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oh the trouble we can get in (so let’s screw this one up right)

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“There’s a reason they call it the happiest place on Earth,” Ted says, shrugging across FaceTime. He’s been in America since the season ended, isn’t due back for another few weeks. “I think y’all should do it.”

“Yeah,” Keeley says, feeling emboldened. It’s been a shit year, all business meetings and break-ups and depressingly little fun to be had. “Let’s do it.”

Rebecca raises one eyebrow. “You’re sure?”

Keeley nods. She deserves a break. They both do. “Yeah. Let’s go.”

“Alright.” Rebecca clicks the link to reserve the hotel. Keeley’s stomach does a little swoop. She’s never been to America. This’ll be a right fun trip, just the two of them in Las Vegas.

“Oh shoot — I was thinking of Disney World,” Ted says as the reservation confirmation page pops up. “Vegas is the one they call Sin City. Don’t know how I mixed those up.”

Rebecca turns to Keeley, her face half amused and half concerned. She’s had a shit year, too, with Rupert and his West Ham nonsense plaguing her every move all season. Keeley doesn’t know the last time Rebecca had a proper holiday; she suspects it’s a distant memory. She deserves this just as much as Keeley does.

“Even better,” Keeley says, meaning it with her whole heart.

**

“Why,” Rebecca stumbles the tiniest bit, “is this margarita taller than you are?”

“It is not.” Keeley does not stomp her foot. “Shut up. Give it to me.” It’s easier to prove her own height when she’s holding the tall, skinny glass, and even easier to prove it when she’s drinking out of it.

“You snake.” Rebecca tries to grab it back, laughing. She’s glowing under the neon lights, looking better than she has in ages, proper relaxed. No, better than that. She looks happy, same as Keeley feels.

Keeley loves Las Vegas. They should move here. They could work remotely, right from the pool deck.

Rebecca points at Keeley, her fingertips brushing her cheek. “Yes,” she says. “Brilliant. I could kiss you.”

In the distance, a cannon from a pirate ship booms. “Okay,” Keeley says.

Rebecca laughs.

**

She wakes up to the insistent vibrations of a phone underneath her stomach. When she sits up, it brings the rolling onslaught of a horrible hangover.

“Hello?” Keeley slumps back into the mattress. Maybe if she stays very still that’ll right her stomach. “Oh. Right. Sorry about that. Can we reschedule — yeah, we’ll pay the cancellation fees. Sorry again. Cheers.”

“Keeley?” The mess of covers at her hip shifts as Keeley’s hanging up and she can’t help it, she shrieks. And then the very tip of a blonde head emerges. Rebecca doesn’t move, she only moves the duvet enough that Keeley can see her face. “Who was that? What are you doing here?”

“This is my room,” Keeley says, though now she’s not too confident about that. Their rooms look identical. “And it was the spa. We missed our massages; I rebooked us for the day after tomorrow, same time.”

“Okay.” Rebecca pulls the blankets back up. She’s got the right idea, it’s far too bright in the room. “But I might die by then. God willing.”

Keeley laughs even though it means everything inside her does a three-sixty and she has to breathe in through her nose and out through her mouth until she’s sure she won’t be sick.

By then, Rebecca’s already back asleep and Keeley decides it’s easier to follow her lead than do any of the reasonable things, like finding a bottle of water or paracetamol or checking the six voicemails and forty texts she’s got waiting for her on her phone.

**

It’s mid-afternoon by the time they’re both closer to alive.

“Should we cancel our dinner plans?” Rebecca clutches her water bottle to her chest. She looks green at the mention of food. “No, right? It’s probably smart to eat.”

“Maybe not seafood, though.”

“Right. I’ll ask the concierge to find us something… sturdier.”

“Burgers,” Keeley says. Salt and grease and fat, that’s what will fix this. And none of those absurdly tall drinks.

“Yes.” Rebecca sounds relieved now that they’ve got a new plan. “I’m going to shower, then I’ll call.”

Keeley gives her a weak thumbs up and burrows back under the covers. On the desk, her phone gives a loud I’m-No-Longer-Dead buzz. Something to deal with later, then. Once it’s sufficiently charged. She nearly died plugging it in earlier.

Not ten minutes later, she gives in to its insistent buzzing. It takes a good deal of willpower to get up and cross the room to look at it, but she figures if Rebecca can strongarm herself into the shower, she can manage this.

Besides, there’s a chair at the desk for her to collapse into.

And thank fuck there is, because right underneath her phone is a very concerning slip of paper.

**

“Rebecca?”

Keeley is not panicking. That’s why she’s waited for the water to shut off and the door to crack open, steam venting out.

“Hmm?”

“How much do you remember about last night?”

“I don’t know, most of it, I suppose. You won at the craps table, didn’t you?”

Oh shit, that’s right. And then she’d spent a significant portion of her winnings on the crazy-tall margaritas.

“Yeah,” Keeley says belatedly.

“Why?” Rebecca comes out of the washroom in only a towel. Keeley’s too stunned to enjoy the sight. What a crime. “Have you got strange bruises? I think you tripped over the curb at one point, but I’m pretty sure I caught you.”

“We got married.” Keeley holds up their wedding certificate with one hand, flashes her plain gold wedding ring on the other. “So. Surprise?”

Rebecca’s jaw drops. When she covers her mouth, Keeley catches her first glimpse of her matching wedding band.

As if on cue, Rebecca’s phone starts ringing.

**

Turns out, posting a picture of a wedding chapel to your Insta story is one way to draw attention, even if it’s only a picture and no one is tagged in it and you only posted it to close friends.

Keeley’s got dozens of messages coming through, all with an alarming number of exclamation marks.

No, she types over and over, all good, don’t worry. She figures if she says it enough times, maybe she’ll believe it.

“Bury it,” Rebecca is saying on her own calls. “Get rid of it.”

She sounds so calm and terrifying, Keeley can’t help but stare. Imagine if the people on the other end knew she was doing it all in a hotel bathrobe.

Her staring must worry Rebecca though, because she tucks her phone against her shoulder so she can say, “Don’t worry. I’m getting it sorted.” She reaches out and finds Keeley’s hand, giving it a squeeze. For a second she stands there, her thumb making soft arcs on Keeley’s knuckles. If she thinks it’s odd, feeling the wedding ring there, it doesn’t show.

Of course she doesn’t find it odd, Keeley tells herself. She was married for ages. It’s not like she keeps getting distracted by the sight of a stupid ring or the idea that she doesn’t even remember her trip down the aisle.

It shouldn’t matter to either of them. It was probably — definitely — some joke that got out of hand, and now it’s just a mess they’ve got to clean up. Which they will. If anyone can sort it out, Rebecca can. And until then, Keeley will do damage control of her own. She hasn’t spent a year setting up her own PR firm just to fall apart at the first sign of personal trouble.

**

“Now what?” Keeley asks. It feels like a lifetime has passed since they realized, but really it’s only been a few hours. She still has a lingering headache, but once she’d had a shower and some room service eggs things had turned a corner. Plus, hearing Rebecca end a call with, “Seventy-two hours? I suppose that’ll have to do,” had gone a long way to settling her stomach.

Rebecca is quiet for a moment. “I don’t suppose there’s anything to do. Nigel said he’d handle it. Until then, we wait.”

**

The problem is, there’s absolutely nothing to do. Rebecca begs off for a nap and Keeley heads back to her room — she’d been wrong; they’d woken up in Rebecca’s — and tries to amuse herself, but as much as she’s trying to monitor social media for anyone catching wind of their situation, she’s also trying to avoid looking directly at it. And there’s not much on American telly at two o’clock on a Wednesday.

God. She and Rebecca got married on a fucking Tuesday night. What an absolute debacle. If Rebecca’s mum ever found out, she’d be spinning.

The thought alone is enough to send Keeley into a fit of laughter.

“Are you having a mental breakdown?” Rebecca asks from the door between their adjoining rooms. They’d booked too last-minute to get one of the villas, not that Keeley’s complaining. Her washroom has a telly built into the mirror.

“I just realized our anniversary is a fucking Tuesday.”

Rebecca doesn’t find it nearly as amusing as Keeley does. “Yes, well. Mistakes were made.”

“Right.” Keeley tries to get herself under control, but Rebecca’s tone sets her off, and that gets Rebecca going, and then they’re both in hysterics.

“Jesus Christ,” Rebecca says between gasping breaths, “my mother would have a coronary if she ever found out.”

I know,” Keeley shrieks, knowing that it’s only hilarious because, with any luck, she won’t find out.

Once she’s caught her breath she tips sideways, her head landing on Rebecca’s shoulder. “I’m sorry about, you know,” she gestures with her arm, “all this.”

Rebecca’s quiet long enough that Keeley tilts her head, trying to get a look at her face. It’s unreadable. When she catches Keeley looking, she smiles wryly. “There’s nothing to apologize for. It takes two to tango, as it were.”

True as that may be, Keeley can’t imagine a scenario where Rebecca was the one that led them into this mess. It’s got to have been her own fault. The ring sits heavy on her finger; she worries at it with her thumb. She’d remove it, but then Rebecca would realize she hadn’t gotten round to it yet, and for some reason that makes Keeley feel weirder than anything else.

“Still,” she says.

“You’re being ridiculous. Just think: someday this’ll make a magnificent story.”

It sounds so much like something Keeley would say to cheer Rebecca up that Keeley narrows her eyes. “Have you been possessed by a pod person? Did we accidentally swap bodies when we got married? Did you notice a perfectly timed earthquake that Freaky Fridayed us?”

“Jesus Christ.” Rebecca pulls back, trying to put space between them now that Keeley’s scrambled onto her knees and is trying to sort out if Rebecca’s pupils are reacting normally. Once, Jamie got kicked in the head and was freakishly solicitous afterward; maybe this is like that. Maybe Rebecca has a concussion. “Can’t a woman pick up a habit or two from her wife without it being suspicious?”

Keeley’s mouth falls open against her will. It takes her a second to gather herself back together. “Have you got a brain bleed? What year is it?”

Rebecca rolls her eyes.“2023. And no, I don’t. I’m fine.”

Keeley hums, suspicious. That’s exactly what a not-fine person would say. Especially Rebecca, who doesn’t ever want to draw attention to her problems.

Rebecca sighs. It’s like she knows what Keeley’s thinking. At least accidentally getting married hasn’t cocked that up.

“Keeley.” She puts her hands around Keeley’s biceps and makes her sit back. Normally it’d be hot, being manhandled like this, but desperate times are apparently a real boner killer. “Nigel said he’d handle it. This’ll all be sorted by the time we land at Heathrow. No harm, no foul.”

That’s something Ted would say — something he does say all the time, and hearing Rebecca parrot him as easily as she had parroted Keeley is… It’s equally unsettling. Keeley isn’t jealous about it, it’s just weird.

**

“This is better,” Rebecca says much later, as they tuck themselves into the corner booth of a very dimly lit restaurant. “I think that room was making us crazed.”

She’d insisted they get dressed and get out. That no good would come of holing up for the next few days; they were on holiday and should see it through.

She was right, Keeley thinks toward the tail end of the main course. No one is paying them any mind because no one in America knows or cares who they are at all. Christ, Jamie or Dani could walk through the bar shirtless and most people would probably think they were models planted there to sell tequila.

“This was a good idea,” she says, bumping her foot against Rebecca’s shin so she looks up. “Thank you.”

Rebecca smiles, a chip halfway to her mouth. “Everyone needs to eat.”

Keeley rolls her eyes. She means for more than chivvying them out the door to a mediocre steakhouse. The trip had been Rebecca’s idea while Keeley was so deep in the weeds she could hardly think. No one tells you that the problem with climbing the ladder of success is that the ladder never ends. There’s always another rung just off in the distance, tempting you.

Rebecca had known, though. And she’d been patiently waiting for Keeley to realize a break was exactly what she needed after everything. That work would be waiting when she got back.

“You’re welcome,” Rebecca says, even though Keeley’s not said anything at all. “And thank you for agreeing to come. It wouldn’t have been the same alone.”

Keeley laughs. “Definitely not.” She can’t imagine Rebecca doing any of this alone. Her solo trip to Las Vegas would probably include loads of fancy dinners and Cirque du Soleil shows and probably a high roller table, if she gathered her druthers, instead of all the nonsense Keeley dragged her into: six straight wins at the blackjack table, penny slots while they ordered ridiculous drinks, a club where girls danced in bathtubs suspended from the ceiling. Drive-through wedding chapels.

Rebecca lifts her wine glass in a shallow toast. “To a memorable trip.”

Keeley reaches across the table to clink glasses. “The happiest place on Earth.”

That sets Rebecca off. They’re both still giggling when the waiter comes back. “Any room for dessert?”

“I think…” Keeley takes a glance at the menu he’d left them. She glances up and Rebecca shrugs, her face saying I’m in if you are. “The chocolate lava cake? Two spoons. My wife and I will split it.”

She winks at Rebecca as she says it, smugly pleased by the way Rebecca snorts indelicately. It feels scandalous, saying it out loud. Feels like she’s getting away with something. Feels even better that Rebecca finds it funny.

The waiter’s complete lack of reaction leaves Keeley emboldened. None of this matters. Rebecca’s already figuring out the paperwork to make it disappear. Soon enough it’ll all be a big joke; it’s good to start laughing about it now. It’ll make the bruise of it all hurt less.

“You’re a menace,” Rebecca says once she’s recovered.

“Yeah.” Keeley beams at her. “And you married me.”

Rebecca rolls her eyes but Keeley clocks the way she hides her smile in another sip of wine. Once she’s swallowed she says, “I want a divorce.”

**

The last thing Keeley does before falling asleep — pathetically early, by Vegas standards, but after the day she’s had, it’s nice to curl up in bed on the right side of midnight — is scroll through her socials. She doesn’t find anything of note.

She starts to post a few shots to her story, video she’d shot earlier on the strip that makes it seem like she’s still out and about. In the last one, Rebecca waves to the camera, her smile wide and relaxed. It takes Keeley three watches before she realizes Rebecca’s wedding ring is fully on display. Shit.

She deletes that bit from the post; it leaves what’s actually going up oddly cut-off, but who cares.

If she saves the original video in a hidden folder, well. That’s nobody’s business but her own.

**

“But we need to have one authentic American experience and you refused to eat at a buffet.” Keeley gestures to the bar behind her, twangy music seeping out the door.

It’s barely five o’clock. Nowhere should be so loud this early in the evening.

Rebecca frowns. Keeley makes her eyes as big as possible and looks up at her from under her lashes. Then Rebecca takes a huge breath and Keeley knows she’s won.

“Yay.” She claps her hands together and then hesitates for a split second before grabbing for one of Rebecca’s. She holds her hand all the time; there’s no point in stopping now, not just because they’re technically married. “Come on!”

“This place is…” Rebecca tactfully takes a sip of the beer Keeley’d bought for her. Her face says everything.

“Finish that, and then we’re dancing.”

Rebecca looks over her shoulder, past the sticky floor covered in peanut shells and the barrels doubling as tables, to where people are literally line dancing. It’s like Footloose. When she turns back, it’s with the most withering stare.

Keeley refuses to bend.

An hour or so later, as they’re both laughing and sweaty and arguing over whether they should go for nachos or wings, Keeley watches the way the neon lights bounce off Rebecca’s face, casting her purple, hot pink, bright yellow. It feels like there’s a winch around her insides, winding everything tight, making it harder and harder to breathe.

“Are you alright?” Rebecca reaches over, wipes a bit of peanut shell off Keeley’s cheek, and for a moment leaves her hand there like she might be able to hear Keeley’s thoughts through her skin.

“Nachos,” Keeley says, because it’s the only question she knows the answer to.

**

There’s a tray waiting on the desk in Keeley’s room when she gets back. She doesn’t notice it until after she’s had her shower.

She knocks on the door between their rooms and stands there like a twat, holding a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne, until Rebecca opens the door, wearing her own bathrobe, and says, “What the fuck?”

“It was here! Waiting!”

Rebecca takes the bottle and then squeezes past Keeley to collect the flutes. “Come on.”

Keeley balks, but Rebecca just rolls her eyes. “What? We’re already married, you might as well come in.”

“Like I’ve ever needed a reason to sleep with you before,” Keeley says, hoping it doesn’t sound strained. She’s felt off-kilter all evening, doesn’t know how to fix it. She’d been hoping a good night’s sleep would help, but now there’s all this.

“Exactly. So stop being weird and eat a fucking strawberry while I put on a film.” She punctuates her demand by popping the cork.

It helps. Truly. They gorge themselves on strawberries and champagne and watch some terrible film that’s more advertisements than plot.

“American ads are so weird,” Keeley says. “Why’s that woman skipping through a field if she’s ill? Why do they have to read all the side effects at the end? What is this medicine even for?”

She fishes her phone out of the bedding so she can google it.

“Oh, last one.” Rebecca holds up the last strawberry. “It’s yours.”

Unthinkingly, Keeley opens her mouth so Rebecca can feed it to her. It’s easier than setting down either her phone or her glass, but the second Rebecca’s fingertips touch her lips, she fills with regret.

She looks up and feels caught by the intense way Rebecca is watching her. The strawberry is sweet, perfectly ripe and juicy. Her tongue darts out to catch a stray rivulet of juice and accidentally gets Rebecca’s fingertips. It sends a rush of heat all the way to her toes.

Rebecca pulls back, tosses the tip of the berry onto the tray at the foot of the bed, and clears her throat. The room feels too small now, claustrophobic. The television is far too loud.

Keeley takes a sip of her champagne and realizes that’s part of the problem. Ted should’ve told her how much alcohol there was in Las Vegas. She needed to be prepared for this.

“Water?” she asks Rebecca, reaching for one of the bottles on the nightstand. Rebecca looks at her for a moment, chewing on her lip. She’s rubbing her fingertips together like there’s still strawberry juice on them. Still spit, probably, too. Christ.

“That’s probably smart.” She holds her hand out. Keeley is careful to hand it over, tries to keep their hands from brushing without making it obvious.

She casts about for something, anything to say. Her eyes catch on something white underneath the plate the food came on. “Oh, there’s a card!”

CONGRATS it says. Keeley curses under her breath.

“What?”

“Jamie sent these.” Just saying it aloud makes her feel slightly less adrift. They were sent as a joke. All of this is one elaborate joke. It helps, remembering that.

“Is that who it’s from? I assumed it was the hotel.”

Keeley holds the card so Rebecca can read. “Who else would sign it just the number nine?”

Rebecca rolls her eyes heavenward. “He’s such a bastard.”

Keeley very carefully doesn’t look at the red stains on Rebecca’s fingertips as she agrees.

**

They make it to their spa appointments this time.

“Should we upgrade to the couples massage?” Keeley asks while they wait to check-in, far too early the next morning. She bumps her hip against Rebecca’s and snakes her arm around her waist. Amazingly, Rebecca tolerates it. “They’ve got a package for newlyweds.”

“Oh, we didn’t have that in our system. Congratulations, Mrs. and Mrs. Welton!” the receptionist says.

“Jones. I’m keeping my last name.”

“Of course you are,” Rebecca says.

“Apologies.” The receptionist types something and then frowns at the screen. “Oh, and I’m sorry, it appears that package is booked solid today.”

“That’s alright. I think we’ll manage to be apart for an hour.”

“Speak for yourself,” Keeley says. “I might die from loneliness.”

“Talk to your masseuse.”

Keeley’s jaw drops; she’s only half playing at being outraged. Talking to some stranger is fine and all, but she’d much rather talk to Rebecca over the piped-in harps and flutes.

The receptionist clears her throat gently. “This way." Halfway down the hall she says, “You’re adorable. How long have you been married?”

Keeley pretends to think. “Two days.”

The receptionist gasps, looking between them like they’re precious baby animals or something equally cute. “Congratulations. I’m so sorry we couldn’t upgrade your treatments.”

“It’s really alright,” Rebecca says, opening the door to her room. Keeley steps to the one just across the hall. “But thank you.”

After, there’s complimentary champagne waiting for them in the relaxation area outside the steam room. To a lifetime of happiness! the note tied round the neck says. Who knew married couples got so much free champagne?

Keeley tries to focus on the good and not the twitchy, wired way she’d felt last night. It hadn’t lingered this morning. She won’t let it creep in now. Rebecca’s not being weird, so neither can she.

Keeley pours them each a glass and then sinks down onto the chaise. She feels boneless, like every knot has finally been wrung out of her body. “A girl could get used to this.”

Rebecca hums in agreement. She looks equally relaxed, her cheeks flushed, hair curling around her temples and at the nape of her neck. Keeley has a flash, suddenly, of trying to convince Rebecca that they should give up their lives and move to Las Vegas permanently. That they should chase this feeling year-round, ad infinitum.

“Alright?” Rebecca asks, one eyebrow raised. Her eyes are still closed. How she knows Keeley’s staring is beyond her.

Keeley takes a sip of her champagne, lets the bubbles carry away all the emotions she can’t sort out.

“Perfect,” she says, and feels a tiny bit guilty that she very nearly means it.

**

It feels easy — feels smart, honestly — to keep the ball rolling once they’ve started drinking, so once they get back to the hotel they head to the pool. It’s literally hotter than anything Keeley’s experienced in her life, and trying to convert Fahrenheit to celsius requires more brainpower than she’s willing to extend on what is her last day of holiday, but she knows enough to understand that it’s hot. Like, center of the earth, fiery pits of hell hot.

That’s probably why the pool is so crowded.

Rebecca spends most of her time under an umbrella, answering emails on her phone, but Keeley can’t stand it. She lasts fifteen minutes before she announces, “I’m going for a swim.”

The pool is shaded, so that helps. Nothing like a sunburn to make a ten-hour flight truly unbearable. She sticks to the edges, mostly trying to stay cool, but still manages to attract attention after a few minutes, some guy called Chris who’s here with his mates for a bachelor party. A bachelor party that he tells her about in excruciating detail no matter how disinterested she looks.

“You should come out with us tonight,” he says, one arm braced against the edge of the pool so he’s almost towering over her. It would be intimidating if his swim trunks weren’t striped with tiny dogs on them. They make him look like he’s twelve, even though he’s probably twenty-three.

Keeley can’t believe she willingly dated men this age when she wasn’t also a twenty-three-year-old idiot.

“We’re getting bottle service.”

“Oh, fancy.” Keeley knows she’s meant to be impressed; it’s not this kid’s fault he’s got no idea she’s spent years getting free bottle service at every club in London. That it was the foundation of her career. “That’ll be fun.”

An arm slips around Keeley’s shoulders and for a second she panics but then Rebecca says, “Babe, I got you another daiquiri,” like a godsend.

Keeley squints at her but can’t see Rebecca’s expression through her sunglasses. Apparently Rebecca can clearly read hers and the way she doesn’t want to be talking to this tall American child. She reaches up to squeeze Rebecca’s hand where it’s resting against Keeley’s collarbone. It makes their rings clink together. Keeley ducks her head to hide her grin.

“Uh,” Chris says, clearly ready to say something rude right before he notices their rings. It’s a good thing they’ve both apparently been too lazy to take them off. “Oh shit. Sorry. I didn’t mean to —”

“No harm done,” Rebecca says, and her mouth is so close to Keeley’s temple Keeley’s got gooseflesh from it.

“Uh, bye,” Chris says, and Keeley waits until he’s gone to pull away. She’s torn between laughing and dunking herself underwater, her heart racing like mad for no reason. She settles for grabbing Rebecca’s face between her hands and planting a kiss on her cheek, just close enough to the corner of her mouth that if Chris is still watching he’ll think it’s legit.

“Thank you. I fucking love you.”

“Yes, yes,” Rebecca says, pushing Keeley’s drink into her hands. It’s sweet and frigid, tastes like the perfect shock to the system Keeley needs. ”I think I remember that from your vows.”

**

The first thing Keeley’d done after Rebecca reserved their rooms was secure dinner reservations for their last night.

“Shouldn’t we worry about flights first?” Rebecca had wondered aloud, but Keeley is a firm believer in ending a holiday on a high note: good food, good wine, good company.

“And you were right,” Rebecca says, smiling as she holds the door for Keeley. The restaurant had been chilly and the casino floor they’d passed through to leave was equally cold and ten times as loud. Stepping outside is like tiptoeing into heaven, everything warm and muffled.

It’s probably a side effect of the wine.

“Should we get a car?” Keeley takes a step towards the valet stand but Rebecca stops her.

“It’s not that far.”

It’s not, and it’s nice out, the suffocating heat of the day gone and replaced with something still warm but far more pleasant. Being here has made Keeley feel like a lizard, soaking up the warmth and storing it away for the dreary London autumn.

Despite one drunken lapse, this trip has done wonders for her. And Rebecca, too, if her demeanor is anything to go by; the deepest lines at the corners of her mouth have smoothed out. Las Vegas is nearly as good as fillers. They should put that on the posters.

“What?” Rebecca asks. “Don’t make that face, you’re the one staring.”

“That’s because you’re so beautiful I can’t look away. Like a fucking Rembrandt, you are.”

The lights from the buildings are bright enough that she can see the way the tips of Rebecca’s ears go pink. Even after all these years, she’s still shit at taking a compliment. Keeley loves her more than most people on this planet; maybe more than anyone else, these days.

Shit.

It’s strange to realize. It feels like the kind of thing that should be bigger. Louder. A love like this shouldn’t get to sneak up on you.

Rebecca’s looking at her again with the faint smile she gets whenever Keeley’s gone and said something she thinks is ridiculous.

“You know,” Keeley takes Rebecca’s hand, “I quite like being married to you.”

Rebecca scoffs. “Oh, it’s early yet. Give it a few months or years and it’ll sour.”

Keeley stops walking and frowns at her. She tries to find a way to say no, I couldn’t get sick of you if I tried, I’ll love you forever no matter what that doesn’t sound terrifying. That doesn’t make it seem like she plotted to get Rebecca pissed and drag her down the aisle.

Before she can get her head on straight, Rebecca pulls a face at herself. “Not that it matters anyway. We’ll have the papers ready when we land.”

Right. Nigel and his papers. Probably waiting for them at baggage claim. Keeley’s getting emotional whiplash from tonight. She doesn’t much want to go home, not just yet, even though she knows they have to.

They both watch the fountains a moment, listening to the music swell; a breeze sends water blowing in their direction. Keeley flinches, but it evaporates before it touches her.

“I love you,” she says, same as she’s told Rebecca a million times over. This time it feels like a confession. “You know that, right?”

“Of course. I love you, too.” Rebecca sounds the same as she ever does. It’s reassuring, Keeley supposes.

She rests her head against Rebecca’s arm and watches the way the fountain dances. Visualizes this whole trip evaporating the same way the water does, a lovely, ephemeral thing. There’s no use dwelling. If you love something, set it free and all that.

The music swells; all sorts of people have stopped to watch.

“Isn’t this the fountain from Ocean’s Eleven?” Keeley says, suddenly realizing. She makes her voice sound normal, pushes everything else to the side. “Do you think we should rob a casino tonight?”

Rebecca laughs and laughs and Keeley presses a kiss to the back of her hand because at least this trip has been fun, despite everything she can’t remember and all the bits she knows she’ll never forget.

**

Amazingly, Nigel is not at the airport to greet them. Rebecca’s driver is, but he’s as chatty as ever. Doesn’t even blink as he loads Keeley’s luggage into the boot.

They’re stopping outside her place before she knows it. Keeley sticks her head in the window while he unloads her bags.

“Bye, babe.” She busses a kiss against Rebecca’s cheek. “It was fun while it lasted. I don’t care what that prick says, you make a great wife.”

**

“I know,” Rebecca says, answering Keeley’s call on the first ring, “he said seventy-two but it’s looking a bit more like ninety-six hours; something about international whatevers, I don’t know.”

“Right. So you haven’t seen The Sun then?”

The silence from Rebecca is awful. It goes on forever, until, “No.”

Keeley stares at her iPad and the shit Gal Pal Wedding Royale and the picture of Rebecca and Keeley grinning at each other as they leave that stupid chapel. Fucking iPhones and their film-caliber cameras; now everyone’s a paparazzo.

“Yes,” she says eventually, and then, “I’m sending it to you.”

There’s more silence while the message sends, and then while Rebecca reads it; she’s so quiet Keeley wonders if the call’s dropped. “I’m so —”

“We’ve been over this. It’s not your fault.” Rebecca blows out a frustrated stream of air. “I’ve got to go, I’ve got to make some calls.”

“Yeah.” Keeley should probably do the same. Or she should wait, figure out what the plan is. Present a united front. “We should —”

“You’ll put out a statement? For the both of us?”

“Oh.” Even though Keeley’s still in charge of Richmond’s PR, and, by proxy, Rebecca’s, she hadn’t been expecting that. “Yeah, of course. I’ll send you something.”

“I trust you,” Rebecca says, and then she’s gone.

Keeley sits heavily on one of her bar stools and wonders what the fuck she’s supposed to say. She puts her head down on the countertop and tries to think.

**

It takes the better part of the day to come up with something. She resorts to her emergency plan for if Jamie ever comes back from Ibiza with two fiancees or finds out he’s got a kid in nursery school or something.

Leave a comment, but keep it short, Keeley says, and texts Rebecca a link to her Notes app Instagram post. It’s safer than going through a reporter, keeps the control in their hands.

It’s a long time before she responds, but when she finally does it’s in quick succession. She likes Keeley’s message and then there’s a notification Rebecca commented on your post: 💕 and then two more texts:

Well done
Thank you

Of course, Keeley sends back. She wants to invite her over — for a late dinner, or a glass of wine, or god, tea and biscuits, who fucking cares — but it’s late already, nearly ten now, and tomorrow’s Monday and Rebecca’s probably been dealing with Nigel since the news broke.

Sweet dreams she sends instead, and falls asleep before Rebecca gets around to responding.

**

The problem is, work doesn’t disappear even if you’re managing your own marital crisis.

Keeley spends most of Monday either in meetings or dealing with things that happened while she was away. She’s barely got time to whittle down her inbox, let alone respond to the messages that are piling up on her phone.

Stinky says the divorce is imminent, but I’ll still kill you if you hurt her

Obviously, Keeley sends back, even though what she means is I’d probably kill myself before you got the chance. That’s too dark for a text. Too close to the truth, too.

She scrolls through some of the rest, but largely ignores them. She’s considering a response to Ted — he’s sent his with the balloons animation, and that’s. Christ, it’s a lot, even if the body of the message is Hang in there. Call if you need anything, which is exactly the level of support she’s come to expect from him in these situations — when a new notification pops up.

Congratulations.

It’s the first time she’s heard from Roy in forever. It doesn’t hurt the way she expected; seeing his name isn’t the problem she would’ve thought. It’s his sincerity — she knows Roy doesn’t have Instagram, so he wouldn’t have seen her post unless someone else shared it, and clearly no one has. He’s one of the few people who understands how Keeley feels about Rebecca. At least, he did before, back when Keeley thought it was just an unattainable crush she’d get over, and not this… all-encompassing thing reshaping the anatomy of her heart.

Come to think of it, Roy probably knew about that even before she did. A lot more things make sense in hindsight.

“Fuck,” she says, dropping her phone so she can put her head in her hands.

After a minute there’s a light knock on the door. “Are you alright?” Her assistant, Chloe, pokes her head inside. She hasn’t once asked about the whole situation, just handed Keeley her coffee and said, “I put a fake call on your calendar first thing; you have an hour before your first real meeting.” It had made Keeley want to hug her.

Now, Chloe asks, “Do you want me to cancel the rest of the day? It’s only the check-in with PixieLox left.”

Keeley sighs. She hasn’t got the energy for that — their CEO is like, twenty-six and painfully excitable and normally Keeley likes her but today? Pass.

Still. It’s not like pushing it off will make it easier. It’d probably raise more questions. She should just keep pushing through. Onward. Forward. That’s what Ted would say.

“No, leave it. I’ll probably head out after that, though.”

Chloe gives her a thumbs up and shuts the door again.

On the desk, Keeley’s phone buzzes. This time, it’s a text from Jamie. It’s just a screenshot of her post, the hundreds of thousands of likes circled with a red pen. With it, he’s sent a long string of eyes and fire and one hundred emojis.

No, she sends back immediately.
Do not get any ideas
JAMIE

The last thing she needs is Jamie Tartt accidentally-on-purpose getting hitched just for the ‘gram.

She screenshots the whole conversation for Rebecca.

Bad news babe. We might’ve created a monster.

**

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that the jet lag means Keeley sleeps like the dead.

She wakes up to a disliked from Jamie and oh god from Rebecca. Neither is a satisfying response, but Keeley will forgive one of them.

“Can you get a location check on Jamie?” she asks Chloe. “Maybe have Isaac babysit him for a week or two?”

Chloe, bless her, doesn’t ask why, just starts tapping away at her phone screen.

“Before I forget — your weekly Richmond check-in got pushed.”

Keeley’s heart doesn’t sink. “Right. Thanks. You’ll sort out the Jamie thing?”

“Already talking to Jan Maas.”

“Brilliant.”

She shuts her office door. Sure enough, her calendar’s got a gap from two to four-thirty where her Tuesday meeting with Rebecca usually sits.

Logically, Keeley knows she’s probably just getting pulled in a hundred different directions and is shifting what amounts to a two-hour catch-up under the guise of “business.” It still smarts, though. It’s always the one bright spot in Keeley’s day.

Oh well. She’s got loads to do now that she’s back from holiday; this just gives her more time to do them.

“Chloe? Can we slot that Bantr offshoot into the Richmond time? Tell them I want to check in and level-set based on their most recent proposal.”

“Sure thing, boss.”

Keeley digs out the slide deck for FR&NDSHIP and starts making notes. There’s no use wasting time. At least now she can get one thing out of the way.

**

It’s strange, though, not hearing from Rebecca. She knows they’re both busy, and that Rebecca’s probably fielding twice as many inquiries about What Happened than Keeley is. At least people expect this kind of thing from Keeley. Rebecca’s the one who’s meant to be perfect all the time.

It’s as exhausting as it sounds. That’s why Rebecca’d needed the holiday in the first place.

Look how that turned out.

**

“Good morning, babes!”

“How much caffeine have you had already?” Rebecca asks, as if Keeley isn’t capable of feigning excitement. As if Keeley isn’t thrilled to hear Rebecca’s voice for the first time all week.

“Don’t you worry your gorgeous head about me.” The answer is a triple espresso, but that’s neither here nor there. The jet lag has seemed to grow new, horrendous legs. But whatever. Just like all the lingering parts from the trip, it’ll pass. Eventually.

“I always do.” It makes Keeley grin to hear it, even if she knows Rebecca worries the same about everyone — Ted, Sam, hell, even the kit man, what’s his face. Will. Rebecca clears her throat. “Anyway, I’m sorry I had to cancel Tuesday.”

“It’s fine,” Keeley puts in quickly. “Helped me out a lot, actually. Bantr’s moving ahead with their new app, we got a lot squared away about it.”

“Oh. That’s… really great.”

Rebecca thinks the new app is stupid. But Rebecca thought Bantr was stupid, too, so oh well. It’s not like Keeley’s going to force her to sign up for this one; Rebecca doesn’t need a way to make new friends.

“Yeah, we’re all excited.”

Rebecca hums and Keeley spins her desk chair so she can look out the window. The view from her office is terrible.

“Oh god.”

“What?”

“Braces is watching porn in his office again.”

“Seriously?” Rebecca’s voice gets all high and scandalized. “How has that man not been fired yet?”

“It’s a miracle. Or maybe he works in the industry. For all I know, he could be like, editing it — oh no, wait, he’s opening his trousers.” Keeley spins away, shuddering. Over the phone, she can tell Rebecca’s equally disgusted.

“Alright.” Rebecca draws in a breath and then another. Keeley pictures her at her desk squaring her shoulders, shaking off all the bad and welcoming the new. In her chair, she tries to do the same — spine straight, tits out, quick roll of the neck to get rid of the lingering bad vibes. “This is a terrible segue but I don’t think there’s a better one, so here goes: would you like to have lunch with me today?”

“Yes, of course. Do you want me to pick something up —”

“No, I was thinking we’d go out. Paloma’s equidistant, right? I made reservations for half twelve and half one, just in case.”

“Oh, sure.” Keeley doesn’t know why she’s so surprised. She’s been trying to lay low, had assumed she and Rebecca wouldn’t be seen together until the divorce went through, but now that she thinks about it, she doesn’t know why she thought that. “One thirty’s better.” She’s got a meeting then, but she’ll reschedule.

“Wonderful. I’ll see you then?”

Keeley makes an affirmative noise. She should be more excited — and she is, truly — but there’s something sitting heavy in her stomach.

“You know it’ll make people talk, right?” she says before she can help herself. It’s just that she’s been fighting her way through paps every morning. This’ll do nothing to quell them.

“I mean, aren’t they already?” Rebecca sounds so over it that a tiny part of Keeley is hurt. A very tiny part that hates being reminded that this whole thing is just a nuisance to Rebecca and not a source of like, heartache.

“Too right,” Keeley says, because no matter what, that is the right attitude. “Fuck ‘em.”

“Fuck ‘em,” Rebecca repeats, and the hurty part of Keeley’s heart starts to scab over on the spot.

**

Lunch is wonderful all the way up to the end, when they’re rushing through the gauntlet of cameras that’s formed.

“Want a ride?” Rebecca offers, and Keeley could walk — Palmoa is not equidistant, Rebecca is just a gem who pretends — but doesn’t want to in these conditions.

“God, yes,” she says, and ignores all the shouts to slide into the backseat of the waiting Rolls.

“Ugh,” Rebecca says once they’re merging into traffic, flashbulbs in their rearview. “Honestly, it’s like they’ve never seen two women together before.”

Keeley shudders. “I don’t know which is worse: the ones that think I’m evil and turned you into a lesbian or the ones who think being bisexual is fake and this is a stunt because neither of us could’ve possibly wanted to marry a woman.”

Rebecca sticks one warm, toned arm out and drags Keeley into her side. “Why choose? Can’t they both be awful?”

There’s a third set Keeley wants to bring up — the ones clamoring about how it should be socially acceptable to marry your best friend, who needs men? — that are even more frustrating than the ones making fun of her for being bi. But it’s too complicated to explain and she’s worried if she tried she might cry about it, and that’s the last thing Rebecca needs: Keeley crying because there’s a nugget of truth in something the tabloids are posting, and the worst part is it isn’t good enough, it isn’t what a marriage should be.

It’s the real reason Keeley knows they can’t just stay married forever. The difference between loving someone and being in love has never been so stark. It feels like a children’s book: Rebecca loves Keeley. Keeley is in love with Rebecca.

“Are you alright?” Rebecca asks, her chin on the top of Keeley’s head so she can feel it move when she talks. “You seem… blue. I know this has been a disaster and I’m sorry — oh shit, I’ve got to take this. Hello, Nigel? What’s the status?”

She sits up, leaving her arm around Keeley, but it’s odd sitting there, tucked up against her and half-eavesdropping on a conversation about her own divorce. So Keeley pulls away, slides back to her own seat and stares out the window until the car arrives at her office.

She blows a kiss to Rebecca as she leaves.

“I’ll call you,” Rebecca promises, blowing a kiss as Keeley climbs out.

Keeley knows she means it, but she must get waylaid because she never does.

**

Paperwork should be ready soon

Rebecca’d sent the text at 4:53 am.

Great! Keeley sends back, and spends the rest of her day angry with herself for being unable to focus.

**

A courier brings the papers to her house that night.

Keeley FaceTimes Rebecca once he’s gone. “Come over. We can have a divorcing party.”

Rebecca’s face falls. “I can’t,” she says after a beat. “I’ve got a meeting with the board tonight.”

Well that’s shit. Keeley tries not to let her disappointment show. “Right then, guess I’ll just toast to the way we were on my own.”

Rebecca’s laugh sounds strained. Right. This whole thing has gone on long enough; she doesn’t need Keeley dragging it out just because signing some papers alone is depressing. It’s not like Keeley remembers signing the one that got them into this mess in the first place.

“Sorry, babe. I’ll take care of it. Love you.”

That gets her a smile, but only barely. “Love you too.”

In the end, Keeley pours herself a glass of wine — if Rebecca had come, she’d have popped the champagne, but there’s no way she’s finishing a whole bottle herself before it goes flat — and reads through everything once. It takes far too long; legalese always makes Keeley feel like she doesn’t really understand English.

Still, at the end she signs her name, dates it, initials everywhere Nigel’s had his team put stickies for her. Triple checks it so it doesn’t come back for one missed and the Daily Mail finds out and says she dragged her feet in getting divorced because she’s a gold digger.

She arranges for the courier to pick it up first thing in the morning and then she texts Rebecca We’re nearly divorced! with a shower of confetti.

The dots come up and then stop. After a minute she gets notification Rebecca Welton liked ‘We’re nearly divorced!’.

“Well,” Keeley says to her refrigerator, “that was anticlimactic.”

Kind of like getting married, she supposes.

**

She lets herself have one day of sulking about it. Draws the shades, lights some candles, opens a bottle of rose at one in the afternoon just because she can.

Normally when she’s feeling this kind of way she calls Rebecca. But the problem with having a best friend who’s the other half of your divorce is that you can’t call them to say you’re sad about said divorce.

If only the drunk version of Keeley had thought about this. Or anything. Christ. She’d almost feel better if she’d gone and lost five thousand pounds on poker instead of having to deal with all this.

But it’s too late for all that.

She moves her wedding ring from her jewelry box to the box in the back of her wardrobe, the one where she keeps all the sentimental shit from her exes. It’s got old love notes, birthday cards, a signed picture Jamie gave her after their third date that made her laugh so hard she cried. She tucks the ring inside an envelope for safekeeping.

It feels strange, treating it like a relic from an actual relationship, but Keeley can’t bear the thought of chucking it in the bin, so. Away it goes.

**

The sad ache lingers, but Keeley isn’t in the mood to encourage it. She rolls into her weekly check-in at Richmond with a smile and the same fake-it-til-you-make-it attitude she’s built so much of her brand on.

“Well look what the cat dragged in.” Ted grins from the sofa in Rebecca’s office. “I hear congratulations are in order. And condolences. Or is it two congratulations? Congratulationses? Congratula—”

“Ted.” Rebecca rolls her eyes while Higgins makes a face like he’s waffling.

“I can’t keep track, Rebecca! One day, the team’s ready to plan the party of the century and I’m ordering custom-embroidered Mrs-and-Mrs bathrobes and the next Keeley’s telling everyone that y’all love each other but not —”

“Yes, Ted, I know. I was there.”

“It’s all sorted now anyway,” Keeley says, because Rebecca’s starting look all angular. “I signed the papers and everything.”

She smiles at Rebecca at that — it’s good news, isn’t it? — but Rebecca doesn’t look cheered. Keeley musters on.

“And now I’m in the market for my second marriage. Who’s in? Ted? Divorcee-to-divorcee?”

That gets a laugh out of him at least. God bless Ted, always willing to force the mood of a room to change. “Oooh, we are not ready for the Real Housewives of Richmond — do y’all have that here? Andy Cohen, man, he knows how to pick ‘em. It’s gripping. Who knew rich women had so much rage?”

“Thank you, Ted.” Rebecca closes her laptop, signaling that their meeting is over.

“Right. Higgins, what say we make like a tree and get the heck out of here?”

“Congratulations, I think,” Higgins says, squeezing Keeley’s arm as he goes past. It’s sweet, even if it does make Keeley’s insides ache a bit. What would the party have been like? Just the thought of everyone’s excitement for them, however misplaced… It’s a lot.

“I’ve brought the quarterly projections,” she says, smiling at Rebecca. “Think we’re really going to see returns on the partnership with Theragun. Hi, babe.” She busses a kiss against Rebecca’s cheek, feels her sharp inhale. Right. Too soon. “How are you holding up? Busy few days, hmm?”

That, finally, startles a laugh out of Rebecca and all at once she relaxes, like a too-full balloon getting a bit of air let out. “Just a bit. Do you want some tea before you show me the numbers?”

“Please. Have you got any of Ted’s biscuits left?”

Rebecca’s eyes narrow as Keeley pokes around at her desk. “I’m sorry?”

“Oh, I don’t get any ever? I knew I shouldn’t have signed those papers. A week ago you legally would’ve had to share them with me.”

“Yes, well.” Rebecca clears her throat. “Hindsight is twenty-twenty and all.”

**

She waits for official word from Nigel, but nothing comes through. Maybe that’s just how it is, though. It’s not like someone’s going to send her a singing telegram all Congrats Your Divorce Is Finalized!

After a few days she gets well and truly antsy and FaceTimes Rebecca, who answers from the bath.

“Keeley? Is everything alright?”

She has to blink a few times to get her brain back online. “Yeah, sorry, it’s just, you know.” She gestures at Rebecca’s chest, covered as it is in bubbles. “Can you undo a divorce? Because I’m having regrets about letting you get away.”

Rebecca gets very still and very red, the same way she always does with unabashed compliments. Keeley tries not to think about the fountains at the Bellagio. It doesn’t help anything.

“Sorry, that wasn’t the reason I called. I mean, it was, kind of.” She takes a breath, refocusing. Rebecca looks worried and that’s the last thing she wants. They’re supposed to be putting this whole thing behind them. “How long does this process normally take? Like, to finalize a divorce.”

“Oh.” Rebecca frowns. “I don’t know. It takes how long it takes. You know how legal is.”

That’s fair. She does know how slow they can be. The kings and queens of hurry-up-and-wait.

“So much for seventy-two hours.”

“So much for ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” Rebecca says, and looks pleased as punch when Keeley chokes on her wine laughing.

**

“Give me two minutes and then we’ll get started.” Rebecca gestures to the toilet and Keeley waves her off. Another week, another Richmond check-in.

“You know,” she says, voice loud enough so Rebecca can hear her through the door, “I got an offer for us to be the new faces of Rosestar — it’s this ethical beauty brand based out of Croydon. I had to tell them they were too late, we’ve already split. You know, some people just ignored my whole post about it?”

She rifles through Rebecca’s desk — sometimes she’s got sweets in here, or gum, or a fresh box of the fancy pens Keeley likes to nick whenever she can. “So that was a bummer. Though I tried their lipstick once and it gave me an allergic reaction, so we probably wouldn’t have…”

“Keeley?”

It’s sickeningly like it was in Las Vegas, Rebecca coming into the room while Keeley holds up paperwork with shaking hands.

“I can explain,” Rebecca says, while Keeley stares at the blank line where Rebecca’s signature should be. It’s dated. All her initials are in the right place. But there’s no signature. What there is is a post-it note from Nigel that says I understand you need more time, but please sign as soon as you’re ready. “I…”

She sits heavily on the sofa and puts her head in her hands. Keeley doesn’t think she’s crying, but from here she can’t tell. She leaves the divorce paperwork on the desk and moves to sit by her.

“Rebecca,” she starts but doesn’t know what to say. She throws an arm around her, hugging her close. Rebecca inhales sharply when Keeley presses a kiss against her bare arm. “It’s okay.”

“It was all just so fast.”

“I know.”

“And signing it means I’m going to be twice-divorced.”

“Right.”

“And that’s — god, you must think I’m an idiot.”

Keeley reaches over, puts her hand on Rebecca’s until she drops it from her face and looks over. “You know I don’t.”

“But I am,” Rebecca says. “What does it matter? I’m being ridiculous, I know I am, it’s just signing a piece of paper. There are no assets to divide, nothing to worry about, and yet.”

“I cried when I signed.” Keeley shrugs. “There’s no right way to feel. We got married, we shouldn’t have, this is the smart decision. Those things can all be true and it can still hurt.”

Rebecca stares at her. Her eyes are so blue. “I really do love you, you know.”

“Same.” Keeley smiles even though it makes her heart ache, like sutures popping on a half-healed wound. “Doesn’t mean we should be married.”

Rebecca’s mouth opens and then closes. “I liked being married to you, though. I figured it was because you are remarkable and my best friend, but it has recently come to my attention that you should marry your best friend.”

It’s one of the sweetest things anyone’s ever said to Keeley. Still.

“Not if you don’t want to sleep with them, too!” A reductive response, maybe, but Keeley doesn’t have the luxury of a clear thought process right now. There’s a loud rushing in her ears; it comes with the overwhelming urge to run out of the room.

Rebecca goes red from the tips of her ears all the way down to the start of her cleavage. “Yes, I understand. That’s what I’m trying to say. That I’m — that is, I would not be, uh, opposed to that. Possibly.”

Keeley very nearly falls off the sofa. This is so much more than she was expecting when she walked in here, ready to review the details of Issac’s upcoming, long-awaited Rolo campaign.

“What?” she says, because maybe this is all a dream. Maybe she’s drowned in the bath, or slipped on the sidewalk and ended up in a coma. Any of those things would make more sense.

Rebecca draws in a breath. She puts her hand very deliberately on Keeley’s knee. Keeley stares at it; she feels outside her body, like all of this is happening somewhere else, to someone else. What the fuck.

“Keeley,” Rebecca’s voice is steady; Keeley latches on to it. Rebecca’s very good in a crisis, and Keeley is definitely, one hundred percent in the middle of a crisis, “listen. I don’t particularly want to be thrice-divorced, but would you consider going on a date with me?”

There’s not enough oxygen in the room, and what there is certainly isn’t getting to Keeley’s brain. “What.”

“Oh for god’s sake, “ Rebecca says, and that’s all the warning Keeley gets before Rebecca is actually kissing her. Keeley’s spent ages thinking about a moment like this, but none of it compares to the real thing. Even if it all goes up in flames in two weeks, two months, fuck, two hours, Keeley will never forget the gentle swipe of Rebecca’s thumb across her cheekbone. She gasps, her lips parting just enough for Rebecca to slip her tongue inside, slow and teasing.

“Holy shit, Rebecca,” she says when they break apart. Rebecca’s still right there, crowded up into her space; Keeley tips forward a bit so their foreheads are touching. She doesn’t want to let her move away just yet. Possibly ever.

She kisses Rebecca again, lets herself get lost in it this time. Maybe she can convince her to bunk off the rest of the day; Keeley’s not above guilting her into it.

“Wait,” she says, several things hitting her at once. She puts just enough space between them that she can look at Rebecca without going cross-eyed. “Thrice-divorced? Did you propose on our first date?”

“You’re mad.” Rebecca rolls her eyes, but there’s a smile pulling at the corners of her mouth, another layer of red spreading across her cheeks. Keeley wonders how much it’ll take her to turn truly crimson. “We haven’t gone out yet.”

“Fuck it, book us another flight to Vegas. We can be divorced by the time we land and then leave the rest to fate.”

“I’ll get right on that,” Rebecca says, which is a lie if Keeley’s ever heard one, but she’s not about to move so Rebecca can get up so who cares, really.

Maybe she can convince Rebecca to keep on not signing those papers. She’s got a few tricks up her sleeve.