Title:  Crush, Crushing, Crushed

Author:  Harper

Email: Xfjnky2@yahoo.com

Fandom:  Blue Crush

Pairing:  Eden/Anne Marie

Rating:  NC-17, for some sexual situations, and a whole lot of bad language

Archiving:  This will be at www.realmoftheshadow.com/harper.htm with the rest of my stuff.

Disclaimer:  I don’t own the girls of Blue Crush, but if someone would like to make an anonymous donation of them, I’ll graciously accept.  Michelle Rodriguez, Kate Bosworth, and Sanoa Lake own themselves.  I’m just borrowing their characters.  I mean no infringement and make no profit.

A/N:  The dialogue is fairly vernacular, so if it seems horribly grammatically incorrect, that’s because it is.  This was a quick little something I had to get out of my system, but I hope you like it anyway.  It’s un-beta’d, so all mistakes belong solely to me.  If you’d like to send feedback, I’d love to receive it.  I’ll be at Xfjnky2@yahoo.com.

It's a cruel... cruel summer leaving me here on my own.

It's a cruel... cruel summer now you're gone…

“I hate that fucking song.”

The words were accompanied by a scowl and followed by the slap of a hand against the radio, resulting in an absolute, stunned silence.

“Hey, I was singing that, bitch,” Lena groused playfully, reaching out to switch the radio back on, wincing slightly as her bare back peeled away from the vinyl of her sun warmed seat.

A strong hand wrapped around her wrist before she could complete her task.  “I hate that fucking song,” Eden repeated in a growl, this time punctuating her statement with a glare in the other girl’s direction.

“Alright, alright.  I gotcha.  Eden hates the song,” Lena taunted mirthfully, one brow arched slightly.  Staying silent for a beat, she waited until her friend was lulled into a false sense of security before she mused, “You know, you’re gonna have to move on.  Anne Marie’s surfing pretty boy’s waves in fucking Minnesota, or wherever the hell he’s from, and you ain’t doing nothing but making everybody including me miserable.”

“Fuck you,” Eden shot back harshly, hands tightening on the wheel of the battered old station wagon, eyes narrowing in anger.

A soft chuckle drifted over from the passenger’s seat.  “Not until you regain something resembling a personality, honey.”

Icy exterior melting slightly at the other girl’s teasing words, Eden relaxed her grip, slouching back against her seat.  “You keep making promises like that, and maybe I’ll work harder,” she shot back, a sly grin transforming her features from stern to mischievously beautiful in a second.

“Ooh, I think someone’s flirting with me,” Lena trilled, smiling widely.  “And here I was thinking you didn’t do that anymore.”

“Do what?” Eden asked defensively, smiling despite herself.

Leaning forward so that she was mere inches away from Eden’s ear, Lena whispered conspiratorially, “Attempt to pull off witty yet somehow appealing one-liners.  Not that you’ve quite got the process down yet, but you’ve always been in serious need of the practice.”

Rolling her eyes with a sigh, Eden grunted.  “Why’re you being so mean to me?  I’m the one with the emotional crisis happening, remember?  You’re supposed to be sweet and comforting.”

After staring at the other girl in extreme disbelief for a moment, Lena laughed heartily, leaning back lazily into her seat, hands clutching her stomach in mock pain.  “Oh, that’s great.  Tell me another one, babe.”

“Bitch,” the brunette grumbled under her breath, simultaneously grinning good-naturedly.  “If you spent half as much time on your surfing as you do on making my life hell, maybe one day you’d be almost as good as me,” she tacked on arrogantly, eyes glinting with mischief as she watched Lena turn red, eyes narrowing in exaggerated anger.

“Me be almost as good as you?” the other girl echoed, a smirk twisting tanned features appealingly.  “You wish you could rip like me, E.  Who caught that 8-footer this morning?  Sure wasn’t you, skim girl.  Nah, you were the one eating my spray.”

“Shut-up,” Eden said suddenly, voice harsh and dark, far more so than the situation warranted.

Both brows cocking in surprise, Lena pressed on.  “What?  I hit a nerve?  You can dish it out, but you can’t take it?” she challenged sharply, still caught up in the playful banter, despite the serious edge it was skating.

Eden swung dark eyes her way before flicking them back toward the front door of their shack, and Lena realized with surprise that they were home.  “I said shut-up,” Eden hissed fiercely, dark brows drawing together in a scowl.

“What the fuck is up with…  Oh,” Lena finished softly, eyes settling on the figure standing awkwardly just outside the door, a suitcase resting easily on either side of her.  “Oh shit.”

“Anne Marie,” Eden breathed, the name ripping through her chest painfully.

Glancing over at the harsh set of her companion’s jaw, the slight tic of the muscles under her right eye, Lena merely echoed her earlier sentiment.

“Oh shit.”


Anne Marie sighed in frustration.  Eden hadn’t said a word to her, just stomped past her and threw the door open with enough force to rattle the precariously balanced windowpanes on either side of the opening.  Lena had offered an embarrassed and clumsy shrug, green eyes sadly apologetic.  At least she’d helped Anne Marie cart her bags inside and deposit them in her own room, a tacit agreement, apparently, that she was still welcome there.  But then again, Lena had always been easy in a way Eden most certainly was not, and being received back into the group by her wasn’t all that difficult of a task.  She might not be happy with her, in fact might be angry enough to play the cool and stand-offish game for a while, but she wasn’t one to leave anyone standing on the doorstep.

Not like Eden, apparently.  If looks could kill, she’d be missing a head.  Those dark eyes had been filled with an almost venomous hatred, one Anne Marie wasn’t sure she’d be able to stand seeing again.  She’d fucked up.  She knew she had.  Running off and deserting them had been despicable, irresponsible, and completely selfish.  Not that she hadn’t paid for it, or started to regret it almost as soon as she’d done it.  There had been something, though, something so appealing in the prospect that Matt might want her, that he might sweep her off to his land of wealth, privilege and comfort.  For a girl who’d lived most of her life with little more than life’s basic necessities, it had been a fairy tale come true.

A fairy tale with a slightly flawed prince, though, and it hadn’t taken too long for the newness to wear off and for them to fall into a predictable pattern of arguments and anger.  She was, quite literally, a fish out of sea, trapped in a land-locked wasteland with a boyfriend who was rarely around.  A boyfriend who had a life that had been going along quite well before she’d entered it, and that continued on just as it had before.  The only difference was that she was there waiting after a night out with the boys.  There to see the small smudges of lipstick on his collar and smell the perfume through the smoke clinging to his clothes, and all of it made her feel like a miserable, dated cliché.  To top it all off, the allure of Matt had decreased drastically when he wasn’t a glittering oddity on the Hawaii sand.  At home, in his familiar environment, he was just another guy.  There wasn’t anything special about him, or outstanding or even all that interesting.  He talked about football, played football, and watched football when he wasn’t out having fun with his football friends she didn’t share.

Then, too, there was her guilt.  She’d done the same thing to Penny as their mom had done to the both of them, just running off and leaving the girl alone.  All that preaching she’d done, all the condescension she’d been throwing around, and then she pulled the same old tricks.  Abandoning her family for a man.  She was ashamed of herself.

Lena and Eden were her family too, at least in a make-shift sort of way, and closer than any of the ragtag group of extended relatives she knew she had somewhere would ever be.  Eden, especially, had reason to be hurt.  After all, they’d been together since they were eleven.  Surfed together, lived together, partied together, worked together… and she’d thrown the other girl aside without second thought because a six-pack with a bright wide white smile had promised her something he couldn’t deliver.

Now she had a mess, and she wasn’t sure how to fix it.  Actually, she was just hoping it could be fixed.

To do that, though, she was going to have to make some apologies.  Lena had given her an easy “It’s okay” with just a hint of feeling in it, but then again, she hadn’t expected the other girl to give her grief over it anyway.  Lena would merely think she was beneath dirt and not bother to speak to her much until she’d worked through her anger, and Anne Marie could handle that.  All she had to do to find herself back in Lena’s good graces was wait, and doing so might be tedious and annoying, but she deserved it and would accept it as her penance.

Eden and Penny were going to be much, much different stories.  She didn’t even know how to go about taking care of the holes she’d blown through their trust, and wasn’t sure she was up to the task.  It might have been better if she hadn’t been so fucking afraid of what they’d say to her if she called back home from Minnesota, and so had taken the easy way out and cut contact with them altogether.  Maybe if she’d tried to work through some of their issues when there was an ocean and a few thousand miles between them, then this wouldn’t be so hard.

No, this would still be hard.

She wished she had a peace offering.  Anything, really, to hold out as a symbolic olive branch, but what could it have been?  An airport trinket?  A football jersey?  Yeah, the girls would just love that.  A permanent reminder of what she’d left them for, and her lack of good sense in even bringing something of her betrayal back home.

“You gonna come in?”

She jumped at the barked words, startled to find she’d been standing outside Eden’s door for no telling how long, mind lost in a fog.

“Can I?” she asked tentatively, gnawing nervously on her bottom lip.

There was a muffled grunt, and then a challenging, “I don’t know.  Can you?”

Smiling slightly at the old joke, Anne Marie stepped forward hesitantly, inching into a room as familiar to her as the back of her hand.  Eden was sitting on her bed, back against the headboard, knees drawn up in front of her.  There was a defiant look on her face, and her arms were crossed protectively over her chest, and Anne Marie felt the sudden and distinct urge to run.  She knew, instinctively, that she wasn’t strong enough to handle this.

“Eden, I…” she started weakly, eyes watery and apologetic.

Nostrils flaring in anger, partly because the entire situation was so fucked and partly because she was enraged with herself and with the little voice that begged her to just gather the other girl in her arms and forgive all transgressions without argument, Eden broke in angrily, “You what?  You’re sorry?  Sorry you ran off with some fucking tool from fucking Minnesota and left us without even looking back?  Sorry you didn’t call?”

Chin quivering, intensely aware that she was on the verge of tears, Anne Marie nodded.  “Yeah, that about covers it.”

“Oh, well, thanks for the apology,” Eden snorted sarcastically.  “Everything’s all fine now.  Don’t worry about it.  We’re good to go, just like new.”

“Damn it, Eden,” Anne Marie exploded.  Guilt pushing her to anger, she found herself unable to keep her fury and frustration under wraps any longer.  “What do you want from me, anyway?”

“Nothing,” Eden spat disgustedly, “and it’s a damn good thing, because that’s usually what I end up getting.”

Lips pursed in exasperation, Anne Marie shook her head, blue eyes gleaming.  “Look, I fucked up.  You know it and I know it, and I came in here to apologize and I should have known that you were just waiting for me to show up so you could take a chunk out of me, and maybe you deserve the chance to be able to do it.  But, can’t you just be my friend, Eden?  Can’t you forget for a minute that you’re pissed off at me and let me be depressed about the fact that I got fucked over and not have to worry about fixing everyone’s feelings?  Just, you know, hold off a day or two on the hatred and scorn.  Let me get bitched out by my baby sister, and sit in my room and think about how much I turned out to be like my mother in the end.  That way, I can cry and feel like shit all on my own without you making it worse, and know that when I’m finished doing that, you’ll be there for me.  Because you’re my friend, even if you hate my guts right now, and even if I did do something stupid that hurt you.  Unless you don’t want to be my friend anymore.  If that’s it, then I can go pack my stuff and go, and you won’t have to worry about it ever again.”

Head canting to the side, a feeling of impotence welling up inside her, bringing with it rage and a helpless sense of failure, Eden closed her eyes.  Trying to rein in the multitude of emotions assaulting her without respite, she worked to slow her breathing, to bring her body back down to some semblance of calm.  “I don’t know if I can do all that, Anne Marie,” she said finally, voice tired.  “It really hurt.  You can’t just go running off with the first cock you find with money attached to it and expect me to be here to pick up all the pieces when it screws you over.  I mean, you just show up with no warning, all teary-eyed, and want me to make things easy for you.  Why should I, when you didn’t make things easy for me?”

Much to her stunned and embarrassed consternation, Anne Marie realized she really didn’t have a reply.  Eden was right.  She was asking for concessions when she hadn’t given any, and it was completely selfish and borderline rude of her to do so.  Once again, she was thinking about herself, her feelings and her desire to escape dealing with the ramifications of her actions, and putting the burden of dealing with the mess she’d made on the shoulders of those who’d suffered from it.  She was, she realized, a really, really shitty friend.  Not that it was the best time to be making the observation.

So, rueful smile on her face, she shrugged.  “You’re right, Eden.  What can I say?  I’m sorry.  I did what I wanted to do without thinking about how it would effect you guys, and then jetted out of here like some fairy princess and left everybody else behind to pick up the pieces.  It was selfish and it was wrong, and if you don’t want to forgive me, then I guess you don’t have to.  But, at least let me stay here until I find another place, and let me try to work things out with Penny, because even if I am a horrible sister, I’m the only one she’s got.”

Blinking in confusion, not expecting the capitulation and thus not sure what to do with it, Eden merely nodded.  “It’s your house too.  Stay here as long as you like.”

“Cool then,” Anne Marie murmured, feeling strangely light-headed.  “I’ll just, you know, go unpack or whatever.  If you need anything, let me know.  I want to work things out, Eden, but we can do it at your pace.  Figure out what you want, and I’ll make it happen.”

As she turned to leave, Eden could only be glad Anne Marie didn’t have the urge to turn back and tell her anything else, because she wasn’t sure she could handle it.  She knew exactly what she wanted, but didn’t suffer under any illusions that it would ever happen, though the temptation to ask for it elicited by the off-hand statement was almost painful.


The confrontation with Penny had been, among many things, much more vocal than the one with Eden.  In fact, the house’s other two occupants had managed to sneak out the back door after about fifteen minutes of near ear-shattering screaming and crying, a six-pack joining them on their exodus.

They’d settled in to a familiar hollow in the sand, feet digging in to catch some of the day’s last remaining heat.  Lena had cracked open a pair of beers, handing one to the mostly silent Eden, and they’d sat, watching the sun disappear over the horizon in a stunning blaze of reds, purples, and blues.

“You alright?” Lena asked finally, breaking the silence.

Looking decidedly forlorn, Eden slumped abruptly back into the sand, supporting herself on her elbows.  “I don’t know.  It’s just, she waltzes back in here expecting me to forgive her one minute, then looking like she’s just giving up on it and not even gonna fight the next.  I don’t know what to do.”

Eyes widening in the dark, not sure she’d ever heard the usually stoic Eden speak that candidly, Lena considered her reply carefully, unsure how to handle the situation.  “What do you want to do?” she asked softly, not wanting to push.

Reaching up to scratch absently at her forehead, fingertips digging into soft hair, Eden sighed.  “I want to make her suffer, but it’s not gonna happen.  She’d have to care enough for it to hurt for that to happen, and I don’t think she does.”

Wincing slightly, both from the other girl’s dejected tone, and because she knew just how fickle and oblivious Anne Marie could be, Lena sighed.  “She does care about you, E.  You’ve been best friends for, like, forever.  Anne Marie’s just… I don’t know.  She doesn’t think things through, you know.  She’s hurting, though.  I do know that.”

“Which is just a polite way of saying I have a snowball’s chance in hell with her, and should just get over it,” Eden replied, tone darkly sarcastic.

Looking over sharply, Lena said pointedly, “Actually, I don’t think that’s what I said at all.  I mean, I don’t think she knows you care about her as much as you do, and I don’t think she understands what that means.  I don’t know what she’d do if she did find out, but as much as I love her, I don’t know that I’d be happy for the two of you if you got together.”

“Thanks for the support,” Eden growled, flicking angrily at the sand.

Cursing herself and her lack of ability to articulate what she was feeling, Lena tried again.  “I didn’t mean it like that.  It’s not that I wouldn’t be happy for you, just that I’d be waiting on the day for her to fuck it up, and for you to get your heart broken all over again.  You know how she is, E.  I know you love her, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see how she is.  Anne Marie’s always gonna be looking for something, and when she finds it, then she’s just gonna be looking for something else.”

Cutting her eyes over to look at Lena, tracing the other girl’s stark profile in the dying light, Eden sighed.  “Why the pep talk now?  I mean, you’ve known about me and what I want for years, and you never said anything, just let me think you were cool with it.  How come I’m getting the real truth now?”

Tipping her beer back, nose wrinkling as overly warm bubbles assaulted the back of her throat, Lena stalled, trying to come up with an adequate explanation.  “I don’t know.  I guess it’s just watching her fuck up yet again, and hurt you yet again.  I mean, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go for it if she’s what you really want, but I don’t think you should go in blind, either.  I can’t just sit here and smile and lie to you and tell you everything’ll turn out fucking peachy keen when I’m not sure it will.  But, you know, I could be wrong.  Could be she’s just waiting on the right person, on you, to come along, and maybe when that happens, she’ll settle down.  It’s… it’s just… I know you like to play all tough and bad-ass, E, but I’ve seen her hurt you hundreds of times without even trying.  I mean… Christ, Eden.  You’ve been in love with her for ten years and she hasn’t figured it out yet.  Not because it’s not obvious, because you’re sure as hell not good at hiding it.”

Closing her eyes, wanting to be angry with Lena but not able to summon the energy to do so, especially when she knew the other girl was right and was only trying to be helpful, Eden let the words sink in.  “I know that.  I swear I do.  I just can’t help it.”

There was a vulnerability in the words that drew Lena, and with a few movements, she shifted across the sand until she was behind the other girl, drawing Eden back against her chest.  Letting her chin rest on the other girl’s head, silky hair tickling her chin, Lena wrapped her arms around the brunette’s firm abdomen, pulling her in tightly.  “I know, baby.  I know.  And, you know I’ll always be here for you, don’t you?”

Teased into a sense of security by the warm, protective embrace, Eden relaxed.  Then, suddenly cognizant of a thought that’d never crossed her mind before, she asked uneasily, “I know we tease around, like today, in the car.  If there was ever anything more behind it, you’d tell me, wouldn’t you?”

“You asking me if I’m hot for you?” Lena asked, a thread of amusement in her voice.

Shrugging her shoulders awkwardly, Eden growled roughly, a hint of embarrassment laced through her tone, “Yeah.  I guess.”

“Not that the thought hasn’t ever crossed my mind,” Lena said candidly, tightening her hold on the brunette for a moment, “but no.  I love you, E, but not like that, and despite the fact that sometimes your little bikinis make me drool, I’m not about to fuck up our friendship for a little playtime in the sack.”

Eden took in the words with a bit of shock.  “You’ve been checking me out?” she asked with mock outrage.

Even though she couldn’t see her, Eden could almost feel Lena’s eye roll.  “Please, girl.  What do you expect, if you insist on wearing so little, and having so very much to show off?  It’s not my fault.  You provoke me.  Besides, I’m not trying to get in your pants, so it’s a perfectly acceptable thing for me to do.”

“I can’t believe I never caught you checking me out,” Eden merely muttered in reply, the words nearly drowned out by the loud whoop of laughter from the girl behind her.

When her hilarity finally settled down, Lena leaned forward, lips dangerously close to Eden’s ear, reveling in the teasing role she now found herself in.  “Do you think they’ve killed one another yet,” she asked softly.

“You can cut the coy seductress routine,” Eden said crossly, unable to keep herself from shivering as the words ghosted past her ear.  “Unless you want me to play too,” she added, voice a mere rasp as she ran her hands up Lena’s bare legs and behind her as she teasingly slid her fingertips under the ragged bottom of the other girl’s cut-offs, dangerously close to the vee between her thighs.

Pushing playfully at Eden’s shoulders from behind, Lena whined playfully, “No fair.  You’re better at the game than me.”

Twisting lithely in the other girl’s loose hold, Eden grinned wolfishly as she pushed Lena back into the sand.  Easily straddling slim hips, she leaned forward, her long ponytail sliding over one shoulder to brush the sand beside Lena’s cheek.  “Much better,” she said arrogantly, grinning widely, and Lena couldn’t help but laugh.

“Fine then,” she gasped finally, rolling her eyes at Eden’s look of triumph.  “You’re much better than me.  I won’t play ever again.”

“Wimp,” Eden teased, dipping down even further, pleased to see the sudden dilation of Lena’s pupils.  She knew she was going to have to stop soon, before things crossed over from playful to uncomfortable, but for the moment, she was reveling in the escape the game offered.  “Giving up already?”

“Just quitting while I’m ahead,” Lena shot back, grinning widely.  “Don’t want to…”


The hoarse scream cut through Lena’s words, and both girls looked up, surprised to see Anne Marie standing above them, eyes red and face shiny with tears, a look of horror etched across her features.

Quickly rolling away from the lithe brunette beneath her, Eden scrambled uneasily to her feet, vaguely aware of Lena’s soft curse of frustration.  “You get everything straightened out?” she asked, voice strained.

Anne Marie didn’t answer.  Instead, eyes wide, she stumbled backwards, turning around and running for the house after only a few steps.

“Shit,” Eden hissed, giving Lena an apologetic glance.

Raising her beer almost as if in a salute, the other girl smiled wryly.  “Go after her, already.”

Without another word, Eden took off running, catching up with Anne Marie half-way back to the shack.  Snagging the other girl by the arm, she spun her around, a halo of sand kicking out at the move.

“Let go of me,” Anne Marie said harshly, giving her arm a rough jerk.

Shaking her head furiously, Eden kept her grip firm.  “No.  Look, what you saw back there…”

“Are you two a couple now?  Are you, like, together?” Anne Marie asked scornfully, wiping at her wet cheeks with her free hand, the gesture futile against the fresh onslaught streaking down them.  She didn’t know why, but the thought of Lena and Eden together was extremely upsetting.  The image of Eden looming over Lena’s prone form, their lips only inches apart, was burned painfully into memory, no matter how intently she tried to banish it.  It was beyond disconcerting.  It was almost enough to make her physically ill.

Thrown off by the tone of Anne Marie’s voice, Eden sneered, “So what if we are?  Would you have a problem with that?”

Confused, angry, and uncertain, Anne Marie rasped, “How could you?  How could you do that, Eden?”

Angry herself, Eden let go of Anne Marie’s wrist as if the contact burned her, stepping back so that there was clear distance between them.  “Do what?” she challenged, tone bordering on rabid.

Unable to think, unable to do anything other than flash back to the image of her friends laying tangled together in the sand, Anne Marie shook her head sadly.  “I don’t know,” she answered, forlorn.  “I just… I’ve got to go, Eden.”

“Priceless,” Eden snarled, spinning around to present Anne Marie with her back.  “Go ahead and run away… it’s about the only thing you can do right these days.”

There was a gasp, and then the soft pad of bare feet on sand, and Eden slumped down.  Wrapping her arms around her updrawn knees, she laid her head down, eyes staring blindly out at the ocean, and tried not to think about what had just happened.  She tried, especially, to not think about the sheer horror she’d seen in Anne Marie’s eyes when she’d touched her, just five slim fingers wrapping around one wrist causing far more panic than they should have.


Anne Marie watched the lights above her spin around in an otherworldly concoction of blues, greens and red, the colors melding together to form an almost hypnotic pattern.  She was grinning idiotically, she knew that, but couldn’t help it.  It was just that she felt so good, better than she’d felt in what seemed like years.  Nothing could bother her, not with a half a fifth of vodka swirling around in her stomach, and a couple of hard hits from the joint she’d managed to snag making her brain all nice and fuzzy.  The stifling, oppressive silence that descended whenever she entered a room at the shack was lost amongst the blare of a stereo taxed to its limits and the buzz of conversation floating around her, and she’d never realized that the simple sound of easy conversation was so beautiful.

The couch beneath her was soft.  So soft she thought she might just want to curl up on it and go to sleep, but there were other people packed onto it along with her, and there was barely room for her to stretch her arms along the back of it, much less lay down.  Not that the guy to her right would mind too much if she passed out in his lap.  Or, at least that was what she’d gathered from his repeated, infuriatingly persistent attempts to gain her attention, or at the very least, her hand down the front of his pants.  She’d slapped away wandering fingers more times than she cared to count, but the annoyance of having to deal with him wasn’t great enough to roust her from her position, and with a sigh, she let her head fall back.  The move gave her a better view of the lights, entrancing as they were, and until she felt those callus roughened fingers once again creeping up her thigh, she’d almost forgotten she was sharing her space with an octopus.

“Don’t make me have to hurt you,” she slurred, a vicious swat displacing his groping digits once again.  “I’m happy right now, but if you fucking touch me again, it might just piss me off enough to rip your balls out by the roots.”

There was a slight pause, then an outraged, “No need to be such a bitch about it.”

“Actually, there is,” Anne Marie mused thoughtfully.  “You’ve proven yourself rather impervious to my attempts to let you know I’d much rather screw a turtle than have you touch me.”

“Listen here…” came the heated beginning to what the unfortunate fellow obviously considered a soon to be scathing comeback, before the words were cut short by a startled and rather painful yelp, and a displacement in the air around her signaled Anne Marie that her couch-mate had, for whatever reason, given up his perch.

As a weight settled down beside her again, Anne Marie asked lethargically, “What’d you do to him?”

“Kicked him in the balls,” came the rough reply, followed by an amused, “Impervious?  Now I know you’re wasted.”

Rolling her head lazily to the side, instantly falling into intense dark brown eyes, the blonde sighed.  “Thanks, I guess.  For the kicking part, not the wasted part.”

There was a somewhat awkward grunt, then a low, “Yeah, well, you’re welcome I guess.  Look, Lena and I are about to split, and I don’t want to leave you here like this.”

“Like what?” Anne Marie asked, paying special attention to her pacing, trying to ensure she sounded as sober as possible.  It was a skill she prided herself on, actually.  The ability to sound far more sober than she was had come in handy on more occasions than she could count, and she imagined this might just end up being one of them.

Rolling her eyes, taking in the blonde’s obviously inebriated sprawl, Eden snapped, “Drunk off your ass, that’s what.”

“High too,” Anne Marie added helpfully, feeling some strange compunction to be honest.


“I said, high too,” the blonde clarified, smiling somewhat at the other girl’s confused tone.

“Even more reason to take you home, then,” Eden said sharply, pushing herself up off the couch.  She leaned over, ready to bodily haul Anne Marie out of there if the blonde didn’t get to her feet soon, when the other girl’s words stopped her.

“Thought you’d jump at the chance to be alone with your girlfriend,” Anne Marie muttered lethargically, slapping away the helpful hands reaching for her.

Freezing, an angry scowl quickly descending over her features, Eden spat, “What the hell are you talking about?”

Giving Eden a look that would have been vaguely intimidating if her eyes hadn’t been so glassy, Anne Marie scoffed, “Lena.  You know, have some alone time to do whatever the fuck it is you two are doing.”

Jaw clenching, Eden ground out, “I already told you, you read that all wrong.”

Scowling balefully, Anne Marie glared at Eden, full bottom lip poking out in a pout.  The brunette took a moment to be impressed with her ability to do all three things simultaneously, before she realized the blonde was speaking yet again.

“I know what I saw.  And, you know, it’s cool with me.  Whatever, you know.  I could give a fuck.  Just don’t, you know, lie about it,” Anne Marie said scornfully, chin dropping down so that she could stare up at Eden from under lowered lashes.  “I mean, give me more credit than that.”

“Give you more credit than that?” Eden echoed in disbelief.  “What, support your delusion that you know what’s going on just because you saw something that didn’t even mean anything?  Pretend like I was lying when I told you you were thinking the wrong thing?  Cause let me reassure you here, Anne Marie, you don’t have a fucking clue what’s going on.  Clueless.  That’s what you are.  What you have been for ten years now.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Anne Marie cried, incredulous, irritated beyond reason at her friend’s condescending attitude.

“Why don’t you use your brilliant powers of deduction to figure it out, Sherlock,” Eden sneered, heaving herself up off the couch.  “I’m leaving.  You can catch a ride with Lena if you want.”

Scrambling after the brunette, growling in frustration as the couch seemed to be unwilling to give up its hold on her, Anne Marie finally stumbled to her feet, eyes searching the party wildly, looking for any trace of Eden.  She didn’t see her, but there weren’t that many places she could have gone, so the blonde lowered her head and made her way resolutely through the crowd, pushing people aside without compunction, ignoring the outraged yells of indignation let loose in her wake.

The slightly chilly night air caught her unawares as she stepped out of the opened front door and onto the make-shift porch.  Shivering lightly, hands coming up to cup her upper arms, she looked around, squinting her eyes in an attempt to spot Eden’s distinctive form.

“What’d you say to her?”

Anne Marie squawked in surprise at the sharply spoken words, so caught up in her search she hadn’t even realized the porch was occupied.

“What?” she asked, confusion and exasperation mingling in her tone.  She so didn’t have the time for yet another self-aggrandizing sermon.

Stepping out of the shadows, Lena came to stand beside her, one hip leaning gingerly against the precariously placed porch railing.  “I said, what’d you say to her?”

Whipping her head around in agitation, firmly aware of the desire to follow after Eden and do… well, something, though she wasn’t sure what, Anne Marie said curtly, “Nothing.  I didn’t say anything to her.  She just went off talking about ten years or something, then cut out.  Disappeared, you know, and here I am, just trying to follow her, and here you are, ready to rip me a new one for reasons I can’t even begin to contemplate.  So, if you don’t mind, give me the cliff notes, alright.  I don’t really have time for this.”

Deciding to ignore Anne Marie’s little outburst in favor of what she viewed as the more important issue, Lena leaned in, focusing intently on slightly blurry blue eyes.  “So she finally told you, huh?”

Distracted, displeased with the prospect of this delay making her task even harder, Anne Marie nodded her head, just wanting the conversation to be over.  “Uh, yeah, she told me.”

At that, Lena huffed, the sound one of relief and vexation.  “Good for her, then.  Though, if you ask me, I don’t know what she sees in you.”

The words instantly caught Anne Marie’s attention, and she narrowed her eyes slowly, suddenly aware of an important need to focus on what was being said.  “What do you mean, you don’t know what she sees in me?” she asked calmly, though in reality her heart was racing, mind spinning with the myriad implications the statement conveyed.

“Just that ten years is a helluva long time to be in love with someone who treats you like shit,” Lena shot back, a hint of defensiveness in her tone.  Normally she was fairly easy-going, well-liked by almost everyone, and about as far from judgmental as a person could get.  But, Anne Marie’s track record had been far from sterling the past few months, and as the one left behind to see the devastation wrought by her poor choices, Lena was feeling a bit less than charitable.

Stunned, left almost speechless by the sudden confirmation of something she’d only begun to suspect mere moments earlier, Anne Marie shook her head, trying to clear it of the fog that had instantly descended.  “Uh, I’ve gotta go,” she mumbled, stumbling away from the porch and out onto the sand, not sure where she was going but determined she had to get there anyway.

“She went that way,” Lena called out from behind her, and Anne Marie looked back just long enough to see a slim, extended arm pointing in the direction opposite to the one she was traveling and quickly changed her path, angling out over the sand until the straight line of the footsteps she instinctively knew belonged to her prey appeared.

The sound of the surf rushing up onto the beach and the rasp of sand under her feet echoed in concert with the ragged timbre of her breathing, all setting off the raging battle trying to fight its way through the hazy planes of her mind.  Lena had to be saying that just to mess with her.  Eden didn’t feel that way about her.  She couldn’t, because if she did, Anne Marie was damn sure she would have noticed before.  Those were the kinds of things she was aware of.  After a life spent under the watchful eyes of interested parties, though admittedly just as many were interested in the way she filled out a wetsuit as were in her ability to surf, Anne Marie knew when someone was into her.  It was like a sixth sense, that ability to know, instinctively, when someone was checking out her ass.  She’d never gotten that feeling from Eden, and if the girl had been in love with her for ten years like Lena claimed, then she sure as hell would have at least checked out her ass once.  There had been no prescient awareness of Eden’s eyes on her hindquarters, though, so she didn’t at all believe the lies Lena had, for whatever reason, been spewing.

Only, what if she wasn’t lying?  The thought brought Anne Marie to a complete stand-still, wobbly knees almost giving out in the less than stable sand beneath her.  Maybe she’d missed something.  Maybe she’d been too close to see what was really going on, what was apparently painfully obvious to people who weren’t her.  The thought of Eden in love with her… well, she didn’t know what to feel about the thought of Eden in love with her.  Eden was Eden, all gruff exterior and bone deep loyalty, with dark eyes that seemed as if they could cut through whatever wall of bullshit Anne Marie had thrown up, and an unwavering determination to provoke the blonde into doing things she didn’t even know she was capable of doing.  They’d been friends for what seemed like forever, and Anne Marie was well aware of the other girl’s appreciation of her ability to surf.  She just hadn’t realized that appreciation extended that far beyond that.

Sinking down into the sand, Anne Marie pushed everything out of her mind but the image of Eden’s face.  What did she feel when there was nothing else getting in the way?  There was some level of attraction.  She’d never really considered it before, nor really thought of another female as a viable option for such urges, but she couldn’t deny it was there.  Eden was viscerally compelling if nothing else, with her leonine grace and heady aggressive air.  And, mixed in with the faintly unsettling twinges of attraction, she found respect.  Eden was more than a friend and competitor.  She was the kind of person who always did what she promised, who would stoically pick up the broken pieces of whatever mess Anne Marie had managed to create, rarely criticizing unless it was called for, and always supportive.  Some people found her surly, others overly combative, and yet others intimidating, but when she wasn’t propping up the front the world expected from her, she was a completely different person.  Playful and interesting, intelligent and insightful.  She was all the things Anne Marie had been searching for, just in an entirely different package.

So, what did that mean?  It wasn’t as if she could shift gears in a day, as if she could bring to a screeching halt nearly ten years of conditioned expectations.  She expected certain things of Eden, much as she suspected the other girl did of her, and this new dimension to their relationship was unexplored and far from stable.  What if she ventured into it only to have it collapse around her?  Then, not only would she have to deal with the demise of a long-held friendship, but also with the lingering questions left by her very foray.  What did it mean to find herself contemplating a relationship with another woman?  Was she suddenly gay?  Were rainbow stickers, labrys tattoos and flannel shirts going to automatically appear as part of the new landscape of her life?

“Ridiculous,” she admitted to herself with a snort.  It wasn’t as if the Queer Girl Fairy was going to come floating into her room at night, waving a magic wand and changing her into someone completely different than the person she’d spent around 22 years trying to build, nor stealing her sense of fashion.  She was just…

She was just thinking about this as if it were already a foregone conclusion.  Five minutes of freak out time over, and she was already leaping head-first into commitment ceremonies and the adoption of a broad range of cats.  Hell, she didn’t even know if she could have sex with a woman, regardless of the fact that the sudden perusal of the proposition ignited a heat she could have done without.  It was as if her brain had decided to fast-forward into porn video mode though, flashing images of Eden before her mind’s eye.  Eden in a bikini, smiling at her with mischievous allure.  Eden in a towel, eyebrow arched in expectation.  Eden in nothing at all, looming over her much as she’d seen her the other day, body draped comfortably over Lena’s.

Eden had invaded her brain.  She’d taken up residency, camping out in the area reserved for conscious, logical thought.  There was nothing there anymore but Eden, and Anne Marie wasn’t sure she liked the implications of that.  How could she go from friend to hormone-driven slave to her lust in less than a half hour?  Had she always wanted Eden?  Why did something she could have firmly said would have resulted in nothing but disgust a mere month earlier now have her fingers itching with the desire to feel slick skin sliding beneath them?

“What the hell are you doing out here?”

The belligerent words drew Anne Marie out of her contemplation, and she looked up, surprised to see the object of her recently realized perhaps affections standing in front of her, scowling darkly.

“Uh, looking for you?” she offered up with a shrug, her brain no longer of much use to her.  “I thought you were going that way.”

Eyes narrowing in suspicion, Eden nodded.  “Yeah, but then I realized it was damn stupid to walk my freezing ass home when I could catch a ride back at the party.”

Shaking her head in nervous affirmation, Anne Marie offered a not so helpful, “Oh, okay.”

Giving the other girl an odd look, Eden extended her hand.  “So, you coming or what?”

For a moment, Anne Marie stared at the offered hand as if transfixed.  Eden had beautiful hands, with long, slim-lined fingers.  She could see the play of delicate bones ripple across the back of those hands, fingers gesturing at her in impatience.  Those hands could conceivably be touching her, if she did the right things, and she scrunched up her eyebrows at the thought.  Was that what she wanted?  She thought that maybe she did, but she wasn’t sure.

“Hey, Anne Marie,” Eden said warily, voice a little softer this time, “are you okay?”

Looking up so quickly that the back of her head almost slammed into her shoulders, Anne Marie nodded yes, eyes suddenly trapped by the shadowed planes of Eden’s face.  The brunette had beautiful lips, so full and thick and lush, with the perpetual hint of pout.  But, she knew that when the other girl smiled, it would transform her whole face, turning sulky into sultry, innocent though the transformation may be.  Then, there was the dark slash of jet black brows overlooking brown eyes deep enough to get lost in, much as Anne Marie found herself doing, and the blonde had to struggle not to simply moan with the newfound pleasure of looking at her friend.

“Come on,” Eden said cautiously, kneeling down so that they were about even, not sure how to deal with her apparently non-verbal friend.  “It’s cold out here.  Why don’t we head back.”

But, Anne Marie didn’t reply.  Instead she reached out and tucked the long fall of Eden’s unbound hair behind her ear, dark locks sliding over her skin like silk.  Confusion warred with interest in mahogany eyes at her touch, and Anne Marie found herself admiring the contrast of her light golden skin to the much darker mocha of Eden’s face.

Eden looked at Anne Marie closely, trying to discern the truth of her actions in blue eyes long conquered by the dark band of dilated pupils, but found nothing more than a vague expression of wonderment.  “What are you doing?” she whispered finally, intensely aware of the rapidly shrinking space between her face and the blonde’s.

“Trying to kiss you, I think,” Anne Marie replied solemnly, closing the distance between them before Eden could pull away.  The first touch was shocking in its difference to anything she’d ever experienced.  Instead of the hard line of thin lips like she was used to, this time there was nothing but thick, lush softness, and unbelievably smooth skin gliding past her own.  She was used to the rough prickle of missed or deliberate stubble, and hard fingers cupping her face.  None of that distracted her this time, though, and with a languid moan, she pressed forward fervidly, surprised when the force of her move sent Eden toppling backward into the sand.

But, Anne Marie didn’t waste much time regretting her actions.  Instead she took advantage of them, sliding over to straddle the obviously startled brunette’s hips, settling down lightly over Eden’s midsection.  Planting her hands in the sand on either side of the other girl’s head, she bent forward once again, immediately bringing their lips together.  This time she didn’t hesitate to increase the intensity of the contact, her tongue swiping roughly over barely parted lips, forcing entrance.  She was surprised when strong fingers came up to cup her hips, shocked when they began to rock her against the firm planes of the belly beneath her, and ecstatic when the first few twinges of pleasure shivered through her abdomen.

Eden, for her part, was trapped in overwhelmed disbelief.  She hadn’t expected the attack, and didn’t quite know what to do with it.  Her body was screaming for her to let it happen, to not ask questions and just take what she’d wanted for such a long time.  And, part of her was doing that.  Neck muscles were straining as she pressed up against Anne Marie, lips and teeth and tongues battling for dominance in a kiss that had moved past chaste as if it didn’t exist.  The incredible warmth of her friend’s arousal was pressing tantalizingly into her belly, and her hands on Anne Marie’s hips weren’t doing anything to negate that particular temptation.  In fact, her fingers were itching to tear open the line of buttons holding the blonde’s tiny shorts in place, to delve into the sweet warmth she knew she’d find between tanned thighs.

It was a battle meant to be lost, apparently, because her fingers moved without conscious approval, fumbling awkwardly for long seconds while she attempted to keep pace with the delicious press of Anne Marie’s lips on hers, and then suddenly there was nothing but searingly hot skin, and a welcoming, enveloping wetness that slid like honey over her fingertips.  The startled, broken gasp followed by the pleasure-soaked moan that echoed into the night around them let her know that the move was unexpected but not unappreciated, and so Eden used the spare amount of room between them to explore flesh she’d never thought she’d touch.

“Oh, my God,” Anne Marie rasped, melting, forehead dropping down to rest against Eden’s shoulder as long fingers found her clit and attacked it with ferocious intent.  Her body was no longer under her control, dancing about aimlessly to the pulls of a phantom marionette’s string, hips grinding shameless into the pressure she sought.

Eden chuckled at the outburst, stepping up her assault until Anne Marie was looking up at her with vacant, pleading eyes, breathing harsh and uneven.  She felt a sense of nearly immeasurable power flow through her, entirely conscious of the effect her touch was having on the girl she’d wanted for nearly half her life.  It was almost as if her ego was going to break free of the confines of her skin.  It wasn’t that she was gloating over her conquest.  Hell, she still wasn’t quite sure how it had all come to happen in the first place.  No, it was more like sheer amazement and joy, all mingled in with pride at the knowledge that she was finally doing something right, and the euphoria of it all shot sky-high as she watched radiant blue eyes flutter shut, even white teeth bared in a grimace of pleasure.

The skin beneath her fingers jumped frenetically, Anne Marie’s thighs clenching and shoving her body forward in uncontrolled little jerks as Eden stilled her movements against suddenly hypersensitive flesh, a warm glow suffusing her at the overwhelming notion of what she’d just done.

“That was…” Anne Marie started to say, clearly dazed, before a loud shout broke through the haze.

“Eden, Anne Marie… you out here?”

Cursing the voice even as she recognized it, Eden planted a rough, quick kiss on Anne Marie’s already swollen lips, then allowed the blonde to scramble off of her in an attempt to make herself look half-way presentable again.

“Yeah?” the brunette called out, voice rough with unresolved arousal.

“Where’ve you been?”

The voice, easily distinguishable as Lena’s, gained in volume as the other girl approached, and Eden sat up easily, lazily attempting to shake the sand from her hair.

“Right here, obviously,” the brunette shot back over her shoulder, standing slowly as she heard Lena draw closer to their position.  A quick glance at Anne Marie showed that she was once again dressed, though her hair was mussed, lips swollen and bruised, and her cheeks flushed.  It didn’t take an idiot to catch on to at least part of what had happened, and Lena was far from an idiot.

“So,” Lena said easily, pausing only briefly when she stumbled onto her friends, eyebrows shooting skyward at the instantly apparent inferences to be drawn from both their appearances and by the somewhat familiar disturbance in the sand, “you guys ready to go or what?”

Looking sideways at her newly silent friend, Eden nodded.  “Yeah, we’re ready.”


The ride home had been nearly unbearably long, with Lena shooting Eden knowing smirks in the rear-view mirror and Anne Marie apparently nearly comatose in the passenger’s seat, arms crossed over her chest and eyes studying something of interest only she could see out of the window.  When they’d finally made it to the beach house, Anne Marie had jumped out of the station wagon as if it were on fire, making her way without comment into the shack and barricading herself into her room, leaving Eden to hang back, irritated frustration outlined clearly on her features.

“Did the talk not go well?” Lena asked, stopping alongside her friend on the porch, settling down onto the rickety stairs.

Flashing her friend a look of wry amusement, Eden grinned.  “There really wasn’t all that much talking going on,” she said ruefully.

“So I gathered,” Lena replied drolly, rolling her eyes.  “What happened?  You just jump her?”

Shaking her head, smirk curling at her lips, Eden shook her head no.  “Nah.  She jumped me.  One minute I’m trying to get her to come back so we can leave, and the next, she’s got me pinned down in the sand.  I don’t know what happened.”

Amused by the hint of bewilderment in the other girl’s tone, Lena reached over, slapping Eden playfully on the shoulder.  “So what’re you doing out here talking to me, chica?  Don’t you have more important things to do?”

Dropping her head to her hands, resting her forearms against her thighs, Eden sighed.  “You saw the way she ran in there, Lena.  You’d have thought her ass was on fire if you didn’t know better.”

“Maybe it was,” the other girl leer suggestively, eyebrows wriggling.  “Maybe she’s in there just waiting on you to come and put it out.”

“Please,” Eden groaned, exasperated.  “You and I both know the run of sheer horror and embarrassment.  Don’t tell me you haven’t done it at least once.  Hell, I know you have.  Remember last year, at that party for Nicky Easton’s little brother.  You remember, when you and that boy who worked at the grocery store…”

“Bitch,” Lena grumbled good-naturedly.  “Don’t even go there.  Some things are not ever to be mentioned again.”

Shaking her head as if the statement proved her point, Eden said emphatically, “Yeah, and that’s what blondie is in there thinking right now.”

“And you’re just going to let her?” Lena prodded in disbelief.  “What’s wrong with you?  You just gonna sit out here and whine and let her talk herself into thinking it was a mistake?  I thought you were smarter than that.”

“I am,” Eden said indignantly.  “That’s why I’m still here.  Why should I rush in there just to hear the ‘I’m sorry, but it was a mistake’ speech?”

“Cause that’s the only thing you’re gonna be getting if you leave her alone to think about what happened.  Suck it up and go in there, E.  I mean, you don’t do this now, how easy do you think it’s gonna be to do it later?” Lena argued, detached enough from the situation to see how predictably human her friends were being about the whole thing.  Indecision and fear destroyed more than confrontation ever would, but talking about things was absurdly more difficult than ignoring them.  Or, at least that was what she, in her infinite wisdom, had deduced.

Leaning back with an aggrieved sigh, Eden ran her hands through her hair in dejection.  “That’s the thing.  I don’t want to do this at all.  I mean, I just know it’s not gonna happen.  I’m gonna go in there and she’s going look up at me with those big sad puppy dog eyes and tell me that she’s sorry, and that she wants to keep on being friends, and then what do I do?  Give in, because what else is there to do.”

“Wuss,” Lena chastised, rolling her eyes.  “This from the girl who doesn’t take shit from anybody?”

“You know this is different,” Eden protested mildly, not able to work up enough fervor to get pissed off, mainly because she was fully cognizant of her cowardice.

“All I know is that I’m sitting out here helping you justify this to yourself,” Lena said decisively, moving quickly to stand.  “It’s up to you, E.  Either you go in there and know for sure, or you always wonder what could’ve happened if you’d had the guts to face up all 125 pounds of Anne Marie.”

Heaving a sigh of acquiescence, Eden muttered, “Fine, but don’t you be listening in.”

“Keep your business quiet and I won’t,” Lena smirked, patting Eden on the top of the head, earning herself a scowl in the process.

When the other girl had disappeared into the house, Eden found herself without any more excuses.  She could have stayed on the porch, mind conjuring up all the reasons why confronting Anne Marie was a decidedly bad idea, but something inside her wouldn’t let her shirk the upcoming talk.  Eden didn’t run away from things.  She faced them head-first, and if she’d needed a little support before running into the awkward situation she could feel coming, then it was only to be expected.  Even pillars had bad days.

Anne Marie’s door was closed, something she’d already known, and for a minute, Eden considered leaving it that way.  But, she hadn’t gone through all the mental wrangling of the previous half hour just to walk away, and so after a quick knock, she pushed the door open.  Moving quickly into the room and shutting the door behind her, she took a moment to compose herself before turning around, dark eyes inscrutable as she took in the tense lines of Anne Marie’s shoulders.

“Hey,” Eden husked, shy but determined to push past it.

Head ducking down, cheeks suffused with color, Anne Marie murmured an echoing, “Hey.”

Shifting uncomfortably on her feet, hands jammed into her back pockets for lack of something better to do with them, Eden let her gaze drift up to the patch of wall above Anne Marie’s head, taking in the surfing poster tacked there.

“So, we gonna talk about what happened?” she asked finally, uneasily, her discomfort clear in her tone.

There was an agitated sigh, a painful moment of silence, and then a plaintive, “I don’t know.  Do we have to?”

Huffing a short, unamused laugh, Eden nodded.  “Yeah, I think we do.”

Silence reigned again after the short statement, and Eden closed her eyes, wishing, suddenly, for a gun.  If she’d had one, she might just shoot herself with it, putting the both of them out of their collective misery.

Anne Marie took in the pained look on her friend’s face, the tight set of a dark jaw, and found herself, much to her amazement, speaking clearly and calmly, despite her near terror.  “Are you really in love with me?”

Eden’s eyes snapped open at the question, quickly finding Anne Marie’s as she stared, almost as if uncertain whether the question had actually been asked.  “I… I…” she stuttered, somehow unable to either confirm or deny the assertion.  Feeling suddenly defenseless, she spun around, presenting the blonde with her back, arms crossing protectively over her chest.  “Maybe,” she finally allowed, cursing herself for a fool even as she did so.

“Lena said you were,” Anne Marie said quietly, touched by Eden’s show of vulnerability.

Barely resisting the urge to bang her forehead against the back of Anne Marie’s door, Eden sighed, “Lena should’ve kept her mouth shut, then.”

“So you are,” Anne Marie observed wisely, well aware that Eden hadn’t refuted her claim.  “For ten years?  Really?”

Canting her head to the side, biting her lower lip to keep from screaming at the nearly painful pressure of the moment, wondering what had possessed her to bring this on herself, Eden merely nodded.  It was a minute movement, barely visible, but Anne Marie saw it, and something inside her felt remarkably happy at the sight.

But, wanting to turn the tables, Eden turned so she was facing the blonde once more, voice aggressive as she asked, “Why did you run and hide in here?”

Momentarily stunned, Anne Marie said the first thing that came to mind… the truth.  “I was scared.”

“Scared?” the brunette questioned, one brow cocked in disbelief.

Eyes narrowing, Anne Marie nodded emphatically.  “Yeah, scared.  It’s not like I fool around with my best friend every day, you know.”

Unable to stop herself, Eden sneered.  “That wasn’t just fooling around, Anne Marie.  That was sex.  You and me having sex, even if it was about the most unromantic thing I could’ve imagined.”

Rearing back as if struck, Anne Marie felt her lower lip begin to tremble unbidden.  “So you regret it?” she asked, cursing the quiver in her voice.

“I didn’t say that,” Eden said on a sigh, cursing herself.  “Just, I never thought it would happen like that.  No, I never thought it would happen, period.”

Bolstered slightly by the admission, Anne Marie leaned forward, a speculative gleam in her eye.  “So you’ve thought about it before, then?”

Suddenly embarrassed, Eden looked away, cheeks tinged red.  “Yeah.  Maybe.”

Feeling a bit more in control of the situation, Anne Marie chuckled, enjoying Eden’s chagrin.  “No maybe to it.  You been dreaming about me, Eden?”

“I guess I have,” the brunette replied, suddenly smirking.  “You know, I thought I’d come in here and have you tell me it was a mistake and then throw me out.  That gonna happen, Anne Marie?”

Eyes twinkling, mind now at peace with what she’d decided in the time between the car ride home and Eden’s appearance at her doorstep, Anne Marie smiled.  “Nah.  I think I’ll keep you.”

“That so?” Eden drawled, easing herself down onto the bed, balanced on her hands and knees.

“Yeah, I had a little time to think about it while you were playing pansy on the porch,” Anne Marie teased, barely suppressing a leer at the view she had down the front of Eden’s shirt.

“Playing pansy?” Eden echoed, outraged.  “I’m gonna have to protest your assessment of the situation.”

“Protest all you want, big girl, just do it naked,” the blonde purred suggestively, drawing a started burst of laughter from her companion.

“That’s right,” Eden growled.  “You do owe me one, don’t you.”

At that, Lena smiled, taking her ear away from where it was pressed to the do at the sound of playful giggles and muffled groans.

“Now, if they just don’t fuck it up,” she mused fondly, smiling broadly, the agitated creak of worn bedsprings drawing a highly amused and knowing chuckle.

The End

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