Let me get this straight. A fashion magazine wants to do a spread on professional career women and you've agreed to do it.”
“Yes, what's wrong with that?”
“Nothing. It's, well, it’s not really your thing is it. You don't need the exposure, I just don't get it.”
“You don't have to get it. You're just annoyed your profile isn't high enough for you to get asked.”
“Don't be ridiculous.”
Ellen fumed in silence for a few seconds while Patty preened behind her desk.
“If you must know they are making a very generous donation to the foundation. All it's costing me is an afternoon of my time.”
“Do you get to choose what to wear?”
Ellen tried to affect disinterest. It wasn't working but it really wasn't fair. Patty had no great interest in fashion beyond power suits and killer heels. Her idea of leisure wear was jeans and a sweater, she didn't care about designer labels or the latest trends. Ellen would have given her back teeth to be dressed and primped by a top team of stylists. She was willing to bet good money there would be lots of freebies and samples on offer as a lure to attract women of Patty’s stature to participate. She ground her teeth together at the injustice of it.
“Something we wear day to day and then they are showcasing some evening wear.”
Patty mused and looked thoughtful.
Patty shrugged and bent to her paperwork.
“I've no idea.”
Ellen's eyes gleamed with mischief.
“You don't know what they're going to put you in? That's brave of you.”
“Well I hardly think its going to be a lingerie shoot. Now don't you have anything to do because I'm snowed under here.”
Patty put her head down and made it clear playtime was over. She felt a slight murmur of apprehension and immediately quashed it. This was the premier fashion magazine in the world, they wouldn't dare make her look foolish or dress her inappropriately. Besides, she would make sure she had the power of approval over the final content. She shook her head in dismissal, it would be fine, and the cheque would more than make up for any inconvenience.
Ellen made her way back to work, she tried and failed to conjure up images of Patty Hewes taking part in a photo shoot and quelled giggles as she walked the short distance back to the DA’s office. She spent the remainder of the afternoon in a largely unproductive state as she could not shift her mind away from the blond sat in her upscale office less than a mile away. They were enjoying a lull in their usually stormy relationship, no doubt hostilities would resume again soon but at the moment things were good. So good they spoke often on the phone, met up for coffee and the occasional dinner. Ellen had been lured back into the blonds orbit despite working for the DA’s office and they were sharing information on the Tobin case. Ellen truly believed Patty had the best interests of the clients at heart. The DA’s office just wanted a conviction, they didn't care if the swindled investors never saw a cent. It wouldn't last, it never did. Sooner or later one of them would over step, they would want something the over was not prepared to give and so underhand tactics would be employed, old wounds and resentments would rise to the surface and bitter recriminations would follow. It was already a familiar pattern between them. They were stuck in a vicious circle of mistrust underpinned by a mutual fascination that showed no sign of abating. Ellen mused on the tragedy of it. She had been in awe of Patty, she admired her, respected her, believed in her vision and aspired to achieve the heights that Patty has scaled in her career. That perception was gone in six short months during the Frobisher investigation. The woman was without doubt a genius in her field. A very charismatic genius but there was something dark and twisted in Patty’s soul. Victory came out on top of everything and everyone. It didn't matter who was hurt, who was discarded or who was caught in the crossfire. Patty was a machine, she only cared about results. Ellen started out wanting what Patty had, three years later all she wanted was to prove it was obtainable without sacrificing your soul.
Patty sat at her own desk, her thoughts were running in the same direction. Ellen Parsons, the sweet girl with the backbone of steel that had wandered into Patty’s crosshairs to be used for her connections and tossed aside. It was the biggest miscalculation of Patty’s career. Ellen had no intention of allowing that to happen, she dug in and made herself central to the Frobisher case and by extension to Patty. The older woman found herself to be the one drawn in. She developed confusing and conflicting feelings for the young brunette with the soft dark eyes and fearless nature. Part maternal, part mentor, part wholly inappropriate, it left her vulnerable and vulnerable was dangerously close to weak.
The shot that spread Ray Fisk’s brains over her office wall was the beginning of a nightmare neither of them had been able to wake up from. Days later everything spiralled out of Patty's control. Ellen's fiancé was dead and Ellen was under arrest with a head full of secrets and suspicions. Patty dragged herself back from the edge of oblivion and did what she did best. She lied, she muddied the waters, she covered her tracks. But when she looked in Ellen's eyes, those expressive deep brown eyes she had become so familiar with, she knew she could not hide forever. Ellen had all the information she needed, all she had to do was piece it together and Ellen was a smart girl, she would figure it out eventually. That was two years ago, they had been playing the same sick game of cat and mouse ever since. One by one Patty’s allies left her side, her husband was gone, uncle Pete was in the ground. Michael was living with a woman more than twice his age. All she had left now was her work, her trusty lieutenant Tom and Ellen of course, it seemed there was always Ellen.
A week after the photo shoot Ellen and Tom were ensconced in Patty’s office. Tom had trusted Ellen with knowledge he was desperate to keep from his boss. He was in financial trouble, he had unknowingly invested with the Tobin’s and lost everything. He was under enormous pressure, keeping the information from Patty and continuing to pursue the case. Ellen agreed to help him, Patty’s investigation was his best shot. They were all working together, pooling information and getting closer. The thrill of it was addictive. Ellen thrived on the intrigue, the excitement, the sheer dizzying high of pitting her wits alongside Patty’s. She basked in the attention, the admiring looks and the approval of her former employer. She was back in the centre of it all and discovered it gave her a feeling of contentment and belonging she had missed for a long time. The case was coming together but they were running out of time and Tom was getting increasingly desperate. He wanted to force the issue and take unnecessary chances, Patty could not understand why. Ellen decided on a little deflection to lighten the increasingly tense atmosphere.
“So...How did the shoot go?” She asked once Tom had gone back to work and Patty was staring after him suspiciously. The blond looked up and seemed slightly evasive.
“It was an interesting experience.”
“Oh. Good interesting? What did you get to wear, did they have you in gorgeous gowns as a contrast to all those power suits?”
Patty shuffled paper around and peered at Ellen over her glasses.
“Isn't it time you got back to the DA’s office. What's going on with Tom, Do you know anything?”
“No, I just think he's frustrated with the lack of progress.”
“Keep an eye on him.”
Patty fixed her with a glare and Ellen gave her a tight smile in reply. The blond seemed harried and distracted, she obviously was not in the mood for any banter today but the younger woman could not resist a final attempt at extracting information.
“So, are you a cover girl now? will you need an agent? is the legal world about to lose you to modelling for Vogue and Vanity F...”
“Hmm” the brunette smirked back innocently.
Ellen went out that weekend, she needed to decompress after a fraught week juggling her boss, Tom and Patty. She sensed things were coming to a head and nights off would be short supply in the near future. So she headed to the city with a couple of colleagues from the DA’s office and hit the bars with a vengeance. Her latest attempt at a relationship had fallen by the wayside over her refusal to commit the time and effort required to sustain it. Ellen drank steadily but found it difficult to relax, she fought off the unwanted attentions of one of her colleagues and by midnight she decided to call it a night. On impulse she decided to call Patty while she was waiting for a cab.
“Ellen, is everything alright?”
“I was wondering, when does the issue come out?”
“Is your life so devoid of excitement you have to call at gone midnight to ask me that?”
“Why are you being so evasive about this?”
“There's nothing evasive about being featured in a magazine with a circulation in the millions. You will be able to see the end result along with everyone else in two months. Goodnight Ellen.”
“Night Patty, see you Monday.”
The blond had already hung up.
By the end of the following week Tom had defied Patty in a move that backfired badly and Ellen got caught up in the fall out. Patty was furious as the young woman shouldered the blame for Tom’s unapproved actions in an attempt to protect him. She put herself directly in the firing line and the blond let her have it with both barrels. Ellen was shocked into silence at the extent of Patty’s rage. She stood stony faced as the blond accused her of being a parasite, of using their relationship to further her career and enhance her reputation at the DA’s office. Patty became visibly upset as she ranted and Ellen finally left the apartment without a word. To add insult to injury she walked back into a similar dressing down with her current boss and came very close to being fired for passing information to Patty. Even when Tom confessed to being the guilty party the damage was done. Ellen was back on the defensive, Patty was too proud to climb down and just like that they were back to square one.
In the end Tom had no choice but to make his position known, he resigned from the firm and continued to pursue the Tobins, Ellen continued to assist him. Patty seemed to be stalling, if she had a plan she wasn't sharing it with anyone and Tom carried on without Patty’s knowledge or protection. Days later he was killed by Joe Tobin and Patty was absolutely bereft with grief. Tom had been with her for over ten years. He was her steady hand, her voice of reason. He had sacrificed his own ambitions to toil at her side and she relied on his presence more than she cared to admit. Ellen joined her at the beach house after the service. They stood sided by side staring out over churning grey water. There was nothing to say, both women blamed themselves and the other. Patty’s expression was unreadable behind her dark glasses. Ellen walked away and kept on walking. She left the DA’s office and decided to take some time out while she considered her next move. She spent a few days with her family over in Jersey but when she returned to the city her feeling of lassitude and grief over Tom’s passing remained. Over a month had gone by since Tom’s death, Patty had long since returned to work. They hadn't spoken since that day on the dock and Ellen felt the loss more keenly than she cared to admit. She was walking aimlessly through the city on her way home from visiting Katy one evening when she passed a newsstand. Ellen started and suddenly recalled the photo shoot that she had teased Patty so often about was due to be featured in the current issue. It had completely slipped her mind in the aftermath of Tom’s death. Ellen scanned the front cover of the magazine to ensure the article was present and there in the top left corner was a headshot photograph of Patty and the three other women who had agreed to participate. The blurb promised an insight into the world of New York’s most influential women. Ellen rolled her eyes, found her wallet and paid the vendor. She hastened her steps back to her apartment and threw the magazine onto the kitchen counter where it landed with a satisfying thwack. She made herself a coffee, picked up the weighty tomb and moved to the couch. She kicked off her shoes, curled up her legs and opened the magazine. She schooled herself not to flick straight to the feature, she showed some restraint and idly turned the pages past scores of ads and winter fashion items. She got distracted by a two page spread of leather boots, she devoured them greedily and almost lost her breath at the accompanying price tags. She could hear her fathers voice telling her his first car cost less than that. She continued to leaf through the magazine. Ellen could not suppress the smile that broke across her face when she reached the featured article. There was Patty looking undeniably like the Patty she used to see on a daily basis. A tailored silver grey pencil skirt, a plain black button down shirt topped with a charcoal grey jacket and black patent pumps. She looked great, her hair was as immaculate as always, her make up natural and flattering, she even had a smile in place. Ellen read the brief article giving a potted career history and details of the charitable foundation Patty set up a couple of years ago. There was nothing there she didn't already know. The next couple of pages featured the other three women. A hugely successful commodities trader, the CEO of a major retailing group of companies, and a state senator. The magazine had certainly covered all the bases. The next page of photos showed two of the women in evening dress. All soft glamour and understated elegance, an obvious but flattering contrast to the power dressing of the pages gone before. Ellen took a breath as she went to the following page, she knew what to expect, she had seen Patty in evening dress before at benefits and occasionally on the society pages when attending awards dinners and such. The blond scrubbed up very nicely, she had a tendency to wear variations of a theme in black but it suited her, she wore it well. Ellen looked down and she felt that breath she took in leave her lungs in a gasp. Her eyes went wide, her jaw dropped open and she was glad she was sitting down because she may well have dropped to the floor in shock. There on the glossy page in front of her sat a version of Patty she had never seen before. Ellen would lay good money that Patty had never seen this particular version of Patty before. She was indeed in evening dress, that was where the similarity with the images of the other women ended. Whatever vision the photographer had in mind had paid off perfectly in this shot. Ellen was amazed Patty had allowed it to go to print. Her phone must have been ringing off the hook. It really was that astonishing and Ellen felt a disbelieving laugh bubble up from deep inside. Out of the four women present only Patty Hewes would have the brass balls to photographed in a black tuxedo, with a white tie, shirt and vest. They had sleeked back her hair and she sat on a plain wooden bar stool with her head inclined downwards, her eyes closed and her hands on her splayed thighs. She looked like she had just redressed after having a very good time. Ellen could not tear her eyes away, her gaze was practically burning a hole through the page. Before she realised it her fingers were tracing the lines of the blonds face, her heart rate picked up and she felt a flush of colour on her cheeks. She put the magazine to one side and berated herself. It was a risqué photograph, it was designed and shot to provoke a reaction and she was certainly having one. That was all. Nothing more to it. The photographer and artistic design team had done a fabulous job, it could have been anyone in that picture. It wasn't though. It was Patty.
Over the next few weeks Ellen lost count of the amount of time she wasted staring at that image. It was burned into her mind and memory by now but it still gave her a thrill every time she allowed herself to pick up the magazine. It gave her a jolt every single time and recognising that jolt as one of arousal frightened Ellen as much as anything ever had. She was glad they were out of contact, glad she walked away when she did and fervently glad she had not laid eyes on the woman in almost three months. It would be inappropriate to call now so soon after losing Tom, Patty would be in no mood for teasing and neither was she. The blond probably couldn't give a shit about a magazine feature that was the least of her concerns right now.
The weeks turned into months, Christmas came and went with no word from the older woman. Ellen returned to work for her former mentor Hollis Nye. It was a large firm, a traditional conservative firm with its roots in the past and a board more concerned with image and stability rather than chasing lost causes and making headlines. They weren't a good fit, Ellen knew it after less than three months and could not settle, she hadn't been able to settle to anything for a long time. Then, as she had a tendency to do, Patty rang out of the blue for no discernible reason. Ellen was sure the blond wanted something but she gave nothing away during the call. They made tentative inquiries after each other's lives and made no mention of Tom, almost a year without contact or magazine photo shoots. Ellen hung up, she was slightly perplexed but quietly pleased, she returned the call within a week.
Patty was expecting it, for all Ellen's animosity, she was always quick to respond to the blonds overtures. They picked up their conversation from the previous week. Ellen talked about her work with Nye’s, Patty shared details of her caseload that was light without the experience of Tom. She was debating taking on more staff and was working up to asking Ellen to return. Not over the phone though, she would invite her to the apartment for dinner. It had been a long time, too long. Rumour had it that Ellen was unhappy at Nye’s, it was high time the girl worked out what she wanted and accepted her ambition came at a price. Ellen showed up at the appointed time the following Friday clutching a bottle of wine and a loose bouquet of tiger Lilies. Patty merely raised an eyebrow in lieu of a thank you but she looked pleased and slightly flustered. Ellen was the wrong side of flustered and on the way to flat out anxiety. She couldn't look at Patty without seeing that damned photograph flashing in front of her eyes. She shook her head firmly and focused on the woman in front of her who was happily ploughing through a huge helping of Pad Thai at a great rate of knots.
“So” Patty spoke breezily around a mouthful of noodles.
“How’s it going at Nyes? I hear they keep knocking your cases back.”
“They don't like to take too many risks.”
“So you feel unappreciated. Your hands are tied. You're bored.”
Patty swallowed a large gulp of wine and smirked happily. Ellen felt her hackles rise and poked aggressively at her food.
“Can we at least eat before we start arguing?”
“Oh simmer down, who's arguing? I'm merely stating the facts.”
Ellen barked in exasperation. The older woman smiled back in mock innocence and took another mouthful, she chewed reflectively. At least it kept her quiet, it didn't last long.
“Nye’s lost what little backbone they had when the old man retired. Your ambitions won't be satisfied there.”
Ellen blinked and eyed Patty warily, the woman was impossible. Nothing for a year and now here she was she was trying to reel her back in. Patty knew she was trying a bit too hard but being face to face with Ellen after so long left her feeling on shaky ground. She did not want to talk about Tom, she was still getting used to the reality that he was gone. Michael was also off limits, he had disappeared and abdicated responsibility for his child, her granddaughter, who would come into her care in a few months time. There was still the opportunity to get her house in order before that happened. Patty began to clear the table, she noted with dissatisfaction that Ellen has barely eaten anything. The girl had gone from pleasingly slender to practically emaciated in the past year.
“Do you want anything else?”
“No, thank you. I've had enough. I'll help you clean up.”
“There's no need, put some music on and go and sit down. It won't take a minute.”
“It doesn't have to be jazz does it?”
Patty sighed in response as Ellen began to look through the rack of CD’s. She pulled out a handful and disturbed a large brown envelope which fell, spilling the contents haphazardly across the wooden flooring. As soon as she saw the sheaf of photographs splayed across the floor Ellen knew exactly what they were and her heart began to hammer in her chest. She quickly tried to gather them up while the older woman was still in the kitchen, she almost made it and she had nearly rammed them back in the envelope when Patty appeared in front of her.
“What have you got there?”
“I knocked the envelope off the shelving, I'm sorry, I wasn't um, snooping.”
“Those are the proof sheets from that damned magazine article. Jesus I'd almost forgotten about them. Poor Maggie was stuck fobbing people off on the phone for weeks. The issue came out barely two months after Tom.. I really wasn't in the mood to deal with it.”
“They certainly caused a stir.” Ellen muttered softly, Patty hummed in reply.
“Have you seen them?” Patty asked zeroing in on Ellen's discomfort.
“I’ve seen the ones in the magazine, there's a lot more here.”
Ellen flapped the envelope weakly and wished she was elsewhere. She prayed Patty wasn't going to suggest looking through them like a holiday album. There was a few seconds of awkward silence while Ellen returned the envelope to the shelving and put on a CD. Patty walked back to the kitchen area and poured them both a drink. Ellen exhaled quietly and thankfully and retired to her usual corner of the couch. The older woman settled into the opposite corner and they sipped bourbon while avoiding looking at each other. Patty continued to press about Ellen's work at Nyes but Ellen continued to swat away the inquiries and tried her own line of questioning that was rebuffed just as effectively. They carried on drinking slowly but steadily as the conversation petered out and the clock ticked round to midnight.
“I should call it a night, it's getting late.” Ellen stretched and yawned mightily.
“But you haven't told me what you thought of them yet.”
“Thought of what?”
The younger woman was suddenly feeling the effects of a lot of bourbon, she could feel it thrumming dangerously through her bloodstream and she knew herself well enough to know she had exceeded her limit. Her head was fuzzy, her movements a little uncoordinated, she felt warm and drowsy.
Patty sounded reasonable, too reasonable for someone who had drank as much as she had. Ellen smiled into her glass and looked up at Patty through slightly unfocused eyes. The music was muted and the lights were dim. Patty seemed a long way away, her voice was soft, the whole scene had taken on a dream like quality that relaxed her and made her feel safe. She sat back into the cushions and huffed out a quiet laugh. Safe in Patty’s apartment. The irony, not just that, not just safe, but content, she was content to be there, she smiled dopily at her companion.
“You're drunk” Patty observed.
“Nothing gets passed you does it?”
“Not much, no.”
The blonds voice dropped to a whisper and her eyes bored into Ellen's, the younger woman looked away. Patty sighed deeply, she was tired of ignoring what had been swirling between them for years. It wasn't about secrets anymore. It wasn't about revenge or redemption. It was about why Ellen came running when ever she called, and why she kept on calling.
“Come over here”
“What, Why?” Ellen's brow furrowed in confusion.
“Come over here and tell me what you thought of those photographs.”
“I can tell you from here.”
“What are you afraid of?”
“I’m not afraid, we've had too much to drink and I should go home.”
“Perhaps you should. Did you enjoy looking at them?”
“Patty stop it.”
“You can leave when you want, you're not my prisoner here.”
The air seemed to hum around them, Ellen sat up and put her glass on the table. She couldn't hear the music anymore, maybe the CD had finished, maybe her breathing and the roaring in her ears drowned it out.
“Tell me, tell me what you thought when you saw that picture.”
Patty’s voice had that low hypnotic cadence it took on when she was working, it was persuasive and cajoling. It worked like a charm. It always did. Ellen cleared her suddenly dry throat and answered.
“I thought you looked amazing, I couldn't stop looking at it, I couldn't stop thinking about you.”
“I had no idea what they were planning to do. Apparently I have the bone structure for it but I was extremely reluctant. God I was so self conscious. There were so many people involved. They were fussing with the clothes, they took an age with my hair and make up. Moving me around. Touching me. When I saw the photo, I was stunned, the photographer had caught the exact moment he needed. That very instant when I willed myself to relax. Do you know what I was thinking about when he took that shot?”
Ellen shivered and met Patty’s eyes across the room.
“No” she breathed.
“I think you do.”
“Why don't you tell me?”
“Alright. I was thinking about you and about all the nights we've sat here exactly as we are now. I was thinking about all those nights and how badly I wanted to close this distance.”
Patty gestured at the space between them, sat back, held her breath and waited.
Ellen's ears rang as if the blond had bellowed the words instead of stating them in a breathy whisper just loud enough to hear. Silence ensued, Patty had all but thrown down the gauntlet, Ellen's eyes darted around the room before they settled back on her former employer who looked a lot calmer than she felt. Patty had opened the door it was up to the younger woman now if she wanted to walk through it. Ellen could actually hear her own heartbeat, she would not have been surprised if Patty could hear it across the room. She shook her head a little trying to clear it. There was no denying the want, she wanted Patty so badly right then it hurt. Her mouth was as dry as the Sahara, her legs trembled when she rose and crossed the small distance between the couches.
“Look at me.”
Patty whispered when Ellen dropped to her knees in front of the blond unable to meet her eyes. The younger woman lifted her chin and defiantly met Patty’s gaze, their faces were inches apart. Whatever the blond saw there seemed to satisfy her, she cupped Ellen's cheek with her palm and drew their lips together. Patty did not do tentative or hesitant, now she had the opportunity she was not going to allow a chance for doubt to creep in. She kissed Ellen so intently there wasn't room for second thoughts, no opportunity to analyse their actions or to think of the consequences. The response came after a shocked second, the younger woman angled her head, parted her lips and moaned in her throat when their tongues came into contact. The sound rattled round Patty’s brain driving her into action. Her hands moved to the zipper of Ellen's dress, she tugged it down, pushing the garment off slender shoulders, the younger woman freed her arms and unclasped her bra dropping it to the floor. Their lips crashed back together, Patty’s hand grasped the small mound, massaging it roughly, her fingers found a stiff tight nipple, she pinched it hard enough to draw a whimpering cry, she did it again and again, feeding on the sounds. Ellen was pulling her down onto the floor on top of her. Patty tugged at the restrictive skirt of the brunettes dress, pushing it up her thighs until the whole garment was bunched round her mid section. Patty had made a career out of grasping opportunities. She wasn't about to let this one pass her by. Even if it was just this once, she would have Ellen. They would both have this memory. Her hand raked up Ellen's leg towards her goal, the girl was already wet, when the blonds fingers encountered a scrap of material, a thong, she yanked it off, hearing the tear of fabric, feeling Ellen inhale sharply and jolt underneath her. The breath Patty had been holding left her lungs in a relieved rush once two fingers slid inside. They stilled momentarily, Patty loomed over the younger woman, her fine blond hair hanging across her face. Ellen pulled her head down and kissed her urgently, snatching in gasps of air between kisses as she began to respond to the rhythm the older woman set. Ellen was desperately trying to hold back, the sexual tension that had been swirling between them all night coupled with Patty’s rampant desire had her on the edge of an orgasm as soon as the blonds fingers entered her. Not wanting to be outdone she muttered, squirmed and cursed before she managed to get a hand inside the loose waistband of Patty’s trousers and into her underwear. The blonds clit was peaked and hard beneath her fingers she pinched it and rubbed haphazardly as Patty thrust her own fingers and uttered a stream of encouragement in her ear.
Ellen wailed desperately as Patty’s head moved back down to capture a nipple. She sucked and bit until Ellen’s whole body arched and curled upwards as the orgasm overtook her bringing Patty along with it. Ellen shouted something unintelligible, Patty just clung on. They were gasping and writhing as they rode it out before finally calming and breathing heavily in tandem. The blond laying across the younger woman's chest, listening to an erratic heartbeat hammer away in her ear. Ellen's hand slipped from Patty’s trousers, Patty carefully removed her fingers but cupped the brunettes sex possessively massaging it gently.
“Let's take this upstairs. I’m too old to be rolling around on the floor.”
“You could have fooled me. How long have you wanted to do that?”
Ellen was still trying to get her breathing to return to normal which wasn't easy with Patty’s fingers roaming around her sex and her teeth giving teasing nips to the sensitive spots the blond had unerringly found on her neck.
“Come to bed.”
Patty urged as she disentangled herself from Ellen's arms but there was no afterglow, doubt was already colouring Ellen's features as the ramifications of their actions were beginning to sink in.
“I should go.”
“If that's what you want.”
Patty walked back to the couch and picked up her drink taking a shaky swallow. This wasn't going to be pretty, Ellen was cut from the same cloth she was. Attack was always going to be her first form of defence.
Ellen got to her feet and rapidly straightened out her clothes.
“You just got what you wanted.”
“If I'm not mistaken you did pretty well out of it yourself.”
Ellens face flamed as she stuffed her bra into her purse and jammed her feet back into her shoes.
“Don't walk away again.”
Patty stated lowly. Things had gone too far now to be ignored. There was no sweeping this under the carpet and carrying on as before.
“Aren't you tired of fighting me. Haven't you worked it out yet? You're not normally so slow on the uptake. I want you in my life. To stay. I'm not going to run after you anymore. You can leave and we’re done or you can stay and we can talk about this.”
“What on earth can we talk about? What could we ever have without any trust on either side. You're incapable of telling the truth and I don't blame you. If you told me right now you were behind that attack I would hate you for it. If you told me you had nothing to do with it I wouldn't believe you. Don't you see how hopeless it is?”
“Then why do you stay, why do you keep coming back?”
“For the same reason you won't let me go. It's a little late to deny an attraction now. We're each other's drug of choice aren't we. Despite the dangers, despite knowing nothing good could come out of it, we can't seem to do without our fix.”
The anger had seeped out of Ellen as she spoke. She swiped tears away and gathered her belongings.
“I don't want to want you.”
She said the words softly as she left the apartment.