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MJNet
I said SIT IN THAT CHAIR
I said SIT IN THAT CHAIR
MJNet
I said SIT IN THAT CHAIR
I said SIT IN THAT CHAIR
Joined: May 27th, 2006, 11:48 am

November 8th, 2008, 3:41 pm #21

CHAPTER 21



That same night.
Nikki lay beside Helen under the warm covers unable to sleep. She wasn't sure if it was the excitement of the match tomorrow or the fears she was going through of a more personal nature. What she felt for Kat scared her. She didn't think she would think of anyone else in that way, she thought Helen was it. Then her thoughts changed to what is my life all about? Did my relationship with Helen happen too soon after Trisha, maybe I needed more time to be free and be myself. The thoughts kept going around in her head. And right at that moment even though Nikki Wade knew she loved Helen with all her heart, she also knew she needed some space. Nikki had other things on her mind too, like her parents who wanted to get to know her again, all that crazy stuff with Lorna Rose still haunted her dreams at night she just didn't know what to do anymore. All she really knew right at that time was that she loved football and she was going to do everything to help bring home that world cup. Her tired thoughts were mixed and confused and the more she thought the less positive she became, she turned away from Helen and held onto her pillow, desperately tired and feeling very much alone.
The following morning the noise of Helen moving around the hotel room woke Nikki up. She grumbled under the covers and managed to move her head up enough to see the time on the clock. 6.30am it said. She groaned, her tiredness made her head feel groggy. Nikki closed her eyes and caught another half hours sleep before Helen gently woke her. “Nikki,” she said softly, “Time to get up babe.”
Nikki slowly opened her eyes and could see Helen standing beside the bed wearing a towel. She began to wonder why on earth she had doubts about them settling down together, she was hotter than hot. She gave Helen a weak smile and sat up slowly.
“Hey are you alright?” Helen asked looking at her, “You don't look too good.”
“I didn't sleep very well, must be nerves about the match.” Nikki replied and hoped she would believe that for now.
“I'll make you something to drink, tea or coffee?” Helen asked walking over to the kettle.
“Better make it a coffee.” Nikki groaned softly then layback down.
As she lay there she remembered the tired thoughts that ran through her brain last night, there was no denying she wasn't feeling like herself. She knew she would have to discuss all this with Helen or it would just play on her mind constantly. Kat Slater had opened up a whole can of worms for Nikki Wade and it made her very anxious.
After the first cup of coffee she showered and got dressed in her casual England training suit, the whole team would be wearing them today. The suit consisted of training jacket in blue with white lining on the inside, The England logo on the front. And trousers, which were white. The shoes were black. She looked casual but very smart. Helen suggested they go down to breakfast and join the others, but Nikki needed to get a whole lot of stuff off her chest and she knew if she didn't do it now it would affect her performance on the pitch.
“Helen I need to talk to you.” She said stopping her from exiting the room with her words. “We can talk over breakfast, come on we'll be late.”
“No, Helen this is important I need to talk you now, here in private.”
Suddenly Helen felt anxious; she walked back towards her and put down her bag. “Nikki what is it?”
“Come and sit with me.” She said sitting back on the bed. Helen sat on the side of the bed and turned to face her.
“okay.” Helen said as she waited.
“It's about me.” Nikki began. “I love you Helen, with all my heart but I'm not sure if I am ready after all for settling down. I need some space to sort out what I want.”
Helen's stomach did a million flips. She found herself unable to comprehend what Nikki had just said.
“Helen?”
“I heard.” Was all she could manage to say.
Nikki didn't know what to do. She didn't know what to say. She knew her words had immediately struck Helen like a bow to her heart and she could see it was slowly breaking.
“Nikki, I thought we were happy?” she said and her eyes were beginning to water.
“It's me Helen. Its something I have to figure out on my own. Its not you.” Nikki said and she leant forward and took Helen's hands in her own. Helen didn't understand, this had come at her out of nowhere. “Is there someone else?” Helen was so scared of the answer but she had to know. “No Helen, there is no one else. I just need to be alone for a while.”
“So do you want me to leave now?” Helen's eyes were filling up with tears. “Of course not.” Nikki replied urgently, “I want you to stay with me through the world cup. We just need to take things a bit more slowly.” Nikki knew she wasn't making much sense but her feelings of late were so confusing and mixed up she couldn't make any sense of them either. “I need you here, as a friend.”
“A friend,” Helen barely spoke the word, it came out as a whisper.
Helen stood from the bed removing her hands from Nikki's and she picked up her bag. “Helen where you going?”
“I need to think.” She said. “You go on ahead without me. I'll see you at the ground.” And with those words she was gone.
Nikki sat back on the bed and felt remorseful. She already felt lost without Helen, she was wishing she hadn't said anything. Helen had taken it badly, like their relationship was over, but all Nikki needed was a bit of space. Nikki felt from Helen's reaction that she had lost her. “Sh*it” she cursed to herself. “What have I done?”

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MJNet
I said SIT IN THAT CHAIR
I said SIT IN THAT CHAIR
MJNet
I said SIT IN THAT CHAIR
I said SIT IN THAT CHAIR
Joined: May 27th, 2006, 11:48 am

November 8th, 2008, 3:41 pm #22

CHAPTER 22


All the emotions locked inside Nikki flooded out in bitter and angry tears. She was angry with herself for feeling the way she did and most of all for hurting Helen with her words. The pain made an ache in her heart that was unbearable and right at that moment Helen was feeling the exact same pain.
Helen had got a cab across town to the park. She needed to think, so she needed to walk. Usually when things looked this bad she would walk and think things over in her head and suddenly it would all become clear. She walked and walked. She went over what Nikki had said but it still sounded like rejection.
The team arrived at the stadium at around midday. Nikki was with them and anxiously looking around for signs of Helen. When there were none her heart sank. “Nik you alright mate?” Denny asked. “Yeah I'm fine.” Nikki replied and it was obvious she wasn't. “Whatever you say man,” Denny replied walking off. If Nikki didn't want help she wasn't hanging around for her to tell her to piss off. Which was usually what happened.
They all walked into the changing room and awaited manager Karen Betts. She was due to give the team there talk. Kat Slater had noticed Nikki was looking a little under the weather, she walked over to her, Nikki was leaning over with her head in her hands. “Nikki.”
“Uh?” Nikki looked up, when she saw who it was she sat up straight. “What?”
“I was just thinking you don't look too good, are you okay?” Kat asked concerned. “I'm fine. Just a little nervous.”
“You nervous, get out of here!” she smiled at her.
Nikki couldn't help but smile back the woman was so cute. “Yeah well Captain's get nervous too.” Nikki reminded her.
“Are you sure that's all it is?” Kat asked. “I'm a good listener if you need someone to talk to.”
“Thanks for the offer, I might take you up on it sometime.” Nikki replied.
At that moment Karen Betts walked in.
“Okay team I want you all ready in 5 minutes for the briefing.” She shouted out to them all. She had to shout because the chattering and noise was so loud. “Is that clear?”
“Yeah, yes, yes Miss Betts, eye Karen.” Came the various replies from around the room. Nikki wasn't one of them.
She left the room and as she walked into the corridor she could see Helen Stewart looking a little out of it. “Hi Helen,” she called to her and caught her up. “Hi.” She said, her voice was quiet. “You ok?”
“No not really.” She said honestly.
“Anything I can help with?” Karen smiled.
“Sadly no.”
“Oh.” Karen replied, “well do you fancy coming for a coffee after the team briefing?”
“Sure.” Helen replied. She hadn't really got anything better to do.
“Meet you in the canteen in about half an hour then?” Karen said as Helen began to walk away. “Hey would you like to come along to the briefing, maybe give some input?”
“I don't think so Karen.” Helen didn't relish the thought of seeing Nikki at the moment. “But thanks for the offer.”
“Okay see you soon then.” Karen smiled and as Helen walked way she began to feel concerned for her friend.
5 Minutes later in the changing rooms the team briefing was underway. Nikki was stood beside Karen, as the teams Captain. The women listened and chipped in thoughts and questions when they needed to.
Nikki noticed the whole time that Kat definitely had her eyes firmly positioned on her and it made her a little nervous. She caught her eye at one point and Kat smiled.
After the briefing Karen found Helen in the canteen and sat with her over coffee. “So are you going to tell me what is up?” Karen said studying the way Helen was constantly stirring the spoon in her cup. “Mmm?” she looked up, she hadn't heard the question.
“You, what's wrong?” Karen was quickly getting impatient.
“Sorry,” she replied, “It's me and Nikki.”
“Yeah the happiest couple in football.” Karen mocked. The next thing she didn't expect, Helen began to softly cry. Karen got up and walked around to her, she bent down and held her, “Hey, what's happened, did you two have a falling out?”
“Something like that.” Helen said between sobs.
Karen handed her a tissue, she took it and wiped her eyes before blowing her nose. “I'm sorry Karen I must look like a prize idiot.”
“its okay,” Karen comforted her. “Whatever it is, I know you two can work it out.”
“She said she needs space. That she wants to take things slowly.” Helen replied.
“Well Helen, its not over.” Karen said optimistically. “Is it?”
“No. But it's not like Nikki. She's always been so devoted; I never thought she would want space from me. We were so happy together, building a life.” Helen explained.
“She must be going through some personal things that she needs to sort out on her own.” Karen suggested.
“I guess so.” Helen said pulling herself together before anyone saw her.
Kick off was in half an hour and the team were all kitted out and ready. Kat walked up to Nikki in the changing room. “So Nik you feeling any less nervous, cos I tell you what, knowing our Captain is nervous is making me kinda nervous.” She smiled.
Nikki gave a small laugh, “No I'm fine, no need to worry.”
“Good,” Kat replied and her eyes met Nikki's. “You have lovely eyes Nikki Wade do you know that?” Nikki gulped. And Kat walked away with a smile on her face.
Some 15 minutes later they were walking out onto the pitch. Bayern Munich usually played in this stadium, it was huge and very full of supporters from America and the UK. Loud cheers went up around the ground as the two teams ran out of the tunnel and onto the pitch. Nikki led the way for her team and they lined up ready to meet the officials. After the handshakes, they separated and kicked the ball about until kick off.
Nikki kicked off the match eagerly and the team were quickly into action and on the attack. Karen had wanted them to play an attacking match first of all, get a goal or two then fall back and defend were her orders. She just hope it worked because the USA team were no push over. Helen had joined Karen on the bench at her friend's insistence. She hated to see her in so much pain and she knew if she got some football running through her veins for an hour and half it would take her mind of her private agony.
Helen was soon lost in the match and up and down off the bench as often as Karen as the team attacked time after time.
The USA team were good and within the first twenty minutes Mia Hamm had scored. Blasted a long range shot past Cassie Tyler. Karen stood up and cursed her team loudly. Throwing one particular remark the Captains way. “Wake up Wade!”
Helen couldn't help but smile. She just knew how much Nikki was going to love that and she could see the frown appear on her fine face as she looked over at Karen. Then she felt it deep in her heart, that pain again, like she had lost someone very dear to her. The smile vanished and she was yet again fighting back the tears as the match continued.

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I said SIT IN THAT CHAIR
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Joined: May 27th, 2006, 11:48 am

November 8th, 2008, 3:42 pm #23

CHAPTER 23



Half time came and the score was 1 – 0 to the USA. Karen Betts gave the team the worst ear bashing of their lives in the changing room. Nikki stood and took a drink from her bottle of water, sweat dripping from her forehead. She had played hard and still come out losing, she was frustrated with her game so far and it showed by the aggressive way that she threw the empty bottle into the bin. “Chill out man,” Dockley said tapping her on the back.
“Piss off Dockley.” Nikki snarled back.
“Christ Nikki what's got into you today.” Dockley said shocked and she dared to wait for a reply. Nikki just glared back at her and she got the message to leave well alone.
The second half wasn't much better. Helen watched as Nikki's performance seemed to be suffering and she felt concerned for her. If it weren't for the skills of Kate Spears and Kat Slater the team would have been dead and buried, the whole team looked washed out. In the last ten minutes, Kate sent a long-range pass Kat's way, she ran through the US defence with ease and smashed the ball into the corner of the net. Nikki and the others ran up and hugged her. It was Nikki she noticed the most as she placed a kiss to her cheek in the mad embrace. Nikki didn't even take much notice of the kiss she was so excited and happy that her team had scored.
The match ended at 1 – 1
“Well that was bloody disappointing.” Karen said in the changing room afterwards. “We have to change our ideas if were going to stand any chance of winning this tournament. I want to see you all at training tomorrow, first thing.”
They all moaned. It was supposed to be their free day.
“S*hit! Man I was going to try out the beer gardens,” Denny complained out loud and was presented with a glaring look from the coach. She quickly closed her mouth and concentrated on getting undressed for her shower instead.
Nikki was quietly thinking to herself when Cassie walked over, “You want to join some of us for a drink?” Nikki looked up at Cassie. “No thanks.”
“Oh come on. Looks like you need one.” Cassie commented.
She was right, she did need a drink, in fact she needed more than one. “Yeah okay, where we off to?” Nikki hadn't even considered the fact that Helen could be waiting for her.
“One of the best beer gardens in the city.” Cassie said with a smile.
“Great,” Nikki replied. They showered and changed. Nikki managed to avoid Kat in the showers and was quite relieved about that.
Helen waited in her car but there was no sign of Nikki so she drove off on her own and back to the hotel. She wanted to get back and phone her father, ask him to postpone his trip over there after what had happened. She needed the time to sort things out with Nikki, she was determined to, she couldn't bear to lose her. She arrived at the hotel but Nikki wasn't there so she took a bath in the on suite Jacuzzi and relaxed back for a while.
Meanwhile Nikki was getting happily drunk with the rest of her teammates in the city at a beer garden.
“Can I get ya another?” Kat asked her.
Nikki was sitting outside in the sunshine with Cassie, Denny, Zandra and Kate. The others were dancing to some German music in the bar. “Yeah thanks” Nikki said idly grinning up at her. Kat soon returned with another pint of beer for Nikki. Then she sat down next to her. “You wouldn't be trying to get be drunk would you?” Nikki asked. “Me? No course not.” Kat lied. “Fancy a dance?” she added. “Oh why not!” Nikki replied rather elevated and very tipsy. Kat helped her up and they headed for the dance floor where they both made a show of theirs elves. Dockley stood beside Purvis by the bar and they were both in hysterics at the show on the dance floor. “Wade is such a piss head.” Maxi commented with a snide smile.
“Yeah and she's our Captain. Bloody criminal.” Dockley added.
“Not for much longer if the boss hears about this.” Maxi replied.
“Yeah but the rest of the team are just as bad.” Michelle said in Nikki's defence.
Maxi put down her beer and gave Michelle a disapproving look. “I'm out of here. This place sucks.” Dockley followed after her.
“Nikki, do you find me attractive?” The question from Kats lips as they danced took her by surprise. She had to think carefully before she answered, even under the influence she knew when she was being chatted up. “Yeah of course I do.” She grinned back at her.
Kat wrapped her arms around her. “Show me how much.” She said. Having drank quite a bit herself she had lost all inhibitions and had forgotten all about Nikki being with someone else already.
Nikki froze. She knew how easy it would be to do just that and have a bloody good time. But she couldn't do it. “I'm sorry Kat I cant.”
Nikki had to leave at that point. Not because she was at all tempted. But because she realised just how much Helen meant to her. All her confusion was suddenly realised, she had been scared of the big commitment after what happened with Trisha. Scared that maybe one day Helen would leave her too. And right now she was doing the same thing, pushing Helen away when she should have been embracing their love. She didn't need space. She needed more. She needed Helen to tell her that she would never leave her. The thought of being that dependant on someone because you loved them so strong was what was scaring Nikki and she had been trying to run away from it. Her thoughts even though she was drunk were realised. She had to go to Helen and make it up, tell her the real reason behind her stupidity.
Meanwhile Helen had phoned her father and he cancelled his trip over. He hoped they would work things out and Helen had cried once again as she explained to her dad what was going on. He felt so bad for her but encouraged her to try and work things out with Nikki. He could see they were meant to be together, anyone could.
It was about 9pm when Nikki arrived back at the hotel. Helen by this point was furious. She hadn't ringed to let her know where she was and she had been worried about her. Nikki walked in and was presented with a very angry looking Scot.
“Where the hell have you been?”
Nikki was drunk, but she could comprehend that Helen was not a happy woman. “Sos, went out with the girls and we got bit carried way.” She slurred slightly.
“I can see that!” Helen's eyes were wide as she glared at her partner in disbelief.
“Nikki what do you think your doing? You shouldn't be drinking so much for one.” Helen was mad at her, what was she trying to do ruin her career?
“Oh sod off.” Nikki said in her drunken frame of mind she just wasn't up to an argument she just wanted to apologize and go to bed.
“What did you say?” Helen's eyes narrowed. Nikki could see Helen's anger and it just annoyed her.
“I said…. piss off.” She turned around and went to leave. There was no way they were going to make it up in her frame of mind so Nikki decided the best course of action was to leave the room and go down to the bar.
Well that was until Helen threw a book at her. It hit her on the head stopping her, she turned around, “What the hell did you do that for?” she frowned.
“You just make me so angry sometimes!” she accused.
“Helen I'm drunk and I'm too tired for this can we talk about this in the morning?” Nikki pleaded, she had calmed down, the effect of a book hitting her on the head made her feel even dizzier than she already had.
“No we cant we need to discuss this now.” Helen wouldn't stand down she wanted to sort it out.
“Fine!” Nikki moved towards her and in her drunken slumber she bumped into her and they both fell on the bed. Helen found herself beneath Nikki's long body and looking up into very glazed dark brown eyes.
“Nikki you're squashing me.” She moaned. She began to try and wiggle her way out. But Nikki stopped her by taking her arms and holding them above her head. “Nikki get off me your drunk.” She protested.
Nikki ignored her, by this point the flames of passion within her had been ignited by Helen's temper and there was nothing she could do about it. She gently placed her lips on Helen's.
At first Helen protested but it wasn't long before she gave in to the kiss as it deepened.
In between kisses, Nikki told her, “I'm so sorry. I love you Helen, I love you so much.” Helen's heart pounded in her chest at hearing those words. “Oh Nikki.” The tears stung her eyes, Nikki lost her grip on Helen's arms as they wrapped around Nikki tightly.

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I said SIT IN THAT CHAIR
I said SIT IN THAT CHAIR
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Joined: May 27th, 2006, 11:48 am

November 8th, 2008, 3:42 pm #24

CHAPTER 24




At around 3 in the morning Nikki groaned as she felt the thud in her head, she went to sit up in bed and was stopped by the whirling of the room. “S*hit” she said as she lay back down. Helen had been woken by Nikki's groans, she turned over switched on the bedside lamp to see her looking like death. “I'll get you something for that,” she said. Then she got out of bed and looked in her bag for the essential hangover cures. Helen walked to the bathroom and filled a glass with water, dropping the large tablets into it and letting it fizz.
“Here drink this.” She said urging Nikki to open her eyes and sit up.
She slowly did just that and with a look of disapproval she drank it down in one and fast, it was the only way. She handed Helen the glass and slowly lay back down so that it wouldn't hurt too much.
“You poor thing.” Helen teased as she put the glass down and got back into bed beside her. Nikki had her back to her so she snuggled in and held onto her. Nikki was sleeping in seconds and snoring softly much to Helen's displeasure.
4 hours later Helen was woken by something entirely different and a lot more pleasing. The feel of her lover's hands moving gently up and down her back. They felt warm and soft against her skin. She had rolled over in the night and now had her back to Nikki. She wondered how long Nikki had been touching her. The gentle caress moved forward as she felt Nikki's breasts against her back. The hand moved around to capture Helen's breast, she slowly moved over the nipple making her gasp. Helen let out a sigh and a moan that sounded like, “Mmm Nikki”. She continued the caress making the nipple hard between her fingers, teasing it expertly. The sensation she was causing to Helen's body was immense. The hand felt its way up to her face and hair then slowly moved back down her back to her buttocks, when she reached this area, Nikki gently moved her fingers over them and downwards feeling the heat there. Helen felt warm lips caress her neck as the warm hand moved around to the front and felt the warm moisture that had began between her legs. Helen by this point was desperate to turn around and claim Nikki's mouth but she loved the feeling of being teased by Nikki's wondering hand and gentle long fingers. Then the hand was removed and Helen almost begged her to put it back. Nikki knew she waiting for this. Helen let out another moan of pleasure as Nikki's finger slipped inside her from behind taking her by surprise and teeth nibbled at her shoulder sending a tingling sensation down her spine and shooting out of her toes. She felt sure she was about to reach that peak with another touch from Nikki. Her lover knew she was nearly there so she retracted her finger and turned Helen on her back so she could look into her eyes. They were full of love, burning with desire, in need of release. “Nikki,” she whispered, “Take me, please.” She begged. Nikki softly smiled and kissed with the lips that Helen had been aching to feel. Her tongue moved in sending shudders through Helen. Then Nikki slowly made her way down Helen's body placing soft kisses to her breasts, her stomach and her thighs. “Nikki that's enough of the teasing.” Helen urged. If she didn't do something soon she felt she would go mad. Nikki let out a small laugh at her lovers words and gave her what she ached for as her mouth and fingers made love to her. She pushed fingers into the soft warm centre and caressed Helen's clit with her tongue. It wasn't long before Helen called out Nikki's name as she finally found her release. Nikki made her way back up the bed and took her lover in her arms. “I love you.” She whispered as Helen came down from her rush. “I adore you." Helen finally managed to speak. Nikki held her tighter and stroked her soft hair. They both fell back to sleep until the alarm clock woke them at 9am.
Nikki looked at the clock, stretched over and turned it off, and then she felt Helen snuggle back into her arms. “Darling I have to go to training this morning, I'm already late.” Nikki told her gently. “Damn,” she replied trying to wake up. “Doesn't Betts have any consideration for lovers who need to make up?” she sat up out of Nikki's embrace. “I'm afraid not unless we are on a winning streak and she's in a good mood.” She smiled. Nikki got out of bed and Helen watched her partner as she walked naked across the room to get her robe. “You are so sexy.” She smiled at her. Nikki turned around, “So are you.” She grinned back at her. “We still need to talk don't we Nikki?” she asked sleepily. She thought it was best to get that question out of the way now so they could relax for the remainder of the day. “Yeah we do, but its totally different to what I thought I needed to talk to you about.” Nikki sat at the edge of the bed while sipping a glass of water. “You know what I said about needing space?” Helen nodded and hoped that she hadn't meant it.
“Well I got scared. It's a big commitment you and me. The love we have is so strong. I was scared that if I let myself go completely I could get hurt, like with Trish.”
Helen looked into her eyes and felt for her. “Oh Nikki, I would never leave you. I love you sweetheart.” She reassured her and she just wanted to hold her so much. “I know that deep down.” Nikki replied and moved closer so she could hold her hand. “I just got scared like I said. But I realised I have nothing to be worried about. And that you are worth that risk.”
“Its not a risk Nikki.” Helen told her firmly. “I'm not going anywhere, but for a while there I thought you were.”
Nikki touched her cheek tenderly, “I know and I am sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you.”
“This is for life as far as I am concerned,” Nikki added, “I just need to know that you feel the same.”
Helen smiled and kissed Nikki's hand. “I do silly. Come here.”
They held each other tight, deep in the knowledge that it was forever.

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November 8th, 2008, 3:43 pm #25

CHAPTER 25



Helen decided to go and watch Nikki train this time. She didn't want to spend another moment apart from her, especially now she really knew what Nikki had been so afraid of losing her. Karen approached Helen who was standing at the side of the field.
“Did you manage to sort things out?” Karen asked standing beside Helen.
Helen looked over at Nikki who was swearing at Zandra and smiled to herself. “Yes we did.”
“I was wondering why she had that smile on her face soon as she walked in this morning.” Karen gave a cheeky half grin. Helen looked at her, “Sorry It was my fault she was late this morning.” She said in all sincerity.
“Just hope you enjoyed yourself.” She continued to grin.
“Karen!” Helen said shocked.
“What are you telling me you didn't?”
Helen just shook her head and laughed.
“So did you tell her yet about The Thames.” Karen asked.
“I'm not sure how she would react to a story about me getting blind drunk and ending up in bed with two strange women Karen.” She smiled. “Probably the same way I did when I found you, shocked.” She laughed back.
“Not that I did anything, I was just sleeping.” Helen added quickly. She had spent years claiming her innocence to her friends.
“Of course not.” Karen smiled. Her smile quickly vanished as she noticed Nikki miss a penalty kick. “Come on Wade you can do better than that!” she shouted over. Nikki looked over at her and saw that she was with Helen, at first she frowned but then she smiled when she noticed Helen grinning. Nikki took her position and with much more confidence smashed the ball past Cassie Tyler's fingers.
Helen clapped and cheered her on which made Nikki grin even more.
Karen turned her attention back to Helen. “Oh there is one thing I needed to ask you.”
Helen looked at her, “What's that?”
“Nikki and her drinking habits, two of the girls told me she was pretty well out of it last night.” She said with a disapproving look.
“Which girls?” Helen asked. “Because you can make a bet they were just as inebriated.” Helen said in Nikki's defence.
“True,” Karen said, “but at least you can keep an eye on Nikki.”
“Yesterday was a bad day for her Karen.” She explained, “She's fine now and don't worry I will keep an eye on her.”
Karen smiled. “Thanks Helen.”
Nikki was practising her passing with Maxi Purvis meanwhile. They kicked the ball to each other, low passes and high passes. Nikki could see by the look on Maxi's face that she wasn't at all pleased with having to train so close to her. “What's your problem Purvis?” Nikki shouted at her. “You are.” She shouted back with a grin. Nikki kicked the ball hard and hit her in the stomach. “What the f*** did you do that for Wade.” She said holding her stomach. “To give you something to really moan about.” She smiled. Maxi was even more irritated by her, she ran up to her and slapped her around the face.
“You bitch!” Nikki said as she grabbed hold of her shirt in a threatening manner. The whole team had noticed the scuffle by this point and were walking over to them. Karen was deep in conversation with Helen and hadn't noticed until Denny called out, “Put her down man! She's not worth it!”
Maxi looked up at Nikki who had a firm grip of her. “Come on Wade hit me, you know you want to.”
That was when Nikki woke up to what was happening, “You stupid bitch your trying to get me sent home.” Nikki let go of her shirt and pushed her. Karen and Helen came running across.
“What the bloody hell is going on here?” Karen waited for an answer from the both of them.
“Nothing, just having a little fun.” Maxi grinned.
Nikki was seething with anger but managed to control it.
“Nikki?” Karen looked at her questioningly.
“Yeah it was nothing, just messing around.” She said reluctantly. She so desperately wanted to get Purvis thrown out of the squad, the woman was seriously doing her head in.
“Okay well get on with it!” Karen clapped her hands together and they all fell back into training. Maxi felt like she had won some major victory although she hadn't and continued to grin to herself for the rest of the afternoon. Nikki kept away from her as much as possible because she knew if there was one more wind up she wouldn't be able to control her own temper.
After training Helen caught up with Nikki as she walked to the showers. “You okay?” she asked her. She had been concerned about her ever since the incident with Maxi Purvis.
“I'm better for seeing you.” She smiled and wrapped her arm around her as they walked. Helen smiled and left her at the changing rooms to wait for her in the car.
When Nikki was leaving she noticed Purvis hanging around in the corridor. Nikki had to walk past her to get out to the car park and she felt apprehensive, as she got closer to her. The woman was looking at her with menacing eyes.
“Hey Wade. It wont be long before your taking an early bath.” She remarked. “Piss off Purvis.” Maxi took immediate offence to Nikki's comeback. “What did you say Wade?” she said following her. Nikki didn't turn around she kept walking, “I said Piss off!” That was when she was bought crashing to ground by a kick to her legs. Maxi laughed and Nikki saw red, she charged at her and they both fell to the floor. And for once in her life Maxi was scared as the dark haired taller woman had the advantage, she was above her and holding her down. “You f***ing loser.” Nikki blasted at her. They began to roll around on the floor, each trying to get the advantage of the fight. Insults were flying out of both mouths as Denny and Cassie rushed out to see what the noise was. “Bloody Hell,” Cassie said as she rushed with Denny to break the two up.


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November 8th, 2008, 3:43 pm #26

CHAPTER 26

Cassie pulled Nikki off Maxi quickly before she killed her. She actually didn't mind if she did but she didn't want to see Nikki get into any more trouble. Nikki reluctantly let herself be dragged off Maxi Purvis. Denny had a hold on Purvis who was shouting at the top of her lungs many words of which would even make the hardest football supporters blush.

It was just in time too. Karen Betts was walking out of an office and towards them, “What's going on here?” she asked looking at the state of Nikki's hair and the redness of Maxi's face.

“Nothing Boss.” Cassie told her.

“It better be nothing, because if I hear that you two have been fighting, I'll have the both of you shipped home.” She looked to Purvis and Wade who were now looking calmer and a lot more innocent. Luckily Karen hadn't heard the shouting of obscenities earlier. Nikki brushed down her jacket and tried to tidy her hair with her hands when Karen walked off in the opposite direction. Cassie walked with Nikki towards the car park where she had left Helen waiting for her. “Nikki what is with you and Maxi?” Cassie asked as they walked. “I wish I knew, she just hates me.” Cassie shook her head, “Its got to be more than that, what possible reason would she have?” Nikki stopped and looked at Cassie frustrated, “How the hell would I know.” Cassie Tyler could see Nikki was highly charged and now wasn't a good time to be discussing this so she dropped the subject. “Just stay away from her.” She suggested. “Oh I will.” She replied, “And she better stay away from me.”

Helen looked at her watch again, “Nikki where on earth are you?” she said to herself. She was just about to get out of her car, when she could see her walking towards the car. Nikki opened the boot and threw the bag inside, closed it and got into the passenger seat beside Helen. She hoped she wouldn't notice the mess of her hair.... “Bloody hell Nikki, what happened to your hair?”

“Nothing.” She mumbled back.

Helen touched her arm, “Tell me.” And she gave her that look that meant tell me or else.

“I got into a fight with Purvis.” She admitted and she awaited the backlash.

“S*hit! Nikki You really are pushing your luck.” She said looking away from her in frustration. “Can't you just control your temper for once.”

Nikki gasped in amazement, “You are a fine one to talk about controlling your temper!”

Helen turned her head and looked at her amazed face. “Sorry.” She replied. “I should never have thrown that book at you.”

“Helen, I don't care about that. I just want us to enjoy ourselves, so can we stop talking about bloody Maxi Purvis please?” Nikki frowned. Helen looked at her face and it was so cute and pleading, she couldn't help but agree to drop the subject. “So, your free for the rest of the day, what shall we do?” Helen smiled.

Nikki's stress level was slowly coming down and she smiled at Helen and cheekily suggested making love in the back of the car. “Here? Are you mad? Karen Betts might see us!” They both laughed and finally the tension was lifted. Nikki moved a little closer to Helen and they kissed tenderly. Eventually they broke apart and Nikki sat back.

“Lets go to that huge park in the city.” Nikki suggested.

“You fancy a long walk with me then?” Helen grinned.

“Yes but only if you hold my hand.” Nikki smiled.

“It's a deal. But can we get some lunch first I'm starving.” Helen replied. “Sure and maybe I can have a beer too.” Nikki asked.

“No way, you have a match in two days, no alcohol for you.” Helen told her as she started up the engine.

“Spoilsport.” Nikki said as they drove off.

They had a quick meal at a small café and some very nice coffee before driving to the park. Nikki had been back to the hotel first and changed out of her England gear and into something more casual, a pair of dark blue jeans, matching jacket and a shirt. It was a sunny day so she took her sunglasses too, a pair of brown Raybans. Helen was wearing light blue jeans and a leather jacket over a t-shirt and a pair of sunglasses. They walked through the large park hand in hand. It was very relaxing and just what they both needed after the past few days and the stressful events.

They came to a large lake and found a bench to sit on and have a rest. Then it suddenly occurred to Nikki that Helen's dad should have arrived today. “Helen did you forget about your dad?” her stomach did a leap. “Oh I forgot to tell you he's not coming now.”

“Oh why?” Nikki asked. Helen's hand held on a little tighter to Nikki's. “We weren't exactly getting along were we, me and you, so I told him not to come over, that I needed the time to sort things out with you.” She explained. “Helen, you shouldn't have done that.” Nikki said surprised. “What else could I do? I thought I was going to lose you.” Helen replied, trying to make her understand the position she had been in. “I'm so sorry Helen, I shouldn't have put you through all that.” Nikki put her arm around her and held her tighter. “It's okay, we sorted things out, and I have my Nikki back.” She smiled at her lovingly. “Yeah thank god uh?” Nikki laughed. “I was driving myself mad!”

They stayed out all day and watched the sunset before going back to their hotel. After flicking through a dozen or more German channels and ending up settling for CNN Nikki fell to sleep lying across Helen on the sofa. She just looked at her and stroked her hair. Helen was so happy that things were back to normal. Now maybe Nikki could concentrate on her football. She leant down and kissed her head, waking her. “Hey sleepy head, time for bed.” Nikki sat up and rubbed her eyes. “What time is it?”

“Ten.”

“Is that all?”

“Yeah you must be getting old Wade.”

“Hey less of that.” Nikki said moving closer.

Their eyes met and the look in their eyes said a million things. The most important one being I love you.

“Fancy an early night then?” Nikki grinned sexily.

“Race you to the bed?” Helen grinned back.
Helen won the race as they both came crashing down onto the soft mattress in a fit of laughter. Then laughter descended into something else…a whole lot more pleasurable!

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November 8th, 2008, 3:44 pm #27

CHAPTER 27

The day of the next match arrived. Nikki was feeling much more relaxed and all ready to do her best for England. Helen drove her to the stadium and left her to go her own way. She wanted to catch up with Karen Betts and get a seat on the bench. Nikki wandered along happily to the changing rooms. As she walked she didn't notice the woman approaching from behind her, who then shoved her in the back. Nikki sprung around to be faced by Maxi Purvis who was grinning at her like a mad woman.

“Piss off Purvis”

“Why what you gonna do Wade, you @#%$” she said as she chewed on some gum. Nikki held her temper and walked off away from her. She couldn't let the woman get to her, the last thing her team needed was to lose their captain. And she wasn't ready to go home yet.

The team talk was quick and too the point. “Okay girls go out there and win!” Betts told them. No sign of a smile just sheer determination.

The team ran out onto the pitch with Nikki leading. The crowd was impressive. They were playing Argentina today and quite a lot of their fans were in attendance. Nikki kicked the ball around for a while before the match began and dared to look around at the crowd. It took her breath away, it was awesome. Then she glanced at Helen on the bench and smiled over at her. Helen smiled back and waved excitedly. Betts watched the exchange and was rather relieved that the two were happy again. “Maybe we'll get some football out of Nikki today.” She commented. Helen looked to Karen, “Sorry Karen.” She smiled in return, “hey its not your fault you got involved with a moody but brilliant footballer is it?”

“Mmm you summed her up there I have to admit, but I love her, wouldn't want her any other way.” Helen smiled. Then she looked back over at Nikki who was kicking the ball up and heading it, doing a very skilful stunt. “And she is so gorgeous.” Helen said softly, completely lost in her love for Nikki. Karen just laughed at her and shook her head. “Young love.”

Argentina kicked off the match. By half time they were winning 2 - 0 and England knew that if they lost this they would be going home. The half time talk by Betts was fierce but she also told then to just go out there and give it everything they had got. “You have got nothing to lose now, except for a few more days in Germany so come on, get out there and play like the winners I know you can be!”

Nikki was spurred on and wanted to win, at the end of the day she was a very competitive person and she needed to win. Maxi Purvis was another matter entirely, she was just there for the power ride, enjoying being in the England team for the prestige, for the great power it gave her. And for the money. And so she played as such, un-competitive and completely full of herself. It wasn't long before Betts pulled her off in favour of another striker. There were just ten minutes to go when Nikki took a free kick from just outside the area and they all watched as the ball flew past the wall, past the keepers hands and into the corner of the net!

The England fans went mad and so did Nikki's team mates. Denny grabbed her as she ran, “Fantastic goal man!”

With just two minutes of injury time to go they had a corner, Zandra came up to take it, it was a high ball pitching down right before the goal area to be met by Kat Slaters boot. A brilliant volley from Kat gave them another goal for 2 - 2!

The whistle blew soon after and it was into extra time and the golden goal. The first team to score a goal would be the winner. Betts told her team to stay focused and just go for it. The talk worked because they weren't on the field 5 minutes before Nikki sliced the ball across the goal area skilfully to Denny Blood who got her shot right on target.

“GOAL!” Betts shouted as she jumped up. Helen was right beside her doing the same as they ran on to the pitch to congratulate the players.

“Nikki!” Helen called out as she walked up to her on the field. Nikki was grinning from ear to ear, unable to believe they were now through to the quarter finals of the world cup. She held a bottle of water in one hand as she walked up to meet Helen, then they didn't care who was looking, they just wrapped their arms around each other and kissed. They parted and looked at each other. “God you were brilliant in that second half.” Helen told her, her arms wrapped around Nikki's shoulders. “Yeah we didn't do bad did we.”

“Not bad at all.” Helen laughed. Nikki's heart was racing both from the exertion and from hearing Helen's laugh. “Lets get outta here, I want to get you back and take you for a romantic meal tonight to celebrate.” Nikki said, looking deeply to Helen's sparkling green eyes. “Mmm sounds nice, and will I get dessert too?” she winked. Nikki laughed, “God Helen I love you so much.” They put their arms around each other oblivious to everyone around them and left the field, heading back to the changing rooms.
Maxi Purvis had taken an early bath and left, but she also left a little present for Nikki Wade and Helen Stewart on her way out. Two flat tyres.

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November 8th, 2008, 3:44 pm #28

CHAPTER 28

Helen looked on in shock at the car tyres. Nikki ran up to them, lent down and took a closer look. “They have been slashed with something...” She looked up at Helen. “Who would do this?” Helen said calmly. “I've got a pretty good idea.” Nikki frowned. “Opposition fans?” Helen suggested as she lent down beside Nikki. “Not exactly what I was thinking but you could be right.” Nikki stood and Helen followed her, “Lets get a cab. We can get someone to pick the car up and take it a garage.” Helen told Nikki. “Yeah sure. We wont let whoever did this spoil our celebration will we?” she smiled as Helen caught up with her and wrapped an arm around her. “No way! That was a brilliant win and we deserve to have a little fun.” Helen smiled and her eyes twinkled with deeper meaning.

They spent the evening in a very nice resteraunt and after a few beers they were both just about reading to go back to their hotel and get some sleep. Meanwhile at the hotel Maxi Purvis was having a very interesting phone conversation.

“Yes I did it. I have been trying all I can to get them sent back home and nothing is working.” she told her caller.

She paused and listened. “Look your not paying me enough!” she paused again and her temper was increasing as her caller continued to talk. “And how am I supposed to do that?... what?... injure her in training? Are you crazy? She is our best player, without Nikki we will definitely be out of the cup!” Maxi Purvis slammed down the phone in anger. “Ten grand, the man has got more money than sense. And all for love. Crazy son of a bit*ch” Maxi made her way to bed but she couldnt sleep, her mind full of what was best, to gain some extra cash that she desperately needed or to forget the deal and get on with what she was here for... football.

Laughing was heard along the corridor of the hotel. Nikki was playfully tickling Helen as the scot tried to unlock their door. “Nikki stop it, or we will be in the corridor all night.” Nikki laughed and stood back, “Not a bad idea Helen, I've never done it in a corridor before.” Helen blushed and eventually unlocked the door, pushing Nikki inside quickly before she embarrased her further. “Oh I love it when your forceful.” Nikki continued to tease. Her good mood had been apparent all evening and Helen had almost forgot about her car and the little problem earlier. Nikki removed her clothes and headed to the on suite bathroom for a quick shower. It wasnt too long before Helen joined her, “Room in there for me?” she said as she pulled the curtain open. Nikki looked back at her as the water rushed over her body, “Step this way.” she grinned.

The evening ended blissfully as the couple made love. And afterwards Nikki lay in Helen's arms, “It's nice to be back on track isnt it?” she looked up to Helen's eyes. “When things are like this, its just about perfect.” Helen smiled and stroked Nikki's arm. “I love you Helen.” Nikki's eyes twinkled in response.

It was two days before the next match and so Helen and Nikki spent the next day touring the city together, looking at the touristy shops, the museum and gallery. They finished off their free day in the hotel resteraunt in view of a few more of the team. Maxi looked over at them curiously and wondered why on earth anyone would waste so much time trying to split the pair up. “Oh well, a girls gotta do...” she said to herself as she made her way to room. Eager to get some sleep before training tomorrow. Nikki and Helen made their way up to their room and relaxed back on the bed watching TV. “I wish you didnt have to train tomorrow, I really enjoyed today, just you and me.” Nikki placed her arm around Helen's shoulder, “Yeah me too. It made a nice change. As much as I love playing football, we dont seem to get enough time to ourselves.”

Helen pulled Nikki's face to her own and brought her into a kiss. Then moved away, but still looked into Nikki's eyes, “I have been thinking about something Nikki and I know you are probably not going to like it.” Nikki's heart began to beat faster in fear. “What, what is it?” She suddennly wasnt feeling so relaxed anymore. “Hey dont panic, its nothing to do with our relationship...” she told her quickly, seeing the fear in Nikki's eyes. “It's me, I dont think I want to be a manager anymiore.”

Nikki looked at her in shock like someone had told her the earth was going to be hit by an asteroid in the next 24 hours.

“Helen..” she eventually spoke.

“I know this is a shock to you Nikki but I really need a change.” Helen told her. Nikki switched off the TV and looked to her, “You know I will stand by any decision you make, but Helen... you love football.”
Helen took Nikki's hands in her own and smiled, “I also love you and well I have been thinking for a while that maybe we should make this more permenant.” Nikki frowned at her, she didnt quite understand what Helen meant. “I mean,” Helen picked up that Nikki was confused, “We should take some kind of vows.” Nikki was enlightened, “You mean a commitement ceremony?” Helen looked at her, “Yeah.” Nikki turned away and sat back. “Nikki what's wrong?” She was still frowning, “I dont know Helen, its not like its a real wedding is it?” Helen moved towards her on the bed, “Well its the nearest we will get to one.” Nikki shook her head, “I cant do it Helen, its not right, following tradtiions, its not like I am even religious, so why bother?” she looked at Helen and could see she was hurt. “I'm sorry Helen. But theres not much point.” Then she put her arm around her, “It doesnt mean I love you any less, does it? Why cant we just enjoy what we have got?” Helen had to try to hide her total devastation, she was really hoping to settle down properly with Nikki and even maybe one day having a family. And she wasnt getting any younger. “Sure Nikki. I guess this is one thing we will have to agree to disagree on.”

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November 8th, 2008, 3:45 pm #29

CHAPTER 29

Training ground - Day before the semi-final match against Italy.

“Okay I want Nikki and Maxi to practise tackles.” Karen Betts shouted across at her team various orders and this one did not please Nikki.

“Are you having me on?” Nikki glared back at Miss Betts.

“Just do it Nikki or book a flight home.” Betts said unfazed.

“Bloody marvellous, you want me to go into tackles with this maniac!” Nikki retorted. Karen shook her head and walked away, she was in no mood for Nikki Wade this morning.

Helen watched from the sidelines a little nervously. She knew how much Maxi had been on Nikki's back lately and the two of them working at anything together made her a little anxious. She watched the tackles go in from both of them with a great feeling of apprehension.

Then it was the kick, a sliding tackle that was just bordering on a sliding kick to the shins. Nikki fell down in pain as Maxi's boot met her shin. The pain crashed through her leg and she lay back on the grass in agony. “Oh God... Nikki...” Helen said and automatically ran across the field to where she was laying. Maxi stood beside her, “Get up you wimp, I never touched you.” Nikki although in much pain could still feel her blood boil in response to Maxi's comments. “Get that bitch away from me.” she called out to Helen who was the first to reach her. Helen knelt down beside Nikki, “How bad is it?” she asked. “Bad enough.” Nikki replied and winced once more. Helen stood up and called for the first aide's. They rushed over quickly to deal with Nikki's injury as Maxi looked on gleefully. A job well done I would say. Then as she began to walk off Karen Betts pulled her to one side. “What the hell do you think you were doing?”

Maxi looked at her innocently, “It was a miss kick, sorry but you know how these things can happen.” Karen was furious, “Pack your bags Maxi, I have had enough of your attitude. Get out of here.” Maxi looked at her amazed, “You what?” Karen glared back at her and pointed, “Get out of here, go home.” And as Maxi walked off the training field to an early bath and an early flight home she heard Nikki's voice call out, “I told you she was a maniac.”

Nikki was taken inside and treated. Luckily for the team and for Nikki her injury wasn't too bad. In fact there would just be a bit of bruising but that didn't change Karen's decision to send Maxi Purvis packing. She had been a thorn in her side ever since they arrived in Germany, one way or another.

Training finished early for Nikki and after a quick fitness test the next morning she would know if she was fit enough to play in the team against Italy.

Helen and Nikki went back to their hotel room after a quick lunch in the city. They walked down the long winding street and stopped at a Bratwurst stand. “Two please with light mustard.” Helen ordered as they stood together in the hazy afternoon sunlight. They found a place to sit and eat their traditional German hotdogs and began to chat.

“I am so glad Karen sent Maxi home.” Helen knew that the tension between Nikki and Maxi was before long going to be explosive and she said this with some sense of relief. “Me too, I tell you she is weird.” Nikki took a bite of her food. Then Helen decided to bring up the subject of their relationship, she didn't really want to but she felt so anxious after the previous night and once again she didn't know where she stood in the relationship. “Nikki about last night.” she began.

Nikki finished her food and wiped her hands with a clean wipe from Helen's bag. “Mmm” she mumbled back.

“Why are you so against committing to me?” Helen asked. Her voice tinged with sadness. Nikki's heart sank because that wasn't true at all, she was completely committed to Helen, for the rest of their lives. She would never love anyone more or be loved like Helen loved her.

“Helen, I am committed to you, to us. One hundred percent. What makes you think I'm not?”

“You don't want to have a blessing... and what about children?” Helen told her as they sat on the wall overlooking a small green park and fountain. “What about children?” Nikki asked puzzled.

Helen took a deep breath, “I wanted them one day.”

“Oh.” came the quiet reply from her lover.

“I gather that you don't?” Helen asked worried.

“Well, its not that I don't exactly, more that I hadn't thought about it.” Nikki told her. “I haven't ever had the maternal instinct.”

“Oh” It was Helen's turn to be quiet.

“But that doesn't rule out the possibility, as long as I don't have to have them.” Nikki smiled back at her and lifted a finger to her chin. “In fact a little Helen Stewart would be adorable.”

Helen smiled at her then, the ice broken, “What if its a boy?”

Nikki smiled back, “Well he will hopefully be a great footballer like me.”

Their eyes met and they were very tempted to kiss until they realised they were out in the open surrounded by a lot of people walking to and throw. “We need to talk about this seriously when we get home.” Helen said finally before standing, ready to leave. “Agreed.” Nikki took Helen's hand as they walked off together.

“Hey wait, look at those, I have to have one.” Nikki pulled Helen across to a place that sold cakes. “Apfelpfannkuchen.” Nikki announced and pointed. “Uh?” Helen said. “Apple pancakes!” Nikki told her, “Come on I''ll treat you to one.”

They enjoyed their pancakes before making their way back to the hotel.

“What do you mean they are sending you home?”

Maxi spoke down the phone to the man on the other end, “It all went wrong, Betts fired me and Nikki's just bloody fine. I gave her such a good kick too, I was sure it would have done the damage.”

“You stupid cow. That's the last time I trust a Peckham player.” the man slammed down the phone and by the sound of his voice he was very angry. Maxi shivered. She knew the guy was strange but she didn't realise he was a total psychopath. “Twat.” she spat as she made her way to the departures lounge.
On the other end of the line, at a house in North London a man sat seething with anger. The day Helen Stewart had turned him down and the day Nikki Wade had interfered was the day he had revenge on his mind and that thought continued to haunt him, he was obsessed with Helen, although he liked to call it love... Dominic McAllister was a jealous and angry man.

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November 8th, 2008, 3:45 pm #30

CHAPTER 30

Dominic read the letter about Helen's resignation over and over again. It had been posted in Munich two days ago.

It read as follows:

Dear Dominic,

I felt it necessary to let you know personally that I will be resigning as manager of Larkhall UTD on my return to the UK. I feel I can no longer give what is required of a great manager to the club. I need to explore other areas of my life and leave football entirely. I am sorry for the short notice but I feel that now is the right time to leave and at least this gives you the rest of the summer to find a new manager.

Regards

Helen Stewart

The shock had really hit Dominic McAllister. He thought that by having Helen at the club he would always have that chance to win her love and her respect but he didn't expect this. A sudden decision by Helen Stewart had changed everything. And so he set out on a task of revenge against Nikki Wade, he wanted to ruin her and her footballing career out of simple jealousy. Now that hadn't worked and Helen would no longer be within his reach. The revenge he wanted fell on Helen. He pinned the letter to his bedroom wall and put on his jacket quickly. Time for plan B to be put into action. He thought to himself.

Semi Final day was here and Helen woke up beside a very excited Nikki Wade. “Nikki come back to bed, please... its too early.”

Nikki was exercising by doing press ups on the floor beside the bed. Helen leaned over and looked right at her, “Nikki!”

Nikki stopped and breathlessly stood up before placing herself down on the bed beside Helen. “Sorry, I just really want to pass that fitness test this morning.”

Helen rubbed her hand up and down her lovers back. “Hey you will. But you wont if they see how tired you are, its only 4 am!”

“Very true.” Nikki agreed and lay down, pulling the duvet up to cover them both. “I am just so bloody excited!”

Helen grinned at her, “Well I know a good way to calm you down, its such a shame that you need to conserve all that energy.”

Nikki groaned, she wanted nothing more right now than for Helen to use her hands, lips and anything else to calm her down. But she knew Helen was right. Making love the morning before a match was not a good idea. “Oh well, I will just have to conserve some of this energy for later tonight, when we celebrate beating Italy.” Nikki smiled and snuggled up to Helen.

Helen held on tight, “So confident!”

“I have to be... “ Nikki commented before closing her eyes and trying to get a few more hours sleep.

Nikki arrived for her fitness test at 10am. She was very anxious as she stepped into the room to be checked over by the team doctor. The leg was bruised badly but lucky for everyone there was no real damage.

“Why are footballers so bloody careless.” The doctor commented.

Nikki looked up at him, “Were not... its just that a few of us are bloody mental.”

“She got sent home?” He asked.

“Yep. Thank heavens or she would have ended up in here by way of my boot.” Nikki joked.

After the check up and quick work out Nikki passed her fitness test and was sent on her way. Helen had waited in reception for her. Nikki didnt look too pleased as she walked up to her. “Nikki... “ Helen said worried.

“Its all right Helen, I passed the test.” A smile formed on Nikki's features and Helen just looked at her and shook her head, “You had me so worried then!” Nikki laughed, “I get you everytime dont I?” she teased. “Come here.” Helen pulled Nikki close and hugged her before they left the fitness center and made their way back to their car. Once in the car they kissed happily. “Lets go get something to eat.” Helen suggested. “A light lunch and a little walk before the match should settle any nerves.”

Nikki nodded and pulled Helen back into another kiss then touched her forehead with her own as their eyes met in mutual admiration, “Sounds like a great idea.”

That afternoon Italy kicked off the first semi-final match of the day against England. “Come on England!” Came cheers from around the ground, mingling with the chants of, “Italia! Italia!”

Helen sat beside Karen on the bench and watched excitedly. Karen Betts was up and down like a yo-yo encouraging her team and trying to spur them on. Nikki worked hard and fast alongside her team mates. Kat Slater looked particulary promising and had a few chances but all werent good enough to get past the Italian goalkeeper. Nikki had a long range shot that was just tipped over the crossbar. Helen had put her head in her hands at that point. The goal would have been a fantastic one.

And by half time it was still nil-nil.

Dominic walked up to the front door of a old house in the East End. He knocked on the door just once. Then he heard the fierce barking of dogs and stepped back a little as he waited. Eventually a tall man with dark curly hair answered the door, he was wearing scruffy clothes and looked like he hadnt washed in weeks. “Yeah what is it?”

“Plan B” Dominic replied.

“You betta come in then.” He said in his deep London accent.
Dominic stepped inside and followed him down the hallway and to the living room. The house was a mess and scattered around the room were electronics and various weapons, guns, knives. Dominic looked shocked at first and took a deep breath. “Take a seat and I'll get the goods.” The man told him. Dominic sat down and took in his surroundings and began to wonder if he had made the right decision. He nervously sat biting his nails until the man returned with package. Then the man explained what Dominic was getting for his money. “Its small, unremarkable, in a normal package that no one will suspect.” He paused and added, “It may be small but its bloody explosive!”

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