[center [i [font "times new roman" [b How did we end up like this under a burning sky? Some things are]]]][center [i [font "times new roman" [b better left unsaid. It's easier to lie. I'm burning, but my heart is on the wire.]]]][center [i [font "times new roman" [b Don't need a thousand guards to lock me in. Doesn't take a fool to start a fire.]]]][center [i [font "times new roman" [b Solitary spark and wars begin. How did it all come to this?]]]]
[center [i [font "times new roman" [b We stared off as friends. It makes it easy to leave]]]][center [i [font "times new roman" [b If we're strangers by the end. You say it's only words.]]]][center [i [font "times new roman" [b And that it will get easier with time. Nothing's only words.]]]][center [i [font "times new roman" [b It doesn't matter if they're yours or mine. That's how hearts get hurt.]]]]
[center [i [font "times new roman" Teagan's whole life people have been telling her that homosexuality is a sin. She didn't believe it was. She always knew she was different, but sometimes she would just do things to please her family. She didn't want them looking down on her, but the moment that she knew she wasn't into men, she had a really hard choice to make. Either please her family, or please herself. For once in her life she was going to make herself happy. She told her family that she wasn't into men, and at first they didn't believe her. They said she was just dealing with a lot cause of college coming up, and she would realize she was talking crazy when classes started.]]]
[center [i [font "times new roman" That had been the night [b [u Your Name Here]] had gotten kicked out of her own home. She told her mother the same thing. She had been dating a male from High School, but she didn't want to put on the mask anymore. She told her mother, and her mother kicked her out then and there. [b [u Your Name Here]] had a really close friend, that knew Teagan as well. This friend was trying her hardest to get Teagan and [b [u Your Name Here]] to go out with each other for months. Neither of them wanted too, but now it was like Fate was stepping in, and showing them their path. [b [u Your Name Here]] called up Diana and was going to crash on her couch for the night. Not knowing that across town Teagan was packing up her things as well.]]]
[center [i [font "times new roman" Teagan wasn't going to stand there and let her family talk down to her. She told them straight up that she was lesbian, and they didn't want to believe her. That was when she decided to move out. She didn't really have a place to go, besides Diana's house. While she was packing up her things, she called Diana in tears. Diana agreed to let her crash at her place, and then Diana's plan was rolling. When Teagan shows up and [b [u Your Name Here]] answers the door, is when something clicks in both of their minds. They don't really say anything at first, until Diana is in the room, and looking them both in the eyes, and tapping her foot. This was like a dream come true for Diana. For the other two, it was like a nightmare.]]]
[center [i [font "times new roman" [b [u Your Name Here]] was the first to break the ice and ask what was going on. Diana told them, that it was time they realized their true feelings. They needed to work on things between themselves, and Diana was leaving for the week. She had her things packed, and a list of things for the two to do while she was gone. The moment she was gone, was when they both looked at one another, and both went into different rooms. Because Diana was gone, Teagan took her room, and [b [u Your Name Here]] took the guest room. It was really awkward, because the two had been eyeing each other on campus, but because Teagan came from money, she was a so called snob. [b [u Your Name Here]] came from the wrong side of the tracks and was a so called poor man's daughter.]]]
[center [i [font "times new roman" Now that they are in the same house, they have no choice but to get to know each other. They both have jobs, and they both still go to college, so that's something to be thankful for. That night when neither of them could really sleep, was when they decided to sit down and talk to each other. What'll happen when they really get to know each other? Will they test the waters of a relationship and prove their families wrong? Or will they end up finding someone else in the end? You'll never know unless you join [b [u Simple Desires]].]]]
[center [i [font "times new roman" [b [u Teagan Jameson; Taken]]]]][center [pic https://i.imgur.com/Fo7SdpR.jpg]]
[center [i [font "times new roman" [b [u Female; Taken]]]]][center [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/95/4f/c1/954fc1b826463d3149a5f00121bd96fc.jpg]]
[center [i [font "times new roman" [b [u We know the rules of the site. No need for me to put them here.]]]]]
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[font "times new roman" Listening as Cara spoke about her own parents kicking her out, her heart went out to her. She wanted nothing more than to take that pain away. They were both feeling the same thing. Having the other's hand in her's made her feel slightly better as well. When they were both done speaking, and Cara said she was glad they met the way they had, Teagan's heart pounded inside of her chest. It was a really shitty way it happened, but she was more than happy it had. She was getting to know someone who was like her in so many ways.]
[font "times new roman" [#FFBBBB "I'm surprised our parents never met before. I mean we could be petty and push them towards each other, and they could talk about how shitty their daughter's are. I know that would make my own mother happy"] she said bitterly. She was hurt by what her parents did, and at one point in the night she had thought about being the petty person, but it wasn't like her. She shifted a bit, and untangled their fingers. She then was against the other's side, and wrapped Cara's arms around her.]
[font "times new roman" Her back was against her side, her head leaning against her shoulder. She felt safe laying against the other. She turned her head, and brushed her lips lightly against the other's cheek. [#FFBBBB "I know we are both dealing with a lot, and I'm honestly glad you and I crossed path's tonight. I know Diana will be more than happy that things are somewhat working out.. I know for a fact she's wanted to set you and I up for the longest time. She talked about you a lot, but never told me your name"]]
[font "times new roman" [#FFBBBB "She always told me how beautiful you were, and she wasn't lying at all on that one. She said you have an amazing personality and from what I've seen, you do. Thank you.."] she breathed. She shifted a little and let herself get more comfortable against the other. It felt nice being able to do something like this. She took Cara's hand back in her's, and started tailing her fingers along her palm, and fingers. The silence washing over them wasn't awkward at all. It was a comfortable silence at that.]
[font "times new roman" [#FFBBBB "This is something I could get used too.."] she said softly. She meant it too. It would be nice to get to know another woman on a personal level. Just laying like this was enough for her. She just hoped she wasn't overstepping a line. She brought the woman's hand to her lips and kissed the back of it gently, before going back to tracing her palm and fingers again.]
[font "candara" Cara respected Teagan's decision to abstain from the alcohol for now. Some people required a clear head when trying to organize their feelings in times like this. Cara wasn't one of those people. She would have felt way more comfortable with a drink in her hand, which she hated to admit even to herself, but that was a whole different issue she probably shouldn't even get into...
Still, if she had gotten up to make those drinks, it would have meant tearing herself away from Teagan, away from her touch. She liked to think that it felt much better to have the warmth of the other woman's palm in her hand rather than the chill of cocktail glass. It was an easy decision in that respect to stay where she was, the idea of alcohol forgotten.
As Teagan began her tale of the reasons she found herself at Diana's that night, Cara's free hand instinctively found its way onto the hands already intertwined, and she slowly stroked her thumb along Teagan's knuckles as the woman spoke.
The emotions stirred by Teagan's words formed a lump in Cara's throat, and she struggled to keep the tears back. She wanted Teagan to be able to lean on her emotionally, but Cara felt the crushing reality of Teagan's situation in her own tale, hitting too close to home. It was like she was listening to her own story... for the most part anyway. Getting kicked out. Spiritually devout and unaccepting parents. How strange that the two of them found themselves here tonight, hand in hand. After everything, Cara's faith was shaken if not nonexistent altogether. She didn't know what to believe anymore from a religious and spiritual standpoint, but she couldn't help but feel like her and Teagan's encounter was fated.
Cara took a shaky deep breath and let it out slowly, blinking her wide eyes rapidly in a last ditch effort to stop the tears from flowing before she spoke. [#b0c4de "I think our parents would get along,"] she said dumbly, immediately regretting her nature to lean toward comedy when she was nervous or hurting the way she was.
[#b0c4de "It's crazy..."] she said, her head shaking slightly in disbelief. [#b0c4de "The main reason I ended up here is... pretty similar. My parents kicked me out... my mom shoved some of my clothes into a bag and shoved it and me out the door. In my case, it was because I refused to marry the man they wanted me to, and when they berated me about it, I sort of snapped and told them I wasn't even straight and felt nothing for him romantically and never would... "] Cara took another deep breath and sat back. [#b0c4de "The things my mother said to me..."] she chuckled and shook her head incredulously, tilting it back to hold the tears in her eyes. [#b0c4de "My father could barely look at me let alone speak to me..."] Cara was surprised her voice hadn't cracked through choking all of that out. Somehow she managed to keep an even tone.
Cara was a little taken aback by the conclusion of Teagan's story, as she went right from saying how she disowned her parents to confessing her attraction to Cara. It took her a moment to process, but in the end it brought a smile to her lips and a flush to her cheeks. She'd been attracted to women before, but it never went anywhere. The feelings were never reciprocated. This was different. This was new. It was... nice.
She wasn't really sure what to say in response. [#b0c4de "There's definitely something here, and even though we ended up together through horrible circumstances, I'm glad we did,"] she replied, giving Teagan's hand a gentle, reassuring squeeze.]
[font "times new roman" Sitting in the silence with the woman was all she needed at the moment. She was glad that Cara had agreed to sharing the same bed for the night. She knew nothing would come of it, but if anything did she wouldn't mind it in the least. It would be a whole new world for her to feel another woman's skin on her own, without the clothing. When Cara mentioned something about being a bartender and said she could whip up some drinks, she shook her head lightly. [#FFBBBB "As nice as that sounds, I think I want a clear head talking about this.."] she said softly.]
[font "times new roman" Maybe a small drink wouldn't hurt? No she wanted as clear of a head as she could muster. She kept her fingers laced with Cara's as she took a breath and started to speak. [#FFBBBB "So the main reason as to why I ended up here, is because my parents kicked me out. They are of the Christian faith, and are really strong willed about a lot of things. One of those things is sexuality. They think it's a horrible sin to be attracted to the same sex. Because if that happens, how are you supposed to bare children, and help create more life?"]]
[font "times new roman" [#FFBBBB "I know there are many ways for homosexual couples to have children. That's what my parents don't understand. They still think a man and a woman should share the same bed, and intimate moments. They frown upon anyone who's homosexual in anyway. So because their supposed perfect daughter is attracted to women, more than men, they disowned me. Told me I wasn't allowed to live under their roof, and they didn't give me much time to pack up a lot of my things"] she stopped and let her words hang in the air a moment, letting Cara take it all in.]
[font "times new roman" [#FFBBBB "I understand where they are coming from, because they want a son in law, and a daughter that can make them grandparents. What really hurt was leaving the only home I ever had. I'm an only child, so I don't have any siblings to worry about, but seeing the way my parents looked at me, made me feel like I had done something wrong.. So when they disowned me, I pretty much disowned them as well"] she breathed out. She looked down at their joined hands, glad that Cara was there. She knew Diana new about her being lesbian, but no one else did.]
[font "times new roman" She bit her lip lightly, debating on even speaking again, but she did. [#FFBBBB "When you walked through that front door, I felt something spark between you and I. I don't know if you felt it too, but I'm attracted to you in ways I never thought I would be attracted to anyone. You have an air about you, and I can't put my finger on it. In a way I'm glad you and I ended up here, because if we hadn't I don't think we'd be getting to know one another"] she said lightly as she looked up at the woman. The words falling from her lips were all true too. She was silently kicking herself for admitting her attraction already.]
[font "times new roman" She couldn't help it though. She was a truthful person, and whenever that happened she had to say what was on her mind. She just hoped she hadn't ruined something, that she hoped with ever fiber of her being could happen.]
[font "candara" The moment Diana left, Teagan seemed to relax a lot more. The way the woman sighed and sat back made it look like she'd let out a breath she'd been holding the entire time.
Cara hoped Diana wasn't too annoyed with them for choosing to stay behind tonight. Hopefully, the plans to spend the weekend shopping and then going to Diana's favorite club would make up for it. She worked at Inkubus on the weekends, but it was only for a couple of hours. They'd have her for the rest of the day. She really wanted to stay in tonight… She also really wanted to spend more time with Teagan.
When the woman in question asked Cara's opinion of what they should do now that they were finally alone, Cara felt a new anxious wave hit her, and she shifted uncomfortably, hyper-aware of the other woman's closeness once again. She offered a simple shrug in response to the question before tensing up at the sudden feeling of Teagan's hand sliding against her skin. It sent a rush of excitement through her, making her heart skip a beat.
It was clear to her why she felt so nervous. Cara was attracted to Teagan, without a doubt. The woman also intrigued her. She wanted to know more about her. She also wanted to know what was bothering her. It was like she saw her own sadness and pain reflected in Teagan's eyes, and she wanted nothing more than to ease it. She also hadn't been too sure if Teagan was romantically interested until that moment.
Cara was glad Teagan wanted to share the spare room. Not that she would have minded the couch. She wasn't lying about that. Not even that she wanted her own space. She just didn't want to be alone. That's all it boiled down to. [#b0c4de "I don't wanna be alone tonight either,"] she admitted, making no attempt to pull her hand away from Teagan's grasp.
She followed the other woman's gaze down, swallowing hard as she watched Teagan's fingertips glide along the back of her hand. After a moment, she let her eyes fall closed. The motion was calming. It took her back to the time of comforting her weeping younger sister, sick with heartache, her head in Cara's lap. She stroked the top of her head in similar rhythmic motions in an attempt to sooth the pain, and the younger girl easily fell asleep under the gentle strokes.
[#b0c4de "My first class is at 9, but I wouldn't mind talking a bit longer,"] she began once her eyes fluttered open again. [#b0c4de "Diana's place is a lot closer to campus than my parents' house, so I won't have to wake up as early as I usually would."] Despite wanting to help Teagan through the obvious pain she was in, Cara also didn't want to bring it up and bring back that sad look she had on her face. At the same time, she didn't want to bring the woman down with the details of her own hardships... unless she wanted to hear about them.
[#b0c4de "What would you like to talk about?"] she asked, leaving it open to Teagan to bring up the difficult stuff if she wanted to. [#b0c4de "Clearly, we're going to be seeing a lot of each other now. We ought to get to know each other better,"] she said, giving Teagan's hand a reassuring squeeze. [#b0c4de "Also, I do bartend most nights so I can whip us up a couple of drinks if you need a little liquid courage. I think I might,"] she concluded with a nervous chuckle.]
[font "times new roman" The closeness of the other woman seemed to distract her for a little bit. She wasn't really paying much attention to the movie at all. She wanted nothing more than to just snuggle up against the woman's side, and just feel safe. At least for a little while. This whole nightmare wasn't going to end over night. She knew that. But at least she had Diana, and now Cara around her. She felt like her whole life had slipped away from her, and she didn't know what to do with herself. When the movie ended, and Diana stood moving towards her bedroom, stopping long enough to tell them about the spare room. Then she was gone. She herself honestly didn't want to go out, but if Diana did they her and Cara would be alone.]
[font "times new roman" That would have been the perfect thing for them both. Not having to bore the woman with their tales again. She chewed on the inside of her cheek as Cara spoke about the bedroom, and sharing the bed. Her heartbeat seemed to quicken at the thought. [#FFBBBB "I was in there before you came, and honestly the bed is a King, so we would both have plenty of room. No one would have to sleep on the couch at all"] she said with a small smile. Thinking about sharing a bed with the woman made her heartbeat quicken a bit more. Being able to touch her throughout the night would be amazing. She was about to speak up when Diana came out.]
[font "times new roman" She was wearing a black skimpy dress and Teagan knew she was looking for a good lay tonight too. [b "Alright, I'm done and about to head out. Are you both still going to stick around here?"] she asked. She already knew the answer, but Teagan spoke up. [#FFBBBB "Yeah. I'm not in the mood to go to work with a hangover, and I need a shower here soon anyway"] she said with a small smile. Diana sighed and rolled her eyes a bit. [b "Alright. Just don't do anything I won't do. You both enjoy yourselves"] she said and grabbed her things, and was out the front door. Teagan leaned back and sighed a bit. Finally they were alone.]
[font "times new roman" She heard Diana start up her car, and then the lights flashed across the room. She slowly let her eyes close as the silence washed over them. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion, and she didn't like it. When she opened her eyes again she looked towards Cara. [#FFBBBB "So, it looks like we are finally alone. What should we do?"] she asked. She didn't want to pry too much into the woman's problems, but at the same time she wanted to know why she was here. She reached out and took the other's hand in her own. The feeling of skin to skin sent a shiver down her spine. What was she doing? She was getting her hopes up so to speak, and she knew it.]
[font "times new roman" [#FFBBBB "I don't mind sharing the bed with you. In all honesty I don't want to be alone tonight.. Because if I'm alone I know my thoughts will get to me, and I won't be able to sleep at all. Also if you need to shower tonight as well, you are more than welcome to go first. Or we can just sit here and talk, or go lay down"] she offered. She looked down at their hands, and she slowly started tracing her fingertips along the woman's fingers slowly. Having the contact seemed to put her mind at ease, and she hoped she wasn't overstepping a line. If she was, she would back pedal and quickly. She honestly didn't want to break the skin to skin contact either. It was rather soothing.]
[font "candara" Cara was glad to see how visibly relaxed the new choice of movie made Teagan. Diana was all for the horror movie, and Cara definitely wouldn't have minded cuddling or being there for her new friend to hide behind during the scary parts, but it was better that Teagan was comfortable and relaxed. When Cara's leg brushed against hers, she noticed the girl physically tense, and her own pulse quickened as well. It was a bit reassuring to notice the subtle reaction. It meant they were probably on the same savelength. The attraction Cara felt… well, judging by Teagan's reaction just then, it was clear to Cara that the other young woman must have felt it, too.
What caught Cara's attention about Teagan's words was the sentence, "Honestly, I think we both needed it." That piqued Cara's interest, and even made her feel a little crappy. She was so preoccupied by her own pain that she hadn't noticed the inner struggle Teagan was going through until that moment. Something was bothering her as well. [#b0c4de "I'm here if you wanna talk about it,"] Cara offered genuinely. By the way Teagan's eyes cut to Diana, it was clear that she wouldn't talk about much unless it was just the two of them. Cara could understand that. She didn't want to go on about her own life to Diana some more and bore the woman with the same old story.
When the woman in question suggested, once again, that they go out that night, Cara shifted uncomfortably. She wouldn't have minded a few drinks, but she preferred a night in for tonight, just talking. [#b0c4de "I'm with Teagan. I don't really feel like going out tonight, and I work tomorrow, too."] It wasn't just an excuse. She really did work tomorrow. She worked most days. Sometimes, it felt like working was all she did. She didn't have much free time. Now that she was there, with Teagan, she didn't want it to end.
By the way Diana spoke, it seemed like her plan, no matter what, was to go out after the movie. That brightened Cara's mood a little. It would be nice to spend a little time alone with Teagan. Her stomach made a bit of a grumbling noise once Diana threw back the lid of the pizza box. After Teagan grabbed a slice and was settled back into the couch with it, her leg brushed against Cara's once again. Cara didn't mind at all, especially since it sent a new wave of excitement through her.
Then, Teagan's whole demeanor seemed to change. She was fighting perhaps some inner dialogue or reliving some traumatic memory. She went from pleasantly occupied to… well… a little sad. Cara wanted nothing more than to tell her again that she was there if Teagan needed to talk. She wanted nothing more than to wrap her arms around the woman and tell her that whatever it was, everything would be okay.
In the end, Cara just stood up and leaned over to grab a slice of pizza herself, but once she settled back into the couch, she made sure to scoot over a bit so their legs touched and remained touching while they ate and watched the movie.
She meant it as a comforting gesture, but it soon became hard to focus on the romantic comedy with the distracting physical contact. Her quick pulse rang in her ears, drowning out the voices of the main protagonist and her love interest to the point where Cara wasn't even sure what was going on. Somehow she'd missed the entire first half of the movie, unable to think about much else besides the warmth of the beautiful woman beside her.
Before she knew it, the pizza box was nearly empty and the movie was over. She remembered laughing at a few funny parts here and there, and even tearing up a little toward the end as they teased an unhappy ending, but all was right once the credits rolled. It was an enjoyable enough movie… the second half of it anyway. As the credits rolled across the screen and the music played, Cara was back to just being distracted by Teagan's closeness.
Diana rose and stretched out her limbs before declaring, [b "I definitely see a couple drinks in my future. If either of you party poopers change your mind, you have until I'm done getting ready to decide to come with!"] She headed down the hall to her room, but stopped short before reaching it to turn to them again. [b "I also promised you both my couch, but lucky for one of you, I have a guest room,"] she announced. [b "Best part is, you guys get to decide who gets it."] [#b0c4de "The best part? How is that good for us?"] Cara asked with a nervous chuckle. [b "Not for you guys, necessarily, good for me because I don't have to choose,"] she replied honestly before disappearing behind her bedroom door.
Cara chuckled lightly and shook her head a bit before turning to Teagan. [#b0c4de "I don't mind the couch… but if you don't mind sharing the guest room, I don't have a problem with that either. I've slept in a twin bed with someone before, par for the course when you're a family of six in a two bedroom apartment."] It was so freeing moving from that apartment to the three bedroom trailer home they'd been living in for the last decade… not that she could call that "home" anymore… In any case, she wasn't sure how Teagan would feel about the room and bed sharing, but Cara suggested it because… well she really didn't want to be physically alone tonight with as mentally alone as she already felt, given the events of earlier that evening.]
[font "times new roman" Teagan wanted nothing more than to talk about her jobs, and her passions but right now didn't feel like the right time. Maybe if they were alone, she would be more than happy to talk about them. Diana knew about all of her passions, and she didn't want to bore the other woman with her stories again. When Cara suggested a rom-com she relaxed a bit more. She wasn't in the mood for something with a lot of gore at the moment. She watched as Cara took the seat beside her, and her leg brushed against her own, her heart skipped a beat. It's been awhile since she's had a woman's touch, and it really excited her at the moment.]
[font "times new roman" She turned her head towards the other and smiled lightly. [#FFBBBB "No need to thank me. I could tell you needed the hug, and in all honesty I think we both needed it"] she said lightly. She meant it too. She didn't just touch another person without their permission, but when she could tell that someone needed it, she would break her own rule on that. That's when the doorbell rang and Diana went to answer it and came back with the pizza. [b "Alright, so seeing as the plans for the movie has changed, after the movie we'll get a couple drinks inside of us, or go out for a little while. Or I can go out for a little while, while you two get to know one another."] she cooed.]
[font "times new roman" As much as Teagan loved having Diana around, she wouldn't mind the alone time with Cara, but she wasn't about to kick the host out of her own home anyway. [#FFBBBB "Honestly, I don't want to go out tonight. It's nice to just stay in for a change. I mean a couple drinks wouldn't be bad, but at the same time I don't wanna get too drunk either. I do kind of have work in the morning"] she admitted. This was her way of trying to get out of getting too drunk. Diana sighed lightly as she crossed her arms over her chest, [b "You are turning into a party popper too"] she said with a pout, but the pout didn't last too long though.]
[font "times new roman" [b "Fine, you two do what you wanna do after the movie, and I'll do what I wanna do. Just make sure one of you has your phone on just in case"] she said with a wink, and plopped down into a chair. She opened up one of the boxes and pulled some pizza out and bit into it. Teagan leaned over and grabbed a slice as well, along with a napkin, and settled back against the couch. She gently bumped her leg against Cara's again, the simple touch making her heart race once more. Apart of her wanted to ask if Cara wanted to sleep in the same bed, nothing sexual, just to cure the loneliness for the night, but kept her mouth shut about that idea.]
[font "times new roman" She could feel Diana watching the two of them, and it made her slightly uncomfortable. She wanted to explore these feelings she was getting, but at the same time she didn't want to do it around other people. That's when her mother's voice rang back in her mind, telling her that she was scum, and pretty much going to hell for being a lesbian. She took another bite, and looked towards the movie. Her whole mood was starting to change because she was getting into her own mind, but at least she could still feel Cara next to her, and that's all that mattered at the moment. She took another bite, trying to get lost into the movie playing on the t.v.]
[font "candara" It was hard to contain her smile as she listened to Teagan talk about what she was passionate about. The fact that it was something so noble made her ten times more attractive to Cara, and she nearly melted under her gaze as the first genuine smile to pass her lips lit up her facial features. That energy was infectious. Cara found herself wanting to know more about Teagan's job and what got her so passionate about Sign Language in the first place. Cara wanted to hear more. She wanted to know everything.]
[font "candara" [#b0c4de "I love that you're so passionate about what you do. Don't listen to anyone who says you can't make it in that profession. I've heard that Sign Language is a great second language to learn and can open doors for you beyond what you want to do now on the off chance it does fall through. That being said, having a backup plan never hurt anyone, and I completely support a bookstore slash cafe. I love Maddi's. It's actually become a little bit of a getaway for me. I wasn't living on campus, and my house was pretty far so I would go there between classes. I'd find a corner to sketch in and lose myself in it. The place has a great atmosphere. It's easy to lose track of time,"] she concluded with a nervous chuckle.]
[font "candara" Cara nodded politely and listened as Teagan described her preferred movie genres. She hadn't seen many old westerns, but she'd seen her fair share of romance. [#b0c4de "I'm a sucker for a good romantic comedy,"] she added in response. Honestly, she wasn't a big movie watcher in general, not with as busy as her life seemed to be. When younger, she'd seen dozens of Disney movies to death on VHS to the point of being able to recite them from memory, but there were a lot of classic films she'd never seen, something she'd always get hounded for by classmates and coworkers when the subject came up. Her movie watching lately was strictly a way to spend time with Anna, Izzy, and Dani. It had barely been a couple of hours since she'd seen them last but it was crazy how much she missed them. Her heart hurt.]
[font "candara" Lost in thoughts of her own misery, she didn't notice Teagan's approach until she was already close enough to feel her breath on her neck. Cara tensed up as Teagan wrapped her arms around her and pulled her into a gentle hug. Cara's arms lingered at her sides for a moment, but as whispered words of support passed her ear, she eventually returned the hug, wrapping her own arms around Teagan's delicate frame. Her heart skipped a beat and her pulse quickened. In a different moment, this may have led to something physical, but her words and the hardship Cara was battling made it a tender one. She swallowed back the tears and enjoyed the moment of simple human compassion.]
[font "candara" She hesitated a moment as Teagan pulled away, not wanting the moment to end. [b "Alright, pizza is ordered. I think we should watch the Saw movies, or something with a lot of blood and gore."] Cara crossed her arms insecurely and averted her gaze to the ground momentarily. When Teagan turned to her and offered her a smile, she answered with a slight smile of her own, staring off after Teagan as she disappeared down the hall. [b "Seriously, what did I miss? Did I ruin a moment?"]]
[font "candara" Cara tilted her head back in an attempt to hold the tears in her eyes as she laughed at Diana's question. [#b0c4de "Yeah,"] she sniffled. [#b0c4de "Yeah, you kinda did."] Diana looked genuinely upset with herself. [b "Damn."] Cara wiped the tears with the back of her hand, smiling through them. [#b0c4de "Yeah, good job, matchmaker,"] she joked, playfully teasing. Cara relished in the pout she received in response and the two had a bit of a therapeutic laugh.]
[font "candara" Cara stood up a little straighter when Teagan reentered the room. Diana, having seen the subtle change, sent Cara a knowing look and a self-satisfied smile as if to say, 'You do like her, don't you?' or 'Am I good or what?' It almost made Cara want to take Teagan up on her offer. She wanted to ask Diana to leave so she could have a good cry on Teagan's shoulder about the shitty situation she found herself in, but she really didn't want to bring either of them down. Not tonight. Tonight she needed family. She needed the two of them. There was plenty of time down the road to get drunk and tell secrets.]
[font "candara" [b "Sooooo, Saw movies? Blood and gore?"] Diana repeated in the form of a question, smiling widely in hopes of getting their approval for her movie choice. Cara smirked and disappointed her with, [#b0c4de "How about a romantic comedy instead?"]]
[font "candara" Diana sighed audibly. [b "Yup, [i big] party popper,"] she grumbled jokingly, walking over to her entertainment stand to browse her selection of rom-coms. Cara decided to be a little bold and took a seat beside Teagan on the couch. Her leg brushed against Teagan's and she felt her heart skip a beat again. While Diana set to choosing and putting in whichever romantic comedy she chose for the evening, Cara took the moment to take a calming breath. When the doorbell rang and Diana rushed over to answer the door and retrieve the picture. [#b0c4de "Thanks… for before,"] Cara muttered to Teagan, looking down at her hands, which were folded in her lap. [#b0c4de "I actually [i [b really]] needed that hug,"] she concluded with a light chuckle, tucking her hair behind her ear nervously before folding her hands into her lap again.]
[font "times new roman" The silence had gotten a bit awkward until Cara mentioned her name, and then they were alone. It was hard on the woman. She could tell the other was fighting an inner battle, and she wanted nothing more than to help her shoulder it. When Cara asked about her major she broke out into a real smile. [#FFBBBB "I'm trying to become a Sign Language Interpreter honestly. It's been a passion of mine to work with the deaf people of the world. It's a barrier for a lot of people, not being able to understand one another. When I'm done with my schooling I'm hoping I can work in a deaf and blind school"]]
[font "times new roman" [#FFBBBB "A lot of people have told me I wouldn't make it in that profession. Considering the job I do now, I do deal with a lot of deaf people, and it's come in handy being able to work with them. If this falls through, then I do have a back up plan and that's helping another good friend of mine with her business. It's one of the small coffee shops in town. Maddi's is the name of the shop. It's a small cafe, with a bookstore all rolled into one"] she said lightly. She was getting a bit excited talking about her passions. She did stop herself though from babbling on again when Cara asked her about the horror movies.]
[font "times new roman" She shrugged a bit as she shifted her weight, and pulled her legs up under her. She rested her arms on her thighs before speaking once more. [#FFBBBB "I'm not a huge fan of them. I will watch them if there's nothing else on. I personally love anything to do with the old westerns like John Wayne, or anything with a lot of romance in it"] she admitted. What woman didn't love romance? That's when she saw the pain in Cara's eyes talking about her sisters. She didn't have siblings herself, so she didn't know the pain of leaving them behind. She pushed herself up and walked over to the woman. She didn't care if she was entering her personal space at all.]
[font "times new roman" She wrapped her arms around the woman, and hugged her gently, whispering into her ear. [#FFBBBB "Whatever you are going though, I know it'll get better. You are surrounded by people who care about you. If you ever need to talk, then simply pull me aside or tell Diana to leave an I'll be more than happy to listen, and help you the best I can"] she said lightly. The words falling from her lips had meaning to them. She was always there for people she cared about. Even though she barley knew Cara at all, she felt like the other woman needed the hug. Hell in a way, so did she. She held the woman a moment longer before letting her go.]
[font "times new roman" [b "Alright, pizza is ordered. I think we should watch the Saw movies, or something with a lot of blood and gore"] Diana cooed as she came into the living room. She as kind of surprised to see Teagan taking a step back, and Cara looking pained. [b "What did I miss?"] she asked. Teagan shook her head lightly. [#FFBBBB "Nothing Diana"] she said lightly. She felt like she had a moment with the other woman and in a way she had. She looked towards Cara and smiled lightly. She then excused herself and made her way to the bathroom. She closed the door behind her, and leaned against it.]
[font "times new roman" She tilted her head back and took a deep breath, trying to calm her racing heart. She hadn't meant to hug the woman, they were strangers pretty much, but she needed the hug as much as Cara did. That and Diana's words kept ringing in her mind about them being together. She knew Diana loved playing match maker, and hopefully something will come of this one. She stood with her back to the door a moment longer, before she did her business, washed her hands and made her way back to the living room five minutes later.]
[font "times new roman" She moved back to her spot on the couch, put her feet up under herself once more, and looked at the two other women in her life. She felt like she was home. Even though she had been kicked out of her own, this was truly her home. She smiled lightly listening as the other two talked.]
[font "candara" It was a little strange, but Teagan's uneasiness actually made Cara relax a little. When the brunette's cheeks turned red with a bit of embarrassment, Cara made herself look away in hopes to set Teagan's mind at ease once again. Being under someone's gaze never exactly made a blush disappear.]
[font "candara" In truth, Cara felt torn about the change in plans for the evening. On one hand, she wanted nothing more than to get to know the beautiful, shy young woman before her. On the other, she knew that a movie wouldn't be able to distract her the way getting drunk and dancing the night away would. It would be all too easy for her mind to wander to the heartwrenching events of earlier in the day. Her mother's hurtful words already echoed in her mind, and she could still see the look of disgust the older woman offered her as she spat, [b "This isn't your family anymore."]]
[font "candara" Cara crossed her arms over her chest and willed the thoughts away. When Diana offered her idea for the weekend, Cara couldn't hide a wince at the word 'shopping.' She'd always hated shopping. It was difficult to love something like that with her mother pointing out every wrong thing about the outfits she chose and how she looked in them. [i This] made her look like a hooker; [i that] made her look like a… she didn't even want to repeat the derogatory words her mother often used…]
[font "candara" Cara couldn't help but smile at Teagan's reaction to Diana's comment about the two of them being perfect together. It seemed like Teagan had a habit of biting the inside of her cheek when she was nervous. It was kind of adorable. She wished Teagan would have extended her hand when she introduced herself because honestly, Cara craved the physical contact.]
[font "candara" [#b0c4de "It's nice to finally meet you, Teagan,"] she smiled. Diana had spoken of her before, and Cara remembered seeing her around campus. The woman was hard to miss. It was a wonder someone as beautiful as her was still single. [#b0c4de "I'm Cara,"] she introduced.]
[font "candara" [#b0c4de "Sorry that I'm being so quiet, I just…"] she trailed off. Negative emotions flooded her mind again and she swallowed back the lump that formed in her throat. [#b0c4de "I just have a lot on my mind right now,"] she admitted thoughtfully, glancing at her duffle bag by the door before turning to Teagan once again. [#b0c4de "But that's a story for another day, hopefully with alcohol involved."]]
[font "candara" Cara shifted uncomfortably and continued. [#b0c4de "I'm used to Diana being a sort of buffer for new people for me too, but I promise not to bite unless asked,"] she said with a nervous chuckle. [#b0c4de "So, I've seen you around on campus. Have you decided on a major?"] Cara asked, seeking to start up a conversation with and get to know more about Teagan. She wasn't just physically attracted to her, she was intrigued by her shy nature. Cara wanted to know everything about her, her likes, her dislikes, her passion. She listened intently to her reply before moving on to another question.]
[font "candara" [#b0c4de "Are you a big horror movie fan?"] she asked since that was the genre of Diana's choice for the evening. Cara started thumbing through Diana's DVDs. [#b0c4de "I was never into them myself, but my sisters got me into them recently… though I think it was mostly to have me there to 'protect them' when the scary stuff happened. I guess that's my job as the oldest,"] she said thoughtfully. It hurt to think of her sisters, unsure of when she'd be able to see them again.]
[font "candara" The more she thought about things and the more time she spent around Teagan, the more anxious she became. Cara wished she had her sketchbook with her. Drawing had always been therapeutic... but it was one of the many things she was forced to leave behind. It made her feel even worse thinking about it since she had a strong suspicion the sketchbook was in the burn barrel in the yard...]
[font "times new roman" Seeing the other woman, made her heart skip a beat. She hadn't laid eyes on someone as attractive as Cara before, and a part of herself wanted to just say something, anything. She knew that if she did, it wouldn't come out right, and she needed to keep her cool for the time being. That's when she realized Diana had asked her a question. She shook her head a bit and looked towards the other woman. [#FFBBBB "Sorry, what did you ask?"] she said as she felt her cheeks turn a slight pink. Diana smirked and rolled her eyes.]
[font "times new roman" [b "I asked if you'd be okay if we stayed in tonight. Order pizza, turn on crappy horror movies, or did you wanna go out to the club?"] she asked. Teagan shrugged a bit, as her eyes moved back to Cara. [#FFBBBB "Honestly, I don't want to be around too many people. I just want to kind of relax for the night, unwind and just do whatever"] she admitted. She wasn't in the mood to get all dolled up either. It would take them all hours to even do that, and it was already nearing 9:00 pm anyway. Diana pouted a bit, and crossed her arms over her chest.]
[font "times new roman" [b "You both are party poopers. Fine, I'll make you both a deal. We stay in tonight, and then this weekend we go out shopping, and get Cara here some clubbing clothes, and we go to my favorite club"] she said. Teagan nodded lightly. [#FFBBBB "I don't see anything wrong with that. I'm game"] she said. Diana broke out into a grin, clapped her hands and looked at Cara. [b "I swear to God, you two would have been perfect together a long time ago. I'm gonna go and order the food, and you two get to know each other a bit"] she said walking off into the kitchen.]
[font "times new roman" Teagan wanted nothing more than to deck Diana for what she had said. Just because she had come out as being gay, didn't mean that Cara was either. She looked down at her hands in her lap, and bit the inside of her cheek. What was she supposed to say now? She was at a total loss, and she didn't know what to do. She laced her fingers together in her lap, and tried to wrap her head around everything happening. She had gotten kicked out of her own house, and here she was pretty much mooching off of one of her best friends. To top it all off, she wanted nothing more than to just grab the stranger before her, and do everything you could think of to her.]
[font "times new roman" She bit the inside of her cheek lightly as she looked up at the other woman, and cocked her head to the side. [#FFBBBB "Sorry, I don't know what to say.. I've never really had to deal with something like this alone, and Diana is almost always in the same room with me when I'm meeting new people. I'm Teagan by the way, but you can pretty much call me whatever you want."] she said lightly. The silence was awkward, and she didn't like it at all. She kept her hands in her lap, letting the other speak. She could hear Diana in the other room ordering their food, and she wished she wasn't alone right now, making a total fool of herself.]
[font "candara" Cara knew something was wrong the minute she walked through the front door. Her parents were in the kitchen. They seemed tense and it was as if she'd interrupted a heated discussion. Her sisters were huddled in the living room by the tv as far away from the pair as possible, all slouched down and trying to be invisible. Five pairs of eyes cut to her when she entered the room. Her parents looked irritated. Her sisters looked terrified. Although 16, 13, and 11, the wide-eyed terror made them look like toddlers, especially when their mother broke the silence with a, [b "Girls. Go to your room. Now."]]
[font "candara" They scrambled, careful to hurry, but not run; there was no running in the house. [b "And shut the door."] The order was complied with quickly, yet quietly. No slamming doors in the house either. [b "Sit down,"] her mother said, nodding toward the couch. [b "We need to talk,"] she grumbled. [#b0c4de [i Clearly,]] Cara thought, but didn't say. Her conversations with the woman usually happened that way, with her responses happening mostly in her head. Her body moved on autopilot to obey as it often did. [#b0c4de "What's going on?"]]
[font "candara" [b "We haven't seen Gage around for a while and we need to know what's going on in that head of yours."] Cara wasn't sure where this conversation was going, so she wasn't sure why it felt like her throat was closing. [b "We know he asked you to marry him because he came and asked for your father's blessing. He's a good kid. He comes from a good, well off family. You can tell he likes you. You've been friends for years. I just don't understand why you wouldn't want to marry him. He could be good for you. For this family."] Typical mom. Always thinking about herself.]
[font "candara" [#b0c4de "Guys, I'm working and going to school. I just don't have time for a relationship and… and to be honest, I just don't love him. I don't think I ever have."] They looked shocked at the sudden admission, and if she was being honest, she surprised herself a little, too. The words escaped her lips before she could even think to stop them. She'd thought those words plenty of times before, but she'd never said them out loud.]
[font "candara" [b "I don't understand,"] mother repeated through gritted teeth. [b "You've been together since high school."] And she hadn't had romantic feelings for him then either. She just knew it was what Gage wanted and what her parents wanted. What her mother wanted. She'd honestly thought the feelings would eventually come. They hadn't, and it wasn't fair for either her or Gage. Cara shifted uncomfortably. The topic was breaching dangerous territory. Perhaps these things needed saying, but Cara didn't think she was ready to say them.]
[font "candara" [#b0c4de "You're right. He's my best friend, and I love him as a friend, but that's it. I don't feel anything else. Believe me, I've tried. I just don't."] A look of realization enveloped her mother's features. [b "Stop talking, right now."] She should have. She didn't. [#b0c4de "No. This is what you wanted, isn't it? The truth? Well, here it is: I'm gay."]]
[font "candara" Honestly, Cara was scared. She had nowhere else to go. All of her money was going towards school and she was barely making it as it was. She was still living at home because she couldn't afford room and board. She wished she could take the words back, but saying them, as terrified as she felt, she'd never felt more like herself. It was freeing… right before it was hell.]
[font "candara" A stream of dialogue hit her in an absolute nightmare. A hateful stream of consciousness from her mother: I need you to leave. You're no longer welcome in this house. I wish I never had you. You are tearing apart this family. Unnatural. Unholy. Disgusting. Cara flinched at every new, shouted insult as if they physically hurt.]
[font "candara" It was fine. This reaction is what she'd always expected, always feared. The knot in her stomach grew as her mother made her way to Cara's bedroom. Cara followed without word and without a fight. The room was cramped, with barely enough space for the twin bed and the dresser it held. As small as those four walls were, they always felt safe. Now… she just watched as her mother stuffed armfuls of clothes from all her drawers into a duffle bag. In frustration and a place of pure hate, her mother ripped at the sketches decorating her walls. Cara always hung the ones she was most proud of, and now the shreds of them littered the floor. Her mother trampled them with the rest of Cara's dignity and shoved the duffle into her arms before pulling her out of the room with an iron grip on her wrist.]
[font "candara" Danielle, the youngest, peeked her head through the door to their bedroom and locked eyes with Cara on the way to the living room. The elder sister spoke her name and her mother pulled her away faster. [b "Don't talk to them. They're not your sisters. This isn't your family anymore."] Cara turned toward her father, still standing silent in the living room with his arms crossed. He didn't even look her way. Cara's mother pushed her eldest daughter out the door and slammed it in her face. She stood there in disbelief and heartbreak, and after a few moments, the porch light shut off.]
[font "candara" What broke the heavy, lonely silence was her phone buzzing in her pocket with a text from Diana about hanging out tonight. Though it was a simple invitation to hang out, the small, humane gesture sent Cara spiraling. She could barely see what she was texting back through her own tears. [#b0c4de [i Sounds good. I'll be over in an hour. Think I could crash on your couch?"]] She added that to the end innocently, not wanting to worry her. She would probably think it was so she could get drunk and not have to walk home.]
[font "candara" At this point, she would have called Gage for a ride, but he wasn't her best friend at the moment. Rejection will do that. Though he basically knew she didn't have romantic feelings for him, it didn't make it hurt any less when she refused to marry him. The trailer court was in the middle of town, so Dani's was only a couple of miles away. She'd walked there plenty of times, and it offered a great opportunity to get out all the tears. It was a good thing she wasn't big on heavy makeup.]
[font "candara" She received a response from Diana, which she only knew because her phone buzzed in her pocket again, but she didn't even look at it. There wasn't really a point. She would see her in a few minutes anyway. By the time she reached Diana's front door, she was pretty cried out. She gave herself a once over in the camera on her phone. Besides a slight redness to her eyes, it was barely noticeable that she'd been crying at all. She could just be high as far as anyone knew.]
[font "candara" Cara received a hug at the door, letting the duffle over her shoulder slip to the ground by the door. Somehow, Cara kept her composure and hugged the woman back. She definitely needed that hug and probably held her for longer than necessary. Over Diana's shoulder, the sight of the other woman caught her eye, and she offered a smile and a simple, [#b0c4de "Hey, what's up?"]]
[font "candara" She remembered seeing the woman before, and knew her to be the one Diana wanted to set her up with. Teagan was obviously beautiful, but with Cara closeted, it always seemed like something to be laughed off rather than seriously considered. With the cat out of the bag... well anything was possible now. Cara could finally think about her own happiness rather than keeping quiet to keep her family happy. Her first thought at Diana's invitation was that maybe finally, she'd be able to feel something.]
[font "candara" [#b0c4de "Whatever the plan is for tonight, I'm in,"] she told Diana when they finally broke away. [#b0c4de "I could sure use a distraction."] She nervously sent Teagan another glance before turning her attention to Diana again. [#b0c4de "I hope you don't care if I go in this,"] she said, gesturing to herself in simple jeans and a graphic tee. She hadn't had the chance to grab anything club-worthy from her closet...]
[font "times new roman" [b "Teagan, I need you to come into the kitchen please"] the sound of her father's voice reaching her ears. She bit the inside of her cheek, as she pushed herself up and to her feet. That's not a good sign. She made her way to the kitchen from the living room, and she spotted her parents at the table. [#FFBBBB "Yes daddy?"] she asked when she walked in. The male looked up and crossed his arms over his chest, locking his eyes on his daughters. The silence was getting to her, and she didn't like it.]
[font "times new romna" [b "Your mother and I have been talking. We both feel like it's time you either start dating the man we chose for you, or you need to start talking and tell us what you want to do with your life. We are getting tired of you sitting around the house and moping"] the male snapped. That seemed to sting a little bit. Teagan hadn't heard her father use that kind of tone with her. She moved over to a chair and she sat down. [#FFBBBB "I don't know what you want me to say"] she admitted.]
[font "times new romna" [i "Are you dating anyone right now Teagan? Or are you just wanting to enjoy the single life? Your father and I want nothing but the best for you"] her mother said lightly. Teagan sighed a little bit. It was time she came clean. She didn't want it playing out like this, but what other choice did she have? She took a breath and started talking. [#FFBBBB "Momma, daddy I have something to tell you, and I honestly don't know how to put it all into words. I don't want you hating me though"] she said lightly.]
[font "times new roman" When neither of her parents spoke, that gave her the green light. She took a breath and started talking once more. [#FFBBBB "I'm not dating anyone, because I haven't found the right girl for me.. I know you've taught me that homosexuality is a sin, but I don't see it like that. I see it as loving someone for who they are. I'm not straight like you thought I was. I'm a lesbian"] she said. She looked between her parents, and her father was the first one to break the silence.]
[font "times new roman" [b "No child of mine will be into the same sex as themselves. You need to get a bag, and leave. Right now"] he said. The anger in his voice, and the look in his eyes scared the woman a little bit. She looked towards her mother, and her mother shook her head. [i "I have to agree with your father."] she said her voice cracking. Teagan stood, and put her hands onto the table, looking at both of her parents. [#FFBBBB "I hope you both are happy with yourselves"] she hissed, before turning on her heel and storming out.]
[font "times new roman" She went straight to her bedroom, slammed her door closed and grabbed her duffle bag out of the closet. She heard her phone buzzing, and she walked over to the dresser where it was charging. [b [i Gan! Come on, it's time we get out dance on! Make sure you have your sexy dress, cause we are going to a homosexual bar!]] the message read. Teagan shook her head lightly, as she unplugged the phone from the charger and started typing away. [#FFBBBB [i It's like your read my mind. I need to talk to you though first.]] was all she sent.]
[font "times new roman" She grabbed her charger from the wall, tore open her dresser drawers and started throwing her clothes into her duffle bag. She then found her suitcase, and started packing that up as well. What other choice did she have? She bit the inside of her cheek, trying not to break out into tears. Her parents pretty much disowned her, and that hurt more than anything. She wanted nothing more than to talk to her mother about this, but her mother was against her too.]
[font "times new roman" When she had everything packed up, she made sure her closet was cleaned out too. She then zipped up her bags, and grabbed her wallet. She made sure her bank card was inside, and she walked out of the room. Her mother was standing in the hallway, her hands folded. [i "Please don't be mad at me"] she breathed out. Teagan turned her eyes to her. [#FFBBBB "You were supposed to protect me, not throw me out. You no longer have a daughter"] she snapped, as she brushed past the older woman. Her heart breaking inside of her chest.]
[font "times new roman" She made her way to her car, she then threw her things into the back of the car, and climbed in behind the wheel. She started the car and pulled out of the driveway. She then sent another message to Diana. [#FFBBBB [i I'm on my way over. I'll see you soon.]] was all she sent. She tossed her phone onto the seat beside her, and headed into town. A couple minutes later she pulled up to Diana's house, and she shut off the car and climbed out. She left her things in the car for the time being.]
[font "times new romna" Diana was already standing there with open arms. [b [i "Oh sweetheart, whatever happened I'm sorry"]] she said wrapping Teagan into her arms. She then led the woman into the house, and closed the door. [b [i "I have another friend coming over, it's going to be a girls night"]] she said lightly. Teagan nodded a bit. [#FFBBBB "That's fine"] was all she said. She moved over to the couch, sat down, and the tears started to fall. She was homeless, and broken. Her own parents didn't want anything to do with her, and she didn't have anywhere else to go.]
[font "times new roman" When she got herself under control a little bit, she looked towards Diana. [#FFBBBB "So who's this other friend of yours?"] she asked. Diana smirked a bit and shrugged. [b [i "You kind of know her, but not really. You'll like her though. She should be here soon"]] she said lightly. Sure enough the doorbell rang, and Diana went to answer it. Teagan took a breath, and looked up. Her breath caught in her throat at the sight of the other woman with Diana. She smiled lightly and stayed where she was.]
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