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Coffee And Other Loves

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She stared at the canister in horror. It was empty. She’d swear up, down, left right and any other which ways you could think of she’d just bought the damn thing a week ago. Surely she couldn’t have drunk that much coffee in a week? But then she looked in the rubbish bin she hadn’t emptied in she didn’t know how long and saw the sheer amount of white, coffee stained filters threatening to overflow out of it.

Oh. Apparently, she could drink that much coffee in a week.

She yawned and then her eyes widened. This was not a good sign. It was only three in the morning and she had a critical paper due for her anatomy class that she hadn’t even known about until a week ago because the professor had assumed he’d put it in the syllabus and then told them about it. When the class had said he hadn’t, he’d been a cold-hearted bastard and said it was still due in a week anyway, and she’d had to fight the other thirty-plus students in the class for research materials and books in the library.

She was a mess, she was, and if she blew this class she could kiss uni good-bye. And now she was out of God’s gift to pre-med students and she wanted to cry.

The knock at the door kept her from breaking down, and she walked over and opened it to see Sally there. The smile on her face turned to a frown almost instantly. “What’s wrong? Who died?”

Molly barked out a tiny laugh. “My academic hopes and dreams if I don’t get enough coffee to stay awake and write this bloody anatomy paper my godawful professor foisted on us a week ago.” She gave her girlfriend a hopeful coffee. “I don’t suppose I can run by your room and take all of your coffee off your hands, could I?”

Sally’s mouth did an O shape. “I didn’t realize you were one of the unlucky bastards to be in Campbell’s class.” Molly gave her a confused look. “At the coffee shop, I’ve been helping out a bit since Rosalee left to go backpacking across the continent with no notice. We’ve had a huge uptick in sales from people in his class cramming to try and get this paper done.”

“Ah,” Molly said, trying not to yawn again. “Why did you come by here?”

“To see if maybe you wanted to hit a late party some of the blokes who performed at the shop were going to throw at a house nearby campus,” she said. “But I think I have a better idea.” She reached over for Molly’s hand and pulled her towards the door and then stopped. “No, wait, grab the things for the paper, then let’s go. It’ll be better that way.”

“What will?” Molly asked, letting go of her girlfriend’s hand to go get the notes she needed.

“You’ll see.”

---

Sally unlocked the door to the coffee shop and then opened it, walking in, followed by a more cautious Molly. “Are you sure you won’t get in trouble?” Molly asked.

Sally nodded as she locked up behind them. “I’ve done this before during finals last semester. We have the owner’s blessing as long as we only use the staff lounge coffeemaker, we stay in the lounge and we only eat from the stuff he’s going to donate to the shelter in the morning. Besides, he’s fond of you. You’re a good tipper and you’re nice to everyone who works here.”

Molly nodded and followed Sally back to an area of the coffee shop she hadn’t been to before. Sally opened another door and turned on the light. She could see why he wouldn’t mind; this lounge was definitely set up for university students to catch naps if needed or stay up and cram for finals. The couches in the room looked comfortable, and there were pillows and throws piled up on one end of all of them, and she could see collapsible cots stacked up as well in the corner. The coffee machine was as big as the one used for customers with everything to make the same gourmet coffees, and even some of the syrups, too. “He really likes everyone here,” Molly said.

“He used to be homeless, actually, when he was a teen,” Sally said with a grin. “His mum booted him out and so he knew when he got up on his feet he’d set up a place for people to relax and be kind to people who might need a leg up. Every so often people crash here in the lounge for a while and work in the shop until they can get on their feet again. And he’s a big contributor to the shelter, too. They get the baked goods in the morning for breakfast and he always makes sure they have enough coffee for the evenings and mornings. And the good stuff, too. He thinks they deserve it.”

“Your boss sounds like a good man,” Molly said.

“Greg’s a very good guy,” she said with a smile. “He deserves all the best.” She went to the coffee machine and got it started. “Alright. You start on your paper and I will keep you supplied with coffee. I’m thinking maybe double shot mochas? With some hazelnut syrup and whipped cream?”

“I love you so much,” Molly said and then she froze. “I mean...I...”

“Well, it’s a good thing I love you too, brief as our relationship has been,” Sally said. “It’s not every woman I would put off sleep for to keep them caffeinated.”

Molly smiled widely and then went over and wrapped her arms around Sally’s waist, pressing a kiss to her cheek. “I think I might love you more than coffee right now,” she said.

“I like hearing that,” Sally said with a chuckle. “And you can show me how much by letting me sleep I your bed while you’re in class. Your mattress has less lumps.”

“Deal,” Molly said, giving her another kiss before pulling away. She was going to get through the night, finish this paper and let Sally take her bed while she dealt with the Professor With No Heart, and then when it was all over she was going to join her girlfriend in blissful slumber and…

Well, who knew what might happen after that?