The sensible thing would be to see a Doctor. But she’s never been sensible. In fact, sensible is the last word anyone might choose to describe Patty Hewes. That and psycho-therapy might as well be witchcraft as far as she’s concerned. Still, there’s got to be an explanation for her behavior.
This has got to stop. This--whatever it is.
Phil says it’s flirting. Except, Patty doesn’t flirt. Not as an extracurricular activity anyhow. She doesn’t have to. She’s never had to anyway.
But if that’s what she’s doing now, she can’t help it. Because Ellen is most definitely flirting back and it’s not like it means anything. It’s not like Patty needs those nights alone with the young woman.
‘Young’. That’s the operative word.
Ellen is young and vibrant and enticing in the most subtle way.
Patty tells herself she’ll stop. That she will leave her alone and stop compromising the girl’s position because after all, her career is just beginning and she can’t go and ruin it just because Patty seems to find their little encounters entertaining. Although, they’re more than that. They become nearly impossible to avoid and nearly distracting. So Patty decides she will stop the games, will stop enticing the other woman with impromptu visits to her office with the occasional excusable meeting with Ellen’s boss.
The problem is that it’s only a few days before it starts again. That bubbling, boil like build in the pit of her stomach until it as a wave-like heat within her loins. Until she finds herself unable to sleep and finally calling Ellen in the middle of the night with some bogus invitation to a dinner that will never happen.
She almost regrets it. It’s almost too much. Until Ellen shows up with a bunch of flowers in her hands and an unreadable expression.
Downing two bottles of wine with Alex Benjamin doesn’t do anything to help Patty’s racing heart nor the rush of adrenaline she can’t control even hours after Ellen’s departure. When Alex is gone, Patty considers seeing a therapist. For a second. She wonders if this longing for games is even healthy. Or if she’s really even longing for entertainment anymore. When she closes her eyes, she sees Ellen’s face, seemingly jealous at the sight of Alex and Patty is suddenly thrilled and full of energy at three in the morning.
When Ellen walks through her door at three-thirty, wide eyed and angry, her face flushed as she huffs and puffs her way right inside letting the door slam behind her, Patty tries to hide the fact that she isn’t breathing.
“That’s enough,” Ellen says, sternly and pointedly, defiantly searching Patty’s face for an apology they both know will never come.
And then Patty’s spine is crushed against a bookshelf and her lip is bruised by a searing kiss she has no intention of ending and as Ellen works quickly on the buttons of Patty’s shirt, it’s there. That longing. It ’IS’ longing, Patty now understands. Whether it’s healthy or not she isn’t sure, but recognizing the problem has got to be worth something and will have to do for now.