Cosette had seen the the girl, loitering at the edge of the square. It was only for a moment, but her breath caught and she stared wordlessly until her father pulled impatiently at her arm, hurrying her along the streets. He was always in a hurry, never wanting to linger anywhere.
She glanced back over her shoulder, but the girl was gone amongst the crowd. Cosette couldn’t explain the disappointment that followed her all the way home.
* * *
She knelt in the tiny chapel in the garden, hands clasped dutifully in prayer. It was the one excuse she could use with her father that guaranteed she would be left alone. She lowered her head, but her thoughts were not with God.
The girl from the market square wouldn’t leave her in peace.
Cosette sighed and raised her head. She had seen the girl for only a moment. It mattered little. It was nothing at all, and yet, when she thought of the girl, it made Cosette smile to remember her.
A faint scratching sound interrupted her thoughts and she stepped out into the garden to investigate.
Cosette looked around, and there, standing at the break in the wall where the ivy curled over the stone like a lover, stood the girl, gazing down at her.
She should have gone back inside, but instead Cosette went forward with a bold step.
“I saw you,” the girl whispered, leaning on the stone. “Earlier. In the square.”
“I saw you,” Cosette’s words trembled on her tongue. She had not thought of what to say. She’d never dreamed they would ever speak. She’d half thought she’d dreamed the dark-haired girl.
“What’s your name?” The girl, oh lovely eyes, she had, and a warm, sweetly curved mouth that did curious things to Cosette’s stomach.
“Cosette,” Cosette stepped up upon the stone ledge so that they were closer. There was a smudge of dirt on the girl’s cheek, and Cosette half wanted to take her handkerchief to wipe it away.
“I’m Eponine,” the girl told her.
“It’s a beautiful name,” Cosette said it because she couldn’t tell the girl, Eponine, it felt like music on her lips, that it was truly her that Cosette found beautiful.
“Not half as pretty as you,” Eponine said with a laugh.
Cosette couldn’t breathe. Her dress was too tight. She had one hand on the wall, and Eponine placed her own beside it. The space between them was so small. Did she dare close it?
“That’s my father, I must go.” Cosette turned to go, and Eponine caught her wrist.
Cosette froze, gazing down at the hand holding her. Strong and warm, and the right size to hold her here against the wall.
“Will you come later? Here?”
She shivered. “When?”
Eponine raised Cosette’s hand to her mouth and kissed her knuckles gently.
“Yes, oh yes, I will be there.”
Eponine smiled and slipped down on her side of the wall.
Cosette stood there, clasping her blessed hand with the other and then, finally walked back into the house. Her hand burned as though kissed by fire.
“Cosette?” Her father stood in the doorway with conerned eyes.
“I’m here.” She said lightly, smiling up at him. But she wasn’t there, she was still in the garden, and there were lips upon her skin, and that sweet mouth smiling down at her.
* * *
The garden was bathed in darkness when Cosette dared to slip out of the house. She made her way mostly by memory to the wall.
There was no one waiting there at the ivy. Her heart sank.
“I wasn’t sure you’d come.” Eponine spoke from the shadows and Cosette jumped, pressing her hands to her chest.
“I promised.” She reminded Eponine.
Eponine smiled faintly. “People don’t always keep their promises.”
“Well, I do.”
Now that she was here in the dark, Cosette was again uncertain. There was starlight above, the faint crescent of the moon peeking out from behind the wisps of clouds. But the night was mostly a veil of darkness, and she desired to see Eponine's face.
“Here.” She took Eponine by the hand and led her through the garden to the chapel. There, she lit a candle and turned to face her.
Eponine gazed at her hungrily. “Can I?”
“Yes,” Cosette breathed, uncaring what it was that Eponine wanted.
Then, in the darkness Eponine moved closer until they were almost touching.
Cosette hesitated, and then, leaned forward into that waiting mouth. Eponine’s lips opened against her own. Cosette always thought kisses were gentle things, but Eponine’s lips made her want more.
The hand pressed against her small breast was far bolder than she dared to be. She leaned into it with a soft moan, and Eponine squeezed her lightly, caressing her breast as her tongue enticed Cosette further.
There was a tendril of longing curving up throughout her body. Cosette ached with it. Eponine kissed her cheek, and her throat, letting Cosette arch up against her.
Somehow they were pressed against the chapel wall, and Eponine’s hand slipped inside her nightgown. There was a moment of hesitation, and then Cosette placed her hand over Eponine’s at her cunt, her breath ragged as Eponine’s fingers moved.
Cosette closed her eyes for an instant, and when she arched back from the stone, Eponine’s other hand covered her mouth, stifling her cry. Cosette kissed her warm, dry palm and Eponine rested her forehead against Cosette’s.
“You’d best be going,” She whispered.
Cosette didn’t want to leave, but she knew Eponine was right.
“What of you?” She wanted, oh so many things.
“There will be another night,” Eponine told her. She kissed Cosette once more before slipping back over the wall.
Cosette stood in the garden. The night seemed wondrously bright now with the taste of kisses lingering on her lips.