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Time seems to stand still for a minute as we all just stand there awkwardly. My heartbeat is so fast, I can feel it ramming itself against my chest. I know I should be the first to speak but I feel paralyzed between Jackie’s glare and the woman standing behind me.
The sight of Jackie’s face moving from angry to crushed causes a wave of guilt to crash into me all at once. This is not how I wanted her to find out and I know I should have just told her when I had the chance in the bar last night.
“Jackie—” I start to tentatively say before she cuts me off.
“Please don’t tell me ‘this isn’t how it looks’. Because it seems pretty clear what you got up to after our drink last night. So sorry I kept you from that,” she says, her voice dripping with disdain.
“You left the bar. I wasn’t trying to rush anything,” I say back and even I can hear the defensive panic in my voice.
This is why I’ve always tried to be honest with people. It was probably short-sighted to think I could keep this thing with Lauren a secret, but I can’t think of a single time I’ve gotten a surprise visit from Jackie so I also couldn’t have known she’d show up on a Saturday morning.
“Which is what I came over to apologize for. But now I see that wasn’t really necessary,” she says back in the same biting tone.
As my mind races to find some kind of explanation or anything I can say to make the situation better, I hear a voice behind me again and internally cringe. I should have known Lauren would try to “handle” the situation, but right now, it would be better if she just went back into the bedroom.
“Why don’t you come in so we can talk about this like adults?” Lauren asks.
Maybe it’s because my own body feels rigid and tense, but Lauren sounds so blasé about the situation. As if she’s just asking a friend to come in for a cup of tea and not someone who is currently shooting daggers out of her eyes at her.
“This isn’t your apartment, Lauren. And you don’t get to boss me around here. We’re not at work.”
“I wasn’t aware I was bossing you around. It seemed like a simple question to me,” Lauren replies in an almost bored tone.
I know Lauren is just making things worse and I don’t want things to escalate, especially since Jackie is just standing in my hallway. The last thing I need is my neighbors complaining to my landlord about lesbian hallway drama. Yet having Jackie in my apartment seems like a recipe for disaster so I quickly put my feet in the sandals by the door.
“Let’s go talk. Outside,” I say to her without looking back at Lauren.
“Why don’t the two of you just enjoy these together and talk about the promotion you’re all but guaranteed now,” Jackie says as she pushes the two cups of coffee into my hand and starts walking down the hallway.
I quickly turn and put the coffee cups on a table that’s just inside my front door so I can go after her. Her last comment hurt, but I also can’t let her leave my apartment in a huff like that.
“Ems, leave it,” Lauren calls over as I get back to the door.
“Don’t,” I say back angrily before leaving the apartment and running to the stairs Jackie must have just gone down.
She’s in the lobby of the apartment when I finally catch-up to her. I don’t want her to leave the building so I run up and move to the other side of her so she’s forced to face me.
“Please, just talk to me for a second,” I say, slightly out of breath from my sprint down the stairs.
“So, talk,” she says, but there’s no real emotion behind her words.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I should have. I was just trying to protect it for a little longer. And I could tell you were feelings things for me before you told me last night. I just didn’t want to hurt you. Especially considering how you’ve reacted to her since you guys met.”
“We’re supposed to be best friends. Even if I do have feelings for you, you lied to me last night. You knew you were going to see her again.”
“I know and I’m so sorry, Jackie. You have to know that I’ve wanted to tell you for a while now. And I was just being selfish.”
Jackie’s brow furrows suddenly and I realize what I just admitted to before she even asks.
“How long has it been going on then? Not just last night?”
My stomach drops knowing I’m going to have to tell Jackie the whole truth. I won’t lie to her anymore, but I know that telling her just how long I’ve been sleeping with Lauren will hurt her.
“Since she came back to Seattle.”
“Meaning it never stopped.”
I could try to explain how it did stop when I found out about Olivia, but the reality is that I lost all my resolve the moment Lauren came back, took me to dinner and explained more of that situation. But that story is Lauren’s and I don’t feel like I need to bring it up. It won’t help this situation anyway.
“Not really,” I say back quietly instead.
“What is it about this woman that’s so special?” Jackie asks in her own quiet voice.
I let out a long sigh and put my hands up to casino oyna my throbbing head. If anyone else were asking me that question, I could go on at length about how amazing I think Lauren is— for so many different reasons. But doing that would just fuel Jackie’s fire so it’s hard to know how to even answer the question without continuing to lie.
“We just have a connection. It works between us. I don’t know how else to explain it.”
“How perfect. You get a girlfriend and a promotion all at once.”
“Why do you keep saying that? You think I’d sleep with her to secure a promo?” I ask and now I can’t help but let a little of my own anger into my voice at her cheap insinuation.
I should have told Jackie about Lauren. But it’s also my own sex life and it’s incredibly hurtful for her to imply I would ever sleep with someone to get ahead in my career.
“I didn’t think we lied to each other before now so I guess I don’t know. Would you?”
“Can’t you see that makes no sense? Dating Lauren could be detrimental to my career, which is why I need to keep it quiet for now.”
“I can see that. I’m sure Olivia Ellison won’t be as taken by your pitch once she knows you’re fucking her ex-wife.”
My stomach tightens again at her words. “Once she knows? Are you planning on telling her then, Jack?”
“You’ve been in the agency world long enough. This kind of thing has a way of getting out. I’d be careful if I were you.”
I’ve never seen Jackie so emotionless. At least last night there was passion behind her words, not this monotone, detached woman that’s in front of me.
“I can’t tell if that’s a threat or not,” I reply in a low voice.
I regret saying the words, when I see a flash of hurt cross her otherwise expressionless face.
“Just because you’ve been a bad friend, doesn’t mean I am,” she says. “Lauren looks at you like you’re her lunch. You might want to tell her she needs a better poker face.”
“I am sorry I didn’t tell you. I don’t want to lose you over this,” I say, moving past her dig at Lauren.
“Last night I felt so bad about how I talked to you. And I thought, even if I can’t have you the way I want, I still wanted you in my life. But now I’m not sure. Maybe if I thought she was worth it, but I just don’t see it.”
“You don’t know her,” I say back in a more defensive tone than I was aiming for.
Jackie lets out a short, harsh laugh. “I don’t know how I could have missed that lovesick look in your eyes. I really am stupid.”
“You’re not stupid, Jackie,” I say and I start to move my hand out to touch her arm before thinking better of it and dropping it back to my side.
“You’re right. You are. Lauren Callahan and Oliva Ellison are cut from the same cloth.”
“You don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.”
“Well, I hope she was worth it. I’m out,” she says and moves around my body so she can push the lobby door open and leave.
I don’t try to stop her this time and I don’t even watch her walk out. I’m feeling such a mix of emotions that I can feel a tear prick the corner of my eye. I quickly swipe it away, not willing to let myself break down in the lobby.
I sit down in one of the chairs off to the side of the room and put my head into my hands. To anyone walking into the building I would probably look odd sitting there in my shorts, tank top, and sandals. I have to assume my hair and face are still a mess since I didn’t even have the chance to go to the bathroom before Jackie’s surprise visit.
In my heart I know that Jackie’s anger is justified and I haven’t been the best friend to her. But I also can’t deny how much my feelings for Lauren have grown and hearing her criticized so harshly also affected me. This would all be so less complicated if Jackie’s feelings about Lauren weren’t compounded with her own romantic feelings for me.
Choosing between the person I’m falling for and my best friend is an impossible decision I refuse to make. But lately Jackie feels much more like my ex-girlfriend than my friend and I wish we could get back to our platonic dynamic but I’m not sure we ever will now.
After a handful of minutes, I decide to go back to the apartment to face Lauren. I’m not sure if she’ll be upset with the way I left the apartment earlier, but if we’re going to do this, I also need her to know what my boundaries are.
This morning started out with me stretching in bed, wondering when Lauren would pull out the next orgasm from me. I’m so far from that blissful feeling now and all I wish is that I had never woken up to that damn knock.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
When I come back into the apartment, Lauren is sitting on the couch, but now she’s fully dressed. She must have brought a clean pair of clothes because she’s sitting in a fresh looking, white pull over and a tight pair of black leggings. And of course, Lauren looks just as good in athleisure wear as she does in a designer dress. Her whole outfit looks like it was designed specifically for her curves.
When slot oyna my eyes reach hers, it’s obvious she could see me staring at her body, but given the moment, she doesn’t say anything. I move over to the couch and sit down and it’s only then that I see Lauren is drinking the coffee Jackie brought over.
“It’s silly to let it go to waste,” she says when she sees my eyes zero in on her drink. “You should have the other one.”
“I don’t want coffee,” I say back sullenly and I know my tone sounds childish.
Lauren puts the cup on the coffee table in front of the couch before she scoots closer so our legs are touching and she can grab my hand. She turns my palm over in her own, brings it up to her mouth and gently kisses the inside of my hand. I can’t help but let out a sigh at the feeling of her soft lips and I close my eyes for a moment, releasing some of the tension from the past hour.
“You shouldn’t have said that to her,” I say quietly when Lauren brings my hand to rest in her lap. “It didn’t help.”
“I don’t like the way she talks to you,” Lauren replies.
“Can you really tell me that’s why you poke her like that?” I ask, turning my face to hers.
She looks at me for a moment before answering. “No. I’m jealous of her. Is that truth enough for you?” she asks as she moves her hand so she can play with the ends of my hair.
I take that hand and her other so I can hold them firmly in my own and turn to her on the couch so I’m facing her body. When I look into her eyes, she looks more vulnerable than I’ve ever seen her and despite her light tone, I know that was hard for her to say.
“Lauren, I’m here with you. I’m not interested in Jackie or anyone else. I may have even just lost my best friend. But I can’t help how much I want you. And care about you.”
“I care about you too,” she says, lightly squeezing my hands.
“But I need to be able to take care of my own messes and deal with my own friendships. I don’t need a hero. Maybe just a girlfriend.”
The words come out of my mouth before I can stop them and my eyes widen the second they’re gone. Lauren stares at me for a moment but doesn’t say anything and my mind is racing for a smooth way to brush past the comment. Lauren isn’t even technically divorced yet and we’ve only known each other a short period of time.
But even with that knowledge, my heart is still racing at the prospect of belonging solely to this woman. Because I do feel that strongly for her.
“Did you just ask me to be your girlfriend?” she asks in a quiet voice.
“Are you forgetting who the top is in this relationship?” she asks with a teasing smile.
“Relationship?” I ask with a quirked eyebrow and my own smile.
“Maybe if you were patient and let me ask,” she says, moving over so she can straddle my lap.
She pins both of my arms down to the couch and leans in so her face is just a breath away from my own. She studies every inch of my face before landing her gaze on my eyes. Her green eyes are shining so bright that I feel like I could just stare and get lost in them.
“I know it’s fast,” she says in a whisper, her lips barely grazing my own. “But I also know what I feel for you. And I’m not letting that go. Will you be my girlfriend, Ems?”
Instead of answer I push my lips against the waiting ones in front of me. Lauren doesn’t seem to mind my nonverbal response for now as she takes her hands from pinning my own and moves them up into my hair so she can weave her hands through it and deepen the kiss.
I don’t even know how long we stay there kissing, but soon it’s a full on make-out session and we’re starting to grind against each other like we’re sixteen years old. Finally, she tightens her grip on my hair and pulls my face away from her own. Her breathing is as heavy as my own and I can see the familiar arousal in her eyes as she looks down at me.
“Before we let that go any further, you can’t leave a girl hanging like that. Answer me.”
Lauren’s commanding tone does nothing to lessen how romantic this entire moment feels. Lauren’s passion and desire for me is potent and I can feel it vibrating off her body and into my own.
“Yes. I’ll be your girlfriend, miss,” I say and my own voice is husky with desire.
“Good,” she says as she grinds her body down on my lap again. “Now let’s get you naked shall we?”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lauren: Do you like sushi?
Me: Love it.
I have to smile at my phone as I reply to yet another text from Lauren about tonight’s plan. So far since meeting her, she rarely shows signs of insecurity or indecision. But she’s already asked me if I like Vietnamese and Korean food, which makes me think maybe she’s flustered by the idea of our first date.
And I can’t deny that I feel butterflies in my stomach at the prospect of our first real date. Which seems silly considering how intimate we’ve been with each other. My stomach does yet another flip when I think back to our declaration from earlier today, and canlı casino siteleri the amazing sex that resulted from it.
It’s been a long time since I’ve called someone my girlfriend— Jackie barely even got that designation. The last person I felt this infatuated with was Grace and we took months to become exclusive. I feel like a walking lesbian stereotype, but I also can’t stand the idea of Lauren with anyone else. Somehow in even such a short period of time, I feel like I belong to her.
Choosing an outfit for tonight wasn’t nearly as nerve-wracking as my first dinner with her. We both decided that until the Ellison pitch is over, being out in public as a couple isn’t the best idea. So, I’m going over to have dinner in Lauren’s new apartment, which she warned me is basically empty of furniture at this point. But I still want to see the place Miss Callahan chose to call her own.
As I dig in my closet, I decide on a simple pair of black jeans and a sleeveless blouse. I can’t help but smile as I look at my reflection in the mirror knowing how Lauren will react to this particular color choice. Choosing pink may get me a spanking, but I want to tease her a little more about her color of sex toys.
I look at the time on my phone and know I need to hurry since Lauren lives all the way over in Ballard. But looking at my phone only serves to remind me that I haven’t heard from Jackie again, which is a change considering our near constant text thread each day.
I’ve thought about texting her all day, but I don’t know what else I can say. I’ve apologized and I shouldn’t have lied to her. But I’m also not going to stop seeing Lauren because my friend doesn’t approve. I feel like we’re at a standstill that I can’t do anything to change and I’m anxious about seeing her at work on Monday.
I push those thoughts aside for now so I can text Lauren.
Me: I’m about to head out. Are you ready for me, miss?
Lauren: Yes, baby. Come over.
Me: See you soon.
Lauren: Can’t wait.
Luckily there’s nobody in my apartment to see me stupidly staring at my phone and smiling. Even with the awareness of all the hurdles ahead of us, the upcoming Ellison pitch and even Jackie’s ire, there is nothing that will ruin this night for me.
I have a feeling I’ll always remember my first date with Lauren Callahan.
It’s dark by the time I get to Lauren’s apartment and it’s hard to see much detail other than that the building seems fairly new or it was at least recently renovated. It’s not the luxury high rise I expected her to live in and the building’s lobby is actually kind of quaint. It has a historical hotel feel to it, even though everything is clearly new.
As I’m waiting for the elevator to take me to Lauren’s apartment on the 10th floor, I feel my phone buzz.
Lauren: Just come in when you’re here. The door is unlocked.
All at once my body erupts in a mix of nerves, excitement and arousal. I might have been able to convince myself as I was getting ready earlier that this wasn’t as nerve-wracking since I know Lauren now, but that’s harder now that I’m here. Something about her text drips with a sexual magnetism and my body is responding in kind.
Once I reach her door, I take a few steadying breaths before I walk into the apartment, griping the bottle of wine I brought probably more tightly than I need to. It’s just dawning on me now that I’ve never been to an Executive Vice President’s home before and as the thought crosses my mind, I have to remind myself that she’s not just an EVP, she’s my girlfriend.
I give myself an internal shake and walk into the apartment. But when I come in, Lauren isn’t in sight and all I can see is a long, dark hallway leading to the rest of the apartment. I can see some light flickering at the end so I slowly head to that.
The room I walk in to is almost empty, but I can see the potential. With high ceilings and an open floor plan, everything about the apartment’s fixtures look new and expensive. The only furniture I can see is a small table in the middle of the room that has a candle and flower on it.
The light is off and the only thing illuminating the room are candles placed all around the wall. There is also a modern gas fireplace against one wall that is set to low. The scene is so romantic that I feel speechless as I turn around the room and take it all in.
“Come out here, Ems,” I hear a voice call from the doors on the other side of the room.
I was so distracted by the candles and table when I first came into the room, that I didn’t even notice the two large glass doors lining the far wall. But as I open them wider and move out onto the balcony, my breath catches and for the first time, it’s not even because of Lauren’s presence.
I knew we were close to the water based on the beach signs I saw around the front of the building, but it’s not until I came out to the balcony that I can see just how close we are. Lauren’s apartment building is resting on a large rock structure that extends into the ocean and I’m looking directly out and down at Puget Sound. It’s dark so I can’t make out much of the water’s detail, but the view is magnificent, nonetheless.
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