Jen’s had a tough year. Her mother’s sudden passing has created a void in her life and she’s uncertain how to carry on. Thankfully, Alyssa’s there to ease her pain. Originally an online chatroom acquaintance, Alyssa’s becomes the most important person in Jen’s life. She’s fallen for her -- but they live on opposite sides of the world making a real relationship impossible. Or is it?
Jen knows she must make changes in her life and an invitation to visit Alyssa could be the break she needs. Could her online love affair finally become a reality? Could she hold Alyssa in her arms and stay with her forever?
“You’re going to have so much fun. Go ahead and get drunk, dance like a teenager, and have a blast. Let yourself go, Jen. You deserve it.”
Jen giggled. “I will, I’m sure. I mean, I won’t have a choice with David and Graham’s gang there, and Claire will feed me alcohol non-stop. She always does. It’ll be a riot.”
“Good.” Alyssa leaned closer to the screen, her wild curls falling over her face. “Exactly what you need,” she said, pushing her hair back.
“Definitely is. There’s nothing quite like a wedding to make the world seem like a good place, and you need that.”
“After this year ... I think I do,” Jen agreed.
“Uh-huh. So, have you sorted out what you’re wearing yet? No? Come on, girl, the wedding’s this weekend.”
“I know, I’ll buy something. I will.”
“You’d better.” Alyssa grinned, nose wrinkling. “Only two more shopping days left. You’ll have to pop out in your lunch hour.”
“Or you could wear that silver dress with the low back and sequins. That’s sexy.”
“And they’ve all seen it before. New Year, three years ago.”
“I’ll go shopping.”
Jen smiled and touched Alyssa’s image on the screen. Make-up free, with untamed hair, she still looked stunning. Her eyes were the richest chestnut, shiny as polished conkers, nestled beneath thick dark eyebrows with a natural arch. Her lips, pale without their customary coat of dark red lipstick, were full and soft. Alyssa was beautiful. Jen pictured waking up to her every morning, seeing her eyelids flutter open, her smile light up her face. She imagined rolling over to kiss Alyssa’s soft caramel skin and breathing in the delicate aroma of her coconut moisturiser. She dreamed about kissing her lips -- longed to kiss them. She was the most attractive woman Jen had ever met, or not met if your tally only included face-to-face encounters.
“Penny for them.”
Jen sighed. “I was imagining being with you, right now.”
“Kind of glad you’re not,” said Alyssa. “I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet.” She slapped a hand over her mouth and crumpled on the bed, snickering.
“I don’t care. I want to dive under the duvet with you, kiss you, hold you. I want to make love to you.”
“Umm ... yes. Damn it, Jen, why do you have to live so far away?” Alyssa pouted. “I’m visiting you next year. I am. I’ve looked up flights and I’m putting money aside.”
“You’re always welcome. I ... erm ... can I still visit you?”
“Yes.” Alyssa leaned forward. “Definitely, yes. Come whenever -- come today.”
Jen snorted. “Love to but ... not possible, sorry.”
“I like the idea of visiting, though. Soon, I mean. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I’ve never been to New Zealand and it’s time I put that right. It looks amazing.”
“Nothing to do with me then?”
“Nothing at all.” Jen smirked and Alyssa wagged a finger at her.
“Seriously,” said Alyssa, flipping back curls of hair that had covered her face again. “If you’re coming over, make it a long holiday. You have to see everything. And you should fly to Brisbane to see your sister.”
“I don’t know about that, Brisbane’s still a long way from New Zealand. It’s not exactly a day trip.”
“Who said anything about a day trip? You’ll want at least a month with her and Brisbane’s a lot closer to New Zealand than to the UK. You need to fly across.” Alyssa frowned and leaned closer. “Jen, sweetheart, you could book the trip today if you wanted to. Some of it, all of it ... Just book a flight to Brisbane if you’re worried about coming here.”
“I’m not. I want to visit.”
“Then what’s stopping you?”