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The Best of You and Me

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Emily was exhausted and that was the truth of it.

She had done her best to keep busy; but something about the summer inspired a laziness inside of her. Of course she still volunteered every Saturday from 1:00 to 4:00 at the local nursing home, was training to run a 5k for to raise money for cancer, and would start her summer hours for Northstar soon, but still, without school, and student council, and everything else that those things required, she felt like she had stretches of time where she could just do whatever she wanted.

She would, in most scenarios, call Michael, but that was out of the question. For one, he was working, which he always did in the summer. It didn’t bother her, she was glad he was working, it showed that he was ambitious, which is something she wants in a boyfriend. Her boyfriend. But, if she was being honest, things between them hadn’t been as easy as they normally were. Michael was still his usually happy-go-lucky self, although he was more quiet around her than usual. Nothing overt, nothing concerning of course, just quiet. They still had fun together but it had been hard for her to have fun lately, or to enjoy spending time with Michael at all.

It had been three months since prom, one month since school had let out for the summer, and Emily was totally over Jesse, for sure. She had, out of the courtesy of their relationship and her own time, offered to meet up with Jesse again for their standing Tuesday dates. Jesse, understandably, was busy then, doing whatever activist thing she was doing now. And yes, that made sense, because, hadn’t she done the same thing only a few months back? People get busy, plans change, Jesse wanted to “put her energy into other things”, Emily totally got that. Emily, of course, had had to make hard choices before and it wasn’t like she hadn't chosen other things over Jesse.

But, if Emily allowed herself, she knew why it ended. Why Jesse didn’t look at her in school after prom, and avoided the library. Why she barely saw Jesse by the end of school, and could count on her hand the number of times she’d even just seen her outside of class.

Jesse was tired of hiding, she had said, and Emily was dating Michael.

And it would be fine, totally and completely fine, but Jesse had to have the last word didn’t she? She always did, whenever they’d argued, she always had to make sure that what she said left Emily thinking of it days afterward, her stupid, passionate, low voice running through her head with whatever the closing argument was for the topic of the day.

But now it was just Jesse’s voice, unassuming and sad, on repeat saying “I kind of, like, love you” over and over until the words didn’t seem real, until they seemed as real as the dream where Emily had launched herself at Jesse on their shared porch, because they were spending their lives together, laughing and happy.

But instead, she was here, laying on her bed, no plans to be had. A boyfriend she loved like a brother, and ex-something who maybe loved her but didn’t even want to look at her, and no one to talk to about any of it.


It was crazy, and she knew she didn’t really have the time, but it was summer and summers made Emily think that anything could be possible.

So here she was, outside the local LGBT community center, telling her parents she was scoping out diversity training for the school to further include marginalized students and telling Michael she had picked up extra hours at Northstar, her career in business wouldn’t start itself now would it?

But she was here because she didn’t know why. It wasn’t to get more volunteer hours, she had already maxed out 423 hours alone throughout the year. It was because she kept thinking of Jesse, and Jesse kissing her, and how she hates labels but her life is kind of mess because of it, and how Jesse said that she kind of loved her and that meant more than anything she’d ever heard before, and maybe what she really wanted to see was other people going through the same crap, who also had no idea what to do with what they had.

There was a meeting on Thursdays, the online flyer had said, for “queer youth seeking a support network! Come join us for judgment free talk, a safe space, and light refreshments!” And because she was bored and because she had nothing planned for Thursday nights, her parents had a long standing date night, she drove herself out here with no real plan in mind other than to come.

And stare at the door apparently.

She stood in front of the door, rainbow painted handles, and looked through the glass. The inside was modern, cooler than she was expecting definitely. She couldn’t see anyone in the main entrance way, but that wasn’t surprising since she was thirty minutes early. Punctuality was important and Emily had never been late to a meeting in her life, and she wasn’t about to start now.

“Emily?” She heard, and that was her name, Jesse rarely ever said her name, and Emily felt her mouth fall open and spun around.

“Oh hey,” she said, heart racing.

This was incriminating, this was really bad. How the hell would she explain away this one? She was officially freaking out, she should really begin walking in the opposite direction, wherever Jesse wasn’t, but.

But Jesse looked really good standing in front of her. And she was looking at her, and it was clear she had just gotten her hair cut shorter.

“You dyed your hair,” Emily blurted, and felt herself flush. But she had: Jesse’s hair was a dark brown, almost black, with her usual blonde only showing at the tips and it was gelled into spikes. It looked different. It looked good.

Jesse blushed a little and some small part of Emily that she hadn’t been able to kill lit up.

“Yeah,” Jesse said. “Wyatt’s mom’s best friend owns a salon/spa, all homeopathic remedies and organic materials, and Esther convinced me that I needed to do something different with my hair, and I thought, it’s been a while, and so, yeah, I dyed it brown. But you can see that. Of course.”

Emily almost smiled, and then remembered she wasn’t supposed to, she didn’t even know Jesse changed her hair, and apparently she was still hanging out with the ninth grade hippie. It was clear, now more than ever, that Jesse had moved on, and for good.

“Anyway,” Jesse was saying, “did you come for the meeting?”

Jesse was trying to be nice. Jesse was trying to move on. And for a second, Emily wanted to play along to say “Yeah I was stopping by to see if they wanted to partner with the school for the club festival,” or “Our teachers need more equipped diversity training, and I wanted to talk to the director of volunteer services to see if they had more information,” or even more truthfully, “I’ve been so lonely since we broke if off for good, and wanted to see if this could help me.” But she didn’t say anything like that because Jesse was here, and Jesse was looking at her, and it was summer, and summer was about impossibilities becoming possible and she had missed her so much, missed her warmth and her kisses, so even though it wasn’t why she came it it was true now so she said,

“No, I didn’t come for the meeting. I came to see you and I remembered you mentioning this group during the summer.” That was both true and untrue. She did remember it, that’s why she looked it up in the first place, but it stupidly hadn’t occurred to her that Jesse would come by or even be at the meeting. Wasn’t this for people trying to figure things out? Jesse was so sure in herself and everything she did. Why in the world would she need to meet with other people who weren’t?

“Oh,” Jesse breathed out, but she looked apprehensive. Emily could get that. She was apprehensive herself. She had no idea what she was doing here.

“Look,” she heard herself say and just decided to roll with it, “the way things ended between us wasn’t great and I wanted to talk to you, outside of a stuffy dance, like adults.” They weren’t adults, but Emily knew she was mature for her age. Jesse was too, or Emily wouldn’t have been with her for the entirety of last year.

“Yeah?” Jesse said. “What’s, what’s there to talk about?”

Emily could see other cars pull up in the parking out and people starting to get out of them. Impulsively, she grabbed Jesse’s hand and started pulling Jesse toward her car. Surprisingly, Jesse let her.

“Let’s talk somewhere private. We can go to my house, my parents are gone.” Emily couldn’t believe what she was saying or doing, but she wanted it. She hadn’t know how much she wanted it but this is what she’d been needing since prom. She just needed to talk to Jesse, somewhere alone, where there weren’t thousands of people around, or even ten, and actually explain herself. And maybe they could start up the Tuesday thing again. In all honesty, Emily couldn’t imagine her senior year without it.

They were in front of her car, Emily had dragged them that far, but she knew that Jesse would be the final decider. To go or not to go and all that. Emily held her breath and watched Jesse look at the car and her for a long time. Part of her wanted to ask what she was thinking. The other part knew that if she said anything it might turn into a fight and Jesse could leave. Emily would do anything in this moment for Jesse to stay.

“Ok,” Jesse said, staring straight into her eyes and Emily’s chest tightened, “we can talk. How far away is your house?”

“About 10 minutes or so,” Emily said, feeling like she was in a dream as Jesse entered the passenger side of her car. “You okay with the radio?”

Jesse’s disgusted look made Emily laugh for the first time in a while.


“Your house is...big,” Jesse said, and Emily knew it was and had always been proud of her home. Her parents worked hard to make what they did and their house reflected that. But having Jesse, green army boots wearing Jesse, point that out made Emily uncharacteristically self conscious.

“My room is this way,” Emily said, because it felt weird for Jesse to be anywhere else, and she had so very secretly wanted and dreamed of Jesse in her room for over a year. Today was a day for impossibilities, clearly. How likely was it that she would go to the community center, only to see Jesse? And that Jesse would willingly come with her, into her own house, to talk? Emily felt heady with the serendipity.

Emily had always liked her room. Unlike what people at school might think, Emily’s room was a light, respectable purple, with a big queen bed in the middle. The bed had four tall posters on the side, and a white curtain lining them. On the far corner was her desk, recently organized, and she had two windows, with thick white curtains.

Her room was classy, and no small part of her was pleased when Jesse’s mouth dropped open.

“This is different from what I expected.” Jesse smiled, head darting left and right.

“And what did you expect,” Emily teased, looking sideways at Jesse.

“Something, I don’t know, beige. Something practical. Maybe you slept in a cot in the middle of your room, or had a trophy case on the far corner, french doors to your balcony, something that conformed to our gender’s forced socialization…”

Emily bit her lip. Jesse had always been a bit of a rambler and Emily had always found it cute.

“But yeah, not this. This is...surprisingly cool, Miller. I’m impressed.”

“Why thank you, Halberstam,”

“You’re very welcome, Madam President.” Emily smiled wide at the reminder of the recent school election results. She was just about to talk about how much work she’d put into the campaign but Jesse cut her off.

“So,” Jesse said, drawing the word out, “you wanted to talk?”

Any words she could have said in the moment dried up. She did, but she didn’t. What could she say? Had anything changed? She was still dating Michael, still working at the company that Jesse hated and had petitioned against, still wasn’t sure about anything really, but something was different. Jesse was here, now. In her room. Near her bed. And they had hours before her parents came home.

“No,” Emily said, and was surprised to find her voice coming lower than expected. “I don’t really want to talk,” and after a searching look at Jesse, “is that okay?”

Jesse stared at her for longer than she was comfortable with, biting her lip, which made Emily more than a little distracted, and said,

“Okay, but this is it, you know? This is our goodbye.”

There was no way to describe the pain that came with those words but Emily had expected this, had imagined this even, had been planning for this at the end of her senior year, so she knew what she would choose. She had always imagined herself saying those lines, though, imagined how Jesse might frown they way she did when they argued and Emily had undoubtedly made a good point, that Jesse might even cry. But this was nothing like that, and she felt like she was watching the wrong movie, a movie she was supposed to star in, but here in the real world all she would ever be was the ex-love interest, the one the main character didn’t think about because things were really truly over.

After this, whatever this was, that is.

“I know,” she said, stepping closer to Jesse, hesitant to touch her for the first time in four months, “but I want this, I want you.” She grabbed Jesse’s arm, bare with Jesse’s sleeveless shirt and Jesse let out a small hiss, looked directly at her, and grabbed back.

“Okay,” she said. “Okay.” And placed a hand behind Emily’s neck and kissed her.

Emily shivered as Jesse’s fingers curled into her hair, pulling some of it out of the tie. She couldn’t help but think of when they’d been here before, not in her room, of course, but together for longer than minutes at a time. They’d fought both before and after, but during...she was so present, so in the moment that she could document the moment she went offline. Everything that they were had built up to their kisses then, rough and needy.

This was not like that. Jesse was kissing her softly, breathing into her mouth and she felt her come closer, hand on her neck gripping tighter. She rested her hands on Jesse’s hips and felt a responding hum against her mouth, and sighed. She pressed forward, feeling the stiffness of Jesse’s shirt, clearly new, and pulled it tight against Jesse’s skin. She could feel the softness of her stomach, and the warm skin beneath. She could feel her ribcage and, with no small leap, touched the bottom of her bra, running her fingers across the length of it.

Jesse’s breath hitched and Emily began to pull back, unsure.

As if the same thought had passed Jesse’s mind she leaned back too, and Emily felt the moment still.

Jesse’s eyes were brown, hazel really, and she had never really let herself look at them. Between stolen minutes in the bathroom and the dark hallway they’d found themselves in, she’d never really gotten the time to just...look. It was all she could see, now.

“Is this okay?” Jesse asked, leaning her forehead against hers, and Emily closed her eyes and let herself sink into the moment. Jesse’s hand dropped down thumbing the strap of her cami until she reached the lace hem. They had done this before, they had been here before. It had taken her literal weeks to be able to look Michael in the face again, feeling weirdly sick and alternatively angry when they talked, and she had cut off contact with Jesse altogether.

That, obviously, would not be problem this time because Jesse had made it crystal clear that they would not be doing this again, that they probably wouldn’t even talk after--

“Hey,” Jesse called, and Emily didn’t want to think about anything, and had a perfect remedy for that so she reached up, cupped Jesse’s face, and kissed her.

Jesse let out a moan, and Emily couldn’t help but grin against her lips, dragging her nails against Jesse’s scalp. Jesse let out another sound, surprised, and she couldn’t stand it anymore, if this was going to be their last time, if this was it, then she wanted everything.

Jesse stumbled at the first push, but Emily grabbed onto her waist, still kissing her, feeling the heat of her mouth and the enthusiastic response, and continued walking until Jesse’s knees hit the bed.

Jesse looked really good on her bed, the sheets and her skin very complementary. Part of her wanted to take a picture to document it, but Jesse pulled her forward in one smooth move, manhandling her so she was straddling her on the bed.

Her breath caught as Jesse’s hand trailed up her thighs, slipping under the bottom of her shorts.

“Have you ever?” she asked, panting and curious, trying to stifle any potential jealously so it wouldn’t ruin the moment.

Jesse paused, breath coming out heavy. “Yeah, me and Esther experimented a little but we weren't really compatible...have you..?”

“No” Emily said, surprised surprised hear the truth. “No, we never went past kissing, I never wanted him to…”

Jesse took pity on her, thankfully.

“Okay,” Jesse said. “Okay, we can do whatever we’re both comfortable with.”

Emily could only nod in agreement moving up to kiss Jesse again.

Emily, contrary to the school’s opinion, had not had sex with Michael yet. They had started their relationship so young that when they got together sex hadn’t been on their minds at all. Once they had started experimenting with each other, trying out first kisses and touches, Emily found that they simply did not work sexually. Emotionally, professionally? It was almost perfect. That’s what made them such a good, public couple. Sexually? There was no attraction on her end, and it had scared her so bad that she didn’t want her longtime-forever boyfriend in “that” way that she’d never initiated and had always gotten Michael to back off whenever he tried to go further.

When she had kissed Jesse at the end of her sophomore year, and continued doing so once a week for the next year, she had become so guilty and self conscious. Whenever Michael would touch her she thought, Jesse touched me here last Tuesday and it was so much better, or Jesse bit here instead of slobbering all over my neck, why can’t you do that…?

So as much as she knew it would happen, her “first time” was vague in her mind: it would be theoretically be given to Michael, and hurt, but she was prepared to go through with it, hypothetically.

This was, well, this was so much better.

Jesse thumbed open her shorts, and pulled them down. Emily moaned, feeling it brush against her legs, slipping down her thighs and hitting the floor. Jesse’s hands stilled on her hip.

“I am so surprised at you right now,” she said and Emily blushed, because of course Jesse would make a big deal out of this. “A thong, Miller? Where’s my debutante student president to be now?”

“Shut up,” she said, going for Jesse’s shirt because this was getting a little unfair, standing in the middle of her room clad in her cami/underwear combo. “I don’t like the creases okay? I wear a lot of work pants, and,”

But Jesse was laughing so hard that her head had dipped into Emily’s neck, and she bit her lip because Jesse was so ridiculous, seriously.

“Oh my god,” Jesse wheezed. “You would wear the sexiest underwear ever so your work pants would look more professional.”

She took off Jesse's shirt in retaliation and to no one’s surprise Jesse was wearing a sports bra. Jesse looked at her, face still flushed and gave a quick smile. She felt her heart stutter and hated herself a little, but clearly not enough because when Jesse started taking off her bra she didn’t blink.

“Sorry,” Jesse said, muffled, “there is literally no sexy way to take off a sports bra, I’ve tried.”

Emily laughed a little, but it came out hoarse, and once Jesse straightened back up she could do little else but push Jesse back against the bed and start kissing down her neck.

“Oh my god,” Jesse groaned, hands tracing the lines of her underwear, and Emily shivered, but she had always been a good multitasker, had even said that in her interview and look where she was at now?

She gave a final suck to Jesse neck and blushed a little. “Sorry,” and Jesse looked up and Emily took a second to stare at Jesse’s wide eyes, she could barely even see the brown anymore, “I, um, totally left a mark.”

Jesse looked confused for a moment and then her mouth dropped open, face flushing.

“Ah, um.” Jesse swallowed and Emily followed the movement with her tongue. “Ah, that’s okay.”

She began sucking on Jesse’s pulsepoint, breathing her in because, oh, she smelled amazing.

“Can, can I do the same to you?”

Emily gave another suck, and couldn’t help but let her thoughts stray to the hands she had on Jesse’s hips and if she moved them up there’d be nothing there to stop her… “The same what?” She mumbled, and tested the waters, moving her hands up.

Jesse gasped, and Emily couldn’t blame her because she felt rather close to gasping herself, even though it was her touching Jesse like this, letting her thumb brush over her nipple, watching it become hard under her touch.

“Uh, god, what?” Jesse said, and Emily smirked, trying the motion again. Jesse kept making these amazing noises whenever she did that, and that was so much better than she’d expected. Emily wasn’t too sensitive here, but Jesse clearly was and Emily had a thought so tempting that she didn’t realize her head was down, and her tongue had reached out to flick at Jesse’s nipple until it happened.

“Oh wow,” Jesse moaned, and Emily did it again and again until Jesse moved her head, and brought her into a panting, frenzied kiss.

Emily had never felt like this in her life, but her legs were shaking and she could feel herself getting wet. She wanted Jesse to touch her, wanted to touch Jesse, and she was feeling a little light headed, to be honest.

“Sorry,” Jesse panted, breaking the kiss. “That felt amazing.” Jesse laughed. “Of course you’d be naturally gifted at this too, you’re such a perfectionist.”

Emily ducked her head, smiling, and kissed Jesse again, letting her thoughts slip away, letting herself just be with Jesse in this moment, on her bed, with Jesse’s hands fingering her hair tie and pulling it loose.

She felt her hair spill out over her shoulders and onto Jesse, and leaned into the touch when Jesse brushed it out of her face.

“Oh wow,” Jesse said, but didn’t finish because Emily was kissing her and she was kissing Emily back. There was something pulling at her, something heavy beginning to form in her chest, but if she just kissed Jesse harder, if they never talked again, only did this, then it would be fine. It would all be fine.

Jesse sat up and tugged off her pants and underwear in one move, leaving Emily equally stunned and impressed, before flipping them over so that she was on her back and Jesse naked above her.

Jesse grabbed the bottom of Emily’s shirt, and she nodded, feeling Jesse’s hands brush against her stomach as it came off. Jesse’s hands cupped the outside of her bra, thumb brushing the expanse of it.

“This is cute,” Jesse murmured, poking one of the flowers patterning the lining. Emily was having a hard time responding, or doing anything for that matter, and one of Jesse’s hand went to unclasp her bra while the other guided her head so that Jesse could kiss her neck.

It felt...really good. Emily found herself panting, until it was hard to get out even a single breath, and felt a suck latch against her skin. She panted harder, thinking about how she’d done this to Jesse just minutes before, how it left a really deep purple on her skin, how that made Emily feel weirdly vindicated because other people would be able to see it.

“Wait, wait,” Emily panted, patting rapidly against Jesse’s shoulder and grabbing her hair to pull Jesse’s mouth off her neck, “no marks, no marks, I can’t…”

“Yeah, yeah, sorry,” Jesse said and kissed the spot as if in apology. Emily could only grip tighter onto her as Jesse let her hand trail down and down, coming to rest on her upper thigh, thumb brushing the small lining of fabric there.

“Can I?” Jesse asked, and all Emily could do was nod, it felt like her head was buzzing itself out of existence, why did Jesse even bother to ask, clearly she wanted it.

She let her legs spread open and Jesse tugged at her underwear until Emily understood that they needed to be gone, now. And it was embarrassing, because they were sticky and she would definitely need a new pair after this, but Jesse just cupped her face and kissed her until everything else disappeared, like it always did when they were together.

Jesse’s hand was back, a finger softly stroking her until all she could do was gasp nonsensically.

“Does this feel okay?” she asked, two fingers now brushing lightly against her clit, and Emily nodded, feeling frantic and so present.

“Harder?” she said, because this was just cruel, really, Jesse was always like this, always teasing her, touching her softly, kissing her all the time, changing her hair color, wearing new clothes the day after prom…

Emily gasped as Jesse’s finger dipped inside of her, barely any pressure, but it was so new that she stilled completely, eyes opening to see that Jesse was looking intently at her face. She squeezed them shut again.

“Let me know if it hurts ok?” Jesse said, and it was all she could do to get comfortable because Jesse was looking at her and Jesse’s fingers were inside of her and she couldn’t breathe, her chest was so tight, god it was so good, and she put an arm over her eyes because she was crying.

This was supposed to sexy, this was supposed to be closure. This wasn’t supposed to rip every wound in Emily’s head open, spilling her hopes and wants dripping against her heart, thudding into her skin. It wasn’t supposed to be Jesse, above her and inside of her, making her unable to move on and simultaneously heartbroken.

A wrecked sound ripped out of her, and she bit her lip.

Maybe Jesse hadn’t heard, maybe she was too caught up in this, like Emily was supposed to be. Maybe Jesse just wanted sex, maybe Jesse was just horny and wanted to have sex with Emily because apparently she and the ninth grade hippie weren’t “compatible.”

Jesse’s fingers slipped out of her and rested on her thigh. Emily felt the hand that was resting on her ribcage come up to her arm.

“Emily?” Jesse said, and her voice was so low in this moment, and so tentative, that she would give anything to go back to what they were doing, just to feel it and not to think about it. About what it meant for her or Jesse or their supreme lack of a future together.

God it was so stupid, but Jesse’s arm was pulling hers away from her face, and Emily could feel the tears slide down her face into her ears, and this was so gross she was sure the only reason Jesse didn’t leave right now was because she’d driven them both and basically trapped her here.

“Oh my god, Em?”

Jesse’s hands came up to cup her face and she opened eyes to see Jesse staring at her, and oh man, she really messed this up didn’t she because Jesse was coming closer and holding her to her chest.

Jesse was so warm, and she felt so good that Emily could only cry harder.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I just, ah,” but what could she even say? I just realized that I don’t want this to end? I just realized this entire time I thought I was using you but I’ve really been using Michael? I can’t believe I’m this invested in you, I’m never like this, how do I move on from this? I can’t believe I let you back here, you're in my room, you're in my space, you’ll never leave now, I never wanted you to leave-- “love you. I just kind of love you, Jesse,” she huffed, trying to be light and jokey but she’d never really been that kind of person anyway.

“Oh, shit.” She heard Jesse breathe, and couldn’t help but look up, couldn’t help but put her hands on Jesse’s face afterward, drawing her in for a kiss.

It wasn’t really a kiss though, more like a melding of their faces and tears, and it was so, so weird because Emily could literally taste Jesse’s tears mixing with hers on her face, and it was super gross but really, really wonderful.

Their lips slicked together, drawing back to tease the other only to dive in desperately again, their tongues touching lightly and then more exploratory. Emily felt like she was being consumed, like everything about her was being changed by Jesse, like the Emily that would end today was not the one that’d begun it.

She started letting out small sounds against Jesse’s mouth, and felt her respond like an echo chamber, and it was like, for the first time in months, maybe in the history of their entire relationship, they were communicating. They were saying, sorry, I’m so sorry, please stay with me, wouldn’t you love to stay with me, won’t I be enough for you, forever? God, I know it's so silly to think you’ve found that person in high school, but can’t you feel it, can’t you feel that I’m it for you?

Emily slid her hands from Jesse’s face, moving down her sides, and feeling the bare skin of her legs and stomach. She teased at the very tops of Jesse’s thighs, touching skin so soft it kind of made her want to mark it, until Jesse trembled, licking at her top lip a little desperately. That was so incredibly hot.

Emily could barely process when Jesse ground down against her hand, and oh Jesse was turned on, Jesse was wet and it was all because of Emily.

“Please,” Jesse said, resting forehead to forehead, her breath coming in hot on Emily’s cheek.

“Touch me?” Jesse asked, and Emily nodded, moving her fingers up until Jesse gasped and bucked above her. She was trembling so hard, Emily could feel her thighs shake against her.

Emily had touched herself before of course, it was the 21st century, but she so grateful when Jesse reached to guide her hand to where she wanted it, and Emily was so stunned by Jesse’s moan at the touch that she accidentally pressed way too hard.

Jesse yelped and bucked up, staring at her with an open mouth and such a betrayed look that Emily had to laugh.

“I’m sorry.” Emily smiled, and Jesse huffed a laugh down at her, so she touched where Jesse showed her, much lighter this time, and was so indescribably pleased when Jesse moaned again.

Emily stretched up to kiss Jesse’s neck, and felt Jesse lean into her kisses and sucks, gasping any time Emily stayed on a spot for a long time. It was selfish, because she had explicitly stated that she hadn’t wanted any marks, but something so deep inside of her, integral to her being really, needed to mark Jesse. Needed to see that tangible evidence that this had happened, that Jesse enjoyed this and liked it.

Jesse’s moaning was getting louder, and Emily couldn’t help but grin up at her, moving her fingers faster. Jesse glared down for a second, but in the next moment she closed her eyes, and said, “oh, oh,”, shivering into Emily’s arms until she reached to remove her hand.

Jesse sunk down into her, face in the crook of her shoulder and kissed it lazily. Emily officially felt amazing, and honestly could say that nothing she’d ever done in school or otherwise gave her quite the same kind of satisfaction.

“Oh, shut up, Miller,” Jesse mumbled, but Emily could feel her smile.

“What was that?” she asked, leaning her head on top of Jesse’s, feeling the skin of her cheek touch the wilted spikes in Jesse’s hair. But Jesse only shook her head, and the movement distracted her so badly that she didn’t realize where Jesse’s hand moved to until too late.

Emily let out a loud gasp and Jesse chuckled against her neck, mouthing lightly on the side. Emily wanted to say something snide, something like what she’d usually say whenever Jesse teased her, but she couldn’t really form words and was pretty sure no one would blame her, because Jesse was really good at this, oh my god.

Emily had never thought of herself as someone who came particularly fast but, but, this was-

“Oh my god, Jesse,” she panted and screwed her eyes shut. Jesse was kissing further up her neck, breathing into her ear,

“Yeah?” and Emily could feel her stupid, smug, grin, but Jesse moved to put her middle finger inside of her, while her thumb rolled slow circles on her clit. Emily moaned loud and was so surprised by her own voice and the new motion that she stuttered into her orgasm, looking wide eyed at her ceiling, Jesse’s body curled up warm against her.

Jesse let her breathe for a moment, just panting with Jesse’s finger still inside of her, while she found her brain again. Part of Emily was unsure if she wanted Jesse to continue or stop but, before she could say anything about either, Jesse gently removed her finger and rested her hand on her hip. Normally, Emily would complain because that was a little gross, but she straight up did not care in this moment.

Especially when Jesse leaned up to face her and just, looked at her. For a really long time.

Emily found her breathing slow and her hands rise to comb through Jesse’s hair, but she was staring right back, and knew that, yeah. It was really, truly, up to her. Emily Miller, confident, sure, and decisive Emily Miller, could see that Jesse was asking her a question in this moment.

And it was the quiet and peace of the moment that had Emily contemplating it for the first time in their entire relationship. She didn’t want to think of, of other things just yet. Of parents, or school, or Michael. She didn’t want to weigh the pros and cons of them, not yet. She just wanted to lay here with Jesse for the next half hour before they would have to clean up, and Emily would have to drive her back to the community center.

Emily was so content here, so incredibly happy in her bed, with Jesse looking so deeply at her, looking at her like she was so unbelievable, like what they just shared was so amazing. She rose up and kissed one of Jesse’s cheeks, then her other, and then her forehead. Jesse closed her eyes, sighing, and layed on her chest. Emily was basically compelled to put her arms around her, and for the first time in her life thought,

What would it mean for me, to be happy? And could it truly worth it?