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Tethered

Chapter Text

Adena’s POV

I’ve heard the saying “Home is not a place, it’s a person” many times, but I’ve always felt that I found my home in my art, until now. Until this moment as I’m lying in bed with the person I love and who has always been my home, I just didn’t know it.

As we are lying on her bed and I lay sweet kissed on her shoulder causing her to turn and we gaze straight into each others eyes, I see something in her’s that does not belong there right now. Hurt.

“Kat.”

“Adena.”

“What’s wrong?”

“You know what’s wrong.”

“Tia.”

She doesn’t answer verbally, she doesn’t have to.

“Adena, you know how I feel about you, I don’t even have to tell you. But Tia was there for me when you were not. And I know you had you’re own issues to deal with, but it doesn’t change the way I felt. I was vulnerable and insecure and she made me feel secure in myself again. I learned to live a life without you” She says with a tear rolling down her face.

‘I learned to live a life without you’ Is probably the last words you want to hear from the person who has become the reason you’re heart beats, but I understood where it came from.

“Kat, I get it. She touched you too.” What Kat had yet to learn was that there would be many people who were going to touch her life, some imprints just weren’t meant to last.

“Yea, she did. But then there is you and I just can’t seem to let you go. My mind, My heart. You’re constantly everywhere within me. It’d physically painful how much I love you, how much my whole being loves you.”

As she spoke these words I could not help to notice how much she has grown. I’ve always known that she needed to discover more of herself but the level of growth in her that has taken place within such a short period of time, it was simply beautiful.

“Did you just say you love me… without making joke after it. Must mean you really meant it then.”

“You have no idea.” She didn’t have to say it again, I could feel it in her voice.

I take this moment just to take her in, take in everything I’ve missed over past weeks.

“Kat.”

“Adena, you need to stop saying my name. You know what it does to me.” She says with a frustrated.

“Well, what am I suppose to call you?” I say with a smirk on my face.

“I don’t know.”

“Okay, we’ll figure it out when I can finally call you mine.” I really hope I’ll be able to call her mine.

“Too soon. Way too soon.”

“But seriously, I need to tell you something.” She says nothing but leans in closer encouraging me to continue. “I love you. So much… Kat.”

I don’t think she minded the fact that I called her by her name because the next thing I knew was that she was straddling me and kissing me with so much passion. It could only be described as the love that she was trying to physically convey to me.

I knew that this was not the end of the Tia conversation but right now I just needed to be in this moment, irrespective of the future. I needed to feel her skin on mine. Her eyes in mine. Her hair in my fingers. Her lips on my lips.

I needed to be able to remember this moment forever, if I needed to.

The Next Morning

I wake up to Kat staring at me with the biggest smile on her face.

“What?” I ask with sleep still in my voice.

“I’m just embracing the beauty laying before me.”

“Ooh, look at you being all sappy as shit right now.”

“And to think I was almost going to kiss that potty mouth of yours.” She says teasingly.

“Well good thing I stopped you coz morning breath is not sexy.” I say as I try to make my way off the bed, only to be stopped by tug on my shirt.

“Kat! Wait! I need to brush my teeth first.”

“No. You. Don’t.” She says in between soft kissed. And that was was much restraint I had for Kat’s kisses within in. Have I ever mentioned what a good kisser she is? Well, she is.

With that I was sucked into an intense make out session until I heard the grumbling of a stomach.

“Sounds like someone is hungry.”

“I have everything I need right here.”

“Aww, aren’t you the sweetest thing. But seriously I haven’t eaten properly in a few days.

This was not a lie, the gallery show has consumed most of my time, not to mention this lovely love triangle I’ve found myself in. Nerves has got the best of me.

“Poor baby. Well I don’t think I have much but whatever I have it’s yours.” Simultaneously stated with a hint of humour and sincerity.

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.

And that was my my queue to get off this bed ASAP, even though I’d lay with her here forever if that’s what she wanted.

I get up and I raid Kat’s closet for a comfortable hoodie and shorts and I make my way to the kitchen.

She was not wrong, all I could find was wine, an empty tin of frozen yogurt, grapes and coffee.

“Kat, stop sleeping.” I nearly shout.

“Why!?!” She wines.

“Coz I want to have breakfast with you. Although we’ll probably have to eat each other coz you have nothing and don’t even… I was just joking.” But was I?

“Hahaha, Adena has jokes. That’s a first.” But she eventually makes her out of bed and sits on one of the chairs at her kitchen table.

“So today I will be serving you les raisins and cafè.”

“Ooh, sounds fancy.”

“It is.”

This was one of the things I missed about being with Kat. The fact that I could be myself unconditionally and not feel exposed or embarrassed. And her humour, while sometimes untimely, it always managed to put a smile on my face.

We sit across each other just taking each other in. How is it possible that she got more beautiful than she was before.

“Kat.”

“We talked about the name thing.” She says after taking a swig of her coffee.

“I just wanted to tell you something.”

“Shoot, but this sentence has not been helpful in our relationship.”

“Shut up.” She wasn’t wrong through.

“Okay, I’m listening.” She says while leaning in.

“I missed you.” I couldn’t even say it without a croak in my words.

“I mis…”

Before she could finish we heard a knock on the door.

“I should probably get that.” And she makes her way to the door.

“Tia.”

“Hey babe, can I come in.”

Oh shit. Whatever happens next; someone was definitely going to get hurt.

Chapter Text

Kat’s POV

“Tia.”

“Hey babe, can I come in?” But she doesn’t wait for me to answer as she maked her way past the door threshold.

“Oh… Hey Adena.” I heard her say and then turns her head to me with a curious look on her face butsays nothing.

“Hi Tia. How are you?”

“I’m good.”

“Good, well I was just about to leave. I have to finalize some things at the gallery for tonight’s show. I’ll see you later?” Adena asks me, communicating everything she needed to say with her eyes; while trying to be as discrete as possible.

“Yeah.” I say in a barely audible tone.

And with that Adena is out of the door, hopefully for the last time in this context.

Adena’s POV

I needed to leave. This was not a conversation that I needed to be present for. This was between Kat and Tia and I needed to be respectful towards that.

Kat’s POV

“Kat, is there something that you’re not telling me? And don’t even think about lying. I saw the clothes she had on. Your clothes that she had on.” Emphasizing the last sentence.

“You’re right. I have to tell you something.” I take a breath while simultaneously figuring out how I’m about to hurt Tia in the most gentle way.

She doesn’t say anything and I take that as my queue to start talking. I grab her by the hand so we can make our way to the couch. We sit next to each other, facing each other.

“Before I start, I just want to tell you that what we have is special and no matter what happens; nothing can take that away from us.” She only nods.

“As you know, Adena was my first love. The first person I was able to truly open up with and have a relationship with, but a lot of shit happened in our relationship as well. Which was why it didn’t last.” I knew this would be emotional but I did not think that it would affect me as much as it is right now, but I needed to continue.

“Our communication was not what it was suppose to be and we lost each other trying to figure out how to get closer to each other until it was to late. When Adena came back a week ago we had an intense conversation about the things we should have talked about then and she told me that leaving was a mistake.”

“How did you feel about that?”

“Honestly? If it wasn’t for the fact that you were in my life I probably would have kissed her on the spot. But I didn’t.” If there’s one thing I have learned out of this experience was that I should live in the truth, irrespective of the consequences.

“So what now? You leave me and move on with Adena as if I never existed?”

“No, that is not what I want.”

”Then what do you want?”

“I still want to be friends Tia. I know it may be hard but believe it or not, I do care about you and I know that this was one of the first times you allowed yourself to be who you are. I don’t want you to go through this alone. I want to help you on journey in discovering this beautiful part of yourself. Even if it’s not with me.”

“You are making this sound so simple.”

“Because it could be.”

“Look, I get it. Adena is the love of your life. See… You can’t even hear her name without smiling.” I can’t help it, sorry not sorry. “And I, for sure as hell am not going to stand in the way of true love, even if I’m on the loosing end. Plus, our chemistry was not even that on point.”

“Ouch.” I say holding my hand on heart.

“I needed to get my stab in there somewhere as well. But on a serious note Kat, I won’t stand in your way. I knew that what we had was in danger the moment I saw how you looked at Adena when she got out of the elevator. I just didn’t want it to be true.”

I did not expect this response. Where is the tears, the shouts, the drama? However, she has always handled herself in the most professional way, guess it’s part of her personality or is it just the fact that I watch too much reality TV and expected more?

She gets up from the couch and takes me by the hands to lift me up. We stand there in silence for a few seconds until she breaks it.

“Well miss Kat Edison, it was truly a privilege and a honour to get to know you. Your beautiful soul and your compassionate heart is one that should only be treasured and although I may not be the lucky one who you’re soul belongs to, I wish you nothing but all the love and happiness that this world could give.”

“Wow Tia, how are you so amazing?” I ask with tears rolling down my face. That speech was beautiful, you would have cried too.

“Mmm, oe got jokes. She's always made things so easy and simple but I guess that's not what I need. I need Adena, even if she comes with a life full of obstacles.

“Well I hope all of those things for you too. And I hope this is not goodbye, we can still be friends… Hopefully?”

“Sure, on one condition.”

“Anything.”

“Can I you hook me up with a ticket to Adena’s gallery show?” That was the last thing I had expected to have come out of her mouth.

“Yes, probably. Why though? You’re not gonna beat her up or anything right?”

“Then I’ll definitely make sure that you’ll be able to get into the lesbian rabbit hole.”

“Thanks… Friend.”

“My pleasure.”

“Well, I better get going then.”

“Okay.”

And with that she makes her way to the door with me a step behind her.

She opens the door but before she walks out, she turns and asks me “Did I mean something in your life?”

“You have no idea.”

“Okay, I’ll take that. See you tonitght then.”

“See you tonight.”

And that’s how our brief but meaningful relationship ended. But before I forgot, there was something I needed to do right now.

I grab my phone out of my pocket and text Adena.

To Adena: Is it possible to get another name on the gallery entry list for tonight?

Adena’s POV

I read Kat’s text and I swear I could feel my heart breaking all over again. I guess I deserve it though. I left her.

To Kat: Sure, what’s the name?”

From Kat: Tia

Chapter Text

Adena’s POV

I read Kat’s text and I swear I could feel my heart breaking all over again. I guess I deserve it though. I left her.

To Kat: Sure, what’s the name?”

From Kat: Tia

Later that day

Despite that fact that I knew that Kat was going to bring Tia and that my future with Kat was a thing of the past I needed to go on with my life right now. That entails pulling myself together and focusing on what was most important in the moment.

Telling a story through art.

I see various people entering the gallery but I’m secretly stretching my neck out anticipating Kat’s appearance. Seriously, I’m suppose to be focusing on being in the moment, experiencing my art with others, through the eyes of others but Kat is literally the only thing on my mind.

When she finally enters the gallery I’m surprised by the fact that Tia is not with her, instead I see Sutton walking behind her.

The second thing I notice is what she is wearing. A skin tight black mini dress that fits every curve on her body perfectly and a pair of gold stilettos, perfecting sculpting her legs that go on for days. What was she trying to say with this outfit? Coz all I was getting was “Fuck me.”

Nevertheless, I fight every cell within me telling me I need to take her right where she’s standing and make my way to her in the most professional way I can muster.

“Kat.” I whisper in her ear from behind as she intensely looks at one of the photographs.

“Adena, hey.” She turns and without hesitating leans in to hugs me; tightly. She is really going to push all my buttons tonight.

As we pull away from the hug I think we are both in a trans because the next thing I hear is Sutton coughing obnoxious and unnecessarily.

“Sutton. ” I say with a smirk on my face. “How are you?”

“I’m good. Just here to see some beautiful art.” She says with an equally smirky face.

“Okay. Well I hope you get what you are looking for in the experience.” She just nods and walks away.

“So.” I say.

“So.”

“Where is Tia?” What? I needed to know.

“Long story.”

“I have ti…” Before I could finish my sentence Firuze taps me on the shoulder. “You need to give your speech now.”

“Kat, hey.” Firuze says while going in to hug her. “I wish I could talk but I need to make sure this one does what she needs to do.” She says nudging towards Adena with her head.

“Well, it is your job after all.” Adena teases back, causing Firuze to roll her eyes.

“I really am happy to see you here Kat. I’ll see you around.” Firuze says before making her way through the crowd pulling Adena by the wrists with her.

“I’ll come find you.” Adena mouths as she’s ushered through the crowd. “Okay” I mouthed back.

I make my way through the gallery with the intent of finding Sutton but instead I’m forced to stop at every piece produced by Adena. I’m transfixed by the fact that each piece is able to make me feel something, as if I was there when the art was created, as if the art was created for me… As if the art was me.

I look around me and I can literally see on everyone’s faces that they are thinking the exact same thing as I am.

I don’t know much about art, especially when it comes to being a visual arts; I can’t even draw a proper stick man but from the little I do know is that it’s suppose to evoke something from within and that is precisely what she does with her work.

As I make my way to the farthest corner in the gallery, three photos catch my attention.

The first one is called GRACE. It’s a picture of me and it looks like it was taken without me knowing. I know this facet of myself. It’s one of the moments where sit on bed thinking about everything and nothing while staring at the abyss. In these moments I discover myself and where I also have learned how to handle the person I am with the grace they deserve.

The next one is called FIRE. I recognize this one. It’s the first picture Adena took of me when I arrived in Peru. She told me “You’re so unpredictable Kat, just like fire. What becomes of you might cause the greatest harm or the most beautiful rebirths.”

The last one is caught me by surprise because it did not just contain myself; Jane and Sutton were also included, more specifically our arms and hands. It’s the moment our hands where intertwined before the election results where announced. A mixture of colours, vulnerabilities and strengths represented through this photo.

“You know, I always thought that the spirit was one thing until I realized it was those thing we draw our strengths from, where can lean on when we can’t lean on ourselves from outside or within ourselves. We are not afraid to feel and be transparent with our spirit. I see them as part of your SPIRIT.” Adena says standing next to me as I intently stare at the intricate way our hands are connected.

“Adena, I don’t know what to say. You’ve done it again.”

“Art is the only truth that exist within the universe so you don’t have to say anything. I just hope that you are hearing what the art is saying. There is no way that you could not have been my muse. No way.”

“I hear you. I mean, I hear the art.” I say, which causes Adena to smile.

“Kat Edison, Connecticut’s very own stand-up comic.”

“You know how I do. I bring it to you every ball.” I say just mimicking random vogue moves which results in giggles coming from her.

“Okay, you win. You will always out humour me.”

“Only in a days work babe.”

“Talking about about ‘babe’, where is Tia?”

“Ooh, smooth.” “I know.” She can be pretty cheeky sometimes.

“I broke up with Tia.” I see her release a breath she probably didn’t know she was holding in.

“Then why did you ask for a ticket for her?”

“Let’s just say she had other plans.” I say as I turn to indicate with my wine glass towards Tia who was talking with a Kristen Stewart look alike. When she sees me she tilts her glass towards me and we share a blutooth cheers. Easy, she always made everything so easy.

“Wow, she moves on quickly. I like her, life’s to short to live life in lost love avenue.”

“Look who’s talking.”

She gently, yet purposefully takes me by the jaw in her hand and looks me dead in the eyes. “You are not my lost love Kat. You are mine and I am yours. Whatever happens in between are just detours. We are tethered together whether you like it or not. Good or bad, you will always be my beginning and you will always be my ending. Even if you choose not to choose me, I’ll always find you through my art. Always.”

Imagine not tearing up as the person you love utters such a beautiful love letter to you.

“Wow, you just had to make me all emotional didn’t you?” I say in a voice which is barely audible and wiping away the tears that rolled down my face.

She replies with a gentle smile and a simple “It’s the truth.”

She stares at me and I can see a mixture of fear and freedom in her eyes. Fear that I won’t choose her, yet the freedom of knowing the she told me that she chooses me.

“I do.”

“You what?” She asks with a confusion expression.

“I choose you. I will probably always choose you.” I say earnestly.

Adena drops her hand from my jaw to the back of my neck and pulls me closer to her face. Before she fully leans in she looks me in the eyes like wants me to make the final move, so I do.

The kiss starts out as just a simple peck, then licking of lips, then the addition of tongue, until we were in the middle of a hot make out session. This is one of those kisses that one cannot help but get completely lost in. Trying to convey how we feel and simultaneously making up for lost time.

Our session is interrupted by Sutton clearing her throat. “We are in a public space ladies.”

“Since when has that stopped you?” I fire back.

“You’re right, I’m just jealous you get kiss this hot piece of ass.” She says with a flirty wink towards Adena.

“Well all you had to do was ask dear Sutton.” Adena says as she takes Sutton’s face in her hand and my eyes growing wider by the nano-second.

I take a moment to digest what was happening in front of me but all is lost when both of them bursts out in a fit of laughter.

“You should have seen your face.” Sutton says while laughing.

“Ha Ha. Very funny.” Obviously I knew it was just a joke but just the through of Adena being with someone else made my core cringe.

“Come on babe, I just told you how felt. I am yours and only.”

I look over to Sutton with a smirk. “I know. I know. It’s just Sutton has always been so team Adena, who knows how she really feels about you.” Which causes Sutton to burst out with laughter.

“Hold on, Adena you are beautiful and yes, if I met you 5 years ago who knows what would have happened but I’m perfectly happy and in love with Richard so you’ll have to settle for Kat.” Causing all of us to laugh. “Best settlement I’ll ever make.”

The laughter dies down and Sutton begins to speak. “I actually just wanted to come tell you that I was heading out, Oliver just called and said he had a ‘special emergency’, which I think is just code for ‘I need you to be Aunt Sutton’.”

“That’s fine babe, thanks for tagging along with me.”

“Anytime.” She leans in for a hug and whispers in my ear “Now go tap that hot piece of Adena.”

She goes into hug Adena as well and I can see her whispering something to her, probably one of Sutton’s sex innuendos that she can’t seem to run out of. Apparently her innuendo leads Adena to reply with “I promise” and Sutton leaves the building.

“You promise what?”

“Aren’t you a busy bee, but I’ll tell you anyway.” She takes a deep breath in before she continues. “I promise…To love you the way we were intended to be loved, to only break your heart when you need it to be broken and to always cherish your love like God cherishes us.”

Adena was an out right artist, with a camera, with a paint brush and with her words. “This is why it hurt so much to lose you the first time. You made me believe that your love was all I needed. Why am I willing to be in love with you for the rest of my life even though I know that most of my heartache will always be because of you.”

“Kat, I know I hurt you and I’ll spend the rest of my life proving to you that you are my everything. My soulmate. My lover. My partner in crime. The end to my beginning.” She said each between kisses, trying to physically communicate what her words couldn’t fully.

I gently take her face in my hands and use my thumbs to wipe away the tears that have crept on her face. “I love you and I know that you made a mistake, you don’t have to feel like you have to prove anything to me. All you have to do is love me and talk to me when you feel like something isn’t right. Okay.” I hate seeing her like this.
“Okay.”

“Okay then, you have no business being sad right now away. It’s your big night.”

“You’re right, getting to be with the person you love is a big thing.”

“Yeah, okay, Ellen DeGeneres. Seriously through, go finish up so we can go home because you have no idea what your power suit is doing to me.”

“Really? This old thing? And look who’s talking Miss LBD” As if she didn’t know.

I just shrug the little black dress comment off coz we all know I wore it for her. “Good thing it’s old then.” I lean in a little closer “Cause I was going to rip it off you anyway.”

“Promise?” She asks with a suggestive look on her face.

“Promise.”

The thing is; no one really knows how their lives will end up. If they’ll be satisfied on their death bed or if the memory of the life they lived will always bring them misery. What we do have a say in is with whom we share this life with, Augustus taught me that.

And I choose Adena, always and forever. I can’t help it, we’re tethered.