looking for the comfort she so needed at that moment. Helen pulled herself closer and wrapped her arms around her.

“I'm your family now.” She whispered as she hugged her warmly. And tears began to fall down Nikki's cheek.

Two days later.

“Nikki. Can you see my mobile anywhere?”

Helen was searching the living room urgently. Nikki was standing by the window looking out and her thoughts were drowning her.

“Nikki!” Helen came up behind her making her jump.

“Helen!” she said. “Sorry I was miles away.”

“My mobile?”

“Oh I think I saw it in the bedroom.” She replied. “Why are you in such a rush anyway?”

“New player arriving today. To replace Lorna Rose.”

“Oh.” And she turned to look out of the window once more.

“Nikki what's wrong?” Helen said putting her hand on Nikki's.

“I was just thinking, about my parents.”

“Maybe you should phone them?” she suggested. “The nurse gave you the contact details.”

Nikki turned to look at Helen. “I'm scared.”

“Well I never thought I'd hear you say that” Helen smiled. Then continued. “Why don't we invite them over for dinner sometime?”

“Are you crazy?” Nikki replied as she turned back to the window. She immediately regretted her words. She turned back to face Helen and took her hands in her own. “I'm sorry darling.” She said. “Its just that them coming back as really got to me. I didn't think I would ever see them again. In fact I was hoping I wouldn't.”

Helen moved one hand up and stroked her face. “I understand.” She said as she looked into Nikki's sad eyes. And just hearing those words from Helen made her feel better.

Helen arrived 10 minutes late. Dominic was waiting for her in her office with the new signing. “Sorry I'm late.” She said as she put down her files and held out her hand to their new arrival, Crystal Gordon.

“Welcome to the club Crystal”

“Thanks Miss.” she grinned.

That evening Helen arrived home to find Nikki out in the garden. It was a lovely summers evening and stayed light until around 9pm. Which Nikki loved. It meant she had more time to devote to her newly adopted garden.

“Hi sweetheart” Helen called across to her.

“Hi gorgeous!” she called back.

Helen walked over to her and lent down beside her. Nikki faced her and stood bringing Helen up with her by grabbing her hand. Then she pulled Helen to herself.

“I missed you,” and as she said it her nose touched Helen's making her smile. “I missed you too.”

Then Helen broke the moment by looking around at the garden. “You have been busy”. She was very impressed. Her garden had become beautiful. Where once it was just green it was now full of colour.

Nikki pulled her back to her. “Come here.”

Helen giggled playfully as Nikki moved in to kiss her. “What will the neighbours think?”

“Who cares?” she said as she placed her lips on Helen's. They hadn't kissed all day and it felt like longer. “I think we should go inside” Helen said after some minutes. Nikki just smiled at her. “And I think you need a bath” she laughed at Nikki noticing the dirt on her face. “You going to join me?” she said with a cheeky grin.

“Just try and stop me.” She grinned back at her.

Helen relaxed back into Nikki's arms in the bath full of soapy bubbles. Candles littered the shelves, giving out a very romantic glow. “How was today?” Nikki asked.

“The new signing? Yeah I think she's going to fit right in. Her name is Crystal Gordon. She used to play for Peckham but left them when she found out how corrupt the manager was.” Helen told her.

“Ah Fenner. I've heard all about him from Yvonne.” Nikki replied. “Oh?” Helen said surprised.

“She knows people. Don't ask me how.” Nikki replied as her hands moved upwards. Helen let out a moan as Nikki's hands touched her breasts, this was followed by her hungry lips on Helen's neck. Helen gave in and resisted to her desires some minutes later when the intensity got too much, she ordered Nikki out of the bath.

They shared a very passionate embrace before getting dry and ending up in the bedroom.

“I need you Nikki” she said in a whisper. They hadn't made love in more than a week because of Nikki's recovery. Some time later they lay exhausted on the bed. Helen held Nikki in her arms and was careful as she stroked the arm that had been injured that night some two weeks ago.

“I love you Helen.” She spoke softly as her eyes looked up at her lovers. And her fingers ran through her hair. She loved the softness between her fingers. Helen's hair was amazing.

Helen looked into her eyes lovingly. “I love you too Nikki.”

They kissed and Helen sank down into the bed once more.

Cup Final day was just a week away. It had been rescheduled and luckily for Nikki she was fit enough to play. She spent the next week training hard. The gym and the training ground became her best friends all week. Helen joined her when possible, because if she didn't she would never have seen her. Nikki met Crystal and they liked each other right from the start. Helen and Dominic were pleased with that. It was such a difference from when Lorna Rose had first arrived. Nikki had not liked Lorna at all. And Nikki had good reason as it turned out. Crystal was a midfielder. So she played a different position to the one that Lorna played and it worked out better. Nikki was on top form all week throughout training.

Cup Final day arrived and Helen sat beside Dominic on the coach. Nikki took her usual seat by the window next to Zandra.
The whole team was buzzing with excitement. They couldn't believe they had made it this far and were going to enjoy it first of all. Winning would just be a bonus.
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They arrived at the ground. The women's league had arranged to use The Spurs Football Ground just for the cup final match. A very large crowd had turned out to see the match. After all the press about Nikki recently the ticket sales had rocketed.

The team stepped off the coach. Helen waited for Nikki and walked with her towards the changing rooms.

“How you feeling?” Helen asked her.

“Great. I can't wait to get out there.” Nikki replied with a smile.

“Okay how are you really feeling?” Helen grinned.

Nikki stopped. “You know me far too well Helen Stewart.”

“Yes I do.” She smiled and they continued to walk.

“I'm nervous as hell actually but I'll be fine once I get on the pitch.” Nikki replied wrapping one arm around Helen.

They reached the changing rooms and Helen took Nikki to one side before entering.

“Nikki. I just want to wish you good luck” Then she kissed her tenderly on the lips.

“Wahey…Miss Stewart!” came the voice from down the corridor.

They both looked around to see who was taunting them.

“Bloody hell Zan, give us some privacy will you.” Nikki called to her. And she wasn't amused.

“Sorry” Zandra replied grinning as she walked past them and into the changing room.

When she closed the door Nikki and Helen just looked at each other and laughed.

“Helen. I just wanted to say thanks.”

“For what?”

“For being there, through everything. Lorna Rose, Caroline, My parents, its been so crazy lately hasn't it?” Nikki said realising.

Helen wrapped her arms around her lover, “It sure has. And I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I love you Nikki.”

Nikki grinned. She was so happy right at that moment that no words could express it. She moved in closer and kissed Helen once more.

Their kiss was once again interrupted, “Hey save that until after the match.” Dominic grinned at them.

“Christ I give up.” Nikki muttered moving back from Helen's embrace. Then she smiled at Helen once more. “Guess I had better get changed then.”

Helen gave her a last kiss, “See you soon, for the briefing.”

“And Helen” Nikki said as Helen began to walk away.


“I love you.”

Those words never failed to make Helen's heart race. And right at that moment it was racing more than usual.

The briefing was to the point, get out there and do your best. Helen took her place next to Dominic out on the bench. They were both amazed at the crowd. “Dom this is fantastic. Lets hope we give them something to cheer about.” Helen smiled. “Yeah amazing, best crowd we have ever had, unless they're all here to cheer on the opposition.” Helen just looked at him. “Full of joy aren't you Dominic.”

Nikki kicked off and they were away. The opposition were tough. A team from the midlands area. Larkhall's blue and white strip was a contrast to the red and white of Erdington Town. Nikki looked around at the stadium and suddenly felt a rush of excitement. <All these people came to see us play>

Nikki's good mood paid of just minutes later when she took a free kick from just outside the box. It chipped over the wall of red and white and past the goalkeepers hands, driven right into the corner of the net. “Yes!!” Helen shouted has she involuntary jumped to her feet. Dominic was right behind her. “Fantastic!” He shouted out.

The crowd erupted too. Nikki meanwhile was running, followed by Zandra and Crystal who jumped her when they finally caught her.

Twenty minutes later and Crystal passed the ball to Nikki from the halfway line, Nikki ran with it, past two defenders and drove it past the goalkeeper. Two Nil. The crowd went wild and so did Dominic. “Bloody Hell Helen what have you been feeding her?”

Helen just looked at him and couldn't help but laugh.

Into the second half Nikki did her magic once more as she fired a shot into the roof of the net. She looked to Helen this time with a wide grin, and Helen mouthed the words, “I love you.” As she smiled back delighted.

The match ended at 3 – 0

Nikki lifted the cup and Helen watched her so proud of her team and especially of Nikki. After all she had been through she still pulled the bunny out of the hat. Celebrations continued in the changing room as the women got rather rowdy and shared champagne.

The cup match was the last of the season and most of the women were just about ready to let their hair down.

Nikki got changed and was talking to Denny and sharing champagne when Helen walked in. She walked up to Nikki, “You ready to go?”

“Aren't we going back on the coach with the others?” Nikki said puzzled.

“No. I have a surprise for you.” Helen smiled mysteriously.

Nikki smiled up at her. <What are you up to Helen Stewart> she thought to herself.

“Come on.” Helen urged.

“Okay, okay, I'm coming.” Nikki grabbed her bag and said goodbye to her team mates. She was disappointed to be leaving them so quickly but she knew being with Helen was more important. They began to hug and kiss her. “Hey come on guys, I really have to go!” she said gently pulling away from them all.

A taxi awaited Nikki and Helen outside.

“Where we going?” Nikki asked puzzled.

“You'll see.” Was all Helen said.

Some minutes later Nikki noticed they were driving up to their house. “Helen.”

Helen didn't reply, the cab stopped and they got out. Helen took Nikki's hand and led her up the path to the front door. Nikki could see a light on inside.

Helen opened the door and they stepped inside walking through to the living room. Nikki immediately noticed a lovely new dark blue carpet had been fitted. “Helen it's gorgeous.” She couldn't wait to take off her shoes and socks and feel the softness on her feet. Then she walked curiously to the light in the dining area, there were candles lit and a table all laid out and prepared for a meal. Champagne sat chilled in a silver bucket. “Oh my god, Helen, how did you do all this?” Nikki asked amazed. “I didn't, I had some help.”


“I hired someone to come over and cook for us.”

“You did what?” Nikki said surprised and smiled. “You are amazing.”

“Well take a seat then, they will be back here soon.”

After the meal, the chef left and they relaxed on the sofa. Then Nikki began to remove her shoes and socks. Helen watched her amused.

“I have to feel it Helen.”

Helen let out a laugh.

“Ohhh it feels so good.” She paced around on the carpet in front of them.

Helen was still laughing, “Nikki you sound like you are in ecstasy.

“I am” she sighed.

Helen joined her on the carpet pulling her down. “You want to know what feels even better than that?” she smiled at her suggestively.

“Oh I already know.” Nikki grinned back at her.

“Time to christen the carpet.” Helen said pushing Nikki on her back.
“You are full of good ideas.” Nikki smiled up at her as their mouths met in a passionate kiss.

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