Chapter 1: Garden of Eden
“I was fighting some demons.
In the field, I’m deep in.
I was raised in the deep end.”
-‘Envy Me’, Calboy
London, UK, September, 9:11AM
“Shit!” Eve Polastri jumped up from her cozy bed, the covers already calling her back with their warmth and comfort. Her alarm hadn’t alerted her that morning had arrived and the amount of sleep she’d been getting was suspicious.
“Niko! Why didn’t you wake me up?” She asked, hitting him with a pillow. Turning, she headed for her dresser, yanking a pair of palazzo pants and oversized sweater from the same drawer. It really was a wonder she found anything to wear, especially when she simply threw everything in whatever drawer it would fit in.
“You needed your rest.” Was all Niko said before turning his back to her and resuming his sleep.
Eve rushed through her morning routine, and power walked as fast as she could to the local bus stop without spilling her coffee.
It was the first day of classes at Central St. Martins, and Eve was not prepared. Despite having taken a tour of the campus a week prior and spending the last three days designing her classroom, Eve was as nervous as it could get. Fashion Design Womenswear was an extremely challenging course to take. Eve, while an easygoing professor, took her craft seriously. She molded young minds and helped create timeless pieces of clothing that were to be envied by all. At least, that was her goal. And CSM was the exact place for it. In a converted warehouse complex, the college’s infrastructure was just as eclectic as its students and faculty. Renowned for its famous alumni, Central St. Martins was organized into nine programs including the one of the fashion courses that Eve taught.
The stunning Asian woman ran past the glass windows and into the building that she’d spend countless hours over the next thirty weeks. She flew into her design studio. In a frenzy, deposited her shoulder bag and coffee on the desk, spilling just a little.
The deafening silence captured her attention and she turned to watch fifteen sets of eyes peering curiously at her. She took them all in, appraising expressions from amused to confused.
“You.” Eve said, pointing at a random student. He looked more terrified than anything.
“Me?” He asked, pointing at himself.
“Yeah, you. What’s your name?”
“Give me your scarf.”
“M-my scarf?” He looked around at his pupils for confirmation.
“Yes, your scarf.”
His eyes widened a fraction, and he pulled off the formal satin scarf that hung around his neck, and handed it to her skeptically. The entire room watched in silence as she used it to wipe up her spilled coffee before tossing it in the trash bin.
When she turned back to Kenny, his mouth was open and his hand was reaching outward as if yearning to pick it out of the trash.
“It was hideous. I did you a favor.”
Laughter drew Eve’s attention to her left and her eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets. A young woman stood with one arm casually draped over the shoulder of her work mannequin as if they were best friends. Her blonde hair was pulled back into an elegant chignon and her tailored pantsuit told Eve that she came from money. Once she noticed she had captured Eve’s attention, she coolly slipped one hand into the pockets of her Dries van Noten cigarette pants and gave a confident smirk. Eve was instantly enamored with the woman’s confidence. With her posture alone, she let Eve know that she was going to be not only a pain in the ass, but also one of her hardest working students this year. She lived a fashionista lifestyle and she was not going to apologize for it.
Eve took in her expressive eyes and full lips that were painted a lovely shade of neutral pink. She was beautiful, probably a mean girl, Eve deduced, which meant it was the older woman's duty to bring her down a peg or two.
“What’s your name?”
“Villanelle.” The blonde replied, tilting her head. Her accent was different. Eve guessed Russian. “My friends call me Billie.”
“It’s not nice to make fun of the natives, Villanelle.” Eve replied. Villanelle’s eyes flashed. She enjoyed hearing her name coming from Eve.
“Okay.” Eve clapped her hands together once. “Welcome to Fashion Design Womenswear. I’m Professor Eve Polastri. You can call me Eve. I’m brutally honest. You’ll hate me while you’re here, but after graduation, you’ll come back to tell me just how much you learned from me.” That elicited a few chuckles from the group, and she watched as a few of them began to visibly relax. “I’ve been teaching here for ten years, and every year one of my students has won an internship to whichever major fashion house sponsors the end of year fashion show. Don’t let me down this year.”
Many of her students looked impressed, others excited. Except Villanelle. She just looked bored. The blonde looked at her own manicure before using the same hand to cover a yawn that Eve was almost positive was fake.
“This year’s theme is—,” Eve turned back to her desk and opened her portfolio and pushed a few papers out of the way, skimming the contents quickly, “‘duality’. You are each expected to create twelve pieces to showcase. Can anyone tell me why I expect twelve pieces?”
“Because this isn’t our first rodeo.” Villanelle quipped, sarcastically.
“Wrong. Can anyone who isn’t a smartass tell me why?” Eve replied. Villanelle smirked.
A hand went up in the back.
“You,” Eve pointed, “what’s your name?”
“Oh, I’m Hugo.”
“You have an answer, Hugo?”
“Yes, ma’am. Twelve pieces is considered a full collection.” He replied.
“Ten points to Gryffindor. Oh, and Hugo?”
His brows raised in response.
“Don’t ever call me ma’am again.” Eve told him with a smile. A few relaxed laughs went around the classroom. Hugo grinned and nodded his head.
“Any questions so far?”
A few students shook their heads, and others remained silent.
“Great, so, let’s get started.” Eve picked up her cup of coffee and sipped from the now-lukewarm liquid. “Turn to page seven in your text.”
Exactly two hours later, class came to an end. Over the sound of laptops shutting, papers shifting and backpacks zipping, Eve reminded her pupils, “Guys, I expect a few brainstormed ideas and rough sketches when we meet again on Wednesday.”
She turned on the lights that she’d shut off halfway through class and unplugged her laptop from the projector. The studio emptied out, except for one lonesome figure that was headed directly towards her.
“Eve.” The blonde smiled.
When she didn’t say anything else, Eve’s brows raised and she her palms opened. “Questions? Comments? Concerns?”
“You did a very good job today.” Villanelle reached into the Louis Vuitton backpack hanging off of her left shoulder and produced a shiny, red apple. She held it between herself and Eve and her the corners of her lips twitched. Eve suddenly felt like Snow White, and briefly wondered if the apple was poisoned. Reaching out, she accepted it.
“Thanks.” The brunette placed the fruit in her purse before pulling her hair from it’s clip. She fluffed it out, before asking, “So, do you have any ideas for your collection?”
Villanelle, whose expression had gone from amused to something that resembled curious, visibly pulled herself from her own thoughts. “I’ll have to do some research, but I see tailored pant suits on the horizon.”
“This is a womenswear class.”
“Women don’t generally wear,” Eve looked Villanelle up and down, “pant suits.” She had to admit, though, that Villanelle did wear a suit extremely well.
“Duality is both, yes? Two opposed parts coming together to make something,” Villanelle took a step forward and Eve found her personal bubble being invaded, “magical. Sexy. Something different.”
Vanilla and teakwood assaulted Eve’s nostrils and it was such a unique smell. It was equal parts feminine and masculine. A unisex fragrance that would now always remind Eve of Villanelle.
“Fair point.” Was all Eve could manage. She cleared her throat and took one step to the side until Villanelle was no longer overwhelming her senses. Despite making a show of clearing her desk, Eve realized that the young blonde did not pick up on social cues very well.
“Is that your husband?”
Eve looked over to see Villanelle peering at Eve’s laptop background.
A breathy chuckle. “He has an excellent mustache.”
Eve laughed. “He certainly likes to think so.”
Villanelle’s eyes lit up. She liked hearing Eve laugh and she made a mental note that she was going to make sure she heard it more often.
Eve closed her laptop and slipped it into her messenger and Villanelle adjusted her backpack on her shoulder.
“See on Wednesday, Eve.”
“See you Wednesday.” Eve replied and began to gather her hair.
Villanelle headed to the exit, stopping at the door. “Wear it down.”
Before Eve could respond, Villanelle was gone.
“She’s just, like, intense , you know?” Eve said, biting into a raw baby carrot. She leaned her hip against the island in the kitchen and watched as her husband wiped his hands on the dish towel over his shoulder.
“She sounds a little like you. Forward, determined, a little awkward.”
Eve feigned shock. “Me? Awkward?”
Niko grinned and leaned over to kiss her. She hummed into the first kiss. Just before he kissed her again, she put her hand on his chest. “Hungry. Food. Now.”
“Is this all I am to you? A hot meal?” He joked, turning back to stir the contents of a simmering saucepan.
“No. You’re a hot piece of ass, too.” Eve teased back.
Moments later, Niko was serving them a savory home-cooked meal.
“My day was fine, thanks for asking.” Niko half-teased.
“Oh my gosh. I’m sorry.” Eve put a hand on her forehead. “Of course I want to know about your day.”
Niko wasn’t truly upset. He married this woman. He knew that sometimes her mind was cluttered and she was forgetful. But there was balance. Niko, himself, was structured and he remembered what Eve couldn’t. Which was usually anything that involved a calendar.
“It was a shit show.” He commented, shrugging as he drank from his glass of white wine. “The power went out and the backup generators are fucking ancient.”
“Jesus. What did you do?”
“Flashlights and ghost stories.”
Eve laughed, heartily. “I’m sure that was a great first impression.”
“I would say so.”
“I threw a student’s scarf in the trash.”
It was Niko’s turn to laugh. “You did not!”
“I did. Well, after I wiped up the coffee I spilled with it, of course.”
“Oh, of course!” He jokingly agreed as if it were the most normal thing in the world.
“It was ugly, but still, I’m sure my students think I’m nuts now.”
“You are nuts.”
“ Touché .” Eve chuckled.
When they were finished their meal, Niko told her to close her eyes. She did as she was told and listened as he shuffled around the kitchen for a few moments.
"Okay, open them."
She gasped, dramatically. "Tell me that's not what I think it is."
In Niko's hands was a small cake from their favorite bakery. Apple cinnamon crumble cake, to be precise. They moved around the kitchen in perfect synchronicity, Eve gathering plates and utensils while Niko cut the cake into perfect slices. When Eve took the first bite, her eyes immediately shut and she reveled in the smooth taste of the moist cake. Cinnamon, an aphrodisiac, combined with the heady white wine, made Eve's entire body tingle. Mixed with the sweet taste of apple, Eve practically came.
Like the one the serpent enticed Eve with in the Garden of Eden.
Like the one Villanelle had offered her that she'd accepted gratefully.
"Do you want to go upstairs?" Eve asked her husband.
He searched her face and understood almost immediately. Dropping his fork, he stood from his chair, Eve following just behind him.
Chapter 2: A Little T & A
I do so love your reviews and kudos. You're all so lovely. Thank you so much! Updates Sundays and Wednesdays. And if you want to say hi anywhere else, I'm on tumblr at melvncholymvmi OR etherealmvmi, and on twitter at adcspeaks_!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“So, c'mon ride with me,
Ride with me.
See where this thing goes.”
-Bebe Rexha, “Meant To Be”
Central St. Martins, Wednesday, 11:53AM
“Romeo Montague once asked ‘What’s in a name?’ Well,” Eve said, slipping her hands into the pockets of her army green chinos, “with all due respect to Shakespeare, he didn’t know shit about fashion.”
Laughter rang out from her students and Eve smiled, pleased that they seemed more relaxed than they had on Monday.
“But, he was right. A name means nothing unless something can be defined regardless of what it’s called. Shakespeare’s example? A rose. It’s a harder idea to follow when it comes to fashion, but there are a few fashion brands who really get it. For example,” Eve clicked a button on her remote and the slide shown on the projector changed, “who can tell me what this is?”
A few hands shot up.
“You.” Even pointed to a girl in the back of class. “Nadia, right?”
The squirrely girl nodded, and then suddenly looked terrified as people turned to look at her, awaiting her answer.
“Excellent. And this?” Another slide followed the first.
“Helmut Lang.” Kenny interjected.
“Perfect. And this one?”
“Alexander Wang, fall collection.”
“Yes! Last one?”
“Christian Dior, from the 2005 spring-summer collection.” Villanelle input.
“Okay, now, you guys are just showing off.” Eve laughed. Villanelle smiled at her and Eve unconsciously ran a hand through her wild curls. She cleared her throat and turned back to the entire class. “The point is, you all know who these designers are based off of their work. It speaks for itself. So, yes, Romeo was onto something here. Your work needs a name. But it’s what you create that’s important. We have to create clothing that will fill a person’s mind with an instant picture of it’s name as soon as they hear it.
“Tonight’s homework is two-fold. The first part is to create a name for your collection. The second part? To decide just what image you want to conjure in someone’s mind when they hear it. Questions so far?”
“What would you call your collection, Eve?” A student called Diego inquired.
“I had a collaboration with a major fashion label. Extra credit on your first exam to anyone who can tell me which label, what year and what collection.”
Almost immediately every head shot down towards their computers. Fingers tapped away, everyone trying to find the answer first. Everyone except Villanelle.
She sat patiently at her station, one finger tapping against the desktop.
“Someone’s confident that they won’t need the extra credit.” Eve quipped.
Villanelle shrugged and even made that look graceful. “I already know the answer.”
“What the fuck?” Kenny whispered to himself.
“Mm.” Villanelle nodded. “You are great friends with Pheng Lim, better known as Phillip Lim. In spring 2012, you gave him the idea to base his ready-to-wear collection off of Technicolor. It was unofficially titled ‘Sartorial Sorbet’. I own a few original pieces from that collection, by the way.” Villanelle sat back in her chair and crossed her legs, utterly pleased with herself. Eve stared at her, stunned. And just the slightest bit turned on.
The room was silent, every student waited for the confirmation that Villanelle was, indeed, correct.
“What. The. Fuck .” Kenny whispered again. He hoped none of that would be on any exam. Sure, he was familiar with the designer, but that’s where the depth of his knowledge ended. Villanelle must have stayed up all night doing research.
Eve cleared her throat. “Well done, Villanelle.”
The blonde’s smile broadened. She reminded Eve of a child who had been rewarded for good behavior.
“Uh, Eve?” Diego voiced, breaking the eye contact between the two women.
“Looks like we are out of time.”
Eve looked at her watch and her eyes bulged. “You’re right. I will see you all on Friday. Please leave your portfolios on my desk. I’ll take a look at your rough sketches and give my notes when we see each other again.”
Her students packed up their things and filed out of the classroom, leaving their portfolios on the desk beside Eve. She watched as Nadia made her way over to Villanelle’s desk, clutching her portfolio to her chest and stood close to the blonde.
“Billie, how did you know all of those things? You are amazing.”
“Yes. I am.” When Villanelle looked up to see who she was receiving praise from, her lips parted slightly. “I could teach you some things.”
It appeared that only Eve caught the double-entendre.
“Oh, I-I would really like that.” Nadia pushed stray hair behind her ear.
“You have a nice face.” Villanelle complimented. “You would make a lovely model.”
Nadia shook her head once and hugged her leather bound sketches tighter. Eve watched as Villanelle placed her hand on Nadia’s arm.
“Let’s get something to eat, yes?”
A feeling that she couldn’t explain shot through Eve’s chest.
Villanelle gathered her things and the two made their way to Eve’s desk, handing her their rough sketches.
“Villanelle, I’d like to speak with you for a minute.” Eve said. She looked at Nadia and then back to Villanelle.
“I will meet you in the lobby.” Villanelle dismissed Nadia. The mousy brunette turned and dutifully left the classroom with Villanelle watching.
“It’s nice that you’re offering your help to your peers.”
Villanelle tilted her head and bit her bottom lip, coquettishly. “Don’t be jealous, Eve. She just needs someone to help her boost her confidence.”
Eve’s mouth opened in protest before she shook her head and crossed her arms. “That’s not what I want to talk to you about.”
But she didn’t deny it. Why hadn’t she denied it?
“I think you have an amazing encyclopedia of fashion design and it gives you a leg up in this class. So, I was wondering—. Have you considered filling out an application to be a student teaching assistant?”
“ Your TA?”
“Sure. You’re a senior. I’m sure if I put in a good word with Headmistress Martens, the job is as good as yours.”
Villanelle pretended to think. “Long hours. Shit pay.” She hissed as if something had pained her. “I don’t know, Eve.”
“But think of the experience you’ll gain. You and me stuck in this god forsaken studio for hours after class trying to help salvage some of the worst designs you’ll ever see.” Eve joked. “On the plus side, my husband, Niko, will probably bring us homemade dinners.”
“You had me at homemade dinners.” Villanelle replied. Truth be told, Eve had her at ‘you and me ’.
Eve’s shoulders visibly relaxed. “Oh good. I thought I’d have to grovel. Or at the very least, bribe you with alcohol or an iPod or whatever you kids are into these days.”
Villanelle grinned as she took in Eve’s face. She stepped forward and Eve was once again overwhelmed with the lovely scent of her.
“What perfume do you wear?”
“Do you like it?”
“Yes, it’s very—.” For the love of god, use your words, Eve!, Eve rationalized internally. “You.”
“I should hope so. I created it myself.”
“What do you call it?”
“I haven’t decided yet.”
It was then that Eve felt a hand in her hair. “You wore it down.”
“Yes.” Was all Eve could manage.
Why had she worn it down?
“It suits you.”
“Thank you.” Eve didn’t understand what it was about Villanelle that made her forget social norms. Like not letting a student touch her hair so intimately. Though Villanelle was far from normal, that was for certain; she was forward and intimidating, but she seemed to have a soft spot for Eve…
...and Nadia it appears , thought Eve.
“You are welcome.”
Villanelle’s hand fell and she stepped away. Her spell broke and Eve cleared her throat.
“I-I’ll speak to Carolyn, erm, Headmistress Martens and it should be sorted by Monday.”
“Okay.” Villanelle breezed cheerfully, with a cute shrug. “See you Friday.”
Office of Carolyn Martens, 12:24PM
With stunning wood wainscot walls and a floor-to-ceiling bookcase behind her desk, Headmistress Martens was a middle-aged woman of means, but she never used her wealth to make anyone feel less than. She constantly burned the midnight oil, although one could never tell, as she was always flawlessly put together. Over the years, she and Eve had become good friends through their circle of acquaintances.
“So, let me get this straight,” Carolyn steepled her hands together atop of her desk, “ you actually want a student teaching assistant?”
“Sure. Why not?”
“Well, because for the last ten years I’ve tried to get you to take a student under your wing, and you’ve been utterly opposed to them.”
“None of them seemed good enough.”
“Mm.” Carolyn sat back in her chair looking every bit a queen on a throne. “And who is this student who is good enough ?”
Fiona didn’t look the least bit surprised. “Has she filled out the application?”
“I’ll email it to her tonight.”
“Excellent.” When Eve didn’t make a move to stand, Carolyn raised her brows. “Was there anything else?”
“Oh, uh, no. It’s just--.” Eve had to ask. “You don’t have any questions?”
“What would you like me to ask?”
Eve shook her head. “Nothing, I suppose.”
“Look, Eve, I respect your opinion, and if you say this girl is as good as it gets, then you will have my full support.”
Eve nodded. She stood from the visitor’s chair across from Carolyn’s desk. “Thanks.”
Just as Eve got to the door, Carolyn called out for her.
“There is one thing that I need from you, though.”
“I’ll need you and your new teaching assistant to set up a stand for the Back To School fundraiser.”
“Sure. Not a problem.”
Fear not, Villanelle lovers, next chapter will be more from our lovely blonde's point of view.
Chapter 3: Na Zdorovye
Unedited. Sorry. I've gotten so many followers on tumblr and twitter! You all are so sweet! Enjoy!
“It’s just a couple months.
But we do it anyway.
We do it anyway.”
-Willow Smith, ‘Summer Fling’
Kings Cross, London, UK, Friday
The building that held Villanelle’s luxury flat had been converted from a warehouse in the late 90s and had been prime real estate for students at Central Saint Martins ever since. The moment Villanelle walked in, she knew she had to have it, so she’d offered double what the seller was asking for and won the bidding war.
With her bed as the central fixation of the spacious living area, it was clear to whomever walked in that she meant business. Along the western wall were the original floor-to-ceiling windows that opened outward onto a small balcony. Her kitchen ran along the southward-facing wall, complete with built-in stove and vintage icebox. A small vanity and design area was the final focus point of her apartment.
Villanelle stood directly next to her desk, pushpins in her mouth and her concentration completely on the task at hand. She was working on a rough design she’d sketched when she couldn’t sleep the previous night. The suit jacket on the mannequin in front of her was a stunning mint color with one pure white sleeve and one pure white lapel on the opposite side.
Fashion had always been a major part of her life. Villanelle had always enjoyed the finer things in life. Her parents, whom she no longer had a functional relationship with, had raised her with the impression that appearances were everything and people were tools that one used to succeed. She’d met people from all walks of life in her travels with her parents, but Villanelle had never met anyone like herself.
Until, she laid eyes on Eve Polastri. From the moment the woman of Asian descent practically fell through the classroom doors, Villanelle had been fascinated with her. Her blunt attitude and magnificent hair were absolute turn-ons, but it was when Villanelle did full-on research that she truly began to admire her.
In her forty-something years, Eve had accomplished quite a lot in the fashion world. She was friends with amazing designers and had such an extensive knowledge on all things fashion-related that Villanelle knew she still had much to learn. And Eve, as it turned out, could learn a few things from Villanelle. As far as the younger woman could tell, Eve gave off powerful bisexual energy whether she knew it or not. It was a vivid dream of being Eve’s sexual reawakening that had jolted Villanelle out of her sleep the night before.
And by the time she slipped the last pushpin inside of the mint blazer, Villanelle decided that she had to slip just as easily inside of Eve Polastri before the school year was over.
Central Saint Martins, 11:55AM
“Guys, just a reminder that this is the only week that we will meet three times as a class. We will only meet once a week on Wednesdays. The rest of the week is yours to use as you wish. My professional opinion? Spend every waking moment that you can inside of this design studio working on your collection.” Eve reminded her pupils before adding, “My office is number 210, located in Annex B and my hours are listed on the door. Before you guys leave, come pick up your portfolios, take in the notes that I have written beside each design and adjust accordingly. Also, if anyone is ready to put a name to their collections, I’m ready to hear them. See you all on Wednesday.”
A whirlwind of activity followed, everyone excited to get their portfolios returned to them.
“Eve, what do you think about Diego by Diego?” Diego inquires, using his hands to gesture as if he could already see the name in spotlights.
“I think Marc Jacobs thought that Marc Jacobs by Marc Jacobs was a good name, too.”
“Got it. I’ll keep brainstorming.”
Eve gave him his portfolio and a tight smile. “You do that.”
One by one, her students filed past, awaiting her advice nervously. Eventually, at the end of the line, stood Villanelle with her usual self-assuredness.
“Villanelle, as always, you impressed me.” Eve said as she returned Villanelle’s monogrammed book of sketches. “It’s been a long time since a student’s designs have made me feel--.” She opened her hands and searched for the right word, shaking her head. Ultimately, she finished with, “I think that’s it. I felt something when I looked at your work. I was excited to see what was on the next page, sad when I got to the end like when you’re reading a really great novel. More importantly, I’m anxious to see it coming to life. I’m looking forward to it.”
Eve suddenly realized that, perhaps, she was feeding Villanelle’s ego. Any more praise and the blonde’s head was sure to start to resemble a balloon and float completely away.
“I still had a few notes, though. Take them under advisement.”
“Also, it won’t be official until Monday, but,” Eve pulled a folder with the school’s crest in the front from her messenger bag and held it out to Villanelle, “congratulations. You are officially a student teaching assistant. Read through the qualifications and expectations and Headmistress Martens will meet with you Monday to discuss your salary.”
“I’m not doing it for the pay. I’m doing it because I feel that we just have so much to learn from each other.”
Eve’s lashes fluttered and an unmistakable tingling flooded her core.
“Uh, I-I’ll need you to send me an email with a complete list of your other courses so that we can coordinate office hours.”
Eve nodded and turned to gather her things before adding, “Also, leave me with your mobile number.”
Villanelle wasn’t easily stunned by most people. But, Eve, she learned, wasn’t most people. So, when Eve raised her brows, it shook Villanelle out of her stupor. She reached into her Canali calfskin backpack and pulled out a small notebook and pen and wrote her number on it.
If there was one thing Villanelle had never experienced, it was waiting by the phone for someone to text her. And yet, there she was, on a Saturday night, sitting in her loft at her work desk. In a colorful silk robe with her golden hair pulled up, Villanelle sighed as she stared at her computer screen. Her attempts at graphic designing a website for her future collection was going miserably. Every few moments she found herself looking over at her phone in disgust. Just as she shut her computer, giving up for the evening, her phone chimed sweetly.
She snatched it up, only to find a message from Nadia.
Sweet, impressionable Nadia , Villanelle thought with a smile.
Drinks at The Driver? Nadia asked.
Meet you at half past , Villanelle answered. Anything to take her mind off of Eve Polastri.
The Driver, Kings Cross, London, 10:30PM
A boutique pub where modern elegance and timeless style is enhanced by its impeccable service, The Driver offered relaxation mixed with pleasure-driven entertainment. Complete with three floors of dining and drinking areas, Villanelle found Nadia at the bar, leaning over it and asking the barkeep for a drink.
“Let me guess, a chardonnay for the lady?” Was how Villanelle greeted her.
“Billie!” Nadia exclaimed. It was clear she’d already had a couple of drinks while she waited for Villanelle’s arrival.
“You are awfully pink-cheeked.”
“The bartender made me try something called a Dark ‘n’ Stormy. It is actually quite tasty.”
“Well, I should catch up.” She signaled the bartender with no problem at all and pointed at Nadia before holding up two fingers. He nodded and within moments, they had their drinks.
“There’s a terrace on the roof with tables. The weather is nice enough. Want to go?”
“Yes, but we’re waiting for two more people.”
“Yeah, oh--look, there they are.” Nadia waved over Villanelle’s shoulder. “Kenny, Hugo, you guys know Billie from class.”
The last thing Villanelle wanted were this two cockblockers ruining the evening. But if she wanted to get Nadia to go home with her, she decided that she would have to play nice and mingle with them.
“Oi, first round’s on me, yeah? What are we drinking, dark or light?” Kenny asked them.
Maybe they’re not the worst, Villanelle considered.
Up on the rooftop decked terrace, the group found the perfect spot with a lovely view of the city lights. They took shots and drank and breezed straight through the pleasantries about school. Once the liquor finally took ahold of them and everyone relaxed enough to laugh and speak freely, the truly great conversations and debates began. Between the music at just the right level that they had to speak louder than normal, and the enthusiastic group on the opposite side of the terrace, Villanelle took a moment to realize that she was having a quintessential college experience with her peers.
They were deep in a discussion about the pros and cons of celebrities dating celebrities when the group across from them let out a chorus of ringing laughter followed by one of them jumping up with both hands in the air. The action drew only Villanelle’s attention and she thought she was having an out of body experience.
Eve fucking Polastri plopped back into her seat and held out her hand. Villanelle watched as her companions slapped bills into her hand. She’d won some sort of bet, but that’s not what kept Villanelle’s interest. It was the fact that Eve looked so in her element around her friends. Two darker skinned women and a gentleman who looked slightly older than Eve sat around the table. Villanelle recognized the two women as professors at CSM.
“Earth to Billie? Come in, Billie.” Hugo said, and whistled once. Villanelle turned her attention back to her group and raised her brows.
She looked at the half-full glass still on the table and shook her head. “I’m good. Thank you.”
“Hey, isn’t that Professor Polastri?” Kenny wondered aloud. Villanelle, now with a good reason to look over, saw as Eve knocked back one more shot and clapped her hands together once before grimacing.
“Yes. I think it is.” Villanelle feigned interest.
When Hugo returned with fresh drinks, he, Nadia and Kenny jumped into a new topic of discussion. But the only thing Villanelle could focus on was trying not to turn and stare at her fashion design professor.
She lost the battle, however, and when she turned, Eve was looking directly at her. The older woman’s expression changed from shocked, to worried and ended with a small, unsure smile. She held her drink up to Villanelle and shrugged.
Villanelle reached for her own and held it up in a silent toast.
Let the games begin.
Chapter 4: Sweet Treat
Sorry for the late update. Pride was yesterday in my city and oh, god, the pure joy! I needed it! I hope this chapter makes up for missing my deadline. Also, I plan on making a Spotify playlist for this. Let me know if y'all are interested.
“Shut your mouth, baby.
Stand and deliver.
Oh, they make me a sinner.”
-Bishop Briggs, ‘River’
It had been all Niko’s doing. Really, it had. Although, Eve certainly did nothing to discourage the idea. But around noon on Sunday, Eve finally put Villanelle’s phone number to use.
“You look beautiful as always, darling.” Niko told his wife when he caught her staring at her reflection in the mirror.
“You think? It’s not too understated?” She pulled at the neckline of her grey sweater and tilted her head, wondering if it paired well enough with her boyfriend cut jeans.
“Not at all.” He kissed the crown of her head and left her in the room to stew in her thoughts.
She couldn’t believe Niko had suggested that they have a celebration dinner for Villanelle’s new position as her teaching assistant, but he did. He wanted to get to know the woman who would be spending so much time with his wife, and who would probably be in his home at times. More importantly, he’d noted, Eve seemed truly impressed by Villanelle, so he wanted to see just what all the fuss was about.
Just as Eve was about to consider changing into a v-neck shirt, the doorbell chimed. She took a deep breath and exhaled before exiting her bedroom to answer the door.
“Hi, thank you.” In a custom-dyed mint Chloé top, asymmetrical jean shorts and Doc Martens, Villanelle was the picture of casual. Her blonde hair was down and shined so vibrantly that it took everything inside of Eve not to reach out to touch it. “You look amazing.”
And just that quickly, every doubt Eve had about her ensemble pairing flew out of the window. “Are you kidding me? Why do you always look like you’re coming from a photoshoot?”
Niko joined Eve at the door and held out his hand. “Niko. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Villanelle smiled and shook his hand. “Likewise. Thank you for inviting me.”
They stepped further into the house and Villanelle gifted the couple a bottle of white wine.
“This is a--.” Niko began.
Villanelle interjected, “ Montrachet Grand Cru , yes.”
“This is like a thousand dollars a bottle.”
“Twelve hundred, actually.” Villanelle’s nose wrinkled sweetly. “It’s better chilled.”
Niko took that as his cue to put it in the freezer before he returned to the stove to check on dinner. Eve gave Villanelle a small tour of their house, ending in her design studio.
“Eve, this is amazing.”
“Thank you. It’s just somewhere to work while I’m home.”
Villanelle took in the custom-made cubby-hole shelves that took up an entire wall. Most slots were filled with design tools or fabric. Others held books and small succulents and air plants. There were some pictures placed sporadically throughout the room, majority of them of Eve with famous designers.
“So, I almost forgot that we are required to set up a stand at the Back To School night fundraiser.”
“That’s in two weeks.”
“I know. And I know it’s lame, but teaching isn’t always glamorous.” Eve joked.
Villanelle continued her slow lap around the room, her right hand tracing the outline of certain objects that drew her attention.
“I told you. I didn’t take the job for the perks. I took it to be closer to you. To learn as much as I can from you.”
“If I recall, you wanted to teach me things as well.” Eve immediately regretted the words the moment she said them. Had that sounded too sexual? Was Villanelle going to take it the wrong way?
Quick-witted as ever, Villanelle instantaneously responded, “Yes, would you like a lesson now?”
Villanelle’s right brow lifted and fell with such a quickness, that Eve began to think she imagined it.
Flustered, Eve turned to her desk and pretended to tidy up a stack of sketches as she changed the subject. “So, h-have you, uh, come up with a name for your collection?”
“ La Villanelle .”
It was classy, for sure, and Eve could actually envision the clothing’s label and logo.
“A little narcissistic, no?”
“Maybe.” Villanelle said, crossing her arms over her ample chest. “You said we should give our collection a name that will put a picture of what we want in someone’s mind.”
“And what picture did it put in yours?”
Soft fabrics slipping off of your perfect body , Eve thought before shaking her head once to clear that image.
“Well… you.” Eve admitted. “But that’s because I know you.”
“And so will the masses if I do my job correctly.”
Eve looked at her curiously and shook her head. “Where does your confidence come from?”
“I assume the same place that yours comes from. Knowing that we’re smarter and more clever than most people in our field.”
Eve didn’t have the time to comprehend her compliment before Niko gave a gentle knock on the open door.
“I was wondering where you two got off to.”
Villanelle smirked, enjoying a private joke.
“Wine is chilled. Dinner’s ready. Shall we?”
Villanelle was polite enough when it came to Niko’s dinner conversation. She answered his questions with as few words as possible, and offered little knowledge about herself. But when Eve talked, she listened intently and gazed at the older woman as if she knew the meaning of life. Niko cleared their dinner plates and excused himself when the home phone rang.
“Dessert?” Eve asked, opening the icebox. She leaned in and Villanelle admired the view.
“Depends on what you’re offering.”
Eve pulled out a covered tray of individual brulee bowls of fruit fool.
“Bold, don’t you think?” She placed the tray on the small, kitchen island. Unwrapping one, she dipped a finger into it and slipped it into her mouth. She watched as Villanelle’s eyes drifted downwards to take in the movement.
“Flirting with me while my husband is in the next room.” She didn’t know where the fearlessness to make that statement had come from. Maybe it was the three glasses of wine she’d downed at dinner. They’d done wonders to ease her nerves, but now, she was toeing the line between appropriate and danger.
“Bold to assume I was flirting with you.”
“You always are.”
“Do you want me to stop?”
They both knew the answer, but Villanelle practically salivated as she waited to hear it.
“Spoons.” Eve commanded, pointing at the cutlery drawer furthest from the sink. Spoons, she could talk about. Spoons were safe. The blonde retrieved the silverware and held one out to Eve.
Eve watched as Villanelle headed back to the table to pour more wine. Moments later, Eve had yet another chilled glass between her fingers. Eve considered herself a very open person. She hadn’t had any sexual experiences with women, not even in college, but she hadn’t completely ruled it out. Women were beautiful and capable of so much greatness. She could appreciate a prominent clavicle, supple breasts and the curve at the small of a woman’s back.
She had very delicate features, Eve remembered thinking the first time she saw Villanelle, “ eyes like a cat; wide, but alert. Full lips. High cheekbones.
Eve imagined that if she had been interested in women, it would be one just like Villanelle. Tall, honey blonde, insane style, absolutely unobtainable. But, as it were, she’d chosen Niko. Took vows and made promises. She would try as hard as she could to fight the attraction she had to Villanelle. Whatever it was.
And almost as if the Universe heard her silent prayer, Niko’s muffled conversation ended and he made his way back into the room.
“Got into the goodies already?” He asked.
“Oh, not yet.” Villanelle answered. “But I am dying to get my hands on them.”
Eve sputtered into her wine, nearly choking. Niko took the wine glass and patted her back as she coughed.
“Eve, darling, are you okay?” He asked.
“Yeah. Yeah. I’m good.” She cleared her throat a few times.
“Well, that is it , young lady. Niko and I are cutting you off.” Villanelle teased. And if looks could kill, Villanelle was sure she’d have surely gotten the ax.
After dessert, Niko retired to the den to watch a little television.
“He will sit in that chair until his eyes start to get heavy.” Eve said. Villanelle ran two fingers across the back of the recliner, and the corner of her lips twitched. Eve led her back to the design studio.
“So, Back To School Night normally has a theme.” Eve opened her laptop and signed into her email. Scrolling through the junk mail and messages that she just didn’t want to address, she found the flyer Carolyn had sent her. “This is a carnival theme.”
Villanelle pulled a face. “Seriously?”
“Cotton candy booth?” Villanelle’s eyes widened, hopefully.
“You really have a sweet tooth.”
“‘Let food be thy medicine’.” Villanelle quoted conversationally, before leaning over Eve’s shoulder.
Eve turned her head to look at her, brows furrowed. “Who said that?”
“Mm. Well, Ralph Waldo Emerson said ‘the first wealth is health’.
“Hm. Wasn’t he poor?” Villanelle asked, teasingly. It was an insensitive joke, but the younger woman caught Eve trying to stifle a smile as she turned back to the screen.
Eve pointed to the open options. “Concession stand, photo booth, game booth or kissing booth.”
In unison, they turned to look at one another.
“Photo booth could be fun.”
Without skipping a beat, the honey-haired beauty responded, “So could the kissing booth.”
“Yes, but that would require one or both of us to kiss a shit ton of people.”
Villanelle’s nose scrunched in the cutest possible way and stood to her full height, turned and sat on the desk. “Not interested. I only want to kiss one person.”
Eve made it her mission not to respond to that comment. She, instead, typed a concise email to Carolyn.
“Photo booth, it is.” She said as she hit send.
“Party pooper.” Villanelle crossed her arms over her chest.
“Pout all you want.” Eve leaned back in her desk chair. “It’s cute.”
“Bold, flirting with me with your husband downstairs.”
“Bold of you to assume I’m flirting.”
“I never assume. I’m very good at knowing what people want. I wouldn’t be a good designer if I didn’t.”
Eve laughed. “Please, oh Wise One, tell me what it is that you think I want.”
Villanelle uncrossed her arms and bent at the waist. She turned Eve’s swivel chair toward her, hands on either of the armrests. Looking Eve dead in the eye, and told her, “Me.”
Eve’s lips parted. Her heart pounded. And her panties flooded with arousal. Villanelle’s eyes flicked downward to her lips and back up to stare into eyes like untainted chocolate. They gazed at one another, each daring the other to lean forward. Eve’s chest rose and fell quicker and Villanelle’s lashes fluttered.
“I should go.” She said. “Thanks for dinner, Eve. This was delicious.”
Chapter 5: Round One
This chapter is a little shorter than the others because I had to break it up. Next chapter is much longer. Enjoy!
PS. the songs I post at the beginning are the songs I was listening to as I write and/or edit.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“I’ma take her soul
If she try to play me
‘Cause that’s all mine
That’s my lil’ baby.”
Trippie Redd, ‘Romeo & Juliet”
Villanelle had sat through a marketing course with absolutely no clue what the fuck her professor was talking about. It was the first day of her office hours with Eve and it was all she could think about throughout the day. By lunchtime, she’d inwardly scolded herself for acting like a teenager in love. Because she wasn’t a teenager anymore, and the stakes were much higher for both herself and Eve. Eve was married. She had an actual husband who absolutely adored her. Not to mention Villanelle was Eve’s student. While there weren’t explicit written rules barring faculty and students from having neither relations nor relationships, it was certainly frowned upon.
But there was no stopping the attraction that Villanelle felt for Eve Polastri. She wanted her, plain and simple. And as a woman of means, she was used to getting everything and every one that she wanted.
So it was during their first day of shared office hours, that Villanelle made her first move.
Awkward probably wasn’t the right word. Tense was a better way to put it. The pair moved silently around Eve’s small office. There was just enough room for two desks, four chairs and bookshelves on either side of them. A few framed educational achievements hung on the walls, and more plants decorated the corners and bookshelves. While Eve’s home hoarded more totems of who she was as a person, her office was very minimalistic. Two students had made appointments to see Eve during her office hours, though neither appointment had been longer than thirty minutes.
So, it was Villanelle’s duty to sit and complete her own work as they waited for the end of office hours. Every now and then, Eve would clear her throat or make a small grunt of disapproval as she scrolled through her laptop. The clacking of computer keys filled the remainder of the silence. It was infuriating, really, for Villanelle to be in such close quarters, door closed, and absolutely no real claim to the prize between Eve’s thighs. So, she placed her sketching pencils on the table and stood up.
“Mm?” The older woman hummed, not looking up from her laptop.
“Could you take a look at this and tell me what it’s missing.” She crossed the small expanse of the room and stood beside Eve’s chair. Handing her the sketchbook, Villanelle sat on the desk, crossing her legs. The black Rag & Bone shift minidress that she wore slipped further up her alabaster thighs and she watched as Eve’s eyes lifted from the page.
Eve’s fingers twitched and her grasp on the sketchbook tightened.
Eve looked up, and Villanelle raised her brows. “Any suggestions?”
The suit on the page was absolutely flawless, and she knew Villanelle knew that. “What shirt would you pair with it?”
“None. It’s designed to be worn as a shirt without a bra.”
“The only problem with your work is that you design clothes for people like you.”
“I don’t understand how that is a problem.”
Eve sat the work down and leaned back in her chair. “Not everyone looks like you.”
“That’s for sure.”
“But that’s the problem. If you want the masses to know who you are, you have to make clothes for the masses. You have to design things that every day people who are all shapes and sizes can put on and feel good about themselves.”
“You think I make clothes for thin people.”
“I think you make clothes for models.”
“Everyone can be a model. Fashion is about putting on a piece of clothing and really owning it no matter what you look like. It’s about gaining that inner confidence.”
“Not everyone will even have the confidence to buy a blazer that is meant to be worn as a shirt without a bra.”
That gave Villanelle an idea. “You are right. Thank you, Eve.”
“You’re… welcome?” Eve replied, confused but relieved that she no longer had to avoid staring at Villanelle’s perfect fucking legs.
Eve turned back to her computer, clicking on a new email to read.
“You really are good at what you do, Eve.”
Villanelle placed her hand on Eve’s, effectively halting her movements. She felt Eve’s hand flex. Mere seconds before Eve looked up at her, she slowly removed her own hand, fingers brushing delicately across Eve’s wrist. She turned on her heels and flounced back to her own desk.
“Do you mind if I head off? I have a dinner date.” Villanelle requested.
“A date?” Now she had Eve’s full attention. “With who?” Not that it was any of her business, or so Eve tried to remind herself. “I mean, you don’t have to tell me, if you don’t--.”
“Oh. Uh,” Eve looked at her watch, “yeah. Sure. I should get going soon, too.” She closed her laptop and began shuffling miscellaneous papers together.
When they were both packed up, Eve crossed the room to the door at nearly the same time as Villanelle. She started to open the door, but a hand pushed it closed once more. Suddenly, Eve was all to aware of a warm body mere inches from her own, and Villanelle’s perfume was invading her senses once again. Her eyes closed and every nerve ending was suddenly alight with desire. A rush of adrenaline surged through her heart as it started beating a mile a minute.
With her lips centimeters from Eve’s ear, Villanelle whispered, “Tell me not to go and I won’t see her.”
She was absolutely delighted to see a chill run down Eve’s spine. Seconds seemed like hours. Their breaths quickened and the sheer exhilaration of the moment could have made Eve come just then.
But she was the teacher here. She was supposed to be the voice of reason, and good god , it was not an easy decision to make. Eve watched as Villanelle’s hand moved from the door to her forearm, and slid softly downwards until their middle and pointer fingers were locked.
“Tell me.” Villanelle repeated.
Eve took a deep breath. Gave a slight shake of her head. Unlocked her fingers from Villanelle’s, and opened the door. “Have a lovely time.”
And with that, she was gone, leaving Villanelle to wonder: who actually won round one?
come say hi on Twitter: adcspeaks_ or Tumblr: melvncholymvmi or etherealmvmi
“Break up with your girlfriend
Yeah, yeah, ‘cause I’m bored.
You can hit it in the mornin’.
Yeah, yeah, like it’s yours.”
Ariana Grande, “break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored”
It didn’t take much to get Nadia to bed. Villanelle wasn’t sure if that was a testament to her own manipulation or if Nadia was just that easy. She suspected the former, but the fact remained: there was no real challenge. Nadia took to Villanelle like a moth to a flame and would never have a clue about just how fitting that analogy was.
Villanelle knelt on the bed and sat back on her haunches. “Open them.”
Nadia hesitated for a moment, unsure just how much of herself she wanted to expose. She parted them, but just barely.
“Don’t be shy, little pet. Show me.” Villanelle purred. She reached forward and placed her hands on Nadia’s knees, pushing her legs far apart. Nadia blushed a lovely shade of pink, silky wetness now on display.
“For me?” Villanelle asked, not expecting an answer, but was pleasantly surprised when Nadia shyly nodded her head. She bent closer and the moment her mouth connected with Nadia’s pussy, her eyes closed and she was suddenly with Eve. Utterly determined to give her nothing but pure pleasure.
Like a kitten trying milk for the first time, Villanelle flattened her tongue and gave an exploratory lick straight up the center. Nadia cried out. Her hands flew to the top of her lover’s hair. Villanelle rested her palms on the back of her thighs and pushed upwards so Nadia was completely spread open, knees bent, feet completely off of the bed.
Her lips wrapped around Nadia’s clit and she sucked gently. Villanelle teased her endlessly, bringing her higher and higher. Closer and closer. She rolled her tongue back downwards before thrusting it inside of Nadia’s cunt.
“ Oh god ! Yes !”
Nadia’s fingers tangled in Villanelle’s hair. She bowed and flexed, her hips moving on their own as she tried to find just a little… more friction . It was almost primal, the way her brain rewired itself to only want one thing in that moment. Every nerve ending was on fire, her skin prickled and she could feel Villanelle everywhere . And it was when Villanelle replaced her tongue with two fingers, slipping inside of Nadia’s nectar and her mouth returned to Nadia’s clit, that Nadia was gone .
Really, Villanelle was impressed with herself. It didn’t normally happen so fast. Most women took just a little bit more to push them over the edge. She gave herself props, but didn’t stop.
She fucked Nadia through one orgasm straight into another. Corkscrewing her fingers while simultaneously making a “come hither” motion, Villanelle sucked softly on Nadia’s small bundle of nerves. Nadia held Villanelle’s head in place and her back arched off of the bed.
“ Fuck! Yes! ”
Villanelle slowed her motions, letting Nadia really feel her against every wall as she rode out the aftershocks of her second climax.
When she finally caught her breath, Nadia laughed. It was a sweet sound and it made Villanelle look up.
Nadia removed her hands from her soft hair and put them on either of Villanelle’s cheeks. “You are very good at that.”
“I am good at everything.”
“And so modest.”
“Oh, very .” Villanelle said and they shared a laugh. She climbed up the bed and sat near the pillows beside Nadia’s head. She leaned her head against the headboard, her floral satin robe nearly baring her full breasts.
They were quiet for a few moments, Nadia breaking the silence first. “I’m not, uh—. What I mean is, I don’t—. This is—.”
A shy chuckle. “Yes. I mean I’ve only been with men and not very many. But you,” Nadia looked up at Villanelle, “you are very tempting.”
“Oscar Wilde said ‘the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it’.”
“I suppose he was onto something. But I don’t want to get rid of you.”
Villanelle’s head lolled to the right and she looked down at Nadia. There was a strange feeling inside her chest. “You don’t?”
“No, but there is another temptation I’d like to yield to.”
Villanelle raised a brow. “Is that so?”
The brunette nodded. “I’d like to taste you .”
Fuck . Those were pretty words from a lovely little mouth.
Villanelle slipped a leg across Nadia’s waist, straddling her. She tilted forward, one hand propping her up and the other gravitated to Nadia’s slender neck. Applying a little pressure, she offered the one thing she knew she would never give to Nadia, “Do you want to kiss me?”
The poor, sweet girl nodded. Villanelle slid up her body, using the headboard as leverage, until her bare pussy was just angled above her face.
“So, kiss me.”
She felt Nadia’s hands on her thighs before she saw them. They hooked around and pulled Villanelle straight down onto her mouth. Her kisses were tentative, at first, as she tried to gauge Villanelle’s reaction. Not easily impressed, but always willing to encourage a new lover, Villanelle ground down against her mouth. Nadia took the hint and shifted her efforts further up, lavishing her clit with attention.
“ Jesus, fuck! Right. There .”
Nadia teased Villanelle into a frenzy. She gripped Villanelle’s thighs tighter and became a completely different person when she felt Villanelle’s nectar run down her chin. Her hands caressed up the blonde’s lovely body, untying her robe. Villanelle looked down and saw a hunger in her eyes; Nadia was determined to get her off. It was almost laughable at how willing she was to please. If Villanelle had been into the BDSM lifestyle, Nadia would have made one hell of a submissive.
She took Nadia’s hand in her own and moved them up until they were squeezing her breasts. Once Nadia got into the perfect rhythm, Villanelle rested one hand on the headboard and let the other get knotted into Nadia’s hair. And when Nadia pinched her nipples, Villanelle came… hard .
Nadia fucking Kadomtseya , Eve stewed. She paced in her studio, sketching notebook in hand and pencil in her mouth. What did they have in common besides being Russian for god’s sake?
Nadia was quiet and lacked self-assurance. She wore dark colors, mostly cargo pants, henley shirts and oversized jackets as if she was trying not to draw attention to slim figure. In the grand scheme of things, it seemed like Nadia was simply existing.
Villanelle was the complete opposite. She was bold, daring, so in your face that she was impossible to ignore. It didn’t matter if she wore vibrant colors or if she wore nothing at all, when she walked into a room, Villanelle captured everyone’s attention. The woman was living .
And then, there was Eve. She was an obsessive fashion designer who, no matter how hard she tried, couldn’t focus on one thing at a time. Except when it came to Villanelle. She found herself thinking about the young blonde more often than not. Eve was fucking her husband more and getting off to a fantasy of Villanelle’s head between her thighs. She managed to convince herself that there was nothing wrong with fantasizing, as long as she didn’t act on it.
Eve tossed her sketches onto the desk and grabbed a prepared needle. She slipped it through two pieces of fabric and made quick work of a cross stitch. In less than twenty minutes, half of a collared leather shirt same to life. The leather had been dyed evergreen and, once completed, would have a very Edwardian look. It would be unique, that was for certain and only a special person would be bold enough to wear it.
“ Fucking aye .” Eve huffed, pulling the pencil out of her mouth. She snatched an empty wine glass off of the desk and stormed downstairs to pour herself more Riesling. Now she was making clothes for Villanelle? Who was she turning into, June fucking Cleaver ? Was nothing sacred anymore ?
Niko was home; the TV was blaring some godforsaken program and he was probably sitting in that stupid chair. Great . Bottle of wine under her arm, Eve headed back to her studio, grabbing her mobile off of the foyer table first. She was exhausted and just tipsy enough that her newest composition would be considered haute couture.
Back in her sanctuary, Eve plopped down in the chair, staring at the leather shirt that now dangled off of its mannequin. Before long, she’d down another glass. Then another. And by the time she poured the remaining contents of the bottle in her glass, her head was all over the place. She picked up her phone, tapped a few times on the screen until her text thread with Villanelle was in front of her. There were so many things to say. A plethora of words that she should string together to let Villanelle know that this was completely inappropriate and she shouldn’t be trying to seduce a married woman. She’d gone so far as to type up an entire paragraph in the message line before deleting it.
Eventually, what she sent was:
Don’t kiss her.
An hour passed with no response from Villanelle. So, Eve composed another message.
Forget I said that. Kiss her if you want to. I don’t care.
Twenty minutes followed. And Eve tried to work on the shirt, deciding where the gauche buttons would go.
Last message and then I’ll leave it alone , thought Eve. So, she picked up her cell phone again.
I didn’t mean that I don’t care about you or Nadia. I meant I don’t care about you kissing her.
There. That would do it. Shouldn’t it?
Under her message, it suddenly said: Read 23:41PM . Three dots jumped onto the screen and Eve’s heart started pounding. Villanelle was awake and she was typing back!
The dots disappeared, but then reappeared moments later.
Only to vanish again.
Eve downed the final swallow of wine and decided that it was time for bed before she made any other rash decisions that evening.
Don’t kiss her.
Forget I said that. Kiss her if you want to. I don’t care.
I didn’t mean that I don’t care about you or Nadia. I meant I don’t care about you kissing her.
Villanelle must have stared at those messages for nearly one full minute. Her thumbs danced across the screen, trying to come up with the perfect response.
But that one didn’t seem good enough. So she erased it and half wrote another. Then the bathroom door was opening and, steam seeping out, Nadia reentered the bedroom. Villanelle quickly deleted the message and locked her phone before smiling at her guest.
“This was fun.” Villanelle remarked.
“Yes. It was. Thanks for—.” Nadia made a gesture with her hands and her damp hair moved against her shoulders.
“The sex? You are welcome.” If there was one thing Villanelle adored, it was a polite houseguest. She curled one foot under her bum and watched as Nadia quickly gathered her shoes and jacket. Neither girl wanted to have a sleepover, so it was time for Nadia to do her walk of shame.
Or rather, take part in the get-laid parade as Villanelle liked to call it.
“I’ll see you in class tomorrow.”
Villanelle gave a reassuring smile and nodded once. Nadia stood in front of her, finally fully dressed and gave her a double kiss, one on either cheek.
“See you tomorrow.” Villanelle assured her.
Once the brunette was gone and Villanelle heard her front door shut, she quickly retrieved her phone only to stare at Eve’s messages once more. Full-on grin, and a little shimmy of the shoulders as a happy dance to match.
Invisible affair clock? Right on schedule.
CSM, Kings Cross, London, Wednesday 9:03AM
Her entire fucking studio smelled like Villanelle. She’d smelled it the second she walked in, but the annoyingly fashionable blonde was nowhere to be found. Why couldn’t she get Villanelle out of her head? Was it getting to the point that she was now conjuring up the pure scent of the younger woman? She set up her laptop to the projector and pulled herself onto a high stool just beside her desk.
“Insecurity basically drives sales in the fashion industry.” Was how Eve started her lecture. “If you’re taking Strategic Fashion Management with Professor Pargrave, he likes to tell you to prey on the insecure. That’s because he’s a little shit.”
The class and Eve shared a laughed.
“And you can tell him I said that. He’s a really great friend of mine. But, what I’m trying to get you guys to understand is that you want your clothing to make everyone feel confident. I had a stimulating conversation this past—.” Eve was interrupted as Villanelle flounced into the room, late, holding a takeaway coffee cup from Noble Espresso. Her hair was in two braids and she donned a green Miu Miu satin bomber jacket overtop of a black tee. She completed the outfit with waxed black utility pants, Doc Martens and her signature shit-eating grin.
“Sorry, I’m late” She said to Eve as she bit the straw of her iced coffee. And Eve was well-aware that she wasn’t the least bit sorry. She’d wanted to make an entrance; wanted to throw Eve off her game.
“Nice of you to join us.”
Villanelle gave a small wave to Nadia, who blushed furiously and waved back. She took a seat at her work station, gazing directly at Eve. Her eyes roamed down, taking in Eve completely before they met her eyes again. Her wild curls were pulled up, no doubt a protest of Villanelle’s desires for her to wear them down.
“As I was saying, I had a stimulating conversation about confidence this past week. It made me realize that it’s partly our duty, as designers, to make clothes for everyone. There is no one standard of beauty. People come in all shapes, sizes and colors and from all different backgrounds. Your clothes should be made to fit the people, not the other way around.” As she spoke, the projector showed a slideshow of models on the runway and in magazines that were extremely diverse.
“So, this week’s assignment is to people watch. Go somewhere public: a park, a coffee shop, the library. Maybe even talk to people, network and see if they’d be willing to wear your designs in the end of year fashion show. And then go home or come here to the studio and begin to work on some pieces.”
A rousing debate about body positivity and the once exclusivity of fashion began. Eve listened to her students’ opinions and how they, themselves, had been affected by the manner in which fashion was displayed in the media and on their online social accounts. Hugo and Diego happily played devil’s advocate, which kept the conversation going even longer. Before long, it was nearly time for class to be dismissed.
Eve glanced at her watch and her eyes bulged. “Alright guys, as much as I hate to do this, we are out of time. We’ll pick this up next time we see each other. As always, my office hours are on my door in Annex B. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to me, my lovely new teaching assistant, Villanelle Astankova is also available to everyone. Go. Conquer the fashion world.”
Villanelle remained seated, completely composed, even as a flurry of movements surrounded her. Nadia stopped at her desk and Eve watched, furtively, as they spoke quietly for a few moments. Once Villanelle dismissed Nadia with a smirk and a wink, they were left alone in the studio.
Eve stood behind her desk and Villanelle sat behind hers. They stared each other down for what felt like an eternity. Then, wordlessly, Villanelle stood, gathering her things. She approached Eve’s desk slowly.
“Take your hair down.”
“It’s a tangled mess.”
“Take it down.”
Eve pulled her hair from the elastic and shook it out with her hands.
“Wow.” Villanelle took an audible breath, reaching out to push a few locks behind Eve’s ear. “Beautiful.”
“I thought about you last night.”
“Really. That’s interesting. Since you didn’t text me back.” Eve mentally kicked herself. She hated just how much she sounded like a resentful teenager.
“Don’t be that way.” Villanelle discreetly linked her pointer finger with Eve’s. “I didn’t kiss her.”
She watched as Eve’s expression went from hopeful to confused.
“I told you, I’m only interested in kissing one person.”
Someone cleared their throat from the doorway. Eve quickly pulled her hand away from Villanelle and took a step back, reaching for her laptop.
“So, let’s talk about that a little more in detail during office hours this week and we also have to go over what props we’ll have for the carnival’s Photo booth.” Eve covered.
“Okay. We’ll talk then.”
Villanelle turned and headed towards the exit, smiling at the beautiful dark-skinned woman in the doorway. She recognized her as one of the women she’d seen with Eve on the bar rooftop.
When she was out of earshot, Professor Elena Felton stepped into the room, grinning from ear-to-ear. “Looks like someone has a teacher’s pet.”
Eve rolled her eyes. “She just wants to learn from me.”
“I bet she does.”
“Oh, stop it.” Eve tried to laugh it off. “What are you doing here?”
“Uh, hello, we’re supposed to be having brunch. Remember? Endless mimosas at Drake and Morgan?”
Eve slapped a palm to her forehead. “I totally forgot.”
“It’s okay. I know you’re busy. Do you want to reschedule?”
“God, no. Are you kidding? I could use a drink right now.”
“Stressed already? It’s only week two.”
“You don’t even know the half of it.”
“Well,” Elena said, as they started towards the door, “let’s go get champagne drunk and you can tell me all about it.”
If only it were that simple , thought Eve.
come say hey on tumblr: melvncholymvmi or etherealmvmi (fan page).
Chapter 7: Stop, Go
semi-dub-con, but NSFW af.
I'm needy today, come love on me over on tumblr: melvncholymvmi or etherealmvmi
“It's that pivotal moment;
This kiss, this kiss (Unsinkable).
This kiss, this kiss.”
Faith Hill, “This Kiss”
Kings Cross, Wednesday, 19:09PM
Days seemed to fly by. Eve had managed to avoid Villanelle during office hours by rescheduling, via email, the three appointments that she had for the week. At home, Eve worked tirelessly on finding a company that would transport and set up a photo booth in the center of the quad at Central Saint Martins. She found props geared towards fashion and ordered them in bulk. In all honesty, Eve was happy for the distraction from thoughts of Villanelle. Even after class that day, Villanelle filed past her, Nadia beside her and never once looked in Eve’s direction. There had been a quick moment when Eve felt a pang of jealousy shoot through her heart. But , she thought to herself, better she’s focused on someone her own age.
Two days before the carnival was to take place, she received a text from her younger counterpart who, much to her credit, had given Eve the space she so clearly desired.
Can’t avoid me forever. -V
That was becoming more and more apparent. Especially since Eve could feel her resolve slowly crumbling. Besides, she would have to man the photo booth with Villanelle anyway. They’d have to speak eventually.
Not avoiding you.
There. It was a lie, and not a very good one, but hopefully it’d keep the persistent younger woman at bay for as long as possible.
When there was no response from Villanelle an hour later, Eve mentally patted herself on the back and finished working on the leather shirt she’d started nearly two weeks prior.
A knock sounded at her closed studio door.
Niko opened the door and looked around. “That’s lovely.” He jutted his chin at the shirt, crossing his arms and leaning against the doorframe.
“So, I have a bit of bad news.”
“Oh?” Eve replied, slipping the last cross-stitch into place.
“I can’t make it to the carnival.”
Eve finally turned to face him. That actually was bad news. Who was going to be her buffer; who was going to save her from Villanelle?
“Weekend conferences. Gotta be packed and on the train to Cambridge by half past four.”
“I guess this is my karma.”
At Niko’s confused expression, Eve clarified, “For missing teachers night at your work three years in a row.”
“Ahh,” he smiled in understanding, moving closer into the room. Niko placed his hands on both of her shoulders, massaging gently. “You’ve been awfully hard on yourself these past days. After the carnival, you should rest.”
Her eyes closed as his deft fingers moved to her neck, slowly easing the tension he found there. He pulled her hair from its elastic.
Take your hair down. She heard Villanelle’s voice in her head.
Less than five minutes later, she was bouncing on her husband’s cock on the floor of her studio. One hand over his mouth, the other pinching her own nipples. She screwed her eyes shut, rolled her hips.
I didn’t kiss her.
“Fuck.” She groaned, she was so close. So. Fucking. Close.
Tell me not to go.
You. Want. Me.
“Fuck, I love you.” Eve cried out, and her orgasm was explosive .
The day of the carnival arrived and Eve still hadn’t heard from Villanelle. She was actually beginning to get a little worried. Somehow, she had managed to convince herself that it was because she didn’t know what Carolyn would say if both she and her student teaching assistant weren’t working the photo booth together. But deep down, Eve could feel guilt and disappointment slowly bubbling to the surface. Her spirit had begun to ache from her self-imposed Villanelle fast. If she didn’t get her fix of a certain cocky blonde soon, she was sure to do something completely irrational.
Eve made the necessary calls to the photo booth company and by four in the afternoon, Eve and nearly fifty staff members had themselves a fully functioning carnival, sans Ferris wheel.
And by half past seven, the sun was setting and the bright lights of the carnival games could be seen for miles. Couples and families walked around, smiling and laughing. Some held stuffed animal prizes and others held snacks from a concession stand. It was supposed to be a joyous affair. But as Eve took tickets and helped people into the photo booth, she refused to smile.
And just as a young girl and her grandparents hopped out of the photo booth, Eve saw her.
She exhaled, not realizing that she’d been holding her breath for so long. A bubble of excitement floated up into her chest. Only to be deflated.
Villanelle, in a stunning tailored brocade patterned Dries van Noten suit, green scarf visible just under the collar, was holding hands with Nadia. She walked her to a booth, like a complete gentlewoman, and kissed her cheek before turning on her heels. Eve quickly made herself appear busy as Villanelle walked over to the photo stand.
“Professor Polastri. How lovely to see you.” Villanelle greeted with a smile, hands slipping into her pockets.
“Always good to be seen and not viewed, Billie .”
Villanelle looked both impressed and amused at Eve’s snarky tone.
“Here with your girlfriend?”
“Here with Nadia. But she is not my girlfriend.”
“Hmph.” Was all Eve said.
“Don’t be jealous.” Villanelle said, her tone low and commanding.
Take your hair down.
Eve shivered, but shook off the sudden feeling of desire she felt for the obnoxious blonde. She scoffed. “I am not jealous.”
Still amused, Villanelle put her hands up in mock surrender. “Okay, okay. You’re not jealous.”
Eve couldn’t believe she’d wanted to see Villanelle’s stupid gorgeous face. She had no one to blame but herself for avoiding the younger woman. But the absolute audacity of Villanelle to show up with Nadia had Eve fuming . Were women mere conquests to Villanelle? And when one victory was easier and younger and more… Russian , did she just give up on the others?
Did Eve not interest her anymore? Had she pushed her away?
Well, good , Eve internalized.
“That’s right. I’m not. And you know what else? You’re an arsehole.” Villanelle’s brows went up. “Stop trying to seduce me. It’s not going to happen. I am a happily married woman.”
Villanelle made a show of looking around. “Oh? And just where is your precious husband, sweet Eve?”
Eve stammered. Huffed. Slammed the ticket jar she was holding into Villanelle’s chest and stormed off. Villanelle wanted so badly to go after her, slam her against the nearest surface and kiss her silly.
But, she looked around the crowded carnival, this was neither the time, nor the place. Villanelle was good at many things, but her ability to be discreet was unmatched.
Villanelle sighed. Her cheek rested on her closed first and she pouted. “This is so BORING !” She yelled at the night sky.
A passerby or two gave her odd looks but she couldn’t care less. She had been standing at that fucking stand for what like eight hours. In all actuality, it was twenty-two minutes. Villanelle felt a pair of eyes on her. She turned to her right and saw Nadia staring at her. The brunette smiled, but there was something else in her eyes. Something completely animalistic.
Villanelle grinned. She enjoyed being the object of someone’s desire. And Eve surely wasn’t giving her the time of day anymore.
Looking around, she found a marker and ripped photo paper off of a spare roll. She scrawled “ON BREAK. WILL RETURN SOON” across it, leaving the lifeless stand unattended.
Villanelle sauntered over to the kissing booth that Nadia was working and leaned across the counter. She slipped a hand into the breast pocket of her suit jacket and pulled out an immodest amount of cash. Without even bothering to check what they were, Villanelle peeled off two bills and placed them inside of the jar. She crooked her finger at Nadia, who leaned forward, their lips connecting. Nadia’s eyes closed, and her skin prickled. She wanted Villanelle again and she tried to express that in her kiss.
When they pulled apart, Villanelle suddenly felt… wrong . And then as if the universe was called to solidify her guilty verdict, she turned to see Eve staring directly at her. She looked so hurt. Heartbroken, even.
Eve turned on her heels and started quickly away from the scene as she could.
Nadia followed Villanelle’s gaze but didn’t see anything. “What’s wrong?”
“I have to go.”
“Billie? Everything okay?” Nadia called after her.
Villanelle ran towards the exit of the carnival, and it didn’t take long for her to spot Eve walking briskly down the sidewalk.
The Asian woman turned to see her, but didn’t respond. She simply quickened her pace, trying to get as far away from Villanelle Astankova as possible.
“Eve! Jesus!” Villanelle watched as Eve darted into the street, a car missing her by mere seconds. She waited impatiently for another clearing in traffic before jogging across. The neighborhood quickly became familiar territory and Villanelle realized they were on Eve’s street. She caught up to the older woman just as she opened her front door. Eve swung the door closed behind her, only to have Villanelle’s hand stop it from shutting completely. She entered Eve’s house and locked the door behind her.
“Eve, we need to talk about this.”
“No. We really don’t.”
Get out, get out, GET OUT! , Eve screamed internally. She wanted this so badly, but she knew it was beyond wrong. Her heart was pounding. A tear fell from one glassy eye. The walls of the vestibule were closing in on her. Villanelle was too close and too far away all at the same time. The blonde moved closer, her hands reaching for Eve’s cheeks. Eve turned her head, craning her neck to get out of Villanelle’s grasp, but it was moot. She was trapped here, now, in an exact replica of a fantasy she had once.
Only this time, everything was real.
The consequences would be real.
One hand slammed against Villanelle’s shoulder, trying to keep her away, while the other pulled at the buttons of her suit jacket.
Hello, mixed signals .
“Tell me to stop,” Villanelle breathed. “Eve, please tell me to stop or I won’t. I can’t.”
And Villanelle’s lips collided with hers. Nearly four weeks of pure emotion spilled into that one kiss. And it was all lips, tongues, teeth. Villanelle tasted like cotton candy and something else that was purely her own.
“Mm, no.” Eve pulled her mouth away, panting heavily. “I can’t.”
“Yes, you can.” Villanelle went for another kiss and Eve gave in almost immediately. Villanelle pressed a hand against Eve’s abdomen, pushing her harder against the wall. Her kisses trailed down Eve’s cheek to her neck, sucking at the soft skin. Eve’s hands unbuttoned her own jeans. Fingers trembling, she yanked Villanelle’s hand off her her stomach and shoved it inside the waistband of her panties.
The moment Villanelle’s digits slid through Eve’s warm, satiny dew, they both groaned. Eve’s knees turned to jelly. Villanelle wrapped one arm around her waist as her other hand circled Eve’s clit before slipping between her folds. When a singular, slender finger slipped inside of her, Eve knew she would beg for more before the night was over.
“Look at me.” Villanelle whispered. Eve, eyes closed, shook her head. Villanelle’s hand stopped working her over. “Look at me if you want to come.”
That was just cruel.
Eve’s brown eyes shot open. Villanelle’s smirk was in full force.
With Villanelle’s thumb pressed against Eve’s clit, she slipped one more finger inside of her and curved them upwards. Eve’s pussy contracted, her mind went completely blank and suddenly the only word in her vocabulary was:
“ Villanelle !”
“You said you wouldn’t kiss her.”
It was the first time she spoke since she came on Villanelle’s fingers.
That had been ten minutes ago. Moments later, they’d slid down the wall together, and had been sitting on the floor ever since.
And a few seconds after that , Eve watched with renewed arousal as Villanelle licked Eve’s come off of her fingers.
“I said I hadn’t.” Villanelle corrected. “Then you didn’t want me.”
Eve scoffed. “Bullshit. You and I both know I didn’t not want you. I just,” Eve shook her head, “needed space.”
“Still, you hurt my feelings. I thought you didn’t want me.”
“ Your feelings were hurt?”
Villanelle pouted theatrically, eyes closed, bottom lip poked out and she nodded.
Eve smothered her laughter, steeling her expression just as Villanelle’s eyes opened.
“Yes, my feelings were hurt. I do have them, you know.” She sounded softer than Eve had ever heard.
“I know. I’m sorry.”
Villanelle leaned forward and took Eve’s hand in her own.
“I am sorry, too.” Her iconic smile appeared. “Can I make it up to you now?”
Chapter 8: Blondie
“Orange soda, Deepak Chopra
Versace robe and my Gucci loafers.
Sex on the sofa;
That’s my yoga.”
Qveen Herby, “SADE IN THE 90s”
“Baby wants to come?” Villanelle panted, as she fingerfucked Eve roughly. Her arm was burning and her wrist was cramping, but fuck if she was going to stop before she felt more of Eve’s nectar slip down her her wrist. Eve was straddling Villanelle, knees pressing into Niko’s god-awful favorite tv chair. She was riding Villanelle’s fingers, one arm wrapped around the blonde’s neck and the other using the chair for leverage.
“ Fuck ! You’re so good. So good.” Eve breathed into the top of Villanelle’s hair. “ More… Please… ”
So Villanelle gave her more. She tightened her hold on Eve’s waist and slipped a fourth finger into her dripping pussy. Eve’s nails dug into the fabric of the chair and she reveled in the feeling of being stretched to her limits.
“ Yes !”
“Yes? Yes?” Villanelle asked. She pulled back slightly, forcing Eve to meet her eyes, her own head mimicking Eve’s nodding. “You are so wet.”
Well, yeah… but why did Villanelle have to announce it? And why was it so incredibly sexy when she did?
Eve’s walls tightened around her fingers. Well, Villanelle recognized, the lady likes a little dirty talk. Eve’s free hand found Villanelle’s cheek and watched as she leaned into the touch before turning and kissing Eve’s palm.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Eve bent forward and kissed Villanelle with such fervor that it threw off the younger woman’s rhythm. But only for a beat. And when Eve’s tongue slipped into her mouth, Villanelle groaned, energy renewed. Her hand turned and her thumb pressed against Eve’s clit. She rubbed the tiny bundle of nerves in perfect sync with the four fingers that were filling Eve to the hilt.
“Th--, oh god, that’s not fair.” Eve whispered into her mouth. “You’re the actual Devil.”
Villanelle grinned, enjoying that description of herself. The idea that she was the serpent who tempted innocent Eve with forbidden fruit just made this so much sweeter.
“I’m gonna come.”
Villanelle’s lips found Eve’s pulsing jugular. She placed a soft kiss there before biting it gently, and then soothed it with her tongue. The feeling when straight to Eve’s core and her climax shot through her like a lightning bolt. Eyes screwed tight, she saw stars and her pussy convulsed around Villanelle’s hand. Eve slipped both hands around Villanelle’s neck and her taut body rode out the aftershocks of her orgasm. The arm that held her waist squeezed impossibly tighter, a promise that Villanelle would be there to catch her when she fell from her euphoric high.
They stayed in that position for nearly five minutes as Eve caught her breath and Villanelle pulled her soaked fingers from Eve’s cunt.
“Sweet Eve.” She murmured into Eve’s hair and nestled into her neck.
Eventually, Eve suggested they get into bed.
“Are you sure?”
Eve knew what she was asking. Did she want to bring this into her marriage bed?
“I’m sure as shit not sleeping on this godforsaken chair.” She clambered off of Villanelle’s lap, taking her hand. Villanelle stood and let herself be pulled towards the staircase.
“I don’t know. I think I kind of like that chair. Very roomy.” She teased, looking back at it.
“Then you’ll love the bed.”
It was like she was a virgin all over again. Eve had pictured having sex with Villanelle in a thousand different positions. In a thousand different places. But the moment Villanelle had slipped her right leg over Eve’s left and Eve felt Villanelle’s slick pussy against her own, she was back at level one, experiencing a terrifyingly addictive newness that she would never forget. Villanelle rolled her hips, her clit making contact with Eve’s. They groaned in unison. Villanelle’s head lolled back and her hands found purchase on Eve’s breasts. Eve held onto her hips, urging her into faster movements, and Villanelle obliged ever so willingly .
Villanelle pressed a hand to Eve’s throat, slowly cutting off her air supply, and Eve knew she’d discovered a new kink. But it was when Villanelle commanded her to “Come if you want to breathe”, Eve’s eyes rolled upwards and she actually fucking squirted .
Villanelle had been with many women, but none of them made her feel… well, exalted, quite like Eve did. She found herself being rolled onto her back and Eve knelt between her legs, kissing her softly, working her into a vibrating frenzy. Her nerves were on fire, and goosebumps broke out along her skin when Eve kissed her cheek, the curve of her ear and down towards her neck. Villanelle squirmed and sighed as Eve left open-mouthed kisses along the most tender parts of her neck. Downwards she went, her fingertips creating the blueprint for every inch that her mouth would reach. Skillful hands squeezed Villanelle’s, softly at first, and brown eyes focused on her face, gauging just how her touch was affecting the young blonde.
“ Eve ,” whined Villanelle. She could feel her pussy pulsating as it clenched around absolutely nothing.
But Eve continued to worship her, wrapping her lips around each hardened nipple, lavishing them with attention. Villanelle’s hands held her face there, her back arched and her eyes shut tightly. The sensations were overwhelming, but somehow she knew that this was only the beginning. Down. Down. Down . For Eve, she knew how she, herself, loved to be touched, and while she knew not all women were the same, there were absolutely zero complaints coming from Villanelle’s lips.
“Eve, please .” She placed a palm atop Eve’s wild curls and her fingers twitched as if she was forcing herself to not push her to the exact spot she needed her. And she did, need Eve, so desperately in that moment.
Eve settled herself in between Villanelle’s legs and her nerves melted away the moment her tongue connected with the wet flesh.
Villanelle cried out. Eve moaned and it vibrated against Villanelle’s mons. She didn’t know what she expected, but she didn’t expect Villanelle to taste like fresh cantaloupe and something so incredibly feminine that she could have come again just from giving Villanelle head.
Eve tucked in to the meal set before her, tongue swirling exquisite wetness. Villanelle’s hips raised on their own accord and started to roll upwards, taking everything that Eve offered. Eve lifted one of Villanelle’s thighs, followed by the other, and rested them upon her shoulders while she rolled her tongue against her clit. Villanelle pulled one of Eve’s hands to her lips, sucking two fingers into her mouth before pushing them back down roughly. Eve took the hint and slipped them inside of her tight cunt. She worked them in and out, bobbing her head up and down while sucking on her sensitive love button. The noises Villanelle made increased in fervor.
“ Don’t stop. Don’t stop! Fuck yes !” She yelled out. Eve felt her muscles fluttering around her fingers. Villanelle’s body became taught. Her mouth opened in a silent scream that ended in a garbled version of Eve’s name.
They went at it for hours, neither realizing that the sun was on the horizon once again. As they rolled onto their backs, on the floor of Eve’s bedroom, panting heavily, Eve laughed.
“How did we get down here?”
“You were trying to run from me.”
“I was running from a potential leg cramp.”
“But aren’t you glad I caught you?”
Boy, was she ever.
At one point, Villanelle had refused to stop after one of Eve’s countless peaks and they happened upon the sweetest discovery: Eve was capable of multiple orgasms. She was in the middle of trying to push Villanelle away and somehow they’d found themselves halfway off of the bed. One of her arms resting on the floor, and the other gripping Villanelle’s wrist. Villanelle held her waist as she fucked her deeply.
And the moment one of Villanelle’s sopping wet fingers accidentally slipped into Eve’s asshole, Eve stopped breathing as she came harder and longer than she ever had before.
“Are you hungry?”
“For you?” Villanelle replied, pushing a wayward lock of hair behind Eve’s ear. “Always.”
“For food .” Eve rolled her eyes to keep her face from betraying just how much Villanelle’s words affected her. But they had.
What was this? This feeling? God, she felt like she was sixteen all over again.
“You read my mind.” Eve laughed.
It was late Saturday afternoon when Villanelle left her. She kissed Eve once more, put her hands into her pants pockets and swaggered down the front path, cockily.
Eve’s first move was to start the laundry. She stripped the sheets from the bed and tossed in a few articles of clothing as well. Pouring herself a glass of wine, she headed back upstairs to run herself a bath.
Her phone chimes and it brought her screeching back to reality. It was from Elena.
Sorted everything with the photo booth company. You owe me.
“Shit.” Eve typed back a speedy reply before downing half the glass of wine.
Her bath was… quiet. So fucking quiet. And she could hear her inner voice so loudly. It was practically screaming at how truly fucked she really was.
Sex. She’d had sex. With someone who wasn’t her husband. And a student, for fuck’s sake.
Her phone chimed again and she jumped. Eve grabbed it from the windowsill closest to the bathtub.
New message from: V
Eve unlocked her phone and opened it.
Stop freaking out. As far as he knows, you’ve been a good girl all weekend.
Eve inhaled deeply and exhaled some of her anxiety. Villanelle was right. Niko wouldn’t suspect a thing. Hopefully. The phone chimed once more.
Only I know just how naughty you’ve been.
Eve sank further into the hot bath, phone against her smiling lips.
How was it that Villanelle could calm her down and rile her up without even being in the room?
“Hey. Sorry I didn’t call yesterday. We were in meetings from breakfast to dinner.”
“It’s alright. I’m just glad they didn’t bore you to death.”
Niko laughed. “Very nearly. How was the carnival?”
Well, I got jealous when I saw my teaching assistant kissing another woman. She chased me home, fucked me thoroughly and now my vagina is sore so don’t expect welcome home sex.
“Ehh. Not as fun as I thought.”
“How much did they raise for the school?”
Shit . It was a fundraiser, after all.
“Carolyn’s still totaling up everything.” She lied.
“That's got to be a good thing, then.”
“Well, a bunch of us are going for drinks. Won’t be out too late. Early train.”
“When will you be home?”
“Ten in the morning.”
“Good. Can’t wait to see you.” She replied.
“I can’t wait to see you either. Sleep well.”
“Have fun. Love you.”
Eve sighed when they hung up. She had finished laundry, cleaned, caught up on emails, but she still had an excess of energy.
Deciding that she wouldn’t sleep unless she got some work done, Eve grabbed her things and headed to the studio on campus. At least for an hour or two.
When she entered the dark lobby, she made her way through the hallway that she knew so well, eventually coming to her classroom door. A dim light was on, so she pushed open the door and was met with a lovely sight.
“One way or another. I’m gonna see ya.” Villanelle’s voice softly sang.
Eve watched from the doorway as the blonde, headphones blaring, worked on a design that was sure to be absolutely stunning.
“I’m gonna meet ya, meet ya, meet ya, meet ya.”
Eve chuckled softly. She never pegged Villanelle for a Blondie fan. French classics, perhaps, but not American new wave. Villanelle turned to retrieve a pair of scissors from her desk and jumped upon seeing someone else. She snatched her earphones out by the cord and her hand flew to her chest.
“Jesus, Eve! Give a girl some warning next time!”
“I didn’t want to disturb your,” Eve smirked, “jam session.”
“Cute.” She huffed. Villanelle’s face lit up with a smile she reserved for Eve. “Hi.”
Suddenly, Eve was blushing. “Hey.”
“What brings you here?”
“Anxiety.” Eve admitted. “What about you?”
Villanelle briefly bit her bottom lip, innocently, as she gazed at Eve with a tilted head. “Inspiration.”
Pulling herself up onto a work station across from Villanelle’s, Eve asked, “Do you enjoy shocking me with the things you say?”
Villanelle smirked and turned back to the shirt she was crafting. “I enjoy the look on your face when I say them. Like you can’t decide if you’re turned on or if you should be outraged.”
“I’m always outraged.” She watched as Villanelle’s talented fingers slipped thread through the eye of a needle.
“I’d rather you always be turned on.” Villanelle replied, absentmindedly.
“I bet you would.” Eve studied her student’s work, trying to figure out where she was going with it. This, she realized, would probably be a recurring theme when it came to the younger woman. Her mind and work were brilliant, and Eve could hardly wait to see the finished product. She watched for a while longer as Eve hummed Blondie and created a masterpiece. It was pure black and the princess sleeves were completely see-through. Villanelle took extra care to make sure there was no tearing in the chiffon fabric.
“I should go. Let you work in peace.” Eve hopped off of the desk and no sooner had she started past the row of work stations, she felt a hand on her wrist. Villanelle pulled her back, wrapping an arm around her waist. Their noses pressed together and Villanelle ran a hand through Eve’s hair.
“I think I need more inspiration before you go.”
She kissed Eve’s lips. Cheek. Ear. Neck.
“This is the last time.” Eve warned her, her chest rising and falling faster than normal.
“Then I better make it good.”
Chapter 9: Possession
y'all will not believe the struggle I went through trying to post this last night and then again at work today. sorry, it's late.
“Move moons for you;
I choose to do it.
Gun fighting, fatality,
I stay for eternity,
For you, for you.”
It wasn’t the last time. Hell, it wasn’t even the second to last time.
Eve Polastri was having an affair. With her student. Any chance she got, Villanelle had Eve in positions that would make a nun blush. They were like newlyweds, sneaking off into locked offices and empty classrooms. Villanelle texted Eve every morning and Eve made sure there were always “good night” texts waiting for Villanelle after her evening showers. In a word, their intimacy bordered on obsessive.
Who the fuck was she becoming?
A better question would be: had she always been this person?
The sex was mind blowing, but it was the conversations before and afterwards that truly got to Eve. Villanelle was so insightful and funny and the way she viewed everything was so refreshing. She wasn’t as cynical and cold as she wanted everyone to believe she was. Eve saw right through her icy exterior.
It was nearly midnight and Eve knelt on the floor of her CSM studio in front of a large bolt of fabric, marking her seams with a sketch pencil. She slipped the pencil in her mouth and began to cut the material carefully and with extremely steady hands. The door to the studio swung open, slamming against the wall. Eve dropped the scissors, nearly ruining the thin lace as Villanelle stormed into the room. She shoved two bags and her laptop into a chair with a huff. Pulling herself up from her spot on the floor, Eve moved to comfort Villanelle who snatched her hand away.
“I am not in the mood.”
“Good because I have a headache.” Eve teased gently. She tried again, placing a hand on Villanelle’s wrist. This time, the younger woman didn’t pull away. Instead, she sighed. Her eyes closed briefly and when she opened them to look at Eve, her big brown eyes watered.
Eve’s heart seized in her chest and she looked so concerned. Not one to be pitied, Villanelle transformed into the coldhearted bitch she wanted everyone to think she was right before Eve’s eyes. Her posture straightened, her chin lifted. She inhaled, exhaled and then came her cockiest smirk.
“Do you want to have sex?” She inquired, tugging on Eve’s shirt to pull her close. Eve’s brows furrowed and she bowed backwards in her grasp, hands on Villanelle’s shoulders.
“No. I want you to tell me what’s wrong.”
Villanelle sighed again. This time out of annoyance. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Because it is about my family.”
Oh. That was new. And personal. And Eve’s brain quickly tried to understand why Villanelle didn’t want to open up about her personal life. Was this just sex to her? Was Eve just an easy ‘A’? Could Eve really blame her for not opening up? After all, Eve was the one with a husband. This couldn’t be more than just sex. It couldn’t go any further. Maybe Villanelle had the right idea; perhaps keeping their personal lives out of the mix would be best for both parties involved. At least, that way, when this… what it was… ended, it’d be easier to move on.
But Eve couldn’t help herself.
“Is this just sex to you?”
Villanelle realized weeks ago that the only person who could truly shock her was Eve Polastri. Her eyebrows went up and her lips parted as she chose her next answer cautiously.
“Is it for you?”
Eve placed a hand on her forehead and breathed deeply. Her eyes closed for a moment. She looked pained. “I—no. Maybe. I don’t know.”
Villanelle nodded slowly. “Okay.” She picked up her laptop and swung one of the bags over her shoulder, followed by the other.
“What are you doing? Where are you going?”
“I am going to work from home.”
“Oh come on. Why?”
“We both need some space.” I need space from you is what she actually meant. For a multitude of reasons, Villanelle needed her solitude. There were so many things on her mind and she’s gone running to the studio, just praying that Eve was there burning the midnight oil. And for what? She hadn’t expected her to solve her problem at the drop of a dime. Or had she? And had she put so much energy into whatever this thing was that she forgot just how truly fucked up everything was?
“Wha—? Villanelle!” Eve called to the blonde’s retreating back.
Eve paced back and forth in her backyard. Bill, Elena and Jess were on their way over for lunch and she wanted so desperately to focus her full attention on them. But she hadn’t heard from Villanelle since she stormed out of the studio on Thursday night. She didn’t show up for her office hours, only to send Eve a curt email that she was “sick”.
Eve put her phone to her ear and exhaled deeply, air puffing her cheeks.
“Hi, it’s Eve. Just send me a text to let me know you’re okay. Otherwise I’ll think you died of the bubonic plague or something.”
Eve mentally kicked herself and hung up the phone. Bubonic plague? Seriously?
That was dumb. But not as dumb as Eve believing she could make up for that voicemail by leaving another.
“Hi, Villanelle. Just checking in to make sure you’re feeling better. I’m sure you’re… taking care of yourself. It’s just… you know, so I know. I’m sure you’re fine.”
Eve scoffed at herself. This was so not her. But Villanelle brought out of things in her that she’d never thought were possible.
“Hey,” Niko said, poking his head out of the back door, “they’re here.”
Eve nodded. “I’ll be right in.”
She took a few deep breaths and prepared herself to be the welcoming hostess. She stepped into the house, anxiety in her heart but a brilliant smile on her face.
“Hey! So glad you guys could make it!” She double kissed each of her friends and squeezed them tightly.
Here we go.
Laughter rang out around the table. Mimosas and white wine mingled in their bellies with beer battered fish and chips.
“I don’t think they like to be called little parasites.” Bill laughed.
“Fine. Money-sucking leeches, then.” Jess corrected herself.
“I think the scientific term is ‘children’.”
“Oh, yes,” Jesse put a finger to her chin, and nodded, “that does sound familiar.”
“You’re a horrible person.” Elena teased.
“You’ll all know exactly what I’m talking about when you have kids.”
“Bill and Keiko just had a baby and they’re doing just fine.” Elena interjected.
“No, no. My diazepam intake has increased significantly since she was born.” Bill replied.
More laughter followed.
“I don’t know, I love my children.” Eve replied.
“That’s because they’re financially independent and, oh yeah, twenty years old when you get them.”
“I still love them like they’re my own.”
“Speaking of which, have you heard from Villanelle?” Niko inquired.
“What? No. Why would I?” Eve wondered, nervously pushing her hair back.
“You mentioned she was sick.”
“Oh, right. Well, I’m sure she’s taking care of herself.” She took a large gulp of wine. “Like Jess said, twenty years old.”
“I’ll pop down to the shops to get some ingredients for homemade stew. You can take it down to her.” He suggested. Eve nodded and drank deeply from her wine again.
“I’m sure she’ll appreciate that.” Eve eventually said.
Bill added, “What college student wouldn’t? Nice, hot home cooked meal is a rarity.”
“It’s nice that you and your teaching assistant are so close.” Elena commented. “I want to smack my assistant in the head with a textbook.”
“Villanelle is very mature for her age. Makes me wonder just how quickly she had to grow up.”
“That’s probably the teacher in you.”
Eve sat silently as the discussion turned towards the correlation between troubled students and their home lives.
“Do you know much about Villanelle’s family?” Niko asked his wife. “It’s probably terribly inappropriate to say, but it appears that she comes from money.”
“I don’t know much. She was upset on Thursday and she mentioned it was about her family but she didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t pry.”
I didn’t want to push her away, Eve thought. Seems like I did anyway .
“Well, I’ll make beef stew and you can bring it round to her. Maybe she needs a friend.”
Kings Cross, Sunday, 18:20PM
Eve was already intimidated and she hadn’t even stepped inside the building. She’d never been to Villanelle’s flat before and she was sure she’d crossed an ethical line by looking in Villanelle’s file for her address. But Eve couldn’t bring herself to tell Niko that Villanelle wanted space from her. That would warrant far too many questions, and Eve was just barely holding on to her sanity.
So, there she stood, holding hearty beef stew that her husband made for her mistress. She pressed a finger against the doorbell labeled B-1: Astankova .
“Eve?” Villanelle’s voice came over the intercom. Confused, Eve looked around before taking a closer look at the doorbell. Next to each was a small camera no bigger than a button. “What are you doing here?”
Eve lifted the container of food as an answer and gave a nervous smile. A heartbeat later, she heard a buzz. Villanelle had let her in.
It was a start to what Eve was sure to be an uphill battle.
Eve walked up the stairs to flat B-1 and knocked. Villanelle opened the door, stepped aside and allowed Eve into her space. She followed Villanelle up another set of stairs that led to the led to the lofted living area.
“This is your place?” Eve asked, shocked.
“Did you expect a cramped little hovel?”
“No, but I didn’t expect the Windsor Castle.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Eve. Buckingham Palace, at best.”
“Was that a joke? Are you feeling better?”
Eve finally noticed Villanelle’s dark blue kimono robe. It was silk and reached her ankles and suddenly Eve wondered what it would look on the floor.
“What are you doing here, Eve?”
Eve pressed the dish into Villanelle’s hands. “Niko thought you might want some soup since you’re… sick .”
“Niko thought.” Villanelle repeated as she took the food to the kitchen. Eve followed dutifully behind her.
“And what did you think?” She placed the food on the half-island and busied herself with finding a bowl and spoon.
Eve could figure out what she was really asking. “I thought about what you asked.”
“It is what you asked.” Villanelle corrected her.
“Fine. Point is, I did think about it. And the answer is no. This isn’t just sex for me.” She hesitated and Villanelle caught it.
“ But ?” She urged.
“But I also don’t know if I’m willing to give up my marriage. I don’t know what this is, but I don’t want to lose it. This might be easy for you: you’re not married or in a relationship. But it’s different for me. There is nothing major for you to lose if this just ended. And even if the sex stops, I’d like to think that we could remain close friends.”
If it’s one thing that Villanelle respected, it was honesty.
“So. We are friends?” Villanelle rolled the word around in her mouth, getting a feel for it. She didn’t have many friends, save for her Uncle Konstantin, who was like a father to her, really.
“Friends.” Eve nodded.
Villanelle could accept that. She liked the idea of being more to Eve than just a student and sort-of coworker. Friends was intimate, friends shared things. They talked about their personal lives. There was a sense of trust and loyalty.
“Okay.” She spooned a healthy amount of stew into the bowl and stuck it in her microwave.
“So, friend , talk to me. What’s going on with you? Why’d you storm out on Thursday?”
Villanelle rested her upper body on the counter, fiddling with the spoon.
“My parents want me to come home.”
“For the holidays?”
“For good. They do not believe in my career choice.”
“They think I am wasting my time and will not make any money.”
“What do you think?”
“You know what I think. How I feel. Fashion is my life.”
“Well, then, there’s your answer. If anyone did what their parents wanted them to do all their lives, everyone would be walking about here miserable and unfulfilled.”
“Yes, but not everyone has an inheritance to lose if they don’t fulfill their parents’ wishes.”
“Ah, the plot thickens.”
Villanelle nodded her head. “Precisely. Which is why I have until holiday break to decide.”
“Do you miss home?”
“No.” There was finality in her tone. “I do not like my parents.”
“I do not know them.”
That left more questions than it answered, but before Eve could ask, the microwave dinged its completion. She watched as Villanelle dipped her spoon into the thick liquid, blew away some of the steam and tasted it. Her eyes closed and she moaned gratefully.
“This is incredible.”
Eve’s face lit up. “I’m glad you like it.”
When she had finished the small bowl, Villanelle put away the rest and cleaned her dishes.
“Do you want to stay and watch a movie?” Villanelle asked abruptly.
Surprised, Eve smiled. “Sure.”
Thirty minutes later, they were writhing around Villanelle’s bed, knuckles-deep inside of each other. Lips locked, legs intertwined, panting breaths.
“ So close .” Eve whispered. Villanelle knew what she needed to take her over the edge. She liked Villanelle to whisper filthy little sentiments in her ear.
Instead, Villanelle murmured, “ You are mine, Eve .”
And Eve came.
Chapter 10: Baecations
blah blah blah. I was hungover yesterday, sue me.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“It’s you, babe.
I’m a sucker
For the way that
You move, babe.”
-Camila Cabello, “Never Be The Same”
“What would happen, I wonder, if your precious Niko saw you spread completely open for me on his favorite chair? Would you hold my hold my head exactly where it is so you can come in my mouth? Would your legs shake violently? Would you still call out my name?” Villanelle asked conversationally.
Eve’s panties flooded with desire. “Most people start out a phone call with good afternoon or good evening .”
“You and I both know that I am not most people. I am sensational.”
“And you’ve been working on your humility, I see.”
“And you did not answer my question.”
“Would you still come for me?”
Eve’s eyes closed and she could immediately picture the scenario. On its own accord, her hand softly touched her own breast. “Probably.” She whispered. It made her feel awfully dirty knowing that Villanelle had such an affect on her. Little did she know that her power over Villanelle was just as great.
Villanelle withheld a groan. “Can I see you?”
“Now. Later. Tomorrow. Yesterday. I don’t care.” The need in the blonde’s voice nearly broke Eve. Niko was down at the shops, finding what he needed for tea. It was pissing rain outside. Traffic would be horrible.
“Where are you now?”
“How long is he usually gone?”
“About an hour.”
“Lovely.” Villanelle said. She was beginning to sound out of breath.
“What are you doing?”
“Trying to get out of the rain.”
“Where are you?”
Eve’s doorbell rang.
“On your front porch.” The phone disconnected and Eve made a mad dash for the door. She quickly fluffed out her curls before opening it. Villanelle, damp hair clinging to her face, stood at the door, in a chalk pink Burberry trench coat. How the fuck did she manage to make being caught in the rain look sexy? Eve grabbed the belt of Villanelle’s coat and pulled her inside, kissing her soundly.
“What if Niko had been here?”
Villanelle created a high pitched, British persona out of thin air. “Oh, Professor Polastri, I’m having the worst time with this design. I could really use your guidance.” She kissed Eve again and took her hand. Eve laughed as Villanelle pulled her further into the house. They stopped in the laundry room and Villanelle pushed Eve against the washer. She tangled one hand into Eve’s hair and pulled roughly, forcing Eve to gaze into her eyes. She slipped her free hand into the linen pants Eve wore and bit her bottom lip when her hand hit slick, hot skin.
Something in Eve snapped. Her hands were suddenly fumbling with the bow of Villanelle’s high waisted paper bag pants. The button came undone and the zipper slide downwards. But before she could slip into the pale pink lace underwear that peeked just under the waistband of her pants, Villanelle pressed her fingers firmly against Eve’s clit. Eve groaned, pleasure shooting through her body.
“I need to have you all night again.” Villanelle whispered in her ear as she pinched one of Eve’s nipples. “Look what you do to me.” Villanelle pushed Eve’s hand into her panties. A whine escaped Eve’s throat when she felt just how wet Villanelle was.
Their lips met, as did their eager devotion to make the other reach her peak first.
“ Oh god .” Villanelle breathed. Her eyes squeezed shut and she buried her face into Eve’s neck. Her scent overpowered Eve’s sensations. Teakwood. Vanilla. Villanelle. She could feel her inside her. Above her. All around her. Villanelle was a part of her now.
“ Tell me you’re mine .” Villanelle whispered. She was so close, she could practically taste it. “ Eve. Tell me .”
Eve looked at her with pleading eyes.
Please don’t make me say it , her brown orbs begged. Please. There’s no coming back from it.
But Villanelle mistook the expression on her face. “Just lie to me.”
Eve pressed forward, gliding two fingers inside of Villanelle. She kissed her solemnly. “I’m yours.”
“ Oh god !” Villanelle cries out into her mouth. Eve pulled away to look into her eyes.
The sound of the front door opening ripped them apart. And there it was. The obstacle that would always be between them.
“Darling, are you here?” He called out.
“Here.” Villanelle pulled a small black gift box out of her trench and placed it in Eve’s hands. “I owe you an orgasm.” She kissed Eve roughly and snuck out of the back door, shutting it with a soft click. Now it made sense to Eve why she’d been pulled into the laundry room.
Eve hid the gift box behind a bottle of laundry detergent and made herself as presentable as possible, trying to calm her jittery nerves. Her hands shook as she made her way into the kitchen. Villanelle had managed to disarm her once again. There were so many thoughts running through her head at the moment. She made her way into the kitchen just as he was placing the bags onto the counter.
“Hey.” He kissed her and then leaned back, pulling a face. “You smell different.”
“Yeah. You smell rich.”
Eve laughed nervously. “Okay, bloodhound, what’s for dinner?”
And as he began a theatrical demonstration of his beef Wellington with mushroom and jamón, Eve poured them both glasses of wine and she sat at the table. Her thoughts were only on a certain blonde and all she could think about was the fact that when she has told Villanelle that she was hers… it didn’t feel like a lie.
Hours later, as Niko slept, Eve lie awake in bed replaying her earlier interaction with the blonde. She remembered the gift in the laundry room and her heart leapt. She looked over at her sleeping husband and quietly got out of bed.
Eve padded downstairs and made her way to the spot where Villanelle had fucked her less than eight hours prior. She reached up behind the detergent and retrieved the black gift box. She slipped the ribbon off and opened it up. Inside was a black crystal perfume bottle, labeled La Villanelle . She pulled it out of the box, untwisted the lid and was pleased to see that it doubled as a glass applicator. The design was absolutely beautiful. She placed a little on her wrist, closing the bottle again and putting it its box for safe keeping. Rubbing her wrists together, Eve pressed it to the pulse points of her neck before bringing her wrist to her nose and inhaling deeply.
Good god ! It smelled heavenly. Faint hints of lavender, vanilla and cedar assaulted her senses. She could have bathed in the scent and it still wouldn’t be enough. Moving the box out of the way, Eve pulled herself up onto the washer. Her left hand cupped her right breast and when she pinched the nipple, her pussy responded almost immediately. She leaned back against the wall, spread her legs and slipped her free hand into her sleep shorts.
All she had to do was picture Villanelle’s face as she stroked her own drenched cunt. Her shiny hair. Soft skin. That cocky fucking smirk. And just before she flew into the deep end of euphoria, Villanelle’s name was on her lips
Weeks passed. Villanelle became a little distant. Two days before half-term, Eve and Villanelle were going over the first five pieces from everyone’s collections. Eve rounded a mannequin at Hugo’s station and dictated to Villanelle what she suggested.
“Flaws in cross stitch. Slightly uneven collar on first glance.” Eve slipped measuring tape from around her neck and took calculations on both sleeves. “Right sleeve is three centimeters shorter than the left. Note to designer: use your seam gauge and stop eyeballing your work. It makes me look bad and you look stupid.”
Villanelle nodded as her pen scribbled furiously on a piece of paper before yawning.
“Am I keeping you awake?” Eve asked, yanking horizontally on the bottom hem of the dress.
“I was not with someone else. If that is what you are wondering.”
Ignoring that comment. Eve mentioned, “Bottom right seams do not intersect flawlessly.”
“My parents had me on the phone until nearly one a.m. trying to convince me to come home for half-term break.”
“Oh? And what was the final decision?”
Villanelle sighed. “It is only four days. I will go home.”
Eve’a chest tightened so abruptly that it almost knocked the air out of her lungs.
“I don’t know why that makes me feel so abandoned.”
“There is more.”
“More than going home to parents who will try to convince you to stay there?”
Eve blinked. “Tell me.”
“I will be staying with Nadia on her parents’ holiday estate.”
“I am just a little concerned that my parents will try to hold my passport hostage so I can not come back.”
The older woman’s eyebrows raised. “They would do that?”
“They are vindictive.”
“Do you plan on—? Are you—? Is Nadia—?”
“I do not plan on having sex with Nadia again.”
“Just because you plan doesn’t mean it won’t happen.”
“You don’t know that.”
“You don’t.” Eve was furious. She moved to Kenny’s station. Villanelle followed quickly.
“I do know that because I only want to have sex with you.”
Eve scoffed. “You only want to sleep with a woman more then twenty years your senior even though there will be a hot girl, your own age, just down the hall from you?”
“ Why ? Why me? What do I have that Nadia doesn’t? She’s single. Young. Cute. Probably willing to do whatever you ask of her without a single question. So why me?!”
“Because I love you!” Villanelle shouted back, now equally as angry. How could Eve be so stupid? So blind?
“What did you just say to me?”
“I love you.”
“No.” Eve’s tone was adamant. Forceful, even.
Her eyes watered and her voice was but a whispered tremble when she responded. “Please… no.”
She couldn’t handle this right now. It was all too much. Too soon. And if she was honest with herself, she knew this was going to happen. She knew it was only a matter of time before one or both of them fell deeper than they should.
Stolen kisses and quickies in Eve’s office had become a thing of the past. Now there were full on make-out sessions that led to hours of slow fucking and sweet sentiments whenever they could. Their conversations were longer and held more depth. Villanelle told Eve about her aspirations, not only in fashion, but in life. Eve told Villanelle about the things she regretted not doing in life, and some of the things that she did. They made future plans under the guise of jokes, but each time they did, their heart strings tugged in their chests.
The fact still remained: Eve was married. There would always be Niko.
“Villanelle. I—I can’t.”
Can’t what ? Villanelle wanted to ask. A single tear rolled down her cheek, but that was all that she would give.
She took a deep breath. Understanding that this was hard for Eve as well, Villanelle steeled her expression and decided to not make it any harder. “I will go home for the short break. The distance will be good. When I return, we will talk.”
Watering brown eyes gazed at each other, neither knowing what to say. Eve was terrified, and not just because of Villanelle’s emotional declaration. She was afraid that Villanelle would go to Russia with Nadia thinking that Eve didn’t feel the same about her.
Even with all of the thoughts racing through her mind a mile a minute, Eve’s lips could not part to just fucking say it .
Eve wanted to reach out for her. To pull her close. To kiss her until she understood that what they had, despite its imperfections, was real.
Will you let me know when you land?
Four hours later…
Despite its concise nature, Eve was relieved to see the message come through. She sat in her home office, grading detailed photographs of her students’ midterm designs.
“What do you say you and I take a miniature vacation to North Norfolk? Small bed and breakfast. Romantic stroll through Cromer.”
Eve whirled around in her chair and looked up at her husband. He looked so hopeful and excited that Eve couldn’t break his heart. She had so much work to do, but it would be a nice distraction from her own inner turmoil.
“I say yes and when do we leave?”
“If we leave in an hour, we can get there by sunset.”
Eve’s face brightened with childish delight and jumped up from her chair. “I’ll go pack!”
Niko grabbed her before she could dart past him, holding her waist. He whirled her around, dipped his laughing wife and kissed her lips. He was such a sweet man. Kind. Safe. Loved her and all of the quirks that she came with. How was she ever supposed to choose between him and Villanelle?
In short, Eve was fucked.
angst is coming. fair warning.
Chapter 11: She Loves Me...
filth. just utter filth.
“Friends ask me how I feel
And I lie convincingly
'Cause I don't want to reveal
The fact that I’m suffering.”
-Mariah Carey, “Breakdown”
Cromer, Norfolk, late October
Three days into their four-day vacation, Eve and Niko held hands as they walked slowly along the shoreline, bundled in bomber jackets and scarves, feet clad in warm hiking boots. This close to the water, the cold air of the coastal town was salty and moist and left Eve’s curls completely wild by the end of the day.
The first two days of their adventure were filled with walks along Cromer Pier, delicious eats at small pubs that based their food around the local venison and fish. They’d been to the salt marshes at Blakeney Point where they were greeted by the early arrival of seal pups.
Eve’s nose was red and her cheeks were pink, but her insides were surprisingly warm from the whiskey and coke they drank before their walk.
“This place is straight out of a storybook. I’m happy here.” Eve admitted to her husband. She swung his hand lightly and looked up at him. He beamed back at her.
“That’s all I aim for.”
Her thoughts only strayed to Villanelle whenever it was quiet. It seemed so simple: Eve did love Villanelle. There were moments when she couldn’t breathe because the thought alone of never having Villanelle in her life just forced the air out of her lungs.
Yes, she loved her. But was it possible to be in love with more than one person?
“Shall we try Gunton Arms for dinner?”
Dinner was nice enough. The Gunton Arms was a luxe inn and gastropub built on a thousand acre deer park in the eighteenth century. The menus changed daily, but always boasted an abundance of meat-centric dishes. The design of the inn reflected heavily on the owners passion of art and no matter where Eve turned, she was absolutely delighted with a new canvas every time. Niko, ever the chef, savored each and every bite of the farm-fresh meal, silently promising himself that he would only buy straight from the farm back home.
It was late when they returned to their own bed and breakfast. Eve was completely exhausted, but Niko had other plans. Try as she might, Eve couldn’t bring herself to be as enthusiastic about fucking Niko. And so, she found herself on her back, legs up and allowed her husband to do all the work.
Fucking missionary. Done right, it could be euphoric; two bodies becoming one, creating a sensational friction until both parties climaxed… hopefully . But, after more than ten years of marriage, it was really fucking boring.
Hands on his back, Eve shut her eyes tightly and raised her hips slightly, hoping to pull him in deeper. A flash of Villanelle forced her pussy to contract around his cock and she involuntarily moaned.
Another flash of Villanelle and as disturbing as it was, Eve used that. She let herself feel every sensation as she used her memories of Villanelle to reach her peak.
Her favorite memory?
Two weeks ago, Villanelle invited Eve round to take a peek at her most recent design. She wanted feedback. And she got it.
“Fuck. This is incredible!” Eve covered her mouth in delighted surprised and shook her head. “You really have a gift.”
“I can do more with these hands than just sew.” Villanelle said, taking a step toward Eve.
“Is that so?”
“Mm. Would you like to see?”
“Very much so.”
Next thing Eve knew, she was being fucked doggystyle on the floor, in front of Villanelle’s vintage full-length tri-fold mirror. Villanelle had commanded that she keep her eyes open and she peered deeply into them, the entire time. And no matter where Eve turned, she could see herself being fucked from almost every angle.
Eve was already taking three of Villanelle’s long skilled fingers inside of her when she begged, “More.”
“Say please.” Villanelle goaded.
And so Villanelle worked a fourth finger into her sopping pussy. The feeling was unmatched by anything Eve had ever experienced. She felt incredibly full and her climax was just out of reach.
So she begged, her voice cracking, “More, please.”
“You are just take take take today.” Villanelle noted, cocky smirk perfectly in place. “Since you asked so nicely.”
Her thumb folded against her palm and she maneuvered it inside.
“Eve. You have my entire hand soaked.” With her free hand, Villanelle grabbed a handful of dark curls and pulled upwards, forcing Eve’s up and against her own. “Does your husband fill you so completely?” She breathed into her ear.
Eve was absolutely titillated that Villanelle was in that kind of mood.
The blonde’s grin spread and her hand pumped quicker inside of Eve. “Show me what you do when you think of me at night.”
Hesitantly, Eve’s hand slid down her own body and she began to rub her clit. Slowly at first, but as Villanelle picked up speed, so did she.
“Yes.” Villanelle murmured. “Just like that.”
A choked sob from Eve and a delighted chuckle from Villanelle.
“Look at you. Look how beautiful you are.”
Eve tried, but she couldn’t shut her eyes. Villanelle let go of Eve’s hair, slapped her hand away and took over rubbing Eve’s sensitive nub.
“Squeeze your tits.”
Eve did as she was told, going above and beyond by pinching her own nipples. Villanelle rewarded her by biting down on her pulse point before sucking gently. The sensations were too much and Eve couldn’t hold out much longer.
So when Villanelle whispered, “Do you like being my secret little whore?”, Eve squirted.
A few heightened grunts from Niko and Eve knew he was going to come soon. He raised up on his haunches, hands under her knees and began to jackhammer into her. He used his thumb to frantically massage her clit. Her eyes squeezed tighter and she held onto the images of Villanelle as she came mere moments before he pulled his cock out and spurted his cum onto her pussy.
Niko hopped out of the bed to get a warm, damp washcloth from the bathroom.
When he was back, Eve got out of bed, headed to the bathroom and shut the door behind her.
She needed a shower.
She tried. Villanelle really tried to enjoy her short vacation. For four whole days, she wasn’t supposed to think or work or feel anything other than complete tranquility. But she didn’t.
In fact, all she did was think, and work on sketches, and feel complete and utter fucking unrest. Eve had yet again been so unfair, expecting Villanelle to simply take whatever she was offering. Which wasn’t much when she really thought about it. Villanelle was younger than Eve, but she wasn’t dumb. She knew the consequences of seducing a married woman, but it took two to tango and Villanelle certainly hadn’t been dancing alone!
It certainly didn’t feel like it when she and Eve were doing what they did best.
Villanelle thought back to two mere weeks ago.
Eve entered their shared office, shutting and locking the door behind her. Villanelle looked up from the textbook in front of her.
“You have to stop doing that.”
“Doing what?” Villanelle asked innocently. A tad too innocently. And Eve was suddenly aware that she’d planned this all along.
Eve pulled Villanelle’s swivel chair away from the desk and turned the younger woman to face her. She gestured wildly at Villanelle’s short, black asymmetrical skirt and sheer high-neck blouse.
“Dressing like this. It’s very distracting.”
Villanelle uncrossed her legs and crossed them again. Just as she’d done an hour ago in Eve’s lecture. And caused Eve to say “fucking in only the shirt” instead of “ tucking in only the shirt”. Villanelle had been exceptionally pleased with that moment.
“I do not dress to please you, Eve. And I will not start now.”
Eve lowered herself to be eye level with Villanelle. “The way you dress does please me. Whether you try to or not.” She pushed against Villanelle’s legs to uncross and part them before dropping gracefully to her knees.
“No panties?” Eve asked.
The blonde bit her bottom lip and gave a coquettish shake of her head.
Villanelle spread her legs wider and her skirt forced its way further up her thighs.
Eve made a small gesture with her hand as if to say “let’s have it, then.”
Villanelle scooted down in the seat, obediently bringing her pussy to Eve’s awaiting mouth. Eve placed both of Villanelle’s thighs over her shoulders and kissed her pussy softly. Villanelle pressed the back of two fingers into her mouth, biting down as she tried to stifle her moans.
Something that Villanelle would never tire of was how Eve ate her pussy with such gusto. It was as if she was starving and Villanelle had a six course meal between her thighs. The things Eve could do with her tongue always made Villanelle just the slightest bit suspicious that she’d done this before.
But Eve was just a quick learner. Always had been. So it was no surprise that she had learned exactly what made Villanelle’s legs shake and body quiver. Like when she rolled her tongue firmly against her pearl while fingerfucking her painstakingly slowly, Villanelle would cry out, grab Eve’s hair and circle her hips in sync with Eve’s tongue.
“Oh god, Eve ! Yes !”
Eve took care to learn Villanelle’s body; what she liked, what she hated. And what she loved was when Eve fucked her through her orgasm and then lapped up the evidence like it was the last taste she’d ever have.
Villanelle sat cross-legged on an oversized velvet accent chair in a sunroom with a sketchbook on her lap. But she was staring out of a window at the rolling landscape before her. The property was well over 200 acres in each direction and it was just what Villanelle needed to escape everything except her own thoughts.
“Billie?” Nadia’s quiet voice came. The blonde turned towards the doorway where Nadia stood and raised her brows in acknowledgment.
“Your Uncle has arrived.”
That cheered her up just a little. “Where is he?”
Villanelle padded through the enormous estate, receiving polite smiles and curt nods from the staff she passed.
“There she is.” Konstantin greeted, his arms open wide. Villanelle ran into them, standing on her tiptoes to hug his round belly awkwardly.
“This is a terrible hug.” She admitted.
Konstantin laughed heartily and pulled away. “It is good to see you.”
“Likewise.” She looped an arm through his and guided him to an informal sitting room. “Would you like something to eat or drink?”
“No no. I actually cannot stay long. I just wanted to see how you are doing.”
Villanelle shrugged. “I could be better.”
“What is wrong?”
“I feel like everyone is playing tug-of-war with me. They all want me in different directions.”
“Have you spoken to your parents?”
“Not since I arrived.”
“I will arrange a dinner. In public. You can leave whenever you want.”
Villanelle sighed. “It won’t matter. I will not do as they ask. I am staying in London.”
“Do not call me that.”
Konstantin sighed. “It is your name.”
“Not anymore. I do not want anything to do with my life here. This place brings nothing except pain.”
“Villanelle,” he placated, “just hear them out.”
“Why? They never once attempt to hear me out. All they care about are appearances.”
He reached over and placed a hand on her arm. “Just dinner. For me. Then, I will drive you back here myself.”
Villanelle looked toward the heavens and gave him a frustrated exhale.
“First, you and I will spend some time alone. To talk more in depth. I will be past to get you tomorrow morning. Dress for a proper hike, not a fashion show.”
“I can do both.”
Konstantin wagged a finger at her and made a playful grunt of disapproval.
It was a nice interruption, but as soon as he was gone, Villanelle went back to the sunroom, pulled her sketchbook into her lap and her thoughts quickly returned to the predicament in which she’d found herself.
Chapter 12: ...She Loves Me Not
angst. dassit. das all.
“If I can’t have you
Let love set you
Free to fly your
Pretty wings around.”
-Maxwell, “Pretty Wings”
Konstantin laughed, clapping his hands together once. “How do you always find trouble?”
“I don’t!” Villanelle protested. She bit the cone of her ice cream and pouted.
Konstantin pinched one of her cheeks and she strained to remove her face from his grasp.
“Then tell me how this happened.”
“It just happened.”
“No, I know you.” He wagged a ginger in her face. “You use your charm for personal gain.”
Villanelle’s lips twitched and she hid her oncoming smile by biting her cone again. “I deserve the finer things in life.”
“That does not mean you take them from someone else.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Uncle Konstantin. I did not take her. She came willingly.” Villanelle smirked. “In every sense of the word.”
“Don’t be fresh.”
Her pout deepened, thoroughly scolded.
“You are inviting heartache. This will not end well. Be smart.”
Villanelle had been thinking the same thing for the last couple of days. It was actually the only thing she thought of. At first, Villanelle tried to comfort herself with the idea that maybe there was at least a glimmer of hope that Eve would leave her husband. And Villanelle had replayed every conversation, every touch, every furtive glance since her first meeting with Eve Polastri, trying to find just a hint that Eve really was falling deeper for her too.
But she couldn’t.
Eventually, when her thoughts became so all-consuming that she couldn’t even sketch her final three ensembles, Villanelle realized that she was losing her focus. Eve was clouding her objectivity when it came to her design-making process. Eve was making her soft and subjective. She cared too much and despite what Eve thought, this really was hard for Villanelle as well. If Villanelle failed to create the perfect collection she would lose out on signing with any major fashion house. If that happened, everything would have been for naught: her hard work would mean nothing and she would lose the constant battle of wills with her parents. What would she be left with?
Was it better that she end this now? And despite what Eve said, could they remain friends?
Villanelle wasn’t sure if she could give Eve only her friendship. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to.
No , Villanelle thought, maybe friendship is harder than whatever this already is.
“I do not want to talk about this anymore.”
Konstantin made a tching noise at her. “You are a woman now.”
“Yes, I have the occasional heavy period to prove it.” Villanelle sassed back.
“What I am saying is: you are not a child anymore. All of your actions have consequences now. There is no one to save you but yourself.”
Villanelle sighed and Konstantin wrapped a large, comforting arm around her shoulders and squeezed.
“Gin and tonic.”
“You really have changed.” Konstantin laughed.
Villanelle fiddled with the dinner napkin on her lap. Konstantin watched her carefully, a glimmer of pity in his eyes.
“One hour. Then we go.”
Villanelle nodded once, feeling only slightly less nervous. A few minutes later, her parents were walking toward them.
“Thank you for coming, Oksana.” Her father greeted in Russian. Villanelle’s eyes widened theatrically and she gave a polite smile as she looked to her uncle for help.
“She won’t speak Russian anymore. And she goes by Villanelle now.” He clarified.
“Ah.” Her father replied as they sat. Her mother remained quiet. “Well, thank you for making such an effort, Villanelle.”
Villanelle made a show of adjusting the shoulders of her outrageous pink Molly Goddard frock. Her black bralette showed underneath and she’d finished the look off with her favorite Doc Marten combat boots.
Her father, Viktor, was a scholarly looking gentleman with dark, close-cropped hair and connecting salt-pepper beard. He made his living as a criminal psychologist and had always known how to get into her mind.
But with his ability to read people within thirty-seconds of meeting them, his scathing honesty and professional anecdotes made him off-putting.
Her mother, Irina, or ’ the little bitch with really thin, shitty hair’ as Villanelle described her, pursed her lips but still said nothing. She had grown up as a socialite, married a wealthy man who didn’t need to work, but found he had a passion for learning the inner workings of a person’s mind. It was all just as well; Irina spent her time networking and finding new ways to spend Viktor’s money.
“We are very happy you came here tonight. We understand if you are angry at us.” Viktor began.
“I am not angry. I am indifferent. You want to withhold money from me. Fine. I will make more.”
Irina scoffed, drawing Villanelle’s eyes to her.
“But I will do it my way. With my fashion.”
“I wish you could see that everything we do is in your best interests.”
“Yes. Leaving me destitute in London is in my best interest.”
“We just cannot continue to see you throw your life away.”
Villanelle sat back in her chair and rolled her eyes to the heavens. “Is that why you adopted me? Because you thought you could craft the perfect human who would do everything you wanted?”
Viktor sputtered, his mouth opening and closing twice but he never spoke.
“You never wanted me to speak my mind or be who I really am. Are appearances worth that much to you? Am I that much of a disappointment? You have never even asked to see my work. You don’t even know how amazing I actually am.”
“You have always been amazing, Oksana.” Irina finally interrupted, though her tone was full of disdain. She actually sounded… jealous. “You were always exceptionally bright and charming and able to draw the attention of everyone in the room. Are you happy now? Is that what you want to hear?”
“I do not need to hear things I already know.”
Viktor added, “A career in fashion is not promising. What if you do not meet the right people or make enough money? You have to be taken care of.”
“I have to be happy .” Villanelle protested. “And I am not happy here. I never was. You want me here, but for what purpose? You have never spent time with me. Never cared about my interests. You just want to parade me around like a show pony until another show pony wants to mate with me.”
“Villanelle is doing very well with schooling.” Konstantin interjected. “She makes beautiful clothing and she has even met someone. You shou—.”
“ You met someone?” Irina asked.
“Don’t sound so surprised.”
Irina regarded Villanelle with muted interest. She drank from the complimentary water glass in front of her and mentioned, conversationally, “I ran into Anna at the bakery not long ago.”
Konstantin watched as Villanelle’s body language screamed uncomfortable. She suddenly didn’t know what to do with her hands. They balled into fists and then opened. Her arms crossed and her palms landed on her biceps, rubbing slightly as if she were trying to comfort herself. Her big, brown eyes watered and she cleared her throat.
“I would like to leave now.”
Konstantin looked between the young blonde and her parents.
“Now, please.” She repeated, firmly, standing from her seat. Konstantin stood as well.
“Oh, there she goes. Running from her problems as usual.” Irina commented.
“Irina!” Viktor chided.
When Konstantin had Villanelle safely out of the restaurant and down the street, Villanelle lost it. She stop in the middle of the sidewalk and let out the loudest, frustrated shriek that she should. A few people glanced but said or did nothing and when she was done, she took a few deep breaths to calm herself. In an instant, she’d put her wall again and Konstantin witnessed it first hand.
“I hate them.”
I hate who they made me become , Villanelle reflected. It was all too much. Her mind raced and so did her heart.
Sweet Eve. Sweet Anna.
Both were being tormented by their connection to Villanelle.
I , she decided, am the common denominator. I am the reason for so much confusion.
And with that though, she looped her arm with Uncle Konstantin’s, allowing him to lead her to his car, and decided that she would not be the reason for any more confusion.
She would stop being selfish. This would be the end.
Kings Cross, London
Monday came some soon, and yet not soon enough. For both Eve and Villanelle.
Hi. I hope your half-term holiday went well. Can we meet before office hours? -V
Eve started at the text for nearly two full minutes, not knowing what to say back. Villanelle had gone radio silent since she landed in Russia. And while Eve had a few moments of weakness where she wanted to text or call Villanelle, she stopped herself. Somehow, Eve convinced herself that this break really would be good for both of them, but truthfully, she was slowly dying inside. Every moment without Villanelle was so black and white. Villanelle added Technicolor to her every waking moment. And she hadn’t felt like that in a long time.
She’d made a decision on the three-hour drive home from North Norfolk: Eve was going to tell Villanelle that she loved her too.
What was the point of denying it any longer?
Niko was a kind man, yes. And he loved her. But he ran on routine and Eve preferred the unfamiliar. She felt safe with Niko, but life wasn’t about feeling safe. For Eve, it was about taking risks and learning new things every day.
Yes. She responded. We have so much to talk about.
Office, half hour early? -V
I’ll be there.
Eve couldn’t stop smiling.
CSM, Annex B, 11:27AM
It was a small office. Too small for the big emotions that Eve felt. The blonde walked into the office and it felt like the hushed chatter in Eve’s mind finally quieted. Everything was right again; Villanelle was back in her world. She stood from her desk, her expression both surprised and expectant.
“Hi.” Eve breathed. And it was the first real breath she’d taken in four days.
“Hi.” Villanelle replied. Despite her made up appearance, Eve could tell that she was exhausted. Whether it was from emotions, lack of sleep or jet lag, Eve couldn’t be sure.
She watched as Villanelle placed her things at her own desk before crossing the small room to take a seat across from Eve. Eve sat back down, shuffled a few papers together and closed her laptop.
“I’m glad you still wanted to talk.” She let out a nervous laugh and Villanelle’s eyes dropped to Eve’s fiddling hands.
“Do I still make you nervous?” Villanelle asked, the corner of her mouth twitching upwards briefly.
Almost at once, Eve folded her hands in her lap. “Yes. And I suspect you always will.”
They sat in silence for a few moments simply looking at one another.
“You said we had a lot to talk about.” Villanelle finally said.
“Yes, but you go first.”
The younger woman cleared her throat. “I don’t think we should do this anymore.”
“Have sex. Or be intimate in any way, really.”
Eve’s breath was suddenly sucked from her lungs. She shook her head. “Wh—?”
“I know this has been hard for you. And it has for me too. I understand how difficult it would be for you if you had to go through a divorce, and I do not want to be the reason that happens. It would make you unhappy and I do not want you to be unhappy.”
“But I’m not unhappy.” The quiver in Eve’s voice nearly made Villanelle rethink the end of the conversation.
“You will be if you continue to be pulled in two different directions. Trust me, I know.”
Eve was trying to process what Villanelle had just said to her.
Was Villanelle breaking things off because she thought it’d be easier than telling her she was leaving? Had her parents convinced her to return to Russia?
“Is this because of your parents?”
The blonde’s brown eyes closed briefly and she sighed. “I… I am not myself. I think of you too often. You are taking over my world and I just,” the blonde exhaled again, “need this to end.”
It was harsh, Villanelle knew, but it was what was best for Eve. So, she stood and Eve watched as she went to her desk and gathered her things.
“I will take my appointments in the library in Annex C.” Was the last thing Villanelle said before she left the room.
“But,” Eve said quietly to the empty room, “I love you.”
Chapter 13: No Place Like...
posting tonight because I’ll be at Dorney Park all day tomorrow.
“Oh, you loved me 'cause I'm fragile,
When I thought that I was strong.
But you touch me for a little while,
And all my fragile strength is gone.”
-Sara Bareilles, “Gravity”
Days passed. Weeks passed. Nearly two full months. Eve and Villanelle somehow found a rhythm that was comfortable enough. Mostly because they’d managed to avoid one another on campus except for class. Villanelle took her office hour appointments in the library or in a quiet corner of a coffee shop. She and Eve communicated mainly through a series of terse emails and they were strictly about the work of other students.
One week before the fashion college was to conclude its fall-winter semester, Villanelle’s world was, once again, turned upside down.
She pulled two pins out of her mouth, stuck them into her mannequin and turned around to see who was interrupting her.
“Niko.” She stood to her full height, already wondering why he was on campus.
“Hi. I hoped I might find you here.”
And what the hell did he want from her?
A half-assed apology started to form in her mind.
Niko, babes, listen, I am sorry I was fucking your wife. Well, not sorry about the fucking part. More sorry that she is your wife. You wouldn’t be considering a divorce by any chance? No? Well, then—.
“What can I do for you?” Villanelle inquired as politely as possible. She half-sat, half-leaned against the lip of her desk, ankles and arms crossed.
“Two things actually.”
“The first being that I would like to commission a piece from you for Eve’s Christmas gift.”
Villanelle’s lips parted and she tilted her head to the side. Her smirk, that hadn’t seen the light of day in months, was suddenly back in full force.
Why hadn’t she ever thought of creating lingerie that fit Eve’s supple body so fucking perfectly? Maybe pull off a barely-there lace thong with her teeth—.
Down girl , Villanelle told herself. Focus .
“Well, no. Although, that’s a lovely thought.”
Yes. Yes it is.
“I was thinking more along the lines of a dress or a blouse? I’ve seen photographs of your work that Eve was grading. You’re quite talented.”
“Yes, I am.”
Niko didn’t know how to respond to that, so he moved on. “Let me know your price and I’ll have a check sent to you by messenger.”
“You said there were two things.”
“Yes. The other is that—,” he looked away and Villanelle noticed it immediately.
“Is Eve okay?”
“Yes. Yes. She’s fine. I just—. Eve mentioned that your family is far away and that you will probably stay here over holiday break.”
Villanelle nodded, understanding now. “She told you my parents are shit and I’m spending the holiday in London without them.”
“Not so bluntly, but she’d had two glasses of white, so—.”
“So, she was very generous with her mouth.” Villanelle interrupted, stifling a smirk at her own private joke.
Niko found Villanelle strange, and the way she phrased things even more strange.
“Sure.” He responded. “Anyway, I was hoping you’d do us the honor of attending our annual Christmas Eve party. Perhaps, stay over and open gifts with us on Christmas morning.”
Villanelle suddenly felt like a pitied orphan. “Does Eve know you are inviting me to spend the holiday at your home?”
“It won’t matter to Eve. The more, the merrier. Besides, no one should spend Christmas alone.”
“I won’t take no for an answer.”
Villanelle wanted to protest. She wanted to tell him that she would be just fine alone on Christmas. There would be an abundance of spiked eggnog, red wine and carryout from the Thai restaurant a few blocks away. But she didn’t. Because no matter how much she denied it, not seeing Eve at least once a week for the next month would kill her. So, if she had to suffer through pleasantries with Niko and God only knows l how many other people, she would.
“Fine. Yes. I accept your invitation. Thank you.”
When he didn’t leave immediately, Villanelle raised her brows. “Was there anything else?”
Niko realized he was overstaying his welcome and he put his hands up in surrender. “I’ll leave you to it.”
“Fall/Winter ready-to-wear collections are bullshit. The only fashion house even worth mentioning in that department is Fendi!” Hugo shouted.
“What? High necks in various shades of brown? Pass. The only thing they’ve gotten right is their logo. Two massive Fs for fucking fail !” Kenny rebutted.
“Oooo!” Came the taunting collective. Eve’s head whipped back and forth like she was watching a ping-pong tournament.
“If were talking about fall/winter failures, the only company we should be looking at is Betsy Johnson.” Another student added.
“She’s not even a fucking contender! Now if you want to talk about Ralph Lauren, then we can have a real discussion.” Hugo objected.
“Ralph Lauren is iconic. They never change their designs, which is how they’ve managed to stay so relevant. They don’t conform to what bullshit is considered ‘ in ’.” Kenny said, using air quotes.
“Yes, well, style is relative.” Villanelle spoke up. She pushed off of Eve’s desk that she had been leaning on, arms crossed. “What I consider the perfect ensemble, might be absolutely ridiculous to you. I don’t think it is about being in . It is about being you .”
“Oh, come off it, Billie. You’re an absolute fashion icon at CSM. Everyone on campus talks about your fashion choices.”
“But that is exactly my point. Fashion is absolute. Throwing together two outrageous pieces designed to turn heads and make people think is fashionable. It is art. That does not mean Nadia, for example, would wear anything in my closet because her style is completely different.”
“So, I think that takes Ralph Lauren out of the running. Just because you wouldn’t wear what they create, doesn’t make them failures.”
Eve nodded her head, impressed with the debate. “Well, I think that is the perfect place to end for today. So, remind yourselves that what you create is wearable art, as Villanelle stated. Make your mark on the fashion industry and leave a lasting impression. Happy holidays. I’ll see you all in the new year.”
Eve accepted hugs from students who reached out to her first and wished others happy holidays. When the room cleared and it was only she and Villanelle left, Eve cleared her throat.
“Any, uh, any plans for the holiday?”
Villanelle put her hands in her pockets and tried not to smile. “Are you making small talk with me?”
“Yes. Is it weird? It’s weird, right?”
“Very weird,” Villanelle admitted, turning and putting her palms on Eve’s desk, “but cute.”
“Try to,” Eve gestured at Villanelle’s face and then the rest of her body, “turn on the charm after giving me the cold shoulder for the last two months.”
Villanelle hid her delight well. Eve still thought she was charming.
“Well, you will have to play nice with me. Niko invited me to your Christmas party.”
“Oh?” Eve could hide her pleasure, too. She hoped. “What did you say?”
“I said I will be there. Will that be weird for you?”
“No. Not weird. Good. Fine. The more, the merrier.”
“That is exactly what he said. Just before he invited me to open gifts with you on Christmas as well.”
Try as she might, Eve couldn’t stop the surprised expression from crossing her face.
“So,” Villanelle said, giving a small shimmy of her shoulders, “get me something nice.”
For the next week, Villanelle worked diligently on her commission for Eve’s Christmas gift from Niko. It was a stunning black and white halter dress made of satin that crossed around the neck. She would install a zipper along the back and went for a tight, feminine fit. While Niko had sent her sizes to Villanelle, she went a size smaller since Eve usually wore her clothes oversized and unflattering for her beautiful shape. She charged him for the materials only, ending with a grand a grand total of twenty-six-hundred dollars.
Villanelle’s gift to Eve was the original sketch of South Korean designer Andrè Kim’s first ever couture design. She’d paid an ungodly amount at an auction and then another obscene quantity of money to get it re-authenticated. It had been hard trying to decide what to get her former lover, but she knew how proud Eve was of her Korean heritage. It’d make a lovely edition to her home studio.
Eve had the absolute worst time trying to find a gift for Villanelle. Everything she looked at was either too drab for the wild young woman or too inappropriate to give to her in front of Niko.
In the end, she decided on two gifts. One that she’d give to Villanelle in private during the Christmas party, and the other she’d give on Christmas morning. The first present would be to let Villanelle know her true feelings. Truth be told, Eve’s heart still ached for Villanelle. She never got to tell her that she loved her and she hated that Villanelle walked around with no knowledge of it.
Still, she had to be careful in her approach. Both she and Villanelle had been walking on eggshells when they did cross paths. But no matter how hard either tried, there was no denying the chemistry between them. And if Eve was honest with herself, she didn’t want to deny it anymore.
Eve could be herself with Villanelle. And it wasn’t that she couldn’t with Niko. Villanelle completely understood the creative part of Eve that Niko couldn’t. It was strange for Eve to connect with another creative who she felt matched her in most ways and elevated her in others.
And it was so incredibly liberating.
Christmas Eve, 19:44PM
Eve paced the kitchen, glass of spiked eggnog in one hand and uncharacteristically biting the thumb nail on the other. With guests in almost every corner of her home, Eve had played the gracious host for the past hour and had yet to take a moment for herself. And it was the worst idea she’d ever had. Alone with her alcohol and her thoughts, all Eve wondered was when the fuck was Villanelle going to arrive.
Almost as if on cue, the doorbell rang and her heart slammed against her chest. Everyone else had arrived. It could only be one person. Eve headed to the front door, Niko meeting her along the way. He wrapped an arm around her waist and she had to stop herself from pulling away.
In a Wales Bonner plaid-checked shirt and near matching pants, the blonde held three, fairly large gifts in her arms. Black gift boxes with gold bows. Just like Eve’s perfume box.
“Villanelle, you made it. Welcome.” Niko greeted. He took the gifts she held out and stopped her from entering. Niko pointed up and three sets of eyes looked up to see the mistletoe hanging above the door. He’d done it for everyone, and they had all obliged the silly tradition and Villanelle was no different. She double-kissed Niko’s cheeks and then turned her attention to Eve, cocking an eyebrow suggestively. Eve leaned forward, hand on Villanelle’s forearm and made a move to kiss her cheek. Villanelle turned her head ever so slightly and Eve’s lips landed on the corner of Villanelle’s mouth and she couldn’t stop the almost inaudible whine that escaped her.
“Come in. Come in.” Niko said, finally pulling her inside and away from Eve. “What would you like to drink?”
Eve didn’t hear her answer because she was too busy trying to will away the flood that happened in her panties.
“Come along, Eve.” She heard Villanelle urge. Groaning, she tapped her forehead against the edge of the door.
“Fuck. Me.” Eve mumbled to herself before shutting the door and following behind them.
Chapter 14: ...Home for the Holidays
major "pick me, choose me, love me!" vibes.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“I belong with you.
You belong with me.
You’re my sweetheart.”
-The Lumineers, “Ho Hey”
Horny. Eve was hand-to-God, pray for forgiveness because she was going to commit adultery for the thousandth time fucking horny!
Villanelle integrated perfectly with Eve and Niko’s friends. She and Bill shared a stimulating conversation about the meekness of most humans and how easily it was to exploit weaknesses.
With Elena, she talked about the inevitable consequences of not receiving closure from ex-lovers, with Villanelle vehemently agreeing with Elena’s pro-closure stance. Jessica, while at first put off by Villanelle’s blunt attitude, had laughed heartily at something that the blonde said. Keiko struck up a conversation about freedom of expression and how having kids with a man over forty could stifle it. Even when Jessica’s husband, Nick, asked her a question that Eve considered misogynistic, Villanelle easily took him down a peg in less than five words. And Elena’s ex-boyfriend, well… he hadn’t lasted past pleasantries before Villanelle cocked an eyebrow and he excused himself.
Watching as Villanelle flitted from one conversation to another effortlessly, Eve became more and more impressed with her. She was so alluring and elegant and her intelligence couldn’t have been more of a turn on for Eve.
What was even more amazing was that Villanelle did not particularly seem interested in speaking with Gemma, a coworker of Niko’s, but watched her intently throughout the evening. Eve had never been a fan of Gemma’s either. At first, it had been cute watching Gemma try to gain Niko’s attention, but over the last few years, it quickly became irritating and Eve simply tolerated her presence.
It was when everyone retired to the family room, decorated with a Christmas tree and string lights, that Eve’s libido went into overdrive. She and Bill fell onto the floor where he laid his head against her outstretched legs. Nick and Jessica, sat on the loveseat and Niko was pulled down beside them to talk about how lovely the house looked. Keiko sat on the arm of the loveseat and reached forward, handing off her glass of wine to Bill just as Gemma, Elena and Nick excused themselves to smoke in the backyard.
The only place left? Niko’s favorite recliner chair.
Villanelle cleared her throat, catching Eve’s attention immediately. Smoothly, she sat in Niko’s chair, hands on the armrests, and rested one foot on the opposite knee looking every bit a queen on her throne.
She gave Eve a pointed look.
“Baby wants to come?”
Eve’s breath got caught in her chest and her eyelashes fluttered.
“You are so wet.”
The blonde smirked then turned her attention to Niko.
“Niko, I just love this chair.” Villanelle remarked, rubbing the arms of the well-loved chair that she had fucked his wife on. Eve sputtered into her glass of eggnog. “It is so spacious and comfortable.”
“It is, isn’t it.” He went into the specifics of the chair and Villanelle gave him her undivided attention as if she actually gave a fuck.
And Eve knew she was doing it to torture her.
Eventually, the topic changed and Villanelle was engaged in a healthy debate about designers using their platforms to offend people.
“If we’re all entitled to our own opinion, than what’s to stop these designers from incorporating that into their work?” Gemma said.
Eve and Villanelle gave each other a look.
Elena explained, “I don’t think what Jess was saying meant their work suffered, I think it’s the people who look up to them who suffer.”
“Yes, like Dolce and Gabbana saying that they don’t believe gay couples should be able to adopt.” Villanelle mentioned.
“Yeah and didn’t they criticize IVF and surrogacy?” Niko added.
“Exactly, and don’t even get me started on the constant cultural appropriation in the fashion industry. It’s depraved.” Villanelle remarked, resting her elbows on her knees.
“Here, here.” Bill raised his glass to Villanelle.
“Billie, I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that you’re a student at CSM. You’re so refined and intellectual for your age.” Jessica observed.
“I like to think we age with our experiences.” Villanelle told her.
“If that’s the case, I’m 109.” Bill joked.
“Does that mean you had to grow up fast?” Keiko inquired.
Villanelle shrugged. “A little, I suppose. I spent a lot of time alone and had to find ways of entertaining myself. My adoptive parents were away a lot. Sometimes, I read. Sometimes I got into a little bit of trouble. I have discovered that it is not good, for anyone, when I am bored”
Adopted. Eve’s mind pulled her heartstrings in a million different directions. Villanelle had never spoken much about her childhood. And Eve didn’t pry; it seemed like a sore subject for her. With Eve, Villanelle always preferred to talk about the future instead of her past.
“How old were you when you were adopted?” Niko had to know.
“Do you—?” Eve’s voice had become dry and raspy. A lump was in her throat. She cleared it. “Do you remember your biological parents?”
“What I do remember, I wish I didn’t.”
“That’s tough.” Nick supplied.
“I’m sorry that you had a shit start in life.” Niko added.
“Yeah, but it’s not always about how life starts.” Jessica chimed in. “Look at Billie. She’s made something of herself.”
“Oh, I owe it all to Eve. She has taught me to see people for who they really are.”
“She’s pretending to be modest. She was perfect when I met her.” Eve smiled at Villanelle who looked a bit taken aback by that appraisal of herself.
“You do not give yourself enough credit as a professor. I have learned so much from you.”
“And I’ve learned much more from you .”
“Oh, get a room already.” Keiko joked. And while mostly everyone in the room laughed, a blushing Eve could only pull her gaze away from Villanelle when Bill tapped her leg and offered the wine to her.
Niko was the only one who hadn’t cracked a smile.
“Bugger, I forgot the spoons.” Niko sat down the tray of tea he brought to their guests.
“Oh, I will get them.” Villanelle offered, politely.
“Cheers, lovely.” Niko gave her a strained smile.
Villanelle found her way into the kitchen only to find herself alone with Eve who was rummaging through the fridge for dessert. She gathered spoons from the drawer Eve showed her the first time she was in their home.
Turning back around she realized that Eve had shut the door to the refrigerator and was moving to empty her hands onto the counter. Villanelle assisted her, and their hands grazed. Eve cleared her throat and avoided eye contact so Villanelle reached over and tugged at Eve’s messy ponytail.
“Are you five?”
“Isn’t that what you are supposed to do when you like a girl? Pull her pigtails?”
Eve sighed and looked up at the ceiling. “I’m pissed with you.”
“Why? Let’s start with how you never let me say what I had to say. How you were an asshole. And how you made me fall in love with you before you completely shut me out.” Eve replied, sotto voce.
Villanelle grinned and leaned her hip against the counter. “You are in love with me?”
“That’s all you got from what I said?”
“Where are those spoons, Billie?” Niko asked, stepping into the room. Villanelle held them up. He nodded and turned on his heels.
As she started to follow Niko out of the room, Villanelle whispered, “I won’t sleep until we finish this conversation.”
Eve felt Villanelle’s fingertips across the back of her neck and indulged in the shiver that ran down her spine.
Villanelle was going to be the death of her and somehow, Eve didn’t mind.
It was nearly one a.m. on Christmas Day when the last straggler finally left and almost an hour after that when Niko was snoring soundly beside Eve. She pulled her phone from the nightstand to text Villanelle, who Niko had made comfortable in the guest room while Eve had cleaned up the mess left by their guests. It felt so wrong with her husband in the house sleeping peacefully in his own bed.
But , Eve convinced herself, we’re just going to talk.
I told you I wouldn’t.
Meet me downstairs?
Come to my room.
Eve slipped quietly out of bed and tiptoed through the hall to her studio only to see Villanelle already there. Her blonde hair was pulled up into a ponytail on the crown of her head and she was using Eve’s materials to sketch. One of the presents she’d brought to the party was sitting next to her on the desk.
The door, which always had a slight creak to it, sounded a thousand times louder to Eve as she slipped it shut. Villanelle stopped sketching and turned to face Eve.
“So,” the younger woman started, leaning forward and unintentionally drawing Eve’s attention to the cleavage in her robe, “you are in love with me.”
Eve swallowed harshly and tore her eyes away from the softly-wrapped gift that was Villanelle Astankova. She exhaled a shaky, “Yes.”
“I am in love with you, too.”
“Oh, she says.”
“I don’t know what else to say. I don’t know what else to do.”
“Well, that is not entirely true, is it, sweet Eve? You know exactly what to do, but you can’t.” Villanelle arose gracefully from the swivel chair and stood before Eve.
Had she always been this much taller than Eve? Or was it the pedestal that Eve put her on?
Voice quivering, Eve admitted aloud, “I want to get a divorce.”
“Oh, I do not think Niko will be opposed.”
“Why? Do you think he suspects?”
“No, because he is fucking Gemma.”
“Well, I cannot be certain, of course, but—.”
“ What ?” Eve hissed. Her world started to spin, only for Villanelle to ground her by placing her hands on Eve’s shoulders.
She was giggling. “Eve, you are too easy. I’m kidding.”
Except she wasn’t, but the look on Eve’s face told her exactly what she needed to know. Eve loved Niko, too. And sure, she may not have been in love with him anymore, but Konstantin was right: this would end badly. For everyone involved. The best thing Villanelle could do was be there to catch Eve when she fell.
Eve pushed Villanelle’s hands off of her shoulders and walked to the desk for lack of anything else to do. “That’s not funny.”
“Oh, come on, it was a little funny. Besides,” Villanelle shrugged one shoulder, “if they were, you really have no room to be outraged.”
She hated that Villanelle had a point.
But Niko would never—.
It was enough for Eve to doubt her husband. It was what Villanelle wanted; how she thought she’d win .
“You weren’t joking.” Eve accused. She whipped back around to face her younger counterpart. “You could see that Gemma bothered me. It was a weakness and you exploited it. Low blow, but I can take that. What I can’t take is you being dishonest anymore.”
“ I’m being dishonest? You’re the one living a lie to appease whatever heteronormative code that you so desperately want to cling to.”
“And that’s what gets you off; the idea that you have taken an innocent little housewife and made her spin 180 degrees into your world.”
Villanelle huffed out her laughter and walked to Eve’s cubed shelves trying to simultaneously distance and calm herself to no avail. Eve followed right behind her. “Innocent is not the word I would use to describe you, Eve. Especially not when you were begging me to fill you up just a little bit more.”
“And you gave it so willingly.” Eve spat. “I’m not denying my role in any of this. That’s the difference between me and you. I’m being honest about all of this. I always have been. What about you?”
“What about me?”
“Earlier tonight, you told Jess that I taught you how to see people for who they really are. Was that just bullshit? Because from where I’m standing, it’s like you see everything and everyone as a goal to conquer. So, just be honest.”
“Honesty? That is all you want from me?” Villanelle asked, stepping towards Eve who immediately backed away. Villanelle followed her step for step.
“In this moment? Yes. Be honest! In your designs, in your life! Be honest with yourself! Enough bullshit." Eve hissed at her.
“Fine,” Villanelle took another step forward, effectively backing Eve into the wall behind her, “I like beautiful things. I like to possess them. I want to possess you . I want to breathe in the scent of your hair while your silk drips down my hand. I want to make love to you all night. Sleep in until noon with you. Make hard fucking choices like should the bedroom in our home have two closets or can we make due with just one? But most importantly, I want you to possess me . I want to be desired the way I desire you. For fuck’s sake, Eve, I want the easiest decision that you have to make to be me .” Villanelle took one last step toward Eve, her hand landing on the wall beside Eve’s head. “So, how’s that for honest?”
Eve swallowed harshly. Her chest rose and fell too quickly to deny feeling anything for the stunning woman before her. She wanted that too. All of it.
“Of course I choose you. Do you think we’d be here if I didn’t.” Eve placed her hands on Villanelle’s face. “Tell me to stop.” She whispered as Villanelle had the first time Eve let her in. “Villanelle, tell me to stop or I won’t. I can’t.”
Villanelle smirked. There she was. “No.”
Eve’s lips pressed against Villanelle’s. They were suddenly both lost and found.
And quite frankly, fuck the consequences, because they were coming anyway. But instead of Eve feeling alone in the battle against them, she now knew Villanelle would be alongside her.
“Merry Christmas, Eve.” Villanelle said into a kiss.
Eve laughed and kissed her again. “Merry Christmas.”
talk to me over on tumblr: melvncholymvmi or etherealmvmi.
Chapter 15: Done to Death
half-edited. the day got away from me. I’ll edit more thoroughly tomorrow. also, this was broken into two parts because it got longer than I expected.
“My whole life
Got me ready
Ariana Grande, “pete davidson”
Eve’s entire body was thrumming with the need to be fucked. And Villanelle knew it. The way her hands roamed upward and squeezed her breasts before reaching for her neck to hold Eve still as she kissed her.
“ Please .” Eve begged for the third time in the last half hour.
“No.” Villanelle denied her again.
“The next time I have you,” Villanelle kissed her lips, “it will be in bed.” Eve’s cheek was next, “And I want to make you run from me again,” her neck, “and be as loud as you can.” She kissed the tender spot just underneath Eve’s ear and chuckled when the older woman’s knees buckled.
When Eve whined in protest, Villanelle distracted her with a metaphorical shiny object. “Look, I brought you a gift.” She pointed to the desk and watched as Eve’s eyes followed the gestured. Still, she didn’t move from being wrapped in one of Villanelle’s arms. “If you don’t open it, I will have to lug it all the way back to my flat.”
It wasn’t very large, but Villanelle had a flair for the dramatic.
Villanelle released Eve, kissing her temple as she pulled away. Eve’s hands untied the elaborate bow and opened the black gift box. Inside a small placard sat atop gold wrapping paper. In Villanelle’s decadent handwriting was scrawled, “Sorry Baby x”. Eve could smell Villanelle’s perfume and she lifted the card to her nose and inhaled.
“I know how much you like to smell me.” Villanelle said in explanation.
“Shut up.” Eve’s half-assed attempt to hide her delighted smile made Villanelle’s heart leap. She hid the note card in between the pages of her sketchbook and turned back to the neatly wrapped gift. Pushing aside the gold wrapping paper, Eve slid her hands into the straps of a stunning ivory silk and lace chemise.
“Did you make this?”
Villanelle nodded. “Do you like it?”
“I love it. I’ll always be so in awe of what you are capable of.” Eve said and then smiled. “A gift for you too, I presume?”
Villanelle smirked, shrugging her shoulders. “It is like a bow on a very delicious gift. It won’t be on very long.”
“How are those humility classes going for you?”
Eve chuckled as she gently folded the modest lingerie and as she went to slip it back into the box, she noticed there was something else in the bottom. Villanelle took the chemise from her so she could focus on the next gift. The shorter woman reached for the small ring box and then looked to Villanelle, her expression both curious and alarmed. “What is it?”
“Not an engagement ring.” Villanelle’s alarming ability to read her mind and calm her within seconds was really a gift.
Pushing back the top, Eve found a small gold signet ring inside. Small, ovular flat face. It looked vintage, no doubt expensive. But Villanelle didn’t care about money. She cared about the sentimentality of things. There was an inscription.
“The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.” Eve read aloud. She pulled it out of its perch and her eyes dropped to Villanelle’s hands.
Villanelle spread the fingers of her right hand, showing her own rings to Eve. The one on her thumb looked exactly the same as the one Eve was holding.
“Only two of these were ever crafted, and we own both. Only two of us have ever been crafted. Rare. Two of a kind. And, you and I, own each other.” Villanelle explained. She took the ring from Eve and slipped it onto the middle finger of Eve’s right hand.
Eve was speechless. She couldn’t stop looking at the ring. It was the same way she’d looked at her engagement ring when Niko had proposed. Astonished. She touched it. Her head shot up abruptly as if she just remembered something.
“I have something for you, too.”
Villanelle’s eyebrows went up. “Oh?”
Eve crossed the room and knelt beside her work mannequin to open a trunk. It was filled with bolts of fabric and other design materials. Eve pulled out a medium-sized gift wrapped in shiny gold paper and topped with a cherry red bow. Villanelle took to proffered gift, held it to her ear and shook it playfully. Eve laughed. The younger woman tore off the wrapping paper, letting Eve take it from her and opened the box.
“Eve!” she pulled the piece from and sat the box aside. It was a black pleated suspender miniskirt. It was super retro and Villanelle could already envision what she would pair it with.
“That is vintage Eve Polastri. It’s the first piece I ever made. Summer of 1988. I just turned seventeen and had decided that I was going to be a world renowned fashion designer.” She flagged off that idea with a hand gesture and a roll of her eyes. “But I can still remember how sure I felt and when I stepped back and looked at this, it cemented how I felt about fashion. That’s how I feel about you. I feel... sure .”
Villanelle’s eyes widened. “I can not take this, Eve. It means too much to you.”
“You have to. Otherwise I’ll have to lug all the way back to my storage unit.” She teased.
“It is stunning. Thank you. Really.” Villanelle pulled Eve close to her and kissed her soundly. “You know the way to a girl’s heart.”
“You just want me for my designs.”
When Niko woke up the next morning to the sound of Christmas music blaring loudly and his wife’s laughter, he smiled. The house smelled of ginger and cinnamon and fresh-brewed coffee. Christmas .
He rolled out of bed, stretched and quickly worked through his morning routine. Teeth, brushed. Face, washed. Mustache, combed.
Down the stairs, he went, enormous smile planted on his face. And as he rounded the corner to the kitchen, what he saw made him stop in his tracks.
Eve and Villanelle had on aprons, arms and faces dusted with a few streaks of flour. Eve had a little in her dark hair and there was what resembled a smeared handprint on one cheek of Villanelle’s jogger-clad ass. Eve bit the leg off of a gingerbread man cookie, and as she drank from her mug of coffee, she absentmindedly held out the cookie to Villanelle. Instead of taking it from her hand, Villanelle kept rolling more dough and bit the other leg off.
There was nothing illicit about it, but a niggling feeling crept into the back of his mind.
It looked so lazily intimate.
Like they’d been doing this all their lives.
All I Want For Christmas came to an end and just as the first twinkling notes of Baby, It’s Cold Outside began, Niko cleared his throat.
“Merry Christmas, ladies!”
They greeted him cheerfully.
“Coffee?” Eve asked, already pulling out a mug.
“Gingerbread man?” Villanelle offered.
Niko put a hand up. “Not before breakfast, thank you.”
Villanelle shrugged a shoulder, turning back to her task.
“So, breakfast first or presents?”
A necklace that she’d never wear. Pajamas. Casual clothes that fit her normal style; chinos, sweaters, button-ups. A new phone with which she’d probably spend the next three months trying to figure out the speakerphone feature. There were only a couple of gifts left under the tree and Eve’s eyes kept furtively glancing at one in particular.
“And this one is from Villanelle.” Niko retrieved the box from under the small festive tree and handed it to Eve. She looked at Villanelle and shook her head.
“You really didn’t have to get me anything.”
“Don’t be silly. It would have been rude if I didn’t.” She jutted her chin in the direction of the present. “Open it.”
So Eve did. And when she opened the lid to the flat black box, her eyes bulged.
“Is this what I think it is.”
“Depends on what you think it is.”
“André Kim’s first couture feature.”
Villanelle nodded. “That is his original sketch, signed, sealed and delivered to you to keep forever.”
“Sorry, who is André Kim?” Niko quizzed.
“He’s an amazing South Korean designer. He’s the reason I got into designing and a large reason why I decided to take on the Womenswear class at CSM.” Eve shook her head in disbelief as she studied the glass-encased paper.
“‘Fashion should portray grace, intellect, artistic beauty and youthful energy. Not too classic’.” quoted Villanelle. Eve’s head slowly raised from the sketch to gaze at Villanelle.
“I don't like 'old’. I don't feel my age. I feel like a teenager who is 10 or 15 or 20 years old in a fairy tale, a fantasy, young and brilliant’.” Eve finished.
Villanelle’s fingers twitched; she was dying to reach out and push Eve’s curls behind her ear. To tell her that she wasn’t old, and she was a fantasy, young and brilliant.
But there was always—.
Niko cleared his throat. “I wonder where we could hang it.”
“I think I’ll put it in my studio. Who knows? Maybe when I’m frustrated it’ll help me to refocus my energy.”
“Niko,” Villanelle said and pulled the other gift she’d brought from under the tree, “I did not forget about you. It is just something small to say thank you for inviting me.”
“That’s very kind of you. Thank you.” Niko unwrapped it and when he pushed back the top, his eyes bulged. Eve peeked over and saw that it was a book. The title was obscured by the gift box, but she wouldn’t have been able to read it anyway. It was in Polish.
“Eve told me you are fluent in Polish.” She smiled.
“What is it?” Eve asked, reaching for it.
“It’s the Kama Sutra translated into Polish.”
Eve looked at Villanelle, whose shit-eating grin was unmatched by any Eve had ever seen.
There , thought Villanelle, now you’ll have 63 more positions to try with Gemma. Missionary has been done to death .
“You strike me as the kind of man that appreciates the nature of love. There is poetry and prose and it really is so much more than what people make it out to be.” Villanelle noted.
She was so fucking satisfied with herself and Eve wanted to both laugh and wring her neck at the same time. Instead she shifted the focus to the second to last gift under the tree.
“Thanks.” Niko said, holding up the book and giving Villanelle a tight smile. The blonde was infuriating, and what’s worse is that she was just the right amount of polite that Niko couldn’t tell her exactly where to go and what to do to herself when she got there.
“This one is from Niko to me.” Eve leaned to the side, kissed his cheek and turned her attention to the box.
Inside was the dress that Niko had commissioned from Villanelle.
“Oh. My. God.” Eve stood to her feet and held the dress up before pressing it against her body. “Oh my god! Niko! I love it. I have no idea where I’m going to wear it, but I don’t care. It’s gorgeous.”
Niko smiled up at her, but Villanelle could tell that it was half-hearted. Truthfully, it was Villanelle who’d put that smile on her face, and he knew it. All three of them did. Eve peeked at the sewn-in label, expecting to see a name she might know, and was surprised to see in small gold-embroidered cursive: La Villanelle . Good god. She couldn’t wait to feel the dress on her skin. Since Villanelle was denying her the sexual pleasure she wanted, at the very least, she could feel something Villanelle had crafted.
“Wear it to Gemma’s New Years party.”
Villanelle’s eyes flashed. Eve sank back to her knees, folding the dress in half. “Right. Sure.” She allowed him to wrap an arm around her and pull her upper body towards his own.
Niko kissed her temple and all Eve could think was how different it felt from when Villanelle had done it mere hours ago. With Niko, it felt like an act of possession. He was showing Villanelle to look what he got to do in front of everyone. But with the young blonde, the gesture was loving and soft and felt as if it’d been second nature for her to do so. As if it’d been so effortless.
And that really was the difference when it came down to it. Everything that Villanelle had brought into her life, while not always easy, was organic. It occurred naturally and she flowed so easily into Eve’s core system, that one would have thought it was meant to be from the beginning.
When Eve met Niko, she’d decided that he was a good man and would do what she had been taught to do from a young age. Go to school, graduate, work hard, get married, travel a little and then possibly have children. Her parents believed that there was an order to life and she’d just gone along with it. Because it fell into that order.
But, as Eve learned, was that sometimes it was easier to find order in the midst of total chaos.
“One more gift.” Niko said. “From both me and Eve to you, Villanelle. Mostly from Eve, because I hadn’t the foggiest idea what you liked.
Your wife, mused Villanelle.
Eve placed it into the younger woman’s hands.
“So, Merry Christmas, Villanelle.”
Chapter 16: Reflection
filler chapter before a little drama.
“Dark brown eyes
Daddy taught her all she knows
She brought me to life
She set my soul in motion.”
Marc E. Bassy, “Morning”
Two plane tickets.
That was Eve’s (and Niko’s) gift to Villanelle. She and Villanelle always talked about traveling. While both women had done their fair share of adventures in other countries, it wasn’t enough. To see the fashions of every culture had always been a dream of Villanelle’s, and even if it took the rest of her life, it was a sacrifice she was willing to make.
So when she was presented with two plane tickets for any destination of her choice, Villanelle suddenly found herself absolutely clueless as to where she wanted to go next. Rome was in the midst of its rainy season. And Paris had always spelled trouble for her. She always spent her time there either shopping or having short-lived affairs.
Vienna would have been nice if not for the cafes and eateries on every corner. And Villanelle’s personality was just addictive enough to substitute food in favor of fucking. And good grief was she in need of a life-altering orgasm, but the last thing she wanted was to return to London looking like a sausage. Her wardrobe just wouldn’t allow it.
Amsterdam, perhaps ? She’d always wanted to visit De Wallen . The appeal of its street art and architecture was nearly enough to make her consider it a viable place to visit. But it was the fashion in Amsterdam that really cemented her decision.
So, as she was saying her goodbyes to Eve and Niko, she decided to divulge that information to Eve.
“Oh, I packed you some leftovers. I’ll run and grab them.” Niko said, leaving the two women in the vestibule.
“I think I’ve decided to take a holiday in Amsterdam.”
“Yes. It will keep me busy until the new year. When I can see more of you.”
“You can always see me.”
“Yes, but does that mean I have to see your husband too?”
“I’ll make time for you. For us. To be alone.”
Villanelle nodded. “I’ll let you know when I return.”
Eve hugged Villanelle tightly, suddenly feeling like she was being abandoned. She breathed in Villanelle’s perfume.
“It would have been so lovely unwrapping you underneath that Christmas tree.” Villanelle whispered just before Niko reappeared.
“Here you are.” He handed her a reusable grocery bag that held food stacked perfectly in containers.
“You did not have to do this.” Villanelle replied, politely.
Niko waved off the sentiment. “It was nothing.”
They said their goodbyes and Villanelle thanked them once more for their hospitality before heading off.
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, Friday, 2:12AM
Villanelle began her adventure just after the Boxing Day rush. Though she was well aware that the train would have been a far shorter trip, but she never did well on trains. The rush of scenery made her nauseous and the tight quarters forced her to be polite and civil to complete strangers. She found people peculiar, and at times, felt as if she were in a living museum. They put on a good show, making themselves look and sound as presentable as they hoped they felt, but in all actuality, that’s all it was: a show. Inwardly, she’d come to learn, most people felt alone and wished they could be someone other than who they were.
So, it was an interesting city to travel to. Amsterdam, with its Red Light District, where people literally put themselves on display in shop windows under red or blue neon lights. The only difference from the rest of the world? They weren’t pretending to be something that they weren’t. And Villanelle revelled in that. She strolled down the streets, hair down, and green, satin Jason Wu trench making her feel ever powerful.
Peculiar as they were, people always managed to entice Villanelle’s curiosity. She watched as they made transactions with lovely sex workers. She gazed as they ate. Drank. Got high. And she came upon the realization that it was the minority who lived only to feed their basic carnal needs who were the most honest to her. Their only concerns were to make themselves happy. They lived moment to moment. They were selfish.
And Villanelle was no different.
She, too, was wrapped up in only what she wanted: Eve. She had everything else she wanted. Everything she needed. Eve, however, she had to share. And she hated it. But this time apart would give Eve space to put her affairs in order. Hopefully, when Villanelle returned, they could have an honest conversation about where they were to go from here.
Two hours prior, she’d slipped to the front of the line at Club Nyx. One look at her face from the bouncer and she was immediately granted entrance to the dance club. She walked through, attempting to find the bar. She wasn’t big on mind-altering substances, like alcohol, but she would partake socially; usually to find less self-aware people more interesting. But tonight, Villanelle decided that she’d have a nightcap if only to relax her mind and help her sleep a little better.
Bodies pressed against others as the young crowd danced to bass-heavy house music. The strobe lights changed colors on cue to the rhythm. It was a chance to let loose and forget the problems of the day. To remind themselves that they were supposed to live this life while they still could. She looked around and noticed a lovely, young Asian woman staring in her direction. And under the jarring green-blue lights, Villanelle could never mistake her for Eve. She was, however, reminded of her love.
And for the life of her, she couldn’t figure out why she was there. In that club.
She was young, yes, but her idea of living life would be having Eve here. With her.
Before Eve, she was dead inside. She went through life, believing every conversation with another human to be like a transaction, with most people not really offering anything. Then, there was Eve Polastri. The spark of life that she never knew she needed.
Being with Eve was living. And being without her, well… Villanelle could only pout at the notion.
So, there she was, lying in an enormous bed in the penthouse of one of the greatest international hotels in the world. Her entire body drowned in the decadent duvet, and she stared at the ceiling. Her fingers tapped an uneven beat against her stomach, picked at the bracelet against her wrist. She looked down at the ring on her thumb, stroking it fondly.
God, without Eve, she was… so fucking bored.
And that was never a good thing. For anyone.
London, Friday, 1:15AM
Eve laid in bed, peering up at the ceiling of her bedroom. Just as it’d been doing all day, her thumb brushed against the ring on her right hand. She wondered what Villanelle was up to. Was she sleeping? Had she found the most luxurious shops to peek in during the day? Where had she gone for dinner? Did she party a little before bed? Was she still partying? Had she been tempted by a gorgeous street walker and been taken up to a shabby room to fuck all night?
Eve huffed. She was angry. She knew it was irrational, but Villanelle just left her! She was young, alluring and her personality, while an acquired taste, was dazzling nonetheless. Eve didn’t wanted to suffocate Villanelle, or stifle her creativity. The blonde had her whole life ahead of her.
Eve wasn’t an insecure person in any aspect. But in that moment, when she had the time to do the math, she realized that she was twenty-seven years Villanelle’s senior. She’d done so much, and seen so much more, and met more people than that.
There was so much more for her to see. More people for her to meet. What if, in a few years, she met someone in her own age bracket? Would she leave Eve for someone younger? It was a possibility that Eve had to consider. She, after, had every intention of leaving her husband for someone younger. Her student, no less. And Niko had no say in the matter. Would there come a time when Eve would have no say in it, either?
While she wasn’t big on religion, there was a tiny voice in her head that always reminded her that ‘what goes around, comes around’.
It was a risk that Eve was willing to take for someone like Villanelle. The younger woman made her feel like there was nothing she couldn’t do. Villanelle validated everything that Eve had ever felt about herself. She was attractive, passionate, intelligent, loving. She hadn’t been seeking the validation, that was for certain, but it came into her life at the same moment as Villanelle Astankova. And Eve didn’t believe in coincidences.
Her thumb caressed the ring once more.
Christ, without Villanelle, she felt... so fucking alone.
And that, she discovered, was worse than being lonely.
Chapter 17: A Little Face Time
so, as most of you know by now, my google drive was hacked and disabled so I was forced to rewrite the next few chapters all over again. I’m so sorry for the wait. thank you all for sticking with me!
“I looked over to the left
A reflection of myself
That's why I couldn't catch my breath.”
-Tweet, “Oops (Oh My)”
30 December, King’s Crossing, London, 11:30PM
It wasn’t that Eve hated her in-laws, it was that they didn’t really approve of her . Much like Villanelle’s parents, they didn’t believe that a career in fashion design was stable. To be fair, Eve understood that she had gotten lucky. Networking was a fundamental part of the fashion industry and she was fortunate enough to have met the right people. But what she didn’t like was the implication that she didn’t work as hard as Niko did. Falling into teaching fashion design hadn’t been an easy decision for her, but it just seemed like the right thing to do. Not only was it a steady paycheck, but Eve considered it a privilege to be able to teach an entirely new generation of designers.
That wasn’t to say that Niko’s parents weren’t good people. They had their moments. And it was always sweet of them to fly in from Warsaw to London to celebrate the new year as well as Niko’s birthday every year. This year was no different. As always, Niko cooked them an enormous pot of traditional goulash for dinner followed by croissant cookies for dessert.
Niko retired to bed for the evening, feeling as though he was coming down with something, leaving Eve to serve Earl Grey tea to the older couple.
“So, Eve, have you planned anything for Niko’s birthday?” Mrs. Polastri inquired.
Do I ever? , wondered Eve. She usually came up with an ingenious plan the day of that thrilled Niko to no end. He wasn’t high maintenance. Just being thought of was enough for him. This year, though, Eve had made reservations at a restaurant that Niko wanted to try.
“Any special gifts?”
Eve sipped her tea, giving herself a moment to think. Truth be told, she hadn’t; she hoped he would relax enough at the restaurant to get completely wasted and pass out in bed later without any thought of birthday sex.
“Maybe a baby announcement?” Mrs. Polastri continued.
For fucks sake , Eve inwardly huffed.
“No, not this year.
“You don’t have very much longer, you know.”
“Leave her be.” Mr. Polastri gently scolded his wife.
Eve smiled politely and breathed a sigh of relief when her phone chimed.
V: 1 New Picture Message
Eve tried to contain her excitement as she opened the photo. Villanelle, in a black suit, crisp white button up and skinny tie, stood in front of a bathroom mirror of what Eve assumed was a bar. One hand to her chin, she feigned deep thought as she looked up at a bright pink neon sign that read: Why are we not having sex right now?
Villanelle’s personal caption: Good question.
Eve shook her head as she typed back: Says the girl who ran off to a different country to get away from me.
“Mm?” She looked up from her phone.
“We’re going to call it a night.” Her father-in-law announced. “You rest well.”
Eve bid them goodnight and cleaned up their mugs of tea. She turned off the downstairs lights and made her way upstairs. Just as she was about to pass her studio, a wicked idea struck her, so she slipped inside and shut and locked the door behind her.
She glanced at their phone to see that Villanelle had texted her again.
I want to see you soon.
Eve opened up the trunk that held her work materials and pulled out Villanelle’s secret gift. She shed her comfortable clothes and slipped the soft chemise over her head. White satin and lace hugged her breasts perfectly and fell loosely over the rest of her small frame. For her finishing touch, Eve took her hair down and let her untamed curls free. She used her phone to take a photograph of herself in the mirror and sent it to Villanelle.
The blonde quickly typed back.
Followed immediately by : Take it off.
So, Eve did. She slipped the spaghetti straps down her shoulders and let it pool at her feet. In nothing but her panties, Eve snapped another picture and sent it.
Less than a minute later, as she anxiously waited for Villanelle’s response, her phone buzzed and wouldn’t stop.
V would like to FaceTime.
Eve tapped the green button on her phone and was immediately greeted by Villanelle’s perfect face. She was walking along a dimly lit sidewalk.
“You are being very naughty, Eve. What has gotten into you?” She grinned and wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.
Eve laughed. “Well, you certainly haven’t lately.” She watched as Villanelle focused on her surroundings as she crossed a street before looking at her again.
“See? Very naughty.”
Eve couldn’t stop herself from asking, “When do you get back?”
“That’s so far away.”
“One more sleep.” Villanelle’s eyes squinted and then she asked, “Speaking of which: shouldn’t you be doing that right now?”
Villanelle suddenly entered a beautifully lit building and Eve peered at the screen, as the blonde marched through an enormous lobby, her hair whipping behind her. She didn’t speak to a single soul as she rummaged through the breast pocket of her suit jacket and pulled out what could only be a key card for a hotel room.
“Then why are you not sleeping?” She slipped into an elevator and tapped a button before leaning coolly against the wall behind her.
“I was having tea with my in-laws.” Eve, half-naked, sat in her swivel chair, pulling her feet up under her bum.
“Oh, how did they take the news that you’re leaving your husband?” Villanelle asked, conversationally. She was grinning mischievously and Eve wanted to kiss that expression right off of her face.
“Well,” Eve teased, “they wish me well in the new lesbian relationship I’m having with my twenty-something girlfriend.”
Villanelle let herself into her room and smiled as she plopped down onto the bed, her hair fanning out around her face. “Girlfriend, huh? I don’t recall being officially asked actually.”
“Yes, Eve Polastri?”
“Will you be my girlfriend?” It was ridiculous and felt like such a middle school question to ask, yet Eve found that her heart pounded a little as if there were a slight chance that Villanelle would say no.
“Yes, but for the record, flowers and candy are how you are supposed to woo a girl.” She cheekily responded.
Eve scoffed playfully. “Duly noted.”
“Will you be my girlfriend?” Villanelle asked, her brown eyes so deliciously hopeful.
“Good.” Eve mimicked her, nodding her head once. For a few moments, they were quiet. They just gazed at one another, each trying to hide a shy smile from the other.
“I want to see you.” Villanelle told her for the second time that night. She loosened her tie and undid the first couple of buttons on her shirt.
“You’re seeing me right now.”
“Show me.” Villanelle commanded and Eve knew exactly what she wanted. So as Villanelle slipped on hand behind her head, Eve placed her feet back on the ground and rolled the chair over to the mirror. She flipped the camera around so Villanelle could see her in all of her glory.
“You look absolutely edible, Eve.”
God, the way Villanelle said —no, breathed — her name just made Eve wet.
“Spread your legs.”
Eve did as she was told, watching herself in the mirror just as Villanelle was.
“Pull your panties to the side.”
Without any hesitation, Eve gave Villanelle what she wanted. And Villanelle made everything feel so intense that Eve didn’t say no. It wasn’t that she couldn’t. It was that she didn’t want to.
“You look so beautiful right now.” Villanelle complimented. Eve bit her lip. Breathing was becoming difficult. She’d never done anything like this. Not even with Niko.
Eve couldn’t stop the moan that fell from her lips even if she wanted to.
Is in your promises,
Then there’s no need
To even promise it.”
Camden, Gemma’s house, New Years Eve, 10:30PM
What are you doing?
Eve looked up at the scene before her. Niko and most of his coworkers who she could never quite remember the names of, stood around laughing and drinking. It was a party, after all, and the music was in full swing. Gemma, a teacher through and through, enticed most of her guests with her cheerful disposition and Great Gatsby-themed New Years Party.
Would be it too cliché to say Eve was missing Villanelle? Because she was. Villanelle had been back in London for nearly twelve, long hours and neither could sneak away for a secret rendezvous.
At the most boring party on the planet.
“Eve, are you having a good time?” Gemma asked, placing a hand on arm’s forearm. Eve looked down at her hand and then back up as Gemma’s expression turned from polite curiosity to vaguely frightened. She removed her hand and used it to unnecessarily smooth down her dress.
“The best time.” Eve deadpanned. Gemma didn’t know how to respond, so she turned her attention to Niko.
“Niko, have you told Eve about the excursion?”
“Oh, a bunch of us are going on a hiking excursion in Epping Forest a couple of weekends from now. Philip from t.”
“I didn’t mention it because I know you’re not a fan of hiking.”
Still would have been nice to be asked , thought Eve.
“You should come, Eve! Epping is so lovely, and hiking is such good exercise.”
When Eve raised her eyebrows, Gemma stuttered, “I-I mean it’s not like you need it. You look… er, well, your body is—. W-what I mean to say is,” she gestured to Eve’s body, “You look great.”
Eve put the poor girl out of her misery. “Thanks.”
Gemma wasn’t a shitty person. She was polite, albeit a bit too prying at times. Her jokes weren’t the funniest, but she had a sweet awkwardness about her that someone could find endearing. Niko certainly did. Eve could see that she was thoroughly in love with Niko, and though she couldn’t be sure that he felt the same, she wouldn’t mind if Gemma was who he chose to date after her. Still, it would help if Gemma wasn’t so fucking obvious about her love for Niko; wasn’t there some sort of Girl Code?
She’d been with Niko for over ten years, and it wouldn’t be truthful if she said she wasn’t just the teensiest bit jealous of Gemma. She saw Niko in his element, teaching something that he was passionate about. Eve knew that one of her major flaws was making certain things about her, but it really did hurt her to think of someone else making him happier than her.
Even if it was what he needed.
“Niko’s right.” Eve said, smiling up at her husband. “I’m not a hiker. I’m sure you’ll all have fun. Especially in the snow.”
Gem smiled and bobbed her head in agreement. “You’ll be missed.”
But would she, though?
“May I use your bathroom?” Eve asked, excusing herself.
“Yes. Just up the stairs.”
Eve chugged the rest of her wine in an unladylike manner and handed the empty glass to Niko.
In the bathroom, Eve sat on the closed toilet seat and looked down at her phone.
How IS innocent little Gemma?
Eve chuckled wryly and responded: Sinking her teeth deeper into Niko as we speak.
Is that such a bad thing?
Eve tapped her screen a few times and then pressed the phone to her ear. It rang once, twice, thrice—.
“Eve? Are you okay?” Concern dropped from Villanelle’s voice.
“Yes. I’m fine.”
“Wh—? Where are you?”
“The bathroom.” Eve took a peek at her surroundings. The pink tile was vomit-worthy and the frilly hand towels and matching curtains made her eyes roll. “It’s like a bottle of fucking Pepto Bismal in here.”
Villanelle’s laughter in her ear did something to her. A small chill ran down her spine. “Are you sure you’re okay? Press two buttons if you’re being held hostage.”
Eve smiled, shaking her head. “Yeah, I just… I needed to hear your voice.”
What she really needed was to see Villanelle and she wasn’t sure why she couldn’t say so. Instead, she went with the safest thing.
Villanelle was quiet for a moment before she hesitantly said, “I’ll be there soon.”
“What?” Eve whispered.
“I’m coming to Gemma’s.”
“But… but you can’t.”
“Why not? I was invited.”
“Somewhere between Gemma’s third eggnog and the very intrusive questions about my childhood.”
Eve smiled, mentally reminding herself that she still had questions about Villanelle’s upbringing. Hell, she had so many questions about Villanelle in general.
“You don’t have to.”
“I know. I do not do anything that I do not want to. You should know this by now, Eve.”
Somehow, Eve knew that there was no need to protest. VIllanelle had already made up her mind. Her heart pounded with excitement; just knowing that she would be in the same room with Villanelle again.
“Flush the toilet and leave the bathroom. I’ll be with you soon.”
“Now, that is an entrance,” announced someone behind Eve.
It was Villanelle. She knew it was. There was no one else in her life that could command a room of strangers like Eve’s favorite blonde. She turned to face the door, and sure enough, Villanelle was walking into the room, wearing a long, black dress with a high, sheer neck. Her blonde hair had been parted on the side and slicked back into a lovely low ponytail.
“In vintage Alexander McQueen.” Eve salivated. “Wow.”
Nearly everyone in the vicinity stared at the tall blonde as she made her way around to room, smiling and shaking hands. Eve’s grip on a glass of champagne tightened.
“Eve!” Villanelle pretended to spot her for the first time. But Eve was well aware that she had felt Eve the moment she stepped into the room, just as she had Villanelle. She excused herself from the group of people she had just introduced herself to, making her way to Eve.
“Villanelle,” Eve allowed Villanelle to kiss either of her cheeks, “what are you doing here?”
“Gemma, here,” she kissed Gemma’s cheeks as well, “invited me. I was surprised, of course.”
“Surprised? Why?” Gemma inquired.
“I know I can be just shy of disagreeable when you first meet me, but it seems you looked right past that. That says a lot about you.” Villanelle complimented. Eve stared in absolute confusion as Gemma ate up Villanelle’s compliments.
“Niko! It’s good to see you!”
Niko, still surprised to see his wife’s teaching assistant, tried his best to shake himself out of it. He hugged Villanelle, who gave Eve a clandestine wink.
“It’s always good to see you, Villanelle,” Niko lied smoothly. He wasn’t sure what exactly was so off putting about Villanelle, but there was something that was rubbing him the wrong way. Since Christmas, she had been on his mind. The quiet easiness with which she moved around Eve had upset him slightly. While he tried to remind himself that she and Eve simply spent a lot of time together on campus, he couldn’t stop the small feeling in the back of his mind.
But, the blonde was here, now, and he would grin and bear it. As far as Niko knew, Villanelle had done nothing but be herself and show him --at the very least-- and iota of respect.
“Don’t be silly,” Gemma said, “you’re absolutely charming.”
“You are so kind.”
“Let me get you a glass of champagne. It’s nearly midnight.” Gemma offered.
“I’ll help you. Eve needs a fresh glass as well.” Niko added, taking Eve’s glass from her hand before she could object.
“Well, Eve Polastri.” Villanelle said, stepping close to the shorter Asian woman. “Don’t you just look good enough to eat . I don’t think I’ll make clothes for anyone else but you for the rest of my life.”
Please do , Eve hoped. Her panties were sure to be ruined.
“I can’t compete with you in that dress.”
“This old thing?” VIllanelle asked, looking down at the dress before waving off the compliment. “You, however, just made black my favorite color.” The dress Villanelle had created wrapped so perfectly around Eve’s body.
Villanelle leaned into Eve’s space, her lips brushing against her ear. “I want it on my bedroom floor.”
The blonde was overjoyed when she pulled away and Eve looked both shocked and open to the idea.
“There it is. The look.”
“I told you. You look as if you can’t decide if you’re appalled or turned on.”
“Stop that.” Eve scolded. “And for the record, I’m always appalled.”
Completely unfazed, Villanelle looked around. “This party is boring.”
“I told you. You wasted your time coming here.”
Villanelle’s eyes shot to Eve’s, and she commented, genuinely, “It is never a waste when I get to see your face.”
Eve couldn’t stop the slight flush in her cheeks. “I bet you say that to all of the fashion design professors.”
“Here we are.” Niko reappeared, followed by Gemma who handed both woman a glass of fresh champagne. “Countdown is supposed to start soon.”
“To new beginnings?” Villanelle suggested, raising her glass to the small circle before her.
“To new beginnings.” The others clinked their glasses together in agreement.
Villanelle made small talk with Eve’s husband and his prospective girlfriend until they decided it was time for a smoke. Niko didn’t partake, but he made a small pronouncement about not letting a lady stand outside alone to smoke a cigarette.
It didn’t matter. The countdown to a new near year and new beginning rapidly approached.
Two minutes to midnight and they were still outside. Talking, Eve could only assume.
“Show me the pink bathroom.” Villanelle requested.
Thirty seconds to midnight.
Eve led Villanelle to the powder room.
“God, this is hideous.”
“I told you.”
Eve was suddenly slammed against the locked bathroom door.
Villanelle’s hand ran a hand up Eve’s body from thigh. To neck. Face.
“Happy New Year.” Villanelle whispered and kissed Eve to the sounds of fireworks, gun shots, and a chorus of celebratory people who weren’t concerned about where they were or what they were up to.
Unbeknownst to Eve, her husband was amongst them.
y'all the next chapter is just... I'm sorry in advance.
“You already know that you're my weakness
After all this time I'm just as nervous
Every time you walk into the room
-Dan + Shay, “Speechless”
Classes resumed on the sixth of January and Eve was excited. She always was during this time. Her students were a mere six months away from the Central Saint Martins fashion shows. In a nutshell: it was crunch time. Most of her students had, by now, completed half, if not more, of their collections and she was excited to see what else they’d come up with over the holiday break.
“Welcome back to Fashion Design Womenswear. I hope you all had a lovely holiday because these next few months are basically sink or swim. There is heavy competition from the Menswear and Sportswear departments.”
“Yeah, but we’ve got Villanelle.” Hugo called from his usual spot in the back of class.
“Yeah,” Kenny agreed, “she’s like our secret weapon.”
Villanelle smirked and cockily readjusted the lapels on her velvet, horse-embroidered Chloe blazer.
“I’m glad you think so. Still, there will be a vote to see whose designs will end the show.”
“Being the last designer to showcase work on the runway is nearly as major as being the final model down the catwalk. Saving the best for last, so to speak, is the fashion industry’s way of introducing a fashion house as one of the greatest out there.” Eve explained. “Oscar de la Renta, for example, nearly always ends international fashion weeks followed closely by Givenchy and Balmain.”
Eve hopped off of the stool she’d sat in the middle of the room. She rounded her desk and reached into the bottom drawer. From it, she pulled a small, cardboard ballot box.
“This currently has twenty-six votes already in it. Every member of the faculty, excluding the four who teach classes that we’re in competition with, here at CSM has taken a peek at each of your collections and made their choice on who should end the show. The rest of you are going in blind. So, cast your votes when you can within the next two weeks.”
“Can we vote for ourselves?” Villanelle asked.
Eve chuckled, having already expected the question. “Yes.”
“Can we vote more than once?” Kenny wondered aloud.
“Can you vote for your Member of Parliament more than once?”
“No.” He responded.
“Then, there’s your answer.” Eve replied. “Any other questions about the ballots?”
Silence from her class.
“Good. So, let’s jump right back into it, shall we?” Eve asked her students.
Villanelle studied the older woman. She looked different. More commanding, if that were at all possible. Eve always commanded Villanelle’s attention. Whenever she walked in, across or out of a room, Villanelle’s eyes were trained on Eve and Eve alone. That day, however, something was different about her confidence.
As Eve began a speech on how important it was to be autonomous rather than play by the rules in fashion, she swaggered around the room, relaxed and open. She hadn’t hid behind an oversized sweater and loose pants. The hunter green turtleneck shirt clung to her upper body and she’d tuck it into a pair of pale fawn cigarette pants, paired with cognac-colored leather moccasins. She’s pulled her curls into a ponytail and she even wore her tortoise-shell glasses that Villanelle had never seen before.
Villanelle’s professor kink went hit a new high when Eve picked up a clipboard, resting it against her stomach, delicate fingers curled around the top.
“Next order of business is London Fashion Week.” Eve said. Excited chatter went around the room and Eve smiled. “As you know, seniors and grad students are allowed to attend, but we have limited tickets. Out of eight hundred seniors, grad students and faculty, only two hundred tickets are available for the entire week. If you’re lucky enough to attend,” She handed the sign-up clipboard to Kenny, “you will get a wristband at the start of the week and you must wear it all the time if you want to get into any show or event.”
The clipboard circled the room and Eve watched as everyone hurriedly scribbled their names down on the paper. Everyone except Villanelle.
Fashion Week didn’t mean much to her. She’d been to one in each of the “Big Four” cities: Paris, Milan, New York and London. It wasn’t exciting for her anymore. Majority of the time, there was a lot of standing around and waiting for shows to begin, sometimes for designs that were mediocre, at best.
She would much rather spend the time working on her own collection and focusing on winning the contract. And that’s exactly what she would do.
As luck would have it, Niko came down with a horrible stomach bug just before his birthday. He had sickness coming from both ends. His mother didn’t let Eve do a thing to help him.
“He’s my son. I know how he likes to be taken care of when he’s sick.” The elder Mrs. Polastri has said. So, Eve told her husband that she was popping down to the shops to get him some things to make him feel better.
And she did.
But she couldn’t help stopping at Villanelle’s on her way home.
“You’re a fashion snob, y’know.” Eve told Villanelle. She leaned against the headboard of Villanelle’s bed, her hands gently massaging Villanelle’s head. The blonde, lie lazily between Eve’s legs, her back to Eve’s front. Her eyes, once closed, popped open and she leaned her head backwards in order to see Eve’s face.
“I am not.” She protested.
“Mhm. Tell me again why you don’t want to go to Fashion Week?”
“The people are annoying, some of the designers are subpar, and I—.”
“Snob!” Eve poked Villanelle’s nose as she shouted accusingly. They broke into a fit of laughter. Villanelle lifted her hands and then dropped them back onto the bed.
“I cannot help it. I know what I like and what I don’t.” Villanelle laughed.
“So what do you like?”
“You.” Villanelle’s big eyes regarded Eve with such wonder Eve felt her own eyes watering.
Eve shook her head and looked away. “Good answer, but I’m serious. What do you like?”
“I don’t know.” Eve felt Villanelle’s shoulders rise and fall against her stomach. “I like to be wowed. I like a piece to take my breath away. It’s like what you said to me before: I want to feel something when I look at a shirt or dress or suit. I want to covet an ensemble so bad that I get the urge to step up onto the catwalk and offer the model wearing it an obscene amount of money.
“Sometimes I get what I want and I find that I don’t want it anymore. I take it home and think ‘why did I buy this?’. Or I think about how I just put money in the pockets of someone who I don't even know. What if this designer beats their wife? What if this fashion house uses a sweatshop? What if that designer hates their kid and disapproves of anything they do? That’s why I create my own clothes. I know where it comes from. I know what inspired me to create a certain piece. And until I see my own work on a Fashion Week runway, what is the point?”
Eve was quiet for a moment. Then, she wrapped her arms around Villanelle’s front and leaned her head against the top of hers. “Tell me about your parents.”
Villanelle immediately tensed up. Eve held her tighter and kissed her temple.
It took awhile. Three full minutes of absolute silence before Villanelle took a shaky breath.
“My biological parents were shit. From what I can remember, and the research I’ve done, they were poor. My mother once tried to sell me for a week’s worth of food.”
“You were a baby.”
“I was currency.” Villanelle snapped back. She took Eve’s hand in her own, toying with her fingers in a wordless apology. “To her, at least. My father, was a spineless coward who preferred spending what little money he did have on prostitutes and alcohol. My Uncle Konstantin is my adoptive father’s brother. He used to run an orphanage in the town over from ours. One day, the neighbors had enough of seeing me unwashed, in soiled clothing and matted hair. They basically kidnapped me and gave me to Uncle Konstantin. A few falsified documents later, I am adopted by his younger brother and his brother’s wife.” Villanelle shrugged again. “They just wanted a doll. Someone to dress up and parade around and then put me back in my room when they were finished. So, I spent a lot of time alone with a nanny who taught me to knit and crochet and sew. And each time I showed my parents a new creation, they were far from excited. Making your own clothes, they believed, was for the poor. It was for the people they’d ‘rescued’ me from.”
“Jesus.” Eve whispered.
“Yeah. So, I considered that another rejection, and I gave them hell.” Villanelle smiled fondly. “Parties at the manor when they were out of town. Let them conveniently find me in bed asleep between two women. Influenced the decisions of my father’s boss by flirting with him. ”
“You little minx.”
Villanelle gave a satisfied shimmy. “But, now, I don’t know. I used people as entertainment, I think, but now I just prefer to make clothes and love you and be at peace.”
“You’ve lived too many lifetimes to be so young.”
“All of them led me to you, so I would not change a thing.” Villanelle kissed Eve’s palm, her fingers, the inside of her wrist.
“God, you can be so sweet.”
“No one will believe you so don’t try. I have a reputation to uphold.”
Eve laughed. “Your secret is safe with me.”
“Tell me about you.”
The request was huge, but said in the smallest, softest voice.
“What do you want to know?”
“That’s pretty broad.”
“Well, I was born and raised in Ontario. Upper-middle class family. Mom’s a biochemist, Dad’s a businessman. I already told you when I was seventeen, I decided I wanted to be a designer. Haven’t looked back since. I started travelling when I was about eighteen or so. I promised my parents that if fashion didn’t work out by the time I was twenty, I would go to university. On my twentieth birthday, I was in Paris and got offered an apprenticeship at a Hermès atelier. I took that as a sign that the universe or whatever higher power out there wanted me to keep going. So I did.”
“How did you get into teaching?”
“I went through a period where I felt like there were so many young designers whose only goal was to make money. I felt like no one was teaching them the real art of fashion design. So, I stopped creating for awhile and started a small workshop at CSM. It became so popular that they offered me a teaching position. Part of me likes to think it was my decision while the other part of me believes it was that same higher power that landed me that apprenticeship.”
“And where did Niko enter your life?”
“He spearheaded a campaign for students who wanted to visit art and design universities instead of purely academic ones. So, one of the schools he’d made an agreement with was CSM. Our paths crossed and the rest was history, I suppose.”
“Do you still love him?”
“I think I’ll always love him. I’m just not in love with him anymore.”
“He is going to be devastated, and so will you. I just want you to know that you do not have to go through the pain and heartbreak alone.”
Eve nodded, as if Villanelle could see her. She had no idea how she would break things to Niko, but it was comforting to know that Villanelle wanted to be there for her.
“I love you.” Eve told her.
“And I love you.”
“Can we have sex now?” Eve asked abruptly.
“Can you stay all night?”.
Eve wasn’t sure when the main dish of cheating came with a side of lying, but it had.
A month had passed and before long, London Fashion Week was upon them. Villanelle wouldn’t attend Fashion Week with the school, but she’d promised Eve she would come as a guest of a friend to closing night. As she did every year, Eve would attend as a chaperone, to a degree.
Normally, she stayed at a small, boutique hotel and Niko figured that this year would be no different. In truth, Eve took the opportunity to stay with Villanelle at her enormous flat that was a mere four blocks from the festivities.
It was a cold Friday in February when Eve exited Villanelle’s enormous bathroom, slipping a diamond stud into her left ear.
“I’ll be out late. The final show starts at midnight. Will you still be up?” Eve asked, slipping her hands into the pockets of the royal blue pants she wore. The suit jacket she wore open over a cream silk camisole had a thin, almost unnoticeable window pane design towards the bottom and was rolled up to her forearms. She’d pair it a set of leather booties that matched the camisole perfectly. Her hair fell in perfect curls and was so shiny that Villanelle wanted to reach out and touch it. Villanelle swallowed her lo mein noodles and almost choked.
“Wow.” The blonde commented, nearly dropping the chopsticks she was eating with.
“You look--.” Villanelle was at a loss for words. “I think I want you to top me right now.”
“What?” Eve sputtered, her head falling back in laughter. “You’re absolutely ridiculous.”
“Do you have to go?”
“Yes.” Eve leaned across the bed and pressed her lips to Villanelle’s. “I’ll make you a deal.”
“If you’re still up after the Givenchy show at ten, I’ll come home… er, here, afterwards.” Eve told her. Villanelle grinned at her use of home . She was glad that her place made Eve comfortable enough to use the wording. Still, she was going to miss her older counterpart, not to mention seeing Eve dressed for a fashion show was really a turn on. But, Villanelle kissed Eve once more and then again for good measure.
“You have a deal.”
Eve flitted through different venues, stopping for photographs with her elite designer friends and making small talk with other acquaintances. She was even invited backstage to a few shows to meet a couple of the models and get a sneak peek of what their runway ensembles.
Eve looked forward to the two weeks a year in London when fashion was the talk of the town. This was her element and being in the midst of brilliant designers always lifted her spirit and made her feel like she could do anything. And what was even more exciting was being able to share it with her students. She hadn’t stayed with them the entire time; they were adults, free to roam around and network as they pleased, but she had kept a close watch on Hugo who was a notorious flirt, and also on Diego who could be too macho for his own good. In the end, she found that they were on their best behavior, and she took pride in watching them come out of their shells.
Front row during the Givenchy show, Eve found herself wishing Villanelle was beside her instead of some nameless celebrity who was only sitting there for clout. Just before the final look, Eve pulled her phone from her pocket and shot her blonde lover a text asking if she was still awake. Moments later, Villanelle responded… with a photograph.
“Fuck.” Eve muttered to herself.
Villanelle was in a bubble bath, candles all around her, blonde hair pulled into a bun atop her head and droplets of water dabbled her bubble-covered chest.
I’ll be home in ten minutes. Don’t move an inch.
Ten minutes later, she let herself in, using the spare key Villanelle had given her, complete with a gold, cursive V keychain.
“Honey, I’m home!” Eve called out, playfully.
She tossed her key onto the side table and hiked up the stairs to the main floor. Soft music played from the surround sound speakers and Eve followed the flickering candlelight to the bathroom. Villanelle looked up at her, a sultry smile playing on her lips.
“You’re home.” She cooed. Her tone told Eve everything she needed to know about how the rest of the night would play out.
“I am.” Eve replied, leaning against the door, ankles crossed and arms in her jacket pockets.
“Take off your clothes.”
Eve smirked, shedding her suit jacket, letting it drop to the floor. One by one, articles of her clothing slipped from her body until she was completely naked. Villanelle stretched out an arm, suds dripping from it as she waited for Eve to take her hand. Eve slid into the hot water with her, pressing her back to Villanelle’s front.
“Did you have a nice time?”
“I had a great time, but I missed you.”
“I missed you too.” Villanelle slid her hands down Eve’s and back up to massage her shoulders. “How did the children get along?”
Eve laughed. “They blossomed. I even saw Nadia crack a smile.”
“I thought I saw a pig fly.” Villanelle quipped.
“What did you do while I was gone?”
“Ate a shit ton of Chinese carryout and watched a movie about a female psychopath who killed her boyfriend and made the cop who was supposed to arrest her fall in love with her instead.”
“Don’t get any ideas.”
Villanelle kissed Eve’s curls. “You have nothing to worry about.”
“Did you already get clean?”
“No. I was waiting for you,” Villanelle lips found Eve’s ear, “to get dirty.”
Slowly, Villanelle let her hands roam down Villanelle’s chest, squeezing her tits just firmly enough to make Eve’s back arch. She pinched her nipples, and Eve’s eyes closed. She’d missed this. And so did Villanelle.
Lower her hands went until she reached the apex of Eve’s thighs, spreading them as much as she could in the bathtub. Her right hand returned to Eve’s breasts and her left hand cupped her pussy, massaging in firm, tight circles.
Eve was already so close to coming, she had to remind herself to breathe. It had been so long, and Eve had the worst case of blue balls in history.
“Did you see any good clothing?” Villanelle inquired.
“Clothing. Shirts, shorts, dresses? Anything good?”
“W-well, Yves Saint Laurent had a dress, fuck yes ,” Eve moaned as Villanelle slid a single digit inside of her cunt. Slowly .
“ Yes .”
Another finger entered her. “Tell me about it.”
Ah , so that was what she wanted; Eve caught on quickly. Villanelle knew Eve; it was beginning to feel like she knew Eve better than anyone she’d ever met. Fashion was her one true passion, and Villanelle wanted to use that to get Eve off. Not that she had to. Villanelle left Eve very satisfied without it.
“Floor length. See-through. Exaggerated sleeves. Pussybow--ohh god yes.” More fingers filled her tight channel and then Villanelle began a slow, sensual rhythm. She kissed Eve’s neck, nipping at the soft skin.
Eve’s hips began to move on their own accord, rising upwards, trying to take more of Villanelle inside of her.
“Valentino print twill dress.”
“Mhm. Short? Long?”
“Short. Button cuffs. High collar.”
“Oh, god it was.”
“You deserve to have it, Eve.” Villanelle murmured into her ear. “You deserve to have everything you desire.”
Villanelle skilled fingers increased the speed with which they dipped in and out of Eve. And if there was any doubt in her mind that Eve didn’t like what she was doing, it was fast out the moment Eve’s moans escalated in fervor and pitch.
“If you come for me, I’ll give you all the pretty things, Eve.” Villanelle maneuvered her right hand down to quickly stroke Eve’s clit. “But only if you come.”
Eve’s hips moved at a faster pace, the trickling sound of the warm water sloshing to and fro. Eve cried out, her eyes squeezed shut, and her fingers curled around the lip of the bathtub as she came. The sheer force of her orgasm made breathing impossible and when Villanelle’s digits slipped out of her that she remembered how to inhale and exhale. Her legs jerked as she tried to stop the throbbing in her pussy, but it was to no avail. Villanelle had started a fire that would not be extinguished for quite some time.
Hands still on Eve’s body, Villanelle nuzzled into her neck. “I don’t want to fuck you anymore.”
Eve was confused. Villanelle could practically hear her thoughts spinning like cogs in a machine.
“I want you in bed now. I want to make love to you.”
“Okay,” was pretty much the extent of Eve’s vocabulary.
Five hours earlier…
Kings Cross, London, 6:22PM
Niko sat nervously at a small coffee shop. He had ordered a cafe au lait that he drank in four large gulps despite its temperature. The biscotti he’d purchased remained untouched.
“Niko.” A confident male voice greeted. Niko looked up and watched as the man before him held out a free hand. The other held a MacBook, and a pair of round, wire glasses. He strangely looked exactly how Niko had pictured him. When Niko looked up a private investigator online, his was the only profile without any pictures. Probably best, Niko assumed. Easier to remain inconspicuous on certain cases.
Politely, Niko stood, shook his hand and gestured to the empty seat across from him.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Niko offered.
“Sorry that they’re under these circumstances.”
Niko gave him a nervous smile, nodding in agreement. “Yes, well, so am I.”
“Alright, let's get down to business, shall we?” The gentleman placed his glasses onto his face and opened up the computer. “So, you believe your wife is cheating on you.”
“Well,” Niko sighed, “yes, Mr. Peel, I do.”
“Then, you’ve come to the right person. I can find out anything about anyone.”
The younger man turned the computer around so that Niko could see the screen.
“That is the death certificate for your great-great-great grandfather. He, too, was a teacher, although a bit scary as he was a bit of a racist.” He reached around and clicked a key function on the computer. “That’s your family tree, I’ll send you a copy in case there are some people you’d like to get to know from your father’s first marriage.”
“My father was only married once.”
“Whatever helps you sleep at night. The point is: I am the bloodhound you want when you want to find things that people buried so deep that they were lost. So, if anyone can find out if your wife is cheating on you, it’s me.”
“Mr. Peel, I—.”
“Please, call me Aaron.”
“Aaron, I’m not sure I can afford you just yet, but from what you’ve shown me, I would say you’re worth it. Let me move some funds around and I’ll get back to you.”
“No need.” Aaron swiveled the computer back to himself. He typed a few things, clicked a couple of links and then he shut the lid, satisfied.
A moment later, Niko’s phone chimed.
1 new text from American Express: $1581.32 was electronically transferred to an account ending in XXXX0102. If you did not authorize this, please reply with NO.
Niko looked up at Aaron, who smiled.
“Discounted rate.” Aaron told him.
Terrified, but also extremely impressed, Niko hesitantly held out a hand.
No sooner had Aaron Peel shook it, Niko felt like he’d made a pact with the devil.
smut shall continue where it left off next chapter. so maybe that will stop the torches and pitchforks? *chuckles nervously* right?
“Through drought and famine,
My baby has been around for me.”
-Daniel Caesar (& Kali Uchis), “Get You”
“I want you in bed now. I want to make love to you.”
“Okay,” was pretty much the extent of Eve’s vocabulary.
Villanelle, silk robe clinging to her damn skin, watched from across the room as Eve climbed into her enormous bed. Nude, Eve centered herself in the bed and got comfortable, one arm behind her head. Candlelight flickered across her olive skin and she smiled when she caught Villanelle’s gaze.
“You look absolutely beautiful.”
“I bet you say that to all of the naked women that have been in your bed.”
Villanelle crossed the room and stood at the foot of the bed.
“No.” Villanelle shook her head and hopped onto the bed, crawling up Eve’s body, resting her weight atop the older woman. She pushed damp curls from Eve’s face, her eyes taking in every inch of her face. “Only you.” Sitting up, Villanelle straddled the brunette and leaned over to retrieve a small bottle from the vintage bedside table. She poured a generous amount into her open palm and set it down. Rubbing her hands together, Villanelle warmed the massage oil and without another word, she began to apply it to Eve’s skin.
She started at Eve’s shoulders, massaging them firmly and worked her way down her arms before returning to Eve’s breasts. Round and round, Villanelle stimulated the prickling areolas, before pinching Eve’s already hardened nipples.
Down she went. And the more skin she reached, the more oil she used. Eve’s eyes closed and she relaxed. Truly relaxed. It had been a long time since she’d gotten a massage and this was so much better than any spa.
Eve moaned when Villanelle reached her pussy. The blonde used both thumbs to massage her outer labia. And the inner.
She pressed both thumbs down against Eve’s clit and smirked as Eve’s hips bucked upwards. Up and down she stroked, giving Eve just enough to become aroused, but not enough to get off completely.
“Turn over.” Villanelle commanded. She lifted herself up slightly to give Eve enough room to turn onto her stomach. Folding her arms under her head, Eve closed her eyes once more as the massage continued.
Villanelle was quite skilled, her hands working out all of the tension knots that Eve had built up. Down her spine, across the expanse of her back. Slowly, soundly, Villanelle made her way to Eve’s ass. She drizzled massage oil down onto it and then rubbed it in. She watched Eve’s face as she dipped her fingers between the cheeks of her ass and probed her thumb inside.
“ Yes .” Eve whispered, raising her ass just so. Villanelle grinned. She pressed inward until the second knuckle on her thumb had disappeared from her view. Swivelling her hand, Villanelle was absolutely pleased when Eve cried out.
“ More, please. ”
So, with her thumb still up Eve’s ass, Villanelle easily slid two fingers from the same hand into her sopping pussy.
“Well, you are just made to be loved by me, yes?”
“God, yes .”
Villanelle smiled and pressed forward, filling Eve completely in both holes.
And as Villanelle loved Eve steadily, she whispered how much she loved her into Eve’s ear, followed by the filthiest desires that Eve had ever heard.
It was overwhelming. The things that Villanelle did to Eve and the things she wanted to do to her. Between the words and the actions, Eve was almost at her peak but something was missing.
Just a little more…
Villanelle snuck her free hand between Eve’s body and the sheets and used her fingers to strum Eve’s clit like a fucking guitar. She could feel Eve’s hips moving on their own accord, trying to both take her fingers deeper and get closer to her strumming fingers. She couldn’t hold out much longer. Villanelle was all-consuming and when Eve felt her tongue dip into her ear, she exploded.
Villanelle didn’t give her time to come down from her high. She wanted Eve right there. Turning the stunning Asian woman onto her back once more, Villanelle kissed her passionately.
“I love you.”
“I love you.” Eve responded just before Villanelle’s tongue mingled with hers. She felt her right leg being lifted onto Villanelle’s shoulder and Villanelle’s right leg slipping over her hips.
Villanelle’s wet cunt collided hers and Eve nearly saw stars.
“ Ah! Shit! Yes! ”
Villanelle looked down at Eve, impressed with herself. “Did you just come again?”
“Yes, but, fuck, don’t stop.” Eve panted. She unbelted Villanelle’s robe and pushed it as far away as she could. Villanelle finished the task for her, pulling off the material and tossing it somewhere. Taking hold of Villanelle’s waist, Eve urged her to move. So she did.
Villanelle rolled her hips, creating a lovely sensation for both of them. Eve circled her own hips, meeting VIllanelle’s movements.
She watched the way Villanelle’s tits bounced. The way the warm light from the dozens of flickering candles got caught in her shiny blonde hair. The way Villanelle’s beautiful body fit so perfectly with her own.
“ I can never get enough of you .” Eve told her. And she watched the way Villanelle’s lips quirked.
“Tell me again.”
Villanelle loved it.
“ You feel so good . Always so good .” Eve breathed.
Their hips moved faster. They were getting closer.
“ I’m gonna come .” Villanelle whispered. “ Fuck, I’m gonna come .” Her movements became frenzied and she brought Eve along with her.
Her mouth dropped open in a silent scream, her breathing stilled and the blonde just felt every little sensation. The prickling of her damp skin. The complete and total euphoria.
“ Eve !” Villanelle called out.
And Eve followed her into the abyss.
Fashion Week had always been Eve’s favorite time of the year. It was like her birthday and Christmas rolled into one, and this year blew her mind. Not just for the fashion. For four whole days she and Villanelle lived in domestic bliss. On Saturday morning, Eve roused Villanelle out of her sleep with kisses. Soft kisses. Against her bare shoulder, up to her neck, across her cheek.
And when Villanelle’s lips tweaked upwards and Eve was sure she was awake, she straddled her and soft kisses turned into silly ones. She kissed all over Villanelle’s face until the young blonde started laughing uncontrollably.
“Okay, okay! I’m awake.” Her eyes finally opened and she looked at Eve who smiled down at her.
“Morning.” Eve replied, her voice just a little hoarse from the previous night’s events.
“Good morning.” Villanelle’s hands magnetized to Eve’s hair. “You look beautiful in the morning.”
Eve’s chest flushed. “So are you.” She pressed her lips against Villanelle’s. “Are you hungry?”
“No. Let’s go out.”
The surprise on the Villanelle’s face was priceless. “Really?”
“I’ll get dressed.”
“Everyone is staring at us.” Villanelle murmured, sipping her tea.
“Aren’t I supposed to be the paranoid one?” Eve asked around a bite of her croissant.
“Yes, so why aren’t you?”
Eve swallowed her food and looked around. One blonde girl was staring at Villanelle. She had a laptop open and a camera sitting beside her. “Babe, no one is staring at us.”
“She’s probably wants to take your picture for her fashion blog or something.” Eve shrugged it off and picked up her coffee. “Relax.”
Eve reached across the table and caressed her arm. Villanelle looked at her arm and then at Eve.
“It’s okay.” Eve reassured her.
Comforted, Villanelle sat back in her chair, teacup still in hand. “Why aren’t you just the slightest bit terrified?”
“Why would I be? Just a professor and her teaching assistant out at breakfast.”
Well, when she put it that way…
“It’s not like I’m going to crawl under the table and eat your pussy right here.”
Villanelle nearly choked on her tea.
“Oh, yeah, now I see it.”
“Jesus, Eve. See what?” The blonde grabbed her napkin and coughed into it a few times, clearing wayward tea from her throat.
“That look. You know? The one where you can’t decide if you’re horrified or aroused.”
That made Villanelle laugh loudly. “You got me. That’s good.”
Eve’s phone vibrated on the table and as she reached for it, Villanelle scolded her for having it out in the first place.
“It’s Pheng.” She said, ignoring Villanelle’s protest against having phones at the table. “He wants to know if I’ll be at the his after party tonight.”
“Do you want me to go?”
“Do you want to go?”
“I won’t if you want me home.”
“I do not want to stifle your creativity, Eve. If you want to go, you should go.”
“You should come with me.”
“No, I am not a partier.”
“You won’t actually be partying. You go to network. Like what your classmates are doing.”
Villanelle gave her a look. “I am not my classmates.”
“That’s for sure.” Eve snorted, still texting.
“What does that mean?”
“And that is bad?” Villanelle leaned forward now, brows furrowed. “Your tone is saying that is bad.”
“What tone? I don’t have a tone.”
“Are we fighting?”
Eve finally looked up from her phone. The blonde looked a bit distressed. “No. Of course not.”
“It feels like we are fighting.”
“I promise you, we are not fighting.” Eve sighed. “I want to go to Pheng’s after party. I want you to meet him, but if you don’t want to go, you don’t have to.”
“Y-you want me to meet your friend?”
“Of course I do.”
Villanelle considered this for a moment. “Okay.”
“Yes, I will come to the party and meet your friend.”
“Good.” Eve nodded once, satisfied. “He’s going to love you.”
Eve spent the entire day running around events, bumping into her students occasionally. Majority of the time, however, she simply enjoyed the fashion. In a custom, Philip Lim tuxedo jumpsuit and Balenciaga sneakers, Eve headed to Lim’s afterparty with Villanelle in tow. In a room full of people wearing Philip Lim’s famous black-and-white pairings, Villanelle made a statement in her vibrant red Prada ensemble. The top was made to look entirely like a wrapped bow, complete with exaggerated sleeves and collar. She showed a bit of skin along her midriff before the red skirt started at her waist and continued to her thighs where it cascaded downward in a sea of blood read chiffon.
Jaws dropped. Heads turned. Eyes ballooned.
And Eve simply smirked.
Pheng, also known as Philip Lim couldn’t get enough of the young blonde, telling her multiple times over that she was always welcome in his atelier. They exchanged numbers and by the time they returned to Villanelle’s flat, she was still buzzing with excitement.
“He said he loved me.” Villanelle grinned.
“I told you he would.” Eve said, letting them inside with her key.
“You did.” Once the door was shut, Villanelle whirled Eve around and pushed her against it, kissing her neck. “And I should thank you properly for encouraging me to go.”
Well, Eve certainly wouldn’t argue with that…
Villanelle pulled back and tilted her head. “How do you feel about toys?”
bro, the next chapter is nothing but utter fucking filth. also, if any of you are against strap-on sex, sorry (not sorry) in advance.
Chapter 21: Limitless
NSFW, cause I’m a depressed bitch after watching the Euphoria finale for the fourth time (keep your judge-y eyes away from me!)!
anyway, I would like to make it clear that I am Team Villanelle Is A Top before you read on. you’ll see why.
“Bitch, I'm tellin' you,
This shit edible
It's like caramel, kiss my genital.”
-Doja Cat, “Go To Town”
Villanelle pulled back and tilted her head. “How do you feel about toys?”
Turns out, Eve felt pretty fucking good about toys. Especially when Villanelle squeezed a hand around her throat and thrust inside of her with reckless abandon.
It hadn’t started quite so rough, but Eve had no one to blame but herself.
She’d watched Villanelle disrobe and then slip into the harness and had practically salivated at the sight. And when Villanelle stood directly in between her spread legs, fully erect as it were, Eve could already tell the blonde would have absolutely no trouble sliding inside of her drenched channel.
Still, she couldn’t help but tease the cocky blonde before her.
“Like what you see?” Villanelle had asked, cocky smirk on her face.
Eve shrugged, nonchalantly telling her, “I’ve seen bigger.”
Villanelle had laughed and gripped either of Eve’s thighs. “You are certainly not talking about your precious Niko? Unless,” she pulled Eve to the edge of the bed suddenly, “his penis is the only reason you’re still with him.”
“You might be right.”
So Villanelle had made it her personal mission to show Eve exactly why she could give her everything that Niko could… except better.
Not that it was competition…
...but if it was, Villanelle won by a landslide.
Especially when she lifted Eve’s legs, pushed them together and maneuvered her onto her side, all the while never leaving Eve’s tight cunt.
“You are so good.” Villanelle praised and Eve clenched around her cock. “You take it so well.”
“Oh god.” Eve moaned, her orgasm approaching quickly. She prayed to god Villanelle hadn’t tapped into some repressed mommy kink that Eve had because honestly, she’d already found too many of Eve’s weaknesses. Neither Eve’s mind, nor body needed any more reasons to get wet the moment Villanelle walked into a room.
Reading her body like a goddamned book, Villanelle pulled out and smiled at Eve’s stuttered, whiny protest. Instead of giving her what she wanted, Villanelle rolled onto her back, and trailed a hand down Eve’s back before laying a light smack onto her ass.
“Be a good girl, Eve,” fingers dipped inside of Eve’s saturated pussy, “and sit on my cock.”
Eve’s brain only processed two thoughts after that: How dare she? followed rapidly by Okay!
Ever the willing participant, Eve straddled Villanelle, lining up the faux phallus with her center.
“Look at me.” Villanelle commanded. And as Eve sank down and let Villanelle fill her completely, Villanelle watched as her face went from desire to absolute ecstasy.
No prompting necessary, Eve rose up and then back down until she found the perfect balance of rhythm and friction that was sure to send her sailing towards the stars in no time. Even with her head tossed back, hair tickling the small of her back, Eve’s hands found Villanelle breasts and she squeezed them the way she new Villanelle liked. The feeling caused Villanelle’s hips to jerk upward and Eve moaned louder.
She bowed forward and her lips met Villanelle’s. Villanelle’s hands slipped up her thighs, past her hips and up her back, holding her close. Kissing Eve, Villanelle pushed upwards, giving her every single inch.
The blonde thrust upwards again. Once. Twice. Thrice. Until Eve’s body became taut and all noise from her mouth ceased and Eve came with a shuddered wail into Villanelle’s neck.
“Can I ask you something?” Eve asked a little while later.
“Anything.” Villanelle twirled a finger around one of Eve’s curls.
“Can I fuck you now?”
Villanelle chuckle came through her nose as a small breath. “You don’t have to ask.”
“I may be a professor, but I’m still learning.”
“Like what, sweet Eve?”
“Like what you like.”
“I do not understand.”
“I like you, sexually. Whatever you want to give me, I will take. Willingly.”
“So, there are no limits for you.”
Villanelle shrugged. “I’m Russian. We don’t really have limits.”
Eve smiled, her mood seemingly lightened.
“There is nothing I will not share with you, Eve. I am yours just as much as you are mine.”
“Eve!” Villanelle cried out.
It was almost sickening how powerful Eve felt with a fistful of Villanelle’s hair and her free hand on one of Villanelle’s hips, Eve thrust into her, swift and deep.
Now, she could understand the appeal of being a top. The power was just slightly addicting, but the way Villanelle moaned for her… she could get high on it.
One yank on silky, blonde hair and Villanelle’s back arched towards Eve’s front until they were both upright. The back of her head resting on Eve’s shoulder, Villanelle had no choice but to listen to Eve’s delightfully sinful words in her ear as she took her deeper into her pussy.
Eve’s free hand slipped down Villanelle’s waist to stroke her clit so perfectly in sync with her thrusts. Villanelle shouted helplessly as she pushed back to take more of Eve’s cock. Their bodies met with determined, violent slaps.
And then Eve said the magic words. Not even Villanelle could have known the extent to which she craved them.
“ I love you. ” Eve panted into her ear. With her cervix being grazed, the hollow of her ear being tickled with Eve’s warm breaths, and her heart exploding with love and affection, Villanelle’s orgasm took her to the moon.
The next morning, Villanelle awoke to Eve in the kitchen, frying sausages for breakfast, talking on her cell phone. She watched as Eve drizzled raw honey on them and then turned to reach for her glass of orange juice.
Her eyes widened and she put a hand to her heart, thoroughly surprised to see the blonde out of bed. Villanelle picked up the glass and drank from it before handing it off to Eve.
“I don’t know. Some photographer at Pheng’s party probably took it.” She paused. “Thank you. It was just something I threw together.”
Her eyes reached Villanelle’s once more and she rolled them. “I will tell Billie you thought she looked lovely as well.”
Villanelle smirked, mouthing, “ Niko ?” To which Eve nodded.
She retrieved the glass from Eve and set it back down before crossing the small divide between them. She surprised Eve by picking up the shorter woman and sitting her on the cold steel counter.
Eve gasped. And Niko must have asked what was wrong because she stuttered a quick “N-nothing, I nearly dropped the phone,'' as she watched Villanelle drop to her knees.
Villanelle took the honey dipper from the glass jar, not caring that she was making a mess. She drizzled some of the raw honey along Eve’s inner thighs and licked it up, thinking just how much it tasted like Eve.
“...no, there’s only one thing I really want to see today.” Eve told Niko.
Hooking her forearms under Eve’s thighs, she pulled her to the edge of the counter.
Honey was drizzled onto her pussy and Eve’s jaw dropped.
“Niko, I-I have to ah! I have to go.”
And just before she could end the call, Villanelle’s tongue lapped up the sweet honey and she mewled loudly before her phone read:
Chapter 22: Law & Order
tw: mention of attempted suicide
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Your skin is so lovely,
It moves me when you touch me.
I know that you got my back.”
-Joss Stone, “Tell Me What We’re Gonna Do Now”
Eve and Villanelle spent the last two days of London Fashion Week in a sex-filled haze. Eve attended the morning and afternoon events only to return to Villanelle’s flat and be seduced moments after she walked through the door. Eve had been on her back and knees so much, she was beginning to expect there to be a stack of cash when she woke up in the mornings.
The final day of Fashion Week, Villanelle had awaken Eve with French classics playing softly in the background as she worked on a new design. She sat on an ottoman before her work mannequin, sewing lace onto the hem of a pair of pants. She hummed quietly along to the music and wasn’t startled when Eve draped herself against her back.
“Good morning, beautiful.”
“Good morning. How long have you been awake?” Eve inquired, nestling her face into blonde hair.
“A while. Did I wake you?” Villanelle pushed the needle through the material one last time and finally gave Eve her undivided attention. Turning her head, she kissed Eve twice and then once more for good measure.
“No.” Truth was, her full bladder had woken her up and when she stretched in bed, she found the empty spot beside her was disheartening.
“Today is our last day together.” Villanelle told her. Eve dropped her forehead against Villanelle’s shoulder, sighing heavily.
“Back to reality.”
“Only for a little while.”
Turning fully, Villanelle’s cute pout turned into adorable confusion.
“I do not understand.”
“I’m going to tell Niko that I want a divorce.”
Brows raised. “Really?”
“Really. I was going to wait until after the degree fashion shows, but I don’t think I could wait that long even if I tried.”
Villanelle smiled and rested both hands on Eve’s face, kissing her softly. “I meant what I said.”
“You say a lot of things.”
“I mean when I said that you don’t have to go through the heartbreak alone. If you need me, I will be here for you.”
Eve’s hands rose and she held either of Villanelle’s against her own face.
The closing ceremonies of any good fashion week usually consisted of amazing swag bags, exclusive tickets to secret fashion parties and a shit-ton of sneak peeks from iconic designers. There were upwards of five half-hour long catwalks throughout the day and by nine p.m., parties were in full swing.
Nadia and Diego found Eve and Villanelle in a dark VIP section of Fire, an industrial-style railway arch nightclub, complete with three neon-lit rooms full of dancing drunks and fashion geeks.
Shots were had by all except Villanelle who peered curiously at Nadia, wondering what she was doing with a macho asshole like Diego. Diego had draped an arm around the back of the couch and man-spread, his leg touching hers. While looking slightly uncomfortable, Nadia managed to find her voice when Diego finally stopped talking about his Fashion Week successes.
“An atelier house of Jean-Paul Gaultier asked me to intern with them after graduation.” Nadia told Eve. Genuinely excited for her student, Eve and Nadia started an enthusiastic conversation about Nadia’s future in fashion.
“What about you, Billie?” Diego asked, jutting his chin in her direction.
Barely-masked disgust on her face, Villanelle shrug a shoulder and discreetly rubbed Eve’s lower back. “What about me?”
Villanelle smiled. “That is cute. Prospects. I don’t need them.”
“Because, Diego,” Villanelle explained, carefully as if she were talking to a child, “I will be winning the internship from the fashion show this spring.”
“Cocky, don’t you think?” He asked, leaning forward, forearms on his knees.
Villanelle matched his posture. “This has nothing to do with ego, but if it did just know,” she crooked a finger towards him as if she were going to tell him a secret, “mine is bigger than yours.”
Momentarily shocked, Diego gave a wry chuckle as he sat back against the leather couch. A hand slipped onto Nadia’s knee and Villanelle’s eyes flicked down to watch the motion before they whipped back to Diego’s face.
Eve leaned into Villanelle’s ear and Diego stared at them, his eyes squinting.
“Play nice with the other children.”
“Or what?” Villanelle inquired into Eve’s ear. “You will spank me? My ass is still raw from this morning, thank you.”
Eve thanked the heavens that the thumping bass overpowered the blonde’s remark. So, she pulled away and raised her hand at a random waitress for another round.
“Eve, does your husband not come to these events?” Diego asked.
“Oh, no. He could care less about fashion.”
“I suppose it’s a good thing you have Billie then, yes?”
If looks could kill, Villanelle would have pulled the vintage hairpin from her own locks and shoved it directly into Diego’s eye.
“I suppose it is nice to have a student teaching assistant who enjoys design just as much as I do.” Eve responded, bringing Villanelle out of such violent thoughts.
“Sure.” He said, squeezing Nadia’s knee. “Shall we go, pumpkin.”
Pumpkin? Seriously? Villanelle’s scoff was drowned out by the music, but she managed a faux smile and waved goodbye to Nadia. Diego held his hand out to Villanelle and she shook it.
“May the biggest ego win.” Diego told her.
“I plan to.”
When Eve returned home in the morning, Niko smiled at her from his seat at the kitchen table. The only light on was the one above the table, and a manila folder was set before him. He drank from a beer beside him and rolled his shoulders as if he was preparing for a title fight.
“Thanks.” She dropped her bags on the floor and looked at him curiously. “Why do I feel like I just walked into an episode of Law & Order? ”
“Don’t be silly. You’re not a criminal.”
Eve made herself busy finding a wine glass and pouring white wine nearly to the brim.
“How was your week?”
“Interesting, to say the least. How was yours?”
“Eventful. I’m exhausted.”
“Did you get to enjoy the events between wrangling up your students?”
“Actually, this year, I barely saw them. Most of them are very mature compared to the last few years.”
“Ah, yes. I remember the bar top dancing incident of 2014 and the DJ fellatio incident of 2017.” Niko said.
Eve laughed. “Exactly. Thankfully, this year, the most memorable thing that happened was that Nadia got an internship offer with Jean Paul Gaultier.”
“That is exciting. I’m sure that made Villanelle a bit envious, what with her self-admiration.”
“She didn’t really attend enough events to network. She said it wasn’t her thing.”
“Ah, so you didn’t see much of her?”
Well, I saw plenty of her. From the front. The back. Sideways. Upside down. On the kitchen counter. On the floor. In the shower , thought Eve.
“After parties and all that.”
Niko nodded. “I didn’t take her as a party girl.”
“Look, I know that she’s not your favorite person on the planet, but she’s been through a lot. That’s why she has such a tough exterior.”
“Yes, I know.”
Eve sipped from the wine and slid the glass to Niko, who shook his head.
“What do you mean you know? You know what?”
“That she’s been through a lot. She’s put others through a lot as well.”
Confused and beginning to understand that this conversation was not going to end well, Eve tried to steer it into a more positive place.
But Niko wasn’t having it.
Aaron Peel had come round earlier in the day with a file of intriguing information on Villanelle Astankova. While she wasn’t the main subject of his investigation, what he’d uncovered was significant as well. Niko slid the folder over to Eve.
“I just want you to be careful with her.”
“Why? Did she kill someone?” Eve chuckled sounded nervous, even to herself as she reached for the file.
Opening the folder, Eve found a dozen or more papers before her, most of them stamped with Villanelle’s name on the top. She found the forged adoption papers, newspaper clippings of her socialite mother, and even Villanelle’s high school transcripts.
“What the hell is this?”
“While you were away, I had some free time on my hands.”
“So you stalked my student?”
“I wanted you to have all of the information on your girlfriend before you made the decision to ruin both of our lives.”
Eve’s eyes shot up to Niko’s face. Her heart beat faster than a hunting cheetah and she became aware that her pits were suddenly perspiring.
She really had walked into an episode of Law & Order .
Niko reached over and moved a few pieces of paper aside before he found the one he was looking for. A beautiful older brunette woman smiled at a younger one as they ran in the street under large umbrellas. When she looked closer, Eve realized that the younger woman was Villanelle. She look like a teenager. And she was brunette. But it was definitely Villanelle.
“That,” Niko tapped the picture, “is Anna Aanmokoba. She was Villanelle’s languages teacher in Russia.”
“Okay? Why is she important?”
“She is the first teacher that Villanelle seduced. Happily married to Maxi Leonova, or at least she was, until she met Oksana Astankova.”
“She let herself be seduced by Villanelle. The school found out. Her life was left in ruins. Villanelle, charmed her way out of being tossed in a boarding school in Switzerland for wayward girls. Anna tried to kill herself as a result. Slit both wrists and still managed to fight off the attending paramedics.”
Eve tried as hard as she could to process what she was being told. This was too much. And now she had so many questions.
Did she tell Anna all of the things she told Eve? Had she been in love with Anna? Was Eve just another pawn on the chessboard of Villanelle’s life?
“The rest of the information here tells you the whole story. So,” Niko finished, “I suggest you take a good, hard long look at what your life could be like if you continue your relationship with Villanelle.”
He stood from his chair with an awkward scraping noise and left Eve with her thoughts.
Eve stared at the photograph of a smiling Anna and Villanelle until her vision blurred and a tear rolled down her cheek.
more details to come.
Chapter 23: Not-So-Private Eye
“All I got is these
I ain’t got no time.
Just burnin’ daylight.”
-SZA, “Broken Clocks”
Central Saint Martins, Wednesday, 11:03AM
Villanelle couldn’t tell what was more adorable: Eve trying not to make eye contact with her or that she’d text her before class asking to meet with her that evening. Villanelle suggested their shared office, but wasn’t turned off when Eve asked to meet at Villanelle’s flat.
Some things are better talked about in bed , Villanelle had thought.
Now, though, they were halfway through class. Eve had barely glanced at her and when she did, Villanelle found that she was hard pressed to understand the expression on her girlfriend’s face. Something was amiss. Her heart sank.
Did she decide to stay with Niko? Or had she told Niko about their relationship and he took it horribly? What had changed in the 36 hours since Villanelle last saw her?
Whatever had occurred, Villanelle meant what she said to Eve. She would be there to help Eve through everything that was thrown her way. Even if that meant things got too hard and Eve decided she didn’t want Villanelle after all.
What truly mattered was that Eve had an awakening. Whether she liked it or not, Eve had been reminded that she didn’t have to put herself in a box and label it. She once told Villanelle that one of the reasons why she married Niko was because it seemed like the next step in life. Eve believed that there was a step-by-step plan for her life that she had to follow, and check off every milestone like a list. Meeting Villanelle had not only thrown a wrench in whatever that plan may have been, but it had created a blueprint for an entirely new list of milestones to hit that were chaotic and exciting and everything that Eve never knew she needed.
Villanelle’s flat was quiet when Eve let herself in with her key. The lights were dim, there was candlelight. Eve reached the final landing and saw Villanelle stand from the small, vintage dining table. The blonde’s normal confident exterior appeared to crumble ever so slightly, her hands balling into fists before she unclenched them and unnecessarily smoothed down her dress.
“I made dinner.” She said in explanation. Eve’s eyes dropped to the table complete with two white candles, fresh white roses, and covered dinner plates.
“Thanks, but I already ate.”
“Oh. Okay.” Villanelle replied, once again unsure what to do with her hands. “Wine?”
“Do you have any vodka?”
Villanelle smirked. “I’m Russian. What do you think?”
The blonde didn’t particularly enjoy drinking, but Eve was grateful nonetheless. She was going to need the liquid courage. Crossing the flat, Eve plopped down on Villanelle’s bed, dropping her handbag on the bed beside her. Villanelle made her a drink, waiting for her to remove her coat before handing it to her.
“You said you wanted to talk?”
Eve completely drained the glass of vodka. Villanelle, surprised, took the glass back and made her way back to the kitchen pour another drink.
“Tell me about Anna.”
Glass shattered. Eve’s head shot up. Villanelle cursed in Russian, and Eve realized it was the first and only time she’d ever heard her speak in her native language.
“What about her?” Villanelle inquired as she found a dish towel and began to scoop up the larger shards of glass.
“Were you in love with her?”
Glass slammed into the trash can. “Maybe.”
“What do you mean ‘maybe’?”
“Exactly as it sounds. Maybe I was in love with her. I don’t know. I was sixteen.”
“Did you tell her that you loved her?”
“So you were in love with her.”
“Loving someone and being in love with someone are two different things, Eve.”
That was a fair point, well made. But Eve had already decided that hurt and anger was how she was starting this conversation, and if she wasn’t careful, it would quickly snowball into resentment.
“Did you seduce her for entertainment? You said you were a little shit who would do anything to piss off your adoptive parents.”
“Ask me what you really want to ask me, Eve.”
“Did you seduce me for your entertainment? Am I just another way to piss off your disapproving parents?”
“How do I know that?”
“I just told you. I have not said or done anything to you that I did with Anna.”
“It should be. Eve, I really am in love with you. I would not do anything to hurt you.”
“Except destroy my marriage. Like you did with Anna’s.”
Villanelle looked as if Eve had smacked her across the face.
“ Really ?”
Eve had never seen Villanelle truly furious before, but there was a first time for everything. Her eyes glazed over and her cheek twitched with disgust. “Eve, every time I’ve given you the opportunity to end this, you came to me . The very first time I begged you to tell me to stop, and you didn’t. I was not in this alone. You are just as much guilty as I am, and I am sorry if that makes you feel bad, but I told you that I will never lie to you.”
“You practically handed me a self-fulfilling prophecy with all of that ‘ I’m very good at knowing what people want’ bullshit.”
“A self-f--. All you had to do was not let it happen, but you did. You wanted this as much as I did. You needed this. Eve, you’re a creative being stifled in a marriage that doesn’t complete you. Your life is supposed to be filled with love and lace and colors so vivid that you find inspiration in everything. Before you met me, you had been living in black and white for so long.”
Villanelle was right, and Eve hated it. She was the Technicolor. The Sartorial Sorbet that Eve had created her first collection. When she was working on that collection, Eve had truly been at her prime. That had been at a time in her life that she wanted so much more for herself. If it were up to her, she would have travelled the world over at least eight times by now. She would have seen the fashions of every culture and been filled with so much inspiration that she would have been able to design collections every year for the rest of her life.
“We have to stop what we’re doing.”
Villanelle placed a hand on her chest and took a step back as if all of the wind had been knocked out of her
“What?” She breathed. It had always been a possibility, sure, and she’d even practiced an entire speech if Eve had made such a ludicrous declaration. But in the moment, all she could feel was hurt. “Why, Eve?”
“If the school finds out, I could lose my job. You could lose any chance of winning the internship. It’s the smartest thing for both of our futures. I can’t lose everything.”
“Like Anna.” Villanelle whispered.
“Anna lost everything because of me. The school fired her. Her husband left her. He’s remarried with two kids now, but Anna just couldn’t move on.”
“Because she was in love with you.”
A tear fell from Villanelle’s left eye and she nodded. “She tried to tell me, but I was already in so much trouble with my parents. They were trying to send me away to this horrible group home with girls who’d done worse than I had. I was so focused on trying to stay out of trouble that I just kept my head down and avoided all contact with her.”
“She tried to kill herself.”
“I know.” Villanelle sniffled. “I visited her in the hospital and then the psych ward. Almost every day.”
“Of course. I’m not heartless.” Villanelle crossed the room and sat on the bed beside Eve. “Before I left for London, I visited her once more in her home. I wanted to genuinely apologize. She told me she forgave me, but I can never go back to Russia and live there knowing I caused so much pain.”
Eve reached into her bag and pulled out the file that Niko had composed, passing it over to Villanelle. Reluctantly, the blonde opened the file and skimmed its contents. Eve watched her face for any reaction, and was shocked when--.
Villanelle started laughing. Heartily.
“What the hell is so funny?”
“This explains so much.”
“The strange man that’s been following me since Fashion Week.”
“ What ?” Eve nearly shouted.
“Eve, quiet. We have neighbors.” Villanelle scolded her theatrically.
“Fuck the neighbors. How do you know someone has been following you?”
“Well,” Villanelle said, getting comfortable on the bed, “I first noticed him when…”