Note - last chapter to this story but shortly to come is the third of the trilogy, picking up with St. Trinian's II. Thanks to all the positive reviews, keep 'em coming! Hope you like this *temporary* ending.
Farewell to Trinian's
The final week of school at St. Trinian's is a five day carnival. The all night raves segue into day long celebrations that spiral out all over the grounds. Bacchanalian energies expounded in every direction as the girls braced themselves for going back to the outside world for a month or - in the case of the upper Sixth Form - for life. The prevailing spirit was that of an orgiastic wake.
Kelly was in a meeting with the Headmistress, wrapping up student/faculty business. Belle strolled the grounds, watching as the First Years engaged in a hose and water balloon warfare, distracting (attacking) the more responsible Geeks who were deactivating the thousands of booby traps. Nothing being dismantled, of course, but no one wanted the mechanisms damaged while they lay dormant. Polly may not be coming back next year but she wanted everything ready for her tribe.
Annabelle turned and regarded the aged building. Streamers and flags billowed from every turret and window. The school absolutely throbbed with the heartbeat of music and activity. Girls were hanging out windows, most being dangled by their ankles in an effort to collect outstanding debts and wagers.
"Belle?" Taylor pranced up alongside Fritton, a mischievous glint in her eyes. The Chav had been wasted for 3 days straight now. It was expected - anyone actually graduating was given special exemption from any and all duties. Chloe and Peaches were still passed out on the entryway couch (14 hours now). No one had even seen Andrea.
"No hard feelin's, right? 'Bout the gags and such? Just taking the piss, y'know?" Taylor draped an affectionate arm around Belle's shoulders. She was barely walking straight and Belle had to stagger to keep them both balanced.
"Yeh, regular piss-artist you are." Belle laughed, knowing Taylor was too drunk to catch the insult. She helped her friend stumble back into the main hall. Girls were moving in every direction and a fair number had simply passed out on the ground, presenting a veritable obstacle course that Belle had to navigate with lurching baggage.
"It's just, bagging the Head Girl! Good on you! An not just any Head Girl! Kelly-Bloody-Jones! 'S legendary, innit?" Taylor exclaimed, gesturing wildly for emphasis and almost losing her balance. Belle swung around, catching the Chav before she took them both down.
"I'll put it on my CV." Fritton agreed, wondering just how she could disentangle herself from the inebriated rude girl. Taylor clutched at her shirt for purchase as they swung back the opposite way. Which was a mistake because the shirt could only take so much yanking in any direction. There was the distinct sound of fabric tearing as Taylor hit the ground, leaving Belle standing shirtless in the middle of Trinian's main entrance. She couldn't help laughing down at the collapsed Chav, who was staring in surprise at the torn shirt.
"Oi!" a shout made Belle instinctively turn - still laughing - and she encountered a wall of wetness as Bianca threw a pitcher of ice water straight at her.
"What the - ?" Annabelle demanded in shock, too stunned to realize the clicking sound she heard was a camera shutter.
"You get it? You had to have got it!" Taylor was scrambling up from the floor, quick movement belying her sobriety. She grabbed at the Polaroid camera in Bianca's other hand as it spat out the instant photo.
"Taylor -!" Belle took a threatening step forward, shivering and half naked.
"Oh, that's beautiful that is!" Taylor laughed as she saw the picture appearing. "Give it over, right now!" Belle snatched at the photo but the Chav quickly spun away, staying out of reach.
"Not a chance! 'S my graduation present to Kelly! She wanted a proper portrait!" Taylor waved the picture so Fritton couldn't make it out.
"And that's what you decided to get for her?" Belle lunged forward, trying to tackle the other girl. Missed.
"Course! She's gonna flippin' love it!" Taylor looked almost hurt by the thought. She'd put a lot of thought into how to get this particular picture.
Belle held up her hands in truce. She wasn't going to see the photo by force. She had to know just how bad it was. Taylor arched a suspicious eyebrow but compromised, stepping closer and holding the photo up. Still out of reach but clearly visible for Fritton to see herself: wet, cold, gooseflesh in only a skimpy bra, arms held out in protest and her expression caught between laughter and shock. Her hair was still in motion and she could see the tiny droplets of water glittering on her skin like beads, the lace of her bra more provocative than protective. It was completely exuberant and not a little erotic. Belle swallowed, feeling the color burning in her cheeks. Hell. Taylor was right. Kelly would absolutely adore it. She'd probably make it her Iphone wallpaper.
Belle had completely forgotten that the lead Chav had become the unofficial photographer of St. Trinian's. She did good work and specialized in candid shots. This was probably her best yet.
"It's good, Taylor. Really. I wish it wasn't me but besides that it's beautiful." she admitted, fully serious. The Chav smiled proudly, regarding her own handiwork.
"I wouldn't 'ave thought of it on my own, you know. Course, I came up with the pose. Wanting the pic, that was her idea," Taylor admitted seriously, "She's well into you, Belles. Too deep to breathe I think."
Belle blushed again. She wanted to believe that Taylor was right. Everyone else was so sure of how Kelly felt. Why couldn't Belle have that same conviction?
Two more days after today. Then they all had to go their separate ways. She'd thought, hoped, that by now Kelly would've told her what the future held. If there was a future. But the Head Girl hadn't mentioned anything about what she would do after graduation. No hint about where she would go or when. Belle didn't know if in three days she would see Kelly leave St. Trinian's and the back of her head would be the last she ever saw of her.
Her eyes were starting to sting and she blinked rapidly, refusing to let anyone see her doubt. She felt a reassuring hand on her shoulder. Taylor must've seen the flash of emotion. The Chav showed a moment of sincerity, not teasing or laughing. She just squeezed Belle's arm meaningfully.
"Well, now I have an idea you can help me with." Fritton smiled, setting her jaw firm. She pulled Taylor into a private conversation, leading her away from the chaos and into her confidence.
What few rules existed for the school term completely vanished for this week. No one was safe. At last count 12 girls had wet their beds, 9 had gotten sick from poisoned drinks, 8 were stained with temporary dye, 5 had injured themselves slipping off greased toilet seats, 3 had walked into sheet glass and 2 were covered in stinging red welts from being attacked with rattails in the shower. And that was just the Twins' work.
The older girls tended to attack by tribe. The Chav's set off an explosion of spray adhesive and glitter over the Emo's, turning Janie herself into a disco ball. The Emo's retaliated with a black paint bomb launched into the Chav section of the room. The Eco's found their beds filled with their own high-yield, organic compost. The Geeks amused themselves endlessly by putting new and insulting ring tones on everyone's phones. It backfired a little because Chelsea decided to keep "You're so Vain."
The faculty were targeted mercilessly. Miss Maupassant had already had to sprint naked through the teachers' lounge. Miss Dickinson found herself and her classroom flooded with white wash. Bursar had been knocked out and awakened with his moustache shaved down to a Hitler facsimile. Matron was sick for a whole day because the girls replaced her usual bar stock with Trinski. Miss Cleaver had burst from a water closet and run (pants around her ankles) down the corridor when the Twins fired off several rounds of automatic fire outside the window. Even Flash Harry was a victim - panicking hysterically when the Geeks figured out a way to produce a false positive on Peaches' pregnancy kit.
The Headmistress herself was a special prize. Pranking Miss Camilla Fritton was the gold standard of achievement. The last successful wheeze had been 8 years ago, when Kelly Jones was a First Year and even more dangerous than the Twins. No one was better at avoiding disaster than the Headmistress. She could smell a gag from across the room. Camilla could evade projectiles, move around traps and step over invisible tripwires. She appreciated how hard the girls tried but thus far she'd come through the final week untouched.
Headmistress Fritton stood behind her desk, regarding the Head Girl reclining in one of the leather chairs with a glass of scotch. The entire morning had been the exhausting process of hearing Kelly's report on the year. Camilla always thought she knew what was going on in her school until this final day when the Head Girl filled her in on everything she hadn't known. All the drama, the wars, the injuries and accidents, the business and espionage - all without her permission or comprehension. She only thought she knew it all.
It really was a symbiotic relationship, Headmistress and Head Girl. They each ran their respective divisions of school life, independent yet harmonious with each other. Fritton wasn't so arrogant as to think St. Trinian's was completely under her control. It would be utterly unmanageable without this representative of the student body that managed to keep them in line. They looked out for one another and the school and would always back each other up. Kelly had proven exceptionally effective. Camilla felt she'd been a little spoiled, able to shift more and more responsibility onto the capable girl's shoulders.
"Excellent. Profits from all ventures this last term were up 45%, a record in itself. You've done us proud here at St. Trinian's, Miss Jones." Camilla sat down, sorting and stacking the papers.
"That's part thanks to Belle. She had quite the effect on Flash." Kelly shrugged, enigmatic smile hidden in sipping her scotch. Camilla thought about questioning her but decided she'd probably rather not know. She desperately wanted to avoid the image of Belle affecting Flash - in any way. She liked the spiv well enough, but the thought of him with her flesh and blood . . .she felt a shiver of nausea.
"Leaving Belle for now. What future adventures have you decided to pursue?" Camilla neatly changed the subject, yet both instinctively knew they were still talking about the same thing.
"I've picked the best job offer. Figured I'd get your thoughts." Kelly pulled an envelope from her blouse and slid it across the desk. Camilla raised her brow in surprise. It was a rare show of intimacy for the secretive Kelly Jones to seek her opinion. She opened the letter at the same time a knock resounded on her door.
"Come in!" she called, putting on her glasses to begin reading. Annabelle came in, smiling at them both. She kissed Kelly briefly before settling into the chair beside her. Camilla noticed (from the corner of her eye) that though the two sat apart they held hands.
"It's an excellent offer," Fritton finally pronounced, having read the letter twice, "I certainly can't think of a more appropriate field for the Head Girl that stole a Vermeer."
"You settled on an offer, then?" Belle looked at Kelly in surprise. She'd heard a great deal about all the jobs Kelly wasn't going to take. Nothing about which offers she was considering.
"Government job. It's a month of interviews and assessments before they even pick a position for me." Jones did her best to minimize the honor.
"When will you have to leave?" Belle didn't allow any emotion in her voice. She'd learned from Kelly and she'd learned well. Neither of the other women could really be sure what she was thinking as she processed the information.
"Soon as the term ends. They'll expect me in London Monday." Kelly had the decency to look chagrined with the news she had to deliver. Belle was silent a moment as she digested the statement. Camilla watched in wonder as the wheels spun in her niece's head. Perhaps she'd finally strap on a pair and confront the Head Girl about her feelings? Fritton had nearly given up on the idea of winning the scotch - Belle had proven far too stubborn to give emotional ground first.
"Right," the young Fritton stood up, squaring her shoulders for a hard job, "Kelly, I think this is well overdue."
"What?" Jones stood up, brow raised in expectation. The senior Fritton held her breath. Finally.
"Come again?" Kelly blinked in shock. Camilla knew her mouth was hanging open and couldn't remember how to close it. This was not expected. The Head Girl seemed equally caught off guard.
"Over. As in through. I'm cutting you loose." Annabelle elaborated impassively. She had absolutely no emotion in her voice. It was visible in her face though.
"Belle -" Kelly reached for Fritton's hand but the younger girl stepped away, putting distance between them. Her eyes were hard and focused.
"I'm not barmy, Jones. It's been smashing but it's time to end. You've got a lot of grand adventures to live and I won't be your anchor. A few months of shagging doesn't mean the rest of our lives, right?"
Before Kelly could reply Annabelle fled the room, unable to maintain her dispassionate expression. There were screaming sobs in her eyes and she ran before they broke loose. Kelly stared in stunned horror at the retreating figure. Camilla shot to her feet. These young girls would be the death of her yet!
"Annabelle! Annabelle get back here!" Fritton charged out of her office after her niece. She was far too distracted to notice the trip wire. A bag of white chalk powder exploded overhead, coating the Headmistress in fine white dust. She stood stock still, pausing to compute what had just happened. Girls on all sides were laughing, including Annabelle and Kelly - who'd emerged from the office behind her.
"Told you it'd work!" Kelly laughed, wrapping an arm around Belle's waist. Annabelle buried her face in Jones' collar, choking on her laughter. Camilla wiped the excess powder away from her eyes and blinked at her ghostly white fingers.
"Below the belt, girls. Fully below the belt." she reprimanded but even her stern tone couldn't conceal her pleasure. Her fears over Belle and Kelly's relationship had been put to rest. Plus, no matter that she was the victim, she was deeply proud of her girls for pulling this off.
Kelly woke to bright sunshine warming her face. Belle was in her arms, naked body warm against her skin. Jones smiled, running her fingers along the graceful curves of her spine. She woke up the same every morning: brown curls splayed across her chest, arms around her waist and a leg hooked over her thigh like she was the life preserver in Belle's dreams. How long had she had this bit of heaven in her life? The heist was early November so . . .eight months. At least six of which they hadn't slept a single night apart. Monday morning she was going to wake up alone. She'd go to sleep in a bed other than the double she had shared with Annabelle for eight months and she'd wake up without the sound of her breathing or the feel of her heartbeat. Kelly felt a hollow sickness in her stomach and pushed the thought away, unconsciously holding Belle closer.
Yesterday afternoon she'd heard the sincerity in Belle's voice. Yes, they'd been setting up a wheeze but Annabelle had let a bit of her real feelings slip. She didn't want to tie Jones down or hold her back. Kelly had come so close to answering aloud the silent fear in Belle's eyes. She wasn't an anchor, she was a bloody lifeline. She didn't say it. She couldn't. Kelly Jones didn't make promises she couldn't keep. The coming year was too much a mystery, all Kelly could offer was uncertainties and doubts. It wouldn't be fair to Belle.
A year. A whole, flipping year. How often would they see each other? Kelly would move heaven and hell (child's play compared to moving the 6th Form after a weekend pisser) to spend any and all the time she could with Belle. Would it be a few times a month? Once in a month? Once in a term? For the first time in her life the Head Girl had no plan. She was terrified.
Kelly had long ago learned the twitches and changes of rhythm that indicated Belle emerging from dreams. She placed a kiss on top of the head of curls, squeezing her arm.
"It's morning, hon," Kelly murmured, smiling at the answering grunt, "Come on, Belle. I know you're awake."
"Time 's it?" Annabelle grumbled, burying her face further against Kelly.
"'S early!" the protest was half growl, half whine. Kelly couldn't stop herself chuckling.
"You know when you're sleepy you sound like a Chav?" she teased, feeling the rush of frustrated breath against her skin.
"And when you're awake you sound annoying." Belle countered, sounding more alert already. Kelly laughed and tried to shift out from under the girl but found the grip around her waist tightening and a protesting moan from her sleepy bedmate.
"Now you're just being stubborn." Kelly sighed but surrendered back into the embrace. A few more minutes couldn't hurt. A few more minutes to relax in the most perfect place she'd ever been. Belle felt the relaxation of the body under her and lifted her head to smile up at Jones, giving her a brief morning kiss.
"Can't we just stay here all day? Like after that first night? Just you and me and leave the rest of the world on pause?" she pleaded, eyes soft and emotional. Kelly sighed, the word 'yes' almost slipping past her lips with the breath before she reined herself in.
"I would love that, Annabelle. I wish we could," she emphasized her sincerity, stroking the back of her fingers over Belle's cheek, "But today is too important. The girls need me. Need us both."
Belle didn't answer. She just gave a faint nod of agreement. They lay quietly, trading the occasional kiss or caress as the noises of the school waking up filtered in. Footsteps, curses, shrieks and a distant explosion were all the normal sounds of a St. Trinian's morning. On this, the last day of school, it was eerily still; little more than footfall and solemn murmurs. That's why both girls jumped when Kelly's cell phone went off.
She muttered a curse and looked at the caller ID. If it had been Taylor or any of the Totty she could've ignored it. It might've been Camilla Fritton herself and Kelly would still leave it to voicemail. But it was Polly. The Head Geek didn't call unless it was an emergency.
"Pol?" Kelly answered the phone, meeting Belle's worried eyes.
"You been messing with the Emo drugs again?" the redhead skipped greetings.
"Haven't had any reason. Why?"
"You'd better get to the dorm, Kel."
"What's wrong?" Jones got to her feet, already pulling on shorts and a tank. Belle followed suit, grabbing a wash robe and throwing it on.
"Andrea finally surfaced and she's not right. She's scaring the First Years."
"I'm on it." The Head Girl nodded and snapped the phone off as she pulled the door open. Belle was right on her heels as they raced to the girls' bunks. In the dorm the usual noise and pandemonium was at epic proportions. There were arguments raging in all directions, everyone randomly screaming accusations at each other. Most of the First Years were huddled together in corners, or hiding under beds crying. Taylor and Janie were both turning purple yelling at each other and Kelly could see where they'd already slapped and scratched each other.
"Just tell me what you did!" Janie was demanding, one hand gripping a fistful of the Chav's dark hair.
"Me? It's your lot what probably started it! You screw up your recipes or something?" Taylor had both hands around the Emo's throat.
In the middle of the angry chaos was a figure of calm. Andrea. She was at her bed, packing her suitcase. Her back was to the hysteria. Kelly gave her trademark whistle, the shrill noise forcing silence to prevail through the room. All that could be heard as she surveyed the wreckage was the quiet sobbing from the First Year's crib.
"Andrea, you alright?" Jones strode into the middle of the room. The head Emo turned then and Belle gasped. She'd never seen Andrea without her makeup. Ever. Very few had. The Emo not only had removed all her makeup and piercings, she'd washed the black dye out of her hair. Auburn hair. Who knew? She was normal. She was attractive. It was terrifying.
"'Rea. What's going on?" Kelly quietly asked, real worry apparent in her voice. Andrea didn't meet her gaze, eyes slipping guiltily away.
"My parents are sending me to Uni. Westminster." Andrea admitted, her voice breaking.
"University? With your test scores?" Taylor demanded.
"Shuttup, Taylor!" Kelly instantly rebuked the Chav without taking her eyes off Andrea. The Head Girl was just as baffled. It was expected that the Geeks could get on into any school they chose (mainly by hacking) but Andrea? There was no way the sensitive sociopath would survive a formal institution. The very thought must've traumatized her. She was in shock - but a shocked Emo goes into reverse.
"Just thought . . .you know, it's been grand and all. But, sooner or later . . .I mean, it's all got to change, doesn't it? Can't be a St. Trinian everywhere." the former Emo bit her lip as a tear slid down one naked cheek.
"That's ridiculous!" Janie spoke up and a lot of other girls shouted agreement but were silenced by a leveling gaze from Kelly. They were shaken by the transformation, frightened by the loss of one of their leaders and saddened by the fear in Andrea's voice. Jones had to fix this. She might be the only one who could.
"I understand. If you think this is the best way for you to move on to the next adventure than we'll support you. You're always St. Trinian, no matter where you go."
There was a lot of gasps and squeaks of shock around the room. Janie passed out. Belle had to restrain her smirk. Kelly had a plan, she could see it in the way she folded her hands so innocently.
"Thanks, Kel. Means a lot." Andrea's overflowing eyes were suddenly hidden against the Head Girl's shoulder as she wrapped her in a grateful hug.
"But, I do think you'd be remiss in not taking advantage of the support we can offer," Kelly added, her sly smile concealed from the shorter girl, "This is the version of you that you're ready to show the world? Then how about getting some experienced help in showing them all you can be? I'm sure all the girls would be thrilled to help."
A small wink over Andrea's head drove the meaning home to the bewildered audience. Chelsea and Taylor both lunged forward at the same time, each grabbing one of Andrea's arms.
"She's so right! You look fabulous in auburn, but wouldn't you love some highlights?" Chelsea enthusiastically began playing with her hair while Peaches and Chloe unleashed whole boxes of product.
"And you've got great eyes, yeah? But we can really make 'em pop! What about a smoky liner with some gold sparkle?" Taylor joined in, holding up various colors to Andrea's startled face.
"She really needs some strong color splashes. What about cherry on the lips?"
"Do you still have that medium tone bronze, Chels?"
"If we're doing color let's do all the way! Blonde's do have more fun!"
Belle and Kelly shared a smile as the former Emo fell prey to the attentions of her classmates. She was already strapped to a chair with her head tipped back into a basin as four or five hands came at her face.
"You're evil, Jones." Belle chuckled, taking her hand as they left. Kelly just smiled in satisfaction.
"Yeah. But ten quid says she's back as the bride of death before we're dressed proper."
It was actually during their shower in Kelly's en suite that Andrea's screams could be heard resounding through all of St. Trinian's. She'd seen herself as a Posh Totty. No trauma equals that. By the time Kelly and Belle were dressed and presentable, the head Emo had not only been reborn, but taken her gothic identity to a whole new level. She would show up at Westminster with elaborate black liner all the way from her eyes out to her ears. Parents be damned.
With the crisis averted the girls began to remember the meaning of the day. Particularly as the sound of cars pulling up the drive became continuous. Parents and taxis were all lining up outside the main entrance, each with a specific girl to shuttle back to the world of rules. In the early afternoon, Kelly stood at the entryway, watching her charges march away with the air of condemned men going to the gallows. Camilla Fritton had to put on a brave face, smiling and laughing with the parents. Jones had no such obligation. She openly scowled at the people who would never understand a St. Trinian girl.
"Kel." two synchronized voices at waist height attracted the Head Girl's attention. She smiled down at the Twins, feeling a sudden swell of emotion that she had to swallow down.
"Ready to be off, girls?" she smiled brightly down at them. They looked up at her with somber, weepy eyes. In one year she'd mentored and taught them more than they could've dreamed. It was impossible to imagine coming back next year and not finding Kelly there, ready to correct their miscalculations or order destruction.
"Our mum's here . . ." Tania began the sentence.
"But we have a gift for you before we go." Tara finished.
Kelly raised a curious brow. What on earth would TnT want to give her? The twins waved at the garage and a group of First Years wheeled out a motorcycle. Jones stared, clenching her jaw to keep it from dropping. A Triumph. Not just any Triumph. The triple. TRIPLE. In stunning jet black that gleamed menace in the sun.
"It'll get you wherever you need to go." Tara explained, smiling as she saw her idol speechless.
"And it'll get you home again too." Tania chimed in, not realizing just how much emotion the comment held. Kelly looked down at the girls and smiled, feeling the tears stinging in her eyes. She knelt down on one knee, putting a hand on each Twin's shoulder.
"You don't have to bribe me to come back. I'll always come home, right?" Kelly stated firmly. The Twins looked ready to cry and Jones mercifully tugged them both into a tight hug, letting them shed tears on either shoulder. They cried shamelessly, small arms clinging to her neck.
"St. Trinian's is always home, Kel." Tania emphasized as she pulled herself together and stepped back.
"For all of us." Tara agreed. Kelly nodded understanding and rose to her feet, watching them off. The Twins threw their trunks into the family car, paused to hug Belle goodbye, then were bundled into the back of the Bentley by a uniformed driver. Annabelle came and stood beside Kelly, watching as the Soprano's were driven away, their twin faces staring out the rear window and waving. Both the older girls waved until the car was long out of sight.
Sunday afternoon Kelly and Belle stood outside Trinian's entryway, unable to break the contact of their hands. They'd had all of Saturday together, quiet, without distractions and mostly without clothes. St. Trinian's was empty of students. Belle herself would be staying with her aunt through the summer break. Kelly was the last to leave.
They both stared at Kelly's Triumph, wishing some miracle might save them from this moment. Jones had exchanged her normal Trinian's uniform for black jeans and a leather biker jacket for the trip. She knew Annabelle had been putting on a brave face for the past few days - and would continue to do so - so that she wouldn't feel guilty. Smiling brighter and laughing louder was a sure mask of pain. Kelly pulled Belle into a tight hug, holding the smaller girl as close as she could and almost forcing the air from their lungs.
"It's not forever. We can talk. Don't think you can get away from me so easy." Belle murmured, leading her closer to the bike and kissing Kelly's cheek. Unable to tear her lips away she trailed feather-light touches over her face and ear. She could feel Jones' breath shiver.
"I'd expect as much, Fritton. Just remember, I'll be working for the government now. Means I'll be watching you - all the time." she smiled playfully.
"I'll have to make sure to put on a show." Belle winked, tongue running provocatively over her lips. Kelly's mind immediately filled with cameras, tv monitors and after-hours performances. She grinned, capturing the teasing mouth with her own. Jones leaned against the motorcycle, hands resting comfortably on Belle's hips as she slid between Kelly's legs.
"I have something for you." Kelly broke away, gasping for air, skin flushed and her heart racing. Belle was in much the same state and only managed to lift her eyebrows in askance. Kelly pulled the article from her jacket pocket and pressed it into the other girls' hand. Belle felt leather and metal in her touch. She opened her fingers and saw Kelly's favorite choker. The one with the padlock that she'd been wearing the first day they met. It had been a favorite accessory for them both. Belle blushed, fingering the torn end of the band and remembering the night she'd bit through the leather.
"I do for you, too." Belle lifted the flap on one of the motorcycle pouches. Yes, there it was, just as she'd left it the day before.
She pulled out the book bound with buttery black leather and handed it to Kelly. Jones thumbed through the pages, eyes finding endless pictures of their time together at St. Trinian's. Belle had begged Taylor for help and it turned out most of the pictures of the two of them had all either started or ended up on the Chav's computer. Their first kiss. First morning at breakfast, avoiding awkward eye contact and blushing. Cuddling on the couch in the student lounge. Having a playful scrimmage on the hockey pitch. Kissing in the showers. Playing poker with the Twins. Special intimacies, meaningless moments, a whole relationship in all its impact and triviality captured on film and pressed into a leather folio.
"So you remember to come back." Belle explained softly as she saw Kelly's finger stroking one of the pictures. It was the two of them dancing on the roof. Kelly looked up at her, eyes brimming with emotion. I love you. The Head Girl wanted to say it. Desperately. But how could she, knowing she had to leave? Say the words and she'd have to stay. Much as she wanted to stay she knew they needed a future. She was going to go find it. She would find a life for them both and come back to fetch Belle and take her into the rest of their lives.
Jones cradled Belle's face in both her hands, thumb stroking her cheek. There were three words screaming to slip out her lips. Somehow, in the flashing hazel of Annabelle's eyes she saw understanding. They both knew the words. Kelly slid onto the bike and started the engine before pulling Belle down into a final, tender kiss, etching the taste and texture of Belle's mouth into her soul.
"Do me a favor?" Kelly begged, mouth a breath away.
"Anything." Belle nodded, licking the taste of Kelly from her lips.
"Go back inside. I can't leave if I know you're watching me go."
"Please?" Kelly's plea was a whimper. Belle swallowed the knot of emotion in her voice.
"Ok. I'll go." she finally nodded and straightened up.
"I'll be back." Kelly whispered. Three words. I love you.
"I'll be here." Belle nodded. I love you. With that final message Fritton turned and walked steadily into the school, hearing the roar of the motorcycle engine as it sped away. Neither would see their lover's tears.