Synopsis : The book centres around two characters called Casey Alder and Jodie Flynn. Casey is a mid-twenties cycle courier in London and lives in the area of Finsbury Park which is in the North end of London. She rents a first floor flat from an older lady, who lives in the ground floor of the house. The lady insists that Casey calls her Aunt Essie and she treats her like another grand-daughter. Casey is known as a player though out the gay scene, and is happy with that. That way it is easier to be safe. A childhood in care can make you uneasy of relationships.
Aunt Essie, though feels that Casey could do with being in a relationship, and would love for her to meet her grand-daughter Jodie. This proves harder than she thought and the two girls keep missing each other. Then Casey is shot and sees another person killed as she does a late night pick up for her job.
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“What hospital did they take her too? Aunt Essie asked as Jodie helped her into the van. “The Royal Free Hospital, it won't take us long to get there I promise” Jodie gave her Aunts hand a squeeze then started the engine.
Jodie pulled up at the hospital's main doors and told her aunt to go on ahead to find out where Casey was, as she parked the van.
Jodie paid, got her ticket and parked the van. 'Why do I feel so apprehensive, I don't even like the girl'. Jodie stopped walking and thought 'How can I even think that? I have never met her. I am just believing some second hand gossip from drunken girls who probably know nothing. Whereas her aunt loved Casey so much and she wouldn't if all the stories were really true. Giving herself a mental slap to have an open mind about Casey, Jodie ran the rest of the way to meet her aunt.
Her Aunt was stood by the door waiting on Jodie, as she got closer she realised her aunt was crying. “What's happened, they said she was ok!!!!” Jodie was gripped with a panic that she didn't understand.
“They have taken her down to surgery they tried to remove the bullet, but it was too deep. Oh Jodie I can't lose her, I just can't”
Jodie looked at her aunt sobbing in her arms, and tried her best to soothe her. “It's ok, really Aunt Essie, it's going to be Ok. Come on let's get some tea and wait for the doctors. She is in the best place”.
Aunt Essie let herself be led to a seat and then watched her beloved niece get the drinks. Essie thought to herself,' I hope they get on they would be so good together. But first we need to get Casey home where she belonged. How on earth did she manage to get shot, she was just a cycle courier, her biggest danger is traffic and stupid pedestrians.' She was smiling as Jodie came back with the coffee.
“Hey, What's got that smile on your face?” asked Jodie
“I was just thinking of Casey and her rants about pedestrians. She says they are the main cause of courier accidents, so why couldn't it have been one of them and not a bullet! A gun! Someone had a gun and shot my Casey'. Essie was getting really angry now. She grabbed Jodie by the arm just as Jodie was about to take a drink “Aargh! The tea's hot Aunt Essie!”
Aunt Essie took the cup from Jodie's hand and put the tea on the floor and said determinately “Someone shot one of us Jodie I know Casey does not have Flynn as a surname, but she is as much a Flynn to me as you are and now she is in hospital, The police better hope they find out who did this before I get my hands on them”. Jodie hugged her aunt and silently prayed the police did in fact find them before Essie.
Two hours later a doctor found them both and asked them to follow him.
“How is she? Is she awake? Is she..” The doctor smiled at Essie, “ Yes she is awake and yes she is going to be ok. We have put her in a private room as the police need to talk to her to find out what happened”. The doctor stopped by a door with an officer outside. He opened the door and stepped to one side to allow Aunt Essie to enter. Jodie waited by the open door and watched as her aunt moved to the bed and got hold of Casey's right hand and stroked her hair. “My sweet Casey, who would do this to you? If you know you tell me and I will sort it.
Casey though still a bit groggy from the surgery chuckled at Aunt Essie and squeezed her hand just a bit tighter.
It's a good job the door frame is here thought Jodie otherwise I might have fallen.
Looking at the girl in the bed Jodie went dry in the mouth and hot everywhere else. She is gorgeous, even lying in a hospital bed with her arm strapped up and pale from surgery, she is…' Just at that point Casey caught her eye and smiled shyly at her. If Jodie wasn't mistaken it looked like Casey was blushing. Now this she did not expect, not after the stories she had heard. Casey was a player, surely she couldn't be making a play for her while lying in a hospital bed after being shot. Even though she found her to be beautiful gorgeous and striking, Jodie was not going to fall for her charms, no way, not now not ever! 'Come here Jodie aunt Essie called. “Now I know I have wanted you two to meet, like for ever, but if I knew it would have been in these circumstances, I could have waited a lot longer I can tell you. Casey this is my niece Jodie that I have told you so much about and Jodie this is the ragamuffin from up the stairs'. Casey held out her hand to Jodie. 'Yes you told me so much about her' she thought, 'but you never told me about her eyes, how the green seems to shimmer, how her body moves when she walks, how she seems to be looking right into me, and finding me slightly lacking.' Stuttering she said hello, her eyes are down on the bed spread as her hand meets Jodie's. Both women jumped and looked at each other, a question in both of their eyes, did you feel that? What was it? Dropping the hands after a quick shake they both look to Aunt Essie.
Well well thought Aunt Essie what just happened there as she looked at both girls who were blushing, stuttering over their words and then no words at all.
“My two favourite girls at my side what more could an old girl want” The silence was broken a few seconds later by Casey who with a wry look on her face said “One without a bullet hole in her” It broke the ice and they all laughed. 'Oh her face opens up when she laughs' thought Jodie. 'I have a feeling that I am about to embark on a very scary roller-coaster ride'. She looked at Casey and smiled, Casey nodded back gave a small smile back then let her head fall back on the pillow.
Jodie watched as Aunt Essie gave Casey a kiss goodbye “sleep tight my ragamuffin” As Jodie went to close the door behind her she gave one last look in, Casey was looking at her then nodded at Aunt Essie's back and mouthed thank you to Jodie. No problem Jodie mouthed back.
Two weeks had passed before Jodie was able to see Casey again, what with a combination of work and taking her aunt to the hospital twice a day she was pretty knackered. Aunt Essie asked each time if she would come up but each time she said no, not knowing why.
At this moment, Jodie was on her way to her aunts to pick her up to take her to hospital to bring Casey home. Essie had asked her to come a bit early as she needed to talk to her and ask a huge favour. 'Ummm' Jodie thought 'I hate it when she does this as I can never say no'.
Letting herself in the door she met her Aunt coming down the stairs with what looked like a baby monitor. Ok now that's strange, what is she up to now?
“Hey Auntie, would it seem odd if I asked you why you have a baby monitor in your hand?” “Hi, my favourite niece” Essie kissed Jodie on the cheek then took her hand and pulled her into the lounge. “Sit sit would you like a cup of tea, biscuit?”
“No I would not like either” Jodie laughed, “What I would like is if you tell me what it is you are after? As I have a feeling I'm not going to like it a lot, am I?” ?” Probably not, but I really want you to do it, I would feel a lot safer at night if you did and so would Casey though she will probably tell me I'm a silly old goat! I would like you to move into the spare room at Casey's to keep an eye on her, she can't do a lot for herself yet, and she has said no to moving down here as she wants her own bed.” Jodie looked at the woman sat across from her, shook her head and looked at her again. “Let me get this right you want me to move in with a woman I hardly know to look after her! I do things like security Aunt Essie, I'm not a nurse. Why on earth would you think that I could help?”
“I know you're not a nurse Jodie. Casey has one of them coming in twice a day to check her shoulder. I want you here to keep her safe. Someone shot her Jodie, and the police haven't caught them. Casey saw a man get shot and they will not want her around to give evidence if it comes to it. So please I'm begging you Jodie, come and make sure nothing else happens to my girl” Jodie got up and moved to the window, running her hands through her hair, she looked at Aunt Essie, then turned and looked out the window. 'Why am I even contemplating this' she thought, looking over her shoulder at Aunt Essie sat looking small and scared she knew she didn't have a choice. 'Family is family and it would seem Casey was family, so moving in it is then.' “Ok you can quit the little old woman act'. She smiled at Essie. 'Yes I will move in, but I won't be held responsible for my actions if she drives me up the wall. I have heard all the rumours about this woman, and I can't say I liked them much.” “Never believe everything you hear, unless you hear it from me then it's the gospel truth my girl!! Now let me show you to your new sleeping quarters.” “Ok, I don't have to share a bed or room with her do I?” said Jodie suddenly panicked.
“No, you have your own room unless you would like to share with Casey, if so you have my blessing”
Jodie stood in shock as her Aunt went up the stairs. Had she really said that she would like Jodie to sleep with Casey? God this is going to be a nightmare, please she prayed as she followed her aunt upstairs let the police find the shooter quick.
Jodie was looking at the hospital doors as she waited in the car for Aunt Essie to bring Casey out. Drumming her fingers on the wheel she did a double take as she saw Casey being pushed out in a wheelchair by Aunt Essie.
Laughing as she got out of the car because Casey did not look happy at all, she said “good afternoon, your taxi awaits you”. “Casey gave Jodie one of her better glares, which apparently didn't work as Jodie just laughed harder. “What is so funny? I don't think this is funny, Aunt Essie let me out now I promise to behave” Casey then tried to lift herself out of the chair, but couldn't seem to manage 'Stupid chair' she muttered, looking at her feet she took a deep breath and went to try again. Just as she did an arm went round her waist and a soft voice whispered in her ear, “Put your weight on to me and we will get you out of this stupid chair”. All Casey could do was nod, as her mouth had gone dry, oh my god all she is doing is helping me move and I have got wet. Shit am I in trouble she thought. Taking another deep breathe with Jodie's help she got out of the chair and into the car, as she went to put her seatbelt on her hand caught Jodie's.
“Sorry Casey stuttered you're probably better at putting it on than me” Please let this journey be over then I can collapse in embarrassment at this situation. Jodie watched Casey as she let her head fall back on the seat and the blush that covered her face. Unable to stop herself she moved her hand to Casey's face and pushed the damp hair out of her eyes, Casey opened her eyes and locked onto Jodie's, smiled and shut them again. In the passenger seat Aunt Essie was watching the two of them in the visor. I do believe they have forgotten I am even here, giving a subtle cough she caught Jodie's attention, “let's get her home then honey”
Arriving home, just as Jodie had helped Casey out of the car her phone rang. “Sorry I need to get this, Aunt Essie can you help Casey in please?” Jodie took the call and watched as her aunt fussed over Casey as they walked up the few stairs to the door. 'Who knew I would like a bad girl' she muttered.
“Who knew what?, asked Nicky over the phone as Jodie struggled with her composure.
“Nothing I was just talking to myself, is everything ok at the office? If you need me to I can come in for a bit” “Everything is fine all under control, so did you pick up your new girlfriend from the hospital?” Nicky teased. “She is not my girlfriend and I don't even like her so please stop spreading rumours” Jodie realised she was shouting at Nicky “Sorry Nicky I didn't mean to shout at you it's just been a funny afternoon”
Nicky was silent for a minute then said “I'll let the shouting thing pass if you meet me tomorrow for breakfast at the Bean n Cup and tell me what has put such a bug up your arse?” “Shit Nicky. It's nothing honestly” said Jodie.
“Jodie I have known you for nearly half your life and this is the first time that you have taken offence to my teasing. Now I don't think it is any coincidence that your mood swings have been in overdrive since you met a certain Casey Alder, so I will meet you at 8 tomorrow for breakfast” ordered Nicky.
“I can't make it for 8, how about 9ish, I kinda have to make sure Casey is up and sorted before I can meet you” Jodie stuttered the words.
“Oh girl you have a lot of explaining to do tomorrow, I can't wait to hear what you have got yourself into” Nicky laughed 'See you tomorrow stud”
Jodie looked up at the door and then back to the car thinking maybe she could escape and Aunt Essie wouldn't notice, yeah right like that would happen, shrugging her shoulders Jodie pushed herself of the car and made her way to the house.
As she entered the house and started to make her way up the stairs, she could hear Casey shouting. Oh it looks like Auntie has told her of the new sleeping arrangements and she seems to be as happy about it as I am, thought Jodie wryly. “What do you mean Jodie is moving in!! I do not need her here, I can look after myself quite well, I have being doing it since I was born, haven't I” Casey shouted at Essie. “What I know my girl' said Aunt Essie in a very quiet controlled voice, 'Is that you can't even get out of a chair without help, so how are you going to look after yourself here on your own?” Casey stopped her pacing by the windowsill and sat down, looking at Essie with hard eyes, she said “I'll manage, I always have why do you think this is going to be any different?”
Essie saw Jodie by the door and waved her in, “It's going to be different Casey, because you don't have to manage on your own any more. You have me and you mean the world to me, even when you are such a pain in the arse I feel like shouting at you to get you too realise you are not on your own, you have me and you have Jodie” Oh god I refuse to cry thought Casey, I will not cry, but cry she did and Aunt Essie ran across the room and held her while she cried at the love that this woman thought she was worth. She looks so lost thought Jodie, and the pain she was in both physically and mentally was coming off her in waves that struck Jodie deep in her gut. Giving herself a shake she moved over to the window. “Let's get you to bed and we can talk later when you're a bit more relaxed?” she said as she coaxed Casey to the bed. She pulled the covers back and sat her down on the side moved down to take of her shoes and socks then gently pushed Casey back till she was lying on the pillows and moved her legs up. Pulling the quilt over her Jodie sat beside her and held her hand and watched as Casey began to fall asleep. Gently she began to get up but Casey grabbed onto her hand and asked her not to leave. Jodie could only nod as Casey led there holding her hand as if her life depended on. With a start Jodie turned her head to Casey, she's scared and has no idea how to deal with it all. Aunt Essie stood by the door watching the two girls hoping that they could see what she could feel, the start of something special.
The next morning Aunt Essie sat at the table in the kitchen holding a cup of coffee looking at the ceiling, well I thought it would take at least a day before they started to argue and here was me thinking it was the start of something special, laughing to herself, she got up and decided it was time they had a referee and made her way up the stairs.
“Will you listen to me you hard headed idiot I am only trying to help you get changed and the sooner you let me do it the sooner I will be out of your hair for a bit” shouted Jodie.
“I can do it fine by myself I do not need any help” Casey growled as she yet again fell down on to the bed as she lost her balance, “Oh for fucks sake how hard can this be”
“Apparently quite hard” said Aunt Essie as she poked her head though the bedroom door. “Do you girls need some help?”
Jodie turned with her hands on her hips “No we don't because Casey is just about to accept my offer to help and this whole issue will be over with? Won't it” It was said with such conviction that Casey could only nod at Jodie and Essie. “Ok then I shall go and get the coffee on, as I do believe from Casey's demeanour that she has not had her morning cuppa yet” Aunt Essie called over her shoulder as she walked to the kitchen.
“Right lets be having you, sit on the bed for me please” Jodie then lifted Casey's right arm and moved the t-shirt up and over her head then very slowly let it fall down and off her left arm. Casey pulled back a bit as the pain hit her, “Sorry Casey I tried to be gentle and… 'Jodie's words failed at her mouth as she took in the naked chest in front of her, oh my god she has the most perfect body. Struggling to keep her hands by her sides she chanced a look up at Casey's face, seeing that her eyes were closed Jodie looked again at the small but definitely enough for Jodie to work with breasts, as if Casey's body could feel Jodie's stare her nipples stiffened and hardened.
Casey struggled to keep her eyes closed, the wave of pain that had made her close them in the first place had passed, but she could sense Jodie looking at her body, and she didn't know what to do. Her body was reacting as if Jodie had touched her and it felt so intense she began to tremble with the effort to keep still. A shout from Aunt Essie in the kitchen broke the spell “Do you want toast?”
Jodie jumped and called that yes they would love toast, Looking back at Casey again she could see that she was trembling. “Oh Shit Casey I'm sorry your cold, I was in a world of my own there. Passing Casey a deodorant she busied herself getting a fresh t-shirt. “Is this ok? Seeing Casey's nod she carefully but quickly got that body covered and decent again. “Come on, she held her arm out for Casey to hold onto as she walked her to the kitchen and kicked a chair out for her and held her till she sat. “Are you ok for a bit? I need to go into work to sort some paperwork out to bring back for the next few days? I've set the laptop up in the lounge for you. Do you need me to bring anything back?” ?” Casey, still in a state of shock at how Jodie had made her feel, looked up at her with a blank look, “What?”
Jodie knelt down by the chair and put her hand to Casey's forehead to check if she had a temperature, “Maybe you shouldn't have got out of bed yet. You look a bit pale”
“No I'm fine, Casey said as she grabbed Jodie's hand to stop it stroking down the side of her face, honest I'm fine, but if you could pick me up some magazines that would be great. My wallets over there” “Oh don't worry we can sort it out when I get back. Enjoy breakfast”
Jodie grabbed her coat and nearly tripped over herself to get out of the kitchen and out of the flat.
Interesting thought Aunt Essie as she put a plate of toast and a coffee in front of Casey. Getting no reaction Essie sat down and got herself sorted to start the papers crossword, oh very interesting indeed.
Nicky looked up as the door banged open, and watched as Jodie went to the counter to order a coffee, a coffee? Oh god things are bad. Jodie never drinks coffee. Bracing herself in the armchair as Jodie made her way over. “Hey you, everything ok?” said Nicky as she nodded at the drink that was in Jodie's hand. “Yes, why would anything be wrong? Can't a girl have a coffee without it being a major incident” Said Jodie her voice raising as she sat herself down with such force she spilt the said coffee. “Why is it always questions with you?” “Oh you are in a beautiful mood, and of course I am going to have questions because, A, you are having coffee which is a big no no. B, we are having a late breakfast and C, you just spent the night with one of London's supposed biggest players. If you believe the rumours” Nicky smiled sweetly at Jodie and sat back in her chair with a smug look on her face.
Jodie caught herself from telling Nicky where to go as they had been friends too long. Taking a deep breathe she calmed herself down, looked at the coffee and said 'I hate coffee. Nicky I think I may be in a little bit of trouble here, no matter what rumour says and Aunt Essie has told me not to believe anything I hear about Casey unless it comes from her” Jodie put her finger to Nicky's lips to stop her speaking, “It would seem I actually like her, and I mean that in the way that I can't stop my body reacting whenever I see her, and that in turn makes me want to touch her and I have no idea what to do, I am to stay with her for at least a month according to Essie” Jodie pulled her fingers through her hair and looked at Nicky feeling more than a bit lost.
“Oh Jodie you have been alone so long haven't you. This is normal if you like someone. You have a physically attraction to a girl and that in turn makes you want to spend time with them, getting to know everything about them. Now I could really slag Casey of here, but I can't, it was me who threw myself at her and she did try to say no, but when I get going I can be quite persuasive. So even though I spent some of the night with her and she caught me trying to sneak from the bed, she was polite and friendly and said go safe home won't you?, so I am not going to pass judgement maybe she just hadn't found the right person and you might be it?”
Nicky sat back and watched as Jodie played with the coffee mug and looked very lost, She motioned to Peter behind the counter to get Jodie a tea. A couple of minutes later Peter brought the tea and placed a kiss on Jodie's head. Jodie looked up in surprise at the tea and the kiss.
“Oh Nicks, what am I going to do? How do I deal with this and her?” said Jodie near to crying.
“God Jodie, she has really got to you, what you need to do is, enjoy it and her, be yourself and get to know her. She won't get up to any trouble while she's laid up all injured. By the way how is she?” asked Nicky.
“Not to good, though all I can say if she looks this good and makes me feel this good when she's hurt, what on earth am I going to do when she's all fit? Oh my life is never going to be the same and you know what Nicky I think I like that thought” smiled Jodie.
After going into the office to pick up her paperwork and laptop to work on back at Casey's, Jodie stopped off at the newsagents to get some magazines. Right she thought where do I start, what would she like?
Climbing the stairs to Casey's Jodie felt quite scared, what if I get the same feelings as I did this morning, before she could think any more on those feelings, the door opened and Aunt Essie made her way out.
“Oh good your back, I didn't want to leave her alone, but I really need to get to the bank. The nurse has been and she was happy with how things look, Casey is asleep now so you should have some time to do any work you need to do” Kissing her niece on the cheek Aunt Essie made her way past her on her way down the stairs.
Making her way into the flat, Jodie put her bags onto the kitchen table and then walked down the hall to Casey's bedroom, slowly opening the door and glancing in. Jodie was surprised to find the bed empty. Strange she thought, turning herself around and walking to the lounge, she found Casey fast asleep on the sofa with a blanket over her, Jodie couldn't stop herself moving to the sofa and softly pushed the hair out of Casey's eyes. Taking a deep breath, Jodie went to the kitchen to do some work, but after the third time of running into the lounge when she heard Casey call out, she moved herself and the laptop to sit with her to make sure she was ok. Casey opened her eyes and couldn't quite believe what she was seeing or feeling as Jodie was sat beside the sofa working on her laptop one handed, because the other hand was resting on Casey's thigh. Just stay still make her think you're still asleep. Casey closed her eyes and felt for the first time the stirrings of something good in her life, and that hand on her thigh was making her think of things that just a hand resting on a thigh really shouldn't do. Jodie looked up from the laptop just in time to see Casey's eyes quickly closing. Confused and not knowing what to do she realised that Casey now knew that her hand was on her thigh. Oops that wasn't meant to happen. Shit. Now my hand has taken to shaking. just great. Trying to move it without Casey looking at her, she failed miserably as Casey chose that second to open her eyes for the second time. The both of them stopped not sure what to do, All Casey could see were a pair of gorgeous green eyes and as she looked a bit deeper found they were speckled with orange, actual orange. Jodie was startled by the depth of feeling she found herself looking into in Casey's eyes. “Hey sleepy head” Jodie has to speak to break the spell she was rapidly going under every time she looked at Casey. “Did the sleep help at all? Do you need anything? I can get it if you do? Oh God. I am just rambling here, thought Jodie as she jumped to her feet and rubbed her hands on her jeans. “No I'm good, thank you, though I do smell coffee” smiling at Jodie hoping that she might calm down as Jodie now seemed to be pacing the lounge to stop herself looking at Casey.
“uh… coffee, coffee” Jodie said looking a bit confused. “Yes coffee' laughed Casey, 'Tell you what. Why don't you sit down and I'll go pour some coffee, that lovely drink”
Jodie finally got herself under control enough to make sure that Casey stayed on the sofa. “Where do you think you are going? You can't take your top off without my help so how are you going to pour coffee, tell me that?” Jodie looked at Casey who grinned back at her. “I have no idea, but it would seem that I am at your mercy, so if you would be so kind to bring me a coffee that would be great. I only offered as you seemed kinda flustered, for some reason” Casey raised her one eyebrow in question at Jodie. “Why was that by the way?”
“Flustered? I have no idea what you are talking about. Must be your painkillers making you see funny things” Jodie practically ran to the kitchen, Oh my God! How lame did I just sound, she must think I am really stupid thought Jodie as she poured a coffee.
Casey leaned back as far as she could on the sofa to look into the kitchen. She could just make out Jodie leant against the counter with her head in her hands. Well it would seem something has got into her. Here's hoping it's me she thought.
Casey sat on the sofa with a magazine on her lap, pretending to read it, whilst she stole looks at Jodie who was stood at the window on the phone to the office. Why is someone so beautiful, single? And what can I do to make her like me, like I like her? Oh God. This is going to be a fun few weeks. I can hardly look at her without wanting to hold her and kiss her. Casey looked down at the mag and did a double take. How did Jodie know what to get, how did she know enough to know she supported Tottenham Hotspur and to actually go to the trouble of finding the magazine?? Jodie put down the phone, feeling a lot calmer now that she had spoken to her brother at work, she chanced a look at Casey, finding her looking at her with a quizzical look. “What?” Jodie said as she moved to the sofa. Casey looked at the mag and then at her, “how did you know I supported Spurs?” “ Oh it might be the fact that when I opened your wardrobe to get a t-shirt for you this morning that you seemed to have every Spurs top released, or the scarf pinned to the wall” laughed Jodie. Casey smiled at Jodie and said “Thank you for taking the time to know what I might like. You're very much like your aunt you know, and I like that, I like that a lot” Casey lowered her head as she felt herself blushing.
To be continued in Part 4
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