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What I Wouldn't Do

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Somebody once told Danneel that she couldn’t possibly be a pediatric oncologist, that she’s too pretty. That someone had been her adviser her first year out of med school, and she’d simply smirked at him and let him keep talking, because she knew then she’d make it her personal mission to stick around as long as possible, even if it was just to annoy the absolute fuck out of him.

Now she’s out of her internship and on her second year of her residency. She’s there at the hospital seven days a week, almost all day, every single day. And she hasn’t had a vacation in three years since she’d gone to Capri with her (now) ex-girlfriend to visit family.

New Orleans is just a couple of hours away, but she hasn’t been since she was a teenager, and it’s the perfect getaway at last minute. New Orleans one week, Gulf Shores another. Because she’s fucking earned it.

She can be a whole other person, just completely let go for awhile. And she absolutely can’t wait.

 

Her hotel is on Chartres Street in an old Creole townhouse, two blocks from the St. Louis Cathedral, and she climbs into bed and sleeps for ten hours the evening she gets there.

She wakes up to the smell of bread and jasmine, the late September air from the cracked window perfect, soft and just the slightest bit cool to drive goosebumps up her bare arms and make her nipples stiffen up. She rolls over in bed and stretches, a serene smile on her face.

She could totally get used to waking up like this.

 

After breakfast, she heads into the quarter, dressed down in a comfy, floral-print dress, her hair down in wild waves of red curls around her bare, freckled shoulders and down her back. The sun is still warm this far down south, and it kisses at her shoulders, warming her all over.

She drifts down Royal Street, spending the day ducking into antique shops and running her fingers over expensive trinkets, over aging lace dresses and cool, porcelain doll faces cracked with time and love. There’s a jazz band playing right out in the middle of the street, dressed in suits and winking at her one by one as she steps back out into the sunlight.

She grabs an oyster po’ boy for lunch and finds herself drifting down Royal Street and crossing Espalande, the late afternoon settling down around the rundown houses moodily as she ventures into the Faubourg Marigny.

Danneel pulls her a light sweater out of her bag and tugs it on when the shadows start to deepen, the sky exploding in bright colors of sunset before giving in to a deep violet that seems to stay. The streetlights come up, and she might love this little area even more than its charming neighbor, the Quarter.

Most of the stores seem to be closing up for the evening, families milling about now, couples holding hands as they disappear into restaurants.

She starts to feel it then, that little tug, the little ache that reminds her that she hasn’t had a girlfriend in eight months, hasn’t had sex since spring. That intimacy is something foreign to her now, like a lost memory. Her life simply won’t allow for romance, won’t allow for anything but hurried one-night stands, if she can stay awake long enough for them.

And as much as she savors her solitude after long days, sometimes she just feels lonely.

The smell of incense catches her off-guard, surprises her in the middle of all the dinner-smells of garlic and butter and fried fish, and she finds herself drifting toward it, seeking it out.

She ends up in front of a little, dark shop with the big wooden door propped open, dimly lit inside with candles and wafting out that familiar, comforting scent of sandalwood. She tugs her sweater around herself and steps inside.

It takes her eyes a few minutes to adjust, but a strange little shop comes into focus when they do: tables and shelves full of bottles, jars, and bowls of things like spices and shells and stones, piles of feathers, stacks of candles, strange little packages of bones, of unknowable mixtures, mysterious charms and trinkets covering every possible surface. There are white candles lit everywhere, throwing the place into a warm, honeyed glow, and that in combination with the earthy scent of sandalwood and the tinny, ancient strains of some old Delta bluesman coming from the back of the shop make Danneel feel like she’s stepped into another world.

She stops in front of a shelf holding a straw-doll and a bowl filled with folded-up pieces of paper, a red candle burning beside it with a little hand-written sign taped to the bowl: Leave a wish for Marie Laveau. Wishes taken to her once a week.

She chews on her bottom lip, eyes sliding over the small stack of paper and pencil next to the red candle. She picks up the pencil without overthinking it, twirling it in her fingers for a few seconds before she scratches her wish onto it:

I want to find love.

She puts the pencil down and folds the paper up, dropping it in the bowl just as she hears a sudden movement behind her.

“Hello.”

Danneel jumps at the sound, nearly knocking the bowl into the candle as she spins around with a gasp.

“Sorry, sorry, wow. That was a little dramatic of me, wasn’t it?” She grins at the shadowed girl with the dusky voice, not really seeing her face until she steps forward, and that’s when Danneel stops smiling.

The girl is a few inches shorter than she is, but the quiet strength in her makes Danneel’s heart race immediately, makes her memorize the girl’s face, taking in the impossible darkness of her eyes, the sweet curve of her full mouth, the fall of near-black hair around her bare shoulders. There’s something about her that makes Danneel feel desperate for her immediately, makes her legs tremble with the need to sink to her knees, to have just a taste of her.

“...Hi,” she finally breathes, all the shadows seeming to draw in around the girl, shrouding her almost completely except for the candle glow in her eyes. The girl, beyond all reason, smiles at her.

“Hi, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you. I didn’t hear you come in, and I was in the back, and…” The girl turns then to motion to the back of the shop, the thick fall of her hair sliding down over her shoulder and spilling down her back.

“It’s okay,” Danneel replies quickly, giving a little laugh that seems to snap her out of whatever spell she’d fallen under. “Are you about to close up? I-I can go.”

“I was,” comes her warm voice, her bracelets tinkling as she lifts her hand to gather her hair back away from her face. She leans forward and blows out the red candle right next to Danneel’s arm, and Danneel can’t help but shiver when she feels the soft rush of her breath. She inhales deeply and smells her, the elemental scent of her skin right alongside the unmistakable scent of Hawaiian Tropic, like maybe she’d laid out in the sun earlier, when it was bright and blazing overhead.

A wave of lust hits Danneel like a punch, making her insides clench up, a thick pulse of hunger licking between her legs. She fidgets uselessly with the strap of her purse, her eyes on the long, shadowed line of the girl’s neck.

“I’ll leave. Uh, this is a cool shop. Thanks for, um. I’ll just.” Danneel backs toward the door, a hand behind her to keep up from running into any tables. The girl lifts her eyes then, pinning Danneel with a slow smile.

“You maybe wanna help me blow all these candles out? It takes awhile with just one person.”

“Sure,” Danneel stammers, not about to say no to anything this girl asks, especially with that little smile on her pretty face and that lazy lilt to her bayou accent. She steps close once more, just watching as the girl gathers her hair again and starts blowing each candle out one at a time, little puffs of air making the shop darker and darker. Danneel mimics her, gathering long red strands in her hand and starting on the table behind the girl, blowing the candles out with the same slow care she had shown.

They finish after several minutes, and the whole place is dark when the girl blows out the very last candle. Danneel can’t see her anymore, but she can feel her, a long, heated line of girl just inches away, close enough to touch, if she dared to reach out.

“Wait here. I need to grab my purse.”

A sudden, artificial light brightens the space between them: an iPhone. Danneel can’t help but laugh as the blue glow of the phone makes its way to the back of the store and then returns, passing Danneel so that she has no choice but to follow her to the door and out onto the street.

She watches the girl lock the shop up in the streetlight that’s a little brighter than the candles had been, showing Danneel the girl’s face more clearly, her expressive eyebrows, the melted caramel color of her skin. Fuck, this girl is stunning.

“Thanks for helping with the candles. Lydia is my part-time girl, but she’s on vacation with her boyfriend at Lake Tahoe for a couple of weeks, so it’s just me right now.” The girl slips the keys into her purse and turns her attention to Danneel, holding her with those dark eyes. Danneel takes a step closer to her, loving that she’s taller than the girl is, loving that she’s still looking at her, that her gaze hasn’t broken at all.

“This is your shop?”

“Yeah.” The girl smiles up at the old building, the fondness unmistakable. “It was my grandmother’s, and now it’s mine. She died a few years ago, and I moved in upstairs and took over. I’ve spent more time here than I have anywhere else in the world.”

“That must be amazing,” Danneel finds herself saying, lost in the girl’s long, ink-black lashes, in the memories caught there in her eyes. “Feeling so connected to a place.”

“I’m grateful,” the girl says after a few beats, turning back to smile at Danneel, her head tilted thoughtfully. “Because I know no matter what, I’ll never feel lost. You know? Because I’ll always have my little shop. My home.”

“I’m Danneel.” She holds out her hand, her fingers trembling a little in anticipation of touching the girl, dying a little to know her warmth, even if just for a second.

“Genevieve,” she replies, her smile cutting through all the shadows and finding Danneel just as their fingers slide together, palms lining up as they shake hands gently, too briefly. “Everybody calls me Gen, though. Except my grandmother.”

“Gen,” she repeats, her skin singing with the memory of her touch. “Amazing to meet you, Gen.”

“You, too.” Gen sounds hesitant, like she’s saying one thing and thinking about something else. She licks her lips and takes a quick breath, her body angling toward the street now, toward the casual bustle around them. “Well, I’m going to run to the grocery store to grab something for dinner. I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet this week, so it was a peanut butter-and-Ritz-cracker kinda breakfast this morning.”

“God, I hear ya on those,” Danneel sighs, giving a laugh as she steps back out of Gen’s space, her arms folding over her chest. A breeze picks up, making her dress and Gen’s long, loose skirt lift a little, their hair moving in the cool wind. Gen shivers, and Danneel finds herself taking off her purse just long enough to take her sweater off, offering it to Gen.

“Here, you can borrow this. For your errand.” She smiles as Gen takes the sweater with a surprised, touched expression, and Danneel finds herself at a loss to explain the happiness she feels when Gen pulls her sweater on and tugs it around her slim body.

“You’re so sweet. Thank you. But how--”

Danneel shrugs, taking a step back toward the French Quarter, her eyes trained on Gen.

“Guess I’ll just have to come see you again.”

Gen ducks her head and smiles down at where her hands are covered by the grey-blue sleeves of the sweater, her hair falling all around her face before she looks back up at Danneel from under her lashes.

“Please do.”

Danneel feels like she’s flying, so high on this feeling between them, with the flirty look in Gen’s eyes.

“Have a good night and sweet dreams, Gen.”

“You, too.”

One last hold of their gaze and they’re both looking away, walking in opposite directions, but Danneel practically floats the whole walk back to the Quarter.

 

She climbs into bed as soon as she washes her face and strips down to panties and a tanktop, eager fingers slipping into her panties, tongue sliding over her lips when she finds that she’s already wet.

Just from talking to Gen.

She gets off with her middle finger rubbing hard at her clit, left hand massaging her breast, bottom lip sucked up into her mouth as she imagines grinding with Gen in a bed surrounded by a hundred candles, Gen’s dark hair a curtain all around their faces, making the whole rest of the world disappear for awhile.

 

----

 

Danneel goes for a jog around the Quarter before dawn the next morning, making her way through the mostly-deserted streets until she’s dripping with sweat, her hair caught up in a messy ponytail at the back of her head. She feels good, like something in her chest has eased up, made her feel calmer.

She’s honest enough with herself to know that it’s Gen. It’s all Gen.

She stops in at the little bakery across the street from her hotel and grabs a box of fresh croissants, a container of rich cream cheese with honey, and a complimentary bowl of strawberries that look fat and ripe and juicy. She gets them to pack it all up to-go with two fresh-squeezed orange juices and she makes her way through the Quarter, watching as it all wakes up, as the kids start to fill the streets on the way to school, people to their jobs, tourists to Jackson Square.

Danneel makes her way to the Faubourg Marigny and her sweet girl with the pretty smile.

The shop is closed when she gets there, but she hears movement from the balcony above and squints as she looks up to it. Gen is there in a tiny pair of running shorts and a t-shirt shot through with worn holes and a faded picture of Jeff Buckley on it. Her hair is swept up in a forgotten ponytail, and she’s bent over to water the incredible amount of flora overflowing from her little balcony, given Danneel an unparalleled, exquisite view of her ass in those little shorts.

Well, goddamn.

“Hello?”

Gen jumps much the way Danneel had yesterday in Gen’s shop, and Danneel is grinning by the time Gen turns around and squints down at Danneel there on the street below her balcony, the Romeo to her Juliet.

“Oh, hey! Hi! Sorry, I was just kinda in my own little world.” She’s smiling so hard her nose is crinkling up and Danneel’s hands tremble in their grip on the orange juices with the need to touch her face.

“It’s okay. I just, um. I was getting breakfast, and I thought about what you said last night, and I was worried that it was going to be another peanut butter breakfast for you, so I got enough for two.”

Gen just stares down at her for a moment, holding her little yellow watering can, the stretched-out neck of her shirt slipping off her shoulder to reveal even more sun-kissed skin and no sign of a bra.

“You got me breakfast?”

“Well,” Danneel stares down at her full hands and the bag hanging from her arm, chewing on her lip in self-doubt before she raises her voice again to speak. “Unless you already ate. I guess I could--”

“Stay right there. I’ll be right down.” The smile on Gen’s face is quiet, almost unreadable, and Danneel finds herself tense, not really sure what’s going through her mind. She obeys though, stays where she is, starting a little when the heavy wooden door to the shop creaks open and Gen’s head pokes out.

“Come on up.”

Danneel follows her into the shop, and she’s surprised to see the light inside, windows open, lamps on in all four corners.

“Wow. It’s so bright.”

Gen laughs as she takes the orange juices from Danneel, looking down at them like she can’t quite believe what she’s holding. “Hmm? Oh, yeah. During the day, I let the light in so I don’t freak out the families and tourists. I figure whoever is coming in later in the evening knows what they’re here for and expects it to be a little dark inside. Plus, you know. Saves on electricity.”

“Makes sense,” Danneel murmurs as Gen starts up the stairs, her eyes fixed on the girl’s ass as she follows her up, tongue sliding over her lips to wet them. There’s another door at the top of the stairs, and Gen opens it up and sticks her foot in first, voice dropping to the stern one of a pet owner.

“Vivi, back. Go on, now.” She slips inside and sets the orange juices down on an end table before reaching down to scoop up a dark grey fluffball of a cat with mint green eyes that find Danneel immediately. Gen opens the door wider and steps back, ducking her head to absently kiss the top of the cat’s head.

“This is Vivian, my partner in crime. Vivi, this is Danneel. She’s the nice lady who’s makin’ sure Mommy doesn’t have to test out that questionable milk in the fridge this morning.”

Danneel gives a little laugh, setting the bag down on the coffee table and reaching out to sink her fingers into the cat’s thick fur, scritching and petting at her and maybe stroking lightly over Gen’s arm where she’s holding Vivian.

“Nice to meet you, Vivi. Sounds like Mommy needs a vacation just as much as I did.”

“So you’re visiting, huh?” Danneel doesn’t realize how close they’re standing until she looks up, brown eyes meeting Gen’s even darker ones, and the heat between them kicks up immediately.

“Yeah, from Baton Rouge. I’ve been in school for so long that I just never leave town, and I finally decided to take that vacation I’ve been needing for awhile.” She gives Vivi one last rub under the chin before she crouches down to dig into the bag, pulling out its contents, piling up napkins and forks and the knives for doling out cream cheese.

“How long are you in town?” Gen lets Vivi jump down onto a chair before she sinks down on the couch and leans forward to look over what Danneel brought. Danneel watches her close her eyes and inhale deep, all those smells of warm bread, sweet cream cheese, tart strawberries, and bright orange juice mixing between them.

“A week. Then I’m heading over to Gulf Shores for a week before I go back home. Here, help yourself.” She passes Gen some napkins and a knife, pushing the box of croissants toward her.

Gen opens up the container of cream cheese, her knife poised just above it before she lifts her eyes, her smile almost shy.

“Thank you for breakfast. It’s the sweetest thing anybody’s done for me in a long time.”

Danneel plucks a strawberry out of the container she just opened to busy her hands, her cheeks flushing as she reaches over and drags it through the cream cheese Gen’s holding.

“Someone should be this sweet to you every day.”

She bites the tip off the strawberry and realizes then that their eyes are locked, that Gen is watching her like something amazing is happening. Vivian jumps up on the coffee table and the spell breaks when Gen turns to shoo her away with a nudge of her elbow.

“So, um,” Gen starts, her voice soft as she carefully spreads cream cheese on a bit of croissant, “you said you were in school. What did you go to school for?”

“Pediatric oncology.” Danneel licks her fingers before she grabs her own croissant, coating it in sticky sweet cheese and taking a big bite of it, covering her hand with her fingers as she chews. “I’m in my second year of residency, and I’m at work pretty much all the time, except when I’m sleeping. Which… is usually still at work. Huh.”

Gen makes a noise while she chews, and she takes a sip of orange juice before she tries to speak. “So… you work with children who have cancer?”

“Yep. Strongest people on the damn planet, let me tell you.” The orange juice is tart and pulpy and tastes so good with the strawberry flavor still on Danneel’s tongue that she hums. Gen just watches her, wiping her fingers off on a napkin before she grabs a strawberry of her own. Danneel studies her with relish while Gen eats it, one slow, careful bite at a time.

“That’s… amazing. And must be so difficult. Hard to leave it all when you go home, I bet.”

“Barely there,” Danneel shrugs, tearing off another piece of croissant to slather with cream cheese. “I got a new apartment last year, and most of my stuff’s still in boxes. I guess I’m a bit of a workaholic, but. It’s not like I have anything to come home to, you know? So, why not be at work where I can at least be helping people?”

Gen finishes off her orange juice and sits back on the couch, pulling her legs up onto it and distracting Danneel with the smooth, caramel-colored skin and her bare feet, toes unpolished.

“Don’t you ever get lonely?”

Danneel looks away then, lowering her eyes because the real answer is there in them, always there. Her mom always told her that she’s a terrible liar because her eyes tell the truth before she ever opens her mouth.

“Sometimes, I guess. But…”

She trails off, awkward, because there isn’t any good way to finish the sentence. She grabs the napkin to wipe her mouth before she looks back up at Gen, maybe a little agitated at turn in conversation, at the way Gen is looking at her, watching her, like she’s waiting to see what Danneel is going to do next.

“Anyway. I’m sure you’ve got a lot of stuff to do today. A shop to run and all that.” She climbs to her feet, leaning down to close up the box, to gather all the little bits of trash. Gen hasn’t moved, her eyes soft as she watches.

“My shop is closed on Mondays.”

Danneel pauses, trash clasped in her hands. “Oh.”

“What were you gonna to do today?” Gen unfolds finally, leaning forward, elbows on her knees and her chin in her hands, her eyes still on Danneel.

“Dunno. Definitely take a shower. I smell like funk.” Danneel laughs, wrinkling her nose as Gen stands up and walks around the coffee table to take the trash from Danneel’s hands, and her heart almost stops when Gen leans in, her nose very close to Danneel’s bare neck. She can hear Gen take a deep breath, like she’s scenting her.

“Smell good to me.” Gen pulls back, fixing Danneel with one last smile before she’s off to the kitchen, dropping the trash into the can near the dishwasher.

Danneel starts and stops a few times before she manages to make a sound, and even then it’s only a weak, quiet whimper. She can feel her pulse jumping in her neck, and Gen is bending over again like she knows what it does to Danneel.

And she probably does.

“Th-Then I was thinking about… I dunno. Maybe going to the French Market. Looking around on Magazine Street. If you, um. If you aren’t busy later, I’d love if you’d maybe show me around. Be my tour guide? I pay in strawberries.” She crosses her arms under her breasts, pushing them up a little so her cleavage swells up over her tanktop. She watches Gen turn around, watches her eyes slide down and linger before looking up to meet her own.

“I am a sucker for strawberries.” Gen makes her way back into the livingroom, stopping a few feet from Danneel and putting her hands on her hips as she fights to hold in a smile. “Wanna meet outside in half an hour?”

Danneel gives a sharp, disbelieving laugh, her own hands falling to her hips as she raises her eyebrows, a grin taking over her entire face.

“You think I’m gonna be ready and back here in half an hour? I’ve got a face to put on and hair to save. I’m going to need at least an hour.”

Gen shakes her head, giving Danneel a once over that tells her that Gen seems to like the way she looks even right now, sweats and no makeup and all. It makes her feel warm.

“How about I come to you, then? Just give me an address and I’ll come pick you up.”

Danneel grins. “It’s a date.”

 

----

 

They meet outside the Hotel St. Helene where Danneel is staying, the sun hidden behind clouds, making the breezy late morning a cool one. Danneel had changed clothes five different times before settling on a slouchy, oversized black cropped sweater and her best, tightest jeans, her hair twisted in a wild, loose braid over her right shoulder. She rubs her lips together to distribute her lipgloss as she heads toward Gen who is leaning down to pet a Boxer a man has on a leash, and Danneel can’t keep the smile from her face.

“Hey,” she says softly, leaning down to scratch behind the dog’s ear, her eyes on Gen.

“Hey!” Gen straightens up and Danneel gets a look at her for the first time, at her hair down and soft all around her face, at the jeans that hug her snug all over, at the lacy, dark purple camisole under Danneel’s own grey cardigan. She has on layers of long, slinky necklaces and a ring with a fat chunk of amber set in it, and she looks absolutely beautiful.

“Sorry it took me so long. Got a phonecall from the hospital that I had to take.”

The man with the dog walks away, and Gen pushes her hands into her pocket before she leads them slowly down the street.

“Is everything okay?”

“Yeah! Oh, yeah, everything’s…” Danneel takes a deep breath, glancing over at Gen and deciding to tell her the truth. “One of my patients died today. Lily. She was eight.”

“Oh.” Gen stops and turns to face her, and Danneel has no choice but to stop with her. “God, Danneel, I am so sorry. We can postpone this, if you need to. If you just want--”

“No,” Danneel shakes her head, finally looking up to meet her eyes and finding them wide and overflowing with sympathy, fixed on her. “This is just… one of those horrible parts of what I do. I’m heartbroken, but there’s nothing I can do now. I… I want to spend the day out. With you.”

Gen pulls her bottom lip into her mouth, chewing on it as she lifts a hand and slides it up Danneel’’s arm, rubbing slow and sweet and God, it almost feels like having a girlfriend again. “Whatever you wanna do today, I’m game.

“I want to see your New Orleans. Show me your favorite places.”

Gen’s grin is contagious, and Danneel has to shove her hands in her pockets again to keep from reaching out to hold onto her sweet little hips.

“Awesome. We should start with the Garden District. Let’s head toward Canal so we can catch a streetcar.”

They walk closer now as they make their way to the edge of the Quarter, their fingertips brushing, shoulders grazing every few steps. They’re quiet for awhile, taking in the sounds and smells of the French Quarter in full-swing, all of it making Danneel realize more and more that it’s going to be very hard to leave this place in six days.

“So, um. I know you live by yourself, but are you dating anybody? Any boyfriends, or…” Danneel knows she’s being anything but covert, that she’s asking in classically subtle, lesbianic way if Gen is into girls, and from Gen’s immediate smile, it seems that Gen knows it, too.

“Nope, not lately. Besides, I haven’t had a boyfriend for awhile. The last one I had, I hit him in the head with a shovel and he never talked to me again.” Gen sounds casual, like she’s telling Danneel what she’s planning on eating for dinner, but Danneel just stops, her mouth open.

“What?”

Gen turns around to face her, her eyebrows raised, a mischievous smile pulling at her mouth. “Yeah, it was pretty bad. He’d thrown sand in my face, and I’d just had enough.” She steps closer to Danneel, flat-out grinning now. “We were four. In the sandbox on the playground. I don’t date guys anymore.”

Danneel lets out the breath she didn’t know she’d been holding in with a burst of laughter, and Gen finally ducks her head to giggle down at her shoes.

“You scared me there for a minute. I was worried that the first girl I’ve liked in nearly a year was going to turn out to be a psycho.” Danneel reaches out and hooks her finger in one of Gen’s belt loops to give her a tug forward, more than a little turned on at how readily and easily Gen lets her body go, lets Danneel just pull her where she wants her.

“You like me, hm?” Their bodies are ghosting together, and Danneel is well-aware of the people around them, the families and businessmen and rich housewives shopping. It doesn’t stop her from pulling her finger free of Gen’s belt loop and sliding it around to her hip underneath the cardigan, giving it a slow squeeze to test out the softness, to let Gen’s warmth seep into her skin.

“Did I tell you how good you look in my sweater?”

Danneel watches as Gen’s cheeks flush, holds her gaze all through it, thumb slipping under her shirt to stroke so soft over her hipbone. Gen shakes her head in response, seeming struck by a sudden shyness, and the hungry top in Danneel barely restrains herself from driving her hand up under Gen’s shirt and across her flat stomach.

“I wore it to give it back to you.”

“Later.” Danneel tugs her a little closer so that their tummies drag together, her bottom lip caught in her teeth as she flicks her eyes down to Gen’s mouth before meeting her gaze again. “Streetcar?”

“Streetcar,” Gen breathes, long, dark lashes fluttering as she lets out a long breath. “Um. St-streetcar. Right. This way.”

They start down the street again, fingers brushing once again, and Danneel takes a deep breath and straightens her hand out, letting it tangle up with Gen’s, their palms nestling in against each other. She can see Gen’s grin out of the corner of her eyes, and she glances over at her with a nervous smile.

“Is this okay?”

“Yeah.” Gen’s thumb runs over the back of Danneel’s hand, stroke in a slow circle before giving it a squeeze. “Definitely.”

 

The ride on the streetcar makes Danneel feel like a kid again, the whole thing so old-world and such a novelty that she spends most of the time craning this way and that, staring all around them as St. Charles Avenue comes into view, the houses getting massive, all the lawns perfectly trimmed, all the trees’ leaves changing colors so prettily. Gen just watches her with that small, enigmatic smile of hers, like Danneel is somehow more interesting than the Garden District.

They walk the neighborhood for the better part of two hours, Gen pointing out this house or that, explaining histories and styles of architecture and Danneel just absorbs it all, watches the way Gen’s mouth moves around certain words, memorizes the feel of those long fingers laced with hers the few times she’d been brave enough to hold her hand and how soft her eyes get when Danneel plucks a bursting white cape jasmine from some exquisitely manicured garden and tucks it behind Gen’s ear.

 

They have lunch at Commander’s Palace, downing three twenty-five cent melon martinis each and filling up on big bowls of spicy gumbo and creamy grits. Danneel’s mouth is swollen and red with spice, and Gen stops outside the restaurant to reach over and touch the side of it with a smirk on her face.

“Poor thing. Not used to New Orleans heat, are you?”

“Excuse you. I’m still from Louisiana,” Danneel challenges, her eyebrows raised but she stays still enough to let Gen’s fingers trail over her chin, her cheek. “I just… usually eat Italian or something. Easier to get delivered.”

“Too bad you don’t live here. I’d cook for you every night.” Gen’s doing that thing again where she looks so pretty and submissive, staring up at Danneel through her lashes. Danneel indulges this time and slides her hand around to rest on Gen’s back, tucking up under her shirt to trace over her spine.

“Oh, would you? Miss peanut butter and crackers for breakfast?” She grins down at her, their faces inching closer and closer together, and Gen’s little burst of laughter is nearly right against Danneel’s lips.

“If I had somebody to cook for, I’d do it all the time.” Gen takes a couple of steps back until she’s leaning against the pristine white side of the restaurant, the shadows masking them from the people coming and going from it. Danneel goes with it, using the tips of her nails to slide almost too soft over the small of Gen’s back.

“Yeah?” Danneel’s voice drops low, her bedroom voice, her bend over and show me how wet you are voice. “What, wanna be my sweet little earth mama girlfriend? Is that it? Keep me fed and happy?”

“If you’d let me.” Gen is breathless now, her lips flushed with blood and Danneel wonders if her pussy is that exact, perfect shade of pink. Danneel edges forward, slots right between Gen’s legs and hums soft and pleased when Gen gasps.

“Wanted you from the second I saw you. Fucked myself last night thinking about what you’d taste like, the way you look at me with those pretty eyes.” Danneel lifts one hand and rests it on Gen’s face, letting her fingers tumble down over her smooth skin and up into the thick wilds of her hair. Gen’s eyes laze until they’re almost closed, and she moves into Danneel’s touch like a cat. They’re moving together now, hips meeting and nestling together but not pushing, not yet.

“Couldn’t sleep at all last night,” Gen whispers, her voice almost lost under the approaching crowd of people nearing the restaurant, and Danneel can feel some of their eyes on where they’re pressed up against the side of the building. And she doesn’t fucking care. She runs the backs of her knuckles down Gen’s cheekbone and the slender line of her neck, watching the swell of her breasts when her traveling fingers get close to them.

“Tell me what you thought about.”

“How I could see your nipples through your dress,” Gen rests her head back against the wall, mouth tipped up and practically begging for a kiss, for that first kiss. “The freckles all over your chest, the way your hips moved when you were walking away. Your smile, like you already knew you had me.”

“You like my tits, huh?” Danneel’s hand continues down sliding over Gen’s waist, pushing her shirt up so she can stroke across her stomach, pleased with the way it curves out to meet her. “I want you to suck on them later. But I don’t like it hard. I want it soft and slow. Can you do that?”

“Yes, m’am,” Gen sighs, like it’s a relief to say. Danneel raises an eyebrow, intrigued by the name. She leans down and presses a kiss to Gen’s cheek, amazed and so proud at the way Gen just takes the kiss, doesn’t try to turn her face to catch Danneel’s mouth. Danneel lifts her other hand to cup Gen’s face, keeping it right where it is so she can bring their mouths together for the first time, kissing her thick and sweet, tongues nudging at each other in a tease before Danneel pulls back.

“We’re going across the street to the cemetery, right?”

“Mm,” Gen nods, her eyes finally slipping open and she gazes up at Danneel so hungrily that Danneel wants to find that streetcar and take Gen back to her hotel and tie her to the bed for the rest of the night. Instead, she pulls back from her, reaching for her hand and tugging her away from the wall and back toward the sidewalk.

Because the slow dance is so much more fun.

There’s a crowd of people at the entrance to the cemetery as a part of a guided tour, blocking up the way in as they listen to their tour guide. Danneel and Gen just fall in with the group to wait, and Danneel is only half-listening as the man talks about how many people are buried here, who is buried here, and for how long.

She slides up behind Gen and wraps her arms around her from behind, smiling for the way Gen just melts back against her. She lowers her mouth to Gen’s ear, locking eyes with a middle-aged woman frowning disapprovingly at them nearby.

“I bet you eat the best pussy,” she whispers in Gen’s ear through the thick fall of her hair, her fingers slipping under Gen’s shirt again, dipping just barely below the waist of her Gen’s to feel the elastic of her panties. “Wanna come in your mouth later. Will you be a good girl and eat me out?”

She can feel how hard Gen’s breathing because she’s holding her close, stroking over the delicate bones of Gen’s wrists and up across her smooth tummy. Gen nods, her face flushed hot, like she’s restraining herself, trying to be good here in the middle of all these people.

The disapproving woman’s husband is watching them now, too, and the woman has to pull him along when the crowd starts to shuffle in through the gates.

The cemetery is a blur of mausoleums, the smell of dust and decay and forgotten flowers, and the spicy-warm taste of Genevieve’s breathless mouth.

 

They get muffulettas to go from a walk-up place near Canal when they’re dropped back off in the French Quarter, and Danneel watches her second New Orleanian sunset as they slowly make their way to her hotel, watches all the colors give into that same, undeniable violet as last night.

They make up a little picnic in the courtyard at the hotel, only a couple of low lights and the warm aqua of the lighted pool letting them see at all. They eat their sandwiches and share a big bottle of ice cold water from the reception desk, and Danneel doesn’t wait until she’s swallowed her last piece before she’s kicking off her shoes and tugging her sweater over her head.

Gen watches, the bottle of water lifted to her mouth, her eyes locked on where Danneel’s breasts are practically spilling out of her dainty black balconette bra.

“...What are you doing?”

“Going swimming.” She stands up and thumbs her jeans open, working them down her hips and kicking them over into a pile with her sweater. She puts her hands on her hips, knowing how good she looks just from the lust she can see in Gen’s eyes even in the failing light. “You coming?”

“Probably,” Gen huffs in a faint laugh, settling the water down and unfolding herself to stand up, toeing off her shoes, pulling off her jewelry and not once taking her eyes off of Danneel’s breasts. “Looking a body like that, how could I not be?”

Danneel tugs her hair free of its braid while Gen shrugs off Danneel’s sweater, while she pushes her jeans down and off, leaving her in the tanktop and a ruby red pair of boycut panties. Danneel just raises her eyebrows, watching and waiting.

“Shirt,” she instructs, taking a step toward her and she smiles when Gen folds her arms around her own waist shyly.

“It’s just,” Gen licks her lips, glancing over at the pool and then back up at Danneel. “I’m not wearing a bra.”

“Mmmm,” Danneel purrs, hips working as she crosses the few feet between them, fingers gathering up the hem of Gen’s shirt. “This is definitely coming off, then.”

“But--”

Gen is interrupted when Danneel tugs the shirt up and off over Gen’s head, tossing it down toward her own clothes, completely forgotten because Gen is naked except for her panties and right here within Danneel’s reach.

“Fuck, look at these,” she whispers, sliding her hands up to cup Gen’s breasts, the pads of her thumbs stroking over her already stiff-tipped nipples. “Perfect little handfuls, so fucking sexy. Didn’t wear a bra today because you knew. You knew you’d be showin’ these to me. Knew it would tease me all day.”

“No, I--”

Danneel leans down and slides the flat of her tongue up Gen’s left nipple before she sucks it into her mouth, surprised by how loud Gen’s sharp little cry is, by the strength in Gen’s hands when she grabs the back of Danneel’s hair and keeps her where she is.

“Somebody could come out here,” Gen pants, her entire body shivering when Danneel sinks her teeth in. “S-somebody could see us.”

“Then let’s get in the water.” Danneel lets go, watches from up close as Gen’s breast bounces back into place from where she releases it, obsessed with the warm pink of it, with how spit-slicked and goosebumped with faint marks from Danneel’s teeth. She doesn’t give Gen time to answer, just turns around and takes the few steps she needs to jump in the pool, the water cool in the autumn evening, and by the time she surfaces, her teeth are chattering.

“Ohmygod, ohmygod. Shit, it’s cold!” Gen is right there with her, treading water and pushing up close to Danneel, like she’s trying to steal her body heat. Danneel reaches down into the water and grabs Gen’s thighs, tugging them around her body until Gen is wrapped around her, Gen’s hard nipples grazing over Danneel’s skin.

Gen is so beautiful in this light, in the gold-aqua glow from the pool lights, in the faint wash of the moon that’s just starting to rise up over the wall of the courtyard. Her hair is black and slicked back, baring her face to Danneel, absolutely no make-up and those dark, expressive eyes are on her, watching her. Danneel is secretly sure that she’s already in love.

The kiss is consuming, more serious than all the ones that came before it, and Danneel guides Gen back against the wall of the pool, nudging up harder between her thighs, neither of them having enough leverage to grind but it feels good, the shiver and throb of Gen’s body, of this beautiful girl sucking on her tongue.

Gen’s got her arms wrapped around Danneel’s neck, and the sound of their mouths together overpowers everything, the distant hum of Royal Street, the rush of the little fountain trickling into the pool, the lap of the water against their bodies, the hot rush of Gen’s breath on her cheek. Danneel licks as deep as she can, tastes as much of Gen as she can get, sucks her mouth until it’s kiss-swollen and deep rose and Gen is rocking against her, trying to grind their clits together through fabric and in spite of the awkward way they’re floating.

“Take me upstairs,” Gen finally husks against her mouth, her legs tightening around Danneel’s hips. “Take me upstairs and let me make you come.”

They untangle and climb out of the pool, both of them shivering as they wring their hair out, Danneel pulling on her sweater and Gen pulling on the borrowed one. They gather their things and tiptoe back into the hotel and through the lobby, hurrying past the elderly man at reception and up the stairs to Danneel’s second floor room. She unearths her key from her purse and lets them in, only flicking on the light beside the bed.

She grabs them towels from the bathroom and they dry off, both tugging their panties down and letting them pool at their feet. Danneel finally unhooks her bra and lets it fall away, and Gen’s moan is so loud that it shocks her.

“God, let me,” Gen sighs, dropping her towel on the floor, her hands already out, fingers trembling before they light on Danneel’s skin. Danneel closes her eyes, pulling her bottom lip into her mouth as Gen cups her breasts, holding them in her chilled palms and drawing a shiver out of Danneel’s spine that make goosebumps fly all over her body.

“You can,” she whispers, arching her back, pushing her breasts up to Gen, offering them to her. “You can do whatever you want to them.”

“Let’s get in the bed.” Gen sounds distracted, like she’s in a dream, and her clever fingers twist and pull at Danneel’s tight little nipples. They walk back to the bed and Danneel sinks onto it, drawing Gen down with her, her eyes still closed and so she doesn’t see so much as feel the way Gen shoves her tits together, the way she breathes hot across them before she wiggles her tongue between them, getting that crease all slick with spit before she moves over and sucks one of Danneel’s nipples into her mouth, letting out the most contented sigh as she settles in and starts to suck.

Yes,” Danneel moans, the sound low in her throat like an ache, and her insides clench up at how fucking good it feels, like Gen is nursing from her. Her hand drifts up and slides into Gen’s hair, stroking through the cold, wet strands lazily. “Just like that. Such a good girl.”

Gen lifts one leg and drapes it over one of Danneel’s, and Danneel can feel the heat of her cunt right there, burning as it slots right up against her soft thigh, as it nestles there, soaked with slick, the hard knot of her clit pressing hungrily into the meat of her thigh. Danneel reaches down with her other hand to grab hold of Gen’s leg, fingers sliding under her knee to hold it up so Gen can rut against her, so she can grind as deep as she wants.

“You gonna come on my thigh, baby? Hmm? Get my thigh all wet, fuck it so good? Fuck, yeah,” Danneel growls, turning her leg toward Gen to give her more, and her hips nearly come up off the bed when she feels Gen’s fingers slip between her legs, when they slide right over her clit, just a tease.

“Sensitive,” Gen mumbles, her mouth full of swollen flesh and raw nipple, and she just latches back on, redoubles her hungry suckling while thumbs the hood over Danneel’s clit up, tracing over just the tip it in slow, deliberate circles, the sensation so vivid and bright that Danneel’s thighs tremble, her hand tightening in Gen’s hair as she draws her in closer, pressing her in even tighter on her breast.

“It’s too much. Too much.” Danneel is whispering, her voice a soft rush of words that she doesn’t mean. She spreads her legs like a whore for Gen’s hand, her hips rocking up while Gen laser-focuses on her clit, dipping down only to gather more slick on her fingertip before she’s right back, that same circle over and over, and Danneel’s orgasm takes her over completely, inevitable and so strong that the aching, hungry clutch of her cunt hurts as come gushes out of her.

Gen is coming too and Danneel can feel it, the fuck of her slim hips, the animal grind of her pussy on her thigh and it gets so wet, the sound sloppy and loud now. Gen is gasping, whimpering but she doesn’t let go of Danneel’s breast, just keeps on sucking as she comes down, the hot rush of her breath flying across Danneel’s flushed skin.

Gen pulls up and away long before Danneel expects her to, and she barely opens her eyes, barely focuses on Gen’s moving body before Gen’s hands are on her shins, spreading her legs and shoving them back towards her chest, her kneecaps touching her nipples.

“So pretty,” Gen sighs as she scoots down on her stomach between Danneel’s splayed legs, her mouth hovering for only a beat before she’s moving in, her tongue sliding out to lap at Danneel’s soaked cunt, slurping up every drop before she’s dipping inside to look for more.

“Fuck, yeah, get that mouth on me. Get that fucking mouth on me, fuck, Gen. Eat my fuckin’ pussy.” Danneel’s hand finds Gen’s hair again, and her fingers slide it to grab on and she grinds up against her face, humping at it desperately, chasing another orgasm that is spreading through her like fire already, that is making her growl with want.

She feels Gen’s hands then, feels them spread her lips and nudge the hood from her clit again so she can kiss at it, frenching it so dirty with lingering sucks and painful, beautiful little bites of her teeth. Danneel presses her feet into the bed, both of her hands in Gen’s hair now as Gen opens her mouth up wide, sliding her tongue straight up inside of Danneel, wiggling and licking hard at the same time she starts to suck.

“Yes, yes, yesyesyesyesyesyes…” Danneel’s eyes roll back in her head and she’s grinding her clit against Gen’s mouth, so fucking close but then she feels three fingers slip right up inside of her, unexpected and perfectly filling and fucking hard at that starving ache in her and she comes right then, pussy drawing up tight and holding onto those thrusting fingers as she floods all around them, her legs tight around Gen’s head, hands shaking in her hair, her face blood red because she’s sobbing, her entire body convulsing, and she can’t even draw a breath to beg her to keep going, not to stop, don’t ever stop.

“Keep fucking me,” she finally gasps. “Give me more don’t stop please don’t stop.”

Gen sits up then, her mouth falling away but another finger forces its way inside of Danneel, four now and they’re curled up, pressing right into her G-spot and goddamn, it’s like Gen already knows her body, knows just now to make her cry from coming so hard, so much. The sound of Gen’s hand inside of her gushing pussy is so loud, so fucking filthy, and Gen is fucking her so hard it’s moving her up the bed but she just bears down on it, just spreads her legs and takes it. When she comes this time she collapses on the bed, tears streaming down her cheeks but Gen keeps going, keeps pounding into her, fingers spreading out to fill her up, massaging at her G-spot now and the bed is soaked with Danneel’s orgasms, Gen’s hand dripping with it.

Gen rubs at her cunt after she comes down from the strongest parts of it, massages at her swollen lips and her fucked-out clit, draws another couple of tremors out of her, rubbing and rubbing until Danneel is truly done, boneless and whimpering and brainless on the mattress, and the last thing she remembers before passing out is Gen’s musky, pussy-tasting tongue in her mouth.

---- 

Danneel wakes up slowly, becoming aware of herself through the looseness of her body, the normal tightness that usually lives across her shoulders and up her neck gone. She realizes she’s naked and that there’s a warmth all along her left side. She opens her eyes, hearing the faint chirp of birds outside, feeling a cool bite of a breeze from the window she has cracked nearby.

Then she sees Gen.

Gen is curled up on her, her cheek nestled right in on top of Danneel’s breast, her arm hugged across Danneel’s stomach and she’s snoring so softly, beautiful mouth open just barely, long lashes fanned across her cheek.

Danneel is smiling without realizing it, her left hand lifting from where it’s wrapped around Danneel’s shoulder to slide up into her hair, stroking it back from her face and tucking it behind her ear.

“Mn,” Gen sighs, settling in stubbornly, her lips so close to Danneel’s soft nipple. Danneel drags the tips of her fingers across Gen’s bronze-warm cheek, down the line of her neck.

“Good morning, beautiful girl,” Danneel whispers, tipping her head to press a kiss to Gen’s forehead, smiling there when Gen whimpers, clinging to the last edges of sleep.

“Don’t wake me up,” Gen finally husks out, her voice thick with sleep and crackling low, and it turns Danneel on in a sudden, sharp burst. “I’m having a dream about the perfect girl. And she’s about to propose.”

Danneel grins, sliding out from under Gen now to cover her, the blankets sliding down to barely cover the round curve of Danneel’s ass as she slips up between Gen’s legs, and they’re both smiling by the time their mouths near each other.

“Oh, was she?” She kisses at Gen’s pliant mouth, tongue teasing just barely inside, tasting her sleep-sour tongue. “Did you tell her you were taken?”

She runs her hands up Gen’s sides, cupping her breasts to massage them for a few seconds before she’s continuing on, using the tips of her nails to drag up and up, tickling under Gen’s arms and watching with relish at the way Gen’s body twitches, the way her nipples harden almost immediately, goosebumps flying up her body.

“Don’t,” Gen whines, grinning against Danneel’s mouth, pressing a slow kiss there as she rests her arms on Danneel’s shoulders, letting her fingers tangle at the nape of her neck. “I’m ticklish. And my pits probably stink.”

“Hmm.” Danneel kisses her mouth one last time before venturing down, kissing all the way down Gen’s chin and all across the tanned skin of her neck and her chest, nuzzling her way over to the valley of Gen’s armpit, the skin smooth with the faintest hint of dark stubble growing back. She closes her eyes, nestles her nose in there, and breathes.

She doesn’t smell bad, not at all. It’s faintly musky, an earthy tang of sweat and dirt and sunshine, the last remnants of deodorant and suntan oil clinging on. She smells like a girl who likes to be outside, who belongs right here underneath Danneel, who needs to be worshiped for the beautiful thing she is.

She drags her tongue right up across her armpit, and she feels Gen gasp, feels her legs spread and her hips lift to beg for contact. Danneel’s nails continue up either arm, along that baby-soft skin of her inner triceps, all the way up her arms until their hands are slotting together. Danneel makes the quick trip back to Gen’s mouth to find her already breathless, her cheeks flushed bright, her eyes closed. She can’t kiss her fast enough.

They lick into each other as their breasts rub together, tummies sliding and meeting, hips working hard to find each other, to dig out a rhythm. They’re both already sweating under the covers, and Danneel kicks them off impatiently to have more room to get at her girl, sliding up tight until Gen’s cunt is flush against her body, burning hot and wet against Danneel’s mound, right over the trimmed, soft line of hair there.

Danneel gathers her up, hands sliding down under Gen’s legs to grab her thighs right below her ass, lifting her up so that Gen can settle her pussy hard against the front of Danneel’s, both of them pausing to pant for just a second before Gen is lifting up onto her elbows, eyes locking with Danneel’s, and Danneel starts to move her hips.

“Fuck, Danni,” Gen gasps, pushing down and grinding as hard as she can but Danneel is the one with the leverage, with the control. She presses her knees into the mattress, spreading her thighs to brace up and she starts to fuck at her, Gen’s furnace-hot cunt slathering slick all over Danneel’s lower belly. Danneel drops one of her thighs to slip between their bodies and find Gen’s clit with her thumb and forefinger, holding it like it’s a little cock, and she starts to jerk it off while Gen grinds on her.

“Get off on me, Gen. Fuckin’ cream yourself because I’m gonna make you lick it off of me.” She’s jacking her little clit hard now between the length of her fingers, pounding against the spread of her pussy, sweat already gathering at her temples and sliding down her clavicle and between her breasts, but her eyes are on Gen, watching as she falls apart, as she tries so hard to keep a rhythm but she just lets go, giving over to Danneel’s control of her and she comes with a painful sob that sounds like it started in her belly.

She soaks the front of Danneel’s cunt, gushing so pretty there and Danneel just keeps jerking her off, drawing out her climax until Gen falls back against the bed, panting up at the ceiling, her breasts shuddering, tummy twitching.

Danneel finally lets go of her clit and pulls back, their bodies connected by sticky lines of come, and she smirks up at Gen.

“Need to clean me up, baby girl.” She displays her body, spreading her hips even more and leaning back. Gen gets up after a few seconds pause, like she’s still fuck-stupid, still recovering. She curls up until she can get at Danneel’s tummy though, and Danneel is surprised by how good it feels when Gen starts kissing below her navel, when her warm hands slide up to stroke at her belly. It’s intimate and sweet and their eyes are on each other again.

“So beautiful,” Danneel breathes as Gen starts to lick her clean, swallowing down her own slick, kisses pressed into her skin between licks until Danneel finally just has to close her eyes, her hips rocking gently toward that mouth right when Gen’s hands find her breasts again, squeezing before just gripping them like anchors when she finally gets her mouth between Danneel’s legs.

It’s noon before they even get out of bed.

 

They cross Esplanade to get back to Gen’s place, Danneel in a long, orange maxi dress that reaches her feet and pushes her tits up in full, delicious swells that Gen can’t seem to keep her eyes off of.

Gen takes a quick shower while Danneel puts down fresh food and water for Vivi who can’t stop smelling her, sniffling at her hands and her dress, like she’s accepting that Danneel is here to stay, so she’d better get used to her.

Gen emerges in a black tank top and another one of those long flowing skirts, this one all dark blues and teals and purples, the drawstring of it tied at her hip with tiny bells attached to the end. Her hair is still damp, and there’s no makeup on her face, and she looks flawless.

Danneel stands up, letting Vivi jump to the floor from her lap, a taken little smile on her face as she slides her body up against Gen’s, her fingers curling on the spot where Gen’s hipbone is exposed between the low-slung skirt and her tanktop.

“We look pretty together,” Danneel murmurs, thumb stroking circles into hard curve of bone on Gen’s hip.

Gen is grinning, her nose crinkling in that sweet way it does when she’s really happy, and Danneel finds herself amazed that she already knows that. Gen trails her fingers up and down Danneel’s forearms, face tipped up for a kiss.

“We do, don’t we?”

“Temptin’ me with that mouth,” Danneel says right against her lips, hands sliding around to grip her ass through soft cotton before she kisses her tongue-first, their breasts pressing together again, bodies slotting right up. Vivi meows after a long moment, weaving between their legs and blinking up at them when they break apart to look down at her.

“I think she wants us to go so she can get back to sleep,” Gen remarks, tipping her head to the side so that Danneel can kiss down the line of her neck, nip at her earlobe and breathe in her warmth there.

“What’s she gonna do when I bring her mama back here tonight and fuck her all over the apartment?” Her lips feel numb from kissing and sucking but she can’t stop giving Gen’s neck all the attention it deserves, latching onto her pulse point to suck a bruise right over the jumping beat of her heart.

“You mean we’re going to leave at some point?” Gen’s voice is shaky, her fingers threaded in Danneel’s hair, her body small and burning up and so fucking soft that Danneel wants to strip her back down to nothing again and find out what she tastes like everywhere, get her all sweaty and come-slicked again, get her breathing hard and flushed all over, but she also wants to be out with her, to take her out and be seen with her, this beautiful girl. She wants to touch her in public, hold her hand, give her kisses in front of anyone who might look at Gen too long, anybody who checks her out. Danneel wants to claim her in front of them. And she doesn’t care how ridiculous it is.

Everybody has their kinks.

“Let’s go. I heard your tummy growling on the way over here.” Danneel uses it as an excuse to slide her hand under Gen’s shirt and stroke over her stomach, grinning when Gen blushes.

They say goodbye to Vivi and lock up, and Danneel wraps an arm around Gen’s waist as they make their way up the street, in no hurry at all, not a care in the world. And it’s the first time Danneel has felt that way in years.

 

They walk down to Decatur and find a table at the busy Café du Monde, slipping into the chaos of visiting families and businessmen on their phones as they try to eat a powdered sugar-covered beignet with as much dignity as they can muster.

Gen goes to place their order and Danneel takes the moment of quiet to look around, to breathe in the spicy scent of chicory coffee, the brine of the river just to her left, to listen to the myriad of accents and languages around her. She realizes then that New Orleans is nothing like any other city in the United States that she’s ever been to, even one as worldly as San Francisco. New Orleans is just different.

“Here we go,” Gen says as she sinks back down into the chair across from Danneel, carefully carrying a tray of coffees and a hot plate of those sugary beignets and a stack of napkins.

Danneel takes one of the coffees from the tray and brings it to her lips, blowing on it just a little before she takes a tentative sip, and then she’s back to her youth, to the one other time she’d come to New Orleans as a teenager. She’d tried this coffee then, too, and the taste is strange, delicious, and transporting.

“Do you like it?” Gen is smiling but almost looks nervous, like it’s important that Danneel enjoy chicory coffee. Danneel nods, licking her lips when she feets one of Gen’s bare feet suddenly on her calf, stroking up and down with her toes.

“It’s so good. Just like I remembered.” She takes another drink before she puts her cup down, slipping a hand under the table to catch around Gen’s ankle, tugging her foot up onto her thigh and pushing her skirt away to get at her bare leg.

Gen’s cheeks are flushed but she’s focused on her coffee, like she’s trying to look innocent, like it’s not her legs down there spreading like a whore for Danneel, like Danneel’s hand petting up and down the underside of her knee and her inner thigh isn’t sending goosebumps all over her body.

Gen tears off a piece of beignet and eats it, powdered sugar going absolutely everywhere, all over the caramel-colored skin on her chest and her mouth and the tip of her nose. Danneel laughs which makes Gen snort, sending sugar flying like snow all over the table. They laugh harder, Danneel’s hands holding on gently to Gen’s thigh while they make absolute asses out of themselves, while people turn their heads to look at them.

“You, uh, you’ve got some powdered sugar…” Danneel offers helpfully, lifting a hand to motion at Gen’s face, her smile helpless and in love.

“Oh, do I?” Gen swipes at her face with a napkin but it’s ineffectual and she knows it, knows how cute she’s being. Danneel nods, leaning forward with a tip of her head to beckon Gen closer.

“C’mere.”

Gen cranes forward too, and Danneel doesn’t hesitate to lick at her chin, to kiss at her sugar-sweet mouth and lick her way inside for more. Gen sighs out of her nose, the warm air rushing over Danneel’s cheek, and she slides her hand further up Gen’s thigh, feeling the heat from her pussy now. She drags slow circles with her nails on the inside of Gen’s thigh, pleased with the soft moan Gen breathes into her mouth.

“Am I making you wet?” She pulls back just enough to open her eyes and stare at Gen’s pleasure-slack face, at her night-black eyelashes on her dark cheeks, at her mouth that is sucked fat and deep pink, just to memorize her like this. Gen nods, exhaling again in a hot rush, and her eyes flutter open to meet Danneel’s. Danneel smiles. “Good. Eat your breakfast, beautiful.”

Gen’s fingers tremble as she tears off another piece of beignet, holding it up for Danneel this time.

 

Gen takes her to the French Market, shows Danneel her favorite art galleries on Magazine that have finally re-opened after Katrina, shows her the cathedral and Pirate Alley alongside it. There are artists set up selling their paintings in the square in front of the cathedral, some people there reading palms, selling jewelry, being living statues, anything for a dollar.

“I wonder sometimes what it would be like to live like this,” Danneel wonders into the warm afternoon as they stroll through hand-in-hand, looking over the paintings, smiling at the little kids running around with freshly-painted faces. “To be professionally creative.”

“I’m sure you’re plenty creative at your job,” Gen replies, giving her hand a slow squeeze. She stops at one of the palm reader tables and leans over to kiss the cheek of the old woman behind it.

“Hey, Estel, how have you been?”

Estel seems ancient, deep wrinkles carved into her face, her eyes a fragile blue that seem almost unreal and absolutely penetrate Danneel when they seek her out. Her hair is in a pure white braid over one shoulder, and the smile that takes over when she looks back at Gen is breath-taking.

“Now, who is this, Genevieve? Who is this girl you have brought here to me? Let me look at you,” Estel beckons Danneel forward. Danneel glances over at Gen who is still smiling, who nods reassuringly, letting go of Danneel’s hand to press it into the middle of her back. Danneel takes a step forward and starts a little when she feels Estel’s cool, dry hands on her cheeks, those eyes finding her own again and holding them.

“This is Danneel Harris,” Gen tells Estel, her hand rubbing gentle circles into Danneel’s back now. “She’s visiting New Orleans this week, and she came into my shop her first evening here.”

“And found love, didn’t you? Didn’t you, child?” Estel’s smile softens, thumbs stroking over the rounds of Danneel’s flushed cheeks. “Stars, you are beautiful. She is beautiful, Genevieve.”

“I know,” Gen says softly beside Danneel, and Danneel can feel this thing between them, this sudden and strong connection alive between them. Their hands find each other again, tangling and clutching. “She’s the most amazing person, Estel.”

Danneel opens her mouth to deny it, to say something about Gen, but Estel stops her.

“You are in the very middle of a big moment, Danneel Harris. You are about to make a decision that will change what the rest of your life will be. Aren’t you?”

Danneel feels Gen’s eyes on her, surprised and curious, and Danneel can’t help but nod.

“Y-Yeah. I guess I am.”

“And you know that our Genevieve here is special, don’t you? You don’t need me to tell you that.”

Danneel takes a step back from Estel to turn to Gen because she can’t help it. She wraps her arms around Gen’s snug little waist and pulls her in close, a smile pulling at one side of her mouth.

“Nope. Knew it the second I saw her.”

“D,” Gen ducks her head and smiles, and Danneel presses a kiss to her forehead before she seeks out her mouth, giving her a soft kiss that Gen returns for a few seconds before she breaks away to look back at Estel.

“Do you think Gramma would be happy for me?”

“Oh, darlin’ sweet girl,” Estel sighs, reaching for both of their hands so that they form a small circle, and Danneel feels the strangest crackle of energy that pushes all up her skin and through her chest, like light-filled bubbles. “She is happy for you. She probably knew about this girl long before you did.”

A couple approaches Estel’s table then, and Gen and Danneel say their goodbyes before they duck away, Danneel’s arm around Gen’s shoulders and Gen’s around her waist now. They’re quiet as they head back toward Royal, the noise around them almost too loud for how intimate that moment was.

“So, Estel’s a psychic?”

“She has abilities,” Gen clarifies. “She was my Gramma’s best friend. She used to do readings at the shop before it got too hard for her to get over to The Marigny. Now she gets to be out here in the sunshine and talk to lots of people. She’s happy.”

“So… did your Gramma have abilities, too?” They’re drifting through Pirate Alley which is shadowed and practically empty, a reprieve from the sounds and smells and chaos on either side of it. They walk slowly.

“She did. She was highly intuitive. A clairvoyant. She used to be one of the most powerful in the whole city.”

Danneel absorbs that, never having put much stock or thought into psychics or readers or what-have-you, but the way Gen is talking about it, the conversation she just had with Estel, it’s all making her think about it now.

“And you?”

Gen glances over at her, her eyes so big and bright, an almost secret smile tugging at her full mouth.

“Me?”

“Do you have abilities, too?”

Gen shrugs, her smile staying, her arm tightening around Danneel’s waist.

“Maybe.”

“Maybe?” Danneel slows them to a stop just on the edge of the entrance onto Royal street, turning Gen to face her, her hands slipping low on her back to rub at the topmost curve of her ass.

“I have them, too. I just don’t really advertise it, you know? I do readings for some people, but mostly just close friends, if they ask.” Gen leans back against the side of the building, letting her body curve out into a soft comma toward Danneel, her hands on Danneel’s forearms.

“Did you ‘see’ anything in me when we first met?” A jazz band starts up just as Danneel finishes speaking, and suddenly there are more people nearby, all of them walking toward the direction of the music. Gen wraps her arms around Danneel’s neck and pulls her forward, speaking close to her ear to be heard.

“I knew you wanted me from that first second. You have this insane magnetism that almost drove me crazy before you even told me your name. And that night, I had dreams about you. About us. Things you wanted to do to me.”

“Oh, yeah? And what do I want to do to you?” Danneel pushes in against her, sliding down to grip Gen’s ass because she can’t not, because she can’t get enough of it, and Gen just pushes back into it, rocks against her hands and grins as she pulls back to meet Danneel’s eyes.

“I’m not gonna tell you. That would ruin all the fun, wouldn’t it?”

Danneel can tell there are things Gen just isn’t saying, and it intrigues her and turns her on beyond belief that Gen can see inside of her, that she just knows her without having to ask. She opens her mouth to ask another question, but Gen stops it by lifting up and reaching for Danneel’s hand, tugging her onto Royal Street proper and toward the music, her smile brighter than the sun when she turns it on Danneel.

 

There’s a music festival in Jackson Square that evening, and Gen talks Danneel into going even though Danneel only wants to be up in her room with Gen, wants to get her mouth on her like she’s been daydreaming about all day. But Gen proves to be very persuasive, and before Danneel knows it, she’s standing in the middle of a bunch of sweaty, drunk people with Gen, swaying to some kind of folksy blues band performing right in front of the water next to the Café du Monde.

They shared a bottle of wine between them at dinner, and they’re both loose-hipped and giggling by the time the music starts up. Danneel had gone to get them another glass of wine (she’s kind of in love with New Orleans walk-up bars) and they’re both sipping as they sway together.

Sweat is dripping down Gen’s neck, and Danneel reaches over to wipe it away before she’s handing Gen her wine glass. “Hold this, babe.”

She reaches into her purse, rummaging around before she finds an elastic hair tie. She stands behind Gen and gathers all that thick hair up, combing her fingers through it and catching it up in a messy knot with the ponytail holder. She blows cool air on Gen’s now-bare neck, watching the shiver that works its way through Gen’s body.

“Thanks,” Gen hands Danneel her glass back and catches her mouth in a smiling kiss. Danneel stays behind Gen, pressing her hips right up against the tight round of her ass as they turn some of their attention back to the band. They finish their wine and set the empty glasses on a nearby table, and Danneel takes the opportunity to wrap both of her arms around Gen’s waist, her hands splaying possessively on Gen’s flat stomach.

“Look so fuckin’ sexy,” Danneel tells her, wine-stained mouth right against Gen’s ear, their bodies moving together to the music. There are people all around them, right beside them and behind them, and it makes Danneel’s heart race, turns her on so fucking much. “Movin’ that little body and you know they’re all looking at you. Can see how hard your nipples are through your shirt.”

Gen relaxes back against her with a sigh, her mouth turning to press against Danneel’s neck, her breath scalding as she kisses there. “You like that? People watching?”

“Mm.” Danneel flattens one of her hands against Gen’s stomach and slips it past the waist of her skirt and right into her silky little panties. “Want them to watch you come for me.”

“Danni,” Gen gasps, her hands going down to cover where Danneel’s has disappeared, where she’s sliding her fingers over Gen’s soft cunt, massaging at her little lips and feeling how wet she is already, how wet she’s probably been all day. “We--I can’t--”

“Just keep watching the band,” Danneel murmurs in her ear, her other hand clasped on Gen’s waist, keeping her where she is as she finds her clit with her middle and ring fingers, dipping inside of her a little to get wet before she starts to rub her. “Just keep watching. And I want you to come for me.”

“Fuck,” Gen pants, sinking down onto Danneel’s fingers, trying to grind against them and so Danneel presses harder, her hips straining against Gen’s ass. She fantasizes for a second that she has a cock to grind against her, and she knows that if she did she would figure out a way to have it inside of Gen right now, that she would be fucking her wide open right here in the middle of this concert.

“You know what I want right now?” Danneel nips at Gen’s ear, the muscles in her arms straining as she massages Gen’s clit hard, speeding up until Gen is whimpering out into the sticky, open air. “I want your cunt on my face. I want you to ride my tongue until you come, and I don’t wanna let you up until you’re begging me to stop.”

“Yeah, fuck her,” Danneel hears off to her right, a male voice low with lust, and she lifts her eyes and finds the guy, young and with two friends who are watching her fuck Gen, watching her own that sweet body and Gen is just letting her, letting this happen. She looks away to kiss at Gen’s ear, breathing hard against it.

“They’re watching you, baby. Watching you get off on my hand. Do you want to show them how pretty you look when you come?”

“Oh, god,” Gen cries out, her voice mostly drowned out by the music but there are a few people watching them, everybody drunk, a few whistles and catcalls going up and when she comes she floods her panties, comes all over Danneel’s fingers that aren’t letting her go, aren’t stopping until Gen slumps back against her, her chest heaving, her pussy clenching and sloppy wet.

Some people are cheering, applauding them, and Danneel pulls her hand free to show them how wet it is, Gen’s come thick and glistening and webbed between her fingers. She sucks them clean with relish, a genuine moan escaping when she swallows her taste down.

Gen’s cheeks are flushed deep pink as she grabs hold of Danneel’s wrist and pulls her out of the crowd and toward the cover of shadow against the side of the closed French Market. She finds herself shoved back against the crumbling wall and Gen is yanking at the straps on her dress, her breasts falling out as she pulls it down, nipples already tight and aching with lust.

“Fuck, yeah,” Gen sighs, her still-trembling hands lifting to gather Danneel’s tits, pushing them up together so she can lick at both of her nipples at the same time, that sweet mouth sucking and kissing at them in a rhythm that Danneel catches with her hips. Gen pulls her skirt up and Danneel reaches down to do the same with her dress so that Gen can slot one of her summer-dark thighs right between Danneel’s creamy ones. She sinks down onto it, her pussy already soaking wet and Gen’s thigh is so warm and so solid, and she starts to grind on it immediately.

Gen crooks her leg, pressing her foot against the wall behind her so that Danneel can ride her thigh. She closes her eyes, pulling her bottom lip into her mouth to chew on it hard when Gen goes back to her breasts, her tongue lapping and flicking over each of her nipples before drawing them into her mouth hungrily, sucking on them like she’s trying to nurse from them.

Danneel moans, reaching down between her legs to push her lacy little thong aside, exposing her clit and pressing it right against Gen’s burning hot skin and she starts to fuck at Gen’s thigh in earnest now, moving around until the angle is perfect, her hips working hard.

“You’re so fucking wet,” Gen pants against her raw nipple, sucking on it in long pulls while she twists and plucks at the other one. “It’s dripping all over my leg already.”

Danneel knows it’s true, that her pussy is soaking where it’s locked to Gen’s glorious thigh, and all it takes is one feel of Gen’s teeth on her nipple, so sharp and painful and perfect and she sobs as she comes, reaching down beneath Gen’s knee to keep her leg up so she can hump at it hard, so she can ride out the orgasm tearing through her entire body.

Gen lifts up then, her hands still massaging at Danneel’s breasts and they kiss hard and dirty, tongues fucking at each other while Danneel grinds her cunt up higher on Gen’s thigh, smearing come all the way up, the sound slick and nasty and so fucking hot.

“I need you in my bed, right fucking now,” Danneel growls into her mouth, not wanting anymore eyes on them, wanting Gen to herself, now.

The short walk back to Danneel’s hotel is a blur, a rush of laughter and kisses and their hearts pounding.

 

Danneel shuts and locks the door as soon as they get inside, silently feeling sorry for anyone sleeping on either side of her room tonight.

She yanks Gen’s tank top off over her head, freeing her sweet little tits with those dark rose nipples that exactly match the color of Gen’s beautiful pussy. Her mouth waters as she pulls Gen’s skirt and panties off all in one go, kicking it all away as Gen works her sandals off.

Danneel falls back on the clean, made bed, hauling Gen up her body until her cunt is hovering right over her face, glistening wet and already flushed, swollen from coming just twenty minutes before. Danneel licks her lips and runs her hands up and down the outsides of Gen’s thighs and up to her hips where she holds on and tugs her down, getting Gen to spread her legs more and lower her pussy down.

Dannel drags her nails soft all over Gen’s legs, along her inner thighs just to feel her shiver. She presses warm, wet-mouthed kisses all along the insides of Gen’s thighs and over the outer lips of her pussy, letting her tongue slide it and lick all around, flicking over her slit and her taint and pressing a secret kiss to her asshole before she moves back up, her eyes on the fucking prize.

“Feed me that little clit,” she whispers just before Gen tips her hips and sinks down onto her face, all that soft, soaked flesh covering her nose and her mouth. She latches onto it with a vacuum-tight suck of her lips, drawing Gen’s clit right into her mouth and nursing on it while she slides her hands up to cup Gen’s tits. She squeezes at them in time with the pulse of her mouth’s sucking, and she moans when Gen starts to ride her face with quick, jerking rocks of her hips.

She slides her hands around to grip Gen’s ass possessively, pulling back to slap both cheeks roughly at the same time, grunting when she feels Gen’s pussy clench up, when Gen gasps above her, her whole body going rigid. Danneel does it again, each slap landing harder and harder until Gen is shaking on top of her, her clit so hard against Danneel’s tongue as she floods her mouth with come. Danneel drinks it down hungrily, slurping up every drop she can, and Gen reaches down to grip her hair when Danneel slides her tongue up inside of her, fucking at all that dripping, shuddering pink inside of Gen’s cunt with that thick muscle.

She runs a finger alongside her tongue to get it wet with slick before she rubs it between Gen’s spanked-hot ass, rubbing at her asshole and massaging against that muscle before she pushes her whole finger up into her, letting all that tightness swallow it right up. Gen growls above her, her little stomach shuddering as she slides a hand down to work her own clit while she rides Danneel’s tongue and her finger.

“Fuck my ass,” she whispers, her whole body flushed deeply, her pussy grinding so perfect on Danneel’s mouth so that Danneel has no choice but to eat her out, but to lick and fuck into her while she squeezes a second finger into her ass, spreading them apart and thrusting deep just to feel her come again, even harder this time, absolutely gushing all over Danneel’s face and down her throat.

Danneel gets a hand into her own panties, working her clit hard and fast, mumbling against Gen’s pussy. “Stay where you are, just grind on my face.”

Gen obeys, her sweet, smooth thighs rubbing against Danneel’s cheeks as she slides her cunt all over Danneel’s face, her clit grinding on Danneel’s nose for a long moment, drawing out another shivering climax from Gen. Danneel’s entire world is Gen’s pussy, and she doesn’t care for a second if this is how she dies. She comes on her own hand, her screams muffled between Gen’s legs, and they’re both boneless when Gen finally slides off of Danneel’s face.

Gen strips her clothes off of her, licking her hand clean before she pulls the covers from under Danneel’s body and joins her under them. Gen’s soft, wet tongue licks at her face, and Danneel just stays still, breathing hard and letting her. They feed from each other’s mouths, Gen’s hand in Danneel’s hair, and all Danneel remembers before she falls asleep is Gen’s warm, low voice against her ear.

“I don’t ever want to let you go.”

 

Danneel wakes to the smell of coffee and Gen’s fingers in her hair. She opens her eyes and Gen’s smile is the first thing she sees. She reaches for her and kisses her good morning, her hands sliding down Gen’s still beautifully naked, dark skin. Gen hums contentedly and pulls back, searching Danneel’s eyes in a long moment of quiet.

“I love you.”

Danneel feels her heart very distinctly in her chest then, feels it skip and race, feels her chest tighten around it. She reaches for Gen’s hand that is resting on her thigh and pulls it up to her cheek, nuzzling into it and letting her eyes closed as those words reverberate around the young morning light of the room.

“I don’t want to leave,” Danneel whispers against Gen’s palm, kisses into her life line. “I want to stay here and live in your little apartment and make breakfast with you and go to the market with you and learn all your favorite songs and taste you every single day and have you look at me like that forever.”

“Don’t leave.” It’s a quiet plea, and Gen’s fingers push up into her hair as she leans forward and kisses Danneel’s eyebrow. “We have an amazing hospital here. You can get a job there, if you want. You can live with me and let me love you, and I promise I’ll make you happy. I promise, Danni.”

“You and Vivi,” Danneel smiles, tears burning in her eyes but she lets Gen see them, lets her see everything.

“Me and Vivi,” Gen agrees with a watery laugh, sliding down onto the bed again to kiss at Danneel’s sleep-softened lips over and over. “Stay with me. Never leave me.”

“Come with me to Gulf Shores next week. We can fuck in the ocean and I can watch how gorgeous and dark you get, and we can talk about all of this, okay? Figure things out?” She slides a hand down Gen’s back, marveling at how warm she is, how baby-soft her skin is, and she quietly thanks whatever gods are listening for girls. Gen strokes a thumb over Danneel’s mouth before leaning down to speak right against her lips, her breath already so familiar, like home.

“Yes. Please.”