“You broke up with me” Carly blurted out as if it were a brand-new revelation. But Carly knew exactly what she was saying and why she was saying it. “You broke up with me” she repeated with her hands still tied up.
Lori for her part was doing her damnedest to ignore Carly’s words. She chose instead to think of the fact that Carly was wearing the gold butterfly hair clips Lori had loaned her the morning after their first time together. It had to mean that Carly still wanted them to be together. It had to mean that the break up wasn’t as bad as it seemed. In her mind the whole thing may as well have not happened in the first place. Lori didn’t break up with Carly by choice. Stephanie forced her hand. If it were up to her this whole thing never would have happened. She and Carly would still be basking in the afterglow of that night at the gallery, and she wouldn’t have to suffer through the thought of another woman’s hands going to places that had previously only been visited by her.
Instead of talking, Lori took the end of Carly’s belt in her hands and used it to pull her closer before guiding her toward the back end of her car. There was a rustling of feet moving somewhere in the distance, but Lori was hardly concerned. Her focus was singular. She just wanted Carly and she did not want to stop, or think, or talk, until she had her again. With the belt tight in her grip Lori spoke her demands.
“Stop saying that.” She instructed before kissing Carly again.
But Carly wouldn’t let it go. “Tell me why.”
“Carly stop” But Carly was unrelenting. Mostly she was being this way because she knew Lori was trying to run away from the truth. She knew, as much as Lori wanted her, she didn’t want her like this, tied up and on public display. No, it was clear to Carly now more than ever, this was Lori acting out. “Tell me why you broke up with me Lori” she repeated. But Lori just stood silent. The only progress they made was that Lori finally undid the belt and let Carly’s hands hang free.
“just go” Lori muttered in defeat. But Carly wouldn’t budge.
“I said I loved you Lori. You broke my heart” Despite herself, Carly was near tears. She'd worked pretty damn hard to put on a tough outer appearance for her mother’s sake, and a little bit for herself as well.
But being there with Lori was a lot harder than she’d envisioned it. So hard, in fact, that when Lori reached out to comfort her, she had to flinch to keep away from her touch. She couldn’t take one more touch, not even a gentle grazing, or she’d have fallen completely apart.
“What kind of person does that?” Carly wondered aloud. But not to Lori in particular. “What kind of
cold, callous, cruel person does that?”
“You deserve better” Lori admitted. “You deserve a mom who isn’t a manipulative bitch. You deserve so much Carly”
Carly tried to understand but she didn’t see what her mother had to do with them. “What does any of this have to do with...”
“Your mom?” Lori cut her off. “It absolutely has everything to do with your mom.” The weight of that secret had been dragging Lori down every single day of the past two weeks. Finally letting it out felt like such a relief.
Danny could see his daughter headed straight toward him like a targeted missile. He’d always thought Monica looked most like him whenever she got steaming mad. That’s when you could tell somewhere deep in her bones was the soul of his hot-tempered Irish mother.
“Do I look like a joke to you?” Monica snapped.
Danny thought to quip about her jumpsuit resembled Charlie’s Angel’s. But he knew better. “Sweetie, whatever you think I did, I didn’t do it okay” Danny tried earnestly.
“So, you didn’t pull me off night shift to play security?” Danny was too flustered to respond and it was just as well because Monica would have bulldozed right over him. “You didn’t buy me a ticket to a raffle for a date?”
“Actually, that one I did not do” Danny interjected, feeling as if he’d won a point is a heated tennis match.
“EVEN BETTER!” Monica shouted sarcastically while clapping her hands in fake praise. “Let me guess, your buddy the mayor gave you the ticket.”
Danny didn’t dare admit that Monica was right. He resented the implications that came with such an admission.
But Monica had no problem speaking it out loud. “It’s one thing if you want to be Mayor Lancaster’s bitch, but keep me out of it. I’m not about to be a pawn at Evan Lancaster’s disposal.”
“Okay” Danny relented. “You’re right. I used you, and that wasn’t fair.” Danny gathered enough of himself to put his commissioner hat back on. “But you know who else got used?” He paused for effect, not for any legitimate response. “Carly, she didn’t deserve any of this either.” Danny looked around the room scanning for all females with gold butterfly hairclips. It took him all of thirty seconds before he felt confident in his assessment. “How long has Carly not been in the room?’
The flush of Monica’s face let him know Monica had lost track. “Well,” he sighed. “Go find her!” With that Monica ran off in the direction of the garage, the last place she remembered Carly going.
"Don't go on the date" Lori repeated.
"Because, I don't want you to okay." That was the best Lori could manage. She knew it was less than compelling, but she hoped it would still work.
"You're the one who said it was over. Why should I care what you want?"
Lori's brow furrowed. She wasn't used to having to explain herself. "It doesn't matter what I said."
"It doesn't matter? You BROKE UP WITH ME!. You're not making any sense..."
Carly was cut off by the sudden shock of Lori grabbing her by the waist and shoving her up against her car. She had Carly's hands pinned up toward the roof. "Tell me to stop" Lori insisted. But Carly couldn't muster the words. Instead, she let Lori have her way ripping at her clothes until she was nearly nude before one of them had the good sense to open the backseat door for privacy.
In that moment, with her legs straddled around Carly's reposed body, Lori admitted to herself that she'd become addicted to Carly. But she couldn't let go of the control that not saying it aloud afforded her. "I'm better with you," she said instead while teasing her fingers down Carly's center.
But even that caused Carly to retreat. "Then why did you end it?"
Lori wanted to tell her, but she knew it would only make things worse. "Carly, don't do this. Don't be like this" she pleaded between kisses against the tender spots on Carly's neck.
It was no use, Carly gathered up her undergarments and rushed out just as Lori found the courage to admit what she’d been hiding “Your mom has a sex tape of me.”
Carly paused outside of the vehicle thinking long and hard about Lori’s confession. She was angry. Angry at her mom for being so underhanded, but also angry at Lori for not being strong enough to stand up to her mother. Still, Carly felt herself on the precipice of forgiveness. “I told you, I would never judge you for your past.”
Lori wanted to take the win, she wanted to let Carly gloss over everything and just move forward together. But it felt false. If she wasn’t telling the full truth, she couldn’t really count it as forgiveness. She learned that in rehab. She had to rip the bandage off. “Carly, the tape is from three weeks ago.”
Carly could not find the words to respond to Lori’s confession. Instead she simply shut the car door in her face and turned to walk away. As she did, she was met by Monica, who'd been clutching the rest of Carly's clothes and smirking with a not-at-all subtle sprinkle of judgement thrown in.
"You did all this just to make the Purifoy girl jealous?"
"No!" Carly scoffed while grabbing her clothes. But she knew that wasn't true. "Not all of it anyway. I do really care about the community."
Monica laughed as Carly struggled to walk and put her clothes back on at the same time. "I'm sure you do."
“How much of that did you hear?” Carly asked nervously.
“Enough” Monica admitted. “But I know when to mind my business."
Monica stopped just shy of the doors to the community center. She gestured to fix Carly's hair. "So, next Saturday, I hope you're not planning on taking me to a parking garage" she joked. But Carly wasn't ready for any ribbing at her expense.
"So you changed your mind? You're coming"
"Yes" Monica agreed as they walked through the doors together. "You're not the only one with a complicated story and I think I misjudged you." When they got back in front of the waiting audience Monica leaned over and whispered with a smile "Besides, it might be fun making your ex jealous”