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Eve’s neighbor is...unusual.

She can’t get a read on her — every day she seems to be wearing something completely different, leather pants and halter tops one day, mini skirts and fur coats another, never settling on a style or even an accent for too long before she’s changing it up again. 

Today is no exception. When Eve trudges up the last step to her floor, she is greeted with the sight of said neighbor leaning against the wall by her own front doorstep, a smart pantsuit sharpening the angles of her svelte frame. Her hair has been wet back with gel at the front, eliminating the possibility of a wig for tonight. She thinks the woman is a natural blonde, that she speaks with the shadow of her native Russian tongue tracing the English she throws her slinking taunts in, as both are what appear to Eve most often and what appear to her now when she addresses the woman by name.

“Villanelle.”

She receives a slow smirk in acknowledgement, followed by a much slower once-over of her frumpy, worn down state. She knows she looks a wreck; she’s been out on foot all day, traversing from shady companies to security agencies to victims’ houses for the better part of thirteen hours with little to show for it but some faded treads on the soles of her sensible heels. She hasn’t been self conscious of it until now, and the feeling has her tugging on the hem of her wrinkled blouse as if it will do something to tidy her appearance.

Her neighbor is something else entirely. Everything she wears looks tailormade to her measurements, and Eve wonders — not for the first time — what this woman could possibly do for work. Her blazer is elegant, dark grey with off-white pinstripes that contrast her tanned skin seemingly by design. Its shoulders are padded but the fabric is forgiving where it flexes with Villanelle’s movements.

And that really turns out to be the kicker. Because when she shifts on her feet it becomes clear to Eve that she is wearing nothing underneath it, the firm line of her sternum coming into view between the front flaps of the jacket as it slides open on her exhale. 

“Eve,” her head tilts to the left, following her as she shoves off the concrete wall. The tone she uses is the kind one employs when making a promise, but the way she chooses to wield it promises nothing good. “What a lovely surprise, I was just thinking about you.”

Eve stops in her rummaging pursuit for her keys to glance up at the other woman. “You were?”

Villanelle’s eyes widen innocently. “Of course! I was wondering when my neighbor with the big hair and ugly cardigans was going to come home. She’s been staying out very late recently and I get lonely,” Eve throws her a half hearted glare, but it doesn’t stick when the stress kneading at her shoulders twinges into something physical. “And now I’m wondering what’s got her making that cute little pouty face,” she says, pushing her own lip out in an exaggerated approximation of Eve’s own weary expression. 

“Rough day at work,” Eve says dismissively, unearthing the keys from the rubble of crumpled receipts and old lipsticks cluttering up her bag. 

Villanelle bends forward and looks up through Eve’s curtain of curly fringe, a stance usually reserved for the purpose of making eye contact with a crying child. She adapts the position with ease. “What do you do? Detective?”

“How...how did you know that?” Eve stiffens. Her fingers find the pointed edge of her apartment key, fitting it between her knuckles as she was shown in self defense training to use as a makeshift weapon. Villanelle clearly notices this from the corner of her eye but doesn’t comment.

“I can just tell these things,” she says, breezing past the suspicious statement as she approaches Eve with a low, foreboding click from her expensive loafers. “Any way I can make it better?”

“Unless you know how to track down a trained killer, then no, I’m not sure there’s much you can do,” Eve laughs slightly, awkwardly, feeling more saliva build up in her mouth with every step Villanelle takes to lessen their distance.

“Not about that,” Villanelle admits, shoulders shrugging and nearly exposing too much of her bare chest under its meager coverings. “But I have other skills.”

Her tongue finds the corner of her unpainted lips and dabs at it, a smirk following the movement when she catches Eve looking. One wide stretch of her back and her entire left breast is exposed to the chill of the stairwell, her dark nipple already pebbled from it. The small gasp she lets out is too rehearsed to be genuine, Eve thinks, especially seeing as she does nothing to remedy her nudity for a solid twenty seconds while Eve stands gawking.

“Oops,” Villanelle says eventually, not seeming embarrassed in the slightest as she covers herself and smiles that same serpentine smile Eve finds herself on the business end of more and more often these days. She can only blink in response, once, twice, until the other woman tires of standing in her silence and spins towards her own apartment with a squeak of leather and a dreamy sigh. 

She yanks her unlocked door open, drumming quietly on the knob for a moment before throwing a smug glance over her shoulder. Her fingers come up in a fluttering wave, almost disdainful, as if she’s flicking an overzealous spider from her hand. 

“Have a good night, Eve,” she says with no further preamble, shutting the door tightly behind her.

Before Eve can make heads or tails of the interaction she’s slipping her key into its lock on autopilot, pushing the door open and dropping her bag in the entryway. She doesn’t make any stops on her way to her bedroom. There’s a phantom itch settling inside her, working its way from her mind downwards as it makes stops in her chest and her stomach. 

When it reaches tentatively further and throbs, she thinks, oh, that makes sense .

She hasn’t been touched in what feels like forever. Her ex husband broke it off after months of scarce, unsatisfying sex, and the rebounds she scrounged up from work or the pubs all reeked of mommy issues. Villanelle is something new, something fresh and exciting that threatens to pull Eve apart if only she will let it.

Eve hasn’t been attracted to a woman before. Or she has, she just hasn’t let herself believe that’s what it was when the feeling arose. Men occupied enough of her time as it was, she didn’t need the confusion of another gender altogether getting her guts up in a twist.

She’s heard Villanelle before, knows she’s been with a lot of women just in the time they’ve lived next door to each other. She won’t admit that sometimes she leans in towards the walls when it’s happening, listens to the moans Villanelle can draw from her partner and clenches a tight fist into the fabric of her pajamas to keep from sliding the digits lower and rocking into them as she keeps one ear to the plaster. 

That’s why it’s not exactly glamorous, the way she shoves her hand past the belt of her work slacks, but theatrics are the last thing on her mind when she gets her fingers where she wants them most. Second most, if you count the shadowed curve of Villanelle’s pert breast she was just treated to an eyeful of. 

The shiver that follows is undeniable, breaking away at any last bit of apprehension she may have had about doing this. And who was she kidding, really? Certainly not herself. She’s been wanting to do this ever since her neighbor first knocked on her door and demanded a housewarming gift of homemade sugar cookies.

The Villanelle in her mind is impatient, chomping at the bit to get her hands on every exposed scrap of skin she can find. She tells her pretty lies to soften the blow of her unyielding touch, things like, “Did you like my outfit today? I dress up for you, you know. But I don’t know what you like, so I experiment,” and her breath is hot on her flushed clavicle as she drags her lips over it until Eve is squirming. “Seems like you liked this one.”

She imagines those thin hands grabbing her knees and parting her legs, sliding down the inside of her thighs and meeting at her center to wage a full-force attack on the slippery mess that greets her. No foreplay. She doesn’t need it. Neither of them do. Eve pants into the crook of her free elbow. 

She knows it would be fast and hard and relentless, like everything about Villanelle seems to be, and Eve would allow it — relish it even. She’d probably take both of Eve’s nipples between her fingers and pull , the sweet strain teetering just on this side of agonizing as she supplemented the torture with the steady roll of her hips against Eve’s. Her pants would be long gone by now, leaving only her ruined underwear between them that Villanelle would make a point not to remove simply because she was a dick. 

Eve would press her thumbs into the dips on Villanelle’s lower back, urging her on with a gasp as two fingers slipped straight into her waiting heat and curled , sending sparks up her back when a single trimmed nail prodded upwards. It’s all happening so fast, too fast, that as soon as her own fingers are in and thrusting she already feels the familiar coil start to form in her abdomen.

She could swear she hears just the faintest, “ Go on, Eve ,” in her ear from far away, a lust-drunk, “ Do it now ,” penetrating through the mindless fog of arousal, and she’d be ashamed to admit it unravels her if anyone were to ask. But they won’t, so she’s stuck bearing the knowledge alone as her breaths come out high and frantic until they crescendo into something white-hot-aching- powerful . She scrambles to dig one last desperate fingernail into her swollen nipple and takes the sensation with her while she twitches with it, hard, feeling a lick of moisture run down the inside of her thigh. Her back rises against the bed, gravity pressing her wetness into the comforter that she’ll for sure have to wash now that the evidence of her release is smeared across the patchwork. Her hips continue rounding in the air, though, she can’t help it. Nothing she can do will slow her heartbeat, soothe her heaving lungs, all she can do now is ride it out.

Now that she’s coming down she has the sense to be ashamed of how the lace of her bralette has been shoved aside so carelessly to paw at her own chest. Before she can dwell on it for too long, though, her eyelids are wilting like flower petals, barely able to shudder under the strong breeze of exhaustion. She fights to keep them open just long enough to launder her things and wash the day’s filth from herself, but her efforts are in vain. A light hum lulls her the rest of the way towards unconsciousness, and she barely has time to wonder if she’s relocked the front door before she’s out. 

Villanelle ceases her humming when she sees the tension drop from Eve’s shoulders, easing her eye away from the hole in the wall. She’d drilled it last month when Eve was out of the country investigating the present Villanelle left for her in Belgium, just big enough to see through but small enough that it would be hidden unless you were looking for it. She prods at the crease that had formed on her eyelash from pressing up against the wall for so long and drops back onto her haunches. Mere inches from the hole, Eve’s body is still supine and ripe for the taking. Villanelle can still see her from here, just not as well. 

“Aw,” she says, leaning one elbow atop her bed frame as she watches Eve snore. “Little baby gets sleepy after she finishes. How sweet.”

Eve lets out a particularly loud snort through her open mouth and Villanelle’s nose scrunches up. She waits her out, sitting and watching her sleep until there are no more drool-inducing snuffles oncoming, and pulls away from the hole to flop back onto her own bed in a muted version of the same fatigued afterglow.

“Took her long enough,” she blows out a dramatic breath, letting her eyes cross with it. “If I’d have known all it took was getting my tits out I would’ve whipped my shirt off weeks ago.”