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the collector

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Ellie can’t stop looking at a particular spot on the far wall of the art gallery, and it’s for good reason. 

She knows she should be socializing with the prospective clients of her art exhibition, but her attention span is that of a goldfish right now. 

But, thankfully, she swerves being hit in the head by Dina’s hand in time. 

“Watch who you’re slapping,” Ellie says, turning to grab a chocolate covered strawberry. She pops it into her mouth, and then tosses the stem into the trash. 

“You should be—” 

“Talking to clients, I know, Dina,” Ellie replies, rolling her eyes. “C’mon, almost half of them are sold, we’re doing great! Chill out, D.” 

Dina sighs, putting a hand on her hip. “We can always strive for better, Ellie.”

Sounds like Dina, always aiming to get that perfect score. This is her gallery, for fuck’s sake. Dina makes a percentage of the profit of what Ellie sells. Ellie’s gaze drifts to the entrance of the exhibition. Where is Abby? Fashionably late, likely. She’s like that. 

Dina’s fingers snap in front of Ellie’s face, and Ellie blinks. Did she zone out again?

“Waiting for someone?” Dina teases, wiggling her brows. Ellie immediately slugs Dina on the shoulder. Screw manners, Dina deserved that. Dina groans, rubbing her shoulder. “Is your elusive girlfriend coming or not?” 

“Did someone say girlfriend?” Jesse wanders over, reaching in front of Ellie to fork a marshmallow to dip into the crockpot filled with warm chocolate. Jesse leans on the table. “Are we talking about mine or Ellie’s?” 

“You have a girlfriend?” Dina looks puzzled, but waves it off. “Whatever. Irrelevant. Ellie, is yours coming? Is that why you keep looking at the door?” 

“Oh, her mysterious lover is coming,” Jesse says through a mouthful of chocolate marshmallow. Dina’s face cringes. 

“Chew your food, you overgrown buffoon,” Dina says, flicking his chest. She looks back to Ellie. “Stop deflecting.” 

“I haven’t even said anything in five minutes,” Ellie retorts, her brow raising. How can they even say that when she hasn’t been able to get a word in? Ellie swears, whenever Dina and Jesse are put in a room together, all they do is bicker and talk about completely pointless things. Like how Ellie’s never introduced them to her girlfriend. 

Their conversation seems to fade into nothingness as Ellie’s eyes wander. This exhibition is smaller than previous ones, but it doesn’t mean it’s any less important. Some bigger investors have come, and Ellie spent a long time schmoozing them earlier. Or, schmoozing to the best of her ability. She’s never been great at doing that, unlike someone else she knows. 

So, though she’s secured money for personal commissions for some of those investors, the other attendees have taken their time in perusing the art. Ellie doesn’t mind, but the longer some people look, the more judged she feels. It’s an odd emotion she’s never been quite able to get over, unfortunately. No amount of art exhibitions can ever make her feel like she’s not being judged at all times for the art she’s made. 

She sighs, cracking her neck to the side. 

Ellie looks at the entrance, and decides that might’ve been the best idea of her life. 

Walking in with the grace of a goddess is Abby Anderson. There’s a smile on her face, and Ellie’s gaze dips low, following the deep v-line of Abby’s dark sacramento green dress. Instinctively, Ellie licks her lips, shifting her stance to watch Abby walk into the exhibition.It’s funny how every time Ellie sees Abby, she’s left breathless. 

“Oh my god,” Dina whispers, and Ellie feels a surge of pride in her chest. That’s her girlfriend. Dina looks between Ellie and Abby, before it clicks in her eyes. “Wait, that’s your girlfriend?” 

“Holy shit!” Jesse says, slapping Ellie on the shoulder. 

Ellie doesn’t care about the attention on her— all she can look at is Abby. And then, like a miracle, Abby looks at her. Abby raises her hand to wave, and all Ellie can focus on is the vein popping from Abby’s forearm and the way Abby’s arms are so sculpted. The strings of the dress are held up by terrifyingly powerful shoulders, and the thigh that peeks through the leg slit of the floor length dress is toned beyond measure. 

Abby in suits is extremely attractive, but on the rare occasion that Abby dons a dress, Ellie is left drooling. 

“Darling,” Abby says as she swipes a flute of champagne from the table. She takes a sip of it, head tilting back, and Ellie realizes that she’s wearing heels. Abby was already an amazonian goddess before, standing at six feet tall, but now, she’s somewhere between six foot four and six foot five, leaving Ellie an entire foot smaller than her girlfriend. 

God save me now, Ellie thinks. She won’t last long when Abby is dressed like this. 

Speaking of which—

Abby grabs Ellie’s chin, tilting her head up to kiss her boldly in front of everyone. Her hold is gentle, and Ellie puts her hand on Abby’s back— oh, it’s a low backline dress— and presses close. 

When they pull apart, Dina and Jesse are staring at them like they’ve just explained physics. A heavy blush comes over Ellie’s face as Abby’s palm runs over the front of Ellie’s sharp blue jacket. 

“Love, you look beautiful in this jacket,” Abby says, picking off a piece of invisible lint from Ellie’s shoulder. “I did choose it, after all.” 

“You would rather have me in nothing,” Ellie whispers. Dina chokes on air, and Jesse simply sighs. Abby delights in their reactions, as her hand runs down Ellie’s back posessively. 

“Don’t be so crass in front of you friends,” Abby chastises, but there’s a smirk on her face that would suggest otherwise. She turns to look down at Dina and Jesse, and extends her hand out. “Abby Anderson, Ellie’s girlfriend.” 

Jesse shakes Abby’s hand, and then awkwardly excuses himself. He looks like he’s about to crawl in a hole, so Ellie leaves him be. 

When Dina sticks her hand out, Abby swoops in and takes it, raising it to her lips and giving a chaste kiss. Ordinarily, Ellie would feel a raging jealousy, but she knows that Abby has eyes for no one but her. This suave and charming woman with legs to die for is simply like that. It was how Ellie was swept off her feet in the first place. 

She glances to the spot on the wall, and blushes. Everytime she looks in that direction, she’s reminded of what happened months ago. 

“I like her,” Dina says, elbowing Ellie. Then, she announces, “I’m going to check on the bartender.” 

Dina disappears, leaving Ellie and Abby alone. This is the time where Ellie truly appreciates the time and effort that Abby put into her outfit. The silver necklace hanging low between Abby’s breasts beckons Ellie closer, and the various bracelets around her wrists sparkle in the light. There’s a light layer of makeup— eyeliner, some blush, and nude lipstick— but Ellie loves it anyway. 

“You look beautiful, Abby,” Ellie says, leaning closer to her gorgeous amazon of a girlfriend. Abby laughs, the sound nothing short of delightful to Ellie’s ears. Ellie almost reaches out to touch Abby’s straightened, slicked back hair, but refrains. She knows how long Abby takes to get ready. 

“Thank you, darling. You look quite dashing in your suit,” Abby says, returning the compliment with ease. She raises her glass slightly. “Cheers to another successful art exhibition, baby girl.” 

Ellie flushes under the praise. It always seems to be like that when it comes to Abby. Her words have always had that effect on Ellie, no matter the circumstance. 

“Thank you for coming, Abby,” Ellie says. 

“I would’ve flown across the world to see you shine,” Abby says. She laces their fingers together, spinning Ellie until the smaller redhead is flush against her chest. Abby leans her head down, crooning into Ellie’s ear, “Everyone here is looking at you.” 

It hits Ellie that this is the first time she’s been seen with an amorous partner. Strangely, she doesn’t mind. Let the entire world see that Abby Anderson is her girlfriend. Let everyone know that this beautiful, strong, and independent woman is Ellie’s girlfriend. 

“How are Lev and Yara?” Ellie asks, resting her head on Abby’s chest as they look out to the attendees of the art exhibition together. 

“Yara is babysitting him tonight, don’t worry, darling,” Abby says, referring to her adopted children. “They would’ve attended tonight if they could’ve, but due to your art, I made them stay home.” 

Ellie glances sidewardly at a piece of art hanging on a nearby post. It’s a charcoal drawing, depicting a woman, naked, wielding a sword. Ellie wonders who her muse was, before she laughs. 

“I love you,” Ellie whispers quietly. She can just feel Abby’s grin, bright and impossibly bold. 

“I love you too, baby,” Abby says. She spins Ellie around again, and let’s go. Ellie looks Abby up and down for the third time tonight, and Ellie may or may not be thinking about how she’ll rip the dress off of Abby later. Or, she just might take her time in ravishing Abby. 

It’s a thought that Abby must understand just by the look on Ellie’s face. She points at her with a devious gaze. “Careful, darling Ellie, or else we’ll have a repeat of the second time we met.” 

The memories come crashing into Ellie’s mind, and her lip curls. “I’m counting on it, Anderson.” 

Abby’s eyebrow crooks upward. “Oh, are you? How unfortunate it is that I have to go convince some of your attendees to buy your paintings.” 

“Or you might pick their pockets and do it yourself,” Ellie retorts. 

Abby grins, downing the rest of her champagne. She places the glass in Ellie’s hand, running her fingers down Ellie’s forearm briefly. “I do whatever it takes for my good girl.” 

Ellie watches as Abby turns around and walks away, the floor length dress sweeping as if it were blessed by the winds. It’s a wonder how Ellie didn’t burn in the beautiful inferno of Abby Anderson, but she’s glad she’s resistant. 

With a smile on her face, Ellie turns and walks away. 

Later that night, when the art gallery is closed and Ellie is left to pack up the remains, she finds herself standing in front of Revelabo. 

“It’s still as gorgeous as the first time I saw it,” Abby comments, the click of her heels accentuating her steps and making her calves ever so prominent. Abby’s fingers drift to Ellie’s shoulder. “Are you okay, my love?” 

“Just tired, that’s all,” Ellie replies, looking at her girlfriend lovingly for a few seconds. Abby traces the knuckle of her finger on Ellie’s cheek, before leaning over to press an impossibly soft kiss to Elli’s lips. When Abby pulls away, Ellie sees the dark gold flecks in her eyes. She whispers, “I want you to have it.” 

“Have what?” Abby tilts her head to the side. 

Revelabo, ” Ellie says, and Abby gasps. Abby shoves Ellie, which turns out to send Ellie flying because, let's face it, Abby is about as strong as an ox. 

“You’re kidding.” 

“I’m not.” Ellie shakes her head. “That spot on your wall at home has been empty. It needs something there, and Revelabo needs a good home.” 

Abby gapes, then she’s laughing. “You’re an asshole, Ellie Williams. But I love you.” 

“I know you do. That’s why I’m trusting you with a part of my soul,” Ellie says, grabbing Abby’s hand and kissing her knuckles. “I want you to take this artwork home, and boast to everyone that you got Ellie Williams to give you her untouchable art.” 

Abby’s smiling, wholeheartedly. She tilts her head down, kissing Ellie breathless. It’s sweet and swirling with lust all in the same, and Ellie wouldn’t have it any other way. Abby Anderson is that perfect mixture of passion and tenderness that makes Ellie glad to be in love with her. 

“You keep going and you’ll get a repeat of last time,” Ellie mumbles against Abby’s lips, trailing her hand up the slit of Abby’s dress. The skin there is smooth and the muscles flex under Ellie’s palm. 

“The art has seen it all, hasn’t it?” Abby asks quietly. “No point in protecting its innocence.” 

“You’re right.” Ellie pulls away, and pushes Abby towards the wall. “And I haven’t repaid the favor yet, have I?” 

Abby cracks a smile. “I don’t know what happened to you, but I like it.” 

Ellie is tugged forward by Abby’s hand gripping her tie, and Ellie falls deeper into the oblivion with Abby Anderson whispering love into her ear.