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Denial

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Denial

Chapter One

“Denial” - a statement that something is not true, the action of denying something and the refusal of something requested or desired.

Elly Conway had feelings for Chloe Brennan and she was in complete denial about them.

Two weeks ago Elly Conway nearly became Elly Brennan. And no it wasn’t because she married her best friend. Instead she had married Chloe’s brother, Mark, but that fell apart long before she had even thought about changing her surname.

Five minutes. Elly had been married for all of five minutes before she’d run away from the venue and broke down in front of her new husband as she revealed that two nights before the wedding she had slept with his younger sister, Chloe. Elly wasn’t a cheater but when Mark took off, abandoned her to go stay in the outback after his best friend died and then cancelled the wedding by text message, Elly had a few glasses of wine and the next thing she knew she was taking comfort in Chloe and cheating on Mark.

Elly took comfort in the person that represented unconditional love for her.

Even though she had told Mark that Chloe was the woman that represented that for her she kept trying to forget the thought had ever entered her mind.

Now two weeks later Elly’s life was a wreck as she skulled her fourth glass of wine at the Waterhole. Skulling wine, such an attractive quality and not the best way to drink wine but she wanted to get as drunk as possible in very little time. She was in incredible pain and wanted to forget the last two weeks had happened. Truth was that day in particular had been the worst of them all and she wanted to erase it from her memory.

Yes, worse than telling Mark she had cheated on him, rejected Chloe, been told Mark wanted her to sign annulment papers to end their short-lived marriage, found out that she was pregnant with Mark’s child, Fay wanting to know why she let her night with Chloe happen, saw the devastation on Chloe’s face when she heard the pregnancy news, Mark’s insistence at ignoring their situation despite desperately wanting a child, then finally he started talking to her and whilst Mark made out that he was supportive with the idea of becoming a dad, he also made her feel like having a child with her specifically was not what he wanted.

Then this morning Elly had gone to her GP in the doctor’s office section of the local hospital. Elly didn’t feel comfortable seeing her brother-in-law, David, nor her Uncle Karl, so went to her own doctor.

False positive.

That’s what the GP had told her when she went back later that afternoon to get the results of her blood test. She wasn’t pregnant after all. She’d gone to see Mark to tell him the news that he was off the hook but in the end she couldn’t bring herself to tell him. This non-existing baby was the only thing keeping their marriage together.

The only thing keeping Elly from thinking that Mark would never have unconditional love for her the way Chloe did.

After lying to Mark that she would get the results back from the GP the following day because she couldn’t bear the thought of never having the chance to reconcile with him, Elly left Mark’s place and headed straight for the Waterhole. She was glad that none of the people in her life that knew she was ‘pregnant’ were present at the venue as it left her free of judgmental glances that she shouldn’t be drinking.

Sheila cut her off as soon as she placed the fourth glass of wine in front of Elly. Elly didn’t care; she wanted to keep drinking to further her denial in the situation she had found herself in.

Denial that she could make things right with Mark.

Denial that she was pregnant with his child.

Denial that Chloe meant nothing more to her than a best friend.

Elly left the Waterhole before Sheila could accost her to take a taxi home and made her way to the local nightclub. Elly fumbled her way into an appearance of been sober, making it past the security guy at the entrance and to the bar where she ordered three tequila shots. Downing them one after the other, Elly stumbled onto the dance floor.

Unafraid of been on her own amongst plenty of groups of friends, Elly danced the night away with a bunch of strangers who had no clue how badly she had messed up her life the past two weeks and how badly she could continue to if she kept Mark in the dark over the reality that they weren’t having a child together.

How badly things could spiral if she continued to deny that the comfort she had felt from her night with Chloe was something she wanted to feel again.

A couple hours later, Elly was exhausted from dancing amongst all the men that she could find in the club and feeling absolutely nothing for them, she found herself back in Ramsay Street outside the house she lived in with her sister, Aunt and Uncle.

Looking towards Mark’s house, she made the irrational decision to head to his place instead of collapsing into her bed all alone.

Elly knocked on the front door for several minutes. She wasn’t used to knocking on this door; she had a standing invitation to walk inside whenever she wanted. Elly now realised that the last time she left this house, after the night she slept with Chloe, meant that she would never truly feel that invitation belonged to her again, even if Mark took her back.

Nobody answered the door. Chloe had been kicked out of the house after the wedding. Aaron and David had just that day moved into No. 32 after purchasing the house and allowed Chloe to move in with them.

Mark wasn’t home, maybe he had begun back at the police station or maybe he was ignoring her desperate drunken pleas to talk to her and take her back. Elly soon realised how stupid that plan was, she was supposed to be pregnant and if Mark found her drunk off her face he would only think the worst of her.

Elly’s thoughts suddenly settled on the one person in the whole world that could never think the worst of her, Chloe.

Despite Chloe telling her off for thinking they could put their night behind them and go back to being friends, Elly knew deep in her heart no matter what she did Chloe had unconditional love for her. Despite the situation she had found herself in, denying that was becoming impossible and before she knew it she was leaning against the front door of No. 32, needing the doorframe to hold her up as she knocked on the door.

Elly licked her lips as she saw Chloe’s figure approach the other side of the door.

Denial isn’t working for me anymore and I want what I want.

Chapter Text

Denial

Chapter Two

Chloe was exhausted after a full day at work at Lassiter’s Hotel and then moving all her things into Aaron and David’s new house. She was so glad that the boys had come to her rescue and allowed her to move in with them. Living in the hotel room she had scammed for free from her place of employment was never going to last. Even though she was positive that if her boss Therese had found out, she would show a small amount of compassion without firing her but she would still find another suitable punishment. Chloe couldn’t take the chance any longer.

Chloe had returned to Mark’s place after work to collect the rest of her belongings and moved them all over to her new room in Aaron and David’s place and was looking forward to spending her first night in the new house. She was thankful that Mark wasn’t at home when she grabbed her belongings, not that he would’ve spoken to her if he had been. He had barely uttered a word to her since he found out she had slept with Elly two days before he wed her.

What a mistake that turned out to be. Chloe had fooled herself into thinking that her night with Elly could mean that Elly would leave Mark and they could be together as a couple. She’d hurt Mark so badly when he found out she had bedded his fiancé, finding out minutes after the wedding ceremony where he and Elly were pronounced husband and wife. Then Elly had crushed Chloe’s soul by telling her their night together was a mistake, she didn’t love her and they would never be together.

And despite all the pain Chloe couldn’t deny to herself that she still had unconditional love for Elly and she was never going to feel that way about another person for the rest of her life.

Chloe breathed deeply as she opened the front door of her new place having been called to it by an incessant knocking.

Chloe blinked several times when she opened the door to find Elly standing on the other side. Standing was not the most appropriate description for what Elly was doing, more like leaning against the doorframe, requiring it to hold her upright to avoid falling over. Elly was drunk.

Chloe ran her hand through her hair as she immediately processed the fact that her newly pregnant sister-in-law was drunk off her face, barely able to stand and licking her lips as her eyes met Chloe’s.

Elly’s a mess. A hot drunk mess.

“Elly, what’s wrong? What are you doing here?” Chloe asked honestly not expecting much of an answer and getting exactly that as Elly slurred back to her, “Everything’s wrong. Comfort.”

Before Chloe could move a muscle Elly leant forwards and wrapped her arms around Chloe’s waist bringing her into a hug. Chloe sighed into the embrace, hating herself for allowing herself feel Elly’s body sink against hers but refusing to wrap her own arms back around Elly, instead they hung awkwardly at her side.

“Elly, you’re drunk! You can’t be getting drunk in your condition!” Chloe scolded in a quiet voice unable to tell Elly off completely.

Elly’s hands rubbed Chloe’s lower back, as she continued slurring, “Mark won’t talk to me, I can’t tell him the truth, I can’t handle you not been around.”

Truth about what? Chloe wanted to ask, instead settling for, “I can see you’re struggling. Let’s get you back to your place so your family can look after you.”

Elly pursed her lips at the thought of Chloe not been the one to look after her, “No. You look after me.”

Chloe froze, unsure what to make of Elly’s drunken state.

Raking her fingernails against Chloe’s back, Elly allowed herself to stare deep into Chloe’s eyes, and before Chloe could stop her, Elly shoved Chloe back against the entrance wall, flinging the front door closed behind her. As Chloe’s back landed painfully against the wall, Elly’s lips crashed against her own.

Chloe found herself falling into the embrace for a moment, her lips dancing against Elly’s before Elly quickly deepened the kiss, entangling their tongues desperately insisting on control. Despite been drunk, Elly knew how to kiss and Chloe felt the heat rising in her body as Elly held her against the wall exploring every inch of her mouth.

Chloe soon realised what a mistake this was. Elly is drunk and throwing herself at her in a desperate attempt to feel something. Chloe loved everything about the woman who held her arms around her and a tiny part of her really wanted it to continue, she wanted to allow Elly to use her again if that meant she got the chance to be with the brunette again. But the rational side of her knew how wrong this could end up if she allowed it to happen.

Chloe pushed back against Elly’s shoulders, not as strong as she should have as she didn’t want to shove a pregnant woman but enough to break the contact of their lips. Elly whimpered at the loss of contact before leaning forward again to bring their lips together but been disappointed when Chloe ducked her lips away from Elly’s. Still holding Chloe against the wall, Elly pressed her face against Chloe’s neck, kissing desperately along her neckline.

Chloe pressed her palms against Elly’s shoulders a little bit harder, “Elly we can’t do this. You’re drunk as hell and in denial over what you’re doing. I’m not going to let this happen.”

Elly didn’t want to listen to Chloe, bringing her lips along Chloe’s jawline, before moving back to her lips kissing her desperately, pressing her body against the blonde’s. Elly’s hands wandered below Chloe’s waist, squeezing the younger woman’s butt.

Chloe squealed at Elly’s move, feeling surprised that Elly was been a lot more brazen in her affection then the night they had slept together but then realised how much more drunker Elly is compared to that night.

Chloe was even more surprised when Elly began grinding her hips against hers, she moaned in reaction. As their lips continued melding together, Chloe could feel Elly’s lips curl into a smile at the sounds she was making. Chloe felt Elly’s hand leave her backside and reach up and caress her face before reaching back down and starting to undo the buttons on her shirt.

Elly moved down the shirt undoing the top three buttons and slipping her hand inside Chloe’s shirt to cup her bra-covered breast, stroking her fingers against the fabric.

Chloe was feeling an insane amount of love and desperation for Elly but she couldn’t allow herself to let it continue because she couldn’t take advantage of Elly’s drunken and emotional state.

Before Chloe could assert herself once more, Elly broke their kiss, slurring against Chloe’s lips, “Give me comfort, Chlo. You represent unconditional love for me. Make me forget everything else.”

Chloe had finally had enough, shoving Elly’s hand away from her breast and forcing her palms to push Elly back to an arm’s length away from her, “No, this is not happening, Elly. I’m not letting you use me again for freaking rebound sex ‘cause you’re needy.”

Elly licked her lips, unsure how to take Chloe’s rejection, before trying to convince Chloe what she wanted wasn’t wrong by whispering, “It’s not rebound sex, I want to feel your body all over mine. I want your lips…fingers…tongue…all of it.”

“Yes it is!” Chloe suddenly yelled, “You’re only here because Mark rejected you. And I am not allowing this to happen.”

Elly stared deeply into Chloe’s eyes, trying to ignore the fact that she could barely stand and was still leaning against Chloe’s palms despite Chloe trying to keep her at a distance, “Did I tell you how you made me feel that night?”

Chloe swallowed, blinking quickly unable to respond, not wanting to yell at Elly that of course she didn’t tell her, Elly had ran out of her bedroom that night before either of them had a chance to talk about what had happened between them. And besides Elly telling her it was nothing more than a mistake, they hadn’t discussed their night of passion at all.

Elly glanced downwards, before looking back into Chloe’s eyes, “Pleasure like I’ve never experienced in my life before, I need to feel that again, Chloe.”

Chloe closed her eyes, unable to look at Elly, “No. I’m not going to let you use me again, go home Elly. We’re not going to be together tonight.”

Elly took a step back, “You love me? I’m here, why won’t you love me?”

Chloe finally snapped, pushing Elly a step backwards, “Yes, I love you! And our night together was what you called a mistake, Elly! You don’t want me to love you, you’re here because you’re lonely and drunk and I’m not going to be your second choice because Mark doesn’t want you! Go home!”

Elly finally dropped her hands off Chloe, unable to comprehend that Chloe was turning her down, and not ready to let her, Elly eyed the hallway of the house, “Which room is yours Chlo? Take me to bed with you.”

Chloe shook her head, “Elly, I am not taking you to bed. Go back to your place before you make more of a fool of yourself.” Then groaning, “Elly, what are you doing?”

Elly licked her lips suggestively before stumbling back from Chloe and instead of going home like the blonde asked; she staggered down the hallway of the new place looking for Chloe’s bedroom. Upon finding it, Elly leant against the doorframe, looking back down the hallway at Chloe, slurring once more, “Get naked with me, Brennan. You know you can’t resist me!”

Chloe placed her head in her hands as she watched Elly collapse into her room, unable to believe Elly could ever think she was going to follow her after throwing herself drunkenly like she had. Chloe sighed before walking into the living room and sitting down in the single seat across from the lounge as she refused to listen to Elly’s words that she couldn’t resist her.

I’m not giving in to her.

Chapter Text

Denial

Chapter Three

Chloe sat in silence in her new living room, biting her lips, she kept replaying the last half an hour in her head. Elly had turned up drunk at her front door, tried to pressure her to sleep with her and now the brunette was in her bedroom expecting her to join her.

Chloe’s thoughts were interrupted by the front door opening and Aaron and David arriving home.

Realising that her shirt was still undone after Elly had fondled her, Chloe immediately rushed to do it back up, blushing as she looked up at the two boys and knew that she’d been caught out.

“You right there, Chlo?” Aaron asked his younger sister, not sure he wanted to know why her shirt was undone as she sat alone in the living room before he then noticed marks along her neck and that her lip stick was smudged with a different shade.

Chloe cocked her head to her side, before realising she couldn’t lie to her brother and brother-in-law, “Well…the thing is…Elly’s in my room.”

Aaron and David’s eyes both widened as they glanced at each other before walking over to Chloe’s side.

“It’s not what you think,” Chloe immediately told them, “Elly came over here half an hour ago. She was…is…drunk off her face…and she hit on me…like seriously tried to get me to…join her in my bed…with her. But I didn’t…I couldn’t. I mean I really really wanted to…but I still have a little respect for myself left not to.”

Aaron was surprised, “Elly made moves on you and you turned her down?”

“Yes, Aaron, I’ve made that mistake once, I’m not a complete idiot to let her use me again!” Chloe insisted, “But can we just ignore the fact that Elly is having some serious denial over her attractions right this moment because…she is completely trashed and pregnant!”

David grimaced, “Yeah, that’s not great for the baby. She’s pretty early in her pregnancy and lots of women don’t know they are pregnant until after this stage so getting drunk and trashed whilst not great for the baby, it can happen. We just need to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.”

Chloe nodded, “Agreed. I could really use not having Elly making moves on me and using my feelings for her against me because she’s lonely…and also I don’t want anything bad to happen to her baby.”

Aaron sighed, “So Elly’s in your room…is she like not leaving? Or sleeping her drunkenness off?”

“I’ll sleep on the couch tonight,” Chloe decided before addressing Aaron, “Okay; I don’t actually know what Elly’s doing in there. I haven’t checked on her. I know it’s wrong but I’m afraid to be tempted by her.”

Aaron looked at David, who stepped up, “I’ll check on her. I’m sure she’s fine.”

Aaron placed his hand on Chloe’s shoulder reassuringly. Chloe looked up at him in appreciation, “I really hope David finds her asleep and not…well naked and waiting for me in my new bed. ‘Cause after she went in there she yelled out some very suggestive things to me that…you don’t need to know about.”

Aaron shook his head, “Little bit late.”

“Sorry,” Chloe apologised.

Aaron pursed his lips, “So did Elly know I was out picking up David from work when she put the moves on you and yelled suggestive things?”

Chloe grimaced, “I think Elly was too drunk to even consider you or David were home when she started telling me she wanted me to---never mind.”

David returned to the living room, “Elly’s completely passed out, lying on top of your bed.”

Chloe nodded sadly. Aaron felt sad for his sister, “Do you want me to go over to Elly’s place and see if Bea and Susan can help us take Elly back to her place? Karl was at the hospital when I picked up David.”

Chloe sighed, “No, its fine. Like I said, I’ll take the couch tonight. I know Elly needs a lot of help with what she’s dealing with and I know that should not be me but I think she’ll be really embarrassed when she wakes up in the morning. The last thing she probably needs is having Bea and Susan help drag her home whilst she’s unconscious. Whether I like it or not, Elly is technically part of our family and I think we need to let her sleep it off tonight. Then try to find a way to help her in the morning.”

Aaron and David both nodded, with Aaron speaking up, “Elly’s in a world of denial over her feelings for you isn’t she?”

Chloe didn’t react because the truth was she had no idea how Elly felt about her.

David looked at the siblings, “Maybe I can have a talk to her in the morning after you’ve both left for work. I feel like maybe I can relate to what she might be going through.”

“You’re the best, boo boo,” Aaron took David’s hand, before looking at his little sister, “Chlo, I know you probably won’t agree with me…but I want to speak to Mark tomorrow and tell him what happened tonight.”

“Are you kidding me?” Chloe squealed, “Mark already hates me and he’ll probably just think I took advantage of Elly when I haven’t.”

Aaron looked at Chloe reassuringly, “Mark may have given Elly annulment papers but she is still his wife until they get filed. He needs to know what happened from one of us before he finds out from someone else. More importantly he needs to sort his crap out and decide how he feels about Elly been pregnant with his child. Mark needs to be there for her in whatever way he chooses otherwise Elly’s just going to keep turning to the bottle and she could risk the baby’s life.”

“You’re right,” Chloe agreed, hoping that Mark wouldn’t think that she had hooked up with his wife again, “Anyway I should let you boys head to bed, I’ll go find a blanket for the couch…any chance I can borrow some PJ’s from you Aaron? I’d rather like to not sleep in my work clothes.”

Aaron nodded, “I got your back, Chlo.”

The next morning Chloe found herself crying in the shower. She’d had a terrible night sleeping on the couch as her mind continued to torture her with memories of her night with Elly a few weeks ago melded into ideas of how her previous night could have turned out if she hadn’t have turned down Elly’s advances. Chloe was honest with herself, if Elly hadn’t have been drunk or pregnant, Chloe would’ve fallen straight into bed with her and let her hurt her all over again.

Chloe ran her hand through her hair as Elly’s voice felt like it was ringing in her ears with continual seductions. “I want to feel your body all over mine. I want your lips…fingers…tongue…all of it. Pleasure like I’ve never experienced in my life before, I need to feel that again, Chloe. Why won’t you love me? Get naked with me, Brennan.”

How the hell did I manage to resist all that? Chloe thought to herself as she imagined how incredible it would have felt to have Elly’s body against hers. Oh boy!

Twenty minutes later, Chloe had put on her makeup, done her hair and was now sitting on one of the stools in the kitchen, her bathroom towel wrapped around her body as she drunk her first mug of coffee for the day.

Aaron and David soon joined her and started bumbling about the kitchen, grabbing coffees for each of them and not much else. Several of their newly bought appliances were due to be delivered that day whilst David was at home before his night shift so they didn’t have much in the way of food in the house without a fridge.

Aaron finally looked at Chloe, “So Chlo…you gonna rock the whole bathroom towel look to work today?”

Chloe winked at her brother, “Well it just so happens I was debating that myself. What would be worse, the bathroom towel and risk of nakedness look or the wear yesterday’s work clothes to work today and look like I hooked up and didn’t go home look?”

Aaron nodded, “Right, your clothes are in your room and there’s a possible still unconscious Elly in your bed and you don’t want to go in there especially in a towel just in case she wakes up and thinks the two of you hooked up and freaks out all over again?”

“It’s like you know me,” Chloe grinned at her brother.

David poured an extra cup of coffee, “Would you be okay if I take this coffee to Elly and grab you some work clothes while I’m there, Chloe? I apologise now if you don’t like what I choose.”

“Always looking out for me, David,” Chloe grinned, “Any of my dresses will be fine. Oh and David, little bit awkward but bra and underwear too if that’s not too forward?”

“Got it,” David nodded awkwardly, “I can…manage that.”

David entered Chloe’s room as quietly as he could, placing the cup of coffee on the bedside table he quickly moved to Chloe’s wardrobe and drawers to grab his sister-in-law some clothes for work. Just as he grabbed what Chloe needed and headed for the door, he heard Elly rustle from her sleep and saw as she blinked her eyes open.

David whispered, “Elly, its David. How are you feeling?”

Elly tried to sit up but the pain in her head caused her to immediately grab her forehead and groan, “Everything hurts. Where am I? I don’t know this place.”

David felt sorry for Elly, “Elly you’re at the new house Aaron and I bought. This is…uh…um…Chloe’s room.”

Despite her hangover hurting her entire body that was enough to get Elly to sit up, “Chloe’s room? Did I…did we? We did it again didn’t we? Or was that just my dream—I don’t dream of Chloe! Forget I said that.”

David felt quite awkward at Elly’s panic seeing just how in denial she was, “Chloe slept on the couch. I’m just getting some clothes for Chlo so she can head to work. Aaron’s leaving for work too soon. There’s a coffee for you on the bedside table there. When you’re up for it…I’ll be in the kitchen…it might help you to talk to someone and if you don’t think I’d be intruding I think maybe I can help you.”

Elly nodded guiltily, burying her head into the pillows as David left the room before eventually leaning up and grabbing the cup of coffee.

A few minutes later, David returned with some clothes for Chloe and within fifteen minutes Chloe had left the house for Lassiters. As agreed, Aaron had decided to speak to Mark before he went to the gym and headed over to Mark’s place hoping to catch him after his shift at the police station.

David hung out around the house, waiting for Elly to appear. Eventually finding himself cleaning every surface an hour later after the appliances had been delivered, David finally heard the bedroom door open and Elly appeared looking very worse for wear.

Elly’s memories of the previous night had come back to her whilst she had stayed in Chloe’s room, drinking her coffee. She was so embarrassed at the thought that Chloe had told Aaron and David what she’d done. Elly couldn’t look David in the eyes but she knew she couldn’t keep hiding away from what was going on with her, “You said you could help me?”

David motioned for Elly to sit down next to him at the kitchen table.

Chapter Text

Denial

Thank you for all your comments so far! They encourage me to keep writing this story and updating it for you.

Chapter Four

Aaron headed over to Mark’s house, but stopped in the driveway as he saw Mark entering the street as he pounded his feet against the pavement returning home from a morning run.

“Hey,” Mark greeted with a little hesitation but mostly out of breath from his run.

Since Aaron as his best man had allowed him the embarrassment of wedding a woman that had cheated on him with their sister knowing what Elly had done, Mark couldn’t quite bring himself to completely forgive Aaron.

“I need to talk to you if you have a minute,” Aaron told his older brother.

Mark took a deep breath, trying to get his breathing back to normal after his run, “What’s up?” 

“Before I tell you what I’m here to tell you…I need you to hear me out okay, don’t interrupt and don’t judge until I’m finished, okay?” Aaron asked of his brother.

Mark nodded, “This can’t be good…right no interrupting…go.”

Aaron sighed before confessing, “Elly spent the night at our place. She…uh ended up in Chloe’s…”

“Chloe hooked up with Elly again didn’t she?” Mark seethed.

“Bro, I just said no interrupting or judging!” Aaron scolded.

Mark gave in, “Okay, get on with it. Less stuttering and I won’t have the chance to interrupt and judge.” 

Aaron agreed, immediately continuing, “They didn’t hook up. But Elly did try to pressure Chloe to go to bed with her. Chloe was the one that turned her down."

"I'll be sure to thank my sister for not sleeping with my wife again," Mark snarked.

Aaron ignored that, "Elly was drunk, Mark, completely trashed. She turned up at our place, lonely and needing someone who loved her. I have no idea why she tried to turn to Chloe. I don't even think she knows why she did it. I'm not saying that Elly has feelings for Chloe. Maybe she does and she's in denial or maybe she just wanted to feel loved by anyone. But you need to get past this and talk to Elly. Forgive her, don't forgive her. Just let her know where she stands and how you intend to be there for her and the baby. Elly's pregnant, Mark, and for just one moment you need to forget about the cheating and whatever reason Elly went to Chloe last night for comfort and sort out how you feel about the baby with her. Otherwise Elly is going to keep throwing herself into more trouble. I'm not talking about Chloe. I'm talking about getting trashed out drunk that she passes out and has no idea where she is. That is dangerous in any situation but incredibly more so when she's pregnant. I know you are struggling with the reality of raising a child with a woman who cheated on you with Chloe but if you don't help Elly now...Elly might end up losing this baby. Please talk to Elly." 

Mark couldn't look Aaron in the eyes; he couldn't stand this situation feeling like no matter what he was going to end up losing Elly to Chloe, "Fine, I'll talk to Elly."

Mark started heading to Aaron's place, but Aaron pulled him back, "Not when she's hungover. Go home, sort out your feelings as much as you can over the next few hours, and then go find her later this afternoon, okay?"

Mark nodded in agreement, "Okay." 

Meanwhile at No. 32, David handed Elly a second cup of coffee, "Do you want to talk to me about what happened last night?"

Elly took the cup from David, avoiding his eyes as he sat back down at the kitchen table opposite her, "What did Chloe say to you?"

David spoke quietly, "Chloe didn't go into the details but...when Aaron and I came home...it was obvious something had happened. Her shirt was unbuttoned, she had bruises on her neck, lipstick smeared messily and though she didn't say it I noticed her holding her back like it was in pain."

"I smashed her back against the wall a couple times," Elly admitted, feeling a whole new wave of guilt hitting her at the knowledge she had physically hurt Chloe and left her with bruises, "Did I try to force myself on her? Did I assault her?"

"I don't think it got to that stage," David tried to relieve Elly of her worries, "But she did say no and you still went to her bedroom begging her to be with you again. Elly, I know you told Chloe that your night together when Mark went missing was a mistake. Mark told Aaron and I how you reacted in disgust when he asked you if you sleeping with Chloe meant you were bisexual--"

"I'm not attracted to Chloe! I'm not bisexual, David! I'm straight; I've always been with men!" Elly yelled forcefully, "So if you think you're here to give me some speech about--"

David placed his hands out to calm Elly, "I'm not trying to upset you but I do believe you are in a small amount of denial that you’re not in some form attracted to Chloe. You couldn't have slept with her if you weren't the tiniest bit attracted to her and I don't just mean attracted to her feelings for you."

Elly conceded avoiding David's gaze and bought her hand up with her thumb and index finger a few millimetres apart to demonstrate how little her attraction to Chloe was, "Okay fine so maybe I am just the tiniest bit attracted to Chloe, it doesn't make me anything less than straight."  

Okay well at least we might be finally getting somewhere, Elly's still in a world of denial but she's admitted for the first time that she is attracted to Chloe.

"Elly, I've been there okay," David explained thoughtfully, "I understand where your mind is at right now. I denied my sexuality for most of my life. But I couldn't do it forever and now I have an amazing life and an incredible husband. I'm not suggesting that it's the same for you and you have to go riding off into the sunset with Chloe...or Mark for that matter. This is a really difficult thing to go through but you need to know that you have support around you. You don't need to hit the bottle just so you can find some solace over Mark wanting your marriage annulled and you making moves on Chloe when you know she is hurting over all this."

Elly nodded but remained silent.

David implored Elly, "I think you need to take some time to process what's happening. Whatever attraction you do feel for Chloe it's there and throwing yourself into a drunken spiral isn't going to make it disappear. You don't need to label yourself and even if you do you're not going crazy by rejecting the thought you might be bisexual. It's quite possible you’re pansexual." 

Elly finally caught David's eyes, looking confused at him, "I don't know what that is."

David looked at her compassionately, "It means you're not attracted to someone because of their gender you're attracted to them because of who they are as a person. It’s more about the qualities and flaws of their personalities. You know Chloe loves you and maybe you’re attracted to someone who has those feelings for you and who she is as your best friend. She challenges you, she's adventurous, she's not afraid to be honest, she's great at communicating with you. Those are all qualities that…I hope I'm not been out of turn by saying it but…Mark isn't any of those things. Mark has his own great qualities. Neither of them are perfect by any means but if you want my opinion...I think Chloe's qualities challenge you more and that in itself is something that you find attractive in a person. 

Elly sat there silently deep in thought.

"You don't have to make a decision today," David said softly, "But I think you need to take some time to yourself and really ask yourself if denying to Chloe that you are" David imitated Elly's action of placing his hand up with his thumb and index finger millimetres apart, "the tiniest bit attracted to her is really worth the pain that you've built up the last few weeks that culminated in getting drunk and maybe the reason you turned to her last night wasn't just because you were lonely." 

Elly placed her forehead in her hands, the pain of her hangover throbbing, "I'll take some time with this. Thanks, David."

Elly got up and David walked her to the door, "If you ever need to talk to anyone again I'm still here and you have a world of support around you, Elly."

Elly thanked David once more before heading home and collapsing in her bed.

Chapter Text

Denial

Thank you again for your lovely comments!

Chapter Five

Elly groaned when she heard Bea knocking on her bedroom door, her hangover had not completely disappeared. She hadn't managed to do anything that day besides change her clothes and collapse into bed. 

Bea poked her head in the bedroom door, "Elly, if you're up for it you have a visitor."

"Chloe?" Elly responded instinctively with a hint of happiness in her voice.

Bea grimaced at the thought that Elly looked so joyful at the thought of seeing Chloe when she was about to disappoint her, "Um no...It’s Mark."

Elly groaned louder realizing her mistake and scolded herself for revealing to her sister that she definitely wanted it to be Chloe that had sought her out, burying her head in the pillows.

Bea tried again, "Do you want to see him or would you like me to tell him you’re sleeping?"

"Sleeping," Elly moaned, then giving in and sitting up, "Forget it, it's fine, I have to talk to him sooner or later, may as well stop putting it off, I've been chasing him for weeks."

"Okay, I'll give you two some privacy," Bea nodded then headed to her own room trying to process the thought that for just a second Elly had let her guard down and wanted to see Chloe more than she did Mark. 

Elly walked out into the main room of the Kennedy household, Mark had made himself comfortable sitting at the kitchen table and rather than scold him for acting like he belonged in the house, Elly sat down opposite him.

"Hey," is all Elly could manage to greet him.

Mark ignored the way Elly looked, hungover AF, as he tried to move past what Aaron had told him had happened the previous night, "We need to sit down and talk about the pregnancy. I've given you the annulment papers so I've made myself clear as to the fact I want our marriage terminated but I haven't been fair to you and talked to you about the pregnancy."

Elly stayed silent, unable to bring herself to tell Mark she wasn’t pregnant and there was no need for this conversation. She had told him she'd get the blood tests back the previous day and he hasn't even asked for confirmation that the doctor had told her she was pregnant.

Why am I letting this conversation begin let alone continue? Am I really going this far to find a way to keep Mark in my life and ignore what I've been feeling for Chloe? It's not like that...I do still love Mark...and even though I'm not pregnant I need to hear how he feels...to see if there's any chance for us...and then I'll tell him tomorrow the doctor took his time getting back to me with my results and turns out I’m not pregnant...that's not the worst thing in the world is it?

Mark opened up to Elly, "I am happy that you’re pregnant. I do want to have a child and I want you to have this child. I want to be a part of our child's life. I'm going to support you completely. That means financially and I want to be the person you call day or night for anything to do with our child. I want to be completely involved in raising this child from this day to the moment I'm no longer in this world. I am always going to be this kid's dad and be there for whatever he or she needs from me."

Elly nodded but again stayed silent reasoning with herself ridiculously that if she didn't talk then she wasn't lying to him.

Mark paused for a moment, hoping his next statement wouldn't get abuse hurled at him, "I'm never going to forgive you for what you and Chloe did. Whilst I will be here to support you and our baby, we're not going to be getting back together, and the only support I can offer you is as a co-parent raising our child. I'm not interested in any other support you might need in your life. Not the kind of support that a relationship partner can offer." 

Elly once again nodded, and then finally added, "Understandable."

Mark nearly shook his head at Elly. It's like she doesn't even care.

Mark continued laying his cards on the table, "I intend on been there for every doctor's appointment, every ultrasound, every check-up. I will be there for you to help get everything ready in preparation for our child been born. Whatever it takes, I'll find a way to make my work schedule around these appointments and everything else that comes with preparing for the birth. I'll take leave from work when the baby is born and be there for the first few weeks full time. 

Elly once again reverted to silence and Mark thought now was a good as time as any to reveal his next suggestion, "I want you to move back in with me."

"Wait, what?!?" Elly reacted immediately.

Amazing! That got her attention.

Mark held his hand up, "Not right now and not anytime soon. But when you are further along in the pregnancy say 5-6 months along. You can sleep in one of the vacant bedrooms and make that your own and we can use the 3rd bedroom as the nursery. That time frame gives me time to accept you been back in my life and gives you a chance to sort out what you're doing with your life. We won't be in a relationship but I don't want to co-parent our child from two different houses across the street from each other. I want us to live together as a family. A family where the parents do everything for their child and support each other but are not in a romantic partnership. 

"I need to take some time to think about that," Elly decided as she was completely thrown by Mark's suggestion.

Mark grimaced before bringing up his next thoughts, "I don't know what is going on with you and Chloe. And before you shout me down that nothing is going on that may be true but I need you to let me say this...it's the least you owe me after humiliating me at the wedding."

Elly furrowed her brow, weirded out by the fact that for the first time someone had made an insinuation about her and Chloe her first reaction wasn't to freak out and declare her straightness. 

Is it possible to freak out because you're not freaking out?

Mark couldn't work out what Elly was thinking, feeling like for the first time since they had become a couple he barely knew her at all, "If...and I mean IF...anything comes of Chloe's feelings for you and you...reciprocate...I'm not getting involved in a situation where Chloe is a 3rd parent to this baby. I don't intend on bringing in a romantic partner into this situation any time in the near future either so this is not just about Chloe and the hurt you two caused me."

Elly glanced away from Mark, staring off into the distance.

Mark sighed before landing a huge blow to Elly, "If...you do have feelings for Chloe...and to be honest even if you don't...either way...if she is in your life...friend or partner...I can't be the support to our child that I want to be...I won't be able to have you living with me and allowing the two of us to raise this child in the same home...you need to choose...me or Chloe."

Elly whipped her head back to Mark, "You're giving me an ultimatum?"

Mark stood firm, "If you want to raise this child as a family and maybe...maybe one day in the very far off future...maybe find a way to get my trust back...I can't have Chloe around in your life. You need to choose...me or her. You can't have us both. You either have her in your life or you have me...and we both damn well know my sister isn't the long haul kind of girl. I mean you don't honestly think for a second she wants anything to do with a pregnant chick? She'll hurt you like you hurt me."

Elly had had enough, standing up she grabbed Mark's arm, "Get out. You can't tell me who I can and can't have in my life. We'll talk about the rest of the stuff later on but you need to leave if you think you can just sit there and demand that I cut Chloe out of my life. 

Mark rolled his eyes before taking Elly's instruction and leaving the Kennedy household, making his way back to his own place. He didn't want to make Elly choose but he also couldn't picture a future with his child plus a paired up Elly and Chloe in their lives.

"Arsehole!" Elly swore as she fumed at Mark as he left.

Bea entered the living room from the hallway, "What happened, Elly?"

Elly stood there in silence for a minute, "Mark wants to raise this child with me and down the line when I'm further along in my pregnancy he wants us to live together so that when the baby's born we can be a family but not as a romantic couple."

Woah what are you saying? ‘This child’? Are you starting to believe your own lie?

"Well that's good isn't it, that he wants to raise the baby in the same house?" Bea posits.

"Yeah except he just gave me a freaking ultimatum, controlling jerk!" Elly fumed, before snapping over to the entry table where her handbag was. Without giving it another thought, she yanked the annulment papers from it, picked up a pen and scribbled her signature across every page that needed it.

Bea watched what Elly was doing before finally asking, "What was the ultimatum?"

"Mark wants me to choose between having him in my life as a completely supportive father to the baby or having Chloe in my life as my friend," Elly announced before throwing the annulment papers to Bea, "Take that to Mark later today for me, tell him to file them immediately, I'm heading out."

Bea caught the papers, "Where are you going?"

"To see Chloe," Elly announced without hesitation.

"But Elly, Mark just effectively told you not to have Chloe in your life or risk losing him, you can't just go straight to Chloe," Bea yelled out to Elly as her sister stormed out of the house, "And you're gone...well this is going to end badly."

Bea sighed as she put the annulment papers on the table, before talking to herself, "Did that just answer the question as to where Elly's heart lies?"

Mark stood at his front door, as he'd walked up the stairs to his place; he'd heard Elly's footsteps as she exited her house. Thinking she was following him to let him have it after his ultimatum, Mark seethed angrily when he saw Elly make her way across the street to Aaron and David's place.

A minute?! A freaking minute? I suggest quite reasonably that Elly can't have both Chloe and I in our baby's life and she takes one freaking minute to choose Chloe.

Chapter Text

Denial

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Chapter Six 

Elly knocked on the front door of Aaron and David’s place. When David answered the door, Elly immediately asked him, “Is Chloe home?”

“Hi, Elly, it’s good to see you,” David greeted.

“Right, sorry, hi David,” Elly started again, “Is Chloe home?”

David motioned for Elly to enter the house, “Not yet, but she should be due home from work soon. You’re welcome to wait for her if you’d like.”

“Thanks, David,” Elly smiled.

“Are you going to talk to her about…?” David tried not to push for info then backed off, “You know what…it’s none of my business. Actually, I was due to meet Aaron when he finished at work to go grocery shopping and I might head out and meet him there now you know…an hour earlier than I meant to.”

Elly nodded acknowledging that David was giving her and Chloe some space, “That’d be nice.”

As David grabbed his phone and wallet, he glanced back at Elly as she sat herself down on their couch, “Elly, we’ll probably be a while. You know…empty pantry…fridge…freezer…this could take a while for us to do the grocery shopping. You and Chloe will have plenty of time to…talk about things.”

Elly pushed some strands of hair behind her ear, “You’re the best, David.”

Fifteen minutes later, Chloe arrived home and was surprised to see Elly sitting on the couch. Elly immediately stood up, “Hey, Chlo.”

Chloe hesitated for a moment before placing her handbag on the entryway table and walked into the living room, “Hey…I wasn’t expecting you here…wait, did you stay here all day long?”

Elly shook her head, “No, I took a while to get myself together and spent most of the day in bed sleeping off my hangover but I came here to apologize if you’ll let me.”

Chloe nodded, “Okay.” 

Elly sat back down on the couch and motioned for Chloe to join her which she did sitting on the edge of the couch leaving a decent distance between them. Chloe blinked nervously when Elly immediately shifted so she was now sitting right next to her so close that their thighs were touching. Elly reached out for Chloe’s left hand and took it in between her own hands, squeezing it comfortably before entangling their fingers together.

“David went out to meet Aaron and go grocery shopping, they’re going to be a while to give us as long as we need,” Elly began. Chloe gulped unsure how to read Elly and what she could mean.

Elly stared deeply into Chloe’s eyes, “I am so sorry for what I did last night. I don’t know what is going on with me. The last few weeks have been such a mess for me and I can’t believe that I ended up so drunk that I…That’s no excuse for what I did to you. I hurt you last night and not just emotionally.”

Elly reached her hand out to glide her hand against the faint bruises on Chloe’s neck that was caused by Elly kissing her neck forcefully. Chloe felt herself fall into Elly’s touch, hating herself for doing so.

Elly eventually let go of Chloe's face and bought her hand back to Chloe's entangling their hands once more, "I have made so many mistakes the last few weeks, I wish there was a way for you to forgive me."

Chloe stared at Elly sympathetically feeling that forgiveness but unable to voice it out loud. She didn't want to break again and be completely vulnerable with Elly once more, she was too afraid of having her heart broken by the woman she loved.

"I shouldn't have come over here last night and tried to get you to sleep with me because I was hurt, rejected and lonely, especially with the way I treated you after the night we did sleep together," Elly continued, ashamed at what she'd done and afraid what it meant that she had let her defenses down at the time by wanting to be with Chloe.

"Agreed," Chloe replied softly.

"I really made a mess of things didn't I?" Elly admitted.

Chloe breathed deeply, before finally addressing her concerns, "What is going on with you, Elly? I want to help you but I can't for the life of me work out if you want me to help you or what I could possibly do because all I am getting from you is severe mixed signals."

Elly glanced away from Chloe's eyes for a moment, knowing that she needed to stop giving Chloe mixed signals. Regaining her attention to Chloe's eyes, Elly revealed, "I spoke to Mark earlier...he gave me an ultimatum...you or him. I can't have both of you in my life. Even if you and I are just friends. I have to choose."

Chloe's heart broke into a million pieces but keeping up her composure, she squeezed Elly's hand, "Right...no...Of course Mark thinks you can't have both of us in your life...without things getting more complicated."

Elly opened her mouth to respond but Chloe cut her off decidedly, “Its fine, Elly. You do not need to say the words. I get it, okay. You, Mark and the baby are going to be a family and I completely understand why you need to let me go." 

Elly's eyes widened in shock, "You think I'm here to tell you I'm choosing Mark over you?"

"It's fine, really, it's what has to happen," Chloe reassured.

Elly squeezed Chloe's hand tightly between her own, "Chloe, I have no idea what is happening between us or what it is that I feel for you but the one thing I know in this world is I can't not have you in my life."

Chloe's eyes now widened but she refused to get her hopes up, "But Mark...you can't leave him."

Elly lent closer to Chloe, "Your brother can go screw himself if he thinks he can make me do this. I am not cutting you from my life do you hear me?"

Chloe held back from letting her emotions flow out.

Elly stroked her thumb across Chloe's wrist, "You are the one thing in my life that makes sense to me and I know I sound confusing because I don't know how to make sense of my feelings for you and it is confusing but I need you in my life. You are the only person who gets me and loves me the way I have always wanted to be loved. I have messed up so many things my whole life and I am not about to do that here and give in to Mark by letting you go. You are part of me and I can't let go."

Elly couldn't bear the thought of letting Chloe go, and pressed her forehead against Chloe's.

"What are you doing?" Chloe whispered.

Staring deeply into Chloe's eyes, Elly answered, "Doing something I've never done before," closing the gap between their lips to a centimetre, "Kissing you while sober."

Chloe's eyes closed and her heart raced as Elly's lips met hers. They kissed softly for a moment before finally deepening the kiss. Elly pressed herself against Chloe's body, caressing Chloe's cheek and began to wipe away the tears that fell down Chloe's face.

Chloe bought her hand to Elly's waist as she allowed Elly to explore her mouth with her tongue. As much as Chloe wanted to she couldn't fall into their embrace completely.

Finally breaking their kiss so they could breath, Elly was stunned, "Wow. That felt a million times better been sober. Was it the same for you?"

After a few seconds of silence, Elly wrapped her arm around Chloe's shoulder, pulling her closer to bring their lips back together as she wondered why Chloe hadn't answered her.

Chloe's mind was racing as her emotions began catching up with the knowledge that Elly and her were making out and whilst it wasn't the first time Elly initiated it, Elly was right that it was the first time they were sober. But all the joy from feeling like Elly was no longer denying her attraction to her was been drowned out by her fears that she couldn't possibly be an obstacle in Mark and Elly's family.

Elly caressed Chloe's face as they continued making out, before finally breaking her lips away from Chloe's, pressing their foreheads together, she finally worked up the courage, "Could we take this to your bedroom? I want to be with you Chloe. I want to show you I'm not in denial anymore."

Chloe closed her eyes, unable to look at Elly, "We can't do this."

Elly's face fell, "Okay, we can take our time; we don't have to be together like that tonight. We can take things slow, whatever pace you want. I've hurt you and can't just assume you're ready to be with me." 

Chloe felt her heart beating loudly in her chest as she opened her eyes hoping that Elly would understand, "I'm not talking about been together tonight...you and I...we can't do this...us. You and I can't happen."

"Why?" was all Elly could manage to ask.

Chloe squeezed Elly's hand, trying to give her some comfort, "When we slept together I tore my family apart. You, Mark and the baby are going to be a family...I can't tear another family apart...I won't do it."

"You're not tearing a family apart," Elly tried to insist, still unable to confess that there was no baby as she was terrified what Chloe would think of her for lying about it not realizing she was inadvertently continuing the lie by not speaking up, "Chloe, I told you...I can't let you go."

Chloe nodded, and then replied quietly, "You're not letting me go...I'm setting you free to be a family with Mark. I'll walk away."

"No," Elly responded in shock, and then bought her hand back to caress Chloe's cheek and wipe another tear that had fallen from Chloe's eye, "I won't let you let me go."

Chloe lent back into Elly's hand once more, "You have to. I love you enough to do this and after everything you still don't know how you feel about me. I can't let you risk ending a family with Mark because there is the smallest chance in the world that you feel the same way about me?"

Elly couldn't respond, after everything she still could not figure out her feelings for Chloe.

Chloe continued, "Even if you and I did work out...I can't be a parent...even a pseudo step-parent...if you and I were together then there is no way in the world that I wouldn't be in your child's life in any other form than another parent. I'd like to be the cool aunt who is always around but it would end up been more than that if we were in a relationship. My diagnosis is clear...it is a maximum 10 to 15 years before I won't be able to be a person who can look after themselves...after seeing Nell and Hugo and even Callum at Sonya's memorial...those kids are going to grow up without their mum. I know your kid will always have you and Mark but I cannot do that to a child and let them love me for the next decade before grieving for me. I can't do that to you either."

Elly pleaded, "Please Chloe...don't do this." "I have to," Chloe decided, "I love you Elly Conway but I am letting you go because I cannot tear apart your family."

Listening to Chloe's words that she was willing to step aside for a reason that wasn't even true broke everything in Elly. Bursting into tears, Elly got up and ran from the house leaving Chloe alone on the couch, tears strolling down her cheeks.

Chapter Text

Denial

Chapter Seven

Elly rushed away from Chloe's place in complete devastation. Her lie that she was pregnant with Mark's child may have just cost her any chance of perfect happiness. Elly had come to some kind of acceptance of her feelings for Chloe, acting on her desires once more and admitting to Chloe she wanted them to be together that evening. But Chloe had let her go, too afraid of the ramifications that been in a relationship with her would have on Elly's ‘baby’ and future family with Mark. 

Why didn't you just tell her you're not pregnant? This lie is getting out of control. You could've had everything with Chloe and instead you let her walk away for a reason that doesn't exist. How the hell is she going to react when she finds out you're not pregnant?

Do I play the same move as with Mark, tell her tomorrow the doctor got back me late with the blood results and it's a false alarm? I mean that is what happened, should it matter that I tell them both two days after I actually knew?  Don't be stupid, you can lie to Mark but you cannot lie to Chloe...again.

Chloe will understand right. I'm not pregnant and we can be together. Will she even want to be with me? Am I even ready to be in a relationship with Chloe? What if that wasn't the only reason she let me go?

As Elly's mind raced with thoughts over how badly she had messed up things with Chloe again and this time it was on the basis of a lie she had told, she didn't see Mark storming up to her as she walked across the street to go home.

"Did you sleep with her again?" Mark accosted.

"What?" Elly was thrown by his presence as well as his audacity to ask her such a question especially when she was clearly in tears.

"I know we're annulling this marriage but right now I'm still your husband and have a right to know if you screwed my sister again," Mark hurled at Elly, "I saw you leave your house a minute after I gave you the ultimatum and I saw Chloe come home so I know you two were together. Did you screw her?"

Elly was so sick of Mark's attitude, "No, Mark, I didn't go over to Chloe's place and make love to her."

Who said anything about 'making love'? Mark nearly flew off the handle at Elly's choice of words.

"Did Chloe screw you?" Mark asked, realizing that they still could've been together and Elly could've lied about it.

Elly was fed up at Mark's continual questions over her sex life, "Don't be an idiot, Mark."

"Tell me!" Mark yelled at Elly.

Elly began to lose her cool as she wanted to put him in his place, "If you were watching us then you know that Chloe only came home 15 minutes ago. Chloe would've taken more time fondling one of my breasts. If we had have been making love to each other then you wouldn't have seen either of us for hours...and hours. You said Chloe’s isn’t the long haul type when it comes to relationships. Well she sure is when it comes to pleasuring her partner. Not that it's any of your business but the answer you seem determined to want to know because you're a pig Mark is that neither of us made love to one another today." 

Mark was still agro at Elly's determination that what she and Chloe could've done would be labelled 'love making,' and then he got hooked on Elly's last word, "Today? Does that mean you're going to screw each other tomorrow, next week, sometime in the future? Tell me Elly." 

Elly tried to push past Mark to go home but he wouldn't let her, "Are you serious right now? I don't owe you any explanation over my love life."

"Yes, you damn well do if you're going to cheat on me with my little sister," Mark told her.

"Get out of my face, Mark," Elly warned her husband.

"No, tell me what you've been doing with Chloe," Mark refused to listen to Elly.

Elly ran her hands through her hair, her rejection from Chloe added to Mark's arrogance left her ready to explode at Mark until she did accidentally opening up to him with thoughts she had been denying from even herself.

"You want the truth...I wanted to make love to her tonight...I asked her to take me to bed with her. And just because we didn't tonight...doesn't mean that we won't tomorrow or next week or sometime in the future. It is just a matter of time. Chloe and I will sort our crap out and we will be together. You can't stop this from happening, Mark; no ultimatum is going to stop the inevitable. Chloe and I are inevitable."

Mark felt his heart break at Elly's declaration for his sister. 

Elly finally pushed past Mark but in her anger at him and her disbelief that she had messed things up with Chloe again she changed her mind and instead of heading home, she walked down the street and headed to the Waterhole for some drinks.

At the bar, Elly ordered a bottle of red wine from Shane. Before Shane handed her the bottle he asked Elly if she would be drinking alone in which case he couldn’t serve her the whole bottle or if anyone else would be joining her.

“Bea and Ned are supposed to meet me here sometime in the next half hour to an hour,” Elly lied to Shane as she didn’t want any questions and just wanted the drink. Shane handed her three wine glasses along with the bottle.

Elly awkwardly carried the bottle and glasses to one of the corner sit down areas of the bar, hoping it would keep her a little bit hidden from Shane and he would end up forgetting that she was there drinking alone.

Before she could crack open the bottle, Mark appeared out of nowhere, nearly scaring Elly, “For God’s sake, Mark, leave me alone.”

Mark ignored Elly, hovering over her as he then noticed the wine bottle in Elly’s hands, “You’re not going to drink that, are you?”

Elly scoffed and lied once more, “No, Bea and Ned will be joining me and I thought I would buy them a bottle to thank them for putting up with me the last couple weeks. What, do you think I grabbed these three glasses for show? I only took the third one because Shane doesn’t know.”

Mark nodded, then with his hands in his pockets he stared down at Elly, “I’m sorry I was so crude before, this isn’t easy for me thinking that my wife and sister are cheating on me. Did you mean what you said? About inevitable?”

Elly sighed and then revealed, “I don't know. I effed things up between Chloe and I again today. That’s all that happened when I saw her, okay?”

“Do you love her?” Mark asked, not wanting to know the answer in equal part that he did want to know.

Elly breathed deeply, “I don’t know. Even if I do…Chloe’s not going to forgive me anytime soon.”

“Good,” Mark declared, “Neither of you deserve forgiveness for what you’ve done. I hope you never find love again."

Elly swallowed guiltily as she watched Mark walk away from her and leave the bar.

Elly immediately opened the bottle and poured herself the first glass.

As she sat there drinking alone there were so many thoughts running through Elly’s head about how badly Chloe could react if she found out Elly had lied by omission about the pregnancy. She didn’t even care anymore about what Mark’s reaction to the lie could be. The only thing on her mind was Chloe.

Inevitable? Did I really mean that? Do I really have feelings for Chloe to the point that it’s inevitable we’re going to end up together? I know I must have some feelings for her but they started out as friendship. When exactly did they change? I told her I wanted to be with her tonight and she let me go.  

Why couldn’t you just tell her you’re not pregnant? Did you seriously keep this lie going because deep down you’re too afraid of been happy with Chloe? That you are incapable of been happy and instead your only option is to go back to Mark and get him to make you pregnant anyway so he doesn't need to know you lied and you live a sad and unloved life.

What does happiness with Chloe even mean?

Even if she does forgive you for lying about the pregnancy and realize that there is no longer anything standing between us and wants to be with me…can you really be in a relationship with a woman?

When it’s just the two of us I could be. We could be together at her place in our own private world together…okay I guess Aaron and David would have to know. Bea would wonder why I wasn’t at home if I stay at Chloe’s all the time. Susan and Karl are too busy wrapped up in Finn waking up from his coma to even really notice. Would Chloe be okay with taking things slowly?

Publicly I mean. Would Chloe be okay if we kept a relationship between just us and a few close friends? Are you too afraid of been in a relationship with her that you’d be embarrassed to hold her hand in public?

Or is it more to do with the fact that you’re ashamed of cheating on Mark with her and you don’t want people to judge you because of who you share a bed with at night and ending up with the person you cheated on Mark with is wrong?

Why am I torturing myself with this? You screwed up inevitable the moment you didn’t tell the truth about the pregnancy.

Before Elly had realized it she had drunk the last drop of wine from the bottle. Feeling quite drunk she decided to hit the local nightclub, Back Lane Bar, again. Seeing that Shane was distracted by Dipi at the bar, she stumbled out of the joint before Shane could realize that she had been drinking alone.

A few hours later Elly left the dance floor of the club. She couldn’t believe that the bouncer had let her in let alone the bar tender continued to serve her. She was completely wasted and had been dancing with a bunch of strangers most of the night as she tried to ignore the pain in her heart telling her things with Chloe would never work out even though the only thing she wanted to do was to go home, sleep off her hangover then see Chloe the next morning and explain once and for all that she wasn’t pregnant and find out if Chloe wanted to put that behind them so they could be in a relationship.

A handsome stranger sat down beside Elly. She had danced with him a couple times and he was really cute.

“Hi, I’m Shaun, can I buy you a drink?” he asked Elly.

“Champagne please,” Elly nodded and as he turned away to the bar, Elly tried to stand up so she could leave and go home instead, she didn’t want to be hit on by this guy when the only thing she wanted was to make things right with Chloe. Her legs wouldn’t move, they refused to do what they were meant to. Elly was drunker than she thought.

A few minutes later Shaun returned with their drinks and sat next to Elly, “I noticed you on the dance floor and babe you are smoking hot.” 

That was the last thing Elly remembered of her night.

Elly suddenly woke up; her head was in so much pain she didn’t remember what had happened the previous night past drinking at the Back Lane Bar. Rolling over in bed she suddenly realized she wasn’t at home. Trying not to panic only lasted a few seconds as her ears alerted her to the sound of someone in the shower.

Elly sat up and looked around the room.

Hotel room? Lassisters? Bottle of champagne and two glasses by the table? A guy’s pair of pants thrown on the floor? A suitcase filled with a guy's clothes in it?

Oh fuck! What have I done?

Ignoring the pain in her heart as well as the giant migraine that signaled she was deeply hungover Elly got up out of the hotel bed. She was still wearing her bra and panties.

Is that a good sign? Does that mean I didn’t? Oh God! 

Elly spotted a condom on the floor.

What the hell have I done to cheat on Chloe? …It’s not technically cheating on Chloe as we’re not together but she has my heart and I have betrayed her. She is never going to forgive me for this! I’m never going to forgive me for this.

Forcing herself not to throw up, Elly spotted her dress, shoes and handbag on the ground. She rushed to get dressed, picked up her shoes and handbag. Without another second she ran out of the hotel room.

As she got in the elevator Elly put her shoes on and prayed to anyone listening that Chloe wasn’t at work and wasn’t going to see her. She hesitated and stood back to the side of the elevator as the doors opened and she lent her head out just enough to check that Chloe wasn’t at reception. Elly bolted it from the hotel elevator, past reception and out of the hotel as quickly as she could manage.

Elly practically ran home as fast as she could. As she entered the house, she brushed past Bea who was eating breakfast at the table without even looking at her. Bea looked concerned as Elly ran to her room and slammed the door behind her. Elly sunk down against the bedroom door and sat on the floor.

What the hell have I done? I’m in love with Chloe and just slept with some random guy.

I'm in love with Chloe...

Meanwhile back at the hotel room, Shaun threw the condom in the bin before he collected a few of his things to head out for breakfast.

Well that was a horribly embarrassing night.

Just as your about to have sex with the hottest girl in the world and she starts crying and blubbering all about this other girl she loves for like the next two hours until she fell asleep. I wonder if she remembers all the things she told me about this Chloe chick.

You should’ve just sent her home in a taxi…but you didn’t even manage to get her name no matter how many times you asked. I doubt she would’ve given you her address or her driver’s license so I could pass the info to the taxi driver.  

God this brunette was hot as hell. And you were so close yet so far from actually having sex with her.

Chapter Text

Denial

Chapter Eight

6 Weeks Later

Chloe was busy at work. She had been working non-stop for the last 6 weeks and thrown herself completely into work to avoid dealing with the fact that Elly and her had come so close to finally been together before she did the right thing and turned her down so Elly and Mark would have a future together as a family since Elly was pregnant. 

Chloe had barely seen Elly since that day. She'd seen her a couple times in the street but only waved to her in that 'I'm not ready to talk to you way.' To be fair Elly had reacted similarly like she didn't want to talk to Chloe. Chloe was getting used to the cold shoulder from Mark but it still hurt her that it felt like Elly was doing the same even though in a way she too was giving Elly space.

Chloe was busy writing up some contracts for Terese when Bea knocked on the office door and was startled when Bea approached her desk, "Chloe, I need your help with Elly."

"Jesus Bea, where did you come from? You want help from me with Elly?" Chloe asked.

"I need you to come see her now!" Bea insisted raising her voice.

"Bea I'm really busy right now, can it wait until the end of the day?" Chloe asked, unsure why Elly would want to see her after this length of time.

Bea walked around the desk, grabbed Chloe's arm to pull her up from her chair, "This is urgent Chloe, I need you to come over my place now!"

Chloe shook her head, "Whatever Elly needs you can go to Mark for because I can't get involved in their family."

"Chloe, Elly has practically been a recluse living in our home for the past 6 weeks but the past 3 days she hasn't left her bedroom except to go to the bathroom. She hasn't eaten or had anything to drink except water for 3 days," Bea told Chloe desperately, "I have no idea what the hell happened between you and my sister but 3 days ago I forced Elly to go to the hospital for an ultrasound and then she went and saw Mark after the appointment and then something triggered her to have a complete meltdown. You are the only person who can help me with her and I need you to come with me now!"

Terese walked into the office and saw that Bea had her hand grabbing onto Chloe's arm, "Everything okay in here?"

"Its fine, it can wait until after work," Chloe tried insisting, as much as she was worried sick by what Bea had said she hoped that Bea would instead go to Mark to help Elly urgently.

"No, it's not," Bea countered, "Terese I need to borrow Chloe for an hour maybe two please this is really urgent."

"If Chloe says it can wait until after work then can it wait until after work? She's working on some really important contracts that I need drawn up now," Terese started to reason. 

"Please it won't take that long," Bea begged before changing tact, "Terese let me borrow Chloe for an hour and I will service your car and Piper's car for no charge next time they are due. I won't even charge for parts. I'll cover the cost."

Terese was surprised by how desperate Bea was, "Don't be ridiculous you can't service Piper's car for free, that thing costs Piper a bomb and she needs to pay for it to learn a valuable life lesson...but I mean my car is overdue so...I guess an hour or two of Chloe's time won't be that much of a problem."

"Great, I'll call you tomorrow to book it in," Bea yelled out to Terese as she firmly grabbed Chloe's arm and yanked her out of the office.

Chloe pulled her arm away from Bea when Bea started racing them out of the complex, "Bea would you slow down! I get Elly not eating for 3 days is urgent but can't Karl do something? And if you haven't noticed I'm in heels and can't run so unless you want me to break an ankle can we just walk to your place at a normal pace. It'll only take us fifteen minutes to get there."

"Fine," Bea snapped before slowing down and walking side by side with Chloe back to her place.

Chloe chewed on her lip, "Why didn't you call Mark about this?"

Bea shrugged, "Over the past few weeks Elly has shut down completely when there is any mention of you, she's not like that when she talks to Mark. Not that she talks to him often, maybe two or three times in the last 6 weeks."

Chloe didn't know how to respond so Bea continued, "Look it's not like Elly asked for you. I made the decision to get your help. I'm like 60-70% sure I'm doing the right thing by getting you to see Elly instead of Mark. The truth is I don't know anything about you and Elly or what happened between you."

"Elly didn't tell you what happened between us 6 weeks ago?" Chloe felt deflated.

"Elly hasn't told me anything about the two of you full stop. Okay well the only thing she has ever told us about you two was when we found her after the wedding and she told us that she'd slept with you, it wasn't like she had feelings for you and that you didn't take advantage of her," Bea explained before admitting, "Which was a question I asked her at the time. Sorry, that was wrong of me to think you could possibly do that. Elly made it clear it was her choice."

"Its fine, I knew people would ask that question," Chloe accepted. 

"So what did happen between the two of you, not just whatever it was 6 weeks ago, I mean all of it. Like I said I'm still not positive going to you is the right thing to do by Elly but I'd like to be convinced," Bea decided.

Chloe was floored that Bea wanted to hear her point of view from the last few months, "Um...okay. Like most stories it started out with me been an idiot. Do you remember the day Elly lost her job? I hung out with her that night and we'd had some drinks and she was complimenting me and out of nowhere I just felt the urge to kiss her so I did. Then I ran off and declared the next morning that I'd made a mistake, we didn't want to tell Mark about it and Elly put it behind her as a once-off stupid Chloe move."

Bea thought back, "Wait, didn't Elly propose to Mark the day after she lost her job?"

Chloe nodded, "Yeah. But it's not like it was a reaction to the kiss. She loves him."

Bea signalled for Chloe to continue.

"I don't know I guess the next few weeks were a blur, I was starting to have feelings for her and then at their engagement party I got trashed and told Elly I loved her. Told her the next day it was just platonic love," Chloe revealed, "And then I don't know, next thing I knew I was in love with her and was convinced she should at least know how I felt so I wrote her a Christmas card declaring it."

Chloe paused before revealing, "Your mum found the card and told me off about it. I'd mentioned my Huntington’s in it and she just told me honestly I had no future and couldn't have kids so keep my feelings to myself and leave Elly alone."

"Why am I not surprised to hear my mum would do something like that?" Bea muttered.

Chloe sighed, "Elly took me aside as she was working on her vows to Mark and she insisted she had to practice them on me…every word she was saying…I just wished she meant them to me. But again I was an idiot, I didn't throw away the Christmas card, and Elly ended up finding it. I couldn't lie to her anymore. She knew the truth, I knew I would never have a shot with her and we didn't want Mark to know so I told her I would stay clear of her. Aaron and David took me out one night for drinks, Elly and Mark tagged along, and I couldn’t deal with seeing them happy together so I hooked up with this guy and went home with him.”

Chloe continued, “The next morning…there were dozens of missed calls and texts from Elly…not a single message from my brothers until later in the morning…Elly was so worried I wasn’t answering her and worried something had happened to me and I wouldn’t come home. I really tried to put a clear line of space between us so I could get over her…but...if I'm honest Elly didn't want me to stay away from her. There was always some reason for her to be around me." 

Bea continued listening, surprised how much had already happened between the pair.

Chloe elaborated, "Then the siege happened and Elly insisted that the guy kept her hostage to keep the rest of us safe. I countered that I'm dying anyway so he should take me and Elly was upset at that. Anyway after we got rescued Elly and I kept spending time together...Elly drew away from Mark for a little while and kept turning to me because we'd both been through the siege. It wasn't as bad as the way Mark turned away from Elly when Sonya died." 

"You're not even close to been done are you?" Bea realized, trying to take everything in that Chloe had tried to distance herself from Elly but Elly wouldn't allow it even after she knew how Chloe felt about her.

Chloe shook her head, "Aaron noticed our closeness and I ended up confessing to him. So he did the only thing he could think of and wouldn't let Elly and I be alone together like he didn't accept that I had accepted Elly doesn't have feelings for me. Then he got in contact with Mel and thought bringing in my ex would make me move on. I resisted at first, nothing to do with Elly but more to do with my mistrust of Mel. Eventually she had me convinced she'd changed and after Elly's bachelorette party I ended up back at my place making out with her on the couch."

"Okay," Bea said not sure how that was relevant to Elly. 

"Elly came home and interrupted us...on purpose," Chloe admitted, "I'd been drinking and was busy with Mel but I was aware enough that...Elly came home, heard us and then she stared at us on the couch for a number of seconds then nearly threw herself to the couch to apologize that she didn't mean to interrupt us to break us apart. I took Mel to my room but I could just feel Elly's jealousy at the situation. And I don't mean jealousy that she had feelings for me, I mean more just...jealous that her best friend now had someone and my life wouldn't revolve around her. Is this all too much? I feel like I'm telling you stuff that shouldn't matter. Should I just cut to the chase?"

"Its fine, it's your story Chloe, I want to hear it from you," Bea reassured.

"Okay, thanks," Chloe was grateful, "Elly was not happy to find out I'd slept with Mel and the next morning she chased me down the driveway to chastise me for having a one night stand. I asked Elly why she cared who I slept with and she couldn’t answer. Then there was this small moment when I asked Mel to be my date to Valentines' but Elly was distracted on the couch looking at wedding stuff and thought I was talking to her and happily agreed to go with me until she realized I meant Mel. Honest mistake. Then I got together with Mel for real and Elly was just...distrusting of her and didn't want me to be with her. Looking back Elly was right but I was so convinced if I got back together with Mel then I would get over my feelings for Elly."

"But you didn't?" Bea clarified.

"No such luck," Chloe said sadly, "Then Mel found the Christmas card and found out about my kiss with Elly, threatened to tell Mark. I think Mel came to some arrangement with Elly not to tell him but I didn't want to know. Then the whole thing with Mel and the fire happened and again I am so sorry that she did that to you."

Bea shrugged, "You have nothing to apologize for. So what happened next?"

Chloe chewed her lips, "Mark disappeared and cancelled the wedding."

Bea nodded, "And that was the night you and Elly slept together?"

Chloe hesitated before explaining, "We'd been drinking and Elly was putting herself down saying her life wasn't where she expected it to be and I just...told her out of all the people I'd met along my travels...she outshone every one of them. And she kissed me. I asked if she was sure and she kissed me again. And then we...went to my room and...made love...I mean had sex. I don't know it was two very different things to both of us."

"So Elly did initiate your night together?" Bea confirmed, feeling bad that she ever thought Chloe took advantage of her sister and that their act had been two different things to the pair.

Chloe sighed, "I still should've known it didn't mean the same for her. I was so wrapped up in the fact we were together and how much I could prove that I loved her that I didn't see what was right in front of me."

Bea felt terrible for Chloe, knowing that her sister had used her knowing how Chloe felt about her, "So I guess I know the rest with the wedding fall out. This also explains why you kept refusing to attend the wedding let alone be Elly’s bridesmaid before you finally changed your mind at the Bachelorette party. Why did you let her marry Mark knowing how you felt and what you'd done?"

"I didn't want to stand in her way if she loved Mark, I told her not to start her marriage with a lie but I didn't think it would play out like the way it did," Chloe confessed.

Bea nodded still in surprise by Chloe's story, "I guess this brings us to 6 weeks ago where Elly stopped talking to you. What happened?"

Chloe hesitated before revealing, "After Elly found out she was pregnant and we all found out...it was the night I moved into Aaron and David's place...Elly came to our place that night...she was drunk..."

Bea was shocked, "Elly got drunk after she found out she was pregnant! Why didn't you tell me?"

"I'm sorry," Chloe apologized, "Aaron told Mark thinking he could help her and Elly would've been embarrassed if you'd found out that she'd come over to my place and..."

"And?" Bea pushed Chloe to continue.

Chloe felt awkward, "See the thing is...well...I...I mean...Elly...was drunk and lonely and...tried to get me to take her to bed and...you know."

Bea was beyond shocked, "Elly wanted to have sex with you again?"

"I didn't...I couldn't...that would've been taking advantage of her," Chloe explained, "Before I could stop her she ran into my room and kept yelling at me to...do stuff...'til she passed out. Aaron and David came home, I slept on the couch"

Bea watched Chloe turn bright red at the words "do stuff."

Bea then asked, "So that's why Elly hasn't been herself the last 6 weeks? She came onto you, you turned her down, and she’s embarrassed and confused that she tried to get you into bed with her? She doesn't want to admit she might be attracted to you." Then looking at Chloe and knowing, "And there's still more to this story."

Chloe breathed deeply, "The next day Elly came to apologize. She told me Mark had issued her an ultimatum--" 

"Right, that I remember, finally something I did already know," Bea was thrilled to add, "Elly ran after you the second Mark told her. Like literally she turned around and decided to go after you within one single second." 

Chloe cringed at the thought that it had taken Elly that short amount of time to choose not to cut her from her life when Chloe effectively did cut Elly from her life immediately afterwards, "Elly told me she could never cut me from her life, that she didn't know what her feelings for me were but...she wanted to be with me...we kissed a few times..."

"Aww," Bea replied sweetly. 

"I let her go," Chloe admitted, “I told her we couldn’t be together and she didn’t need to cut me from her life because I was letting her go.”

“Why? I feel like I’m listening to a love story and at this point in the story I am rooting for you to get together!” Bea confessed before she realized, “You walked away because of the baby?”

Chloe acknowledged Bea was right, “I tore my family apart when Elly and I cheated on Mark; I wasn’t prepared to do that to Elly and Mark’s family. So I walked away from the situation. I love Elly but not enough to put myself first before her child. Besides I don’t have a long and happy future ahead of me and I can’t bring Elly and a child into that. So that’s it…the whole story…you know everything now…am I still the right person to talk to Elly?”

Bea linked her arm with Chloe’s, “I have one last question for you. What would a future between you and Elly look like?”

Chloe was surprised Bea would even be interested to know, “I don’t know…" 

Bea raised her eyebrow, “You’ve been in love with my sister for 6 months, you can’t tell me you haven’t thought about your future together if she felt the same way.”

“Okay, of course I have,” Chloe confessed, “A future with Elly for me would look like….we would just support each other through anything life threw at us. Elly would get her dream teaching job back, we’d go out on dates together, we wouldn’t be afraid to tell the world we loved each other, we’d enjoy each other’s company every evening, tell each other everything, she’d move in with me, Aaron and David would decide to have a baby together and instead of moving to our own place Elly and I would go travelling the world for a year or two, I’d be able to get work at some of the Lassiters hotels around the world so we could stay in a few different cities for several months at a time to really get involved in the local culture, Elly would be able to get tutoring jobs or teaching English as a language whilst we’re overseas and we’d eventually move back to Erinsborough, get a place together and just spend every possible minute we had left before my diagnosis…we’d just love each every day.”

Chloe glanced at Bea, slightly embarrassed she’d imagined so much for her and Elly despite still been unsure how Elly felt about her, “I mean that was obviously before I found out Elly was pregnant so I guess the big romantic worldwide travelling trip would be off.”

“Do you still see a future with Elly being pregnant?” Bea questioned.

Chloe nodded, “If Elly wanted to be with me…yeah I do. I mean I know I don’t want to come between Elly and Mark as a family but if things are truly over between them and Elly truly wanted to fight for me the pregnancy doesn’t change how I feel about her. Okay I mean honestly I’m terrified of this child falling in love with their Aunt Chloe only for them to have to grieve me at some point in the future…but despite risking that pain yeah I do still see a future with Elly.” 

Bea smiled at Chloe, “Wow. You know I had no idea how much had happened between the pair of you over the last six months. I honestly thought all you were going to tell me was the night you two slept together and that was the end of your story. One night when Elly was a broken mess, you’d both been drinking, you were heartbroken over Mel, you both turned to each other for comfort, you had sex with her, my incredibly straight sister didn’t reciprocate those actions…”

Chloe side-eyed Bea, turning bright red, “Sure…if that’s what you want to believe.” 

Bea paused for a moment, “Okay wow…Elly actually did…those things with you too…how could she possibly deny having an attraction to you after reciprocating certain…actions…Oh God never mind…I really don’t want to know any more about my sister’s sex life.”

“Yeah, I kinda think I should’ve kept that one to myself, sorry,” Chloe apologized before suddenly realizing they were walking up the driveway of the Kennedy’s, “Are you really sure I’m the right person to talk to Elly about what’s going on with her?”

“100%” Bea declared.

As the pair entered the house, Bea lead Chloe to Elly’s room, motioned that she would be in her own room and for Chloe to call if she needed anything.

Chloe nodded and took a deep breath before knocking on Elly’s bedroom door, “Elly its Chloe. Can I come in and see you?”

Chapter Text

Denial

Chapter Nine

After knocking on Elly’s bedroom door several times without receiving an answer, Chloe eventually opened the bedroom door and entered the room. Chloe closed the door behind her and then noticed Elly curled up, wrapping her arms around her legs as she sat with her back against the wall of her bedroom.

Elly looked up at Chloe and Chloe was floored by how weak she looked and how tear-stained her face looked, like she’d been crying for 3 days straight and had barely moved from her position on the floor of her bedroom.

Chloe slowly and quietly went over to Elly and sat down next to her, placing her legs out in front of her instead of wrapping them up to her body like Elly had hers. Chloe shivered as her shoulder accidentally grazed Elly’s.

As Chloe turned her neck to face Elly, Elly immediately threw herself against Chloe falling into her lap. Elly lent down and placed her head on Chloe’s lap so that she was facing away from Chloe. She burst into tears once more as she reached out and took Chloe’s hand in between hers, holding on to it tightly. Chloe shifted her hip slightly to accommodate Elly lying against her lap before she stroked her fingers through Elly’s hair trying to comfort her friend.

The pair stayed like that for several minutes in complete silence aside from Elly’s crying. Chloe now understood how desperate Bea was to seek out her help. Elly was completely broken and whilst Chloe wanted to know why she also didn’t want to push Elly away any further.

Chloe finally broke the silence, “Elly, Bea told me you haven’t had anything to eat in 3 days. I’m worried about you. Will you eat some lunch for me? You need to start eating, Elly. You can’t starve, okay?”

Elly nodded, then whispered, “Don’t leave me.”

“I won’t,” Chloe reassured as she took out her phone. With Elly holding her hand tightly, Chloe took a couple minutes to type up a text message one handed and sent it to Bea asking her to make Elly some lunch.

A minute later, Chloe heard Bea leave her room and make her way down the hallway. Chloe stayed there allowing Elly to hold onto her, she didn’t say a word, hoping to wait until at least Elly had eaten before asking what had happened.

After five minutes of comfortable silence between the pair, Bea knocked on the door and entered the room. As soon as she saw the way Elly was curled up in Chloe’s lap she understood why Chloe had asked her to prepare lunch for her sister.

Chloe doesn’t want to leave Elly’s side.

Bea placed a plate of sandwiches in front of Elly, reached out to squeeze her shoulder reassuringly, "Please eat these, Elly. There's enough for you too, Chloe."

"Thanks, Bea," Chloe whispered as Bea left the pair alone once more. A few minutes later Elly finally reached for a sandwich and ate it slowly in silence, she continued eating another sandwich and then noticing Chloe hadn't taken one passed one to her.

Elly curled up into Chloe as she finished eating her third sandwich.

Chloe ran her fingers through Elly's hair, "Are you ready to talk?"

Elly shook her head, "I just want to lay here."

"Okay, whenever you're ready I'm here for you," Chloe whispered.

Two hours later, Chloe jerked awake, her phone beeping at her to alert her to a text message. Chloe looked down at Elly and blushed, embarrassed that in their silence and holding Elly that she'd fallen asleep. Elly had shifted so as her head lay in Chloe's lap she was now looking up at Chloe. Elly's hand was still entangled with Chloe's. Chloe blushed again at the way Elly was staring up at her.

Chloe finally took her eyes off the woman lying on her to check the message and see it was from Terese - "Everything okay, Chloe? Do you need the rest of the day off work?"

Elly stared at Chloe as she read the message on her phone, "Do you need to leave?"

Chloe chewed on her lip, "Ah Bea kinda dragged me out of work when I was working on some important contracts and I was supposed to be back by now but Terese has just asked if I want the rest of the day off."

Elly squeezed Chloe's hand, "If you have to go..." 

"No, no, its fine, Terese offered so I may as well take it and stay here for you. I'll just tell her I'll be in early tomorrow morning and will stay back to make up for taking this afternoon off," Chloe offered as she texted single handedly a message back to Terese, "There all done, afternoon off work and I'm all yours...duh I mean...I'm here for you to help."

“Thanks, Chloe,” Elly whispered still not giving any clues as to what had happened.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Chloe finally asked.

Elly shook her head, trying to resist bursting into tears again, before she eventually lifted herself up from Chloe’s lap. She shifted herself so she was back sitting next to Chloe, she rested her head against Chloe’s shoulder and entangled her arm around Chloe’s to hold hands with her but she was unable to look Chloe in the eyes.

Elly took a deep breath, “I can’t bear to see the look in your eyes…I need you to hear me out without reacting if that’s possible…because…I have some things I need to tell you…and it’s not stuff you’re gonna like.”

Chloe nodded, squeezing Elly’s hand reassuringly and leaning her head deeper against Elly’s.

After an uncomfortable silence for a minute Elly finally broke down as she began confessing everything to Chloe, “When you told me six weeks ago you were letting me go so I could be a family with Mark and the…I wasn’t pregnant…I’d had a blood test the previous day and been told by the GP that the home pregnancy test was incorrect. I couldn’t find a way to tell Mark, a part of me thought I could just see if Mark would give me another chance…but then I was so confused over my growing feelings for you…this lie just spiraled out of control because I let it. It was the one thing keeping us apart and I couldn’t be honest because I was terrified by what I was feeling for you even after it looked like we were getting together.”

Chloe was stunned but was determined not to let Elly see it.

“I was broken when you told me we couldn’t be together, I bumped into Mark and eventually after some hurtful things he said to me, I told him he couldn’t stand in our way because we would be able to fix things and we would be a couple because to me…at that time…despite all the hurt and confusion I felt…you and I were inevitable,” Elly revealed truthfully.

Chloe squeezed her eyes closed for a few seconds, praying that was true.

Elly nearly choked up, “But then I got scared. Scared that you wouldn’t forgive me for lying about the pregnancy, scared of my feelings for you, scared that I could actually be happy with you because I didn’t know what that kind of true happiness is, scared that I would never be brave enough to hold your hand in public, scared that I didn’t know how to be in a relationship with you, scared about what a future could look like between us…I started drinking…and drinking…”

Chloe entangled her fingers with Elly’s once more.

Elly closed her eyes, expecting Chloe to leave after she revealed the worst thing she’d ever done, “This guy came over to talk to me at the bar…I don’t remember what happened next but I woke up the next morning in a hotel room…he was in the shower…I’d hooked up with some random guy…I am so sorry.”  

Chloe swallowed hard as Elly’s words shattered her heart but she was determined to hear her out.

Elly held on to Chloe, silently begging her not to walk away, “I felt like I’d cheated on you. We weren’t together but it didn’t matter, my heart belonged to you and I’d cheated on you with this random guy…it took that one night stand to make me see it…I was…I am in love with you.”

Chloe didn’t know how to react to that, she just stayed silent, allowing Elly to hold onto her. 

“The next six weeks were just a blur; I couldn’t be around anyone after what I’d done, let alone you so I stopped leaving the house,” Elly explained, “I wasn’t concentrating on anything, I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating properly, I was so stressed and then last week it hit me…I hadn’t had my period since before the wedding. I think I’m pregnant but not to Mark.”

Chloe’s mouth dropped open in shock but again words did not come out. 

Elly took another deep breath, “3 days ago, Bea suddenly decided to book an appointment for me to have my first ultrasound considering she thought I was 8 weeks pregnant to Mark, she dragged me along to the hospital for it. When I was in the exam room, the doctor was confused why I had been booked for an ultrasound considering the last thing on my file was that I wasn’t pregnant. I begged them to give me an ultrasound anyway as there’s a chance…I am pregnant…I didn’t want to wait for another blood test…I asked the doctor ‘for the sake of the baby’ could he please not put me under any more stress and just be able to tell me with an ultrasound if I was pregnant. He refused and made me take another blood test.”

Chloe ran her tongue over her teeth, trying to hide her pain at the thought of Elly been pregnant to some random guy.

Elly felt comfort in the fact that Chloe still hadn’t left her but expected her too after revealing her next mistake, “After that appointment…I knew I had to tell Mark I wasn’t pregnant to him. I was supposed to be 8 weeks but may only be 4 ½ weeks, I haven’t slept with him since a week before the wedding; he was going to find out eventually. I decided not to tell him that I might still be pregnant. I went over his place but he wasn’t home, I started looking at some of the photos on the bookshelf. One of the drawers was open and when I went to close it I noticed more photos. There were photos in there of Kate and Mark…well I assumed it was Kate…I guess he’d been looking at them himself…but there was also Sonya’s ultrasound photo of Caitlyn. I took it out of its frame and I was holding it when Mark walked in.” 

Elly struggled not to burst into tears, “Mark thought it was my ultrasound. God, Chlo, he was so happy for the first time in months, mentioned he couldn’t bear to grieve for another lost child if anything ever happened and I couldn’t bring myself to tell him the truth. I let him think that his dead baby girl with Sonya was our baby. Who does that?”

For the first time Elly felt the sharp pain of Chloe’s hand losing grip with her own, knowing that she might finally be losing Chloe who still cared for her brother, she continued holding on anyway, “There’s one more thing…”

“Okay,” Chloe whispered, finally breaking her silence.

“After I lied to Mark again I came home,” Elly sniffled, wiping a tear from her cheek, “I found Bea in the house…she was talking to this guy…it was the guy I‘d hooked up with at the hotel…he definitely recognized me…we both pretended that we didn’t know each other but Bea could tell there was something weird going on between us…Bea introduced us anyway…he’s Shaun…Finn’s brother…I might be pregnant to Finn’s brother…oh God Chloe what have I done?”

Chloe closed her eyes and she tried to hold it together as Elly openly wept.

Despite the tears, Elly stuttered out, “The doctor has been calling me for days but I can’t answer…I don’t want to know I’m pregnant to Shaun. I haven’t been able to sleep or eat since I realized I might be pregnant to a Kelly and that I have once again lied to Mark and made him think Caitlyn is my baby with him.”

Chloe breathed deeply, trying to summon the strength to deal with her reaction to everything Elly had told her.

“I just want to go back and take it all back,” Elly begged, “I want to go back to that moment before you told me that we couldn’t be together and I want to tell you that at that point I wasn’t pregnant. I want to have told Mark the truth after that. I want to take back been scared of been in a relationship with you…I have screwed up my entire life…Chloe…you are never going to forgive me and I did this all because I was in denial that I was in love with you. I just want to go back.”

“Shhh,” Chloe hushed Elly who was falling apart in her arms, unable to process her own feelings.

Still unable to look Chloe in the eyes, Elly threw herself back down to lay her head in Chloe’s lap and grabbed onto Chloe’s hand between her own like she was holding it for dear life, “Please don’t leave me, Chloe. I can’t beg you to forgive me but please don’t give up on me.”

Chloe’s heart broke at the sight of Elly collapsed against her, begging her not to leave, “You should get some rest, it’s still early but I think a good night’s sleep will begin to help you.”

Elly was heartbroken, fearing Chloe was giving up on her, “Will I ever have a chance to make things right with you?”

Chloe paused unable to give Elly the answer she wanted, “I need some time. Can I sleep on it and we can talk about it in the morning?”

Elly nodded sadly, and then asked for the second best thing she could hope for from Chloe, “Will you stay with me tonight?”

Chloe closed her eyes and breathed deeply before giving in, “Okay…I’ll be right here for you tonight and we’ll talk more in the morning. You should get to bed. You can’t sleep here on the floor all night.”

Elly squeezed Chloe’s hand one more time before releasing it and gently getting to her feet. As she walked over to sit on the edge of her bed she looked back at Chloe who was still sitting on the floor, “I didn’t mean for you to sleep on the floor all night either. Could you sleep here with me tonight and just hold me?”

No words were required from Chloe as she quietly pulled herself up from the ground. Elly smiled gently as she lay back on bed and rolled onto her side. Her smile grew without Chloe’s knowledge as she felt Chloe lie on the bed next to her. After a minute, Chloe felt comfortable enough to roll onto her side behind Elly. Elly shifted back into Chloe’s body allowing Chloe to spoon her as Chloe wrapped her arm around Elly’s waist and Elly entangled their hands. Chloe buried her face against the crook of Elly’s neck.

A few minutes later the pair was sleeping soundly.

Chapter Text

Denial

Chapter Ten

As the sun rose the next morning, Elly awoke to find herself in bed wrapped up in Chloe’s arm. She had rolled over during the night and now they were holding each other face to face. She noticed Chloe was awake and pressed her forehead gently against Chloe’s, desperately wanting to bring her lips to Chloe’s but afraid of been rejected once more after everything she had told Chloe the previous night. 

“How long have you been awake?” Elly whispered.

“A few hours…couldn’t sleep too well once I woke up,” Chloe admitted.

Elly nodded, feeling her grip on Chloe’s waist tighten softly, “Are you ready to talk? As much as I would love to just lay here with you I know you have to go to work early.”

Chloe ran her tongue across her bottom lip as she decided where to begin, “You need to talk to Mark today and tell him the truth that you’re not pregnant to him. Maybe don’t mention the Shaun part of it.” 

“I will,” Elly agreed, “I’m a little afraid of his reaction…I might ask him to meet me down by the lake.”

“Will you call your doctor back this morning and find out if you’re pregnant?” Chloe asked next, before revealing, “I don’t know how I feel about that if you are…but you need to know first…and we’ll deal with it if you are.”

“Will we deal with it together?” Elly asked and after a moment of silence from Chloe, realized it was too soon for Chloe to consider a future with her if she was pregnant to Shaun, “I’ll call him after I’ve spoken to Mark. If I am…I don’t want that to rattle me and scare me off from telling Mark.” 

“If you are…will you tell Shaun?” Chloe enquired.

Elly’s eyes widened, “I don’t know…I don’t really know the guy. I don’t even remember anything about my night with him…except he got me a drink from the bar and we talked a little at the bar…then…nothing…next thing I knew I was waking up in his hotel room bed. He was in the shower.”

Chloe closed her eyes, trying desperately not to picture Elly hooking up with a handsome stranger she’d never met.

“God, Chlo, I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have made you think about that,” Elly apologized realizing her mistake, “I’m so sorry I let myself do this to you and hurt you like this.”

Chloe didn’t know how to respond, she couldn’t tell Elly it was okay when it wasn’t, she couldn’t bring herself to forgive her because it hurt her heart to think Elly could do that so quickly after they nearly had a chance together. Eventually Chloe settled on, “I’m gonna need more time to deal with what you did with Shaun, okay? I can get past it…I just need a bit of time.”

Elly bought her hand up to hold Chloe’s face gently, “I don’t deserve you.”

Chloe fell into Elly’s touch but was unable to assure Elly that she did deserve her, “I need to get to work early. Can I make you breakfast before I go?”

Elly nodded sweetly, “Yes…and…maybe tonight…after everything is out in the open with Mark and I know whether I’m…can we get together and hang out?”

“Okay,” Chloe agreed but deep down she couldn’t help wondering if Elly would continue hurting her.

A few minutes later, Elly was sitting on one of the stools at the kitchen table and watched on as Chloe muddled around the kitchen making them breakfast. Elly smirked adorably at Chloe every time she opened a wrong draw or doubled back checking again in different drawers as she tried to find the culinary instruments she was looking for. Having never spent any time in the kitchen at the Kennedy’s, Elly was not surprised to see Chloe go through every single inch of the kitchen trying to find what she was searching for.

“Are you sure you don’t want my help?” Elly asked already knowing the answer.

“I can manage this…making you breakfast without knowing where in God’s name anything in your kitchen is…seriously do not have a whisk anywhere in this kitchen? Oh wait found it,” Chloe announced, before rushing over to pour two cups of tea as the kettle came to a boil and passed one to Elly before turning back to the breakfast she was making.

Elly couldn’t do anything else but stare in wonder at Chloe. She was conflicted because every part of her wanted to wake up in Chloe’s arms every morning and she couldn’t help but imagine the pair taking turns every morning making each other breakfast. She knew she had a lot of work to do to regain Chloe’s trust and any future they did have was up in the air but for now all she wanted to do was spend time with her best friend and hope that one day things would work out for them.

Fifteen minutes later Chloe served them both a plate of breakfast; she pulled up a stool and sat next to Elly. As they eat in silence, the pair kept making quick glances at each other, unable to hold their gaze for long as they were still afraid of the situation they were in and how much hurt they had caused each other.

As she finished her meal, Elly gently nudged her shoulder against Chloe’s and very gently placed her hand on Chloe’s knee. Thankful that Chloe didn’t pull away, Elly held Chloe’s gaze deeply, “That was amazing. I really wish you didn’t have to go to work so I could spend more time with you.”

“Me too,” Chloe whispered gently unable to break Elly’s gaze, “But once you’ve sorted out a few things today…we’ll spend some time together tonight, okay?”

Elly nodded in complete agreement, “I can’t wait.”

Eventually their moment was broken when Bea entered the main area of the house. Elly didn’t drop her hand away from Chloe’s knee and neither of them shifted away from each other. Bea smiled sweetly at the pair, hoping Elly was back to been herself and that Chloe and she had sorted things out.

“Good morning,” Bea greeted the pair.

Chloe and Elly both greeted her with Chloe offering her some leftover breakfast. 

Bea poured herself a glass of water, “No thanks, I’m starting work late today and Shaun wanted to catch up so I’m meeting him at Harold’s for breakfast. I’ll be back here to get changed before I head to the garage.”

As she sipped on her water, Bea watched on as both Elly and Chloe seemed to both tense up at the mention of Shaun which was weird for Bea since Elly had only just met him a couple days ago and as far as she knew she doubted Chloe had met him, “Everything okay? I know you don’t like me spending time with Finn’s brother but its just breakfast.”

“Its fine,” Elly blurted out trying hard to hide her horror at the thought of her little sister spending time with the guy she’d had a one night stand with. Let alone the fact that she finally thought Chloe and her were making some progress together that morning only to be reminded of Elly’s betrayal.

Chloe ran her hand through her hair before announcing, “I should go too. I’ve got to head home and get changed for work. I’ll call you later tonight, Elly, when I’ve finished up.”

Chloe then placed her hand on Elly’s hand, squeezing it gently, “Good luck with your talk with Mark.”

Bea watched on as Chloe took her time getting up and watched as the pair held hands as Chloe stood up and stared at each other meaningfully before Chloe eventually let go of Elly’s hand and left the house.

Bea smiled at her sister as Elly continued staring after Chloe even after she’d walked out of her eyesight, “So…did you two sort things out? Did you tell Chloe everything that’s been going on with you the past few weeks and what caused your…little meltdown?”

Elly blinked a few times before giving Bea her attention, “We sorted things out a little, yeah. Yes, I told Chloe everything that has been going on with me, it wasn’t easy. I need to sort a few things out today and then maybe I can see exactly where things stand between Chloe and me.”

“You two look really happy together,” Bea observed, “Does this mean there’s a chance you two might…that you would want to be with Chloe?”

Elly blushed, unable to admit to her sister yet, that it was the only thing in the world she wanted, even more than not wanting to be pregnant to Shaun, “We’ve got a lot of things to sort out. I made some…pretty big mistakes…and I need to work that out before…Chloe and I can work out where we stand...but I am hopeful that we'll be together one day.” 

Bea nodded, hoping that Elly would find a way to elaborate on her ‘mistakes’ after she had worked out…whatever it was that needed to be worked out, “Okay, I’ll leave you to it, I should be back in an hour.”

Before Bea left the house, Elly thanked her, “Bea…thanks for getting Chloe to see me yesterday. I’m glad you went to her to help me.”

An hour later Elly was still seated on the stool at the kitchen table. She was staring at her phone and the text message from Mark saying he was at work but could meet her down by the lake in 2 hours’ time after he finished his shift. Elly was scared to find out how he was going to react to the news that she’d been lying to him about been pregnant to him. Though she never believed Mark could be the type to get violent, Elly had determined to herself that she didn’t trust him to tell him the news alone with her at his place. She wanted people to be around in case he snapped at her even though the chances were greater that Mark would instead yell to high heaven at her and embarrass her verbally in front of anyone in the area. But after the hurt she caused him it was the least she felt she deserved.

Elly was so consumed by her thoughts she barely noticed Bea arrived back home. Elly jumped when Bea came up to her. Bea apologized for scaring her.

“Um…how was your…breakfast?” Elly asked not really wanting to know.

Bea sat down on the stool next to Elly, “It was…so Shaun asked me to meet up with him as he wanted to apologize for…the weirdness the other day when he was here and bumped into you. He told me the pair of you had already met.”

Elly felt sick to her stomach, she knew if she was pregnant to Shaun she would have to explain her one night stand to her sister but she had hoped she didn’t need to explain the father was Finn’s brother, “Oh God, did he tell you?”

Bea placed her hand on Elly’s lower back supportively, “Why didn’t you tell me? I could’ve helped you if I’d known that was the reason why you’ve been living like a shell of a person the past 6 weeks. That was the mistake you were talking about earlier?”

“I was so ashamed of what I’d done that night,” Elly admitted fighting back tears that welled up in her eyes, “I was so afraid of how Chloe would react to finding out.”

“So you told Chloe last night? How did she take it?” Bea asked.

“Pretty heartbroken but she said with a bit of time she can move past it,” Elly admitted, praying it was true, “I really hope we can move past my one night stand and be together one day soon.”

Bea frowned in confusion, “What are you talking about?”

Elly dropped her face allowing her hair to fall across her face, “Well…I…I thought I told you this morning that one day I want to be with Chloe.”

“Well yeah that’s been pretty obvious over the last day and I had a talk with Chloe yesterday about everything that has happened between the pair of you the last 6 months and I am more than supportive of you two but I wasn’t talking about that,” Bea explained, “Why are you calling it a one night stand?”

Elly continued to hang her head in shame.

Bea sat back for a minute, “Wait do you not remember what happened between you and Shaun that night?”

Elly shook her head still unable to face Bea, “I don’t remember anything after I met him at the bar.”

Bea reached out her hand and squeezed Elly’s shoulder, “Sweetie, Shaun told me about your night at the hotel. He wanted to clear the air as to the weirdness from bumping into each other the other day. Honestly he was really worried about you and wanted to find out how you were doing after you ran out on him the next morning. It wasn’t a one night stand. Shaun told me you two didn’t sleep together.”

“What?” Elly looked up at Bea in shock.

“You didn’t sleep with Shaun when you were drunk,” Bea repeated as she ran her hand across Elly’s shoulder, “Shaun explained to me that you were both drunk and you went back to his hotel room, had some more to drink and okay yeah you made out with each other and he got naked and you came really close to having sex with him but you stopped it. Oh honey, no wonder you’ve been so stressed out the last 6 weeks.”

Elly was stunned, “I didn’t have sex with him? I…stopped it? I just…I woke up in his bed while he was in the shower and there was a condom on the floor and I wasn’t wearing my dress so I…I ran out of there as I couldn’t stand what I’ve done. Are you sure he’s telling you the truth?”

Bea wrapped her arm around her sister, “Yes, he is. He told me he didn’t even know your name and had no way to track you down after you took off. He may have been drinking that night but he explained to me why you stopped it from going that far with him. Do you really not remember that night?”

Elly shook her head, repeating, “I stopped it?”

“Yes, you stopped yourself from sleeping with him because you’re in love with Chloe,” Bea told her, “You get very very honest when you’ve had a few champagnes in you.”

Elly frowned, “I told Shaun about Chloe?”

“Sweetie, you spent two hours crying to Shaun and telling him absolutely everything there is to know about Chloe. He couldn’t manage to wrangle your name from you before you fell asleep next to him but he knows just how soft Chloe’s hair is and the exact shade of colour it is,” Bea told Elly, before smirking and hoping to get a smile out of her sister, “You might’ve spent nearly an hour of that time telling him all about Chloe’s prefect hair.”

Elly nearly smiled, “I did? I really told Shaun I love her?”

“Yes, you love Chloe and from what Shaun told me you made that very clear to him that she was the only person in the world for you so you didn’t sleep with him, he didn’t know anything about you but he knew if he allowed you to sleep with him you would regret it for the rest of your life,” Bea comforted Elly, “Wait…did you tell Chloe last night that you slept with Shaun 6 weeks ago?”

“Well, yeah, that’s what I assumed happened that night and I felt so guilty about it, Bea, like I know we’re not together but it really felt like I’d betrayed her and any chance of a future with Chloe,” Elly confessed.

“And Chloe told you given time she could move past your ‘one night stand’ and try to make it work between you?” Bea asked, “Sweetie, Chloe is amazing to react like that but you need to go to her and tell her nothing happened between you and Shaun, it was just a whole big misunderstanding and there’s nothing she needs to forgive you for except for getting drunk and making out with a guy in his bed whilst he was…naked…granted not your best move but hey it could’ve been worse. Oh and make sure you ask Chloe out to dinner after she forgives you.”

“I will,” Elly smiled for the first time in what felt like months, she felt so relieved to have learned that her love for Chloe had stopped her from making the biggest mistake of her life and she couldn’t wait to be able to tell Chloe she hadn’t actually slept with Shaun. Elly nearly choked as she realized what this meant, “Wait…if I didn’t have sex with Shaun that night then I’m not pregnant…”

Now it was Bea’s turn to be shocked, “Wait? What?”

“Uh um,” Elly stammered, realizing Bea only knew half of the reason her mistake with Shaun could’ve cost her a future with Chloe, “I…can you just hold that thought for…five minutes? I need to call my doctor back as he’s been calling like crazy the last few days and I’ve been avoiding him because I thought he was going to tell me I was pregnant to Shaun. I swear I’ll tell you everything just as soon as I make this call.”

With that Elly raced to her bedroom to grab her phone.

Bea stared after her sister in complete shock. “How…? What…? Elly’s not…but I don’t understand…how does her not having sex with Shaun mean she’s not…? Ohhhhhh!”

Chapter Text

Denial

Chapter Eleven

Elly was on the phone to her doctor who was telling her, “Mrs. Conway I really would prefer it if you came into my office for this news, I’m not supposed to give out this information over the phone.”

“Look I know we should be having this conversation in person,” Elly replied, “But I got some new…information…and I know now there’s no possible way that I’m pregnant, I just need you to confirm it for me.”

The doctor sighed, “Correct, you’re not pregnant, Mrs. Conway.”

“Good, that’s good,” Elly breathed deeply, glad to know for sure that she wasn’t screwing up the rest of her life by bringing another Kelly into the world, “Look I’m sure you want me to come in to see you to answer this but…like I told you the other day I’ve missed my period the last two cycles.”

The doctor gave in, “You’re not pregnant but your stress levels are off the charts. It’s affecting your normal cycle. You need to make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible to address your stress and if whatever it is that is causing it, you need to find a way to remove the stress from your life or there could be more complications.”

“I will, I’ll go tomorrow and the stress I’ve been dealing with…it’s nearly all gone from my life, I just have one more thing to deal with in two hours’ time and I can get myself back on track,” Elly explained, “Thank you.”

Elly hung up the phone, incredibly relieved to know a pregnancy wouldn’t be getting in her way for and Chloe’s future together. The only thing left to do was to come clean to Bea and Mark.

Going back out to the living room area of the Kennedy household, she approached Bea hesitantly.

“You lied to us about been pregnant to Mark?” Bea accused shaking her head.

Elly sighed before walking over to her, “Yes. The test I took was positive but then my GP took a blood test and…I wasn’t pregnant. I lied to you and Mark and I let this lie spiral out of control.”

Bea ran her hand across the bridge of her nose, “I’m not going to judge you, Elly, but seriously you’ve led us to believe you’ve been pregnant for two months. Was this all just some scheme to make Mark forgive you for cheating on him and keep a chance at a future with him by making him think you were carrying his child? Then you thought you slept with Shaun and thought you were pregnant to him and were trying to work out how you could juggle Mark not knowing your conception date wouldn’t match? What the hell, Elly? I mean I love you but…what the hell?”

Elly nodded, “You’re right, I don’t have a good reason for what I’ve done. I may have been lying to Mark about me been pregnant with his child but this lie was never going to spiral out of control to the point that I was going to convince Mark Shaun’s baby…I mean…if I was pregnant to Shaun…that it was Mark’s. I know I’ve done the most terrible thing in the world but I was never going to play a baby that isn’t his off as been Mark’s for the rest of his life.”

“But lying to him for two months, what else do you expect Mark to think when you do tell him?” Bea questioned.

“I know, I don’t need you to ream me out about this Bea, I’ve been so unfair to Mark and when I tell him later this morning he is going to have every reason to hate me,” Elly confessed.

“Why didn’t you tell him when you found out?” Bea asked.

Elly ran her hand through her hair, “There’s no excuse. I was so messed up by everything that happened with Chloe and denying my feelings for her and I just…spiralled.”

Bea walked over to Elly and gave her a hug, “So Chloe also…kinda decided that with a bit of time she could forgive you for lying to Mark about the pregnancy and that you might have been pregnant to Shaun?”

Elly nodded, “Chloe’s kinda amazing like that. I really can’t wait to be able to tell her I didn’t sleep with Shaun and I’m not pregnant. I mean I have to see Mark first in a just over an hour to tell him I’m not pregnant. Chloe and I will be hanging out tonight so I’ll get to tell her then the good news. I’ve hurt Chloe so much these past two months but once I clear the air with Mark there’s absolutely nothing stopping us from being together. I kinda want to make tonight a date with Chloe, is that too forward?”

Bea smiled at her sister, having never seen her so happy at the thought of going on a date, “Not at all. You know if you’ve got some time to kill before you see Mark…why don’t you go to Lassiters now and tell Chloe the good news and ask her out on that date for tonight? You know Chloe will be worrying about you all day long, why wait to tell her now you know everything that happened…or I mean didn’t happen that night with Shaun?”

Elly grinned, “That’s a really good idea, Bea, thanks.”

At that moment, the pair was interrupted by Susan arriving home; having been out and about for the better part of the last few days to have even noticed what Elly had been going through, “Hi girls, what have you been up to the last few days?”

Bea released her sister from her hug, tilted her head to the side and wondered if Elly was going to tell their aunt the truth.

Elly looked down at Bea before looking back at Susan, “Quite a lot actually…so I need to tell you a couple things…but I’m just about to go out so can I give you the cliff notes and explain it all to you tomorrow?”

Susan nodded, “Of course, love.”

Elly bit her lip, unsure how Susan would take the news, “So the thing is…I’m not pregnant…and…I’m going to see Chloe to ask her out on a date…would that be okay with you?”

Susan was stunned, “Wow…that’s big news…where have I been the past few months to not know this was coming? You don’t need my permission, Elly; I just want you to be happy.”

Elly couldn’t help but smirk at the thought that Susan had been quite absent the past couple months and hadn’t been involved in the changes in her life but she was thankful she had her aunt’s support.

Half an hour later, Chloe was busy at work in her office but she smiled the second Elly strolled into her office, “Hey, you, what are you doing here? I thought we were hanging out tonight after work?”

Elly grinned brightly at Chloe as the blonde immediately got up from her desk and came to Elly’s side, “Do you have a minute to talk? There’s something I need to tell you and I didn’t want to wait until tonight.”

Chloe’s face fell at the thought that Elly had something else to tell her after everything that was revealed the previous night, “Something else? I uh…I really thought you’d told me everything last night.”

Elly reached out to place her arm around Chloe’s waist as the pair stood next to each other, “I did tell you everything last night but as it turns out I had a few facts wrong.”

“Okay…” Chloe responded unsure what Elly could mean.

Elly shifted so she was now standing in front of Chloe and placed her hands on either side of Chloe’s hips, smiling as Chloe re-actively placed her hands on Elly’s hips, “So you know how I said I don’t remember the night I spent with Shaun at the hotel?”

Chloe groaned, “I was kinda distracting myself all day so I didn’t think about that.”

“Bea talked to Shaun this morning at breakfast and he told her about the night he had spent with me, he wanted to clear the air with her after we had bumped into each and pretended not to know each other a few days ago…and…” Elly chewed on her lip before finally telling Chloe, “I didn’t have sex with Shaun.”

Chloe felt like she’d misheard Elly in hope.

Elly squeezed Chloe’s hips, as she repeated then explained further, “I didn’t have sex with Shaun when I got drunk with him. I stopped it from happening and yes it was still a really bad night. I made out with him and Shaun got naked but we didn’t sleep together. I stopped it and fell asleep next to him.”

“Really?” asked Chloe surprised by Elly’s latest news.

Elly nodded, “Really. Bea believes Shaun and he has no reason to lie about me not hooking up with him when he doesn’t even know me or what I’ve been going through since that night.”

“Wow,” Chloe whispered, “That changes things…I mean I would’ve gotten past it eventually but…wow.”

Elly gently pulled Chloe closer to her, “This is a little embarrassing but do you know why I stopped Shaun and I from sleeping together?” As Chloe shook her head, Elly continued, “Because I couldn’t stop talking about you. There were also some tears…okay a lot of tears…but I didn’t have sex with him because I spent two hours talking about you and telling him everything there is to know about you because I lo—I guess because I couldn’t stop thinking about you. You were the only thing that mattered to me.”

Damn, it’s too early to drop the love bomb on Chloe, keep it smooth, at least wait until you’ve been on one date, Elly thought to herself.

Chloe blushed heavily before realizing, “So if you and Shaun didn’t…then that means…”

“I’m not pregnant,” Elly confirmed, “I called the doctor back as soon as I realized and even though I didn’t need it the doctor confirmed that I’m not pregnant. It’s still kinda weird for me as I’ve spent the better part of the last couple months thinking I was pregnant but it turns out all that’s wrong is my stress levels are off the chart and I need to see my GP to work on that. Although I can already feel a lot of my stress has gone.”

“Wow,” Chloe repeated once more, “That really does change things…I mean not that I would’ve thrown away any chance of us because of a baby but…”

“I know, I get it,” Elly agreed, “It does change things and I hope…this means that there’s nothing standing in our way anymore.”

Chloe smiled as she confirmed it without words.

Elly grinned back, “I’m meeting Mark in an hour and once that’s all sorted…dinner? At the Waterhole? You and me? Tonight? I’ll pick you up when you finish work?”

Chloe nodded then glanced down at her own clothes.

Reading her thoughts, Elly assured her, “You look great; you don’t need to change from your work clothes for dinner tonight. What time do you think you’ll finish up?”

“Should be done by 7pm,” Chloe answered, already looking forward to dinner with her friend so the pair could hopefully work things out between them.

“Great, I’ll see you then,” Elly said happily before leaning forward and pecking Chloe on the cheek in a sign of affection that she hoped they would be able to build on that evening.

As Elly left the office, she grinned to herself at the thought - It’s a date.

Chloe chewed on her lip as she sat back at her desk and wondered – It’s just dinner between two friends who are trying to work out where they stand…it’s not a date…it might be a date…it’s not a date…

Chapter Text

Denial

Chapter Twelve

Elly couldn’t hide the smile on her face as she headed to Lassiters Hotel to pick up Chloe for dinner. She was so excited to think that after everything she’d done to hurt Chloe and everything that had gone wrong for them they would finally be able to get things on track. As scared as she had been in the past at the idea of being with Chloe she was too excited by the prospect of beginning a relationship with the woman she adored despite how long it had taken her to realize.

“Hey, you,” Elly greeted as she walked into Chloe’s office.

Chloe looked up at her and smiled, “Hey, Elly, I’ll just be a minute if that’s cool.”

“Take your time,” Elly offered as she sat down on the couch in the office.

Ten minutes later, Elly was biting her lip as Chloe was still typing away on her laptop. Elly was trying not to get impatient that Chloe was too involved in her work to realize she was making them late for their date.

“And I am done,” Chloe finally announced, halfheartedly apologizing, “Sorry about that. Paul is a slave-driver. So what are we doing tonight? Shall we pick up some dinner and hang out at yours or mine? Movie night? Binge the latest episodes of that show you like that I can’t stand?”

Elly hesitated wondering why Chloe had seemingly forgotten she had already agreed to have dinner at the Waterhole with her, “I thought I mentioned we could just do dinner at the Waterhole. I mean if you’d prefer…”

“Right, sorry, my head has been consumed with work since you came over this morning,” Chloe told her as she shut down her laptop and picked up her handbag, “Waterhole sounds great.”

Elly nodded then stood up and reached out her hand for Chloe to take it but the blonde didn’t seem to notice and walked straight past her as she turned off the lights. Elly exited the room in front of Chloe as Chloe closed the door behind her. Elly once more reached out her hand to Chloe but the blonde left it hanging.

Chloe’s not the best date so far, what’s going on with her? I thought this was what she wanted.

As they walked across the complex, Chloe broke the silence, “How did it go with Mark?”

Elly sighed but to be honest was glad to get the subject of Mark out of the way so they could spend the rest of their night concentrating on each other, “Mark was…pretty mad at me. I made the right decision to tell him down at the lake in public. He yelled at me quite a bit for lying to him which I completely deserved. He uh…” Elly paused for a moment before confessing, “Mark raised his hand to slap me but he stopped at the last second. I guess he realized what he was doing. I’ve never seen him that mad before. As much as I did love him and as much as I should not have lied to him it made me see a different side to him that I’m glad I got out when I did. I’m glad I’m with you. You make me so much happier than Mark ever did.”

“Not that hard to do, Mark’s always been about himself and doesn’t seem to care about the person he’s with,” Chloe shrugged nonchalantly, before adding, “I’m sorry he nearly hit you. I don’t know what I would’ve done if he had have. I’m glad he knows the truth even though it hurt him. We’ve all got a chance to get past it with a clean slate.”

As they reached the Waterhole, Chloe went ahead of Elly to open the door, entering the bar and restaurant, “Where you do you want to sit? Bar? Bar table?”

“Can we sit at one of the corner tables; it’s a bit cosier for dinner?” Elly suggested still feeling like she was doing something wrong or that maybe after everything Chloe hadn’t forgiven her or thought that she wasn’t ready to be in a relationship with her.

Just be brave, show Chloe you can do this.

Sitting down against the wall on the bench, Chloe was surprised when Elly sat down next to her instead of sitting opposite her in the chair on the other side of the table. Elly reached her arm out and placed it against the edge of the bench behind Chloe and cosied up to the blonde.

Chloe felt it was adorable when Elly got cosy next to her on the bench.

It might be a date…it’s not a date…Elly’s not ready to be in a relationship with you…but she’s sure trying to get comfortable like one day she will be ready for this to be a date…it’s not a date…

“So what would you like to drink?” Chloe asked.

Elly put her free hand up, “Nothing alcoholic for me tonight, I need to stay away from alcohol for a while. I want a clear head tonight and not let alcohol control what happens.”

Chloe nodded in her own agreement, “You know what…me too. Good idea.”

A minute later, Sheila came over to take their order, “Well you too look awfully cosy tonight, what can I get you?”

Chloe watched as Elly blushed a deep shade of red at Sheila’s comment.

After they ordered their food and non-alcoholic drinks, Elly turned to Chloe and held her gaze into Chloe’s eyes, “Thank you for everything you did yesterday and this morning. I know it wasn’t easy to hear what I’d done…I just wish I knew the truth about that night and it hadn’t sent me spiraling for the past 6 weeks. I wish we hadn’t wasted so much time and had been here months ago.”

“Same,” Chloe offered.

Sheila bought over their drinks, “Here you go, ladies.”

The pair thanked her before Elly clinked her glass against Chloe’s, “To a clean slate?”

Chloe smiled, “Yes, clean slate.”

“Do you have any plans for the weekend?” Elly asked, nervously trying to come up with a better subject to start talking about.

“Not so far, might have a quiet one at home, do you want to hang out tomorrow?” Chloe asked.

Elly nodded in agreement, “I’d really like that. I’ve got to go to the doctor about my stress levels but aside from that my day is yours.”

Chloe lent into Elly closer, finally starting to let whatever was happening between them happen whilst curious to see if Elly would embrace it, “Relaxing day on the couch together okay? I know you’ve managed to put a lot of your stress behind you today but if you’re still stressed I could give you a back and neck massage.”

Elly licked her lips at the thought, “Oh yes please.”

Chloe almost licked her lips at Elly’s reaction, starting to think that maybe she and Elly did stand a chance after how long Elly had denied her feelings.

The pair sat together discussing a few random subjects until their dinners were ready to be served.

Sheila interrupted them again to set their dinners on the table, “I hope you two are having an enjoyable night together,” then repeating, “You sure look cosy…together.”

Elly nearly rolled her eyes at Sheila and instead told her, “We’re very cosy, thank you, Sheila.”

As Sheila took off to take another order, Chloe stared at Elly, “You know Sheila was been nosy and wanting to know…”

“I know,” Elly grinned, “You think I care what Sheila thinks of us. So this massage tomorrow…is clothing optional?”

Chloe nearly choked on her mouthful of food until she saw the glint in Elly’s eyes that told her Elly was teasing her in a very flirtatious way, “Only if you’re lucky.”

Elly shifted her arm back to the table from the bench as the pair dug into their meals. As they started eating in silence next to each other, Elly caught Chloe’s gaze and neither could break the look between them. They sat there staring deeply at each other as they ate their food.

When they weren’t quite finished, Elly spoke up, “Do you think this massage could last until Sunday…you know considering how stressed I’ve been…it could take a while for you to help de-stress me?”

Chloe pursed her lips, “Damn, Elly, you’re really hooked on this massage idea…I like it and if you play your cards right I could make it last until Sunday. Maybe even Monday morning.”

“Oh I will play my cards right, Chlo,” Elly promised.

The pair continued staring into one another’s eyes fairly certain they were both talking about more than just a massage but unable to say exactly what they meant.

Elly moved her arm back to along the bench behind Chloe and Chloe found herself shifting closer to Elly, though they weren’t actually embracing one another they were very close to it. The pair sat there in silence staring at each other wondering what it would take for one of them to make a move.

Mark entered the bar looking to drown his sorrows and grief but he immediately spotted Elly and Chloe looking cosy together in the corner.

“What’s going on here?” Mark interrupted them, “You’re an idiot, Chlo. Do you know what this bitch has put me through?”

Chloe felt a sting of guilt that her brother was in pain knowing he did have every right to be; she broke her gaze from Elly and looked up at Mark, “Yes, I do.”

Elly spoke up for herself, but she didn’t look away from Chloe, regaining Chloe’s gaze she looked deeply into her eyes, she began talking to Mark but couldn’t break her hold on Chloe, “Mark, I know an apology is not enough for what I did. You need time and I deserve your wrath but do you think you can do it another time?”

Mark watched on as the pair would not allow themselves to look at anyone else like they were in their own little world, “Are you two on a date?”

Chloe began shaking her head but Elly spoke up, “Yes, Mark, we are.”

Chloe’s eyes widened, “We are…? I mean, yes, we are.”

Mark shook his head in disgust, “You’re both as bad as each other. You deserve each other. At least then you won’t be able to hurt another person.”

Chloe and Elly relaxed as Mark stormed off and left them to their meal.

Chloe blinked heavily, “Did you mean what you said? That this is a date?”

“It’s a date, Chloe,” Elly repeated.

“Oh,” Chloe was surprised and then embarrassed, “I have completely missed the signals. I thought this was just an evening between two friends who were working their way towards being on a date. I guess…I thought…I didn’t think you were ready to be seen with me in public on a date.”

Elly blushed before shifting her arm from the edging of the bench behind Chloe and rested her arm around Chloe’s shoulders, “I am ready.”

Chloe felt elated and curled into Elly’s embrace, “I better step up my game then because I have not been treating you like my date.”

“Step on up, I want this with you,” Elly told the blonde before wanting to clarify, “You know I wasn’t talking about an actual massage earlier, I meant…you know.”

Chloe grinned and tilted her neck to the side, “Oh I got that signal. Wait…maybe I didn’t. Do you mean making out or something more?”

Elly licked her lips and replied confidently, “More.”

Chloe blushed at the thought, “Yep…missed that signal. I just thought you wanted to keep things slow and private between the pair of us for a few weeks before taking it to the next level and I also didn’t think you were ready to take this step with me in public. I guess we haven’t been on the same page this evening.”

Elly licked her lips once more, “Well there are definitely some things I want to keep private with you but I don’t want to take things slow. We’ve wasted enough time. I have no reservations about people in our community knowing we are dating. So are we on the same page now?”

“We are,” Chloe agreed, before confirming for certainty, "This page that we're on...you want to be with me in a relationship?"

"Yes, I want to be in a relationship with you," Elly confirmed.

Feeling brave, Elly lent forwards and claimed Chloe’s lips with her own, kissing her softly. Chloe leaned into the kiss, unable to hide the smile creeping onto her face.

Sheila came over to them to check if they needed her to clear their table and was shocked to find the pair kissing gently, “Oh…I…um…carry on.”

Elly blushed as she pulled herself from Chloe's lips and looked up at Sheila, then wanting to confirm the obvious, "Sheila, can you please get my date another drink?"

Chloe smiled brightly at Elly as Sheila went back to the bar; feeling a lot more secure with Elly's acceptance to being with her, "You know when it comes to Sheila and gossip the whole neighbourhood is going to know about us by the end of the night." 

Elly shrugged, "Its fine by me. I'm proud to be with you, Chloe."

Chloe beamed up at the brunette, almost unable to comprehend this was the same woman who had spent months unable to admit her feelings for her.

Sheila came back with Chloe's drink; Elly thanked her whilst taking the glass from Sheila and placed the drink in front of Chloe, all the while not taking her eyes off the blonde. Elly then smiled as she addressed the town gossip and gave her permission to tell everyone and anyone, "Go for your life, Sheila."

Sheila immediately went back behind the bar where Amy and Gary had been sitting and enjoying a drink, "Elly and Chloe are on a date. You heard it here first."

"Huzzah, pay up," Amy instructed Gary.

Gary mumbled as he reached for his wallet and pulled out a $20 note and handed it to Amy. Amy gloated to Sheila, "I told Gary they were on a date and he didn't believe me so I told him to put his money where his mouth is."

Sheila shook her head at her son, "Never gamble on love. Have I taught you nothing Gary Canning?"

Chloe sipped on her drink and watched on as Elly saw the interaction between Sheila, Amy and Gary, "You really are comfortable with this?"

"Yeah, I am," Elly confirmed.

Chloe grinned, "I'm sorry I'm still just a bit blown away and not quite believing this is real."

"Believe it," Elly insisted before deciding, "You finish your drink and I’m going to pay for our meal."

Chloe opened her mouth to argue but Elly hushed her, "You can pay on our second date."

Chloe smirked at Elly, "Did you just say second date?"

Elly grazed her lips quickly against Chloe's, "Yes, there will be a second date and a third and a fourth and I can continue telling you how many dates we'll go on but we would be here all night and I still have plans for tonight."

Chloe beamed at Elly, "Oh you have more plans for tonight?"

Elly grinned without giving any clues to Chloe. Chloe sighed as Elly pulled away from their embrace to head to the bar.

Chloe finished the rest of her drink as Elly returned and sat back down next to Chloe, wrapping her arm around her shoulder once more. Chloe snuggled into Elly's embrace, resting her head on Elly's shoulder, "So what are we doing for the rest of the evening?"

Elly looked down at Chloe lovingly, "I believe you said something about a massage."

"I did say that," Chloe remembered, "Shall we head to my place or yours?"

"Your place, definitely," Elly insisted as she released Chloe from her embrace and stood up. Chloe joined her and Elly immediately took Chloe's hand in hers, not waiting this time for Chloe to take it on her own accord.

The pair smiled at each other as they exited the bar, holding hands as they walked away from the complex and returned back to Ramsay St.

Chapter Text

Denial

Chapter Thirteen

As the couple reached the front door of Chloe's place, Chloe dropped Elly's hand to pull her keys from her handbag. Elly immediately took a step back and wrapped her arms around Chloe's waist from behind, nuzzling her face against Chloe's neck.

Chloe fell into the embrace as she struggled to find her keys for a moment as she hoped Aaron and David weren't home. Finally finding them, Chloe unlocked the front door with Elly still holding onto her from behind. As Chloe turned around to close the door behind her, she felt Elly's lips against her neck. Chloe lent into the embrace, moaning as Elly squeezed her hips and started trailing kisses up and down her neck as they quietly maneuvered their way towards the living room.

Chloe held back gently, "As much as I want to make out with you here, I just want to see if Aaron or David are home."

"They aren't, they have plans tonight," Elly whispered against Chloe's ear.

Chloe gently shifted around so she was now facing Elly, they reached out both holding the other by the hips, asking curiously, "And how is it that you know more about my brothers than I do?"

Elly blushed as she looked at Chloe, "I may have spoken to Aaron this afternoon and gotten them a hotel room for the night so we could be alone tonight. I know I could've gotten the hotel room for us but after my last time there it kind of put me off hotels for a little while."

Chloe raised her eyebrow, “You told Aaron about our date tonight…before I even knew it was a date? You were brave enough to tell Aaron about us?”

Elly blushed even deeper as she nodded, "Of course I told Aaron about us because I knew there was going to be a relationship to tell him about. I’ve completely come to terms with my feelings for you. I mean I wasn't trying to be presumptuousness about what's going to happen tonight. I just wanted us to have a chance for a bit of privacy so we can...hang out together and work out what this is between us...except we already did that earlier at dinner." 

Chloe bought her lips to Elly's gently, "What do you want to happen tonight?"

Elly moved her hands to place them around Chloe's neck and pressed her forehead against Chloe's,

"For now I just want to stay here and dance with you."

"I didn't take you for the cheesy romantic slow-dancing type," Chloe whispered as she and Elly gently swayed together.

"I wasn't until I met you," Elly admitted.

The couple held each other close as they kissed lightly.

A few minutes later, Elly wrapped her arms around Chloe as the pair entered Chloe’s room and closed the door behind them. Elly deepened the kiss as she gently nudged Chloe against the door. With Chloe’s arms wrapped around her neck, Elly’s hands rested on Chloe’s hips and the pair couldn’t be pried apart.

Elly’s tongue explored Chloe’s mouth, making the younger girl moan into their kiss. Neither woman could believe that they were finally together. Chloe because she didn’t think the woman she loved for so long could ever feel the same way about her, Elly because she had spent so many months denying her attraction and feelings for Chloe. Elly couldn’t believe how close she had come to missing out on so much but her acceptance had led her to Chloe’s arms and she didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.

Elly pressed her forehead against Chloe’s, breaking their kiss for a moment, “I love you…I know it feels way too early to feel like this but I…I am so in love with you.”

Chloe beamed with pure happiness, “I am so in love with you too. Are you sure you’re comfortable with your feelings?"

Elly pressed her body against Chloe’s, “Yes, I can’t hide from this. I love you and I am so damn attracted to you…I can’t believe I was ever stupid enough to think I wasn’t.” 

Chloe hushed her, “Hey, we’re here now and that’s all that matters. We can forget the past and focus on us tonight.”

Elly bought her lips back to Chloe’s, “I don’t want to forget the past…it led me here. So much has changed since the last time I was in this room.”

Chloe squeezed the back of Elly’s neck, “I know and I wasn’t even in this room when you were. Do you remember the things you told me when you were lying on my bed and I was sitting on the couch out there trying desperately not to take advantage of you?”

Elly blushed as she thought back, “Yes, I do. I meant every word.”

Chloe smiled, “Really?”

“I get honest when I’m drunk,” Elly admitted, “I just wish I hadn’t been drunk that night because then you would’ve…?”

Chloe bit her lip, “If you hadn’t have been drunk, how could I have resisted?”

Elly kissed Chloe gently, before staring into her eyes, “Well I mean it now. I haven’t needed drunk me to rely on been honest with you so far tonight.”

“Tell me again what you want,” Chloe pleaded softly, “Tell me you still want the same things you did that night.”

Elly bought her lips to Chloe’s jaw as she began trailing kisses across her neck and collarbone as she whispered, “I want to take you in my arms. I want to take your clothes off. I want to press my body against yours. I want to explore every inch of your body with mine. I want to pleasure you…I really want to pleasure you. I want to take my time. I want to stare into your eyes when I’m making love to you. I want my tongue to taste you. I want all of you.”

Chloe shivered at the feelings Elly invoked in her, “I want all of you too.”

Elly blushed, “I was so scared back then by how much I wanted to make love to you. I was so scared that all I wanted was to dive into my attraction for you when I came here that night.”

“It’s a scary thing to realize,” Chloe whispered, “Are you scared anymore?”

“Not in the least,” Elly confessed, “I just want to make up for the last few months of hurt and pain I caused you. Will you let me be with you tonight?”

“You will make up for it; we both will,” Chloe promised, then nodded, “Consent is sexy as hell. I want you to be with me tonight. Everything you want I want.”

Elly grinned as she kissed Chloe passionately, before she gently pulled Chloe back from the bedroom door and held onto the blonde as they made their way to the bed. The pair sat down on the edge of the bed, their lips still melding against one another’s then breaking apart as Chloe then bent down slightly to remove her shoes, Elly immediately followed suit.

As the couple bought their bodies back together, Elly shifted so she was standing in front of Chloe leaning down against her as Chloe sat on the edge of the bed. As they kissed passionately, Elly’s fingers trailed to the edge of Chloe’s blouse and breaking their kiss for a second, Elly gently dragged the shirt from Chloe’s body. Elly’s hands came to rest on the top of the skirt Chloe was wearing. Fiddling around with the zipper on it for a moment, Elly undid it and Chloe helped her by lifting her hips off the bed grinding against Elly’s hips as Elly slipped the skirt off her body.

Pressing their lips together, Elly reached up behind her neck to undo the ties on her dress. Chloe’s fingers joined hers as she helped slip the dress off Elly’s shoulders and down her body. Elly slipped out of the dress and discarded it across the room before pressing her body against Chloe’s until they collapsed on the bed. Chloe gently pushed Elly up causing Elly a moment of panic that Chloe didn’t want her until she watched as Chloe scooted up the bed and rested her head on the pillow.

Shaking her head at thinking Chloe was pushing her away, Elly then smiled as she moved up the bed to join her girlfriend. Elly laid down next to Chloe, wrapping her arms around Chloe and bringing her lips to Chloe’s. Chloe relished their embrace moaning gently. At the sound, Elly’s hand immediately reached behind Chloe’s back and she fiddled with the blonde’s bra clasp until it came undone.

Chloe smiled as Elly pulled the garment off her body and then pressed her body back to Elly’s. Chloe ran her hand down Elly’s arm before reaching around to undo Elly’s bra but was surprised when Elly stopped her.

Elly whispered into Chloe’s ear, “Not yet. I want to make up for the months of hurt I’ve caused you so let me love you and then it can be your turn, baby.”

Chloe grinned at the thought that Elly wanted to put her first and was completely comfortable initiating their night together.

Chloe bought her hand up and entangled it in Elly’s hair as her girlfriend began stroking her fingers across her breast and squeezing the nipple. Chloe moaned deeply as Elly ducked her head down and bought her lips to the other nipple. Chloe struggled to contain her emotions as Elly spent time touching and kissing her nipples.

Elly felt herself getting impatient and desperate to make love to her girlfriend, bought her hand down Chloe’s body to her hips and without hesitating she slipped her hand in Chloe’s panties, not even bothering to take them off. Chloe groaned with immense pleasure as she felt Elly’s fingers inside her.

This was a completely different experience to the first time that Elly had made love to her; Elly had been shy, unsure of herself and took her time to bring Chloe to climax. This time Chloe could sense Elly’s desperation to confidently pleasure her.

As Elly’s fingers slipped in and out of Chloe’s center, she looked down at her girlfriend and watched the look on her face as she found Chloe’s clit and bought the blonde to orgasm. Chloe whimpered for a moment and Elly lent forwards to kiss her girlfriend.

Elly broke the kiss after a moment as she wanted to pleasure Chloe once more. Sliding her body down Chloe’s kissing her lips against Chloe’s body as she went, Elly hooked her finger against Chloe’s panties, dragging them down her legs this time and discarding them. Elly felt Chloe lift her hips as she settled between her girlfriend’s legs.

Elly didn’t hesitate in leaning forwards and licking her tongue against Chloe’s opening. Chloe immediately bucked her hips toward Elly’s mouth, allowing Elly to dive her tongue deep inside of Chloe. Chloe moaned heavily as Elly began licking her tongue inside her as the brunette searched for her clit.

Elly held Chloe’s hips softly, allowing Chloe to move her hips as she pleased. Locating Chloe’s clit quickly, Elly worked her tongue over it until she bought Chloe to climax once more. Kissing her lightly, enjoying the taste for a moment, Elly then bought herself back up Chloe’s body. Elly pressed her lips against Chloe’s, the pair moaning gently at the contact.

Breaking their kiss, Elly whispered, “I love you.”

Chloe smiled, “I love you too,” then grinning, “I believe I owe you a massage.”

Elly grinned happily at the woman in her arms, “You do, don’t you. Feel free to take all the time in the world to work my knots out. I think you’ll find I’m not quite as stressed as I was a few days ago but I would love you to make sure.”

Chloe grinned back at Elly, kissing her girlfriend deeply as the pair enjoyed the rest of the night together.

The End