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The coy flutter of Garbo’s lashes would have done a starlet of old proud.

“Why, Ashley Davies.”

“Garbo,” Ashley said neutrally, crossing her arms over her chest. She forced herself to keep her eyes locked on Garbo’s, to not look down at the way the other girl was leaning indolently against the doorframe, her entire demeanor an impossible to deny come hither. As Ashley had learned long before, Garbo always looked completely at ease and undeniably in charge, no matter the situation. It was as intimidating as it was alluring, but as much as Ashley appreciated the latter, it was supposed to be her gig, the former. It was her gig; she’d had plenty of time to practice since the last time she’d been in this spot, standing outside of Garbo’s door, asking for one thing and being offered another.

“It’s been so long. I thought you’d abandoned me.” Garbo’s voice was a purr, her pout just shy of sincere. After a beat, it slid into a sly smile. “I’ve missed your pretty face.” Her eyes slid down, catching on the skin visible beneath the edge of Ashley’s midriff top. “Among other things.”

Ashley had always prided herself on her ability to hold fast to her most favorite of expressions, aloof nonchalance. But Garbo, standing in front of her with dark eyes promising pleasure of any type she might wish to indulge, had never allowed her either. Garbo had a way of sliding – around barriers, under defenses, through facades; she was impossible to contain, much less handle, and Ashley could already feel the first crack of something inside her. It was an easing, an acknowledgement that she would have fought harder, had this really been a battle she wanted to win. So instead of aloof nonchalance, there was a smile at the corner of her lips, an unconscious echo of the one Garbo was giving her. There was a pull to wrap her arms around Garbo’s waist, tilt her head up, and concede her surrender.

Still, she tried, one last time. She hardened her features, shot for serious, no-nonsense and demanding. “That girl who was just here, what did you give her?”

Garbo’s smile turned sly. “Doctor/patient privilege, sweetie. What’s it to you?”

She was sick of Kyla’s antics, of her poor decisions and flirtations with disaster, and so her voice dipped into a snarl. “She’s my stepsister. The guy she’s with? Totally using her. Totally fucking up my life in the process.”

Garbo seemed to consider that for a moment. “My advice, find a way to make him disappear. He’s no good, baby. He’s a bad, bad boy.”

 “Oh really? I hadn’t noticed.”

Garbo shrugged lazily, unfazed by Ashley’s sarcasm, as chill as ever. “I’m sure it would have come to you.” She graced Ashley with another lazy smile and leaned forward, already on to bigger and better things.  Her lips brushed against the shell of Ashley’s ear, her words sending a shiver down Ashley’s spine. “Why haven’t I fucked you lately?”

There wasn’t time for Ashley to summon a pretense of detached cool. There wasn’t time to make this play out any other way but the way Garbo wanted, and what Garbo wanted was clear. Her arm snaked around Ashley’s waist; she tugged her over the threshold, spun her around, pressed her up against the foyer wall, and kicked the door shut, and Ashley was just where she wanted her – clinging to Garbo like the innocent ingénue she hadn’t been for a very long time, all wide eyes and racing heart.

She swallowed hard, and tried to sound unaffected, tried to reclaim a little of what she’d already surrendered. “I’ve been busy.”

“Then let me close up shop,” Garbo murmured, absently flicking the deadbolt as she nuzzled into Ashley’s neck, “and we’ll reminisce.”

Ashley pretended to protest, “I didn’t come here for this,” half-hearted and breathless, though her fingers had already found the hem of Garbo’s shirt. She was arching into Garbo, shivering at the feel of Garbo’s tongue against her skin, wet and warm, and there was no point in acting like this wasn’t going to happen. Token protest aside, she was already willing, wet and warm herself, this the kind of weakness she didn’t want the willpower to overcome. And it wasn’t exactly cheating, if she was on her way back to but not yet once again in a relationship, one last indulgence before she settled back into the role of good little girlfriend.

She could feel Garbo’s grin against her skin – pictured it, self-satisfied and catlike. “You don’t mean that any more than you did the first time you said it.”

The first time she’d said it, Ashley had been that wide-eyed ingenue, all I’ve-never-been-with-a-girl-before innocence with no chance, not against Garbo. She’d been young and reckless and far too eager to please, and Garbo had given her that same slow grin. It was nothing but cocky self-assurance, the kind of grin she’d always hated. The kind of grin she’d seen on the faces of full of themselves boys who imagined they had an all-access pass into her pants because they were rich, handsome, athletic, or any one of the thousands of things that made those kinds of boys feel entitled.

It wasn’t any different, not coming from Garbo. It didn’t ask, it assumed, an entitled presumption of an all-access pass. But she’d followed it up by dropping to her knees, pushing up Ashley’s skirt, pulling down her panties, and proving her point, and Ashley had figured she could feel bad about herself later.

She hadn’t. Not then, not now, and not any of the times in-between.

And anyway, with Garbo’s hands on her ass, pulling her forward so that she was rocking against the thigh Garbo had insinuated between her legs, she was willing to be misinterpreted. After all, technically, Ashley had meant it both times – just not for very long.

She was being walked backwards, through the rooms where Garbo did her business and on to the back. The room was messy, bed unmade and clothes scattered everywhere. It was tinged with the faint scent of marijuana smoke and incense; when Garbo pushed her down on the bed and settled on top of her, it was to a soundtrack of soft, girlish sounds – the clink of bracelets and necklaces, the nearly soundless wisp of her thick, long hair tumbling over her shoulders. It was a piece of time out of place; this could have been her a year ago, two, watching as Garbo slipped her shirt over her head. Her body was lean, muscled, and the sway of her back was the posture of someone at-ease in her own skin, had always been the posture of someone at-ease in her own skin.

Garbo was Garbo, and she knew what she was getting.

“Let’s have a little fun,” Garbo murmured, slipping her hand down between their bodies, beneath the waistband of Ashley’s skirt and into the wetness waiting between her legs. “This is just what I needed, a little something sweet like you.”

Ashley pushed up against her, spread her legs further, and smiled at the last thought she planned on having for a good, long while: You’re no good, baby. You’re a bad, bad girl.