Disclaimer & Notices

Copyright: I own all characters. Thank you.

Sexual Content: This story has women being together so move along if you don't like it.

Violence: It's really at a minimal, for most of the story.

Summary: Cameron J. Keller has been a local in her rural hometown since her birth, and she's doesn't believe that'll ever change. She has no hopes and no aspirations for a better future, yet she does dream of another, brighter life. In steps Bree Holloway, who is the city gal that recently moved to the small town. Not only is she intrigued by the mysterious Cameron Keller, but she's too curious to find out what's happened between Cameron and her ex-boyfriend. Just where and how will this end for both Cameron and Bree?

Started: May 20, 2007

The Countryside Life

by Red Hope

Chapter 1

The young woman shoved the heavy glass door open and entered the busy, small restaurant. She paused after passing through the door, and she scanned the full tables. She decided she'd have better luck sitting at the small bar. So after she adjusted the metal baseball bat on her shoulder, she waltzed up to the bar.

The patrons of the small restaurant paused in their morning meal and studied the newcomer. Some flashed a smile at the newcomer, Cameron J. Keller, who was a local born. Many of the patrons were older and knew Cameron since she was a baby, and they were none too surprised to see Cameron grow into such a lanky beauty.

Cameron dropped the metal bat from her shoulder and claimed an empty stool. Off to her right were two elderly gentlemen, who greeted her with smiles. She returned the smile but focused on the owner of the restaurant that came up to her.

"How are you, Cameron?"

Cameron settled the bat onto the counter on her left side where there was nothing but the nearby wall. "Alright, Mrs. Winter. How 'bout you?"

"It's that busy time of the year, ya know." Mrs. Winter pulled out a small, worn notepad and revealed a pen. "What can I get ya?"

Cameron briefly considered her mental menu for the restaurant. She tilted her head and decided, "Scramble eggs, bacon, and some home fries."

The bemused owner was shaking her head and took the order. She peered up and showed her grin. "Ain't much ever change with you, Cameron."

"I suppose not," the young woman teased.

Mrs. Winter ripped the order from her pad then pointed her pen at the bat. "Do I dare ask?" She knew that Cameron was big into sports at the local high school, but softball had never been on the young woman's list.

Cameron glanced at the bat in question, and she shrugged. "I burrowed it from my brother." She then raised a dark eyebrow. "I owed somethin' to my boyfriend."

Mrs. Winter did indeed notice there was some red on the bat that wasn't apart of the bat's normal design image. She wasn't in the least bit aghast by what she presumed Cameron had done. "I would say you two are no longer together?"

Cameron clicked her tongue once then nodded. "Not after what I found out."

Mrs. Winter didn't dare ask here in the midst of so many people. She dipped her head and said, "I'll get your order in, Cameron."

"Thanks, Mrs. Winter."

Mrs. Winter was moving away, but she glanced back and asked, "Pepsi, Cameron?"

"You got it," Cameron called back. She placed her arms on the bar and leaned against it comfortably. She studied the fast moving servers behind the counter, and how they managed to dodge each other with perfect precision. The employee's of Mrs. Winter's small establishment were quite use to moving about in tight quarters. Even Cameron had to get use to the low ceiling, which hadn't been low to her when she was a child but now it really was low.

Cameron became unfocused, and she thought back on her early morning adventure before dawn. She'd received a late night call from her good friend, Eric, who had a friend of a friend type of thing. It so happened Eric's friend of a friend heard rumor that Cameron's boyfriend was staying a night at a girl's place. The girl's parents were out of town so that left a wide opening for Cameron's boyfriend, and he predictably jumped on the advantage... and the girl; Gina Jones. Cameron angrily seethed at the thought of the girl's name.

Gina Jones had been after Cameron's boyfriend for some time now, but John, Cameron's boyfriend, promised that he wanted nothing to do with her. Cameron had readily believed him, at first. Then Cameron noticed that Gina and John were around each other fairly regularly either at school or after school. Cameron suspected what was going on behind her back so she spoke to Eric about it. Eric couldn't argue Cameron's fears, and he set about using his sources to keep track of John's movements.

The past couple of months had been mounting tension. Cameron increasingly become verbally hostile around John, and she demanded him to tell the truth. John just brushed her off and promised it was nothing. Cameron had grown weary of the tension, anger, and the unhappiness in her life. She didn't like how the ridiculous drama was making her act, and she was mentally preparing to break up with John soon.

The plans for the breakup went quite sour though. Last night, Eric had text messaged Cameron sometime after midnight and asked if she was awake. Cameron had been watching television and couldn't really sleep. She should have been out with her friends since it was Saturday night, but she just didn't feel up to it. So instead Cameron stayed home and because of Eric's text message, she called him right away.

Cameron tensed when the ringing sound filled her right ear. She then heard Eric's voice on the other end. "What's up?"

Eric held his breath, yet he knew he had to tell his friend. "Are you sitting, Cam?"

Cameron happened to be in the living room, and she switched off the television. She was already on the sofa, but she kept her voice low so she wouldn't disturb her parents. "Yes, what's going on?" She didn't receive an immediate response so she pressed harder. "What is it, Eric?"

Eric was seated at his messy desk in his room. He rubbed his aching brow when he heard Cameron's edgy voice. He slouched in his chair and stated, "You remember I told you about my friend Nick?"

"Yes, sure. Why?"

"Well, he's received a message from Heather a few minutes ago."

Cameron sat up straight from her slumped position. She felt her heartbeat quicken. "What did Heather have to say?" She knew Heather was close friends to Gina Jones, but the friendship was only a fashion show compared to a real friendship. Cameron knew Heather would sell Gina's secrets to the highest bidder and right now Cameron was one of them.

"Gina sent Heather a text sayin' she's busy with John." Eric dropped his head back some and closed his eyes. "Gina told Heather yesterday that she and John had been planning all this past week to be at her house. Gina wanted time alone with John while her parents were out of town."

Cameron was silent and tried to calm her increasing temper. "Anything else?"

"Yea, actually." Eric opened his eyes and studied the slow moving ceiling fan over his head. "John decided to park his car away from her house so you wouldn't catch wind." He heard a low, dangerous laugh from Cameron. "They're fucking each other, Cameron. I don't doubt it now."

Cameron closed her eyes, and she clawed the sofa cushion with her left hand. "I don't either, Eric." She went silent and still.

Eric didn't often witness his friend's anger, but when it happened it was ugly. He prayed this wouldn't be one of those rare moments, yet he knew it would be. Eric, like many, understood Cameron's tall pride, and her ability to match her promises. In this case, Cameron had promised she'd make the score even with John if he dared to cheat on her.

"Cameron?" Eric gently called.

Cameron inhaled sharply then tried to rein over her anger enough so she could think. She kept her voice gentle yet there was a cutting edge underneath it. "You hear where he parked his car?"

Eric's thought skipped, then he realized what Cameron might do. "Cameron, you don't want to do that. You know how he feels about that car."

Cameron had a wicked grin. "Oh I know, Eric... I know." Now she felt alive from anger. "Where is it?"

Eric debated what to do, and he couldn't fight his friend. "It's on Goose Pond Road... just where that pond is located."

That made sense to Cameron because Gina's home wasn't too far from there. She suspected that Gina had probably drove out and picked him up.

"I know where," Cameron agreed. She stood up, walked around the sofa, and went up the steps to the second floor. "You comin'?"

Eric chewed on his lower lip. He couldn't let his best friend go into this alone, and he knew this could be costly later. "Pick me up in ten?"

Cameron felt great knowing he would stay by her side. "You got it. I'll see ya then." She said goodbye and flipped the clamshell phone shut. She slipped the black, slim phone into her back pocket and went into her dark bedroom. She didn't bother with the lights and quickly yanked her keys from the desk. The keys briefly rang out in protest, but Cameron shoved them into her pocket.

Cameron then entered into her brother's bedroom. She glanced about the quiet and neat room that her brother occupied in the summer time or when he was home for breaks from college. She missed him terribly, and she couldn't wait for him to be home this summer. Right now though she had a mission so she went to her brother's closest and dug out his metal, worn bat.

Cameron hoisted the bat in front of her face and smiled at it like an old friend. "It's been a long time huh?" She swung the bat in expert motion and headed out of the room. She loved this classic bat as it'd helped her beat her brother in a few skirmish games of baseball with the boys. She wasn't fond of the sport, but she loved any challenge.

Cameron hurried out of the house, but she was silent until she had her truck started. The midnight truck roared to life briefly then it hummed when it reversed out of the open garage. Cameron backed her truck up in the large driveway, spun the wheel, and hurried down the gravel driveway in the woods. The taste of revenge was sweet on her lips, and she couldn't wait to swallow it soon.

In twenty minutes, Eric and Cameron drove down Goose Pond Road, which was a quiet and desolate road in the farm country lands. Cameron slowed her Ford truck and let it coast down the hill towards the small pond that the road wrapped around. She came to a stop in the middle of the road and scanned about for that familiar car.

"There." Eric pointed off to the left. "He's really got it tucked in there."

"Not enough," Cameron muttered. She threw her truck into reverse, switched her high beams on, and turned the wheel towards the sports car.

The black truck roared up beside the shiny red Subaru WRX that sported a new spoiler and Euro style headlights. The sports car was undoubtedly the pride and joy of John Emerson, who had poured countless dollars into the once basic car. Now Cameron planned to make sure her boyfriend poured several thousands of dollars into fixing it or getting a new one.

Eric climbed out of the tall truck and slammed the door just as Cameron did the same. He looked over the hood of the truck when Cameron came over and was swinging the bat. "Cameron?"

Cameron stood in front of the beautiful WRX. She tapped the bat against the reflective hood, but she glanced at her best friend. "You can walk away, Eric."

Eric neared his friend and studied her serious features. "You sure about this?"

Cameron gently tapped the bat against the hood. "After five years of watching him put more into this car than into the relationship, I think it's fitting." She raked her view over the precious sports car.

Eric had to admit he disliked John Emerson since the beginning, and he was glad that Cameron would be finished with him. Eric hope this would turn into sweet justice and not revenge later down the road. He scanned over the WRX then peered up at Cameron. "Swing away, Cam." He chuckled at Cameron's wicked smirk. He backed stepped and intended to let Cameron have her way.

Cameron J. Keller took a step back too but stopped. She raised her brother's bat and tightly gripped the handle with all her strength. She grounded her teeth and thought back on all the stupidity of John Emerson. All the heartache. All the lies. All the deceit. And now he'd cheated on her.

The bat swiftly traveled through the cool air, and it harshly collided into red metal. The bat was retracted and lined up for a sporty headlight, then the bat came at it. The sound of metal breaking plastic filled the air.

Eric cringed briefly, but he softly laughed at the mental picture of John Emerson's face tomorrow morning. He wished he could wait around for that moment. Instead, Eric stepped back when some plastic landed near him. He leaned against the side of the truck's hood and watched through truck's headlights as the WRX came under attack.

Cameron had already smashed both headlights. She then came to the driver's side, and she swung the bat at the driver's window. She suspected the alarm would go off now, but that wouldn't stop her out in the middle of nowhere.

The driver's window cracked and crunched under the heavy bat, but the alarm didn't sound. The bat came back around and this time broke through the glass. Finally the alarm sounded, but Cameron's revenge was far from over.

Cameron spent a solid thirty minutes decimating the once beautiful WRX. She'd slowly worked her way around the car until she was at the hood again. Each swung had surged more emotions that'd been buried in her. She'd expelled most of her rage, and she was now feeling cold pain.

Eric caught sight of the tears on Cameron's cheeks. He quickly came up behind his friend and stopped her next swing at the well dented hood. "Come on, Cameron."

Cameron growled and tried to shove Eric off of her, but she couldn't from being so sore. She'd beaten the car harder than she'd expected, and her muscles were tired and sore. "That bastard, Eric."

"I know." Eric held the bat and kept his other hand on Cameron's opposite hip. "I think you're even now."

Cameron lowered the bat to her side, and she loosened her shoulders. "I don't know," she muttered. "Why did I try so hard with him?"

Eric rubbed Cameron's tense back muscles. "I think 'cause you're too damn nice."

Cameron half grunted then lazily pointed the bat at the destroyed car. "Real nice, ain't I?"

Eric smirked at the ruined car and shrugged. "You do have a wicked streak when you've been crossed." He sighed and waited for Cameron to settle down the rest of the way.

Cameron held the bat at her side and dipped her head. She took her free hand and shoved back her midnight hair that was as dark as her truck's paint. She peered up into Eric's concerned eyes. "Yeah I know I do have a wicked streak." She glared back at the destroyed sports car. "If he hadn't cheated I probably wouldn't have done this." She then kicked at the car's mangled license plate. "He's gonna be pissed."

"I couldn't imagine why," Eric teased.

Cameron grinned but it turned into sadness. She dried her damp cheeks and whispered, "We better go."

"I think that's a damn good idea." Eric then considered it more deeply, and he didn't want Cameron to be alone right now. "Let's go for a ride on Old Man Larsen's farm?"

Cameron wistfully smiled at all the childhood memories of her and Eric on Old Man Larsen's farm. She and Eric were always welcomed out on his farm because he was a close friend to Cameron's family. She nodded and shifted away from Eric.

Eric stepped into her path, and he gathered her into his arms.

Cameron managed a one-armed hug since she held the bat. "Thanks, Eric."

Eric smiled and released his friend. "If we go down, it'll be together." He grinned at Cameron's smirk when he declared their old motto since they were kids. "Come on, girl." He headed for the passenger's side of the truck.

Cameron opened the driver's door, stepped onto the nerf-boss bar, and hopped into the truck. She tossed the bat onto the middle of the bench seat. She strapped on her seatbelt, grabbed the gear handle, and she paused. She stared at John's dented and broken WRX that he would surely find in a few hours. She still felt that angry fire in her throat and chest, but she also felt better in someways. She glanced at Eric. "I'd be tempted to take a photo with my phone... but somebody will see it then."

Eric shook his head in agreement. "Ya don't wanna, Cam."

Cameron put the truck into reverse, twisted against the bench seat, and gazed out her rear window. "I have a good memory anyway." She hit the gas pedal harder and rolled out onto the dead road. She put the Ford into drive and hurried down the twisty road.

Cameron and her friend traveled the silent, dark roads for some time until they made it to the Larsen Farm. Cameron pulled onto the shoulder, slowed, and made a sharp right into the field. She rolled over the barren field until she came out to the middle of it where there seemed like there was no life. She turned off the headlights, parked the car, and turned off the engine.

In ritual fashion, Cameron and Eric put down the back of the bench seat and hauled out two beach towels and a hefty jug of cheap vodka. Cameron kept a large thing of vodka for such occasions with her best friend and for times when they were just too damn bored to do anything else. The friends hopped into the back bed of the clean truck and spread out the beach towels first. They then go comfortable in Indian style position and shared the jug of vodka back and forth. The liquor's burn was quite inviting and seemed to match Cameron's earlier fire.

Eventually the two friends had equal drunkenness, and they fell onto their backs in the truck. They talked and studied the stars over their heads. Cameron occasionally ranted about her boyfriend's stupidity and his carelessness throughout the relationship. Eric listened to his friend's loose tongue, and he knew it was all true. What surprised him that Cameron was finally being honest about it when she tried so hard to hide from the truth. Despite Eric felt deeply for Cameron, he knew that Cameron was on the right road now because she was away from John Emerson.

The friends remained awake and talked throughout the last hours of nigh time. When the sun kissed the eastern horizon, they decided it was best to get moving, and Eric wanted to get home. Cameron dropped him off and told him to get some rest, but she would call him later. Cameron debated whether to go home and get some sleep too, but she wasn't ready. Instead she was incredibly hungry from the drinking, and she drove towards the local restaurant where everybody collected. She needed a hot breakfast at six in the morning and then it'd be time for some shut-eye. She also wanted to catch up with an old friend there at the restaurant so she could get some help.

"Here you go, Cameron." Mrs. Winter dropped off the hefty plate of food. She noticed she'd startled Cameron from some faraway daze. "You okay, Cameron?" She noticed that when she dropped off the soda earlier that Cameron hadn't touched it. She also suspected alcohol on the young woman, but it wasn't her place to mention it.

"I'm good, Mrs. Winter." Cameron offered a smile then she felt more sober when the food wafted up to her. "I'm starved." She gathered up her food.

Mrs. Winter smiled back then headed off to carry out her other duties.

Cameron quickly ate, and when her belly was full she felt sleepy. She needed to grab her friend then get home for some needed rest. She then caught Mrs. Winter so she could settle up the bill, but Mrs. Winter refused her off. Cameron was surprised but she thanked the owner several times for the generosity. Mrs. Winter figured that Cameron could use it.

Cameron then quickly asked Mrs. Winter if Caroline was working this morning. Mrs. Winter said that Caroline was busy in the back and was making the soups for today. She then let Cameron behind the counter so she could see her friend.

Caroline glanced up when Cameron was coming towards her. She smiled and teased, "You're up early, Cameron." She then noted the bat dangling at Cameron's side. She questioningly peered up at her friend.

Cameron sighed and tapped her leg with the bat. "I need a favor, Caroline."

Caroline brushed her hands on her khaki pants, then she turned to her friend. "What you need?" She would do anything for her friend, who she'd known since fifth grade. Cameron had been there for her when she and her family first moved to the town. It was hard settling down in small local towns like this because the townspeople were friendly yet distant too. The kids in school hardly spoke to her, except for Cameron. Caroline had always been grateful.

"You got a minute to talk alone?" Cameron carefully asked.

Caroline glanced at all the people rushing around them. She understood and nodded. "Come on." She headed down the tight hallway, passed the takeout counter, and went out the back door. She edged closer to the large, green dumpster but turned to her friend. "What happened?" She glanced at the bat then into worn blue eyes above her. "Is it John?"

Cameron eased closer to her friend. "Yeah, he and Gina... they..." She turned her head away when her emotions caught up to her. The lack of sleep and alcohol were affecting her greatly now.

Caroline touched her friend's taut arm and whispered, "I'm sorry, Cam." She squeezed her friend's arm. She now detected the faint odor of alcohol on her friend, which concerned her greatly. She knew that Cameron's drinking spells were becoming more often and sometimes reached dangerous limits. Caroline had drank with Cameron on a few occasions, and she'd witness a few times that Cameron would go wild in many ways. "Is there anything I can do, Cam?"

Cameron gained control of herself and gazed back at her friend. "Can you keep a hold of this for awhile?" She held up the bat. "And don't tell nobody you got it."

Caroline took the hefty bat that was marked up with red slashes on it. She didn't question anything. "Sure, Cam." She tilted her head. "You going to be okay?" She lowered the bat to her side.

"I just need some sleep."

Caroline frowned and asked, "Is there anything I can do?"

Cameron was going to answer, but she stopped when the back door opened. She twisted her head to the right and studied the newcomer, who was quite short and also hesitant.

"Hey, Bree."

Bree had stopped just to the right of the girls, and she studied the two girls of similar age. She knew she'd interrupted something. She surveyed the lanky and beautiful Cameron, who she'd seen on occasions since she'd moved to town, and she only saw Cameron at the high school. This was the first time Bree had ever been this up close and personal near the legendary Cameron J. Keller.

"Bree, have you met Cameron?" Caroline hoped she could settle the uneasy moment.

Bree had a full trash bag in her hand, and she felt really stupid at this moment. She was luckily in the fact that the bag was in her left hand when Cameron stepped forward with her hand out. She caught the large hand into her smaller one.

"Cameron Keller," Cameron politely stated, and her drowsy eyes slightly broke through the alcoholic haze.

"Oh I know," Bree murmured, then she blushed. She quickly released the other woman's strong hand and tried to gain some dignity back.

"You're Bree...?" Cameron shook her head and waited for the rest of the name.

Bree was stumped about the question.

Caroline stepped forward and cleared up. "I'm sorry, Cam. This is Bree Holloway." She cleared her throat then mentioned, "Bree just moved here last August."

Cameron hadn't heard anything about this, and she settled her swimming eyes on Caroline. "Really?" She turned back to the small blond and asked, "How you like it here?"

Bree fumbled for a polite response and simply replied, "It's nice."

Cameron smiled when she'd received that same answer from Caroline years back. She put her hands on her hips and casually mentioned, "Caroline said that when she first moved here, but I didn't believe a damn word of it."

Bree grew nervous, and she felt quite caught. "Well... it's taking some adjusting, but Caroline has been a big help."

Cameron still had her smile. "Yeah, Caroline is wonderful that way."

Caroline rolled her eyes then reminded, "Hey Cam, I remember how nice you were to me when I first moved here." She shrugged and further added, "I know how Bree feels."

Bree stepped to her right once, closer to the trashcan, and mentioned, "I've got to get back in there." She turned, tossed the trash, and neared the women again. "It was nice to meet you, Cameron." She finally noted the bat in Caroline's hand, but she tried not to stare at it. She couldn't imagine what that bat had to do with anything.

Cameron had her hands at her side, and she warmly stated, "You too, Bree. I'm sorry I didn't meet you sooner."

Bree now noticed the faint smell of alcohol coming off Cameron. She didn't much like that, but it wasn't her place to judge anything or person. "We're all busy." She stepped away again but offered, "Maybe I'll see you at school." She waved and headed for the door.

Cameron watched the petite blond go, and she never seen women in these parts with short hair unless they were older women. She silently admitted that Bree looked quite nice in the shaggy, collar length hairstyle. She turned back to Caroline and focused on her.

"Get some rest, Cameron." Caroline stepped closer and hugged her friend tightly.

Cameron returned the hug and whispered, "Thanks for everything, Caroline." She released her friend then moved towards the parking lot to her left. "I'll see you tomorrow."

Caroline smiled and called, "I'll see you in English class, bright and early."

Cameron groaned at the reminder, which caused Caroline to laugh, but she continued to her waiting truck in the small parking lot.

Caroline briefly watched her friend drive off. She was concerned about Cameron driving in such a condition, yet she was happy that Cameron's house wasn't too far. She lifted the dented and red streaked bat. She found the red color odd, and she suspected she soon know what caused it. She lowered the bat to her side then decided it was best to tuck it away in her car's trunk before somebody spotted her with it. She really didn't want to know what Cameron did with the bat because ignorance could be bliss.

Cameron drove towards home, and when she made it to the driveway of her parents' house, she heard her cell phone ring. She knew the ring was that for a picture message. She scooped up the phone from her the holder in the dash, and she flipped it open. She glanced at the wooded driveway despite she knew the driveway so well. She hit the okay button on her cell phone's keypad.

The small screen changed from the pix message that read it was from John Emerson. There on the screen developed a photo of a trashed car, then Cameron scrolled down to the message. The short yet threatening message only made Cameron chuckle.

Cameron shut the phone and hit the open button for the garage. She rolled into the garage and decided she could careless about John now. She planned to never speak to him again.

To be continued.