The esteemed Boston Garden Manor was the kind of building that was considered historic and majestic; a stately structure set on a sprawling estate. It had been meticulously maintained for many years and was, therefore, the perfect location for the wedding reception of two Massachusetts elites.
Stacie, the only child of Charlotte and Alistair Conrad - Boston bred business tycoons, was marrying Aubrey, the youngest of the famed Posen family, powerhouses of a legal dynasty headed by Benjamin Posen that looked set to continue for generations.
Chloe Beale was one of the lucky invitees to the occasion, for reasons she still felt spurious. Nevertheless she exited the car driven by her father, the family parting ways as they headed in. Chloe checked her coat with a perfectly presented pair of attendees and smiled at the young man standing at the entry to the reception hall. He offered her a glass of champagne as she stopped.
“Thank you,” she said.
“Welcome to Boston Garden Manor. Your name?” he asked.
“Chloe Beale,” she replied. He consulted the chart in front of him, scanning until he found her name.
“Table 19,” he said, gesturing to the rear corner of the room. “Behind the sound equipment.”
“I’m sorry?” Chloe asked, feeling somewhat offended. “All the way behind that stand?”
“Yes ma’am, Chloe Beale, table 19.” He pointed again with a forced smile. Chloe faltered for a moment and then headed toward her table. Table 19. How embarrassing. After all of their history, Aubrey was really going to relegate her to this?
Sure enough her name was in gilded script amongst a handful of others she didn’t know. The people she did know were taking their seats a lot closer to the front of the room, a lot closer to the two brides. Even the kids’ table was closer than this one. They were behind the sound equipment, for crying out loud.
Chloe suddenly realised that she was… Unwanted. She and the other occupants of this table were people that Aubrey and Stacie most likely wished hadn’t bothered showing up at all. The afterthoughts that had to be stuck somewhere and so destined to be lumped together with people they didn’t know. That hurt. She downed her champagne, deposited the empty glass on the tray of a passing waiter and headed for the open bar.
“Two vodka tonics,” she said to the barkeeper. He made the two drinks and she took them back to the table, downing one almost immediately. An elderly lady took a seat opposite her and she smiled politely.
“Oh dear, it looks like we might be at the loser table,” the woman said conspiratorially. Chloe almost shot the vodka out of her nose.
“Any further away from the brides and we’d be outside,” the elderly woman said. “The nerve of them. I only raised Aubrey for ten years.”
“I was her nanny, and yes her parents were there but I tell you, they had very little to do with raising her,” she said. “I’m Betty.”
“I’m Chloe,” the redhead replied. This old woman was pretty interesting. Maybe table 19 would be more fun than she thought.
“And what did you do to land yourself in the social wilderness?” she asked. A woman in a waistcoat approached and offered them drinks.
“Champagne will be fine,” the woman said. Chloe waved her off.
“I dated Aubrey for four years,” Chloe said. “I was the one before The One.”
“Ouch,” said a young man who was sliding into the seat next to the nanny. “How did you even score an invite?” He was the kind of guy who was good looking but very aware of that fact. Chloe didn’t like him already, mainly because he was eyeing her like she was candy.
“Um, my brother is one of the groomsmen and my parents are up at table three,” she said. “Probably a pity invite, but I’m sure it’d be a faux pas to invite my family and not me since we’ve known each other for years.”
“But you dated Aubrey Posen?” he asked. “Wait, is she a Posen still? Or a Conrad?”
“Official line is that they’re both taking the name Conrad-Posen,” came another voice. A man was ushering his wife into one of the seats next to Chloe and then took the spare on the other side. Another young man was taking the seat next to Chloe, leaving just one empty at the table between the two men.
“Whatever, I’m just here for the open bar,” came a female voice. Chloe looked up and a young woman put three beers down on the table in the gap.
“All for you?” the good looking guy asked.
“Hell yes,” the woman said, tugging her formal jacket off and slinging it over the back of the chair. “Screw romance. I’m here to drink free high quality beer and piss off old man Conrad.”
“What do you have against Mr Conrad?” Chloe asked.
“It’s not what I have against him, it’s what he has against me,” Beca said. “I’m the reason his little girl realised that she was far more into women than men. He asked me not to come. Stacie invited me, but I don’t think she actually expected me to RSVP.”
“So you banged Posen,” the guy said to Chloe, “And you banged Conrad.” This time to Beca.
“Ah, we’re at the awkward ex table,” the married woman said.
“Georgia, neither of us dated either of those girls,” the man replied.
“Correction,” Beca said. “I also never dated Stacie. We just hooked up.” The good looking guy looked like he was buoyed by this news like the admission meant for some reason he was in with a chance. Chloe wasn’t sure about the other girl’s proclivities but if he was headed her way looking for action he was going to be both sorely embarrassed and completely out of luck.
“Table 19, huh?” Beca said. “Wow. Well, we’re definitely the loser table if location is an indicator. But an invite is an invite, and Papa Posen’s deep pockets are paying for the bar, so drink up, comrades.” Beca drained the beer in her hand and picked up the next.
“I could use another drink,” Chloe said to nobody in particular.
“Allow me,” said the young man next to her who had, until this point, not spoken. “What are you drinking?”
“Vodka tonic,” she replied. “Thank you. I’m Chloe, by the way.”
“And you…?” he said to the other woman.
“I’m good, thanks,” she replied. “I’m Beca.”
“Kevin,” he replied. Betty requested a champagne and the married couple declined drinks. He headed off to the bar and the good looking guy appraised the table.
“So… we have two ex-types, Kevin…” he said.
“Betty, former nanny,” the elder woman supplied.
“I’m Frank, this is Georgia,” the man said. “We were in business with the Posens for some years but not recently.” Kevin returned with the drinks and they all settled in.
The good looking guy turned out to be Noah, and he claimed to have been exiled to this table so that he wouldn’t embarrass the Conrad family by hitting on all the Posen female cousins. Kevin was quiet as Noah badgered him for the reason he’d been dumped with the rest of them. Eventually he snapped.
“What? You want me to tell you that I’m a last minute addition because they weren’t sure if I was going to be paroled or not by the time they got married?” he asked.
“Bullshit,” Noah said. “What were you in for, then? Tax fraud or something?”
“Manslaughter,” he said simply. Everyone seemed shocked by that. “Driving under the influence occasioning death.” Noah just laughed.
“Yeah right,” he said. Chloe was still watching Kevin carefully. She felt like he might actually be telling the truth. Subtly, the young man inched his hand down to his trouser leg and lifted it a few inches to reveal and ankle monitor. Chloe didn’t say anything.
Mercifully the wait staff began to deliver food to the tables, so their attention was turned to their meals.
“How is it,” Frank mused, “that regardless of whether the wedding is ten bucks a plate or two hundred, it always looks the same?”
“Because the markup isn’t on the food it’s on the china,” Georgia said. “Ten bucks is your cheap nasty plates. But I would bet that the china we’re eating off is a hell of a lot more expensive. It’s got gold edging, for god sakes.”
“It seems a bit… gaudy,” Betty said. “But that’s a Posen for you. Never turn down the chance to prove how much cash you have.”
“Conrads too,” Beca said. “God their kids are going to be loaded.”
Noah had ignored the food completely and was making eyes at a couple of the girls at the table full of cousins. Georgia rolled her eyes, which he saw.
“Hey, just because you’re married doesn’t mean nobody else is allowed to play the game,” he said. “What good is a wedding without a drunken hookup?”
They chatted as the plates were cleared for the next course, and the next, and the next. Chloe was pleased that despite being out in wedding Siberia she at least had good company. And she might be imagining things, but she thought she might have caught that Beca looking at her more than once. That thought was confirmed when she caught the other girl blatantly looking, the smaller girl not even denying it, just throwing her a wink.
As the dessert plates were cleared, Noah went to talk to the cousins, but returned in less than two minutes, looking like his pride was severely dented. They motioned for a waiter for more drinks and settled in as music played. Suddenly Chloe saw Beca raise her eyebrow.
“Hey,” the smaller woman said to Noah. “What’s your name again?”
“Noah,” he replied cockily.
“Yeah, okay Noah,” Beca said in a somewhat mocking tone. “You need to get your god damn hand off my thigh before I break your nose.” Everyone turned to stare at the two of them.
“Oh, sorry, I thought I was picking up a little something,” he said.
“I’m gay, asshole, so hands off.” But his hand didn’t move, in fact, it slid further up Beca’s thigh, practically into her crotch. She let out a short breath, paused for a moment and then shifted in her chair, punching him square in the face.
“Ow, fuck!” he said, clutching his face.
“Damn son,” Frank said. “Can’t say she didn’t warn you.”
“Is it broken?” Georgia asked. There were red spots spilling onto his shirt now and Beca just stared at him as he glared at her, got up and left.
“I didn’t actually think I hit him that hard,” she said. “Oops.”
“Back in my day if a man touched you like that without your permission, you could pretty much castrate him and nobody would mind,” Betty said. “He got off lightly, really.”
“I think you hurt his pride more than anything else,” Frank offered. “Can’t imagine a guy like that is going to handle getting punched by a five foot tall woman very well.”
“Whatever, that guy was a douche,” Kevin said.
“So, dear, you really killed someone?” Betty said in a complete change of topic. Kevin finished the mouthful of water he had before he responded.
“Yes ma’am,” he said quietly. “It was an accident, but I did cause it and it I accepted full responsibility. Benjamin wanted me to contest it in court but I honestly didn’t see the point. I was drunk, I got behind the wheel. Because of me, a thirty eight year old locksmith never made it home to his wife and three kids.”
“You seem pretty… remorseful?” Georgia said.
“I served my term,” he said. “I won’t ever be able to erase what I did. But I am a changed person. Honestly, I think I got off quite lightly, and I’m assuming that the Posen name probably had a lot to do with that.”
“How long have you been out for?” Frank asked.
“Bout two weeks,” he said. An awkward silence fell over the table for a few moments.
“I think I need to visit the ladies,” Chloe said to break the quiet.
“Not a bad idea,” Beca agreed. “Before the speeches and everything begin.” Chloe got up and paused as Betty motioned to Beca for her to come closer. Beca bent down and Chloe waited, looking around until she saw her parents. Not that they were paying any attention to her.
“All good,” Beca said, coming up beside her with a twinkle in her eye. She pointed toward the restrooms and they headed in, exchanging awkward greetings with a cousin of Stacie’s and an older woman neither of them knew.
Beca disappeared into a stall for a few moments so Chloe quickly checked out her makeup in the mirror and touched herself up. She heard the toilet flush and heard the unlocking of the stall door. She could feel Beca looking at her again; she wasn’t oblivious to when she was being checked out. She’d picked a deep teal dress with black accents for this occasion and she knew just how well it framed her body. Beca adjusted her shirt so it looked casually rumpled and then surveyed her own makeup.
“Ugh, I need a smoke,” Beca muttered. Then she eyed Chloe in the mirror. “Wanna come outside with me?”
“Sorry, not a fan of the smell,” Chloe said honestly.
“Not that kind of smoke,” Beca said with a smirk. Chloe raised an eyebrow and, feeling bold, followed her outside. She couldn’t help but eye the smaller girl in return as they snuck out a side door. She was definitely cute. Her tailored pants were cut slim and tight, hugging her ass really well. The pale blue shirt was unbuttoned a little and the sleeves were rolled. Her makeup was impeccable and dark, and Chloe could admit that she could see herself having a little fun with her if they let themselves get a bit carried away.
“You’re okay with this?” Beca asked. She dug in her pocket for a tightly rolled joint and lit it up.
“Well, it’s legal here, so yeah, of course,” Chloe said. Beca held the joint out and Chloe took a couple of hits before returning it.
“This is decent stuff,” Chloe said.
“I got it from Betty,” Beca said with a chuckle.
“What!? No way,” Chloe said.
“Legit. She said she has a couple on her all the time, gets away with saying they’re medical or something I guess,” Beca said. “But she said we should enjoy ourselves tonight, relax. Believe me I was as shocked as you.”
“I like her,” Chloe said. “She seems like she’s lived a lot of life.” Beca offered her another hit and they settled on the steps, looking out over the perfectly manicured lawns of the manor.
"So you were the one before Stacie," Beca said. "What happened there?"
"Bree and I dated for just over four years," Chloe said. "We were in love. But we wanted really different things. Too different for it to work. She wanted to move straight to here after undergrad, settle down, get married, have kids, no room for movement or compromise in the plan. I was twenty two and I loved her as much as twenty two year old girl could. But I wanted to travel, I wanted to experience more of what the world had to offer. Neither of us would compromise."
"Sounds rough. Did you travel though?"
"After Aubrey broke up with me I spent two years going through Asia, Europe and Africa," Chloe said. "The week I got home my mother told me Aubrey and Stacie were together. What about you and Stacie?"
"I know it seems like I'm bitter," Beca said. "And I guess I am. But this isn't an unrequited love story. This is me thinking that, like, seven years of friendship shouldn't just get tossed aside because of the new girlfriends’ family."
"The Posens are not flexible people."
"Stacie's dad was less than impressed when he met me anyway," Beca said. "We were college roommates. She kept whining and complaining that all of her experiences with men were unsatisfactory. I showed her that perhaps she shouldn't be limiting the field to men."
"How long did you date?"
"We never dated, that was not a lie," Beca said. "We probably hooked up maybe five times? But Daddy Conrad did not have that figured into his plan and he would rather die than see her end up with someone like me. Aubrey may be a woman but she's far more socially acceptable than I am."
"What's so bad about you?"
"I make bad decisions," Beca recited. "I'm a bad influence and a fly by nighter with no positive outlook and even a friendship with me could destroy her potential."
"Why, thank you," Beca said, snuffing out the joint. "Though you know very little about me. He may be correct for all you know." Chloe looked at her curiously and got a sarcastic grin in return. Beca was fiddling with her lighter.
"Is it so bad that I wanted our friendship to mean more to her than that?" Beca asked. "I don't make friends easily and Stacie... was like family. But she just stopped calling, stopped replying to my messages. I didn't even rate a conversation about it. I get it. I’m not country club. But man…"
"I'm sorry," Chloe said, shifting down a step and placing a hand on her arm. "You do deserve better than that."
“So here I am. To throw a spanner in the works, to drink their very best beer and make the night as uncomfortable as possible,” Beca said. “Petty, I know.”
“I’m only here because the rest of my family called me chicken,” Chloe said. “I shouldn’t be here, I know it. Nobody would have thought twice if I’d declined. But then I’d be poor Chloe, right? Poor Chloe can’t handle Aubrey being happy. But I’m happy. I don’t give a shit if Aubrey’s marrying Stacie. She seems plenty nice, and she’s hot. Good for them.”
“They do make a frustratingly attractive couple,” Beca agreed. “Better get inside, it looks like there’s movement. Might be time for speeches.” She stood and helped Chloe to her feet.
It was a good guess. They quickly took their seats and sat through speeches from what felt like a thousand people, until finally Aubrey got up to give the final toast to her new bride. It was sickeningly sweet and Beca kept rolling her eyes so hard Chloe almost laughed.
"It's not hard to fall in love with a girl who makes cheesecake like you," Aubrey said at one point and Beca audibly snorted.
"I mean, you're welcome," she said, not bothering to lower her voice. Chloe shot her an inquisitive look. "I taught Stacie how to cook, I'm the daughter of a fucking renowned chef. We spent a whole weekend making desserts until she met this one and our friendship suddenly became something that didn't matter. Nice to know she kept her cooking skills sharp, though." Stacie’s father was eyeballing their table fiercely.
Beca managed to reign her sass in to a lower decibel throughout the last of the speech, until they all were instructed to watch as Aubrey and Stacie enjoyed their first dance as a married couple. It only took a few seconds of the songs opening strain for Chloe to interject this time.
"No..." Chloe said, plain stunned. This was too rich. "She cannot be fucking serious right now."
"What's up?" Beca asked.
"This was our song," Chloe said. "This exact arrangement. Wow, this is surreal." The bridal party got up and joined them. Kevin got up to convince one of the girls to dance from the cousin table, so Beca shifted up into his chair.
"You okay?" she asked.
"This is kinda painful," Chloe admitted. "I mean... I know we're over and we have been for a long time but still, this song, out of all of the songs in the world? What did she do, just not tell Stacie?"
"Dance with me," Beca said. She stood up and held her hand out.
"Dance with me," she repeated. "Come on, we're at a wedding. You look absolutely stunning and someone should ask you to dance but I'll be stuffed if I'm going to let someone else swoop in here and steal away the prettiest girl in the room when I’m the one who’s been charming you all night long. Dance with me, Chloe. Let’s make you some new memories of this song."
Betty was watching them with twinkling eyes. She could see that the two girls were a little taken with the other, everyone at table 19 could. Chloe nodded and stood up, smoothing her dress as they headed up.
Beca led her onto the floor, ignoring the stares of people who knew that they barely knew one another, and guided Chloe’s arms around her neck. Then she slid her own around Chloe’s waist, which put them in an incredibly intimate position.
“You okay with this?” Beca asked. Her breath tickled Chloe’s ear. Chloe could only swallow and nod as the shiver ran down her spine. Was she okay with being wrapped in the arms of a gorgeous, daring, bold stranger? Definitely.
“I just figure,” Beca said, “if we’re going to draw attention and ire, may as well draw it all.”
Chloe relaxed and allowed herself to really enjoy this dance. She forgot about the fact that this was her ex girlfriend’s wedding, she forgot the fact that they hadn’t really wanted her there, she just focused on Beca. Her fingers were lightly playing with the hair at the back of the other girls’ neck. Beca was a little smaller but she was holding her tight, singing along in a quiet voice to Unforgettable. After a moment she pulled back.
"You've got a really beautiful voice," she said softly.
"Thank you," Beca said. “Kinda my day job.” Their eyes met and Beca clearly blushed.
"You know, you've made what should have been a horrible night pretty enjoyable," Chloe continued.
"My pleasure," Beca said. "Thanks for sneaking out and getting high with me. I know I keep pretending to everyone else like I don't care that Stacie's ditched our friendship for Blondie up there but you've made me forget about it at least for tonight." Beca's cheeks were still pink.
Chloe leaned forward just a bit and let her lips softly press against Beca's. Beca didn't pull away at all, not until Chloe did.
"Table 19 might be the loser table," she said, "but I definitely don't feel like a loser tonight." Beca closed the gap this time. This kiss turned into a much steamier affair, the two of them completely forgetting that they were in a very public setting. Beca’s hands smoothed up and down the exposed plane of her back and Chloe was leaning into her. She was completely carried away with being kissed by Beca.
“Break it up,” came a quiet, angry voice. They both pulled apart sheepishly, seeing Aubrey’s mother staring at them displeased. “Show some class.” Beca just rolled her eyes, snagged Chloe by the hand and they headed back to the bar.
They got a round of drinks for their tablemates, then returned to hear exactly how much drama they’d caused. According to Frank and Georgia, they’d caused quite the fuss with their little lip lock.
“Seriously?” Chloe said. “That was… I mean, I’m not saying I’m a whore, but that was tame. I kissed her, I didn’t mount her.”
"More people in the room were watching you than the newlyweds," Betty said almost proudly. Then she added, “I feel like that was probably the thing they had the issue with.” Beca winked at Chloe and she could feel the heat in her chest. She hadn’t wanted to stop kissing her, she could admit that.
“Speaking of the brides,” Georgia said warningly.
"Uh oh, they're headed this way," Frank muttered. Indeed the brides were headed over with forced, plastic smiles on their faces.
"Congrats," Beca said insincerely as they approached. "Great shindig. Having a ball."
"There's been a lot of talk about this table," Aubrey said stiffly. “And from this table.”
"Weird, I didn't even think anyone in the room could even see us we're so far away," Betty said innocently. Kevin smirked. “I mean, this is the first we’ve even managed to see of you all night. How nice of you to finally reach us.”
"Why are you being like this, Beca?" Stacie asked, ignoring the jibe.
"Like what, exactly? This is how I always am, and how I am wasn't a problem until you hooked up with a social elite," she said. "You invited me. Here I am. If you’re talking about punching Noah in the face, well, he had it coming and you didn’t mind it so much when I was punching drunken frat boys in the face on your behalf."
"And Chloe, really. Something could be said for your judgment," Aubrey said in a steely tone. "Kissing a stranger at a wedding is poor form."
"Poor form is using the song we called ours for four years as the first dance knowing I'd be sitting here listening to it," Chloe said. "I'll kiss who I like. It’s not any business of yours, not any more."
"It was a mistake to invite you here," Stacie said to her former friend.
"Probably," Beca agreed. "I know I don't fit in with the fine upstanding moneyed folk you run with now. Which is quite funny since I could very literally buy almost everyone in this room. They'd fall all over themselves if they knew how much net worth sat in this dingy little corner. They’d probably have a coronary."
"What?" Aubrey bristled. “What do you mean?”
"Guess you forgot to tell the Mrs that the best friend you ditched is a multimillionaire, huh?" Beca said. She raised her glass to her table mates. "Oh well. To new friends when the old fade away." Everyone lifted their glasses.
"You should go," Aubrey said coldly. Stacie nodded and fixed her with a cold stare.
"Deal," Beca said with sarcastic grandeur. "Betty, Kevin, Frank, Georgia. Was a pleasure, please keep an eye out for my Facebook friend request. Chloe, thank you for being a most entertaining and beautiful companion this evening. Hey, you can even tell that other twat I was having fun til he tried to feel me up and I hope his nose feels better in the morning." She got up, tucked her chair back in and slung her jacket over her shoulder with great flair. Chloe didn’t want her to go, she wasn’t finished with her. She spoke suddenly.
"Wait! I'm coming too," Chloe said. "Fuck everything about this wedding. Best parts of the night have been the ones I’ve spent with you."
“What?” Aubrey said.
“Oh, please, what part of this was supposed to have been fun for me?” Chloe said. “Being seated away from the rest of my family like some kind of outcast? Watching you marry another girl when you said for years that you could only imagine a future that I was in? Hearing our song come on as you had your first dance? You both look gorgeous and hey, I hope you two are happy together, truly. But I’m leaving with Beca. Neither of us are needed, or wanted, so stop pretending like it’s putting you out.” They left hand in hand, feeling completely okay with the situation they’d just created, smiling cheerily at the other invited guests who watched them leave.
“I can give you a ride,” Beca said. She tugged her cell phone out and sent a message as they headed toward the front reception to fetch Chloe’s coat.
“I can’t believe we just did that,” Chloe said as Beca helped her into it. “Wait, neither of us should be driving. We’re both a little drunk and also a little high.”
“I didn’t drive,” Beca said. She pointed to where a car was pulling up at the base of the steps. A man in a jacket got out and opened the door, merely nodding at Beca and her guest as they slid into the back seat.
"So you really are a multimillionaire?" Chloe asked as the man got back in and began to drive them out of the estate. Beca looked surprised.
"Oh. Um... yeah," she said. "By inheritance and also in my own right. My mom is Lucinda Mitchell." Lucinda Mitchell was a world famous chef. She had three different cooking shows, over a dozen cookbooks, ten critically acclaimed restaurants in different countries and a cooking school in New Jersey.
"Ah, renowned chef, it all makes sense."
"And... as weird as it is talking about myself... I produce music. Pretty much half of the top forty has my hand on it somewhere."
"That's really cool," Chloe said. "I love music. I can sing a little but that's about as far as I go." Beca was again surprised.
"You're not gonna ask how much I'm worth? Or -"
"To me you're Beca from Table 19," Chloe said. "Who drinks the imported beer and has the good weed hookup from a little old lady, who asked me to dance to cheer me up, and who kind of made me feel incredibly girlish and happy when we kissed." That brought a breathtaking smile to Beca’s face.
“And what about you, Chloe of Table 19? What is it that you do?”
“I’m a high school guidance counselor,” Chloe said. “Not glamorous, but there it is.”
“Seriously?” Beca asked. “Wow, that’s gotta be a hard job.”
“It is, but I try to make a difference where I can,” Chloe said. Beca quieted for a moment.
“Would you like me to drop you at your place?” Beca asked. “Or is it too forward to ask if you want to come home with me?”
“I very much want to go home with you,” Chloe said, looking into her eyes. She slid across the seat so she could lean into Beca and kiss her hungrily. Beca’s hands had been restrained in the reception hall, but in the backseat of this car they were a little more daring, one sliding up her thigh and under her dress as they kissed. Her hand shaped over the curve of her ass, fingers brushing over the tiny panty line at her hip.
“I am so happy that you said that,” Beca murmured. “I was pretty close to trying to work a little something in the bathroom, you’re that hot.” Chloe let out a surprised noise but didn’t pull away. She was sliding her hand in between a few of the undone buttons of Beca’s shirts to close over a full breast and moaned as she felt Beca’s teeth dig into her lower lip.
“How far away are we?” she asked.
“Not far, promise,” Beca said. It wasn’t that much further but it felt like a thousand miles. They’d been careful not to push too much further than where they’d gotten to, lest the driver get a whole lot more than he bargained for. But soon enough he pulled up at a tall apartment building and Beca sent him on his way as she keyed a number into the door.
An elevator took them upstairs, not quite to the top level but up far enough that most of Boston was laid out before them as they entered her apartment and saw straight through the balcony window. Beca hit a light switch and tossed her jacket over the back of the couch.
She kicked off her heels, a lot shorter now than Chloe had pictured, not that it bothered her. Chloe mirrored the action, then ditched her coat and Beca pulled her in close. The smaller woman let her lips ghost over Chloe’s as her hands gripped her ass tightly under the dress.
“Are we too drunk for this?” Beca asked. Chloe could tell it was her way of giving her an out.
“No way,” she said. “I need you to kiss me, right now.” So Beca did, hard and blazing, hands moving to all but tear the dress off of her body. Her steely eyes drank in the sight of her underwear-clad form like she was trying to memorize it for later.
They came together in another fierce embrace, Beca steering them toward the bedroom as Chloe’s fingers made quick work of the fine buttons on her shirt. Beca shoved her onto a dresser and pushed her way in between her legs, kissing her hard and then letting her mouth explored the skin of her neck, kissing and biting as she unhooked her bra.
Her mouth immediately latched onto one of Chloe’s breasts and the redhead cried out in pleasure. She reached out to unbutton Beca’s pants, trying to slide the tight fabric down. As soon as Beca had aided her in getting them off, Chloe’s hand was cupping between her legs and Beca was propelling them toward the bed.
“I don’t know about you,” Chloe said as she rolled over and pinned Beca beneath her, “but that wedding is turning out to be the best one I’ve ever been to.” She began to kiss her way down Beca’s chest.
“Oh yeah, me too,” was all Beca could manage.
The following morning, Chloe woke feeling a slight pound in her skull. Her body was a little sore, nothing too bad, and she also registered that she was completely naked. She opened one eye and saw that she wasn’t in her own apartment. Then she remembered in detail what had happened the previous night and well into the early hours of that morning.
She had absolutely no regrets about any of it. They had some great sex. Really great. And Beca hadn’t kicked her out afterward, which was a good sign. The brunette had offered her some water and pointed her to the bathroom in case she wanted to take her makeup off.
Hopefully that meant this wasn’t a wedding one night stand and nothing more. Because she knew they’d only spent one alcohol fuelled night together, but she kinda liked Beca. She was cute. Sassy. Fun. A little mysterious. She could see the smaller girl in the wide mirror of the walk in robe, she was sitting and reading, having apparently pulled at least a shirt on that morning.
“Hey,” Chloe mumbled, rolling over. Beca put the book she was reading down.
“Good morning,” she said. They looked at each other awkwardly.
“Look I know wedding things are normally one and done kinda deals,” Beca spat quickly, “But I really think our connection could be more than that and I think you should maybe at least stay for breakfast so we can talk.” Chloe smiled at her cuteness. She was positively adorable, all rumpled and slightly tousled from last night, but somehow still nervous.
“Are you offering to cook for me?” Chloe said teasingly. “I seem to remember a conversation where you mentioned being the daughter of a renowned chef. That comes with expectations.” Beca grinned ear to ear and Chloe thought it was beautiful.
“I’ll cook you whatever you like,” she said. “And seriously… I didn’t intend on meeting someone at Stacie and Aubrey’s wedding but-”
“This isn’t going to be a one night stand, Beca,” Chloe assured her. “I think, perhaps, we ended up at that table for a reason. But have you got some clothes I can borrow? Last nights dress is… probably not suitable.”
“That dress looked great on you,” Beca said, getting up and rifling through her drawers. “I was going to tell you so many times last night but I’m just not suave enough to drop it into conversation smoothly.” She found a tee and some sweats.
“Thanks,” Chloe said, tugging the shirt on. “Do you… have any regrets about last night at all?”
“Not one,” Beca said. “God, the sex…” She trailed off and Chloe could see she was reliving last night all over again. Chloe tugged the shirt back off.
“Seems a shame to just do it the once, right?” she said to Beca. The smaller girl didn’t need any further encouragement to remove her own shirt, clamber back onto the bed and claim her lips again.
“Huh,” Chloe said, scrolling her Facebook. “Seems like a lot of my friends have been wishing Aubrey and Stacie a happy two year anniversary.”
“Oh, I know it’s been two years,” Beca said. “Because, more importantly it’s our two year anniversary as well.” She crawled over the bed and landed a sweet kiss on her girlfriend’s lips.
Since the wedding two years ago, they’d barely been apart. Chloe had moved in just six months after they’d started dating. She loved Beca a lot. Beca didn’t make demands on her to plan a future, saying as long as she had Chloe, the future could do whatever the fuck it liked. They travelled a little more, when Chloe was between terms.
They also attended Betty’s funeral together. Beca had said it sarcastically but she really had looked up the others from their table on Facebook. The old bird had managed another fourteen months after the wedding and the only reason they knew she’d passed was a message on Facebook from Betty’s great granddaughter. They made the trip out to Wisconsin, not shocked at all that Aubrey and her wife hadn’t bothered to make the same effort. After the crowd had dispersed, they smoked a joint in Betty’s honor, reminiscing about the quiet but clear devilish streak in the innocent looking older woman.
But two years after what should have been a miserable night, Chloe couldn’t remember being happier.
“Hey,” Beca said. “Where’d you go just then?”
“Just thinking about how happy you make me,” Chloe said. “How much I love you. All that kind of stuff.” Beca took her cell phone and tossed it onto the blanket somewhere, straddling her lap and kissing her fiercely.
“I love you too,” Beca said. “I know we don’t technically do presents for anniversaries…”
“Beca, no,” Chloe said. They’d made a pact that instead of spending money on gifts they’d either go somewhere together or do something meaningful for the other.
“Wait, hear me out,” Beca said. “I know we’re going on vacation tomorrow and we don’t need any other presents than that. But I got you something anyway and it’s kind of important to me that you keep it.”
“What is it?” Chloe asked.
“Close your eyes and I’ll go get it,” Beca said. Chloe obediently closed her eyes and Beca climbed off her lap. She heard rustling and felt the bed shift as she got back on.
“Okay,” Beca said. Chloe opened her eyes and her jaw dropped.
“Wow,” she breathed. It was a gorgeous, glittering diamond on a pristine band.
“So, I was kinda thinking that this little loser table arrangement seems to be working out pretty well for us since we’ve now made it to two years and the thing is, I think it’d probably work even better if you’d marry me and we could be like… married wives and stuff.”
Chloe threw herself at the smaller woman, sending her reeling backwards and onto the bed, kissing her hard over and over.
“I would love nothing more than to be your married wife and stuff,” she said, eyes filling with tears. Beca’s eyes were glassy too.
“Awesome,” she replied. She fumbled with the ring, sliding it onto her finger as they kissed again. “I love you a whole fucking lot, you know that?”
“I love you like crazy,” Chloe responded. They kissed again, longer and longer, until Chloe just had to break away to look at the ring again. Beca smiled and rolled over to grab her phone off of the bedside table. She curled up next to Chloe again, flicking the front facing camera on and trying to get the perfect snap of the two of them.
It wouldn’t be the first personal shot of the two of them on Beca’s Instagram. Chloe was more than okay with the pictures, Beca wasn’t just posting anything on there. And this shot of the two of them - clearly in bed but nothing inappropriate showing, wildly happy and staunchly in love - it was close to perfect.
“What does that caption say?” Chloe asked.
“Started at table 19 and now we’re here,” Beca said with a smirk. “Hashtag ‘loser table’, hashtag ‘future wifeys’, hashtag ‘she said yes’, hashtag ‘my fiancée is a babe’.”
“You and your hashtags,” Chloe said, rolling her eyes. But she pulled Beca toward her for a lingering kiss. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”