Peridot stirred, her bare, sweaty legs clinging to the thin white sheets. She detangled herself from the blankets, covering her eyes to shield herself from the sunlight streaming through the blinds. She grunted as she stretched, sore back arching off the bed, her shoulder popping pleasantly. She rolled over and-
-came face to face with a complete stranger.
The woman cocooned in the blankets beside her breathed softly. Her pale hair was plastered to her face and her mascara was smeared around her eyes like a raccoon mask. Her scruffy eyebrows scrunched intensely even as she slept peacefully. Peridot admired her for a few moments before reality smacked her in the face; she was in bed with a stranger . The petite girl then realized both her and the stranger were completely naked, and when she glanced around the unfamiliar room, she noticed their clothes strewn across the floor. “Oh, fuck .”
Peridot flung herself from the bed and collected her scattered articles of clothing, quickly hooking her bra and slipping back into her dirty underwear, much to her dismay. She threw on her waffle-knit sweater and high-waisted jeans and was about to escape out the door when the bed creaked, catching her attention. She froze, hand on the cold doorknob, and cringed. Slowly, she turned on her heel and cracked an awkward smile, waving weakly at the cozy bundle sitting up in bed. “Uh… hi.”
“Hey,” came the groggy reply. Peridot sputtered, taken aback as the stranger brushed her hair from her face, basking in the picturesque rays of sunlight from the window. She, like Peridot, took a moment to process the scene surrounding them, rubbing at her eyes and smudging her makeup further. “Jesus, what happened last night? I can’t remember a thing.”
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Peridot replied, fingers itching to rip open the door and run away as fast as possible. She averted her eyes as the sheets slipped from the stranger’s body, exposing her breasts. “Well, uh… I’m just gonna… go.”
“Go where?” the stranger questioned, tilting her head quizzically. As she rose from the mattress and revealed even more of her curvy, toned, and tan body, Peridot squirmed.
‘ There’s no way we did anything. Right…? ’ “Uh, go home…? Isn’t that the whole point of one night stands? It’s one night and then it’s over?” Peridot wiggled her nose, and only then noticed the absence of her glasses. ‘ Didn’t I have them last night? Or did I come without them? Where did I even go? Some party, right…? ’ The previous night was one drunken blur, and she struggled to remember anything with her pounding headache. She pressed a hand against the side of her head and the stranger did the same.
“Why would you leave your own house?” the stranger grumbled in annoyance, fishing around the mess of blankets for her phone.
“Hold on…” Peridot covered her mouth with a hand, muffling a soft gasp. “You mean this isn’t your room?”
The stranger turned her warm autumn-colored eyes to Peridot, and she shrunk against her skeptical stare. “No.”
“Where are we, then?”
The stranger snorted, gathering her mane into a sloppy bun. “Fuck if I know.”
Peridot ran an exasperated hand down the length of her angular face, groaning audibly. “I can’t believe this is happening…”
“What’s your malfunction, shrimp? How do you know we even slept together?” Peridot peaked between her parted fingers just in time to catch the stranger’s cocky grin. She puffed up her cheeks and put her fists on her hips, straightening up her back. Though the woman loomed over her, Peridot was never one to turn away from a good catfight.
“What’s that supposed to mean? So what, you think we just woke up in the same bed together completely naked and nothing happened ? Is there a brain in that big head of yours, or is it just all mush?” The woman’s grin faltered, melting into an amused smirk. She squinted, studying Peridot closely before she bent over and grabbed a black tank top from the carpet.
“You’re right, I remember now. How could I forget that annoying, nagging voice of yours?” A cackle escaped the stranger’s mouth as she raised her arms above her head. Fresh scratch marks lined her muscular back, and Peridot blushed.
“If I’m so annoying, then why’d you fuck me?”
The stranger lifted up her sweatpants, revealing Peridot’s missing glasses. She snatched them up before Peridot could rush over and claim them. “Because I like them feisty. It makes it more fun. And you’re cute.”
Flustered, Peridot left her spot at the door frame and stomped over to the stranger, holding out a hand for her glasses. “Give me those, I’m blind!” she snapped, but the much taller woman held the glasses up far out of Peridot’s reach. “And I’m not cute! Who the hell do you think you are?!”
“Can’t even remember my name, huh? I’m insulted. Especially considering you were screaming it when I went down on you last night-”
Peridot gave the mountainous woman a shove to the chest, though she barely budged. “Of course I can’t remember your name. Can you even remember mine?”
The stranger chuckled, finally giving up and passing Peridot her glasses. She thrust them onto her face, and the world became a little clearer. She countered the woman’s arrogant smirk with a vexed glare. “Uh, is it… Poppy? Pepper? Paris? Am I close?"
“It’s Peridot.” She squinted sharply, crossing her arms over her chest. “Not that it matters. Will you put your pants on already?”
The stranger made a show out of slowly stepping into her pants as Peridot watched her like a hawk. The joggers hugged the woman’s sculpted ass and hips perfectly, and the petite girl swallowed thickly as she flexed her biceps. “Not even gonna ask my name, huh? You think I’m just eye candy?”
“Yeah, kinda.” As the cloud of grogginess ebbed, Peridot was beginning to recollect the events of the previous night. She recalled a lot of wrestling, a lot of rough hands and tearing off clothes, a fight for dominance. And if the severe hickeys and bite marks lining the other woman’s neck and rake marks down her back had anything to say, Peridot had definitely won. Her ego swelled.
The stranger suddenly gripped Peridot’s jaw, startling the smaller girl. She tilted her head up and their equally harsh glowers clashed. “My eyes are up here, runt. Hi, I’m Jasper.”
“Aww, a perfect douchebag name for a perfect douchebag.” Jasper released Peridot’s jaw, instead fisting the front of her sweater and forcing her onto her tiptoes. Their faces were close, close enough to feel each other’s hot breath, the smell of alcohol lingering in the charged air.
“My, someone’s just begging for a fight, huh?” Jasper snarled intimidatingly, and Peridot growled in return. The tense moment was short-lived, however, as the taller woman pushed Peridot towards the door. “C’mon, we should get out of here. We don’t even know who’s bedroom we’re in.”
Peridot’s knees buckled beneath her and she stumbled out the door. As she passed by a mirror in the hallway and caught a glimpse of herself, she scowled in disgust. Her tousled blonde hair stuck up every which way, and it was too obvious what had happened to her. It wasn’t just a normal case of bedhead.
Jasper trailed her closely, and as they stepped into the kitchen, they were greeted by the tempting scent of coffee. “Well well well, the lovebirds finally decided to roll out of bed.” Peridot shriveled as the short girl standing behind the kitchen counter spun around to address them like a stern mother, her deceptively perky British accent slathered with the usual amount of hatred. “Did you two have fun last night?”
“Aquamarine,” Peridot grumbled through gritted teeth, shuffling towards the door. “Don’t tell anybody about this.”
“Oh don’t worry, I won’t tell just anybody.” A wicked grin spread across the girl’s face, and she tapped her chin in thought. “I’ll tell everybody . The entire office will know that you were so drunk you passed out in my guest bedroom with a gym junkie. Hah! I didn’t even think that she was your type, Peridot!” Hot embarrassment mixed with a blazing fury swirled in Peridot’s stomach, but she bit her tongue. Mouthing off to her manager wasn’t the best choice, she figured, especially considering the situation. “The door’s right there, so do me a favor and get the fuck out of my home.”
Jasper and Peridot took their walk of shame with their heads held high, marching down the high-end apartment corridor, crowding together in the empty elevator, then exited the building together. Peridot half-expected her one-night stand to split off and walk the other way to never be seen again like in the movies, but they stuck together down the sidewalk until they passed by a Starbucks. The scent of freshly brewed coffee wafted through the door as it swung open and shut. Peridot inhaled deeply. It felt like someone was jamming an icepick into her skull. “I could seriously go for some coffee right now, I have a splitting headache-”
“No,” Jasper interjected, grabbing Peridot’s shoulder and guiding her past the broad windows of the inviting coffee shop. Peridot longed to join the customers in line clutching their Starbucks cups. “We’re gonna get smoothies.”
Peridot’s nose wrinkled and she shot a questioning glare up to the tall woman. “Smoothies? Why?”
“They’re the perfect antidote for a hangover.” After a moment of silence, Jasper held her palm against her chest defensively. “I swear, they are. Do you trust me?”
Peridot pouted, accidentally bumping against Jasper as they walked in sync, side by side. “I guess…”
“Do you trust me enough to sleep over tonight?” Shocked, Peridot tossed her head to the side again and expected the same smug grin from the woman. Instead, her full lips were pulled into a genuine smile.
“You say that like you have plans to murder me or something,” Peridot joked, freckled cheeks turning a lovely shade of pink.
“If I wanted to murder you, I think last night when you were blackout drunk would have been the best time. But I was also blackout drunk, so even if I wanted to stab you to death, I would’ve missed.”
Peridot snickered. She rubbed her own elbow sheepishly, face hot as Jasper looped a casual arm around her shoulders and tugged her close. “Fine, I guess you’re right.”
“So? What do you say? We can be sober enough to remember each other’s names this time.”
The petite girl laughed again, shrugging away the muscular arm from her shoulders and, instead, shoving her hand into Jasper’s back pocket. “That sounds like a good plan. And maybe this time I won’t beat you up so much.”
She could’ve sworn the tough brickhouse of a woman blushed, but it could’ve just been the side effects of her nasty hangover.