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calla lilies

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You’re thirty-two years old, Jamie tells herself, plumping up her pillows for the fourth time in an hour. You can manage a couple of nights on your own.

Dani’s in Rhode Island, attending a grow-your-business conference, having left early that morning and not getting back until Friday evening. She’d wanted more than anything to go with her, but it’s too early to take such a long time to close up The Leafling altogether, and Jamie’s reluctant to hire anybody else to help. The Leafling is hers, hers and Dani’s. She doesn’t trust anybody else with it. 

Still. The idea of a deputy manager taking over while she hops on a plane to Dani is increasingly appealing.

You’re an ex-fucking-felon, Taylor. Her thoughts seem to be particularly loud tonight, no distraction of golden hair or peach-scented perfume around. What would you-from-ten-years-ago think about this?

Probably how great it is that someone makes me feel this safe, she bites back, shifting over in bed grumpily and rearranging Dani’s pillows next to her, trying to recreate the feeling of holding her as she drifts to sleep. Full credit to her, she’s doing what she can - sleeping in one of Dani’s t-shirts, candle burning gently on the dresser, radio humming in the background to give her something to listen to, but nothing is quite filling the gap of Dani’s absence.

By the time she finally fights off the feeling, the sun is rising.

*

Jamie’s woken a couple of hours later by the sound of the phone ringing, jumping out of bed and immediately wincing heavily at the contortion in her shoulders. She stumbles through to the living room, reaching for the phone with a grumbled hello, feeling herself brighten immediately as a familiar Iowan accent hits her. “Morning, grumpy.”

“Mm’not grumpy.”

“I can hear it already. Sorry to call so early.”

“S’alright. Better than not getting to speak at all. Sleep okay?”

Dani pauses down the phone, which is about all the confirmation of an answer Jamie needs. “Not really,” Dani says. “It feels a bit weird to have a bed to myself now. I brought one of your shirts to hold onto, but it wasn’t the same.”

“Dani Clayton, you’re a romantic.”

She doesn’t need to see her to know that one of Dani’s eyebrows has raised. “Ten bucks says you’re wearing one of mine right now.”

Jamie grins down the phone, wishing more than anything she was getting this teasing in person. “Guilty as charged. How’s the conference?”

They talk about Dani’s schedule as Jamie sets about shoving some bread in the toaster, rolling her eyes affectionately as Dani reminds her not to burn it, and deciding not to mention that she does, in fact, manage to do that. Dani tells her about the orientation from the day before, how a lot of the information so far is things they’ve worked out, but that she’s got a few connections made and even found another florist who could potentially help them branch out into wedding arrangements and other large-scale events. It’s not the most interesting chat they’ve ever had, but just hearing Dani’s voice is enough of a remedy. “Remind me when your flight gets in?”

“Landing at eight. If tonight is anything like last night I’ll be exhausted, so I probably won’t be up for much of a reunion.”

Jamie smirks, chuckling. “Shame. But I reckon I’m gonna need an early night too, so no harm done there.”

“Can’t sleep either?”

“Barely a wink.”

Dani sighs just as Jamie hears her alarm go off from the bedroom. “You’re coming with me next time. I don’t like that you’re not sleeping.”

Jamie feels a smile spread across her face at Dani’s ever-present consideration. “Don’t like that you aren’t either. But it’s one more night. We’ll close up on Saturday and have a proper lie-in, yeah?”

“Deal.”

*

They speak again that night, gentle conversation as Jamie curls up on the sofa with the phone pressed to her ear, grateful that the cord stretches just long enough to stay in place. It’s a little easier to fall asleep with Dani’s soft recounting of her day, even if she does wake up two hours later, but soon realises with delight that Dani’s still on the line, snoring softly as Jamie settles herself back down again.

Friday is somehow even harder than the nights have been, the knowledge that Dani’s on her way making the hours drag by slower than Jamie thought possible. She’s always prized herself on her independence, on being happy with her own company, but two days without Dani have her aching for her girlfriend, closing up an hour early to work out some of her skittish energy down at the allotment. Her calla lilies are coming on beautifully, and she grabs her shears to take a few to give to Dani at the airport, something to make her smile.

The traffic is light, leading her to end up at the airport a solid half an hour early, sitting in a coffee booth next to Arrivals with a foot tapping impatiently on the ground. The lilies are on the table next to her, a God-awful cup of tea in her hand, and with each wave of people she finds her heart skip a little, reminding herself that Dani won’t have landed yet even as she searches her out. She ends up ditching the tea and wandering around instead, the clock ticking by to eight, then eight-fifteen, until finally the next wave of passengers arrive.

It’s a surprisingly busy flight, and Jamie’s just about getting worried when she locks onto a pair of familiar mismatched eyes, breaking out into a grin as Dani spots her. Dani scoots through the crowds and pulls her into a tight hug the second she gets there, before either of them have even had the chance to say hello, and Jamie feels herself relax the second she’s able to touch her again. “Missed you,” she mumbles into Dani’s hair, feeling a kiss against her shoulder as Dani sighs happily.

“Missed you too.”

She presents Dani with the lilies as they draw apart, enjoying Dani’s grin as she takes them, giving Jamie ample opportunity to grab her bag and hoist it onto her shoulder, knowing Dani has developed a habit of chronically overpacking for even the shortest of trips. Dani’s hand slips into hers as they walk out towards the car park, stays there the whole drive home, and Jamie’s yawning before they even close the front door behind them, perching on the arm of the sofa just long enough for Dani to put her lilies in a vase before wrapping her arms around her waist and walking the pair of them through to the bedroom, tugging Dani down onto the mattress with a delighted squeal as they instinctively curl together. She wrestles her jeans off and chucks them to the side as Dani abandons her bra from underneath her t-shirt, folding the duvet back just enough to slip underneath it. “Y’know, most couples like to have hot reunion sex in the shower,” Jamie says with a yawn, joining her.

“Good thing we’re not most couples then,” Dani muses, opening her arms for Jamie to nestle into, finally feeling right again. “You’d fall asleep on me halfway through.”

She can’t really argue with that.