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Her Favorite Wedding

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There’s only one thing Fatin likes about weddings: she usually finds at least one hot person to fuck.

So going to a stranger’s wedding should be at least fun at some point. But no. The only reason she’s going to this one is because Shelby begged her to go with her, as her fake girlfriend. And her overprotective ass couldn’t say no to her. Not when Shelby’s ex-girlfriend, Toni, is going to be there. Not when Fatin has seen first hand what a fucking mess Toni left behind.

That’s actually how she met Shelby. Toni had just broken up with her so, her friend, Dot, took her to a bar. A bar where she drank too much in too little time. A bar where Fatin was trying to hook up with someone. Naturally – outrageously – Dorothy was in the middle of rejecting all her advances when they spotted a guy trying to leave with a barely-conscious Shelby. Fatin helped Dot to get her back and both of them became a permanent fixture in her life. A very much welcomed and needed fixture.

She’s not complaining about saving Shelby yet again, she’d do it every day of her life if needed. But to go to a wedding and not gain at least an orgasm out of it? It sounds like a fucking waste of time.

To make matters worse, her fucking period decides to come a few days early and she only notices when they arrive at the venue. She should have worn anything other than this dress. And worst of all, she notices most of the guests are hot. Like, seriously, how does this Martha chick know so many hot people? Women especially.

"Oh Lord, Toni's coming over," Shelby says, trying to use her to hide from view. Yeah, she is taller than Shelby, but there's no chance in hell Toni hasn't seen her already. Fatin wants to turn around so badly, but it would be too obvious so she just waits for the inevitable.

It doesn't take long. "Hey."

That's her cue to turn around. And she does so with her hand on Shelby's, wanting to make sure Toni believes she's taken.

"Fatin?"

Okay, that's definitely not Toni. No. She's seen enough pictures of Toni to know she's the short woman standing next to the much taller one who just spoke. She knows this girl, she went to high school with her, she’s… "Leah?"

"Y'all know each other?"

"We went to high school together. Ran in very different circles, though. To be honest, I didn't even know Fatin knew my name."

As if she wouldn't know the name of the hottest, most unattainable girl in school.

"I am Leah, by the way. Toni's girlfriend," she clarifies, sticking her hand out to Shelby with a shy smile.

She raises an eyebrow up at Leah. She has heard rumors about her, not that she was popular enough for people to say much, but every single thing out there was about her with guys. And now here she is, looking stunning with a suit that looks like it was made just for her, and with an arm around her fucking girlfriend.

"Oh." Shelby, God bless her, recovers fast and politely shakes her hand. "Shelby. Fatin's girlfriend."

Jesus. No one has ever uttered those words before. They feel all kinds of wrong coming out of Shelby's mouth.

Toni does an intake of breath that she hopes Shelby notices, because it mean mission fucking accomplished. But Leah? Leah laughs.

"The infamous Fatin Jadmani in a relationship? Never thought I'd see the day."

"Thought a lot about me, have you?" She can't help the flirty tone or the smirk.

"Well, at least some things are still as I remember them. Always a flirt."

"Hey! It's an art form."

"Sure it is." She shakes her head amusedly, making her the only person – other than herself – having fun with this whole thing. Then, she sees their hands clasped together and looks back up to Shelby. "So, how did you manage to tie her down?"

Toni relaxes next to her and it's obvious to Fatin that she's glad her girlfriend is carrying the conversation.

"Wouldn't you like to know all the ways she tied me–?"

Shelby covers her mouth. Leah laughs again and Toni looks shocked and ready to run away or murder someone. Probably her.

She licks the hand on her mouth knowing full well Shelby can't exactly act too disgusted about it. She does slap her arm playfully and, okay, she deserved that for more than the licking.

"She's just joking. That's Fatin for ya. We were friends and–"

"And one drunken night became a sober night. Then, a friends with benefits thing until I was just with her, you know? Feelings and all that crap."

She knows it's not the story they had planned. Shelby will probably kill her later, but right now she does a good job of nodding along. "She thinks she's a badass bitch but she's really just a big softy."

Okay, that was unnecessary. Fatin Jadmani is not a softy.

"Reminds me of someone," Leah says with a smile and a nudge to Toni and– oh. Right. That's too close to how Shelby always describes her ex.

It's then when she realizes that Leah is trying too hard to be charming, to be polite and make conversation. Of course this is awkward for her, she imagines it's awkward for everyone. Except for her.

She's doing quite fine, if she’s being honest. So maybe it's her turn to carry the conversation. "What about you two?” she asks, specifically addressing Leah, “I didn't even know you swung this way."

"Well, in your defense, we’ve never really talked before."

"True story." And that right there was her biggest high school regret.

Leah gives her a little smile, one that she returns instantly.

A moment passes between them before Leah speaks again. "We met last year, at a college party I was forced to go to. Toni punched a guy who wouldn't leave my side and wouldn't take no for an answer. We became friends and the rest is history."

It's really not, but she doesn't care about the details and figures that Shelby doesn't want to hear them anyway.

If it was anyone else, she'd be giving them a high five for punching the guy, agreeing with the badass bitch comment or some variation of that. But it's Toni, the girl who hurt Shelby and still has the ability to do so. "Cool."

The exes keep staring at each other and the tension is getting to be too much. So, she comes to the rescue again. "Hey, babe, we should probably go find Dorothy."

"Right. Yes. Dottie." She tries her best smile and Fatin is sure Toni sees right through it. "See y'all later!"

"Nice to meet you!" Leah yells back as Fatin drags Shelby away.

“Okay, thank you for that but… why did you change our backstory?”

“She fucking knows me, Shelby. Well, not really, but my reputation precedes me.”

“It was high school. You could have changed.”

“You and I both know I didn’t. It’s fine, I just made it more believable.”

“Oh no. Did you stick your tongue down her throat?” Dot asks out of nowhere. Obviously only having heard the end of it all.

They reply at the same time.

“Sadly, no.”

“Lord, no!”

“Bitch, you wish!”

Shelby rolls her eyes and ignores her in favor of answering Dot again. “No. She changed our backstory because Toni’s girlfriend went to high school with Fatin.”

“Oh my God! Did you fuck Toni’s new girl?”

“Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t fuck every single person in my school, Dorothy.”

“That’s not what it sounds like when you talk about it.”

“I mostly went to college parties. I have standards, thank you very much.”

“Are you saying that girl we just saw wasn’t up to your standards?”

“Oh no, she totally was. Have you seen her?” She glances back at her and damn, Leah has gotten even hotter. She sighs. “I thought she was straight.” And not much into sex. And out of her league.

“Fatin. The wedding’s about to start, please don’t drool over my ex’s new girl.”

Toni’s the maid of honor, so Leah sits in front and Fatin watches the back of her head more than the actual ceremony. Although, she does notice Martha and her new husband make a hot couple. And honestly? She should be lusting after them instead. Literally anyone would be better than Toni’s fucking girlfriend – well, except for Toni herself.

She can’t help it though. There has always been something about Leah she felt drawn to.

Thankfully, the ceremony is short. And the party starts immediately after. When Shelby bravely goes to the bathroom alone, she turns to Dot. “Remind me again why we don’t want Shoni back together? Because I volunteer to break that couple up if necessary.”

“What in the fresh hell–?” Dorothy cuts herself off when she seems to remember their earlier conversation, or because she caught Fatin stealing a glance again. “Oh, for fuck’s sake, Fatin. Keep it in your pants for one night!”

“Hey, I didn’t do shit! It’s not my fault Toni’s got such a good taste in women. Come on, Dorothy, you can’t tell me she doesn’t turn you a little bit gay.”

“Even if she did, I wouldn’t tell you because you’d get mad it wasn’t you.”

“Damn right, bitch. I’ll better be your lesbian awakening.”

“Keep dreaming, dude. And for the record, I wouldn’t be opposed to them getting back together. Toni’s not the bad guy. But stay out of it, and especially away from her girlfriend.”

“Fine. You’re no fun.”

“Never claimed to be.”

What is fun is to dance with Shelby, especially since they cross a few boundaries they wouldn’t otherwise. They dance close together, hands touching and bodies rubbing against each other in a not-so-friendly manner. It’s fun, but it’s also incredibly hot and Fatin can’t really do anything with her, or anyone else for that matter. So she leaves Shelby with Dot when she needs a moment and goes outside to get some air.

It’s an awful night, cold and about to rain at any second now. It’s no wonder no one else is out here.

She takes like two breaths before she hears a raspy voice behind her. “Too much dancing?”

Of fucking course it’s her. She turns to see her, and is surprised to see a smirk on her face. She’s gorgeous. Fucking Toni, why couldn’t she have literally any other girlfriend? Why does it have to be her one and only ‘what if’.

“Yeah. Too hot inside, I just needed a breather.”

“Same." She ducks her head and plays with the hem of her jacket and it's cute as fuck. Then she looks up again.

“So…” She doesn’t really know what to say, but is very much interested in keeping the conversation going. Or, well, getting it started.

“Small world.”

“Fuck yeah… That entire school was probably full of LGBT people, huh?”

Leah laughs. “I mean, yes… I can’t believe you thought I was straight. I know you probably didn’t even notice me, but the way I used to dress, please…”

“You say that in past tense but you’re wearing a fucking suit. And not a straight suit, a gay suit.”

That gets her another laugh and her chest fills with pride. “What the fuck is a gay suit?”

She laughs along. “I don’t know, check in a mirror!”

When they finish recounting the ridiculousness of gendering and sexualizing clothes, Fatin says, “I did notice you, by the way. Always with that one guy who everyone thought was your boyfie, always with a book in hand. A good damn writer…”

“How would you even know that?”

“You wrote stuff for the paper, you wrote stuff for that one class we shared in senior year. I noticed you.”

The look Leah gives her then is fucking intense. It can’t be described as anything else. It’s right into her eyes, unflinching, charged with an energy that almost feels tangible. It’s as if she’s trying to read her mind but it’s going so deep that she gets to see her soul instead.

“You know… I was kinda jealous of you back then. You made it look so easy. To be around people, to do well in school–”

“It wasn’t–” She’s quick to interject because literally the only thing that was easy for her back then was being in a party and doing whoever she wanted. Everything else was hell.

But Leah is even quicker to interrupt her. “No, I know. I know it probably wasn’t easy at all. I imagine you had a lot of pressure, from your parents, your friends– I mean, you were a shoo-in for Juilliard already in junior year, for God’s sake! That shit must have been hard, but still, it seemed easy. You seemed happy most of the time.”

She has never in her life felt so seen. It’s weird to feel so understood by someone who doesn’t truly know you. She has to swallow her tears. What could she possibly say to that? ‘Thank you’? ‘I could’ve used those words back then’?

There’s no need for her to say anything, though, because Leah smiles at her and continues, “I also always admired people who can do casual hookups.”

“Ha! I knew you were a serial monogamist!”

“I have no idea what you’ve heard about me, but I only really had one relationship. Well, before Toni. And I tried some one night stands, but definitely not for me.”

“Oh, but the freedom that comes with knowing you’re not gonna see the other person again! You can be completely yourself without any kind of judgment. And you can have sex whenever you want, without having to wait for the other person to feel like it too. Because there’s always someone out there who wants to.”

“It sounds like you miss it.”

She does. But obviously not because of Shelby. It’s just been a busy month. “I mean, parts of it, sure. But Shelby’s great, I can’t really complain, if you know what I mean.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard.”

“You’ve heard? Wait. Toni told you details about her ex?”

“Well, I mean, we were friends first. And she was pretty sad about the breakup when we met. I think she told me more about their relationship than I would have liked to know, even then.”

“I get that. Is it weird for you? Being here with her ex?”

“Not really. I’m not gonna lie, though, it helps to know the ex has a hot girlfriend of her own.”

Jesus fucking Christ, she will no survive this night. But she still has this under control so she smirks. “Ditto, bitch.”

The silence that envelops them is comfortable and Fatin wishes she was a poet to be able to describe the way Leah’s eyes shine when the different changing lights from inside hit them, the way the wind blows her hair, and the way her own entire body trembles when she bites her bottom lip.

“You’re cold.” Oh, okay. So maybe she is cold, but that doesn’t explain her stomach doing flip flops or the internal heat she feels that doesn’t match the external temperature.

“I’m fine.” She doesn’t want this to be an excuse for them to head back inside.

“You’re not. Come on, I’m wearing too many layers anyway,” she says as she takes off her jacket and offers it to her.

Fatin doesn’t mean to stare. But Leah’s suddenly in a vest and she needs to get some air again. Except she’s already outside. Shit, this woman can’t possibly be real and not leave with her tonight.

“Please, take it.”

And oh, she hasn’t moved. “Sorry. Thanks.” She promptly takes it and puts it on, mentally scolding herself because she usually has more game than this.

Leah smiles and looks away, at the darkness in front of them. “You know, what you said before, about being able to be yourself with strangers? I’m usually the opposite. I can’t be myself until they know me.”

“Is that why we've never talked before?”

She shrugs. “Maybe.”

“I guess all my life it’s been hard for me to open up to people. Still is. Dorothy and Shelby are helping a lot, though.”

Leah nudges her shoulder. “Evidence shows you’re getting pretty good at it.”

“Yeah, well, you seem pretty comfy yourself.”

“We’re technically not strangers, that’s probably why.”

“Yeah... Strangers enough for me, not strangers enough for you, the perfect combo.” She smiles softly. “Or maybe it’s just you.”

The laugh is unexpected, the comment probably sounded more flirty than sincere. “Ditto, bitch.” She not only throws her words back at her, but also has the audacity to wink before going back to the dance room. Leaving Fatin way worse than when she found her. God fucking damnit.

Not two minutes later Dot is outside. “Dude, Shelby’s looking for you– What the hell are you wearing?”

Oh. She still has the jacket. “I was cold.”

“Wait, is that– Fatin fucking Jadmani, did you hook up with Toni’s girlfriend?!”

“Relax, Dorothy, we were just talking and I was cold.”

“Just talking.”

“Yes, I am capable of carrying on a conversation without jumping someone’s bones.”

“I know, but–”

“Save it, I know. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my fucking girlfriend is waiting for me.”

As soon as she notices Shelby she realizes Toni is with her, leaning into Leah as if she doesn’t care one bit that she’s talking to the girl whose heart she broke. That just won’t do.

She hurries and doesn’t even think twice before capturing Shelby’s lips with her own. It’s quick, but hopefully looks loving enough. “Sorry, babe, I just needed some air.” She pulls her towards herself, firm grip on her waist.

Her eyes meet Leah’s again and nothing around them seem to matter anymore and– holy fuck, she’s not just horny, that’s way too sappy for her.

Toni interrupts whatever moment they have going on with a loud and confused, “wait, is that her jacket?”

Oops. “Right, yes. We–”

“God, chill, honey, we were just talking outside and she was cold.”

She tries to ignore the way Shelby’s probably sending daggers with her eyes, and hands the jacket back to its owner. “Thanks again.”

“Of course. Just let me know if you need it before going outside again.”

“Will do.”

“Okay… We’re gonna go dance, come on.”

“You hate dancing,” both Shelby and Leah say at the same time and it’s extremely awkward for Toni, but Fatin wishes she had popcorn right now.

“I do. But I promised you at least one song, baby, so let’s go.”

There’s a brief silent conversation when Toni and her girlfriend look at each other – a conversation that Fatin can't quite decipher – before heading to the dance floor.

“Fatin, what did y’all do?”

“Jesus, nothing! Does no one have any faith in me?”

“Please, it’s because we have faith in you that we think you’re capable of sleeping with someone like Leah even when she has a girlfriend.”

“Okay, thanks, but I didn’t.”

“Good.”

“Wait. Can I?”

“Fatin, no!”

“Just checking.”

“She is hot, though.” It’s said in the saddest way possible.

Fatin’s never been in Shelby’s shoes, but she thinks she gets it, so a little reassurance couldn’t hurt. “She’s got nothing on you, Texas.”

“You’re lying, but thanks.”

They’re both basically staring at the pair dancing without a care in the world.

“You okay?”

“No. She looks happy.”

“Yeah, she does.” She sighs. Different ‘she’, same sort of idea.

Shelby turns her head and looks at her with a frown for a second. “I promise I’ll be your wingwoman tomorrow.”

“Yeah, thanks.”

They eat some more and mostly talk with Dot and Mateo, her boyfriend. She manages to have a good time and almost forgets she’s pretending to be someone’s girlfriend, until they want to dance again. Martha’s husband takes Shelby away from her while Martha is dancing with Toni.

And Leah sees her.

She extends her hand and Fatin won’t deny herself this chance.

She’s never felt anything like the electric strike that goes from her hand to her entire body when she accepts the offer. Never had a female dance partner that was taller than her. Even if she’s in heels and Leah is not, they’re almost the same height, but not quite. She’s never had a dance partner she enjoyed as much as her.

Fatin leads and Leah follows with ease, without missing a beat, without losing eye contact. And smiling all the way through.

“You’re a good dancer.”

“Try not to sound so surprised, please. Music is in my veins, after all.” She makes her spin once and brings her closer.

“Oh, is that why?” It sounds as flirtatious as it can. And with their faces this close, it’s as dangerous as it gets. “Here I was thinking it was all those crazy parties you attended every weekend.”

“Those definitely helped.” She puts a bit more distance between them, but still dancing, and still innocent.

They keep dancing until the song ends. Instead of getting back to their partners, they go sit down next to each other. Fatin wasn’t really thinking about it. The song ended and she just started walking towards a seat, with her hand still on Leah’s. However, she has a feeling that Leah hasn’t really followed her as much as she also acted on instinct. As if this whole thing was natural to them.

“Did you end up going to Juilliard?”

“Yeah… for a moment there I didn’t want to. The pressure was too much. My mother was too much. But doing the concert in senior year made me love it again. Mostly because I went rogue and did a piece my mom didn’t want me to play. Something about being up at that stage made me remember what I liked about it in the first place.”

“What was it?”

“Being able to express myself and having people listen. Like, truly listening and understanding the emotions I was feeling. That concert was full of students in the audience and if I could captivate a large group of teenagers, well, I felt like I could do fucking anything.”

“It was pretty impressive.”

She’s completely and utterly taken aback by that. “You were there?”

“Come on, I think the entire school was there.”

Right. Yes. She knew that. It wasn’t mandatory, but since it was the last school event of the year, it was heavily suggested that everyone should go.

“But I actually went to every one of your performances since I learned you played. I was intrigued at first, but you were so great that I just kept coming back. I enjoyed it every time. That last one, though? I could tell you were enjoying it too.”

Speechless. She was speechless yet again because of something Leah has revealed tonight.

“I’m sorry. Was that too much? I tend to–”

“No no, of course not. I’m just– Thank you,” she finally says, and follows it with the most sincere smile she’s given tonight.

Leah smiles back. Then she bites her bottom lip and starts fidgeting with her fingers.

And, even though she would like nothing more than to kiss those lips right now, there’s a nervous energy coming off of her that unsettles Fatin. “You okay?”

Her hands stop their movements and her expression is nothing short of surprised. “Yeah,” she breathes out.

Fatin doesn’t believe her but somehow knows she shouldn’t push.

Leah takes a deep breath and asks, “what were the rumors about me?”

“There you are!” Shelby is suddenly there. “I missed you, babe!” she very dramatically says as she sits in her lap and pecks her on the lips.

She notices Leah averting her eyes and standing up quickly.

“Wait, you didn’t get your answer.”

“It’s fine. I’ve been waiting quite a few years to know that, I can wait a little longer.”

She watches her walk away hoping the longing isn’t quite too obvious.

“Do I want to know what she needs to get answered?”

“It’s nothing.”

She must hear something in her voice, or see something in her face, because – instead of pushing – she says, “Hey. Are you okay?”

“Yeah, just– reminiscing about high school brings up some things…”

“Fatin…”

“I’m fine.” She’s not lying. It’s been good to talk to someone who knew her when she was younger, even if just in passing. And it was unbelievable how easy it was. She felt like she could pour her entire heart to the girl and she wouldn’t be judged by it. She’d be better if she could be even more truthful to Leah. But Shelby is still on her, playing with her hair because Toni is probably watching… and, since realizing she was a good damn friend was her favorite post-high-school thing, she won’t jeopardize their evening.

She keeps having a good time with her friends, until she goes to the bathroom and digs into her purse but doesn't find what she’s looking for. Only one of the stalls has the door closed, so she knocks on it. “Hey, can I borrow a tampon?”

A chuckle comes from the other side. “Only if I can borrow your number.”

It’s so unexpected that she doesn’t even register the voice. “What?”

The door opens and there Leah stands with a sheepish smile on her face. “Sorry. I could never really find a good comeback but figured this was my second chance so I had to try,” she says as she washes her hands. She hands her a tampon afterwards.

Fatin takes it, still not understanding what’s happening. “Again, what?”

“We talked before. Once in sophomore year. You asked to borrow a tampon, not unlike the way you just did. I said, ‘no, but you can have one.’ You pity-laughed and I felt embarrassed by it for an entire month. I’d like to think I did better this time?”

The joke is lame, but she would have actually laughed if Leah made it today. She can’t remember that moment, but it’s obvious she didn’t even spare a glance at Leah that day. In her mind, the first time she really saw her was in junior year at lunch. It was a day Leah was eating alone, reading a new book that Fatin had been dying to have time to read. She almost talked to her then. But before she could even walk towards her, Leah glanced up and Fatin lost the momentum. Those eyes, that face… for the first time in her life she felt shy to go talk to someone. She was sure she would’ve remembered if she had seen her before.

“I’m sorry I was a fucking idiot back then. But yeah, your new comeback wasn’t half as bad.”

“Thank you,” she says proudly.

“You can have it, you know?”

“What?”

“My number. I mean, if you were serious about it.”

“Oh.” Leah blushes and it’s adorable. “Sure.”

“Great. I’m gonna use this first,” she says, waving the tampon around. “Wait here.”

She enters the stall and tries to remind herself that it’s fine to flirt and give a girl her number if they’re just old school… acquaintances? Not even that, but whatever. It’s not like they’re really doing something that would count as cheating on Toni.

Afterwards, she washes her hands and is fully aware of Leah’s eyes on her. If it were any other day, in some other circumstances, she’d be having her way with her in one of those stalls without a care in the world.

“So, here,” she gives Leah her cellphone. “Add yourself and I’ll send you a text.”

Once Leah gives her the phone back, she types a quick text saying, ‘here’s to second chances,’ and sends it to her.

Then, she decides it’s time to answer her question. “I don’t think people talked about you before–” She briefly stops because it doesn’t feel right to say ‘before a car ran over you.’ She chooses more sensitive words instead, “your accident. But after that, well, they were saying it happened after you had sex with one guy or the other, or a blowjob, a handy, you name it. That you were on drugs when it happened and stuff like that…”

Leah flinches but otherwise takes it as it is. “That’s it?”

“Pretty much, people were interested in who you were with for like two seconds, then they mostly moved on. I assumed all the rumors were lies, that you were with that guy you were always with–”

“Ian. No, he was my best friend.”

“Right. Well. So I guess not even what I thought was true.”

“Part of the rumors were, though.”

“What? Okay, I’m all ears.”

“It’s nothing fun. My boyfriend had just broken up with me and I was in a bad place. I did give a handy to a guy I don’t even remember the name of, and then I was hit by the car.”

“Man, that blows.”

“Yeah, it definitely did. But I was so heartbroken that I didn’t even care. My parents almost sent me to a mental hospital, it was bad.”

“That guy did a number on you.”

“You don’t know half of it.”

“We have all night.”

“God no, that’s not a story to tell at a wedding of all places. But I can tell you that he was much, much older than me. You can imagine the rest and you’d probably be right.”

“Damn, girl. I’m sorry that happened to you. Give me a name so I can make sure to fucking kill him if I see him.”

Leah laughs, a mixture of delight and relief. “Thank you. People tend to pity me when they find out. But I really am okay, years of therapy did wonders.”

“I only see a strong woman who’s still thriving despite everything that happened to her.”

The intense gaze is back. Leah’s eyes are glossy. She swallows, a corner of her lips barely turns up for half a second and, then, her arms are around Fatin.

She hugs back and immediately feels Leah squeezing tighter. This is new. Hugging people she basically just met is not something she does, not even with the people she fucks. She’s not complaining, though, she’d stay in her arms for as long as she could.

But the door opens and Toni freezes before Fatin has time to step back.

“Am I interrupting?”

She shakes her head but Leah says, “yes,” with the most annoying tone she has ever heard. It confuses the hell out of Fatin.

“Well, don’t mind me, babe. I’m just going to take a piss.”

Toni enters a stall and slams the door shut.

“Okay, I’m gonna just–”

“Fatin, wait.”

“Leah fucking Rilke!” Toni shouts as if she’s not five feet away from them, even if there is a door.

“Yeah, have fun with that,” Fatin whispers before making her exit.

Her cellphone vibrates before she even gets to Shelby.

Leah: Sorry about Toni. Thank you for everything else.

She doesn’t think it over – and maybe she should – before replying.

Fatin: Please! I’d be insanely jealous too if you were my girlfriend

The phone goes back to her purse as she reaches Shelby, who thankfully hands her a drink.

“So, on a scale from one to I-might-get-killed, how jealous is your ex?”

“Tell me you didn’t.”

“We didn’t! But she saw us hugging…”

“Oh my! I’d say you should be scared but maybe Leah will be able to convince her y’all are just friends. It’ll be fine.”

Her phone vibrates again, so she takes it out and takes a sip of her drink.

Leah: You wouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Naturally, she chokes – barely managing to keep the liquid inside. Yeah, friends.

After she recovers, she decides it's time to check in with Shelby. "So, how are you doing? How bad is seeing her with a new girl?"

"It's bad. I thought… I don't know what I thought."

"You thought that she was gonna see you with me and be so jealous that she'd have no choice but to admit she still loves you."

"I don't like you."

"You love me. And maybe you should talk to her. Maybe their relationship is not as good as you think it is." It can't be, not with Leah saying stuff like that to her. "Hey, maybe they're fake dating too!" She jokes because she needs to lighten the mood.

Shelby doesn't laugh but she chuckles a bit so she'll take it as a win for now. "I wish."

"Yeah, bitch. Me too."

Shelby sighs. "You can tell her, you know?"

"Shelby, no…*

"I mean, if you think she'd cheat on her with you, it wouldn't be so smart of her to go and tell her the truth."

"And you'd know they won't last."

"A plus. But I'm saying it for you. I've never seen you like this."

"Well thanks. I don't think I could be with a cheater, anyway."

"I'm sure you were with plenty."

"Yeah, but I never knew beforehand."

"First time for everything, right?"

"I can't believe you're fucking pushing this now."

They laugh at the absurdity of this entire thing.

The night continues. She watches Leah dancing with some friends, and watches Toni having to tiptoe to kiss her. She's glad their little scene in the bathroom didn't ruin the couple's mood, but she'd truly do anything to trade places with Toni right now. She's taller, which would surely be a plus for comfort's sake – she's also petty, apparently, but no one needs to know that.

"You are being creepy as fuck."

"Fuck off, Dorothy."

"Stop staring, man."

"I think I like her."

"I think everyone noticed. So chill before people think you'd cheat on Shelby."

She turns to look at Dot right in the eye. She needs her to understand how serious this is. "I'm not saying I want to fuck her – which I really do, by the way. I want to go on a fucking date with her and get to know her more."

"I'm sorry, what?!"

"I know!"

"You don't do dates."

"I fucking know."

"Damn." She throws an arm over her shoulder.

Fatin will always be grateful for Dot. She leans into her, absorbing the comfort. "I know…"

The party is still in full swing and her drinks keep coming. Which might be why, when she tries to eat a piece of cake, most of it falls into her dress instead. Yes, it has to be the alcohol, not that she catches Leah dancing with only her shirt now, not buttoned all the way up either.

It's also the alcohol's fault that she goes outside instead of the bathroom to clean up. Not that she needed some air after witnessing that.

Okay. She's in perfect control of her body, she has a high alcohol tolerance. But fucking hell, that woman.

"It's raining." She can't escape her tonight – she doesn't really want to.

She bites her tongue because she absolutely can't answer with, 'I'm already wet.' Then, she turns around and Leah is already offering up her jacket. She grabs it with a smile. "Thanks. I think it'd be fine under this thing," she ends up saying, pointing to the porch's ceiling.

She puts the jacket on because it's even colder than before. The smell that attacks her is too much, though, she wishes she could take it off. Or take it home.

The jacket.

"I– I also brought you napkins. I saw that you don't know how to eat cake," Leah says as she shows her the napkins but instead of passing them over she steps closer. And closer. Until she's in her personal space – no one has ever been more welcomed. "Can I?"

She nods because what are words when striking blue eyes are staring you down like that? What are fucking words when a girl, who's very much still unattainable, wants to put her hands basically on your cleavage?

Leah is soft and caring and cleans everything to perfection. She glances up at her a few times and Fatin has to try not to die at the sight – has to try even harder not to kiss her, because they're just way too close.

"Done," she announces but one of her hands stays there, as if trying to calm Fatin's heart but accomplishing the opposite. "Listen, Fatin, I–"

"I'm not with Shelby," she blurts out.

"What?"

"What the fuck?!" Toni says from the door, and Fatin doesn't know if it's because of their proximity or because she heard her. Probably both.

Shelby is right next to her with an unreadable expression.

Leah steps back but doesn't turn to Toni. Her eyes are still fixated on her.

Toni turns to Shelby. "Is that true? Or is she lying to get into Leah's pants?"

Okay, so she can still save this for Shelby, she can take the blame, but she really doesn't want to. She glances between Shelby and Leah, looking for an answer in one, which happens to be the same answer the other is waiting for her to give.

She takes too long, and Shelby isn't saying anything either so Toni directs her anger towards Leah this time. "And you! I can't even with you right now. You're supposed to be my girlfriend, remember?" She storms right past them.

"Toni, it's raining!" Leah yells.

"Why do you care?"

"I'm your friend, you cunt. Can you come back here?"

"Friend?" The question is out of her mouth before she can stop herself, because it’s probably not the time but it’s still vital information for all of them.

Shelby must have noticed the word too because she doesn't let Leah answer. "Fatin was telling the truth, Toni. Come back and we can talk, please?"

Toni comes back, but there's still water all over her head and suit. "She's not your girlfriend?"

"No."

"So–"

Fatin doesn't get to hear what she says next because lips crash against hers and she has to hold on to Leah's waist to keep steady. She feels hands on her face and tightens her hold, pulling her closer.

She savors the moment as much as she savors those lips, her tongue quick to search for an opening that's granted without hesitation. It’s heated, as if they’ve been waiting for this their entire lives, as if they can’t get enough of each other.

It doesn’t last too long because the sheer force of the kiss, the desperate way they were kissing, takes their breath away pretty quickly.

Leah’s head falls to her shoulder as soon as they break apart, her arms wrapping Fatin up.

She tightens the embrace and relaxes there. When she opens her eyes, she’s welcomed by the sight of Shelby and Toni making out a few feet away from them. She taps Leah on the shoulder motioning for her to turn around and she does just that, but pressing her back to Fatin’s front, staying right in her arms.

She’s glad no one’s paying attention to her stupidly wide grin.

“Fucking finally,” Leah says loud of enough for the lovebirds to hear. Toni just holds Shelby in place with one hand and flips her friend off with the other. Leah laughs and Fatin fleetingly thinks that this might be what falling in love feels like.

“Go on a date with me.”

Leah abruptly turns back around. “What?”

“Please?”

“Fatin Jadmani is asking me on a date?”

“Not if you’re gonna be a dork about it.”

“I’m totally gonna be a dork about it. Are you sure, though?”

“Yeah. It’s true I don’t usually do this but I want to try if you want to.”

“Of course I want to,” she says before kissing her again. It’s slower and softer this time. She loves it just as much. She has a feeling she will love any and all kinds of kisses with her.

“Get back here, dipshits!” Dorothy shouts from inside before stepping out. “Fucking hell, I shouldn’t have come get you guys,” she says looking away from the scene. “Martha’s about to throw the bouquet.”

Shelby and Toni finally stop sucking faces and go back inside without a single glance at anyone. Leah shyly steps out of her arms and follows them inside.

“You got exactly what you wanted, huh?”

“I mean… I didn’t actively make it happen. But I think it turned out fucking great for everyone.”

“You’re unbelievable. Did you fuck her?”

“Dorothy, please! Who do you think I am? We’re going on a date!”

“I truly never thought I’d see the day.”

“Yeah, me neither.”

They laugh and go inside.

Shelby catches the bouquet, but Fatin and Leah are the ones who end up getting married first.

And in the future, Fatin will forever say that she loved her own wedding – because she did – but Martha’s will always be her favorite.