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Careful and Careless

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Tobin awoke to the sun streaming in through the curtains and a dog licking her face. She laughed as she stretched her long limbs and tried to roll away from the large, affectionate Cane Corso Mastiff.

“Logan,” she chuckled, her voice still hoarse from sleeping and being a tad hungover. “Stop.”

Logan seemed to take her words as encouragement as she thumped her tail loudly against the mattress and persisted to nudge against her face. Tobin began to laugh even harder and she eventually rolled out of the bed. She stood up and stared at Logan, sitting up on the bed and panting happily. She scowled at the big dog before breaking out into a grin. How could she be mad at an animal as sweet as Logan? Even if she was interrupting her precious sleep. She reached forward and scratched behind Logan’s ears, the dog eagerly licking her hand in the process, before she padded to the bathroom.

She heard her friends talking in the kitchen and Logan’s paws scrambling to find purchase on the floor. She used the bathroom, pulled her long hair into a messy topknot, and brushed her teeth before she ran back into the guest bedroom to retrieve her glasses. She walked into the kitchen, comfortable and barefoot, and was met with the delicious smell of bacon and eggs.

She smiled at her hosts, and two of her very best friends. Ali was standing by the stove and Ashlyn was sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee.

“Morning, Tobs,” Ali greeted with her signature bright smile.

“Good morning,” Tobin responded with a smile of her own.

Ashlyn hopped to her feet with a grin and offered Tobin a seat at the table. “Let me get our guest some coffee!”

Tobin rolled her eyes at Ashlyn’s behaviour, which wasn’t unusual, honestly. Tobin did take a seat at the table, and she accepted the cup of coffee that Ashlyn placed in front of her with a thank you and a contented smile.

She loved staying with one of her oldest friends and the happiest couple that she knew when she stayed in Orlando. Even if their dog woke her up and Ashlyn could be a lot of energy to deal with all at once. Spending time in Orlando meant that they all went out to drinks with Alex and Serv, like they had last night, and that they could train when they wanted and hang out at the beach when they wanted.

Tobin loved travelling around the country and staying with friends wherever they were. (Her mother called it irresponsible, but she preferred to call it carefree.) But there was something extra special about being in Florida, especially in the offseason with no team commitments, and fresh off of an NWSL championship and her second World Cup win. She had never been more content in her career, but maybe other things in her life were a different story.

When Ali finished cooking breakfast, they took their food and coffee and moved outside to the backyard to eat. Tobin snuck Logan a piece of bacon when Ali wasn’t looking and enjoyed the morning sun.

Tobin was a little lost in her own head until she heard Ali ask Ashlyn a question. “Is your appointment still today?”

Ashlyn nodded eagerly. “You bet!”

“What appointment?” Tobin asked curiously with a tilt of her head.

Ali rolled her eyes and batted at Ashlyn’s leg playfully. “She’s going to Miami to get another tattoo.”

“Miami?” Tobin questioned.

“Yeah, that’s where my tattoo artists lives. She has this beautiful studio. Do you wanna come with? I’m gonna leave in a few hours.”

“If you want to watch her get an elaborate tattoo, now is the time,” Ali laughed.

“For the road trip,” Ashlyn tried to entice with a grin.

There was something behind that grin that was even more mischievous than usual. Ali spoke Ashlyn’s name out of the corner of her mouth and it made her even more suspicious.

“Is this an overnight trip?” She inquired curiously.

“Yeah, just for the one night. Go there, get tattooed, sleep, get up, get on the road. Hey! I could even drop you off at your mom’s on the way back.”

After a pause, Tobin grinned and shrugged her shoulders. “Sure. Sounds fun.”

“Awesome,” Ashlyn responded. “You better shower, you stink.”

“Shut up,” Tobin muttered.

But Tobin did just that after she finished her breakfast. She took a long, hot shower and changed into jeans and a sweater, letting her hair air dry as she hopped into Ashlyn’s car with her duffle bag that kicked around the country with her.

“Coffee first!” Ashlyn announced loudly.

They stopped at a Starbucks for iced coffee before Ashlyn turned the radio up and headed south. Tobin wasn’t personally into tattoos, but she had to admit that a lot of Ashlyn’s designs were beautiful, and, as an artsy person, she appreciated the work. She had never seen the process of getting a tattoo either so that could be interesting. She was always interested in learning and experiencing new things. She was always down for everything.

“So how did you end up with a tattoo artist in Miami?” Tobin asked curiously as they cruised down the interstate.

“I met her through Kyle actually,” Ashlyn revealed, “a few years ago, and she’s done every one of my tattoos since. I think you’ll like her.”

Tobin arched an eyebrow at that. “Why would I like her? Why does it matter?” She turned in her seat to face Ashlyn and saw a shit-eating grin on her face. “Ash?”

“Because she’s really pretty, and totally your type.”

“I do not have a type,” she scoffed.

“You do!” The blonde laughed loudly. “Dark hair. Dark skin. Super smart. Kinda quiet. A little hipster. You have a type Tobin Heath!”

Tobin blushed, but did not offer a response. Ashlyn may have just described her prior preferences, but that didn’t mean that she had a type.

For the rest of the drive, they talked about soccer, surfing, food, and whether or not Tobin should get a dog. She argued that she shouldn’t because she spent way too much time on the road, but Ashlyn was quick to point out that they made great company.

Was Ashlyn trying to say that she was lonely? Was she lonely? Is that why she spent so much time away from her “home” in Portland?

When they finally got to Miami, they grabbed burgers and fries before they headed to the tattoo studio.

Studio? Parlour? Tobin wasn’t sure of the proper terminology.

Ashlyn seemed overwhelmingly excited as she parked the car and turned to Tobin with a bright smile. “Ready?”

“Are you ready?” Tobin retorted with a grin.

“Dude, so ready.”

Ashlyn had told her all about her World Cup inspired tattoo on their drive. She wanted to get something to commemorate their win in France and together, with this mysterious tattoo artist, they had come up with a cool Eiffel Tower design. Tobin was looking forward to seeing it on Ashlyn’s calf.

Tobin followed Ashlyn into the building and was immediately taken in by the art covering the walls. The selection of paintings and photographs against the paint of the steel grey walls was beautiful. Whoever had picked these out had an incredible eye.

She was still looking around the room when Ashlyn greeted the girl behind the desk with a wide smile. “Hey gorgeous!”

“Ash! How are you? Congrats on the World Cup!”

“Thanks so much.” Ashlyn hugged the blonde before she steered her towards Tobin. “Jules, this is my friend, Tobin. Tobin, this is Julie.”

Tobin politely shook her hand with a smile. “Nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you, Tobin Heath.” She blushed before excitedly adding, “Sorry, I’m a fan.”

Tobin shrugged bashfully while Ashlyn teased, “It’s okay, Tobs is used to having women fawn all over her.”

That comment made Julie giggle and Tobin blushed fiercely.

“And then she blushes,” Ashlyn continued, “and the fawning continues.”

“Shut up,” Tobin mumbled.

Julie giggled loudly and flipped her hair over one shoulder before she turned to Ashlyn with wide eyes. “Oh! Chris is just finishing up with a client, she should be right out.”

“No worries, no worries,” Ashlyn replied nonchalantly.

They waited a few more minutes, and Tobin went back to thoughtfully examining the art on the wall with her hands in her pockets. Two people emerged from a room in the back and Tobin slowly turned her head. A big, burly guy was laughing alongside the most attractive woman that Tobin had ever seen. She gulped and shifted her feet as she tried to peer at the tall brunette from underneath her eyelashes. She had long legs covered in tight black jeans and accentuated by short, black boots. Her toned arms covered in colorful tattoos were shown off in a white tank top. She had wild, curly hair pulled back into a messy bun, and pretty caramel skin, and white teeth. Tobin felt a tug in her gut as she watched her throw her head back with a laugh. Ashlyn had been right, this mysterious tattoo artist was definitely shaping up to be her type. She looked like she had walked straight out of one of Tobin’s dirtiest fantasies.

Tobin could see that Ashlyn had started to make conversation, but all that Tobin could do was continue to stare.

She managed to snap out of it when she heard her name.

“And this is my friend, Tobin.”

The beautiful brunette stepped forward with a bright smile as she extended her hand. “Hi, I’m Christen.”

Tobin blushed instantaneously, and Christen noticed, sending her a smile that could not be mistaken as anything other than flirty. She couldn’t even follow Christen and Ashlyn’s conversation as she followed them to a back room. Her brain was just completely distracted, like she had never seen a pretty girl before.

Well she had never seen a girl this pretty in pants that tight.

She sat on a chair and watched the two talk about the design that Christen had in a sketchbook. When they agreed, Christen left the room to go somewhere else and Ashlyn turned to face her with the most devilish grin.

“Do you want to go back by the reception desk and pick your jaw up that you dropped on the floor?”

“Shut up,” Tobin mumbled. “You didn’t prepare me.” Tobin pulled her legs up to her chest so that she was practically curled up on the chair that she was sitting in.

“I tried to!” Ashlyn protested. “You wouldn’t listen to me.”

Tobin just mumbled to herself as she felt her face heat up.

When Christen returned to the room with the stencil in hand, it didn’t get any better because she had put on a pair of thick, black rimmed glasses and, somehow, she looked even sexier. She settled on a rolling stool and Ashlyn got comfortable lying face down on the table.

And Tobin just watched. She told herself that she was interested in watching the process, but her eyes barely left Christen. She watched how methodical Christen worked. She watched as she poked her tongue out, just a little, as she really concentrated. She watched her forearm muscles flex and hair slowly escape her bun to frame her face.

“Are you going to talk to me or are you just going to stare?”

Tobin’s eyes widened as Christen glanced up at her with a smirk. Ashlyn snickered and Tobin turned to glare at her.

“She doesn’t mean to be creepy,” Ashlyn supplied.

“I can speak for myself, you know?” Tobin pointed out in annoyance.

Christen laughed as she brushed a cloth over Ashlyn’s skin before she refocused the needle. “So you play on the national team with Ash?”

“Yeah,” Tobin nodded timidly.

“She’s kind of a big deal,” the blonde chimed in.

“Oh yeah?” Christen chuckled.

“Google her when you get home, Pressy.”

“That’s not… That’s not necessary,” Tobin stammered. “Really.” Christen looked up at her with another flirtatious, attractive grin and she swallowed. “I play on the national team with Ash and I play club soccer in Portland.”

“Oh nice,” Christen responded as she stared at her work. “I hear that Portland’s great, but I’ve never been.”

“Portland is great,” Tobin responded quickly. “Really chill, and great food. Great soccer town.”

“Tobin doesn’t exactly spend a lot of time in Portland though.”

They fell into more normal conversation that Tobin was able to participate in without embarrassing herself too much, despite the blush still covering her cheeks. They talked about travel and soccer. Ashlyn talked about Ali and Logan. All while she continued to watch Christen work. The tattoo artist was clearly a perfectionist. Her elegant hands moved carefully and decisively as she focused with her piercing green eyes.

And Tobin was just so captivated.

She pressed her face into her knees as she felt her cheeks heat again. She had never felt this way around a woman before. She was generally reserved and a little shy, but she was more capable than the mumbling, blushing teenager that she was currently portraying. Like she had just left study hall to find Christen smoking behind the gymnasium.

Ashlyn sat for the tattoo for hours and time did not drag for Tobin for one minute. She got closer as Christen neared being finished so that she could appreciate the line work.

“Wow,” she breathed.

Christen wiped the excess ink away from Ashlyn’s skin before she looked up at Tobin. “You like it?”

“I love it,” she answered honestly.

Ashlyn quickly turned her head and looked at Tobin with another grin. “Are you gonna get one, Toby?”

Tobin quietly grumbled. She hated that nickname.

“Toby,” Christen giggled. “That’s cute.”

Tobin turned back to the tattoo artist with a gentle smile. Maybe that nickname wasn’t so bad after all.

“Okay, babe, almost done and then you can have a look,” Christen told Ashlyn.

“How does it look, Tobs?” Ashlyn asked excitedly.

“It looks awesome. Really cool.”

As Christen was finishing up and doing small, minor touch ups, Ashlyn spoke again. “Do you want to go to dinner with us, Chris?”

“You know I stay open late for you, so I’m starving,” she teased.

Christen finished and cleaned everything before she allowed Ashlyn to hop off the table and head towards the full length mirror. The goalkeeper turned her leg to get a close look at multiple angles and her smiled widened with every shift.

“Wow,” Ashlyn whistled. “You really outdid yourself, CP.”

Tobin moved to stand beside Ashlyn, and she examined the new tattoo as well. She smiled at Ashlyn in the mirror and gave her a thumbs up.

“She has great hands, doesn’t she?” Ashlyn asked mischievously.

Tobin blushed as her eyebrows shot into her hairline. She quickly glanced over her shoulder to see Christen with her back to them, tidying away her space. She was thankful that Christen did not overhear that obvious innuendo.

Because yes, Christen did have great hands, and a lot of great… other things. Tobin awkwardly scratched the back of her neck as she caught her eyes drifting down to Christen’s backside in those very tight pants. She spun around and cleared her throat as she made eye contact with Ashlyn in the mirror once more.

Before the goalkeeper could tease her again, Christen spoke. “Are you happy? Ready for me to put on the bandage?”

“Yup! All ready!” Ashlyn responded excitedly.

Tobin watched, curious, as Christen applied a clear bandage to the new tattoo on Ashlyn’s calf.

Christen looked up at her with a gentle smile and answered the unspoken question. “Helps it heal.”

“Cool,” she nodded.

Tobin waited patiently as Christen finished cleaning and then they moved back into reception so that she could lock up.

“Do you need help with anything?” The midfielder asked politely.

Christen smiled again, and Tobin felt a kick to her stomach. “No, but thank you for offering.”

Finally, Christen grabbed a worn leather jacket off of the coat rack and they headed to a Cuban restaurant just down the street.

Every waiter and bartender seemed to know Christen, and Tobin was simultaneously comforted and envious of the fact that Christen seemed to have an effect on everyone. Their poor waitress blushed like a school girl when she took Christen’s order.

And Tobin was totally under that spell too.

She noticed that Christen’s eyes looked a little grey in the dim lighting of the restaurant and that she wrinkled her nose when she laughed. Tobin wanted to scoot her chair closer to bask in the smell of her perfume and to examine the small tattoo on the base of her neck and the script on her collarbone.

Ashlyn was sipping her after dinner coffee when Christen slowly stood up and Tobin looked up at her with panicked eyes. “Are you leaving?” She asked in a voice that she knew was far too eager.

Christen smiled as she slipped her arms into her jacket. “No, I’m just going outside for a cigarette.”

Tobin visibly relaxed. “Oh, okay, cool.”

Ashlyn chuckled as Tobin watched Christen breeze through the door. “You have heart eyes.”

“Do not,” the brunette mumbled.

Ashlyn continued to laugh. “Yeah, you do. It’s really cute. I never see you like this.” She took a sip from her cup before she suggested, “Why don’t you go out and talk to her?”

Tobin looked over her shoulder and towards the door several times before she focused on Ashlyn with a nervous expression. “You think so?”

“Uh huh,” Ashlyn nodded with a bright smile. “She likes you. I can tell. Do you like her?”

Tobin nodded shyly. “She’s, like, really pretty,” she sighed.

Ashlyn threw her head back and let out a big laugh. “You sound like a fourteen-year-old.”

The midfielder blushed once more before she slowly stood up. “Okay, I’m going to go outside.”

She stepped out onto the sidewalk and turned to the right to find Christen leaning against the brick of the building with a cigarette between her fingers. She walked up to her and husked out a, “Hey.”

The dark brunette turned to her with a bright smile. “Hey. Do you want one?” She asked as she gestured to the cigarette in her right hand.

“Oh, no, no thank you,” she mumbled.

Before this moment, she would have said that smoking was up there on the list of most disgusting habits. But there was something about the way Christen held the cancer stick and delicately blew out the smoke that was elegant and profoundly attractive. Really sexy.

“Right,” Christen chuckled, “professional athlete.” She tossed the butt to the ground and stepped on it with the heel of her boot. “So what are you doing out here?”

“Fresh air?”

Christen’s mouth twitched upward in a smirk and she arched an eyebrow. “You know,” she began slowly, “Ashlyn told me a little about you and I expected something different.”

“What did you expect?” Tobin asked curiously.

“Frankly, someone with a lot of game. Not so shy.”

“Oh.” Tobin blushed as she pushed her hands into the front pockets of her jeans. “I really don’t have any... game, I mean.”

Christen took a step towards her and they stood less than a foot apart. “I gathered that,” she laughed lightly.

“I don’t, uh, I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but I usually don’t have to.” She bashfully shook her head and offered a small smile. It was true, she had no problem with women, and often she found that she had to put forth very little effort. They just kinda came to her. Whether it was because of her celebrity, her physical appearance, or what some of her friends called her “swagger”, she wasn’t sure.

Christen’s smile widened and she reached to fix the hood of Tobin's sweater and pull all of her hair out. “Of course not,” she whispered. “Must be that jawline. Or that mouth.”

Tobin’s eyes widened as she breathed in the air between them. She could smell Christen’s perfume, and cigarette smoke, and something else distinct that was sticking to Christen’s skin. Tobin wanted to crawl inside that smell and stay there. And seeing Christen up close like this was even more breathtaking. Her eyes were so bright and her skin was so smooth and, god, her features were just striking.

Christen slowly removed a business card from her jacket pocket and pushed it against Tobin’s chest. “Call me the next time you’re in Miami.”

She took a deliberate step backwards and Tobin instantly missed the proximity. “What if I’m still in Miami tomorrow?” She blurted out.

Christen smiled, all white teeth and twinkling mischievous eyes. “Then call me.”

Chapter Text

As soon as Christen walked through the door of her condo, she hung up her jacket, greeted her pups, and then hopped on her couch. She grabbed her laptop and immediately googled Tobin Heath. She couldn’t help herself. Knowing that she could find out so much more about the endearing soccer player with just a few strokes of her keyboard was a temptation that she was not about to deny.

And she got thousands of results – articles, images, highlight reels, videos uploaded to YouTube, and official content from U.S. Soccer. And she consumed everything that she could.

She watched Tobin’s skill on the pitch and heard crowds go crazy as she performed tricks that made international defenders look silly. Tobin seemed to be a soccer nerd’s brand of soccer player; the kind that kids studied to get better. She seemed to have a long history of being one of the best. She had collegiate championships and accolades. Olympic gold medals. World Cup trophies. League championships. MVPs and Player of the Year. It was obvious that Tobin was very good at what she did for a living, and it was impressive. It was attractive.

She learned that Tobin was from New Jersey. She had attended the University of North Carolina. She had three siblings. She had battled a few injuries in her career but seemed to be healthy now. She learned a lot, all good things. There didn’t seem to be any bad press about Tobin. No scandals. No quotes from other players describing her as an asshole. No paparazzi photos of her doing anything that could be construed as questionable or sleazy. She quickly pieced together that Tobin was intensely private. Even with her celebrity status and sponsorship deals, it was very clear in interviews that she protected her own privacy and the privacy of her family. It didn’t seem like she went out and partied and took advantage of the many benefits that accompanied her profession and status. She just played soccer.

And she looked damn good doing it.

She had not expected to meet Ashlyn’s super hot friend when she had walked into work this morning, and as she clicked through image after image, she amended her opinion from super hot to stupid hot. She could feel her entire body flush as she delved deeper and deeper into what the internet had to offer.

She was tan, long and lean with a cute smile, and her arms and her calves were so hot.

No wonder Ashlyn always came into the shop with a humorous story about her friend Tobin, a walking pussy magnet – Ashlyn’s words, not hers.

Christen was intrigued, about more things than just her body. Like how the shy, stammering woman that she had met did not line up with the confident intensity of the player that she had just watched on her screen. And how the deep, soothing voice that she heard in interviews sparked thoughts of just what Tobin spent her time pondering and considering. She wanted to know. She wanted to spend hours talking to figure it out. What was she passionate about? What did she do in her time without soccer? What did she want to achieve?

And she wanted that mouth, with its full, pouty lips all over her. She shuddered just thinking about it.

When she finally closed her computer and got ready for bed, with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel already curled up in her dog bed and her Labrador Retriever patiently settled on the end of the mattress, she was excited to see a text on her phone from an unknown number.

She opened the message with a bit of a smug grin on her face.

Hi, Christen. It’s Tobin. I didn’t want to seem too eager, but here I am. I was wondering if you wanted to get a coffee with me sometime tomorrow? I’m sticking around Miami for a couple of days.

Christen’s grin widened as she hopped in her bed with her cell phone in her hands. She was glad that Tobin was eager because she was too.

I would love to.

She and Tobin arranged a time and place to meet and Christen knew that falling asleep would be a challenge. She was excited for the potential that she felt when she flirted with Tobin, even if it had been very brief. She always trusted her gut, especially when it came to women. If she felt a spark, she pursued it. If she didn’t then she didn’t.

 

Christen woke up early, went about her morning routine, and then took her time getting ready. It was just coffee, but she still wanted to look sexy. She picked out her favourite pair of jeans and a tight band t-shirt, and, with a little product to fight the Florida humidity, she left her hair in natural curls.

She walked into one of her favourite coffee shops in downtown Miami and found Tobin already sitting at a table, bouncing her leg furiously. She was also wearing jeans and a t-shirt, with a burgundy snapback on her head. It was actually rather astounding that Tobin was so effortlessly attractive. She didn’t need her clothes to fit a certain way to show off how fit and athletic her body was and she didn’t need makeup to highlight those long eyelashes and full lips.

The soccer player jumped to her feet and greeted her with a smile. “Hey!”

“Hi,” Christen smiled brightly back. “How are you?”

“I’m great,” Tobin answered quickly. “Really good.”

She could see the flush already entering Tobin’s cheeks and it made her bite down on her bottom lip. “What can I get you to drink?”

“Oh no, I asked you, let me get it. What would you like?”

Tobin was clearly nervous, but it was painfully sweet. “I’ll have an iced coffee, no sugar, please,” she answered.

Tobin nodded, with another shy smile, before she walked up to the counter. She returned with two iced coffees and practically stumbled into the chair on the opposite side of the table. Christen tried to put her at ease by offering her an easy smile and hooking an ankle around hers underneath the table.

“Relax,” she whispered.

Tobin glanced up at her with slightly widened brown eyes. “I’m sorry. I’m a little nervous,” she admitted.

“Don’t be.”

At the soft tone of her voice, Tobin seemed to take a deep breath that relaxed her entire body. “You make me nervous. You’re just… really beautiful.”

Well that made Christen blush. “Thank you. So are you.”

Tobin chuckled and ran a hand through her long hair, pushing some of it behind her ear. “I would like to be capable of having a real conversation with you though.”

She laughed at Tobin’s self-deprecating joke. “Why don’t we go for a walk?” She figured, from what she knew about the soccer player thanks to the internet, that getting her outside and moving may make her more comfortable.

Tobin nodded eagerly and stood up. “I would love that.”

They walked to Bayfront Park and Christen practically watched Tobin become more at ease with every step, as they casually chatted about what she and Ashlyn had done last night and again this morning. Christen could only imagine the teasing that Tobin had undergone from the older woman, but she was sure that Ashlyn would text her later for her own turn.

“What time do you have to go to work today?”

“Oh I don’t tattoo on Fridays,” Christen replied. “Benefits of owning your own shop and setting your own hours.”

Tobin abruptly stopped walking and turned to her with an incredibly sincere expression. “Can you tell me all about tattooing? I wanna know.”

Christen smiled slowly. She absolutely loved tattooing, it had been her life since she was nineteen and it was a crucial piece of who she was as a person. It was her passion, her art, her livelihood, and she had never been asked that question so earnestly before. Truly, being a tattoo artist wasn’t exactly something that garnered her immediate respect from most people. She had a great reputation in Miami and amongst the tattoo community, and that didn’t feel like enough sometimes. It wasn’t easy. Being a tattoo artist was about talent, creativity, technique, business, and customer service. Being a great tattoo artist was fucking hard and it was natural for her to feel excited and warm towards someone who seemed genuinely interested in that part of her.

As if she wasn’t already ridiculously attracted to this woman.

“Well,” she began thoughtfully. “What I did yesterday for Ash is called photorealism. The whole idea is making a tattoo look exactly like a picture. So with the Eiffel Tower…”

 

Their quick coffee date seamlessly turned into spending the entire day together. They grabbed a light lunch and they kept walking, but more importantly, they kept talking. Tobin really did want to know all about tattooing. She asked great questions, with that wide, pretty smile, and listened attentively to everything she said.

She had had plenty of women show her attention before, but it wasn’t usually like this. They were typically more interested in the things that she could do while she wasn’t talking. Tobin was clearly attracted to her, she wasn’t stupid, but she was also interested in her. And Christen liked that a lot. So much so that Christen wanted to communicate just how much that feeling was reciprocated.

She grabbed Tobin’s hand and entwined their fingers. “Are you going to tell me all about soccer now?” She asked playfully.

The way that Tobin’s eyes brightened instantly made her want to pull her in and kiss her. She wanted to be around people that were just as passionate about things as she was about tattooing, and Tobin obviously lived and breathed soccer.

“Of course I can tell you all about soccer!”

Christen giggled and tugged Tobin down the street. “Well come on then.”

They were sitting facing the water and Tobin was talking about the recent World Cup when Christen licked her bottom lip, a habit of hers. Tobin stopped speaking mid-sentence and seemed suddenly shell-shocked.

“Are you okay?” Christen asked softly after giving the other woman ample time to resume speaking.

“Umm…” Tobin started to respond as she scratched the back of her neck. “Is your tongue pierced?” She asked almost in a squeak.

“Oh.” Christen laughed, “Yeah, is that why you stopped talking?”

“Yeah,” Tobin admitted in a whisper. “I’m sorry.”

Christen laughed again. “It’s okay. People are usually a little surprised the first time they notice.”

“What’s it like to kiss with that thing?” Tobin processed her own words and her eyes widened in a panic and her face flushed darker than anything Christen had seen so far. “I mean, uh, I… oh shit.”

Christen laughed loudly before she laid a comforting hand on Tobin’s forearm. That wasn’t the first time that she had gotten that question, but she had never gotten it delivered that way. She waited until Tobin regained her natural skin tone before she spoke. “Do you wanna find out?” The soccer player’s eyes widened and her breathing changed, so Christen decided to double down on her offer. “Want to see my apartment?”

 

Christen unlocked her front door and her dogs scrambled to meet her. “Oh hi,” she greeted in a high-pitched voice. “Hey there. I wasn’t even gone that long!” She heard Tobin laugh behind her and she turned her head with a contrite smile. “I’m sorry, I should have asked if you like dogs.”

“Don’t worry, I love dogs!”

Tobin kneeled down to allow the dogs to greet her and smell her, and Christen took the time to introduce them. “The one climbing all over you right now is Nico,” she laughed referring to the yellow Labrador Retriever. “And Lady is the one apprehensively smelling your knee.”

Tobin smiled as she took the time to pet both dogs. “Two very different personalities,” she commented astutely.

“Definitely,” Christen agreed. “Can I get you something to drink? Coffee? Water? Soda?”

Tobin stood up and brushed off her pants as she responded. “Although we’ve already had one, a coffee would be great.”

She nodded and walked towards her kitchen. She knew that she had a really nice place – she had worked hard for it – so she carefully watched the way that Tobin looked around the space. The soccer player seemed particularly taken in by the view through her floor-to-ceiling windows.

“Like the view?”

“It’s amazing. Totally amazing.”

Christen smiled as she gestured towards her living room sofa. “Thanks. Feel free to have a seat.”

Tobin moseyed into the living room with her hands pushed into the front pockets of her jeans and she slowly moved into a sitting position. Christen was not surprised to see the dogs eagerly chase after her. Tobin had a very welcoming presence, and Christen considered her dogs to be very good judges of character.

She slowly walked into the living room, with two cups of hot coffee. She carefully placed them on the coffee table and folded her legs underneath her on the sofa, close enough to Tobin for her to get the hint. She liked Tobin’s squeaky clean, good Christian girl demeanour and she wanted to push her buttons a little bit.

“So, you want to kiss me?”

She was sure that if Tobin had been sipping her coffee she would have choked.

“God, I’m so embarrassing,” she heard the soccer star mutter to herself.

Christen laughed lightly as she scooted closer. “I think you’re really cute.”

Tobin managed a small smile with a blush still firmly colouring her cheeks. “Cute isn’t really what I’m going for.”

“I like cute.” She raised a hand and slipped it into Tobin’s hair on the very back of her head. She scratched the base of her skull with her short nails and whispered, “Now kiss me.”

Tobin’s mouth dropped open in shock so Christen leaned forward to put them both out of their misery. She gently pressed their lips together and that seemed to spur Tobin into action. The soccer player threaded a hand through her curls and tugged her closer.

The key to kissing someone who had never kissed someone with a tongue piercing before was to start very slowly. She slowly changed the angle of her head, the pressure of her mouth, and she brushed her tongue along Tobin’s bottom lip, and Tobin followed her pace. When Tobin emitted a low groan, she knew that it was working. She pulled away just far enough to take Tobin’s hat off and resettle it on her head, backwards. Before she rejoined their mouths, she swung a leg over Tobin’s thighs and sat in her lap. Tobin groaned again and clutched the material of her t-shirt.

“God, you’re so hot,” the woman beneath her gasped.

Christen licked the roof of Tobin’s mouth and giggled when she felt her entire body shudder. “So does that answer your question?”

Tobin blinked at her owlishly. “What question? There was a question?”

“What’s it like to kiss with that thing?” She mimicked with a smirk.

“Oh yeah,” Tobin responded slowly. “That question. Umm… I… yes, question answered.”

Christen laughed and leaned in for another long, slow kiss. “What are you doing tonight?” She asked. “Where are you staying?”

Tobin was still blinking at her drowsily, like she was totally blissed out just from kissing, and Christen could feel large, strong hands on her ass. When she spoke, it was in a smooth, husky voice that really turned her on.

“I’m going back to the same hotel that Ash and I stayed at last night. They’re holding my bag.”

“So you don’t actually have a room yet?” Tobin shook her head. “Why don’t you stay here then? On this couch, or in my bed, whichever.” Tobin tossed her head back to rest it against the back of the couch and her eyes had taken on a much darker shade of brown. She knew exactly what Tobin was thinking about, her gaze and the rhythm of her breathing were a dead giveaway. “If you want to,” she added breathlessly as she trailed a finger along the neckline of Tobin’s t-shirt. “If you want what I want,” she clarified.

“What do you want?”

“Oh, don’t make me say it,” she teased.

Tobin groaned, loudly, and it made Christen laugh. She placed both of her hands on Tobin’s wrists and slowly ran them all the way up to her shoulders. The tension between them was palpable and Christen could feel it crawling underneath her skin.

“Do you mind if I go out for a smoke?”

The soccer player, with her hands still on Christen’s ass, responded by pulling her closer. “Do you have to? You can just stay right here.”

She pouted and Christen sighed with a smile. That pout was powerful. And definitely something that Tobin used to get her way.

“Put that bottom lip away,” she murmured as she traced Tobin’s bottom lip with her thumb. She was about to speak again when Tobin pulled her thumb into her mouth, and sucked. Christen’s breath hitched and she squirmed in Tobin’s lap. “Oh…”

Now she was seeing why it was said that this woman was so good with the ladies.

Tobin’s hands slowly moved up her sides and the way that she was simply looking at her was making her hot all over.

“Okay, now I definitely need a cigarette,” she breathed before she slowly disentangled herself and got to her feet.

“Hurry back,” Tobin told her with a grin.

Chapter Text

Tobin leaned her head back against the sofa and exhaled slowly. She was trying to regulate her breathing but it was starting to become an impossible task. This woman. Holy. She had needed to do something to bite back so that she didn’t feel like she was spinning completely out of control. But now she was panting like a dog and rubbing her nervous, sweaty hands over the denim of her jeans. She was pretty sure if she smoked she would need a cigarette now too.

She slowly stood up and turned towards the first feature of Christen’s apartment that had grabbed her attention, the floor-to-ceiling windows. She gravitated towards the view that overlooked the ocean and South Beach, and stared. It looked amazing in the light of day, and she could only imagine the view in the morning, or the city lights against a dark night sky, or watching the sunset in the evening.

Her eyes slowly found Christen standing on the terrace and that view was pretty spectacular too.

She deliberately inhaled as her eyes roved over Christen’s slim, shapely figure and her wild, curly hair. She focused on her right hand holding the cigarette and the rings that decorated virtually every finger. Christen really did have lovely hands and fingers, she had noticed that when she had watched her tattoo, but she was thinking about those delicate hands in a very different context now.

“Shit,” she whispered to herself as she ran a hand through her hair.

She had agonized over this last night, using Ashlyn as a sounding board. She barely knew Christen, and it didn’t feel like they had anything in common, but the attraction was undeniable. And it was clear that they had connected today, on a level that wasn’t just physical. They had talked for hours about their lives, and their work, and their families; and nothing had felt forced or disingenuous.

Despite her reputation, she didn’t often jump into bed with someone. Did she get hit on a hell of a lot? Yes. Did it make her teammates laugh and tell stories about her? Yes. Did she take a lot of women home? Not really.

She was actually pretty aloof… and in a serious dry spell.

So Ashlyn had spent the majority of last night’s conversation trying to convince her not to approach this slowly and cautiously. To take the bull by the horns.

“You need to get laid, Tobin!” Ashlyn had stated passionately. “And Christen is fun.”

Tobin, from her position lying on her hotel bed, had covered her face with her hands and neglected to ask how Ashlyn knew that Christen was “fun”. Instead, Tobin had pondered why she was so taken with this woman, other than the obvious.

She took yet another deep breath before she walked through the kitchen and towards a glass door that blended in with the rest of the window like wall. Tobin smiled as soon as the warm, Florida breeze hit her face. She rested her forearms on the railing, and her smile turned into a full grin when Christen put the rest of her cigarette out in the ashtray on the small table in the corner and turned to her with a smile.

On impulse, she took Christen’s hand and slowly brought it to her mouth. She began to place soft kisses on Christen’s palm and hummed when the dark-haired woman took a step closer.

“I like you,” the tattoo artist breathed.

“I like you too,” Tobin murmured.

Because she did. After one morning and one afternoon, she was hooked. After one steamy make out session on the couch, she was invested.

And she felt a little crazy.

“Is this a terrible idea?” She asked suddenly with wide, slightly frightened eyes.

Christen stepped even closer and wrapped the arm that Tobin wasn’t holding around her waist. “Why would this be a terrible idea?”

“Because I live in Portland and you live here, and I travel a lot and I’m pretty obsessed with soccer, and I haven’t done this in a little while, and you’re really freakin’ beautiful,” she rambled.

The dark-haired woman laughed and moved both of her hands to cup Tobin’s face. “I don’t say this a lot, maybe ever, but maybe you’re thinking too much. We can just have a little… fun,” she trailed off.

She dragged her short fingernails down Tobin’s forearms and the soccer player shivered. “Fun?” She questioned in a voice that was uncharacteristically high-pitched.

“Yeah,” Christen chuckled. “You know the kind we can have without our clothes on?”

Tobin swallowed nervously. She could barely even think about the image of Christen naked, she wasn’t sure if she was ready for the real thing. What other tattoos did the woman have, and where were they exactly?

Tobin couldn’t come up with any words so she leaned forward and eagerly captured Christen’s bottom lip between her own. Her hands dropped and she clutched those slim hips in tight jeans as they kissed at a pace that was hungry, and furious, and electrifying. Christen was such a good kisser. It was like she knew exactly what Tobin liked already. She knew how to shift and set the pace, and how to use that damned tongue, and how to hold her face and the back of her neck in a way that made her want to melt into the floor.

Christen pulled away far enough to ask a single, breathless question. “Want to go back inside?”

She nodded and her feet quickly seemed to have a mind of their own as Christen took a step backwards and Tobin followed her a little too quickly. She stumbled and Christen caught her with a giggle.

“Okay?”

Tobin nodded with a heated, flushed face. “Yeah, great.”

Christen grinned and gave her a sweet, closed mouth kiss before she turned to walk back inside the condo, but not before taking Tobin’s hand in hers and entwining their fingers. Tobin followed her like an eager puppy.

One that was desperate for a treat.

 

Christen stared at Tobin, looking stunned and shy, and so hot, and she led her inside. She tossed Tobin’s hat somewhere in her living room before she dragged Tobin down the hallway to her bedroom, and to her large, comfortable bed. She wrapped her arms around Tobin’s broad shoulders and pulled her onto the mattress, on top of her. Tobin was patient and polite, and chivalrous, and it was clear that they wouldn’t move beyond kissing unless she made the first move.

Christen began to sit up and she nudged her nose against Tobin’s cheek until she got the hint.

“What is it?” Tobin asked in a strangled, raspy voice.

Christen smiled as her eyes washed over Tobin’s kiss swollen lips and wide brown eyes. “You either need to touch me or take off your clothes so that I can touch you.”

Tobin audibly gulped, but then she nodded slowly. “We can go at the same time?”

She had to grin at Tobin’s nerves. She would have never expected it from the professional athlete that took to the soccer field with such swagger. “Okay,” she agreed in a soft voice.

They both stood at the side of the bed and took turns removing their clothes until they were both down to their undergarments.

Tobin wore a sports bra and black, formfitting boxer briefs, and Christen reached out with curious fingers to touch her abdomen. God, the girl had real, honest to God abs. Defined, and firm, and solid. Christen took her time tracing the muscles and feeling them with her palms. She hummed with a grin and leaned in for a quick, soft kiss.

“Wow,” she spoke against Tobin’s lips. “Your body is unbelievable.”

“You’re so beautiful, Christen,” Tobin responded instantly.

She could barely take her eyes off of Christen’s gorgeous, tattooed covered, caramel skin. Standing in her bra and panties, Tobin could see the tattoos on Christen’s ribcage and her thighs. But her attention was captured by the birds soaring above the waistband of her underwear, in the dips of her pelvis, so much so that Christen had to lift her chin to join their gazes.

“Distracted?” She teased.

Tobin nodded, willing to acknowledge that yes, she was very distracted. “Did that hurt?” She asked curiously.

“A little,” Christen answered. “I was a little sore afterwards.”

“Well, they’re really pretty.”

“Thanks,” she cooed.

Tobin licked her lips, thinking of something, anything to say. However, words weren’t especially needed when Christen reached behind her back and unhooked her bra. She slowly pulled the garment down her arms before flinging it aside. Tobin felt as if her mouth was suddenly dry as she took a step closer and gently cupped both of Christen’s small, perky breasts. She wasn’t really a boobs gal, but these were really pretty. Small and soft, with dusky nipples that she traced with her thumbs. Mesmerizing.

Christen opened her mouth to speak, but then Tobin dropped to her knees. It appeared that some of that confidence had returned in full force. She laughed breathlessly and tangled a hand in honey brown hair. Tobin’s hands slid up the back of her thighs and caressed the skin there before moving to cup her ass, all while placing warm kisses along her waistband. Her knees felt a little shaky as Tobin’s kisses got more insistent and her hands became more zealous.

Tobin kissed her through the fabric of her underwear and she groaned, with her hand tightening in Tobin’s hair. “God, Tobin,” she said through a groan. “I’m going to fall over.”

Tobin looked up at her through long eyelashes, with wide, darkened eyes. “I wanna press you against that wall.”

Christen turned in the direction that Tobin was looking, to the floor-to-ceiling windows of her bedroom. Instead of waiting for a response, Tobin practically bounced onto her feet and guided her by the hips until she was pressed against the glass.

So Tobin had a streak of exhibitionism in her. That was good to know.

Back on her knees, Tobin kept kissing and licking her through her black, cotton panties, and it was maddening.

She whined Tobin’s name and yanked on her hair hard enough to get her to look up. “Stop teasing,” she begged.

Tobin smiled and placed a kiss just below her belly button. “Be patient, beautiful.”

Christen tossed her head back with a groan. She was not interested in practicing patience in this moment.

She sighed loudly in relief when Tobin finally pulled her underwear down her legs. “Thank God,” she exhaled as she kicked the panties aside.

Tobin chuckled and looked up at her with a bit of a cocky grin. Christen arched off of the window as Tobin purred, and gripped her thighs, and licked through her steadily. She closed her eyes, brushed her fingers through Tobin’s soft hair, and bit down on her bottom lip to contain an array of noises.

It was obvious that Tobin loved giving oral and that turned her on more than anything.

Tobin pressed her face against her enthusiastically and did her best to keep Christen’s hips from stuttering. The tattoo artist tasted so good, all salty and sweet, and Tobin really wanted to drag this out for as long as possible, but she felt her own resolve waning. She hummed once again and moaned, quite loudly, before she focused her attention on Christen’s clit. She tried a few different things with her tongue before she found what put Christen on edge.

“Yeah, just like that,” she gasped, “fuck.”

Tobin was nothing if not an attentive and generous lover, so she concentrated until she felt Christen shudder and quake, and cry out in pleasure.

“Holy shit,” Christen breathed. Her eyes fluttered and she gripped Tobin’s shoulders to pull her to her feet. With hands on her waist, she kissed Tobin softly. “God, you’re so hot.”

As if to provide further evidence, Tobin placed her hands underneath Christen’s thighs and lifted her into her arms – almost effortlessly. Christen looped her arms around her shoulders and kissed her again. She knew that Tobin could feel how wet she still was against her abdomen, and she seemed to like it.

“You’re so sexy,” Tobin murmured as she carried Christen back to the bed. “Like crazy beautiful.”

They settled on the mattress and Tobin shifted against her, pressing their pelvises together in a way that made Christen’s breath falter. She gripped the back of the soccer player’s neck and peppered her face with kisses. “Can I fuck you now?” She asked in a whisper. “What do you like?”

Tobin held herself above Christen, all of her body weight on her hands and forearms. She blinked down at her owlishly until Christen poked her stomach with a giggle.

Tobin blinked again before she swallowed and responded, “Um, what?”

Christen laughed and brought her knees up so that Tobin sank into the cradle of her hips. “I said,” she began with a wide smile, “that I want to fuck you now.” Her hands traced up Tobin’s abdomen and then she cupped her breasts and began to play with the elastic of her sports bra. “So, what do you like?”

“What do I like?” She repeated slowly.

Christen laughed again. “Yeah, baby.”

Tobin licked her lips, and she felt like she was moving in slow motion. She had felt in control mere seconds ago, now all of that had flown out the window.

Christen smiled devilishly as she slowly slipped a hand inside the front of Tobin’s boxer briefs. “How about I just figure it out?”

Tobin nodded dumbly and allowed Christen to push her onto her back. She was totally fine with being topped by this goddess of a woman. Christen slowly touched her everywhere, just the tips of her fingers ghosting along her skin. Even when she pulled her sports bra over her head and pushed her boxers to her knees, it was with the faintest of featherlight touches. Tobin had never had her body fully explored only to be left with a desperate, searing heat all over her skin.

Christen pulled a hair tie off of her wrist to gather her wild hair into a functional bun, and then her mouth followed the path that her hands had traced.

Tobin had never experienced foreplay like this before.

Christen continued to kiss her slowly, and incredibly skillfully, pulling her bottom lip into her mouth and suckling. Tobin believed that she was keeping up, as she kissed Christen back and slipped her hands down to knead the flesh of her bare behind. Her ridiculously sculpted, voluptuous behind.

Now Christen was the one that seemed content to keep the pace at a speed that could only be called ‘excruciatingly slow’.

Tobin moaned against her mouth and grabbed one of those slender hands to direct it between her legs.

“Can you touch me here again, please?” She whispered. “I need it.”

Christen smiled and kissed her softly. She cupped the warmth between Tobin’s thighs with her whole hand and swallowed the sigh of reprieve. “Show me how you like to be touched,” she murmured.

Shit, Tobin thought. She never thought that something that simple could serve to turn her on like a snap of fingers. She covered Christen’s hand with her own and quickly noticed that she paid particularly close attention to her facial reactions as she guided the movements. The eye contact alone was deliberate, and intense, and arousing. It made Tobin gulp and she was enraptured by the way that Christen’s green eyes turned a little grey sometimes.

Tobin’s hand quickly fell away and she wrapped it around Christen’s neck. Christen lightly circled her clit with her index finger and Tobin sighed in pleasure. It felt nice, but she needed so much more.

“Chris,” she whispered.

Christen nodded, knowing exactly what she wanted, and nudged Tobin’s nose with her own. A silent affirmation. Tobin wordlessly granted her permission and was rewarded when two fingers slipped inside of her. She rocked her hips wantonly and arched upwards to sloppily press their mouths together.

Christen moaned and made sure to match the give and take of Tobin’s hips with her own, pressing her into the mattress as roughly as Tobin wanted. The woman beneath her was so warm, and wet, and silky, and gorgeous, and athletic, and Christen was determined to get her off in what felt like record time. She sucked on her pulse point before she ran her tongue along Tobin’s delicious jaw, using her tongue ring for a little added effect.

Tobin shivered and pushed her face against Christen’s neck. She came with a muffled groan followed by a cute, little sigh.

The tattoo artist allowed the full weight of her body to collapse on top of Tobin’s strong frame, their legs slotting together perfectly. She stroked Tobin’s cheek with her thumb before she kissed her again.

“That was so good,” she whispered against pouty lips.

Tobin hummed in agreement and stroked Christen’s sides with both of her hands. “So good.” She didn’t resist the urge that she had to roll Christen onto her back. So she did, and she gripped her hip and turned their sweet post-coital kiss into something far more passionate.

Christen ran her hands along Tobin’s back and shoulders before she giggled. “Slow down, hot shot. We have all night.”

A now familiar blush graced Tobin’s cheeks and she smiled at the reappearance.

Chapter Text

After her fourth orgasm, Christen couldn’t feel her toes anymore and she figured that it was a good time to take a break. Somehow, she had really underestimated the stamina of a professional athlete. She was slick with sweat and exhausted, while Tobin looked like she had just taken a brisk jog.

With a chuckle, she placed a hand on Tobin’s sternum and rolled onto her side. “Okay,” she panted as the soccer player chased her lips. “Timeout, all-star.”

Tobin smiled and flopped onto her back, pushing her shoulders into the mattress and settling into the pillow beneath her head. “Okay,” she agreed light-heartedly, “timeout called.”

Christen propped her head up with a hand in her hair and her elbow on her pillow. Her other hand traced down Tobin’s arm, over her muscled bicep and strong forearm, until she reached her fingers. She played with the fingers of Tobin’s right hand and smiled to herself. She had recently learned that hand wasn’t half as dangerous as Tobin’s left.

“I wanna know everything about you, Tobin Heath.”

Tobin hummed, a sound that Christen was really beginning to love, and tucked a wayward curl behind her ear. “You can ask me whatever you want,” she agreed easily.

“Whatever I want?” Christen questioned with a mischievous smile.

“Whatever you want,” Tobin repeated. “Anything.” She rolled onto her side as well and draped her arm across Christen’s waist. “Because I want to know everything about you too.”

Christen smiled so hard that she had to bite down on her bottom lip to keep her face from splitting, but she had no idea that Tobin was feeling the same exact knots in her stomach.

Tobin was becoming more convinced by the minute that she had never seen a woman as beautiful as Christen. Or as captivating, in every possible way. After rolling around in bed for a few hours, she had never felt like this before.

There was something that was supposed to snap after sex. The tension was supposed to break. The anticipation was supposed to die. Some of the magic was supposed to wear off.

And yet they both still felt giddy about the woman they were lying naked beside.

“Let’s play twenty questions,” Christen suggested. “But it has to be kinda dirty.”

“Okay,” Tobin agreed shyly.

Christen laughed as she brushed her thumb over the apple of Tobin’s cheek. “I’ll start. What’s your favourite part of a woman’s body?”

“I appreciate that you started easy.” Christen chuckled as she watched Tobin raise her index finger to trace along her prominent collarbone. “Really easy.”

Christen laughed again and tangled a hand in Tobin’s hair as the athlete leaned in to kiss along her collarbone. There were already enough hickeys there to make it so she wouldn’t be able to wear a tank top to work for a week. It was really a rhetorical question.

“I should have guessed,” she spoke breathlessly. Tobin licked and sucked the skin around her clavicle and she tried not to get too distracted. “Your turn to ask a question,” she prompted.

Tobin didn’t raise her head, but instead she murmured against the base of her neck, “What’s your favourite part of your own body?”

Oh that’s kinda sexy, Christen thought.

“I would have to say…” Christen paused thoughtfully and licked her lips. “Gosh, maybe it’s my thighs. When I was younger I always hated how big they were, regardless of how skinny I was, and now I kinda love them.”

Tobin hummed as her hand moved to caress one of Christen’s thighs. “I like your thighs.” Correction, she already loved Christen’s thighs. They were as soft and smooth as the rest of her skin. Strong and oh so sexy. Tobin’s hand slowly shifted to the inside of her thigh as her lips moved to Christen’s mouth. She wanted those thighs wrapped around her again.

Christen was slowly taken in by Tobin’s mouth, but she wasn’t completely put off task. She pulled away from the kiss to exhale, “Hey, we’re in timeout.” Before a pout could grace Tobin’s face, Christen swiped at her bottom lip with her tongue. “What turns you on the most?”

“Women with curly hair, tattoos, and tongue rings,” she quipped playfully.

Christen pinched Tobin’s side and rolled her onto her back so that she could keep her in place. She held her down with her body weight and she felt Tobin’s abs beneath her, the smooth in and out of her breaths, and the warmth of her skin. “Very funny,” she whispered.

Tobin grinned up at her before her face took on a much more serious quality. “This really turns me on. Women don’t usually push me around in bed, and I like it.” She was used to taking the lead in this part of her life. She may be reserved and selective when women approached her in bars, but when she found one that she liked, she let them know. And she usually let them know by taking control in the bedroom and ravishing them until they couldn’t walk. But Christen made her a little nervous, and she liked Christen’s confidence and her straightforwardness, and her… dominant side. She brushed Christen’s hair out of her face as she spoke, and her voice dropped an octave with every word. “And certain perfumes really get to me. I love the way women smell. The way you smell,” she continued desperately. “Whatever perfume you wear and the smell of your hair, mixed with cigarettes, and ink and soap. As soon as I’m close enough to really inhale your scent… it really does something to me.”

The tattoo artist took in the way Tobin’s eyes had darkened and how her voice had deepened into a gravelly growl. There was something about it, and about what she was saying, that was so animalistic that it was impossible for her not to feel a stir of arousal in her belly.

“Wow,” Christen sighed, “and I’m going to let you sleep in my bed tonight.”

“I know,” Tobin answered with a small groan as her hands latched onto Christen’s sides. “What turns you on the most? What do you find most attractive in someone?”

She answered without even thinking. “Passion.”

“Passion,” Tobin repeated slowly. Her hands slowly traced the curve of Christen’s back repeatedly. Up and down. Up and down. It was hypnotic. “I like that.”

Christen gave her a soft kiss before she spoke again. “Tell me about what you like to do most in bed.” Tobin opened her mouth to respond and she quickly covered it with her hand. “Besides oral,” she emphasized. Tobin looked up at her sheepishly and she couldn’t help but find it unbearably adorable. “It’s obvious that you enjoy going down on a lady,” she teased. Tobin’s blush returned in full force and she grinned. “And I knew that mouth was going to be the end of me as soon as I saw it.” She sucked Tobin’s full bottom lip into her mouth and pulled away agonizingly slowly, scraping lightly with her teeth along the way. “You’re really good at it by the way,” she whispered.

Tobin, still blushing, smiled coyly. “I just like making sure my partner is satisfied,” she husked. She took a deep breath before she mumbled, “And I just really like it.”

The dark-haired woman laughed before kissing Tobin once more. “You’re so hot,” she said against her lips.

Tobin kissed her back eagerly and rolled them onto the other side of the bed, with her on top again. They kissed leisurely – Tobin wanted to build her up slowly, deliberately – with one hand in her thick, curly hair and the other touching her breast, and already puckered nipple. Christen wrapped one of those strong thighs around her butt and Tobin reciprocated by shifting and grinding her pubic bone against Christen’s center.

The tattoo artist arched her back and whined, “Our timeout?”

“Timeout is over, gorgeous,” Tobin quipped. “The whistle blew. You must have missed it.”

“Oh I did, did I?” Christen asked her with wide, bright eyes.

“Yeah, uh huh,” she nodded.

“Oh, shit, fuck,” Christen moaned as Tobin became even more purposeful with the movement of her hips.

Tobin placed a playful kiss on the tip of her nose before she moved to her jaw. She nibbled on the sharp corner before she whispered, “Don’t come yet.” She heard Christen’s breath hitch and it made her grin victoriously. “Stay with me a little bit longer. I’m not finished with you yet.”

She felt Christen’s short nails slide down her back and it made her nip Christen’s earlobe and angle her hips so that she really put pressure on Christen’s sensitive clit.

“Tobin,” she cried. “I-I can’t. Please.”

“I wanna make you come like this and then I want you to sit on my face. That’s what I really like to do in bed,” she added a tad teasingly.

Christen yelped, loudly, and roughly grabbed Tobin’s face to pull her in for a hungry kiss, and… Oh. Even through a kiss, Tobin’s eyes widened in realization. Christen gripped her harder and kissed her rougher. And it was clear. Christen liked dirty talk.

She could work with that. She wasn’t exactly a linguistic person. It’s why she played soccer and spent her downtime painting, and hated doing interviews. But she felt comfortable speaking her mind in a darkened bedroom. Her shyness wouldn’t hold her back when she knew that this was the result. When she knew that it would get this ridiculously sexy woman this hot and bothered.

“I wanna bury my face in your pretty pussy,” she whispered gruffly.

Christen cried out and dug her fingernails into the tops of Tobin’s shoulders. Tobin brought her down from her high, gently. She kissed down her neck, between her breasts, and rested her head on a caramel skinned abdomen. She smiled happily when she felt fingers massage her scalp.

“Christ.”

Tobin chuckled at Christen’s breathless exclamation and peppered kisses along her stomach. “You’re sexy all worked up like that,” she murmured.

“I’ve never come that fast,” Christen confessed. “Ever.”

Tobin energetically bounced up from her position and looked down at her with a grin. “That sounds like a challenge.”

 

When Tobin awoke, the very first thing that she registered was the smell that surrounded her. Without even opening her eyes, she flipped onto her stomach and pressed her nose into the pillow beneath her. Christen – her brain registered the unique scent and she groaned.

The next thing that she registered was that she was the only one in the bed. As she sat up, her eyes flew open. She looked around the minimalist bedroom that she hadn’t bothered to appreciate yesterday because, well, there had been much prettier things to look at. The room was bright and clean, with dark wood furniture against the wall opposite of the bed and a glass door that she assumed led to a master bathroom and a sliding door that was perhaps a walk-in closet. The wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, where she had created one of her greatest memories, were now mostly covered by curtains. But Christen must have opened a window at some point, she could feel the light breeze on her bare skin.

She began to move out of the bed and as soon as her feet hit the plush rug below, she heard the scampering of tiny feet down the hallway. Lady, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, bounded into the bedroom and she smiled when the small dog stopped at her feet.

“Hey there, girl!”

She greeted the dog that had seemed so suspicious of her yesterday before she pulled on her boxers and t-shirt, foregoing her jeans for comfort.

She walked towards the kitchen and smiled bashfully at the two cups of coffee that had been left abandoned on the living room coffee table. They had been too distracted to drink them, or put the mugs away.

She looked up, Lady still at her side, and her gaze fell upon Christen in the kitchen.

Christen, who was definitely the best kiss and sex of her life. Christen, whose skin was an artwork of its own. Christen, who liked to tease as much as she liked to please. Christen, whose laughter reverberated in her skull like a song that won’t stop playing on the radio.

“Hey sleepy head.”

Tobin ducked her head and slowly walked forward, trying to suppress her childlike grin. When she was finally close enough to touch, she wrapped her arms around Christen’s waist and buried her face in the woman’s neck. “Good morning,” she murmured. “Did I sleep too late?”

“No,” Christen whispered back as she rubbed the soccer player’s back. “I’m just a morning person. Besides, you were way too cute to wake up.”

Tobin lifted her head, and with a smile, she kissed the girl good morning.

Christen quickly wrapped her arms around Tobin’s shoulders and held her close. Tobin accepted the invitation and slipped her hands underneath the only article of clothing that Christen was wearing, a baggy Golden State Warriors t-shirt.

Despite their kissing turning hungry quickly, Christen pulled away with a giggle. “Do you like pancakes?”

“I love pancakes,” Tobin answered without hesitation.

After they ate pancakes, they took a walk with Christen’s dogs, and Tobin was perfectly happy to be wearing Christen’s clothes. Christen picked a route that took them by the hotel so that Tobin could pick up her bag and then they were back in Christen’s apartment. Where they talked, and had sex, and talked some more, and had more sex. In Christen’s shower, and on Christen’s couch, and she thought about what it would be like to have sex on the balcony of Christen’s condo.

They were cuddled up on Christen’s couch, with the dogs sleeping nearby, watching some thriller on Netflix when the thought occurred to Tobin that the very last thing that she wanted was to leave Miami and never talk to this woman again. Or even worse, text her for a little while, feeling giddy and smitten, only to have it fizzle out in a week or two.

Long distance was so hard, even on stable couples, ones that were already in love. But she wanted this. Even if it had to be long distance. She wanted texts, and FaceTime calls, and weekend visits. She wanted to show Christen her favourite spots in Portland, and she wanted to keep telling her all about soccer, and she wanted to keep hearing Christen crooning Toby in her ear as she came.

But that sounded a little crazy about someone she had just met. Right?

Her arms tightened around Christen’s midsection and she dipped her head to place a kiss on the top of her head.

Christen stretched and hummed in approval. “You’re a very comfortable pillow, Tobin Heath.”

“Oh really?” Tobin laughed.

“Mmm hmm. You’re warm and you smell good, and you’re a good cuddler.”

“I like being the big spoon,” she whispered in her ear.

Christen giggled, “Noted.”

Tobin slipped a hand in Christen’s hair and stretched her neck as her thoughts worried her. The motion of her fingers seemed to put the tattoo artist at ease and it gave her more time to think.

After much hesitation, she muttered, “When I leave Miami, can I still call you?”

Christen squirmed until she was lying on Tobin’s chest, with their faces only inches apart. Christen stared at her as she slowly blinked her pretty green eyes. “Of course you can,” she responded softly. Tobin wasn’t satisfied with that answer, and it must have shown on her face because Christen trailed a finger along her jaw and spoke again. “I’m counting on it.”

Tobin smiled and released a noticeable sigh of relief. “Ash and I have an international friendly in a couple of weeks in Jacksonville. Could I, I dunno, maybe, visit you afterwards?”

“Or how about,” Christen grinned, “I come up and watch you play?”

The soccer player perked up and the tips of her ears turned red. “I would like that.”

“Good,” she nodded. “You can text me all the details.”

Tobin smiled widely and just watched Christen watch her. She didn’t want to break whatever silent spell they were under, but she was too impatient. “What?” She finally asked with a rough voice just above a whisper.

“I’m thinking,” she dragged out. “About bringing you to my bedroom and keeping you there.”

“And how exactly would you do that?” She asked with an arched eyebrow.

Christen laughed to herself as she traced her fingers over the tendons in Tobin’s neck and down towards the dip in the V-neck t-shirt that she had changed into. “Well, I was thinking about tying you to the bed.”

Tobin’s eyes widened, mostly out of interest. “I think I would like that.”

“I figured you would,” Christen quipped.

She stood up and extended her hand so that she could help pull Tobin off the sofa and to her feet. She turned around to swiftly grab the remote and turn off the television. It really didn’t matter that the movie wasn’t over. Tobin’s hands were already on her hips and her mouth was already at the back of her neck.

“Ready to do whatever I tell you, Tobin Heath?”

Tobin nodded against her shoulder as they started walking down the hallway. “Yes, ma’am.”

Chapter Text

“Tobin Powell Heath! What’s got you smiling like that?”

Tobin dropped her phone into her lap and sheepishly looked up at her mother standing above her. She was terrible at lying, especially to her mother, but she wasn’t about to tell her that she was smiling because she was sexting a woman that she had known for three days.

“Umm… just, uh-just a friend…”

“Just a friend,” Cindy mimicked with a grin. She reached forward and pinched her youngest daughter’s cheek. “Just a friend has you blushing like that?”

Tobin kept her mouth closed as she nodded repeatedly.

Her mother laughed, “You were never able to lie to me, sweetie.” She rubbed Tobin’s shoulder before she took a seat in the chair next to her. “Tell me all about her.”

Tobin awkwardly scratched the back of her neck before she stretched her long limbs in the sun chair and gazed at the pool of her mother’s Fort Lauderdale home. It had always been her intention to visit her mother and sisters after her stay in Orlando… she had just gotten a little detoured. She should have figured that her mother would pick up on something that would sound off her alarm bells.

“Sweetie,” her mother began as she reached across the space between them and took her hand. “You know I just want you to be happy, especially after Shirley.”

The soccer player promptly shook her head. She really didn’t want to talk about her last serious relationship. She had been in a weird place and it hadn’t ended well – entirely her fault.

“There’s not much to tell yet, Mom,” she eventually murmured. “We just met and it’s new.”

“New and exciting?” Her mother grinned.

Tobin blushed and tried to cover her face. “Yes, Mom.”

“Relationships are so fun when they’re new and exciting. When you’re in that stage where you can’t keep your hands off each other.”

Tobin was quick to jump to her feet and head back towards the house. “I can’t talk about this with you, Mom!”

“Tobin! Honey!” Cindy called after her as she watched her shy daughter disappear.

She reached the kitchen with a sigh of relief and fetched herself a glass of water. It didn’t matter how old she was, talking about her sex life with her mother was a hard no. She was thankful that her sexuality had never been an issue, especially growing up in a conservative, religious household, but sometimes her mother was a little too accepting. But her mother was certainly right in this case. She felt excited about her new whatever it was (relationship?) with Christen, and they had definitely been reluctant to keep their hands to themselves.

Even the morning that Tobin had left, she had been very reluctant to go.

And she had spent hours the night before exploring every inch of Christen’s body.

 

Tobin couldn’t tear her eyes away from Christen’s body as the woman laid naked on her back and she on her stomach.

She raised her hand and unhurriedly ran her fingers up Christen’s ribcage. “You have a sexy, half-naked lady on your side.”

Christen laughed. “It’s called a pin up tattoo, Tobs.”

Tobin hummed and continued to trace the tattoo of the image wearing a two-piece bathing suit. “It’s pretty,” she husked.

“Thanks. I designed it myself. Got a friend of mine to tattoo it.”

Tobin shifted on her elbows so that she could get a closer look. “You drew this? That’s amazing.”

“Thank you,” the tattoo artist whispered.

“I could never draw something this pretty,” she continued.

Tobin continued to inspect, until it drew her head level with Christen’s breast, then she got a little sidetracked. She mouthed at the flesh and listened to Christen chuckle and then she felt a hand tangle in her messy hair.

“You are full of boundless energy,” Christen teased.

Tobin pulled away and looked at her with an impish grin. “Always have been.”

So Tobin focused that energy on studying every tattoo on Christen’s body, from the peacock feather on the top of her foot to the small birds along her pelvis to the colourful coy fish on her shoulder – a gift from the artist that she had apprenticed for apparently. Then she dragged her mouth from the realistic looking elephant on her left thigh to the gorgeous phoenix that decorated the opposite forearm. She read the script on her collarbone that was a date that she was yet to know the significance of, and she kissed the small flower at the base of her neck and then down to the shape of California on her inner wrist.

She took her time looking at each and every tattoo. They were almost as beautiful as the woman whose body they adorned. She saw the similarities between some and the stark differences between a few of the styles. She learned the stories behind most and was able to identify the ones that Christen had drawn herself and the ones that she hadn’t. She knew which tattoo was Christen’s first and which one she had gotten five months ago. She loved all of the bright colours that ran down her arms and she loved the laser like focus and details of the black and grey pieces that were mostly hidden underneath clothing. She appreciated Christen’s body like she was a patron at an art gallery.

One thing was for certain, Tobin was thorough.

 

Tobin flushed at the memory and downed another glass of water. She was only truly pulled out of her daydream when she felt her phone vibrate in the pocket of her sweats. She grabbed the device and swiped up to reveal a text from Ashlyn.

I was just talking to Christen. She sounds more than satisfied. You animal.

She chuckled to herself as her cheeks warmed. Her long-time friend would never fail to surprise her. Her response was much more restrained.

We had a really nice time.

Her phone was still in her hand when it began to ring. She brought it up to her ear and answered with a laugh, “Yes, Ash?”

That’s all you’re gonna say? Really, Tobin?

Tobin laughed and shuffled her feet. “I’m not gonna kiss and tell,” she mumbled.

Ashlyn screamed, and then she could hear Ali’s shriek echo it in the background. Clearly both of them were very excited about this development.

I knew it,” Ashlyn declared triumphantly. “I knew you two would hit it off. You’re so different, but I dunno, you have similar souls. I know that sounds hokey, but I—

“No, I get it,” Tobin interrupted quietly. She looked down at her feet and smiled to herself. “I invited her to the Jacksonville game.”

She pulled the phone away from her ear when Ali squealed again.

Obviously she had been moved to speaker phone.

Tobin! That’s so sweet!” Ali yelled.

Tobin felt herself getting more embarrassed by the minute, as both Ashlyn and Ali yelled things at her. “Okay, okay, stop,” she begged. “It’s not a big deal.”

That was a lie. Her feelings were a big deal. She didn’t fall like this, and the people who knew her knew that. She was cautious, careful. It was why she only saw most women for one night. She was afraid of getting attached after everything that had happened with Shirley. She was afraid of getting hurt. She was afraid of inflicting hurt. That’s why she kept moving and stayed focused. Her mind always on soccer, and games, and training and recovery. Her body always moving from training camp to training camp and jumping from couch to couch, never staying in Portland, or anywhere else, for too long. Her lifestyle made it so that relationships were not possible, not manageable, but now… Now she felt a different kind of pull.

She managed to steer the conversation away from Christen for a few minutes and then she ended the call so that she could make some eggs.

She was sitting at the island eating her meal when her mother walked in from outside. “Please, Mom, don’t,” she begged.

Cindy laughed at her comment and stood behind her so that she could place a kiss on the top of her head. “I won’t tease you, sweetheart. I’ll leave you to text your mystery girl. But you’ll have to tell me about her eventually, Tobs.”

Tobin focused on her plate. “Yeah, maybe,” she conceded.

Her mother’s response was to teasingly pepper her face with kisses.

 

Tobin flopped back on the bed in the guest room that was designated as hers and nervously spun her phone in her hands. She really wanted to call Christen, but she didn’t want to come on too strong. She didn’t want to seem clingy.

She had never been clingy before.

She kept going around and around in her head. The arguments. The rationalizations. The painfully annoying insecurities.

She was still arguing with herself when her phone rang in her hand. She was so startled that she almost dropped the device on her stomach.

“Hello?” She answered without looking at the caller ID.

Hey there, all-star. I hope it’s okay that I called.

“Christen,” she sighed happily. “Of course it’s okay.” She looked up at the ceiling with a smile. “How are you?”

I’m good. I had a really good day. How about you?

“It was good,” she answered quietly. “I just hung out with my mom.”

Oh that’s nice. What did you do?

Tobin told her about her day, deliberately leaving out the embarrassing parts, and then Christen told her about her work day. Their conversation was incredibly G-rated until Christen’s voice dropped.

I wish you were still in my bed.

Tobin inhaled before she answered. “Me too. I, um, I can’t stop thinking about you naked,” she admitted timidly.

Good,” Christen laughed. “That’s what I was going for.

Tobin laughed as well as she nervously fiddled with the strings of her hooded sweater. “You’re just really beautiful.”

You’re sweet, Tobin.

Tobin opened her mouth to respond, but then Christen spoke again.

Here. I’ll send you a picture.

“Um, I’m sorry? What?”

Before Christen could reply, Tobin felt her phone vibrate in her hand and she heard the ‘ding’ of a notification. She placed Christen on speaker phone so that she could open the message and still talk to her.

“Oh… jeez… w-wow,” she stammered.

Christen wasn’t naked, but she was lying on her side, on her bed, in just a bra and panties. Teeny tiny panties.

“Oh wow,” she said again, and then she smacked herself on the forehead for her own stupidity. “I mean, uh…” She cleared her throat and tried to regroup. “You look stunning.”

This was entirely new to her so no wonder she was a little flustered. She had never received a dirty picture before. Well, not on her phone, not from someone that she actually knew and liked. The fans that sent her private messages on Twitter and Instagram didn’t count.

Thank you,” Christen whispered. “Your turn.

“My turn?” Tobin repeated as she felt her cheeks flush.

Yeah,” the tattoo artist laughed. “I want to see you too. Please Toby,” she added after a pause.

God that nickname has gotten so much better, Tobin thought.

“Okay, um, just gimme a second.”

She placed the phone on the bed beside her and wriggled out of her sweater and tank. She was wearing a plain sports bra and figured it was best just to focus on her abs. She knew that they were one of her most appreciated features. She had never done this part before either. She snapped the picture without much thought and quickly sent it off.

Yum,” Christen purred.

Tobin rolled onto her stomach and played with the fabric of the quilt on the bed. “I’m not sure how you’re still driving me crazy over the phone,” she confessed.

The feeling is mutual,” Christen chuckled.

She dropped her head with a sigh. “This is driving me crazy.”

This?

She elaborated, “Not being able to touch you.”

Soon,” Christen assured her softly. “And until then, I love talking to you too, Tobin.

Tobin hid her smile in the crook of her elbow. She felt completely overwhelmed by the simple knowledge that Christen enjoyed talking to her.

Oh boy, she thought.

 

Tobin spent a few more days with family before she returned to Portland.

And she and Christen kept talking. Every day. First thing in the morning. Last thing at night. They talked about their days, like they had been making small talk for years, and they took turns asking each other questions. Christen had set rules that made it fun and even more exciting. They each got to ask the other three questions a day: one trivial, one sexy, and one serious.

Tobin had sent her questions for the day before she boarded her plane to Portland.

Superpower?
Weirdest place you’ve had sex?
Where is your happy place?

When her plane landed she saw that she had new messages from Christen, but she was going to wait until she was back in her apartment to open them. Hopefully she could even give her a call.

She took an Uber to her building, greeted her doorman with a friendly smile, and ran up the stairs.

Once she was in her barely lived-in apartment, she threw her dirty clothes in the wash and opened her refrigerator to see if she had anything that she could salvage for a meal.

She was frowning at beer and hot sauce when there was a knock on her door.

She opened the door with a wide smile and found the woman that lived across the hall.

“Hey,” the blonde smiled, “you’re back.”

Tobin leaned on the door and nodded. “Yup, until the next camp.”

“I just made dinner if you want some?”

Tobin looked over her shoulder, to gesture into her apartment, when she felt herself being pulled forward by the belt loops of her jeans.

“Come over for dinner, Tobin,” Kate husked. “You promised me a real date when you got back.”

Right, Tobin gulped, because this was the woman that had made her promise that when Tobin was ready for a relationship she would be the very first to know.

Chapter Text

Christen grinned as she read Tobin’s questions for the day.

Superpower?
Weirdest place you’ve had sex?
Where is your happy place?

She knew that Tobin wouldn’t see her responses for several hours, but she texted back immediately anyway. She loved this game.

Flying
Space Mountain
The beach

She promptly slipped her phone into the back pocket of her jeans and headed back into her space so that she could set everything up for her day. She only had three appointments for the day, but she figured that she would also spend some time in the office, handling the business side of things, and try to avoid Julie at all costs, since the blonde had already teased her mercilessly for what she called her “post-sex weekend glow”.

She had admitted that she had had a lot of fun with Tobin, or as Julie, an obsessive soccer fan, called her, “Tobin freakin’ Heath”, but she hadn’t revealed anything more than that. Julie didn’t need any of the dirty details and she didn’t need to know that they were still texting, and flirting, and getting to know each other despite the distance and time difference.

She grabbed her sketchbook and moved to the big drawing table in their staff room so that she could finish a design for a client. It just so happened that this client wanted a pin up of a woman playing football, and she couldn’t help but be reminded of her own competitive, energetic athlete.

 

“Heyyy,” Tobin whined as Christen curled up behind her, “I said I’m the big spoon!”

She giggled and placed a placating kiss on Tobin’s bare shoulder. “I’m taller than you.”

“You are not,” the soccer player scoffed.

“Yes, I am!” Christen laughed.

Tobin rolled over and looked at her seriously, far too seriously for someone that was completely naked. “Okay, get up, we’re testing this out.”

She bounced off the bed and to her feet, and Christen looked at her in mild amusement and disbelief before she stood up as well, toe to toe with Tobin. She grinned triumphantly as she stood at her full height. Her nose was slightly higher than Tobin’s, her eye line was slightly elevated. It wasn’t a huge difference, but she was definitely taller. She was just over 5’7” and Tobin was clearly just under.

“Ha,” she gloated.

“Well crap,” Tobin huffed. “Not fair.”

“Don’t pout about it,” Christen teased before she slipped back into the bed.

She waited for Tobin to return to the bed and resume the loser’s little spoon position, but she was stunned when the soccer player pinned her to the bed, as quick as lightning.

“You’re wrestling me?” She questioned with an arched eyebrow.

“Yes,” Tobin nodded. “Winner gets to be the big spoon?”

“This sounds slightly unfair. Just slightly.”

“Please?” Tobin pouted.

Christen sighed with a smile. Tobin was unbelievably cute. She sighed again, but then used the distraction to flip Tobin onto her back and hold her down. She giggled at Tobin’s affronted expression and braced herself for a counterattack.

 

“Pressy!” Megan Rapinoe bellowed as she entered the staff room. “Tell me all about Tobin Heath!”

Christen lifted her head from her sketchbook and rolled her eyes. Why were all her co-workers super soccer fans? She should really ask that question on applications going forward. She had never watched a game in its entirety all on her own. She had watched a few European games at gatherings with friends, like JJ and Pinoe, but she had only been vaguely paying attention, more interested in the socializing, or her phone. She had watched some of the World Cup to support Ali and Ash, but her support was definitely more of the moral variety. Sports just weren’t really her thing, despite growing up in a very sports enthralled family. Organized activities had never been her thing. Art had always been her thing.

“I’m not telling you anything, Pinoe,” Christen answered quickly.

“Chris, come on,” she groaned. “Tobin Heath was my sports crush for two years, so you gotta give me somethin’. She’s so hot.”

She rolled her eyes again. “Yes, I know, she is very hot, but you are getting nothing outta me.”

Her fellow tattoo artist walked closer to her and began to poke her in the side. “Please, Pressy. Just one little detail.”

“One little detail about what?” Julie asked as she skipped into the room.

“Nothing,” Christen jumped to reply before Megan could.

But that didn’t stop the other woman from answering. “About Tobin Heath,” she answered excitedly.

Julie stood across the drawing table from her and leaned on her forearms with an absolutely giddy expression. “Okay, before I start. Some guy just left a message for you, Chris. Says he’s from Cali.” She pushed a small slip of paper across the table before she started to bounce on the balls of her feet. “Back to business. Please. Please. Please. Tobin freakin’ Heath,” she spoke wistfully. “She’s so hot.”

Pinoe turned to her in agreement. “Right?”

“When did the two of you get so thirsty?” Christen joked. “And JJ, you’re not even gay!”

Julie shrugged as if that detail was inconsequential. “Um, how about when our friend spent days locked in her apartment with one of the best, hottest, most single soccer players in the world?”

“Point taken,” Christen responded evenly. She tried to ignore the pair and return to her sketch, but their presence was incredibly distracting. She could hear Julie thrumming her nails on the tabletop and Pinoe was standing so close to her that she could feel her rocking back and forth from her heels to her toes. “Just one detail?” She bargained in exhaustion. It was impossible to concentrate with their infernal hovering. Both women nodded, eagerly accepting her terms. “Okay, a question first. How much do midfielders run in an average soccer game?”

Julie furrowed her brow, but answered the question nonetheless. “An average game? Well assuming they play the full ninety, then probably, what Pinoe? Eight or nine miles?”

“Yeah, sounds about right.”

Christen offered a smirk out of the corner of her mouth as she focused on her sketch again. “That totally checks out,” she finally said.

She was not prepared to deal with Julie’s squeal or Pinoe’s raucous laughter and attempts to jump on her before she returned to her work.

While her friends celebrated around her, she caught sight of the piece of paper that Julie had given her. She furrowed her brow in confusion as she touched the paper with her fingertips. The only people that she still talked to in California were her sisters. Anyone else was a part of her old life and they would firmly stay there.

 

Christen waited until she was settled at home, with her dinner and her dogs, before she texted Tobin her questions for the day, and she did it knowing that Tobin was probably already back in her Portland apartment.

Back in her Portland apartment; hopefully bored, lonely, and missing her.

What animal would you be?
Fave sex position?
Which milestone are you most proud of reaching so far?

She laid her phone on the coffee table, but within minutes it was ringing. She promptly picked it up and answered with a smile. “Hey there.”

Chris, hey!

Christen instantly furrowed her brow because Tobin sounded breathless, and a little panicked. “Are you okay?”

Yeah, yeah,” she answered quickly. “I just got back from a run and I… uh, um… well…

Christen chuckled to herself as she ran a hand through her hair. “Just ask me whatever you want to ask me, Tobin Heath.”

Oh… okay, uh… well I guess I should just come out and say it. Are you seeing anyone right now? Like, you know what I mean?

She could hear the nerves and the uneasiness in Tobin’s voice, and it was so vulnerable. And so refreshing. Pretty adorable actually.

So Christen didn’t hesitate in being honest with her.

“No, I’m not. I have a friend and sometimes we fool around, but it’s been a while since the last time that happened.”

Okay,” the soccer player sighed, long and low.

“Is that the answer you wanted?” She questioned bluntly.

Yeah. That is what I wanted to hear,” she admitted.

Christen waited a beat before she returned the question. “And are you? Seeing anyone right now?”

No,” Tobin answered quietly, “there’s this woman across the hall, Kate, we’ve been on again off again. I’ve told her that I can’t do a relationship, I’m not built for them, and now all I can think about is whether or not you’re seeing anyone else. It’s so stupid,” she trailed off in a mutter.

Christen didn’t play games with people she was involved with, and she hadn’t in a very long time, so she was always honest and upfront, and she expected some degree of honesty in return. And Tobin Heath was giving it to her in spades.

She really didn’t care about the existence of another woman vying for her affection.

“It’s not stupid, Tobin. You are free to change your mind.” She could imagine Tobin anxiously fiddling and awkwardly scratching the back of her neck. “Don’t feel guilty.” She took a deep breath before she continued. “We just met and I like you, and you like me, but I’m not going to make you commit to me any more than that. At least not right now. I don’t mind if you need to figure some things out, as long as you’re honest with me. I’m not the jealous type, Tobin.”

Not even a little bit?” Tobin asked teasingly.

She grinned to herself. “Well, maybe a little bit.”

Christen, you’re so…

“Unbelievably amazing?” She joked.

Well yeah,” Tobin laughed.

Christen laughed as well and seamlessly changed the topic of conversation. “Now, are you going to answer those questions I just texted you?”

 

Christen went about the rest of her week unable to shake Tobin’s growing vulnerability, the way that she seemed to wear her heart on her sleeve. It was the most attractive thing that she had experienced in a very long time.

And maybe that was why she found herself on an overnight flight to Portland.

“Christ,” she muttered to herself as she fastened her seatbelt. “I can’t believe I’m doing this.”

She had gotten JJ to rearrange her schedule and Pinoe had gladly offered to watch her dogs, and now she was what? Going on a transcontinental booty call?

Well, she supposed that she had never been the greatest at fighting off the initial feelings of temptation.

Or maybe she was incredibly stupid and impulsive.

Maybe she had learned nothing from recovery.

As the flight crew went through the safety demonstration, she pulled her one year sobriety chip out of the pocket of her leather jacket and rolled it across her knuckles.

After almost seven years of being sober, her one year chip was still one of her most prized possessions. It kept her grounded and focused, and calm. And it reminded her of how far she had come from her days in California that she couldn’t even remember because she had been so high. High and drunk, and selfish.

She shook her head and flipped the coin with her thumb as the plane began to taxi down the runway. Creeping moments of self-doubt didn’t mean that she hadn’t grown a hell of a lot since she had given up everything that she had ever known in order to get better.

Regardless, high or sober, she had never met someone as willing to lay themselves bare as Tobin Heath. That’s why she was on this plane.

 

Thanks to Ashlyn, she knew exactly where to go once the plane landed, and she found herself knocking on Tobin’s apartment door before the sun was up.

The soccer player answered the door looking sleepy and ruffled in an oversized, threadbare t-shirt – and painfully adorable. Christen stepped up to her while she was still slowly blinking her brown eyes and kissed her softly on those pouty lips. “Go back to sleep, baby,” she murmured.

“Mmm, okay,” Tobin agreed easily.

Christen chuckled underneath her breath as she closed and locked the door behind her and followed Tobin to the bedroom. The compliant athlete fell back into her bed on her stomach and cuddled her pillow.

“Can I be the big spoon?” She mumbled with her eyes closed.

“Yeah,” Christen giggled quietly.

She placed her backpack on the floor at the end of the bed and stripped down to her panties before she joined Tobin in the bed, and she was quickly engulfed in the leaner woman’s warmth. Tobin spooned her with a contented hum and nuzzled her nose against the base of her skull. She smiled as she placed a hand over one of Tobin’s that had settled on her stomach and closed her tired eyes.

 

When she awoke a few hours later, Tobin was already awake beside her, propped up on her elbow, and she was absolutely beaming.

“Mornin’,” Christen smiled as she stretched.

“I thought I was dreaming, and then I woke up and I was holding you.”

She reached out and ran her fingers along Tobin’s jaw. “You were so cute still half-asleep. Sleepy, and warm, and cuddly. Like a happy puppy,” she laughed.

The soccer player grinned shyly and shifted closer. She placed a kiss to the corner of Christen’s jaw before she whispered in her ear. “I almost don’t want to ask too many questions, but why are you here?”

She tilted her head, giving Tobin greater access to her neck, and she sighed in pleasure. “I am not entirely sure,” she answered honestly.

A dash of longing. A hint of escapism. A sense that she was chasing something. Something that felt really special.

“Well I’m glad you are.”

“Me too.”

“So much better than a picture.”

Tobin placed soft kisses down her neck as her hand skated across her belly. Christen laid back and enjoyed the lazy kisses. Her hand eventually raised to tangle in Tobin’s silky, dishevelled hair. She inhaled sharply as Tobin’s long fingers pushed underneath the waistband of her underwear.

“Oh? We’re getting right to the orgasms?”

Tobin raised her head and looked at her with a playful smile. “I think it’s better that way, then I can concentrate for the rest of the morning.”

Christen laughed and the sound quickly turned into a gasp when Tobin cupped her center with her whole hand. “Okay,” she chuckled breathlessly. “We wouldn’t want you distracted.”

“Definitely not,” Tobin hummed against her collarbone. “I’m unbearable when I’m distracted.”

Christen tilted her head, upwards this time, and looked at the ceiling as Tobin’s tongue trailed across her collarbone. She bucked against the hand between her legs and Tobin responded with a nip of her teeth. She keened in anticipation and pressed herself against the full length of Tobin’s body as both of her hands wrapped around her neck. She pulled Tobin in for a kiss, her tongue sweeping along the bottom lip, and her short nails dug into skin.

“God, you’re such a good kisser,” Tobin moaned in between kisses. “It really turns me on.”

Christen was pretty sure everything about Tobin turned her on.

She maneuvered into a sitting position to get a better angle for kissing and the change in position didn’t faze Tobin for a second. Her other hand moved to massage a breast as she husked, “Come for me like this first. Soft and slow.”

Tobin’s nimble fingers perfectly worked her nipple and her clit at the same time, and she couldn’t stop herself from whining in delight. She was a woman that was dangerously good at this. She nipped at the skin where Christen’s neck met her shoulder before she sucked, hard.

Tobin gave her what was becoming an incredulous standard – a toe-curling orgasm. She kissed Tobin as she was still catching her breath, with both hands on her neck. Slow, deliberate kisses with lots of tongue.

The soccer player pulled away, with a sweet kiss to the tip of her nose. “Welcome to Portland.”

She laughed loudly and tugged Tobin forward until they were hugging, completely pressed against each other. They kissed, and kissed, and kissed. For what felt like hours. Until Christen craved a shower and a coffee, and a cigarette.

And Tobin was more than happy to show her the shower.

“Wow!” She exclaimed as Tobin turned on the water to adjust the temperature. “This is the nicest shower I have ever seen.”

It was all marble except for the glass doors and was spacious enough to have not one, but two shower heads.

“Thanks! It’s probably my favourite thing about this whole apartment.”

From what she had seen so far of Tobin’s high-rise apartment, everything was new and expensive, yet still understated and humble. Things were nice, but functional. It fit what she knew of the athlete. The art hanging on the walls was for enjoyment, not show, and she was willing to bet that the open concept choice wasn’t to fit with a style, but to have more room to kick around a soccer ball.

She was busy looking around the rest of Tobin’s bathroom, particularly the clawfoot bathtub, when she heard the rustling of clothing. She turned back in time to see Tobin step into the shower and she took the time to look and appreciate. Her long, lean, athletic frame. Strong, defined, tan muscles, and she was already so taken in by those brown eyes, big smile, and jawline that could cut glass.

She was snapped out of her thoughts by Tobin’s gentle laugh. “Aren’t you joining me?”

Christen chuckled with a shake of her head and quickly pushed her underwear to the floor. She opened the glass door, cautiously stepped inside, and then closed it behind her. She watched the water and body wash lather run down Tobin’s broad shoulders and strong back before she stepped up to her. She wrapped her arms around the shorter woman’s waist and pressed a kiss to the top of her shoulder.

“Isn’t this exactly what you were describing to me over the phone?” She murmured. “Your favourite sex position fantasy?”

She didn’t need to see Tobin’s face to know that she was blushing. “Yeah,” the soccer player finally admitted in a whisper. “This is exactly what I imagined.”

Christen smiled against Tobin’s slick skin and dipped a hand between her legs. Tobin’s knees bent so that their height difference was even more pronounced and she reached out both of her hands to brace her weight against the shower wall.

“I’ve got you,” she said as she tightened her arm around Tobin’s torso and planted her palm on the opposite hip. “Tell me exactly how you imagined it, baby. I’ll do it exactly how you like it.”

 

Christen walked into the kitchen wearing a pair of Tobin’s boxers and an old tank top, feeling clean and refreshed. She had towel dried her hair, leaving it down and free to curl on its own. She covered her mouth with her hand and tried to push back her giggles as she watched Tobin juggle a ball on the hardwood floor while wearing the cutest pair of glasses.

“Is this what you do when you’re alone?” She finally asked.

“Yup!” Tobin responded enthusiastically, her eyes never leaving the soccer ball.

Christen continued to laugh as she hesitantly walked towards the athlete. She leaned against the kitchen counter and stared, like she was watching one of Tobin’s old games online. Except what Tobin was able to do with a soccer ball was even more impressive in real life and up close.

Tobin continued for several more minutes until she flipped the ball over her head and let it roll down her back. It skipped across the floor as Tobin walked towards her and casually slipped her arms low around her waist.

“I can’t believe you’re here,” the brown-eyed woman smiled. “In my apartment looking all gorgeous, wearing my boxers and smelling like me.” As if to prove her point, she pushed her face into Christen’s hair and inhaled deeply. “Wow. I’m so lucky.”

She wrapped her arms up and around Tobin’s shoulders and anxiously chewed on her bottom lip. “So I’m not crazy stalking you for showing up on your doorstep across the country, in the middle of the night, uninvited?”

“Well, maybe,” Tobin chuckled, “but I kind of dig it.”

Christen laughed as well and rested her head against Tobin’s shoulder. “Want to spend the day getting to know each other?”

“Yeah, that’s exactly what I want.”

Chapter Text

They sat on opposite sides of Tobin’s sofa with their legs tangled, as they drank coffee, and later passed a pint of ice cream back and forth. And they just talked. They took turns asking questions and answering them. Everything from soft lob questions to the really serious stuff. They kissed softly and hungrily, and everything in between, but mostly they talked, about everything that they hadn’t talked about already.

Somehow, it was everything that Tobin wanted, even more than hours of endless sex. She didn’t want Christen to feel as if she had come all the way to Portland for a booty call. Because this was more. Tobin could feel it.

 

“I think you would be in Gryffindor,” Tobin stated confidently. “You’re brash enough.”

Christen raised an eyebrow. “I have no idea what that means, but I’ll trust you.”

Her mouth dropped open in shock. “You don’t know about Harry Potter? Read the books?” As Christen shook her head, she continued, “Seen the movies?!”

“No,” the curly haired woman laughed.

“Wow,” Tobin sighed. “We have some work to do.”

“Aren’t all those movies like three hours long?”

“We don’t have to watch them all in a row,” she proposed with a pout. “Obviously.”

 

“Tell me about your first time.”

Tobin smiled shyly and laughed. “Really? That’s what you wanna know?” The tattoo artist nodded emphatically. “Okay, um, I was a senior in high school. It was after P.E. and I caught one of the girls, the head cheerleader actually, checking me out in the gym showers. I had study hall afterwards and she came up to me in the library. She looked absolutely furious,” she chuckled. “I thought that she was going to scream and yell, call me down to the dirt, or try to beat me up. She had a reputation for being pretty mean so I just expected that, if nothing else, she would start a rumour about me and that would be that. She dragged me into the bathroom and she did jump me, but in the good way. I was, uh, very taken aback.”

“You were such a cute little baby gay,” Christen giggled and covered her face with both hands.

The soccer player rolled her eyes good-naturedly.

“So, you lost your cherry to the head cheerleader?”

“I did,” she confirmed.

“That’s pretty impressive game for someone that says they don’t have any game,” Christen teased. She licked her lips before she asked, “Was it hot?”

“She pushed me into a stall, locked the door, and wasted no time before she pushed her hand into my sweats. It was totally hot,” she laughed hoarsely. “And she was just as afraid of someone finding out as I was so it was a lot of sneaking around, and fooling around in the back of her car and janitor’s closets. Very top secret, spy stuff,” she added jokingly.

“How long did it last?” Christen questioned in a softer voice.

“Umm…” She tilted her head thoughtfully. “Two… three months steadily, I guess. But over that summer, she would sometimes get drunk and text me, asking to see me and stuff like that, especially if her and her boyfriend were fighting.”

Christen chewed on her bottom lip as she watched Tobin tuck her chin to her chest and anxiously tuck her hair behind her ear. Her demeanour had greatly changed over the course of a short conversation, so she crawled towards Tobin with a playful grin.

“Imagining you under a cheerleader’s skirt just got me way too hot and bothered.” She placed both of her hands on the arm of the couch that Tobin was leaning against, effectively trapping her body with her own, and their faces were inches apart. “I was never a cheerleader or an athlete. I was more of a ‘draw on a desk in the back of the class’ kinda girl. But I would have totally peeked at you in the showers too.”

Tobin chuckled as she wrapped her hands around Christen’s thighs and pulled her into her lap. “I bet you wore super tight jeans in high school too,” she murmured.

“Oh I totally did,” Christen responded. “And this pair of red leather pants that I wore all the time.”

She groaned as she slipped her hands upwards to cup Christen’s backside. “Do you still have them? Can I see?”

 

“Do you have any regrets?”

Christen scoffed as she settled into a new position on the sofa. “I probably have thousands of regrets.”

Tobin tilted her head and gently stroked the ankle that she was cradling. “Will you tell me about some?”

She looked around the spacious living room pensively before she levelled her gaze on Tobin once more and took a deep breath. Valuing honesty didn’t make it any easier. “I regret not finishing college,” she started. “I dropped out halfway through my junior year. I regret giving my Dad such a hard time when I was a teenager. I wasn’t an easy kid to raise and he didn’t get to see me become anything of substance because he died not long after I dropped out. And I wish I had spent more time with my Mom. She had brain cancer,” she finished in a whisper.

“I am so sorry,” Tobin responded slowly. Her hand skated up Christen’s calf and she gave the muscle a comforting squeeze. “And thank you for telling me.”

Christen nodded with a faint smile. “Not my darkest regrets, but my biggest.”

 

“I want to travel more,” Tobin reflected. “Soccer has taken me some truly fantastic places, all over the States and more. I’ve played in some really cool stadiums in front of thousands of crazy fans. I played in Paris for two years. That was nuts. Olympics in China and Rio. World Cup in Germany. Soccer has been good to me, but I do want to travel more.”

“Where do you want to go?” Christen asked curiously.

“Bali,” she answered without pause. “And just spend all day surfing and lying in the sun. Go to bed with the doors open. It would be cool to live there.”

Tobin definitely painted a pretty picture.

“It would,” Christen agreed. “Anything else you want to do? Besides soccer?”

“I think soccer will always be in my life in some way. It’s been my life for so long. But I want a family,” she admitted bashfully. “I want to chase kids around a house, and coach peewee soccer, and make breakfast in bed for my wife.”

Christen smiled uncontrollably as she watched Tobin shyly fiddle with the hem of her t-shirt. She really was so cute. “And maybe get a tattoo?” She teased.

Tobin chuckled, “Maybe. Someday.”

 

“Do you pray?” Tobin asked before she took a sip of her coffee. Christen’s eyes widened and she rushed to add, “I’m not looking for a certain answer. I’m just curious.”

“No,” she answered with a shake of her head. “I was raised Catholic, but… no. Religion has always been hard for me. I guess I would say I’m spiritual, not religious.”

“I get that,” Tobin responded understandingly. “Prayer was always a family thing for me so it was easy, I guess. Easy, and not a big deal.”

Christen took a sip of her own coffee before a teasing smile pulled at her mouth. “Your online presence seems to think it’s a very big deal.”

Tobin rolled her eyes and ran a hand through her long hair. “I realize I’ve become a weird darling of the conservative Christian community, but my faith is personal and private. I just wanna play soccer.”

“You really are private, aren’t you? That’s why there are so few interviews outside U.S. Soccer and no paparazzi photos?”

She grinned and eagerly leaned forward. “Have you… Googled me?” She questioned with raised eyebrows.

Christen looked around the apartment, trying to appear casual. “Maybe I did a very basic search.”

“And what did you find?”

“Nothing revolutionary,” Christen told her with a smile. “Mostly photos of you looking really hot playing soccer.”

Tobin blushed and humbly shrugged her shoulders. “Like I said, playing soccer is really all I do.”

 

Tobin stared at her feet as she asked, “Who gave you your first orgasm?”

Christen mock gasped and held a hand to her chest. “Did you just ask me a dirty question? In person?”

The soccer player blushed fiercely and tucked her hair behind both ears. “It appears that I did.”

Christen laughed before she put Tobin out of her self-inflicted, embarrassed misery. “It was with a boy, unfortunately.” Tobin chuckled at that but didn’t interrupt her. “A boy from home, from LA. I suppose he was my boyfriend, but we never really talked semantics.”

Tobin furrowed her brow in thought. “He didn’t treat you very well, did he?”

“Why would you say that?” Christen retorted.

Tobin’s response was a dejected murmur. “Because your eyes got all sad just now when you started to talk about him.”

She forced a smile even though Tobin could see that her shoulders had tensed and that her eyes had become watery. “We just weren’t very good for each other,” she stated diplomatically.

“What’s his name?”

“Luka, and I don’t really like to talk about him.”

 

“What’s your perfect date?” Christen asked with a bright smile.

Tobin shrugged and responded easily. “I don’t know if I have one. I enjoy spending any time with someone that I’m into.”

“So having coffee and walking around downtown Miami was perfect to you?” She asked teasingly.

“Yeah,” she admitted quietly. “That was kinda perfect.”

“Tobin,” Christen sighed. “You are so cute.” She crawled into Tobin’s lap and pulled her in for a needy kiss. “Why don’t you take me out tonight?”

Tobin looked up at her, blinking slowly and with her lips already pursed for another kiss. “What?”

She ran her thumb along Tobin’s bottom lip as she said, “What does the Tobin Heath do on a free Saturday night?”

“Play video games and juggle my soccer ball?”

Christen chuckled before she kissed her again. “What about the Tobin Heath that everyone thinks is this great womanizer?”

“Well,” Tobin chuckled, “I guess a younger Tobin Heath went out with her teammates a lot.”

“Then take me out,” she giggled. “Dinner and then to a club with some of your teammates. I’ll wear one of the dresses hidden in the back of your closet. It’ll be fun. I wanna see a tiny snippet of your world.”

Tobin nodded, almost dumbly, as her hands cradled Christen’s backside once more. “If that’s what you want.”

She rubbed Tobin’s scalp behind her ears and sucked her bottom lip between her own. She had quickly learned that Tobin Heath’s favourite form of foreplay was kissing. Simple, slow kissing, like two kids exploring a relationship while parents were out of town. Evenly paced kissing with tongue and teeth.

Right on cue, Tobin groaned and tugged her closer, both of her hands still kneading the flesh of Christen’s behind.

“You know,” Christen giggled against her mouth, “I’ve been meaning to ask if you’re a tits or ass girl, but I think the answer is kinda obvious.”

Tobin hummed and mindlessly pulled at the boxers Christen had pulled from her drawer. “Yeah, totally obvious,” she admitted through murmurs. “Your butt is beautiful,” she spoke through kisses to Christen’s neck. “Cute. Sexy. Gorgeous.” She abruptly stopped kissing Christen’s neck and looked at her with wide, dark eyes. “Are you sure you want to go out tonight? I can cook you dinner? I saw you eyeing my bathtub. That could be fun.”

The tattoo artist playfully, and determinedly, shook her head before she resumed the kissing. “I wanna see what you did before all you could think about was me,” she breathed hotly in Tobin’s ear. “And you know what? My ass looks really good in heels. I’ll wear heels tonight.”

She hopped off of Tobin, off of the sofa, and headed towards the bedroom.

“Okay!” Tobin called after her excitedly.

 

Tobin fired off texts to Lindsey and Sonnett as she leaned on her kitchen counter and waited for Christen to emerge from her bedroom. She had changed into white jeans and a black, long-sleeved V-neck, she had brushed her hair, and she had made a dinner reservation. And plans to meet up with Lindsey, Sonnett, and some other Thorns afterwards.

She looked up from her phone when she heard the click-clack of heels on her hardwood floor. Her mouth literally dropped open as she stared at Christen wearing the strapless black dress that she kept for formal occasions.

Little black dress. Strappy stiletto heels – Christen must have brought them with her. And she had straightened her long, raven hair. The makeup that she had applied was perfect, beautiful, highlighting her eyes, and her cheekbones, and her skin tone. And yet she hadn’t applied any of that flawless makeup to cover up the hickeys on her neck and collarbone.

That was so hot.

“Holy shit,” Tobin exhaled. She slowly walked around the counter and approached Christen with a smile. “Wow. You’re pretty,” she laughed.

Christen laughed as well and grasped the front of Tobin’s shirt. “So are you. You’re stupid hot in this rugged plain shirt and jeans look.” With a grin, Tobin leaned in for a kiss. “Nah uh, you can’t mess up my lipstick yet. Later, Toby, later.”

“Fine,” Tobin pouted as she trailed after Christen towards the door.

 

They ate at Tobin’s favourite Italian place in the city before they went to a nightclub that the baby Thorns loved to frequent. Introductions were quick and frenzied, but enthusiastic. Her teammates were in shock that Tobin was introducing them to someone, so she decided to roll with it.

Lindsey put a drink in her hand and then Menges and some of the others were dragging Christen onto the dance floor.

“Holy shit, Tobs,” Sonnett yelled. “She is hot as hell! Way out of your league!”

Tobin laughed, almost in disbelief. “I know. I’m aware, and she’s very sharp, and witty, and honest. I like her.”

“Oh!” Sonnett gushed as she reached forward to pinch Tobin’s cheek. “All grown up!”

Tobin pushed her away with a roll of her eyes and took a sip of her drink. She had known that she would be in for this treatment when she had agreed to meet up. The teasing, the jibbing, the potential interrogation. Sonnett was still yelling something at her as she looked out onto the dance floor and caught Christen’s eye. She offered a wave of her fingers and Tobin offered a timid wave in return.

Tobin scratched the back of her neck as she laughed to herself. They would probably be in her bathtub right now if Tobin was able to say no. She was learning that Christen Press was a hard woman to say no to. With another chuckle, she followed Sonnett and Lindsey to a small VIP area and let herself enjoy the rest of the night.

 

Tobin finished her fourth drink of the evening and glanced at her watch. “Well, it’s getting a little late for me,” she stated as she laid the empty glass on the table in front of her.

“We hardly ever get you out anymore,” Lindsey pointed out. “Unless it’s for national team stuff.”

“Yeah!” Sonnett agreed quickly. “And it’s still early!”

Tobin laughed as she stood up and ran a hand through her hair. “It would still be early if I was your age,” she quipped.

Sonnett laughed loudly as she giddily kicked her legs out in front of her. “Oh, I see what this is really about.”

Lindsey looked at the other blonde and snickered, as if they were in on some private joke.

Tobin furrowed her brow. “I’m going home. I’m not sure what’s so funny.”

“You’re going home, and Christen is going with you. You’re leaving to get laid,” Sonnett giggled.

Tobin decided to ignore her friends, and their laughter, and head towards the dance floor. “I’ll talk to you weirdos later. Try and have a nice night.”

She spotted Christen and the rest of the Thorns towards the middle of the packed dance floor, and she looked like she was having a lot of fun. She was singing along to the song blaring over the speakers with a bright, happy smile on her face. Tobin’s eyes slowly, and appreciatively, trailed over Christen’s body as she danced. The way that her hair fell down her back tantalizingly. The way that her delicate collarbone and gorgeous thighs were on display. Her ass really did look fantastic in heels. She was breathtaking. And Tobin wasn’t the only one who took notice.

There were two young guys dancing nearby that couldn’t seem to take their eyes off of Christen’s butt. One of them shuffled closer and eventually placed both of his hands on her hips. Tobin’s body instinctively took a step forward, but she watched with a somewhat victorious grin as Christen turned around to face the stranger and clearly shook her head to indicate that she wasn’t interested.

As Christen turned away, her eyes found Tobin and her smile widened to stretch across her whole face and her nose wrinkled adorably. She started to walk towards her and the soccer player was quick to meet her halfway.

“Hiii,” she drawled as she circled her arms around Tobin’s waist and bumped their noses together.

Tobin smiled back at her as she brushed her hair away from her face. “Hi. Are you having fun with my teammates?”

Christen nodded and bit down on her bottom lip. Tobin shivered as Christen slipped her hands underneath her shirt so that she could touch the searing skin of her lower back. Christen’s green eyes were bright and excited, and alert, and the sheen of sweat covering her skin made her that much more attractive. The dress that she was wearing fit her every curve like it was made for her.

“You look so good in my dress,” Tobin whispered over the music. “Way better in it than I do.”

Christen’s hands slowly moved around to her abdomen and began to fiddle with the waistband of her jeans. “Dance with me?”

She looked out at the dance floor nervously. “I wouldn’t want to embarrass myself like that,” she joked.

“I’ll do all the work; you just have to stand there.”

Tobin opened her mouth to protest, but she knew that it was futile. She nodded, and Christen laughed in delight before she grabbed both of her hands and led them through the throngs of people.

It was surprisingly easy to ignore all of the sweaty, pulsating bodies around them. It was easy to get tunnel vision around Christen.

She tentatively gripped Christen’s waist as arms were draped over her shoulders. With a sigh, she smiled and pulled Christen’s body closer to her own. She was fully prepared to feel every movement of Christen’s body against hers. The tattoo artist must have felt the shivers that zipped through her as they danced because Christen bumped their noses with a devilish grin before she pulled her into a hungry kiss. She brushed her tongue along Christen’s bottom lip before she slipped it inside her mouth.

Christen pulled away with a groan and an unreadable expression on her face. “You taste like beer and whiskey.”

Tobin blinked slowly. “You taste like iced tea and cigarettes.”

They did more kissing than dancing for the next several songs, and her mouth was greedy. One hand tight on Christen’s petite waist while her other hand slipped down to cup her backside in the short, black dress.

“Okay, time to take me home,” Christen finally breathed in her ear.

Tobin nodded eagerly and entwined their fingers in order to lead them out of the busy nightclub. She ordered them a car and shamelessly kissed underneath Christen’s jaw as they sat in the backseat.

Christen giggled, all the way to her front door and inside her apartment.

With firm hands on her hips, Tobin maneuvered Christen on top of her dining room table and continued where she had left off in the car, kissing and nipping down the tattoo artist’s neck. She was eager, frisky, and definitely hot and bothered by Christen in this dress and those heels, with her hair smelling like the sandalwood in Tobin’s shampoo. She pressed her nose into dark hair with a groan and started to work her hands underneath the black dress.

“You are sexy. So very sexy,” she slurred.

Christen pulled away with another laugh and held Tobin’s face in both her hands. “Are you a little drunk, Toby?”

“Maybe a little tipsy, just a wee bit. Are you?” She asked before she dove in for another kiss.

Christen leaned back and indulged in the kiss before she pulled away, this time with a hand on Tobin’s sternum. “I don’t drink, and I can’t do this if you’re even a tiny bit drunk. I can’t.”

“You can’t?” Tobin echoed in confusion.

She nodded in confirmation. “I can’t. As much as I would love for you to spread me open on this table and go down on me so enthusiastically that I almost pass out and then carry me into your bedroom and fuck me with that wonderful strap-on I found in your dresser, I can’t.” She slowly leaned forward and kissed Tobin softly. “Tomorrow.”

Tobin’s eyes were wide and dark with lust, and her mouth was suddenly very dry. “Tomorrow,” she croaked.

“Tomorrow,” Christen said again with a grin. “Now,” she chirped as she hopped off of the table, “let’s go to bed. I’ll undress for you. Nice and slow.”

Chapter Text

Christen hummed and stretched, she felt her extremities tingle as her brain slowly moved from sleep to full consciousness. She blindly reached out, hoping to feel Tobin and pull her closer, but all that she found was an empty bed. She was about to open her eyes and slowly sit up when she felt a shot of pleasure from between her legs race up her spine. Her hand reflexively moved to the bedspread covering her lower body and she was met with a recognizable, head shaped bump.

“Tobin!” She giggled.

The soccer player quickly threw the covers over her head and looked up at her with a grin. “Hi! It’s tomorrow.”

Christen chuckled before her back arched and her hips jumped when Tobin kissed the sensitive skin of her inner thigh. “Okay, okay, slow down. Get up here.”

Tobin nuzzled her thigh and pouted. “You said tomorrow. You promised.”

She laughed as she ran a hand through Tobin’s cute bedhead. There was a world class athlete between her legs actually pouting because she was withholding receiving oral sex. “Baby,” she cooed, “are you upset?”

Tobin smoothly moved to hover above her and she leaned down to kiss her softly on the mouth. “Yes,” she murmured. “You said I could go down on you tomorrow. It’s tomorrow, Christen.”

She laughed again and wrapped her arms around Tobin’s neck. “You’re adorable. Where do women like you come from?”

“New Jersey,” Tobin answered with a straight face.

Christen giggled into her shoulder and started to run her hands down Tobin’s back. She felt the muscles beneath her hands very liberally and kissed the expanse of Tobin’s neck that she could reach. “Okay,” she whispered, “I’m fully awake now. Use my body as you wish.”

“Yay,” Tobin exhaled before she disappeared beneath the covers.

 

Christen tangled her hands in her own hair as her mouth opened in a silent scream.

Tobin was so good at that.

“Fuck, Tobin,” she gasped. “God…”

The soccer player hummed, with her hands wrapped around Christen’s thighs, and slowly licked up one side of the ‘v’ shape of the woman’s pelvis. She pressed her nose into Christen’s skin and slowly dragged it upwards. Up and up, and up, until she was tickling underneath her arm.

Christen laughed and swiftly rolled Tobin onto her back. “You are the best sex I’ve ever had, you know,” she told her with a smile. “And the sweetest.” Tobin smiled up at her and she surged forward to kiss her. “Your mouth just drives me crazy.”

Tobin kissed her back, quite enthusiastically, as she ran a hand over Christen’s head and through her hair. “It’s my pleasure,” she husked. “I could live between your beautiful thighs.”

“Doesn’t that sound indulgent,” Christen purred.

Tobin hummed in agreement. “But awesome. So awesome.”

“Sure, stud,” she teased.

They fell into the trap of kissing until they both fell onto their sides, breathless.

Tobin reached towards her with a smile and tucked a strand of dark hair behind her ear before she trailed her fingers across Christen’s shoulder, down her arm, and finally settled a hand on her hip.

“So,” she began with a smile. “You don’t drink?”

“I do not drink,” Christen confirmed easily. She took a deep breath before she confessed, “I’m sober.”

No other emotion played across Tobin’s face other than genuine, considerate curiosity. “For how long?”

Christen moved her eyes up to the ceiling as she took a moment to think. “For six years, eight months, and uh… fifteen days.”

“Wow,” Tobin murmured as she continued to caress Christen’s hip. She frowned before she worriedly bit down on her bottom lip. “I didn’t make you uncomfortable last night, did I?”

The tattoo artist shook her head and shuffled closer to reassure Tobin that she had done nothing wrong. “No, of course not,” she whispered. “I had fun, and I don’t mind that you drink. Sometimes the taste just gives me a little jolt is all.”

“I don’t drink a lot,” Tobin told her honestly. “Training doesn’t really allow it.”

She wrapped an arm around Tobin’s waist and smiled. “It’s okay, Tobin. Really.”

“And you don’t have sex with drunk people?”

“Correct,” she chuckled.

Tobin nodded seriously. “I will keep that in mind.” A blush covered her cheeks before she spoke again. “You just looked really sexy in my dress.”

Christen smirked and hitched her leg over Tobin’s hip. “Oh I know.”

Tobin chuckled breathlessly and happily rolled onto her back and allowed Christen to settle on top of her. She ran her hands, which some teased as being too large, down Christen’s spine until her fingers dipped into the dimples above the other woman’s backside. She was idly caressing the skin when she felt the playful nudge of a nose against her cheek. That was all the encouragement she needed to join their mouths once more.

When the kiss ended, Tobin spoke in a timid, husky voice. “This. This… is good, isn’t it?” She swallowed nervously and added, “What’s happening between us? It’s good.”

“Yeah,” Christen answered with a dreamy smile, without hesitation. “It’s good.” She slowly brushed her thumb along Tobin’s bottom lip. “It’s really good.”

Tobin smiled uncontrollably before they kissed again.

 

“Toby, I don’t understand what’s going on.”

They were cuddled up in Tobin’s bed watching a Harry Potter movie on the flat screen mounted to the wall in Tobin’s bedroom. Christen had no idea which movie it was or what number in the series, but she liked lying half on top of Tobin’s strong chest with the woman’s arm wrapped around her.

“This is the Triwizard Tournament, babe,” Tobin smiled as she caressed Christen’s shoulder.

Christen frowned and tried to concentrate on the movie. It was undeniable that Tobin looked adorable geeking out over the witches and wizards of J.K. Rowling's world. She watched the movie, but she also hitched a leg over Tobin’s thigh and mindlessly rubbed her lower abdomen.

Harry Potter had just jumped into the Black Lake when Tobin squirmed restlessly beneath her.

“Watch the movie, Toby,” she scolded playfully.

“I can’t concentrate with you touching me like that.”

“Touching you like what?” She whispered.

Tobin groaned, and gave in. She rolled Christen onto her back and pressed into her as the movie played rather loudly in the background.

They were just getting to the really good stuff when a knock echoed throughout Tobin’s apartment.

With a hand on the back of Tobin’s neck, Christen panted, “Can you ignore that?”

“Uh huh. Totally.” Tobin nodded and went back to sucking a hickey into her neck.

Christen’s hands drifted down Tobin’s back, and she had just gotten a really good grip on her ass when they heard another knock. She pressed her face against the soccer player’s shoulder and groaned. “Okay, you’re going to have to answer that so that I can have your undivided attention.”

Tobin chuckled, but she jumped off of the bed, quick as lightning, and threw on shorts and a t-shirt before she scurried out into the hallway. Christen laid back on the bed and ran a hand through her hair, still straightened from the night before, and evened out her breathing. She heard the faint chatter of two voices and when her patience wore thin, she hopped out of the bed and grabbed one of Tobin’s t-shirts to pull on.

She found Tobin talking to a pretty blonde, all of her nervous habits were out in full force, and Christen knew exactly who this woman was.

“You must be Kate?” She smiled happily.

The blonde turned towards her and her eyes widened. “And you’re… oh, wow, you’re gorgeous…” She blushed profusely and quickly tried to correct herself. “I mean, I didn’t mean to say that exactly… oh boy, I should just stop talking.”

Tobin, for her part, looked uncomfortable and adorable, and like she didn’t know what to say.

“Thank you. I’m Christen,” she giggled.

“Tobin,” the woman began softly, “is this who you were telling me about?”

“Um, yes,” the soccer player answered shyly.

Kate turned to smile at Tobin and her expression was so fond that it made Christen smile as well. This woman really cared for Tobin and she could appreciate that.

“Well, I’ll leave you two then! If you’re not doing anything later, feel free to drop by for dinner.” She reached for the doorknob as she threw a bashful grin over her shoulder. “Bye Christen. Nice to meet you.”

“You too!” Christen called back.

Once the door was shut, Christen dissolved into giggles. Tobin quickly pulled her into her arms and laughed as well as she kissed the side of her face.

“What are you laughing at?” Tobin asked as she continued to feel the vibration of Christen’s laughter against her.

“Was she sizing me up for a threesome? Because that’s what it felt like.”

Tobin blushed profusely. “Oh my God.”

 

Tobin informed her that she needed to complete a workout to stay on track for her upcoming match, especially since she had been drinking the night before. Christen agreed easily and Tobin left for the adjoining apartment that she had turned into a gym space and small art studio for her creative outlet. Christen took the time to call Julie and check up on things. Half way through the call, it hit her that she could be using this time to watch Tobin’s sweaty muscles flex, and it seemed like a wasted opportunity if she just stayed on the couch on her phone.

She walked to the door behind the kitchen, which she had initially assumed was a closet or pantry of some sort, and walked into the adjoining apartment. She found Tobin’s gym, two converted bedrooms, quite easily and leaned against the doorframe so that she could just stare. Stare and appreciate.

Tobin was wearing soccer shorts and a racerback tank top with her hair pulled back into a ponytail. The outfit was more than enough to show off her incredible body, but then she was stretching, and lifting, and just… ugh…

“You didn’t invite me to watch,” she finally spoke.

Tobin looked towards her, from her place on a mat doing crunches, and smiled. “Oh hey!”

She wiped the stray baby hairs off of her forehead and that action alone was completely adorable.

She let Tobin finish her workout, which was very much a spectator sport in her opinion. She finally stepped up to her as she guzzled water from her water bottle. She placed both of her hands on Tobin’s biceps and grinned.

“I’m super duper sweaty,” Tobin laughed sheepishly.

“I know,” she groaned. “I like it.”

“Oh.” Tobin blushed. “Okay.”

“I particularly liked watching the pull-ups,” she elaborated as she felt up Tobin’s biceps, shoulders, and back. Tobin continued to look bashful, a tad embarrassed, and completely adorable and endearing. It was a total turn on. “God, I love your body.”

She pulled Tobin into a kiss that was hungry and aggressive, biting at her lower lip and pulling it into her mouth. Tobin caught on to her mood very quickly and dug her fingers into her hips. She took several quick steps forward until Christen was pressed against a wall. She moaned in approval and wrapped her arms around Tobin’s neck. She hoped Tobin still had lots of leftover energy because she was going to need it.

She grinned against Tobin’s mouth when she was suddenly lifted off the floor and into Tobin’s arms. She locked her legs around the soccer player's waist and pressed her center against Tobin’s abdomen. Christen felt so secure in her arms and was legitimately surprised by just how strong she was for someone that looked so light and lean.

“Okay,” she panted as they continued to kiss sloppily. “We need to go into your bedroom. You need to show me how big your dick is.”

“W-what?” Tobin spluttered.

Christen laughed loudly and pecked her cheek. “The strap-on. Go put on the strap-on!”

“Oh,” Tobin chuckled as her cheeks flushed. “Right. Let’s do that. Let’s do that right now.”

Tobin carried her to the bedroom and Christen hurriedly rid herself of the few items of clothing that she was wearing. She glanced up to watch Tobin pulling the harness up her legs and she still looked sweaty and flushed. Just delectable. She licked her lips slowly and made herself comfortable on the mattress.

Tobin crawled towards her and settled on top of her, eye to eye and nose to nose. “Can we… like this?” She inquired hesitantly. “I wanna look at you,” she whispered.

Christen sighed with a smile and stroked Tobin’s cheek. “Yes. Yes, of course.”

It was amazing that Tobin could go from making her feel hot and horny one minute to making her heart pitter patter with a rush of feelings the next.

Tobin pushed into her slowly and she moaned in delight. “Mmm, that feels so good,” she murmured.

The soccer player hummed in reply and kissed her forehead. “You’ll tell me if something’s not good?”

“Uh huh.” She was too distracted to articulate a proper answer. “But I have a feeling it’s gonna be really good,” she regrouped.

She scratched her short nails down Tobin’s back and moved with the slow roll of her hips. After their make out session in the gym, she had not prepared herself to be taken so slowly. But it was amazing. She could touch every inch of Tobin’s incredible torso and they couldn’t stop kissing. She had a feeling that Tobin’s pace meant that she was in for a really long night. So, to show that she was on board, she encouraged Tobin to roll onto her back so that she could get on top. Her long hair fell around the two of them and she watched Tobin’s eyes flash, full of lust.

“Don’t go too fast,” the soccer player spoke huskily. “Let me draw it out for you.”

Christen groaned, buried her face in Tobin’s neck, and forced herself to move slowly. She let Tobin guide her movements since she was being so damn generous. Big hands were on her hips and teeth were nipping at her shoulder.

Tobin felt hot all over with Christen’s body pressed against hers. She was completely enveloped in her scent and surrounded by her beautiful hair, and she was enraptured by the visual of the dark-haired woman moving above her. Watching her was enough to put her on the edge of orgasm.

“You’re so beautiful,” she whispered as she tucked Christen’s hair behind her ear.

“You’re so sweet.”

Christen sat up slowly and Tobin’s eyes swept over her. Over her beautiful, tattooed body with her flawless skin. She carefully sat up as well and kissed her chin, then along her jaw.

“You’re really sweet,” Christen said again. “Do you think you can whisper sweet things in my ear while you fuck me really hard?”

Christen was pleasantly surprised when Tobin nodded confidently and responded, “Of course I can, if that’s what you want.” Christen nodded in confirmation and Tobin grinned. “Okay then. But I get to be on top again.”

The tattoo artist giggled as Tobin assertively flipped her onto her back.

Chapter Text

Saying goodbye to Tobin was hard. Incredibly hard. Too damn hard for the little time that they had known each other.

Tobin drove her to the airport in a gorgeous BMW given to her through a sponsorship deal and they were minutes away from having sex in the backseat when Tobin couldn’t stop kissing her. Christen had to tear herself away with a giggle so that she wouldn’t miss her flight. But it was alarming how easy it would have been to stay.

At least she left with the knowledge that she would soon see Tobin again in Jacksonville.

In the meantime, she returned to her shop and her business, and her friends who teased her mercilessly. She was back to her routine of long days at work, shared takeout in the lunch room, and cuddles with her dogs. And she added talking to Tobin before she went to bed to that routine.

And she couldn’t help herself from sending the occasional half naked picture.

You have to stop sending me sexy pictures when I’m trying to train,” Tobin chuckled, “it’s unbearably distracting.

Christen laughed to herself as she got comfortable on her bed and ran her fingers through Lady’s fur. “Maybe it’s supposed to be motivating.”

How can it be motivating if when I’m finished I can’t touch you?

“You can when you’re in Jacksonville,” Christen retorted quickly. She heard a long sigh, of frustration and yearning perhaps, and she quickly changed the subject. “I watched the cutest video about you today.”

Oh yeah?” Tobin asked with an amused chuckle.

“Uh huh, it was made before the last World Cup, about how private you are, and talented, and how amazing your teammates and family think you are, and it has lots of footage of all your cute little tricks.”

My cute little tricks,” Tobin repeated affectionately. “And yeah, I know what interview you’re talking about. It was kinda cool to look back on some moments I haven’t thought about in a while.

“I really liked it,” Christen sighed.

She had been stunned by even the short clips of how hard Tobin trained, she had grinned at how much Tobin unabashedly loved soccer, and she found herself a little emotional thinking about Tobin’s attitude. She was so positive about failure and her shortcomings, and she was fiercely protective over this journey that she was on to stay true to herself. It was beautiful, and it made her feel all kinds of things about what it meant that super private Tobin Heath was sharing a piece of herself with her.

Tobin Heath was such a big deal in her world and managed to stay so humble, and she had clearly always been like that from the way her mother laughed about her not caring if they gave away her trophies. She was one of the most skilled players on the most successful team in women’s sports and it seemed like everyone whose opinion mattered in soccer thought that she was more than a great player. She was an artist, a rock star, a ticket seller, and an absolute force of nature on the field. And this wonderfully shy and kind person off of it.

“You’re kind of a big deal,” she teased.

Stop it.

“No, it’s sexy,” Christen laughed. “I’m excited to see this Tobin Heath effect in person.”

Oh?

She could hear a grin in Tobin’s voice now. That had gotten her attention. She hummed and quickly added, “I even bought something so that I could have the entire experience.”

Tobin clearly thought that Christen was still playing with her so she asked, “And what is that?

“Hold on a second. I’ll show you. Call me back in a couple minutes on FaceTime, okay?”

Tobin agreed so Christen hung up the phone and moved to the drawer where she had put away her new purchase: a Tobin Heath USWNT home jersey. The first ever piece of sports merchandise that she owned that had not been given to her or left behind by an ex. She stripped off everything but her underwear and pulled the jersey over her head, and excitedly awaited Tobin’s call.

Her phone rang and she answered to find a wide smile and big, brown eyes. “Okay, I’m ready for the reveal!

Christen giggled and moved to stand in front of her full-length mirror. She turned the camera around and waited for some kind of reaction.

That’s um, that’s my number. That’s my jersey. Uh, you’re wearing my jersey and my boxers, and nothing else?

She turned the camera around so that Tobin could see her face again and she jumped back on her bed. “Yes. Do you like it? Is it okay that I’m being a bit of a fan?”

She watched Tobin gulp and then slowly lick her lips. When she spoke, her voice was noticeably deeper. “I like it a lot. You look really good in my jersey.

Even through a screen, Christen could tell that Tobin was incredibly turned on, and she idly played with the hem of the jersey as she spoke. “You’re thinking about me in nothing but this jersey, aren’t you?” Tobin’s eyes simply widened. “That would be sexy. You could do anything you wanted to me, you know. I’m so hot for you.”

Chris,” Tobin choked.

“Do you ever fantasize about anything?”

About you?

“Well,” she laughed, “preferably about me, but if you have fantasies about anyone in particular then you can still share.”

She threw her head back with a loud laugh as she clearly saw a blush cover Tobin’s cheeks. That reaction never failed to make her smile. It was just so cute.

I mean, um, I-I guess, uh… oh jeez,” the athlete stammered in embarrassment as she tucked her hair behind her ear.

“It’s okay,” she cooed. “You can tell me in person, later. I like getting you flustered,” she admitted.

I’ve noticed,” Tobin chuckled.

She laid on her side and pushed a hand into her hair. “It helps build the anticipation, don’t you think?”

By the time I get to play I’ll have so much tension built up I might hurt someone,” Tobin joked.

Christen laughed again at that. “Can you do one of your tricks for me?”

Tobin rolled her eyes fondly at her soccer specific skills being called tricks. “I will try my best.

 

“You are so smitten,” Kate teased as she watched Tobin pack her things for training camp.

Tobin looked over her shoulder and raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”

The blonde laughed as she sat on the end of Tobin’s bed and refolded the clothes that had just been haphazardly tossed in the duffel bag. “You’re practically vibrating with energy because you’re so excited to get on that plane and be closer to her.”

The soccer player stood up straight and placed her hands on her hips. She sheepishly nodded and pulled her bottom lip between her teeth. She had initially been surprised by how well Kate had taken the news that she would never be in a place to have a relationship with her because she was falling for someone else. Then again, they had always been friends first, and Kate had the tendency to mother her a little bit, cooking her meals and helping her pack.

“Like maybe a little?” She offered.

Kate laughed and replied sarcastically, “Yes, right, only a little bit.”

Tobin laughed to herself and grabbed more clothes from her dresser – she fully intended on staying in Florida for a while with international commitments over and pre-season training a ways away. Her mom and her sisters would be thrilled to have her nearby for some time. They always spoke of how much they missed having her around.

Kate laughed again, almost smugly, and continued folding clothes as fast as Tobin put them in her bag.

“I just like her,” Tobin finally exhaled, “and I want to keep spending time with her while I can. What happens when the season starts or I’m playing a tournament? I can’t just fly to Miami whenever I want. That’s crazy.”

Kate frowned and nodded in understanding. “Long distance is hard. But you have options, and time until you have to make any really difficult decisions.” She paused before she inquired, “Would you ever ask her to move here?”

“W-we just met!” Tobin spluttered.

The other woman defensively raised her hands. “I’m just throwing ideas around. You need a real adult living in this apartment.”

Tobin rolled her eyes. “Ha ha.”

But it did make her think. She knew that for a long-term solution, if she were to pursue a romantic relationship with Christen, she would not be able to move to Florida. The Pride already had Ash, Ali, and Alex from the national team. There was no way the Thorns would trade her there, unless it was for Alex, and that just wouldn’t make any sense.

 

“So you’re going to Jacksonville? To watch soccer?”

Christen exhaled the smoke from her cigarette through her nose and turned her head to look at Kelley O’Hara, the very first friend that she had made in Miami. “Yes, that is correct.”

The shorter brunette wrinkled her nose and brow in confusion as she put out her own cigarette in the ashtray sitting between them. “Why? You don’t like sports.”

She scratched her cheek with her thumb and looked down at her feet. She supposed that Kelley was bound to ask eventually, and she was bound to tell her. It had just been a little longer than usual since they had last hung out. She finished her cigarette as well, grabbed her cup of coffee, and leaned back in her chair.

“Pressy,” Kelley laughed, “what are you hiding from me?”

“I’m sorta seeing someone on the team,” she answered hesitantly.

Kelley’s eyes widened. “You’re dating a professional athlete?”

“Well, we haven’t put an official label on anything,” Christen answered, “but yeah, I guess we’re seeing each other. I’m going up to Jacksonville to watch her play.”

“That is super cool,” Kelley grinned and leaned back in her chair as well, crossing her legs at the ankle. “I bet she’s hot, is she hot?”

Christen chuckled at her friend’s one track mind. “Yes, she is very hot, and very sweet.”

“And she makes you happy?” Kelley asked with a tilt of her head and a genuine curiosity.

Christen fingered the handle of her coffee cup and shyly nodded. “Yeah,” she sighed wistfully.

“I’m really happy for you.” Kelley smiled, big and infectious, and Christen knew that she wasn’t putting on any kind of show for her. Kelley was genuinely happy for her. “I will miss some of the perks of our endlessly single friendship,” she joked, “especially with the way your ass looks in your jeans today.”

“Shut up, Kel,” Christen retorted playfully.

“Just keeping it real.”

Christen arched an eyebrow. “Please don’t say ‘keeping it real’.”

“Fo sho.”

“Are you reading from an urban dictionary? Knock it off, you weirdo.”

The two friends continued to banter as they sat on Christen’s balcony and drank coffee.

 

Tobin tied her cleats and excitedly bounced her feet as she stretched her arms above her head. She was so ready to get onto that field and for the game to start.

She was visualizing passes, and shots, and tackles, and corner kicks when laughter interrupted her focus. Laughter that could even be heard over the pre-game music that filled the locker room. She lifted her head to see Sonnett doing some ridiculous dance, probably from Tik Tok or something. She caught the gaze of a few of her teammates that had circled around Sonnett to dance and Ashlyn slowly approached her with a smile.

The tattooed blonde sat down next to her, in Crystal’s locker, and playfully nudged her shoulder. “So Christen’s here?”

Tobin nodded. “She is.”

“Getting to see you in your element. That is pretty cool. Don’t worry, my fam is taking care of her.”

Tobin simply nodded again. “I know. Thank you.”

“Are we talking about Tobin’s girlfriend?” Sonnett asked boisterously, enough to gain the attention of most people in the room, and now Alex and Allie looked particularly interested.

“Sonnett,” she began warningly.

“No, Sonnett, please continue,” the famous striker encouraged with a wide smile.

“You should have seen the two of them when they went clubbing with us in Portland.”

The blonde defender began to swivel her pelvis, mimicking dance floor grinding, and then she obnoxiously wrapped her arms around her torso and made kissing noises. Tobin reached behind her to grab a rolled up ball of tape that had been around her ankle and she threw it at her supposed friend. Ashlyn, Alex, Allie, and everyone else watching were laughing uncontrollably and Tobin blushed profusely.

She couldn’t lie and say that she wasn’t incredibly excited to see Christen, and play in front of her, so she said nothing. She simply endured the jokes and the laughter until their coach walked into the room.

Typically, everything else fell away when Tobin was on the field. There was just the grass and the ball, and her teammates and the opponent. She had a job to do – to win – and she focused on that, and only that. Today she was still laser focused, and the ball still bounced off of her feet as smoothly as it ever had, but for the first time, she was aware of who was in the crowd watching her. She had gotten Christen a seat in a box, with Ashlyn’s family, and every now and then, during a stoppage in play, she would glance in that general direction.

She hoped that Christen was at least enjoying herself, and that she wasn't too bored.

They easily handled their opponent, winning six to nil, and Tobin bagged a pretty skilled assist.

After the game, the national team players walked around the stadium, signing autographs and taking pictures like they always did. She had just finished taking a selfie with two teen girls when she heard a familiar voice.

“Can you sign this for my friend?”

Tobin looked up and a smile quickly took over her entire face. There was her girl looking gorgeous in denim cut-offs and a Tobin Heath jersey. Her hair was straightened and falling down her shoulders in silky strands with black sunglasses and gold hoop earrings.

“Who should I make it out to?” She played along.

“Megan,” Christen answered with a grin. “You’re her celebrity crush.”

Tobin chuckled as she grabbed the ticket stub and signed it for the woman that she knew was Christen’s co-worker and close friend. “Did you enjoy the game?”

She looked up to find Christen staring at her with her bottom lip between her teeth. She could feel Christen’s gaze appraising her and she liked it. She handed the ticket back with a cheeky grin and then quickly motioned one of the security guards over.

“This is my girlfriend,” she explained, “can you bring her to the players’ tunnel?”

The burly guard nodded and Tobin shot Christen another grin before she moved along to another group of fans screaming her name.

When Tobin finally walked off the field, she was ecstatic when she found Christen waiting for her. “Hey,” she greeted as she skipped towards her. “Did you have fun?”

Christen extended her hands for Tobin to take and smiled. “I did. You are… electric out there. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Tobin grinned, a big, goofy smile that captured her entire face, and surged forward to kiss her. She felt her usual post-game, post-win high, plus something else. Her usual calm that accompanied soccer had turned into an all-encompassing excitement. She placed both of her hands on Christen’s hips and pulled her closer. She ran her nose along her jaw until it found her hairline. She made one of her little humming sounds and whispered, “God, you smell so good.”

Christen placed her hands on Tobin’s damp jersey and grinned. The athlete’s heart was still beating so fast, it hadn’t calmed from the game at all. “Can I just steal you away right now?” She asked with a giggle.

“Unfortunately, no,” Tobin groaned. “I have to go back into the locker room.”

“Right,” she sighed. “I can’t just keep you all to myself, all sweaty and high on adrenaline.”

Tobin groaned again and Christen was swiftly pinned against the wall of the tunnel with Tobin’s mouth on hers, hot and heavy, and needy. Tobin’s tongue slowly dipped into her mouth and Christen changed the angle of her head. She brought her arms up to wrap around Tobin’s neck and she pushed her fingers into the hair below her ponytail. Perspiration covered Tobin’s skin and she smelled like musky cologne and freshly cut grass. Her body was probably exhausted from running around for ninety minutes and yet adrenaline and a whole host of other hormones were shooting through her veins. And Christen just wanted to get her naked.

“Bow chicka wow wow.”

Christen opened her eyes and Tobin turned her head to find Emily Sonnett snickering with Lindsey Horan right behind her.

“Shut up, Sonnett,” Tobin grumbled.

“Oh please continue,” the blonde retorted, “just let me put another quarter in the machine.”

Tobin took a faux step towards her teammate as if to threaten her and Sonnett jumped back with another loud laugh.

“Hurry along, you two,” Ashlyn reprimanded as she entered the tunnel to the locker room.

Sonnett grabbed Lindsey’s hand and they made a dash to the locker room. Ashlyn rolled her eyes fondly before she looked at her friends with a mischievous smile.

“Well hello there, CP,” the goalkeeper grinned. “Did you enjoy the game?”

“Very much,” she answered honestly.

“Did you watch the rest of us play or just Tobin?”

Christen laughed as she twisted her fingers in the hem of Tobin’s jersey. “You and Ali were great.”

“Uh huh,” Ashlyn replied unconvincingly. “I’m sure we had your full attention.”

“You did, I swear.”

Ashlyn chuckled to herself. It was pretty obvious that Christen only had eyes for Tobin. “So what are your plans?”

“Plans?” Tobin repeated dumbly.

“Yeah,” Ashlyn laughed. “Plans for after the game?”

Christen turned to Tobin curiously and the athlete shook her head. “No, no plans,” she answered.

“You’re probably hungry,” the tattoo artist supplied as she rubbed Tobin’s abdomen.

“Tobs is always hungry.”

Tobin pouted, with a hand still on Christen’s hip and her arm around her waist. Truthfully, she had trouble following the simple conversation. Her senses were hyper focused, but certainly not on talking. They agreed to grab a late dinner with Ali and Ash, and Ash’s family, and Tobin placed a lingering kiss on Christen’s lips before she headed into the locker room.

Tobin was starving, and Christen giggled at her as she practically shovelled food into her mouth during dinner. Conversation was light and comfortable, since everyone knew each other, but both Tobin and Christen were happy when it was over and they could finally be alone.

Except that Tobin had a roommate.

She walked into her hotel room with Christen in tow and had never been so happy to have Sonnett as her roommate assignment. The blonde looked up from her place on the bed, sucked into her phone, and a smirk quickly graced her face. Tobin knew that the future teasing would be endless and without leniency, but she also knew that no one else on the team would be as excited by the prospect of helping her get laid and willing to sex-ile themselves from their room without question.

So she pointed towards the door and said, “Sonnett. Out.”

The young woman bounded off of the bed and gave Tobin a mock salute. “Aye aye, captain.” She grabbed a few things from around the room and the bathroom. With her arms laden with items, she smiled at Christen and deliberately looked her up and down. “You are super hot. Are you sure you’re into Tobin?” She teased.

“Sonnett,” Tobin groaned.

Christen just laughed and replied, “Yeah, I’m sure.”

Sonnett left with another grin and Tobin rolled her eyes as the door fell closed. “Don’t mind her,” she muttered.

“I think I know someone perfect for her actually,” Christen chuckled.

Tobin quickly pulled Christen back into her and refocused her attention. “Okay, we can talk about that later,” she said before they kissed.

Christen giggled as Tobin lifted her off of her feet and carried her towards the bed closest to the door. She had momentarily forgotten about her athlete’s libido. She passionately kissed her back and tangled her hands in Tobin’s hair, still wet from her post-game shower. Tobin was wearing a comfy looking sweater and shorts, and Christen wanted to cuddle her like a koala every bit as much as she wanted to fuck her.

Tobin placed her on the mattress and then looked down at her with a slight frown.

“Are you having trouble deciding?” She asked teasingly. Tobin hesitated so she explained further. “Between whether you want the jersey on or off?”

The athlete sighed dramatically, “It shouldn’t be this hard.”

“How about for now,” she began, “I’ll take it off, and then I can put it back on if you want.”

Tobin nodded slowly so Christen pulled the jersey over her head and unbuttoned her shorts. She scooted to the top of the bed and Tobin climbed on top of her. They kissed slowly. Christen gripped Tobin’s neck and kissed her the way that she liked. Deliberate and soft, with a teasing tongue and the occasional nip of her bottom lip. She knew that something was different when Tobin whimpered and whined, and impatiently started to grind against her leg.

“What’s wrong?” Christen asked in a whisper as she soothingly rubbed Tobin’s scalp.

“You can’t tease me,” she explained in a pant. “After a game, my body is all…”

She shushed Tobin and kissed the corner of her jaw. “Like a tightly wound spring?” She asked curiously. Tobin nodded into her neck and she ran a hand down her back. “It’s okay, baby.” She knew the feeling, it was similar to how she felt after getting a tattoo. “Take off all your clothes. I’ll take care of you.”

She rolled Tobin onto the other side of the bed and helped her out of her clothes. She kissed a trail down her body, over her smooth tan skin, and settled between her legs. She quickly found out that Tobin had not been exaggerating the tension in her body. Her hands moved over Tobin’s abdomen and her hips, and finally settled on massaging the outside of her thighs as her tongue dipped into Tobin’s center. Christen could feel how hard her orgasm hit her, and she wasn’t exactly quiet about it. It was easy to slip two gentle fingers inside of her and coax out another one.

Tobin gasped for air as Christen kissed up her body, eventually joining their mouths. Tobin sloppily kissed her back and raised a weak hand to tangle in her hair. She hummed and mumbled, “Take off your shorts.”

Christen giggled and peppered her face with kisses. Tobin could barely keep her eyes open. “You’re exhausted. Let’s go to sleep.”

“B-but… I wanna get you off,” Tobin pouted.

Christen laughed again as she slowly slipped off of the bed. “In the morning,” she bargained. “Can I borrow something to sleep in?”

Tobin nodded and Christen found Tobin’s duffel to rummage through. She grabbed a big t-shirt and moved into the bathroom to get ready for bed. When she returned to the room, Tobin was curled up under the covers looking all kinds of adorable. She joined the athlete in bed and pressed a sweet kiss to her cheek.

Tobin’s eyes fluttered and she murmured, “So pretty. How are you so pretty?”

Christen laughed once more and gave her another kiss. “You’re cute.” She brushed her thumb across Tobin’s cheek as she added, “And you called me your girlfriend.”

“Did I?”

The tattoo artist nodded. “When you spoke to the security guard.”

“Is that a bad thing?” Tobin asked with her eyes wide and vulnerable.

“Not at all. I like it,” she smiled. She leaned forward and kissed her softly on the mouth. “I’m sure the group of teenage girls that were screaming for you would be so jealous to learn that I’m Tobin Heath’s girlfriend.”

Tobin chuckled and slipped her arm across the bed to curl around Christen’s waist. “Tobin Heath’s girlfriend,” she repeated with a grin. “I like that too.”

“Now go to sleep, superstar.”

Chapter Text

Tobin awoke the next morning and almost immediately jumped into one of her favourite activities: kissing Christen Press. She really couldn’t help herself. Christen was the perfect kisser. It was a wonder that she got anything else done around her.

Christen giggled in her lap as Tobin nipped and licked at the thin skin underneath her jaw. “Why aren’t you taking this off?” Tobin whined as she pulled at the hem of the shirt Christen was wearing.

“Because your roommate is bound to be back soon.”

Tobin huffed and fell back onto her pillow with a pout.

“Oh, wow, look at that pout,” Christen teased as she stayed in place straddling Tobin’s hips.

Tobin tried to roll her eyes and school her expression into a frown, but failed, and it made Christen laugh again. She leaned down and kissed her again before she got off of the bed completely. Tobin promptly propped herself up on her elbows and looked at her girlfriend with a raised eyebrow. “Where are you going?”

“I am going to run out and get breakfast, I’m sure you need some more food after yesterday. You should get dressed.”

Christen disappeared into the bathroom and when she returned she was wearing her clothes from yesterday and her hair was pulled back into a sleek ponytail. Tobin’s fingers instinctually gripped the sheets beneath her and she licked her lips. That jersey looked way too good on her.

“I hope you don’t mind that I used your toothbrush. Can’t believe I forgot my bag in the car.” The tattoo artist turned her head when she didn’t get an answer and she grinned mischievously as she noticed the way that Tobin was looking at her. She walked towards the edge of the bed and held Tobin’s face in her hands. “You’re a little possessive, aren’t you, Tobin Heath?”

Tobin blinked slowly and mumbled unconvincingly, “No.”

“So the way you’re looking at me right now has nothing to do with the fact that I’m wearing your name and number?”

“Correct.”

Christen continued to smirk as she stroked Tobin’s cheeks with her thumbs. “It’s a good thing I’m not, or I’d get a little miffed by you shooting that big smile at everyone.” She leaned down and pressed her mouth against Tobin’s. “I’ll be back in about twenty minutes or so.”

Tobin placed her hands on the back of Christen’s thighs and slowly inched her fingers upwards and underneath the material of her shorts. “You have to go now? I can’t return the favour from last night?”

Christen kissed her again and laughed. “You’re naughty.”

“I’ll be good,” Tobin answered immediately.

Christen laughed again and grinned. “Yeah, I bet you will. I’ll be right back,” she reiterated.

She stepped away from Tobin’s touch and the soccer player flopped back onto the bed as she walked towards the door. It was a good thing that she found the energy to dress and pull her hair up into a top knot because Sonnett knocked on the door not even ten minutes later.

“Can I come in now?!”

“Yes, Sonnett!”

The blonde walked into the room and immediately dove for her bed. “Where’s your hottie?” She asked with a grin as she tucked her arms underneath a pillow.

“She’s getting coffee,” Tobin grumbled petulantly.

“Oh poor baby,” Sonnett teased. “My super hot girlfriend is gone to get coffee for me and I’m alone.”

Tobin rolled her eyes and curled up in the bed until Christen returned with coffee and bagels. She had even brought Sonnett a coffee, which the defender couldn’t have been more excited about. Excited enough that she kept rambling that Christen was obviously the perfect woman and they should get married.

Tobin eagerly gobbled down her bagel as she wrapped an arm around Christen’s waist and watched her sip her coffee.

“I should probably leave soon,” the tattoo artist eventually said with a frown. “I have a long drive.” She smiled as Tobin’s arm tightened around her. She tilted her head and gently touched her girlfriend’s cheek. “When are you flying back?”

“Oh, I’m not.”

Christen furrowed her adorable brow in confusion. “You’re not?”

Tobin just shook her head and shyly stared at her coffee. “I’m going to hang out at my Mom’s for a while.”

“In Fort Lauderdale?”

“Uh huh.”

Sonnett watched the two of them interact with growing curiosity.

“And maybe hang out in Miami,” Tobin finished in a mumble.

Christen grinned and playfully poked Tobin in the side. “And you didn’t tell me?”

“I was going to,” the soccer player continued to mumble.

“I’m sure Tobito would love to keep you company on your drive!” Sonnett chimed in.

Christen chuckled and her hand came to rest on Tobin’s knee. “I would be happy to be your chauffeur, Tobin Heath.”

Tobin grinned and leaned in to give her a quick kiss on the lips. “We can leave soon, just let me talk to a few people first.”

“Take your time,” Christen smiled, “I’ll hang out with Sonnett.”

Sonnett grinned widely and sent the pair a salacious wink. Tobin groaned and threw a rolled up napkin at her teammate.

Just over an hour later, Tobin had spoken to a few teammates, setting up future visits and saying goodbye. She had freshened up again and changed into real pants, and then she met Christen waiting for her at her car in the hotel parking lot.

And Christen was still in her jersey.

Tobin practically skipped up to her and kissed her on the mouth. “Hello again.”

Christen laughed and draped her arms over Tobin’s shoulders. “Are you ready?”

With her backpack already on her shoulders, she lifted her duffel bag with a grin. “I am very ready, but before we get in this car I need to give you a proper kiss first.”

Christen was about to ask her what exactly that meant when Tobin cupped her jaw and kissed her with a purpose. Her bottom lip was in her mouth, and then her tongue was gently trailing across her lips, and then fingers were digging into her hip.

The tattoo artist moaned in approval as Tobin slowly pulled away. “Okay, that was worth it.”

Tobin smiled proudly before she tossed her bags in Christen’s backseat.

“I apologize for my shitty, old hatchback,” Christen said as she put on her sunglasses. “I put all my energy, and money, into my business and then my condo, and made peace with keeping this old girl.”

Tobin waved off her unneeded apology. “It has character. I like it.”

“Okay, let’s get more coffee before we hit the road.”

 

They were almost halfway to Fort Lauderdale and as they chatted, Tobin just couldn’t stop staring. At Christen’s jawline. The shape of her mouth. The slope of her nose. How strong her thighs looked in those shorts.

Why weren’t they there already so that Tobin could get her hands on her girlfriend’s perfect skin? Driving was so stupid.

“You’re going to burn a hole through me if you don’t stop staring,” Christen finally teased.

Tobin didn’t even bother to lie about it, or deflect. “I can’t help it. Your skin is so smooth and your face is so pretty.”

Christen reached across the car and smacked her shoulder. “You’re feeling exceptionally charming today, aren’t you?”

“I usually am after a win,” she joked back.

Christen threw her head back with a lovely laugh. “Good to know.”

Tobin continued to smile and stare. She took a breath before her hand skittered across the console and her fingers tangled with Christen’s. “I’m not sure if I said this,” she began quietly, “but thank you for coming to watch me play. It really means a lot.”

“I really liked it, Tobin,” she answered honestly. “And I don’t even like sports. But I just liked watching you do what you do, what you love. On the field you’re intense and focused, passionate, kind of aggressive in this really sexy way. If I wasn’t already really into you, that would have done it for sure.”

Tobin didn’t respond to her at first, and it worried her until she heard a groan followed by a whine. “Can we get there already so I can kiss you?”

 

Christen followed Tobin’s directions to her mother’s house in a Fort Lauderdale suburb and slowly pulled into the driveway. She shifted the car into park and turned to Tobin with a smile. “Okay, gimme a kiss goodbye.”

“You’re not coming in?” Tobin frowned.

Her eyes widened as she frantically looked at the house. “To meet your mom?”

Christen didn’t really do parents… She couldn’t even remember the last time that she had met the parents of someone she was dating.

Tobin reached across the console once more and gently stroked Christen’s wrist. “You don’t have to,” she murmured shyly, “but it would be nice to have you around for a little longer.” When she hesitated, Tobin spoke again. “I like you and we’ve already been moving a hundred miles an hour.”

Christen turned to look towards the lovely, perfectly normal looking house and she swallowed nervously. “I do really like you,” she sighed, “and I’m sure your mother is wonderful.”

Tobin smiled her big, infectious smile and hopped out of the car. Christen slowly got out of her car and had just pushed the door closed when she felt Tobin’s arms around her. She laughed to herself as Tobin kissed the back of her neck.

“I’ve been waiting to kiss you for five hours.”

She spun around and happily allowed Tobin to pull her into a slow, hungry kiss. The kind of kiss that usually led to more.

“Worth the wait,” she whispered as she patted Tobin’s chest.

Christen followed Tobin into the bungalow and was immediately greeted by a slender, very perky middle-aged woman.

“Tobs! So happy to have you back again! And who is this? Oh look at your face, so pretty!”

“Mom,” Tobin chuckled, “take a breath. This is Christen.”

“And Christen is?” The woman questioned hopefully.

“My girlfriend,” Tobin mumbled shyly.

It was obvious that Tobin’s mother had to suppress a squeal as she took an excited step forward. “It is so nice to meet you, Christen. Are you a hugger? Can I give you a hug?”

Christen walked into the woman’s arms with a smile. “Yes, of course you can.”

Tobin’s mother, who told her that her name was Cindy and that she should not, under any circumstances, call her by any kind of title, absolutely doted on her. There was a barrage of compliments as she was offered coffee, tea, and an array of other beverages. Cindy cooked a big meal, called her sweetie, and didn’t ask her any questions that would be considered prying. Dinner conversation was all pleasantries and cute stories about Tobin.

Tobin’s mother was… exceptionally motherly. And it was nice to feel that kind of love again.

“Your mom is adorable,” Christen gushed when Tobin closed her bedroom door behind her for the night.

The soccer player rolled her eyes, but there was a smile firmly in place. “She’s been bugging me about a girlfriend for a while. I think she’s just excited.”

“Adorable,” she repeated as she wrapped her arms around Tobin’s shoulders. “And she didn’t once ask me about all my ungodly tattoos,” she joked. “Isn’t that usually a mom question?”

“Didn’t you hear her? Look at that pretty face!” Tobin mimicked. “Kinda like she expected me to bring someone home that was ugly or something.”

Christen laughed as she rested her chin on Tobin’s shoulder. “I’m sure she thinks very highly of your ability to snag a pretty woman.”

Tobin huffed in playful disagreement.

Christen moved towards the bed and dragged her hand over the soft comforter. She was quite taken aback when Tobin wrapped her arms around her from behind and hotly breathed in her ear. “Hey, I have an idea.”

“And what’s that?” She asked curiously.

“We can wait a half hour or so, until I know my Mom is asleep, and then we should sneak into the hot tub.”

Christen spun around and gasped playfully. “Tobin Heath,” she reprimanded teasingly, “you’re trying to get me in trouble. Your mom will think I’m a bad influence.”

“She sleeps like a rock.”

“And what exactly are you expecting from this late night hot tub adventure?” Her question was answered by a traitorous blush. “Oh, I see.” She really wanted to drag out the teasing as she watched Tobin become more flushed and embarrassed. “My little exhibitionist.”

“What?” Tobin asked nervously.

“What?” She laughed. “You’ve never realized?”

“Realized what?” Tobin questioned slowly.

“Tobin,” she chuckled. “The first thing that you wanted to do was fuck me against my floor-to-ceiling window.” She leaned forward and placed a series of kisses on the athlete’s mouth. “You obviously get a little excited by the idea of being a little exposed.”

Tobin furrowed her brow and thought very hard about the sex that she had had with previous partners. Despite the obvious drawbacks, she loved having sex on the beach. She was an adult who still enjoyed car sex. She had followed a girlfriend into a dressing room in college once. She thought about having sex on Christen’s balcony all the time. Her ultimate fantasy involved an outdoor shower. “Oh…”

Christen grinned at the realization and kissed her again. “You’re so cute, and strangely innocent. I will totally sneak into a hot tub with you,” she said against her mouth. “You better have a suit for me; you’re not that smooth.”

Tobin blushed again and replied sheepishly. “Yeah, I have a bunch of suits.”

Given the choice between a red or black two-piece, Christen choose red and followed Tobin outside forty minutes later. The professional athlete looked positively impish as she led her to the hot tub, and Christen was thankful that it was separated from the house by the pool. Even if they weren’t perfectly quiet, it would be hard to hear them in the house.

Christen carefully slipped into the hot bubbling water and Tobin eagerly followed after her, immediately getting comfortable and pulling Christen onto her lap.

Christen settled with her back to Tobin’s chest and grinned to herself. “You play so hard to get,” she joked.

“I know,” Tobin chuckled. Her hands moved across Christen’s thighs as she murmured in her ear. “You are very beautiful. I am very thankful for how you look in a bikini.”

“You’ve seen me naked.”

“So?”

“Once you’ve seen someone naked, aren’t clothes just an inconvenience?”

“No, not at all,” Tobin laughed. One of her hands moved up Christen’s side and then across her shoulder and up to her neck. “Clothes are like an added bonus sometimes. For example,” she began as if she was giving a serious lecture. “I like your butt and I also like how it looks in those snug bikini bottoms.”

“Hmm, I understand,” she grinned. She tilted her head and let out a breathy moan of pleasure when Tobin began to kiss and mouth at her neck. She raised an arm to wrap around the athlete’s neck and she squirmed in her lap. “Toby,” she groaned, “you love to leave hickeys, but you absolutely cannot while we’re at your mother’s.” Tobin let out a noise that could only be described as petulant, and yet it was somehow endearing. “At least not where she can see,” Christen amended.

Tobin moaned desperately and urged her girlfriend to change positions so that she was straddling her lap and they were face to face. She looked for permission before she hurriedly untied the strings that held Christen’s top up. As the garment floated in the water, Tobin’s hands found purchase in the small of Christen’s back and she sucked a nipple into her mouth.

Christen slipped her fingers into Tobin’s hair, beneath her messy bun, and massaged her scalp in the way that she knew drove Tobin crazy. And she was promptly rewarded with a moan muffled by her skin and extra pressure. She glanced down at Tobin and was surprised to find that she was looking up at her, eyes big, and dark, and intense, like they were when she focused on soccer.

“Fuck,” she gasped. “I’ll come if you keep looking at me like that.”

Intensity really sent her over the edge in the bedroom.

Tobin circled her sensitive nipple with her tongue before her mouth released it with a ‘pop’ and she kissed across her chest to find its partner.

“Tobin,” Christen whimpered. “Just make me come already.”

Tobin, for her part, seemed totally engrossed by her breasts. One of the soccer player’s hands slid up her back and wrapped around her shoulder, gaining leverage as she really lost herself in kissing, licking, and biting Christen’s chest. The tattoo artist moaned, quietly, and squirmed, but became more and more impatient, and she couldn’t stand it any longer.

While Tobin had her mouth on Christen’s collarbone, she raised her head when her girlfriend’s hips began to roll much more rhythmically. “Chris, are you…?” Her eyes widened when she looked down below the water and found Christen’s own hand in the borrowed bikini bottoms. “Oh god,” she managed to get out.

Christen nodded with her bottom lip between her teeth.

Tobin couldn’t help but laugh to herself. This always happened. Just when she thought she had the upper hand, Christen always did something to throw her completely off balance.

She loved that.

Just like she loved a lot of other things about the rather mysterious woman.

 

The next day turned into a bit of a family event that Christen had been very unprepared to face.

Tobin’s mom cooked a big breakfast and they were joined by both of Tobin’s sisters – tall, pretty brunettes – and their young children. Katie had two boys and Perry had a boy and girl. The oldest was only six and there was suddenly a lot of energy in the house. They prayed at the table, something else completely foreign to Christen, and they were all just so happy to be in each other’s presence. The smiles were genuine and the questions that Katie and Perry asked Tobin about her life showed concern and were uttered with sincerity, and she was stunned by how quickly they treated her like one of their own.

Family was an idea and a feeling that she still struggled to grasp at times.

But the way that the kids were so excited to spend time with their ‘Aunt Toto’ was absolutely adorable.

The boys chased Tobin around the backyard, a soccer ball nearby, while the little girl, Lily, hovered around her. She was obviously intrigued by Christen as the woman sat in a lounger by the pool and read a book, but she was shy as well, only ever coming within ten feet of her.

She was hiding behind a patio chair when Christen glanced up and smiled at her. “Hi there, sweetie.”

“Hi,” she whispered as she waved her small hand.

Christen’s smile widened. “Do you wanna come closer?”

She looked around hesitantly before she nodded. Her little feet carried her to the end of the sun lounger and she looked up with big, curious eyes. Eyes just like Tobin’s. “You’re Aunt Toto’s girlfriend?”

“I am.”

Lily looked thoughtful again for another long moment before she pointed to the peacock feather on the top of Christen’s bare foot and muttered, “Pwetty.”

“Thank you!”

“I like mermaids,” the toddler blurted out.

Christen closed her book and leaned forward with a big smile. “Me too. Do you like drawing mermaids? We can do one together?”

The little girl gasped with excitement before she ran inside the house yelling for her mom to get her some markers and paper.

Christen grinned at the honest, childlike enthusiasm. She looked towards Tobin and mirrored the happy expression that she was wearing. Tobin looked joyous, in a way that was very different from the soccer field. The same, but different.

Tobin was family oriented. She knew that, from the conversations that they had shared and what she had read online. She was raised in a happy, healthy home; a child of divorce that still had a wonderful relationship with both parents. Christen’s family dynamic was not that. Two dead parents. A road trip across the country to get away from everything about California. She still spoke to her sisters, but the relationship was definitely strained. Her terrible behaviour as a teenager and her addiction had broken a lot of trust and she understood their hesitation.

So as much as her stomach fluttered watching Tobin play with children, this whole happy family scenario was very foreign to her.

 

“Mommy, look!” Lily gushed as she proudly held up the mermaid drawing that was far too detailed for a four-year-old’s artistry.

“I see, sweetheart,” Perry smiled. “It’s so beautiful.”

Lily was hugging the drawing as close to her body as she could without wrinkling it and Christen looked on with a smile.

“Thank you so much.”

Christen turned to Perry with a genuine smile. “Oh, it was no problem. I had fun.”

“She will be talking about this for weeks,” Perry chuckled. Tobin’s sister sat next to Christen at the patio table by the pool, where she and Lily had set up their little craft corner, and it was a moment before she couldn’t hide her smirk any longer. “So, you and my sister?”

The tattoo artist laughed, a little uncomfortably, as she brushed her hair out of her face. She had known that she was going to suffer through this kind of conversation eventually. Tobin’s sisters obviously adored her, and were probably quite protective. “Tobin is very sweet,” she offered.

Perry nodded in agreement. “She is very special.”

Perry turned to watch Tobin playing with the boys, her energy apparently endless, and Christen’s gaze followed. “She’s really good with them.”

Tobin’s older sister smiled at her knowingly. “She is. They love spending time with her. We all really love spending time with her.” Perry shifted in her seat and crossed her legs with another small grin on her face. “It’s nice for her to have another reason to be in Florida.”

She smiled and touched her chin. “She has been a bit of a nomad, huh?”

“Definitely,” Perry laughed. “She’s happy playing soccer and I think that sometimes she’s not sure where she’s meant to be if she’s not doing that, and that has resulted in a lot of travelling and couch surfing. She seems way happier now than the last time I saw her. Happier and more content. Does she make you happy?”

Christen felt her eyes widened. She hadn’t been expecting that question, but she answered honestly. “Very.”

 

When her sisters, niece, and nephews left, Tobin collapsed on her bed and closed her eyes.

“My God, I’m exhausted.”

Christen giggled as she crawled on the bed beside her and settled on her side. “You hardly took a break. You just ran around with them for hours.” Tobin hummed and nodded. She placed both of her hands on her abdomen and Christen could see her body become more and more relaxed. “It was really sexy,” she added after a pause.

Tobin arched an eyebrow and cracked an eye open. “Yeah?”

She laid a hand on Tobin’s chest and nodded. “Uh huh.” She moved her hand up slowly, rubbing her sternum, and then tucking Tobin’s hair behind her ear. “So it’s time to tell me your dark, dirty secret.”

“What do you mean?” Tobin laughed.

“You’re kind of perfect.”

“What?” Tobin scoffed. “No, I’m not.”

“Let’s see,” Christen began with a smirk. “You’re insanely talented, successful. A freakin’ Olympic gold medallist. You’re sweet, and kind, and thoughtful. You love your family and you’re great with kids. I’ve seen your art studio; you’re also really good at that. You’re deep and clever, but not pompous about your intelligence.” She leaned in and kissed her softly, “And you’re super sexy. Should I continue?”

“Well, I do love the compliments,” she smiled. “So you can continue.”

Christen laughed, but kissed her again. “All of this perfection is clearly covering up something big.” She shifted on top of Tobin and joined their mouths once more. “Please don’t tell me you’re a serial killer.”

Tobin laughed loudly. “No, I’m not a serial killer!”

“One of those people that borrows things from their friends and never gives them back?”

“No.”

“Well, I would say that you must be overcompensating because you’re terrible in bed, but I already know that that’s not true.”

Tobin gently squeezed her sides and tilted her head back for another kiss. “I’m just super committed in bed. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” she joked.

When her laughter subsided, Christen placed both of her hands on Tobin’s shoulders and pulled away with a frown. “Oh no, you’re a Republican, aren’t you?”

Tobin rushed to respond. “No, no, no, definitely not. I mean, when I was younger I thought I would be, but no.”

Christen sighed in relief. “Okay, thank God.” She cuddled up on Tobin’s chest, with her head resting underneath the woman’s chin. “So you really are perfect,” she whispered.

Tobin looked up at her ceiling and rubbed Christen’s back with both of her hands. She had an inkling that she knew exactly what was going on here. Christen, for all of her success and confidence, had insecurities that liked to poke their ugly little heads out. Her life and her experiences were widely different from Tobin’s, but that was no reason to believe that Tobin was somehow perfect and she wasn’t. Christen was a successful artist and business owner. She was fun, whip smart, and from what Ashlyn told her, a fierce, fierce friend. She encouraged Tobin to stray outside of her comfort zone and she made her feel happy and nervous, and madly alive.

She shifted to press her lips against the top of Christen’s head and she muttered nervously. “You don’t have to be perfect to be worthy of being loved, you know?” She swallowed before she confessed, “I kinda love you the way you are.”

Christen raised her head and Tobin was so thankful not to see any panic or fear in her pretty green eyes. She lifted her hand and lightly trailed her index finger down the slope of Tobin’s nose. “I kinda love you too.”

Chapter Text

Spending the offseason in love, in Miami, was pretty cool. In a little over a week, Tobin had settled into Christen’s place like she had been there forever.

She got up in the morning and made coffee and breakfast before she kissed her girlfriend when she left for work. Her time alone typically consisted of taking the dogs for a walk, exploring the neighborhood a little, and getting a workout in at the gym in Christen’s building. She would often drop by the tattoo shop for lunch and play her Nintendo Switch, or read, or journal in the afternoon. Christen’s dogs had gotten comfortable around her. She had gotten used to the way the sun peeked through the curtains in the morning; she had gotten used to the scented candles around the apartment; she had gotten used to her day going hand in hand with someone else’s. She had gotten acquainted with everyone who worked at Christen’s shop, particularly JJ and Pinoe. They were big soccer fans so they could shoot the shit for hours and recycle the Messi vs. Ronaldo vs. Neymar debate over and over.

She had crafted an off-season routine perfectly balanced between her training and her hobbies, and the best part was that she got to crawl into bed at night next to Christen and they had yet to fall asleep without making love.

Christen had already taken her to do a few touristy things; she had even made a list of the must see and do things. The tattoo artist knew Tobin well enough to prioritize surfing and food – she had shown her the best surfing spots, which Tobin would definitely investigate more thoroughly, and taken her to the best tacos in the city. They had visited the Wynwood Walls, appealing to Tobin’s artistic side, and strolled through a few of the botanical gardens.

It was becoming more and more clear that she could make a life in Miami.

Unfortunately, Miami did not have a NWSL team.

Tobin walked through the doors of Coast to Coast Tattoos and made her way to the staff room.

“I brought Thai today,” she announced happily.

Pinoe pumped her fist enthusiastically. “Sweet! Pressy, I love when your hot, famous girlfriend brings us lunch.”

Tobin chuckled while Christen rolled her eyes and stood up to greet her. “Hi, baby,” she murmured as she wrapped an arm around Tobin’s neck for a kiss. “Are you having a good day?”

“Mmm hmm,” the athlete nodded. “Nico accompanied me on my run this morning.”

“Oh, he must have loved that,” Christen smiled.

“He did. There was furious tail wagging.”

Christen kissed her again before she pulled out a stool for her to sit on.

“How is everyone’s day going?”

She listened to Pinoe describe her interaction with a difficult client and she laughed at the woman’s ability to tell a story. A few of the other artists moved in and out of the room as the lunch hour passed and Tobin could hear the telling sound of thriving business – the buzz of needles.

Pinoe jumped out of her chair when JJ popped in to tell her that her next client was ready, and it left Tobin and Christen alone.

“Are you busy this afternoon?”

Christen shook her head and then quickly moved to gather the garbage in the room and throw it in the trash. “No, I usually don’t book anything on Thursday afternoons so that I can spend some time in the office.”

“So you’re going to be bored for the next few hours?” Tobin grinned.

“Not bored,” Christen corrected with a smile, “it’s just not as fun as tattooing.”

Tobin stepped closer to her and ran her fingers up her arm. “Do you want me to go and get you a coffee?” She asked softly.

“That would be so nice. Thank you.”

“Not a problem.” Tobin leaned forward for a quick, soft kiss before she spoke again. “I’ll be right back.”

Tobin took a short trip around the corner to a local coffee shop and returned with a coffee for Christen and one for herself. She smiled at Julie before she walked to the very back of the shop where there was a small office. The little room was just big enough to hold a desk, a filing cabinet, and two bean bag chairs. Despite rarely being seen by customers, it still fit the design and style of the rest of the shop. The walls were painted four different colours and were decorated by black and white landscape photographs.

“A latte for my love,” Tobin declared as she placed the cup on the desk and dropped a kiss to the top of her head.

Christen grinned girlishly at the term of endearment and the sweet gesture. “Have I told you lately that you’re adorable?”

“This morning,” she grinned.

Tobin made herself comfortable sprawled across both bean bag chairs and sat in silence so that Christen could work. The only sounds in the room were the click of the keyboard and the sipping of coffee.

She knew that she had dozed when she jolted at the feel of Christen’s lips on hers. She blinked slowly and Christen smiled while running a finger down her nose and across her lips. “Sleepy?”

“I didn’t think so,” she chuckled gruffly as she sat up a little straighter. “Are you done your work?”

Christen nodded with a soft smile. “For now.”

Maybe Tobin was half-asleep, but she was definitely surprised when Christen crawled into her lap and wrapped both legs around her waist. She brought her face down to kiss her and Tobin slowly kissed her back, letting her brain catch up with her body.

After a lovely bean bag chair make out, Christen held her face and looked at her with gorgeous, excited eyes.

“I’m taking you somewhere special tonight,” she spoke in an almost whisper.

“You are? Do I need to dress up?”

She shook her head. “No, what you usually wear is fine. It’s not fancy, just special.”

“Where are we going?” Tobin questioned curiously.

Christen sighed before her eyelashes fluttered and she looked up towards the ceiling. “I first got into tattooing when I was nineteen, I was still in college but I found every excuse I could to be in a shop. When I moved here, for a fresh start, I didn’t have anything, but,” she smiled, “I had an apprenticeship lined up. The shitty part about that is that an apprenticeship doesn’t pay the bills and all I had from California was my car and not much else. I had slept in it for, I don’t even know how long, before I wandered into a Cuban deli in Little Havana one day. A long story short is that the owners of that deli took me in, gave me little odd jobs to make some cash, helped me get on my feet. Those first few months in Miami were freeing and also really hard. I don’t think I would have stayed clean without them. And they make the best Cuban sandwiches.”

Christen got to her feet and Tobin followed her movements in awe. Christen didn’t talk about her past very often, and when she did it was in statements and stories with little detail, it was never with that kind of explanation.

“Is it okay if we go there?”

Tobin quickly recognized that her silence could be mistaken for a negative reaction and she nodded immediately. “Yes, yes, of course. That sounds awesome. I would love to meet them, and have a great sandwich.”

Christen laughed and sighed in relief.

 

Christen tightly squeezed Tobin’s hand in hers as she opened the door to the deli and stepped inside. She looked towards the front counter with a bright smile and was greeted by one of her favourite people.

Carlos, a tall, slender man in his forties held her face in both hands so that he could get a good look at her and then he pulled her into a bone crushing hug. He told her that she looked beautiful and healthy, and that it had been far too long since her last visit – all in Spanish.

She had taken Spanish in high school and living with Carlos and Alian had allowed her to brush up on her skills.

She quickly replied in his native tongue and then switched to English. “I really want you to meet someone.” She had let go of Tobin’s hand to hug Carlos so she grabbed it once more and tugged the athlete closer. “This is Tobin, my girlfriend.”

Carlos’ eyes widened, in both shock and excitement. She had never introduced a partner to her found family before. She had only ever brought five important people here, Kelley, Pinoe, and JJ, and her two sisters when they had visited a few years ago. Carlos’ expression just reflected how significant this was.

“Tobin,” he husked in his Cuban accent. “A pleasure.” He looked over his shoulder before he added, “My husband is around here somewhere and he will be thrilled to meet you. Why don’t you sit and I’ll bring some food?” He kissed Christen on the cheek before he rushed back behind the counter.

Christen led Tobin to the small seating area and her entire body warmed at the contented expression on Tobin’s face. She already knew, without asking, that Tobin didn’t feel uncomfortable or out of place in this new environment. She felt at home and that’s exactly how Christen had felt when she first walked through those doors.

Carlos swiftly approached them with two Cuban sandwiches with kettle chips and two Diet Cokes.

Tobin reached for her wallet and Carlos practically shooed her away. “Oh no,” he said, “you don’t pay here.”

“Are you sure?” Tobin questioned sincerely.

“Of course.” He nodded confidently and smiled widely. “Christen is familia.” He placed a sweet kiss on Christen’s head before he walked away.

Tobin gazed at her basket of food before she glanced up at her girlfriend. “Thank you for bringing me here. I get… uh…” Her breath hitched so she started over. “I know that some things in your life are harder to talk about than others and I just want to say thank you.”

Christen reached across the table and grasped Tobin’s hand. She bounced forward in her chair and leaned across the table for a quick kiss. “I’m crazy about you, Tobin Heath.”

The soccer player blushed before she turned her focus to her food. Christen had not been lying about the quality of the food and she moaned in approval.

Carlos returned with authentic Cuban coffee and a short, stocky man, very much the bodybuilder type, with a trimmed beard and mustache at his side. Tattoos covered his forearms and Tobin was willing to bet that some of them had been done in Christen’s shop.

“This is her,” Carlos declared with a grin.

Alian hummed and looked Tobin over with a playful, teasing grin. “Well, well.” His accent wasn’t as thick as his partner’s, and although he looked much more physically intimidating, he had a mischievous glint in his brown eyes. “So nice to meet you, Tobin. You look very familiar. Have we met before?”

“No, I’m not from Miami,” she answered humbly.

Christen cut in with a grin. “You’ve probably seen her on TV. She plays professional soccer.”

Alian’s reaction was to laugh and slap Tobin’s back. “Tobin Heath! Good pick, chiquita,” he winked at Christen.

The men pulled up two chairs and Alian talked to Tobin about soccer while Carlos asked Christen questions to update him on her life. Before they left, Alian gifted Christen two cigars with a smirk and she promised to bring Tobin back in the very near future.

They took a walk around Little Havana before they headed back to the condo and Christen was more physically affectionate than usual. At lights, she nuzzled into Tobin’s hair and placed kisses underneath her ear. It made Tobin smile, and blush, and feel warm in all the right places.

It did not surprise her at all when Christen kissed her passionately as soon as they were through the door.

“I love you,” Christen whispered against her mouth.

The phrase was new enough to still send shockwaves through Tobin’s body and make her smile like an idiot. “Love you too.”

She knew what this evening meant to Christen and she was just happy to be a part of it.

They sat on the balcony to finish the Cuban coffee that they had taken with them and enjoy the evening view.

When the wind changed to make the air a tad chillier, Christen went inside to grab a blanket and when she came back she settled in Tobin’s lap on the lounge chair. Tobin hummed happily and wrapped her arms around her girlfriend’s waist. Evenings on a balcony with her girl, good coffee, and good weather was something that she could definitely get used to.

“This was like a perfect day,” she whispered.

“Showing off your low standards again,” Christen teased.

“Hey,” she chuckled, “I’m pretty sure that saying I have low standards is an insult to my girlfriend. I happen to have incredibly high standards.”

Christen laughed as she rested her head back against Tobin’s shoulder and sank into her warmth. “You’re right; I’m sorry.”

They stayed quiet for a long time, just enjoying each other’s comfort. This time, Tobin was surprised when Christen started to kiss her neck. With tongue.

“Chris,” she groaned.

Christen’s response was to giggle and suck her neck harder. She definitely left a mark behind before she moved up to nibble on the corner of her jaw and then her earlobe. “Wanna have sex out here?”

Tobin gulped as she felt a flush begin on her chest and rise up to her cheeks. “What about your neighbors?”

“That’s why I got the blanket.”

“Oh.” Tobin had started to breathe heavily due to all of the possibilities, and Christen’s mouth was still on her. “That’s so hot.”

Her eyes fell closed and she felt Christen shift a little in her lap and then a hand was on her abdomen, underneath her t-shirt.

“I love that you’re always so warm.” She scratched along the muscles beneath her palm before she dipped her hand between Tobin’s legs, past her joggers and underwear. “God,” she chuckled breathily, “you’re so wet.”

Tobin tried to maintain some composure. “You knew what you were getting yourself into when you suggested this.”

Christen pressed her mouth to Tobin’s ear and spoke slowly, enunciating every word. “I knew that you would be putty in my hands.”

And that’s exactly how Tobin felt. She was practically melting into the chair beneath her. “That’s, uh, that’s accurate,” she stuttered.

Christen laughed before she instructed, “Open your legs a little more for me, baby.”

She did as she was told and one of Christen’s knees fell into the newly created space. It gave Christen more room and her fingers sank deeper into Tobin. The soccer player groaned from the back of her throat and her butt left the chair as her hips thrust upward. Christen placed a hand on her hipbone and tried to keep her in place. All that Tobin could do was tangle her hands in Christen’s hair, tug her forward for a kiss, and focus her attention on Christen’s mouth. She knew that she was about to orgasm and she wasn’t about to scream as she did so.

That would definitely draw attention from the neighbors.

Christen stroked her g-spot at the same exact time that she dragged her tongue ring along her bottom lip. It sent a speeding shiver down Tobin’s spine and her hand gripped Christen’s hair, maybe a little too hard.

She was sure that she had never come so hard before.

Christen peppered her face with kisses while she struggled to regulate her breathing.

“Holy,” she finally panted.

The tattoo artist giggled. “We’re definitely doing that again.”

 

Christen usually didn’t go into the shop at all on Fridays. One of the first rewards that she had given herself as an owner when the business started to thrive was a three day weekend. She never tattooed on Fridays, but every now and then she did a consult, and she always booked it in the morning so that she could have the rest of her day.

She kissed her girlfriend a sleepy goodbye before she left her apartment and headed to the shop.

“Hey, beautiful,” she smiled at JJ. “How are you this morning?”

“Wonderful,” the blonde grinned. “Zach woke me up early for a great start to the day.”

Christen laughed as she leaned on their glossy reception counter and peeked at their appointment book. “My ten o’clock consult confirmed?”

JJ nodded. “Yup, he called yesterday, said he’s been trying to get in to see you forever.”

She dramatically flipped her hair over her shoulder and grinned. “I guess today is his lucky day.”

JJ’s laughter followed her as she headed into the staff room to grab her sketchbook. She moved into her designated space and heard the sound of two voices from reception, JJ’s and a male’s deep, throaty chuckle. She made sure that everything around her was tidy and in its proper place before she walked back out into the front of the shop. She was always excited to meet a new client.

Except this time it wasn’t a new client.

It was someone that she knew very well, and fully expected to never see again.

Chapter Text

Without missing a beat, Christen plastered a friendly customer service smile on her face and extended her hand. “Hi, I’m Christen, nice to meet you. Thanks so much for booking with us.” She greeted him the same exact way that JJ saw her greet every new customer. She didn’t give away anything as she looked at familiar blue eyes and shook a well-known hand. “Follow me,” she motioned with another smile.

She walked down the hall with her back straight and her head held high. Once she reached her space in the shop, she took a deep breath and spun on her heel. “What the hell are you doing here?” She asked through gritted teeth. She had to keep her voice low and her emotions under control so that JJ didn’t hear anything unusual from reception, but with each second that passed she could feel decade’s old emotions washing over her.

“I thought you’d be happier to see me?” He questioned arrogantly.

“I’m not going to ask you again. What. Are. You. Doing. Here?”

He took a step forward and she instinctually took one back. “I would think that’s obvious. I’m here to see you.” He reached out to grab her chin and she practically slapped his hand away. “My favourite girl.”

“Do not touch me and do not nickname me.” He laughed in that arrogant way that he had always laughed and she ran both of her hands through her hair as she tried to regain some composure. She took a very deep breath before she spoke again. “Luka, just tell me what you’re doing here.”

Luka slowly sat down and motioned for her to do the same. She took a seat in the chair across from him without her eyes leaving him for a second. She was wary, she was uneasy, and she was incredibly suspicious. He looked much different than the boy that she had known ten years ago. His lanky frame had filled out; he was bigger, more muscular. His dark hair was shorter. His clothes were a little rattier, and she was willing to bet that he wasn’t living off of his parents’ money anymore. The days of sports cars and shopping sprees were over for her too. But his eyes were the same, and she was sure that his mind was still sharp, cunning, and opportunistic. If she was unlucky, which she certainly felt at the moment, he was still as charming and silver-tongued as the boy with long hair that had talked her into his backseat. She wasn’t dramatic enough to say that he had ruined her life, she had done that all on her own, but he had enabled her self-destruction every step of the way.

“I understand that you’re probably surprised to see me,” he began. “After all, last you heard I was in prison, right?” She gulped and nodded. “And you didn’t even visit?”

“Luka,” she said through gritted teeth. She wasn’t sure what bullshit he was about to dredge up, but she needed to make one thing perfectly clear. “I wanted to get clean.”

He grinned condescendingly. “Baby, you never wanted to get clean when you were with me.”

“Well I am clean now,” she told him proudly, “and I have been for a while.”

“I can tell,” he commented. “You look really fucking good, Chris.”

She absolutely hated the way that he said that, with a rasp in his voice and heat in his gaze. She could feel his eyes trailing from her head to her toes, taking in every feature that he could explore while she was sitting down. It made her skin crawl.

“What do you want?” She sighed in exasperation.

“I want you to help me with a deal.”

When she spoke next, she practically hissed. “You came all the way to Miami to buy drugs?”

“I came all the way to Miami to make a lot of money,” he corrected.

“And why should I help you?”

Luka leaned back in the chair and rested the ankle of his right leg on the knee of his left. He looked far too relaxed, and incredibly smug. “You know exactly why you should help me, baby.”

 

Christen left the shop in a bit of a daze. When she arrived at the door of her condo, she shook her head – a physical reminder that she needed to snap out of whatever headspace she was in before she stepped through that door. She didn’t plan on explaining any of this to Tobin. She took what had to be her hundredth deep, calming breath of the morning before she placed her hand on the doorknob.

Nico and Lady greeted her immediately and she saw that Tobin was sitting on the couch watching SportsCenter. She walked up to the back of the sofa and wrapped her arms around her girlfriend’s neck.

“Hey, superstar,” she whispered before she kissed her on the cheek.

Tobin raised her hands to grip Christen’s forearms and she tilted her head back with a big smile. “Hey, beautiful.”

Christen was pretty sure that she could cry on the spot just from the way that Tobin was looking at her. No one else had ever come close to looking at her like that. She placed one hand under Tobin’s chin and gave her a heated, passionate kiss. Tobin hummed happily and licked her bottom lip when she pulled away.

“What was that for?” She asked curiously.

“For being you,” Christen answered honestly. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“Are you ready to go to the aquarium?”

Tobin smiled sheepishly. “Yeah, just let me change.”

They had decided to take the afternoon to explore and some of Tobin’s interests definitely had a childlike wonder to them. The Miami Seaquarium seemed like a logical choice.

Tobin emerged from the bedroom in training pants, a t-shirt, and hat, and Christen quickly took her hand to start their day.

Christen would have liked to say that she had enjoyed the aquarium and its attractions, but her eyes had been on Tobin the entire time so she couldn’t actually offer any kind of review. She loved watching Tobin discover and interact with the different exhibits. Watching her feed the stingrays was particularly enjoyable. Her eyes widened and her face was just that gigantic smile as she felt the creatures glide over her hand to eat.

Tobin was just so pure in the way that she lived her life. She genuinely appreciated everything about the world around her and it was such a privilege to watch.

She was so incredible and Christen couldn’t lose her. She wouldn’t.

 

After dinner that night, takeout from one of Christen’s favourite Miami restaurants, Christen found herself with an overwhelming desire to show Tobin how much she meant to her – physically.

The athlete seemed surprised when Christen began to kiss her neck while she was washing the dishes. “I’m almost done,” she chuckled.

“You should have used the dishwasher. That’s what it’s there for.”

“I don’t mind doing dishes,” Tobin responded with another chuckle.

Christen continued to kiss Tobin’s neck and her hands skimmed across her abdomen and then moved underneath her t-shirt. She lightly scratched her fingernails over Tobin’s washboard abs and she felt the woman shiver in her arms. “I want you now, Tobin,” she husked. She nipped at Tobin’s earlobe before she added, “I’m going into the bedroom and I have no shame in starting without you.” She heard a dish hit the bottom of the sink and she stepped away, her hands lingering on Tobin’s sides. “Hurry up.”

She strutted into her bedroom and had just pulled her shirt over her head when she heard Tobin’s feet rushing down the hallway. She squealed in surprise when she was lifted off of the ground, bridal style.

She had not been expecting that.

“I’m done the dishes,” Tobin grinned eagerly.

“I can tell,” Christen giggled.

“Now, you wanted something?”

“You. I want you.”

Tobin walked towards the top of her bed and gently placed her on the mattress. Tobin was soft and slow and gentle as she climbed on top of her and removed their clothes piece by piece. Far too soft and slow and gentle for Christen’s frame of mind. Down to her panties, she grabbed Tobin’s hips and pulled her body down for a desperate kiss.

“Rougher,” she panted, “not so gentle.”

Tobin nodded against her neck before she bit her collarbone, a sure sign that she understood. She slipped her fingers underneath the waistband of Christen’s underwear and tugged. She pulled away with a gasp and a contrite expression when she heard a ripping sound. “I didn’t think that was possible!”

Christen chuckled, “Don’t worry about it. That was hot.”

Tobin, still blushing, tossed the ripped panties over the side of the bed and returned her mouth to Christen’s torso. She kissed, and nipped, and sucked, leaving hickeys behind because the more pressure she applied, the louder Christen moaned. Her girlfriend definitely was not in the mood for gentle sex, and Tobin didn’t mind. When she grazed her teeth over one of Christen’s nipples, Christen gripped her shoulders so hard that she was sure to leave marks behind.

Christen eagerly pushed her underwear down over her butt and she kicked them the rest of the way off, sending them into the corner of the room. She settled in between Christen’s spread legs and pressed her pubic bone against her girlfriend’s dripping center.

“Shit,” Christen winced as she wrapped her arms around Tobin’s shoulders. “I love it when you do that.”

“Yeah?” Tobin encouraged in a whisper.

“Uh huh.” Her hips moved in tandem with Tobin’s, a hypnotic push and pull that bumped her clit every single time. “An ex used to try to get me off like this and it was a disaster every time we tried.”

Tobin laughed hotly against her ear and moved with an intensity that matched her fierceness on the pitch when she streaked down the wing. “I got you.” And she said it almost arrogantly.

The tattoo artist moaned and wrapped her long legs completely around Tobin’s waist until she could hook her ankles together. “I’m close. I’m close. I’m so close.”

And just like that, Tobin pulled away.

Christen pushed herself up onto her elbows and stared at Tobin, sitting up on her knees. “Toby!” She squealed indignantly.

Tobin suppressed a smile and moved to lie on her back. “Get up here.”

Christen quickly complied and she straddled Tobin’s hips. Strong hands gripped her thighs and urged her upwards.

“Come on,” Tobin murmured with an impish grin. “You know what I want.”

Her frustrations had definitely abated since she had realized Tobin’s intentions. She laughed breathlessly before she planted her knees on either side of Tobin’s head. Tobin wrapped both of her hands around her thighs and she tossed her head back with a loud moan at the first touch of Tobin’s mouth.

Her girlfriend’s tongue really deserved just as many accolades as her feet garnered.

And to make matters even worse, she heard Tobin let out the dirtiest, filthiest sound at the taste of her.

“Tobin,” she whined, “you are so…” The rest of her sentence turned into a desperate keening sound as her hips jerked forward and it was as if she could feel Tobin’s entire mouth on her. “Holy fuck,” she cried.

With her legs feeling like jelly, she carefully moved to lie down on the other side of the bed. She closed her eyes, gulped for breath, and ran her hands through her hair while she wiggled her toes in an effort to regain some normal feelings and blood flow.

When she reopened her eyes, she swiftly turned towards Tobin and firmly grabbed her by the chin. She was still all over Tobin’s face and it made the whole thing even hotter. She kissed her hungrily before she said, “You are such a goddess.”

Tobin blushed and shrugged modestly. “I think you got that the other way around.”

Christen adamantly shook her head. “No, definitely not.” She made herself comfortable on top of Tobin’s muscular body and kissed her again. “I want to give you at least twelve orgasms tonight.”

“That’s a tall order.”

“I don’t think so,” Christen grinned. “Not with how hot I am for you.”

Tobin looked thoughtful as she ran both of her hands through Christen’s hair. “Should I get a protein shake or something first?”

The tattoo artist laughed and rested her head in the crook of Tobin’s neck. “I’m keeping you up all night, Tobin Heath.”

 

The sun was almost up and Tobin was still awake. She couldn’t stop watching Christen sleep. The tattoo artist was lying on her stomach with her hands curled underneath her pillow and her curly hair spilling down her back. She looked peaceful in her sleep, but Tobin knew that something was wrong.

She could feel it. She just couldn’t even begin to imagine what it could be.

Chapter Text

“Chris,” Tobin moaned loudly.

The soccer player tossed her head back against the pillows and tightened her fingers in her girlfriend’s curly hair. She gasped when Christen bit her hipbone before returning her mouth to her clit.

“Christen, baby,” she groaned.

The tattoo artist moaned from her place between Tobin’s legs and murmured, “Come for me, Tobin. Come for me nice and loud.”

Her other hand clenched into a fist and her hips thrust up off of the bed as she did just that. She wasn’t able to hold back at all when Christen moved her tongue just the way she liked.

Tobin heard her girlfriend’s giggle before she felt kisses up her torso and then a tongue running up her throat. “I’d eat you out again, but I gotta get to work,” Christen spoke as she placed kisses across her cheek. She finished with a kiss to her lips and a, “You’re so cute, babe.”

Tobin laid back on the bed, panting, as Christen tiptoed to the bathroom, her cute butt wiggling the entire way. She waited only a moment before she sprung off of the bed and followed her. The shower was already running when she stepped inside and wrapped her arms around Christen’s waist.

She pressed her lips to the top of her shoulder and said, “I thought I was the one that liked to wake up between your legs.”

Christen laughed and turned her head to join their lips. “I woke up really horny this morning and your lips are so pouty in your sleep,” she explained. She reached a hand up and tangled it in Tobin’s hair. “I’m glad you joined me. I know you like the shower,” she teased.

Tobin chuckled and kissed her neck. “I do.” She kissed Christen’s neck again before she whispered flirtatiously. “I like the way the water runs down over your ass.”

Christen laughed freely and tugged Tobin even closer. “You know I love it when you talk dirty,” she hummed.

The soccer player grinned against wet skin and ran both of her hands up Christen’s stomach until she was tweaking both nipples. “You don’t have an appointment until eleven,” Tobin reminded her. “That’s so much time,” she whispered hotly in her ear.

Christen moaned and changed the angle of her head so that they could kiss on the lips again. She had the water running hot, but Tobin’s touch was making her shiver. And making her forget that she had wanted to go into the shop early. “You’re so sexy,” she whined. “I should have taken the day off. We could go surfing, and then spend all afternoon on the balcony. Naked.”

“God, I like the sound of that.”

Never mind that they had had a virtual sex marathon all weekend. They had only stopped to bathe, walk the dogs, and eat takeout.

It had felt a whole lot like the first weekend they had spent together.

Just completely wrapped up in each other.

Christen placed both of her hands on the tiled wall in front of her and let Tobin take care of her body. Her big, talented hands massaged her breasts before they dropped to her hips. Tobin’s hands gripped her hips, hopefully leaving faint fingerprints, and then they wandered across her thighs and ass as she kissed across her shoulders and down her back.

“You’re so beautiful,” the soccer player whispered, “your body is such a work of art.”

“Touch me, Toby. Touch me where I ache for you.”

Tobin’s hips bucked against her ass before two fingers found her clit.

 

Christen bounded out of her bedroom, dressed for the day, and found Tobin loading pancakes onto two plates. She walked up to her girlfriend and pressed a loud kiss to her cheek.

“Is that coffee and pancakes for me?” She asked with a happy grin.

“You betcha!” Tobin answered enthusiastically.

“Wow,” Christen continued as she placed both of her hands on Tobin’s sides. “I like this little housewife version of you.”

“You like having me around, huh?” Tobin asked with an adorable, dopey grin.

“I love having you around,” she replied before she gave Tobin a full kiss on the mouth. “Too bad Miami doesn’t have a soccer team.”

Before Tobin could answer, Christen kissed her again with a gentle hand on her face.

“Thank you for breakfast,” she exhaled.

She ate quickly and took most of her coffee to go so that she could get to work with enough time to set up her station and relax before her first client. She kissed Tobin one last time, slow and sweet, before she left the apartment for the day.

She was fully aware that she had found two speeds since seeing Luka. She was either having wild sex with Tobin or her mind was in her sketchbook coming up with new designs. She had even booked a few appointments in the near future for styles that she hadn’t done in a while – biomechanical, American traditional, watercolour (which was insanely hard) – due to her body of work and drawing skills, she was known in Florida, and along most of the East Coast, for sexy pin ups, but lately her focus had been on black and grey, beautiful shading and precise line work.

It was clear that her brain needed the challenge and her body needed to be occupied.

The unrealistic part of her was just desperately hoping that she didn’t see or hear from Luka ever again. She wanted to believe that his appearance at her shop had been all bravado, a scare tactic.

But she knew better.

Her appointments allowed her to focus for the majority of the day, but she arranged to meet up with Kelley for coffee before she returned home.

They met at one of their favourite places and sat on the patio so that they could smoke.

Christen felt like she needed a cigarette today more than ever.

“What’s up, Pressy?”

Christen anxiously bounced her leg and tapped her lit cigarette against the edge of the ashtray sitting in the middle of the table. “Do you remember when I first moved here?”

“Uh, vaguely,” Kelley chuckled. “You know I was drinking a lot back then.”

“Do you remember me telling you about Luka?”

“Luka? Like ‘first love, boy who took your virginity, and got you hooked on drugs’ Luka?”

“Yeah,” she sighed as she rolled her eyes. “That guy.”

“Yes,” Kelley confirmed. “What about him?”

“He paid me a visit.”

“No fucking way! He’s out of prison?” Kelley asked in disbelief.

Christen nodded. “He got eleven years for manslaughter, must have gotten out on some good behaviour or somethin’,” she muttered in thought.

“And he just decided to take a lovely Florida vacation?”

“I wish,” the tattoo artist scoffed. “He wants me to help him with… something.”

Kelley’s eyes started to widen in a panic. “With what?”

Christen took a long drag from the end of her cigarette and then snuffed it out in the ashtray. “He didn’t exactly get into a lot of detail. He was just vague and arrogant, and looking me up and down.”

The shorter woman wrinkled her nose in disgust. “Gross.”

She nodded in agreement. “I know. I can’t believe I… ugh… anyway, I would prefer not to think about that.” She paused and nervously chewed on her bottom lip. “What do I do?”

Kelley instantly replied, “Well I think it’s pretty obvious what you do.”

“And what is that?”

Kelley just stared at her, with a pointedly raised eyebrow, as their waitress approached the table with their coffees. After murmured thank yous, the waitress turned her back and Kelley spoke in a hushed voice. “Tell him to fuck off.”

Christen laughed, even though the situation was far from funny. “I wish it were that simple.”

Kelley took a sip from her coffee before she lit up another cigarette and thoughtfully exhaled. “What happened, Chris?” She finally asked. “What does he have on you?”

Christen gulped as she pressed the side of her hand to her face. She hadn’t thought about it in so long that sometimes it felt like a nightmare, or like a vague memory of the worst trip that she had ever been on. While she had indeed been high at the time, what happened had been all too real. It had been the single event that had pushed her to get sober and it had also made her wish that she would never have a grasp on reality again.

“He wouldn’t have killed anybody if it wasn’t for me. That’s what he has on me,” she declared.

 

Christen walked through the door of her apartment to find Tobin cooking in her kitchen once more. The soccer player looked at home chopping vegetables on the cutting board with Lady around her feet. She slowly stepped up to the woman and placed her hands on the biceps exposed by the cut-off shirt that she was wearing, a cut-off shirt that just so happened to be merchandise from her tattoo shop.

“Is this how you feel when I wear your jersey?” She murmured. “Because this is hot.”

Tobin chuckled, but her focus remained on the vegetables. “I don’t think anything is comparable to you in my jersey.”

“What are you making?” Christen asked softly as she wrapped her arms around Tobin’s waist.

“Just a chicken stir-fry. How was your day?”

“Good. I started a really cool back piece today. I’m excited about it.”

They chatted about Christen’s other appointments and Tobin’s day reading, working out, and journaling. She hadn’t visited the shop today because she had taken an extended run and then she had gone paddle boarding for some extra core work.

After dinner, they curled up on the couch with a Netflix movie and Christen knew that she needed to feel skin on skin again. The cut-off shirt and the cute glasses perched on Tobin’s nose were just an added bonus.

She had given up on the movie when she crawled into Tobin’s lap and wrapped her arms around her neck. Without any preamble, she dipped her head and pressed her mouth to Tobin’s oh so gently. She slowly sucked the soccer player’s bottom lip into her mouth before moving to its other half. She placed a series of quick, soft kisses to Tobin’s top lip as she massaged the skin at the back of her neck where her hairline began. Tobin hummed against her mouth and gripped the small of her back with both hands.

“Thank you for dinner, baby,” she whispered before she dove in for another kiss.

Tobin hummed again before she opened her mouth wider, accepting Christen’s pierced tongue. The hands on her back tightened and started to glide up to her shoulders.

After some deliciously pleasurable tongue kissing, Tobin pulled away with a shy smile and the adorable, blissed out look that she got from kissing. With a hand cupping her cheek, Tobin gave her a soft, closed mouth kiss before she pulled away with a much more serious expression.

“I love kissing you and I love the way you kiss, and I love you, but you need to tell me what’s wrong.”

“What do you mean?”

“Come on, Chris,” Tobin spoke softly. “Something is going on. I can tell. I just didn’t know how to approach it.”

Christen didn’t move off of her lap, which Tobin knew was a good sign, but she didn’t say anything either.

“You can tell me,” Tobin continued.

Christen bit her bottom lip, holding in a burst of emotion, and shook her head. “I can’t,” she croaked. “I can’t.”

Tobin pulled her in closer and rubbed her back. “Why not? What’s going on?”

The longer Christen stayed silent, the more concerned Tobin grew.

“Chris,” she pleaded. “You’re scaring me.”

“It has nothing to do with you,” Christen assured her urgently.

Tobin frowned. “If it’s bothering you, it’s bothering me.” She raised a hand to brush Christen’s hair over her shoulder and she caught her gaze. “Please tell me.”

“I can’t,” she repeated desperately. “I can’t because I can’t lose you.”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“I don’t think you can promise that,” Christen sighed.

Tobin furrowed her brow and she could feel herself beginning to become frustrated. “I don’t understand. I don’t understand what you could tell me that’s going to send me running. I know that we haven’t been together that long, and we still have things to get to know about each other and how our lives will fit together, but I’ve never felt this way before.” She leaned forward and nudged Christen’s cheek and nose with her own before she kissed her. “Please tell me what’s going on.”

Christen’s body slumped and she enveloped Tobin in a tight hug. Her fingers clutched Tobin’s shirt and she took a series of deep, shuddering breaths against her neck. “I don’t know how to tell you this,” she forced out.

Tobin rubbed her back again and kissed the side of her head. “Sweetheart, you can tell me anything. I promise I’ll be patient, and open-minded, and loving.”

That just made Christen sigh heavily. Tobin was just so good.

She was so many wonderful things, but what made her so easy to love was that she had such a kind, pure heart. That’s also what made it so hard for Christen to be honest.

Christen sat up straight and wiped away the tears that had gathered in the corners of her eyes. “This is a long story.”

Tobin smiled, “I have time.”

Chapter Text

Christen found it difficult to even find a place to begin. There was so much to say, and even if she said it all, there was no guarantee that Tobin would understand. Which details were important? Which were just too much, too heavy, too dark? What words would send Tobin running for the hills despite the insistence that she would never do that?

Even without all those thoughts and concerns rushing through her head, she found it hard to begin because she had intentionally committed to not talking about Luka, to not even thinking about him if it were possible. A complicated blend of emotions were attached to that man’s name, a man that she had only known as a charismatic, manipulative, selfish boy.

She slowly exhaled a breath before she spoke. “Do you remember me mentioning an ex that I really don’t like to talk about?”

Tobin nodded slowly, thoughtfully. “Yeah, I remember that.”

Christen didn’t respond right away. Instead, she carefully pulled away from Tobin’s gentle hold and settled beside her on the sofa. They were still close enough to touch, but Christen knew that she was going to need some distance to tell this story.

“Well, he, uh – Luka is here in Miami. He showed up at the shop.”

Tobin furrowed her brow in confusion and simply replied, “Okay.”

The tattoo artist shook her head and fought off a fresh wave of tears. “It’s really not okay.”

“Okay,” Tobin repeated softly, “do you want to tell me why?”

“In order to do that I have to tell you about when I was younger, when I was an addict.”

Tobin shifted, she tucked one foot underneath the opposite thigh and laid her hand flat on her knee. Palm up. So Christen knew that she could take her hand if she wanted to. If she needed to. She knew how difficult it was for Christen to talk about her past, especially before she was sober, and she just wanted to listen and be there for her.

“You can tell me anything, Chris.”

“I guess I should start with this one horrible party.”

 

“Luka!”

The long-haired boy turned around and then grinned as he caught the petite brunette in his arms. “Baby, baby, baby,” he murmured as he kissed her. Both of her legs wrapped around his waist and his hands fell to cradle her ass. “I got something for you.”

“Something for me?” Christen asked with an innocent smile.

He nodded as he carefully pulled a small baggie of pills out of the front pocket of his button-down shirt. “Just for my girl.”

She squealed and landed on her feet. “Thank you so much,” she replied as she eagerly grabbed the bag.

“What else do you say besides thank you, baby?” He goaded.

She pushed herself up onto the tips of her toes and planted a much longer kiss on his lips. “I’ll really thank you later,” she giggled.

“I gotta talk to some people, so hang out with the girls for a while,” he ordered as he tapped her on the butt.

Christen nodded without actually giving his words much thought and headed towards the back of the apartment. She found a group of her friends in one of the bedrooms, with Pulp Fiction on the TV, and she happily settled on the sofa. She could never hold Luka’s attention for that long, and she had somewhat come to peace with that. She knew that he only really cared about two things, his drugs and his car. Sometimes she could place herself in that elite group. Sometimes he made her feel like she mattered. He wasn’t exactly her first priority either. They weren’t completely exclusive. They weren’t completely committed. They weren’t always good for each other.

But she loved him.

They had been together for so long that it was just the way things were.

She accepted the beer and cigarette that were offered to her and sunk into the cushions beneath her.

 

“I was willing to dabble in anything, as long as it felt good,” Christen explained slowly. “Pot, pills, coke. I never liked LSD,” she added with a wrinkled nose. “Only did it once. It made me feel too manic. But I guess my drug of choice was heroin.” She absentmindedly looked around her apartment as she self-consciously touched the inside of her left elbow, where she could still see her track marks if she looked hard enough.

Tobin’s eyes carefully followed her movements.

“It’s why I have so many colorful tattoos on my arm,” she explained with a wry smile. “A distraction technique.”

She had never elaborated on her sobriety and talking about it out loud, to Tobin – innocent, successful, disciplined Tobin – made her stomach turn. She wished that she was able to say that her only problem was with alcohol. People just looked at you differently when they learned that you had a drug problem. Alcohol was far more accepted, far more mainstream. Normal people could handle stories of starting the day with a drink and craving the taste of whiskey or vodka. Normal people didn’t like to talk about stealing cash from a roommate’s wallet for a vial, desperately searching for a clean needle so that you could safely get a fix, and covering track marks with long-sleeved shirts and foundation.

“It’s hard to explain what it feels like to be high on heroin.” She spoke and shifted uncomfortably again, this time tucking her hair behind her ear and nervously pulling her legs underneath her. “It’s like the best drunk you’ve ever had while sitting in a hot tub. It’s all warmth and safety, and…”

She trailed off and Tobin pushed her open hand towards her. Christen accepted the offering immediately and squeezed.

“Anyway,” Christen chuckled awkwardly. “I didn’t really get into heroin until after, but I was high, and drunk, and at some point, this guy sat down next to me.”

 

Christen felt a finger underneath her chin and she slowly raised her head and sluggishly blinked her eyes. “Hello?”

“Hey, beautiful,” the strange boy grinned.

She repeated her greeting. “Hi.”

“I’m Bo.”

“Christen.”

“Pleasure to meet you, Christen.”

The brunette just hummed and tried to go back to just enjoying the tingling sensation shooting through her body. She let her eyes fall closed again and they only opened when she felt a hand that wasn’t her own on a bare part of her leg. She pushed it away and it stubbornly returned.

“Knock it off,” she mumbled.

“Just relax,” an unfamiliar voice whispered in her ear.

She squirmed, but it didn’t deter the persistent hand.

She was thankful when the guy sitting on the other side of Bo clapped him on the back of the head. “Dude, she’s not into it.”

Bo groaned in annoyance, but he did relent.

“Come on, Chris, let’s get some air.”

She opened her eyes, this time for a familiar voice, and allowed herself to be pulled up off of the ratty couch. “Vero, hey! What are you doing here?”

“I heard you were here,” she smiled happily.

Vero was a rather new person in her life, but they had become fast friends. The older girl was on the fringes of Luka’s circle and she had taken an instant liking to Christen, for whatever reason. Christen had seen Vero high but she always seemed so in control; Christen was sure that she did not appear to be quite so put together.

She was rather envious of that ability. Envious of the calm that Vero always seemed to exude.

Vero slowly led her to the fire escape and helped her sit on the bottom grate. The Spaniard sat across from her and flashed her a big smile.

“Seemed like that guy was bothering you?”

Christen nodded slowly.

“Are you a little high, beautiful?”

Christen nodded again and then Vero murmured something in Spanish that her brain couldn’t keep up with. “Aren’t you?” She laughed.

“Not as high as you,” Vero retorted with a laugh of her own. “What did he give you this time?”

Christen didn’t have a response for that, she wasn’t entirely sure of everything she had taken tonight. She couldn’t remember.

She was broken out of her jumbled thoughts by the feeling of fingers stroking across her cheek.

 

“I didn’t realize I was interested in women before Vero. Everything with Luka was good, satisfying. I had never really considered it.”

“What was she to you?” Tobin asked curiously.

“I dunno,” she whispered. “It never got the chance to become anything.”

The soccer player scooted closer and she draped an arm across the back of the sofa. She waited a moment before she reached out and tucked some of Christen's hair behind her ear. Then, she tentatively cupped her girlfriend’s jaw. “What does that mean?”

 

Christen had kissed and touched while high, but it had never felt like this. Vero’s lips were so soft and the hands on her waist were so delicate and warm. She had not seen the kiss coming and yet it wasn’t an unpleasant surprise. Something had slotted into place when Vero had pressed her lips to hers for the first time. Something that hadn’t been there before.

“Does this feel good? Do you like it?” Vero whispered before she pressed a kiss behind her ear.

Christen nodded. She tried to form a response, but all that left her mouth was a soft sigh.

Vero pulled away to look at her with an infectious smile. “You’re the cutest girl I’ve ever seen, you know. Cute and sweet. Bombón,” she laughed.

“Did you just call me a candy bar?”

Vero laughed again. “Not exactly, sweetheart.”

Before Christen could ask for clarity on the translation, Vero leaned in once more and Christen was the one to close the gap between them this time.

Maybe she could get high just from kissing.

Vero pushed her against the railing of the fire escape and caressed the strip of skin between her skirt and her tight top. The faint scrape of fingernails was not something that she was used to, but it was definitely something that her skin absolutely craved. She tentatively raised her hands and cupped the older girl’s elbows in order to draw her closer.

Christen was sure that she had never been kissed so slowly and wonderfully, and she only pulled away when she felt, more than heard, the approach of heavy boots. She stopped kissing but she sure as hell didn’t pull away.

Luka poked his head out of the window and looked at the both of them with an arched eyebrow. “You okay, baby?”

Christen nodded. “Uh huh. I’m good. Fresh air.”

Luka nodded as well but the expression on his face was more grimace than smile. “Why don’t you go inside, baby? I wanna talk to V about something.”

Christen knew that it wasn’t really a question. She slipped out from the small space between Vero and the fire escape railing without saying a word. Luka lifted her through the window and forcefully grasped her chin to place a kiss that was way too firm on her lips.

“Here, baby,” he said as he pulled another bag of pills out of his pocket. “Have another one.”

He urged her to stick her tongue out and she eventually surrendered.

She lingered in the hallway as Luka crawled through the window to stand on the fire escape with Vero.

Everything was a little fuzzy and the thumping bass of the music coming from another room drowned a lot out, but she knew that she heard furious (in both speed and tone) conversation in Spanish, and the rattling of metal, followed by a scream.

She wouldn’t dare turn to look in the direction that the sound had come from, terrified of what she might or might not see. She covered her mouth to withhold a scream of her own before she hurried to the first open room.

 

When she finally finished, the sun was streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the living room.

Neither of them had noticed that they had failed to pull over the curtains.

Christen sniffed loudly and inelegantly wiped at her eyes with the heels of both hands. She hadn’t recounted that story to anyone, ever, and the tears that accompanied it were almost cathartic. But also exhausting. And she still was not sure if she had lifted a weight off of her shoulders or added a brand new one.

“I need a fucking cigarette,” she muttered to herself.

She couldn’t bear to look at Tobin as she got off of the couch and headed towards the balcony.

The burst of morning air was refreshing, but it also made her realize how tired and raw her eyes felt. She could barely keep them open as she lit her cigarette and brought it to her lips. She decided to let the balcony support her weight as she sunk down to the floor and rested her head against the glass.

She was almost startled when a body sat beside her, like she had forgotten that she wasn’t truly alone.

When Tobin spoke, it was soft, but there was an undercurrent of frustration to her words. “I wish you would quit this.” The soccer player reached for the cigarette in her hand and plucked it out of her grasp. She athletically skittered across the balcony to put out the cigarette in the ashtray on the table. “Those things will kill you,” she added in a whisper as she settled back next to her.

Christen heard Tobin take a deep breath before she stroked her fingers down her forearm to hold her hand.

“You know you didn’t do anything wrong, right?”

Christen scoffed. “I didn’t exactly do anything right either. I didn’t do anything.”

“You were a kid. You were scared.”

“And I was high,” Christen pointed out helpfully.

“Yeah,” Tobin huffed, “because he kept giving you shit.” Christen sniffed and wiped her nose with a hollow laugh, but she didn’t reply. It eventually prompted Tobin to lift her chin and place a sweet kiss on Christen’s temple. “Thank you for telling me.”

“I’ve never told anyone that story,” she confessed shakily.

“Thank you for telling me,” Tobin repeated slowly. “Thank you for letting me in.”

The tattoo artist swallowed before she asked the unavoidable question. “Did it change your mind? About me?”

Tobin promptly raised her hand to cup Christen’s jaw while she pressed their foreheads together. “When I first met you, my stomach actually swooped,” she smiled. “That hasn’t changed. My feelings for you haven’t changed. My opinion of you hasn’t changed, Christen. If anything, I have more respect for you now. For what you’ve been through and what you’ve achieved. How did you get clean?” She asked after a pause.

“I really liked heroin after that night, didn’t really do anything else for a while. It only got worse with my Dad passing away. I ended up spending a night in jail. That was the best thing that ever happened to me. Scared me into trying to get clean, and then I got the hell out of LA.” She raised a hand and tapped a piece of her tattooed collarbone over her shirt. “That’s what that date means.”

Tobin smiled, even if that wasn’t exactly the happiest of revelations. That date meant something to her now too. It had certainly changed the course of her life as well.

“You’re so strong, Chris. I know you might not see it that way but that’s how I see it.” She waited and nervously chewed her bottom lip as she weighed her next question. “Can I kiss you? Really kiss you? Show you how much I love you?”

Christen didn’t have the energy to form a response. All that she could do was grab Tobin’s face and surge forward to kiss her. The kiss seemed to go on forever, until Christen pulled away, wiped the last of her tears, and ran her thumb along Tobin’s bottom lip with a watery chuckle.

“You are something else, Tobin Heath.”

 

They spent the rest of the day in bed with the dogs, sleeping and cuddling. It was far from what they usually got up to in the bedroom, but it was so nice. Tobin stroked her bare back as they spoke in whispers and murmurs in between long stretches of sleep, and Christen was sure that it was the most cared for she had ever felt in her life.

More than that, she felt seen. Totally and completely seen.

“I love you,” she whispered with her eyes still closed.

She could hear the smile in Tobin’s voice when she responded. “I love you too.”

“And you’re welcome.”

“For what?”

“For being allowed to be the big spoon all day,” Christen laughed into her pillow.

Tobin chuckled before she placed a kiss on top of her shoulder. “Oh hush.”

The tattoo artist continued to laugh and she slowly rolled onto her back so that Tobin’s arm fell across her waist. “But on a serious note,” she said as she looked up into Tobin’s kind, brown eyes. “Thank you, just for being the most wonderful person I’ve ever meet.”

The soccer star smiled shyly and shrugged. She opened her mouth to speak and then she seemed to take it back. Instead of replying, she kissed down Christen’s bicep until she settled in the crook of her arm; the same spot that Christen had been insecurely stroking just hours earlier.

“I’m not wonderful,” she finally spoke. “I’m just in love with someone who is brave and honest, strong and fearless, and so much more.”

With an uncontrollable smile on her face, she rolled her eyes. Tobin Heath would be intolerably cheesy if she wasn’t so damn cute and sincere.

“Stop it, or you’re going to make me cry again.” Tobin pursed her pouty lips for a quick kiss and Christen lifted her head to meet her. “I still can’t believe you’re here and you didn’t run away as fast as your Olympic gold, World Cup winning legs can carry you.”

Tobin laughed, “I’m not a quitter. That was always rule number two in the Heath household. If we joined a club, a sports team, committed to a job or piano lessons, or anything, we couldn’t quit. We had to see things through.”

“What was rule number one?” Christen questioned curiously.

Tobin smiled softly. “Forgiveness.”

Chapter Text

As the next few days passed, Tobin couldn’t shake the rising need to take care of her girlfriend. She cooked, she cleaned, she walked the dogs, she did the shopping. She did whatever she could to make Christen’s life just a bit easier. She had spent so many years being flighty and undependable, and now she just wanted to be steady.

And one Bible passage had been ringing in her ears.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

The first day after they had stayed up all night and then laid in bed all day, she had called Julie to rearrange Christen’s schedule and her nesting instincts had just grown from there.

And it felt good. It felt like something she was ready for.

She liked being domestic, as Ashlyn had casually dubbed it over the phone.

She had even tried her hand at baking.

This morning it was breakfast in bed because Christen didn’t have an appointment until the afternoon.

“Toby,” Christen cooed as she walked into the bedroom holding a serving tray. “Did you make me breakfast in bed?”

“I did,” she smiled while carefully sitting down on the mattress. “French toast, fresh fruit, and fresh coffee for my love.”

Christen hummed before she turned to Tobin with a smirk. “What if I wanted you for breakfast?”

Tobin laughed and moved to lay back on the bed. “You can have me for dessert.”

“Breakfast dessert?” The tattoo artist asked with a smile.

“Yup,” Tobin played along. “Dessert goes with every meal.”

Christen laughed with a shake of her head before she dug into her meal. It was easy to admit that she liked this side of Tobin; the side that was nurturing, seemed perfectly at home in her apartment, and loved being a caretaker. She loved it just as much as every other side of Tobin.

Someone hadn’t care for her like this in a very long time.

And it was still happening after she had revealed her deepest, darkest secret.

After breakfast, she was quick to curl up against Tobin and plant a kiss on her lips.

Tobin slipped a hand into her hair and hummed in pleasure. “You taste like strawberries and sugar. It’s great,” she laughed.

Christen took those words as permission to give her another kiss.

This one was deeper, longer, and more tantalizing.

As they kissed, she pushed a hand underneath Tobin’s t-shirt and rubbed her abs. She was practically groping her girlfriend when she pulled away with a giggle.

“Sorry,” she apologized, her expression uncharacteristically bashful. “I got a little carried away.”

“No need to apologize,” Tobin responded breathlessly. “No need at all.” She took a deep breath and started to massage the top of Christen’s shoulder. “We can, if you want. I want to if you want to.”

They had created a stronger connection, a deeper form of intimacy since Christen had told Tobin everything about her past, but the one thing that they hadn’t done since that night was have sex. Tobin suspected that rehashing such painful memories had raised and sharpened a lot of insecurities for Christen. Tobin was a patient woman and she would never push her, but she did want to reaffirm, physically, that nothing had changed between them. If anything, it had cemented their bond as a very serious, committed one.

She kind of wanted to get her love on. It was an extension of all the care she wanted to give.

“You want to,” Christen repeated lowly.

“Of course I do.” Christen still seemed very unsure as she fiddled with the hem of Tobin’s shirt and gently pushed the material upwards. “Do you want to?” The soccer player questioned softly.

Christen answered by shifting on top of Tobin and gently pressing her mouth to a sharp jaw. “I do,” she finally whispered. “Make love to me, Tobin.”

Tobin gripped Christen’s waist with both hands and positioned her on her back on the other side of the bed, and started to kiss down her neck. She was used to this, she was used to being in charge in the bedroom; used to being the giver, just not so much in this relationship. She always got a thrill from letting Christen push her around a little. It kept her on her toes. But she knew exactly what they both needed this morning.

Soft, sweet, and slow.

She urged Christen’s baggy tee up and over her head before her mouth trailed across her collarbone and down to her breasts. Fingers tangled in her hair as she puckered her lips and placed a quick kiss on Christen’s stiff right nipple. She pulled away to run a hand up her girlfriend’s ribcage and to make prolonged eye contact.

Christen gulped at the intensity behind Tobin’s gaze. Her soccer star’s eyes were usually soft, kind, sweet like milk chocolate, and at the moment they were definitely dark, focused, and determined.

“Tell me exactly what you want, when you want it.”

And the deep timber of Tobin’s voice made her shiver. She managed a nod and tightened her fingers in silky, honey brown hair. Tobin’s mouth returned to her nipple and she arched her back at the sensations being created by that wildly talented mouth.

Tobin absolutely worshipped Christen’s torso and the art that adorned it. When she finally reached the waistband of the cotton shorts, she eased them down and tugged at the panties underneath with her teeth. She heard Christen laugh breathlessly and it made her grin mischievously.

“How’s that?” She asked as she peered upwards.

Christen laughed again and pushed some of her hair off of her face. “Good. Really good.”

She methodically kissed each of the birds that danced along Christen’s pelvis before she shifted into a push-up position and slid upwards to kiss the tattoo artist’s mouth once more. “I love you, you know,” she spoke reverently.

Christen raised both of her hands and held Tobin’s face. “I know,” she smiled, “and I love you too.”

Satisfied with the confidence she heard in Christen’s voice, Tobin quickly kissed her lips once more before she shifted down the bed again. She finished pushing the underwear down Christen’s legs and then she tickled the insides of her thighs. She intentionally blew a wave of warm air into Christen’s most sensitive place and relished in the shiver and moan it produced.

Tobin licked her lips in anticipation and then leaned forward for her first taste.

She focused around Christen’s clit, never touching the bud, but using her lips and tongue to stimulate the area around it.

And her technique was totally working – if the rhythm of Christen’s hips and the sounds hitting her ears were any indication.

“Tobin,” Christen gasped. “God. What are you even doing?”

Tobin lifted her head and sweetly asked, “Do you like it? Do you need something else?”

Christen propped herself up on her elbows and rolled the words around in her mouth. “It’s good… just different…” To further showcase her point, a shiver raced through her body and made her feet visibly twitch. She giggled and stared back at the smile on Tobin’s face that had turned a tad arrogant. “I don’t know what that was,” she tried to explain with a laugh.

“Let’s see if I can make it happen again.”

Tobin returned to one of her top five favourite activities and ran her tongue through Christen’s folds, from bottom to top, and stopped just short of where her girlfriend needed her most. She continued teasing for several more minutes, as her hands slipped underneath Christen’s body to grip her ass and pull her closer. She hummed and moaned and when she couldn’t take it anymore, she gently sucked Christen’s clit into her mouth and immediately sent her girlfriend barreling towards her orgasm.

With her hands still firmly on Christen’s butt, Tobin held her in place so that she could feel every ounce of pleasure.

She finally raised her head, oh so slowly, when she heard the gently thud of Christen’s head hitting the pillow.

The soccer player hummed in appreciation before she started to kiss up Christen’s body. Without any hesitation, Christen placed one hand on Tobin’s face and the other on the nape of her neck, and pulled her into a searing kiss.

“You are,” she began breathlessly. “Incredible,” she finished after another kiss. “In every way.”

Tobin’s response was to roll onto her side, pull Christen into her, and slip a thigh between her legs. She could never forget that her girl loved this kind of contact and stimulation, and she seemed to love the way that Tobin delivered it. She slipped one hand into Christen’s thick hair and kissed her slowly, hungrily.

Christen whimpered and wrapped both of her arms around Tobin’s shoulders. She was wet and sensitive, and basically humping her girlfriend’s leg. “I love the way you want to take care of me,” she spoke with a tremor in her voice.

“I love you,” Tobin answered. “And I love making you come.”

Christen sighed, buried her face in Tobin’s neck, and happily allowed her hips to be pushed and pulled towards her next orgasm.

 

“Chris?” Tobin called tentatively as Christen gathered her things to head out the door.

“Yeah, baby.” Christen lifted her head from where she was looking down into her purse and met Tobin’s shy gaze. “What’s up?”

The soccer player slowly walked forward, with her hands pushed into the front pockets of her jeans. “I don’t want to hover or overstep or anything, but could I come into the shop with you today?”

“Yes, of course,” she smiled easily. “Can I ask why?”

“I just, uh, wanna be around in case that asshole comes around to upset you again,” she answered sheepishly.

Christen stilled, somehow she had not expected that response. Tobin was not aggressive or overt in any way, she was one of the gentlest people that Christen had ever met, but if Luka did decide to make an appearance, she couldn’t see it ending well.

However, Tobin had never given her a reason not to trust her.

With another smile, Christen extended her hand and led Tobin out the door.

They walked into the shop, hand in hand, and greeted Julie with broad smiles.

“Hey JJ! How is the day going?”

“Great boss,” the blonde replied. “How are you?”

“Excited to tattoo today!” Christen exclaimed. She turned to Tobin and placed a sweet kiss on her lips before she headed into the back of the shop.

“Hey Tobin,” Julie grinned. “And how are you today?”

Tobin stepped closer and leaned against the counter. “Good, good.”

“And how’s the offseason training going?”

And just like that, Tobin fell into a comfortable soccer conversation.

Christen returned to the storefront with a sketchbook in her hand and a wide smile on her face. “I brought something to keep you occupied,” she teased.

Tobin accepted the sketchbook and bantered back. “Do I get crayons too?”

“If you want them, baby.”

Tobin reacted by playfully pinching Christen’s waist.

“Okay, lovebirds,” Julie chuckled. “Enough of that.”

Christen tossed her head back in laughter before she told Tobin that she could hang out in the staffroom if she wanted. Tobin finished her training conversation with JJ before she did just that. She knew that everyone in the shop had work to do and she didn’t want to be a distraction. As she doodled, she heard needles buzzing and music playing and it was such a comforting combination of sounds that it almost lulled her to sleep.

Her serenity was interrupted when Pinoe skipped into the room cackling.

“Tobin freakin’ Heath, I have a funny story for you.”

Tobin arched an eyebrow. “Okay, let me hear it.”

Pinoe leaned against the large drawing table in the middle of the room and just smirked at Tobin before she started speaking. “I had this client come in. He wanted a pin up girl looking over her shoulder so the focus would be on the ass. Obviously. I drew it and he told me he wanted a girl with a bit more butt.”

“Okay,” Tobin responded with a bit of a laugh at the end.

“Sounds relatable, right?” She teased.

Tobin rolled her eyes. “Did you provide him with some inspiration?”

“I just told him that my best friend’s butt is the nicest one I’ve ever seen and that I could use that as a reference.”

The soccer player rolled her eyes again, but she did laugh loudly. “You’re ridiculous.” She pursed her lips before she mumbled, “Chris does have an incredible butt.”

At that moment, Christen walked into the room and grabbed a can of Coke out of the fridge. She opened it before she moved to sit in Tobin’s lap. “What are we talking about?”

“Your ass,” the pink-haired woman answered immediately.

Tobin instantly blushed. “Not exactly… but not exactly not true either…” She waited a beat before she added, “It was Pinoe’s fault.”

Pinoe chuckled. “You’re the inspiration for my new pin up piece, CP.”

Christen slipped her fingers into Tobin’s hair, on the back of her head, as she said playfully, “Oh really? Again?” She turned to Tobin with a smirk and mouthed, “She’s obsessed with me.”

Tobin laughed and slipped an arm around Christen’s waist. “How was your appointment?”

“It went great. He wanted an eye, on his wrist. It looks slick,” she said casually before she took a sip of the drink in her hand.

“That sounds sweet,” Pinoe chimed in.

Christen took the pencil from Tobin’s hand and began to idly draw on the sketchpad she was holding. “It looked a little like this,” she murmured as she outlined the shape of an eye.

“Was it in colour?” Tobin asked quietly.

The artist hummed as she continued to draw. “A lovely blue.”

Tobin watched Christen’s hand move before she impulsively grabbed it and pressed a kiss to her knuckles. She was beyond impressed by the quality of work that Christen could produce in mere minutes. To someone who considered themselves to be an artist as well, that was incredibly attractive.

“Are you ready, CP?” Pinoe spoke to interrupt whatever soft, intimate moment they were having.

Christen nodded as she slipped off of Tobin’s lap. The action made the soccer player lift her head in curiosity. “Ready for what?”

“I’m getting tattooed today,” her girlfriend grinned.

“You are?” Tobin asked with wide eyes.

“I am.”

“You never mentioned it.”

“Thought it could be a surprise.”

“And what are you getting?”

“A mermaid, on my thigh,” Christen said as she placed a hand over the piece of skin she was talking about.

Tobin’s face erupted into a large grin. “Lily will love that,” she said referring to her young niece.

“She was kinda my inspiration,” Christen admitted shyly.

Once again, Tobin was blessed with that beyond impressed feeling.

“And I’ve been itching to get another,” the tattoo artist grinned before she held a hand out. “You coming?”

“I can watch?”

Pinoe interrupted once more. “Totally, dude. I don’t mind.”

“I can make a coffee run first?” Tobin suggested as she slowly got to her feet and placed the sketchpad on the sofa she had been lounging on.

“Best idea you’ve had all day," Pinoe grinned.

Christen rolled her eyes at her best friend’s outburst. “That would be great, baby,” she answered softly before she placed a hand on Tobin’s shoulder and leaned forward to kiss her. “Thank you. The shop is going to be closed to customers in a bit so call me if the door is already locked and you can’t get in, okay?”

Tobin nodded and took the opportunity to join their mouths in another soft kiss. “Okay. I will hurry back.”

She walked to the nearby coffee shop, where she was sure one of the baristas was starting to recognize her, and placed her three coffee order. She leaned against a high-top table while she waited, phone in hand and scrolling through social media, when she heard the barista call out the order before hers.

“Latte for Luka!”

Her head snapped up and her eyes instinctively narrowed. It was entirely possible that this was a different Luka, one entirely unrelated to Christen, but it was a Luka, a smarmy-looking one at that, sitting in a coffee shop suspiciously close to Christen’s business.

After taking a deep breath, she slipped her phone into her pocket and walked confidently to the table where a tall, dark-haired man sat with his legs crossed and a book lying open in front of him. She opened her mouth nervously and eventually forced out an opening sentence.

“I don’t want to jump to conclusions but I think we need to talk.”