It’s not a thing.
Brooke catches herself, sometimes, thinking about what kissing a girl would feel like. Thinking about what kissing Audrey would feel like. She thinks about the flavor of Audrey’s ChapStick on her own lips, the feel of Audrey’s tongue in her mouth. She thinks about the video of Audrey and her girlfriend, pictures herself as the Rachel girl—and immediately feels something akin to guilt, because what right does she have, when she’d been one of the awful, terrible, no-good people to heckle Audrey for it.
When she’d been too wrapped up in her own world to give a damn about Rachel’s death.
It’s not a thing.
Brooke doesn’t think about it again.
Inevitably, Brooke thinks about it again.
Grief and anger have always made her irrational, implacable. Together, they burn like a raging fire in her chest.
She wants to drink away her sorrows, wants the alcohol to fill the void in her chest. She wants to be reckless and wild and crazy. She wants, wants, wants—she wants so much, but mostly she wants Audrey’s mouth, she wants Audrey to be her wildly reckless act, and she wants it so fiercely she feels gripped by the itch to just go for it. To pull Audrey in by her shirt like she’s done with so many boys over the years.
“Want you to kiss me,” Brooke says, when Audrey gets stuck with Maddox Mess duty and has to drive her home.
Audrey looks at her like she’s grown a second head, but there’s no malice to be found anywhere: not in her eyes, or in her obnoxiously loud laughter. It’s nice, that they’re nice to each other now. Brooke likes it. Brooke likes Audrey—glowing, magical Audrey, who looks, suddenly, very kissable.
“You’re drunk,” Audrey says. Her eyes turn back to the road, but Brooke still only has eyes for her, sees the way the smile slips and goes tight-lipped. “You’re drunk,” Audrey says again, and it sounds rougher somehow, than it did before. Brooke gets why when Audrey adds, “Because you’re grieving, and you’re not thinking straight.”
Brooke’s own smile falters, the fingers of grief tugging at her insides again, but she collects herself and dares to place her hand on Audrey’s thigh. “You’re right,” she says coyishly. “I’m not thinking straight.”
Audrey nods for a second, before she stops short and does a double take. “Was that—”
“A joke? Me hitting on you?” Brooke slots her hand between Audrey’s legs this time, leans in close, bites at her lip when her eyes can’t help but gravitate towards Audrey’s lips—only for Audrey to jerk the car to a stop on the side of the road, pulling away from Brooke like she’s just been burned by fire.
“Brooke.” Audrey forcibly removes Brooke’s hand from her lap and says, “I mean it. You’re not thinking straight.”
The rejection makes the high of the alcohol shrivel up inside her body. Brooke’s dizzy from how quickly the ecstasy vanishes. She crosses her arms and looks out the passenger window, even though there’s nothing to look at. “Whatever. Just take me home, then.”
The day after, when she’s decidedly sober but still feeling the sting of Audrey’s rejection, Brooke forces her mouth into the shape of what can pass off as a smile and says, “Sorry about last night. I had way too much to drink.” And that’s that. It’s not a thing.
The thing is: Brooke can’t stop thinking about it.
When Emma tells her about the recording, Brooke is, justifiably, angry, but then—then, she thinks about slamming Audrey against the door of some dingy supply closet and getting her mouth on Audrey’s, kissing her with teeth more than tongue, kissing her until they’re both shivering and breathless, kissing her until Audrey’s lips are painted red from Brooke’s lipstick and blood.
The thing is: Brooke literally can’t stop thinking about it.
She dreams of Audrey, one night, the two of them kissing on her bed, with one of Audrey’s hands cupping Brooke’s breast and the other slid down her panties—a hot friction that makes Brooke writhe and moan and beg all the while for more, Audrey, please, more—yeah, yes, just like that.
Brooke wakes up feeling hot everywhere and ends up getting herself off to the afterimages of the dream. Her fingers come away sticky-wet, but.
It’s not a thing.
The thing is: Brooke can’t stop thinking about it, and—there’s not much room for denial when a psycho-sociopathic killer is constantly out to get you and your friends. Life is short; YOLO and all that fucking jazz. If Brooke Maddox is going to die at the hands of some sadistic freak, she’s not going to die without getting at least one little taste of what she wants.
“No signal. Of course! This is just frickin’ great. What if the others—”
“Jensen,” Brooke says. It’s enough to catch Audrey’s attention, to get her to stop pacing the length of the floor. Brooke slides off the desk, stepping in front of Audrey so that they’re eye-to-eye, practically sharing a breath in the little space left between the two of them. “Just shut up, okay?”
Gravity seems to tilt, because Brooke feels inexplicably drawn to Audrey. Their orbits just crash into each other, and—it’s good. Kissing Audrey is good, but being kissed by Audrey—being kissed back—is on another level. Audrey isn’t Jake, and she isn’t Stavo; she kisses with half-sureness and half-reluctance, tender-but-firm in all the ways that makes her crave Audrey even more, and—it should freak Brooke out, how fond she is because of it, but she feels warm and fuzzy and like nothing any guy has ever made her feel.
“Whoa,” Audrey murmurs.
Brooke’s lips twitch, still tingling. “Ditto,” she says. Her voice sounds like sandpaper. She’s surprised words even come out of her mouth, given how sticky it feels.
“You—” Audrey seems to lose her footing, tongue-tied, before finding it again. “In the car, you were serious?”
Light spills everywhere in her chest, a whole mess that spreads over the emptiness. Brooke didn’t think it’d ever come back, but it’s there, unmistakable. “Have you known me to be anything other than serious?”
When Audrey laughs, it takes her back to the Halloween party—how easy it’d been to lose herself in the easy laughter between them, how freeing it’d felt to forget, just for a moment, that there wasn’t an entire shit storm brewing around them—and Brooke presses her mouth to Audrey’s so that their laughter is one.
The thing is: Brooke doesn’t want to stop thinking about it.
The sun on Audrey’s face is magnetizing in the morning light. Brooke kisses her because she can.
It feels good to live another day.