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And All That I Need is Time

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The majority of them end up at UofBristol at the end of the day.

But they, as a couple, don’t last very long at all, actually.

And it doesn’t seem to take either of them by surprise, that they simply can’t take one another anymore. It happens rather naturally because Naomi’s getting tired of it all and Emily’s getting tired of waiting. That’s all she ever does, really. Waits for Naomi to come around, waits for Naomi to call her back, take her hand and tell her how she feels. Emily thinks loving Naomi is like playing a yo-yo. How it’s difficult at first, sometimes you figure out a neat trick, sometimes you don’t, but whenever it’s time to perform it in front of others, you fail miserably. Naomi fails, miserably, at loving Emily. She is incapable of showing it because of a fear of something she won’t tell Emily, and even when they break it off, she does not cry.

 

~#~#

 

“Why did you kiss me?” Naomi asks, wiping at her eyes, trying hard – so hard – not to cry. “That night, when we were in middle school, at the party, you just leaned over and...I was fine before you came along. I was happy and normal-”

“Normal?” Emily asks in a quiet but forceful voice. She tries to act like that word doesn’t hurt her, but it does, and fuck it all, she’s tired of tiptoeing around Naomi. Because hell, for being The Fragile One in the relationship, always on the verge of tears or heartbreak, Naomi’s surprisingly pretty fucking destructible too. “What do you mean normal, liking blokes?”

“No!” Naomi responds quickly, in a way that assures Emily she never meant that, but fuck it, Emily’s tired of constantly pushing for answers, always wondering what Naomi meant behind something. “But I felt alright!” Naomi’s saying, just plain blabbering now, “I felt strong and sane and...” She pauses to kiss Emily, and it’s a rough and chaste kiss, one that ends with a loud smack. “I didn’t feel like I was going to fucking drown in myself at any second.”

Normally it would touch Emily, it would move her to no end, the violently poetic way Naomi could be. But today it does little but feed the fire that’s been burning in her for too long. “Why are you such a child?” she asks coldly, aware of Naomi’s face going blank, “All the time? You’re not scared of relationships, you’re just scared of feeling. Anything at all. For anyone. Other than yourself, why are you so fucking selfish?”

“Fuck you, Em.” And Emily’s not sure if Naomi said it or not, because she’s crying already, and crying harder that Naomi isn’t. Naomi never cries.

“Fuck you too,” she says softly. “It’s not enough. You’re not enough.”

“Well you’re too fucking much. You’re too much for me, Em, and I can’t handle it.”

Emily hears her crying through her dorm door after she leaves, hears Naomi smashing random objects in the room, but alas can’t bring herself to go back. Can’t bring herself to go back to someone who doesn’t have the decency to cry and smash things in front of her.

 

For someone constantly trying to protect her, Emily figures Naomi first needs to stop protecting herself.

 

~#~#

 

For Naomi, life is supposed to be okay. The break up is what she wants, the space what she’s always needed. It is meant to make her feel better, meant to clarify and simplify things in her life. It cleanses her heart and mind of all this bullshit relationships and love and trust and sharing. Breaking it off with Emily is supposed to tear the redhead’s heart into tiny little pieces, but not affect her. Dependency, especially on others, only makes you weak. And she’s tired of being weak around Emily.

But after a few days, the burning sensation still hasn’t gone away, and surprisingly enough, her chest only constricts harder and harder every time she sees her in the hallways. Naturally Emily is stronger, braver, than she appears, and has moved on. Naomi is the one who falls apart.

And it isn’t like the universe is helping either, because she finds out from Pandora for Christsake of all people.

In linear algebra, where they learn about god knows what that’ll never help them in the future. Emily sits at the front, Naomi near the back, dozing off. But she feels her head and mind snap together when she notices the pretty brunette sitting next to Emily slide over to whisper in her ear with a grin. And Emily grins back. And they share this horribly cute moment with their faces so close together, just grinning. And Naomi leans over to Pandora, whispers, “Who’s that sitting next to Emily?”

Pandora looks up from her notes, seems to zone into her current time and space. “Oh, that’s Charlie,” she says, not even bothering to whisper, and Naomi cringes when the two students in front turn to look at them, “She’s in Emily’s literature club. Best buds they are, look at how chummy they’re getting. I reckon they’d be a great couple, too. Blimey, maybe they already are! I’ll have to ask Eff, I’m always on the last train when it comes to the gossip. They seem close enough though, don’t you think?” She asks this last question by turning to Naomi, her mouth open in a smile that closes immediately when she locks eyes with Naomi’s icy glare.

As though she’d just realized who she was talking to.

 

~#~#

 

She knows Charlie, because she’s always admired what she had to say about the novels they’d read each week. The majority of the students detested Jane Eyre and Animal Farm, which deeply saddened Emily as they were her favourite ones, but she recalls Charlie always had something positive to say, and they shared smiles from across the room. (It was trivial, really, but Emily was a romantic, and there really was something about that girl that was different. Maybe the way the light just tangled itself in her hair, the way she looked right at you when she spoke to you, the way her smile was just so unforced, so genuine.)

Yes.

Genuine ends up being the word Emily settles on for Charlie. 

Charlie approaches her first, because she’s genuine like that, two months after she first caught wind of Emily and Naomi’s strangely mutual breakup. She musters her courage one day after a meeting and everyone’s packing up. She walks straight up to Emily, uncaring of the handful of students still in the room. “Hello,” she says with a smile.

Emily raises her head, stills her actions with her bags. “Hey Charlie,” she smiles back.

“Listen, I really liked what you brought up today about Brave New World, I was wondering if we could continue that discussion over some tea? Are you free sometime soon?” It comes out cooly, smoothly, as though she’d been practicing it nonstop in front of a mirror. She hadn’t.

Emily’s smile widens.

 

~#~#

 

Naomi can’t help but think of their situation as a simple two person play. She stands at one end of the stage, Emily in her arms. Then Emily turns on her heel and walks away. And instead of focusing on her shrinking figure, Naomi fixes her eyes on the ground, the room, the empty space, the distance between them that keeps growing. Naomi thinks it’s strange that all she would technically have to do is walk, keep the same pace as Emily, and the distance between them would remain the same. Maybe she could jog. Then she’d even catch up to her.

 

~#~#

 

They go around the corner after school to a local coffee shop, end up talking all night about literature and philosophy and religion, until it’s eleven at night and Emily should get back. They walk together at night, wanting to hold the other’s hand.

“This was a lot of fun,” Emily says, wanting to slow down the walking pace, because Charlie’s easy to talk to, willing to listen and willing to learn. And it wasn’t that Naomi wasn’t intelligent, but she did like her quiet.

“I’m just going to say it,” Charlie interrupts her thoughts, makes them stop walking. She takes Emily’s hands in hers. “You’re the loveliest girl I’ve ever met.”

Emily plants a tiny kiss on her lips. It’s strange, kissing someone you’re not in love with, but Charlie’s lips are soft.

“In every way,” Charlie whispers, her arms are already drawing Emily in, cupping her face to shield her cheeks from the wind.

“How have I not noticed you before?” Emily can only respond with a silly grin, grips Charlie’s bag, filled to the zipper with Shakespeare and Ibsen and Woolf.

“Don’t know,” Charlie breathes against her lips, “No matter. I’ve always liked you.” It is a vulnerable and fearless declaration and Emily thinks it’s sort of wonderful that she didn’t have to ask for it.

Thinks Charlie, in fact, is sort of wonderful.

 

~#~#

 

It’s suiting to hook up with Effy, she thinks, after their first fuck: Effy high, Naomi drunk. It’s messy and fast and it doesn’t mean anything. She thinks it’s suiting because to Effy, nothing means anything, and Naomi’s a complete mess, and they both like fast and convenient.

When she wakes up in the morning, the first thought that enters Naomi’s mind is whether or not they’re going to label it. She’s long past labelling and she can’t fucking stand giving a title to something. Luckily enough Effy just shrugs and kisses her cheek, tells her to get dressed.

Naomi think it’s pretty reckless what she’s doing, can’t help but feel a rush of emotion and giddiness, an actual naughtiness to her personal life. When she tells Effy she’ll call her or whatever and Effy responds or whatever, she hops on home, feeling more alive and less connected than she’s ever. It’s only when she gets back to her dorm and goes into her room to check her email that the thought enters her mind that maybe it’s just sex because it’s just sex. Naomi thinks she’d like to be, to someone else, something more than just sex.

She thinks back to linear algebra, when she saw Emily and Charlie whispering and giggling, happier than any memories she’s managed to keep between herself and Emily. Thinks that there’s something more than just sex going on there. She halts herself there completely and takes a shower to stop the mental images of Emily in bed with someone else enter her mind. It’s possible she cries. The tears would’ve drained away with the water, there’d be no evidence.

 

~#~#

 

Charlie is completely at ease with her sexuality, and it makes Emily feel incredibly assured in a way she never thought she needed with Naomi. Charlie holds her hand when they walk down the street, pulls her close when they sit together, brushes her bangs away from her face, locks eyes with her, kisses her in a slow, slow way that makes her feel like every moment is a precious one. She’s open at school, whispers compliments like ‘You look beautiful today’ in algebra class, or plans random get-togethers like ‘Bathroom. Ten minutes’ in the cafeteria. Even the fights aren’t huge, because every little disagreement is brought into the open right away.

In fact their first real fight is a little over five months into their relationship. It’s about how they don’t make enough time for one another anymore: Emily is too busy with her homework and projects and Charlie is too involved with her extracurricular activities with the local library. Their fight never reaches screaming level. Nothing is thrown. No one cries. No one leaves the room in a huff. It ends with an agreement to calm their activities down and make more time for one another, sealed with a kiss.

It’s easy. Being with Charlie is easy.

 

~#~#

 

One time they run into one another at a club, Naomi with Effy, Emily with Charlie. They lock eyes immediately once Naomi and Effy enter. There’s an eerie calm that settles in Naomi’s stomach, a soothing feeling that makes her lower her shoulders, and suddenly she feels more at home in this club than she does in her room. It’s a terrifying feeling, though, and she decides instead to run with that, and the anger of Emily constantly being so fucking scary takes hold of her once more.

They gravitate around one another, hovering around the same group of friends, but never actually speaking to one another. Finally Effy decides to go dance and pulls Charlie onto the floor with her. Charlie relinquishes the hold she’s got on Emily Naomi hadn’t even noticed, and she watches, cringes as their fingers dance on one another as they slip away. Emily chooses to sit at the bar, Naomi stands beside her. “She’s a good dancer,” Naomi states awkwardly about Charlie, not even really looking.

“Didn’t know you were with Effy,” Emily says, as though Naomi hadn’t even said a word.

Naomi doesn’t know why Emily would, because they don’t flash it around at all, because she’s obviously not one to talk about her love life, even to her own mother. And she barely considers Effy to be a part of her love life. In fact, Naomi doesn’t ever think of Effy and Love in the same sentence, ever.

“What’s it to you?” Naomi asks instead, aware of how much spite underlines the question.

“Whatever,” Emily sighs, leans on the counter of the bar, brings her arms up to rest her arching back.

Naomi tries not to look at Emily’s neck, slick with sweat, a long sheet of warm skin.

Fails.

 

~#~#

 

Charlie has this incredible smile that manages to go straight through Emily, and it feels like she’s completely open, vulnerable to her, and Emily has to shift her eyesight away to compose herself, but always rakes it back to those hazelnut eyes. She thinks they have such an effect on her because she’s been so used to ice-cold blue ones.

They’re so fucking different.

Especially when it comes to her family. It turns out Charlie is huge on family, and is even more charming when she meets hers. She works out three times a week, and so already knows all about the relationship between her circulatory and cardiovascular systems. She’s helpful with the dishes and cleaning up, helps James with his homework, seems to listen to all of Katie’s favourite bands, and jesus she’s so perfect it frightens Emily. Her parents warm to her immediately, seem to really listen to Charlie when she speaks, offer her second helpings of dinner and even hug her first when they leave.

Emily thinks the main difference between them is that Charlie is just genuinely helpful and friendly. Naomi was rude and independent, didn’t understand the value of family, and didn’t quite understand how very important it was for Emily’s links with the Fitch family to not be broken.

“She really is quite nice,” Katie says randomly one night.

Emily doesn’t know what to say, only stares at Katie, who smiles at her shyly.

“What?” Katie asks, “She is.”

“I know,” Emily says with a grin she can’t wipe off, “I’m glad you like her.”

But she can’t help but think this strange turn of events with her family and their acceptance is unfair. Somehow.

 

~#~#

 

One thing Naomi doesn’t miss is the Fitch family. She doesn’t deal with Katie on a regular basis, doesn’t need to watch her back, doesn’t need to constantly prove herself worthy to these fucking people she couldn’t give a shit about. She doesn’t need to think about how what she says about families in general will hurt Emily’s feelings. In fact, she doesn’t need to think about anyone but herself anymore, because Effy can take care of herself, too. And that’s pretty sweet.

It’s later that day when Effy gets them to watch this film she’s rented, About a Boy. They’re smoking and coughing and laughing and there’s an awkward silence right when the boy with the silly eyebrows shouts, “You don’t give a shit about anyone and no one gives a shit about you!” And Naomi stops laughing, and is flooded with a cold, cold, alone feeling again.

Realizes that she doesn’t have to care about Emily anymore not because of a choice she made, but because Emily doesn’t care about her anymore.

Effy notices the change of mood. “You’re thinking again,” she says, before ridding herself of her shirt in one swift motion, climbing on top of her and kissing her.

 

~#~#

 

Sometimes Charlie jumps out of class five minutes early to surprise Emily at her locker. She puts her hands on her eyes and whispers, “Give me all your money” in her ear. Emily usually squeals or giggles and back up against Charlie, who then moves her hands down to Emily’s waist and kisses her neck. It’s terrifying but Charlie says she likes feeling Emily shiver under her hands and then it’s just adorable and sexy. Emily thinks this must what it’s like to be in a relationship with her. That Naomi would always be the one constantly overwhelmed by the attention and loving care. Difference is Emily likes this, wants this, is so lucky and aware that she has it. She isn’t scared of Charlie’s affection and she isn’t scared of how much she feels for Charlie, either.

She is scared of how often she thinks of Naomi, even when she kisses Charlie, and shivers under her fingers under different contexts.

 

~#~#

 

Sex with Effy is different from sex with Emily. Naomi would stop thinking about Emily while having sex if Effy wasn’t so fucking cool with it. She sits her down on her bed and strips off her shirt, taking the spliff from Naomi’s mouth and biting it between her teeth.

“It’s alright to think about her if you want,” she mumbles, lifting Naomi’s shirt off her, “I don’t mind.”

“Will you shut up,” Naomi moans as Effy attacks her collarbone, pushes her onto the bed. She thinks of Emily still, but is always aware of Effy’s hands and mouth. So when she comes she just yells. Figures it’s best not to call out any names. She’s growing increasingly aware that maybe she doesn’t even know who she wants anyway.

 

~#~#

 

At times Emily doesn’t like that things go so well. It feels as though it’s too easy, the relationship is just going too well. There were times like that with Naomi, too. But during those times, Emily was happiest and most afraid, mostly afraid of losing her happiness, losing Naomi. Emily doesn’t feel afraid when she’s happiest with Charlie, she in fact isn't afraid of losing Charlie at all. She wonders if that's because Charlie is a stable girlfriend or if it's something else. She wonders if relationships are supposed to have a balance of fear at all. She asks Charlie this.

“A good friend once told me love is the absence of fear,” she responds wistfully, follows this with a kiss to Emily’s cheek.

It’s not what Emily wants to hear nor does she believe it, but it’s sweet. Charlie is sweet. “You’re sweet,” she says.

“I try,” Charlie winks, gives her another kiss, before heading to class.

It isn’t as though Charlie avoids conflict, but she just seems to say things that aren’t open for a dramatic response. Everything is civilized and mature and realistic. There isn’t really any reason for her to not be drawn to this. After years of dealing with her uncivilized family, immature friends and pessimistic girlfriend, Emily’s ready for a change.

Emily’s ready for a change.

 

~#~#

 

“All these locks against your heart,” Effy says to her one night when they’re just lying in bed looking at one another, “Are they to keep others out or to lock yourself in?”

“That’s rich,” Naomi mumbles against the pillow, “Coming from you.” And for some reason it seems to hit home with Effy, who shifts on the pillow and looks away from her. Naomi is completely taken aback. Completely. “Eff...”

“Whatever,” Effy says, brushing it off like it doesn’t matter.

And Naomi’s heard that whatever. Heard it too many times from a teary-eyed Emily who would push Naomi more and more, wanting to know more, wanting to be let in on the secret, only to be disappointed. She’s seen that face, convulsing in anger and disappointment. She entertains the idea that Effy could actually fall for her.

“Where are you?” Effy says slowly, interrupting Naomi’s thoughts, emphasizing each word with a poke on Naomi’s nose.

Naomi glances up, rakes her hand across Effy’s arm. “Do you think you could fall in love with me, Eff?”

Effy seems to consider it for a moment. You wouldn’t be able to tell, because she lies perfectly still, but Naomi’s managed to figure out the face Effy puts on when she’s thinking. “No,” she replies simply, and snuggles closer to Naomi, proceeding to fall asleep.

That’s probably the main difference between her and Emily, Naomi thinks and laughs to herself.

 

~#~#

 

“Are you still in love with her?” Charlie asks her randomly one day when they’re sitting on her bed reading Chaucer.

It’s right around the time Emily starts thinking that, with time, maybe she could fall in love with Charlie. And so she puts her book down and raises an eyebrow. “No, why would you think that?”

Charlie shrugs, moves Emily down on the bed and plants butterfly kisses on her neck. “Sometimes when you kiss me, it’s like you’re trying too hard to do so.”

Emily bites her lip to stop it from trembling, chalks it up to a reaction to Charlie’s hand moving across her stomach.

Charlie continues, lifts Emily’s shirt and traces patterns on her skin, continues to kiss Emily’s neck, cheeks, nose, mouth. Emily sighs in frustration and takes her shirt off completely, doing the same to Charlie, and she wraps her arms around the brunette’s head and kisses her lips. “I do care for you, Emily,” Charlie murmurs, “I want you to be happy with me, but I don’t want you to force it.”

“Shut up,” Emily says and slides her hands down to undo Charlie’s jeans.

 

~#~#

 

Naomi doesn’t call Effy. Ever. They just run into one another in school or have an unspoken agreement to meet at a certain cross-street during their mutual break between classes and hang out. Sometimes they skip class and sit in silence sharing a cig, sometimes they talk. But it’s always unplanned. Naomi likes that it’s unplanned. It’s sort of like a boat ride, just the two of them, alone in an ocean, just drifting along. And Naomi leans over to ask ‘where are we going’ and Effy responds ‘wherever’.

 

It occurs to Naomi one day after Effy rolls off her, that the real answer to her question ‘Where are we going?’ is really ‘Nowhere’.

This apathetic response fills Naomi with nothing but empty space.

 

~#~#

 

Charlie isn’t as funny or sarcastic as Naomi, so Emily doesn’t laugh as much as she used to. In this case, she tends do most of the funny in the relationship. She doesn’t mind, because she gets to see Charlie’s face slowly break into this sweet, sweet smile. It reminds her of how easily she could make Naomi, fight as she would, smile around her. That reminds her of how easily Naomi used to make her laugh. In fact they both used to laugh, in a relaxed way that Emily had never experienced with anyone else. It’s usually around here that Emily tries to stop comparing them.

Because, Emily figures, her past relationship with Naomi was always like winning the lottery. If she said the right thing, or waited long enough, or managed to talk to Naomi on a good day, Emily would be rewarded with a smile or kiss. It was always a hit-or-miss relationship, and Emily was sick to death of it. Being with Charlie was like winning every day.

Also: Charlie is significantly shorter than Naomi. When they used to kiss, Emily always felt like she was stretching, reaching. She was always reaching, in some way, for Naomi.

 

-

 

It’s usually around here that Emily tries again to stop comparing them.

 

~#~#

 

Emily wonders if it’s normal for someone to think about their ex as often as she does.

 

~#~#

 

They meet again at another club, this one darker than the first they met at. Naomi and Effy separate once they enter, it’s just what happens. Naomi goes straight to the dance floor, Effy to the bathrooms to do...who knows what.

The music is loud and thrumming and terrible but it’s aggravating enough to wipe Naomi’s mind clean of everything. Of Effy, of Emily, of relationships, of sex and love. She doesn’t want to think anymore. She simply wants to feel. And she remembers what it was like to feel, not think. Only with Emily. Only with Emily did she put her brain on ice and just feel. And fuck it felt good, and before Naomi can connect the dots, a short redhead is pushed against her, the flow of the crowd moving them together.

And it’s like the universe is taunting her. Because it’s Emily, she knows it is, knows the exact height of her, the length of her fringe, the faint smell of her perfume. Knows, when Emily loses her balance and grips Naomi’s waist, what it feels like to have Emily Fitch’s greedy hands on her. Their heads are close, so fucking close, almost touching foreheads, Naomi can’t quite see Emily’s face, just feels her warm breath on her lips, cooler than the heat of the swaying bodies around them. They stand there, not daring to move one inch, because they’re already squeezing together from the boisterous crowd, their legs touching, and feel their heartbeats match the speedy rhythm of the music.

Naomi fights the urge to raise her hand and graze Emily’s cheek. Because she wants to know how she feels, wants to know if Emily’s still as warm as she remembers, wants to know if Emily still tastes like vodka and cranberries, wants to know if Emily’s arms around her still make her feel terrifyingly secure.

Emily moves away before she can do any of this.

 

~#~#

 

Tall Naomi was when they kissed, yes. But Emily remembers Naomi always bowed her head, too.

Naomi always bowed her head.

 

~#~#

 

Effy sees it coming a mile away and beats Naomi to the chase. They’re walking down the street, emptying some whisky between them, when they reach Effy’s.

“Goodnight,” Effy says with a loopy smile, and Naomi moves to kiss her. “No, it’s okay,” she says, slurring her s, “I’m not really who you want to be doing that to am I?”

Naomi blinks once, twice. Doesn’t really know what to say. She tries to blame it on the alcohol but really, she just doesn’t know what to say to that.

Effy just smiles her knowing smile. She moves towards her, puts both hands on Naomi’s shoulders and gives her a quick kiss. “Was fun while it lasted,” she says and turns on her heel, opening her door.

That’s it? Naomi thinks. She laughs, causing Effy to turn around. “You just do what you want, don’t you?” she asks.

Effy smiles a wicked smile, winks a seductive wink, and heads inside.

 

~#~#

 

Emily figures it’s maybe their third big fight when it ends for good.

“This isn’t what you want,” Charlie tells her calmly, sipping chamomile tea with peppermint.

“You can’t tell me what I do and don’t want,” Emily responds, feeling the anger rise up. She wants Charlie to get angry, wants her to throw something, wants her to say something she’ll regret later. Hell, she wants Charlie to crack a joke and make Emily smile, even in the middle of a serious disagreement.

“It’s okay,” Charlie tries to say casually, but the hurt is there.

“That it, then?” Emily asks quietly, “That quickly? With everything we have, the first rock in your path you throw your hands up and say that’s it?”

Charlie shakes her head in that solemn, wise way she does. “Emily,” she says slowly, “Just because it’s convenient doesn’t mean it’s right.”

Emily quirks an eyebrow, her jaw goes loose. It’s true, because whatever even half-philosophical comment made by Charlie is true. “I thought you liked me,” is all she can say.

Charlie smiles a painfully hard one, it is so strained, she gives up entirely, just sits there with a sad, sad face. “I do,” she says, “But this is about you, innit? I can’t be who you want me to be.”

 

-

 

As she watches Charlie wipe a tear and get up to leave, Emily thinks this breakup hurts her most because it doesn’t.

 

~#~#

 

Naomi catches wind that Emily’s going to that party, decides to pay a visit, and tells herself it’s only for the free booze.

 

~#~#

 

They end up kissing, of course,

because that's what NaomiAndEmily do: They get drunk and kiss one another.

But it’s always been a certain way with them, a comforting ritual to head back into, and for once, it feels like coming home. A rushing tidal wave sensation of This is where you belong. And that feeling, that mandatory exertion of Place in the world is terrifying. And familiar. Emily’s hair and lips and small, small fingers on Naomi’s even smaller heart are familiar. And in that way, Naomi remembers how the world, even the terrifying bits, is ironically calmed down with Emily.

It happens at the exact same place they first kissed at, all those years ago in middle school. It is sweet and caring and Emily thinks back to when she thought being with Naomi was like winning the lottery. She still thinks it’s true, when Naomi brings her hands to her neck and deepens their kiss. Naomi makes her feel lucky.

Emily thinks one believes they are lucky in a relationship when they’re loved back.

 

~#~#

 

It’s an indeterminable amount of time later, when the majority of Emily’s clothing are all over Naomi’s room and she’s gotten back into the groove of rearranging her shoes and making her breakfast, when people realize it’s safe to invite both of them to the same event again, when they strip one another faster than they’ve ever and move almost uncontrollably in the midst of makeup sex, Naomi stills under the covers. Steadies herself on top of Emily and just looks at her like she’s a goddess and an avalanche, awe and shock. 

“What is it?” Emily’s panting underneath her, brushing hair out of her face, her eyes heavy and body still tingling all over. She struggles to catch her breath, licks her lips and kisses Naomi’s cheek. They start moving again, slower this time, languidly taking the time to feel the other’s legs and arms and breasts and stomach and tongue and lips.

“I’ve missed you,” Naomi chokes out painfully.

It’s this moment, an exposed Naomi softly admitting to a simple truth, which touches Emily more deeply than anything she’s ever experienced with Charlie, with anyone.

“I’ve missed you too,” Emily responds, gasping when Naomi slips a finger inside her, tongue licking at her jaw line.

It’s this moment, a whining Emily gripping desperately at her hair and bruising her lips between pants, which warms Naomi faster than she’s ever felt anything in herself freeze.