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for the first time

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Franki looked up from the food she was preparing on the stovetop when there was a knock on the door of her apartment, frowning as she checked her watch. She wiped her hands on a towel hanging from the oven door handle before going to answer the door, smiling when she saw her girlfriend in the hall. “Hey, you’re…” she started, blinking as Taylor walked into the apartment. “Early,” she finished, swinging the door shut. She turned to look at Taylor, watching as she paced around her living room. “I feel like I might already know the answer here, but are you okay?”

“Why? Why wouldn’t I be okay?” Taylor asked breathlessly as she continued pacing. “Because I left work early, which I never do? Because I let Hannah run the shop by herself when we’re busier than ever? Because I walked here instead of driving for some reason? Or because I haven’t taken a breath since I walked in the door?”

“All of the above,” Franki said with a quick nod. She walked over to Taylor, putting her hands on her shoulders. “First, I need you to breathe. Deep breath in,” she told her, Taylor closed her eyes as she followed her instructions. “And back out.” She nodded as Taylor slowly released her breath. “Good. Now, I’m gonna ask you again, are you okay?”

“I want to be,” Taylor finally said. “I don’t know what I’m doing… I don’t know how… it’s just… I don’t know! I don’t like not knowing.”

Franki shook her head, having no idea what Taylor was upset about. “What don’t you know?”

Taylor opened her mouth then closed it again, shaking her head. “I’m a control freak. You know that, you like that about me. You told me you think it’s adorable.”

“Well, I have to admit, it’s not really adorable when you’re having a panic attack over it. Listen to me, it’s okay. Whatever it is, it’s okay. You don’t need to worry about it right now,” she told her, taking her hands. “Let’s just relax. Just you and me.”

“That’s the problem,” Taylor blurted. “Us.”

“Us?” Franki repeated, dropping Taylor’s hands and taking a step back. “What are you saying?”

“I’m not… no. No, not us. We’re fine. It’s me, I’m…” she trailed off with a groan, moving to sit on the couch. “I’m not saying this right. It’s like, this is all I’ve been thinking about for a long time and I just… I need to stop thinking about it because it’s become overthinking and now it’s just turned into spiral and if I don’t do something soon, I might legitimately go insane.”

“Okay, well, we’re gonna do our best to prevent that,” Franki told her, sitting next to her, taking her hand again. “What can I do to help?”

Taylor almost laughed, barely shaking her head before she turned to Franki and kissed her.

“How is this…” Franki started to say, managing to pull back long enough to get the words out before Taylor’s lips attached to hers again. “Okay,” she mumbled against Taylor’s lips. “Okay. Calm down.” She put her hands against Taylor’s shoulders, gently pushing her away. “I’m here, okay? I’m right here. Whatever it is, just tell me. I’m not going anywhere,” she promised softly, tucking a strand of hair behind Taylor’s ear.

“I just… I don’t know,” Taylor said, shaking her head. “I’ve just never done this before. Not with another woman. I even did research! Who does that?” She let out a breath. “Maybe I’m just overthinking everything. I don’t know.”

Franki bit her lip to keep from smiling. “Okay, I have a feeling I know what you’re talking about but…”

“Sex,” Taylor interrupted. “That… that’s what I’m talking about. Sex. Us. Having it.”

“Okay.” Franki nodded, turning to look at Taylor, taking both her hands in hers. “You know there’s no pressure. We move at your speed. Whatever you want, or don’t want, to do is your call. But I am curious, this research you did, did you learn anything?”

“I would hope so but…” she trailed off with a shrug. “Like I said, it’s the first time I’ve ever done with another woman so…”

“You mean you haven’t had sex with all those women you never dated before me?” She laughed softly, squeezing Taylor’s hands. “Look, it’s just like being with any other person. We have to learn each other’s rhythms, what we each like, or don’t like. We’ll figure it out, together.”

Taylor nodded then rolled her eyes. “You sound like such a doctor.”

Franki grinned. “And you are definitely your mother’s daughter. I mean that as a compliment,” she added quickly when Taylor glared at her.

“Can we not talk about my mom right now?”

“Okay,” Franki agreed. “How about this? Let’s just relax, have some dinner,” she said, motioning towards the kitchen. “We’ll have a little wine to take the edge off, then we’ll see where the night takes us.”

“I feel like we already know where the night’s going to take us,” Taylor said with a quick chuckle.

“There’s no rush. No pressure, no expectations. We’ll just take things one step at a time.” She stood up, kissing Taylor’s head. “I’m gonna go finish dinner.”

Taylor glanced into the kitchen as Franki resumed cooking before she got up, moving to lean against the wall at the entrance to the kitchen. “I hope you’re leaving off the garlic,” she teased softly.

“Well, if I’d known what you were planning for dessert, I would have prepared something else,” Franki said with a small grin. “As it is though, we’re having chicken pesto pasta and there’s four cloves of garlic in this thing.”

“Here I thought we’d be having something super healthy.”

“Actually, studies are showing that garlic can prevent damage after a heart attack, helps to reduce blood pressure, and can help prevent infection.”

Taylor blinked, shaking her head. “Of course, yeah. I knew that.”

Franki laughed softly, glancing at Taylor. “If you’re gonna stand there and watch, come here and taste this, tell me what you think.”

Taylor walked over to her as Franki scooped up a wooden spoonful, holding it towards her. Taylor’s eyes widened as she took a bite then shook her head, coughing a bit as she swallowed. “Hot,” she muttered, holding one hand over her mouth. “Good. Hot.”

“Sorry,” Franki said quickly. “I’ll get you some water.” She got a glass from the cabinet, Taylor bit her lip as she started to fill it before walking over to her, brushing her hair aside to kiss the side of her neck. Franki put the glass on the counter, turning to face Taylor, letting her pin her against the counter as she kissed her. “The garlic was a bad idea,” Franki whispered, separating their lips slightly.

“Shut up,” Taylor said lightly, smiling as she kissed Franki again. “I don’t want to ruin this, I know you worked hard on it but can we like… put it in the fridge for a while,” she asked, glancing towards their dinner. “I’ve always been a dessert first kinda girl.”

Franki looked at Taylor, fighting back a smile. “Are you sure?”

“As much as I believe that some things in life are worth waiting for, I’m also very impatient and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to actually enjoy dinner. Gotta be honest, this whole chef thing is kind of a turn on.”

“Oh really?” Franki asked with a grin, sliding her arms around her. “We can put this away and save it for later,” she told her. “We can also save… everything else for later, if that’s what you want. Like I said, no pressure.”

“Trust me, you haven’t. I’m just extremely single-minded and right now, all I can think is how hot my girlfriend is.”

“Oh, did you just realize that?” Franki teased, laughing softly when Taylor nodded. “Okay, then I guess we should get you to the bedroom before that realization wears off.”

Taylor let out a quick laugh, kissing Franki. “Trust me, it’s not going to.”