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but if you really hold me tight

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The door closes with a soft click, and Bobbie shrugs off her snow dusted coat. The apartment has a familiar warmth, and it’s a relief to be out of the harsh New York City winter. In one hand, she’s carrying a bag of takeout, and she leans against the doorframe with ruddy cheeks and a bright smile.

Her lover is curled against the side of the couch, donning a robe and the pair of fuzzy socks she hides away from everyone but Bobbie. There’s a book leaning on the arm of the couch, and it’ll soon be put aside, because god knows Bobbie is too impatient for books.

Cheap Christmas lights are strung around the room, but if Joanne had any say, she wouldn’t decorate at all. Even outside of religion and it’s traditions, she isn’t crazy about Christmas, but Bobbie is Catholic, and likes drinking and pretty things too much.

The brunette looks up, glasses perched on the end of her nose.

“You’re early.”

“And you’re happy to see me.”

“So happy I could die.”

Bobbie rolls her eyes, but when Joanne opens her arm out to her, she can’t stay ticked off. She sets down the bag of food on the coffee table, and settles into the older woman’s embrace. Joanne’s hand slips into the back of her hair, and her eyes wander down her face before stopping at her lips.

‘Kiss me’ is what she’s trying to say. Bobbie obliges, and happily so

Joanne’s fingers draw over her jaw, and Bobbie pulls back before bumping their noses together.

“I’ll be back. I’ve had a wire from this bra jabbing at me all day.”

“You’re charming, Bobbie.”

“Bite me.”

She stands, disappearing into their bedroom, but not without a firm smack to her ass first. Joanne refused to move from her high rise, but Bobbie understood that perfectly. Plus, she’d be out of her mind to turn down a place with such a view. It’s certainly a one-up from the lousy apartment she got when she was twenty eight.

Their room is entirely Joanne — clean, and sophisticated, but pieces of herself have worked their way in over the time they’ve been together. Her art on the walls, and her wine bottle candles (much to Joanne’s chagrin). Her tote bags are lined against Joanne’s designer purses, her college sweatshirt hanging next to Joanne’s tailored jackets.

She wonders how the hell Joanne fell for her. All her life she’s been married to lawyers, or politicians, or CEOs, and all it took was a tipsy proposition for her to drop everything for a redhead twenty years her junior. No promise of wealth, or an easy life, and she still jumped. That has to mean something.

Bobbie changes into a tank top and pyjama pants, and she settles beside Joanne on the couch. Joanne, who’s smoking. She takes the cigarette from her, taking a drag before putting it out. She didn’t smoke before Joanne, and it’s not something she does often, but it was impossible not to pick up.

They enjoy dinner, even if Joanne is majority listening. She doesn’t do a lot of talking the way Bobbie does. Bobbie talks about anything and everything. Her commute, her coffee, what happened with Jamie at the weekend, the family she doesn’t speak to, egg rolls. Joanne talks when she’s had time to think. They’ve gotten a lot better with the two-sided-one-sided conversation thing.

“My back is breaking,” she laments through a final mouthful of noodles, and she sets down her plate.

Joanne doesn’t eat as much as she does drink, but that’s habit.

“Shower,” she says, pressing her lips to the back of Bobbie’s hand. “I’ll be in the bedroom. I’ll consider being nice enough to let you choose what we’re watching.”

Bobbie lean in to catch her lips in a kiss, and usually Joanne would complain after eating, but she thinks she’s just happy to have a quiet Friday night.

With a shower out of the way, and her hair clipped back, she flops onto the bed beside Joanne, who makes a sound of annoyance at being interrupted. She looks down at Bobbie, who only smiles back up at her with a dozy grin.

“If you weren’t so pretty…”

“You think I’m pretty?”

“Stupid question, Roberta.”

”God, isn’t that awful? My mother was a real pill.”

Bobbie doesn’t think she’s all that pretty. She’s tall, and a little lanky, with red hair and pale skin. Her figure is a little boyish, and her face is all sharpness. Still, Joanne seems to like her plenty, so she can’t argue, especially not with a woman of such taste.

Joanne folds her glasses, setting them aside with her book and extending her arm to her for the second time this evening. Bobbie pushes herself up with her elbows and shifts into Joanne’s embrace. She doesn’t tell her she loves her as much as she shows it, but she doesn’t mind that. Joanne is always generous with her small acts of gratitude and love, and while it took some getting used to, she couldn’t be happier with their shared love language.

Joanne’s eyes close, and Bobbie frowns.

“You’re tired? It’s a quarter past seven!”

“I’m an old woman. Lay off.”

“Too old to watch a movie?”

She raises her eyebrow, because she knows exactly what that means.

“Clever.”

Bobbie let’s some old romcom play, and she flicks off the lamp on the nightstand, and they do watch a little of the movie, however it isn’t very long at all before Joanne’s hands begin to wander, and Bobbie grins.