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Assist My Heart

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“I'm the only one that can write my story (hey)
Ain't nobody else gonna do it for me (hey)
Anything at all that I wanna be
I got it all right in front of me
I'm the only one that can write my story, write my story.”

Waverly’s arms pump faster as her feet dig into the Earth below her, pushing herself hard through the last half a mile of her run. The familiar path blurs by, as her thoughts traipse from one random musing to the next, very strictly avoiding the one thing that has been plaguing her mind for the last week.

The familiar song makes her blood thump furiously, kicking her adrenaline up a notch every time it plays, carrying with it memories of getting hyped up before football and basketball games that she cheered at during her high school years.

As her building comes back into view from her third lap around the expansive neighborhood of townhomes, she finally slows to a jog, bringing her heart rate down bit by bit before she comes to a brisk walk that ends at her door.

Grabbing the canteen of water she left on the stoop when she started, she takes a long pull before heading inside to begin her cool down stretches and afternoon yoga.

“How was your run?” her roommate and best friend, Robin, asks as she comes through the foyer into their living room.

“Perfect, not too hot today for LA,” she responds, removing her earbuds before grabbing her yoga mat and unrolling it in front of the couch he lays on.

She starts a series of cool down stretches, unknotting her muscles from the long run, before dropping onto her mat to start her usual routine.

Before she can get too far, her phone begins ringing from it’s place in the thigh pocket of her leggings. Pulling it out quickly, her eyes take in the unlisted number on the screen. She begins to pace, trying to quell the sudden anxiety coursing through her.

“Is it them?” Robin asks eagerly, sitting up, seeing her face pass from excitement, to nervousness, to fear in a matter of seconds. Mirroring Waverly’s own emotions.

“I-” she swallows thickly, nerves getting the better of her, “I hope so.”

Taking a deep shaky breath, she answers the call before it can go to voicemail, “hello?” she answers tentatively.

“Hello, Miss Earp?” A cheery voice greets her.

“Speaking,” Waverly bites her thumb nail subconsciously.

“Great! My name is Jeremy, I’m calling on behalf of Dolls.” He informs her quickly.

“Dolls?” She queries, a bit confused.

After a beat of confused silence, “uh, yes? You said you were Waverly Earp right?” she hears the ruffling of papers through the phone, “not a very common name, I’m sure I called the right person.” Waverly hears him mutter to himself. “I’m calling about the assistant’s job.” Jeremy clarifies a bit louder.

“Yes, I applied for that job, I am just unsure who Dolls is, I’m sorry.” Waverly rushes to add.

“Xavier Dolls, he’s the boss. I’m sorry, was his name not mentioned at all during the interview process?” Jeremy sounds befuddled by this information. “Leave it to Lonnie to not even mention the bosses name during the interview. Good for nothing screener.” Clearing his throat, he continues louder, “sorry, Xavier Dolls, or Dolls as he likes to be addressed, is the man behind the operation, essentially. Anyways, he asked me to call and give you an official offer.” Jeremy finishes on a happy sounding exhale.

Waverly releases the breath she’d been holding through Jeremy’s spiel. “That’s great! When do I start?” The brunette does a silent happy dance in a circle.

“The sooner the better. The actress you’re being paired up with has been without an assistant for several weeks and has a lot on her schedule that needs help maintaining. Plus, Dolls and Mercedes can only communicate so much before they’re practically killing each other, but we’ll discuss that at a later time.”

With a raised brow in inquiry to his statement, Waverly feels the start of anxious butterflies. “Sounds good. I can be there tomorrow?” she questions.

“Perfect! Dolls’ main office is located on the Warner Brothers sound stages lot. Check in at Gate 3 off Olive Street. Someone will escort you from there to his office where we’ll officially meet, and you’ll get to meet Dolls.”

“Perfect, what time?” Waverly asks eagerly.

“Uhm,” Waverly hears Jeremy flicking through more papers, “Dolls has meetings all day tomorrow, and I’m sure he’ll want you to meet Nicole while she’s on set tomorrow, so, early. Eight a.m.?” He questions.

Waverly blanches, racking her brain for who Nicole could be. “I’ll be there. Thank you, Jeremy.”

“You’re welcome, see you tomorrow. Oh, and save this number, it’s mine. Have a good night!” He chirps before ending the call.

Robin, who has been sitting on the couch bouncing impatiently, jumps up quickly with a loud exhale, “you got the job?!” he squeals.

“I got the job!” she exclaims, arms raised in triumph before her best friend is engulfing her in a hug, spinning her around.

“I’ve gotta call Wynonna!” she giggles excitedly, dancing in place again before raising her phone to her ear, her sister’s name on the screen.

“Hello?” a sleepy voice answers gruffly.

“Wy! I got the job!” she exclaims happily, disregarding her sisters obvious attempt at sleeping till noon as usual.

“That’s great, babygirl,” she drawls sleepily, Waverly hearing the true happiness laced in the sleep laden response. “What job?” she asks confused.

Groaning aloud, “the assistant’s job I applied for with a manager at Warner Brothers! I’m going to be someone’s assistant!”

There’s practically crickets on the other line as Waverly assumes her sister has drifted back off to sleep.

“That’s right!” her sister suddenly remembers, pulling the foggy memory from the recesses of her brain. “Way to go, Waves! One step closer to your dream!”

The pride Waverly can hear in her sister’s voice reverberates in her chest and mists her eyes. Wynonna’s acceptance of her dreams has always been important to her since this pipe dream of hers placed thousands of miles between them; especially when they have only had each other since they were children, save for their aunt and uncle who took them in when they suffered tragedy at a young age.

“Thanks, ‘Nonna.” Waverly whispers. “Anyways, I’ll let you get back to sleep, just wanted to share the good news.”

“M’kay.” Her sister hums, clearly half-way there already.

“Give my love to Doc.” Waverly adds before she hears another hum followed by a soft snore.

Ending the call with a chuckle, Waverly abandons her yoga mat on the floor, no longer caring to finish her routine before shooting out two texts that simply read, “I got the job!” before rushing up the stairs.

“That’s great beautiful! 😊” comes Perry’s reply.

“I knew it! I had a feeling today would be the day!” Rosita’s response follows.

Smiling to herself, Waverly enters her room, grabbing clothes for a shower.

“Celebrate tonight? 😉” a second text from Rosita chimes in.

Biting her lip, Waverly waits for the next text she knows will come from Perry, wanting to weigh her options carefully.

“Celebratory dinner?” Perry’s next text reads after a few minutes.

Deliberating her options, trying to decide where her needs lie tonight, she shoots a quick reply to each.

“Of course, I’d love too. 😉”

“I can’t tonight, how about this weekend?” She replies to the other.

“I’ll pick you up at 7.” Comes the simple reply.

Waverly’s skin prickles with excitement as she sets her phone down to begin undressing.

“I’ll make reservations at Shojin for Sat. 😊”

Another smile breaks across her face as she reads the notification on her screen before skipping into her private bathroom for a hot shower.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 📱 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“I'ma do it like this, do it like that
Do it like this, then I'll do it like that
I'ma do it like this, do it like that
Do it like this, then I'll do it like that”

“twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen.” Nicole breathes out before lowering her legs and controlling her arms as she extends her toes back to the ground, her abs twitching from her fourth set of hanging leg lifts.

Grabbing the jump rope slung over the bench in front of her, she starts humming along to the song playing through her Beats as she easily hops and skips with the rope.

Breathing steadily through the exertion, she’s interrupted by her ringtone cutting through the song.

“Haught.” She answers simply before dropping into a plank on the mat to her left.

“Hey Nic, it’s Jeremy.” He chirps happily.

“Hey Jere,” Nicole grunts before blowing out puffs of air.

“Did I catch you working out?” he asks sheepishly.

“It’s fine, what’s up?” she grits again, trying to hold her position.

“Just wanted to give you a heads up that your new assistant starts tomorrow. What time are you scheduled to arrive on set?” Jeremy asks, clicking away on his laptop.

A beat of silence passes, as Nicole breathes through the final seconds of her plank before relaxing to the mat with a long exhale and then rolling over.

“Nine, I think,” The redhead breathes slowly, trying to bring her heart rate back down.

“Perfect. She’ll be here at eight to sign paperwork and receive her badge, we’ll come by set afterwards so you guys can meet.”

Nicole sighs but doesn’t say anything else.

“She sounds super nice, I think you’re gonna like this one.” Jeremy quips, the ever-present smile in his voice.

“Great.” The actress drawls sarcastically.

“Don’t be like that, you need an assistant, you’ve been a busy bee lately.” He tries to reason with the thoughts behind her sarcasm.

“That’s what you said before I met the last one.” She grumbles as she sits up and takes a long swig of water.

“Well, your status hasn’t changed despite how horrible your last assistant was. That’s why Carl no longer works here.”

“Stupid Carl.” She growls and the friends share a laugh.

Sighing deeply, Nicole relents, “we’ll see what happens. I think I’m on stage ten tomorrow. Text me when you’re heading over.”

“Will do, night.” Jeremy agrees before ending their call.

“I’m gonna kill Dolls if this goes south again.” She grumbles to herself before rolling back to her stomach and starting a series of push-ups.

Fifteen minutes later, Nicole is running on the treadmill when her phone chirps that there’s movement at the front door. Looking down at the video feed popping up on the screen, she sees that Shae is home.

Setting her lips in a thin line, she ups the speed on the treadmill, sprinting to drown out the impending frustration.

“Hey babe,” Nicole greets her fiancée listlessly, as she walks on jell-o legs into their bedroom thirty minutes later, where Shae is exchanging clothes in her travel bag.

“Hey sweetie.” She replies with the ghost of a smile, not looking up from her task.

Nicole hasn’t seen her fiancée in almost a month, and the fresh pile of clothes sitting on the bed while a pile of dirty laundry grows at Shae’s feet, tells the actress she’s likely only in for the evening.

“Where you off too this time?” she asks conversationally, not really interested in knowing.

“Prague.”

“You were just there.” Nicole states monotonously.

“I know.” Comes the short reply, no sound of an explanation to follow.

Nicole hums a response, used to the short-handed conversations the couple has been having whenever they happen to be in the same room these days.

“How long this time?” Nicole asks as she gathers clothes for a shower.

“Two weeks. Have to reshoot a few sequences that some assistant ruined when she spilled her coffee on a laptop or something.” She remarks bitterly.

“Bummer.” Nicole remarks. “You’ll be back for the premier?”

“Of course.” Shae agrees, an edge of irritation in her voice at the question.

“Good, cause I’d rather not deal with Mercedes again.” Nicole states tensely.

“I said I was sorry, Nicole.” Shae snaps, her movements faltering slightly as she forces out a breath.

“Yea, so you say.” Nicole mumbles. “I’m gonna shower, pick a place for dinner.” She tells her tersely, walking into their en suite without a response.

After a hotter than necessary shower that hardly persuades her body to relax, Nicole steps into their bedroom in just her Calvin Klein boyshorts and matching racer-back sports bra.

She spots Shae sitting on the chaise at the foot of their bed, eyes glued to her phone, but she sees them flicker up to her briefly.

“Looking pretty toned.” She states in a voice Nicole can’t quite place. Desire? Longing? Despondence? A ghost of something reflected in her eyes.

“I’ve been training pretty hard. This new role calls for quite a bit of physical action.” Nicole responds softly, sparing a softer glance at the woman that’s been a big part of her life for the last several years. Clearing her throat, she breaks the heavy moment that is building between them, “did you decide on a place for dinner?”

“It’s supposed to be a nice night, I was thinking we go to Catch, sit outside.” Shae answers softly, all edge to her demeanor from earlier gone.

Nicole gives an affirmative nod, her jaw clenching as the memories of their previous night’s there flash through her mind, happier nights.

Heading into the closet as a sigh leaves Shae’s lips, Nicole throws on some dark skinny jeans, a simple designer white tee and her beige leather jacket. Slipping on her all white adidas to complete the look, she grabs her money clip from the vanity in her closet and heads back into the room.

“When do you have to be at the airport?” Nicole asks as she stops a few feet short of her fiancée.

“Tomorrow evening. Five, I think. Melanie is supposed to text me the flight information sometime this evening to confirm.”

With another nod, Nicole turns and gestures for the door, signaling she’s ready to leave. Shae stands, stepping quickly into the redhead’s personal space, neither of their hands reaching for the other though. “I missed you.” She whispers softly, eyes sad, as she places a warm kiss to Nicole’s cheek. Then she turns and walks from their bedroom silently.

When they arrive at the restaurant, the maître d immediately greets them by name. “Where can I seat you ladies tonight?”

“Patio please,” Shae answers kindly, giving him a warm smile.

“Right this way,” he gestures for them to follow.

He sits them in the far corner, the one with the best view of the city and leaves them silently with their menus.

They vacantly look over the options, both already knowing what they want since they’ve established their favorite choices here.

“Good evening ladies, welcome back.” Their waitress greets them a few moments later, Nicole recognizing her from some of their previous visits. “Your usual?” She asks with a wide smile.

Shae locks eyes with Nicole in silent question and Nicole nods in agreement. “Yes, please.” She answers for them both.

The waitress nods as well and silently leaves with their menus in hand.

A few minutes later, the waitress returns and silently pours them both a glass of red wine, before leaving the bottle between them.

“Whiskey neat, please,” Nicole calls after her a moment later. The waitress turns to her briefly, confirming she heard the request.

After a few tense moments and a long swallow of wine from Shae, she sighs heavily. “Are you going to keep freezing me out?” The brunette mutters finally.

Nicole’s eyes snap to hers and she opens and closes her mouth once before grinding her jaw briefly. “I’m not freezing you out.” She finally replies in a flat tone.

“Nic, you can barely look at me.” Shae’s eyes are clouded over, but there’s an edge to her words, like she’s reigning in her own annoyance at the looming conversation.

To spite her last statement, Nicole locks eyes with Shae for several long moments, steely determination set in her mocha eyes and in the tension of her jaw as she grinds her teeth again. But in the end it’s still too much and her eyes flicker into the distance, unseeing.

“What do you want me to say?” Nicole finally breathes out.

“Honestly? Nothing.” At this, Nicole’s eyes come back to study Shae’s even expression. There’s no anger or malice on her face, but there’s also no guilt or shame. “We agreed to this a long time ago. No grudges, no questions.”

Nicole swallows thickly, knowing their agreement from months ago. “I know.”

“Then why the sudden change in attitude?” Shae demands incredulously.

“Because part of the agreement was that it wouldn’t be flaunted. Discretion was rule number one.” Nicole bites back, leaning further into their bubble.

Shae’s expression softens just a bit. “I know, and I’m sorry for that. I’m not sure what Mel was thinking.” She sighs, “truthfully, I don’t think any of us were sober enough to think at all that night.”

Nicole scoffs at that. “Obviously,” her sarcasm matched with a dramatic eyeroll.

The waitress returns with her whiskey; it hardly touches the table before Nicole is lifting it to her lips, swallowing the glass in one go.

Feeling the familiar burn down her throat, she signals for another one before the waitress can even walk away. “Bring the bottle.” She adds before the waitress has fully turned.

“Wait,” Shae leans forward, eyes studying Nicole’s, “are you jealous?” she mocks softly, her lips quirked playfully.

Nicole chuckles humorlessly. “Why? Is the thought provoking?” The redhead raises a perfectly shaped brow at her.

Shae leans back in her seat, unsure how to answer that seeing as her fiancée clearly doesn’t want to play games tonight. “You know the answer to that question,” she finally amends, the look in her eyes still managing to heat Nicole’s skin. The actress knows what her jealousy does to the woman sitting across from her.

The model sees the briefest of fires dance behind the mocha gaze, but it dwindles just as fast.

It’s bordering on three months since Nicole and Shae have forayed between the sheets together. Instead relying on their own hands or other bodies to warm their beds.

“Drunk or not, it’s not the smartest idea when your best friend is also your publicist and happens to be taking very racy photos of you. She’s lucky she only sent them to me and not to someone who would sell them to a tabloid in a heartbeat.”

Her bottle of whiskey is placed in front of her a moment later and she waves the waitress off before refilling her own glass and taking a swig, albeit smaller this time.

Shae sighs, the guilt finally marring her features and pinches the bridge of her nose, “I know. I really am sorry Nic. I went through Mel’s phone the next morning and deleted everything. If it makes you feel any better, I didn’t sleep with her.” Shae reaches out to cover Nicole’s hand on the table, but Nicole brushes off the attempt, raising her whiskey to her lips.

Nicole gives her a single nod, not having much else to say. Was she jealous? Yea sure, Shae was her fiancée. Was she angry though? Absolutely. It’s weird enough that they agreed to an open relationship all those months ago, both realizing that there was a growing need between them that they couldn’t seem to quell with their schedules keeping them distanced. Their agreement had simple rules though: discretion from the public, honesty between the two of them, and only one-night stands. They both agreed they could handle the idea of their partner having sex with a stranger, but feelings were a whole other beast.

While it is a strange arrangement, so far it was working out; that is, until Nicole received proof in the form of a very scantily clad Shae draped in the arms of another woman, their lips fused together. It’s an image that has since been seared into the redhead’s retinas and nightmares. And while the couple had previously fought and talked out the situation after it happened, this was the first night they have been face-to-face since the incident.

In a nutshell, Nicole no longer knew if this was working for her. Their relationship meant a lot to the LGBTQ community and for queer women in their respective fields; both of their publicist’s pressuring them to maintain their solid image in the public eye. That meant attending events, sightings out together whenever Shae is home between jobs, public support of each other in whatever way it presented itself. Not that this is a problem, because above all else, the women love one another and want to show each other support. But deep down, they both know there are dark hidden corners of their minds that question what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Nicole loves Shae. She thinks she is one of the most beautiful and kind women to ever grace her chaotic life. But she no longer knows if their love is a fairytale. If it is meant to stand the test of time. Both of them seeming to find greater solace in their time apart than their time together.

They never voice these concerns though, both too scared of what that could mean for them.

So, the fear keeps them quiet. They make the most of their limited time together, ignoring the elephant in the room, and make even more out of the time that they’re apart, training the elephant to do tricks.

“Just get her on a tighter leash.” Nicole grumbles after several silent minutes.

“I will.” Shae gives her a tentative smile, trying to break the remaining tension between them.

Nicole can’t help but roll her eyes and give her a small one back, not moving away this time when Shae reaches for her hand.

The rest of their meal goes by smoothly. They make idle chit chat about how their respective jobs have been going. Nicole fills her in on the new love interest they hired that she thinks is a total idiot, Shae agreeing that the man child sounds ridiculous. Shae tells Nicole about the new photographer that she is eager to work with next month, a new up and comer that everyone is buzzing about.

When they finish, they walk out of the restaurant hand in hand, subconsciously aware of anyone that could be watching and scrutinizing their every move. They ride home in a comfortable silence, neither needing to fill the void with noise.

Once they arrive home, they both quietly get ready for bed, going about their nightly routines of teeth brushing, make-up removing and changing for bed.

As Nicole makes a start towards her side of the bed from the closet, she’s met by Shae who’s crawling across to her side, lifting onto her knees and grabbing fistfuls of Nicole’s sleep tank.

Wordlessly, Shae connects their lips and fights past Nicole’s attempts to resist by running her hands around her hips, to the small of her back, bringing their bodies flush together. Nicole’s hands tangle in the silk pajama top Shae is wearing, trying to maintain her control until she feels Shae’s nails dig into the dimples on her lower back at the same time her bottom lip is sucked into a warm mouth. And just like that, her resolve comes crumbling down as she succumbs to the familiar embrace and lays her fiancée down into the pillows.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 📱 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Across town, Waverly sinks back into the mattress as her orgasm ebbs from her body. This was exactly the celebration she wanted tonight. Needed.

“Congrats, again.” A husky voice whispers into her ear.

Waverly just hums her response, falling into a blissful sleep.