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Craving You

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Tobin doesn’t do this. In fact, she’s made it a point to keep all of her relationships casual with no strings attached. Honestly, you probably couldn’t even call them relationships. She hooks up with the cute bartender near the beach that she and Kelley surf at, once or twice a week after getting free drinks at the bar. A few times a month she sleeps with the very attractive and very off limits younger sister of one of the guys she occasionally surfs with. If they’re both busy, she sometimes ventures over to the frat parties at UCLA, and goes home with the hot sorority girl going through a little bit of a wild child rebellious phase that includes a lot of weed and a lot of Tobin.

 

But lately her Fridays are reserved for Christen. Christen who’s smart, motivated, and unbelievably gorgeous. She’s way out of Tobin’s league and Tobin knows this. She’s known it from the moment Kelley introduced them at the party she threw a couple months ago.

 

 

-----

 

“Hey asshole, you’re late. And you didn’t bring ice which is the one thing I asked you to get,” Kelley complains, opening the door of her condo for Tobin.

 

“I was sleeping,” Tobin shrugs, brushing past her to walk inside. “How am I late? There’s no one even here. Plus, can’t your girl bring ice?” Tobin asks, teasing Kelley about her latest crush.

 

“She’s not my girl. She’s so straight it’s not even funny. She’s just my college best friend’s new best friend so she’s automatically gotta be my friend too I guess. Even if she is a little stuck up and boring,” she mutters the last part, trailing behind Tobin into the kitchen.

 

Tobin grabs herself a Corona and a lime wedge from the fridge and hoists herself up onto the kitchen counter. “Are they coming tonight?” she asks, swinging her legs so her heels hit into Kelley’s cabinets, which she knows drives her crazy.

 

“Yeah, I’ll text Christen to tell her to pick up ice because someone was too busy sleeping,” she answers, narrowing her eyes at Tobin before looking down at her phone.

 

“I was tired,” Tobin defends, kicking her flip flops off.

 

“Oh yeah? Is that why you couldn’t come out this morning?” Kelley questions, tossing her phone onto the counter and getting a Bud Light out of the fridge.

 

Tobin smirks at Kelley from behind her Corona bottle. “I was at UCLA,” she admits, taking a swig of the beer.

 

Kelley groans and pops herself up onto the kitchen island, sitting across from Tobin. “Dude, seriously? You’re 24. It’s creepy.”

 

“Shut up,” Tobin swings her leg and kicks Kelley, who just laughs and tries to kick her back. “It’s not creepy, she’s 21. And she’s mature for her age.”

 

“Really?” Kelley asks flatly, giving Tobin a knowing look.

 

“No way,” Tobin laughs. “But she’s super hot and she likes to…experiment,” she says, wiggling her eyebrows.

 

“TMI,” Kelley groans. “Did she smoke all of your weed too?”

 

Tobin pulls the small tin from her pocket and pops it open to show Kelley. “Nope, still got plenty. Want to smoke before people get here?”

 

Kelley looks unsure for a moment, leaning over to check the time on her phone. “Fuck it, yeah let’s do it,” she says, hopping off the counter. “I’ll get my bowl.”

 

 

A couple of hours later, Tobin is pleasantly crossfaded and Kelley’s condo and tiny back patio are filled with people. She’s playing flip cup and flirting with a girl she’s met at a few of these parties until the girl ditches her in favor of the chips and guac that someone had brought with them. Tobin wanders inside to look for Kelley, swiping another Corona from the fridge as she goes.

 

“Tobin,” Kelley screams, the unmistakable sound of relief in her voice as Tobin walks into the living room. “Come here!”

 

Tobin glances over and sees Kelley sitting on the couch, beckoning her over wildly, desperation clear in her eyes. Two girls with dark hair are sitting on the ottoman across from her, their backs to Tobin. Tobin saunters over, and plops down on the couch next to Kelley. “Sup?” she asks, looking up at the girls across from her for the first time and nearly choking on her beer as she does.

 

“Tobin, this is Christen and Alex,” Kelley explains, gesturing to the two girls in front of them.

 

“Hey,” Tobin nods, smiling at them. “So, uh, are you guys models, or…” she trails off looking between the two.

 

The green eyed girl with the darker hair and skin, that Tobin thinks is Christen, just smirks and rolls her eyes and Tobin isn’t sure if she’s ever wanted someone so bad within seconds of meeting them. She tears her gaze from her face when the other girl, with the piercing blue eyes and perfect eyebrows speaks up.

 

“Um, no. We work for a PR company. Does that pick up line ever work, or…” she mocks Tobin’s question, her surprisingly raspy voice cold and disinterested, confirming for Tobin that she’s Alex and the other girl is Christen.

 

Christen elbows Alex and glares at her but Tobin just laughs and shakes her head, too high and drunk to care about the girl’s teasing. “Don’t worry, I wasn’t trying to pick you up. I heard you’re tragically straight,” she says seriously, patting the girl’s knee in sympathy as Kelley blushes scarlet beside her.

 

“Let’s play beer pong,” Kelley suggests, her voice coming out unnaturally high and loud.

 

Tobin shrugs and hops up, trailing behind Kelley to the back patio. She glances back at Christen and Alex, their heads together in what appears to be a serious conversation as they follow Tobin through the kitchen to the sliding door leading out to the patio.

 

 

Two games later, Alex demands that they switch partners, clearly pissed about losing both games. “No offense Chris, but you kind of suck at this,” she laughs, finally having loosened up with plenty of alcohol in her system. “Tobin, switch sides with me,” she demands, walking around the table and shoving Tobin towards the other side.

 

Kelley gives her a wide eyed pleading look, but Tobin just shrugs and smiles, walking around the table to where Christen is very preoccupied with lining up the cups precisely. Kelley and Alex walk inside to fill a pitcher with water for the cups, after Alex had declared a hatred for beer and refused to play with it, citing a concern about dirt and germs as well. Tobin watches Christen fiddle with the cups for a moment longer before she steps closer, her inhibitions lowered by weed and alcohol.

 

“I think they’re good,” she murmurs in Christen’s ear, resisting the urge to lean even closer and taste the flawless bronze skin of her neck and jawline. Christen freezes, her hand hovering above one of the cups. “Don’t worry about being bad at this, I’ll make enough cups for both of us,” Tobin continues when she doesn’t answer.

 

Tobin’s barely finished speaking when Christen catches her off guard, spinning around to face her, only inches between their faces. “I’m not bad at this. I just wasn’t trying. You’re very distracting,” Christen says softly, her eyes flitting across Tobin’s face, down to her lips and to her jawline.

 

Tobin raises her eyebrows, surprised by the girl’s boldness. “I don’t know if I believe you. You haven’t made a cup yet.”

 

Christen just grins, her eyes finally meeting Tobin’s again. “What do I get if I make one this game?” she challenges.

 

Tobin thinks for a moment, knowing a few things she wants to do to Christen but not wanting to come on too strong. “Depends. What do you want?” she asks, going with the safe choice.

 

“You,” Christen says simply.

 

Tobin swallows hard, her eyes drifting down to Christen’s lips. “I think that can be arranged,” she murmurs, wanting to reach out and touch the girl in front of her. The moment is interrupted by Kelley and Alex returning to the table, laughing as they spill water everywhere.

 

Christen sinks her first cup, turning and smirking at Tobin who stares at her, her mouth slightly open and her hand with the ping pong ball frozen in the air ready to throw. “Finish this game quickly. I don’t want to wait,” Christen instructs, smiling sweetly and gesturing for Tobin to take her shot.

 

Tobin shakes her head, still a little dumbfounded and sinks her shot, waving her hand to ask for balls back.

 

Tobin and Christen finish the game before Kelley and Alex have made more than 3 cups. “Rematch!” Alex immediately yells, clearly frustrated with still being on the losing side of the table.

 

“Nah, let someone else have a chance to beat you,” Tobin teases, looking towards the few people standing around on the patio who had been watching them play.

 

“We’ll play,” one of Kelley’s friends exclaims, dragging his girlfriend over towards the table.

 

“I’m going to get a drink,” Christen calls over her shoulder, her eyes meeting Tobin’s. “You coming?” she asks, looking at Tobin pointedly.

 

“Yeah,” Tobin calls back quickly, gulping down the rest of her beer and tossing the ping pong ball towards the table before speed walking after Christen.

 

Christen stops once inside the door and Tobin steps around her, grabbing her hand and walking towards the doorway. Christen hesitates for a moment, swiping a bottle of tequila off the counter before squeezing Tobin’s hand and allowing her to lead the way. Tobin pulls Christen through the living room, nodding at people who say hi to her as she walks past, and up the stairs. She pauses for a moment at the top before pushing Kelley’s roommate’s door open, knowing that she won’t be back for a week.

 

“Is this your room?” Christen asks, her brow furrowed as she glances around the room that looks to be straight out of a Pottery Barn catalogue.

 

Tobin laughs, looking around the room. “No way. It’s Kelley’s roommate’s room but she’s out of town.”

 

Christen nods, kicking the door shut behind her and walking further into the room. “Take a shot with me?” she asks, holding up the half full bottle.

 

Tobin thinks she’d probably do just about anything this girl asked at the moment so she nods and sits down on the rug, leaning back against the bed. Christen sits down next to her and unscrews the top, taking a swig straight from the bottle, grimacing and shaking her head after swallowing. She laughs at herself, holding the bottle out to Tobin. Tobin grabs it and takes a big swig, only flinching a little as the liquor burns her throat. She digs in her pocket and pulls out her weed.

 

“You smoke?” she asks, reaching into her other pocket for Kelley’s bowl and her lighter.

 

Christen shakes her head, taking another small sip of the tequila. “You can though, I don’t mind.”

 

Tobin nods, packing the bowl and bringing it to her lips to light it. She takes a long drag and tilts her head back against the bed, closing her eyes before slowly letting out the smoke. She looks over at Christen who’s watching her closely. “You ever try it?” she asks.

 

Christen shakes her head.

 

“You wanna?” she offers.

 

“I don’t know,” Christen says slowly before nodding. “Yeah, kinda, but I don’t know how.”

 

Tobin shrugs, bringing the bowl back to her mouth. “I’ll shotgun it to you,” she says, grabbing the lighter off the floor before glancing back at Christen who’s looking back at her with a confused expression on her face. “I’ll take a hit then breathe the smoke into your mouth. You won’t get as high but that’s probably good for your first time. Just breathe it in and hold for a couple seconds then breathe out, okay?”

 

Christen nods and puts the bottle of tequila on the floor, turning a little to face Tobin, watching her intently. Tobin takes a deep pull and carefully puts the lighter and bowl on the floor before turning to Christen. She puts a finger under Christen’s chin and smiles reassuringly at her, staring into her eyes before leaning closer. She let’s her gaze drift down to Christen’s slightly parted lips. She brings her hand to her jaw and leans even closer, leaving only centimeters between their lips before slowly exhaling the smoke into her mouth and pulling back to watch her.

 

Christen’s eyes are closed and she holds her breath for a few seconds like Tobin had instructed before she blows the smoke out, coughing a little bit. Her eyes pop open and she grins at Tobin proudly. “Again?” she asks.

 

Tobin shrugs and grabs the bowl, repeating the process again. This time instead of leaving space Tobin just barely touches her lips to Christen’s to exhale the smoke. After exhaling, Christen slowly opens her eyes and looks at Tobin. “Do that again but without the smoke,” she says, her voice low.

 

Tobin leans in, bringing her hand to Christen’s jaw before kissing her gently. They kiss slowly at first before Christen brings her hand up to Tobin’s face and shifts slightly, deepening the kiss. After a few seconds, she swings a leg over Tobin’s legs and sits in her lap, one of her hands running through Tobin’s hair.

 

Tobin lets her hands drift down Christen’s back, grabbing her ass as she slips her tongue into the other girl’s mouth. They make out like this for a while, Christen subtly grinding her hips into Tobin’s lap before she pulls back and stands up. Tobin looks up at her, confused about what she did wrong, but Christen pulls her shirt off and drops it to the floor before holding a hand out to Tobin.

 

“Bed,” she says simply, pulling Tobin off the ground and pushing her back towards the bed. Tobin stumbles a little, and the back of her legs hit the mattress so she sits down. Christen steps forward and grabs the hem of Tobin’s t shirt, pulling it off and dropping it to the floor, her eyes raking over Tobin’s torso hungrily. She unbuttons her own jean shorts, pushing them down her hips so she’s standing in front of Tobin in a black bra and a black lace thong.

 

Tobin lets her eyes drift over the body of the woman in front of her, appreciating every inch of her. Christen stands still for a moment, letting her look before she gets impatient and steps closer to Tobin again, reaching for the button of her jeans. Tobin gets the hint and quickly stands, taking them off.

 

Christen barely waits for her to kick the jeans off her foot before she’s pushing Tobin down onto her back on the bed, climbing on top of her and kissing her needily, her hand already drifting to the waistband of Tobin’s underwear.

 

 

Tobin props her head up on one hand and looks down at the girl lying naked next to her. Christen is on her back with her eyes screwed shut, her body slick with sweat and her chest heaving up and down as she comes down from her second orgasm. Tobin can’t help herself and she gently trails a finger up Christen’s flat stomach and between her breasts, feeling her shudder at the sensation.

 

“Fuck, you’re good at that” Christen pants out, finally opening her eyes and turning her head to look at Tobin.

 

“You weren’t so bad yourself,” Tobin smirks, leaning in to peck Christen on the lips before rolling out of the bed and finding her clothes. “I should go see if KO needs help like cleaning up or whatever,” she explains pulling her jeans up and zipping and buttoning them.

 

Christen leans up on her elbows to watch her, completely unashamed by her own nakedness. Tobin tosses her clothes onto the bed before putting her bra on and grabbing her t shirt. “You should probably find your friend,” she says, pulling her shirt over her head.

 

Christen sighs but sits up and starts getting dressed as well.

 

“We should do this again sometime,” Tobin says casually, pocketing her lighter and weed and picking up Kelley’s bowl from the floor.

 

“Yeah, sure,” Christen says, copying Tobin’s nonchalance as she pulls her shirt on and swings her legs over the side of the bed to put on her underwear and shorts.

 

“Cool,” Tobin shrugs, running a hand through her hair. “I’ll just get your number from Kelley or whatever,” she says, walking towards the door.

 

“Kay,” Christen answers, looking down as she puts her shorts on.

 

“Alright, see ya later Christen,” Tobin says, opening the door and walking out, softly pulling it closed behind her.

 

“See ya,” Christen mutters at the closed door before dropping her head into her hands. “What the fuck did I do,” she whispers to herself, her hands over her face.

 

 

 

“I cannot believe you slept with her,” Alex whisper yells over brunch the next morning, staring at Christen with wide eyes. “Do you like her? Are you going to see her again?”

 

Christen shakes her head, reaching for her mimosa. “No. I don’t think so.”

 

Alex’s eyes widen even further. “Christen, you don’t do one night stands,” she says slowly.

 

“I know,” Christen groans, looking down at her plate.

 

Alex puts down her fork and takes a deep breath. “Chris, babe, look at me,” she says gently, waiting for Christen to look up before continuing. “What’s going on? Are you okay?”

 

Christen shrugs, looking back down. “I don’t know. We’ve been here for what? Two months? And I haven’t even been on a single date or anything. You and Kelley are my closest friends here. And Kelley is always busy and you have Serv and I guess I was just lonely. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, right? People have one night stands all the time. I mean she was hot and good in bed and I’m not looking for anything more than that right now, y’know?” she asks, looking up, already feeling a little better having voiced her thoughts.

 

“So, what? Are you gunna like start having one night stands now?” Alex asks, grinning slightly.

 

Christen takes a sip of her mimosa, considering Alex’s question. “Who knows? I just might,” she answers, smirking.

 

 

 

“You did what?” Kelley yells, turning her head to look at Tobin so fast that Tobin is sprayed with drops of water from the ends of her hair.

 

“I slept with Christen?” Tobin repeats, this time the statement coming out as a question as she looks from the waves to Kelley, confused about her reaction.

 

“No, no, no,” Kelley says, shaking her head. “No way Tobin. Christen is off limits. God, I can’t believe you. I knew I shouldn’t have introduced you to her,” she mutters, dropping her face into her hands.

 

“Kelley, what? What’s the big deal?” Tobin asks, dumbfounded.

 

“Tobin, you don’t understand. Christen is not like these other girls that you just bang and forget or only talk to when you wanna fuck. She’s a good girl. And she’s a relationship girl, she doesn’t just sleep with randos, no offense,” she says, glancing at Tobin, who just shrugs. “Plus, she’s my ex and that’s like bro code or whatever.”

 

“Bro code? Really? You slept with Riley like two weeks after we broke up,” Tobin laughs out, shoving Kelley’s shoulder.

 

“Good point,” Kelley concedes, grinning at Tobin before her face turns serious again. “I’m not kidding though. Christen is all about monogamy and commitment and I’m pretty sure you’re like allergic to both. If you break her heart I’ll break your face okay?”

 

“So I’m guessing it’s probably not a good idea to ask you for her number?” Tobin drawls, flopping down onto her back in the sand and closing her eyes, letting the sun dry her wet skin.

 

“Yeah, probably not a good idea,” Kelley agrees, following Tobin’s lead and laying down next to her.

 

 

 

Almost a week after the party, Christen is killing time on her lunch break, circling through social medias on her phone. She opens Instagram and notices a follow request from Tobin. She accepts and follows her back, clicking into her page, which isn’t private. She scrolls through her account for a few minutes, but it’s basically just a stream of pictures of Tobin in a bikini, surfing or on the beach, and Christen exits the app, a little overwhelmed.

 

She doesn’t really look at her phone again until she’s leaving for the day, poking her head into Alex’s cubicle to tell her that she’ll see her at home. She’s walking towards the elevator and looking down at her phone when she notices a notification for Instagram. She opens it to find a direct message from Tobin.

 

Hey, forgot to get your # from KO. What are you up to tonight?

 

Christen reads the message several times as she steps into the elevator and presses the button for the lobby. She finally taps out a response as she walks through the lobby, nodding at the security guard as she walks by.

 

No plans,” she sends, adding in her number as an after thought.

 

She doesn’t get a response for almost an hour, when she’s already home and changed out of her work clothes. This time it’s a text from a number not in her phone and she opens it, assuming it’s Tobin.

 

There’s this bar by my apt I’ve been eyeing. Wanna check it out with me?

 

“Sure. What time?” Christen texts back, hardly even pausing to consider the offer.

 

Tobin texts her the address and says to meet her there at 10, which is a lot later than Christen expected and she wrinkles her nose, used to being in bed by 11 at the latest. Nevertheless, she answers Tobin, confirming and saying she’ll see her in a few hours, then heads into her room to change and go to the gym now that she has some time to kill.

 

 

“So is it a date?” Alex asks, cutting up a cucumber for salad while Christen takes their baked sweet potatoes of the oven.

 

“I don’t think so,” she answers, grabbing the half full bottle of wine off the counter before walking over to the table.

 

Alex joins her a minute later, carrying the wooden bowl with their salad in one hand and her wine glass in the other. “What is it then? Just hanging out? Are you gunna sleep with her again?”

 

Christen shrugs, serving herself a piece of grilled chicken and some quinoa. “I don’t know. I might,” she says nonchalantly, handing Alex the serving spoon.

 

“Christen Press having casual sex. I never thought I’d see the day,” Alex teases, shaking her head.

 

Christen just rolls her eyes and starts eating. “I can have casual sex Al. Just because I haven’t really done it in the past doesn’t mean I’m like incapable. I kind of like the idea of a no strings attached situation. I mean I’m obviously not looking for a relationship or anything right now but it’s nice to not have to be, like celibate, just because I’m not dating.”

 

“Don’t get me wrong Chris. I am all for you having casual sex. You know I think the world would be a better place if everyone just had more orgasms. But I don’t want you to get hurt if you start wanting more.”

 

Christen laughs and shakes her head, taking a big sip of her wine before answering. “Don’t worry. You met Tobin. There’s no way I could ever want more with her.”

 

 

Christen climbs out of her Uber at 9:51, double checking the address to make sure she’s in the right place. She glances around at her surroundings, not very impressed by the area she’s in. She’s standing in front of what looks like a Spanish restaurant with a decent sized patio, Christmas lights strung over it and music blaring. It’s in the middle of a parking lot, a strip mall with a liquor store, nail salon, dry cleaner, and Chinese take out restaurant behind it. Behind her is a busy street, some sketchy looking apartments on the other side.

 

She texts Tobin to let her know that she’s there, unsure if she should just go inside or not. She waits a few minutes outside, before she gets impatient and walks in, glancing around. There’s a restaurant area to her right, but it’s dark and empty. There’s a bar area in front of her, a lot of people crammed around the bar and a few high tops. She looks for Tobin inside first before moving to the doors to the patio, glancing down at her phone to make sure she didn’t miss a text from her.

 

She doesn’t find Tobin on the patio either, but she does snag them an empty table in the corner and she sits down, her back to the parking lot so she can keep an eye on the door. She pushes a few of the empty cups and bottles littering the table away and glances around at the people dancing, feeling awkward and cursing Tobin for being late.

 

It’s 10:15 when she starts thinking that she might be getting stood up. She texts Tobin again and is about to get up to leave when she spots the girl walking out onto the patio from the restaurant, her eyes scanning the crowd for Christen. She looks like she just rolled out of bed in gray sweatpants and a tattered white t shirt, a black snapback on her head. Christen looks down at her own black skinny jeans and cute tank top, suddenly feeling very over dressed.

 

She glances back up and Tobin finally makes eye contact from across the patio, smiling and walking over. She leans in and kisses Christen on the cheek unexpectedly before falling into the chair next to her.

 

“Sorry I’m late. I fell asleep,” Tobin says lazily, grinning at Christen and surveying the empty glasses and bottles on the table in front of her. “Can I buy you a drink?” she asks, standing up.

 

“Uh, sure. Vodka soda?” Christen asks, looking up at Tobin.

 

“Boring,” Tobin teases. “I’ll surprise you,” she decides, turning and walking towards the bar before Christen can protest.

 

She returns a few minutes later, two shot glasses in each hand. She puts them on the table and turns to a guy behind her, taking two Coronas, a shot glass full of lime wedges, and a salt shaker from his hands before thanking him and turning back to Christen.

 

“Tequila shots?” Christen asks, wrinkling her nose.

 

“What?” Tobin grins at her. “I thought you like tequila,” she says, licking the back of her hand and shaking salt onto it. Christen watches as Tobin licks the salt off and quickly tosses back two of the shots, one after the other before sucking a lime wedge.

 

Christen shakes her head and reaches for the salt shaker, not wanting to be out done. She takes the first shot, acutely aware of Tobin’s eyes on her as she licks the salt off her hand and puts the lime between her lips. She takes the second shot even slower, putting on a little bit of a show for Tobin.

 

“That tequila sucked,” she says, licking her lips and pushing a lime wedge into her Corona.

 

Tobin shrugs reaching for her beer. “I asked for the cheapest they have,” she admits, grinning.

 

“I can tell,” Christen responds with raised eyebrows. “Next round is on me.”

 

“Alright hot shot. Not all of us have fancy jobs that let us afford the top shelf stuff,” Tobin teases.

 

Christen rolls her eyes, sipping her Corona. “What do you do for a living?” she asks, realizing how little she really knows about the girl in front of her.

 

“I live,” Tobin answers seriously, laughing when Christen eyes her with a skeptical look.

 

“I surf,” she explains, slouching down in her chair.

 

“Like professionally?” Christen asks.

 

“Yeah, kinda,” Tobin shrugs, not offering any further information.

 

“Okay,” Christen says slowly, dying to ask how Tobin can make a living ‘kinda’ surfing professionally, but she bites her tongue. “Let me go get that round of top shelf I promised you,” she smiles and gets up to walk to the bar trailing a finger over Tobin’s shoulders as she goes, the first two shots of tequila starting to kick in.

 

She returns to the table with two shots of Don Julio, the best anejo available at the bar. “These are for sipping,” she explains sitting down and handing Tobin a shot.

 

Tobin takes it from her hand and tries a small sip. “Why?” she asks, her nose wrinkled adorably.

 

“I don’t know,” Christen admits, giggling and starting to feel a little tipsy. “You’re supposed to sip fancy tequila and enjoy it,” she says, trying a small sip to see why Tobin is making a face.

 

She flinches and shakes her head. “Or we could just shoot it back with salt and lime again?” she offers.

 

Tobin nods, laughing and reaching for the salt.

 

They keep talking, the conversation a little silly after 3 shots and a Corona each, until Tobin notices Christen shivering, the southern California spring air a little chilly now that the sun has gone down. “C’mon,” Tobin says, standing up and offering her hand. “Let’s go inside.”

 

Christen puts her hand in Tobin’s and allows her to lead her to the inside bar, which is still crowded with people. “Do you want more to drink?” Tobin asks, her breath tickling Christen’s ear as she leans in close to be heard over the music.

 

Christen shakes her head, and Tobin leans in again. “Do you wanna get out of here?”

 

Christen nods, biting her lip and looking into Tobin’s eyes. Tobin swallows before nodding as well, her hand still entwined with Christen’s as they walk out of the restaurant.

 

“Should we order an Uber?” Christen asks, stumbling a little as Tobin leads her through the parking lot.

 

“We can walk,” Tobin answers pulling Christen across a patch of grass and onto a sidewalk, leading the way to an intersection where she presses the button and stops to wait for the cross signal.

 

“Walk to where?” Christen asks, confused as she looks around.

 

“My place. C’mon,” Tobin says, pulling at Christen’s hand as the cross signal lights up.

 

They walk across the street and down the sidewalk, cutting through another parking lot to the sketchy apartment building that Christen had been eyeing earlier. Tobin digs through her pocket for keys as they come to a stop in front of one of the apartments.

 

“Do you live alone?” Christen asks, looking around warily.

 

Tobin nods, drunkenly concentrating on getting the key into the lock. She finally gets it, grinning proudly as she unlocks the door and pushes it open. She leads Christen into a darkened apartment, putting her hands on her hips to stop her just inside the door.

 

“Hang on,” she mutters, pushing the door closed and moving around Christen. A few seconds later a fluorescent overhead light clicks on in the tiny kitchen to Christen’s left, illuminating the apartment. Christen glances around, taking in the sparsely decorated living room in front of her, nothing but an old couch and a few surfboards propped against the walls. “Sorry, I need to get like a lamp or whatever,” Tobin explains, walking back towards Christen. “You want a drink or something?” she asks, coming to a stop in front of Christen and putting her hands on her hips.

 

Christen shakes her head slowly, licking her lips and looking at Tobin’s mouth. “Just take me to your bed Tobin,” she says, her voice low and dripping with want.

 

“Thought you’d never ask,” Tobin smirks, grabbing Christen’s hand and turning to lead her past the tiny living room and down a short hall to her bedroom. In the dim light filtering in through the doorway Christen is able to glance around the room and is surprised by how different it is compared to the rest of the apartment. A full sized bed is across from the door, unmade with white sheets and a white duvet cover. The dresser and night tables are a light beachy wood and there’s a flat screen TV on a stand in the corner, tilted towards the bed. The room smells like an oddly intoxicating mix of sunscreen, salt water, weed, and perfume and Christen breathes it in deeply, dropping her bag to the floor and reaching down to take her heels off while Tobin kicks off her sneakers and hangs her hat on the doorknob of what Christen assumes is her closet.

 

“How long have you lived here?” Christen asks, pushing her heels to the side.

 

“A few months,” Tobin replies, surprising Christen by lighting a candle on her dresser.

 

“And before that?” she questions.

 

Tobin drops the lighter onto her dresser and steps closer to Christen, pulling her t shirt off and dropping it to the floor. “Do you really want to talk right now Christen?” she drawls, cocking one eyebrow in a challenge.

 

Christen’s eyes rake up the tanned skin on display in front of her and she shakes her head, pulling her tank top off and stalking closer to Tobin, backing her up with a hand firmly on the center of her chest. “You’re right,” she concedes, shoving Tobin backwards onto her bed. “There’s other things I’d much rather be doing with my mouth right now,” she adds, smirking at Tobin before grabbing the waistband of her sweatpants and yanking them down her legs.

 

 

“God you’re hot,” Tobin groans, watching Christen pull her hair out of the tight bun she had put it in somewhere between leaving a hickey on Tobin’s chest and nipping the inside of her thighs. “How the fuck did Kelley ever swing you?”

 

Christen turns to her, confused as she stands naked next to Tobin’s bed. “What do you mean?”

 

“Didn’t you date Kelley in college?” Tobin questions.

 

Christen laughs, slipping the hair tie onto her wrist. “Did Kelley tell you that?”

 

“Uh, yeah,” Tobin says slowly. “Did you not?”

 

“Oh, no we did,” Christen explains, running her fingers through her curls. “For like 2 weeks our sophomore year,” she laughs out, shaking her head at the memory. “Where’s your bathroom?”

 

“It’s on the left,” Tobin points out the door of her bedroom, leaning up onto her elbows to check Christen out as she leaves the room. The naked woman winks over her shoulder with a smirk as she struts through the doorway and into Tobin’s bathroom.

 

When she returns a few minutes later Tobin’s laying on her stomach, her eyes heavy with sleep and Christen walks closer to the bed, sighing. “You’re tired already? Aren’t surfers supposed to be physically fit? With like stamina or whatever?” she teases, kneeling on the empty side of Tobin’s bed and poking at her tanned shoulder.

 

Tobin cracks open her eyes at the teasing, widening them at the sight she’s met with. She slowly drags them up Christen’s body before meeting her gaze. “You wanna go again?” she asks, her voice low and breathy.

 

Christen just nods, trailing her hand down Tobin’s muscular back, watching in interest as her muscles tense under her fingernails.

 

“Hmm,” Tobin hums, pushing herself up, reenergized by the prospect of feeling the other woman tighten around her fingers for the third time that night.

 

 

“Do you need me to call you a cab or order you an Uber or something?” Tobin asks gently, hoping that Christen isn’t offended by the question.

 

Christen rolls over, waving the phone in her hand in Tobin’s face with a smirk. “I just beat you to it. My driver will be here in 7 minutes,” she says, rolling out of bed and starting to pick up her clothes off the floor.

 

Tobin lets out a tiny sigh of relief, glad that Christen isn’t the clingy type because she definitely is not into sleepovers and cuddling and awkward morning afters. “Cool,” she nods, getting under her covers, not bothering to get dressed. “Can I see you again soon?” she hears herself asking, furrowing her brow at how desperate she sounds.

 

Christen turns to Tobin, pulling her tank top over her head. “If you keep getting me off like that you can see me as often as you like,” she nods before bending down to slip her heels back on.

 

Tobin smirks confidently, before letting out a yawn. “Text me,” she murmurs, her eyes drifting shut. Christen watches her for a moment a small smile on her lips and her eyes tracing over Tobin’s facial features before her phone buzzes in her hand to let her know that her Uber is arriving. She grabs her bag and looks back at Tobin once more before blowing out the candle on her dresser and walking out of the apartment, her head held high, proud of herself for her newfound ability to have casual sex and excited to brag to Alex all about it.

 

 

Christen doesn’t even make it a week. All day long Wednesday her boss is berating her. One of her coworkers is due to have a baby soon and her boss is insistent that Christen be the one to pick up the slack. Christen is fuming by the end of the day and just a workout doesn’t seem like it’ll be enough to mellow her out again. She knows exactly what will though and she pulls out her phone as she walks out of the building to head home, quickly shooting off a text and grinning when she gets a reply within seconds.

 

Christen: What are you doing right now?

 

Tobin: Laying on the beach. Wbu?

 

Christen: Can you come over?

 

Tobin: Yeah, address?

 

Christen sends Tobin the address, grinning when she reads the ‘be there in 20’ text that she gets back.

 

She gets home 15 minutes later, leaving herself just enough time to take off her heels, cut up some strawberries for herself, and pour a glass of wine before Tobin texts her asking her apartment number.

 

Christen doesn’t even get a word out after opening the door before Tobin is backing her into the wall, attacking Christen’s lips with her own, her warm hands pulling Christen’s button down out of her pencil skirt and slipping under to feel the skin on her sides.

 

“Hi,” Christen breathes out when Tobin pulls back for a second.

 

“You taste like strawberries,” Tobin mutters, pressing kisses to Christen’s neck, her fingers working the buttons of her shirt. “You look really hot like this.”

 

Christen brings a hand up to Tobin’s damp hair, letting out a tiny moan as Tobin nips at her collar bone, finally reaching the last button and pulling her shirt open.

 

“Do you live alone?” Tobin questions, pulling back to admire Christen, now that her shirt is open.

 

“No, but Alex won’t be home for a few hours,” Christen explains, stepping forward to close the distance between them again.

 

“I can work with that,” Tobin answers, her eyes trained on Christen’s chest.

 

Christen grins, side stepping Tobin and walking towards the kitchen, putting an extra swing in her step when she feels the other woman’s eyes on her from behind.

 

“Something to drink?” she calls over her shoulder, taking another sip of her rosé.

 

Tobin wanders into the kitchen, plucking a strawberry off the plate on the counter and shaking her head. “I’m good,” she responds, popping the strawberry into her mouth and slowly walking closer to Christen as she chews.

 

Christen pushes a wine stopper into the rosé bottle, slipping it into the wine cooler under the counter. Tobin watches her, her eyebrows raised. “Fancy,” she comments, glancing around the apartments for the first time and letting out a low whistle. “Damn, what do you guys do again?”

 

Christen glances around as well, suddenly self conscious about the luxury apartment she shares with Alex. “We’re in PR. But both of our parents are…generous,” she explains, trailing off as she mentally compares the apartment to Tobin’s tiny one.

 

“Gotcha, trust fund babies, huh?” she teases, coming to a stop in front of Christen who leans back against the kitchen island, wine glass in hand and shirt still pulled open.

 

“Something like that,” Christen hums, swirling the last few sips of rosé around in her glass, taking in Tobin’s short denim cutoffs, the strings of a bikini top peeking out from the neck of her t shirt.

 

“See something you like?”

 

“Something like that,” Christen grins, tossing back the last of her drink and leaning forward to put the empty glass in the sink.

 

Tobin grabs Christen’s hips as she leans forward, allowing her to deposit the wine glass into the sink before backing her into the island. Christen lets out a little laugh of surprise when Tobin lifts her up and sits her on countertop.

 

Tobin busies herself with pressing open mouth kisses above the cup of Christen’s bra, her hands idly tracing up and down the outside of her legs and around her hips over the tight skirt. She eventually finds the zipper and pulls back to look at Christen briefly for permission before tugging it down. Christen puts her hands flat on the counter and lifts her hips, making the removal of the skirt easier. Tobin drops it to the kitchen floor and Christen gasps at the cold granite on her skin before Tobin is leaning back in to continue peppering kisses along her neck, her hands now wandering over Christen’s bare thighs.

 

Christen drops her arms over Tobin’s shoulders, toying with the strings of her bikini before tugging on her t shirt. Tobin takes the hint, pressing one more kiss to Christen’s jaw before stepping back and pulling the shirt over her head, revealing a floral print bikini top that Christen eyes appreciatively as she removes her own shirt.

 

Tobin steps back in and reaches around Christen’s back to unclasp her bra, pulling it down her arms and dropping it to the floor. She admires Christen’s body, now stripped to just her underwear, for a moment before leaning in and pressing open mouthed kisses across Christen’s chest. She darts her tongue out to swirl around one of Christen’s nipples and presses a grin against her heated skin when Christen lets out a whimper of pleasure.

 

Christen tangles one hand in Tobin’s hair, the other gripping the edge of the counter tightly as Tobin’s hands and mouth seem to be everywhere, working Christen up.

 

“Tobin,” Christen gasps. “Oh. Tobin. Fuck, Tobin,” she says a little more urgently, tugging on the hair in her hand, finally getting Tobin’s attention. “I need more,” she pants out when Tobin pulls back a bit to look at her questioningly.

 

“What do you need?” Tobin smirks, her fingertips ghosting over Christen’s bare thighs.

 

“I need you,” Christen practically moans. “Inside me. Now.”

Tobin grins, her fingertips trailing closer and closer to where Christen wants her most. “Bedroom?” she asks, glancing over Christen’s shoulder.

 

Christen bites down on her bottom lip, shaking her head. “Just fuck me right here Tobin,” she demands.

 

Tobin doesn’t answer, instead hooking her fingers into the waistband of Christen’s underwear, tugging until Christen pushes her hips off the counter allowing Tobin to remove them. Tobin pulls Christen’s hips until she’s right on the edge of the counter before putting her hands on her knees, gently parting her legs. She runs her fingers up Christen’s legs slowly, leaning in to kiss Christen deeply.

 

They part, both gasping as Tobin’s fingers reach their destination. “Fuck, you’re wet,” Tobin groans, leaning her forehead against Christen’s as she slowly pushes her fingertip into Christen.

 

“More,” Christen whines, subtly trying to push her hips out against Tobin’s hand.

 

Tobin drags her teeth over Christen’s jawline as she pushes her finger into her further, moving it in and out slowly before adding a second finger. “Fuck,” Christen groans, her nails digging into the cool skin of Tobin’s back as her other hand squeezes the edge of the counter in a vice grip. “So good Tobin. Don’t stop.”

 

Tobin seems to have found a spot she particularly likes under Christen’s jawline, sucking it hard and soothing it with her tongue as her fingers continue their torturously slow pace.

 

“Please,” Christen pants out, running her fingers up and down Tobin’s back. “Faster, Tobin. Fuck, yeah, right there,” she moans.

 

Tobin complies with Christen’s requests, picking up the pace and swiping a thumb across Christen’s clit every few thrusts. Christen is extremely vocal and Tobin eventually worries about her neighbors hearing her, leaning in to kiss her, nipping at her bottom lip before slipping her tongue into Christen’s mouth, hoping to keep her quiet.

 

It’s only a few more thrusts when Christen gasps into her mouth, her body stiffening momentarily before shuddering. Christen breaks the kiss, panting out something unintelligible and dropping her forehead to Tobin’s shoulder, her nails digging into her back. Tobin slows her pace, helping Christen ride out her orgasm before slowly pulling her fingers out and bringing them up to her mouth to suck them clean. Christen opens her eyes to watch with interest, her slightly painful grip on Tobin’s back finally lessening.

 

“Now bed,” she says simply. “My turn.”

 

Tobin steps between Christen’s legs and grabs at her hips, sliding her off the counter. Christen grins, hooking her legs around Tobin’s waist and wrapping her arms around her shoulders. She flexes her hips, slightly grinding into Tobin’s bare abdomen, knowing she’s getting it wet but not caring. Tobin pauses outside of the kitchen and Christen directs her to her bedroom, laughing when Tobin drops her to her bed unceremoniously and steps back to kick her door closed.

 

“C’mere,” Christen crooks a finger. “But ditch some of those clothes on the way. I want to taste you.”

 

Tobin shakes her head, in awe of the naked girl that she hardly knows, before quickly stripping and joining her in bed.

 

 

Christen isn’t sure how many times they go back and forth, exchanging orgasms, but she’s still trying to catch her breath and find the energy to open her eyes when she hears Tobin speak from next to her bed. “I gotta get going. See you soon?”

 

Christen cracks an eye open to see Tobin, redressed and leaning over her. She nods, deliciously exhausted and sends Tobin a satisfied smile. “Yeah, definitely. Thanks for coming over Tobin.”

 

Tobin grins back at her, standing up straight. “Anytime. Seriously, text me anytime. I had a good time. See ya,” she calls once more, shooting Christen a wink before slipping out and shutting the bedroom door behind her.

 

 

They fall in to a familiar pattern after that, hooking up at Tobin’s apartment or Christen’s apartment or even in Tobin’s truck during Christen’s lunch break on a particularly stressful day. Christen tries to ignore the fact that besides another invite to happy hour at the bar across from Tobin’s apartment on Friday, she’s always the one texting Tobin.

 

They’re lying in Tobin’s bed, catching their breath when Tobin rolls onto her side to face Christen. “You should let me take you out,” she says softly, running her index finger up the inside of Christen’s forearm, giving her goosebumps. “Like to dinner or something.”

 

Christen pulls her arm away and laughs, getting up to find her clothes. “What? Like a date? Are you joking?” she asks, turning to look at Tobin as she puts her bra on.

 

Tobin flops onto her back, looking up at the ceiling for a moment before grinning. She props herself up onto her elbows to watch Christen get dressed and nods her head. “Yeah, a date. Like the kind where we get dressed up and I buy you wine and dinner and then fuck you in the restaurant bathroom because you can’t wait til we get home.”

 

“As magical and romantic as that sounds, I’m not looking for anything serious,” she says, shimming into her jeans.

 

“Oh yeah, because dirty bathroom sex is so serious Christen,” Tobin retorts, dropping onto her back again. “Just think about it.”

 

Christen grabs her bag from the floor and pauses in the doorway, turning back to look at Tobin again. “I don’t want to go on a date Tobin. Let’s just keep doing what we’re doing. I’ll text you, okay?”

 

“Wait,” Tobin calls as Christen turns to leave. “Happy hour tomorrow at our spot? Or will you still be tired and sore from today?” she asks with a smirk.

 

“Three Friday’s in a row?” Christen asks, ignoring Tobin’s teasing. “You’re lucky the margaritas are so cheap and strong. I’ll meet you there at 5:30,” she calls over her shoulder, walking down the short hall and detouring into the kitchen to grab a Gatorade before leaving.

 

 

 

“This is kind of a date,” Tobin remarks, sipping her margarita and grinning at Christen.

 

“No it’s not,” Christen deadpans, pressing send on an email and tucking her phone into her bag.

 

“Oh it totally is,” Tobin teases. “I bought you a drink and I’m gunna take you home and fuck you in like an hour or two. That’s like the definition of a date.”

 

“If that’s your definition of a date it’s no wonder your single,” Christen remarks. “Plus the drinks are two for one so technically you bought yourself a drink and I just benefitted from your decision.”

 

“Whatever. You’ll go on a real date with me one day Christen,” Tobin says solemnly before waving down a waitress to order chips and salsa.

 

 

 

“You have a hickey,” Kelley remarks, balancing on her board and looking over at Tobin in the early morning light.

 

Tobin brings a hand to her neck as if she’d be able to feel it and grins, squinting out at the horizon, waiting for waves.

 

“Who was it last night? Bartender? Sorority chick?” Kelley questions.

 

“Nah, just a girl. But I am going to UCLA tonight for some party. You wanna come?” Tobin asks, glancing sideways at Kelley who rolls her eyes and shakes her head.

 

“Not a chance. I prefer women my own age.”

 

“Shut up,” Tobin laughs, splashing water at Kelley. “A couple years is not a big deal. You gunna be too busy hanging out with Alex tonight?” Tobin teases, wiggling her eyebrows.

 

“We’re friends,” Kelley argues, splashing Tobin back. “I’m over that whole crush thing. I know now that she’s just a straight nerd, not some unattainable hottie. But yeah, me and her and Chris are having a wine night at their apartment like adults. You should come instead of pretending you’re still in college.”

 

“Boring,” Tobin mutters, starting to paddle as they watch a wave come in. “Mine,” she claims it and Kelley shrugs, content to just watch her.

 

 

Tobin doesn’t end up at UCLA that night, instead she gets in another evening surf session before smoking the stash she’d saved for the frat party and falling asleep alone. She wakes up early Sunday morning to a few texts asking where she was but she knows she wasn’t really too missed and she’s honestly not even disappointed about missing out, instead texting Kelley to meet her at the beach and bring coffee.

 

 

The following Thursday, Tobin strolls into Kelley’s condo and finds Kelley sitting on the couch, her laptop open on her lap, some papers next to her, and a pen between her teeth.

 

“Dude, are you working?” Tobin asks, flopping onto the couch next to Kelley.

 

Kelley, who does some freelance work for a surf magazine, grabs the pen from her mouth and scribbles something onto a paper next to her. “Gotta pay the bills somehow my friend,” she responds distractedly. “We going out tonight?”

 

“Yeah,” Tobin answers, wiggling further down on the couch and closing her eyes. “You’re buying first round.”

 

Kelley finishes typing something before shutting her laptop and leaning forward to put it on the ottoman. She glances at Tobin but then pauses, looking at her more closely. “What’d you do today Tobs?”

 

Tobin opens her eyes and looks up at Kelley, slightly confused. “Nothing,” she responds slowly, not about to admit that she did Christen in her truck in the back of the parking garage next to her office.

 

“Don’t lie, you totally got laid didn’t you?” Kelley questions, starting to laugh when Tobin’s eyes widen. “Who was it?”

 

“Uh, I was at UCLA,” Tobin answers. “Which is why I want to take a nap now until we go out later,” she adds, hoping Kelley will drop it and leave her alone.

 

“Hmm,” Kelley hums, gathering up her papers. She pokes at Tobin’s jaw as she stands and smirks down at her. “Your hot sorority girl wears red lipstick? Maybe she is more mature than I thought.”

 

 

“This was a good choice,” Kelley slurs in Tobin’s ear, as the lean against the bar. “That girl over there has been undressing you with her eyes since we got here and her friends are all super hot so I’d be happy to distract them for you.”

 

Tobin nods, eyeing the table of girls that Kelley is talking about.

 

“Oh fuck, she’s coming over here. Don’t worry, I’ll be your wing woman,” Kelley assures Tobin as the brunette walks up to them, grinning at Kelley before turning her gaze to Tobin.

 

“Hey,” she says smoothly, stepping closer to Tobin and smiling at her.

 

“Hey,” Tobin responds awkwardly, nodding at the girl.

 

“Your drink is empty. Can I buy you a new one?” the girl asks confidently, putting a hand on Tobin’s arm.

 

“Uh, I’m actually good. Thanks anyway,” Tobin responds, subtly pulling her arm away.

 

The girl just smiles, taking her hand back. “Your loss,” she mutters, turning to walk back to her friends.

 

“Tobin, what the fuck?” Kelley yells, slapping Tobin’s arm as soon as the girl is out of hearing range. “What the fuck was that?”

 

“What?” Tobin asks, flinching away from Kelley’s slaps.

 

“That girl is like stupid hot and totally wants you and you just shot her down. What’s wrong with you?” Kelley questions, her eyes practically bulging out of her head.

 

Tobin shrugs, swirling the ice around in the bottom of her empty cup. “I don’t know. Just don’t feel like it I guess.”

 

“You’re acting weird lately,” Kelley comments, narrowing her eyes at Tobin. “You never shoot hot girls down for no reason.”

 

“Kelley,” Tobin spits, putting her cup down with a little bit more force than intended. “Maybe if you were getting any you’d be less concerned about my sex life. I’m gunna go, I’m tired,” Tobin says, ignoring the flash of hurt on her friends face.

 

“Fine,” Kelley responds. “See you in the morning?”

 

Tobin just nods slapping some cash down on the bar and storming out, angry at herself for turning the girl down. She makes it 2 steps out of the bar, pulling her phone out to order an Uber when she shakes her head and slides the phone back into her pocket. “What am I doing?” she mutters to herself before turning and walking back into the bar.

 

Kelley is already preoccupied, talking to a cute redhead at the bar but her eyebrows shoot up when she notices Tobin stalking past her.

 

Tobin walks up to the table in the corner, tapping the brunette and leaning in to talk in her ear. “Hey, I’m really sorry about before. I felt bad about ditching my friend. But it looks like she’s alright without me,” Tobin lies, nodding her head in Kelley’s direction. “Can I buy you a drink to make up for it?”

 

The brunette chews her bottom lip, considering the offer before breaking into a smile and nodding. “Yeah, sure,” she answers, allowing Tobin to lead her to the bar.

 

 

“I don’t know how you talked me into this,” Tobin grumbles after getting out of Kelley’s car and waiting while she pays the meter for parking.

 

“Chill Tobs. It’s just lunch,” Kelley drawls, putting her sunglasses on and turning to walk down the sidewalk.

 

“I don’t even like sushi,” Tobin complains, crossing her arms and following Kelley.

 

“I’m sure you can get something else. Would you rather me have left you sleeping on my couch and come and had lunch without you?” Kelley asks as they hurriedly cross the street before the light changes.

 

“Yes,” Tobin exclaims, throwing her hands up. “That’s exactly what I would have preferred.”

 

“Whatever. I was just trying to do something nice for you,” Kelley sighs as they walk up to a sushi restaurant. She pauses before going in the door and spins around, grabbing Tobin’s arm and looking at her seriously. “Okay, I know you haven’t seen Christen since my party so please try not to be weird? She seemed okay about it when I first talked to her but like I said, Chris doesn’t do one night stands so I’m not sure how she’ll be seeing you again. But I don’t want things to be awkward because you’re my best friends so just be cool, okay?”

 

Tobin rolls her eyes and shakes off the grip Kelley has on her arm. “Alright Kell, I’ll behave. Promise.”

 

 

“Wait, so Kelley really has no idea that you’ve been sleeping with Tobin non stop for weeks?” Alex asks with a wide eyed stare.

 

“Shh Alex,” Christen shushes her, glancing around the restaurant. “No. Tobin said she’d be weird about it and she didn’t want to tell her so we haven’t. But it’s fine, I think I’m gunna stop sleeping with her anyway.”

 

“Why? I thought you loved this no strings attached thing?” Alex questions, sipping her water.

 

“I do,” Christen responds quickly. “Or I did,” she says in a quieter voice. “I don’t know. The sex is mind blowing but I don’t know. With everything going on at work I feel like I should just focus on myself and the job for a couple months until I’m ready to get back into dating. Plus, I don’t want to have to keep lying to Kelley about it.”

 

Alex nods slowly, considering Christen’s words. “I guess that makes sense. But you’ve been more relaxed lately and you could always just tell Kelley the truth about it?”

 

Christen opens her mouth to answer but quickly snaps it shut when she sees Kelley walk in to the restaurant, an insolent looking Tobin trailing behind her. She waves her hand to get their attention, standing to hug Kelley when they get to the table. She offers a small wave to Tobin as she drops into the seat in front of her and Tobin breaks her grumpy persona to grin at her briefly before looking down at the menu.

 

Lunch is almost done when Alex asks Kelley an innocent question about going out the night before. “Oh my god,” Kelley says leaning in close from her spot next to Tobin. “You should have seen the girl Tobin went home with last night. And the best part is Tobs turned her down and left at first but then must of realized how stupid that would be and came back and I swear they didn’t even make it through one drink til they were leaving. I don’t know how she does it,” Kelley laughs, clapping Tobin on the back.

 

Tobin just shrugs, smirking as she raises her eyes to look at Christen, who’s jaw is set as she pokes at what’s left of her wasabi with a chopstick.

 

“Well this was fun but I actually have a deadline today so I should get going,” Kelley says reluctantly, putting her napkin on the table. “Tobs, you coming with me?”

 

Tobin opens her mouth to say yes when she feels a swift kick to her shin under the table. She glances at Christen who just barely shakes her head no, not even looking up from her plate.

 

“Uh, nah, that’s okay,” Tobin stutters out. “Watching you work is boring. I’ll grab an Uber.”

 

Kelley nods, taking a final sip from her water glass. “Alright, well text me if you wanna do something tonight, otherwise I’ll see you tomorrow morning. Alex and Christen, have fun at work and text me if you wanna hang out this weekend,” she says, standing and hugging each girl before walking out of the restaurant.

 

There’s a few seconds of awkward silence until Christen speaks up. “Al, can you tell Tom that I’m going to work from home for the rest of the day? I have a migraine.”

 

Alex smirks, looking between Tobin and Christen. “Sure. Hope you feel better,” she says in an overly sweet voice, before gathering her bag and standing up. “I’m heading back to work. See you later,” she grins at the pair before walking away from the table.

 

“Order us an Uber and take me home Tobin,” Christen says, her voice sharp.

 

Tobin nods, pulling out her phone. “My place or yours?”

 

“Yours,” Christen answers, not even looking up.

 

They ride in silence in the Uber, Christen answering work emails on her phone and Tobin content to watch her, enthralled by her slender thumbs flying across the screen and the look of concentration on her face.

 

Christen takes control as soon as they get into Tobin’s apartment, pushing her up against a wall and tugging at her clothes.

 

“Migraine better?” Tobin teases, lifting her arms so Christen can pull her shirt off.

 

“Shut up Tobin,” Christen mutters, leaning in and nipping at Tobin’s bottom lip as she grabs her hips and starts backing her towards the bedroom.

 

She pauses once inside Tobin’s room, pulling back from the kiss and glancing at the bed. “Did you bring that girl here last night?” she asks harshly, shooting Tobin a look that could kill.

 

Tobin’s eyes widen and she takes a step back from Christen. “Holy fuck, you’re jealous,” she exclaims, grinning widely.

 

Christen’s eyes narrow, her cheeks turning pink. “I am not jealous,” she says vehemently, crossing her arms. “I just don’t want to fuck you on gross dirty sheets.”

 

“I didn’t bring her back here,” Tobin denies, the grin still on her face. “And you’re totally jealous.”

 

Christen’s face turns redder and she stalks closer to Tobin, uncrossing her arms. “I said I’m not jealous,” she says, her voice icy. “Are you done talking? Or should I just go?” she challenges, raising an eyebrow.

 

Tobin shakes her head, the grin dropping from her face. “No, I’m done,” she breathes out, turned on by this dominant side that Christen is displaying.

 

“Good,” Christen responds, pulling her shirt off and pushing Tobin back towards the bed.

 

 

“We should stop hooking up,” Christen says simply as she gets dressed.

 

“What? Why?” Tobin opens her eyes to look at Christen, confused. “Was that not good? I thought,” she trails off, her brow furrowed.

 

“No, it was good,” Christen reassures. “It’s always good. But I feel like I should focus on myself and work and then maybe try dating like an adult instead of this casual sex thing we have going on.”

 

Tobin closes her eyes, dropping her head back onto her pillow. “Alright,” she shrugs. “Text me if you change your mind I guess.”

 

 

Christen tries to stay strong but she only makes it until Tuesday before she’s texting Tobin to come over after work. “This is the last time,” she mutters after, watching Tobin get dressed.

 

“Keep telling yourself that Christen,” Tobin smirks, pulling her shirt back on. “I’ll see you Friday for margaritas.”

 

 

Christen hates the fact that Tobin is right, but it doesn’t stop her from sending out a “Getting off work now. Meet at our spot in 20?” text as she walks out of her office Friday afternoon.

 

 

It’s a few weeks of Christen promising that they need to stop but never making it more than a few days before texting Tobin. They’re lying in Tobin’s bed one Sunday afternoon when Tobin rolls onto her side to look at Christen. “Do you wanna watch me surf this week?” she blurts out.

 

Christen opens her eyes to look at her, confused. “Watch you surf?”

 

Tobin nods, suddenly looking unsure, her cheeks pink and not just from the physical exertion and lack of air conditioning in her apartment. “Uh, yeah. Like in a competition.”

 

Christen’s brow furrows. “Didn’t you just have a competition like two weeks ago?” she asks, having only a vague awareness of what Tobin does and how she makes money.

 

Tobin shrugs, her eyes trailing down Christen’s body. “Yeah, but this one is a big deal. If I do well enough I could qualify for the championship tour. That means like big sponsorships and way bigger prizes,” she explains.

 

“Oh,” Christen nods. “When is it?”

 

“Uh, well it starts tomorrow,” Tobin admits. “But the next rounds will be on Thursday and then it wraps up next Sunday. It’s no guarantee that I surf Thursday and Sunday but I mean I feel pretty good about it. I know you work though so you don’t have to come I just thought I’d invite you. You can see that I’m not just a bum and I really do work sometimes,” Tobin rambles, her cheeks still pink.

 

Christen smiles up at her, intrigued by this side of Tobin that she’s never seen. “No, I want to watch,” she cuts in, trying to calm Tobin’s nerves. “I should be able to work from home this week,” she offers, her brow furrows as she tries to picture her work calendar. “I don’t have anything that requires I be in the office except for on Tuesday and Wednesday so that should work out. Just send me the info and I’ll try to be there, okay?”

 

Tobin nods, letting out a relieved sigh as she flops onto her back. “Cool,” she says, grinning up at the ceiling.

 

 

Christen shows up at the location Tobin texted her the next day, surprised to see the beach crowded with surfers, spectators, and vendors, with folding tables under tents and beach chairs covering the area. She wanders around for a while, not really sure where to go until she spots Kelley towards the outskirts of the crowd and quickens her pace, walking towards her. Her step falters however when she notices Tobin stand up from where she had been crouching over a board next to Kelley.

 

Christen’s eyes rake over Tobin’s exposed torso, a wetsuit tugged down and hanging low off her hips. She watches her talking to Kelley and it dawns on her that Kelley doesn’t know about her and Tobin, causing a familiar guilt to tug at the pit of her stomach about lying to her best friend. She’s about to turn away when Tobin glances up, locking eyes with her over Kelley’s shoulder and breaking into a huge grin as she waves her over. Christen can’t help but smile back as she walks slowly to the pair, her smile growing a bit uneasy as Kelley turns towards her with a questioning expression that only grows in confusion as she sees who Tobin had been waving at.

 

“You came,” Tobin exclaims happily as Christen gets close enough.

 

“What are you doing here?” Kelley asks, speaking at the same time as Tobin.

 

Tobin’s eyes widen as the realization downs on her and she looks at Christen with a deer in headlights expression.

 

“I, uh,” Christen stutters out, looking between Kelley and Tobin. “Um, what are you doing here?” she asks, buying herself time to think of an explanation.

 

Kelley’s brow furrows even more and she glances back at Tobin suspiciously before looking back at Christen. “Tobin’s surfing today,” she says slowly, looking at Christen expectantly.

 

“Oh, I had no idea there was even anything going on at this beach today,” Christen lies, hoping it sounds convincing. “I just came to relax and read.”

 

Kelley nods hesitantly, once again looking between her two friends. “That’s lucky,” she says, and something in her tone tells Christen she doesn’t buy her story, although she’s relieved that she doesn’t question it further. “Do you wanna stay and watch with me?”

 

“Sure,” Christen replies, briefly returning Tobin’s wide grin before turning to set up her beach chair.

 

 

“Wow. She’s,” Christen trails off, watching Tobin on the water.

 

“Really fucking good?” Kelley supplies, turning her head to grin at Christen.

 

Christen nods, not taking her eyes off Tobin, finding it easy to pick her out among the numerous other surfers out in the water. “I didn’t realize,” she says softly.

 

Kelley shrugs before squinting back out at the water. “Yeah, she gives off that whole lazy stoner vibe but she’s pretty serious about this.”

 

 

Tobin is one of the last surfers of the day and Christen watches alone after Kelley recognizes some friends down the beach. As the competition draws to a close, Tobin walks out of the water with her surfboard tucked under one arm. She walks past some young boys attempting to skim board and pauses, putting down her board and tugging her wetsuit down. Christen watches as Tobin takes a few steps down the beach and crouches down next to a little girl who had been watching the boys skim board, her tiny arms crossed over a bulky life vest and a grumpy expression on her face. Tobin talks to the girl for a few moments, her little face lighting up in a grin as she nods excitedly.

 

The little girl runs up the beach and talks to another women before running back to Tobin, her short legs stumbling in the sand. Tobin tucks her board under one arm and grabs the little girl’s hand with her other, turning and walking back to the water. Once the water is up to the little girl’s waist, Tobin scoops her up and sits her on the board, pushing it slowly through the shallow water. Christen can’t help but smile as she watches Tobin hold the board steady and help the little girl to stand up, adjusting her arms and legs into a surfer stance.

 

Christen is distracted from the pair by her phone buzzing in her bag and she pulls it out to see a text from Alex.

 

Alex: How’d your girl do in her surfing thing?

 

Christen frowns at the text and locks her phone without answering and slips it back into her bag. She packs up her stuff and glances back at Tobin once before walking back to her car.

 

 

Tobin pushes Grace around on her board until the tiny girl tires and then she walks her back up the beach to her mom. “Thank you Tobin,” the mom says, unclipping Grace’s life vest and wrapping a towel around her before lifting her up. “Are you teaching lessons again this summer? Aiden learned so much from you last year,” she says, gesturing out towards one of the boys skim boarding. “I think Grace can wait another year but I know Aiden would love another summer of lessons.”

 

Tobin shrugs, grinning at the little girl yawning in her mom’s arms. “I’m not sure. If I do well enough in this competition I might not have time for lessons this summer but my friend Kelley is really great and I’m sure she’d be down if I can’t do it. I’ll let you know,” she explains, saying a quick goodbye, anxious to get back to where Christen and Kelley had been sitting.

 

She looks around in confusion when she gets over to her stuff, Kelley’s chair empty and Christen’s chair gone. She dries her hands and digs through her backpack for her phone, smiling when she sees a text from Christen waiting for her.

 

Christen: Thanks for inviting me, you did great

 

Tobin: Thanks. Where’d you go? Do you wanna grab dinner?

 

Christen: Can’t, I have plans with Alex

 

Tobin: Ok cool. See you Thursday?

 

Christen: Maybe. Might have to work

 

Tobin frowns at her phone before tossing it back into her backpack, glancing up as Kelley approaches.

 

“I just came from the results tent and you’re in second,” she exclaims, punching Tobin’s shoulder excitedly. “Just surf like that again Thursday and Sunday and there’s no way you don’t qualify.”

 

Tobin nods, trying to muster up some excitement.

 

“What’s wrong?” Kelley asks, glancing around. “Where’d Christen go?”

 

Tobin shrugs, gathering her stuff. “How would I know?” she asks, zipping her backpack. “Let’s go. I’m starving and I wanna shower and smoke before we go get dinner.”

 

 

Tobin sits on Kelley’s kitchen counter, freshly showered and pleasantly stoned as she flips through take out menus trying to decide what she wants. Kelley hands her a Corona and swipes the menus out of her hands, shoving them back into the drawer. “Dude, I already ordered. Chinese and pizza,” she says, getting herself a Bud Light before walking into the living room to sit on the couch. Tobin hops off the counter and follows, sitting next to Kelley and stretching her legs out onto the ottoman.

 

“So,” Kelley begins, looking at Tobin seriously.

 

“So?” Tobin asks, cocking one eyebrow at her friend.

 

“What’s going on with Christen?”

 

“What?” Tobin scoffs, taking a long sip of her beer. “What are you talking about?”

 

“C’mon Tobs,” Kelley says, slightly exasperated. “I’m not an idiot. She just happened to show up at the exact beach you were surfing at today?”

 

“Alright, I invited her,” Tobin admits, looking down at her beer bottle and tracing a finger over the condensation.

 

“Why? How?” Kelley asks, confusion evident in her tone.

 

Tobin takes another long sip of beer and tilts her head back, looking up at the ceiling to avoid having to look Kelley in the eyes. “We, uh, so you know we hooked up at your party. And I know you said not to and whatever but I got her number and we’ve kinda been hooking up since then?” Tobin offers hesitantly, still not looking at Kelley.

 

It’s silent for a few moments before Kelley speaks up. “Tobin, if you fucking hurt her,” she trails off angrily. “I warned you months ago. I told you that Christen doesn’t do casual sex-”

“Stop,” Tobin interrupts, finally lifting her head to look at Kelley. “You’re wrong. It’s not like that. I, fuck, I don’t know. She definitely does do casual sex. I’ve tried asking for more and she’s not into it. She just wants to hook up. Nothing more.”

 

Kelley narrows her eyes at Tobin. “Right,” she drawls sarcastically. “You asked for more. Are you kidding me Tobin? I’ve known you for years and you have literally never asked for more. You’ve been lying to me for months so just fucking stop and try being honest with me.”

 

“I’m not lying to you,” Tobin defends, trying not to raise her voice. “I like Christen. Why do you think I invited her today? I’m telling the truth,” she pleads, looking over at Kelley.

 

Kelley shakes her head and stands from the couch. “How am I supposed to trust you?” she questions, walking to the kitchen while tossing back the last of her beer. She returns and stares at Tobin from the doorway. “I’m gunna shower. Pay for the food when it gets here? My wallet is by the door. You can take whatever food you want but you should go home.”

 

 

“Wait so you knew? What the fuck?” Kelley throws her hands up, glaring at Alex.

 

“Chris told me. She wanted to tell you too and she’s felt super guilty about this but I guess Tobin convinced her to keep it secret. I think she thought you’d be mad, which like to be fair you are, right?” Alex asks, giving Kelley a questioning look.

 

“I mean, yeah, but I’m mad that they lied not that they were hooking up. Is Chris okay? Tobin tried to tell me that she likes Christen and that Chris is the one who wants to keep it casual but I don’t know if I buy that.”

 

Alex sips her wine and hums thoughtfully, swirling the remaining liquid around in her glass. “Christen told me that she could never have feelings beyond physical attraction for Tobin but I don’t know if I buy that either.”

 

“I don’t really see this ending well,” Kelley muses.

 

“I know. But maybe they’ll surprise us,” Alex shrugs. “I’ll talk to Christen about it.”

 

 

 

Christen lays on her bed Wednesday night, staring at her ceiling and trying to decide what to do the next day. She had cleared her schedule for Tobin’s surfing competition but she can’t go. She hasn’t seen or spoken to Tobin since Sunday and she doesn’t think she should. They were supposed to be friends with benefits, fuck buddies, casual sex, no strings attached and Christen isn’t sure how or when but at some point the lines have blurred and she feels like she’s balancing on the edge of something dangerous and scary and the only way to protect herself is to pull back and avoid Tobin entirely.

 

She’s so lost in her thoughts that she doesn’t even notice Alex entering her room until she feels her weight drop onto the bed next to her. Alex glances at her once before following her gaze up to the ceiling. “What are we looking at?” she whispers.

 

Christen is quiet for a moment still studying her ceiling intently before she lets out a sigh and turns onto her side to face her best friend. “What are you doing tomorrow?”

 

Alex’s brow furrows and she turns onto her side as well. “What do you mean? It’s Thursday, I’m working.”

 

“Wanna call in sick and do something fun?” Christen asks, making a face that she hopes is convincing.

 

“But I thought you had,” Alex trails off, her eyes searching Christen’s face before nodding. “Right, uh, yeah let’s do it. What’d you have in mind?”

 

 

“You know, when you said we’d do something fun today this is not exactly what I was picturing.”

 

“Shh,” Christen whispers, not opening her eyes. “This is a meditation garden. No talking.”

 

Alex rolls her eyes and leans back on the wooden bench, glancing around at the plants and water features surrounding them. She tries to meditate, she really does, but she only had a small breakfast and her stomach is not allowing her to clear her mind. She leans into Christen’s side again. “What do you wanna do for lunch? I’m starving.”

 

Christen huffs in annoyance but she uncrosses her legs and opens her eyes, standing from the bench. “You’re a child,” she complains even as a smile tugs at her lips. “But I’m hungry too, let’s go.”

 

 

Alex waits until they’re seated on the patio of their favorite café, having already ordered their sandwiches and salads before she brings it up. “So,” she begins, and by the flash in Christen’s eyes, it’s clear she already knows where this is going. “Why aren’t you at the beach watching Tobin surf right now?”

 

Christen shrugs, taking the sunglasses off the top of her head and sliding them onto her face like armor. “I’m not sleeping with her anymore. Last time was the last time.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because,” she huffs, leaning back in her chair. “It was just sex and I’m bored of it. Maybe I’ll download Tinder or something, I don’t know.”

 

“You’re bored of it?” Alex questions skeptically. “Are you sure it isn’t something else? Maybe you like her? Or she likes you and it scares you?” she asks, leaning in, her face and tone gentle.

 

Christen’s jaw clenches as she shakes her head stubbornly. “I don’t like her Alex. And if she likes me, well then that’s her problem, not mine. It was just sex, nothing more. And it will never be anything more than that so let’s just drop it, okay?” she asks, more bite in her tone than she intends and she feels a little guilty when Alex flinches at her words. “I just, I don’t wanna talk about it Al. Can we just not?” she pleads, pushing her sunglasses back up onto her head.

 

“Yeah, sure,” Alex nods, thankful that the waiter chooses that moment to arrive with their lunches, giving them an excuse not to talk about anything for a little bit.

 

 

 

Christen intends to keep avoiding Tobin, she really does. But, it’s Friday night and Alex is on a date with Servando and Kelley has been avoiding her and she’s polished off a half a bottle of expensive wine by herself and suddenly it seems like an awful idea not to share the second half of the bottle.

 

They haven’t spoken since Sunday but when Tobin gets there, she doesn’t say a word besides ‘hey’, before her mouth is on Christen’s, hungry and rushed and demanding and Christen suddenly can’t remember why she was avoiding her in the first place.

 

 

When Tobin wakes up Saturday morning to bright sunlight, she mentally scolds herself for forgetting to close her blackout curtains the night before. But then she opens her eyes and it dawns on her that she’s not in her room and she’s not alone. Any trace of sleepiness is quickly gone and her eyes widen, assessing her surroundings.

 

She’s in Christen’s bed and Christen is facing her, sound asleep. They’re not touching but they’re so close that she’d barely have to stretch out her fingertips to reach her. Tobin tries to slide backwards slowly, hoping to make her escape before Christen can wake up but even the slightest movement tugs on the sheet that they’re tangled in and Christen starts to stir, her pretty lips pursing in displeasure at being jostled.

 

Tobin freezes, eyes wide and locked onto Christen’s face, waiting to see if she’s fully awake or not. She’s filled with panic and confusion and the overwhelming desired to reach out and smooth the crease between Christen’s eyebrows, soothing her back into a peaceful sleep but before she can even wonder where that thought came from she’s staring into green eyes that seem way too bright and awake to have just opened.

 

A myriad of emotions play across Christen’s face in a matter of seconds before settling into something that resembles confusion and anger. “Tobin,” she says simply, her voice scratchy with sleep.

 

“Hi,” Tobin whispers after clearing her throat. “Uh, fuck, sorry. I must have fell asleep,” she stutters out. She’s been in bed with Christen countless times, but there’s something so different about seeing her in the morning light, faint pillow lines on her cheek and smudged mascara around her eyes. Tobin can’t shake the feeling that she’s intruding and that this softness, this vulnerability, isn’t something that she should be witness to so she looks away, holding the sheet to her chest as she sits up, her eyes searching the bedroom floor for her clothes.

 

She can feel Christen’s gaze burning into the side of her head but it’s quiet and she finds herself babbling just to fill the silence. “I uh, lemme just get dressed and I can go. Or I, fuck I don’t know, are you hungry? I could make you breakfast,” she offers, daring a glance at Christen before looking away again. “Or we could go somewhere if you want? I can at least make you coffee.”

 

“Tobin,” Christen says sharply, cutting Tobin off just as she’s about to offer to go get them bagels. “I have work. You should go,” she says her voice quiet but steady and calm in a way that’s almost unnerving.

 

“Right,” Tobin nods, not mentioning that it’s a Saturday and Christen never works weekends. She slides out of bed and tugs her jeans on quickly, suddenly self conscious about her nakedness even though Christen has seen her body many times before. She doesn’t look at Christen again until she’s fully dressed. “So, I guess I’ll text you?” she questions, not even trying to disguise to hopefulness in her tone.

 

Christen just shakes her head slowly and offers a small, sad smile. “I don’t think it’s a good idea Tobin. This,” she gestures between them. “This can’t happen again. I need a break.”

 

Tobin swallows hard and nods, looking down at her hands to toy with the keys to her truck. “Yeah, sure. Uh, see ya,” she waves awkwardly, still not looking back up at Christen as she walks to the bedroom door, softly pulling it shut behind her.

 

She’s halfway to the front door when Alex emerges from the kitchen in workout clothes, bobbing her head with earbuds in her ears and a green smoothie in her hand. Her eyes widen when she sees Tobin and she quickly tugs her earbuds out. “Tobin,” she says in disbelief. “What are you doing here?”

 

Tobin just shakes her head and continues walking towards the front door. “Nothing, I was just leaving,” she mumbles, not bothering to look back or wait for a response before she leaves the apartment.

 

 

Alex: We’re going to a party tonight at 8pm

 

Christen scrunches her nose as she reads the text but Alex is bursting through the front door of the apartment before she even gets the chance to text her back. “Honey, I’m home,” Alex screams, dropping her stuff by the front door loudly. “Hi,” she grins as she pops her head into Christen’s bedroom a few moments later.

 

“A party on a Sunday Al? We have work tomorrow,” Christen complains, not bothering to say hello back.

 

“Oh my god,” Alex whines, coming the rest of the way into Christen’s room and dropping dramatically onto her bed. “When did you get so old?

 

Christen rolls her eyes and looks up at Alex from where she’s sitting on the floor in front of her closet, painting her toe nails. “I’m not old, I’m responsible,” she clarifies.

 

“Same difference. Look we have nothing until noon tomorrow so worst comes to worst we can go in late, okay? We don’t have to go crazy though. It’s not gunna be a huge party.”

 

“Who’s party is it?”

 

“Kelley’s,” Alex says, sitting up to watch Christen’s face for a reaction as she talks. “Tobin came in second in that competition that ended today so Kell is throwing a party to celebrate.”

 

“Al,” Christen groans, capping her nail polish. “I don’t wanna see her. I told you I’m not sleeping with her anymore.”

 

“Chris, you’re adults. You don’t have to sleep with her if you don’t want to. You can’t be at the same party as her without ripping your clothes off?”

 

“Whatever, fine we can go,” Christen huffs, pointing a finger at Alex. “But we’re not staying out past midnight and you’re paying for the Uber.”

 

“Deal,” Alex squeals, clapping her hands together and hopping off of Christen’s bed. “I’m gunna go get changed.”

 

 

Christen isn’t sure how it happens, but like most bad decisions, she thinks it starts with tequila. She had been planning on sticking with hard cider for the night but her spot leaning against the kitchen counter offered a perfect view of the back patio and she could only watch Tobin flirt with the redhead next to her at the beer pong table for so long before she caved and started knocking back tequila shots with Alex. It’s a little fuzzy what happened after that but it somehow winded up with her back against the bathroom door and Tobin pressed against her front, her mouth hot against her neck as her fingers work the button and zipper of her shorts.

 

“We shouldn’t,” she cuts herself off with a gasp as Tobin’s hand slips inside her shorts and underwear.

 

Tobin’s hand stills, just cupping Christen who grinds her hips down searching for friction. Tobin lifts her head from Christen’s shoulder to look her in the eyes. “We shouldn’t what? Do you want me to stop?” she asks, keeping her hand perfectly still much to Christen’s displeasure.

 

“Fuck, no, please don’t stop,” Christen begs, ready to reach down for Tobin’s hand and start moving it herself.

 

“Are you sure?” Tobin asks seriously, still not moving.

 

“Tobin,” Christen pleads, throwing her head back against the door in desperation. “I’m sure. Please just fuck me.”

 

“Well since you asked so nicely,” Tobin teases, before curling her fingers just so.

 

Christen falls apart within minutes around Tobin’s fingers and she’s barely caught her breath when Tobin is withdrawing her hand and sucking her fingers clean before turning to wash her hands in the sink. Christen is a little embarrassed at how quickly she came, and the fact that they’re both still fully dressed, and that embarrassment only grows when Tobin turns to her, smirking confidently.

 

“You wanna get outa here? Go back to my place and try that again?” Tobin asks, a teasing quality to her voice.

 

“I don’t,” Christen starts, fastening her shorts and running her hands through her hair before continuing. “We shouldn’t. I can’t do this again Tobin. This was the last time.”

 

“Okay,” she shrugs, waiting for Christen to step aside so she can pull the bathroom door open. “Text me when you change your mind,” she says softly before leaving Christen in the bathroom alone.

 

 

Christen makes it until Friday. She throws herself into work all week but by Friday afternoon she’s exhausted and stressed and she tells herself that one more time is okay. She texts Tobin to meet her at their spot for 2 for 1 margaritas and chips and salsa and awful dancing before ending the night in Tobin’s bed. “Last time,” she whispers, slipping into one of Tobin’s t shirts and ordering an Uber on her phone.

 

“Sure,” Tobin mumbles, rolling over to go to sleep.

The following Friday is Kelley’s birthday and Christen and Alex throw her a surprise party at their apartment. Kelley has totally known about it for weeks thanks to her nosiness and Alex’s inability to keep a secret but she still plays the part when she walks in to see all of her friends, her jaw dropping and her hands flying up to her face in a classic Home Alone pose. “For me?!” she squeals, looking around at the balloons and streamers and the alcohol covering the kitchen island. “Wow, I am so surprised,” she grins, throwing her arms around Christen and then Alex in thanks.

 

Christen plays hostess for most of the night, floating around and making sure everyone is happy and has snacks and isn’t smoking inside the apartment. She sips on a punch that one of Kelley’s friends has brought and it must be stronger than it tastes because by the time the party is winding down, she’s more than a little tipsy and she decides that most of the clean up can wait until tomorrow.

 

She’s done a pretty good job of avoiding Tobin the whole night but now there are only a few people left in the apartment and Christen can’t hide when she walks into the kitchen with a few empty bottles and finds Tobin picking at what’s left of the vodka soaked watermelon.

 

“Hey,” she says softly, dumping the bottles into the garbage bag full of empties.

 

Tobin startles at the sound but grins when she turns her head to look at Christen. “Christen,” she says fondly, dropping the piece of watermelon in her hand back onto the plate and turning her body towards Christen.

 

And really that’s all it takes, just her name on Tobin’s lips and smile and suddenly she’s got her pushed up against the fridge, her hands tugging impatiently at her t shirt as she kisses the watermelon juice off her lips. She doesn’t even care that Kelley is passed out on her couch or that there’s still a few people sitting out on the balcony when she pulls Tobin out of the kitchen and down the hall to her bedroom, kicking the door shut behind them, her mouth never leaving Tobin’s.

 

 

“You should take Kelley home,” she says softly, tracing a finger over Tobin’s bare abs as she lays on her back, still catching her breath.

 

“Mm,” Tobin hums, her eyes still closed after her last orgasm. “But your bed is so warm,” she mumbles in complaint.

 

Christen stiffens at this, withdrawing her hand. “Tobin,” she warns. “You can’t stay here. We can’t do this again.”

 

Tobin finally opens her eyes and looks at Christen. “Stop fucking saying that,” she says her voice low but laced with anger. “I know you’re not into me and you just want sex but stop fucking saying it’s the last time if you’re just gunna text me and hook up with me again in a few days, okay? It’s not fair and I’m sick of it.”

 

Christen’s eyes widen at Tobin’s outburst and she watches her stand and jerkily tug her clothes on, not knowing what to say.

 

Tobin turns before leaving her bedroom, her face still hardened by anger. “Last time Christen,” she spits, pulling the door open and slamming it shut behind her without a glance back.

 

 

Christen has one of those days that nothing seems to go right on Wednesday. She spills coffee on herself on her way out the door and ends up late for a meeting leading her boss to chew her out. She realizes she forgot the salad that she made for herself for lunch and the break room is out of k-cups when she goes in to make herself a cup of coffee. Her work computer crashes towards the end of the day, causing her to lose weeks worth of work and the IT guy just shrugs when Christen asks if he can recover any of the files. By the time she gets home, she feels like she’s either going to cry or scream and she pours herself an extra large glass of wine and pulls out her phone to text Tobin.

 

I just had the worst day ever. Wanna come over for some wine and to help me distress?

 

She pulls the salad she had meant to have for lunch out of the fridge while she waits for a response. She’s done with dinner and on to her second glass of wine when her phone finally buzzes on the counter.

 

Tobin: No. Last time was the last time, remember?

 

She reads the text several times before locking her phone without responding, tears welling in her eyes. She convinces herself that it’s just embarrassment at being rejected and the stress and exhaustion of the day making her emotional and she cries in the shower before going to bed early.

 

 

The rest of the week doesn’t improve, and she tries again on Friday, texting Tobin from her desk during her lunch break.

 

Hey. I’m sorry about what happened last week. You’re right, it wasn’t fair for me to send mixed signals like that. Can we meet at our spot today and talk about it?

 

She doesn’t receive a response by the end of the work day but she heads straight to the bar across from Tobin’s apartment anyway, finding a table on the patio and ordering two margaritas and the salsa that she knows is Tobin’s favorite.

 

She ends up eating the chips and salsa and drinking both margaritas herself before ordering another round. When she’s downed those as well she finally accepts that Tobin isn’t going to show. She pays her tab and it’s almost out of habit when she ends up in front of Tobin’s apartment door. She knocks tentatively at first and then a little louder until Tobin’s grumpy neighbor yells at her to keep it down.

 

“Sorry,” she mumbles, pulling her phone out and calling Tobin instead. She doesn’t leave a voicemail when Tobin doesn’t pick up and her next call is to Alex.

 

“I need you to come get me,” she slurs when Alex picks up.

 

“What? Where are you?”

 

“Tobin’s. But she won’t answer the door or the phone and I need you to just come get me,” she mumbles, sitting down on the curb when standing gets too hard.

 

“Alright, babe,” Alex soothes. “Just stay where you are and I’ll be there in a minute okay?”

 

 

Christen tries calling Tobin a few more times while she waits for Alex to get there but there’s still no answer each time and she climbs into the passenger seat dejectedly when Alex finally pulls up.

 

“Tobin’s ignoring me,” she grumbles as she unsuccessfully tries to click her seatbelt.

 

Alex reaches over to help but she doesn’t drive away once Christen is buckled, instead she grabs her hand and turns to her with a look of pity on her face. “Chris, she didn’t tell you?” she asks softly.

 

“Tell me what?” Christen asks, looking up from her phone to meet Alex’s gaze.

 

Alex sighs and shakes her head. “Tobin is on a plane right now. She’s going to France then Spain then Morocco for surfing competitions. She won’t be back until the middle of September.”

 

“September?” Christen echoes, dumbfounded. “She’s going to be gone for a month and she didn’t tell me?”

 

“Chris,” Alex says softly. “Maybe this is a good thing. You wanted a break right?”

 

Christen shakes her head, blinking back tears. “I changed my mind. I don’t want a break, I want Tobin,” she whimpers, swallowing hard against the lump in her throat.

 

“Oh babe, you do like her, huh?” Alex asks rhetorically, brushing a tear off Christen’s cheek. “It’ll go by fast, don’t worry. Let’s go home so you can sleep this off, okay?”

 

Christen just nods, closing her eyes and sniffling as Alex pulls out of the apartment complex.

 

 

Alex gives her a glass of water and tucks her in when they get home but Christen still can’t sleep and she finds herself with her phone to her ear, calling Tobin yet again. This time she doesn’t hang up when the automated voice starts and she waits until the beep to start talking, her speech punctuated by sniffles and hiccups.

 

“Tobin. It’s me. Christen. I went to our spot and you didn’t show and then Alex came and you’re going to France? For a whole month? Why didn’t you tell me? I don’t wanna wait a whole month to see you. I miss you already. Will you call me? In France? I’m sorry for saying it was the last time last time. I don’t want that to be the last time I see you Tobin. I don’t want there to be a last time ever. I don’t know if phones work in France but call me when you can if you want. Bye,” she hangs up the phone and drops it to the floor, satisfied with her message and falling asleep almost instantly.

 

 

When she wakes up the next morning with an awful hangover it only takes her a few moments to remember the message she left and then she’s scrambling to the floor and searching for her phone. She’s not sure if it’s dread or relief that fills her when she finds it and has a text from Tobin.

 

Tobin: Got your message. Phones do work in France. I’ll call you soon.

 

 

Christen meets Kelley for brunch later that afternoon, still nursing a hangover and some embarrassment about the voicemail she’d left for Tobin. She grimaces when Kelley orders a mimosa, opting to stick to water and coffee even after Kelley insists that the cure to hangovers is more alcohol.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me that Tobin was leaving the country for a month?” Christen asks after they place their orders.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me that you and Tobin were sleeping together behind my back for months?” Kelley retorts.

 

Christen swallows and looks down guiltily. “Kell,” she says softly. “I’m so sorry about that, I really I am. I should have told you. I just, I don’t know, it was just sex and Tobin didn’t want to tell you, but you’re my best friend and I shouldn’t have kept it from you.”

 

“Was it though?” Kelley asks, waiting for Christen to look at her before she continues. “Was it just sex?”

 

Christen opens her mouth to answer but she closes it quickly, shaking her head. “I thought it was. It was at first. But now I’m not so sure,” she says quietly.

 

Kelley nods thoughtfully. “I don’t think it was just sex to Tobin either. You guys need to talk this out. I love you both and I hate to see you guys hurting.”

 

“Love you too Kell,” Christen says, reaching across the table to squeeze Kelley’s hand.

 

Kelley squeezes back and smiles softly at Christen before pulling her hand away. “Okay, that’s enough sappy shit,” she laughs. “Wanna trade embarrassing stories about Tobin and Alex with each other?”

 

“Obviously,” Christen laughs, blinking away the tears that had gathered in her eyes.

 

 

It’s a few more days until Tobin calls. Christen is climbing into bed when her phone rings and she rushes to answer when she sees Tobin’s name on the screen.

 

“Hello?” she answers breathlessly. “Tobin?”

 

“Hey,” Tobin drawls.

 

“Hi,” Christen sighs, clutching the phone to her face. “How are you? Where are you? What time is it there?” she asks rapid fire.

 

Tobin laughs at her questioning before answering. “I’m okay. I’m in Lacanau, it’s southwest France. And it’s still early here, I just woke up. The second day of the competition starts today but I wanted to call before I head down to the beach.”

 

“How was the first day?”

 

“It was okay,” Tobin answers. “I came in second in my heat but 7th overall. I don’t surf again until tomorrow but I’m still gunna go down and watch today.”

 

“And then after this competition you’ll be in Spain?” Christen asks, trying to remember what Alex had told her.

 

“Not yet. This one wraps up on Sunday then there’s another competition in France from Tuesday til Saturday the 26th. Then I’ll travel to Spain for a competition from August 29th until September 3rd. And then I have one more competition in Morocco September 12th to 17th before I fly home on the 18th.”

 

“Wow,” Christen remarks. “You’ll be busy. That’s a lot of surfing.”

 

Tobin just hums in response and Christen can picture her nodding her head.

 

“You’ll be gone a long time,” Christen says quietly.

 

“Yeah,” Tobin responds. “If I do well I shouldn’t have to travel again until end of October though.”

 

“That’s good,” Christen muses and it’s awkwardly silent for a few moments.

 

“Listen, Chris,” Tobin says. “I don’t know if you meant what you said in your message or if you even remember,” she trails off nervously.

 

“I remember,” Christen interrupts. “I meant it Tobin. I don’t want that to be the last time.”

 

It’s quiet again for a few moments and Christen’s heart races with fear that this isn’t what Tobin wants before she clears her throat and speaks up. “So, uh, is this your way of saying that you’ll go on a date with me?”

 

“Yes,” Christen laughs out, relieved almost to the point of tears. “Win all your competitions and come home and then we can get dressed up and you can take me out to a fancy dinner and buy me wine and fuck me in the bathroom because I can’t wait til we get home.”

 

“I knew you’d come around,” Tobin teases. “I gotta go but I’m really glad we talked. Can I call you tomorrow?”

 

“Yeah,” Christen breathes out, grinning as she cradles the phone to her face.

 

 

Tobin calls or texts every day for the rest of her trip. Mostly they only talk for a few minutes, just catching each other up on their days, but other times they talk for what seems like hours, trading stories and asking each other questions until one of them has to go. Tobin comes in fifth in her first competition but doesn’t place in her second. She wins the big competition in Spain and blows some of her prize money traveling around Europe for a few days before heading down to Morocco for her last competition. She comes in second and Christen and Kelley watch the highlights online together, grinning at the pictures of Tobin accepting her trophy.

 

 

Christen goes to the airport to pick Tobin up, getting there early so she can park and go inside even though parking at LAX is probably more of a hassle than it’s worth. She finds a spot outside a coffee shop where she can see the groups of people emerging from customs and tries to remain patient, knowing it could take Tobin hours.

 

She jumps up when she spots Tobin walking down the ramp, duffle bag in one hand and surfboard case in the other. She walks slowly, suddenly nervous about what to do when she sees Tobin but those nerves fly out the window when Tobin finds her in the crowd, a wide grin spreading across her tired face as she drops her bags and steps closer.

 

“Hi,” Christen smiles back, wrapping her arms around Tobin and enjoying her warmth. “You’re so tan,” she marvels when she pulls back to look at her.

 

Tobin just nods, still grinning. “Can I kiss you?” she asks, her hands still resting lightly on Christen’s hips.

 

“Yeah,” Christen giggles when Tobin dips her back dramatically and kisses her in the middle of the crowded terminal, earning a couple of laughs and wolf whistles from people around them.

 

“I always wanted to do that,” Tobin laughs as they pull apart.

 

“What? Kiss someone in the middle of the airport?” Christen questions, picking up Tobin’s duffle bag for her.

 

“Nah,” Tobin responds, picking up her surfboard case and lacing their fingers together as if it was the most natural thing in the world as they walk towards the door. “I always wanted to kiss you.”

 

“What?” Christen laughs again, shaking her head. “You’ve kissed me a lot of times.”

 

Tobin shrugs. “Yeah, but it’s different. Like getting to kiss you just because I like you and I missed you instead of because we’re drunk and about to have sex.”

 

Christen grins and steps closer to Tobin, squeezing her hand. “Who said we’re not about to have sex?” she whispers, winking at Tobin as she spins away and starts walking toward the parking garage.

 

Tobin gapes after her for a few seconds before quickly catching up to her and grabbing her hand again. “You’re something else Christen,” she shakes her head in disbelief, leaning in to kiss her again.