"Brian, Brian, Brian, I thought we were over this." yelled Melanie, angry beyond words, as she stormed into the bedroom, away from Lindsay and the crying child in her arms.

"Mel!" The high-pitched voice asked from the door, "Mel, what are you doing?"

"Packing!" came the reply, as if it wasn't obvious, the way she was stuffing piles of clothes into her large gym bag.

"Packing? What the hell are you packing for?" Lindsay hissed, mindful of the sound-sensitive child ears.

"I need a break Linz." the dark haired woman sighed, softer this time, nevertheless full of frustration.

"You, Gus, Brian. I'm working my ass off and when I get home instead of the family I expect there is Brian here and Brian there. And all we do is fight over him! I need to get away before I explode!"

Lindsay just stared at her in disbelief. Of course she'd been aware of the stressed atmosphere at their home but she hadn't found it as problematic as her lover obviously had.

"I won't take my cell phone so don't try to reach me, I'll be back in a few days." Melanie stormed off with her bag flung over her shoulder. In passing she pressed a kiss to their crying son's forehead. "Be good" she muttered to him then threw a lame good-bye to Lindsay before disappearing through the door.

Not bothering to look back she merely started the engine and drove off, she had no idea where she was actually going but it didn't matter as long as it was some place quiet and unfrequented.

-x-

"Here." the fuming woman handed her flabbergasted husband their baby. "You think that bit of house keeping and the kids are a piece of cake? Fine, enjoy your cake then!" She ran up the stairs, the stunned man following her into the bedroom, watching as she gathered some clothes and necessities.

"Uh, Lynette? What's going on?" he asked, slightly stupefied.

"I'm tired of this, Tom," she brought out with force. "You're working all the time, I'm over my head in chores, the kids are untameable and you come home expecting me to fuck you, like I'm not your wife but your mistress!" "I...uh...do you really..." he stuttered only to be cut off by Lynette's renewed outburst.

"Yeah, right Tom! This is selfish of me, I'm a bad wife and a terrible mother at that, but unless you want to watch me completely lose it -and god knows what I'll be capable of- you better let me go now!"

"Go where?" he questioned still nor fully comprehending the situation. Lynette thought about it for a second before responding, "just somewhere."

Grabbing her now packed suitcase she descended down the stairs, meanwhile accompanied not only by her husband but also one of the boys.

"Mommy, Porter took my..." "Not now, honey." she interrupted her son, "Mommy's going away for a few days, Daddy's gonna take care of that." Reaching down she hugged the boy who, as soon as she released him, flung himself at his father's leg. "Daddy, Porter took my..." Whatever it was her son had taken from his brother, Lynette didn't care, all she knew was that if she didn't get out of this house within seconds she'd literally explode.

The door shut behind her and the noise of her unruly children faded. Lynette took a deep breath and continued on to her car. She got in and drove off before one of her nosy neighbors could get a chance to detect her and ask uncomfortable questions. She breathed a sigh of relief as soon as she'd left the confines of her hometown behind her, she hadn't decided yet where to go but she didn't really have great demands, just somewhere peaceful, without people, and more importantly, without children.

-x-

Melanie drove through the night, finding it relaxed her to be almost alone on the never ending high way. Thoughts of home floated out through the open windows as she sang along to the radio playing her favorite song. She continued to drive, only stopping somewhere along the way at a 24 hours shop to grab herself some food, then driving on, not bothering to find a place to sleep the night. She wasn't tired at all. She just felt indescribably calm.

-x-

Lynette drove, passing houses, bushes, gas stations. She made a quick stop at a diner, not having taken any food in her hurry to start this trip.

A coffee and quick meal later she was on the road again, driving off into the sunset.

She thought about taking a break every once in a while when she's come driving by a motel but decided against it, she did feel a little exhausted but the quiet freedom of driving was too attractive right then for her to make a stop. So she drove.

Hours passed -or so she assumed- she'd lost track of time somewhere along with the stress fading. However the complete darkness made it hard for her to keep her eyes open. She didn't usually need much sleep -something she had inevitably had to learn with juggling her four kids. Still she was getting tired. She couldn't remember the last time she slept through a whole night, that lack of rest was now catching up with her.

In the end she chose to simply take the next exit she would pass, wherever it would take her, and see where it lead. She didn't yet feel like sleeping but she desperately needed a break from driving.

The next exit happened to come rather soon, in the form of a dirt road, signed with a rusty yellow sign that read "beach"

Wherever the hell a beach should come from, she wondered, she would just check it out.

The road wasn't at all inviting and she thought about turning around after a few yards when she spotted a glistening reflection of moonlight ahead of her. A lake. Maybe the chances for a beach of sorts weren't that far off.

-x-

Following the same dark deserted road for hours proved to be more tiring than Melanie had thought. Glancing at her wristwatch for the first time that night she discovered that it was already getting close to dawn. Too late to be looking for a motel now, she thought. Not that she was really in the mood for a filthy old trucker sleep-in.

Nevertheless she needed a pause, stretch her legs some, close her eyes, if only just for few moments.

"Lake Adson 2 miles" she read a small weather-harmed sing in passing. It sounded fairly deserted. She smiled, her mind made up, and held her eyes open for the right exit.

Two miles later and she turned into a gravel road.

"Where the hell am I?" she muttered as the vehicle staggered across the stony path. Shaking her head she shrugged, "At least it looks quite abandoned."

-x-

Exiting her car and stepping out into the crisp night Lynette stretched her arms and began assessing the area. The advertised beach did indeed consist of a narrow strip of sand along the shore of the lake. However it was so small, Lynette was surprised it had even been post signed.

She was glad however for the sign as it had lead her there. Zipping up her jacket to protect her against the chilly night breeze she made her way down to the water's edge and stood staring out above the calm surface. Inhaling the quiet until she felt tears roll down her cheek.

-x-

Melanie pulled to a halt when the gravel road became even bumpier and decided to take the last steps my foot, calculating the distance she assumed it wouldn't be very long as she could already see slivers of moonlight reflection ahead, the water couldn't be far.

Grabbing a blanket from the backseat she set out to her walk. After only a few steps she was surprised to spot another vehicle parked between the trees that surrounded the lake. She was tempted to turn around at first but then guessed it probably belonged to a freshly infatuated couple, wanting to make good use of the lake's isolation. She was too exhausted to drive back in search of another place to rest, hence she walked on towards the water, straining her ears for tell-tale noises so she could avoid running into an intimate situation.

The only sound she heard though were the soft cracking of sticks and stones underneath her feet, and silence.

A smile broke out over her face when she caught a first glance at the deserted lake in all it's modest glory. It was smaller than she had envisioned but it was just what she needed.

Despite the temperature of the night she took her shoes off to tread barefooted through the sand.

Her gaze swept along the few meters of shoreline as it landed on a shadowy figure sitting several feet to her right, causing Melanie's heartbeat to double.

Quickly regaining herself she pondered whether it might be safer to retreat and walk back to her car. After all, being alone with a stranger in a place this isolated, in the middle of the night was not the safest situation to put yourself in.

Nevertheless, being careful but not a coward, she took another look at the figure. Squinting her eyes in the dark she identified blond hair, a bowed head, the women -she assumed- sat crouched with her knees pulled tightly to her chest.

She looked vulnerable and that was when Melanie decided to approach her.

-x-

TBC

-x-