“Christen, are you paying attention?” Kelley whispers in her ear, Christen flinching.
“Huh? What? Yes,” she whispers defensively, “I’m paying attention,” she shoots her a look, then sees Kelley’s amused expression.
They’re in one of the school’s classrooms, forty teachers gathered and sitting at desks with their iPads, following Tobin’s instructions on how to navigate the new software. Tobin is currently walking around the room, finishing up and answering questions as the teachers are altering the attendance application to suit their needs on how they assemble their students for each class. This is the second day of training and Tobin’s final afternoon lecture session.
“I’d say you were concentrating more on the instructor than the lesson,” Kelley observes with an impish grin making Christen roll her eyes.
“Hush,” She growls back at her as Tobin approaches their aisle. They’re sitting in the back row.
“How’s it going?” Tobin asks genially, looking between the two.
“I think Christen is going to need some one on one training bro,” Kelley states, delighting herself in watching the two blush.
“Oh, um, sure,” Tobin tries to recover, her face feeling hot.
“Don’t listen to her,” Christen states evenly, giving Kelley a warning look, “especially since I haven’t confirmed what school or grade she’s teaching this year,” she threatens.
Kelley doesn’t stop smiling, she simply purses her lips together, moves her fingers as if she’s zipping it up and locking it with a key.
“That’s better,” Christen nods, then turns to Tobin, “Is it going okay for you?”
“Oh yeah,” Tobin grins, her shoulders no longer tense, glancing at Kelley, “I think everyone will be in a good place after this,”
Kelley nods, winking at her.
Tobin shakes her head at Kelley, rolling her eyes at her before she raps lightly on Christen’s desk and moves back through the rows, stopping to answer questions.
It’s been nearly three weeks since Tobin’s injury and she’s feels fine. Her wrist doesn’t ache like it had, her fingers aren’t able to grasp anything heavy yet, but she can grip light objects and button her jeans. The scrape on her temple is gone, leaving a light scar that Christen likes to gently kiss, her knee is healed.
Christen is standing to the side of the gym, watching as half the group is playing one of the activities. She’s been tasked with grading the skill projections, her eyes focused on those wearing red pinnies.
“It’s a good curriculum, huh?” a voice says from her left. She turns to see Allie, Tobin’s coworker who has come to assist with the training.
“Yes, it is,” she replies, giving her a smile, “it’s so easy to adopt, I can’t believe it,”
Allie nods as she smiles back at her. “It’s been really nice to see Tobin so happy lately,” she says, quietly, “I think you’re a big reason for that,”
Christen’s eyes widen, not wanting to discuss her love life in this professional setting.
Allie just gives her a disarming smile, “We should all hang out sometime,” she says, “I heard you have two dogs,” she looks at her expectantly, grinning when Christen mutely nods.
“Have you found the dog beaches yet?” she asks.
“Dog beaches?” Christen utters. “No,”
“Oh, we have to go then,” Allie nods authoritatively, “I’m sure your dogs will love it,”
“Uh, sure,” Christen agrees, “that would fun,”
“Cool,” Allie grins at her, then glances out, “Duty calls,” she says, stepping away, “I’ll set it up with Tobin, okay?”
Christen nods, “Sounds good,” she says, grateful Allie didn’t use the opportunity to grill her about the two of them, especially when there’s so many other ears around. Tobin glances over at the two, Allie giving her a little wave and Christen giving her a quick smile.
It’s not until the training is over that Tobin has the time to talk to Christen. Allie is in the gym packing up the equipment they brought to play with while she’s back in the auditorium, packing her presentation items. As soon as Christen released the teachers after Tobin’s final gym session, they had scattered to leave for the day, relishing one more final afternoon of freedom before school starts.
“You’re very impressive,” Christen says, walking up to her on the stage, “not only did you train everyone on the software and teach them some new ideas and a new way to think about intentional teaching,” she says, daring to place her hand lightly on Tobin’s forearm, “you had everyone laughing and having fun,”
“I like fun,” Tobin grins at her, “if it’s fun, they won’t fall asleep on me,”
Christen rolls her eyes, “You had everyone into it,” she says, looking at her fondly, “they wanted to learn.”
Tobin smiles widely at her, “Well, like I said before,” she says, “learning is fun,”
“You made it fun,” Christen insists, looking at her intently.
“Thanks,” Tobin says, shrugging a little, uncomfortable with the compliments. She shakes her head, “I could have done without Kelley telling everyone Khaleesi broke my wrist though,” she chuckles.
“I was so embarrassed!” Christen rolls her eyes, “Luckily it was just our little group, not the whole district!”
“Are you really going to make Kelley disinfect all of the equipment?” Tobin asks, her eyes filled with humor.
Christen nods, “I’ll get it all set up,” she confirms, “and make her do a lot of it, but I’ll help her,” she smiles, then shakes her head. “She’s something else.”
Tobin chuckles, “That she is,” she agrees.
“We still on for tonight?”
Tobin looks up quickly, “Oh, for sure!” she nods, “Your place,” she says, “what’s for dinner?”
“A surprise,” Christen teases, “I know you’ll like it,”
“I’ve liked everything you’ve cooked so far,” Tobin says, zipping up her case.
“You have to go back to the office?”
“Yeah,” Tobin nods as they walk out of the theater, “I have a company vehicle,” she says, “and Allie.”
“Well,” Christen says, looking around the empty hallway and pushing Tobin into an empty doorway, “I’ll say see you later here,” she says, pressing herself against her and kissing her. She pulls back and straightens Tobin’s collar on her polo shirt, “Don’t be too long,”
“I won’t,” Tobin smiles as they resume walking to the gym. They enter together and see Allie zipping up one of the two rolling equipment bags they brought with for the training.
“Hey,” Allie greets, standing up and grabbing her water bottle and taking a drink, “we all set?”
“I think so,” Tobin nods.
“Thank you so much for coming out these two days Allie,” Christen says warmly, “you and Tobin work so well together,”
Allie smiles, “Thanks,” she says, “I love doing this stuff, it’s so much fun,”
“I’ll talk to Tobin about the dog beach,” Christen offers, turning to Tobin, “Allie suggested we meet up with her,”
Tobin’s face brightens, “Oh yeah,” she says, “I totally forgot about that,” she nods, “it’s a beach along the river,” she says to Christen.
“I’ll pack towels,” Christen smiles.
“Okay, we got to go,” Allie says, “I want to get back and go home,” she picks up the bags and begins rolling them towards the door.
“I’ll see you later,” Tobin says, slowly following Allie.
“Okay,” Christen says, “bye Allie,”
“Bye!” Allie calls and bumps the door open with her butt.
“See you in a little bit,” Tobin says, glancing around the empty gym and then leaning over and giving her a peck on the lips.
“Bye,” Christen smiles.
The month of September passes quickly, the two falling into a routine. Dinners at each other’s houses twice a week, weekends spent together. They meet up with each other’s friends, Tobin knowing almost of all of Christen’s, being they were teachers. Tonight the two are at their weekly soccer match.
“So,” Kelley plops down next to Christen, “how’s it going?” she asks as she begins to untie her cleats. They’re at the park having just finished playing. Tobin is off to the side, juggling the ball and doing tricks, lost in her own world.
“It’s going good,” Christen smiles, “I’m so happy I didn’t look like a fool out there,”
“Aw, Pressy, you never would!” Kelley exclaims, “You killed it tonight! Three goals? Come on!”
“Aw, Tobin made me look good,” she demures, “her crosses were so on target,”
“She’s really a great player,” she nods, lifting her water bottle, “she should join a different league,” she shakes her head, “she’s the best player in ours,”
“She’s something else,” Christen admires, watching as Tobin plays around as if the ball is on a string to her foot.
“I know she plays pickup on Thursdays, but I don’t know where, she’s only mentioned it a few times.”
“Yeah, she said it’s with some guys,” Christen nods, “a mixed group, there’s only a couple of women,”
"Oh, it's probably the masters league," Kelley nods, "she doesn't like to talk about it,"
"Why's that?" Christen inquires, her brow furrowed with curiosity.
"Because you have to try out to join and we're more of a rec league, it's more intense,"
"Oh," Christen nods as she stuffs her cleats in her bag, "she is really good,"
"Oh, yeah," Kelley agrees. "Come on,” Kelley slaps her shin, “Yo, Tobin! It’s time for beers!”
It’s a Friday night and tomorrow most of the groups were meeting at Tobin’s for her fall craft day. Christen was going to help Tobin prepare for the day. Since so many people were coming, Tobin was planning to order a bunch of pizzas to keep it easy. Tobin made breakfast for dinner as a change of pace for them tonight.
“Wait, so you’re going to the conference in Seattle in two weeks?” Tobin asks, looking up from her dinner plate.
“I am, are you?” Christen asks.
“Uh huh,” Tobin smiles, “uh, would you be free for dinner one night?”
Christen nods, “Yes, I don’t have any dinner plans made yet,” she says, then she arches an eyebrow at her, “Date night in Seattle?”
Tobin smiles wide, “Date night,” she nods. “Have you been to Seattle before?”
“No, I haven’t,” Christen admits, “I’ve always wanted to.”
“Are you coming home on Friday night?”
“Yes,” Christen nods, “the district will only pay for my room on Thursday night.”
“Want to extend your stay?” Tobin asks casually, “Maybe come back with me on Sunday?”
Christen considers it, “I’d have to ask Kelley if she’d be okay watching the dogs for a couple of extra days.”
“Will you do it?” Tobin questions, “I could book a room for us,”
Christen smiles, “I’d like that,” she says, “I’ll text her when we finish eating,”
Tobin smiles back, “Seattle is really cool,” she says, “there’s so much to do there,”
“I’m actually driving up with a few other teachers,” Christen frowns, “are you driving there?”
“I am,” Tobin grins, “I’ll take one of the company mini-vans up,”
“Well, that works out,” Christen nods approvingly.
They continue to eat in silence, both of their minds buzzing with the implications of them sharing a hotel would mean. Since that first kiss, they’ve made out almost every time they’ve been together. The first day of the two day training weeks ago was torture for both of them. Tobin was distracted by the tight yoga pants Christen wore. Christen didn’t fare much better, Tobin in warmups and a polo shirt jogging around a gym with her shoulder muscles rippling under the fabric was doing things to her. Her calves. How sometimes Tobin would move a certain way, usually when she was leaning over to look at a teacher’s iPad, her shirt would expose her slender neck, revealing that spot at the base of it where Christen would like to suck on, remembering how Tobin would moan at the contact. Many nights, each of the would lie in their beds in their separate homes, a hand under their covers, touching themselves while imagining the other person in their minds.
They’ve kept contact above the waist, under the shirt was allowed, but over the bra. Both were serious on becoming good friends who kissed, both wanting to build a strong foundation based off of their compatibility before introducing the physical component to their relationship. It was coming though. Oh boy, it was coming. This last week they’ve struggled, coming close to crossing the line, but where one might be more aggressive, the other would pull them back down.
The hunger for each other was real. The longing looks. The lingering touches. It was all building to an outburst of passion. It was looking as if Seattle would be where it happens and they both know it but won’t comment on it.
“Are Shay and Kass coming with Allie tomorrow?” Christen suddenly breaks the silence.
“Uh, I think so,” Tobin shrugs, “she usually brings them, they love to hang out in the yard.” She looks at her, “You’re bringing the puppies, right?”
Christen smiles and nods. “You know,” she sets her fork down and leans her elbows on the table, “I really like that you enjoy my dogs so much,” she confesses, running a hand through her hair, “some people aren’t like that, you know.”
Tobin leans back in her chair as she listens, her brow creased, “Well,” she leans forward, mimicking Christen’s position, “you’re a package deal,” she states, her tone surprised, as if she can’t believe everyone wouldn’t like the dogs, “where you go, they go,”
Christen just smiles wider, picking up her fork, “I find it sexy,” she admits, “how you act with them, how you babied Khaleesi when she had her cast,”
“They’re your babies, Chris,” Tobin states, “of course I’m going to love them,”
Christen looks up quickly at the use of the L word, but Tobin’s head is down as she concentrates on finishing her meal.
Christen considers her words as she finishes her meal, thinking, Tobin loves my dogs, does it mean she loves me as well, she wonders. It should be too early for love, she considers, for either one of us, she dismisses. It’s just a phrase. Although I could easily see myself falling for her. She lets it go, realizing the two of them are only just beginning this relationship and she shouldn’t be analyzing every little thing Tobin says.
They finish up their meal and do the dishes together, Christen listening as Tobin tells her a story about how Sonnett had a disastrous blind date that scarred her for life.
“So, I think I know someone she should meet,” Christen nods at Tobin, “you know her too.”
“Who?” Tobin questions, shoving the handle of a spoon under her cast and scratching her forearm. It’s due to come off on Monday and she can’t wait, it’s been driving her crazy.
“Kelley,” Christen states with a dangerous grin on her face, her eyes full of excitement.
“Kelley,” Tobin repeats, thinking about it, “huh.”
“Not a good idea?” Christen questions, gently grabbing Tobin’s hand and stilling her movements with the spoon, “Stop, you’ll break the skin,”
Tobin nods and pulls the spoon handle out, tossing it in the sink.
“Kelley and Emily,” Tobin contemplates, picking up a bag from Blick. She had stopped to buy some paints on her way home from work.
“What do you think?” Christen asks, feeling in her gut that fireworks would happen the two women. She looks over her shoulder as she leads Tobin to the door. The dogs get up and beeline to the door to get outside.
“Isn’t there some theory about chaos colliding with chaos creates stability?” Tobin grins at her, “I think they’d get along pretty well,” she says, “I’m not sure Sonnett would be willing to get set up though, not right now,”
“What about if we make place cards and have them sit next to each other?” Christen proposes.
“Huh,” Tobin considers, “that might work,” she says, “and I could explain it away as not wanting each group to stick together. It wouldn’t be suspicious,”
“That’s a great idea,” Christen agrees.
“Well, if we’re going to do that,” Tobin says, passing Christen who’s holding the barn door open for her, “then we’re definitely putting another two together.”
Tobin walks over and unlocks the big doors and pushes one open to let in light and a breeze. She walks over to the table and sets the bag down.
“Who is that?” Christen asks, trying to make a match in her head.
“I think Ali would totally fall for Ashlyn,” Tobin says, “Ash is her type and I happen to know neither one of them is seeing anyone right now,”
As soon as she says it, Christen can picture it. “Okay, well, how would we make this work?” Christen is wondering how to have them be together and not have it seem obvious it’s a set up.
“Well,” Tobin shrugs, “we’ll just make the place cards for everyone and let the chips fall,”
They chat as they set up the mini easels on the tables, Tobin showing Christen what a work station should look like so she could help set them up.
Tobin sits and writes out the names for the seating arrangements, then they mock up where to put everyone.
“What’s the extra tables for?” Christen asks, looking over to see two tables without any painting items on it.
“Oh, some people come to just hang out,” Tobin replies, “so this way, they don’t feel pressured if they don’t want to paint,”
“Oh, that’s cool,” Christen nods.
“Plus, I put snacks on them too,” Tobin grins.
They work for another hour, Tobin assigning small tasks for Christen to complete to help with the set up. When Tobin is satisfied she’s good for the next the day, they close up the barn. They play with the dogs in the yard as night falls, leaving them in the yard to hang out while they go in the house. It doesn’t take long for them to end up on the couch, making out. Christen is on Tobin’s lap with both of her hands under Tobin’s shirt, gripping her breasts. Tobin had one hand up Christen’s shirt, the other on her butt. Both are breathing heavy as they kiss passionately.
As Christen feels herself growing wet in between her legs, she pulls back, knowing she’s driving Tobin just as crazy with desire. She sits back on her lap, resting her head against Tobin’s chest, withdrawing her hands and holding one of Tobin’s.
“You’re too good at that,” Tobin breathes out, licking her lips, “so good,”
“You are too,” Christen says, wanting her to know she’s feeling the same way. They stay in this position for a couple of minutes before Christen reluctantly slides off her lap. “I should head home,” she says apologetically.
“Yeah,” Tobin says, opening her eyes and giving her a soft smile, “I’ll see you tomorrow though,”
“I can’t wait,” Christen smiles back, “it’s going to be so much fun,”
Christen can’t help but notice how Tobin discourages anyone’s offer to pay for their canvas or paints, shrugging it off and just saying she got a great deal at the art shop and not to worry about it. She’s finished her own painting, going with a happy cute ghost saying “Boo!” and is satisfied it is recognizable as such. She’s impressed how Tobin explained the process, breaking down the basics and how she had a slideshow running on one of the walls of different Halloween ideas for inspiration.
She sheds her painting apron, letting it hang on the back of her chair, standing up and walking to the fridge in the barn to retrieve a beer. She opens it and takes a long pull from the bottle, her eyes glancing around her surroundings. The barn from the outside gives the impression of being old, yet the interior is anything but that. The wood floor on this side is old and worn but in wonderful shape, the pavement where Tobin’s truck would be normally parked in smooth and almost new. Laying a wood floor in here wouldn’t be cheap, she figures, this side of the barn is probably almost six or seven hundred square feet. The worktables are all on wheels, they have an electrical outlet on each one, they remind Christen of the tables in her science classes at Stanford. Even the fridge in the garage has a water dispenser. Heaters are mounted to the rafter beams along with a couple of overhead fans, spinning lazily to circulate the air.
She glances over and sees Tobin leaning down to listen to Kyle asking a question, how her hand gestures at the canvas and she makes Kyle laugh. How she squeezes his shoulder and moves down to Alex, checking in with her, giving her a thumbs up and laughing at something Alex says. She’s truly a people person, Christen thinks, slowly walking back to the table where the snacks are, making herself a small plate of chips and salsa.
“You finished?” Tobin is right beside her, grinning at her.
“I am,” Christen smiles at her, “I have a cute ghost,”
Tobin looks over to her spot at the table, her eyes looking at her canvas. She turns back to her, “Really cute,” she grins at her.
“I thought I’d hang it on my front door,” Christen explains, “I’m not sure if they trick or treat in my building,”
“Aw, that’s a neat idea,” Tobin grins.
“So, what do you think?” Christen asks as she steps closer to her.
Tobin looks at her for a moment, “About what?”
Christen cocks her head over towards the table that Ashlyn, Ali, Kelley and Emily are seated at.
“Oh,” Tobin nods, getting it now. “I think we did our job and let’s just see what happens,”
Christen scrunches her mouth up as she considers that, “That would probably be the best thing to do,” she agrees slowly. She looks and sees Tobin looking at her with some amusement. “What?” she questions.
“You like playing Cupid, don’t you?” Tobin asks, her grin growing wider. She’s kept her voice low so nobody else would know what they’re talking about.
Christen blushes, “Maybe,” she admits.
Tobin taps her chin with two fingers, her eyes looking up at the ceiling as she dramatically considers this. “You are a sucker for a love story, aren’t you,” she says when she finally drops her hand and looks at her.
Christen sees those warm brown eyes peering at her full of affection and amusement. “It gets me every damn time,” she says seriously, looking back at her, seeing how Tobin’s eyes change and her demeanor grows serious.
Tobin swallows, bites her lower lip in a quick motion and takes a deep breath before speaking, “I’ll remember that,” she says sincerely.
“I believe you,” Christen replies, just as softly and seriously as Tobin spoke. They hold eye contact, both of them recognizing how vulnerable they’ve just been to each other.
“Hey, what’s going on over here?” HAO questions loudly, slapping Tobin on the back and making both her and Christen flinch. She eyes them, “Is everything okay?” she asks softly, slightly alarmed.
“I’m having a pizza dilemma,” Tobin confesses, coming up with the perfect excuse and she smiles at Christen seeing her relief.
“Oh, dude, well, get some paper,” HAO insists, “you can’t do this stuff in your head,” she insists, taking Tobin by the arm. As she’s being led away, Tobin glances over at Christen, sending her wink. Christen smiles and takes another long drink of beer and decides to check in with Ash and Kelley and see how things are going at their table.
Before she heads over, see looks and sees the four could all use a beer, so she detours to the fridge, pulling bottles out and heading over to the table.
“Hello, ladies,” she greets, offering them the beers.
“Hey, Christen, how’s it going?” Kelley asks as she opens her beer, “Thanks for this,” she says, holding it high for a moment and then chugging it.
“Going good,” Christen replies, eying her painting, “Kel, that’s pretty cool,” she compliments. Kelley had painted a carved pumpkin on a bale of hay. She hands off the other beers to the table.
“Thanks,” she grins up at her from her seat, “look at Emily’s,” she points to the easel next to hers.
“Oh, wow!” she quietly exclaims, “that is awesome,” she grins at the woman.
“Yeah, isn’t it?” Kelley nods at her, grinning from ear to ear.
“Aw, thanks,” Emily says shyly, which is uncharacteristic of her, just from the little Christen knows of her. She sees she’s blushing, so she diverts her attention over to Ashlyn and Ali.
She chats with them, noting how Ashlyn keeps glancing over Ali as they talk, seeing a bit of a dreamy look in her eyes. Satisfied that her and Tobin’s plan seems to be working, she casually asks them their pizza preferences and then excuses herself.
She glances over and finds Tobin still with HAO mulling over pizza choices. As she makes her way towards the two, Christen stops by each table, asking about their pizza choices
She places her hand on Tobin’s back, smiling at her when she looks up. “How’s it going here, Pizza Queen?”
Tobin rolls her eyes as she shakes her head, HAO bursting out in laughter.
“You’d think she never ordered pizzas before!” HAO chuckles, “What type do you like, Press?”
“May I see your list?” Christen asks, ignoring HAO’s question and skimming the neat printed pizza types. “Okay,” she says, handing it back, “Order all large, one veggie, one cheese, three sausage and peperoni and one garbage.”
Tobin’s eyes grow wide as she speaks with such authority. HAO just raises her eyebrows as she looks at her, nods her head and takes a step back. “I see you’ve got it handled,” she smiles slyly at her and walks to the fridge to get a beer.
“How did you?” Tobin starts and then shakes her head, “Thank you,” she says, “Would you please repeat it?” she asks, her pencil poised to adjust her list.
“Oh, this feels good,” Tobin sighs as she drops down on her couch, putting her feet up on the coffee table. The guests have all left, the barn is cleaned and now it’s just the two of them. Khaleesi and Morena are both lying on their blanket, worn out from playing all day with Shay and Kass.
“Feet hurt?” Christen queries, perching herself on the end of the couch.
“Oh, so much,” Tobin whines, “I really shouldn’t have worn sandals the whole day,”
Christen slides back on the couch, patting her lap, “Put your feet up,” she instructs. Tobin slowly slides her feet from the coffee table over to her lap. Christen begins to massage her arches.
“Oh Chris,” Tobin whines, “my feet are gross,” she protests.
“I’ll wash my hands after,” Christen states and begins to work on one of her feet with both hands.
“Oh,” Tobin moans, “that feels great,” she says, “thanks so much,”
“You were very busy,” Christen states, “you only sat down to eat,”
“Did you have fun?” Tobin asks, adjusting the pillow behind her head so she can easily her.
“It was a lot of fun,” Christen smiles at her, continuing to work on her feet, “I went to one of those paint nights with my friends back in LA and this was so much better.”
“I’m glad you had a good time,” Tobin says sincerely.
Christen yawns as she switches feet, her fingers gently massaging her heel.
“It’s pretty late,” Tobin comments, “would you like to stay the night?”
“Hum,” Christen contemplates, then yawns again, “I will,”
Tobin yawns as well. It is late, almost one o’clock. The group had meshed really well once again, cleaning up and pushing the tables to one side, Sonnett commandeering the sound dock and putting on dance music. Around eleven a few people began to trickle out, thanking Tobin for a wonderful time, laughing about something hilarious that had happened as they left. A smaller group ended the evening around Tobin’s firepit, the evening having just enough of a chill in September to give to justify it.
They sit for a few minutes, Christen now absently rubbing Tobin’s shins as they recap the afternoon and evening.
“So, I definitely think Ashlyn and Ali hit it off tonight,” Christen declares, seeing Tobin nod in agreement.
“There was certainly something happening between them,” she says, yawning, “I think Kelley doesn’t know what to think of Sonnett,”
“How do you mean?” Christen asks curiously.
“She was pretty quiet tonight,” Tobin states, “she was not the ringleader of shenanigans like she usually is,”
“I noticed that as well,” Christen nods, “I didn’t want to ask her though,”
“Yeah,” Tobin says, slowing sliding her feet from Christen’s lap, “it’ll be interesting if she asks me about Emily,” she says and yawns again.
“You ready for bed?” Christen asks.
“I’m beat,” Tobin says tiredly, “I can get you some clothes and a toothbrush,” she says as she groans and stands up, “do you need anything else? Contact stuff? Do you wear contacts?”
“I do,” Christen says, standing up as well, “I might have a case in my purse,” she says. She looks over to the dogs, “Girls, outside?” she asks.
Morena lifts her head, tail wagging as she gets up, Khaleesi following much more slowly.
“They’re so sleepy,” Tobin smiles at Christen.
“Not used to being outside and playing all day,” Christen says, “I’ll be back in a minute, okay?” she nods to her.
Tobin goes to her room, tiredly flicking on the lights and ambling over to her dresser. She doesn’t know what Christen prefers to sleep in, so she selects a pair of shorts, sweats, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt for her. She’ll ask her if she wants socks. She heads to her bathroom, using the toilet and then washing her hands and face, quickly doing her nightly routine.
She’s just slipping her sleep shirt on to finish changing when she hears the kitchen door shut and lock and Christen quietly speaking to the dogs. She leaves her room to find her handing each dog a treat.
“I put some clothes on my bed,” Tobin announces a little shyly, “I wasn’t sure what you like to wear to bed, so just use whatever,” she says, “you can use my bathroom if you want, I left a washcloth and my face wash to use if you want,” she adds.
“Thanks,” she says, “I don’t want this to be awkward,” she states, looking at her, “but I want to sleep with you, okay? Just sleep.”
The corners of Tobin’s mouth curl into the cutest smile, “Okay,” she agrees, “the puppies too?”
“They can stay out here on their blanket,” Christen shakes her head.
Tobin tilts her head, “Do they normally sleep with you?”
Christen nods her head.
“Then they can sleep with us,” she offers, “they’re in a strange house too, don’t want them to be nervous,”
“I don’t think dogs get nervous from things that go bump in the night,” Christen smiles at her.
“Well, I’d be a bad hostess if they did,” Tobin says simply, “come on girls,” she calls to them, Morena coming right up to her and nuzzling her leg, “do you want to have a slumber party?” Tobin asks the dog, Morena’s butt shaking as she wags her tail back and forth. Tobin looks up at Christen, giving her a cheesy smile, “I think I won this round,”
Christen shakes her head, calling to Khaleesi as they follow Tobin to the bedroom. Once in the room, Christen gathers the clothing and walks into the bathroom, smiling when she finds a contact case, solution, a folded face towel, face wash, toothpaste and a toothbrush on the counter. She sets the clothes down and starts her nightly routine. When she exits the bathroom wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, she witnesses Tobin giving belly rubs to both dogs on the bed.
“Now you’re just spoiling them,” she complains good naturedly, walking to the edge of the bed. “Where should I put these?” she questions, holding up the sweats and sweatshirt.
“Oh, on the chair is fine,” Tobin replies as continues to stroke the dogs’ fur. Christen sets the clothing down turning and standing at the foot of the bed.
“What side do you prefer?” she asks Tobin quietly.
“Left,” she answers, scooting over and standing up to pull back the comforter. Christen nods and walks over to the right side of the bed. It’s awkward for a moment when the two get in the bed together, both lying on their backs in the darkness after Tobin shut the lights off.
“This is silly,” Tobin murmurs, shifting to her side, “come on over,” she coos, “I won’t bite,”
Christen lets out a nervous giggle, but she moves over on her side to face her. They feel the dogs moving around the foot of the bed, finding spots to lie down.
Tobin sweetly kisses her sweetly, cupping her face with her hand. “I really want to kiss you silly,” she says in a near whisper, “but I’m so tired,”
Christen reaches up to hold Tobin’s wrist, “It’s okay, sweetie,” she says just as quietly, “will you hold me?” she asks.
“Of course,” Tobin replies cheerfully. They shift a little and get comfortable, Christen pulling her pillow over closer to the middle and snuggling up against Tobin. She feels Tobin’s warm arm wrap around her waist, her hand gently rubbing her belly. Christen reaches to hold her hand, bringing it closer to her chest.
They both sigh deeply and quietly say good night. Sleep comes quick for them.