|From the Woods!
Author: BettyLouisePlotnick PM
AU Naomily. Emily is a zoology student who aspires to be a wildlife conservationist. For work experience she decides to volunteer for a conservation group in the rainforests of South America, and there she meets a beautiful and charismatic ornithologist, Naomi. As the summer progresses the two develop a strong friendship, or is it something else?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Emily F. & Naomi C. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 16,940 - Reviews: 48 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 53 - Updated: 01-25-13 - Published: 08-30-12 - id: 8482005
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I hope you enjoy this first chapter of my Naomily story, I'm not sure if I'm going to carry on writing it, this is the first time I've tried my hand at writing so I'm not so confident I'll be any good. If you feel like reviewing then I might reconsider ;) (no hints there or anything). This is only an intro really, just kind of setting the scene but if I continue, it'll get more juicy, pinky promise. Anyway, enjoy :D
I do apologize if there are mistakes by the way, which there probably are.
Emily bit her bottom lip nervously and ran her fingers through her messy hair for about the millionth time. She was standing awkwardly in Georgetown airport waiting for her luggage to appear on the carousel where suitcases had been appearing intermittently for the past half hour.
Come onnn, where are you? she thought to herself, getting worried.
After what seemed like an eternity to her, she caught a glimpse of her huge rucksack, sighing in relief when she realized that it was in one piece and that mercifully, her sleeping bag was still tied to it. She'd been growing more and more anxious as she waited, shifting nervously from foot to foot as she anticipated meeting the huge group of people already gathered at the hotel.
The idea of meeting new people scared the hell out of Emily; she was hardly a social butterfly. Not like her sister.
Emily had always been glad of the differences between her and her twin sister, Katie. During their childhood they never spent a moment apart; they were in all the same classes at school, shared a bedroom at home, and were forced to wear matching outfits by their mother. Outwardly they were 'the Fitch twins', not Katie and Emily. Katie had always been the more confident and outgoing twin, and Emily had merely followed along in her shadow. That is until their teenage years, when Emily grew more into herself and developed the confidence to show her own personality. They had kind of drifted apart, made separate groups of friends, established their own interests and followed different paths at college.
Not long afterwards, Emily had come out as gay.
It was something that she'd always known on some level, even when she was a kid, but hadn't had the guts to face. It took the persuasions of a gorgeous and feisty punk girl with a bass guitar to make her realize that life was too short to pretend to be someone else. Her name was Helena, and she and Emily had spent 3 glorious months together before college ended and they went their separate ways. Of course her mother had taken Helena's presence as a sign that Emily was just going through a rebellious phase in her life, there was no way her daughter was a one of those, a lesbian. Katie had freaked out at first, worried about her street cred, but soon came round to the idea after finding that her sister being gay was a huge attraction for boys, and decided to take full advantage of that fact. Her dad had been surprised, but supportive.
After Helena had disappeared and Emily carried on being gay, her mum finally had to accept the fact that her daughter really was into girls, tits and fannies as Emily so eloquently put it. But Jenna's animosity towards the idea had remained - something which pained Emily more than she'd care to admit.
A loud screech and a thudding sound brought Emily out of her reveries as the carousel ground to a halt, the last of the luggage had been unloaded and she hurried to collect hers. She hadn't realized how heavy her rucksack was until she'd struggled to get it onto her back. Urgh, why the fuck did I bring so many clothes?
She was in Guyana, in the north of South America. She had decided to volunteer in the rainforest for the summer before her last year of uni, to get some more work experience. She was a student of zoology back home, and was majorly excited about the trip. She was going to be a research assistant for a wildlife conservation organization, and she had spent the best part of the last year working every weekend and fundraising to bring her here.
Of course that would mean having to meet the other volunteers, who she'd be spending the next 6 weeks with. Her stomach jolted nervously at the thought.
When she walked into the arrivals lounge, still struggling under the weight of her rucksack, she saw a sign with her name written on it. Looking up at the person holding the sign, she was met with kind brown eyes and a warm smile from a man who introduced himself as Freddie, the resident herpetologist of the expedition. Emily took a liking to him immediately, finding him laid back and easygoing, more so than she expected from the person in charge of the whole trip.
'So Emily' he said as drove them to the hotel, 'what made you decide to come on this trip?'
'Well Glastonbury tickets had sold out, so I came here instead…' she said with a smirk, making Freddie chuckle.
'Nah I don't know really…' she continued more seriously, 'at the risk of sounding cliché - I just want to save the rainforest. I've always loved animals and nature, and I want to see the world and hopefully help to stop it disappearing. Conservation is important to me I guess…' she trailed off. Nice one Emily, you idiot.
'Well you've certainly chosen the right trip.' Freddie said excitedly, 'And don't worry, there's nothing cliché about wanting to save the world, I started out with the same ideas in my head when I was younger.' He said with a wide smile in her direction. She couldn't help but smile back.
Actually, Emily could still remember the moment she decided what she wanted to do with her life, when she was 9 years old.
Her family had been going on annual camping trips for as long as she could remember to a remote spot in the Lake District. They pitched their tent in the same place every year, on the top of a hill overlooking a large expanse of woodland. They would go swimming in a beautiful lake nearby and hike through the woods, regularly seeing deer, wild boar, and even red squirrels. Their family was very active, owing to her dad being the owner of a gym.
These camping trips were how Emily developed a passion for the outdoors. Even as a child she had a wonderful appreciation of the sky, and could sit and stare at its wonder for hours on end. She climbed trees and ran through fields of wild grass and dove in pristine lakes and she had never felt as free as in those moments, when she could feel a physical connection with the environment around her. Her family joked and called her feral when she returned from these jaunts, covered in dirt and bruises and with tangled hair.
This all ended one year when they returned to their usual spot to find the land stripped bare, replaced with a landfill site, where the smell of rotting rubbish permeated their nostrils until Emily felt like she'd throw up. At the lake they found that leachate from the landfill had caused algae to overgrow, covering the surface of the water completely and preventing oxygen from permeating it. Dead fish were floating on top for as far as Emily could see.
She had cried for 3 days straight.
But afterwards she made a decision; this kind of thing isn't going to stop itself now is it? So she had become a kind of eco warrior, and worked tirelessly at school to get the grades for a zoology course at Lancaster Uni, where she had been studying for 2 years.
The journey from the airport passed quickly as Freddie and Emily chatted and got to know each other a bit more. Before she knew it they were pulling up outside the hotel in Georgetown where they'd be staying the night before leaving in the morning for a research centre in the middle of the forest. It was around 8 in the evening, and Freddie informed her that only half of the volunteers had arrived so far, the other half being a group arriving from the States at around midnight. Thank fuck for that, Emily thought to herself. She didn't fancy meeting a group of 20 strangers all at once; she was socially awkward enough at the best of times.
Freddie led her into the dining room where a group of people were sat around a table playing cards. She felt heat rise in her cheeks as everyone stared at her when they walked in. She was introduced to each of them in turn, and gave them all a small wave before sitting down, glad to be out of the limelight.
'Whodyoo say yer name was again? Mine's Pandora, but ev'ryone calls me Panda instead, cos it's way more fun innet? Arn't you well excited? I can't wait to see a monkey, this trip's guner be totally bonkers.'
The blonde girl sat next to her started talking animatedly to everyone who'd listen. Christ, is she high? Emily thought. But despite herself she found Panda's innocence and genuine enthusiasm infectious, and she warmed to the girl immediately.
She was also introduced to the resident entomologist, JJ, a shy but obviously clever guy, who seemed even more socially awkward than she was. She gradually opened up about herself and settled in to the group, finding them all likeable and charming, even Cook, who had propositioned her within seconds of introducing himself. He was forthright, and that's what Emily liked about him.
Emily was starting to enjoy herself, and found that she fit right in with the group. It was nice being surrounded by like-minded people. At home she'd just get laughed at if she started ranting about the plight of the endangered Chinese Giant Salamander, but here that kind of conversation was normal, encouraged even. After a while Cook pulled a bottle of vodka out from somewhere and the regular card games turned into card drinking games. Emily had just downed her 4th shot after losing a round of trumps and was starting to feel quite tipsy when the rest of the volunteers arrived.
'Eh up everyone!' Freddie shouted over the din as a group of 10 people shuffled into the room and sat down at the table next to theirs. They were all on the same flight to Georgetown and seemed to already be well acquainted with each other, and Emily hoped that there wouldn't end up being a divide between the Brits and the Americans. Cook decided to bridge the gap immediately by coming onto a very pretty brown haired girl with mysterious blue eyes and a spaced out expression. Cook got as far as finding out her name was Effy before his advances were knocked back.
'Dunt know what she's missin' aht on dus she Emilio' he said, winking cheekily at Emily as he sat back down. Emily rolled her eyes.
Freddie left them all to go and find the ornithologist for the expedition who'd escorted the Americans back from the airport. Apparently there'd been an error in the hotel's booking system and she no longer had a room for the night. Emily was particularly excited to meet the ornithologist; birds were kind of her forte. She was an avid bird watcher, and could spend hours upon hours with a scope, camera and bird book just watching, listening and identifying. She had become so experienced now that she rarely took her book with her, and could identify most species just by listening to their call or catching a brief glimpse. She couldn't wait to work with the ornithologist on this trip and see what the birds of South America had to offer.
'Everyone,' Freddie said, getting everyone's attention, 'I'd like to introduce you to our ornithologist- this is Naomi.'
Emily turned round in her seat to face possibly the most beautiful girl she had ever seen.
Rational thought had left Emily. Naomi was simply stunning. She was taller than Emily, with shoulder length blonde hair that fell down to frame her perfect face, and piercing blue eyes. Those eyes…wow. Emily felt her stomach flutter and suddenly felt dizzy, dizziness which she knew had nothing to do with the alcohol she'd just consumed.
Naomi glanced around the room briefly, and Emily's breath hitched in her throat when Naomi's eyes met her own. They really were magnificent eyes; opal blue and crystal clear, they were practically twinkling. Right now they held a mischievous glint, which Emily belatedly realized was because she was openly staring at Naomi, and Naomi had noticed. Emily tore her eyes away.
Shit Emily, get a fucking grip, she's going to think I'm a complete moron.
She was still chastising herself when Naomi started wandering over to her. Panic immediately set in and a flush quickly crept up her neck and brightened her cheeks almost to the colour of her hair.
'Hi, Emily isn't it?'
'Errr…no…I mean yes! Yeah…I'm Emily.' Naomi seemed thoroughly amused by Emily's jittery state and grinned at her, which made Emily's heart melt and caused a grin to spread across her own face. Naomi's smile was infectious. I should make her smile like that more often, the thought crept into Emily's head before she could stop it.
'It's nice to meet you Emily' she said with another smile. 'Listen- I have a favour to ask of you, I hope you don't mind.' I don't mind. 'You're sharing a room with Pandora, right?' This was news to Emily but she nodded anyway so it seemed like she knew something. 'Well…' Naomi continued, 'the hotel has fucked up my booking and the imbecile at the front desk is no help and since you and Pandora have a spare bed, I was wondering if I could stay in your room tonight?' Emily's internal jaw dropped at the thought but she tried to maintain her composure.
'Yeah, of course, it's no problem, you can stay in my bed-I mean room…you can stay in our room tonight.' Oh my god Emily.
'Great! Thank you so much, you're a lifesaver.' Naomi gave her another dazzling smile before heading back to talk to Freddie and JJ. Emily caught herself staring at Naomi's arse as she walked away and mentally slapped herself on the wrist. You pervert. She couldn't blame herself though, Naomi was wearing tight fitting skinny jeans and her hip swayed enticingly as she moved- she certainly had a killer body.
What is wrong with you Em. She had never felt such an instant and intense attraction to anyone before, it was freaking her out. It's never guna happen, she's clearly straight, AND she's a researcher and I'm a volunteer-it's not allowed. Not that she'd have any interest in me anyway… she thought sadly to herself.
No harm in looking though right? She thought before glancing back at Naomi across the room, surprisingly, to find blue eyes already looking at her. Naomi quickly looked away when their gaze met.
Oh yes, this summer is definitely going to be interesting.