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Walking through the front door of Lassiters, the first face she sees when she looks up is her girlfriends. Girlfriend. It still amazes her, using that word, being able to associate it now with Chloe. There’s no shame, no guilt, she’s one hundred percent Chloe’s now. When their eyes meet across the room, she smiles brightly back at Elly, a smile that could easily be taken as welcoming, considering she’s standing behind the desk, but Elly knows it’s so much more.

It feels different, the weight gone from her shoulders, that voice in the back of her mind saying you aren’t officially hers, you’re still his, silenced. That’s how she felt after he left the room, no regret, no second thoughts. She sent a message to David, Broken up w Mark. Don’t tell Aaron but don’t freak out if he’s suspicious, and one to Chloe, It’s done babe xxx

She’s one step closer to being the person she wants to be, the person who can openly admit and express her love for another woman. There’s no rush, she knows, but she lets herself imagine the future - dinners, birthdays, events, where Chloe is there too, where Susan, Karl and Bea consider her family.

“Hey,” she smiles, aching to lean across and kiss Chloe hello. She lays her hand on the desk instead.

“Hey,” Chloe’s gaze is heavy, like the desire is shared. Even if they were out, Chloe’s too professional to kiss her at work… somehow, that makes her want it even more. She glances to the side, then rests her hand over Elly’s, stroking her skin with her thumb. Her heart jumps, a buzz running through her veins, that’s what the simplest of touches from Chloe do to her, she should be used to it by now.

A part of her wonders if people can tell, if people are actually looking at them. She’s never been good at subtlety, neither has Chloe, so Elly imagines they look like two women deeply in love.

It’s Chloe who breaks the eye contact eventually, but beams excitedly,
“I’ve got a surprise for you.”

It takes a moment for Elly to catch up, to snap out of her dreamy daze and focus on what she’s saying, even then she struggles. She feels so lucky to be with Chloe at all, surprises and gifts feel unnecessary when all she wants is time with Chloe. In saying that, she won’t say no to whatever it is.

“Come on,” Chloe whispers, leaning in, there’s a mischievous glint in her eye. She slides something from under the desk, hand curled around it so Elly can’t see it, “I’ll show you.”

She walks out from behind the desk, legs coming into view, that and the black leather mini skirt she’s wearing is easily distracting. She doesn’t feel completely present around Chloe, at least not today, it’s something to do with getting caught twice, still on edge after almost having Chloe on the counter, she’s sure. Elly pushes those thoughts away, following her girlfriend through the Lassiters lobby and to the elevator.

“Where are we going?” she asks.

Chloe looks over her shoulder,
“It’s a surprise, isn’t it?” she grins cheekily.

Elly chuckles. She has no idea what to expect, never does with Chloe, but her spontaneity is fun, rather than unsettling like it was with Mark. She’s not sure how far Chloe goes with surprises, especially ones for significant others - although, Elly thinks maybe she can rule out a tattoo, believes Chloe would ask permission before doing something like that.

The elevator doors open and they step inside, she watches Chloe press a button, as if knowing the floor they’re going to would help her figure out what they’re doing - it doesn’t.

“Are you okay? You seem distracted,” Chloe asks softly, slipping her hand into Elly’s and intertwining their fingers. She already feels a little better.

“Yeah,” she nods, “Just want time alone with you,” she admits, blushing. This whole thing is still new, they’ve been friends, they’ve been in love, now it’s time to be girlfriends.

Chloe smiles, lifting their entwined hand and kissing Elly’s.

After a few seconds, the doors open, Chloe leads her down a corridor, hand still connected. She doesn’t recognize this floor, but really, the amount of times she’s been to Lassiters can be counted on one hand, and every floor is identical, she imagines. They stop in front of a door, Chloe uses a card - what she pinched from underneath the desk, Elly realizes - to gain access, before pushing the door open.

From just outside the doorway, she can see a large bed with crisp white sheets, a coffee table as a part of the seating area disappearing further into the room. What really catches her eye is the bucket of ice on the bed, the neck of a bottle of wine popping out the top, and a bouquet of roses sitting beside it. It’s romantic, and lovely.

“Ooh, fancy guest?” Elly asks, turning to her girlfriend.

Chloe smiles,
“I booked it for us,” she tells her softly, she sounds nervous, hopeful she will like it. Elly knew she could be unaware - although that was usually her ignoring things she didn’t want to accept, like her relationships failing - but this was obvious. She feels a familiar tug of her heart, both excited and in complete adoration for Chloe. “I thought after the day we’ve had, or really, after the day you’ve had, you deserved to relax. And after breaking up with Mark, you mightn’t be comfortable being around him, so we can stay here tonight. We can have that alone time.”

“You’re…” when it finally catches up to her, she feels almost breathless. It’s only a hotel room, she knows that, but Chloe really thought of her, did something special just for her. It shouldn’t surprise her, and really it doesn’t, Chloe is Chloe, but being so deeply cared for isn’t something she’s used to feeling. “I love you, and I love this. I… Are you allowed to do this?”

“Book a hotel room at the hotel I work at? I can’t see why not,” Chloe shrugs, “Nobody checks that stuff anyway.”

“Didn’t think of using your code name, Elliot?” she teases. She feels so light and happy, it’s incredible the difference being around Chloe makes.

“Everyone knows it’s a cover,” Chloe laughs, it’s airy, soft. She meets Elly’s gaze, staring into each others eyes. It’s all Elly can do, all she wants to do, let herself get lost in those blue eyes for hours. It’s with an intensity she’s never felt before, she never felt the desire to stare into Mark’s eyes, to memorize every detail of his face.

“We could spend lunch here instead?” Elly suggests, leaning in, nose brushing tenderly over the side of Chloe’s head. “We could drink that wine, I could lay you out on the bed…”

Chloe makes a noise from low in her throat, it sounds strangled, like she’s trying to resist. You don’t have to resist me, I don’t want you to, Elly thinks back to that night, the night Chloe broke her heart. None of that matters anymore, not when this is the result.
“As tempting as that is, which, believe me is a lot, I can’t do lunch anymore. Terese needs me to attend a meeting with her,” her voice is just a whisper. She slips away from Elly’s side to shut the door, locking automatically with a click.

“But…” Chloe continues, maneuvering Elly and pressing her against the closed door. It’s swift, sudden, their chests together. She feels breathless, Chloe looking up at her with eyes darker than before, “If you come back at five with this,” she holds the keycard up, “You might be lucky enough to be graced with my amazing presence,” there’s a playful tone in her voice, laced with undeniable lust.

Chloe leans forward, kissing her softly. Always soft, like she’s important, something to be treasured, it’s in the way she looks at her, too. A part of her wishes she noticed sooner, the other part tells her it was meant to happen like this, everything aligning and clicking together for it to happen.

She winds her arms around the blondes neck,
“I think I’m pretty lucky already,” she breathes, forehead against Chloe’s.

Chloe smiles, dipping in for a kiss. She slips the keycard into the back pocket of Elly’s jeans, Elly whimpering against her lips when Chloe gropes her, only briefly. Her head swims from the contact, the desire for her girlfriend the only thing she can focus on. She’s been so close to it all day, so many almost, the proximity between them hurts, even, winding her up when Chloe’s about to return to work.

But she still presses into the kiss, cupping Chloe’s cheek and licking into her mouth. If she can’t focus for the next three hours, neither should Chloe.

“Bye Ells,” she says after a moment, forcing herself away.

“Bye Chlo,” Elly exhales slowly, watching Chloe disappear back down the hall, she wonders if the seductive sway of her hips is intentional.

She tips her head back against the door, shutting her eyes. Her heart races. What Elly doesn’t know, she should be less worried about getting through the next hours, and more worried about the person who, unbeknown, saw her and Chloe kissing.

//

After her lunch date with Chloe fell through, she sends a message to Bea, inviting her instead.

She wiggles the keycard out of her back pocket and sits down, waiting patiently. It’s pretty basic, rectangular, dark grey with the Lassiters logo on the front. ‘All access keycard’ is written in large, white letters, permitting her access to the pool, spa, restaurant. Elly doesn’t plan on using any of it.

The whole thing feels naughty. Chloe slipping the card into her pocket, sending her away with the promise of alone time later, it sends a thrill down her spine. Elly smiles, running her finger over the rounded edge, with sexual intention or not, it’s still an incredibly sweet gesture. She really does love Chloe so much.

“Lassiters… how can you afford that?” Bea asks, Elly jumps at her sudden presence. She sits down across from Elly, “Sorry.”

“It’s not that expensive,” Elly says, when really, she doesn’t know what a standard room costs, let alone one with roses and wine - though, she thinks Chloe had more to do with that.

“Yeah, not when you’re best friends with the managers EA,” Bea scoffs, asking, “Did she get you a good deal or something?”

It can’t be as expensive as Bea is letting on, Elly thinks, it’s the first place people go when they aren’t welcome at home. Unless she’s trying to get information out of her, see how close she and Chloe really are, if needing a hotel room has anything to do with her.

Elly shakes her head,
“Chloe is professional. And it’s not like her special privileges would extend to me anyway,” she says.

Bea nods, satisfied with her answer,
“How are things going with you and Chloe?”

She’s taken aback by the forwardness of Bea’s question, directly addressing Chloe rather than implying it has to do with her,
“Good, why?” her response is belated, she hopes Bea doesn’t read into it, see it as Elly having to construct an appropriate lie. It’s not a lie, not completely.

“You just seemed a bit confused last time we talked,” she says, nonchalant. Maybe Elly is paranoid, the one reading into what is more likely care and curiosity from her sister. “Are your feelings any clearer? I know it’s none of my business, Elly, but if you need to talk to someone, you know you can come to me.”

Elly smiles, even when her stomach turns. She and Chloe aren’t ready to come out - not unless it’s absolutely necessary, like with David, for example - but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel bad about lying to her sister. Bea is supportive, and trustworthy, she knows her secrets will stay secret - that’s why she initially confided in her - it feels wrong to keep it from her. But that’s the thing, it’s not about Bea at all… it’s about her and Chloe, and that’s all.

“Thanks Bea,” she says, choosing to avoid the other questions.

It doesn’t matter anyway, because the subject is changed instantly to Bea’s most recent hospital visit. Finn, a topic Elly preferred to be kept out of is suddenly interesting, all because it takes the attention away from her.

//

After taking her time at lunch with Bea, going to visit Leo at the backpackers - he’s wasn’t there, maybe somewhere with Piper - Elly is still half an hour early back to Lassiters. She ran out of things to do, that’s one way to look at it, the other is she’s desperate, aching for her girlfriends touch. Her mind, continually wandering back to Chloe during her lunch, isn’t going to focus on anything other than the night ahead. She wonders if Chloe is struggling to concentrate too.

Chloe is missing from the front desk. It’s a good thing, Elly thinks, the temptation right now to grab her and kiss her, even in front of people, very high. Actions first, consequences later, that’s how she’s always been.

She could pour them some wine, light candles, she muses over what could be done with her spare time, considering she’s early. Elly takes the keycard from her pocket, walking out of the lift and down the hall to their room. The slot glows green when she slips her keycard through, unlocking and granting her access inside.

Elly opens the door to find Chloe sitting at the end of the bed, preoccupied with a wine glass in one hand and bottle in the other. She looks up when she hears the door open,
“Hey,” she beams.

She shuts the door behind her, eyes never leaving Chloe’s. Chloe’s wearing the same clothes from earlier - of course she is, technically she’s still at work - the gaping neckline of her yellow blouse shows her collarbones, skin Elly wants to nip at. Eyes dragging down further, Chloe’s legs are crossed, the already tight material of her leather skirt pulled taut over the small amount of thigh it covers, the rest bare like her long, long legs.

Elly’s glances over her shoulder, double checking the door has locked. So many interruptions - in bed this morning, in the kitchen, outside their hotel room - it’s the last thing she wants to happen now.

When she looks back, Chloe is setting the glasses and bottle on the table, safe away from the bed. Heat swirls low in her stomach, pulse heavy as she walks over to Chloe, gently pushing her down onto the bed. Chloe stretches, pulling Elly down with her, hand curled around the back of her neck. She moves to straddle the blonde, pinning her to the bed with her lips as well.

Her mouth is soft, lovely, exactly what she’s been waiting for - of course, she wants more, desperate for it, but even her kiss is so special.

“Are you staying?” Elly murmurs against her lips, wary to start something that can’t be finished. “Don’t have to go back to work?”

“No,” she breathes, “I’m all yours now. Always yours.”

Chloe’s hand moves to cradle her cheek, guiding their lips back together. Her tongue sweeps over Elly’s lip, licking eagerly into her mouth. She tastes sweet, but sharp, like she had a sip of wine before Elly arrived.

It’s strong as well, has the potential to get her drunk - if she weren’t already drunk on love. That’s how she feels, lightheaded and dreamy around Chloe, heart beating quicker. Even now she can’t believe she’s making out with Chloe, with her girlfriend.

Her own hand slides down to the blondes hip, crooking her fingers in the waistband of her skirt. She’s not sure if her plan is to untuck Chloe’s blouse, or unzip her skirt, either option has an equally positive outcome.

“The bath in there is huge,” she murmurs, the same mischievous glint in her eye from earlier. Her hand drops to Elly’s shoulder, haphazardly stroking her fingers through her hair, “Wanna drink wine in the bath?”

Elly blinks at her. It’s not what she was expecting, and it will prolong any touching, which she has patiently waited all day for... at least as patiently as someone with a girlfriend as hot as Chloe should be expected to wait.

But then it’s not every day she gets to experience this kind of luxury, and for free as well. She doubts it compares in size to the bath back at Susan and Karl’s, one that she and Chloe would not comfortably fit in together. Despite her earlier thoughts, they should probably leave the bed at least once.

And if that wasn’t enough for her to say yes, the excitement on Chloe’s face would be.

She kisses the smile on Chloe’s lips,
“Go fill the bath up,” she tells her, sitting back on her knees to let Chloe scramble off the bed.

Elly smiles, watching her disappear into the bathroom. She sighs in contentment, heart fluttering in her chest. In her peripheral vision sit the arrangement of roses, slightly askew from their movements on the bed - no birthday, no Valentine’s, no special occasion, Chloe makes these romantic plans just because.

The faucet turns on in the bathroom, and over the running water she hears Chloe call,
“I think there are strawberries in the fridge, Ells, if you want to get them.”

She climbs off the bed, walking to the kitchen, conjoined with the lounge and bedroom in an open space. Inside the fridge is a small bowl of strawberries, vibrantly red, everything perfect down to the last detail. Elly wonders how she manages to get it all done, organize everything while also doing her actual job, she makes it all look so easy. She takes them out with one hand, holding the bottle of wine in the crook of her elbow, and two glasses in the other hand - being a frequent party girl, she’s more than capable of holding multiple glasses of alcohol.

The bathroom gleams, countertops hard marble.
“Put that here?” Chloe suggests, gesturing to a small table, tall enough they would be able to reach from the bath. Soil sits on the surface, Elly’s confused until she sees the potted plant sitting on the floor - clearly Chloe moved it to make space. She places their items on the table.

Elly moves into her side, unable to resist kissing her neck, any part of her, actually. She glances over at the bath, it’s huge like Chloe said, angular, depth deceptive however when it’s filled with bubbles. She chuckles, dropping her head to Chloe’s shoulder,
“It’s a bubble bath,” she says, looking fondly up at her girlfriend.

“It is,” Chloe answers simply, “Bubble baths are super romantic.”

You’re super romantic,” Elly corrects. “You’re romantic without even trying. You are a lot of things without trying.”

“Like what?” Chloe asks, intrigued by Elly’s tone, edging on seductive.

“Sexy,” she smiles, hand on Chloe’s lower back she attempts, without her noticing, to untuck her shirt.

“Did you want to undress me?” she asks, casual but amused, she looks over her shoulder at Elly’s hand, then up into her eyes.

“Ah,” she tilts her head, dragging the zipper of Chloe’s skirt down, she tugs at the edge, loose enough now to slide down her long legs and to the floor. “I might have to think about that,” Elly smiles slowly, pulling Chloe’s shirt over her head.

She leans in instantly, kissing her mouth briefly, then her neck and shoulder, hand sliding around her back to undo Chloe’s bra. The bath, while an incredibly sweet gesture that Elly appreciates, is the last thing on her mind, or what she wants to do. She loves a bath, drinking wine in the bath is actually one of her favourite activities to relax, but bathing with her extremely gorgeous girlfriend when all she wants to do is touch her? Elly would rather do the latter.

Her fingers hook into her lingerie, letting them fall to the floor too. She allows herself one look, one chance to marvel at her girlfriend’s whole body. Forehead pressed against Chloe’s, she asks,
“Can’t we skip the bath? I’ve wanted to touch you all day.”

“The bath is filled up Elly,” she says, a smile flickers on her lips, taking clear enjoyment out of teasing her. She reaches back, pulling out her hairtie, hair settling messily over her shoulders. Elly almost groans at the sight, hot, disheveled. “You can’t wait an hour? I’ll make it up to you after.”

“No, I can’t,” Elly answers, although knowing it wasn’t really a question.

Chloe smirks, turning to climb into the bath. Despite Elly’s momentary frustration with it, and Chloe, she places a gentle hand on her back, steadying her as she lowers into the water. She kicks her foot out, smiling playfully when she splashes Elly,
“Come on.”

And like that, any frustration is gone. Chloe never fails to make her smile.

She pulls her t-shirt off, noticing Chloe’s raised eyebrow when she drops it to the floor.
“You stripping for me, Miss Conway?” she asks cheekily.

Elly smiles, continuing to undress in front of Chloe, who offers her a hand into the bath. She sinks down slowly, water hot and bubbles soft on her skin.

She relaxes easily against Chloe, back pressed to her front, sitting between her open thighs. The bath is long enough Chloe can stretch her legs out, feet popping through the bubbles, her toes are painted dark red.

Her head tilts back on Chloe’s shoulder, eyes falling shut. It is relaxing, the bubbles, the gentle touch of Chloe’s hand on her arm, the sound of her own pulse heavy in her ears.

“Do you want your wine?” she asks, easier for Chloe to reach as she’s sitting up straight.

Elly nods, sitting herself up. She takes a long sip, holding the glass out of the bath as she rests back against Chloe, arm hanging over the edge.

“Tell me about your day,” Chloe murmurs, “Besides the hours you spent in agony because we couldn’t be together.”

Elly smirks, then says,
“I went and had lunch with Bea.”

“How is she?” Chloe asks, her voice is quiet, soothing. She could listen to it forever, it wouldn’t matter what it was, even her travel stories.

“She’s good. We talked about Finn, she went to visit him yesterday with Susan,” she says.

“And you still haven’t gone to see him?”

“I don’t want to. It doesn’t matter if he has amnesia, I don’t want to get involved in it. After everything he did to me, to my family, I can’t forgive him,” she sighs, taking another careful sip.

“And you don’t have to Ells,” Chloe murmurs, rubbing a gentle hand over her shoulder, “You don’t owe him anything, and you don’t owe it to Bea or Susan to visit him. But if for whatever reason you change your mind and do want to go, you know I’ll be right there beside you holding your hand. Out or not.”

Elly nods slowly, humming at Chloe’s mention of their relationship, and how it remains a secret.
“… I think Bea knows about us.”

“What makes you say that?” she asks, calm, not a hint of worry or concern. It’s another aspect of their relationship that Elly appreciates - open and honest, always communicating. They are well-balanced, they work through things together, she knows Chloe is there, with a clear head, to support her, just like Elly is there for her. When she’s upset about something Chloe is the first, and usually the only person, who makes everything okay again. Her fingertips, dragging slowly up and down her arm, is enough ease her.

“I confided in Bea a while ago. I told her about the kiss, and that we slept together, and I tried to sleep with you again, but I think she already had a feeling something was going on between us. I haven’t… updated her on our relationship, but she saw me before with the keycard and asked questions.”

Chloe’s touch never falters,
“And how would you feel if she did know?” she asks.

She knows it wouldn’t change the way she feels about Chloe, she’ll still love her with her whole heart. Through all the mistakes she’s made in her life, her family have always supported her, have never judged her feelings or actions, Elly doubts falling in love with a woman, as suddenly as it might seem, would make a difference either.

She and Chloe are strong, genuine, and Elly is certain their love will last a lifetime.

It’s not the knowing that scares her, it’s the feeling that comes after it. Vulnerable, exposed, open, things she’s only comfortable with being around Chloe. It’s not some huge secret she’s been keeping for years, but it’s a secret all the same - one she holds close to her chest. Realistically, she knows things won’t change, everything will remain the way it is now, but first she has to build the courage to actually get past it.

“I wouldn’t mind,” Elly tells her honestly, “I know she would support me, and us, Susan and Karl would too. I’d like them to know, I’d like you to be invited to family breakfast and family dinner, where we could hug and kiss and they wouldn’t care. I know they’d love you Chlo.”

“But?” Chloe prompts, wet hand stroking through her hair softly.

“I don’t know how to tell them,” she says, staring ahead, watching the steam raise in swirls from the water. “I want to, I really do… I just don’t know how to say those words, or even what those words are.”

“I wish I had good advice for you Ells. I never really had to come out, mum and dad caught me kissing a girl when I was fourteen - mum didn’t care because she just accepted me, dad didn’t care because, well, he didn’t really care about anything I did. Most of the time I think he forgot he had a daughter,” Elly rubs a hand over Chloe’s knee, giving her affection she can manage without turning around. “And you know my family... if something happens we don’t talk about it, at least, that’s how we used to be. But I think for you, it doesn’t matter what you say, whether it’s as big as ‘I’m bisexual’ or ‘I like girls’ or something as personal as ‘Chloe is my girlfriend’ as much as you’re comfortable with, you don’t have to say any more. Or maybe you don’t have to say anything at all, we could just kiss in front of them and let them figure it out.”

Elly chuckles, turning her head to press into Chloe’s neck.

“There’s no rush remember? Take as long as you need,” Chloe says, looking into her eyes now.

She nods, placing her wine on the table she sits up properly, no longer propped by Chloe’s body.
“But David knows, Aaron’s already suspicious of us, and once he finds out Mark and I have broken up I don’t think it’ll take him long to figure out why.”

“But babe it’s none of their business,” she says softly, “You shouldn’t feel pressured to come out, not by my brothers or your sister.”

“I don’t,” she assures her quietly, “Like I said, I really do want to be open, I’m ready. I just have to find the courage to tell them I love with you.”

“You will,” Chloe smiles fondly, giving her a gentle kiss. “So what now? I could wash your hair... or your body?” she adds cheekily.

Elly hums, waving her fingers through the silky water, creating small ripples.
“I’m good,” she murmurs, smiling. “Unless you wanted to get out?”

“No I’m fine,” Chloe murmurs, reaching forward for the bowl of strawberries sitting on the table. As she moves behind her, Elly can feel the brush of stiff nipples against her back. She shivers involuntarily, the press of them more apparent when Chloe sits back, half bitten strawberry in her hand, “Strawberry?” she offers, completely casual.

She shakes her head, skin buzzing and heat growing between her thighs, it’s all she can focus on. She was fine before, relaxed and hardly thinking about Chloe like that, though the conversation was quite distracting.

But she can’t wait any longer. Elly turns around, cupping Chloe’s cheek as she leans in to kiss her fervently. Her lips are sweet, taste like strawberry when she licks inside. Chloe moans into her mouth, wet hand gripping Elly’s shoulder, she pulls away,
“I don’t want you to slip,” she whispers, noticing the way Elly’s body is twisted to face her. Chloe thinking of her safety when she’s also got Elly’s tongue in her mouth, it’s endearing, though bad timing.

“Let’s get out,” Elly decides, forehead pressed against Chloe’s. Chloe nods eagerly.

She turns back around, pulling the plug out to let the water drain. Carefully she stands up, climbing over the edge and onto the bath mat, or maybe it’s the clothes they took off before, sitting in a pile. Elly offers her hand, helping Chloe out of the bath, she’s pulled instantly into a kiss by the blonde. It’s soft, but the urgency is clear, one hand on her hip and the other on her cheek, bringing her closer still.

Elly reaches behind her, feeling blindly for a towel. Chloe moves her hand away, taking it in her own,
“We’re going straight to bed,” she tells her, caressing Elly’s cheek and leaning in to resume kissing. She guides them to the bed, Elly walking backwards. Her knees hit the edge and they fall onto the sheets together.

Their kiss never breaks, Elly’s hand, wet, moving to curl around the back of her neck, heart clenching with a need to have her as close as possible. Her skin is slippery, bodies slick against each other and glistening under the light. Chloe deepens the kiss, easily coaxing her lips open with her tongue.

Elly’s not sure how long they lay there for, kissing leisurely, Chloe’s hand sitting on her hip and legs entwined. She could stay like this forever.

Chloe pulls back, moving to kiss down her neck. She licks at her wet skin, over the dip of her collarbone and to her shoulder,
“We’ll get the sheets wet,” she giggles, tilting her head to the side.

“They would’ve had to wash them anyway,” Chloe smirks, voice quiet. “Besides, I’m not really worried about that right now.”

Chloe’s hand inches up her thigh, teasing her entrance with two fingertips. Her hips raise off the bed, damp legs brushing with Chloe’s where they’re still entwined. She’s been winding Elly up all day, she knows it’s not enough.

Her lips press gently against Elly’s neck again, littering her skin with slow kisses. Distracting her easily, so tender her chest feels light. The two fingers slide into her then, thrusting in and out slowly, too slow, and yet, Elly’s already close.

She’s not sure if it’s solely from thinking about it all day, from all the times it almost happened, or if it being the touch of the woman she loves, making her so weak. It’s most likely both.

Her pulse quickens, knee bending, Chloe slips a third finger into her slick heat. There’s so much love with it, something that, until now,. Elly had never experienced. It’s in everything that Chloe does, the way she looks at her, the way she smiles, the way she kisses and touches her skin, the way she’s always thinking and caring about her - if Elly didn’t already know, Chloe loves her more than anyone ever has.

She used to party every night, it was an easy distraction, focusing on which club they would go to next. She hooked up with random guys, and it never mattered how good they were in bed, there was always an emptiness. Instead of making up for what she didn’t have, pointed it out specifically, and she was left feeling lonely, incomplete.

It wasn’t until she got to know Chloe, and inevitably fell for her, that that feeling went away, replaced with a genuine love. With Chloe, she never feels lonely.

A curl of her fingers tips her over the edge, pathetically quickly. It shouldn’t surprise her, and really, it doesn’t, ever since she fell for Chloe she’s lost any power. Elly turns into the comfort of Chloe’s shoulder, eyes shut, name leaving her lips in a sigh. Her skin is smooth, still damp and cool against Elly’s flushed cheek.

Chloe smiles down at her, but slips away, moving further down the bed. She kisses her stomach, nips at the soft flesh of her thighs, can feel Chloe’s breath against her skin. It doesn’t surprise her when she’s wet all over again.

“Told you I’d make up for the bath, didn’t I?”

She doesn’t have to make up for the bath, Elly almost says, but a little selfishly, holds back. It’s not like it matters anyway, Chloe very clearly wants to make love to her. She’s sure Chloe knows she actually enjoyed the bath.

Chloe parts her folds with two fingers, head disappearing between her thighs to swipe her tongue through her wetness. Elly’s hips flick upward, breath catching in her throat at the sudden touch, although anticipated. Her legs spread easily, giving Chloe space.

She reaches up, curling a hand around Elly’s hip, tongue delving deeper without hesitation. She tilts her head back into the pillow, hand sinking into Chloe’s blonde, damp waves, fingers weaving in tightly, pulling her closer as she arches into her mouth.

“Yeah,” she gasps, “Yeah, yes Chlo.”

Chloe slips her fingers in again, thrusting shallowly, tongue curving around Elly’s clit, sucking gently. Her toes curl and thighs tremble, climax racing through her.

She moans her name, loud and breathy, hand twisting in the bed sheet. Chloe retracts her fingers, tongue slowing until it stops. Chloe strokes her hip, sitting up on her knees. Elly’s hand slides out of her hair.

“How was that?”

Elly chuckles breathlessly, reaching out for her with laden arms. Chloe leans forward, positioning herself over Elly, pressing a kiss to her lips.

“It was amazing, you don’t need me to tell you that,” Elly murmurs, kissing her cheek and kissing her ear. She flips them over, knees bracketing Chloe’s hips.

Chloe giggles, smoothing her palms up Elly’s thighs and raking back down with her nails. Elly pushes her hands away. She starts again, rubbing over her hips and higher up her sides, thumbs brushing the underside of her breasts.

It’s so tempting, to give in and let Chloe touch her again, no matter how sensitive her body feels. But she pushes her hands away again,
“You’ve already had your turn,” she teases, Chloe grins mischievously, like she has other ideas, or maybe - like Elly - she’s struggling to contain her happiness.

She can’t pull her eyes away, light illuminating all of her features. Their last two times were in the dark, hiding what they were doing from others. Now she can see her hair fanned out on the pillow, blue eyes glazed over with lust, lush pink lips parted. Can imagine the bruises sucked into her fair skin, watch the rise and fall of her chest. She wants to take it all in, to memorize every detail of her face, every breathy sigh, the way every inch of her skin feels under her fingers.

“So beautiful babe,” she sighs, admiring her girlfriend. Her smile only brightens.

Elly leans down, kissing Chloe’s neck. She presses her nose against her skin, inhaling. There’s a freshness, floral, from their bath, but something so specifically Chloe that she loves. It’s intoxicating.
“You smell so good,” she moans.

Chloe arches her hips, grinding eagerly against Elly’s thigh. She shuffles back, giving herself enough space to stroke Chloe’s inner thigh, right up and easing two fingers inside of her, instantly coated with her arousal. She moans, tipping her head back into the pillow - Elly dips her head to kiss the newly exposed skin of her throat, working down to her collarbones as she starts thrusting her fingers.

From under her, Chloe’s breath picks up, Elly watches the rapid rise and fall of her chest, mesmerized almost. She’s gorgeous, nipples pretty pink and shiny, she can’t resist tracing circles over them with her thumb.

She quickens her fingers inside her, trying to match the rhythm with the rubbing of her thumb. It’s difficult when Chloe is squirming, but isn’t long at all before the stimulation sends Chloe over the edge, Elly’s name on her lips.

Elly lays kisses to the blonde’s shoulder, easing her down. She removes her fingers gently - Chloe whimpering at the loss - and reaches over her to pull the sheets over them, Chloe snuggles up to her instantly.

“How was that?” Elly teases.

“Very good. Ten stars,” she answers, smile soft, tired.

“Isn’t it usually five stars?” Elly asks, grinning.

Chloe shrugs,
“You get ten. Ten gold, shiny stars.”

Elly smiles adoringly,
“I love you,” she murmurs, because it’s the only thing on her mind.

“I know,” Chloe turns to face her, “and I love you too.”

“I felt so lost without you,” she tells her, making deep eye contact. “Before we started dating, I was thinking about you all day, wondering how you were and what you were doing, it felt so pathetic, because I needed you and you weren’t even mine. I’d start daydreaming, imagining us living together…”

“I do that too,” Chloe says softly, “I think about waking up beside you every morning in our own house. I think about getting married one day, and maybe having k- I’m sorry I don’t want to freak you out.”

Elly smiles, feeling her heart swoop at Chloe’s vision of their future,
“You didn’t. You’re so sweet, just think I should probably come out first before we do any of that.”

Chloe chuckles,
“Take your time. All that matters to me is you feeling comfortable.”

“And I feel most comfortable with you.” Elly murmurs, resting her forehead against Chloe’s. “Soon, I promise. And I know what you’re going to say, but it’s for me. I’m hiding a part of myself and even though I haven’t been hiding it for very long… or doing a very good job at it, I want to tell the people important to me. Once I figure out how.”

“As long as we can still be together while you figure it out,” Chloe smiles, intertwining their fingers.

“Of course. I want to be with you, I need you Chlo, nothing will change that,” she presses a soft kiss to her lips.

She gives a tired smile, curling in closer to Elly. With their legs entwined, bodies together, she falls asleep with Chloe in her arms.

//

It’s early the next morning when Elly returns home, her old home, considering things at the Brennan’s are likely to be uncomfortable.. Their plan was to leave Lassiters before anyone - who might recognize them - arrived, so after waking to Chloe’s alarm, redressing herself and spending at least ten minutes kissing her goodbye, Elly slipped out of the hotel room first, separately to avoid any suspicion.

She twists the knob slowly, opening the door carefully to make the least amount of noise. Still, the wire door rattles on its hinges, and Bea looks over from where she’s standing in the kitchen.
“Sneaking home?” Bea teases.

“No,” Elly shakes her head, tucking her hair behind her ear, “No I just went for a walk. What are you doing… awake?”

“I have an early shift at the garage,” she answers, tipping sugar into her coffee and stirring it, she looks up, “How was the hotel?”

“It was good,” she says, brief, walking to the kitchen to make a cup of tea.

“Were you there with Chloe?” Bea asks after a moment. Elly doesn’t speak, busying herself with finding the tea bags instead. “Elly,” her voice is quieter now, softer, “If you’re dating Chloe, you can tell me.”

Her heart seizes, breath catching in her throat. She would come out soon, but this is too soon.
“What?”

“It’s just - I was talking to Ned and he said he saw you kissing at the hotel. Don’t worry, it wasn’t like… gossip or anything, it was just like a casual ‘hey you didn’t tell me this’ kind of thing,” Bea explains. Between her stomach turning and hands trembling, Elly can’t focus on anything else. “It’s okay, you know I won’t judge you.”

She turns to Bea,
“I-“

“Elly, I wasn’t expecting to see you darling,” Susan emerges from the hallway. If everyone is waking up, maybe she and Chloe were kissing for longer than ten minutes.

“Good surprise I hope,” she laughs nervously.

“Of course. You should’ve told us, we could’ve done something for breakfast,” Susan says.

“That’s okay,” she leaves her empty cup and walks over to Susan. “Is my room still free? Mark and I broke up.”

“I’m sorry. Are you alright?” Susan’s shock isn’t surprising, neither is her care, but considering Elly’s indifference toward it, she would have thought the answer was clear.

Elly shrugs,
“Things weren’t the same after he returned. It felt forced,” she tells them, wondering how many times she’ll have to explain it to other people.

Susan puts a hand on her arm,
“You’ll find someone, I know you will,” she says sympathetically.

“You might’ve already found them,” Bea adds.

As helpful and supportive she intends to be, Elly doesn’t acknowledge her.

“So my room?” she asks.

“Oh, yes, everything is still in there, well, the things you left behind,” she says, “Will you be able to get your clothes from over there?”

Elly nods,
“Or I can get Chlo to get them,” she says without thinking. Neither say anything, probably presuming she means that Chloe, her friend, can do it. Bea may have other ideas, actually.

“Good. It’ll be nice having you back.”

She smiles at Susan and walks down the hall to her bedroom. Elly collapses on her bed, instantly wishing she was back in the hotel with Chloe. No worries. No stress. No pressure.