Note: Thanks for sticking with me through part two. Thanks, also, to those who reviewed. I appreciate every review I receive. Perhaps I will be updating my other stories shortly.
Warning: This will contain the best kind of relationship possible: a consensual homosexual one. Please also be aware of the use of "bad" language and sexual content.
Lilly put Duster in a stall and kissed his nose. Her heart thrummed against her ribcage. Duster whinnied at her as she shut the gate behind her. She walked towards the house with legs that felt like dead weight. The time she had spent in the field had done nothing but cause her to berate herself.
"Why'd you fucking run, Truscott?" She whispered under her breath. "You could have had her. Even just once. That would have been fine, right?"
The creak of the screen door seemed to be in tune with her heart. She concentrated on its sound. Mark and April were at the dinner table with empty plates in front of them. Their eyes were trained on her but she ignored them and headed for her bedroom.
"Violet. Come here." April's voice was strict, as it usually was, but Lilly could hear a hint of tenderness. "Now."
"Please." Mark put in.
Mentally cursing herself, she turned and dragged her feet to the table. They watched her pull her seat out and sit. A few moments of silence persisted between them.
"Who was that?"
Lilly didn't want to get into this, but she knew she had no choice. "What I was running from."
They patiently listened to her story. She explained that Miley had been her best friend for many, many years. How she had realized that she loved Miley a little too much, but only after Miley was out of her reach permanently. It was like she had always been told, she thought darkly, that you don't know how deeply you care until the object of your affection is gone. They nodded along with her response to the engagement; it came down to fight or flight and she chose flight. She couldn't ruin Miley's happiness for her own. When her story was done, April got up and rubbed her shoulders.
Lilly ducked her head, "And my name isn't Violet Cyrus. It's Lilly Truscott. I'm sorry I lied to you."
Mark leaned back in his chair. "So why did she leave here in such a huff?"
"I ran from her…"
"Again?" April whacked her shoulder. "Dear, you can't keep running from your problems."
"But she's with him." Lilly couldn't bring herself to say his name.
"Life changes, little lady." Mark got to his feet. "April was with another man when I met her."
April chuckled. "That's true. When we first became friends, I was with this man, Bill. Thought he was the love of my life. He's the one that convinced me to move out to Tennessee. We were living together in Kansas when he was offered a job out here. But when we got here, he said I either had to marry him or move out. I chose to marry him, rather than get stranded in a state where I knew no one."
"She got a job at the company where I worked." Mark gazed at his wife. "I was with a girl at the time, too. But we hit it off pretty much immediately. Best of friends within a month. But then I found out my girl was cheating on me with two other guys. And who did I go to for comfort?"
"April?" Lilly guessed. She leaned into April's hands.
"That's right." April squeezed her arms gently. "I was there for him, just like he was there for me when things with Bill went south. Billy didn't like that I was finding my own independence. He got violent when I told him I wanted a divorce."
Mark's face darkened. "Sometimes we make bad choices in who we think we love, but we just have to have faith that we'll end up with the one that's right for us."
Lilly gazed down at the table top. "I know she's the one for me, I do. I just don't know if I'm the one for her."
"You'll never know if you don't try." April went back to resume sitting next to her husband. "She left us with an address and phone number. For where she's staying."
Mark pushed a piece of paper across the table. "She's not married yet. She'll be at this hotel until tomorrow night."
Lilly took the papers and folded them up. They found their way into her pocket. "But I can't break up a relationship. I'm not a home wrecker."
"There comes a time when you have to treasure your own happiness as much as everyone else's." April pulled the hair away from her forehead so Lilly could see a scar along her hairline. "Even if it's painful or hard, there's something better on the other side."
"Thank you." Lilly stood up, holding her arms to her chest. "I'm going to think about it."
Mark gestured to the table. "No dinner?"
"Not tonight. Thank you both so much."
Lilly strayed from the table. Instead of going back to her room, though, she headed to the field where she had shared her one and only kiss with Miley. She sat in the dirt surrounded by tall grass and gazed at the stars. There didn't seem to be a good answer to any of her problems. She wanted to believe that Miley was happy with Jake, that their kiss had been a mistake because Miley was vulnerable. Lilly knew she couldn't take another heart break from her best friend. She couldn't take too much stock in one lonely kiss.
The breeze wove among the strands of grass and Lilly fiddled with the tips of the blades. Her lips still tingled. As the stars sparkled above, Lilly was reminded of how little she mattered in the grand scheme of things, and of how much her life mattered to her. She might just be one tiny bleep on the radar of the world, but it was the only bleep she got.
She fell asleep amongst the grass and dreamt.
She stood on the edge of a cliff and stared down into a dark abyss beneath her. The ground under foot rumbled, but she couldn't move. Her arms could wheel around yet her legs remained immobile. The earth behind her crumbled away and she floated on a rock high above her death. She could hear the sounds of life, but they were muted. A distant memory that she wanted to forget. As she reached up to scratch an itch on her neck, she closed her eyes. Her fingers latched onto the seam between her head and her shoulders and she lifted her head free. It slipped from her fingers and tumbled down into the darkness.
She woke at her usual time around four thirty. Her body was a mess of aches and pains from sleeping out in the grass. Somehow, despite her disgruntling dreams, she felt a lightness in her spirit. She hurried to shower and clean up.
For the first time that week, she put care into shaving her legs. She soaped her body thoroughly and cleaned her hair twice. Once out of the water, she flossed her teeth and brushed each tooth, followed by washing her mouth out with Listerine. She applied a light layer of make up and went to her room to look through her closet. Although she normally wore either overalls or ripped jeans, she did own a few sets of nice clothing – April's attempt to get her feeling good again. She selected a pair of clean (never been worn before) skinny jeans and pulled her newest set of boots on. For a shirt she pulled a new blue button-up blouse on.
Her next stop was the stable, where she somehow convinced Duster to wear a saddle. He fought her at first, but she apologized quietly for ditching him the night before and fed him a few carrots to get him to sit still. She mounted him and headed out onto the road. Only twice did he frighten her – once as the first car blazed by them and he skittered to the side, and once when he broke into a canter without her command. It was a fight to get him to go in the direction she wanted, but they managed to make it into town with little problem.
Miley's hotel was old-school enough that they had a place to tie up horses out front. Lilly cracked a smile at this – of course Miley would go to the one place that took pride in its roots. The concierge inside pointed her to the elevators. Miley was on the fourth floor, room 413. Taking her time, Lilly reevaluated her thoughts. She wondered if this was a smart decision.
"Room service." Lilly tapped on 413. She listened to the thump of feet on the floor.
"I didn't order any…" Miley pulled the door open. She froze when she saw Lilly.
"I know." Lilly tried to smile. "But you left your contact information with Mark and April, and they passed it on to me."
"Are you going to run again?"
They stared at each other for what Lilly determined was an eternity.
"You should come in, then." Miley stepped out of the doorway and let Lilly pass.
Miley's bed was still unmade, the sheets messy and the pillows scattered. Lilly sat on the edge of it and Miley took the place beside her. Miley fiddled with her fingers and Lilly crossed and uncrossed her legs.
"Back in California. Gettin' ready for a movie."
Lilly loved the way Miley's accent intensified when she was home. It was such an endearing lilt.
"That's cool." Lilly gazed at her surroundings. Once again she had to wonder why she was there. "So."
"So." Miley returned. "You ran away."
"I did." Lilly laughed, though without humor. "What was I supposed to do? You're engaged. You can't kiss me and expect me to… I don't know."
"Jake's nice. I love him." Miley admitted. "But I'm not in love with him."
"That's a technicality."
"What if I told you that I'm in love with you?"
"I'd tell you that you're being unreasonable. There's no such thing as love at first sight. You're just reacting to my admission."
Miley's lips creased into a frown. "Don't tell me what I feel, Lil."
"I won't. But you have to admit, too, that you're putting me in a bad position." Lilly pushed her hair out of her face. "I can't do this. I can't be the other woman."
Yet somehow that didn't matter. Miley pushed on her shoulders and Lilly fell back onto the sheets. As Miley unbuttoned and unzipped Lilly's jeans, Lilly stared at the ceiling. Her boots hit the floor and her jeans joined them. Miley worked on the buttons on her shirt, kissing each patch of skin her journey revealed. When Miley pushed the blouse off of Lilly's shoulders, Lilly grabbed the back of Miley's head and dragged Miley up so they were face to face. It took Miley less than five seconds to attack her lips. Miley sucked on her lower lip and massaged Lilly's chest through her bra. Lilly reached to rid Miley of clothing as well, but Miley grabbed her hands.
Miley shook her head at Lilly and slid her hand beneath the fabric of Lilly's underwear. Her fingers found their target and Lilly's body went rigid. In Lilly's opinion, their escapade ended all too quickly. Miley's cell phone rang and they sprang apart with matching blushes.
"Oh, hi…" Miley flashed her a smile and a hand signal – five minutes.
Lilly was impatient, though. She snuck up to Miley and began working on the task of stripping the other girl. Miley had to fight giggles as Lilly tickled her sides as she went. Lilly left Miley so that they matched in just their undergarments. As Miley talked, Lilly examined her body, committing it to memory. Just this once, she promised herself, and she could die happily.
"Love you, too…" Miley whispered and shut the phone.
Time froze for Lilly as the pieces settled into place. She leaned down to collect her clothes. This had been a bad idea. Jake would always come first.
"It was, uh, nice to see you." Lilly frowned. "Let's not do this again, okay? I'm alive and you know it now. So we're good."
Miley's face dropped. "You're running away again."
"No I'm not." Lilly argued.
"You wonder why I'm with Jake. Every time something doesn't go your way, you just run. You can't solve all your problems that way, Lil. It's not healthy."
"You're so fucking selfish." Lilly spat out. "Winding me around your finger while you're still with him. It's not fair."
"I'll leave him. I promise you that."
"Is that supposed to make me feel better?"
"Yes." Miley reached out to her, but Lilly withdrew.
"So when you're done with me, you'll cheat and then dump me?"
"How do you know that?" Lilly fought the tears gathering in her eyes.
"Because…" Miley wiped at her own eyes. "Because, Lillian Truscott, you give my life meaning. When you left, I felt like not just my heart was ripped out, but every organ in my body. I was incomplete. I was empty and broken and Jake couldn't understand why. He supported me, but he couldn't understand it. Without you, the sun doesn't shine as brightly, the ocean doesn't look as beautiful. You are my reason."
Lilly was floored. "What are you saying?"
"I love you." This time when Miley reached for her, Lilly fell into her grasp. They cuddled on the ruffled bed.
"Mark and April are probably wondering where I am." Lilly murmured. "I should go home."
She made no effort to move. Miley's eyelashes tickled her cheek.
"You should be with me forever." Miley walked her fingers down Lilly's stomach and they settled on the cloth above Lilly's groin. Lilly felt her heart rate rocket. "You know you want to."
Lilly looked to her boots on the ground. They were made for walking, that much was true. But she didn't think she'd need them anymore.