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Always tired but never of you

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“I’m so sleepy.” Juliana said quietly, yawning and stretching her arms up in the air.

 

“We can go to bed in a minute, if you want?” Valentina replied, not lifting her gaze from her laptop screen in front of her.

 

She was working on an essay for school while a movie played in the background. Juliana sat beside her looking through her phone while Valentina typed away at her computer. They had been like that for almost half an hour, sitting together, enjoying each other’s company while the movie in the background provided white noise for Valentina to work hard on her paper.

 

“I think I might just nap here for a minute.” Juliana said, stifling another yawn as she extended her legs and shuffled down the couch.

 

Valentina turns to her girlfriend as Juliana’s weight moves away from her.

 

“Juls.” Valentina said seriously.

 

“Hmm?” Juliana asked, two seconds away from closing her eyes.

 

“You’re gonna hurt your back if you sleep on the couch like that.” Valentina explained. “And get bad posture.”

 

Juliana wondered if she should remind Valentina that she slept on a couch for the first 18 years of her life. A quick half hour nap wasn’t going to do her any harm, but she appreciated her girlfriend’s concern. She smiled instead and poked fun at Valentina.

 

“You’re the one hunched over a laptop furiously typing away, you’re the one who’s gonna get back pain.”  

 

Valentina immediately straightened her spine and rolled back her shoulders.

 

“That’s true.” Valentina noted with a smile before turning her attention back to her paper. “We’re both going to be cranky in the morning, then.”

 

“I’m gonna sleep.” Juliana replied, her eyes already closed.

 

“I’ll be done soon, mi amor. Give me a sec to finish this bit, and then we can go to bed?” Valentina asked, not taking her eyes off of her laptop. She truly was planning to go to bed in a second she was just one paragraph away from finishing for the day.

 

“Ok.” Juliana whispered back.

 

Valentina’s shoulders hunched forward again as she resumed her work. She typed away furiously for a few minutes and then paused to save her document. She sat up a little and admired her work for a moment, before proofreading it through. Sighing in annoyance at the sight of some easy spelling mistakes, Valentina quickly rectified them before adding another sentence and deleting a few things.

 

Valentina made sure to save her work and then saved it again just to make sure. She reached forward for her notebook and quickly scribbled down some last minute notes and a to-do list for tomorrow. Her paper wasn’t completely done yet, but it was nearly there, her to-do list was getting smaller every day. Tomorrow she just needed to fact check a few pieces of information and then get Juliana to proof-read it. Then finally, the paper would be finished.

 

Valentina smiled at her hard work. This paper was one of the hardest she had ever had to write for her course, but she reckoned it was also one of her best.

 

Satisfied that her work was finally done for the day, she closed her notebook and then slammed the lid of her laptop shut a little too enthusiastically.

 

“Done!” Valentina exclaimed before gently placing her laptop and her notebook down on the coffee table beside her. “Well, I’m done for today.” She added with a smile.

 

Valentina turned to her girlfriend and sighed when she saw Juliana lying peacefully on the couch with her eyes closed.

 

“Juls?” Valentina asked softly, sitting up.

 

Valentina rubbed at the back of her neck as she moved, her girlfriend was right, she was going to be sore in the morning after writing her paper for hours in that uncomfortable position.

 

“Juls?” Valentina asked again, a little louder this time, wanting Juliana to wake up so they could go to bed but not wanting to scare her girlfriend.

 

There was still no response from her girlfriend and her gentle, steady breaths continued.

 

“Mi amor?” Valentina asked, reaching out and stroking her girlfriend’s cheek with the back of her hand.

 

Juliana flinched in her sleep under Valentina's touch but still didn’t wake up. The slow rise and fall of her chest continued as Valentina moved into a kneeling position and enjoyed taking in the sight of her peaceful girlfriend asleep on the couch.

 

Juliana had returned home late after a long day at school. It was the final two weeks of her first term, and everything was gearing up for a fashion show that would happen on their last day. Juliana had designed and then handmade her designs weeks ago, but there was still work to be done, and the last few days had been particularly tiring. Juliana had even admitted she wasn’t in the mood for sex and wanted instead to focus on her upcoming show.

 

Valentina knew Juliana was finding things more tiring than stressful; she was enjoying the course, though not the late finishes. Especially not the late night takeaways of pizza and noodles she and her fellow students were consuming for dinner every night in the studio space, Juliana would much rather be home with her girlfriend eating non-greasy food. But it was only for a few more weeks, Valentina kept reminding her, and besides, Valentina was busy herself with the end of her term and she had numerous reports to write, interviews to do and papers to finish. Not as busy as Juliana, but still busy.

 

And so, they had found their only time together was late at night when Juliana got home tired and Valentina was just about finishing off her work for the day. She was a night owl rather than a morning lark, and always found she was most productive in the hours just before they went to bed. Juliana would come home and the motivation of spending time with her girlfriend would power Valentina’s final hours of work.

 

Today, Juliana came home more exhausted than ever, but she had a huge smile on her face; she had practically finished all her final preparations for the end of term fashion show, four days early. Valentina was nearly finished with her paper too, and persuaded Juliana to sit next to her while she wrote her final few arguments.

 

Juliana had obeyed those instructions but had fallen asleep quickly and was now too deep asleep to respond to her girlfriend’s attempts at waking her up.

 

“How can you sleep here, Juls?” Valentina asked with a laugh. “The lights are on, the TV is on and you’re still wearing your jacket.”

 

Valentina tucked a strand of hair away from her girlfriend’s delicate face and sighed. 

 

“You really were tired today, huh?” Valentina asked Juliana’s sleeping body, now knowing she wouldn’t get a response, Juliana was out of it.

 

Valentina smiled as she looked down at her girlfriend. Juliana could sleep anywhere; the car, the couch, even the bath, the hot water and bubbles had once lulled her to sleep.

 

Valentina was the opposite. As everybody knew, she was a princess, and that extended to her sleeping arrangements. Before her body could even think about shutting down for sleep, it needed a comfy mattress on a large bed with the right number of pillows beneath her head and she couldn’t be too hot or too cold and the room had to be dark and silent. She couldn’t imagine falling asleep in a well lit room with the TV blaring, especially when sober.

 

At that moment, the TV increased in volume as an action scene in the movie started. Valentina grabbed the remote and quickly turned it off, but when she turned back to Juliana, she realised that even a loud action scene with explosions wouldn’t have bothered her girlfriend; she remained sound asleep on the couch.

 

Valentina was tempted to lie down with Juliana on the couch and fall asleep too, she was feeling exhausted too, but she knew it was probably best if they went to sleep in her bedroom. For the sake of both their bodies.

 

So, Valentina stood up and tucked her phone into the back pocket of her jeans and turned to her girlfriend. Juliana’s phone lay on her lap and so Valentina gently picked it up and put it in her pocket too.

 

She bent down, ready to take Juliana into her arms and carry her to bed but then sighed when she realised this was gonna be harder than it looked. The movies portrayed this as a simple thing to do, but Valentina realised there was going to be a technique to it and she also wondered whether she even had the strength.

 

There wouldn’t be any harm in finding out, Valentina thought as she bent down and gently manoeuvred her arms under Juliana’s body. Her right arm under her girlfriend’s legs and her left arm under Juliana’s back.

 

Juliana moaned in protest and rolled away from Valentina’s touch and Valentina giggled.

 

“You’re not making this easy for me are you, mi amor?” Valentina asked, groaning in frustration as she tried to lift her girlfriend up again. She just wanted to do this one romantic thing she had seen in the movies, but the task was not an easy one.

 

Juliana moved again as Valentina finally managed to lift her up into her arms. Valentina stood up slowly and groaned again as she felt Juliana’s weight settle in her arms. Juliana was surprisingly heavy, but Valentina thought she could just about manage the ten steps to her bedroom. Their bedroom.

 

That was until a sleeping Juliana started wriggling in her arms.

 

“Shhhhh…” Valentina reassured her girlfriend's sleeping figure. For a moment, she wondered if she should put Juliana back down again, she didn’t want to drop her girlfriend on the way.

 

Juliana cranked a tired eye open and then opened her eyes fully when she felt herself moving and saw Valentina’s face looking down on her.

 

“Val?” She asked, confused, as she rubbed at her eyes.

 

“Can you – can you put your arms around my neck?” Valentina asked breathlessly. “Otherwise you’re gonna fall.”

 

Juliana quickly latched on to Valentina’s body and, before she knew it, Valentina had placed her down on top of their soft bed.

 

“Did you just carry me to bed?” Juliana asked, smiling and then yawning as she looked around the room.

 

“Yeah.” Valentina whispered as she fell down on the bed and lay half on top of her girlfriend.

 

“Thanks.” Juliana smiled as she gladly let Valentina fall on top of her.

 

“You’re surprisingly heavy, you know?”

 

“I love you too babe.” Juliana laughed and hugged Valentina close.

 

“Don’t tease me! It’s harder than it looks, mi amor.” Valentina pointed out, placing a kiss onto Juliana’s cheek.

 

“Did I fall asleep on the couch again?” Juliana asked, yawning again.

 

“Yeah.” Valentina nodded as she yawned too. “You must be tired. You look it.”

 

“Did you finish your paper?” Juliana asked kindly, turning on her side and tangling their legs together. 

 

“Just about.” Valentina replied with a nod, smiling as Juliana moved closer to her. “I’m ready for bed now though.”

 

“Same.” Juliana replied softly, closing her eyes again.

 

“Wait a sec, Juls.” Valentina said suddenly. “You’re still wearing your jacket.” She explained.

 

“I’m too tired to care.” Juliana smiled back, almost asleep again already.

 

Valentina sat up and prodded her girlfriend gently.

 

“At least sit up a bit so I can take it off you?”

 

Juliana hummed in agreement and let Valentina pull her jacket away.

 

“What about your bra?” Valentina asked as she threw the jacket aside.

 

Juliana replied by turning around and presenting her back to her girlfriend.

 

Valentina laughed loudly. She knew what that meant; Juliana was too lazy to take off her bra herself.

 

Valentina leant forward and undid the clasp on Juliana’s bra. For once, there was no need to be quick and eager to get the bra off, unlike many previous occasions, so her actions were slow as she helped Juliana pull the straps down her arms and then place it aside.

 

“And your jeans?” Valentina asked gently.

 

“Please.” Juliana replied, squinting as she looked down at her lap and undid the button.

 

She let Valentina do the rest and leaned up so Valentina could pull them down off of her bum. She giggled as Valentina pulled them down her legs.

 

“What?” Valentina asked, giggling too and she pulled the jeans off of Juliana’s feet.

 

“It’s like we’re about to have sexy times.” Juliana explained as Valentina threw the jeans aside too.

 

“You’re welcome, I guess.” Valentina replied, wriggling forward so she could kiss her girlfriend on the lips. “But no sex, you’ve got to focus on your show, but in four days you’ll be free.”

 

“Free for sexy times!” Juliana laughed.

 

“Free for sexy times.” Valentina repeated.  

 

“I’ve missed our sexy times.” Juliana revealed quietly as she kissed Valentina again.

 

“Tonight, though, no sexy times.” Valentina said firmly as she reluctantly pulled back. “We need to go to sleep because you, mi amor, you need to get a good night’s sleep for your last few days of hard work.”

 

“Ok.” Juliana replied with a pout.

 

“Don’t look at me like that!” Valentina protested with a laugh. “You were the one who said you needed to focus on your show!”

 

“I know.” Juliana sighed.

 

“Last few days and then we can have sex, ok?” Valentina asked as she leaned forward for one last kiss before pulling back completely.

 

“Ok.” Juliana smiled before yawning. “I am really tired tonight anyway.”

 

“I know.” Valentina stroked Juliana’s arm sympathetically before pulling back the covers so that Juliana could get under them.

 

“Thanks.” Juliana whispered as she snuggled up under the covers and let Valentina tuck her up in bed. She was finding herself feeling sleepy again and closed her eyes.

 

“You’re welcome, mi amor.” Valentina replied softly as she leant back up and took their phones out of her back pocket.

 

She fiddled with the phones for a minute before looking back at her girlfriend. Juliana had closed her eyes and looked like she was almost asleep already.

 

“Should I set the alarm for 6:30am?” Valentina asked, stroking Juliana’s hair.

 

Juliana creaked an eye open and frowned.

 

“6:30, yeah.” Juliana reluctantly agreed.

 

Valentina finished her task and placed their phones on the bedside table.

 

“Done.” Valentina confirmed with a kiss to Juliana’s cheek.

 

“Thanks.” Juliana smiled.

 

“Do you need anything else?” Valentina whispered into Juliana’s hair.

 

“I need you to hold me as I fall asleep.” Juliana replied quickly with a grin.  

 

“That was my plan all along.” Valentina grinned. “But then you decided to fall asleep on the couch.”

 

“I’m tired.” Juliana argued her case with a smile and then emphasised her point with a yawn.

 

“I know.” Valentina replied before gesturing behind her. “I’m gonna go brush my teeth and change, I’ll be back in a sec?”

 

“Be quick, please.” Juliana replied, yawning and feeling herself already drifting back to sleep.

 

“I will be.” Valentina replied as she placed a kiss onto her girlfriend’s forehead and then quickly headed into the en-suite bathroom.

 

Juliana smiled as she watched Valentina go. She then closed her eyes, the urge to sleep was becoming overwhelming and she couldn’t keep them open for another minute. Feeling her teeth with her tongue, she thought about how she should probably brush her teeth too. In the morning she would probably regret not doing so, but for tonight, her priority was sleeping.

 

Valentina was back within minutes and she crossed the room to switch off the light before climbing into bed with her girlfriend.

 

As soon as she laid down under the covers, Juliana’s arm latched on to her body and pulled her closer and Valentina laughed to herself, Juliana was acting as if she wasn’t about to spoon her. Valentina sighed contently when she felt her body neatly fit into Juliana’s.

 

They tangled their legs together and both fell asleep quickly. Valentina fell asleep before she could utter a final ‘I love you’ to her girlfriend, though that didn’t matter, there would be plenty of opportunities to say ‘I love you’ in the years to come.