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hike up your skirt a little more (show your world to me)

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Some days Toni thought, if there was a god, they were a real asshole. Because any higher power that was willing to put her through this kind of torture had to be one. And when she wasn’t busy mulling over the sadistic habits of a potential ominous, omnipotent being, she was craving the silence of a quiet mind. Just begging her hormones and her brain to, for once, get on the same page and shut the fuck up.

Instead, she was left drowning in daydreams- no, daytorments- that kept her from feeling anything but at peace. Always starring the same fair-blonde hair, sometimes tied up in a high ponytail, other times falling long and loose down smooth shoulders. Green irises, as vibrant as mountain sage, getting lost behind dark, blown pupils. Manicured french-tip nails, dragging marks down her back as pristine as the nails themselves. Fuck. She needed to get laid.

Once upon a time, Toni Shalifoe and Shelby Goodkind were mortal enemies. Sending biting remarks at the slightest inconvenience from one another. Now all Toni wanted was to bite in a different way, preferably on a lower lip or along the column of a long, exposed neck. Dammit, there she went again. Every moment between them used to be flooded with tension, but the furious kind. Only to be replaced by a tension just as heated, but more visceral. It was a very thin line they navigated these days, edging on inappropriate at the best of times, bordering on outright indecent at the worst.

The rest of the girls were all too aware of the shift in their dynamic, watching it unfold before their very eyes at every hangout or overnight stay. Most of them were either too polite or unbothered enough to mind their own. But then there was Fatin, the ever-present knife to their sexual tension. Fatin’s own words. Whenever they happened to make it to a party off-campus or a dingy bar downtown, she was practically shoving shots and fruity drinks into their hands. Anything to encourage Toni and Shelby to break the physical and mental stalemate they found themselves in. If that meant utilizing some liquid courage, so be it. At least that was the wise Fatin’s approach.

Toni respected it, she did. But too many attempts at this old song and dance had proven how futile a method it truly was.

On the less fruitful nights out, she’d be on the receiving end of a handful of shy glances from the blonde. Always watching but never prepared for the times she would eventually get caught. Toni would laugh it off with a smirk, more than happy to return to whatever alcohol-hazed conversation Marty was adamantly trying to hold with her. Or to put all her focus into kicking Fatin and Rachel’s asses at downing the most shots. Whatever kept her blurry vision from trailing down the slope of Shelby’s back in a dress like that.

But then there were nights when the impossible felt possible. When Toni felt like the only warm body in the entire room that mattered was finally in her orbit and only growing closer. She’d start the night in a booth or crowded around a table next to Marty, Shelby usually somewhere nearby but at a comfortable distance. More glasses would slam down on the table, drinks sloshing across what once was a clean surface. Cheeks would grow warmer with the kind of buzz only good liquor could bring about. Before Toni knew it, that warmth would spread to her side as another’s thighs and shoulders pressed against her own. She’d look over to find a crown of blonde hair turned her way. Shelby. It was always Shelby. Fingertips would dance across the denim of her jean-clad leg, to end up clasped around Toni’s knee. Squeezing for balance whenever Shelby found herself swaying as she tried to sit up and reengage with whichever one of the numerous conversations bouncing around the table she found interest in. And when the blonde would reach the point of no return, too drunk to keep her head up, she’d burrow her face into the crook of Toni’s neck. The hand on her knee would settle somewhere higher, somewhere more dangerous. Toni had a difficult time focusing on nights like those.

But tonight was a different animal entirely. Toni had no precedent to operate on. She was flying blind.

Finals were over and so was the fall semester and if that wasn’t something worth drinking about, Toni wasn’t sure what was. The girls had decided to meet up at the only party worth going to that night. Nora and Dot took on the roles of sober babysitter one and two. Knowing that they had ensured safe rides home and watchful eyes in case anything went south, the rest of the girls planned on fully enjoying themselves. Between cramming for their exams and turning in any last minute projects or papers before winter break, the group hadn’t spent too much time together and it was sorely needed.

The night was off to a decent start. Toni and one of her basketball teammates had wiped the floor with Rachel and Marty at beer pong. Marty had accepted the defeat graciously, giggling into the last cup on their side of the table as she finished it off. Rachel, on the other hand, was a little less sportsmanlike. Nora ended up leading her away from the table, preoccupying her sister with a game of darts instead. Toni watched them wander off with the sure feeling that that would only end worse but she shrugged it off. She turned back around, expecting to find her teammate, only to be met with a beaming smile just as bright as the green eyes above it.

“Wha- Shelby? Where’d Marty and Julia go?” Toni might’ve been hitting the bottle a bit harder than she thought, words slurring as she searched back and forth for her other friends.

With all the grace of a newborn deer, Shelby wobbled closer to Toni and draped her arms over the shorter girl’s shoulders, “Little ‘ol me not good enough for you Shalifoe?” She giggled at herself and her breath came out hot and heavy against the side of Toni’s face as she leaned in closer, their temples knocking against one another. “I like it when you- when you wear your hair up like this,” the blonde let out a thoughtful hum, “I can play with the baby hairs here,” Her fingers were at the nape of Toni’s neck, wrapping around the couple of loose strands.

Toni squinted at her, putting on a ridiculous attempt at a southern accent, “Ma’am, you been drinkin’ tonight?” And there was that laugh, the one Toni worked so hard to get out of her on nights like these. Shelby threw her head back, arms still linked around Toni’s neck, finding the moment much funnier than her sober counterpart probably would have.

“Maybe. What’s it to you, officer?” The blonde bumped her forehead into Toni’s, trying but failing not to smile.

“And that kids-” Fatin was suddenly shouting from atop a nearby table as she gestured at Shelby and Toni, “is what we call foreplay!”

“I swear to god, Fatin. If I have to carry your ass off one more table, you’re going in timeout.” Dot fumed as she marched over, wrapping an arm around Fatin’s legs and the other around her waist as she pulled her down. “I did not sign up for this.”

“Nobody puts baby in the corner,” Fatin called as she was carried off. Pausing long enough to give Dot an appreciative once over, “Unless it’s you, Dorothy.” Dot merely rolled her eyes and kept walking.

“We have the weirdest friends,” Toni chuckled as her attention returned to Shelby. Who she just noticed was wearing something decidedly not meant for a preacher’s daughter. She had on this velvet top, cinched at the waist. Sandstone colored, which brought out the earthier shades of green in her eyes. And that damn skirt, sinfully short and black silk so thin it hardly left anything to the imagination. Although Toni was sure she’d find herself imagining things later. In the privacy of her own room.

“Fatin’s your responsibility, I only claim Dot. We Texans gotta stick together,” Shelby grinned at her, plum-dark lipstick a sharp contrast against white teeth.

Toni managed to drag her eyes back up, away from the fatal distraction that was that skirt. She arched a brow and tried on the southern drawl that was verging on overkill, “This not Texan enough for ya, little lady?” If she weren’t at least six shots in she would’ve been mortified at herself.

Shelby moved impossibly closer. Lips ghosted across the shell of Toni’s ear. She could practically feel the vibration of the blonde’s every word as she whispered, “If this is supposed to be foreplay, we’ve got a lot to work on.”

Toni swallowed hard. Shelby could be coy, sure, but she was never this forward. A lazy tug at the top of her turtleneck caught Toni’s attention.

“Why’re you wearin’ so many layers?” Shelby’s other hand moved to the inside of Toni’s jacket, just over the flannel she had on underneath, trying to push it off her shoulder. “At least take off your coat.”

“Easy there, tiger. You trying to get me in my birthday suit?” It was a joke. Even drunk Toni registered that that would never be the blonde’s intention.

“And what if I am?” Shelby wasn’t smiling anymore. Her voice came out quieter, like they were sharing some deep secret. Toni was acutely aware of where the other girl’s hands gripped at her collar and the flannel beneath her jacket. Two points of contact that felt like they were searing into her skin. Maybe she should’ve forgone the layers after all, December weather be damned.

Toni softly nudged the tip of her nose against Shelby’s, whose eyes fluttered closed at the gesture. “I think-” she rasped, “we could both use some water.”

The blonde’s eyes snapped open uncharacteristically quick for someone not so sober. A look of betrayal passed Shelby’s features before morphing into something a lot like indignation. Without another word, she untangled herself from Toni and stormed away. Well, between her heels and the drinks, it was more of a stumble than anything.

It took far too long for Toni to break through the alcohol-induced fog. First zoning in on the loss of the warm body that was just on hers, then catching the tail end of that damn skirt escaping down a nearby hallway. Toni bewilderedly shook her head at herself. What the fuck was that?

She somehow got her feet moving as she made to follow her. After forcing her way through the never ending sea of bodies, narrowly dodging a boy vomiting on his own shoes, Toni made it about halfway down the hall before she realized the blonde was nowhere in sight. There were too many doors to check and the last thing she wanted was to walk in on some strangers bumping uglies. Or, worse, someone she knew. She shuddered at the thought. Her line of sight caught on Leah as she noticed her coming from the other end of the hallway.

“Leah!” Toni tried to get her attention.

The girl’s head swiveled in her direction, “Toni!” She had a goofy grin on her face as she pushed through the other party guests. “Trouble in paradise?”

“Trouble in what?” Toni tried not to laugh as the taller girl nearly fell into her. She was ready to shout timber if she did.

“I saw Shelby go into that room-” She raised an unsteady finger towards a door just off to the left, “And she looked really mad, so I assume you did something to piss her off.” Leah cackled at herself then, like it was her own little inside joke.

Placing a steadying hand on the other girl’s waist, Toni rolled her eyes, “Go find Nora or Dot, Rilke. You need to get some water in you.”

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever you say Dad.” Leah flapped a hand in her face before returning to the masses. Toni watched her go to make sure she didn’t land into a wall head-first or something.

She took a steadying breath and went for the door. After rapping her knuckles on the wood, which she was pretty confident Shelby wouldn’t even be able to hear, Toni cracked the door open and peered inside. It was dark. The only light filtering through the sheer curtains of a window that sat just above a bed. Of course it had to be a bedroom.

“What do you want Toni?” Shelby asked from her spot at the end of the bed. With only the moonlight as her backdrop, Toni could still see the blonde’s brow pinched in annoyance.

Carefully, so as not to further agitate the girl before her, Toni shut the door behind her. “I just- I wanted to make sure you were alright.”

Shelby rose off the bed and closed the distance between them in a flash. “Why do you always do that?” Her tone was sharp and accusatory.

Toni’s sneakers clumsily shuffled across carpet as she unconsciously backed away with nowhere to go. It had been a long time since either of them had taken a tone like that with one another. “Do what?”

“God, Toni,” A humorless laugh passed Shelby’s lips, “I put myself out there and every time I look like such an idiot.” Green wouldn’t dare meet brown. “I practically throw myself at you and you don’t do a darn thing.”

Just like that, all the air in Toni’s lungs came rushing out in one fell swoop. It was like a bucket of ice water was dumped over her head, jarring her from the comfort of intoxicated ignorance. There’s no way Shelby meant that the way Toni wanted her to. “We’ve both been drinking-”

Lips pressed hot and tight against her own, halting whatever train of thought she was on. Her senses zeroed in on the feeling of having that mouth on hers. Just when Toni was about to pull away, laugh the whole thing off as an alcohol-induced lapse of judgement, anything to keep the blonde from inevitably regretting how close they had become, Shelby’s head was tilting and her lips were slanting more deliberately into her own. Fuck.

With a strength she was seriously starting to doubt she possessed, Toni broke away. She looked into pupils as wide as the ones from her dreams. Thoughtlessly wetting her lips, Toni tasted the waxy coating of Shelby’s lipstick on them. “Are you sure?” She blamed the husk in her voice on the liquor.

Shelby shoved her back against the door, hands settling on the sides of her face as she pulled her in for another kiss. This one was deeper, a tongue darting across Toni’s lips. The shorter girl was still reeling from it when the blonde abruptly stopped.

“I’m sure.” Shelby met her eyes head on, speaking with sober-like conviction.

That was all the green light Toni needed. With the smoothness of someone who had done this before, she reversed their positions so that the blonde was now the one pressed up against the door. They both knew that there was more that needed to be said, loose ends they needed to tie, but it could wait.

Toni’s palms landed on full hips, only wandering as far as Shelby’s lower back as their mouths found each other again. They kissed like that for a while. Lips slotted together firmly. But then Shelby bit down on Toni’s bottom lip and she couldn’t fight a groan. It resonated from somewhere deep in the back of her throat. “Fuck.”

The blonde released her lip roughly and peppered it with light kisses. “Only if you ask nicely,” Shelby leant back, admiring her handiwork smugly. They both were left a little breathless. Brown eyes fell to a heaving chest. “Eyes are up here,” One of those meticulously manicured nails hooked under Toni’s chin and lifted.

This woman was going to be the death of her.

One of Toni’s hands left Shelby’s hips to reach out and lock the door. Shelby’s eyebrows shot up. “Do you really want Fatin barging in here to tell us she was right?”

The blonde gave a dissenting hum, which shifted into a moan as Toni’s lips latched onto her neck. She had been dreaming about this for months. She sucked just under Shelby’s ear, gradually descending farther and farther. The blonde’s fingers dug harshly into her shoulders. Eyelids squeezed tighter once Toni’s tongue swept across the hard edge of collarbone.

“You really need to lose the layers,” Shelby gasped out, her hands blindly yanked at the garment.

“Alright, alright,” Toni backed off, focused on removing her jacket. She was too preoccupied pulling her arms out of the sleeves to notice Shelby. The blonde used it to her advantage and shoved her towards the bed, where Toni landed with a thump. The brunette opened her mouth, about to complain, but then Shelby was straddling her lap. All Toni could see was how that damn skirt rode up even higher.

Fingertips trailed with purpose down Toni’s arms, helping her out of the coat the rest of the way and tossing it to the side. Then so went her flannel in a similar fashion. When those same fingers tugged at the black turtleneck she had tucked into her pants, Toni stopped them. Cautiously, she whispered in the space between them, “Keep it up and I’ll be at a disadvantage here."

Shelby doubled her efforts at freeing the sweater. “You can take mine off after.” It was said in a breathless kind of whisper that sent a shiver of anticipation down Toni’s spine. She couldn’t wrap her mind around the fact that this was actually happening. But then the turtleneck was coming free and the blonde was pulling it over her head and Toni was distracted again. She had hardly gotten her own top off before her hands were meeting the hem of Shelby’s. The warmth of a palm skating across her abdomen stopped her dead. All it took was a simple touch like that and Toni’s brain was short-circuiting.

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, you are an athlete after all.” Green eyes followed the same path as a hand roved over the muscles there. A pinky drifted dangerously close to the top of Toni’s jeans. Nails scratched just below her belly button and Toni was torn between a laugh and a groan. “Are you ticklish here?” A devilish grin ghosted across Shelby’s lips and then they were both laughing as fingertips danced along Toni’s ribcage and stomach.

They tumbled back on the bed in a heap and Toni was gasping through her laughter, “Shelb- Shelby! You win! You win!” More laughter erupted as the blonde never ceased her torment. “I swear if you don’t stop-”

Shelby relented, shooting a challenging look at the girl beneath her, “You’ll what? From what I can see, I’m the one with the power here.”

Like a lit fuse, the air between them returned to something heavier, and it was only a matter of time before Toni’s desires took over. She flipped them easily, Shelby letting out a yelp as she sunk into the mattress. Instead of proving just how wrong the blonde was with words, Toni opted for action. She lowered herself so that she could kiss any skin that was revealed as she inched Shelby’s top higher and higher. Lips pressed to a toned stomach, ascended ribs, skipping over a lace bra to focus on sorely missed collarbones. Shelby was trying not to squirm under the attention.

In a rush, the blonde lifted her arms, encouraging Toni to pull the shirt all the way off. “Is this really all you put on? It’s December, Shelby.”

Fingers threaded through the hair at the base of Toni’s neck. Shelby countered knowingly, “Are you complaining?”

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Toni mumbled against the skin of Shelby’s neck as she got back to task.

The blonde sighed contentedly and it clued Toni in that she must have been doing something right. She was lost in her ministrations, nibbling and sucking on soft skin. Ghosting lips across shoulders and over a partly-covered chest. At that, Shelby’s back rose off the bed, straining to meet her.

“Someone’s eager,” Toni teased, looking up at dazed green eyes.

Shelby seemed to refocus, rolling her eyes and shoving at the girl.

She hadn’t pushed that hard, but Toni took advantage of the momentum to slide lower. Shelby propped herself up on her elbows as she watched her slip all the way off the bed, feet hitting the floor just as the blonde’s eyebrows scrunched with confusion and worry.

“What are you-” the question died on Shelby’s lips as calloused hands wrapped around the back of her thighs and pulled her to the edge of the bed, legs dangling. She couldn’t speak as she watched amber flicker among brown beneath hooded eyelids. “Toni-” It was all she could muster as she sat up to connect their lips in a bruising kiss.

Toni couldn’t help herself, she was aching to push that skirt up, to see what was hiding underneath. Her hands had a mind of their own as they traced the edge of the damn thing, the backs of her fingers roaming across soft thighs.

Shelby let loose a strangled chuckle between kisses, “Someone’s got a one track mind, huh?”

Toni snatched her hands away. She was a goddamn moron. They’d barely made it to the bed and she was already fucking things up. The last thing she wanted to do was make the girl in front of her uncomfortable. “Sorry. I got carried away.”

“I never said I didn’t like it,” Shelby spoke tenderly, having picked up on her inner turmoil. Her hands covered Toni’s and guided them back to her thighs. The blonde repositioned herself in a way that purposely caused her skirt to hike up even higher. Toni was positive that she was having a stroke at that very moment. It was the only explanation she could fathom for why her entire body felt like it was failing. “It’s okay. You can touch.”

Shaky fingers pushed the skirt further, as much as the tight article would allow, to reveal black lace panties that sent Toni’s brain into a tailspin. What the fuck had she done to deserve this. Toni revoked her earlier sentiment. If there was a god, they couldn’t be that bad if they were willing to put her through this heavenly kind of torture.

“Remember to breathe, Toni.” Shit. She hadn’t even realized she was holding her breath until the blonde reminded her.

She glanced up with more than a little embarrassment. “Sorry- Fuck. You’re breath-taking Shelby.”

The blonde snorted, both of them cracking a smile at one another, “Didn’t figure you to be one for puns in bed.”

Toni hadn’t even noticed her own joke. But that was the thing, she wasn’t joking. She was entirely serious. Shaking her head, Toni’s smile dropped, “I didn’t mean to. You’re just- god, you’re so beautiful.”

Pale cheeks darkened with a blush as Shelby’s smile shifted from amused to shy. She struggled to keep her eyes on Toni’s. “You’re attractive too, ya know.” Her glance darted away, lingering on strong shoulders and pronounced forearms. “It’s kinda hard to ignore.”

Toni was the one to lean in this time. She kissed Shelby slow and gentle. There was no tongue darting across the roof of a mouth or teeth clamping on a bottom lip. It was innocent, meant to ground them both. They separated, foreheads pressed together. “Would you let-” Toni hesitated, rethinking her words, “Could I take care of you?” She looked into green eyes earnestly. All she wanted was to make her feel good, to make her feel as cherished as she was. Toni really had been spending too much time with Marty, even her thoughts were starting to sound as sappy as her best friend.

Shelby seemed to melt a little at the question. With a short nod, she answered, “Maybe let me get this skirt off first.” They both stood up. Before the blonde could reach for the zipper at her side, Toni stopped her.

“Let me.”

Toni dropped to her knees in front of her. Nimble fingers slowly dragged the zipper down, less seductive and more reverent. She could feel the girl above her shudder as her other palm traced over newly revealed skin and the skirt pooled to the floor. Shelby stepped out of it, barely toeing it out of the way when Toni rocked forward on her knees. Warm lips lingered on a hip bone, just above black lace, and ventured south to smooth thighs, leaving a trail of goosebumps in their wake. Toni wanted to memorize every inch of the body before her.

“Not that I’m not enjoyin’ this, but Toni, if I don’t sit down, I might collapse,” Shelby spoke shakily.

Toni dutifully guided her back to the bed, pecking her lips before dropping back to the floor. Steady hands slipped down silky calves and cradled them as Toni removed Shelby’s heels one at a time. If she was gonna do this, she was gonna do it right. Now the blonde sat in only a bra and panties at the end of the bed and it was the most mesmerizing sight Toni had ever seen. She couldn’t break herself out of this spell if she tried.

“C’mere,” Shelby requested and Toni was angling her chin up as the blonde leaned down to kiss her passionately. There was more emotion behind this one than any of the others before. A vulnerability.

Their mouths broke apart audibly. Toni securely held Shelby’s waist, knowing she’d need to keep her still for what came next. She started moving south again, leaving open mouthed kisses on Shelby’s thighs. Hands fisted into her hair as her lips migrated from the tops of thighs to the insides. Toni could feel the heat from Shelby’s center, she was so close. But not close enough apparently.

“Please Toni,” Shelby whimpered. Hearing her name said like that, in that breathy voice, from those lips, it had Toni burning from head to toe.

“Lay back,” It came out at a lower pitch, even raspier than it could get on the coldest winter days.Toni hardly recognized her own voice. But the blonde’s pupils only dilated more in response. The two of them settled on the bed, Toni between Shelby's legs.

She fought the urge to ask permission again, knowing consent clearly wasn’t an issue here but wanting to stay on the same page. The second brown met green in silent question, Shelby nodded her head.

Toni considered dragging black lace down slender legs with her teeth, but decided better of it. Opting for her hands instead. She pulled the panties down at a tortuous pace, reveling in the view. Shelby appeared to enjoy the process a little less, urging the other girl to get them off with a kick of her foot.

“Have I told you how beautiful you are?” Toni whispered. Their eyes met tenderly.

Shelby’s features were smooth with trust and care, “Once or twice.”

Toni might not consider herself religious by any means, but tonight she was going to show her devotion to something more divine than any book or priest could possibly explain. Tonight, her sole focus and energy would be directed on the ethereal woman beneath her.

She started slow, lips roving over the softest parts of Shelby’s thighs. Kissing up and around everywhere but where the blonde needed her most. Content sucking the salt off of sweat-slicked skin. Satisfied with the marks she left, Toni relocated her attention to where she’d been craving most. She wasn’t just wanting to touch, she wanted to taste too. One of her hands pressed against the inside of Shelby’s knee, spreading her legs open further. Toni stalled for a moment, letting every warm exhale wash over Shelby’s center.

She had barely done anything and the girl beneath her already looked like she was ready to fall apart. The blonde had a palm firmly clasped over her mouth and the other was twisted in the sheets.

“Hey.” Toni rasped out.

Shelby’s eyes darted down.

“You can let go. Or don’t.” Toni shrugged, not wanting to pressure her. “What matters is that you enjoy it.”

“I think I’m more worried about enjoyin’ it too much.” Shelby looked nervous.

The cocky grin on Toni’s face was impossible to tamper, “That’s kind of the point.” She reached up to intertwine her fingers with the ones Shelby still had wrapped in the blankets. “There’s no judgement here Shelby. I just wanna make you feel good.”

The hand in hers tightened its hold.

“Okay.” Shelby whispered.

Offering another squeeze of their palms, Toni redirected her attention to where it was before. She languidly dipped her tongue over Shelby’s folds, not wanting to overwhelm her. A barely contained moan from above signaled that she was doing fine. More than fine. For every light lick, Toni matched it with a lingering kiss. She would start at the top, working her way down, only to do it all over again. Toni pressed her shoulder against one of the thighs that bracketed her, spreading the girl further. This time she went for a more direct approach. Flattening her tongue, she licked broad and slow over Shelby’s clit.

The blonde’s free hand seized the back of Toni’s head as she uttered a word that scarcely left her lips through a broken whimper, “Fuck, Toni.”

Toni wished she could record that sound. Save it for her worst days.

She hummed in approval of the other girl’s language as she pressed more firmly against the bundle of nerves. With practiced ease, she started to swirl her tongue in circles. Unhurried, wide rotations. The noises and the taste of Shelby were starting to go to Toni’s head. She felt like she was floating away, losing herself in it all.

But then the blonde’s hips were arching off the bed, grinding into Toni’s face in search of more contact. Between the chanting of her name over and over, carried on a breathless whisper, and the way thighs were rapidly closing against her ears, Toni could only assume the other girl was close to the edge. She wanted to bring her there, wanted to do whatever it took to push her over. Using the hand that wasn’t still linked with Shelby’s, Toni reached underneath the body below her. A calloused palm squeezed Shelby’s ass firmly. In combination with Toni’s tongue, it was all it took to send the blonde tipping over into pure bliss. Shelby’s head fell back on the bed while a broken cry escaped her lips. It’s all Toni ever hoped it would be. Watching the girl fall apart beneath her, she was more than ready to put her back together.

Her hand slipped off Shelby’s backside as her tongue slowed, easing her through any residual waves, and eventually stopped altogether. Toni lifted her head enough to rest her chin on one of Shelby’s thighs and watched her.

“That was- something else,” Shelby panted out, still trying to catch her breath.

Toni’s eyes never left the blonde’s as she turned her head to drop a soft kiss on her skin. “You’re something else.”

Shelby laughed disbelievingly. “You just had to be a smooth-talker too.”

“Would you rather I stop?” Toni enjoyed pushing her buttons from time to time still.

Green eyes rolled so hard it looked painful, “I’d rather you get your ass up here so I can kiss you.”

Lifting herself up by her forearms, Toni started to crawl back up. “Yes ma’am.”

Shelby didn’t hesitate to meet her with a searing press of their lips. It spoke volumes. Things had shifted between them. But it was in the best possible way. Their foreheads settled against one another.

“I wanna do this with you for a long time,” Toni confessed quietly.

The corners of Shelby’s mouth pulled in a blinding smile, “The sex or…?”

“All of it,” Toni answered honestly, “Whatever you’re willing to give.”

Lips pecked hers again briefly.

“I think that can be arranged, but first-” Shelby started as one of her hands snuck down to the buckle of Toni’s belt. “There’s something I need to take care of.”

Toni hardly had the awareness to keep up. It felt like her brain was working overtime. By the time she had caught on, deft fingers had already unfastened her belt and the button of her jeans and were pulling down the zipper.

“You don’t have to Shelby,” The brunette protested weakly.

“I know I don't have to, Toni.” Their eyes locked on one another, staring deeply. “But I want to.” Then those manicured nails were pushing through the opening of Toni’s boxers and charting a path of their own.

Their lips met again for what felt like the thousandth time that night. That’s when it dawned on Toni. That peace and sense of wholeness that every sacred text spent pages and pages trying to illustrate, that every pastor at their podium rambled on about, it was real. And Toni had found it. Right here in the freckles and laugh lines that connected like constellations mapped over a beautiful face. Or the hands that so delicately embraced and unraveled her all at the same time. Toni looked into pools of green and felt more at home than she ever had in her life. That’s where she was with Shelby, home.