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cooled my mind that burned with longing

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The house isn’t grand, but if a visitor were to approach the front steps, one would notice the elaborate carving of the window sills and lintels, the curled, burnished metalwork of the gate.  The sprawling garden, well-kept, full of herbs and flowers equally useful for tea and poison. It’s the house of someone who wants to impress, certainly, but of someone who only wants to impress those who can tell the difference between a fine lace and a shoddy one.  It sits on a hill near a town on the new Western border, half a day’s walk from a rising city on the seashore.

Adelaide approaches the house from the south, the sun hanging low in the sky like a ripe fruit to her left.  A cool salt breeze cuts through the warm air, the tall grass bending to tickle her calves at the gap between her boots and her skirts.  The house is easy to spot — there aren’t any others for at least a mile around. Hella’s choice, of course. She’d wanted quiet, for a while, and neither Adelaide nor Adaire can hold that against her, after everything.

Hella’s the one who opens the door when she knocks delicately with two knuckles.  Her scarred smile is small, familiar, and Adelaide answers it with a smile of her own.

“Hey,” Hella says, a little bit shy in a way that would seem incongruous to anyone who didn’t know her.  To Adelaide, it suggests that Adaire’s spend the day gently (or not so) working her over.

“Hello, my pearl,” Adelaide replies, leaning in to kiss the corner of Hella’s mouth, hand cupping her jaw for a brief moment before she breaks away, conjuring a small bottle of aperitif to hand to Hella.  “Take this to the kitchen for me.”

Hella goes without hesitation, and Adelaide watches her fondly.  She’s still in Hella’s head, though the connection has waned with time and lack of need — they’ll never be fully severed, not with the promise they made.  Even so, she feels… lucky isn’t right. Privileged, perhaps, to be allowed this. Into this house and the trust that resides here.

In the early days, after the healing of the world, Hella had been restless, angry, directionless.  Angry above all, pushing people away for fear of hurting them like she’d done to so many, afraid that it was the only thing she’d been good for and now that it’s over, what use was she?

With time, Adaire coaxed her into the house or the garden more often.  She was clever — Ducarte was always clever —  giving Hella simple, physical projects.  The gate needed repairing. There were rocks along the river that would make a good path if only there was someone to haul them up the hill.  They needed a garden shed, and why hire someone from the city if Hella could do it herself?

And it worked — not because of the tasks themselves, but because Adaire didn’t ask.  She never asked, she told.  Polite orders, never demanding, never rude, but orders all the same.  It quieted a part of Hella’s brain that grated at the lack of a commander or an enemy, someone to fight against or fight for.

It turned into little orders throughout the day.  Oiling Adaire’s boots. Fixing small, broken things.  Making tea in the afternoon, ensuring the tea service was arranged correctly.

Kneeling at Adaire’s feet while she drank from the little porcelain cup, fists clenched in her lap, the aroma of rosehip and apple in the air.

The first time, Adelaide herself had startled at the sheer burst of arousal at the back of her mind when Adaire had looked at Hella, bending to place the silver tray just so, smiled, and said, “Kneel.”  Adelaide had felt Hella’s cheeks flare, hot and surely scarlet under her brown skin when Adaire murmured, “Good girl.”

They’d been sleeping together before then, obviously.  Adelaide and Hella, and Hella and Adaire. A few times, all three.  Hella had made no illusions as to how she liked to be taken down, unashamed and eager in her desire to listen and to please.  But now, it permeates every room in the house, every interaction that Hella has with the other two. S’nice, Hella had said once, her head on Adelaide’s lap and Adelaide’s fingers combing through the red curls.  I just… I always know what to do, even when I don’t.

Adelaide finds Adaire in the sitting room.  Her skin’s grown darker over the summer months, the apples of her cheeks rosy like she’d stepped out of an oil painting.  Her dress is light for the season, the skirt fringed with delicate lace and pushed outward by the petticoats underneath. Here, in the privacy of her home, her sleeves are cut short, her scarred, tattooed arms on display.

She rises when Adelaide enters, smoothing her skirts.  Adelaide kisses her cheek, feeling Adaire’s lips graze her own as they pull back.

“How lovely to see you, dear,” Adelaide says, taking her usual seat near Adaire’s own.

“You as well,” Adaire replies.  “Your dress is lovely — is that charmeuse?”

Hella enters then, three glasses of aperitif on a small tray that she places on the low table in front of them.  The crystal is fine — likely a gift, then, though goods and value are nebulous concepts these days. Eyes slightly downcast, she hands one to Adelaide first, then to Adaire.

“Thank you,” Adelaide says, at the same time as Adaire says, “Good girl.”  They both laugh. Hella sucks in an audible breath, eyes darting between the two of them.  “You can sit,” Adaire continues, flicking her hand in a loose gesture. Hella does, sinking into the soft chair across from them, aperitif glass clutched tight in her hand.

The conversation flows, the way it does for three women with a history of years upon thorny years.  The meal is not so much dinner as it is a series of finger foods on trays: little pastries filled with meat and vegetables, tomatoes sliced thick with vinegar and dense cheese, baked flatbread and fresh herbed butter.  After the aperitif comes more wine, white and sweet and bright for the summer months.

Each time, Hella’s the one to fetch things from the kitchen.  Or to close one of the curtains when the sun’s angle hurts Adaire’s eyes.  Or to get another bottle from their cellar, you know the kind.  Good girl.

They’re all loose-limbed by now, warm in the last rays of the setting sun.  Hella’s gone to fetch dessert and the chenin blanc that they’ll drink with it — Adelaide can hear her puttering around in the kitchen looking for the appropriate glasses.  The mere idea of Hella Varal puttering makes her giggle behind her hand, contentment fizzing through her body.  Adaire giggles as well, though she must have her own reasons, Adelaide concludes.

“She’s doing well,” Adelaide comments, gesturing towards the kitchen.  “You’re good for her.”

“For each other,” Adaire corrects, any edge to her words subsumed by the wine.  “She’s… neither of us are good. But we’re good for each other.”

Adelaide nods, looking askance.  She dips her finger into her near-empty wine glass, running it along the rim to hear the uneven resonance.

Hella returns, then, with the wine and the glasses and a beautiful wooden tray of sliced peaches topped with honeyed creme fraiche.  Adaire and Adelaide watch her in the heavy silence as she pours, weathered hands on delicate crystal. When she goes to sit, Adaire stops her.

“No,” she says.  “Stay here.”

Hella folds herself to her knees by Adaire’s feet.  As Adelaide watches with half-lidded eyes, Adaire selects a peach from the tray and offers it to Hella.  She takes it, her eyes slipping shut — at the flavor or the position, Adelaide can’t be sure. Adaire smiles like a satisfied cat as Hella catches her fingers between her lips, licking at the droplets of juice that had escaped down her plump fingers.  Hella’s hands are still folded in her lap, obedient.

“Gorgeous,” Adelaide murmurs, taking a sip of the sweet chenin.  Hella whines quietly.

Adelaide reaches forward, then, taking a piece for herself and sliding it between her lips, letting her eyes close in pleasure as the syrupy peach mingles with the lightness of the cream.  She licks her own fingers, a little showy, and is pleased to see two gazes on her when she opens her eyes again. They want her — Hella desperately, devotedly; Adaire with sharp, clear hunger.

“Come here, Hella,” she says, and her voice is low and rough.  She dips her fingers in her glass of wine, offers them, dripping.  Hella moves forward the extra few inches on her knees, takes them eagerly in her mouth, sucks them clean.  Adelaide pulls them back, gives her another taste of the wine, and then another.

Adaire catches her eye, gives her an appreciative smile.  She takes a bite of peach herself, holds Adelaide’s gaze as she licks cream off her fingertips.  Like this, smug and flushed, hair catching in the last rays of dying sunlight, Adaire is beautiful.  The moment is beautiful, a soap bubble that, if they handle just right, might not burst for a while longer.

Adelaide sets the wine to the side and stands.

“I’d like to retire,” she says, giving Adaire a significant look.  Adaire’s smile widens.

“Of course,” she replies.  “Hella, you’ll help her?”

Hella seems to need a few moments to understand that she’s been spoken to, shaking herself out of her haze enough to stand as well, head slightly bowed.

“Y-yeah,” she says.  Looking to the plate and the wine, she asks, “do, uh, do you want me to —?”

“No,” Adaire cuts her off, “take care of our guest.  I’ll be up soon.”

Hella swallows and nods.


The guest room is the same as it always is, the bed wide and the linens soft — expensive, but not so rich as to wind back around to be uncomfortable.  The head and footboards are dark wood, sturdy and prettily carved.

Hella enters first, lighting the lamps with the matches on the bedside table.  When she turns, Adelaide is waiting for her.

“Help me with my dress,” she says, turning and pulling her bundle of tight braids over her shoulder so Hella can see the row of buttons that meander down her spine from the nape of her neck almost to the small of her back.

“Yes,” Hella breathes.  There’s not really an honorific that fits these days — she’s no queen anymore, no empress or monarch, and she’s certainly never gone in for being called “sir” or “ma’am” — but it’s implicit in Hella’s voice.

Adelaide bends her head, savoring the feel of Hella’s strong hands working the delicate buttons open one by one.  Underneath, her chemise is thin and silky. She hadn’t bothered to wear a bra, not with the structured bodice of the dress and the heat of the season, so her nipples peak when the air hits her skin.  Hella’s breath tickles the back of her neck as her hands reach the last few buttons. She lingers at the small of Adelaide’s back, drawing small circles through the fabric. Adelaide shivers, her eyes closing briefly before she steps forward.

“Help me out of it.”

Hella does, providing support so Adelaide can step out of the dress and the singular petticoat that had provided volume to the skirt.  The chemise is lace-fringed, cream colored against Adelaide’s dark skin, and it ends just below Adelaide’s hips, giving Hella a glimpse of the equally lacy underwear beneath.  Smiling, she clears her throat, making Hella startle and straighten as if caught doing something forbidden. Adelaide perches on the edge of the bed, expectant.

She doesn’t even need to speak.  Hella kneels before her, taking one of her still-booted feet in her hands.  She places it against her thigh for support, working at the laces with single-minded focus under Adelaide’s watchful gaze.

The boots come just above her ankles, so the first doesn’t take too long to finish.  Hella removes her sock as well, tucks it into the boot and sets it aside with care, as if it’s made of spun glass instead of leather and canvas.

A piece of hair has come loose from her bun, Adelaide notices, and she reaches forward to tuck it back as Hella begins on the second boot.  Hella shivers — Adelaide can feel the arousal pulsing in the back of her mind, though it’s as unclear as ever how much is Hella’s and how much is her own.  It doesn’t particularly matter, in the end.

The second boot joins the first, and Hella takes a slow, steadying breath.  She takes Adelaide’s bare foot in her hands, thumbs pressing into the arch and slowly dragging upwards.  The feeling is luxurious, tension she didn’t even realize she was carrying leaching out of her with her quiet exhale.  Hella gives her an inquisitive look and she nods.

The air in the room feels heavy, significant but not oppressive.  Hella works the tendons of her foot, up and down, just enough pressure.  She leans forward slightly, taking hold just under Adelaide’s knee and massaging firmly down her calf.  Adelaide sighs in pleasure as Hella starts in on her other leg.

She’s just finishing when the door clicks open.  It’s a testament to Hella’s hazy state that she doesn’t startle at the intrusion.

Adaire stands in the doorway in her own chemise, a delicate thing that reaches her mid-thigh.  She’s removed her stockings, and Adelaide can tell that she’s wearing nothing underneath. Her two thick plaits are intact, but they hang down her back instead of curled up in a beaded net.  She smiles, warmth and mischief sparkling in equal measure in her deep brown eyes.

“It seems you’ve gotten started without me,” Adaire says, closing the door behind her and walking around to the other side of the bed to climb onto it, settling back against the pillows.  Adelaide laughs at Hella’s guilty expression, reaching forward to pet over her hair.

“You did tell her to help me,” she says, unable to resist pulling Hella’s hair free of her bun and running both hands through the curls.  Hella’s eyes slip shut, her mouth slightly open.

“I guess I did.”  Adaire meets Adelaide’s gaze, an air of conspiracy between them.  Adaire’s mouth curves up in a tempting smile. “She’s done so well for us, don’t you think?”

“She has.”

Hella whines in the back of her throat, pressing into Adelaide’s touch.  Her own hands are clenched tightly together in her lap, white-knuckled, like she doesn’t know where she’s allowed to put them.

“Undress,” Adaire says, and Hella jolts under Adelaide’s hands.  Adelaide quirks an eyebrow at Adaire but defers to her, laying back against the pillows as Hella stands and works on her own shirt buttons.

Hella’s face flushes hot under their combined gaze, her hands trembling as she exposes herself to their scrutiny.  When she’s down to her bra and underwear — simple, unadorned cotton, but they suit her so well — she shivers and looks questioningly to the two of them.

“All of it,” Adelaide says, resting her head on Adaire’s shoulder.  “We want to see you, pearl.”

She looks for a moment like she wants to cover herself up.  Instead, she does as she’s told. Adaire’s hand falls onto Adelaide’s thigh, thumb stroking absently at the delicate skin.

Hella stands, bare and statuesque and scarred, hands instinctively clasped behind her back and head slightly bowed before them.  Adelaide catches the slightest glisten at the apex of her thick thighs, below the thatch of coarse red hair.

“Isn’t she lovely?” Adaire murmurs, shifting to press up against Adelaide’s back.  Adaire’s full breasts are warm against her and she can feel her arousal pressing through her chemise when Adelaide shifts her hips back to meet her.

“The both of you,” replies Adelaide, “are lovely.”  That sparks an impish grin from Adaire, a small sound from Hella.  Adelaide laughs, extending a hand to the Ordennan. “Come here and kiss me,” she demands.

Hella looks relieved to finally have something to do, crawling onto the bed and kissing her with all the open eagerness of one desperate for direction.  Adelaide guides her with a hand cupping her jaw.

It’s a blur from there, lips and teeth, Hella caught between them on the bed, one of them always kissing her and the other covering her neck and chest in kisses and love-bites until her brown skin is mottled in marks and bruises.  Hella’s panting, hazy, moaning on every exhale and grasping at them however she can.

“Fuck me,” Hella gasps, “please, please.”

Adelaide kisses Hella again in lieu of a response — of course, I have you, I love you, it says.  She pulls back to see a tender sort of hunger in Adaire’s eyes and follows the impulse to kiss her too, leaning over Hella to catch Adaire’s full lips.

It’s a different experience entirely — where Hella bends and yields, Adaire meets her challenge and pushes back, teeth on her bottom lip and giving as good as she gets.  It’s exhilarating, and when she pulls away, they’re both grinning. Hella’s eyes are wide and glassy.

“Do you want to fuck her,” asks Adaire — a little breathless, notes Adelaide smugly — “or shall I?”

“I’d like to,” Adelaide replies, running her short nails up Hella’s thigh.  Hella shudders.

“Then I’ll take her mouth,” Adaire says, leaning back against the headboard.  Her chemise rides up, revealing her downy soft inner thighs, her arousal pink and beginning to stiffen, leaking against her hip.  She’s gorgeous, the picture of lazy, indulgent power. It’s an image Adelaide’s cultivated for herself at one time or another, like looking in a mirror.

Hella, for her part, scrambles to get in position for both of them, on her belly in front of Adaire, knees tucked under her and hips raised so the dark lips of her cunt are spread and exposed, shiny with slick.  Now, bare and wanting, Hella’s lost all of that endearing shyness that undressing seems to bring out in her.

Adelaide takes the offering for the gift it is, running her nails again down Hella’s thighs and kissing at the small of her back.  Her muscled hips and lower stomach sit under a comforting layer of fat that Adelaide relishes sinking her fingers into, drawing a quiet moan out of Hella.  Her legs spread a little further, so unselfconscious, so trusting that Adelaide cannot wait a moment longer. She leans down and licks a slow, wet circle along the exposed center of Hella’s cunt, using her thumbs to keep her spread, ready for the moment she instinctively tries to shut her legs.

Fuck! ” Hella exclaims, then laughs a little at her own sudden volume in the otherwise quiet house.  She buries her face against Adaire’s hip, panting, as Adelaide continues to lick her out, only very occasionally giving her the kind of broad strokes against her clit that Adelaide knows she likes best.

“Sweet girl,” Adelaide murmurs against Hella’s skin, sliding a finger into her, “my pearl.”  Two fingers, and Hella’s shaking and pressing back against her, making broken-off noises that pierce right to Adelaide’s heart.

Adaire tires of watching, then.  With quiet, commanding tones, she guides Hella’s mouth around her, sighing at the familiar heat.  Hella clenches around Adelaide’s fingers as she adjusts, her noises gone muffled but no less desperate, no less precious.

“Isn’t she something?” Adaire purrs, voice gone breathy and pleased, her hand wrapped tight in Hella’s hair.  A flush has suffused her cheeks, a pretty, delicate pink that makes Adelaide want to kiss her, too.

She realizes nothing is stopping her, so she nods and smiles, sly, and — without pulling her fingers out of Hella — moves forward on the bed to kiss Adaire.  There’s no one-upmanship this time, just the ebb and flow of lips moving together, pleasure for its own sake. When she pulls back, Hella’s straining to see them while keeping Adaire in her mouth, hands clenched in the bedsheets.  Her eyes speak of pure wanting.

“Oh, love,” coos Adaire, petting over Hella’s hair, retaking her firm grip, “we’ll give you what you want, won’t we?”

“Of course we will,” Adelaide agrees, retaking her place at Hella’s back.  “You’ve been so good for us.” Hella’s whine at her words turns into a muffed shout as Adelaide adds a third finger, opening her up with an obscene sound.  She licks around her own fingers at the edges of Hella’s cunt. It’s one of the rare times she doesn’t care at all about getting messy — here, with them, she doesn’t have to be pristine or untouchable.

Adaire’s making sweet, breathy noises as she approaches her climax, scratching her nails up Hella’s neck and tossing her head back.  She’s beautiful when she comes, Adelaide thinks, knows from experience that Hella will keep working her with that diligent, loyal mouth until Adaire pushes her away from sensitivity.

She pulls Hella off with a satisfied sigh, smiling at Adelaide as she strokes through Hella’s hair and over her face, her swollen mouth.  Adelaide stills her fingers for a moment.

“Did I do good?” Hella slurs, voice slow and quiet like she’s forcing the words out through a mouth full of honey.  Adaire hums. Adelaide runs her free hand flat over Hella’s broad back.

“Very good, love,” Adaire says.  “Let us take care of you, now.”

Adaire reaches over to the side table and brings out a cock made of green-blue glass, handing it to Adelaide.  It’s weighty in her hand, a satisfying shape, curving and ridged at the end.

“Turn over, pearl, that’s it,” she coaxes Hella, guiding her until she’s situated with her back against Adaire’s chest, legs spread out in front of her.  Adaire takes Hella’s hands, brings them up above her head on either side to clutch at the headboard, Adaire’s chin still resting in the crook of Hella’s shoulder.

“Keep those there,” Adaire orders, lips brushing Hella’s ear, and she swallows, nodding.  Her eyes are hazy, every movement slow and effortful in her state.

“Okay,” she agrees, then, “fuck, just… please, please, ” as she spreads her legs wider for Adelaide.

“Hush, darling, I’ve got you,” Adelaide murmurs, pressing the head of the glass cock against Hella’s entrance.  The slide is easy, she’s so eager to take it, and her legs jerk as she’s filled. Adelaide puts one hand on her thigh to steady her, studying her face screwed up in pleasure.

“Oh, fuck, oh, fuck,” Hella babbles as Adelaide begins to fuck her, the ridges of the cock dragging inside her.  Her knuckles go pale where she grips the headboard but her face is slack with the feeling of surrender, with Adelaide’s hand pinning her hips to the bed and Adaire’s clever fingers wandering over her belly, up over her breasts to pinch at her nipples.

“Good girl,” Adelaide says, and Hella drinks it in like she’ll never hear it enough.

Adelaide works her over with a languid rhythm, eyes trained on her expression— Hella’s an open book when she gets like this, unable to hide anything from them.

“Faster,” Hella pants, as close as she’s gotten to a demand all day, but Adelaide shakes her head.

“No, just like this,” she says, sharing a look with Adaire.  She leans forward to take one of Hella’s nipples into her mouth instead, biting and sucking just the way she likes.  She arches into it, moaning so loud that Adelaide would worry about neighbors if there were any around for miles.

Adaire makes a soothing noise and slips two fingers into Hella’s mouth.  She sucks on them gratefully, eyes slipping closed as Adelaide works her closer and closer to her peak.  The glass cock is curved forward in such a way that it drags against that sensitive place inside her with every thrust, making her squirm and cry out.

“I want to hear her,” Adelaide says as Hella’s cries begin to reach a fever pitch, even muffled as they are.  Hella chases Adaire’s fingers as she pulls them away, so far gone as to be barely aware of herself, but she cuts herself off with a quiet scream when Adaire instead wraps her hand around Hella’s neck, squeezing slightly.

“Fuck, p-please, touch my clit, I’m so close,” Hella begs hoarsely, bending her legs and bracing her feet against the bedspread in an effort not to work her hips against Adelaide, to force the pace harder and faster.  Adelaide considers.

Tomorrow, she’ll be cruel.  Tomorrow morning, she’ll tie Hella’s limbs to the four corners of the bed and blindfold her and use her nails and ice and hot candle wax to make her beg and twist and cry out for mercy.  She’ll spend the afternoon trading gossip with Adaire while Hella acts as their footstool. She’ll sip brandy in the evening and watch while Adaire turns Hella over the bed and flogs her until she aches.

But tonight isn’t for cruelty.

“Of course, pearl,” Adelaide murmurs, bending to kiss up the inside of Hella’s thigh.  “Keep still, now.”

She braces her arm across Hella’s hips as she takes her clit into her mouth, keeping the motion of the cock slow and steady.  Broad strokes of her tongue, just how Hella likes, and she comes with a thick, strangled shout, shaking violently under their combined hold.

They bring her down with soothing hands stroking over her skin, along her shaking limbs.  Adaire pries Hella’s fingers from the headboard when it becomes clear she hasn’t realized she’s allowed to let go.

Fuck,” Hella says emphatically, laughing a little as she turns her face into Adaire’s soft chest.  “I feel like I just died again.” In any other bedroom, with any other people, it’d be a morbid statement, but it only makes Adelaide fond.

She shifts up to kiss Hella and, in doing so, her own clit brushes up against Hella’s thigh, reminding her of her own insistent arousal.  Without breaking the kiss, she reaches between them to touch herself, aiming to get off quick and easy.

“Wait,” says Adaire, voice cutting through the haze.  When Hella pulls back, Adelaide can see that a smirk has curled one side of Adaire’s plump mouth.  Her eyes dart down to Adelaide’s hand and back up. “May I?”

Adelaide smiles back, fresh arousal blooming in her stomach.  “Gladly, dear.”

Hella’s guided onto her side next to them, too tired and fucked-out to protest, and watches, rapt, as they switch places, Adelaide sitting against the headboard and Adaire between her thighs.

“Oh, that’s lovely,” Adelaide sighs as Adaire laps at her cunt, easing two fingers inside her and curling them just right to make her legs twitch with pleasure.  “You’ve always — ah! — had such a clever tongue.”

She can feel Adaire’s smile against her at that, followed by suction around her clit that makes her tense up and cry out sharply.  Adaire doesn’t let up, alternating that searing heat with quick flicks of her tongue, and it brings her close in no time at all.

“Hella, pearl,” Adelaide gasps, reaching out weakly, “come kiss me, I —”

Hella’s lips muffle her cry as she comes with Adaire’s pretty mouth around her clit, thighs trembling and nails digging into Hella’s shoulder.

The tension goes out of her all at once, and she doesn’t even have the presence of mind to say something witty and cutting when Adaire daintily wipes her mouth on the back of her hand and smiles smugly up at her.

They manage to find a position comfortable for all three, with Hella in the middle and each of them curled on one side of her chest.  Adelaide draws abstract patterns on the skin of Hella’s stomach, grown softer and less sharply defined with leisure and years of plenty.

Soon enough, Adaire tires of quiet.  She stretches like a cat, looking at Adelaide with half-lidded eyes over the planes of Hella’s body.

“I’ll leave you two the bed tomorrow morning,” she says, smirking lasciviously.  “And I’ll be back with tea in the afternoon?”

Adelaide smirks back.  “That sounds perfectly lovely, thank you.”

Hella groans.  “Are you two gonna let me rest at any point?”  Despite her complaint, she looks perfectly relaxed, eyes closed and breathing even.

“Of course not.”  Adelaide props her chin on Hella’s chest, taking in the way her eyelashes brush her cheeks and her lips naturally rest a little bit parted.  She’s overcome with a fondness that swells inside her and she has to stop looking, laying back down and closing her own eyes. If Adaire’s noticed, she won’t say a word.  It’d be hypocritical, really.

Tomorrow, they’ll have time.  Tomorrow, and months and years after.  Not forever, and oh, what a relief it is that they don’t have forever.

But tomorrow...