Waverly’s eyes flew open, darting to the digital alarm clock which was glowing on Nicole’s bedside table. She had woken in a panic, some part of her subconscious mind alerting her to the fact that she had forgotten to do something extremely important last night. Granted, she had been a little busy, but a promise was a promise.
3.47am, that was still considered the night, right?
She could feel the front of Nicole’s body pressed up against her back, her arm slung almost possessively around her waist, holding her tightly.
“Nicole,” she whispered into the darkness, hoping on the off chance that she was awake.
Waverly shuffled slightly, hoping to rouse the other woman, and Nicole’s arm twitched in response.
“Nicole!” she repeated, a little louder this time.
“unnggg,” Nicole grunted, shooting little vibrations into the back of Waverly’s neck where her face was currently buried.
“Are you awake?”
“No,” Nicole said groggily, pulling her arm away and rolling over so she was facing away from Waverly.
“I have something I need to ask you,” Waverly whispered as she rolled too, molding her body to fit the curves of Nicole’s bare back.
“Can it wait?” Nicole twisted her head around slightly, squinting in Waverly’s direction.
“Okay,” Nicole sighed, shifting again so she was lying on her back, her arm outstretched to welcome Waverly to cuddle up into her. Waverly was happy to snuggle in, humming as Nicole’s fingers began to stroke through her hair. “Are you okay?”
Waverly leaned forwards and placed a soft kiss against Nicole’s chest, suddenly overwhelmed by the fact that they were here, together in Nicole’s bed. Waverly had known that they had an emotional connection, they had only been seeing each other for 3 weeks but that much was obvious. But when that was paired with the raw physical desire that had exploded between them mere hours ago, the result had been the best night of sex she’d ever had.
“You’re so beautiful,” she murmured as she kissed her again, this time over the top of one of her breasts.
“Was that your question?” Nicole huffed, her hand drifting to the back of Waverly’s neck and squeezing it in the way that had driven her crazy last night.
“No,” Waverly replied, grinning against Nicole’s smooth skin. She moved to prop herself up on one of her elbows, deciding that this kind of question really needed some form of eye contact. She took a deep breath; time to be scarily honest.
“I don’t want to lose you.”
A small V formed between Nicole’s eyebrows and she brushed a finger along Waverly’s cheek, catching a piece of hair and pushing it back over her shoulder.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she said firmly.
“You wanted to,” Waverly reminded her, thinking back to the conversation they’d had on their first date.
“I hadn’t met you yet,” Nicole replied, propping herself up on her elbow too so that they were lying face to face.
“What I’m trying to say is, I don’t want to lose you, not to another town, or to another woman. I want you to be mine.”
She let her statement hang in the air, she could almost see the cogs turning slowly in Nicole’s mind. To be fair to her, it was the middle of the night and Waverly wasn’t exactly being direct.
“Are you asking me to be your girlfriend?” Nicole grinned, raising one of her eyebrows in question.
“Maybe,” Waverly grinned back, her heart racing in anticipation.
Nicole leaned in and kissed her softly, her hand pulling purposefully at Waverly’s hip under the covers. She rolled onto her back, and Waverly followed, slotting one of her thighs in between Nicole’s as she settled over the top of her.
“Is that a yes?” Waverly breathed when the kiss was broken.
“Yes,” Nicole nodded, biting her bottom lip as she fought a huge smile.
“As if I would have ever said no!” Nicole laughed as she encircled her arms around Waverly, her hands drifting dangerously close to her ass.
“I’ve learnt my lesson. When it comes to you, I’m double checking everything.”
“That could get annoying,” Nicole teased.
Waverly leant down and placed a chaste kiss against her mouth, “Yeah, well, you’re stuck with me now.”
“Thank god for that.”
Waverly was in heaven. She had drawn Nicole a bath, full to the brim with various salts and bubbles for when she got home from work. She’d lit a few candles, making sure to place them high enough that Skip was in no danger, and had got the temperature of the water just how Nicole liked it. The problem was that it was also exactly how Waverly liked it, which was why she was currently lying in it.
She sank down lower into the water as she breathed deeply, allowing the stress of her day to literally wash away. She’d found out that afternoon that she had been nominated to write the cover story for a very special issue of the magazine: their 100th anniversary issue, but she wouldn’t find out for another month whether she got the gig or not. She had to keep reminding herself not to get excited, the chances of her getting picked were pretty slim. But she couldn’t help but hope. Either way, she wasn’t planning on telling Nicole until she knew for certain. Nicole had this thing where she believed without a shadow of a doubt that Waverly was capable of anything, which really didn’t help when she ended up getting rejected more often than not. Just as she closed her eyes, letting the warmth of the water relax her completely, she heard the front door opening and closing, signaling Nicole’s return.
“Baby?” Nicole called out from downstairs. Nicole must have called her that every day for the 2 months of them being together, but it still made her feel just as soft as the first time.
“I’m in the bath!” She replied, sitting up slightly so the bubbles barely covered her chest. She ran her fingers through her wet hair, pushing it back out of her face as Nicole climbed the stairs.
“Can I come in?” Nicole asked through the crack in the door.
“I made it for you!” Waverly said proudly, holding her arms out to the room to demonstrate her work.
“Wow Waves,” Nicole said as she walked inside, taking in the candles. She smirked as her eyes fell on Waverly in the bathtub. “This is beautiful! You did this for me?” She shrugged off her jacket and hung it over the towel rack.
“Uh-huh,” Waverly grinned.
“And then proceeded to get in?” Nicole quirked one of her eyebrows, trying not to laugh.
“Well obviously I’m part of the treat,” Waverly explained. She’d known that Nicole wouldn’t have a single complaint about the situation. “Are you getting in or what?”
Nicole wiggled her eyebrows before starting to pull off her clothes at lightning speed; throwing them unceremoniously to the floor and almost falling over as she took off her jeans in a rush. Waverly laughed at just how goddamn adorable she was: eager as ever to be close with Waverly at every chance she got. Nicole practically moaned as she stepped into the water, a relaxed grin spreading across her face. She lowered herself down, positioning herself in between Waverly’s legs and leaning back, so that Waverly’s front was pressed against her back.
“Mmmmm,” Nicole hummed, moving her hands to each of Waverly’s thighs under the water. Waverly brought her hands up to the other woman’s shoulders and slowly began to massage them, working the tight muscles gently with her thumbs.
“Uhhh god,” Nicole said approvingly, “that feels so good Waves.”
“How was work?” Waverly smirked as she continued the massage. Even after 2 months, Nicole was still putty in her hands.
“I think Skip’s in love.”
“Oh yeah?” She moved her thumbs up to the base of Nicole’s neck, pressing in slightly as she worked in circles.
“Mmm. Had a new dog join us today, very beautiful, just his type.”
“What’s Skip’s type?” Waverly laughed. She’d learnt a lot about dogs since hanging out with Skip practically every day, but she wasn’t convinced that they had types. She was happy to go along with it though, for Nicole.
“Oh you know, agile, intelligent, hair for days-“
“Is this his type or yours?”
Nicole chuckled, squeezing her hands over Waverly’s thighs. She turned her head slightly over her shoulder to grin at her, and Waverly placed a quick kiss against her temple.
“Anyway,” Nicole continued, her shoulders visibly relaxing as Waverly worked her (self-proclaimed) magic, “he was smitten, gave her his tennis ball and everything.”
Waverly’s hands froze momentarily, “Wow, that sounds serious, are we going to have to stop him from sneaking out at night to visit her?”
“I think we might, we might even have to keep him in our bed to make sure he doesn’t leave.”
“Come on!” Nicole leaned forward, awkwardly trying to turn in the small space so that she was facing Waverly, “he loves sleeping in the bed with us!”
Waverly was very aware of how much Skip loved sleeping in the bed with them, that was part of the problem.
“He always gets in between us and gets all the cuddles!” She pouted. On more than one occasion, she had happily gone to sleep with Nicole’s arms wrapped around her, and woken up in the middle of the night teetering on the edge of the bed, freezing cold, having been displaced by one very big, white dog.
“Is someone jealous?” Nicole tilted her head, her eyebrows raised, that playful glint in her eyes that Waverly adored.
“As your girlfriend I think I have a right to be!”
Nicole grinned and crawled forwards, placing a soft kiss against her lips and sneakily darting her tongue out to taste them. When she pulled away again, she moved to the other end of the bath and found one of Waverly’s feet, bringing it into her lap to massage.
There was a snuffling sound outside the door, and Waverly heard the floorboards creaking.
“Speak of the devil,” Nicole said, watching as the door was pushed open. Skip trotted into the bathroom, looking just as handsome as always.
“Hi baby!” Waverly cooed, bringing one of her hands out of the water to give him a scratch behind the ears. Nicole did the same, targeting his favourite spot on his back.
“You want to sleep in our bed tonight, right?” Nicole asked him excitedly.
Skip turned his attention to Nicole, cocking his head at the question.
“Nicole,” Waverly warned. She knew Nicole was just doing it to wind her up, but she also knew that it meant Skip was almost definitely going to end up in their bed tonight.
“You do don’t you?” Nicole continued in the voice she always used to try and get Skip excited.
“Nicole, don’t hype him up.” She kicked her foot slightly, trying to splash her girlfriend. She had a feeling this wasn’t going to end well.
“You wanna come up tonight?”
Nicole seemed to have realised her mistake as soon as she had made it. She had somehow forgotten that Skip couldn’t differentiate between the tenses of the English language, so asking him whether he wanted to come up tonight and asking him whether he wanted to come up right now were one and the same thing.
Both of them squealed as Skip launched himself up into the bath, sending a tidal wave of water between them. Thankfully, Nicole seemed to have been the target of his affections, and so she was the one to almost get drowned.
As she resurfaced, spluttering bubbles, Waverly couldn’t help but laugh.
“Serves you right!”
Nicole shook her head at her, her dimpled grin in full swing; their romantic bath time having been somewhat derailed, almost definitely not for the last time.
Waverly beamed at her masterpiece sitting on Nicole's kitchen counter as she nursed a cup of coffee. She'd gotten up in the early hours of the morning to make the cake whilst everyone else was still snoring so she could be certain it would be a surprise, and she'd be damned if she let a little thing like lack of sleep stop her from making this the most fun-filled and exciting birthday there had ever been. She was pretty pleased with her creation; this was the first time she had made something like this, and it looked pretty darn good, even to her.
She had told herself she would wait until at least 8am before taking it upstairs, to try and give Nicole a bit of a lie in, but she was struggling to stick to that plan. 7.15am was a perfectly acceptable time for cake, right?
She swapped her mug for the plate and spun on her heels, taking care to not trip over anything as she made her way up the stairs. The last thing she needed was to step on one of Skip's toys and simultaneously break her ankle, the cake and Skip's heart.
She pushed Nicole's bedroom door open with her hip, her heart melting as she observed the scene. Nicole was her usual adorable self: dishevelled hair and legs twisted in amongst the sheets. Skip was spread out on Waverly's side of the bed, his head resting on Nicole's stomach and his paws moving slightly as he dreamt.
As she entered the room, Skip opened one of his eyes, zeroing in immediately on the food in her hands.
"Happy birthday to you," Waverly sang loudly, Nicole's eyelids flickering at the sudden noise, "happy birthday to you," she stepped closer to the end of the bed and Nicole opened her head fully as the weight of Skip’s head left her stomach.
"Baby wha-" Nicole croaked, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
"Happy birthday dear Ski-ip," Skip's ears pricked at the sound of his name, and Nicole's eyes glinted in realisation. "Happy birthday to youuu!" Skip's eyes continued to follow the movement of the cake as she placed it on top of the chest of draws, just out of his reach.
"Happy birthday Skip!" She said excitedly crawling up the bed and propping herself up against the headboard as Nicole did the same. Skip’s tail was wagging vigorously as he stood up on the mattress and made his way towards Waverly's outstretched arms. She began to scratch his side and he immediately flopped down onto her lap, trying to roll over and present her with his belly.
"Ohh you want a birthday belly rub?" Nicole asked in the cute voice she always used to talk to Skip as she reached over to join Waverly's hands buried in his fur. Skip’s head flopped to the side, and Waverly couldn't help but giggle; his tongue was hanging out the side of a big toothy grin, and one of his back legs started kicking in mid-air as they scratched.
"You ready to get spoiled today huh?" Waverly asked, laughing as both Nicole and Skip whipped their heads to look at her.
"You did more than bake a doggy cake?" Nicole said, a hint of something that sounded a lot like awe in her voice.
"Of course," she replied, looking at Nicole as she continued to stroke Skip, "do you not usually go all out for his birthday?"
"I mean, sure, but I wasn't expecting you to be so into it."
"Baby," Waverly cooed, "I love Skip, of course I'm going to be into it. Today is all about Skip, it’s going to be a dog day!" The look Nicole gave her then sent her heart racing, although she wasn't quite sure what it meant.
"What?" she asked, biting her bottom lip as she searched Nicole’s warm eyes.
Nicole simply shook her head, her dimples popping as she grinned. "Nothing."
Waverly's heart had never felt so full. She was perched on a fallen tree, a flask of tea gripped tightly between her hands as she watched Nicole and Skip goofing around with each other down by the water’s edge. After Skip had devoured no less than half of his cake for breakfast (the other half was being saved for dinner), they had driven out to one of Waverly's favourite spots: a beautiful lake on the far side of the forest.
Nicole had bought Skip a frisbee for his birthday and was currently trying to wrestle it from his jaws. Every time he brought it back, he refused to let it go, until he finally let Nicole win so she would launch it back into the water for him to retrieve. Each time she went to throw it, he would bounce up and down, barking excitedly, and Nicole's carefree laughter would carry up to where Waverly was sitting, enveloping her like a warm hug.
"Waves, come down here and play!" Nicole shouted over to her, waving the hand which was currently holding the frisbee. Skip seemed to take this as a challenge and jumped, all four legs leaving the ground, his mouth snapping closed only mere inches from Nicole's fingers. Nicole stumbled backwards and lost her footing, and as a result ended up falling heavily onto her backside. Skip immediately jumped onto her, and a loud mix of playful shouts and barks filled the air.
God she loved that woman.
Huh. She'd never thought the actual words before. It wasn't like she was surprised, she'd known she was falling, but she hadn't expected the landing to feel so casual; to just happen out of the blue in the middle of the day.
She downed the rest of her tea and screwed the cap back onto the flask before making her way down towards the two of them, who now seemed to be in the full throes of a wrestling match. Waverly's cheeks hurt from how widely she was grinning as she watched Nicole pushing Skip around on the ground as he tried to catch her hands with his mouth.
Yep. This was definitely love.
"What?" Nicole asked as she looked up at her, momentarily pausing her antics with Skip. Waverly just shook her head, content for her thoughts to remain as just that for the time being.
Just then, her phone pinged, and she brought it out of her jacket pocket to see who it was. There was an e-mail from work, and she swiped across to open it, not expecting it to be anything important. It was the weekend after all, and that was when they usually sent out their newsletter.
However, the subject line ‘Congratulations Waverly’ made her frown.
“Is everything okay?” Nicole sat up, throwing Skip’s frisbee away so he would leave her alone for a few seconds.
Waverly’s fingers were shaking as she tapped onto the email and began to read.
“Waves?” The concern in Nicole’s voice was evident, and she stood up off the ground, placing a comforting hand on Waverly’s arm and giving it a squeeze.
She’d done it. She’d actually done it!
Waverly grinned as she looked up from her phone, and practically launched herself into Nicole’s arms.
“I’m writing the cover story for the magazine’s 100th anniversary issue!” She squealed excitedly. Nicole pulled back to look at her face, a look of pure elation and surprise on her own.
“What? Baby are you serious?!”
“Yes!!! Eeeeeek I need to start planning!”
“Ahh this is so amazing!” Nicole yelled, picking Waverly up and swinging her around. Once her feet re-joined the ground, Nicole kissed her, or at least attempted to, she was currently grinning wider than the Cheshire cat.
“I’m so, so proud of you,” Nicole breathed, the pride shining through in her voice and making Waverly’s heart flutter once again.
Definitely, definitely love.
Waverly couldn’t remember ever feeling so tired, Skip’s birthday had taken more out of her than any human party she’d been to. It was only 9pm, but she could happily fall asleep right here and now. Granted, lying in the bed wasn’t exactly helping her stay awake, but she was so cosy and content that she couldn’t find it within herself to move back downstairs.
With her eyes closed, she trailed her fingers lazily along Skip’s side, breathing in the surprisingly pleasant lavender scent of his doggy shampoo. She was lying on her side with him slotted perfectly in the curve of her front, so that they were practically spooning. Skip’s front legs were wrapped possessively around his new toy as he gently licked the fur on its head. A stuffed badger had been Waverly’s contribution to his birthday, and he hadn’t left it alone since he’d ripped open the wrapping paper and pulled it out.
At the sound of footsteps, a soft chuckle, and the feeling of the bed dipping slightly behind her, she grinned into Skip’s fur at the back of his head, placing a small kiss there.
Now everything felt complete.
Nicole wrapped her arm around Waverly’s waist from behind, shuffling so the front of her body was pressed closely up against Waverly’s back. Waverly couldn’t help but hum at the feeling of soft lips brushing against the exposed skin at the back of her neck.
“Looks like we’ve got ourselves a four-way spoon going on,” Nicole chuckled, her hand momentarily joining Waverly’s in Skip’s fur before she linked their fingers together.
“There are worse places to be than wedged between two of my favourite people,” Waverly replied, her face still practically buried in Skip’s fur.
“Waves?” Nicole murmured gently.
“I love you.”
Waverly’s breath caught in her throat and she twisted her head around, suddenly desperate to see Nicole’s face.
“You do?” She almost felt like crying. What were the chances of Nicole saying it on the exact same day that she had realised herself?
“Of course I do. You make me so happy baby, and arguably more importantly, you make Skip happy.” Nicole grinned, before placing a soft kiss against Waverly’s lips. Waverly leaned into it, before pulling away quickly, realising that she hadn’t actually said it back. It seemed so obvious to her now that she’d forgotten that Nicole didn’t actually know yet.
“I love you too by the way,” she said, turning around fully so that they were face to face, “so, so much.”
Nicole laughed breathily before closing the small gap in between them, claiming Waverly’s lips in a searing kiss and pulling her hips into her own.