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Even Now

Chapter Text

Eight years. Eight years since the break up, the fight in the bar, the heavy glasses smashing on the floor, the fine Whiskey splashing up her legs, pinpricks of blood forming on her calves. Eight years.

Eve wouldn’t have thought Villanelle even had her number anymore. But of course she did. Or at least she could get it if she really wanted to. She shouldn’t really have been surprised; her own phone was still programmed with her ex-girlfriend’s ringtone. Her body still remembered it, too. As soon as the first notes played through the darkness of the apartment, Eve’s pulse doubled, the blood pounding so hard in her ears she could barely hear the song anymore.

She almost didn’t believe it, tried to pull her scattered thoughts together to convince herself it was a dream. She did dream about Villanelle, after all. Even now. Even after eight years. But she hadn’t been sleeping, not even close. It was hard to sleep; it’d been hard to sleep for the past eight years.

Her fingers fumbled at the bedside table, finally grasping the phone. The caller ID read “Make Good Decisions, Don’t Pick Up”. She’d forgotten that she’d changed Villanelle’s name after they broke up. It was good advice. Make good decisions was always good advice. She generally followed it these days, she was doing well; that’s what her therapist said at least.

But Villanelle had never been conducive to good decisions.

The rings were running out. Eve pulled herself up in bed, sucked in her breath and answered it, “What do you want?”

The light laugh on the other end of the line was far, far too familiar. Even now. Eight years later. Eve’s head spun.

“What? I don’t even get a hello?” When Eve didn’t respond, Villanelle continued, “How are you?”

“You don’t care. What do you want, Villanelle?”

“Of course I care!” Eve could practically see the pouty lip and big eyes.

“You never cared. You needed me. And then you didn’t. I assume you need something now.”

There was that laugh again. “How about some sex?”

The pounding in Eve’s ears was back; if Villanelle said something else she didn’t hear it. “Oh for fuck’s sake, Villanelle.”

“Fuck. Yes, exactly.”

“Why?”

“Because you may have hated me with every fiber of your being - perhaps you still do - but the sex was always good, my dear. You can’t deny that.” Villanelle was right. She knew it. They both knew it.

“Why now?”

“Mmm...I’m in a mood. Does it matter?”

Eve wanted to say that it mattered. She wanted to say something. She wanted to “make good decisions”.

But she didn’t. Not really.

“No. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care.”

“Good. I’ll text you an address.”

The line went dead and Eve’s entire body suddenly felt very, very cold.

Chapter Text

It was a nice hotel, a very nice one. Situated in the heart of downtown, it was filled with sleek black marble and high ceilings. Eve got the feeling it was the sort of place that didn’t ask a lot of questions - in exchange for a tidy sum, that is. A man in an expensive suit opened the front doors for her and the woman at the desk didn’t ask her name or who she was there to see. Villanelle had simply given her a passcode and the woman nodded upon hearing it and gestured towards the elevators, “Frank will let you up to the penthouse.”

A bit of a treat, even for Villanelle.

The elevator doors opened onto an expansive penthouse suite. Probably elegant, probably very expensive. Eve wasn’t really paying attention to any of it. Because there she was - Villanelle.

Eve had tried to prepare for this moment on the ride over but there was really no way to. Even if she had managed to come up with some sort of mental exercise, it wouldn’t have done her any good. Villanelle would always take her breath away.

Villanelle seemed irritatingly calm, entirely unperturbed by the elevator doors that had just deposited her long ago girlfriend in her hotel suite. There was a living room area a few yards from the elevator doors and Villanelle simply reclined in a chair there, feet propped up on a stool, chin resting on her hand. She smiled at Eve, but said nothing.

The silence was deafening and horribly uncomfortable; at least it was for Eve. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other and eventually decided she had to break it. “Are you going to invite me in?”

Villanelle shrugged, “I think you’re basically already in. You can come closer, if you like. Would you like some champagne?”

Eve took a couple steps towards the couch at the edge of the living area. “No. I’m fine.”

“Good, I’m quite comfortable.”

A few more long moments ticked by.

“It’s good to see you.”

Villanelle narrowed her eyes at Eve and sat up in the chair. “Is it really, though? Is it really, actually nice to see me?”

“I don’t know.” Villanelle nodded and sat back, seeming satisfied. “You...somehow...you look the same.”

Villanelle laughed lightly and nodded. “I’ve heard that before,” she paused, that longing, almost soft look in her eyes that always twisted Eve’s heart, “You’re just as beautiful as ever, Eve.”

“Th-thank you.”

The softness in Villanelle’s eyes disappeared - Eve had never really known it to last - replaced with a teasing glint. She sprang up from her chair towards Eve, the flowing fabric of her outfit swirling around her.

“Are you nervous?”

“No.” Eve managed to keep her voice still this time, but her heart still pounded in her chest.

Villanelle didn’t seem to believe her and appeared to find that fact very entertaining. She was in front of Eve in an instant, close enough that their chests brushed together every time they breathed out at the same time. A wide smile spread across her face and she stroked a thumb across the other woman’s cheek.

“You seem nervous.”

“It’s been a very long time, Villanelle.”

“Yes. It has.” Her hand slowed it’s stroking, cupping Eve’s face. Expressionless and unblinking, she held Eve’s gaze, as if she were trying to figure something out.

“What?”

Villanelle didn’t respond for a moment, but finally her face relaxed and she dropped her hand back to her side. “Nothing. So how’s this evening going to go? I have so many new toys. Plenty of things to try. All depends on how many bruises you want to walk about from tonight with.”

Eve was starting to feel calmer and something about Villanelle’s flippant assumption irritated her. “You should be aware that I’m stronger than you these days. I’d keep that in mind.”

“Oh really?” Villanelle raised an eyebrow, clearly highly skeptical.

Eve didn’t miss a beat, “Yes.”

A smile played across Villanelle’s lips and she tapped her fingers together. “Is that so?” Eve simply stared at her with no response.

Villanelle moved in a flash, her fingers latching around Eve’s neck and slamming her hard enough against the wall to crack her head against it.

“Is that-” Villanelle began to repeat herself but before she could get the first two words out, Eve jammed her fingers in between Villanelle’s hand and her own neck and peeled them off with ease. She twisted the other woman’s wrist, firm grip keeping it bent back, and pushed her back several steps to shove her against the couch. Her free hand pinned Villanelle at the waist, Eve’s thumb digging in hard above her hip bone.

“Your hands do not belong around my throat. You are not my Domme anymore. That’s something you earn and you lost that privilege a long, long time ago.”

The look in Villanelle’s eyes was convoluted. Hard. Angry? Frustrated? Proud? Eve couldn’t tell what she was feeling; Villanelle might not have known either.

She spread her hands flat underneath Eve’s grip, as close a surrender sign as she would have been able to manage under the circumstances, and nodded. “Okay.”

“Okay.”

Eve released her and took several steps back. Villanelle shook out her hands, never taking her eyes off of Eve.

“So what do you want then, my dear? Why did you agree to come?”

Eve didn’t know what to say. There were a thousand answers, a thousand thoughts chasing around in her head.

“Take off your shirt.” Eve wasn’t even aware she was speaking until she heard her own voice, but as soon she said it she knew where she was headed.

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me.”

Villanelle continued to stare at her, mouth slightly open. Then she simply shrugged and pulled the slinky black top over her head, tossing it aside and striking a pose. “Like what you see?”

Eve ignored her performance, focused on the ridged, red line across her lower stomach. She wanted to touch it but she was frozen.

“It never faded.”

Noticing where Eve’s gaze was, Villanelle’s laughed; it dripped with condescension. “Seriously? You’re joking right? You stabbed me. I almost bled to death. It’s not going to fade. Don’t be an idiot, Eve. You’re better than that.” Eve didn’t react, just stared at Villanelle with her mouth in a hard line.

She held her mocking smirk for a few moments longer but eventually, Villanelle’s face softened. “Besides, you should know - don’t you have enough of your own scars to compare? I can’t imagine all my marks are faded either.”

Eve pressed her lips tightly together and inhaled. She let her breath out slowly. “No, they’re still there.”

Villanelle smiled wide, the look fully reaching her eyes. “I’d like to see them.”

Eve kept her expression neutral, unchanged, but began taking slow, measured steps back toward Villanelle. The other woman seemed just a touch uncertain, perhaps surprised. She clearly tried to hide it and did a remarkable job, but Eve had known her a long time. She knew every subtle glint in Villanelle’s eye. Well, she knew a lot of them, at least.

“Would you now?”

“Yes.” Villanelle’s breathy tone gave away any excitement she may have been trying to contain. Eve’s fingers found the buttons on her shirt and released them slowly, in time with each deliberate step. Coming to a stop in front of Villanelle, Eve let the shirt slip from her shoulders and fall to the floor.

“May I?” Villanelle asked. Her tone was faintly mocking, but it was a real question.

“I think that scar may always be yours.”

That seemed to please Villanelle greatly and she pushed herself away from the couch, closing the short space between them. One arm snaked around Eve’s waist while she reached out a finger to trace the two red lines the formed the letter “V” on Eve’s left breast.

“Best thing I ever did with a knife.”

“I’m honored, there’s a lot to choose from.” That really made Villanelle laugh.

“There is. Even just with you there’s a lot.”

Villanelle ran her hands down Eve’s bare back, slowly tracing her fingers along the other scars there. When she reached Eve’s waist, she settled them there and Eve sank into the feeling of her grip.

She couldn’t tear her eyes away; Villanelle had always had such a penetrating stare. It could tear you open, stop your heart, make your knees go weak. Eve never wanted to look away, but it was exhausting just to be seen by her.

“Eve, I-”

She didn’t let Villanelle finish. At this point, it didn’t matter. There was nothing left to say. She pressed forward, sealing every inch of remaining space between them. Eve’s hands on either side of Villanelle’s face pulled them together and a slight gasp escaped Villanelle’s mouth just before their lips met.

They’d kissed countless times before. Years of kisses, fights, anger, break-ups, make-ups, kisses...more than kisses. And it always felt a certain way when they came back together, a certain fire, a certain tension released all at once. It always felt incredible.

Villanelle once said she broke up with Eve simply because the makeup sex was just too good. She wasn’t wrong.

But this was different. It was like something broke inside Eve’s chest and flooded her body and her brain. It was like the best sex they’d ever had in just the first kiss. It was Villanelle. Again. After all this time. Not a dream. Not a fantasy. Not a nightmare. Real.

A lot builds up after eight years.

Villanelle’s arms wove around Eve’s waist, growing tighter and tighter as the kiss deepened. The realization came too late that they were leaning further and further back; they tumbled over the back of the couch and landed in a tangle on the cushions.

Villanelle was quick to reorient herself and scramble to a position on top of Eve, grabbing and pinning her wrists. Eve made an attempt to object to the sharp pain but Villanelle’s lips were right back on her before she could even make a sound.

Her knees squeezed against Eve’s hipbones and she rocked her own hips against Eve each time she pressed her tongue into Eve’s mouth. Then she pulled back suddenly, gasping slightly, eyes bright and wild.

“What now?” Eve whispered, entranced by the light in Villanelle’s eyes.

“I’m going to hurt you.”

“I’ll fight you.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

Chapter Text

The suite was large and open, covering the entire top story with no walls separating any of the spaces. The longest wall was filled with floor to ceiling windows, giving a grand view of the city. A few windows outside remained lit even with the ungodly hour, but mostly it was dark, just enough to a see a few stars.

They’d had sex on a rooftop once. That had been quite enjoyable - dangerous, exhilarating, beautiful, freeing. This was better; this was like touching the stars.

Villanelle rolled off of Eve and onto her feet, grabbing Eve’s wrist to pull her up along with her. She dropped it when they reached the foot of the bed, whirling to face her, excitement coloring every inch of expression.

“Now, Eve...Show me I was right to bring you here.”

Eve blinked once and then instinct took over. She ran her nails down Villanelle’s sides as she dropped to her knees. Not very hard, just the faintest of scratches that would fade well before they were finished. Villanelle’s flowing black pants were secured only with a tie at the waist, a simple tug and they fell down around her ankles.

Eve hooked her finger around the band of Villanelle’s panties. Lace, delicate. With a sharp and sudden movement, she tore a finger through the fabric and dragged it down between Villanelle’s legs, splitting the lace in half. Her fingers barely brushed the soft skin just under the fabric, but they came away wet all the same.

Villanelle made a face. “Those were expensive, Eve.”

Eve tilted her head up to look at Villanelle and placed her hands on the other woman’s thighs, a somewhat nasty smile starting to take over as she dug her fingers in. “Too bad.”

“You better make it worth my while.”

Without warning, Eve pulled her hand from Villanelle’s thigh and thrust two fingers into her, hard and fast. She was wet, so wet; she must have been thinking about this moment for quite a while. Not that Eve could judge.

Villanelle gasped and her knees sagged for a moment before she regained her composure. Eve grinned with satisfaction. “I will.”

Villanelle sucked in a deep shaking breath and when she looked down this time, Eve could see how wide her pupils had gone in just a few seconds. She bent her fingers slightly and thrust them in again. For just a moment, Villanelle’s eyes rolled back into her head.

Eve gave a couple more good thrusts before holding pressure directly on the spot that made Villanelle sigh the most. Then, she leaned in to add her tongue, one long slow stroke across Villanelle’s clit. Then another. Then a slow circle.

At some point Villanelle couldn’t take it anymore and her knees gave out for good. Eve leaned forward in time to slip her free arm around Villanelle’s waist to catch her and ease her back onto the bed. All the while she still managed to keep her fingertips bent just so, in just the way that made Villanelle’s closed eyelids flutter.

She crawled up onto the bed with Villanelle, kneeling over her, hand still between her legs, but pausing to gaze at her face.

“Eve…” Villanelle whined. Her name, in Villanelle’s mouth, in that gasping, desperate tone...it did things to Eve and a small moan escaped her own lips in response to the building pressure between her thighs.

Eve began again, more forceful this time, adding a third finger when two were no longer enough. Villanelle’s back arched, her hips bucked. Her body begged for more, but she refrained from any more verbal pleas. She didn’t need really need to beg though; Eve was taking very good care of her as it was.

Villanelle’s eyes flashed open just before she came, hand flying up to grab Eve’s upper arm. Her nails dug in harder and harder as her breath quickened in time with Eve’s fingers. Then all at once she relaxed, breath released, every muscle giving in at once. Her head and arm fell back to the bed, eyes drifted closed again.

“Eve…” she said, again. Softer this time, like honey and history. It soothed and strangled all at once.

Villanelle seemed to come to fairly quickly. Eve never looked away from her face and when Villanelle opened her eyes, she smiled at the watchful stare. She ran a finger across Eve’s lips and pressed her hands lightly up against Eve’s chest.

They just stared at each other for a while and the connection there; Eve had forgotten how that felt. Or maybe she’d just forced herself to put it out of her mind because it was so painful to be without it. There was nothing else like it. No one else had ever brought it.

Eve sat back slightly, no longer leaning forward on her hands; Villanelle’s hands still rested lightly on Eve’s chest, watching her contendely. Then Eve surprised them both.

She took one of Villanelle’s hands and placed it lightly on her own throat; then she wrapped her own fingers around Villanelle’s. Villanelle’s breathing immediately quickened but she made no movement or protest.

“Who’s going to break?” Eve whispered.

“You are,” Villanelle said, the sheer delight of competition present in her every word.

“Never.”

They clenched their hands in the same moment, never breaking eye contact. Eve felt it immediately; the rush of endorphins, the somehow simultaneous feeling of panic and incredible calm. The whole world was reduced the small area in the very center of her vision - Villanelle. Villanelle’s eyes piercing straight into hers, growing wider with each fraction of a second. Her nostrils flaring. Her lips starting to tremble. Her cheeks growing pale.

Then her lips formed a silent word. “Apple.”

Apple. Their old safeword. Eve let go and Villanelle’s fingers relaxed as well. Her head turned toward the side and her eyes drifted closed, chest rising and falling with heavy breaths. Eve dropped down next to her, their breath falling into synch.

Eve wrested a hand lightly on Villanelle’s stomach and moved in close enough to press a light kiss on her neck, just below her ear. “Good?”

Villanelle smiled, eyes still closed, and reached a hand up to wind through Eve’s hair. “Yes.”

They stayed like that for a while, nothing but the sound of their breathing returning to normal. Eventually, Villanelle broke the silence, “Fine. You’re right.”

“About what?”

“You did get stronger.”

“Told you.”

“I like it.”

“You like it when I fight back.”

“Maybe. I still prefer to win, though.”

“I’m not so sure about that, love. You just don’t like to admit it.”

Eve froze. Love. She shouldn't have said that. Even if it was nothing more than a casual pet name, she shouldn’t have said it. Villanelle didn’t seem to notice though, her lazy smile entirely unchanged.

“You like it when I win.”

“Depends on the game.”

That seemed to entertain Villanelle and laughter trickled into her response, “You like all my games.” Eve didn’t respond, just gave a sort half nod of her head. Villanelle rolled over, half on top of Eve, face inches away from hers, the mischievous glint in her eye setting the tone for her next question, “Which is your favorite game? What did you miss the most?”

Eve contemplated, unable to tear herself from Villanelle’s gaze. She knew the answer, that was easy; saying it was another matter entirely. The night was already unreal, though. It didn’t matter anymore.

“You know I was always a fan of your knives. From the very first time you pulled one on me.”

Villanelle leaned in and whispered in Eve’s ear, “That was always my favorite game too.”

She was so close that Eve could feel every breath on her own lips and Villanelle’s pupils alone took up most of the center of Eve’s vision.

“Okay,” she whispered. Their lips brushed as she spoke.

“Okay?”

“We can play. I assume you brought something fun and sharp.”

Villanelle’s eyes widened in surprise. “Always. But you really-”

“Let’s play, Villanelle.”

Delight and excitement spread over Villanelle’s face in an instant and she leapt up from the bed. Eve continued to lay there, staring at the ceiling. She expected her thoughts to start swarming her in the moments Villanelle was gone rummaging through a bag, but they didn’t. Her mind was blank save for one word: Villanelle.

Villanelle returned to the bed and straddled Eve, one hand held behind her back. She surveyed Eve for several long moments, the tension building and the silence deafening. Then in a quick flash she pulled the knife out from behind her back and twirled it between her fingers. It was on the smaller end, but Villanelle liked that for this kind of thing. She always used to say it was better for delicate work.

The knife suddenly stopped spinning and Villanelle was frozen motionless above Eve, staring at her intently. Eve was breathing was coming faster the longer she waited, but Villanelle seemed to be the picture of calm. Then, without warning, she moved in a single swift movement and pressed the tip of the knife ever so lightly against the beginning of the V-shaped scar on Eve’s left breast. “Can I?”

Eve’s eyes were wide, her breathing shallow. She could hear sound of her blood rushing in her ears. She nodded and placed her hands on Villanelles legs for security.

“I need you to actually say yes, Eve.”

“Yes.” The word spilled out quickly, easily, desperately. “Yes.”

Villanelle’s smile was wide, beyond delighted. “Perfect.”

And then the knife dug in.

The endorphin rush was different than the choking. The choking was slower, gradual, building. It had a strange almost calmness about it.

There was nothing calm about the knife. The first cut made Eve’s vision go white. The only sensations she could feel were the ringing in her ears, the sharp pain in her breast, and the very tips of her fingers digging into Villanelle. Was the knife still there or was it just the wound? She couldn’t tell.

“Breathe.” She could hear Villanelle’s voice through the ringing. She sucked in a breath through her nose and the air burned her nostrils. Letting it out was hard; her chest felt tight. “Breathe.”

She opened her eyes. The room was suddenly very bright but Villanelle’s face above her was clear through the light. It grounded her, her careful gaze was watching Eve’s every move.

“Again,” Eve said, the word tumbling out amongst her next breath.

Villanelle looked very satisfied, sort of proud, and nodded approvingly. The next cut wasn’t as overwhelming as the first. It didn’t flood Eve’s mind as much and she was able to keep her eyes open, able to watch Villanelle’s face as she carefully surveyed her work.

The second one brought the pleasure. The warm swirling feeling in the pit of her stomach, the tingling feeling across the skin of her entire body. Every nerve ending was on fire. She was hyperaware of every place Villanelle was touching her - the other woman’s hand resting lightly on her ribcage, Villanelle’s weight settled on Eve’s hips, her own fingers still clenched tight to Villanelle’s legs. The pain was there, of course, sharp and bright, but it felt good. It lit Eve’s brain on fire.

“Eve,” Villanelle’s voice brought Eve’s focus back to the world around her. “Eve, love. Finished or do you want it deeper?”

Love. “I want it deeper.”

Villanelle grinner. “As you wish.”

Two more slices, quick and efficient. Eve let her head drop back and the feeling wash over her. With closed eyes, she felt Villanelle move off of her and she reached out a hand to feel for her. She heard the sound of the knife being set down on a bedside table and then Villanelle’s hand was in hers. She slid back onto the bead next to Eve, pulling Eve against her and tucking Eve’s head under her chin.

Eve’s eyes drifted back open and she looked down at the the lines of blood on her breast. Droplets were starting to trickle off of them, growing larger and heavier at they flowed. Villanelle wrapped an arm around Eve’s waist to pull her tighter against her. With her other hand, she lightly dragged a finger through the blood, spreading it in streaks across Eve’s chest and along her collarbone.

“Pretty,” she commented, then lifted a blood stained finger and placed it in her mouth. She sucked on it briefly then pulled her finger back out with a slight popping sound and twined her fingers back through Eve’s. “You’re still wearing pants.”

“I suppose I am.”

“How did that happen?”

“Mm. I don’t know.”

“We should rectify that.”

“Hmm?”

“Don’t worry you don’t have to do anything.”

“What are you going to do?”

“You did good, you deserve a reward. Lie back, relax.”

Villanelle gently shifted Eve off of her and back onto the bed. Her fingers quickly found the the button on Eve’s trouser’s and undid it before slipping her hands into them to cup Eve’s ass. Eve hummed in contentment. Villanelle pulled her pants down in a single movement. Freed from the fabric, Eve relaxed, letting her knees drop to the sides.

Villanelle took advantage of that, kneeling between Eve’s legs and running her hands up Eve’s bare thighs. She ran one finger just under the edge of Eve’s panties and Eve shivered at the contact. Villanelle didn’t prolong the teasing, though; it wouldn’t have had much of an effect, with Eve’s head still spinning through light and clouds and fire.

Her panties were gone in a flash and then there was Villanelle. Her mouth, her tongue, her breath. Her. Every sensation had begun to blur together - the sharp pain in her breast, the feel of the blood dripping down her side, the tingling of her skin. Villanelle’s touch just added to the symphony. Every stroke of her tongue sent shockwaves through Eve’s body.

It didn’t take long - or maybe it did, Eve really had no sense of time. She’d been practically riding the edge since she’d set foot in Villanelle’s suite, maybe from the moment she’d heard Villanelle’s ringtone, if she was truly honest with herself. She’d almost come when the knife first sliced into her chest. It wouldn’t have been entirely out of the question; she’d done it once before.

When she finally came though, it was worth every moment of waiting. Her eyes flew open and she screamed louder than she ever had before. She bucked her hips, but Villanelle grabbed them and pinned her down, holding her in place to continue to receive those perfect, delicate strokes on her clit as her orgasm rose and fell and then rose again.

It took it’s time, but it did fade and Eve’s body suddenly felt very heavy against the mattress. Villanelle’s tongue slowed to a stop and she lifted her head slightly, at which point Eve realized her fingers were wound so tightly in Villanelle’s hair that the strands were cutting off her circulation. She let out her breath in a heavy sigh and untangled her fingers.

Villanelle shook out her hair and crawled up to be face to face with Eve. She look delighted, very satisfied and very pleased with herself. Her lips and chin were wet with Eve’s cum and Eve blushed when she noticed it.

“What’s wrong?” Villanelle asked.

“Nothing. You just have…” Eve wiped a thumb across Villanelle’s lips.

Villanelle grinned. “You taste good.” Eve blushed harder but Villanelle was unflustered. She leaned in and pressed a kiss to Eve’s lips, warm and deep. She didn’t pull away when it was finished, instead remained close enough that their lips brushed when she spoke. “See, you taste good.”

She began planting little kisses down the side of Eve’s neck. Eve watched her and then her breast caught her eye. The pain had faded to a dull throb but the blood was a mess. Some of it had started to dry but plenty had dripped down onto the pristine white sheets where it had been smeared around in dramatic streaks.

“We stained the bed, Villanelle.”

Villanelle shrugged, pressing a kiss to the center of Eve’s chest. “They can buy new sheets. I’m sure this place is used to it.” She sat back and looked at Eve. “I will get you cleaned up though.”

Eve tugged at her arm. “Later, I’m fine. Just lay down with me.”

Villanelle settled down next to Eve, wrapping both arms around her and tucking her face into the crook of Eve’s neck. Eve settled back against her, laying her arms on top of Villanelle’s where they crossed over her stomach and twining their fingers together. Eve’s eyes began to drift closed, the sound of Villanelle’s steady breathing and her familiar smell putting her at ease.

It shouldn’t have been so easy to come back together. The passage of time should have meant more. Things should have changed. But it was Villanelle. It was always Villanelle.