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It was MJ who said that she runs a nightclub that Gwen’s never been to, that Gwen might be fighting for tenure but she danced well enough when they were on the other side of the college divide, that she should take one night out to drop by and get one of MJ’s characteristically lurid cocktails on the house.

Gwen said that she’d think about it, and intended not to do it at all, to spend her Friday night with something she could cram in the microwave and papers to grade and whatever it is that shows up on the Food Network after eleven pm.

None of that explains why she’s here, skipping past the line curving around the block when it turns out the bouncers have her name, uncertain of herself in this dress and for a moment sure she’ll turn back around until MJ swishes out of nowhere, in a skirt short enough to reveal a soft patch of her inner thigh that Gwen wants to curl her fingers into and leave them there.

“You should,” MJ says aloud, and she winks when Gwen looks up at her, startled. MJ’s eyelashes are glittery, and she adds: “I wore this skirt to put that look on your face. C’mon.”

She crooks a finger and Gwen follows her toward the bar, helpless. “How did you know to put me on the guest list?” she manages at last.

“Oh, darling,” MJ says, grinning easily, “I put you on there every night.”