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A Recipe For Success

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The night passed torturously slowly.

Every time Anne closed her eyes, she could feel her heart beating along with the deafening sound of her blood pumping around her body. Surely this was unfair? Calling to say the results were going to be announced tomorrow but not hinting at them beforehand? She sighed as she opened her eyes to stare at the ceiling again.

If it weren’t for Ann tucked tightly against her side, she’d have gotten up hours ago. Ann was the anchor, holding her in place while the sea of anxiety swirled around her. She couldn’t be sure if Ann was awake but the way she squeezed her arm every now and again made her wonder. She’d really done her best to distract her but Anne just couldn’t concentrate, her mind was too preoccupied with what would happen tomorrow. Anne braced herself for the fall out, for the inevitable disappointment but it never came. Ann understood, she didn’t take it personally, didn’t lose interest in her like most of her other partners did the second she wasn’t on top of her game in the bedroom. Instead, Ann held her, soothed her before drifting off to sleep, still clutching onto Anne tightly.

“Would you like me to make some tea?” Ann’s muffled voice interrupted Anne’s racing thoughts.

How much time had passed? Anne had no idea.

“Stay asleep” Anne said into the mass of golden hair tickling her chin.

“I can’t sleep, you’re practically vibrating.”

“Sorry.” Anne’s voice was small, of course she was annoying Ann. She annoyed everyone.

Ann turned, pushing herself up with her elbow to face her girlfriend.

“Hey, stop that.” Anne’s brow furrowed in confusion. “I know you’re scolding yourself and I’m telling you to stop it.”

“How did you..?”

“I know you, Anne Lister. Better than you think.” Ann leaned forward to press a kiss to Anne’s bare collarbone. “Come on, I’ll make us a drink.”

Anne felt it again in that moment. That warm feeling in the pit of her stomach. There was no other word for it but love. She loved Ann Walker so much that it was hard to wrap her head around. How did Ann know her so well already? How was she aware of all her insecurities? How could she just read her like a book? Anne had always felt different, like no one ever understood her, always misinterpreted her actions, always tried to make her fit into their own ideals. But Ann? Ann just accepted her, faults and all and although she never let Anne get away with being a dick without good cause, she never asked her to change who she was.

Ann rubbed her eyes as she clicked on the kettle. The boat was nice and all but she couldn’t wait to get back to Cath’s apartment with her well equipped kitchen. The thought reminded her that she really needed to look for her own place, maybe in the same neighbourhood if she could find the right apartment. Close to Cath, close to Takk and close to Anne. The holy trinity.

“Here.” Ann placed the mug of tea on the table before snuggling up to Anne on the sofa.

“Thank you.” Anne kissed her head before pulling the blanket over them both.

“Do you want to talk it through?”

“Sorry?”

“I find, when my anxiety is getting the better of me, it helps to talk it through. Even if there’s no chance of resolving whatever it is that’s bothering me. In this case, we can’t fix not knowing the results yet, but we can talk about it.” Ann nuzzled her cheek against Anne’s shoulder.

“How are you so wise, Miss Walker?”

“Years of practice.” Ann laughed before sipping her tea. “What are you most worried about?”

Anne took a deep breath, she’d been trying to work this one out for the last three hours.

“I think I’m most worried about winning.” It sounded stupid in her head and even stupider out loud.

Ann just nodded patiently.

“The pressure, you know? Of course it’ll be great for business and lord knows we need a bit of good luck but…” Anne trailed off.

“But?” Ann gently encouraged.

“Well. I mean. We haven’t talked about what’s going to happen in the restaurant, you know, with you and me.” Anne knew that bringing this up at 3am while she was so wound up wasn’t the best idea but it had been swirling round her brain for the last few days, gaining traction with every second.

“Okay.” Ann nodded thoughtfully. “So, here’s how I feel about this.”

Anne braced herself for impact.

“I love your restaurant, it’s so unequivocally you, your food is incredible, your ideas are genius and the space is perfect.”

Anne nodded.

“The thing is…”

Anne bit the inside of her cheek. Here it comes.

“I’m not sure I want to be a sous chef.”

Anne’s stomach dropped. Of course this was all too good to be true, what a fool she’d been, thinking that they’d run the restaurant together.

“Hey.” Ann dipped her head to meet Anne’s lowered gaze. “I do have an idea.”

--

It was barely 8am by the time they climbed into Cath’s car. Ann had expertly moored the boat back at the drop off point, honestly, it was so hot to watch her in charge, Anne made a mental note to revisit this at a later date. Ann had handed back the keys and signed the paperwork the second the salesman had arrived at work before leading Anne by the hand back to the car.

“Come on, I’ll drop you off at the restaurant and then get us some coffee.” Ann smoothed her thumb over Anne’s cheek. She looked absolutely exhausted.

“I don’t deserve you, you know.” Anne whispered.

“Hm, yeah I know.” Ann laughed as she kissed her girlfriend.

The engine rattled and groaned as Ann turned on the ignition. Cath had had this old car for as long as Ann could remember, how it was still roadworthy was beyond her. She shook her head as the clutch squeaked as she pulled away.

“I really do need to get a car, maybe we could swing by a dealership next week?” Ann said nonchalantly.

“A dealership?” Anne scoffed. “Are you a secret millionaire or something?”

Ann went quiet.

“Ann?” Anne turned to face her.

“Well.” Ann shrugged. “I don’t know exactly how much money I have. It’s complicated.”

Anne’s mouth hung open in disbelief.

“My family.” Ann sighed, she hated talking about money. “I inherited the estate, it’s why I’m back, well, mostly, why I came back from Italy.”

“I had no idea.” Anne blinked.

“Yes, well.” Ann gripped the steering wheel tighter. “I don’t like to make a thing about it.”

Anne’s mind took a moment to catch up. Not only was Ann Walker the purest cinnamon bun in all the world but she was rich too? Yet she chose to live incredibly modestly? Anne swooned.

“Stop looking at me like that.” Ann said, her eyes never leaving the road.

“Like what?” Anne chuckled.

“Like I’m a rare fossil you’ve just stumbled upon.”

Anne laughed loudly. Ann couldn’t have put it any better, she was a rare fossil, a precious stone, a goddess walking the earth. All of the above.

“Ann.” Anne’s voice was sincere. “This doesn’t change how I feel about you, I’m not expecting anything from you.”

Ann nodded.

“I’m not sure if you’re aware but I quite like doing things by myself. You could say I’m fiercely independent.”

Ann laughed, the anxiety of telling Anne about her fortune melting away before her eyes. Of course Anne didn’t care, Anne wasn’t like most people who only saw dollar signs when they looked at her. How refreshing.

“You see now how my idea could work? I’d fund it entirely.”

Suddenly Anne could see clearly what Ann had been talking about, how it would work and how they could really make it a success. It was interesting, slightly out of Anne’s comfort zone but that was Ann Walker all over. Pushing the boundaries, forcing her out of her carefully constructed perimeters.

“Let’s get those results and we can talk about it some more, hm? No need to decide now.” Ann said, smiling sweetly before turning back to concentrate on the road.

As the trees whizzed by the window, Anne relaxed back into the passenger seat. Being with Ann was a constant surprise, she felt like she’d achieved more in the last seven days than in her entire life. Maybe this could work. Long term.

--

Marian waved enthusiastically as she saw Anne appear at the glass doors. She raced over to unlock them before ushering her inside.

“They’re going to phone any minute! Where’s Ann?” Marian said excitedly.

“She’s getting us coffee.” Anne smiled bashfully.

“Us?” Marian tilted her head.

“Yes. All three of us.” Ann Walker really was an angel sent from above.

Marian’s smile spread across her face. “Oh, Anne. Don’t ever take that woman for granted, you hear me? Or I’ll clip you round the ear.” Marian ruffled Anne’s hair.

“Alright, Marian!” Anne flinched, pushing her sister’s hands well away from her.

Suddenly, Marian’s phone lit up on the table, buzzing against the wood as it rang. They both froze before looking at one another. Anne nodded and took a deep breath.

“Hello?” Marian’s voice waivered. “Yes, she’s here. Of course, hang on.”

Marian put the call on speaker before setting her phone down on the table. Anne’s body immediately tensed in anticipation. This was it. All that hard work boiled down to this very moment in time.

“Anne, you did really well. We all couldn’t stop talking about your food.”

Anne nodded, this was the perfect way to let someone down gently. Compliment their food, tell them they put in a lot of effort and then tell them they didn’t make it this time. She let out a small breath in defeat.

“So much so, we’re delighted to inform you that you’ve passed.”

“S-s-sorry?” Anne shook her head in disbelief.

“Vignemale is now, officially, a Michelin star restaurant.”

“Oh that’s wonderful! Thank you so much!” Marian filled in the silence as she watched her sister freeze on the spot.

“We’ll be round with the award and a photographer at 7PM tonight, is that okay?”

“Yes! Of course!” Marian exclaimed, prodding her sister firmly to say something.

“Thank you so much.” Anne was in a daze, it was all she could manage.

“Go and buy some champagne, you’ve earned it. See you at 7PM.”

As the line clicked off, Anne looked at her sister entirely bewildered.

“You did it, Anne! You really did it!” Marian hugged her, despite her mutters of protest.

“I don’t even know what to say.” Anne’s smile began to grow.

The noise of the heavy front doors opening made the pair of them turn round.

“What’s happened?” Ann said, holding the coffees with a concerned look on her face.

She barely walked two more steps before Anne stood up and charged towards her. She had just about enough time to safely deposit the coffees on the bar before Anne picked her up in her arms and twirled her around.

“We did it, Ann!” Anne laughed.

“What?” Ann was giggling as she tucked Anne’s hair behind her ears.

“We did it.” Anne stopped to look deeply into Ann’s eyes. “We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.”

“It was all you.” Ann smiled. “I just helped.”

Ann leaned down to kiss her Michelin star winning girlfriend. It was meant to be a well done kiss, brief but full of meaning, however, Anne immediately tilted her head, the soft brush of her tongue meeting Ann’s as she gave herself up to it. She wrapped her legs around Anne’s waist and held on tighter as the kiss deepened.

“Ahem.” Marian cleared her throat loudly.

Anne and Ann just giggled against each other’s lips, barely able to tear themselves away despite the interruption.

“I love you.” Ann whispered.

“I love you.” Anne replied before setting her girlfriend back onto the floor.

“Well done, Marian!” Ann picked up her coffee and brought it over to where Marian was keeping a safe distance.

“Oh!” Marian exclaimed in surprise before Ann hugged her tightly. “Good trip, the pair of you?”

“Yes.” Anne and Ann said in unison, their gazes firmly fixed on each other, causing Marian to roll her eyes.

“Will you pick out something for her to wear, Ann? She’s a nightmare but you know, she’s your problem now.” Marian laughed.

“What do you mean? Clothes for what?”

“Oh! Right.” Anne shook her head, realising she’d only given Ann half the story. “They’re coming to present the award tonight at 7PM. Fancy it?” Anne pulled Ann close to her body, her strong arms around her waist. “Champagne? Late night?”

Marian rolled her eyes for the second time.

“Hmm.” Ann hummed, linking her arms around Anne’s neck. “Sounds nice.”

“Right, I’m leaving now. I can’t put up with you two any longer. Be ready by 6PM, okay?” Marian stood up.

Anne and Ann were still gazing at each other, their eyes twinkling as they grinned.

“It’s like talking to a brick wall, honestly.” Marian muttered to herself as she made her way outside.

--

“Hold still.” Ann scolded as she buttoned up Anne’s shirt.

“Can’t. I’m too nervous.” Anne shuffled her weight on her feet.

“Anne.” Ann’s serious tone caught her attention. “What on earth do you have to be nervous about? You look amazing, all they’re going to do is present an award that you earned.”

“We earned.” Anne corrected.

“That your restaurant earned.” Ann fastened the last button on Anne’s black shirt. “And then you get to drink champagne and relax, okay?”

Anne nodded.

“It’s going to be fine.”

The soft kiss Ann placed on the tip of her nose almost made Anne crumble there and then. Not only had Ann picked her outfit but she’d insisted on coming over early and helping her get ready. It was funny, although Anne had always been very self assured, Ann lifted her to new heights, making her truly believe she was capable of anything.

“Will I do?” Anne smoothed down her shirt and shrugged her shoulders.

Ann shamelessly raked her eyes over her girlfriend, dressed in a fitted black shirt, accentuating her strong physique, her tight black jeans and shiny black brogues. Her dark hair was gathered in a bun with a few rogue wisps poking out. Ann loved it when Anne wore her hair up, it showed off the expanse of kissable, tanned skin of her neck. Like this, Anne looked effortlessly stylish, like a model in a magazine. The kind that Ann would’ve torn out and put up on her wall when she was a teenager.

“Yes.” Ann was almost breathless.

“Hm.” Anne hummed as she stalked over. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were having impure thoughts right now.”

“I wish we had more time.” Ann whined.

“We still have an hour?” Anne nuzzled into Ann’s neck, kissing her teasingly slowly.

For a second, Ann almost gave in to the press of her girlfriends lips, to the way Anne was trailing her hands down to cup Ann’s bum, pulling her closer into her own body. Somehow, Ann managed to break away.

“Anne!” Ann whined loudly. “Stop it, I need to get ready and you can’t crease that shirt.”

Anne looked up at the ceiling and groaned as she watched Ann disappear into the bathroom. As she heard the shower kick in she looked around her apartment. She smiled sadly as she thought about the past, about how she reached this point in her life. She’d spent so many years pursuing the wrong women, the wrong goals, spreading herself too thinly and running herself into the ground. The sweet sound of Ann singing to herself in the shower soon interrupted her nostalgia. As she chuckled to herself she realised how lucky she was, Ann had come into her life when she’d needed her most, even if she hadn’t been aware of it at the time. How could anything go back to the way it was?  

“What are you thinking about?” Ann’s bright voice sounded as she padded into the bedroom with a towel on her head.

“Just you.” Anne sighed.

“Me?” Ann laughed. “Is this what you do when I’m not here? Stand around and think about me? That’s very sweet.” Ann stood on her tiptoes to kiss Anne’s cheek before grabbing the dress bag that hung on the door.

“I’m serious, Ann.” Anne turned. “I don’t know what I ever did to deserve you turning up that day but, well, I’m just so very grateful.”

“Oh, Anne.” Ann cupped her cheek. “I told you, I just helped. You did this yourself.”

“No, I mean, you came in and just turned my whole world upside down without any warning whatsoever. I was so unhappy before and I didn’t even know it.”

Anne closed her eyes as Ann wrapped her arms round her middle and squeezed.

“I’m not going anywhere, okay?” Ann soothed.

“We need to talk to Marian about your proposal.”

“One step at a time, okay? Let’s focus on tonight and we’ll talk to Marian tomorrow.”

“Okay.” Anne smiled.

“Now, can you go away because I really need to get ready. I can’t go downstairs in a towel and my underwear.”

“Oh, I don’t know.” Anne smiled devilishly. “I certainly wouldn’t object.”

“Goodbye, Anne!” Ann shouted over her shoulder as she moved back into the bathroom.

--

Anne clutched her pocket watch tightly as she watched the seconds tick by. They had 15 minutes and although Anne never liked to be late, she didn’t love waiting around either. Cordingley had really done a fantastic job of setting up the dining room for tonight. She’d moved the tables to the top end of the room, arranging the champagne flutes and a few nibbles out so people could come and help themselves. She’d strategically left a gap where the Vignemale lettering was affixed to the exposed brick wall, the perfect spot for a publicity photo of Anne holding her certificate, some might say. Anne made a note of this, she really should give Cordingley a raise.

“Where’s Ann?” Marian bustled out of the kitchen.

“Getting ready.” Anne said without even looking up from her watch.

“Anne.” Marian’s voice was curt.

“What!” Anne spat, her concentration still on the rhythmical ticking of her watch.

Marian nudged her sister with her elbow.

Anne’s anger was quashed in an instant when she turned to see what Marian was looking at. There, making her way elegantly down the stairs was Ann Walker, dressed to the nines in a dark red dress, her shoulders perfectly framed by the neckline, her hair immaculate, her legs deliciously peeking out from the fabric. Anne licked her lips as she struggled to find any words in her head.

“You look wonderful, Ann!” Marian said enthusiastically as she hugged her.

Anne tutted. Trust Marian to get in there first.

“Hi.” Ann said shyly as she turned to her girlfriend.

“You’re… you look, uh, I mean, you’re.” Anne stumbled over her words.

“Smooth.” Marian said sarcastically, causing Ann to chuckle.

“You like my dress?” Ann asked.

Anne nodded emphatically. “Although.” Anne’s lips brushed Ann’s ear as she leaned forward. “It would look better on my bedroom floor.” Ann swatted her on the shoulder.

“Not your best line.” Ann laughed.

Anne shrugged with a cheeky grin as she pecked Ann on the lips. “You look incredible. I’m lost for words.”

Ann blushed as she shook her head. “Come on.”

Anne’s heart swelled in her chest as Ann interlinked their fingers, taking her by the hand and leading her towards the centre of the room. Anne always preferred to stay on the side-lines at events; cruise the bar, flirt with someone’s wife, take off before the night was over. It was easier that way, being the centre of attention made her sweat. But tonight? With Ann Walker tugging her around the room, chatting to people and showing her off? Well, she found she quite liked the spotlight.

The guests had begun to steadily filter in now. They were a mix of industry bigwigs, the Michelin team, press and Anne’s trusty team of staff. Ann held Anne’s hand tightly, leaning into her side as they walked between the small clusters of people. With every compliment, with every brush of her hand against Anne’s stomach as she spoke, Ann built Anne’s confidence brick by brick until she was towering over everyone, shoulders back, chest puffed out, a twinkle in her eye and a self assured smile on her face.

Anne was just in the middle of chatting to the photographer about which lighting would look more natural for the article when Ann covertly stretched upwards, her mouth brushing Anne’s ear. To anyone looking at them, it simply looked as if Ann glanced behind her, barely even pausing before turning back around and carrying on the conversation. However, for Anne, this moment was anything but innocent.

“I want you.” Ann’s impatient, needy tone was evident as her breathing hitched.

Anne cleared her throat in surprise as the photographer carried on telling her about how he only shot with prime lenses and refused to use anything else. She nodded, trying her best to keep up but really, what the fuck was he on about? Ann’s hand smoothed across her abs over her shirt, her pinky finger just dipped below the leather of her belt a fraction, entirely unnoticeable to anyone watching but utterly maddening to the woman trying her best to control her breathing.

Anne licked her lips as she tightened her grip on Ann’s waist, squeezing her closer into her body, if that was even possible. She was so wet she could barely think, let alone focus on the inane questions being asked of her. She had to break this off, there was just no way she’d survive another minute pressed together like this, not when Ann was in one of her moods.

“Just so you know.” Ann kissed her cheek innocently. “I’m not wearing any underwear.”

Anne exhaled audibly, catching her off guard and startling the two men she was in the middle of a conversation with. For a second, Ann felt bad for teasing her girlfriend on the most important night of her life, but well, she just couldn’t help it. She patted Anne’s chest, feeling her racing heart under her fingers before she smiled.

“I’ll get us some more champagne. Be right back.”

Anne swallowed, while she immediately felt the loss of the warm body next to her, she was grateful for the chance to breathe again.

“Anne!” A man in a sharp black suit approached her. “I just wanted to say congratulations, I’m the representative from the Michelin team and I’d like to set up the photograph now and do the presentation. Do you have champagne?”

“Yes she does.” Ann reappeared, as if from nowhere and deposited a glass in Anne’s hand. “Go on!” Ann shoved her girlfriend towards the area they’d set up for the presentation.

Wide eyed, a little nervous and entirely wound up by Ann Walker, Anne stood in front of her restaurant’s logo and took a deep breath. The presentation itself was a blur, she gladly accepted the framed certificate, clutching it tightly as the flashgun popped. She vaguely recalled being told the metal plaque would arrive next week for the external wall of the restaurant as she was ushered towards the most important guests at the party. All she wanted to do was re-join Ann but she soon snapped into work mode, effortlessly charming her way around the room, gladly accepting the congratulations and refreshed flutes of cold champagne.

By the time Anne reached the final huddle of people consisting of her sister, her favourite employee, her girlfriend and her girlfriend’s best mate, she felt rather tipsy. Whether she was drunk on the atmosphere, the alcohol or the arousal running through her veins, she couldn’t be sure. Ann giggled as Anne approached with a wide, toothy grin on her face.

“Hi.” She said shyly as if she wasn’t dripping filth into Anne’s ear half an hour ago.

“Hello.” Anne said playfully, lifting up her arm and sighing as Ann settled herself against her side, where she belonged.

“Nice one, Lister.” Cath slapped her on the back affectionately. “Thanks for inviting me.”

“Oh, I” Ann squeezed her hip. “You’re welcome.”

Truth was, Anne hadn’t invited Cath. She hadn’t really invited anyone but Ann had dealt with all of that for her. Obviously.

Cordingley squeezed her shoulder. “Well done, ma’am.”

“I’ve told you to stop calling me that, Elizabeth.” Anne said with a smile. “Thank you.”

“What’s next for us, Anne?” Marian asked while gently swaying on the spot.

“We’ll talk to you tomorrow, Marian. You’re drunk and so am I, if I’m being honest.”

Ann giggled as Anne nuzzled into the crook of her neck.

“Come on, Cath. Let’s get another drink, I can’t watch these two all night.” Marian rolled her eyes.

“Don’t scandalise these poor guests too much, Lister.” Cath thumped her on the arm playfully as she followed Marian to the bar.

Finally, Anne and Ann were alone. No photographers, no suits battling to speak to her, no annoying sister hanging around like a wasp at a picnic. Just the two of them, arms wrapped around each other, gazes soft and smiles wide.

“Dance with me.” Ann whispered before swaying her hips to the music.

“Hm. I don’t dance.” Anne said petulantly.

“I don’t care.” Ann smoothed her hands down Anne’s chest as she forced her to follow her movements.

Anne laughed, admitting defeat and awkwardly shuffling on the spot. Her cheek was warm against Ann’s as they gently turned, forgetting anyone else was even in the room.

“I don’t know if I can do this without you.” Anne whispered.

“You don’t have to, Anne. I’m not going anywhere but someone deserves the opportunity to learn under you.” Ann smiled sincerely.

“Hm. You do pretty well, uh, under me.” Anne winked devilishly.

Ann clicked her tongue and shook her head.

“I mean it, Anne. You could really change someone’s life, kick start their career, teach them things they’d never learn in a classroom. I’m just not that person.”

Anne nodded thoughtfully. Ann was right, of course. She was already trained, potentially better trained than Anne. Ann wasn’t a sous chef, she was a head chef, clever and brilliant and entirely at the top of her game. She couldn’t ask her to shrink herself just to take the vacant job in her kitchen. Plus, it wasn’t like they wouldn’t be working together at all if Ann’s idea was a success.

“I understand.” Anne finally said into the space between them. “We’ll talk to Marian tomorrow, get everything on paper.”

Ann nodded and waited patiently. “Are you finished?”

“Yes? Why?” Anne was confused.

“Because I don’t want to talk about work anymore.” Ann placed a soft kiss to her neck.

Anne closed her eyes and exhaled, her desire returning instantly as she felt Ann grind her hips into her, expertly disguised as they continued to sway to the music.

“I’d rather talk about what I want to do to you.” Ann continued to place wet kisses against Anne’s neck, delighting in the feel of her rapidly racing pulse against her lips.

“Fuck.” Anne exhaled, feeling the rush of wetness in her boxers at her girlfriend’s tone.

“I want you to take me home.” Ann dragged her teeth over Anne’s pulse point.

Anne groaned as her arousal coiled tighter and tighter in her stomach. She tilted her head back to meet Ann’s gaze, her mouth parted, her eyes black. For a few seconds, they just looked at each other, hunger and want buzzing between them. Anne gave in first, unable to resist her girlfriend for another second and brought their lips together. This was dangerous territory; they were still very much in public, at an event centred around Anne herself, all eyes were on her. And yet, like a couple of teenagers at a high school dance, they were at the back of the room making out furiously.

“I need you.” Anne muttered against Ann’s lips as she tilted her head and kissed her deeper.

“Why do you live above this stupid restaurant?” Ann whined, suddenly realising their predicament.

They couldn’t leave, it would be too obvious for them to both race up the stairs to Anne’s apartment, in full view of the party. No, that wouldn’t do. They’d have to wait.

“Just another hour.” Ann whined again loudly at Anne’s words. “We can wait another hour.” She kissed Ann again deeply. “After that, I’ll kick everyone out myself.”

Ann giggled and pulled away, trying to tame her racing heart. She smoothed down Anne’s mussed hair and held her face in her hands. “You are so bloody handsome and I love you.”

Anne was just about to close the gap, kiss her girlfriend passionately and drag her upstairs. Screw what everyone thought, she needed to make love to Ann right now, but just as she licked her lips, Marian cleared her throat loudly.

“Can you two tear yourselves apart for a single minute? Honestly!”

“Ah.” Anne hummed. “What can I help you with, Marian?”

“The guests are leaving, I thought perhaps, you might want to see them out? Thank them for coming? Wish them all the best? You know, instead of sticking your tongue down your girlfriend’s throat?”

Ann blushed furiously, burying her face into Anne’s chest.

“Sorry, Ann.” Marian added.

“It’s fine.” Her voice was muffled against the fabric of Anne’s shirt.

“I’ll be over in just a moment, Marian.”

Marian nodded and disappeared into the crowd.

“You have twenty minutes.” Ann said raising her eyebrow mischievously.

Anne laughed loudly, how delightful it was to be bossed around.

“And then…” Anne looked down at her girlfriend, her breath hitching as she watched the expression on Ann’s face turn entirely filthy. “I’m taking you upstairs.” Ann kissed the spot behind Anne’s ear. “And I’m going to make you come.” Anne shivered as Ann placed another kiss on her jaw. “With my tongue.”

Anne’s mission was clear: Get rid of everyone as quickly as possible. She almost tripped over her own feet as she raced to the front door of the restaurant, opening it and waiting expectantly. She may have been thanking each guest and shaking their hand graciously as they left but her attention was firmly fixed on what else the night had in store.