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AUTHOR’S NOTE: This short series is both a prequel and a sequel to Heather’s Busy Week (HBW). It is not, however, the immediate follow-on, and can be read independently (although new readers are more than welcome to try out the first series!!). Heather’s Hectic Weekend, picking up where HBW left off, will follow in the not-too-distant future.
(Michaelmas Term 2001)
Heather saw the sign on the departmental notice board, a week into her final year at university.
ARE YOU A WOMAN WANTING TO TRAVEL THE
WORLD? KEEN TO MEET NEW PEOPLE AND
EXPERIENCE DIFFERENT CULTURES BUT . . .
AFRAID OF THE HORROR STORIES YOU READ
IN THE DAILY MAIL!!
EVER THOUGHT OF TRAVELLING IN NUMBERS?
COME MEET IN THE UNION BAR (FAR LEFT
CORNER) THURSDAY 11TH AT 8PM.LIKE-
MINDED WOMEN WILL BE THERE INCLUDING
GRADUATES FROMTHIS UNIVERSITY WHO WENT
OUT AND DID IT!!
LISTEN – DISCUSS – ASK – LEARN
JOIN UP FOR NEXT TIME!!
Fresh from summering in Kettlewell, the idea of seeing the world seemed great. It also seemed to be the perfect time to start planning. Heather had considered travelling before, without doing anything to make it happen. The closest she’d come was to sound out Mary Rose when they’d had a week away together in Majorca, last July. Since then, things had changed.
Oh yes, hadn’t they just!
Last July, fuelled with sangria and pina colada, Mary Rose had been all for it. This July they’d had ten days in Ibiza and Mare had already been head-hunted, more than a year before she graduated from her ivy-walled university. And by a classy City of London law firm at that, not some provincial hicks. She had a start date and was, to say the least, hot to trot. The alternative . . . months on end sharing a tent with a sweaty girlfriend and two pairs of hiking boots . . . was so not going to happen it didn’t get mentioned.
The meeting on the eleventh drew about fifty women and half a dozen blokes (the blokes presumably either couldn’t read or had just come to look at the talent). Heather knew several of the females from her various sporting activities. She also recognized faces from LGBT and other, less formal “women’s groups”. But, as far as she was aware, most of the attendees were straighter than straight. So maybe breaking away from the undergraduate boyfriend was a factor for some of them.
And weren’t there a lot of overseas students there, wanting to travel!
For that first meeting Heather was happy to just sit and listen while others asked, several discussed and quite a few pontificated (which hadn’t even been on the list!). About the only thing she and anyone else learnt that evening was that a whole year travelling wasn’t going to come cheap. The world might have become a global village, but it seemed to be a very expensive village to travel through.
She almost didn’t bother going to the follow-up meeting a fortnight later. The expense wasn’t a worry (Dad would fund that, out of her inheritance), it was the thought of having to listen to the same bunch of timewasters going over the same ground. Again. And again and again. In the end it was Edith who persuaded her to go. And just as well, seeing as this time there were only eighteen attendees, all of them female, all of them reasonably serious about joining up. This time there were plenty of sensible, practical questions, tons of constructive discussion and much felt to have been learnt. Heather was one of the fifteen converts who signed up there and then, on the dotted line.
Meetings continued fortnightly up until Christmas, with attendances varying from as few as a dozen up to twenty-five, as new prospects arrived late and others dropped out. The last get-together of the year happened early December, in a Union Bar decked with tinsel and holly. Roy Wood and Noddy were there on the juke box, goodwill was thick in the air. At that point there were two organizers and ten others irrevocably enlisted. The biggest matter in hand had been deciding between travelling in three teams of four or two teams of six. By then they had all got to know each other and the debating was warm and humorous.
Normally the meetings lasted an hour or so and ended with everyone drifting away. That one finished with festive drinks at the bar; heaps and heaps of festive drinks. Enough to make a crowd of already relaxed students chilled to the bone; enough to lead Heather into making an inappropriate suggestion to the best-looking of her would-be companions.
Although she didn’t get her face slapped, Heather had been left in no doubt her approach was not welcome . . . which was a crying shame. Ingrid was truly scrumptious and had come to the first couple of meetings with Rachael, the driving force behind a very high profile “Girls’ Society”. Someone with connections like that should have found her suggestion very appropriate indeed, considering the time of year.
Leaving the Union, Heather made her way along semi-lit corridors, eventually rus escort arriving outside Edith’s suite of laboratories. Or, rather, the suite of labs where Edith spent most of her waking hours.
Blooming Ingrid, she thought, still smarting from her rejection. She shouldn’t be allowed out and about looking like that. Not when she’s hetero.
The labs were subject to varying degrees of security. The way Heather understood it, the deeper you went in, the harder it got to proceed. And, of course, Edith was bound to be buried somewhere in the deepest depths, protected by locked doors, CCTV and goodness knew what else.
‘She’s probably splitting atoms,’ Heather murmured. ‘So it’s probably for the best.’
Edith was actually a research chemist (“Good at Stinks,” as Mary Rose would have put it). She often worked into . . . or through . . . the night, losing track of time and forgetting to eat or drink. As her self-appointed mentor, Heather often turned up unannounced, ready to call time.
The first security barrier wasn’t a problem. Heather knew the code and tapped it into a keypad on the wall. And open sesame! The lock clicked and she let herself into a deserted reception area. A quick glance at the sign-in sheets verified her assumption was correct: everyone else had long since gone home, leaving Ede in here on her own.
Heather went to the next barrier and entered another code, gaining access to a large, relatively low-tech lab. That was as far as she could go unaccompanied. In fact, strictly speaking, she shouldn’t have gone as far as she already had. It was time to phone a friend. But, before she could reach for the nearest internal handset, a door opened and the lady herself appeared, carrying a coffee mug.
‘Oh,’ said Edith. ‘It’s you.’
‘Little me,’ Heather agreed.
‘I’m not going home. Not so early.’ Edith stopped being defensive and sniffed suspiciously. ‘Have you been drinking?’
‘I had a couple of pints after my meeting. It is Christmas, you know. Some of us Earthlings celebrate this time of year.’
‘We don’t do Christmas on Vulcan. It’s not logical.’
‘Hmmm, how did I know you’d say that?’
‘Perhaps it’s because “logic is my byword.’ Edith’s smile transformed her from a stuffy scientist to a very becoming ash-blonde. Like instantly. ‘Smells more like a couple of gallons than only two pints,’ she said. ‘Come on, I’ll make you a cuppa.’
Heather followed her to the kitchenette area, admiring the movement of her body under her stained white lab coat. There had been a time, not so many moons ago, when Edith had dressed sloppily. Now, thanks to lots of input from her mentor, she’d abandoned her baggy, shapeless jeans and sweatshirts and switched to tight Levi’s and skimpy T-shirts. Or, as she was tonight . . . and better by far . . . short skirts and skimpy T-shirts.
‘You’re looking good tonight, Ede. Good enough to eat.’
‘Behave yourself, Hev. I’m busy.’
As if a mild objection like that was enough to put off a hot-blooded female! Heather wrapped her arms around the researcher from behind and pulled their bodies together. Meeting no resistance, she slid her hands inside the lab coat and up, onto a lovely pair of big bazoomas.
‘Mmmm,’ she crooned, ‘nice, nice, nice!’
‘Not in here,’ Edith gasped, making no physical attempt to stop her.
‘Why not? There aren’t any cameras in this bit.’
‘There are lots where I’m working,’ said Ede, practically as well as doggedly. ‘And they are monitored. Someone will come to check if I’m not back soon.’
‘It’s nice to know they care.’
‘Hev! You can’t . . .’
‘Don’t worry. I’ll be quick.’
For once Heather wasn’t exaggerating. In a matter of moments Edith was perched on the worktop, lab coat open, skirt pushed up, legs splayed and knickers nowhere to be seen.
‘I don’t believe I’m doing this,’ she said, gasping some more.
Ignoring the insincere protests, Heather brought her tongue into play, using it to lash Ede’s clit while she inserted rigid fingers into her sopping-wet fanny.
Mmmm, wet, wet, wet! And nice, nice, nice!!
And good grief, wasn’t this exciting! There was something febrile about shagging in a semi-public place, knowing Security could be along to investigate any minute; something febrile and very, very arousing.
‘Yes, yes, yes!’ her willing victim endorsed. ‘Omigod, yes!’
Heather’s timing was awry but she didn’t worry about cumming first. Oh no, not sparing her saturated thong one thought, she drove the other girl to a simply massive climax then supplanted her fingers with an equally rigid tongue.
And finally Edith wimped. Pushing Heather away, she hopped off the worktop, landing on ever-so-slightly wobbly legs.
‘Enough,’ she said, chuckling breathlessly as she smoothed down her skirt. ‘Whatever’s got into you?’
Heather frowned. Edith was right to ask. She was renowned for losing her self-control, but it was rare for her to kick yenimahalle escort off without some sort of a warning. Guilt flooded through her, joining the adrenalin that was still filling her veins.
Good grief, she chided herself. I as good as molested her. In fact I did! I molested Ede!!
Except it was worse than that, wasn’t it? Even worse. Unfamiliar with rejection, unable to cope, she’d come here seeking a shoulder to cry on. Not that she could admit it now. Not after she’d behaved like an adolescent boy, turned down in one direction, mulishly determined to get a result in another.
Hmmm, she thought, not much to be proud of about that, is there? I’ll have to pay penance later, when I’m alone.
‘We haven’t shared a bed in ages,’ she said out loud. ‘I desperately need to rub my body parts against yours. And you haven’t given me my Chrissie present yet. It was all too much for me to bear.’
‘Knickers,’ said Edith.
‘Well, you have given me a present now, obviously . . .’
‘Knickers,’ Edith repeated, pointing. ‘They’re behind you.’
‘So they are.’ Heather retrieved the slightly soggy panties from the floor and handed them over. ‘You shouldn’t work so late, anyhow,’ she went on, watching her friend as she straightened the rest of her clothing.
‘Does that mean you’re doing your caveman act again?’ Edith was grinning. She looked as if she’d forgotten all about her test tubes and Bunsen burners. Or mass spectrometers . . . or whatever.
Heather returned the grin. ‘Is that what you want?’
‘It might be,’ said Ede. ‘Within reason.’
‘I’m not going to club you over the head,’ Heather assured her. ‘And I’ll drag you home by the ear, not your hair . . .’
(Lent Term 2002)
January’s meeting was, like the month itself, depressing. One of the organizers had badly broken her leg skiing and might never walk again, never mind travel. The other had “somehow got pregnant”. And the ten enlistees had dwindled down to just eight. Carol, the somehow-pregnant organizer, said she wanted to stay involved on a non-travelling basis. She also said it was time to consider “expectations and resources”.
Going around the group it turned out this was something that should have been considered long ago. While everyone expected to travel for at least a year, only three could convincingly claim they could afford it. Worryingly, even at that late stage of play, a couple of the less solvent seemed to think they could get by through picking the odd bunch of grapes every now and again.
Heather had been feeling contrite about her faux pas all over the break. Well, she had once she’d stopped fantasising about Ingrid changing her mind, which took over a week and used up two sets of batteries. She’d come to the New Year’s first meeting determined to apologize. As everyone started to drift away she made a bee-line for the scrumptious blonde, only to be beaten to the punch.
‘I’ve felt awful ever since,’ Ingrid began. ‘I honestly don’t know why I went off on one like that. It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before. Because I’m Rachael’s friend people assume . . . well, you know.’
‘I do,’ Heather replied. ‘And I did make assumptions. That’s why I asked so many leading questions. To make sure I wasn’t stepping on any toes before going for the festive . . . pickup line.’
‘And I didn’t understand everything you were saying.’ Ingrid suddenly laughed. ‘Not until you got onto mistletoe and Santa’s Little Helper.’
‘What can I say?’ Heather tried a disarming smile. ‘I was trying to be seasonal.’
‘You were certainly that! I told Rachael about it and she was dead jealous. She said I must have been sending out all the right vibes without knowing. Or should that be all the wrong vibes?’
‘They felt all right to me at the time.’ It was Heather’s turn to laugh. ‘What a shame we were talking at cross-purposes. Well, a shame for me, not for you. You should consider yourself lucky we found out here in the bar, not somewhere else. Given a little more privacy I might have tried to stick my tongue down your throat. That really would have spoiled your Christmas.’
‘You are a dark horse, aren’t you?’ Ingrid continued. ‘Every man in the university wants to get into your knickers, and all the time you’re the Girls’ Society’s number one pin-up.’
Heather was chuffed, mostly about being the Girl’s Society pin-up, but also about the “every man” bit. The way she saw it, being bisexual doubled her chances at parties. And being reassured she was in demand by both camps was never a hardship. ‘Who told you that?’ she wondered. ‘Rachael?’
‘Yes, she’s been telling me all sorts of things I’d never have guessed at.’
‘You’ve known her a while, then?’
‘We went to school together, although we weren’t best mates or anything. I didn’t even know we were at the same university until halfway through the first term. And it bowled me over when she said she’d joined LGBT. I’d never really suspected before. Well, not really. Not that it made her a different person. I wasn’t going to shun her. In fact I’m more of a friend now than I ever was at school. I’m even starting to think being a gay woman is rather sexy. I’m just too much of a scaredy-cat to try it.’ Ingrid took a weighted pause: ‘Not even with the number one girls’ pin-up.’
The depression of January continued through two meetings in February and bloomed into full doom and gloom in March, when the eight remaining wannabes had agreed to produce physical evidence of their means.
Evidence of means! Heather had never had to do anything like that before and hadn’t been sure how to go about it. Not smoothly and professionally, anyway. In one of the early meetings fifteen thousand pounds had been mentioned, and more recent talk had revolved around similar sums. But to actually prove she could afford it . . . and that she had reserves to cope with unforeseen emergencies. In the end she’d telephoned Dad and got him to transfer some of his/their money between accounts, hoping she’d gone for big enough numbers.
At the meeting Carol acted as judge and went round the group one by one. Heather was perversely glad to go first in this embarrassing ordeal.
‘I haven’t prepared a speech,’ she said. ‘I just bought statements and stuff.’
She passed Carol that morning’s print-out of her current account, which now included her dad’s transfer. The balance was more than fifty grand to the good. Carol gave it a casual once-over then blinked and had a closer look.
‘There’s a big credit gone in last week,’ she said. ‘What’s that?’
‘You mean the forty-five thousand? That’s my anticipated budget, in case we overrun twelve months. If I spend that, I’ll have to top up from my deposit account.’ Heather held out her other statement but Carol didn’t bother taking it.
‘No need,’ she said. ‘I’ve seen enough. You could probably stay out there for five years if you wanted. Let’s move on to Ingrid.’
Heather looked at the rest of her “evidence” and sighed. The balance in the deposit account was a bit of a swizz; most of it would be safely back in Dad’s vault next week, but it looked good with all those noughts. And she’d had the platinum AmEx card for over two years; it would have been nice to use it for once.
Ingrid’s inspection didn’t take long either. She handed a bank statement to Carol who looked at it before handing it straight back, saying: ‘You’re obviously flying First Class BA with Heather, sipping Moet all the way.’
The next two girls took ages. Each had a bank statement that didn’t impress Carol and a fistful of credit cards that made her cringe. ‘It’s fine to use credit cards while you’re away,’ she said. ‘But they need to be paid off every month. If you can’t pay them now, how are you going to keep them up to date when you’re in India?’
Number five produced a bank statement that failed to make Carol blink, supported by a letter from her parents guaranteeing any spending up to ten thousand pounds. Carol suggested she’d best get her mum and dad to re-address their guarantee to Barclays; hopefully they would write back confirming she had a large, uncancellable overdraft for the duration.
Six turned out to be another with no cash and a pile of plastic while seven, for unspecified reasons, folded without showing her hand. The one moment of brightness was provided by number eight, Jade, whose bank statement must have been so-so and whose back-up made Carol chuckle. With the girl’s permission, the back-up was passed round. Printed on gaudy purple paper, it was a pay-slip showing net earnings of eight hundred pounds for last week. On closer inspection it turned out the employer was a well-known men’s club in the city centre.
‘Sneer if you want to,’ Jade said, ‘I don’t care. I didn’t like doing it to begin with, but now it’s quite fun. And my student loans are all paid off. I’ll be leaving here with a degree and money in my pocket. And I bet I’ve sat on less cocks than most of you lot.’
‘I’m not sneering,’ Ingrid said, ‘far from it. But what is it you actually do?’
‘Some pole dancing; lots of lap dancing; the odd massage and a bit of hostessing. It’s all foreplay and no orgasm, most of the time. You should come and try the place for yourself. If you don’t fancy a bit of girl you could always pull one of the male punters. You can bring your BA buddy with you and piles of tenners, but don’t bother with these other diddlers. I can’t believe I’ve kept coming back to suffer them, month after month.’
(Lent Term 2002)
After Jade had gone Carol closed the meeting by telling four of the remaining six potential travellers to seriously consider things over Easter, and to regard the opening April meeting as make or break. She also reminded them they couldn’t rely on HMG (or one of their travelling companions) to bail them out of trouble.
‘I understand this is a dream for most of you,’ she said. ‘And maybe all these weeks of discussions have made it seem even more desirable. But if you can’t afford it now, it’ll still be there next year and the year after. Go work and save up if you have to. Pack shelves, answer telephones, dance round poles . . . whatever; just make sure you can get yourself back once you set out for real.’
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