Cordelia gently drops herself down next to Misty and gives a content noise. It draws Misty away from admiring the sunset to instead peer at her with the same affection in her eyes.
Their legs dangle over the small ledge, pointed toward one another and shoes tickled beneath by long grasses. “Did ya find it?” Misty asks, referring to the speaker that Cordelia swears she'd packed.
She grumbles out a “no.”
“I definitely put it in the bag.”
Misty smiles. “Sure you did.” She leans back on their perch, the fabric of her plaid shirt slipping back to reveal where her taut stomach pokes out.
But there’s something about Misty’s tone that is altogether teasing, and unleashes a spark of defence in her. “I did.” She jabs her in the side. “I almost forgot it because you were very distracting.”
“Distractin’?” She repeats emphatically.
“You were all over me.”
Head spinning around like a gust of wind, she sends bulging eyes aimed at Cordelia. “If I remember right, you weren’t complainin’ then.” With a shit eating grin, she moves in nearer until her chin is rested on Cordelia’s shoulder. “You seemed to be quite happy, in fact.”
She rolling her eyes playfully when Misty snakes arms around her body. “Stop it.”
A pout pushes on her lips. As Cordelia breathes in, she gets the scent of her own perfume that Misty is wrapped in. In turn, she returns Misty’s embrace and kisses the top of her forehead, even if the girl is calling her out.
Misty’s content little smile is all that she needs to shed away any annoyance. In lieu of no speaker, Cordelia instead merely uses her phone to fill the quiet with music. It is placed just beside her, pushed a little further back as to avoid a tumble down the overlook.
Gentle notes are welcomed by her ears. They sit and appraise the view. Just like always. As if anything really changes in their town.
But it has. A change as drastic as the seasons. So much is different; they are different. And she thinks that maybe she’s ready to outgrow her roots into another setting. Turning, she angles her neck down towards Misty. In her contemplation, the Cajun now taps fingers idly against Cordelia's waist.
“What are you thinking?” She asks her, out of mere curiosity.
Cordelia smirks. “Well, who else would I be asking?”
Pursing her lips together playfully, she bypasses the taunt and sits straighter. Here, the low lying sun hits Misty just right and bathes her like an ethereal being. The wind, eager to join in the celebration, ever so gently sweeps her hair prettily around her angled face. Despite her jokes, she still looks to be in a pensive state.
She has been for the past few days.
And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. “Are you thinking about your Dad?”
No initial reaction comes; no wince, no retreat. Just a stillness that clashes with the symphony of thoughts in Cordelia’s mind.
“Do you think I did the right thing?”
Cordelia sucks in a breath. “You know what I think, Misty.” Try as she might, she cannot sugar coat her feelings on the man. And that fact that justice prevailed is something she certainly isn’t going to lose sleep over.
If only she could say the same for her girlfriend. This week in particular, the nightmares have been worse. The spacing out. She turns and counts each of the tiny worry lines of Misty’s skin, only to then kiss them fondly.
“You don’t feel at all happy about it?”
She hardens like ice, tiny cracks visible. “’Bout the fact that my Daddy is goin’ to jail for six months ‘cause of me?” Her hands begin tugging back as a particularly harder gust of heat hits them and stifles. “No.”
Then, she bows her head and gives a frown to the grassy bank. “I feel like I just ruined everythin’ for everyone. An’ I wish I didn’t.”
“Misty – ”
“I know what you’re gonna say.” She begins before Cordelia can even chime in with reason.
Her lips purse into one neat line. “What am I gonna say?” The opportunity is offered, an eyebrow raised, and maybe Misty can feel the suddenly severity in her gaze. She slumps slightly, though doesn’t fully release her grip on Cordelia.
The conversation is uncomfortable, but not as much as the thin line of sweat brought about from the heat. Even in this late hour, it persists. Cordelia can spot the sheen on Misty’s forehead, taste the saltiness on her lips as she kisses it encouragingly.
“You’re gonna go on and on about justice again.”
“On and on?” She nudges her softly, attempting to wrangle humor back where the seriousness is too much.
Blue eyes cut right through to her soul, just like always. “I know what he did is bad. Completely, totally fucked up. It just. . .ugh, I dunno – I feel dumb I guess, for feelin’ sorry for the rest of my family. Like, why should I care? After everythin’. . .but I do.”
Cordelia watches her, sees that conflict. It requires delicate words, and she hopes that she can string just the right ones together.
“You’re not dumb, not at all.” Misty turns again, a downcast taking over her. So she fortifies her speech with strength and assuring. “It means that you care. You care so much.” Now, it is Cordelia’s turn to hold her, to keep bodies flush and heartbeats listening to one another. “I love how much you care, Misty, even about people that might not deserve it, because you. . .you have the biggest heart of anyone that I know.”
“You don’t think it makes me an idiot?”
“It makes you a good person.” Cordelia confirms as a hand lifts to rub the closest bit of Misty’s thigh she can find. “A kind person.”
“It’s my fault – ”
“It’s his fault.” She corrects. “No one made him do those things. Now. . .he has to deal with the consequences.” The grave intonations keep the conversation low, a hum of words and quiet glances at one another. Cordelia leans in as close as she can. “You can’t keep beating yourself up over something that wasn’t ever your fault.”
Any time they bring up this topic, it generally ends the same way. They go round and round in circles until Misty closes off, an amalgamation of guilt where it ought not be. Maybe the repetition has done her some good. Maybe she’s just tired of the same weight saddling her shoulders. Or maybe, just maybe, she’ s finally starting to accept what happened.
Today, she simply nods.
And then burrows herself tightly against Cordelia. The swift action almost knocks her from her position, body swaying. As Misty moves faster, she relents and tumbles backwards onto the hard ground. Misty is there instantly, cuddled up to her side.
Breath hits her neck, hot and sticky. “I love you.” Misty says, a needy confession.
Cordelia enjoys the heat of her own love inside. Her skin hums with it, her body seeks the touch of Misty, and she wonders if she could ever be away from the girl again. Even for more than a day. The idea twists her stomach, so she pushes it away and sighs out more reassurances. “It’ll get easier.”
“Hmmfff.” Beside her, Misty makes an undignified noise. “That’s what everyone says.”
“Well then, it’s got to be true.”
She can feel the piercing gaze in her, how fingers brush over the palm of her hand that Misty holds. There’s something awfully intimate about this, far surpassing physical vulnerabilities and once again sitting their souls on display for one another. Is this what true love is? Is this what all the stories talk about?
Cordelia feels the touch of Misty and could just melt into the earth beneath her. Her body has never known peace like this.
The sun is beginning its final dip over the horizon, and blue begins to blend into the orange sky above their heads. Below, the pair sit and admire. “Maybe you’re right.” Misty admits after a beat.
“I’m always right.”
Her smirk is poked away, eliciting giggles instead. She turns, reaching for Misty in a childish display where their hands battle one another for dominance. Misty wins, naturally the strongest, and drags Cordelia in nearer until their foreheads caress one another. In the swift action, she most likely gets twigs and grasses dragged into her hair.
Never mind, seeing as the way Misty is watching her is enough to still her heart. “This got easier.” Misty whispers, fingers migrating from where they clutch Cordelia’s dress collar to gently brush along her cheekbone.
“What?” She jokes. “Liking me was hard? Am I that repulsive?”
“No. You know what I mean.”
Cordelia’s chest clenches. “Yeah.” She gulps. “I do.”
Instead of breaths, all she gets are a few rogue shudders from the Cajun. “Do you know how many times I sat in the same room as you, wishing all I could do was kiss you and tell you special you were to me?”
It’s a truth that she knows by now, regrets already lived. “You can do that now, Misty. The past is. . .the past. We have to live in the now.” Emotion hijacks her words, because she wishes things could have been different, too. Easy. Simple. They haven’t been gifted such a thing, but she at least has been given the greatest appreciation of their relationship. She knows what it feels like to lose it. Not ever again.
Shuffling in on the itchy grass, she presses lips ever so slowly to Misty’s warm ones. Such innocence is reflected back in the expression, such good. Against that mouth, she mutters a promise. “I’m yours now. For as long as you’ll have me.”
“Forever and ever.” Misty grins into the kiss, her tongue making a surprise appearance and pushing to pry open Cordelia’s quickly. The efficient move has her pressing further against Misty, eyes closing. Here, she finds her own piece of heaven on earth, a hold that feels so right. Like Misty’s arms were melded just to fit her inside.
If time would allow, she’d stay here for an eternity. In the haze on summer, sat in their spot of sanctuary and together.
Both of them know it won’t; another journey lies ahead. More obstacles surely aimed their way, but today, today is good. And the world is good.
Even if Misty tugs back after a breathless few minutes of making out and seems to have dwelled on something else. “I can’t believe you’re makin’ me get on an plane tomorrow.”
Cordelia barks out her laughter, curling the ends of Misty’s hair around her finger adoringly. “You’re gonna be fine. It’s only a few hours.”
“People aren’t meant to fly.” She decides, pouting. “It ain’t natural.”
More chuckles, then a lovesick gaze set upon Misty. “You don’t need to be scared.”
“I’m not scared.”
With no lack of dubiety, she rolls around onto her front and stares down at Misty. “It’s okay if you are. It’s your first time. But I’ll be there with you. I’ll hold your hand the entire way through the flight if you need me to.” Humor doesn’t shake from her words, not as Misty’s expression continuously changes.
But she doesn’t argue back, not like she had done the twenty times before when they’d discussed the journey. By now, she has realised there is no getting out of it.
She lifts her gaze, eyes rolling all the way back until they meet Cordelia’s. For a moment, she looks like a frightened child. And that is something Cordelia can relate to more than anything; she may be wearing the façade of confidence, but she is absolutely terrified at what lies ahead. She swallows that fear, able to do so in order to keep Misty calm.
Reaching down, she grabs the girl by either cheek and gently lifts her face to litter it with kisses. “We’ll be fine.” She insists, a mantra for both of them to believe.
“What if I ain’t any good at college?” Misty seems suddenly smaller, concerned.
She doesn’t even need a second to think of a reply. “You’re gonna be amazing.”
“Delia – ”
“You are amazing. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have you.”
Misty’s breath hitches and, finally, a serene smile returns. She brings herself into a sitting position, eyes squinted beneath the last rays of light. “You’ll really hold my hand the whole way there?” She asks.
“Even if I gotta get up to go pee?” She smirks, her shoulder sloping towards Cordelia’s.
“I’ll follow you in there.” Cordelia insists, her own deeper laughter filling the air.
She doesn’t get much chance to say much else as Misty practically launches herself on her. She’s a tangle of limbs, a mass of pleasurable movements that last for what seems like an eternity. She doesn’t mind. Eternity is good with her.
But eventually they do make their way back home. She regrets letting Misty drive the first few miles, as the confident speed she acquires makes her truly fear for her life. Control of the vehicle is quickly regained, and Misty sits rolling her eyes at Cordelia in return. Misty lets them in to the house, proudly using her own key, and their nighttime ritual begins.
Just as they finish brushing their teeth next to each other, with grinning and childish nudges given, they soon sit beneath the thin sheet of the bed. Swelteringly hot or not, Misty presses into her side, like she does every night. Both sit on their phone for a while, adopting a calmness in the room.
Eventually, Misty pushes hers to the side and snuggles into Cordelia’s chest. “Night.” She mutters right at the edge of her boobs, an arm creeping around her waist.
Her own phone is ignored for a moment as she smiles back. “Goodnight, Misty.” It doesn’t take long for Misty to fall asleep first, nor does it for her first nightmare to push through in the form of sleepily uttered words. She takes her usual position, cuddling the girl tightly against her and giving her own promises of reassurances to the sleepy form.
It works. It just takes time.
And that’s all that they need. Time. To figure life out, who they are, what they really want from it. Who they’re going to be.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about it all is that she gets to do so with Misty by her side, that they get to become the best versions of themselves together. She kisses her hairline as she sleeps. Her love sits at the top of her throat, too overwhelming, too much, and yet, not enough at all. Misty deserves everything.
Cordelia can only offer her that love, and hope it’s enough. It’s got to be.
They can figure the rest out together. As scary as it may be. Just like kissing Misty for the first time. . . .sometimes the things that scare her the most work out for the best.
And with Misty, it can only get better