Ep. 04 Rolling Shadows of Night

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Rachel lugged the last of her bags to her room on the fifth floor of one of the dormitories at the Gorham campus of the University of Southern Maine. The bedroom was fairly large, larger than Randy’s dorm at Miskatonic. It had to be, to accommodate the two beds on opposing walls in the room.

The thought of having to share a room for the next nine months, with a total stranger, annoyed her.

“It’ll be just my luck to wind up with some ditzy, skinny, blonde bitch, born with a silver spoon in her mouth and oozing that nauseating ‘party girl’ attitude that’s all the rage,” she had muttered to her mother, when she got the letter stating that her application for a single room had been turned down.

She was ready to give up any hope of being able to study in peace anywhere other than the library. Rachel had resolved to completely absorb herself in her school work, when she couldn’t visit Randy.

The thought of her lover made brought a heavy sigh from her lips. She had only been away from him for two days, and she missed him already. Actually, it had only taken her two hours to miss him. She couldn’t wait until she could run her fingers through his long, black hair. She longed to gaze into his dark, almond-shaped eyes, kiss his lips, see him smile the way he always did when they were together. And she ached to make love to him. She wiped the tears away as she began unpacking.

“If I can just throw myself into my studies,” she told herself, “I’ll be too busy to miss him.”

She knew that she’d have a hard time convincing herself of that, but she felt that she had to try. She could either sit there on the bed in a funk, missing Randy, or start unpacking in a funk, still missing Randy. At least the latter option would put the time to some productive use. She was going to miss Randy, no matter what she was doing. Sighing, she grabbed the first of her bags and hauled it up onto the bed she had decided to claim for her own, and began unpacking, her mind a whirl of thoughts.

* * * * * * *

“Hello?” a soft voice at the door into the hallway startled her out of her lonely thoughts, and her body jerked, spinning around abruptly.

Sorry to scare you like that, m’amie,” the voice said with a heavy New Orleans accent. “This is room five-nineteen, no?”

“Yes,” Rachel sighed again — this time in relief.

“Then I’m in the right place,” the girl smiled, entering the room and extending her free hand. “I’m La’Tonya Morse, and you must be my new roommate.”

“I sure hope so,” Rachel said, betraying her relief. “I’m Rachel Tarunen, pleased to make your acquaintance!” Rachel shook La’Tonya’s hand vigorously.

“Likewise, m’amie! Likewise! I was hopin’ I wouldn’t have to share a room with some skinny white bitch with her head up her bony ass!”

Contrary to her earlier dread, Rachel’s apparent roommate was a large girl — bigger, even, than she was. Her skin was the color of melted chocolate, and her round, smiling face was framed by long, curly hair. Most striking, though, were her large, round green eyes.

“Me too!” Rachel said with a laugh. “So what’s your major?”

“Archaeology, actually; minorin’ in mythology,” La’Tonya said. “And you?”

“Education; I’m studying to be a teacher.”

“Good for you, girl!” La’Tonya said. “When I arrived, you were lookin’ like you were missin’ someone. Got a lucky man waitin’ for you, at home?”

Rachel nodded and handed La’Tonya a picture of Randy and herself together.

“Mmmmm, mmmm!” La’Tonya said. “Now there’s a good lookin’ man. You two look so cute, together.”

She looked up from the photograph, saw Rachel’s downcast face, and gave her a warm hug.

“I’m sorry, m’amie. I didn’t mean to make it harder for you. How far away is he?”

“Just down in Arkham,” Rachel shrugged her shoulders listlessly.

“Don’ mean much, hon,” La’Tonya shook her head. “Me? I’m from N’awlins.”

“About two, two and a half hours,” Rachel explained with a brief, apologetic smile.

“You ‘fraid he’s gon’ fin’ himself somebody new, while you’re away?”

“A little, I guess,” Rachel sighed. “He promised he’d wait, but…”

“He your first, cher?” La’Tonya asked her softly.

Rachel nodded, wordlessly, and La’Tonya smiled, turning the photograph back toward Rachel.

“He’ll wait, m’amie. You can see how much he loves you, in this picture.” Her eyes bored into Rachel’s as she added, “You two will be together again; I just know it deep in my heart.”

“I hope so, La’Tonya . . . I hope so.”

“It ain’t gon’ be easy, cher; I ain’t gon’ kid you. But any man who’s lookin’ like that in your company is probably gon’ love you, even when he’s lyin’ in the grave.”

Rachel found that she liked La’Tonya immediately. She was disarmed by this woman’s easy demeanor and quick wit, not to mention her bright smile. She also had to admit that her new roommate was gorgeous. La’Tonya was dressed simply, but in a way that served to accentuate her ample curves rather than hide them. She admired the way La’Tonya seemed escort bayan kağıthane to carry herself with pride and grace. It was obvious the woman didn’t give a damn what people thought of her. Rachel envied that, in her new friend, and wished that she could be that way.

As La’Tonya lugged her bags into the room, Rachel couldn’t help but notice how she seemed to slink when she walked, how her pants hugged the curves on her wide hips. She found herself becoming a little turned on, much to her confusion. How could she be so aching for Randy, and yet find the tingles of arousal beginning within her as she watched her new roommate move?

Likewise, La’Tonya was admiring Rachel.

“Easy ’nuff to see what her beau sees, in her,” she thought, watching Rachel out of the corner of her eye as she hoisted a bag onto the low dresser. “Them eyes, so deep and expressive…a man could get lost in them, easy. A woman, too, for that matter. And I wouldn’t mind being able to make my hair look like hers, all soft and wavy and sexy, once in awhile!”

She averted her gaze, pretending to be giving the room a good looking-over, when Rachel cast a brief glance at her. Then, looking back at her new roommate, she saw the woman give her a slow, soft smile. She had the cutest little dimples, in her chubby cheeks, when her face lit up like that. ‘Yep,’ La’Tonya thought to herself, ‘this girl’s a doll; too bad she’s attached.’

La’Tonya had always been attracted to women as well as men. In fact, when she had lost her virginity, it had been to her best girlfriend — long before she ever had sex with a man. It wasn’t something that she made an issue of. She didn’t wear her sexuality as a badge of pride, or use it to attract men, nor did she make any effort to hide it. It was simply a part of who, and what, she was. She refused to allow either her sexual preferences — or her race — to define who she was, as a person, and she detested anyone else’s attempts to do so on her behalf.

“Hey — I’m biracial and bisexual; so what?” was her standard response whenever someone tried to put her in a specific mold.

La’Tonya found herself attracted to Rachel almost from the moment she laid eyes on the woman, but it didn’t appear there was much of a chance for anything happening between them — not with Rachel having that gorgeous man in her life. She wasn’t a home-wrecker. Likewise, she didn’t want Rachel’s boyfriend pressuring either one of them into a threesome.

“Not that I’d mind a threesome with the two of them,” she allowed herself the mental chuckle, along with a fleeting image of the three of them going at it. Threesomes could be truly marvelous experiences, but only if they began naturally, spontaneously — never forced. When you forced a three-way coupling, someone was bound to get hurt. She already thought enough of her new roommate — and, by extension, her beau — that she didn’t want that happening. No, she’d settle for having someone like Rachel as a roommate and potential friend. It would make her stay in Maine so much more pleasant.

Of course, if some twist of fate led to Rachel and her man splitting — or even if Rachel showed a bit of interest in some girl-girl magic to ease the lonely nights between his visits, she wouldn’t object. La’Tonya highly doubted that would happen, though; a picture speaks a thousand words, after all, and it was plain to see, in that photograph. ‘The sight’ ran in the women in her family, and she’d seen beyond what most folks would see, in that picture. If there was such a thing as destiny, Rachel and her beau were meant to be together.

“I take it your folks have met your guy?” she asked, as she unzipped the bag and began to shove clothing into various dresser-drawers.

“You could say that,” Rachel sighed plaintively, grabbing the last of her bags and performing much the same task.

“Sounds like there’s a ‘but—’ lyin’ in wait, there, cher.”

“You could say that, too!” Rachel grimaced. “They were polite enough, while he was there. The moment he left, though, they started telling me how much they didn’t approve of him.”

“What?!” La’Tonya asked, incredulously. “Was it his hair, or the tats, or both?”

“That was Mom’s problem. She thinks that just because he has long hair, and plays guitar in a band, he’s bad news. She didn’t get that he’s devoted to his family, his studies, and me. The tats? Well, that was just too much, for her. She’s got this notion that anyone with tattoos is a bad person. Of course, the couple that my dad got, when he was in the military, are some sort of exception to that rule. I guess it’s a good thing she hasn’t seen me naked, in the last few months. I wonder what she’d say, about mine!”

La’Tonya did her best to keep her expression sympathetic, not wanting the delicious little thrill she felt, at learning that her sexy roommate had one or more pieces of skin art, to intrude on the talk.

“And what about your pa?” she asked.

Rachel looked at La’Tonya frankly and said, “It’s because he isn’t white, escort bayan beyoğlu at least not completely.”

La’Tonya’s face contorted with anger. Of all the things in this world worth hating, she loathed racists the most . . . racists of all colors. She’d gotten it from both sides, in her eighteen years of life: white racists hated her because she was part black, and black racists hated her because she wasn’t all black. And most everyone disliked her because, as her mother always said, she was too smart for her own good. Of course, her mother always followed that by telling her to keep it that way, and not to dumb herself down for any reason.

“What about his folks? Do they like you?”

“They all seem to adore me, and the feeling is mutual,” Rachel said with a smile.

“Well, that’s a good thing, cher. You got one family that loves you. Don’ matter, if it ain’t the one you had from birth. You two stay together, they’ll either come ’round, or they won’t. Either way, you ain’t gon’ have to live with ’em!”

“True enough,” Rachel grinned, her mood lightening somewhat.

“Anyways, girl,” La’Tonya said, “we gotta get this place fixed up so we can hit the hay. Can’t be a slacker, now can we?”

Rachel laughed and looked at the clock, which read ’10:00 PM’. “Shit, you’re right!” she said.

The two women finished getting their room ready, passing the rest of the night with small talk before winding down for the night.

* * * * * * *

The week went by quickly, for Rachel. She found that she really enjoyed her classes, and her roommate, La’Tonya, was an absolute delight. Slowly, she began looking forward to the rest of the year. In between classes, she’d check her email to see if Randy got in touch with her, but day after day went by with no results. On Friday afternoon, she tried calling his cell phone, only to get a recording informing her that the cellular number she had dialed had been disconnected. She got the same result when she tried calling his dorm. She began getting worried about him, and hoped nothing happened to him.

As a last-ditch effort, she called her house.

“Have you seen or heard anything, from Randy, Mom?” she asked, when her mother answered the phone.

There was a moment of dead silence, at the other end.

“Mom?” she said, fear creeping into her voice.

“You didn’t hear, did you?” her mother told her, with a heavy voice.

“What’s going on, Mom?” Rachel said, her voice raising in pitch slightly.

After another period of silence, her mother said, “He’s been seeing someone else, Rachel . . . I’m so sorry you had to hear it from me…”

“WHAT?!” Rachel roared. “You better be fucking kidding me, Mother.”

“I wish I were, sweetie,” her mother said with a sigh, “I wish I were.”

“Are you sure it was him?” Rachel asked, desperation creeping in her voice.

“I . . . ” her mother’s voice trailed off. “I found a picture . . . I sent it to your email.”

Rachel ran to her computer and pulled up the email her mother sent. She’d been too intent on seeing a message from Randy, to look at the file of family messages. The photo was embedded, not attached, which explained why it hadn’t shown up in her downloads file. Her eyes went wide and her mouth hung open, unable to form words, as she took in the image on the screen.

“I’m so sorry, Rachel,” her mother’s voice broke the silence.

“I’ve gotta go, Mom,” Rachel said flatly. “Love you.”

Rachel shut the phone off without waiting for a response, then sank on her bed in a daze. After a moment she collapsed, hugging her pillow, and cried harder than she ever had in her entire life.

La’Tonya had just stepped off the elevator when she heard the wail of ultimate anguish coming from their room.

“Mon deiu!” she muttered as she ran to the door, practically ramming it open.

She was greeted by the sight of her friend with her face buried in her pillow, sobbing and screaming into it alternately. “What happened?” she said, stroking Rachel’s hair.

“Check my email,” Rachel managed to croak. She was unable to form the words, to tell her. How could she? She wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t seen it herself, and deep down, she still couldn’t believe it.

La’Tonya walked to Rachel’s desk and looked at her laptop. Outlook Express was still open, as was the message from Rachel’s mother, with an empty subject line. There was a brief paragraph of text, Rachel’s mother explaining how sorry she was that she had to bring this piece of news to her daughter’s attention, and an embedded photograph. The image was a bit grainy, as though taken by a camera-phone, and in poor lighting. Still, there was no mistaking the central figure in the photo as being anyone other than Randy. The skin art on his arm and shoulder were plainly visible. And, as the text indicated, the photo caught him in the arms of another woman. Judging by the pie-eyed look on Randy’s face, in the photo, he was apparently quite drunk. The woman in the photo was the polar opposite of Rachel: skinny, blonde, and dressed like a whore.

“Fils d’une chienne!” La’Tonya cursed under her breath.

La’Tonya stared at the photo, rubbing her eyes occasionally, making the effort to blink. No matter what she did, the photo didn’t change. It was Randy with that stupid look on his face, with some floozy hanging off him with his ear in her mouth. She had to close the window and fold the laptop before she put her fist through the screen.

She moved softly over to Rachel’s bed and sat down on it, putting a comforting arm around her friend.

“Oh, cher,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry…”

Rachel sat up and buried her face in La’Tonya’s chest, her body shaking violently with sobs. La’Tonya stroked her friend’s hair and held her tight, rocking slightly back and forth.

“Just let it out, soeur . . . just let it out, sister,” she whispered. “I’m here for you, girl.”

They sat, thus, for a long time, until Rachel began hyperventilating. La’Tonya gently kissed Rachel’s forehead, her right hand smoothing through her hair.

“Shhh, there, there,” she said, trying to calm her friend down. “Everything’s gon’ be okay.”

La’Tonya felt stupid for saying it, but Rachel didn’t seem to know what her friend was saying. Nevertheless, she managed to steady her breathing and sank into La’Tonya’s arms.

“Why?” Rachel whimpered. “How could he do this? Didn’t I mean anything, to him?”

“I don’t know, girl,” La’Tonya whispered. “I just don’t know.”

La’Tonya kissed Rachel’s forehead again and squeezed her tighter. She was all too aware of Rachel’s body pressed against hers, and was fighting the urge to touch her and caress her more intimately. She wasn’t the type to prey on someone’s grief, and she hated people who did. Still, her pussy was getting hotter; if the body-contact kept up, like this, she was going to have to alleviate matters herself before she did something she’d later regret. Her relief was great when Rachel sat back up and sat away from her slightly, wiping her eyes.

“Thanks for being there for me, hon,” Rachel said. “I just need time to understand all this.”

“Well, I’m here for you, if you need to talk,” La’Tonya smiled softly.

Rachel wrapped La’Tonya in a warm embrace, stroking her back. While La’Tonya was having her internal struggle, Rachel had been fighting urges of her own. The way La’Tonya was comforting her made Rachel want to kiss her luscious lips in gratitude, but she wasn’t sure if it was her grief talking.

“But I was attracted to her the moment I laid eyes on her…what the hell is wrong with me?” she thought to herself. “I’m not a lesbian… am I?”

“It just seems so unlike him,” she said aloud, trying to shove the other thoughts clear of her mind for the moment. “Just before I left Arkham, we were discussing future plans for us. He’s so devoted to his family; how come he wasn’t devoted to me?”

“Well,” La’Tonya said, “I’m sure things will clear up eventually.”

La’Tonya felt Rachel’s hands move lower and lower on her back until they lingered on her hips.

“Ummm, Rach?” La’Tonya asked quizzically.

Rachel looked into her friend’s eyes. She had decided that she wasn’t going to fight her urge anymore. She ran her tongue over her lips, moistening them, and moved her face closer to La’Tonya’s to gauge her friend’s reaction. La’Tonya didn’t move forward, but she didn’t back away either.

“Are you sure you want this, cher?” she asked Rachel.

“I’m not sure of anything right now,” Rachel said simply, “and I’m not in any mood to care.”

Without further warning, Rachel brought her lips to La’Tonya’s. Her friend returned the kiss, after a second or so of stunned inaction. Their mouths opened and their tongues writhed around each other like dueling serpents. Their bodies melted together, for a long moment, their hands deftly exploring the curves of each other’s bodies.

The first tentative embrace ended, and the women pulled apart enough to be able to gaze into each other’s eyes.

“Be sure about this, ma cher,” La’Tonya advised. “Don’ trifle wit’ my heart…”

Rachel leaned closer, close enough that the breath which carried her words was hot in the hollow of her roommate’s mouth.

“All I’m sure of is that I want you . . . badly. I’ve wanted you from the moment I saw you.”

“Same here,” La’Tonya whispered, then kissed her again. “You’re a beautiful woman, Rachel.”

La’Tonya barely finished her sentence before Rachel kissed her again, this time with more confidence. La’Tonya broke the kiss to nibble on Rachel’s neck, causing a guttural moan to escape her throat.

“Take me,” Rachel begged. “Take me now . . .”

The two women twisted and slid, bringing their bodies together on the bed, their legs entwined. Rachel was thankful that the door was within reach, as she stretched over to lock it. With hardly a pause, she resumed devouring La’Tonya’s mouth. As she squeezed her friend’s plump flesh, she understood Randy’s attraction to her body type. Or, was it to his initial attracting, before messing around with that whore? The thought of his betrayal and enraged her, consumed her, filling her with the need to ‘get back’ at him, and thus making her more eager with La’Tonya.

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